The Anti-Empire Report

[Target Iran]

By: Tom Burghardt


PREFACE

The Bible speaks of a great "Latter Day" nation that shall rise up at the "end of the age;" a nation that will glorify herself as a dazzlingly beautiful QUEEN (Rev. 18:7), but a nation that the Bible says is -

"... DREADFUL and TERRIBLE, and STRONG EXCEEDINGLY with great iron teeth: that DEVOURS and BRAKES IN PIECES, and stamps the residue (i.e., those who remain) with its feet ..." (Daniel 7:7)

An overflowing scourge

Isaiah describes this nation as an "OVERFLOWING SCOURGE" (Is. 28:18) - and the Bible goes on to say that this "BEAST-NATION" (Dan. 7:7) will gain mastery over the entire earth and establish a ONE-WORLD EMPIRE that will bring ruin and poverty to the peoples and nations of the world. [For a detailed Scriptural identification of this great "Latter Day" nation, please see our article, "In Search of Babylon" What Does the Bible Say?]

A one-world empire that will dominate the earth and bring it under its control? - one that the Bible says will be "DREADFUL!" "TERRIBLE!" "STRONG EXCEEDINGLY!" - and one that "DEVOURS" and "BRAKES IN PIECES!" What nation is that? - Mozambique? Zambia? Costa Rica? Or maybe - as many Christians would say - the European Union (which is now in the process of disintegration)? [Please see Chapter XII of the New Antipas Papers, "The Beast of Revelation 17;" please also see our article, "America vs. Europe."]

The answer is obvious to anyone outside American Christian circles, proving once again that -

"... the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." (Luke 16:8)

Come on now, can there be any doubt that it's America? What other nation today can even come close to such a description? For example, Thomas Donnelly, Deputy Executive Director of the Project for the New American Century, writing for the magazine, Foreign Affairs [a CFR publication], writes:

"THE FACT OF A (ONE-WORLD) AMERICAN EMPIRE IS HARDLY DEBATED THESE DAYS. Even those who fear and oppose it - in this country, the libertarian right and the remnants of the new left; abroad, a variety of voices from Paris to Baghdad to Beijing - define international politics almost entirely in relation to U.S. power, and especially U.S. military power."

PEOPLE TEND TO FORGET THAT - AS MAO TSE-TUNG SAID - "POWER FLOWS OUT OF THE BARREL OF A GUN" and America has the "biggest and baddest" guns in the world.

The word "empire" is derived from the word "imperialism," which Michael Parenti describes as -

"... a process whereby the dominant politico-economic interests of one nation EXPROPRIATE for their own enrichment the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another people."

Think about that! - imperialism is the process whereby one nation ROBS, LOOTS, STEALS, and PILLAGES the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another nation. And isn't that exactly what America is doing in Nicaragua, Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, Angola, Nigeria, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, ad nauseum? That's certainly what the great majority of people in those nations think - but I suppose they're all wrong, and Americans are right in thinking that they are only being "little angels" in these countries - and that the only purpose their multinational corporations are there for is to "uplift" these people economically and bring them "the blessings of democracy?" If you think that, I have a life-time membership in the Flat Earth Society I would like to sell you!

Moreover, the form of imperialism that the United States practices today is a particularly vile and cruel kind - "CAPITALIST IMPERIALISM." Parenti explains:

"Imperialism (itself) is older than capitalism. The Persian, Macedonian, Roman, and Mongol empires all existed centuries before the ... Rockefellers (and the DuPonts). Emperors and conquistadors were interested mostly in plunder and tribute, gold and glory ...

"Capitalist imperialism differs from these earlier forms in the way it SYSTEMATICALLY accumulates capital through the ORGANIZED exploitation of labor and the penetration of overseas markets. Capitalist imperialism invests in other countries, dominating their economies, cultures, and political life, and integrating (their) structures into an international system of CAPITAL ACCUMULATION."

AMERICAN IMPERIALISM

Imperialism is the process whereby one nation ROBS, LOOTS, STEALS, and PILLAGES the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another nation

Iran in America's crosshairs

As William Blum says,

"It can not be repeated too often: The secret to understanding US foreign policy is that there is no secret. Principally, one must come to the realization that the United States strives to dominate the world. Once one understands that, much of the apparent confusion, contradiction, and ambiguity surrounding Washington's policies fades away."

Zeroing in on America's predatory interest in Iran, Blum goes on to say,

"Examine a map: Iran sits directly between two of the United States' great obsessions — Iraq and Afghanistan ... directly between two of the world's greatest oil regions — the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea areas ...!"

That should make America's interest in Iran clear. Blum continues:

"There's no letup, is there? The preparation of the American mind, the world mind, for the next gala performance of D&D — Death and Destruction. The Bunker Buster bombs are now 30,000 pounds each one, six times as heavy as the previous delightful model ...

"But the Masters of War still want to be loved; they need for you to believe them when they say they have no choice, that Iran is the latest threat to life as we know it, no time to waste.

"The preparation of minds was just as fervent before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. And when it turned out that Iraq did not have any kind of arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) ... well, our power elite found other justifications for the invasion."

THEY SIMPLY LIED ABOUT IT! That's what they are doing today regarding Iran - and, sadly, there is Israel, right in the midst of the lying - assisting the American New World Order System in order to ingratiate themselves with the elites who govern it. Naturally enough, that's where today's church can also be found.

Israel and the church: Prostituting themselves out as WHORES to the American New World Order System. [Please see our article, "Israel: Prostituting Herself out to the American new World Order System;" please also see "Apostasy: Christianity in the Service of a Religio-Political-Corporate-Terrorist State."]

What follows is a blow-by-blow account by Tom Burghardt of how America - with Israel's assistance - is setting up Iran for attack, an attack that has very little to do with Iran as a "nuclear threat" and everything to do with seizing control of Iran's oil wealth.

-- Antipas

__________________________________________

AMERICA: The world's global Godfather.

The Iranian people know what it means to earn the enmity of the global godfather.

As William Blum documented in Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, 1953's CIA-organized coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, guilty of the "crime" of nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, may have "saved" Iran from a nonexistent "Red Menace," but it left that oil-rich nation in proverbial "safe hands"--those of the brutal dictatorship of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.

Similarly today, a nonexistent "nuclear threat" is the pretext being used by Washington to install a "friendly" regime in Tehran and undercut geopolitical rivals China and Russia in the process, thereby "securing" the country's vast petrochemical wealth for American multinationals.

America's and Israel's covert war against Iran.

As the U.S. and Israel ramp-up covert operations against Iran, the Pentagon "has laid out its most explicit cyber-warfare policy to date, stating that if directed by the president, it will launch 'offensive cyber operations' in response to hostile acts," according to The Washington Post.

Citing "a long-overdue report to Congress released late Monday," we're informed that "hostile acts may include 'significant cyber attacks directed against the U.S. economy, government or military'," unnamed Defense Department officials stated.

However, Air Force General Robert Kehler, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) told Reuters,

"I do not believe that we need new explicit authorities to conduct offensive operations of any kind."

The Pentagon report, which is still not publicly available, asserts:

"We reserve the right to use all necessary means--diplomatic, informational, military and economic--to defend our nation, our allies, our partners and our interests."

Washington's "interests," which first and foremost include "securing its hegemony over the energy-rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia" ... may lead the crisis-ridden U.S. Empire "to take another irresponsible gamble to shore up its interests in the Middle East ... as a means of diverting attention from the social devastation produced by its austerity agenda." [Please see our article, "ISRAEL: Prostituting Herself out to the American New World Order System."]

Recent media reports suggest however, that offensive cyber operations are only part of Washington's multipronged strategy to soften-up the Islamic Republic's defenses as a prelude to "regime change."

Terrorist Proxies

For the better part of six decades, terrorist proxies have done America's dirty work. Hardly relics of the Cold War past, U.S. and allied secret state agencies are using such forces to carry out attacks inside Iran today. [Again, please see our article, "ISRAEL: Prostituting Herself out to the American New World Order System."]

Asia Times Online reported that "deadly explosions at a military base about 60 kilometers southwest of Tehran, coinciding with the suspicious death of the son of a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, have triggered speculation in Iran on whether or not these are connected to recent United States threats to resort to extrajudicial executions of IRGC leaders."

The high-profile status of Brigadier General Hassan Moghaddam will add to speculation that the explosion was an act of sabotage aimed at the country's nuclear weapons programme.

And Time Magazine, a frequent outlet for sanctioned leaks from the Pentagon, reported that the blast at the Iranian missile base west of Tehran, which killed upwards of 40 people according to the latest estimates, including Major General Hassan Moqqadam, a senior leader of Iran's missile program, was described as the work "of Israel's external intelligence service, Mossad." [Again, please see our article, "ISRAEL: Prostituting Herself out to the American New World Order System."]

An unnamed "Western intelligence source" told reporter Karl Vick:

"'Don't believe the Iranians that it was an accident,' adding that other sabotage is being planned to impede the Iranian ability to develop and deliver a nuclear weapon. 'There are more bullets in the magazine,' the official says."

While Iranian officials insist that the huge blast was an "accident," multiple accounts in the corporate press and among independent analysts provide strong evidence for the claim that Israel and their terrorist cat's paw, the bizarre political cult, Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) were responsible for the attack.

NOTE: Yediot Aharonot, the biggest-selling Israeli newspaper, reports that the MEK is a pawn of the Mossad and the CIA - despite its appearance on various terrorist "watch sites."

Citing "an Israeli source with extensive senior political and military experience," Silverstein's correspondent provided -

"... an exclusive report that it was the work of the Mossad in collaboration with the MEK."

Hardly a stranger to controversial reporting, Silverstein published excerpts of secret FBI transcripts leaked to him by the heroic whistleblower Shamai Leibowitz. Those wiretapped conversations of Israeli diplomats caught spying on the U.S. -

"... described an Israeli diplomatic campaign in this country to create a hostile environment for relations with Iran."

In a Truthout piece, Silverstein wrote that Leibowitz, a former IDF soldier who refused to serve in the Occupied Territories -

"... explained that he was convinced from his work on these recordings that the Israel foreign ministry and its officials in this country were responsible for a perception management campaign directed against Iran. He worried that such an effort might end with either Israel or the US attacking Iran and that this would be a disaster for both countries."

Unfortunately, while Leibowitz sits in a U.S. prison his warnings are all but ignored.

According to Silverstein's latest account,

"... it is widely known within intelligence circles that the Israelis use the MEK for varied acts of espionage and terror ranging from fraudulent Iranian memos alleging work on nuclear trigger devices to assassinations of nuclear scientists and bombings of sensitive military installations."

Silverstein noted that "a similar act of sabotage happened a little more than a year ago at another IRG missile base which killed nearly 20."

Terrorist attacks targeting defense installations coupled with the murder of Iranian scientist, five "targeted killings" have occurred since 2010, aren't the only aggressive actions underway. On Friday, The Washington Post reported that -

"... a series of mysterious incidents involving explosions at natural gas transport facilities, oil refineries and military bases ... have caused dozens of deaths and damage to key infrastructure in the past two years."

According to the Post, "suspicions have been raised in Iran by what industry experts say is a fivefold increase in explosions at refineries and gas pipelines since 2010."

With Iran's oil industry under a strict sanctions regime by the West, maintenance of this critical industrial sector has undoubtedly suffered neglect due to the lack of spare parts.

However, "suspicions that covert action might already be underway were raised when four key gas pipelines exploded simultaneously in different locations in Qom Province in April," the Post disclosed.

"Lawmaker Parviz Sorouri told the semiofficial Mehr News Agency that the blasts were the work of 'terrorists' and were 'organized by the enemies of the Islamic Republic'," hardly an exaggerated charge given present tensions.

Whether or not these attacks were the handiwork of Mossad, their MEK proxies or even CIA paramilitary officers and Pentagon Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) commandos, as Seymour Hersh revealed more than three years ago in The New Yorker, it is clear that Washington and Tel Aviv are "preparing the battlespace" on multiple fronts.

'Collapse the Iranian Economy'

Along with covert operations and terrorist attacks inside the Islamic Republic, on the political front, a bipartisan consensus has clearly emerged in Washington in favor of strangling the Iranian economy.

Indeed, congressional grifters are threatening to crater Iran's Central Bank, an unvarnished act of war. IPS reported that neocon Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), "a key pro-Israel senator," has offered legislation "that would effectively ban international financial companies that do business with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) from participating in the U.S. economy."

"Dubbed the 'nuclear option' by its critics," Jim Lobe reported that "the measure, which was introduced Thursday in the form of an amendment to the 2012 defence authorization bill, is designed to 'collapse the Iranian economy'... by making it virtually impossible for Tehran to sell its oil."

However, "independent experts," Lobe wrote, "including some officials in the administration of President Barack Obama, say the impact of such legislation, if it became law, could spark a major spike in global oil prices that would push Washington's allies in Europe even deeper into recession and destroy the dwindling chances for economic recovery here."

That amendment was introduced as tensions were brought to a boil over allegations by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its latest report that Iran may be seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano claims the Agency has "identified outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme and actions required of Iran to resolve these."

"Since 2002," Amano averred -

"... "the Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile, about which the Agency has regularly received new information."

However, despite the fact that the "Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities," to whit, that such materials have not been covertly channeled towards military programs, Amano, reprising former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's famous gaff that "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence," the IAEA "is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities."

Far from being an independent "nuclear watchdog," the IAEA under Amano's stewardship has been transformed into highly-politicized and pliable organization eager to do Washington's bidding.

As a 2009 State Department cable released by WikiLeaks revealed, U.S. Ambassador Glyn Davies cheerily reported:

"Yukiya Amano thanked the U.S. for having supported his candidacy and took pains to emphasize his support for U.S. strategic objectives for the Agency. Amano reminded Ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77, which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program."

Although the new report "offered little that was not already known by experts about Iran's nuclear programme" IPS averred, "it cited what it alleged was new evidence that 'Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device' since 2003--the date when most analysts believe it abandoned a centralized effort to build a nuclear bomb'."

But as the United States, with the connivance of corporate media, bury the conclusions of not one, but two National Intelligence Estimates issued by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, it is clear to any objective observer that "nonproliferation" is a cover for aggressive geopolitical machinations by Washington.

Both estimates, roundly denounced by U.S. neoconservatives and media commentators when they were published, insisted that "in fall of 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program," a finding intelligence analysts judged with "high confidence."

In contrast, the highly-politicized IAEA report is a provocative document whose timing neatly corresponds with the imposition of a new round of economic sanctions meant to crater the Iranian economy. Never mind that even according to the IAEA's own biased reporting, they could find no evidence that Iran had diverted nuclear materials from civilian programs (power generation, medical isotopes) to alleged military initiatives.

Indeed, with sinister allusions that hint darkly at "undeclared nuclear materials," the agency fails to provide a single scrap of evidence that diverted stockpiles even exist.

Another key allegation made by the Agency that Iran had constructed an "explosives chamber to test components of a nuclear weapon and carry out a simulated nuclear explosion," was denounced by former IAEA inspector Robert Kelley as "highly misleading," according to an IPS report filed by investigative journalist Gareth Porter.

With "information provided by Member States," presumably Israel and the United States, the IAEA said it "had 'confirmed' that a 'large cylindrical object' housed at the same complex had been 'designed to contain the detonation of up to 70 kilograms of high explosives'. That amount of explosives, it said, would be 'appropriate' for testing a detonation system to trigger a nuclear weapon."

"Kelley rejected the IAEA claim that the alleged cylindrical chamber was new evidence of an Iranian weapons programme," Porter wrote. "We've been led by the nose to believe that this container is important, when in fact it's not important at all," the former nuclear inspector said.

But as Mark Twain famously wrote, "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." This is certainly proving to be the case with the IAEA under Yukiya Amano.

Another player "solidly in the U.S. court" is David Albright, the director of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington, D.C. "think tank" funded by the elitist Carnegie, Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.

In an earlier piece for IPS, Porter demolished Albright's "sensational claim previously reported by news media all over the world that a former Soviet nuclear weapons scientist had helped Iran construct a detonation system that could be used for a nuclear weapon."

"But it turns out that the foreign expert, who is not named in the IAEA report but was identified in news reports as Vyacheslav Danilenko, is not a nuclear weapons scientist but one of the top specialists in the world in the production of nanodiamonds by explosives," Porter wrote.

"In fact," Porter averred, "Danilenko, a Ukrainian, has worked solely on nanodiamonds from the beginning of his research career and is considered one of the pioneers in the development of nanodiamond technology, as published scientific papers confirm."

___________________________

'Nanodiamonds ain't nuclear bombs'

This is a detonation tank to create nanodia-monds, not a nuclear device.

A report reveals that a scientist accused of helping Iran in its nuclear program has been working on the production of nanodiamonds via detonations and not weapons production or nuclear science.

The Washington Post claimed that Ukrainian scientist Vyacheslav Danilenko allegedly tutored Iranians on building high-precision detonators to be used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction. Danilenko, however, has worked on the production of nanodiamonds via detonations since 1962, invented new methods used in the process and is related with Alit, a Ukrainian company that produces nanodiamonds, the Moon of Alabama website reported. The diamonds produced in this process are useful for many purposes, like polishing optics or PC hard disks. Iran is researching on detonation nanodiamonds after launching a Nano Technology Initiative. Iran is officially planning to produce nanodiamonds on an industrial scale. The country also holds regular international conferences and invites nanotechnology experts from all over the world, said the report. It added that it is quite likely that famous international scientists in that field, such as Dr. Danilenko, have been invited, gave lectures in Iran and cooperated with Iranian scientists.

According to the report, producing nanodiamonds via detonations uses large confined containers with water cooling, for which Danilenko seems to have a patent. The detonation nanodiamond explanation thereby dismisses another allegation from the IAEA report: The Associated Press reported that UN officials have acquired satellite photos of a bus-size steel container used by Iran for some of the explosives testing. Having a "bus-size steel container" for explosive testing and research cooperation with Danilenko both fit very well with Iran's plans for nanodiamond production. They do not fit well with anything nuclear, the report concluded.

___________________________

"It now appears that the IAEA and David Albright ... who was the source of the news reports about Danilenko, never bothered to check the accuracy of the original claim by an unnamed 'Member State' on which the IAEA based its assertion about his nuclear weapons background."

It is no small irony, that Albright, corporate media's go-to guy on all things nuclear, penned an alarmist screed in 2002 entitled, "Is the Activity at Al Qaim Related to Nuclear Efforts?", an article which lent "scientific" credence to false claims made by the Bush White House against Iraq.

As investigative journalist Robert Parry pointed out on the Consortium News web site, "Albright's nuclear warning about Iraq coincided with the start of the Bush administration's propaganda campaign to rally Congress and the American people to war with talk about 'the smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud'."

"Yet," Parry noted, "when the Washington Post cited Albright on Monday, as the key source of a front-page article about Iran's supposed progress toward reaching 'nuclear capability,' all the history of Albright's role in the Iraq fiasco disappeared."

America's and Israel's whisper campaign

History be damned. Congressional warmongers and corporate media who cite these fraudulent claims, are "spurred by Israel's whisper campaign to create a sense of urgency on Capitol Hill where the Israel lobby, acting mainly through the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, exerts its greatest influence," as IPS noted, and punish Iran for the "crime" of opening its nuclear facilities to international inspection!

That "whisper campaign" has now bloomed into a full court press for war by "liberal" Democrats and "conservative" Republicans alike, even as public approval of Congress's work by the American people tracks only slightly higher than the popularity enjoyed by child molesters or serial killers.

As tensions are dialed up, the United States is spearheading a relentless drive to throttle Iran's economy. The New York Times reported that "major Western powers took significant steps on Monday to cut Iran off from the international financial system, announcing coordinated sanctions aimed at its central bank and commercial banks."

A strict sanctions regime was also imposed on Iran's "petrochemical and oil industries, adding to existing measures that seek to weaken the Iranian government by depriving it of its ability to refine gasoline or invest in its petroleum industry," the Times reported.

In a move which signals that even-more stringent sanctions are on the horizon, the U.S. Treasury Department "named the Central Bank of Iran and the entire Iranian banking system as a 'primary money laundering concern'."

That's rather rich coming from an administration which slapped Wachovia Bank on the wrist after that corrupt financial institution, now owned by Wells Fargo Bank, pleaded guilty to laundering as much as $378 billion for Mexico's notorious drug cartels as Bloomberg Markets Magazine reported last year!

Going a step further, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy called on the major imperialist powers "to freeze the assets of the central bank and suspend purchases of Iranian oil."

The Guardian reported that Britain "went the furthest by, for the first time, cutting an entire country's banking system off from London's financial sector."

Playing catch-up with war-hungry Democrats and Republicans, President Obama stated that the "new sanctions target for the first time Iran's petrochemical sector, prohibiting the provision of goods, services and technology to this sector and authorizing penalties against any person or entity that engages in such activity."

"They expand energy sanctions, making it more difficult for Iran to operate, maintain, and modernize its oil and gas sector," Obama said.

"As long as Iran continues down this dangerous path, the United States will continue to find ways, both in concert with our partners and through our own actions, to isolate and increase the pressure upon the Iranian regime."

Last summer, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), a strong backer of punishing sanctions, echoed Richard Nixon's vow to "make the economy scream" prior to the CIA's overthrow of Chile's democratically-elected socialist president, Salvador Allende, and wrote in The Hill that "critics ... argued that these measures will hurt the Iranian people. Quite frankly, we need to do just that."

With a new round of crippling economic sanctions on tap from the West, "liberal" Democrat Sherman might just get his wish.

Targeting Civilian Infrastructure

While the Obama administration claims that their aggressive stance towards Iran is meant to promote "peace" and "help" the Iranian people achieve a "democratic transformation," ubiquitous facts on the ground betray a far different, and uglier, reality.

Anonymous U.S. "intelligence officials" told The Daily Beast "that any Israeli attack on hardened nuclear sites in Iran would go far beyond airstrikes from F-15 and F-16 fighter planes and likely include electronic warfare against Iran's electric grid, Internet, cellphone network, and emergency frequencies for firemen and police officers."

According to Newsweek national security correspondent Eli Lake, "Israel has developed a weapon capable of mimicking a maintenance cellphone signal that commands a cell network to 'sleep,' effectively stopping transmissions, officials confirmed. The Israelis also have jammers capable of creating interference within Iran's emergency frequencies for first responders."

But Israel isn't the only nation capable of launching high-tech attacks or, borrowing the Pentagon's euphemistic language, conduct "Information Operations" (IO).

The U.S. Air Force Cyberspace & Infor-mation Operations Study Center (CIOSC)

The U.S. Air Force Cyberspace & Information Operations Study Center (CIOSC) describe IO as "The integrated employment of the core capabilities of electronic warfare, computer network operations, psychological operations, military deception and operations security, in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities, to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decision making while protecting our own."

In this light, The Daily Beast disclosed that "Israel also likely would exploit a vulnerability that U.S. officials detected two years ago in Iran's big-city electric grids, which are not 'air-gapped'--meaning they are connected to the Internet and therefore vulnerable to a Stuxnet-style cyberattack--officials say."

The anonymous officials cited by Lake informed us that "a highly secretive research lab attached to the U.S. joint staff and combatant commands, known as the Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC), discovered the weakness in Iran's electrical grid in 2009," the same period when Stuxnet was launched, and that Israeli and Pentagon cyberwarriors "have the capability to bring a denial-of-service attack to nodes of Iran's command and control system that rely on the Internet."

But as Ralph Langer, the industrial controls systems expert who first identified the Stuxnet virus warned in an interview with The Christian Science Monitor, the deployment of military-grade malicious code is a "game changer" that has "opened Pandora's box."

Among a host of troubling questions posed by Stuxnet, Langer said: "It raises, for one, the question of how to apply cyberwar as a political decision. Is the US really willing to take down the power grid of another nation when that might mainly affect civilians?"

But as we have seen, most recently during the punishing air campaign that helped "liberate" Libya--from their petrochemical resources--the U.S. and their partners are capable of doing that and more.

Future targeting of Iran's civilian infrastructure may in fact have been one of the tasks of the recently-discovered Duqu Trojan, which Israeli and U.S. "boutique arms dealers" are suspected of designing for their respective governments.

And whom, pray tell, has the means, motives and expertise to design weaponized computer code?

As BusinessWeek disclosed in July, when one of America's cyber merchants of death, Endgame Systems, pitch their products they "bring up maps of airports, parliament buildings, and corporate offices. The executives then create a list of the computers running inside the facilities, including what software the computers run, and a menu of attacks that could work against those particular systems."

According to BusinessWeek, "Endgame weaponry comes customized by region--the Middle East, Russia, Latin America, and China--with manuals, testing software, and 'demo instructions'."

"A government or other entity," journalists Michael Riley and Ashlee Vance revealed, "could launch sophisticated attacks against just about any adversary anywhere in the world for a grand total of $6 million. Ease of use is a premium. It's cyber warfare in a box."

Kaspersky Lab analyst Ryan Naraine, writing on the Duqu FAQ blog averred that Duqu's "main purpose is to act as a backdoor into the system and facilitate the theft of private information. This is the main difference when compared to Stuxnet, which was created to conduct industrial sabotage."

In other words, unlike Stuxnet, Duqu is an espionage tool which can smooth the way for future attacks such as those described by The Daily Beast.

As The Washington Post disclosed last May, while the military "needs presidential authorization to penetrate a foreign computer network and leave a cyber-virus that can be activated later," it does not need such authorization "to penetrate foreign networks for a variety of other activities."

According to the Post, these activities include "studying the cyber-capabilities of adversaries or examining how power plants or other networks operate," and can "leave beacons to mark spots for later targeting by viruses."

Or more likely given escalating tensions, Iranian air defenses and that nation's power and electronic communications grid which include "emergency frequencies for firemen and police officers" who would respond to devastating air and missile attacks.

Countdown to War

We can conclude that Israel, NATO and the United States are doing far more than placing "all options on the table" with respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Along with ratcheting-up bellicose rhetoric, moves to collapse the economy, an assassination and sabotage campaign targeting Iranian scientists and military installations, cyberwarriors are infecting computer networks with viruses and "beacons" that will be used to attack air defense systems and civilian infrastructure.

After all, as Dave Aitel, the founder of the computer security firm Immunity told BusinessWeek, "nothing says you've lost like a starving city."

As Global Research analyst Michel Chossudovsky warned last year, now confirmed by CIA and Pentagon leaks to corporate media: "It is highly unlikely that the bombings, if they were to be implemented, would be circumscribed to Iran's nuclear facilities as claimed by US-NATO official statements. What is more probable is an all out air attack on both military and civilian infrastructure, transport systems, factories, public buildings."

With the global economy in deep crisis as a result of capitalism's economic meltdown, and as the first, but certainly not the last political actions by the working class threaten the financial elite's stranglehold on power, the ruling class may very well gamble that a war with Iran is a risk worth taking.

As Chossudovsky warned in a subsequent Global Research report, "there are indications that Washington might envisage the option of an initial (US backed) attack by Israel rather than an outright US-led military operation directed against Iran."

"The Israeli attack--although led in close liaison with the Pentagon and NATO--would be presented to public opinion as a unilateral decision by Tel Aviv. It would then be used by Washington to justify, in the eyes of world opinion," Chossudovsky wrote, "a military intervention of the US and NATO with a view to 'defending Israel', rather than attacking Iran. Under existing military cooperation agreements, both the US and NATO would be 'obligated' to 'defend Israel' against Iran and Syria."

This prescient analysis has been borne out by events. As regional tensions escalate, the USS George H.W. Bush, "the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, has reportedly parked off the Syrian coast," The Daily Caller reported.

Earlier this week, the financial news service Zero Hedge disclosed that "the Arab League (with European and US support) are preparing to institute a no fly zone over Syria."

"But probably the most damning evidence that the 'western world' is about to do the unthinkable and invade Syria," analyst Tyler Durden wrote, "and in the process force Iran to retaliate, is the weekly naval update from Stratfor."

According to Zero Hedge, "CVN 77 George H.W. Bush has left its traditional theater of operations just off the Straits of Hormuz, a critical choke point, where it traditionally accompanies the Stennis, and has parked... right next to Syria."

In an earlier report, citing Kuwait's Al Rai daily, Zero Hedge warned that "Arab jet fighters, and possibly Turkish warplanes, backed by American logistic support will implement a no fly zone in Syria's skies, after the Arab League will issue a decision, under its Charter, calling for the protection of Syrian civilians."

The BBC reports that the Arab League "has warned Syria it has one day to sign a deal allowing the deployment of observers or it will face economic sanctions."

"Meanwhile," BBC averred, "France has suggested that some sort of humanitarian protection zones," à la Libya, "be created inside Syria."

American moves towards Syria are fraught with dangerous implications for international peace and stability. As analyst Pepe Escobar disclosed in Asia Times Online the Arab League, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia and repressive Gulf emirates, dances to Washington's tune.

"Syria is Iran's undisputed key ally in the Arab world--while Russia, alongside China, are the key geopolitical allies. China, for the moment, is making it clear that any solution for Syria must be negotiated," Escobar wrote.

"Russia's one and only naval base in the Mediterranean is at the Syrian port of Tartus. Not by accident," Escobar notes, "Russia has installed its S-300 air defense system--one of the best all-altitude surface-to-air missile systems in the world, comparable to the American Patriot--in Tartus. The update to the even more sophisticated S-400 system is imminent."

"From Moscow's--as well as Tehran's--perspective, regime change in Damascus is a no-no. It will mean virtual expulsion of the Russian and Iranian navies from the Mediterranean."

"In other words," Zero Hedge warned, "if indeed Europe and the Western world is dead set upon an aerial campaign above Syria, then all eyes turn to the East, and specifically Russia and China, which have made it very clear they will not tolerate any intervention. And naturally the biggest unknown of all is Iran, which has said than any invasion of Syria will be dealt with swiftly and severely."

Despite, or possibly because no credible evidence exists that Iran is building a nuclear bomb as a hedge against "regime change," belligerent rhetoric and regional military moves targeting Syria and Iran simultaneously are danger signs that imperialism's manufactured "nuclear crisis" is a cynical pretext for war.

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God bless you all!

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries


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