Demonizing Iran: US Media Continue Beating War Drums

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Just yesterday, the New York Times, 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 – F15 and F-16 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 cannot go forward without the full backing
of the US, and to say otherwise is to simply perpetrate a fraud
on the public, implying that Israel is an independent actor on the
world stage. It is not.

Another example of 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 Filkens,
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 Filkens 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 Filkens 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?

What, exactly, has Iran done to make itself America’s arch
enemy? It has backed the same Shi’ite led government in Iraq
that the US has been backing, and indeed, to the extent that Iraq
has stabilized, it is largely Iran’s doing. It provided key
help to the US in the early invasion of Afghanistan and the routing
of the Taliban government, which was never favored by the Iranians.

We know that two years before the election of Ahmadinejad to the
presidency, Iran made
an offer
to the US to recognize Israel, help broker a two-state
peace solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and end Iran’s
support of armed groups in the Middle East region, all in return
for the US accepting Iran as what the 70-million population nation
unarguably is: a legitimate power in the region. That offer was
slapped down by the Bush/Cheney administration, which had as its
goal not peace in Palestine or with Iran, but the occupation and
control of Iraq, and perhaps ultimately a war against Iran.

It needs to be said, but somehow never is in the establishment
US media, whether corporate or not-for-profit, that Iran historically
is not an aggressive, expansive nation. Though it is, by dint of
its oil reserves and its population, one of the biggest and most
powerful countries in the Middle East, it has not invaded another
country since the 18th century, and there is no indication that
it plans to invade any other country now.

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the rest of the article

April
23, 2010

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