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Operation Avocado a/k/a US Death Squads = War With Iran a/k/a the Iraq Garden Path

What say you, America? Ready to go for a third Mid-East War? It’s coming at us really fast now. DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. And if you have been at least modestly awake to the terrorism the U.S. has been perpetrating especially in the Middle East the past decade things are about to get even more down and dirty.

Why not? Obama is in the White House, and the small band of anti-war resisters await their faux-progressive brethren still exiting their stupor of enthrallment and denial over his presidency. Another “shock and awe” opportunity for our satanic oligopolic overlords, as well as the well-bribed and NEVER SOFT ON TERRORISM Congress and an ambitious, corporate and military crony Obama.

They say there are three kinds of people. People who make things happen (or STOP awful things from happening). People who watch things happen. People who ask, “WTF just happened?????” Which group are you in? Most of America sure ain’t in Group Number One!

Democracy in America is at best a “spectator sport”. Apparently not even a popular one. Watching (or ignoring) your leadership amorally continue the “new world order” (a continuation of the previous administration’s world order) to go on killing and US tax-rapacious spending sprees in other sovereign nations. Such evil greenlighted by representatives of the corporate-captured media, Congress, administration, military, and assorted, cannibalistic corporatists. Oh yes, and by the “my country right or wrong” apparent majority or seeming majority of team spirited, jingoistic, xenophobic, morally-lazy-assed America.

What the hell am I so particularly excited about today? Robert Dreyfuss writes in The Nation:

A secret military directive signed last September 30 by General David Petraeus, the Centcom commander, authorizes a vast expansion of secret US military special ops from the Horn of Africa to the Middle East to Central Asia and “appears to authorize specific operations in Iran,” according to the New York Times.

If President Obama knew about this, authorized it and still supports it, then Obama has crossed a red line, and the president will stand revealed as an aggressive, militaristic liberal interventionist who bears a closer resemblance to the president he succeeded than to the ephemeral reformer that he pretended to be in 2008, when he ran for office. If he didn’t know, if he didn’t understand the order, and if he’s unwilling to cancel it now that it’s been publicized, then Obama is a feckless incompetent. Take your pick.

Whether Obama is now a full-blown war criminal or a “feckless incompetent” doesn’t seem to matter at this point in the machinations of the psychopathic war machine that is now controlling America (which Dwight Eisenhower called out so many years ago). If anyone in America thinks that these illegal and devastating wars are in America’s self-defense and in any way about freedom for democracy, and not for corporate and military opportunism, power over resources, lands in the name of hegemony – raise your probably lobby-greased hands.

Think I am over-reacting? Glenn Ford in his article "Iran Apocalypse Soon":

President Obama’s plans for all-out assault against Iran are at roughly the same point of preparation and likelihood of execution as George Bush’s plans for Iraq in the summer of 2002. As with Bush’s deployment of forces deep into Iraq months before his successful request for War Powers in October, 2002, and more than half a year before full scale invasion in March, 2003, there is still time to halt Obama’s methodical movement toward full-scale war but not much.

This is how Whittell and Evans present it:

Teams of American special forces have been authorised to conduct spying missions intended to pave the way for a military strike on Iran in case President Obama orders one, US government sources have confirmed.

The military units would penetrate Iranian territory to reconnoitre potential nuclear targets and make contact with friendly dissident groups, according to a secret directive written by General David Petraeus. The document’s existence was disclosed for the first time yesterday.

It authorises an expansion in the use of US special forces throughout the Middle East, US officials said. However, it is the possibility of American troops operating covertly inside Iran that has the greatest potential to destabilise regional security.

Drayfuss gives kudos to Mazzetti of the New York Times for breaking this “Operation Avocado” story, undoubtedly well-deserved, though on the other hand, leaking such a story now once again “exposes” Americans to the idea of war with Iran, which neocons on Meet the Press and other corporate captured media have been softening us up for for quite a while now, so it won’t be a complete ambush and regular Americans will be in their usual state of quasi-confusion and assumption that they should have been paying better attention, but their leadership has been protecting its citizenry. (By the way, there’s an oil well in the Gulf I’d like to sell them). Our government protecting us? Our government is doing all it can to provoke revenge terrorism on our own soil by slaughtering innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and assorted other countries we probably don’t know are in early stages of U.S. covert SHOCK AND AWE as I write this.

Dreyfuss also calls out Congress. You know, Congress? The guys that brought us T.A.R.P. The guys who pretend to un-deregulate to prevent further corporate gang rape, but let’s be pragmatic, folks, they need to honor their corporate bribes of campaign enabling. I mean, quid pro quo. Right? Struggling citizens are their constituents in name only. Oath and duty? When millions of dollars are accessible? Get real. Congress, with its Democratic majority which was supposed to end the wars in 2006 with that majority. Punked once again, America. Congress that is just now writing out a great, big, fat “emergency” check to enable American violent and insanely expensive imperialism, defying the struggling economic state of the citizenry. Oh, that Congress. Dreyfuss (in case you forgot since my rant took off):

If Congress has any guts at all, it will convene immediate investigative hearings into a power grab by Petraeus, a politically ambitious general, and the Pentagon’s arrogant Special Operations team, led by Admiral Eric T. Olson, who collaborated with Petraeus. And Congress needs to ask the White House, What did you know, and when did you know it?

Dreyfuss gives us the low down of Operation Avocado:

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: In September, Petraeus signed the Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order providing for a “broad expansion of clandestine military activity” in the region of Centcom’s responsibility, the Middle East and South Asia. Reports Mazzetti:

The secret directive, signed in September by Gen. David H. Petraeus, authorizes the sending of American Special Operations troops to both friendly and hostile nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to gather intelligence and build ties with local forces. Officials said the order also permits reconnaissance that could pave the way for possible military strikes in Iran if tensions over its nuclear ambitions escalate.…
The seven-page directive appears to authorize specific operations in Iran, most likely to gather intelligence about the country’s nuclear program or identify dissident groups that might be useful for a future military offensive.

And:

Officials said that many top commanders, General Petraeus among them, have advocated an expansive interpretation of the military’s role around the world, arguing that troops need to operate beyond Iraq and Afghanistan to better fight militant groups.

Snip

The order, which an official said was drafted in close coordination with Adm. Eric T. Olson, the officer in charge of the United States Special Operations Command, calls for clandestine activities that “cannot or will not be accomplished“ by conventional military operations or “interagency activities,” a reference to American spy agencies.

So when you read such things as special ops now set for either friendly or hostile nations and Petraeus' intent to accomplish what “cannot or will not be accomplished by conventional military operations or interagency activities,” in this ethical freakshow of an America (Maddow’s phrase) we live in, expect more amoral "anti-conventionalism," the same way waterboarding, extraordinary interrogation and rendition, ignoring the Geneva Convention, denial of habeas corpus, removing Miranda rights, defying international law, the President announcing the divine right of assassination hits on US citizens without due process, Bush doctrine oxymoronic killing for peace, drug and warlord, US military and political bedfellowing, innocent civilians killed by crazed or burned out, desensitized trigger-happy members of the military, a sadistic, revolving door soldier army of entrapped young and often poor Americans as gratuitous cannon fodder for conference room war-mongering military and political gamespeople as well as egomaniacal chicken-hawk media pundits, and monster technologies to intimidate and destroy ... all belong under the umbrella of “the unconventional.”

I could go on and on .... all the way through to the SILENCING OF THE MESSENGERS and pulling the plug on internet access to the truth and truth-to-power sayers. I am waiting for that one to escalate exponentially, but the systematic gutting of the Bill of Rights will make that very easy to accomplish soon enough. Our present administration, you know, the one we thought was in an accountability coma, is zealously going after THE WHISTLEBLOWERS now, whistleblowers calling out unethical and illegal behaviors on the part of our military, ruling corporations and government. Of course they must be silenced to protect the cancerous status quo that is America.

There are many references to “special operations." When I hear that, I think "death squads." I guess use of that dark label would be determined by the potency of one's particular flavor of American kool-aid at the moment.

Whittell and Evans:

The number of US special operations teams in Afghanistan has also doubled since the Petraeus directive, senior officials have said. Such teams are now believed to account for more than half of all combat operations in the Afghan war zone.

Sending special forces into Iran would be controversial but one of the missions of US Special Operations Command, headed by Admiral Eric Olson, is to conduct reconnaissance in any country deemed to pose a threat. A Pentagon spokesman acknowledged to The Times that individual commanders have authority to conduct intelligence operations as they see fit.

General Petraeus is a member of the Pentagon high command whose tasks include drawing up plans to destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

Such plans “are always going to be under serious consideration,” Anthony Cordesman, of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said, “because you are dealing with a serious threat”

Dreyfuss quoting from Mazzetti of the NYT:

The gung-ho Special Ops folks at the Pentagon have been pushing hard to become a kind of uniformed covert operations unit of the US government, even though military operations aren’t governed by the same sort of restrictive Congressional oversight that the CIA operates under. And, according to Mazzetti, the Petraeus order is intended to accomplish things that the CIA “will not” do:

Wow, Petraeus intending things that the CIA WILL NOT DO. The idea of that guarantees me, at least, insomnia for the balance of my lifetime.

Oh, and if the idea of U.S. death squads shocking, aweing, killing innocent but, alas, foreign human beings isn’t serious enough for the more morally obtuse in America, Glenn Ford points out that our military under Operation Avocado will be assuming roles “far from traditional combat”. They would therefore be treated as spies if captured and denied Geneva Convention protections afforded military personnel (for any countries, unlike the U.S., fully respecting those rights).

So, this Memorial Day, can citizens out of harm’s way rally some empathy for the American troops, dying, committing suicide, deserting, breaking down psychologically -- the epidemic of PTSD, TBIs (traumatic brain injuries), and addictions thanks to an insane, satanic military agenda? Ford calls this operation not mere spying, but an “act of war”.

...But sending armed troops into another nation's territory to prepare the environment for future attacks is not mere spying it is an act of war, in preparation for aggressive war, the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole," under the Nuremburg Principles.

Again, as quoted above, Ford’s urgent message:

There is still time to halt Obama’s methodical movement toward full-scale war but not much.

To God’s and Obama’s ears, Glenn. So far, he just doesn’t seem a pro-active and responsible, as in the ability to respond, kind of guy. Obama, that is. But I am praying. And blogging.

By the way, Glenn Ford also brought up the recent diplomatic activity of Brazil and Turkey to ease the U.S. tensions with Iran. What were these countries trying to do, gum up the works? Still naive enough to believe the leftover wisps of diplomactic rhetoric emanating from Obama’s faux-manifesto of change election campaign promises? Iran is the new target of American terrorism, shock and awe. The latest frontier for imperialism. With such useful and usable oil-pipeline and military access, such juicy geographic positioning. Obama – and his imperialist crony countries – international bullies with slick propaganda programs -- don’t want small fry, up-start, peace-mongering countries to interfere with the strategy of the new world order.

Like the Bush Administration during the run-up to the Iraq invasion, the Obama regime bullies aside all efforts to defuse the manufactured Iran crisis, most recently by dismissing the Turkish-Brazilian agreement to swap Iranian nuclear fuel stocks. Obama seems as fully committed to war as his predecessor in the half-year before the Iraq invasion but with no significant anti-war movement to contend with, and a Black population that is still drunk on the delusion that the First Black President shares their anti-war instincts.

You know, on this 2010 Memorial Day, why don’t we as Americans flirt with reality (and morality) for half a sec and imagine it is blood flowing from our gas pumps. Take a mindful moment to acknowledge the evil that we have all been assessories to.

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jeffroby's picture
Submitted by jeffroby on

1. Iran is a tougher nut than Iraq militarily speaking.
2. Our economy is worse and deficit factors DO count.
3. The international scene is much more unfavorable.

But good reporting!

Submitted by libbyliberal on

If you are applying logic to the situation, which you seem to be, that brings me little comfort. Remember who and what you are dealing with.

Hubris, ego ... the patriarchy ... insanity, greed, evil, power and control addiction will prevail. Empathy even for one's supposed "own" gets tossed.

Petraeus' little permission slip makes the whole world their special ops playground. Maybe it was already, certainly, but now it is "authorized". Beyond accountability, once again. 60% of the Pentagon budget is black.

And the Iran War drumbeat that goes on and on and on. NYT Friedman, David Gregory ... Lieberman, Harman, Schumer, well they all signed off practically on their whatever Israel wants letter ... Clinton's dissing of diplomacy from Turkey and Brazil.

Having Israel angry at Obama ... who is such a lightweight, shows how around the bend they all are.

Thanks for commenting. :)

jeffroby's picture
Submitted by jeffroby on

I don't rule out the crazy factor. Then there's the question of how things might play out should Obama invade.

One of the factors in revolutions is failure in war. Obama might invade Iran, but then what? With Afghanistan still on fire?

And you're welcome!