The Inconvenient Truth about the Recent Karbala Incident
Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker
Global Politician, February 22, 2007
On the afternoon of Saturday, January 20, 2007, a group of black, armored GMC Suburbans (standard US Government issue) flashed through an Iraqi army checkpoint and rushed into the government security compound in the southern Iraqi city of Karbala, one of Shia Islam’s holiest sites. Once inside the area, the men who drove these vehicles unleashed a deadly attack on a group of American soldiers meeting with Iraqi security officers, killing one American and kidnapping four at gunpoint. The four American soldiers were later discovered dead, each with a single bullet to the back of the head.
"The precision of the attack, the equipment used and the possible use of explosives to destroy the military vehicles in the compound suggests that the attack was well rehearsed prior to execution," said Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, spokesman for Multi-National Division-Baghdad. "The attackers went straight to where Americans were located in the provincial government facility, bypassing the Iraqi police in the compound," he said.
So far the above account matches most newswire accounts of the “Karbala Incident”. My sources indicate that the attack was carried out by members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (Pasdaran Sepah-e Qods). Others have suggested such before, but what is new is that the Iraqi lieutenant and seven Iraqi soldiers who manned the checkpoint have revealed that the Iranian suspects were not dressed as American personnel but were clearly known to be Iranian, and that led by a BMW sedan, the convoy of SUVs had been previously cleared by the Shiite governor of the Karbala prefecture! The lieutenant reported that when the convoy left Karbala at a high speed he noticed that the rear doors of several Suburbans were open and that wounded American personnel were inside. As a result, he immediately called US Army headquarters to report the incident, even before hearing of what had occurred in the compound.
Several days later, after the publication of the report that unknown assailants dressed as Americans and speaking impeccable American English had been published, the lieutenant and his seven soldiers were threatened by the governor’s office that if any details of the incident became public, all of them and their families would be wiped out. So too, all were dismissed from the army for “dereliction of duty”. (See link for original account in Arabic: http://www.islammemo.cc/article1.aspx?id=30864.)
The question that we must ask is why did the American administration bend the truth on this story, refusing to reveal the details of what actually occurred? Iran’s role in the incident is a common known fact on the streets of Karbala; what possible reason can the administration have for trying to hide the facts from the American people? Is it possible that the State Department and CIA still are trying to negotiate with Tehran? Iran staged this raid to show the United States and President Bush that Iran could strike against American personnel just as easily as the Americans had moved against Iran’s Irbil consulate. In fact, it is possible that the original plan called for the kidnap and hostage taking of the five American soldiers, (an action which the Iranian IRGC became very proficient in accomplishing in Lebanon in the 1980’s) and that the closure of the Iraqi-Iranian border following the kidnapping caused the Iranians to ditch their hostages, but not before slaying them in cold blood. Once free of their hostages, the Iranians easily melted into the population and made good their escape.
I repeat my question: why has the administration bent the truth on this incident? Initial reports even included a totally distorted report put out by the governor of Karbala, Akeel Al-Khazaali, claiming that the attack was carried out by Americans against Shiite militiamen aligned with Moqtada al-Sadr. The Washington Post and other news media reported the sanitized version the next day. Is Washington afraid to admit that Shiite allies of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are aiding the Iranians in attacking American troops? America will not have any success in Iraq if it fails to admit the truth of the divided loyalties of many of the Shiites that are supposedly our allies. Too many of al-Maliki’s personnel are more loyal to Iran than to the idea of a unified multi-sectarian, multi-ethnic Iraq.
The American army has already registered its displeasure with Iranian interference in Iraq. It’s time that the State Department and CIA confront the fact that the flames of Iraq’s civil war are being fanned by Iran and its more than 32,000 agents within Iraq! Any doubts about Iran’s intentions should be dispelled by a little bit of careful research. The IRGC published its intention to kidnap American personnel in the pages of its weekly organ, Subah Sadak, before carrying out the Karbala attack. Ali Saidi, an IRGC spokesman, even telegraphed Iran’s intentions when he said: “Our enemies have many weak points, and we can cause them problems.” It’s time for the CIA to improve its operational capacities and help the United States to realize where the real sources of threat are located.
Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker is Chairman and founder of Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East, a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching of the dangers posed by radical Islamic fundamentalism, and the need to promote genuine democratic institutions in the nations of the Middle-East as an antidote to such fundamentalism.