Saturday, August 18, 2007

On those Shia militias

And Iran again.

Good piece from Mark Kukis in Time asking how accurate are US military claims of Iran being behind all the Shia death squads and the recent claims (totally unsubstantiated so far as I've seen) that Shia militias now kill more than Sunnis in Baghdad. If that were true, and I'm not highly skeptical that it is, it would only prove that Baghdad has been ethnically cleansed and the war is already over. The Baghdad phase of the war that is. The Arab-Turkomen vs. Kurd showdown looms. The Mahdi Army vs. SIIC in Basra, Southern Iran, intra-Shia death match looms. The intra-Sunni fight continues (tribes vs. AQI).

But this claim of 75% of casualties from Shia seems on face dubious.

Iran, while denying the charge, makes no secret of its interest in shaping events in neighboring Iraq. And few doubt that Tehran offers some support to the country's leading Shi'ite militias, the Mahdi Army of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and the Badr Brigade. But how deeply is Iran really involved in Iraq's violence? The answer remains elusive, even to U.S. officials who firmly believe the worst.
Kukis then quotes Kevin Bergner, a Dick Cheneyite, who discusses the US accusation of Shia leaders being trained by the Quds Force in Iran (with help from Hezbollah).

Then this line:
The veracity of these claims is unknowable, however, since the Americans have offered no solid proof to support their allegations.
That's no as zero, zilch, nada.

All that has seemingly been proved is that elements that have broken off from Sadr's control (rogue Mahdi Army) have been trained in Iran. Meaning they are probably more criminal, gang lord type guys.

Nor has it been proved that the EFP (Explosively Formed Projectiles) could not be manufactured in Iraq. i.e. Sunnis could be using them too. Or Shia without Iranian help. Once they enter the market, let's say they did first come from Iran, then why couldn't they be replicated locally? Anybody could be doing this inside Iran on the black market, doesn't have to be the gov't or their army/revolutionary guards but even they might be rogue elements to the gov't.

For all this talk aside, it would seem, the US' main enemy in Iraq are Baath, Sunni jihadists, etc. The Sunni insurgency in other words.


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