« Implementation Day | Main | Did Iran have a nuclear WEAPONS program after 2003? - Republished 17 January 2016 »

17 January 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.



I think this one has more to do with the Saudi lobby and the view among many American "elites" the Saudis are trustworthy friends, a view which leads the US to consistently buy what the Saudis sell on Islam and the Middle East.

That said, I would agree the AIPAC lobby has a hand in this too.



You are familiar with the device of a "rhetorical question?" I have repeatedly credited the PR/Lobby efforts of the Gulfies but they lack the clout to get this much bang for anti-shia buck. The Saudis, in the person of Adil (the Chihuahua) Jubeir are now getting a free ride from CNN, etc. for their anti-Shia work. This is Israel speaking through Saudi mouths. pl


After taking a look at that list, I'm having difficulty figuring out why Iran is such a problem, according to Congress. Rather, it's almost as if we should be partnering with Iran (for realistic reasons) against the Sunni scourge. Someone should place this issue front and center during the news hours...it's a real mystery why this hasn't been a major point of discussion for so many years, at least since 2001. Are there negative consequences if one does so?


This probably started with « A Clean Break : A New Strategy for Securing the Realm » written by some of our favorite Neo-cons (where are they now?) in the late 90's.

Its three main objectives, via Wikipedia:
Rather than pursuing a "comprehensive peace" with the entire Arab world, Israel should work jointly with Jordan and Turkey to "contain, destabilize, and roll-back" those entities that are threats to all three.
Changing the nature of relations with the Palestinians, specifically reserving the right of "hot pursuit" anywhere within Palestinian territory as well as attempting to promote alternatives to Arafat's leadership.
Changing relations with the United States stressing self-reliance and strategic cooperation."

The first objective refers to Syria, among others.

The strategy truly became part of American foreign policy around 2007 after Iran took control of Iraqi politics via Maliki and Israel got it's ass kicked in Lebanon.

Seymour Hersh had a nice article about this some time ago: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection


Just in time to confirm your argument.


"Could it be because Israel/AIPAC wants Iran contained as a geopolitical rival in the region?"

This seems to be the most logical primary reason. A strong secondary reason appears to me to be Iran's support of the Palestinians, Hamas and Hezbollah.

I have to admit I usually don't spend much time thinking about relations between Israel and Iran because of the high amount of inane commentary involved.

Before commenting I brushed up on the history of Iran-Israel relations here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Israel_relations ... and

here, in this piece by William Blum... What Israel Really Fears about Iran https://consortiumnews.com/2012/02/04/what-israel-really-fears-about-iran/

According to Blum "As we all know only too well, the United States and Israel would hate to see Iran possessing nuclear weapons. Being “the only nuclear power in the Middle East” is a great card for Israel to have in its hand. But — in the real, non-propaganda world — is US/Israel actually fearful of an attack from a nuclear-armed Iran?"

Blum then goes on to quote various US and Israeli officials who don't really seem all that worried about in reality. This quote from Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld points to one reason behind Israeli scare tactics...

"We are in no danger at all of having an Iranian nuclear weapon dropped on us. We cannot say so too openly, however, because we have a history of using any threat in order to get weapons … thanks to the Iranian threat, we are getting weapons from the U.S. and Germany."


Is there anyone in the MSM who, when asked about Yemen, doesn't hop on her/his perch and scream "Iran, Iran, Iran, Iran!"

Babak Makkinejad


This US posture towards the Shia goes as far back as far as 1980s, in my opinion, when repeated entreaties by Nabih Berri to US - the leader of the less religious Shia Amal (Hope) movement in Lebanon - were ignored by US.

Once Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 in search of her perennial missing "Peace Partner" and started slaughtering the Shia of South Lebanon, with nary a peep from US or EU Law-and-order-humanitarians-are-us crowd, the die had been cast.

Babak Makkinejad

It would require too much knowledge and sophistication to appreciate that many ayatollahs in Qum consider Zeidis to be heretical Shias - just as they consider Isamilis to be so as well.


Exactly- also Isreal wants to be the sole 'friend' of the United States in the region. The fact that we have, and have had, a great number of mutual intrests with Iran are somehow never mentioned in the MSM. Frustrating.

different clue

I think it is at least very much in part due to the Iranian Revolution itself, the fall of the Shah and esPECially the taking of our embassy people as hostages. That went on for well over a year I believe. I remember ABC News invented its Nightline program around the hostage crisis. Their tagline was " Day X: America held hostage."

And then the intellectual classes were very offended and even frightened when Ruhollah " The Ayatollah" Khomeini put out a contract on author Salman Rushdie and on anyone who translated The Satanic Verses into whatever language. I believe The Ayatollah was able to secure a hit on a translator in Norway and in Japan.

And with the IranGov chanting Death To America year in and year out, that led to ill will on the American side and since Iran is Shia, that ill will would extend to anyone called "Shia" generally.

So the Islamic Revolutionaries of Iran helped plow and prepare a fertile field for AIPAC and the Sunni Gulfie Lobby and etc. to plant, grow and maintain their anti-Shia orchard of "contain Iran" trees. And AIPAC and the Sunni Gulfies are working it and working it ever since.

Swami Bhut Jolokia

By and large many journalists and their editors/producers are ignorant. Even if you ignore the PR efforts by AIPAC and SA, lizard brains believe Iran=evil because of hostages and Beirut (cf Bush 43 and Axis of Evil), and since Iran=Shia by the property of transitivity Shia=evil.


Apropos, here is Mossad in 2007-8 posing as CIA to recruit for Jundallah against Iran:

According to the report, Israel's recruitment attempts took place mostly in London, right under the nose of U.S. intelligence officials.

"It's amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with," Foreign Policy quoted an intelligence officer as saying. "Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn't give a damn what we thought."



As I recall from the 80s-90s the Shia certainly were identified as being the "bad guys" in the general media narrative. It is weird that this has not shifted too much since 9/11 but I guess Khomeini made a strong impression.

That said, what about Khobar Towers? Did the U.S. government get that one wrong? (Not rhetorical--I am interested in the views of Col. Lang and others on this one) If that was perpetrated by Hezbollah/Iran that would seem to be a significant black mark.


Qum? Qum? You mean there's another city in Iran beside Tehran?



"William Perry, who was the United States Secretary of Defense at the time that this bombing happened, said in an interview in June 2007 that "he now believes al-Qaida rather than Iran was behind a 1996 truck bombing at an American military base."[21" Wiki on Khobar Towers. pl


I read that article too. It also says "On December 22, 2006, federal judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that Iran and Hezbollah were responsible for the attack, stating that the leading experts on Hezbollah presented "overwhelming" evidence of the group's involvement and that six captured Hezbollah members detailed the role of Iranian officials in providing money, plans, and maps."" Obviously the courts can get things wrong but how did the court come to a conclusions so totally different from Perry?



IMO it is primarily the Saudi's who feed this narrative into the machine....

Next month is the 80th anniversary of my alma mater in London....for English private schools, 80 years is a mere blink of the eye, but this school, a 'Johnny come lately' in some ways is considered extraordinary by many for its international pull....it happens that a certain Turki bin Faisal Al Saud was also an English school boy at the same school, years before my time....at the reunion, if I am not first smothered by his minders, I will endeavour to ask why...



Aren't the Afghan Taliban Sunni?
They attacked Americans as recently as January 30, 2015.

Doug Tunnell

If we could turn back the clock, do you think a more fulsome embrace of Nabih Berri by the U.S. would realistically have made a difference ? My impression was that he was widely seen as a rather tired, ineffectual Lebanese politician who shared considerable responsibility for the sad state of southern Lebanon's Shias leading up to the Israeli invasion in 1982...and no match for the Iranians who came to Lebanon fresh from their own revolution and set about organizing & supporting Hezbollah. After the murder of Station Chief William Buckley, the bombing of the US embassy, the bombing of US Marine and French barracks, the kidnapping of Terry Anderson and all the other American and French hostages of the era nobody --not even the Israelis-- had to work too hard to prejudice the west, its media and many in its governments against the Shia.


Ami Ayalon, former Shin Bet (Israeli Security Service) director and commander-in-chief of the Navy, gave in August 2012 an intersting interview on the Sunni-Shia thing. Watch yourself:



Col Lang

"Got any others?"

What about the Taliban in AfPak theater?

PS: An annotation of my opinion: I think it's for all the groups you mentioned - except for the Society of the Muslim Brothers - disputed, whether they are Sunni or not. I'm sure you know it. All these groups follow no Sunni school of jurisprudence, but Wahhabism, a relatively modern Renaissance stream of Islamic teachings diffrent from Sunni, Shia or Ibadhism, one may count as a branch for itself. I won't say one opinion or the other is right or wrong. But the Turkish president Erdogan - well know to be an influential and devout Muslim - for example said in his opinion the Islamic State is neither Sunni nor Muslim at all, so I'ld just leave it with mentioning this public dispute here.

One may compare the situation in regard to the above mentioned groups to asking whether John Hagee is Catholic, Lutherian or Calvinist. I think there are good arguments to say that the church of John Hagee is neither Catholic, nor Lutherian nor Calvinist but a branch of it's own. The same argument may be made about Wahhabism, though that school of Islamic thought is a lot older than John Hagee and his church.



Sounds like a Gulf Arab-Israel tag team effort to influence the US.

Didn't the Israelis support the Iranians versus Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war though?



Time moves on. pl



As I have often pointed out Islam has no chain of command so who cares what Erdogan thinks? pl

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad