The Quest for Truth and Peace:
A Conversation with Gareth Porter
By Gary Steven Corseri
GSC: Gareth, it's almost exactly 5 years since we last met and talked formally [click here" and, a lot has happened in the world, and there have been significant developments in your life as well. I know that you've been awarded the distinguished Gellhorn Prize, and that you have a new book coming out. So, I'd like to talk about where we were five years ago, where we are now, and where we may be 5 years from now. " Let's start with the Gellhorn Prize. First of all, hearty congratulations! Tell us about this.
GP: Thank you. It's kind of you to mention it. I was thrilled to be recognized by the Martha Gellhorn Trust--the family and friends of the American/International journalist.
GSC: She was Hemingway's third wife, I believe.
GP: I think that's correct. But, I'm honored to be associated with Gellhorn, who was a major force in journalism, and someone who cared about finding the truth. The reason that this award is something I'm very proud of is because it is specifically for journalism that uncovers the truth in the face of government lies and propaganda. It was my work, particularly on Afghanistan, about the lies that the US military has told, especially about Special Operations Forces--night raids and the way in which they target suspected Taliban insurgents--my work in that area brought this recognition.
GSC: And this is a prize that's awarded in England, not in the US.
GP: Right. Because Martha Gellhorn moved to the UK fairly early in her life.
GSC: And it's my understanding that it was John Pilger, the noted Australian/British journalist, who recommended you for this.
GP: John Pilger is a member of the Gellhorn Trust Board, and is one of the judges, and he encouraged me to apply, to send my stories in for this competition.
GSC: Do you think this will give you more credibility as a writer/journalist?
GP: Well, that question of credibility is always related to one's politics. With regard to people who are Progressive, who may not have been aware of my work before--perhaps their attention will be drawn to my writing now; for others, I don't think it makes much difference!
GSC: Obviously, you're a man interested in foreign affairs, interested in American policy in regard to war; particularly, our policies in Afghanistan and that part of the world. " What about your new book? Can you tell us the subject matter?
GP: I just signed with Just World Books, which is a small, but mighty, publishing house in Washington, D.C., run by Helena Cobban, to write a book--the title of which (tentatively, at least) is, MANUFACTURED CRISIS: THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE IRAN NUCLEAR SCARE . This is going to be the first full account of the real history of the Iranian nuclear program--on the one hand--and the effort by the US and Israel to stop, to destroy, to get rid of, that program--and to use the accusation that Iran intends to, and is, in fact, covertly working on getting nuclear weapons as the device with which to force the issue of ending the nuclear program.
GSC: Now, I'm sure many people wonder: Why does Iran need a nuclear program if it has no interest in building nuclear bombs?