First a little background, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force is the name of the combination development and security force created by NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization – the U.S. is a member). It is not just some guys standing around with neat uniforms, they have been involved in combat missions involving the Taliban, al-Queda and tribal factions in Afghanistan. Yesterday there was this announcement from the Bushies, Iranian Unit to Be Labeled ‘Terrorist’. The reason given by the administration for the sudden urgency for this new declaration was Iran’s suspected support of radical factions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Here’s where the ISAF comes in, Ahmadinejad doubts Iran supplying weapons to Taliban
Officials from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan have said they have no proof that top Iranian leaders have engineered or approved of weapons being supplied to the Taliban.
Ahmadinejad is something of a Middle-Eastern Karl Rove so we can ignore him, but difficult to ignore the ISAF. Even if the administration is not outright lying they seem to be spinning in the same way they did in to the lead up to invading Iraq – Iraq on the Record is a searchable collection of 237 specific misleading statements made by Bush Administration officials. Andrew Sullivan has this posted from another conservative in regards to the tangled relationship between Iraq and Iran, A Not-So-Strange Quiet
I went inside the Tactical Operations Center and spoke to the Public Affairs Officer. “What can I help you with, Mike?” he said.
“I want an on-the-record interview with Military Intelligence,” I said. “Why?” he said. I told him what I had heard. “I can print rumor or fact,” I said. He got me the interview.
Master Sergeant Jeffrey K. Tyler met with me privately. “It’s true,” he said. “Many of the Iraqi Army soldiers here are supporters of JAM.” JAM is military shorthand for Jaysh al Mahdi, or Moqtada al Sadr’s radical Shia Mahdi Army militia.
“They aren’t in JAM cells necessarily, but they are sympathizers. They may let JAM guys through checkpoints, for example. They aren’t out kidnapping Sunnis or anything like that. They are sympathizers, not direct actors. Almost all the Iraqi Army soldiers here are Shias.”
“Is their presence here the reason we aren’t getting mortared?” I said. “Because the Mahdi Army doesn’t want to blow up their own people?”
“We think that’s probably so,” he said and nodded with confidence.
I didn’t hear that in the briefing when I first got there. (all emphasis mine)
Iraq already has diplomatic and economic ties to Tehran. The story from the Pakistan newspaper is mostly an account of a meeting betweeen the Bush approved Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Iranian leader Ahmadinejad. Lots of fuuny foriegn sounding names, acronyms, places, meetings all of which will be lost in the average day’s flood of information. The only thing that will stick is Bush or a pundit proxy saying the words threat, security, America and possibly some mention of god. The power of the presidential soapbox. A position that Bush has used to great effect. What goes unnoticed is how he does not use that soapbox. He never uses it to clarify, to inform the American public of subtle details that would god forbid give the American public a truer picture of what is happening.
Maybe its the toxic level of hairspray and make-up that prevents Sean Allergic To The Truth Hannity from sticking to the facts. Telling the truth or at least being in the close proximity of same is part of the responsibility of even dime a dozen right-wing pundits. Of course Sean’s parents should have taught him that rather then waiting forty years and learning it from Media Matters – Hannity repeatedly mischaracterized Obama remarks, accused him of “political missteps”
* While interviewing Romney, Hannity played a video clip of Obama’s August 13 campaign appearance in Nashua, New Hampshire, during which Obama said, “We’ve got to get the job done there [in Afghanistan] and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there.” During the interview with Mendell, Hannity referred to Obama’s purported “political missteps” and characterized Obama as “accusing” U.S. forces of “air-raiding villages and killing civilians.” However, U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan — and accounts of resulting civilian casualties — have been widely reported in the media and have reportedly provoked criticism from Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a British commander stationed there. The Associated Press reported in a “Fact Check” responding to conservative attacks on Obama that “Western forces have been killing civilians at a faster rate than the insurgents.”
* Hannity claimed that Obama has stated his “willingness to invade an ally against their will,” referring to Pakistan. However, as Media Matters for America repeatedly noted, Obama never said he would “invade Pakistan.” Rather, Obama stated in an August 1 speech: “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets [in Pakistan] and President [Pervez] Musharraf won’t act, we will.”
Obama wants to attack terrorists targets, Sean gets upset. Doesn’t that make Sean a terrorists loving appeaser. Just saying.
“…Nothing happened. Nothing could happen. There was a touch of insanity in the proceeding, a sense of lugubrious drollery in the sight; and it was not dissipated by somebody on board assuring me earnestly there was a camp of native–he called them enemies!–hidden out of sight somewhere.” from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad