Hardliners in Israel & Iran Resist US Pivot to Iran over ISIS

By Juan Cole

The continued advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) on Sunday brought the radical Sunni movement to the borders of Jordan and consolidated its control over al-Anbar Province. The Iraqi military continued its rapid collapse into uselessness, losing all the country’s military border outposts to ISIS. There is now a huge Sunnistan stretching from Aleppo to Tikrit and from Mosul to the Jordan border.

Can little Jordan withstand this onslaught itself? Will the Salafis in Zarqa rise up in support of ISIS? The country is straining under the stress of hosting hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and tens of thousands of Iraqis, and bracing for another wave of Iraqis. The Jordanian military is professional and good fighters, but it is not clear that it can easily deal with urban revolts if they were to occur.

Another way of putting it is that a notorious would-be al-Qaeda affiliate that now own substantial real estate is a day’s drive from Israel’s borders. Will it reach out to the Palestinians, with implications for Israeli security? The beach at Tel Aviv only seems a long way from al-Walid, the Iraqi border town that fell to the Sunni radicals yesterday.

The inability of the Iraqi military to mount a riposte to this rapid loss of territory raises questions about when exactly it can hope to begin pushing back effectively. Not since the Mujahidin lost Afghanistan to the Taliban in 1994-1996 have we seen this kind of rapid territorial advance for a radical vigilante movement in the region.

US policy is self-contradictory. In Syria, the US is attempting to undermine the Baath government of Bashar al-Assad, a regime guilty of crimes against humanity. Since al-Assad’s most effective opposition is ISIS, the US is de facto an ISIS ally in Syria, just as the Reagan administration was an ally of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

In Iraq, the US tilts to the central government in Baghdad, dominated by Shiite religious parties, and so is a dire enemy of ISIS.

It may well be that the US will need to back away from trying to overthrow al-Assad for a while, to allow that regime to try to chase ISIS from the Syrian north. However wicked the Syrian Baath Party is, it is no threat to the US. ISIS is.

One of the reasons for US hostility to al-Assad is his alliance with Iran and with Lebanon’s Hizbullah. But both now seem much less threatening than ISIS, an organization guilty of systematic terrorism on a vast scale, involving bombings of thousands of women and children, and the leader of which has explicitly threatened the United States.

Secretary of State John Kerry has already intimated that the US is willing to consider forms of cooperation with Iran in Iraq, though not joint military action.

If ISIS is your biggest headache, then enlisting Iran’s help is a no-brainer. But it is no good to have Iran intervene in Iraq in a Shiite supremacist direction. That is, any joint US-Iran cooperation against ISIS will require an adjustment of Iran’s policies in Iraq, which gave us Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Shiite-sectarian approach to governance, which in turn cost him a third of his country. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps made the mistake of assisting Shiite militias with ethnically cleansing Baghdad of Sunnis in 2006-7, and those chickens are now coming home to roost.

Al-Maliki has to go, and the Baghdad government has to become inclusive of Sunnis (if it is not already too late for that), but it is not sure that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, is willing to make that adjustment.

For this reason, Khamenei lashed out Sunday rejecting US interference in Iraq and maintaining that the latter’s Shiite clergy and its (Shiite-dominated) government can handle the crisis. This allegation is transparently untrue and a piece of wishful thinking. More practical heads in Iran are surely beginning to worry about the great big geostrategic barrier that has been erected between Iran and Syria by ISIS, which has severe implications for Tehran’s ability to resupply Hizbullah in Lebanon. These cooler heads are seriously thinking about cooperating with the US against the al-Qaeda types.

Any such rapprochement of the US and Iran over Iraq policy is not only unwelcome to Khamenei but also to the far-right ruling Likud Party in Israel. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has several hundred nuclear warheads and wants no competition in the region, is absolutely convinced that Iran is attempting to develop a nuclear weapon, despite all the evidence pointing in the opposite direction, especially during the past year when Iran has mothballed most of its stock of uranium enriched to 19.75%. Iran’s uranium stock now consists of 3-5% enriched uranium suitable as fuel for its nuclear reactors. Even the 19.75% enriched uranium was intended for Tehran’s medical reactor to make isotopes for treating cancer.

But Netanyahu’s stated belief is that Iran is going for a bomb. And he is afraid that if Iran comes to be seen as a de facto ally of the US against a renewed and dire al-Qaeda threat, that Washington will cut Iran some slack on its nuclear enrichment program.

Such things have happened in the past. The Reagan administration winked at Pakistan’s actual nuclear weapons program in the 1980s because Reagan needed Pakistan as an ally in getting the Soviets back out of Afghanistan. By 1998, Pakistan had the bomb.

Both Khamenei and Netanyahu are men of the twentieth century, applying old premises and paradigms to the 21st century. Both should be more alarmed than they seem about ISIS taking over northern and western Iraq as well as much of northern Syria. ISIS is a more potent threat both to Israel and to Iran than the latter two are to each other. If these two obstructionists have their way, an effective international response to ISIS will be forestalled, with grave implications for the Middle East and the world.

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Related video:

Sam Seder: “Poor Warhawks: U.S. and Iran Share Common Interests in Iraq”

44 Responses

  1. It will be interesting to see where the power lies in Iran. Khamenei has the title but he isn’t a military man. He has the title supreme leader but he isn’t Khomeini. And Ahmadinejad damaged him repeatedly, not least by making him complicit in flagrant electoral fraud.

    Iran is going to have to send troops to fight ISIS in Iraq. The only question is whether they go in alone or with US support. The choice of accepting that support ultimately lies with neither Khamenei nor Rouhani but with the generals in charge of the military. Their approach is likely to be pragmatic.

    What Khamenei and Netanyahu are really afraid of is a scenario in which the US and pragmatic factions in Iran join forces. Putin and the gulf monarchies should be scared as well.

    • Well Saud has a border with Iraq and Saudi money men have been backers. Similar to the relationship between Pakistan and the Taliban.

      Such arrangements have a tendency to backfire. The Saudis were the original backers of Bin Laden after all. And the oil fields of Saudi Arabia are the biggest prize to shoot for.

      A lot of backers disowned ISIS after their brutality emerged. ISIS is unlikely to think highly of money men who dropped them before their success in the field.

      ISIS hasn’t captured territory in battle, it has captured it by Sunni cities defecting when the Maliki government officials ran away. Hard to see that strategy working the same in Baghdad. But it might work quite well in Saud. Monarchies tend to be very good at suppressing dissident voices but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

      A revolution in Saud might not be such a bad thing. The regime is rotten and will fall sooner or later.

      • Saudi does have a pretty large Shi’ite population, so they might object to ISIS. The problem is that they don’t have much love for the Wahabbi royal house either. As you say, it would be very interesting.

  2. The US is now having to reap what the Neocon imperialists sowed in their drive for glabal hegemony, and the Neocons are still trying to sow. The problem with imperialism is that when the empire falls, it doesn’t fall alone but brings down all around it.

    • “… and the Neocons are still trying to sow.”

      Jim Lobe has noted a waning of influence in the neocon camp: “Neo-cons, hawks fail to gain Iraq traction: US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the Middle East just as Sunni insurgents in Iraq extended their reach and captured a key border post with Syria. Back home, the hawks who propelled the US into war in Iraq 11 years ago are falling short in their efforts to persuade the public and Congress that the troops need to return. Click here for the latest news developments on Iraq.” – link to atimes.com

      And, when Fox Newz challenges Cheney, we could be in for a brief spell of sanity or lessened insanity: “The Dick Cheney Problem: What Megyn Kelly Should Have Asked” by GARY LEUPP – link to counterpunch.org

  3. Dear Mr Cole.
    I enjoy your blog and respect your opinion but I do not think you address the fundamentals of this conflict.

    In Syria, the US is attempting to undermine the Baath government of Bashar al-Assad, a regime guilty of crimes against humanity.

    “Undermine” is a bit of an understatement.
    The US has been actively trying to overthrow the Syrian regime by allowing Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to support Sunni radicals.
    Anyone with half a brain could have predicted that this would destabilize Iraq further, empower Sunni radicals and risk a serious regional and sectarian war that might involve both Saudi Arabia and Iran.
    We know from history that the State department does not care about human rights violations and the US has supported many dictatorships in the past and has itself killed millions of civilians from Vietnam to Iraq.

    Therefore I do not think the Syrian regimes human rights violations has much relevance to understand/explain the US policy.
    (And it does not make any sense to me)
    The 9/11 attack and other bombings in Europe have been perpetrated by radical Sunnis, not by Baathists or Shia muslims.

    Thus my question is:
    Why did the US decide to overthrow secular (Baath) regimes like Iraq and Syria while siding with Sunni fundamentalist regimes like Saudi Arabia that has been responsible for supporting radical sunni groups and terrorists for more than a decade operating in countries from Libya, Yemen to Syria and Iran.

    • Susan Rice sees the Baath Regime in Syria through a human rights lens. The Obama administration had reached out to Bashar until he started massacring protesters.

    • “The US has been actively trying to overthrow the Syrian regime by allowing Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to support Sunni radicals.”

      The U.S. is not some omnipotent god that can control actors in the middle east. The U.S. government can barely reign-in the excesses of Texas, do you think we can control Saudi Arabia’s policy?

      The U.S. arguably aided ISIS by inaction in Syria, but the notion that the U.S. actively preferred fundamentalists to Assad is unsupportable.

      • The U.S. is not some omnipotent god …
        I said “actively trying”, which does not imply omnipotence obviously.

        do you think we can control Saudi Arabia’s policy?
        The US may not control the Saudis but there is an incestuous relationship.
        Saudi Arabia is the US “biggest ally” in the middle east, and Saudi Arabia has the 4th largest military budget and US and Europe supplies most of its weapons.

        Because direct military action in Syria is problematic the CIA with collaboration from allies like Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia has been training and supplying Syrian rebels for a few years now. (You probably know about the CIA and Saudi collaboration in Afghanistan during the 1980s’)

        But the notion that the U.S. actively preferred fundamentalists to Assad is unsupportable.
        Probably and such a policy does not make any sense to me.

        However, the active policy to overthrow the secular Syrian regime while making use of allies like Saudi Arabia to support the rebels may very well put fundamentalists in power.
        Any objective middle eastern expert would have known that such an outcome is highly probable.
        The risks in destabilizing Syria\Lebanon was and is enormousness.

        • “making use of allies like Saudi Arabia to support the rebels may very well put fundamentalists in power.”

          You are still insisting that the U.S. directs Saudi policy.

          No, the U.S. has tried to keep Qatar and Saudi Arabia and there citizens from supporting fundamentalists in Syria, but to little avail.

          Obama has done very little of anything in Syria. If he had done more to support the Free Syrian Army, who are fighting ISIS near Aleppo, outcome might be different.

          I can’t prove that arming moderate Sunni would have worked. But for sure your implication that U.S. winked at the arming of fundamentalists is incorrect.

  4. So good to know that the pragmatic military people will be doing the doing here. They have done such a bang-up (pun intended) job of dealing with all the other conflicts they have applied their Great Big M-F’n Hammers to.

    Anyone of a “pragmatic” bent, who likes to talk in Game-ese about “force structure” and “power projection” and stuff, have any interest in stating a “mission” and “rules of engagement” and “Doctrine” for these god-like paragons of “pragmatism” to be applying as they belly up to take on this poly-pathogenic horde, this largely-indistinguishable-from-the-local-populace horde? Any hints as to how our imperial and the Iranian pragmatic generals and colonels are going to do counter-insurgency or whatever the catchy moniker is THIS time, with greater eclat and elan and esprit and what is that word, “VICTORY!” or was it “SUCCESS!”? Doing Stupid very well is still Doing Stupid, though of course there will be huge profit opportunities for the War Syndicate, now won’t there?

    If the idea is to impel The Enemy to change “its” behavior, The Enemy being a compounded “res” not even close to accurately described by that reflex reification, what’s in the works ain’t gonna do it. Far as I can tell, looking at the history.

    I could care less what one thinks Khameini and Netanyahoo are really afraid of, they have nice safe billets and escape plans in place — what I would care about is what ‘Adawiyah and Abdul-Ghafur and Farah and Fadil are afraid of… Not that what I and they fear and care about means jack squat to the Big Players or the troops that kick in the doors and laser-designate the Targets…

  5. Professor Cole, although I agree with your main point that the US and Iran (and everyone else for that matter) should cooperate against ISIS forces, some of your other statements in this post made me scratch my head. The real reason we have all those Sunni fanatics roaming Levant is not even mentioned here. Sunnis were as eager to see Shia in power, as the GOP was welcoming of the Obama’s presidency. Even, if Maliki wasn’t sufficiently inclusive and skillful enough to manage the sectarian mess left to him by Americans, he WAS ELECTED by the people of Iraq. A good article by Shireen Hunter on Lobelog a week ago, highly recommend. This neocolonial meddling, red lines, al-Maliki has to go, Assad has to go, Qaddafi had to go, Saddam had to go, when is it going to stop? Your enthusiasm for military intervention in Libya and your constant bashing of Bashar (lol) Assad, did not improve lives of the citizens of those countries. Libya is a failed state and Syria is still hanging by a thread only thanks to Iran and Russia. I’m very much in favor of modern democracies in the ME and the current despots should be the relics of the past, by our interventionism seems to backfire every time and empower the worst elements in those societies. Never mind, that this chaos is playing nicely to Israel’s long term plans of partitioning the ME, so there is no more threat to the Greater Israel’s expansionism. Oh, those Golan Heights and that Jordan river…so delicious. Netanyahu didn’t seem alarmed by the ISIS fighters on Meet the Press (or rather Me Depressed) yesterday. He never mentioned his buddies in the Gulf States who finance them. All he wanted to talk about was Iran, as the Iranians were behind every single mischief in the world. I thought that you, of all people, understood that…Otherwise, a huge fan.

    • Mary — please don’t forget the Litani River in S. Lebanon for which the Zionists have been lusting since 1948.

    • I thought that you, of all people, understood that…Otherwise, a huge fan.
      My sentiments exactly.

      I wonder if all Americans including Mr Cole suffers from the american exceptionalism meme.

      I have watched some bloggingheads conversations by very well educated and informed professionals and as a
      non-american I sometimes shake my head in astonishment that they just assume that america is a loving benevolent head master and all its actions are well intended.

  6. Instead of US pivoting to Iran (read Islamic State of Iran) US might as well pivot to ISIS and get things done more efficiently, quickly and with lower cost. Neither Iran nor ISIS are interested to harm USA. It is not so fashionable to take on the USA any more. Both Iran and ISIS want to subjugate the locals and obtain resources so they can subjugate more locals and obtain more resources.

    • @Q It seems to me that you are making the classic Western mistake of taking a loose confederation of factions operating under one name for a unified movement.

      The revolution in Iran was twenty years in the making Khomeini was a well known figure and the spiritual leader of the opposition for over a decade before he took power. The Taliban was nurtured by Pakistan/Musharef for many years before they took Kabul.

      ISIS is largely a flag of convenience for a rough confederation of factions The only thing that defines them is hostility to the Western powers.

      The US and Iran have trashed the country. Or more specifically, the hardline McCain/Ahmedinejad war for the sake of war factions have. And now it is up to the pragmatic forces to work out how to mitigate some of the damage.

      Of course the best thing that Obama could do to improve the situation with Iran right now would be to accept full responsibility for the 1953 coup, repudiate the colonialist mentality behind it and apologize. That would save many US lives. But he can’t do that as the despicable political opportunists in the GOP would impeach him.

      • “The only thing that defines them is hostility to the Western powers.” And each other, in esse or in posse. And the willingness, the visceral and erotic excitement, of picking up an AK or RPG or Dragunov sniper rifle or PKM middleweight machine gun or KPV or a truck-bed “technical,” and various pistols, and satchel charges and military-industrial or home-made mortars, link to en.wikipedia.org, and shooting up the landscape and killing the unable-or-unwilling-to-resist. For “conquest,” I guess…

        The factions do coalesce, it seems, for purposes of conquest and looting, and then comes the next part where Nusra goes one way and ISIS(L) ™ another and the Mahdi Army still another. Follow the history of all the “great emperors” and the hordes they assembled to assemble their Great Empires and see what happens just a decade down the road after they die. Even Islam had its schism, bringing horror down to this very day.

        How does this get “fixed?” Who the he__ knows? What “pragmatic forces” have either an idea and ideal to work from, or the power or subtlety that’s needed to keep people from doing what they obviously find it in their interest to keep on doing? Even what I would like to call “ordinary people” who are dis-employed by Chaos and violence from kindlier activities pick up a weapon and get drawn in, by tribal impetus or revenge or “faith,” or just for a paycheck, and maybe the chance to kill another human and the excitement that you see in the videos where the “victors” are emptying whole exultant clips of 7.62 ammo into the unresisting sky, or trenches jammed with unresisting humans. With no thought to where the bullets fall. There’s too much fun and profit from doing what we humans do, apparently… And too many actual real practicing pragmatists who see their opportunities and take ‘em, Golden Rule be damned.

    • Neither Iran nor ISIS are interested to harm USA
      So it follows that because they are not a US threat you can just use them as you wish, does not matter that countries and people (non-americans) are destroyed it the process?

      Both Iran and ISIS want to subjugate the locals and obtain resources
      Could this apply to countries like the US, Russia and China as well?

      • Why does no one want to put any thought or effort or treasure into establishing conditions that let ordinary people live ordinary lives, with incentives to accord decency and comity to one another?

        But you have to remember that we Imperial UnitedStatesers idiotically accept that there are “US and National [note the telling disjunctive] Interests” that are indeed threatened, not specified how or how those “interests” and “assets” come to be located and based and sited and invested so they could be “threatened.” The USS Cole was just there on a port visit, right? And Holy Amabassador Chris Stephens was in Benghazi on a sabbatical, so our fellow humans could come up with crap like this, link to markmaynard.com, to keep us idiots on a hot fire, ready to do more of the same idiocy in the name of the same kind of vengeance, or maybe “anticipatory vengeance,” like “prophylactic wars,” that do wonders for corporate profits and individual careers and all that…

        • Sorry to touch a sore point. The attack on the USS Liberty is one of my sore points, 34 sailors killed, 174 wounded. One dares not breathe the word “isolationist” in this age of Imperial realpolitik, but one is less likely to get one’s hand caught in a meat grinder if one keeps one’s hand out of the chute, and stops selling or giving meat grinders to and training carnivores in their use. Not a perfect metaphor, but arrogance and greed and stupidity and incompetence have put “our assets” into the maw of the meat grinder time and again. Cui bono, again?

      • Correct. The US must stop being a source of pain in this world. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was for stopping the non-market uses of oil resources and not for removing the pain that Saddam was. The US replaced one kind of pain by another kind of pain. The US agreed with debaathification just for not paying salaries, forcing people (like teachers) to deal with free market, and saving oil money only to lubricate the banking system.

  7. But John Kerry, after his resounding success with the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, will now bring peace and reconciliation to Iraq.

    • Ohh, good point!

      If Iran can hammer ISIS and win then the war talk from Netanyahu and the warmongers in Congress would look even more stupid than it already does.

    • Last night, on the Charlie Rose Show, Dexter Filkens said he really doubted ISIS would attack Baghdad because quote “THEY WOULD GET CRUSHED,” unquote mainly by the Shiite militias.

      “Every household in Baghdad has an AK-47.” Filkens.

      • “Get crushed”? Well… comforting grim thought. But: The ISIS(L) ™ horde seems to be growing in number and capacity, as other gunmen, likely without real honorable ordinary living-wage work to keep their hands and minds gainfully occupied, are drawn to the “Call of Duty,” and of course to the opportunities and the paydays. Many ordinary people seem to be feeding the horde, willingly or not, and the resupply of arms and ammo “from somewhere” seems to be working. The chain of command seems to be filled with effective warriors who understand the mode of battle and can inspire the gunmen to keep advancing.

        I have no idea how effective the citizens of Baghdad, in all their varied affections and with all their varied experience in gunman-ing, would/will be in pushing back the horde, establishing a perimeter or boundary or “dead line” stopping the horde’s advances, dealing with “5th columnists” and opportunists that also live in the city and also have AKs and RPGs and fertilizer and such stuff squirreled away against a rain-of-steel-jacketed-lead day too. Are there enough “strange attractors” to make a city-state or some other cohesive and self-identified polity out of the groups in what the maps delineate as “Baghdad,” the elements of what are now being called “fighters” or “militia” looking to Sistani or other rulers, to counter what are now being called (finally) “gunmen” and “militants” out there in the horde?

  8. John Kerry’s comments today lead me to believe Obama will launch bombing raids against ISIS VERY soon, in a few days at the most.

  9. I’m not convinced that insisting that Iraq continue as a unitary state does anything to counter ISIS.

    Let Iran have their Maliki-led client state. The Sunni will ultimately deal with ISIS in their territory.

    I’m under no illusion that the breakup of Iraq will be peaceful. But we’re already there with the bloodshed, and the end state will come sooner and be more stable.

  10. Lots of interesting and diverse commentary here.
    One comment defies my understanding:
    “[T]he Syrian Baath Party is . . . no threat to the US. ISIS is.”
    Just what kind of threat is ISIS to the US? Is it because it is a threat to Israel? Is it a threat because it can seize much of the oil assets and economy of the ME? Do we really think that ISIS will make a play to destroy America? My feeling is let the boys in the ME slug it out. Armed conflict is not the answer. All America has to offer is bigger guns..

  11. Just curious, who rules ISIS? There must be some information from our great security state apparatus on those who are riding the horde here. The new machine is tapping into a huge reservoir of some kind of ugly, too human energy, of enthusiasm or opportunism or something. Is/are ISIS(L) rulership running on anything more than a dream of a cruel patriarchy, or as some suggest is it just a Mafia type piracy, more “Tribes With Flags”? Or what? The US Empire plays fooh-bowh and destabilization and murder, the rest of the world plays soccer and ” pursuing interests” and murder, but is there an institutional jiu jitsu that might work out better for the species in the long run?

    “Know your enemy.” Including US.

  12. I find it fascinating that the NSA apparently had no clue of the ISIS blitzkrieg or the likely fall of Mosul. This raises a fundamental question: if it could miss this, what good is it other than at persecuting its political and civilian opposition to perpetuate its own existence? And why cannot the same conclusion be accurately drawn regarding the CIA?

  13. Khamenei has reason to dislike US interference. After helping the US with operations in Afghanistan after 9/11, the Neocons turned around and casted them among the ‘axis of evil’. There is also the continuing CIA ops, from computer hacking to supporting Kurd separatists, that grates on the Iranian hardliners — apart from the whole nuclear and Israel issues.

    Let us not ignore the fact that the US too has its hardliners. The fact that the Obama admin can’t openly cooperate with Iran is one indication. Watching the recent Fareed Zakaria news programme, with there top US security advisors, you got the impression that they were absolutely not in favour with any relations with Iran (one of whom was a retired general who saw no value in diplomacy and didn’t understand how you can cooperate on one thing while being opposed on another issue – ignoring all history). Despite looking uneasy in suggesting it, at least one of the guys was in favour to have talks…behind closed doors, just so it doesn’t irk anyone else.

    And by anyone else, they meant their allies in the ME…as in Sunni allies who they rather rely on. None of whom took the Gulf Kingdoms names, either on support or contributing to the crisis. This was of course not to be seen taking sides, particularly against the Sunni militants. This was the same case with the Obama administration avoiding naming any of the Gulf nations for any sort of support or cause.

    • Saf
      I watched Zakaria, too, and kept wishing he had someone like Hillary Leverett to counter so over-rated Richard Clark, the said retired general and a former State Dept official, PJ Crowley who had advocated for MEK in the past. It was depressing to watch.
      Here is the link to Hillary Mann Leverette on c-span. She’s spot on, as always.
      link to c-span.org

      • I’m glad you caught the show and had the similar observations and sentiments.

        Fareed had a decent opening take, some points I’d disagree with, but that’s because its summarized to be understood, leaving out details. Admittedly, I haven’t read his article piece for more on the topic. But then those guys came on and hope went downhill…

        Thank you for the link. I’m very impressed by the former official and her analysis. Some new things I never knew. I really wish her voice of reason was more prevalent and can only hope it has some presence or sway in the current admin’s decision making.

        • I know the format is a challenge, keeping all those personal and professional balls in the air while delivering one’s points without compromising one’s future, but I wish Leverett had told the Florida Republican caller at like 7:25 that his talking points, Iran attacks all those countries! and Israel! and Nuclear Threat! and all that, were arrant nonsense.

        • The Leveretts, Hillary and her husband Flynt have a website, Goingtotehran.com, where where they regularly post on the subject of Iran and the region. Very informative.

  14. Anyone else noticing how many of the Iraq war pushers are making it back on MSM outlets with amazing ease. Danille Pletka on Cspan’s Washington Journal..she was beating the let’s go get Iran drums, Kenneth Pollack on the Diane Rehm show (I made it on to ask a direct question about his push for the Iraq war and the consequences), Cheney on Sunday news programs, Bill Kristol all over the place. Why is it that that these deadly wrong war pushers still make it on these MSM outlets. They were deadly (and many of us believe they knew they were wrong) about WMD’s in Iraq. Why is it that these outlets do not have the El Baradei’s Prof Coles, Ray McGovern’s, Leveretts, former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit Micheal Scheuer, Dr. Zbig on their programs to discuss Iraq? These individuals warned about the validity of the so called intelligence before the invasion. These individuals were right about the invasion being wrong. Why are the war pushers who have the blood of hundreds of thousands all over them getting air time. Sick and absurd! Enough!

    • Anyone else noticing how many of the Iraq war pushers are making it back on MSM outlets with amazing ease.

      There has always been a continuing presence of Iraq war promoters on television and in the mainstream media with some of the more prominent culprits invited to give commencement speeches at so-called institutions of higher learning.

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