Clapper-trap on Iranian Attacks Inside the US

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. 


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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).

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