analysis by Tony Cartalucci
October 22, 2011 - For ten months the Obama administration has presided over the "Arab Spring," a geopolitical gambit years in the making, and executed simultaneously in multiple nations throughout the Middle East and North Africa in the beginning of 2011. The regional conflagration was stoked by a steady stream of first, denial, even feigned surprise, with covert support for US-backed opposition groups, then more overt support, and finally NATO airstrikes, weapons, training, and special operations forces lent to the rebellion in Libya and weapons and support sent to Syria's militants. These collective efforts stretching from Tunisia and leading up to Iran's doorstep serve a singular agenda -that is, to contain and ultimately overturn the reemergence of Russia as well as containing the rise of China.
Integral to this stated agenda, is the toppling of Iran's government and its integration into the Wall Street-London "international order." Efforts to topple Syria's government by US-backed and now apparently armed opposition groups aim to isolate and even provoke the Islamic Republic into a suitable justification for US or Israeli (or both) retaliation. As reported on extensively, the literal playbook from which these stratagems are drawn is the Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution's "Which Path to Persia?" report. In it, it specifically states:
"...it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.) "
The 2009 "Green Revolution" was just such an attempt at "covert regime change" to "goad Iran into such a provocation" though it ignominiously failed. It appears that in addition to funding, arming, and harboring the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK), the US has also taken to entirely fabricating "such provocations." The recent DEA-Saudi bomb plot announced by Attorney General Eric Holder stands on tenuous grounds, even more so now that Iran has counterclaimed that the supposed Quds Forces member the US implicated may in fact be a member of the above stated US-backed MEK terrorist organization. The US has done all in its power to coax Saudi Arabia into taking a harder line against Tehran. The Brookings report had this to say about that in 2009:
"For instance, Saudi Arabia is positively apoplectic about the Iranians’ nuclear program, as well as about their mischief making in Lebanon, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories. Yet, so far, Riyadh has made clear that it will not support military operations of any kind against Iran. Certainly that could change, but it is hard to imagine what it would take."
"...it is hard to imagine what it would take." Perhaps MEK terrorists posing as Quds Forces, entrapping a drug addicted used-car salesman to arrange a bomb plot against a Saudi ambassador and then blaming it on Iran.
With the fate of Libya hanging in the balance, with US troops still occupying both Iraq and Afghanistan, and with renewed vigor aimed toward Syria after the alleged fall of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, it is incredibly unlikely that the US has abandoned its plans to ultimately topple the Iranian regime as the crescendo to this ongoing regional campaign. In fact, many amongst Obama's own administration have been the most rabid supporters of executing the final leg of this long-term strategy started under the Bush administration. The 2008 presidential runner-up John McCain, and of course the same collection of unelected, corporate-funded policy makers from the halls of Brookings Institution, the Foreign Policy Initiative and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) have also been more than eager in pushing this agenda along.
That these policy makers, who have helped engineer and support the current course Obama is on, are now sulking over Obama's decision to pull troops out of Iraq when in fact Obama doesn't, never has, and never will make such decisions, is highly suspect. Kenneth Pollack, one of the co-authors of the "Which Path to Persia?" report, recently expressed dismay in his article titled, "With a Whimper, Not a Bang." Frederick Kagan, the corporate-funded AEI architect behind the Iraq "troop surge" also lamented in a piece titled, "Obama abandons Iraq." Kagan explicitly claims that the withdrawal would be "giving Tehran the single most important demand it has pursued for years—the complete withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq."
The US is at least peddling the illusion it is clearing out its holdings in Iraq, leaving a symbolic force for a reason - a reason that has to do with a final gambit to be played against Iran, the last domino to fall in the US-contrived "Arab Spring." These are two possible scenarios:
1. Leave a small symbolic force for the Iranians to attack in Iraq after a "unilateral" Israeli airstrike. Whatever Iran decides to do, it may not be able to do sustainably, but will do viciously in the opening phases. By leaving a symbolic force in Iraq, the US can garner the necessary sympathy and anger politically at home to launch a wider operation against Iran in "retaliation."
2. Feign as if the US is disengaging from the Middle East so when a false flag terror attack or other provocation is perpetrated against the US, it will look like an egregious act of war by Iran. While a shrinking US presence in the Middle East would logically engender even more patience in Tehran, the script writers of the latest DEA-Saudi bomb plot took special care to ensure the "Iran has become bolder" talking-point made it repetitively on air and into the minds of unsuspecting Americans.
This is more than mere idle speculation. In the Brookings Institution report, "Which Path to Persia?" nearly all but the most extreme measures proposed in the report have been executed. The only options left on the table unused include a unilateral Israeli airstrike designed to provoke a significant retaliation thus bringing the US into war with Iran and a variety of options to provoke a full-scale invasion.
In a section of the report titled, "Leave it to Bibi: Allowing or Encouraging an Israeli Military Strike," (page 89, page 102 of the .pdf) it appears that Israeli intelligence is also working with the terrorist organization MEK:
"Israeli intelligence operations against Iran were stepped up even earlier and have included use of third parties to publicize the Iranian threat without revealing the Israeli hand. Iran's secret enrichment and heavy-water reactor programs were publicly exposed in August 2002 by an Iranian dissident group (the Mujahedin-e Khalq), which reportedly was unwittingly fed the information by Israeli intelligence."
The report goes on to say of an American approved Israeli airstrike:
"However, as noted in the previous chapter, the airstrikes themselves are really just the start of this policy. Again, the Iranians would doubtless rebuild their nuclear sites. They would probably retaliate against Israel, and they might retaliate against the United States, too (which might create a pretext for American airstrikes or even an invasion.)"
Allowing the Israelis to attack by air, and sacrificing US troops on the ground in Iraq as a pretext for greater war is most certainly a possibility. The report continues on by stating the necessity of maintaining a certain level of plausible deniablity regarding the Israeli airstrikes. US troops in Iraq would by default implicate America in any Israeli airstrike that would need to pass over Iraqi airspace. US troops "in retreat" in Iraq could possibly mitigate such implications as well as make an Iranian retaliation seem all the more "outrageous, deadly, and unprovoked."
We can be sure that after years of carrying forth an agenda that proceeded his presidency, Obama has not all the sudden decided to unilaterally pull troops from Iraq. His administration's duplicity and eagerness throughout the US-contrived "Arab Spring" all but assure us that the overarching agenda still includes encircling and toppling the government in Iran. It has not escaped the attention of the White House that a withdrawal from Iraq would give Iran its greatly desired breathing room and would greatly diminish America's influence throughout the Middle East.
Just like the false rapprochement of the West with Libya's Qaddafi before the US rearmed, reorganized, and let loose the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), when the West returns to torment Tehran, it will come back with a vengeance. Keep an eye on Israel for their attack and the complicit United States waiting to once again "lead from behind." And if you have someone you know in the US military stationed in Iraq staying behind, prepare for the absolute worse. As Henry Kissinger once so bluntly stated, "military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy." (Woodward and Bernstein The Final Days in chapter 14). Certainly, a few dead G.I.s in Iraq after an Iranian retaliation for an Israeli airstrike would be just the pawns needed for "foreign policy" to move forward.
One can only hope this pessimistic analysis is entirely wrong, and that the US has overreached and has simply decided to withdraw from the battlefield and ultimately from empire. However, if unrest continues to unfold in Syria, which is essentially a low-intensity US proxy war against Damascus, and in turn against Tehran, we can be sure any optimism will be quickly dashed against the rocks by the Wall Street-London corporate-financier oligarchs.