Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Iranian Threat - & Presidential Preferences

LTG Ray Odierno calls Iran the greatest long-term threat to Iraq. We are in a shooting war with Iran inside Iraq, where Iraq seeks a weak government that it can influence and control. Beyond Iraq, Iran is an ever-growing apocolyptic threat as it speeds up its development towards a nuclear arsenal. And Iran has weighed in on U.S. politics, making clear who they do and do not want to see in the Oval Office in 2009.

It's long been clear, including to the 300,000 Iraqi Shiites who in November signed a petition decrying Iran's deadly meddling in their country, that Iran poses the greatest long-term threat to Iraq. A few days ago, I wrote in a post that "Iran, long term, poses the most significant threat to Iraq." And yesterday, our second highest ranking general in Iraq, LTG Ray Odierno, stated the same opinion:

Iran may pose the greatest long-term threat to Iraq's stability, a U.S. general said on Tuesday, the day after Iran's president wrapped up a visit to Baghdad.

Army Lt. Gen Ray Odierno, who recently ended a 15-month assignment as the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, said Iran continued to train extremist militia groups in Iraq.

. . . The U.S. military has repeatedly accused Iran of training, supplying and funding Shi'ite militias in Iraq. Iran has denied the accusations.

Ahmadinejad's visit was the first to Iraq by an Iranian president since the two countries fought an eight-year war in the 1980s in which 1 million people were killed.

Iraq's Shi'ite-led government has sought good relations with Iran, another Shi'ite majority country.

But Odierno said he believed Iran wanted Iraq to have only a weak government.

. . . Odierno singled out Iran as a factor of particular concern.

Asked if he saw Iran as the greatest long-term threat to Iraq's stability, he said: "If you ask me what I worry about most, I do. I do worry about that as a long-term threat."

Odierno said he had mentioned Iran in discussions with President George W. Bush at the White House on Monday.

He said the United States had "pretty clear" evidence that Iran was still training Shi'ite "special groups."

He also said U.S. forces in Iraq continued to find many deadly armor-piercing munitions which the U.S. military says come from Iran, but he could not tell whether Iran had slowed the flow of those weapons. . . .

Read the article.

On the nuclear front, Iran is "redoubling" its efforts to enrich uranium, with the latest assessments being that Iran will be capable of producing an atomic by by 2010. Sanctions, even those with some bite, will simply not stop the Iranian theocracy. Despite the ridiculous assertions in our recent NIE to the contrary, Iran is hell bent on developing a nuclear arsenal seemingly at any cost.

And Iran is clear on its choice for President. It's Ministry of Intelligence has produced a bizarre video (pulled from YouTube but still available from the link at MEMRI) about dangerous John McCain - apparently in a conspiracy against Iran with George Soros. (H/T Gateway Pundit) As Gateway Pundit has noted, the theorcracy has already endorsed Obama for President.

If President Bush does not deal with Iran between now and January, 2009, to end their nuclear program, than it is a pretty safe bet that the first 3 a.m. to the White House will concern the mad mullahs.

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