Zarqawi and Iran
Allahpundit has an interesting article in Salon about Zarqawi, Iran and Michael Ledeen. Ledeen is apparently claiming that the captured strategy document, presumed to be written by Zarqawi, is bogus, a plant to take our eyes off the real enemy, which Ledeen sees as Iran. The question to me is, who would benefit? The forces in question are 1) Iran, 2) Al Qaeda in Iraq, 3) the Iraqi government, favored by Sistani, 4) the Sadrists, 5) the Baathist insurgency, 6) the Neo-cons, 7) Bin Laden, 8) the Kremlin, 9) Israel, 10) Saudi Arabia, 11) the Paleo-cons, 12) anti-war leftists in the US, 13) the CIA, 14) China, 15) ET.
Opportunity certainly points to the American forces. Those forces are under control of the military that reports directly to the executive branch of the US government, meaning Bush and the Republicans. Is there a battle between the Neos and the Paleos that would warrant such sophisticated disinformation? I really have no idea how all these other groups feel about the document. I imagine that 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 13 are happy about its publication, although 1, 4, 8, 11 and 12 would be happy about its effect of taking Iran off the hook. Not knowing how the document was obtained, I can only guess that opportunity was limited to Americans, Al Qaeda in Iraq, and the Baathist insurgency, but who would have such a document ready to plant on a moment's notice? Only the Americans, which means one of the Cons or the CIA, not the leftists. (3 is conceivable.)
I have noticed over the last year that there has been an impressive persuasion campaign designed to make war with Iran look necessary, inevitable and winnable. Michael Ledeen has played a big part in that phenomenon. I have to admit that I have been onboard with the necessary and inevitable part of that argument since before the argument was made, probably since 1979. The Zarqawi document makes me wonder, though. And Ledeen's single-minded alarmism has begun to rub me the wrong way. He seems to have an inside track, but I have no reason to believe that he wouldn't say anything to further his cause.
It may be that the Mullahs can be persuaded, that only Ahmadinejad is crazy. If Zarqawi truly believed that they needed a push, then I'm in favor of rethinking the issue. Let's put our support behind Condi and see what she can do.
6/17/2006 12:32 PM