Rami was explaining how the insurgency had changed since the first heady days after the US invasion. “I used to attack the Americans when that was the jihad. Now there is no jihad. Go around and see in Adhamiya [the notorious Sunni insurgent area] – all the commanders are sitting sipping coffee; it’s only the young kids that are fighting now, and they are not fighting Americans any more, they are just killing Shia.”
The defence secretary, Robert Gates, told reporters that the decision to deploy a Patriot missile battalion and a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf in conjunction with a “surge” of troops in Iraq was designed to show Iran that the US was not “overcommitted” in Iraq.
… Such remarks, following the prospect of “hot pursuit” raids into Iran as raised by George Bush in his televised address last week, have fuelled speculation that the US is softening up the American public for possible action against Tehran.