The U.S. war on Iran, aided by Israel, very likely began May 10, 2018 with the Israeli attack on Iranians in Syria.
Now, as Americans focus at home on abuse of immigrants, racism on the Supreme Court and the threat to women's right to choose to give birth, sanctions, another aspect of the new assault on Iran, seem to be beginning to bite, as evidenced in protests in Iran. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/president-says-iran-in-economic-fight-with-us/2018/06/26/392702d0-791e-11e8-ac4e-421ef7165923_story.html?utm_term=.11d030e66563
And, the U.S. is almost certainly laying plans for military action against Iran.
The following are likely to be key features of this war, undertaken bit-by-bit, with no publicity, until major fissures are created in Iran’s civil society:
1. U.S. and Israeli drones assassinate Iranian military and civilian leaders viewed as opponents, in support of Iranian rivals, collaborators who will make deals with U.S. and Israel. These deals will involve not only political cooperation but control of Iran’s oil and gas reserves. (Iran is said to have the fourth largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest natural gas reserves.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves_in_Iran https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_gas_reserves_in_Iran
Potential U.S. allies in Iran listed in a memo by John Bolton, head of the National Security Council, include: “the democratic Iranian opposition”, “Balochis, Khuzestan Arabs, Kurds, and others” and also “internal resistance among labor unions, students, and women’s groups”. https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/08/iran-nuclear-deal-exit-strategy-john-bolton-memo-trump/
A program of systematic assassination would obviously lead to huge disruption in governing and commerce and, very probably, economic chaos. The shattering of Syria might be the model, with the goal of permanently fracturing Iranian national government and its nationalization of oil and gas. This would open the way for corporate oil and gas exploitation amid the chaos, as happened in Iraq, where fossil fuel production was also nationalized before the U.S.-British invasion in 2003.
Ronen Bergman’s new book, Rise and Kill First, a must-read, documents the evolution of Israel’s policy of assassination, which was used by Israel to powerful effect in killing Iranian nuclear scientists and was the inspiration for the U.S. drone assassination program.
A “Politico” article https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/03/05/israel-assassination-iranian-scientists-217223 on the assassination of the Iranian scientists gives a succinct summary of what the overall U.S. – Israeli war plan is likely to be, and how assassination fits into it:
“…a bold, five-pronged approach: heavy international diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions, support to Iranian minorities and opposition groups to help them topple the regime, the disruption of consignments of equipment and raw materials for the nuclear program and, finally covert ops, including the sabotage of installations and targeted killings (assassinations) of key figures in the program.”
Evidence of the U.S. support for the assassination strategy is the reported approval of by the U.S. of Israel’s plan to assassinate the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s overseas activities, General Qassem Soleimani. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/u-s-gives-israel-green-light-to-assassinate-iran-s-general-soleimani-1.5630156
2. In support of their Iranian allies, the U.S. and Israel use drones, tear gas, snipers and “butterfly bullets” against massed Iranian troops or demonstrating crowds an entire regional populations.
In this regar d, one can view the Israeli slaughter and/or maiming of Palestinians in the current Gaza protest as an intentional demonstration of Israel’s evolving technologies and tactics for controlling large groups of people outdoors.
On May 18, 2018, UN human rights leader Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein reported that since the current Gaza protests began on March 30, 2018, 87 Palestinians had been killed, including 12 children, and more than 12,000 had been injured; 3,500 by live ammunition. The most casualties on a single day appear to have come on May 14, the day the U.S. opened its embassy in Jerusalem; 60 Palestinians were killed and at 1,700 required hospital attention.
On May 14 and 15, Israel dropped tear gas canisters from drones in volleys that showed drone tear gassing has passed beyond the experimental stage when drones first used tear gas against Gaza protesters in March, 2018. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/in-first-israeli-drones-drop-tear-gas-to-disperse-palestinian-protest-1.5892756
“Middle East Eye” reports that Israel has now developed three types of tear gassing drones, indicating a determination to keep perfecting this technology. http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israeli-drones-pose-new-threat-palestinian-protesters-1730935753
This image gives a sense of the emotional impact of drone tear gas attacks on those on whom the gas is falling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8bDVryTTr0
The wide-ranging, sometimes lethal, impact of the gas is described in detail in this Aljazeera report, showing that gassing is a staple of Israel military policy. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/world-exposed-place-tear-gas-palestine-171226141202232.html
In the midst of the May 14 attack, Israeli snipers fired not only on people gathered to protest but people who had come to watch from a distance, medical aid workers and journalists. https://www.democracynow.org/2018/5/15/palestinians_mark_70th_anniversary_of_nakba
The “butterfly bullet” represents another technological “advance”, a bullet that explodes on impact, doing catastrophic damage to the body compared to a regular bullet. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/palestinians-face-explosive-bullets-dangerous-gas-bombs-180501091514736.html
It is clear that Israel’s Gaza military plan goes beyond killing and injuring protesters to using gas and maiming to overwhelm medical systems and societal and family economies as wage earners are knocked out of the work force and families and communities must shift the energies to supporting the disabled.
And, of course, the constant threat of drone attacks has proven devastating to civil society in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
3. The U.S. and Israel send relatively small special forces into Iran for sabotage, kidnapping and murder, and to support Iranian allies, as is happening in Syria.
What Will Stop This?
Iran is better equipped to combat drone attacks than most other nations and populations now living under U.S. and Israeli drones. But at the same time, it is clear that the U.S. and Israel, at the moment, have a great advantage in the number of drones they possess and in drone targeting and killing technology. The U.S. and Israel are working extremely hard on information sorting and analysis that will dramatically increase their drone killing capability.
The only Congressional counter-force to war on Iran appears to be a group of led by Congressman Keith Ellison, who co-sponsored a bill that the House of Representatives approved on voice vote on May 24, 2018. The bill says, simply:
“It is the sense of Congress that the use of the Armed Forces against Iran is not authorized by this Act or any other act.”
This legislation has not been approved by the Senate, and even if it were to, the executive branch is undoubtedly already taking some of the steps listed above to shatter the Iranian government.
To get around the language in the Ellison legislation, Bolton might argue that U.S. military actions in Iran are not direct attacks on the government of Iran but simply extremely limited actions against individuals and factions undertaken to support of rebel Iranians who are seeking to create “democracy” in their country. The executive branch might also argue that it is taking action against “terrorists” operating in Iran, citing the Authorization for Use of Military Force, the get-out-jail free card that the U.S. has granted to itself to legitimize to the U.S. public its latest colonial intervention spree, that began with the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Jamal Abdi, Executive Director of NIAC (National Iranian American Council) Action, argued on the Defense One website that Congress “must now go further and shut down all the backdoors to a war with Iran…”Between Bolton’s desire for covert war to destabilize Iran and (Defense Secretary James) Mattis’ interests in stepped –up regional efforts, we could soon be facing a new Middle East conflagration.” https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2018/05/did-congress-just-shut-down-trumps-war-plans-iran/148613/?oref=d-channelriver
Drone Base Protests Key
Given the U.S. plans for Iran, we who protest U.S. drone killing must now add Iran to the list of countries under drone surveillance and likely attack.
“NO DRONES OVER IRAN.”