Trump tells us it’s time to fight another nation: Iran!

Summary:  In May Trump might void the nuclear arms agreement with Iran and impose sanctions. A fit ending for four decades of propaganda about its nuclear program, adding yet another nation to those we are in cold or hot fights with. Look at the long history of false predictions about Iran’s nukes. We can stop this madness.

Maelstrom

Contents

  1. Trump accuses Iran.
  2. Flashback to 1984.
  3. Flashback to 1991 – 2000.
  4. Flashback to 2009.
  5. Flashback to 2010.
  6. Flash forward to today.
  7. Churchill shows how its done.
  8. And North Korea too!
  9. For more information.
  10. Books about nuclear intel.

(1) Trump accuses Iran

The deal about Iran’s nuclear program was agreed upon in July 2015. Waiver of economic sanctions on Tehran which come up for renewal every 120 days. Every 90 days Trump has to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal.

In a January statement Trump called it “disastrously flawed.” He said that Congress should impose four kinds of new restrictions on Iran – and that they permanently restrict Iran. Trump want the other participants to agree (Britain, Russia, France, China, Germany, and the EU). He is attempting to force changes in Iran’s political regime and foreign policy, and claims that the deal is too weak to prevent Iran from building nukes. The first is quite mad – considering the results of America’s interference in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. The second is delusional. His last paragraph is bizarre.

“No one should doubt my word. I said I would not certify the nuclear deal – and I did not. I will also follow through on this pledge. I hereby call on key European countries to join with the United States in fixing significant flaws in the deal, countering Iranian aggression, and supporting the Iranian people. If other nations fail to act during this time, I will terminate our deal with Iran. Those who, for whatever reason, choose not to work with us will be siding with the Iranian regime’s nuclear ambitions, and against the people of Iran and the peaceful nations of the world.”

20121007-No-Iran
US Government Policy

The reactions to Trump’s statement show one of the amazing characteristic of many US journalists: their amnesia, writing news as if the past never happened. They are the journalists we deserve, with our willingness to accept the flimsiest propaganda and forgetting the government’s exaggerations and outright lies. Our weaknesses might be the greatest threat to the Republic. We can and must do better, which will drive our institutions (e.g., government and press) to higher standards.

Trump’s team is preparing for his decision to withdraw from the deal. Many observers believe Trump’s new national security team – all hawks, many with a history of recklessness and poor judgement – will encourage Trump’s ignorance and imprudence. It would be a fitting climate to 34 years of warmongering and propaganda. Let’s read this sad story.

As you read it, remember that US elites have begun a new cold war with Russia. Trump is starting a trade war with China. And now a cold war with Iran. Plus our war in Afghanistan, involvement in Syria, and increasing participation in civil conflict in Africa. We do not need Nostradamus to see that this belligerence will end badly for America.

(2)  Flashback to 1984 – Iran will have the bomb soon!

“Iran is engaged in the production of an atomic bomb, likely to be ready within two years, according to press reports in the Persian Gulf last week.”
Jane’s Defense Weekly, 24 April 1984.

“Four years later, the world was again put on notice, this time by Iraq, that Tehran was at the nuclear threshold, and in 1992 the CIA foresaw atomic arms in Iranian hands by 2000.  Then U.S. officials pushed that back to 2003.  And in 1997 the Israelis confidently predicted a new date — 2005.”

— “Ever a ‘threat,’ never an atomic power, Iran points up challenges of nuclear technology” in the AP, 27 February 2007 (red emphasis added).

(3)  Flashback to 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, and 2000 – nukes soon!

Bad Intelligence – But in Which Direction?” by Justin Logan at Cato, 24 August 2006.

“Since the topic of the day seems to be right-wing anger {NYT, WaPo} at insufficiently panicky intelligence assessments on Iran, it might be worth looking at how bad U.S. intelligence on Iran is – and in which direction it’s been wrong. Anthony Cordesman and Khalid al-Rodhan have helpfully assembled a catalog of intelligence community predictions about Iran’s nuclear weapons program in their excellent book, Iran’s Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Real and Potential Threat. Here are just a few assessments.

‘Late 1991:  In congressional reports and CIA assessments, the United States estimates that there is a ‘high degree of certainty that the government of Iran has acquired all or virtually all of the components required for the construction of 2 to 3 nuclear weapons.’ A February 1992 report by the U.S. House of Representatives suggests that these 2 or 3 nuclear weapons will be operational between February and April 1992.’

‘February 24, 1993:  CIA director James Woolsey says that Iran is still 8 to 10 years away from being able to produce its own nuclear weapon, but with assistance from abroad it could become a nuclear power earlier.’

‘January 1995:  The director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, John Holum, testifies that Iran could have the bomb by 2003.’

‘January 5, 1995:  U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry says that Iran may be less than five years from building an atomic bomb, although “how soon …depends how they go about getting it.”‘

‘April 29, 1996:  Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres says “he believes that in four years, they [Iran] may reach nuclear weapons.”’

‘October 21, 1998:  General Anthony Zinni, head of U.S. Central Command, says Iran could have the capacity to deliver nuclear weapons within five years. ‘If I were a betting man,’ he said, ‘I would say they are on track within five years, they would have the capability.’”

“January 17, 2000:  A new CIA assessment on Iran’s nuclear capabilities says that the CIA cannot rule out the possibility that Iran may possess nuclear weapons. The assessment is based on the CIA’s admission that it cannot monitor Iran’s nuclear activities with any precision and hence cannot exclude the prospect that Iran may have nuclear weapons.’

“It goes on for 4 pages like that, with some realistic predictions sprinkled in for good measure. But I think we can all agree that we are severely underestimating Iran’s capability. Just like we have been since 1991, when they were just a year away from a bomb.”

(4)  Flashback to 2009

U.S. now sees Iran as pursuing nuclear bomb“ in the Los Angeles Times, 12 February 2009 — “In a reversal since a 2007 report, U.S. officials expect the Islamic Republic to reach development milestones this year.”

Needless to say, nine years later we have no public evidence of significant development milestones achieved in 2009.  Worse, this story was obvious propaganda even when published — as I show with much detail in Iran’s getting the bomb, or so we’re told. Can they fool us twice?

(5)  Flashback to 2010 – a rare note of honesty

Coming Around On Iran” by Mark Hosenball in Newsweek, 15 January 2010 — Excerpt…

“Three U.S. and two foreign counterproliferation officials tell NEWSWEEK that, as soon as next month, the intel agencies are expected to complete an ‘update’ to their controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which concluded that Tehran ‘halted its nuclear weapons program’ in 2003 and ‘had not restarted’ it as of mid-2007.”

(6) Flash forward to now – about the IAEA’s monitoring of Iran

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitors Iran’s nuclear activities. It is a well-funded and competent surveillance program. Their conclusions are clear, as in this from their 22 February 2018 report.

“The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities where nuclear material is customarily used (LOFs) declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities for Iran remained ongoing. Since Implementation Day, the Agency has been verifying and monitoring the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.”

See their many methods of monitoring Iran. This graphic gives a brief intro. Click to enlarge.

IAEA verification process for Iran

(7) Development of nukes can be accurately predicted

There have been accurate predictions about nuclear weapons programs, if the experts are left alone — and their conclusions heard. Such as this by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons on 7 November 1945. The Soviet Union detonated its first bomb on 29 August 1949.

“How long, we may ask, is it likely that this advantage will rest with the United States? In the Debate on the Address I hazarded the estimate that it would be three or four years. According to the best information I have been able to obtain, I see no reason to alter that estimate, and certainly none to diminish it.”  (Hansard website of debates in Parliament.)

(8) Let’s attack North Korea, too

Let’s have cold wars with Russia, China, and Iran – plus several hot wars in the Middle East, and with North Korea! The more the merrier! See “The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First” by John Bolton (Trump’s new National Security Advisor), an op-ed in the WSJ, 28 February 2018.

(9)  For more information

Ideas! For shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about our conflict with Iran? (with information about Iran and decades of propaganda to mold our minds), especially these…

(10) Books about the history of nuclear intelligence

Nuclear intelligence has always been politicized. To learn more about this odd history see these books.

  1. Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly (2009) by Michael D. Gordin (Assc Prof, History at Princeton). See a review at the New York Times.
  2. Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea by Jeffrey T. Richelson (2006). I recommend this excellent review (essentially a stand-alone analysis): “The Secrets of the Bomb“ by Jeremy Bernstein at the New York Review of Books (2006).
Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly
Available at Amazon.
Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea
Available at Amazon.

18 thoughts on “Trump tells us it’s time to fight another nation: Iran!

  1. What fruit did the last Cold War bear, for those of us who witnessed it?

    Our grandparents and great-grandparents in the Rust Belt cities and so much of the Midwest came from Germany, Poland, and Eastern Europe. We felt the weight of the Berlin Wall. We felt the weight of the Iron Curtain. Yes, there were the occasional exercises to hide under desks or kneeling in front of your locker, head down in the hallways. But mostly, there was the daily, yearly, then decades-long spat that cut off contact with your relatives. It made us all ignorant, totally and completely ignorant of scientific knowledge, industrial expertise, and educational methods needed to raise competent mathematicians, true artists, and people with an understanding of what it means to be mature adults.

    After forty years, Iran has sickened of its own shroud of ignorance. And like the generation who labored behind the Berlin Wall, there are many who with strong conscience quietly conserve humanity’s treasure. For their efforts, this?

    1. Sun Village,

      “What fruit did the last Cold War bear, for those of us who witnessed it?”

      I like your analogy. But you didn’t carry it far enough. We the people are the soil. Our leaders used the cold war to extract luscious fruit from us — vast profits from the defense industries. Each year a load of propaganda (bs) was applied to us to help produce another crop.

      As a side effect, the cold war made us easier to govern. No wonder our leaders what another!

    1. Due to a WordPress system problem, a batch of comments were lost in the trash, including this one.

      purge187: “With that chickenhawk Neocon traitor John Bolton being put back into power, it’s inevitable.

      You have been ill advised or ill served in your non-sensible comment.

      “Unlike neoconservatives — onetime moderates or liberals who gradually evolved into hardliners — Bolton has been on the right since he was a teenager. Friends say he was influenced by 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill’s treatise against excessive government power, On Liberty, and by the works of Ayn Rand and William Buckley. Still in high school, Bolton campaigned for libertarian conservative Sen. Barry Goldwater’s GOP presidential campaign in 1964. He seems to relish being a conservative mole in a liberal institution.”

      https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-11-30-bolton-usat_x.htm

  2. “Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you’re always afraid…”
    –Buffalo Springfield’s “For What it’s Worth”.

    We’re a fearful,angry and very dangerous nation. There is no anti-war movement worthy of the name in this country. Tens of thousands will march demanding gun control measures while ignoring the bigger picture entirely. If we routinely inflict, in an almost casual manner, extreme violence on the other ( countries ), why should we expect to be immune from it in our own neighborhoods. Just more tunnel vision,”exceptional America” crap which knows no political boundary. This country has lost whatever sense of collective rationality it had in the past, and it seems pretty hopeless to me that we’ll regain it, given that the only ones who can do so( the young) are so thoroughly indoctrinated.

  3. Larry,

    As your linked article so clearly points out, logic ( as well has sanity ) has left the room. We are, practically speaking, the most technologically advanced country on earth and therefore must be, in the end, the most vulnerable to sabotage of that technology.

    Rather than stability we seem to be seeking instability, is it some kind of strategy? It’s of the mad hatter variety, but yes that does appear to be the case.

    “Last month, a report on cybervulnerabilities by the Defense Science Board, commissioned by the Pentagon during the Obama administration, warned that North Korea might acquire the ability to cripple the American power grid, and cautioned that it could never be allowed to ‘hold vital U.S. strike systems at risk.’ … ”

    Note the emphasis on the risk to “strike systems”, rather than the calamitous effect on the civilian population that depends on the power grid for virtually everything related to survival(food, water, sanitation,etc.). It’s as if the military has been deemed the heart, soul and rationale for existence of this country. That is how far this lunacy has advanced, and it has support across the political spectrum, even if there is virtually no public discussion on it.

    A popular fiction series posits a high altitude detonation of a single thermo-nuke device (EMP) that frys our power grid leading to the deaths of some 80% of the population within a couple of years. That’s all it would take, and it isn’t fantasy but a very real possibility(Ted Koppel also wrote a very good book on the subject). But, to great relief, our subs would still be functional and would exact “retribution” on whatever enemies were deemed to be responsible(actual or imagined), as if that would mean anything beyond the mass murder of tens of millions of innocents.

    “Otherwise, if a nuclear power thought it could secretly disable an adversary’s atomic controls, it might be more tempted to take the risk of launching a pre-emptive attack. “

    Yes, or if it feared an adversary was doing or might do the same to it’s control system it also might pre-emptively attack. This is the equivalent of kids playing with fire in the home, and we’re just bystanders.

    I see you chastised one of your readers for his comments in that article. I agree that “getting off our couches and organize” is a good first step. Do you see that happening in any numbers, anywhere? What I see is a few smallish,disjointed efforts, some grass roots, some of a higher level, that do not appear to coalesce into anything that resembles a cohesive political force to shake things up. If that were to change, then they would need a mass media outlet and the audience to actually listen before their eyes glazed over…good luck there. Then there’s voting which, unfortunately, is a sop. Twain’s old quote on the subject has never been more germane. Look at the people( a Who’s Who of ex-CIA types) the Democratic “opposition” is putting up as candidates for congress, if you need to be convinced of that. So, lacking a third party (which, if deemed a threat, would be almost certainly destroyed in it’s cradle by the powers that be), where are we? In deep do-do with grim prospects for change for the better, IMO. I sincerely hope I’m wrong in that estimation.

    1. Perhaps it was me you were referring to? In California, voters tried to protect their state and their wallets in 1994 by passing proposition 187 which denied government services to illegal immigrants. A bipartisan coalition of elites found a single judge to overturn the voters. Gay marriage was put on the ballot in about 40 states and shot down in every single one. 5 fools in black robes forced it on us.

      We elected Donald Trump. The Deep State engineered a coup against him. In Ohio, a judge just forced parents to give up a child to grandparents so the child can undergo gender reassignment. Freedom is dying fast if not already dead.

      We need something like the English Defence League or Suidlanders but for Americans.

    2. PRCD,

      (1) Re: California judges

      That example does not support your case. All judges in California, top to bottom, are subject to recall votes by the public. Details here.

      (2) “The Deep State engineered a coup against him.”

      False. Trump is still in office.

  4. “Many observers believe Trump’s new national security team – all hawks, many with a history of recklessness and poor judgement – will encourage Trump’s ignorance and imprudence.”

    “will encourage Trump’s ignorance and imprudence.” – Written by an “official” from the Foreign State Department, a well know cesspool for Communist activists and sympathizers. Lawfare, connected at the hips with the most bias Brookings Institute. Yes, fair and balance.

    Could you provide the readers of two examples of recklessness and poor judgement, Mr Kummer.

    If you trust The Donald less than Tehran, please move to Deerfield, Illinois and not my hood.

    1. Bill,

      (1) “Could you provide the readers of two examples of recklessness and poor judgement”

      Experience has shown it is a waste of time to talk with extremists, as closed minds are their distinguishing characteristic. However just for fun here are a few for Bolton.

      1. Derailing the 2001 biological weapons conference in Geneva convened to endorse a UN proposal to enforce the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
      2. Advocated for reduced funding for the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program to halt the proliferation of nuclear materials.
      3. His fake claims about Cuban bioweapons – and pressuring analysts to lie to support it.
      4. His lies about Iran’s nuclear program, used to justify our invasion of Iraq.
      5. His current mad advocacy for an attack on North Korea, in violation of treaties the US has signed.

      (2) “If you trust The Donald less than Tehran,”

      That’s quite mad. Good-by.

  5. A very poor and misleading title.

    “Iran has, however, in the course of its dealings with the IAEA refused to concede easily in this area even under conditions with less demanding safeguards. In its letters to the IAEA, Iran has challenged the IAEA’s right under the CSA to verify the correctness and completeness of a state’s declarations. Under the CSA, Iran, like other countries, is committed to submit all nuclear material in their territory under IAEA safeguards. Between 1991 and 1993 the IAEA Board of Governors and the General Conference undertook a number of decisions to ensure that in a state with a CSA, no nuclear material – declared or undeclared – is diverted for nuclear weapons or purposes unknown. The application of this strengthened verification regime has since been applied across the board. And in cases of proliferation concern such as South Africa,25 North Korea,26 Libya27 and including Iran, the IAEA Board has been specific in its request to verify the correctness and completeness of their declarations. Despite the Board’s re-affirmations, Iran continues to challenge this interpretation. Even with a basic CSA in place, Iran’s refusal to acknowledge the correctness and completeness understanding means that safeguards can only remain limited. This is all the more so deficient in light of the past couple of decades where Iran has not fulfilled its reporting obligations with regard to its inventories on nuclear material and facilities. Not reporting receipts of two tons of various uranium compounds from China, processing further of yellow cake received from South Africa and other sources are classic examples of its diversion of nuclear material.” (page 20)

    http://henryjacksonsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/The-Iranian-Nuclear-Programme-online.pdf

    Those whom trust the despot in Iran are today’s fools and tomorrows casualty.

    1. Bill,

      Thank you for your hilarious comment. Four decades of ominous predictions and you folks learn nothing. Absolutely nothing. Keep those eyes closed!

      “Those whom trust the despot in Iran …”

      Iran’s rulers are not tyrants. As are so many US allies such as the Saudi Prince and Egypt’s rulers. Elections in much of the world are not binary — free or fake. The division is between those with no elections (like so many of our allies) or rigged elections (like Saddam’s) — and free or partially free elections (like Iran’s).

      Learn something about Iran’s elections. Start with this BBC article. Or see this brief report by the US Congressional Research Service.

      Lots more out there for people who want information.

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