By Zoon Ahmad Khan
Spearhead Analysis – 13.02.12
Overnight OBL posed an existential threat to all of mankind, Saddam and a mushroom cloud literally became synonymous and Gaddafi morphed into a tyrant from a friend: Iran is a lethal combination of all three (so to speak). While a small minority remains critical of the hollow statements thrown at them by Western agenda driven media, majority of Americans have become victims of acute paranoia; leading lives of constant trepidation that somehow, somewhere someone will attack them.
War propaganda against Iran finds its abode in this very psyche. The dramatic Saudi assassination plot that was unraveled in October 2011, to Michelle Bachmann’s ‘reliable diplomatic’ sources which confirmed that Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at wiping Israel off the map (and eventually destroying US) and the Israeli ad campaigns that hint at unilateral airstrikes on Iran: the mainstream media, social media, and establishment have all made Iran’s nuclear program the biggest security threat to the international community. The very Israeli lobby responsible for convincing Bush to go to war with Iraq in 2003 after WMD is now pitting the Obama administration against Iran.
A widespread misconception is that the Islamic Republic is building weapons of mass destruction. More importantly since the 1979 Islamic Revolution Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini has held an anti-Imperialist stance. The people and establishment are explicitly anti-Israel and their President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has never even bothered to succumb to diplomacy on the United Nations platform. Ahmedinejad is known for his fiery speeches, and criticizes the international law for legalizing injustice and aggression. Hence, Iran developing nuclear weapons poses a threat to the international community (that is Israel and the West) because Iran will obviously bomb Israel and the United States (without any consideration of the fact that Iran does not have a history of aggression).
Netanyahu’s apocalyptic claim that Iran poses an “existential threat” to the state of Israel is not supported by Israeli intelligence and military officials who are unanimously warning against any drastic steps, especially a unilateral strike. Even Obama has acknowledged the downside of military confrontation with Iran and that a diplomatic solution is the first priority. But what about the public opinion that has been skewed to believe otherwise? What about the Republican presidential debates that have created an ambiance of do or die and the American public which refuses to rationalize anything they are being told? And as far as Obama’s promising claims are concerned; with the election only a few months away the President is likely to do whatever it takes to secure another term.
It has been observed that Western media, specifically the New York Times, has been misleading the public on Iran. More recently: the IAEA report never said that Iran has or is even building nuclear weapons. By referring to a ‘Nuclear Weapons Program’ the news sources and politicians have created a false picture. It is essential for the media to refrain from elevating a mere assumption to the status of reality. The Iranian ‘threat’ does not even deserve to be on the news unless the IAEA declares and reveals evidence that a bomb, aiming at the most precious lives (of Americans and Israelis) is in the making. But why would the American media want to go to war? Because US media is literally run and owned by the Corporate Military Complex and the media only gives a biased picture, pleasing those who supply the dough. Questions about the relevance of the Corporate Media to the common man are being raised but it will take years before the American public starts rejecting these prejudiced, agenda based news sources and resort to more independent sources of news.
And now for the International Atomic Energy Agency: The IAEA officials and Iran both evaluated the meeting as positive. The UN nuclear watchdog cautiously so, but praised the three day talks with the Iranian government, and acknowledging further need for investigation, they announced dates for a second visit to Tehran within the month. Within days of this optimistic feedback from both parties however, President Obama tightened the sanctions: “Particularly in light of the deceptive practices of the Central bank of Iran and other Iranian banks” that pose a grave threat to the International financial system. Despite the IAEA’s promising feedback on talks with Iran US has assumed the responsibility of the nuclear watchdog. The sanctions are simply aimed at making the Islamic Republic abandon its nuclear program, to dissuade Israel from launching a unilateral airstrike. Iran under International law has every right to Uranium Enrichment. Economic Sanctions need to be condemned. As far as Israel attacking Iran’s N-sites is concerned the UN Security Council should step in.
If the nuclear watchdog is doing its job, why should the President of United States announce the need for tougher sanctions? The IAEA talks with Iran need to be made more transparent. The bizarre prediction of another IAEA report on the Nuclear Program which will create the atmosphere for tougher sanctions is already flooding the news. Firstly the IAEA still has to send senior officials on 20 Feb 2012. What is the purpose of this meeting if the ‘threat’ Iran’s program poses to the World is already known? Secondly, sanctions are crushing the nation’s middle class. This is what was done to Iraq and Libya. The US and Israel must act in conformity of the international law. Imposing sanctions based on assumptions should be condemned and is illegal by all standards. Once the IAEA has drafted a neutral report, sanctions may be imposed but only if evidence is made public.
Whether or not Iran is going ahead with a Nuclear Weapons Program is a matter of grave concern. But more importantly; to what extent can the United States go to protect national security? With war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan have been revealed, the US must refrain from acting out of haste. Questions need to be raised about the credibility of confidential sources of information. America’s intervention in foreign countries, setting up military bases and sending troops across the globe has only made Americans only served to threaten security at home. A major determinant is the American media. Today the Western media has blown the Iranian problem out of proportion. On the verge of re-election, all that matters to any presidential hopeful is public opinion. When the candidates, media and the banks join hands to lead the state narrative, how can democracy work?
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