Petraeus and Crocker were very outspoken today about Iran’s support for terrorists in Iraq, and indeed about Iran’s direct involvement: Quds Force officers operate in Iraq, and we have captured many high-ranking Quds officers. Iran trains, arms, and funds the “Special Groups,” a phrase used specifically to describe Iranian-run terrorist groups.
I haven’t read this afternoon’s testimony yet, but throughout the morning not a single Senator asked about the clear implications of these well established facts about Iran. As I wrote at some length on my blog:
I think General Petraeus is trying to force the Bush Administration to recognize these hard facts and act accordingly. He is saying that we cannot accomplish our objectives in Iraq without challenging the regime in Tehran. This does not necessarily entail an expansion of the war. I know of no high-ranking military officer or civilian official who favors a military assault on Iran (or on its strategic ally, Syria), and there are many things we can do to make the mullahs and their friends pay a steep price for attacking our people in Iraq and in Afghanistan as well
Yet, as it has been all along, this is the main question if we look at the war as a regional conflict and not just a battle for Iraq alone. Pity our national “debate” just won’t get there. Not yet, anyway.