The most troubling part about General Petraeus' report to Congress this week had little to do with Iraq. His bald statements about Iran should give us all pause. Here's the New Jesus speaking from high atop the Hill, passing down as fact what is in many cases contested intelligence about Iran's involvement in Iraq.
Accepted unconditionally as intelligence gospel, Petraeus' testimony could clearly lay the groundwork for a casus belli for a strike against Tehran.
A sampler from his testimony:
- We have also disrupted Shia militia extremists, capturing the head and numerous other leaders of the Iranian-supported Special Groups, along with a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative supporting Iran's activities in Iraq.
- Malign actions by Syria and, especially, by Iran fuel that violence.
- [O]ur forces and our Iraqi counterparts have focused on improving security, especially in Baghdad and the areas around it, wresting sanctuaries from Al Qaeda control, and disrupting the efforts of the Iranian-supported militia extremists.
- In the past six months we have also targeted Shia militia extremists, capturing a number of senior leaders and fighters, as well as the deputy commander of Lebanese Hezbollah Department 2800, the organization created to support the training, arming, funding, and, in some cases, direction of the militia extremists by the Iranian Republican Guard Corps' Qods Force. These elements have assassinated and kidnapped Iraqi governmental leaders, killed and wounded our soldiers with advanced explosive devices provided by Iran, and indiscriminately rocketed civilians in the International Zone and elsewhere.
- It is increasingly apparent to both Coalition and Iraqi leaders that Iran, through the use of the Qods Force, seeks to turn the Iraqi Special Groups into a Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq.
- [N]one of us earlier this year appreciated the extent of Iranian involvement in Iraq, something about which we and Iraq's leaders all now have greater concern.
Why do aluminum tubes, Al Qaeda meetings in Prague, and mobile weapons labs suddenly spring to mind....