Friday, July 8

Questions about Pundita's London bombings post

I received questions about today's earlier post (Re-titled London bombings and President Bush plays Sherlock Holmes), which I strive to answer here:

> At last count there were 1,690,000 Google references to the Iran-al Qaeda (AQ) connection; a large number of these surely reference al Qaeda's connection to the regime in Tehran.

> It is well established that AQ senior leadership are now bunkered in Iran and rely on Tehran's military for protection. In exchange, they carry out Tehran's bidding -- which does not mean Tehran is the sole "funder" of AQ.

> The AQ-Tehran connection is an example of the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" method that terrorists are using to survive the US war on terror -- a method which now dominates AQ's (and Tehran's) ever-shifting alliances. In other words, AQ and Tehran buried the hatchet when it was mutually beneficial for them to do so.

> To clarify my speculation that Tehran ordered AQ to strike London: Tehran's new president has recognized that his hard line on nukes could be met with a hard line from the EU Three. A strong European united front, led by Britain, could easily set in motion a UN resolution for an embargo of Iran -- a resolution with teeth. At all costs Tehran needs to prevent that.

Ergo, my guess that Tehran ordered AQ to deliver a brutal warning to the British government not to go down the embargo road and not to support a tough Bush line on Tehran. Again, my view runs counter to the prevailing ones about the rationale for the attack on London, which is why I brought it up.

In war we need to look at all plausible major scenarios relating to an attack. Also the speculations I've heard drift from Bush's argument that most terrorism we face today is state sponsored. My speculations carefully stay within the framework of his argument.

> For readers who want some kind of map before sailing on Google's sea of data about the AQ-Iran connection, they might wish to start with Dan Darling's recent observations at Winds of Change blog are found here and here Iran & al-Qaeda: The Ties That Bomb.

Check the Winds of Change archive for additional reports on the Iran-AQ connection.

> For readers who yearn for deep background, read Yossef Bodansky's The Secret History of the Iraq War, which details US intelligence on the AQ-Iran alliance.

Please -- no questions to Pundita about why the book is not footnoted. Read through Bodansky's credentials at the link I provide in order to grasp why he couldn't name his sources.

> Finally, returning readers might note that I made extensive edits to today's post on the London bombings. I did this after a sincere reader who is not very much up on the war on terror got lost wending through the many points I hurled into the essay. The reader's questions are much appreciated, and galvanized me to clarify points and prune the writing.

Thus, I leave it for another day to argue that emphasis on the Islamic element makes for a diversionary counter-thesis to Bush's elegant (and correct) theory that the emphasis of the war on terror should be on state sponsors of terrorism.

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