Mitt Romney’s Many Faces

 

Mitt Romney’s Many Faces

When RedState editor Erick Erickson announced he was “done” the “Multiple Choice Mitt,” it set off a heavy discussion around the blogosphere about Mitt’s viability. I particularly like Ruth Marcus’ take in the Washington Post:

Listening to Romney that day was like watching a chameleon in the fleeting moment that its color changes to suit its environment.

These skeptics are not alone, and the buildup to this opposition has been a long time running. As recently as his 2002 campaign for governor, Romney advocated a strong pro-choice stance. Then came the discovery of this video, highlighting the liberal positions Romney took in his 1994 Senate race.Although abortion is likely the most controversial leftist position Romney has reconsidered, it is by no means the only one. He has changed his position on gays in the military, supporting the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy after opposing it during the 90’s. Romney also supported a federal gas tax hike and opposed Bush’s tax cuts as late as 2003. Perhaps the most egregious sin in the eyes of some conservatives was the revelation that Romney voted for Democrat Paul Tsongas in the 1992 Massachusetts primary and then changed his story on why he did it.

Most of this probably comes as little surprise to pundits familiar with Massachusetts politics. But to most of the country this only reinforces an already skeptical view of the man. As this Gallup poll reveals, not a lot of people have heard of him, but the more they hear, the more his unfavorables rise. The GOP can do better.

Related ITA entries:

“Make Room for Mitt?” by D. Darlington
“Romney’s Pro-Life Rumblings” by S. Zirkle

 

Posted by Joshua Claybourn at February 22, 2007 09:27 AM

Democrats Still Playing Games With Critical Issues

Democrats Still Playing Games With Critical Issues




by Christopher Adamo

 

America has just witnessed another amazing episode of hypocrisy from the left, specifically, the recent controversy over former Vice-President Al Gore’s extravagant usage of a private jet. But while breathtaking, given his status as supposed high priest of environmental awareness, Gore’s behavior is also entirely typical. As such, it is illustrative of the real arrogance and indifference driving American liberals.

 

Issues of the day are never determined as a result of the concerns and needs of the citizens, but rather by their ability to be utilized to further accrue prestige (and thus, power) to the political left. Within this framework, amazing “about faces” regularly occur. And some of them vastly eclipse former presidential candidate John Kerry’s schizophrenic proclamation of “I actually voted for the 87 billion dollars before I voted against it.”

 

On occasion, certain Democrats such as Hillary Clinton have strayed too far off of the liberal reservation, at which point they are taken to task for their duplicity. Since declaring her intentions to run for President, Clinton has had to perform an impressive political tap-dance away from her previously staunch support for the Iraq war.

 

Conservative leaders correctly characterize the Democrat Party as having a vested interest in securing defeat in Iraq. Consequently, any postures by Clinton that might appear to support America and thereby jeopardize the desired outcome, run counter to the current leftist orthodoxy and cannot be tolerated.
 

More often than not however, ideologues of the political left are content to ignore the glaring inconsistencies among their members, since they know that the “mainstream” media will never point such contradictions out to the general public. A few sterling examples of recent weeks, when considered in conjunction with the virtual media blackout in response to them, prove this point.

 

It is striking that, at the same time Gore’s fossil fuel squandering escapades are coming to light (at least among the “alternative media” and conservative circles), Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has brazenly voiced a demand for the Defense Department to provide her a Boeing 757, essentially for her personal use.

 

Her pretext for insisting on such lavish arrangements is that she needs to be able to travel coast-to-coast without stopping to refuel. Yet past speakers managed to scrape by with a commuter class Gulfstream jet, which is fully capable of making the non-stop trips to Pelosi’s home district in California, rendering her excuse to be wholly without merit.

 

So, where are the sincere liberal environmentalists (an oxymoron to be sure) who should be decrying Pelosi’s excesses along with Gore’s, as they callously risk the very future of the planet? Their cause being deemed so noble and worthy, Gore and Pelosi get a “pass,” as is invariably the case among liberal icons.

 

No doubt the eco-Nazis will rediscover the extremes of environmental harm from jets, both commercial and private class, on the very day a Republican again becomes House Speaker. In the meantime, they are no more likely to take issue with Pelosi than they were with Clinton Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary and her massive celebrity-cruise style “fact finding” junkets.

 

No less of an outrage is apparent in the words of “decorated war hero” (now also a distinguished “hero” of Al Qaeda) John Murtha. Both in regards to the Pelosi jet controversy and his efforts to thwart those who want to secure the country from future terrorist attacks, Murtha has again displayed his true loyalties. And they clearly lie with the liberal cause, at the expense of the rest of the country.

 

Murtha took the occasion of Pelosi’s jet tantrum to level a threat against the Pentagon, warning that defense funds would be cut unless the Speaker’s self-serving stipulation is met. It is grimly telling that, in Murtha’s mind, military expenditures are entirely flexible, based not on the defense needs of the country, but instead on whether or not his cronies are properly indulged.

 

The needs of the troops, so loudly proclaimed by the left when those troops were supposedly being denied battle armor, are now entirely negotiable. Of course the body-armor controversy was never about the troops either. It merely served as an excuse to attack then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

 

Not surprisingly, Murtha’s treachery against the military goes even further still. He has been caught on video, gloating that he will logistically starve our troops by denying supplies and reinforcements, ultimately forcing an American retreat from Iraq. Any war strategist knows the importance of cutting an enemy’s supply lines. Murtha is accomplishing nothing less than a rout on behalf of the terrorists.

 

Thus Murtha dispels any lingering doubts as to whose side he has taken in the terror war. Yet according to Murtha and his comrades, we should be much more concerned over the “national security threat” ostensibly resulting from the squabble between old-media hack Tim Russert and former Cheney Chief of Staff Scooter Libby.

 

“Global warming” scares are proving to be nothing more than the normal cyclical patterns of weather combined with the standard selective liberal alarmism. In stark contrast, the terror threat is real. Its horrific scope was made known to us once already. If we have not learned the necessary lessons of that event, we will be shown again.

 

Meanwhile, Democrats play ghoulish games with this and every other potentially volatile situation in hopes of reaping political gains from them.

 

Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer and staff writer for the New Media Alliance. He lives in southeastern Wyoming. He has been active in local and state politics for many years. His contact information and archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com

Syria’s unprecedented arms build up

Catholic Church lobbies for open borders

U.S. troops find large amounts of chemicals in car bomb factory raid

U.S. troops find large amounts of chemicals in car bomb factory raid

Chemical Jihad Update. “U.S. troops find chemicals in Iraq raid,” from AP:

BAGHDAD, Iraq – U.S. troops raided a car bomb factory west of Baghdad with five buildings full of propane tanks and ordinary chemicals the military believes were to be used in bombs, a spokesman said Thursday, a day after insurgents blew up a truck carrying chlorine gas canisters.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said the chlorine attack Wednesday — the second such “dirty” chemical attack in two days — signaled a change in insurgent tactics, and the military was fighting back with targeted raids.

“What we are seeing is a change in the tactics, but their strategy has not changed. And that’s to create high-profile attacks to instill fear and division amongst the Iraqi people,” he told CNN. “It’s a real crude attempt to raise the terror level by taking and mixing ordinary chemicals with explosive devices, trying to instill that fear within the Iraqi people.”

But he suggested the strategy was backfiring by turning public opinion against the insurgents, saying the number of tips provided by Iraqis had doubled in the last six months.

One of those tips led U.S. troops to a five separate buildings near Fallujah, where they found the munitions containing chemicals, three vehicle bombs being assembled, including a truck bomb, about 65 propane tanks and “all kinds of ordinary chemicals,” Caldwell said. He added that he believed the insurgents were going to try to mix the chemicals with explosives.

“Ordinary,” perhaps, but there are many such chemicals that weren’t meant to be burnt or inhaled, not to mention the myriad unsafe combinations of otherwise generally harmless substances that could increase the body count, as well as the level of panic, that a car bomb can cause.

Reports on Iran’s Nuclear Progress

Reports on Iran’s Nuclear Progress

Recently, the Iranian media have been citing Western sources on accelerated Iranian nuclear activity. It should be stressed that so far, the Iranian regime has neither denied nor confirmed any of these reports.

The Nine Tons of UF6 Gas Brought to Natanz Could Be Used for One Atom Bomb

On February 20, 2007, the conservative Iranian news agency Aftab said, in a report attributed to Western sources, that Iran had “at the beginning of the month transferred a container of nine tons of UF6 gas to the nuclear facilities at Natanz. If they wanted to, the Iranians could [now], using this gas, operate a number of centrifuges… If these nine tons of UF6 in this container undergo an enrichment process, it will be possible to produce from them a single atom bomb.” [1]

On February 20, 2007, the ISNA news agency reported that diplomatic sources in Vienna had told it that “in early February 2007, Iran had transferred nine tons of UF6 from the nuclear facilities in Isfahan to the subterranean nuclear facilities at Natanz, in which centrifuge installation began last month.” [2]

On February 22, 2007, the reformist online daily Rooz wrote that this was the joyous news that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had intended to present at nuclear celebrations following the “Ten Days of Fajr” in early February.

Kayhan: With “One More Step in its Nuclear Program,” Iran “Will Force the World to Treat it As It [i.e. Iran] Wants”

Since early February, a number of reports have appeared in the Iranian media that could hint at this accelerated nuclear activity. In a February 4, 2007 editorial, the Iranian daily Kayhan, which is close to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, stated that Iran’s nuclearization was a fait accompli, and that the West had no choice but to live with a nuclear Iran: “After a period of relative calm, Iran’s nuclear dossier is facing important changes [which] will rapidly change the fate of many issues, and could end in very important results that are different from the past. Iran is about to move ahead one more step in its nuclear program… [which] will force the world to look at Iran in a completely different way and to treat it as it [i.e. Iran] wants…

“The [U.N.] Security Council has asked Iran to suspend all activity connected to enrichment, but the Iranian engineers at the Natanz subterranean [nuclear facilities] are preparing the advanced steps for installing 3,000 centrifuges. [With this], regardless of the West’s reaction to it, in another few months [Iran’s nuclear program] will finally be crowned with success…

“Iran will impose its aspiration to nuclearize on those Westerners [who want to keep nuclear programs for themselves alone]. In fact, if the Westerners think a little logically, and open their eyes, they will see that ultimately, they can do nothing, and that the nuclear Iran has already broken forth… Not a single Western commentator believes that a military attack can completely stop Iran’s nuclear program… The only thing that would come after [such an attack] would be Tehran’s continuation of its [nuclear] program, with greater impetus… The West has no choice [but] to think about life alongside a nuclear Iran…” [3]

“A Nuclear Iran… Is a Fact… That Others Must Accept In Order to Safeguard Their Legitimate Interests”

In a February 5, 2007 article, the weekly Sobh-e Sadeq, which is the mouthpiece of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei circulated among the Revolutionary Guards, Revolutionary Guards Political Bureau director General Yadollah Javani spoke of Iran’s continued nuclear progress: “…Despite the Americans’ imagined success in sending [Iran’s nuclear] dossier back to the Security Council and in passing Resolutions No. 1696 and 1737, the ineffectuality of the passage of this resolution becomes clearer by the day, in light of Iran’s opposition and its continued nuclear activity… Thus, nuclear Iran, strong and influential among the countries of the region… is a fact and a living truth which others must accept in order to safeguard their legitimate interests.” [4]


[1] Aftab, Iran, February 20, 2007.

[2] ISNA, Iran, February 20, 2007.

[3] Kayhan (Iran), February 4, 2007.

[4] Sobh-e Sadeq (Iran), February 5, 2007.

Left vs right

Left vs right

 One day a florist goes to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he
 asked about his bill and the barber replies: “I’m sorry, I cannot
 accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week”. The
 florist is pleased and leaves the shop.
 Next morning when the barber goes to open there is a thank you card
 and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

 Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his
 bill the barber again replies: “I’m sorry, I cannot accept money
 from you; I’m doing community service this week.” The cop is happy
 and leaves the shop.
 Next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a thank you
 card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

 Later a Republican comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay
 his bill the barber again replies: “I’m sorry, I cannot take money
 from you; I’m doing community service this week.” The Republican is
 very happy and leaves the shop.
 Next morning when the barber goes to open, there is a thank you card
 and a dozen different books such as “How to Improve Your Business”
 and “Becoming More Successful.”

 Then a Democrat comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his
 Bill the barber again replies: “I’m sorry, I cannot accept money
 from you; I’m doing community service this week.” The Democrat is
 very happy and leaves the shop.
 The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen
 Democrats lined up waiting for a free haircut.

 And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between
 left and right.
 God Bless America!

WHAT TO DO ABOUT KYOTO

http://www.conservativejoe.com/  

  

WHAT TO DO ABOUT KYOTO
by John Lawrence

Liberal MP Pablo Rodriquez congratulates himself on something he doesn't quite understandWith the three Canadian opposition parties joining together to force the present Conservative government to honour Canada’s catastrophic commitment to Kyoto, Prime Minister Stephen Harper finds himself between a rock and a hard place.

Being told he must now do, by law, what the Liberals themselves failed to do with a majority mandate, Stephen Harper has two choices. He can abide by the new law or let his government fall. While the act compelling our government to enact legislation and to table a plan within 60 days is not yet officially the law of the land, it will no doubt sail through the Liberal dominated Senate, thus becoming a reality.

So, what is Mr. Harper to do about Kyoto? I have a few suggestions. They may sound outrageous, but given the timetable which the Liberals and NDP feel comfortable foisting upon Canadians, there is little room to maneuver.

Here is my short list:

1) Place an immediate ban on any scientist, their families immediate and extended, and any member of the World Wildlife Fund, the Sierra Club, and a host of other militant, political, environmental lobbies from owning, driving, and/or riding in a private vehicle. They must now use public transit for any and all transportation.

2) Close our borders immediately. There will be an immediate cessation of any immigration. Any non-resident who leaves our country will not be allowed to return and any non-resident not already within our borders will be denied entry. Our national birthrate is so low that our population should immediately begin to plummet. This will reduce our Co2 emissions.

3) End any and all grain and oil exports. While these do feed and fuel the needs of millions of foreigners, these goods need to be transported, thus creating Co2 emissions. Bad. Very bad.

4) Close the oil sands. Of course foreign investment would flee, but to hell with it. The oil sands are dirty. Just think of the thousands of people who will lose their shirts when real estate plummets in Alberta. This is good. Poor people don’t buy new goods, thus further reducing our Co2 emissions.

5) Immediately step down and install a temporary NDP government. World history shows that any nation ruled by Socialists fails quickly, with productivity plummetting exponentially. This will allow Canada’s Co2 targets to be met.

6) Pass draconian laws forbidding Canadians from copulation. Births create humans, humans hurt the planet. Childbirth must be STOPPED!

7) Enact legislation requiring all workers to work 40 hours straight with no breaks. That way, we can reduce the trips in our cars to and from work by an immediate 80%.

8) Place obscene taxes on gasoline, thereby inhibiting its purchase. We already have these, they simply need to be multiplied a few times.

9) Restrict the building of homes. Require all low and middle income earners to live together in communal buildings. This will conserve energy. (The wealthy will be exempt from this. We DON’T want a revolution, you know.)

10) Create huge human-powered turbines which, when thousands of people pedal, create huge energy stores. Require all able-bodied Canadians to give 15 minutes a week to pedal our way to a greener world.

11) Immediately begin to disassemble our transportation infrastructure, leaving only enough roadway for the almighty TTC to use.

12) Immediately ban the use of any outdoor pleasure equipment that runs on fossil fuels. Fun is for earth-killers! No more snowblowers, lawnmowers, or outboard motors either. Paddles are in, as is long grass for hide-and-seek. The ban on snowblowers will cause more heart attacks as older people shovel, thus compounding the Co2 reductions.

13) Ensure that all new housing contains no electrical wiring. No power = no Co2 emissions.

14) Duplicate the blackout of 2003 on an annual basis. Turn everything off for 30 days, effecting a direct 8.3% reduction in Co2 emissions from our energy producers with untold spinoffs throughout the country.

While each of these sounds absurd, I can guarantee you that the end result of each would be lower Co2 emissions. And after all, that is the new god of liberalism. Nothing else matters, does it?

We will submit. All Hail, Mr. Suzuki.

Media Suddenly Discovers US Has Allies in Iraq

  http://dearbornunderground.blogspot.com/

  

Media Suddenly Discovers US Has Allies in Iraq

In an AP story published in both the Detroit News (“Does Blair’s move doom coalition?”) and the Detroit Free Press (“‘Coalition of willing’ is wilting”) on Thursday, something like a full list itemizing the number of allies fighting with the United States in Iraq appeared for the first time since March 2003. Up until now such lists have been conspicuously absent, as they are direct evidence that the United States was not acting “unilaterally” in Iraq, or that the President was not “going it alone” and behaving like a “cowboy.”

For four years the existence of a coalition has been one of the most under-reported facts of all the under-reported facts about the war.

But today, it’s finally all right to print a list, as mentioning America’s allies helps in reporting how they’re all abandoning Iraq.

Rush Limbaugh had a similar observation yesterday, when he played a montage of sound bites from several giddy newscasters declaring that Tony Blair’s announcement of a withdrawal of some 1,600 troops from southern Iraq was proof positive that the coalition allies are abandoning the Iraq war even more precipitously than the Democratic Congress:

“ED HENRY: No matter how the White House tries to play this, this is clearly a blow to Mr. Bush, when you combine it with what’s just crossing the hours over the last hour or so that Denmark is also going to pull its troops from Iraq. The perception is reality, and the perception is that US allies are now walking away, and they’re shunning what Mr. Bush has repeatedly said, that setting a timetable and withdrawing troops is not the right way to go. His allies are now walking away.

“RUSH: We did a Nexis search here, folks, this morning because I could not ever recall Ed Henry at CNN telling us that Denmark had troops in Iraq. I never knew from CNN that Denmark was part of our coalition. So we did a LexisNexis search, and we can’t find, of all the CNN transcripts, we cannot find a day prior to today where CNN reporter Ed Henry ever reported that Denmark has troops in Iraq.”

Note how Ed Henry also falls back on the “perception is reality” slogan, which as a general proposition is both irrational and untrue. Perception is not reality. For that matter, notice how he relies on the “perception” that “US allies are now walking away,” and insisting on “setting a timetable,” even when that is demonstrably not the reality–as Tony Blair made perfectly clear in his announcement on Tuesday that British troops would be expected to remain in Iraq at least through 2008, and that further withdrawals would be “condition-based,” not based on any timetable.

But when you want to accomplish a reality by manipulating perception, it’s best to create the perception first, then call it reality. That’s how Walter Cronkite did it when he called the US victory during the Tet offensive a US defeat.

It isn’t all the media’s fault that the number and identities of coalition partners has remained a secret. (Did you know Georgia contributed 900 soldiers? El Salvador 380? Poland 600?). Since March 2003 the President has wasted opportunities during every speech he gave on Iraq to painstakingly itemize every nation in the coalition, especially during his State of the Union speeches. He could have listed them slowly to give the cameras time to pan to irritated Democrats who’d shot their faces off accusing him of acting unilaterally, and at the same time the slow build up of nations would give his supporters something to cheer for.

Yes, most of the coalition nations have sent only token forces. But Blair is only withdrawing 1,600 troops, and look at how much “perception” the Left is getting out of that? And more important, even one token troop is a token of that nation’s endorsement of the President’s policy in Iraq. And a better use of those tokens sure could have been made to shut up the left’s whining that the “whole world” has been against us on the Iraq war.

Too bad. Now it’s getting late to advance the perception of that reality.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards ARE the Regime

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards ARE the Regime

By Clare M. Lopez

When President Bush recently answered a reporter’s question about Iranian shipments to Iraq of lethal explosive devices, he was very careful to avoid assigning direct responsibility to the highest levels of the clerical regime. He needn’t have been.
Asked what made him so certain that “the highest levels of Tehran’s government” are responsible for supplying the deadly IEDs called Explosively Formed Penetrators to Iraq, the president answered, “We don’t know…whether the head leaders of Iran ordered” the shipment of lethal explosive devices to Iraq for use against American troops. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns also tip-toed tentatively around the question in a 14 Feb 07 appearance at the Brookings Institute, where he, too, declined to charge the Iranian regime with direct responsibility for the presence of these weapons in the hands of Iraqi terrorist militias.
This kind of misplaced deference to a regime dedicated to the defeat of democracy in Iraq serves only to embolden the aggressive, repressive, and extremist Shi’ite clerics who run Iran today. Let us be very clear about what is really happening: the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and secure Iraq on its western border poses a direct and unbearable threat to the totalitarian theocratic police state that Iran has become since its 1979 Revolution. While its clerical leadership does not want Iraq to descend into complete chaos, neither is it prepared to permit it to develop peacefully into a modern democracy allied with the United States.
That is why its policy since the initiation of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003 has been to flood the country with agents from its Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS, otherwise known by its Farsi acronym, VEVAK) and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The task of Iran’s VEVAK and IRGC operatives is to infiltrate the Iraqi government at every level and manage the liaison relationship with terrorist militias wreaking havoc across Iraq.

Iran seeks to export its Islamic Revolution and ideology, known as the Velayat-e Faqih (Rule of the Jurisprudent), to Iraq and other regional neighbors, such as Lebanon. Iran wants to create Islamic regimes ruled by Shari’a (Islamic law) and headed by Shi’ite clergy in as many places as it can; this is the menacing vision that Jordan’s King Abdullah referred to as the spreading “Shi’ite crescent”. It does not include concepts of democracy, civil society, equal opportunity for all, or rule of man-made law.
Iran really has a dual objective: the ideological leadership of the radical Islamist movement and regional geo-strategic expansion. To achieve this, it deploys its assets, including the IRGC, irregular Bassij forces, and VEVAK. Each of these is an integral element of the Iranian regime and comes under the direct control of the Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The current IRGC commander, Major General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, does not report to Iran’s Minister of Defense, but rather to the Supreme Leader.
The IRGC was formed in the early days of the Iranian Revolution specifically to guard and preserve the Revolution at home and export it abroad; the national armed forces were assigned the defense of the country’s borders and sovereignty, but the IRGC was to ensure the survival of the Revolution itself. It was the threat of just such action in Iraq that helped precipitate Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran in September 1980. The Marine Barracks were blown up in Lebanon in 1983 under the command of IRGC Brigadier General Hussein Moslehi, commander of the Lebanon Brigade. Another IRGC commander, Brigadier General Muhammad-Ja’afar Sahraroudi, was the field commander assigned to the 1989 assassination of Kurdish Democratic Party leader, Abdul-Rahman Qassemlou, in Vienna, Austria. Today, the IRGC is assigned responsibility for both Iran’s Shahab missile program and its nuclear weapons program.
The Qods Force (Jerusalem Force) is an integral unit of the IRGC. Formed in 1990, the secretive Qods force is responsible for commanding, planning, and executing the extra-territorial operations of the IRGC. Its commander and General Staff report directly to the Supreme Leader. In effect, this makes the Qods Force the terrorist wing of the Iranian regime. The Qods Force deploys its terrorist operatives across the world to equip, train, and support terrorist operations and cells in Bosnia, Chechnya, Lebanon, North and South America, Europe, Northern Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere. The Qods Force is the unit charged with liaison with Al-Qa’eda; it is under their “supervision” that Usama bin Laden’s two sons and military operations chief have enjoyed safe haven inside Iran for the last five years. In addition to its military mission, the Qods force also deploys a political staff charged with export of the Iranian regime’s radical ideology to neighboring regions, such as Iraq.
In Iraq, the IRGC Qods Force has been heavily involved for over three years to build, arm, finance, and train an extensive network of terrorist groups, including both Sunnis and Shi’ites, to ensure the perpetration of vicious sectarian violence and a never-ending situation of instability that will bleed American forces and prevent the emergence of a secure democracy there. The IRGC Qods Force was the principal sponsor of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and continues to provide the same kind of support to Moqtada al-Sadr, the Shi’ite rabble rouser. Brigadier General Abtahi is the Qods Force theatre commander in Iraq and operates from a tactical command center called the Fajr Base, located in southwestern Iran in the city of Ahwaz. Within Iraq itself, the Qods Force base of operations is centered in Najaf. A chain of factories strung out along the Iranian side of the border with Iraq, and under the sole control of the IRGC Qods Force, is the verified source of those deadly IEDs, about which President Bush spoke so carefully; markings on fragments of Explosively Formed Penetrators used against American troops in Iraq identify them irrefutably as of Iranian manufacture.
When U.S. forces raided Iran’s “consulate” in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil in January 2007, one of those detained there was the Qods Force operations chief, Hassan Abasi, who is a ranking strategic advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (himself a former IRGC commander). In early February 2007, it became known that hundreds of Austrian Steyr H550 sniper rifles exported legally to Iran in 2006 have been discovered in the hands of Iraqi terrorists.
It is time to state clearly to the American people what our military commanders in Iraq have known for years now: the Iranian regime directly deploys its IRGC Qods Force operatives inside Iraq to support terrorist attacks that kill American soldiers. There is no question that they are there-our forces have been capturing, killing, and deporting them back to Iran by the dozens. There is also no question that these forces operate under the direct command and control of the Iranian regime. There is zero possibility that IRGC Qods Force “rogue” elements either exist or operate outside of the strict control of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the clerical clique that forms the top echelon of the Iranian regime. In this hierarchy, the “democratic” administration of President Ahmadinejad wields only incidental authority and is used primarily as the mouthpiece and public “face” of the regime where real power resides with the unelected clergy.
We must face facts squarely: the Iranian regime is at war with the United States. Stating the obvious doesn’t make it any more or less so, but recognizing and dealing with reality is the only way to defend American national security and the only way to achieve a victory for democratic civilization in Iraq.
Clare Lopez is the former Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee who served 20 years as a CIA operations officer. Currently she is a private consultant who speaks and publishes widely on Middle East and WMD issues