#43 – Million Here, Million There, Pretty Soon We’re Talking “Real People”

What was the end game for the Trump administration’s reckless actions in Iraq. You remember those tit-for-tat killings in late December and early January. Those provocations could easily have, and still may, result in a war with Iran.  Who benefits from a U.S. – Iranian war?

When the United States assassinated a senior Iranian official, Qassem Soleimani, it openly killed a member of Iran’s government, a country with which the U.S. was not at war.  This is unusual enough, but the crime was committed in Iraq, a country with which both the US and Iran have a “working” relationship. These U.S. actions appeared to be aimed toward war. Diabolical, insane or just part of a larger plan. 

Upon the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, most of the immediate propaganda reasons were dispelled. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s justification, that Soleimani was in Iraq planning an “imminent” mass killing of Americans or Trump claiming that it didn’t matter whether there was an imminent threat: Soleimani was a “bad guy” so he deserved to be assassinated. The real reason was to provoke Iran into a response that would have justified a “hugely” retaliation.

Evidence shattered the Trump administration lies. Soleimani was in Baghdad to discuss with the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi a plan that might lead to the de-escalation of the ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. We also know now that they lied about the “imminent threat” because the killing of Soleimani was planned in June of 2019.

The planning of Qassem Soleimani leads to yet another of the Bush administrations retreads. David Wurmser, a longtime advocate of war with Iraq in the Bush administration, wrote several memos to then-national security adviser John Bolton in May and June of 2019. In the documents, according to Bloomberg, Wurmser argued that aggressive action by the U.S. – such as the killing of Soleimani — would, in Wurmser’s words, “rattle the delicate internal balance of forces and the control over them upon which the [Iranian] regime depends for stability and survival.”

I mention Wurmser because just recently the White House acknowledged that Wurmser is now serving as an informal adviser to the Trump administration. According to Bloomberg News, Wurmser helped make the case for the drone strike that assassinated Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani. The neoconservatives in the Bush Administration, like Wurmser, Bolton and Abrams, oddly enough keep on reappearing. Their actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven disastrous for U.S. interests. Why do the U.S. citizens have to tolerate these warmongers? 

In the mid-1990s Wurmser worked for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank greatly influenced by AIPAC. In 1996, he was one of the main thinkers behind a policy document titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” that was prepared by an Israeli think tank for then-incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in 1996. 

The paper called for Israel to engage in preemptive attacks on its perceived foes and a “focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.” Then in 1999, Wurmser wrote a book titled “Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein,” In which Wurmser said, “the menace from Saddam’s Iraq will continue to grow” if the U.S. did not remove him from power.

After 9/11, Wurmser’s promoted the idea the U.S. had to respond to Al Qaeda by, as the 9/11 Commission later put it, hitting a “non-Al Qaeda target like Iraq.” Wurmser was the senior adviser to Bolton, then-undersecretary at the State Department, together they  became the vociferous champions of a regime change war with Iraq. Wurmser and Bolton got what they wanted when the U.S. led invasion of Iraq began in March 2003.

Rest assured, with Wurmser in the ear of Trump we can expect more Soleimani moments considering that he has stated, if the U.S. failed to “trigger a fundamental change in behavior” by Iran’s leaders that America might “have to think seriously about going directly into Iran.”

Wurmser already shares the responsibility for hundreds of thousand deaths and the lives of millions that have been blighted by the Iraqi War. A million in Iraq, a million in Afghanistan what’s another million in Iran, pretty soon we’ll be talking “real people.”

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