Is it tinfoil hat time again already?
July 16, 2010 2:58 PM   Subscribe

The recent bombing of a a Shi’ite mosque in SE Iran by the Sunni Muslim rebel group Jundullah raises again the question of whether the US is in bed with the enemy. The Groups leader Abdolmalek Rigi was recently executed by the Iranians.
In 2007 ABC News reported on The Secret War Against Iran.
"Some former CIA officers say the arrangement is reminiscent of how the U.S. government used proxy armies, funded by other countries including Saudi Arabia, to destabilize the government of Nicaragua in the 1980s”.
posted by adamvasco (15 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Kind of illustrative of the ultimate futility of war as "policy by other means".
posted by KokuRyu at 3:03 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Knowing the CIA track record in the past the answers are always:

A) Yes they are


B) They're fucking it up royally.
posted by The Whelk at 3:13 PM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]

I'd snark but I'm still too embarrassed about the British torture thread.
posted by shinybaum at 3:16 PM on July 16, 2010

That's ok, I'm sure when the terrorists freedom fighters win, they totally won't use their battle tested skills they learned from the School of the Americas terrorist training camps to make attacks on our people because violent fanatics are always well known for reasoned policy-making and loyalty to alliances of convenience.

I mean, that's how it worked in Afghanistan, right?
posted by yeloson at 3:18 PM on July 16, 2010

Disgusting. I thought we were over this sort of iran-contra bullshit. How has it not sunk in that this kind of operation never turns out well?
posted by ryaninoakland at 3:35 PM on July 16, 2010

How has it not sunk in that this kind of operation never turns out well?

It's a good authority dodge- when the proxies achieve goals, you can take the credit, when they are killed, or commit atrocities, it's totally their fault and you're blameless. Not having to put American lives at risk also makes it a good "sale" to your superiors.

Proxy wars are like landmines- it does a great job of making someplace dangerous and not worth occupying, and then proceeds to keep it that way for decades to come.
posted by yeloson at 3:48 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

I mean, that's how it worked in Afghanistan, right?

Actually, my understanding is that is exactly how it worked in Afghanistan. Anti-communist jihadis that worked with independent religious groups (like bin Laden's) and received aid through the Pakistani ISI (albeit funded by the CIA indirectly) supplied much of the al Qaeda and Taliban personnel. Moussad and others funded directly by the U.S. resisted the Taliban by way of, among other things, the Northern Alliance.
posted by thesmophoron at 4:57 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

My dad used to joke that you could always tell the CIA guys in Vietnam because they were always wearing shorts and Hawaiian shirts, because it said in their manual to "dress appropriately for the climate". I didn't really understand what he was getting at then, but I get it now. (see what The Whelk said, above)

If y'all haven't read The Ugly American, you should. It's actually a good book, not just relevant and timeless political commentary.
posted by Xoebe at 5:59 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Good god, I hope we have nothing to this sort of thing.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:06 PM on July 16, 2010

Of course, the Sunni-Shia conflict is older than the history of the USA.
posted by semmi at 6:57 PM on July 16, 2010

Iran doesn't have too many friends these days.
posted by Simon Barclay at 7:25 PM on July 16, 2010

When I saw that this AM, I wondered whatever happened to the MEK:
Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK) is the largest and most militant group opposed to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Also known as the People’s Mujahadeen Organization of Iran, MEK is led by husband and wife Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. MEK was added to the U.S. State Department’s list of foreign terrorist groups in 1997 and to the European Union’s terrorist list in 2002 because its attacks have often killed civilians.
Here's where it gets interesting:
During the Iraq war, U.S. forces cracked down on the MEK. About 3,400 people were disarmed at Camp Ashraf, surrendering two thousand tanks, armored personnel carriers, and heavy artillery pieces, according to the 2006 report. Those living at Camp Ashraf are designated as “protected persons” under Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prevents extradition or forced repatriation to Iran as long as the United States maintains a presence in Iraq. The Unites States has no plans to charge and prosecute people living in this camp. The “protected persons” designation applies solely to those living at Camp Ashraf, not other members of the group, nor does it affect the MEK’s listing on the State Department terrorist list.
Still around. Hosted a big gathering at which both former Spanish Prime Minister José-Maria Aznar and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton spoke. Bolton's pressing the State Department to drop the MEK from the list of terrorist orgs.

And it looks like they've just won an appeal in US federal court. The State Department will have to review its classification of the MEK.

Maybe Jundallah will be getting some help soon.
posted by notyou at 7:29 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

More antiAmerican propaganda from adamvasco. President Obama and Hillary Clinton both issued string statements condemning the the bombing.. The Iranian regime continues to murder and jail political opponents who engage in peaceful protest and dissent. The stone women for adultery. They hang people for holding heretical religious beleifs. In summary the tiny cabal at the heart of the violence in Iran is the government of Iran.
posted by humanfont at 7:49 AM on July 17, 2010

Humanfont Your statement above exposes your ignorance. Here is Iranian condemnation of the 9/11 attacks.
I think you need to remove your blinkers and change your theme song from La-La Can't Hear You. If I am an anti american propagandist then so are half the members who regularily comment on this site. Did you even read the ABC News link? ABC News slogan: -
"More Americans get their news from ABC News than from any other source."
There is a problem with political stability especially in the Middle East Region in case you had not noticed and the USA , an outside player is proving to be most of the problem and not part of the solution.
Iran is going nuclear. USA will have to learn to live with it, after all Israel is nuclear and so are their other friends Pakistan which is the most unstable state of all.
Why don't you pick up your ball and go home. On top of the obvious visible interference in other countries problems there are the insidious incursions and black ops which originated under Bushco and are still going on.
I know it's an Al Jazeera link; suck it up, learn to listen to something other than Fox and CNN. You might also want to read up a bit more on Balochistan and here is some more about Abdelmalek Rigi
posted by adamvasco at 1:20 PM on July 17, 2010

Stop getting your news from TV, Noam Chomsky or the workers daily. Go and spend some time playing backgammon, drinking coffee and smoking a water pipe. Put some dust one you boots. Get caught in a riot or two when the street gets provoked. Watch the shops close instantly as a general strike makes it's way across town. Go to a camp and meet old men who long for an olive grove that was long ago turned into an apartment for Russian emigres. Read the Persian poets, study with a Sufi master, go to Al Aqsa for Friday prayers. There is no ball to take home. Though if you give one to kids on a dusty field they might have a few moments of joy.

The problems in Iran are largely the result of the policies of the government of Iran; not the United States.
posted by humanfont at 8:55 PM on July 17, 2010

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