Skip

Falling out of the sky.
February 19, 2007 8:08 PM   Subscribe

A somber video with music purporting to show the downing of a US helicopter surfaces on the New York Times and YouTube. Some background here.
posted by lupus_yonderboy (59 comments total)

 
This is actually the appropriate background for this story, as this video was posted up almost two weeks ago, and taken down repeatedly.

The purported organization behind this attack is the Islamic State of Iraq, but repeated warnings from US commanders suggest that it is not clear what side the attackers were on - Sunni or Shiite. The terrorist group has also issued a press release. Here is a rough transcript of what is said in the video.
posted by phaedon at 8:23 PM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Iran has been arming both Sunni and Shiite resistance groups, even though the Iranian government is Shiite.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:40 PM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is pathetic. Jihad is only valid if the invaders are intending to suppress or eliminate Islam as part of their subjugation. There is no valid jihad in Iraq, in fact the only jihad there that would be valid is the kind where people refrain from following their baser, violent instincts (called the Greater Jihad in traditional Islam, because working on one's character is far more difficult than picking up a weapon).
posted by Burhanistan at 8:41 PM on February 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Steven C. Den Beste, I'm not an authority, but that video stinks of Salifism (Sunni in name only).
posted by Burhanistan at 8:43 PM on February 19, 2007


Does anyone have a translation?
posted by bshort at 8:45 PM on February 19, 2007


It's just rabble rousing with bastardized Quran verses. I can't make out the little sermon at the beginning.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:47 PM on February 19, 2007


Violence on video. *yawn* and at YouTube no less. Oh really? Shocked and dismayed I am. No really.

Wake me when the violent idiots on this planet sufficiently cause their own extinction. I'll be in my bunk.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:50 PM on February 19, 2007


Steven C. Den Beste: "Iran has been arming both Sunni and Shiite resistance groups, even though the Iranian government is Shiite."

That doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. Do you have any evidence to prove that? Our government hasn't even come up with any proof that the Iranian government is arming the Shites and you are trying to say that they are supporting their long time Sunni enemies?
posted by octothorpe at 8:51 PM on February 19, 2007


Man, I had no idea Burhanistan speaks arabic. I need to pay more attention to what he says around here.
posted by shmegegge at 8:55 PM on February 19, 2007


Wake me when the violent idiots on this planet sufficiently cause their own extinction. I'll be in my bunk.

A bunker might be a better idea.
posted by shmegegge at 8:56 PM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not sure what's in the vid is an SA-7, but once the commies got their hands on SA-7s that was all-she-wrote WRT any sort of meaningful armed US presence in SVN.[1].

you are trying to say that they are supporting their long time Sunni enemies?

Iran profits from a weakened Iraq, though they would need cast-iron balls to do this sort of black-bag duplicity.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:58 PM on February 19, 2007


We don't know if Iran, per se, is arming anyone whatsoever. There is a strong possibility that elements within the Iranian government or clergy are doing so with some but not all of the Shia groups, with the official position being to look the other way. Even that is speculation. A personal theory of mine is that much of the explosives and ordinance came from the many caches that were summarily overrun during the high speed US invasion in 2003. These weapons were trucked into Iran where they could be hidden easier. Some of what is coming back into Iraq now is old Sadam era stockpiles. As far as brand new weapons, it's probably the case that rich radicals from the Gulf Arab states are funding the Sunnis, who in turn are getting their ordinance from some place in Iran, where there is a veritable tangled web of deceiving arms dealers playing both sides.

Pure speculation on my part, but so it goes.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:59 PM on February 19, 2007


al-Qaeda is Sunni. If "the Islamic State of Iraq" actually does have affiliations with al-Qaeda, they're Sunni too.

That Jawa Report post is extremely confused. Like most pro-war blogs these days, it's insinuating that every piece of bad news coming out of Iraq is somehow connected with Iran.

Iran and al-Qaeda working together would be like, well, the US funding al-Qaeda. al-Qaeda and the rest of wahhabist Islam hates Iran only slightly less than the US or Israel -- they're a bunch of heretical Shiite dogs, etc.

Iran is almost certainly channeling money and weapons and advisors into Iraq, but they're sponsoring militant pro-Iranian Shiite groups like the Mahdi Army and SCIRI. They want a Shiite client state in Iraq, and their goals are almost certainly at odds with those of al-Qaeda.

There's actually some intelligent conversation going on on the blog that the Jawa report cites. Somebody has been giving Sunni insurgents more up-to-date Strelas. It's most likely to be al-Q acting with a wink and a nod from the Saudis or Syria.
posted by xthlc at 9:00 PM on February 19, 2007


shmegegge, ah, but it's limited to religious speak...if they start rattling off current affairs or other worldly matters I lose the line quickly.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:00 PM on February 19, 2007


Steven C. Den Beste: "Iran has been arming both Sunni and Shiite resistance groups, even though the Iranian government is Shiite."

That doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. Do you have any evidence to prove that?


Yeah, I'll second that request for evidence to support your assertion, Steven. Any kind of supporting link will do, because the idea that Iran would be arming Sunni insurgents really doesn't make sense to me, either. Hey, stranger things have happened in world affairs, I'm sure, but something more than a bald statement would be nice.
posted by mediareport at 9:09 PM on February 19, 2007


I don't mean this as an insult, but that statement by SCDB is kind of typical of many otherwise intelligent Americans who really have no more than a vague idea of the subtleties of the Muslim world and Western Asia. It's all kind of the same stratified killing field to your average (strawman, yep) American middle aged university educated type. In the final analysis that may be true, but it would behoove people to read something other than Time or Newsweek, or God forbid, talk with some Muslims.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:13 PM on February 19, 2007


As this is a subject that stirs my cauldron, I shall humbly bow out and get some sleep.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:13 PM on February 19, 2007


Iran has been arming both Sunni and Shiite resistance groups, even though the Iranian government is Shiite.

You're full of shit.
posted by delmoi at 9:17 PM on February 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also: SCDB, sometimes you say things that are correct, but that statement is unmitigated horseshit. You are repeating rumors that have no basis in evidence, and fly in the face of any reasonable assessment of the situation in Iraq by someone who knows what they're talking about. These rumors are being deliberately spread by people in the United States who think that a shooting war with Iran would be a good idea. These people are either stupid, willfully ignorant, or advocating a position that they don't really hold for the purposes of political expediency.

Iran is our enemy, and is almost certainly acting against our interests in Iraq by arming and supporting some militant Shii'te factions. However, we have a lot of enemies right now, and knowing where the punches are coming from is the first rule of surviving a barfight.
posted by xthlc at 9:20 PM on February 19, 2007


posted by kirkaracha at 9:26 PM on February 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


By the way, some Sunni Afghans recently managed to get into Iran and blow some stuff up, Iran claims they were armed by the U.S.
posted by delmoi at 9:27 PM on February 19, 2007


From the "Et Tu, Saudi?" link:
The downing by Jihadists of six U.S. choppers in three weeks, almost all in Sunni-controlled territories of Iraq, isn't dumb luck. They're clearly using more high-tech weapons. Who's arming them?

Rumors finger Iran, but it doesn't appear that Iran-backed Shiite militias are behind the attacks. Most of the surface-to-air missiles have been fired within the Sunni triangle and outside areas controlled by Shiite militias.
...
We learned from the Baker report and wire reports that Saudis, not Iranians, are supplying insurgents with the money for shoulder-fired missiles and other sophisticated weaponry -- a revelation that has been drowned out by all the hype and saber-rattling over Iran.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:31 PM on February 19, 2007


kirkaracha: thanks for the informative linkdump. almost worthy of a NewsFilter post itself, I think.
posted by xthlc at 9:38 PM on February 19, 2007


Thanks for those, kirkaracha. The edginess with which Sunni countries have been watching Iran's rise is fairly obvious, which makes it very hard to accept what Steven's trying to sell here. Seems pretty obvious that neocons looking for a quick blame target that'll fly with U.S. voters are trying to lay the entire mess at Iran's door. That scorn for "reality-based" assessments again, I guess.

But I'm sure Steven will be back shortly with some interesting supporting evidence for his claim.
posted by mediareport at 9:39 PM on February 19, 2007


THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ; DEADLIEST BOMB IN IRAQ IS MADE BY IRAN, U.S. SAYS

Sorry, just an abstract unless you want to pay for access. But I read this article in its entirety the day it was released.

Listen: I am not claiming that Iran is behind everything in Iraq. Clearly, that is not the case. However, this and other reports from reputable media sources (not blogs) have shown that there is some evidence that Iran is helping out the insurgents in some way - even if that help was a long time ago, or even if it just consisted of an economic sale and nothing else, they're part of the problem here. (as is the Soviet Union, many years dissolved, because it's their reckless arms proliferation that allowed these crazy people to get their hands on sophisticated weapons of war so that they could kill peacetime troops and unarmed civilians in mass numbers. I mean, what could you do, get in a time machine and go back 30 years just to get slaughtered in a land war?)

I have no idea of a suggestion as to how to fix that. But, at this point, even for a war hawk like me, I have to admit that the old regime-change strategy of "wait for the stupid people to die" seems like the best approach. Direct engagement is too costly, and apparently the rest of the world is politically unwilling to pull their share of the load. Even in Iraq, win or lose, withdrawal is our policy right now, and it's only being delayed because the Bush administration has it's self-interests at play in continuing the war.
posted by brianvan at 10:06 PM on February 19, 2007


there is some evidence that Iran is helping out the insurgents in some way

Well, duh. No one's denying the probability that Iran is helping out the side it shares religious history with in the war right next door. Really, to me that's a no-brainer. What is being questioned here is Steven's so-far-unsupported statement that Iran is *also* helping the other major player, the Sunnis to whom Iran's current religious leaders are usually seen as vehemently opposed. Absent even the slightest bit of evidence for that, it's hard not to see his claim as pure spin designed to provide cover for the near-total failure of Cheney's horribly misguided war.
posted by mediareport at 10:21 PM on February 19, 2007


I, too, would like to see some evidence grounded in reality, because these accusations have been taken apart by people who actually know what they are talking about.

The current attempts to brainwash otherwise intelligent, rational people into believing Iran is behind the insurgents are insulting.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:36 PM on February 19, 2007


Do you have any evidence to prove that?

SCDB doesn't do evidence. Ever read his blog? (The political one he's too ashamed to update these days?)

As for Iran having spys and/or agents in Iraq -- why shouldn't they? If religious fanatics took over Mexico, it would behoove the US to know what's going on there. Unlike the US though, Iran is run by fanatical yet relatively mature adults who are acting out of national self-interest (protecting their borders, strenghening their hand in the region) than personal self-interest (Halliburton, oil futures). I certainly don't condone involvement, if it's ever proven, that they helped to aid in the deaths of American troops. But aiding the Sunni insurgency? Why the fuck would they do that? As of now, the US military is directly working to further Iranian interests thoughout the region for decades to come (Maliki, a Shia theocracy, a stifled Sunni presence). Why would they actively work to de-rail that? The US is currently the best friend Iran has ever had. The mullahs are despicable, but they're not stupid, unlike some other national leaders.
posted by bardic at 10:37 PM on February 19, 2007


Iran has been arming both Sunni and Shiite resistance groups

So? The US has been arming the largest militia group in the country, but no one seems to care about that.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:42 PM on February 19, 2007


brianvan writes I have to admit that the old regime-change strategy of "wait for the stupid people to die" seems like the best approach. Direct engagement is too costly, and apparently the rest of the world is politically unwilling to pull their share of the load. Even in Iraq, win or lose, withdrawal is our policy right now, and it's only being delayed because the Bush administration has it's self-interests at play in continuing the war.

This is unmitigated blather. How are we not "directly engaged," as it is? And why should the "rest of the world" be expected to clean up the mess we, and we alone (sorry Poland) have made? Fact is, we're supporting Maliki and the Shia. And hence, we are spending blood and treasure to empower Iran for decades to come. And yet, Bush goes on TV and tells us to be afraid of the Iranians, that they're the reason we are getting our collective asses kicked in this bloodbath? This sounds like yet another pathetic version off "The idea was good, the execution was bad." No. Wrong. Sorry. The idea was horrendous and at its heart, directly opposed to long term American self-interest.

Hence, Bush as worst president ever is no longer a hyperbolic thought.
posted by bardic at 10:54 PM on February 19, 2007


Brianvan, I can't read your linked article, but it appears to be reporting on claims by the U.S. government, and not presenting actual evidence. This is no small distinction, given that our government has already shown that it is willing to fabricate a pretext for hostilities. Given Iran's history and political ties, it is of course probable that it has given at least some aid to factions opposed to us in Iraq. But I have no way of knowing this for sure, or whether such support is ongoing in the face of U.S. pressure, because pretty much the exclusive source for this sort of information has zero credibility.
posted by Manjusri at 11:09 PM on February 19, 2007


For those interested in this sort of thing, videos like this generally pop up on Live Leak pretty quickly. This one was up Feb. 9 and, I think, has been up without problems ever since.
posted by showmethecalvino at 11:18 PM on February 19, 2007


So once again, Bush gives his Saudi friends a free pass, while the posturing Democrats and Republicans alike fail to care enough to notice. Fucking pathetic.
posted by homunculus at 11:25 PM on February 19, 2007


burhanistan, it's still enough for me to think you've got more to say than the average bear on these kind of topics.
posted by shmegegge at 11:40 PM on February 19, 2007


Bush as worst president ever is no longer a hyperbolic thought

well, at least we've seen the national debt decline from $8.8T to $5.8T, our annual trade deficit declining from $800B to $300B, the combination of wise energy policy and international diplomacy lower the price of oil from $60 to $20, national consumer credit card debt loads declining 30%, and record affordability levels (from 8x income to 3x income) in the real estate sector.

There's no arguing that the Bush team has been a financial powerhouse for our nation's economy going forward.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:03 AM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Iran has been arming both Sunni and Shiite resistance groups"

Everybody in the middle east has their finder in Iraq. Israel is training and arming Kurdish resistance fighters without the permission and against the wishes of the Iraqi government.
posted by Sukiari at 12:11 AM on February 20, 2007


well, at least we've seen the national debt decline from $8.8T to $5.8T, our annual trade deficit declining from $800B to $300B, the combination of wise energy policy and international diplomacy lower the price of oil from $60 to $20, national consumer credit card debt loads declining 30%, and record affordability levels (from 8x income to 3x income) in the real estate sector.

National Debt: $8,738,700,362,432.03
Trade Deficit: $763.6 billion
Light Sweet Crude - Mar 2007: $58.55
Consumer Debt - 2005/2006: $2.2956/$2.4006 trillion
Housing Affordibility Index: 14 year low (2005)

Truly something to be proud of. Four more years!
posted by maxwelton at 12:48 AM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


It may be Bush mathematics, where $8.8T equals $5.8T in 1999 dollars. Too bad the numbers don't line up.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:01 AM on February 20, 2007


Get your sarcasm meters checked, people.
posted by asok at 1:53 AM on February 20, 2007


Can anybody say a bit more about the soundtrack? What are they singing and is this a particular style of music?
posted by By The Grace of God at 2:03 AM on February 20, 2007


man, that is the kind of sarcasm that, unless you're pre-aware of someone's political leanings, REQUIRES hearing the tone of voice to detect.
posted by shmegegge at 2:13 AM on February 20, 2007


I kinda liked the music.
posted by Catfry at 4:22 AM on February 20, 2007


Iran has been arming both Sunni and Shiite resistance groups, even though the Iranian government is Shiite.

People, SCDB is obviously being sarcastic here. Nobody who had the faintest idea what he was talking about would present something that nonsensical as a bald statement of fact.
posted by EarBucket at 4:35 AM on February 20, 2007


People, SCDB is obviously being sarcastic here.

I'll wait for him to say it, thanks. He's made that kind of unsupported statement before; it's kind of his stock in trade in political threads.
posted by mediareport at 4:52 AM on February 20, 2007


SCDB was quoted in those videos about the "101st Fighting Keyboarders", which should tell you his overall credibility level about the Middle East and the war in general. He listens to and repeats bad sources; things he says are to be double- and triple-checked for accuracy.

He seems reality-based for most things closer to home, but on the war, any claim he makes should be treated with extreme skepticism.
posted by Malor at 6:04 AM on February 20, 2007


President Bush forgot to mention Saudi Arabia's support for Sunni insurgents in Iraq in his January 10 TV address. He mentions Iran six times. (He does mention Saudi Arabia as one of the countries that "need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists [oops] and a strategic threat to their survival.")it's their reckless arms proliferation that allowed these crazy people to get their hands on sophisticated weapons of war

"The United States is by far the largest exporter of weapons in the world, with a sales volume that exceeds the next 14 countries combined. Military sales equate to about 18 percent of the Federal budget, far and away the greatest proportion of any nation."
posted by kirkaracha at 6:18 AM on February 20, 2007


I don't mean this as an insult, but that statement by SCDB is kind of typical of many otherwise intelligent Americans who really have no more than a vague idea of the subtleties of the Muslim world and Western Asia.

While it's true that many otherwise intelligent Americans have no more than a vague idea of the subtleties of the Muslim world and Western Asia, that statement is typical of nothing more than SCDB, who is the classic example of the smart guy who knows a lot about some things but is under the delusion that he knows everything about everything, and shares his invented "knowledge" with us (and doubtless everyone he interacts with) at the drop of a hat.

People, SCDB is obviously being sarcastic here.

Are you being sarcastic? It's so hard to tell around here. Anyway, no, I'm reasonably sure he's not; in fact, I don't know if I've ever seen him make a sarcastic statement (at least, one that could possibly be mistaken for anything else). Poker-faced sarcasm is not his style; he deals in male-omniscience-syndrome pontification.
posted by languagehat at 7:35 AM on February 20, 2007


Yes, I was being sarcastic. Sorry for the confusion, but I suppose it's a symptom of our national through-the-looking-glass adventure.
posted by EarBucket at 8:27 AM on February 20, 2007


Birthday....Wedding.... Helicopter.... Wedding...................
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:35 AM on February 20, 2007


How unfortunate. It appears Mr. Den Beste has decided to take his seminal essay, "female people", out of the internet archives, wayback machine, and google. This is definitely unfortunate, because it reveals keen insights into the kind of thinking process Mr. Den Beste employs.
posted by felix at 10:28 AM on February 20, 2007


Anyway, when we are talking about who might be funding the 'insurgents' we should bear in mind the $12 BILLION in CASH that was flown from the US to Iraq at the beginning of the invasion. I can only assume that it had something to do with paying off the 'intelligence' sources that helped the US government justify their illegal invasion. So they didn't *just* do it for a seat on the Iraqi Government...

Also, to clarify my sarcasm meter comment referred to the replies to Heywood Mogroot's comment and not to Mr Den Beste's dangerous and unsubstantiated bit of propaganda.
posted by asok at 10:30 AM on February 20, 2007


Well it's a good thing we only ever sold anti-tank weapons to Iran. That would be embarrassing.

Seriously, sometimes I can't tell whether or not we're living in a play by Euripides or Brecht.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:24 AM on February 20, 2007


Bardic: SCDB doesn't do evidence. Ever read his blog? (The political one he's too ashamed to update these days?)

I stopped writing posts for USS Clueless because my deteriorating health made it impossible for me to sustain the kind of mental energy that was necessary. For the last year of posting, the only thing that made it possible was increasing doses of prescription drugs whose side effects I decided were intolerable.

If I was "ashamed", why would I leave my archives on line?

I'm really rather surprised at the vehemence of the response to my entry above. If I'm wrong, just say so and move on. Why all the foaming at the mouth and ad hominem?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:10 PM on February 20, 2007


Steven, because it was a qualified dumb thing to just drop in the thread like that with no citation or follow up. This is clearly a sensitive matter for many people so careful use of words is best.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:40 PM on February 20, 2007




I'm gettin' all misty over here Steven C. Den Beste. Your story of struggle and hardship in the name of the greater cause, your Kampf so to speak, is a thing of wonder. No wonder the troops in Iraq and the veterans coming home must realize how small their own sacrifices were compared to yours.
posted by bardic at 4:25 PM on February 20, 2007


If I'm wrong, just say so and move on.

Um, Steven, the deeper point is why you felt compelled to make a completely unsupported assertion that flies in the face of all evidence. Why do you do that? Is it just to stir the pot? If so, you're not helping the discussion and might want to think about not posting if you have nothing to offer.
posted by mediareport at 6:57 PM on February 20, 2007




Copter Attacks: Back to the Future?
posted by homunculus at 8:57 PM on February 22, 2007


« Older BBC's documentary: Iran, the most understood...   |   Is there anybody out there... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post