Opponents of US-led foreign interventions and wars may find themselves disappointed by the foreign policy paths the Trump-led White House ends up taking.
It hasn’t taken very long at all for the ill omens to appear. For all the talk of a new, inward-looking protectionism and a backing away from Neo-Con activity in the Middle East, suspicions build that the new administration may be all set to continue the Neo-Con agenda and soon commence hostile activity against Iran.
The accusations being leveled at Iran by President Trump and his Islamophobic National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (the “Islam is a cancer” guy) concerning alleged Iranian violations of the nuclear treaty are likely manufactured to try to mislead the American public into accepting military action against Iran.
It is familiar territory to anyone who remembers the propaganda/bullshit lead-in to the Iraq War.
A predictable, multi-pronged propaganda/false-flag operation appears to be gathering quick pace against Iran since Donald Trump’s inauguration. An alleged (and unproven) ‘Iranian attack’ on a US navy ship was in fact an attack by Houthi rebels in Yemen against a Saudi ship.
Interestingly, most Western mainstream media has pretty much ignored the almost two years of US-backed Saudi devastation of Yemen via bombing, but have suddenly decided to pay acute attention when Houthi rebels in Yemen stage a retaliatory strike against a Saudi target. More importantly, as mentioned, it was also deliberately mis-portrayed as an ‘Iranian attack’ on an ‘American ship’.
The central ploy at present involves the supposed testing of a missile that allegedly violates Iran’s international agreements. A week ago, Iran had confirmed that it had fired test-fired a missile, but insisted this had been no violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Iran in fact appears to have fired a non-nuclear missile – which it is perfectly entitled to do and is not in breach of its agreements. The Iranian military is clearly simply testing its defensive capabilities – and it probably has every reason to do so urgently, in fact. Michael Flynn and others who’ve spun the event into a fake news story about Iran breaching the nuclear agreement are doubtless fully AWARE of the truth of the matter but are pursuing a pre-existing agenda and programme to firmly demonise Iran and create a perceived pretext for action.
The Trump administration’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, told the Security Council last week that Washington would not stand idly by while Tehran pursued its missile program.
On the same day, the spokeswoman for EU Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, in fact told reporters in Brussels that the Iranian ballistic-missile program was exempt from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA (the Iran Nuclear Deal).
“The tests are not a violation,” she was quoted as having said, essentially defending Tehran’s position.
Nevertheless, Trump administration officials – along with much of US media (both ‘alt-right’ and mainstream) – continued to push the story of Iran having violated the agreement. The roll-call of Fake News outlets includes some of the usual suspects, such as Fox News (here) and the Times of Israel (here).
Melissa Dykes of Truthstream Media makes a solid case for what looks very much like a pre-fabricated bullshit exercise to back Iran into a corner, assessing the foreign policy gestures and games already being played by the Trump administration and correctly noting that this appears to be a scripted pantomime that goes right back to 2009 and the Brookings Institution paper, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran.”
Her analysis of the current moves by the Trump administration is well worth watching. The Brookings Institution, by the way, drew up the Iraq invasion plans and also the Syrian regime-change plans.
Trump of course was entirely open during the campaign about his outright dismissal of Obama’s Iran Deal, despite the concerted diplomatic efforts – involving several countries – that it had taken to reach that agreement. The John Kerry-led deal had been pursued at the expense of US/Israel and US/Saudi relations, with both the Israeli and Saudi governments being openly outraged by the agreement. It is unsurprising, given the close connections between Trump and several of his key people – Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, especially – and the Israeli nationalist government of Benjamin Netanyahu, that the Trump administration would quickly bring US policy back into obedience to Tel Aviv’s interests.
Israel and Saudi Arabia have been known to be pursuing a mutual anti Iran agenda for some time, generally citing Iranian support for proxy forces in the region, particularly in Syria and in Yemen: though, given that both Saudi and Israel have engaged in exactly the same thing, this accusation is surely stuck in pot-kettle-black territory.
It is also worth considering that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States were left off of Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ list, while Iran – and two key Iranian allies, Syria and Yemen – were included on it. It could be – and this is just a speculation – that they don’t want any Iranians or anyone sympathetic to Iran to enter the United States during what could potentially be a period of war.
We should also remember that Iran was was part of the post-9/11 Neo-Con hit-list leaked by Retired General Wesley Clarke and was also explicitly cited by President Bush as part of the ‘Axis of Evil’ in 2003. It is commonly held also that the entire war in Syria was designed from the very beginning to weaken Iran by enfeebling its closest ally and also drawing Iranian forces into Syria.
This much was, in fact, revealed in leaked Hillary Clinton emails in which the crisis in Syria was referred to as being “good for Israel” specifically because it would hurt Iran.
The former Pentagon official Wesley Clarke also previously suggested that the so-called ‘Islamic State’ had been created by Israel and the US specifically to try to destroy the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which is permanently regarded as Israel’s greatest enemy in the region.
The agenda, therefore, was *always* to invade or attack Iran. President Obama overtly acted to curtail that agenda and remove or weaken the case for war by pursuing the nuclear deal with Tehran. Obama is also never given enough credit for the extent to which he was willing to weaken Washington’s relationship with Israel and to aggravate the Saudis: the Trump administration – just like a Hillary administration would’ve done – seems much more geared towards overt hostility against Iran and unquestioning support for the Israeli government.
Trump has in fact openly sold himself as the most overtly pro-Israel president in American history.
All the Alt-Right Fake News going around for months that Trump was the anti Neo-Con candidate may soon be fully and firmly dispelled, depending on what the new US policy towards Iran proves to be. As previously noted, the Trump camp was in fact already drawing in a few Bush-era Neo-Cons to the new administration, which – as I already suggested – indicated a continuing Neo-Con/PNAC agenda being in play. Which is why a Trump administration war against Iran shouldn’t be surprising.
We might even see Trump’s alleged “friendship” with Vladimir Putin be used to convince Russia to abandon Iran to its enemies: though this would be extremely tricky territory, given Iran/Russia cooperation in Syria.
Trump’s military chief, General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, meanwhile declared that Iran is “the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” Really? Not Saudi Arabia or Qatar? Iran, to date, cannot be shown to have sponsored or carried out a single terrorist action on American soil. This, however, is of course simply continuing the pre-existing propaganda, as embodied in the Bush era ‘Axis of Evil’ paradigm, in which Iran, like Iraq, was branded a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ after 9/11 in order to justify hostile US action.
Guess who else was listed by the Bush Neo-Cons as ‘sponsors of terrorism’ – both Libya and Syria. And both countries, like Iraq, have since been laid to waste (despite the fact that none of these states were involved in any jihadist terrorism, but rather have been the victims of ‘terrorism’ that the US, Israel, Saudi and others have imported into them).
In a recent Land Destroyer post, Tony Cartalucci writes “US Betrays Iran Deal as Expected – Edges Closer to War” and cites the “documented conspiracy drafted under President Bush, implemented under President Obama and finally coming into full fruition under President Trump, once again illustrating the continuity of agenda that transcends party politics, presidencies and political rhetoric – driven by immense corporate-financier special interests…”
Cartolucci also reminds us significantly that Trump’s National Security man Michael Flynn was head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) “when a memo was published acknowledging the West, Turkey, and the Persian Gulf monarchs sought the rise of what was at the time called a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria – precisely where the Islamic [Salafist] State [principality] now occupies…“
All of this is out in the open by now, of course: a reality in which people like Michael Flynn are in fact bigger ‘state sponsors of terrorism’ than the Iranian government. If sponsoring ‘ISIS/Daesh’ doesn’t qualify you as a state sponsor of terrorism, I don’t know what does.
It is perhaps still too early to see exactly where this is going; but the Trump administration has been suspiciously quick to ramp up the Iran ‘problem’. Given that Iran may not have breached their agreements at all with this missile test, one gets the sense that they are being carefully set up.
Interestingly, as Cartolucci also points out, the aforementioned Brookings Institution paper from 2009 seems to lay out with remarkable accuracy what the course of events appears to be that is unfolding.
Please read the next paragraph very carefully.
‘In it, Brookings explicitly revealed how a “superb offer” would be given to Iran, only to be intentionally revoked in a manner portraying Iran as ungrateful: …any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal…’
But, of course, Iran didn’t refuse the deal. And nor have they violated its terms. Unfortunately, that might not matter.
Writing in Daily Sabah, Nagehan Alci warns that ‘Iran war in Middle East would hurt all of humanity’. She isn’t wrong. The Middle East surely can’t take any more war or nation-destroying.
Iran – a country that has carried out no attack on the US or the West, but has only sought to strengthen its own defenses – already sits beside two collapsed nations: Iraq and Syria, both of them victims of criminal Neo-Con aggression. If Iran was to be attacked, make no mistake – it would be simple continuation of the agenda that began with 9/11; and would prove beyond all doubt that everything currently going on in US politics is mere pantomime and distraction to conceal the fact that the agenda is simply continuing under a different face.
More: ‘Trump’s White House: Israel, Foreign Policy & the Return of the Neo-Cons‘, ‘Berlin Truck Massacre – the Trump/Mossad Connection‘, ‘An Interesting Note on the Seven Banned Countries‘, ‘Why Is Yemen Being Attacked…?‘
I would add a couple of troubling things to consider in the context of this brewing situation:
Israel hates Iran and views them as the biggest obstacle to their Greater Israel Plan. Trump likes Israel – his son-in-law (Jared Kushner) is jewish who invests in Israeli settlements as well as funding them through his family’s foundation which has just been named in a US lawsuit ( https://israelpalestinenews.org/707-2/ ). At the same time Trump is showing his allegiance to Israel Netanyahu by all accounts has his coat on a shoogly peg ( https://israelpalestinenews.org/chuck-baldwin-netanyahu-finished-trying-save-pushing-war-iran/ ) and a war, even a proxy war using the US, would be beneficial to him politically.
Russian and Iran are allies, however, Trump has been making all the right noises about reapprachment with Russia. Last weekend he very nearly defended Putin in a TV interview when the interviewer called Putin a killer, which caused apoplectic conniptions across the board. However, I suspect someone has whispered in his ear since then that he cannot have both war with Iran and play nice with Russia. As a result we now have a story today that claims Putin is to blame for the poisoning of opposition figure Kara-Murza ( https://www.rt.com/politics/376834-opposition-figure-kara-murza-out/ ). This story began 2 years ago but is only now news worthy in the west as it seems to provide the evidence for the statement made by Bill O’Reilly that Putin is a killer.
Thanks Kat, good observations and links. I tend to agree that the Trump/Putin solidarity thing won’t really work out, given also that some of Trump’s own key people – like Mattis – are openly condemning Putin and Russia.
In terms of Israel, the main core of Trump’s administration appeared from the start to be dripping in pro-Zionist leanings, which is possibly where a lot of the anti-Islam agenda is coming from. Steve Bannon received a letter of personal thanks from illegal settlement-builder organisations – and this is the same Bannon whose platform, Breitbart, was generally considered highly anti-Semitic and offensive to Jewish people. Iran could be in real trouble – and, ironically, I would suggest their best hope would be to develop a nuclear weapon so that they have a deterrent. But if they do that, they will have breached the agreement and will be invaded in response – talk about a perfectly-laid trap.