The Final Word on the Dossier of Iranian Weapons

This, I feverently hoped, would be the final word I wrote on the “evidence” that’s been produced by the U.S. government, supposedly demonstrating Iran’s complicity in attacks on coalition forces in Iraq. Alas, I then had to point out that What Really Happened is wrong, again when they assert the Iranian website at the heart of the 81mm mortar flap is a forgery. Oh, well…

First, a final word on the mortars. A now-“corrected” article on a conspiracy-theorist’s website touted the claims that Iran doesn’t make 81mm mortar shells. It’s not true. A number of people have opined something to the effect that “Iran sucks, therefore their military sucks, therefore they use Russian weapons, and Russia only makes 82mm mortars, not 81mm mortars, therefore the whole thing sucks.” (I paraphrase, but not by much.) No, really, Iran uses 81mm mortars, copied from Israeli designs they purchased back when they weren’t part of the Axis of Evil. You know, back when we equipped their air force with F-14 Tomcats…

Others opined that the whole thing was shady, because why would Iran mark their mortars in English? Sorry, they really do that. Fret not, though, because the whole thing is shady. Show me another piece of military equipment stenciled in English, with italic, serif letters; until then, I’m not convinced the markings on the mortar round shown by the Pentagon are legit, or that the round is in any way connected to Iran. Most likely, it’s an Iraqi shell.

Likewise the markings on the mortar tube; they don’t match real Iranian mortar markings, and, besides, as evidence goes, let’s not forget they’re basically cardboard tubes with a conveniently-Iranian fuze number painted on them, about as incriminating as, say, a wooden box stencilled “M16A3”. My point is, you want to show proof of Iranian involvement, show us the actual Iranian fuze, with undisputable markings on the fuze itself. Don’t show the world what could easily be an empty box painted to incriminate the Iranians.

This past summer, Israel seized actual bona-fide Iranian weapons from Hezbollah, with Farsi markings and crests of the Iranian military engraved on them. That’s pretty incontrovertable evidence of Iranian origin for those weapons, and that’s the standard, at a minimum, the U.S. should be asked to produce when claiming Iranian involvement in the Iraqi insurgency. Note that if we were making a serious effort to frame Iran, we could pretty easily get a handful of those ex-Hezbollah weapons from Iran; instead, the Pentagon has stooped to cooking up forgeries and waving around anonymous, widely-exported, widely-copied Soviet-designed weapons that tell us nothing.

Take away the weapons, and you’re left with some homemade EFP IEDs that could have been made anywhere, and a passive infrared sensor that could have been made by anyone; the things are not exactly uncommon, after all. There is some supposedly-Iranian TNT with it’s outer packaging conveniently missing.

Of the whole dossier, the only thing that points anywhere near Iran is the capture of a couple of bona-fide Iranians in Irbil on January 11th of this year, at least one of whom had what might be an identification card from the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. We assert strongly that these folks were not formally recognized as an embassy, but that’s what they were operating as, openly; their presence was no secret. Note we don’t have any stockpiles of cash, seized from their office? No crates of weapons and explosives, found in their basement? Just a purported member or two of their Qods Force.

And just who are the Qods Force? Essentially, they’re the foreign-operations branch of the Corps. My understanding is that if Iran is doing military-ish things outside their own borders, it’s members of the Qods Force doing them. While it’s true they engage in activities we don’t approve of (like terror attacks)… they have a number of other capabilities as well. I have a rhetorical question for the U.S. government – has nobody ever heard of “embassy security“?

To recap: The entire dossier is an absurdity of unsubstantiable allegations, apparently baseless accusations, extremely narrow and pessimistic interpretations of anything and everything, and, in the case of the green-on-green 81mm mortar round, an unconvincing forgery.

It’s bad enough (by far) that the administration seems hell-bent on war with Iran; that they have to resort to false and unverifiable accusations is painful, because it suggests that rather than listen to public opinion (almost universally opposed to attacking Iran) and acting accordingly, they’ve decided in advance on a course of action, and are now trying to manipulate support for those decisions. Again. What’s worse is that they think producing useless, meaningless, and unverifiable “evidence” that’s easily discredited is going to do the job. It’s not like they couldn’t do better; I bet that, for a few tens of thousands of dollars (i.e. pocket change, from the government’s point of view) or even less, the CIA could either get a pallet-full of genuine Iranian weapons, or get someone to produce such convincing forgeries that even the Iranians wouldn’t easily be able to prove them fake. Instead, it looks like we gave the job to a 19-year-old kid in a maintenance unit, who whipped up a couple screen-printing stencils on a computer and used whatever paint happened to be handy.

Look, it’s no reason to wage unprovoked war against them, but Iran isn’t a great country, and we’ve intentionally exiled them to our ideological opposition. I can totally accept spreading lies and talking smack about them; that’s what the State Department is for, after all. But it’s one thing to go around saying “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a catamite, pass it on”, in the hopes that the rumor will get around in Iran and generate a little dissent. Yeah, almost nobody’s going to believe it, but it doesn’t matter. It’s another thing to try and tell lies to your own country and it’s allies as justification for war. Insulting the intelligence of an “enemy” is stupid, but widely accepted. Telling lies to your friends and allies, though, is a good way to ensure that nobody ever answers the phone in your moment of need.

By the way, Fidel Castro is dieing of AIDS, pass it on.

Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on February 14th, 2007| 7 Comments »

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7 Comments

  1. On 2/14/2007 at 4:58 pm Clinton Said:

    OK–it must be hot as hell over there, because now you are blazing!! By far the best commentary I have seen on the fake dossier!

  2. On 2/18/2007 at 1:21 pm James Redford Said:

    Entropic Memes, you wrote: “A now-‘corrected’ article on a conspiracy-theorist’s website touted …”

    By definition you’re a conspiracy theorist as well, Entropic Memes, and hence Slugsite.com is a conspiracy theorist’s website, since you’re putting forth a theory here on your website that the U.S. government is conducting a conspiracy to manufacture evidence against Iran.

    A conspiracy is simply when two or more people take part in a plan which involves doing something unrightful or untoward to another person or other people (of which plan may or may not be kept secret, i.e., secrecy is not a necessary component for actions to be a conspiracy).

    Since obviously more than one person would have to be involved in a plan to manufacture this evidence against Iran, then by definition it would be a conspiracy.

  3. On 2/18/2007 at 2:25 pm Nemo Said:

    Wow, thanks for the deep and insightful commentary, Mr. Redford. Are you aware of the website I’m referring to, above? Are you aware of the views of that site’s author vis-a-vis responsibility for 9/11? His tendency to “blame Israel for everything”? His penchant for using guesswork, flawed logic, leaps of faith, and information either easily proved, or impossible to prove, false in support of his pet theories?

    If, as I surmise, you are some overzealous conspiracist trying to protect your misplaced passion from being sullied by unfavorable, offhand comments, there are better places to waste your time than here.

    If you’re just being an asinine troll, I suggest you seek help. Elsewhere.

  4. On 2/18/2007 at 3:16 pm James Redford Said:

    My above statements are completely factual, Nemo, yet you here express quite a bit of antagonism at having been told true statements. From your present response, you are certainly demonstrating that your devotion to truth is currently far less than stellar.

    As far as the insightfulness of my commentary, if you were already aware that you are by definition a conspiracy theorist (and hence that your website is the website of a conspiracy theorist), then it was dishonest on your part to make that charge against another as if it doesn’t also apply to you.

    So far as conspiracies go, they are ubiquitous (witness all the laws on the books against conspiracy, and how many people are routinely charged under said laws), and the most egregious perpetrators of murderously brutal conspiracies are governments upon their own innocent citizens. More than four times the amount of non-combatants have been systematically murdered for purely ideological reasons by their own governments within the past century than were killed in that same time-span from wars. From 1900 to 1923, various Turkish regimes killed from 3,500,000 to over 4,300,000 of its own Armenians, Greeks, Nestorians, and other Christians. Communist governments have murdered over 110 million of their own subjects since 1917. And Germany murdered some 16 million of it own subjects in the past century. (The preceding figures are from Prof. Rudolph Joseph Rummel’s website at http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/ .)

    All totaled, neither the private-sector crime which government is largely responsible for promoting and causing or even the wars committed by governments upon the subjects of other governments come anywhere close to the crimes government is directly responsible for committing against its own citizens–certainly not in amount of numbers. Without a doubt, the most dangerous presence to ever exist throughout history has always been the people’s very own government.

    Needless to say, all of these government mass-slaughters were conspiracies–massive conspiracies, at that.

  5. On 2/18/2007 at 5:09 pm Nemo Said:

    In little words you can hopefully understand the nuance-free meaning of: What is your point? I have never questioned the accuracy of your long-winded assertions, tedious and unnecessary as they are. I really had no idea why you were bothering to be an ass here, unless, as I suggested in my comment above, you feel some pathological need to defend “conspiracy theories” against perceived slights, or are simply being a troll.

    Having found your website, though, it’s pretty clear that you’re simply a kook. Ciao.

  6. On 2/19/2007 at 2:26 pm James Redford Said:

    Nemo, you wrote: “Having found your website, though, it’s pretty clear that you’re simply a kook. Ciao.”

    That’s the logical fallacies known as an ad hominem attack and a non sequitur. It doesn’t follow that because you disagree with the documentation or conclusions contained on my website that I am a so-called “kook.” Furthermore, such name-calling is a logical fallacy: again, an ad hominem attack. The reason is because it doesn’t establish any error on my part, yet makes pretence at doing so.

    And I’m glad that you here say that you’ve “never questioned the accuracy of [my] long-winded assertions.” But if my above posts are accurate then that logically means that you are guilty of being dishonest (if as you imply that you you were already aware of my point regarding conspiracy theorists), for if you were already aware that you are by definition a conspiracy theorist (and hence that your website is the website of a conspiracy theorist), then it was dishonest on your part to make that charge against another as if it doesn’t also apply to you.

    So to answer your question, that was my point: that you were being hypocritical to make that charge against another as if it doesn’t also apply to you.

    Since you took interest enough to scan over my website (which hasn’t been updated in many years, and so many documentation links on it have gone dead), you may also be interested in the below articles by me which contain massive amounts of hardcore documentation:

    (you will not use this site to promote your vast and bloated body of ridiculous work. I don’t care.)

  7. On 2/19/2007 at 6:43 pm Nemo Said:

    Listen, kook, you are the only one here who has interpreted my reference to a certain other website as that of a conspiracy theorist as anything like an attack, or derogatory comment. You are the only one who has chosen to view such a statement as hypocritical, and you are the only one who cares in the slightest. You rant and rave about logical fallacies, but it is you who has made the biggest one of all, by your narrow-minded assumptions. Capice?

    You are a kook, you are a troll, and you are not welcome here, because like all trolls you have demonstrably proven to have neither the desire or the will to engage in rational conversation. Stop your incessant, pointless, and repetitious commenting, and the shameless and tedious self-promotion. Go away. Get lost. Shoo. Scram. Plonk. Buh-bye. Ciao.