IRAN NEWSLETTER # 25, January 17, 2014.
COMPILED BY DICK BENNETT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE (#11 Oct. 8, 2011; #12 Jan. 31, 2012; #13 Feb. 22, 2012; #14 Feb. 26, 2012; #15 March 17, 2012; #16 April 12, 2012; #17 May 21, 2012; #18, July 9, 2012; #19 August 13, 2012; #20 Sept. 10, 2012; #21, Dec. 14, 2012; #22 March 5, 2013; #23 Nov. 12, 2013; #24 March 5, 2014)
The opening of a Jewish prayer from the Sabbath service: “Disturb us, Adonai, ruffle us from our complacency; make us dissatisfied. Dissatisfied with the peace of ignorance, the quietude which arises from a shunning of the horror, the defeat, the bitterness and the poverty, physical and spiritual, of humans. Shock us, Adonai, deny to us the false Shabbat which gives us the delusions of satisfaction amid a world of war and hatred.”
US crimes against
are manifold and suggest a mental illness
epidemic among our leaders, whether Republican or Democratic. Or have our
leaders been puppets of Iran ’s
leaders? It is time the President of
apologized. We, the People who are
informed of our nation’s nefarious deeds, have apologized long ago. United States
What is the mission of OMNI?
To seriously support the Quaker call for
a world free of war and the threat of war,
a society with equity and justice for all,
a community where every person’s potential may be fulfilled,
and an earth restored.
"To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." -- Robert H. Jackson, Chief U.S. Prosecutor,
Military Tribunal Nuremberg
“It has been a mainstay of this book that successful antiwar movements are those that have been able to make direct links with those in the flight path of
aggression and to bring their struggles and concerns directly into the
political arena. Indeed, direct
comprehension of their urgent struggles has often been a radicalizing factor in
antiwar campaigns.”” Richard Seymour, American Insurgents: A Brief History of
American Anti-Imperialism (2012). p. 193. US
J. William Fulbright during the height of the Cold War attempted to extend his Exchange Program to the Soviet Union, but his plan to acquire a part of WWII Lend Lease money the Russians were repaying was scuttled by US Sovietphobes. See The Price of Empire. Another
native, Betty Bumpers, wife of then Senator Bumpers, created the women’s
organization, Peace Links, to exchange women from the US and and other countries. Russia
Here is the link to all the newsletters archived in the OMNI web site.
http://www.omnicenter.org/newsletter-archive/ These newsletters offer information that enables us to examine morality and judgment of our leaders and their policies, of power. Here is the link to the Index: http://www.omnicenter.org/omni-newsletter-general-index/
Contents Nos. 18-24 at end.
Contents Iran Newsletter #25 January 17, 2014
US Hostility Today
Cole, Republican Control of House and Senate, Disasters Ahead
Clifton and Gharib, Iranophobic Lobbying Machine Dominates Congressional
Peace Action, Diplomacy Now
Council for a Livable World, Support Kerry and Diplomacy
FCNL, Lobby Congress
FCNL, Contact Congress
Move On, Berim: Contact Congress, Support Diplomacy
Public Peace Efforts During Viet Nam War
History of US/Iranian Relations: the 1953 Coup, After the Shah, Reagan, Fear/Hate Mongers (see preceding newsletters)
Abrahamian, The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian
Relations (rev. by Abouyoub in Monthly Review)
Relations (rev. by Abouyoub in Monthly Review)
Cole, CIA: Embassy and Ambassador
Stockman, US Started the Nuc Conflict During Reagan Admin.
Gareth Porter Interviewed by Andrew Cockburn in Harper’s
Edward Herman, rev. of Gareth Porter’s Manufactured Crisis of Iran’s Nuclear
US HOSTILITY TODAY
Juan Cole, Top 5 Disasters if GOP Senate Derails Iran Talks. Juan Cole, Informed Comment , Reader Supported News, Nov. 16, 2014.
Cole writes: "The Republican Party is already conniving at ways to derail the US-Iran negotiations over Tehran's civilian nuclear enrichment program."
Cole writes: "The Republican Party is already conniving at ways to derail the US-Iran negotiations over Tehran's civilian nuclear enrichment program."
The Iranophobia Lobby Machine
BY ELI CLIFTON AND ALI GHARIB, THE NATION, JULY 17, 2014 [August 4/11. –Dick]
Neocon think tanks get millions from wealthy donors, which they use to game the system, buy influence — and push for regime change.
DOUG CHAKA/THE NATION [Enemies of Iran Gather in Washington]
In the basement of Washington's swank Mandarin Oriental Hotel on a balmy spring day, the conference guests were finishing up their boxed lunches as the conversation shifted to their host's pet topic — Iran. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, perhaps DC's premier neoconservative think tank, had gathered donors, supporters, press, and other interested parties for a two-day meeting on Middle East policy. And some of the Hill's most rapacious hawks for sanctions on Iran were in the room that day to receive awards.
The moderator, a veteran Bloomberg reporter, hailed FDD executive director Mark Dubowitz as "the architect of many of the sanctions we have against Iran right now, who advised Congress on how to draft that legislation and has also advised Treasury and the White House on his opinions about sanctions." The praise was telling. Although Dubowitz tried to give credit to Congress, the White House and the departments of Treasury and State, groups like the FDD play an outsize role in shaping policy on the delicate and potentially explosive issue of Iran's nuclear program.
Since the moderate Hassan Rouhani was elected president of Iran last June, the Obama administration has engaged in an intensive round of diplomacy aimed at placing permanent curbs on that program. The talks have progressed further than anyone expected, with an interim deal in November that set a late July deadline for reaching a final accord. On Capitol Hill, though, diplomacy has been dismissed by a parade of influential naysaying hawks. And these organizations are already talking up ways of making sure that a deal, if one is reached, is dead on arrival.
Within Washington's corridors of power, the institution that has done the most to focus attention on the alleged Iranian nuclear threat — Congress — has also been among the most skeptical when it comes to using diplomacy to do anything about it. But the members of Congress don't come up with these ideas on their own. A handful of organizations — especially the FDD, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) — do most of the legwork in shaping policy. An even smaller network of right-wing donors funds these groups (see the sidebar for more).
Over the past decade, this small network of advocates has become incredibly effective at getting its way. A 2010 bill slapping sanctions on foreign banks and companies doing business — especially oil business — with Iran passed the Senate 99–0, and a 2011 amendment sanctioning international companies dealing with Iran's Central Bank passed 100–0. In 2012, another sanctions amendment passed the Senate 94–0, and a 2013 resolution backing Israel should it attack Iran was passed 99–0. "By far and away the most powerful voices are what you can term the hawkish groups on Iran policy," says a former congressional aide.
In the boxing ring that is Washington, the match-up isn't even. Compare, for example, the budgets of groups that oppose diplomacy with those that support it. Four of Washington's pro-diplomacy groups are significant players on the Hill: the Center for a New American Security, the National Iranian American Council, the American Iranian Council and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. According to their most recent tax filings, these organizations boasted an annual combined budget of approximately $9.4 million.
Meanwhile, the latest tax filings for just two of the groups that push hardline policies, the FDD and AIPAC, have a combined budget of approximately $75 million. And that doesn't include the annual budget of an AIPAC offshoot, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy ($8.7 million), or aggressive right-wing PR groups like United Against Nuclear Iran ($1.6 million), whose spokespeople are regularly quoted by national media.
All that cash helps produce papers and reports advising Congress, flashy DC conferences and other ways of accessing power. For example, a more modestly funded dovish group might request a meeting with members of Congress, but some members will meet only with advocates who bring along a constituent, which could require buying a plane ticket. "That's obviously easier for lobby groups that have a lot of money, because they can fly someone out," says Kate Gould, a lobbyist with the pro-diplomacy Friends Committee on National Legislation.
The hawkish groups skillfully work the Hill with regular briefings and frequent contacts with staffers. Their battalions of policy analysts and lawyers "package [sanctions] bills and hand them to congressional offices," says the former Hill aide. They also assiduously ply the mainstream media, regularly providing op-eds and quotes in news coverage. In other words, this is a full-scale operation: the hawks generate the ideas, translate them into policy, shepherd bills through Congress, and celebrate their passage.
To see how deeply these groups have influenced Congress, one need only glance at the docket of House and Senate committee hearings on Iran. It's at these hearings that members of Congress vie to burnish their credentials as being tough on Iran, calling for ever-harsher sanctions. "Congressional hearings are not weighted to be some objective analysis of some foreign policy issue," says the former congressional aide. "The people who are calling the hearings have an agenda."
Since November 2012, eleven separate hearings on Iran policy have considered a total of thirty-six expert testimonies from outside groups. Of that number, two neoconservative organizations dominated: FDD fellows made five appearances, and those from the AEI had four. Neoconservative allies like David Albright, who co-chairs a nonproliferation group with Dubowitz and spoke before Congress four times in this period, also gave testimony. All told, people associated with groups taking a hard line on Iran sanctions accounted for twenty-two of the thirty-six testimonies solicited by House and Senate committees.
Centrist think tanks, on the other hand, were underrepresented. Employees of the Council on Foreign Relations testified twice, while the Brookings Institution, the RAND Corporation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Center for Strategic and International Studies fielded only one witness apiece over the period reviewed by The Nation. Experts from dovish think tanks hardly appeared at all: the only witness from such a group, Barak Barfi of the generally left-of-center New America Foundation, made one appearance.
Since 2010, when the GOP retook the House, the Foreign Affairs Committee has been led by hard-liners. Florida's über-aggressive Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was replaced last year by California's Ed Royce, who is only slightly less extreme. In 2013, Royce's committee unanimously approved legislation that the FDD helped write — and that AIPAC has backed — which would tighten the screws on Iran, giving "the ayatollah a choice between the collapse of his economy or compromise on his nuclear weapons program and giving up that program," in Royce's words. The bill came to a full House vote at the end of July, just days before Rouhani's inauguration. MORE http://www.theinvestigativefund.org/investigations/politicsandgovernment/2002/the_iranophobia_lobby_machine
Eli Clifton is a reporting fellow with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute who focuses on money in politics and US foreign policy. He previously reported for the American Independent New Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service. Clifton is coauthor of the Center for American Progress's report "Fear Inc.: The Roots...
Ali Gharib is a reporting fellow with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, where he focuses on US foreign policy. He previously served as a senior editor at Open Zion, a Mideast blog at the Daily Beast. His pieces have appeared in Foreign Policy, Washington Monthly, ...
PEACE ACTION, DIPLOMACY
Like clockwork, opponents of diplomacy are back at work trying to throw a wrench in the recently extended nuclear negotiations with Iran.
Members of Congress who fear losing the upper hand at the negotiating table are pressing for even more sanctions. But instead of gaining leverage, a move like this only would give Iranian hardliners a reason to get up and walk away--and likely get back on track toward a nuclear weapon.
We must do all we can to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran without perpetuating war in the Middle East and putting even more American lives at risk.
This potentially historic deal would make our world safer and more secure; more sanctions could mean the end of diplomacy, more war in the Middle East, a nuclear-armed Iran, or all three. You've helped us push back on Congress's attempts to scuttle these important talks before, and we can do it again. If you agree, tell Congress by signing our petition!
Thanks for making your voice heard.
Angela Canterbury & John Isaacs
Council for a Livable World
322 4th Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
Dear James Bennett,
With U.S. bombs dropping in Iraq and Syria, the fall of 2014 might seem like a dark time for nonviolence and diplomacy. But, just out of national headlines, negotiators with Iran are quietly making history. A year ago, the U.S. and Iran were barely on speaking terms. Now, we're just months away from a long-term deal on Iran's nuclear program. That's diplomacy at work.
Looking at the crises of this fall, it's clear that we need to lift up diplomacy andengagement as an alternative to bombing and more violence. Your calls and letters are critically important, but I want you to take it a step further: come to Washington and lobby with us for diplomacy this November.
This year's lobby day is just days before the deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran, and there's no better time to remind Congress that diplomacy works. It's the best way to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and it's the best way to keep the U.S. from entering yet another war.
Join us in Washington, DC for two days of trainings, panels and lobbying. We're excited to welcome special guest Parker Palmer, acclaimed author of Healing the Heart of Democracy. He'll be joined by Col. Lawrence Wilkerson—former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell—who champions diplomacy on and off the Hill.
I hope you'll be able to join us. If you're not ready to register yet,get more information about the Quaker Public Policy Institute.
We already know that the best path to a safer and more peaceful world is through diplomacy. Congress needs to hear it.
Associate Executive Secretary
SUPPORT DIPLOMACY WITH IRAN
From: Sara Haghdoosti <email@example.com>
Subject: Will you add your name?
Date: July 24, 2014 at 3:06:17 PM PDT
Reply-To: Sara Haghdoosti <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Art -
The extreme flank of the Republican party is trying to undermine the President’s diplomacy with Iran. Over the last few days, two bills have been introduced in the Senate and House. One calls for increasing sanctions on Iran the other attempts to tie the President’s hands in regards to the negotiations. If passed, these bills would undermine the Iran/US negotiations and drag us down the path of another senseless war in the Middle East.
At the moment these bills are only getting traction within the Republican party. Here’s the thing though - if these voices continue to be the only ones in the debate they will push legislators away from reasonable policies that support the President’s diplomacy and towards more hawkish measures.
That’s where we come in. On Monday over 21 Berim members from all over the country will be flying to DC. They’ll be meeting with their representatives and telling them why they support diplomacy with Iran. For their words to have impact, Members of Congress need to know that these Berim members are not alone.
We need to ensure that our voices are a continued presence in this debate so that we can push representatives to take positive stances as opposed to moving from terrible legislative options to bad ones.
It doesn’t matter where your representative stands personally - your voices still have impact. If they’re supportive, your petitions will show them that we stand along side them. If they’re on the fence, it could help them find the courage to speak out in favor of diplomacy. If they’re against, showing them that they’re disconnected from their voters may convince them to stay silent on the issue.
We only have a few days before the peace delegation flies into DC - so please spread the word by forwarding this email to friends and family so our petition will be as strong as it possibly can be.
Sara on behalf of the Berim team.
Tell Congress: Don't Break the Iran Deal
International Antiwar Coalitions During Vietnam War: Parallels During Long US/Iran Cold War?
REVIEW: Vietnam War Era Journeys: Recovering Histories of Internationalism by Michele Hardesty. Monthly Review (Oct. 2014)
Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013), 346 pages, $26.95, paperback.
The cover of Judy Tzu-Chun Wu’s Radicals on the Road features a sepia-toned photograph of Eldridge Cleaver raising his fist in a Black Power salute behind three Vietnamese women in combat helmets, one of whom is kneeling behind an anti-aircraft gun. While you have probably seen a similar photograph of Jane Fonda from her North Vietnam trip in 1972, images like that of Cleaver are less common, if circulated at all. In this second book by Wu, she documents three sets of journeys, like Cleaver’s, that have remained at the margins of both the scholarship and the popular memory of the antiwar movement.… | more | [Wu documents three sets of journeys “of traveling radicals who consciously crossed national borders and made coalitions across race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in order to build an international antiwar movement.” Wu’s subject in Section One, “Journeys for Peace,” is Robert Span Browne, a leader for black liberation in the US and for decolonization in the Third World from the 1930s to the 1970s. In Section Two, “Journeys for Liberation,” she recounts the tour of North Korea, North Vietnam, and China in 1970 by the U.S. People’s Anti-Imperialist Delegation, headed by Black Panther Party leader Eldridge Cleaver and Ramparts editor Robert Scheer. And in Section Three, “Journeys for Global Sisterhood,” she examines the Indochinese Women’s Conferences in 1971 in Canada. –Dick]
HISTORY, CONTEXTS OF US/IRAN CONFLICT
A Defining Moment: The Historical Legacy of the 1953 Iran Coup by
Younes Abouyoub. Monthly Review (Oct. 2014)
Ervand Abrahamian, The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations (New York: New Press, 2012), 304 pages.
The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States began in earnest as soon as the Second World War ended, shaping most of the remainder of the twentieth century. The U.S. doctrine of “containment” required confronting the Soviets at every point of contact, accompanied by the claim that lasting peace could be reached only through the establishment of an international order based on national states which enjoyed a U.S.-defined political liberty and a capitalist economic order. The Soviets bolstered their security through providing support to countries seen as friendly and close to their borders. Therefore, maintaining influence in Iran was a goal of Soviet foreign policy in the Middle East. U.S. foreign policy was shaped by its own state interests and ideology and driven by the American postwar, worldwide systems of military bases.… It is this turbulent period of geopolitical maneuvering that Ervand Abrahamian's The Coup revisits. Yet, unlike other books on the 1953 events in Iran, Abrahamian locates the U.S.-backed coup less in the Cold War ideological confrontation between East and West than in the conflicts which opposed imperialism and nationalism; between the center of world capitalism and the underdeveloped economies heavily dependent on exporting raw natural resources.
Monthly Review Foundation | 146 W. 29th Street, Suite 6W, New York, NY 10001
Tel: (212) 691-2555; Outside of NY: (1-800) 670-9499; Fax: (212) 727-367
"US Sent CIA Director as Ambassador to Tehran after CIA Overthrew Iran's Democratic Gov't (US Now Complaining about Hostage-Taker Amb.)"
By Juan Cole, Informed Comment blog, posted April 13
The author teaches history at the
. University of Michigan
By David Stockman, "Stockman's Corner" blog, posted March 26, 2014. [from HAW]
The author was director of the Office of Management and the Budget under President Reagan.
Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear ScareReview by Edward S. Herman
Journalist-scholar Gareth Porter has published another fine book on
follows in the footsteps of his 2005 study, . The earlier book had as it
main theme the idea that dominant U.S. military power in the 1950s and 1960s
caused the U.S. leadership to believe that the threat of indefinite
escalation would induce their Vietnamese enemy to surrender on U.S. terms,
which the Vietnamese refused to do (his subtitle was “Imbalance of Power and
the Road to War in Vietnam”). A main theme of the new book is that U.S. U.S. power has permitted it to bully and
manipulate the UN, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other
elements of the “international community,” with the collaboration of Israel and its other Western allies, into
selective harassment and even low-level warfare against for its alleged quest for
nuclear weapons. A semi-permanent crisis has been manufactured and
institutionalized by the militarily dominant world bully, damaging the
well-being of millions of Iranian civilians and posing the threat of open
Porter points out that the
was highly supportive
of the nuclear program of the Shah of Iran, who had plans for 23 nuclear
power stations at the time of his 1979 ouster. Following that political change
the United States United States quickly
turned from encouraging Iran’s
nuclear program to active hostility, going to great pains to discourage any
material or technology transfers to the new regime, even browbeating suppliers
from fulfilling contracts that would have permitted to complete its single nuclear
reactor. There is no reason to disbelieve the Iranian claim that its aims
initially were confined to completing its plant at Bushehr
and continuing the operation of its Tehran Research Reactor for medical
services. Porter makes the important point that the eventual Iranian effort to
enrich uranium at home was a result of that Reagan era refusal to allow Iran
to import that material. The refusal to allow Iranian imports of nuclear
materials was also a denial of its rights under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty. In the early years of the Iran boycott of nuclear materials
and know-how there was no suggestion that this was out of fear of
weaponization. It was just hostility to a government that had replaced a U.S. U.S. puppet and was independent, i.e., no longer
U.S. hostility was displayed early in the
Carter administration’s failure to try to stop the Iraqi invasion of Iran, for which the had advance 1980. There was the hope that this war
would bleed United States
and perhaps even overthrow the regime. Porter quotes Walter Mondale: “We believed
that this war would put further pressure on the Iranian regime.” Reagan era
hostility went far in supplying Iran Iraq
with war materials, including cluster bombs, providing strategic advice, and
working to persuade other countries not to supply arms to . This country made no protest
at Iran ’s
massive use of chemical weapons against Iranian troops and civilians. Iraq
Porter notes that the Iranians did not retaliate with their own chemical weapons, and he points out later that there is no evidence that the Islamic Republic has ever built any chemical weapons capability. The Islamic leadership of
has repeatedly declared that both chemical and nuclear weapons are immoral and
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwah in 2003 declaring that the development
and use of nuclear weapons was contrary to Islamic principles. This non-use of
chemical weapons in the 1980s and declarations of the
religious-morality-based prohibition of both chemical and nuclear weapons
has been awkward for the Western warriors, so they and the media have solved
this problem by occasional sneers and declarations of disbelief in the
sincerity of these fatwahs, but mainly refusal to discuss. Iran
In 1983 the Reagan administration obtained a cancellation of an IAEA program of aid to the Iranian nuclear program, which was the beginning of a systematic
effort to prevent any international assistance to ’s nuclear activities. It was a
part of a de facto war against Iran
with geopolitical objectives and not directed to any perceived menace of
a nuclear weapons program. This, and the durable program of denial that
followed, was a denial of Iran ’s
legal rights under the NPT. But the Iran could not only get
away with pursuing this denial, it could build on it. United States
Iran persisted in trying to develop its nuclear capability partly for reasons of a desire to build up its entire range of technical resources, partly perhaps to have a stand-by nuclear capability for a weapons construction in case of urgent need (a “hedging” strategy), and partly as a matter of national pride. Porter describes how universally the Iranian populace supports a nuclear program, and not for its weaponization capability, and thus how much pressure there is on its leadership to not abandon it altogether under external threat.
power and hostility, whatever Iran
did in the way of acquiring nuclear materials or technology could be
portrayed as sinister; suppliers to would be demonized and
pressured. The IAEA was gradually transformed into a Iran U.S.
instrument of attack on .
Porter tells the story of how Mohamed ElBaradei, long-time head of the IAEA
(1997-2009), fought a long battle to prevent the IAEA from becoming a pure
instrument of U.S. policy, but under such pressure that the IAEA was made
into such an instrument anyway, though becoming more blatantly so
with his resignation and replacement by Yukiya Amano in July 2009. Iran
Because of these hostile reactions to any of its nuclear transactions, along with
public threats, beginning in 1997, to bomb Iran’s
was secretive about some of its actions. This opened up greater possibilities
of demonization and proofs of evil intentions underlying its program.
Porter describes a stream of such accusations and proofs of dishonorable
Iranian behavior. An early one was the 2002 disclosure to the media of an
unpublicized Iranian facility being built at Natanz, possibly to produce
enriched uranium. This public disclosure occurred before the deadline by which Iran
had to notify the IAEA, but.the propaganda system made the most of it.
Significantly, the initial publicity was provided by the
Mujahedeen-el-Khalq (MEK), a terrorist organization in the Iran years, but taken
off and transformed into freedom fighters by the Obama administration.
The disclosure by MEK was based on information supplied by Clinton based on satellite photos.
The media gobbled it up. Israel
The U.S. Iran policy of regime change, made explicit during the Bush-Cheney years, made for unrelenting hostility toward and demonization of the Iranian government. The Bush administration expected to attack
Iran once they had done with Iraq, but the setback in Iraq not only stalled this invasion plan, it
made it harder for them to get the threat brought before
the Security Council. But throughout the Bush years and in the decades that
followed, the Iran United States
and Israel kept up a tattoo
of charges against
that required more inspections and created the moral atmosphere of a patient
West dealing with a genuine menace. Iran
Of course the charges against
now featured their alleged
pursuit of nuclear weapons, which made their evasions more
menacing. There was in consequence a long and intensive effort to produce
evidence, or claim that weaponization charges were credible even if not
verified, so as to allow harsher penalties and possible military action against
Porter deals in detail with a number of these episodes and finds all of
them fraudulent. Notable was the “laptop documents” of 2004, that showed Iranian
weaponization work, which mysteriously fell into Iran hands, supposedly provided by
an Iranian engineer and spy, who never made a personal appearance. These
documents once again were supplied by MEK, which got them once again from U.S. .
There were also internal inconsistencies and other problems with these
documents that caused the German secret service agency BND to regard them as in
the same class with the spurious information given them by “Curveball” prior to
invasion. It is notable that Colin Powell used the Curveball claims in his
false testimony on the Iraq Iraq
threat at the UN in February 2003, and in 2004 once again cited Curveball 2 in
supporting the Bush administration charges against . Iran
There were many other claims of an Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons, and there was a steady struggle both within the IAEA and
and Israeli intelligence agencies on this issue. But no hard evidence was ever
produced and quite a few intelligence experts claimed that there was no
evidence of an Iranian pursuit of weapons, although they might be
aiming at a weapons capability. Porter emphasizes the important institutional
bias of the experts in this field toward finding the results their political
superiors wanted, and those superiors wanted to find Iranian nuclear weapons or
weapons programs. The struggles just noted were a result of the fact that
wasn’t pursuing nuclear weapons, so that created a serious difficulty for those
experts with integrity. But the latter regularly lost out and intelligence
reports regularly ended with claims that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons.
(See chap. 9, “Intelligence Failure”) Iran
Porter stresses throughout the important role the mainstream media have played in manufacturing the
crisis. Like the experts the media also have institutional pressures that cause
them to get on official bandwagons and to avoid challenging claims against
demonized enemies. Porter has scores of illustrations of cases of media
gullibility and of journalists often going beyond official claims to make the
demon even more nefarious. The most prominent media propagandists shown up in
his book are David Sanger, Ethan Bronner and William Broad of the ,
Carla Anne Robbins of the Wall , Joby Warrick, David Ignatius and Robin
Wright of the , and Melissa Block and Mike Schuster
of NPR. Iran
The other major actors in this manufactured crisis are the leaders of
most notably Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. They have played the Israel
nuclear threat card for years, although many Israeli analysts consider the
threat inflated and/or manageable. But it is very useful for distracting
attention away from the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Iran Palestine
as under siege and threat of another Holocaust. It has worked well, and has
helped maintain the Israel
threat at a high pitch. Iran Clinton threw his
weight into this campaign to win Israeli and hence legislative support, and it
has put great pressure on Obama. U.S.
Porter spells out the confusion and contradictions in Obama’s policy toward
While initially talking about direct negotiations and a new relationship with Iran Iran in public, he secretly gave a go ahead to a
joint U.S.-Israeli cyber-warfare program to disable ’s Natanz facility, which was
actually carried out, and he adopted a hard line policy on negotiations and
sanctions. Porter contends that Obama did this in collusion with Netanyahu in
exchange for the latter’s promise to freeze settlements on the Iran West Bank, which Netanyahu never fulfilled. Porter also
contends that Obama and Netanyahu colluded on a phony war crisis whereby
Netanyahu would threaten an attack on Iran,
and the U.S. would not
oppose it publicly but with the understanding that Netanyahu would not
attack—the point being to worry Iran
and also worry Russia and China into agreeing to more severe sanctions on . Iran
The Obama-Netanyahu alliance eventually fell apart, because Netanyahu failed to carry out his part of the agreement and also over-reached in putting pressure on Obama. Netanyahu counted on a Republican electoral victory in 2012, and called on AIPAC and his political allies in congress to force Obama to accept a “red line” beyond which the military option would enter the picture. Following the election Obama backed off from the phony war crisis plan, and he made it clear that he was not committed to the red line and war option and couldn’t be counted on to follow Netanyahu into war.
Porter gives great weight to the June 2013 election of Hassan Rouhani as president of
which he believes opened up new peace possibilities. Obama welcomed this
election and negotiations soon followed, in the course of which Iran made a
series of concessions to assure the West that it would not be approaching a
nuclear weapons capability (Porter summarizes these in an Epilogue). Porter is
qualifiedly optimistic that an agreement might be reached, but he points out
the great power of the pro-war forces and the political costs an agreement
might impose on Obama, amplified by the fact that he and his staff had engaged
in a demonization of Iran that made it hard for him to support an agreement
except on strictly pragmatic grounds. But he ends on a hopeful note. Iran
Porter’s book is notable for its focus on empirical evidence and factual detail in making his cases and effectively refuting the claims of the manufacturers of the crisis. In some respects this makes his book more powerful and likely to be taken seriously by members of the establishment. On the other hand, it sacrifices some of the drama and larger meanings of his findings. For example, he points out that the Israelis have carried out a number of assassinations of Iranian scientists, and that the Israelis and
have had positive
relations with MEK, a terrorist organization that has participated in the
manufacture of a crisis. But he does not use the words terrorist or sponsor of
terrorism to describe United States Israel
and the .
Similarly, he notes that the Israeli-US insertion of a computer virus into the
Natanz plant was “the first national cyber attack to be aimed at the actual
destruction of civilian infrastructure in another country.” But he does
not call this an act of terrorism or
aggression. He has many pages describing the frequent Israeli threats
to bomb United States Iran’s nuclear
connivance in this program, but he does not point out that such a threat is
itself an act of aggression in violation of the UN Charter. So is the sanctions program, designed to make Iranian
civilians suffer in order to coerce the Iranian government into bargaining
concessions or to facilitate regime change. It is also notable that the head of
the UN has not objected at all to these acts that violate the UN Charter,
although that is the instrument that supposedly guides his work. He works in
fact for the prime violators of the Charter. U.S.
So this is not merely a manufactured crisis, it is a joint criminal enterprise that is not yet at an end. But like Porter we may hope that it is or soon will be.
[Dick: I read this in Z Magazine (April 2014)]
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US Empire: Cuba #4, 1-16-15
US Nationalism #2, 1-9-15
US Capitalism #24, 12-21-14
US Empire, Surveillance: Snowden #6, 12-4-14
IRAN Newsletters 18-24
Contents of #18
Petition Not to Attack
Pledge of Resistance
Abrahamian, The 1953 CIA Coup
Cumings, et al., Inventing the Axis of Evil
Special Section: Frank
War Weekly Brodhead, Iran
NYT Fails to Report Call
Credo: Tell Obama
Frank Brodhead’s Weekly Continued, August 19
Brodhead’s Weekly, September 10, 2012
Veterans for Peace
Chomsky on US/Israeli Threat
Retracts Its Falsehood
Pro-Israel Meet the Press
Lendman, An Alternative History
Contents #22 March 5, 2013
Affleck’s Film Argo
Ibrahamian, The Coup
2009 Uprising Against Rigged Election
Newsletter #23 Nov. 12, 2013 Iran
Tikkun, Michael Lerner, What is Needed to Conclude the Deal
’s Denial of Seeking the Bomb
Not Sudden Iran
Bennis, Pres. Obama’s Iran Speech
Code Pink for Diplomacy
Scheer: US Intervention Ended Iran’s Experiment with Democracy
Andrew Cockburn: Ferocity and Failure of US Sanctions
Nick Turse: If
with Nuclear Bombs Iran
Shirazi, US Spins Iranian Elections
General Cartwright Indicted for Exposing US Cybernet Attacks
Tutu: End Double Standard for Nuclear Weapons
Leverett, Engage Don’t Threaten
Pope Francis and President Rohani versus Extremism
Frank Brodhead via HAW, April 2, 2013
Frank Brodhead, HAW, May 26, 2013
Contents Iran Newsletter #24
Dick, the 1979 Embassy Seizure
Contact Senators, Oppose S 1881, Pyror and Boozman are Co-Sponsors
Halts Nuclear Expansion Iran
Juan Cole, Stop GOP from Derailing Negotiations
Chomsky, “Axis of Evil” Revisited
Cole, Analysis of a Netanyahu Speech
J-Street, For Diplomacy, Contact President Obama
Council for a Liveable World, Remove War-monger Representatives, Elect Pro-Diplomacy
Dick, Apologise to
END IRAN NEWSLETTER #25