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Neocon Name-Calling on Iran Deal

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Source: Consortium News

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
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Consortium News)   DMCA

By invoking Neville Chamberlain and Neda Agha Soltan, the neocons are pulling at all available emotional strings in hopes of unraveling President Barack Obama's interim agreement with Iran that restrains but doesn't end its nuclear program.

In one typically over-the-top neocon column in the right-wing National Review, Daniel Pipes compared Obama and the deal on Iran's nuclear program to Great Britain's one-time Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his "peace in our time" agreement with Adolf Hitler.

"This wretched deal offers one of those rare occasions when comparison with Neville Chamberlain in Munich in 1938 is valid," Pipes wrote. "An over-eager Western government, blind to the evil cunning of the regime it so much wants to work with, appeases it with concessions that will come back to haunt it. Geneva and November 24 will be remembered along with Munich and September 29."

And if hysterical historical analogies don't work for you, there is the equally misguided invocation of Neda Agha Soltan, the young Iranian woman who was killed by a bullet -- possibly a stray one -- that struck her as she was standing in traffic near violent protests against Iran's election results in 2009.

Charles "Chuck" Lane, an editorialist for the neocon Washington Post, cited the young woman's death as a reason for not dealing with the Iranian government, although there was never any evidence that she was intentionally killed by the government or one of its agents. At the time, there were disputed allegations that the bullet was fired by a pro-government militia member although -- since Soltan wasn't even participating in the protest -- it always made more sense that the death was an accident.

However, in the neocons' pursuit of another "regime change" moment in the Middle East, Lane on Tuesday rhetorically waved the young woman's bloody shirt in a scream for revenge.

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"Not that long ago, it seemed the world would never forget Neda Agha Soltan," Lane wrote. ..

"On June 20, 2009, a government thug fired a bullet through the 26-year-old's heart as she stood watching protests against the blatant election fraud that had secured victory for a presidential candidate backed by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"Video of her dying moments went viral, and Neda became a global symbol of the Green Revolution, as the Iranian people called their movement to topple a regime capable of such bloody deeds."

Of course, nearly everything that Lane asserted as fact was not fact. Iran's 2009 elections were clearly won by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who may have lost among middle-class voters of Tehran but strongly carried the poor and working-class areas of Iran.

Indeed, the Iranian opposition was unable to prove any significant fraud and the election results were in line with opinion polls conducted both before and after the election, from inside and outside Iran. None of the polls showed the Green movement candidate coming anywhere close to a plurality.

"These findings do not prove that there were no irregularities in the election process," said Steven Kull, director of the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes. "But they do not support the belief that a majority rejected Ahmadinejad." [See Consortiumnews.com's "Ahmadinejad Won, Get Over It!"]

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Nevertheless, the mainstream U.S. news media, led by neocon outlets like the Washington Post, promoted the myth of a stolen election, all the better to rev up American public support for another "regime change" project against one more of Israel's adversaries.

Torpedoing Diplomacy

But Charles Lane's propagandistic sophistry has a more immediate goal at this moment. He is suggesting that the tragic but apparently accidental shooting death of a young woman in 2009 amid protests against the results of an election, which apparently did get the vote count right, should now prevent the international community from reaching an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program.

Lane wrote:

"Today, Iran is once again in the headlines but not because Neda's murderers are about to be held accountable. Nor has there been fundamental change in the regime that jailed and killed many rank-and-file members of the Green Revolution and continues to confine the movement's leaders.

"No, we're talking about the nuclear deal that the world's great powers, led by the United States, signed last weekend with Khamenei's representatives amid much smiling and backslapping. No one's talking about Neda. Maybe we should be."

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http://www.consortiumnews.com

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at more...)
 

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