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Over 2,953 US deaths in Iraq besides the 170 Bush blames on Iran

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"The Assembly has witnessed over the last weeks how historical truth is established; once an allegation has been repeated a few times, it is no longer an allegation, it is an established fact, even if no evidence has been brought out in order to support it." -- Dag Hammarskjöld, Sweden, Secretary-General, Oct. '60 Is there actually anyone other than Bush apologists and his compromised minions who believe Iran is a significant threat to U.S soldiers in Iraq or anywhere else? The 'evidence' shown to reporters today alleging Iranian assistance to individuals in Iraq who've attacked our soldiers must have been the most unimpressive presentation ever, as the event merited nothing more than two paragraphs from the media which barely mentioned the "evidence" which was supposedly presented along with the Pentagon's charges. Here's the pool report issued right after the "hidden" press conference: "U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq on Sunday presented what officials said was "a growing body" of evidence of Iranian weapons being used to kill coalition soldiers. A senior defense official from the U.S.-led Multi-National Force in Baghdad, told a briefing that 170 coalition forces had been killed by roadside bombs known as explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) that he said were manufactured in Iran and smuggled into Iraq." The reporters who were allowed to attend the "secret" briefing had their cameras, tape recorders, and cell phones taken away, and were prohibited from revealing the names of the three officials who conducted the event. Newsweek's, Babak Dehghanpisheh, reported that the Baghdad briefing had plenty of props. "There were two tables stacked with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, a PowerPoint slide show, and the infamous "explosively formed penetrator," he wrote afterward. Indeed, Newsweek's own Christopher Dickey told MSNBC after the presentation that the military hadn't yet made a solid case against Iran. CNN's Michael Ware echoed the observations, speaking scornfully to Wolf Blitzer about how they "rolled out" the 'experts' and put on a 'dog and pony show'. There are absolutely few details about any actual proof offered about the Iranian government's link to the weapons shown Sunday which is being provided by the media sources who have breathlessly heralded the administration claims without any criticism, and had done nothing for days but repeat the military's accusations with the amazing affirmation that the administration had actually presented them with corroborating 'evidence' which was beyond dispute. The media is falling back into their pre-Iraq invasion role where they lock themselves into presenting accusations as proof as if they're incapable of stepping in front of the administration mouthpieces and laying down some common sense and realism. Even if the media accepted the assertions the 170 deaths were, in fact, caused by some Iranian interference, it certainly hasn't become a moot point that it is the U.S. who is the most pernicious outside influence who is responsible for the deaths of not hundreds of Iraqis, but for the tens of thousands killed as a result of Bush's destabilizing invasion and overthrow of the controlling regime; and for the past regime's replacement with a Shiite-dominated authority which has made no secret about deepening their economic and security ties with Iran in the wake of Saddam's removal from power. The one hundred-seventy U.S. soldiers whose deaths the military attributed to Iran have been killed in Iraq as a direct result of Bush's decision to place and keep them bogged down in the middle of Iraq's civil war, no matter who he claims is ultimately responsible for their demise. There is no question that there is an armed power struggle in Iraq for control of territory and resources. which the U.S., anyway, assumes is their own to trample, dominate, and conquer. But the focus of these latest accusations on Iran is an unmerited distraction from the most aggravating causes of the violence in Iraq which have prevented the new, propped-up Iraqi authority from intimidating the population into accepting their presumptuous rule. It is Bush's insistence on keeping our troops hunkered down in defense of the Maliki regime which has perpetuated the armed resistance from Sunnis and other Iraqis. But, these strident accusations against Iran from the U.S. presume that the beneficiary of the weaponry Bush says is being provided by 'Iran', are the Shias, not the Sunnis, who've been target of U.S. assaults against the 'Iraqi al-Qaeda' in their midst since the beginning of the occupation; often attacked by same the Shiite militias which were part of the new Iraqi forces the U.S. trained and armed. In order to sell this latest distraction, the accusations have to bypass the Shiite-dominated government which relied on the Shias, led by al-Sadr, who allowed the Maliki regime to assume power and perpetuated them with their votes and their participation in the Iraqi parliament. The U.S. accusations have to assume some other branch of Shias, apart from Maliki and Sadr, who they can declare a threat to U.S. troops and interests in the occupied nation. In fact, as Juan Cole pointed out today, "the most fractious Shiites are the ones who hate Iran the most." It will take another suspension of disbelief to buy into the Bush administration's escalating proposition that Iran is, somehow, now a larger threat to Iraqis than Bush's own destabilizing, escalating occupation. It'll take another fearful surrender of our responsibility and right to determine who our "enemies" are for Bush to pull off this latest distraction from his destructive failure in Iraq - like the benefit of doubt Bush was afforded by the American people as they cowered behind his swaggering militarism in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. Bush and his military minions have isolated 170 American deaths in Iraq and are presumably set to avenge them against Iran. One hundred and seventy American soldiers' lives are certainly important enough to highlight and to examine causes and blame for their demise. But this latest focus by the Bush administration on these deaths, and the Iranian influence they say is responsible for the killings, is disproportionate in comparison to the thousands of other U.S. soldiers' deaths in Iraq which are a direct result of Bush's manufactured aggression which he has staged behind the sacrifices of our soldiers. There are over 2,953 U.S. military deaths in Iraq, outside of the 170 the Bush administration wants us to focus on as they single out Iran for their latest diversion from Bush's reckless corralling of our nation's defenders in-between the warring factions, and from his own escalation of assaults on Iraqi communities. Bush is the largest danger in Iraq with the overwhelming force of our military; perpetuating the violence and preventing any reconciliation between Iraqis opposed to the domination of the U.S. junta. There is "a growing body" of evidence that, it is the Bush regime who is most responsible for the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq; both in Bush's destabilizing invasion, and, in his continuing provocations and encouragement of the myriad of Iraqi sects to renewed and increased violence as he continues to direct our soldiers to muckrake through their neighborhoods and communities looking for some validating 'victory' to cap-off his bloody fiasco. Is there anyone left, outside of his defensive cabal and their ignorant minions, who still believes anything Bush is asserting about Iraq? Probably not, but, that hasn't stopped the Bush regime from continually trying to put their Iraq lie over on the rest of us. As Bush postures to avenge the 170 dead Americans that he says Iran helped kill, he shouldn't mind then, as we set out to hold him accountable for the thousands of other soldiers he's sacrificed for his fool's war.

 

Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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