FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Clapper-trap on Iranian Attacks Inside the US

by DAVE LINDORFF

Let’s see now. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence who oversees both the FBI and the CIA, is warning that Iran’s leaders have “changed their calculus” and, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, “now appear willing to conduct an attack within the US.”

Speaking at a Join Intelligence Committee hearing in Congress, the aptly-named Clapper said that Iranian leaders, “probably including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei” are “now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States as a response to real or perceived actions that threaten the regime.”

Well, gee, that sure should come as a shocker.

Making it even more absurd, the “evidence” that led Clapper to make this claim was a plot allegedly “disrupted” by our ever-alert FBI, of a supposed scheme by the evil Iranians to use Mexican drug smugglers to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the US–a plot so obviously contrived and silly that nobody outside the US believes a word of it, and even most people inside the US recognize it was bogus, with many speculating it’s all about setting Americans up in scare mode so they’ll be ready for some “false flag” event designed to set the nation on the warpath yet again. (The “plot” in question was such a keystone cops affair it actually insulted the intelligence of the Iranians, who run a pretty sophisticated intelligence operation.)

Officials in the US, from the President on down to the clowns in Congress and campaigning for president , are all (with the notable exception of Rep. Ron Paul), insisting that “nothing is off the table” in confronting what they all keep insisting, with no hard evidence, is Iran’s alleged “program” to produce a nuclear weapon. We know, from reports by journalists like Seymour Hersh and others, that the US is already sponsoring and helping to orchestrate sabotage and terror attacks within Iran. The country’s top nuclear scientists are being killed by sappers on motorbikes, almost certainly working for Mossad, the spy service of America’s client state Israel. Several US aircraft carriers loaded with bombs, bomber aircraft and rack upon rack of cruise missiles, are stationed threateningly off the Iranian coast. And the US is working on boosting the power of its already huge 30,000-pound conventional bombs which are specifically designed to destroy Iran’s deeply buried nuclear fuel development facilities. The US is also running regular spy flights by stealth plans and drone aircraft (one of which was captured intact recently by the Iranians), over Iran to develop targeting information.

If you were the Iranian government, facing all those threats and actual acts of war
against you coming from the country with the most powerful military in the world, you would be completely idiotic and derelict in your duty if you did not start developing a plan to retaliate against a looming attack.

Do we really have to pay Clapper the big bucks to come up with this kind of “intelligence”?

Americans ought to understand: If we are going to be an aggressor nation, and are going to sponsor acts of terror abroad against nations that have not attacked us or our allies, we need to expect, or at least be prepared to face attacks on our own country. Ask yourself, what would you do if you were in the Iranian government? What would you support your government doing if you were an Iranian citizen?

And given that the nations we are attacking, including Iran, have no capability militarily to challenge our weaponry, or to use the same types of forces to attack us, they are going to use other means to hit us where it hurts if it comes to that. It’s called asymetrical warfare.

By the way, the Iranians would be completely within their rights under the laws of war, which include reciprocity as an exception to the outlawing of certain activities.  If the US were to attack nuclear plants and research facilities in Iran, for example, Iran would be absolutely within its rights to attack nuke plants and research facilities in the US.  If the US were to attack military bases in Iran, Iran could do the same in the US. If the US were to attack power plants and communications facilities in Iran, or university buildings, Iran would be within its rights to do the same to the US. And If the US were to attack Iran’s economic base by, for example, bombing oil port facilities, or pipelines, or refineries, Iran would be within its rights to respond similarly in the US, attacking key US economic targets.  As for those assassinations of Iranian scientists, that too could lead to a reciprocal response in the US and Israel — nor would the Iranians be restricted to attacking only US nuclear scientists. Really any scientist is at risk.

We’re entering dangerous territory here, but that was obvious.

The Clapper-trap stuff about Iranians posing a threat of such actions is that it is being presented as though it’s the Iranians who are to blame. They are not. The Iranians, who have not initiated an aggressive war in a couple centuries, are not crazy, and would not launch attacks on US targets first. That would be committing national suicide. Rather, they are making it clear that they are ready to bring the war to the US in any way they can if they are attacked by the US, or perhaps if they feel that Israel is acting as an agent for the US in its attacks on their country.

This is a much more dangerous thing than the terrorism that has been the government’s favored bogeyman for the last decade since the 9-11 attacks. Iran is not a little band of terrorists. It is a country of 74 million people, many of them very smart and educated, with a long national history and a culture dating back as far as the Chinese and Indian cultures. If it commits itself to punishing the US, it has the resources and the trained personnel to enable it to inflict real damage here.

The US is playing with real fire in making plans for an attack on Iran, or in allowing Israel to attack Iran.

Putting aside for a moment the point that even US officials admit that an all-out attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities will not succeed in ending Iran’s nuclear program, and in fact would likely make it certain that that country would quickly move to develop its own nuclear weapons, or to buy them — weapons that could be smuggled into the US at some point later on.

If, as America’s leaders constantly profess, their number one goal is to “keep Americans safe,” the last thing they should be doing is thinking about starting a war against Iran.

We don’t need a tool like Clapper to tell us the Iranians are drawing up plans to attack targets in the U.S. That should be a given. A child could have figured that out.

What we need is someone with a modicum of intelligence to tell us and the war-crazed idiots running this mad government that we’ve had it with all the war-mongering.

Rep. Paul, the candidate for president in either of the two major political parties who is sane on the issues, has it right: the US needs to stop threatening Iran, needs to put Israel on a tight leash, and needs to slash the size of and pull back our global military to inside US borders.

Then there will be no Iranian threat to America.

It’s that simple.

Dave Lindorff is a founder of This Can’t Be Happening and a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press. He lives in Philadelphia. 


 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
Bill Willers
Volunteerism; Charisma; the Ivy League Stranglehold: a Very Brief Trilogy
Lawrence Davidson
Moral Failure at the UN
Pete Dolack
World Bank Declares Itself Above the Law
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Israel’s Human Rights Spies
Patrick Cockburn
From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack
Ralph Nader
Reason and Justice Address Realities
Ramzy Baroud
‘Decolonizing the Mind’: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto in India: The Sacred and the Profane
Louisa Willcox
Grizzlies Under the Endangered Species Act: How Have They Fared?
Norman Pollack
Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper
Pepe Escobar
North Korea: The Real Serious Options on the Table
Brian Cloughley
“These Things Are Done”: Eavesdropping on Trump
Sheldon Richman
You Can’t Blame Trump’s Military Budget on NATO
Carol Wolman
Trump vs the People: a Psychiatrist’s Analysis
Stanley L. Cohen
The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups
Farhang Jahanpour
America’s Woes, Europe’s Responsibilities
Joseph Natoli
March Madness Outside the Basketball Court
Bruce Mastron
Slaughtered Arabs Don’t Count
Ayesha Khan
The Headscarf is Not an Islamic Compulsion
Pauline Murphy
Unburied Truth: Exposing the Church’s Iron Chains on Ireland
Ron Jacobs
Music is Love, Music is Politics
Christopher Brauchli
Prisoners as Captive Customers
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Robert Koehler
The Mosque That Disappeared
Franklin Lamb
Update from Madaya
Dan Bacher
Federal Scientists Find Delta Tunnels Plan Will Devastate Salmon
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Gig Economy: Which Side Are You On?
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Marines to Kill Desert Tortoises
Louis Proyect
What Caused the Holodomor?
Max Mastellone
Seeking Left Unity Through a Definition of Progressivism
Charles R. Larson
Review: David Bellos’s “Novel of the Century: the Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables”
David Yearsley
Ear of Darkness: the Soundtracks of Steve Bannon’s Films
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail