The US government tries very hard to pretend that they just don’t understand why those “other people” over-react when we terrorize them with drone-bombs and interfere in their governments, when in fact we know very well that the reactions of other countries will be anger and a desire for revenge. The Pentagon insists it is some sort of inscrutable butterfly effect. (Well, who could have foreseen that Saddam would be such a douche-bag to his own people? Especially after we worked so hard to put him in power. Now we have to do something about it, sigh.) Truth is, we are the butterflies, albeit very heavily armed ones, and we know exactly and perfectly well that we are unleashing chaos. That is, in fact, the point.
Seymour Hersch wrote an article in ’08 which opens with this:
“Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program.
“Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since last year. These have included seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of “high-value targets” in the President’s war on terror, who may be captured or killed. But the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded, according to the current and former officials. Many of these activities are not specified in the new Finding, and some congressional leaders have had serious questions about their nature.
“Under federal law, a Presidential Finding, which is highly classified, must be issued when a covert intelligence operation gets under way and, at a minimum, must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and the Senate and to the ranking members of their respective intelligence committees—the so-called Gang of Eight. Money for the operation can then be reprogrammed from previous appropriations, as needed, by the relevant congressional committees, which also can be briefed.
“The Finding was focussed on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” a person familiar with its contents said, and involved “working with opposition groups and passing money.” The Finding provided for a whole new range of activities in southern Iran and in the areas, in the east, where Baluchi political opposition is strong, he said.”
Does one suppose that the Iranians are completely unaware that we are doing this? And do we suppose that our inference in their nation and its politics, yet again, will not make them want to build some protection for themselves and cause their leadership to lash out about America and its Pax Americana goals?
When I read about the things we do in and to foreign countries, unprovoked, I always speculate about the reversal of the scenario: Suppose some foreign country decided that the American KKK was subversive, anti-democratic, and a potential terrorist threat to them as non-whites. They decide to declare a “war on terror” and claim the right to drone-bomb members of the KKK, infiltrate the US clandestinely to target and remove the leadership of the KKK to other countries where they will be tortured and interrogated. They expand the definition of KKK to include anyone who has ever associated, knowingly or not, with a member of that group. What would our reaction be? Even though most of us (I hope) find the KKK really repulsive, we would leap to their defense, wouldn’t we?
But then my musings come to a screeching halt as I realize that 30% of the American population would just ascribe the disappearance of their neighbors to The Rapture, don baptismal gowns and go sit on their roof-tops to await Jesus.