Saturday, September 1, 2007

No Rest for the Wicked

It seems like only yesterday that the New York Times was apologizing for its role in leading the country to war in Iraq (of course, this apology came only after it was abundantly clear to the US ruling class that the war was being lost). Yet here they are, at it once more with that admirable level of bloodthirsty vigor required of a major newspaper in the empire. Let's take a moment to examine in detail some of the ways this report blurs reality to make the case for war with Iran.

My favorite example is the paragraph dealing with "the Green Salt Project:"

One involves what Western intelligence officials say is a secretive Iranian entity called the Green Salt Project, which worked on uranium processing, high explosives and a missile warhead design. They suspect links between Green Salt and Iran’s ostensibly peaceful nuclear program. If that evidence were substantiated, it would undercut Iran’s assertions that its program’s sole aim is producing electrical power.
Note the several layers of ambiguity in this paragraph. First, the existence of the project is asserted by Western intelligence. It is not substantiated fact. Then they suspect links between this alleged weapons program and Iran's nuclear program. Then, for the kicker, the Times goes on to speculate about how if these allegations were proved it would damage Iran's credibility. One could write about 9/11 conspiracy theories in a similar fashion:
One theory involves what many professors say is a secret plot by the US gov't, which seeks to manufacture any excuse for leading the country into war. They suspect Vice President Cheney ordered the Air Force not to shoot down the planes, allowing them to crash into their targets. If their allegations are correct, it would seriously undercut Cheney's credibility with the American public.
The unspoken consequences at the end of the paragraphs are key in both quotes. In the first, the ramifications would clearly go beyond a simple disproof of Iranian claims. It would lay all the groundwork Washington needed for an attack on Iran. In the second, proof of Cheney's culpability on 9/11 would also clearly go beyond a simple loss of trust. The real advocacy in both cases is kept hidden, but its absence is so glaring that it can't help but be read. This warmongering fits in well with the timetable Juan Cole exposed for a media blitz around Iran this Labor Day.

For an alternate perspective on Iran and the bomb, check out the Asia Times' reporting.