Sunday, December 23, 2007

Iran, The Narrative, Part Deux

By Cernig

You have to wonder why the Bomb Iran crowd aren't on this - the State Department's top official on Iraq says that the Iranian government has decided "at the most senior levels" to rein in the violent Shiite militias it supports in Iraq.
Tehran's decision does not necessarily mean the flow of those weapons from Iran has stopped, but the decline in their use and in overall attacks "has to be attributed to an Iranian policy decision," David M. Satterfield, Iraq coordinator and senior adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said in an interview.
What, you're sure, right? You have definite evidence?
But "we have seen such a consistent and sustained diminution in certain kinds of violence by certain kinds of folks that we can't explain it solely" by internal factors in Iraq, Satterfield said. "If you add those all together, your calculus doesn't come out unless you also add in that the Iranians at a command level must have said or done something, as well."

He declined to discuss specific evidence.
Oh, so you're just guessing again, and passing it off as being slam-dunk dead certain, again. Obviously you chumps haven't learned a damn thing from the woodshedding the last NIE on Iran's nuke program handed you.

I wonder who the "certain folks" are?
Several officials said the change began with the attack in late August on two of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines. More than 50 people were killed and hundreds were wounded when members of the Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM) militia, also called the Mahdi Army, of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr fired rocket-propelled grenades and rifles into a crowd of thousands of religious pilgrims. The violence apparently was the result of clashes between Sadr's militia and the Badr Organization, the armed wing of Iraq's largest Shiite political party, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council.

The killing sparked widespread public outrage and deeply embarrassed the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Sadr subsequently suspended JAM violence, although breakaway militia factions -- called "special groups" by the U.S. military -- have continued to attack U.S. and Iraqi government forces.
Oh jeebus, do we have to put up with this bullsh*t again? Now that the NIE's backstopped the Neo-pod people's best chance of their next war, they're going back to spinning Iran's involvement in its neighbour's affairs is a threat to world peace. With just as much attention to evidence and accuracy as they usually lavish on their creations.

Sadr's Mahdi crowd are not nice people, granted - but they are very certainly less in thrall to Iran than the Badr Brigade and it's political wing are. How come we don't hear about Iran telling it's Badr cronies to back off? Oh yeah - they're a major part of the US-friendly government and a narrative that includes Iran actually backing the friendlies would be too confusing for the poor peepul (not to mention would be another reason not to piss off Iran by bombing it). But Sadr's a baddie at the beck and call of Iran's mullahs, everyone knows - even if he's the only major Shiite figure who wants to keep Iraq together. Repeat the narrative until it seems true, that's the thing.

That Satterfield was named in an August 4, 2005 indictment as giving classified information to Steven J. Rosen, a lobbyist for the American Israel Public Affairs Action Committee or AIPAC, and is an associate of neoconservative Bomb Iran-ers, has nothing to do with the lack of evidence or the faulty logic, of course.

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