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Dry Heaves and Sucker Ploys: The Great New Iran "Crisis"
First published in Empire Burlesque earlier today, 29 September 2009
The facility was not secret, it can't build bombs, it is not even finished, and it has no nuclear material in it.
The new "Iran crisis" is such a sickening concoction of stupidity and lies that it almost defies comment. It certainly defies contemplation; even to think about it for thirty seconds is enough to bring on a bout of the dry heaves.
Fortunately, several other writers -- with iron-clad innards, no doubt -- have boldly waded in and dismantled the deception behind the manufactured hissy fit over Iran's "secret nuclear facility." Jason Ditz at Antiwar.com gives a good overview of the case, which, shucked of all the warmongering frenzy, boils down to this little nubbin of reality:
Iran was building a new nuclear enrichment facility, as it is allowed to do by international treaty. The United States and several other Western countries knew about the facility for years. The facility, which is still months away from completion, is not designed to enrich uranium to weapons grade. Iran is not required to inform the IAEA about any new enrichment plant until six months before the plant goes into operation. There is some quibbling about a codicil that was meant to require Iran to give extra early notice; but this was never ratified by the Iranian legislature, so Iran is in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty which it signed and ratified years ago. (As opposed to such already nuclear armed American allies as India and Israel.) The facility was not secret, it can't build bombs, it is not even finished, and it has no nuclear material in it.
Er, that's it. But upon this paper-thin foundation, a vast fortress of sinister bullshit has been erected by the "progressive" American president and his laughable lapdogs in London and Paris. The long-known presence of a unfinished, non-weaponized, treaty-compliant building is now being presented to the world as a burning reason to impose harsh new sanctions on Iran -- harsh to the point of outright acts of war, such as an embargo on shipments of gasoline and other fuel products to Iran. And of course, our coddled, padded, well-protected War Party hacks have seized upon this non-event to bay even louder for oceans of Persian blood to slake their thirsts -- or bolster their faltering manhoods, or do whatever it is that the thought of foreigners being slaughtered in great numbers far, far away does for pathetic little wretches like Lindsey Graham, Joe Lieberman and the Whole Sick Crew.
I don't have much to add to the analysis of offered by Ditz, Scott Ritter, Jason Raimondo, Glenn Greenwald, among others. (And if you want to put the issue in its deepest, truest context, see this piece written two years ago by Arthur Silber: "So Iran Gets Nukes. So What?") But I will note what is likely to be a side issue, but an interesting one nonetheless -- the timing of these "revelations."
As we all know, Barack Obama and his Europuppies meant to make a big show of sword-waggling at the opening of the oh-so-momentous G20 summit in Pittsburgh. Iran beat them to the punch by formally notifying the IAEA of the new facility before the summit, but in any case, the "Iran crisis" served its purpose for the Masters of the West: it covered up the fact that they actually had nothing whatsoever to say about the ostensible theme of the summit -- solving the global economic collapse. If the "Iran crisis" had not sucked up all the media oxygen, these "leaders" might have had to explain why they have given trillions of public dollars to the perpetrators of the economic collapse, while letting millions upon millions of their citizens slide into jobless, homeless penury. They would have had to explain why they are taking nothing but the most ineffective, cosmetic measures to rein in the hyper-greed of the oligarchs. And they would have to admit that their only plan for addressing the crisis in the future is to do more of the same: giving the elite even more public money to use as they please.
But all the economic questions were blown away by the ever-sexy talk of war. And of course, all the hoo-rah about a new war also distracted from the White House dithering over the old, failing war in Afghanistan. It's the oldest con trick in the book: distracting the sucker while you pick his pocket.
But unfortunately it's not just a game: the militarists are in deadly earnest about attacking Iran, and year by year, they creep ever closer to their ultimate goal -- no matter which party controls the White House. As I wrote here last year:
Chris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column is republished here with the permission of the author.
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This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on September 29, 2009.
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