Two more aspects of the multifaceted campaign designed to set the stage for an attack on Iran.
The arrest at the Iran/Iraq border of the son of Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki brings into perspective one aspect which is not so much new as emerging.
Many weeks ago Bush announced that he has instructed US forces to apprehend and kill Iranians in Iraq who were involved in fomenting the insurgency. And, in fact, our troops have staged raids, one of which was a 3 am attack on a nascent Iranian delegation’s headquarters in northern Iraq. We have heard of other arrests and detentions of Iranian officials, some of whom were in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government. In fact, as revealed by the embarrassing false arrest of al-Maliki’s son and the beatings of his bodyguards, the US is arresting EVERY Iranian it can get its hands on, focusing on those entering Iraq from Iran ie there is no pretention of just cause, reasonable suspicion or any other justification.
Not only are mass arrests occuring, but the detainees are apparently being abused, questioned harshly, and obviously some may be be tortured. This is but a variation of the unfortunate program under which citizens of Germany, Canada and other countries have been grabbed off the street and abused, much to the dismay of these governments. As far as we know, no Iranian citizens have yet been killed, but given the fact that Bush has given blanket authorization, it is only a matter of time before these arrests provoke a fatal confrontation.
The abuse of a country’s citizens for no reason other than their citizenship is an act of war. The world is not a soundstage for Jack Bauer and “24”.
The Iraqis, for what its worth, have been trying to counter much of the vile propaganda being catapulted by the US:
Iranians have stopped training and providing weapons to Iraqi militants in Iraq in the last few weeks to allow a U.S.-backed security plan in Baghdad to succeed, a senior Iraqi official said on Sunday.
National Security Adviser Mowaffaq al-Rubaie told CNN there was some evidence that Iranians had been supporting some Shi’ite militia groups fighting U.S. troops in Iraq.
“There is no doubt in my mind that recently in the last few weeks they have changed their position and stopped a lot of their tactics and interference in Iraq’s internal affairs,” Rubaie said in an interview.
The other notable disclosure regarding provocation is that of covert operations inside Iran (and elsewhere) provided by Sy Hersh in the New Yorker:
Hersh also speculated that former spy Chief Negroponte may have left his spy job to become assistant Secretary of State because there is a repeat of the Iran Contra happening and he wanted to avoid trouble– since he was involved in Iran Contra and knew the risks.
The article reports that US military or covert operators have already made repeated excursions into Iran. and that Bush has a new special planning group at the pentagon, gearing up so if Bush orders an attack, within 24 hours the US military can be bombing Iran.
On CNN, Hersh told Blitzer that this “project is very far along., that they’ve been studying this forever. …It’s pretty obvious what’s going on. The president has been talking more and more about attacks and threats on American lives (by Iranians.)
“For months there has been a lot of aggressive cross border activity— more than just casual.
“The current contingency plans allow for an attack this spring.
This is more provocation of the most serious kind, and, ironically, it is exactly what the US is trying to accuse Iran of doing. All the while, the US denies that it is planning a war with Iran, and states its intention to pursue incremental sanctions. Butter, as my mother would say, wouldn’t melt in their mouths.
Tomorrow: the surge and the approval of the Iraq oil law: don’t expect to hear any more of the “spreading freedom” excuse; it’s now ”
finding another Saddam spreading security.”