This piece was reprinted by OpEd News with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.
With all the current hype about the "threat" from Iran, it is time to review the record--and especially the significant bits and pieces that find neither ink nor air in our Israel-friendly, Fawning Corporate Media (FCM).
First, on the chance you missed it, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said publicly that Iran "doesn't directly threaten the United States." Her momentary lapse came while answering a question at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 14.
Fortunately for her, most of her FCM fellow travelers must have been either jet-lagged or sunning themselves poolside when she made her unusual admission. And those who were present did Clinton the favor of disappearing her gaffe and ignoring its significance. (All one happy traveling family, you know.)
But she said it. It's on the State Department Web site. Those who had been poolside could have read the text after showering. They might have recognized a real story there. Granted, the substance was so off-message that it would probably not have been welcomed by editors back home.
In a rambling comment, Clinton had charged (incorrectly) that, despite President Barack Obama's reaching out to the Iranian leaders, he had elicited no sign they were willing to engage:
"Part of the goal -- not the only goal, but part of the goal -- that we were pursuing was to try to influence the Iranian decision regarding whether or not to pursue a nuclear weapon. And, as I said in my speech, you know, the evidence is accumulating that that [pursuing a nuclear weapon] is exactly what they are trying to do, which is deeply concerning, because it doesn't directly threaten the United States, but it directly threatens a lot of our friends, allies, and partners here in this region and beyond." (Emphasis added)
Qatar Afraid? Not So Much
The moderator turned to Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Al-Thani and invited him to give his perspective on "the danger that the Secretary just alluded to"if Iran gets the bomb."
Al-Thani pointed to Iran's "official answer" that it is not seeking to have a nuclear bomb; instead, the Iranians "explain to us that their intention is to use these facilities for their peaceful reactors for electricity and medical use"
"We have good relations with Iran," he added. "And we have continuous dialogue with the Iranians." The prime minister added, "the best thing for this problem is a direct dialogue between the United States and Iran," and "dialogue through messenger is not good."
Al-Thani stressed that, "For a small country, stability and peace are very important," and intimated -- diplomatically but clearly -- that he was at least as afraid of what Israel and the U.S. might do, as what Iran might do.
All right. Secretary Clinton
concedes that Iran does not directly threaten the United States. Now who are
these "friends" to whom she refers? First and foremost, Israel, of course. How
often have we heard Israeli officials warn that they would consider nuclear
weapons in Iran's hands an "existential" threat?
Time to do a reality check. Former French President Jacques Chirac is perhaps the best-known world statesman to hold up to public ridicule the notion that Israel, with between 200 and 300 nuclear weapons in its arsenal, would consider Iran's possession of a nuclear bomb an existential threat.
In a recorded interview with the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and Le Nouvel Observateur, on Jan. 29, 2007, Chirac put it this way:
"Where will it drop it, this bomb? On Israel? It would not have gone 200 meters into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed."
Chirac concluded that Iran's possession of a nuclear bomb would not be "very dangerous."
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).