Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm a Reasonable Man, Get Off My Case

Kevin Drum is an eminently reasonable man, and a blogger who, unlike me, doesn't wander into the reeds donning tin foil armor on too many occasions. Still, in this post, K-Drum is being overly circumspect even by our respective standards:

So why the sudden spate of stories sugesting that Iran supports only the Mahdi Army, and implying that its support is increasing? There are two options, I guess: (a) because it's true or (b) because it's in somebody's interest to feed this storyline. It's pretty much impossible to say which is more likely, though.

It's that last sentence that stands out like a sore, but even, hand. Impossible to say if the Mahdi Army is the only group in Iraq receiving Iranian support? Really? Despite ISCI's historic and long lasting ties, and the fact that some members of its militia, the Badr Corp., are still receiving pensions from the IRGC? Regardless of the fact that Iranian operatives detained by US forces in Iraq were nabbed at ISCI's headquarters, and were in Iraq on the invitation of ISCI's leadership?

Even worse, Kevin seemingly performs the impossible in the preceding sentence:

Of course, Iran probably is supplying arms to the Mahdi Army. But they've been doing that for a long time, and they also provide support to the Badr Organization, which is allied with the Iraqi government. [emphasis added throughout]

Perhaps it was just sloppy syntax, and Drum meant that the hard to determine part is whether aid to the Mahdi Army is increasing? He has certainly earned my benefit of the doubt. His post from yesterday is far more incicive in terms of exposing holes and dubious reporting associated with the above described Sadr/Iran narrative.

So I'm open to the more innocuous explanation, and the possibility that I'm overreacting. The more interesting, and indeed murky, line of inquiry leads to just whose interests are served by pushing this transparently doctored storyline. But that the storyline is false is a given.

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