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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Suppose the Chinese were to establish a military base right across the Mexican border?
Posted by Jill | 6:18 AM
We'd regard it as a threat, right? And we'd be inclined to respond militarily, right?

Well, that's exactly what the U.S. is doing in Iraq near the Iranian border:

British forces have been sent from Basra to the volatile border with Iran amid warnings from the senior US commander in Iraq that Tehran is fomenting a "proxy war".

In signs of a fast-developing confrontation, the Iranians have threatened military action in response to attacks launched from Iraqi territory while the Pentagon has announced the building of a US base and fortified checkpoints at the frontier.

The UK operation, in which up to 350 troops are involved, has come at the request of the Americans, who say that elements close to the Iranian regime have stepped up supplies of weapons to Shia militias in recent weeks in preparation for attacks inside Iraq.

The deployment came within a week of British forces leaving Basra Palace, their last remaining base inside Basra city, and withdrawing to the airport for a widely expected final departure from Iraq. Brigadier James Bashall, commander of 1 Mechanised Brigade, based at Basra said: "We have been asked to help at the Iranian border to stop the flow of weapons and I am willing to do so. We know the points of entry and I am sure we can do what needs to be done. The US forces are, as we know, engaged in the 'surge' and the border is of particular concern to them."

The mission will include the King's Royal Hussars battle group, 250 of whom were told at the weekend that they would be returning to the UK as part of a drawdown of forces in Iraq.

The operation is regarded as a high-risk strategy which could lead to clashes with Iranian-backed Shia militias or even Iranian forces and also leaves open the possibility of Iranian retaliation in the form of attacks against British forces at the Basra air base or inciting violence to draw them back into Basra city. Relations between the two countries are already fraught after the Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized a British naval party in the Gulf earlier this year.

The move came as General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador to Iraq, made some of the strongest accusations yet by US officials about Iranian activity. General Petraeus spoke on Monday of a "proxy war" in Iraq, while Mr Crocker accused the Iranian government of "providing lethal capabilities to the enemies of the Iraqi state"

Given that Al Qaeda is a Sunni organization, where do they get off claiming that Shi'ite Iran is providing lethal capabilities to Al Qaeda in Iraq?

Of course it's because even after all this time, far too many Americans just don't get that there's a difference. As far as the mouthbreathers of Wingnuttia are concerned, Scary Brown Men are Scary Brown men and they're all alike. And this is how the Bush Administration creates policy?

Given the recent transport of nuclear warheads on the wings of a B-52 to the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, it's hard to imagine that the Bush Administration is doing anything BUT preparing for a confrontation with Iran.

Michael Salla lays out a compelling case here for this to not simply be an "error", as is expected to be the conclusion of the "investigation" into the incident, but preparation for a nuclear attack in the Middle East, presumably against Iran. "But they wouldn't be that crazy," you might think. "Oil will go to $100 a barrel!" But consider this: petroleum traders make MORE money as the price goes up, because their commissions are based on the value of the trade. Given that both George Bush and Dick Cheney are oil men, as are many of their cronies, and that Bush even before he "replenishes the ol' coffers" has assets of over $20 million, what do they care of oil goes to $100 a barrel?

These are very scary times, and the only thing standing between us and certain catastrophe is -- Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?

Sorry, but that doesn't give me much confidence.

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