The Guardian is on a roll today. In my last post, I mentioned that they sent a man behind the lines of the insurgency to give the public an honest look at what Sunni fighters are up to. Now they're carrying the story that the movement of 21,500 troops to Iraq and an aircraft carrier in the gulf are just chest-puffing intend for Iran.
The defence secretary, Robert Gates, told reporters that the decision to deploy a Patriot missile battalion and a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf in conjunction with a "surge" of troops in Iraq was designed to show Iran that the US was not "overcommitted" in Iraq.
The increasingly confrontational pose struck by the US is a repudiation of one of the key recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, which called for the start of a dialogue with Iran and Syria in an effort to extricate the US from Iraq.
Analysis from Daily Kos:
It's all a game of chicken with Iran, you see, to show the U.S. is not overcommitted, that we're still the baddest ass superpower on the block. There's no talk in the story of anything resembling military strategy; it's the traditional show of force to get the bad guy to back off (with the emphasis on "show") -- and to "soften up" the American public for war with Iran.
Let's get this straight: President Bush lied just five days ago when he told the American public the troop escalation was devised to help secure a chaotic country and protect its civilians. Of course, many observers suspected as much. And military families will have the comfort of knowing their loved ones in service are in the line of fire, not for an achievable strategic goal but for show or to provoke a military confrontation over a problem that the Iraq Study Group and most sane Middle East watchers advised should be solved diplomatically.