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Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Help wanted.

'Government of major North American country needs independent contractors to carry out covert operations and intelligence gathering in major oil producing nation south of the Caspian Sea. Familiarity with Khuzestan and Baluchistan a plus. History of terrorist activities and past association with the Axis of Evil are no problem.'

That's pretty much the job ad that Donald Rumsfeld could have placed when he started looking for someone to forment trouble inside Iraq. And, according to Larisa Alexandrovna at Raw Story, the Defense Department's chosen agents are the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), a group on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations. And, incidentally, Saddam Hussein's choice when he wanted to cause trouble in Iraq. Intelligence source told Alexandrovna that the MEK is already active inside Iran, carrying out activities in preparation for a US strike against the country. And, interestingly, the main mover behind the decision to use the MEK is reported to be none other than that great Mideast expert, VP Dick Cheney.

If the idea of using the MEK as a US surrogate sounds familiar, it should. Back in 2003, I posted this excerpt from a Knight Ridder report on how destablilizing Iran was already on the Dubya administration's to-do list:

Officials in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's office are using both issues to press their view that the United States should adopt both overt and covert measures to undermine the Islamic regime in Tehran, said the officials, who are involved in the debate. Other officials argue that such a campaign would backfire by discrediting the moderate Iranians who are demanding political reforms.

Although one senior official engaged in the debate said "the military option is never off the table," others said no one was suggesting an invasion of Iran, although some officials think the United States should launch a limited air strike on Iran's nuclear weapons facilities if Iran appears on the verge of producing a nuclear weapon. By some estimates, Iran could have a nuclear weapon within two years.

Some Pentagon officials suggested using the remnants of an Iranian opposition group once backed by Saddam Hussein, the Mujahedeen Khalq (MEK), to instigate armed opposition to the Iranian government. U.S. military forces in Iraq have disarmed the roughly 6,000-strong MEK, which is on the State Department's list of foreign terrorist groups. But the group's weapons are in storage and it hasn't disbanded.
[My emphasis]

If the Raw Story report is confirmed, it means that Rumsfeld, the Pentagon, and the White House have learned even less from their mistakes in Iraq than even this magpie suspected. After all, it doesn't take a Ph.D. in history to know what happened the last time the US started supporting terrorists to destabilize one of the region's governments.

Can you say 'Afghanistan', Dubya? Or 'Taliban,' Mr Cheney?

| | Posted by Magpie at 3:43 PM | Get permalink




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