This must be why the “we’ve turned the corner” language is no longer in the stump speech. From This is Rumor Control:
“The rhetoric coming out of the Bush administration has convinced Iran that military conflict is inevitable and rather than await an attack at a time and place of America’s choosing, the Iranians will try to inflict significant damage to U.S. forces on Iraqi soil by means of the Mahdi Army and other Shi’a groups,” an informed intelligence source told This Is Rumor Control. Senior officials of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency would not comment on these reports, but a former senior intelligence officer said that the conclusion was “a no brainer.” As he noted: “If you had U.S. troops on your doorstep and George Bush calling you a part of the axis of evil you would take steps to protect yourself. And it would be better to protect yourself on Iraqi soil than to have to do so on Iranian soil. That is what they are doing. Are we surprised? We shouldn’t be.” (emphasis mine)
Read the whole report. Really an incredible read.
Sidenote: do you think this is evidence of what Howell Raines meant when he said blogs are unsourced rantings? Get a clue, Raines.