The NY Times brings us the latest round of the shell game in Iraq:
BAGHDAD, Feb. 25 — A raid on a Shiite weapons cache in the southern city of Hilla one week ago is providing what American officials call the best evidence yet that the deadliest roadside bombs in Iraq are manufactured in Iran, but critics contend that the forensic case remains circumstantial and inferential.
The new evidence includes infrared sensors, electronic triggering devices and information about plastic explosives used in bombs that the Americans say lead back to
. The explosive material, triggering devices, other components and the method of assembly all produce weapons with an Iranian signature that has never been found outside Iraq or southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah is believed to have used weapons supplied by Iran, the Americans say. Iran
But critics assert that nearly all the bomb components could have been produced in
or somewhere else in the region. Even if the evidence were to establish that Iraq is the source, they add, that does not necessarily mean that the Iranian leadership is responsible. Iran
I don't care whether the Ayatollah drove the weapons across the border in his bulletproof mullah-mobile and personally delivered them to al-Sadr, this still would not make it ok to bomb
Take the option off the frickin' table already.
Skeptics say the new details do not support a conclusion that only
could be providing the components. “ Iran may well be involved in the supply of these weapons, but so far they haven’t proved it,” said Joseph Cirincione, senior vice president for National Security at the Center for American Progress, a liberal research and advocacy organization. Iran
“Before we act on the assumption that these are Iranian we’ve got to rule out all these other possibilities,” he said. “The military hasn’t done that.”
He noted that a related weapon, the shape charge, “has been around for decades.
“This is not new stuff,” he continued. “There is a vast international arms market selling shape charges from many countries.”
. . .
Major Weber said many of those techniques were clearly Iranian in origin. Critics said that all of them could be replicated by skilled Iraqis or others in the
Middle Eastwith a solid knowledge of electronics and basic manufacturing techniques.
I have some unsolicited advice (as if there were any other kind on this blog) for these so-called "critics" and "skeptics". The correct response to the narrative of Iranian aggression being constructed by the White House is not “those EFPs could be made anywhere.” The correct response is “it doesn’t matter where those effing things were made, the idea of attacking
The correct response to breathless reports of Iranian nuclear fiddling is not “
The question that should be asked is not “How close is
The administration has framed the question in this way (and the Times has lapped it up): “Is
What air strikes on suspected nuclear sites have to do with EFPs, I do not know.
But for actual sentient critics of the Cheney foreign policy, arguing about the answer to the weapons question is a foolish thing to do. The administration’s question is irrelevant to the thread that unravels this particular bamboozle, which is: “Why would any sane person want to start a war with