Relentless Propaganda : Redux for Iran
Pentagon Office of Special Plans. — Pentagon Iranian Directorate.
Abram Shulsky (PNAC), Director. — Abram Shulsky (PNAC), Senior Advisor.
Iraqi National Congress (e.g. Ahmad Chalabi). — Iran Enterprise Institute (e.g. Amir Abbas Fakhravar & Reza Pahlavi).
WMD raining down in 45 minutes. — Atom-bombed any day now.
Demons in human form, etc. — (Play it again, Sam.)
Neocons : Invade Iraq NOW . — Neocons : Invade Iran NOW .
At one time or another the United States has provided weapons and cash to every country in the Middle East – Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, India, etc. – arming one against the other, or bribing one to leave the other alone. Even today the U.S. carries on this crazy policy, selling billions of dollars of military equipment to the Saudi Arabian monarchy and several other Persian Gulf dictatorships. Each year an outright gift of billions of dollars goes to Egypt and Israel.  As you read, a U.S. clandestine operation, reminiscent of Iran-Contra, is arming a religious sect within Iran that opposes the dominant religious sect there.  Simply ending this insanity – no more gifts of money, military equipment, technical training; no more entering the wars between these countries, or their internal strife – has no place in the U.S.’s War on Terrorism, renamed the “War on Islamo-fascism.”
Osama Bin Laden’s group, though stateless, was aided by several states. One government that helped him, with or without foreseeing the easily foreseen consequences, was the government of the U.S. In the 1980s the CIA used its counterpart in Pakistan, known in English as the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), to attract, fund and train men the CIA named “al-Qaeda” under Bin Laden’s direction – fund with billions of dollars.  Al-Qaeda was supposed to cause trouble for the Afghan government, then allied with the Soviet Union. The CIA intended this to goad the Soviets into invading Afghanistan.  After al-Qaeda forced the Soviets out of Afghanistan, Bin Laden, as we all know, eventually turned against the U.S. and its presence in the Middle East. 
A large part of that presence is the support of Israel (in the form of massive foreign aid, technical help and armament), the support of the Saudi Arabian monarchy (technical help and armament) and, before 2003, U.S. military bases located near Mecca. The people at the Ayn Rand Institute wholeheartedly endorse the support for Israel, indeed they write about Israel as if it were America’s 51st state. At the same time, they believe that any popular Middle Eastern hatred of America is due to envy and hatred of our prosperity at home, not anything Americans have ever done in the Middle East – and that includes at one time or another propping up every dictator there. 
ARI pastes a veneer of self-interest over America’s sacrifice to Israel. They maintain that Israel helps prevent attacks against America. It does this, they claim, by acting as a decoy: were it not for the existence of Israel the attacks directed at Israel would be directed at America. That is their reasoning, which is hard to follow, especially after 9-11. 
The people at ARI – who glorify Roosevelt’s entry into World War II even though Ayn Rand denounced it – look to Allied tactics as a model for subjugating the Middle East.  They make no distinction between what tactical theorists such as John Boyd and William Lind call “fourth generation warfare,” decentralized warfare waged by individual men or small independent cells whose loyalty is to a tribe or religion or region rather than a state, and the state warfare of World Wars I and II. 
Finally, ARI thinks that Iran’s leaders are capable of taking over the entire planet, imposing the Islamic religion everywhere on earth – a second Dark Ages eclipsing East and West alike. On one hand the Iranian mullahs are savages, on the other they will conquer the world.
In this article we record how the official Objectivists have long advocated war with Iran. Should the Neocons cause the U.S. to invade Iran, ever afterward you can come here and review the run-up to that fiasco.
The first essay we find promoting war on Iran is “Religious Terrorism vs. Free Speech” by Leonard Peikoff, published as an advertisement in the New York Times on March 30, 1989 (republished by ARI on February 24, 2006). At the time Khomeini was the leader of Iran, and had recently urged Muslims everywhere to kill Salman Rushdie, who in a novel had poked fun at Mohammad, the prophet of Islam. Mr. Peikoff says that this is an “act of war” and the U.S. response should be to “take military action against Iran.” “If ... [Khomeini’s] assault succeeds, the result will be an Age of Unreason – a new Dark Ages.”
Of course the “assault” failed (sales of Rushdie’s book soared), even though the U.S. government did nothing. Mr. Peikoff could not think of the reasoned response, practical, inexpensive, safe, and with side-benefits: Severely limit visiting and immigration from the Third World, and after a period of imprisonment deport any visitor or immigrant convicted of a felony (which would include any attempt to follow Khomeini’s decree). 
Besides addressing Khomeini and other problems this would have prevented 9-11 without firing a shot, especially considering that Mohamed Atta, the lead hijacker, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the chief planner, along with several of the other hijackers were known to the Pentagon as al-Qaeda operatives, were known to have entered the U.S., and were being tracked. 
The second article by Mr. Peikoff promoting war against Iran is “What to Do about Terrorism” (The Intellectual Activist, May 1996). He urges President Clinton to bomb Tehran – “the most massive air and missile attack that our military can launch” though Tripoli in Libya (again quoting Mr. Peikoff) “would do.” Unmentioned is President Reagan’s massive bombing of Tripoli and several other Libyan areas ten years earlier – April 14, 1986 – evidently not massive enough for Mr. Peikoff though it killed about forty civilians, including Muammar Qadhafi’s adopted daughter. 
A third article by Mr. Peikoff from around this time is: “Israel’s — and America’s — Fundamental Choice” (The Intellectual Activist, June 1996). He objects to Palestinians having “their own domain,” that is, country. He claims, in willful ignorance of historical fact, that they all had been homeless nomads before Israel’s existence (in fact most were small farmers and merchants). After worrying over Israel and the Palestinians for practically the entire essay he mentions America once at the very end: “When the Israelis elected [Benjamin] Netanyahu, they chose principle over appeasement. We can only hope that our own government will show the same intellectual courage.” That is, regarding the Middle East. (He doesn’t need to mention Iran explicitly given his article the previous month.)
On Mr. Peikoff’s radio program of September 6, 1998, the theme that day being “Islamic Terrorists vs. America,” he says the U.S. military should effect the “annihilation” of “Iran and Afghanistan” – “If I had to cut it down to one, I’d say, OK, make it Iran” – as an example to the “dozens” of other countries in the Middle East, who would then respect the U.S., “scared out of their wits” of the same thing happening to them. Co-writing with Andrew Lewis he argues the same points in “Fanning the Flames of Terrorism” September 15, 1998. The ARI subtitle summary is “Clinton’s ‘Anti-Terrorist Policy’ Should Target Governments Not Individuals.”
Over a year earlier, when then President Clinton threatened to bomb northern Iraq, Mr. Peikoff wrote the essay “Iraq: The Wrong War.” Though – we observe – the U.S. props up and arms Israel; though the U.S. installed, propped up and (with Israel doing the same) armed the Shah of Iran and later (again along with Israel) clandestinely provided yet more armament to Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (violating publicly avowed U.S. policy); though the U.S. then armed Iraq against Iran; though the U.S. helped create al-Qaeda to get the Soviets into Afghanistan and then fight them; Mr. Peikoff nonetheless calls the U.S. treatment of Iran and other Middle Eastern countries appeasement. It would be better characterized as crazy meddling – utterly and vastly insane mucking around.
Here is one detail of the insanity. The U.S. actively participated in the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s, allying itself with – now which was it? Ah yes, Iraq. Perhaps the reader has seen the amazing photo of Donald Rumsfeld, all smiles, shaking Saddam Hussein’s hand in 1983.  One day in July 1988 during this perverse alliance the U.S. Navy cruiser Vincennes detected over the horizon a commercial Iranian airliner, which was flying on a regularly scheduled route. The Vincennes launched a missile against it, blowing it apart in midair. Many of the 290 passengers rained down into the sea. It was an accident, to be sure, but accidents will happen in a war, and it was no accident that the U.S. Navy was there in the first place, helping Saddam. We now consider Mr. Peikoff’s essay in more detail.
Iraq: The Wrong War – Leonard Peikoff, Jan. 28, 1997 (republished by ARI towards the end of 2001).
To repeat, the title refers not to the war Bush started in 2003 but to Clinton’s threatened bombing of northern Iraq in 1997. (The bombing was called off later that year, then carried out December 16 to 19, 1998.  )
“... the country most deserving of an all-out air strike is the country most likely to benefit from Clinton’s actions: Iran.”
“An air strike is desperately needed in the Middle East. Not a few small missiles to intimidate Saddam Hussein into moving some of his troops, but an all-out assault against a country that is waging a terrorist war upon us every day: Iran.”
“Iran—not Iraq—is the primary threat to American interest in the Middle East [what interest? – AW] and has been since it confiscated our oil fields in the 1950s.
Mr. Peikoff is mistaken, there were no American oil fields in Iran for Iran to confiscate. He confuses Britain, or rather its state-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, with America. And if there had been “American” oil fields in Iran they would have been owned by private U.S. companies at their own risk, not by collective Americans at theirs.
At this time Iran’s government was secular, there was no fusion of Islam and state. Nevertheless in 1953 the U.S. and Britain – that is, their governments – overthrew Iran’s secular government and replaced it with a puppet regime headed by a dictator, “the Shah” Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi. His brutality eventually lead to a popular uprising (the revolution of 1979) in turn taken over by Ruhollah Khomeini, the “Ayatollah” of an Islamic theocracy.
Iran’s belligerence didn’t begin with its confiscation of Britain’s oil industry, which was no worse than the status quo in Israel (almost all large-scale industry in Israel is state-owned) or at that time in Britain, it began with the U.S. and Britain imposing the bloody Shah monarchy on Iranians.
Mr. Peikoff continues:
“Iran is the major sponsor of international terrorism throughout the world and is the country most responsible for lethal attacks on American citizens. ... Iran fully deserves bloody retribution.
“Only action will destroy Iran’s willingness to wage a terrorist war on the United States. Only action will put Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan and all other terrorist nations on notice that the time for appeasement is over.”
That was in 1997. Not long after 9-11 (2001) ARI agitated for an Iraq invasion, eventually getting it in March 2003 – see Relentless Propaganda on this website. During all that time ARI downplayed the above essay compared to its other essays. Today – after the Iraq fiasco – ARI displays it prominently.
ARI writers, gung-ho for invading Iraq from the end of 2001, had no misgivings after they got their war. However they did start to criticize U.S. military tactics, saying that “we” ought to be “more brutal,” then, that the U.S. should “smash” and “crush” the “insurgents” and move on to Iran. They never admitted to an error, and indeed their apparent about-face is a matter of shifting emphasis rather than forthright change – and less than full consistency from ARI writer to ARI writer. All in all, before the Iraq War and during its early stages:
• Heavy emphasis: Saddam has WMD (despite, we observe, abundant evidence to the contrary and the almost “real time” exposure of the Administration’s lies) and he will use them against the U.S. (despite good reason not to, if he had them). We must invade Iraq. Now.
• Light emphasis: The U.S. should set up a constitutional republic in Iraq. (See footnote 7 to “What We Owe Our Soldiers” on this website.)
• Light emphasis: Bombing Iran would be better.After the U.S. started the war and the fiasco became too obvious to ignore:• Light emphasis: It was the wrong war, but the U.S. did good getting rid of Saddam. (Even though, we observe, both Iraq and the U.S. are far worse off.)
• Heavy emphasis: The U.S. should not set up a constitutional republic in Iraq. Diminishing emphasis: Since we happen to be there we should “smash” the insurgents by being yet more “brutal.”
• Heavy emphasis: And go on and invade Iran.— so that today you find admirers of ARI claiming, and self-righteously, that ARI had opposed the Iraq War all along.
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There follows a list of some of ARI’s articles from the period before the Iraq invasion showing that even as ARI writers were promoting war with Iraq they looked forward to a war with Iran.
End States Who Sponsor Terrorism – Leonard Peikoff, full-page ad in the New York Times, Oct. 2, 2001, repeated from
It Is Time to Declare War – full-page ad in the Washington Post, Sept. 20, 2001, an expanded version of
Fifty Years of Appeasement Led to Black Tuesday – ARI Op-Ed, Sept. 12, 2001.
After Mr. Peikoff confuses attacks on Israel with attacks on the U.S., and making much of the kidnapping 22 years earlier (1979) of American embassy officials in Iran (who, he fails to mention, had supported the Shah dictator) and the attack five years earlier on U.S. military personnel at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia (begging the question why the U.S. should be propping up the repressive monarchy there) and Khomeini’s Fatwa against Salman Rushdie (which in the United States resulted in two broken storefront windows and an office fire  probably committed by hooligan Muslim immigrants, it is extremely doubtful by state-sponsored terrorists), and after insinuating that Mideast Muslims hate the U.S. independently of its support for Israel and participation in Israel’s wars:
“In the excellent words of Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense, we must ‘end states who sponsor terrorism.’
“We must do the equivalent of de-Nazifying ... [Iran], by expelling every official and bringing down every branch of its government. This goal cannot be achieved ... by weaponry alone. It requires invasion by ground troops ... and perhaps a period of occupation. But nothing less will ‘end the state’ that most cries out to be ended.”
Later he asks: “our appeasement [of Iran] has led to an escalation of disasters in the past, can it do otherwise in the future?”
Yet, we say, the U.S. armed, trained, and funded both Iran and its enemies. This was insanity, not “appeasement” – insanity carried out by the very men still in control of our government. It is the continuation of that insanity that will lead to more disasters in the future. 
With proper intellectual leadership 9-11 could have galvanized the American public into throwing these gangsters out. (Read the work of Rodney Stich – listed on the Links page of this website – to see why the word “gangsters” is appropriate.) Instead, with the voices of Daniel Pipes, David Horowitz, Norman Podhoretz, Yaron Brook, and Leonard Peikoff in the public’s ear – see Birds of a Feather on this website – the gangsters have acquired unprecedented power.
These gangsters will never deal fairly with either us or the Middle East. To reverse an old saying: “If you’re part of the problem then you’re not part of the solution.” 
Given our current level of government corruption all of Iran could suddenly slide into the Arabian Sea and it would make no difference. The gangsters need an enemy to justify themselves and they will find a new one should the old disappear.
War, Nuclear Weapons and “Innocents” – Onkar Ghate, Sept. 22, 2001.
“... we must destroy not just individual terrorists like Osama bin Laden ... but the power of brutal, authoritarian governments to send out their armies of terrorists against us. Central among these is Iran, but the enemy includes Iraq, Syria, Sudan, the PLO and others.”
Iranian armies and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Ohio? Anyway:
“If our military decides that in this war, as in WWII, it needs nuclear weapons, so be it.”
The Real Person of the Year – Robert Tracinski, Dec. 31, 2001.
The title refers to Time magazine’s cover-page annual competition. After praising Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for his “victory” in Afghanistan, Mr. Tracinski laments that President Bush
“... has refused to support Israel’s war on terrorism, and he can still negate the victory in Afghanistan by ... refusing to apply to Iran and Iraq the same resolve that succeeded in Afghanistan.
“That makes Rumsfeld the real Person of the Year ... .”
Fading Shock and Fading Resolve – Robert Tracinski, Jan. 14, 2002.
“Now – while he [President Bush] still enjoys the momentum of America’s military success [!] in Afghanistan – is the crucial time for the president to rally the American people for the next major stage in the war. The three main targets are clear: Iraq, Iran, and the Palestinian Authority.”
The Palestinian Authority?
The Powell Problem – Robert Tracinski, Feb. 4, 2002.
Mr. Tracinski refers to the recent State of the Union address by President Bush:
“He singled out three state sponsors of terrorism: North Korea, Iran and Iraq. (He neglected, alas, to include the Palestinian Authority.) He branded these countries with a phrase that I hope will stick: they are, he said, an ‘axis of evil.’ ”
Mr. Trancinski quotes more Bush rhetoric, then welcomes “a series of military campaigns to destroy all three regimes.”
No Conflict Between Liberty and Security – Alex Epstein, Aug. 5, 2002.
Mr. Epstein calls for “military action” against “Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia” and other countries assisting “Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas” which seek “to destroy the non-Islamic West.”
The stated goal of al-Qaeda (via the late Bin Laden) is not to destroy the West per se but to be left alone by it. Too bad for the Middle East and its backward ways if it does.
Why We Are Losing the War on Terrorism – Yaron Brook, interviewed on the Peter Mac radio show, Sept. 6, 2002.
After saying “it is important that we go after Iraq,” Mr. Brook says that Iran should be “our primary source” – that is, target – and we must “attack the ideology ... of militant Islam,” “the center [of] which is Iran.” Mr. Brook concludes:
“But I don’t think the Bush administration is ready to do that [attack Iran], so given that they’re not going to do that, then I think Iraq is a good target.”
Evidently Mr. Brook’s guiding principle is: Get your foot in the door no matter what it costs (someone else).
Iran and the “Axis of Evil” – ARI Press Release, Feb. 4, 2002.
“ARI has been a lone voice in the wilderness on the need to target Iran for its terrorist activities.”
The wilderness was not so lonely as all that. ARI writers had the Neocons at the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) there – in the wilderness – to keep them company. Now that Iraq is in chaos the Neocons, like ARI, harp on destroying Iran and Syria.
The Betrayal of The Bush Doctrine – Alex Epstein, Sept. 11, 2002.
Mr. Epstein laments that
“Bush has issued no ultimatums and taken no military action against Iran ... .”
Don’t Blame Our Intelligence Agencies—Blame Our Unprincipled Foreign Policy – Onkar Ghate, July 9, 2002 (republished Sept. 26, 2002 and July 18, 2003).
“September 11 was not the first time America was attacked by Islamic fundamentalists ...”
And Mr. Ghate lists several attacks, including the embassy hostages in Tehran—1979 (he neglects to mention the hostages had been helping prop up a dictator as bad as Saddam, which is why militant students – not necessarily “Islamic fundamentalists” – kidnapped them), the Lebanon Marine barracks bombing—1983 (there because Israel had invaded Lebanon, and the Marines were seen not as “peace keepers” but as allies of Israel), the attack on the USS Cole while in a Yemen port in the Arabian peninsula—2000 (if you engage in war against Israel’s enemies you must expect to be attacked by them  ).
ARI can argue that the U.S. is right to help Israel destroy Israel’s enemies and that therefore these retaliations were unjust, but not that they were unprovoked.
“Did we seek to eliminate enemy states like Iran and Syria and Iraq? No—our responses were short-sighted and self-contradictory.”
A long-sighted and consistent response would recognize that the job of U.S. officials is the defense of Americans in America, not Israelis or Arabs or Africans on the other side of the earth.
The Case Against Iraq – Christian Beenfeldt, October 2002 (The Intellectual Activist).
“A successful campaign against Iraq could serve as a model of American unilateralism and preemptive response, thus becoming a stepping-stone for future actions against Iran and other states.”
The Epistemology of Preemption – Alex Epstein, November 2002 (The Intellectual Activist).
“... the Islamic fundamentalist leaders of Iran ... seek to exterminate us (the ‘Great Satan’) and the other ‘infidels’ in their quest to ensure the triumph of Islam over the West.”
Even if the leaders were all mullahs – especially if they were all mullahs – they could “exterminate us” only if an ant could exterminate a lion.
What ARI and the Neocons are doing is similar to what the conservatives did during the Cold War. Though the West had propped up Soviet Russia right from its beginning they portrayed it as a fearsome adversary.
In her April 11, 1976 Ford Hall Forum talk and later essay (to date unanthologized) “The Moral Factor” Ayn Rand said she was “profoundly opposed to Mr. Ronald Reagan.” One reason she gave was “that to exaggerate the power of the most incompetent nation in the world [Communist Russia] is not a patriotic service to the United States, just as fear is not the proper motive to invoke in order to inspire Americans.”
These days it is Islamism instead of Communism.
War and Morality – Peter Schwartz, Dec. 2, 2002.
“The government of Iran ... which is the wellspring of world terrorism, is a physical threat to America and should be militarily subdued.”
Peacenik Warmongers – Alex Epstein, Dec. 9, 2002.
“Had we annihilated the Iranian regime 23 years ago, we could have thwarted Islamic terrorism at the beginning ...”
What is true is that had the U.S. government – “we” – kept out of Iran in 1953, when the CIA and its counterpart in Britain unleashed Operation Ajax, overthrowing the existing parliamentary secular government and replacing it with a dictator, there would have been no Khomeini. (The overthrown government was socialist, but if “socialism is a step forward in that part of the world” is good for Israel it is good for Iran.) Our government’s constitutional job description does not include mucking around in Persia.
“... if we fail to use our military against state sponsors of terrorism today, imagine the challenge we will face five years from now [now being Dec. 2002] when Iraq and Iran possess nuclear weapons ...”
A prognostication Mr. Epstein perhaps made by reading tarot cards.
Thinking It Alone – Alex Epstein, Oct. 8, 2002.
Mr. Epstein says “we” (that is the U.S. government) can “overwhelm Iraq, or any other nation” without the help or permission of other nations, and concludes that “our leaders ... must – starting with Iraq” do just that. And in passing, and evidently looking to the future, he laments that
“... we take no action against the world’s primary sponsor of terrorism: Iran.”
Bush’s “Most Important Principle” – Alex Epstein, Aug. 2002.
Mr. Epstein refers to
“... the Iranian leaders’ open desire to destroy Western Civilization ...”
Some Muslim clerics do talk like that, but considering Tehran’s skyline of lighted skyscrapers you have to wonder how many Iranian citizens take it seriously.
Mr. Epstein continues, referring to
“the Iranian leaders’ ... and their massive support of terrorism ... .”
Before 9-11 practically all terrorist attacks against Americans, whether supported by Iran or not, were directed at Americans sent on crazy “peace keeping” or propping up missions in the Middle East or Africa (and some Americans caught up in Israel’s Lebanon War of 1982). Which support was more massive, Iran’s failing to prevent Bin Laden’s group traveling through Iran, or the CIA (in league with the ISI) funding and training that group, is a question.
America’s Non-Resolve to Fight Evil – Edward Cline, Jan. 22, 2003.
“The self-evident truths that President Bush struggles to evade are that Iraq, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are our mortal enemies ... .”
“Action should have been taken. It was within the military capabilities of this country.”
“President Bush and his advisors are cowards.”Since Mr. Cline wrote his essay evidently President Bush and his advisors overcame their cowardice regarding Iraq because thousands of American servicemen have been killed there.
They Hate Us, Too – Peter Schwartz, Mar. 17, 2003.
Mr. Schwartz wrote this essay three days before the start of the Iraq invasion. ARI’s subtitle summary reads:
“The hostility of the ‘anti-war’ protestors is not toward war, nor even toward war with Iraq—but toward America and its philosophy of individualism.”
We do not care for the label “anti-war” but if properly construed in the context of today’s events the above is propagandistic cant. In clearer language Mr. Schwartz is saying:
Anyone who opposes the Iraq war is hostile toward America and individualism.
Welcome to ARI.
President Bush, or rather his speech writers, coined the phrase “axis of evil” in his State of the Union Address, 29 January 2002, and used it repeatedly during his run up to the Iraq invasion. In the body of his essay Mr. Schwartz approves of “President Bush’s unequivocal description of Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an ‘axis of evil.’ ” and he claims that “The ‘anti-war’ rallies [against the Neocons invading Iraq] are generated not by any love for Iraq, [that anyone might oppose the invasion out of love for America never occurs to Mr. Schwartz] but by a hatred for America ... .”
And by extension, if you oppose invading Iran you must hate America too. We don’t know the minds of the people who attended the protest rallies but people who love America – those who know that America differs from her government – are coming to realize that for years their government has been using war as a pretext for yet more power over them.
· · ·
Now here are some articles ARI published after the invasion of Iraq, gung-ho this time for an invasion of Iran:
America versus Americans – Leonard Peikoff, Apr. 6, 2003.
In this Ford Hall Forum speech Mr. Peikoff criticizes the Bush administration for having just invaded Iraq – go figure – and having invaded, how Bush is handling the occupation. He also analyzes the public’s reaction to the administration’s policy.
He begins by telling us what he agrees with in that policy:
“Iraq as ruled by Saddam Hussein is or was a brutal dictatorship and an enemy who had to be stopped. Hussein was ominously armed and the country did have some actual ties to the [9-11] terrorists. ... it is very much better to wage war on Iraq than sit on our hands and do nothing.”
— One truth (Saddam Hussein’s rule was a brutal dictatorship), three falsehoods (Iraq was not America’s enemy, Iraq was not ominously armed, and it had no ties with 9-11), and one false dichotomy (there were other options besides doing nothing).
Mr. Peikoff goes on to make a hero of FDR vis-à-vis WW II, a truly disgusting performance and a 180 degree turn from his own earlier book The Ominous Parallels, written when Ayn Rand was still alive. Near the end of chapter 14 of that book:
“Once again [the first once being the first world war], the American public, which was strongly ‘isolationist,’ was manipulated by a pro-war administration into joining an ‘idealistic’ crusade. (On November 27, 1941, ten days before Pearl Harbor, writes John T. Flynn, ‘the President told Secretary Stimson, who wrote it in his diary, that our course was to maneuver the Japanese into attacking us. This would put us into the war and solve his problem.’ ) [from his book The Roosevelt Myth] ” 
(He repeated this history in a speech entitled “What Is a Just War?” at West Point Military Academy, September 30, 2003 – only five months after giving the talk “America versus Americans” reviewed here. Perhaps someone had told him about the contradiction. Will the real Mr. Peikoff please stand up?)
Getting back to Mr. Peikoff’s earlier speech, he approves of the first war against Iraq, the Gulf War, except that he thinks Bush Sr. should have gone on to destroy the Iraq regime. He neglects to mention that the Gulf War was waged in defense of Kuwait, a dictatorship as brutal as Saddam Hussein’s.
Later, and back to addressing the current Iraq war, he says Iran would have been a better target:
“... Iran as by far out gravest enemy.”
“I read today about a few tiny hints from unidentified administration hawks, that Iran’s turn might yet be coming. If so, Bush could still save the world and I’ll throw out this whole speech. But unfortunately so far this scenario is still only a fantasy.”
The Road to Victory Goes Through Tehran – Robert Tracinski, May 14, 2003.
ARI’s subtitle summary: “To Win the War, the U.S. Must Topple Terrorism’s Real Center: Iran.”
“President Bush has declared the end of ‘major combat operations’ in Iraq, but he has not declared victory in the War on Terrorism—and that’s a good thing, because the largest and most important battle in that war still remains to be fought.”
Interesting word “real,” in the subtitle, considering Mr. Tracinski’s earlier agitation for war with Iraq.
Death to Theocracy – Robert Tracinski, June 30, 2003.
ARI’s subtitle summary reads: “America Must Act Now to Bring Down Iran’s Regime.”
At the time ARI published this article almost two years had gone by since they told us Iraq must be invaded now while they soft-pedaled invading Iran. After they got their war the time became ripe for hard-pedaling Iran, and a new now.
The Timid War on Terrorism – Elan Journo and Yaron Brook, Sept. 4, 2003.
In their campaign for invading Iraq Misters Journo and Brook had been telling us over and over that Iraq was a major base of terrorists. Six months after the invasion:
“The Iraq war ... has done nothing to quell Islamic terrorism. ... Iraq was not a major base of terrorists, nor the most significant supporter of them. We have let the arch-sponsors of Islamic terrorism – Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran – believe that they are untouchable.”
The Big Lie: Intelligence Failure in Iraq – Harry Binswanger, Capitalism Magazine Feb. 23, 2004.
In this essay Mr. Binswanger defends the Administration’s decision to invade Iraq. He concludes:
“The Democrats do have something to pillory Bush with ... . It’s not: ‘Why did you think the threat from Iraq was 82% when it was only 58%?’ It’s: ‘Why did you go against the Little Satan, Iraq, while turning a blind eye to the Great Satan, Iran?’ ”
He read ARI’s Op-Eds perhaps?
“... our failure to act against Iran is not a failure of intelligence but of wisdom and courage.”
Diverting the Blame for 9/11 – Onkar Ghate, Mar. 31, 2004.
“Despite the Bush administration’s rhetoric about ending states that sponsor terrorism, President Bush has left the most dangerous of these – Iran – untouched ... .”
What Are You Going To Do About Nick Berg Mr. President? – Edward Cline, Capitalism Magazine May 13, 2004.
Mr. Cline chastises President Bush:
“... when are you going to do something about eradicating Iran’s nuclear weapons development? If you won’t do anything about it, let Israel do something about it, and when it does, back up her action ... . After all, if Iran uses one of its weapons, it will be on Tel Aviv.”
“After all” says it all.
D.I.M. course discussion – Leonard Peikoff, June 23, 2004.
From the transcript of a conversation with one Jason Crawford shortly after Mr. Peikoff’s first D.I.M. course (the one by conference telephone), posted on Mr. Peikoff’s website:
“The great tragedy here is that a great number of rational people, who would have been open in 2001 to a real war (which should have been against Iran), have had years of the Iraq fiasco now and have decided that any war, no matter what, is useless.”
This from the founder of ARI who has veto power over anything ARI would publish yet who vetoed nothing while it broadcast at full volume Relentless Propaganda for invading Iraq.
Of course Iraq was a fiasco, how could it have been otherwise? You would think from the above quote that somehow everyone at ARI had been in the dark about what the Neocons planned to do.
Fight the Root of Terrorism With Bombs, Not Bread – Alex Epstein, July 25, 2005.
“It is precisely in the name of fighting terrorism at its root that America must extend its fist, not its hand. Whatever other areas of the world may require U.S. troops to stop terrorist operations, we must above all go after the single main source of the threat—Iran.”
ARI newbie: How about no bombs and no bread? ARI oldie: Any more back-talk like that and you’re outa here!
The Devilfish of Islamofascism – Edward Cline, Capitalism Magazine Aug. 16, 2005.
“One might argue that Iraq was a good starting place to eradicate our enemy. [Actually ARI did argue that. Why the pussyfooting around?] But why the U.S. should be expending lives and fortune to establish a ‘democratic’ government there, beggars explanation and reason. [1. Evidently killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of random Iraqis does not beggar explanation and reason. 2. Now he tells us.] After Saddam Hussein and his government had been overthrown, we should have moved on to Syria or Iran ... .”
“Devilfish” is an archaic word for octopus. You have to wonder at the medieval-like title, which goes with the insanity of the Crusades.
Death to “Diplomacy” with Iran – Elan Journo, Mar. 25, 2005 and Oct. 27, 2005 (reprinted with a new introduction as “Why ‘Diplomacy’ with Iran Had to Fail” Feb. 6, 2006).
ARI subtitle summary: “European ‘diplomacy’ with Iran – now supported by Washington – is self-destructive.”
Mr. Journo repeats the discredited translation “Israel must be wiped off the map”  along with the text of a sign at a Soviet-like military parade for the masses in Iran, “We will crush America under our feet,” in 2004. Then:
“For years it [Iran] has been fomenting and underwriting savage attacks on Western and American interests, using such proxies as Hezbollah [a group fighting Israel].”
In Mr. Journo’s mind those interests coalesce to one thing: Israel.
“We must recognize the character of Iran and act accordingly. ... Iran should be condemned and its nuclear ambition thwarted, now.”
Opposing Platonic Conservatism: A Matter of Values – John Lewis, Capitalism Magazine October 5, 2004.
Mr. Lewis is described as holding an ARI “Anthem Fellowship for Objectivist Scholarship.” One wonders what scholarship the following was based on, in 2004:
“We are now less than a year away from an Iranian nuke.”
He says that the Iranians (of 20 years ago, we point out) released their American embassy hostages (who had helped support the Shah of Iran, which he neglects to mention) because, he claims, the Iranians were afraid of Reagan when he took office:
“... the Iranians released our hostages the day Ronald Reagan took office – they took his stated ideas seriously.”
In the world of Mr. Lewis there was no “October Surprise,” the perverse rubric by which a certain off-shoot of Iran-Contra is known. In fact the Iranians had planned to release the hostages before they did, but kept them until Reagan assumed office by clandestine agreement with certain Neocons in return for money and weapons. (The “surprise” was that the hostages were not released in October, before the election. Had they been released at that time, President Carter would have defeated Reagan, along with the Neocons riding on his back.)
Will Israel Save Us Again? – John Lewis, Capitalism Magazine Oct. 15, 2003.
“Tel Aviv will be Iran’s first target. The life of every Israeli is on the line. The Israelis understand this fully. Perhaps Israel will again save us. Perhaps we will again be free-riders who benefit from Israel’s defense of her self.”
Free-riders? I am not making this up.
Mr. Lewis says in effect: Israel will save us from Israel’s enemies. Yet if Israel does bomb Iran, the bombs and the jets dropping them will have been paid for and furnished by the United States – as they were in Israel’s invasions of Lebanon. The Iranians will know this, as did the Lebanese, if Mr. Lewis does not. He concludes, regarding Iran:
“... perhaps we will do the proper thing, and destroy the greatest evil in the world ourselves, while we still can. This would be the thanks that Israel deserves, for saving us the last time.”
“Again” and “last time” refer to Israel’s June 7, 1981 attack on Iraq, which to an ARI intellect somehow saved America.
World Opinion Be Damned – Alex Epstein, June 3, 2004.
We review this essay in more detail elsewhere on this website. It is about Abu Ghraib, and by extension the general U.S. torture program – of which ARI wholeheartedly approves. ARI’s subtitle summary: “America’s attempts to appease ‘world opinion’ are depraved and suicidal.” Mr. Epstein yearningly refers to
“... destroying the terrorist regimes that wage war against the West—including Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Authority ...”
The PA in Ohio, along with the PLO?
Compromiser-in-Chief: An Open Letter to President George W. Bush – Edward Cline, Capitalism Magazine June 19, 2004.
Mr. Cline does not call for invading Iran in this article but we quote one of its monumental lies as a prime example of ARI war propaganda. He addresses the President regarding the 9-11 Commission and its finding that Saddam had possessed no WMD:
“... you do not even contradict the commission, which is accusing you of arbitrarily making war on Iraq for specious reasons, when Saddam’s intelligence and military organization was hosting Al-Qaida operatives connected to the 9/11 attacks.”
Pure fantasy. How much of Neocon / ARI propaganda about Iran is likewise made up for the occasion?
Withdraw or Stay the Course in Iraq? Neither. – Yaron Brook, November 18, 2005 (Letter to the Editor).
“In Iraq, we must crush the insurgency immediately – which includes choking its backers, Iran and Syria [Comment: not to mention most Iraqis  ] – and let the Iraqis themselves take on the responsibility of establishing a government that will not threaten America. [It had threatened America?] Once the insurgency is crushed the priority should be on eliminating the regime that is the greatest terrorist and nuclear threat to the United States in the Middle East: Iran. [It is now a nuclear threat?]”
“Muslim Opinion” Be Damned – Alex Epstein, Sept. 6, 2005 and Feb. 6, 2006.
Mr. Epstein urges President Bush to destroy “... terrorist regimes that wage war against the West – including, most notably, Iran ... .”
Most Western governments place few restrictions on who can visit or stay in their country. Why bother with terrorism against the West when it’s committing suicide by immigration? 
Why We Are Losing Hearts and Minds – Keith Lockitch, Aug. 31, 2005 and again on Sept. 6, 2006.
He refers to Iran as “the primary state sponsor of terrorism” and “the fatherland of Islamic totalitarianism.”
Memo from ARI headquarters to Keith Lockitch: Keep up the good work Keith. About that “fatherland of Islamic totalitarianism”: I’m afraid it looks too much like you typed “fountainhead” and then thought better of it. You might use “Motherland” next time. Or “Motherload.” Yes, that’s it, “the Motherload of Islamic totalitarianism.” Note the internal alliteration and rhyme, and how the adjectival phrase scans with the object – it’s a little poem in itself. Or just plain “Mother.”
Well, I made up the memo. Still, you have to wonder at the amazingly bad writing coming out of ARI. Perhaps it indicates the stupidity of the authors, not necessarily stupid in native intelligence, but stupefied by an agenda. (See This Is Our Ally? on this website.)
The “totalitarian” business is more ARI emotionalist cant. Iran, though oppressive and authoritarian, is far from being totalitarian like Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. The truth about Iranian society is bad enough without exaggerating it.
How to Deter the United States – Edward Cline, May 13, 2006.
“The only practical, realistic option open to the U.S. ... is to bite the bullet, attack Iran and destroy it. Only then will ... [the] Iranian populace seek to overthrow the government responsible for inviting such devastation to be visited upon it. Islam would be discredited throughout the Muslim world, which would begin to collapse into itself.”
Yeah, right. Mr. Cline continues:
“While the West, in particular the U.S., wrings its hands over how to deter a nuclear-armed Iran, Iran can count on a more lethal weapon of mass destruction to deter the West and the U.S from annihilating Ahmadeinejad [sic – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran] and his agenda of destruction: philosophical bankruptcy and a commitment to unprincipled pragmatism.”
Annihilate an agenda of destruction, bite the bullet – and we understand Mr. Cline is allowed to write whole novels. But set aside the sophomoric writing. Nothing could be more unprincipled than lashing out at Iran when the fundamental problem lies in the corruption of our government right here at home.
The US-Israeli Suicide Pact – Elan Journo, Nov. 8, 2006.
Published in Arutz Sheva:
“... America and Israel must stop evading the nature of the enemy's cause: our complete destruction. We must stop appeasing our common enemy and embrace self-defense as a matter of intransigent principle. ... to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambition, America must use as much military force as is necessary to dispose of that catastrophic threat and the regime responsible for it.”
What Real War Looks Like – Elan Journo, Dec. 7, 2006.
Mr. Journo writes on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The enemy of today is
“... an ideologically inspired political movement: Islamic totalitarianism. It seeks to subjugate the West under a totalitarian Islamic regime by means of terrorism, negotiation, war ... . The movement’s inspiration, its first triumph, its standard-bearer, is the theocracy of Iran. Iran’s regime has, for decades, used terrorist proxies to attack America.”
Its first triumph? Decades? Ever?
“Destroying Islamic totalitarianism requires a punishing military onslaught to end its primary state representative and demoralize its supporters. We need to deploy all necessary force to destroy Iran’s ability to fight ... . We need a campaign that ruthlessly inflicts the pain of war so intensely that the jihadists renounce their cause as hopeless and fear to take up arms against us.”
Mr. Journo goes on to praise FDR’s response to Pearl Harbor, then laments that:
“The Islamist regime in Iran remains untouched, fomenting terrorism. (And now our leaders hope to ‘engage’ Iran diplomatically.)”
As for Iraq:
“... the campaign there was not aimed at crushing whatever threat Hussein’s regime posed to us. [In other words, it did pose a threat to us.] ‘Shock and awe’ bombing never materialized. [News to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died in the “shock and awe” bombing.] Our ... forces were hamstrung: ordered not to bomb key targets such as power plants and to avoid firing into mosques (where insurgents hide) ... . Instead, we sent our troops to lift Iraq out of poverty, open new schools, fix up hospitals, ... a Peace Corps, not an army corps ... .”
Again and again these absurd exaggerations: Totalitarianism, decades, Iraq a threat, Peace Corps – hysteria rather than reason. Mr. Journo’s conclusion apparently applies to both Iraq and Iran:
“It is past time to consider our only moral and practical option: end the senseless sacrifice of our soldiers—and let them go to war.”
Senseless sacrifice? Now he tells us.
How to Truly Support our Troops – Alex Epstein, Jan. 15, 2007 (republished with changes to the first paragraph as Who Really Supports Our Troops? Sept. 27, 2007).
Mr. Epstein claims that American soldiers are defending America’s freedom by fighting in Iraq, and that instead of the Administration’s staying the course U.S. soldiers should be allowed to “smash” their opponents. Then he gets to the point: On to Iran:
“One does not support our troops by keeping them home when their and our freedom requires military action. Our soldiers did not join the military to sit on their hands while Iran prepares for nuclear jihad.”
We review Mr. Epstein’s essay in detail elsewhere on this website.
Washington’s Make-Believe Policy on Iran – Elan Journo, Feb. 12, 2007.
Mr. Journo says we must “eliminate the Iranian menace.”
“To protect American lives, we must recognize Iran as an enemy stained with U.S. blood and assert ourselves militarily to make it non-threatening. This ... means protecting U.S. lives by destroying Iran’s militant regime.”
The Iran Evasion – Alex Epstein, March 15, 2007.
Iran is “waging terrorist warfare against Israel and America through Hezbollah and other subsidiaries.”
“Iran needs to be attacked and defeated, the sooner the better. This does not mean another Iraqi boondoggle ... it means the destruction of an enemy regime without apology. [Americans murder Iraqis apologetically. – A.W.] We must make it clear that we will no longer tolerate—or evade—aggression from the Islamic Totalitarians.”
Among Mr. Epstein’s evasions two stand out: (1) Israel is no ally of the U.S. (2) Power-lusting men are gradually constructing the apparatus of a totalitarian state – the Military Commissions Act, the Real ID Act, the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, warrantless wiretaps, etc – right here at home, and in the name of fighting “Islamic Totalitarians.”
How to Stop Iran? – Elan Journo, June 20, 2007.
“It is Iran’s commitment to the goal of subjugating infidels ... that motivated its backing of the Hezbollah-Hamas war against Israel and its support for insurgents who slaughter American troops in Iraq.”
Mr. Journo concludes his essay: a “rational” U.S. policy would be one that “ruthlessly renders Iran non-threatening by military force.” And that means “destroying Teheran’s Islamic totalitarian regime.”
The Real Disgrace: Washington’s Battlefield “Ethics” – Elan Journo, July 2, 2007.
Mr. Journo criticizes the Administration’s rules of engagement in Iraq. He says that U.S. soldiers are there to “defend [their] own freedom by defeating enemies” and to “defend America against whatever threat Hussein’s hostile regime posed to us” – a wishy-washy way of saying Hussein’s regime was a threat to us – “as a first step toward defeating our enemies in the region—principally Iran, the arch sponsor of Islamic totalitarianism.”
Not Attacking Iran Would Be Catastrophic – David Holcberg, Sept. 18, 2007 (Letter to the Editor).
“Iran’s leaders are committed to a global Jihad against Western civilization ... .” ... “Given Iran’s murderous goals and its feverish pursuit of the weapons to achieve them, not attacking Iran would be immoral, and truly catastrophic.”
ARI has distributed to the news media over a dozen different Letters to the Editor calling for an Iran War. The Santa Barbara News-Press published the one above.
A Policy to Defeat Islamic Totalitarianism – John Lewis, Dec. 14, 2008 (part of the “Facing Jihad” conference, held in Jerusalem, Israel, and sponsored by the Ariel Centre for Policy Review).
After defining “Islamic Totalitarianism” he says:
On “a military strategic level, I do not see how this threat can be eliminated as long as the Islamic state of Iran is allowed to exist.”
He goes on to say that Iran must be made an “example in the world” by some “horrific” consequence. Not that he’s suggesting Iran be wiped off the map or anything like that.
Our Self-Crippled War – Elan Journo, Sept. 10, 2009.
Mr. Journo begins by insinuating the lie that Iran sponsored the 9-11 attack. Iran, he says, was and still is the jihadist movement’s “inspiration and standard-bearer” and “the leading sponsor of terrorism.” He then says that American troops are being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, not because they are there, but because they fight compassionately – believe it or not there are no civilian casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan worth mentioning – and he quotes a military spokesman to make you believe it. The U.S. could fight without American casualties, Mr. Journo continues, by allowing its “unmatched military to do its job—without qualification” and “crush the jihadists.” That will “protect Americans” at home. The reader may then draw his own conclusion about bombing Iran.
· · ·
That concludes our parade of “onward to Iran” articles issuing from ARI, not a complete list but then you get the idea. Now some general remarks about Iran.
Right now, not prognosticated years from now, Iran possesses weapons of mass destruction. They have had chemical weapons in quantity for at least twenty years – WMD just like Saddam was supposed to have had, plus missiles more advanced than he was supposed to have had. If Iran’s real leaders were as insane as ARI makes out, and harps on and frets over, the people at ARI might ask themselves why the Iranians never used their WMD against the United States during all that time.
ARI would reply: Who cares, they backed the 9-11 attack. To the people at ARI it is obvious, “self-evident,” that Iran backed 9-11. There is a lot of Neocon propaganda to that effect, but reputable news sources limit the Iran connection to the Iranian government having failed to prevent Bin Laden’s group from moving through Iran as it had done for two decades. None of the 9-11 hijackers were from Iran. The group had camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, large areas of which are uncontrolled by their governments – and the same can be said of Iran. That the Iranian government knew the group was planning to attack on U.S. soil is an extraordinary allegation, and requires evidence.
ARI might reply that this is the wrong question. The Iranian government ought to have made it its business to know about the group’s plans, and then have hunted down the group and destroyed it. ARI thus would hold the Iranian government to a higher standard than it does the governments of the U.S. and Germany, which unknowingly or not sheltered Bin Laden’s group long before the attack and right up to it – if not after.
Doubtless Iran does seek possession of nuclear bombs, thus joining India, Pakistan, China, Israel (which lies about it) and Russia in that part of the world.  As it is, Iran – on its own devices – is years, if ever, away from building a nuclear bomb. Yet ARI writers say invade Iran now, now, NOW, if not now then when ? – the same breathless campaign they waged for the Iraq invasion.
“If ever build” because Iran’s leaders are ill-equipped to master-supervise an atom bomb project. Few competent nuclear physicists and engineers – whose work requires some degree of intelligent thought – are religious fanatics or would serve the bizarre combination that runs Iran.  They might purchase a readymade bomb from Russia, but by themselves we believe the 5 years minimum estimate given in 2009 by more reputable sources than ARI vastly underestimates the time.
Scott Ritter is a former Marine, military intelligence officer and U.N. weapons inspector famous for speaking out during the run-up to the Iraq invasion, saying that Saddam’s weapons were being grossly exaggerated. From his book Target Iran:
“If Iran does ... develop nuclear weapons, it will take them a decade and it won’t go undetected. ... it will take the U.S. only five weeks to build up a force capable of destroying Iran by air strikes.” 
He holds Israel and its sympathizers at AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, effectively a foreign lobby though not registered as such  ) responsible for U.S. Middle East policy:
“If there is an American war with Iran, it [will be] a war that was made in Israel ... .”
Israel is not the only problem. There are the military contractors, allied to politicians, to whom war is a thriving business. There is the executive branch, with the connivance of Congress, to whom war means yet more power.
ARI incessantly refers to “our brave soldiers” in Iraq, and repeatedly says let “our brave soldiers” invade Iran. It is past time we had some bravery and action among the civilians here at home and they – figuratively – stormed Washington. The key is the Justice Department: the corruption there enables all the rest. Access to the key, though it will not be easy, is Congress – also corrupt as hell. (There are still a few good people in the Justice Department and Congress, and still more people in Congress who fear public reaction – even if it is a long time coming.)
The political influence of the mullahs in Iran might well have degenerated by this time had the U.S. (and Israel) not supported the Iranian theocracy after the revolution of 1979, even as their government officials denounced it in public. For those readers who know the history of the Soviet Union vis-à-vis the United States: Iran is the Soviet Union all over again.
“We – will – bury you !”
– Nikita Khrushchev, in a speech to U.S. diplomats, 1956.The film-clip made great propaganda during the Cold War. 
To review, we have touched on several points:
• ARI is nuts about Israel.
• ARI promotes the Iran war just as it promoted the Iraq war.
• ARI was dishonest in promoting the Iraq war.
• Iran is hardly more a threat than Iraq was. The United States fearing Iran is like a lion fearing an ant.
• War is the very last resort. Currently there is no reason to invade Iran.
We must put an end to the worst of the corruption inside our own government before it is any use addressing what that corruption has created, and to be sure, that corruption is largely responsible for the armed hatred – both the arming and the hatred – from Third World countries. We have far more to fear from government-connected gangsters here at home than from Iranian mullahs on the other side of the earth left to themselves. The gangsters really do hate us for our freedom, and act on that hatred every day.
1 “US to sell 20 billion dollars of arms to Saudis, Gulf states” AFP, July 28, 2007; “US and Israel in $30bn arms deal” BBC News 16 August 2007 (the “deal” being a gift). ARI speaks out against this, except for the part about more foreign aid to Israel.
“Ancient History: U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly of Intervention” by Sheldon Richman, the Cato Institute.
“For sale: the West’s nuclear secrets”
“Nukes, Spooks, and the Specter of 9/11”
See also “Sibel Edmonds” on the Links page of this website, also the sections “Arming Our Enemies” and “Iraq.”
2 “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” by Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, March 5, 2007.
“America’s Alliance With bin Laden” by Justin Raimondo, February 26, 2007.
“US backing ‘secret war’ against Iran?” by Eoin O’Carroll, April 5, 2007.
“Afghan Taliban Camps Were Built by NATO”
(re-titled) by Tim Weiner
New York Times August 24, 1998.
“Afghan Camps, Hidden in Hills, Stymied Soviet Attacks for Years”
The above article mentions the sum spent by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia (the later with U.S. sanction), $6 billion, but not how it breaks between the two countries.
The official account is that Bin Laden himself thought he was dealing only with the Pakistanis.
The name “al-Qaeda” (or “al-Qa’eda”), meaning “the base” as in database, originated with the CIA. Only later did Bin Laden adopt the term. According to Robin Cook, former Leader of Britain’s House of Commons:
“Al-Qaida was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.”
Former French Military Intelligence official Pierre Henry Bunel:
“ The truth is, there is no [unified] Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ ...”
The following approving description of U.S. idiocy is by Joyce Battle, Middle East Analyst, National Security Archive at George Washington University, during an online discussion hosted by the Washington Post, Feb. 27, 2003:
“The U.S., for many years, held the view that promoting Islamist beliefs would effectively counter the spread of communist ideology in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa, and [the U.S.] was not at all opposed to Saudi support for conservative Islamist movements. In return, the U.S. presence in various military facilities in Saudi Arabia is widely viewed as the ultimate guarantor of the Saudi royal family’s continuing rule.”
She goes on to say that this was in the mutual “self-interest” of the U.S. and the Saudi royal family!
See also footnote 16 below.
4 One often reads that the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. The full story is they came there in collusion with the Afghan government. At first the Soviets merely advised and provided armament to the government. The crazy notion of the US CIA was to send in “al-Qaeda” to disrupt Afghan affairs and thus lure the Soviets into sending troops to aid the government in restoring order. The CIA believed that such a Soviet occupation would become a quagmire for the Soviets and deplete their military resources. And so it did, only the price was “al-Qaeda.”
For more about the Soviets in Afghanistan see:
Cooperative Research timeline for Soviet and Afghanistan
5 Note that al-Qaeda never was an integrated group, per footnote 3 above regarding the name “al-Qaeda.” The CIA and the Soviet-Afghan war provided temporary focus, but afterwards it broke into a plurality, some groups fighting each other. Men loyal to Bin Laden became just one group among many.
7 “If they [“those who threaten Israel’s freedom”] succeed in destroying Israel, they will turn their full attention to the United States.” – from the introduction to ARI’s webpage “In Moral Defense of Israel,” accessed August 2007.
Why, since Israel would be nothing without U.S. handouts, their attention would not be on the U.S. anyway ARI does not say. Nor does ARI address why Israel failed to work as a decoy on 9-11. Without acknowledging it ARI refers to the U.S. rather than say Switzerland, because Switzerland is not the host on which Israel feeds.
Ayn Rand on WW II on this website.
9 The distinction is between “third and fourth generation” warfare, between the methods used in World War II and those used by the Afghans and Iraqis – individual men or small cells independent of one another or only loosely associated. See “William Lind” on the Links page of this website.
10 Immigrants would have to be denaturalized first. A constitutional amendment would be required to make this legal.
Regarding Rushdie see footnote 15 below. In the U.S. at least, the Fatwa had the effect of promoting Rushdie’s work. We visited our local Barnes and Noble bookstore last week and found multiple copies of seven of Rushdie’s books, including three copies of The Satanic Verses.
The occasion for ARI’s republication of Mr. Peikoff’s essay was not anything Iran had done. A religious leader in Pakistan and another in India had called for the assassination of Danish political cartoonists who had mocked Mohammad in their work (rather like drawing a caricature of Jesus Christ with horns). Though one might wonder why display such vulgarity, they did have every right to do it.
We will have more to say on Mr. Peikoff’s essay when we deal with ARI’s hypocrisy regarding free speech.
Links page of this website.
Fooled into Bombing Libya on this website.
13 Here is a photograph and silent video clip of Rumsfeld and Saddam, from the National Security Archives, December 20, 1983:
This was not the first time the U.S. had aided Saddam Hussein. In 1963 the CIA supported a coup in Iraq to install the Ba’ath Party, and Saddam was a prominent member. The Ba’ath Party Interior Minister Ali Saleh Saadi has said: “We came to power on a CIA train.”
14 Earlier, on October 31, 1998, Clinton had signed into law the “Iraq Liberation Act” (H.R. 4655) which gave 97 million dollars to Iraqi groups opposed to Saddam Hussein. This helped finance Ahmed Chalibi’s embryonic Iraqi National Congress, which in turn helped the Neocons lie their way to the Iraq War. See
15 In Berkley and the Bronx respectively. Fortunately there were no personal injuries in the U.S. Salman Rushdie’s publisher, based in the U.S., and bookstores that carried his book suffered financially for a time paying for security.
Salman Rushdie was an immigrant to Britain from India. He had written a novel, The Satanic Verses, making fun of Mohammad. Consequently the governments of India, Pakistan and some other Middle East countries banned the book. Somewhat later Khomeini in Iran called on Muslims around the world to kill Rushdie, a Fatwa, and an Iranian Islamic foundation offered a bounty of about 2.5 million dollars. For a time some fifth column elements in the U.S. and Europe threatened those promoting the book. Actual attacks were far worse in Europe, which has a far greater Muslim population than the U.S. (and a higher percentage of militant ones).
Probably because of strong security no attempt was made against Rushdie, though apparently an attack was planned that instead blew up the planner. A Muslim cleric in Belgium and the book’s Japanese translator were murdered, apparently by Muslims. In the entire United States there were between one and two hundred vain threats of death or destruction, plus the three actual attacks mentioned in the text: minor property damage at two bookstores and a fire that gutted one newspaper office after hours.
Khomeini died in 1989 soon after issuing the Fatwa. In September 1998, after the election of Mohammad Khatami in 1996, the Iranian government officially rescinded it. Since then contradictory statements have come out of Iran’s jerrybuilt power structure, the President saying the death sentence is closed, some other branches of the government saying it is still in effect. In any case apparently there have been no more attacks against Rushdie’s defenders, perhaps because there are too many of us.
It is true, as Mr. Peikoff says, that the value of Rushdie’s book is irrelevant here. Good, bad, or indifferent – it is in fact worthless – publishers and booksellers have a right to publish and sell his book. But a fifth column obedient to Ayatollah is a domestic problem, a criminal problem combined with an immigration problem, not an act of war.
Links page of this website.
Another point: In his article Mr. Peikoff claims that Reagan “failed to retaliate after 241 U.S. marines in Lebanon were slaughtered ... .” Mr. Peikoff is mistaken. The Navy and Air Force spent nine months bombing the Chouf (also spelled Shuuf) Mountains and surrounding area. See More About Israel’s Invasion of Lebanon, 1982 on this website:
17 Observed by Walter E. Davis in his article “September 11th and the Bush Administration.”
18 One aspect of the USS Cole attack ARI leaves out. In the 1980s one Jamal al-Badawi trained in one of the CIA / ISI / bin-Laden guerrilla camps in Afghanistan and then fought for the CIA in Bosnia. Years later he put his training to another bad use: he helped plan the bombing of the USS Cole.
Links page of this website, especially the book Day of Deceit by Robert Stinnett, who had the benefit of documents declassified since Mr. Flynn’s book. His title is a take-off on FDR’s podium words “day of infamy” – the word “infamy” ringing in every WW II documentary.
Ayn Rand wrote the introduction to The Ominous Parallels and had offered constructive criticism when Mr. Peikoff was working on the book. According to Mr. Peikoff’s wife Amy (Objectivism Online Forum, January 19, 2004):
“Rand read over the Ominous Parallels as Leonard was writing it. I’ve seen pages of early drafts marked up in her hand.”
Too bad she was not there to mark up “America versus Americans.”
For an engaging discussion of Roosevelt’s Communist complicity see:
“FDR Winked at Soviet Espionage”
“FDR Tipped Pro-Soviet Hand Early”
“How FDR Dragged Out WW II for Stalin”
all by David Martin.
20 “Like the Soviets in Russia, the regime ruling over Jerusalem shall disappear from the pages of time.” For analysis of the “wiped off the map” allegation see:
“ ‘Wiped Off the Map’ – The Rumor of the Century” by Arash Norouzi, May 26, 2007.
“Caught Red-Handed: Media Backtracks on Iran’s Anti-Israel ‘Threat’ ” by Arash Norouzi, July 2, 2007.
“Does Iran’s President Want Israel Wiped Off the Map?” by Anneliese Fikentscher and Andreas Neumann, translated by Erik Appleby, April 19, 2006.
21 Most Iraqi “insurgents” are native Iraqis. Note that U.S. officials have made a label change since Mr. Brook wrote his article: all Iraqi insurgents are now “al-Qaeda.”
Links page of this website.
24 See “Iran, Who holds the power”
And “Nuclear plans in chaos as Iran leader flounders”
The Observer (Guardian) January 28, 2007
25 It can be argued that this would be unnecessary, that deterrence is possible and in fact would be the better option. See: “The Bottom Line on Iran: The Costs and Benefits of Preventive War versus Deterrence,” by Justin Logan, a paper published by the Cato Institute, Dec. 4, 2006.
“U.S. Says Iran Ended Atomic Arms Work”
New York Times December 3, 2007
26 See, for example, “Why this AIPAC conference is different from all other years,” by Nathan Guttman, The Forward, March 2010.
“This year, the lobby has built its annual conference, and its entire lobbying agenda around the issue of Iran. When AIPAC activists mount the buses March 23 to go meet their representatives on Capitol Hill, they’ll be carrying an advocacy message that emphasizes Iran as the immediate and current concern.
“In lobbying meetings following the conference, AIPAC will also ask members of Congress to complete the new Iran sanctions bill ... .
“Another issue on the lobbying agenda will be reiterating the need to keep up foreign aid to Israel. ...”
Links page of this website.