Earlier this year former Mayor of New York City Rudolph Giuliani openly promoted using terrorism as a way to stop the non-existent Iranian nuclear weapons program (for more confirmation of this fact see statements from U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and the U.S. intelligence community).
Similarly, Israel’s current Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister and former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Moshe Ya’alon, has made a thinly veiled statement promoting using terrorism against Iran.
Given that a known terrorist organization, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), members of which were trained by the Israeli Mossad according to U.S. officials, was recently de-listed by the U.S. State Department (a move with Iran has called a violation of international obligations), increased terrorismand assassinations (which some mainstream journalists attribute to Israel) in Iran seems likely.
If all of that wasn’t worrisome enough, Stephen Clawson, the Director of Research at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy (WINEP) – a so-called think tank which has been defined by many as part of the Israel lobby in the United States – has joined the ranks of those prominent figures promoting acts of terrorism.
For those who are skeptical of the pro-Israel bent of WINEP, one of the strongest pieces of evidence comes from MJ Rosenberg, a former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) staffer, who said that WINEP is “an AIPAC controlled think-tank that would disseminate the AIPAC line but in a way that would disguise its connections.” (Thanks to Business Insider for the link.)
Speaking at WINEP’s policy forum luncheon, the subject of which was “How to Build US-Israeli Coordination on Preventing an Iranian Nuclear Breakout,” Clawson said, “if, in fact, the Iranians aren’t going to compromise, it would be best if someone else started the war.”
Clawson preceded this statement by going through the various conflicts which the U.S. became involved in only after being attacked.
“One can combine other means of pressure with sanctions. I mentioned that explosion on August 17th. We could step up the pressure,” said Clawson.
“I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down, some day one of them might not come up, who would know why?” asked Clawson, rhetorically. “We could do a variety of things if we wish to to increase the pressure. I’m not advocating that, but I’m just suggesting that this is not an either or proposition, you know it’s just sanctions have to succeed or it’s other things.”
“We are in the games of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier,” concluded Clawson.
Clawson’s statement leaves little to the imagination and unfortunately it is far from surprising to hear such a thing. In fact, I’m a bit surprised we haven’t been hearing this more, especially from pro-Israel groups. Watch the clip below: