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Obama is Preparing to Bomb Iran

aircraft_bomber_isralie.jpgAfter about two and a half years during which the danger of war between the United States and Iran
was at a relatively low level, this threat is now rapidly increasing. A
pattern of political and diplomatic events, military deployments, and
media chatter now indicates that Anglo-American ruling circles, acting
through the troubled Obama administration, are currently gearing up for a
campaign of bombing against Iran, combined with special forces
incursions designed to stir up rebellions among the non-Persian
nationalities of the Islamic Republic. Naturally, the probability of a
new fake
Gulf of Tonkin incident or false flag terror attack staged by the Anglo-American war party and attributed to Iran or its proxies is also growing rapidly.

 

 

The
moment in the recent past when the US came closest to attacking Iran
was August-September 2007, at about the time of the major Israeli
bombing raid on Syria.1 This was the phase during which the Cheney
faction in effect hijacked a fully loaded B-52 bomber equipped with six
nuclear-armed cruise missiles, and attempted to take it to the Middle
East outside of the command and control of the Pentagon, presumably to
be used in a colossal provocation designed by the private rogue network
for which Cheney was the visible face. A few days before the B-52
escaped control of legally constituted US authorities, a group of
antiwar activists issued The Kennebunkport Warning of August 24-25,
2007, which had been drafted by the present writer.2 It was very
significant that US institutional forces acted at that time to prevent
the rogue B-52 from proceeding on its way towards the Middle East. The
refusal to let the rogue B-52 take off reflected a growing consensus in
the US military-intelligence community and the ruling elite in general
that the Bush-Cheney-neocon policy of direct military aggression towards
all comers had become counterproductive and very dangerous, running the
risk of a terminal case of imperial overstretch.

 

A
prominent spokesman for the growing disaffection with the neocons was
Zbigniew Brzezinski, who had been a national security director in the
Carter administration. Brzezinski argued that no more direct military
attacks by the
United States should be made for the time being, and that US policy should rather focus on playing off other states against each other, while the US remained somewhat aloof. Brzezinski’s model was always his own successful playing of the Soviet Union against Afghanistan
in 1979, leading to the collapse of the Soviet empire a decade later. A
centerpiece of Brzezinski’s argument was evidently the claim that color
revolutions on the model of Ukraine 2004 were much a better tool than
the costly and dangerous US bombing and
US
invasion always championed by the monomaniacal neocons. There was
clearly an implication that Brzezinski could deliver a color revolution
in
Iran, as he had done in Ukraine.

 

Brzezinski’s Nightmare of 2007 Is Back

 

Brzezinski
formulated his critique of the neocon methods of aggression and
imperialistic geopolitics in his testimony before the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee in February 2007, going so far as to point out the
likely scenario of a false flag event or Gulf of Tonkin incident
designed to embroil the United States in direct military hostilities
with Iran. The heart of Brzezinski’s analysis was this: ‘If the
United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran
and with much of the world of Islam at large. A plausible scenario for a
military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the
benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the
failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S.
blamed on Iran; culminating in a “defensive” U.S. military action
against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and
deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan,
and Pakistan.’ 3 Today we could add
Lebanon and Syria to that list, plus perhaps Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and some others in central Asia.

 

The factors contributing to the current increased danger level include three major trends:

 

The CIA’s Green Movement in Iran Has Fizzled

 

I. The US sponsored Green Movement in Iran
has now demonstrably failed in its project of overthrowing the
Achmadinejad government. Back in 2006-2007, the
Brzezinski-Nye-Trilateral “soft power” or “smart power” group attacked
the stupidity of the neocon plan for a direct
US military attack on Iran by pointing out the opportunities for staging a color revolution in Iran, just as the Brzezinski faction had successfully staged the Orange Revolution to install NATO puppets in Ukraine. Why attack Iran directly, argued Brzezinski and his friends, when a US puppet regime in Teheran could be used against Russia and China in much the same way these same people had played Afghanistan against the Soviet Union,
with catastrophic results of the latter. The apex of these subversion
efforts came in June 2009, with the so-called Twitter Revolution, which
was celebrated with hysterical gloating in the Anglo-American media. The
Mousavi-Rafsanjani faction left no doubt about its CIA and MI-6
parentage with its signature chant of “Death to
Russia, Death to China.” The illusion of an easy coup in Iran has died hard in Washington and London. But by June 2010, the impotence of the Green forces in Iran
had become evident. Hillary Clinton is even complaining that
Achmadinejad now represents a military-backed government which has
marginalized the mullahs, whom the US has demonized in public but
privately relied on to prevent the economic modernization of Iran. This
gives rise to the tendency to fall back on the previous neocon plan for
some combination of direct military attack by
Israel and the United States, combined with escalated subversion efforts among the Baluchis, Azeris, Arabs, Turkmen, and Kurds of Iran.

 

Russian Policy Now Uncertain

 

II. During the time that the neocons were attempting to launch aggression against Iran, that task was rendered much more difficult by pervasive uncertainty about the possible reaction of Russia. One of the targets of any bombing campaign against Iran
would necessarily be the Bushehr nuclear reactor, being built by
Russian technicians. Neocon war planners had to worry about events like
the visit to Tehran of Russian President Vladimir Putin on
October 16, 2007.
During the Putin era, Russian media and figures like General Leonid
Ivashov took the lead in calling attention to suddenly increases in
US-UK war preparations, as in the case of Operation Byte, the attack on
Iran proposed for Good Friday, April 6, 2007.4 While it was thought very
unlikely that Russia would risk general war as a result of an attack on
Iran, there remained nevertheless the question as to what Russia
actually would do. This dangerous uncertainty was a very serious
obstacle for the pro-war agitation by the neocons.

 

In
this way, Putin was able to make a decisive contribution to the
maintenance of world peace during the years after 9/11. As of mid-2010,
it would appear that the foreign policy of Russian President Medvedev is
momentarily evolving away from the fierce independence and Russian
nationalism championed by Putin, and is placing more value on projects
of cooperation with the NATO countries, sometimes obtained by unilateral
concessions to the
US.
Part of this can be ascribed to the increasing influence of the free
market ideologue Anatoly Chubais, the architect of the nomenklatura
privatization of Soviet state property during the 1990s, whose concept
of the modernization of the Russian economy depends very heavily on
information technology, in which he portrays the
United States
as being in the lead. Newsweek has reported the approval of a new
foreign policy outline drafted by the Russian foreign ministry which has
allegedly gained provisional approval by President Medvedev. This
document is entitled “Program for the Effective Exploitation on A
Systemic Basis of Foreign Policy Factors for the Purposes of the
Long-Term Development of the
Russian Federation.” 5 The
main immediate effect of the reported new Russian policy is the
apparent willingness of the Kremlin to make important foreign policy
concessions to the
United States with very minimal returns. This in turn means that key unknowns surrounding a US attack on Iran have become less of a concern for the resurgent neocon war faction in Washington. This adds up to a situation in which an attack on Iran is now more likely.

 

The US-UK Hedge Fund Blitzkrieg Against the Euro Falters

 

III.
It is a grave error to imagine that normal relations with the
Anglo-American financiers can be obtained in the current world
depression through conciliatory behavior. The US-UK are experiencing
cataclysmic instability in the form of a financial breakdown crisis, and
this crisis impels these powers towards irrational, adventuristic, and
aggressive behavior. A key lesson of the 1930s is that, when imperialist
financier elites are faced by a disintegration of their fictitious
speculative bubbles, they often respond with strategic flights forward
of the most lunatic sort. In the wake of the 2007-2008 disintegration of
the Anglo-American banking system, the New York and London elites have
shown signs of going collectively bonkers, although these clinical
tendencies have been primarily expressed in the area of their
reactionary domestic socioeconomic policies. The specific form assumed
by this tendency after the second half of 2008 involves the severe
weakening of the US dollar as the world reserve currency by the creation
of a $24 trillion credit line by the Federal Reserve, US Treasury, and
FDIC for the purpose of bailing out the Wall Street zombie banks. This
tidal wave of dollars led to a severe weakening of the US greenback on
international markets during most of the second half of 2009. In late
2009 and early 2010 a group of Anglo-American hedge funds around Soros,
Paulson, David Einhorn, and others launched a speculative attack against
the government bonds of Greece, Spain, and Portugal, with the goal of
using a crisis in the southern tier of the euro to bring on a panic
flight of hot money out of the euro, thus collapsing that currency to
Third World levels. Partly because of the countermeasures instituted by
the German government, including the banning of naked credit default
swaps on Euroland bonds and naked shorts of German stocks, and partly
thanks to direct support from China, the planned Anglo-American
blitzkrieg against the euro has now bogged down after eight months of
effort, with the euro currently oscillating at a price of about $1.25 –
$1.30. This means that, unless the city of London and Wall Street can
come up with a new plan, the forces of world economic depression
represented by $1.5 quadrillion of bankrupt and kited derivatives may
now find a new victim, most likely in the form of either the British
pound or the US dollar.

 

The
immediate threat of a pound or dollar currency collapse is leading the
ruling financier factions to reconsider a very dangerous flight forward
in the form of an attack on Iran, precisely because such an aggression
would likely lead to a blocking of the Straits of Hormuz or in any case
to a serious disruption of one third of the world’s tanker traffic.
Following the tested model of the Kippur war/oil boycott of October
1973, the US-UK financiers would bid up the price of oil to $500 or
$1000 per barrel, thus creating enough demand for dollars to soak up
much of the dollar overhang and prop up the greenback, at least for a
time.

 

An Astronomical Oil Price As Salvation for The US Dollar

 

As
Jean-Michel Vernochet of the Réseau Voltaire has pointed out, the
likely Iranian retaliation for the looming attack in terms of
interdicting Hormuz and the Gulf is actually built into the US-UK war
plan as a positive contribution towards saving the dollar by massively
driving up the price of oil, which is of course still quoted mainly in
dollars.6 Energy and Capital editor Christian A. DeHaemer, an oil market
analyst, commented: “The last oil price shock in the Middle East was in
1990 when the United States invaded Iraq for invading Kuwait. The price
per barrel of oil went from $21 to $28 on August 6… to $46 by
mid-October. The looming Iran War is not priced in,” he warned in his
newsletter.
Iran has the third-highest oil reserves in the world and is second only to Saudi Arabia
in production. If any action prevents the flow of Iranian oil, the
price of “black gold” would soar, he added.’ (IsraelNationalNews.com)7

 

Playing The Arabs Against The Iranians

 

One important prerequisite for US
aggression grows out of the Trilateral group’s strategy, starting from
the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group of 2006, of forming a block of the
Sunni Arab nations against the Persian-speaking Iranian Shiites and
their allies in the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas, as
well as
Syria.
The Anglo-American hope for this tactic of divide and conquer is that
hostility between Arabs and Persians will eclipse the more recent enmity
between Jews and Arabs. “The Jews and Arabs have been fighting for one
hundred years. The Arabs and the Persians have been going at (it) for a
thousand,” wrote Jeffrey Goldberg on The Atlantic’swebsite.8

 

With many reports that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are ready to support the US aggression, great importance must be attached to the current struggle over the future shape of the government of Iraq. Here The secular Shiite Allawi is a US puppet, while his rival Maliki prefers Iran. Sadr and his Mahdi army, closely linked to Iran, represent a key stumbling block for US intentions. The US
requires an Iraqi puppet state which will pursue at least a pro-US
neutrality in case of war, and above all prevent Iranian special forces
or guerrillas from cutting the long
US supply line alone Route Tampa from Kuwait City. This is why the question of the Iraqi government was so important that Vice President Biden had to make a special trip to Iraq in the vain hope of quickly setting up a suitable puppet regime there. If the Iraq army turns against US, the situation of US forces could become extraordinarily critical.

 

War Warnings, Calls For War

 

Over
recent days, warnings about imminent war and direct calls for war have
been proliferating in the world media. The veteran Cuban leader Fidel
Castro gave his most detailed media interview since the beginning of his
illness several years ago, apparently for the express purpose of
issuing a warning about US aggressive plans for
Iran,
and also for North Korea (DPRK). According to a wire dispatch of July
12, ‘the 83-year-old former president talked about how tension between
the
United States and both North Korea and Iran could ultimately trigger a global nuclear war …. Castro warned that an attack on Iran would be catastrophic for America. “The worst (for America) is the resistance they will face there, which they didn’t face in Iraq,” he said.’ 9

 

On July 11, the former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated that ‘the US compelled the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran
in order to weaken the country and lay the ground for a military
attack. The former Malaysian premier added, “It is a matter of time
before the war criminals in Israel and the United States launch another
war of aggression, once Iran has been weakened by sanctions.”’ 10

 

Around
the same time, former Senator Chuck Robb and former NATO deputy
commander General Charles Wald issued an editorial call for the
US to begin preparing an attack. Their argument was that the fourth round of economic sanctions extorted by the United States
from UN Security Council on June 9 would never be effective, and that
military action had to be geared up in parallel to these sanctions. They
also warned that the Cold War doctrine of deterrence would not work in
regard to Iran: ‘Absent a broader and more robust strategy, however,
sanctions alone will prove inadequate to halt Iran’s pursuit of nuclear
weapons…current trends suggest that Iran could achieve nuclear weapons
capability before the end of this year, posing a strategically untenable
threat to the United States. Contrary to a growing number of voices in
Washington, we do not believe a nuclear weapons-capable Iran
could be contained…. We cannot afford to wait indefinitely to determine
the effectiveness of diplomacy and sanctions. Sanctions can be
effective only if coupled with open preparation for the military option
as a last resort. Indeed, publicly playing down potential military
options has weakened our leverage with
Tehran,
making a peaceful resolution less likely. Instead, the administration
needs to expand its approach and make clear to the Iranian regime and
the American people: If diplomatic and economic pressures do not compel
Iran to terminate its nuclear program, the U.S. military has the
capability and is prepared to launch an effective, targeted strike on
Tehran’s nuclear and supporting military facilities…. The stakes are too
high to rely on sanctions and diplomacy without credibly preparing for a
potential military strike as well.’ 11

 

The Neocons Promise A Cakewalk — Again!

 

One of the most blatant calls for war with Iran
comes from the former CIA agent and neocon ideologue Reuel Marc
Gerecht. The Weekly Standard, the central organ of the neocon warmonger
party, devotes the cover story of its current issue to urging the
Israelis to put an end to Obama’s dithering by mounting the attacks
themselves, thus presenting the feckless tenant of the White House with
a fait accompli.12

 

In
the inimitable style of neocon Kenneth Adelman, who notoriously
promised a cakewalk in Iraq the last time we went down this road,
Gerecht impatiently dismisses a series of arguments against such a
fateful act of incalculable folly, and does not miss the opportunity to
settle accounts with Brzezinski, whose alternative model of imperialist
management is now losing support within the ruling elite. Gerecht
writes: ‘… concerns about an Israeli bombing are no more persuasive.
Hezbollah would undoubtedly unleash its missiles on
Israel after a preventive strike…. Hundreds of Israelis could die from Hezbollah’s new and improved store of missiles. Israel might have to invade Lebanon
again, which would cost more lives and certainly upset the
“international community.”…. The Obama administration might fume, but it
is hard to imagine the president, given what he has said about the
unacceptability of Iranian nukes, scolding
Jerusalem long. He might personally agree with his one-time counsel, Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, that Israel
has become a pariah state, but politically this won’t fly.’ 13 Three
years ago, Brzezinski had the upper hand and the neocons were in
disarray, but now the tables have been turned to a significant extent.

 

There
is nothing to worry about, Gerecht assures us, since the Iranians are a
paper tiger and the results will be a cakewalk: ‘American fear of
Iranian capabilities in
Iraq and Afghanistan has been exaggerated. The Americans are leaving Iraq;
within a year, most of our troops are due to be gone….’ 14 Back in
2002-2003, the neocon line was that Saddam Hussein was so powerful that
he had to be attacked. This time around, their field is reversed, and
the main argument is that the Iranians need to be attacked because they
are a pushover: ‘If the Iranians tried their mightiest, they could give
us only a small headache compared with the migraine we’ve already got
courtesy of the Pakistanis, who are intimately tied to
Afghanistan’s Taliban. And the Israelis know the U.S. Navy has no fear of Tehran’s closing the Strait of Hormuz. If Khamenei has a death-wish, he’ll let the Revolutionary Guards mine the strait, the entrance to the Persian Gulf: It might be the only thing that would push President Obama to strike Iran
militarily. Such an escalation could quickly leave Khamenei with no
navy, air force, and army. The Israelis have to be praying that the
supreme leader will be this addle-headed.’ 15 The tried and true
‘cakewalk’ argument is neither the first nor the last notorious neocon
trick which is being brought back these days.

 

But
what about the awesome threat of Iranian state-sponsored terrorism, the
danger which these same neocons have been incessantly harping on for
the past decade? No problem, says Gerecht. All we would need to do at
that point is to issue a bloodcurdling thermonuclear ultimatum to
Iran
about incinerating that country with nuclear missiles, perhaps killing
tens of millions of Iranians. As a matter of fact, Gerecht suggests, the
US
had better start issuing this sort of threat right now, without any
further dithering: ‘It is entirely possible that Khamenei would use
terrorism against the
United States
after an Israeli strike. That is one of the supreme leader’s preferred
methods of state action, which is why he should not be permitted a
nuclear weapon. The correct response for the
United States
is to credibly threaten vengeance. President Obama might be obliged to
make such a threat immediately after an Israeli surprise attack; whether
the Iranians would believe it, given America’s record, is more
difficult to assess.’ 16 Note carefully that these statements amounts to
the public advocacy of aggressive war, a behavior which may run afoul
of the
Nuremberg precedents of 1945.

 

The
Iranians are crazy, says Gerecht, so the old-fashioned nuclear
deterrence of Mutually Assured Destruction will never work. There is no
point in wasting time any longer, and it is time for the Israeli
missiles and bombers to fly: ‘‘It is possible the Israelis have waited
too long to strike. Military action should make a strategic
difference….If we’re not at the end of the road, then the Israelis
probably should waste no more time. Khamenei is still weak. He’s more
paranoid than he’s ever been. The odds of his making uncorrectable
mistakes are much better than before. Any Israeli raid that could knock
out a sizable part of
Iran’s nuclear program would change the dynamic inside Iran and throughout the Middle East…..Unless
Jerusalem bombs, the Israelis will soon be confronting a situation
without historical parallel…. In the best case scenario, if things were
just “normal” in
Tehran, Israel would likely be confronting Cuban Missile Crisis-style brinkmanship on a routine basis.’ 17

 

Obama As The Cynical New Woodrow Wilson

 

The
reactionary writer Michael Barone makes the apt comparison of Obama to
the Morgan puppet Woodrow Wilson, who cynically got himself re-elected
in 1916 on a platform of “he kept us out of war,’ and then demanded the
US entry into World War I about a month into his second term. Obama
campaigned for the presidency quite explicitly as a warmonger in regards
to Afghanistan, although his constant claim to have opposed the Iraq
war left many voters with the false impression that he was less
bellicose than Bush. In reality, Obama was always adamant about his
desire to bomb and invade
Pakistan
in pursuit of the phantomatic “Osama bin Laden.” Barone comments: ‘It
would be ironic if the professorial Barack Obama launches a military
attack when his supposedly cowboy predecessor George W. Bush declined to
do so….But I take it seriously when … nonhawks [Joe Klein and Walter
Russell Meade] say Obama might bomb Iran.’ 18

 

Acts Of War In Iran By Jundullah, a US Terrorist Proxy

 

The Sunni terrorist organization known as Jundullah, which operates in Baluchistan
on both sides of the Pakistan-Iran border, is notoriously a creature of
Anglo-American intelligence, as Brian Ross of ABC News documented in
2007.19 Earlier this year, the Iranians, acting with the help of
Pakistan,
succeeded in capturing the Jundullah leader Rigi, whom they then
executed this month. Rigi, according to Wayne Madsen, had been on his
way to a meeting with US regional Ambassador Richard Holbrooke at the
US
air base in Kyrgyzstan.20 Retaliation from Jundullah soon followed in
the form of a murderous attack on Iranian territory which killed 21
persons, including members of the Pasdaran Revolutionary Guard. Iranian
leaders were quick to denounce this action as the latest in a long
series of acts of war against
Iran by the United States
using terrorist proxies. Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani condemned this
attack, which occurred in Zahedan, while explicitly blaming the
United States: ‘“The Americans should know that they have started a game that will not end well for them,” he said in Tehran. Larijani asserted that Iran has ample evidence that the Jundullah terrorist group has links to the United States. The terrorist group Jundullah, which Iranian officials say enjoys U.S.
support, has claimed responsibility for the attacks. In a statement
posted on its web site, Jundullah described the attacks as retaliation
for
Iran’s June 21 execution of the group’s former ringleader, Abdolmalek Rigi. Larijani said that the United States cannot invent an excuse for the bombings. “They may get away with other issues, but not with this one,” he added.’ 21

 

Medvedev Policy Shift Increases Moscow-Tehran Friction

 

One of the main policy goals of the Brzezinski faction in the United States has always been to maneuver Russia into a position of hostility against Iran.
The hope has always been to foment conflicts between these two Caspian
powers. Unfortunately, the policy of attempting to placate the
United States
on certain issues pursued by President Medvedev has now created a
Moscow-Tehran relationship in which elements of acrimony coexist with
gestures of cooperation.

 

On
July 12, Medvedev made an important verbal concession to the emerging
US-neocon theory of Iranian nuclear weapons. A RIA-Novosti dispatch
read: ‘
Iran
is about to acquire the capability to make nuclear weapons, Russian
President Dmitry Medvedev warned on Monday. He urged Russian ambassadors
and permanent representatives to move away from “simplistic approaches”
toward
Iran’s nuclear problem.’ 22

 

On June 20, Medvedev had expressed concern about ‘U.S. secret intelligence data that Iran
has enough enriched uranium for construction of two nuclear bombs. “As
for this information, it needs to be verified but in any case such
information always worries. Today the international society does not
acknowledge the Iranian nuclear program as transparent. If the
information from the American secret services is confirmed it would make
the situation more tense and I do not exclude that this issue would
require extra consideration,” Medvedev said at a news conference after
the G8 and G20 summits in
Canada.’ 23 US intelligence regarding Iran is notoriously unreliable, and distorted by political agendas inside the US intelligence community. It is even possible that some of the material which Medvedev was shown during his time in North America came from the alleged defector Shahram Amiri, whose credibility is gravely in question.

 

In
response to Medvedev’s allegations about an Iranian nuclear weapons
program, leaders in Teheran responded with vigorous denials. On July 13,
RIA Novosti reported that ‘Iranian officials on Tuesday angrily
dismissed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s remarks that
Tehran
was on the verge of acquiring military nuclear capability, the Fars
News Agency reported. “These remarks are at odds with reality,” Iranian
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said during a press conference at
the Iranian embassy in
Madrid, stressing that Tehran has always sought only peaceful uses for nuclear technology.’ 24 During the preparation of the Iraq war, Russia
was very skeptical of the explanations offered by the Bush regime,
including at the UN Security Council. This time around, it would appear
that parts at least of the Russian government are lending credibility to
the
US charges.

 

In
response to these Iranian objections, Medvedev returned to the issue on
July 15, reiterating that ‘Russia possesses information indicating that
Iran is continuing to develop its nuclear technology …”The information
that is being received comes both from open sources and from special
services that deliver relevant reports and shows that these [nuclear]
programs are being developed,” Medvedev said during a joint news
conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Russian Urals
city of Yekaterinburg.’ 25

 

The
Russian government has issued sharply conflicting statements about
whether the sale of modern Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles would
be blocked by the new round of UN sanctions. It is generally thought
that, if Iran can finally take delivery of these missiles, any design
for air attacks against Iran would have to reckon with extravagant
losses among the attacking aircraft. On June 11, RIA Novosti reported
that ‘a Kremlin source said on Friday the sale of S-300 air defense
systems fall under the new UN Security Council’s sanctions against
Tehran, but the Russian foreign minister said it was up to the president
to make the final decision.’ 26 Ironically, this reading of the
sanctions was less favorable to Iran then what the US State Department
was saying on the same day. On June 11, the State Department opined that
‘the delivery of Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran
is not against the recently imposed UN sanctions.’ 27

 

In
the face of criticism, the Kremlin characterized its position as
evenhanded. On May 26, RIA Novosti reported that presidential aide
Sergei Prikhodko had argued that ‘Russia’s position on Tehran’s nuclear
program is neither pro-American, nor pro-Iranian. The statement comes
after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a televised
interview earlier in the day that Russia’s support for UN sanctions
against Tehran was “not acceptable to the Iranian nation.”’ 28

 

Russia
also expressed no enthusiasm for an expansion of the so-called five
plus one group (composed of the five permanent members of the UN
Security Council plus Germany) which had been negotiating the nuclear
issue with Iran. The arbitrary nature of this five plus one grouping had
been pointed out by many countries, and inevitably arose after the
initially successful mediation of the Iranian nuclear fuel enrichment
issue by Turkey and Brazil. Why not have Turkey and Brazil joined the
five plus one? The addition of these two states would obviously make the
negotiating group less hostile to Iran. But the Russian Foreign
Ministry was not interested. On July 19, RIA Novosti reported that
‘Turkey and Brazil are not joining talks led by the Iran Six group of
international mediators on Tehran’s nuclear program, the Russian foreign
minister said Wednesday. “There have been no discussions on the issue,”
Sergei Lavrov said. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said
Tuesday that the Islamic Republic wanted Turkey and Brazil to
participate in the talks.’ 29

 

Criticism
of Iran keeps coming from numerous Russian diplomats. On July 14,
Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said there was “still cause for
concern about Iran’s nuclear program as signals from the Islamic
Republic have been far from encouraging… “The signals I have heard from
Iran are not encouraging,” he said. “Iran continues to set out terms,
make excuses and say that it will persist in enriching uranium to
20%.”’ 30

 

At
the same time, Russia continued to assist Iran in the construction of
the Bushehr nuclear power reactor, which should come on line and start
generating electricity within a few months. The Iranians also operate
research reactors. On July 12, Iran announced that ‘nuclear fuel for the
Tehran research reactor will be ready in September 2011…. “God willing,
we will deliver the fuel to the Tehran reactor next September,” Ali
Akbar Salehi of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) was quoted
by Fars News Agency (FNA) as saying. “At present we have produced about
20 kg of 20%-enriched uranium and we are now producing fuel plates,” he
said.’ 31 The Anglo-Americans have tried to make this 20% enrichment a
virtual casus belli, despite the fact that weaponization requires far
higher percentages, well above 90%.

 

Russia
appeared inclined to defy the US on some issues. There were indications
that Russia was willing to help Iran frustrate the UN Security Council
ban on other nations’ selling refined gasoline to Iran, which is one of
the centerpieces of the latest US-backed sanctions offensive. Iran
produces abundant oil, but lacks refineries to make that oil into
gasoline and other products. Here was an ideal way to get around this
gasoline embargo. According to RIA Novosti, ‘Russian Energy Minister
Sergei Shmatko said … that Russian companies are ready to supply oil
products to Iran despite U.S. sanctions punishing companies that sell
motor fuel to Iran or help it rebuild its refining capabilities, which
have been degraded by years of international isolation.’ (‘Iran hopes to
become largest gasoline exporter in 2-3 years’, RIA Novosti, July 15,
2010,http://en.rian.ru/world/20100715/159829016.html)

 

According
to Vernochet of the Réseau Voltaire, the Russian policy ‘appears to
reflect a certain schizophrenia at the highest level of the state, or an
openly diverging policy with two heads, with a presidency a priori more
pro-Western than Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.’ 32 McDermott agrees
about this latent conflict, noting: ‘There is also the thorny issue that
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, has a group of foreign policy aides
managed by Yuriy Ushakov functioning as a “little” foreign ministry:
which represents the single greatest barrier to adopting such policy
concepts (Ezhednevny Zhurnal, May 14).’ The net result of these
developments is that the aggressive forces inside the United States
think they have a much freer hand with Iran than they did during the
time of the Putin presidency.

 

Brzezinski Group Weaker, Neocon-Petraeus Faction Stronger

 

As
already noted, the Brzezinski-Nye-Trilateral faction is losing ground
to the neocons, who have been mightily strengthened by the ascendancy of
their chosen factional figurehead and presidential candidate for 2012,
General David Petraeus. The planned color revolution in Iran has not
materialized, and therefore the neocon recipes for aggression are
winning by default, especially given the systemic hysteria induced by
the financial breakdown crisis. The Brzezinski-Nye-Trilateral group had
been early supporters of Obama, and growing public awareness of Obama’s
weakness, fecklessness, dithering, and treachery are also weakening his
backers.

 

Petraeus, The Savior Of The Savior

 

Obama’s
appointment of Petraeus as the new commander in Afghanistan, succeeding
McChrystal, is an act of supreme political folly. By appointing
Petraeus, Obama has focused new adulation by the political class on his
most formidable opponent for the presidency in 2012, as seen in
Petraeus’ 99-0 confirmation vote by the U.S. Senate. It should be
evident that Petraeus is not likely to have accepted this new command
without having extracted certain binding policy commitments from Obama
in advance, and one of these is likely to have been a more truculent US
stance against Iran, to say nothing of Pakistan and other states. Obama
had been the savior, but Petraeus now assumes the role of the savior of
the savior, and it is the neocon faction and its strident war program
which is the beneficiary.33

 

A New National Intelligence Estimate By And For Warmongers

 

During
the declining years of the Bush regime, one of the most important
signals of a general ruling class consensus that the US attack on Iran
should be taken off the table was the national intelligence estimate
issued in December 2007, which concluded that Iran no longer had a
functioning nuclear weapons program. This simply meant in practice that
the neocons, for the moment, were out of power. This finding was opposed
tooth and nail by the neocons, and was directly contradicted by the
claims of Israeli intelligence.

 

The
way in which this new NIE is being rigged, with the facts and
intelligence being fixed around the desired war policy, is reflected in a
recent rare interview by CIA Director Leon Panetta. The new phony NIE
is now guaranteed to repudiate the previous finding, and to accuse Iran
of actively seeking nuclear bombs. This was in fact Panetta’s first
network news interview since taking over the CIA in early 2009.
According to one published account, ‘in an ABC News interview Sunday,
CIA Director Leon Panetta alluded to a fact that was reported
by Newsweek months ago: U.S. intelligence agencies have revised their
widely disputed 2007 conclusion that Iran had given up its efforts to
design or build a nuclear bomb. That shift is expected to be reflected
in an update of the controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate,
which was supposed to have been completed months ago, but according to
three counter-proliferation officials, who asked for anonymity when
discussing sensitive information, the formal update still is not
finished and may be delayed for months to come. Even when it’s done,
officials have said, the Obama administration is expected to keep the
revised report’s contents officially secret….’ 34 Panetta, a political
hack, has claimed that Iran is working on weaponization of fissile
material, which has been a central issue in the dispute within the US
intelligence community. With this, Panetta clearly joins the warmonger
camp.

 

State Department: Iran Wants Nukes, Iran Has Always Wanted Nukes

 

On
June 8, David E. Sanger of the New York Times reported that US
diplomats at the United Nations were already beginning to prepare the
other members of the UN Security Council for a complete volte-face on
the question of Iranian nukes compared to the December 2007 NIE. In
December 2007 there were no nukes, but now there are some again, the US
in effect argued. One imagines that UN Ambassador Susan Rice took
special satisfaction in an Orwellian reversal of this type. Sanger
wrote: ‘The American briefings, according to foreign diplomats and some
American officials, amount to a tacit admission by the United States
that it is gradually backing away from a 2007 National Intelligence
Estimate. It is using new evidence to revise and in some cases reverse
conclusions from that estimate, which came to the much disputed
conclusion that while Iran had stepped up its production of nuclear
fuel, its leadership had suspended its work on the devices and warhead
designs needed to actually build a weapon.’ 35

 

The
neocons are already mobilized to skew the new NIE in the direction they
want. An example of their effort is the op-ed by Gabriel Schoenfeld of
the arch-reactionary Hudson Institute appearing in the Wall Street
Journal on July 19. Schoenfeld’s first goal is to perform the Orwellian
exercise of expunging the December 2007 NIE: ‘In December 2007, our
intelligence agencies put out a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE),
which in its opening sentence baldly declared that “We judge with high
confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons
program.” In a stroke, this authoritative pronouncement eliminated any
possibility that President Bush, then entering his final year in office,
would order a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Perhaps even more significantly, it undercut White House and
international efforts to tighten sanctions on Iran. After all, if the
Iranian nuclear program had been halted in 2003, what would be the
point?….Behind the scenes, the intelligence services of Germany, Great
Britain, France and Israel all took issue with the NIE. It became the
subject of fierce criticism in Congress and the press. It is now clear
that while the U.S. dithered, Tehran forged ahead…. Evidence has
surfaced that the flawed 2007 NIE was the result of political cookery….
Since late last year, U.S. intelligence has been preparing a new
estimate of Iran’s nuclear program. The critical question is whether the
forces that led to politicization in 2007 have been eradicated. Will
the drafters of the new Iran NIE call the shots as they are, or will
they once again use intelligence as a political lever?’ 36

 

Neocons Want a Team B For Iran

 

Notice
that, for this neocon doublethinker, ‘politicization’ is anything which
delays or avoids war, while objectivity is identified exclusively with
the warmonger position. Schoenfeld is obsessed with counting how many
months remain before Iran stages their first nuclear detonation. Israel
says there may be as few as twelve months left! How to focus public
attention on this issue? Schoenfeld has an answer ready: ‘That is why a
neutral outside panel should be brought in to scrutinize the discredited
2007 NIE and the entire estimating process in this sensitive arena.’
This sounds very much like an old neocon trick – Team B, the panel of
apocalyptic dissident ideologues created by Bush the elder in 1975-76 to
prepare an alarmist estimate of Soviet intentions in contradiction to
the findings of the official CIA.37 In such a contest, neocon
Strangeloves proclaiming dramatic doomsday messages have an easy time
marginalizing colorless bureaucrats with their plodding prose. It is the
neocons who are the iron chefs of cooking intelligence. As Sir Richard
Dearlove, the boss of MI-6, informed Tony Blair and his ministers in
July 2002, ‘the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the
policy’ by Washington in the runup to the Bush-Cheney aggression against
Iraq.38

 

Leverett: There Is No Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program

 

One
leading US expert on Iranian affairs is Flynt Leverett, who worked on
Iran during his time in the G. W. Bush National Security Council. In a
July 18 radio interview transcribed on Leverett’s website, Race for
Iran, which is also by run by Hillary Mann Leverett, an important Iran
expert in her own right. the former official stated that ‘to the best of
my knowledge…there is no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons
program.…I haven’t been working in a classified environment for a number
of years now and I certainly wouldn’t claim to know everything that the
U.S. intelligence community might have, [but]…my very strong impression
is that we know that the Iranians have been working on…a dedicated fuel
cycle program focused on uranium enrichment for a long time. Could they
have at some point…looked into other kinds of technical or engineering
problems that you would need to solve if you were actually at some point
going to build a nuclear weapon? Yeah, that’s possible, but I’ve never
seen what I would consider clear and convincing evidence of it.’ 39

 

The
mendacious process by which National Intelligence Estimates are
manufactured on sensitive issues like Iran is much illuminated by the
case of the Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri. Amiri, it will be recalled,
issued a Youtube video in which he alleged that he had been kidnapped
by the United States while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, and was
being held in Arizona. Later, he issued another videotape, this one
better produced, in which he reassured the public that he was fine,
studying physics in Arizona of his own free will. A third tape went back
to asserting that he had been kidnapped. Amiri at length appealed to
the Iranian interest section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, DC,
and soon returned to Iran.

 

Amiri, The CIA’s New Iranian Curveball?

 

So
what is the truth about Amiri? We need to recall the examples of the
anonymous “source Curveball” and of Achmed Chalabi, two Iraqi
adventurers assiduously courted by the neocons and plied with large sums
of US taxpayer money in order to make fantastic allegations about the
allegedly threatening programs of weapons of mass destruction being
pursued by Saddam Hussein. If the CIA had really brought Amiri to the
United States and offered him $5 million, it is a pretty good guess that
he was being paid to provide the lurid details of an Iranian nuclear
weapons program which many qualified experts, as we have just seen,
conclude to be nonexistent, just as the US government officially stated
in December 2007.

 

The
Leveretts stress that Amiri was never a top official of the Iranian
science establishment, and it is therefore very likely that his opinions
about the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program are worthless. As the
Leveretts wrote on July 15, ‘We warned, in April that Amiri could not
possibly be the highly valuable intelligence source that some Western
officials and the National Council for Resistance in Iran (an affiliate
of the MEK, which the U.S. government has designated as a foreign
terrorist organization) claimed him to be — a source who “had worked on
sensitive nuclear programs for at least a decade” and was now revealing
the inside story on Iran’s alleged clandestine nuclear weapons program.
We were appalled that the Washington Post was reporting these claims
without the most minimal, common-sense follow-up questioning. Now we
learn that the CIA apparently tried to pay Amiri $5 million. Along with
trying to figure out the details of Amiri’s trajectory over the last
year, journalists ought to be focusing on what the Agency’s willingness
to pay $5 million to a hyped-up source signals about the U.S.
Intelligence Community’s desperation to make a prosecutor’s case against
the Islamic Republic. Indeed, the CIA and the rest of the Intelligence
Community seem sufficiently desperate to make their case that they will
pay taxpayer dollars to gotten-up defectors who might be prepared to
say—for the right price—what Washington elites want to hear. As we noted
in our April piece, if the CIA and its partners in the Intelligence
Community are unable to make a case against Iran, “how could Washington
argue for intensified sanctions against the Islamic Republic—much less
keep the military option ‘on the table?’”’

 

Press
comments on Panetta’s ABC News interview suggest precisely this: Amiri
was brought in to provide fodder for a campaign of mass brainwashing
designed to show that Iran is on track to build nuclear bombs. On the
ABC website we read: ‘Panetta did not directly confirm that the
controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iranian nukes was
under revision. But other officials have confirmed to Declassified that
an update has been in the works since late last year. They say its
completion has been postponed several times while agencies evaluate new
intelligence reporting which has surfaced over the last few months. At
least some of that fresh input is believed to have come from one or more
Iranian nuclear insiders, including Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear
scientist who disappeared about a year ago while on a religious
pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, ABC News reported that
Amiri had defected to the United States. Although government sources
have acknowledged …that they are aware of Amiri’s defection and of
information that he might have provided, they do not confirm that he
defected to the U.S.’ 40

 

Now
that Amiri has fled back to Iran, another possibility opens up for the
US mindbenders: they might now argue that the December 2007 NIE which
concluded there was no Iranian nuclear weapons program had been based on
falsified information procured by Amiri and others like him, who had
been recruited to espionage by the US, but who later proved unreliable –
as shown by Amiri’s flight back to Iran to rejoin his family there. All
of these points represent good reasons not to believe the contents of
the new NIE when its contents are reported in the press in the very near
future. It is guaranteed to be a tissue of lies.

 

Amiri’s Last Word: No Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program

 

The
last word from Amiri seems to be a statement that there is no Iranian
nuclear weapons program after all. This has been established by CIA
veteran Philip Giraldi based on leaks from his networks inside the
agency. As Gareth Porter of IPS reported, ‘Contrary to a news media
narrative that Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri has provided intelligence
on covert Iranian nuclear weapons work, CIA sources familiar with the
Amiri case say he told his CIA handlers that there is no such Iranian
nuclear weapons programme, according to a former CIA officer. Philip
Giraldi, a former CIA counterterrorism official, told IPS that his
sources are CIA officials with direct knowledge of the entire Amiri
operation.’ 41 But mere facts have never prevented the neocon
mythographs from pressing for aggression. Maybe they will now re-create
the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans, which was responsible for a
series of whoppers in 2002-2003.

 

Obama Regime Beats The Propaganda Drum For War

 

In
the wake of the new round of sanctions in June, top officials of the
Obama regime have begun to suggest that sanctions will be inadequate to
stop the nuclear weapons development which they will soon claim is going
on, leaving the obvious conclusion that direct military attack is the
only option. ‘”Will [sanctions] deter them [Iran] from their ambitions
with regards to nuclear capability?” CIA Director Leon Panetta told ABC
News on June 27. “Probably not.”’ 42

 

Defense
Secretary Robert Gates is taking special pains to argue against the
idea that Iran could be held in check by traditional nuclear deterrence
of the time-honored Cold War type, even if Tehran were to procure
nuclear weapons. This is an argument which has been endorsed by some
leading US military officers, who are obviously not eager to go into the
Iranian meatgrinder. According to Fox News, ‘Gates is sounding more
belligerent these days. “I don’t think we’re prepared to even talk about
containing a nuclear Iran,” he told Fox News on June 20. “We do not
accept the idea of Iran having nuclear weapons.” He added: “I don’t
think we’re prepared to even talk about containing a nuclear Iran. I
think we’re — we — our view still is we do not accept the idea of Iran
having nuclear weapons. And our policies and our efforts are all aimed
at preventing that from happening.” … “Actually, what we’ve seen is a
change in the nature of the regime in Tehran over the past 18 months or
so. You have — you have a much narrower based government in Tehran now.
Many of the religious figures are being set aside. As Secretary Clinton
has said, they appear to be moving more in the direction of a military
dictatorship. Khamenei is leaning on a smaller and smaller group of
advisors.”’ 43 Gates had been skeptical in public about the Iran attack,
in conformity with his Brzezinski pedigree; his joining the extreme war
party thus means the bureaucratic situation is deteriorating.

 

The
US argument against the Iranian regime used to be that Iran was bad
because it was a theocratic dictatorship of the mullahs, who were the
bearers of Islamic fundamentalism. Gates and Clinton now argue that Iran
is bad precisely because it is no longer a theocratic dictatorship of
mullahs, but an authoritarian military dictatorship. The only constant
is the desire for war and confrontation.

 

Netanyahu Of The War Party

 

In
order for the US to assemble an Arab-Sunni front in the Middle East to
oppose the chosen Persian-Shiite adversary, it was considered
advantageous to get the Israelis to make a few concessions to the
Palestinians with a view to creating the illusion of progress towards an
overall peace settlement between these two parties. Because the
politics of economic depression has produced a marked heightening of the
extremist elements of Israeli politics, the Netanyahu regime has
refused to make any concessions, and has acted out defiance of Obama for
domestic political consumption. This dynamic gave rise to the hostile
and heated atmosphere of Netanyahu’s previous White House visit. This
time, the atmospherics were kept more conciliatory. In any case,
Netanyahu’s demand for US military attack on Iran is a constant refrain.

 

As
the Leveretts pointed out on July 11: ‘it is the Prime Minister’s
remarks on Iran that deserve special attention—for these remarks suggest
that Netanyahu is embarked on an extremely dangerous course. Netanyahu
is pushing the United States to take eventual military action against
Iran — a confrontation that would have predictably disastrous
consequences for U.S. interests and regional stability, and for which
Israel and the pro-Likud community in the United States will be blamed,
because they will have led the charge to war. Such a scenario would be
far more damaging to Israel and the American Jewish community than
anything Iran might conceivably do. Netanyahu argued that the Islamic
Republic’s “irrational regime” cannot be allowed to develop nuclear
weapons capability, because “you can’t rely on the fact that they’ll
obey the calculations of cost and benefit that have governed all nuclear
powers since the rise of the nuclear age after Hiroshima and
Nagasaki.”’ 44

 

Netanyahu,
it is argued, is also trying to force the US to take the lead in
attacking, which is less convenient for Washington than being dragged
into war by a supposed breakaway ally: ‘…while preserving the option of
Israeli military strikes against Iranian nuclear targets, Netanyahu is
shifting the onus for forestalling the further development of Iran’s
nuclear capabilities onto the prospect of U.S. military action.’ 45

 

The UAE Calls For War At Aspen, Colorado Ideas Festival

 

Many
reports stress that the political leadership of Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates are issuing strident demands that the US make the
attack on Iran, thus abandoning all hypocritical pretenses of Arab
solidarity. One piece of evidence in this regard is the outburst of the
UAE ambassador to the United States during a panel discussion in Aspen
Colorado during the first week of July. In response to a question about
Iran, UAE ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba issued a
remarkable open call for US military aggression in regard to Iran,
despite the likely serious negative side effects which his own country
would experience because of its close geographical propinquity does a
theater of war. ‘”I think it’s a cost-benefit analysis,” Mr. al-Otaiba
said. “I think despite the large amount of trade we do with Iran, which
is close to $12 billion … there will be consequences, there will be a
backlash and there will be problems with people protesting and rioting
and very unhappy that there is an outside force attacking a Muslim
country; that is going to happen no matter what.”’ Al-Otaiba concluded:
‘”If you are asking me, ‘Am I willing to live with that versus living
with a nuclear Iran?,’ my answer is still the same: ‘We cannot live with
a nuclear Iran.’ I am willing to absorb what takes place at the expense
of the security of the U.A.E.”’ 46 Al-Otaiba was soon called home for
consultations. His formulation is reminiscent of French President
Sarkozy’s cynical comment that the only thing worse than bombing Iran is
Iran with a bomb.

 

Joe Klein in Time: Arab Gulf States Want Iran Bombed

 

According
to Joe Klein of Time Magazine, the demand for war by the Saudis and the
Gulf states is pushing the United States rapidly down the path to
military conflict. One senses that alibis are being prefabricated for
Obama and his officials for when the body bags begin to come home. Klein
writes: ‘One other factor has brought the military option to a low
boil: Iran’s Sunni neighbors really want the U.S. to do it. When United
Arab Emirates Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba said on July 6 that he favored
a military strike against Iran despite the economic and military
consequences to his country, he was reflecting an increasingly adamant
attitude in the region. Senior American officials who travel to the Gulf
frequently say the Saudis, in particular, raise the issue with
surprising ardor. Everyone from the Turks to the Egyptians to the
Jordanians are threatening to go nuclear if Iran does. That is seen as a
real problem in the most volatile region in the world: What happens,
for example, if Saudi Arabia gets a bomb, and the deathless monarchy
there is overthrown by Islamist radicals?’ 47 We should stress that the
rulers of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states represent some of the most
extreme and backward feudal relics to be found anywhere on this planet,
having survived through the 20th century mainly thanks to the fact that
these were British imperial puppet states for most of that time. The
idea that a gaggle of titled feudal reactionaries can talk the United
States into a catastrophic war shows how far gone the current situation
actually is.

 

The
clamor for war from the Saudi and Gulf potentates is also the theme of a
recent article in the online edition of the pro-British German
newsmagazine, Der Spiegel, where we read: ‘Israel and the Arab states
near the Persian Gulf recognize a common threat: the regime in Tehran. A
regional diplomat has not even ruled out support by the Arab states for
a military strike to end Iran’s nuclear ambitions…. Never have the
strategic interests of the Jewish and Arab states been so closely
aligned as they are today. While European and American security experts
consistently characterize a military strike against Iran as “a last
option,” notable Arabs have long shared the views of Israel’s
ultra-nationalist foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman. If no one else
takes it upon himself to bomb Iran, Saudi cleric Mohsen al-Awaji told
SPIEGEL, Israel will have to do it. “Israel’s agenda has its limits,” he
said, noting that it is mainly concerned with securing its national
existence. “But Iran’s agenda is global.”’ 48

 

A Philodoxer Of The War Party: Bernard-Henri Lévy

 

One
who rejoiced that the UAE was now ready to fight the Iranians to the
last American was the notorious philodoxer Bernard-Henri Lévy, who had
already done yeoman service for the Anglo-Americans over many years as
an all-purpose warmonger on the subject of Iraq. Here is part of the
Huffington Post account of Lévy’s remarks: ‘”The UAE has chosen to side
with the camp of those who apply to the letter the new United Nations
resolution of June 9,” wrote Lévy, noting that it was “truly a blow to
the regime” in Iran. For Lévy, the “union sacrée” of Muslim countries
against the “Zionist enemy” is a fantasy. The countries that feel
threatened by Tehran, he added, now have the opportunity to form an
alliance of convenience. We might as well say that the Emirates’
decision is truly a blow to the regime…. And the fact that, for the
first time, an Arab country took this step, the fact that it said no to
the Iranians’ attempted holdup, thus foiling the manœuvre of which Hamas
and Hezbollah were the vanguard but whose ultimate goal was to set the
region ablaze, constitutes not only a gesture of survival but proof of
maturity and a welcome sign of clarification. If this decision is
maintained, nothing will ever be the same again. And for Ahmadinejad,
the countdown will have begun.’ 49 The reference to the countdown at the
end suggests Lévy’s vision of US missiles streaking towards Tehran with
their deadly cargo.

 

Saudi Arabia Volunteers As Springboard For Assaulting Iran

 

Saudi
Arabia has by all indications volunteered the use of its airspace as a
transit corridor for Israeli planes attacking Iran. According to other
reports, Israeli forces are now present on the territory of the kingdom.
On June 12, The Times of London reported that Saudi Arabia had recently
‘conducted tests to stand down its air defenses to enable Israeli jets
to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities’ – as part of an
attack on Iranian targets. In March, reports had started appearing in
the European press about secret negotiations between Jerusalem and
Riyadh to work out the details of cooperation.50

 

On
July 5, these reports became more concrete when the London Times wrote
that ‘the head of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence service…
assured Benjamin Netanyahu, its prime minister, that Saudi Arabia would
turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any
future raid on Iran’s nuclear sites. Earlier this year Meir Dagan,
Mossad’s director since 2002, held secret talks with Saudi officials to
discuss the possibility. The Israeli press has already carried
unconfirmed reports that high-ranking officials, including Ehud Olmert,
the former prime minister, held meetings with Saudi colleagues. The
reports were denied by Saudi officials. “The Saudis have tacitly agreed
to the Israeli air force flying through their airspace on a mission
which is supposed to be in the common interests of both Israel and Saudi
Arabia,” a diplomatic source said last week. Although the countries
have no formal diplomatic relations, an Israeli defense source confirmed
that Mossad maintained “working relations” with the Saudis.’ 51 On June
28, RT Jerusalem correspondent Paula Slier reported that Israeli
helicopters were dropping off materiel at Saudi bases. Vernochet of
Voltaire cites a press agency report to the effect that Israeli planes
landed in Saudi Arabia on June 18 and 19.52

 

Another Big Difference This Time: The French President

 

During
the Bush-Cheney propaganda campaign for an attack on Iraq back in
2002-2003, a key focal point of resistance was constituted by French
President Jacques Chirac and French Foreign Minister Dominique De
Villepin. These French leaders earned the gratitude of persons of
goodwill all over the world through their opposition to the wild lies
told by the US neocons. This time around, the world situation is
qualitatively worse because the independent French spirit typified by
Chirac and Villepin is no longer reflected at the top of the Paris
government. Instead, the tenant of the Elysée Palace is Nicholas
Sarkozy, an adventurer and demagogue who grew up in a household closely
allied with the Wisner family of the CIA. Of all the European leaders,
Sarkozy has been the absolute worst on all issues concerning Iran, where
he has surpassed all the rest in his bellicose and belligerent
rhetoric. Everything indicates that Sarkozy, if he is still in office,
intends to support the coming attack on Iran. Sarkozy has attempted in
particular to pull Medvedev away from the traditional Russian position
and towards the Anglo-Americans. As RIA Novosti wrote, ‘France has
welcomed Russia’s decision on new sanctions against Iran, French
President Nicolas Sarkozy said at the St. Petersburg International
Economic Forum…. “I would like to welcome, in particular, the decision
by President Medvedev in regard to voting for sanctions on the Iran
issue. This (sanctions) would be impossible if he had not made this
choice,” Sarkozy said.’ 53 There is now some hope that the l’Oréal
political contributions scandal could weaken or even oust Sarkozy. This
scandal is at least a sign that seventy years after de Gaulle’s famous
call to arms, French institutions are fighting back against foreign
domination. The US anti-Obama opposition could learn a great deal from
this scandal.

 

China Opposed, But Without Conviction

 

As
for China, this power is trying to placate the US hawks while at the
same time maintaining reasonably good relations with Iran, upon which
the Chinese depend for a significant part of their current oil supply,
and which above all represents the best future hope of building a
pipeline (Iran-Pakistan-China) which would finally provide a land route
for oil from the Middle East to the Middle Kingdom, far from such
chokepoints is the Straits of Malacca, and above all far from the naval
domination of the Anglo-Americans. Hillary Clinton has blackmailed China
by telling Beijing that they have to choose between supporting
sanctions on Iran, which might cut off their Iranian oil imports if
Tehran becomes enraged, and the worse option of losing all their Gulf
oil imports if there are no sanctions, since in the absence of sanctions
a more likely Israeli or US attack on Iran would lead to the total
closing of the Gulf through Iranian retaliation. Risk giving up your
Iranian oil, Hillary told the Chinese, or risk your Saudi oil as well,
with the latter supply being more important. China also has its own
areas of direct conflict with the United States, including such issues
as US cyber-subversion campaigns, sovereignty over the oil-rich South
China Sea, China’s sovereign right to manage its own currency, and the
proper handling of the DPRK. The Chinese have argued that, although they
voted for the sanctions as demanded by the US, they had been
instrumental in making them weaker and more diluted. In any case, China
is anxious to find ways of getting along with Tehran. On June 6, a RIA
Novosti article reported that ‘China is ready to strengthen diplomatic
relations with Iran, regardless of sanctions imposed on the Islamic
Republic over its nuclear program, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman
Qin Gang said on Thursday.’ 54

 

How The Next War Will Come

 

Joe
Klein of Time describes how, during the time the neocon General
Petraeus was in command, the US CENTCOM was busy working out new and
apocalyptic scenarios for Iran. He stresses that Israel has been
integrated into US military planning, under various pretexts. Klein
writes: ‘…intelligence sources say that the U.S. Army’s Central Command,
which is in charge of organizing military operations in the Middle
East, has made some real progress in planning targeted air strikes —
aided, in large part, by the vastly improved human-intelligence
operations in the region. “There really wasn’t a military option a year
ago,” an Israeli military source told me. “But they’ve gotten serious
about the planning, and the option is real now.” Israel has been brought
into the planning process, I’m told, because U.S. officials are
frightened by the possibility that the right-wing Netanyahu government
might go rogue and try to whack the Iranians on its own.’

 

Klein
also acknowledges that there is resistance among the US military to
this new round of aggression. And well there might be: at various times
over the past few months, Obama has had more US combat troops in the
field than Bush ever did. The suicide rate in the U.S. Army in
particular has grown to alarming proportions. Armies can reach breaking
points, and the U.S. Army is not exempt from this rule. Klein notes:
‘Most senior military leaders also believe Gates got it right the first
time — even a targeted attack on Iran would be “disastrous on a number
of levels.” It would unify the Iranian people against the latest in a
long series of foreign interventions. It would also unify much of the
world — including countries like Russia and China that we’ve worked hard
to cultivate — against a recowboyfied U.S. There would certainly be an
Iranian reaction — in Iraq, in Afghanistan, by Lebanese Hezbollah
against Israel and by the Hezbollah network against the U.S. and Saudi
homelands. A catastrophic regional war is not impossible…. But it is
also possible that the saber-rattling is not a bluff, that the U.S.
really won’t tolerate a nuclear Iran and is prepared to do something
awful to stop it.’ 55

 

Flynt
Leverett regards this new and wider war as a gradual process, with time
necessary to show that the new round of sanctions has not had the
desired effect. Leverett said in a radio comment on July 19, ‘we now
have these new sanctions in place that we’re going to need to go
through—six months, twelve months or so living with these sanctions
until everyone is willing to acknowledge that they’re not having the
desired effect. And I think the Israelis are playing a game, looking at a
year down the road, 18 months, maybe two years down the road, when
after more and more people come on board and say sanctions aren’t
working, the Iranians are continuing to develop their fuel cycle
capabilities, etc.—at that point, probably around the time that
President Obama is gearing up for his own reelection campaign in a
serious way, the Israelis can come back and say, “Okay, now we need to
do something more coercive around the Iranian problem.”’ 56 But things
may also move much faster.

 

De Borchgrave: Obama Wants Three Wars And Both Houses Of Congress

 

The
veteran columnist Arnaud de Borchgrave offers the following estimate,
which gives considerable attention to the US military opposition against
the coming strike, as well as to Iranian capabilities for retaliation
in the region: ‘A former Arab leader, in close touch with current
leaders, speaking privately not for attribution, told this reporter July
6, “All the Middle Eastern and Gulf leaders now want Iran taken out of
the nuclear arms business and they all know sanctions won’t work.” The
temptation for Obama to double down on Iran will grow rapidly as he
concludes that Afghanistan will remain a festering sore as far as anyone
can peer into a murky future, hardly a recipe for success at the polls
in November. With a war in Afghanistan that is bound to get worse and a
military theater in Iraq replete with sectarian violence, the bombing of
Iran may give Obama a three-front war — and a chance to retain both
houses of Congress. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, also expressed reservations from time to time. The Joint Chiefs
and former CENTCOM commanders know better than most experts that Iran
has formidable asymmetrical retaliatory capabilities. For example, all
of these are vulnerable to Iranian sabotage or hundreds of Iranian
missiles on the eastern side of the Gulf: from the narrow Straits of
Hormuz, which still handles 25 percent of the world’s oil traffic; to
Bahrain, the U.S. Fifth Fleet’s headquarters where the population is
two-thirds Shiite and the royal family is Sunni; to Dubai, where about
400,000 Iranians live, including many who are “sleeper agents” or
favorable to Tehran; to Qatar, now the world’s richest country with
per-capita income at $78,000, which supplies the United States with the
world’s longest runway and sub-headquarters for CENTCOM, and whose LNG
facilities are within short missile range of Iran’s coastal batteries;
to Saudi Arabia’s Ras Tanura, the world’s largest oil terminal, and
Abqaiq, nerve center of Saudi’s eastern oil fields.’ 57

 

On The Eve Of A New False Flag Provocation?

 

Naturally,
the traditional Anglo-American method for neutralizing any possible
opposition from military leaders or members of Congress, to say nothing
of the increasingly atomized US public, has been to stage a provocation
along the lines of the Gulf of Tonkin in August 1964, or an event like
9/11, quickly followed by the appropriate congressional resolution which
can be used in lieu of an actual declaration of war, as needed.
Vernochet finds that these ingredients are really the only ones missing
in the current constellation of forces to get military operations going
in grand style.58Vernochet estimates that the only possibility for
stopping this war would be the creation of a large block of states led
by Russia and China, and that this possibility seems very remote at the
present time. But instead of seeing the denizens of Manhattan and the
city of London as power crazed, it would be more accurate to regard them
as living in mortal fear of their own imminent financial bankruptcy,
and desperately seeking some way to convince the world that their empire
of derivatives, zombie banks, and hedge funds actually represents the
economic future of humanity.59 In the meantime, one thing which antiwar
activists can unquestionably do is to begin inoculating public opinion
to regard any terrorist act or military clash attributed by the mass
media to Iran as a provocation deliberately staged by the US-UK war
party.

 

US And Israeli Warships Mobilized

 

The
US has recently deployed a second aircraft carrier battle group to
waters near Iran. A large number of US warships, by some accounts 11
vessels, passed through the Suez Canal heading east towards the Gulf at
the end of June. This was evidently the expanded battle group around the
attack carrier USS Truman. An Israeli report says: ‘International
agreements require Egypt to keep the Suez open even for warships, but
the armada, led by the USS Truman with 5,000 sailors and marines, was
the largest in years. Egypt closed the canal to fishing and other boats
as the armada moved through the strategic passageway that connects the
Red and Mediterranean Seas.’ 60 Some reports stated that an Israeli ship
was part of the armada.

 

There
are also reports that the Israeli Navy is expanding its operations into
the Gulf: ‘Several defense websites have reported that Israel is
deploying one to three German-made nuclear submarines in the Persian
Gulf as a defensive measure against the possibility of a missile attacks
from Lebanon and Syria, as well as Iran. “The submarines of Flotilla 7 —
Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan — have visited the Gulf before,” DeHaemer
wrote, “but the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent
presence of at least one of the vessels.”61 These submarines fire
nuclear missiles, and could destroy Iranian cities. They cannot defend
anything, but they can launch a nuclear first strike.

 

US Troops In Eleven Countries Encircle Iran

 

US
forces currently operate in at least 11 countries within striking
distance of Iran. These are Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, Kuwait,
Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kyrgyzstan.
While Manas Air Force base in Kyrgyzstan might be available for
operations against Iran, there are currently no US bases in Uzbekistan,
so far as is known. But the US is trying to re-open its Uzbek base,
which was closed in 2005.62 Thus, US military forces are now present in
virtually all of Iran’s neighbors, except Syria. Many of these are
places which the US peace movement, to the extent that it has survived
the coming of Obama, has never heard of. This includes more than 50,000
GIs in Iraq (where the US is now alone, after the departure of all
coalition contingents) and Afghanistan, where there are some 100,000 US
forces. There are US forces in various disguises in Pakistan. There are
NATO bases, including the formidable Incirlik air base, in Turkey.
Whether Turkey will allow its territory to be abused for aggression is
another question.

 

US Protectorate Over Azerbaijan

 

US
forces are now in Azerbaijan, a country which Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton visited at the end of June. When these troops showed up,
they provoked an immediate stir among the Iranian Pasdaran: ‘…a large
American force has massed in Azerbaijan, which is on the northwest
border of Iran. [Iranian] Revolutionary Guards Brigadier General Mehdi
Moini said Tuesday that his forces are mobilized “due to the presence of
American and Israeli forces on the western border.” The Guards
reportedly have called in tanks and anti-aircraft units to the area in
what amounts to a war alert.’ 63

 

US Forces In Armenia

 

US
units have also surfaced in Armenia. A report dated June 24 details a
sharp Iranian protest against this further hostile militarization so
close to its border: ‘Iran will not allow a United States-led military
force to be deployed in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone that
immediately borders on its territory, according to the Islamic
Republic’s chief diplomat in Armenia. At a press conference in Yerevan
on Wednesday Ambassador Seyed Ali Saghaeyan claimed that Washington is
contemplating a deployment of its troops in Fizuli, which is one of the
seven Armenian-controlled districts around Nagorno-Karabakh. He further
alleged that the American intention was to do so under the guise of a
peacekeeping operation.’ 64

 

Result: Iran Surrounded

 

The
following summary by an oil industry analyst sums up the degree to
which Iran is hemmed in by hostile US and NATO military. Emphasis has
been added to show the number of countries involved: ‘Iran literally is
surrounded by American troops, notes an oil market analyst, Energy and
Capital editor Christian A. DeHaemer. There is no evidence of an
imminent attack, but he connects a number of recent events and the
presence of American soldiers to warn that oil prices might soar — with
or without a pre-emptive strike aimed at stopping Iran’s nuclear power
ambitions. Iran is bordered on the east by Pakistan and Afghanistan,
where U.S. troops have been waging a costly war, in terms of money and
lives, against Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other terrorists. ThePersian
Gulf is on Iran’s southern border, and last week’s report, confirmed by
the Pentagon, that 11 warships had sailed through the Suez Canal, raised
alarm bells that the U.S. is ready to fight to keep the Persian Gulf
open. Iran has threatened it could close the waterway, where 40 percent
of the world’s oil flows in tankers, if the United Nations or the United
States by itself carry out harsh energy sanctions against the Islamic
Republic. An Israeli ship has also reportedly joined the U.S.
armada. Kuwait, which is heavily armed by the U.S. and is home to
American bases, is located on the southwestern border of Iran. The
country’s western neighbors are Turkey and Iraq, also home to American
bases, and Turkmenistan, the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan are the Islamic
Republic’s northern neighbors. The U.S. Army last year advanced military
cooperation withTurkmenistan. An independent Caspian news agency has
confirmed unusually heavy activity of American troops along the border
with Iran. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Brigadier General Mehdi
Moini said last week that his forces increased patrols, including tanks
and anti-aircraft units, along the border with Azerbaijan because they
noticed increased American activity. Iran charged that Israeli forces
were also present, sparking a virtual war alert among the Iranian
Guards.’ 65

 

US Nuclear Response To Envelopment In Iraq, Afghanistan

 

The
US naturally intends these forces to be a factor of strength in the
coming conflict against Iran. There is, however, another possibility,
which is that US units in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere near Iran,
which are widely scattered or which are operating in inaccessible areas,
could be surrounded by Iranian or pro-Iranian forces, or else could
have their supply lines cut by the Iranian side.66 A retired U.S. Navy
captain who had served in the nuclear submarine fleet under Admiral
Hyman Rickover described in a conversation with this writer on July 18
how he had at one time in his career participated in an exercise which
assumed that 35,000 US troops had been cut off in or near Iran. The
immediate response was the use of nuclear weapons, he recalled.

 

Israeli Retaliation Against Syria For Hezbollah Actions

 

This
is not the appropriate place to offer a detailed hypothetical scenario
of what the consequences of an Israeli or US attack on Iran might be,
but it is already clear that they would be catastrophic. We should bear
in mind once again the Brzezinski testimony of February 2007. One factor
which has changed is unquestionably the growing strength of Hezbollah
in Lebanon, which would almost certainly be brought to bear on Israel if
Iran is bombed. To this must be added in the now-declared Israeli
policy of carrying out retaliatory strikes against Syria in response to
whatever Hezbollah might do to the Israelis. In the London Times of
April 18, 2010 we read: ‘Israel has delivered a secret warning to Syrian
President Bashar Assad that it will respond to missile attacks from
Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese-based Islamist group, by launching
immediate retaliation against Syria itself. In a message, sent earlier
this month, Israel made it clear that it now regards Hezbollah as a
division of the Syrian army and that reprisals against Syria will be
fast and devastating. It follows the discovery by Israeli intelligence
that Syria has recently supplied long-range ballistic missiles and
advanced anti-aircraft systems to Hezbollah. “We’ll return Syria to the
Stone Age by crippling its power stations, ports, fuel storage and every
bit of strategic infrastructure if Hezbollah dare to launch ballistic
missiles against us,” said an Israeli minister, who was speaking
off-the-record, last week. The warning, which was conveyed to Damascus
by a third party, was sent to reinforce an earlier signal by Avigdor
Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister. “If a war breaks out the Assad
dynasty will lose its power and will cease to reign in Syria,” he said
earlier this year.’ 67

 

Based
on this report, we must assume that a conflict with Iran would impose
the necessity of US combat operations in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and
Afghanistan, with the status of Pakistan being anybody’s guess.
Hostilities would probably involve Yemen, where a pro-Iranian
insurrection confronts the Saudi-backed regime, and might also implicate
Somalia, and even Sudan. For a bankrupt power with an overstretched and
exhausted army like the US today, this means biting off a very large
chunk of the globe as a theater of war. Bombing Iran means killing
Russian technicians at the Bushehr nuclear reactor and other sites. It
may mean killing Chinese present in the oil fields were supervising
Chinese oil imports from Iran. Bombing Syria may involve the Tartus
naval base of the Russian navy, which is being expanded. From here, the
possibilities of grave danger go on and on.

 

Israel In The Crossfire Of Missiles From Hezbollah And Iran?

 

Another
way in which the planned attack on Iran could go out of control and
lead to a more general war, including a nuclear war by miscalculation,
has to do with the erosion of the conventional superiority traditionally
enjoyed by Israel in the Middle East.. As long as the Israelis can win
on the conventional plane against their Arab neighbors, they may not be
tempted to escalate to nuclear weapons of mass destruction. But, if
Israel is facing conventional defeat, then the impulse towards nuclear
escalation may become irresistible. The failure of the Israeli efforts
against Hezbollah in the August 2006 war already suggested that Israel’s
conventional edge was no longer what it had been in the past. Now,
there are press reports of large transfers of solid-fuel ballistic
missiles with reasonably accurate guidance systems into the hands of
Hezbollah. If the reports are true, these missiles might represent a
lethal threat to the Israeli Air Force, which has always been a
cornerstone of that country’s conventional strength. This is the
background for the Israeli ultimatum to Syria reported above.

 

David
Moon of the Asia Times has recently called attention to the upgrades in
the Hezbollah missile arsenal, and to their far-reaching strategic
implications. Moon writes: ‘The recent alleged transfer of a small
number of Scud missiles to Hezbollah from Syria only serves to highlight
the capabilities of Hezbollah-operated M600 missiles manufactured and
supplied by Syria. The M600 is a truck-mounted solid fuel booster
pushing a 500 kilogram (1,100 pound) warhead nearly 300 kilometers…. The
unanswered question – and the one of most concern – is the number of
game-changing launchers Hezbollah has already got hidden away or that it
will acquire from Syria.’ 68

 

Hezbollah: From Counter-Value To Counterforce

 

In
August 2006, Hezbollah launched some 4,000 short range missiles against
northern Israel, most of which were Russian-made Katyushas of World War
II vintage. These missiles had limited range and were impossible to aim
accurately. Accordingly, Hezbollah could only point them in the general
direction of Israeli cities. But the new missiles may be much more
accurate, and might allow Hezbollah to engage in a counterforce rather
than counter-value strategy. Instead of terrorizing Israeli civilians,
Hezbollah might be able to target the air fields used by the Israeli Air
Force. At the same time, Israel has been developing a layered missile
defense in the form of the Iron Dome, David’s Sting, Arrow, and Patriot
systems. There are reports that the Israeli air force is ready to flee
northern Israel at a moment’s notice and take refuge in bases in the
south of their country, where the Hezbollah missile threat is less. But
what if Hezbollah acquires accurate missiles which can reach all that
Israeli territory? And what happens if Hamas can get a few more
effective missiles into the Gaza Strip?

 

As
Moon writes, ‘Israelis express concern that this missile [the M600,
also known as the Fatah 110] will be directed at population centers. A
more accurate and more dangerous threat to Israel militarily is for
Hezbollah to rain down rockets on its most dangerous enemy – the Israeli
Air Force – principally on airfields in northern Israel. However, with
upwards of 40,000 Katyusha rockets stockpiled, Hezbollah still retains
the terror option. If Hezbollah’s plentiful M600s were fired in
high-volume volleys, the Arrow system could be overwhelmed. If the IRGC
[Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps] launched Iranian high-value
Shahab-3Bs and variants timed with Hezbollah’s M600s, the Islamic
republic could deal telling blows to strategic targets…. Hezbollah is
said to be flush with the Russian-made SA-7 “Grail”, the SA-14 “Gremlin”
and the SA-18 “Grouse”. These shoulder-fired SAMs are a point defense
for covering mobile missile launchers like the M600 when exposed during
the firing and retirement cycle. Also in the bargain came the SA-8
“Gecko”, a mobile launcher with a range of about 16 kilometers and a
height of 12,000 meters. Mix these new capabilities with Syria’s new
radar system supplied by Tehran… For Israel, the cost of setting back
Iran’s nuclear program a few years before dealing decisively with
Hezbollah and Syria is now at an all-time high.’ 69

 

If
Iran and Hezbollah can coordinate their missile salvos, Moon thus
suggests, it might be possible for them to overwhelm the Israeli
antimissile defenses, and to inflict grave damage on the airfields where
the Israeli air force is based. This potential for conventional defeat
or simply for grave losses conjures up another prospect of an escalation
into the nuclear realm by the Israelis as the sole remaining means of
saving the day. On the surface, it would seem that the atomic bombing of
southern Lebanon and even more so of Gaza would make no sense for the
Israelis, since the radioactive debris and fallout would descend in
large measure on Israeli territory and Israeli population centers. But
there are also unconfirmed reports that the Israelis may have developed
their own version of the neutron bomb, something last discussed widely
in the United States during the Jimmy Carter administration. This might
avoid most of the radioactive fallout problem. In any case, using the
neutron bomb against Hezbollah would unquestionably represent the first
use of atomic weapons, and would clearly cross the nuclear threshold. At
that point, the Middle East and the world would have entered a new and
uncharted terrain, replete with incalculable risks of general war and
nuclear war.

 

In
the meantime, we would like to interrogate the proverbial fly on the
wall during this week’s meeting of Obama with British Prime Minister
Cameron at the White House. Was their discussion really consumed by the
vicissitudes of BP and the Lockerbie incident, or was there also some
discussion of cooperation in military aggression against Iran? Given the
way the wind is blowing, the latter hypothesis appears persuasive.
Someday we may find new and more scandalous Downing Street memoranda
devoted to this meeting. But let’s not wait around.

 

Political
mobilization against this new war danger is imperative. There is a
conference in Albany, New York within a few days which bills itself as a
national gathering of the United States peace movement. If this
movement still exists in reality, it will respond to the situation
around Iran with a call for mass mobilization against the new
warmonger-in-chief Obama and his new and wider war, before the end of
the summer. It is important to promote primary election or third-party
challenges, especially against Democratic members of Congress who have
voted for or otherwise supported war appropriations over the past two
years. Most important would be the presence of a qualified, serious,
antiwar challenger against Obama in the Democratic primary election
process, starting in Iowa and New Hampshire in January 2011, which is
just six short months away. A third-party peace candidate of real
presidential caliber would also be a godsend. Those who are intelligent
enough to understand these necessities had better get busy right now.
One thing is certain: Noam Chomsky and the various left-liberal paladins
of impotence are not going to take the lead on this one.

 

Even
though the forces that may initially respond to such calls for
mobilization may be relatively limited, they can perform the
indispensable function of alerting larger parts of public opinion at
home and abroad that a tragic and genocidal crime is being prepared
behind the scenes. If we recall the fateful summer of 2002, when the
Iraq war was being cooked up, the warlike intent of the US
administration was signaled through a bellicose speech by Cheney at the
Veterans of Foreign Wars in August, followed by a coordinated media
campaign of war psychosis starting in September.70 So far, Obama and
Biden have not started a campaign of open war propaganda concerning
Iran. This time around, it may be possible for those of us still in the
reality-based community to get out in front of the war party rather than
having to run to catch up with them.71

 

It
is genuinely appalling to realize that we are now back to something
resembling the desperate situation of 2002, with Iran as the target this
time around. One rule of thumb which many learned during the
Bush-Cheney years is that the attack is likely to start during the dark
of the moon. This suggests a possible timetable built around August 10,
September 8, or October 7 of this year, or perhaps some time later. It
may come as an October surprise, as de Borchgrave seems to suggest. We
are back once again to the classic predicament of persons of good will
in recent decades: get active or get radioactive. So it’s time to get
active.

 

Notes

1 Webster G. Tarpley, “Cheney Determined To Strike In US With WMD This Summer,” July 21, 2007, at http://tarpley.net/2007/07/21/cheney-determined-to-strike-in-us-with-wmd-this-summer/

 

2 “THE
KENNEBUNKPORT WARNING/ To the American people, and to peace loving
individuals everywhere: Massive evidence has come to our attention which
shows that the backers, controllers, and allies of Vice President Dick
Cheney are determined to orchestrate and manufacture a new 9/11 terror
incident, and/or a new Gulf of Tonkin war provocation over the coming
weeks and months. Such events would be used by the Bush administration
as a pretext for launching an aggressive war against Iran, quite
possibly with nuclear weapons, and for imposing a regime of martial law
here in the United States. We call on the House of Representatives to
proceed immediately to the impeachment of Cheney, as an urgent measure
for avoiding a wider and more catastrophic war. Once impeachment has
begun, it will be easier for loyal and patriotic military officers to
refuse illegal orders coming from the Cheney faction. We solemnly warn
the people of the world that any terrorist attack with weapons of mass
destruction taking place inside the United States or elsewhere in the
immediate future must be considered the prima facie responsibility of
the Cheney faction. We urge responsible political leaders everywhere to
begin at once to inoculate the public opinion of their countries against
such a threatened false flag terror operation. (Signed) A Group of US
Opposition Political Leaders Gathered in Protest at the Bush Compound in
Kennebunkport, Maine, August 24-25, 2007” at 
http://actindependent.org/

 

3 SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE TESTIMONY — ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, February 1, 2007, at http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/001916.php

 

4 Webster
G. Tarpley, “Operation Bite – April 6 Sneak Attack By US Forces On Iran
Planned, Russian Military Sources Warn,” March 25, 2007,
http://www.rense.com/general75/bite.htm

 

5 Roger McDermott, “Kremlin Contemplates a Seismic Shift in Russian Foreign Policy,” May 31, 2010, http://www.jamestown.org/programs/edm/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=36393&cHash=f2c72323eb

 

6 ‘Sans
oublier le scénario de basse intensité comportant la fermeture du
détroit d’Ormuz… mais à y regarder de plus près, celle-ci ne ferait que
retarder l’échéance d’une campagne (déjà planifiée) de frappes massives
destinées à donner toutes ses chances aux forces intérieures œuvrant au
renversement du régime. Le scénario « Ormuz » devant se révéler tout
aussi impuissant à dissuader les attaquants potentiels… L’artère
jugulaire d’Ormuz par laquelle transitent près de 30 % de la production
mondiale des hydrocarbures nécessaires à faire tourner le moteur
planétaire, fermée, un baril qui bondirait à 300 $ serait d’ailleurs une
aubaine inespérée pour les Majors, le cartel des grandes Compagnies
pétrolières, qui pourraient dès lors se lancer dans l’exploitation à
haut coût des schistes et des sables bitumineux du Groenland et
d’ailleurs ou se lancer dans d’aventureuses campagnes de forages en eaux
profondes comme dans le golfe du Mexique et avec le « succès » que l’on
sait.’ Jean-Michel Vernochet, “La guerre d’Iran aura-t-elle lieu?”
Réseau Voltaire, 
http://www.voltairenet.org/article166329.html

 

7 Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, ‘Iran is Surrounded by US Troops in 10 Countries,’ June 27, 2010.http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/138284

 

http://www.israel-news-today.com/

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38200725/ns/world_news-americas/

 

10 http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=134296&sectionid=351020104

 

11 ‘Sanctions alone won’t work on Iran,’ Washington Post, July 9, 2010,http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/08/AR2010070805070.html

 

12 Reuel Marc Gerecht, ‘Should Israel Bomb Iran?’, Weekly Standard, July 26, 2010

 

13 http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/should-israel-bomb-iran?page=7

 

14 http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/should-israel-bomb-iran?page=7

 

15 http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/should-israel-bomb-iran?page=8

 

16 http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/should-israel-bomb-iran?page=8

 

17 http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/should-israel-bomb-iran?page=9

 

18 Michael Barone, ‘Rising speculation about bombing Iran’s nukes,’ San Francisco Examiner, July 21, 2010 at http://www.sfexaminer.com/politics/Rising-speculation-about-bombing-Iran_s-nukes-1002107-98879894.html. See also Jim Lobe, ‘Stirrings of a New Push for Military Option on Iran’, Inter Press Service, July 9, 2010, athttp://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20104

 

19 ‘ABC News Exclusive; The Secret War Against Afghanistan,” April 3, 2007, athttp://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/04/abc_news_exclus.html

 

20 http://www.hamsayeh.net/hamsayehnet_iran-international%20news964.htm

 

21 Tehran Times, July 18, 2010, http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=22314

 

22 Iran could acquire nuke weapons capability – Medvedev,http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100712/159769777.html

 

23 Russia’s Medvedev says worried with U.S. intelligence data on Iran (Update-1),http://en.rian.ru/world/20100628/159599504.html

 

24 Iran says Medvedev’s nuke remarks ‘divorced from reality’,http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100713/159801504.html

 

25 Russia up to date on Iranian nuclear developments – Medvedev,http://en.rian.ru/world/20100715/159823618.html

 

26 S-300 missiles come under new UN sanctions on Iran – Kremlin source,http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100611/159387435.html

 

27 Russian-Iranian S-300 missile deal not against UN resolution — U.S.,http://en.rian.ru/world/20100611/159382525.html

 

28 Russia rejects Iran’s claims it favors U.S. on nuclear issue ,http://en.rian.ru/world/20100526/159167373.html

 

29 Turkey, Brazil not included in Iran Six talks – Lavrov,http://en.rian.ru/world/20100714/159811258.html

 

30 Iran’s nuclear program still cause for concern – Russian envoy ,http://en.rian.ru/world/20100714/159809491.html

 

31 Iran to load reactor in Sept. 2011 – nuclear chief,http://en.rian.ru/science/20100712/159773330.html

 

32 ‘En
ce qui concerne Moscou, cette décision semble bien refléter une
certaine «schizophrénie» au sommet de l’État ou un bicéphalisme
ouvertement divergent entre une Présidence a priori plus
«occidentaliste» que ne le serait le Premier ministre Vladimir Poutine.’
Jean-Michel Vernochet, “La guerre d’Iran aura-t-elle lieu?” Réseau
Voltaire,
http://www.voltairenet.org/article166329.html

 

33 See Webster G. Tarpley, “Towards the Eighteenth Brumaire of General David Petraeus?”, June 23, 2010, at http://tarpley.net/2010/06/23/towards-the-eighteenth-brumaire-of-general-david-petraeus/

 

34 “New Iran Nuke NIE Still Not Ready,” Newsweek, June 28, 2010,http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/declassified/2010/06/28/new-iran-nuke-nie-still-not-ready.html

 

35 David E. Sanger, ‘U.S. Presses Its Case Against Iran Ahead of Sanctions Vote,’ New York Times, June 7, 2010 at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/08/world/middleeast/08nuke.html

 

36http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704293604575342941580221462.html

 

37 See Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin, George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography(Washington DC: EIR, 1992), pp. 320-325.

 

38 Michael Smith, “Blair planned Iraq war from start,” London Times, May 1, 2005.

 

39 See http://www.raceforiran.com/

 

40 http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=11025299; see alsohttp://www.newsweek.com/blogs/declassified/2010/06/28/new-iran-nuke-nie-still-not-ready.html

 

41 Gareth Porter, ‘Amiri Told CIA Iran Has No Nuclear Bomb Programme,’ IPS, July 19, 2010, athttp://ipsnorthamerica.net/news.php?idnews=3201

 

42 This Week, June 27, http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=11025299

 

43 http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-news-sunday/transcript/transcript-secretary-robert-gates/?page=2

 

44 http://www.raceforiran.com/

 

45 “WHO WILL BE BLAMED FOR A U.S. ATTACK ON IRAN?”, July 11, 2010,http://www.raceforiran.com/

 

46 ‘U.A.E. diplomat mulls hit on Iran’s nukes,’ Washington Times, July 6, 2010,http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jul/6/uae-ambassador-endorses-bombing-irans-nuclear-prog/

 

47 Joe Kein, “An Attack on Iran: Back on the Table,” Time.com, July 15, 2010, athttp://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2003921,00.html; Time, July 26, 2010, p. 22.

 

48 Alexander
Smoltczyk and Bernhard Zand, ‘Persian Isolation: A Quiet Axis Forms
Against Iran in the Middle East,’ Spiegel Online, July 15, 2010, at
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,706445,00.html

 

49 ‘The Arab World Against Ahmadinejad?,’ Huffington Post, July 6, 2010,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernardhenri-levy/the-arab-world-against-ah_b_636952.html

 

50 Hugh Tomlinson, ‘Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites,’ London Times, June 12, 2010, athttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7148555.ece

 

51 Saudis give nod to Israeli raid on Iran, London Times, July 5, 2010,http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6638568.ece

 

52 ‘Verdict
qui tombe après que l’Agence Guysen International News eut diffusé le
24 juin une information donnée pour être d’origine iranienne (!) suivant
laquelle « … des avions israéliens auraient atterris sur l’aéroport
saoudien de Tabouk les 18 et 19 juin dernier…C’est ce qu’a rapporté
l’agence iranienne FARS dans un article intitulé “Activité militaire
douteuse du régime sioniste en Arabie Saoudite.”’

 

53 France’s Sarkozy welcomes Russia’s support of new Iran sanctions,http://en.rian.ru/world/20100619/159490333.html

 

54 China ready to strengthen diplomatic ties with Iran (Update), .http://en.rian.ru/news/20100610/159374152.html

 

55 Joe Kein, “An Attack on Iran: Back on the Table,” Time.com, July 15, 2010, athttp://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2003921,00.html; Time, July 26, 2010, p. 22.

 

56 http://www.raceforiran.com/

 

57 Arnaud de Borchegrave, ‘Global Sentiment Builds to Attack Iran,’ Newsmax, July 13, 2010,http://www.newsmax.com/deBorchgrave/Iran-Iraq-airstrikes-US/2010/07/13/id/364492

 

58 ‘Il
ne manque plus au tableau qu’un prétexte plausible, une provocation
intervenant n’importe où dans le monde mais suffisamment
spectacularisable pour frapper les opinions de sidération, cela, le
temps nécessaire à lancer les premières frappes qui tétaniseront les
oppositions en les prenant de court et enclencheront automatiquement
l’escalade militaire.’

 

59 ‘Sauf
par conséquent à ce que l’initiative tripartite ne soit reprise par une
large coalition conduite par la Russie et la Chine, ce qui semble peu
probable dans la conjoncture présente, le scénario du pire, sous les
deux versions qui viennent d’être évoqués – frappes préventives,
représailles, fermeture d’Ormuz – est en fait de plus en plus plausible.
Et sauf une levée de bouclier internationale particulièrement nette et
ferme, La guerre de Troie aura bien lieu si les dieux assoiffés de
puissance qui siègent dans l’île de Manhattan et règnent sur la Cité de
Londres s’accordent entre eux et en décident ainsi. Il restera aux
stratèges de décider s’ils frappent directement la Perse, ou s’ils font
éclater un conflit à sa marge, pour l’y précipiter et l’y détruire.’
Jean-Michel Vernochet, “La guerre d’Iran aura-t-elle lieu?” Réseau
Voltaire,
http://www.voltairenet.org/article166329.html

 

60 ‘US, Israel Warships in Suez May Be Prelude to Faceoff with Iran,’ June 20, 2010,http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/news.aspx/138164

 

61 Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, Iran is Surrounded by US Troops in 10 Countries, June 27, 2010.http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/138284

 

62 Ann Gearan and Robert Burns, ‘Uzbekistan Being Considered By US As Backup Air Base,’ Huffington Post, February 5, 2009, athttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/05/uzbekistan-being-consider_n_164469.html

 

63 Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, ‘Reports: IAF Landed at Saudi Base, US Troops near Iran Border,’ June 23, 2010, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/news.aspx/1382

 

64 ‘Militarization of the Caucasus: Tehran Says it will Oppose Deployment of American Forces in Karabakh close to Iran Border,’ http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19879

 

65 Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, ‘Iran is Surrounded by US Troops in 10 Countries,’ June 27, 2010.http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/138284

 

66 This
danger is not new; see Webster G. Tarpley, ‘US Could Face Catastrophic
Military Defeat In Iraq – What Baker And Hamilton Forgot,’ December 17,
2006, at
http://tarpley.net/2006/12/17/us-could-face-catastrophic-defeat-in-iraq/

 

67 Uzi Mahnaimi, ‘Israel warns Syria over Hezbollah attacks,’ London Times, April 18, 2010, athttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7101106.ece

 

68 David Moon, ‘Amid war talk, arms buildup continues,’ Asia Times, July 20, 2010, athttp://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LG20Ak03.html

 

69 David Moon, ‘Amid war talk, arms buildup continues,’ Asia Times, July 20, 2010, athttp://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LG20Ak03.html

 

70 For Cheney’s Iraq war campaign kickoff speech of August 27, 2002, seehttp://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/27/world/eyes-iraq-cheney-s-words-administration-case-for-removing-saddam-hussein.html

 

71 For
the reality-based community, see Ron Suskind, ‘Faith, Certainty, and
the Presidency of George W. Bush,’ New York Times, October 17, 2004,
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/magazine/17BUSH.html

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