Prominent Pro-Israel Policy Think Tank Advocates ‘Crisis Initiation’ Against Iran

• Dr. Patrick Clawson admits ‘false-flag’ operations have become the American way

By Mark Anderson

A recent speech by a prominent think-tank warmonger strongly suggests the restless foreign policy community disdains peace with Iran and is angling for a “false-flag” event to provoke a war with a nation that has done nothing to the United States.

On the Internet, policy expert Dr. Patrick Clawson casts aside the dry narrative that characterizes typical meetings of major foreign policy “advisory” organizations. As if to throw cold water on his stuffy listeners at a meeting of the stridently pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), Clawson openly argues for false-flag tactics to spark a war with Iran—which fits neatly into the “clash of civilizations” world crusade that most well-connected policy planners endlessly promote.

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“We can do a variety of things if we wish to increase the pressure. I’m not advocating that,” Clawson said—not “advocating” but still “suggesting” an illegal false-flag strategy, while speaking in a hurried, almost hyper tone. “But I’m just suggesting that this is not an either-or proposition—that . . . sanctions have to succeed or other things [have to succeed]. We are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier at that.”

While also saying, “I frankly think that crisis-initiation is really tough”—note the words “crisis initiation”—Clawson added, “and it’s very hard for me to see how the U.S. president can get us to war with Iran—which leads me to conclude that if in fact compromise is not coming, then the traditional way America gets to war is what would be best for U.S. interests.” That “traditional way,” he said in a barely cryptic manner, is on the basis of terrible “incidents” that catapult a reluctant nation into all-out war.

“Some people might think that Mr. Roosevelt wanted to get us into World War II . . . and you may recall we had to wait for Pearl Harbor,” Clawson said. “Some people might think Woodrow Wilson wanted to get us into WWI, [and] you might recall he had to wait for the Lusitania episode.  Some people might think Mr. [Lyndon] Johnson wanted to send troops to Vietnam; you may recall he had to wait for the Gulf of Tonkin episode.”

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Clawson added: “We didn’t go to war with Spain until the Maine exploded.” He even suggested the alleged Southern attack on Fort Sumter to spark the Civil War was engineered by the North and blamed on the Confederates.

Especially notable was his comment: “So if in fact the Iranians aren’t going to compromise, it would be best if somebody else started the war . . . . [W]e could step up the pressure. I mean, look, people, Iranian submarines periodically go down. Someday one of them might not come up. Who would know why?”

And this comes as a presidential election nears which, by the time some read this, could have put a GOP warmonger in the White House, while the corporate media continue alleging Iran is hell bent to build “the bomb” and that Iran can only “negotiate” by ending its nuclear energy program altogether, even if it’s for peaceful purposes. Anything less than that, most U.S. pundits intone, is belligerence deserving of a U.S. and Israeli military strike. That was the exact framework of CNN’s intermittent analysis during the last debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, when foreign policy was the main topic.

Especially notable was that Clawson spoke of these past events as if it’s self-evident that they were all false-flag, or trumped up, catastrophes to intentionally bring about American involvement in war. Largely gone was the conventional pretense—pushed for countless decades in schools, colleges and the media—that such events were more or less randomized acts of violence carried out only by the culprits named in mainstream history books.

The real, little-known history of intrigue, deception and conspiracy—where, for example, a nation like the U.S. provoked Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor and helped ensure the tragic, deadly event had maximum impact—including the needless murder of 2,459 men, women and children, as well as the loss of two battleships and 169 aircraft.

Clawson’s background suggests his words carry tragic weight. He directs the Iran Security Initiative. Moreover, he is “widely consulted as an analyst and media commentator [and] . . . is the author or editor of 18 books or studies on Iran,” WINEP’s website notes. “He has also testified before congressional committees more than 20 times and has served as an expert witness in more than 30 federal cases against Iran. Prior to joining [WINEP] he was a senior research professor at the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies, a senior economist at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and a research scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.”

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. Listen to Mark’s weekly radio show and email him at [email protected].