Webster G Tarpley – Tarpley.net July 21, 2010
After about two and a half years during which the danger of war between the United States and Iran was at a relatively low level, this threat is now rapidly increasing. A pattern of political and diplomatic events, military deployments, and media chatter now indicates that Anglo-American ruling circles, acting through the troubled Obama administration, are currently gearing up for a campaign of bombing against Iran, combined with special forces incursions designed to stir up rebellions among the non-Persian nationalities of the Islamic Republic. Naturally, the probability of a new fake Gulf of Tonkin incident or false flag terror attack staged by the Anglo-American war party and attributed to Iran or its proxies is also growing rapidly.
The moment in the recent past when the US came closest to attacking Iran was August-September 2007, at about the time of the major Israeli bombing raid on Syria.1 This was the phase during which the Cheney faction in effect hijacked a fully loaded B-52 bomber equipped with six nuclear-armed cruise missiles, and attempted to take it to the Middle East outside of the command and control of the Pentagon, presumably to be used in a colossal provocation designed by the private rogue network for which Cheney was the visible face. A few days before the B-52 escaped control of legally constituted US authorities, a group of antiwar activists issued The Kennebunkport Warning of August 24-25, 2007, which had been drafted by the present writer.2 It was very significant that US institutional forces acted at that time to prevent the rogue B-52 from proceeding on its way towards the Middle East. The refusal to let the rogue B-52 take off reflected a growing consensus in the US military-intelligence community and the ruling elite in general that the Bush-Cheney-neocon policy of direct military aggression towards all comers had become counterproductive and very dangerous, running the risk of a terminal case of imperial overstretch.
A prominent spokesman for the growing disaffection with the neocons was Zbigniew Brzezinski, who had been a national security director in the Carter administration. Brzezinski argued that no more direct military attacks by the United States should be made for the time being, and that US policy should rather focus on playing off other states against each other, while the US remained somewhat aloof. Brzezinski’s model was always his own successful playing of the Soviet Union against Afghanistan in 1979, leading to the collapse of the Soviet empire a decade later. A centerpiece of Brzezinski’s argument was evidently the claim that color revolutions on the model of Ukraine 2004 were much a better tool than the costly and dangerous US bombing and US invasion always championed by the monomaniacal neocons. There was clearly an implication that Brzezinski could deliver a color revolution in Iran, as he had done in Ukraine.
Brzezinski’s Nightmare of 2007 Is Back
Brzezinski formulated his critique of the neocon methods of aggression and imperialistic geopolitics in his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in February 2007, going so far as to point out the likely scenario of a false flag event or Gulf of Tonkin incident designed to embroil the United States in direct military hostilities with Iran. The heart of Brzezinski’s analysis was this: ‘If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large. A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a “defensive” U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.’ 3 Today we could add Lebanon and Syria to that list, plus perhaps Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and some others in central Asia.
The factors contributing to the current increased danger level include three major trends:
The CIA’s Green Movement in Iran Has Fizzled
The US sponsored Green Movement in Iran has now demonstrably failed in its project of overthrowing the Achmadinejad government. Back in 2006-2007, the Brzezinski-Nye-Trilateral “soft power” or “smart power” group attacked the stupidity of the neocon plan for a direct US military attack on Iran by pointing out the opportunities for staging a color revolution in Iran, just as the Brzezinski faction had successfully staged the Orange Revolution to install NATO puppets in Ukraine. Why attack Iran directly, argued Brzezinski and his friends, when a US puppet regime in Teheran could be used against Russia and China in much the same way these same people had played Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, with catastrophic results of the latter. The apex of these subversion efforts came in June 2009, with the so-called Twitter Revolution, which was celebrated with hysterical gloating in the Anglo-American media. The Mousavi-Rafsanjani faction left no doubt about its CIA and MI-6 parentage with its signature chant of “Death to Russia, Death to China.” The illusion of an easy coup in Iran has died hard in Washington and London. But by June 2010, the impotence of the Green forces in Iran had become evident. Hillary Clinton is even complaining that Achmadinejad now represents a military-backed government which has marginalized the mullahs, whom the US has demonized in public but privately relied on to prevent the economic modernization of Iran. This gives rise to the tendency to fall back on the previous neocon plan for some combination of direct military attack by Israel and the United States, combined with escalated subversion efforts among the Baluchis, Azeris, Arabs, Turkmen, and Kurds of Iran.
Russian Policy Now Uncertain
II. During the time that the neocons were attempting to launch aggression against Iran, that task was rendered much more difficult by pervasive uncertainty about the possible reaction of Russia. One of the targets of any bombing campaign against Iran would necessarily be the Bushehr nuclear reactor, being built by Russian technicians. Neocon war planners had to worry about events like the visit to Tehran of Russian President Vladimir Putin on October 16, 2007. During the Putin era, Russian media and figures like General Leonid Ivashov took the lead in calling attention to suddenly increases in US-UK war preparations, as in the case of Operation Byte, the attack on Iran proposed for Good Friday, April 6, 2007.4 While it was thought very unlikely that Russia would risk general war as a result of an attack on Iran, there remained nevertheless the question as to what Russia actually would do. This dangerous uncertainty was a very serious obstacle for the pro-war agitation by the neocons.
In this way, Putin was able to make a decisive contribution to the maintenance of world peace during the years after 9/11. As of mid-2010, it would appear that the foreign policy of Russian President Medvedev is momentarily evolving away from the fierce independence and Russian nationalism championed by Putin, and is placing more value on projects of cooperation with the NATO countries, sometimes obtained by unilateral concessions to the US. Part of this can be ascribed to the increasing influence of the free market ideologue Anatoly Chubais, the architect of the nomenklatura privatization of Soviet state property during the 1990s, whose concept of the modernization of the Russian economy depends very heavily on information technology, in which he portrays the United States as being in the lead. Newsweek has reported the approval of a new foreign policy outline drafted by the Russian foreign ministry which has allegedly gained provisional approval by President Medvedev. This document is entitled “Program for the Effective Exploitation on A Systemic Basis of Foreign Policy Factors for the Purposes of the Long-Term Development of the Russian Federation.” 5 The main immediate effect of the reported new Russian policy is the apparent willingness of the Kremlin to make important foreign policy concessions to the United States with very minimal returns. This in turn means that key unknowns surrounding a US attack on Iran have become less of a concern for the resurgent neocon war faction in Washington. This adds up to a situation in which an attack on Iran is now more likely.
The Us-Uk Hedge Fund Blitzkrieg Against the Euro Falters
III. It is a grave error to imagine that normal relations with the Anglo-American financiers can be obtained in the current world depression through conciliatory behavior. The US-UK are experiencing cataclysmic instability in the form of a financial breakdown crisis, and this crisis impels these powers towards irrational, adventuristic, and aggressive behavior. A key lesson of the 1930s is that, when imperialist financier elites are faced by a disintegration of their fictitious speculative bubbles, they often respond with strategic flights forward of the most lunatic sort. In the wake of the 2007-2008 disintegration of the Anglo-American banking system, the New York and London elites have shown signs of going collectively bonkers, although these clinical tendencies have been primarily expressed in the area of their reactionary domestic socioeconomic policies. The specific form assumed by this tendency after the second half of 2008 involves the severe weakening of the US dollar as the world reserve currency by the creation of a $24 trillion credit line by the Federal Reserve, US Treasury, and FDIC for the purpose of bailing out the Wall Street zombie banks. This tidal wave of dollars led to a severe weakening of the US greenback on international markets during most of the second half of 2009. In late 2009 and early 2010 a group of Anglo-American hedge funds around Soros, Paulson, David Einhorn, and others launched a speculative attack against the government bonds of Greece, Spain, and Portugal, with the goal of using a crisis in the southern tier of the euro to bring on a panic flight of hot money out of the euro, thus collapsing that currency to Third World levels. Partly because of the countermeasures instituted by the German government, including the banning of naked credit default swaps on Euroland bonds and naked shorts of German stocks, and partly thanks to direct support from China, the planned Anglo-American blitzkrieg against the euro has now bogged down after eight months of effort, with the euro currently oscillating at a price of about $1.25 – $1.30. This means that, unless the city of London and Wall Street can come up with a new plan, the forces of world economic depression represented by $1.5 quadrillion of bankrupt and kited derivatives may now find a new victim, most likely in the form of either the British pound or the US dollar.
The immediate threat of a pound or dollar currency collapse is leading the ruling financier factions to reconsider a very dangerous flight forward in the form of an attack on Iran, precisely because such an aggression would likely lead to a blocking of the Straits of Hormuz or in any case to a serious disruption of one third of the world’s tanker traffic. Following the tested model of the Kippur war/oil boycott of October 1973, the US-UK financiers would bid up the price of oil to $500 or $1000 per barrel, thus creating enough demand for dollars to soak up much of the dollar overhang and prop up the greenback, at least for a time.
An Astronomical Oil Price As Salvation for The US Dollar
As Jean-Michel Vernochet of the Réseau Voltaire has pointed out, the likely Iranian retaliation for the looming attack in terms of interdicting Hormuz and the Gulf is actually built into the US-UK war plan as a positive contribution towards saving the dollar by massively driving up the price of oil, which is of course still quoted mainly in dollars.6 Energy and Capital
editor Christian A. DeHaemer, an oil market analyst, commented: “The last oil price shock in the Middle East was in 1990 when the United States invaded Iraq for invading Kuwait. The price per barrel of oil went from $21 to $28 on August 6… to $46 by mid-October. The looming Iran War is not priced in,” he warned in his newsletter. Iran has the third-highest oil reserves in the world and is second only to Saudi Arabia in production. If any action prevents the flow of Iranian oil, the price of “black gold” would soar, he added.’ (IsraelNationalNews.com)7
Playing The Arabs Against The Iranians
One important prerequisite for US aggression grows out of the Trilateral group’s strategy, starting from the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group of 2006, of forming a block of the Sunni Arab nations against the Persian-speaking Iranian Shiites and their allies in the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas, as well as Syria. The Anglo-American hope for this tactic of divide and conquer is that hostility between Arabs and Persians will eclipse the more recent enmity between Jews and Arabs. “The Jews and Arabs have been fighting for one hundred years. The Arabs and the Persians have been going at (it) for a thousand,” wrote Jeffrey Goldberg on The Atlantic’s website.8
With many reports that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are ready to support the US aggression, great importance must be attached to the current struggle over the future shape of the government of Iraq. Here The secular Shiite Allawi is a US puppet, while his rival Maliki prefers Iran. Sadr and his Mahdi army, closely linked to Iran, represent a key stumbling block for US intentions. The US requires an Iraqi puppet state which will pursue at least a pro-US neutrality in case of war, and above all prevent Iranian special forces or guerrillas from cutting the long US supply line alone Route Tampa from Kuwait City. This is why the question of the Iraqi government was so important that Vice President Biden had to make a special trip to Iraq in the vain hope of quickly setting up a suitable puppet regime there. If the Iraq army turns against US, the situation of US forces could become extraordinarily critical.
War Warnings, Calls For War
Over recent days, warnings about imminent war and direct calls for war have been proliferating in the world media. The veteran Cuban leader Fidel Castro gave his most detailed media interview since the beginning of his illness several years ago, apparently for the express purpose of issuing a warning about US aggressive plans for Iran, and also for North Korea (DPRK). According to a wire dispatch of July 12, ‘the 83-year-old former president talked about how tension between the United States and both North Korea and Iran could ultimately trigger a global nuclear war …. Castro warned that an attack on Iran would be catastrophic for America. “The worst (for America) is the resistance they will face there, which they didn’t face in Iraq,” he said.’ 9
On July 11, the former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated that ‘the US compelled the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran in order to weaken the country and lay the ground for a military attack. The former Malaysian premier added, “It is a matter of time before the war criminals in Israel and the United States launch another war of aggression, once Iran has been weakened by sanctions.”’ 10
Around the same time, former Senator Chuck Robb and former NATO deputy commander General Charles Wald issued an editorial call for the US to begin preparing an attack. Their argument was that the fourth round of economic sanctions extorted by the United States from UN Security Council on June 9 would never be effective, and that military action had to be geared up in parallel to these sanctions. They also warned that the Cold War doctrine of deterrence would not work in regard to Iran: ‘Absent a broader and more robust strategy, however, sanctions alone will prove inadequate to halt Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons…current trends suggest that Iran could achieve nuclear weapons capability before the end of this year, posing a strategically untenable threat to the United States. Contrary to a growing number of voices in Washington, we do not believe a nuclear weapons-capable Iran could be contained…. We cannot afford to wait indefinitely to determine the effectiveness of diplomacy and sanctions. Sanctions can be effective only if coupled with open preparation for the military option as a last resort. Indeed, publicly playing down potential military options has weakened our leverage with Tehran, making a peaceful resolution less likely. Instead, the administration needs to expand its approach and make clear to the Iranian regime and the American people: If diplomatic and economic pressures do not compel Iran to terminate its nuclear program, the U.S. military has the capability and is prepared to launch an effective, targeted strike on Tehran’s nuclear and supporting military facilities…. The stakes are too high to rely on sanctions and diplomacy without credibly preparing for a potential military strike as well.’ 11
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1 Webster G. Tarpley, “Cheney Determined To Strike In US With WMD This Summer,” July 21, 2007, at http://tarpley.net/2007/07/21/cheney-determined-to-strike-in-us-with-wmd-this-summer/
2 “THE KENNEBUNKPORT WARNING/ To the American people, and to peace loving individuals everywhere: Massive evidence has come to our attention which shows that the backers, controllers, and allies of Vice President Dick Cheney are determined to orchestrate and manufacture a new 9/11 terror incident, and/or a new Gulf of Tonkin war provocation over the coming weeks and months. Such events would be used by the Bush administration as a pretext for launching an aggressive war against Iran, quite possibly with nuclear weapons, and for imposing a regime of martial law here in the United States. We call on the House of Representatives to proceed immediately to the impeachment of Cheney, as an urgent measure for avoiding a wider and more catastrophic war. Once impeachment has begun, it will be easier for loyal and patriotic military officers to refuse illegal orders coming from the Cheney faction. We solemnly warn the people of the world that any terrorist attack with weapons of mass destruction taking place inside the United States or elsewhere in the immediate future must be considered the prima facie responsibility of the Cheney faction. We urge responsible political leaders everywhere to begin at once to inoculate the public opinion of their countries against such a threatened false flag terror operation. (Signed) A Group of US Opposition Political Leaders Gathered in Protest at the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, August 24-25, 2007” at http://actindependent.org/
3 SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE TESTIMONY — ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, February 1, 2007, at www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/001916.php
4 Webster G. Tarpley, “Operation Bite – April 6 Sneak Attack By US Forces On Iran Planned, Russian Military Sources Warn,” March 25, 2007, www.rense.com/general75/bite.htm
5 Roger McDermott, “Kremlin Contemplates a Seismic Shift in Russian Foreign Policy,” May 31, 2010, www.jamestown.org/programs/edm/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=36393&cHash=f2c72323eb
6 ‘Sans oublier le scénario de basse intensité comportant la fermeture du détroit d’Ormuz… mais à y regarder de plus près, celle-ci ne ferait que retarder l’échéance d’une campagne (déjà planifiée) de frappes massives destinées à donner toutes ses chances aux forces intérieures œuvrant au renversement du régime. Le scénario « Ormuz » devant se révéler tout aussi impuissant à dissuader les attaquants potentiels… L’artère jugulaire d’Ormuz par laquelle transitent près de 30 % de la production mondiale des hydrocarbures nécessaires à faire tourner le moteur planétaire, fermée, un baril qui bondirait à 300 $ serait d’ailleurs une aubaine inespérée pour les Majors, le cartel des grandes Compagnies pétrolières, qui pourraient dès lors se lancer dans l’exploitation à haut coût des schistes et des sables bitumineux du Groenland et d’ailleurs ou se lancer dans d’aventureuses campagnes de forages en eaux profondes comme dans le golfe du Mexique et avec le « succès » que l’on sait.’ Jean-Michel Vernochet, “La guerre d’Iran aura-t-elle lieu?” Réseau Voltaire, www.voltairenet.org/article166329.html
7 Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, ‘Iran is Surrounded by US Troops in 10 Countries,’ June 27, 2010. www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/138284
11 ‘Sanctions alone won’t work on Iran,’ Washington Post, July 9, 2010, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/08/AR2010070805070.html
Last updated 06/08/2010