It’s Time To Tell israel and Saudi Arabia to Fight Their Own Wars


” … it is wise to be skeptical about Israeli claims regarding Iranian intentions to build bases and construct missiles in Syria.

Those claims made by Israel’s Mossad have not been confirmed by any western intelligence service, not even by America’s totally corrupted and subservient CIA.”

The deluge of recent reporting regarding possible conflict with nuclear armed North Korea has somewhat obscured consideration of the much higher probability that Israel or even Saudi Arabia will take steps that will lead to a war with Iran that will inevitably draw the United States in.

This has gone way too far

Israel is particularly inclined to move aggressively, with potentially serious consequences for the U.S., in the wake of the recent incident involving an alleged Iranian drone and the shooting down of an Israeli aircraft. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been repeatedly warning about the alleged threat along his northern border and has pledged that Israel will not be in any way restrained if there are any hostile moves directed against it. The Israeli Transportation Minister Ysrael Katz has warned that Lebanon will be blasted back into the “stone age.”

There is also considerable anti-Iran rhetoric currently coming from sources in the United States, which might well be designed to prepare the American people for a transition from a cold war type situation to a new hot war involving U.S. forces. The growing hostility towards Iran is coming out of both the Donald Trump Administration and from the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is warning that the “time to act is now” to thwart Iran’s allegedly aggressive regional ambitions while U.S. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley sees a “wake-up” call in the recent shooting incident involving Syria and Israel. The hostility emanating from Washington is increasing in spite of the fact that the developments in the region have little or no impact on vital U.S. national interests, nor is Iran anything like an existential threat to the United States that would mandate sustained military action.

Houston, we have a problem

Iran’s alleged desire to stitch together a sphere of influence consisting of an arc of allied nations and proxy forces running from its western borders to the Mediterranean Sea has been frequently cited as justification for a more assertive policy against Tehran, but that concern is certainly greatly exaggerated. Iran, with a population of more than 80 million, is, to be sure, a major regional power but militarily, economically and politically it is highly vulnerable. Its economy is struggling and there is a small but growing protest movement regarding the choices being made for government spending.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is well armed and trained, but much of its “boots on the ground” force consists of militiamen of variable quality. Its Air Force is a “shadow”of what existed under the Shah and is significantly outgunned by its rivals in the Persian Gulf, not to mention Israel. Its navy is only “green water” capable in that it consists largely of smaller vessels responsible for coastal defense supplemented by swarms of Revolutionary Guard speedboats.

When Napoleon had conquered much of continental Europe and was contemplating invading Britain in 1804 it was widely believed that England was helpless before him. But Admiral Earl St Vincent was nonplussed. He said at the time: “I do not say the French can’t come, I only say they can’t come by sea.” In a similar fashion, Iran’s apparent threat to its neighbors is in reality decisively limited by its inability to project power across the water or through the air against other states in the region that have marked superiority in both respects.

And the concern over a possibly developing “Shi’ite land bridge,” also referred to as an “arc” or “crescent,” is likewise overstated for political reasons to make the threat more credible. It ignores the reality that Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon all have strong national identities and religiously mixed populations. They are influenced and sometimes more than that by Iran, but they are not puppet states and never will be. Even Lebanon’s Hezbollah, often cited as Iran’s fifth column in that country, is not considered a reliable proxy.

Majority Shi’a Iraq, for example, is generally considered to be very friendly to Iran but it has to deal with considerable Kurdish and Sunni minorities in its governance and in the direction of its foreign policy. It will not do Iran’s bidding on a number of key issues, including its relationship with Washington, and would be unwilling to become a proxy in Tehran’s conflicts with Israel and Saudi Arabia as such a move would be extremely unpopular. Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi, the highest-ranking Sunni in the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi government, has, for example, recently called for the demobilization of the Shi’ite Popular Mobilization Forces or militias that have been fighting ISIS because they “have their own political aspirations, their own [political] agendas. … They are very dangerous to the future of Iraq.”

A seemingly legitimate major concern driving much of the perception of an Iranian threat is the possibility that Tehran will develop a nuclear weapon somewhere down the road. Such a development is quite plausible if only from a defensive point of view as Iran has been repeatedly threatened by nuclear armed Israel and the United States, but the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action provides the best response to the possible proliferation problem. The U.N. inspections regime is rigorous and Iran is reported to be in compliance with the agreement. If the plan survives the attacks by the White House, there is every reason to believe that Iran will be unable to take the necessary precursor steps leading to a nuclear weapons program while the inspections continue. And it will be further limited in its options after the agreement expires in nine years because it will not be able to accumulate the necessary highly enriched uranium stocks to proceed if it should ever make the political and economic decisions to go ahead with such a program.

The recent incident involving the shoot-down of a drone alleged to be of Iranian provenance followed by the downing of an Israeli fighter by a Syrian air defense missile resulted in a sharp response from Tel Aviv, though reportedly mitigated by a warning from Russian President Vladimir Putin that anything more provocative might inadvertently involve Russia in the conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accordingly moderated his response but his government is clearly contemplating a more robust intervention to counter what he calls a developing Iranian presence in Syria. It is important to recall that Netanyahu’s prime objective in Syria and Lebanon is to have both nations in turmoil so they cannot threaten Israel. With that in mind, it is wise to be skeptical about Israeli claims regarding Iranian intentions to build bases and construct missiles in Syria. Those claims made by Israel’s Mossad have not been confirmed by any western intelligence service, not even by America’s totally corrupted and subservient CIA.

Netanyahu is also facing a trial on corruption charges and it would not be wildly off target to suggest that he might welcome a small war to change the narrative, just as Bill Clinton did when he launched cruise missiles into Afghanistan and Sudan to deflect congressional and media criticism of his involvement with Monica Lewinsky. Unfortunately, if Netanyahu does wind up being charged and going to prison his successor will likely be even more hardline.

It must be understood that the mounting Iran hysteria evident in the U.S. media and as reflected in Beltway groupthink has largely been generated by allies in the region, most notably Saudi Arabia and Israel, who nurture their own aspirations for regional political and military supremacy. There are no actual American vital interests at stake and it is past time to pause and take a step backwards to consider what those interests actually are in a region that has seen nothing but U.S. missteps since 2003.

Countering an assumed Iranian threat that is no threat at all and triggering a catastrophic war would be a major mistake that would lead to a breakdown in the current political alignment of the entire Middle East. And it would be costly for the United States. Iran is not militarily formidable, but its ability to fight on the defensive against U.S. Naval and air forces is likely to be considerable, producing high casualty levels on both sides. How would the U.S. public respond if an aircraft carrier were to be sunk by a barrage of Iranian shore-to-ship missiles? And Tehran would also be able to unleash terrorist resources throughout the region, particularly endangering U.S. military and diplomats based there as well as American travelers and businesses. The terror threat might easily extend beyond the Middle East, into Europe and also within the United States while the dollar costs of a major new conflict and its aftermath could also break the bank, literally.

Promoting a robust U.S. role in “regime change” for Iran as a viable military option to support objectives largely fabricated by allies would be a phony war fought for bad reasons. It is not commensurate with the threat that the Mullahs actually pose, which is minimal, and is just not worth the price either in dollars or lives.

[This article is an edited and expanded version of a memorandum that I prepared for Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity which has been released separately on Consortium News].

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest


If you think Trump is bad enough, Clinton would have been even worse

Hillary Clinton: “If I’m President, We Will Attack Iran… We Would be Able to Totally Obliterate Them.”

By Stephen Lendman,

Among Global Research’s most popular articles in 2016.

Hillary is Dangerous. She Means What She says? Or Does She?  (M. C. GR. Editor)

*      *      *

On July 3, 2015, presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton addressed a hand-picked audience at a Dartmouth College campaign event. She lied calling Iran an “existential threat to Israel… I hope we are able to get a deal next week that puts a lid on (its) nuclear weapons program.”

Even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems from Iran. They are the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism.

They use proxies like Hezbollah to sow discord and create insurgencies to destabilize governments. They are taking more and more control of a number of nations in the region and they pose an existential threat to Israel.

We…have to turn our attention to working with our partners to try to reign in and prevent this continuing Iranian aggressiveness.

Fact: US and Israeli intelligence both say Iran’s nuclear program has no military component. No evidence whatever suggests Tehran wants one. Plenty indicates otherwise.

As a 2008 presidential aspirant, she addressed AIPAC’s annual convention saying:

The United States stands with Israel now and forever. We have shared interests….shared ideals….common values. I have a bedrock commitment to Israel’s security.

(O)ur two nations are fighting a shared threat” against Islamic extremism. I strongly support Israel’s right to self-defense (and) believe America should aid in that defense.

I am committed to making sure that Israel maintains a military edge to meet increasing threats. I am deeply concerned about the growing threat in Gaza (and) Hamas’ campaign of terror.

No such campaign exists. The only threats Israel faces are ones it invents.

Clinton repeated tired old lies saying Hamas’ charter “calls for the destruction of Israel. Iran threatens to destroy Israel.”

“I support calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard what it is: a terrorist organization. It is imperative that we get both tough and smart about dealing with Iran before it is too late.”

She backs “massive retaliation” if Iran attacks Israel, saying at the time:

I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president, we will attack Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”

She endorses using cluster bombs, toxic agents and nuclear weapons in US war theaters. She calls them deterrents that “keep the peace.” She was one of only six Democrat senators opposed to blocking deployment of untested missile defense systems – first-strike weapons entirely for offense.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

No Fly Zone over Israel

February 13, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Syria possesses the ability to impose a no fly zone over northern Israel.

Syria possesses the ability to impose a no fly zone over northern Israel.

Interview with Gilad Atzmon on recent news by Alimuddin Usmani

Alimuddin Usmani: On the 10th of February, Syrian anti-aircraft units managed to use an old Soviet anti-aircraft missile built in the sixties to shoot down an Israeli F-16.

 What is the significance of this military incident?

Gilad Atzmon:  I do not know much about the type of anti air missiles the Syrians used.  It seems that the Israelis were also perplexed by Syrian anti air capacity. But what we do know is that the Israeli F-16 wasn’t in Syria’s air space. It was well within Israel, in fact not too far from Haifa’s sky. This means that Syria possesses the ability to impose a no fly zone over northern Israel. This is undoubtedly  a positive development. It may even restrain Israeli aggression.

AA: According to Israeli minister Bennett, “Israel must act systematically against the Iranian octopus“.

GA: The reference to Iran as an octopus is new to me. I have seen the octopus imagery used to portray the idea of Jews having  domineering powers.  The image I am referring to is one of octopuses  decorated with a Star of David and holding the planet in their hands.  I do wonder what led Minister Bennett to use such a metaphor. Is it the fear of being encircled and eventually squashed by mighty Iran or maybe Bennett was simply projecting, attributing his own characteristics to the Iranians. This question can remain open. I can say with certainty that since Bennett is a religious Jew, he won’t eat calamari any time soon and he probably doesn’t even know what he misses.

bennet and clamari .png

What is fascinating  about the incident is that for years we have seen Israeli politicians vow to attack Iran. We have seen Jewish leaders worldwide push for military actions and sanctions against Iran. The facts are undeniable: Israel feels surrounded and Bennett seems to admit it by employing the octopus metaphor.

AA: Recently a French-Syrian woman was forced to quit a song show due to some comments she made a while ago on Twitter criticizing the French government’s stance on terrorist attacks.

 What is you take on the above?

GA: This farce highlights the duplicity at the core of so-called multi culturalism and ‘diversity.’ We love and care for the ‘other’ but only so as long as the other conceals his or her otherness. We love Muslims as long as they pretend to be Jews. I see this form of  progressive  ‘diversity’ as an anti humanist oppressive force.

AA: Ahed Tamimi, a young Palestinian activist was arrested on the 19th of December for slapping an Israeli soldier who was standing outside her home. She is still in prison, awaiting a trial. What is your opinion about this girl?

GA: I am afraid that my linguistic abilities fall short in describing my admiration for this Palestinian teenager. I am not impressed by the Palestinian solidarity movement. And now many see the solidarity movement as a controlled opposition apparatus, largely dominated by Jewish organisations and outlets  (JVP, IJAN, Mondoweiss etc.). This has led to a discourse of the oppressed  shaped by the sensitivities of the oppressors. Instead of talking about the Right of Return we have been subject to a barrage of notions, ideas, tactics and political tools that are set to limit the resistance and in practice, facilitate recognition of the Jewish State and its right to exist (to read more

Ahed Tamimi represents uncompromising resistance. She wants her land to be free, and I don’t doubt  that her wishes will come through

AA: Tell us something about your next gigs.

GA: I am on my way to Barcelona. I am writing to you while seated in a plane. Tonight I will be talking about my new book Being in Time. I will probably be asked about Catalan independence in light of my  post political theory although I have nothing to say about it. I do not really understand the Catalan situation nor do I know how or where to locate it within my criticism of the current global dystopia, I hope that by the end of the night I will have learned  more about Catalonia. A lot of my ideas were born out of intense exchanges with the many people I have encountered while being on the road. It is the differences that  spark thinking and originality, concepts that are seriously lacking in the monolithic tyranny of correctness that is imposed on us.

The Jewish Timeline – From Moses to Bibi

February 11, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

In Jewish history, the members of the chosen tribe are never the aggressors nor do they bear any responsibility for their own plight

In Jewish history, the members of the chosen tribe are never the aggressors nor do they bear any responsibility for their own plight

By Gilad Atzmon

The Jewish timeline is a peculiar one-sided anti-historical narrative that inevitably begins at the point when Jewish suffering is detected and ignores the prior circumstances that may have led to that suffering. In Jewish history, the members of the chosen tribe are never the aggressors nor do they bear any responsibility for their own plight. Quite the opposite, they are always the victims of Goyim’s ‘irrational’ and ‘merciless hatred of Jews.’

Yesterday, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu provided a remarkable window into the deceptive nature of the Jewish timeline.

In his address following the incident in which an Israeli  F-16 was shot down over Syria, Netanyahu focused on Iranian aggression, alleging that Iran had flown a drone into Israeli territory. Naturally, yours truly is not convinced that such a drone really existed and if it did, that it was operated by Iranians. However, the Israeli PM clearly inveigled to omit from his narrative that it was he, his hawkish government, and their satellite Jewish lobbies around the world (AIPAC, CRIFF, CFI, LFI etc.) that have been crusading for military action and sanctions against the Islamic republic for at least a decade.

How many times have we heard Israeli politicians vowing to attack Iran?  In 2012, The Time of Israel reported that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered their security chiefs in 2010 to have the military ready to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities within hours if necessary, but were rebuffed by the security chiefs.”  Nonetheless the timeline Bibi presented yesterday  expunged the decade of Israeli belligerence toward Iran. Bibi’s timeline of the conflict with Iran began 48 hours before when, he claimed, an alleged Iranian drone allegedly crossed the Israeli border.

This unique form of delusional and/or duplicitous detachment from reality was not invented by Zionists or Israelis. It is deeply embedded in Jewish culture, Jewish ideology and even the Old Testament. The holocaust, for instance, is taught as “the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators” (USA Holocaust Museum). This is a narrative drained of any historical context. The timeline of the holocaust is a Judeo-Centric construct that begins with the detection of Jewish suffering (1933). For the holocaust to become a proper historical chapter, it will be necessary to ask ‘what were the circumstances that led to the sharp rise in anti Jewish feelings in Europe and beyond?’*

Again, if we examine Jewish history of the 19th century East European pogroms, or the Spanish inquisition we find a timeline that is driven by a similar dismissal of historicity. As in the Jewish history of the Holocaust or in Bibi’s address yesterday, these timelines begin at the point Jewish suffering is detected and omit the circumstances that may have led to such developments. We are dealing with narratives devoid of their most vital element, their rationale. We witness an eternal struggle to suppress self-reflection.

All of this may explain the Jewish fear of Anti Semitism. The Jewish anxiety is not necessarily the fear of the ‘merciless and hateful goyim’ but more probably a fear of self-reflection – looking in the mirror – taking responsibility for one’s own actions once and for all.

The Jewish timeline as a form of self induced detachment is as old as the Jews.  Let’s examine the manner in which Pharaoh is introduce in Biblical Exodus:

“Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.” (Exodus 1:8-10)

While King Pharaoh is clearly performing anti-Jewish feelings, there is a notable lack of any context that would make this narrative truly meaningful. In what sense were the Jews ‘mightier’? Why were they suspected of treason, did they keep dual citizenship? Were they dominating the city or its culture? Or maybe, was it the very early Egyptian film industry which they dominated? The Bible keeps this information to itself.

I suggest that perhaps the Jewish timeline is a sophisticated blindfolding mechanism that is set to deny Jews the ability to self-reflect, to see reality for what it is, to see the other as an equal human being with equal needs.

Judaic thought has occasionally been aware of itself as a castrating  mechanism. The Biblical prophets, for instance, had flashes of such self-reflection. They introduced a timeline, a reason, a logos or shall we say a rationale, but in that they were defeated time after time. The same can be said of Jesus, Spinoza and Marx.

This makes it  astonishing that Early Zionism was actually a desperate Jewish attempt to address the Jewish denial of historicity. Bernard Lazare’s Anti-Semitism its History and Causes presented a profound Zionist study of the role of Jews and their culture in their own suffering. Lazare wasn’t alone in his inquiry. Ber Borochov, Max Nordau and even Herzl attempted to understand the Jewish question within a proper historical context. Their diagnosis of Jewish Diaspora culture was astute, however, their remedy has been pretty much a disaster as Israel’s horrendous politics have demonstrated for the past seven decades.

While early Zionism was largely anti Jewish, Zionism was soon hijacked by Jewishness – that sense of delusional judeo-centrism that dismisses otherness and denies historicity. PM Netanyahu’s address illustrates this unique inability to self reflect. Netanyahu’s timeline begins with an alleged act of Iranian aggression and yet ‘forgets’ that Israel has been throwing bombs at Syria for years and threatening to attack Iran for a decade. Is Netanyahu delusional? Is he duplicitous? That is not for me to judge, and in fact, I don’t care. My task is to decipher the message, not to analyse the messenger.

If Zionism was born to teach the Jews how to self reflect so they could become ‘people like all other people,’ Netanyahu, Israel and contemporary Zionists are the proof that the Zionist project was futile. As the Jewish State surrounds itself with ever more walls of separation, as the Zionist lobbies and Zio-cons push for more global conflicts for Israel, it becomes clear that Zionists are actually people like no other- people who can’t self reflect or bear responsibility for their own actions.

If  Elias Davidsson wants to burn it, you want to read it …

cover bit small.jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto  ,  and   here  ( 

* The Jewish historian David Cesarani made such an effort in his last book, ‘Final Solution’ admitting that Holocaust history has been problematic and lacking.

Iranians Mark Anniversary of Islamic Revolution with Nationwide Rallies

 February 11, 2018


Millions of Iranians are taking to the streets nationwide today to mark the 39th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

People from all walks of life rally in different cities and towns across Iran each year to celebrate the nation’s victory that put an end to the monarchical rule of the US-backed Pahlavi regime.

Each year on the 22nd of the month of Bahman on the Persian calendar, Iranians turn out to renew their allegiance to the Islamic establishment and Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic.

This year’s rallies come amid US President Donald Trump’s hostile policies on Iran, ranging from his warning that he might ultimately “terminate” the 2015 nuclear deal to his meddlesome stance on some scattered riots in Iran recently.

In the capital, Tehran, people and officials descended on the iconic Azadi Square, where Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech.

Some of Iran’s latest defense achievements were put on display at the site, including an anti-tank missile called Toofan M-2 which has a maximum range of 3,750 meters as well as two long-range Qadr ballistic missiles.

A total of 250 foreign reports are covering the event, according to Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance officials.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who attended the rally in Tehran, said Iran owes its survival and security to the people and their presence at the scene.

Unlike some regional countries that are buying of weapons from world powers, Iran’s existence and security is not tied to purchasing arms, he said. “Iran’s security is dependent on people’s presence at the scene.”

SourcePress TV

Iran after 39 Years of the Islamic Revolution

Designed by: Nour Fakih

Iran after 39 Years of the Islamic Revolution

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Trump’s Iran War Push is a Replay of Bush’s Iraq War Push

Lawrence Wilkerson: Trump’s Iran War Push Is a Replay of Bush’s Iraq War Push


The Trump administration “is using much the same playbook to create a false choice that war is the only way to address the challenges presented by Iran” as the George W. Bush administration used to gain support for the Iraq War. College of William & Mary Professor Lawrence Wilkerson presents this argument, along with abundant supporting evidence, in a Monday New York Times editorial.

Wilkerson should know. In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Wilkerson was chief of staff for United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose United Nations presentation regarding Iraq Wilkerson, at the beginning of the editorial, credits with boosting support among Americans for a war against Iraq.

Wilkerson, who is a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Academic Board member, has frequently disparaged that effort to build up support for the Iraq War. Indeed, in the editorial he laments that “[t]hat effort led to a war of choice with Iraq – one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East.”

The consequences of a war with Iran would also be dire. Addressing some of those consequences in his editorial, Wilkerson predicts that “this war with Iran – a country of almost 80 million people, whose vast strategic depth and difficult terrain makes it a far greater challenge than Iraq – would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq war in terms of casualties and costs.”

Read Wilkerson’s editorial here.

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Alastair Crooke to Al-Ahed: CIA, Mossad Stirred Up Iran Protests (Part I)

17-01-2018 | 14:31

Former British diplomat Alastair Crooke sheds light on recent regional and international events in an exclusive interview with Al-Ahed News.

Alastair Crooke

Let’s start with the events in Iran, do you see foreign intelligence hands behind what took place in Iran recently?

I think the Iranian prosecutor has said that Iran has definitively identified at least two hands behind it. One was an American and the other an “Israeli”. One a CIA officer and one a Mossad officer. I don’t say that I have any direct evidence, but I think that on the basis of the pattern and the way in which America has responded to this, it seems highly likely and it follows the pattern of what you would see in these interventions and is almost exactly the same as what we saw in 1953.Then the CIA paid people to smash shops and do violent acts in order to create a certain atmosphere, and I think it is certainly quite plausible the claims of Iran that indeed it was orchestrated from outside.

After what you just said, do you think that the strategy which will be pursued by the Trump administration – because of its anti-Iranian doctrine – will continue to be stirring riots or are we headed towards something bigger, possibly war?

Well first of all I think there are two things we have to acknowledge beforehand. The first one was that these protests in no way succeeded. What I mean is that it didn’t stimulate support and it didn’t generate a popular reaction at all. They were very limited, there were limited numbers. The pro-violent demonstrators were really quite insignificant in numbers in a country the size of 80 million people. The second thing we have to say is that the conditions from 2009 are completely different from what they are today. In 2009 there was a segment of the population, particularly in Tehran, who were surprised by the election outcome and there was a massive vote in northern Tehran for Moussawi as the president, and they couldn’t understand how Ahmadinejad had won the election and believed it had been stolen. And this was a cause, there was a real cause therefore.

So first of all it’s different from that period in 2009, but the other thing that is clear is that there was not support when the United States tried to take this and enlarge this at the United Nations in a resolution. Only two states supported the United States and the majority, including the European states, did not support it, and indeed even those who were partners of the US like France, criticized the American ambassador Nikki Haley saying we’re wasting the UN’s time and this is not appropriate to the UN and the UN is charged with dealing with threats to international stability and this is clearly not that.

So, I don’t think there was much support for this, and very clearly the Europeans have made a statement saying we want to keep the JCPOA and this (the recent developments in Iran) have got nothing to do with it. This may pull the Americans back because in the past they have relied heavily on being able to count on almost automatic support.

There are two things, I would say, which are that the domestic dynamics in the US mean that Americans may need a crisis – maybe a crisis or maybe a war – in order to resolve the polarization within its society and also to bring about the inflow of dollars that are necessary to finance its deficit.

So possibly we will see this escalate, the timing is such that North Korea might come to a head before Iran. But certainly there is this feeling in the white house amongst those who surround the president. There are strong differing views, but those who happen to be close to the president are in favor of escalation against Iran.

Since Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, has spoken about dramatically increasing the covert operations, that’s why I ask if it’s going to be and escalated CIA activity instead of all-out military warfare?

Yes, I think it will be escalated proxy war: CIA-covert Mossad-covert Saudi-covert operations against Iran, but also it will be financial war. And of course what happened when America decided to escalate against Iran in 2014 was essentially the sanctions: removing them from the Western banking system and the financial system.

So many of these protests and particularly their violent character was probably more likely designed to give a human’s rights pretext that would then allow sanctions, and it is the sanctions that they are looking to. The American narrative is that when the international financial system was closed to Iran, then Iranians went out of the banks and went into the black market in a desperate bid to buy dollars and that created a huge inflation in Iran and the inflation and the economic stress might have led to the collapse of Iran if it had not been for Obama who rescued them.

This is the narrative of the right – that Obama rescued them (Iran) from that by starting the JCPOA. So, I think the natural conclusion is that America will be likely to try to go back to the 2014 experience and use sanctions principally, of course to try and provoke Iran as well into what they would call human rights abuses by inciting violence within Iran, and of course when you have violent rioting security forces have to ultimately use some form of effective enforcement in order to stop the rioting and that could be portrayed as human rights abuses even if they are no different to the enforcement procedures that you see happening all the time in Europe at the moment.

How would you describe “Trump’s Middle East doctrine” if one can put it as such?

Trump’s Middle East doctrine. You’re right to say can you describe it as a doctrine. It is not exactly a doctrine, but it is essentially in one respect to do the opposite to what Obama did and in that way he has gone back to the old neocon formula which has been to embrace the Gulf states and the monarchs and the emirs of the region, and to categorize not only Iran but Hezbollah the Hashed Al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Units] and others as terrorist movements. In other words, to embrace entirely a particular regional viewpoint which sees the Sunnis as victims and the Shiite as the oppressors and the terrorists.

Before the elections Marco Rubio was labelled as the neocon and there were many neocons who were against Trump, people like Elliot Cohen, what made him shift to become or as you say embrace the neocon agenda?

We don’t know exactly why he went in this direction. There are a number of possible explanations, one is he has a very close connection to “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu through his (Trump’s) son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has been the source of much of these problems in the Middle East. Through Kushner, Trump has had a huge input from Netanyahu who is well known, as well as his father before him, for hostility to Iran.

But I think also the White House has this hostility to Iran because particular officers around Trump like Mattis and Kelly and others, were in Iraq during 2003 and during that time have come into contact with “militia” who opposed them and who killed American soldiers, and they attribute all of that to Iran and do not conceive or do not confess that there was an Iraqi resistance and it was not something that was entirely an Iranian exercise.

Iran might have been partly involved but what you were dealing with was direct Iraqi resistance, just as we are seeing that the Iraqis have resisted against “ISIS” not on behalf of Iran or not mobilizing as Hashed because of Iran, but because of what has happened: the murder and killing of their sons and husbands in Mosul and the areas around Mosul.

But in Washington it’s understood that all of this mobilization in Iraq has nothing to do with the Martyrs going into the Mosque every day, Iraqi martyrs …Iraqi martyrs of the war against “ISIS”- (in Washington) they think it’s Iran. And they think that what happened in Iraq – the American failure in Iraq – was caused by Iran.

Do they really have this perception that Iran is behind it?

Yes, they have that perception and it’s fed to them and it is encouraged by the “Israelis” and by Saudi Arabia. Mohammad Bin Salman [MBS] is always saying that.

Rex Tillerson’s call on the Hashed Al-Shaabi actually gives credence to what you said-when he said the Hashed must go home.

Exactly. They believe this. A few days ago, the famous Washington Post correspondent David Ignatius rang up the 28-year-old ambassador in Washington for information about Iran. This is the extent of Washington’s understanding of the problem. So it’s not clear, is it deliberate? – Because in America there’s no constituency that views Iran favorably. The American military doesn’t, Trump’s base doesn’t, and they have all been conditioned to be hostile. So Iran is an easy target in the terms that no one will oppose you. It’s not an easy target in terms of doing military action, quite the reverse. Iran would present either America or “Israel” or both of them together with a formidable resistance to any attack on it. And I don’t think that either “Israel” or America would be anxious to put boots on the ground and to have a land war against Iran. So Iran is militarily strong, but it is weak in that it’s a very easy target to build up popular hostility and portray it as a terrorist state.

Source: Al-Ahed News

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