With Gen. Casey accusing Iran of helping violent Shiite groups. Here's a quote:
WASHINGTON Iran has stepped up its support for violent Shiite groups in Iraq and is providing the weapons and training so they can attack American troops, the top American commander in Iraq said Thursday.
"They are using surrogates to conduct terrorist operations in Iraq both against us and against the Iraqi people," the commander, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., told reporters. "It is decidedly unhelpful." He said that the Iranian assistance had increased since January and that this had emerged as an important factor in weighing further reductions in American forces in Iraq.
General Casey's comments were his most forceful and explicit criticism of Iran's involvement in Iraq, and came at a sensitive time in American-Iranian relations. The Bush administration has offered to conduct direct talks with Iran in an effort to persuade it to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons program.
My God, there's so much about that last paragraph that is revealing...I don't even have to time to go into it. But suffice to say it's stenography, not journalism. Casey goes on to say that helping the "insurgents" in Iraq to hurt the U.S. is the official policy of Tehran.
And this, along with Iran's certain eventual refusal of "the offer," will be the talking point: Iran helps the violent terrorists in Iraq, so we have to invade (or bomb, or do regime change, or whatever).
But what evidence is there for this charge except Casey's say-so? Would a Bush military man help convince the public of something that Bush wanted him to even if there was scant, conflicting evidence with many caveats to support that general's claim? Perish the thought.