Apr 12, 2007

Iran Now Arming Sunni Insurgents Says U.S.

The goal of this U.S. military information operation is to foster suspicion on the part of the Shiites towards their Iranian patrons.

The chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq asserted Wednesday that Iranian-made arms, manufactured as recently as last year, have reached Sunni insurgents here, which if true would mark a new development in the four-year-old conflict.

Citing testimony from detainees in U.S. custody, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell said Iranian intelligence operatives were backing the Sunni militants inside Iraq while at the same time training Shiite extremists in Iran. ...

It was unclear what motivation Iran, a Shiite theocracy, would have for backing Sunni insurgents, many of whom are staunchly anti-Iranian and fear the rise of Shiite power in the region. Critics have dismissed the U.S. assertions, saying that evidence provided so far gives no solid proof that Iran has supplied weapons to Iraqi militants. ...

Regarding the weapons attributed to Iran, Caldwell said an Iraqi man turned up two days ago at a security outpost in the predominantly Sunni al-Jihad neighborhood and tipped off soldiers to the munitions. He directed the soldiers to a house, where they spotted a black Mercedes sedan, Caldwell said. The arms, including mortars and rockets, were inside the car and its trunk, as well as buried on the property. The house was empty, he said.

A scenario more conducive to bullshittery would be hard to concoct.

A phantom tipster and especially a story in which nobody was captured at the location of the weapons cache leaves generous room for the evidence (if real) to be interpreted in the most sinister way.

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