Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put on a performance the other day that was so vapid and prop-intensive I was half expecting him to finish by smashing watermelons with a novelty-sized mallet. He falsely presented a bunch of old information already known in 2011 as though it was a scandalous new bombshell revelation obtained by heroic covert operations, making the amazingly strained argument that it should cause the termination of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, also known as the Iran deal).
In reality, Netanyahu actually revealed that the nuclear arsenal Tehran had envisioned many years ago was, as Defense One put it, “remarkably miniscule, unambitious” and “would make Kim Jong Un giggle.”
CounterPunch‘s Patrick Cockburn explains how Netanyahu’s Carrot Top-esque performance actually highlighted why the nuclear deal is necessary, since, as JCPOA proponents argued in 2015, Iran had in fact had ambitions of obtaining nuclear weaponry prior to 2003.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear agency repeatedly referenced by Netanyahu, released a statement in response saying that there are “no credible indications” supporting claims that Iran was continuing its nuclear weapons program after 2009. It also confirmed that “Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”
Watching the Prime Minister of Israel @netanyahu is like watching the Winston Churchill of our time.
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) April 30, 2018
— Jacob Wohl (@JacobAWohl) April 30, 2018
Iranian people DM me all the time and tell me that they wish America would bomb their country to help topple their murderous regime
— Jacob Wohl (@JacobAWohl) May 1, 2018
One of my methods for differentiating the real, authentic human beings with actual principles from the foam-brained partisan sheep is watching their attitudes toward Syria, Russia and Iran. If you’re actually looking, thinking and reflecting, it’s clear that we’re being lied to about all three countries toward the ultimate goal of permanently securing world dominance for the US-centralized empire, but the western propaganda machine has somehow factionalized them and turned them into a partisan issue. Liberals unquestioningly swallow everything they’re told about Syria and Russia yet remain capable of reacting skeptically toward propaganda about Iran, and conservatives are the exact opposite, unhesitatingly talking about false flags and psyops with regard to Syria and Russia but swallowing the neocon Iran narrative hook, line and sinker.
And that is certainly at play today. Ever since Bibi’s Gallagher schtick my social media notifications have been lit up with a lot of the same right-wingers who’ve agreed with me about Syria and Russia trying to argue that Iran is totally different and the Mullahs need to go before they nuke us all. Because Sean Hannity has been screaming for Iranian blood ever since the Iraq invasion, and because some viral 4chan psyop hinted that Obama and Hillary Clinton tried to give uranium to the Mullahs, they’ve bought into a neocon regime change agenda that has been in the works for many years.
Those who have kept their wits about them are worried about a full-scale conventional hot war with Iran, which is not an unreasonable fear: sanctions are always used by the western empire as a prelude to war, and ending the Iran deal would indeed facilitate the implementation of aggressive sanctions designed to weaken and provoke. Israel has been attacking Iranians in Syria with increasing aggression, striking a base on Sunday in an attack which reportedly killed 11 Iranians in a massive explosion. Journalist Max Blumenthal recently connected all this with Gareth Porter’s observation that last month a Netanyahu advisor all but admitted that an earlier attack on the same base was designed to provoke an open war with Iran.
“The strategy of dragging the US into a regional conflagration couldn’t be more clear,” Blumenthal observed.
And indeed if there is a full-scale war between Israel and Iran it could easily suck in the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russia, possibly China and god knows who else depending on how far things escalated. But Plan A will likely look a lot different.
The steady stream of flag-draped coffins flying home in the wake of the Iraq invasion has left a sour taste for war in the mouths of the American public, who had only just recovered from the trauma of the Vietnam disaster. In order to avoid another surging antiwar movement like the backlash from Vietnam, the strategists within US intelligence and defense agencies have shifted to an emphasis on drone warfare and regional proxy armies to get the job done instead of US ground troops.
No US troops means no coffins flying home wrapped in the American flag, which means no bad publicity, which means no large-scale antiwar movement. So we may well be seeing staged coups, armed proxy militants and CIA psyops employed against the Iranian government just like we saw in Syria, Libya and Ukraine instead of a conventional old-school ground invasion. The goal may be to use sanctions to help fan the flames of unrest toward that end.
In June of last year, the Wall Street Journal published a report saying that America’s Central Intelligence Agency had set up a new organization whose sole task would be to focus on Iran under the direction of “Ayatollah Mike” D’andrea, an aggressive Iran hawk.
“The Iran Mission Center will bring together analysts, operations personnel and specialists from across the CIA to bring to bear the range of the agency’s capabilities, including covert action,” says the report (emphasis mine).
The CIA has an extensive and well-documented history of staging regime change coups to topple rival governments all around the world, including Iran. And now whenever news comes out about Iran you see right-wing pundits talking about the need for the Iranian people to rise up and blah blah freedom blah blah democracy blah blah. Just a few months ago when Iranian protests were making headlines, Iraq war cheerleader Sean Hannity was joined by Iran hawks John Bolton and Amir-Abbas Fakhravar to furiously agree with one another about how great it would be for the US to give those protesters weapons.
If the Iran deal is scrapped, that will be a clear and definite sign that deeply evil things are about to be done to the Iranian people by the US, Israel and their allies, just as was done to the people of Libya and just as is being done to the Syrians currently.
You can never go wrong betting against the neoconservatives. They are literally always on the wrong side of history. US-led military interventionism is always harmful, never helpful, always extremely profitable for war plutocrats, and never accomplishes what its proponents claim it will accomplish. Don’t trust these horrible people. Don’t let them inflict any more horror on our world.
Historical context for today’s Netanyahu presentation in English, explicitly directed at Trump, on Iran. In 2002, he told the U.S. Congress “If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region.” pic.twitter.com/W5yu6kYu0j
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 30, 2018