Americans are flummoxed by conflicting statements
regarding an impending war with Iran. This is true for Americans who are
closely following events on this issue. Woe be for the average, hardworking
American who relies on the corporate news (CM) to keep him or her informed. The
CM is sadly lacking in this effort, or worse, distorting the issues involved
for self-benefiting corporate purposes, i.e. NBC is owned by General Electric,
a huge defense contractor.
Here are the facts, most of which was presented in my article, War With Iran Imminent?, a little over two weeks ago . In a NIE in 2007 our 16 intelligence agencies agreed Iran is not making a nuke. This was reaffirmed in 2011. Panetta stated clearly recently that Iran is not making a nuke. Israel's Mossad has stated Iran is not making a nuke. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that any potential military strike is very far off. How far? Barak said it didn't matter. He said before Iran could actually make a nuke she would have to throw out the IAEA inspectors and leave the IAEA. This would be a clear signal that she is making a nuke and that would cause repercussions Iran does not want, he said. And Barak is an Israeli hawk closely tied to Netanyahu.
Here is another rather unpleasant fact. Virtually nothing of this was reported by the CM to hapless Americans who want only to know what is going on. " Recent comments by U.S and Israeli military leaders indicate that the intelligence services of the two countries agree that Iran has not decided to build a nuclear bomb, a crack in the Western narrative that the U.S. press corps won't accept, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains." http://consortiumnews.com/2012/01/24/usisrael-iran-not-building-nukes/ Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst for 27 years.
Adding to the complexity of the issue is a somewhat annoying question. Ignoring for the moment that there is virtually no proof that Iran is making a nuke (a fact conveniently overlooked by the CM and politicians), could the West live with a nuclear-armed Iran? Admittedly, there are a variety of answers to that question, some simplistic and sophomoric. A keen analysis of that question is provided by Arthur Bright of the Christian Science Monitor, " Israel possesses an estimated 200 nuclear weapons. The United States possesses thousands, and could within a few hours turn all of Iran into a radioactive pyre. By what logic can anyone assume the Iranians would unilaterally deploy nukes if they had them? Far more plausible is that, in seeking nuclear weapons, the Iranians intend to forever alter the balance of power in the Middle East, creating for themselves an insurance policy of the kind enjoyed by Pakistan, North Korea, India and others. North Korea, charter member of Bush's axis of evil, went nuclear and was not invaded. Saddam Hussein had no WMD and was deposed and hanged. Gadhafi gave up his WMD and was deposed and shot. "
What has changed since the disclosure of the unalterable facts mentioned above? What has changed is that since time immemorial politicians like Panetta and Barak have changed their tune. Like all politicians, they are straddling the fence wanting support from both sides of the issue. More on that later. This leaves analysts gazing in wonderment as to what the hell is going on.
What started all this? Why all of sudden do we have war hype with Iran? The answer is two-fold. First, beyond all comprehension, it began with the highly misleading November 2011 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran. Second, the CM is in the business of selling the news, the more sensational the better, and a war with Iran is "truly exciting." The consequences? Who cares, the corporate headquarters of the CM are secure and advertisers are pleased. This is what the vast number of Americans hear, exactly what the CM wants them to hear, and they don't want to be confused with facts.
McGovern writes, " The [CM] ignored available evidence showing that the new IAEA management was collaborating behind-the-scenes with U.S. and Israeli officials on the Iran issue. " He continues, " However, there were, in fact, significant overlaps in the IAEA's description of Iran's nuclear program and the key judgments of the NIE, but you would hardly know that from reporting in the [CM]. The IAEA report contains no smoking gun regarding Iran's intentions about building nuclear weapons, but notes that much of Iran's progress occurred prior to fall 2003 -- when the NIE reported that Iran abandoned its weapons program. "
Complicating the issue further, McGovern adds, " The [CM's] rhetorical shift from accusing Iran of "building' nukes to seeking a "capacity to build' them is reminiscent of Bush's sleight of hand when he went from talking about Iraq's supposed WMD "stockpiles' to its WMD "programs' -- after it turned out there were no WMD stockpiles. "
So now the game has changed, not the truths stated in my last article. It is impossible to alter truth. What has changed is that those truths are being ignored and American and Israeli political and military leaders as well as politicians are now issuing bellicose remarks on the Iranian question. McGovern is correct. This is deja vu. This has all happened before with disastrous results. Only this time a war with Iran will be ten times worse. That, too, is being ignored. It is as if this was all a game.
On Feb. 6th President Obama ordered new sanctions on Iran, including her Central Bank. Iranian leaders have said that an attack on its Central Bank is an act of war.
On Super Bowl Sunday, for all intents and purposes, Obama gave a green light to Israel to attack Iran, please read: http://consortiumnews.com/2012/02/07/obamas-super-bowl-fumble-on-iran/
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told Israeli leaders on Jan. 20 that the United States would not participate in a war against Iran begun by Israel without prior agreement from Washington, according to accounts from well-placed senior military officers. This received no play on the CM. Gareth Porter of IPS news service reports, "Dempsey's trip was highly unusual, in that there was neither a press conference by the chairman nor any public statement by either side about the substance of his meetings with Israeli leaders. Even more remarkable, no leak about what he said to the Israelis has appeared in either U.S. or Israeli news media, indicating that both sides have regarded what Dempsey said as extremely sensitive." That is extremely unfortunate. On the other hand, it hardly matters. Obama has flip-flopped.
David Ignatius of the Washington Post wrote earlier this month, "Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June -- before Iran enters what Israelis described as a "zone of immunity' to commence building a nuclear bomb. Very soon, the Israelis fear, the Iranians will have stored enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon -- and only the United States could then stop them militarily." The remainder of his article stressed that an Israeli attack was imminent, not if, only when and quite soon. His only concern was how Washington would react. Analysts quickly dismissed this article. After all, how could Ignatius possibly know what Panetta "believes?" Also, they find it incomprehensible, not to mention suicidal, that Israel would launch a military attack on Iran. More on this later and the developments are astounding. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-israel-preparing-to-attack-iran/2012/02/02/gIQANjfTkQ_story.html
Iran has enough radioactive material to produce four nuclear bombs, Israel's chief of military intelligence, General Aviv Kochavi, asserted at a security conference recently. "Today international intelligence agencies are in agreement with Israel that Iran has close to 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of uranium enriched to 20 percent, which is enough to produce four bombs," he told the annual Herzliya conference. "Iran is very actively pursuing its efforts to develop its nuclear capacities, and we have evidence that they are seeking nuclear weapons," he said. Of course, this is in conflict with what Mossad has said. The Mossad has stated that Iran is not making a nuclear weapon. What are observers supposed to make of those incompatible assessments?
Later at the Herzliya conference, Barak said there was currently "broad international understanding that if the sanctions do not achieve their desired goal of stopping the Iranian nuclear military programme, the need to consider action will arise." He added, "Many experts, not only in Israel but also in the world, believe that refraining from action would necessarily lead to a nuclear Iran, and that dealing with a nuclear Iran would be more complicated, more dangerous, and would cost more lives and money, than stopping it today," Barak said. "Whoever says 'later,' might find that 'later' is too late," he warned. Analysts are trying to square that with what he said earlier as mentioned above. Of course, they cannot. You cannot fit a round peg into a square hole. Barak also flip-flopped.
So did Panetta. Earlier I mentioned the Ignatius article and the fact that observers wondered how this writer could possibly know what Panetta believes. The answer is quite simple. Panetta told him, as Gareth Porter reveals. "When Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told Washington Post columnist David Ignatius this week that he believes Israel was likely to attack Iran between April and June, it was ostensibly yet another expression of alarm at the Israeli government's threats of military action."
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