More on the Neo-Cons' March through the Institutions.
Brian Hook, the new chief of the Iran Action Group (IAG) , whose other members mysteriously haven't been made public, is a long time fellow-traveler and functionary of the neo-con policies that are increasing taking hold in the Administration. The MSM glibly report that Hook was/is a Tillerson loyalist, and that he is "close to" the "Never Trump" crowd, creating an impression that he is a moderate who might resist a flight forward to war with Iran. False impression. In 2006, Hook was senior advisor to recess-appointed US Ambassador to the United Nations — John Bolton, now the National Security Advisor to Trump. Bolton is a maniacal advocate for Iranian regime change and US military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities, and Hook might be seen as Bolton's boy inside the State Dept. Bolton is also an ardent supporter (along with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and a possible beneficiary) of the regime change advocates of the Rajavi Family cult known as the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq or the National Council of Resistance in Iran).
At the neo-con shrine in DC, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Hook gave a raving speech filling out the picture on what his job on Iran is all about. Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, and Hillary Clinton should be ecstatic. Hook's human rights playbook comes directly out of Humanitarian Interventionism, with dash of neo-con hot sauce. Like most neo-con thinkers, Hook advocates crushing, crippling sanctions that supposedly will suffocate the population to the point that there will be an uprising that overthrows the regime. It's a form of collective punishment–a neo-con pipe dream that destroys nations and people. Hook's mission on Iran is described as coming from Pompeo at the State Dept, but well-placed sources say it's a National Security Council operation, and Bolton's brainchild. State is allowed to take the point in appearing to coordinate the inter-agency efforts. (Warning: anyone who thinks that Pompeo has a lot of influence should look again at the humiliating cancellation of his planned trip to North Korea. That should be a wake-up call)
How the Iran Action Group is working: well-placed Washington insiders say that IAG is the policy arm of the Administration on Iran. It's members haven't been publicly named, but it's already full-steam ahead. Its job is to wage total financial and economic war against Iran. Functionaries like Hook are already at work from within the Treasury Dept., the IC, the Commerce Dept. (punishing tariffs), and other branches of the Administration to forces all nations that are allied with the United States to cut off trade (including some oil contracts), investment, exports to Iran, joint projects, infrastructure projects, or anything else that is designed to bring the country to its knees. The oil sector is a key target, but the IC and other US professionals know very well that Iran has the means to circumvent these crushing efforts against Iran's economy.
The moves taken by the Trump Administration against Iran are already acts of war. And countries like France and Japan which are "allies" of the United States have already been threatened with economic squeeze plays and responded like vassal states, reluctant but vassals nonetheless.
Bolton's neo-con loyalty credentials are well-documented, but Hook's less so. When Brian Hook left Bolton's service in the George W. Bush administration, he became a member of the steering committee of the John Hay Initiative along with Eric Edelman, who worked in Dick Cheney's office and who was one of the intimates of the Dick Cheney cabal (Wolfowitz, Perle, Doug Feith, etc.), and Eliot Cohen, a chicken-hawk big mouth in Richard Perle's shop. Longtime readers of SST might remember Cheney's hell-bent-on-war-with-Iran efforts of 2006. Also involved in the John Hay initiative with Brian Hook are Fox News Gen. Michael Hayden and neo-con theoretician Robert "Mr. Victoria Nuland" Kagan.