As public opinion concerning the “danger” Iran represents for the rest of the world reaches new highs, it is worthwhile once again to examine the rhetoric used by those in power and echoed by their PR men in the media. The notion that Iran is a threat because they are building a nuclear bomb – the standard line from the hawks for years – appears to be shifting towards a threat stemming from Iran’s “capability” of building a bomb. Who knows where this absurdity will lead us to next? Iran is a threat because they have the term “nuclear bomb” in their vocabulary? We appear to be moving along from a world in which euphemistically labelled “preventive wars” are launched off the back of fabricated evidence of non-existent weapons program,s to one where all that’s needed is a bit of semantic gymastics based on vague, unsupported allegations.
As the anti-Iranian rhetoric from western leaders picks up – including baseless warnings of a potential attack on the Statue of Liberty (“See? They hate our freedoms!”) – the hacks in the mainstream media are once again doing their duty and propagating the same old lies and misconceptions. Here’s a perfect example of the kind of propaganda The Times likes to dish out when it comes to Iran, from Ben MacIntyre:
“As the confrontation over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions lurches closer to war, the gulf between how the West perceives Iran and how Iran perceives itself has never been wider. We see an aggressive, militaristic state, bent on regional domination, driven by a combination of religious fundamentalism and anti-Western rhetoric, homophobic, anti-Semitic and medieval in it cruelty, a spitting, strutting aggressor hell-bent on acquiring nuclear military dominance.”
Speak for yourself, Ben.
I see another propagandist hell-bent on demonizing a nation which hasn’t launched a war of aggression in living memory; which is surrounded by military bases and constantly harangued by the most powerful nation on the planet, a “rogue state” who have laid waste to three nations in the last ten years alone. The less said about the fundamentalist streak which characterises the Zionists who are pushing for an attack on Iran the better – their catalogue of death and destruction over the previous decades is, after all, something that mainstream journalists either openly condone or excuse with mealy-mouthed justifications while maintaining with the pretense that it is Israel who is the victim of violent attacks from her neighbours not, as the historical record clearly shows, the aggressor.
MacIntyre isn’t interested in speaking to the facts, not least the legality of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, nor their recent moves to open firmer diplomatic channels with the west and their “readiness for dialogue on a spectrum of various issues which can provide ground for constructive and forward-looking cooperation”. As for “aggressive militarism,” our man from The Times has nothing to say about the large-scale naval build-up in waters close to Iran, nor our use of proxy terror groups such as the Jundullah, who commit acts of violence at our behest including the assassinations of Iranian civilians.
It remains to be seen whether or not the hawks – led by the neocons in the US and the Zionists in Israel – will find satisfaction in an attack on Iran (something tells me that if this objective were to be achieved another perceived enemy would quickly emerge to keep the war machine rolling) or whether it will be averted. Once again, we have the press reporting damning “leaks” from the IAEA – as with the previous “leaks” they will, of course, turn out to be baseless, based on “unnamed Pentagon/government sources” using uncredited/discredited information – while at the same time the major intelligence agencies in the US are unanimous in their view that Iran poses no credible threat. Even Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has stated that in addition to possessing no nuclear weapons, Iran has not demonstrated any intention of seeking to develop them.
This understanding of the facts, however, is not good for propaganda, where a rational overview of the available information would undermine the drive towards war – and the warmongers have long since established their influence on the media:
The fact that as many people today believe that Iran is developing nuclear weapons as believed Saddam was behind 9/11 in the run up to the Iraq invasion of 2003 tells us how effective this propaganda is on influencing the opinions of the American public. With Obama and Netanyahu set to meet next week to discuss Iran, this perennially volatile situation remains on tenterhooks.