recruit a used car salesman with a memory problem to conduct assassinations
in the US?
This is a question
you have to ask yourself when evaluating the alleged
Iranian "terrorist" plot supposedly uncovered by Attorney
General Eric Holder the other day. The arrest of Mansour
Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old Iranian immigrant who came to this
country as a college student, was the occasion for a trumpet blast
propaganda and belligerent
declarations by US officials, who vowed to "hold
Iran accountable" for purportedly mounting a
plot [.pdf] to kill the Saudi ambassador, bomb the Saudi and
Israeli embassies in Washington, and strike at the Jewish community
plot was supposed to have been carried out by a member
of the Zetas
drug cartel, who was to be paid up to $1.5
million to implement the plan. US officials, even while acknowledging
the "B-movie" aspect of the story, reportedly "fanned
out" to convince our allies the plot was real and – with
Congress already demanding new
sanctions on Iran – that the economic vise be tightened. Not
only are the more hysterical neocons calling for military
action against Iran – no surprise there — but the headlines
had the normally staid and relatively reserved Steve Clemons, a
prominent Obama shill, babbling
that "this is a serious situation" and "the U.S.
has reached a point where it must take action," and Sen. Carl
Levin calling the plot "an act
Less than 24
hours after Holder's press conference, the whole fantasy began to
unravel under closer scrutiny. Gary Sick, of the Middle East Institute
at Columbia University, averred
that the alleged plot "departs from all known Iranian policies
and procedures," and went on to write:
is difficult to believe that they would rely on a non-Islamic criminal
gang to carry out this most sensitive of all possible missions.
In this instance, they allegedly relied on at least one amateur
and a Mexican criminal drug gang that is known to be riddled with
both Mexican and U.S. intelligence agents.
else may be Iran's failings, they are not noted for utter disregard
of the most basic intelligence tradecraft, e.g. discussing an ultra-covert
operation on an open international line between Iran and the U.S.
Yet that is what happened here."
Kenneth Katzman, a Middle East analyst with the Congressional Research Office, concurs:
"There is simply no precedent or even reasonable rationale for Iran working any plot, no matter where located, through a non-Muslim proxy such as Mexican drug gangs. No one high up in the Quds, the I.R.G.C. command, the Supreme National Security Committee, or anywhere else in the Iranian chain of command would possibly trust that such a plot could be kept secret or carried out properly by the Mexican drug people. They absolutely would not trust such a thing to them, given Iran's undoubted assumption that the Mexicans are penetrated by the D.E.A. and F.B.I. and A.T.F., etc and indeed this plot was revealed by just such a U.S. informant….
"Are we to believe that this Texas car seller was a Quds sleeper agent for many years resident in the U.S.? Ridiculous. They (the Iranian command system) never ever use such has-beens or loosely connected people for sensitive plots such as this."
– that just about says it all.
But as Ayn
Rand once said:
"Don't bother to question a fallacy, ask yourself only what
it accomplishes." The idea is to target Iran as the next al-Qaeda:
with the late unlamented Osama
bin Laden out of the picture, the US has to find a replacement
– and quick! – in order to justify its decade-long
post-9/11 rampage across
the Middle East and much
of the rest of the world. What's a war without an enemy? Iran
been the War Party's ultimate
Middle Eastern target,
and now they are making their move.
As an opening
shot in a propaganda war, Holder's startling announcement had high
impact – but low
credibility, as the excitement died down and the details came
into focus. The problem with the narrative woven by the Justice
Department is that the supposed fulcrum of this heinous plot, Senor
Arbabsiar, is hardly the sort of character who makes a convincing
terrorist/foreign agent. Longtime associate Tom Hosseini, a fellow
Iranian-American who has known Arbabsiar for over 30 years, wondered
aloud to a Washington
Post reporter "how anyone – but most especially an
elite military organization such as Iran's Quds force would
get involved with Arbabsiar in the first place."
says Hosseini, "somebody offered him some money. He doesn't
have the brain to say no."
had a lot of money on him when he and Hosseini met in Iranian Kurdistan
last August: the Post reports he was "waving around
crisp $100 bills" and declaring that there was a lot more where
that came from. Yet Arbabsiar's many businesses – "from used
cars to kebabs" – had all failed. Perhaps this lack of business
acumen was tied to his general inability to think straight, or,
as the Post puts it:
"Within the small Iranian American community in this Gulf Coast city, Arbabsiar, 56, was well known and well liked. But he was also renowned for being almost comically absent-minded, perpetually losing keys, cellphones, briefcases, anything that wasn't tied down."
October 19, 2011
Justin Raimondo [send him mail] is editorial director of Antiwar.com and is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard and Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.
Copyright © 2011 Antiwar.com