Friday, February 02, 2007

McClatchy: Bush Hasn't Provided Evidence To Back Up Charges Against Iran

Read it all at the McClatchy site. Because as Mike at Crest notes, most of the press (especially at the AP and CNN) are dutifully and uncritically reporting exactly what the Bush administration wants reported about alleged Iranian complicity in the sectarian violence and insurgent activity in Iraq. So McClatchy's expose on the Bush administration's flimsy justification for war with Iran may be one of the few pieces on Iran that you read that has a ring of truth to it. Here's a taste:

The Bush administration, which made exaggerated or false claims about Iraq's weapons programs and ties to al-Qaida to justify its 2003 invasion of Iraq, hasn't provided evidence to back up its charges.

Intelligence officials said the Mahdi Army militia of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has used weapons from Iran to kill Americans in Iraq. But Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirmed Friday that the administration isn't sure whether Iran's leaders sanctioned the arms shipments to Iraq or whether rogue elements are behind them.

"I don't think that we know the answer to that question," Gates told reporters.

Some experts, citing Bush's order to send more U.S. air and naval forces to the Persian Gulf, worry that President Bush is exaggerating the Iranian role to build a case for attacking Iran's nuclear facilities.

Bush and his top aides deny that they've been exaggerating Iran's role in Iraq, saying it should be seen in the context of Tehran's efforts to dominate the oil-rich Persian Gulf, strengthen Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups and bolster Shiite political power in Lebanon and other Arab countries with large Shiite populations.

They also say the United States has no intention of attacking Iran.

"The president has made clear, the secretary of state has made clear, I've made clear ... we are not planning for a war with Iran," Gates told reporters. "What we are trying to do is, in Iraq, counter what the Iranians are doing to our soldiers, their involvement and activities."

The U.S. government's own data, however, show that Sunni insurgents, not the Shiite militias supported by Iran, have been responsible for most American combat deaths.

According to data provided by Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, an Internet site that closely tracks military and civilian deaths in Iraq, more than two-fifths of the U.S. combat deaths in 2006 occurred in the Sunni heartland of Anbar province, where Iran has virtually no influence.

The proportion of U.S. casualties that occurred in Anbar - 44 percent - was higher than it was in 2005, when it was about 36 percent.

"The vast majority of Americans who are being killed are still being killed by IEDs (improvised explosive devices) set by Sunnis," said Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA and White House expert on Persian Gulf affairs.

Pollack, now at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, questioned the White House's rhetorical campaign and military movements aimed at Iran.

"The evidence that I am seeing does not seem to support the level of rhetoric, let alone the military actions" the administration is taking, Pollack said.

It's nice to see one news organization that still reports facts and truth rather than half-baked political spin and phony objective reporting that purports to present both sides of an issue when one side is absolute bullshit.

Now if only the motherfuckers at the Associated Press and CNN would go back to journalism school and relearn how to do the same thing.

This scoop just in from Iran:

"The Iranian government's boasts of "great achievements" included an announcement on Saturday that Iranian scientists have "introduced an AIDS cure"...

..."After seven long years of arduous work, Iranian scientists here on Saturday introduced a herbal medicine which cures Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)," Fars reported..."

..."The drug named 'IMOD' is completely effective and safe with no proven side effects," Iran's Minister of Health Kamran Bagheri Lankarani claimed during a ceremony..."

..."The world should know today that the capable Iranian nation, relying on its own youths and scientists, has now conquered the peaks of knowledge and science," Ahmadinejad declared during his speech..."

Gotta love those clowns...
Here's a few more comments from Iran:

Iran challenges Europe to hand over Holocaust 'proof'

Feb 06 5:36 AM US/Eastern

An Iranian government-sponsored body set up to probe the veracity of the Holocaust has challenged Europe to hand over documents about the mass slaughter of Jews in World War II.

Mohammad Ali Ramin, the head of the "World Holocaust Foundation" created after Iran's controversial Holocaust conference last year, said Austria, Germany and Poland in particular should supply documents.

"They should hand over the proof for the dossier on the organized massacre of Jews in Europe during World War II to the independent international fact-finding committee affiliated to this foundation," the IRNA state news agency quoted him as saying on Tuesday.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the creation of the foundation after inviting a number of controversial revisionist Holocaust researchers to a conference in Tehran in December that caused an international outcry.

Ahmadinejad has repeatedly questioned the scale of the Holocaust, described the mass killing of six million Jews in World War II as a "myth" and also called for Israel to be "wiped from the map".

The foreign researchers invited to the conference -- some of whom have criminal records at home -- gave papers claiming the Holocaust never happened on the scale assumed by the vast majority of historians.

Mainstream historians specialising in the Third Reich counter there is ample documentary proof that around six million Jews were killed by the Nazis in World War II although some estimates put the figure slightly higher or lower.

The UN General Assembly last month unanimously approved a US-proposed resolution condemning denial of the Holocaust, in a move diplomats said was directly aimed at Iran's stance.
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