We've Stopped Hinting about Iran

According to the Washington Post, we've come right out and made the accusation. U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said this yesterday in the Greenzone of Iraq:

"Our judgment is that training and supplying, direct or indirect, takes place, and that there is also provision of financial resources to people, to militias, and that there is presence of people associated with Revolutionary Guard and with MOIS [Ministry of Intelligence and Security]."
Professor Cole at Informed Comment says that the accusation is, at best, implausible. The groups specified by the Ambassador (the Mahdi Army militia of Muqtada al-Sadr and certain Sunni Arab guerrillas) "are mostly nativist Iraqi ghetto youth who often do not like Persians. The major force in Iraq trained by the Iranians is the Badr Corps of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a relative American ally." He points out that the Sunni guerrillas, supposedly funded and trained by Iran, are blowing up Shiite shrines and Mosques.

So, with meetings planned between the U.S. and Iran over the future of Iraq, why would the Administration make such an inflamatory statement? Any relation to the U.N. Security Council deliberations on Iran's (possible) nuclear program?

It seems to me that there is less and less of a plan in the Middle East as time goes by. Our entire military is tied up in Iraq. BushCo. can try to use its favorite tactic, provoke and confront, but the world will quickly realize that the U.S. has no credible military 'punch' other than airstrikes. The military is stretched far to thin to add any sort of ground assault. A draft might provide the troops but it would take months to have the soldiers ready, let alone the fact that a draft would destroy any sort of support for the war and the Administration.

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