The Peace Prize President in the White House continues to increase his empty, but angry rhetoric in an attempt to garner enough support for a strike on Iran. The propaganda juggernaut is in full action, and thousands of articles, TV shows, and politicians are beating the drums for a war against Iran. If this sounds eerily familiar, it’s because it is. In 2001, the London Observer ran a series of reports linking Iraq to the September 11 attacks and going as far as to claim there were secret bases in Iraq that produced anthrax as a weapon of mass destruction.
In late 2009, The Times of London published a now admittedly forged document it asserted revealed “a four-year plan [by Iran] to test a neutron initiator.” On the same day, Catherine Phillips, another writer for The Times, quoted Mark Fitzpatrick barefacedly saying, “Is this the smoking gun? That’s the question people should be asking. It looks like the smoking gun. This is smoking uranium.” To the naïve, this would be a shocking use of the media to garner support for a war that is pre-emptive and unjustified. To everyone else, it’s a repeat of 2001 and the pre-Iraq war legacy of the two biggest war criminals of our generation: George Bush and Tony Blair.
Not surprisingly, very few members of the corporate owned media have bothered to ask: does Iran have nuclear weapons? Does Iran even want nuclear weapons? It doesn’t matter. When the media is as prostituted as it is now, the sole aim is to convince the masses that Iran threatens our very existence and must be dealt with in a manner that disregards every single international law and charter. The Times of London is part of the seasoned propagandist Rupert Murdoch publishing empire that owns Fox News, the Sunday Times, and the New York Post. As expected, each and every Murdoch-owned media outlet views Iran from a decidedly pro-Israeli lens and disregards the need for evidence in making claims against a country that has fulfilled every clause of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT or NNPT). You know, the same one Israel refuses to sign.
Below are the top myths the media tells us daily about Iran.
The Declared Nuclear Powers, America, Britain and France Defeated by the Power of Reason
It is a fairly reliable rule of thumb that when a person refuses to listen to the argument of another, it is a sign that the person is betraying the fact that his own argument is flawed – or downright spurious.
Take the case of the US and its allies, Britain and France in particular, which allege that Iran is a threat to world peace, has sinister ambitions to build nuclear weapons and is in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The latter, signed in 1970, obliges its 189 signatories to desist from obtaining nuclear weapons or, if they already have possession, to ensure that these weapons are not provided to other countries and for themselves to take earnest steps to disarm. The NPT, however, affords the legal right to all signatories to develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes, such as electrical power and medical treatment.
For its part, Iran has (repeatedly) stated that central to its foreign policy is “justice” and neighbourly relations. Unlike nuclear-armed US, Britain and France, which are conducting criminal wars in at least three countries, Iran is not at war with anyone. As for NPT compliance, Iran has consistently denied the allegation that it is intending to build nuclear weapons, saying that such weaponry is “immoral”. The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, confirms after several years of rigorous inspections that the agency has not seen any evidence of Iran possessing such weaponry or the technological means for achieving it. Iran has openly declared that it is developing uranium-enriching technology for civilian purposes and has given notice of these developments at every step – as per its treaty obligation.
So what happens when these opponents come face to face?
Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal had a lead story about Israeli planning to possibly “go it alone” in an attack on Iran if the US were not to “succeed” in its diplomatic efforts to get Iran to “stop” it’s alleged attempts to develop a nuclear weapon capability.
Aside from the fact that there is no hard evidence that Iran is trying to make a nuclear bomb or even to refine uranium to obtain nuclear-grade material, the paper ignored one crucial point: Israel cannot “go it alone” in any strike on Iran, since its key weapons–American fighter-bombers–are supplied to it, and kept flying, thanks to the equipment and spare parts provided by the United States. Indeed the entire Israeli military machine is largely financed and armed by the US.
No Israeli military effort can go forward without the full backing of the US, and to say otherwise is to simply perpetrate a fraud on the American public, implying that Israel is an independent actor on the world stage. It is not.
Another example of media warmongering came in an interview by Terri Gross on her program “Fresh Air,” which I believe is the most widely syndicated and popular program on National Public Radio, produced here in Philadelphia at the studios of NPR affiliate WHYY. Listening to “Fresh Air” this week, which featured an interview with New York Times war correspondent Dexter Filkins, a generally excellent reporter who distinguished himself for his reporting on the Iraq War, and particularly on the brutal US assault on the city of Fallujah, I heard Filkins refer casually to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as “America’s arch-enemy.”
Now it’s possible, and I certainly do hope it’s the case, that Filkins was being ironic here. But Terri Gross allowed this characterization of Iran’s president pass without comment. America’s arch-enemy?
Really? On what basis?
With all the current hype about the “threat” from Iran, it is time to review the record – and especially the significant bits and pieces that find neither ink nor air in our Israel-friendly Fawning Corporate Media (FCM).
First, on the chance you missed it, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said publicly that Iran “doesn’t directly threaten the United States.” Her momentary lapse came while answering a question at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 14.
Fortunately for her, most of her FCM fellow travelers must have been either jet-lagged or sunning themselves poolside when she made her unusual admission. And those who were present did Clinton the favor of disappearing her gaffe and ignoring its significance. (All one happy traveling family, you know.)
But she said it. It’s on the State Department Web site. Those who had been poolside could have read the text after showering. They might have recognized a real story there. Granted, the substance was so off-message that it would probably not have been welcomed by editors back home.
The yearly need of Iran for life-saving medical isotopes is less than one gram and costs Iran $75,000 to refine the fuel. Iran has stated they would prefer to buy the isotopes rather than produce them. The US could resolve the threat of war with Iran if President Obama made a speech today saying the US will allow Iran to produce it themselves under inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a legal right guaranteed by treaty among nations including the US and Iran, or by the US selling Iran the isotopes.