Thursday, July 09, 2009
The (Free) Irbil Five: Meeting Iranís Preconditions [Steve Schippert]
Immediately, the context you need: Since the beginning of U.S. operations in Iraq in 2003, fully 10 percent of our combat fatalities there have come at the hands of just one Iranian weapon — the EFP (Explosively Formed Penetrator), designed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps specifically to penetrate the armor of the M1 Abrams main battle tank and, consequently, everything else deployed in the field. It is how the Iranian regime has been killing your sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers serving in Iraq.
I’ll wager you were not aware of that rather damning statistic. How do I know it? Well . . . I asked a friend in the Pentagon in 2007. If ambitious journalists would like to share this with their readers and viewers, please do. The numbers are not secret; I am sure they have even been updated. Perhaps they were published elsewhere around the same time. If they were, chances are you never saw it. And those who have seen the figure likely saw it right here at The Tank on National Review Online. Because I wrote it. Over and over.
If you're not pissed off yet just by the context, maybe you will be when you consider today’s news. And you thought freeing jihadi Gitmo detainees to beach resorts in Bermuda was an assault on reason?
Now President Obama, in his breathless quest for a pointless international stage-show starring himself and Iran’s messianic president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has decided to release the Irbil 5 — Iranian Quds Force agents detained in a January 2007 raid on their safehouse in Irbil, Iraq. Oh, I’m sorry. I meant to say the Iranian “consulate” in Irbil. That it never had diplomatic status is just one of those silly details that clutter up the narrative. Kind of like that pesky little “10 percent” detail.
Michael Ledeen provided an introduction to this earlier at The Corner. Permit me to quickly give you a rundown. And if you don’t leave furious after reading it, you should have perhaps checked for a pulse before you showed up.
Five men, Iranian terror facilitators who were key to ensuring that the maximum number of your brothers and sisters would die inside combat vehicles without saying goodbye, are now free be recycled back into service for the Iranian regime’s terror machine.
While the Associated Press is already dutifully referring to the Irbil Five as “diplomats,” let’s just put to the side for a moment their specific job titles. Let’s also set aside that referring to them as “diplomats” is ignoring the U.S. military’s adamant insistence that they are no such thing, but rather Quds Force operatives — one of them a very senior officer, at that. The American military is not to be trusted, of course. But the AP, well, they’re the watchdogs, dontchaknow . . . Perhaps an AP scribe is calling the Pentagon right this very second asking how many U.S. soldiers and Marines have been killed by Iranian EFPs. In theory, it is possible.
As far as Iranian diplomats go, let’s keep in mind that it was the Iranian ambassador to Syria, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi, who coordinated the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, snuffing out 241 Marines and ushering in another quaint Iranian innovation: Suicide truck bombings — and simultaneous coordinated suicide bombings at that.
The administration is already spinning the release of the Irbil Five as business as usual. One article I noticed early in the day noted that the release of the Iranians was already planned as part of the disengagement agreement the administration reached with Iraq to free prisoners before the end of this year.
That’s a load of bunk. Why? Because within the context of what Iran is already doing to its own people, including again today in streets across Iranian cities, the principled decision would be to pull the rug on any plans to release any of the Iranian regime's thugs, operatives, or representatives. The explanation that this was already long in the works, as if the Obama administration just never noticed it, does not wash. The Obama administration is not stupid or unaware. It may be foolish in the decisions it makes, but not for lack of knowledge or awareness.
This is simply the next concession handed to the Iranian regime, the foremost state sponsors of terrorism in the world — the head of the snake, by the new American president.
All for what? To “reset” relations? To bring them to the table, where the president will cast his spellbinding charm upon them? Or is it simply to satisfy an ego-driven campaign commitment to stage the greatest international-relations vaudeville act since Neville Chamberlain’s good-faith meeting with Der Fuehrer?
Candidate Obama said famously that he would hold talks with the Iranian regime “without preconditions.” Oh, really? Perhaps he was just not specific enough to overtly say “without American preconditions.” It seems Iran has set preconditions of its own.
And President Obama is obliging at every turn. Mum and dispassionate on the Iranian slaughter of its own people while the world’s most evil regime is challenged from within; affording them an astounding American presidential statement that Iran has a right to nuclear technology; and now releasing five Quds Force operators with American and Iraqi blood on their hands back to the terror regime.
The Obama administration has already let slip from time to time that they expect little to come of meetings, discussions, and negotiations with the intransigent Iranian regime, which insists — with the aid of our own president, it should be noted — that nuclear technology is its right. Perhaps the administration is once again planting seeds that it hopes will stay obscured for now — so that later, when Ahmadinejad and Khamenei stay true to form and talks fail, Mr. Gibbs can say from the White House press-room podium, “Look, we said long ago that the likelihood of success was slim.”
All the while, in order to play high-profile charades with the foremost state sponsor of terrorism, an exchange is made. Four Quds Force operators and at least one senior Quds Force commander are returned to Iranian circulation. And in return we get . . . well, nothing. The administration hopes that Iran will change its mind and come to the picture show. You know, the one where the administration quietly doesn’t expect the Iranians to stop their race for nuclear weapons anyway? Yeah, that show. Hopenchange.
Compelling, isn’t it?
One thing is for certain. Our forces are less safe in Iraq because of the liberation of the Artists Formerly Known as the Irbil Five. And America has never appeared feebler in the eyes of her deadly enemies.
07/09 07:13 PMShare