Seemingly strange surprise

Yesterday when I commented on evidence that Iran was winning the Iraq war, I hadn't seen this NBC report on "the number one killer of American troops in Iraq: roadside bombs."

Military officials say there’s only one use for shaped charges — to kill American forces — and insurgents started using them in Iraq with deadly effectiveness three months ago.

Intelligence officials believe the high-explosives were shipped into Iraq by the Iranian Revolutionary guard or the terrorist group Hezbollah, but are convinced it could not have happened without the full consent of the Iranian government.

And Thursday, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld accused Iran of attempting to derail the democratic process in Iraq.

Iran’s Shiite government has also struck up a seemingly strange alliance with Sunni insurgents to try to drive the American military out of Iraq.

"They are desperate to get us out of Iraq” says Michael Ledeen, author of "The War Against the Terror Masters" and resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute. “If we succeed in Iraq they will be surrounded by elected governments.”

Military officials acknowledge that these explosives are only the tip of the iceberg... and predict the deadly bombings in Iraq are far from over.

(Link via LGF)

Regarding the "seemingly strange alliance with Sunni insurgents," I see nothing strange about it. Why is it being forgotten that al Qaida is an umbrella group which has always included Iran (and Iranian Hezbollah)? Osama bin Laden and Imad Mughniyeh have had a working relationship for many years now, and there's nothing mysterious or surprising about it. The religious differences are nothing compared to the larger goals.

This report (already a year old) documented Mughniyeh's ongoing role in Iraq:

During our delegation's one day in Basra, we spotted a building that openly advertised the offices of Hezbollah. Members of this organization insisted that their Hezbollah was not tied to Tehran, and that the name, which means "Party of God," is a common one. According to one report in the Arabic paper al-Hayat, Iran sent some 90 Hezbollah fighters into Iraq shortly after Saddam's Iraq fell. The group now receives financing, training and weapons from Iran, and has a rapidly growing presence in the Shi'a south. Western intelligence officials also allege that the man who planned the recent suicide attacks in Basra is Imad Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah operative responsible for bombing the U.S. embassy in Beirut in the early 1980s.
Another report (via Winds of Change) documented Mughniyeh's role in training Muktada al Sadr's militia:
Western intelligence officials have uncovered evidence that the attacks are being co-ordinated by Imad Mugniyeh, a leading figure in Lebanon's extremist Hizbollah Shia Muslim terror organisation.

Washington has accused Mugniyeh of blowing up the American embassy and the United States marine compound in Beirut in the 1980s, killing more than 300 US officials and troops.

Mugniyeh, who is now in his fifties and has a close relationship with Iran's Revolutionary Guards, has been based in Teheran since the end of the Lebanese civil war, and is also known to have close links with Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'eda terrorist network.

Intelligence officials in Iraq have uncovered evidence that Mugniyeh has been helping to train the self-styled al-Mahdi army set up by Moqtada al-Sadr, the dissident Iraqi Shia leader.

Mugniyeh, the head of Hizbollah's external security apparatus, has deployed scores of Lebanese Hizbollah fighters in Iraq, and set up secret training camps along the southern part of the border with Iran.

The Hizbollah fighters are working closely with members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, with whom they developed a close relationship during the 1980s when their terror tactics forced the Reagan administration to withdraw US forces from Beirut.

"This is all part of a strategy devised by hardliners in Iran to repeat their success in Lebanon and drive coalition troops out of Iraq," said a senior intelligence official.

"Their main aim is to create an Iranian-style Islamic republic in Iraq."

It looks like they're on the road to success. I'm not so much trying to overstate the importance of Mughniyeh (even though he's an especially vicious man, who enjoys killing and torturing with his own hands, he is, after all, only individual) as I am trying to show that there's no reason for anyone to be surprised -- least of all NBC News Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski.

As I've pointed out many times, the Iranian al Qaida connection is an unbroken, longstanding one. Any skeptics wanting more depth should read Wretchard's "The Wider War."

What this means, I suppose, is that choruses of "experts" will now have to busy themselves trying to deny the obvious (and what's been known for years).

At the rate things are going, I wouldn't be surprised by a common (bipartisan) effort to "declare victory and get out."

MORE: Of course, what if Iran is winning the war in Iraq while losing the war in Iran? Stranger things have happened. (Via InstaPundit, who doesn't seem surprised by the Iranian claim that "anarchists" are responsible for the unrest.)

posted by Eric on 08.05.05 at 08:05 AM


I am utterly baffled about why we haven't bombed Iran and Syria yet.

John   ·  August 5, 2005 9:21 AM

I agree that Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria are Saudi Arabia are not our allies, but what would bombing them accomplish? I guess it would make everyone put their cards down on the table...

alchemist   ·  August 5, 2005 5:23 PM


Anyway, off the topic of the Middle East, but since I can't find anywhere else good to stick this comment, the Queen of All Evil said some very interesting things about your old friend James Wolcott here. I then wrote this comment here. Enjoy.

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