WTF is going on at the Guardian?
This is unwelcome. See if you can spot the tell-tale signs of a bullshit story here:
That's the whole attribution for >95% of the article - there are 22 paragraphs (from a total 23) of unattributed US propaganda about how those nasty Iranians and Syrians are teaming up with al-Qaeda to force the weak-willed (Democratic) US out of Iraq and provoke a '"colossal humanitarian disaster" and possible regional war'. Well, excuse me, isn't that exactly what's happening since the robust will of the (Republican) US went in in the first place? Everything's going just swell there, eh?
Now, the Iranians are clearly interested in Iraq - it's their neighbour, they have cultural ties. They also wouldn't work with al-Qaeda in a million years, owing to the rather obvious fact that true Sunni jihadists seem to see Shia Iran as a mortal enemy and wouldn't work with them. It's possible, but still unlikely, that ex-Baathists (who after all invaded Iran in 1980) might see the point in burying the hatchet, but that possibility isn't discussed - to the US information machine insurgent=al Qaeda, a lie that's useful when trying to prop up support for a failed policy. That's obvious to you and me, who've made a study of such things (or just read Juan Cole every morning), but not, it seems, to Simon Tisdall, Deputy Editor of the Guardian, who sees fit not to mention it, or indulge in any critical journalistic thinking. Merely repeating what unnamed US sources say, however outlandish, is what I'd expect from the Sun, not a proper newspaper. Shame on you - at this time more than ever we need journalists willing to fight the culture of spin and lies, before Brown turns into Blair Two (no, I don't believe in the 'change tack on Iraq' idea, either).
Iran won this one years ago, and helping the US in pretending they need to stay in Iraq to stop them winning it won't work, however many aircraft carriers they park off the coast. Iran knows as well as anyone else that the US can't invade - the army's broken and all the Navy and USAF jets in theatre aren't enough to do the job - surgical airstrikes don't work any more, if they ever did. Sabre rattling when you haven't even got a scabard, let alone a functional sabre, isn't going to impress anyone.