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land of the loompas...,
To paraphrase: 'Where did the Mahdi Army get its arms and training from if not Iran?'
You might recall not long ago (last autumn) that it was widely reported, and longer understood, that "seventy percent of the Iraqi police force has been infiltrated by militias, primarily the Mahdi Army". US policy is quite obviously all about training and equipping said Iraqi police force so we can hand off internal security to said Mahdi Army.
Concurrent with these same allegations that Iran is training or arming or in some nefarious way assisting the least pro-Iranian Shi'ite faction in Iraq there are reports that the Mahdi Army has infiltrated the Iraqi army as well, the other Iraqi group that for four years the US has bragged and strutted about training and equipping so well.
So: US planners have known perfectly well that the police and army is little more than a Mahdi et.al. infiltrated proxy for the militias. US planners correspondingly set at the top of their agenda (after the oil law) training and equipping the police and army so that they could take over security of Iraq. US planners are now just shocked, shocked that the Mahdi army has been trained and equipped as well as they were bragging about training and equipping them, and have turned to organizing, training and equipping Sunni militias while giving Iran all the hard earned credit for their previous efforts to train and equip the Shi'ites.
And because our entire tactical enterprise has served to escalate the killing capacity of parties to the civil war they give themselves the universally adopted rationalization that we have to remain in Iraq to prevent the utilization of the killing capacity we're still giving and promise to continue giving them.
The greatest crisis facing America is that our national leaders think we are the dimmest fucking morons on the face of the planet and the strong possibility that their assessment is correct.