John on May 5, 2007 at 1:29 am
Bryan at HotAir writes about a potential bombshell in the form of a letter supposedly written by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to Iran, asking them to protect Iranian members of the Mahdi militia from US troops.
Here’s the report from MEMRI. It’s a summary of an investigative article which appeared in an Egyptian newspaper on March 31, 2007.
The contents sounded familiar, so I went back and read over the Iran timeline I posted on March 26th. Sure enough, here’s what I wrote under the heading “Early February 2007.”:
[T]ake this one with a grain of salt, but a report from a Kurdish news site claims to have uncovered a letter from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warning Muqtada al-Sadr to keep his Iranian connections under wraps. Oddly, the Kurdish site is down but a reference to the report including an image of the letter can be found here.
Bryan notes that IraqSlogger reported on the letter all the way back in February. The IS report attributes the first appearance of the letter to a Kurdish news agency, so that fits. More significantly, IraqSlogger contacted Iraqi National Security Advisor Mowaffak al Rubaie. When asked to comment on its contents al Rubaie simply replied “no comment.” IraqSlogger took this as a significant non-denial.
It’s interesting to me that, al Rubaie was fired from his position under the Provisional government in September 2004 for disagreeing with Iyad Allawi about how to handle the Mahdi Army. Here’s what the New York Times had to say about the firing at the time:
The precise reasons for Dr. Rubaie’s dismissal were unclear, but he and Dr. Allawi disagreed sharply over how to quell the insurgency and, in particular, how to deal with Moktada al-Sadr, the rebel Shiite cleric. While Dr. Rubaie favors coaxing Mr. Sadr into the political mainstream, Dr. Allawi is demanding Mr. Sadr’s surrender first.
So al Rubaie was looking to compromise with Sadr back then. Jump forward a couple years and he gets his old job back, now under Maliki. This letter warning Iran to keep the wraps on their Mahdi army leaders appears and when asked he declines to comment.
But it gets even stranger. Al Rubaie was in the news again last weekend:
al-Rubaie said the U.S. has not shared any proof with the Iraqi government that Iran is arming insurgents in the country.
“I’m saying this categorically: There is no solid evidence that Iran is supporting or helping al-Qaida in any way,” he said in Tampa, Fla. where he is attending a three-day meeting with other international defense leaders at U.S. Central Command headquarters.
It’s almost starting to seem as if al Rubaie has a pattern of trying to protect the Iranian trained and funded Mahdi army.
Meanwhile, al Rubaie is warning that pulling US troops out of Iraq would play into the hands of the terrorists. Press reports make him sound like one of the few stand-up guys in the Iraqi government. It’s hard to imagine he’d do anything to aid the Iranians.
Still, there seem to be a lot of questions worth asking here. Perhaps some well-heeled MSM reporter will make the effort.
Category: Islamic Jihad |