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Giuliani: Trump is 'committed to' regime change in Iran

By Strategist follow Strategist   2018 May 6, 5:44pm 2,597 views   11 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


Rudy Giuliani pushed for regime change in Iran on Saturday, saying President Donald Trump is “as committed to regime change as we are.”

It's “the only way to peace in the Middle East” and “more important than an Israeli-Palestinian deal,” Giuliani, Trump’s newest attorney in the ongoing Russia probe and a former mayor of New York City, told reporters after giving a speech to the Iran Freedom Convention for Democracy and Human Rights in Washington.

The speech was hosted by the Organization of Iranian-American Communities, a group that aims to promote democracy in the Islamic Republic and was supportive of the December protests there.
1   Strategist   ignore (2)   2018 May 6, 5:51pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

It's time for us to proactively support the Iranian people who want to end the rule of the Ayatollahs.
Bring Iran into the 21st century where she belongs. The Iranians have potential the world needs to develop at a faster rate.
As soon as that happens, it will be time to buy Iranian stocks. An Iranian ETF would be perfect.
2   Strategist   ignore (2)   2018 May 6, 5:57pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

For months, the Iranian people have taken to the streets to protest against their government, a cruel and oppressive Islamist theocracy that claims a monopoly on morality. These are not just demonstrations about economic struggles and water shortages—results largely of the regime's corruption and incompetence. The popular protests also show a growing rejection of the Islamic Republic's brutal rule, and even its existence altogether. Unrest continues to spread throughout the country, with Iranians getting bolder and angrier. The potential consequences for Iran and the Middle East could be transformational. Yet the media have completely ignored these recent developments, to the point that only someone following certain Iran watchers and Iranian activists on Twitter can even know of their existence.
3   anonymous   ignore (null)   2019 Jan 26, 11:39am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Beware the Foreign Regime Change Charlatans. Ahmed Chalabi's imitators are still trying to pressure America into war with Iran.

Bijan Kian, a business associate of President Donald Trump’s disgraced first national security advisor Michael Flynn, will likely soon go to jail for violating federal lobbying laws. Together with Flynn, Kian worked on behalf of the government of Turkey. But long before he was peddling Turkish interests, Kian was one of many in Washington taking advantage of America’s military might to settle his personal scores. In his case, he wanted revenge against the clerical regime in Iran.

The tragedy of U.S. foreign policy has been that in its quest to do good globally, it has invited all kinds of charlatans to lobby Washington to do their bidding. The language of these actors is seductive and frequently plays on Americans’ reverence for freedom and democracy. In the Middle East, the cacophony of voices demanding U.S. support has time and again entangled America in regime change wars that can’t be won.

While these foreign actors purport to support U.S. interests, their narratives are often self-serving and their policy alternatives detrimental to the livelihoods and democratic aspirations of regional peoples. Indeed, the track record of U.S. interventions is pretty poor, especially for the Iraqi and Iranian people, who for years have suffered under the weight of policies spearheaded by Washington-based special interests and expats.

The most infamous figure in recent years to gain lasting influence over American Middle East policy was Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi mathematician who teamed up with neoconservatives to pressure the United States into liberating Iraq. Chalabi, who before the war had not been to Baghdad since 1958, espoused erroneous information about the alleged threat of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, including lies about stockpiles of chemical and nuclear weapons. He portrayed himself as a unifying figure who had organized the Iraqi opposition in his “Iraqi National Congress” (INC).

More: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/beware-the-regime-change-cottage-industry/
4   MisdemeanorRebel   ignore (3)   2019 Jan 26, 2:30pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

They Ayatollahs sucks. Their economy is in shambles.

We should support any uprising of the Iranians against their Theocracy.

And break up Iraq, FFS!
5   Rb6d   ignore (0)   2019 Jan 26, 2:35pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

TwoScoopsOfSpaceForce says
And break up Iraq, FFS!

Arm Kurds and let them take over all oil-producing N. Iraq, as they are the only reasonable group in whole Middle East. Many YUUGE bonuses - no US troops needed, Kurds support Israel, Kurds are not really religious, finally a functional country in Middle East, and possibility to annoy Iran as they have their own Kurdish problem..
6   MisdemeanorRebel   ignore (3)   2019 Jan 26, 2:38pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

d6rB says
Arm Kurds and let them take over all oil-producing N. Iraq, as they are the only reasonable group in whole Middle East. Many YUUGE bonuses - no US troops needed, Kurds support Israel, Kurds are not really religious, finally a functional country in Middle East, and possibility to annoy Iran as they have their own Kurdish problem..

Agreed. Up the Kurds. It also has beneficial encouragement to Syrians.

It was a YUGE mistake of the French to include Baalbek Region in with Lebanon, it made it impossible for the Marionites to be the majority .

Although half those idiots think licking Muslim Boots will fix everything.
7   MisdemeanorRebel   ignore (3)   2019 Jan 26, 4:06pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Tim Aurora says
Why is the right wing media being globalist now. Trump just broke the treaty with Iran and now regime change. Another Syria or Iraq.

What Treaty? There was no Treaty.

Link to this vaunted Treaty and the Senate's approval of such Treaty as required by the Constitution.
8   Tenpoundbass   ignore (15)   2019 Jan 26, 5:14pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

America sure loves a War Time President. They never lost an election in the History of America.
9   Patrick   ignore (1)   2019 Jan 26, 6:22pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

If Trump actually moves against Iran, I'll be disappointed.

Hillary was the warmonger against Iran in the election. If Trump picks up the hate for Iran, it would show that the swamp is seeping into this White House like it did to all others.

Saudi Arabia is America's real enemy, but they are embedded like a tick in the US political establishment.
10   anonymous   ignore (null)   2019 Feb 20, 12:45am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Yves (naked capitalism) here. I would not underestimate the stupidity of the US, given that our strategy in Venezuela, and potentially in Iran, seems to be based on the same fallacy as our invasion of Iraq: “They will welcome us with flowers.” And John Bolton seems even more than most neocons to enjoy breaking things just for the hell of it.

One thing that have kept our confrontation with Iran from getting more stupid is that Iran has made very clear that it can and will torch Saudi Arabia if attacked, and with all that above-ground oil equipment, that would not be hard.

The other is the that government appears to have done a good job of attending to the needs of the public despite the sanctions. I am told by people who visited that the markets had a lot of food, people are well dressed, the streets are tidy, women are well educated and have a lot of freedom, and the country had put a lot of emphasis on scientific and technological development. The impression I have from a recent visitor (who travelled around freely) was that there was a high degree of social cohesion despite or maybe due to the US sanctions.

Will The U.S. Actively Pursue Regime Change In Iran?

While all eyes are on the unfolding crisis in Venezuela, the Trump administration is laying the ground work for its next target: Iran.

The greatest source of pressure has come from sanctions on Iran, aimed at disrupting the country’s oil sector. To date, Iran has been able to weather the sanctions although the impact has been painful. Iranian production and exports plunged in the third and fourth quarters last year, but have stabilized since the U.S. granted a series of waivers to eight countries importing oil from Iran in November. In January, Iran’s production and exports appear to have held up, not posting any more additional losses.

According to Reuters, exports are averaging around 1.25 million barrels per day (mb/d) so far in February, which may actually be slightly higher from the 1.1 to 1.3 mb/d exported last month. Some countries may have opted to increase purchases, both because they secured waivers and because the expiration on those allowances expire in a few months. “We think people are taking more ahead of the deadline,” an industry source told Reuters.

Now comes the hard part. The Trump administration has vowed not to issue any new waivers, although there has been little details disclosed into whether or not the existing waivers will be extended.

The regime change effort in Venezuela will make the campaign to impose “maximum pressure” on Iran much more difficult. The acceleration of supply disruptions in Venezuela could and would tighten up the oil market. Oil prices are already at a three-month high, with Brent inching closer to $70 per barrel.

On its face, then, it would seem that the U.S. has little room to tighten the screws on Iran, having already used up the slack in the oil market on its Venezuelan campaign. There is not a ton of excess surplus in the market left over that could be used to knock Iranian oil offline.

However, we should not underestimate the possibility of a reckless push for confrontation with Iran. Discerning the intentions of the Trump administration is notoriously difficult, but that is especially true when there is a high level of disagreement even among officials within the government.

The New York Times reported in January that top Pentagon officials are concerned that national security adviser John Bolton “could precipitate a conflict with Iran.” The National Security Council, on Bolton’s orders, reportedly asked the Pentagon last year to draw up military options for strikes on Iran. The request “alarmed then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other Pentagon officials,” the NYT reported.

The campaign against Iran didn’t end there. The recent U.S.-led summit in Warsaw, Poland was widely criticized as a meeting to gin up global action against Iran, so much so that the title and the agenda of the meeting had to be changed because of opposition in some European capitals. Billed as a conference on Middle East security instead, the meeting was still transparently aimed at Iran.

What to make of all of this?

It may all seem ham-handed, especially since much of the world is not playing along, but as Foreign Policy warns, this all sounds like the run-up to the war in Iraq in 2003. Indeed, the Trump administration may be scouring for ways to link Iran to Al Qaeda so that it can use the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). In other words, Trump officials are trying to find a way to legalize a war without having to turn to Congress.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu did not help matters when his office tweeted – and then removed – that the Warsaw summit was intended “to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”

On February 11, the official twitter account of the White House tweeted out a video of John Bolton accusing Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons. To be clear, there is no evidence of this. Trump’s own intelligence services, as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency, dispute that fact, and indeed all evidence suggests Iran continues to remain in compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, even after the U.S. pulled out.

Nevertheless, referring to the 40th anniversary of the revolution in Iran, Bolton seemed to threaten the Iranian government. “I don’t think you’ll have many more anniversaries to enjoy,” he said.

Bolton has been at the forefront of the regime change campaign in Venezuela. It is clearly his hope that President Maduro is toppled quickly, after which, Venezuela’s new government, with the help of American oil companies (Chevron and Halliburton), revive the country’s dilapidated oil sector. A rebound in oil production would ease market pressure, which would conceivably smoothen the path for Bolton’s regime change plan in Iran.

It may not work out that way, not least because a revival of Venezuela’s oil sector won’t be a short-term affair. Moreover, if oil prices rise too much, there is an enormous risk of applying excessive pressure on Iran, to say nothing of a more aggressive military option. Trump has made clear that low gasoline prices is a top priority, so Bolton may even run out of political room to maneuver.

Still, at this point, he’s not exactly hiding what he has in store for Iran.


11   anonymous   ignore (null)   2019 Feb 26, 3:26am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Fake news about a terrorist connection could serve as a pretext for war

Observers of developments in the Middle East have long taken it as a given that the United States and Israel are seeking for an excuse to attack Iran. The recently terminated conference in Warsaw had that objective, which was clearly expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it failed to rally European and Middle Eastern states to support the cause. On the contrary, there was strong sentiment coming from Europe in particular that normalizing relations with Iran within the context of the 2015 multi party nuclear agreement is the preferred way to go both to avoid a major war and to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation.

There are foundations in Washington, all closely linked to Israel and its lobby in the U.S., that are wholly dedicated to making the case for war against Iran. They seek pretexts in various dark corners, including claims that Iran is cheating on its nuclear program, that it is developing ballistic missiles that will enable it to deliver its secret nuclear warheads onto targets in Europe and even the United States, that it is an oppressive, dictatorial government that must be subjected to regime change to liberate the Iranian people and give them democracy, and, most stridently, that is provoking and supporting wars and threats against U.S. allies all throughout the Middle East.

Dissecting the claims about Iran, one might reasonably counter that rigorous inspections by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirm that Tehran has no nuclear weapons program, a view that is supported by the U.S. intelligence community in its recent Worldwide Threat Assessment. Beyond that, Iran’s limited missile program can be regarded as largely defensive given the constant threats from Israel and the U.S. and one might well accept that the removal of the Iranian government is a task best suited for the Iranian people, not delivered through military intervention by a foreign power that has been starving the country through economic warfare. And as for provoking wars in the Middle East, look to the United States and Israel, not Iran.

So the hawks in Washington, by which one means National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and, apparently President Donald Trump himself when the subject is Iran, have been somewhat frustrated by the lack of a clear casus belli to hang their war on. No doubt prodded by Netanyahu, they have apparently revived an old story to give them what they want, even going so far as to develop an argument that would justify an attack on Iran without a declaration of war while also lacking any imminent threat from Tehran to justify a preemptive strike.

What may be the new Iran policy was recently outlined in a Washington Times article, which unfortunately has received relatively little attention from either the media, the punditry or from the few policymakers themselves who have intermittently been mildly critical of Washington’s propensity to strike first and think about it afterwards

The article* is entitled “Exclusive: Iran-al Qaeda alliance May Provide Legal Rationale for U.S. military strikes.”

The article’s main points should be taken seriously by anyone concerned over what is about to unfold in the Persian Gulf because it is not just the usual fluff emanating from the hubris-induced meanderings of some think tank, though it does include some of that. It also cites government officials by name and others who are not named but are clearly in the administration

As an ex-CIA case officer who worked on the Iran target for a number of years, I was shocked when I read the Times’ article, primarily because it sounded like a repeat of the fabricated intelligence that was used against both Iraq and Iran in 2001 through 2003. It is based on the premise that war with Iran is desirable for the United States and, acting behind the scenes, Israel, so it is therefore necessary to come up with an excuse to start it. As the threat of terrorism is always a good tactic to convince the American public that something must be done, that is what the article tries to do and it is particularly discouraging to read as it appears to reflect opinion in the White House.

As I have been writing quite critically about the CIA and the Middle East for a number of years, I am accustomed to considerable push-back from former colleagues. But in this case, the calls and emails I received from former intelligence officers who shared my experience of the Middle East and had read the article went strongly the other way, condemning the use of both fake and contrived intelligence to start another unnecessary war.

The article states that Iran is supporting al Qaeda by providing money, weapons and sanctuary across the Middle East to enable it to undertake new terrorist attacks. It is doing so in spite of ideological differences because of a common enemy: the United States. Per the article and its sources, this connivance has now “evolved into an unacceptable global security threat” with the White House intent on “establishing a potential legal justification for military strikes against Iran or its proxies.”

One might reasonably ask why the United States cares if Iran is helping al Qaeda as both are already enemies who are lying on the Made in U.S.A. chopping block waiting for the ax to fall. The reason lies in the Authorization to Use Military Force, originally drafted post 9/11 to provide a legal fig leaf to pursue al Qaeda worldwide, but since modified to permit also going after “associated groups.” If Iran is plausibly an associated group then President Trump and his band of self-righteous maniacs egged on by Netanyahu can declare “bombs away Mr. Ayatollah.” And if Israel is involved, there will be a full benediction coming from Congress and the media. So is this administration both capable and willing to start a major war based on bullshit? You betcha!

The Times suggests how it all works as follows: “Congressional and legal sources say the law may now provide a legal rationale for striking Iranian territory or proxies should President Trump decide that Tehran poses a looming threat to the U.S. or Israel and that economic sanctions are not strong enough to neutralize the threat.” The paper does not bother to explain what might constitute a “looming threat” to the United States from puny Iran but it is enough to note that Israel, as usual, is right in the middle of everything and, exercising its option of perpetual victim-hood, it is apparently threatened in spite of its nuclear arsenal and overwhelming regional military superiority guaranteed by act of the U.S. Congress.

Curiously, though several cited administration officials wedded to the hard-line against Iran because it is alleged to be the “world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism” were willing to provide their opinions on the Iran-al Qaeda axis, the authors of the recent Worldwide Threat Assessment issued by the intelligence community apparently have never heard of it. The State Department meanwhile sees an Iranian pipeline moving al Qaeda’s men and money to targets in central and south Asia, though that assessment hardly jives with the fact that the only recent major attack attributed to al Qaeda was carried out on February 13th in southeastern Iran against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a bombing that killed 27 guardsmen.

The State annual threat assessment also particularly condemns Iran for funding groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which are, not coincidentally, enemies of Israel who would care less about “threatening” the United States but for the fact that it is constantly meddling in the Middle East on behalf of the Jewish state.

And when in doubt, the authors of the article went to “old reliable,” the leading neocon think tank the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which, by the way, works closely with the Israeli government and never, ever has criticized the state of democracy in Israel. One of its spokesmen was quick off the mark: ““The Trump administration is right to focus on Tehran’s full range of malign activities, and that should include a focus on Tehran’s long-standing support for al Qaeda.”

Indeed, the one expert cited in the Times story who actually is an expert and examined original documents rather than reeling off approved government and think tank talking points contradicted the Iran-al Qaeda narrative. “Nelly Lahoud, a former terrorism analyst at the U.S. Military Academy and now a New America Foundation fellow, was one of the first to review documents seized from bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. She wrote in an analysis for the Atlantic Council this fall that the bin Laden files revealed a deep strain of skepticism and hostility toward the Iranian regime, mixed with a recognition by al Qaeda leaders of the need to avoid a complete break with Tehran. In none of the documents, which date from 2004 to just days before bin Laden’s death, ‘did I find references pointing to collaboration between al Qaeda and Iran to carry out terrorism,’ she concluded.”

So going after Iran is the name of the game even if the al Qaeda story is basically untrue. The stakes are high and whatever has to be produced, deduced or fabricated to justify a war is fair game. Iran and terrorism? Perfect. Let’s try that one out because, after all, invading Iran will be a cakewalk and the people will be in the streets cheering our tanks as they roll by. What could possibly go wrong?


Article cited in the beginning - EXCLUSIVE: Iran-al Qaeda alliance may provide legal rationale for U.S. military strikes


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