Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Iran Helping to Kill American Soldiers with Impunity

Today's lead editorial at the Wall Street Journal comments on the recent military intelligence implicating Iran in arming the insurgency in Iraq:

U.S. military officials finally laid out detailed evidence on Sunday that Iranian-supplied weapons are killing American soldiers in Iraq. The issue now is the lesson the Bush Administration and the American political establishment draw about dealing with Iran.

Our guess is that a large part of Washington will pretend the evidence doesn't exist, or suggest the intelligence isn't proven, or claim that it's all the Bush Administration's fault for "bullying" Iran. This was the impulse behind the Baker-Hamilton Commission's recommendation late last year that the U.S. "engage" Tehran to help us find some honorable diplomatic or political solution in Iraq.

But the evidence about Iranian-style munitions shows how wishful such thinking is. The Iranians don't want a political solution that would allow a U.S.-backed moderate Shiite government to rule in Baghdad. Their goal is to make us bleed in order to drive us home and so allow their radical Shiite allies to hold sway and Iran to become the dominant regional power. They also figure that the bloodier the defeat they can impose, the less likely the U.S. will be to ever consider promoting regime change in Tehran or Damascus.
The editorial goes on to detail the particulary nastiness of recently supplied Iranian IEDs (which can be effective on more heavily armored vehicles, not just Humvees). The editorial also reports that Iranian officials captured in Iraq by U.S. forces were later released on diplomatic grounds, evidently indicating that the Iranians are able to kill U.S. forces -- through Shiite proxies inside Iraq -- with impunity. The editors warn of a larger lesson as well here, that should Iran develop nuclear weapons capability, it may become even more reckless in attacking the interests of the U.S. and its allies in the region.

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