That sucker Matt Drudge was embarassingly rolled this morning by British red-diaper-baby journalist Patrick Cockburn (one of several active scions of the late Stalinist Claud Cockburn. Drudge published in italics atop his news blog the screaming headline:
A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines.
Early on the morning of 11 January, helicopter-born US forces launched a surprise raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the city of Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. They captured five relatively junior Iranian officials whom the US accuses of being intelligence agents and still holds.
In reality the US attack had a far more ambitious objective, The Independent has learned. The aim of the raid, launched without informing the Kurdish authorities, was to seize two men at the very heart of the Iranian security establishment.
Better understanding of the seriousness of the US action in Arbil – and the angry Iranian response to it – should have led Downing Street and the Ministry of Defence to realise that Iran was likely to retaliate against American or British forces such as highly vulnerable Navy search parties in the Gulf.
Take the hayseeds out of your hair, Matt. That commie swine Cockburn has simply recycled a very old story, dating back to January 12th (followup 1/13, followup 1/28, still more 1/29), repackaged it with a few new quotes, and given it a major leftist spin.
Allahpundit debunks Cockburn’s bolshevik drivel here, remarking in conclusion:
British media sure are good at anti-western propaganda, arenâ€™t they?
Myself, I have a special award for Comrade Cockburn:
Sure, the US raid on Irbil/Erbil/Arbil (however you spell it) was a significant Allied response to Iranian acts of war against coalition forces operating in Iraq, apparently apprehending some number of Iranian intelligence officers caught red-handed in Iraq engaged in organizing and supplying the insurgency.
Doubtless every act of interference on the part of Coalition forces to Iranian activities in Iraq, or of hostility toward Iran’s surrogates, could be construed as part of the pattern of increasing tension preceding the recent Iranian hostage-taking of British naval personnel. But events completed last January are not exactly today’s news.
Only limited information was ever officially released, making it impossible to know exactly who was apprehended, and even more impossible to evaluate that action’s precise goals or success. So the Cockburn story consists in its entirety, as a philosophy professor of mine used to say, of statements which are “meaningless, trivial, or simply false.”