In June of this year we examined why the United States will not attack Iran subsequent to raised tensions in the region. Six months later on the cusp of 2020, the United States has not attacked Iran militarily ... yet. However, Defense Secretary Esper just threatened to deploy 14K more US mercenary* troops to the Middle East. So, let’s examine current US / Israeli intent regarding Iran again by looking at individual tactical elements which may contribute to an overall strategic picture.
One case in point is al Tanf in southeast Syria which lies near the Jordanian and Iraqi borders. The US illegally occupies al Tanf in its claim to prevent resurgence of the 'caliphate' - an ISIS construct indirectly created by the United States by proxy - and the truth is quite otherwise.
Pompeo states, “We’re watching the space once occupied by this fraudulent caliphate like a hawk. That’s why we’re maintaining our residual presence at Tanf, in southern Syria, and our capacity to conduct air operations". But that’s not true.
Israel's Netanyahu gives the true reason for the US occupation of al Tanf: “We have been fortunate that President Trump has led a consistent policy of pressure against Iran. Iran is increasing its aggression as we speak even today in the region. They’re trying to have staging grounds against us and the region from Iran itself, from Iraq, from Syria, from Lebanon, Gaza and Yemen, and we are actively engaged in countering that aggression.”
The irony is as apparent as the falsity of Pompeo's assertion, the truth being that the United States is opposing Iran here - not ISIS. Especially ironic since Iran has been forced to fight the ISIS monster that the United States created in Syria and in Iraq.
Thus, Netanyahu admits the true purpose for US troops being present in al Tanf: to prevent Iran from holding the Anbar region that Iran cleared subsequent to the destruction wrought by the United States and its ISIS proxy there.
Even though the US /Israeli-led attempt to change the regime in Syria failed by 2016, the long-delayed US decision to remove US troops from the Northeast corridor remains a mystery. A number of theories about the withdrawal exist, most likely being US cooperation at the request of Mr Erdogan. However, the bloodbath in the northeast envisaged by Washington pundits did not occur and the situation has remained relatively stable there subsequent to the cease fire.
Now enter the strange coincidence of renewed unrest in Iraq - mainly from Sadr City, where the surprising turn of the US screw was the turning of Muqtada al-Sadr for Saudi, the United States CIA, and for Israel in Iraq.
The split seems to have occurred since 2009 when the Mahdi army was militarily defeated in Iraq. Armed militias such as Asaib Ahl al-Haq, instrumental in defeating ISIS in Anbar, and aligned with Iran, openly fought Sadr's men at times. The result was that al Sadr was forcibly set adrift by Iran and it appears Sadr chose to preserve his own hide rather than preserve his honor. According to an expert in impressive tradecraft, Sadr was “for rent”.
Subsequent to his visit with Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman in the summer of 2017, the influential al Sadr reinvented himself as a friend to Iraqi Kurds and to the Saudi pocketbook while lately invoking his troops to protest the "corrupt regime" in the capital.
After inciting the riots, al Sadr demanded an end to them by removal of Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi as the titular head of Iraq’s corrupt government. Al Sadr’s move and the departure of al Mahdi is mission accomplished for US State, where the United States demands that the failed states it creates remain failed.
A successful Iraq is not acceptable to US State since the predilection for a failed State in Iraq is Israel’s goal too, since Israel has been at war with Iraq for as long as it has been at war with Syria.
Besides the US-inspired chaos in Iraq, the US withdrawal from northeast Syria -- as forced by its NATO ally Turkey -- has exposed Iraq’s Anbar and the Iraqi Kurd flank to Russian and Syrian cooperation, potentially compromising three secret Israeli intelligence bases which operate out of Erbil, and the US military intention to maintain a covert presence in Iraq.
US Troops to Deploy to… Iraq??
Approximately 14,000 more troops will elevate the overall US total in the Middle East and Eurasia to about 74,000. Not so covert, and making no bones about the re-direction in US State policy, on December 5th the United States did indeed announce its true goal in the Middle East is to confront Iran.
US State’s aim is not to stabilize the region, or to fight ISIS, or even to protect US interest. It seems the ISIS menace has gone and the "new" enemy is Iran… even if the United States (like Israel) has been at war with Iran in some form since 1979. Interestingly, articles about the proposed troop deployment do not speculate about where the troops might go.
Kurd Erbil is the logical choice since Iraq’s government is in a state of chaos and cannot resist an influx of new US troops there. But sending troops to the Kurdish region will only highlight US State’s true ambition to wipe Iran off the map and may provoke reaction in Anbar, and will certainly look bad for the ever-dimming “light on the hill”.
But first, one must consider where the push for more troops in the Middle East is coming from. From Mr Trump? Possible, if unlikely. So… the majority of the people of the United States wish to attack Iran? No. And even Macron has offered to mediate between the US and Iran, however Macron significantly kept quiet about this effort at the December 3rd NATO get together. So, who or whom is pushing for war with Iran?
The recent NATO debacle looked more like an airing of Days of Our Lives than a meeting of world leaders and provided an interesting insight. Netanyahu, nebulous and presumed leader of Israel, was evidently desperate to meet with Mr Pompeo at the NATO meeting on the 3rd of December. But to no avail.
Rumours abound regarding Netanyahu’s subject for discussion, whether annexing the West Bank and Jordan Valley or a "secret plan" to get the US to confront Iran on Israel’s behalf, according to one source. That such a plan to militarily confront Iran in Iraq would coincide with Esper’s announcement regarding more US troops to the Middle East, does lend credence to the report. The fact that Netanyahu insisted on personally meeting with these leaders gives weight to the idea that the game is afoot -- at least where Israel’s militarists are concerned.
The protests in Iran – based on Iran’s "own goal" in raising petrol and fuel prices - also lend credence to the theory that Israel and Elites believe now is the time to strike Iran.
But as in Hong Kong, no matter how deep the Deep State reaches, US State just cannot pull off the coup it intends; whether in Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Iran, Yemen or with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Now the United States appears almost as humiliated in the Middle East as it appeared at the end of the Vietnam war. US State desperately needs a "win" in the Middle East to maintain face, and the voices from US State exhorting a strike – like Israel’s - are louder than ever. Meanwhile the unrest in Iran appears to continue to abate.
The above is intended to shed light on an extremely complex collage of issues especially in Iraq and Iran, ever-developing, and seen here through the prism of the US-Israeli Axis.
Washington is convinced that its role and only its role as hegemon matters, all else in the world be damned. Israel is frustrated too that its wish to see Iran destroyed by the west has not been granted. These Deep State goals may seem unachievable right now but the perceived threat to Iran is greater now than in June, and possibly greater than it has ever been before, whether from within or without.
Interestingly, this week may be the first ever that the EU Blocking Statute gets a chance and one INSTEX transaction actually takes place. That INSTEX may actually become functional and pose a challenge to the global hegemonic has certainly outraged Bloomberg and the US Treasury.
Meanwhile the hedge fund managers who own and operate the west are beating the drums for war, ever louder. The only one apparently not listening is Mr Trump. However with impeachment, Ukrainegate, Russiagate and every other kind of gate, the Rulers of the Planet have made it clear that they want to see not just Iran annihilated, but the evolutionary clock of Civilization turned backward regardless of the will of the people or even rational thought.
* these troops are not 'protecting' the former United States from any threat to the United States thus a mercenary force paid for by the US government just as Rome employed mercenary forces.
Steve Brown is the author of "Iraq: the Road to War" (Sourcewatch) editor of "Bush Administration War Crimes in Iraq" (Sourcewatch) "Trump's Limited Hangout" and "Federal Reserve: Out-sourcing the Monetary System to the Money Trust Oligarchs Since 1913"; Steve is an antiwar activist, a published scholar on the US monetary system, and has appeared as guest contributor to The Duran, Fort Russ News, Herland Report, Lew Rockwell Report, The Ron Paul Institute, and Strategika51.