Softening Up Iran for the Final Attack
January 2, 2012
Wayne Madsen / Strategic Culture Foundation & Global Research
In many ways, America's and Israel's pre-planned war on Iran has already begun. It is not the type of war that was expected -- an Israeli textbook-style surprise attack followed by a sustained US and NATO air campaign, but a covert war with an unexpected feature -- an increase in suspicious explosions at Iranian military facilities coupled with US support for destabilization efforts against all of Iran's allies -- including Syria, Russia, China, North Korea, and Venezuela.
(December 30, 2011) -- In many ways, America's and Israel's much-anticipated war against Iran has already begun. It is not the type of war that was expected -- an Israeli textbook style surprise and swift attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, followed by a sustained US and NATO air campaign -- but a covert war with quite an unexpected feature.
The covert war, which has seen increased US drone activity over Iranian skies and an increase in suspicious explosions at Iranian military facilities, has been coupled with American support for destabilization efforts against all of Iran's allies and friends, including Syria, Russia, China, North Korea, and Venezuela...
This multi-pronged attack strategy has sent a clear message to Iran, it is not safe from covert sabotage at home and it cannot look to its friends abroad for help as they deal with their own US and Israeli-inspired domestic strife.
Although Libya under Muammar Qaddafi was no friend of Iran, the coming to power of pro-Saudi Wahhabi Salafist-Sunni elements in Tripoli and Benghazi increases the phalanx of Arab states actively opposing the Shi'a government in Tehran. The success of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties in Egypt's parliamentary election also spells problems for Iran.
However, it is the potential loss of power by the Bashar al Assad regime in Syria that poses the worst immediate defeat for Iran. Syria has been Iran's closest ally in the Arab world. The West and the Saudis and Qataris have been supporting Salafist elements, including terrorists, who have committed their own share of atrocities in Syria, much as the same ilk conducted massacres of pro-Qaddafi, as well as black African guest workers and black Libyans, during the Libyan civil war.
On Iran's borders and adjacent waters, countries hosting US military forces -- Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Turkey, and Afghanistan -- are being prepared for a military conflict with Iran. Although the Obama administration proclaimed the end of the US military occupation of Iraq, some US forces remain in the country, as well as a group of para-military private security contractors.
With news that Iraq that the predominantly Shi'a and pro-Iranian Nouri al Maliki government in Baghdad has forged a military alliance with Iran and that Iraq's Sunni Vice President, Tareq al-Hashimy, has sought protection from arrest by Maliki's government in Iraqi Kurdistan, the US can be expected to increase its own covert and overt military presence in Iraqi "Sunnistan" in the west of the country, as well as in Iraqi Kurdistan. The first front lines in a US and/or Israel military showdown with Iran could be along the Shi'a-Sunni front lines in Iraq, a nation already so weary and decimated from war.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces could end up crossing into Iraq to take on remaining US forces and their Sunni and Kurdish proxies.
The US has pressured Maliki to not take action against the 3,400 Iranian exiles, most of them Mujaheddin-e-Khalq guerrillas, who were once backed by Saddam Hussein. The anti-Tehran regime MEK forces now enjoy the backing of a number of US politicians but they are considered terrorists by Tehran. Since the US occupation of Iraq, the MEK refugees have been under siege at Camp Ashraf. The US has pressured Maliki to allow the Iranians to be resettled at Camp Liberty, near Baghdad, prior to exfiltration from Iraq by the United States. No final agreement between Washington and Baghdad has been signed but the MEK loyalists could end up in one of the Gulf states and be available for future guerrilla operations inside Iran.
The other wild card in any future US is Pakistan, which now has a fractured relationship with Washington after incessant US drone attacks have killed Pakistani border troops and a number of civilians. Pakistan's corrupt President, Ali Asraf Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, is seen as a lame duck. Just as with US National Endowment FOR Democracy (NED) "themed" rebellions currently being waged fomented against Iran's diplomatic allies and economic and military partners Russia and China, Pakistan, the Muslim world's only nuclear power, is experiencing a "people's" uprising led by cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan.
Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice, PTI) recently saw over 100,000 turn out for a rally in Karachi, where the protesters called for political and economic reforms and an end to the corruption practiced by Zardari and his cronies. The message is similar to the anti-Vladimir Putin forces in Moscow -- anti-corruption and the institution of political reforms. Even the number of protesters is the same between the last protest against Putin in Moscow and the anti-Zardari protest in Karachi: 100,000.
However, Khan is supported by Pakistan's educated and professional, mostly young, elite.
Khan has had to take on an anti-American tone by condemning drone strikes and the US military presence in Pakistan. However, Khan, to be a contender for power, must tack to a nationalist line because America is hated by a wide cross-section of the Pakistani population. Khan is adopting the same wishy-washy political platform that Barack Obama adopted in 2008, even borrowing from the Obama campaign by using "Hope" and "Change" campaign materials throughout Pakistan and even borrowing from another Obama campaign slogan with a slight twist: "Yes We Khan."
US drone unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drone activity, using intelligence-collection and weaponized drones, can be expected to continue. notwithstanding Iran's capture of a sophisticated jet-powered RQ0170 Sentinel drone that was brought down in Iran. In addition, it is strongly rumored that Israel may have drone and other intelligence bases from which to operate against Iran in Azerbaijan on Iran's northern border. The United States, Britain, and Israel are suspected of being behind covert attacks -- physical and cyber -- against Iran's nuclear development program.
Iranian nuclear scientists and defense officials have been assassinated and kidnapped by Western intelligence agents operating within Iran and abroad. There have been mysterious devastating explosions at an Iranian missile production facility outside of Tehran and at a nuclear facility near Isfahan. The West is also using Iranian minority guerrilla groups to conduct operations inside Iran, including Iranian Arabs in the southwest, Kurds in the north, and Baluchis in the southeast.
Although UAV activity against Iran has been widely reported, the use of Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs) against Iran's naval forces, currently conducting a major exercise in the Gulf, cannot be discounted. The US Navy may be using UUVs to conduct targeting activities inside Iran's Bandar Abbas naval base on the Gulf and in the near future may see UUVs conducting sabotage of Iranian naval vessels and in counteracting Iranian mines by blowing them up.
Israel is also known to maintain two of its Dolphin class diesel electric submarines in the Gulf. The submarines carry cruise missiles that are likely tipped with nuclear warheads.
Meanwhile, no stone is being left unturned by the West in neutralizing Iran's support from allies. In addition to supporting themed rebellions against Russia and China, so-called "White" revolutions, Iran's friend in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is facing charges that he and Iranian personnel are developing nuclear weapons in Venezuela, an old and totally-debunked charge, and that Venezuelans and Lebanese Hezbollah are involved in drug smuggling in Mexico. The latter fairy tale is courtesy of the Spanish-language news network Univision, owned by notorious Israeli-American Hollywood mogul Chaim Saban, a Zionist who bankrolls the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. The Saban Center also provides propagandists from its satellite office in Doha, Qatar to influence the Fox News-style propaganda, masked as "news," that emanates from the Doha studios of Al Jazeera.
Iran's Lebanese Hezbollah allies and the governments of Sudan and North Korea, known to be close to Tehran, are facing renewed pressure from the West, especially North Korea after the unexpected death of Kim Jong Il. With rumors in Seoul and Beijing that Kim Jong Il may have been assassinated by military officers in a power struggle that led to a coup, North Korea as a source for Iranian missiles and nuclear technology may now be in doubt. Sudan, which already lost South Sudan to a pro-Israeli regime, is now facing the possibility that Darfur and North Kordofan could be peeled away from the country, leaving a powerless rump regime in Khartoum.
In the US, the Zionist propagandists are spinning the fanciful tale that Iran was involved with "Al Qaeda," the fairy tale organization concocted by Mossad and the CIA, in carrying out the 9/11 attacks.
One fact remains. Iran is now facing an undeclared war being waged by the West and Israel. It is a war of computer viruses like the Israeli-developed Stuxnet, propaganda, support for armed insurgents, covert assassinations and sabotage, and political pressure against Iran's friends around the world. This softening up of Iran is expected by the West to make a final military assault on the country a "cake walk."
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