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Iran in Iraq?
February 12, 2007 8:38 PM   Subscribe

How to use MS PowerPoint to exploit the U.S. Oh, the humanity...
posted by whozyerdaddy (51 comments total)

 
Can you explain what I'm looking at? Some context would be nice here.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:54 PM on February 12, 2007


This should help.
posted by sharksandwich at 9:04 PM on February 12, 2007


Looks like someone's collection of circumstantial evidence. It remains to be seen if this is all elaborate sabre rattling or if the bastards really intend on pursuing military action against Iran. Hope for the best (peaceful) outcome.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:04 PM on February 12, 2007


(the tags, how they reflect the hate)
posted by Burhanistan at 9:11 PM on February 12, 2007


Some of the comments from Sharksandwich's link sound like they're straight outta the blue.
posted by rokusan at 9:12 PM on February 12, 2007


So the administration claims that Iran is helping out Shia insurgents in Iraq. But the question is, so what?

I mean, if they are implying that attacking Iran to stop the flow would make conditions safe for Americans, they're insane. It would certanly make the situation much worse for U.S troupes. The Iranians could supply Shia forces with much, much more advanced weaponry, such as the katyusha rockets Hezbollah used in Israel, or more.

Invading Iran proper would obviously cost thousands of American lives. It would be a disaster, and there is no way we could conquer the country, and I doubt we could even get to the point we have with Iraq.
posted by delmoi at 9:19 PM on February 12, 2007


I, for one, am relieved that we have the Democrats in congress. They will surely stop the march to war.

Non-binding you say? *Still* didn't pass you say?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:20 PM on February 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure they would limit attacks to air raids and special forces quick insertion type missions. If the administration wanted to put armor on the ground I would hope that any general, self respecting or otherwise, would punch the president in the gut.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:21 PM on February 12, 2007


http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/iran-in-iraq/?resultpage=12&

Come on, you expect us to believe that came from Iran?! Why isn't the stencil in farsi, like the other one? and the date, i believe they have a different calendar. and just look at that font! it doesn't look military, it looks like Arial.

they think we're suckers.
posted by Miles Long at 9:33 PM on February 12, 2007


Yeah, because naturally Iran would be helping the fucking SUNNI insurgents.

Come on, guys, at least make an effort this time!
posted by rokusan at 9:57 PM on February 12, 2007


Dubious evidence notwithstanding, it's pretty clear that aid to some of the Shia militias is coming from the direction of Iran. The problem is that it is not at all clear where within Iran. W's administration is trying to bank on the idea that if the Iranian government isn't putting a stop to the flow of aid, then they're complicit by default and deserving of attack.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:19 PM on February 12, 2007


I thought Iran were supporting SCIRI, who are supposed to be the good guys.
posted by stammer at 10:39 PM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


stammer, welcome to Bizarro world.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:45 PM on February 12, 2007


Oh, and look at the last page: "Highlights from Detainee Interviews Within the Last 60 Days". Charming.
posted by stammer at 10:48 PM on February 12, 2007


Come on, you expect us to believe that came from Iran?! Why isn't the stencil in farsi, like the other one? and the date, i believe they have a different calendar. and just look at that font! it doesn't look military, it looks like Arial.

The shells had serial numbers in English in order to comply with international standards for arms, the officials said.
posted by Brian James at 10:56 PM on February 12, 2007


The Iranian arms manufacturer has its own web site with photos of it's own munitions, including the fuzes referenced and the mortars pictured...

Depending on your viewpoint, this makes it either
* dead easy to fake an 'Iranian' mortar
* proof positive that these are Iranian bombs
posted by nielm at 11:34 PM on February 12, 2007


thank you, sharksandwich, for providing the context this fpp needed. otherwise the post would have been utter garbage.
posted by shmegegge at 11:37 PM on February 12, 2007


What a horrible presentation. They need a little presentation zen.
posted by rsanheim at 11:55 PM on February 12, 2007


To bad this wasn't done in Keynote. I need to be dazzled by bullshit, not bored by it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:30 AM on February 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


The Iranian arms manufacturer has ... photos of it's own munitions, including the fuzes referenced and the mortars pictured...

There's no labeled photo of the actual fuses, but the fuse number shows up in the Iranian manufacturer's specifications. The "H.E." and "TNT" mortar rounds look mostly identical except for the type and color of wadding pads. The wording, placement, and font style of the rounds' labels also differ. Compare:
Briefing Slide 11 — 81mm Mortar Round Shipping Containers ("Fuze AZ111-A2")
• AMIG Mortar Bomb & Artillery Fuses — Specifications ("AZ111A2")

Briefing Slide 12 — 81mm Mortar Round
• AMIG 81mm High Explosive & Smoke Mortar Bombs
The fuses and mortar rounds could have come from Iran, but this isn't proof positive of a direct supply link. They could have also come via a third party — another Middle Eastern or Asian country (or arms dealer) — that purchased them from Iran's Defense Industries Organization. Does any other country manufacture similar mortar rounds, or purchase just the fuses and casings from Iran?

(WRT style points, the slides looked simple, straightforward, and easy to read: business presenters, take note. However, the pink wadding on the mortar shells has got to go. Blue, perhaps.)
posted by cenoxo at 1:54 AM on February 13, 2007


Dubious evidence notwithstanding, it's pretty clear that aid to some of the Shia militias is coming from the direction of Iran.

Is it clear? Would you like to back that up? Seems to me you're falling for the drip-drip propaganda that fooled you last time.
posted by salmacis at 1:56 AM on February 13, 2007


Dubious evidence notwithstanding, it's pretty clear that aid to some of the Shia militias is coming from the direction of Iran.

Is it clear? Would you like to back that up? Seems to me you're falling for the drip-drip propaganda that fooled you last time.
posted by salmacis at 2:01 AM on February 13, 2007


the drip-drip propaganda that fooled you last time

Whilst I completely agree with the point, were I an Iranian Shia with US forces on 2 of my country's borders I might be slightly tempted to throw a little mischief out there.

Now, who wants a chicken sandwich? It tastes a bit like cock, but you can't fuck an egg without making omelettes.
posted by Wolof at 3:52 AM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Whether this is true or not seems largely beside the point. Where is an administration with a 28% approval rating going to muster the political will to attack a country that is a little less than three times the size of the country who's currently kicking our ass?

As I don't think this PPT job will move any American to bloodlust, the answers to the question above both confound and frighten me.
posted by psmealey at 4:26 AM on February 13, 2007


Where is an administration with a 28% approval rating going to muster the political will to attack a country that is a little less than three times the size of the country who's currently kicking our ass?

The beauty of the unitary executive is never having to ask for support once you are elected.
posted by srboisvert at 4:55 AM on February 13, 2007


Dubious evidence notwithstanding, it's pretty clear that aid to some of the Shia militias is coming from the direction of Iran.

But those Shia are the ones Dear Leader loves! The SCIRI.

Yeah, because naturally Iran would be helping the fucking SUNNI insurgents.

Exactly. And needs repeating.

Pace won't back this charge up, he says. And latest news, "anonymous" source is none other than the communications director for the Army. Looks like we have our very own Baghdad Bob!

Don't look at where the Sunni, the ones doing most of the bombing, are getting backing! (can you say Saudi Arabia?) Same place where nearly all the 9/11 hijacker came from?

Who would have imagined?
I mean, look here Osama, we got our troops out of Saudi Arabia, just like you demanded, so what's the problem?
posted by nofundy at 5:28 AM on February 13, 2007


Where is an administration with a 28% approval rating going to muster the political will to attack a country that is a little less than three times the size of the country who's currently kicking our ass?


Not to mention the fact that we don't have any spare army to speak of at the moment. I'm assuming that they plan to bomb the hell out of Iran since air power is the only thing that we have left. I think that Cheney just doesn't give a fuck at all anymore and is just going to do whatever the hell he want to.
posted by octothorpe at 5:30 AM on February 13, 2007


I'm assuming that they plan to bomb the hell out of Iran since air power is the only thing that we have left.

And, unlike the Army and US Marines, the Navy and Air Force have had a pretty clean little war.

Timing is simple. March, 2007. CVN-69 is on station. CVN-74 is at station around Guam, in a heavy training rotation. CVN-76 departed San Diego in January for a "short notice deployment" to the "Western Pacific," and is now operating under the 7th Fleet.

So, Ike is there, Stennis and Reagan are close. Nimitz is doing routine training near San Diego, but could theoretically deploy quickly.

Enterprise is operating in the West Atlantic. She's just come off a Gulf Deployment, so she's probably out. Truman is also in the West Atlantic, arming up for deployment. Roosevelt is deployed in the Atlantic, maintaining qualifications, she's ready to go at any time.

It has been a very long time since the US Navy had seven flattops ready or close to ready for operational deployment. Five are clearly ready to go, Nimitz and Enterprise probably need a couple of months, but are in a perfect place to refit and rotate out Ike and Stennis. Truman needs qualifications, but she's close to ready.

So. March -- when Stennis gets on station, and Reagan is close, that's when it starts. As they continue airstrikes, Truman and Roosevelt come in to rotate out Ike and Stennis, then Enterprise, after a quick turn, deploys to relieve Reagan.

We're currently set to have three CVN groups on station off Iran for at least the next year. After that, it'll get harder. Nimitz can deploy by then, Vinson would be coming out of reactor refit, but would need time to requalify herself and the air wing. Lincoln and Washington should be available by then, and Bush commissions early 2008, so would possibly be available for a late 2008 deployment, but that would be pushing it. When the ship is over 1000 feet long, the gripe list can be ten times that length. But by that time, the original three should have rotated back, refitted, and be ready for deployment again.

Still. As opposed to the early 2000s, where keeping three CVN groups at sea was a real problem, the US Navy now seems to be in just the place we want to be to keep three CVN groups *in combat* for at least 18 months, if not two years.

Of course, then we're looking at a bunch of flattops in need of long dockyard time. But that would be in 2009. Why would BushCo care about that?
posted by eriko at 6:10 AM on February 13, 2007 [4 favorites]


The Bush administration changed my thinking about our army. I thought with the Soviet Union gone we had the most powerful military in the world. In reality, we can't do much, can we? I mean, if Grenada goes commie again, we'll be there. Prediction: China will take Taiwan in late 2008, after the presidential elections and, more importantly, the Olympics.

As for the evidence, it is really stupid, especially considering the other likely alternatives.

A. Insurgents need weapons.
B. Insurgents get weapons from black market.
C. Black market gets weapons wherever they can - including from manufacturers in Iran and weapons manufactured in the US.
D. While it can be argued that under the Bush administration America has become its own worse enemy, this does not mean America should attack America.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:21 AM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I still don't understand what the strategic objective is in attacking Iran.

Iraq was easy: getting rid of a tiresome and annoying dictator who no longer served any political purpose, getting access to Persian gulf oil reserves as a contingency against the Saudis being overthrown, establishing permanent US military bases in the mid-east. Regardless of the domestic situation an Iraq, which never mattered much to the powers responsible, the objectives sought in launching the Iraq War have more or less been accomplished.

As for Iran, I can't see any objective in bombing it. Certainly it will chasten whatever pro-American elements exist in Iran, it will solidify hard-liners' grip on power, and it will likely trigger the closing of the Straits of Hormuz, which may well cripple the global economy.

The neocons are almost certainly evil, but hardly stupid. What's to gain from this. I don't buy that it's to juice Halliburton's profits, because that's would only be a temporary benefit. The downside of such an excursion would be so far-reaching and permanent that it would nullify such short-term gains.

Any viable theories?
posted by psmealey at 6:33 AM on February 13, 2007


dances with sneetches: I don't know, I think we still have the most powerful conventional military at this point (leading me to believe we could take the Iranian conventional military in relatively short order -- witness how quickly the initial air/ground war against Iraq went.) The problem is our military is totally, utterly not designed for guerilla warfare (and the concomitant concern about differentiating combatants from civilians.) That's why the the potential of getting into a ruckus with Iran is so scary. If we decided outright that civilians just didn't matter in Iraq and pulled a Dresden-style meltdown on Sadr City and environs, the situation there would be different.

The days of 12 tank divisions steaming across Northern Europe to meet on the field of battle are long gone, and it's going to take a while for our military to figure out how to adjust. At least now (versus Vietnam) we at least seem to be realizing the need for change.
posted by fet at 6:44 AM on February 13, 2007


Where is an administration with a 28% approval rating going to muster the political will to attack a country...

It's not about political will; it's about issuing and following lawful* orders.

----

*For debatable values of "lawful," of course; whatever became of the initiative to look into impeaching the chimp, anyhow?
posted by pax digita at 6:45 AM on February 13, 2007


witness how quickly the initial air/ground war against Iraq went

This is beside the point, really, but the Iraq military was routed in Gulf War I, and was further degraded by 10 years of sanctions and questionable loyalites on the part of its commanders. It was pretty soft by the time 2003 rolled around.

Iran's military is 3x that size, and has nearly 20 years to recover and rebuild since its last significant conflict. Not to mention the fact that Iran is much more vast and mountainous country than Iraq.

You're right to say that the any such war will not be fought conventionally, but even if it were, it would certainly not go well.
posted by psmealey at 6:57 AM on February 13, 2007


Iran may have more manpower and ground conventional forces, but the US' main advantage isn't in ground forces and manpower -- it's in air superiority. The US would have complete and utter control of the skies within days, just due to the depleted Air Force that the Iranians could field. When your airforce is made up of drastically undermaintained Vietnam-era F-4 Phantoms and a few F-14 Tomcats, along with a smattering of Chinese knockoff MiG-29s and (maybe) MiG-31s and whatever Mirages or other MiGs you managed to steal from the Iraqis in the late 1980s/early 1990s, you're screwed.

I'm not trying to argue that this is a good idea -- far from it -- but in conventional warfare -- especially where we can utilize air power -- the US is unparalleled.
posted by fet at 7:11 AM on February 13, 2007


Cenoxo - that isn't pink wadding. Those are the color coded charge bags for the round.

I'm also a bit confused about how this works. Are they alleging transfer of munitions or are they arguing that someone is showing them how to make sophisticated improvised devices, or both?

The former looks very hard to prove and, in a sort of Darwinian process, all insurgencies get increasingly sophisticated as they go on, pulling information from a wide range of sources. Some might be Iranian, sure, but so what.
posted by fingerbang at 8:23 AM on February 13, 2007


So judging by the American government's logic, is it okay for Palestineans to attack America because America is supplying weapons to Israel?
posted by dydecker at 8:47 AM on February 13, 2007


Yup.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:28 AM on February 13, 2007


"As for Iran, I can't see any objective in bombing it. Certainly it will chasten whatever pro-American elements exist in Iran, it will solidify hard-liners' grip on power, and it will likely trigger the closing of the Straits of Hormuz, which may well cripple the global economy.

The neocons are almost certainly evil, but hardly stupid. What's to gain from this. I don't buy that it's to juice Halliburton's profits, because that's would only be a temporary benefit. The downside of such an excursion would be so far-reaching and permanent that it would nullify such short-term gains.

Any viable theories?"

Peak Oil. We've invested too many lives and too much money in securing gulf reserves for the US. We have to collect.

The only way to do that in the face of massive popular opinion against further entanglement in Iraq, is to make the mess so goddamned big, so pervasive, and so region-wide that we can't disengage.
posted by stenseng at 9:52 AM on February 13, 2007


Hence the early and repeated trope of the Pottery Barn theory.
posted by stenseng at 9:53 AM on February 13, 2007


Maybe we should invade Austria.
posted by EarBucket at 10:08 AM on February 13, 2007


According to this page, Iran does not manufacture 81MM mortar shells, but Afghanistan does...
posted by daHIFI at 11:20 AM on February 13, 2007


1. Iran purchases its arms from Russia. Any writing on shells purchased from their ally to the north would have Cyrillic written on them. And any shells produced locally would have Farsi, not English, denoting blast yield.

2. Russian mortar rounds are 82mm, not 81mm. So those rounds Iraqi police uncovered? Not big enough to get the job done (performance anxiety, perhaps?).

3. Iran and Afghanistan don't use the Gregorian calendar. It may be February, 2007, in the United States, but it's 23 Bahman 1385 in Iran. Stamping bombs "3-2006" ignores the fact Iran adopted the Jalaali calendar long ago. It also assumes a Muslim-dominated nation would follow a calendar which sets Jesus Christ as its focal point. Oops - try again!
posted by augustweed at 11:28 AM on February 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Any viable theories?

A nuclear-armed Iran would change the balance of power in the Middle East, making Israel far less powerful then it is now. It may even be forced to honor UN resolutions and pursue land for peace as Iran flexes its muscles and attempts to use its now power as a way to further influence the region and emerge as a champion of Muslims. Meanwhile, feeling threatened, Saudi Arabia and Egypt accelerate their nuclear programs.
posted by cell divide at 12:22 PM on February 13, 2007


Y'know, just speaking on style points, that looks nothing like any DoD powerpoint brief I've ever seen: no classification markings (and UNCLASSIFIED is required when applicable), no originator, no nothing. I'm a little dubious about the whole thing.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 2:52 PM on February 13, 2007


And so it goes. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has come out against the assertation that the Iranian government is supplying arms to Iraqi resistance forces. The White House is spinning this like crazy.

At the same time, US Defense Department "intelligence sources" are claiming that Muqtada al-Sadr is in Iran. Sadr's supporters say otherwise.

Emperor, if you can't see how the chessboard is being set up - again - then there's little hope. The chairman of the joint chiefs coming out to contradict the White house is a major indication that the top level of the armed forces know what is planned... and at least some of them are doing what they can to stop it.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:52 PM on February 13, 2007


Scary Movie 2
posted by homunculus at 5:51 PM on February 13, 2007


fingerbang said: Cenoxo - that isn't pink wadding. Those are the color coded charge bags for the round.

Thanks for the correction. More about mortar rounds at 81mm Mortar Ammunition And Fuzes: note the comparable M374A3 HE.
posted by cenoxo at 1:18 AM on February 14, 2007


I'll just reiterate that this does not look like a DoD intel product in either the details or in general. That is why I said I think it's suspicious, amateurish, and would suggest it may well be another "policy" product out of the shop that Doug Feith used to run.

But seriously, folks. I'll forego naming names here, but you know who you are. This is important.

Because BushCo and his theocon junta has most of the country buffaloed into thinking that Ahmedinejad is going to come around the corner with his beard aflame and swinging cutlasses like Edward Teach any second now, the onus is on those of us who like a little realism in their foreign policy to lay out the facts & details exceedingly carefully, openly, and especially graciously.

These affectations of world-weariness in explaining to yet another moron v e r y s l o w l y why you've had it all figured out and how very clear it all is to all but the droolingest of troglodytes does not--read this part carefully--does not help. So, I'd recommend against assuming that, because someone has a bit of experientially-informed reticence to buy a particular bill of goods without examining it, they must be another poor blind mental invalid. Maybe they just think there's more to presenting an argument than the written equivalent of a teenager rolling his eyes. If that's too hard to do: get off my team.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 6:29 AM on February 14, 2007




Emperor, the context of the link sharksandwich provided may help explain things - the Powerpoint presentation was designed for a press briefing, given a few days ago. Thus, no classification markings, etc.

I think that the discussion over font types and document validity gave me a flashback to two years ago. If my response was overly harsh, I apoligise. But patronizing fools - and I would classify the 30% or so of the American public that still supports the Bush administration as such - is not the way forward, in my opinion. These are the people who whom war with the Middle East is a desirable thing.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:25 AM on February 14, 2007




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