26 July 2011
Panetta wasn’t flying solo on this propaganda raid; he had two loyal echo chamberlains on his wing. As New York Times Pentagon camp follower Elisabeth Bumbler dutifully relayed from her uniformed handlers, “Mr. Panetta is the third top American official to raise an alarm about Iranian influence in Iraq in recent days.” The other two top officials were Joint Chiefs potentate Mike Mullen and ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey. Mutt and Jeff say they have “forensic evidence” to back their claims, though neither they nor Uncle Leo mentioned what that forensic evidence might be. Whatever they’re referring to, historical evidence indicates we’ll never see it.
Then-ambassador to Iraq and charter New American Centurion Zalmay Khalilzad promised to pony up proof of the allegations outlined by Gordon. The military trotted out some of its very best PowerPoint palaver for a select audience of embedded media trustees, in which some sad sack major looking to become a sad sack light colonel said the shaped roadside bomb charges being discussed could only have come from Iran. After the brief the major allowed as how, well, yeah, um, actually, the stuff in the bombs could have been bought at any Radio Shack. (But Iran people still suck, okay?)
The threat Iran poses to the Centurions’ agenda has little to do with that country’s military power or warlike intentions. Iran can’t project enough conventional force to pout about beyond its borders or the Persian Gulf, and for Iran to strike another country, especially Israel, with a nuclear weapon would be like the entire Persian race mumbling into the barrel of a .44 Magnum. Iran only becomes a problem when it develops a truly self-sustaining nuclear energy program and it, along with its big buddies Russian and China, wrestles control of the global energy strategy away from Dick Cheney’s pals. But even control of our most precious commodity is a mere chip, something to contend for that will sustain the great game that has been played by the powerful and corrupt since Winston Churchill molested Muslim geography after World War I.
by Jeff Huber
“Uncle Leo” Panetta, our newly coroneted Secretary of Defense, wasted little time in leaping face-first onto the blame Iraq bandwagon. On 9 July he stated that weapons supplied by Iran had become a “tremendous concern” in Iraq in recent weeks. “We’re seeing more of those weapons going in from Iran, and they’ve really hurt us,” Panetta puled.
|Panetta, Mullen and Jeffrey agree|
on the threat from Iran.
The Pentarchy’s bull feather merchant marines have been shooting poisoned information arrows at Iran at regular intervals since around the time young Mr. Bush stiff armed that Iraq Study Group surrender stuff and went instead with the neocons’ surge strategy. Freddie Kagan, The American Enterprise Institute’s warlord Fauntleroy, published the surge manifesto Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq in January 2007.
Within a month Michael R. Gordon of the New York Times published “Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says.” Gordon had made his bones with the Bush/Cheney regime when he and Judith Miller helped them execute the Nigergate hoax that duped the nation into nodding along with their pet invasion of Iraq. In their 8 Sept. 2002 article “Threats and Responses: The Iraqis; U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts,” Gordon and Miller supported their assertion that Hussein was seeking yellowcake from Niger by citing anonymous “officials” a jaw-dislocating 30 times. The documents that comprised the “smoking gun” were later proven to be poorly fabricated forgeries.
In making the case that Iran was producing the roadside bombs that were killing so many Americans in Iraq in his 2007 story, Gordon referenced “interviews” with “civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies” who “provided specific details to support” a claim that Iran was providing “’lethal support’ to Shiite militants in Iraq.” Gordon didn’t name any of these officials, or quote them directly or, for that matter, relay any of those specific details they provided other than to state that said details were likely to be revealed later.
|Looks Iranian to me.|
My colleague Gareth Porter correctly noted in Sept. 2007 that the Bush/Cheney administration “has not come forward with a single piece of concrete evidence to support the claim that the Iranian government has been involved in the training, arming or advising of Iraqi Shiite militias.” To this day, the only existing evidence of an outside party supplying weapons to Shiite militias points directly at “King David” Petraeus who, as commander in charge of training Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, handed out 190,000 (that’s right, one hundred and ninety thousand) AK-47s that vanished like cookies at an AA meeting.
Porter has also exposed allegations that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons as fatuous. In early 2010 he published a numbers of articles that revealed the files contained on the “smoking laptop” computer that described Iran’s work on a “nuclear trigger” were as blatantly bogus as the blue-dollar-bill forgeries that “proved” Hussein was buying yellowcake uranium powder from Niger. But thanks to neocon-backed brainwash breweries like United Against Nuclear Iran (aka UANI), lysergic visions of an Iranian made mushroom cloud over Jerusalem persist.
An article in last Thursday’s New York Times by Michael Gordon soul mate David E. Sanger badgered us with bull roar about how some development or other means Iran is getting closer to having bomb-grade material because the “United Nations Security Council” has “evidence” of something completely unrelated, and “international nuclear inspectors and American officials” say “evidence” points to something else entirely, and an “Iran expert” at a right-wing think tank says “The evidence is there that they are accelerating” but he doesn’t say what the evidence is or what exactly it says "they" are accelerating.
Trying to reverse engineer the thought process behind the latest manifestations of the warmongery is always perilous work. The main assumption involved—i.e., that there is a thought process of any kind behind anything those yahooligans do—is manifestly flawed. Strategies crafted by neocon tank thinkers resemble model airplanes assembled with sledgehammers. More than anything, war wonk schemes remind one of ice hockey’s bullyboy dump-and-chase tactic. Such methods are unsightly and uncreative and brutish, but if you simply keep pounding away at the opposition with them you’ll eventually prevail over things like art and science and reason and, most of all, humanity.
Why fling the puck into Iran’s end again now? Partly because that’s how dump-and-chase works; you keep doing it. Partly because the neocon men need somebody to blame for the recent uptick in U.S. casualties in Iraq, somebody for Americans to get mad at so they don’t stop and think things like Hey, didn’t we end combat operations there a while back? The war mongrels also need to keep Iran good and boog-ified to justify the coming atomization of our withdrawal timelines from Iraq and the Bananastans. (Gotta keep the Persian Peril isolated!)
|Iranian Air Force C-22 flying carpet bomber.|
In a kinder, gentler, saner America the body politic would have dismissed all this boo noise about Iran a long time ago. Lamentably, we live in an age when anything Bill O’Reilly says, no matter how asinine or bizarre it is, becomes incontrovertible fact if Sean Hannity says it too.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.