Quote of the Week

By Ryan McGreal
Published February 14, 2007

As you probably know, the latest tactic in the US government's campaign to attack Iran is its claim, unveiled by anonymous US forces on the weekend, that Iran is providing Iraqi insurgents with "explosively formed penetrators" and other weapons.

The big advantage to this story, if the Bush administration can make it stick, is that it allows them to attack Iran as part of the war in Iraq, a war for which they already have something that resembles Congressional approval.

If Iran is part of the war on Iraq, then US President George W. Bush doesn't need to ask permission to extend the war to Iran via missile strikes on Iran's "suspected" nuclear weapons facilities and other strategic targets. They can just go ahead and do it, Hillary Clinton's embarrassing all-things-to-all-people warnings notwithstanding.

Unfortunately, as the unnamed, faceless officials in Iraq were showing their PowerPoint presentation (which makes a lot of insinuations but doesn't actually prove anything), US Marine General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was busy telling reporters he sees no evidence that the Iranian government is meddling in Iraq.

It is clear that Iranians are involved and it is clear that materials from Iran are involved. But I would not say based on what I know that the Iranian government clearly knows or is complicit.

CNN correspondent Ed Henry, apparently one of the US reporters who hasn't had a frontal lobotomy, tried to pin White House Spokesman Tony Snow on why this discrepancy exists.

Predictably, this was like nailing jello. In the process of trying to writhe out of acknowledging his government's absurdity, Snow turned the charge around in what may be the most unintentionally ironic statement of the year.

Let me tell you what - I think a lot of people are trying to whomp up a fight here that doesn't exist.

D'you think, Tony?

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.

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By David (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2007 at 08:37:22

Isn't it interesting that once you know the "rules" that the US uses to gain public support, you can spot these as they come up in the news. This one in particular struck me as I heard it "pushed hard" on TV that Iran is behind things happening in Iraq, and I said at the time, "There they go - more pretexts for attacking Iran." It's thus quite amusing that if casual news viewers can now spot these things, the US is continuing to use them as if they believe their people are that gullable. But what isn't amusing is the lack of respect for high US govt offices that is resulting from lying to people. At this point, I'd much rather they just told the truth, regardless of how politically incorrect the argument might be.

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