Iranian IEDs: The MVP of Global Jihad?
Bubbling to the surface is increased open discussion of Iranian arming, training and funding of Shi'a militias in Iraq, namely al-Sadr's Mahdi Army band of thugs and the Badr Brigades that are more dominant in and around the Basra area of southern Iraq. The latest evidence being cited are weapons with Iranian manufacturer labels with 2006 date-stamps. Included are anti-tank rockets and precision-milled and shaped IED’s. But the IED moniker is a misnomer in this instance, because the armor-piercing shaped copper explosives are designed specifically to defeat the armor on M1 Abrams tanks and retrofitted HMMV’s. There’s nothing ‘improvised’ about these explosive devices. And they are Iranian-made, Iranian-delivered and designed to kill American and British troops in their armored vehicles.
The existence of evidence is not new, though the specific evidence of Iranian manufacturing labels on anti-tank rockets may well be. Iran has been suspected of shipping the milled molten-copper explosives since at least October 2005. In fact, entire shipments of the Iranian bombs have been captured near the Iran-Iraq border earlier this year and reported on as early as March. The new evidence also reportedly includes information regarding Iraqi Shi'a militia being trained both in Iran and by Iran's Hizballah terrorists in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. But the evidence on the Iranian bombs being shipped into Iraq has been acknowledged without consequence since at least spring of this year.
"I think the evidence is strong that the Iranian government is making these IEDs, and the Iranian government is sending them across the border and they are killing U.S. troops once they get there," says Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism chief and an ABC News consultant. "I think it's very hard to escape the conclusion that, in all probability, the Iranian government is knowingly killing U.S. troops."
There’s also the Russian-made, Iranian-supplied SA-18 that was used to shoot down a British Lynx helicopter in Basra in May, 2006. The casings were found in an adjacent building to where the helicopter was shot while landing. With the Iranian complicity, it was thought at the time to be 'a shot that changed the rules' and brought the clear Iranian involvement to a head. The only thing that changed were the flight patterns of British helicopters in southern Iraq. Perhaps out of fear of upsetting diplomatic efforts on an unrealized nuclear threat, the existing Iranian terrorist threat seemed to be tolerable in retrospect.
As Iran fears US military action less and less with each passing debate-filled American day, both their words and deeds become justifiably bolder. While Ahmadinejad’s verbal tirades on Iran’s nuclear rights, a “world without Zionists” and “wiping Israel off the map” stirs verbal response, the mullah regime is killing American sons and daughters with less than a full degree of separation. Thus far, their violent engagement of American and British military forces in Iraq has been met with barely broken silence.
We have known for some time that Iran has fed terrorists and militias in Iraq with the weapons used to kill coalition troops as well as Iraqi civilians. More importantly, Iran has known of our knowledge and witnessed our silent response, growing bolder and less fearful of consequence as a result.
Witness their cooperation in Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002. Some will argue that it is because they opposed the Sunni Taliban. A fool’s game. It was because they feared us. Not our military force. The feared Us. We. The angry American people who were not going to sit back and take murder by terrorism any longer. They feared the angry American people would send their might northwest from Kabul hunting mullahs. That fear has evaporated. Iran’s actions reflect.
In the American living room, her leaders argue with themselves incessantly over their own presence in Iraq yet will grumble in unified protest when their shins bump the Iranian nuclear coffee table. All the while, the participants stand in the shadow of the chuckling Persian elephant in the room, directing terrorist traffic undisturbed, lest we have to deal with him if we acknowledge his presence. “This way for Muqtada’s weapons, that way for Nassrallah’s!” Mahdi Army fighters sent to Hizballah’s Bekaa Valley for training and planes and freighters full of weapons delivered to al-Qaeda’s Islamic Courts Union in their Somali quest.
And why not? There’s been no consequence beyond strongly worded press conferences. And with that, more “IDEs” get shipped in to Muqtada, not fewer. For the bloodier they make it, the more preoccupied with themselves the silly Americans get in their internal Iraq debate. The mullahs must be rolling in laughter. They kill 3 US Marines with their milled IED’s on one day and the next the Americans are punching each other in the face over whose fault it is.
Watching all of this, why on earth would al-Qaeda (et al) ever launch a strike on the United States mainland in the near future when we are doing a fairly round job of beating ourselves to death without outside assistance?
Perhaps if those seeking to cede Anbar to al-Qaeda just as Musharraf did in Waziristan would step outside themselves to notice, they will realize that an Iranian “IED” in Baghdad has been made more valuable to jihadists of every stripe than another American Airlines suicide mission in New York. Perhaps more would then understand why Iraq must be won and not abandoned.
Leaving Iraq empowers and emboldens Iran, and there will be no victory in the War on Terror while the Iranian regime remains standing, feeding jihad worldwide.