Media as Front End of War Machine & ‘Casus Belli’ for War w/ Iran as Deja Vu Bullshit
David Swanson writes in "The U.S. Drive to Attack Iran - and the Urgent Need to Resist":
At DontAttackIran.org we've been collecting the arguments for and against attacking Iran for years. We've campaigned against an attack, but never been able to claim a success, because decisions not to launch wars are never announced, because those pushing for wars never give up, and because those believing what their government tells them think the Pentagon never campaigns for wars but is forced into them defensively on short notice by attacks from evildoers.
While Iran has not attacked any other country in centuries, the United States has not done so well by Iran. Remember (or, like most U.S. citizens, learn for the first time): the United States overthrew Iran's democracy in 1953 and installed a dictator. Then the United States aided Iraq in the 1980s in attacking Iran, providing Iraq with some of the weapons (including chemical weapons) that were used on Iranians and that would be used in 2002-2003 (when they no longer existed) as an excuse for attacking Iraq.
For the past decade, the United States has labeled Iran an evil nation, attacked and destroyed the other non-nuclear nation on the list of evil nations, designated part of Iran's military a terrorist organization, falsely accused Iran of crimes including the attacks of 9-11, murdered Iranian scientists, funded opposition groups in Iran (including some the U.S. also designates as terrorist), flown drones over Iran, openly and illegally threatened to attack Iran, and built up military forces all around Iran's borders, while imposing cruel sanctions on the country.
As the war progresses, we will be told that the Iranian people want to be bombed for their own good, for freedom, for democracy. But nobody wants to be bombed for that.
Now we begin to understand the importance of all the media suppression, blackouts, and lies about the damage done to Iraq and Afghanistan. Now we understand why Obama and Panetta have embraced the lies that launched the War on Iraq. The same lies must now be revived, as for every war ever fought, for a War on Iran. ... The U.S. corporate media is part of the war machine.
Planning war and funding war creates its own momentum. Sanctions become, as with Iraq, a stepping stone to war. Cutting off diplomacy leaves few options open. Electoral pissing contests take us all where most of us did not want to be.
These are the bombs most likely to launch this ugly and quite possibly terminal chapter of human history. ...
Mainstream media, instead of calling out the recklessness and amorality of the war machine, is as Swanson asserts the front end of it. Promoting war with Iran and whatever country is on the US administration’s -- as prime international bully’s -- hit list.
If we, those who are committed to stopping these insane US and NATO wars and are committed to recruiting fellow sane US and global citizens to stop these insane wars, don’t learn the importance or method of finally (after so much obscene carnage with more to come) “occupying” this drum-beating, front end of the war machine US corporate media, we will VERY soon be cakewalked into another obscene, bloody, amoral, bullshit-justified and devastating war with Iran.
We know amoral gamesman Obama will do all he can to win in 2012. Well, no, not all of us know that. Apparently for too many still, party and media cronyism trump reality. An amiable, media-marketed personality trumps someone who is and has been a mass-murderer. Many citizens, spoon fed government and media lies, are willing or conned to play accessories to mass murder.
But some of us are refusing to play, willing to organize to stop playing, accessories to mass murder. Some of us have thankfully been at it for quite a while now -- a moral pushback to war -- and are there for us to support.
Some of us know what lengths Obama will go, for whatever drives him to do the horrifying things he has continued to do since his 2008 election. Witnessing him throw away our right to due process last week was the latest horror. It should have struck absolute horror in the heart of ANY U.S. citizen, even with the shocking media blackout or at best the casual minimization of the gravity of such an action.
Obama has indicated the vast parameters of his military ruthlessness. The assassinations, the dronings, the surges, the weapons and capital supplied to dictatorships. Again, his specific motivations may not be clear. Whether they have been perpetrated out of ambition, hubris, cowardism, incompetence, stupidity, external threats, etc. or some combination, the fate of us citizens and the fate of millions of foreign peoples is as dark under the leadership of Obama as a leadership under one of the Republican, war-lusting candidates.
This especially includes Obama’s risking war with Iran to politically prove that he is as militarily tough as the Republicans before 2012. That he is totally divorced from any anti-war progressives and has divorced his party from them. To politically prove he endorses and is willing to enable Israel’s irrational international offensive-defensive border-line personality paranoia. To continue the global chess game of proxy wars with China for the ‘new world US-dominating order’ out of a wrong-headed willfulness to compensate for US economic decline.
Obama is willing to continue with global mass murder. Using taxpayer dollars and taxpayer young adult children. So are the mass-murder-agenda Republicans, one who may get elected in his stead.
The onus is on us as citizens to stop the insanity. Our government, all three branches of it, both of the money, legacy parties, and our media have abandoned their responsibility for the common good, for the maintenance of this country as a republic. Our government has now hardened into a dangerous, rogue, fascistic, military state.
The U.S. is playing a dangerous game with Iran. If it wanted to rein in Israel’s mandate to militarily engage with Iran, the U.S. could curb the generous yearly military aid it provides Israel. That would certainly send a message to Israel and the world that we would not endorse a reckless attack on Iran by Israel, and enable it if it occurs. The U.S. has not shown such international maturity and restraint and is untrustworthy in the eyes of much of the world and should be in our own eyes.
Swanson speaks of the tremendous suffering an attack would cause the citizens -- our fellow human beings -- in Iran:
They're not a different species. They're not evil. A "surgical strike" against a "facility" in their country would cause a great many of them to die very painful and horrible deaths. Even if you imagine that Iran would not retaliate for such attacks, this is what the attacks would in themselves consist of: mass murder. And what would that accomplish? It would unite the people of Iran and much of the world against the United States. It would justify in the eyes of much of the world an underground Iranian program to develop nuclear weapons, a program that probably does not exist at present, except to the extent that legal nuclear energy programs move a country closer to weapons development. The environmental damage would be tremendous, the precedent set incredibly dangerous, all talk of cutting the U.S. military budget would be buried in a wave of war frenzy, civil liberties and representative government would be flushed down the Potomac, a nuclear arms race would spread to additional countries, and any momentary sadistic glee would be outweighed by accelerating home foreclosures, mounting student debt, and accumulating layers of cultural stupidity.
As for the propagandized faux-justifications of attacking Iran used by both the US and Israel Swanson has this to say:
Strategically, legally, and morally weapons possession is not grounds for war, and neither is pursuit of weapons possession. And neither, I might add, with Iraq in mind, is theoretically possible pursuit of weapons never acted upon. Israel has nuclear weapons. The United States has more nuclear weapons than any other country. There can be no justification for attacking the United States, Israel, or any other country. The pretense that Iran has or will soon have nuclear weapons is, in any case, just a pretense, one that has been revived, debunked, and revived again like a zombie for years and years. But that's not the really absurd part of this false claim for something that amounts to no justification for war whatsoever. The really absurd part is that it was the United States in 1976 that pushed nuclear energy on Iran. In 2000 the CIA gave the Iranian government (slightly flawed) plans to build a nuclear bomb. In 2003, Iran proposed negotiations with the United States with everything on the table, including its nuclear technology, and the United States refused. Shortly thereafter, the United States started angling for a war. Meanwhile, U.S.-led sanctions prevent Iran from developing wind energy, while the Koch brothers are allowed to trade with Iran without penalty.
Another area of ongoing lie debunking, one that almost exactly parallels the buildup to the 2003 attack on Iraq, is the relentless false claim, including by candidates for U.S. President, that Iran has not allowed inspectors into its country or given them access to its sites. Iran has, in fact, voluntarily accepted stricter standards than the IAEA requires. And of course a separate line of propaganda, albeit a contradictory one, holds that the IAEA has discovered a nuclear weapons program in Iran. Under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), Iran was not required to declare all of its installations, and early last decade it chose not to, as the United States violated that same treaty by blocking Germany, China, and others from providing nuclear energy equipment to Iran. While Iran remains in compliance with the NPT, India and Pakistan and Israel have not signed it and North Korea has withdrawn from it, while the United States and other nuclear powers continuously violate it by failing to reduce arms, by providing arms to other countries such as India, and by developing new nuclear weapons.
Swanson asserts that for Iran to attack the U.S. and Israel without provocation would constitute “national suicide”. It has been suggested by more than one analyst of the war with Iran scenario that the role of mad, metaphorical “suicide bomber(s)” is being played by the US and Israel!
Swanson also addresses the much alluded to Ahmadinejad verbal threat against Israel:
And then there's that old standby: Ahmadinejad said "Israel should be wiped off the map." While this does not, perhaps, rise to the level of John McCain singing about bombing Iran or Bush and Obama swearing that all options including nuclear attack are on the table (I'm really starting to despise that table, by the way). Yet, it sounds extremely disturbing: "wiped off the map"! However, the translation is a bad one. A more accurate translation was "the regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time". The government of Israel, not the nation of Israel. Not even the government of Israel, but the current regime. Hell, Americans say that about their own regimes all the time, alternating every four to eight years depending on political party (some of us even say it all the time, without immunity for either party). Iran has made clear it would approve of a two-state solution if Palestinians approved of it. If we launched missile strikes every time somebody said something stupid, even if accurately translated, how safe would it be to live near Newt Gingrich's or Joe Biden's house?
Larry Everest in "U.S.-Israeli Assault on Iran Escalates - Danger of War Grows" asserts:
The danger of a U.S.-Israeli war on Iran is escalating rapidly. The U.S. and its allies are ramping up their all-around assault on Iran, including new crippling sanctions, and openly threatening to attack. Ground is being laid daily in the headlines and statements by politicians of every stripe in mainstream U.S. politics calling for aggression against Iran—all justified by unsubstantiated assertions that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.
Whether or not Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons technology (and there is no proof they are), this U.S. imperialist narrative and framework is an outrageous effort to turn reality upside down—the reality of which of the clashing oppressive forces in the region is the dominant threatening oppressor and bully.
Iran is a non-nuclear, Third World country. The U.S. is the world’s most powerful nuclear weapons state—with over 4,000 warheads. It’s the only country to ever use nuclear weapons, killing 150,000-240,000 people in the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan (with many more dying of the effects of radiation for years after). It’s the main backer of the one country in the Middle East that actually does have nuclear weapons—Israel.
Everest concurs that nuclear weapons should be banished from the earth. But the U.S. is not demanding that all countries rid themselves of nuclear weapons or their engineering of them. Not Israel’s, Britain’s, France’s or its own nukes. Only Iran’s -- which does not yet have one!
This go-to-war-playbook is even more craven than the one used for Iraq. That justification was based on bogus mass weapons of mass destruction. This one is based on Iran’s intention to develop such weapons of mass destruction. That supposedly justifies illegitimate military attack on this nation, which, by the way, has enormous resources and a strategic location convenient for promoting the U.S.'s, Israel’s and NATO’s world hegemony?
The U.S. wants Iran as its CLIENT state and not an independent one. When and where did the quest for “world domination” Orwellianlly translate to “pre-emptive self defense”? For too long in the craven media a/k/a front part of the war machine.
Everest's apt words on the U.S.‘s perspective: “the logic of a big time gangster worried about a small time gangster infringing on his turf, even allowing Iran to continue its nuclear power program is seen as dangerous.”
Everest has a compelling analysis of the global chess game:
Scan the regional map and you’ll find a complex, sometimes behind-the-scenes, battle pitting the U.S., a global imperialist superpower which has strangled the region’s peoples for decades, against Iran and its allies. This conflict—which is evident in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and the Persian Gulf—has grown much sharper over the past year as uprisings throughout North Africa and the Middle East, clashes between Iranian-aligned and U.S.-backed forces, and big power interventions shake up the regional political order.
In some instances, the U.S. seems to be maintaining its hold, even gaining ground. Its key ally, Saudi Arabia, intervened in Bahrain to suppress an uprising and shore up the solidly pro-U.S. regime there. The U.S. and its allies succeeded in toppling the Qaddafi regime in Libya and seem to have strengthened their hand there. The solidly pro-U.S. army remains the dominant factor in the Egyptian regime. And in Syria, the U.S. is increasingly supporting the uprising against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, a key Iranian ally. One U.S. analyst states, “changing Syria’s orientation away from Iran would be a major coup from America’s perspective.” (“Why Iran might be worried by Hillary Clinton’s meeting with Syria exiles,” Christian Science Monitor, December 6, 2011)
In other instances, Iranian aligned forces seem to be gaining ground. Iran greatly strengthened its position in Iraq in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Now, the U.S. rulers are extremely concerned that the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq will further increase Iranian influence. “[T]he U.S. withdrawal from Iraq will create a power vacuum that the Iranians are eager to exploit,” the imperialist think tank STRATFOR notes. “The potential for Iran to control a sphere of influence from western Afghanistan to the Mediterranean is a prospect that not only frightens regional players such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey but also raises serious concerns in the United States ... [which is] seeking to curb Iran’s sphere of influence by working to overthrow the Syrian regime, limit Iran’s influence in Iraq and control Hezbollah in Lebanon. (“The Covert Intelligence War Against Iran,” STRATFOR Global Intelligence, December 8, 2011)
Iran and U.S. ally Saudi Arabia are fighting “an intricate cold war” across the region, “competing for dominance in global energy markets and nuclear technology and for political influence in the Persian Gulf and the Levant. ... The Iranian-Saudi rivalry has also expanded beyond Iraq and into the greater Middle East, especially in the wake of the Arab Spring.” Advances by one bring aggressive counter moves by the other. “A proxy Saudi-Iranian war in Iraq represents a very considerable threat to oil supplies,” the Daily Star reports. “Many such confrontations across the region appear escalating fast—and becoming much harder for Washington and its allies to control.” (Mohsen M. Milani, “Iran and Saudi Arabia Square Off: The Growing Rivalry Between Tehran and Riyadh,” Foreign Affairs, October 11, 2011; Daily Star, December 6, 2011)
Regional changes have the potential to threaten Israeli interests, including fueling mass protest and rebellion against Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people, creating further international support for the Palestinians, and contributing to the strength of Islamist forces (for instance in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya).
In an article that cites and draws on a number of recent statements by key figures in the Iranian, U.S., and Israeli ruling classes, British journalist Patrick Seale writes, “The danger is that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may now seek to break out of Israel’s current political isolation by mounting a spectacular attack on Iran.” (“Will Israel Bomb Iran?” Agence Global, October 11, 2011)
Everest emphasizes how dangerous the situation with Iran has become:
The trajectory toward confrontation between the U.S. and Iran has not only continued, it has become more intense. Sanctions, diplomacy and covert actions can lay the groundwork, including in public opinion, for war. And Iran’s ongoing nuclear program, the U.S.’s inability to achieve its objectives in Iraq and Afghanistan, the upheaval across the Middle East, and the sharpening of different contradictions globally, are all increasing the necessity facing the imperialists to avoid another setback and to maintain their hold on the Middle East. So circumstances can shift the U.S. and Israel’s calculus of the risks and benefits of war.
And wars, including “covert wars,” have a logic of their own, and things can get out of control. There are many flashpoints between the U.S.-Israel and Iran, and clashes, even accidental clashes, can quickly escalate in a spiral of action and counter-action.
Stephen Lendman has a lot to say about “America’s Media War on Iran”:
For months, media scoundrels promoted it. They headlined bogus accusations about Iran plotting to kill Saudi Arabia's US ambassador. They feature stories about Iran's alleged nuclear threat despite no corroborating evidence proving it.
On December 29, New York Times writer John Vinocur headlined, "Clock Ticking for West to Act on Iranian Nuclear Program," saying:
"The Iranian nuclear clock ticks faster and louder in 2012." Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak said they'll have nuclear weapons in nine months and move into a "zone of immunity" safe from attack.
London-based International Institute for Studies anti-proliferation director Mark Fitzpatrick agreed, calling it "a real possibility."
US defense secretary Panetta believes it in a year, saying (i)f we have to do it, we will deal with it." Perhaps he means an election year October surprise after another self-inflicted homeland terrorist attack blamed on Iran.
Instead of responsible reporting, Vanocur encouraged war. So do other MSM contributors in print and on air.
On December 29, a Times editorial headlined, "Iran and the Strait," saying:
Doing it will be countered. "A Fifth Fleet spokesman usefully reminded Iran this week that the Navy always stands 'ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation.' "According to IAEA "inspectors, Iran has created computer models of nuclear explosions, conducted experiments on nuclear triggers and completed advanced research on a warhead that could be delivered by a medium-range missile."
In November, outdated, forged, long ago discredited, and perhaps nonexistent documents were used to claim Iran's developing nuclear weapons.
During his tenure as IAEA director general (December 1, 1997 - November 30, 2009), Mohamed ElBaradei avoided anti-Iranian rhetoric and baseless charges. In fact, numerous times he denied a potential threat.
So do independent nuclear experts and America's Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community as recently as March 2011.
On November 22, a Washington Post editorial headlined, "More half-measures from Obama administration on Iran," saying:
"By now it should be obvious that only regime change will stop the Iranian nuclear program. That means, at a minimum, the departure of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei...."
In other words, whatever it takes is OK, including war against another nonbelligerent state posing no threat.
On December 30, a Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined, "Iran's Hormuz Threat," saying:
"The US and Europe are at last mustering the gumption to target Iran's multibillion-dollar oil industry, and almost immediately Tehran is threatening to bring Persian Gulf tankers to a halt."
We as a seducible citizenry by these ever-blasting propagandist media cannons must struggle hard to listen to and keep after truth and decency and become more and more proactive in pushing back against the insanity.
Iran poses no belligerent or terrorist threat. In contrast, America, key NATO partners and Israel are global menaces.
Initiating war on Iran and/or Syria could be catastrophic, especially if nuclear weapons are used. Yet major media scoundrels promote it, mindless of the potential consequences.
Nonetheless, more war in 2012 is likely because Washington, Britain, France, and Israel want it, no matter the risks.
Perhaps a September or October surprise will become pretext to launch it. It wouldn't be the first time.
Finally, an overview of the volatile Mid-East entanglements contributed by James Petras:
The long history of imperialist manipulation of “anti-imperialist” narratives has found virulent expression in the present day. The New Cold War launched by Obama against China and Russia, the hot war brewing in the Gulf over Iran’s alleged military threat, the interventionist threat against Venezuela’s “drug-networks”, and Syria’s “bloodbath” are part and parcel of the use and abuse of “anti-imperialism” to prop up a declining empire. Hopefully, the progressive and leftist writers and scribes will learn from the ideological pitfalls of the past and resist the temptation to access the mass media by providing a ‘progressive cover’ to imperial dubbed “rebels”. It is time to distinguish between genuine anti-imperialism and pro-democracy movements and those promoted by Washington, NATO, and the mass media.
In short, the media, Washington, NATO are no friends to humanity right now! We have to save ourselves along with the rest of the world from them!