The good news:
The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran’s influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the effort.
For more than a year, U.S. forces in Iraq have secretly detained dozens of suspected Iranian agents, holding them for three to four days at a time. The “catch and release” policy was designed to avoid escalating tensions with Iran and yet intimidate its emissaries. U.S. forces collected DNA samples from some of the Iranians without their knowledge, subjected others to retina scans, and fingerprinted and photographed all of them before letting them go.
Last summer, however, senior administration officials decided that a more confrontational approach was necessary, as Iran’s regional influence grew and U.S. efforts to isolate Tehran appeared to be failing. The country’s nuclear work was advancing, U.S. allies were resisting robust sanctions against the Tehran government, and Iran was aggravating sectarian violence in Iraq.
“There were no costs for the Iranians,” said one senior administration official. “They are hurting our mission in Iraq, and we were bending over backwards not to fight back.”
Three officials said that about 150 Iranian intelligence officers, plus members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Command, are believed to be active inside Iraq at any given time. There is no evidence the Iranians have directly attacked U.S. troops in Iraq, intelligence officials said.
And then the bad news courtesy of the Iranians: (via The Fourth Rail)
On January 20th, a team of twelve men disguised as U.S. soldiers entered the Provincial Joint Coordination Center in Karbala, where U.S. soldiers conducted a meeting with local officials, and attacked and killed five soldiers, and wounded another three. The initial reports indicated the five were killed in the Karbala JCC, however the U.S. military has reported that four of those killed were actually removed from the center, handcuffed, and murdered.
The American Forces Information Service provides the details of the attack in Karbala. Based on the sophisticated nature of the raid, as well as the response, or cryptic non-responses, from multiple military and intelligence sources, this raid appears to have been directed and executed by the Qods Force branch of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps. My sources agreed this is far to sophisticated an operation for the Mahdi Army or Badr Corps, while al-Qaeda in Iraq would have a difficult time mounting such an operation in the Shia south. "The Karbala Government Center raid the other day was a little too professional for JAM [Jaish al-Mahdi, or the Mahdi Army]," according to a military source.
This raid required specific intelligence, in depth training for the agents to pass as American troops, resources to provide for weapons, vehicles, uniforms, identification, radios and other items needed to successfully carry out the mission. Hezbollah’s Imad Mugniyah executed a similar attack against Israeli forces on the Lebanese border, which initiated the Hezbollah-Israeli war during the summer of 2006.
Whether we admit it or not, we are at war with Iran. We have been for decades but have denied it all along. Will it take the Iraq war for our country to realize that the country that spawned radical islam has been the enemy all along? From Beirut to Grenada, from Kuwait to Iraq….Iran has been the heart and soul of all that is evil in this world and now they are systematically killing our troops while they pretend to be something they are not.
The National Council of Resistance, an Iranian opposition group headquartered in France, claims that thousands of Iraqis are paid Iranian agents. The group "released the names, alleged dates of recruitment by Iran and the supposed salaries of 31,690 Iraqis."
President Bush has decided its now time to throw down the gauntlet, something ALL of his predecessors decided was not prudent.
We have been trying to appease the war critics by making nice with the Mullahs while all along they have been making war. Question is, will it be too late? Many have missed the fact that this new strategy has been in place since last summer, it’s not brand new, and it’s not a kneejerk reaction to the latest violence perpetrated by the Iranians. but we should have been doing this all along. Bush waited far too long due to the left’s incessant wails, he obviously tried to appease them by showing that he could try to negotiate with those who know only strength and violence.
It’s now almost a foregone conclusion that if we do decide to really tackle Iran it will be a bloody confrontation. Will our country have the backbone to support that or will there be cries and wails from the left and our MSM? We know the answer to that question already unfortunately.
So Bush is going to need our support in countering the MSM and their lefty cohorts when they spout:
Administration Strategy Stirs Concern Among Some Officials …
As they did in the above article. The doves will be "concerned" about everything and anything put in place by a Republican until a plane flies into their building and puts them to rest permanently. Nothing we can do about their "concern". All we can do is send a message to Washington and to our troops that we support taking the war to the enemy and make no bones about it, Iran IS the enemy.
Bill Roggio on some internal happenings inside Iran:
Internal political pressure against Ahmadinejad have risen since his party lost important elections for the Assembly of Experts and in the municipal councils. There is a real fear Ahmadinejad’s policies are leading to economic collapse and open confrontation with the West. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, snubbed Ahmadinejad by declining a meeting just one week after his newspaper criticized Ahmadinejad’s aggressive posture on the Iranian nuclear program.
Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the one-time successor to Ayatollah Khomenei, the founder of the Islamic Republic, criticized Ahmadinejad’s policies. "It is necessary to act with reason with the enemy and not provoke it. Extremism does not do people any good," said Montazeri. Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president who lost to Ahmadinejad in 2005, "believes Iran may have to yield to western demands to suspend uranium enrichment to save the country’s Islamic system from collapse." Rafsanjani is also the head of a political block seeking to impeach four of Ahmadinejad’s ministers, and possibly Ahmadinejad himself.
Escalating the fight inside Iraq against Iranian agents may very well widen the chasm between those extremists and moderates in Iran. Just one more reason the new Bush doctrine against Iran may work.