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From the Wall Street Journal (subscription required):

U.S. officials say the intensifying actions targeting Iran are central to the new White House push to underpin the shaky government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. They come against a backdrop of growing, broader tensions between Washington and Tehran, over Iran’s suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons, U.S. efforts to curb Iran’s financial transactions and Tehran’s moves to increase its influence throughout the Middle East.

Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, said the administration is seeking to counter Iranian provocations across the region as part of a broader strategy. “Iran needs to learn to respect us,” he said. “And Iran certainly needs to respect American power in the Middle East.”

It seems to me that statements like Burns’ have exactly the opposite effect of gaining “respect.”  A few unpublicized explosions in the Iranian IED facilities would, however, accomplish the real goal of instilling not respect, but fear.

The article continues:

Of particular concern to Pentagon planners is the alleged role of Qods Force, the international arm of Tehran’s Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, in trafficking IEDs into Iraq, intelligence officials said. The guard corps is believed to have developed close ties to both the Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia headed by the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Badr Brigade, the militant arm of Iraq’s largest Shiite political party, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

This is the force that Dennis Kucinich had never heard of when I interviewed him Wednesday. They are the ones killing Americans, and Congress needs to get smart on the true nature of the Iranian regime and its actions in Iraq before it begins to critique Administration policy.


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