Posted By stuartbramhall on February 18, 2012
What do Austere Challenge 12, Theater Iran Near Term, Global Strike 2003, Vigilant Shield 07, and Concept Plan 8022 all have in common? They are all names of Pentagon war games simulating an attack on Iran. Most military war games are conducted in secret. Those listed above have been made public, presumably to help build consensus among the military brass and the Washington elite about the inevitability of war with Iran. Canadian researcher and globalization researcher Michel Chossudovksy writes about them in a January 8, 2012 Global Research article entitled When War Games Go Live
It’s Official: Iran Not Building Nuclear Weapons
Just to be clear here. The current US threats against Iran have nothing to do with Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. In the first place, they aren’t building nuclear weapons. On the January 8 Face the Nation, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta acknowledged that Iran is not trying to building nuclear weapons. You can read his exact words here: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57354647/face-the-nation-transcript-january-8-2012/
In the second place, the US has been preparing to attack Iran for more than a decade. As I mention in my previous blogs about the covert war against Syria, war against both Iran and Syria have been part of the Pentagon’s Middle East strategy since the mid-nineties. As retried General Wesley Clark writes in “Winning Modern Wars,” US foreign policy over the last 20 years has focused on regime change in seven countries: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan. All seven, except Syria, are oil rich countries targeted owing to their refusal to privatize their oil resources for the benefit of Anglo American oil companies. Oil-poor Syria is a target because of its strategic alliance with oil-rich Iran. Please note that this policy has remained consistent whether Republicans or Democrats control Congress and the White House.
Why Israel Won’t Be Attacking Iran
Chossudovsky disputes the line promoted in the media (and by Panetta himself – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/03/us-nuclear-iran-usa-israel-idUSTRE81202Z20120203), that Israel and the pro-Israel lobby is behind the current threats against Iran. Chossudovsky asserts that massive retaliation against Israel, the inevitable outcome of a US attack on Iran, has always been the chief disincentive preventing against launching one. Iran, which has a massive military industrial complex, is a top military power, only slightly behind Germany and Israel. Iran has the ability to mobilize one million troops practically overnight, as well as an extensive air force and Advance missiles capable of bombing Israel back to the Stone Age.
He stresses that Israel is incapable of launching a sneak attack in an effort to draw the US into a full blown war. Not only is Israel the Middle East country with the most to lose from war with Iran, but since 2008 Israel’s air defense forces have been fully integrated with those of the US and NATO. This makes it impossible for them to act unilaterally. One of the major goals of Austere Challenge 12, the January 2012 war games – the largest in world history – was to test these air defense. As Chossudovsky makes clear in a recent Guns and Butter interview, even NATO can’t protect Israel from massive civilian casualties and infrastructure damage from an Iranian counterattack. In his view, the recent escalation of US threats against Iran more likely reflect a shift in Washington’s views on Israel’s strategic importance to US interests. It now appears Washington is prepared to sacrifice Israel in pursuit of its ultimate goal: regime change in Tehran and privatization of Iran’s oil resources for the benefit of Anglo-American oil companies.
Setting the State for World War III
During the interview, Chossudovksy describes each of the five Pentagon war games listed above, making it clear that the US has been actively rehearsing a military attack on Iran since 2003. Theater Iran Near Term was a simulated attack on Iraq’s neighbor that occurred in May 2003, within days after US troops “liberated” Baghdad. According to the Canadian researcher, Pentagon are well of the treaties Russia and China (both nuclear powers) have committing them to come to Iran’s defense. Both rely heavily on Iran for their oil imports, a major reason why they refuse to go along with the sanctions. Chossudovksy believes Russia, which has a naval base in southern Syria, will likely come to their defense if they are attacked by NATO. This is why the 2006 war games called Vigilant Shield 07 included retaliatory strikes, not only against Iran (code named Irmingham), North Korea (code named Nemzee), Russia (code named Ruebeck) and China (code named Churya).
In other words, the US is setting the stage to launch World War III and a possible nuclear war between Russia, China and the US. The mainstream media has widely publicized the movement of US war ships to the Strait of Hormuz, an essential transit route for oil shipments from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that traverses Iranian territorial waters. They have not reported on the massive shipment in 2010 of weapons (and weapons advisors) to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States, or the US troop build up in Israel (9,000 troops in January 2012) or Kuwait (15,000 troops in December 2011).
Removing Israel from “The Pages of Time”
Chossudovksy believes Iran would ultimately lose a war with the US, despite inflicting massive damage on civilians and US military installations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as destroying Israel as a major Middle East power.
He’s struck by the irony of Israel’s new designation as “collateral damage” in a US conflict with Iran, in view of the infamous statement attributed to Iran President Ahmadinejad about wanting to wipe Israel off the map. The often repeated quote happens to be a fabrication. It’s actually a mistranslation of a prediction, rather than a threat, and was first uttered by the late Ayatollah Khomeini, not President Ahmadinejad. Before his death Khomeini made the prediction that the “regime occupying Jeruselum,” like the Soviet Union and the Shah of Iran would eventually “disappear from the pages of time.”
How ironic that the US, Israel’s oldest friend and ally, is about to fulfill this prophecy by preparing to launch a unilateral military assault on Iran.