SENDING MESSAGES….The Guardian has a story today featuring lengthy analysis from “a senior US official in Baghdad” about Iran’s intentions in Iraq:
The official said US commanders were bracing for a nationwide, Iranian-orchestrated summer offensive, linking al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents to Tehran’s Shia militia allies, that Iran hoped would trigger a political mutiny in Washington and a US retreat.
….”Certainly it [the violence] is going to pick up from their side. There is significant latent capability in Iraq, especially Iranian-sponsored capability. They can turn it up whenever they want. You can see that from the pre-positioning that’s been going on and the huge stockpiles of Iranian weapons that we’ve turned up in the last couple of months. The relationships between Iran and groups like al-Qaida are very fluid,” the official said.
….Any US decision to retaliate against Iran on its own territory could be taken only at the highest political level in Washington, the official said. But he indicated that American patience was wearing thin.
I don’t have any idea whether any of this stuff about Iran is true. If it is, and Iran is being so unsubtle about it that we already know their plans, then the Iranian leadership is populated by morons. After all, just about the only thing I can think of that would unite American public opinion to stay in Iraq would be the knowledge that Iran was indisputably sponsoring serious direct military action against us there. Even Feingold and Reid would vote against Feingold-Reid if that happened.
But put that aside since the truth is unknowable. It’s still telling that a senior U.S. official in Baghdad, presumably with the authorization of his superiors, decided to give a lengthy and public warning to Iran that included the possibility of “retaliating against Iran on its own territory.” Question: who is senior enough to say stuff like that? And who is senior enough to give him the green light?