The Jury Is Out

Over the last few weeks, controversy has been generated over the claim, repeatedly insisted upon by liberals, that, as an a priori matter, it is unthinkable that radical Shia Muslims could cooperate with radical Sunni Muslims. Just like, for example, Bolshevik Russians could never collaborate with German Nazis to carve up Poland. The evidence, as marshaled by Tom Joscelyn and others, suggests that the Islamic terrorists are a good deal less dogmatic in their outlook than American liberals assume.

In this context, some have wondered whether Iran has supplied arms to Sunni (as well as Shia) terrorist groups in Iraq. I don’t have any idea whether they have or not, but I’m quite certain they would be willing to consider it if the mullahs thought it would advance their interests. This morning, when General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker gave a press conference following up on their marathon Congressional sessions, someone thought to ask a person who might know, i.e, Petraeus. This was the exchange:

QUESTION: General, do you agree with recent statements that Iran is supporting Sunni extremists in Iraq? And if so, have you seen any evidence to this fact? And can you point to any specific Sunni extremist groups in this regard?

PETRAEUS: I am not aware of — it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, and as you would imagine, it is something that we’re looking for.

There are certainly cases of Sunni extremists ending up with weapons that we believe — or items that originated in Iran, but it is a good bit more difficult to connect all the dots directly, is the way, I guess, that I would answer that.

Hardly a ringing endorsement of the theory that such aid is out of the question.


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