Feeding the Frenzy Over Iran
TAC supporters have likely noted the torrent of editorials and opinion pieces calling for war against Iran. On February 7th alone there were nine lead editorials in major newspapers throughout the country calling for the use of force as the best option for dealing with Tehran. Coordinated? You bet. Since that time the flow has continued unabated with no one in the mainstream media making the obvious point that nearly everyone who has actually followed the issue agrees that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon and has not made the essentially political and economic decision to actually develop one.
A good example of deliberate distorting of the truth regarding what we actually do know about Iran and its intentions was on display in the Washington Post today in an op-ed piece by Ray Takeyh. The piece, entitled “Why Iran Thinks It Needs the Bomb” in the print edition, appeared on the first page of the Opinion section but was also banner headlined on the front page of the paper. Takeyh, who is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, is certainly knowledgeable of his subject and was once a reasonable voice on things Iranian but he has pretty much gone over to the neocon view of the Middle East of late. Some of his analysis of Iran’s internal politics is excellent but he makes several key judgments that are questionable at best and which are not supported by any evidence. As the article title indicates, he believes that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon and throughout his piece he equates Iran’s highly popular nuclear energy program with a weapons program. That cannot be demonstrated and, in fact, it is contradicted by the best intelligence available on the issue. The second assumption he makes is that Iran is an active hegemon that is seeking to export its revolution, which means, putting the two together, that Iran is seeking a weapon of mass destruction that it will use aggressively, leaving military force as the best option to discourage such a development. That is all sheer conjecture and would seem to be belied by the generally pragmatic behavior of the Iranian government, which is more interested in regime preservation than in any attempt to bring the rest of the Middle East in line with its views.
Given the fact that the mainstream media gives no space whatsoever to anyone opposing the prevailing wisdom on Iran, i.e. that it is a threat, the US public is being subjected to a thorough brainwashing to accept starting yet another war. The parallels to the lead-up to Iraq are eerie – weapons of mass destruction, terrorist groups, and mushroom clouds on the horizon. If the Ray Takeyhs of the world get their war it will be a catastrophe for the United States and well as for Iran and will do precious little good for Israel, which is aggressively using its lobby to promote the military option. Next month’s AIPAC conference will no doubt incorporate a virtual feeding frenzy of anti-Iranian rhetoric.