Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Whodunnit?

A car bomb destroyed a bus carrying 11 Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Although Iranian authorities blamed it on "drug traffickers", Bill Roggio is skeptical of coincidences. The Associated Press reports:

A car loaded with explosives blew up Wednesday near a bus carrying members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards in southeastern Iran, killing 11 of them and wounding 31. An al-Qaida-linked Sunni militant group reportedly claimed responsibility. ... But officials did not confirm the claim, blaming "insurgents and drug-traffickers."

Well, maybe. But Bill Roggio wondered whether there wasn't some connection between the event and Iran's activities in Iraq.


While there is no indication the U.S. was behind this attack, the nature of the target (IRGC soldiers, of which Qods Forces is a subset of), the mode of attack (a carbomb, like those used in Iraq) and the timing (during heightened tensions with Iran over their supplying weapons to the Iraqi insurgency) send a powerful message to the Iranian government, Or a taste of their own medicine.

Commentary

Even if there was no US involvement in a "deniable and covert" operation in Iran, the nature of distributed terrorism means that anyone can play. Drug traffickers or an al-Qaida Sunni group may truly have been behind the bombing. After all who could have guessed that Iran would support both Sunni and Shi'ite groups against each other in Iraq? Warfare was once the province of states, but as al-Qaeda proved, probably to the cost of everyone on the planet, small extremist organizations can wage combat effectively. In discussing portable and deniable nuclear weapons, I noted that there was no reason in principle why anti-Jihadi or anti-anyone extremist groups couldn't come up with them. After all, why should a bunch of Pakistani scientists be able to come up with something that an equivalent group of Indian or Israeli private citizens couldn't.

Bill Roggio is probably correct in thinking that coincidences like this are really suspicious. But it would probably be more frightening if none of the secret services all around the world knew who blew up the IGRC bus.

26 Comments:

Blogger 3Case said...

As I recall, back in 2003 Iraq had a $1.78T stockpile of weapons, munitions and materiels, which only comes into perspective when you consider that the U.S. has a stockpile of $2.5T. If some of it starts blowin' up the IRG, so be it. I would rather the bus had been remodeled by an AC-130.

2/14/2007 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

What is striking about this incident and others reported from Iran over the past two years is the almost complete absence of collateral damage. That cannot be coincidental.

2/14/2007 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

That is the cleanest blown up bus I have ever seen. They caim to have the perps/drug runners in custody.

2/14/2007 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger James III said...

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mahmoud & Mullahs!

Most Affectionately, your Mystery Pal

2/14/2007 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

karma is a kick in the ass...

get used to it...

2/14/2007 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Now all this is speculation, but with that caveat, I should say that in some non-American countries, people openly admit they engage in summary executions and dirty tricks against the terrorist enemy. If some day this should turn out to be true for America then it would be analogous to the moment in World War 2 when the Allies authorized unrestricted submarine warfare and the firebombing of German and Japanese targets.

War makes the world uglier and the only thing for it is to get things over and done with. It is unlikely to ever get pretty. How much have we changed? Cast your mind back to the innocent days of air travel (look up the old National Geographic Magazines) when people dressed up in coats and lace up shoes to travel. Relatives came to see them off. Kids were taken to the cockpit to show them the dials and gauges. Today, many people travel in what is essentially prison clothes, the better to kick off their shoes for the x-ray and pull down their pants to show the inspector. One day we may never recognize ourselves. If we have victory and survival in exchange, maybe it will be worth it.

2/14/2007 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jeez--I read the post and found myself thinking "Way to go, AQ!". What a free-for-all. Putin must be laughing himself to sleep at night. Wonder if his deal with Iran includes keeping the Chechens off Moscow's back? Except for the occassional fig-leaf bomb, of course.

2/14/2007 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

War makes the world uglier and the only thing for it is to get things over and done with. It is unlikely to ever get pretty.

Expecting war to be pretty is why we are having such a hard time right now. Lamenting what we might become ignores that who we are sprang from the culture that produced people who could drop nuclear weapons on cities, firebomb Dresden, Tokyo and all of the rest of the horrors.

Does this mean that they were barbarians? If so then why was the culture they produced during the 50's so universally admired? Perhaps they weren't barbarians? Maybe so...but more likely they were realistic about what you had to do to win a war. They knew it would scar them and it did, talking to them these days makes that obvious, but they also understood that taking care of the problem would mean their sons and daughters would not have to. They knew that it was their responsibility to become barbaric to keep the barbarians from winning. They sacrificed their peace of mind for the peace of mind of everyone back home and all of the children that would follow.

We don't want to become barbaric because this world is all about us. The future for us lies a few hours ahead...

Moral Preening Regarding Torture

2/14/2007 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

The direction we eventually get pushed in by this may not be all bad. If we become a bit more like Israel in that we have more ordinary people carrying weapons around, trained to use them, we could easily end up with a more law-abiding and generally safer society than we have now.

This would at the same time be in some senses a return to our American heritage.

2/14/2007 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Pierre and Wretchard:

"War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over."
~William Tecumseh Sherman

and of course:

"Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster."
~William Tecumseh Sherman

2/14/2007 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Bosnian Muslim refugee goes on shooting rampage in a Utah mall. You never know any more, do you? It is this uncertainty that makes terrorism so dangerous.

One of the reasons that the Geneva Conventions were promulgated was to encourage people to fight with uniforms on. It was purposely biased towards preventing unattributed violence. One of the unintended consequences of turning Geneva into a punishment mechanism for those who fought according to the rules -- inverting it's intent to favor the nonuniformed combatant -- was that it deregulated war.

Nowadays Jihadis in the Philippines wear any uniform of convenience, when they bother with one at all. A uniform has become a ruse de guerre (remember Karablah) or a liability. The West has done this to itself in the mistaken belief it led to "humanitarian" ends.

So now we can never be sure any more whether the IRG died at the hands of drug dealers or whether the Bosnian Muslim refugee in Utah was just having a bad day.

2/14/2007 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger James III said...

Apparently, the post-modern/history/and irony idea is that the West and especially the superpower US should wage humane war by conceding any humanitarian advantage they can conceive of to their enemies, who are humans, after all, in order to prolong the hostilities, bloodshed, and suffering by much of humanity.

Tarnsman,
"I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the City of Savannah, with one hundred and fifty guns and plenty of ammunition, also about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton." (telegram from Sherman to Lincoln)

The local story is that Sherman really saved the town to favor a woman friend. Maybe he was merciless but not stupid?

2/14/2007 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

Pierre Legand,

Your last comment is so fundamentally telling, so reflective of the attitudes of today's USA, I can't believe I had never noticed that difference between Americans of that era, and those of today.

2/14/2007 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

as one who KNOWS the scale of the german attempt to wipe my tribe from the face of the earth..

It gives me the understanding to see how 60 million were killed and murdered because of ww2

It also gives me the understanding of the other great mass murderers of this century (and others)

From the Romans, Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, Japan and it's rape of China, I see...

Now that there is a people in the world murdering everyone in it's path it's hard for me to not be gleeful, if not down right childish so, when 18 of these evil sons of bitches are blown into hamburger...

May this be the wave of the future in all lands...

Anyone that seeks my personal, state, tribe or country's complete destruction I could careless about being insensitive...

rot in hell asswipes....

2/14/2007 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

One of the unintended consequences of turning Geneva into a punishment mechanism for those who fought according to the rules -- inverting it's intent to favor the nonuniformed combatant -- was that it deregulated war. (Emphasis added)

What makes you so sure it was unintended? The U.S. emerged from the Cold War as the undisputed world champions of "regulated" war. What better way, then, for the international Left to weaken America than to simply change the rules?

2/14/2007 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger K. Pablo said...

The most striking thing about this event is the fact that only combatants were killed. No innocent bystanders were harmed during the staging of this message. That fact alone strongly implicates this as a U.S. operation....

2/14/2007 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

If those northern drug runners ever get together with those southern drug runners Iran might find that there's hell to pay.

Northern drug runners = Lor, Bakhtiari and Qashqai tribes.

Southern drug runners = Fill in the blanks.

2/14/2007 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Tom_Holsinger said...

Nah, this is just the Baluchs being Baluchs. They're mean and don't like anybody very much. If we think Anbar Province in Iraq has been bad, wait until we get to Baluchistan.

2/14/2007 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Pierre Legrand: our willingness to be savage to our enemies did not end at WW2

All during the "Cold War", right up to the collapse of the USSR, the United States was standing ready to incinerate half the world. Men, women, children, babies, cats, dogs, and goldfish would have perished in nuclear fire if the US was hit with an attack that posed an existential threat.

This is something that most people do not think about today.

Vietnam, Somalia, etc did not receive savage treatment because winning or losing did not pose an existential threat to the United States. Watch the mood of the US change suddenly if we get a rash of mall shootings like Utah (which is why the story dropped off the radar of the major media as soon as it was established that the shooter was a Bosnian Muslim -- except for Rush Limbaugh)

Wretchard, I'm reflecting on the probability of a variation of your "Three Conjectures" with regard to the response to a rash of shootings in the US, or a Beslan scenario. It would not be pretty

2/15/2007 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Just read today that Bush said Iranian 'Qods' special forces unit was source for lethal 'shaped charge' roadside bombs in Iraq. It is too much of a coincidence that members of the same elite force was blown up in the roadside bomb in Iran. Turnabout is fair play.

2/15/2007 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

we wiil not go to war with iran...

(will will strike at selected targets we choose)

h clinton - If i was pres all combat troops will be out of iraq by 2008

(we will have MP's in iraq and our combat troops will be in iran)

ah..

our side can LIE almost as good as the arab world..

great we are LEARNING...

say the words "peace, I'm sorry" all the while moving troops, supplies and other assorted things into place..

excellent..

I just bought a jumbo pack of microwave popcorn (extra butter) the show is about to start...

2/15/2007 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Watch the mood of the US change suddenly if we get a rash of mall shootings like Utah (which is why the story dropped off the radar of the major media as soon as it was established that the shooter was a Bosnian Muslim -- except for Rush Limbaugh)

So then 3,000 people dying in flames, jumping to their deaths, a US President forced into hiding, the center of our military headquarters successfully attacked, the capital narrowly averting disaster, saved not by Delta Force but by regular joe's...all of that wasn't enough to piss us off. Color me skeptical.

Papa Bear I agree that we will need another big attack to get motivated enough to actually get serious about winning. I simply do not think that the enemy will oblige us. He will only attack if he can deliver a crippling blow to our country. Which is easier than anyone has let on to.

After that attack officials in Washington will dither...we won't have Bush who had besides his faults a spine made of steel. Perhaps the 3rd conjecture will occur...one would hope. Personally I don't want to depend on private contractors, though I have nothing against them. Our Government should be the guys pursuing our enemies but they have been so crippled by years of limited war doctraine, so many years of belief that if we use harsh tactic we will become our enemies..as if our motives are the same, that our government is simply defenseless.

Sorry to be the cold water on the party...but I am about as pessimistic about our future.

2/15/2007 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

From orbat.com :0230 GMT February 15, 2007

... A bomb planted by the Iran Baluch rebel group Jundallah (also spelled Jondallah) killed the troops in Eastern Iran.

To summarize for our readers: the Iranian Baluch have, for decades, wanted an independent Baluch nation together with their Pakistani Baluch and Afghani Baluch brothers. The Pakistanis have repeatedly put down their Baluch, who have been the most nationalistic of the 3 groups, and appear to have succeeded in their latest effort.

The Indians are covertly supporting 2 Pakistani Baluch groups. The US is supporting several Iranian Baluch groups, though let's not get excited here, folks. Support for a group can be as little as $100,000 in funds and basic equipment like radios. This is not like the support the US gave the Latin American contras of many nations, for example.

2/15/2007 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Great article from the American Thinker..really good

http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/02/cultural_marxism.html

just a part...

The pernicious influence of Adorno's ‘authoritarian personality' idea can be clearly seen in some of the research that gets public money.

"In Aug., 2003, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the results of their $1.2 million tax-payer funded study. It stated, essentially, that TRADITIONALISTS ARE MENTALLY DISTURBED. Scholars from the Universities of Maryland, California at Berkeley, and Stanford had determined that social conservatives...suffer from ‘mental rigidity,' ‘dogmatism,' and ‘uncertainty avoidance,' together with associated indicators for mental illness." http://www.edwatch.org/ ‘Social and Emotional Learning" Jan. 26, 2005)

That's about mid article, not even the warm up.

2/15/2007 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger USpace said...

Well well, what goes around comes around...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe don't
say payback IS a beech
.

2/15/2007 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger ameshkin said...

I'm sure the CIA was probably behind it. They have been in Iran for years, and could easily have funded anyone to do this. The people of Iran are NOT HAPPY with their Islamo Facist government.

As an Iranian myself, I would love to see an internal revolution or coup. But I also warn that an invasion of Iran by an outside force would be disaster.

8/11/2007 10:51:00 AM  

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