Transcript of Col. Wilkerson Speaking on Lobbying with FCNL
An Excerpt from OCTV's coverage of National Iranian American Council (NIAC) Gala in Irvine, CA on 5/5/2012
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson on lobbying with FCNL to prevent war with Iran
“Let me tell you a story. It’s a story of me going over to the Congress of the United States with the Quakers, the Friends Committee on National Legislation in Washington. A call came out of the blue and they said would you go? Would you be our Quaker colonel? I said I’m not a Quaker. They said yeah, but we want you to go with us. I said what do you want to go for?
"We want to talk about an IncSea agreement."
An IncSea agreement is an Incidents at Sea agreement--like the one that we had with the Soviet Union for years--that aims at keeping military forces (in this case mostly naval forces) that are in close proximity, like those of Iran and the United States in the Persian Gulf, in the Sea of Oman, and in the Northern Indian Ocean, right now, every day, 24/7, from having an accident that would lead to war.
I said yep, I’m with you. Let’s go. All that we are going to talk about ostensibly is this IncSea agreement. No brainer. Every Republican, every Democrat, the Pentagon, should have been in favor.
I get to the Congress. Same message everywhere I go: “Oh, no problem with the IncSea. No problem. No problem. The legislation will go through, no problem.” What we want to talk about is Iran and America and the serious issue of war. Let’s talk about that.
Great, I’m with you, let’s talk about it.
And, what I found was the most incredible ignorance, ignorance of what it means to go to war with Iran. It does not mean a surgical strike by Israel, which would do no more than bounce the rocks. Israel does not have the military capability to attack Iran at the distance she would have to do it at. She does not have the tankers, minimum number of tankers--60. The only country in the world that has 60 tankers is the one you are living in. We would have to give Israel, she has four tankers, we would have to give her 50 or 60 more and probably 70 in order to account for logistic failures for her to even carry out the raid. And then, it would be one in and one out. Nothing but rocks bouncing on the ground. So, Israel cannot do major damage to Iran.
The only country that can do that is the United States of America. We can mount around the clock, 24/7, endless strikes on Iran until we run out of ordinance. But here we are talking about this, and I said to these congressmen and their staffers, probably more importantly to their staffers, let me tell you how you have to follow up in order to do anything serious about Iran’s nuclear program. Because even if we bomb, as I just described, we’re going to kill a lot of innocent people: men, women, and children. And, we are going to do some major damage to every facility in Iran that we want to attack, but we are not going to stop them. In fact, we are probably going to accelerate them in getting a nuclear weapon. We are going to cause them to make the decision to get a nuclear weapon.
So, what’s it going to take to eliminate Iran’s nuclear program? An invasion. It’s going to take 500,000 troops. It’s going to take another 100,000 or 200,000 good allies--not El Salvador. It’s going to require Britain, France, Germany, the Turks, maybe, others, India, who have formidable land forces, and it’s going to take ten years and $2 trillion. And if you, like any former command or central command said, liked Iraq then you will like Iran. That’s what it’s going to take.
Now let me back up and tell you what I told them about the state of our land forces.
Your armed forces, your army and your marines, are broken. The suicide rate in the land forces of the United States right now is off the charts. A solider, sailor, airman, or marine commits suicide every 18 hours. That’s how bad the situation is. You’ve seen a little bit of it with the killings in Afghanistan, where the solider went berserk and killed all of the innocent women and children. This is just a symptom of what is happening to your land force because they have been deployed for almost a decade plus. I have a major in my seminar at William and Mary. He has ten years in the army. He has 46 months in Afghanistan or Iraq. This is the state of your land forces that are going to have to carry out this invasion.
So, one senator asked me: does that mean we go back to the draft?
The only way that you are going to get sufficient forces to mount an invasion that will ensure that Iran does not ever get a nuclear weapon is to do just that. How do you think that is going to pass with moms and dads across this country? Who are sick and tired of war already.”