by Jonas E. Alexis & Gwenyth Todd
Gwyneth Todd is no stranger to politics or VT. Jeff Stein of the Washington Post correctly stated in 2012 that
“Todd had worked in a lot of places in Washington where powerful men didn’t hesitate to use sharp elbows. She had been a Middle East expert for the National Security Council in the Clinton administration.
“She had worked in the office of Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in the first Bush administration, where neoconservative hawks first began planning to overthrow Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.”
Todd “worked for Defense and then the White House National Security Council from August 1990 until June 1999, when I resigned from the US Government civil service.”
Her work has been highly praised by Juan Cole, who is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Cole declared:
“If Gwenyth Todd’s story is true, she is owed thanks by her country for thwarting a plot to get up a war on Iran. Given the things we know about how the Neocons operated, it is entirely plausible.”
Gordon Duff rightly said that people like Todd “make up a group of patriotic and honest Americans who put duty and honor before career and cash.”
In the following dialogue, Todd, now a geopolitical analyst living in Australia, will be explaining what the average American deserves to know and what has been blacked out of the mass media for ideological purposes.
Alexis: In your excellent documentary, which I provided at the end of this article, you stated: “I had a good understanding that Iran was always off limits, especially with the Republicans when they were in power. We were not to do anything with them.”
Can you elaborate on that a little? I have been reading the works of the Neoconservatives (I call them Neo-Bolsheviks) and paying attention to the controlled media for many years now, and one of the frustrating things about these people is that they are always quick to posit statements like “Iran is a terrorist state” without evidence.
For example, Thomas Sowell, a Neocon shill at the Hoover Institution, asserted without a scintilla of evidence that Iran is “the world’s leading terrorist-sponsoring nation.” It was Sowell who said back in 1995 that assumptions “are taken for granted by so many people, including so-called ‘thinking people,’ that neither those assumptions nor their corollaries are generally confronted with demands for empirical evidence.”
I once corresponded with Sowell back in 2010 and asked him to provide evidence for the statement that Iran is “the world’s leading terrorist-sponsoring nation.” I even quoted his own book where he axiomatically declared that empirical evidence is required for extraordinary assumptions.
To this very day, Sowell never responded to that question. But that has not stopped him from repeating this claim ad nauseam in books and articles. His work has really become boring over the years. So sad.
Previously, Sowell was very happy that I was praising him on certain issues, but when it came to Iran’s so-called terrorism, it was like talking to an ATM machine. It was then that I realized that Sowell was an agent for the oligarchs. Sowell obviously got the Iran-terrorism doctrine from the Neo-Bolsheviks and much of the controlled media.
In fact, people like Norman Podhoretz have been saying that the United States needs to strike Iran for years. What is even crazier is that whenever something gets exploded around the region, the media always has an urge to trace it to Iran, ignoring the fact that there have been numerous scholarly sources that convincingly indicate that Iran has been standing on moral ground for years.
Throughout your work at the Pentagon and at the White House National Security Council, did you see any serious evidence for the prevailing vision that Iran is the world’s leading terrorist-sponsoring nation?
Todd: Let me start with a very long and rather pedantic answer, bearing in mind that this is purely based on my own observations and experiences, not on some charter of a secret society of would-be Lords Of The Earth.
Iran has been of great interest to the West since long before you or I or even our grandparents were born. The Persians are a formidable, sophisticated, Indo-European culture with millennia of history interacting with Europe.
The English language is far more closely tied to Persian than it is to Arabic and Hebrew (which are Semitic languages) or Turkish (which is Altaic). In fact, Arabic and Turkish have less in common than Persian and English do. In short, the Indo-European connection between Iran and the West runs very deep.
It should thus come as little surprise that in the 20th century when the USA decided to leap into the great game of Middle Eastern geopolitics, the alliance with Persia/Iran was a key component. The US supported the relatively secular Shah, in spite of his weakness, corruption and brutality, partly because we had a shared suspicion of (and actually frequently a disdain for) the tribal, Semitic, mostly Sunni Arabs.
The Shi’ism of the Persian Empire, adopted by Shah Ismail centuries earlier, also pitted Persians against the predominantly Sunni Ottomans and Arabs and allowed for a shared alliance with the US against the spread of radical Sunni Islamists.
This is important because it meant that in 1948, the new state of Israel shared a common enemy with Shi’a Iran in the form of Sunni Arabs who despised both the Zionists (who, despite Hebrew being Semitic in language, definitely had split away culturally and religiously, especially with the huge influx of Ashkenazi Jews who are genetically Indo-European) and the hated Shi’a Muslim “splitters” whose form of Islam is viewed as heresy by Sunnis and whose largest patron is Persia/Iran.
Thus, Iran under the Shah was terribly important for Israeli interests in containing Sunni Arab nations from destroying Israel. Even if Israel and the Shah’s Iran were not in an openly declared alliance, they were in fact silent allies, both standing against the Arab Sunnis and Iran providing a potential rear flank for Israel if Arab nations to the north, east, and south attacked Israel.
The Shah’s Iran allowed Israel to focus its military efforts south-westward on Egypt, which posed the biggest existential threat to Israel. After the 1967 and 1973 wars, Egypt was definitely humiliated and beaten down and this was a big relief for Israel.
If Israel could have kept the Sinai, it would have been a great buffer zone, and as long as Israel had Iran as a quiet ally, standing in silent military might while also serving as a restraining influence over millions of Shi’a Muslims peppered throughout the Arab countries, Israel had a bit more room to maneuver.
But then came the fall of the Shah. The Shah was a weak man and a terrible tyrant and the Iranian people rose up and threw him out, in spite of his seemingly unshakable post bolstered by the United States military.
Suddenly, the Islamic Republic of Iran appeared and its new leaders, who had been very badly served by the US, we’re not just anti-American but also apparently in favor of destroying Israel. Israel suddenly had to worry about millions of Shi’a Muslims throughout the region, in addition to its traditional Sunni enemies.
This was bad. It was so bad, in fact, that Israel had to move rather quickly to establish a new alliance elsewhere with a powerful neighbor. The only option that would make a serious difference was peace with Egypt because Israel needed to be able to focus eastward, northward, and southward now, and any threat of war with Egypt would have made that very, very hard to do.
And so, seemingly out of nowhere, Israel cut a deal with Egypt. The fall of the Shah of Iran was not highlighted as a reason for the Camp David Accords, but it was the event that actually made Camp David happen after years of dithering.
Egypt got the Sinai back in exchange for peace with Israel. They did not and do not like each other, but Israel needed to remove Egypt as a threat and Egypt needed to regain its territory and some semblance of dignity (although that was never really accomplished—many Egyptians still seethe with humiliation over accepting aid from the US in exchange for compromising their principles and caving into Israel.
It is a ticking time bomb, as Sadat found out the hard way, and it is no better today. Still, the US-allied Egyptian military sucks up the humiliation and the Egyptian people take the foreign aid, albeit grudgingly).
Meanwhile, Israel was not thrilled about Camp David either. Israel would have much preferred to return to a situation where Iran kept Shi’a Muslims from attacking Israel, especially given a large number of Shi’a in Lebanon. Suddenly, groups like Hizbullah and Amal burgeoned in Lebanon and Israel found itself mired in war while desperately trying to prevent constant terror attacks and rockets fired from neighboring Lebanon.
Let’s not forget that the Sunni Arabs still also sought the destruction of Israel. Egypt’s ability to control an anti-Israeli activity based in the Sinai was, and is, limited. Attacks coming in from Gaza were also a constant problem. It is pretty safe to assume that Israel longs for a return to a status quo ante when Iran helped quietly keep regional anti-Israeli activity in check.
In fact, if Israel could just return a non-hostile government to Iran, it would solve many, many problems. A friendly Iranian regime ideally could use its influence over Shi’a Muslims in Lebanon and the Gulf to eliminate Hizbullah and stop Sunni Arab states from having the time and resources to focus on Israeli policies, since they would be instead contending with maintaining internal Shi’a-Sunni relations.
It is why initially no one in Israel complained when Saddam started the Iran-Iraq war. It was worth seeing if the Islamic Republic could be destroyed, although they did not want Saddam to truly win, just create conditions that would allow the US and Israel to install a new government in Iran. Of course, we all watched that fiasco unfold, with all its idiocy, including the Iran Contra mess where we somehow thought we could buy a new government for Iran with spare parts, cakes, and bibles.
Why does the US keep up this outlandishly stupid effort to restore a US puppet regime in Iran? Quite simply because of the influence of pro-Zionist lobbies like AIPAC on the US system. Yesterday on Fox, they had a guy talking about how a Jew named Hyman Solomon is basically responsible for America’s existence.
This sort of absolute idiocy, along with lots and lots of political donations and a hefty amount of blackmail, all set against the backdrop of WWII makes most US policy-makers adamant about not challenging Israeli atrocities.
More than that, it makes many willing to sacrifice US lives and interests to carry out Israel’s demand: that the United States remove the Islamic regime from Iran and set up an Iranian government that will help Israel thrive in a hostile environment.
Some US public officials are militant Zionists. They are the easiest ones to deal with in identifying the problem. But they are mostly a distraction. The real problem lies in the reality that Israel will survive at all cost, wants to use the US to fix its Iran headache, and has a complex web of mechanisms in place to manipulate private and public sector middlemen into unwittingly putting Israeli interests above US interests.
Manipulating a nation is a well-honed skill. I suggest you read the poem entitled “The Blind Men and the Elephant,” which truly sums up how it is done.
This is how the American people were tricked into supporting the Iraq invasion. This is how the American people are being tricked every day into believing that Iran poses a threat. Each segment of society sees the threat from a narrow viewpoint and is convinced that they understand the whole “elephant”.
When one blind group, let’s say the “OMG, Iran is planning to nuke the globe” group, refers to the “threat” of the Iranian “elephant”, another blind group assumes that what is actually being discussed is Hizbullah, another blind group assumes what is being referred to is a suicide bomber, another blind group assumes it is referring to the destruction of Israel, another blind group assumes it refers to taking innocent Americans hostages, and so on and so forth.
No one ever really compares notes. If they do compare notes and realize they are each worried about unrelated things, they frequently decide to join forces anyway, instead of questioning why they have each been fed different threat stories.
The upshot is that if you say “Iran” in a US setting, almost everyone immediately silently associates some sort of threat, varied and contradictory as those threats are, and nods gravely, agreeing that Iran is a serious threat. It is breathtakingly insane, yet 99.44% effective in destroying any serious effort to discuss Iran in a rational manner in any forum. The seeds have been sown very effectively over many decades and it will take many more to uproot what has grown.
Alexis: I have enjoyed your trenchant response, which is historically sound. Only one slight disagreement. You argue that “The Islamic Republic of Iran appeared and its new leaders, who had been very badly served by the US, we’re not just anti-American but also apparently in favor of destroying Israel.”
I wouldn’t say they were in favor of destroying Israel. It appeared that they were motivated or provoked by the US and Israel’s manipulation of foreign policy. We all know that both the US and Israel have a long history of playing double standards.
In fact, there is enough evidence to show that both the US and Israel started doing covert operations in the region long before the Islamic Republic of Iran ever existed. This was one reason why Ayatollah Khomeini launched the term “The Great Satan” in a long lecture (probably in 1979). Khomeini stated specifically:
“The most important and painful problem confronting the subjugated nations of the world, both Muslim and non-Muslim, is the problem of America. In order to swallow up the material resources of the countries it has succeeded in dominating, America, the most powerful country in the world, will spare no effort.
“America is the number-one enemy of the deprived and oppressed people of the world. There is no crime America will not commit in order to maintain its political, economic, cultural, and military domination of those parts of the world where it predominates.
“It exploits the oppressed people of the world by means of the large-scale propaganda campaigns that are coordinated for it by international Zionism.
“By means of its hidden and treacherous agents, it sucks the blood of the defenseless people as if it alone, together with its satellites, had the right to live in this world. Iran has tried to sever all its relations with this Great Satan and it is for this reason that it now finds wars imposed upon it.”
E. Michael Jones, a prodigious scholar who can never be praised too highly and who has never failed to produce serious work, says that “Khomeini was here referring to Iraq, which had already launched a full-scale attack on Iran, as the proxy of America and Israel.”
The fact that Khomeini brings “international Zionism” to the fore indicates that his target was specifically “international Zionism,” which we both know has sucked the blood out of Palestinian men, women, and children and spit out the human bone.
This has been going on since 1948. If 1948 is too far in the past, then Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria should be case studies for modern observers. In fact, Israeli historian Benny Morris unequivocally declared:
“A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which our convoys and our settlements were fired on.”
Morris is also the author of the Cambridge text The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949, in which he documents that raping Palestinian girls and women was rampant in 1948. Other Jewish scholars such as Ilan Pappe have documented the same thing.
Pappe even goes so far as to say that there were numerous documents that Morris did not discuss in his studies precisely because those documents would have obviously ruined the prevailing vision that Israel “waged a ‘moral’ war in 1948 against a ‘primitive’ and hostile Arab world…”
So, could it be that the Islamic Republic of Iran was reacting to what Ban Ki-moon has recently called a “human nature to react to occupation”?
To draw the thread of this argument to an end, let us take Israeli writer Uri Avnery’s recent article, in which he declares that “Binyamin Netanyahu is our pied piper. Enchanted by his melodies, the people of Israel are marching behind him towards the river” to be drowned like rats.
There is no doubt that this man is driven by “international Zionism,” which ideologically continues to drag much of the West and indeed precious Palestinians and even decent Israelis like Avnery or Gideon Levy into a sinkhole. It could easily be argued that that was part of what Khomeini meant when he launched the term “The Great Satan.” Agree or disagree?
Todd: I agree with you. I used the word “apparently” because of how Khomeini’s comments were interpreted by the USG and Israel as calling for the destruction of Israel. I definitely think his comments were aimed at the US primarily and I do not think for a moment that Iran intended to suggest it was planning to drive all Israeli Jews into the sea.
So many things have been said by so many people, but their actual meaning and intent is sadly irrelevant. All that matters is how the words are twisted and reinterpreted by various parties at every turn, even decades later.
It makes little difference what is actually said—Khomeini could have opened his arms wide and said he wanted to embrace Israel and it would have been interpreted by many as meaning he wanted to invade. Meanwhile, I have listened to Arab Sunnis tell me that Khomeini was an agent of Israel. This whole debate is based on emotions, not rational debate. That is why it never ends.
So what we have to do is stay calm and prevent those who want to use words to escalate tensions from succeeding. Easier said than done!
Here is an interesting aside: I was talking to an extremely left-wing, pro-Palestinian-State, former Israeli citizen who emigrated here 40 years ago. I was saying how terrible Bibi is and he agreed, but then made a fascinating observation.
He said that Bibi is actually a moderate when compared to the frighteningly large right-wing Israeli settler population. Bibi’s most awful policies are considered to be barely acceptably harsh enough by this hard-line segment of Israel’s population.
Bibi actually is preventing even worse crimes against humanity by barely holding back the hundreds of thousands of fanatic settlers who would happily build death camps for all Palestinians, or unleash nukes and bring about the End of Days. Very depressing.
Alexis: Great point again. We have seen how the media and their puppets constantly build a straw man and destroy it with great relish. We ought to remember how they perversely and incoherently subverted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s words. They declared ad absurdum that Ahmadinejad wanted to “wipe Israel off the map.”
This was a complete hoax and fabrication which was perpetuated primarily by the Neo-Bolsheviks and much of the media. We know that the “wiped off the map” phraseology did not exist in the original translation. What the president actually said was that the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv is not good for the Middle East and much of the world. As Jonathan Steele of the Guardian put it,
“The Iranian president was quoting an ancient statement by Iran’s first Islamist leader, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, that ‘this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time,’ just as the Shah’s regime in Iran had vanished. He was not making a military threat. He was calling for an end to the occupation of Jerusalem at some point in the future. The ‘page of time’ phrase suggests he did not expect it to happen soon.”
This was widely known among academics who have worked on the translations. Shiraz Dossa of St. Francis Xavier University declared that the military threat has not been Iran’s position. Dossa concluded,
“There is a huge chasm between the correct and the incorrect translations. The notion that Iran can ‘wipe out’ U.S.-backed, nuclear-armed Israel is ludicrous.”
Juan Cole of the University of Michigan came to the same conclusion. Even Ethan Bronner of the New York Times conceded the point that there were some errors and contentions in the translation.
One of Iran’s foreign ministers responded to all the hoopla this way:
“How is it possible to remove a country from the map? He is talking about the regime. We do not recognize this regime legally.”
In other words, just like Russia now has a different color without Bolshevism, Israel will have a different color without the Zionist regime terrorizing the Middle East and sabotaging the Palestinians. But puppets like Sarah Palin and Lindsey Graham and John McCain did not want to listen. Instead, they decided to dance like parrots for the Neo-Bolsheviks. They are still dancing.
-  Paul McGeough, “The military adviser left out in the cold,” Sydney Morning Herald, September 30, 2012.
-  Jeff Stein, “Sunk,” Washington Post, August 21, 2012.
-  Thomas Sowell, “Iran and Obama,” Jewish World Review, March 6, 2012.
-  Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy (New York: Basic Books, 1995), 2.
-  John Podhoretz, “Spitting on the Constitution to pass the Iran deal,” NY Post, September 8, 2015.
-  Norman Podhoretz, “Strike Iran Now to Avert Disaster Later,” Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2013; see also Bob Dreyfuss, “Podhoretz, Adelson: Bomb Iran!,” The Nation, December 13, 2013.
-  Matthew Levitt, “30 years of terror sponsored by Iran,” NY Post, October 23, 2013.
-  Trita Parsi, Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007); A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012); Gareth Porter, Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare (Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books, 2014); Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, Going to Tehran: Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran (New York: Picador, 2013).
-  Quoted in E. Michael Jones, “The Great Satan and Me: Reflections on Iran and Postmodernism’s Faustian Pact,” Culture Wars, July/August, 2015.
-  Ibid.
-  Quoted in Ari Shavit, “Survival of the Fittest?,” Counter Punch, January 16, 2014.
-  Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 210-249.
-  Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: One World, 2006), kindle edition.
-  Mark Weisbrot and Robert Naiman, “Arash Norouzi Explains the ‘Wiped of the Map’ Controversy—What Iran’s President Never Said,” Huffington Post, January 7, 2007.
-  Jonathan Steele, “If Iran Is Ready to Talk, the U.S. Must Do So Unconditionally,” Guardian, June 2, 2006.
-  See for example “Canadian Prof’s Presence at Iran Forum ‘Abhorrent’: University,” CBS News, December 13, 2006.
-  Ibid.
-  Ethan Bronner, “Just How Far Did They Go, Those Words Against Israel?,” NY Times, June 11, 2006.
-  Ibid.
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the book, Kevin MacDonald’s Metaphysical Failure: A Philosophical, Historical, and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and Identity Politics. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.