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Update: US military spokesperson Emily Litella says “Never mind” as the Iranians are released.

CNN reports: U.S. detains Iranians in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — U.S. soldiers arrested members of an Iranian government delegation Tuesday at a hotel in Baghdad and took them to an unidentified location, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported.

The U.S. military said it detained some “Iranian citizens with Iranian passports” and their Iraqi escorts, who carried Iraqi Department of Energy badges, at a checkpoint in the Abu Nuwas market in eastern Baghdad’s Rusafa district.

The number of people arrested was not immediately clear, though Associated Press Television showed U.S. soldiers escorting 10 blindfolded people — their hands bound in front of them — from the hotel into military vehicles and driving off.

The Associated Press identified the individuals as Iranian.

If you are going to lie, you really should check to be sure that there is no video tape to prove you are lying. These people were in Iraq at the request of the Iraq energy ministry to sell electricity to Iraq. As Iraq really wants and needs electricity, this is not going to help in the reconstruction.

5 comments

1 Jack K. { 08.29.07 at 9:19 am }

…it’s also not going to do much in the “winning hearts and minds” category, either. I suppose we’re pretty much done with that, though…

2 Bryan { 08.29.07 at 1:05 pm }

Yes, Jack, I think we can safely say that the “hearts and minds” thing is pretty much off the table.

3 hipparchia { 08.29.07 at 9:06 pm }

Earlier Tuesday, President Bush criticized Iranian interference in Iraq and authorized U.S. military commanders to confront what he described as Iran’s “murderous activities.”

interference in iraq? murderous activities?

the scary part is that there really are people who can’t see that these labels apply more to the u.s. than they do to iran. also, i’m not sure which would bother me more, if i knew the answer: whether bush actually believes this, or whether he’s lying to us on purpose. which is worse ina president, stupidity or deception?

4 Steve Bates { 08.29.07 at 9:30 pm }

“which is worse ina president, stupidity or deception?” – hipparchia

Avedon discusses the same question… stupid or lying?… as always, to good effect. Avedon does lots of link posts, but when she turns loose with an essay, she gives excellent value for your time spent reading it.

5 Bryan { 08.29.07 at 9:44 pm }

Supplying electricity could be murderous if it was used to execute people. Iran has always been a neighbor of Iraq, during those periods when they didn’t belong to the same empire. At some point the US will leave, but Iran is still going to be there, because that’s one of those annoying things about geography – it takes a long time for country’s to move.

The US takes out Iran’s two biggest enemies, the Taliban and Saddam, and then is surprised that Iran wants to stretch it wings. This administration is that stupid: they couldn’t figure out that this is what was going to happen.

The Iraqis can’t defend themselves any more, so they have to make nice with the neighbors. It’s not the Iraqis fault that the Hedgemony doesn’t like the neighbors – that should have been a clue as to why invading was such a crummy idea.

If they absolutely, positively had to invade an Arabic nation, Syria would have been the least trouble. Almost nobody likes Syria and a lot of Muslims think the Alawites are heretics. But, no, the Shrubbery had to show up his dad.

These people have never gotten out of middle school.