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Ian McColgin
05-15-2008, 10:07 PM
Published on Thursday, May 15, 2008 by Inter Press Service

Bogus Claim, al-Maliki Stall US Plan on Iran Arms
by Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON, May 14 - Early this month, the George W. Bush administration’s plan to create a new crescendo of accusations against Iran for allegedly smuggling arms to Shiite militias in Iraq encountered not just one but two setbacks.

The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to endorse U.S. charges of Iranian involvement in arms smuggling to the Mahdi Army, and a plan to show off a huge collection of Iranian arms captured in and around Karbala had to be called off after it was discovered that none of the arms were of Iranian origin.

The news media’s failure to report that the arms captured from Shiite militiamen in Karbala did not include a single Iranian weapon shielded the U.S. military from a much bigger blow to its anti-Iran strategy.

The Bush administration and top Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus had plotted a sequence of events that would build domestic U.S. political support for a possible strike against Iran over its “meddling” in Iraq and especially its alleged export of arms to Shiite militias.

The plan was keyed to a briefing document to be prepared by Petraeus on the alleged Iranian role in arming and training Shiite militias that would be surfaced publicly after the al-Maliki government had endorsed it and it used to accuse Iran publicly.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, told reporters on Apr. 25 that Petraeus was preparing a briefing to be given “in the next couple of weeks” that would provide detailed evidence of “just how far Iran is reaching into Iraq to foment instability”. The centrepiece of the Petraeus document, completed in late April, was the claim that arms captured in Basra bore 2008 manufacture dates on them.

U.S. officials also planned to display Iranian weapons captured in both Basra and Karbala to reporters. That sequence of media events would fill the airwaves with spectacular news framing Iran as the culprit in Iraq for several days, aimed at breaking down Congressional and public resistance to the idea that Iranian bases supporting the meddling would have to be attacked.

But events in Iraq diverged from the plan. On May 4, after an Iraqi delegation had returned from meetings in Iran, al-Maliki’s spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, said in a news conference that al-Maliki was forming his own Cabinet committee to investigate the U.S. claims. “We want to find tangible information and not information based on speculation,” he said.

Another adviser to al-Maliki, Haider Abadi, told the Los Angeles Times’ Alexandra Zavis that Iranian officials had given the delegation evidence disproving the charges. “For us to be impartial, we have to investigate,” Abadi said.

Al-Dabbagh made it clear that the government considered the U.S. evidence of Iranian government arms smuggling insufficient. “The proof we have is weapons which are shown to have been made in Iran,” al-Dabbagh said in a separate interview with Reuters. “We want to trace back how they reached [Iraq], who is using them, where are they getting it.”

Senior U.S. military officials were clearly furious with al-Maliki for backtracking on the issue. “We were blindsided by this,” one of them told Zavis.

Then the Bush administration’s campaign on Iranian arms encountered another serious problem. The Iraqi commander in Karbala had announced on May 3 that he had captured a large quantity of Iranian arms in and around that city.

Earlier the U.S. military had said that it was up to the Iraqi government to display captured Iranian weapons, but now an Iraqi commander was eager to show off such weapons. Petraeus’ staff alerted U.S. media to a major news event in which the captured Iranian arms in Karbala would be displayed and then destroyed.

But when U.S. munitions experts went to Karbala to see the alleged cache of Iranian weapons, they found nothing that they could credibly link to Iran.

The U.S. command had to inform reporters that the event had been cancelled, explaining that it had all been a “misunderstanding”. In his press briefing May 7, Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner gave some details of the captured weapons in Karbala but refrained from charging any Iranian role.

The cancellation of the planned display was a significant story, in light of the well-known intention of the U.S. command to convict Iran on the arms smuggling charge. Nevertheless, it went completely unreported in the world’s news media.

A report on the Los Angeles Times’ Blog “Babylon & Beyond” by Baghdad correspondent Tina Susman was the only small crack in the media blackout. The story was not carried in the Times itself, however.

The real significance of the captured weapons collected in Karbala was not the obvious U.S. political embarrassment over an Iraqi claim of captured Iranian arms that turned out to be false. It was the deeper implication of the arms that were captured.

Karbala is one of Iraq’s eight largest cities, and it has long been the focus of major fighting between the Mahdi Army and its Shiite foes. Moqtada al-Sadr declared his ceasefire last August after a major battle there, and fighting had resumed there with the government operation in Basra in March. Thousands of Mahdi Army fighters have fought there over the past year.

The official list of weapons captured in Karbala includes nine mortars, four anti-aircraft missiles, 45, RPGs and 800 RPG missiles and 570 roadside explosive devices. The failure to find a single item of Iranian origin among these heavier weapons, despite the deeply entrenched Mahdi Army presence over many months, suggests that the dependence of the Mahdi Army on arms manufactured in Iran is actually quite insignificant.

The Karbala weapons cache also raises new questions about the official U.S. narrative about the Shiite militia’s use of explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) as an Iranian phenomenon. Among the captured weapons mentioned by Gen. Jawdat were what he called “150 anti-tank bombs”, as distinguished from ordinary roadside explosive devices.

An “anti-tank bomb” is a device that is capable of penetrating armour, which has been introduced to the U.S. public as the EFP. The U.S. claim that Iran was behind their growing use in Iraq was the centrepiece of the Bush administration’s case for an Iranian “proxy war” against the U.S. in early 2007.

Soon after that, however, senior U.S. military officials conceded that EFPs were in fact being manufactured in Iraq itself, although they insisted that EFPs alleged exported by Iran were superior to the home-made version.

The large cache of EFPs in Karbala which are admitted to be non-Iranian in origin underlines the reality that the Mahdi Army procures its EFPs from a variety of sources.

But for the media blackout of the story, the large EFP discovery in Karbala would have further undermined the credibility of the U.S. military’s line on Iran’s export of the EFPs to Iraqi fighters.

Apparently understanding the potential political difficulties that the Karbala EFP find could present, Gen. Bergner omitted any reference to them in his otherwise accurate accounting of the Karbala weapons.

Gareth Porter is an historian and national security policy analyst. His latest book, “Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam“, was published in June 2005.

© 2008 Inter Press Service

BrianW
05-15-2008, 10:20 PM
It's articles like this, which stretch facts to make things seem even worse than they are, which reduce the effectiveness of real stories.

Ian McColgin
05-15-2008, 10:30 PM
It is a wierd turn when a charactor like al-Maliki turns out to appear more interested in truth than the US President. It may be that al-Maliki realizes that Iran actually has an interest in a stabile Iraq.

Anyway, I'd be facinated to learn what facts have been stretched here.

LeeG
05-15-2008, 10:34 PM
real stories.

Like the one where a country of 26million had it's gov't and security apparatus destroyed without similar effort or resources applied to reconstruction so external actors are given more significance than they deserve .

Somehow people are led to believe, and they followed quite willingly, that a country on the cusp of nuclear weaponry was incapable of making machined discs used in making efp, so it had to come from somewhere else .

C. Ross
05-15-2008, 11:35 PM
I think I get Brian's drift.

First, the article suggests that impartiality and facts are the only motivations for Prime Minister al-Maliki. He's been inconsistent in his relationships with lots of parties, including Mahdi army and Iran. He may be interested in truth as you say, Ian, but he has other interests as well.

Second, this isn't a news story, it's "advocacy" press no less biased than Fox or whoever else you might dislike. A headline like "Bogus Claim", and phrases like "...the news media's failure..." "...fill the airwaves with spectacular news..." "...in light of the well-known intention of the U.S. command to convict Iran on the arms smuggling charge. Nevertheless, it went completely unreported in the world’s news media."

There's a place for advocacy pieces, but this isn't a "real story" that would pass muster in front of a real news editor.

Heck, who needs sensationalism when the real news from Iraq is so compelling?

(Preemptions: Yes, it's just as bad when the right does it. That's how the war was sold, and it was bad then.)

BrianW
05-15-2008, 11:40 PM
Well, for those who can see the light at the end of this tunnel... what the author has proven, is that Iranian weapons are not getting into Iraq.

Score one for the good guys!!!

Now, if ya truly believe that, then it's good news.

Bob Smalser
05-15-2008, 11:43 PM
Now, if ya truly believe that, then it's good news.

Only for fools.

BrianW
05-15-2008, 11:48 PM
No Bob, it's true! Didn't ya read the 'fair and balanced' article.

Osborne Russell
05-16-2008, 08:38 AM
Weapons are brought to Iraq from Iran. War with Iran.
Weapons are brought to Iraq from Syria. War with Syria.

Etc.

Simple things for simple minds.

Syed
05-16-2008, 09:15 AM
Weapons are brought to Iraq from Iran. War with Iran.
Weapons are brought to Iraq from Syria. War with Syria.

Etc.

Simple things for simple minds.

Reduction in World population can reduce the problems proportionally.

Simple maths for .............

Osborne Russell
05-16-2008, 09:41 PM
Reduction in World population can reduce the problems proportionally.

Simple maths for .............

Not following you, Syed . . . reduction in population does indeed take the edge off many problems, but when it comes to war, with technology, we can be much more efficient, and cause more destruction with less manpower than ever before. It's progress, in terms of efficiency.

Syed
05-17-2008, 04:37 AM
Not following you, Syed . . . reduction in population does indeed take the edge off many problems, but when it comes to war, with technology, we can be much more efficient, and cause more destruction with less manpower than ever before. It's progress, in terms of efficiency.

The end result will be reduction in the World population.

(I am not at all advocating war or violence, but those who believe that shear power can resolve all the issues may go that far.)

Ian McColgin
05-17-2008, 06:32 AM
I'm not a fan of al-Maliki and clearly neither is the article's author. The news is that he realized he could not go along with a fake on a scale as incindiary though not WMD as the Saddam has nukes lies. Obviously he's looking at the long view of dealing with Iran and has good reason to doubt any good can come to Iraq if we attack Iraq. Just from the practical, our army is too depleated and the use of nuclear arms should not be an option. From the geopolitical, it's the dumbest idea in five years. From the moral it's disgusting. So, al-Maliki was perforce unable to join us in this particular lie and chose the better looking pre-emptive truth approach. Doesn't make him a good guy, just a bit more perceptive than the jerks who thought they could get away with the Iran arms fabrication.

By the way, if the Iranians saw any advantage to arming any Iraqis, I'm sure they would and would probably do it with older stuff that we gave them some decades ago.

LeeG
05-17-2008, 09:10 AM
there's a black market for all kinds of weapons, the neighboring black markets will take advantage of the opportunity just as corporations from the US take advantage of the opportunities to make money in Iraq.

By now folks should be scratching their head over the idea that stamped or machined metal plates are beyond the technology of Iraqis and has to come from Iran.

Likewise 9/11 showed the significance of suicide terrorists, they aren't coming from Iran, most come from our ally Saudi Arabia.

Ian McColgin
05-17-2008, 11:58 AM
Beyond the technology of Iraqis ? ? ? Almost any useful, not overly electronic battle weapon or explosive can be and is made in back rooms everywhere in the world. No doubt much material is smuggled into Iraq across all of her borders, including the one with Iran and no doubt some corrupt local officials - Iraqi, Iranian, US, etc - are involved in the trade. That does not mean their respective governments are doing it.

Pretraeus and Bush made the claim that they had relativly new Iranian military weapons taken from the militia, proving Iranian government sponsorship of the insurgency. That claim is right there with the WMD claim. A. Flat. Lie.

Tanbark Spanker
05-17-2008, 03:09 PM
This is pretty typical empire building BS. How else could 200,000,000 people, in this past century, get prematurely dead at the hands of the state?

jbelow
05-17-2008, 03:23 PM
There is motive , there is verbal threats , there is evidence ! Conclusion- Iran is responsible for the death of many American soldiers

Bob Smalser
05-17-2008, 07:37 PM
Fools.



"We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."

Hussein Massawi, the former leader of Hezbollah


Think Hussein's sponsors think much differently?

No Prez ever sat down with Stalin, Kruschev, Breznev or Gorby without first insuring he had a bigger stick. Your hero in turn, will provide terrorist states photo ops without even carrying a twig.

Fools.

Hot Air
05-17-2008, 07:57 PM
It sounds like the article is referring to one cache of captured weapons. When it was discovered that the weapons can't be positively linked to Iran then the military pulled the plug on the press conference. So where is the lie? It was only a few months ago that Ahmedinijad gave Al-Maliki his word that he would "try" to stem the flow of weapons coming out of Iran to supply the Shiite insurgents. So even Ahmedinijad admits that munitions are crossing his country's border into Iraq. Of course he didn't say it was on his orders. Ian's enthusiasm to paint Iran as an innocent bystander in this conflict is telling.

carioca1232001
05-17-2008, 08:08 PM
Fools.

"We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you." Hussein Massawi, the former leader of Hezbollah

Think Hussein's sponsors think much differently?

No Prez ever sat down with Stalin, Kruschev, Breznev or Gorby without first insuring he had a bigger stick. Your hero in turn, will provide terrorist states photo ops without even carrying a twig.

Fools.

'Hard Talk' is a TV program on BBC World, in which the interviewer Stephen Sackur, spends most of his time prodding and provoking the person being interviewed.

Last night it was a Syrian lady, Ms. Shahban, who is a high-level spokesperson for the Syrian Govt. I have seen her before on other similar BBC productions. A real charmer, articulate and with a fine brain, Stephen couldn´t get the better of her, as he sometimes manages with others.

To cut a long story short........yes, Syria is interested in making peace with Israel, but accepts no pre-conditions. Period !

She also mentioned that one of the problems is the US backing puppet regimes in the Middle East, as in Lebanon, for instance, against the wishes of the local people.

You may not change your views, ever, on what the US desires and demands versus what the nationals of the many countries of the planet seek in their own lands.

But I would recommend a re-play of that interview for all to see.

Bob Smalser
05-17-2008, 08:16 PM
But I would recommend a re-play of that interview for all to see.

Of a well-groomed mouthpiece. Know much about Syria? Bashar doesn't have enough control of his own Baathist hierarchy to pull anything off, let alone peace with Israel. Not that he wants to.

And remember Iran's apologists here never actually met any Iranians except a few tame ones in Persian restaurants.


In a speech about the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, on August 15, 2006, Bashar al-Assad said that Israel had suffered a defeat in that war and that Hezbollah had "hoisted the banner of victory" and hailed its actions as a "successful resistance" - a view incidentally that was largely accepted by media and regional analysts.[[3]] He called Israel an "enemy," with whom no peace could be achieved as long as they and their allies (especially the U.S.) support the practice of preemptive war....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashar_al-Assad

LeeG
05-17-2008, 08:31 PM
Fools.



Think Hussein's sponsors think much differently?

No Prez ever sat down with Stalin, Kruschev, Breznev or Gorby without first insuring he had a bigger stick. Your hero in turn, will provide terrorist states photo ops without even carrying a twig.

Fools.

Your characterization and argument make no sense. Obama is a candidate, not a hero, the "stick" will not dissapear with a new president.

name calling is fun, how would you like to be addressed?

Bob Smalser
05-17-2008, 08:37 PM
name calling is fun, how would you like to be addressed?

Unlike you as far as possible.

LeeG
05-17-2008, 08:53 PM
that's easy, I'm not Bob so that'll do.

carioca1232001
05-17-2008, 09:05 PM
Of a well-groomed mouthpiece. Know much about Syria? Bashar doesn't have enough control of his own Baathist hierarchy to pull anything off, let alone peace with Israel. Not that he wants to.

And remember Iran's apologists here never actually met any Iranians except a few tame ones in Persian restaurants.

Wouldn´t that be a good reason to prod Bashar into the peace fray, knowing fully well that his own political situation at home is unfavourable, to say the least ?

After all, Ms. Shahban has let the cat out of the bag: Syria wants peace with Israel.

Bashar is obviously different from his father before him, Hafeez Assad, having trained as an eye-doctor (opthalmologist ?) and done a residence/postgrad stint in the UK on these lines. Hard-liner Baathists probably don´t see eye to eye with him.

BTW, I can sincerely imagine Iranian military personnel saying the same about the Americans ;) How unfortunate !

Some weeks ago I had the pleasure to meet with a lawyer friend from the US........we got talking about partition in British India and how Edwina Mountbatten interceded to halt a dilaceration of the sub-continent into bits and pieces........ of Muslim and Hindu States.......he added that warring men coupled with politicians, irrespective of nationality, spell disaster.

Bob Smalser
05-17-2008, 09:45 PM
After all, Ms. Shahban has let the cat out of the bag: Syria wants peace with Israel.



And I have this bridge.....

Let's not ask them about Lebanon then.

crawdaddyjim50
05-17-2008, 11:01 PM
Fate a compli...

Unless you are willing to risk all you own and what your children will possibly own.

From where will the next great person come? Will they be able to pull the average man from his couch and cause him to rise to the occasion and sacrifice his comfort and future for a cloudy vision and promise?

WX
05-17-2008, 11:12 PM
To reduce the world's population you would need to kill more than one every minute. All the wars going on at the moment combined are not even remotely close to that. You are talking world war on a greater scale than the Second World War!
Can't see it happening personally.

carioca1232001
05-18-2008, 01:15 PM
And I have this bridge.....

Let's not ask them about Lebanon then.

A clever way to seize the opportunity !

John Teetsel can tell us something about Iranians - he did a stint there a while ago.

I have been to school with a handful in Karachi and made a vg friend during my studenthood in London. The latter gent hails from Khorramshah, not far from your old stomping grounds, so he speaks Arabic and Farsi and has Arabian blood in his veins too !

All in all, very different - not implying better, just different - from Arabs, just as Americans differ from Brits and Brazilians from Portuguese !

My American friend visiting recently from SFO has quite a few Persian friends. He reckons Persians are close to Brazilians, temperament wise ! And he knows Brazil since 1979 when he came down here as an exchange student.

I am not cooking this up , but in the 70´s in Rio, many a Brazilian student returning from studies in the US would tell me: ' Pakistanis are OK; Indians and specially Chinese are book-worms, not the socialising type; but we got on like a house on fire with Persians !'

Tanbark Spanker
05-18-2008, 08:27 PM
I'm sure there will be a war once the proper US business interests can agree on best deal with their Iranian counterparts.

Tanbark Spanker
05-18-2008, 10:24 PM
WX, murder is not a real good choice in population control.

"Freedom is messy." Donald Rumsfeld

Tanbark Spanker
05-18-2008, 10:26 PM
WX, murder is not a never a good choice in population control.

"Freedom is messy." Donald Rumsfeld

LeeG
05-19-2008, 11:14 AM
I wonder if any reporter has asked Dana Perino about Talabanis opinions as they aren't in alignment with US gov't/military.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=56077&sectionid=351020201

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has dismissed claims that Iran is sending weapons into his country and called for strong Iran ties.

"Those who make such claims against Iran only express their personal views which don't reflect those of the Iraqi government," he said in interview with the Al-Arabiya TV on Friday.

"I, as the president of Iraq, do not agree with such views," he added.

"Our Iranian brothers are ready for dialogue on any such issues," Talabani said.

"As far as Iranian weapons are concerned it should be mentioned that during Saddam Hussein's rule Iran provided weapons for the Iraqi opposition groups," he added.

Talabani also called for enhanced ties between Iraq and Iran and said that "I strongly believe that the relations between Iran and Iraq in different fields could be further strengthened," IRNA quoted him as saying.

John of Phoenix
05-19-2008, 01:51 PM
This from the WayBack Machine. I posted this last October when they first started the "Let's attack Iran" drumbeat. Sounds like they're at it again with similar results.

This is some of the stuff they're trying to pass off as "Made in Iran".
Oddly the letters are printed in English as opposed to Farsi or even Arabic.
As are the numbers. Despite what you may think the "Arabic numerals" we use are not the ones they use.
http://www.omniglot.com/images/writing/persian_num.gif

Finally, they use a different calendar - March 2006 would have been Esfand 1384.

More of their famous "intel" it seems.

http://a.abcnews.com/images/International/ap_efp3_070212_ssh.jpg
"This U.S. military image shows an 81mm mortar round allegedly supplied by Iran to Shiite militants in Iraq.
(U.S. Military/AP Photo)"

http://a.abcnews.com/images/International/ap_efp4_070212_ssh.jpg
"This image provided by the U.S. military shows what officials say are Iranian anti-tank rocket-propelled grenades.
(U.S. Military/AP Photo) "

Bob Smalser
05-19-2008, 02:31 PM
This from the WayBack Machine. I posted this last October when they first started the "Let's attack Iran" drumbeat. Sounds like they're at it again with similar results.

And of course you're a qualified intelligence analyst who knows the difference.

Not. I'd venture to say you've never even seen munitions used by countries there, or how it's marked. I've got 30 more years of experience at these matters than you do, and I can't tell.

Do you have a substantive analysis other than your own?

John of Phoenix
05-19-2008, 03:19 PM
No, I always rely on what my government tells me. Always have, always will.

paladin
05-19-2008, 03:33 PM
Uh....fellers......The U.S. government is one of the largest purchasers of Russian made munitions in the world........for foreign weapons....to the best of my knowledge, items like the Browning machine gun barrels aren't presently manufactured in the U.S..as the hammer forge required is available in Ukraine. I remember an order a few years back for about 150 barrels and the markings were WWII era markings, new manufacture.....and the U.S. buys AK weapons and ammunition using markings from other areas.....I think Bob may be able to confirm this....same with those mortar rounds....until you open the inside and test the chemicals ya can't determine when/where they were made.

ccmanuals
05-19-2008, 05:10 PM
Somehow I have to think if our boys weren't actually in Iraq right now we probably wouldn't give a rat's a$$ about someone brining in an AK47 from Iran. Hey, I've got an idea. Let's take our troops out of Iraq then we won't have anything to beat the drum about. :)

Chris Ostlind
05-19-2008, 05:15 PM
And of course you're a qualified intelligence analyst who knows the difference.

Not. I'd venture to say you've never even seen munitions used by countries there, or how it's marked. I've got 30 more years of experience at these matters than you do, and I can't tell.

So, Bob.. tell us if you are a current operative in the fields in which you are choosing to blab?

If you are, then you're way out of school my boy. If not current, then you're potentially living on old, escaped gases from the crankcase of an engine long expired.

Pick up that fishin' pole, my man and stop playing Super Boy Scout dude on a Boat Forum.

Used to be pseudo important and now living in the same ****e hole as the commoners... how ignominious can it get, Bubba?

John of Phoenix
05-19-2008, 05:51 PM
Here's my expertise in "intel". (More like common sense.)

I stated in 2002 -
“If Bush invades Iraq, he’s needs an Army capable not just of defending the country from attack from Iran and Syria, but also sealing the borders and MOST OF ALL, acting as a national police force to prevent sectarian violence and civil war. (I watched Iran come apart during their revolution and it ain’t pretty.) That’s an army, a border patrol, and a police force all in one – that doesn’t speak the language or know the customs. Finally… he’d better be ready to fight every Muslim on the planet, because that’s what he’s asking for. A ‘Satanic Army of Occupation’ will not be tolerated in the heart of Islam.”
How’s that for intel? How smart do you have to be to see a train wreck in the making? I'm no genius.

When the moron-in-chief goes after Iran, he’d better have more than a couple of mortar shells and RPGs to make his case or he’ll be thrown to the wolves and hopefully in prison as well.

Now there’s a legacy we could really be proud of.

Bob Smalser
05-19-2008, 07:52 PM
So, Bob.. tell us if you are a current operative in the fields in which you are choosing to blab?

If you are, then you're way out of school my boy. If not current, then you're potentially living on old, escaped gases from the crankcase of an engine long expired.

Pick up that fishin' pole, my man and stop playing Super Boy Scout dude on a Boat Forum.

Used to be pseudo important and now living in the same ****e hole as the commoners... how ignominious can it get, Bubba?

I don't recall running over your dog, but if I did I apologize.

I was an infantryman, not MI. But I've got at least 25 more years of experience looking at foreign ammunition than Teetsel has, and I don't have a friggin clue where that ammo was made from the markings. Neither does he. It doesn't have to be in Farsi to be Iranian, as none of their clients speak it.

Get it? Unless you want to hear only partisan lies, which may well be the case.

paladin
05-19-2008, 08:37 PM
Remember some of the quotes from the War of Northrun' Agression?
When a reporter asked a suthrin' boy why he was fighting because he didn't own any slaves and his reply was "cause the yanks are down here".....
Same problem......Americans are invading Islam.....the people will whine and cry, but it's their country to whine and cry in and another dictator will take the place of the last one....

John of Phoenix
05-19-2008, 10:13 PM
But when U.S. munitions experts went to Karbala to see the alleged cache of Iranian weapons, they found nothing that they could credibly link to Iran.
I don't have to be a weapons expert, colonel. I've got people.

BrianW
05-19-2008, 10:21 PM
http://a.abcnews.com/images/International/ap_efp4_070212_ssh.jpg

Must be Iranian manufacture, look at the tan duct tape.

Rednecks woulda used grey or camo colored tape....

;)

LeeG
05-19-2008, 11:36 PM
Bob, if Iran only sent dates to Iraq do you think it would result in a significant decline in IEDs, mortar rounds falling on the Green Zone or suicidal jihadists?

C. Ross
05-19-2008, 11:44 PM
Put another way, where are insurgents in Iraq getting their arms? Not a troll, I just don't know. Are they left over from Saddam's munitions stores? If they are imports, where do they come from? Are there facts about this that most knowledgeable observers agree on?

pcford
05-19-2008, 11:55 PM
Put another way, where are insurgents in Iraq getting their arms? Not a troll, I just don't know. Are they left over from Saddam's munitions stores? If they are imports, where do they come from? Are there facts about this that most knowledgeable observers agree on?

You might remember that Iraqi weapons stores were left open for the public to peruse during the invasion.

Not as bad as leaving the Iraqi National Museum open to looters...while the Oil Ministry had a compliment of soldiers and tanks. This offense...ignoring all others should qualify the Bush traitors as a hanging offense....the contents of the museum were the patrimony of the world. And W let them go. Probably never heard of Babylonia anyway.

LeeG
05-20-2008, 12:03 AM
Put another way, where are insurgents in Iraq getting their arms? Not a troll, I just don't know. Are they left over from Saddam's munitions stores? If they are imports, where do they come from? Are there facts about this that most knowledgeable observers agree on?


good question,,there are probably facts,,and a willingness to spin them.

I bet you could research the topic for a couple hours and come up with a satisfactory answer that you didn't have before.

C. Ross
05-20-2008, 01:08 AM
Yup, not much consensus. A quick google finds plausible support for sources including, in no particular order, depending on search words:

Iraq, from former arms depots
Iran (including some very cool-looking Austrian sniper rifles)
Syria
Other gulf states
The US, according to a GAO study last summer that found many US weapons unaccounted for in Iraq http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/05/AR2007080501299.html


One senior Pentagon official acknowledged that some of the weapons probably are being used against U.S. forces. He cited the Iraqi brigade created at Fallujah (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Fallujah?tid=informline) that quickly dissolved in September 2004 and turned its weapons against the Americans.


Maybe the best available answer today is "lots of places".

LeeG
05-20-2008, 06:55 AM
C.Ross, and if you look at the administrations track record for identifying threats there's a mighty big credibility problem. The desire to identify an enemy as a basis for policy leaves a lot of information being used to fit that policy. Iraq is a candidate for war, find the data justifying it, Iran is another candidate for regime change, find the data.
The focus on weapons transfers from Iran attempts to define the relationship between the people of the two countries in terms of weapons,,when there are many other relations and flow of people. Isn't is bizarre that the US has tried to pretend that diplomatic relations are not worthwhile with Iran while Malkis gov't seeks Iran as a mediator between it and the Mahdi militia?

Tylerdurden
05-20-2008, 07:10 AM
As I am not an Intell expert I cannot tell you what is or isn't Iranian.

I can tell you from my experience in another theater that weapons are brought in from just about everywhere and unless its a completely controlled weapon system there is no way to determine how it got there.
Weapons pour in from everywhere on the Black market and I have seen it with my own eyes.
To think one can claim another country is suppling them by finding a stash is ludicrous at best.

Of course Flag wavers want you to believe such bunk but its just not true.

C. Ross
05-20-2008, 08:18 AM
Well the accurate answer needs to be "lots of places including Iran". The Bush administration has not been honest about intelligence about Iraq, and statements about Iran should be viewed skeptically.

But the problem with the bitter partisanship of our politics today (and on this forum) is that for some folks if Bush takes a position on something, then the polar opposite must of course be true. At least my casual search says Iran is not the ONLY weapons source, but it seems to be a credible and potentially significant weapons source. I think it's also fair to be very skeptical about over-reaction by this administration.

Iran is not our friend. You open direct talks when you have a specific objective, and where you have something to give that is of lesser value than what you expect to achieve. You have direct talks when there is a reasonable chance of reaching an enforceable agreement. You don't have direct talks with an overt enemy to build a relationship, or to share messages on issues where you want to avoid mutual downside. None of those conditions, not even some of those conditions, exist today between the US and Iran. There's nothing we want to accomplish with them that couldn't be handled through intermediaries. It's not more efficient, it's just showy (in the good and bad sense) to talk with them.

It is appealing to citizens of a nation at war to see leaders sharing olive branches, and of course we should do that where there is a chance to advance peace. But we should start by reaching out directly to nations with whom we have more interests than we have with Iran.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-20-2008, 08:38 AM
Dates and inscriptions in the Middle East are not always what they seem:

Bob and Cedric both know what this is:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2c/MTThaler.png

Bob Smalser
05-20-2008, 08:52 AM
Maria used to be US currency, too.

The Arab silversmiths serving the Bedu used to make necklaces of them.

Bedoin, Berber, Baluch and other tribal women wore much of the family's wealth on their body as jewelry. It was insurance for the family in case the husband didn't survive one of his treks or tribal raids. That's why even today you often see literally pounds of bracelets and necklaces worn under the abaya. Silver in poor countries. Gold in rich.

carioca1232001
05-20-2008, 09:01 AM
Bob and Cedric both know what this is:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2c/MTThaler.png

If you are talking about the Colonel, yes, you may be right !

But not me !

I can just about confirm that Urdu numerals are similar to Persian ones, for the simple reason that I learnt that Persian was the language of the Moghul emperors and their courts in India. And Urdu is derived from Persian.

And not because I know either set of numerals ;)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-20-2008, 09:04 AM
And here's another one:

http://www.goldsovereigns.com/images/1925lsovereignrevnew240.jpg

A perfectly genuine Sovereign, struck at the Royal Mint - but not in 1925. Actually struck in the early 1950's and used to pay agents in the Middle East.

Like the Maria Theresa thaler (dollar), some of which I have actually gone shopping with, the sovereign is in common use in the Middle East.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-20-2008, 09:11 AM
Maria used to be US currency, too.

The Arab silversmiths serving the Bedu used to make necklaces of them.

Bedoin, Berber, Baluch and other tribal women wore much of the family's wealth on their body as jewelry. It was insurance for the family in case the husband didn't survive one of his treks or tribal raids. That's why even today you often see literally pounds of bracelets and necklaces worn under the abaya. Silver in poor countries. Gold in rich.


Spot on, Bob. The bracelets tend to be 22ct - very soft, so the pattern wears off, but since they are traded by weight it does not matter (except to the wearer!)

carioca1232001
05-20-2008, 09:33 AM
.......Baluch and other tribal women wore much of the family's wealth on their body as jewelry. It was insurance for the family in case the husband didn't survive one of his treks or tribal raids. That's why even today you often see literally pounds of bracelets and necklaces worn under the abaya. Silver in poor countries. Gold in rich.

But as some of these people moved into modernity and urban dwellings, the custom of women wearing their family´s savings on their person did not wear off.

On the contrary, it got re-inforced due to the higher level of wealth that was accumulated with no where to invest it.

Have you ever been to Karachi ? Your eyes will just pop out with the sheer number of jewellers´shops on Elphinstone Street (Merunissa Rd), captained by Mirza Mohammed Suleiman´s business.

But women have stopped going out decked out in family jewellry - as they used to in the 60´s and 70´s - due to hold-ups that are now commonplace. Some more modernity to influence habits and customs.

The Saudi Peninsula is probably not very different.

In haste : most of the gold jewellry is 22 ct. My wife has some. Jewellers in Brazil go no higher than 18 ct and currently 14 ct due to cost

Bob Smalser
05-20-2008, 11:37 AM
Spot on, Bob. The bracelets tend to be 22ct - very soft, so the pattern wears off, but since they are traded by weight it does not matter (except to the wearer!)

Coins, coral, quartz and low-grade silver, and Koran inscription in classical Arabic, circa 1900. No two are identical. Bought by the pound in souks throughout the Arabian Peninsula and points east.

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/2999461/318049645.jpg

LeeG
05-20-2008, 11:46 AM
obviously disguised parts for efp.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-20-2008, 11:50 AM
Nice item.

It's a tasbih - a Moslem rosary. 33 beads.

LeeG
05-20-2008, 01:17 PM
back to the topic..isn't the administrations focus on arms flow from Iran (from non-specific sources) a distraction from the ideologically awkward alliance of the US with the "Iraq gov't" within which are parties such as Dawa, SIIC,Badr Organization, parties that received support by Iran against Saddam?

Basically the cheerleading narrative going into Iraq is that there's always the bad guy in black hat "over there" and that once the enemy is defeated or dissapeared everything is hunky dory. There's a reliance on that narrative that forces reality through it like dough through a noodle press. And when we run out of dough we still try and push stuff through that press even when it's not appropriate. "push something, if it fits push it, if it doesn't fit push harder!" So we end up with these illogical arguments emphasizing efp from Iran while ignoring that they're used by Sunni against Shia, while ignoring Saudi Arabia and other nations(except Iran) are contributors to suicidal jihadists.

So there has to be weapons coming from Iran like there has to be Al Qaeda in Iraq (Zarqawi). Distinctions between degree and type are glossed over to maintain the narrative of the bad guy with black hat and to distract from the flawed assumptions going in.


http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_shia_fellas

On the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, many astute observers of the Middle East were aghast at the prospect of American action haphazardly bringing Iran-linked political Shia fundamentalists to power. "In the prewar period we held a number of meetings and confrontations with prominent Arabs, and they were shocked at how American policy-makers were quite prepared to see a Shia-dominated Iraq," says Patrick Clawson, a neoconservative scholar and Middle East expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Israelis and moderate Arabs alike came to Washington to underline that message, says Clawson. "What I found repeatedly was they would make the rounds in Washington, and they would be in shock at just how much the U.S. government had thought about that, and decided that that was OK."

.....
According to David L. Phillips, author of Losing Iraq, who advised the State Department–led Future of Iraq Project in 2002 and who took part in the London meeting, the stunning SCIRI presence shocked U.S. officials and forced some of them, at least, to reevaluate the power alignment within the Iraqi opposition.

"When they discovered at the eleventh hour that Iran had much closer ties with these groups than we did, or ever would, the train had already left the station: The decision to go to war had already been made," says Phillips. "The realization came home in mid-December [2002], at the London opposition conference, when Zalmay Khalilzad was trying to compose an advisory group of Iraqis. [But] ... the key groups couldn't participate in a discussion with him until they called Tehran and got instructions."

Adds Phillips: "Bush administration officials only saw what they wanted to see and heard what they wanted to hear -- until the truth became painfully obvious." When it did, it led directly to the decision, announced in February 2003, that the United States would not support the creation of a provisional government for Iraq, for fear that it would give too much power to the Shia Islamists. But it was too late: The war was only weeks away.

As the war and its aftermath unfolded, the United States was clearly and massively outclassed by Iran. Wrote Allawi:

Iran's knowledge of Iraq was all-encompassing and unsurpassed. To the legion of its people with first-hand experience in Iraq, Iran had a number in its upper leadership echelons who were actually Iraqi by birth. A number of senior commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the Pasdaran, including a deputy commander, were born and raised in Iraq … Thousands of Iraqis were recruited into the intelligence gathering network of Iran, thus affording Iran the detailed, on the ground information base that would allow it to further refine its policies and tactic

John of Phoenix
05-20-2008, 04:34 PM
...the United States was clearly and massively outclassed by Iran. Wrote Allawi:

"Iran's knowledge of Iraq was all-encompassing and unsurpassed. To the legion of its people with first-hand experience in Iraq, Iran had a number in its upper leadership echelons who were actually Iraqi by birth. A number of senior commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the Pasdaran, including a deputy commander, were born and raised in Iraq … Thousands of Iraqis were recruited into the intelligence gathering network of Iran, thus affording Iran the detailed, on the ground information base that would allow it to further refine its policies and tactics.
"Know your enemy."
It seems the Iranians are better students of war than dubya and his oh-so-experienced advisors cheney and rummy.
But who isn't?