He Thinks That You’re An Idiot

Donald Rumsfeld

Your Secretary of Defense

According to CNN, Donald Rumsfeld has claimed that the Iranian government may have aided Taliban and al-Qaida agents to escape from Afghanistan into Iran, in a desperate attempt to justify Bush’s inclusion of Iran in the axis of evil with Iraq and North Korea.

What CNN has not reported, nor has the New York Times, nor TIME (who first broke the story), is that the Iranian government has angrily denied the administration’s allegations (this was reported in the British paper, the Guardian), and pointed out what our own press had been saying (TIME, MSNBC) earlier: Iran hates the Taliban and al-Qaeda and has no desire to have ties with them or help them out (We hated each other and we never had any commonalities, the head of Iran’s powerful Guardian Council, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, said Friday). Why? Because:

  • Iran’s government, and most of Iran’s populace, are Shi’ite Muslims, whereas the Taliban and al-Qaeda are Sunni, and have participated in persecution and massacres of Shi’ites
  • Iran’s strategic interests in Afghanistan have traditionally been head-to-head in conflict against those of Pakistan. Iran backed the Northern Alliance against the Pakistan-backed Taliban for years before the US ever got involved.
  • Iran nearly went to war with the Taliban after ten Iranian diplomats and a journalist were murdered during the Taliban conquest of Mazar-i-Sharif

So, where did Rumsfeld get the ludicrous idea that Iran is helping out the Taliban and al-Qaeda? From that extremely reliable source, Ismail Khan, the brutal warlord of Herat province (see the TIME report). The main interesting fact of all this is that Khan has historically been backed by Iran, and took refuge in Iran twice while the Taliban was in power. However, Afghan Prime Minister Karzai wants to negotiate with Khan about concerns over Iranian influence [Afghan Radio]. Khan has long been in conflict with other powerful United Front anti-Taliban fighters such as Gul Agha Shirzai, the warlord of Kandahar, and Abdul Rashid Dostum, a northern warlord. There may be reason to believe, then, that Khan wants to solidify his position within the new government by cutting his ties with Iran, which have traditionally been a source of friction between him and the rest of the mujahedeen.

The real issue here is that Rumsfeld thinks we are stupid enough to swallow this ludicrous report. Or if the report does turn out to be true, he doesn’t think he needs to give any kind of explanation for such a bizarre turn of events. He just assumes people will think Oh, Iran, yeah, they’re terrorists, so naturally they’ll help out anyone else who commits terrorism against the US. And the US newsmedia are doing their best to help ensure that happens, since they refuse to report on Iran’s statements or to provide any background on the conflicts between Iran and the Taliban.

Ever since Iran revolted against the US-installed Shah in 1979 and established an anti-US government, many on the Right have been chomping at the bit to conquer Iran and install a new pro-US government. Here is their perfect opportunity. If they can make this story stick, the Bush administration has a sure-fire reason to insist that Iran is a state which harbors terrorists the United States is trying to apprehend — the same reason they used to wage war on the Taliban. And the Right-wing hawks have a sure-fire way of expanding the war on terror into Iran.

Don’t let Rumsfeld take you for a fool. Contact the Department of Defense and demand further explanation of the basis for their allegations against Iran. Contact national media outlets, particularly CNN, and demand that they do responsible research into the background of claims made by the Department of Defense and Afghan warlords, particularly when another war is on the line and everyone is asking where we will start bombing next.

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4 replies to He Thinks That You’re An Idiot Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Josh

    charlie, i though ismail khan was pakistani’s retired cricket god and national hero. its either that are ishran khan.

  2. Charles W. Johnson

    FYI: A quick bit of research reveals that the god of Pakistani cricket is Imran Khan.

· March 2002 ·

  1. Craig Smith

    Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz seem very close to me, in both their ties to Zionism and their desperate attempts to find some reason to invade Arab countries.

· April 2002 ·

  1. Charles W. Johnson

    Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz are also very close to racialist neo-fascists such as Craig Smith, in their advocacy of violence and terrorism to the end of establishing and maintaining a brutal society of domination.

    But hey, who’s counting?