As President Donald Trump prepares to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week, a group of U.S. intelligence veterans offers corrections to a number of false accusations that have been levelled against Iran.
February 26, 2018
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: War With Iran
In our December 21st Memorandum to you, we cautioned that the claim that Iran is currently the world’s top sponsor of terrorism is unsupported by hard evidence. Meanwhile, other false accusations against Iran have intensified. Thus, we feel obliged to alert you to the virtually inevitable consequences of war with Iran, just as we warned President George W. Bush six weeks before the U.S. attack on Iraq 15 years ago.
In our first Memorandum in this genre we told then-President Bush that we saw “no compelling reason” to attack Iraq, and warned “the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.” The consequences will be far worse, should the U.S. become drawn into war with Iran. We fear that you are not getting the straight story on this from your intelligence and national security officials.
After choosing “War With Iran” for the subject-line of this Memo, we were reminded that we had used it before, namely, for a Memorandum to President Obama on August 3, 2010 in similar circumstances. You may wish to ask your staff to give you that one to read and ponder. It included a startling quote from then-Chairman of President Bush Jr.’s Intelligence Advisory Board (and former national security adviser to Bush Sr.) Gen. Brent Scowcroft, who told the Financial Times on October 14, 2004 that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had George W. Bush “mesmerized;” that “Sharon just has him wrapped around his little finger.” We wanted to remind you of that history, as you prepare to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week.
* * *
Rhetoric vs. Reality
We believe that the recent reporting regarding possible conflict with nuclear-armed North Korea has somewhat obscured consideration of the significantly higher probability that Israel or even Saudi Arabia will take steps that will lead to a war with Iran that will inevitably draw the United States in. Israel is particularly inclined to move aggressively, with potentially serious consequences for the U.S., in the wake of the recent incident involving an alleged Iranian drone and the shooting down of an Israeli aircraft.
There is also considerable anti-Iran rhetoric in U.S. media, which might well facilitate a transition from a cold war-type situation to a hot war involving U.S. forces. We have for some time been observing with some concern the growing hostility towards Iran coming out of Washington and from the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is warning that the “time to act is now” to thwart Iran’s aggressive regional ambitions while U.S. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley sees a “wake-up” call in the recent shooting incident involving Syria and Israel. Particular concern has been expressed by the White House that Iran is exploiting Shi’a minorities in neighboring Sunni dominated states to create unrest and is also expanding its role in neighboring Iraq and Syria.
While we share concerns over the Iranian government’s intentions vis-à-vis its neighbors, we do not believe that the developments in the region, many of which came about through American missteps, have a major impact on vital U.S. national interests. Nor is Iran, which often sees itself as acting defensively against surrounding Sunni states, anything like an existential threat to the United States that would mandate the sustained military action that would inevitably result if Iran is attacked.
Iran’s alleged desire to stitch together a sphere of influence consisting of an arc of allied nations and proxy forces running from its western borders to the Mediterranean Sea has been frequently cited as justification for a more assertive policy against Tehran, but we believe this concern to be greatly exaggerated. Iran, with a population of more than 80 million, is, to be sure, a major regional power but militarily, economically and politically it is highly vulnerable.
Limited Military Capability
Tehran’s Revolutionary Guard is well armed and trained, but much of its “boots on the ground” army consists of militiamen of variable quality. Its Air Force is a “shadow” of what existed under the Shah and is significantly outgunned by its rivals in the Persian Gulf, not to mention Israel. Its navy is only “green water” capable in that it consists largely of smaller vessels responsible for coastal defense supplemented by the swarming of Revolutionary Guard small speedboats.
When Napoleon had conquered much of continental Europe and was contemplating invading Britain it was widely believed that England was helpless before him. British Admiral Earl St Vincent was unperturbed: “I do not say the French can’t come, I only say they can’t come by sea.” We likewise believe that Iran’s apparent threat is in reality decisively limited by its inability to project power across the water or through the air against neighboring states that have marked superiority in both respects.
The concern over a possibly developing “Shi’ite land bridge,” also referred to as an “arc” or “crescent,” is likewise overstated. It ignores the reality that Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon all have strong national identities and religiously mixed populations. They are influenced — some of them strongly — by Iran but they are not puppet states. And there is also an ethnic division that the neighboring states’ populations are very conscious of– they are Arabs and Iran is Persian, which is also true of the Shi’a populations in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.
Majority Shi’a Iraq, for example, is now very friendly to Iran but it has to deal with considerable Kurdish and Sunni minorities in its governance and in the direction of its foreign policy. It will not do Iran’s bidding on a number of key issues, including Baghdad’s relationship with Washington, and would be unwilling to become a proxy in Tehran’s conflicts with Israel and Saudi Arabia. Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi, the highest-ranking Sunni in the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi government, has, for example, recently called for the demobilization of the Shi’ite Popular Mobilization Forces or militias that have been fighting ISIS because they “have their own political aspirations, their own [political] agendas. … They are very dangerous to the future of Iraq.”
Nuclear Weapons Thwarted
A major concern that has undergirded much of the perception of an Iranian threat is the possibility that Tehran will develop a nuclear weapon somewhere down the road. We believe that the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, even if imperfect, provides the best response to that Iranian proliferation problem. The U.N. inspections regime is strict and, if the agreement stands, there is every reason to believe that Iran will be unable to take the necessary precursor steps leading to a nuclear weapons program. Iran will be further limited in its options after the agreement expires in nine years. Experts believe that, at that point, Iran its not likely to choose to accumulate the necessary highly enriched uranium stocks to proceed.
The recent incident involving the shoot-down of a drone alleged to be Iranian, followed by the downing of an Israeli fighter by a Syrian air defense missile, resulted in a sharp response from Tel Aviv, though reportedly mitigated by a warning from Russian President Vladimir Putin that anything more provocative might inadvertently involve Russia in the conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is said to have moderated his response but his government is clearly contemplating a more robust intervention to counter what he describes as a developing Iranian presence in Syria.
In addition, Netanyahu may be indicted on corruption charges, and it is conceivable that he might welcome a “small war” to deflect attention from mounting political problems at home.
Getting Snookered Into War
We believe that the mounting Iran hysteria evident in the U.S. media and reflected in Beltway groupthink has largely been generated by Saudi Arabia and Israel, who nurture their own aspirations for regional political and military supremacy. There are no actual American vital interests at stake and it is past time to pause and take a step backwards to consider what those interests actually are in a region that has seen nothing but disaster since 2003. Countering an assumed Iranian threat that is minimal and triggering a war would exacerbate instability, likely leading to a breakdown in the current political alignment of the entire Middle East. It would be costly for the United States.
Iran is not militarily formidable, but its ability to fight on the defensive against U.S. naval and air forces is considerable and can cause high casualties. There appears to be a perception in the Defense Department that Iran could be defeated in a matter of days, but we would warn that such predictions tend to be based on overly optimistic projections, witness the outcomes in Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition, Tehran would be able again to unleash terrorist resources throughout the region, endangering U.S. military and diplomats based there as well as American travelers and businesses. The terrorist threat might easily extend beyond the Middle East into Europe and also the United States, while the dollar costs of a major new conflict and its aftermath could break the bank, literally.
Another major consideration before ratcheting up hostilities should be that a war with Iran might not be containable. As the warning from President Vladimir Putin to Netanyahu made clear, other major powers have interests in what goes on in the Persian Gulf, and there is a real danger that a regional war could have global consequences.
In sum, we see a growing risk that the U.S. will become drawn into hostilities on pretexts fabricated by Israel and Saudi Arabia for their actual common objective (“regime change” in Iran). A confluence of factors and misconceptions about what is at stake and how such a conflict is likely to develop, coming from both inside and outside the Administration, has, unfortunately, made such an outcome increasingly likely.
We have seen this picture before, just 15 years ago in Iraq, which should serve as a warning. The prevailing perception of threat that the Mullahs of Iran allegedly pose directly against the security of the U.S. is largely contrived. Even if all the allegations were true, they would not justify an Iraq-style “preventive war” violating national as well as international law. An ill-considered U.S. intervention in Iran is surely not worth the horrific humanitarian, military, economic, and political cost to be paid if Washington allows itself to become part of an armed attack.
FOR THE STEERING GROUP, VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY
William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Co-founder of NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center (ret.)
Richard Black, Virginia State Senator; former Marine officer in Vietnam, later Army Judge Advocate General officer, retiring as Colonel after 31 years
Kathleen Christison, CIA, Senior Analyst on Middle East (ret.)
Graham E. Fuller, Vice-Chair, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC Iraq; Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)
Larry C. Johnson, former CIA and State Department Counter Terrorism officer
Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF; ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC) (ret.)
John Brady Kiesling, Foreign Service Officer; resigned Feb. 27, 2003 as Political Counselor, U.S. Embassy, Athens, in protest against the U.S. attack on Iraq (ret.)
John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former senior investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Edward Loomis, Jr., former NSA Technical Director for the Office of Signals Processing (ret.)
David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council, National Intelligence Estimates Officer (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst; CIA Presidential briefer (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Near East (ret.)
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)
Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)
Greg Thielmann, former Director of the Strategic, Proliferation, and Military Affairs Office, State Department Bureau of Intelligence & Research (INR), and former senior staffer on Senate Intelligence Committee (ret.)
Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA (ret.)
Lawrence Wilkerson, Colonel (USA, ret.), former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State; Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of William and Mary (associate VIPS)
Sarah G. Wilton, CDR, USNR, (ret.); Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)
Robert Wing, former Foreign Service Officer (associate VIPS)
Ann Wright, Colonel, US Army (ret.); also Foreign Service Officer who, like Political Counselor John Brady Kiesling, resigned in opposition to the war on Iraq
The notion that Iran would be defeated in a couple of days is idiotic. There is no way that the US could invade without massive mobilisation and what other nation is going to want to participate? The French, the British and what would they have to offer. The topology of Iran is formidable with a 1,500km mountain range that would make the fighting in Afghanistan look easy. Nothing the Iranians will do will be conventional and their doctrine, as I understand, is to fight a national guerilla war for every pass, city, etc.
Yours is a very interesting, thought-provoking analysis of the threat Iran is or is not to the West.
I wonder what your analysis may have been regarding America’s 1999 war on Serbia. A cautious approach such as yours – had it spread to the vacuous State Department, brain-dead Madeleine Albright and politically ever-opportunistic Bill Clinton, might have averted the greatest American geopolitical blunder of the 20th century: America expanded NATO after the USSR fell – against whom? a Russian might well have asked. The answer was quickly forthcoming. Within three weeks of allowing Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland into NATO – NATO (read the USA) started the 78 day bombing of Serbia – on trumped up charges of genocide, rape camps, ethnic cleansing – yada, yada, yada. All largely just rank war propaganda and hardly a casus belli. But this act – war on coreligionist fellow Slav nation – awakened the Kremlin to the fact that the West was not to be trusted. From that time on a new Iron Curtain went up – all of America’s making. We’re now paying the consequences for this swaggering, club-footed stupidity – Russia has allied herself – not with the West as Yeltsin wanted badly – but with a unnatural allies: China, Iran and North Korea. How could we have been so stupid? The current New Cold War is all our own doing.
Thank you VIPS! Is there anyone honest in the government?
It appears that the Life Is Beautiful massacre may have been an Israeli Mafia threat, and now it appears thast the police and FBI in Florida had an $800,000 motive for the school shooting that Cruz was charged with being responsible for.
Was The Life is Beautiful Massacre a Jewish Mafia Threat to Silence People in the Netenyahu Corruption Investigation? – Andrea Iravani
Thank you very much VIPS! Are there any decent people currently working in the intelligence community?
It doesn’t appear that there are, or thst if there are, they appear to have been silenced and outnumbered!
The police state using a free for all !
It seems that the Life Is Beautiful massacre may have been an Israeli Mafia threat and now it also appears that the police and FBI had the $800,000 motive in the Cruz school shooting.
Unfortunately, I learned the hard way in 1986 that the government in Wisconsin, including the FBI is totally corrupt! Whoever I reported them to at the CIA also must have been to, since nothing was done.
Was The Life is Beautiful Massacre a Jewish Mafia Threat to Silence People in the Netenyahu Corruption Investigation? – Andrea Iravani
Hey, if you’re really worried about this indisputable threat to peace, the fix is easy: enforce the Symington/Glenn amendments!
Looks like another war (or maybe a few wars) for Israel are on the cards.
The Kosher Nostra will just click their fingers and all their 30 shekel whores in Congress and the Orange Baboon in the White House will snap to attention.
This time it may finally destroy them.
They will only be cured of their addiction to war the same way Germany finally was.
Public opinion in Sweden and most likely most of Western Europe would be outraged with another Wmd style attack on Iran. Iraq again, but many times bigger. Can an alliance of the willing be forged again- Europe subdued to humiliating cooperation? Or would this aggression be the end of the North Atlantic alliance?
There will not be a war with Iran, do not scare the public, regime change at work.
Trump and Bibi are on the same page in regard to people from ‘shit hole’ countries… .
Tear Down that Statue of Liberty !!
Replace it with a giant middle finger aimed at the current wretched & poor huddled masses yearning to breath free… !
(Previously,wretchedly impoverished 19th century Europeans
who replenished those lost in our self-inflicted civil-right-to-own-slaves-war and whom were handed (free of charge) Winchester or Remington rifles and were told to “head out west and kill ‘Redskins’ and dispossess their ancestry and land” — or join your Irish relatives in the South in the continuing SUPPRESSION of “freed” Blacks at the time when Plantation Land was being subdivided and sold/leased to the highest bidders… .
Lets showcase American/Israeli SOVEREIGNTY as the NWO (Post Nazi) Alliance of Banality and Contempt of human rights & dignity.
It’s time to remove the Blinders from our hearts & minds – and time to celebrate the differing Masses of Humankind.
— the past is present —
— goggle “The Wretched of the Earth”
– a book by Frantz Fanon
then find the documentary film “The Battle of Algiers”
that explains the French occupation and subjugation of Algerian People
and their rebellion for their own right of sovereignty.
I had to chuckle seeing the throwing in of the line that Netanyahu could get drawn up on corruption charges. I have this idea that John Kelly only allows President Trump to see certain items cross his desk, and only certain items. I hope that I am wrong, seeing as President Trump told Pompeo to meet with William.
I seem to remember war games actually having to change their rules because a couple subs were able to sink entire US carrier groups. And Iran has a ton of missiles. But I’m no military expert, or even amateur. If Iran could retaliate and actually kill thousands of sailors, [and/or soldiers on some of the dozens of nearby US bases] maybe this letter could feature a military expert as an additional warning.
Aircraft carriers are obsolete in light of today’s missile technology. But as with all things with the MIC, it’s another money sink. I feel sorry for the kids on those things if the s**t ever hits the fan.
Bibi is doing his best to tear down the deal. Now that Trump is effectively Bibi’s ventriloquist’s dummy as far as US ME policy is concerned, I don’t see any new deal.
Bibi wants Hezbollah out of the way so he can expand Lebensraum for settlements up to the Litani River.
Hussein was removed because he was sending money to Palestinian families whose houses were bulldozed because a family member was a suicide bomber.
Those who don’t learn from history are ardent to repeat it.
Childrens’ Crusade has become a Puppet’s Crusade, now about to be repeated.
Zachary Smith. I’d like more info on stealing Yemeni babies as it’s almost beyond belief. The Dark Jews and contraceptives need citation as well please.
There are lots of results which come up in searches.
Yemenite Babies Who Disappeared in 1950s Israel Were Sold to U.S. Jews, New Film Claims
That’s a wrinkle I hadn’t previously seen. That the abductions happened has been established beyond any doubt, but that some of the babies were put on the market is pretty darned sad. Keep in mind that $5,000 in 1950 is over $50,000 in today’s dollars. Nice money for merely telling a poor woman her child had not survived at birth.
Israel Admits Ethiopian Women Were Given Birth Control Shots
Doctor admits Israeli pathologists harvested organs without consent
Palestinians are two-legged beasts. Israelis view them in much the same fashion as the Japanese did the Chinese during WW2. Animals. Unfortunately this particular issue is probably going on throughout the world in places where there is over-the-top corruption. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if it’s not happening right here in the US in our fine Privatized Prisons. I include this one merely to demonstrate my belief that God has some strange tastes regarding his Most Favorite People.
OMG Haaretz even…. not nice. Not nice at all. Its too bad the horrors visited upon a culture didn’t translate inversely to their standing today, as I would much prefer to be ruled by NA indigenous culture, as opposed to the one that appears to be in control today. Agreed, that god certainly does have strange tastes.
And all this because they (in Israel) have become specialists in black propaganda, going way back and the world is still falling for it. Playing bully and victim at the same time wins support when the “bully” has become invisible and dictates the US government or manipulates it together with their mates in the US. since they run most top offices there is little that can be done, unless Trump sees the light and gets rid of people like those war mongers.
The VIPS letter to the POTUS fails to address various maritime, naval and economic vulnerabilities, irregardless of who is identified as aggressor or defender-should war break out with the Iranians. For example; In the Iran–Iraq War sometime during the mid-1980’s the Persian Gulf was mined, nearby waters as well.. In April 1988, USS S.B. Roberts struck an Iranian M-08/39 mine in the central Persian Gulf shipping lane, wounding 10 sailors. In the summer of 1984, magnetic sea mines damaged other seagoing vessels in that area. Surely the Iranians have come a long way in augmenting the explosive power and improved the un detect-ability of these devises. According to Iranhrdc.org, and Since 1979, the senior leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been linked to at least 162 extrajudicial killings of the regime’s political opponents in 19 different countries around the world such as; Dr. Reza Mazlouman, deputy leader of the Flag of Freedom Organization, who was murdered, also in Paris, in May 1996. There’s no mention of the anticipated or currently projected global activities of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (IMI) of the IRI, their role in well over one hundred and fifty extrajudicial killings of the regime’s political opponents in nineteen countries. This is an important issue to address, since it demonstrates the long reach, Intel operatives within the IMI have and their deep cover agents (throughout the world) can be whistled up during major conflicts with NATO forces (attacks on congested public areas, commercial airliners, subject maritime insurance companies to crippling losses by sinking ships along the Straight) Iranians have come a long way with missile technology as well; The nuclear capable missile, i.e., Soumar, with a range that exceeds fifteen hundred miles. A missile warhead doesn’t need to be fissionable, just intensely radioactive (dirty bomb) with a high dispersal pattern and local target area persistence, ditto for the Soman/Tabun group of nerve agents i.e., attack your foe’s city centers on a nice windless day and ditto for the The Shahab-3 missile (range, eight hundred to one thousand miles). Let’s face reality, the JCPOA agreement is just a piece of paper. We needn’t look too far back to examine, compare, both the clandestine activities of North Korea and so called Iranian nuclear non-proliferation deals of today. In 1991, Bush (Senior), began his Presidential Nuclear Initiative and withdrew tactical nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula. The following year, a Joint Declaration, binding both sides not to test, or in any way deploy or store nuclear weapons entered into force. The North ignored it’s public commitment and secretly continued it’s nuclear program. Again, why not a ditto for Iran? Once they find justification(s) to be dissatisfied, Iran will “break-out” and begin building a-bombs. Long ago, the mullahs could have approached China to request a commercial reactor design based on a Th-232 core but no, they went with the old U-235 cycle, and we all know, why. Today, China has an up and running Gen IV Th 232 electrical generation plant that CANNOT GO NUCLEAR OR BE RE-FABRICATED TO MAKE ATOMIC WEAPONS. Continuing along the lines of weapons development and their Geo-political consequences, especially during a hot war scenario, it’s been reported at Defencetalk that Iranians possess the technology and or have purchased Russian VA-111 Shkval torpedo? , through (reverse engineering?) developed the Iranian version, Hoot (533 mm sized weapon). It’s a very specialized torpedo with a speed over two hundred knots and they (number unknown) are allegedly situated on off shore platforms, who knows, perhaps can be delivered to the Straight of Hormuz via some mobile launching system along the shoreline. This is a for real warfare issue, tried and true, and is not unlike the Norwegian shore torpedoes, launched during the second world war. Even way back then, shoreline torpedoes sank a German heavy cruiser. Lastly, again maritime trade (and again, insurance companies too) can be extensively harmed. For example; that well publicized incident by the Economist Mag in 2013? where jihadists filmed themselves firing RPGs at ships passing through the canal … Were a ship(s) sunk in the Straight of Hormuz , it might shut down the maritime flow for weeks. The new UAE pipeline could be simultaneously bombed via commandos, operatives, and or the air force whilst the straight is mined and ships torpedoed to block commercial transport. In short, IRAN CAN RAISE GLOBAL HELL…
Evil, evil Iranians! I’ll bet some of the ragheads have nuclear-capable pickup trucks too.
Yep! If they roused themselves, they could Raise Hell in the same fashion as the US has done in Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc, etc.
Nice bit of Propaganda For Holy Israel, chum.
Zachary Smith. My concerns are not about mullahs or Iranians per se, the ever growing (middle-east) power imbalance(s) has much more to do with where a country happens to be geographically situated. By this I mean, significant quantities of oil and gas move through the Straight of Hormuz and nearby sovereign countries hold a unique military advantage, to disrupt, permit or restrict this energy flow to the world. This fact in itself augments both political and military influence(s) GCC countries have during changes in weapons procurement, development or general posture. Short to medium range missiles, their destructive power to disrupt international commerce is made worse, when atomic, dirty bomb or chemical warheads enter the picture. Aside from military imbalances, there are economic rivalries such as the Iran, Iraq and Syria pipeline deal (singed in 2010) that will bring a 3,480-mile natural gas pipeline connecting from Iran’s South Pars field to the EU via a northern Syrian port, thus precipitating the new Syrian conflict. A conflict artificially created for the purposes of controlling or shelving that 2010 deal. Along similar lines, another example; The Iraq War, where a planned construction of the Haifa Pipeline by Bechtel or was it Halliburton? cost the lives of some five hundred thousand Iraqis, most of them children (Saddam opposed the pipeline). Having riches below your feet (oil, gas, minerals (Afghanistan) isn’t such a blessing after-all, is it?
It sounds to me elmerfudzie like you are merely giving us a rundown of Iranian capabilities at espionage, and war. Is this correct? If so, how would a mirror to mirror reflection of Iranian might appear stacked up against say Israel or Saudi Arabia’s military readiness, and might?
The way I see it, that when the U.S. ups it’s defense spending that this escalation of weaponry becomes inspirational for a lot of other countries to arm up, as well. Am I correct on this? I would also think that when a country defends itself when it goes to war, that it goes with what it got (Rumsfeld). In other words, you use your disadvantage to your advantage, if at all possible. If the enemy has two guns then you need three is the thinking that goes into preparing for battle, but if you can’t arm up equally or beyond your foe, then you must use what best armament you have, like throw a bomb at them if that will leverage the gun disadvantage.
You can probably tell I’m no expert at this kind of stuff, but elmerfudzie you seem quite at home talking about this kind of armament thing. So in the end are you saying that Iran will be a formidable foe if the U.S. and it’s Middle East allies decide to go to war against Iran, or are you saying the opposite, or none of the above?
Don’t take this wrong, but have you ever thought of writing your comments in paragraph style? I use to write the same way, until one of the commenters asked me to start dividing up my paragraphs because the commenter found my bulking sentences together hard to read? Sorry, just thought I ask.
Anyway, if I were to pick a Gunners Mate Chief Petty Officer, or hell why not an officer position, but in any regard I am impressed with your knowledge. Joe
Joe Tedesky. Thanks for the supportive comments and constructive criticisms-your points are well taken.
My commentaries were a bit too wordy, the major concerns can be compressed in this way; the Savak holdovers, several of whom were pardoned by the Iranian government, have “passed the torch” to a new generation, now well trained to make a lot of trouble anywhere on the planet, a.k.a. asymmetric warfare. Should a new conflict arise with the West, the leadership have plenty of money to finance the “post Savak” Intel operatives and none of their financial investments will be squandered on propaganda but will be devoted narrowly towards supporting Iranian deep cover agents. For example, the FALN, a Puertorican clandestine paramilitary organization was responsible for at least one hundred and twenty bomb attacks on United States targets between 1974 and 1983, killing six and injuring many others. I shudder to think what the Iranian IMI could dream up (in any retaliation scenario) with greater numbers, resources, training and global penetration. The FALN was led by Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, one of the FBI’s most wanted criminals. This time around, the actual leaders, field operatives and militants will be faceless and nameless…Summary: Leave them, geriatric billionaire mullahs alone. It just ain’t worth it! and I’m speaking here directly to the CEO’s of international, corporate, America.
ALL of Irans nuclear capacity was provided by the US…The US knows exactly what Irans capabilities are, because we have the receipts…
BDS needs to include the US for being such a shameless stooge of Israel. F’ing embarassing.
The link below of Peter Levelle – Alastair Crooke Interview.
My following comment is under moderation due to the link I attached. I will post the link separately.
I think this link was posted already last week. However, this Peter Lavelle’s interview last week with Alastair Crooke on Syria, Iran, Israel, and other actors in Middle East conflict is excellent, the best analysis I have seen in a long time. I will post the link again
I think this link was posted already last week. However, this Peter Lavelle’s interview last week with Alastair Crooke on Syria, Iran, Israel, and other actors in Middle East conflict is excellent, the best analysis I have seen in a long time. I will post the link again.
Sheldon Adelson is one of the biggest contributors to Trump’s campaign as well as Nikki Haley’s even when she was South Carolina governor. Adelson also puts money to anti-BDS activity and Haley was the first US governor to sign a law banning state BDS.
Just saw articles recently on Israel government threat to African migrant refugees, they will be deported by April 1. Israel wants no dark-skinned folks, obviously.
We are held hostage
by psychopaths who will never give up their addiction to WARGASM until they are forced to.
Racism in Israel
You can say one thing for the crappy little apartheid nation – they’re Equal Opportunity racists. The Israeli Arabs are second-class citizens, and will be booted out of Holy Israel on the next death march. That’ll include such Christians among them who remain. The hemorrhoid state is also beginning to work on stealing stuff from Western Christians.
The real issue here is that the Israeli government is making a Land Grab involving non-Muslim property. They’re trying to take over control, and the same procedure is happening on the Muslim Mosque they plan to steal, then demolish. Step by step….
I think this next comes from a Hasbara site peddling zionist BS, but I’m not sure:
The Israeli swine are declaring that the Muslim site must be governed by THEIR notions of what is holy and what isn’t. As if the former site of the Roman Fort Antonia is in some way precious. Peddling this lie is just a way of grabbing some more land and enforcing Muslim Removal. Imagine if you will a little church in the US decides playing basketball in the parking lot of the big church down the road is Unholy, and files suit to stop it. Imagine local, state, and Federal government is on the side of the little church.
That wiki link tells how Israeli Racism isn’t confined to stealing from/abusing/murdering non-Jews. What the vermin did to Jews from Yemen – stealing their babies! – is almost beyond belief. Ditto for forcing black-skinned Jews to take a contraceptive.
In my opinion the only way this makes any sense is if it is read as Israel or Saudi Arabia ‘taking steps’ to push the US to the front to do any actual fighting for them. Despite all the shiny new weapons bought by Saudi Arabia, a war involving only itself and Iran would mean SA loses – badly. Their Yemen adventure has shown their overall incompetence.
I suspect the US is overextended around the world – ‘we’re’ in too many places with antiquated equipment which is often inoperable. Privatization of the US military has meant ignoring day-to-day operations and throwing the money at the Military Industrial Complex to buy things like the F-35 and those worthless new Navy ships and useless “missile defense”.
I’ll confess I bristle at declarations like this. A reader is encouraged to have ‘tunnel vision’ and focus only on the terms I’ve bolded. Iran – or anybody else- doesn’t need to “develop” nukes anymore – the things are now made in two desperate and dirt-poor nations called Pakistan and North Korea. A ‘turnkey’ deal of a fully operational devices is a possibility. An alternative would be to do a version of what Israel did with the US – arrange for a production facility to have incredibly sloppy procedures and accounting, and rake off the continuing small surpluses into an accumulating pile of weapons-grade U. Finally, why the laser-like focus on Uranium? There are literally thousands of tons of Plutonium sloshing around in the world – a legacy of the last fifty years of military and commercial reactors. Any nation with a re-processing plant will have the stuff – and any employees wanting to “Win The Powerball” can make Pu available in quantity. BTW, there is hardly ever any mention of the other potential outputs of those reprocessing plants. Neptunium and Curium are a bit more rare, but go ‘boom’ just as well as the previously mentioned materials.
In my mostly uninformed opinion, the real aim of all the current yapping is two-fold: President Dumbass wants to undo every single thing done by Obama, and Israel wants the economic sanctions tightened severely. The US bombing Iran would be nice, but I think they’ll be satisfied with making Iran miserable again.
Several downsides to tighter sanctions. Iran has worked around them in the past. Russia and China are getting mighty fed up with the US trying to kick them around while at the same time wanting “help” on Iran. Finally they’re in the final stages of kicking the props out from under the US dollar which allows the US to be such a successful economic bully.
All the stuff we’ve been doing for God’s Favorite People is beginning to come back to bite the US in a big way. Not that they care.
Hear, hear: this makes complete sense and is a great summary of the dire situation.
If it is still valid for Trump to stick to his message to get out of Syria, he should also take heed of the danger of a new war based on clever propaganda (Bibi still has a “POTUS” wrapped around his finger).
Over at CBS News they have a headline story asserting as flat fact that “Assad has used chemical weapons 200 times during the civil war…”
The propaganda emanating out of the state-corporate-militarist-media nexus is ruthless and relentless.
For all the vips for sanity, thank you for your service.
These VIPS are very knowledgeable and intelligent. If the people of this great nation could pay heed to their sound advice, the war hawks could not have their war. Not only have the VIPS fathomed cogently the stupidity of war mongers but also lay out reasonably what to do. I wish that sanity prevails.
My mother was very political and an anti-Zionist, and called by some an anti-Semite, which was absolutely not true. I was young, and who was really listening, but I got the gist of what she said which was Zionist Israel would pull the US into multiple wars in the ME and ultimately bring us into a confrontation with Russia, which would lead to a third world war. She was very adamant about her predictions, and when I saw our post 9/11 agenda pushed by the neoconservatives I thought, oh God, she was right, but I pray she was wrong about the last part, a nuclear war with Russia. The US also has to be held fully accountable for it’s hegemonic agenda on a world wide level, and it’s aggressive stance toward Russia.
The article makes a good summary of what sane people already know. However, the writers fail to understand one major thing. Since when have the idiots in power in D.C. ever learned from previous disasters?!
Since the end of WWII and every single administration in D.C. became blinded by the arrogance of “Super Power”, “Only Remaining Super Power”, “Indispensable Nation”, ” American Exceptionalism”, blah, blah, blah……
These very intelligent individuals “who themselves spent much of their working life being part of the same governing body of the US” still miserably fail to see that they are trying to talk logic to people blinded by power!!!
These writers need to come together along with individuals like “Cynthia McKinney, Dennis Kucinich, and others” and form a political movement to mobilize the masses in the US to put the power back in the hands of the people!!
They have written similar letters to Dubbia and Obama. What was the result?! So why keep doing the same thing and expect a different result?! Unless of course they are INSANE which is the exact opposite of what they call themselves…..
Obviously Iran isn’t the top sponsor of terrorism because the USA holds that position. ISIS is the brain child of the US and we should not forget that the US was supporting the IRA some years ago, if not directly, then through its proxies. Everywhere in the world where their is terrorist activity the American jack boot is at the bottom of it.
I would agree with that context, John.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the power crazed maniacs that we call the Deep State were cool and rational players on the world scene? Then we would merely have to remind them not to do something stupid towards Iran. Alas, something tells me that those, like Trump and his advisers, we are seeking to address, are not listening. The overriding fantasy of world domination is clouding their minds, and causing them to perceive the world in a way that enables their dreams, rather than the way it actually is.
These aging men are excited by what they play like a video game, which they feel bound and entitled to win. They are not mindful of the real human lives their “games” are impacting. Risking the life of humanity seems to them just another bold and clever move in the abstract gaming they are mesmerised by.
“These aging men are excited by what they play like a video game, which they feel bound and entitled to win. They are not mindful of the real human lives their “games” are impacting.”
So true mike k but I also think that they are convinced that they Are Special. (I suddenly had an image of the truly wonderful Lily Tomln saying, “Well, aren’t you special.”)
Recently I received a copy of a book called “The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made” by Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas. Seen as the Founders of “Pax Americana” their concept of post WWII foreign policy that we now occupy. John McCloy, Robert Lovett, Averell Harriman, Charles Bohlen, George Kennan and Dean Acheson, they were powerful friends Eastern educated, and deeply anti Russian. In my opinion way to single minded to establish a National Policy on personal consensus yet they did and as a country we’re apparently still committed to it.
Thank you mike, I’ll link to a review page for those interested…
Are the authors of this memorandum as schizophrenic as the world leaders it is addressed to and speaks about?
“the claim that Iran is currently the world’s top sponsor of terrorism is unsupported by hard evidence”
“Tehran would be able again to unleash terrorist resources throughout the region”
“Kenny” the troll has come here in the past with unsubstantiated insults, unworthy of reply.
Kenny has a point. The implication that Tehran has “terrorist” reserves ready to strike on command reinforces a false, nasty meme, a favorite of warmongers throughout the West. When I ask family and friends to explain to me why they believe that Iran sponsors terrorism, they invariably point to Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a Lebanese political party and a homeland defense militia, Lebanon’s only defense against the serial invader, Israel, and the incursions of ISIS, Al Queda/Sham/Nusra etc. from neighboring Syria. Hezbollah is not a terrorist group.
The reference to Iran’s “terrorist resources” is a serious error and needs to be brought to the attention of the authors of this otherwise excellent memorandum.
absolutely correct…typical US smear…everything is a terrorist if that is what your exexcutive order allows you to kill
Good article by the VIPS. If only we could become a nation that respects the rule of law. The AUMF is unconstitutional, giving the President the power to wage war whenever and wherever. These wars, interventions, and regime change also violate international law and UN conventions which we have agreed to. We are a rogue state, a clear and present danger to the world. Legal cases made against our Presidents who have taken this Country to war over lies, should be pursued. Wars of aggression need a legal challenge.
Indeed the US is a rogue state. But legal process will have no effect, because the US judiciary is at least as corrupt as the legislative and executive branches. With experience in constitutional rights cases in Maine, Massachusetts, Florida. Georgia, and California, I can assure you that at all levels the US judiciary are dedicated to party alone and profoundly opposed to constitutional rights and any interference with oligarchy. Our government is a gang operation, not a constitutional democracy.
As for international law, the US is the only nation to pass a law to militarily attack the Hague if its citizens are brought before the ICC for war crimes. It invariably ignores the UN when it cannot bribe or twist arms there to get its way, as with “coalitions of the willing” among a few pacific islands and US-run dictatorships and other dependencies. There is no law recognized by the US oligarchy.
The real issue with Iran relative to the US neocon/neoliberal alliance with Israel and Saudi Arabia and the UAE is all about economics. To quote from the above article:
“Iran’s alleged desire to stitch together a sphere of influence consisting of an arc of allied nations and proxy forces running from its western borders to the Mediterranean Sea has been frequently cited as justification for a more assertive policy against Tehran, but we believe this concern to be greatly exaggerated. Iran, with a population of more than 80 million, is, to be sure, a major regional power but militarily, economically and politically it is highly vulnerable.”
The basic point, that Iran poses no realistic military threat to Israel or Saudi Arabia, is valid. Iran will not send troops across the Persian Gulf to occupy Dubai; that’s just hysterical nonsense.
Iran does have economic ambitions that don’t correlate with Wall Street interests; it does want to conduct trade deals through to Europe via a Syria/Lebanon corridor, possibly involving Turkey; Iran also would like to be involved in China’s Belt and Road initiative via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization; Iran would like to run gas to Pakistan and India via the IPI pipeline project; and most significantly for the USA, Iran doesn’t seem to care much about denominating these fossil fuel sales in petrodollars, nor would Iran, unlike Saudi Arabia, feel beholden to recycle its fossil fuel earnings to Wall Street via investments and arms deals, as the House of Saud does.
The imperial class in Washington views this as something of an existential threat to the American Empire, putting it in the same position that France and Britain were in at the time of the 1956 Suez Crisis. Iran is thus the greatest threat to the neocolonial status quo in the Middle East since Egypt’s Nasser. Egypt is now under the control of the US-allied Sisi regime, after much effort was made to co-opt and suppress the pro-democracy Arab Spring (an effort led by Saudi Arabia, with US and Israeli assistance).
Regardless, any independent analyst would conclude that economic integration between Iran, Syria and Lebanon would be a good thing for the standard of living of average people in those countries. It was to destroy this prospect of economic integration that the regime change operation in Syria was launched, c. 2009-2011, after Assad rejected alignment with the US/Saudi/Israeli axis in favor of a suite of economic deals with Iran – ports, pipelines, railroads, electricity grids, trade deals – this is all laid out in the State Department wikileaks cables, with endless obsession over how to ‘wean Assad away from Iran’.
So if you think it’s in the US national interest to maintain a neocolonial empire in the Middle East, well, yes, Iran is a great threat to that continued hegemonic control of the region. They are certainly as democratic a nation as Israel is, much less autocratic than the GCC monarchies, and could provide an example to people in Saudi Arabia who would like to replace the House of Saud with something more democratic, like a parliamentary system of government. Then Israel might have to make democratic concessions to the Palestinians, within a one-state solution, in which Jews and Muslims would have equal presence in the Israeli government; at that point, the whole imperial project falls apart. Saudi Arabia under a democratic system of government would feel no need to squander oil money on bloated arms deals and Wall Street investment funds, and the House of Saud would be reduced to something like the House of Windsor, at best (if not the House of Louis). This could actually kick off an economic recession in the USA, causing the eventual collapse of empire, enforced reductions in the $700 billion MIC budget, as happened with the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
This leaves the touchy subject of what Israel would do with its nuclear weapons under this scenario, as well.
So, this has absolutely nothing to do with military threats to Saudi or Israeli interests – it’s just the economics of imperial control, that’s all they care about. Not that they will ever admit this in public.
I disagree. The authors carefully list the places where Iran isn’t competitive/threatening, but avoid those where it is. By avoiding throwing huge sums of money at creating a second-class (at best!) Air Force or Navy, Iran has been able – in cooperation with assorted nations like North Korea – to create a missile force which becomes more capable with every passing year. Israel is freaking out about the prospect of Iran building some missile plants in either Lebanon or Syria for local production of the new stuff. I’d predict that if Syria is given a piece of the action, they’ll cooperate fully with the effort, for their other conventional forces are badly worn down these days. Why not imitate Hezbollah in creating a non-nuclear deterrent to Israeli murders and thefts? Many well-spaced small underground shelters in the desert would do the trick, I suspect.
I think you’re wrong. Let me explain why:
(1) Israel has nuclear weapons, about 100 active ones by most estimates. Any all-out military assault by Iran on Israel would result in massive retaliation. It is true that Hezbollah can repel an Israeli military invasion of Southern Lebanon, and Iranian arms help them with this, but any Hezbollah assault across the border into Israel would again be met with massive retaliation against all of Lebanon.
(2) Saudi Arabia and the UAE are not vulnerable to a military assault by Iran; the prospect of Iranian troops trying to occupy these countries is just ludicrous. Even without a massive US military presence in the region, this is untenable; the whole world would work together to evict Iran, it would essentially be a replay of the Saddam invasion of Kuwait.
Again, the propaganda line coming out of Washington has absolutely nothing to do with Iran as a military threat, and everything to do with Iran becoming the regional economic power, one that refuses to take its marching orders from Washington.
I think we’re talking about different things. My emphasis was on “deterrence” and “retaliation”. I don’t know of anybody who seriously thinks Israel is under any kind of threat of invasion. The real “danger” from Iran and the others is that their mere existence prevents the continued cancerous spread of the thieving and murderous little apartheid nation. They had a huge Land Grab in 1948, and a second one in 1967. They’re overdue for another, and the survival of Syria and the existence of Hezbollah and the presence of Russians and Iranians in Syria as allies is a threat to that next Land Grab. Hence they’ve arranged Russia Gate AND “kill the nuclear agreement” offensives. The alliance of the clueless Hillary Dead-Enders and the Corporate Media and the 100% Owned US congress is a powerful one, and my yet get the desired results.
Yes, I agree, Iran has a significant deterrence ability militarily and could also retaliate effectively against, for example, Saudi oil infrastructure, if they were ever attacked. (Of course, some American oil speculators would be delighted by the resulting explosion in oil prices, so. . .)
It’s still hard to imagine a scenario where Israeli or American warplanes start bombing Iran; what is more likely is Israel launching an assault on Lebanon in an effort to grab more land, and then Hezbollah hitting northern Israel and Tel Aviv with retaliatory missile fire, which is probably the main factor that prevents Israel from launching such an assault. That could escalate into a full-on war with Iran (which again, would delight the oil dealers and arms dealers in the USA).
Israel is really the worst case scenario for a little country with nuclear weapons; rather than simply relying on their nuclear arsenal for deterrence, they use it to launch conventional attacks on neighboring countries without fear of large-scale retaliation. That’s probably the main reason they don’t want anyone else in the region to have nukes; that would stalemate their ambitions. From that highly pragmatic viewpoint, for example, it’s better for both Pakistan and India to have nukes, rather than just one of these two opponents, as that’s a more stable situation.
That’s also why Israel hates the Iran nuclear deal, though – if sanctions on Iran are completely lifted, there’s really nothing keeping Iran from becoming the leading regional economic power, and if they ally with Syria and Lebanon, then Israeli ambitions for more land acquisitions are permanently ended. What a pack of unstable maniacs, them and the neocons and their corporate allies. “It’s worse than crazy, it’s evil.”
From the people who brought you Putin’s invincible hordes, we now have Iran’s invincible hordes. As is clear from the article, the primary purpose is, as always, to defend Vladimir Putin against the dastardly United States. Whatever little credibility might be attributed to former intelligence agents was lost a long time ago through the systematic promotion of Putin’s interests dressed up to look like “neutral” analysis.
Here is an article that looks at how individual Iranians view the United States:
The Trump Administration has done significant damage to the already poor relationship between the two nations.
They are often treated like crap even if they’ve given up everything in their homeland to come live the “American dream.” One of my neighbors is a case in point. He was at my house a few days ago literally crying because after forty years with a green card the immigration service wanted to deport him back to a country that said it didn’t want him. He would be separated from his 15 year old daughter who was born in this country and is therefore a citizen. The man comes from a prosperous and influential family in Iran. His father is an accomplished physics professor there. He himself has two degrees and a thriving business. He immigrated to the United State during the Islamic revolution in 1978 because he’s a secular liberal democrat, not a religious fanatic, and was readily taken in by the American government at the time. Only in recent years has he been rousted by the cops, beaten into a coma by them and convicted of felony assault on peace officers because he told ’em to eff off when they hassled him because of his Middle Eastern appearance and accent. Instead of leaving him alone they beat him to near death and framed him with a felony conviction. Now he’s frantic that he will be stripped of everything he has within 90 days and shipped back to a country that will possibly persecute him for disloyalty. All I could suggest to him was to plead his case to one of our senators (the non-Rubio one, aka Bill Nelson), hoping he might intercede with ICE, but Middle Eastern immigrants are not very popular with anyone in this country, even mendacious Democrats running for re-election. Otherwise what? Scare up a million dollar retainer and hire Roy Black, South Florida’s premier barrister? He does manage to keep the Kennedy clan out of the state penitentiary.
We do have the Patriot Act now…citizens should look at your neighbor, and wonder when they will be next…
Does he have the finance for an exceptional attourney? i have Iranian friends in my State and they are very concerned with some recent developments…
He needs to have an Attourney investigate the altercation, and get out from underneath the felony charge…otherwise the police state will deport him…pretty brutal for a 40 yr professional resident…
Realist hearing that story about your Iranian friend made me think that if a person isn’t guilty of a particular crime of how then the authorities will be sure to set it up that a certain individual will look guilty of whatever crime it is the authorities wish to pin on that person, and how awful that is. Not only awful, but I can’t help but to think of how many times in our news we will hear of an arrest of say a person such as your friend, and think nothing of their being accused of the said crime, and then I wake up to identify my own naive. Nothing is what it seems to be at times, and with this situation it is true.
Reading the VIPS warning to the President the first thing that came to mind, was the first two lines of the chorus in the oldie but goodie ‘It’s the Same Old Song’….
“Now it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning”
Isn’t it funny how the meaning does get revamped from time to time when it concerns Iran, and when aren’t we threatening war against Iran. This obsession isn’t over protecting Kansas, but it is over the U.S. guarding it’s most valued Masters the Saudi’s and the Israeli’s. One country who truly is still living in the seventh century, and the other who duplicates the horrors that their people were put through under the Third Reich onto a broken down lot none other than the poor Palestinians. Then our media makes stuff up, like MSNBC pundits saying of how Iranians throw gays off of roof tops, when this isn’t what Iranians do.
If a spark is lite somewhere within the realm of U.S. control, which is everywhere, well then expect to see a global conflict within the first three weeks, if even one of these points of control should ignite. N Korea, Ukraine, Middle East, and what about Venezuela?
We should remind the MIC of how recently they got their defense budgets increased, and that we needn’t go to war just because the defense industry got their money, but then we could stick our heads outside of a window during a hurricane and scream into the raging wind as we may stand a better chance to be heard. Joe
You may wish to contact an acquaintance who is the friend of a public defender in S Florida, via his company website at SpringvaleSchool dotcom.
Some of the people signing that memorandum are not exactly like the others.
A few (Colleen Rowley, John Kiesling, John Kiriakou, Ann Wright) risked something.
Most, however, waited until they were safely retired (with pensions!) before ‘bravely’ coming forward with their versions of the truth. Might have been nice to hear from them during Reagan’s ‘dirty wars’ in Central America, Iran-Contra, the first Gulf War (when non-existent babies were being removed from non-existent incubators) and the subsequent decade long bombing of Iraq, supposed unilateral war crimes in what used to be Yugoslavia, etc.
Hell, Lawrence Wilkerson still works on protecting the reputation of Powell, whose career as a lapdog began with the My Lai coverup (which Robert Parry wrote about, like most of these other examples of US turpitude).
It’s good to hear former insiders write and speak about the rot at the core, but it’s also worth remembering most of them were willing/active participants who risk nothing now by coming forward.
Troll alert. BobS is our resident troll and should be ignored or suppressed.
Sorry, princess…I forgot to include a ‘trigger warning’.
SnobS just needs to stay at ProporNot and twitter with his bitter buddies…not even a good troll, just a little sniper, shooting folks in the back with insults…has nothing to offer…ever….just an angry little boy
“..not even a good troll…”
Not even the self-discipline to resist….
Thanks for the approbation.
but your not a troll…your an angry, ill mannered little boy…that i like to smack around everytime he insults my friends and family here…
You make a point, however, whether they are now vocal and active against our wars because they no longer feel they have anything to lose matters little, since they are not continuing down our road to destruction.
Bob S, The pension thing, it seems to be a repeated pointed interest that bothers you.
My father, he flew planes in Korea. For all I know, he tried his best to prevent death. But, with your logic, should I try to blame or question him for whether or not he was to blame for deaths incurred in that conflict?
And, should I stretch it to resent his pension; as well?
Back in 80’s, it was my dream was to work with alternative fuel vehicles. so, I preceded to get 2 engineering degrees. After that, I then went to work for one of the BIG 3. I will spare you the sorrow and the pity of the TOP-down reality, but the bottom line is, that this morning (30+ years later) I will start my fossil fuel combustible engine to get work. I ‘am not at all happy about it, but, I certainly don’t look for those around me to pin the blame on either.
Also, back in 80’s, when my innocence was “popped,” with the BIG 3 and alternative fuel vehicles, I also then put in even more emphasis into another idealism of mine, and that was working with skilled workers and the right to unionize. This was partly because I happen to believe in pensions for all workers.
Here in the U.S., with (employer) Employee Based Health Care, and compounded with practically no pensions in the private sector, what do you think the minimum wage should be?
.. And, in my horror to the harsh reality of that question, should I also lose sight, and resent the pensions of the public sector?
Ray is certainly not the problem. And, VIPS is certainly not the problem. And, their experience gives great legitimacy to their wisdom.(..ty Ray & ty all in VIPS!)
.. And almost embarrassed to say this, because it really should appear as obvious, but certainly pensions are not the problem.
The two Major Parties are still, business as usual. They are both still taking money bribes as they continue to wedge and divide, ‘We The People.’ And, I think that you recognize, that Ruskie Grope has delivered some very deep cuts between not only the Republicans and Democrats, but also amongst those who would identify as being Left leaning. This is just the same bag of old tricks from the establishment. And resenting, or attacking each other, is once again, not our solution.
Better recognize your brothers
Ev’ryone you meet
Why in the world are we here
Surely not to live in pain and fear
“The pension thing, it seems to be a repeated pointed interest that bothers you.”
Because most of our ‘principled’ intelligence veterans made sure they stuck around long enough to collect one, regardless of the perfidy and turpitude they witnessed, and were in some instances complicit in (for instance, McGovern and his daily briefings to Reagan and his cronies while Central Americans were being murdered by the tens of thousands).
BobS if you had been a 1st century Christian how would you have felt to listen, or read, a gospel by St Paul? Joe
What’s that they teach in Propaganda 101?
“If you don’t like the message, and don’t want to get drawn into a conversation about the validity of the message, because that’s an argument that you think you will lose, then your only choice is to attack the messenger.”
PR monkey school reward: have a banana.
“It’s good to hear former insiders write and speak about the rot at the core…”
Who here doesn’t like the message?
On the other hand, words from the safety of retirement are cheap- let’s not pretend these people are more heroic than they really are.
People like Harry Stanley are the heroes.
BobS would you evaluate the same way you do Ray Major General Smedley Butler who served 34 years active duty, a two time Medal of Honor awardee, and the same retired Marine who blew the whistle on a organized corporate coup to unseat FDR?
Are you speaking of Harry Stanley the painter decorator who the British police shot to death thinking Stanley was carrying a gun when he was carrying a table leg? There is also a Harry Stanley who was an American businessman who in 1935 founded Morgan Stanley?
During my time in the Navy I met lots of (‘lifers’) Naval careerist who had many an issue with the Navy, but they stayed silent due to their wanting to get their pension. I too like you BobS at first thought of how principle should always override what is asked of a person, but I also knew of how these careerist had family to raise, and all of those heavy burdens which come upon a middle age wage earner. So in my mine I give these people a pass since I realize they are painted into a difficult corner, and until their term or enlistment is up, well then they are not free to rattle the higher ups cages.
I don’t know Ray McGovern, but Ray has said on a far and few couple of occasions of how he is witnessing to Jesus his working towards peace. I won’t dispute Ray’s faith, but I’m sure glad Ray found it, because just look at what terrific work for peace Ray has done. I mean come on BobS Ray got roughed up handcuffed and arrested in New York City for his attempting with tickets to enter a David Petraeus talk. So what if Ray took his pension, because now he is here with us, and I might say I’m not only grateful for Ray’s words of wisdom, but I’m that much smarter because of Ray as well.
Take care BobS. Joe
Harry Stanley refused William Calley’s orders to execute Vietnamese civilians.
“So in my mine I give these people a pass since I realize they are painted into a difficult corner…”
Right, they were only doing their job.
“Ray got roughed up…”
Like I got “roughed up” protesting the policies that Ray was instrumental in crafting?
That Harry Stanley is a hero of the highest order. I’m not sure of the particulars or how involved Ray was, or how long ago it happened, but do you really think you are hurting Ray, or are you just making yourself look like an angry spectator? This issue is yours BobS and yours alone, I feel for you to some degree, but you need to let it go. I mean let it go because it isn’t healthy to carry a grudge. Maybe write to Ray, I don’t know, but your comments make you look unhinged BobS. Hope you figure this one out. Joe
“That Harry Stanley is a hero of the highest order…but I couldn’t be bothered to Google who he was”.
“you need to let it go”
Tell that to the survivors of the Reagan enabled genocide in Central America.
Okay BobS nobody liked what Reagan, Poppy Bush, or any one else did in Central & South America, but remember there are many, many, many rooms with inside of our CIA. Besides all those rooms there is the ‘Need to Know’ status, which whittles a participants knowledge of the big picture down to almost nothing of any importance. You BobS could be asked to write a simple report about the whether in a particular country of concern, or you could be delivering courier papers having no idea of what so ever what the Big Picture was all about.
BobS again this carrying on about Ray makes you look unhinged. Do you want to look like a stalker or badmouthed brute? You seem capable of a lot better way to voice your complaint, or to merely describe your position on a issue or two, but BobS please join us instead of making yourself look irrational.
I’m trying BobS to understand you, maybe a big mistake on my part, but never the less I want you to see yourself through this angry phase and move yourself beyond it…you will feel better if you take my advice, so shake it off BobS and become boring like the rest of us. Joe
So I guess BobS your life is completely beyond reproach?
That bone you keep picking doesn’t seem to me to have ever had much meat on it to begin with–
Intelligence analysts serve a needed function and it is certainly well within probability that many such perfunctories have done so with fair-minded motivation and a sense of principled diligence. My best guess is that Ray McGovern took his job seriously and performed accordingingly.
You nor I cannot begin to know or appreciate what conversations Ray was having, what he knew and when he knew it, or in what ways he thought he could best be effectual. I do know that as an analyst he wasn’t running covert operations or making policy or choosing the President he was called upon to work with. You seem to be insinuating a pretty high degree of complicity in Ray’s performance of his job with actions taken above his pay grade. If we’re going to go down that road then I suggest that all American citizens of age at the time share complicity in the actions of our government that works for us.
Casting stones because of a past circumstance that you have (at best) a nebulous understanding of redounds to your character. Particularly as you use those stones to denigrate someone doing good works in the present. Gfys BobS.
“So I guess BobS your life is completely beyond reproach?”
Of course not.
On the other hand, I didn’t spend 4 years of my life giving advice to mass murderers.
“You seem to be insinuating a pretty high degree of complicity in Ray’s performance of his job…”
If he wasn’t aware of what his boss was doing in Central America, he wasn’t very good at his job.
The real hero at My Lai was Hugh Thompson, the helicopter pilot who intervened to save lives during the U.S. Army massacre of Vietnamese civilians, and played a major role in ending the atrocities at Son My Village, Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam, on March 16, 1968.
Thompson and his crew saved a number of Vietnamese civilians by personally escorting them away from advancing United States Army ground units and assuring their evacuation by air. Thompson reported the atrocities by radio several times while at Son My.
Although Thompson’s reports reached Task Force Barker operational headquarters, nothing was done to stop the massacre. After evacuating a child to a Quang Ngai hospital, Thompson angrily reported to his superiors at Task Force Barker headquarters that a massacre was occurring at Son My. Immediately following Thompson’s report, Lieutenant Colonel Frank A. Barker ordered all ground units in Son My to cease search and destroy operations in the village.
Unlike Thompson, private Harry Stanley, a machine gunner from Charlie Company, merely claimed to have refused an order from Lieutenant Calley to kill civilians that were rounded-up in a bomb-crater.
However, Stanley refused to testify against Calley.
In 1970, Thompson did testify against those responsible for the My Lai Massacre. Twenty-six officers and enlisted soldiers, including William Calley and Ernest Medina, were charged with criminal offenses, but all were either acquitted or pardoned. Thompson was condemned and ostracized by many individuals in the United States military and government, as well as the public, for his role in the investigations and trials concerning the My Lai massacre.
Remind me again where I claimed Hugh Thompson wasn’t a hero?
But, since you mention the aftermath, let us not forget that VIPS member Lawrence Wilkerson continues to defend the lies/reputation of Colin Powell, who was not only complicit in selling the phony intelligence that resulted in Gulf War 2, but who was also instrumental in downplaying US atrocities at My Lai.
You crawl into bed with flea-ridden dogs…
“BobS” grows more desperate by the minute in a Hasbara troll campaign to impugn the VIPS assessment that U.S.-Iran Hostilities are based on false pretexts.
The real concern here is the numerous false accusations that have been levelled against Iran, most of which point back to Israel.
Hasbara propaganda has intensified efforts to delay, distract, divert, deny, deceive, distort, and disrupt online discussion of the workings of the Israel Lobby and Israeli influence on American foreign policy, Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestinian territory, Israeli collusion with terrorist forces operating in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and efforts to persuade the U.S. to attack Iran.
Hasbara propaganda troll “BobS” aims to distract us with concerns about the service records of individual U.S. intelligence veterans.
CN readers are alert to Hasbara propaganda tactics.
The obvious point is that the whole steaming pile of propaganda troll grumble from “BobS” is specious.
Helicopter Pilot Who Stopped My Lai Massacre Was Called A Traitor In America & Almost Court-Martialed
By Shahan Russell
Seems like for the past several decades I’ve been spending the best part of every day hoping that my country does not do something stupid and rash to plunge us into yet another war. I feel like our foreign policy essentially entails walking on eggshells. Everywhere there are tripwires to a major conflict because we purposely put them there. Not a one of the numerous wars fought since Vietnam was declared by the Congress, done to protect the freedom or safety of the American people, ended in a reasonable time frame (except may Grenada), prosecuted without major carnage to the native inhabitants of our targets, or ended with an amicable peace treaty. They’ve all been nothing but blatant acts of aggression excused by the flimsiest of lies and other frauds, often disingenuously delivered before that world body conceived to maintain world peace, which we had the greatest hand in creating and host on our own shores, the United Nations. We treat that body like a sick joke, just as we treat our own constitution like a roll of Charmin. Talk about betraying our principles and our forebears. We have become a disgrace to our claimed legacy. And, now we at it again, as though we just can’t help ourselves… because why? Because a snake is always a snake? We need a rattlesnake roundup big time in Murca.
Children starve, child abusers and murderers thrive and prosper, populations suffer, and bankers and corporations and politicians get rich. Why? Because of secret societies. These people prosper because of their collusion and evil – nothing more, nothing less. None of them are going to skip out on being flies in their afterlife by embracing evil and death. Not one. Not now.
The rich and powerful are lying to the masses to cover their sins. Now those sins will come to light and they will stay in the light until these evil societies are purged from the planet. The evil of these “religious countries” – such as Saudi Arabia and Israel and the Vatican and Turkey – and those in the EU and USA and Asia and elsewhere that have “joined” – is going to be known by all.
The hell of truth is going to rain down on these “members” until they are crawling on their bellies like the snakes they are and until the people in their countries that have been repressed and starved and driven into poverty by their evil understand and fight back.
Those who play with God’s eternal fire are now going to be burned. Some in the “intelligence” are even now awake. Thank God.
By the way, I have a skinned rattlesnake on my bedroom wall – so I am all in.
Well-spoken. The Intervention has begun. Those who helped build the pyramids and the other megalithic structures of a long-past technolithic era have returned for another intervention into human affairs, as They always do, when those affairs go too far off the rails. They announced their return to the World and to the secret societies in the crops and fields of the World, mostly in southern England, where the World’s ruling elite have their headquarters. Their sky spirals injected their transforming energies into the World, into Gaia Herself, the AllMother to all life on this planet, who cried out for help and relief. Those in “intelligence” have been interfacing with Them, and some have indeed repented, knowing what is coming to those in opposition to Them. They are merciful and invite repentance, but the rattle snake roundup is beginning. The pessimists can now take heart. A new Rennaisance begins.
This is the scenario I have pieced together from my readings of what is publicly available. We no longer have priests who are plugged in to what is going on, but They never-the-less manage to inform those who sincerely want to know what’s really going on, and They probably do not wish to be worshipped. I believe one of Them went by the name Athena, in a long-distant era, but I don’t know that for certain. Name Them how you please; They are what They are.
Realist I fully agree with all of your comment. Our country that fought once against imperialism for its own freedom has devolved into the biggest imperialist of all.
excellent article and realist has the excellent response so far. This has the potential for being the end of the road if it is not handled reasonably.
An excellent summary of the problem with good advice.
The belief of presidents that they have the right to initiate foreign wars at their pleasure, the refusal of Congress to stop this, the conducting of foreign wars in secret, all are the most extreme violations of the Constitution, to the point of war upon the United States. Such are traitors under the Constitution, and should be imprisoned.
The zionists alone want these wars in the Mideast; they are by far the worst enemies of the United States. Zionists have started every war in the Mideast by deception of the people of the US; they are enemies of the United States, and should be deported to Israel.
The people have allowed money control of mass media and elections to rob them of their country. Let us get rid of money control of mass media and elections, as our top priority.
The MIC wants war anywhere, and must be cut down 80 percent immediately, by re-purposing it to the building of roads, schools, and hospitals in the poorest nations. Foreign wars are not within the federal powers except by treaty, and these should all be repudiated or revised as purely defensive. No more imperialist wars with excuses.
This is the path to restoration of democracy. Without this we are doomed to the scorn and disdain of history, our lives spent as cogs in an engine of war run by the lowest characters history has produced.
“The zionists alone want these wars in the Mideast; they are by far the worst enemies of the United States.”
While Israel has gone down the fascist imperialist road, as have far too many other nations, this overstatement obviously goes down another evil road.
Haven’t been to consortiumnews lately, I see…’BreitbartLite’ seems to be the new ethos.
It is you who have gone far down the wrong road, Mr. Ross, pretending that zionists are not the cause of US wars in the Mideast. Where is the evil in opposing genocide for a religious group?
Name some worse enemies of the US, other than those who led us to kill over a million in the Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, N Africa, Ukraine. Is a million murders OK for your favorite fascist state in the Mideast?
Can you name something that Russia has done wrong to the US, other than zionist propaganda in the zionist mass media? Do you think China has done something wrong to the US? Is it N Korea that you fear? Is opposing another war for Israel evil in your view? Would you like to see millions more killed for them?
Or are you making the usual zionist racist propaganda ruse, of pretending that opposition to zionism is racism against Jews? No one here is fooled. Nearly everyone knows that most zionists are not Jews, that most Jews are not zionists. So is it ignorance on your part, or propaganda warfare against the US and against everyone but the zionists?
That’s not anti-Semitic, that’s plain intelligence.
How about your naming some nations which have done more damage to the US? Come to think of it, I’ll settle for a single name.
Israel is an especially dangerous enemy because it has disguised itself as a friend.
In 42 BCE Marcus Tullius Cicero accurately described the problem of treachery. “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments; he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
Some of the things written here and in other comments actually echo Nazi propaganda about Jews. Treacherous, hidden etc., and because of their superior intellect or sliminess they are the enemy within. Zionist has become a code word for Jew. And I think to pretend otherwise is dishonest or hurtfully ignorant.
As we all know, the word “Zionist” means you are in favor of a homeland for the Jews, and many good people have been, and are, in favor of that, including, to begin with, Eleanor Roosevelt, along with FDR, who together made for one of the five best Presidencies we have ever had. It is when you think your nation has the inherent right to control other nations or other people, that the evil begins.
While some Jewish cultures emphasize education, Jews are no smarter nor slimier than anyone else. Judaism is a religion not a race, despite the desire of many people, including some Jews, to see it that way. And every religion I know of started out with something very good, and was eventually corrupted and even used by some to justify murder. Just look at the middle ages in Europe or ISIS in our own time.
To say that a little nation such as Israel controls a superpower such as the U.S. is ludicrous. Like all other nations there are always two things present, the desire for democracy i.e. respect for all people, and far too often an “elitist-run” government that is out to conquer its own people and other nations. Sounds too familiar? In any case, Israel, through its government, has become an accomplice to some of our worst aspirations, and sees its survival dependent on that partnership, no matter how bad those aspirations. Still singling out Israel for condemnation for this is wrong. We have been in so many other bad partnerships, you could easily lose count, including in the Middle East. It also lets us off the hook. To say Americans are the victims of Israel is ludicrous. We elected Trump. We also made the only other choice for President, despite all the rhetoric, one of the worst war-hawks in Washington. We need to clean up our own act, and I think that would begin by working to elect real Progressives at every level of government. Anti-Semitism is just another foul way of avoiding self-criticism.
Fellow, I don’t know if you’re an American Fundamentalist, or instead an Israeli engaged in stealing and murdering and racism and apartheid.
You have written so much BS here that I’m not going to bother even attempting to correct it.
Stop stereotyping. I am neither. And I can see your answer as the standard evasion when someone writes something that cannot be so easily refuted. I say again it is ludicrous to think that the U.S. is controlled by little Israel We are a lot more selfish than that, and do what we want to in our own “interest” regardless of how much it hurts the American people.
“Zionists have started every war in the Mideast by deception of the people of the US”
Do you think so? I think it’s not correct. Not all hawks in the US are zionists, by far the most are not.