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Media silent as Iran wages a proxy war against the US

February 8, 2011

Lexington Conservative Examiner, 7 Feb 2011: As if the mountain of evidence wasn’t tall enough, further evidence of Iran’s proxy war against the US surfaced in Afghanistan last week.  Following his capture in the Nimroz province of southwestern Afghanistan, Mullah Gul Ahmed, a recently captured Taliban commander, told Afghan police that Iran is training and supporting the operations of the Taliban in that area.

“I studied at a religious school in Iran where someone named Khaled provoked me to perform jihad against Americans,” Ahmad confessed to Afghan police.

Ahmed’s confession is the latest in a long line of similar statements made by other Taliban fighters captured in the area whom have claimed they were trained in Iran and received material support from them.

“Some individuals who have been detained by our security forces have confessed that they have terrorist centers in border regions of Iran and they are trained in how to use weapons and lay mines,” Farah police chief Sayed Mohammad Faqir Askar told Afghanistan’s Tolo TV. “In fact, these terrorists are trained in Baluchistan area of Iran.”

But the Afghani’s, not known for their trustworthiness, are only one of many sources of evidence.  For years now, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has claimed that the Qods Force, a special unit of Iran’s army, has been helping Taliban fighters conduct training inside Iran. As recently as May 30, 2010, former ISAF commander General Stanley McChrystal said that there is “clear evidence” that Iran is training and arming Taliban fighters.

“The training that we have seen occurs inside Iran with fighters moving inside Iran,” McChrystal said at a press conference. “The weapons that we have received come from Iran into Afghanistan.”

Wikileaks also revealed a number of classified military reports which provide further information regarding Iran’s role in Afghanistan.  A series of military intelligence logs, mainly from 2005 and 2006, report that Iran offered Taliban commanders financial inventives for each soldier killed in Afghanistan.  More specifically, the reports state that Iran offered a group of eight Taliban leaders more than $1,700 for each Afghan soldier killed and around $3,500 for each Afghan government official.

A different report written around the same time claimed that two Iranian intelligence agents had brought more than $200,000 to Afghanistan and handed it over to aides of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the former Afghan prime minister who now heads   Hezb-e Islami, one of the most deadly factions of the Taliban insurgency.

“The money was transferred to a 1990s model white Toyota Corolla station wagon. The money was hidden with various food stuffs. The Corolla was occupied by four members of the Hezb-e Islami, Gulbuddin (HIG) terrorist organisation. The money was transported to an unknown location,” the report claims.

America’s second military front in the Middle East has not been been ignored by Iran either.  The Iranian government has been actively supporting insurgents in Iraq as well, providing them with advanced weaponry, as well as other vital resources and logistical help.  Wikileaks 2010 dump of over 400,000 classified military documents made repeated references to weapons smuggling and co-ordination of attacks by Iran, even claiming that Iranian elements would go as far as to dictate where targets of assasination should be shot.  One of the reports claims that on January 17, 2006, a group of militants in Iraq were able to buy 50 “neuroparalytical projectiles” from munitions smugglers which, according to the report, can cause neuroparalytic conditions similar to those caused by the venom in snake bites.  The report went on to state that “The ammunition came from Iran, via Al Basrah”, and that the smuggler was a member of the Al Sharky group from the central Iraqi town of Tahmaziyah.

Furthermore, citing the testimony of detainees, a captured militant’s diary and numerous uncovered weapons caches, among other intelligence, another report revealed by Wikileaks further details Iran’s involvement in Iraq.  This report accused Iran of providing Iraqi insurgents with lethal weapons such as rockets, magnetic bombs that can be attached to the underside of cars, and explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), which are the most lethal type of roadside bomb in Iraq.  Other weapons the report claims were provided to Iraqi insurgents by Iran include powerful .50-caliber rifles and the Misagh-1, an Iranian replica of a portable Chinese surface-to-air missile, which, according to the reports, was fired at American helicopters and downed one in east Baghdad in July 2007.

But like in Afghanistan, Iran has been doing more than merely arming Iraqi insurgents — they have been training them as well.  The same report cited above states that Iraqi insurgents travelled to Iran to be trained as snipers and in the use of explosives, and that Iran’s Quds Force collaborated with Iraqi extremists to encourage and facilitate the assassination of Iraqi officials.  General Ray Odierno even acknowledged Iran’s role in Iraq, stating in July 2010 that recent militant activities in Iraq are “clearly connected” to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard force.

“What we do know is the people that are getting ready to conduct this attack went back, got special training in Iran, they came back (to Iraq), and we knew that there were experts sent from Iran into Iraq to help them to do this in the last month or so,” said Odierno.

America’s Ambassador to Baghdad, Christopher Hill, laid out Iran’s clear goals in a declassified cable sent from the American embassay in Baghdad in 2009.

“Iranian efforts are driven by a clear determination to see a sectarian, Shia-dominated government that is weak, disenfranchised from its Arab neighbors, detached from the U.S. security apparatus and strategically dependent on Iran,” Hill says in the cable. “An economically dependent and politically subservient Iraq would foster greater strategic depth for Tehran.”

So where are we?  We have a media, a federal government, and a military which all seem to be well aware of the fact that Iran is actively fighting a proxy war with the United States on two fronts — Iraq and Afghanistan.  Yet, President Obama continues to call for “direct diplomacy” with Iran, offering what he calls an “open hand” to the Iranian government, rather than the “clenched first” which he claims the Bush administration used with regards to Iranian relations.  But why should we engage in diplomacy with a government which is actively supporting, arming, and training our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan?  While Iranian soldiers are not physically pulling the triggers or arming the explosives themselves (at least in most cases), they are providing those guns and explosives to those whom they know will eventually pull the trigger or arm the explosive.  Is that really so much different?

A foreign government is actively participating and encouraging the killing or US soldiers, and the best we can get out of the American media is a handful of articles which likely never sniffed the front page of a major newspaper, forcing us to rely on a foreign whistleblower website to report a story which every media outlet in the US should be all over. We have a foreign government which is virtually at war with us, while we do nothing but complain to the United Nations and make strongly worded public statements regarding their actions in the Middle East.   I guess the question for the American media is:  How many US and NATO soldiers need to die as a result of explosions from Iranian weapons, bullets from Iranian guns, and attacks from Iranian trained insurgents before it becomes newsworthy?  The question for the Obama administration is simply:  When do we acknowledge the proxy war being waged against us and respond?  But judging by the absence of this story from the media and the Obama administration’s press briefings, I fully expect these questions to go unanswered.


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