British fear US commander is beating the drum for Iran strikes
By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:53am BST 05/04/2008
British officials gave warning yesterday that America’s commander in Iraq will declare that Iran is waging war against the US-backed Baghdad government.
A strong statement from General David Petraeus about Iran’s intervention in Iraq could set the stage for a US attack on Iranian military facilities, according to a Whitehall assessment. In closely watched testimony in Washington next week, Gen Petraeus will state that the Iranian threat has risen as Tehran has supplied and directed attacks by militia fighters against the Iraqi state and its US allies.
The outbreak of Iraq’s worst violence in 18 months last week with fighting in Basra and the daily bombardment of the Green Zone diplomatic enclave, demonstrated that although the Sunni Muslim insurgency is dramatically diminished, Shia forces remain in a strong position to destabilise the country.
“Petraeus is going to go very hard on Iran as the source of attacks on the American effort in Iraq,” a British official said. “Iran is waging a war in Iraq. The idea that America can’t fight a war on two fronts is wrong, there can be airstrikes and other moves,” he said.
“Petraeus has put emphasis on America having to fight the battle on behalf of Iraq. In his report he can frame it in terms of our soldiers killed and diplomats dead in attacks on the Green Zone.”
Tension between Washington and Tehran is already high over Iran’s covert nuclear programme. The Bush administration has not ruled out military strikes.
In remarks interpreted as signalling a change in his approach to Iran, Gen Petraeus last week hit out at the Iranian leadership. “The rockets that were launched at the Green Zone were Iranian-provided, Iranian-made rockets,” he said. “All of this in complete violation of promises made by President Ahmadinejad and the other most senior Iranian leaders to their Iraqi counterparts.”
The humiliation of the Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki by the Iranian-backed cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in fighting in Basra last week triggered top-level warnings over Iran’s strength in Iraq.
Gen Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador to Baghdad, will answer questions from American political leaders at the US Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday before travelling to London to brief Gordon Brown.
The Wall Street Journal said last week that the US war effort in Iraq must have a double goal.
“The US must recognise that Iran is engaged in a full-up proxy war against it in Iraq,” wrote the military analyst Kimberly Kagan.
There are signs that targeting Iran would unite American politicians across the bitter divide on Iraq. “Iran is the bull in the china shop,” said Ike Skelton, the Democrat chairman of the Armed Services Committee. “In all of this, they seem to have links to all of the Shi’ite groups, whether they be political or military.”
The Wall Street Journal said… More like what the owner of the WSJ said, Rupert Murdoch, whose FOX News media empire was respsonsible for repeating, if not actually manufacturing, many of the lies that led up to the invasion of Iraq.
As for Kimberly Kagan, the wife of Frederick Kagan, darling of the neocons and resident “fellow” at another war mongering habitat, the American Enterprise Insitute, here’s some background info on the warlike Kagan family, who are trying desperately to get the U.S. involved in fighting another of Israel’s “existential” enemies, Iran.
From Source Watch
Kagan “authored the so-called ‘real Iraq Study Group’ report as the AEI’s ‘hawkish’ rival to the ISG report of James Baker and Lee H. Hamilton in December 2006. The AEI report, titled Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq, was released on January 5, 2007, and Kagan was said to have won-over the ear of President George W. Bush.” 
Kagan was a signatory to the January 28, 2005, Project for the New American Century letter to Congress calling for “Increasing U.S. Ground Forces” in Iraq. He was also a signatory to a September 20, 2001, “open letter” in which the PNAC urged President Bush “that the war on terrorism include the removal of Iraqi president Saddam Hussain [sic] ‘even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the [ 9/11 ] attack.'” 
Kagan is the brother to foreign policy analyst Robert Kagan, “also a scholar,” who was a “founding member of the Project for the New American Century. With fellow PNAC founder Bill Kristol, Robert wrote the [January 30,] 1998 New York Times article ‘Bombing Iraq isn’t Enough’ that asserted: 
“If Mr. Clinton is serious about protecting us and our allies from Iraqi biological and chemical weapons, he will order ground forces to the gulf. Four heavy divisions and two airborne divisions are available for deployment. The President should act, and Congress should support him in the only policy that can succeed.”
Kagan is the son of Donald Kagan, who is a professor at Yale and a fellow at the Hudson Institute. Frederick, Robert, who is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, and their father Donald are “all signatories to the neoconservative Project for the New American Century manifesto titled Rebuilding America’s Defenses (2000).”