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April 26, 2008

I Think This Is From A South Park Episode...
Posted by Adam Blickstein


Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, who was nominated this week to head all U.S. forces in the Middle East, is preparing a briefing soon on increased Iranian involvement in Iraq, Mullen said. The briefing will detail, for example, the discovery in Iraq of weapons that were very recently manufactured in Iran, he said.

"The Iranian government pledged to halt such activities some months ago. It's plainly obvious they have not," Mullen said. He said unrest in the Iraqi city of Basra had highlighted a "level of involvement" by Iran that had not been clear previously.

But while Mullen and Gates have said that the government in Tehran must know of Iranian actions in Iraq, Mullen said he has "no smoking gun which could prove that the highest leadership is involved."

Besides poor writing and convenient inaccuracies, [CENTCOM has jurisdiction far outside just the 'Middle East' and last time I checked, Afghanistan/Pakistan/Somalia were not technically Middle Eastern countries] how many stale Administration talking points can be found in the preceding paragraphs? I'm all for recycling, but not when it come to inaccurate debunked, and worn rhetoric

I just can't wait for the pending briefing from Petraeus, which will hopefully include cool graphs and statistics. I am also intrigued and enlightened that the events in Basra revealed higher levels of Iranian involvement than previously known.  Also, the last time we heard a high level American official use the phrase "smoking gun", things worked out so well. C/F President Bush October 2002:

Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us.  Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

Maybe there is some solace in the fact that this story is buried in page 7 of the Saturday Washington Post. Maybe the White House press shop is becoming lethargic. Maybe fear tactics have simply become tattered with time. But if this is the best causi belli they can put together against Iran (especially since the nuclear argument is moot), then the Administration simply has to get more creative.


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Admiral Mullen isn't the brightest star in the firmament but he, like his predecessors, will do what he's told. He just gets a little mixed up. Mullen: Iran is either doing more in Iraq or the same, but in any case the US may attack Iran because they didn't do what they said they would do (even though we refuse to talk to them).

Mullen, Apr 25, 2008: "First, on Iran, I've been clear lately that I'm extremely concerned about what I believe to be an increasingly lethal and malign influence by that government and the Qods Force in particular in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.. . they seem to be ratcheting it up in terms of their support for terrorism. . .we believe their leadership commitment was actually going to result in a decrease. . . .They, in fact, stated that they were going to -- they were committed to decreasing the support. And I would argue that in fact, that it has been consistent with where it was some time ago -- I couldn't tell you whether it was 12 months ago -- but essentially, that that support continues."

"A lot of generals have learned to speak a specialized dialect in which they utter broken, incomplete, sentences, stumble over words and never fully express an answer to whatever it was they were asked. This is a technique, acquired I suppose, from observing others who have 'made it' to high rank. If you talk that way, it is impossible to analyze transcripts or memory and assign blame for a trip 'south' in whatever process the general may be engaged."--Col(Ret) W. Patrick Lang

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