Iran’s War on America

December 29th, 2011 at 2:18 pm | 41 Comments |

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It has been a busy month for Iran in its ongoing conflict with the United States. First, the Iranian government displayed what it said is a crashed U.S. drone discovered in Iran. Then, the nation’s deputy oil minister admitted that U.S. sanctions against Iran are inflicting damage on its economy.

As a result, the rogue state announced that it will hold war games along key shipping lanes and that any further U.S. sanctions would result in the closing of the most important of those lanes, the Strait of Hormuz—the pathway for more than 20% of the world’s oil supply. Next, the trial of American-born Iranian Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, whom the Iranians claim is a U.S. spy, began this week.

Finally, in a federal district court in Manhattan, Judge George B. Daniels ruled just days ago that the Iranian government, along with the terrorist group Hezbollah (the self-proclaimed “party of god”), provided material and direct support to al Qaeda in its attacks of September 11, 2001. The suit had been brought before the court in Havlish, et al. v. Usama bin Laden, et al., on behalf of the families of some of the victims of 9/11, and lends convincing proof that Iranian hostility towards the U.S., which reached an apex during the 1979 revolution, has by no means ebbed.

In a press release, attorneys representing the plaintiffs “emphasized that Iran, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda formed a terror alliance in the early 1990s.” The argument was rooted in findings put forth by the 9/11 Commission, which stated in its final report that, “In sum, there is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers. There is also circumstantial evidence that senior Hezbollah operatives were closely tracking the travel of some of the future “muscle” hijackers into Iran in November 2000.” Though the Commission was careful to say that this could be merely a coincidence, it concludes its short exploration of the Iran-Hezbollah-al Qaeda alliance with the words, “We believe this topic requires further investigation by the U.S. Government.”

The plaintiffs’ attorneys took up this investigation and made a compelling case, including the presentation of testimony and affidavits from intelligence and national security experts as well as key staffers from the 9/11 Commission itself. Perhaps most importantly, the plaintiffs were able to secure the testimony of Abolghasem Mesbahi, a former Iranian spy, who provided information that was cited by Judge Daniels in his findings. Incredibly, Mesbahi testified he was part of a task force made up of members of Iranian Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guard which drafted plans for strikes against the U.S., code-named “Shaitan dar Atash” (“Satan in Flames”). These plans included crashing hijacked passenger aircraft into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the White House.

Judge Daniels also found that Iran assisted with the escape of key al Qaeda figures from Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks; provided safe-haven for some of them; used front companies to obtain Boeing flight simulators (which are banned in Iran); and allowed the entry into Iran of Ramzi Binalshihb, a “coordinator” of the 9/11 attacks. Further, the judge found that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, was aware of the impending attacks.

If this information was known to Americans on September 12, 2001, a great hue and cry would have arisen calling for strikes against Iran, and it’s not a stretch to believe that the Bush Administration would have taken such a course. Instead, President Bush’s declaration of an Axis of Evil (which rightly included Iran) was typically scoffed at by the left. We now see just how right he was. What is hard to imagine is what the state of the nation and, indeed, the world would be today had we known then all of what we see now.

Remarkably, neither the evidence presented in this case nor the judge’s ruling has elicited substantial coverage in the media. Considering the recent controversy regarding revelations about the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, one would think that this would be front page news, but it is not. It’s as if the media has lost its taste for fighting terrorism and threats from afar. Perhaps the on-going economic woes are to blame, but it’s a worrisome trend.

The lack of attention to the court’s finding is unfortunate, because what the facts of this case do tell us is that the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran is actively and aggressively seeking to do harm to the United States, and this, coupled with President Obama’s ill-timed withdrawal from Iraq, could mean an even darker road ahead than most realize for American-Iranian relations. One can only hope that President Obama will finally admit the folly of his naive 2008 campaign stance that he need only sit down and talk with Iran to stabilize the situation. How many gauntlets will he watch being thrown down?

Recent Posts by Anthony Amore



41 Comments so far ↓

  • TerryF98

    This message is for you Neocons, especially the “Author” of this Cr**

    • Strike

      I have never in my life read such unadulterated nonsense. The 9/11 Commission Report clearly concludes that Iran had nothing to do with 9/11 and even points out that the Taleban executed Iran’s entire Diplomatic Mission (plus 2 Iranian journalists) in Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998, just 3 years before 9/11. In fact, Iran was even thinking about invading Afghanistan but decided against it.

      Revisionism is a clear weapon of war. Keep up the good work. The U.S. just sold $ 30 billion of weapons to the Saudis, i.e., to the same nation that planned, financed and executed 9/11. Or are you going to tell me that Osama was Iranian?

  • balconesfault

    What is remarkable is that credit for the attacks on Shia targets in Iraq last week were claimed by Al Qaeda, which released the following statement:
    “The mujahideen (holy warriors) will never stand with their hands tied while the pernicious Iranian project showed its ugly face and what it wants with Sunnis in Iraq became obvious and exposed.”

    Also notable is that Iran’s support for the invasion of Afghanistan post-9/11:

    Following the 9/11 attacks, Iran assisted the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and participated in international efforts to establish a new Afghan government. A senior Iranian diplomat describes the decision making in Iran immediately after the 9/11 attacks: “[W]e consciously decided not to qualify our cooperation on Afghanistan or make it contingent upon a change in U.S. policy, believing, erroneously, that the impact would be of such magnitude that it would automatically have altered the nature of Iran-U.S. relations.” U.S.-Iran cooperation was unprecedented, but in the years that followed, the George W. Bush administration chose not to continue substantive diplomatic dialogue with Tehran on Afghanistan unless Iran changed its behavior toward nuclear development.

    http://www.mepc.org/journal/middle-east-policy-archives/us-iran-engagement-through-afghanistan

    That said, the findings by the Judge are worth hearing more about. I look forward to more experts weighing in on the case.

  • TerryF98

    “and this, coupled with President Obama’s ill-timed withdrawal from Iraq, could mean an even darker road ahead than most realize”

    Among all the other crap in this article this stands out as the biggest falsehood.

    The date of the withdrawal from Iraq was set in an agreement between Bush and the Iraqi government. It’s called the status of forces agreement. Iraq did not want our troops to stay beyond the agreed date. Obama was under an obligation to withdraw by that date. Do you get it now Anthony?

    Added to which Iraq was not going to allow American troops to be tried for criminal activity by American justice. Just imagine the outcry for people like Anthony when an American serviceman is tried under Islamic law! The horrors.

  • sweatyb

    9/11! Oil! WMDs! War!

    Methinks, I’ve heard this song before. I didn’t like it then either.

  • balconesfault

    It bears mentioning that a Judges standard of evidence in a civil suit such as this is “more probable than not”.

    I would hope before we commit the lives of many many of our fighting men and women, not to mention many many civilians in Iran, to the risks and devestations of war, we lean more on the “beyond a shadow of a doubt” standard that one would apply to a criminal proceeding.

  • Reason60

    Get back to me when the President of Iran sings about “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bombbomb America”, or Iran launches drones over Los Angeles.

    Given the bellicose posture of the Very Serious People in America, Iran is taking the only prudent defensive moves it can.

  • armstp

    America has been at war with Iran since the Iranian revolution. America did not take it too kindly to the kicking out of their man the Shah and the throwing out of all American and British oil interests in Iran.

    Now the U.S. has Iran surrounded. America has a threatening position to Iran in every single country that surrounds Iran. What do you expect the Iranians to do?

  • Graychin

    The International Communist Conspiracy collapsed under its own weight two decades ago. Ever since, some of us have been desperately seeking a new enemy for us to be frightened of. They just can’t live without an existential threat to obsess about.

    Yes, Iran is a bad actor. But lighten up on the hysterics, OK?

  • think4yourself

    Anthony, you start a promising article (first 2 paragraphs) to support your title and then veer into how all of this is the Dems fault.

    Obviously I don’t have all the evidence that the Judge has. Unsupported testimonies by former spies without corroboration don’t carry a lot of weight with me (see Ahmed Chalabi, Iraq). That’s not to say that Iran didn’t have knowledge or wasn’t interested in seeing America attacked, clearly Iran’s leaders relationship with America is complicated (as long as they have “The Great Satan” as the bogeyman, it allows them to oppress their own people).

    As to “President Bush’s declaration of an Axis of Evil (which rightly included Iran) was typically scoffed at by the left. We now see just how right he was.”

    I’m still looking for your argument here. Is it that “Axis of Evil” was scoffed at by the Left? I think more likely that most people who were not Neo-cons thought that calling your enemies out was great red meat for the base, but pretty poor tactics for governance. Most on the Left and the Right thought that Iraq, Iran and N. Korea were bad actors who repressed their own people and actively had bad relations with most other countries. Most would like to find good solutions for a democratic change that didn’t involved tens (hundreds?) of thousands of casualties and trillions of dollars.

    Or maybe your argument is that GWB was right. If so, he picked the wrong country to invade.

    On to my thoughts on what your article really should have been about which is current Iranian belligerence. Seems to me a multi-part response is called for.

    The most important one would be private. That conversation would be strong and determined. (1) “If you plan to have a puppet trial of an American citizen and execute him, the USA will attack in force and spend 10 years and trillions of dollars to eradicate the Revolutionary Guard and current leadership from the face of the earth. You can be a bully but you will not kill American citizens for propaganda purposes. (2) If you block the Strait of Hormuz we will open it with all American might we have, along with all the other countries who depend on that oil. You will be even more of a pariah than you are and you’ll be embarrassed by the US military.”

    The government’s public face would be voices of calm that disagree with the Iranian position (but allow them to find away to save face), and enlist international help to lower tensions.

    This path will allow the Hannity’s and Limbaugh’s of the world to stir up their base on how weak the President is. All the while, he is getting the job done with no loss of American or civilian life.

    • valkayec

      +1^

    • PW43

      USA, Israel and the UK…will the real Axis of Evil please stand up!

      • Traveler

        ….

      • think4yourself

        Sorry PW. I ain’t gonna agree with you on that one.

        I haven’t been happy with many of the decisions of our governments leaders and think the GOP have not acted in the best interest of the US. I think that Israel has been dominated too long by their Right wing and are making bad decisions (but to be fair, they really don’t have anyone on the Palestinian side to deal with who can deliver). I think Britian’s blind support for the US war in Iraq did neither of our country’s any favor.

        But that doesn’t make these three the real axis of evil. In general, we have a free and fair judicial system. Poliltics does rear it’s head and decisions are not always just – but it isn’t Russia. Our country is not controlled by a military that is not accountable to the civilian government or the people like in Pakistan. We are not ruled by a dictator who manipulates the law soley for his own ends like in Venezuela. And we have freedom of the press (including the ability to comment on this website) that would only be dreamed of in China.

        So no, the USA, Israel and the UK are not the real axis of evil. I’m very pleased to live in this country and hope to do my small part to make it a better place.

  • shediac

    “Finally, in a federal district court in Manhattan, Judge George B. Daniels ruled just days ago that the Iranian government, along with the terrorist group Hezbollah (the self-proclaimed “party of god”), provided material and direct support to al Qaeda in its attacks of September 11, 2001. ”

    Well stupid me I thought we were attacked by Saudis financed by Saudis.

  • ottovbvs

    This idiot Amore (What’s Amore) seem blissfully unaware that it was the neocon pressure to invade Iraq that effectively made the Iran the regional hegemon.

  • icarusr

    Finally, in a federal district court in Manhattan, Judge George B. Daniels ruled just days ago that the Iranian government, along with the terrorist group Hezbollah (the self-proclaimed “party of god”), provided material and direct support to al Qaeda in its attacks of September 11, 2001.

    Wtf?

    Have you people not caused enough carnage? Have you forgotten, already, the WMD/Saddam-Al Qaeda ties?

    Have you no shame?

    Have you no sense of decency?

    War on America? Really? Where? When? How?

    You dare – FrumForum dares criticse the WSJ for its sloppy journalism, and you subject us to this astonishing display of yellow journalism?

    You write endless, ceaselessly, shamelessly, in support of the corrupt oligarch Lord Black of Boobharbor – or wherever – criticising the US justice system (including right wing Posner), and you dare cite a finding by a judge in a civil case as proof that Iran is waging war on America? You rightwing nutcases are endlessly trying to limit tort claims against your own doctors and companies, and you have the nerve – the gall – the Bachmannian chootspa – to actually use a court finding as justification for all out war in the Middle East?

    Are you f***ing nuts?

  • Strike

    Anthony Amore would probably conclude some woman was Lesbian based solely on the fact that he heard her humming the tune of “I kissed a girl”.

    Iranians facilitating Taleban entry into Iran? Based on this logic, the U.S. was responsible for 9/11 by letting numerous Al Qaeda operatives enter the country without conducting even minimal checks: For example, Ramzi Yousef entered the U.S. in 1992 with a false Iraqi passport (!?!), without a visa (!!!!!!!!!!!!!), accompanied by another guy with a blatantly false Swedish passport (!!!!!!!!!!!) and carrying bomb-making manuals in his luggage (I’m running out of exclamation marks), but was allowed entry. He looked like a Taleban operative and had “Terrorist” all but stamped on his forehead, but he was allowed in and then bombed the WTC a year later. So the U.S. was/is an ally of Al Qaeda.

    So next time, Mr. Amore, try and write an article that aspires to the minimum standards of scholarship and keep the propaganda for small gatherings of rednecks somewhere in the backwoods.

  • Strike

    We should change the author’s name to Anthony Terrore.

  • SteveThompson

    Here is an article that outlines how massive Iran’s oil reserves are and how China is stepping in with massive capital investments to replace nations that are under pressure to sanction Iran’s current regime:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2011/12/iran-oil-giant.html

    Should hostilities erupt, it will be interesting to see which side China ends up taking.

    • think4yourself

      The same thing is happening in Africa. The greater global geopolitical question is in the developing countries with natural resources, into which sphere of influence will they follow: The US that has money but no coordination and is becoming perceived as confused, less important and that democracy’s record has been mixed. Or China who is providing money, single-minded focus with no interest in democracy at all.

      It used to be that the leaders of those countries wanted our money and the people wanted democracy which the leaders reluctantly agreed to in order to get the money. China’s betting that money wins over democracy.

  • SteveT

    I’d like to point out that the Iranian General pictured is using a pointer to point at IRAN –his own county. Our Generals do the same thing. They point at Iran as well.

    Which country is the rogue one?

  • jakester

    So Iran is now threatening to close the Straights. There goes the narrative that they are the poor victims of US aggression. Now all the Gulf States hate them even more for their wanton act of war provocation. But the bleeding hearts here will still attack the neocon zionists on cue.

    • icarusr

      If idiots who comment on the region knew something about the region, it would make conversation a lot easier.

      The Strait of Hormuz is 34 miles wide, with a 2 mile window for traffic in international waters. The US Fifth Fleet is there; France and the UK have a naval presence. Two miles. That’s 3.2 kilometers. They have to sink twenty 500 meter tankers all in one line all at once to be able to merely disrupt the flow of oil, at the risk of losing their bases (three small strategic islands) off the coast of the Emirates, massive bombardment of their oil and military installations (blocking an international waterway is illegal and potentially an Act of War – threatening to do so is not), and potentially retaliatory strikes on political targets. Iran has all of a dozen destroyers, no aircraft carriers, some submarines and no capacity to actually support a sustained war in the sea or the air. Iran can and does “threaten” a lot of things – but it has neither the financial, technical nor the military capability to do anything.

      If you knew anything about Iran – and it is evident that you do not – you would know that it is above all a theocratic kleptocracy. Its leaders are pillaging the country and raping – often literally – its people, all for personal gain. They have no more interest in starting a war with the US and seeing their previous petrodollars vanish than neocons have in actual peace and stability in the Middle East or Republican have in actual economic recovery in the US. They rattle sabres, and idiot neocons like you and FrumForum, principally to divert attention from 1) unrest at home; 2) loss of key allies (Dear Leader, first, and Assad next); 3) internal dissention (the goofy Prez is about to be impeached by his own puppet Parliament); and 4) massive social problems.

      No bleeding heart here, just somone who knows something about the region, and who, having supported the Iraq war, has learned to mistrust anything related to neocons, their journalistic enablers or their likudnik war provokers.

      • jakester

        All they have to do is sow mines and just harass the tankers to cause a major disruption as the owners and insurers of the tankers will forbid them to sail in a war zone. It is easy to use enough force to threaten. I am sorry, but Iran is a cancer and all her neighbors hate her more than we do.

        • icarusr

          “Iran is a cancer”

          Funny how neocons so easily adopt the language of Nazi Germany when referring to their enemies. I wonder who would react if someone referred to certain other country in the region as a “cancer” …

          I guess you have never heard of minesweepers. They existed in the First World War. Mining an international waterway is illegal and potentially an Act of War – so as soon as a single Iranian mine is found in the two mile area, Iran’s navy and military facilities in the region will go up in smoke.

          We’ve been here before. Iran tried to disrupt shipping in the area during the Iran-Iraq war and got nowhere – one tanker caught fire, the American Navy shot a passenger plane out of the air and killed 270 civilians – but the shipping continued.

          Find some other, better, causus belli. And watch your language about cancers – you are beginning to sound just like Ahmadinejad, Mash’al, Arafat, Saddam and bin Laden.

        • nister

          The Vincennes killed 290, not 270. Iran regarded the assault as calculated; they accepted peace with Iraq some 11 days later, albeit bitterly.

  • Baron Siegfried

    I had typed up a fairly long response to this column (which I’ll save for later), but decided instead that one simple word sums up my opinion of this piece.

    Garbage.

    Mr Frum should be embarrassed for allowing this load of codswhallop on his site.

    • nuser

      Frum has an agenda!

    • Clayman

      ^+1 Baron
      Look forward to your piece.

      Codswallop is also the name given to the wooden device placed over the neck of a codd bottle and given a push (wallop) to dislodge the marble in the neck of the bottle. The word has also been used to describe the process of opening a codd bottle.

  • terrible_ted

    There is now evidence emerging that Iran was behind the near-cancellation of the NBA season…it seems they were sabotaging the communication channels between the players and the owners.

  • Strike

    Is this Blog financed by AIPAC?

  • nuser

    Iran’s war on America? Yah! Lets hurry and bomb the hell out of them before, they get us !
    Someone here (98?) once wrote : Tell a lie often enough and you are a republican. I say , some of those lies will stick, and for some people it becomes the truth! When did Iran declare war on America?Links facts and figures please.

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