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From the scary photo dominating page nine of the New York Times of Nov. 29, you can just tell from the look on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's face, not to mention the endless ranks of military officers standing in rows behind him, that Iran is determined to build a nuclear weapon. That defiant look should be proof enough that the Iranian President is a menace to us all. Right?
Never mind the doubting-Thomas wimps in those 16 U.S. intelligence agencies who so far, at least -- have been holding out for what they call real evidence before reversing their "high confidence" judgments of three years ago that Iran had stopped work on a nuclear warhead in the fall of 2003 and had not resumed it.
Ray McGovern also spoke about this on The Real News Network, and asked to have the video included with this article. Here it is.
No doubt someone will ask about those 19 advanced missiles Iran supposedly bought from North Korea. But, hah! We have a photo of them in a parade in North Korea, which proves this "mystery missile" really exists notwithstanding all the missile experts who say the North Koreans were just wheeling around a mock-up, not the real thing.
But the missiles -- or the mock-ups -- still look real enough to be highlighted by the Times for later use by the likes of Senators Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman to underscore the alleged threat from Iran and the "urgent" need to thwart it. Clearly the New York Times editors don't want to let up on their relentless campaign to rally the nation behind regime change for Iran, much as the Times and many other leading U.S. newspapers pumped for regime change in Iraq. [See Consortiumnews.com's "NYT Pushes Confrontation with Iran."]
So, with the new WikiLeaks documents, the Times highlighted how Sunni Arab leaders and Israelis alike have "Sharp Distress Over a Nuclear Iran," offering little context regarding the long history of the often hysterical hostility against Shiite-ruled Iran that has emanated from Riyadh as well as Tel Aviv. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Cables Hold Clues to US-Iran Mysteries."]
If you're a Times editor who knows it's smart to go with the flow, don't forget to post the missile-parade photo in color on the Times' Web page, making the menacing missiles seem even more dangerous, dripping with bright red blood-color paint on the payload tips. Yes, and give it a scary title, say, "Iran Fortifies Its Arsenal With the Aid of North Korea."
And don't forget to underscore that "advanced missiles from North Korea ... could let [Iran] strike at Western European capitals and Moscow and help it [sic, presumably Iran, not Moscow] develop more formidable long-range ballistic missiles."
No Real Evidence? No Problem
It would surely be helpful to those wishing to see an Israeli and/or U.S. attack on Iran, if U.S. intelligence could produce satellite photos showing those missiles in Iran. It's a sure bet that if Washington had such images, they'd be all over the place, whether "classified" or not.
Though Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld may be long gone, his dictum apparently still applies: "The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." No satellite images or other hard evidence? No problem.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could perhaps track down those graphic artists who offered up the "artist renderings" of Iraq's non-existent mobile biological weapons labs that Secretary of State Colin Powell used to such good effect in his infamous United Nations speech on February 5, 2003. Artist renderings are the next best thing to real images which are the next best thing to real weapons
And if war with Iran does come as many powerful people seem to hope and if there's no subsequent discovery of any nuclear weapons program, perhaps President Barack Obama can blame the Iranians for not proving their program didn't exist, much as President George W. Bush blamed Iraqi leaders for failing to prove the negative--not convincing him that they really didn't have weapons of mass destruction.
Or retired Gen. James R. Clapper, who's now Obama's Director of National Intelligence, might reprise his explanation for not finding any WMD caches in Iraq, namely that they must have been shipped to Syria -- or in Iran's case, perhaps Turkmenistan. Clapper is well known in intelligence circles for his unusual relationship to truth.
NYTimes : Case Study in Creative Writing