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Commentary Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2007 - 00:36:43

Weapons charges against Iran are almost certainly fabricated
By Dennis Rahkonen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Feb 16, 2007, 00:33

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�Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.� --Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002

�We know where they [the WMD] are. They�re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.� --Donald Rumsfeld, March 30, 2003.

Considering the utter fraudulence of these emphatic assertions upon which the bogus case for going to war with Iraq was predicated, why should we now believe George Bush when he says -- as he did at his most recent press conference -- that �we know� the Iranian government is providing sophisticated weapons for the nefarious purpose of killing US troops in Iraq?

Where�s the independent, cross-corroborated evidence?

Shouldn�t we demand ironclad documentation?

Everything about this claim smacks of a scam.

First off, the Baghdad briefing at which �proof� of Iran�s alleged, murderous intent was offered was highly suspect. The mysterious individuals offering sensationalized charts and photos wouldn�t reveal their own names!

Furthermore, no cell phones or recording devices were permitted in the room. Why?

Third, the supposedly incriminatory material that we�ve subsequently seen on television bore definite graphic and stylistic resemblance to the contrived nonsense that Colin Powell rolled out before the United Nations in early 2003, which has long since been completely discredited.

Suspicious in the extreme, also, were English-language markings on the depicted array of weapons, some of which had the largest type font devoted to the supposed date of manufacture, as if to verify the wildly inaccurate contention that explosively formed penetrator bombs said to be manufactured in Iran and used by Shiite extremists had been responsible for a quarter of all US troop deaths and injuries in Iraq from October to December 2006.

As Juan Cole pointed out in a posting on his �Informed Comment� website immediately after The New York Times gave uncritical coverage to the Iranian-connection story, �This claim is one hundred percent wrong. Because 25 percent of US troops were not killed fighting Shiites in those three months. Day after day, the casualty reports specify al-Anbar Province or Diyala or Salahuddin or Babil, or Baghdad districts such as al-Dura, Ghaziliyah, Amiriyah, etc. -- and the enemy fighting is clearly Sunni Arab guerrillas . . .�

He goes on to say it�s absurd to think the Iranians are supplying powerfully lethal weapons to their sectarian enemies, the Sunnis, with whom Iraqi Shiites are in virtually constant conflict.

If Iranian arms are actually employed in Iraqi combat, where might they originate?

It�s possible, though far from definite, that the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq -- parent of the Badr Corps militia -- may have gained possession of such devices. The SCIRI, however, is a major American ally, and any diversion of its weapons into anti-US deployment would had to have resulted from Iraqi duplicity and smuggling, not Iranian design.

Cole then makes a crucial point: �Some large proportion of US troops being killed in Iraq are being killed with bullets and weapons supplied by Washington to the Iraqi army, which are then sold by desperate or greedy Iraqi soldiers on the black market. This problem of US/Iraqi government arms getting into the hands of the Sunni Arab guerrillas is far more significant and pressing than whatever arms smugglers bring in from Iran.�

An entirely different suggestion for what�s going on was reported by the London Independent way back in October of 2005. After British soldiers in Basra were killed by what was first said to be explosives fashioned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, further scrutiny disclosed an Irish Republican Army connection.

Apparently the IRA learned how to construct weapons of the described type years ago, using pilfered British technology. Some of those devices were probably provided to Palestinian liberation fighters, who could have then transferred either examples or plans to the Iraqis.

A further question we must necessarily ask is why the Iraqis themselves, who supposedly were advanced enough to build the nonexistent WMD that Washington terrified us with before 2003, are now too �crude� in the Bush administration�s eyes to put together shaped charges that are no modern marvel at all? They�ve actually been used in warfare all over the world for many decades.

Given the staggeringly destructive consequences of war with Iran, which the Bush/Cheney cabal appears to desire, and for which it�s desperate to find an ostensibly credible pretext, both the American people and members of Congress must be extremely vigilant.

Not only would an attack on Iran get us into a second sucking quagmire in the Middle East, it could precipitate potentially dire Iranian retaliation -- including economically devastating oil curtailment -- and the very real prospect of a terrible regional conflagration . . . if not World War III.

Until someone can conclusively show otherwise, we should consider accelerated demonization of Iran as nothing more than standard neocon lies.

The price of gullibility -- again -- would be disaster.

Dennis Rahkonen of Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing for various progressive outlets since the �60s.  He can be reached at

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