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1/11/2007
WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND
CATEGORY: Iran, War on Terror

In a move that is sure to cause a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth around the world - illegal though it was but OH MY GOD SO SATISFYING! - American forces raided the Iranian consulate in northern Iraq just hours after the President’s speech:

U.S. troops raided an Iranian consulate in northern Iraq late Wednesday night and detained several people, Iran’s main news agency reported today, prompting protests from Tehran just hours after President Bush pledged to crack down on the Islamic Republic’s role in Iraqi violence.

Iran released news of the raid through its Islamic Republic News Agency in a dispatch that was broadly critical of Bush’s plan to deploy about 21,500 additional troops to Iraq.

The IRNA report said that U.S. forces entered the Iranian consulate in Irbil, in Iraq’s Kurdish-dominated north, and seized computers, documents and other items. The report said five staff members were taken into custody.

Yes, I realize it is childish and churlish of me to feel this way about giving the Iranians a little payback for 1979. But there are times when indulging your natural inclinations is so right, so proper, that suppressing the higher brain functions that tell you to behave like an adult is the thing to do.

Besides, aren’t you dying to find out what’s on those computer hard drives and what was in those filing cabinets they carted away?

Although U.S. officials have not confirmed that an Iranian diplomatic building was involved in today’s raid, a man who lives next to the consulate, Sardar Hassan Mohammed, 34, said he saw what he believed to be U.S. forces surrounding the building with their vehicles before entering it. Mohammed said at least five people were taken.

An official with the Kurdish Democratic Party, who declined to give his name, said the U.S. troops confiscated belongings inside the consulate in addition to arresting people inside.

Without addressing the recent incident, top U.S. officials in Washington were pointed in remarks today about how they intend to follow up on Bush’s pledge to curb Syrian and Iranian influence in Iraq.

There are times when revelling in historical irony and glorying in a cold dish of revenge can’t be helped. The nature of the 1979 humiliation perpetrated by the Iranians was so profoundly disturbing to those of us who lived through it that this clearly illegal violation of the “sacred soil” of Iran just doesn’t matter very much - even in an intellectual context. We know it is wrong and yet the satisfaction is so complete that world opinion, international law, even the consequences of the raid to our diplomats just don’t balance the ledger against it.

And those consequences will be real. It is almost a certainty that the world just got a little more dangerous for our diplomats all over the world - which should sober all of us up right quick. And, of course, the precedent shattering nature of the raid could place our embassies and consulates in similar danger.

But please note the rather low key response (so far) from the Iranians. They can hardly make a big stink about this violation after what they pulled in 1979. And irony of ironies, we are using the exact same excuse in raiding their embassy 27 years later - that it contained a “nest of spies:”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the United States is systematically trying to identify networks of people who bring weapons and explosives into the country — a central allegation against Iran — and will move to shut them down.

Improvised explosives have been a key source of U.S. casualties and deaths since the war began.

“We will do what is necessary for force protection,” Rice said at a press conference. “Networks are identified. They are identified from intelligence and they are acted upon . . . whatever the nationality.”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , Gen. Peter Pace, referring to the earlier arrest of Iranians, said that Tehran’s involvement in Iraq “is destructive. . . . They are complicit . . . and we will do what is necessary.”

The Iranians won’t have to make a big to do about this clear violation of international norms - their allies on the left in this country will be more than happy to oblige, I’m sure. Perhaps if Jimmy Carter were to come out and dance a little jig…

Not likely.

UPDATE

Richard Fernandez and I are on exactly the same wavelength: “A Downpayment on 1979.”

Jules Crittenden says that this indicates that the gloves are off:

The Washington Post reports U.S. troops raided an Iranian consulate in Iraq and seized a number of Iranians suspected of aiding the insurgency. No doubt the Iranians will squawk about the violation of diplomatic immunity, incursion on sovereign Iranian territory, international law, blah blah blah. I encourage them then to raid our embassy and consulates in Iran. …oh yeah, we don’t have any. Remember why? This is an early indicator that the gloves are in fact off, which is the key component to success in this change of strategy.

Greg Tinti from Political Pit Bull has the predictable reaction from Lambchop:

The dumbest reaction I’ve seen to this on the left is from Glenn Greenwald, whom without apparently understanding the irony of his question, asks, “Isn’t it a definitive act of war for one country to storm the consulate of another, threaten to kill them if they do not surrender, and then detain six consulate officers?”

I don’t know about you, but it seems that Greenwald’s rather quick to side with Iran on this one. It is indisputable that Iran has been actively involved in supporting the insurgency in Iraq–especially by providing insurgents with IEDs and weaponry that have contributed directly to US casualties. Don’t those actions by Iran count as a definitive act of war? Doesn’t the US have a right to fight back against Iranian interference? In Greenwald’s mind apparently, the answer to those questions seems to be no.

Will Bunch also smells a war brewing with Iran.

As I’ve said many times, there is a huge downside to military action against Iran. Any possible benefits would be far outweighed by the almost certain attacks against our troops in Iraq as well as probable action taken against tankers in the Straits of Hormuz - a choke point for 20% of the west’s oil. We wouldn’t be able to get all the anti-ship missiles Iran posesses nor would we be able to destroy the Islamic Republic’s ability to create absolute havoc in Iraq; with attacks on our troops using their intermediate range missiles and the probable rising of the Shias who would take great offense at our hitting their co-religionists.

But interdiction and an intelligent use of our military to stifle the flow of supplies to the insurgents (who would never take any help from those dirty Shias in Iran now, would they?) while not violating Iranian air space or raiding their territory (beyond a consulate or two) may be almost as effective as a bombing campaign and have the extra added attraction of putting the onus of attack on the Iranians if they chose to make an issue of their meddling in Iraqi affairs.

By: Rick Moran at 12:18 pm
41 Responses to “WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND”
  1. 1
    Jonathan Said:
    12:35 pm 

    The CIA engineered a coup that overthrew Iran’s socialist leader Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953

    The 1979 Embassy hostage crisis was yet another example of “blowback” from Western interference in the Middle East.

  2. 2
    WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND at Conservative Times--Republican GOP news source. Pinged With:
    12:42 pm 

    [...] Original post by Rick Moran and software by Elliott Back [...]

  3. 3
    ed Said:
    1:01 pm 

    Rick, I’ll join you in feeling satisfaction for this raid, as I also remember the 1979 hostage taking at the U.S. Embassy. Hopefully, we may also gain some intelligence on Iran’s logistics in supplying those Iraqis bent on killing us. A Somali-type raid on Iranian supply lines into Iraq would also not hurt my feelings even a little.

  4. 4
    Rick Moran Said:
    1:06 pm 

    Oh for God’s sake.

    The Iranian takeover of our embassy was not “blowback.” It was a clear, unmitigated unconscionable violation of international law.

    The fact that you put the onus on us is frankly unbelievable and shows an incredibly warped worldview. What you are saying is that the Iranians had no other way to display their displeasure with our interference except violating every norm of international behavior known to civilized man, shattering international law, beating and torturing our hostages, and ignoring the United Nations.

    That’s not ignorant - it’s so incredibly shallow you make me believe that a child wrote it.

    Unbelievably stupid…

  5. 5
    Jonathan Said:
    2:24 pm 

    Overthrowing a sovereign government is not a violation of international law?

    What had Iran done to us in 1953 that required that we overthrow their democratically elected government and install a dictator?

    SAVAK was founded in 1957 with the assistance of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Its mission was to place opponents of the Shah’s regime under surveillance and to repress dissident movements through intimidation, exile, imprisonment, assassination, and torture.

  6. 6
    Sensible Mom Trackbacked With:
    2:28 pm 

    US Raids Iranian Consulate

    Let’s hope this isn’t like the immigration raids that are a show of force for the cameras and mean nothing at all in the end when the trouble makers are released. The critical difference being that President Bush believes in our mission in Iraq

  7. 7
    Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator Trackbacked With:
    2:31 pm 

    Video: Bush admits mistakes, pushes Iraq plan

    Jan. 11: After admitting in his Wednesday night address that he made mistakes in Iraq, President Bus

  8. 8
    Bill Faith Said:
    2:53 pm 

    I excerpted and linked at U. S. troops raid Iranian not-a-Consulate. Raid yes, consulate no. Persian speak with forked tongue. Shocked!

  9. 9
    Tom Said:
    3:12 pm 

    The critical difference being that President Bush believes in our mission in Iraq

    Comment by Sensible Mom

    Then why aren’t Jenna and Not Jenna joining the fight in Iraq? I don’t believe any senior person in the white house has any loved ones in harms way. I guess Mr Bush does believe in the mission - as long as other peoples kids are in the crosshairs.

  10. 10
    Hot Air » Blog Archive » U.S. troops raid Iranian consulate in Iraq, traumatize left-wing bloggers Pinged With:
    3:17 pm 

    [...] Why, yes it is, replies Moran, shivering from the irony. [...]

  11. 11
    Wake up America> Trackbacked With:
    3:43 pm 

    Fatalism of Failure: Lieberman Labels the Dems

    All in all, the president did not just announce a new way forward, he immediately started implementing it. He took action and is determined to succeed. He was truthful, honest and very, very blunt but it all needed to be said and done.

  12. 12
    Bigfoot Said:
    4:23 pm 

    Yes, its quite tempting to say, “Have some of your own medicine”. We should hold those Iranian no longer than 444 days.

    BTW, I like the name of the site.

    Sensible Mom, did Bill Clinton send Chelsea over to drop bombs either on Serbia or on Iraq during the “Desert Fox” campaign? Did Carter send Chip or Amy over to the Iranian desert in his failed attempt to rescue those hostages? Did LBJ send Luci or Linda to Vietnam (other than to visit our troops)? Did Truman send Margaret to patrol the Pusan Perimeter in Korea? Did Nixon send Tricia and Julie to Vietnam? Did Reagan send Ron Jr. or Patty to rescue American students in Grenada? If you want presidential offspring with combat experience during his/her dad’s presidency, I think you’re going to have to go back to FDR, whose son was involved in the failed bombing operation in which Joe Kennedy Jr.’s plane blew up over England.

  13. 13
    Ed Driscoll.com Trackbacked With:
    4:36 pm 

    Slowly, The Gloves Come Off

    Jules Crittenden writes:The Washington Post reports U.S. troops raided an Iranian consulate in Iraq and seized a number of Iranians suspected of aiding the insurgency. No doubt the Iranians will squawk about the violation of diplomatic immunity, incurs…

  14. 14
    curtis Said:
    4:47 pm 

    so because iran broke international law by raiding our embassy, we should do the same?two wrongs dont make a right.Is this what we have become?

    god help us

  15. 15
    Stop The ACLU Trackbacked With:
    5:09 pm 

    U.S. Troops Raid Iranian Consulate in Iraq

    This happened only hours after President Bush announced he would crack down on Iran’s involvment in Iraq’s violence. It looks like it aint just talk. (H/T) Riehl World View:
    U.S. troops raided an Iranian consulate in northern Iraq late We…

  16. 16
    curtis Said:
    5:21 pm 

    “U.S.raid on iranian consulate angers kurds”.i just read that on cnn.great,piss off the one group of people in iraq that cooperate with us

  17. 17
    Machiavelli Said:
    6:04 pm 

    “I guess Mr Bush does believe in the mission – as long as other peoples kids are in the crosshairs.”

    Tom, do you believe in our efforts in Afghanistan?

  18. 18
    Baseball Crank Trackbacked With:
    6:12 pm 

    BLOG: Quick Links 1/11/07

    *Mmmmmmm…..pitchers in mini-camp. *I feel Milton Chappell’s pain. Those chances don’t come around very often, but the worst of it is having to sit silent while the other guy fails to make your best arguments. *The real Muhammad. There are…

  19. 19
    gregdn Said:
    6:23 pm 

    I’d like to see some evidence that Iran is meddling in Iraq. Perhaps that’s what this raid is about.

  20. 20
    The Coffeespy » Here’s Your Diplomatic Solution Pinged With:
    6:40 pm 

    [...] Right Wing Nuthouse’s Rick Moran has an analysis on the U.S. raid of the Iranian embassy in Baghdad.  You know, I’m not usually one for schadenfreude, but in this case: woot.  Enjoy it, Rick.  I’ll wait for the bootleg and buy the popcorn. [...]

  21. 21
    harrison Said:
    9:01 pm 

    Just a question: if Iran truly does stop exporting oil via the Straits of Hormuz by closing it, does that not further worsen their economic situation? Rising domestic consumption, failure to produce at OPEC-designated levels - they need all the patrons they can get. If Iran stops exporting oil in the future, it wouldn’t be because they wanted to “punish” us; it would be because they didn’t have enough for themselves.

    Such a radical move would not only give us casus belli (as if the nuclear issue and the Foreign Legions in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine haven’t already), but disincentivise future patrons and investors to cut deals with Iran.

  22. 22
    hick Said:
    9:41 pm 

    Rick,

    Are you seriously still pissed about the Iranian Embassy takeover that you see this as payback?

    Wow, the Siege of Khe Sahn must put knots in your stomach.

    Not to mention Phillip II versus Salahudin. Wow, thatmust make you take Xanax

  23. 23
    Stormy70 Said:
    10:17 pm 

    Iran has no gasoline refineries, so their economy grinds to a halt when the straits are closed. No ability to refine all their oil means they import all their gasoline. It would be economic suicide.

  24. 24
    hick Said:
    10:34 pm 

    This is not true.

    38% of Iranian crude oil is piped to other countries over land or trucked out.

    On the remainder goes out in tankers.

    It isn’t Iraq that won’t survive. It’s us that won’t

  25. 25
    Joe Helgerson Said:
    10:42 pm 

    Well were getting our butts kicked in Iraq, lets rile up Iran too. Maybe some more of our boys can die. The neo-cons love the bloodlust when its not them or their kids involved. Iraq ’s not our country- get over it. We don’t belong there. How would you like foreign troops in our country? Not so much huh!

  26. 26
    Nick D. Said:
    11:32 pm 

    “American forces raided the Iranian consulate in northern Iraq just hours after the President’s speech…”

    QFE:

    “In the end, Bush will be judged by the totality of his Presidency not by the Six Sigma analyses that pass for serious critiques by the Presidents detractors. In fact, they are not serious at all. They represent a political tactic that seeks to undermine rather than improve. And for that, they should be ashamed of themselves.” — Rick Moran, 3/9/06

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/03/the_myth_of_incompetence.html

    Just a reminder… I found it ‘germane’. ;- )

    Keep up the great work Rick, your site rocks!

  27. 27
    Shawn Said:
    11:59 pm 

    “Overthrowing a sovereign government is not a violation of international law?”

    Jon, it seems you haven’t educated yourself on logical fallacies yet.

  28. 28
    Jonathan Said:
    1:46 am 

    Jon, it seems you haven’t educated yourself on logical fallacies yet.

    Perhaps you can educate me then, Shawn.

    If, however, you intend on claiming the tu quoque fallacy then I might preempt your attempt to edumacate me by saying that the tu quoque fallacy is exactly the one that Mr Moran used in his OP.

    But then that might be a tu qouque fallacy also, eh?

    I haven’t see you pointing out that Mr Moran used the tu quoque fallacy, since you are so good at spotting that particular fallacy I wonder why that might be?

    Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. No es verdad?

    What had Iran done to us in 1953 that required that we overthrow their democratically elected government and install a dictator?

    Would you like to answer this question now?

    The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him.

    - Sun Tzu

  29. 29
    Rick Moran Said:
    3:47 am 

    Hick:

    Your comment about what “we” believe on this blog was deleted for being so incredibly ignorant that it begged to be struck down.

  30. 30
    Rick Moran Said:
    5:36 am 

    Jonathan:

    See how easy it is to be rational, civil, and add something constructive to the discussion?

    I’m proud of you…

  31. 31
    Ray Said:
    6:26 am 

    Guys. You know that you’ll get your asses kicked eventually if you ever do go into Iran. Sure, there will be that great ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment, but as sure as eggs is eggs your troops will end up as target practice for IEDs and gunmen.

  32. 32
    Maggie's Farm Trackbacked With:
    7:23 am 

    Nest of Spies

    I like Rock Moran’s take on the embassy raid. Indeed, how can they complain?

  33. 33
    Nikolay Said:
    7:33 am 

    There’s a big difference here. Iran was invading US embassy on Iranian territory, while US here invaded consulate on the Iraqi territory. As such, it pissed off: Iranians, Iraqi government, Kurds. Which is quite a lot of people to piss off at the same time.

  34. 34
    Rick Moran Said:
    7:37 am 

    Just curious here:

    Would you have criticized Roosevelt when he pissed of DeGaulle (which was a regular occurence in the lead up to Normandy)? Or when he made Uncle Joe Stalin, another ally, so mad he almost made a separate peace with Hitler? Or when he consistently rebuffed Churchill who wanted to use American troops to maintain the British Empire causing the old imperialist to loudly denounce FDR to his friends?

    As I said, I’m curious.

  35. 35
    Kate Said:
    8:08 am 

    I think it’s wrong to take Iranian hostages and hold them indefinitley. However, holding them for a nice even number of days, say 444, would be fine. We are just following the lead of our Iranian friends.

    OT-why, oh, why, can’t President Bush deliver a decent speech. The downward trend started in his 2004 State of the Union speech, through the debates, to this day. He needed to hit it out of the park Wednesday and instead gave a nervous, timid performance.

    He needs to be coached by a good communication. His communication skills are getting worse, not better, and it is having a very negative effect on his policies.

  36. 36
    John J. Coupal Said:
    8:52 am 

    Kate,
    You’re confusing appearance with performance. Bush’s message got through loud and clear. It got through to the people who count. Like you. And, more importantly, the Iranians.

    We don’t have a smarmy Clinton anymore, who was impressive for appearance, not performance.

    We have to know the extent of Iranian participation in the Iraqi insurgency. And we have to get proof of it, if it exists. A consulate raid is likely to reveal that proof. Yes, reminders of 1979 Tehran will do fine.

  37. 37
    Drongo Said:
    9:46 am 

    “We have to know the extent of Iranian participation in the Iraqi insurgency. And we have to get proof of it, if it exists. A consulate raid is likely to reveal that proof. Yes, reminders of 1979 Tehran will do fine.”

    The problem there is that no-one will believe anything released as a result of the raid. It is perfectly possible for the US to mock up anything that they want to say, so even genuine intel will be disregarded.

    But, let’s be honest, they aren’t going to do that either. At best we will get a watered down, paraphrased version of events.

    Of course, if there isn’t any evidence, we will get the standard “Too secret to release but it is leading to some big operations”. Or maybe that would mean they really were keeping the intel close to their breast.

    Either way we’ll never know. You can’t trust what US intel people say for public consumption and you can’t trust the Iranians.

    All you know for sure is that you’ve pissed off the Kurds.

  38. 38
    Shawn Said:
    10:57 am 

    Jon, what’s most humorous is your response to me is itself tu quoque.

    “Would you like to answer this question now?”

    They elected a communist.

    Now how is that an excuse for then bringing a far worse dictator (who had abosolute and total control) into power? America (contrary to what you may believe) is not the only guilty party in this equation, it is one of many. To pretend that we’re the single reason the Ayatollah became Supreme Leader is so historically ignorant it boggles the mind. It’s the same argument that it was the Allies’ fault for Hitler’s rise because of the “harsh” penalties enacted with the end of the Great War. It is the fault of the people when they allow a dictator to gain power (the Iranians sure were skilled at getting the Shah out). The Iranians elected one leader, they could’ve thrown the Shah out and done it again. They chose to become the only theocracy on the planet.

  39. 39
    NixGuy.com » Iranian Irony Pinged With:
    1:31 pm 

    [...] I’m not the only one. RightWingNutHouse: There are times when revelling in historical irony and glorying in a cold dish of revenge can’t be helped. The nature of the 1979 humiliation perpetrated by the Iranians was so profoundly disturbing to those of us who lived through it that this clearly illegal violation of the “sacred soil” of Iran just doesn’t matter very much – even in an intellectual context. We know it is wrong and yet the satisfaction is so complete that world opinion, international law, even the consequences of the raid to our diplomats just don’t balance the ledger against it. [...]

  40. 40
    Jonathan Said:
    7:56 pm 

    They elected a communist.

    Socialist!=communist.

    Does it really matter who they elected? They elected someone to represent them, the US decided, for whatever reason, that they didn’t like that person and then set in motion events that led to the illegal and violent overthrow of Mossadegh. It’s really no surprise that the whole sordid mess boiled down to a squabble over oil. Oil seems to have been the focal point of most of the Western meddling in the Middle East for close to a century now.

    If you are so good at spotting the tu quoque fallacy, why then did you point out my tu quoque fallacy and not that of Mr Moran in the OP?

    If something is good and righteous when one group does it, then why is it not good and righteous when another group does the very same thing?

  41. 41
    Jonathan Said:
    10:26 pm 

    The Iranians elected one leader, they could’ve thrown the Shah out and done it again. They chose to become the only theocracy on the planet.

    Whether or not the Iranians could have “thrown the Shah out”, the fact is that the US deliberately interfered with the internal politics of a sovereign nation with a democratically elected leader.

    You seem to have forgotten that good friend of GW Bush and good ally of the USA, Saudi Arabia. SA is no less a theocracy than is Iran. Religious police refuse to allow girls to exit from a burning building because they are inadequately dressed, you don’t get much more theocratic than that.

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