Right now, American military forces are moving in the Middle East and many fear that the United States is on the verge of war with Iran. A few weeks ago, we were on the verge of war with Venezuela. I suspect that the failed regime change in Venezuela was a result of an over-estimation of the strength of the opposition, that is, bad intelligence. The conflict with Iran also probably includes similar bad intelligence: like the Green Revolution of a few years ago, bad intelligence overstates the opposition.
But is there something real at risk with Iran?
The claim that Iran is the center of world terrorism is simply false propaganda by its enemies, led by the Neo-Cons and the Saudis.
However, thinking about the Saudis raises the same kind of concern that we see in the conflict with Iran. When Jamal Khashoggi was foully murdered on the orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), it became a worldwide sensation, as the mass media hammered MbS for weeks. The same mass media that ignores the horrifying mass murder of the Yemeni nation under attack by the Saudis and their allies. One problem with this disconnect is that we really do not know what role Khashoggi was playing in Saudi politics.
MbS was trying to modernize Saudi Arabia, an uneven (freeing women in some small ways and jailing women’s rights activists at the same time) and Herculean task that is probably impossible in the short time frame he proposes. One surprising step was jailing opposition princes (and others) for corruption and shaking a hundred billion dollars or so out of them. One jailed prince was perennial Golden Boy, Prince Waled bin Talal. Prince Waled’s wealth was proverbial, from a giant stake in Twitter (yes, that Twitter) to tens of billions across the landscape of media and high tech. Prince Waled also boasted he had contributed 20% of the money Hillary Clinton had used in her bid for president in 2016.
(Like the failed theatrical producers in Mel Brooks ‘The Producers’ who realize that selling 500% shares in a play that fails is more profitable than selling 80% of a play that does well, Hillary probably told dozens of oligarchs and autocrats they were her main backers.)
So it may be that destroying the Saudi-Democratic Collusion money conduit has a lot to do with US-Saudi relations under Pres. Trump, and is also the reason why the anti-Trump media suddenly cared about Khashoggi when they don’t care about anything but Israel, normally. Perhaps pretending to care about Khashoggi was part of an attempt to keep the Saudi-Democratic Collusion money flowing.
Of course, all of that is openly in the news, even if scattered around and never connected. But that kind of corruption on a grand scale was surely not unique.
Consider Iran. Under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was negotiated with Iran, and shipments of cash money started to move to Iran. (All the money always belonged to Iran but had been embargoed since 1979. Plus interest.) Unusually, Iran requested that first quick payment of $1.8 billion be in cash. Unusually, Hillary had it loaded in pallets of $99,999,999 and shipped. (If the shipments had been $100 million there was a requirement that Congress would have been notified, so the pallets carried $99,999,999.) So, $1.6 billion in quick cash was shipped away with no trail, in secrecy. How much did Hillary and Obama (a very corrupt fellow, aswell) get? One pallet, five? I am sure the mullahs have sticky fingers too. This money preceded the main transfer of tens of billions moved the normal way. with normal documentation: So it was free money.
I would suggest that all the purpose of ALL the pallets of cash was corrupt and constituted the bribe that secured the JCPOA for Iran. (The scale of the embargoes lifted on Iran at the time of the JCPOA was unbelievable. As is the scale of the renewed embargoes: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Sanctions/Pages/faq_iran.aspx)
Meanwhile, for the last two-and-a-half years, the United States has been in an uproar over $800 that some Russian spent on Facebook advertising to promote Black Lives Matter. This was called Russian Collusion in almost 1000 Fake News article sin the New York Times.
But what about a billon plus in untraceable cash from Iran. What kind of influence could such Iranian Collusion buy? Remember the brief, ill-considered Iranian threat, when JCPOA was abrogated by Trump, to release the names of those they bribed? (I would like to read that list.) What kind of corrupt networks do the Iranians still have in place? Maybe there is a real Iranian security threat to the United States. Not the cartoonish threats posed by the pro-Israeli media, but a real and very dangerous effort to subvert the American government from the presidency down.
A good first step towards a lasting peace between the United States and Iran would be the list of all those the Iranians bribed.