Monday, July 2, 2007

Three news items from the BBC (updated)

This morning I woke up the following three news items on the BBC website:

  1. First, the Imperial High Command continues with its policy of blaming Iran for its defeat in Iraq.
  2. Second, the "only democracy in the Middle-East" has sentenced one of its citizens to six months in jail for speaking with the foreign press.
  3. Third, Iran has lauched a 24 hour TV news channel in English (with an well designed web site)

Don't these three news items, when take together, provide a powerful illustration of who is on the defensive and engaging in what can only be described as "obsessive compulsive" behavior and who is, step by step, inexorably growing in power and sophistication?


Looks like Israel is joining into the idiotic accusations of blaming Iran for the mess in Iraq. This time, the otherwise excellent Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz writes:

Iran is using the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah as a proxy to arm Shiite militants in Iraq and Tehran's elite Quds force helped militants carry out a January attack in Karbala in which five Americans were killed, a U.S. general said Monday.

A senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative, Ali Mussa Dakdouk, was captured March 20 in southern Iraq, U.S. military spokesman Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner said.

Dakdouk served for 24 years in Hezbollah and was working in Iraq as a surrogate for the Iranian Quds Force, Bergner said.

The general also said that Dakdouk was a liaison between the Iranians and a breakaway Shiite group led by Qais al-Kazaali, a former spokesman for cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Bergner said al-Kazaali's group carried out the January attack against a provincial government building in Karbala and that the Iranians assisted in preparations. Al-Khazaali and his brother Ali al-Khazaali were captured with Dakdouk.

"Dakdouk told U.S. interrogators that the Karbala attackers could not have conducted this complex operation without the support and direction of the Quds force," Bergner said.

"Documents captured with al-Khazaali showed that the Quds Force had developed detailed information on the U.S. position at the government building, regarding our soldiers' activities, shift changes and defenses, and this information was shared with the attackers," Bergner said.

The Karbala attack was one of the boldest and most sophisticated against U.S. forces in four years of fighting in Iraq, and U.S. officials at the time suggested Iran may have had a role in it. In the assault, up to a dozen gunmen posed as an American security team, with U.S. military combat fatigues, allowing them to pass checkpoints into the government compound, where they launched the attack. One U.S. soldier was killed in the initial assault, and the militants abducted four others who were later found shot to death.

The U.S. military in the past has accused the Quds Force - the external arm of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards - of arming and financing Iraqi extremists to carry out attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces. Tehran has denied the U.S. accusations.

Hezbollah spokesmen in Lebanon said they were checking into the claims Dakdouk was a member of the group and would not comment. The group has in the past denied any activities in Iraq.

In late 2005, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said his government suspected that Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah might be supplying technology and explosives to Shiite Muslim militant groups operating in Iraq, but he provided no proof.

Bergner said Iraqi extremists were taken to Iran in groups of 20 to 60 for training in three camps not too far from Tehran. When they returned to Iraq, they formed units called special groups to carry out attacks, bombings and kidnappings, he added.

"Our intelligence reveals that the senior leadership in Iran is aware of this activity," he said. Asked if Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei could be unaware of the activity, Bergner said, "That would be hard to imagine."

Dakdouk was tasked to organize the special groups in ways that mirrored how Hezbollah was organized in Lebanon, the general said. Dakdouk was ordered by Hezbollah's leadership to work with the Quds Force and went to Iran in May 2006 to meet with Quds Force commander Bergner said. He then made four trips to Iraq over the next year.

"Hezbollah," he said, "helps the Iranians as a proxy... to do things they didn't want to have to do themselves in terms of interacting with special groups. He added that Hezbollah did not appear to have an extensive network in Iraq, saying Dakdouk was being used specifically as a proxy by the Quds Force.

This is actually a very interesting piece. First, let us begin by setting aside a couple of typical propaganda items: the individual is a "senior representative" (all people captured by the Empire are always "senior", that helps careers and sells better). Next, the person in question is linked to Hezbollah AND the famous "Quds force" AND Iran AND the Sadrist forces AND the Pasradan (again, this kind of description helps careers and sells better; I wonder why they did not write that the guy was also linked to Al-Qaeda, "Holocaust deniers" and Russian revanchist communists...). Lastly, the person is, of course, linked to some previous attack against the Empire, thus proving his impeccable "terrorist" credentials and conveniently providing a culprit which, by coincidence, of course, can implicate pretty much everybody in the Middle-East the Empire hates. Having put aside all this nonsense, what have we left?

Some individual with possible ties to external anti-Imperial forces has been captured in southern Iraq. It appears that the group this individual was connected with was gathering intelligence on US forces and their installations in Iraq.

It appears to me that, assuming that there is some factual reality to all this, the most likely explanation for all this is that the Imperial forces might have seized an intelligence operative gathering intelligence for a possible Iranian attack on southern Iraq in response to an Imperial aggression against Iran (as planned by the Neocons).

I will keep an eye on this story for sure.