Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bush targets Iran's role in Iraq (and other news items of significant progress in Iraq)

Bush was speaking to the American Legion and not only reminded everyone that our troops have killed or captured 10,000 terrorists and insurgents, but that Iran is playing a major role in Iraq.

In Iraq, Sunni extremists, led by al Qaeda, are staging sensational attacks on innocent men, women, and children in an attempt to stoke sectarian violence. Their operatives have assassinated those seeking to build a new future for the Iraqi people. Their targets include everyone they consider infidels -- including Christians and Jews and Yezidis and Shia, and even fellow Sunnis who do not share their radical distortion of Islam. Their ranks include foreign fighters who travel to Iraq through Syria. Their operations seek to create images of chaos and carnage to break the will of the American people. These killers don't understand our country. America does not give in to thugs and assassins -- and America will not abandon Iraq in its hour of need. (Applause.)

Shia extremists, backed by Iran, are training Iraqis to carry out attacks on our forces and the Iraqi people. Members of the Qods Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are supplying extremist groups with funding and weapons, including sophisticated IEDs. And with the assistance of Hezbollah, they've provided training for these violent forces inside of Iraq. Recently, coalition forces seized 240-millimeter rockets that had been manufactured in Iran this year and that had been provided to Iraqi extremist groups by Iranian agents. The attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have increased in the last few months -- despite pledges by Iran to help stabilize the security situation in Iraq.

Some say Iran's leaders are not aware of what members of their own regime are doing. Others say Iran's leaders are actively seeking to provoke the West. Either way, they cannot escape responsibility for aiding attacks against coalition forces and the murder of innocent Iraqis. The Iranian regime must halt these actions. And until it does, I will take actions necessary to protect our troops. I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities.

And one of the ways Bush may target Iran is by labelling Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist force.

Ahmadinejad responded to that likely threat:

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran would respond if the United States were to label the Islamic state's Revolutionary Guards a "terrorist" force, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday.

"They know that any action against the Iranian nation would be faced with a proper response," Ahmadinejad, himself a former Guards commander, told a news conference.

But he also said he believed it was "highly unlikely that the American government will take such an illogical approach ... it would be a joke I guess."

U.S. officials said this month Washington may soon name the Revolutionary Guards as a foreign terrorist group, a move that would enable the United States to target the force's finances.

I think it'd be a great joke, and I hope we give it a try. Of course the challenge with the terrorists designation is also going to be getting other nations to recognize the Revlutionary Guards as a terrorist force as well.

But Bush is (finally) out there trying to drum up support for the war, trying to get the word out about our progress in Iraq.

One thing that seems to be slipping through the cracks though was discussed this morning on Dennis Prager's show. Dennis interviewed Robert McFarlane, former National Security Advisor to Ronald Reagan. McFarlane has been working in Iraq and has achieved a momentous agreement; something that should be the headline on every newspaper in the country: A Fatwa Against Violence.

Last week, I participated in a three day meeting here that included six of the most senior Iraqi Sunni and Shia religious leaders. At the meeting, held at a Marriott hotel in a Cairo suburb, they formally agreed to "end terrorist violence, and to disband militia activity in order to build a civilized country and work within the framework of law."

This gathering was a truly historic event, given the authority of the participants -- including Sheikh Ahmed al Kubaisi, acknowledged by all Iraqis as the senior Sunni religious authority (the weekly audience for his Friday sermons, broadcast from Dubai, number 20 million), and Ayatollah Sayyid Ammar Abu Ragheef, chief of staff for Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani, the acknowledged leader of the Shia community in Iraq and beyond. One has only to consider the power of these specific religious leaders, and the instruments at their disposal for getting results, to grasp the gathering's enormous potential importance.

Going well beyond traditional rhetoric in their closing statement late last week, they stated their intention to work for the early issuance of a joint Sunni-Shia fatwa to the Iraqi people. A fatwa such as this will carry the force of law for all followers. Think about that. After more than four years of brutal warfare and untold suffering, the leading religious authorities in Iraq have joined hands and said "Enough," and have committed to use their authority to bring peace to their country.

Why isn't this ANYWHERE in the MSM? A google new search of Robert McFarlane yields only 48 results, and the #4 result is the WSJ article linked above. Most of the results appear to be about a completely different Robert McFarlane! Where's the NYTimes? LATimes? Chicago Trib? CNN? MSNBC? ABC? All the other alphabet soup networks?

No where to be found...

Once again the MSM seems to news that shows the progress we're making in Iraq.

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