Washington, DC – NIAC President Trita Parsi issued the following statement in response to reports that President Trump declared he would snap back all nuclear-related sanctions under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, and impose new sanctions:
“Donald Trump has committed what will go down as one of the greatest acts of self-sabotage in America’s modern history. He has put the United States on a path towards war with Iran and may trigger a wider regional war and nuclear arms race.
“This is a crisis of choice. Trump has taken a functioning arms control deal that prevented an Iranian nuclear bomb and turned it into a crisis that can lead to war.
“This is not America first, this is Trump leasing out America’s foreign policy interests to the highest bidder. The only parties applauding this move are Benjamin Netanyahu and Mohammed Bin Salman, who have consistently chosen to undermine regional security to advance their own shortsighted political fortunes. Trump’s reckless decision is a betrayal of the national interests of the United States of America that could haunt us for generations.
With the nomination of Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA, there’s rightfully some interest in her record regarding torture.
Of course, there are questions of legality and ethics and with respect to torture and it’s possible as some have argued that the motivation of Haspel and others in overseeing torture and covering it up may be simple sadism.
But – especially given how little we know about Haspel’s record – it’s possible that there’s an even more insidious motive in the U.S. government practicing torture: To produce the rigged case for more war. Examining this possibility is made all the more urgent as Trump has put in place what clearly appears to be a war cabinet. My recent questioning at the State Department failed to produce a condemnation of waterboarding by spokesperson Heather Nauert.
Gina Haspel’s hearing on Wednesday gives increased urgency to highlighting her record on torture and how torture has been “exploited.” That is, how torture was used to create “intelligence” for select policies, including the initiation of war.
Sure things don’t exist in international relations, but we seem to be witnessing an impending settlement of the nearly 70-year-old Korean War. Kim Jong Un recently became the first ruler of North Korea to officially visit the South, where he conferred with president Moon Jae-In. De-nuclearization and a peace treaty look like real possibilities. Kim is also working out plans for a summit with US president Donald Trump.
Who gets the credit? According to Moon and to 19 Republican members of the US House of Representatives, Trump is the man of the hour and deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing the two Koreas to the negotiating table.
Well, maybe so. There’s a lot to happen yet — the peace process is approaching, as Winston Churchill might say, the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end — but the thaw undeniably came immediately after, and therefore can plausibly be attributed to, months of bellicose rhetoric from Trump. If things work out, he should indeed get a good deal of credit.
But frankly I’m not sure why he would want the Nobel Peace Prize, given that trophy’s tarnished history. Four past presidents have won the prize. It’s not obvious that any of them really deserved it.
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs) SUBJECT: Being “Played” By Bogus Evidence on Iran
NOTE: The evidence presented by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 30 alleging a covert Iranian nuclear weapons program shows blatant signs of fabrication. That evidence is linked to documents presented by the Bush Administration more a decade earlier as proof of a covert Iran nuclear weapons program. Those documents were clearly fabricated as well.
We sent President Bush a similar warning about bogus intelligence – much of it fabricated by Israel – six weeks before the U.S./UK attack on Iraq, but Bush paid us no heed. This time, we hope you will take note before things spin even further out of control in the Middle East. In short, Israel’s “new” damaging documents on Iran were fabricated by the Israelis themselves.
The Bush administration account of how the documents on Iran got into the hands of the CIA is not true. We can prove that the actual documents originally came not from Iran but from Israel. And the documents were never authenticated by the CIA or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
This week President Trump will have to decide whether he will sign another waiver to keep the US in the Iran nuclear deal, or whether he will de facto pull the US out of the deal (which would likely result in the collapse of the deal and possibly war). The closest US allies are begging Trump to remain in the deal, and even some US hawks like Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry think we should stay in. But the neocons want us out. What will he do? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report: