IRAN AND IRAQ….From Ned Parker of the LA Times:
Abu Baqr, now a commander in the Mahdi Army militia of cleric Muqtada Sadr […] still hates Iran. But now, he said, he accepts its weapons to fight the U.S. military, figuring he can deal with his distaste for the Iranians later. So he takes bombs that can rip a hole in a U.S. tank and rockets that can pound Baghdad’s Green Zone without apology or regret.
….The attitudes of commanders such as Abu Baqr would seem to confirm U.S. accusations of Iranian meddling in Iraq. Although the extent of their relationship remains unclear, the commanders have embraced a hardened stance that may bode ill for the U.S. military.
I think that’s the hat trick: In the past two days all three of the big national dailies have written stories about Iran supplying arms to the Mahdi Army. Quite a coincidence, no?
Of course, Iran probably is supplying arms to the Mahdi Army. But they’ve been doing that for a long time, and they also provide support to the Badr Organization, which is allied with the Iraqi government. So why the sudden spate of stories sugesting that Iran supports only the Mahdi Army, and implying that its support is increasing? There are two options, I guess: (a) because it’s true or (b) because it’s in somebody’s interest to feed this storyline. It’s pretty much impossible to say which is more likely, though.