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Who will the US demonize, sanction and invade next? Oh right. Iran.

As I sit at a table in a coffee shop in Queens, typing on my laptop and pretending to be Carrie Bradshaw (reimagining her as a political columnist and not a wannabe 1%er), I can’t help but wonder…

  1. Who the fuck is the United States to tell folks they can’t have nuclear weapons?
  2. If I were Iran, and all I could see out my back window were the smoking ruins of Iraq and Afghanistan, wouldn’t I want a nuclear weapon… a really big one?
  3. Why is the United States, the only country to ever have used nuclear weapons against a civilian population, allowed at any table where anything about nuclear weapons is being discussed?!

In the words of the great prophet Joan Rivers, “Can we talk?!”

These questions I realize have no purpose other than to make me laugh.  And to point out the irony of US calls to inspect anybody’s nuclear program.  

Not laughable, however, are the threats being hurled at Iran by US government officials: behavior, again ironic, which is prohibited by the UN Charter.   Noam Chomsky wrote a great piece on the US and Iran in June of 2010, in which he touched on this point precisely.

The increasing threats of military action against Iran are of course in violation of the UN Charter, and in specific violation of Security Council resolution 1887 of September 2009 which reaffirmed the call to all states to resolve disputes related to nuclear issues peacefully, in accordance with the Charter, which bans the use or threat of force.

And not laughable is the assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, now the fourth Iranian nuclear scientist to be killed in recent years.  Gee, I wonder who did that.

The New Boogeyman

Iran is the new boogeyman.  We thought that maybe after the US had dumped Osama bin Laden’s body into the ocean – how civilized – we might get to wait another decade for a new boogeyman, but no such luck. Like any corporation whose practices become too blatant to be morally or legally tolerated, they’ve rebranded and repackaged their old shtick; the goal again being to trick the American public into another invasion. Well, first comes sanction, then comes invasion,  then comes the dead Iraqi/ Afghan/ Iranian baby in the baby carriage.

The demonization of Iran, at the moment, is focused on a report from the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  The report was issued in November of 2011 and you can read it in full here.  The report says that Iran’s activities suggest it has the capability to produce nuclear weapons, but it provides no evidence that Iran actually is producing them.  Nevertheless, sanctions have already been put in place and this report has given Washington it’s much awaited object of exploitation. Our 1% asshole spokespeople have already been deployed and are trotting around the globe trying to get the other assholes to join in the sanction game.   The purpose of this is most likely to demonize Iran and Ahmadinejad to “Level Saddam” which historically is the level required for the American public to fall in line while our representatives prepare to lead us into another useless war of empire.

Current Iran Coverage by Washington Post, New York Times, PBS and NPR – Misleading:

Some attention is being paid by activists, journalists and most importantly, readers, to the media’s coverage of Iran. Patrick B. Pexton, ombudsman for the Washington Post, charged with representing readers’ concerns over fairness and accuracy in reporting, recently found himself responded to hundreds of emails sent in protest of a Post headline and accompanying slideshow.

The photo slideshow depicted Iran’s nuclear research facilities and originally had a headline and subhead that readers felt were misleading: “Iran’s quest to possess nuclear weapons,” the main headline said, followed by this subhead: “Intelligence shows that Iran received foreign assistance to overcome key hurdles in acquiring a nuclear weapon, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.”

The gallery was linked to two stories by The Post’s national intelligence reporter, Joby Warrick, one on Nov. 6 and one on Nov. 8 describing the latest IAEA report, in which the U.N. agency said that Iran’s drive for nuclear technology has military aspects that could bring it to the threshold of a nuclear bomb. But the IAEA report does not say Iran has a bomb, nor does it say it is building one, only that its multiyear effort pursuing nuclear technology is sophisticated and broad enough that it could be consistent with building a bomb.”

In an article for Al Jazeera,  accompanied by a photo of a woman reading the New York Times,  Robert Naiman alleges: “The paper has made faulty allegations about Iran’s nuclear programme without running proper corrections.”

Also circulating is this petition, put out by an org called Just Foreign Policy calling on PBS and NPR to report accurately on the issue of nuclear weapons and Iran.  Apparently when Secretary of Defense Stephen Panetta was asked if he thought that Iran had nuclear weapons, his response of “No” was left out of their story.

Just to be clear, we’re talking about major media establishments: The New York Times, The Washington Post, PBS and NPR, misleading the public with the information they are disseminating.

Double Standards: Israel’s refusal to sign nuclear treaty and submit to nuclear inspections:

For all the finger-pointing hysteria over Iran’s program, there is no talk of the elephant in the room: Israel.   In an article for Reuters from September 2009, Sylvia Westall writes:

Israel is one of only three countries worldwide along with India and Pakistan outside the nuclear NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] and is widely assumed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, though it has never confirmed or denied this.

Are you wondering if Iran signed on to this treaty?  They did – in 1968.  Also worth noting is that by signing the NPT, you are also agreeing to “safeguards” mandated by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which ensure that the nuclear energy you are developing is being done so for peaceful purposes.

To be clear, this is what we have: the vague findings of the most recent International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran, and the knowledge that Iran has signed on to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act, which in turn mandates the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.  We also have Israel, which refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and refuses to submit to International Atomic Energy Agency inspections.

On Friday, Iran announced that it would allow IAEA inspectors to visit nuclear facilities at the end of this month.

US/Israel’s laundry list of claims about Iran – from 1981 to present:

It can be very instructive to look back at consistencies and inconsistencies in history.  Journalist Marwan Bishara does exactly this to great effect, showing us what the US/Israel has had to say about Iran’s nuclear weapons program throughout the years:

In 1981, Washington estimated with a high degree of certainty that Iran could have nuclear weapons in two to three years. The following year, a Congressional report predicted Iranian nukes within months; and in 1995, US Defence Secretary William Perry claimed that Iran may be less than five years from building the bomb. In 1998, US General Anthony Zinni said Iran could have the capacity to deliver nuclear weapons within five years; and in 2000, the CIA couldn’t rule out Iranian possession of nuclear weapons; and in 2006, the US military was reportedly operating under the assumption that Iran is five years away; while in 2009, German intelligence sources warned of Iran as a nuclear power in six months; and this year, US and Israeli officials predicted Iranian warheads by 2014 and prototype may only be months away.

– Marwan Bishara, ‘Targeting Iran’, Empire, Al Jazeera.

See transcript here – http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/empire/2011/12/2011121393455983954.html

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This entry was posted on January 15, 2012 by in Politics and tagged , , , , .
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