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Iran the Perpetual Enemy?
Neocons Call It "America's Biggest Challenge"
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The reports of the latest military action in Syria and Iraq has pushed most other foreign news out of the US media. This has been good for the neoconservatives, who have been urging an even more aggressive intervention, to include US boots on the ground. Since so much mainstream media coverage of the fighting has emphasized the threats from a bewildering array of new and old terrorist groups to strike here in the “homeland” many Americans have tended to rally ‘round the flag to support a forceful preemptive response.

And for once the neocons have a point as the performance by the administration is a bit of a fraud. The air campaign cannot in itself “destroy” ISIS as President Barack Obama has pledged to do, meaning that someone is going to have to do the hard fighting. The Iraqi army appears to be incapable of defeating anyone better equipped and led than a troop of Boy Scouts while Washington eschews any assistance to the Syrians who actually could have a major impact. The Turks, who have the capability to crush the group, are meanwhile standing on the sidelines. America’s European allies are in some cases providing assistance that has been described as “limited” while the Gulf States are straddling both sides in the conflict, wishing to see fellow Sunnis triumph over what they regard as heretics while also fearing that the revolutionary fervor will come back home.

As usual, Washington is falling into a trap of its own design by ruling out options that actually might be effective. Iran inevitably is part of the game being played in Iraq and Syria whether the US State Department wants it to be involved or not. A major regional power with a natural antipathy towards a burgeoning Sunni movement that considers Shiite Muslims heretics and fair game to be killed on sight, Tehran has close ties to its also majority Shiite neighbor Iraq and could possibly provide the kind of support that would enable Baghdad to put up some serious resistance to the growing Islamic State. Iran consequently would be a natural and possibly indispensable ally if one is actually serious about destroying ISIS.

But the very word “Iran” is poison to the neoconservatives whose kneejerk support of Israeli policies inevitably means that they are only considering part of the picture. Tel Aviv might not exactly welcome ISIS on its doorstep but it has long believed that conditions approaching anarchy in neighboring Muslim states are in its interest. It has pressured Washington against any dealing with Iran that legitimizes Tehran’s regional role, and when Israel speaks official Washington listens. There has been a steady drumbeat in the media to advance a number of talking points about the threat that Iran supposedly continues to represent.

So instead of having a free hand to deal with a genuine if overstated threat from Sunni terrorism, Congress and the Israel claque have restricted the Administration response while at the same continuing the ongoing campaign to scuttle talks intended to resolve outstanding issues relating to Tehran’s nuclear program. This is particularly unfortunate as both the United States and Iran have a clear interest in coming to an understanding on a number of levels, a development that would benefit nonproliferation efforts worldwide and which would even be good for Israel as it would lessen tension in the region.

A recent op-ed in the Washington Post “Iran remains America’s biggest challenge” incorporates some of the arguments that are being employed by Israel’s usual hacks. It is written by former Pentagon hawk Eric Edelman, “Israel’s lawyer” Dennis Ross, and Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations, who once was sensible on the issue of Iran but has lately moved over into the neocon camp. Note the headline’s designation of Iran as “America’s biggest challenge,” not merely one of the biggest and obviously overshadowing Russia-Ukraine, ISIS and Afghanistan in the minds of the authors.

The op-ed opposes any détente with Iran over ISIS, dismissing the very idea with the glib thrust that “the enemy of my enemy is sometimes still my enemy.” Why? Because Iran is attempting “to upend the regional order” which is America’s “most consequential long-term challenge in the Middle East.”

The article explains that Iran is “not a normal nation state” and expands on the alleged “regional order,” which turns out to be the existing American alliances in the Middle East. Tehran seeks to “subvert” those allies and “undermine the security of Israel.” It does that apparently by virtue of its support for the al-Assad regime in Syria and of Hezbollah. Far from an accommodation, “Iran should be confronted with a new, inhospitable reality as it searches for partners” because it represents “an enduring threat.”

One might note that the op-ed is heavy on innuendo but short on details. So Iran, which is surrounded by the allies and surrogates of a hostile United States and is threatened regularly by Israel’s nuclear arsenal, should not be attempting to develop allies of its own in the region. And when it is menaced by a Sunni terrorist group setting up shop on its own borders it should be considered outside the pale to engage in any cooperation with it to remove that genuine threat.

The authors seem to be oblivious to the reality that the chaos in the Middle East has been produced by the United States and Israel, not by Iran. Iran might not be anyone’s idea of Club Med on the Caspian Sea but it has invaded no one and has threatened no one in spite of the inflamed rhetoric in the US media. Israel’s demand that Iran should not be able to enrich uranium at all in spite of its right to do so under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to which it is a signatory would guarantee no agreement. The US Congress is on board with Israel to increase sanctions against Iran when it returns in November, which would produce the same result.

Tel Aviv’s desire for complete full spectrum military dominance over all its neighbors has resulted in US policies that serve no conceivable national interest for Americans, but Congress will hardly let that stand in the way. With over three quarters of the Senate as co-sponsors an otherwise deeply divided upper house heading into recess and midterm elections was nevertheless able to agree unanimously on one thing: Israel is now uniquely America’s “major strategic partner.” The bill, which was promoted and possibly even written by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), had previously passed the House of Representatives by a 410-1 vote back in March. The Senate vote came a few days after a unanimous House of Representatives resolution condemning anti-Semitism throughout the world, meaning that both houses were able to go into recess with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act even takes a swipe at the Iranians, noting incorrectly “Iran’s continued quest to develop nuclear weapons, which the United States and Israel are both determined to prevent.” As part of the agreement, the US will forward deploy \$200 million more military hardware into Israeli stockpiles on top of the \$1.7 billion already in place, presumably to be drawn upon the next time the Palestinians get uppity. Using the weapons in anything but a defensive capacity is technically a violation of US law, but who’s counting when it comes to Israel. The bill also enables Israel to sell more of its manufactured products to US consumers and the federal government with no reciprocity in sight. It mandates maintaining Israel’s military advantage over its neighbors, whatever that takes, and promotes the passing of still more raw US intelligence information to Mossad. The bill also includes increased cooperation on cyber-security, an interesting wrinkle as Israel is already receiving raw National Security Agency data and Israeli companies are well advanced in monitoring every American’s emails and phone calls.

More controversially, the Strategic Partnership Act endorses inclusion of Israel in the so-called visa waiver program, which would allow Israelis to travel freely to the United States without first having to obtain a visa for the travel. Israel has been excluded from the program in spite of enormous pressure from Congress due to a high level of fraud associated with Israeli travelers and the unwillingness of Israel to act reciprocally with American visitors who are of Palestinian descent.

Many Israeli visitors overstay their visas and work while they are in the US. There is also concern in the counter-intelligence community that it would enable the Israelis to run even more spies into the US. Israel is number one among friendly countries in its spying on Americans and has long focused on the theft of military and civilian technology which it then copies and sells worldwide to the detriment of US businesses and the taxpayer.

So as surely as Fall is in the air, it is business as usual on Capitol Hill and inside the beltway. The Israel Lobby is working overtime to make sure that the United States should not cooperate with Iran to deal with the ISIS menace and is also doing its best to preempt any agreement over Tehran’s nuclear program. As President Obama has implied, correctly for a change, no agreement with Iran means that the only option remaining is war. So playing Israel’s game means continuing chaos in Syria and Iraq and eventually a much bigger conflict with far greater consequences directed against Iran. And there is absolutely nothing in any of it for the United States and the American people. It’s not really a whole lot of good stuff to look forward to, is it?

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: AIPAC, Iran, Israel 
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  1. Another exceptional analysis by Philip Giraldi.

    Unfortunately, America’s greatest enemy may be an ‘ally’ that has installed its operatives throughout our nation’s capitol as well as our mass media.

  2. For filling in the unknown unknowns, Phil just keeps on getting better. What’s wrong with our country that the sane aren’t any longer in its political mainstream?

  3. NB says: • Website

    Giraldi misleadingly claims that Iran “has invaded no one and has threatened no one.” Iran is an active state sponsor of terrorism (Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, etc) and is intimately involved in the Syrian civil war:
    Historically, Iran has funded Hamas, though it’s unclear whether it continues to do so:

    And Iran has threatened Israel:
    “Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari warned the US about severe consequences of any military intervention in Syria, and stressed that the possible war in Syria will result in imminent destruction of the Zionist regime of Israel.”

    In addition, Giraldi made a number of dubious, unsupported assertions:
    1. The Israeli government “has long believed that conditions approaching anarchy in neighboring Muslim states are in its interest.”

    2. Iran “is threatened regularly by Israel’s nuclear arsenal.”
    I’m not aware of any incident in which the Israeli government threatened to deploy nuclear weapons.

    3. Israelis steal US “military and civilian technology which it then copies and sells worldwide to the detriment of US businesses and the taxpayer.”

    • Replies: @Jeff Davis
  4. Wasn’t Israel going to attack Iran a few years ago, threatening to “go it alone”?

    Then again anyone with even a partially functioning brain would recognize that Netanyahu and his supporters are like a bunch of chimps, screaming and yelling, and pounding the ground. The Israelis don’t really want to attack Iran, they would much rather have others do it for them, and their first choice would be the United States. Not only would they rather see Gentiles die, they don’t acquit themselves very well on the field of battle from my observations. They are effective only when the enemy is far weaker than they.

  5. Bliss says:

    Well, historically for some 2500 years Persia has indeed been an arch enemy of Europe. It was so to the Greeks and Romans during pagan times, to christian Byzantium both before and after it had been conquered and converted by the muslim arabs.

    Both Iraq and Afghanistan were provinces of Persia, so the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the American invasion of Iraq and Afganistan can be seen in that historical context.

  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    1- Its the Persian Gulf, stupid!

    2- Turks don’t have the capability to defeat anyone, and are not standing on the sidelines either. In fact it was, and is, the Turks who have allowed these backward Sunni dogs to infiltrate Syria and Iraq at will, as they are even today.

    3- Don’t exonerate Israel so quickly. Tel Aviv has welcomed ISIL on its doorstep and Iranian television has filmed these Sunni dogs roaming freely in Golan Hights accompanied by their Dogs of Europe trainers.

    4- It was Israel that made ISIL be renamed ISIS (to take Israel out of Levant) before it was ultimately renamed again into the so-called IS.

  7. rally round the flag of “strangle and bribes”?

  8. Noizpots says:

    It would be truly refreshing, JUST ONCE, for the President to say, “To heck with it, I am making a deal with the Iranians and the Israelis can kiss my grits”, or words to that effect. Then what would happen? Obama can’t get re-elected anyway, so what’s he worried about? Is he ignorant, or just contrary, as granny would say? His rambling speech at the UN and then on 60 Minutes gave me no confidence at all that the man understands the true nature of the problem – that WE created ISIS (or rather allowed its creation by the provision of U.S. weapons, Wahabi cash and IDF training). I am sick of this shell game. The ISIS crisis is yet another manufactured one – any fool can see it’s a subterfuge for the real purpose of bringing about the downfall of Assad and ultimately Iran. THAT’S why we perfidiously pretend to care about the Yazidis, the Syrian Christians and others caught in the crossfire. It’s treachery and criminal deception. The American people (and for that matter our real allies) need to wise up before we end up playing lead in Battle for Planet of the Dupes (AKA WW III).

  9. Noizpots, I suspect that if the President were to do as you suggest he would be assassinated or sent to prison for the rest of his life. Not that he wouldn’t necessarily deserve it for getting in bed with those types of people.

  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The Neocons are mostly Jews. They see Iran as a potential threat to Israel. That is the true reason it is a “challenge” for America. Or, in other words, its not a challenge at all, but Americans are chumps.

  11. michael says:

    Before the deposing 0f the pseudo-monarch known as the Shah, the Katzenjammer kids got all their(most)oil from Iran. Iran knows to watch for Israeli penetration into proxy states(ie Azerbaijan,Georgia,Pak/Balochistan). In an odd sense, especially in the present unreality, I’ve started to envision the ISIS experiment as an intended BLOWBACK on Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and Israel-they all cooperate back channel,pretend to be in control of their borders, have penetrated the US and committed STATECRAFT crimes against the US. Aladdin’s Rug is about to get one hell of a tug.

  12. rod1963 says:

    FWIW Persia was only a threat to Europe(really ancient Greece) during the time of Darius. After that it ceased being a threat under the Seleucids, the Parthians and Sassinds. Sure there was conflict during the time of Rome and Byzantium but it had to do with control of very lucrative trade routes to Asia.

    Today Iran is no more of threat than, wait for it, nuclear armed Pakistan. The fact we give Pakistan aid to the tune of billions a year and turn a blind eye of their support of Al-Qeada and the Taliban tells me we can be VERY FLEXIBLE in our foreign policy.

    The Jewish Neocons turned Iran into a bogeyman for several reasons.
    1) It’s part of their grand strategy along the conquest of Russia.
    2) To keep the Americans involved in the ME so precious Jew blood isn’t spilled. Spilling lots of goy blood is fine though. See this way the Muslims focus their hate on invading infidels and leave the Jews and their Saudi buddies alone.
    3) Our military likes it because it keeps the DoD budgets nice and fat.

  13. TomB says:

    What makes me smile is the sudden mass amnesia about all that talk we usually hear about Israel being our bestest and most valuable friend in the region.

    I mean … no matter *how* much of a danger to our interests ISIS may be, it would have to be counted as being several orders of magnitude greater a danger to Israel’s right?

    Well then, where’s our bestest and most valuable friend in this fight? How come *it* isn’t neck deep into same? Indeed how come it won’t do us this little favor of giving us a total break from this latest fight at least?

    Oh well, at least it had our back when Obama asked it for the tiny little favor to vote with him in the U.N. to impose sanctions on Russia, right?

    Except .. oh wait … Ooops!

  14. geokat62 says:

    In addition, Giraldi made a number of dubious, unsupported assertions:
    1. The Israeli government “has long believed that conditions approaching anarchy in neighboring Muslim states are in its interest.”

    Nurit, have you had an opportunity to read the PNAC Plan, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm or the Oded Yinon Plan, A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties?

    You should take a break from your busy schedule policing the goy to do so!

    Regarding Syria, Israeli strategy was best articulated by a former Israeli official:
    New York Times correspondent Jodi Rudoren reports:

    “More quietly, Israelis have increasingly argued that the best outcome for Syria’s two-and-a-half-year-old civil war, at least for the moment, is no outcome.”

    Whereas Alon Pinkas, Israel’s former consul general in New York, told Rudoren:

    “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.”

    Notwithstanding your efforts, it’s clear, even for the goy, that AIPAC, the neocons, and other members of the Lobby are determined to make the jungle safer for the villa and that the “divide and rule” strategy has been pulled from the imperial playbook! The only question is: how much more damage will be inflicted upon the US for acting as the Zionists’ tool before the majority of Americans come to this realization?

  15. Sam J. says:

    …“Iran remains America’s biggest challenge”…
    Silly. Israel is Americas most dangerous enemy.

  16. Cahokia says:

    When is Israel going to prove its value as a supposed ally? When is it going to show even a small measure of reciprocity?

    For example – if the U.S. were to engage in conflict with the DPRK, would Israel go to war with North Korea on our behalf instead? Of course not.

    Sam says: “Silly. Israel is Americas most dangerous enemy.”

    Indeed. The most dangerous enemy is one who falsely poses as a friend.

  17. Iran has been a regional power for many centuries in the Middle East. It was a great regional power before it was Muslim. It is not going to hide under a rock to make the Israelis feel comfortable. Indeed, it seems that the Zionists can not feel safe while any of their neighbors are robust or capable.

    Like British policy toward Europe in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Israel see’s its safety in turmoil among her neighbors. Only in Israel’s case, she has no real regional allies, just varying degrees of enmity with all concerned. This is an unsustainable obsession. The USA cannot bankroll this neighborhood mafia state forever. We are is broke as it is.

    Iran can only grow more powerful as the grip of the 79′ Revolution passes into History. Syria and Lebanon have some western leaning history and internal dynamics. All manor of things will come to pass that will leave the Zionist state alone, friendless and weakened in a post US superpower world. Europe has already started down the road of rejection of Tel Aviv.

    If the USA wishes to get clear of our thuggish little client in the Middle East, we have only to break from them and return towards a policy of openness to all.

  18. They’re still just pissed that Iran overthrew a government that America and Britain installed.

  19. Get the jews out of the U.S. govt. Problems solved.

  20. @NB

    “Giraldi misleadingly claims that Iran “has invaded no one and has threatened no one.”

    The claim is in no way misleading, but rather, perfectly accurate. Clearly you are an Israeli apologist who has drunk the “KoolAid”, or an Hasbara with no interest in the truth.

    Iran is an active state sponsor of terrorism (Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, etc)

    The “state sponsor of terrorism” terminology is straight out of the propaganda war protocol of the US and Israel, who — no surprise — are the world’s foremost terror organizations, threatening, subverting, sanctioning, kidnapping, torturing, and mass murdering through war any who defend against their criminality. Naturally, they proactively accuse others, those who defend against the US/Israeli terrorism, of the very crimes of which the US and Israel are the world’s foremost perpetrators. The US and Israel control massive media resources with which to overwhelm the truth and conceal their criminality.

    and is intimately involved in the Syrian civil war

    Only a Zionist criminal could object to Iran helping Syria to protect itself from Sunni, Saudi, US, Israeli, and Turkish subversion and aggression. The Syrian people are being murdered, not by Assad, but by foreign-sponsored “terrorist” mercenaries engaged in a proxy war. (Who have now discarded their original job description as crypto-Syrian rebels, and morphed into a full-on Sunni revanchist Caliphate. Whoops!)

    And why Syria? Not because of anything Assad or the Syrian people have done. Not at all. But because of the Hezbollah-Syria-Iran alliance. And who does the strength of that alliance inconvenience? The Zionist criminal project. And to a lesser extent, the ever-guilt-ridden and rightly paranoid Saudi despotism.
    Historically, Iran has funded Hamas, though it’s unclear whether it continues to do so:

    Iran supports these groups in their just struggle against Zionist aggression. That’s not terrorism, it’s support for justice in opposition to criminality. Of course, the criminals call it terrorism. But that’s to be expected, since they are criminals.

    And Iran has threatened Israel:
    “Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari warned the US about severe consequences of any military intervention in Syria, and stressed that the possible war in Syria will result in imminent destruction of the Zionist regime of Israel.”

    Israel, the Zionist geopolitical crime-in-progress deserves to be threatened. More than that it deserves to be destroyed. Precisely because it is, and has been from the moment of it’s inception a massive criminal undertaking. No crime has a “right to exist”. No criminal gang has a “right to defend itself”. It has the right to surrender and the right to a fair trial, or to face destruction. Propaganda and self-delusion won’t ever change that. Ad you’re gonna have to get over that eventually.

    In addition, Giraldi made a number of dubious, unsupported assertions:

    Dubious, to whom? You? The KoolAid self-deluded? The Hasbara propaganda monger? Try instead “self-evident” and “supported” by one’s own eyes (ie first person witness).

    1. The Israeli government “has long believed that conditions approaching anarchy in neighboring Muslim states are in its interest.”


    2. Iran “is threatened regularly by Israel’s nuclear arsenal.”

    Every living thing on the planet is threatened by Israel’s nukes. Most particularly in the hands of bat-crap crazy Zionist supremacist criminals. Sampson Option anyone?

    I’m not aware of any incident in which the Israeli government threatened to deploy nuclear weapons.

    KoolAid or Hasbara, your awareness is hardly a basis for any sort of credibility.

    3. Israelis steal US “military and civilian technology which it then copies and sells worldwide to the detriment of US businesses and the taxpayer.”

    From the admittedly Israel-critical website —

    Israel always features prominently in the annual FBI report called “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage.” The 2005 report, for example, states:

    Israel has an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States. These collection activities are primarily directed at obtaining information on military systems and advanced computing applications that can be used in Israel’s sizable armaments industry.

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