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Subject: Botched US raid led to hostage crisis
AdamB    4/3/2007 11:09:17 AM
Can the American military never perform a military operation without severely bumbling? The botched US raid that led to the hostage crisis Exclusive Report: How a bid to kidnap Iranian security officials sparked a diplomatic crisis By Patrick burn The Independent Published: 03 April 2007 [img]http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00244/p1-030407_244953b.jpg[/img] A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines. Early on the morning of 11 January, helicopter-born US forces launched a surprise raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the city of Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. They captured five relatively junior Iranian officials whom the US accuses of being intelligence agents and still holds. In reality the US attack had a far more ambitious objective, The Independent has learned. The aim of the raid, launched without informing the Kurdish authorities, was to seize two men at the very heart of the Iranian security establishment. Better understanding of the seriousness of the US action in Arbil - and the angry Iranian response to it - should have led Downing Street and the Ministry of Defence to realise that Iran was likely to retaliate against American or British forces such as highly vulnerable Navy search parties in the Gulf. The two senior Iranian officers the US sought to capture were Mohammed Jafari, the powerful deputy head of the Iranian National Security Council, and General Minojahar Frouzanda, the chief of intelligence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, according to Kurdish officials. The two men were in Kurdistan on an official visit during which they met the Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani, and later saw Massoud Barzani, the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), at his mountain headquarters overlooking Arbil. "They were after Jafari," Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of Massoud Barzani, told The Independent. He confirmed that the Iranian office had been established in Arbil for a long time and was often visited by Kurds obtaining documents to visit Iran. "The Americans thought he [Jafari] was there," said Mr Hussein. Mr Jafari was accompanied by a second, high-ranking Iranian official. "His name was General Minojahar Frouzanda, the head of intelligence of the Pasdaran [Iranian Revolutionary Guard]," said Sadi Ahmed Pire, now head of the Diwan (office) of President Talabani in Baghdad. Mr Pire previously lived in Arbil, where he headed the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Mr Talabani's political party. The attempt by the US to seize the two high-ranking Iranian security officers openly meeting with Iraqi leaders is somewhat as if Iran had tried to kidnap the heads of the CIA and MI6 while they were on an official visit to a country neighbouring Iran, such as Pakistan or Afghanistan. There is no doubt that Iran believes that Mr Jafari and Mr Frouzanda were targeted by the Americans. Mr Jafari confirmed to the official Iranian news agency, IRNA, that he was in Arbil at the time of the raid. In a little-noticed remark, Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian Foreign Minister, told IRNA: "The objective of the Americans was to arrest Iranian security officials who had gone to Iraq to develop co-operation in the area of bilateral security." US officials in Washington subsequently claimed that the five Iranian officials they did seize, who have not been seen since, were "suspected of being closely tied to activities targeting Iraq and coalition forces". This explanation never made much sense. No member of the US-led coalition has been killed in Arbil and there were no Sunni-Arab insurgents or Shia militiamen there. The raid on Arbil took place within hours of President George Bush making an address to the nation on 10 January in which he claimed: "Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops." He identified Iran and Syria as America's main enemies in Iraq though the four-year-old guerrilla war against US-led forces is being conducted by the strongly anti-Iranian Sunni-Arab community. Mr Jafari himself later complained about US allegations. "So far has there been a single Iranian among suicide bombers in the war-battered country?" he asked. "Almost all who involved in the suicide attacks are from Arab countries." It seemed strange at the time that the US would so openly flout the authority of the Iraqi President and the head of the KRG simply to raid an Iranian liaison office that was being upgraded to a consulate, though this had not yet happened on 11 January. US officials, who must have been privy to the White House's new anti-Iranian stance, may have thought that bruised Kurdish pride was a small price to pay if the US could grab such senior Iranian officials. For more than a year the US and its allies ha
 
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ProDemocracy    Adam   4/3/2007 12:27:47 PM
I would expect the Iranians, Al-Queda and several other fascist or communist organizations (including the Independent) to blame the US somehow for Iran actions in taking British hostages. 
 
By posting this, are you aligning yourself with this sort of trash?  I would certainly hope not but I don't see any comment where you point out the absurdity of the article.
 
If the question "Can the American military....bumbling?" is not part of the article and it is simply your asinine question - I suggest you pick up a history book sometime and try reading about World War Two or Korea or the Gulf War or many, many others.
 
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SGTObvious       4/3/2007 1:22:56 PM
More of the same crap.  The "Starting point" for the crisis was when an Iranian leader told his horde of thugs to grab some British sailors.   That's it.  No precedents.   No dominos.  No reactions and reactions- the Iranians are human and as such have Free Will.
 
This is the third time this week SGT Obvious has seen this "musical chairs" nonsense- walk back through weakly connected precedents, stop the music when we get to my favorite, and call that the "start" of something.   It assumes "X causes Y and therefore X is the start" without considering either "What caused X" or "Did the Human Being who did Y have free will, or was he merely a robot executing a program?"  It's a stinking pile of poo that could fertilize the Sahara.  Henceforth, SGT Obvious will consider those who use "musical chairs" as their basis of reasoning to be retarded.
 
Unless you can prove that "kidnap British sailors" is the only viable response to "American capture of Iranian agents in Iraq 2 and a half months earlier" then SGTObvious has no choice but to declare you a nit, if you think that the one caused the other.
 
SGTObvious
 
 
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CardEE       4/3/2007 3:25:16 PM

ProDemocracy,

I checked the article from the Independent and the commentary at top was AdamB’s addition.  It’s certainly not surprising, as most of his commentary seems to be ardently anti-American.  See h**p://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/567-6784.aspx and do a search on his comments which include such gems as “It's just the British having problems with amateurish American military personnel” and associated goodies. 

At least our “amateurish” personal aren’t sharing a humus dip with the ayatollahs’ personal thugs while giving smiling “confessions” for the world to see.  Our guys might have actually shot back and resisted being captured by a handful of guys in two lightly armed speedboats.

Actually, here is another post by an “Adam B”.  I wonder if it is the same poster?
h**p://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/3/15/124948/880 

Here is the original article:
h**p://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2414760.ece

It only took a week for the British press to turn 180 degrees and start blaming the American’s for the incompetence shown by British leadership.  The article doesn’t even bother to mention that the Iranians were taken because their government has been actively supplying weapons to terrorists killing American troops for years.  What a rag.  It takes a real clown to post an article like that without some kind of denouncement.

CardEE

 
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ProDemocracy    CardEE   4/3/2007 3:50:31 PM
CardEE - thanks for the info - and you are right, some of the British press have been rather passive.
 
However, I would really try to refrain from attacking the hostages or their decision or inability to shoot back.  First of all, until they are released, we really do not know the circumstances behind their kidnapping - and while they are being held by those monkeys, somehow I think it's wrong to be critical of them - I dunno, some code of ethics I guess.  Secondly, they are on our side...don't stoop to Adam B's level of attacking their armed services.  Both the US and UK have served with honor side by side in the war on terror.  Lastly, it seems whatever the hostages may have done wrong, it was a result of their rules of engagement.
 
I was talking to a buddy the other night who served in Iraq (we are both Americans) - and they are not allowed to shoot someone who throws rocks at them - this was not the case when they first started their tour in Iraq.  At first, they could shoot.  So I asked him "how do you know if it's a rock or a grenade?" and "Is there fear of fighting back too hard?"  The answers he provided were discouraging.  Our rules of engagement have tightened up too much in the last 2 years.  And the problem is, while parts of Iraq might be manageable under a more cautious set of rules, the more violent parts of Iraq definitely require some autonomy in terms of what the troops can do to defend themselves and supress violence. 
 
So we certainly are in no position to criticise rules of engagement when ours are so restrictive.  The estimate my buddy gave was 500 servicemen have been arrested for excessive use of force...500!!!!!  My question would be - how many of the 3500 of our soldiers that have died in Iraq could have been saved if our rules of engagement were not formulated more with saving civilian lives instead of American servicemen's lives?  I hate to have to ask that question, but we owe it to the men who have died and the men who are fighting to get these tough questions answered and contstantly review and reaccess whatever procedures may be improved.  We need to make some changes and I hope we do it before our guys find themselves in Iranian or some other crazy fu**'s custody.
 
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CardEE       4/3/2007 4:47:27 PM

ProDemocracy,

Thank for the response.  I agree that we do not know the full circumstances surrounding the abduction and I apologize if I came off as attacking the hostages.  It’s probable that this has far more to do with ridiculous ROE than with the soldiers themselves, and as you point out, our ROE aren’t without fault.  

My irritation in this case deals mostly with the British media and certain posters who attack our troops as “amateurs” and “incompetent” at any and every opportunity while ignoring similar failings on their side.  Witness the thread “US rules of war blamed for 'friendly fire' death” as a prime example.  It’s as if they are trying to make the US into their enemy, as opposed to those that willfully imprison and humiliate their troops.

After reviewing over his previous posts, I think it is AdamB’s intention is to explicitly create a division between UK and US posters.  I will henceforth keep that in mind when responding to his trollish behavior and hopefully, refrain from taking the bait.  I suggest others follow suit. 

Also, thank you for sharing the info regarding your buddy in Iraq.  Very informative, and more than a bit depressing.

CardEE

 
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Bob       4/3/2007 4:53:31 PM
I'd love for the tards behind this article to explain the September incident on the Iraqi border, where the patrol of Americans came under fire by the platoon of Iranians, who were clearly trying to kill or kidnap some American soldiers. Wonder what the "root cause" of that incident was.
 
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Pseudonym       4/6/2007 12:13:03 AM
From what I understand they were under orders not to cause an incident.

Still if it were an American, considering  the Jimmy Carter legacy, we'd have shot the Iranians either way.

As to the article who really cares.  The UK is gravitating toward the EU, if that is what the UK wants, then that is what they deserve.

Truthfully if we let Iran have nukes I think it might be time we returned to the foreign policy laid out by Washington. Trade, but never ally.  Make money, not war.  If we are going to let the ME go nuclear I say let's just get out of the way and fix our own problems.  Let the UK and EU deal with the crisis when it happens, the right formula is they start the war, then we come fix it.  We can isolate ourself almost entirely.  Only a few places like Taiwan, Israel, some Eastern Europeans, and a few others like Australia are the only ones who we should keep alliances with.  Strictly defensive alliances.

Withdraw from the UN, kick it out of New York.  No alliances or other governments then our own and the above mentioned exceptions.

I think it is time the world rediscovered life with an isolationist America.

Until we win back our good name we are going to accomplish very little.  These kinds of wars are simply not sustainable with this kind of media and world condemnation.  Pelosi is already starting to rip up the Constitution after only one war, what do you think will happen after 2 or 3.

Let's fix our school system, overhaul our state and federal government, decide about things like national debt, social security, energy, transportation options, and healthcare.  Let's go to the moon, then mars. Let's make the Peace Corps ten times larger and do other things to make us the nice guys who do nothing and piss no one off.  Let's make the world dream again, because even if we stabilize Iraq we have pretty conclusively proven our population will not support these long insurgencies we would fight to win this by force of arms.  At least not without world support telling us we are the good guys.

Until the world begs for us to come back lets stop wasting our resources other then following through on Iraq until we can safely hand it off. We did it right in WW1 and WW2, we waited until the last second and came in.  Our Democracy simply cannot sustain a war otherwise.  There are simply too many Democrats and media ready to parrot anything and everything no matter how false they know it is, no matter if it is printed by the propaganda arm of the enemy itself. 

We have lost the media war, and without at least a draw in it our population has too many morons to follow through on what is necessary.

Remember this is all if we let the ME go nuclear, there is still the miniscule chance Bush will take the next step with Iran in stopping that before the Election.  I have serious doubts though.  Let's make sure Israel has the antimissile technology to protect itself and our own as well, then lets sit back and wait for the muslims to nuke each other as they try to decide which sect of Islam are the real heretics.
 
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Padfoot       4/6/2007 1:05:44 AM

At least our “amateurish” personal aren’t sharing a humus
dip with the ayatollahs’ personal thugs while giving smiling “confessions” for
the world to see.  Our guys might have
actually shot back and resisted being captured by a handful of guys in two
lightly armed speedboats.


The Lynx helicopter carries 4 Sea Skua Missiles and a dozen anti- tank missiles so it could have easily sunk the Iranian patrol boats. But if the commander of HMS Cornwall had ordered his Lynx helicopters - which watched the whole episode takes place - to attack the Iranian patrol boats - then most, if not all, of the RN boarding crew would be dead. Same goes if the sailors had resisted. They did the right thing, IMO.

Britain had lots of military options against Iran: They could have sunk the entire Iranian navy in an afternoon; they could have attacked Iran's oil infrastructure - Iran has only one oil processing plant and its destruction would reek havoc on the Iranian economy; Tomahawk and Storm Shadow attacks against other economic infrastructure, etc, etc ... All this would not have got one sailor released.

Remember the Israeli response to the kidnapping of two of their troops last year? They went to war to set them free - they lost the war, were humiliated, left red-faced, and retreated with their tail between their legs. Oh, and they still don't have their troops back.

Britain had no other recourse other than diplomacy. And the British government looks anything but weak as a result.

 
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gf0012-aust       4/6/2007 4:58:32 AM

Can the American military never perform a military operation without severely bumbling?

seriously sport, you are one ferked unit. 
 
how about parking your anti-american comments and try to come up with something that remotely represents intelligent analysis rather than your regular cut and pastes and boorish one liners...
 
 
 
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Claymore       4/6/2007 5:38:29 AM
So some British Sailors and Marines were caught with their pants down far away from their mother ship and taken hostage by a third world power.

Yet the Americans are the bumbling fools?

 
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