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Health Care & Environment
06.19 Engineers boost output of solar desalination system by 50% [Trump fires scientist. It would be far better to enable their good work.]
06.19 We’ll Never Solve Immigration If We Don’t Solve Climate Change [Why is our President so willfully stupid?]
06.18 The Worst Patients in the World [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.18 Navy Contaminates Local Groundwater and Sewer System in Maryland [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.18 Trump's order to trim science advisory panels sparks outrage [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.17 Hopes for climate progress falter with coal still king across Asia [Governments must subsidize very rapid installation of renewable energy to displace all fossil energy—aka DEATH ENERGY—power plants that must be made illegal ASAP]
06.17 Oil companies double down on plastics as public outcry grows [Obscene!]
06.15 So much plastic is being made that "recycling has no impact" [Non-recyclable plastic must be made illegal to manufacture, use]
06.15 We must transform our lives and values to save this burning planet [Increased ice melt in polar latitudes has been disguising reality in the middle latitudes. This effect will soon be replaced by record heat as ice volume and seasonal melting increasingly declines.]
06.15 This all-male council in Texas just voted to ban abortion [1:59 video; Bad assumptions foment ignorant actions...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
06.19 America has never gone this long without hiking the federal minimum wage [The poor would spend every penny and help the economy and decrease health costs. Only dummies don't understand the costly effects of penury.]
06.19 When migrants arrived in droves, this poor New Mexico city opened its arms [A good example for us all: This is the way we must respond to human suffering]
06.18 It's A Horrible Idea To Privatize The Tennessee Valley Authority And Other Public Energy Assets [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.18 Tobacco's 'Special Friend': What Internal Documents Say About Mitch McConnell [His immorality is in complete control]
06.17 Climate change leadership would create a new 'American century' [We must incentivize the strategic good, again, before it's too late.]
06.17 Drug Cop Worth $400 Million After Bets on Brooklyn Real Estate [A better role-model than Trump or Kushner!]
06.15 White House physicist sought aid of rightwing thinktank to challenge climate science [When your President is a quack he naturally surrounds himself with sycophants]
06.18 As promised, Trump slashes aid to Central America over migrants [Is THIS the cruelest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.18 ‘The Saudis couldn’t do it without us’: the UK’s true role in Yemen’s deadly war [If you act psychopathic you are psychopathic; 3:40 Video: Where have all the flowers (and morals and young men) gone, long time passing, sung by Marlene Dietreich]
06.17 'Blatant Theft': Netanyahu Unveils Illegal Settlement Named 'Trump Heights' in Occupied Syrian Territory [Great deal: the U.S. gives Israel $Billions every year, and they name an illegal settlement—to be built on Palestinian land—after Trump]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
06.15 'Eye-Popping': Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion [More equality or bring back the guillotines!]
International & Futurism
06.19 Trump Enabled an ‘Act of Organized Crime’ in Guatemala [Trump and other mafia-dons cause refugees and migrants as much as global warming]
06.19 Madrid’s new rightwing council suspends low-emissions zone [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
06.19 Donald Trump’s reckless Iran policy casts doubt on the US as global leader [America's reputation has plummeted more speedily since Trump's dubious election, with professionals willfully replaced with less competent appointees or left unfilled in many federal government agencies]
06.18 'If This Is True, They Are Even Bigger Lunatics Than We Realized': UN Officials Reportedly Believe Trump Planning 'Massive' Bombing Campaign in Iran [Never underestimate the stupidity of the Trump Administration]
06.18 Iran will not wage war against any nation, says Hassan Rouhani [Economic sanctions are cruel punishment to innocent civilians causing hate for generations. We will reap what Trump sows.]
06.17 Saudi Arabia May Execute Teenager for His Protests — Including When He Was 10 [America's “best ally” is psychopathically insane]
06.17 Why Venezuela Is the Vietnam of Our Time [Powerful, clear writing!]
Itching to Fight Another Muslim Enemy
Originally published in ConsortiumNews.com yesterday, 17 May 2010
If you read the major American newspapers or watch the propaganda on cable TV, it’s pretty clear that the U.S. foreign policy Establishment is again spoiling for a fight, this time in Iran.
Just as Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was the designated target of American hate in 2002 and 2003, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is playing that role now. Back then, any event in Iraq was cast in the harshest possible light; today, the same is done with Iran.
Anyone who dares suggest that the situation on the ground might not be as black and white as the Washington Post's editors claim it is must be an “apologist” for the enemy regime. It’s also not very smart for one’s reputation to question the certainty of the reporting in the New York Times, whether about Iraq’s “aluminum tubes” for nuclear centrifuges in 2002 or regarding Iran’s “rigged” election in 2009.
It’s much better for one’s career to clamber onto the confrontation bandwagon. Nobody in the major U.S. media or in politics will ever be hurt by talking tough and flexing muscles regarding some Muslim “enemy.” And, if the posturing leads to war, it will fall mostly to working-class kids to do the fighting and dying while the bills can be passed along to future generations.
Even groups that should know better – like Votevets.org representing veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars – have been piggybacking on the organized hate campaign against Ahmadinejad and Iran to advance other political agendas. In cable TV ads, Votevets.org uses Ahmadinejad’s face and Iran’s alleged manufacture of some IEDs to press the case for alternative energy.
Indeed, looking at this American propaganda campaign objectively, you would assume that the only acceptable outcome of U.S. differences with Iran is another Iraq-like ratcheting up of tensions, using Washington’s influence within the UN Security Council to impose escalating sanctions, leading ultimately to another war, as if the lessons of Iraq have already been forgotten.
This warmongering attitude was on display again Monday, when a possible breakthrough regarding Iran’s refining of nuclear material – its agreement to ship a substantial amount to Turkey in exchange for nuclear rods for medical research – was treated more as a negative than a positive.
The New York Times promptly framed the agreement reached by Iran, Turkey and Brazil as “complicating sanctions talk,” while the Washington Post rushed out an analysis with the headline, “Iran creates illusion of progress in nuclear negotiations.”
The Post’s analysis followed a Saturday editorial denouncing Brazil’s President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva for even trying “yet another effort to ‘engage’ the extremist clique of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “
The Post’s neocon editorial writers reprised the usual anti-Iran propaganda themes with all the arrogance that they once showed in declaring as flat fact that Saddam Hussein possessed stockpiles of WMD. After the U.S. invaded Iraq and found no WMD caches, the Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt acknowledged to CJR that if there indeed were no WMD, “it would have been better not to say it.”
(More than 4,300 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead, in part, because of Hiatt's mistake.)
On Saturday, an unchastened Hiatt and his crew were back again spouting more fictions, this time about Iran, like the oft-repeated claim that the Iranian election last June was “fraudulent,” apparently because the Post’s preferred candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, lost.
An analysis by the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes earlier this year found that there was little evidence to support allegations of fraud or to conclude that most Iranians viewed Ahmadinejad’s reelection as illegitimate.
Not a single Iranian poll analyzed by PIPA – whether before or after the June 12 election, whether conducted inside or outside Iran – showed Ahmadinejad with less than majority support. None showed the much-touted Green Movement’s candidate Mousavi ahead or even close.
So, while many in the West may agree that Ahmadinejad is an unpleasant politician who foolishly questions the historical accuracy of the Holocaust and makes other bombastic statements, it is nevertheless a propaganda fiction to continue asserting that he was not the choice of most Iranian voters.
The point is not insignificant, because the claim about Iran’s “fraudulent” election has been cited repeatedly as fact by the Post, the Times and other major U.S. news outlets, feeding the rationale of Israel and U.S. neocons in demanding “regime change.”
If Ahmadinejad was actually elected – even if the process had flaws – then the goal of “regime change” would involve ousting a popularly chosen leader, much like the CIA helped do in 1953 when another anti-Western Iranian leader, Mohammed Mossadegh, was removed from office and replaced by Washington’s preferred choice, the Shah of Iran.
But the American hostility toward Ahmadinejad – and the U.S. media’s annoyance at any rapprochement between Washington and Tehran – present other dangers, particularly now that Iran has agreed to a previous Western demand that it transfer 1,200 kilograms (2,640 pounds) of low-enriched uranium out of the country, in this case to Turkey, where it would be stored.
The Iran-Turkey-Brazil agreement would then give Iran the right to receive about 265 pounds of more highly enriched uranium from Russia and France in a form that could not be used for a nuclear weapon, but could be put to use for peaceful purposes, such as medical research.
Even though this new deal parallels a plan that the Obama administration favored last October, U.S. officials have indicated that they might balk at the agreement now because the 2,640 pounds of low-enriched uranium represents a lower percentage of Iran’s total supply than it did last fall, possibly more like half than two-thirds.
“The situation has changed,” one diplomat told the New York Times.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs also indicated that the new agreement would not stop the United States from seeking harsher sanctions against Iran.
The Washington Post’s analysis by Glenn Kessler portrayed the new agreement as “a victory” for Iran that has allowed it to create “the illusion of progress in nuclear negotiations with the West, without offering any real compromise to the United States and its allies.”
However, perhaps the bigger concern among American neocons is that the Iran-Turkey-Brazil accord might weaken the rationale for pressing ahead either with a military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities or with a “regime change” strategy that would use sanctions and covert political operations to turn the Iranian people against their government.
By reducing the prospects of Iran building a nuclear weapon – something that Iran has vowed that it has no intention of doing and that U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in 2007 that it wasn’t doing – the new agreement could remove the scariest claim that Israel and its supporters have used in justifying a confrontation with Iran.
So, what might otherwise appear as good news – i.e. an agreement that at minimum delays the possibility of an Iranian bomb and could be a first step toward a fuller agreement – is presented as bad news.
As usual, too, the articles by the Washington Post and the New York Times left out the relevant fact that Israel, which has been aggressively pushing for greater transparency from Iran over its suspected interest in nukes, itself has one of the world’s most sophisticated – and undeclared – nuclear arsenals.
Even as President Barack Obama has demanded more nuclear transparency from all countries, he himself continues the longstanding charade of U.S. presidents, dating back to Richard Nixon, pretending that they don’t know that Israel has nuclear weapons.
Washington’s neocon opinion leaders now are framing what could be a positive step toward peace – the Iran-Turkey-Brazil accord – as another failure.
In line with that history of double standards, Washington’s neocon opinion leaders now are framing what could be a positive step toward peace – the Iran-Turkey-Brazil accord – as another failure.
But the larger truth may be that the neocons are simply chafing under the possibility that their hunger for a new conflict in the Middle East might be delayed indefinitely and that – heaven forbid – cooler heads might prevail.
Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.
This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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This story was published on May 18, 2010.