Monday, August 3, 2015

Neocons beat the drums for War with Iran with fraudulent study

The New York Times, the Washington Post, and Fox News all agree that Iran has increased its cyberattacks in the past 6 months. They all get their information from one source, however, and that source is unreliable. The source is a report--

written by Frederick Kagan and published by American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Kagan was one of the group of neocons who convinced George Bush to attack Iraq in 2001. Kagan also recommended the famous "surge" strategy that led to more victories in Iraq but no substantial progress. No territory was seized and held. No armies surrendered.

Now there is a group of militarists, including Kagan, who are trying to push the US into a war with Iran. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a long-time right-wing front group, has warned in its report,
Whatever the final outcome of the nuclear negotiations, we must expect that the threat of a cyberattack from Iran will continue to grow. We may have just enough time to get ready to meet that threat.
Kagan is on record as supporting putting American troops in Iraq to fight ISIS:
There is, in fact, no end in sight for this war now, especially if we allow Iraq to go down. A policy of retreat and abandonment remains as it has always been the fastest road to endless war.

The Israelis have declared it would be a short war, just a few bombs to shut down Iran's nuclear research facilities. If that is true, why doesn't Israel bomb the  facilities?

Maybe because it's not true. Maybe that unprovoked attack would lead to war between Israel and Iran, a war which Israel could not win and does not dare to undertake. Israel's military actions of late have come in limited engagements against Hamas, the governing party in Gaza. The Israeli army has more manpower, is better armed, and vastly superior in technical ability. Hamas has a few rocket launchers. Defeating Hamas in a brief sortie does not compare to the force necessary to win a war against Iraq.

Israel therefore needs to convince the US to take up the fight. Right now, the US and Iran and four other nations are negotiating an agreement to limit Iranian nuclear power, an agreement that would defuse the tensions in the Middle East considerably.

Supporters of this war against Iran--the neocons, Israel, and elements inside the US government intelligence community--would love to find another pretext to attack Iran. So they have ginned up the idea that Iran will replace its nuclear ability with a cyberwar capability. Kogan, the neocon, writes in his report that whatever happens, whether there is a disarmament treaty or no, Iran will continue developing its cyberwar capabilities.

So much is clear from the report. What the report bases this conclusion on is hardly believable. The cybersecurity company, Norse Corporation, says Iran step up its cyberattacks 115% between January 2015 and March 2015. As evidence for this hypothesis, Norse offers the fact that more attacks were made from Iranian IP addresses against its network of sensors.

Just to be clear on this, the Norse company claims the Iranians have conducted hundreds of cyberattacks against targets in the US. If that is true, what damage was done? What banks had their data compromised? What computer code was implanted in what sensitive networks?

The answer to these questions is, none. All the attacks, even if real, came against computers that Norse set up to look like banks, businesses, and research facilities, but none of them were actually banks, businesses, or research facilities. But computer experts dispute whether those attacks against fake targets were actually real.

All the newspaper reports, many of them from right-wing propaganda outlets like NewsMax and Breitbart News, simply repeat the dubious findings verbatim. NPR broadcast a brief segment that gave an entirely different picture of what might be happening, one that was not flattering to Norse Corporation.

Stuart CEO of Cylance, another cybersecurity company, says he has seen a drop in Iranian cyberattack activity over the past several months and he knows others that have seen the same thing. Jeffrey Carr, CEO of Taia Global is even more critical of the study. He says anyone can compromise computers anywhere in the world, conduct cyberattacks from those computers, and make it seem like the attacks are coming from any country in the world, in this case, Iran.

Carr continues by saying he believes there is a right-wing political motivation here because AEI is involved. He says the right-wing wants to paint Iran as a threat.

The right-wing chicken hawks got us to go to war based on a lie back in 2002. They're trying the same thing again. Let's hope they fail, this time.

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