American Samizdat

Friday, January 26, 2007. *
Troops Authorized to Kill Iranian Operatives in Iraq

The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran's influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the effort.

For more than a year, U.S. forces in Iraq have secretly detained dozens of suspected Iranian agents, holding them for three to four days at a time. The "catch and release" policy was designed to avoid escalating tensions with Iran and yet intimidate its emissaries.
The new "kill or capture" program was authorized by President Bush in a meeting of his most senior advisers last fall, along with other measures meant to curtail Iranian influence from Kabul to Beirut and, ultimately, to shake Iran's commitment to its nuclear efforts.
The administration's plans contain five "theaters of interest," as one senior official put it, with military, intelligence, political and diplomatic strategies designed to target Iranian interests across the Middle East.

The White House has authorized a widening of what is known inside the intelligence community as the "Blue Game Matrix" -- a list of approved operations that can be carried out against the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon. And U.S. officials are preparing international sanctions against Tehran for holding several dozen al-Qaeda fighters who fled across the Afghan border in late 2001. They plan more aggressive moves to disrupt Tehran's funding of the radical Palestinian group Hamas and to undermine Iranian interests among Shiites in western Afghanistan.

In Iraq, U.S. troops now have the authority to target any member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, as well as officers of its intelligence services believed to be working with Iraqi militias. The policy does not extend to Iranian civilians or diplomats. Though U.S. forces are not known to have used lethal force against any Iranian to date, Bush administration officials have been urging top military commanders to exercise the authority.
The decision to use lethal force against Iranians inside Iraq began taking shape last summer, when Israel was at war with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Officials said a group of senior Bush administration officials who regularly attend the highest-level counterterrorism meetings agreed that the conflict provided an opening to portray Iran as a nuclear-ambitious link between al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the death squads in Iraq.

Among those involved in the discussions, beginning in August, were deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams, NSC counterterrorism adviser Juan Zarate, the head of the CIA's counterterrorism center, representatives from the Pentagon and the vice president's office, and outgoing State Department counterterrorism chief Henry A. Crumpton.
Crumpton flew from Washington to U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa for a meeting with Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East. A principal reason for the visit, according to two officials with direct knowledge of the discussion, was to press Abizaid to prepare for an aggressive campaign against Iranian intelligence and military operatives inside Iraq.
A senior intelligence officer was more wary of the ambitions of the strategy.

"This has little to do with Iraq. It's all about pushing Iran's buttons. It is purely political," the official said. The official expressed similar views about other new efforts aimed at Iran, suggesting that the United States is escalating toward an unnecessary conflict to shift attention away from Iraq and to blame Iran for the United States' increasing inability to stanch the violence there.

But some officials within the Bush administration say that targeting Iran's Revolutionary Guard Command, and specifically a Guard unit known as the Quds Force, should be as much a priority as fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq. ..
In interviews, two senior administration officials separately compared the Tehran government to the Nazis and the Guard to the "SS." They also referred to Guard members as "terrorists." Such a formal designation could turn Iran's military into a target of what Bush calls a "war on terror," with its members potentially held as enemy combatants or in secret CIA detention.

Today, the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) begins a week-long advertising campaign aimed at educating the American public about the growing threat posed by a nuclear Iran. The ad campaign consists of two 30-second spots that began running Tuesday on CNN, MSNBC, Headline News and the Fox News Channel in Washington, DC, Maryland and northern Virginia.

Also, speaking of Lebanon and hizbala, At a donor's conference for Lebanon, the US pledges $770 million to help Lebanon rebuild. What could $770 million have paid for in this country, had we not given Israel the green light to go ahead and destroy the Lebanese infrastructure? Not to mention the money spent on giving ISrael the weapons in the first place, and then replenishing the weapons used...

While the meeting was being held in Paris for donors to rebuild Lebanon after the merciless bombing by Israel, (no war reparations here, get someone else to pay), the UN is busy with a new resolution
for Iran to be in violation of.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in December, shortly before he took office, that it was unacceptable for Iran to deny the Holocaust or call for Israel to be wiped off the map.

I guess is doesn't matter that there is some controversy over whether those words were said.

But further down we see this:

The reform program "won't be sufficient by itself to steer the economy on a viable financial path," said John Lipskey, a senior official with the International Monetary Fund.

"The program will need to be supported by very substantial and sustained donor assistance if Lebanon is to return to a path of financial stability," he said.

Ah, now we get it. For the price of all of those billions of dollars, we have bought long-term dependence, not to mention taking Lebanon off the table as a competitor in the regional marketplace. Was it worth the price?

And then we come to the piece de la resistance, which is this, from Condoleeza Rice (elsewhere I've seen her nicknamed "KindaSleezy Lice"):

"The people of Lebanon deserve to live in peace, they deserve to make decisions about their political future, free from the threat of violence and free from political intimidation," US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the conference.

"The United States is dedicated to this task."

The statement deserves to be entered into the hypocrisy Hall of Fame. Kinda sleezy, indeed.

Donors pledge billions in aid to Lebanon

And still no mention of 'New Orleans'....

But hey, don't worry, be happy, we got the money from the people, to bomb Somalia.

Ethiopian soldier exposes direct involvement of US mechanized force in Somalia’s invasion

that'll teach em to mess wit da chickenhawk, er uh, blackhawk down.

So plunder and war war and plunder, how many wars are we in now? I lost count...
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:14 AM
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