25 Sept. 2012 by Stanley Cohen
For well over a year now, the American public has been fed a steady diet of fear over a “nuclear” Iran. This intensive campaign—pushed equally by the White House and by Israel, using different rhetoric, but sounding the same note of panic—is not really about nuclear weapons. After all, the Islamic Republic—like the United States (but unlike the non-signatory nuclear-armed states of Israel, Pakistan and India, and the reneged party North Korea)—has signed and ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has as much right to develop its peaceful nuclear industry as does any other party to the treaty. Furthermore, the West has no credible evidence that a weapons development program exists.
Yet as we learned with the Weapons of Mass Destruction campaign against Iraq in 2002 -2003, the United States does not let the truth stand in the way of its neo-colonialist agenda.
The campaign against Iran is not really about nuclear weapons. Rather, it is about the United States using its unipolar, unopposed power to re-shape the world according to its needs. For decades, whenever American policy is unhappy about a strong country which does not share its geopolitical agenda, the US has employed a strategy of de-stabilization through conflict—whether direct or indirect—seeking “regime change” or, when it can’t achieve that, simply chaos and violence. If it can’t convert a country into a client state, then it prefers weak, or failed states to any opposition to its hegemony. The US military agenda serves economic power over time, laying the ground work for market expansion and control of resources, in the neo-colonial scheme.
This is what the campaign against Iran has been about—to secure Asia’s southern tier as a hedge against Chinese and Russian economic power, and to connect US control from the Indian Ocean all the way to the Mediterranean Maghreb. Of course, history would view this as an American inheritance of the British colonial agenda from the classic period of “the Great Game,” as it was called—in this sense, it is “new” only in name, and continues the colonial imperatives of the 19th century.
For any objective person—a person familiar with geography, educated in history, and with a fair and intelligent sense of our contemporary global moment—a quick look today at a map of the Persian Gulf and southwestern Asia reveals an obvious picture of one nation under attack, surrounded by armed enemies on all sides, and facing the constant drum beat of war along its borders. This society stands alone in protecting its people, confronting assassins, and stopping the infiltration of covert military espionage operations, while enduring industrial sabotage, international sanctions, and ominous threats of aerial bombardment. This nation is the only target I know of presently suffering such a steady, programmatic campaign of destabilization, decades in the making.
That nation is Iran.
From ten years of American military campaigns on her western frontier, occupying Iraq, and supplied from Turkey’s NATO bases; to the invasion of her eastern neighbor by U.S. and NATO forces, and drone attacks in Pakistan; to the recent Israeli deal for an airbase in Azerbaijan beyond her northern frontier; to the $200 million American air force “transit center” in nearby Kyrgyzstan; and to the ever-present Fifth Fleet in the waters of the Persian Gulf—who can identify a country more beset on all sides by hostile military power than the Islamic Republic of Iran? No one can, because Iran stands alone in this regard.
And yet, this is not the story we get in the West. Rather—in the United States and Europe, Iran is forever portrayed as the aggressor, as a disturber of the peace, as a war-maker and “terrorist” nation. This cynical “official” narrative extends from insulting newspaper stories and television journalism to the offensive and illegal treatment of Iran’s diplomatic staff—as last week’s denial of entry to nearly two dozen of your UN personnel shows. Provincial politicians running in elections this fall—no better than dog-catchers with publicists—scare the American people with frightful warnings about the Persian threat; one of our largest television networks apparently sells endless advertising time on nothing but amplifying this horror-story, building the argument for war. The narrative is so complete and thorough in its portrait of an “outlaw” nation, that it blots out an entire civilization and its thousands of years of history, reducing it to a vile cartoon caricature for mass consumption by a people who mostly can’t find Iran on a map.
And to this depressing picture of ignorance, the US State Department now adds the latest outrage, removing Mujahideen-e-Kalq from the list of real terrorist organizations, after a three-year, $10 million dollar campaign of lobbying at the highest levels of American power in Washington, carried out on behalf of MeK by hired advocates, including former directors of the CIA, senators, congressmen, a federal judge and ex-Attorney General, former generals of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, war heroes, former presidential candidates, and an ex-UN ambassador, along with other assorted moral relativists who sell for profit their access to power. The accomplishment of this feat should not be underestimated—I cannot think of a single group, once branded a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” by the State Department, which has ever “rehabilitated” itself and had its name, its leaders and its membership removed from this critical designation. Perhaps only Muammar Gaddafi managed to pull off this trick, reconstructing himself late in life as an American “friend” of sorts, after years as a designated sponsor of terrorism, although it did him little good in the end.
Americans need to ask themselves: why has so much money and influence been brought to the task of “cleaning up” the terrorist group MeK? How can a group which has killed thousands of Iranian civilians, carried out political violence on a widespread scale, and even proudly killed Americans in its Marxist days in the 1970’s, be “rehabilitated”? Given that the US military protected MeK in Camp Ashraf over much of the past eight years, we must ask ourselves why.
Beyond this question, there is the further problem of revelations in the past year that MeK received special training in the deserts of Nevada, near Las Vegas, from the US Special Operations Command. As quietly reported here, MeK fighters were apparently secretly flown into the United States in the period of 2005 to 2007—while the group was still officially listed as an FTO—for special forces training in communications, cryptography and small arms and weapons tactics. While sources report that this training in the US stopped before the Obama presidency, it would appear to have constituted a crime, under American law—a crime that has gone un-prosecuted, and barely acknowledged.
Apparently, there are different standards for different terrorist groups.
The re-designation of MeK this month, removing it from the US State Department’s list of “Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” sets an ominous tone of belligerence, and is perhaps the prelude to an act of war to be committed against the Iranian people and nation. It shows once again how the neo-colonial plan is fluid, adaptable and prepared to use whatever resources it can find—even a terrorist paramilitary group—to achieve its agenda. It reminds us of the American relationship with Osama bin Laden and his Salafi fighters in the 1980’s, serving the Cold War agenda of the time—using a convenient proxy force to fight your enemies—and we might well wonder if the new bin Laden is among MeK’s ranks at this very moment.
Only one explanation exists for why this rogue paramilitary army—by some estimates numbering 5,000 fighters once concentrated at Camp Ashraf, now dispersed—would have such illustrious backers in the US as Tom Ridge, Howard Dean, James Woolsey and Porter Goss, and many more: clearly, it is the intention of US power to employ this army as a surrogate for operations against Iran.
When President Obama recently feuded publicly with Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu—refusing to give the Israelites satisfaction on his demand for an air strike on Iran—he famously assured his ally that the US is looking after Israel, and has other options.
Serious followers of American intelligence since the days of John Foster Dulles know that the US would rather not involve its own troops in a messy campaign of illegal, undeclared war when it can do the very same thing with robot drone attacks, or with a not-so-secret proxy army, funded and trained by our soldiers, and working on our behalf. After all, no American president wants to explain to a mother in Kansas or South Dakota why her son died in a helicopter crash in a faraway land where we aren’t even officially at war. Yet if a dozen foreign fighters in our service die in the same crash, no one here will even know about it, or care.
The entire purpose of “cleaning up” MeK has been to make this off-the-shelf CIA army ready for the battlefield, ready for deployment against the Iranian people—as indeed, it has already been used in secret operations on the ground. With American military power deployed on every frontier surrounding Iran, and the US Navy riding off Iran’s shores, MeK provides the crucial “missing ingredient” to escalate the game of destabilizing Iran. MeK provides a convenient insertion force, perhaps to be used to provoke a larger military response.
American presidents learned an important lesson from the secret wars in Central America in the 1980’s, when the US-backed Nicaraguan “Contras”—seeking to reverse the successful revolution there—operated out of Honduras and Costa Rica, trained in Florida and Texas, and received secret funds through back channels during a time when it was illegal, by act of Congress, to assist this paramilitary force. When the operation became known, a few high-ranking members of Ronald Reagan’s White House were prosecuted criminally, including the National Security Advisor.
The intelligence community does not intend to make the same mistake again—the rehabilitation of MeK is insurance against any future criminal prosecution in the US for deploying a new proxy army in the field, providing political “cover” for those in power to pursue a more aggressive strategy. The “de-listing” opens the door to wholesale funding of MeK by both the network of Iranian-American support groups, and by the secret US military “black-ops” budget, without fear of criminal sanction. With MeK now embraced at the highest levels, and free of the stain of “terrorist” designation, we can perhaps expect the phony campaign against Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons to escalate to the next phase in the undeclared “cold” war against the Islamic Republic.
One final comment Mr. President. On my way here tonight to speak I was asked by some people how I could do so when on Yom Kippur it is a time to atone for ones sins. I replied that I was giving the speech but to atone for the sins of Israel. I closed by noting that as an American Jew I am one of many thousands of Jews world wide who do not support Israeli Apartheid, Occupation, or an embargo of Palestine. Nor do we support an attack on Iran.
- Stanley Cohen
Stanley Cohen, Attorney at Law
Political Activist and Criminal Defense Attorney has practiced law and criminal and political defense over three decades. Making many friends and also, powerful enemies. Stanley Cohen was attorney in the well known “PayPal14″ case, a First Amendment protected protest in Cyber Space. Defended more than 1000 activists and community members over a 10 year period in the summons part, criminal court and state New York State Supreme Court only, and many more impressive cases.
Now, the U.S. Government seeks to silence Stanely and to deter him from continuing to challenge it at home and abroad.
It will not work. You can read and behold on his website why.
On a personal note (from occpal), I want to say, that if righteousness could be embodied, it can be called Stanley Cohen. Who unselfish, with tenacity, tireless, patient and with great steadfastness ‘fights’ to bring justice into this world full of corruption and falsehood. Ignoring danger for his own life in situations of war or violence to defend those amidst armed conflicts. Or the homeless people with no means at all. Being persecuted himself for defending and fighting for humanitarian right of others, while some powers try to silence him for being a human with a conscience and sacrificing all for his fellow human beings. If anyone deserves your support and if you are genuinely interested in truth and true righteousness, you should support Stanley Cohen.
Stanley Cohen can be followed at twitter as well:
- What evidence is there for an Iranian nuclear weapons program? Precious little in fact. But Netanyahu need not worry as long as two-thirds of Americans THINK there’s one ~ Sabbah Report
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- Iran vs Israel: What The Media Wants You To Forget – WRH
- Checkpoint Washington – Netanyahu: ‘America is a thing you can move very easily’
- Dangerous social media games – When a state must pay citizens to fight its online public relations wars, it has already lost. | Jilian Cork | Al Jazeera | Jan 13, 2012
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