Gulf Of Tonkin, Incubator Babies, 9/11, WMD, Viagra, Sea Of Oman…

By Jerry Alatalo

Is humanity witnessing the end of the false flag wars era of history?

hile we begin with the Gulf of Tonkin false flag which was deceptively and tragically used as “justification” for the Vietnam War, the use of false flags for starting illegal wars of aggression goes back much further in the history of mankind. With the most recent example, the incidents in the Sea of Oman, being perceived by such a wide-ranging and significant number of people on Earth as a false flag, one might suggest humanity is witnessing a definite crossroad, turning point and end of an era.

It was on an evening nationwide broadcast in 1964 where United States President Lyndon Johnson told the American people that war in Vietnam was coming, all the while knowing the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a false flag which never occurred, and undoubtedly lied through his teeth to the world. Millions of Vietnamese men, women and children perished; sixty thousand American soldiers perished; according to Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, the level of destruction in Vietnam was four times the level of destruction in all nations on Earth during the entire World War II.

In the first war against Iraq in the early 1990s, then U.S. President George H. W. Bush led the way and went along with Washington politicians and corporate media organizations, strongly pushing the lie about Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait “tearing babies out of their incubators!”. Tens of thousands of Iraqis perished from American bombings, the war begun and “justified” on cunning lies.

In damning contrast to a typical building collapse, the explosive demolition of the Twin Towers on 9/11 saw steel beams laterally ejected with enough force to impale the nearby skyscraper.

Undoubtedly the 9/11 false flag of September 11, 2001 represents the #1 greatest military deception in human history, and was used as the basis for a still-operative, immeasurably destructive, bogus, catastrophic “war on (of) terror”. After 17 years, the good men and women of the 9/11 justice legal group Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry were able to force U.S. Attorneys at the Southern District of New York to agree, in March 2018, to a Grand Jury for the purpose of examining evidence of, among other major alleged crimes, the controlled demolitions of the Buildings 1, 2 and 7 on September 11, 2001.

The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry is still waiting – some 15 months later – to present their enormous compilation of powerful evidence in the yet-to-begin Grand Jury process. It is highly likely that, once the 9/11 Grand Jury process finally begins, it will inevitably become shown and proven that 9/11 was indeed a false flag event, and the course of human history will become radically transformed, in an extremely positive manner which reduces the criminal practice of war on Earth to near nonexistent status.

This is why it is important for the American people to support the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry in its efforts to reveal the brutal-yet-necessary truth.

After the 9/11 false flag events were successfully and deceptively described, and largely accepted by the American people, as an act of war by Middle East terrorists, the administration of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney et al joined with the United Kingdom’s Tony Blair and other western nation leaders in pushing the lies that Saddam Hussein of Iraq was close to possessing nuclear weapons of mass destruction, and Hussein’s being involved in the attacks of 9/11.

Even years after the second Iraq War ended, a significant number of Americans still believe Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks.

With little opposition, and helped by Bush administration Secretary of State Colin Powell’s outright lying at the now infamous United Nations Security Council meeting on Iraq, – like Lyndon Johnson before him, George W. Bush went on nationwide prime time television announcing the beginning of “shock and awe” bombing of Iraq.

An estimated one million Iraqi men, women and children perished in the illegal war of aggression, millions became displaced and refugees, – while thousands of American soldiers were killed, and many more thousands suffered physical, psychological and spiritual injuries of immense proportion.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was eventually murdered in grisly fashion, after the Barack Obama administration used more war propaganda deception to convince uninformed Americans to go along with the intense 2011 bombing of Libya by U.S./NATO forces.

Among the set of lies coming from Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton were those falsely accusing Gaddafi of supplying his soldiers with Viagra for the purpose of using rape as a weapon of war. Obama, like Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush before him, lied to the American people and the world by asserting military action was urgent, because Gaddafi was, Obama deceivingly emphasized at the time, within days of starting to massacre thousands of his own people.

Many feel the true reason for the 2011 overthrow and murder of Gaddafi was his serious and real intention of establishing an African currency, and securing for the first time monetary independence for the people of the African continent. Many feel Hillary Clinton’s obscene display of self-satisfied delight, marked forever in history by her repugnant “We came, we saw, he died!” followed by a shocking eruption of laughter, was a major factor leading to her defeat in the 2016 election.

In Syria, a number of false flag chemical attacks have occurred during the warring time period starting from March 2011 to now, in June 2019. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have perished in the fighting while millions have become displaced, and to date no foreign state-sponsors of terrorist killers operating in Syria have become held accountable. Fortunately, thus far the chemical weapons deceptions have been unsuccessful at sparking any dangerous escalation of violence leading to world war.

On Thursday June 13, 2019 in the Sea of Oman …

This endless war deception insanity needs to stop … And it must become stopped now.

(Thank you to RT at YouTube)

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Trump, May, Macron Silent On OPCW Syria Scandal.

by Jerry Alatalo

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“The essence of lying is in deception, not in words; a lie may be told in silence, by equivocation, by the accent of a syllable, by a glance of the eye attaching a peculiar significance to a sentence; but all of these kinds of lies are worse and baser by many degrees than a lie plainly worded.”

– JOHN RUSKIN (1819-1900) British writer

 

While Trump, May and Macron have yet to even respond to the new, growing scandal at The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the United States Department of State is once again warning the government of Syria against using chemical weapons.

 scandal of historic and global proportions has surfaced after an omitted engineering report focused on an alleged April 2018 chemical weapons incident in Douma, Syria, – by experts associated with The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – has become leaked to the public.

Strangely, United States President Donald Trump, outgoing United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May, and President Emmanuel Macron of France are all silent on the rapidly growing scandal, especially mysterious because the omitted report clearly obliterates the basis for their controversial, combined April 2018 bombing of Syria.

The leaked OPCW engineering report strongly suggests the alleged April 2018 chemical attacks in Douma, Syria were staged.

In addition to the concerning and inexplicable silence of world leaders Trump, May and Macron and their governments to what is obviously a tremendous scandal involving the OPCW, the (non)reporting of the scandal from major Western corporate media organizations is equally silent and/or absent.

“Cover-up” might be the applicable term for the combined U.S./U.K./France government and media silence on this matter, seeing that acknowledgement of the now-revealed facts regarding the Syria bombing opens the flood gates wide open for discussions on corrupt manipulation of OPCW operations, and the committing of war crimes by leaders Trump, May and Macron.

Journalist Aaron Mate of the independent media organization The Grayzone talked to weapons expert and emeritus M.I.T. Professor Theodore Postol about the leaked report, as well as the extremely serious ramifications of the scandal with respect to international law prohibiting chemical weapons.

Emeritus M.I.T. Professor Theodore Postol is considered one of the world’s leading weapons experts.

Attention will now most likely turn to the arm of the organization responsible for managing the scandal, – the OPCW’s Office of Internal Oversight – described in the following from the OPCW website:

https://www.opcw.org/about-us/technical-secretariat/divisions/office-internal-oversight

The Office of Internal Oversight (OIO) assists the Director-General in the management of the OPCW’s resources through Audits, Evaluations, Quality audits, Inspections, Investigations and Monitoring.

OIO’s mission is to enhance and protect organisational value and improve OPCW’s operations by providing risk-based and objective assurance, advice, and insight. OIO helps OPCW achieve its objectives by applying a systematic approach to evaluating and enhancing the adequacy and effectiveness of risk management, internal control and governance processes, so as to add value by improving the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of operations.

The Office provides State Parties and the Director-General with reasonable assurance that financial, operational, confidentiality and security controls are adequate and complied with as well as that the management of resources and programmes is efficient and effective. In its work related to audits (both internal audits and confidentiality audits), the Office follows the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (issued by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), United States of America).

The evaluation function of the OPCW is part of the internal oversight mechanism of the Organisation and is managed by the Office of Internal Oversight (OIO). Our mission is to promote accountability through independent, credible and useful evaluations of the OPCW programmes and activities. The Office follows the Evaluation Standards prescribed by the United Nations Evaluations Group (UNEG).

The OIO also reviews the Quality Assurance policy and strategy in order to maintain a comprehensive programme aimed at meeting the requirements of the following international standards, which are subject to the assessment of the RvA: ISO/IEC 17025:2005 (General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories); and ISO/IEC 17043:2010 (Conformity assessment—General requirements for proficiency testing).

As Oversight of QMS in the accredited parts of the Technical Secretariat has been entrusted to the Office of Internal Oversight, OIO is responsible for establishing and maintaining the accreditation of the quality assurance regime for the OIO itself, the OPCW Laboratory and on-site analytical procedures. Although the focus is on the OPCW Laboratory, OIO is responsible for managing two accredited processes: certification of OPCW Central Analytical Database and On-Site Databases and certification of preparation and testing of GC-MS inspection equipment

In addition, OIO carries out oversight audits covering quality assurance, conducted in accordance with current ISO auditing standards, and assess “the analytical network, including the OPCW quality assurance/quality control programme for on-site analysis, the OPCW Laboratory, together with the designated and other laboratories performances”.

In addition, by placing the responsibilities of the Quality Manager (currently SEQAO) in the Oversight Function, the OIO is the process owner for the set of processes related to the daily management of QMS.

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It is worth noting that the April 2018 alleged chemical incident in Douma, Syria occurred shortly after the controversial March 2018 so-called Skripal-Novichok incident in Salisbury, United Kingdom. Besides an extremely brief scripted “interview” by Reuters of Yulia Skripal, featuring nothing by way of a detailed question-and-answer, in the (14) months since the incident millions are asking why virtually nobody has seen nor heard from Yulia and her father Sergei Skripal.

The events in Douma and Salisbury suggest a coordinated dual-aspect covert false flag operation intended to deceptively link Syria and Russia, namely Bashar Assad and Vladimir Putin, in the public’s mind as “chemical weapons criminals”. The motivation for such a false flag operation, if that is indeed the truth of the matter, would be to ease the prospects for public acceptance of a military response from the U.S., U.K. and France leading to the overthrow of the Syrian government.

It is also worth noting and remembering that there was a certain sense of impatience on the part of Trump, May and Macron to give the orders for the April 2018 bombing strikes, ignoring the voices urgently calling for restraint from many quarters of the Earth, and particularly as many serious questions about the Douma incident were near immediately after the incident being raised worldwide.

The separate but arguably related weeks-apart incidents share a major subsequent similarity: the strange, puzzling non-response from Trump, May and Macron on the scandal involving the OPCW, and the effective father-daughter total silence of Yulia and Sergei Skripal.

Will the world’s people ever hear from Yulia and Sergei Skripal – ever again? Will the world’s people ever hear from Donald Trump, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron on the OPCW scandal – ever … for the first time?

The Grayzone’s Aaron Mate and Professor Theodore Postol.

(Thank you to The Grayzone at YouTube)

ZERO 2019.

“Man’s mind cannot grasp the causes of events in their completeness, but the desire to find the causes is implanted in man’s soul.”

– LEO TOLSTOY (1828-1910) Russian writer

early all of the men and women whose eyes pass this way are already painfully familiar with the Big Lie which goes by the name: “9/11 Commission Report”. For those who pass this way unfamiliar or new to the official lies, which have continued to this day … totaling more than 17 years of unprecedented-in-history cover-up, – watching the film “ZERO: An Investigation Into 9/11” is all that is required for “cutting to the chase” and understanding the immensity of the crimes which occurred on September 11, 2001.

… And why the perpetrators must become identified – and stopped.

While the film was released in 2008 its relevance is more intense than ever today in May-June 2019, particularly as rumors of wars remain a significant topic of news reports worldwide. Tense international relations relating to Iran, Venezuela, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere on Earth reinforces the urgency of efforts to solve the crimes committed near 18 years ago on a sunny autumn day in the cities of New York and Washington, D.C. in the United States of America, the specific scenes of the crimes namely the World Trade Center complex and Pentagon.

Some theorize that the only chance for ending the catastrophic, fictitious, continuing “war on (of) terror” begun on 9/11 – based on the Big Lie and cover-up – is exposing the brutal truth. The theory is 100% accurate and irrefutable.

At present the best, perhaps last chance for revealing the truth resides with the courageous men and women associated with the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry …  The enormity of their historic task cannot be overstated.

Please share the historic, powerhouse, current-relevance, important film “ZERO: An Investigation Into 9/11” with everyone you know … plus everyone you don’t know.

Peace.

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Description:

IMDB Rating 7.9

“ZERO (2008): An Investigation Into 9/11” has one central thesis – that the official version of the events surrounding the attacks on 9/11 cannot be true.

This feature documentary explores the latest scientific evidence and reveals dramatic new witness testimony, which directly conflicts with the US Government’s account.

Featuring presentations from intellectual heavy weights; Gore Vidal, and Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo, the film challenges assumptions surrounding the attacks. In the words of the Italian daily newspaper, Il Corriere de da Sera, “What results is a sequence of contradictions, gaps, and omissions of stunning gravity.” The importance of this film can not be overstated, if its thesis is correct, the justification for declaring the war on terror is built on a series of outrageous lies.

Featuring Steven E. Jones, PhD, David Ray Griffin PhD, Kevin Ryan and Les Jamison

Directors: Franco Fracassi, Francesco Trento
Producer: Telemaco

(Thank you to Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry)

Pretexts For An Attack On Iran.

(Originally published on Consortium News)

Ray McGovern probes the step-up in U.S. belligerence towards a country posing the same non-existent strategic threat as Iraq.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

An Iraq-War redux is now in full play, with leading roles played by some of the same protagonists — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, for example, who says he still thinks attacking Iraq was a good idea. Co-starring is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The New York Times on Tuesday played its accustomed role in stoking the fires, front-paging areport that, at Bolton’s request, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has come up with an updated plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East, should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons. The Times headline writer, at least, thought it appropriate to point to echoes from the past: “White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War.”

By midday, Trump had denied the Times report, branding it “fake news.” Keep them guessing, seems to be the name of the game.

Following the Iraq playbook, Bolton and Pompeo are conjuring up dubious intelligence from Israel to “justify” attacking — this time — Iran. (For belligerent Bolton, this was entirely predictable.) All this is clear.

Bolton the Belligerent. (Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

What is not clear, to Americans and foreigners alike, is why Trump would allow Bolton and Pompeo to use the same specious charges — terrorism and nuclear weapons — to provoke war with a country that poses just as much strategic threat to the U.S. as Iraq did — that is to say, none. The corporate media, with a two-decade memory-loss and a distinct pro-Israel bias, offers little help toward understanding.

Before discussing the main, but unspoken-in-polite-circles, impulse behind the present step-up in threats to Iran, let’s clear some underbrush by addressing the two limping-but-still-preferred, ostensible rationales, neither of which can bear close scrutiny:

No. 1: It isn’t because Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. We of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity shot down that canard a year and a half ago. In a Memorandum for President Trump, we said:

“The depiction of Iran as ‘the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism’ is not supported by the facts. While Iran is guilty of having used terrorism as a national policy tool in the past, the Iran of 2017 is not the Iran of 1981. In the early days of the Islamic Republic, Iranian operatives routinely carried out car bombings, kidnappings and assassinations of dissidents and of American citizens. That has not been the case for many years.”

No. 2. It isn’t because Iran is building a nuclear weapon. A November 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate concluded unanimously that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003 and had not resumed any such work. That judgment has been re-affirmed by the Intelligence Community annually since then.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, imposed strict, new, verifiable restrictions on Iranian nuclear-related activities and was agreed to in July 2015 by Iran, the U.S., Russia, China, France, the U.K., Germany and the European Union.

U.S. team on way to JCPOA meeting at UN, New York City, 2016. (State Department)

Even the Trump administration has acknowledged that Iran has been abiding by the agreement’s provisions. Nevertheless, President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal on May 8, 2018, four weeks after John Bolton became his national security adviser.

‘We Prefer No Outcome’

Fair WarningWhat follows may come as a shock to those malnourished on the drivel in mainstream media: The “WHY,” quite simply, is Israel. It is impossible to understand U.S. Middle East policy without realizing the overwhelming influence of Israel on it and on opinion makers. (A personal experience drove home how strong the public appetite is for the straight story, after I gave a half-hour video interview to independent videographer Regis Tremblay three years ago. He titled it “The Inside Scoop on the Middle East & Israel,” put it on YouTube and it got an unusually high number of views.)

Syria is an illustrative case in point, since Israel has always sought to secure its position in the Middle East by enlisting U.S. support to curb and dominate its neighbors. An episode I recounted in that interview speaks volumes about Israeli objectives in the region as a whole, not only in Syria. And it includes an uncommonly frank admission/exposition of Israeli objectives straight from the mouths of senior Israeli officials. It is the kind of case-study, empirical approach much to be preferred to indulging in ponderous pronouncements or, worse still, so-called “intelligence assessments.”

It has long been clear that Israeli leaders have powerful incentives to get Washington more deeply engaged in yet another war in the area. This Israeli priority has become crystal clear in many ways. Reporter Jodi Rudoren, writing from Jerusalem, had an important article in TheNew York Times on Sept. 6, 2013, in which she addressed Israel’s motivation in a particularly candid way. Her article, titled “Israel Backs Limited Strike against Syria,” noted that the Israelis have argued, quietly, that the best outcome for Syria’s civil war, at least for the moment, is no outcome.

Rudoren wrote:

Jodi Rudoren. (Twitter)

“For Jerusalem, the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by Mr. Assad’s government and his Iranian backers or a strengthening of rebel groups, increasingly dominated by Sunni jihadis.

“‘This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,’ said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. ‘Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.’”

If this is the way Israel’s current leaders look at the carnage in Syria, they seem to believe that deeper U.S. involvement, including military action, is likely to ensure that there is no early resolution of the conflict especially when Syrian government forces seem to be getting the upper hand. The longer Sunni and Shia are at each other’s throats in Syria and in the wider region, the safer Israel calculates it will be.

The fact that Syria’s main ally is Iran, with whom it has a mutual defense treaty, also plays a role in Israeli calculations. And since Iranian military support has not been enough to destroy those challenging Bashar al-Assad, Israel can highlight that in an attempt to humiliate Iran as an ally.

Today the geography has shifted from Syria to Iran: What’s playing out in the Persian Gulf area is a function of the politically-dictated obsequiousness of American presidents to the policies and actions of Israel’s leaders. This bipartisan phenomenon was obvious enough under recent presidents like Clinton and Obama; but under Bush II and Trump, it went on steroids, including a born-again, fundamentalist religious aspect.

One need hardly mention the political power of the Israel lobby and the lucrative campaign donations from the likes of Sheldon Adelson. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is riding high, at least for the now, Israeli influence is particularly strong in the lead-up to U.S. elections, and Trump has been acquitted of colluding with Russia.

The stars seem aligned for very strong “retaliatory strikes” for terrorist acts blamed on Iran.

Tonkin — er, I Mean Persian Gulf

Over the weekend, four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were sabotaged near the Strait of Hormuz. Last evening The Wall Street Journal was the first to report an “initial U.S. assessment” that Iran likely was behind the attacks, and quoted a “U.S. official” to the effect that if confirmed, this would inflame military tensions in the Persian Gulf.The attacks came as the U.S. deploys an aircraft carrier, bombers and an antimissile battery to the Gulf — supposedly to deter what the Trump administration said is the possibility of Iranian aggression.

On Tuesday, Yemen’s Houthi rebels, with whom Saudi Arabia has been fighting a bloody war for the past four years, launched a drone attack on a Saudi east-west pipeline that carries crude to the Red Sea. This is not the first such attack; a Houthi spokesman said the attack was a response to Saudi “aggression” and “genocide” in Yemen. The Saudis shut down the pipeline for repair.

Thus the dangers in and around the Strait of Hormuz increase apace with U.S.-Iran recriminations. This, too, is not new.

Tension in the Strait was very much on Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen’s mind as he prepared to retire on Sept. 30, 2011. Ten days before, he told the Armed Force Press Service of his deep concern over the fact that the U.S. and Iran have had no formal communications since 1979:

“Even in the darkest days of the Cold War, we had links to the Soviet Union. We are not talking to Iran. So we don’t understand each other. If something happens, it’s virtually assured that we won’t get it right, that there will be miscalculations.”

Now the potential for an incident has increased markedly. Adm. Mullen was primarily concerned about the various sides — Iran, the U.S., Israel — making hurried decisions with, you guessed it, “unintended consequences.”

With Pompeo and Bolton on the loose, the world may be well advised to worry even more about “intended consequences” from a false flag attack. The Israelis are masters at this. The tactic has been in the U.S. clandestine toolkit for a long time, as well. In recent days, the Pentagon has reported tracking “anomalous naval activity” in the Persian Gulf, including loading small sailing vessels with missiles and other military hardware.

Cheney: Down to the Sea in Boats

In July 2008, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported that Bush administration officials had held a meeting in the vice president’s office in the wake of a January 2008 incident between Iranian patrol boats and U.S. warships in the Strait of Hormuz. The reported purpose of the meeting was to discuss ways to provoke war with Iran.

Hersh wrote:

Seymour Hersh. (Giorgio Montersino via Flickr)

“There were a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build in our shipyard four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up. Might cost some lives.

“And it was rejected because you can’t have Americans killing Americans. That’s the kind of, that’s the level of stuff we’re talking about. Provocation.

“Silly? Maybe. But potentially very lethal. Because one of the things they learned in the [January 2008] incident was the American public, if you get the right incident, the American public will support bang-bang-kiss-kiss. Youknow, we’re into it.”

Preparing the (Propaganda) Battlefield

One of Washington’s favorite ways to blacken Iran and its leaders is to blame it for killing U.S. troops in Iraq. Iran was accused, inter alia, of supplying the most lethal improvised explosive devices, but sycophants like Gen. David Petraeus wanted to score points by blaming the Iranians for still more actions.

On April 25, 2008, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, told reporters that Gen. David Petraeus would be giving a briefing “in the next couple of weeks” that would provide detailed evidence of “just how far Iran is reaching into Iraq to foment instability.”

Petraeus’s staff alerted U.S. media to a major news event in which captured Iranian arms in Karbala, Iraq, would be displayed and then destroyed. But there was a small problem. When American munitions experts went to Karbala to inspect the alleged cache of Iranian weapons, they found nothing that could be credibly linked to Iran.

This embarrassing episode went virtually unreported in Western media – like the proverbial tree falling in the forest with no corporate media to hear it crash. A fiasco is only a fiasco if folks find out about it. The Iraqis did announce that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had formed his own Cabinet committee to investigate U.S. claims and attempt to “find tangible information and not information based on speculation.”

With his windsock full of neoconservative anti-Iran rhetoric, Petreaus, as CIA director, nevertheless persisted — and came up with even more imaginative allegations of Iranian perfidy. Think back, for example, to October 2011 and the outlandish White House spy feature at the time: the Iranian-American-used-car-salesman-Mexican-drug-cartel plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. And hold your nose.

More recently, the Pentagon announced it has upped its estimate of how many U.S. troops Iran killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2011. The revised death tally would mean that Iran is responsible for 17 percent of all U.S. troops killed in Iraq.

Who Will Restrain the ‘Crazies’?

Pompeo stopped off in Brussels on Monday to discuss Iran with EU leaders, skipping what would have been the first day of a two-day trip to Russia. Pompeo did not speak to the news media in Brussels, but European foreign ministers said that they had urged “restraint.”

Ghika: “Downplaying threat.” (Phillip McTaggart/U.S. Army)

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt told reporters: “We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended, really on either side.” British Army Major General Christopher Ghika was rebuked by U.S. Central Command for saying Tuesday: “There has been no increased threat from Iranian backed forces in Iraq and Syria.” Central Command spokesperson Captain Bill Urban said Ghika’s remarks “run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies regarding Iranian backed forces in the region.”

Although there is growing resentment at the many serious problems tied to Trump’s pulling the U.S. out of the Iran deal, and there is the EU’s growing pique at heavyweights like Pompeo crashing their gatherings uninvited, I agree with Pepe Escobar’s bottom line, that “it’s politically naïve to believe the Europeans will suddenly grow a backbone.”

There remains a fleeting hope that cooler heads in the U.S. military might summon the courage to talk some sense into Trump, in the process making it clear that they will take orders from neither Pompeo nor from National Security Advisor John Bolton. But the generals and admirals of today are far more likely in the end to salute and “follow orders.”

There is a somewhat less forlorn hope that Russia will give Pompeo a strong warning in Sochi — a shot across the bow, so to speak. The last thing Russia, China, Turkey and other countries want is an attack on Iran. Strategic realities have greatly changed since the two wars on Iraq.

In 1992, still in the afterglow of Desert Storm (the first Gulf War), former Gen. Wesley Clark asked then Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz about major lessons to be drawn from the Desert Storm attack on Iraq in 1991. Without hesitation, Wolfowitz answered, “We can do these things and the Russians won’t stop us.” That was still true for the second attack on Iraq in 2003.

Paul Wolfowitz, as under secretary of defense for policy,  at right, taking notes during press conference during first Gulf War. (Lietmotiv via Flickr)

But much has changed since then: In 2014, the Russians stopped NATO expansion to include Ukraine, after the Western-sponsored coup in Kiev; and in the years that followed, Moscow thwarted attempts by the U.S., Israel, and others to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

No doubt Russian President Vladimir Putin would like to “stop us” before the Bolton/Pompeo team finds an “Iranian” casus belli. Initial reporting from Sochi, where Pompeo met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday indicates there was no meeting of the minds on Iran. Both Pompeo and Lavrov described their talks as “frank” — diplomat-speak for acrimonious.

Pompeo was probably treated to much stronger warnings in private during the Sochi talks with Lavrov and Putin. Either or both may even have put into play the potent China card, now that Russia and China have a relationship just short of a military alliance — a momentous alteration of what the Soviets used to call the “correlation of forces.”

In my mind’s eye, I can even see Putin warning, “If you attack Iran, you may wish to be prepared for trouble elsewhere, including in the South China Sea. Besides, the strategic balance is quite different from conditions existing each time you attacked Iraq. We strongly advise you not to start hostilities with Iran — under any pretext. If you do, we are ready this time.”

And, of course, Putin could also pick up the phone and simply call Trump.

There is no guarantee, however, that tough talk from Russia could stick an iron rod into the wheels of the juggernaut now rolling downhill to war on Iran. But, failing that kind of strong intervention and disincentive, an attack on Iran seems all but assured. Were we to be advising President Trump today, we VIPS would not alter a word in the recommendation at the very end of the Memorandum for President George W. Bush we sent him on the afternoon of Feb. 5, 2003, after Colin Powell addressed the UN Security Council earlier that day:

“No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is irrefutable or undeniable [as Powell had claimed his was]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner city Washington. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and presidential briefer and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.