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The Coming US War Against Iran

By       Message John Kiriakou       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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I spent nearly 15 years in the CIA. I like to think that I learned something there. I learned how the federal bureaucracy works. I learned that cowboys in government -- in the CIA and elsewhere around government -- can have incredible power over the creation of policy. I learned that the CIA will push the envelope of legality until somebody in a position of authority pushes back. I learned that the CIA can wage war without any thought whatsoever as to how things will work out in the end. There's never an exit strategy.

I learned all of that firsthand in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. In the spring of 2002, I was in Pakistan working against al-Qaeda. I returned to CIA headquarters in May of that year and was told that several months earlier a decision had been made at the White House to invade Iraq. I was dumbfounded, and when told of the war plans could only muster, "But we haven't caught bin Laden yet." "The decision has already been made," my supervisor told me. He continued, "Next year, in February, we're going to invade Iraq, overthrow Saddam Hussein, and open the world's largest air force base in southern Iraq." He went on, "We're going to go to the United Nations and pretend that we want a Security Council Resolution. But the truth is that the decision has already been made."

Soon after, Secretary of State Colin Powell began traveling around Europe and the Middle East to cultivate support for the invasion. Sure enough, he also went to the United Nations and argued that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, necessitating an invasion and overthrow because that country posed an imminent threat to the United States.

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But the whole case was built on a lie. A decision was made and then the "facts" were created around the decision to support it. I think the same thing is happening now.

First, Donald Trump said repeatedly during the 2016 campaign that he would pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran sanctions deal. The JCPOA allows for international inspectors to examine all of Iran's nuclear sites to ensure that the country is not enriching uranium and is not building a weapons program. In exchange, Western countries have lifted sanctions on Iran, allowing them to buy spare parts, medicines, and other things that they had been unable to acquire. Despite the protestations of conservatives in Congress and elsewhere, the JCPOA works. Indeed, the inspection regime is exactly the same one that the United Nations imposed on Iraq in the last two decades.

Trump has kept up his anti-Iran rhetoric since becoming president. More importantly, he has appointed Iran hawks to the two most important positions in foreign policy: former CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State and former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton as National Security Adviser. The two have made clear that their preferred policy toward Iran is "regime change," a policy that is actually prohibited by international law.

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Perhaps the most troubling development, however, is the apparent de facto alliance against Iran by Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent "presentation" on what he called a clandestine Iranian nuclear weapons program was embarrassingly similar to Powell's heavily scripted speech before the UN Security Council 15 years earlier telling the world that Iraq had a program. That, too, was a lie.

Saudi crown prince Muhammad bin Salman, the godfather of the Saudi war in Yemen, which in turn is a proxy war against Iran, recently made a grand tour of the United States and France talking about "the Iranian threat" at every turn. The rhetoric coming out of the UAE and Bahrain is at least as hostile as what has been spewed by the Saudis.

Meanwhile, there's silence on Capitol Hill. Just like there was in 2002.

I can tell you from firsthand experience that I've seen this before. Our government is laying the groundwork for yet another war. Be on the lookout for several things. First, Trump is going to begin shouting about the "threat" from Iran. It will become a daily mantra. He'll argue that Iran is actively hostile and poses an immediate danger to the United States. Next Pompeo will head back to the Middle East and Europe to garner support for a military action. Then US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley will scream in front of the UN Security Council that the US has no choice but to protect itself and its allies from Iran. The final shoe to drop -- a clear indication of war -- will be if naval carrier battle groups are deployed to the eastern Mediterranean, the Arabian Sea, or the Persian Gulf. Sure, there's always one in the region anyway. But more than one is a provocation.

We have to be diligent in opposing this run into another war of choice. We can't be tricked or taken by surprise. Not again.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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John Kiriakou spent 14 years at the CIA and two years in a federal prison for blowing the whistle on the agency's use of torture. He served on John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations Committee for two years as senior investigator into the Middle East. He writes and speaks about national security, (more...)
 

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7 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments


Dennis Kaiser

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With the appointment of John Bolton, an illegal invasion of Iran is a given. The only question now is where else will our crimes against humanity go?

Further, let us be reminded of his Israel/American dual citizenship and his involvement in lying us into the illegal invasion of Iraq as well as setting the groundwork for illegally invading Syria (and of course let's not forget the recent illegal bombing in Syria just days after he assumed his new position).

One can only conclude that John Bolton is a cancer to America and to World peace.

Submitted on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 9:27:31 AM

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John Rachel

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It couldn't be clearer, nor could we look to a better authority on this manufacturing consent for war against Iran than John Kiriakou.

So . . .

What will it take? What's the plan? There is no one in the Executive Branch and no one on Capitol Hill listening. As Dennis Kaiser says in the previous comment, it's not a matter of 'if' but a question of 'when'.

So what do we do?

Submitted on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 2:55:23 PM

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Siegfried Othmer

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The most ominous warning in the above: "Meanwhile, there's silence on Capitol Hill. Just like there was in 2002."

There is not even a focus around which opposition could rally. Not a statesman of stature in sight. What could account for this? I believe it comes down to the fact that both Congress and the White House are Israeli-occupied territory. None dare to raise their voice against Netanyahu--even though he is opposed by his own military. Israel cannot take on Iran without risking its own destruction. Netanyahu needs the US to be the first mover.

In the moment of sobriety that remains to us, may we consider just how many wars the US has been involved in lately that turned out as intended?

The person who could most readily initiate the national conversation is President Obama. His silence in this time of national crisis is indefensible. Neither left nor right has any interest in taking on Iran. Here is a chance to unite the citizenry across the political divide.

Submitted on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 6:09:25 PM

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PCM

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The person who could most readily initiate the national conversation is President Obama.

Too busy cashing in.

Submitted on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 7:36:05 PM

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PCM

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Well, the Su-57 stealth fighter may not be quite ready to go into large-scale production, but the S-400 anti-missile system is, and Iran already has S-300s in place. And Russia's new hypersonic missiles could reportedly take out American surface warships at will. Russia has some serious tactical and strategic thinking to do about its Iranian neighbor and ally, about the Middle East as a whole, about the petrodollar, about Russia's encirclement by US military bases, and about its overall relationship with the world's biggest military and economic bully.

Submitted on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 7:34:55 PM

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Michael Dewey

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I do wish I knew what to do. So many people say they can't be effected by things they can not change, saying what will be will be. I'll still try and rekindle Arlo Guthrie's Group W Bench movement, where this time those who stand for peace will get what ever they want.


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Revolution Number 9

Submitted on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 5:28:49 PM

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Peter Duveen

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Kirakou covers some important bases, but it would be good to point out how the propaganda war is waged in the midst of prep for an upcoming war. The bogus narratives are introduced, and there is no real attempt to sway public opinion using them, or at least that is only an incidental byproduct. The purpose of the narrative is to justify the next step, after which the narrative will become irrelevant. For Iraq, nobody bought into the bogus narrative. The decision had been made. The narrative was just a cover. The technique relies on the phenomenon that whatever a particular person may feel about it, that person has no idea how others feel. In essence the individual is isolated. This fact is merely taken advantage of. In fact, the perps know the public is against it, but that is irrelevant. They have the power of the media to propagate the impression that the entire country is for it, thus further immobilizing the dissenters.

As far as the Iraq War was concerned, any idiot would know that the decision had already been made, and the powers that be were searching for a thinly disguised pretext in order to invade. That's because, before the decision had been announced the military had already been mobilized in the region. It was patently dishonest, but who had the power to change it?

Submitted on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 8:55:22 PM

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Kristine Hoggatt

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What was telling (for me) was that in the first couple of days after 9/11/2001, Donnie Rumsfeld was shouting, "Iraq did it!" without any proof. By 9/13/2001 I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US government was going to mount an illegal attack on Iraq.

After those first couple of days, Rummy must have been told to shut up about Iraq, because after that the focus was on Afghanistan.

Submitted on Monday, May 7, 2018 at 3:39:14 PM

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