Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Today's Anti-Iran Info Op Update

The U.S. command in Baghdad is having a little trouble keeping it's message on target.

What can you expect when you have to simultaneously claim -- for two competing reasons -- that things are now getting better and that things are now getting worse.

As part of their "things are getting better" public affairs strategy, they have pointed to July's U.S. combat death toll as being the lowest in a year. You see, things have to be getting better by September so that Gen. Petraeus can come to Washington and paint an optimistic picture to secure the necessary funding to continue the war.

But at the same time, the administration has dictated that the military and OGA conduct an information operation against Iran, in preparation for an attack that may or may not be coming. Herein lies today's "enhanced" allegation against Iran.

Attacks on American-led forces using a lethal type of roadside bomb said to be supplied by Iran reached a new high in July, according to the American military.

The devices, known as explosively formed penetrators, were used to carry out 99 attacks last month and accounted for a third of the combat deaths suffered by the American-led forces, according to American military officials.

"July was an all-time high," Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the No. 2 commander in Iraq, said in an interview, referring to strikes with such devices. ...

American intelligence says that its report of Iranian involvement is based on a technical analysis of exploded and captured devices, interrogations of Shiite militants, the interdiction of trucks near Iran's border with Iraq and parallels between the use of the weapons in Iran and in southern Lebanon by Hezbollah.

Some critics of Bush administration policy, saying there is no proof that the top echelons of Iran’s government are involved, accuse the White House of exaggerating the role of Iran and Syria to divert attention from its own mistakes.

According to American military data, penetrator attacks accounted for 18 percent of combat deaths of Americans and allied troops in Iraq in the last quarter of 2006. The number of such attacks declined in January, and some American officials thought at that time that this might be a response to their efforts to publicly highlight the allegations of an Iranian role.

But in recent months such attacks have risen steadily.

The July figure is roughly double the number for January. The total for July is also 50 percent higher than in April, when there were 65 penetrator attacks, according to American military officials.


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