Jewish Lobby united with Iran’s terrorist group, the MEK

Jewish Lobby united with Iran’s terrorist group

Paris-based Iranian terrorist group Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) in cooperation with the Israel Project has succeeded in bribing several prominent pro-Israel  political and military personalities to lobby the White House against the Islamic regime in Iran.

Recently, the Israel Project supporters wrote a public letter to Donald Trump urging him to renegotiate the Iran deal included General James Jones, former Marine Corps commandant and National Security Advisory, Robert Joseph (Jew), former Under Secretary of State for Arms, ex-governors of Pennsylvania Edward Rendell (Jew) and Tom Ridge (Jew), former Senator Joseph Lieberman, chairman United Against Nuclear Iran, Louis Freeh, ex-FBI Jew director who was involved in 9/11 terrorist attacks, Rabbi Michael Mukasey , ex-Attorney General, Gen. George Casey, and so on.

In December 2016, Lieberman also appeared at an event at the Capitol Hill organized by the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a shadowy group formerly designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department. They have a long history of using violence and terror both against their own members as well as when they were serving as a military force for Saddam Hussein in Iraq. At the UANI event, Lieberman said the goal of increased pressure on Iran would be to elicit concessions from Iran by causing them to “begin to wonder about the survival of the regime.”

In March 2012, US Treasury Department issued subpoenas into an investigation against over three dozen former US high ranking government and military officials for accepting large amounts of money for lobbying for anti-Iran US policy. All under investigation were the ‘Israel-Firsters’ belonging to the Republican, Democratic and Tea parties. The list includes former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell (Jew) of Pennsylvania, Democratic Gov. Howard Dean (Jew) of Vermont, Frances Townsend (Jew), Bush’s Attorney General, Michael Mukasey (Jew), and former UN ambassador John Bolton (Jew), former Republican Mayor of New York, Rudolph Guiliani (Zionist Christian), ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh (Jew) and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton.

MEK has worked as CIA-Mossad executioner for Iran’s nuclear engineers and officials connected with Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

Iran is supported by three regional nuclear powers; China, Russia, and Pakistan. Knowing that US has not won a single foreign invasions except some which didn’t have a conventional military at all such as Afghanistan under Taliban, Somalia under tribal warlords, and Panama under Manuel A. Noriega, an Israeli ally.

Given the support that Iran can muster from Europe, Russia, and China, it seems unlikely that Trump will take a military swing directly at Iran.  And I think Trump, who had the good sense to avoid a land war in Asia in his youth and has excoriated the US blunder into Iraq, is less than interested in trying to take down Iran with a military attack right now. That means more bad times for Yemen, I think, as a weak and vulnerable opponent for an American president looking to make a geopolitical statement–and pump up his Commander in Chief credential,” says Peter Lee from Newsbud (watch video below).

The Israel Project was established in 2002 by Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi (married to Iranian Jew Victor Mizrahi).

Trump regime’s close links with anti-Iran terrorist group, Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK)

Trump’s favorite Israeli-Saudi-backed terrorists

Trump Cabinet pick paid by ‘cult-like’ Iranian exile group

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An official in U.S. President Donald Trump’s Cabinet and at least one of his advisers gave paid speeches to organizations linked to an Iranian exile group that killed Americans before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, ran donation scams and saw its members set themselves on fire over the arrest of their leader.

Elaine Chao, confirmed this week as Trump’s transportation secretary, received $50,000 in 2015 for a five-minute speech to the political wing of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, previously called a “cult-like” terrorist group by the State Department. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani also was paid an unknown sum to talk to the group, known as the MEK.

More than two dozen former U.S. officials, both Republican and Democratic, have spoken before the MEK, including former House Speaker and Trump adviser Newt Gingrich. Some have publicly acknowledged being paid, but others have not.

While nothing would have prohibited the paid speeches, they raise questions about what influence the exiles may have in the new administration.

Already, a group of former U.S. officials, including Giuliani, wrote a letter to Trump last month encouraging him to “establish a dialogue” with the MEK’s political arm. With Trump’s ban on Iranians entering the U.S., his administration’s call this week to put Iran “on notice” and the imposition of new sanctions on Friday, the exile group may find his administration more welcoming than any before.

A potential alliance with the MEK would link the U.S. to a group with a controversial history that has gone against American interests in the past by supporting Iran’s Islamic Revolution and the U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran. After fleeing Iran, the MEK joined forces with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. It later exposed details of the clandestine nuclear program run by Iran, which views the MEK as its sworn enemy.

“The Mujahedeen have backed the winning horse. They are going to have some at least entree into the administration,” said Ervand Abrahamian, a professor at the City University of New York who wrote a book on the MEK. “I think it weakens the U.S. because the more they have access to the administration, the more people in Iran are going to be scared of anything the U.S. does.”

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“THE AYATOLLAH MUST GO”

The MEK long has cultivated a roster of former U.S. and European officials to attend its events opposing Iran’s clerically-run government. It pays for the appearance of many.

Standing before a cheering crowd of MEK supporters in Paris in 2015, Giuliani didn’t disappoint.

“The ayatollah must go! Gone! Out! No more!” Giuliani shouted in a speech as American flags waved behind him on giant screens.

“I will not support anyone for president of the United States who isn’t clear on that slogan behind me. What does it say? It says regime change!”

Giuliani has acknowledged being paid for his appearances at MEK events. However, he hasn’t filed a government disclosure form since his failed 2008 Republican presidential bid, so it’s unclear how much the MEK has paid him in total. Giuliani did not respond to an Associated Press request for comment sent through his aides.

As Giuliani spoke in Paris, behind him were a host of other former officials on stage, including Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. A former director of the Peace Corps and a labor secretary under President George W. Bush, Chao gave a much more subdued speech focusing on women’s rights.

“While discrimination against women (has) been outlawed in other countries, Iran has been legalizing it,” Chao said. “While other countries are empowering women, Iran has been penalizing them.”

Chao had a seat of honor at the Paris event next to Maryam Rajavi, the “president-elect” of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political arm of the MEK. She received a $50,000 honorarium from the MEK-associated Alliance for Public Awareness, according to a report she filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

Chao received another $17,500 honorarium for a March 2016 speech she gave to the Iranian-American Cultural Association of Missouri, which MEK opponents also link to the exile group.

The Department of Transportation said in a statement that Chao has a “strong record of speaking out in support of democracy and women’s rights in the Middle East,” but “has not spoken to MEK events.”

It added that her speeches were delivered alongside bipartisan members of Congress, governors, prime ministers, ambassadors, generals, former FBI Directors and “many other influential voices.”

Gingrich has also spoken to the MEK before, including at a gala in 2016, although it is not clear whether or how much he was paid. Gingrich could not be reached for comment. The White House also had no comment.

The MEK welcomes the incoming Trump government, as “some people within this administration” plan to change American policies toward Iran, said Mohammad Mohaddessin, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee of its political arm.

“The core of the policy that we are advocating is to be tough with the Iranian regime, to not ignore its crimes against the Iranian people,” Mohaddessin told the AP.

The U.S. Treasury briefly investigated the MEK’s practice of paying American politicians in 2012, the same year the State Department delisted the group as a foreign terrorist organization. A Treasury spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment about the status of that probe.

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“THE KILLING OF TWO AMERICANS, THIS WAS WORK OF MOVEMENT MUJAHEDEEN”

The MEK was formed by radicalized university students in 1965. It embraced both Marxism and the idea of an Islamic government after the violent overthrow of the American-backed shah. Their name, Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, means “the People’s Holy Warriors.”

The group at one point successfully infiltrated the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, according to a State Department report. And a series of bombings attributed to the MEK accompanied visits by presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter to Iran, including one to target an American cultural center.

In 1973, MEK assailants wearing motorcycle helmets shot dead U.S. Army Lt. Col. Lewis L. Hawkins, the deputy chief of the U.S. military mission to Tehran, as he walked home from work.

In 1975, gunmen attacked a car carrying two American airmen, killing them. Hours later, American consular officials received a call claiming the attack for the MEK in revenge for Iran executing prisoners.

“This was work of Movement Mujahedeen of Iran,” the caller said, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable.

In the three years that followed, the MEK killed three American employees of defense contractor Rockwell International and a Texaco executive.

“The Mujahedeen are xenophobic,” a once-secret 1981 CIA assessment on the group said. “Anti-Americanism and anti-imperialism provide cornerstones for the policies.”

The MEK, which now describes itself as being “committed to a secular, democratic, non-nuclear republic” in Iran, blames a Marxist splinter faction of the group for killing the Americans.

After joining in the Islamic Revolution and the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, the MEK quickly fell out of favor with Iran’s first Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The MEK declared war on Iran in June 1981. Within days, a bomb exploded at the headquarters of the Khomeini-directed Islamic Republican Party in Tehran, killing at least 72 people. Both Iran and the CIA attributed the attack to the MEK, which never claimed responsibility for it.

A series of assassinations and attacks followed as MEK leaders and associates fled to Paris. Later expelled from France, the MEK found haven in Iraq amid its grinding, bloody war with Iran. Heavily armed by dictator Saddam Hussein, MEK forces launched cross-border raids into Iran.

After Iran accepted terms of a United Nations cease-fire in 1988, the MEK sent 7,000 fighters over the border. The attack further alienated the group from average Iranians.

The MEK says it renounced violence in 2001. But the U.S. Army’s official history of the Iraq invasion in 2003 says MEK forces “fought against coalition forces” for the first weeks of the war, something the MEK denies.

Fourteen U.S. soldiers were killed and at least another 60 wounded escorting MEK members on supply missions, according to a RAND Corp. report prepared for the office of the U.S. defense secretary. The MEK itself became a target of violence, and in September 2013 at least 52 members were shot dead.

Thousands of MEK members were ultimately resettled in Albania.

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“CULT-LIKE CHARACTERISTICS”

After siding with Saddam, the MEK’s popularity in Iran plummeted. To boost its ranks, the group increasingly began targeting Iranians applying for visas abroad in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, promising them work, aid in moving to Western countries and even marriage, according to RAND.

“Most of these ‘recruits’ were brought into Iraq illegally and then required to hand over their identity documents for ‘safekeeping,'” RAND said. “Thus, they were effectively trapped.”

The MEK also forced its members to divorce their spouses and separated parents from their children, which the State Department described as “cult-like characteristics.” The MEK dictates how much its members sleep, giving them busy-work tasks and controlling what outside news they consume, according to RAND and Abrahamian, the university professor.

For years, MEK leader Massoud Rajavi, the husband of Maryam Rajavi, hasn’t been seen publicly and is presumed to have died, Abrahamian said. MEK members call him the “Hidden Imam” who will return to Earth as a messiah, Abrahamian said.

When French police arrested Maryam Rajavi in 2003 as part of a terrorism investigation, MEK members responded by lighting themselves on fire in Paris and other European cities. The MEK denies it is a cult.

Over the years, the MEK has been targeted in a series of investigations around the world for running charity scams.

An FBI probe found MEK members hustled travelers arriving to Los Angeles International Airport, asking them to donate after showing them binders of photographs of disaster or torture victims. The money instead went to banks in Belgium, France, Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to “support MEK operations and activities, including terrorist activities,” a 2007 indictment against seven members said.

In Britain, authorities dissolved a charity in 2001 allegedly associated with the MEK that had made an estimated 5 million pounds a year. Its investigation found some donors “were misled into believing they were personally sponsoring individual children when this was not in fact the case.”

In the 2003 raids in France, police found $1.3 million, mostly in $100 bills, at MEK-affiliated properties.

Mohaddessin, the MEK foreign policy chairman, blames the investigations on a concerted misinformation campaign carried out by Iran. The Islamic Republic has imprisoned and executed the group’s members for years.

“These allegations are absolutely false,” Mohaddessin said. “There are many cases that were fabricated by the Iranian regime and their agents.”

Iran also has alleged the MEK receives foreign support. After the assassination of four nuclear scientists, Iran accused Israel of training and equipping MEK fighters who committed the killings. The MEK called the accusation “absolutely false” at the time, while Israel declined to comment.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia increasingly has shown support for the MEK as it faces off with Iran in wars in Syria and Yemen. The kingdom’s state-run television channels have featured MEK events and comments. Prince Turki al-Faisal, the nation’s former intelligence chief, even appeared in July at an MEK rally in Paris.

“I want to topple the regime too,” the prince said to cheers.

___

“SKILLED MANIPULATORS OF PUBLIC OPINION”

From protests at the United Nations to their Paris rallies, the MEK has proven over the years to be effective at getting attention.

RAND in 2009 called the group “skilled manipulators of public opinion.” A U.S. diplomatic cable from February of that year released by WikiLeaks described their “extravagantly hospitable, exaggeratedly friendly, culturally-attuned manner.” The cable also mentioned that the MEK had “a history of using intimidation and terrorism for its ends,” which Mohaddessin called an allegation from the Iranian regime.

The MEK’s success in getting former U.S. officials behind them could be seen in a letter dated Jan. 9 sent to Trump just days before his inauguration.

“We repeat the call for the U.S. government to establish a dialogue with Iran’s exile resistance,” read the letter, signed by Giuliani and others.

However, exile groups haven’t always been proven to be reliable American allies in the Middle East. Exiled Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi, for instance, heavily lobbied the administration of President George W. Bush to invade by pushing false allegations of weapons of mass destruction and links to al-Qaida.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not respond to a request for comment.

But while the MEK continues to pay former U.S. officials for their time, the family of the American lieutenant colonel killed in 1975 has filed a $35 million federal lawsuit in Colorado against the group and Iran.

The reason for the lawsuit, Lt. Col. Jack Turner’s family says, is simple: “Unlike the U.S. hostages, our father never had the chance to come home.”

Trump: Trumpeting For a War on Iran?

Global Research, February 06, 2017
donald-trump-iran

The Trump Administration’s rhetoric and actions have alarmed the world.  The protests in response to his visa ban have overshadowed and distracted from a darker threat: war with Iran.   Is the fear of the threat greater than the threat itself?  The answer is not clear.

Certainly Americans and non-Americans who took comfort in the fact that we would have a more peaceful world believing that ‘Trump would not start a nuclear war with Russia must now have reason to pause.  The sad and stark reality is that US foreign policy is continuous.    An important part of this continuity is a war that has been waged against Iran for the past 38 years⎯unabated.

The character of this war has changed over time.  From a failed coup which attempted to destroy  the Islamic Republic in its early days (the Nojeh Coup), to aiding Saddam Hossein with intelligence and weapons of mass destruction to kill Iranians during the 8-year Iran-Iraq war, helping and promoting the terrorist MEK group, the training and recruiting of the Jundallah terrorist group to launch attacks in Iran, putting Special Forces on the ground in Iran, the imposition of sanctioned terrorism, the lethal Stuxnet cyberattack,  and the list goes on and on, as does the continuity of it.

While President Jimmy Carter initiated the Rapid Deployment Force and put boots on the Ground in the Persian Gulf, virtually every U.S. president since has threatened Iran with military action.  It is hard to remember when the option was not on the table.  However, thus far, every U.S. administration has wisely avoided a head on military confrontation with Iran.

To his credit, although George W. Bush was egged on to engage militarily with Iran, , the 2002 Millennium Challenge, exercises which simulated war, demonstrated America’s inability to win a war with Iran.   The challenge was too daunting.  It is not just Iran‘s formidable defense forces that have to be reckoned with; but the fact that one of Iran’s strengths and deterrents has been its ability to retaliate to any attack by closing down the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow passageway off the coast of Iran.  Given that 17 million barrels of oil a day, or 35% of the world’s seaborne oil exports go through the Strait of Hormuz, incidents in the Strait would be fatal for the world economy.

Faced with this reality, over the years, the United States has taken a multi-prong approach to prepare for an eventual/potential military confrontation with Iran.  These plans have included promoting the false narrative of an imaginary threat from a non-existent nuclear weapon and the falsehood of Iran being engaged in terrorism (when in fact Iran has been subjected to terrorism for decades as illustrated above).   These ‘alternate facts’ have enabled the United States to rally friend and foe against Iran, and to buy itself time to seek alternative routes to the Strait of Hormuz.

Plan B: West Africa and Yemen

In early 2000s, the renowned British think tank Chatham House issued one of the first publications that determined African oil would be a good alternate to Persian Gulf oil in case of oil disruption. This followed an earlier strategy paper for the U.S. to move toward African oil⎯The African White Paper⎯that was on the desk May 31, 2000 of then U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, a former CEO of energy giant Halliburton. In 2002, the Israeli-based think tank, IASPS, suggested America push toward African oil.   In an interesting coincidence, in the same year, the Nigerian terror group, Boko Haram, was “founded”.

In 2007, the United States African Command (AFRICOM) helped consolidate this push into the region.  The 2011, a publication titled: “Globalizing West African Oil: US ‘energy security’ and the global economy” outlined ‘US positioning itself to use military force to ensure African oil continued to flow to the United States’.   This was but one strategy to supply oil in addition to or as an alternate to the passage of oil through the Strait of Hormuz.

Nigeria and Yemen took on new importance.

In 2012, several alternate routes to Strait of Hormuz were identified which at the time of the report were considered to be limited in capacity and more expensive.   However, collectively, the West African oil and control of Bab Al-Mandeb would diminish the strategic importance of the Strait of Hormuz in case of war.

In his article for the Strategic Culture Foundation, “The Geopolitics Behind the War in Yemen: The Start of a New Front against Iran” geo-political researcher Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya correctly states: “[T] he US wants to make sure that it could control the Bab Al-Mandeb, the Gulf of Aden, and the Socotra Islands (Yemen). Bab Al-Mandeb it is an important strategic chokepoint for international maritime trade and energy shipments that connect the Persian Gulf via the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea via the Red Sea. It is just as important as the Suez Canal for the maritime shipping lanes and trade between Africa, Asia, and Europe.”

War on Iran has never been a first option. The neoconservative think tank, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), argued in its 2004 policy paper “The Challenges of U.S. Preventive Military Action” that the ideal situation was (and continues to be) to have a compliant regime in Tehran.  Instead of direct conflict, the policy paper [a must read] called for the assassination of scientists, introducing a malware, covertly provide Iran plans with a design flaw, sabotage, introduce viruses, etc.  These suggestions were fully and faithfully executed against Iran.

With the policy enacted, much of the world sighed with relief when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA , or the “Iran Nuclear Deal” which restricts Iran’s domestic nuclear power in exchange for the lifting of sanctions on Iran) was signed in the naïve belief that a war with Iran had been alleviated.   Obama’s genius was in his execution of U.S. policies which disarmed and disbanded the antiwar movements.  But the JCPOA was not about improved relations with Iran, it was about undermining it.  As recently as April 2015, as the signing of the JCPOA was drawing near, during a speech at the Army War College Strategy Conference, then Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work elaborated on how the Pentagon plans to counter the three types of wars supposedly being waged by Iran, Russia, and China.

As previously planned, the purpose of the JCPOA was to pave the way for a compliant regime in Tehran faithful to Washington, failing that, Washington would be better prepared for war for  under the JCPOA, Iran would open itself up to inspections.  In other words, the plan would act as a Trojan horse to provide America with targets and soft spots.  Apparently the plan was not moving forward fast enough to please Obama, or Trump.  In direct violation of international law and concepts of state sovereignty, the Obama administration slammed sanctions on Iran for testing missiles.   Iran’s missile program was and is totally separate from the JCPOA and Iran is within its sovereign rights and within the framework of international law to build conventional missiles.

Trump followed suit. Trump ran on a campaign of changing Washington and his speeches were full of contempt for Obama; ironically, like Obama, candidate Trump continued the tactic of disarming many by calling himself a deal maker, a businessman who would create jobs, and for his rhetoric of non-interference.    But few intellectuals paid attention to his fighting words, and fewer still heeded the advisors he surrounded himself with or they would have noted that Trump considers Islam as the number one enemy, followed by Iran, China, and Russia.

The ideology of those he has picked to serve in his administration reflect the contrarian character of Trump and indicate their support of this continuity in US foreign policy.  Former intelligence chief and Trump’s current National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, stated that the Obama administration willfully allowed the rise of ISIS, yet the newly appointed Pentagon Chief “Mad Dog Mattis” has stated: “I consider ISIS nothing more than an excuse for Iran to continue its mischief.”  So the NSC (National Security Council) believes that Obama helped ISIS rise and the Pentagon believes that ISIS helps Iran continue its ‘mischief’.  Is it any wonder that Trump is both confused and confusing?

And is it any wonder that when on January 28th Trump signed an Executive Order calling for a plan to defeat ISIS in 30 days the US, UK, France and Australia ran war games drill in the Persian Gulf that simulated a confrontation with Iran⎯ the country that has, itself, been fighting ISIS.   When Iran exercised its right, by international law, to test a missile, the United States lied and accused Iran of breaking the JCPOA. Threats and new sanctions ensued.

Trump, the self-acclaimed dealmaker who took office on the promise of making new jobs, slammed more sanctions on Iran. Sanctions take jobs away from Americans by prohibiting business with Iran, and they also compel Iranians to become fully self-sufficient, breaking the chains of neo-colonialism. What a deal!

Even though Trump has lashed out at friend and foe, Team Trump has realized that when it comes to attacking a formidable enemy, it cannot do it alone.   Although both in his book, Time to Get Tough, and on his campaign trails he has lashed out at Saudi Arabia, in an about face, he has not included Saudis and other Arab state sponsors of terror on his travel ban list.   It would appear that someone whispered in Mr. Trump’s ear that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar are fighting America’s dirty war in Yemen (and in Syria) and killing Yemenis.  In fact, the infamous Erik Prince, founder of the notorious Blackwater who is said to be advising Trump from the shadows, received a $120 million contract from the Obama Administration, and for the past several years has been working with Arab countries, UAE in particular, in the “security” and “training” of militias in the Gulf of Aden, Yemen.

So will there be a not so distant military confrontation with Iran?

Not if sanity prevails.  And with Trump and his generals, that is a big IF While for many years the foundation has been laid and preparations made for a potential military confrontation with Iran, it has always been a last resort; not because the American political elite did not want war, but because they cannot win THIS war. For 8 years, Iran fought not just Iraq, but virtually the whole world.   America and its allies funded Saddam’s war against Iran, gave it intelligence and weaponry, including weapons of mass destruction.  In a period when Iran was reeling from a revolution, its army was in disarray, its population virtually one third of the current population, and its supply of US provided weapons halted Yet Iran prevailed. Various American administrations have come to the realization that while it may take a village to fight Iran, attacking Iran would destroy the global village.

It is time for us to remind Trump that we don’t want to lose our village.

This article was first submitted to the print edition of Worldwide Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) newsletter.  

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is an independent researcher and writer with a focus on US foreign policy.

Trump’s Worse Than Bush and Obama Because You Think He Isn’t

November 12, 2016 (LD) – US President-elect Donald Trump is already lining up a tell-tale team of Wall Street and Washington insiders as well as warmongering Neo-Conservatives and sponsors of terrorism to fill his cabinet and serve in key positions within his upcoming administration. He’s also openly reneging on his campaign promises, before even getting into office.

The Intercept in an article titled, “Donald Trump Recruits Corporate Lobbyists to Select His Future Administration,” would reveal that:

Trump for America Inc., a nonprofit group chaired by Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., to oversee the Trump transition, has quietly moved ahead, meeting with interest groups and reaching out to lobbyists to plan a future Trump administration. 

The group has held regular meetings at the Washington, D.C., offices of Baker Hostetler, a law and lobbying firm. 

On Thursday, the group hosted a breakfast at Baker Hostetler attended by Microsoft’s Ed Ingle and Steve Hart, two lobbyists who, according to filings, have worked to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Other transition meetings have included briefings with the Financial Services Roundtable and the Investment Company Institute, two lobby groups that represent Wall Street interests, as well as with the BGR Group, a lobby firm that represents Saudi Arabia and the South Korean government.

Perhaps BGR relayed some information to Trump’s team during these meetings on behalf of their South Korean clients, which is why Trump has now already announced a complete reversal regarding his alleged platform of no longer maintaining America’s vast collection of protectorates around the globe – South Korea included.

Vox in its article, “Trump just completely reversed his policy on South Korea — only 2 days after being elected,” would report that:

Trump has tried to put those concerns to rest by speaking directly with Park over the phone and promising to maintain the existing security alliance. “We will be steadfast and strong with respect to working with you to protect against the instability in North Korea,” Trump told the South Korean president, according to a statement from her office.

This is in stark contrast to Trump’s comments during the presidential campaign. Vox stated:

“We are better off frankly if South Korea is going to start protecting itself,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper back in March. “They have to protect themselves or they have to pay us.” In a January interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Trump said, “We have 28,000 soldiers on the line in South Korea between the madman and them,” referring to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. “We get practically nothing compared to the cost of this.”

But this is relatively minor in comparison to some other warning signs.

Image: John Bolton (left) is a Bush-era Neo-Conservative. 

As early as August of this year, Trump revealed his consideration of John Bolton as his potential Secretary of State. Breitbart in an article titled, “Trump: We are Seriously Thinking About Picking John Bolton as Secretary of State,” would claim:

“I think John Bolton’s a good man,” Trump replied. “I watched him yesterday, actually, and he was very good in defending me in some of my views, and very, very strong. And I’ve always liked John Bolton. Well, we are thinking about it, Hugh. I will say that. We are thinking about it. I mean, the negative is what I told you. But we are seriously thinking about it.”

John Bolton is a Bush-era Neo-Conservative who helped sell the war in Iraq to the American people under the false threat of “weapons of mass destruction.” The war would claim a million Iraqis and over 4,000 US troops and has left the nation in ruination to this very day. Bolton would go on to use “weapons of mass destruction” as a pretext for America moving on to a narrowly averted war with Iran.

Additionally, Bolton has spent years lobbying for the Mujaheddin-e-Khalq (MEK), an Iranian terrorist group that has killed US military personal, US civilian contractors, as well as Iranian politicians and civilians through decades of terrorist attacks both within and beyond Iran’s borders. Until recently, and including during Bolton’s lobbying activities, MEK was a US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization, listed side-by-side Al Qaeda, the self-proclaimed “Islamic State,” and Boko Haram.

Image: Gingrich, Giuliani and Bolton are all present and accounted for at a confab supporting MEK terrorists. Now all three men are under consideration for positions within Trump’s White House. 

Today, Bolton characterizes Russia, China, and Iran as US enemies and seeks expanded military spending and military operations abroad to widen already unprecedented tensions with all three nations.

That Trump even considered making this man his Secretary of State should alarm all Americans, whether they opposed the Iraq War under Bush or US military interventions in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Iraq under Obama.

Bolton’s consideration for a place within Trump’s incoming administration all but assures the wars not only continue, they will disastrously expand.

Lobbying for MEK terrorists alongside Bolton was former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich. They and other fixtures of American Neo-Conservatism backed MEK along with the Royal Saudi Family, according to the US State Department’s own Voice of America (VOA) media platform.

VOA’s article, “Saudi Backing of Iranian Exile Group Inflames Mideast Conflicts,” would reveal:

Prince Turki al-Faisal, a respected former Saudi ambassador to Britain and the United States, startled many observers when he turned up Saturday at a conference in Paris of the Mujaheddin-e Khalq or MEK.

VOA would also report:

In the course of that campaign, the MEK and its “diplomatic” arm, the so-called National Council of Resistance in Iran, paid millions of dollars to ex-U.S. officials of both major political parties. Saturday’s confab featured many of these individuals including Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House and a contender to be Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, as well as Bill Richardson, a former New Mexico governor and U.N. ambassador under Bill Clinton, and former Vermont governor Howard Dean.

Both Giuliani and Gingrich are also likely to receive positions within Trump’s administration. The fact that Trump has cozied up to men working not only for listed terrorist organizations, but terrorist organizations backed by the Saudis, is particularly alarming not to mention ironic considering Trump’s campaign trail rhetoric.

Continuity of Agenda and How to Break the Cycle 

The convergence here between Neo-Conservatism, sponsoring terrorism, warmongering, despotic regimes like that in Riyadh, and all the other abuses and outrages started under Bush and eagerly continued under Obama is no coincidence.

Continuity of agenda continues under Trump, just as it would have under Hillary Clinton, just as it has under Obama and before that under Bush, Bill Clinton, and before that under George Bush Sr.

The only real question America should be asking themselves now is not whether the right-wing claws of this scorpion are more dangerous than the left-wing poisoned stinger, but why we are arguing about it and not just going straight for the head.

Protests in the streets by the left, and a right prepared to go back to sleep for 4-8 years as “their guy” takes the helm of wars they have learned to loved to hate for the past 8 years, does nothing to affect the bottom lines of the corporations and financial institutions that dominate both parties of American politics, benefiting regardless of who is in the White House, moving their agenda and interests forward under the cover of a partisan smokescreen, and all at the cost of not only the American people, but increasingly the peace and stability of the entire planet.

If America’s left and right ever decide to meet in the middle, fighting the multinational corporations festering on Wall Street will be the ground upon which they do so. They will not require “elections” or protests to succeed – simply redirecting the daily financial support, time, and energy Americans pour into these corporations and institutions, instead into local alternatives, is all it will take. Recognizing this as the actual solution, amid increasingly tempting partisan pitfalls, will be the hardest part of reaching toward real progress.

America’s Ironic “Two-Faced” War on Terror

October 23, 2016 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – Rarely ever does hypocrisy align so succinctly as it does within the pages of American policy and media coverage. US policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, recently provided an extreme example of this in a paper titled, “A convenient terrorism threat,” penned by Daniel Byman.

The paper starts by claiming:

Not all countries that suffer from terrorism are innocent victims doing their best to fight back. Many governments, including several important U.S. allies, simultaneously fight and encourage the terrorist groups on their soil. President George W. Bush famously asked governments world-wide after 9/11 whether they were with us or with the terrorists; these rulers answer, “Yes.”

Some governments—including at times Russia, Egypt, Turkey, and Pakistan among others—hope to have it both ways. They use the presence of terrorists to win sympathy abroad and discredit peaceful foes at home, even while fighting back vigorously enough to look plausible but not forcefully enough to solve the problem. This two-faced approach holds considerable appeal for some governments, but it hugely complicates U.S. counterterrorism efforts—and the U.S. shouldn’t just live with it.

Byman then begins labelling various nations; Somalia as a “basket-case,” Iran as a “straightforward state sponsors of terrorism” and attempts to frame Russia’s struggle against terrorism in Chechnya as somehow disingenuous or politically motivated.

Byman also attempts to claim Syrian President Bashar Al Assad intentionally released terrorists from prison to help escalate violence around the country and justify a violent crackdown, this despite reports from Western journalists as early as 2007 revealing US intentions to use these very terrorists to overthrow the governments of Syria and Iran specifically, the New Yorker would reveal.

The US is as Much a Sponsor of Terrorism in Reality as Byman Claims Others are in Fiction

 But worse than Byman’s intentional mischaracterisations and lies of omission regarding US allies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel’s overt, global-spanning sponsorship of terrorism, is the fact that not only is the US itself engaged in sponsoring terrorism as it poses as fighting against it globally, the Brookings Institution and Byman have specifically and publicly called for the funding, training and arming of designated foreign terrorist groups in pursuit of self-serving geopolitical objectives.

(Daniel Byman of the Brookings Institution.)

Indeed, Daniel Byman is one of several signatories of the 2009 Brookings Institution report, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran.”

The report not only reveals the blueprints of using supposedly “peaceful” and “democratic” protests as cover for violent, US sponsored subversion (as was precisely done in Syria beginning in 2011), it specifically lists a US State Department-designated foreign terrorist organisation as a potential US proxy in violently rising up against, and eventually overthrowing the government in Tehran.

The report would explicitly state (our emphasis):

Perhaps the most prominent (and certainly the most controversial) opposition group that has attracted attention as a potential U.S. proxy is the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran), the political movement established by the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq). Critics believe the group to be undemocratic and unpopular, and indeed anti-American. 

In contrast, the group’s champions contend that the movement’s long-standing opposition to the Iranian regime and record of successful attacks on and intelligence-gathering operations against the regime make it worthy of U.S. support. They also argue that the group is no longer anti-American and question the merit of earlier accusations. Raymond Tanter, one of the group’s supporters in the United States, contends that the MEK and the NCRI are allies for regime change in Tehran and also act as a useful proxy for gathering intelligence. The MEK’s greatest intelligence coup was the provision of intelligence in 2002 that led to the discovery of a secret site in Iran for enriching uranium.

The report then admits MEK’s status as a designated foreign terrorist organisation and that it has targeted and killed both American officers and civilians in the past (our emphasis):

Despite its defenders’ claims, the MEK remains on the U.S. government list of foreign terrorist organizations. In the 1970s, the group killed three U.S. officers and three civilian contractors in Iran. During the 1979-1980 hostage crisis, the group praised the decision to take America hostages and Elaine Sciolino reported that while group leaders publicly condemned the 9/11 attacks, within the group celebrations were widespread.

The Brookings Institution also admits in its report that undoubtedly MEK continues to carry out undeniable terrorist activity against political and civilian targets within Iran, and notes that if MEK is to be successfully used as a US proxy against Iran, it would need to be delisted as a foreign terrorist organisation (our emphasis):

Undeniably, the group has conducted terrorist attacks—often excused by the MEK’s advocates because they are directed against the Iranian government. For example, in 1981, the group bombed the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party, which was then the clerical leadership’s main political organization, killing an estimated 70 senior officials. More recently, the group has claimed credit for over a dozen mortar attacks, assassinations, and other assaults on Iranian civilian and military targets between 1998 and 2001. At the very least, to work more closely with the group (at least in an overt manner), Washington would need to remove it from the list of foreign terrorist organizations.

And eventually, that is precisely what was done. MEK would be delisted by the US State Department in 2012, announced in a US State Department statement titled, “Delisting of the Mujahedin-e Khalq,” which noted:

With today’s actions, the Department does not overlook or forget the MEK’s past acts of terrorism, including its involvement in the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992. 

The Department also has serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members. The Secretary’s decision today took into account the MEK’s public renunciation of violence, the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism by the MEK for more than a decade, and their cooperation in the peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf, their historic paramilitary base.

MEK’s inability to conduct violence in the decade preceding the US State Department’s decision was not because of an ideological commitment to nonviolence, but a matter of strategic limitations placed on the terrorist organisation by Iraqi and Iranian security forces who were determined to liquidate it and who forcibly disarmed the group.

(Members of the MEK terrorist organisation in Camp Ashraf, Iraq)

And even if the 2012 US State Department decision was based on an alleged decade of nonviolence, the policymakers at the Brookings Institution who signed their names to “Which Path to Persia?” including Daniel Byman, certainly did not apply the same criteria in suggesting its use as an armed proxy.

In all likelihood, had Iraq and Iran not successfully cornered and disarmed the group, it would be fighting America’s proxy war against Tehran on both sides of the Iran-Iraq border. MEK fighters would be carrying out US-backed armed violence against Iran and Iraq side-by-side other US-backed terrorist groups operating across the region as part of America’s current proxy war against Syria, Russia and Iran.

Daniel Byman of the Brookings Institution’s latest paper even at face value is disingenuous, full of intentional mischaracterisations meant to direct attention away from the US and its closest allies’ own sponsorship of terrorism amid a very much feigned “War on Terror.” Understanding that Byman quite literally signed his name to a policy paper promoting the arming and backing of a US State Department designated foreign terrorist organisation makes his recent paper all that more outrageous.

What is also as troubling as it is ironic, is that Byman not only signed his name to calls for arming a listed terrorist organisation, he was also a staff member of the 9/11 Commission, according to his Georgetown University biography. A man involved in sorting out a terrorist attack who is also advocating closer cooperation with listed terrorist organisations is truly disturbing.

The political and ethical bankruptcy of American foreign policy can be traced back to its policy establishment, populated by unprincipled hypocrites like Byman and co-signatories of Brookings’ “Which Path to Persia?” The US certainly cannot convince other nations to abandon an alleged “two-faced” policy of promoting and fighting terrorism simultaneously when it stands as a global leader in this very practise.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Mohsen Rezaie: If We Get Angry, We’ll Leave No Trace of Al Saud

Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaie said on Monday that Iranians are patient, but that if they get angry they’ll leave no trace of Al Saud on earth.

Mohsen Rezai“Our message to Saudis from today is: If we get angry we will leave no trace of Saudis on earth. The Saudi government is responsible for the track-record support for MKO terrorism and anti-revolutionary assassinations whose documents have been collected,” Rezai wrote on his Instagram account.

Rezaie said that terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization always enjoyed Saudi support to carry out terrorist attacks in Iran against the government officials and cabinet ministers, according to IRNA. He added that Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Prince and the former Saudi intelligence chief, had taken part in the MKO conference in Paris, calling on them to resume terrorist operations in Iran.

Rezaei said that it is not the first time the Saudi intelligence approached the anti-government terrorist group to strike a blow to the Islamic Republic of Iran. He said that the Saudi intelligence service has always advocated subversive operations carried out by MKO.

In the past few months, Saudi leaders held the same sessions with Kurdistan Democratic Party, Komełeh and Party for Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) in Erbil of Iraq and thus far, several terrorist operations were carried out in Iran’s Kurdistan province.

Source: Agencies

12-07-2016 – 12:46 Last updated 12-07-2016 – 16:17

 

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Iran slams Saudi prince for joining MKO meeting – Terrorists, Tools for Furtherance of Saudi Plans against Muslim Countries

Iran: Terrorists, Tools for Furtherance of Saudi Plans against Muslim Countries

An informed source at the Foreign Ministry said that Saudi Arabia is using terrorists as a tool for developing its plans against Muslim nations in the region.

IranThe source, who talked under the condition of anonymity, made the remarks while commenting on an anti-Iran gathering held on Saturday in Paris, France, by a number of the rented and ‘bankrupt terrorists’ affiliated to the terrorist group of Mujahedeen Khalq Organization (MKO) and their Western and Saudi supporters to protest against Iran.

Referring to the presence of former Saudi security official Turki al-Faisal among the so-called protestors in Paris, the source said Faisal’s presence in the gathering of ‘bankrupt terrorists’ has indicated, once more, Riyadh’s ‘political foolishness.’

In an indirect reference to Riyadh, the source added that Turki al-Faisal’s presence has also indicated frustration of the ‘father of Taliban and Al-Qaeda and the partner of Zionists’ in dealing with Iran.

Tehran-Riyadh diplomatic relations have been soured following the Hajj tragedy on September 24, 2015 in Mina where over 8,000 pilgrims, including 461 Iranians, were killed in a stampede. Many believe that the incompetence and mismanagement of the Saudi officials caused the tragedy.

“Turki al-Faisal’s presence among the MKO protestors in Paris and his anti-Iran remarks showed that the Saudis have resorted to terrorists as they had already done so in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, to achieve their goals against Muslim nations in the region,” the Foreign Ministry source told IRNA.

He described Saturday’s anti-Iran rally as a ‘street show’ made by terrorists affiliated to MKO and its Saudi and Western supporters adding, the so-called anti-Iran protestors and their ‘overt and covert supporters have come together to comfort each other.’

The MKO has carried out numerous terrorist attacks against Iranian civilians and government officials over the past three decades. Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist attacks since the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 have fallen victim to MKO’s acts of terror.

Washington and the European Union have removed the MKO from their list of terrorist organizations and the group currently enjoys freedom of movement and activity in the US and Europe, including regular meetings with American and European politicians.

 

Source: IRNA

10-07-2016 – 16:46 Last updated 10-07-2016 – 16:46

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