Skip to main content

Trump's moves on Iran are from the Iraq war playbook

by Juan Cole

I teach a lot of 18-year-olds, so I am keenly aware that a whole generation has come up that did not live through the Bush propaganda campaign against Iraq of 2002-2003. And, of course, a lot of people who did live through it have forgotten its details or how complicit corporate media were in amplifying the campaign. That is, the charge against social media today that it reinforces extremism by its algorithms could be equally well laid against elements of the U.S. press throughout history. Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst may have not said things like, “You supply the photos, I’ll supply the war,” but they certainly behaved that way in propagandizing for the shameless Spanish-American War. Bill Keller at The New York Times was their 21st century successor.

Here is how the 2003 war was gotten up against Iraq.

1) Conspiratorial groups were formed, like the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which included then Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney and Israel lobby uber-hawks like Bill Kristol, Bob Kagan, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams and Frank Gaffney, who were known as neoconservatives because they had been Blue Dog Democrats but switched to Reaganism when they assessed that there were no Democratic jobs in government to be had for a long time after 1981. The Project for a New American Century and other cells began trying to put pressure on the Clinton administration to take a belligerent stand against Iraq, in hopes of provoking an Iraqi counterstrike that could then escalate. They used their contacts among billionaires like Rupert Murdoch, to enlist his media, and worked their people in Congress against the president. Kristol is now trying out for Conscience of the Nation because he dislikes Trump.

2) Other governments were enlisted. A 1996 white paper, “A Clean Break,” was prepared by neoconservatives for incoming Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu that urged getting up a war on Iraq, re-installing the Hashemite monarchy there, and then using the Hashemites to influence Lebanon’s Shiites toward a more pro-Israeli stance. Completely weird and unbalanced proposals are not the exclusive province of Trump.

3) Expatriate Iraqis were enlisted for dirty tricks and disinformation campaigns. Someone called “Curveball” was given to German intelligence, who appear to have fallen for him. Ahmad Chalabi, angling to come back to Iraq as its U.S.-installed supreme leader, misled journalists, intelligence officials, State Department officials, Congress and virtually anyone he could get hold of. Chalabi once made doggerel verse to insult me, which means I did my job in exposing him. Multiple disinformation modes were established for various Western intel agencies, so that they all reported these sketchy allegations about an Iraqi nuclear and biological weapons program that did not exist.

4) Once Bush came to power, members of the cell like Douglas Feith (someone with ties to Israeli settlers and ideologically aligned with the Israeli Likud Party) were put in positions of power in the government and used their position to establish intragovernmental black ops units like the Office of Special Plans. Since the CIA and State Department often filtered out the wilder intel reports they were being fed by the expatriate operatives, Feith had his people go back through the raw intelligence and cherry-pick the planted reports, then illegally briefed them to the rest of the U.S. government. I was widely attacked by the neocons for saying that having a Likudnik as the third man at the Pentagon was a nightmare for U.S. national security, and for pointing out that an acolyte of Slobodan Milosevic being given such a position would likewise be troubling. Not sure, in light of all we know, why that should have been a controversial statement.

5) PNAC and other hawks pressured Clinton to bomb Iraq in 1998. Clinton told U.N. weapons inspectors to withdraw before the strikes. They were never sent back in. The U.S, press, whether from incompetence or malice or being secretly bribed, continually thereafter said that Saddam “kicked out” the inspectors, which was an unadorned falsehood. Having deprived Iraq of active inspectors who could serve as on-the-ground eyewitnesses that there were no weapons programs, the Iraq war hawks were in a much better position to do propaganda.

6) The Iraq War clique glommed on to George W. Bush, especially once the latter unwisely made Cheney vice president, and inserted themselves into the 10 key political positions in his government, then gradually pushed him toward a war.

7) The neoconservatives and others who wanted to break Iraq’s legs blamed the al-Qaida attacks of Sept. 11 on the secular socialist anti-fundamentalist government of the Iraqi Baath Party, and managed to convince most Americans of the completely ridiculous charge.

8) They made a case for regime change over Iraq’s human rights record or its regional role, though countries like Saudi Arabia or Israel with similar profiles were exempted from criticism.

9) Bush, Condi Rice, Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld tried to scare Americans [by saying] that Saddam was two years or less from having an atomic bomb (he had no program). This campaign convinced Congress to vote for a war.


Why these networks were so invested in an attack on Iraq isn’t clear. The neoconservatives were probably just acting as capos for the Likud Party, breaking the legs of a rival gang in the Middle East. Cheney and his oil circles likely wanted to lift congressional sanctions on Iraqi petroleum and do bids on Iraqi fields (this was before fracking). Evangelicals wanted to open Iraq as a mission field, fondly imagining that the Shiites of Najaf had been yearning to return to the Christianity Iraqis largely abandoned during the first four centuries of Muslim rule, from the seventh through the 11th centuries. The military-industrial complex wanted to make and sell large numbers of weapons and bombs. Various groups had their own motives and they all came together around Cheney.

I probably don’t need to say that people like John Bolton who were part of the original plot have reemerged, or that the People’s Jihadi Organization (MEK) is an Iranian cell that is playing the role of Chalabi and has Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Rudy Giuliani and others in its back pocket. It has strong connections to Israeli intelligence. I don’t need to point out that Iran is being maneuvered into expelling U.N. inspectors so that a propaganda campaign can be waged. The United Arab Emirates, part of the current plot, even had its house organ Alarabiya do a “documentary” monstrously alleging that Iran was behind 9/11.

The stage is set.

Source, links:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

MSNBC poll on Julian Assange backfires epically

globinfo freexchange
Frequently - if not always - polls set-up by corporate media aim to track public opinion on a specific issue. The results could be used by the deep state apparatus in order to justify an action, or, figure out how to handle a negative trend for the deep state agenda.
Of course, the question could be set-up in a very simplified and convenient manner, so that the results could be translated accordingly.
Yet, the results from the following MSNBC poll on Julian Assange are so devastating for the deep state planning that leave little room for any misconception and manipulation.
Specifically, you have two options to answer the following question: “Should Julian Assange be prosecuted for his involvement in WikiLeaks?
The first option is to answer that "Yes, he is a criminal."
The second option is to answer that "No, he is a whistleblower and deserves protection."
At the time we checked out the results, the second answer prevailed overwhelmingly with 95% (~1…

Trump's failure to start a civil war in Venezuela could be proved disastrous for the plans of the US imperialists

by system failure
Donald Trump and his bloodthirsty warhawks are about to break the record of failed attempted coups against a single country. Concerning Latin America, the US imperialists were setting the desirable conditions for their corporate beasts usually by overthrowing governments and supporting military dictatorships.
But Trump himself has already broken another record. The record of not keeping his promises to the American people - every one of them. The 'anti-interventionist', 'anti-establishment' Trump, has already started a war against Venezuela, which so far includes brutal economic sanctions, sabotage operations, attempted coups. Trump not only does whatever he can in order to satisfy the US neocon/neoliberal establishment and the deep state, but especially in the case of Venezuela, he follows the obsolete CIA playbook to the letter.
So, after a series of failed orchestrated coups, Trump's warhawks attempted to start a civil war in Venezuela by mobiliz…

Fox clowns committed suicide by bringing Bernie Sanders inside their nest to destroy them

... and the liberal centrists must be really pissed off
globinfo freexchange
It was epic indeed. The moment where the crowd inside the Fox ultra-right nest enthusiastically cheers in favor of a government-run healthcare system, could actually be considered a historical moment, thanks to Bernie Sanders.
The moment clearly depicts and officially marks the end of controlled audiences in controlled MSM environments. It shows that the well-paid MSM pundits and their producers are finding increasingly difficult to set up the scene according to the desirable agenda. Therefore, audience reactions can't be directed, or predicted in many cases by the MSM 'experts'.
The shock for the MSM tools was inevitable. It shows that they are now completely detached from the ordinary people and their problems.
But the whole thing highlighted something even more fundamental. It was another loud evidence for the fact that the BS neoliberal narratives don't work anymore.
And even more remarkably, th…

Former top US official confirms: military action against Venezuela will become a Vietnam 2.0 for the US imperialists

globinfo freexchange
Former US Chief of Staff for Secretary of State, Lawrence Wilkerson, spoke with Sharmini Peries of the Real News about Trump's plans for a potential US military action against Venezuela.

As he pointed out:
Elliott Abrams, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, and the administration’s approach to Venezuela, is as if they were Panama or they were Honduras. They are not. They’re very professional. That puts them above Argentina, above Chile, whose militaries are quite competent, too. 
Mr. Trump ought to be very, very careful about saying he’s going to send marines or soldiers to Venezuela because the Venezuelan military will be unified immediately. It will take to the hills and it will fight as the Vietnamese did during the Vietnam War, and as the Taliban are in Afghanistan right now: to the last marine, to the last soldier.
Putin is a smart man, probably told Trump 'you don’t want to get involved in those jungles. You don’t want to get involved in those mountains. You …

Updates for a possible coup against Jeremy Corbyn

 globinfo freexchange

In this episode of RT's Going Underground, former MP and author of A Very British Coup and The Friends of Harry Perkins, Chris Mullin, spoke about the history of MI5 and MI6 meddling in UK politics against Labour Party leaders. He also estimated whether a British coup is underway against Jeremy Corbyn.
The story of A Very British Coup was set in the 1980s when there was speculation about the possibility of a government led by someone like Tony Benn and the establishment conspired to bring it down. The establishment in this case being a sort of mixture of the security and intelligence services, the media barons, with a little help from the Americans. 
Tony Benn looked likely to become deputy leader of the Labour Party which at the time was strongly challenging the government of Margaret Thatcher in the opinion polls. Persistent rumours circulated over the years about attempts by members of the British security services, and other wings of the British Establish…

Latest ridiculous attempts by the US propaganda machine on Gaza, Venezuela – enjoy

globinfo freexchange
Plenty of propaganda is manufactured by the US deep state apparatus to push for the imperialist agenda. Yet, some elements of the propaganda machine are still unable to realize that independent truth seekers and real journalists are watching, and therefore, these elements could be easily exposed.
Sloppy efforts immediately backfire in social media and the Internet. Most recent sloppy efforts are related to Gaza and Venezuela.
As the Newsweekreported:
Senior 2020 Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson used a 2015 video showing a Ukrainian rocket launch alongside comments about this weekend's deadly attacks between Israel and Gaza militants and a condemnation of congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Pierson, who was Donald Trump's 2016 campaign spokesperson and is a frequent cable news guest, shared the video—which was first posted online in 2015 and reportedly shows Ukraine launching dozens of rockets at Russian-backed separatists—on Sunday.
Alongsi…

There is something fundamental missing from Bernie Sanders' new ad

globinfo freexchange
Several progressives expressed their enthusiasm about Bernie's new ad. However, if we examine it closely, we will find that it is quite far from describing an effective progressive strategy that Bernie Sanders should follow.
The ad successfully highlights the complete failure of Donald Trump to secure the jobs of the American workers, and more specifically, his evident unwillingness to fight against the corporate beasts in order to protect workers' jobs and interests.
At the end of the ad Bernie tries to send a clear message to the corporations: “If you are not a good and responsible corporate citizen, do not think that you will get Federal contracts.

What's wrong here?
First of all, only through a miracle we could see the parasitic corporate beasts behave responsively. We know, and Bernie knows, that they don't care about workers' rights and working conditions. They don't care about giving decent wages. They only care about maximizing profits …

How GMO seeds and Monsanto/Bayer’s “RoundUp” are driving US policy in Venezuela

With Juan Guaidó’s parallel government attempting to take power with the backing of the U.S., it is telling that the top political donors of those in the U.S. most fervently pushing regime change in Venezuela have close ties to Monsanto and major financial stakes in Bayer.
by Whitney Webb
Part 3 - The AEI axis
Some of the key figures and loudest voices supporting the efforts of the Trump administration to overthrow the Venezuelan government in the United States are well-connected to one particular think-tank, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). For instance, John Bolton — now Trump’s national security advisor and a major player in the administration’s aggressive Venezuela policy — was a senior fellow at AEI until he became Trump’s top national security official. As national security adviser, Bolton advises the president on foreign policy and issues of national security while also advising both the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense. As of late, he has been pushing for …

How GMO seeds and Monsanto/Bayer’s “RoundUp” are driving US policy in Venezuela

With Juan Guaidó’s parallel government attempting to take power with the backing of the U.S., it is telling that the top political donors of those in the U.S. most fervently pushing regime change in Venezuela have close ties to Monsanto and major financial stakes in Bayer.
by Whitney Webb
Part 2 - U.S.-Backed Venezuelan opposition seeks to reverse Chavista seed law and GMO ban
In 2004, then-president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, surprised many when he announced the cancellation of Monsanto’s plans to plant 500,000 acres of Venezuelan agricultural land in genetically modified (GM) soybeans.
The cancellation of Monsanto’s Venezuela contract led to what became an ad hoc ban on all GM seeds in the entire country, a move that was praised by local farmer groups and environmental activists. In contrast to anti-GM movements that have sprung up in other countries, Venezuela’s resistance to GM crops was based more on concerns about the country’s food sovereignty and protecting the livelihoods of fa…

Tulsi Gabbard proves that she is now the champion of the progressives - a straightforward message to the neocon/neoliberal warmongering cabal

globinfo freexchange
With this new ad, Tulsi Gabbard proves that she has become one of the most authentic progressive voices in the Democratic party. Tulsi now surpassed even Bernie Sanders and AOC as she dares to speak openly about the neocon/neoliberal warmongering cabal and clearly condemns any plans for another war against Iran, Venezuela, or any other nation.
Recall also that Tulsi Gabbard was the only one who bravely defended Julian Assange on a US deep state platform.
Right now, Tulsi's progressiveness and braveness could be compared only to that of Ilhan Omar.
Tulsi's message is more than clear: 
The neocons, neolibs and mainstream media are all singing from the same song sheet, saying 'We want war! We need more war!' Trump never gets media support unless he's threatening war, or carrying out a military action.
Today, it's Venezuela. Tomorrow, Iran. Who knows who would be next. It's no wonder that North Korea won't give up their nuclear weapons.
As…