David Blackburn

The insidious fingers of Iran are all over Iraq

The insidious fingers of Iran are all over Iraq
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Wikileaks is the story of the day. The Guardian has extensive coverage of unsubstantiated allegations made by unnamed Iraqis. That is not to prejudge the revelations, just to provide balance against the sensational headlines before proper investigations called for by the UN.

In addition to the alleged atrocities and cover-ups, Wikileaks’ disclosures support what Blair and Bush said and maintain: Iran incited dissidence to exploit instability. In fact, it is still doing so, despite the Obama administration’s protests to the contrary.

The New York Times has eviscerated Biden and Obama this morning. The Telegraph’s Toby Harnden has the best summary of the unfolding debate:

'It seems to me that the most significant revelations from the massive WikiLeaks document dump is the apparent extent of Iran’s nefarious role in Iraq. Remember how we were always being told that the Bush administration was exaggerating the extent of Iranian influence with the Shia militia groups in order to push along a neocon plot to attack Iran? Well, an initial reading of the documents conducted by the New York Times indicates there wasn’t much exaggeration at all.

Come to think of it, None other than Vice President Joe Biden said as recently as August:

Iranian influence in Iraq is minimal. It’s been greatly exaggerated.

So exactly how does that statement square with this from the NYT?

The reports make it clear that the lethal contest between Iranian-backed militias and American forces continued after President Obama sought to open a diplomatic dialogue with Iran’s leaders and reaffirmed the agreement between the United States and Iraq to withdraw American troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.'