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A Case For Covert Action in Iran

Editor’s Note: PostGlobal received this e-mailed commentary from a former CIA officer who has extensive experience with covert and paramilitary action. It argues for a much more aggressive covert-action program against Iran, comparable to what the CIA mounted against the Soviet Union during the Reagan administration.

The author has requested anonymity because of the sensitiivty of the subject, and the fact that he continues to work and travel overseas.

We are sharing that perspective with PostGlobal readers not because we necessarily agree with it, but because that argument is rarely expressed in public. We include it here to add another layer to our debate.


Iran cries out for a global, comprehensive Foreign Intelligence and Covert Action program. They are so exposed in the Gulf, Africa, Asia, and South America. Here in the United States as well.

A full court, comprehensive program--to penetrate and pressure them, internally and externally--would stress Ahmadinejad and his team. His team has limited depth and leadership ability. He has not built nor does he encourage a team that is dynamic, independent in thought, and free to respond to dynamic events. This would cause him to face an entirely new set of challenges, which he would have to correctly identify, evaluate, explain, and respond to--expending resources, manpower, and effort on a global scale--instead of what he faces now.

Today, Ahmadinejad is allowed to choose the time, place, and circumstances of his efforts against the US, Iraq, Israel, and the region. He knows the level of the threats and challenges he faces, and where the red lines are. Instead, he needs to be put on defense--stressed and challenged globally, with relentless pressure, ruthless action and a commitment of resources that will run his weak leadership team ragged. Force a mistake, intimidate him, and challenge him at every point where he has an officer deployed.

Ahmadinejad has never had to face a serious internal security threat, combined with relentless external pressure on his people and infrastructure everywhere in the world. Iranian front companies, especially in Iraq and the Gulf, are identifiable and touchable--and most Arab liaison services would help us squeeze them.

What comes to mind is something we use to do in the PM (paramiltary) training course at CIA: So many of our young officers had never been punched in the face: I mean really tagged, and knocked on their butts. So we used to do that kind of physical, hand-to-hand training, to build confidence and push people through their internal barriers. It's the same reason we waterboarded each other. It's a wake up call, and quite liberating.

Ahmadinejad has never been punched hard, so that we really get his attention. He is a little guy, a bully, a narcissist, and self absorbed [deleted] with a twisted view of himself, his abilities, and how he is viewed on the regional and international scene. If I were running this Iran program, I would open the show with something impressive inside his inner circle--public, and impossible to conceal or explain. The kind of shot that would get his undivided attention. We opened the show this way with Ortega this way, and Noriega in Panama, and the Russian command in Afghanistan with our operation to blow up the Salange tunnel.

Bill Casey, the CIA director at the time, wanted to send the signal that the US was paying
attention now: "We see you, and we are coming for you, with everything we have, in every corner of the earth."

What I'm talking about is a global covert action program to squeeze and disrupt their personnel and infrastructure, their economy and leadership system--until they blink, change their behavior, or are swept from the field.

We crafted and executed a global program like this against Saddam in the run-up to the 2003 war. We touched his personnel and system everywhere we could. Some of his Iraqi Intelligence Service stations actually sent messages through liaison, that they were going to sit out the war, and asked that we just leave them alone. Others fled the countries they were assigned to.

Ahmadinejad needs to feel pain, discomfort, anxiety and stress--every day. When he is briefed in the morning in Tehran it should be a long list of things that went wrong overnight: A constant stream of breathless reports from around Iran, the region and the world, covering what was exposed, destroyed, set on fire, stolen, or rendered useless. He needs to get a briefing in the morning, like the threat matrix briefing that POTUS gets each morning. A miserable summary of what has gone wrong, or is likely to go wrong over the next 24 hours. Relentless pressure, that over time encourages him to decide: Living like this is just not worth it.

We have the ability to do this. All we lack is the will and leadership to create and execute a global program.

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Comments (76)

Faramarz Fathi:


"We opened the show this way with Ortega this way, and Noriega in Panama, and the Russian command in Afghanistan with our operation to blow up the Salange tunnel." End of quote.


This author, if indeed a former CIA employee, must have belonged to the mentally challenged department division. He is so clueless about Iran that he compares and rationalizes the past attempts and successes in countries incapable of producing a light bulb. And yet the WP deems his writing worthy of print here. Amazing.

Faramarz Fathi:


mikeyg:

" this guy has my vote for President" End of quote.

Should there be any more reasons as why you have yourselves in a cesspool up to your eye balls with an attitude such as this?


russell stuart:

yes, let's do it: a full-court press on iran.

Rigged:

First of all, the "Editor's Note" misrepresents this piece: the CIA mounted no such "aggressive covert-action program...against the Soviet Union during the Reagan administration" -- the Soviets almost certainly would have retaliated in kind, and engineering such covert actions would have been extremely difficult and prohibitively dangerous, I believe. (If there were "constant stream(s) of breathless reports...covering what was exposed, destroyed, set on fire, stolen, or rendered useless" in the Soviet Union, that's news to me.)

The author of this piece, fortunately, has absolutely no credibility at all. His examples, such as Saddam in Iraq and Noriega in Panama, completely undermine his argument: covert action played absolutely no role in removing those two from power...only invasions by the US military did that, to our considerable detriment in the case of Iraq. Covert action against Iran: a complete waste of money and resources and, worse, an excellent way to further destablize the Middle East and encourage Iranians to support their own government against "outsiders." Such CIA actions have resulted in complete failure in most cases in the past, to the detriment of our country.

You have to wonder when people like this will cease to have any influence, or role, in further corrupting American policy and foreign relations. Why some Americans think it's OK to intervene in the affairs of other countries is a mystery I can't begin to understand. Hopefully, the current bozos in office will get booted out and (hopefully) we'll get an administration that believes the US should play a positive role in the world.

Jim:

since Cheney runs everything in the Bush Adm. I guess he must have written this too. Nothing happens without Cheney's approval and sometimes without Bush's so if Cheney didn't write it then he might have well have written it.

Jim:

someone ought to take a flame thrower to this place.

Rick O'shea:

US cries out for a global, comprehensive Foreign Intelligence and Covert Action program. US is so exposed in the Gulf, Africa, Asia, and South America.
A full court, comprehensive program--to penetrate and pressure the US, internally and externally--would stress Bush and his team.
Bush's team has limited depth and leadership ability. He has not built nor does he encourage a team that is dynamic, independent in thought, and free to respond to dynamic events. This would cause him to face an entirely new set of challenges, which he would have to correctly identify, evaluate, explain, and respond to--expending resources, manpower, and effort on a global scale--instead of what he faces now.
Today, Bush is allowed to choose the time, place, and circumstances of his efforts against Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Muslim world. He knows the level of the threats and challenges he faces, and where the red lines are.
Instead, Bush needs to be put on defense--stressed and challenged globally, with relentless pressure, ruthless action and a commitment of resources that will run his weak leadership team ragged. Force a mistake, intimidate him, and challenge him at every point where he has an officer deployed.
Bush has never had to face a serious internal security threat, combined with relentless external pressure on his people and infrastructure everywhere in the world.
US institutions and companies, especially in Iraq and the Gulf, are identifiable and touchable--and most Arab liaison services would be happy to help us squeeze them.
What comes to mind is something we use to do in the PM (paramiltary) training course: So many of our young officers had never been punched in the face: I mean really tagged, and knocked on their butts. So we used to do that kind of physical, hand-to-hand training, to build confidence and push people through their internal barriers. It's the same reason we waterboarded each other. It's a wake up call, and quite liberating.
Bush has never been punched hard, so that we really get his attention. He is a little guy, a bully, a narcissist, and self absorbed with a twisted view of himself, his abilities, and how he is viewed on the regional and international scene. If I were running this US program, I would open the show with something impressive inside his inner circle--public, and impossible to conceal or explain. The kind of shot that would get his undivided attention.
What I'm talking about is a global covert action program to squeeze and disrupt their personnel and infrastructure, their economy and leadership system--until they blink, change their behavior, or are swept from the field.
Bush needs to feel pain, discomfort, anxiety and stress--every day. When he is briefed in the morning in Washington it should be a long list of things that went wrong overnight: A constant stream of breathless reports from around US, the region and the world, covering what was exposed, destroyed, set on fire, stolen, or rendered useless. He needs to get a briefing in the morning, like the threat matrix briefing that POTUS gets each morning. A miserable summary of what has gone wrong, or is likely to go wrong over the next 24 hours. Relentless pressure, that over time encourages him to decide: Living like this is just not worth it.

Steve:

The CIA has failed at EVERY MISERABLE MISSION they've attempted. Their record sucks. If this was a corporation, it would've filed for bankruptcy long ago, but of course, this CIA albatross has a Congress that just keeps on giving.

I don't think these idiots should be allowed to start ANYthing without a detailed plan shown to crucial Congresspeople AND Supreme Court justices, not after the war criminality of the whole Iraqi debacle.

I find the fascists calling for ANOTHER war incomprehensible. Are they nuts? The useless war in Iraq keeps grinding up people and money, was obviously started ONLY for oil (McClellan, Greenspan).

They keep this up, we'll rise up and behead 'em ourselves. Damn criminals. If we have to ride fascism out of this country at the point of a shotgun, or bazooka, so be it. "The blood of tyrants...tree of liberty" and all that Jeffersonian stuff.

ep thorn:

Another reason the US intelligence program is a joke: old white guys are still trying to fight the last war. They love the Cold War, and they want to start one up again. Unfortunately they don't seem to realize that all the steps in this direction the US has taken so far have resulted in a MORE stable political position for the hard-liners.

You want regime change in Iran? Stop screwing around in the area, stop giving them a reason to hate the US.

I am the Walrus:

Is this "memo" really just a treatment for some action ovie Hollywood is considering? Why does the WaPo publish this nonsense? Why does theWaPo give a platform for these nazis to expond their absurdities from? How can it be that anyone would take a plan like this for anything other than being seriously delusional?

The problem is not the pseudo-government agent who allegedly drafted this lunacy. The problem is that the WaPo published it and then Zakaria and Ignatius allowed their likeness to be associated with it.

This is the same nonsense as Bantancourt's recent deep seated expression of faith in the Colombian military and the Catholic Church, two reactionary organizations totally committed to maintaining the status quo.

MinnieB9:

Dana Milbank warned us that some people, prolly the Likudi wing of the various parties would wanna spend the laid back July 4th weekend cogitating and raising a ruckus about Iran and really we should prolly not play along.

I am not sure which CIA agent sent this or why they chose to be Anonymous. It looks ghost written by David Frum. Jonah Goldberg or Daniel Pipes are also contenders, but Frum could be the one with the tenuous account of history and sometimes of vocabulary.

Which particular covert action against the Russians is this person talking about? We won that particular process by Talking to the Russians, by strategic treaties, by mutual deterrence and by the actions of students, church groups and labor unions across Europe. Yeah, we also bugged each other’s embassies, but recall, we had embassies to bug. With Iran, we have no embassies, no nothing. India and China do, but USA don’t.

Oh and I forgot to mention, forget about harping on the old Soviet Union days, and giving gratuitous plugs to the moronic Reagan, who neglected our inner cities and devastated our budgets and infrastructure. The new Russia is Rich, they are the ones chuckling while Bush is mired in a $1 trillion war, OK, not chuckling, but shaking their heads at the turn of events. They are Richie rich rich, they have plenty of fossil fuels, they supply Europe and even the Germans who are longing to grumble have to go along. Their former Chancellor took a million plus Euro job with Gazprom or the conglomerate. Start dealing with it, the Russians beat back the robber baron looting, have overcome the past and are now Richie rich rich, with near global influence. Putin has been deft where Bush has been blustery and bumbling.

As for the plan to make Ahmedinijad jittery, gosh, the man is plenty jittery enough. The entire Muslim world is poised for some looney action by Olmert, Mofaz or Bush, McLoon or even Weather Vane Obama. Try thinking of things that will calm Ahmedi and his ilk down. Jittery is not the way to go.

But I realize that blabbing about Iran is an irresistible and addictive activity, even if totally useless, destructive and counter productive.

Apparently blabbing about Iran is better than the 2 alternatives 1) present the map of the Israel Palestine peace deal and 2) find a way to deal with the economic consequences of deregulation which have caused this massive price pressure in the United States and overseas. Yes, that will involve acknowledging mistakes by Bobby Rubin and the Clintons, in bizarre cooperation with the Gramms, but mistakes have been made and mistakes must be corrected.

Those are both more productive venues.

Why the obsession with Iran, it’s becoz some people don’t wanna talk about peace, right. That’s all that’s left. The peace deal. It’s right there and the Palestinian negotiators are accepting of most of the map except for 5-7%. My goodness, 5-7%. That’s just itty bitty. Nobody is talking about Golan, nobody is talking about Sheba farms. Just the last 5-7%.

Go on, show us the map. The global community will figure it out, they will cajole the Palestinians into taking a deal. The last 5-7% is nothing.

There is no support for attacking Iran, none whatsoever. At the bottom of the so called Grand Global Expose, maybe the Anonymous Alleged CIA person shoulda written and oh, BTW, Israel will face annhiliation and USA will be totally impoverished and disrupted.

My goodness, let’s try to move along. Peace deal and dereg mistakes. MinnieB9.

Arthur Gittleman:

We are really having oil at $145 and going up. The CIA seems to be alot of hot air. I should mention the fact that not everyone in Iran agrees with there leadership and this is an internal problem that they will have to solve. Outside pressure is likely to turn people in Iran that may favor us against us in order to protect themselves. Iran needs to be opened up not closed down. If our way of life is such a good thing why not spread it instead maybe imperial america is not something that needs spreading. It should be noted that the leader of Iran that is mentioned is a elected offical and likely to lose the next election. But at $145 oil you may get him reelected. And the CIA is not going to change the price of oil.

tokugawa:

This program has already been authorized and is currently being implemented:

http://www.counterpunch.org/andrew05022008.html

XXX:

It's the same reason we waterboarded each other. It's a wake up call, and quite liberating.

Being upside down in a toilet under water could also be called waterboarding.

Being gang raped in prison, some might consider liberating, along with being 'fisted.'

Gang banging a spouce or child [either sex] in front of someone would likely cause them to talk.

But most of us would still call this kind of stuff either torture or perhaps 'preverted.'

Now there might be a time and a place for just about anything, BUT YOU HAD BETTER BE ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT IRAN IS THAT TIME MAND PLACE AND IF IT IS, THEN HOW IS IT THAT THE MOSSAD IS NOT ALREADY DOING THIS IN IRAN AND SHARING THE RESULTS OF THEIR EFFORTS WITH US ???

There's hardball and then there's HARDBALL -- which are you really proposing, because the Shaw before he was deposed by a muslim hardline was engaged in the latter and look what resulted.

The CIA has trained foreign governments in all kinds of repulsive torture tactics.

BUT HAS THIS BEEN EFFECTIVE IN THE LONG RUN ???

SickandTired2:

The last two lines sum everything up: "We have the ability to do this. All we lack is the will and leadership to create and execute a global program."

We've had neither the will nor the leadership, and therein lies the rub.

Gaston:

Haven't we learned anything from the coup d'etat the CIA organized to overthrow democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh & installed the hated Shah? or anybody remembered CIA organized coup against President Diem in S. Vietnam in Nov 63? Does America need to have one more Vietnam in the Middle East?
One more Vietnam encore anybody?????

PS: by the way I witnessed the coup d'etat against Diem directed by the CIA Saigon station chief

XYZ:

Blueball, Brian, and Oldlefty:

C'mon Guys! Show your patriotism! Another Afghanistan at ten miles from the oil fields that provide energy to 70% of the Global free market is patriotic...

blueball:

I would expect better writing from a true CIA officer. As to the writer's goal: suppose the CIA topples Ahmednijad. What next? Does the Iranian George Washington appear on a white horse?
This man thinks Ahmedinijad is the problem. Don't the mullahs really control the Iranian state? And how many of them do we have to "deal with" to achieve whatever it is we think we want there? What is the goal: instability of 80 million people's country? Why would that be in our interest?
Seems to me Ahmedinijad is playing his cards just as anyone would: try to keep the power he has by threats and creating uncertainty in the minds of the enemy. A true leader will never give up sovereignty. True sovereignty nowadays requires a nuclear deterrent--or the appearance of being close to having one.

Brian Richards:

The headline of this article is oxymoronic.

"A Case For Covert Action in Iran"

Exactly how covert is this action now?

It's thinking like this that puts "Mission Accomplished" banners on aircraft carriers long before the mission is accomplished.

Does the writer of this article have a degree from any decent college or university?

It's Independence Day; but a real declaration of independence from practiced ignorance and stupidity will not happen until November.

OldLefty:

Haven't you done ENOUGH damage in Iran?
First you overthrow Mossadegh, and support a brutal dictator.
The people hated the Shaw, they hated SAVAK and they hated us for propping them up.
We saw what happened when they finally
got the chance to overthrow him.
You play BOTH sides of the Iran- Iraq war.
Then Just as they start to get sick of the theocracy, and become more pro American, you surround their country with troops, call them evil, threaten them , and of COURSE they elect the Iranian version of Bush...Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!

Enough!!

Charlie:

Can't agree more with the Post guest. Set the entire Middle East in flames! We don't need their cursed oil anyway. Let I-Ran burn the oil fields in the Gulf and enjoy the show!

dunnage:

Look, Pakistan and India have nukes. Irael has nukes. North Korea has nukes and we send the New York Philharmonic. So get a grip folks. Iran will have nukes.

What would you do if the U.S. was in 2 wars one on either side of your country? So I guess if they can find somebody that speaks the language, covert is better than overt.

jreed11665:

One must note the rather large economic leverage Iran seems to have versus US actions. According to one responder, Iran is spending somewhat less than 200 million per day on military actions, a figure insignificant to the 2 billion the US is spending every day in Iraq plus the cost of Afghanistan, Eastern Europe, Japan, Korea, various Pacific islands, the general military budget, and, of course, the funds spent for homeland security and interior department services than somehow end up in military hands. I'm sure the Iranian government is impressed by our willingness to waste 20-30-50 times what they do for far less effect! Meanwhile the US trails almost all the free world in health care, student education, employment, care for the young and old, and practically any other measure of a nation that tends first to its own. What is security when you are left to live in the gutter?

XYZ:

What a great idea! Why has no one thought of it before this genius spoke? Destabilize Iran and have another Afghanistan... Let's do it!

willi:

I wonder how much respect the US will get from this acknowledgement of past terrorist actions, current terrorist actions and planned future terrorist actions. The rest of the world now knows the US for what it is and how it operates and terrorises everbody else.
Great diplomacy! I ask who would want to associate such people, who would do business with such people, who would befriend and respect such people, who would ever again trust such people?

willi:

I wonder how much respect the US will get from this acknowledgement of past terrorist actions, current terrorist actions and planned future terrorist actions. The rest of the world now knows the US for what it is and how it operates and terrorises everbody else.
Great diplomacy! I ask who would want to associate such people, who would do business with such people, who would befriend and respect such people, who would ever again trust such people?

rick jones:

Given the protracted and continuing "situation" in Iraq I'm not sure touting covert ops pre-2003 Iraq war puts the idea of doing the same in/to Iran in a positive light.

Interesting:

I'm not sure whether I fully agree with you. I'm not sure what "pursue Iran globally" fully entails. And you leave it vague. Also, how can I be fully sure? You're only one source and I'd need to read a counter-opinion from someone in a position similar to yours ( with an understanding of clandestine operations).

Even still, I am glad your opinion was posted.

Researcher101:

I am reading a book by Tim Weiner "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA". Several points have come across so far:

1. Historically, the CIA has done a poor job of providing intelligence on other countries. As a consequence, US leaders have had inadequate and inaccurate information on which to make decisions.

2. US leaders routinely ignore intelligence from the CIA that does not agree with their preconceptions.

3. The CIA, responding to pressure from US leadership, modifies the intelligence it provides.

4. The vast majority of the time, the CIA bungles covert operations. The usual result is millions of dollars wasted, dead operatives, and, if the operations come to light, embarassment for the US.

Why would covert operations against Iran be any different?

Harkadahl:

Does it occur to this brainless former "CIA operative" that all of America's shameful meddling in other countries' affairs is exactly why it has a terrorism problem? No. The CIA is all about meddling . The terrorists are all about blow-back. The US and its enemies deserve each other if bird-brains like this are given responsible jobs.

georgepwebster:

If we hadn't installed the Shah, would radical Islamists rule Iran today? How we hate uncooperative democratically elected governments. If GW is going to start another war, can he play the Slim Pickens part in this one? Strap GW and his codpiece to a cruise missile.

Don't worry it's secret. Iran doesn't have Fox on cable.

Will radioactive oil make better gasoline?

"former CIA officer...he continues to work and travel overseas."
Working for Blackwater's new Intelligence division?

Can't Novak out this guy too?

LeszX:

The Wash Post was totally irresponsible in running this anonymous piece. Rick O'Shea reply (see about three down) is perfect.

Nym:

I say beat on them with their opium problem. We can do that publicly, and best of all the opium is from the Taliban, so it presents them with a response conflict.

That and gosh, lots of warehouse fires could go a long way towards tweaking the snotty little twit.

Chasing his people around like chickens would be disproportionately effective because he doesn't have the back office to cope with it, he's overextended himself in this realm.


Doc 1:

If the rumors from the MDs are true, then we are already treating casualties suffered in Iran at Walter Reed AMC. Hopefully, they are just rumors, but doctors are not known for lieing.

Rick O'shea:

US cries out for a global, comprehensive Foreign Intelligence and Covert Action program. They are so exposed in the Gulf, Africa, Asia, and South America.
A full court, comprehensive program--to penetrate and pressure them, internally and externally--would stress Bush and his team. His team has limited depth and leadership ability. He has not built nor does he encourage a team that is dynamic, independent in thought, and free to respond to dynamic events. This would cause him to face an entirely new set of challenges, which he would have to correctly identify, evaluate, explain, and respond to--expending resources, manpower, and effort on a global scale--instead of what he faces now.
Today, Bush is allowed to choose the time, place, and circumstances of his efforts against the Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Muslim world. He knows the level of the threats and challenges he faces, and where the red lines are. Instead, he needs to be put on defense--stressed and challenged globally, with relentless pressure, ruthless action and a commitment of resources that will run his weak leadership team ragged. Force a mistake, intimidate him, and challenge him at every point where he has an officer deployed.
Bush has never had to face a serious internal security threat, combined with relentless external pressure on his people and infrastructure everywhere in the world. US companies, especially in Iraq and the Gulf, are identifiable and touchable--and most Arab liaison services would help us squeeze them.
What comes to mind is something we use to do in the PM (paramiltary) training course: So many of our young officers had never been punched in the face: I mean really tagged, and knocked on their butts. So we used to do that kind of physical, hand-to-hand training, to build confidence and push people through their internal barriers. It's the same reason we waterboarded each other. It's a wake up call, and quite liberating.
Bush has never been punched hard, so that we really get his attention. He is a little guy, a bully, a narcissist, and self absorbed with a twisted view of himself, his abilities, and how he is viewed on the regional and international scene. If I were running this US program, I would open the show with something impressive inside his inner circle--public, and impossible to conceal or explain. The kind of shot that would get his undivided attention.
What I'm talking about is a global covert action program to squeeze and disrupt their personnel and infrastructure, their economy and leadership system--until they blink, change their behavior, or are swept from the field.
We crafted and executed a global program like this against Saddam in the run-up to the 2003 war. We touched his personnel and system everywhere we could. Some of his Iraqi Intelligence Service stations actually sent messages through liaison, that they were going to sit out the war, and asked that we just leave them alone. Others fled the countries they were assigned to.
Bush needs to feel pain, discomfort, anxiety and stress--every day. When he is briefed in the morning in Washington it should be a long list of things that went wrong overnight: A constant stream of breathless reports from around US, the region and the world, covering what was exposed, destroyed, set on fire, stolen, or rendered useless. He needs to get a briefing in the morning, like the threat matrix briefing that POTUS gets each morning. A miserable summary of what has gone wrong, or is likely to go wrong over the next 24 hours. Relentless pressure, that over time encourages him to decide: Living like this is just not worth it.
We have the ability to do this. All we lack is the will and leadership to create and execute a global program.

Steve:

As I understand, the US is already using covert operations to undermine the religious leaders of Iran. The idea being that if the religious extremist are removed from power, then a younger more tolerable generation of leaders will take over.

Wow that sounds like a good idea. We should try it here in good ol' USA.

some guy:

Because our covert ops in Iran have had such great outcomes in the past, 1953, Operation Eagle Claw...I'm sure this one will work just as planned!

Oy!:

We are already at war, but it is mostly one-sided.
Iran attacks Israel (and the US) through its proxies.

All Iran (and other Arab/Muslim countries) has said is that Israel should be wiped off the map of the earth; that the Jews are a pestiulance, a virus, and must be destroyed; compares the Jews/Zionists to monkeys, dogs, and pigs; don't show Israel on their maps; publish the Protocols as current fact; and question the extent of and/or the existance of the Holocaust; even while making their own countries Juden Frie.

Had the Arabs/Muslims accepted the 1947 partition plan for one (more) Arab state and one Jewish state, maybe we would be having a dual 60 year celebration instead of a continued hatefest against the Jews and against Israel.

arjay1:

Note the following list of Iranian/Aryani imperialist operations through 2008

Governing Clique, Supreme National Security Council personal political activities of members: 1,200 personnel @ $11,500/day

Pasdaran police state activities : 420,000 personnel @ $350/day
Quds multi-state aggression: 17,000 personnel @ $800/day
Hezbollah political / military support: 15,000 personnel @ $250/day
Hamaz political /military support: 11,000 personnel @ $600/day
Al-Sharqiyah Brigade support : 3.500 personnel @ $200/day
Tajik paramilitary support: 7,300 personnel @ $100/day
Azeri Azarbaijan political groups : 4,700 personnel @$200/day
‘Special Groups’ in Sadr City, Iraq: 300 personnel @$700/day
‘Special Groups’ in Basrah, Iraq: 1,200 personnel @$600/day
‘Special Groups’ in Kurdistan, Iraq: 1,100 personnel @600/day
‘Special Groups’ in Kuwait: 450 personnel @300/day

Anyone who believes that the 20 million Aryani Iranians (out of 80 million “citizens”) are protecting the Iranian people against Israeli (15 million “citizens”) aggression should try Iranian Hashish instead of pot in order to enhance their sense of illusion. Go read a map, CIA or RSA Russian made won’t matter. These listed Iranian operations are in areas that control the energy movement of sixty percent of the world energy supply. A small Iranian minority in Tehran is using the Arab world’s politically correct zionophobia as an excuse for a much larger imperialism. It is no accident that Israeli long range military operations provoked Iranian Quds responses about closing the Gulf of Hormuz 800 miles from Israel) rather than retaliation against Israel. The Iranian “citizens” are caught in the middle of a situation their Supreme Council’s aggression is responsible for, but to say (as most American liberal isolationists do) that the aggression shouldn’t be responded to at all has to be a chemically derived opinion.

Citizen of the post-American world:

Larrywp wrote: "The writer of this article is as correct as someone can be in a realistic world...if the U.S. and/or Israel MAKES USE OF THEIR ENTIRE ARSENAL - which they clearly have not in any conflict either has been involved with in the past half century - including tactical nuclear weapons and most especially the Neutron Bomb, the "war" would be over in a couple of weeks. Iran would be disemboweled, and the Middle East would be a lot more subdued than it is today. They understand nothing but raw power." (my emphasis)

Interesting! I did not know people could be found, who wished that Cormac McCarthy's novel "The Road" (2006) be premonitory of our immediate future. The brains of the latest saviours of the world appear to be structured along the lines of Ben Tre logic. Indeed:

"One of the most famous quotes of the Vietnam War was a statement attributed to U.S. Air Force Major Chester I. Brown by AP correspondent Peter Arnett. Writing about the provincial capital, Ben Tre, on February 7, 1968, Arnett said: "'it became necessary to destroy the town to save it,' a U.S. major says." To this day, "Ben Tre Logic" is a common saying for whenever a "logical" conclusion is to destroy something out of the perceived best interests of everyone involved." ***

The most charitable interpretation of Larrywp's leads one to ask him to please take inventory of those "ENTIRE ARSENALS", and review their "degree of lethality", before suggesting that they be made use of.

That is called "being guided by the precautionary principle" and was known to have been rather useful, on certain occasions where Thanatos was known to have got the upper hand over Eros.

***

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Tre

Anonymous:

Since the author is anonymous, so am I.

The article is straight out of Cheney's office. It parrots that line too closely, and is as consistently wrong and misleading as Cheney and his minions have been.

Ahmadinedjad never threatened Israel with extinction. He said that this REGIME must surely perish. A government is not a nation. Except in the Bush/Cheney(/McCain?) view of the world. As an aside, even if Israel had been threatened with extinction, that is a matter for Israel to resolve, not the USA. Unfortunately the Cheney (including Rumsfeld, Wolfowicz, Perle, etc.) bunch make no distinction on that.

As for the rest of what the author writes: it is typical chicken-hawk bravado. Just a bunch of 'guys' voicing their fantasies, along the lines of Bush's 'Bring them On' idiocy.

Oh, by the way Mr.Author: if the US engages in these activities, isn't Iran then justified, legally and morally, to take any action against any American target? Afterall, if we engage in 'sabotage' in Iran, they can engage in it over here.

Tom. Norway:

So this is the CIA . . . . . .

I am sure they know their bible though......

FreeInUSA:

I doubt that A'jad is receiving morning readouts on the status of his country as he is getting ready for breakfast tortures. Most likely he is telling others what they should be thinking. Analysts are who we employ. They have guys with guns who make it very clear what their country should be thinking, no?

FreeInUSA:

I doubt that A'jad is receiving morning readouts on the status of is country as he is getting ready for breakfast tortures. Most likely he is telling others what they should be thinking. Analysts are who we employ. They have guys with guns who make it very clear what their country should be thinking, no?

Zoltan:

So it's all about Ahmadinejad ? The CIA makes in his trousers for one single man ? Punch him hard in the face and it will be peace over the world ?

I mean ... is this a (very bad) joke ?

"Ahmadinejad needs to feel pain".
"Ahmadinejad is allowed to choose the time, place, and circumstances of his efforts against the US, Iraq, Israel, and the region."
"Ahmadinejad has never had to face a serious internal security threat"
"Ahmadinejad has never been punched hard"
"He [Ahmadinejad] needs to get a briefing in the morning [...] that over time encourages him to decide: Living like this is just not worth it"

trippin:

First and foremost, Ahmadinejad is only a figurehead, not the leader of Iran, or in any way a serious decision maker. This fact alone makes this entire piece a worthless pile of garbage, a propaganda stunt by an anonymous, unaccountable "insider" with less knowledge of the situation than even I have, for Christ's sake -- or perhaps more knowledge, but leveraging the mass media efforts to portray Ahmadinejad as our current "Goldstein" now that Hussein is dead.

Second, don't blow smoke up my skirt: covert action has been going on in Iran for years, and has been redoubled with Bush's recent orders. Why do you suppose their government hates us so, because of our "freedom"? Please.

You aren't fooling anyone with this nonsense.

Jim:

I wonder if this coyote is one of those agents that guaranteed a slam dunk when it came to WMD’s in Iraq. The CIA has been debunked as a reliable agency and should be overhauled. It could begin by firing and ostracizing people like this mysterious ‘anonymous’ CIA agent (I really think that this guy is the first Israeli president of the USA named George Bush, Jr). END THE WAR IN IRAQ.

Ahmad:

I am surprised that this retired CIA agent has “extensive experience” and writes on how to deal with Iran but does not know much about the political structure in Iran. He seem to think that it is Ahmadinejad who makes decisions in Iran. He is unaware who really pulls the strings in Iran. Afmadinejad in only the monkey you need to go after the monkey’s owner, which is Khamenei (who replaced Khomaini as the leader after the later died). Khamenei is the dictator who is regarded above everything and even the law in Iran and who can dismiss the president, close the parliament, declare war and suspend the constitution or anything else he wishes. It is Khamane and the other 10-15 ayatollahs under him who have the real power. You remove them and the whole system collapses.

pablo:

It seems our friend has been watching too many Chuck Norris movies in his retirement..Time to take up golf, I think.

Observer from Tehran:

This writer-in-hidding must be bin Laden's twin brother or his Yankee spritual soulmate, full of hate and brimming with criminal intent. The word terrorist comes to mind.

But "horses for courses", say the British......Afterall, bin Laden was trained by the CIA, if I recall correctly!

6789:

First of all, this coward-in-hiding needs to take some blood pressure medicine. The term counter-intelligence (that is to say, stupid) is more befitting this clown.

Second, if this the "expert" of American intelligence services, then God help America as America appears to need help--urgently.

Third, he is stuck in the old frame of mind, frozen in fact, that he thinks taking criminal action against Iranians is OK but when taken against Americans it is "bad".

Fourth, and most amusing of all, is that he thinks 72 million people of Iran are going to capitulate if Ahmadinejad is bent or roughed up. It is the simplicity of the writer's mind that is amazing....the alternative being the fact that his own beloved USA is now a two-man dictatorship and a junta of AIPAC chaps running it. Taking any action against Iran, even killing Ahmadinejad, will crystallize Iranian beliefs that America is in fact a hateful, true enemy of Iran and Iranians. And I wonder what could happen to 160,000 Yankee soldiers in Iraq if Iran is attacked by America? Body bags anyone?

richard young:

Although the author does not make entirely clear what "covert actions" he would commit in Iran, at least he includes the crimes of arson and theft. Why does the Post give a forum for the promotion of criminality? Or does the Post consider that arson and theft are really not crimes when committed in a "dark corner of the world" such as Iran?

Robert James:

So it is OK for the US to engage in a covert action against Iran but it is not OK for Iran to engage in a covert action againstr the USA. Is this a double standard? I mean, if Iran plays dirty tricks the US would call it a terrorist state but if the US does so it has the moral high ground.

I am amazed at how many Americans believe that the US has the right to interfere in the affairs of other nations but other nations do not have that right against the USA. What happened to the notion of soveriegnty?

Why can't the US talk to Iran. Is it possible that the US is making another blunder? Well, who says the US does not make horrific blunders in the backyards of other nations.

After Salvador Allende was democratically elected as the President of Chile the US, through the CIA, decided to destabilise his government and to advise the military that it would support a coup. Chile suffered badly. People were tortured and killed by a military that resembled the Nazis.

When does the USa take responsibility for its actions? What price should other people pay for the desire on the part of the US to interfere in the affairs of other nations.

The US was behind Saddam Hussein when he invaded Iran. It also gave him biological weapons. He used them against Iranians and his own people. Well done USA. But for those simpletons who think that invading another nation is OK just tell me: How many people should the US kill in the process and why won't you lose any sleep over the killings of these people. Let me guess you are religious but you do not accept the commandment: thou shall not kill. And you are a patriot which means you do not have to have a mind and you do not have to be accountable.

Am I right about you?

Solomon:

The Author of this fascist article writes "Ahmadinejad has never been punched hard, so that we really get his attention. He is a little guy, a bully, a narcissist, and self absorbed [deleted] with a twisted view of himself, his abilities, and how he is viewed on the regional and international scene". Sounds like the description of a Neo-con in Washington DC.

Anonymous:

we certainly have proven we have the ability to destroy other nations.

now if we could just rebuild our own.

is it planted disinformation?:

It wouldn't be the first time stuff is planted in major news media to see which way public opinion is blowing.

BK:

@Larrywp

Where do you people come from? Where do you take you right to kill thousands for some 1/2 baked neocon agenda. "They" understand nothing but raw power? The neanderthal is alot closer to home larry-boy.

You short-sighted hawks are really a scary aberration. These Bush-Cheney years have been a bizarre aberration. Tools like you should really learn to shut your f-in mouth and let real human being who can weigh the cost in lives and trauma to human civilization that these pre-emptive strikes cost.

Get some therapy, jack. Join the human race if you can.

Bernice:

The author of this critique seems obsessed with Ahmedinejad, who is not the real power in Iran. I would guess the writer is a supporter of the Cheney effort to drum up hatred for Iran, fear of Iran, belief in the false accusation that Iran "intends" to develop nuclear weapons even though our NIE and the UN's IAEA say Iran's program is for peaceful purposes only, belief that somehow Israel is in danger from Iran, and anything else that Cheney, Lieberman, Bush and other Zionists want us to believe.

When will America wake up to the fact that we re being sold the WMD scenario all over again, this time against Iran instead of Iraq???

KAckermann:

Maybe this guy should be reminded that Iran has not attacked a single country since the US came into existence.

Maybe he or she should be reminded that it is the US that caused millions of dead, maimed, and displaced Iraqi's, and that we rape their children and kill their children and immunize ourselves from common law.

Maybe he or she would really enjoy watching his or her children trying to hold in their intestines while looking to mommy for help.

Maybe he or she can get under the next person jumping from a tall building wondering why people would attack little innocent USA.

The only people that need to be shot and killed are those in the Bush administration and those that support it.

Larrywp:

When I read Citizen of the Post-American World's post, as well as The Epistles of Saint Paul, I wonder in what world they think they are living? That, of course, is after I pick myself up off the floor from the laughing fit to which I have just succumbed, and wipe the laughter tears from my eyes.

Whew! Where do these guys come from.

The writer of this article is as correct as someone can be in a realistic world where there are dangerous power forces that must be dealt with.

And "Citizen" seems stunned that this sort of thing might lead to war with Iran - and thinks that only he seems to understand that - and wonders at the massive destruction that could occur. Of course it could lead to war. However, if the U.S. and/or Israel makes use of their entire arsenal - which they clearly have not in any conflict either has been involved with in the past half century - including tactical nuclear weapons and most especially the Neutron Bomb, the "war" would be over in a couple of weeks. Iran would be disemboweled, and the Middle East would be a lot more subdued than it is today. They understand nothing but raw power.

mikeyg:

this guy has my vote for President

mikeyg:

this guy has my vote for President

Jon:

The person who wrote this article is a typical moran who has caused every nation on the face of the earth to hate us.

the epistles of Saint Paul:

The United States is the world´s worst state sponsor of terrorism. American death squads have killed more than Maliki and Osama bin Laden combined.
Our president has murdered heads of state, homicide investigators and women and children. More than you can count.
By way of comparison, Iran is a saint.

Patrick:

Why?

Shiveh:

No plan of action is complete until it considers the possible reactions of the enemy. This CIA officer assumes that the Iranian side will play dead and eventually will fold. But arguably escalation of a tit-for-tat game is a more probable reaction. Are we ready for such outcome? Is there a need to confront Iranians in a manner that most probably will end in a full blown war? What exactly is the Iranian Threat? Can we afford another war? I wished this anonymous public servant of ours would take the time to enlighten us before he pushes us into yet another hole.

Changing the regime in Iran is better left to the Iranians.

j2hess:

The author wants us to suppose that getting Ahmadinejad's attention would make him more compliant.

But what if it isn't Ahmadinejad who ultimately makes policy?

What if this extended and concerted attack doesn't produce compliance, but escalation of tensions and threats? Is the real goal of this expanded "covert" action to provoke a causus belli?

It seems the most likely outcome. I concur - if this message didn't originate in Cheney's office, it came from someone who thinks like him.

Citizen of the post-American world:

The above provocation, if one were not to dissociate oneself from it, let alone if one were to endorse it, is a declaration of war; if implemented, it amounts to no less than a series of acts of war. Its originality lies in it being presented here under cover of anonymity. For all we know, it could originate from anybody… from any nobody… or just be a hoax.

On the face of it, the operation that is envisioned would seemingly be aimed at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the elected President of Iran, a member of the United Nations. That is already bad enough for anyone familiar with international law and with the UN Charter. What makes matters worse, however, is that without any kind of justification being provided, the entire subversive plan is directed against a country, Iran (its infrastructures, its economic assets, its business interests, etc.), as well as against its people, the Iranians. That anyone has the gall to state that in that context, the implementation of such a plan requires both the kind of leadership and of creativity that, it is further claimed, is now painfully lacking, makes this text a truly revolting piece of non-thinking.

It is to be wondered what can be the real motives, what are all the essential reasons why anyone might even consider publishing such a subversive piece, and at this time, in an American publication such as the Washington Post. That it appears above is, therefore, most disturbing.

If, more particularly after the blunder in Iraq, the US were once again to define its foreign policy on the basis this unprovoked project of bullying a nation and its people into submission, it should be expected that just about the whole world would consider that doubly pathetic.

Infantile, frustrated bully talk commonly heard in schoolyards need not become the basis of whatever is left of both this country’s diplomacy and foreign policy. Who else but our children and grandchildren will be called upon to pay the price of our insanity?

Bengt Larsson:

Iran hasn't clearly threatened and antagonized Israel with talk of its "annihilation". This is a mischaracterization. People make up their own words to make Iran seem more threatening.

Malicai:

The decision to attack Iran is not an easy one. The people of Iran and the Ruling party are two distinct groups. War with Iran is not inevitable as some might declare. However the threatening nature of all parties involved has led to a point at which the rhetoric itself might be the catalyst of conflict. Iran has clearly threatened and antagonized Israel with talk of its annihilation and its support of various terrorist groups. Does this constitute the basis for a full blown war, no. But it does provide Israel with the need to insure its safety. The difference between Iran and the Soviet Union is the difference in the psychology of the minority population of extremists who would seek the destruction of Israel at the cost of those innocents. I have never heard of a Russian suicide bomber. This therefore creates a new paradigm in the Mutually Assured Destruction scenario. This new paradigm is the logic for preemptive actions. It is therefore incumbent upon the citizens of Iran to assure the Israelis of their desire to co-exist peacefully. The production of nuclear materials does not achieve this end, especially in light of proposals from various nations to provide materials of energy producing quality for use in civil nuclear power generation. Iranian politicians seek to sway the Muslim world with their talk of strength and hate of Israel but they would be far better off to achieve their ends with words of peace.

Dave:

This can't be serious.

Does anyone actually consider the consequences of their actions in the CIA. It was covert actions against the USSR that helped create and build Al Qaeda which then had the obvious repercussions as they were marginalised and ignored after the first Afghan war.

Covert actions helped Saddam in his war against Iran leaving him as a thriving despot to later be fought twice. I don't know the full history but it has been said that similar actions brought about the current Iranian leadership after the US installed a hated dictator.

Look what covert actions have done for the US against Cuba and North Korea... nothing except nearly start WW3!

When will this stupidity end?

RB:

Here's the thing: This is exactly what you do if you don't want to fight a war. Would the entire world know the U.S. is doing it? Probably. But unless Iran could prove it -- and if well executed (a stretch for Bush-Cheney, I'll admit), they couldn't -- the rest of the world would have plausible deniability. And nobody wants Iran to have a nuclear weapon, with the possible exception of Hezbollah.

Sometimes, the purpose of covert ops is so that the enemy knows you're doing it, can't prove you're doing it and wonders what you're going to do next.

And if you don't think every country takes these sorts of actions every day, you're deluded. It's one of the reasons we don't have more wars than we do.

anonymous:

So let me get this straight. The Post decides to give a former CIA employee anonymity to suggest a course of action. You grant this because the person works and travels overseas. Is it possible this person stands to profit from the very course of action he is suggesting? PostGlobal leaves us unable to assess this argument; we must take these statements as fact because the person worked for the CIA. This source has some motive to get this point of view out there - and the delivery is an Ad Populum rhetorical device - the motive is as likely to be profit as altruism. The real leadership that is lacking is from Messrs. Ignatius and Zakaria to challenge their sources and foster an informed debate.

Paul :

For a coward who refuses to even divulge his name, this guy talks a tough game. Something tells me he'd would cr@p his pants if he ever was in a real fight.

Playa:

We know someone from Dick Cheney's office wrote this. Some neocon chickenhawk probably discredited by the Iraq war. I'm guessing Douglas Feith or Wolfowitz. What a coward!

GW:

The whole notion for covert ops is not to attract undue attention, which the whole world is now aware that the US is probably supporting ops in Iran.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.