We can only hope that Obama is now playing his own intelligence game against the American/Israeli war party.
A game in which the President of the United States ultimately refuses to grant Israel permission to attack Iran.
By James M. Wall
This nation is moving toward a repeat of the US rush to invade Iraq in 2003. Mass media coverage of the Wikileaks story is performing the same function the media played to make the case for the 2003 US invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq.
President George W. Bush was a willing instrument in the military invasion of Iraq. Controlling a major Arab state, Bush assumed, was in the best interest of the US.
Jeff Gates argues in Sabbah Report that Wikileaks is being used as part of Israel’s game theory warfare:
The impact of the WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables fits the behavior profile of those well versed in game theory warfare.
When Israeli mathematician Robert J. Aumann received the 2005 Nobel Prize in economic science for his work on game theory, he conceded, “the entire school of thought that we have developed here in Israel” has turned “Israel into the leading authority in this field.”
The candor of this Israeli-American offered a rare insight into an enclave long known for waging war from the shadows. Israel’s most notable success to date was “fixing” the intelligence that induced the U.S. to invade Iraq in pursuit of a geopolitical agenda long sought by Tel Aviv.
What is sobering about Gates’ argument is the reminder that the campaign to present Iran as a nuclear threat to the region duplicates the campaign waged to win US public opinion through a series of Bush-Cheney lies and deception about non-existent WMDs leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The majority of the American public was duped into supporting the Bush war strategy in 2003. Voices were raised against the strategy, but the main stream media and political leaders in both parties gave their endorsement.
One speech against the Iraq invasion by then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama was enough to gain the support of anti-war progressive voters. New York Senator Hillary Clinton reluctantly supported the war, a decision that contributed to her loss to Obama in the Democratic primary race.
We are reminded of the American pro-war enthusiasm and our public resistance to criticism of the war in the years leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, by the arrival of the movie, Fair Game, which opened in US theaters in early November.
The film’s release could not have been better timed to warn the American public of the old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”.
Unfortunately, the American public has an extremely short memory. Fair Game covers events that began a decade ago. Instead of seeing real history, we escape into action, sex, comedy, or fantasy movies.
What the public is missing by not seeing Fair Game is a thrilling, fast-paced real life adventure story involving Valerie Plame Wilson and Joseph Wilson, a married couple, (Naomi Watts and Sean Penn (pictured above), loyal and dedicated US public servants who were ensnared in the post 911 White House web of lies about Iraq.
The Wilsons were victims of an illegal White House strategy, orchestrated through the office of Vice President Dick Cheney by Karl Rove and implemented by Cheney’s Chief of Staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby.
Valerie Plame Wilson began her training as a CIA agent after graduating from college. Joseph Wilson began his government service in Niger as a general services officer. He was later the Deputy Chief of Mission (to US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie) at the US Embassy in Baghdad.
The film is based on two books, one written by Plame (Fair Game) and the other by Wilson (The Politics of Truth). It was directed by Doug Liman, who was the director of the 2002 film, The Bourne Identity, another adventure film of deceit in high places.
Plame is the daughter of retired US Air Force colonel, Sam Plame (Sam Shepherd). She is such a dedicated and trained CIA operative that, at first, she finds it impossible to break her code of silence even after she is falsely accused in the White House campaign.
Her husband’s reputation is attacked, his career as a consultant is wrecked. Plame’s career as a CIA agent is ended; her agents are exposed. Some are killed.
Her father reminds her that “what they did was wrong, Val, just plain wrong. Don’t you ever forget that”. Plame breaks her silence and agrees to testify before Congress, leading the US Justice Department to launch an investigation of Libby, but not, it must be noted, of Karl Rove or Dick Cheney.
Libby was convicted March 6, 2007, of lying and obstructing a leak investigation. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000.
Four months later, President Bush commuted Libby’s sentence. Vice President Cheney was angry with Bush for not granting Libby a full pardon.
MSNBC reported on Libby’s conviction in a 2007 story:
Libby is the highest-ranking White House official to be convicted of a felony since the Iran-Contra scandal of the mid-1980s.
The case brought new attention to the Bush administration’s much-criticized handling of weapons of mass destruction intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war.
The verdict culminated a nearly four-year investigation into how CIA official Valerie Plame’s name was leaked to reporters in 2003. The trial revealed that top members of the administration were eager to discredit Plame’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who accused the administration of doctoring prewar intelligence on Iraq.
The scene below comes late in Fair Game before Plame testifies to the congressional committee. She is talking with her former CIA boss:
Alan Dershowitz is a noted criminal and civil liberties lawyer. He is a strong Zionist with close ties to Israel’s right-wing government. In a Huffington Post column, Dershowitz does not speculate. He writes as if it is a fact that Israel plays a major role in pushing US policy in the Middle East.
Now that the WikiLeaks reveal widespread Arab support for the military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities to be put on the table, the time has come to reassess United States policy toward the Ahmadinejad regime.
Even if Israel freezes settlement building, the Palestinians come to the negotiating table and an agreement is reached about borders, refugees and Jerusalem, there will still be no real peace in the Middle East — if Iran continues on its determined path toward developing deliverable nuclear weapons.
On November 29, PBS correspondent Judy Woodruff interviewed Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor for President Jimmy Carter, about the Wikileaks documents.
Brzeniski told Woodruff:
The real issue is, who is feeding WikiLeaks on this issue? They’re getting a lot of information which seems trivial, inconsequential, but some of it seems surprisingly pointed.
. . . The very pointed references to Arab leaders could have as their objective undermining their political credibility at home, because this kind of public identification of their hostility towards Iran could actually play against them at home.
. . . I have no doubt that WikiLeaks is getting a lot of the stuff from sort of relatively unimportant sources, like the one that perhaps is identified on the air.
But it may be getting stuff at the same time from interested intelligence parties who want to manipulate the process and achieve certain very specific objectives.
Iranian Professor Farhang Jahanpour recently wrote a guest column for Juan Cole’s Informed Comment site. Cole is a professor at the University of Michigan.
Jahanpour is a former professor and dean of the Faculty of Languages at the University of Isfahan, Iran, and a former Senior Fulbright Research Scholar at Harvard.
What is truly alarming about the new batch of Wikileaks diplomatic files is the extent to which US politicians and their Israeli allies are obsessed with Iran.
There is virtually no talk of Israeli colonial settlements on the West Bank, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the war crimes in Gaza, the attack on the aid flotilla, and Israel’s arsenal of hundreds of nuclear weapons, but there is constant preoccupation with Iran’s uranium enrichment and whether Israel or the United States should attack Iran first.
The media has dwelt almost exclusively on the remarks of the Saudi King Abdullah’s ambassador in Washington, calling on America to “cut off the head of this snake”.
There are quotes from the rulers of other Western friends in the Middle East, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and Jordan, repeating what American officials wanted to hear, namely that Iran’s nuclear ambitions pose an “existential threat” to them…
By latching on to the alleged remarks of these autocratic rulers, Western media has tried to convey the idea that Iran does not only pose an “existential threat” to Israel, but to all those other friends of the West as well.
However, the Arab rulers’ nightmare is that while they hate Iran for obvious reasons, most of their subjects look up to Iran as the only country in the region that is championing the Palestinian cause and is standing up to Israel and the West.
Justin Elliott writes on Salon.com, that Israel’s warnings of danger about Iran as a nuclear threat, has been a recurring Israeli theme since the mid-1990s.
Officials at the U.S. Department of State, we learned from the secret cables released by WikiLeaks last week, have serious questions about the accuracy — and sincerity — of Israeli predictions about when Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon.
As one State official wrote in response to an Israeli general’s November 2009 claim that Iran would have a bomb in one year: “It is unclear if the Israelis firmly believe this or are using worst-case estimates to raise greater urgency from the United States.”
. . . . According to various Israeli government predictions over the years, Iran was going to have a bomb by the mid-90s — or 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, and finally 2010. More recent Israeli predictions have put that date at 2011 or 2014.
An Israeli attack against Iran would not have been a wise move in the mid-90s and it would not have been a wise move any year since.
Barack Obama knew when he ran for president in 2008, that an attack on Iran would be a monumentally bad decision.
We can only hope that Obama is now playing his own intelligence game against the American/Israeli war party, a game in which the President of the United States ultimately refuses to grant Israel permission to attack Iran. Inshallah.
James M. Wall is currently a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. He has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region. Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. Jim launched his new personal blog Wallwritings, on April 24, 2008. He can be reached at: [email protected]
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