Press TV – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is “setting the stage for a war with Iran,” says a Bush-era official, claiming he sees the same pattern that developed ahead of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Lawrence Wilkerson, who once served as chief of staff for former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, made the comments in an interview with nonprofit news organization The Real News Network.
“I’m looking at the same kind of trail, as it were, that happened just prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the same characters with a few new additions actually laying that trail down,” he said.
Pompeo was recently warned about going to war with Iran by Republican Senator Rand Paul, reminding him that he has no “permission” to do so without Congress approval.
Yet, the war hawk could still use a Congress 2001 authorization — Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF) — to start a war with Iran, by baselessly linking Tehran to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“All of these are building blocks and I think the AUMF is the last building block, in setting the stage for a war with Iran, for the use of military force against Iran,” said Wilkerson, calling such a move “preposterous.”
Originally issued by Congress to take on terrorists, the AUMF was never used against Saudi Arabia despite the role Saudis played in the attacks.
“Visibly here, laughably here, preposterously here, Saudi Arabia provided fifteen of those terrorists. The UAE, the most staunch Saudi ally right now with MBS in its leadership role, provided two or three of the others. So we’re looking at the main element that attacked the United States on September 11th, 2001, having come from Saudi citizenry, accompanied by UAE citizenry. And now we’re looking at Iran as applicable under this AUMF.”
Powell’s former chief of staff further complained about US President Donald Trump’s unawareness about the current affairs and how war hawks such as National Security Adviser John Bolton take advantage of that in favor of the Israeli regime.
“We are actually acting now under President Trump and God knows if he knows what’s happening because most of this is being orchestrated by John Bolton,” he said. “We’re operating in a way that’s inimical to, injurious to US national security interests, and ultimately, to the long-term interests of Israel in the region.”
Rejecting the Trump administration’s claims that Iran supports terrorism, the politician described Saudi Arabia as the “greatest state sponsor of terrorism” in the world.
“To say that Iran sponsors terrorism of any sort, let alone al-Qaeda, is just preposterous. The greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the region and indeed in the world is Saudi Arabia, our ally.”
Wilkerson also dubbed the decision to invade Iraq “one of the most catastrophic strategic decisions the United States has ever made,” voicing hope that his prediction about war with Iran turns out to be false.
“I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that that’s the case and that at the end of the day, none of this happens, that we won’t go to war. But I can’t bet on that because the President has the most mercurial temperament I’ve ever seen of anyone at this level of power and so, anything’s possible.”