Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More Dots

Amidst all the brouhaha over the Wikileaks release of classified documents on the war in Afghanistan, one of the more interesting angles is the existence of reports that Bolster Suspicion of Iranian Ties to Extremists (WSJ-sub req):

In recent years the Taliban toned down their sectarian rhetoric and reached out to Iran, pledging friendly relations with all of Afghanistan's neighbors should they return to power. Iran has long called for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces from Afghanistan.

One of the more remarkable reports describes a November 2005 trip that departed from Iran in which Mr. Hekmatyar, the militant leader, and Osama bin Laden's financial adviser traveled to North Korea to close a deal with the North Korean government to obtain remote-controlled rockets to use against coalition aircraft in Afghanistan.

"The shipment of said weapons is expected shortly after the new year," the report said.

Several reports describe Iran as a hub of planning activity for attacks on the Afghan government. A May 2006 report describes an al Qaeda–Hekmatyar plot to equip suicide bombers and car bombs to attack Afghan government and international targets—using cars and equipment obtained in Iran and Pakistan.

By April 2007, the reports show what appears to be even closer collaboration. A report that month describes an effort two months earlier in which al Qaeda, "helped by Iran," bought 72 air-to-air missiles from Algeria and hid them in Zahedan, Iran, in order to later smuggle them into Afghanistan.

Iran, the Taliban, al Qaeda, and North Korea working together to thwart U.S. interests in Afghanistan? Seems like a pretty reasonable assumption to me. Many on the Left will scream "Impossible!" and continue to deny even the possibility of such connections existing.

You have to wonder if there isn't some head-spinning going on in liberal circles--such as the New York Times editorial board--over what has emerged from the Wikileaks release. On the one hand, they applaud when classified information that may damage an on-going war effort is leaked against the express wishes and interests of the U.S. government. On the other, further allegations of Iran working with al Qaeda and the Taliban contradicts their narrative that the U.S. has nothing to fear from the Iranian regime and that we could all get along just swell if we just sat down and had tea with our friends in Iran.