Monday, February 19, 2007

Incompetent, but ...

This morning's L. A. Times online includes screen grabs from Al-Alam Iranian Arabic-language satellite channel. The photos purport to show that materials made in the USA were used in last week's bus bombing in the Sistan-Baluchistan region of Iran along the border with Pakistan.
TEHRAN — Bullet cartridges bearing a U.S. insignia and English lettering were among the weaponry seized last week from Sunni militants suspected of killing 11 members of Shiite-dominated Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, Iranian officials said Sunday.

A photo of the cartridge box, along with an array of other ammunition, was published by Iranian newspapers and news agencies.
Okay. It's been hard to find much the Bush administration has done successfully in their GWOT. And there's clearly no love lost between the Bush administration and Tehran. But leaving a box of 7.62x39 cartridges labeled "Made in USA" at the scene of the crime is either 1) a for-domestic-consumption ploy by the Iranians to hype anti-American sentiment, or 2) the Bush administration rubbing this attack in Tehran's nose to provoke an attack on US Persian Gulf forces to precipitate a new neocon-promoted war, or 3) proof that globalization has succeeded beyond free-traders' wildest dreams.

As much as I'd not be surprised if 2 were true, I vote for both 1 and 3. Click on this link, please. You can buy these cartridges in most any gun store in the U.S., and in bulk at most any gun show. Even the Bush administration is not this un-subtle.

Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner at The Left Coaster concurs:
Even if the United States were behind the operation, it is unlikely the Iranians would find weapons and materials that would be identifiable as American. US organizations that are involved in covert operations are very good about not leaving signatures that can be traced.

That is even more of a concern. The Iranians are choosing to make an issue.
Apparently. The Jerusalem Post reports that:
A Sunni Muslim militant group called Jundallah, or God's Brigade, which has been blamed for past attacks on Iranian troops, had claimed responsibility for Wednesday's bombing when a car bomb blew up a bus carrying Revolutionary Guardsmen, killing 11, in Zahedan.

Iran has accused the United States of backing militants to destabilize the country. Tensions between Teheran and Washington are growing over allegations of Iranian involvement in attacks on US troops in Iraq, and over Iran's controversial nuclear activities.
The Jerusalem Post quotes an Islamic Republic News Agency (INRA) story and an unnamed official as saying "the attacks were part of U.S. plans to provoke ethnic and religious violence in Iran."

One of the suspects arrested for the attacks quickly confessed and was just as quickly executed, INRA reports today.

Brush up on your Farsi.

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