Trump Team Targets Iran

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

Saudi Arabia dominates above all other nations as a supplier of suicide bombers, and its royal family dominates as the world’s top financial backer of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups, but incoming President Donald Trump has chosen to lead his national-security team, only people who blame Iran and not Saudi Arabia, as being the main source of international terrorism.

All four of the persons selected by U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump for the top U.S. national-security posts are committed to replacing the outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama’s #1 military target, Russia, by a different #1 military target, Iran. Iran has long been the #1 military target in the view of Michael Flynn, the chosen Trump National Security Advisor; and of James Mattis, the chosen Trump Secretary of Defense; and of Dan Coats, the chosen Trump Director of National Intelligence; and of Mike Pompeo, the chosen CIA Director.

Coats’s appointment to become the DNI in Trump’s Administration is a clear indication that Trump intends to refocus American foreign policy away from Russia as being America’s #1 enemy, to Iran as being that. Like Lt. General Michael Flynn, who will be Trump’s National Security Advisor; and like Marine General James Mattis, who has been selected to be the head of the Defense Department; and like the next CIA Director, Mike Pompeo; Dan Coats views Shiite Iran, and not ‘America’s ally’ (the rabidly anti-Iranian) Sunni Saudi Arabia, as being the source of 9/11 and other terrorist acts against the U.S. and Europe. (However, in fact, Al Qaeda is funded mainly by the Sunni-fundamentalist Saudi royal family.) (Al Qaeda is a fundamentalist Sunni armed force, and it condemns Shiites; it is hostile toward Iran, not in any way an extension of Iran.) (ISIS, too, is Sunni-fundamentalist, and kills Shia.) And all four men have said that America should, at least at the start, try to work with Russia against such ‘terrorists’ (meaning mainly against Iran, which actually produces vastly fewer terrorists than America’s Sunni-fundamentalist ‘allies’ do). Russia has long been allied with Iran, and could provide the U.S. government crucial help to conquer Iran. The idea is to persuade Russia to sell-out Iran, instead of for Trump’s foreign policy to start off by continuing to treat Russia as being America’s number-one enemy (such as U.S. President Barack Obama did despite Obama’s having famously mocked Romney’s “Russia, this is, without question, America’s number one geopolitical foe”).

This means that President Trump intends to make a deal with Russia’s President Putin, for Russia to separate from and isolate, and so allow America’s (and/or Israel’s) military to defeat, Iran. (Invasions, after all, can be extremely profitable, for some people.) Also, for Marine General James Mattis and the entire Marine Corps, who have long craved revenge against the Iranian-backed suicide-bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983, conquering Iran would be a long-delayed sweet victory. (That terrorist act was against America’s support for Israel against Palestinians, which was one of the very few anti-Western jihadist acts that were Shiite-fundamentalist instead of Sunni-fundamentalist.)

This foreign policy is based upon false assumptions, especially that terrorists are fundamentalist Shiites instead of fundamentalist Sunnis — such as they actually are. (All of the 9/11 hijackers were fundamentalist Sunnis, and 15 of the 19 were Saudis. Virtually all Islamic terrorists except against Israel, are fundamentalist Sunnis. That’s just a fact — but one that the American aristocracy refuse to acknowledge publicly, because America’s aristocracy is allied with the Sauds and other Arabic, fundamentalist-Sunni, royal families: America’s ‘allies’ finance Al Qaeda and other such groups.)

So, this is not a foreign policy that’s actually designed to overcome the terrorist threat against the United States (since jihadism doesn’t come from Iran but does come from America’s Arab ‘allies’), but it is a foreign policy that’s designed to continue the pretext for America’s overspending on the military (very profitable for the U.S. aristocracy). That, more than anything else, is what the U.S. aristocracy (who control the ‘defense’ firms such as Raytheon etc.) demand from their agents in the U.S. Congress and White House. Even conquering Russia (in order to take its oil and gas etc.) isn’t as important to them as keeping the ‘defense’ (i.e., aggression) budget astronomically high. (Obama’s method of meeting the aristocracy’s requirement was to boost strategic nuclear forces against Russia and to claim that he was doing it mainly against Iran and held no hostility against Russia. He lied in order to hide his plan — a plan in cooperation with the Gulf Arab countries and America’s vassal-states in Europe — to conquer Russia.)

Here [with my comments in brackets] is from a speech that Senator Coats, the newly appointed DNI, delivered in the Senate on 17 November 2015:

——

We, the United States, need to show the world that threats to our principal freedoms are entirely unacceptable. Unfortunately, President Obama continues to fail to provide the American people with the leadership we so desperately need. …

President Obama, in a shockingly dismissive tone, doubled down on his so-called strategy to deal with this global threat. What has his strategy to date accomplished? Well, ISIS [the most-fundamentalist of all Sunni sects] has expanded into more than half a dozen countries. …

Time after time, the President has shown he simply doesn’t get it. In 2012, he boasted Al-Qaeda was on the path to defeat. In 2014, he dismissed the Islamic State as the “JV team,” saying that ISIS “is not a direct threat to us nor something that we have to wade into.” Last Thursday he said, “I don’t think [the Islamic State] is gaining strength” and saying “we have contained them.’’ What will it take for this President to wake up and see what is happening around the world as a result of the ever-expanding threat of ISIS terrorism? …

I called for a diplomatic effort to persuade Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar [all three of which were actually allied with the U.S. in supporting Al Qaeda in Syria to overthrow and replace the Russia-allied Syria’s legitimate government, which is headed by the non-sectarian Shiite Bashar al-Assad], and other regions [all being Sunni] to join with us to resist more forcefully ISIS aggression. Last year I called for much greater security assistance for our potential partners in the fight against ISIS. … I said we also needed to find effective ways to support and directly arm the reliable, vetted Sunni tribes and Sunni leaders in Iraq who are essential partners in combatting ISIS extremism that ultimately are Sunni Islam’s greatest threat. [This is analogous to asserting that Dominionist fundamentalist Christians are ‘Christianity’s greatest threat’ — the greatest threat to Christianity. One might as well say that Orthodox or fundamentalist Jews are the greatest threat to Judaism. But Coats is himself a Dominionist fundamentalist Christian — a member of the super-secret “The Family” group of Washington insiders who aspire for the U.S. to take over the world for Christians. And he’s not saying that such Dominionist fundamentalist Christians are “Christianity’s greatest threat.”]

We need their engagement. They are in the crosshairs of ISIS. Why haven’t they stepped up? [The reason why is that the Sauds hire jihadists to attack and overthrow only other governments, not their own; same for the Thanis who control Qatar, and for all the other Arabic royal families: to overthrow only foreign governments, not their own.] … As I said, we also need to find effective ways to support the Sunni tribes and Sunni leaders. [He wants only Sunni muslims as allies; no Shiites — this means that the leadership in both Iran and Syria need to be overthrown, not worked with.] … I have called for increased specialized military action by our own Armed Forces — intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and special forces — not a massive invasion. [This is exactly Obama’s approach.] … Our bombing campaign — this strategy of bombing against ISIS targets — has been far from adequate. [He wants the Obama approach but more intense.] … Contrast this anemic bombing campaign with the bombing campaign before the first Gulf War, which was several thousand sorties a day. [He wants to get those American bomb-factories humming again at full capacity.]

My bill would … recognize the reality that exists here in terms of abuse of the Visa Waiver Program or the possibility of abuse and inserting terrorists into the United States. … When introducing this, I remember the response: Oh, that is too tough. Nothing is too tough these days to keep Americans safe. …

We need a comprehensive, realistic, articulate plan if we are going to destroy ISIS, and NATO action should be part of that plan. …

Admiral Stavridis also suggests the possibility of forming some type of a coalition with Russia. We are seeing a strong Russian response today — last evening — once it was determined and proven the Russian airliner was brought down by a bomb and by ISIS. [He deceives there: Russia has consistently opposed jihadists and fundamentalist Islam itself; only the U.S. and its allies have supported jihadism, when it serves to defeat Russia or any government that’s friendly toward Russia. Coats knows this.] ISIS has taken credit for it, and ISIS will receive the wrath of the Russian military as a result [again repeating that lie about Russia], in direct contrast to what we have done for attempts on our own people. I am not a big fan of Putin. I am not a big fan of the current Russia government. I spoke out strongly about Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, and have strongly advocated for Russia’s diplomatic isolation. In fact, I so strongly advocated for it that Russia put me on a list of seven people who are banned from entering Russia for life. Well, I have been to Russia, and I don’t need to go back. So it is no big deal. Apparently it was a big deal to them. But now we are facing an emergency situation. Russian forces are deployed in Syria. Russian efforts need to be coordinated with NATO efforts, if we go the NATO route. We are already coordinating in terms of some of our flights. As we learned in 1941, national emergencies can create strange bedfellows. …

In conclusion, let me say this. In 2014, the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, said:

       Our last message is to the Americans: Soon we will be in 

     direct confrontation, and the sons of Islam have prepared for 

     such a day. So watch, for we are with you, watching.

This is the enemy we are dealing with. This is not some vague threat; this is a direct threat. We have seen how they carry out their direct threats, and we stand in the crosshairs.

——

There is no evidence whatsoever that either the Iranian regime, or any other Shia Muslims, participated in, or knowingly assisted, the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 attackers were 100% Sunni and almost entirely Saudi — and the 9/11 Commission Report devoted only two of its 585 pages (240-241) to the topic, “Assistance from Hezbollah and Iran to al Qaeda” and was unable to find anything against Iran other than the Iranian regime’s attempts pre-9/11 to have cordial relations with both Al Qaeda and the Sauds. (The U.S. government never sought cordial relations with Iran, except when America’s coup-imposed stooge, the brutal Shah, infamous for torturing all opponents, headed Iran.) Those attempts at rapprochement with the Sauds and their agents, bore no fruit. To the contrary, the Sauds, during Obama’s regime in the U.S., increased their hostility against Iran. After 9/11, Iran sided with the U.S. even against Al Qaeda, but the U.S. government has even blamed Iran for 9/11, while covering-up the massive evidence that the Sauds had actually financed the 9/11 attacks. (The U.S., under Obama, even sided with Hitler against Russia and Russians — and even against Jews. Obama was every bit as depraved a liar as was George W. Bush, but depended upon votes from the opposite Party of suckers of the U.S. aristocracy.)

Regarding Mike Flynn, his international-affairs viewpoint is well summarized by the anti-Russian, but even more anti-Iranian, conservative commentator, Michael J. Totten, writing in the neoconservative World Affairs journal, headlining “How Trump’s General Mike Flynn Sees the World”, and it’s remarkably similar to the views that were propounded there by Dan Coats. This is more an anti-Iranian neoconservatism, than an anti-Russian neoconservatism (which was backing Hillary Clinton). Flynn is openly anti-Muslim, but that’s only because he erroneously equates what is actually fundamentalist-Sunni Islam, with Islam itself; and then he misattributes Shia Islam — and especially Iran — with that (alleged ‘Muslim’ threat), and he assumes that the jihadists who endanger Americans, the actually fundamentalist Sunnis who are financed actually by the U.S. aristocracy’s allies the Sauds and other fundamentalist-Sunni royal Arabic families, will somehow be able to become destroyed by an alliance between the U.S. government and those actual funders of jihadists (plus perhaps Russia, if Putin will agree to join Trump’s war against IRAN — not against the Saud family etc.). It’s stupid, but apparently it’s sincere — not intended merely to advance Flynn’s career serving the U.S. oligarchy (who are even more obsessed to conquer Russia, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were hoping to achieve, than they are to conquer Russia). (Thus the U.S. aristocracy hate Trump’s guts even though he himself is a member of America’s aristocracy.)

Marine General James Mattis, whom Trump has chosen to head the ‘Defense’ Department, is similarly focused against Iran and Shia Islam (including Hezbollah) as the main source of jihadism, and as being America’s number-one enemy. Consequently, on 4 December 2016, Mark Perry at Politico headlined “James Mattis’ 33-Year Grudge Against Iran”, and he attributed Mattis’s obsessive hatred of Iran to the 23 October 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, by an Iranian, during the Lebanese civil war — an event that had turned the Marine Corps (the entire institution) rabid against Iran. Perry wrote that “It was also this Iran obsession that led Obama to force Mattis’ retirement back in January 2013.” Referring to Obama’s National Military Strategy, Perry wrote: “The gravest threat to America, according to the document, is not ‘Iran, Iran, Iran’ [as Mattis insisted], but ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’.” Obama would not keep any general who failed to share his hatred of Russia.

At the far-right Heritage Foundation, on 13 May 2015, Mattis delivered a lecture in which he stated that jihadists are mainly Iranian or Shia (actually they’re almost 100% fundamentalist Sunnis, not Shia, and that’s one of several historical falsehoods in Mattis’s lecture). The only other major source of it that he even identified there was “the Muslim brothers in Cairo for a year” — by which he referred to the temporary Muslim Brotherhood rule of Egypt, from 30 June 2013 to 3 July 2013. He didn’t mention there, for example, as being the main Sunni source of jihad, Al Qaeda, or ISIS — he gave as the main Sunni example of what he referred to as America’s number-one enemy, or “political Islam,” the one example in which it was democratically elected into power (which jihadist groups never are). He treated that “political Islam” which he identified as America’s top enemy, as being a threat that comes from the masses of Muslims (the Sunni public for example who voted Mohamed Morsi into Egypt’s Presidency) and not at all from the the Sunni elite (the royal families who own the Arabic nations that are allied with the U.S. aristocracy). He mentioned Sunni leaders only as being allies of America. Mattis is targeting only Iran’s aristocracy and public, and their supporters abroad.

As regards the next CIA Director, House Republican Mike Pompeo, Ryan Costello of the National Iranian American Council, bannered on 23 November 2016, “Trump CIA Pick Hyped Facts On Iran, Downplayed Costs Of War”, and he wrote: “Pompeo has been a fierce ideological opponent of the Iran nuclear accord and gone out of his way to work to roll back the multilateral agreement. Perhaps most disconcertingly, Pompeo has downplayed the costs of bombing Iran,” and “fought tooth and nail to prevent the deal from being struck.” Pompeo’s record is clear that he wants the U.S. to invade Iran. Furthermore, “Pompeo’s last tweet prior to his selection as Trump’s future CIA Director stated ‘I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism’.” This common neoconservative allegation — that Iran, instead of the Saudi royal family, is ‘the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism’ — contradicts the massive and compelling evidence, but now the U.S. CIA will be tasked to go full-bore ‘documenting’ this vicious, and bloody dangerous, lie.

Even Donald Trump’s opponent, the hater of Russia Hillary Clinton, said in her private communications:

“We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

and,

“Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

She never mentioned that those “donors” — as Glenn Greenwald noted on 25 August 2016 — happened to have “donated between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, with donations coming as late as 2014, as she prepared her presidential run. A group called ‘Friends of Saudi Arabia,’ co-founded ‘by a Saudi Prince,’ gave an additional amount between $1 million and $5 million.” Those same people who funded the Clintons and Bushes had funded also Osama bin Laden. And, the Saud family own Saudi Arabia: the Saud family and the government of Saudi Arabia are the same entity. Like bin Laden’s former bagman said, “Without the money of the — of the Saudi you will have nothing.” The Saud family are enemies of the American people, but to both Democratic and Republican Administrations, the Saud family, the Saudi government, are America’s ‘allies’.

Consequently, Donald Trump, like his predecessor, Obama, blames Iran, not Saudi Arabia — not the royal Sauds, who own Saudi Arabia — for Islamic terrorism. Trump, apparently, shares President Obama’s 100% backing of immunity for the dictatorial Saudi royal family’s financing the 9/11 attacks and for their continuing to finance Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups. Obama had said that if the leaders of Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be immune for perpetrating 9/11, then American Presidents could similarly be prosecuted by other nations, perhaps (for example) like for Obama’s bloody coup overthrowing Ukraine’s democratically elected and Moscow-friendly President in 2014. America’s mainstream newsmedia supported him on that immunity for all international leaders, and even Britain’s liberal Guardian also reported favorably on Obama’s support for sovereign immunity (which puts The West now against — for example — the Nuremberg Tribunals, as merely victors’ ‘justice’ in the eyes of The West’s aristocracies today). (Hitler would be pleased.) Obama’s blaming Iran for such jihadists, will thus almost certainly be continued by President Donald Trump, and there will be no ‘draining of the swamp’ accountability, such as Trump had campaigned on.

Even the American public approve of President Obama’s Presidency; so, they’re not bothered by his having constantly lied to them. The 9/11 victim-families are thus chillingly ignored by both the American public, and the American aristocracy (who actually control the government). Trump need not worry, so long as his words feed the standard (aristocracy-created) myths, which both Trump and Obama do very effectively.

Maybe the only good thing that one can reasonably say about Donald Trump as U.S. President is that, unlike his electoral opponent Hillary Clinton, he’s not heavily committed to forcing World War III. In fact, unlike her (and President Obama), he’s not (at least not yet) at all committed to conquering Russia. But still, America’s aristocracy rules; only now they’re aiming to conquer Iran, instead of to conquer Russia. They’ve chosen a less dangerous, more vulnerable, target, for the time being.

But as regards destroying jihadists, that’s still not their top foreign-policy, national ‘security’, objective. Conquest is. It’s still a neoconservative regime, just a less dangerous variety of that.

The American people have already been conquered by the American aristocracy. It has been done by lies, and by the public’s tolerance of being lied-to.

So, the people in Iran have sound reason now to be very worried.

UPDATE BULLETIN from “Morning Consult”:

Mattis Breaks With Trump, Says U.S. Should ‘Live Up’ to Iran Deal

JON REID   |   JANUARY 12, 2017  

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Defense Department, said at his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday that the United States should “live up” to the terms of the Iran deal, and he warned of Russia’s attempts to break the NATO military alliance.

Mattis said he had problems with the Iran agreement, but he appeared to break with Trump regarding how the accord should be treated going forward.

“I think it is an imperfect arms control agreement,” Mattis told members of the Armed Services Committee. “It’s not a friendship treaty, but when America gives her word we have to live up to it and work with our allies.”

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • Rehmat

    Washington has been involved in regime changes in Iran since 1953 long before the Islamic Revolution in 1979. In 1953, CIA-MI6-Mossad engineered a military coup against democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq and re-installed King Reza Shah.

    Despite the US, EU and UN sanctions since 1980s and the western-sponsored 8-year Iraqi war against Iran – Iran has become the greatest regional powerhouse – so much so that the nuclear Israel and other American agents ruling Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt are scared to death of Iran’s rising influence.

    The current Islamic Republic of Iran doesn’t depend on American, British, and Russian military aid or imports. It produces 80% of its conventional military need in the country.

    Donald Trump and his anti-Muslim Iranophobic Zionist Christians/Jewish team-mates doesn’t scare Iranian leadership. Iran’s Spiritual Leader Ayatullah ali Khamenei and country’s president Dr. Hassan Rouhani are on record saying that no matter who becomes next US president (Hillary of Trump), that wouldn’t change Iran’s foreign policy.

    On November 30, 2016, the outgoing director of CIA, John Brennan, a Christian Ziomist, said it would be an act of height of folly for the US President-elect Donald Trump to scrap the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran because it would make Iran and other regional countries to acquire nuclear weapons.

    “It could lead to a weapons program inside of Iran that could lead other states in the region to embark on their own programs. So I think it would be the height of folly if the next administration were to tear up that agreement,” Brennan said in an interview with the BBC
    .

  • ICFubar

    What I have noticed to have emerged over the last election cycle are three main themes that the apex elites have been forced to manage to align with their strategic goal of globalism or dominance of the world by themselves. First a new populous feeling throughout western nations, these apex elites main bailiwick. Heated bickering between factions of their political managerial staff in Washington threatening disruption to the smooth operation of their political party singularity. Thirdly the reappearance of Kissinger as their emissary who has again taken up the reins from behind the scenes and has knocked the opposing factions heads together and most likely told then to come to an understanding. This may foretell a change in tactics by the elites to best co opt the new populism to their globalist agenda. Instead of the full frontal against the Resistance Bloc that has largely been the tactic under the last admin they may now have chosen and divide and conquer tactic. Befriending Russia to some extent to try and draw her away from China and Iran so that each in turn can be brought into the NWO fold? These elites we must remember can operate with the patience of Job.

    • awb22

      Movements are easily co-opted, as we’ve seen with the Tea Party by rhinos, and Occupy by progs. Trump is not one who will be brought to heel, he’s one of them, so the interesting part is whether the NWO will bend to his will. Hopefully, he’ll avoid entanglement in their folly, maintain focus on his domestic agenda, and see the world stage for the kabuki theatre it is.

  • Krungle

    Actually thus far we have Mattis calling Russia the number one threat and Tillerson saying Russia is illegally occupying Crimea and basically telling China he’s ready to go to war with them over the South China Sea. So we know his cabinet intends to fight Russia, China and Iran. I think there was mention that Assad needed to go too, so Syria will continue. In other words, WWIII is still on the table unless his cabinet is lying to get confirmed or unless Trump plans to seriously neuter his neocon cabinet. Right now it is looking like they plan to start at least two nuclear wars. And that isn’t enough for the likes of McCain and Graham.

    • Eric Zuesse

      But none of them want to go to war against the Sauds, Thanis, and other funders of jihad. America’s ruling class are the biggest enemies of the American public. It’s all a show. I agree with you that the only possible hope is that Trump might have gotten agreement from each of his appointees to not follow through on their anti-Russia and anti-Iran rhetoric but to follow his instructions strictly or else be replaced by someone who will.

      • Kilo Mo

        The Islamic Republic of Iran must launch a preemptive war against Israel ASAP via Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria (thousands of IRGC operatives already there). And this time, Iran will have to use its significant arsenal of MRBMs targeting Israel’s strategic and military infrastructure in order to degrade IDF’s response and delay the escalation of a wider war. If they don’t act now, the Zionist-Arab military alliance will for sure send Iran to the stone age in the coming months.