Another Soviet "combat brigade" in Central America?

371483317_b049f0e965_oYes!  I finally remembered what the fuss about the alleged supersized Iranian embassy in Nicaragua reminded me of.

Back in 1979, when Carter had sugar-plum visions of detente with Moscow, U.S. intelligence suddenly discovered a Soviet “combat brigade” in Cuba. It actually turned out to be the usual set of Russian advisors helping Havana in the spirit of socialist fraternity. However, the uproar derailed the proposed SALT II arms control treaty.

Now Hillary Clinton suddenly complains about a giant Iranian embassy in Managua, except that’s news to the Managuans, according to the Washington Post. But the WashPost and Clinton apparently got the news from the Miami Herald, which had referred to the number of Iranian diplomats rather than the size of the embassy building.

Either way, it’s interesting that Iranian penetratiion of Latin America became an  issue just as Obama considered a more conciliatory approach to Iran (Clinton mentioned the alleged embassy in May, before the Iranian protests).

I doubt that Iran has the resources to turn Nicaragua into another Cuba. This is not an issue that should poison an already tense atmosphere. However, if Iran can expand its influence in Central America, that would be worrisome.

Just as the U.S. maintains nuclear weapons as a deterrent, Iran wields the threat of unleashing a wave of terrorist attacks, especially from Hezbollah, which has a covert presence in the United States. Two deadly car bombs attacks against Jewish and Israeli sites in Argentina in the 1990s, which were likely launched by Iran, shows that’s no idle threat. Major Iranian diplomatic missions in weak Latin American nations would be an ideal conduit for supporting terror.

Personally, I don’t mind Ahmadinejad and Chavez as brothers-in-hating the U.S. I think both men will be gone sooner rather than later once they’ve destroyed their economies.  But they’ll be tempted to do a lot of mischief on the way out.

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8 Responses to Another Soviet "combat brigade" in Central America?

  1. libtree09 says:

    This is almost as good as a fleet of ships attacking the US Navy in the Gulf of Tokin. So it was the Miami Herald, and not my guess the Weekly World News. I can’t wait until Iran starts converting all those Catholics to Islam with the new hot pink burkas. It is disturbing when our leaders feel obliged to comment on pure bullshit.

  2. Brian In NYC says:

    Wow Michael talk about much ado nothing. Ahmadinejad is engaged in and life and death struggle for his political life, and perhaps actual life at that. You really think he or anyone else in Iran is spending a lot of time right now thinking about Nicaragua? You are aware yes of what it is going in Iran right now yes?

    • Michael Peck says:

      Actually, if I were Ahmadinejad, I would love nothing more than to provoke an incident with the U.S. Then when the U.S. responds with force, I could claim the imperialists are invading and rally support to the regime. A direct attack on U.S. forces would be too dangerous. But a terrorist attack would offer Iran deniability while still ratcheting up tensions enough to allow Ahmadinejad to play the national defense card. I wouldn’t underestimate a regime that feels the ground under its feet slipping away.

      • Brian In NYC says:

        Aint going to happen Mike.

      • libtree09 says:

        Micheal you are giving these guys too much credit, my guess is that this is some wet dream concocted by the nut jobs at the Heritage Foundation or the American Enterprise Institute.
        Ahmadinejad is quite happy creating mischief in Iraq and Lebanon and quite busy watching his own ass in Iran.

        The idea of America responding with force in Central America, of getting into that morass is too much for America, one that is struggling to keep the current two conflicts in motion.

        I understand the logic of your post but I say this in the kindest and sympathetic way possible but Iran’s attacks against Jews and Israel do not always equate to a American problem in its backyard.

        Israel can take care of itself and we will never stop supporting their cause but to fight in Nicaragua? Look, the Nicaraguans will take care of any stupid Islamic plot against them or us. They remember their history in the last conflict and it was bloody and stupid.

  3. Marcelo Ballve says:

    Hi Michael: Although Hezbollah has been rumored (without conclusive proof) to have a presence in the tri-border area shared by Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, the deadly 1990s terror bombings of Jewish targets in Buenos Aires are still of disputed authorship. Gareth Porter covered this for The Nation magazine last year: “Bush’s Iran/Argentina Terror Frame-Up:”

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080204/porter

    A competing hypothesis is Syrian authorship.

    • Michael Peck says:

      Thanks, Marcello. I hadn’t seen the Nation piece. As I recall, there were also links between the bombings and the Argentine security services, who aren’t exactly friends of the Jews.

  4. layla says:

    I’m surprised at libtree’s comment, as Michael said nothing whatsoever about responding with force to anything in Nicaragua. All he did was point out something interesting and give his opinion that Iran could cause trouble, with some supporting evidence. As for Brian’s sarcasm, Brian, you are aware, yes, that Michael has posted on what’s going on in Iran, yes?

    Comments would be more interesting if they were germane and dealt with the subject matter of the blog, rather than attacking the blog author or responding to something that wasn’t written. Read before you leap, guys!

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