Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Obama military advisor -- Blame Bush for Iran's "bad behavior"

That is one of the most retarded statements that any campaign official could say. Iran's anti-Americanism dates back to the Carter era, but don't let facts stand in the way of retired General, Merill McPeak:

Barack Obama's most senior military adviser says President Bush is to blame for Iran's bad behavior.

This assessment provided to Insight from retired Gen. Merrill McPeak provides a glimpse into how an Obama administration would deal with Iran.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly has referred to the ultimate destruction of Israel; is pursuing nuclear weapons in the opinion of some national security experts; and his Revolutionary Guard is training Iraqis to kill American military personnel in Iraq.

Just last week, Ahmadinejad said of Israel, "The world powers established this filthy bacteria, the Zionist regime, which is lashing out at the nations in the region like a wild beast."

In the view of McPeak, the most senior retired officer to back Obama's presidential run, Iran's behavior is a reaction to Bush's tough talk.

"Iran is a big enemy of al Qaeda," said McPeak, who was the Air Force's chief of staff and a Joint Chiefs member during the presidency of Bush's father.

"They were a big enemy of the Taliban," said the retired four-star general. "They cooperated with us quite completely in the initial phases of our Afghanistan operation. And it was us that insulted them by including them in the 'axis of evil' and making sure they understood we didn't like them very much."

McPeak, an Obama campaign co-chairman, was referring to Bush's post-September 11 speech in which he referred to North Korea, Iraq and Iran as an “axis of evil.”

I don't like berating members of the military, but McPeak is dead wrong. Iran and al-Qaeda have had relations in the past. But I guess he didn't read the 9/11 Commission report on that subject.

Pg. 61 --

"Turabi sought to persuade Shiites and Sunnis to put aside their divisions and join against the common enemy. In late 1991 or 1992, discussions in Sudan between al Qaeda and Iranian operatives led to an informal agreement to cooperate in providing support -- even if only training -- for actions carried out primarily against Israel and the United States. Not long afterward, senior al Qaeda operatives and trainers traveled to Iran to receive training in explosives."

Pg 128 --

"On November 4, 1998, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed its indictment of bin Laden, charging him with conspiracy to attack US defense installations. The indictment also charged that al Qaeda had allied itself with Sudan, Iran, and Hezbollah."

Pgs 240-241 -- (Under the heading of "Assistance from Hezbollah and Iran to al Qaeda")

"As we mentioned in chapter 2, while in Sudan, senior managers in al Qaeda maintained contact with Iran and the Iranian-supported worldwide terrorist organization, Hezbollah, which is based in southern Lebanon and Beirut. Al Qaeda members received advice and training from Hezbollah."

(The remaining paragraphs in the section explicitly detail the involvement al Qaeda had, at the time, with both Hezbollah and Iran.)

In Kenneth Timmerman's "Countdown to Crisis" he states numerous times in the book that al Qaeda and Iran are working allies, and have been for well over a decade. So for General McPeak to allege that there is no connection between al Qaeda and Iran, he is simply wrong. It's also improper for him to make the statement that President Bush is to blame for Iran's behavior.

With regard to Iran's "cooperation" in Afghanistan, that was during the Bonn talks held by us, Iran, and about a dozen other nations that were working to put together a new constitution for Afghanistan. That's all they've done for Afghanistan. Meanwhile, US and NATO forces have noted that Iranian munitions have been discovered in Afghanistan, and a few insurgents there that have been captured admitted to being trained by Hezbollah advisers.

We are trying to prevent Iran from making a nuclear weapon. They refuse to open their sites up to the IAEA, a fact made evident by experts working for the IAEA. Those same people also claimed that Mohammed ElBaradei is deliberately covering up for the Iranians. If that's true, and ElBaradei has denied the allegation, then we have the head of the primary non-proliferation group complicit in the Iranian deception.

Iran's bad behavior is due to their leaders, not us. General McPeak should keep his yap shut unless he has something intelligent and substantive to add to the discourse of the day.

Publius II


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