Man Who Sold America The Iraq War Just Warned Iran Is Next... But Is Anyone Listening?

Authored by Carey Wedler via,

Fifteen years after the calamitous U.S. invasion of Iraq, an architect of the propaganda used to drum up support for the war is warning that it’s happening again — this time with Iran.

Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, helped the then-secretary “paint a clear picture that war was the only choice” in his infamous 2003 speech to the U.N. This week, writing for the New York Times — an outlet that, at the time, parroted misleading narratives in support of the war — Wilkerson accused the Trump administration of manipulating evidence and fear-mongering in the same way the Bush administration did to cultivate public support for ousting Saddam Hussein.

In his Monday op-ed, titled “ I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again,” he wrote:

As his chief of staff, I helped Secretary Powell paint a clear picture that war was the only choice, that when ‘we confront a regime that harbors ambitions for regional domination, hides weapons of mass destruction and provides haven and active support for terrorists, we are not confronting the past, we are confronting the present. And unless we act, we are confronting an even more frightening future.’”

Though the U.N. and much of the world didn’t buy it, Wilkerson says Americans did, and it amounted to the culmination of a two-year effort by the Bush administration to initiate the war, which he now condemns.

That effort led to a war of choice with Iraq — one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East,” he wrote, going on to call out the Trump administration for pushing the United States down the same path in Iran.

This should not be forgotten,” he urged, “since the Trump administration is using much the same playbook to create a false impression that war is the only way to address the threats posed by Iran.”

Wilkerson singled out Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, for her recent saber-rattling against Iran. He accused her of presenting questionable evidence that “Iran was not complying with Security Council resolutions regarding its ballistic missile program and Yemen,” comparing her directly to Powell. “Just like Mr. Powell, Ms. Haley showed satellite images and other physical evidence available only to the United States intelligence community to prove her case. But the evidence fell significantly short.”

Wilkerson accused Haley’s claims about Iran of essentially mirroring Powell’s claims about Iraq, also warning that war with Iran will be very different. It is “a country of almost 80 million people whose vast strategic depth and difficult terrain make it a far greater challenge than Iraq, would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq war in terms of casualties and costs,” he cautioned, still asserting that countries like China, Russia, and North Korea pose far more “formidable challenges to America” than Iran does.

The former chief of staff to Powell further criticized the Trump administration, citing its National Security Strategy, which claims:

The longer we ignore threats from countries determined to proliferate and develop weapons of mass destruction, the worse such threats become, and the fewer defensive options we have.”

The Bush-Cheney team could not have said it better as it contemplated invading Iraq,” Wilkerson wrote, going on to call out not just Haley and the Trump administration but also the executive branch in general, Congress, and the media.

“Though Ms. Haley’s presentation missed the mark, and no one other than the national security elite will even read the strategy, it won’t matter,” he lamented.

We’ve seen this before: a campaign built on the politicization of intelligence and shortsighted policy decisions to make the case for war. And the American people have apparently become so accustomed to executive branch warmongering — approved almost unanimously by the Congress — that such actions are not significantly contested.

He implicated the news media, as well, noting that outlets recently “failed to refute false narratives” from the Trump administration that Iran worked with Al-Qaeda to undermine the U.S. (never forget the CIA’s overseas meddling helped lay the foundation for Al-Qaeda in the first place, and its policy of arming extremists in Syria also ended up empowering the terror group). He compared this false conflation with Dick Cheney’s attempts to link Saddam Hussein to Al-Qaeda during the Bush years.

Nevertheless, Wilkerson wrote, “[t]oday, the analysts claiming close ties between Al Qaeda and Iran come from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which vehemently opposes the Iran nuclear deal and unabashedly calls for regime change in Iran.”

He went on to list the variety of ways the Trump administration is drumming up unfounded support for war against Iran:

We should include the president’s decertification ultimatum in January that Congress must ‘fix’ the Iran nuclear deal, despite the reality of Iran’s compliance; the White House’s pressure on the intelligence community to cook up evidence of Iran’s noncompliance; and the administration’s choosing to view the recent protests in Iran as the beginning of regime change. Like the Bush administration before, these seemingly disconnected events serve to create a narrative in which war with Iran is the only viable policy.

Considering Iran has long been a crown jewel in the U.S. hegemonic efforts, it should be no surprise the Trump administration isn’t budging on its plans to intervene. Wilkerson, however, knows far better than most the dangers of pushing unsubstantiated claims to advocate war.

He warned:

As I look back at our lock-step march toward war with Iraq, I realize that it didn’t seem to matter to us that we used shoddy or cherry-picked intelligence; that it was unrealistic to argue that the war would ‘pay for itself,’ rather than cost trillions of dollars; that we might be hopelessly naïve in thinking that the war would lead to democracy instead of pushing the region into a downward spiral.

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Pure Evil Life of Illusion Wed, 02/07/2018 - 18:30 Permalink

There is no unified Iran of nearly 80 million. There are various ethnic tribes that are ruled by the theocratic mullahs located Tehran.

Sorta like the US is made up of various ethnic tribes that don't get along that all that well together. North against South, East against West, black against white against hispanic, muslim against christian. All these little clans (tribes) jockeying for power.

There are plenty of tribes in Iran that hate the Persians and vice-versa.

But war with Iran might require a re-instatement of the draft. Not a very happy outcome for those in the 18-27 age range.

If you can't get millenials to stop looking at their iPhones long enough to drive down the block what makes anyone think they'll drop their iPhones long enough to pick up a gun to shoot at someone.

In reply to by Life of Illusion

sixsigma cygnu… Pure Evil Wed, 02/07/2018 - 18:33 Permalink

Shouldn't we be encouraging the Saudis and the Iranians to go at it toe to toe?  Why have proxy wars all over the place?  Leave us out of it.  The world will be a better place.

Plus it could create a place for all the overflow to leave Europe and the rest of the world and return to their natural burqa-wearing habitat.

Remind me again how many muslim refugees the Saudis took in again...? And yet they somehow found the money to offer to build hundreds of mosques in Europe to accommodate all the new refugees.…


In reply to by Pure Evil

Baron von Bud skbull44 Wed, 02/07/2018 - 18:51 Permalink

It's about the oil - absolutely right. We're fracking 10mbd of watery sharpening stone oil but we really need the sweet crude of the middle east. And, can't have those Russians selling the stuff through Iranian pipelines. What a screwed up country we've become. Who makes these crazy war decisions? Why try to put the other guy down when we should be fixing ourselves up. I need to move somewhere sane and get away from these crackpots. Ecuador sounds nice. I could affect a Mexican accent so they wouldn't all be afraid me going insane and killing the whole village.

In reply to by skbull44

uhland62 Pure Evil Wed, 02/07/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

The military themselves does not want the draft because people with guns who do not want to be there are no assets.

Even if the US can install a US friendly government again in Tehran they have to be an expensive oppressive occupation power. After installing the Shah again in 1953 it took one generation = 26 years for being kicked out again.

That will happen again and in the meantime being the occupyer of Iran will be very expensive, but having no debt ceiling helps here of course.

People who don't think Iran should be conquered and occupied by force should not enlist and make life for the war proponents a little difficult at every turn. Don't do sports in High School because you will be targeted for recruitment. Be a little obese, better live a few years less than be dead or a cripple. Think of Afghanistan next door: Operation Enduring Freedom - enduring indeed. 

In reply to by Pure Evil

BobEore peopledontwanttruth Wed, 02/07/2018 - 20:54 Permalink

"Iran" is the homeland. The wealth, power and influence enjoyed by the "Exilarch era of BABYLONIAN talmudism

was without parallel... all latter day propaganda about 'the holy land' aside. And they've always longed to have it back.

Take the territory of modern day Iran...join it up with the old Volga River HQ of the khazars... throw in the southern Black Sea coast of todays "Georgia" - where it all began...

you've got a master plan!  Being executed now, before the eyes of a sightless, complicit media.

In reply to by peopledontwanttruth

HRClinton Rick Cerone Wed, 02/07/2018 - 20:05 Permalink

No it won't cost of the Elite blood.

You are looking at it all wrong. It is not about 'stopping Iran'. It is about stopping Silk Road South. And with it, it is about extending the lifespan of the petrodollar.

And yes, it is also about extending Israel's Lebensraum into Lebanon, so that Israelis can make a grab for water and offshore gas fields -- so they can sell gas to the EU and thumb their noses at Russia.

Expect this to happen sometime after the Olympics and before World Cup Soccer in Russia. You can bank on it.

And they'll succeed too. Because Syria is kaput, Iran is too far away to matter, and Russia only fights Jihadi Mercs from long range. This one is done like dinner.

(I have no dog in this fight, but that's the cold logical conclusion that I come to.)

In reply to by Rick Cerone

HoPewGassed Rick Cerone Thu, 02/08/2018 - 10:50 Permalink

" The next false flag attack on America will cost the elite some blood. "

Heh, you wish. 

So do I. 

Snowden showed us the NSA is capturing everything everywhere all the time.  What has happened? nothing. 

Americans keep getting evidence of traitorous criminality by gov and corporate leaders.  And NGO's?- fuggetaboutit.  Nothing comes of it. 

Who's gonna starting shooting back? 

Cold, dead hands - pffft. 

In reply to by Rick Cerone

HRClinton peopledontwanttruth Wed, 02/07/2018 - 20:44 Permalink

The US and Israel do NOT need to "beat" Iran in a prolonged war.

All they need to do to "win" (achieve their 2 Strategic Objectives), is to ruin enough of Iran's infrastructure, to stop and delay Silk Road South by a few years.

By which time the Israelis will be using water from Lebanon's Litani river, and send Levant Natgas to the EU. Check mate.

In reply to by peopledontwanttruth

Rico nmewn Wed, 02/07/2018 - 20:17 Permalink

lol, what a are happy that you are being robbed* 15% less? You are thankful for that? Are you also thankful when your cell mate shoves 15% less of his dick in your ass??.do you thank him for that too..amazing..

*taxes are theft back by violence,  thus immoral - no argument can ever negate this simple truth..

In reply to by nmewn

RagnarRedux Wed, 02/07/2018 - 18:21 Permalink

The Ethnic Clique That Sold Us The Iraq War

Eretz Israel: Future Israel

A Strategy For Israel In The Nineteen Eighties

This essay originally appeared in Hebrew in KIVUNIM (Directions), A Journal for Judaism and Zionism; Issue No, 14--Winter, 5742, February 1982, Editor: Yoram Beck. Editorial Committee: Eli Eyal, Yoram Beck, Amnon Hadari, Yohanan Manor, Elieser Schweid. Published by the Department of Publicity/The World Zionist Organization, Jerusalem.

"Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi'ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization.1"

Captain Nemo d… RagnarRedux Wed, 02/07/2018 - 18:30 Permalink

I seriously think it is time to stop blaming any one group. If everyone knows it and still follows them, whose fault is it?

As the great George "Terrerrists never stop looking for new ways to harm us, and neither do we" Dubya heard somewhere in Texas or was it Mississippi or Tennessee ... fool me once shame on you ...fool me twice you can't get fooled again.

In reply to by RagnarRedux

NuYawkFrankie Wed, 02/07/2018 - 18:24 Permalink

re Iran Is Next...

THAT will mark the END of America... which MAYBE (cough! cough!) was the ZOG Plan all along:
"Squeeze ONE last 'War for Israel' outta that delusional demented ol' coot Uncle Sam - this time The BIGGUN, IRAN! - and then pull the plug... if he hasn't already been nuked in a blow-back or (((otherwise))) incapacitated to preclude any interference with the NEW Middle East Super Power"

Or, more succinctly:
"Once we squeeze all we can out of the United States, it can dry up and blow away.”. Benjamin Netanyahu

Not if_ But When Wed, 02/07/2018 - 18:25 Permalink

And I'll be waiting for the first Iran conflict Congressional naysayer to be called unpatriotic.  As will happen to two-tour Middle East Theater military veteran Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard when she shows common sense supplemented by first hand experience.

mabuhay1 Wed, 02/07/2018 - 18:25 Permalink

The invasion of Iraq was correct, the actual combat was a fiasco due to poor high, medium, and low (tactical) leadership.  Over time the lower levers became better, the high levels stayed messed up.  We should have been able to accomplish the rebuilding of Iraq so that it became a independent state able to defend itself from Iran.  Instead Iraq is now a dependent of Iran, thanks to mismanagement of the reconstruction phase.

As for Iran, war is coming no matter what your Russian handlers want, Tyler and company.  Trying to claim propaganda by others is very rich, since your site is propaganda in itself.