Petraeus Plans for The Day After

The title of Petraues' op-ed is clearly trying to play off this 1983 made for TV movie about Lawrence, Kansas after a nuclear war.

The title of Petraues’ op-ed is clearly trying to play off this 1983 made for TV movie about Lawrence, Kansas after a nuclear war.

On September 26, 2004, the Washington Post disgraced itself by giving David Petraeus space to write an op-ed in which he spouted pure bullshit on how well his vaunted “training” program was going in Iraq. Of course, that program failed multiple times with Petraeus never being called to account. Despite clear military regulations prohibiting political activity by members of the military, Petraeus’ op-ed was seen by some as providing an endorsement which gave a significant boost to George W. Bush’s re-election campaign at a time when public opinion on the war in Iraq was beginning to sour. Just short of ten years later (and after his career got Broadwelled, I mean, broadsided), Petraeus is back on the pages of the Neocon Daily today, warning us that the “US needs to plan for the day after an Iran deal“.

The reviews of Petraeus’ newest op-ed are now in, and it has been called “Provocative!”, “Apocalyptic!” and even “Gut-Wrenching!” Oh, wait. That’s how the 1983 made for TV movie The Day After is described on its DVD cover. My mistake. But clearly Petraeus is playing off that old title. The old movie deals with life in Lawrence, Kansas after a nuclear war and Petraeus is now telling us we must prepare for life after preventing Iran getting the chance to wage nuclear war.

The central tenet of the op-ed is that Iran is “the leading state sponsor of terrorism”. Like most of what Petraeus does or says, that statement is just flat wrong. Even though the US (including the military when Petraeus was head of Central Command and the CIA when Petraeus led it) never admits it publicly, the rest of the world knows that Saudi Arabia is by far the largest state sponsor of terrorism. There are even Wikileaks cables confirming the role of Saudi money in supporting Sunni extremists. And note that the single most important organizer of state sponsored terrorism, Bandar bin Sultan, is now returning to his role after a brief interruption.

It appears that Petraeus stopped paying attention to world events when he resigned from the CIA in disgrace in November of 2012, because nowhere in his anti-Iran screed do we see any acknowledgement that in June of 2013, Hassan Rouhani was elected as Iran’s new president and has ushered in a new, more moderate outlook that is credited with providing the window for diplomatic progress toward an agreement on Iran’s nuclear technology.

Okay, so here is Petraeus (and co-author Vance Serchuk, who was Joe Lieberman’s foreign policy advisor after cutting his teeth at the American Enterprise Institute–you just can’t make this shit up!) framing the problem for us:

Largely absent from the debate, however, has been a fuller consideration of the strategic implications a nuclear agreement could have on the U.S. position in the Middle East.

Such an assessment must begin by considering the consequences of lifting the majority of sanctions on Iran — and of Iran resuming normal trade with the world’s major economies. This prospect is what provides our strongest leverage to persuade the Iranian government to abandon key elements of its nuclear program.

But lifting sanctions would also lead to the economic empowerment of a government that is the leading state sponsor of terrorism. Indeed, even under crippling sanctions, Iran has managed to provide robust support to extremist proxies as part of its broader geopolitical agenda across the Middle East and beyond — activities antithetical to U.S. interests and to those of our closest allies.

It is possible that a nuclear deal would pave the way to a broader detente in Iran’s relations with the United States and its neighbors. It is, however, more plausible that removing sanctions would strengthen Tehran’s ability to project malign influence in its near-abroad, including Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, the Arabian peninsula and the Palestinian territories.

Just wow. Petraeus is actually using Syria as a primary example of Iran as a sponsor of terrorism. That’s right, the same Syria where Petraeus’s CIA started the training of CIA death squads modeled after his Iraq death squad program and that has given us “moderate” death squads who make the news by eating an opponent’s heart. Syria is one of the last places on Earth where the US should try to claim the moral high ground.

I do, however, agree with Petraeus’ point that US sanctions have devastated Iran’s economy. But given the level of suffering for most Iranian citizens, it seems that Rouhani will be under tremendous pressure make restoration of Iran’s economy the highest priority under any scenario with the sanctions mostly lifted.

It is not until the halfway point in this grossly belligerent piece that Petraeus finally, grudgingly, admits that a negotiated deal with Iran on its nuclear technology is actually better than military action against sites where Iran carries out the work. And yet, the rest of the piece is devoted to keeping the attitude relating to Iran as close to a war footing as possible.

Finally, Petraeus gives us a five point plan on how we can prepare for that day after an agreement with Iran is signed. I won’t bother with working through all of them, but the middle one circles back to the issue of Syria:

Third, the United States needs to look hard at its position on Syria, arguably now the central front in a broader struggle for primacy in the Middle East. Recent reports that the Obama administration has been considering various forms of increased support to the Syrian opposition — including providing a limited number of strategically significant weapons systems — are encouraging. These reports, if true, would reflect recognition that a much more robust, focused and well-resourced effort is required to reverse the Assad regime’s current battlefield momentum, which it has achieved in large part due to Iranian help.

Petraeus can hardly contain his excitement about providing MANPADS, presumably through Bandar, for those “moderate” rebels in Syria to unleash new levels of hell in a region where civilians are starving while suffering atrocities at the hands of both sides in this conflict with no sign of ending.

With Petraeus appearing yet again in the Post, we can only wonder if there is yet another movement underway to launder his image and get him ready for a political run. Recall that in 2011, there was an ill-fated push by political groups to get Petraeus a fifth star to burnish his credentials for a potential presidential run in 2012. One would think that his spectacular failures in the Broadwell affair would have doomed him politically forever, or even that his role in holding back intelligence on the Benghazi attack for political reasons would keep him out of politics, but I can’t help wondering if I’m still going to have the ass-kissing little chickenshit around to bash for many more years to come.

28 replies
  1. seedeevee says:

    ” . . . the rest of the world knows that Saudi Arabia is by far the largest state sponsor of terrorism.”

    I would have assumed that the USA is the largest state sponsor of terrorism . . . Don’t we sponsor the Saudis – or is that the other way around?

    • chronicle says:

      quote”I would have assumed that the USA is the largest state sponsor of terrorism .”unquote

      DING DING DING!! We have a winner Johnnie.

      Jim White said:

      quote:”… but I can’t help wondering if I’m still going to have the ass-kissing little chickenshit around to bash for many more years to come.”unquote

      Make that a pond scum, cheating, ass kissing chickenshit liar.

    • Jim White says:

      Well, yes, I almost put the USA on the top of my list, but the problem is that most of the terrorist attacks by the US, mainly  (1)Petraeus-style death squad home invasions followed by indefinite detention and torture and (2) drone attacks, are undertaken overtly as part of the war on terra. The other “terrorist” actions we are discussing are covert actions. The US has more than its share of those but tends to defer to Bandar to many of the worst of those actions.

    • Phoenix Woman says:

      The Saudis through their oil reserves control our fo-po people and even have the Likudnik neocons in their corner.

      That’s why you don’t hear much about Bandar Bush’s role in egging on what otherwise would have remained a miniscule Wahabist opposition in Syria. Not much, at any rate, in any press that the majority of Americans would be likely to encounter on a daily basis.

  2. TarheelDem says:

    Petraeus is now a corporate spokesperson who can weasel his way into academic gigs. Who are his corporate masters for this gig? Can you see the wrists of either of the Koch brothers coming out from his well-tailored jacket? Other Saudi-affiliated oil barons?

  3. scribe says:

    Interesting, that the other day the German media was reporting that Syria should be counted as an Assad victory and it was all over there but for the shouting.

    And the postwar government death squads mopping up the remaining rebels if, where and when found.

  4. orionATL says:

    how does this grab you?

    presidential candidate: jeb “i love hispanics, that’s why i married one” bush

    vice-presidential candidate: general (disg) david “i am the savior of iraq and afghanistan” petraeus.

  5. Don Bacon says:

    I always love me a strong dose of attacks on David Petraeus by Jim White — there’s none better in deflating the concocted image of this pompous lying grandee of failure.

    Regarding Iran as “the leading state sponsor of terrorism,” that phrase just rolls off the lips of these warmongers in government and media (they are connected, as we see with Petraeus) even though THEIR OWN DOCUMENTS offer no support of it, none whatsoever. My study of the subject follows –it is a bit dated, but it will serve.

    Thirteen countries are covered in the US State Department Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 with information in:
    -2012 Terrorist Incidents
    -Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security
    -Countering Terrorist Finance
    -Regional and International Cooperation

    and Iran isn’t even included! What’s with that? Little tiny Bahrain has a complete section, and Iran, the largest state in the Middle East, has nothing — even though it’s charged with “a clear resurgence of Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism!”

    No wonder Iran complained about the report.

    Actually, there was nothing to report, is the reason. The top terrorist threats in 2012? Here’s the countries of CNN’s “The top terror takedowns of 2012;”

    Al Qaeda 9
    Haqqani 1
    Iranian 0

    How about the countries of the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists?
    Egypt 3, Guyana 1, Lebanon 4, Libya 1, Malaysia 1, Pakistan 1, Palestine 6, Philippines 1, Saudi Arabia 4, USA 4, Yemen 2.
    Iran 0.
    So I’d say that Saudi Arabia and USA were the leading state sponsors of terrorism in 2012.

    How about the December Global Terrorism Index.
    Report: Iraq and Afghanistan account for 35% of last decade’s terrorist attacks. The ten countries most affected by terrorism in 2011 are: Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Thailand, Russia and Philippines. Note that five of the top six were instigated by — Iran? No, by the U.S. None by Iran.

    Continuing my quest for an Iranian terrorist, even just one, I downloaded the “2012 Calendar” published by Matthew Olsen’s National Counterterrorism Center. The calendar lists fifteen terrorism organizations and areas, including five al-Qaeda groups with 21 terrorists (almost half the total), Hizballah, Hamas and others in various countries, mostly in Asia.

    Total terrorists listed-44, with top countries of origin being–
    Saudi Arabia-5

    Iran-zero (24.36MB)

    My fruitless search for an Iranian terrorist continues. There must be a bunch of them somewhere because The Honorable Matthew Olsen, NCC chief, did say “There are times when we are briefing the White House [on terror threats that] at the top of the list are Hezbollah or Iran.”

    PS: Since Saudi Arabia is at the top of both the FBI and the NCC terrorist lists, is Saudi Arabia ever at the top of Olsen’s list when he briefs the White House, also remembering 9/11? No. Saudi Arabia is a US ally in SUPPORTING terrorists, as in Afghanistan and Syria.

  6. ArizonaBumblebee says:

    Carl Hayden, Arizona’s senior senator at the time, once told Barry Goldwater that his senatorial colleagues fell into two, broad categories: work horses and show horses. General Patraeus is a show horse and a shamelessly, self-promoting gasbag. He revealed his identity early on when he married the daughter of the Superintendent of West Point as a young man, more than likely to advance his career. He knows who has the money and influence in Washington: the neocons and the Israel Lobby, both of whom are working tirelessly to sabotage any rapprochement between the United States and Iran. The retired general wants a piece of the action and positive publicity that will be forthcoming from his support of neocon positions.

  7. Anonsters says:

    One question for Jim, one comment, and one complaint about the commenting system since the Change:
    Comment: As for the crap in the piece about sanctions, I can only conclude that he wants us to maintain permanent sanctions on Iran, period, full stop. That in itself is pretty fucking twisted.
    Question for Jim: Do you deny that Iran is supporting the Assad regime with weapons and materiel?
    Complaint about the commenting system: Blank-lines that you insert in the comment box disappear when you submit your comment, making recourse to the above use of periods for line-spacing necessary. Halp.

    • Don Bacon says:

      Of course Iran is supporting Syria against US/Saudi/Turkey – supported terrorists — nothing wrong with that.
      I guess Petraeus will author another best seller, as a sequel to his FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency — FM 3-25 Proinsurgency, for use in Syria.

      • Anonsters says:

        Nothing wrong with the Assad regime, eh? They’re just innocent lambs who have been unfairly targeted by stupid neocon warmongers. Oh, if only we could leave Assad alone, Syria would be such a lovely place this time of year!
        FWIW, I don’t support any military action, or any covert or overt support for, militant groups in Syria. We’ve seen over and over in the past what that gets us, and it ain’t pretty. What I object to is when people like you go a step further and rise to the defense of a pretty slimy regime, simply because you don’t like our policy towards it.

        • Don Bacon says:

          “They’re just innocent lambs who have been unfairly targeted by stupid neocon warmongers. ”
          No, that’s not it. Syria is an ally of Iran is why the US and its allies are supporting terrorism and insurgency in Syria. Members of the US Congress have made it crystal clear that the real enemy is Iran which is a principal supporter of Syria and Hezbollah. You must have missed it.

    • Jim White says:

      In response to the question, it’s clear to me that Iran (and Russia) is supporting Assad with weapons and advisors, and likely also with special ops types.

    • Jim White says:

      As for the line break issue, try clicking on the “text” tab in the comment box. Then, you can use the break command in HTML. Just put br between < and >, and that should do it. And yes, the interface looks pretty crazy in this mode…

      I did two of those between these two paragraphs.

        • Anonsters says:

          On the bright side, I got a chuckle out of it! :)

          Testing, testing, one two three.

          BTW, I don’t see any “text” tab in the comment box. :/ And this is even after pausing Ghostery, NoScript, and reloading the page. So, I’m not sure what’s up. Could just be me.

        • lefty665 says:

          …and the edit function is gone too. In the prior post a couple of folks seemed to have spacing. Wonder how they did it? .
          If periods offend, try question marks, “carriage return”, or “millennial lab WTF?”.

  8. Don Bacon says:

    In Petreaus’s Apr 9 Op-Ed (with Vance Serchuck) he uses another favorite term of the warmongers — illicit.

    Advocates of the effort to reach a negotiated settlement with Iran over its illicit nuclear activities have emphasized the benefits an agreement could bring by peacefully and verifiably barring Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

    They love that term, even though Iran is in full compliance with the NPT and has done nothing illegal. Iran is not in compliance with UNSC strictures, is all, because Iran is a concocted enemy of the US.

  9. CTuttle says:

    …I can’t help wondering if I’m still going to have the ass-kissing little chickenshit around to bash for many more years to come.

    Please keep bashing, Jim…! ;-)

Comments are closed.