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Is America Ready for John Bolton's War with Iran?

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The intelligence derived from analysis conducted by the Mossad consisted of
The intelligence derived from analysis conducted by the Mossad consisted of 'scenarios' regarding what Iran 'might' be planning
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National Security Adviser John Bolton's announcement this week that the U.S. is deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region seemed perfectly framed to put America on a war footing with Iran. And it is.

Claiming that the decision was made in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings," Bolton declared that "the United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime." But, he added, "we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces."

It took the Defense Department a full day to respond to Bolton's statement, with acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan finally tweeting that the

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"announced deployment of the @CVN_72 and a @USAirForce bomber task force to the @CENTCOM area of responsibility"represents a prudent repositioning of assets in response to indications of a credible threat by Iranian regime forces."

Shanahan followed with another tweet:

"We call on the Iranian regime to cease all provocation. We will hold the Iranian regime accountable for any attack on US forces or our interests."

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The USS Abraham Lincoln battle group had deployed a month ago from its Norfolk, Virginia, home port and was recently engaged in maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea. The Pentagon acknowledged that the Abraham Lincoln was scheduled to support CENTCOM during its deployment, but that its arrival was being "accelerated" due to intelligence indicating an imminent Iranian threat.

The fact that Bolton chose to repurpose routine deployments of U.S. military forces into the Middle East as an emergency response to an unspecified threat from Iran is in and of itself a curiosity. Bolton is an advisor to the president, a non-statutory (i.e., not confirmed by the Senate) member of the White House staff who is not in the military chain of command and lacks any command authority.

While Shanahan followed up indicating that the orders for the deployments had been authorized by him the day of Bolton's announcement, this simply isn't the casethey were authorized well prior to Bolton's statement. The fact that the White House announced the deployment of U.S. military forces in response to allegations of an emerging threat in the Middle East, as opposed to by the Pentagon, reflects the political and operational roots of the current crisis.

"U.S. Central Command [CENTCOM, the U.S. unified military command responsible for the Middle East] continues to track a number of credible threat streams emanating from the regime in Iran throughout the CENTCOM area of responsibility," a CENTCOM spokesman noted after Shanahan's tweet.

This threat was deemed serious enough for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cancel a long-planned visit with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. Pompeo instead made a secret trip to Baghdad, where, according to reports, he met with Iraq's political and national security leadership to discuss the emerging threat from Iran.

In a statement made to reporters on his way to Baghdad, Pompeo declared that

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"it is absolutely the case that we have seen escalatory actions from the Iranians, and it is equally the case that we will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests." He added, "If these actions take place, if they do by some third-party proxya militia group, Hezbollahwe will hold the Iranian leadership directly accountable for that."

But the reality is that the deployment of American military forces and the diversion of the secretary of state to Baghdad is little more than grand theater. This is being done in support of a policy dictated by Israeli intelligence and passed to Bolton during a meeting on April 16, 2019 at the White House, where, according to Bolton, they discussed "Iranian malign activity and other destabilizing actors in the Middle East and around the world."

The intelligence, derived from analysis conducted by the Mossad, consisted of "scenarios" regarding what Iran "might" be planning. According to an Israeli official, "It is still unclear to us what the Iranians are trying to do and how they are planning to do it, but it is clear to us that the Iranian temperature is on the rise as a result of the growing U.S. pressure campaign against them, and they are considering retaliating against U.S. interests in the Gulf."

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Scott Ritter served as a former Marine Corps officer from 1984 until 1991, and as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 until 1998. He is the author of several books, including "Iraq Confidential" (Nation Books, 2005) and "Target Iran" (more...)
 

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5 people are discussing this page, with 9 comments  Post Comment


Lance Ciepiela

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Now that American foreign policy is in the hands of incompetent, bellicose officials like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, Israel senses that its hour has arrived. First, it encouraged the Trump administration to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, even though all the inspectors recognized Teheran was fully in compliance with the agreement.

Submitted on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 5:25:49 PM

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John Rachel

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Put madmen in power and you get madness.

Time for a human shield. Let's strap Bolton and Pompeo to stakes out in the open on the U.S. bases Iran will barrage with missiles when the U.S. pulls its latest stunt out of its false flag bag of magic tricks. They want a war? Give them a front row seat for the consequences of their psychopathic agendas.

Submitted on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 10:31:18 PM

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Yes - Bolton and Pompeo would have a "front row seat for the consequences" - very doubtful that Russia and China would "look the other way" if Trump attacks Iran. Netanyahu would be pleased if Trump obliges him on Iran - America's "blood & treasure" at his "beckon call".

Iran, unlike Iraq did for W Bush, will not be "laying down their arms" or "dissolving" their armies to accommodate Netanyahu and Trump.

Putin and Jinping - the two would be facing Trump on Iran's behalf, their mutual commercial and military ties are "solid" and neither one would be ready to "blink first". #DangerousDeception.

Submitted on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 1:34:05 AM

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Michael Dewey

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Have always thought Russia and China would not stand by and watch this time. We don't hear about that much.

Submitted on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 6:36:56 PM

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George W.Reichel

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If only!!

Submitted on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 5:28:03 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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Scary sh*t


Submitted on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 5:48:16 PM

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Lance Ciepiela

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Yes - indeed. Once again a "rush to war" (9/11 - "it wasn't the Iraqis") - Iraq was "an imminent threat" for W Bush and now Trump ("if I become president the era of nation building will be brought to a very swift and decisive end") "gets to decide" if Iran is "an imminent threat". But an "imminent threat" to who(m)? - "not" to the United States and "not" to Israel - Iran has never "preemptively" attacked anyone.

Submitted on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 12:21:36 AM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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THIS WILL TURN YOUR BLOOD COLD, because this man leads Trump by the nose.

These paragraphs are towards the end of piece on Bolton called "On The War Path." John Bolton on the Warpath |

"Shortly before joining the White House, Bolton described a grimly constrained set of options to deal with North Korea, which seemed to preclude diplomacy. "You're getting down fairly quickly to a binary choice: live with a North Korea with nuclear weapons, or look at military force," he said. "These are not attractive options, but that's where we're headed." In fact, Bolton believed for decades that these are the only two choices. In the early two-thousands, as the Bush Administration was negotiating to limit North Korea's nuclear program, Bolton stridently ADVOCATED WAR!

"Wilkerson was so concerned that he brought Bolton into a private meeting on the consequences of military strikes: "I gave him a ten-minute brief on what a war with North Korea would look likea hundred thousand casualties in the first thirty days, many of them Americans. The Japanese that would die. The Chinese that would die. The fact that Seoul, one of the most modern and forward-looking cities in the world, would probably be reduced to the Dark Ages. I told him, 'That's Passchendaele, John. That's Ypres.' "negotiating to limit North Korea's nuclear program, Bolton stridently advocated war. Wilkerson, Powell's chief of staff, was so concerned that he brought Bolton into a private meeting on the consequences of military strikes: "I gave him a ten-minute brief on what a war with North Korea would look likea hundred thousand casualties in the first thirty days, many of them Americans. The Japanese that would die. The Chinese that would die. The fact that Seoul, one of the most modern and forward-looking cities in the world, would probably be reduced to the Dark Ages. I told him, 'That's Passchendaele, John. That's Ypres.' "

Wilkerson said" that Bolton was unmoved: "John looked at me and said, 'Are you done? Clearly, you do war. I don't do war. I do policy.' "


Submitted on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 5:47:34 PM

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Since Mr Bolton became national security adviser in April 2018, he has intensified the Mr Trump administration's policy of isolating and pressuring Iran.

The animus against Iran's leaders dates back at least to his days as an official in the George W. Bush administration. Later, as a private citizen, Mr Bolton called for military strikes on Iran as well as regime change.

Submitted on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 2:04:47 AM

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