The British Guardian is not a conservative newspaper, to put it mildly. So it is somewhat surprising to see it publishing a story with the headline "Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq." Of course the first paragraph tells us that the source of the story is not Iran or some independent reporter bravely covering the ground in Iraq but the U.S. government:
Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.
"Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq and it's a very dangerous course for them to be following. They are already committing daily acts of war against US and British forces," a senior US official in Baghdad warned. "They [Iran] are behind a lot of high-profile attacks meant to undermine US will and British will, such as the rocket attacks on Basra palace and the Green Zone [in Baghdad]. The attacks are directed by the Revolutionary Guard who are connected right to the top [of the Iranian government]."
Very tricky this. It could be that the "US officials" are correct in their predictions. Or it could be that all this is about a different war, the political war here at home and the attempt to scare the Democrats into letting Bush have his way. It is not impossible that Iran has heinous plans, of course, but I'm not sure if they would also be suicidal plans.
Come to think of it, suicidal plans or no plans at all seem to be the fashion of the day in international politics.