A recent series of American raids against Iranians in Iraq was authorized under an order that President Bush decided to issue several months ago to undertake a broad military offensive against Iranian operatives in the country, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday.
Ms. Rice was vague on the question of when Mr. Bush issued the order, but said his decision grew out of questions that the president and members of his National Security Council raised in the fall.
Until now, despite a series of raids in which Iranians have been seized by American forces in Baghdad and other cities in Iraq, administration officials have declined to say whether Mr. Bush ordered such actions.
Mr. Bush’s public warning to Iran was accompanied by the deployment of an additional aircraft carrier off Iran’s coast and advanced Patriot antimissile defense systems in Persian Gulf countries near Iran’s borders. Both the White House and the secretary of defense, Robert M. Gates, insisted Friday that the United States was not seeking to goad Iran into conflict, and that it had no intention of taking the battle into Iranian territory.
Note that what they're willing to say and what they're willing to do in private are two very different things. In other words, you can't wage secret war if you're blabbing it all over the New York Times. But if you get all sneaky about it...
Meanwhile, ABC News reports: Iraq Foreign Minister Defends Detained Iranians
Five Iranians detained by U.S.-led forces were working in a decade-old government liaison office that was in the process of being upgraded to a consulate, the Iraqi foreign minister said Friday.Well, of course! It makes perfect sense!
Tehran condemned the raid in the Kurdish-controlled northern city of Irbil and urged Iraq to push for the Iranians' release.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the building where the Iranians were detained Thursday had operated with Iraqi government approval for 10 years.
"We are now in the process of changing these offices to consulates," he said. "It is not a new office. This liaison office has been there for a long time."
Deputy U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said in Washington that the U.S.-led forces entered the building because information linked it to Iranian elements engaging in violent activities in Iraq.
No foreigners are allowed to engage in violent activities in Iraq -- except Americans!
Just to make it perfectly clear: In Iraq, which is supposedly an independent country -- that independence having supposedly been granted by the United States, and validated by so-called elections and a putative constitution -- representatives of a neighboring country, invited to Iraqi government offices by high-ranking Iraqi officials, have been attacked by helicopter gunships, threatened with their lives, abducted and detained -- by the very same forces which supposedly granted Iraq its so-called independence.
Is there anyone who still believes the USA ever had any interest in making Iraq and independent democracy? Did anyone ever believe that, ever? Has anyone ever satisfactorily answered the following hypothetical question:
If you wanted to create a free and independent nation, and you decided to do so militarily, why wouldn't you leave your depleted uranium at home?