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Bolton’s Radical Reshaping Plan for Mideast Included “Mind Boggling” Strikes on Iran, Syria, and Iraq

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | January 14, 2019

WASHINGTON — In 2017, less than a year before he became national security advisor, John Bolton promised a gathering of the Mujahedeen Khalq (MEK) that:

The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran. … The behavior and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself. … And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!”

While some may have thought Bolton’s statements of regime change in Iran before 2019 were just more bellicose rhetoric from a well-known Iran hawk, a report published Sunday in the Wall Street Journal has revealed that Bolton did everything within his power to push for President Donald Trump to launch a military attack on Iran.

According to the Journal, Trump’s national security team – which is led by Bolton – requested that the Pentagon develop “far-reaching military options to strike Iran” last September after Shia militias in Iraq fired three mortars at the U.S. embassy and diplomatic compound in Baghdad. As the report noted, the shells “landed in an open lot and harmed no one,” but the group that fired them is alleged to have ties with Iran.

This incident, though minor, notably took place amid considerable unrest in the Iraqi city of Basra and during competing efforts by the U.S. and Iran to influence the formation of Iraq’s next national government.

Nevertheless, the minor nature of the incident was apparently the perfect pretext for Bolton and others on the national security team – which Bolton has been stocking with war hawks for much of the past year – to push for a military strike on Iran, something Bolton himself has long sought, as evidenced by his numerous speeches and editorials calling for preemptive bombing of the Islamic Republic.

For instance, in one meeting, Mira Ricardel – then serving as Bolton’s ultra-hawkish deputy national security advisor – described the attacks in Iraq as “an act of war” and said the U.S. had to respond decisively. Ricardel is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former executive of U.S. weapons-maker Boeing but left her post last November as result of friction with First Lady Melania Trump.

In addition, during those meetings, the Journal noted that Bolton did not even attempt to hide his real motivations, as he “made it clear that he personally supports regime change in Iran, a position he aggressively championed before joining the Trump administration, according to people familiar with the discussions.”

As a result of those meetings, the Bolton-led National Security Council pushed for an attack plan on Iran so brazen that it deeply concerned Pentagon and State Department officials. One former senior U.S. administration official told the Journal that the request “definitely rattled people” and added that “people were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”

In other words, using a remarkably minor incident as a pretext, the Bolton-led group of hawks that compose the majority of Trump’s National Security Council (NSC) was preparing to launch a full-scale regime-change war on Iran. To make matters worse, the Journal also reported that the Pentagon had “complied with the NSC’s request to develop options for striking Iran,” meaning that Bolton and his team now have a range of Pentagon-developed strategies for bombing Iran at their fingertips.

Bolton’s obsession and unkept promise

Bolton‘s push to bomb Iran last September over such a minor incident may seem strange, but Bolton’s history makes it clear that he has long sought any excuse – from the minor to the non-existent – to justify waging war against Iran’s current government.

As MintPress reported last year, Bolton’s past indicates a near obsession with clearing the way for U.S. military action against Iran. As journalist Gareth Porter has noted, while Bolton was the Bush administration’s key policymaker on Iran, he — by flouting State Department protocol and taking several unannounced trips to Israel — “actively conspired … to establish the political conditions necessary for the administration to carry out military action” against Iran.

Not only that, but Bolton’s behind-the-scenes dealings — using fabricated evidence, provided to him by an Iranian terrorist group that Bolton still openly supports, to convince the United Nations that Iran was secretly developing a nuclear weapon — led Iran’s nuclear program to become a matter overseen by the United Nations Security Council, as opposed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Since becoming national security advisor, Bolton has continued to make this claim — as recently as last week — despite its having been rejected by the U.S. intelligence community repeatedly since 2007.

The terror group relied on by Bolton, Mujahedeen Khalq (MEK), was listed as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” by the United States government from 1997 and 2012 and, in the past, has conducted terror acts to accomplish its goals, killing Iranians as well as Americans in the process. More recently, MEK has worked with Israeli Intelligence to murder Iranian scientists. Since its removal from the government’s terror group list after an extensive lobbying effort that targeted prominent U.S. politicians, MEK has sought to reinvent itself as a “moderate” Iranian opposition group even though it has next to no support within Iran and has consistently been characterized as both “cultish” and “authoritarian.”

It was to this very group that Bolton had promised regime change in Tehran in 2019, a promise he ultimately failed to keep, but not for lack of trying.

“Sunni-stan,” partition, and a Middle East rebuilt to suit

Another highly significant revelation of the Journal’s report, which has been largely overlooked, is that the plans for “military options” that Bolton and his team requested from the Pentagon also included strategies for launching strikes, not just in Iran, but in Syria and Iraq. As the report noted, “the National Security Council asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with options to respond with strikes in Iraq and Syria as well, according to people familiar with the talks.”

Bolton’s willingness to bring Syria and Iraq into the fray betrays the fact that he is not just seeking regime change in individual countries but seeking to remake the Middle East as a whole. Indeed, both Syria and Iraq have long been in Bolton’s crosshairs, as evidenced by his 2015 editorial in the New York Times where he calls for the partition of both countries in order to benefit the United States, Israel and “friendly Arab” states like Saudi Arabia.

Bolton’s partition plan involves the creation of a Sunni state out of northeastern Syria and western Iraq, which he nicknames “Sunni-stan.” He asserts that such a country has “economic potential” as an oil producer, would be a “bulwark” against the Syrian government and “Iran-allied Baghdad,” and would help defeat Daesh (ISIS).

Bolton’s mention of oil is notable, as the proposed area for this Sunni state sits on key oil fields that U.S. oil interests, such as ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers, have sought to control if the partition of Iraq and Syria comes to pass. Also notable is the fact that the area of Syria Bolton mentions is the area currently being illegally occupied by the United States. This could well be a driving factor in Bolton’s desire to delay or prevent the U.S. troop withdrawal in northeastern Syria.

However, the most notable part of the Bolton’s editorial calling for the creation of “Sunni-stan” is that he mentions exactly who would benefit from this partition, and it certainly isn’t the Syrians or the Iraqis. “Restoring Iraqi and Syrian governments to their former borders,” Bolton writes, “is a goal fundamentally contrary to American, Israeli and friendly Arab state interests.” In other words, allowing the Syrian government to return to its former borders is “contrary” to the interests of the nations that Bolton supports and that he seeks to make the dominant powers in the Middle East through his aggressive policy for the region.

With Bolton and his team on the National Security Council armed with the tools to bomb both Syria and Iran, it’s only a matter of time before Bolton finds the perfect pretext to begin enacting his vision for a “new” Middle East, most likely starting with Iran.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

January 14, 2019 - Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Shades of Dr. Strangelove. Careful scrutiny would undoubtedly reveal that the Iranians are messing with our precious bodily fluids.

    Comment by traducteur | January 14, 2019 | Reply

  2. Bolton is a deranged psychopath, and should be fully assessed to see what his problems are. If he gets his way, multi thousands of American soldiers, sailors and Airmen will die, pursuing his goals(ie Israel’s Goals), and for what?
    Iran is a sovereign country, and who gives a toss if it is run by Mullahs, who don’t go around attacking other countries like The USA does.
    And when it comes to “Regime Change”, I think that comes under the heading of “Influencing internal affairs of another country, which the USA is currently accusing Russia of(while conveniently ignoring Israel’s “Undue Influence in USA Politics.)
    It’s time for the LIES and Hypocrisy of the USA GOVERNMENT to stop!
    Why is it that guys in the USA like Bolton, never get assassinated?

    Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | January 14, 2019 | Reply

  3. From Ben Fulford’s latest report:

    “The dragnet is also closing in on the rogue state of Israel and their satan-worshiping and criminally indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Pentagon sources say.  On that front, the big kahuna, 9/11, is being taken on.  Trump’s speech on January 8th was exactly 9 minutes and 11 seconds long.  This is a prelude to Trump declaring a national emergency and releasing all the 9/11 files, the sources say.

    Also, an “Israel-drafted anti-BDS bill to provide $38 billion in aid and punish political speech was defeated twice in the Senate (56-44, 53-43, and it needs 60 votes) as moves are afoot to purge Congress of Israeli dual-citizens and traitors,” the Pentagon sources say.  (BDS = Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.)

    Furthermore, the global boycott of Israel is intensifying as “as HSBC Bank divests from Israeli arms merchant Elbit Systems, Airbnb bans West Bank listings, and Brazil may not move its embassy to Jerusalem,” the sources say.

    Netanyahu’s neocon slave boy John Bolton “got his wings clipped” by Turkish President Recep Erdoğan and top U.S. General Joseph Dunford when he tried last week to stop the U.S. military withdrawal from Syria, they add.

    Meanwhile, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, General James Mattis, and General John Kelly are running military tribunals with intelligence support from former NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers and former Defense Intelligence Agency boss Mike Flynn, who are currently dealing with the above-mentioned KKR and Petraeus, the sources say.

    With the U.S. government now shut down for the fourth consecutive week and no end in sight, the whole world can see that the days of the U.S. Corporation are numbered.  Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian Roscosmos State Space Corporation, cancelled his planned February visit to NASA (“not a space agency”), because the “second American civil war” is under way.  Also, the fact that NASA’s money has been cut off by the shutdown was undoubtedly a factor in the cancelled visit.
    http://tass.com/science/1039354

    The shutdown means that as more and more unpaid prison guards and air traffic controllers call in sick, and as food benefits run out for the 44 million Americans relying on them, chaos is coming to the U.S.

    For the few remaining Kool-Aid drinkers out there who still believe the U.S. government shutdown is about funding an already-funded wall, we would like to remind them that the U.S. has a cumulative trade deficit of over $11 trillion, a government deficit of over $22 trillion, and unfunded liabilities of $210 trillion, versus a GDP of $19 trillion.  So if you are earning $19,000 a year and have debts of $243,000, would you want to declare bankruptcy or remain an impoverished debt slave for the rest of your life?”

    Comment by Leland Roth | January 14, 2019 | Reply

  4. The cocky, Revoltin’ Bolton has got to go. Faster, please. (Thanks to Whitney Webb for her great analysis; I also admire the three comments just read by me.)

    Comment by roberthstiver | January 15, 2019 | Reply


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