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  Still Not Worried? Petraeus Blames Iran for Green Zone Attack
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Still Not Worried? Petraeus Blames Iran for Green Zone Attack

by Chris Floyd
Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Bush and Petraus
The groundwork for the attack has already been laid. When and if a strike comes, it will almost certainly come quickly, without warning.
Yesterday, we noted the story that the Saudi government is now preparing plans to deal with "any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards" that may arise from an attack on Iran's nuclear reactors. This was reported by a top Saudi newspaper, Okaz, and relayed by a leading German news service, dpa -- one day after Dick Cheney paid a visit to the kingdom. As we noted, no one knows exactly what was said at that confab of allied authoritarians -- but something sure lit a fire under the Saudis, and convinced them that urgent action is needed to brace for the lethal overspill from a strike on Iran.

Now today comes word that the sainted General David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq -- and recepient of perhaps the most copious bipartisan tongue bath ever given to a serving military officer by the U.S. Congress -- has blamed Iran for the multiple mortar attack on Baghdad's Green Zone on Sunday. As the BBC reports:

The most senior US general in Iraq has said he has evidence that Iran was behind Sunday's bombardment of Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.

Gen David Petraeus told the BBC he thought Tehran had trained, equipped and funded insurgents who fired the barrage of mortars and rockets.

He said Iran was adding what he described as "lethal accelerants" to a very combustible mix.

That's not all. After praising himself for his brilliant "counterinsurgency" masterstroke of paying Sunni insurgents and violent religious extremists to kill other Iraqis instead of Americans for awhile -- while also arming, training and funding the Shiite extremists now in charge of the Iraqi army and security forces to kill and torture other Iraqis -- Petraeus went on to blame Iran for being the main cause of violence in Iraq. (For a true picture of what Petraeus and the vaunted "surge" has actually wrought in Iraq, see Michael Schwartz's detailed and devastating report,  "The Battle of Bagdhad."). From the BBC:

In an interview with BBC world affairs editor John Simpson, Gen Petraeus said violence in Iraq was being perpetuated by Iran's Quds Force, a branch of the Revolutionary Guards.

"The rockets that were launched at the Green Zone yesterday, for example... were Iranian-provided, Iranian-made rockets," he said, adding that the groups that fired them were funded and trained by the Quds Force.

"All of this in complete violation of promises made by President Ahmadinejad and the other most senior Iranian leaders to their Iraqi counterparts."

The Iranians, of course, have deep, intricate and longstanding ties to the "Iraqi leaders" whom Petraeus is now helping maintain in "power" -- if that's the word for the operations of a gang of brutal kleptocrats whose residence in office is sustained wholly by the foreign military forces who invaded their country at the order of another gang of brutal kleptocrats in Washington. But Petraeus -- and the White House kleptos -- have continually pushed the line that Iran is attacking a government led by their ideological and religious allies, in order to....what, exactly? Replace them with,er, ideological and religious allies? Well, logic has never been the strong suit of the Crawford Caligula and his courtiers, who believe they can "create their own reality" by the assertion of imperial will -- and by the expenditure of human cannon fodder. (Petraeus' remarks came on the day that the American military death toll in Iraq reached 4,000.)

Actually, of course, these charges aren't meant to make logical or geopolitical sense. They are simply being tossed out there, week after week, month after month, to "catapult the propaganda" for war with Iran "at the time, place, and in the manner of our choosing," to quote Bush's doctrine of preemptive war in the official "National Defense Strategy of the United States." Or as I noted here last year about an earlier round of charges:

[Petraeus] is asserting as unassailable fact accusations which have never been substantiated, not even by the Regime's own intelligence agencies -- whose bar for "confirming" provocative intelligence is, as we all know, preternaturally low. Petraeus doesn't intend for his words to be taken seriously -- that is, not in the real world, where military attacks by one nation on another lead to an immediate response. No, his words are intended for the media echo chamber, where they will bounce around in the midst of all the other mind-obliterating noise, with a few key scraps falling  into the mix: "Iran" -- "killing Americans" -- "Qods" -- "Iran" -- "killing Americans" -- "Qods." That's all they want -- and that's all they need -- to get across. They certainly don't want anyone to pay close attention to the details of the patter they're putting out. They just want a few keywords to filter into the battered public consciousness, because these are the elements they will invoke when the time comes to launch their own unprovoked military agression against Iran: "Iran's Qods Force is killing Americans, and we must, reluctantly, retaliate. Therefore, tonight I have ordered a series of air raids on Qods Force bases in Iran...."

And hey: "Qods" sounds a lot like "al Qaeda," doesn't it? That gives you extra traction in the echo chamber -- more bang for the propaganda buck.

Let's be clear about this. This is an administration that claims the right to go to war on the merest suspicion that some evil foreign entity might attack Americans at some time in some way. This is an administration that has already acted on this deranged -- but oh-so-war-profitable -- "national defense strategy." This is an administration that specifically named Iran as a dire threat to the nation in the most recent version of this official strategy.

And now, we have Petraeus' j'accuse -- the culmination of more than a year of statements by U.S. officials accusing Iran of direct involvement in attacking and killing American personnel in Iraq. By the morally demented but consistent "principles" enunciated and acted upon by the Bush Administration (principles which of course include the use of manufactured evidence and knowing deception to launch wars in the name of "national security"), the White House has already established an iron-clad case for attacking Iran. Indeed, by their own lights, they have actually been criminally negligent and weak-kneed for not having attacked Iran long ago -- as the most vociferous wingnuts and con-jobs out there keep insisting.

As we said last week, the groundwork for the attack has already been laid. When and if a strike comes, it will almost certainly come quickly, without warning. There will be no new major PR campaign, just a "surge" in the same "mind-obliterating noise" of lies and accusations that has barraged us for so long. And no doubt we will see the redoubtable Petraeus take the lead in this surge against the American people -- with the same slickness and vigor with which he has perpetrated the murderous ethnic cleansing of Baghdad -- when he comes to Congress for another tongue-bath next month.

Note: Petraeus has been an eager dissembler for L'il Boots since the beginning, as Glenn Greenwald pointed out in this remarkable compendium of spin, waffle and flim-flam. For more on the saint's progress on the road to glory see: The Imperator Reports: Let the Blood Flow On; Killers and Extremists in the Pay of Petraeus; and Shotgun Wedding: The Saint, the Insurgents, and the Surge's "Success."

Plus: Winter Patriot tells us of another success story of the "humanitarian intervention" in Iraq: Fallujah.

photo of Chris FloydChris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at

This column is republished here with the permission of the author.

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This story was published on March 25, 2008.


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