Thus, Iran finds itself involved in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon precisely to stave off openly declared intentions by the US to include Iran next under its already expansive hegemony over the Middle East.
During Washington’s slow-motion blitzkrieg across North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, now decades of lies have continued generating excuses, pretexts, and artificial threats to justify America’s unending wars and Washington’s march toward its next target – Iran.
The US invasion of Afghanistan along Iran’s eastern borders in 2001, then the US invasion of Iraq along Iran’s western borders in 2003 left the nation surrounded by US military forces. The invasions, followed by extended occupations were only two of the most extreme examples of Washington’s aggressive military encirclement of Iran itself.
US proxy wars against Libya, Syria, and Yemen also sought to eliminate political and military blocs allied to Tehran. Coupled with deliberate, crippling economic sanctions and a campaign of admitted and concerted political subversion aimed at Iran itself – the US has all but declared war against Iran.Iran finds itself on the US regime change “hit list,” dubbed the “Axis of Evil” by US President George Bush who presided over the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. On the list alongside Iran was Libya – now a divided and destroyed failed state after US military intervention there in 2011 – as well as Syria which still faces US-backed militants and a still-ongoing US military occupation of its territory.
Iran has been surrounded by an openly hostile United States and its allies for now nearly two decades. What the US characterizes as “Iranian aggression” is merely the rational steps any government surrounded by hostile forces would take to defend itself, its territory, and its people.
The Middle East is already subject to a regional hegemon – the United States – presided over by a government thousands of miles away. And if the US would be bold enough to presume dominion over an entire region of the planet so far from its own shores, it should come as no surprise that it would also shift responsibility for the disruptive consequences of its hegemony onto the nations still resisting it from within the region.
However – it is not entirely true, and it omits mention of state sponsored terrorism that eclipses it even if it were.Groups like Hamas actually fought against Damascus and its Iranian allies during the recent conflict in Syria – calling into question claims of “Iranian state sponsorship” of Hamas.
Hezbollah – on the other hand – does enjoy close ties with Iran. But it also dedicated large amounts of resources and manpower – not creating terrorism across the Middle East – but fighting it – specifically in taking on ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq.
It was Iran and Hezbollah who aided Syrian forces on the ground while Russia provided air support that began rolling back ISIS and Al Qaeda from 2015 onward.
ISIS and Al Qaeda – ironically – persist in Syria only in areas under the protection of US-NATO forces. This includes in Al Qaeda-held Idlib where the US has repeatedly warned Damascus and its allies not to retake under threat of military retaliation.
While US accusations against Iran regarding “state sponsorship of terror” remain nebulous, US intelligence agencies themselves have admitted the US and its allies’ role in the creation of terrorist organizations like ISIS.The US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) – for example – as early as 2012 had noted (PDF) a Western and Persian Gulf-led conspiracy to create what it called at the time a “Salafist” [Islamic] “principality” [State] precisely in eastern Syria where ISIS would eventually find itself based.
The DIA document would explain (emphasis added):
If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).
On clarifying who these supporting powers were, the DIA memo would state:
The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.
The US and its allies have also been shipping weapons and supplies to Al Qaeda’s other affiliates in Syria. Along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the US has provided thousands of tons of weapons to militants in Syria – while also conceding that Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, Jabhat al-Nusra is the best armed, most well equipped militant front in the conflict.
Attempts to claim “moderate rebels” defected over to al-Nusra along with their US arms to explain the terrorist organization’s prominence doesn’t explain who was giving al-Nusra more arms and cash to attract such large-scale defections in the first place.The US has also been caught using Al Qaeda in Yemen to wage proxy war there. The Associated Press in an article titled, “AP Investigation: US allies, al-Qaida battle rebels in Yemen,” would report (emphasis added):
Again and again over the past two years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al-Qaida militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West.
Here’s what the victors did not disclose: many of their conquests came without firing a shot.
That’s because the coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.
The US has also since been caught transferring weapons systems to Al Qaeda in Yemen.
CNN in its article, “Sold to an ally, lost to an enemy,” would admit (emphasis added):
Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners have transferred American-made weapons to al Qaeda-linked fighters, hardline Salafi militias, and other factions waging war in Yemen, in violation of their agreements with the United States, a CNN investigation has found.
It is clear – by the US government’s and the US media’s own admissions – that the US is the “largest state sponsor of terror,” literally arming Al Qaeda across the region – then calling forces raised by nations like Iran “terrorists” for arraying themselves against them.
Then there is MEK – a US-backed terrorist organization previously listed as such by the US State Department itself – now openly hosted in Washington and spoken for by current US National Security Adviser John Bolton – who by no coincidence is also the leading voice advocating war with Iran.
MEK was listed as a terrorist organization for a reason. It has carried out decades of brutal terrorist attacks, assassinations, and espionage against the Iranian government and its people, as well as targeting Americans including the attempted kidnapping of US Ambassador Douglas MacArthur II, the attempted assassination of USAF Brigadier General Harold Price, the successful assassination of Lieutenant Colonel Louis Lee Hawkins, the double assassinations of Colonel Paul Shaffer and Lieutenant Colonel Jack Turner, and the successful ambush and killing of American Rockwell International employees William Cottrell, Donald Smith, and Robert Krongard.
MEK was delisted by the US State Department as a foreign terrorist organization after extensive lobbying efforts – not because evidence indicated they no longer belonged on the list. They were delisted specifically to allow the US to more openly support MEK’s efforts to undermine and overthrow the Iranian government including through the use of continued violence.
If Al Qaeda and MEK are the sort of “allies” the US has enlisted to confront “Iranian aggression” in the Middle East, how is Iran rather than Washington the true threat to regional or even global peace and stability?
Inverted Reality, Real March to War
It is upon these feet of clay that the US builds its case against Iran – with catastrophes from Washington’s many other wars of aggression in the region still burning in the background.
Iran lacks the economic and military might to pose a real threat to the world even if it wanted to. It only poses a threat to distant nations closing in around it, seeking conflict with Iran, and domination over a region Iran itself is geographically located in.
Conversely, the United States still possesses the largest economy and military on Earth and has a demonstrated track record of falsely accusing nations of various provocations to initiate devastating wars of aggression.
The US – even if it does not resort to war – is imposing economic damage not only on Iran but on nations the world over who – without coincidence – do not perceive Tehran as a threat and do a considerable amount of trade with Iran.
US aggression toward Iran and its allies – even if total war does not break out – have demonstrably destroyed the region – from Syria to Yemen – miring even America’s own allies in protracted, costly wars and setting the entire region back decades in terms of economic and social development.
Were peace to break out in the Middle East tomorrow – nations like the US and its NATO allies would have the least to do with developing the region. That role would go instead to China who is already attempting to foster stability as a condition to extend its global infrastructure building spree into the Middle East.
Even in terms of selling weapons to Middle Eastern nations – Russia and China have competitive systems US allies are even now considering.
Thus chaos is the only environment in which US primacy over the region can continue to thrive – justifying military bases and the billions of dollars needed to build, occupy, supply, and expand them, justifying military interventions – direct and by proxy – pressuring governments to either join or defend against them, and justifying immense weapon sales to allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to keep those interventions going.It is a multi-trillion dollar industry, and one only Washington is shameless enough to openly and continuously promote. There is no lie too big or disgraceful to keep America’s last major export of chaos profitable.
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Tony Cartalucci is Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook” where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
All images in this article are from NEO