Monday, February 12, 2007

The Smoking Gun

Thanks to the estimable Bill Roggio for his excellent summary of yesterday's U.S. military press conference, which detailed Iranian support for terrorists in Iraq. During that event, American experts provided convincing evidence that Tehran is actively aiding the insurgents with arms, weapons expertise, and training. According to coalition spokesman Maj Gen William Caldwell:

"Iran is involved in supplying explosively formed projectiles or EFPs and other material," such as "explosive charges, booby traps, mortar shells of different calibers and remote controls" to detonate IEDs to "multiple" insurgent groups." Those in attendance "were shown fragments of what the defense official said were Iranian-made weapons, including one part of an EFP and tail fins from 81-mm and 60-mm mortars." "More than 120 US and coalition troops have been killed by these things, and 620 wounded. There was a significant increase in there use over the past six months," he said.

And, General Caldwell left no doubt as to the level of complicity in Iran:

"We assess that these activities are coming from the senior levels of the Iranian government," the defense official said, 'noting that the Al-Qods brigade reports to Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamanei.' "Iranian weapons were experimented in South Lebanon by Hezbollah and were later developed," for deployment into Iraq.

The Irbil raid in early January netted the most significant evidence, as well as a senior member of the Iranian Qods Force. Six Iranians were detained in Irbil, including Mohsin Chizari, the operational commander of the Qods Force, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps specialized force that is equivalent to U.S. Special Forces. During the Irbil raid, "the Iranians were caught trying to flush documents down the toilet," and "bags of their hair were found... indicating they had tried to change their appearance." Chizari was "apprehended after slipping back into Iraq after a 10-month absence." Earlier it was reported Chizari was detained in the Baghdad raid, and subsequently released.

Now, compare General Caldwell's comments with those of Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, who discussed the Iranian connection on "Fox News Sunday." Despite the compelling evidence presented in Baghdad--which suggests involvement at the highest levels of Iran's government--Reed actually suggested that "rogue elements" in Tehran might be running the support operation.

"I think the evidence is confused. There are certainly indications, as Mr. Gates pointed out this week, that these explosive foreign projectiles seem to be coming from Iran. They've been used.

The question is is this a deliberate policy of the Iranian government at the highest levels. Is it rogue elements within the government? And then the other question is to what extent are there countervailing signals that the Iranians actually are trying to — not control, but not to further raise the stakes in Iraq.

So it's a very complicated situation."

Not being a member of the "World's Greatest Deliberative Body," my world view is considerably less nuanced than Senator Reed's. But, what we've found in Iraq seems clear enough; let's do a quick review: Forensic evidence of Iranian-produced weapons and shaped explosive devices being used against our troops. The arrest--in Iraq--of six members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Qods Force, which reports directly to that nation's supreme leader. One of the six arrested in Irbil was a senior operational commander of the Qods force. And, that raid also netted documents that further highlighted the Iranian connection, including reports to the Supreme Leader.

As for the purpose behind these operations in Iraq, that too, seems abundantly clear: kill Americans and force the U.S. to withdraw, setting the stage for Iran to dominate the scene once we're gone. That's not the sort of operation runs by a few rogue elements in the Revolutionary Guards; it's a policy with clear ties to the highest levels of Tehran's government. Even Senator Reed, a West Point graduate, ought to be able to figure that one out.


eatyourbeans said...

Perhaps you can explain something to me which really has me puzzled: Nobody is talking about the impact on the oil shipments if we were to run wee-wee-wee all the way home. Is this an indelicate subject or is it thought that civil war or Iranian control of the oil fields are not really biggies?

Me stupid, I guess.....

ExRat said...

Unfortunately, Sens. Levin, Reed and many other leading Dems, as well as several Republicans, are "ostriching." They hope that our problems will go away if we only remove ourselves from Iraq. Their analysis, to use an inaccurate term, focuses exclusively on the upside possibilities, and ignores both inconvenient evidence and the downside risks associated with unilateral withdrawal.

Those who see Vietnam redux in Iraq and claim to have "learned the lesson of Vietnam" ignore the biggest lesson of all: what happened to the Vietnamese after our bugout and subsequent cutoff of support for the South Vietnamese government.

Consul-At-Arms said...

"a government-sponsored effort to kill our troops and citizens should be considered an act of war and treated as such."

They haven't been lately. Anyone recall the last time one was?

Mike H. said...

Isn't it amazing that the enemy terrorist is given full constitutional rights, by the liberals, and those who we try to help are cutoff from any constitutional or natural rights. Yet the liberals cloak their impending death by calling for their deliverance from an illegal war.


Storms24 said...

You're forgetting the ambush and killing of 5 US Army officers south of Baghdad January 20th. US military uniforms, English speaking, Coalition-style SUVs, and detailed knowledge of security TTP's... Not your typical insurgent driveby...

John Schulien said...

Another interesting thing is that Iranian weapons scientists apparently have expertise in shaped charges. Note that shaped charges are a necessary technology in the production of plutonium-based atomic bombs, so this is entirely consistant with an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

John F. Opie said...

Hi -

Actually there is another smoking gun, this time literally one: Iran imported 800 Steyr-Mannlicher HS .50 sniper rifles, but oddly enough, over 100 have been found in Iraq within the last several days.

See my blog entry here:

for the full story and a small rant...

O-Be-Wise said...

exrat, you are correct to recognize that our current cadre of Congressmen have utterly failed to learn the lessons of Vietnam, most importantly, that patience is essential to success. I referred to that issue and to a revised history of the Vietnam War that discusses impatience in a blog post yesterday:

Spook86's post about the celebrity and voyeur nation which we have become probably sets in context why Levin, Reid, and others are fighting the President so publicly: America not only peeps on celebrities, we are moving rapidly toward electing only those who have attained some celebrity status, as hero or villain.

Utopia Parkway said...

Rumsfeld was talking about this three years ago. Why are we only now getting the "proof?" Mortars stamped "Made in Iran" isn't proof the Iranians are attacking our troops any more than al sadr's troops using M-16s to shoot at Americans is proof that America supports al-Sadr. You buy these things at the al-7-11 in Iraq or Iran.

This is all a total clusterfuck by our leaders and military. We expect real proof and we expect them to do something about it. It hasn't happened yet.

BTW, shaped charges are a WWII technology. Common RPG rounds are shaped charges. Almost any photo of a Stryker vehicle in Iraq shows it with armor against shaped charges.