Reports of a devastating suicide attack on the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard sent shockwaves throughout the blogosphere on Sunday. Five senior commanders were reported killed in explosions attributed to a domestic insurgent group. Iranian officials, however, quickly put the blame on the U.S. and Britain. A spokesperson for the U.S. State Dept. condemned the attacks as "an act of terrorism" and flatly rejected Iran's claims. Conservative commentators have been the quickest to respond to the implications of the attack:
- Nothing to See Here The National Review's Michael Rubin has studied Baluchistan, the area in which the Jundallah group is most active, and concludes it has been hotbed of sectarian tensions for some time: "We shouldn't read too much into the latest attack, however, and assume that the attack represents a new chapter in internal unrest that remains unresolved from this summer. In this case, the problem is local…Whenever the Iranian government experiences internal unrest, they blame it on external enemies and the struggle with Baluchi separatism is no exception." At Prairie Pundit, blogger Merv agreed: "I don't think these types of attacks have much effect on most governments and they will have even less on the group of religious bigots running Iran. Ahmadinejad is making the same kind of statements a western leader would make. There is much irony in that coming from the worlds leading state sponsor of terrorism."
- Unhelpful At Best Noting that Iran's claims of U.S. involvement stem from the recently revealed covert-ops program initiated during President George W. Bush's second term, Time's Andrew Lee Butters says that the Iranian government will most likely use the incident as an excuse to clamp down on dissidents. He also doesn't see the bombing helping the U.S. or the West in the ongoing nuclear talks: "If Western powers are, in fact, entirely innocent of involvement in Sunday's attack, it could nonetheless cast a pall over the nuclear negotiations...Back in Tehran, the attacks may also fuel the arguments of hard-liners for a more uncompromising response to Western demands, and reinforce the narrative of Iran being under external attack that President Ahmadinejad and the Revolutionary Guards have used to justify the harsh crackdown on political opposition activities."At Reuters, Myra MacDonald concludes that America's adversaries benefited the most: "Of all the many players in the region, al Qaeda probably has the most to gain from the fall-out of the attack in Iran."
- Misplaced Outrage Several bloggers were upset that the Obama administration quickly denounced the attacks, contrasting it with the circumspect reaction to election protests this summer. "Why did it take our government only moments to respond to the utterly non-tragic and thoroughly deserved killings of some hardened terrorists and murderers — but it took days to offer even the meekest criticism of the murders and beatings of anti-regime protesters in June?" asked Commentary's Noah Pollak, "Under the Obama Doctrine, the worse you act, the better you’re treated."
- Conspiracy? At Hot Air, blogger Reddotredstate turns the Iranian government's accusations against the West around: "I would not doubt Ahmadinejad is capable of hiring a bomber to kill his
own people in a publicity stunt, and you must admit – the timing is
perfect, whether he did or not is irrelevant." He continues on to make the case for why the U.S. should step up it's engagement with Iran: "Any country crazy enough to lie to their population about the origins
of a terrorist attack, to drive them into a frenzy against the most
powerful country in the world either deserves the smackdown we would
give them, or has an ace up their sleeve."