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‘Crisis initiation is really tough’: WINEP Director of Research suggests a covert attack to get a war on with Iran

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I’m flabberghasted. Speaking at a Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) forum Patrick Clawson Director of Research at Institute suggests initiating a war with Iran thru implementation of a covert attack.

I frankly think that crisis initiation is really tough.


I mentioned that explosion on August 17th, we could step up the pressure. I mean look people Iranian submarines periodically go down, some day one of them might not come up, who would know why? We can do a variety of things if we wish to to increase the pressure, I’m not advocating that but i’m just suggesting this is not an either or proposition (just sanctions have to succeed or other things), we are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier then.

Presumably, this is from a WINEP forum held on September 24 titled ‘How to Build U.S.-Israeli Coordination on Preventing an Iranian Nuclear Breakout’.

(Hat tip MW commenter xanadou)

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is a mom, a human rights activist, and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area and likes to garden. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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20 Responses

  1. Krauss on September 26, 2012, 9:55 am

    Clawson isn’t a Jewish name, he looks Irish.

    This proves that the people inside the Israel Lobby are not all Jews. Some of the biggest higher-ups are WASPs, others are anti-Islamic Arabs(some of whom are atheists, others are Coptic Christians etc) as well as a plethora of other people.
    The lobby works only for Israel, it employs people from all backgrounds and faiths.

    Finally, I remember seeing another clip from another WINEP guy (WINEP is AIPAC’s think-tank for those that do not know) where he openly talked – and bragged – with a grin on his face about how to influence and ‘constrain’ members of Congress.

    These people are completely and certifiably nuts. That’s why all their wars are going to hell.

    • annie on September 26, 2012, 10:03 am

      so what do you think of the topic (US initiating war with iran) krauss?

      • Les on September 26, 2012, 11:00 am


        Don’t you think the covert US war against Iran is already underway? Israel can hardly be alone in the attacks going on in Iran.

      • Sumud on September 26, 2012, 11:59 am

        Bush put $400 million aside to directly cause trouble in Iran just before he departed. I wonder what Obama has spent.

        (edit) People slag off on wikipedia all the time but I think it’s great, see this article:

        Covert United States foreign regime change actions

        That’s a lot of bad karma the US is earning itself. You’d never find this information in an encyclopedia.

        Specifically the section on recent actions against Iran:

      • annie on September 26, 2012, 12:26 pm

        i do think covert action is underway les. however, i do not believe they are intended to kick off a war. this post is not about covert actions to deter iran’s nuclear advancement as the name of the forum suggests. it is about initiating war. sorry if i didn’t make that clear.

        and contrary to flashy names like ‘cold war’ i think there is a difference between traditional wars and covert action which target individuals. wars entail lots of weaponry and civilian death. like this:

        War is an organized, armed, and, often, a prolonged conflict that is carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality.[1][2] War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities, and therefore is defined as a form of political violence.[1][3

        iow, i do not believe the US is, at present, at war with iran.

      • RudyM on September 26, 2012, 2:02 pm

        FWIW, the U.S. government would consider severe sanctions, cyberwarfare, and covert action (assassinations, sabotage, etc.) to be acts of war if inflicted upon the U.S.

      • annie on September 26, 2012, 2:12 pm

        rudy, i do believe the kind of act clawson is advocating (sinking a submarine) would probably be considered an act of war.

        4) the term “act of war” means any act occurring in the course of—
        (A) declared war;
        (B) armed conflict, whether or not war has been declared, between two or more nations; or
        (C) armed conflict between military forces of any origin

        however, i have heard the term slung around carelessly, like calling closing the suez an ‘act of war’ which i do not think it is.

        World English Dictionary
        act of war

        — n
        an aggressive act, usually employing military force, which constitutes an immediate threat to peace

        so i am not sure if a cyber attack qualifies as an act of war nor what our government considers an act of war. israel on the other hand, calls tons of crap an act of war. but we’re not israel. i do not know what the extent of our covert action against iran at this pt entails, so i can’t speak on it proficiently.

        anyway, i still do not consider our country at war with iran at this time. perhaps i am in denial. there’s also the plus factor of convincing the american public we’re already at war with iran. then they can just skip over the part about convincing us to start a war.

      • ColinWright on September 26, 2012, 2:16 pm

        RudyM says: “FWIW, the U.S. government would consider severe sanctions, cyberwarfare, and covert action (assassinations, sabotage, etc.) to be acts of war if inflicted upon the U.S.”

        The U.S. government could just consider severe sanctions, cyberwarfare, and covert action (assassinations, sabotage, etc.) against Israel and members of the Israel lobby. Iran’s subs aren’t the only ones that can sink.

    • MRW on September 26, 2012, 2:08 pm

      Some of the biggest higher-ups are WASPs, others are anti-Islamic Arabs(some of whom are atheists, others are Coptic Christians etc) as well as a plethora of other people

      By design. To appear multi-partisan. The reverse is having David Brock run Christians United for Israel (CUFI).

  2. hughsansom on September 26, 2012, 10:18 am

    “[C]risis initiation is really tough.”

    What a striking comment. Of course, the US has done a lot of crisis initiation. The Bush administration initiated the post-9/11 crisis with Iraq. I’ve often thought that the cruel sanctions regimes, previously imposed on Iraq and now on Iran, are calculated to provoke the victim.

    When I saw the headline here, I thought that “covert attack” war’s idolaters might have in mind would be more in the vein of old-fashioned US covert ops. During the Reagan years, the US would dress up its “advisers” and Contra terrorists in the uniforms of the Nicaraguan Sandanista soldiers, then have them commit atrocities while so outfitted. The idea, of course, was to bring down blame on the Sandanistas.

    The IDF and Mossad are known to have their operatives dress up as Palestinians. Reports have noted that they are so well-trained that their accents can match regional Palestinian ones.

    The caveat here is that such reports are easily misstated (over or under) and even more easily dismissed as “conspiracy theory.” Past charges by Americans (especially African Americans and Native Americans) that FBI or local police forces were infiltrating protester ranks to sow discord or provoke violence have invariably been dismissed by the likes of Man’s Greatest Newspaper, the Times. The catch is that such charges have repeatedly been shown to be true. For example, we now know that the NYPD infiltrated protester groups during the 2004 RNC and continues to do spy on Muslims and Arabs, including through planted NYPD operatives.

    Seymour Hersh and others have reported on US/Israeli covert operations already underway in Iran. If these have failed to provoke the overt Iranian response that Clawson would like to see, one has to wonder why he thinks a sabotaged submarine would. My guess is he has something more drastic in mind — something like the 1988 US destruction of the Iranian Airbus, killing 290 innocents.

  3. David Doppler on September 26, 2012, 1:12 pm

    Great post, Annie. Eisenhower warned against the military-industrial complex, with only dark hints as to what they were up to. Operation Northwoods declassification gave some insight. Now we get to watch video on Mondoweiss. My favorite line, “I don’t think the President can get the job [starting a war with Iran] done.”

    Worst historical reference: Lincoln got the war he wanted by ordering the outpost at Ft. Sumter to do exactly what the rebels said would cause them to attack. As I recall, the South gave an ultimatum to surrender the fort by a date and time certain. It was the South that initiated that war, with big but terribly naive and unrealistic plans as to how it would all turn out. Clawson is probably descended from South Carolina rebels, or some other band of naive hotheads. He should go to jail for treason. Will the press report on this advocacy to subversively get us into another war? Or is the press just the willing handmaiden to these thoroughly dangerous idiots?

    • annie on September 26, 2012, 1:23 pm

      i think it is treasonous too david. in fact i just posted something about that on the pletka thread.

  4. nancee on September 26, 2012, 1:20 pm

    Yesterday I listened to the entire Shindig. These people are going to make certain that War Happens. We are screwed – again.

  5. radii on September 26, 2012, 1:21 pm

    smoking gun time, but so what, PNAC called for a “new Pearl Harbor” and got it with zero consequences

  6. RudyM on September 26, 2012, 2:19 pm

    Per Kevin Barrett, who helped break this story to begin with, this same organization just published an op ed about silencing 9/11 truthers:

    (They have a lot of well-meaning help in doing so!)

    • annie on September 26, 2012, 2:43 pm

      yeah, yesterday while i was drafting this story i checked out the youtube link of the person who posted it. there was some odd stuff on there. some biblical stuff i had never heard of too about catholics and their understanding of israel.

      i judged the video to be newsworthy.

    • annie on September 26, 2012, 3:01 pm

      he links to Robert Satloff ‘s (the director of winep) article in wapo today ragging on morsi re 9/11. these guys just do not skip a beat. one might think the day their video goes viral suggesting a false flag attack would not be the same day they’d be harassing people who do not believe the official story the experts ‘figured out’ in 15 minutes. but noooo…

  7. Maidhc on September 27, 2012, 2:13 am

    I think you’ll find that it was The Passionate Attachment that broke this story.

    Note that the Kevin Barrett version adds parenthetically that Patrick Clawson “started to mention Israel’s murder of American sailors on the USS Liberty, but caught himself in time.” Unless he’s able to read the Israel lobbyist’s mind, this is either carelessly ambiguous sarcasm or a blatant piece of disinformation.

    See the original report here:

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