2007/06/18

Allegations on China & Iran

*Sigh!* Well, it seems our old pal Jeff Gerth has been a busy boy. Now, he's claiming that China is supplying arms to Iraqi insurgents via Iran

Yee-hah! It's a two-fer! Now our media is blaming not just one, but two evil empires!

Frankly, I thought the following:

"...Beijing, which insisted it knew nothing about the shipments and asked for additional intelligence on the transfers..."


and

"Apologists for China within the government said the intelligence reports were not concrete proof of Chinese and Iranian government complicity."


First off, China's request that the US supply proof that they're sending covert arms shipments to Iraqi insurgents is an entirely reasonable one, one that would be honored immediately by an honorable administration. It's of course quite possible that there could be a rogue element in China's government that they would be more than happy to stop if only they were apprised of details concerning how the transfers are being made. If the US had 10 discrete
pieces of evidence, they could reveal perhaps three and see if action is taken that affects the other seven.

Second, the observation that the word of intelligence agencies do not constitute "concrete proof" is again an entirely reasonable one. Intelligence agencies "hoover up" all the information they can get ahold of because one is better safe than sorry. If one is making a diplomatic protest, it's not unreasonable to get other agencies to certify that the information they're working off of is solid. It was shown after the Vietnam War that military services did a very good job of critiquing the plans of other military services. The Navy critiqued the plans of the Air Force and pointed out quite a few things that later became common wisdom.

It's hardly called for to refer to those skeptical of the reports on China "Apologists for China."

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