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Iran Evidence Crisis: A Chance To Lead

Qods Force Is Killing Americans: Hold Iran Accountable

By Steve Schippert | January 31, 2007

Just as many applauded the administration’s decision that evidence of Iran's deadly activities in Iraq would be released publicly, the rug seems pulled out from under those seeking to address the undeniable fact that Iran is killing us in Iraq and fighting a war that Washington seemingly has refused to acknowledge. For, just as the unpleasantness of reality was to finally see the light of day and demand direct redress, the administration has decided to hold back the report finally making public the intelligence and detailed evidence of Iran's war against us waged within Iraq.

The American public – and the world - was to be informed of Iran’s deadly deeds in Iraq. Under the convenient cover of a world engrossed by the Iranian nuclear crisis and debate over weapons it has yet to attain, the weapons the Iranian regime possesses today are being used and have been used to kill us in Iraq, beyond the popular spotlight of nuclear talks and UN Security Council sanctions. Such touted penalties of banning travel for certain nuclear scientists and barring the transfer of nuclear components have not impacted their abundant supply of precision-milled armor-piercing explosive devices to Sunni terrorist groups like Ansar al-Sunnah and Sunni insurgents who use them to kill American and Iraqi soldiers.

That this war has been waged by the mullahcracy since 1979 and far beyond the sands of Iraq, justified by the language in the Islamic Republic’s own constitution, is neither here nor there. As the president said in his State of the Union Address just days ago, “This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we're in.”

It was, after all, this very acknowledgment that was seen as the mindset and impetus for the decision to finally confront Iran’s deadly actions rather than focus on their deadly potential. And while the specter of Iranians killing Americans was not seen as a positive development, ignoring it was decidedly worse. This, it seemed, finally demonstrated a refusal to lose a war for failing to acknowledge its scope.

The reaction to the administration’s sudden decision to withhold from publicly exposing Iran’s murderous activities is initially one of a rush of anger and renewed frustration. Such anger and frustration is brought on by a political climate in which United States Senators, Congressmen and Congresswomen insist upon confrontation with the Commander in Chief more so than they demand our nation confront and defeat the enemies who seek to kill us.

To wit, during the president’s State of the Union Address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat expressionless on her hands at President Bush’s call for America and its Congress to find it within itself to support victory in Iraq and success in the Middle East. Yet, when he then asked them to support the troops trying to bring such victory about, she was the first to leap to her feet in an insulting and offensive display of prolonged standing ovation. When suddenly there seem not enough yellow ribbons to go around, the enemy killing those same troops draws from the well of support perpetually replenished by such displays of internal division and disingenuous support. Iran is chief among them, orchestrating carnage in anticipation of well-timed verbal attacks on the Commander in Chief that they could hardly script better themselves.

To wit, former presidential hopeful and sitting US Senator John Kerry sat beside Iran’s former president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami in Davos, Switzerland just days ago and unleashed a verbal attack on President Bush that sounded as if it indeed had been written for him by Iran’s messianic president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Americans listened in stunned disbelief as Kerry let forth, "[W]hen we don't advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy. So we have a crisis of confidence in the Middle East in the world, really. I've never seen our country as isolated, as much as a sort of international pariah for a number of reasons as it is today."

A sitting United States Senator, in the company of a leading figure from the world’s foremost state sponsor of international terrorism, called the United States a “sort of international pariah,” drawing presumably on some form of moral equivalence that encourages the enemy next to him to continue killing American and Iraqi soldiers and civilians. This goes beyond aid and comfort. Such reprehensible conduct is imposing self-inflicted wounds. Those are the words one expects from Ahmadinejad, not a sitting United States Senator.

And Senator Kerry, like Representative Nancy Pelosi and others, supports the troops? How so?

With the cancelled exposure of evidence, the Iranian enemy will not – at least for now – be forced to answer for acts of war clearly perpetrated before, after and during such self-serving displays engineered for political gain.

Consider the attack in Karbala, just days before Senator Kerry’s verbal revolt, where five American soldiers were killed, four of them after being abducted and later executed by gunshots into their skulls. Each detail known thus far about the attack supports – or at minimum, fits - the conclusion that the execution of four American soldiers was an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Qods Force operation carried out directly by Iranians. None of the details serves diminish that likelihood.

Why do such gruesome events befall our men and women serving our nation at the hands of the Iranian terror masters? Because, thanks in large part to the politically expedient antics of selfish politicians seeking desperately to be seen as opposed to the war in Iraq - and, thus in their eyes, more electable - there remain no consequences for the Iranian regime.

However, news that the Pentagon has opened a formal investigation into the Karbala executions may be an indication that this incident will not be treated as other Iranian acts of war, including the 1983 bombings of the US Embassy and the Marine Barracks in Beirut, the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, or even the known Iranian supply of explosives, weapons, training and cash to various enemy combatants in Iraq since 2003. In fact, it is likely that the delay in the public announcement of evidence of Iran’s warfare in Iraq is precisely because the preliminary findings of the investigation are damning for Iran. The administration may well be both ensuring that the evidence is significantly clear and pausing to contemplate the nature of the response.

Yet, the delay could also be the result of the politicization of Iran’s involvement and attacks in Iraq. In Eli Lake’s New York Sun report, the evidence against Qods Force operations in Iraq are so conclusive – Karbala notwithstanding…yet – that the debate has shifted from whether Iran has been supporting both Sunni and Shi’a attacks on US and Iraqi forces and civilians to “whether Iran's state apparatus is behind the Quds force, or whether it and the revolutionary guard in general do not reflect the policy of Iran's supreme leader and the rest of the regime.” This is precisely the mindlessly nuanced folly that prolongs the conflict, increases the carnage and emboldens the enemy to continue apace killing our men and women.

Suddenly, Qods Force and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are now merely rogue operations not operating at the behest of the Iranian regime? Fine, then. Let’s put them on the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations finally. Either way one chooses to approach it, our soldiers are dead, they killed them, and there must be consequence. There has been none since 1979 and it must stop.

One can only hope that the delay in the announcement of Iranian evidence is due to developments in the Karbala executions incident and not because of internal turf wars in the unfathomable debate of whether or not the Iranian regime can actually be held responsible for the actions of their own military units.

Imagine, if you will, a world where an American president is demonized and held personally responsible for the photos and misdeeds of soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison, yet the leaders of the world’s chief sponsor of international terrorism are deemed to be beyond culpability for the actions of the units they have tasked with exporting terrorism. Surreal, isn’t it?
While the postponement of publicly exposing Iran for its actions in Iraq is without pause frustrating and angering, we should perhaps withhold our judgment and give the Pentagon investigation into the Karbala executions a chance to evolve. The lessons of criticized handling of intelligence should not be lost.

Presuming with hope that this is the genuine cause for delay, we should give our president the opportunity and space to lead. The situation in the global conflict is about to undergo a massive metamorphosis as word from Pakistan is troubling beyond description. The nuclear weapons of Pakistan under Musharraf may be about to switch sides in this conflict, as his grip on power weakens by the hour. With his Air Force refusing an order to bomb an Islamabad madrassa housing two top Taliban leaders, it is a clear signal that the murky cabal of al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the Islamist Pakistani ISI are now poised to depose him and take over the nuclear state.

Iran continues to operate and export its terrorism without consequence and a new Islamic State of Pakistan will likely emerge as Iran’s nuclear armed ally against America, Israel and the West. There are difficult days ahead and America requires strong leadership from its Commander in Chief, no matter the political climate or stage in any election cycle.

Delaying the release of Iranian evidence is understandable and even acceptable. Cancelling it is neither as our enemies grow stronger.

1 Comment

Perhaps, as you hinted, the intel was too soft and would be perceived as another red herring kindled by this administration and thus providing more fuel for Bush’s detractors. But what is most interesting and here I go again, that in Vietnam it was not that unusual to find Chinese and Russian “advisors” embedded with the Vietcong and yet we did not take action against those countries though they were supplying the Vietcong. And so in Iraq we have both Iran and Syria involved----do we go take decisive action or just bear it?

Let’s take Vietnam, the ultimate aim there was to create a South Vietnam vis-à-vis South Korea and develop an American presence, but not to enlarge the war.

Let’s take Afghanistan, the USSR knew the US was supporting the Mujahadeen with the assistance of Pakistan, but they did not take any action----their objective was to create a sphere of influence in Afghanistan, but not a wider war.

And it is the same in Iraq, the objective is to establish a US sphere of influence, but not another war. The rhetoric will of course be heated and the US will conduct a policy of aggressive containment, but within the boundaries of Iraq.

As a side issue, one of the best barometers of impending warfare is the American stock market. And because it is international in scope it is very sensitive to the “buzz.” Right now the market is quite stable and strong so there is no impending war with Iran----at least in the near term, which is 6 months to one year. Current intel says Iran is still 2-3 years away from the bomb and that the Natanz site is having considerable technical problems.