Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Endless Enemies

First it was the 'dead enders,' then it was al-Qaeda in Iraq, now it's the 'Special Groups' – but when will it end?

By Justin Raimondo

"Aside from the expected drivel and boilerplate rhetoric, the testimony of Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker before Congress on Tuesday had a few surprises. Yes, we all know the administration's line: the "surge" is working, all's well, oh sure, more needs to be done but… etc., etc., ad nauseam. What I sense, however, is a shift away from the alleged "threat" posed by al-Qaeda in Iraq – which doesn't seem to be much of a factor anymore, according to the testimony of these two principals – and toward identifying the "real" enemy, the actual target of this administration's latest war plans: Iran.

This came out early on in the general's testimony, as he laid the blame for the recent violence in Basra at Tehran's feet:

"The recent flare-up in Basra, southern Iraq, and Baghdad underscored the importance of the ceasefire declared by Moqtada al-Sadr last fall as another factor in the overall reduction in violence. Recently, of course, some militia elements became active again. Though a Sadr stand-down order resolved the situation to a degree, the flare-up also highlighted the destructive role Iran has played in funding, training, arming, and directing the so-called Special Groups and generated renewed concern about Iran in the minds of many Iraqi leaders. Unchecked, the Special Groups pose the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a democratic Iraq."......."

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