I actually don’t know what chapter this is.
The United States is not only the bastion of free enterprise and free trade, it is by far the number one weapons seller in the world, weapons that have only one function: to kill human beings. Weapons, like auto parts, end up anywhere and everywhere there is a demand and enough money to buy them.
The governments of Iran and Iraq are on good terms. Both countries are predominantly Shiite. The insurgency in Iraq is not Shiite nor Iranian in origin.
Of course the Bush/Cheney administration knows these things. But the efforts to pull the wool over the eyes of the world continues:
From the NY Times:
The cache included what Maj. Marty Weber, a master explosives ordnance technician, said was C-4 explosive, a white substance, in clear plastic bags with red labels that he said contained serial numbers and other information that clearly marked it as Iranian.
But while the find gave experts much more information on the makings of the E.F.P.’s, which the American military has repeatedly argued must originate in Iran, the cache also included items that appeared to cloud the issue.
Among the confusing elements were cardboard boxes of the gray plastic PVC tubes used to make the canisters. The boxes appeared to contain shipments of tubes directly from factories in the Middle East, none of them in Iran. One box said in English that the tubes inside had been made in the United Arab Emirates and another said, in Arabic, “plastic made in Haditha,” a restive Sunni town on the Euphrates River in Iraq.
The box marked U.A.E. provided a phone number for the manufacturer there. A call to that number late Monday encountered only an answering machine that said, “Leave your number and we will call you back.”
By the way, I see that the Times found somebody with a brain to report on this stuff. No offense, Michael Gordon.
UPDATED: The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 27) even chimes in:
U.S. Find Stokes Fears of Iraqis’ Bomb-Making Ability
by Yochi J. Dreazen.
Baghdad, Iraq — An American military raid in southern Iraq uncovered a makeshift factory used to construct advanced roadside bombs that the U.S. had thought were made only in Iran. The find raises fears that Shiite Muslim insurgents across Iraq may be able to manufacture large quantities of such weapons on their own.
The Saturday raid in the small town of Jedidah marked the first time U.S. forces found evidence that militants inside Iraq are assembling “explosively formed penetrators,” or EFPs, which can punch through the armored shells of U.S. military vehicles. U.S. officials said they found components for building about 150 of the devices, one of the largest caches of such weapons found to date in Iraq.
This find — separate from one made in the southern city of Hilla a week ago — is forcing U.S. officials to reassess their belief that such bombs were being built in Iran and smuggled fully assembled into Iraq. U.S. commanders briefing reporters here said Iraqi militants appear able to construct the bombs out of materials purchased locally or shipped into the country from Iran.
“We originally thought these came into Iraq already created, and now that intelligence has been totally relooked,” said Capt. Clayton Combs, who led the raid. “It’s like a playground kit you get in the mail: You can plot the instructions and start putting it together on- site, and that’s what we have here.”
UPDATE: On Tuesday CIA Chief Mike McConnell testified with a slighly different twist, that the Iranians are TRAINING Shiite bombers:
Iran is training anti-American Iraqi Shi’ites at sites inside Iran and Lebanon in the use of armor-piercing munitions blamed for the deaths of 170 U.S. troops in Iraq, the top U.S. intelligence official said on Tuesday.
In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, newly installed U.S. intelligence chief Mike McConnell said it was “probable” that Iranian leaders including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were aware that weapons known as explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, had been supplied to Iraqi Shi’ites.
In describing Iran’s role in Iraq, he stopped short of he stopped short of saying the Islamic Republic was directing EFP attacks on U.S. forces.
“We know there are Iranian weapons manufactured in Iran.
We know that Quds Forces (of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards) are bringing them (into Iraq),” McConnell said.
“Is there a direct link from Quds Forces delivering weapons, to the most senior leadership in Iran?” he said. “I would phrase it as ‘probable’ but, again, no direct link … I am comfortable saying it’s probable.”
Under questioning by Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut Independent, McConnell tersely acknowledged that the United States has evidence showing that Iran is training Iraqi Shi’ites at sites outside Iraq to use EFPs.
And some of that training is occurring in Iran?” asked Lieberman.
“Yes, sir,” McConnell replied.
“If Iran is training Iraqi militants in the use of Iranian weapons which are then being used to kill Americans in Iraq, I think that’s a very serious act and one that we ought to consider taking steps to stop,” Lieberman said.