Bush Official Says Trump Is Priming America for War With Iran
Col. Larry Wilkerson / NowThis News
(December20, 2018) — Former official Col. Larry Wilkerson says the Trump admin is priming Americans for war with Iran — and he would know, since he helped George W. Bush do the same for Iraq.
Colonel Larry Wilkerson: “I realized that we had probably pulled the wool over the American people’s eyes and certainly over the international community’s eyes and so I felt pretty low about it.“
This state department official regrets his role in promoting the Iraq War. Now he’s speaking out to stop war with Iran.
Colonel Larry Wilkerson: One of the things that disturbs me most about this is that the same tactics are being used as were used in 2002 and early 2003 with regard to Iraq. The same people the same tactics the same litany the same strategy the same everything. And yet there seems to be as Gore Vidal called the American people we are the ‘United States of Amnesia.’
There seems to be no reasonable attitude out there about this that hey we’ve seen this before. We do not need to do this again. We’ve been at war for 17 years now. […]
But that’s the problem we have in this country. No one remembers these things. No one associates them with the present or the future. […] And we keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
Wilkerson helped Colin Powell prepare his famed presentation to the UN in which he primed the world for war with Iraq.
Colin Powell: The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction pose to the world.
Colin Powell: The United States will not and cannot run that risk to the American people. Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-September 11th world.
Colin Powell: Indeed, the facts and Iraq’s behavior show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction.
Colonel Larry Wilkerson: When I listened to [Powell] present, I realized that the six days and seven nights that we spent preparing his presentation had not allowed me to look at the whole thing to understand exactly what he was saying, particularly the part where he connected the 9/11 attacks from al Qaeda the terrorist organization with Saddam Hussein which I and others in the intelligence community knew was a real stretch. […]
So this was bogus information we were putting out at the United Nations. And Richard Cheney the vice president and George Tenet the DCI knew that it was bogus information and never told the secretary of state. […] It was one of the lowest points if not the lowest points in my professional life and Powell has said she’ll ever be ever be remembered for that moment at the United Nations talking about Iraq’s WMD. I suspect he’s right.
George W Bush: My fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.
Colonel Larry Wilkerson: This decision in 2003 to invade Iraq was and will be ever interpreted by historians as a catastrophic strategic mistake. What we did when we invaded Iraq was violate 40+ years of US foreign and security policy. We destroyed the balance of power in the Persian Gulf. […] and we started what is going on now and probably will be going on for years to come this massive chaos, killing, death, starvation, states failing and so forth. Syria, Libya, Iraq, and possibly Lebanon, maybe Jordan. […]
What we have is chaos and we produce that chaos. Just as sure as we produce the chaos, we produced ISIS. […] We produced all this by that really unwise decision in 2003 to invade Iraq. […] The campaign to convince the American people to support the war in Iraq which is quite effective and when you consider it was built on a house of lies, it was quite effective. Wilkerson says Trump is using the same tactics to foster an Iran war.
More Than 70 Retired Military Leaders Urge Trump Not to Go to War With Iran
Any conflict would come at “immense financial, human and geopolitical cost.”
(May 25, 2019) — More than seventy former senior national security officials, including retired admirals, generals and ambassadors, have written an open letter to President Donald Trump urging restraint towards Iran as tensions ratchet up again in the Middle East.
The letter, which was first published on the website War on the Rocks and was coordinated by the American College of National Security Leaders, said that the accelerated deployment of troops and weapons to the region raised the potential of a deadly confrontation, either done on purpose or by accident.
“A war with Iran, either by choice or miscalculation, would produce dramatic repercussions in an already destabilized Middle East,” the letter read. “[It would] drag the United States into another armed conflict at immense financial, human, and geopolitical cost.”
“Crisis de-escalation measures should be established with the Iranian leadership at the senior levels of government,” the letter continued. “The protection of US national interests in the Middle East and the safety of our friends and allies requires thoughtful statesmanship and aggressive diplomacy rather than unnecessary armed conflict.”
In the last two months tensions with Iran have ratcheted up significantly. Earlier in April the US designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization — prompting Iran to retaliate by labeling all US forces in the Middle East as part of a terrorist organization.
This week the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier was ordered to the Gulf, and on Friday the White House announced that they would be sending an extra 1,500 troops to the region to guard against perceived Iranian aggression.
Over Congressional objections, the Trump administration has also moved forward with plans to sell $8 billion worth of weapons to Iranian adversaries Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates — despite the fact that US-sold weapons have been used by Saudi Arabia in its prolonged military campaign in Yemen where thousands of civilians have died.
The administration itself has also decided to ratchet up its own rhetoric in regards to Iran. Last Sunday Trump tweeted that “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran.” Earlier in the month National Security Advisor John Bolton — who has frequently advocated a hardline approach with Iran — said that the US military buildup in the region was in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” GOP Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) also recently boasted that it would only take “two strikes” for the US to defeat Iran.
The bellicose rhetoric from the White House, however, contrasts with intelligence from US allies. Earlier in May, Major General Christopher Ghika, the top British general in the coalition against ISIS, explicitly said that there was no increased threat from Iran in either Syria or Iraq.
His assessment however, was quickly disavowed by US Central Command, who said they “run counter to the identified Credible threats available to intelligence from US and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in the region.”
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