The drumbeats for war with Iran are pounding fast and furious in Washington. The Obama Administration claims that it foiled a plot financed and directed by the Iranians to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S. on American soil. According to Attorney General Eric Holder, the Iranians acting through an Iranian-American intermediary were in the process of hiring a Mexican drug cartel to make the hit when DEA agents intervened to save the day. Obama and Holder are accusing the Quds Force, a special unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, of orchestrating the whole plot. Those that desire war with Iran are using the allegation as a pretext for military engagement with the Islamic Republic. For his part, Obama claims that all options are on the table for the U.S. to deal with the most recent “dangerous and reckless” behavior of the Iranian government.
But Iran specialists who have followed the operations of the Quds Force for many years say the plot just doesn’t make any sense. They question what Iran would have to gain from assassinating the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. on American soil. At a time when Iran has been focused on evading further sanctions against it by hiding its nuclear program and building relationships with non-Western allies why would it risk all that for bumping off the Saudi diplomat? Why would it draw attention to itself through an act that has no conceivable benefit?
Additionally, experts say that the Quds Force is a sophisticated special operations unit. They doubt it would utilize the likes of a former used car salesman, Mansour Arbabsiar, the Iranian-American intermediary implicated in the plot, and a Mexican drug gang infiltrated with both Mexican and U.S. intelligence agents.to carry out this sensitive operation in the U.S. The whole scenario is beneath their modus operandi.
But, Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton press on with their story. Secretary Clinton stated that the plot is “”a flagrant violation of international and U.S. law and a dangerous escalation of the Iranian government’s long-standing use of political violence and sponsorship of terrorism.” The hypocrisy should not be lost on anybody who even remotely follows international news. The Iranian regime is certainly a rogue cabal of henchmen and butchers, but the United States government is also engaged in “flagrant violations of international and U.S. law”. What about “Fast and Furious,” the ATF’s operation which allowed Mexican drug lords to illegally purchase guns in the U.S. to be used in Mexico so the agency could “track” the weapons and facilitate arrests?
And there are far more serious violations of international law committed by the U.S. government. Currently we have secret commandos (special hit teams) on the ground in more than 70 countries and that number is expected to rise to 120. And let’s not forget about our undeclared drone war in Pakistan which has killed hundreds if not thousands of non-combatants.
At the end of the day, we live in very dangerous times. Many in and out of our government will always need an enemy to demonize. With the economy headed for an even bigger collapse than the 2008 financial crisis, scapegoats and distractions will be needed to deflect the blame from those that deserve it. When all else fails failed regimes turn to war to rally the masses. Americans need to question the veracity of our leaders even more and understand that in many cases what we allege of others we also are guilty of and therefore contribute to an unsafe world. The last thing we need is war with Iran. If Americans become more vigilant they can silence those drumbeats.