James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Iran-Contra Part 2, but more stupid

Imagine me slapping myself in the forehead with the heel of my hand and muttering, “Ye, gods, how could I have missed that?”

Now imagine a whole lot of other people with far bigger names, better connections and vastly bigger audiences doing and saying the same.

Could happen, probably will eventually, because there is something very big and very dangerous going on in Iran that has not yet been reported.

In the piece below, one of several items listed among issues being ignored by Congress is the report from Amnesty International, via the Guardian, on what at first appears to be yet another Pentagon screwup.

Amnesty International, which rarely is wrong when it goes public with information, said our military bought a whole lot of small arms – including at least 200,000 Kalashnikov machine guns – from dealers in Bosnia and shipped them to Iraq, supposedly for the latter country's developing military.

A NATO official is quoted as saying that it was the largest arms shipment from Bosnia since World War II.

At least one of the dealers is a widely-known arms smuggler who officially has been blacklisted by the U.S. Government, as well as by the United Nations.

Amnesty International said, “there is no evidence of the guns reaching their (intended) recipient.”

The Guardian quoted “senior western officials” in the Balkans as saying that “some” of the guns “may have fallen into the wrong hands.”

I rather stupidly declared in my previous piece that the only conclusion one could draw from the facts is that the guns are now in the hands of Iraqi insurgents.


There is another explanation for the bizarre circumstances described by A.I. and the Guardian that seems on reflection to make more sense – if you can call anything that comes from the twisted minds of the Bush crowd, in the White House or the Pentagon, “sensible.”

Start with these questions in mind:

Why is the U.S. military buying weapons, Russian-made weapons, from private arms peddlers in Bosnia? Why is it buying from blackballed dealers, which makes the purchases illegal?

Reasonable answer: Because they didn't want us, the American public, to know they were arming....someone...in or near Iraq.

Is it reasonable to believe that the Pentagon, having purchased hundreds of thousands of weapons, could then lose track of where they went? Answer: No. Even the military isn't that entirely disorganized, especially not when it is acting illegally.

If the Iraqi military didn't get the guns, where did they go?

I guessed at first that they went to some of the various militias that are murdering people all over Iraq.

But serious thought leads one inescapably to Iran.

Consider that we know the Bush has determined to attack Iran. The corporate press, despite having been suckered in exactly the same way on Iraq, won't say that out loud, or even hint that it is true. But the brilliant Seymour Hersh said it in the New Yorker early last month and backed his conclusions with solid, virtually inarguable reporting. A number of other honest and professional reporters and publications have since supported Hersh's conclusions.

Articles describing plans for air attacks on Iran have appeared in the Washington Post and the Sunday Times of London, among others.

As with Iraq, though to a much lesser degree, the Bush has claimed it is open to negotiations, but has stonewalled every one of several excellent opportunities to engage in discussions with the Iranians. Even the most fawning of corporate newspapers and television broadcasts has reported that fact.

The White House has left no possibility of misinterpretation: It will not negotiate with Iran, and it will not because it already has decided on military action.

OK. We also know through some good reporting by a handful of real journalists that American military personnel already are in Iran, selecting targets for bombing and probably trying to organize some internal Iranian support for an insurgency.

Sketchy reports tell us that U.S. Military agents in Iran probably have connected with some Iranian dissenters. Maybe they're would-be warlords, maybe they resent the present regime for any one of a host of possible reasons. Doesn't matter. There are bound to be dissenters, and in that part of the world a goodly number of them will want to start shooting opponents at the first opportunity.

Logic, and a lack of believable alternatives, says that those Russian guns from Bosnia have been stockpiled for, or already are in the hands of, Iranians the Pentagon and/or the Bush think will support a U.S. attack on the country. Force a “regime change,” in other words.

Assuming the administration goes ahead with its attack on Iran – an almost sure thing at this point – one also can assume those weapons will be used against this country, its troops or its surrogates at some point, as happened in Afghanistan. The Bush and the flunkies it has promoted in the Pentagon are insanely wrong in every judgment they make about that part of the world. They will not allow the most obvious reality to penetrate their hubris.

They're probably enjoying the similarities of their present machinations to those of the Iran-Contra affair.

We desperately need one of the large and more responsible news organizations to report the situation to the American people, but I don't know how to make that happen.


FYI: President Gerald Ford signed a directive in 1976 allowing Iran to buy American-built reprocessing equipment to extract plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel.

Current vice president Dick Cheney was Ford's top assistant and chief of staff at the time. Current secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld was Ford's secretary of defense then. Bush pal Paul Wolfowitz, now president of the World Bank and formerly one of the tight little crew that declared that the administration can declare “pre-emptive” war against anybody, was in Ford's Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

That bunch, with a few others, endorsed Iran's plans of the '70s to build a large nuclear energy industry. They also approved a deal that would have given Iran large quantities of plutonium and enriched uranium, either of which can be used to build the core of a nuclear warhead.

You could look it up.