Yuri Shcheglovin (Russia)
The latest leak of classified Pentagon materials on the war in Iraq resembles the last volley of artillery fire before a general offensive. It occurred exactly one week before the US congressional elections. That, of course, was no accident and makes us once again question the “integrity and impartiality” of the Western media. But that concerns us less than another matter.
1. The Pentagon’s position in this whole situation is extremely murky. Its officials talk about what happened as though it were just another mistake by its UAVs somewhere in Pakistan’s tribal zone. But what we have is a huge leak (400 thousand documents actually laid out in chronological order) of classified information from the US headquarters in the region that tells us either: a) there is a mole in the headquarters; or b) Pentagon communications are completely vulnerable to hackers. In either case there should be a thorough and complete investigation by a congressional committee, because it means there is a threat to national security, as a minimum. Nothing of the sort happened after the first leak in July, which, to put it mildly, is hard to understand and gives us a sense of the absurdity of the situation.
It all falls into place, however, if we assume that the leak didn’t result from a penetration by Iraqi insurgents into US Army headquarters (theoretically possible but absurd) or from a hacker attack (also possible, but not over such an extended period of time). Rather, it is evidence of a high degree of “discontent” on the part of specific and conscientious Pentagon leaders. I’m talking about the change in the Iraq war strategy, about marking time and so forth. Generally about everything that annoys any military that has been doggedly shedding its blood and the blood of others by order of the state for a long time and which has been called “war criminals” and “parasites who feed at the public trough and don’t do what they’re supposed to.” The opposition to Barack Obama in the military is very influential and reaches all the way to the top, and that’s very alarming. Hence the Pentagon’s “composure” in this situation, which in any other country would lead to the minister of defense and his entire staff being fired before the day is out.
We find the incident interesting for more reasons that just the internal squabbling in Washington. This “head butting” points to a serious systemic crisis among the US defense officials on whom the “civilized world” has placed its main hope for combating Islamic radicalism. Apparently in vain. Leaked materials like these would affect the backbone of any force structure engaged in fighting terrorism (and not it alone). They not only reveal the tactics used, but the names of agents and sources of information. Any intelligence agency would consider that an extreme crisis because it damages the very mechanism of agent operations. You can’t talk about strengthening the fundamental component of operations after that; you have to expect a severe reaction. This crisis affects all US intelligence agencies without exception because potential sources don’t care specifically who leaked; to them, the Americans and their services are all one mechanism. The Iraqi “boomerang” will definitely have an impact on all efforts by American defense officials in Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan. US intelligence agencies will encounter distrust wherever they are forced to operate. That is the first very negative impact of the actions by irresponsible politicians, and it will last for at least a decade.
2. The new set of documents touches on the issue of the so-called “death squads” and their use for “extrajudicial killings” (assuming the judiciary is relevant in wartime). That is supported by just one fact. In Iraq (and Afghanistan), the Americans are using the only tactic possible in combating an insurgency. We should add that as a rule American advisers are present in all of these “squads.” So we aren’t talking about “knowing and doing nothing,” but about “knowing and supervising.” Twenty five thousand “neutralized” Iraqi citizens who were listed as enemies made up the so-called “sympathizer base” of the militants: couriers, owners of apartments and hideouts, sources of intelligence, guides, inside men, et cetera. That is, people without whom the guerrillas in the mountains or in the cities simply could not fight. They’re usually family members of militants or relatives. Depending on the intensity of the conflict, they could number from one fourth to one third of the total number of insurgents. The arithmetic is simple and tells us that the Americans in Iraq were opposed by up to 100 thousand armed militants. That number can be contained (but not defeated) only by using pure “Gestapo methods,” to which a significant part of the published documents bears witness.
3. The documents have pointed things to say about Iranian involvement, which clearly shows that the scandal’s originators are Republicans, the ones who “started the pot boiling.” Note that there is no tangible evidence (no film, video, testimony of a captured IRGC member, et cetera.). Therefore, the documents talk about how Iran “probably” funds Iraqi Shiite groups, trains them, provides them with explosives, et cetera. That tells us that the Americans have not done a good job of penetrating the Shiite groups and, through them, the IRGC. That’s for openers. Secondly, 85% of all terrorist attacks on Americans or Iraqi government institutions (Shiites or Kurds, by the way) were carried out by the Sunni underground. And about half of the suicide bombers came to Iraq from Syria. For some reason, documents about that have received no publicity, else the anti-Saudi dramatics would have started up again.
The conclusion to be drawn is very simple: the Iranians simply did not need to actively prepare terrorist attacks; Iraq’s Shiite leaders were and are under their control (the latest government crisis and Nouri al-Maliki’s visit to Tehran is evidence enough of that without any leaks). And the Americans were fighting Sunni militants; why interfere? Hence also the absence of factual materials, which does not mean that Mahdi Army fighters aren’t being trained in IRGC camps. But they’re training to fight the Kurds for Kirkuk and the Sunnis for Iraq, not the United States. And the Americans are in fact training Baluchi “ringer” groups to carry out terrorist attacks in Iran. Suffice it to recall Jundallah, which has close ties with al-Qaeda. They were equipped with weapons and provided with funds at US Air Force bases in Kyrgyzstan, which again proves that northern Afghanistan and Central Asia are being transformed into a springboard for American counterterrorist activities in the region after they withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Instead of overthrowing the counterweight to Iranian influence in the form of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the Republicans should have come to an arrangement with it. Now, instead of the obstinate but sane Iraqi dictator, they have to deal with Iran, which is on the verge of going nuclear and which is gaining an increasingly tighter hold on Shiite Iraq.
As a consequence of this shortsighted and self-defeating strategy we are now witnessing a systemic crisis in America’s machinery of government, which is experiencing a crisis of ideas and a lack of qualified leadership and which is being ravaged by mudslinging. As a result, Western civilization is entering a new phase in the struggle against global Islamic terror weak and unprepared, and we will all see that for ourselves in the near future.
Source: New Eastern Outlook