A few days ago, the U.S. military carried out a briefing in Baghdad that was intended to document Iran’s role in killing and wounding American soldiers in Iraq. The reaction here in the U.S. was mostly negative. Reporters hounded both Tony Snow and President Bush with questions implying that the information on Iran was likely fabricated. Liberals were concerned mostly to defend Iran against what they considered a dangerous attack. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, one of the farthest left of American newspapers, weighed in with a shrill editorial that concluded:
We’re not buying any of it yet, and neither, so far as we can tell, is anyone else.
That was too much for one American soldier, a soldier who had a hand in the briefing. He sent the sixteen Power Point slides that were presented to reporters in Baghdad to radio talk show host Scott Hennen, who passed them along to us. Maybe there is an American newspaper that has actually reproduced this evidence of Iranian involvement in Iraq; if so, I haven’t seen it. The major accompanied the slides with this email:
I read last week’s Star Tribune Editorial that made me sick. They tried to imply that we are creating evidence over here and that somehow Pres. Bush was behind it. I am sending you the slides for proof of Iranian involvement and the manufacturing and employment of these lethal weapons called EFPs.
Between you and me, we have nothing in our current inventory that can stop an EFP not even an M1 Tank armor. That is why these damn weapons were brought out into the public’s eye. The soldiers over here know, if an EFP hits their vehicle at least 2-3 of the 5 occupants will die, no questions asked. The reason we went public was to save soldiers’ lives and that is it.
By going public we felt two things would happen. One, the American public would see first hand the nefarious activities of Iran and how they are aiding the enemy here in Iraq and two by exposing the Qods Force (their greatest fear) we would either cause them to go home or prevent others from coming in. Our President was firmly behind us and even when others flinched, he stood up for us and more importantly the American soldier. For those who say these weapons aren’t that dangerous or can be easily defeated, I would ask any of these skeptics to come on over and ride in the front passenger seat in a HUMVEE (a.k.a the death seat) and take a stroll around Baghdad. For those who doubt the legitimacy of the Qods Force ties and the impact of their influence I would say watch what happens in the next few months. I would venture to say we will see a significant drop in the employment of these weapons.
Our overriding intent is to save lives and if this means that one soldier is saved by our going public, then it is worth it, especially if it was your son.
We also have the government of Iraq on our side on this so this is not just about our troops anymore. If you know of someone who might want to provide counter argument to the Star Tribune, please provide them with my comments and the slides.
We are honored, of course, to play that role. I enjoyed the conclusion of the major’s email:
We are always looking for embeds from the Star Tribune.
Here are the slides that were presented at the briefing in Baghdad. Judge for yourself whether Iranian involvement in Iraq is hurting our troops. Since there are sixteen slides, I did them as small thumbnails; click to enlarge.
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