Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.09 Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru

11.09 A new way to make steel could cut 5% of CO2 emissions at a stroke

11.08 Medicaid’s stunning victory

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]

11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]

11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]

11.15 Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side

11.14 The Real Florida Recount Fraud

11.14 Telling NRA #ThisIsOurLane, Doctors' Photos Show Blood-Soaked Reality of America's Gun Madness

11.14 At Freshman Orientation, Young and Growing Progressive Caucus Makes Clear It Will 'Fight Like Hell' for Bold Democratic Agenda

11.13 'You Sound Nervous': Gillum Mocks Trump as President Demands End to Florida Recount

11.13 Kyrsten Sinema wins Arizona Senate race in breakthrough for Democrats

Justice Matters

11.09 Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally [Making America Less Great Again...]

High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

11.10 US stops refuelling of Saudi-led coalition aircraft in Yemen war [But there are a few children still alive. It's too soon!]

Economics, Crony Capitalism

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.14 Brexit: May tells her cabinet, this is the deal – now back me

11.11 Tax reform: down with the ‘stepped-up basis’

International & Futurism

11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]

11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]

11.14 Israel and Hamas launch hundreds of attacks in Gaza clash

11.14 Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

11.13 Austin's Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

11.13 Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

11.13 Caravan marks one month on the road: ‘We keep on going, laughing or crying’

11.13 Letter Shows Einstein’s Prescient Concerns About ‘Dark Times’ in Germany

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: NYT Pushes Confrontation with Iran
NEOCON MEDIA BEHAVING LIKE A GOVERNMENT IN EXILE:

NYT Pushes Confrontation with Iran

by Robert Parry
Originally published in ConsortiumNews.com earlier today, 11 September 2010

Apparently having learned no lessons from the Iraq WMD debacle, the New York Times is pushing for a heightened confrontation with Iran, slipping into the same kind of hysteria that it and other major U.S. news organizations displayed in 2002 and 2003.

In its latest neocon-styled editorial – commenting on a new critical report about Iran’s growing truculence toward nuclear inspectors – the Times concluded with this judgment:

“Tehran, predictably, insists it is not building a [nuclear] weapon. Its refusal to halt enrichment and cooperate with the I.A.E.A. [International Atomic Energy Agency] makes that ever more impossible to believe.”

Beyond the grammatical point that “impossible” like “unique” is an absolute adjective that can’t be modified, the Times misses the point that its previous over-the-top hostility toward Iran – evidenced in its news columns as well as its opinion pages – has helped create the dynamic that is driving the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program to a crisis point.

Amazingly, the Washington Post, usually an even more reliably neocon bastion than the Times, offered a more thoughtful assessment in its own Friday editorial on the same topic. The Post noted that the most promising area for negotiation with Iran was its past willingness to swap some of its low-enriched uranium for more highly enriched isotopes for medical purposes.

But the Post observed that delays in reaching an agreement over a proposed swap of 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium – combined with the steady increase in Iran’s stockpile – “has greatly complicated the prospects.”

The Post said that “when the deal was first proposed, Iran would have given up more than two-thirds of its stockpile and would have been left with less than the amount needed for one bomb. To achieve the same effect, Tehran would now have to be induced to nearly double the amount of low-enriched uranium it turned over.”

The Post noted that Iran currently has enough low-enriched uranium to build two nuclear bombs, if it chose to bring the refinement up to much higher levels and committed itself to design and construct a nuclear weapon.

However, what the Post – and the Times – don’t mention in their two lead editorials is that they and their neocon friends were instrumental in frustrating President Barack Obama’s initial efforts to reach an agreement on the fuel swap last year and that they then helped sabotage a parallel deal negotiated by the leaders of Brazil and Turkey earlier this year.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva persuaded Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to accept the swap agreement in May, completing the negotiations that the Obama administration had begun.

Sinking the Swap

At that point, the swap would have removed about half of Iran’s low-enriched uranium leaving the Iranianis only enough to theoretically begin work on one bomb, assuming they actually wanted to.

Though the swap would seem to have represented a major step forward – since one hypothetical nuclear bomb is far less threatening than two and since the agreement might have led to more Iranian concessions – the deal was trashed by opinion leaders at the Post and the Times.

The Post’s editors mocked  the Brazil-Turkey initiative as “yet another effort to ‘engage’ the extremist clique of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”

The Times star columnist Thomas Friedman chimed in, terming the Brazil-Turkey peace effort “as ugly as it gets,” the title of his column. Friedman, who was also a top cheerleader for invading Iraq (having dubbed himself a “Tony Blair Democrat”), made clear that he would only be satisfied with more “regime change” in Iran.

“Ultimately, [the success of the Iranian opposition] — not any nuclear deal with the Iranian clerics — is the only sustainable source of security and stability. We have spent far too little time and energy nurturing that democratic trend and far too much chasing a nuclear deal,” Friedman wrote.

Administration hardliners, like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also treated the leaders of Brazil and Turkey as unwelcome interlopers who were intruding on America’s diplomatic turf.

Lula da Silva responded by challenging those Americans who insisted that it was “none of Brazil’s business” to act as an intermediary to resolve the showdown with Iran.

“But who said it was a matter for the United States?" he asked, adding that “the blunt truth is, Iran is being presented as if it were the devil, that it doesn't want to sit down" to negotiate, contrary to the fact that "Iran decided to sit down at the negotiating table. It wants to see if the others are going to go along with what (it) has done."

What Iran saw instead was a parade of American pundits and policymakers heaping scorn on the Iran-Brazil-Turkey accord.

Puzzled by the U.S. reaction, Brazil released a three-page letter from President Obama to President Lula da Silva encouraging Brazil and Turkey to go forward with the swap deal. In the letter, Obama said the proposed uranium swap “would build confidence and reduce regional tensions by substantially reducing Iran’s” stockpile of low-enriched uranium.

However, the administration’s hawks – backed by the elite opinion-shapers of the Post and Times – prevailed over Obama. Instead of embracing the swap deal, the Obama administration pressed forward with harsher sanctions against Iran, despite warnings that the sanctions would only harden Iran’s nuclear stance.

Now, after Iran predictably reacted with greater animosity and suspicion toward the international community, the Times editorialists are determined, again, to ratchet up the tensions in line with Friedman’s view that the only acceptable solution is “regime change.”

The Post’s editorialists at least were honest enough to note the failed swap deal, but they, too, ended on an ominous note, suggesting that a U.S. military attack may be the only solution.

Noting a new analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security that Iran may already be producing weapons-grade uranium at a secret facility, the Post concluded: “If that is the case, economic sanctions are unlikely to prevent it.”

So, this is where the biased journalism of the Times and the Post -- especially regarding Iran’s 2009 election (click here or here for details) -- has led the world, to the brink of another Middle East conflict.

Having brushed aside the disaster in Iraq and the related bungled war in Afghanistan, the neocons and their allies appear to remain the chief arbiters and the leading architects of U.S. foreign policy.


Robert Parry

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.



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on September 11, 2010.

 

Public Service Ads: