Skip to comments.Rice warns Iran after US nabs Iranians in Iraq
Posted on 01/11/2007 7:19:29 PM PST by mdittmar
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Iran that the United States won't "stand idly by" if Tehran tries to disrupt Washington's renewed effort to stabilize Iraq.
Speaking hours after US troops detained six Iranians in a raid in northern Iraq, Rice said Washington was determined to crack down on Iran's "regional aggression."
Rice declined to comment specifically on the operation in the northern city of Arbil, which came shortly after President George W. Bush announced a new US strategy to end the violence in Iraq that included stepped up moves to counter Iranian and Syrian involvement in the country.
In a spate of television interviews and testimony in Congress to defend the new Bush plan for Iraq, Rice declined repeatedly to rule out US military action against Iran -- accused by the administration of supporting anti-US insurgents and Shiite radicals in Iraq and of trying to develop nuclear weapons.
"I don't want to speculate on what operations the United States may be engaged in, but you will see that the United States is not going to simply stand idly by and let these activities continue," she said in one interview.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared since Bush in 2002 branded Iran part of an "axis of evil" alongside Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
Last year, Washington pushed successfully for UN sanctions against Iran in a bid to halt its uranium enrichment program, which the US says is aimed at producing nuclear weapons while Iranians say they only want to make atomic energy.
In Wednesday's speech, Bush fed fears of possible US military strikes on Iran by announcing the deployment of an additional aircraft carrier group to the Gulf and the supply of Patriot anti-missile systems to nearby allies.
"We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq," he said.
Rice defended the Gulf military deployments as needed to assure US allies they "have the defense capacity that they need against a growing Iranian military buildup."
She also said Bush in his speech was referring to taking action against Iranian and Syrian operatives inside Iraq.
"Obviously, the president isn't going to rule anything out to protect our troops, but the plan is to take down these networks in Iraq," she said.
Democratic Senator Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a fierce critic of the Iraq war, warned Rice that Congress -- controlled by the opposition since November elections -- would intervene if Bush turned his sights on Iran.
"I believe the present authorization granted the president to use force in Iraq does not cover (Iran) and he does need congressional authority" to order military strikes against that country, he said.
In her testimony, Rice also reaffirmed the Bush administration's refusal to open a dialogue with Iran on stabilizing Iraq, as strongly recommended last year by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group and many foreign policy experts.
She said the Iranians would seek in any such talks to obtain concessions in the standoff over its nuclear program in exchange for help in Iraq.
"That's not diplomacy, that's extortion," she said.
Bush critics jumped on the latest Iraq measures as signs of a looming new conflict with Iran.
Bush "appears to be setting the stage for a wider war in the region," said Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich. "Isn't one war enough for this president?"
"The worst possible scenario in this crisis is the breakout of an armed confrontation between Washington and Tehran, said Abdulaziz Sager, chairman of the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center, adding that such action would "have serious security ramifications for the region".
US military officials meanwhile confirmed that six Iranians were arrested in Arbil on suspicion of "activities targeting Iraq and coalition forces".
Last month US forces detained two Iranian nationals suspected of weapons smuggling in Baghdad, but they were later released.
this gets gooder and gooder.
I like Bush's attitude. Too bad the rubes won't support it.
This speaks volumes. Biden and his buddies are more than willing to aid and abet the enemy... politics are more important to them than winning.
They dont need the Dems to trash the policy. Sen Chuck Hagel did their job for them. He sounded as low as any Democrat senator. Oh his radio show John Gibson asked is there any more pompous condescending senator than Chuck Hagel??
"Democratic Senator Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a fierce critic of the Iraq war, warned Rice that Congress -- controlled by the opposition since November elections -- would intervene if Bush turned his sights on Iran."
Sit down and shut up!
If Iran is poking us in the eye, we should kick their butt!
And YOU, aren't going to do anything to get in the way!
I've never seen him propose anything.
All he does is snipe at the White House.
If I read this correctly, the good congressman seems to be suggesting that President Bush derives some sort of demonic pleasure from waging campaigns of aggression against Middle Eastern countries. The Iraq War "isn't enough." Only a "wider war" will do.
Presumably, the mullahs in Iran are blameless in this whole matter. Or if they actually do deserve some small portion of the blame, it really doesn't matter, since the "negotiations" with Tehran are, well, going swimmingly.
One has to wonder: Is Congressman Kucinich just playing to his loony-left base? Or does he actually believe what his rhetoric implies, i.e. that George Bush (and, by extension, America) is The True Threat To World Peace?
"On his radio show John Gibson asked is there any more pompous condescending senator than Chuck Hagel??"
I just love John Gibson. Also love his spiky new haircut. Sure beats his prior "werewolf" look. Before, John and Judge Nepalitano were vying for the Count Dracula look. Nepalitano (or is it Napalitano) now holds the title to himself.
"Chuck Hagel is an ugly little man."
I find him loathesome myself. Have to turn the channel when he comes on.
I'm with you 100%! The guy has more than a few loose screws.
Agree. Hagel is a complete disgrace.
It's nice to see that the Democrats finally admit that they are "opposition" to the United States. We've known all along that they weren't on our country's side, but they are now admitting as much.
There were, we called 'em Tories, and sent them packing to Canada when the shooting was done. Sometimes we tarred and feathered them to speed them on their way.
The Army and the Marines are stretched, but the Navy and Air Force are raring to go
Because he knows that his words are not literally true, that we no longer need masses of men to do maximum violence on our enemies. And I am not talking about nukes.
Now, is President Bush's "surge" responsible for this decline...or is it because we caught the Iranian head of Al Quds brigade in Baghdad...or is it because the Iraqis hung Saddam Hussein?
Alternatively, is it because of a combination of some or all of the above?
But what isn't in question is that there has been a dramatic, unreported improvement in the environment in Iraq.
That may be, but the President has full authority to respond to attacks on our troops, which is what Iran is in effect doing, by supplying those who actually pull the triggers or push the buttons.
Besides there is the little matter of that other Congressional Authorization for use of Force, against the terrorists. The one passed on 2001 Sep 18. The pertanent sections read:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This joint resolution may be cited as the `Authorization for Use of Military Force'.
SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
(b) War Powers Resolution Requirements-
I heard General Pace today say that our Army is stretched because of rotations and with some rotation adjustments our Army will have ample troops to take care of any situation.
I think Neil Cavuto has the werewolf cut, but it's okay on him. He's cute.
Oh yeah, and before George W. Bush became President, we were just the best of friends and allies. /sarc
Apparently Dennis was sleeping during the President's speech to the nation after 9/11. The President said that we would go after the terrorists and the countries that harbor them.
Kinda slow on the uptake isn't he? It's taken him 5 years to figure out that this war is more than just about Iraq.
As for Babblin' Biden, tell him this is grownup talk and he should go play with the other babies.
Screw the rubes. Let 'em sit around in their ivory towers and lament the lack of utopian idealism in the real world.
The adults can take care of this.
Better late than never.
How does this crap get past proofreaders?
"Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared since Bush in 2002 branded Iran part of an "axis of evil" alongside Saddam Hussein's Iraq."
The socialist media and Democrats said the same thing about USSR - USA relations after President Reagan called the USSR the "evil empire". We all know what happened to the USSR.
If it were up to the Democrats, the USSR with its vast arsenal of nuclear weapons would still exist - we would still be facing nuclear mutually assured destruction - and if it were up to the Democrats, Saddam Hussein would still be in power torturing, commiting mass murder, and providing weapons and a safe haven for terrorists.
What took us so long?
The answer to your question will say alot.
I think 1) we are into the "last 10%" issue, which is that we've probably killed 90% of the enemy already, and they are flat running out of men. The last 10% will be the hardest, but also, because there are fewer, will proportionately see casualties on our side plummet.
2) The election eve hostilities were their version of Tet, and any sensible person knows what happened to the VC and NVN in Tet. They got annihilated.
3) They rolled their dice on a political shift---not understanding our system (not to mention Pres. Bush)---and thought that their efforts would pay off immediately. Even if the Dems want to cut funding immediately (which they don't), it would take them months to actually see the fruits of this on the battlefield.
Last month it was at least 3 every day and 4 dead on several days.
That's quite a shift. Is it because we are targeting (and getting) the Iranians inside Iraq? Is it because Saddam Hussein is now dead and his Ba'athists no longer have a powerful figure for whom to fight?
Is it because President Bush's new surge (started at the end of last month) is doing what he promised?
Some combination of the above?
But *something* has clearly changed. Now, if all of this had changed in December, then I'd be wondering if Al Qaeda, Iranians, and the Ba'athists were just laying low after the Democrats won in November...
...but it didn't. December saw some of the highest fatalities yet. None of the warring parties laid low after the election here.
Another point, Al Qaeda and the Iranians were unable to aid the Islamic Court against Ethiopia in Somalia. Moreover, Al Qaeda's leadership called for jihad there, wasn't able to back it up, and hasn't (been able to??) commented on their enormous loss there in the meantime.
If the "laying low" theory was in play, then Zawahiri would *not* have called for jihad against Ethiopia. He would have laid low.
In sum, it very much **appears** as though the sum of the insurgency in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia has had its back broken between the end of December and today.
Al Qaeda has proven unable to hit the U.S. or Ethiopia during critical battlefield moments (e.g. in Somalia), yet has made what appear to be desperate pleas for global jihad there.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban and Al Qaeda control nothing more than a few remote, rural caves. The much vaunted Offensive there failed to dislodge any "crusaders." Little girls still go to school there and the Taliban can only gnash their own teeth in response.
In Iraq, U.S. fatalities have plunged to 1/3 of their December average.
In Ethiopia and Somalia, Al Qaeda and its allies are smashed, cowering, and hiding in the few instances where they haven't been slaughtered.
Nor have any of the related parties been able to take the global jihad into Israel itself...the crown jewel of the jihad.
At every turn we see weakness, defeat, desperation, and despair among the radical Islamists.
Speaks volumes about what a nincompoop Bush is.
He should be attacking his domestic enemies, Biden , Levin, Schumer, Kennedy should be in jail or scared crapless to open up their big stupid socialist mouths lest they be destroyed politcally or just dispatched like Putin or Castro do with people who are dangerous.
Instead Bush lets them wage a propaganda war at home that they just about have won.
Hell of a way to support the troops by letting the enemy run an unopposed PR war at home.
Regrettably, their frigen brains are far from being beaten in. The rules of engagement ought not be PC.
Believe me. I understand your sentiments. I had a nephew in the Marine Corps twice in Iraq. And he almost bought the farm a few times. I gotta hit the rack. Have a great upcoming day.
agree with your post.
Since W, Lebanon went from Syria control back to Lebanese control, with NATO? now assisting the legitimate government in taking on Hezzbola.
Add it all up and its quite a achievement for W against our foreign enemies.
This has been the problem with Republicans since I can remember. They have the facts on their side, yet they fail to articulate their arguments time after time after time. We need leaders who will take the argument to the left in this country and expose them for what they are. Enemies of the United States have no better allies than Murtha, Kennedy, Clinton, Reid, Biden, Obama, Durbin and Pelosi... to name just a few.