Lobbies, & the
Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know
BATTLE STATIONS - GET IRAN!
IRAN CAMPAIGN ALREADY UNDERWAY
MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 9 July: The
war to 'regime change' IRAN and/or to devastate IRAN is already
underway. It has been fomented in Washington primarily by the
Israeli/Jewish lobby working in tandem with the worst of the
Evangelical Zealots. AIPAC's convention in March was in fact quite
openly devoted to Get Iran!
This time don't expect an invasion like Iraq; the Americans have
been too bloodied and Iran is a much larger and more difficult
target. But already there are clandestine special 'Black Ops'
underway in Iran just as there were in the years before the Iraq
take-over. And already great efforts and huge amounts of money are
being used to undermine the regime, to finance the opposition, to
further weaken the economy, to create domestic tensions, and to
propagandize through many covert as well as overt media, including
Radio Liberty and other US government-sponsored radio and TV outlets.
The first two articles that follow were published overseas Asia
Times and the Inter Press Service News Agency. And the Flashback
article that follows is from a few months before the
invasion/occupation of Iraq actually began in public.
Tehran insider tells of US
black ops By an Asia Times
Online Special Correspondent
TEHRAN - A former Iranian ambassador
and Islamic Republic insider has provided
intriguing details to Asia Times Online about US covert operations
inside Iran aimed at destabilizing the country and
toppling the regime - or preparing for
an American attack.
"The Iranian government knows and is aware
of such infiltration. It means that the
Iranian government has identified them [the covert
operatives] but for some reason does not want to
show [this]," said the former diplomat on condition of
Speaking in Tehran, the ex-Foreign Ministry official said the agents
being used by the US "were originally Iranians and not Americans"
possibly recruited in the United States or through US embassies in
Dubai and Ankara. He also warned that such actions will engender
"Both sides will certainly do something,"
he said in a reference to Iran's capability to
stir trouble up in neighboring Iraq and
Afghanistan for the occupying US troops there.
Veteran US journalist Seymour Hersh wrote
in a much-discussed recent article in The New
Yorker magazine that the administration of
President George W Bush has increased clandestine
activities inside Iran and intensified planning
for a possible major air attack as the crisis with
Iran over its nuclear program escalates.
Hersh wrote that "teams of American combat
troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover,
to collect targeting data and to establish contact
with anti-government ethnic-minority groups". The
template seems identical to the period that
preceded US air strikes against the Taliban regime
in Afghanistan during which a covert Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) campaign distributed
millions of dollars to tribal allies.
Iranian accusations are true," said Richard Sale,
intelligence correspondent for United Press
International, referring to charges that the US is
using the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) organization
and other groups to carry out cross-border
operations. "But it is being done on such a small
scale - a series of pinpricks - it would seem to
have no strategic value at all."
been a marked spike in unrest in Kurdistan,
Khuzestan and Balochistan, three of Iran's
provinces with a high concentration of ethnic
Kurdish, Arab and Balochi minorities respectively.
With the exception of the immediate
post-revolutionary period, when the Kurds rebelled
against the central government and were suppressed
violently, ethnic minorities have received better
treatment, more autonomy and less ethnic
discrimination than under the shah.
president hasn't notified the Congress that
American troops are operating inside Iran," said
Sam Gardiner, a retired US Army colonel who
specializes in war-game scenarios. "So it's a very
serious question about the constitutional
framework under which we are now conducting
military operations in Iran."
Warhorse is the major US military base in the
strategic Iraqi province of Diyala that borders
Iran. Last month, Asia Times Online asked the US
official in charge of all overt and covert
operations emanating from there whether the
military and the MEK colluded on an operational
level. He denied any such knowledge.
have a gated community up there," came the genial
reply. "Not really guarded - it's more gated. They
bake really good bread," he added, smiling.
But that is contrary to what Hersh was
told by his sources, According to him, US combat
troops are already inside Iran and, in the event
of air strikes, would be in position to mark
critical targets with laser beams to ensure
bombing accuracy and excite sectarian tensions
between the population and the central government.
As of early winter, Hersh's source claims that the
units were also working with minority groups in
Iran, including the Azeris in the north, the
Balochis in the southeast, and the Kurds in the
Last week, speaking on the
sidelines of a Palestinian solidarity conference,
Major-General Yehyia Rahim Safavi, the Iranian
Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander, sent a
warning to the US and British intelligence
services he accuses of using Iraq and Kuwait to
infiltrate Iran. "I tell them that their agents
can be our agents too, and they should not waste
their money so casually."
On April 9, Iran
claimed to have shot down an unmanned surveillance
plane in the southwestern province of Khuzestan,
according to a report in the semi-official Jumhuri
Eslami newspaper. US media have also reported that
the US military has been secretly flying
surveillance drones over Iran since 2004, using
radar, video, still photography and air filters to
monitor Iranian military formations and track
Iran's air-defense system. The US denied having
lost a drone.
This new mission for the
combat troops is a product of Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld's long-standing interest in
expanding the role of the military in covert
operations, which was made official policy in the
Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review, published
in February. Such activities, if conducted by CIA
operatives, would need a Presidential Finding and
would have to be reported to key members of
The confirmation that the US is
carrying out covert activities inside Iran makes
more sense out of a series of suspicious events
that have occurred along Iran's borders this year.
In early January, a military airplane belonging to
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards went down close
to the Iraqi border. The plane was carrying 11 of
the Guard's top commanders, including General
Ahmad Kazemi, the commander of the IRGC's ground
forces, and Brigadier-General Nabiollah
Shahmoradi, who was deputy commander for
Although a spokesman blamed
bad weather and dilapidated engines for the crash,
the private intelligence company Stratfor noted
that there are several reasons to suspect foul
play, not least of which was that any aircraft
carrying so many of Iran's elite military
luminaries would undergo "thorough tests for
technical issues before flight". Later, Iran's
defense minister accused Britain and the US of
bringing the plane down through "electronic
"Given all intelligence
information that we have gathered, we can say that
agents of the United States, Britain and Israel
are seeking to destabilize Iran through a
coordinated plan," Minister of Interior Mustafa
Pour-Mohammadi said. This sentiment was echoed on
websites such as AmericanIntelligence.us, where
one reader commented, "We couldn't have made a
better hit on the IRGC's leadership if planned ...
sure it was just an accident?"
late January, a previously unknown Sunni Muslim
group called Jundallah (Soldier of Allah) captured
nine Iranian soldiers in the remote badlands of
Sistan-Balochistan province that borders
Afghanistan and Pakistan. And in mid-February,
another airplane crashed just inside Iraq after
taking off from Azerbaijan and transiting Iranian
airspace. The Iranian Mehr news agency reported
that the "passengers on board were possibly of
Israeli origin". It added that US troops have
restricted access to the site to Iraqi Kurdish
officials and that Western media were reporting
the passengers aboard as having been German.
The Iranian government has not sat idly by
and just taken these breaches of sovereignty.
Early this month, an unidentified source in the
Interior Ministry was quoted by the hardline
Kayhan newspaper as saying that the leader and 11
members of the Jundallah group had been killed by
Iranian troops. Then last Friday, Iranian missile
batteries shelled Iranian Kurdish rebel positions
inside Iraqi territory. They were targeting a
militant group called PJAK that seeks more
autonomy for Iran's Kurdish population and has
been operating out of Iraq since 1999.
former Iranian ambassador argues that in the event
that US pressure on Iran continues, "the end of
the tunnel" for President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's
administration is "weaponization of the [nuclear]
technology ... and a military strike".
"The Americans are pushing Iran to become
a nuclear state. Iran just wants to be a supplier
of nuclear fuel. But [with their threats] they are
pushing it further." 25 April
To Battle Stations! To Battle Stations!
WASHINGTON - Led by a familiar clutch of neo-conservative hawks,
major right-wing publications are calling on the administration of
Pres. George W. Bush to urgently plan for military strikes -- and
possibly a wider war -- against Iran in the wake of its announcement
this week that it has successfully enriched uranium to a purity
necessary to fuel nuclear reactors.
In a veritable blitz of
editorials and opinion pieces published Wednesday and Thursday, the
Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard and the National Review warned
that Tehran had passed a significant benchmark in what they declared
was its quest for nuclear weapons and that the administration must now
plan in earnest to destroy Iran's known nuclear facilities, as well as
possible military targets to prevent it from retaliating.
Comparing Iran's alleged push to gain a nuclear weapon to
Adolf Hitler's 1936 march on the Rhineland, Weekly Standard editor
William Kristol called for undertaking "serious preparation for
possible military action -- including real and urgent operational
planning for bombing strikes and for the consequences of such strikes".
"(A) great nation has to be serious about its
responsibilities," according to Kristol, a leading neo-conservative
champion of the Iraq war and co-founder of the Project for the New
American Century, "even if executing other responsibilities has been
more difficult than one would have hoped."
The National Review, another prominent right-wing weekly,
echoed the call. "Any air campaign should ...be coupled with aggressive
and persistent efforts to topple the regime from within," advised its
lead editorial, entitled "Iran, Now", and almost certainly written by
Michael Ledeen of the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute
"Accordingly, it should hit not just the nuclear facilities,
but also the symbols of state oppression: the intelligence ministry,
the headquarters of the Revolutionary Guard, the guard towers of the
notorious Evin Prison."
The hawks' latest campaign appeared timed not only to the
alarm created by Iran's nuclear achievement and by a spate of reports
last weekend regarding the advanced state of U.S. war plans, but also
to counter new appeals by a number of prominent and more mainstream
former policy-makers for Washington to engage Iran in direct
The Financial Times Wednesday published a column by Richard
Haass, president of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations and
a top adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell during Bush's first
term, in which he called for Washington to make "a fair and generous
diplomatic offer" to Iran that would permit it to retain a small
uranium enrichment programme, if for no other reason than to rally
international opinion behind the U.S. in the event rejects it.
Arguing that the "likely costs of carrying out such an attack
substantially outweigh probable benefits", Haass noted that "the most
dangerous delusion (among those who support military action) "is that a
conflict would be either small or quick."
On Thursday, he was joined by Powell's deputy secretary of
State, Richard Armitage, who, in an interview with the Financial Times,
also called for direct talks.
"It merits talking to the Iranians about the full range of our
relationship ...everything from energy to terrorism to weapons to
Iraq," said Armitage, who is considered a strong candidate to take over
the Pentagon if Donald Rumsfeld resigns or is forced out.
"We can be diplomatically astute enough to do it without
giving anything away," he added, noting that Washington could be
patient "for a while" given the estimated five to 10 years the U.S.
intelligence community believes it will take before Tehran can obtain a
Such statements are anathema to the hawks, who have long
depicted any move to engage Iran as equivalent to the appeasement
policies toward Hitler of France and Britain in the run-up to World War
"Is the America of 2006 more willing to thwart the
unacceptable than the France of 1936," asked the title of Kristol's
editorial, which, despite the reports of advanced Pentagon planning
that included even the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons
against hardened Iranian targets, asserted that the administration's
policy had been "all carrots and no sticks".
His view echoed that of the neo-conservative editorial writers
at the Wall Street Journal, who said the administration's "alleged war
fever is hard to credit, given that for three years the Bush
Administration has deferred to Europe in pursuing a diplomatic track on
Iran". The Journal said the government must give priority to developing
"bunker buster" nuclear bombs.
While Kristol insisted that the "credible threat of force"
should initially be used in support of diplomacy with Washington's
European allies, he also called for "stepping up intelligence
activities, covert operations, special operations, and the like", as
well as "operational planning for possible military strikes".
What he had in mind was laid out in a companion article by
ret. Air Force Lt. Gen Thomas McInerney, a member of the ultra-hawkish
Iran Policy Committee (IPC), entitled "Target: Iran".
If Iran resists diplomatic pressure, according to McInerney,
Washington should be prepared to carry out a "powerful air campaign"
led by 60 stealth aircraft, and more than 400 non-stealth strike
aircraft with roughly 150 refueling tankers and other support aircraft,
100 unmanned aerial vehicles, and 500 cruise missiles to take out some
1,500 nuclear-related and military targets.
Before or during such an attack, he wrote, "a major covert
operation could be launched, utilising Iranian exiles and dissident
forces trained during the period of diplomacy". The IPC has long
advocated support for the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MeK), an Iraq-based
paramilitary group listed as a terrorist organisation by the State
In yet another op-ed published in Thursday's Washington Post,
Mark Helprin, a novelist and Israeli military veteran, called for
anticipating the possibility that U.S. forces in Iraq and its broader
interests in the region could be imperiled by Iranian retaliation and
popular outrage in the Arab Middle East.
To prepare for such an eventuality, "we would do well to
strengthen -- in numbers and mass as well as quality -- the means with
which we fight, to reinforce the fleet train with which to supply
fighting lines, and to plan for a land route from the Mediterranean
across Israel and Jordan to the Tigris and Euphrates."
Such concerns, counseled Reuel Marc Gerecht, a Gulf specialist
at AEI, are overblown. In a lengthy analysis of the possible costs of a
military attack that was also published in the Standard, he argued that
Washington should "not be intimidated by threats of terrorism,
oil-price spikes, or hostile world opinion".
"What we are dealing with is a politer, more refined, more
cautious, vastly more mendacious version of bin Ladenism," according to
the article, entitled "To Bomb, or Not to Bomb: That is the Iran
Question". "It is best that such men not have nukes, and that we do
everything in our power, including preventive military strikes, to stop
this from happening." 13
Flashback: 6 January 2003:
Undercover war begins as US forces enter Iraq
By John Donnelly in Washington and Tom Allard in Canberra
Syndney Morning Herald, Jan 6, 2003: About 100 United States special forces personnel and more than 50 CIA
officers have been inside Iraq for at least four months, looking for
missile-launchers, monitoring oil fields, marking minefields and helping their
pilots target air-defence systems.
The operations, which are said to have included some Australian, Jordanian
and British commandos, are seen as part of the opening phase of a war,
intelligence officials and military analysts say.
This is despite the Bush Administration agreeing to the schedule of United
Nations weapons inspections.
A spokeswoman for the Minister for Defence, Robert Hill, rejected the
suggestion that Australians - even individual soldiers attached to US or British
commando units - had been involved in covert incursions. "Australians haven't
been operating in Iraq," she said.
Australia is believed to have a policy of not sending special forces on
covert operations into hostile countries, but the spokeswoman described this as
The action by US and British special forces in Iraq breaches international
law because it is not sanctioned by the UN.
But it also reflects the new warfare, which targets terrorists and hidden
weapons and relies heavily on commando operations and pre-emptive strikes.
On January 27 the UN inspectors will report on whether they have found
evidence of a program to develop chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
Soon after, the US is expected to announce whether Iraq is in "material
breach" of UN resolutions and whether that is a trigger for an invasion aimed at
toppling President Saddam Hussein.
War preparations have been in full swing for months. The Pentagon says 60,000
troops are in the Gulf region, and that number could double in coming weeks.
Even as President George Bush repeated at the weekend that it was not too
late to avert war if Saddam complies with the inspectors, bombing by US jets
over the no-fly zone, coupled with the commando operations, means that a fight
is already unfolding.
"We're bombing practically every day as we patrol the no-fly zones, taking
out air defence batteries, and there are all kinds of CIA and special forces
operations going on," said Timur Eads, a former US special operations officer.
"I would call it the beginning of a war."
Naseer Aruri, professor emeritus of political science at the University of
Massachusetts at Dartmouth, said the Bush Administration was being duplicitous
in conducting undercover operations while agreeing to the UN inspections.
"Certainly, the Arab world and the Islamic world would see it as being
inconsistent with the weapons inspections, as well as an infringement on Iraq's
A US intelligence official said the Iraq missions were separate from the work
of the inspectors, but that the two operations might be moving in parallel.
Some special forces members were following movements around suspected weapons
sites, and this information could be handed to the UN teams.
The US has so far refused to do so, out of concern that the reports might be
passed to Iraqi officials.
This story was found at: