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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 5/16/19

Pretexts for an Attack on Iran

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Bolton the Belligerent.
Bolton the Belligerent.
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An Iraq-War redux is now in full play, with leading roles played by some of the same protagonists President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, for example, who says he still thinks attacking Iraq was a good idea. Co-starring is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The New York Times on Tuesday played its accustomed role in stoking the fires, front-paging a report that, at Bolton's request, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has come up with an updated plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East, should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons. The Times headline writer, at least, thought it appropriate to point to echoes from the past: "White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War."

By midday, Trump had denied the Times report, branding it "fake news." Keep them guessing, seems to be the name of the game.

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Following the Iraq playbook, Bolton and Pompeo are conjuring up dubious intelligence from Israel to "justify" attacking this time Iran. (For belligerent Bolton, this was entirely predictable.) All this is clear.

What is not clear, to Americans and foreigners alike, is why Trump would allow Bolton and Pompeo to use the same specious charges terrorism and nuclear weapons to provoke war with a country that poses just as much strategic threat to the U.S. as Iraq did that is to say, none. The corporate media, with a two-decade memory-loss and a distinct pro-Israel bias, offers little help toward understanding.

Before discussing the main, but unspoken-in-polite-circles, impulse behind the present step-up in threats to Iran, let's clear some underbrush addressing the two limping-but-still-preferred, ostensible rationales, neither of which can bear close scrutiny:

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No. 1: It isn't because Iran is the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. We of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity shot down that canard a year and a half ago. In a Memorandum for President Trump, we said:

"The depiction of Iran as 'the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism' is not supported by the facts. While Iran is guilty of having used terrorism as a national policy tool in the past, the Iran of 2017 is not the Iran of 1981. In the early days of the Islamic Republic, Iranian operatives routinely carried out car bombings, kidnappings and assassinations of dissidents and of American citizens. That has not been the case for many years."

No. 2: It isn't because Iran is building a nuclear weapon. A November 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate concluded unanimously that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003 and had not resumed any such work. That judgment has been re-affirmed by the Intelligence Community annually since then.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, imposed strict, new, verifiable restrictions on Iranian nuclear-related activities and was agreed to in July 2015 by Iran, the U.S., Russia, China, France, the U.K., Germany and the European Union.

Even the Trump administration has acknowledged that Iran has been abiding by the agreement's provisions. Nevertheless, President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal on May 8, 2018, four weeks after John Bolton became his national security adviser.

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"We Prefer No Outcome"

Fair Warning : What follows may come as a shock to those malnourished on the drivel in mainstream media: The "WHY," quite simply, is Israel. It is impossible to understand U.S. Middle East policy without realizing the overwhelming influence of Israel on it and on opinion makers. (A personal experience drove home how strong the public appetite is for the straight story, after I gave a half-hour video interview to independent videographer Regis Tremblay three years ago. He titled it "The Inside Scoop on the Middle East & Israel," put it on YouTube and it got an unusually high number of views.)

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Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). His (more...)
 
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9 people are discussing this page, with 12 comments  Post Comment


Lance Ciepiela

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Yes, that was "7 countries in 5 years" - Gen Wesley Clark, a #PolicyCoup". Iran was one of the "7" - another "oil rich nation" waiting to "be plucked" by our neocons (the #PNACMasterPlan "IV" for American hegemony and military dominance in the 21st Century is "alive and well" in the Trump Administration with Netanyahu, Bolton, Pompeo, "leading the charge"). Except Iran, unlike Iraq, would not be "laying down their arms" or dissolving their armies in response to an American attack and neither would China and Russia be pleased with an American "regime change" attack on Iran - who will "blink first" would be "anybody's guess". #Pandering. #IntendedConsequences.

Submitted on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 2:05:34 PM

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Marrk Robinson

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We ignore the potential for accidental major war at our peril. Fear-mongering is the stock in trade of regimes which see sky high military budgets and sabre rattling as our best protection against aggression. The best defense is preparedness, sound alliances based on good international relations (not favoritism) coupled with no resource based aggression. Thank you Ray for delivering this double length article, well worth the time taken to read.

Submitted on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 3:41:03 PM

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Floyd Tolar

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Yes, I has been a long time since I read anything this good.

Submitted on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 3:55:14 PM

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Lance Ciepiela

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Reply to Marrk Robinson:   New Content

"John Bolton is the problem "Trump's national security adviser is getting dangerous" particularly to the president's ideals," Douglas Macgregor, a Bolton rival and would-be successor, writes in Spectator USA.

Submitted on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 9:35:50 PM

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911TRUTH

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As with abortion and packing the Supreme Court, the Reich wingers and their Fuhrer are creating the perfect storm of justifying war with Iran.

They save the fetus' so they can be used for cannon fodder for the Empire later on.

The decision's been made, so it's now only a question of how and when it will happen.

Submitted on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 4:34:08 PM

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Michael Dewey

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I can't stand it. Another damn war in the name of my lord Arlo Guthrie. Maybe we will send some back to hell, where they came here from. Wondering if justice would be better served if we have them, warmongers, begging hell.

There is more in this number 9 ( or 11) blog that tells you where I am coming from.

Submitted on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 4:47:44 PM

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Lance Ciepiela

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9/11 "keeps on giving"- "endless wars" on oil rich nations in the middle east that were not a threat, imminent or otherwise, to the United States in the 21st Century starting with Iraq - except "it wasn't the Iraqis". That was "pre-planted explosives used at the WTC" on 9/11AM & 9/11PM that "sparked the wars".

Submitted on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 8:27:50 PM

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shad williams

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Ray's supposition about Putin's Chinese alliance is devilish for not only the US in the Pacific and China Sea, but the US/Nato forces in the Baltic Sea as well. Plus you can bet that the Syrian S300s are already fully functional as will be the S400s due to arrive in Turkey this year. These systems have standoff capability of at least 500 miles. No more Israeli games using civilian air craft as shields and sneaking attacks through Lebanese sovereign air space.

The Chinese have already threaten to destroy a US carrier. Paraphrasing Larry Wilkerson on the consequences of the US navy being in such a position is tantamount to treason, since the navy is unprepared to rescue any survivors of such an attack by the Chinese that could create 5000 US casualties. Yet bonehead a**holes want to prove that they can sail as close to any country they want to in the world, loaded down with weapons and warcraft. f*cking jerks. Meanwhile, the Chinese like the Iranians with Russian assistance or vice versa have reversed engineered US/Nato drones and probably missiles given that the Russians have stated at least twice that not only will they take out the missiles, they will take out the launch platforms. That means the perps can't outrun retaliation.

The fucked up in the head elites are bent on dragging the people of this country and the world down into hell with them.

We'd better save ourselves and dispatch them to hell instead.

Submitted on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 6:38:10 AM

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Mohammad Ala

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This article is wrong information and written by a person who get his information from Western media.

Russia and China and to some extent, India have NOT be friendly to Iran. They would not mind Western countries to attack Iran as they did order criminal Saddam Hussein to attack Iran. Russia, China, Turkey, and India have been purchasing oil below market prices from Iran.

Western countries have proven not to be reliable. They use force and drop bombs to get their way. Western bombs and arms used by criminal Saudi Arabia have caused destruction, death of innocent people in Yemen. All buildings there have been destroyed. This history of Iran and Yemen goes back to thousand of years. So do not be surprised if helps oppressed people.

When western countries provided criminal Saddam Hussein missiles to attack Iran, they gave him also chemical poisons, and intelligence report. Saddam used poison gas even on his Iraqi people.

Many Iranians were killed when Saddam attacked Iran with western military gear and Arab financing. which country is going to pay to families of Iranians who lost their loved ones?

Western countries are controlled by lobby and interest groups. Lobby groups drive Western countries foreign policy.

Western countries, Russia have caused many refugees who many of them live in Iran. They UN was/is supposed to help Iran but it does not because of Western countries pressure. Corrupt Russia and China as permanent members have not done anything to hold Western countries accountable. Iran has spent million of US dollars to feed refugees.

There is NO law. There are no international norms. There is rule of force to govern and drop more bombs on weak countries. However, Bolton will learn a good lesson that Iranians will fight for their country as they have for thousands of years.

This article has wrong information and is one sided.

Submitted on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 5:27:55 AM

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Devil's Advocate

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"This article is wrong information and written by a person who get his information from Western media."

You need to research who Ray McGovern is, before saying another word.

Submitted on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 6:24:38 AM

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Mohammad Ala

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Hi Davil's Advocate, is this your real name?

Sorry about misspelling and one or two grammatical errors. I wrote it when I was tired and sleepy.

I glanced at Ray McGovern's write up. My comments related to that.

Submitted on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 7:41:30 PM

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I just posted a closely related link from RT Crosstalk click here Half hour video with insightful and tragically relevant analysis.

Submitted on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 5:37:35 PM

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