Mike Whitney — The Unz Review May 11, 2018
Did Donald Trump scrap the Iran nuke’s deal to pay back his pro-Israel campaign donors? Political analyst Eli Clifton seems to think so, and he argues the point pretty persuasively too. Here’s an excerpt from his article at the Lobe Log:
“President Donald Trump has just fulfilled a campaign pledge to tear up the Obama administration’s signature foreign policy achievement…the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA. (The Iran Nukes deal)…..
….today’s unpopular announcement may have been exactly what two of Trump’s biggest donors, Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus, and what one of his biggest inaugural supporters, Paul Singer, paid for when they threw their financial weight behind Trump. Marcus and Adelson, who are also board members of the Likudist Republican Jewish Coalition, have already received substantial returns on their investment: total alignment by the U.S. behind Israel…
Adelson… contributed $35 million in outside spending to elect Trump…. Newt Gingrich, a huge recipient of Adelson’s financial largesse during his failed 2012 presidential campaign, said that Adelson’s “central value” is Israel….
Adelson… has advocated launching a nuclear weapon against Iran as a negotiating tactic and threatening to nuke Tehran, a city with a population of 8.8 million, if Iran does not completely abandon its nuclear program…..
Trump and the GOP are deeply indebted to anti-Iran deal billionaires who aren’t afraid to advocate for policies that push the country closer to another war in the Middle East.” (“Follow the Money: Three Billionaires Paved Way for Trump’s Iran Deal Withdrawal”, Eli Clifton, Lobe Log)
So what’s going on here? Did Trump really withdraw from the agreement because he thought it was a bad deal for America or because, as he candidly admitted on Tuesday, “When I make promises, I keep them”?
That’s fine, but on whose behalf did Trump make those promises, that’s what we want to know? The American people don’t benefit from a broken “nukes” agreement nor does Trump’s base nor do the frustrated allies nor does the international community. No one benefits. No one except Israel, that is.
Israel clearly benefits from the reimposing of economic sanctions, from the weakening of Iran’s economy, from the further isolation of its arch-rival in the region, and from the intensifying of hostilities between Washington and Tehran. Any policy-shift that brings the US closer to a shooting war with Iran, benefits Israel, just as the destruction of Iraq benefited Israel, just as the destruction of Libya benefited Israel, just as the destruction of Syria would have benefited Israel. (had it succeeded.) The elimination of strong, independent secular Arab nations unavoidably enhances Israel’s regional power which is why Israel supports the strategy. When Israel’s enemies get smaller and more fragmented, Israel gets bigger. It’s that simple. What we want to know is whether Trump’s decision was shaped by Israel’s interests or America’s? We also want to know whether Trump’s withdraw will be used as a pretext for dragging the country into a war with Iran? That’s the question that’s on everyone’s mind.
Did the attention-impaired Trump actually read the JCPOA? Does he realize that no other member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has ever been asked to meet the same onerous requirements as Iran, the same additional protocols, and the same stringent, intrusive inspections regime? Does he know how unfairly Iran has been treated, how they’ve been demonized in the media, how they’ve been hectored, harassed and threatened relentlessly by warmongering countries like the US that punish Iran with crippling sanctions while building an entire new class of “usable” nuclear weapons for themselves?
No, of course not. Trump knows nothing about Iran or the nuke’s deal, and he could care less. What he cares about is power, executive power, the kind of power that has eluded Trump so far because he lacks a constituency. Now he “gets it”. Now he’s assembling a team of neocons like Bolton and Pompeo and ingratiating himself with strong supporters of Israel. They will provide the foundation for Trump’s grandiose personal ambitions by helping him tighten his grip on executive power. This is why he put the kibosh on the Iran nukes deal without even reading the agreement. He’s just placating his base to strengthen his own position. Trump’s actions invariably revolve around Trump. He is the center of his own world. Here’s an excerpt from an article by former US Intelligence Officer Paul Pillar:
“Two motivations, more than any others, have driven the opposition to the JCPOA. One is the desire to wreck whatever Barack Obama accomplished…..The other major motivation is to stay in step with the preferences of the right-wing government of Israel. The political and financial mechanisms include fear among American politicians of antagonizing the lobby that works on that government’s behalf. They also include wealthy supporters of that government bankrolling advocacy groups dedicated to sustaining tension and confrontation with Iran, with opposition to the JCPOA at the core of that effort.
…..it certainly is not in U.S. interests to support the game that Netanyahu is playing with the issue, which is to oppose any and all agreements with Tehran as a way of maintaining Iran as a pariah and a foil, in an effort to distract attention from Israel’s own destabilizing activities and to restrict U.S. diplomatic freedom of action in the Middle East…..Regardless of how much fondness one may have for Israel, it never will be sound policy to subcontract any portion of one’s own nation’s policies to a foreign government. Acting from either or both of these motivations is policy malpractice of the worst kind.” (“Hold the Deal-Killers Accountable”, Paul Pillar, Lobe Log)
That sums it up perfectly. Now a few words about Iran:
Iran is a long-term victim of US-Israeli belligerence and aggression. The broken nuclear deal is just the latest addition to the 65 year-long litany of hostility and abuse.
In 1953, the CIA toppled the Iranian government, installed the Shah, helped to kill or imprison thousands of leftists and dissidents, fast-tracked the issuing of contracts to the giant oil corporations, helped arm and train the Shah’s secret police, the SAVAK, and plunged the country into 26 years of agonizing police-state repression and tyranny. Sound familiar?
It should. Washington has followed the same basic blueprint in over 50 countries since the end of World War 2. Regime change is just the way Washington does business.
Have you ever wondered what life was like under the Shah? Here’s a brief summary from The Harvard Crimson:
“The Shah systematically dismantled the judicial system of Iran and the country’s guarantees of personal and social liberties. …. Nearly every source of creative, artistic and intellectual endeavor in our culture was suppressed.
The SAVAK conducted most of the torture, under the friendly guidance of the CIA which set up SAVAK in 1957 and taught them how to interrogate suspects. Amnesty International reports methods of torture that included “whipping and beating, electric shocks, extraction of teeth and nails, boiling water pumped into the rectum, heavy weights hung on the testicles, tying the prisoner to a metal table heated to a white heat, inserting a broken bottle into the anus, and rape.”…
The Shah greatly expanded the military and turned it against his own people. With newfound oil wealth the Shah bought $2C million of U.S. arms. The U.S. military trained Iranian officers. Despite claims that a strong army was needed to prevent external aggression, its real purpose became clear when the army murdered more than 50,000 Iranians fighting the Shah.” …. The number of students tortured, lost or murdered is unknown.” (“Life Under the Shah“, The Harvard Crimson)
This is America’s legacy in Iran: “Whipping, beating, electric shocks, extraction of teeth, boiling water pumped into the rectum, and rape.” The United States will never be able to repay Iran for the 26 year-long reign of terror it inflicted on the country or the ocean of blood generated by the Shah. Washington alone is responsible for that suffering and carnage.
In 1979, the Iranian people overthrew Washington’s stooge (Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi) and installed Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic. The Ayatollah quickly seized control of the gas and oil industries and began recycling revenues into critical infrastructure, social services and the military. Washington has never forgiven Iran for its act of defiance in restoring its own sovereign independence. Nearly 4 decades later, the US is still doing everything in its power to roll back the revolution and reassert control over Iran’s vast natural wealth. Trump’s impulsive withdraw from the JCPOA is likely part of a broader destabilization plan that is aimed at regime change.
While there’s nothing new about US intervention, it’s worth noting the stark difference between a peaceful country like Iran and a chronic meddler like the US. For example,
Since the end of World War 2, Iran:
- Has not overthrown or tried to overthrow any foreign governments
- Has not attempted to assassinate any foreign leaders.
- Has not attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movements in other countries.
- Has not interfered in any foreign elections.
- Has not tortured foreign nationals in other countries.
Now let’s look at Washington’s record. Since the end of World War 2, the United States has:
- Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
- Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
- Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
- Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
- Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.*
- Plus … although not easily quantified … has been more involved in the practice of torture than any other country in the world … for over a century … not just performing the actual torture, but teaching it, providing the manuals, and furnishing the equipment.” (“The Anti-Empire Report”, William Blum)
Can you spot the difference between the two countries and their approach to foreign policy?
If you are one of the millions of people who get their news from the western media, you probably think the opposite is true. You probably think Iran and the “Mullahs” are the problem not peace-loving Uncle Sam.
It’s all baloney. Iran hasn’t had a day’s rest since it removed the miscreant Shah in 1979. The US has never let up on its relentless campaign to oust the government and install another servile lackey who will do their bidding.
Did you know that “Forty-five U.S. military bases encircle Iran, with over 125,000 troops in close proximity.”
It’s true. Iran is completely surrounded by hostile US forces that are ready to go to war at a moment’s notice.
And how many Iranian bases are there on US borders?
Not even one.
Did you know that the frequently-made claim that “Iran is the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism” is nonsense? It’s a complete fabrication. Think about it. Iran has put its own military personnel in harms way in Syria to fight Sunni extremists. (Al Qaida, Al Nusra, ISIS etc.) Why would they fight the terrorists in Syria but support them elsewhere?
They wouldn’t and they don’t. It’s just more disinformation from the dissembling media. Check this out:
“A February 26, 2015, report by the director of national intelligence, titled “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Communities,” stated that Iran is not the chief sponsor of terrorism, and removed Iran and Hezbollah from its list of terrorism threats. The report asserted Tehran’s intentions are to “dampen sectarianism, build responsive partners and de-escalate tensions with Saudi Arabia…, and combat Sunni extremists, including the Islamic State.” (“Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation”, M. Reza Behnam, Counterpunch)
Here’s more from the same piece:
“Iranians know all too well the egregious effects of terrorism. For decades, U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies have covertly financed, equipped and trained opposition groups that have fomented and carried out terrorist attacks inside Iran. Thousands of civilians and political figures, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, have suffered injury at the hands of terrorists.”
Yes, but if Iran isn’t funding, arming and training all those terrorists, then who is? Here’s part of the answer:
“U.S. intelligence agencies have supported the acts of violence committed by the Mujahedin-e Khalq—listed by the State Department as a terrorist group (now delisted) that advocates the overthrow of the Islamic Republic—as well as the Baluchi militant Salafi group Jundullah. An Iranian ethnic minority, Jundullah is a Sunni group aligned with the thinking of al-Qaeda.
In 2007, Congress agreed to a Bush administration request of $400 million to escalate covert operations to destabilize Iran’s government, with regime change the ultimate goal. The funding request came at the same time that a National Intelligence Estimate—-the collective work of America’s sixteen spy agencies—concluded that Iran had ceased its efforts to develop nuclear weapons in 2003….
Beginning in 2008, four of Iran’s nuclear scientists were assassinated on the streets of Tehran; the evidence pointed to Israeli agents. In 2011, a military arms depot was blown up, killing 17 people. The incident was similar to a blast in October 2010 at an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps missile base in Khorrambad. Both acts of sabotage were attributed to Israel.” (“Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation”, M. Reza Behnam, Counterpunch)
So while there’s no hard evidence of Iran sponsoring terrorism, there’s a heckuva a lot of proof that Washington and Tel Aviv have been up to no good, including cyber-warfare (Stuxnet), targeted assassinations, arming anti-government groups (and foreign jihadists in Syria), and all manner of violent covert operations aimed at toppling the government and installing another compliant meat-puppet.
But “Wait”, you say, “What about Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas? Aren’t they terrorist organizations?”
No, they’re not. They might be enemies of Washington and Tel Aviv, but that doesn’t make them terrorists. Was Hezbollah acting like a terrorist organization in 2006 when they defended their country against Israeli aggression and booted the IDF back over the border where they belonged?
No, that was self defense, not terrorism. Here’s more:
“Tehran does not support “international” terrorism, but it does provide material support to regional movements that it calls the oppressed, whose battle is directed toward the state of Israel—Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. These groups have used violence against Israel to end the brutal occupation of their land……Iran’s leaders believe that Israel’s long-term goal is to weaken the Islamic world, eliminating all resistance, in order to carry out its expansionist designs.” (“Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation”, M. Reza Behnam, Counterpunch)
The truth is, you can’t believe anything you read about Iran in the mainstream media. It’s all agenda-driven fake news concocted to justify more sword-rattling, more sanctions and more bloody foreign wars. Critical thinkers should look for alternate sources of news so they can analyze the information themselves and make up their own minds.