February 27, 2006


Also, concerning the Mosque bombing, there is some evidence that it may be an Iranian caper. Which is very interesting, because various people have been claiming that Muqtada al Sadr and his militias are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Iran, and that Iran could, maybe IS, blackmailing us with the threat that they can use the Sadrists to throw Iraq into civil war whenever they like. That's a point made in this piece by Spengler, which I never got around to blogging about. "...Muqtada already has warned that if the United States attacks Iran, his militias will rise in Iraq..." That threat looks a lot less credible right now.

I think the problem with analyses like Spengler's is that they resemble the plans I used to draw up when I played military board games in my youth. "I'll strike here. And there. And while he reacts to that I'll drop my paratroops on his supply lines and he will be helpless!" The problem was that I assumed the other chap would not attack me, and I assumed my cardboard battalions would be successful in their attacks. Either of which could turn out to be wrong.

Spengler writes:

....Much as Washington complains about Iran's efforts to arm militant Shi'ites in Iraq, it cannot do anything to hinder this except to deliver and execute a military ultimatum. The longer Washington dallies, the more resources Tehran can put in place, including:

  • Upgrading Hezbollah's offensive-weapon capabilities in Lebanon.
  • Integrating Hamas into its sphere of influence and military operations.
  • Putting in place terrorist capability against the West.
  • Preparing its Shi'ite auxiliaries in Iraq for insurrection....

We can't do anything to hinder? Says who? Iraq may be arming "militant Shi'ites," But everything we are doing in Iraq is tending to make Iranian infiltration more difficult. The stronger the Iraqi government and military grow, the less likely militia uprisings become. And arming terrorists is useful as a threat, but actually using them turns them into targets, and justifies retaliation against Iran.

Spengler could just as logically have said: "The longer Tehran dallies, the more resources Washington can put in place."

Posted by John Weidner at February 27, 2006 8:08 AM
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