The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Stephen J. Sniegoski Archive
The Russian Peace Scare Averted, But What About Iran?
shutterstock_186539786
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Strings  Include Comments

The selection of Lt. General H. R. McMaster as Trump’s new National Security Advisor to replace Michael Flynn appears to be the coup de grâce to Trump’s efforts to achieve rapprochement with Russia. McMaster has received profuse praise from all types of mainstream figures: conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans. McMaster’s expressed hostile view of Russia is the fundamental reason for this celebration since Michael Flynn was noted, and condemned for, his Russia-friendly attitude and connections. McMaster has stated that Russia’s goal is “to collapse the post-World War II, certainly the post-Cold War, security, economic, and political order in Europe, and replace that order with something that is more sympathetic to Russian interests.”[1]“Harbingers of Future War: Implications for the Army with Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster,” May 4, 2016, Center for Strategic and International Studies, https://www.csis.org/analysis/harbingers-future-war-...master McMaster sees Russia as being among a number of enemies that threaten the U.S. He maintains: “Geopolitics has returned, as hostile, revisionist powers—Russia, China, North Korea and Iran—annex territory, intimidate our allies, develop nuclear weapons, and use proxies.” McMaster describes this conflict in Manichean terms. “We are engaged today, as General George C. Marshall’s generation [World War II and the Cold War] was engaged, against enemies who pose a great threat to all civilized peoples.”[2]Jenna Lifhits, “McMaster on the Role of Education and Values in America’s Military Strategy,” Weekly Standard, February 21, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/mcmaster-on-the-role-...006918

Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who is likewise widely praised in the mainstream, also considers Russia to be an enemy that needs to be staunchly opposed. Although Rex Tillerson was considered to be friendly toward Russia in his capacity as Exxon Mobil CEO, he has expressed more critical views of Russia since he was selected for the position of Secretary of State. Moreover, he has been largely absent from any role in shaping U.S. foreign policy.[3]Carol Morello and Anne Gearan, “In first month of Trump presidency, State Department has been sidelined,” Washington Post, February 22, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-securi...2072d9

But what about Iran? Trump, during his presidential campaign, depicted that nation as a major threat to the United States and insisted that the nuclear agreement with Iran was “the worst deal ever negotiated.” Flynn held an even more hostile view toward Iran, which he presented in his recent book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, that was co-authored by the notorious neocon Iranophobe par excellence Michael Ledeen. It would seem, however, that Flynn’s departure will not make the administration’s stance toward Iran more favorable.

Mattis has been ultra-hawkish on Iran. In a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on April 22, 2016, Mattis said that Iran was “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East,” contending that Iran’s hegemonic goals had not changed since the Islamic regime came to power in 1979.[4]“The Middle East at an Inflection Point with Gen. Mattis,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 22, 2016, https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/event...is.pdf

Mattis maintains that Iran is using the turmoil of the Islamic State to achieve its goals: “I consider ISIS nothing more than an excuse for Iran to continue its mischief. Iran is not an enemy of ISIS. They have a lot to gain from the turmoil in the region that ISIS creates. And I would just point out one question for you to consider: What is the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked by ISIS? One, and it’s Iran. Now, there’s got – that is more than just happenstance, I’m sure.”[5]“Middle East at an Inflection Point.” In short, Mattis cryptically implies that Iran is even cooperating with ISIS. Since ISIS kills Shiites and Iran is playing a major role in fighting ISIS, this conspiracy theory would seem to be something out of Alice and Wonderland, though this was also held by Flynn and Ledeen, but they are regarded as rather flakey.

Mattis continued that “as the commander in CENTCOM [U.S. Central Command, August 2010 to March 2013] with countries like Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, every morning I woke up and the first three questions I had . . .  had to do with Iran and Iran and Iran. . . . Their consistent behavior since 1979 through today shows no sign of changing. . . . They’ve increased the flow of arms . . . into Saudi Arabia, explosives into Bahrain, and arms into Yemen. In fact, in the last three months— February, March and April [2016]— the French Navy, the Australian Navy, and the U.S. Navy have all seized arms shipments each month . . . . [but] the idea that we’re catching all the arms shipments, that’s a flight of fantasy.”[6]“Middle East at an Inflection Point.”

ORDER IT NOW

Mattis advocated a militant U.S. policy in the Middle East, which would consist of amplifying what it already has been doing. For instance, he stated that “in the region we work with our partners in the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council],” which is comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It should be noted that all these countries are autocracies of one degree or another and some—such as Bahrain–face serious internal opposition. Thus, working with these countries means helping to prop up the existing regimes, which the U.S. has already been doing to some extent. Also, it might mean that the U.S. would be more involved in the Sunni-Shiite war which has little to do with American interests. This would entail the continuation and expansion of U.S. military support for the Saudis’ bombing and naval embargo of Yemen, which is causing a major humanitarian catastrophe with a significant proportion of the population facing starvation. And, private groups within Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait, if not those governments themselves, have been the principal backers of radical jihadis—including, at times, ISIS—who have served as those countries proxies in the war against the Shiites. Objective observers would almost certainly discern that it is the Sunni-controlled members of the GCC who have been far more involved in destabilizing the Middle East than has Shiite Iran. Nonetheless, with his focus on Iran, Mattis also advocates a “very robust” U.S. naval presence in the region, cooperation with allies in a missile defense, and an increase in funding for intelligence on Iran, which would also involve closer cooperation with the spy agencies of America’s regional allies.

It was Mattis’ obsession with Iran as head of CENTCOM that ultimately caused President Obama to force his retirement in 2013.[7]Mark Perry, “James Mattis’ 33-Year Grudge Against Iran,” Politico, December 4, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/jame...214500 However, while Trump, during the campaign, said that his “[n]umber one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”[8]Carol Morello, “Iran nuclear deal could collapse under Trump,” Washington Post, November 9, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-securi...dfd668 Mattis has taken a moderate view toward the nuclear accord. Although critical, he maintains that the U.S. should continue to honor the agreement while emphasizing that it is strictly an arms control deal, which does not imply rapprochement with Iran. He compares it to the arms control agreements the U.S. made with the Soviet Union during the Cold War where the U.S. would continue to treat it as an enemy.

As alluded to earlier, McMaster also sees Iran as a significant American enemy, though he does not appear to be so monomaniacally hostile toward it as does Mattis. McMaster contends that Iran “has been fighting a proxy war against us since 1979.” In his view, Iran is “applying the Hezbollah model broadly to the region, a model in which they have weak governments in power that are reliant on Iran for support, while they create militias and other groups outside of that government’s control that can be turned against that government if that government takes action against Iranian interests. You see this, I think, to a certain extent in Iraq.” He holds that if “we pull the curtain back on it,” we would see “Iranian subversion and the use of pressure on the [Iraqi] government to ensure that that government remains wholly sympathetic to Iranian interests. And this is an effort, I think, to retard many of the reforms that would try to build back into the Iraqi government and security forces a multi-sectarian population that would have improved legitimacy, and that would lead eventually to the consolidation of security gains as we continue the campaign against ISIL.”[9]“Harbingers of Future War.”

During the presidential campaign, Trump talked about jettisoning America’s broad global strategy that has militarily entangled the country in wars and alliances that do not serve its own vital interests. Instead, he said he would pursue an American First strategy that would focus on what benefitted the U.S., but he did not show how taking a harder stance toward Iran could possibly fall into this new paradigm. It seems incongruous.

It should seem obvious that the reason Iran is opposed to the United States has much to do with the fact that the United States has acted as its enemy. Moreover, as will be pointed out shortly, throughout the 20th century, Iran has been victimized by the great powers. In the United States, it is often maintained that Israel deserves special treatment because of the past victimization of Jews. For example, this has been used to justify the very creation of Israel at the expense of the Palestinians and the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal. U.S. foreign policy experts should, at the very least, recognize that Iran’s recent history of victimization would shape its view of international affairs. It is especially odd that purported military scholars such as Mattis and McMaster do not evince this knowledge. “Know your enemy” is a maxim derived from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, a famous work on military strategy that the two generals would be expected to have read. And maybe they do know about Iran’s past but realize that expressing knowledge of inconvenient history that militates against the current mainstream narrative can prevent one from having a successful career, something they wish to maintain despite their mainstream media reputations for “speaking truth to power,” reputations they would be apt to forfeit if they pushed the envelope too far.

Let us now look briefly at the history of Iran. As in other Third World countries, Iranians, who have a proud heritage extending back to the ancient world, do not want to be dominated by outside powers, and this feeling is quite intense because during the 20th century, their country had been treated as a pawn by the great powers. It had been controlled by Britain and Russia from the latter part of the 19th century through World War I, and because of wartime deprivations caused by those two occupying powers, lost a large percentage of its population. According to historian Mohammed Gholi Majd: “World War One was unquestionably the greatest calamity in the history of Persia, far surpassing anything that happened before. It was in WWI that Persia suffered its worst tragedy in its entire history, losing some 40% of its population to famine and disease, a calamity that was entirely due to the occupation of Persia by the Russian and British armies, and about which little is known. Persia was the greatest victim of WWI: no country had suffered so much in absolute and relative terms. . . [T]here are indications that 10 million Persians were lost to starvation and disease. Persia was the victim of one of the largest genocide [sic] of the twentieth century.”[10]Mohammed Gholi Majd, Persia in World War I and Its Conquest by Great Britain (Lanham,MD: University Press of America, 2003), pp. 3-4.

Similarly, Iran was occupied by Britain and the Soviet Union during World War II. And the U.S. played a significant role in the coup that overthrew the legally-established Mossadegh government (Mossadegh was appointed not elected as is often claimed) in Iran in 1953 and essentially made Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi the autocratic ruler of Iran. Even assuming the most benign American motivation—that American policymakers were motivated by the fear of a pro-Soviet Communist takeover rather than by the ambition to acquire oil—would not make Iranians feel better about their country being used as a pawn by an outside power once again. Furthermore, the U.S. influence over Iranian politics during the rule of the Shah was so palpable that most people considered him an American puppet. Given Iran’s historical experience, it is quite natural that Iran fears the American empire and would like a reduction of its influence in the Middle East, just as the young United States wanted to keep the European powers away from the Americas, a view which was embodied in the Monroe Doctrine.

America’s backing of the Shah’s rule certainly contributed to the anti-American revolutionary rhetoric put forth by the Islamic regime after the 1979 revolution. This revolutionary stance especially resonated with the region’s Shiite minority and thus engendered fear among the Sunni ruling elites.

Fear of an internal Shiite revolt in Iraq—one Middle East country where the Shiites were in the majority—along with the desire to take advantage of the revolutionary chaos in Iran to grasp some of its territory motivated Iraq’s Saddam Hussein to launch an attack on Iran on September 22, 1980. After initial success, Iraq was soon put on the defensive. Fearing that Iran might defeat Iraq, the United States, although officially neutral, was providing substantial support to Iraq by the mid-1980s, which included military intelligence and war materiel. And the United States deployed in the Persian Gulf its largest naval force since the Vietnam War, the purpose of which was purportedly to protect oil tankers, but which engaged in serious attacks on Iran’s navy.

Significantly, the U.S. also played a role in Iraq’s use of illegal chemical weapons. U.S. satellite intelligence facilitated Iraqi gas attacks against Iranian troop concentrations. Moreover, Washington allowed Iraq to purchase poisonous chemicals, and even strains of anthrax and bubonic plague from American companies, which were subsequently identified as key components of the Iraqi biological warfare program by a 1994 investigation conducted by the Senate Banking Committee.[11]Stephen R. Shalom, “The United States and Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988,” Iran Chamber Society, http://www.iranchamber.com/history/articles/united_...1.php; Jeremy Scahill, “The Saddam in Rumsfeld’s Closet,” Common Dreams, August 2, 2002, http://web.archive.org/web/20131021234920/http://ww...1.htm; Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid, “When Iraq Was Our Friend,” Accuracy in Media, October 15, 2002, http://www.aim.org/media-monitor/when-iraq-was-our-...iend/; Michael Dobbs, “U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup,” Washington Post, December 30, 2002, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2002...f4b093 The United States also prevented or weakened UN resolutions condemning Iraq for using chemical weapons. It should be stressed that although Iran has rhetorically advocated the overthrow of other regimes and provided some military aid to groups that take such positions, its greatest military involvement (other than the defensive war with Iraq) has been to counter offensive moves by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf sheikdoms. Thus, Iran has become militarily involved in Iraq to help the Iraqi government defend itself from the ISIS military juggernaut, which, at least initially, had been bankrolled by wealthy private sources in, and very probably the governments of, Saudi Arabia and the small Gulf sheikdoms, especially Qatar. If the Iranians had not become extensively involved in the defense of Iraq, it is quite conceivable that Baghdad would have fallen to ISIS.

Iranian aid to the secular Assad regime in Syria also should be classified as defensive. For three decades, Syria has been Iran’s most valuable ally in the Middle East. Although many in the West portrayed the revolt against Assad’s Baathist dictatorship as a fight for democracy, from early on radical Sunni Jihadists—who seek the establishment of an Islamic caliphate based on sharia law–have proven to be the most effective fighters. And Saudi Arabia, as well as Qatar and other oil-rich Gulf sheikdoms, have been supporting these anti-democratic rebels from the outset.

The removal of the Assad regime would be a serious blow to Iran’s security. Assad’s Syria has provided a conduit for arms from Iran to Hezbollah. With Iranian arms, Hezbollah plays a critical role in Iran’s strategy to deter, and if necessary, retaliate against an Israeli attack on it. Obviously, Israel would prefer that Iran not have this capability.

Currently, in Yemen, Iran is providing some support for the Houthis, who champion the Zaidi Shiites against the Sunni forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. To avoid any false interpretations here, it should be pointed out that Zaidi Shiism is quite different from that of the Iranian variety.[12]Trita Parsi and Adam Weinstein, “Iranian Hegemony Is a Figment of America’s Imagination,” Foreign Policy, January 25, 2017, http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/25/irans-proxy-war...ation/ Zaidis make up one-third of the population of Yemen and had lived under their own rulers in mountainous North Yemen for almost 1,000 years until 1962. Since that time they have engaged in several rebellions to regain autonomy.[13]Adam Baron, “What We Get Wrong About Yemen,” Politico Magazine, March 25, 2015, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/yeme...FViko; “Yemen crisis: Who is fighting whom?,” BBC, March 26, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29319423 It should be added that the Houthi rebels also have been supported by units of the Yemeni army that remained loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was removed from power during the Arab Spring. That President Hadi, the recognized head of Yemen, is some type of democratic, or even the legitimately-elected, head of state, is highly questionable, however. As Dan Murphy wrote in the Christian Science Monitor, “Saudi and the US insist that only Hadi is the legitimate ruler of Yemen, that legitimacy drawn from a 2012 single-candidate referendum that gave him 99.6 percent support.”[14]Dan Murphy, “Reducing Yemen’s Houthis to ‘Iranian proxies’ is a mistake,” Christian Science Monitor, April 2, 2015, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/Backc...video; Laura Kasanof, “Yemen Gets New Leader as Struggle Ends Calmly,” New York Times,” February 24, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/world/middleeast/...i.html

ORDER IT NOW

Houthi victories in what was essentially a civil war brought a Saudi-led coalition of Sunni states to engage in bombing attacks on the Houthis, claiming that they were Iranian proxies whose victory would expand Iranian power in a strategic region of the Middle East. The U.S. has been actively supporting the Saudi war coalition against Yemen, being engaged in such activities as refueling Saudi warplanes and working with them in selecting targets in a bombing campaign that has so far killed thousands of civilians. The Saudis and their allies have also maintained an air and sea blockade officially aimed at curtailing arms shipments to the Houthis, but also stopping goods vital for civilians. All of this has contributed to a humanitarian crisis.[15]Matt Schiavenza, “Saudi Airstrikes Intensify Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis,” The Atlantic, April 22, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/20...91203/ ; Thalif Deen, “Blood Money? After Bombing Yemen, Saudis offer $274 mn. in Humanitarian Aid,” Informed Consent, April 23, 2015, http://www.juancole.com/2015/04/bombing-saudis-huma...n.html

However, it is not apparent that the Houthis are proxies of Iran or that Iran has the intention or capability of allowing them to achieve an all-out victory in Yemen. While Iran undoubtedly provides the Houthis some types of military aid, this would have to be quite limited since it has not been easy to detect. Moreover, much of the weaponry used by the Houthis has been provided by high-level military supporters of ex-President Saleh who had access to government supplies.[16]Gareth Porter, “Houthi arms bonanza came from Saleh, not Iran,” April 23, 2015, Middle East Eye, http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/houthi-arms-bo...808066

Also, in 2015, Iran presented a four-point plan to end the conflict that called for an immediate cease-fire, humanitarian aid, dialogue, and the formation of an inclusive national unity government. This was rejected by the Yemeni government of President Hadi and the Saudis (with whom the U.S. concurs) who essentially demanded that before any peace talks take place the Houthis must disarm and turn over to the Hadi government all the cities that they have taken. Obviously, such a de facto surrender by the Houthis would eliminate their bargaining position and thus would not fail to address any of their grievances but likely lead to their suffering retribution for rebelling.[17]“Yemen crisis: Who is fighting whom?,” BBC, October 14, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29319423 ; “Iranian representatives discouraged Houthi rebels from taking the Yemeni capital of Sanaa last year, according to American officials familiar with intelligence around the insurgent takeover,” Huff Post Politics, April 20, 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/20/iran-houth....html; Dan Murphy, “Reducing Yemen’s Houthis to ‘Iranian proxies’ is a mistake,” Christian Monitor, April 2, 2015, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/Backc...video; Steven Inskeep talks with Robin Wright, “Is There Evidence That Yemeni Rebels are Backed By Iran?,” NPR, March 27, 2015, http://www.npr.org/2015/03/27/395698502/iran-saudi-...ssues; Jason Ditz, “Kerry Endorses Saudi War as Long as Houthis Resist,” Antiwar.com, April 24, 2015, http://news.antiwar.com/2015/04/24/kerry-endorses-s...esist/ In short, the Iranian effort in Yemen does not appear as an effort to achieve dominance of the country but rather an effort to restrain the expansion of Saudi power outside its borders.

As Trite Parsi and Adam Weinstein summarize their article, “Iranian Hegemony Is a Figment of America’s Imagination,” “Exaggerating the military or ideological power of Iran may serve the goal of pushing the United States to take military action against Iran. But a singular focus on Iran — while deliberately ignoring the role of Saudi Arabia and Qatar and their spread of Salafism — will neither provide stability for the Middle East nor further any of Washington’s other interests in the region.”[18]Parsi and Weinstein, “Iranian Hegemony Is a Figment of America’s Imagination”

In sum, Iran is acting no differently than a country of its size, power, security interests, and historical experience would be expected to act. However, there is no apparent reason that Iran would be a threat to American interests, even if these interests are viewed from the traditional foreign policy establishment’s globalist perspective. Some of Iran’s key concerns harmonize with those of the United States, such as maintaining the flow of oil to the industrial world (which has been hindered by American-instigated sanctions) and combating Sunni jihadist radicals (ISIS and al-Qaida) who threaten regional stability. This convergence of interests has been recognized by leading figures in the American traditional foreign policy establishment, which was exemplified in the study, Iran: Time for a New Approach, produced by a Council of Foreign Relations-sponsored task force in 2004. The task force was co-chaired by former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and former CIA director Robert M. Gates (who would become Secretary of Defense in December 2006) advocated dialog and incremental engagement with Iran.

Also, in 2006, Congress created an independent, bipartisan commission called the Iraq Study Group, which was co-chaired by President George H. W. Bush’s close associate and former Secretary of State James A. Baker and by former Democratic Congressman Lee H. Hamilton. On Iran, the Iraq Study Group advocated rapprochement rather than destabilization and regime change, as had been sought by the neocons who had held sway in the George W. Bush administration. Iran and Syria were to be made integral partners of an international Iraq Support Group, which would work for the stabilization of that country.

Although alternatives to an anti-Iran policy have been made in the past, which would better reflect a real America First policy, Trump, unfortunately, holds an opposite position–that the U.S. needs to take a more belligerent stance–and in this he has been reinforced by Mattis and McMaster. And while the mainstream media anathematizes almost everything else Trump proposes, it sees little wrong with his Iran policy. This makes it apparent that a significant portion of the neocon agenda has become the mainstream position on U.S. Middle East policy, but this is an issue that cannot be dealt with in this already lengthy article.

Notes

[1] “Harbingers of Future War: Implications for the Army with Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster,” May 4, 2016, Center for Strategic and International Studies, https://www.csis.org/analysis/harbingers-future-war-implications-army-lieutenant-general-hr-mcmaster

[2] Jenna Lifhits, “McMaster on the Role of Education and Values in America’s Military Strategy,” Weekly Standard, February 21, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/mcmaster-on-the-role-of-education-and–values-in-americasmilitary-strategy/article/2006918

[3] Carol Morello and Anne Gearan, “In first month of Trump presidency, State Department has been sidelined,” Washington Post, February 22, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-first-month-of-trump-presidency-state-department-has-been-sidelined/2017/02/22/cc170cd2-f924-11e6-be05-1a3817ac21a5_story.html?utm_term=.cac7b42072d9

[4] “The Middle East at an Inflection Point with Gen. Mattis,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 22, 2016, https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/event/160422_Middle_East_Inflection_Point_Gen_Mattis.pdf

[5] “Middle East at an Inflection Point.”

[6] “Middle East at an Inflection Point.”

[7] Mark Perry, “James Mattis’ 33-Year Grudge Against Iran,” Politico, December 4, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/james-mattis-iran-secretary-of-defense-214500

[8] Carol Morello, “Iran nuclear deal could collapse under Trump,” Washington Post, November 9, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/iran-nuclear-deal-could-collapse-under-trump/2016/11/09/f2d2bd02-a68c-11e6-ba59-a7d93165c6d4_story.html?utm_term=.25b38bdfd668

[9] “Harbingers of Future War.”

[10] Mohammed Gholi Majd, Persia in World War I and Its Conquest by Great Britain (Lanham,MD: University Press of America, 2003), pp. 3-4.

[11] Stephen R. Shalom, “The United States and Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988,” Iran Chamber Society, http://www.iranchamber.com/history/articles/united_states_iran_iraq_war1.php; Jeremy Scahill, “The Saddam in Rumsfeld’s Closet,” Common Dreams, August 2, 2002, http://web.archive.org/web/20131021234920/http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0802-01.htm; Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid, “When Iraq Was Our Friend,” Accuracy in Media, October 15, 2002, http://www.aim.org/media-monitor/when-iraq-was-our-friend/; Michael Dobbs, “U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup,” Washington Post, December 30, 2002, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2002/12/30/us-had-key-role-in-iraq-buildup/133cec74-3816-4652-9bd8-7d118699d6f8/?utm_term=.e28029f4b093

[12] Trita Parsi and Adam Weinstein, “Iranian Hegemony Is a Figment of America’s Imagination,” Foreign Policy, January 25, 2017, http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/25/irans-proxy-wars-are-a-figment-of-americas-imagination/

[13] Adam Baron, “What We Get Wrong About Yemen,” Politico Magazine, March 25, 2015, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/yemen-intervention-116396.html#.VTu2RSFViko; “Yemen crisis: Who is fighting whom?,” BBC, March 26, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29319423

[14] Dan Murphy, “Reducing Yemen’s Houthis to ‘Iranian proxies’ is a mistake,” Christian Science Monitor, April 2, 2015, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/Backchannels/2015/0402/Reducing-Yemen-s-Houthis-to-Iranian-proxies-is-a-mistake-video; Laura Kasanof, “Yemen Gets New Leader as Struggle Ends Calmly,” New York Times,” February 24, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/world/middleeast/yemen-to-get-a-new-president-abed-rabu-mansour-hadi.html

[15] Matt Schiavenza, “Saudi Airstrikes Intensify Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis,” The Atlantic, April 22, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/04/saudi-airstrikes-intensify-yemens-humanitarian-crisis/391203/ ; Thalif Deen, “Blood Money? After Bombing Yemen, Saudis offer $274 mn. in Humanitarian Aid,” Informed Consent, April 23, 2015, http://www.juancole.com/2015/04/bombing-saudis-humanitarian.html

[16] Gareth Porter, “Houthi arms bonanza came from Saleh, not Iran,” April 23, 2015, Middle East Eye, http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/houthi-arms-bonanza-came-saleh-not-iran-1224808066

[17] “Yemen crisis: Who is fighting whom?,” BBC, October 14, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29319423 ; “Iranian representatives discouraged Houthi rebels from taking the Yemeni capital of Sanaa last year, according to American officials familiar with intelligence around the insurgent takeover,” Huff Post Politics, April 20, 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/20/iran-houthis-yemen_n_7101456.html; Dan Murphy, “Reducing Yemen’s Houthis to ‘Iranian proxies’ is a mistake,” Christian Monitor, April 2, 2015, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/Backchannels/2015/0402/Reducing-Yemen-s-Houthis-to-Iranian-proxies-is-a-mistake-video; Steven Inskeep talks with Robin Wright, “Is There Evidence That Yemeni Rebels are Backed By Iran?,” NPR, March 27, 2015, http://www.npr.org/2015/03/27/395698502/iran-saudi-proxy-war-touches-on-other-issues; Jason Ditz, “Kerry Endorses Saudi War as Long as Houthis Resist,” Antiwar.com, April 24, 2015, http://news.antiwar.com/2015/04/24/kerry-endorses-saudi-war-as-long-as-houthis-resist/

[18] Parsi and Weinstein, “Iranian Hegemony Is a Figment of America’s Imagination”

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Donald Trump, Iran 
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
[]
  1. McMaster says the Russians are a threat to all civilized peoples. Whew! We dodged a bullet there! We certainly aren’t civilized anymore, so we must be safe from Russia!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean, @Z-man
    LOL and true. We gotta get Buchanan in to see Trump, on a weekly basis. These Neocon or conned ass holes have to be put in their place!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    http://www.unz.com/article/the-russian-peace-scare-averted-but-what-about-iran/#comment-1797825
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Good one , Mr, Sniegoski.

    Let us look at this situation from a completely different perspective for a moment.

    There are 320 million American citizens who are now facing the burden of a monstrous, calamitous 20 trillion dollar national debt because we were all lied into multiple catastrophic and criminal wars.

    Should there be NO accountability from those who defrauded us into them ?

    Need I remind you, the role of the United States Government is crystal clear…..”Provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

    There is nothing in our constitution which says its okay to lie us into war.

    There is nothing in our constitution which says its okay to rob us of TENS OF TRILLIONS of dollars, we don’t have ,to prosecute it.

    Its not only NOT okay….it is the greatest singular crime one can commit against our nation and its people.

    Should there be zero accountability for this ?

    Why should the 320 million of us be on the hook for the staggering cost of these wars, if we were all deceived into starting them in the first place ?

    Shouldn’t the deceivers pay for it ?

    Shouldn’t all the defrauders be on the hook for the bill ?

    If you don’t think so…tell me why not ?

    Isn’t this the REAL , no baloney, central issue of our time ?….Everything else seems meaningless by comparison.

    There should be accountability for this criminal fraud and its unconscionable cost to us all, in lives and treasure.

    Period.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Scalpel
    Because "support the troops" lol. Kinda ties one's hands, doesn't it?
  3. So we’re back to same whore new dress, Israel calling the shots, tax payers totally fucked. Oh the stupidity of it all.

    Read More
  4. What is the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked by ISIS? One, and it’s Iran.

    McMaster and Mattis, only two of many US military certified mad dogs, are mixing up their Israeli masters and Iran. There is nothing more shameful than the obedience of a military dog to his mean master.

    Read More
  5. “Geopolitics has returned, as hostile, revisionist powers—Russia, China, North Korea and Iran—annex territory, intimidate our allies, develop nuclear weapons, and use proxies.”

    McMcaster could have just said these four nations, especially the first and last, make Israel nervous. I also believe the new ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsmen, is a neo-con hardliner on Russia and yesterday FOX was praising him for his “tough stance” on Russia.

    So Trump has now done a 180 on Russia since his campaign and the very types of people he derided on the campaign trail are who he’s now put in charge.

    And what’s been so great about the post WWII order? We start pointless, imperialistic wars that we never win and destabilize the world and leave it in worse shape when we started.

    Read More
  6. McMaster has stated that Russia’s goal is “to collapse the post-World War II, certainly the post-Cold War, security, economic, and political order in Europe, and replace that order with something that is more sympathetic to Russian interests.

    Well it couldn’t be worse than what we have at the moment. US hypocrisy ie the current order has been anything but that for much of the ME, Asia and Latin America.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Well it couldn’t be worse than what we have at the moment. US hypocrisy ie the current order has been anything but that
     
    Hypocrisy implies understanding the real order of things but acting contrary to it. It is bad, very bad but here we have even scarier case--we have many people who really think as they say. Having said all that, Russian and US military cooperation in Syaria surely increased and improved as of lately. Not all statements must be viewed as true. Plus, there ARE some serious issues with US military which, objectively speaking, must be addressed.
  7. Trump gets drowned in the Swamp. The Tel Aviv calls the shots as before. Trump’s promises were all illusory.

    Read More
  8. This would entail the continuation and expansion of U.S. military support for the Saudis’ bombing and naval embargo of Yemen, which is causing a major humanitarian catastrophe with a significant proportion of the population facing starvation.

    Something that only a wretched sadist could love. Unbelievably sick stuff.

    In [McMaster's] view, Iran is “applying the Hezbollah model broadly to the region, a model in which they have weak governments in power that are reliant on Iran for support, while they create militias and other groups outside of that government’s control that can be turned against that government if that government takes action against Iranian interests.

    Hey, that’s “our” role; how dare they use our methods?

    BTW, yesterday I reread Sniegoski’s, The Case for Pearl Harbor Revisionism, and I consider it positively masterful. Relevant in many ways to this article too.

    http://www.unz.com/article/the-case-for-pearl-harbor-revisionism/?highlight=pearl+harbor

    Read More
  9. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Andrew Nichols
    McMaster has stated that Russia’s goal is “to collapse the post-World War II, certainly the post-Cold War, security, economic, and political order in Europe, and replace that order with something that is more sympathetic to Russian interests.

    Well it couldn't be worse than what we have at the moment. US hypocrisy ie the current order has been anything but that for much of the ME, Asia and Latin America.

    Well it couldn’t be worse than what we have at the moment. US hypocrisy ie the current order has been anything but that

    Hypocrisy implies understanding the real order of things but acting contrary to it. It is bad, very bad but here we have even scarier case–we have many people who really think as they say. Having said all that, Russian and US military cooperation in Syaria surely increased and improved as of lately. Not all statements must be viewed as true. Plus, there ARE some serious issues with US military which, objectively speaking, must be addressed.

    Read More
  10. They’ve increased the flow of arms . . . into Saudi Arabia,………(Qu0te)
    I have never read a bigger stupidity.
    Iran and Saudi Arabia are rivals.
    Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran was done to get Natanyahu off his back.
    Natanyahu now is pushing Trump to make war on Iran.
    By any measure it is a tall order,

    Read More
  11. Anyone still believe Trump isn’t a pudgy celebrity butt boy spokesman for the jooies? He’s turned the treasury over to goldman shysters. His white trash vfw generals have concocted plans to advance the concept of a greater izzyville. His domestic agenda is being formulated by bannon, the refugee from neocon jooie breitbart, and his vile ortho-jooie inlaws. How much more evidence do you need….the bombing of iran? Maybe a law should be passed by the US knesset…er congress that only kosher can be purchased with foodstamps? How about the joo york times and wall street urinal delivered to every household at public expense? Good ideas, huh?

    Read More
  12. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “Rex Tillerson was considered to be friendly toward Russia in his capacity as Exxon Mobil CEO, he has expressed more critical views of Russia since he was selected for the position of Secretary of State”

    Still the oil argument is out there and will be dusted off the shelf to explain American hostility to Russia and Iran and retrospectively to Iraq and Libya .

    Read More
  13. Apparently having open borders, trade, cultural exchange, multi-party elections in Russia, and not having an Iron Curtain is now a bad thing.
    The Democrats and the left-wing press still have their panties in a knot because the Communists lost the last election in Russia.

    Read More
  14. March 13, 2017 The Dance of Death

    The ruling corporate elites no longer seek to build. They seek to destroy. They are agents of death. They crave the unimpeded power to cannibalize the country and pollute and degrade the ecosystem to feed an insatiable lust for wealth, power and hedonism.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46641.htm

    Read More
  15. The easy answer to why this is happening is that Trump has to surrender to Deep State/MIC/ZOG on foreign policy to get any part of his agenda through. You’ll notice the threats of coup d’etat, impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment have been dying down.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivan K.
    Trump has to surrender

    DJT is seventy. At that age, a fierce lifelong fighter doesn't change to his total opposite.

    You’ll notice the threats of coup d’etat, impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment have been dying down.

    That's closely related to the Vault 7 thing.

    Those were, as you say, the easy answers.

    The more difficult answer is along the lines of the ship of state being too big to be quickly steered, and, doubtless, the captain himself is used to the current course.
    Deep down, on a visceral level, militarism and aggression is what he breathes.
    And, he knows that more wars is the road to ruin. So, he's genuinely against more wars, too.
    A cognitive dissonance like that exists in most US citizens. After a hundred years of foreign interventions, it couldn't be any different. It's fairly pointless to moralize. Don't be too squeamish about the errors of this or that. Just take care to straighten things out and 'heal' from this quasi-addiction.

    So, the conflict DJT versus Deep State is just a narrow & 2nd-rate look at the problem. (Even if DJT were to be deposed tomorrow, the public response could bring him back.)
    The big conflict is in everyone's mind.
    So is the resolution,
    Or at least the glimpses of it.

  16. People are always scared of what they do not know by government’s if anybody knows anything at all about government.

    Jul 9, 2016 An Australian in Iran April 2016

    This was my second trip to Iran, my first being in 2011. Both times have been an amazing experience and nothing like the media would have you believe. An extremely friendly and hospitable nation.

    Read More
  17. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    ‘Russian Threat’, like ‘White Privilege’, is a diversionary tactic to obfuscate what is the Real Power that controls and manipulates America and the World: Jewish Supremacist Globalism.

    Read More
  18. The US didn’t just back the Shah or Iran, our CIA created the coup that put him in place.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
    What is less commonly known is George H W Bush's involvement in placing Ayatollah Khomeini in place to succeed the Shah. He deliberately sought the Islamic leader in the conviction that religious commitment would make the new rulers more likely to keep Iran compliant w/ US preferences.

    Bush had been head of CIA; Carter purged CIA including firing Bush. Bush was resentful.
    When Bush became aware that the Shah had a cancer that would likely end his life, Bush held onto the information and laid plans for a replacement who would, in his estimation, continue Iran's position as bulwark against USSR/Communism -- and also backstab Carter.

    There are allegations that the CIA was involved in the hostage-taking at US embassy in Tehran, and the scuttlebutt that release of the hostages on the day of Reagan's inauguration are well known.
    George H W Bush was Reagan's VP in the 1980 campaign/1981 inaugural.

    Fara Mansoor gets tangled in the weeds/details of his research into US involvement in putting Khomeini in power.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG9WQbdJVyg

    Harry Martin attempts to organize the wealth of information


    http://dmc.members.sonic.net/sentinel/1earth2.html

  19. Domestically Trump may be able to do something he promised. Build a wall and “create” some jobs. On the other hand, his foreign policy campaign statements were always pretty incoherent. It’s only been two months, so I’ll give him a few more in order to work something up before giving up on him, and declaring the neocohens in charge. But I’m not optimistic.

    Where will we go to war first? Iran? Maybe help Israel with taking out Syria? Or North Korea (and some Chinese “islands” while we’re at it?). How long before Russia? Can we combine Russia with Syria? So many potential opportunities, so little time.

    Read More
  20. @fnn
    The easy answer to why this is happening is that Trump has to surrender to Deep State/MIC/ZOG on foreign policy to get any part of his agenda through. You'll notice the threats of coup d'etat, impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment have been dying down.

    Trump has to surrender

    DJT is seventy. At that age, a fierce lifelong fighter doesn’t change to his total opposite.

    You’ll notice the threats of coup d’etat, impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment have been dying down.

    That’s closely related to the Vault 7 thing.

    Those were, as you say, the easy answers.

    The more difficult answer is along the lines of the ship of state being too big to be quickly steered, and, doubtless, the captain himself is used to the current course.
    Deep down, on a visceral level, militarism and aggression is what he breathes.
    And, he knows that more wars is the road to ruin. So, he’s genuinely against more wars, too.
    A cognitive dissonance like that exists in most US citizens. After a hundred years of foreign interventions, it couldn’t be any different. It’s fairly pointless to moralize. Don’t be too squeamish about the errors of this or that. Just take care to straighten things out and ‘heal’ from this quasi-addiction.

    So, the conflict DJT versus Deep State is just a narrow & 2nd-rate look at the problem. (Even if DJT were to be deposed tomorrow, the public response could bring him back.)
    The big conflict is in everyone’s mind.
    So is the resolution,
    Or at least the glimpses of it.

    Read More
  21. @woodNfish
    The US didn't just back the Shah or Iran, our CIA created the coup that put him in place.

    What is less commonly known is George H W Bush’s involvement in placing Ayatollah Khomeini in place to succeed the Shah. He deliberately sought the Islamic leader in the conviction that religious commitment would make the new rulers more likely to keep Iran compliant w/ US preferences.

    Bush had been head of CIA; Carter purged CIA including firing Bush. Bush was resentful.
    When Bush became aware that the Shah had a cancer that would likely end his life, Bush held onto the information and laid plans for a replacement who would, in his estimation, continue Iran’s position as bulwark against USSR/Communism — and also backstab Carter.

    There are allegations that the CIA was involved in the hostage-taking at US embassy in Tehran, and the scuttlebutt that release of the hostages on the day of Reagan’s inauguration are well known.
    George H W Bush was Reagan’s VP in the 1980 campaign/1981 inaugural.

    Fara Mansoor gets tangled in the weeds/details of his research into US involvement in putting Khomeini in power.

    Harry Martin attempts to organize the wealth of information

    http://dmc.members.sonic.net/sentinel/1earth2.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sparkon
    Good find; thanks for posting:

    [...]April 26, 1978, more than a year before the hostage crisis. The meeting was held in Iran... "The Ambassador commented on our distinguished visitors, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Margaret Thatcher, and commented that Teheran seems to be the site for an opposition parties congress."

    Mansoor indicates the entire relationship was probably the most sophisticated criminal act in recent history. "That the people who, until recently, were holding power in Washington and those who currently are still in control in Teheran, got there by totally subverting the democratic process of both countries is news.

    That their methods of subversion relied on kidnapping, extortion and murder is criminal," Mansoor states.
    [...]
    The philosophical divide within the U.S. National Security establishment, especially the CIA, became quite serious in the aftermath of Watergate. To make matters worse, the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976, his campaign promise to clean the "cowboy" elements out of the Central Intelligence Agency and his "human rights" policies alarmed the faction of the CIA loyal to George Bush.

    Bush was CIA director under Richard Nixon. Finally, the firing of CIA Director George Bush by Carter, and the subsequent "Halloween Massacre" in which Carter fired over 800 CIA covert operatives in 1977, angered the "cowboys" beyond all measure. That was Carter's October surprise, 800 firings on Halloween 1977.
     
    (my edits for clarity)

    Dr. Sniegoski's fine essay deserves a careful read, as does The real Iranian hostage story from the files of Fara Mansoor By Harry V. Martin, originally linked by SolontoCroesus, #21, above.

    When draining swamps, watch out for the 'gators.
  22. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Iranians, who have a proud heritage extending back to the ancient world, do not want to be dominated by outside powers,

    That’s pretty much the crux of the matter here. The US demands that it capitulate to it and become it’s vassal. The US had no problem in selling the Shah ridiculous levels of weaponry and transferring nuclear technology for energy production. The Iranians are determined to keep their independence and thus have to act regionally to create layers of protection. A country of 80M with it’s resources and organization is bound to be regionally influential. This is denounced as threatening by the US which considers it that can invade countries thousands of miles away but others have no right to involve themselves in what is happening right next door to them. The Saudis have many billions to throw around and are very generous with their money. They’ve purchased billions in arms from the US and cooperate with us throughout the the region. In return we’ve pledged to protect the Saudi regime as our best customer and partner. Morality has nothing to do with it. Mattis’ statements really are head-scratchers. It’s hard to tell if he’s really that stupid or if he’s just playing to his perceived audience. Most of these generals have gotten to where they are by playing politics and knowing how to advance their careers since there really hasn’t been much action that would clarify their actual abilities. Mostly they’re tough talking incompetents and are usually just cranks and bureaucratic careerists.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    "A country of 80M with it’s resources and organization is bound to be regionally influential. This is denounced as threatening by the US which considers it that can invade countries thousands of miles away but others have no right to involve themselves in what is happening right next door to them. "
    Purim is coming, a celebration of mass slaughter of the hospitable nation's population by the obnoxious and bloodthirsty guests (the chosen ones). The progeny of the former guests are eager to destroy the cradle of western civilization because this destruction, supposedly, would advance a case of the promised land (Eretz Israel). In the less mythological terms, the war profiteers need a fat war and the psychopathic ziocons want to see realization of their (lunatic) dream of world domination. The synergy is obviously catastrophic for the planet. The huge resources (and authority) of the US have been wasted on destruction, including ecological crimes (Monsanto's roundup and such) and the war crimes against human beings in Indochina and Middle East (and the South America, to a lesser degree). The US presidents are on a way of snatching the laurels of the worst villains of modern times from Stalin, Hitler, and Mao.
  23. @alexander
    Good one , Mr, Sniegoski.

    Let us look at this situation from a completely different perspective for a moment.

    There are 320 million American citizens who are now facing the burden of a monstrous, calamitous 20 trillion dollar national debt because we were all lied into multiple catastrophic and criminal wars.

    Should there be NO accountability from those who defrauded us into them ?

    Need I remind you, the role of the United States Government is crystal clear....."Provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

    There is nothing in our constitution which says its okay to lie us into war.

    There is nothing in our constitution which says its okay to rob us of TENS OF TRILLIONS of dollars, we don't have ,to prosecute it.

    Its not only NOT okay....it is the greatest singular crime one can commit against our nation and its people.

    Should there be zero accountability for this ?


    Why should the 320 million of us be on the hook for the staggering cost of these wars, if we were all deceived into starting them in the first place ?

    Shouldn't the deceivers pay for it ?

    Shouldn't all the defrauders be on the hook for the bill ?

    If you don't think so...tell me why not ?


    Isn't this the REAL , no baloney, central issue of our time ?....Everything else seems meaningless by comparison.

    There should be accountability for this criminal fraud and its unconscionable cost to us all, in lives and treasure.

    Period.

    Because “support the troops” lol. Kinda ties one’s hands, doesn’t it?

    Read More
  24. ” Flynn held an even more hostile view toward Iran, which he presented in his recent book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, that was co-authored by the notorious neocon Iranophobe par excellence Michael Ledeen. It would seem, however, that Flynn’s departure will not make the administration’s stance toward Iran more favorable.

    Ha, certain authors on this site obviously didn’t bother finding that out before writing about Flynn’s departure as a victory by the neocons.

    Read More
  25. In sum, Iran is acting no differently than a country of its size, power, security interests, and historical experience would be expected to act.

    Quite, and that is why we can expect them to continue acting in that way, whatever they say. Iran is the last military deterrent to expelling the West bank Arabs, and that is why they must be taken out of the equationn. The neocons don’t dare discuss what Israel needs. Trump will give them the moon and the stars without even being asked. After which time, the neocons will run interference for Trump. They can hardly object to Trump’s wall and deportations then, can they?

    Read More
  26. @Icy Blast
    McMaster says the Russians are a threat to all civilized peoples. Whew! We dodged a bullet there! We certainly aren't civilized anymore, so we must be safe from Russia!
    Read More
  27. What other Mideast country hasn’t been attacked by ISIS? Hmmm, I wonder…

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    You mean Israel, right!

    Because ISIS are the US -Israel- Britain terrorists were is funded by Saudi Arabia, Gatar. Turkey house ISIS and take care of them for US/Israel.
    Trump is a pathological liar and illiterate in politics. He is already a war criminal and terrorist.
  28. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Beefcake the Mighty
    What other Mideast country hasn't been attacked by ISIS? Hmmm, I wonder...

    You mean Israel, right!

    Because ISIS are the US -Israel- Britain terrorists were is funded by Saudi Arabia, Gatar. Turkey house ISIS and take care of them for US/Israel.
    Trump is a pathological liar and illiterate in politics. He is already a war criminal and terrorist.

    Read More
  29. All these superficially tough and subservient guys haven’t learned anything from the disastrous wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq and they’d like to start another war in the ME, Iran! Well I have some good news for these tough guys and that is the Iranian regime is also itching for a war especially now that its forces are fresh and experienced fighters of their long war with Saddam Hossain 1980-88!

    Read More
  30. “Mad Dog” Mattis said:

    What is the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked by ISIS?

    Actually two, with the second being Israel which is his lord and master. But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

    Read More
  31. @anonymous

    Iranians, who have a proud heritage extending back to the ancient world, do not want to be dominated by outside powers,
     
    That's pretty much the crux of the matter here. The US demands that it capitulate to it and become it's vassal. The US had no problem in selling the Shah ridiculous levels of weaponry and transferring nuclear technology for energy production. The Iranians are determined to keep their independence and thus have to act regionally to create layers of protection. A country of 80M with it's resources and organization is bound to be regionally influential. This is denounced as threatening by the US which considers it that can invade countries thousands of miles away but others have no right to involve themselves in what is happening right next door to them. The Saudis have many billions to throw around and are very generous with their money. They've purchased billions in arms from the US and cooperate with us throughout the the region. In return we've pledged to protect the Saudi regime as our best customer and partner. Morality has nothing to do with it. Mattis' statements really are head-scratchers. It's hard to tell if he's really that stupid or if he's just playing to his perceived audience. Most of these generals have gotten to where they are by playing politics and knowing how to advance their careers since there really hasn't been much action that would clarify their actual abilities. Mostly they're tough talking incompetents and are usually just cranks and bureaucratic careerists.

    “A country of 80M with it’s resources and organization is bound to be regionally influential. This is denounced as threatening by the US which considers it that can invade countries thousands of miles away but others have no right to involve themselves in what is happening right next door to them. ”
    Purim is coming, a celebration of mass slaughter of the hospitable nation’s population by the obnoxious and bloodthirsty guests (the chosen ones). The progeny of the former guests are eager to destroy the cradle of western civilization because this destruction, supposedly, would advance a case of the promised land (Eretz Israel). In the less mythological terms, the war profiteers need a fat war and the psychopathic ziocons want to see realization of their (lunatic) dream of world domination. The synergy is obviously catastrophic for the planet. The huge resources (and authority) of the US have been wasted on destruction, including ecological crimes (Monsanto’s roundup and such) and the war crimes against human beings in Indochina and Middle East (and the South America, to a lesser degree). The US presidents are on a way of snatching the laurels of the worst villains of modern times from Stalin, Hitler, and Mao.

    Read More
  32. @Icy Blast
    McMaster says the Russians are a threat to all civilized peoples. Whew! We dodged a bullet there! We certainly aren't civilized anymore, so we must be safe from Russia!

    LOL and true. We gotta get Buchanan in to see Trump, on a weekly basis. These Neocon or conned ass holes have to be put in their place!

    Read More
  33. @SolontoCroesus
    What is less commonly known is George H W Bush's involvement in placing Ayatollah Khomeini in place to succeed the Shah. He deliberately sought the Islamic leader in the conviction that religious commitment would make the new rulers more likely to keep Iran compliant w/ US preferences.

    Bush had been head of CIA; Carter purged CIA including firing Bush. Bush was resentful.
    When Bush became aware that the Shah had a cancer that would likely end his life, Bush held onto the information and laid plans for a replacement who would, in his estimation, continue Iran's position as bulwark against USSR/Communism -- and also backstab Carter.

    There are allegations that the CIA was involved in the hostage-taking at US embassy in Tehran, and the scuttlebutt that release of the hostages on the day of Reagan's inauguration are well known.
    George H W Bush was Reagan's VP in the 1980 campaign/1981 inaugural.

    Fara Mansoor gets tangled in the weeds/details of his research into US involvement in putting Khomeini in power.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG9WQbdJVyg

    Harry Martin attempts to organize the wealth of information


    http://dmc.members.sonic.net/sentinel/1earth2.html

    Good find; thanks for posting:

    [...]April 26, 1978, more than a year before the hostage crisis. The meeting was held in Iran… “The Ambassador commented on our distinguished visitors, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Margaret Thatcher, and commented that Teheran seems to be the site for an opposition parties congress.”

    Mansoor indicates the entire relationship was probably the most sophisticated criminal act in recent history. “That the people who, until recently, were holding power in Washington and those who currently are still in control in Teheran, got there by totally subverting the democratic process of both countries is news.

    That their methods of subversion relied on kidnapping, extortion and murder is criminal,” Mansoor states.
    [...]
    The philosophical divide within the U.S. National Security establishment, especially the CIA, became quite serious in the aftermath of Watergate. To make matters worse, the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976, his campaign promise to clean the “cowboy” elements out of the Central Intelligence Agency and his “human rights” policies alarmed the faction of the CIA loyal to George Bush.

    Bush was CIA director under Richard Nixon. Finally, the firing of CIA Director George Bush by Carter, and the subsequent “Halloween Massacre” in which Carter fired over 800 CIA covert operatives in 1977, angered the “cowboys” beyond all measure. That was Carter’s October surprise, 800 firings on Halloween 1977.

    (my edits for clarity)

    Dr. Sniegoski’s fine essay deserves a careful read, as does The real Iranian hostage story from the files of Fara Mansoor By Harry V. Martin, originally linked by SolontoCroesus, #21, above.

    When draining swamps, watch out for the ‘gators.

    Read More
  34. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “…against enemies who pose a great threat to all civilized peoples.”

    So, considering what America is, stark raving psychopathy is “civilised” nowadays?

    Read More
  35. McMaster has stated that Russia’s goal is “to collapse the post-World War II, certainly the post-Cold War, security, economic, and political order in Europe, and replace that order with something that is more sympathetic to Russian interests.”[1]

    He must mean really mean the post Soviet collapse world order which made America the lone and unchallenged superpower. The (((Wolfowitz Doctine))), which seems to be unofficial policy, seeks to prevent Russia from becoming a superpower again.

    Read More
  36. Concerning Mattison and McMaster: we remember that Obama was elected because the people hoped he would correct the idiocies of W Bush. Trump was elected, the people hoped, to fix the treachery and lies of Obama. Wrong again.
    It’s time we realized that US elections are meaningless and fraudulent. Whoever is running the country, it is not the electorate.

    Read More
  37. Steve, I share your views on our absurd alliances and chosen foes in the Middle East. Very well written. I have only one objection. I don’t think the Shah would have considered himself a puppet. He originated the the eloquent response to such a suggestion when he said, “No puppet, no puppet. You’re the puppet.”

    Read More
Current Commenter says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS