"US military officials on Wednesday accused a Shiite militant group of carrying out a truck bombing in northwestern Baghdad on Tuesday evening that killed at least 65 people, the deadliest attack in the capital since March.
The accusation was startling because the bombing in the Hurriyah neighborhood had the hallmarks of earlier large-scale attacks in predominantly Shiite areas that had been attributed to Sunni insurgent groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq.
A U.S. military spokesman said intelligence reports indicate that Haydar Mehdi Khadum al-Fawadi, the leader of a Shiite "special group," planned the bombing in an effort to fuel animosity toward Sunnis in the largely Shiite district. The U.S. military uses the term special groups to describe what it says are smaller Iranian-backed militias.
The bombing followed aggressive U.S. and Iraqi military operations against Shiite militias and the so-called special groups in Baghdad. If residents could be convinced that Sunni extremists are still killing Shiites indiscriminately, they might also be convinced of the ongoing need for protection by militiamen." Washpost
In recent years the idea of lying to gain a propaganda advantage has become a popular concept among some people in the US armed forces. That is a bad idea for many reasons. To begin with lying is, in itself, a bad idea. Abandonment of the truth is a corrupting and corrosive concept, a step on a path that leads to an inability to believe the statements of one’s own people even within the armed forces. Armies operate on a belief in the integrity of comrades. Without that, only a fool will accept the risks involved in trusting the guidance given by one’s superiors. There are other reasons. In the end the truth will normally become evident and when it does, the trust necessary to maintain the support of one’s own public for a war effort is destroyed. How foolish it is to risk that.
Nevertheless, our neocon Jacobin "friends" love the idea of deception and manipulation and their influence on the armed forces expressed through the civilian government has corrupted the basic belief in truthfulness as the best policy. Unfortunately, it is now plausible that the claim of Iranian responsibility for this attack on a predominately Shia market place in Baghdad may be a crude lie intended to support a propaganda campaign. Is the claim of Iranian responsibility true? Unfortunately, the "coin" of credibility has been spent to such an extent that the claim itself can not be believed without real proof.
Has the US government ever sought to manipulate opinion by deliberately using half truths or whole untruths? Yes, it has, but the targets have by law been limited to foreign populations. The danger inherent in doing such a thing has always been reflected in US public law. We need to return to this policy. pl