What Israel would ideally like to see happen is for the US to issue a credible military threat against Iran.
Based on the threats from Israel in recent days, it could be that this is the direction Israel is once again headed.
It wants to get Iranians to think it is preparing an attack, but no less important is getting the world and specifically Biden to think that scenes of Israeli fighter jets flying to Iran is a realistic option.
Everyone knows their part. Gantz and Kohavi are making the threats, Lapid is working the diplomats, and Bennett is trying to get Biden on board.
IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin returned today from a visit to the United States, where he met with his @USMC counterpart & @usairforce Commander Gen. Charles Brown to discuss strengthening future cooperation & strategic developments in the Middle East.
One doesn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. In response to the Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan, Liz Cheney, the daughter of Dick Cheney, has recently declared: “What we’re watching right now in Afghanistan is what happens when America withdraws from the world.”
Who’s responsible for this? Well, it is both Trump and Biden.
In other words, Dick Cheney has nothing to do with this at all.
He is innocent of apparently what is currently happening in the Middle East. How stupid can we be?
But let us play Liz’s game here. Let us assume that she is right.
What happened when America gets involved in conducting covert operations in virtually around the world?
To be more specific, what happened when Liz’s own father began lie to the American people?
It pains me to bring this issue here again, but let’s talk about Iraq, precisely because Liz’s father was largely in charge when that happened.
Dick (an appropriate name for this monster, by the way) was following the Israeli script. What did take place in Iraq?
Now consider this: the estimate of lives lost in the war in Iraq alone is between 100,000 to 600,000, including thousands of civilians.
In 2003, at least 12,000 civilians lost their lives.
The first three years of the war produced between 104,000 and 223,000 civilian deaths.
When it was over, 2.3 million Iraqis had been forced to flee their homes and towns; by 2008, another 2.7 million Iraqis were displaced, and nearly half a million civilians ended up losing their lives.
Thousands upon thousands of other people went missing by 2008. This is out of a total Iraqi population of about 30 million people!
When the war was over, sectarian violence and car bombings were rampant—almost every day.
When Mark Kukis went to Iraq to report on what happened, he said he heard two to five car bombs every day.
The Iraq war, says Kukis, shook the entire nation and created havoc even by 2006.
Factions of society that once coexisted were dismantled.
In a nutshell, Iraq was in exponential decay.
Buildings and farmlands were destroyed. And the fringe benefits of the war?
Between 300,000 and 360,000 veterans returned home with brain injuries, some of which went untreated.
In 2005, more than 6,000 suicides took place among our soldiers serving in Iraq. By 2012, more soldiers committed suicide than died in combat, making it the year with the highest suicide rate since 2001.
The Iraq war sent the American taxpayers a bill of $6 trillion, combined with a debt ceiling keeps rising every six months or so.
The U.S. national debt had reached $16 trillion by the end of 2012. Because of that wrecked economy, suicides in America’s civilian population was increased during that period at an alarming rate as well.
Homelessness among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans was more than doubled, and by the fall of 2012, it was reported that at least “26,531 were living on the streets, at risk of losing their homes, staying in temporary housing or receiving federal vouchers to pay rent.”
In addition, about 307,000 soldiers want to leave the military. About 360,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are also dealing with injuries, many of them severe.
We all remembered what happened in Abu Ghraib, don’t we? By spring of 2013, the Guardian released a report detailing other torture camps such as Nama in Iraq.
A British witness who was at that particular camp testified, “Everyone’s seen the Abu Ghraib pictures. But I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”
He continued, “I remember talking to one British army officer about what I had seen, and he replied: ‘You didn’t see that—do you understand?’
There was a great deal of nervousness about the place.
I had the impression that the British were scared we would be kicked off the operation if we made a fuss.”
It is reported that
“when the military finally was permitted to investigate Nama, its agents received threats from personnel at the camp, while DIA interrogators had their vehicle keys confiscated and were ‘ordered’ not to discuss what they had seen with anyone…
“One interrogator had his photos confiscated after taking pictures of injured detainees, and others complained that task force commandos forbade them from leaving the camp without permission, even for a haircut, and from talking to outsiders; they threatened them and screened their emails.”
Despite all of this, the truth got out, but the U.S. denied all the claims. Military intelligence officers released a report saying that “between 70% and 90% of the persons deprived of their liberty in Iraq had been arrested by mistake.” By mistake? Was Abu Ghraib a mistake as well?
Forcing prisoners to have sex with one another and sodomizing teenagers was fair game at Abu Ghraib.
One prisoner testified that he saw one officer “fucking a kid, his age would be about 15-18 years.
The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets.
Then when I heard the screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t covered and I saw [name blacked out], who was wearing the military uniform putting his dick in the little kid’s ass.
I couldn’t see the face of the kid because his face wasn’t in front of the door. And the female soldier was taking pictures.”
What’s more even interesting, “150 inmates were crammed into cells designed for 24.” Abu Ghraib, as one writer put it, was “a hell-hole.”
Torture was also routine in Afghanistan, where adolescents were beaten with hoses “and pipes and threats of sodomy.”
These acts were not done in the dark. Cambridge University published similar reports in a book that is more than 1200 pages long. These acts were also testified to by psychiatrists such as Terry Kupers.
When the war in Iraq was over, Iraqi women began to engage in prostitution.
Since thousands upon thousands of Iraqis suffered after the war, many of them began to abandon their children and even sold them to sex slavery.
One sixteen-year-old girl by the name of Nada who got caught in this dilemma told BBC News in 2007, “I have no one there and in my case I am afraid for my life.
My family has abandoned me.” The girl was forced into the sex business in Syria “after her father dumped her at the border, and was facing deportation when the story aired.”
Other women who found themselves in the dilemma were former nurses, sales clerks, students, etc.
Once the war was over, that was the end of their economic lives.
A thirty-four-year-old whose home was bombed and who also lost her mother during the same event lamented, “I have no home anymore, no family, no piece of land.”
The report declared of her, “She was shot twice while working for the U.S. military in the Green Zone.
When she fled to Jordan penniless and couldn’t find a job, she turned to prostitution.”
Other stories are simply heart-breaking: “An Iraqi interviewed by the Associated Press in July said she doused herself and her 14-year-old daughter in gasoline in an attempt to end it all after she gave a smuggler her life savings—$18,000—to take them over the border from Turkey to Greece.
“The smuggler vanished. She said she would have killed herself rather than sell her body, which seemed her only option.
But her daughter’s tearful pleas prevented her from lightening the match. ‘She was in my arms, soaked with gasoline, and shivering from fright,’ she said. ‘I was so desperate, and there was no way out.’”
Carole Laleve, who worked for UNHCR in Damascus, declared, “The situation is getting out of hand.
We see a lot of women who haven’t necessarily become prostitutes, but they were kidnapped, raped repeatedly, and they are in Syria all alone. That’s quite clear.
We did a survey of trauma and we found incredible rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Among children, among women, and the population in general.”
Yanar Mohammed, founder of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, added, “In Syria, we hear that some women reach the point where they are begging strangers passing by to exploit them sexually so they can feed their children.
You know, women of Iraq were not in this situation, I would say, six years ago.
We did not have to do this. We did not have to go through humiliation. Through prostitution.”
Other parents who could not cope with the post-war situation sold their children to countries as far away as India, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
The same sex business was still vivid in 2009 in the same regions.
Yanar Mohammed said that many of the traffickers have “very good ties with the police. It turns out [the cops] were loyal customers.”
The girls in those places were as young as 11 and 12, and once a girl reached 20 years old, she was considered too old.
The sex business once again cropped up in 2010 and 2011. Fast forward to 2013, Iraq was still facing trouble with the sex trafficking business.
The brothels in some of those regions “have been established purely to meet the demand created by United States service personnel…While sexual exploitation existed in Iraq, as anywhere, long before the war began in 2003, ‘the invasion and instability that followed led to an environment where young women and girls became much more vulnerable to trafficking,’” one study found out.
Arab society traditionally values female virginity, but the Israeli war forced them into sexual slavery. Just seven years after the war, “about 4,000 women, one fifth of them aged under 18, disappeared.”
Atoor married her 19-year-old sweetheart, a policeman called Bilal, when she was 15. Three months later he was dead, killed during one of the many bloody episodes in Iraq’s brutal war.
After the obligatory four-month mourning period dictated by Islamic Shari’a law, Atoor’s mother and two brothers made it clear that they intended to sell her to a brothel close to their home in western Baghdad, just as they had sold her older twin sisters.
Frightened, she told a friend in the police force to raid her home and the nearby brothel.
His unit did, and Atoor spent the next two years in prison.
She was not charged with anything, but that’s how long it took for her to come before a judge and be released.
She said, “I wanted to go to prison—I didn’t want to be sold. I didn’t think it would happen to me.
My mother used to spoil me. Yes, she sold my sisters, but she regretted that.
The perpetual wars also produce a form of sexual calculus in the military—the likes of which we have never seen before.
The Washington Post declared that three rapes happen every hour in the military now.
This issue has been going on since 2003, the year in which the Iraq war started.
The Washington Post broke another story saying that an Air Force recruiter was facing charges of forcibly performing sodomy on eighteen young women, whom he had tried to recruit, over a three year period.
People in charge of programs designed to stop sexual harassment were arrested for involvement in sexual harassment.
Moreover, at least one Army sergeant ran a prostitution ring on the military base, and even forced others into prostitution.
The sergeant was later identified as Sergeant First Class Gregory McQueen.
It is estimated that 26,000 people were sexually assaulted in 2012. 19,000 were assaulted in 2010. These figures could be higher, since many victims fail to report that they were assaulted.
Moreover, when thousands of those women got back home, they had to face the horror of living with guilt and some began to deteriorate into a life of drugs and homelessness.
Those women excelled in the army, but going home was not always a pleasant thing because there were fewer jobs.
Jennifer Cortez, then 26 years old, provided excellent service as an Army sergeant and received 12 medals within eight years.
When her time was up, she got back home only to be offered a job at minimum wage—sweeping floors. The only home Cortez had was her own car.
At least 53 percent of those who had been sexually assaulted were homeless when they went back home.
And when those same people could no longer work, they got their pension funds looted by “predators,” to use the New York Times’ own words.
In addition, people who have been disabled due to the war are finding that it is very hard to get their disability benefits.
There were at least 600,000 of those cases in spring 2013.
In other words, those people who gave their all in the military and who were sexually abused were trapped in a Zionist/Israeli matrix which gives them no chance.
Neoconservatives such as Heather MacDonald know that there is a problem here, but MacDonald could not bring herself to the point of admitting that the war in Iraq in particular brought about these sexual assaults.
In fact, Augusto Ruiz of the Center for Deployment Psychology asked the same provocative questions, implying that the war in Iraq may have escalated the massive rape and suicides that are rampant among our precious men and women in the military.
Scholars Judith A. Reisman (who was kind enough to send me a number of valuable charts about Kinsey’s sexual activities) and Thomas R. Hampson document that 5,200 employees brought pornography into the U.S. military.
I can go on and on, but this is enough. So, if Liz wants to be fair, then she has to take responsibility for the moral and political chaos that her father had in the Middle East. There is no doubt that these people have created hell on earth, particularly in the Middle East. Back in 2005, Dick Cheney asserted that the invasion of Iraq would turn out to be “a success story.” He elaborated:
“We will succeed in Iraq, just like we did in Afghanistan. We will stand up a new government under an Iraqi-drafted constitution. We will defeat that insurgency, and, in fact, it will be an enormous success story.”
Well, there is no way for Liz and Cheney to wiggle out of the fact that Iraq was a complete disaster. If they think they can, then let us summon Military historian and former Colonel Andrew Bacevich, whose son died in Iraq. Bacevich writes:
“Apart from a handful of deluded neoconservatives, no one believes that the United States accomplished its objectives in Iraq, unless the main objective was to commit mayhem, apply a tourniquet to staunch the bleeding, and then declare the patient stable while hastily leaving the scene of the crime.
“The fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq has exacted a huge price from the U.S. military—especially the army and the Marines.
“More than 6,700 soldiers have been killed so far in those two conflicts, and over fifty thousand have been wounded in action, about 22 percent with traumatic brain injuries.
“Furthermore, as always happens in war, many of the combatants are psychological casualties, as they return home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression.
“The Department of Veterans Affairs reported in the fall of 2012 that more than 247,000 veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have been diagnosed with PTSD. Many of those soldiers have served multiple combat tours.
“It is hardly surprising that the suicide rate in the U.S. military increased by 80 percent from 2002 to 2009, while the civilian rate increased only 15 percent. And in 2009, veterans of Iraq were twice as likely to be unemployed as the typical American.
“On top of all that, returning war veterans are roughly four times more likely to face family-related problems like divorce, domestic violence and child abuse than those who stayed out of harm’s way.
“In 2011, the year the Iraq War ended, one out of every five active duty soldiers was on antidepressants, sedatives, or other prescription drugs.
“The incidence of spousal abuse spiked, as did the divorce rate among military couples.
Debilitating combat stress reached epidemic proportions. So did brain injuries. Soldier suicides skyrocketed.”
Perhaps Liz and her father need to put that in their pipes and smoke it.
Their relentless, pathetic and ultimately worthless attempt to absolve themselves of any responsibility in the Middle East is a disgrace to any decent American. If they are not willing to listen to common sense, then perhaps we should kindly ask our readers: Did anyone remember to bring two ropes?
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 15: VA National Guard stands outside the razor wire fencing that surrounds the US Capitol on January 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. Up to 25,000 troops are expected by Inauguration Day.
Just when you thought communism would never come to America, it’s here.
Biden’s got a slew of Jews in key slots fixing a sprawling Soviet-style central planning board in place.
With Jewish control of US Treasury; Homeland Security; Department of Justice; the CIA; National Intelligence; the FCC; the US State Department; the Office of Science and Technology complete with a COVID Czar; a Jew as chief of staff, and a High Tech lawyer as Kamala’s ’significant other;’ communism as Lenin and Stalin would have it reaches peak perfection in America.
And with Treasury, the FED, and National Intelligence joined at the hip with the military, compliance to the Jewish central planners is just a gun barrel away.
A dress rehearsal by the National Guard, doing security theatre, was enacted to quash any future patriotic dissent and those nationalistic ‘Trump rallies.’
The military serves the Jews, not you.
[”+BN’s narration:” “An empty promenade with the Imposter child-sniffing pervert, Joe Biden; Hunter’s baby sitter, “Dr Jill;” the devil’s child Obama; RINO leftist facilitator, Republican Senator Roy Blunt; a resuscitated, Jewish-media-approved, Hunter Biden, and the traitor to the Republic, Mike Pence.”
[”Senator Klobuchar:” “It is now my great privilege and high honor to be the first person to officially introduce the 46 th president of the United States, Joseph R Biden Jr!”]
Where was the FBI and the Jew-Stream-Media when we needed them?
Why didn’t they condemn and prosecute Hunter Biden for carrying out and recording sexual assault on children?
Forget the laptop from hell.
Hunter’s been sanitized and now re-shelved on the media’s mantle as a crime-free inaugural son.
[”A cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear. And now, a rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism, that we must confront and we will defeat.”]
Take away his planet babble, and calls for unity, Biden told the world that he hates over half the American people since Whites make up 60% of the population.
And by linking “white supremacy” to “political extremism,” Biden attacks any traditional view a white person takes.
The goal is to demoralize White Christian patriots—mostly of the hard-working Middle Class—hound them through intimidation tactics, and blackball them through cancel culture schemes, until their voices are silenced and their creativity is crushed.
The ’signs of silencing’ are in full display.
FBI billboards in Columbus, Orlando, Syracuse, Springfield, Fort Wayne; along with Posters, Placards, Public Notices, and at Bus Stops across America complete with “mug shots” of MAGA fans; the FBI—steered by Biden’s Bolshevist central planning board—puts “Trump’s deplorables” in its crosshairs.
The headlines, the scripts, the spiels, the screeds, and the ’sounds of silencing’ are ringing in our ears. [Clip]
[”The January 6th assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat. The Biden administration will confront this threat with the necessary resources and resolve.”]
The key is “extremism” which is “WrongThink.”
Are you a Trump supporter, with conservative, traditional, Christian views?
You’re an enemy of Biden’s centralized Jewish regime.
“DE” means you, a “domestic extremist.”
While Antifa and BLM get a free pass. [Clip]
[”Our initial work on DE falls into three areas: The first is the tasking from President Biden sent to the DNI today, requesting a comprehensive threat assessment coordinated with the FBI and DHS on domestic violent extremism. This assessment will draw on the analysis from across the government, and as appropriate, non-governmental organizations.”]
These “non-governmental organizations”—”NGO’s”—will doubtless be the Jewish witch hunters of the Anti-Defamation League, and of the SPLC, both groups known for their hatred of the White Christian race.
These free-speech-hating Jews will define “extremism” as any belief system that calls homosexuality a sin, abortion a crime, and transgenderism an assault on God’s creational design.
A Jewish reign of terror will come crashing down on Christians who hold all goodness, righteousness, and virtue, as dear.
China is not the threat.
The enemy is within—Biden’s slew of Jews—who, like termites, are eating away at the foundations of America.
Who can oppose this menace?
The Republican Party?
The threat is not from the left, but from complacent and complicit Republicans, who participate with the Democrats, and its partner, the Jew-owned media. [Clip]
[”We want to go now to Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt, he is the head of the congressional committee overseeing the inauguration and the outgoing chairman of one of the two committees investigating what went wrong with security last Wednesday. Good morning to you, Senator.” “Good morning, Margaret.” Your fellow Republicans have been quite critical, including Liz Cheney, including Mitt Romney, who called this an insurrection and said that the president was directly involved. Justice Department affidavits have individuals saying they came here because the president told him, them to. Is the president a danger to the country?” “Well, I think the president’s decisions and his actions that day and leading up to that day on this topic were clearly reckless. I said that very early in the evening on Wednesday that this was a tragic day for the, the country and the president had some, had involvement in that.”]
Just like the useless RINO McConnell, Blunt blames Trump and NOT the fraudulent election.
We need a new conservative party—call it the “Patriot Party”—that separates from the Jewish Zionist agenda, so as strangle the Republican Party even if the Democrats get the upper hand for 8 years.
“Let your enemy grow strong then cut him down,” the ancient sages say.
A new political party representing 74 million Trump supporters whose base would spread from counties to states can bring a nation under God to fruition.
A new political party will work, especially as we transition into secession.
MEK is a curious hybrid creature in any event in that it pretends to be an alternative government option for Iran even though it is despised by nearly all Iranians.
“Heshmat Alavi is a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK,” said Hassan Heyrani, a high-ranking defector from the MEK who said he had direct knowledge of the operation.
“They write whatever they are directed by their commanders and use this name to place articles in the press. This is not and has never been a real person.”
Heyrani said the fake persona has been managed by a team of MEK operatives in Albania, where the group has one of its bases, and is used to spread its message online. Heyrani’s account is echoed by Sara Zahiri, a Farsi-language researcher who focuses on the MEK.
Zahiri, who has sources among Iranian government cybersecurity officials, said that Alavi is known inside Iran to be a “group account” run by a team of MEK members and that Alavi himself does not exist.
Most Americans believe that Iran actually threatens the United States, though they would be at a loss to explain exactly how that could be the case.
One of the claims made about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election was that Kremlin-controlled entities were using fake identities to create dissension and confusion on social network sites.
This should surprise no one, if it is true, as intelligence operatives have been using false names since Sumerian times.
The concern over fake identities no doubt comes from the deception involved, meaning that if you are dealing with a real person you at least have some handle on making as assessment of what something means and what is likely to occur.
A false persona, however, can pretend to be anything and can advocate or do something without any yardstick to measure what is actually taking place.
In other words, if Mike Pompeo says something you know that he is a liar and can judge his words accordingly but if it is someone otherwise unknown named Qwert Uiop you have to wonder if he or she just might be telling the truth.
You might even give them the benefit of the doubt.
A prime example of a false internet persona has recently surfaced in the form of an alleged “activist” invented by the Iranian terrorist group Mojahedin e Khalq (MEK).
MEK is a curious hybrid creature in any event in that it pretends to be an alternative government option for Iran even though it is despised by nearly all Iranians.
At the same time, it is greatly loved by the Washington Establishment which would like to see the Mullahs deposed and replaced by something more amenable to western and Israeli worldviews.
MEK is run like a cult by its leader Maryam Rajavi, with a number of rules that restrict and control the behavior of its members. One commentary likens membership in MEK to a modern day equivalent of slavery.
The group currently operates out of a secretive, heavily guarded 84 acre compound in Albania that is covertly supported by the United States, as well as through a “political wing” front office in Paris, where it refers to itself as the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
MEK, which is financially supported by Saudi Arabia, stages events in the United States in Europe where it generously pays politicians like John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani and Elaine Chao to make fifteen-minute speeches praising the organization and everything it does.
It’s paying of inside the Beltway power brokers proved so successful that it was removed from the State Department terrorist list in 2012 by Hillary Clinton even though it had killed Americans in the 1970s.
MEK also finds favor in Washington because it is used by Israel as a resource for anti-Iranian terrorism acts currently, including assassinations carried out in Tehran.
Here’s John Bolton Promising Regime Change in Iran by the End of 2018 to Maryam Rajavi MEK spokesperson.Tthe MEK has poured millions of dollars into reinventing itself as a moderate political group ready to take power in Iran if Western-backed regime change ever takes place.
MEK’s fake journalist, who has recently been exposed by The Intercept, is named Heshmat Alavi. He, or if you prefer “it,” has very successfully gained access to a considerable body of generally conservative mainstream western media, including Forbes, The Hill, the Daily Beast and The Federalist.
Alavi has placed scores of articles as “an activist with a passion for human rights,” aimed at discrediting Iran and its government while also subtly praising MEK as an alternative to the current regime. His bona fides have never been questioned, even by Forbes, which placed no less than 61 articles under the name between April 2017 and April 2018.
The pieces appearing allegedly by Alavi are reportedly composed at a “troll factory” as a so-called “group account” in Albania where MEK members who belong to the organization’s “political wing” toil under tight security.
Alavi’s contribution to the damning of Iran has not been insignificant. An article written by him/it that appeared in Forbes claiming that the Mullahs had been able to increase their military budget due to having money freed up by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement.
The article reached the White House and reportedly helped convince the Trump Administration to withdraw from the pact.
To supplement the Alavi propaganda effort, MEK’s Albania operation uses banks of computers manned by followers, some of whom are fluent in English, who serve as bots unleashing scores of comments supporting regime change in Iran while also directing waves of criticism against any pro-Iranian pieces that appear on social media, to include Facebook and Twitter.
By one account,more than a thousand MEK supporters manage thousands of accounts on social media simultaneously. The objective of all the chatter is to convince the mostly English-speaking audience that there is a large body of Iranians who are hostile to the regime and supportive of MEK as a replacement.
While the Iranian government and MEK might well be regarded by most Americans as a far-away problem, there was considerable shock expressed even by congress and the media when it was learned shortly before The Intercept’s revelations that the United States government had been funding a so-called Iran Disinformation Project that was employing tactics remarkably similar to those of MEK in an attempt to control the discussion over Iran policy.
The project, run by the State Department’s global engagement center, consisted of a trolling campaign which targeted online American citizens critical of the government’s Iran policy, labeling them as disloyal to the United States and tools of the Iranian government.
It used, for example, the website IranDisInfo.org and the hashtag #NIACLobbies4Mullahs. Iranian-American activist and long-time State Department contractor Mariam Memarsadeghi headed the program, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars to “relentlessly attack critics of the Iran policy on social media…accusing them of being paid operatives of the regime in Tehran.”
In all, the “Iran Disinfo” operation received over $1.5 million through the Memarsadeghi contract entity the oddly named E-Collaborative for Civic Education.
The investigation of Iran Disinfo also revealed that the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), which has been leading the charge for war with Iran, had at least one employee working with E-Collaborative.
FDD, which has been advising the Trump White House on a more aggressive policy towards Iran, has also been actively involved in the State Department effort and cross-posting material from the Disinfo campaign.
FDD has long been targeting Iran. It received $3.63 million in 2017 from Bernard Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot. Marcus is a hard-core Zionist who hates Iran and once referred to that nation as “the devil.”
FDD has also received billions from Las Vegas casino mega billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the GOP’s largest individual donor, who has advocated dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran to send a message.
The link between major Republican donors supporting FDD and an increase in FDD quasi-overt cooperation with the Trump Administration in demonizing Iran should not surprise anyone.
Even though the State Department operation was relatively insignificant compared to similar initiatives undertaken by Israel, the idea that an ostensibly democratic government should propagate lies to defend its own policies was definitely unsettling.
Some might think that disinformation on Iran is of little importance, that it has little impact on actual policy, but they would be wrong. Bad information that is allowed to circulate freely creates its own reality.
Most Americans believe that Iran actually threatens the United States, though they would be at a loss to explain exactly how that could be the case. Dubious stories that originated with Reutersabout corruption in Iran have been used by Mike Pompeo to justify sanctions against the regime on humanitarian grounds, measures which have ironically hurt average Iranians disproportionately.
To be sure, the mainstream media is itself largely at fault, as it was with Heshmat Alavi, for not vetting their sources more carefully, particularly when a story is clearly providing unique information or representing a point of view that might be considered controversial.
In some cases, of course, the news outlet wants the story to be perceived as true even when it knows that it is not, so it becomes an accomplice in the propaganda effort.
A recent attempt to create a mechanism to establish standards by determining the reliability of online news content has, in fact, been little more than a neoconservative scheme to discredit sites that do not support the neocon point of view.
Since governments and various non-governmental constituencies now, by their own admission, are heavily into the game of providing false information and discrediting critics, most Americans will completely tune out of the process, meaning that there will be little or no measurable difference between truth and lies.
One already hears complaints from all across the political spectrum that most news is fake. When one reaches the point where such skepticism becomes the consensus, both elections and democracy itself will be rendered pretty much meaningless.
Bill Kristol Israel dual citizen neocon expert liar: We have to stop Qaddafi from slaughtering his own people
All neocons are agents of Israel: “Not to mention the fact that non-Jewish neoconservatives took the same stands on all of the issues as did their Jewish confrères” (1)
Make no mistake: the neocons are back and looking for another war. They’ve got the president’s ear. Iran? North Korea? Russia? China? Who’s next for the warmongers?- Ron Paul
In the course of the past year, a new belief has emerged in the town: the belief in war against Iraq. That ardent faith was disseminated by a small group of 25 or 30 neoconservatives, almost all of them Jewish, almost all of them intellectuals (a partial list: Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, William Kristol, Eliot Abrams, Charles Krauthammer), people who are mutual friends and cultivate one another and are convinced that political ideas are a major driving force of history.-White Man’s Burden
The Neocons still have their gun sights on Iran, even though the CIA has already told Congress that Iran has no nuclear weapons program whatsoever. The IAEA has monitored them for years, since Iran is a full signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The IAEA has clearly told the world that Iran is not engaged in anything they do not have a legal right to do as a signatory to the NNPT.
“Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels; likened Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler; wholeheartedly backs Israel; and stresses the importance of promoting democracy.”
Bolton’s penchant for military interventions is well known. He has previously called for military action against Iran, Iraq and North Korea – countries that President George W. Bush famously labeled the “axis of evil”. Bolton served as Bush’s controversial UN ambassador.
Bolton’s general neoconservative leanings have been well reported. But his recent designation of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua as the “troika of tyranny” garnered comparatively little media attention. But in a speech in Miami, the day before the midterm elections, in language clearly reminiscent of Bush’s “axis of evil” coinage, Bolton made a bold promise. “The Troika of Tyranny in this Hemisphere — Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua — has finally met its match,” he vowed.
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell will be bringing humanitarian aid, Donna Shalala will stop the arming of Maduro’s thugs with batons and tear gas, while Debbie Wasserman Schultz gets arguably the hardest task of them all – taking on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
Like Bolton, Abrams also served in a senior role in the Bush administration. As the president’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy, Abrams worked on “the promotion of democracy and human rights.”
But Elliot also served as an Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs during the Reagan administration where he backed military support for Nicaraguan rebels, the so-called Contras. He became enmeshed and was convicted in the so-called Iran-contra arms affair, but then pardoned by President Bush.
November 25 2012 SENATOR MARCO RUBIO, ZIO-HAGS ILEANA ROSLEHTINEN DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ FREDERICA WILSON PARTICIPATES IN ISRAEL RALLY IN MIAMI.
Elliot, according to a Human Rights Watch report, also played a controversial role in the 1981 El Mozote massacre in El Salvador where close to 1000 people were killed by American-trained troops. “During the Senate hearing, Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights Elliott Abrams artfully distorted several issues in order to discredit the public accounts of the massacre,” concluded the report.
The involvement of Bolton and Abrams, who was reportedly being considered for a top State Department role early on until Trump found out that he had criticized him, is cause for concern, noted the scholars.
Bolton was a strong supporter of the US-led invasion of Iraq under President Bush
“When you are trying to make sense of these things you have working hypotheses,” said MIT’s Posen. “And one of them is this is a kind of a little neocon project. The stars have aligned to let this neocon project come to fruition. That’s one very viable hypothesis here. But it’s not the only one.”
He added that Washington’s stance vis-à-vis Venezuela could also be designed to send to put Tehran on notice. “It is certainly not beyond Bolton to imagine a good way to get a message to Iran is to take the Venezuelans who are weaker and closer at hand and crush them to let the Iranians know you might be next and these are the tools we have.”
For O’Rourke, the emergence of Bolton and Abrams as key players and Bolton’s rhetoric has triggered a déjà vu effect. “Yes, absolutely,” she said. “Some of his language down to the “troika of tyranny” sounds awfully reminiscent of the “axis of evil”. It’s kind of surprising to me actually how similarly they have framed some of the topics and somehow the talking points are being repeated for all these different countries.”
The inescapable conclusion is that Trump’s policy is depraved. The US has deliberately made an economic catastrophe much worse in the hope that its Venezuelan allies can seize power through violence as they briefly did in April of 2002. But as it stands today, US puppet leader for Venezuela is in hiding from Maduro’s loyal army haha.*
Images and portrayals of Venezuelans rioting in the streets over high food costs, empty grocery stores, medicine shortages, and overflowing garbage bins are the headlines, and the reporting points to socialism as the cause.
Perversely, Maduro’s government has been widely accused of “using” the economic crisis to “buy” loyalty of the most vulnerable through the direct delivery of food and other basic products. Trump’s goal is clearly to starve the government of funds it uses to allegedly “buy support” (i.e. respond to the crisis). Maduro, like Chavez before him, regularly decries US interference in Latin America.
Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodriguez, a longtime critic of the Venezuelan government, wrote a piece showing that after sanctions Trump introduced in August of 2017 Venezuela’s oil production dropped much faster than analysts had predicted it would. Rodriguez was the economic advisor to former presidential candidate Henri Falcon, who defied US threats to run in Venezuela’s presidential elections that were held in May despite the boycott of other opposition leaders.
Venezuelan oil production followed essentially the same pattern as Colombia’s during 2016 and most of 2017 –until August when Trump’s sanctions came into force. A decline in production was driven by the price of oil hitting its lowest point in about a decade at the start of 2016.
But in August of 2017 Trump’s sanctions made it illegal for the Venezuelan government to obtain financing from the US which was devastating for two reasons: all the Venezuelan governments’ outstanding foreign currency bonds are governed under New York state law; and one of the Venezuelan government’s major assets, the state-owned CITGO corporation, is based in Texas.
The sanctions also blocked CITGO from sending profits and dividends back to Venezuela (which had been averaging about $1 billion USD per year since 2015).
The table below shows my estimate of Venezuela’s oil revenues each month since Trump’s sanctions came into force. The price of WTI oil (which approximates the price of Venezuela’s) basically increased linearly since August of 2017 from $50 to about $70 per barrel.
The oil production volumes are taken from the estimates Rodriguez has provided. In the “no sanctions” case show below, it is assumed that Venezuela‘s oil production would have continued to fall at the same rate as in the 12 months before Trump’s sanctions.
Rodriguez cited a “worst case” prediction made by a prominent oil consultant that a 13% decline in production would take place in 2017 followed by a 6% decline in 2018. The “no sanctions” case shown below is close to that “worst case prediction”. It assumes an 11% decline would have taken place.
In reality (i.e. the “sanctions” case) production has fallen by 37% since the sanctions were imposed. The difference in total revenue between the “sanction” and “no sanctions” case over the twelve month period is about $6 billion.
Venezuelan oil revenues with and without the impact of sanctions (Joe Emersberger)
That sum, $6 billion, is 133 times larger than what the UNHCR has appealed for in aid for Venezuelan migrants. It is also equal to about 6% of Venezuela’s GDP at present. Health care spending in Latin America and the Caribbean averages about 7% of GDP.
Perversely, Maduro’s government has been widely accused of “using” the economic crisis to “buy” loyalty of the most vulnerable through the direct delivery of food and other basic products. Trump’s goal is clearly to starve the government of funds it uses to allegedly “buy support” (i.e. respond to the crisis).
Rodriguez pulls his punches and heavily qualifies his thesis, but the inescapable conclusion is that Trump’s policy is depraved. The US has deliberately made an economic catastrophe much worse in the hope that its Venezuelan allies can seize power through violence as they briefly did in April of 2002.
Rodriguez is correct to say that the “toxification” of dealing with Venezuela’s government, and the imposition of “reputational costs” on those who do so, is a huge factor in all this. The Western media has indeed demonized Venezuela‘s government for 17 years and has therefore reduced, almost to zero, the legal and moral constraints on the US and its allies.
The priority for decent people whose governments have collaborated with Trump in attacking Venezuela should be to strengthen those constraints. The attacks could easily become even more barbaric.
“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”- George Orwell
Daniel Ortega was the leader of Nicaragua’s left-wing Sandinista revolution, he was credited with first bringing down a dictator, and then the US-sponsored rebels, who tried to block his move into legitimate power. From 1982 to 1988, the FDN – run by both American and Nicaraguan CIA agents – waged a losing war against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government, the Cuban-supported socialists who’d overthrown U.S.-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979.
“US policy is the same as it ever was,” he said. “They want governments that are entirely submissive to their decisions. They’ve always rejected the possibility that we’d return to power. Colin Powell came down here to tell Nicaraguans not to vote for us, so before every election, some big shot from the US would come down and say not to vote for us. When we did win in 2006, we knew the US would do everything it could to degrade and wear down our government.” Ortega explained that Barack Obama imposed the first sanctions on his government, accusing him of ceding to pressure from the Miami lobby of right-wing Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan exiles.
Several U.S. senators, including Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, have called for fresh sanctions to be imposed against the Nicaraguan government.
The United States is calling for increased pressure and sanctions on Nicaragua, revoking the visas of several officials, as Nicaraguan Vice-President Rosario Murillo reiterates the government’s commitment to peace.
“The U.S. Department of State revoked the visas of more individuals responsible for abuses against human rights and/or for undermining democracy in Nicaragua,” a statement said, without specifying which officials were sanctioned.
Several U.S. senators, including Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, have urged U.S. President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on the Nicaraguan government for ‘corruption and human rights violation.’ Rubio has close ties with opposition forces in Nicaragua, having earlier this month met with student leaders involved in the protests.
Meanwhile, Nicaragua’s Vice President Rosario Murillo reiterated on Friday the government’s commitment to dialogue and peace, and asked that international entities condemn the violence of opposition groups that has virtually halted the country in recent months.
In 1996, journalist Gary Webb began looking into links between Nicaragua’s drug-running Contra rebels and the CIA. As a recent film shows, what he found killed him.
“The commitment of all of us is to move forward, always with the people, constructing victories for the common good and for peace in Nicaragua,” Murillo said.
Violent protests by armed groups have shut down transportation and economic activity in many parts of the country for the past two months, causing numerous deaths, injuries and damage to public and private property.
In 1935, General Smedley Butler, who led the Marines into Nicaragua, said: “[I was] a high class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and for the banks. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism – I helped purify Nicaragua for [an] international banking house.” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt put it another way. “Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”
In response to increased pressure by the United States and Nicaragua’s right wing, Venezuela told the United Nations Human Rights Council that a campaign to stage a coup was being waged in Nicaragua.
Nicaraguan Contras Backed by the U.S. & C.I.A. Introduced Crack Cocaine to America’s Inner Cities In The 1980s
“We reject that the topic of human rights is being used to attack Nicaragua. We call on the people and governments of the world to reject the violence and terrorism in Nicaragua and to support the inclusive dialogue promoted by the Sandinista government,” Venezuelan Ambassador to the United Nations Jorge Valero said.
Valero confirmed the “absolute solidarity of the government of President Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan people with the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and its heroic people.”
“The biggest hurdle for Washington is self-imposed: It needs to take seriously the Iranian quest for ‘democracy’.”
President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal, and to relentlessly pressure the Islamic Republic, has elicited a predictable response. Critics cite history, particularly a counterproductive 1953 coup, as a reason to oppose the strategy. But looking more closely at the past shows that a regime-collapse containment policy is the best way to effect change.
Let us just explain it to you
Westerners often look at Iran as an island of autocratic stability, as they once did with the U.S.S.R. American and European officials tend to see the mullahs’ tools of repression as indomitable. But for much of the past century Iran has been locked in a convulsive struggle between rulers wanting to maintain their prerogatives and the ruled seeking freedom.
The Constitutional Revolution of 1905 first injected the notions of popular representation into Iran’s bloodstream. During the first half of the 20th century, feisty Parliaments had little compunction about flexing their muscles. The local gentry would marshal the peasants, laborers and tribesmen into polls that would choose each Parliament. It wasn’t a Jeffersonian democracy, but the system had legitimacy. Bound to each other by land, family, tradition and the vote, the governing class and the people created mechanisms for addressing grievances. Consequently the Parliaments were sensitive to local concerns.
The first Pahlavi monarch, Reza Shah, challenged this system by imposing his will in the name of modernity. After his abdication in 1941, constitutional rule again gained strength. Yet it was Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, deposed in the 1953 coup, who tried to derail Iran’s democratic evolution. Forget for a moment the nefarious Central Intelligence Agency intrigue; what happened in 1953 was an Iranian initiative.
After this group merged with a network of high-ranking officials from banking, finance companies, trading, and manufacturing companies led by Elihu Root, a former United States Secretary of War, they filed a certification of incorporation on July 29th, 1921. This was the official formation of the Council on Foreign Relations.
There is a fundamental rule about American interventionism today: It takes two to tango. The 1953 coup proves it. Mossadegh [overthrown by a coup organized by MI6 and aided by the Central Intelligence Agency], who had once been a champion of the rule of law and national sovereignty, became increasingly autocratic and vainglorious after Parliament nationalized the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. in 1951. In trying to navigate the financially ruinous aftershocks of that decision, the prime minister rigged elections, sought to disband Parliament, and usurped the powers of the monarchy.
Iran’s politicians, military men and mullahs then came together to take down the premier. The public mostly rallied to the monarch, Mohammad Reza, a figurehead around whom diverse forces gathered. The CIA was involved in the coup planning but gave up once the initial operation failed. Iranians took control and removed the prime minister. In doing so, they sought to revive their economy and protect their political institutions. Mossadegh fell not because of a plot hatched in Langley but because he lost elite and popular support within his own country.
We know, we were there.
After naming himself “king of kings” in 1971, Mohammad Reza did his best to subvert good governance. He wasted much of Iran’s oil wealth on arms. He reduced the venerable Iranian Parliament to a rubber stamp. His secret police managed to be incompetent and hated. He alienated the clergy and replaced the old elite with a coterie of sycophants.
Yet the 1979 revolution, which overthrew the shah, was bound to disappoint a public clamoring for democracy. The first constituency to give up on theocracy was the students, whose protest in 1999 ended the attempt by the regime to reform itself. Then came the titanic Green Movement of 2009. A fraudulent presidential election sparked a massive protest that discredited the regime among the middle class. In December 2017, nearly 100 Iranian cities and towns erupted in protest. The poor were thought to be the regime’s last bastion of power, tied to theocracy by piety and the welfare state. Yet this time they hurled damning chants.
President Hassan Rouhani, a lackluster apparatchik of the security state, once thought that a nuclear deal would generate sufficient foreign investment to placate discontent. That aspiration failed even before the advent of President Trump. The Islamic Republic—with its lack of a reliable banking system or anything resembling the rule of law—is too turbulent to attract enough investors. It is probably internally weaker than the Soviet Union was in the 1970s.
The essential theme in modern Iranian history is a populace seeking to emancipate itself from tyranny—monarchal and Islamist. Devising a strategy to collapse the clerical regime isn’t difficult: The U.S. can draw on Persian history and on experience with the Soviet Union. It will require patience. Iranians usually don’t hold 1953 against the U.S. Neither do the children of the revolutionary elite, who so often find their way to the U.S. and Britain. The biggest hurdle for Washington is self-imposed: It needs to take seriously the Iranian quest for democracy.
Mr. Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council for Foreign Relations.
“I took over at the end of the Vietnam War. I was in control, right? Big general in charge. So I say, ‘Cut off the shipment of weapons.’ So I tell the Pentagon, ‘Cut off the shipment of weapons.’ I got a phone call from Henry Kissinger saying, ‘The weapons are going to continue at the wartime rate.’ -General Truffey
Netanyahu and his favorite Arab sidekick Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are in the driver’s seat. So much for “America First.”
Developments with respect to the JCPOA are consistent with those in the other major theater where US policy, led by Israel and Saudi Arabia, clashes with Iran: a stepped-up war in Syria. According to the Israeli site DEBKAfile, during his April 29 visit to Israel – the day before Netanyahu’s presentation – newly minted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the Israeli prime minister and gave him a thumbs-up for military action.
Syria is viewed mainly as a chessboard piece in a larger game: Irania delenda est.. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said “the Iranian regime is in its final days and will soon collapse.”
The Russians, in particular, have painful experience with Washington regarding matters they thought were settled, only to see the western side contemptuously discard any commitments: NATO expansion (after a promise not to expand eastward “by one inch”), US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty (reportedly at the urging of John Bolton, now back in power as Trump’s National Security Adviser), UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1244 regarding Kosovo’s status as an autonomous province of Serbia (until Washington and Brussels insisted on independence), UNSC approval for a limited “humanitarian mission” in Benghazi in 2011 (until NATO opted for an unlimited kill-Ghaddafi mission), or the various agreements on Ukraine (the February 2014 power-sharing deal between President Viktor Yanukovych and the “Maidan” leaders that didn’t even last one day, the Minsk I and II agreements that were never fully implemented), and so forth.
The pieces are falling into place for a repeat of 2003, with the “q” in Iraq changed into an “n” for Iran. A number of Washington big shots, including many with influence with Trump, are supporters of the terrorist Islamic-Marxist – and of course Saudi-funded – “People’s Mujahedin” (Mojahedin-e Khalq; MEK).
Despite no discernible domestic support in Iran, MEK is being groomed as the core of a replacement “democratic” regime to be installed at the appropriate time, a kind of collective equivalent of Ahmed Chalabi who was “parachuted” into Iraq as Washington’s satrap in 2003.
The fate of the Iran nuclear deal and the course of the war in Syria are two sides of the same coin. The questions of whether or not Iran did have a military nuclear program, or lied about it, or is capable of restarting one are today as irrelevant as whether or not Saddam Hussein really had “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs) in 2002. Claims of Iran’s having violated the JCPOA are significant mainly as props for what comes next.
WMDs or no WMDs, the current Washington administration – that includes some of the very same people who served in the George W. Bush administration – has decided on regime change in Iran the way they had earlier decided on regime change in Iraq. If that can be done via political and economic means, they’re happy to go that route. It military force is needed, that’s on the table too.
The ease with which American foreign policy “experts” can suddenly reinvent themselves, switching focus as the DC mood changes, exposes the Washington think tank racket as a giant sham designed to manipulate opinion.
Omri Ceren from the right-wing Likud-aligned Israel Project was also on the panel. Echoing Israeli government talking points, he called for the US to spread a “freedom agenda” in Iran – which is code for regime change.
When protests broke out in Iran at the end of 2017, Washington think tanks were ecstatic. They saw an opportunity to push for regime change and they went for it. Almost overnight, all of the self-proclaimed “Syria experts” who spent the last several years arguing for the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar Assad shifted their focus to Tehran.
The Hudson Institute, a conservative pro-war Washington outfit funded by major corporations and oil companies, is a case in point. On January 16, Hudson hosted a panel of so-called experts, titled “Iran Protests: Consequences for the Region and Opportunities for the Trump Administration.” The panel featured a who’s who of warmongers discussing how to weaken yet another Middle Eastern state.
The Iranian expats are equivalent to the anti-Castro Cuban expats. They serve imperialism because imperialism serves them.
The most notorious among them was regime change aficionado Charles Lister, a “senior fellow” (read lobbyist) at the Middle East Institute, an influential DC think tank that receives tens of millions of dollars from the United Arab Emirates, a country whose leadership is committed to regime change in Iran. Before he was an “Iran expert,” Lister rose to prominence agitating for regime change in Syria. He is perhaps best known for cheerleading Salafi jihadist Syrian rebel groups like Ahrar al-Sham and Nour al-Din al-Zenki, which Lister insisted were moderate despite their explicitly stated intention to wipe out minorities in Syria and their open alliance with Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate. Anyone who dared to criticize such groups or highlight their genocidal agendas quickly became targets of Lister over the years – he would brand them dictator lovers and Assadists.
It’s unclear whether Lister speaks any Arabic or whether he’s ever spent any significant amount of time in Syria or the Middle East more generally. But he says what the foreign policy establishment wants to hear, and for that, he is quoted extensively in the mainstream press on everything from Syria to Iran to even Egypt, with the New Yorker’s Robin Wright labelling him “an expert on Jihadism.”
During the Hudson panel, Lister argued against the US participating in locally negotiated ceasefires in Syria that have played a major role in de-escalating the violence that tore apart the country. Ceasefires benefit Hezbollah and Iran, warned Lister, who would apparently rather the bloodshed continue if it helps the US and its jihadist proxies. Lister also painted Israel as the ultimate victim of Iran in Syria and suggested the CIA assassinate Major General Qasem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Soleimani heads Iran’s elite Quds Force, which conducts operations outside of Iran in both Iraq and Syria. He has been credited with helping to turn the tide in both countries against Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) which has led to American fears that he threatens US hegemony in the region.
Hudson’s in-house counterterrorism expert Michael Pregent, who previously accused Iran of refusing to fight IS while arguing that the sometimes IS-allied Free Syrian Army was the only force capable of defeating the terrorist group, also agitated for the assassination of Soleimani, but he called for Israel to do the dirty work rather than the CIA.
Omri Ceren from the right-wing Likud-aligned Israel Project was also on the panel. Echoing Israeli government talking points, he called for the US to spread a “freedom agenda” in Iran – which is code for regime change.
Another speaker was Brian Katulis from the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank that also receives funding from the UAE. Katulis employed empty slogans about supporting “freedom and justice” in Iran. Almost everything he said was forgettable. The UAE funding might explain why these experts continually blasted Iran for supposedly destabilizing Yemen without mentioning a word about the punishing Saudi-imposed siege which has led to famine and a cholera outbreak of epic proportions that kills a Yemeni child every 10 minutes.
The Hudson panel perfectly encapsulates how these establishment experts have no actual expertise, just fancy titles and shady funding that gives them a veneer of scholarly seriousness. They shift from one country to the next and are considered authoritative without any real credentials other than being white men who provide the intellectual backbone to Washington’s permanent war agenda, which all the panelists have a history of supporting. The fact that their policy prescriptions have ended in disaster for the people of the region doesn’t slow them down.
The war in Iraq killed over a million people and catapulted the region into violent sectarian warfare from which it has yet to recover. The Western intervention in Libya threw that country into chaos, transforming what was once the richest nation in Africa, with the highest literacy rates, into an ungovernable gang-run state home to IS slave markets. And then there’s Syria, where the US poured billions into funding Al-Qaeda-linked rebel groups to overthrow the government, creating the worst refugee crisis since World War Two.
The men who made up the Hudson panel supported all of these disastrous wars, which goes to show that being wrong gets you places in Washington. In fact, being wrong seems to be a prerequisite for promotion in Beltway circles.
No one epitomizes this dynamic more than Peter Bergen, a national security analyst at CNN. Two decades ago Bergen produced a rare interview with Osama bin Laden and he’s been capitalizing on it for 20 years. Since then he has fallen up to expert status on any and all issues pertaining to national security, counterterrorism and the Middle East, no matter how wrong he is. He supported the conflicts in Iraq and Libya. And here he is debating an actual expert, journalist Nir Rosen, and like always, Bergen argues for more war.
Another example is Ken Pollack from the Brookings Institute. He pushed hard for the war in Iraq and US interference in Libya and Syria. Despite the disastrous consequences of these policies, he is still described as an “expert” and recently penned a report for the Atlantic Council on countering Iran.
Destabilizing Iran has long been a policy goal of the US and its Israeli and Saudi allies. But the reality is that Iran is the most stable country in the Middle East and it played a crucial role in protecting the region from IS and Al-Qaeda. Whatever one thinks of the government in Iran, and there are of course many legitimate critiques as is true of any government, Iran’s only crime is that it acts independently of American interests and for that, it must be strong-armed into submission. So, let’s hope the experts don’t have their way.