WINEP official says U.S. strategy is aimed at provoking ‘Pearl Harbor’ that justifies war with Iran

on 36 Comments
Patrick Clawson
Patrick Clawson

Earlier today, we did a post on neocons inciting war with Iran that featured quotes from Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, formerly a branch of the Israel lobby group AIPAC. Well Clawson had better put a sock in it, and quick, because now he’s given away the neocons’ game plan. From Laura Rozen’s piece on the negotiations:

Patrick Clawson, deputy director of research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, in an interview with Yahoo News Tuesday… said he didn’t think prospects for a deal look promising.

“I think it’s heading towards confrontation,” Clawson said. “The whole point from the beginning is if we put pressure on the regime, the Iranians will crack at some point.”

So far, at least, there’s little sign the strategy is yielding the desired result. The Iranians to date have responded to the prospect of the tightened financial sanctions on the country’s oil sector with an announcement of the launching of operations at the fortified, underground Fordo nuclear enrichment facility–together with sporadic threats to close the Strait of Hormuz. So why isn’t that a sign that the U.S. strategy is failing?

“It’s a lot better to have a fight” that Iran provokes, Clawson replied, before adding: “Better to enter World War II after Pearl Harbor, and World War I after the sinking of the Lusitania.”

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36 Responses

  1. dumvitaestspesest
    January 12, 2012, 6:40 pm

    Of course the american lunatics ARE provoking a peaceful country Iran.
    They use all their efforts for Iran to strike first. The point is to engage in a war no matter what, no matter what cost The american corrupted elitists aim to start the big war . They don’t care for America or American people, they just care for their own pockets and businesess. America will be destroyed if it engages in this war, if not physically, then for sure financially. The rich will become richer , the rest will be living on the 3rd world level.
    But… for some the Earth holds too many people, so here is their chance of a massive population reducement.
    Evil plan, evil masters, evil helpers.
    Every war is a vicious giggle of Hell that celebrates its winning over a humankind.

  2. Keith
    January 12, 2012, 6:48 pm

    PHIL- Thanks for providing this insider’s support for my comment on the “Israel likely killed Iranian scientist….” thread. Things are looking grim. It is difficult for people to acknowledge and deal with the reality that our greatest danger lies with the people who rule over us. And these are the people you rely on to perform a “humanitarian” intervention? Cast aside your illusions, my friend. We are under attack from above and need to keep a clear head.

  3. pabelmont
    January 12, 2012, 6:55 pm

    A wonderful game of chicken. As to war, how is Las Vegas betting? Who’ll back down first? Neither? Lovely! Another war just when we needed one! (Oh dear, what will Ron Paul say if the war starts before he quits the primaries?)

  4. GalenSword
    January 12, 2012, 7:15 pm

    The downside of a provocative foreign policy: .

  5. Dan Crowther
    January 12, 2012, 7:37 pm

    ding ding ding!

    Now we are getting somewhere. The pearl harbor analogy is interesting here, because the role of Japan isn’t being played by Iran, its being played by China. The US certainly wants Iran “in the fold” as it were, but it’s even more interested in controlling development in central and south asia and africa ( and elsewhere, of course) and the sea lanes that carry materials etc — The new Obama plans for Asia lay this out pretty well.
    …..”to deter or slow China’s rise as a military and economic power by controlling China’s access to energy. It was China’s oil investments in eastern Libya that led to the sudden move against Libya by the US and its NATO puppets, and it is China’s oil investments elsewhere in Africa that resulted in the Bush regime’s creation of the United States Africa Command, designed to counter China’s economic influence with US military influence. China has significant energy investments in Iran, and a substantial percentage of China’s oil imports are from Iran. Depriving China of independent access to oil is Washington’s way of restraining and boxing in China”

    In short, the “leaders” of our country are bat shit insane and should be exiled to St Helena….the whole article linked to above is worth the read…..

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      January 13, 2012, 1:58 am

      Paul Craig Roberts, the author of the article Dan cites, tends to exaggerate situations that are admittedly difficult and to make predictions that rarely prove to be correct. I say rarely although I cannot remember one that has. He has been telling his readers for several years now that the US is about to attack Iran, but of course, he is not alone.

      I have had for the same amount of time an uncashed from a former CIA analyst with whom I made a $10 bet that the US would not attack Iran and I still believe that to be the case since there are enough wise individuals in the Pentagon and our intelligence agencies, not to mention the oil companies, who believe that to launch such an attack is lunacy and, as Jimmy Carter told BBC the other morning, would produce a far greater catastrophe than the war on Iraq.

      One of the reasons that the US is holding such a massive exercise with Israel is not, as Roberts and others surmise, to prepare for an attack on Iran, but to give Israel enough assurances of US support that it won’t do it which would, more than likely, oblige Washington to come in on its side when Iran retaliates with attacks on nearby US and Saudi targets.

      The danger is that during this last year of the four-year presidential marathon Israel will launch an attack on Iran, confident, with good reason, of the support not only of the Israel Occupied Congress but of all the candidates still in the race for the presidency including the incumbent. It would have to be in 2012 because it is in the actual election year that the US Zionist establishment reaches its most fecund point.

      • Citizen
        January 13, 2012, 6:19 am

        I wish I was as confident as you we wouldn’t go to war with Iran, Jeff. But there has sure been a lot of pretexts for war popping up relatively lately–I can only imagine how Iran is viewing all the things the US and Israel are doing in its neighborhood, now to include deployment of 9000 troops to Israel, together with missile systems & techies & IT officers over the coming weeks:

        And, except for Ron Paul, how must the Iranians be thinking listening to our presidential candidates calling for war on Iran over the last months, some very blatantly?
        At some point, Iran will crack from all this pressure, which is just what is sought. Ron Paul is not Chicken Little, but he’s reduced to an old white man wacko by and large by all the forces of the bipartisan PTB.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 13, 2012, 9:09 am


        I didn’t mean to endorse Robert’s predictions – I was just highlighting the fact that the US’s Iran policy isn’t necessarily just about Iran, but rather about Iran’s strategic importance to the real “big fish” that Washington is focused on.

        And I should say, I do agree with your assessment on the potential for there to be an Israeli attack during 2012, but as I say, we are now in a situation where the military does in fact endorse the new “obama doctrine” that focuses on Asia, China more specifically. So, the entire policy establishment is on board with the “grand strategy” as it were, and the neocons are back in the position of advocating expediting the process ( hurting chinese lead asian development) by taking out Iran with outright aggression.

        To me, this is where the Zio-cons and the lobby can have incredible sway. The ends are agreed upon by all. The only debate now is about the means. Isn’t this the same situation the US was in before finally invading Iraq?

      • American
        January 13, 2012, 3:11 pm

        “but to give Israel enough assurances of US support that it won’t do it “……JB

        I want to know if you agree that every time we reassure Israel, give in to Israel, cater to Israel…it makes them MORE likely to do whatever they want, not less likely.
        I do not know, have not seen/or heard/ or read a single military expert or FP expert with a grain of realistism or objectivity who thinks that Iran would attack Israel with nukes to begin with or thinks this is about anything except Israel’s desire to extend it’s reach and be and seen as ‘the’ dominant power of the ME.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        January 13, 2012, 4:00 pm

        Israel pretty much has done whatever it wants up to now–with the exception of the GHW Bush administration–knowing that it has Congress in its pocket. It isn’t generally known but in Gulf War One, after some Scuds had hit Israel, Israeli pilots were sitting in their planes ready to bomb Baghdad but the Bush administration wouldn’t give them the coordinates or the go-ahead.

        Attacking Iran will present enormous difficulties for Israel which is why they prefer that the US do it but, as you say, not a single expert supports it. Unlike its attack on the Osirak reactor and the one reportedly in Syria which presented few risks that it would not be able to handle on its own, Iran would be something else and the US is the only country that it could count on to give it sufficient back-up.

        How much Washington’s reassurances to Israel, with Panetta’s day to day flip flops, make an attack by Israel more or less likely is difficult to know with any certainty but what we do know is that if Israel does attack Iran in 2012 the US Congress will, initially, at least, stand and applaud it as it did its invasion of Lebanon in 1982. That’s the “window of opportunity” Israel is looking at, not how far along Iran may be with building a bomb.

        The Israelis, I believe, are fairly sure that even if Iran had the bomb they wouldn’t use it but what Iran’s having the weapon would do is rob Israel of its present hold over the region by being its lone nuclear power.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    January 12, 2012, 7:44 pm

    RE: “Better to enter World War II after Pearl Harbor, and World War I after the sinking of the Lusitania.” ~ Clawson

    FROM “Inaction as Action: How Churchill Sank the Lusitania”

    (excerpt)…Christopher Hitchens, who wrote a brilliant book on the history of Anglo-American relations entitled Blood, Class, and Nostalgia talks about is the sinking of the Lusitania, which he solidly proves is the responsibility of the British head of naval intelligence, Sir Winston Churchill.
    Churchill played a strong part in both the sinking of the ship and the controversy that ensued later. That there was such a large cache of arms on the ship (over 1,248 cases of shells) that it sunk after being hit by only one torpedo was not a surprise, nor was it uncommon; there was a sizable number of American citizens who supported the British war effort, supplying arms on almost every cruise ship between the nations. What was a surprise was the lack of protection given to the warship. Churchill had been warned that there were German submarines in the area (which had, in fact, already sunk several other British ships), and failed either to warn the ship or send any escort ships into the area.
    Tempting as it is to simply attribute this to negligence on Churchill’s part (warning the ships was solidly his responsibility), the odds of Churchill failing to do his duty were astronomically low. It would have taken a period of over ten days of negligence, according to Hitchens, for the sinking to occur.
    Churchill, one of the most efficient people in British government, could not reasonably have been so negligent; he could, however, have suppressed the information without effort. Had he wanted intelligence suppressed, the King himself could not have found anything out.
    Churchill didn’t stop there, however. After letting the ship (and most of the civilians on board) go down, he started an insidious publicity campaign and ran the investigation that “discovered” that there had been more than one torpedo, and he was responsible for the spread of a rumor that the Germans had created a Lusitania medal honoring soldiers who killed civilians. These propaganda moves helped shift public opinion in the United States to the British side…

    SOURCE –

    • DICKERSON3870
      January 12, 2012, 7:49 pm

      P.S. FROM “What Really Caused World War 1?”:

      (excerpt)…On May 7, 1915, the Lusitania was sunk off the coast of County Cork, Ireland by a U-boat after it had slowed to await the arrival of the English escort vessel, the Juno, which was intended to escort it into the English port. The First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, issued orders that the Juno was to return to port, and the Lusitania sat alone in the channel. Because Churchill knew of the presence of three U-boats in the vicinity, it is reasonable to presume that he had planned for the Lusitania to be sunk, and it was…

      SOURCE –

      • MRW
        January 12, 2012, 8:23 pm

        David Irving’s book on Churchill is chilling on the evil machinations of this drunken sod. The evidence Irving uncovered was massive. Direct quotes from diaries and secret papers. Irving shows, also, that WWII could have been avoided but for this man’s debilitating alcoholism and need for money to fund his country estate.

  7. MLE
    January 12, 2012, 8:25 pm

    I may not like the Iranian government, but angry speeches aside, they have been shown remarkable restraint against attacking the US or Israel the past few years. How would the United States react if Iran were planting bombs on cars of Lockheed Martin employees? Israeli government officials and the public at large are howling for the blood of a Saudi kid who published credit card info. They found a drone that the US was using to spy on them.

  8. MRW
    January 12, 2012, 8:26 pm

    I hope everyone has watched Part 3 of Adam Curtis’s The Power of Nightmares, as we allow these insane politicians to march us off to war. Of course, if they do this, Ron Paul’s popularity will soar.

    If you haven’t, be sure you do, and make sure everyone you love sees it.
    Google version

    YouTube version

  9. Bandolero
    January 12, 2012, 8:28 pm

    The Neocons seem to follow the script for provoking a new “Pearl Harbor” in the Persian Gulf already quite some time:

    November 7, 2007: The Neoconservative Agenda to Sacrifice the Fifth Fleet – The New Pearl Harbor

    While the military side of that analysis has some flaws, the basic assumption is quite right: the US fifth fleet in the Perian gulf is like a sitting duck for Iran. So what is the fifth fleet doing there? Projecting power? Hardly so.

  10. Walid
    January 12, 2012, 11:29 pm

    People are flip-flopping in making up their minds if it’s Israel that’s intent on putting out Iran’s lights by using the US or if it’s the US by using Israel. This thread points the dirty finger at the US while almost every other one is pointed at Israel. Which is it?

    • Chaos4700
      January 12, 2012, 11:43 pm

      You know what I fear? There is no longer any effective difference.

    • Avi_G.
      January 13, 2012, 12:33 am

      The article provides more detail than the headline. The article clearly shows that Israel’s agents are working an angle from inside the US.

      Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, formerly a branch of the Israel lobby group AIPAC.

      And Clawson has the chutzpah to frame the issue in terms of us (The United States) vs. them (Iran). It’s as though he doesn’t wake up every morning thinking to himself, “What can I do today for my beloved Israel?”

      He is the epitome of Israel firsters.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 13, 2012, 12:52 am


      • yourstruly
        January 13, 2012, 1:13 am

        enabling ww iii. not a crime?

      • Walid
        January 13, 2012, 1:54 am

        There’s no doubt that they are operating as a tag team but the question remains as to which one of two is the leader and which is the hit man. We keep hearing of the tail wagging the dog but I don’t believe it; the shitty little state can’t be wagging such a big dog, Nobody does anything to the US against its will. Think back to the 2006 war and who called it, armed it, paid for it and insisted on keeping it going for 33 days. Does anyone really believe that Israel would dare pull off any of its assassinations without prior US approval or that it dared take down the USS Liberty on a gamble that nothing would happen to it? Israel in the equation is simply America’s vulgar goon.

      • Citizen
        January 13, 2012, 6:32 am

        The reasons why, dating back as far as Truman, have been told many times on this blog, so I won’t go into them now–but, Walid, I think it’s the US who is Israel’s vulgar goon. Nothing will change until the US campaign finance system is changed drastically, that is, that said financing has to be solely by public tax money.

      • Bandolero
        January 13, 2012, 8:18 am

        I think Israel is in that symbiotic US-Israeli relationship in the driver seat. The Israel Lobby is strong enough to force it’s will on any US government.

        Would Israel dare to pull it off? I have no doubt.

        I can even imagine Israel would kill a US president which it deems to run against it’s interests. I think that’s not far fetched. Vanunu said, he believes Israel killed JFK, and I think he might be true.

    • American
      January 13, 2012, 3:16 pm

      Which is which?

      Either the Obama adm is lying about their intention or we have another zio-neo cabal in the pentagon.
      Could be Obama is doing steps on Iran for pure politicial reasons with no actual intention of going thru with threats….which is a dangerous game because Israel will try to provoke a war to hold the US to it’s word.

  11. yourstruly
    January 13, 2012, 12:25 am

    if american ships go down in the strait of hormuz, will a song be written, the likes of ww ii’s “Remember Pearl Harbor? except “Remember the Strait of Hormuz”, wouldn’t that be a non-starter? more likely the song will be named after whatever the aircraft carrier(s) iran sinks after being bombed by israel. who knows, the pentagon may already have secretly contracted for just such an inspirational number.

    • Chaos4700
      January 13, 2012, 12:52 am

      I wish I could be sure what order the proper nouns and verbs in what you said are going to take. Just ask the crew of the USS Liberty.

    • yourstruly
      January 13, 2012, 12:54 am

      which raises the question, what excuse/trick will the u.s. or israel use to precipitate a war?

      a false flag incident as germany did at danzig to trigger ww ii?

      claim that iran fixed its radar on u.s. aircraft, the u.s.a.’s concoction for bombing libya a quarter century ago?

      invent an “incident”, as per the infamous gulf of tonkin incident?

      agent provacateurs trick an iranian national into planning a “terrorist” act and then play “gotcha”, terrorist wannabe


      and how about a contest as to what trick the u.s. aggressor will use to bring on this war?

      exposing the aggressor’s plan, might not this preempt a war?

      • marc b.
        January 13, 2012, 9:03 am

        a false flag incident as germany did at danzig to trigger ww ii?

        i thought it was at gleiwitz/gliwice.

      • dumvitaestspesest
        January 13, 2012, 9:33 am

        You are correct marc b.
        A false flag incident was done in Gliwice in 08.1939.
        Here is a very short video about it (in English).
        Attack on Gdansk (Danzing) was an official start of WWII.

  12. Duscany
    January 13, 2012, 4:12 am

    It will be incredibly easy to provoke a war with Iran. If Israel keeps blowing up Iran’s nuclear engineers, sooner or later Iran will respond. But the truth of the matter is Israel doesn’t need an actual physical pretext. It will just announce Iran is too close to actually getting a bomb and then send in the planes on the basis of that supposed existential threat.

    In response Iran will attack Israel while we, as Israel’s special friend, will immediately join the fight on her behalf. Actually, we might not even have to volunteer to fight Iran. Iran might very well assume that Israel wouldn’t dare attack her without the support/connivance/implicit backing of the US. In that case Iran would not only retaliate on Israel but also on any nearby US forces. Once that happens the president would have no choice but to go to war.

    It will be a disaster for everyone but Israel. Our economy will be wrecked for an entire generation, our nation near bankrupt, our moral leadership vanished in the night. The war will ruin the futures of people who were hoping their retirement incomes would provide peace and security in their old age and it will crush the hopes our children might have about living a life as free and prosperous as the one their parents did.

    By the time it’s all over, China, India and Brazil will be the new superpowers with the United States clinging to a fading fourth place. It would be a tragedy for America and a tragedy for the world, but hey, in the view of the Zionists here, it’s the least we can do for the only democracy in the Middle East.

    • Citizen
      January 13, 2012, 6:37 am

      Duscany, that’s exactly what most probably will happen–I see nothing at all to prevent it except the nonstarter, “wacky” Ron Paul, which is why all sides of the PTB are working feverishly to kick him to the curb before his message resonates with Dick and Jane.

  13. Citizen
    January 13, 2012, 8:13 am

    Here is a paper Clawson wrote on the consequences of preventive war on Iran in 2008:

    In his co-authored paper, Clawson discusses the pros and cons of various options to deal with Iran. He clearly thinks if Israel were to attack Iran on its own, it would have very adverse impact on both Israel and the USA. But he also reminds us Israel may do anyway if it thinks it’s “existential existence” is threatened by Iran. The outcome if US alone attacks Iran or if Israel & US attack in unison is more ambiguous. He also says US does not have any need for Israel to join a US attack. And he says no matter what is eventually done about Iran, any preemptive attack on Iran will not go well without first getting American public opinion behind it, second getting our allies behind it, and thirdly getting the balance of world opinion to at least feel that Iran was a real threat. One thing he said would do that would be if Iran withdrew from the treaty against nuclear proliferation and declared it’s intent to pursue the bomb. I don’t think that is at all likely. Russia, China are two power keys–how will they react? In light of the high importance Clawson gives to “context” or public opinion regarding Iran as a real threat (near the end of his paper), I’d say Ron Paul is doing exactly what Clawson concludes is needed most, that is, a review by an informed public of our foreign policy in the ME, especially regarding Israel and Iran. The other candidates for POTUS are not campaigning responsibly in this matter. Also, Clawson says the question is not will we destroy Iran’s nuclear capability, but will we destroy Iran’s will or desire to resume building the bomb after a preemptive attack? Again, public opinion, here and elsewhere on what goes down is the key. Iran can actually gain if an attack on Iran is seen by key parts of the world as US and/or Israel acting irresponsibly.

  14. American
    January 13, 2012, 3:30 pm

    Yes they wil give us a new Pearl Harbor. After all they think we are so dumb we don’t remember they used 911 and Pearl Harbor on us before.

    Project for New American Century PNAC
    (which was the Kristol outgrowth of Clean Break for Israel)

    Section V of Rebuilding America’s Defenses, entitled “Creating Tomorrow’s Dominant Force”

    “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor”.

    • anonymouscomments
      January 14, 2012, 4:53 pm

      i find this clip amazingly unexpected. who said the MSM never said the truth?

      of course, you slip that scene in on your average american who would watch such sitcoms, and it flies overhead as some random banter about political BS. but in reality it is some writer saying the basics of what happened.

      i’m strapped in for pearl harbor #2, but at least i feel an iranian attack on the US homeland is not believable. i think we have to follow israel in (congress running to assist an israeli bombing), or there will have to be a real/false-flag attack on US assets in the gulf.

  15. Justice Please
    January 14, 2012, 5:06 am

    Off to Nuremberg with him, we can dust off the old benches and even the gallows, if need be.

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