Hey kids! Up for another war?

Yeah, I know, you just got comfortable with Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, but with the middle east wide open for conquest there’s no time to lose.

That’s where we’re headed. Our Nobel Peace Prize President, fresh from his whirlwind tour of our Asian territories –– where he said we’re there to stay, sending shivers up the spines of a lot of folks in Australia and New Zealand, never mind India and China –– has issued stern comments about Iran.

Nothing, Obama says, is ‘off the table.’ Too bad he didn’t feel that way about universal health care or Social Security.

The ostensible grounds for Obama’s new sense of urgency about beating the crap out of Iran is the newly-released report of the International Atomic Energy Agency which cited “possible military dimensions” and “credible... evidence that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.”

Obama immediately called for increased sanctions and made the aforementioned remark about tables and what might be on them.

Writing in the New Yorker, Seymour Hersh noted several things you’re not going to find in your Sunday New York Times. One is that nothing in the IAEA report is new; what is new is the head of the agency. The former chief, Mohamed El Baradei, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for work he actually did –– that’s how they used to do it before Barack Obama –– left after 12 years; he has been replaced by someone named Amano, from a right-wing party in Japan and hand-picked by the United States.

As Hersh points out, it took six ballots before America got its way on Amano. Nobody else liked him much. And as diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks revealed, Amano “pledged his fealty” to the U.S.

The “new” Report, Hersh writes, is a ‘political document,’ that is, it was written with a particular political purpose.

Iran does not have nuclear weapons facilities, nor is it attempting to build any, despite the hysteria being whipped up by our peace-loving President. The former IAEA President knew this. Quite a few staff people at the agency have told Hersh this, and his own sources in the intelligence community, probably the best of any journalist in the country, have confirmed it.

How do we know? Because the sophistication of the surveillance devices we’ve been employing for many years makes it a certainty.

A facility would either be in plain view of orbiting spy satellites or be built underground. However, no underground facility can be built without air vents. You have to have a way to get bad air out and fresh air in. We’ve had aerial surveillance specifically looking for air holes, looking for a pattern which would suggest an underground facility. Doesn’t exist.

Plus, we’ve long had sophisticated passive counters inside Iran, modern-day versions of the Geiger Counter, to pick up radiation, able to track it. If you’re using uranium to try to build a bomb, you have to move it. Ain’t happening. We’ve had these devices in place, with more added all the time by the usual black ops guys, for more than nine years. Nothing.

Iran is making some use of uranium, of course, but this is already done under quite intensive inspection. As Hersh noted in an interview on Democracy Now! “the most important thing is, we also— and the IA— even this new report also says— let me emphasize this: if you’re not diverting uranium, if you’re not taking uranium out of the count and smuggling it someplace so that you can build a bomb— and that, the IAEA is absolutely categorical on— everything that they are enriching, whatever percentage they enrich to, is under camera inspection, and under inspection of inspections. It’s all open, under the treaty, the safeguard treaty. Nobody is accusing Iran of violating the treaty. They’re just accusing them of cheating on the side... And there’s been no evidence of a diversion. So if you’re going to make a bomb, you’re going to have to bring it in from someplace else. And given the kind of surveillance we have, that’s going to be hard to do, to import it from a third country, bring in uranium and enrich it, or enriched uranium.”

What the ‘new’ IAEA report is based on are old memos, virtually all of them already discredited. In this, Hersh sees echoes of the lead-in to the invasion of Iraq. Bush claimed that Saddam Hussein had WMDs when he knew full well that this was not so. He and Condi Rice and Colin Powell talked about mushroom clouds. What they wanted was to take the country’s oil and insure that Iraqi oil could be bought with dollars. That was the deal and that’s what’s going on now. The wikileaks documents describe Amano as being willing to do what the U.S. wants.

Iran is clearly a re-run. Hersh is of the opinion that, in terms of policy, Obama is running the same bullshit as George Bush, but he sees one important distinction. In his view, Hersh thinks Obama fears that Israel will attack Iran, and he is hoping to avert that particular calamity.

Indeed, there’s reason to think the crazier elements of the Israeli government are itching to do just that. How’s this for barking crazy: Defense minister Ehud Barak on CNN said “I can tell you that the IAEA report has a sobering impact on many in the world, leaders as well the publics. And people understand that the time had come. Amano told straightly what he found, unlike Baradei. And it became a major issue, that I think, duly so, becomes a major issue for sanctions, for intensive diplomacy, with urgency. People understand now that Iran is determined to reach nuclear weapons. No other possible or conceivable explanation for what they had been actually doing. And that should be stopped.”

In this, Barak is in concert with Netanyahu. Hersh is alarmed:

“They both agree, and that’s worrisome because, again, it’s a political issue there. Everybody— the country is moving quickly to the right, Israel is, obviously. And I can just tell you that I’ve also talked— unfortunately, the ground rules are so lousy in Israel, I can’t write it, but I’ve talked to very senior intelligence people in Israel. If you notice, you don’t hear that much about it, but the former head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, who left— who was the guy that orchestrated the attempted assassinations in Dubai, etc.— no dove —has been vehement about the foolishness of attempting to go after Iran. They’re certainly far away from a bomb. Israel has been saying for 20 years they’re, you know, six months away from making a bomb.”

Iran at one time did some computer modeling as a precursor to moving in the direction of acquiring or building a nuclear bomb. This was in the period of 1980-1988, during which time they were fighting the Iraqis. They looked at the possibility as a deterrent with respect to Iraq. After the U.S. overthrew Hussein, the Iranis abandoned the idea.

Senior Israeli military people have told Hersh that Israel has never been worried about Iran getting nuclear weapons. Why not?

“(I)f you asked serious, smart, wise Israelis in the intelligence business — and there are many — ‘Do you really think, if they got a bomb— and they don’t have one now —they would hit Tel Aviv?’ and the answer was, ‘Do you think they’re crazy? We would incinerate them. Of course not. They’ve been around 2,000 years. That’s not going to happen.’”

Where does the IAEA Report come from? From his sources inside the agency, many of whom have emailed him with their concerns, Hersh is able to describe what these documents consist of. On Democracy Now!:

“(T)he way it works, Amy, is, over the years, a report will show up in a London newspaper, that will turn out to be spurious, turn out to be propaganda, whether started by us or a European intelligence agency —it’s not clear. This all happened, if you remember the Ahmed Chalabi stuff, during the buildup to the war in [Iraq], all about, you know, the great arsenals that existed inside [Iraq]. The same sort of propaganda is being used now that shows up over the years, over the last decade, in various newspapers. The IAEA would look at it, rule it to be a fabrication, or certainly not to be supportable by anything they know. All of these old reports, with the exception of, I think, in a new study that was put out by the IAEA—there were maybe 30 or 40 old items, with only three things past 2008, all of which are —they— many people inside the IAEA believe to be ...fabrications.”

I watched a video a couple of nights ago, an interview with Chalmers Johnson, professor emeritus at U.C., talking, among other things, about how political situations are created in foreign countries by U.S. intelligence as a means of destabilizing governments and propagandizing the mass media. He was referring to the habit of the CIA to send agitators into situations where their own black ops guys could shoot a few of them, blaming the government. Although he was talking then about Chile under Allende and Venezuela under Hugo Chavez, the modus operandi is the same everywhere.

The Obama regime is putting together the brief for attacking Iran. Various tales are being peddled to the press, notably the Washington Post and New York Times, ridiculous claims involving attempted assassinations and chemical weapons which are so thin as to give even nitwits pause, but veracity is not the point. Nobody seriously thinks that the Iranian government put in motion a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador by hiring it out through a used car salesman and a Mexican drug cartel, but the Obama gang gave it credence a few weeks ago.

Now comes the story in the Post saying that the U.S. government is investigating whether Iran gave the former Libyan government “hundreds of special artillery shells for chemical weapons that Libya kept secret for decades.” Discovery of the shells had led to an investigation by U.S. intelligence, according to the story, and “We‘re pretty sure we know” they were custom-designed by Iran.

How do we know all of this? In a scathing article by Glenn Greenwald, the Post story is based on these sources: “U.S. officials... several sources... A U.S. official with access to classified information... a third U.S. official... One U.S. official said... another U.S. official said...” It’s a cooked story, as Greenwald points out:

“The most journalistically baseless reason to provide anonymity is to allow U.S. officials to disseminate official government claims with no accountability — that’s called serving as a propaganda vehicle — and that is exactly what the Post does here.”

As Greenwald reminds us, the sources for the latest “anonymous stenographic vessel(s) for official statements” are identical to those used in disseminating false WMD claims about Iraq. “There is a concerted campaign underway in Washington,” he writes, “to demonize Iran,” led by Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the ever-trustworthy Timothy Geithner. Clinton, who loves a good murder as much as anyone –– see her delight in learning of the death of Moammar Qaddafi –– announced that “We continue actively to consider a range of increasingly aggressive measures . . . until Iran’s leaders live up to their international obligations, they will face increasing consequences.”

I doubt that Clinton’s words require translation.

What the U.S. has done in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now in Libya, can be replicated anywhere. We have the power to manipulate the economic and political situations in other countries and we have no compunction about doing it.

Iran is being set up. When you see and read stories about that country’s attempts to build nuclear weapons, you will be seeing and reading fabrications. I’m afraid that you and I are being set up, too.