Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (Photo: file)

If You Put an Old W. Bush Crony in Charge of Iran Policy, Doesn’t It Signal a War-Like Intention?

Juan Cole

 by Informed Comment

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has appointed Brian H. Hook, the State Department director of policy planning, to head a coordinated “Iran Action Group.”

Hook served in several important posts in the George W. Bush administration, indicating his support for lying the country into war with Iraq and the years-long US military occupation of that country. Putting a Bushie Neoconservative in charge of the Iran Action Group can fairly be seen as a signal that Pompeo wants to do to President Hassan Rouhani what Bush did to Saddam Hussein.

The Iraq War led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, the wounding of millions, the creation of hundreds of thousands of widows and orphans, the displacement of 4 million Iraqis, the complete destruction of the Iraqi economy, and the rise of the ISIL terrorist group.

A neoconservative, Hook has argued for coddling dictatorial regimes favorable to US interests such as the absolute monarchy Saudi Arabia and the brutal military junta in Egypt, rather than pressing them in any way on human rights or democracy. He blamed Jimmy Carter’s human rights policy for the revolutions in Nicaragua and Iran (an allegation almost completely divorced from any historical fact). He seems to imply that pressing a country over democratization should be reserved as a tactic for governments the US does not like.

Hook was likely involved in the memo for Trump arguing for promoting an “Islamic reformation,” which State Department experts on the Middle East privately castigated: ““These people are curating crap” from the far-right, anti-Muslim blogosphere, said a separate senior U.S. government official, referring to the unnamed authors of the State Department paper,” according to The Intercept. Hooks appears to equate the government of Iran with the terrorist group al-Qaeda. You don’t have to like the Iranian government to think that that is ridiculous.

So we’ve got someone who has defended Bush’s war of aggression on Iraq but who thinks it was naive and dangerous for Carter to cut aid to the Argentinian colonels who were throwing dissidents out of airplanes.

Nice.


© 2021 Juan Cole
Juan Cole

Juan Cole

Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan. His newest book, "Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires" was published in 2020. He is also the author of  "The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East" (2015) and "Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East" (2008).  He has appeared widely on television, radio, and on op-ed pages as a commentator on Middle East affairs, and has a regular column at Salon.com. He has written, edited, or translated 14 books and has authored 60 journal articles. 

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

Poll Shows Majority Oppose Supreme Court's Attack on Fundamental Rights

Fifty-six of respondents said they're now concerned the court will attack marriage equality and the right to obtain contraception.

Julia Conley ·


Global Windfall Profit Tax of 90% Needed to Address 'Catastrophic' Food, Climate Crises: Oxfam

Taxing the excess profits of large corporations within the G7 alone could raise an estimated $430 billion to fight world hunger, deliver vaccines to the entire world, and make a giant dent in the fight to drive down fossil fuel pollution and jumpstart the necessary renewable energy transition.

Jon Queally ·


NATO to Boost Ranks of High-Readiness Forces by 650% to Over 300,000

Anti-war campaigners responded that "this is not the path to peace and will not make the world safer."

Jake Johnson ·


Ilhan Omar Says Plan to Fix Supreme Court Must Include Impeachment Probes

"We need an impeachment investigation into Clarence Thomas' role in the January 6th coup, as well as into Gorsuch, Alito, Barrett, and Kavanaugh's testimony on Roe during their confirmation hearings," said the Minnesota Democrat.

Jake Johnson ·


Right-Wing Justices Should Be Impeached for Lying Under Oath, Says Ocasio-Cortez

"We have a responsibility to protect our democracy," said the New York Democrat. "That includes holding those in power who violate the law accountable."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo