Monday, July 25, 2011

Iran Ate My Homework. Again.

26 July 2011

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.
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. 

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.
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?)

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.
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. 

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.  


  1. War is the sport of kings, and emperors.

    The design of the US government was explicitly intended to prevent that sport here. Washington's Farewell Address warned us again, in case we didn't figure that out already. Eisenhower made a memorable comment or two on the subject. Where did we go wrong?

  2. I think we blew it when we ignored Ike's warning. In end Sandbox Generals, Jack takes control of the government and resets the laws and Constitution, with exceptions for civil rights legislation, to 1961. The book ends with him wondering if he's averted American turning into an Orwellian dystopia or just put it off for a few more years.


  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Yes. I also believe that what went wrong is that so few americans went to the streets to protest. I was stunned that so few reacted when the US became a torture state, breaking all the values it was founded upon. Huge demonstrations should have rocked Washington DC. But most people went on their daily money-making business, and still do.
    In part, I believe that this is attributable to a consumer's, sheep's mentality. In other parts, due to the role of religion and a nationalist flag-waving "we are always right" attitude, especially in the MidWest.

    Jeff, I read your insightful articles and appreciate them. It is so refreshing to find a former military man who is not blinded by the patriotic propaganda, and sees things with clear eyes. Keep up with this great blog !

  5. Read Patrick Henry's antifederalist papers and you will see many worried at the very beginning that the military would make the constitution pointless. Words on paper won't control a standing army. The constitution replaced the far more freedom friendly Articles of Confederation.

    One more thing: evidence is evident. Secret evidence is all written in black white ink.

  6. Apparently even the State Department now admits there's no evidence behind the current set of accusations agains Iran.


  7. I've submitted your word Pentarchy to, where I already have the honor to have had my submission MICFiC accepted.

  8. The Iranian threat is very real. They are developing nuclear weapons and the missles that will carry those weapons are already pointed at the United States and at our only true friend in the region, Israel. We must protect Israel, for it is the land that gave birth to our lord and savior Jesus Christ who died for our sins.

    There is no question that Iran is supplying Al Queda and the Taliban with submarines, and more planes for their ever growing airforce and all manner of high tech equipment which their bakers, bone menders and herdsman are using after work at night to harm our brave young fighting men, women and drones who everyday put themselves in harms way to protect us from our freedoms.

    How else can you explain why the greatest military the world has ever known has had to fight for 10 years against one of the weakest, smallest inconsequential, unorganized, un-uniformed armies the world has ever known?

    Clearly we need to pre=emptively attack Iran and increase our military both in terms of more private contractors and more modernized military.

    The budget be damed! We at war with the entire planet! We can't back down now.

  9. LOL, Stu. Yes, it's those Iranian submarines that keep cutting our supply lines in Pakistan.


  10. I've never been very impressed with Eisenhower's 'warning'. As I understand it, Ike was just one of many US presidents who waited until he was (nearly) out of office to worry about the harm he had done while in office. Kennedy and perhaps Lincoln seem to have had more courage, showing signs of remorse over the power given to the military-industrial-banking complex while they still had a chance to do something about it. They paid 'the ultimate price', arguably, but why seek public office if you aren't willing to take that chance?

    But the point in time where I think the American People really blew it all with their heedlessness was the election of Reagan. For all his faults, and they were and are many, Carter seems to have been and be a sincere man with a good basic grasp of things. He put a question to America: what vision will drive our future? This was exactly the right question at exactly the right time. America's answer was ... more swagger, more war, less responsibility, a more brutal and hardnosed attitude in all things: Ronald Reagan. America wanted to live in a cowboy film. America wanted to Kick Ass.

    So now we are being hogtied and handled by the heartlessness that we ourselves chose. We deserve it. But that doesn't mean that we can't un-deserve it by changing our ways now. It's never too late to repent a bad decision, until it really is too late (soon).

  11. Werk,

    I'm inclined to your view of Ike. The MI speech has the ring of a classic deathbed conversion.


  12. Jeff, what do you think about Robert Baer's predictions of Netenyahu's attack on Iran in September, before the UN vote to support a separate Palestinian state?

    CIA veteran: Israel to attack Iran in fall

    The Canadian PM, Harper the Magnificent, has stated that a threat to Israel is a threat to Canada (huh?) and will pretty much back anything the Israelis do, no matter what. I have no idea why, other than that he may be suffering from End Times Syndrome.

    A quasi-parliamentary committee recently brought out a report that wishes to change the definition of anti-Semitism to anything that criticizes Israeli government policy. Apart from being dangerous and stupid (a hallmark of the now-majority Harper regime), it seems that Harper's urge to be raptured may throw us into a war that will make all the others look like bar fights.

    Canada clamps down on criticism of Israel

    "While the CPCCA's final report does contain some cases of real anti-Semitism, the committee has provided little evidence that anti-Semitism has actually increased in Canada in recent years. Instead, it has focused a disproportionate amount of effort and resources on what it calls a so-called "new anti-Semitism": criticism of Israel.

    Sorry for the picture of Our Glorious Leader. That face is enough to give me nightmares.

  13. Well, I don't count it out, but Robert Baer gets paid to say things like that, and being an ex CIA man he knows he never has to be right. ;-)


  14. Lol Jeff on Baer - " being an ex CIA man he knows he never has to be right."

    AS I've said elsewhere, the key distinguishing fact about the CIA (and before them, the OSS) is that they failed to foresee or prevent ANY of the main geopolitical events of the 20th century. Failure is built in to the system, since it rewards triangulators (like Gates, who was a shitful analyst but a toe-the-line bootlicker) and penalises independent thought.

    So the CIA is full of disgruntled GS5s who leave after 2 years... leaving behind Gates and his ilk. Folks like Gates do all their work with one eye on what is expected of them by their political patrons, and thus their output is of almost zero value.

    And as with all government programs, failure simply means a demand for more budget (as opposed to the private sector, where failure means you go out of business and are replaced by something more efficient). So the CIA has failed its way to the lion's share of $100b a year... it missed the Russian bomb, the Chinese bomb, the Pakistani bomb, the Indian bomb, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and so on and so forth, all the way up to 11/9.

    Imagine a private business who had that sort of track record - how do you think they would go raising capital?

    Baer was (so the story goes) the inspiration for the Clooney character in Syriana - a character who is only slightly less sociopathic than the Crowe character in "Body of Lies". A machine man, for the most part... more a Lamo than a Manning.

    Post-deployment moral awakenings are actually more common than you might think - not everyone reacts to their burn notice by becoming a Paladin for the downtrodden of Miami (lol).

    As to all those disgruntled GS5s... a lot of them are perfectly happy to take a swing at their overlords if you give them the tools and the motivation. It's a terrific resource for anybody in the information business.

  15. Doc,

    Thanks for plugging "Pentarchy." I've been trying to get that one into common usage.


    Good analyses. Yeah, now that you bring it up, Baer hits me the very worst kind of hot dog. Wholly overstating his importance while cashing in on the phony personal he's created. I knew a lot of Baers in the Navy. Did. Not. Like.