The White House has manufactured a crisis that pits the United States against Iran: Bush’s pledge to use U.S. military and intelligence capabilities against alleged Iranian activity in Iraq; the dispatch of a second U.S. aircraft carrier task force to the Gulf; the shipment of Patriot missile batteries to defend American-allied Arab Gulf sheikhdoms; the seizure of several teams of Iranian diplomats and personnel in Baghdad and Irbil; and the report that the White House had issued “kill or capture” orders to U.S. forces in Iraq who encounter Iranian operatives. Meanwhile, the United States has stepped up pressure on U.S. allies and Western banks to stop doing business as usual with Iran.
At the same time, the administration has issued a series of wildly inflated charges that Iran is involved in masterminding the Iraqi insurgency, is providing weapons and IED explosive devices that are killing U.S. troops and, most recently, was behind a well-coordinated raid in Karbala.
Iran has virtually nothing to do with the Iraqi resistance movement, which is commanded and staffed by Sunni Arab military officers and Baathists. They consider Iran to be a deadly foe. The vast majority of U.S. casualties in Iraq are victims of this well-organized, mass-based insurgency – but it is certain that none of their weapons, IEDs or training comes from Iran.
That’s not to say that Iran does not have multiple, and powerful, ties to virtually all of Iraq’s Shiite political elite and to some Kurdish warlords.
Nevertheless, the hardliners and neoconservatives in the administration—led, as always, by Dick Cheney—have been pushing for five years for a confrontation with Iran, and from the beginning they saw the war in Iraq as only one step in that direction.
[Excerpt of an article by Robert Dreyfuss, Information Clearing House]