The Persian Influence

The 11/6/07 Blogger's Roundtable with Colonel Wayne Grigsby is interesting in hindsight, something helped by the transcript.

In repeating Persian influence six times, COL Grigsby tried to get a point across that wasn't caught. Nobody picked up on the point Iraqis aren't just fighting AQ, but Iranian intrusions.

Our battlespace is filled by a mix of Shi'a extremists -- excuse me --
a mix of Shi'a, Sunni and also some Persian influence, and is primarily
agrarian, farmland. Some of the major population centers in our AO are Salman Pak, Jisr Diyala, Nahrawan and Wahida. ...

And the insurgents we're going after, gentlemen, is the Sunni
extremists, the Shi'a extremists and what we like to call the Persian influence within our area of operation. ...

We have attacked the problems in the Madain qadha along all five lines of operation. We have applied pressure against the Sunni extremists, the Shi'a extremists and the Persian influence along each line of operation, to include security, governance, economics, transition and information. ...

Large segments of the population have rejected al Qaeda and their
violent and oppressive ideologies. That goes back to, I'm tired of this; I want to have a good life; I'm tired of the Sunni-Shi'a extremists, the Persian influence; we want to get better. ...

Yeah, I talked to one sheikh that said he went over. It was Sunni. He went over to visit his cousin in Al Anbar, saw what he was doing there. And then he brought that back here and he approached us, on the concerned citizens groups, that they were interested in building the same type of model that we've had here to eliminate the bad people, the bad people being Sunni extremists, Shi'a extremists and Persian influence within our battlespace. ...

But no kidding, once we put the -- once we had -- we were living in the patrol bases in the community, we were taking bad guys off the street -- both Sunni, Shi'a and Persian influence. ...

Update: See Abu Muqawama on parsing Persian and the oft-repeated American error of adopting other peoples vocabulary and grammar without paying attention to local meanings and perceptions it generates.