January 12, 2012
The Israel Lobby's Plan: Press Iran Into Attacking USrael
Laura Rozen reports on the state of talks between the U.S. and Iran: Amid rising tensions, preparations for possible new Iran nuclear talks.
Those talks will of course lead to nothing. Iran's nuclear program is not the real reason why the Israel is pressing the United States into a conflict with Iran. From the very beginning the aim was regime change in Iran to keep up and reenforce Israel hegemony in the Middle East.
The next phase of the plan, which began with the unilateral sanctions Congress, "bought and paid by the Israel lobby" (© Tom Friedman) set up against Iran, is to incite the country into attacking the United States or Israel.
The Rozen piece quotes Patrick Clawson from the Israel Lobby's Washington Institute for Near East Policy:
"I think it's heading towards confrontation," Clawson said. "The whole point from the beginning is if we put pressure on the regime, the Iranians will crack at some point."
So far, at least, there's little sign the strategy is yielding the desired result. The Iranians have to date responded to the prospect of the tightened financial sanctions on the country's oil sector with an announcement of the launching of operations at the fortified, underground Fordo nuclear enrichment facility--together with sporadic threats to close the Strait of Hormuz. "The Iranians are screaming and yelling and upset and threatening," Clawson said.
So why isn't that a sign that the U.S. strategy is failing?
"It's a lot better to have a fight" that Iran provokes, Clawson replied, before adding: "Better to enter World War II after Pearl Harbor, and World War I after the sinking of the Lusitania."
Clawson does not mind to see Americans die for Israel's gains. Pearl Harbout, sinkung the Lusitania, what is not like with that?
Clawsen is director of the Iran Security Initiative at WINEP. He is in charge of the lobby's plans towards Iran. When he says the current running strategy isn't failing, but is intended to incite Iran to shot first, that likely is the plan.
But I doubt that Iran will fall for it. So far it has reacted very restrained to the secret war the U.S. and Israel are running against it. If pressure increases, it is much more likely to start an indirect secret proxy campaign, while keeping plausible deniability, of its own. One target set might be oil infrastructure on the western coast of the Persian Gulf, another one Israeli scientist and military traveling in foreign countries.
Blinded by their superiority complex Clawsen and the like fail to see that two can play the game.
Posted by b on January 12, 2012 at 11:04 AM | Permalink
excellent article. this seems to be what people are talking about on multiple fronts.
Posted by: annie | Jan 12, 2012 12:25:47 PM | 1
If pressure increases, it is much more likely to start an indirect secret proxy campaign, while keeping plausible deniability
this is what i think they will do. they are much smarter than we are at war is my guess, smarter at keeping out if it anyway.
Posted by: annie | Jan 12, 2012 12:39:48 PM | 2
There's no reason to listen to an economist expound upon Persian psychology as in "The whole point from the beginning is if we put pressure on the regime, the Iranians will crack at some point. . ."The Iranians are screaming and yelling and upset and threatening."
That's also the U.S. pitch -- "Iran is isolated and desperate." Baloney. Iran is in the cat-bird seat in the Middle East, now with Iraq as a close ally -- thank you Uncle Sam for that. Now they'll focus on Afghanistan to their east where the U.S. is losing, again.
Iran has powerful friends in Asia, so much so that Iran's president can afford to travel to the U.S.'s back yard in Latin America to gloat over his successes vs. the American colossus. Ahmadinejad is hardly screaming and yelling in Venezuela.
b: "Blinded by their superiority complex Clawsen and the like fail to see that two can play the game."
Yes-- and Iran is playing it masterfully. There can always be a mistake or a false flag to change things, but so far Iran is playing it like a pro, giving fits to the mighty. So who's yelling and screaming? It's the U.S. and Israel, Clawsen.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2012 12:44:23 PM | 3
This is exactly what the Likudniks hope to achieve. Provoke Iran into a foolish act that will draw massive air and naval attacks from the only power that has the capability to utterly destroy Iranian infrastructure.
The Likudniks must be getting desperate since the US intelligence community and now Defense Secretary Panetta continue to claim that Iran does not have nuclear weapons. So the WMD canard that was used for Iraq invasion in 2003 does not seem to be gaining traction within the powerful US defense establishment.
Even after owning the US Congress and all the presidential contenders including the current incumbent - the Likudniks are failing at getting their US lap dog to pay with blood and treasure in the case of Iran. What will the Likudniks do next to bend the US defense and intelligence establishment to do their bidding?
Posted by: ab initio | Jan 12, 2012 12:46:35 PM | 4
Here's the irrepressible John Glaser at antiwar.com again. Headline: "Iran Too Weak to Defend Itself Against West’s Terrorism"
Who does Glaser think beat the U.S. in Iraq, using Iraqi militias and explosively formed projectiles, with over four thousand U.S. dead and tens of thousands injured, al-Qaeda?
Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2012 12:53:00 PM | 5
Do Bacon @5
I doubt there will be another US led ground war like the Iraq invasion in the Middle east in the near future. There is no political will for that despite the complete ownership of US politicians by the Likudniks. A "War" against Iran will more resemble Clinton's Serbia destruction. Pulverize Iranian fixed assets through non-stop air and naval attacks. Only the US can do that. Neither Israel nor Western Europe have the capability for a sustained campaign with thousands of sorties and thousands of missile strikes which is what it will take to significantly destroy Iranian infrastructure.
Posted by: ab initio | Jan 12, 2012 1:14:12 PM | 6
We've been hearing this possible scenario for how many years now? Many. Just use weapons of mass destruction to bomb Iran back to the stone age. The U.S. has really been at war with Iran since 1979 (so we can't blame it all on Israel) and it hasn't happened yet. Destroying the Persian culture and the lives of 73 million people would be a terrible thing, and the pity is that there's no good reason for it.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2012 1:29:14 PM | 7
Agree with Don, Iran and its proxies have repeatedly come out ahead, surprising everyone, and effectively holding back US-Israeli plans for the region.
Most dramatically in the Israel-Hezbollah war of 06, but also in Iraq, in Yemen with the Houthi rebellion, in downing the US drone, in supporting Hamas. Iran might not have a world domination sized military budget but they do have a smart strategy and are crazily good at coming out on top despite inferior numbers. I think Anti-War.com calling Iran "too weak" is a misjudgement.
If the US does go to war with Iran I think they will be in for more than a few surprises and will be outsmarted, outwitted and outplayed. It will probably be like a larger version of the 2006 Lebanon war.
Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jan 12, 2012 2:09:52 PM | 9
@Colm - It will probably be like a larger version of the 2006 Lebanon war.
Yep - that what I would expect. Still the human costs would be horrific and should be avoided.
Posted by: b | Jan 12, 2012 2:23:08 PM | 10
No. 5 Don Bacon: point is they did not defeat the US by weapons only, they defeated the US by democracy :-))
Let's go back in history :-))
Strong: That is very clear. But suppose the United States uses the atom bomb? Suppose the United States bombs the Soviet Union from its bases in Iceland, Okinawa and China?
Mao: The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the U.S. reactionaries use to scare people. It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't. Of course, the atom bomb is a weapon of mass slaughter, but the outcome of a war is decided by the people, not by one or two new types of weapon.
All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful. From a long-term point of view, it is not the reactionaries but the people who are really powerful. In Russia, before the February Revolution in 1917, which side was really strong? On the surface the tsar was strong but he was swept away by a single gust of wind in the February Revolution. In the final analysis, the strength in Russia was on the side of the Soviets of Workers, Peasants and Soldiers. The tsar was just a paper tiger. Wasn't Hitler once considered very strong? But history proved that he was a paper tiger. So was Mussolini, so was Japanese imperialism. On the contrary, the strength of the Soviet Union and of the people in all countries who loved democracy and freedom proved much greater than had been foreseen.
Chiang Kai-shek and his supporters, the U.S. reactionaries, are all paper tigers too. Speaking of U.S. imperialism, people seem to feel that it is terrifically strong. Chinese reactionaries are using the "strength" of the United States to frighten the Chinese people. But it will be proved that the U.S. reactionaries, like all the reactionaries in history, do not have much strength. In the United States there are others who are really strong -- the American people.
Take the case of China. We have only millet plus rifles to rely on, but history will finally prove that our millet plus rifles is more powerful than Chiang Kai-shek's aeroplanes plus tanks. Although the Chinese people still face many difficulties and will long suffer hardships from the joint attacks of U.S. imperialism and the Chinese reactionaries, the day will come when these reactionaries are defeated and we are victorious. The reason is simply this: the reactionaries represent reaction, we represent progress."
Anyway, we know that the Soviet Union messed up. Presumably because they were paper tigers.
Posted by: somebody | Jan 12, 2012 2:40:38 PM | 12
What gives the US military pause, particularly the navy, is that while Iran doesn't have a powerful navy (it really has two -- guard & regular) it can defend itself asymmetrically using swarming tactics of hundreds of small boats armed with cruise missiles, and other ways including shore-based cruise missiles. This would be a new experience for the US Navy and they aren't eager to test it (I hope).
Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2012 2:55:09 PM | 13
The US suffers from the fact that its enemies control its government.
Essentially the corporatist oligarchy has no loyalty to the United States, its people or its institutions, so using the US in order to batter down some gates to trade or control over raw materials makes perfect sense.
And if doing so involves making a mockery of the US government and its ignorant constituency by waging a propaganda campaign of such tendentiousness that it would make Goebbels blush, that is no skin off their nose; just more confirmation of the incompetence of governments and the credulity of media consumers.
In summary going to war with Iran is suicidally subversive of the national interests of the United States. It would not benefit Israel either, though Israel, being governed by fascists, is in a somewhat different case in that its rulers yearn for Armaggedon.
The ruling class has become actually peripatetic, it doesn't live here, or there, anymore and its cardinal interests are in crushing the rocks of community, of any sort, into the gravel of apathy and submission. In this sense Obama speaks for his masters when he describes Iraq as a triumph, for them it was. They don't pay taxes, they get government contracts; they don't fight and lose limbs, they run hospitals and sell drugs; they don't shoulder deficits, they lend governments money. Nor do they really care whether Chinese, French or US based oil companies pump Iraqi oil, they can't lose.
Posted by: bevin | Jan 12, 2012 4:30:02 PM | 14
I suspect you are correct in your astute analysis. Was ever thus; they have nothing to lose and have positioned themselves to gain no matter the cost or outcome. Just as they get us to pay for our own slavery. It's magnificently Rovian. Rove is the new Machiavelli.
They spend billions on think tanks to implement this stratagem of game theory and it works. They can't lose because they don't play, they get government to play for them. Privatize the profits. Socialize the losses. The art of war. Class War.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 12, 2012 5:55:16 PM | 15
Here it comes -- a fresh US political move.
IAEA Visit to Tehran Set for Jan. 28
A senior U.N. nuclear agency team will visit Tehran on Jan. 28 with Iran saying it is ready to discuss allegations that it was involved in secret nuclear weapons work after years of refusing to do so, diplomats said Thursday.
The IAEA according to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty that Iran signed has one function and one function only.
"Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes to accept safeguards, as set forth in an agreement to be negotiated and concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency in accordance with the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Agencys safeguards system, for the exclusive purpose of verification of the fulfillment of its obligations assumed under this Treaty with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."
*Exclusive purpose. . .preventing diversion*
Every IAEA report has stated that Iran is not diverting energy, with these same words:
"The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran."
This elevation of the IAEA, now headed by a US puppet after they got rid of El Baradei, to a super-agency that must carry out the US/Israel political agenda is beyond its statutory authority and is illegal. Of course Iran won't be able to prove to the IAEA that it isn't doing something, which is the intent of the visit. It's Iraq WMD redux.
In recent reports the IAEA has claimed it was "highly concerned" about this and that based on unsubstantiated and undisclosed information supplied by "treaty members." This bogus visit is designed to heighten their concern, obviously.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2012 5:59:53 PM | 16
@bevin--"The US suffers from the fact that its enemies control its government." Right on!
I for one intend to tell anyone who will listen that it's ridiculous for the US to get into another war on behalf of a bunch of crazed, paranoid Jews (AKA the Israeli government).
Antisemitic? The crazies will certainly say so. But the silent majority of American Jews need to realize that there will be blowback if Israel gets the US into an economic meltdown that was the direct result of Israeli warmongering.
It's long past time for the American Jewish community to make a clean break from Israel--Israel is not America's friend.
Posted by: JohnH | Jan 12, 2012 7:15:46 PM | 17
It's not only a matter for the American Jewish community -- there is widespread support for Zionism especially with Christian Fundies which is encouraging for congress-critters.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12, 2012 9:27:48 PM | 18
Well, I hardly think the lyin' scum in DC, or Israel, need to go to the trouble to "provoke" Iran to do anything. They will simply do a false flag terrorist attack or military strike if they feel the need to show the ignorant slobbering masses what a huge "threat" these Muslim zealot savages in Iran have become.
Of course, they will sacrifice a few Americans, or Israelis, to accomplish this. Or if they want the biggest bang for their buck, they'll slaughter a whole shitload of us to drive home their point.
You don't think these zionist ghouls and neocon criminals will do this??? Been asleep for a decade or two, have ya?
Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Jan 12, 2012 10:41:52 PM | 19
“As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!”
- Rudyard Kipling, The Gods of the Copybook Headings
Posted by: DakotabornKansan | Jan 13, 2012 7:36:33 AM | 21
The British passenger ship RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat May 7, 1915, killing over 120 Americans. On April 6, 1917, nearly two years later, the United States entered the war.
So there was no connection, except in some people's minds.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 13, 2012 11:45:57 AM | 23
A series of CIA memos describe how Israeli Mossad agents posed as American spies to recruit members of the terrorist organization Jundallah to fight their covert war against Iran.
While many of the details of Israel's involvement with Jundallah are now known, many others still remain a mystery -- and are likely to remain so. The CIA memos of the incident have been "blue bordered," meaning that they were circulated to senior levels of the broader U.S. intelligence community as well as senior State Department officials.
What has become crystal clear, however, is the level of anger among senior intelligence officials about Israel's actions. "This was stupid and dangerous," the intelligence official who first told me about the operation said. "Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us. If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they're supposed to be a strategic asset. Well guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don't think that's true."
Is this piece coming out now a warning to Israel?
Posted by: b | Jan 13, 2012 12:24:11 PM | 24
If the US goes to war with Iran, it will nuke the place and be done with it.
The US military knows full well it cannot win a ground war in Iran, and it will not attempt one.
Posted by: china_hand | Jan 13, 2012 12:27:57 PM | 25
"You know, they're supposed to be a strategic asset." (referring to Israel)
This is one indication that the U.S. Iran policy is not entirely driven by Israel. The U.S. has had such a policy since long before Israel became so belligerent, going back over fifty years.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 13, 2012 12:47:06 PM | 26
@china_hand no, they will not use nukes. The only ground war would be on the Iranian islands in the Strait. There are Marines to do that an a new U.S. division established in Kuwait.
Using nukes would make the whole non-proliferation policy of 50+ years a joke. Everyone and their children would start making nukes immediately.
BTW - good ideas in your last blogpost: What That Dead Iranian Scientist Has to do With China
Posted by: b | Jan 13, 2012 12:57:14 PM | 27
U.S. moves to strengthen forces in Persian Gulf region
Officials said the deployments are not meant to suggest a buildup to war, but rather are intended as a quick-reaction and contingency force in case a military crisis erupts in the stand-off with Tehran over its suspected nuclear weapons program.
The Pentagon has stationed nearly 15,000 troops in Kuwait, adding to a small contingent already there. The new units include two Army infantry brigades and a helicopter unit - a substantial increase in combat power after nearly a decade in which Kuwait chiefly served as a staging area for supplies and personnel heading to Iraq.
The Pentagon also has decided to keep two aircraft carriers and their strike groups in the region.
Posted by: b | Jan 13, 2012 1:00:56 PM | 28
And don't forget those 15,000 US employees in Baghdad, who are closer to Iran than Kuwait is. Better issue them 45's 'cuz they won't want to be taken alive.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 13, 2012 1:13:18 PM | 29
"If the US goes to war with Iran, it will nuke the place and be done with it"
No. The vermin realize that they need a nuclear excuse to justify a nuclear response.
More likely, they would use a low yield nuclear weapon in a false flag terrorist event against American interests first. The justification for the complete innihilation of Iranian government structure, Iranian society and infrastructure, and their military would be provided by such an event.
Sadly, I harbor no doubts about whether or not there are those in the top tiers of power who would commit such an act. I firmly believe that Cheney is capable of such an action, and he is just one among many in the neocon camp.
Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Jan 13, 2012 5:30:50 PM | 30
Sorry, b, but that's a misplaced compliment; that's not me.
Over at SST, Col. Lang has opined on several occasions that "the" plan for war with Iran involves nuclear strikes.
It wouldn't involve ICBMs, nor (strictly) civilian targets, but nuclear-enabled bunker-busters and other tactical warheads would be likely. Simply put, the US isn't going to strike Iran unless it's sure the place cannot strike back at any time in the foreseeable future. Thus, it will not attack Iran unless it can guarantee destruction of its hardened nuclear facilities and all the relevant infrastructure.
That means nukes, and the precedent has already been established by the Bush administration, which rolled back policy and declared the US would use "limited" nuclear weapons in conventional if it perceived the need. I've been out of the news-loop for the last couple of years, so if that has changed then i'll stand corrected. But Darth Cheney and Shrub Maul both made sure the "nucular" option was on the table by the time they left office.
Posted by: china_hand | Jan 14, 2012 12:09:52 AM | 31
b, I think something smells in that FP article. The US and Israel are 2 peas in a pod. The FP piece could be a limited hangout operation, to give Obama some political cover when hostilities break out with Iran. The intelligence sources quoted in the article make some outrageous statements: we never do "boom and bang" we never never assassinate, and other ridiculous things. I think you were right to be suspicious of the publicized US rescues of Iranians at sea; it is probably part of a propaganda diversion, as Obama brings military assets into the theater of operations. It is Obama who has allowed the transfer of bunker busters into Israeli hands,--something the Bush administration would not do. This strikes me as ominous, along with the very pointed denials by high US officials, because it suggests that the operation is on. What I suspect is a coordinated US/Israeli attack on Iran, whose causation will be muddy enough to let Obama wiggle out of full accountability.
Posted by: Copeland | Jan 14, 2012 1:25:52 AM | 32
By "very pointed denials" I'm referring to the very high profile US denials of involvement in assassinating Iranian scientists. Hasn't the US used another proxy MEK to kill Iranian soldiers and civilians? Israeli officials smile at the mention of the killings; and American high officials deny with strained voices; but one hand probably knows what the other is doing.
Remember the Battleship Maine blew up in Havana Harbor, leading to the war in which the US took Spain's overseas possessions; remember the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident leading to escalation in Vietnam. Or think back to the Mexican War, whose opening shots the jingoistic in Polk's administration referred to "American blood shed on American soil" but which Congressman Lincoln said was "American blood shed in an Mexican cornfield."
There seems to be lots of provocation at work too, in order to prod or maneuver Iran into firing the first shot; not the least of which is blocking the sale of Iranian oil, which is it's financial life blood. Iran is at the receiving end of multiple acts of war.
Posted by: Copeland | Jan 14, 2012 2:03:12 AM | 33
Don, it sounds much more likely that the Americans have grown weary of Israel's taunting little chant of "Was it us, or was it the Americans? Who can tell?" every time an Iranian scientist is snuffed.
So I suspect that the CIA decided that the time was right to wipe that smirk from their face by calling Mark Perry over to Langley for a friendly little chat....
After all, that story just screams: It Was Mossad, Stupid, And This Is How They Did It.
Posted by: Johnboy | Jan 14, 2012 2:07:40 AM | 34
@Copeland @32 - The story is definitely fishy. The timing as well as the all absolving context. No mention of JSOC, the U.S. special command, that is according to Hersh and other involved. It is just a whitewash for the CIA.
Posted by: b | Jan 14, 2012 6:29:19 AM | 35
Official US policy is "no assassinations," and the US has never publicly admitted to "boom-and-bang".
State wouldn't know decisions by CIA or MI on assassinations policy, and neither would play its hand intra-agency. "Boom-and-bang" is beneath either to admit.
In other words: none of the statements are "outrageous"; all are standard commentary.
None of that says anything at all about whether or not it's fishy, though. Just sayin'.....
Posted by: china_hand | Jan 14, 2012 9:07:45 AM | 36
"The ruling class has become actually peripatetic, it doesn't live here, or there, anymore and its cardinal interests are in crushing the rocks of community, of any sort, into the gravel of apathy and submission. In this sense Obama speaks for his masters when he describes Iraq as a triumph, for them it was. They don't pay taxes, they get government contracts; they don't fight and lose limbs, they run hospitals and sell drugs; they don't shoulder deficits, they lend governments money. Nor do they really care whether Chinese, French or US based oil companies pump Iraqi oil, they can't lose." Posted by: bevin
This is possibly the finest summation of America's dilemma I have read recently. But how can we defend ourselves against such a rapacious, carnal, blood-sucking entity, I ask you?
That fact is - we're mostly sane - they're entirely NOT!
Thank you, bevin
Posted by: arthurdecco | Jan 18, 2012 8:46:35 PM | 37