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9 October 2004 - MiddleEast.Org - MER is Free
News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the
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Israel's Military Plan to Attack Iran

Whether Bush or Kerry Iran Is Already Targeted

MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington - 9 October 2004: You would think after the Iraq debacle that the ability of the U.S. to blackball, sanction, and then attack, occupy and regime-change another country would be considerable reduced. Not so however as this article in Z Magazine helps explain with regard to Iran.

Indeed, soon after the American election the situation will quickly escalate.

If Bush, Cheney, and the neocons retain power they will quite clearly insist that their win is a 'mandate' for their policies. Very many in the world, and in the U.S. as well, won't like it of course but the reality will be that Washington will in fact have more of a mandate for pre-emption and militarism than it had before.

If Kerry, Edwards, and what is essentially now a neoliberal group that has control of the Democratic Party's foreign policy positions take power they will face the same problems -- most of which they have quite actively helped to create -- but from a position of having to prove themselves tough and resolute. There are all those promises they have made, all those IOUs they will have outstanding, all those appointment-payoffs they will have to make good. While their rhetoric may be more reasonable, and their proclivities 'internationalist', they have already telegraphed that when it comes to the crucial issues of the day -- the Palestinian imbroglio, Iran, and North Korea on top of Iraq and globalization
in the economic sphere -- they will push forward with the overall American militant imperialist policies. They will also defer (some would say succumb) to Israel whose big-time 'liberal' American Jewish financiers, power-brokers, and media mogols have thoroughly infiltrated the Kerry political-machine, just as they did that of Clinton more than a decade ago now.

Iran's Dire Threat
It might be able to defend itself

By Edward S. Herman

Z Magazine - October 2004: Iran is the next U.S. and Israeli target, so the mainstream U.S. media are once again serving the state agenda by focusing on Iran’s alleged menace and refusing to provide context that would show the menace to be pure Orwell—that is, while Iran is seriously threatened by the U.S. and its aggressively ethnic-cleansing client, Iran only threatens the possibility of self-defense.

You might have thought that after the retrospectively awkward and embarrassing media service to Bush’s lies about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and dire threat to U.S. national security, which greased the skids to the invasion/occupation of Iraq, that the media would be less prone to jump uncritically on war propaganda bandwagons. But you would be wrong. It is a pretty reliable law of media performance that whenever the state targets an enemy, the media will get on the bandwagon enthusiastically or, at minimum, allow themselves to be mobilized as agents of propaganda and disinformation. Given the power of the United States and the extreme weakness of its usual targets, the claims of the fearsome threat posed by the targets is always comical. My favorite remains Guatemala in the early 1950s, when the National Security Council claimed that this poor, tiny, and effectively disarmed country was “increasingly [an] instrument of Soviet aggression in this hemisphere” and was posing a security threat to the United States as well as its neighbors. As in the case of Iraq in 2002-2003, most of the neighbors failed to recognize the dire threat and had to be bribed and coerced into supporting the U.S. position and the UN had to be (and was) neutralized.

In fact, the Communists hadn’t taken over Guatemala and, with U.S. direct and indirect assistance, it was invaded and occupied by a U.S.-organized band of expatriates and mercenaries a month after the dire claims by the NSC. The New York Times and mass media in general cooperated fully in the propaganda campaign that made this proxy aggression palatable to the public. This early “liberation” transformed a democracy into an authoritarian counterinsurgency and terror state. The Times has never apologized for this performance and it has carefully avoided analyzing the results of that earlier intervention and contrasting it with the government’s (and its own) pre-invasion propaganda claims.

Several decades later, in the 1980s, Nicaragua provided a partial rerun of the Guatemala experience, with an alleged dire security threat based on a link of the leftist Sandinistas to Moscow, a link mainly forced by an arms boycott and open U.S. campaign of destabilization, subversion, and sponsored terrorism. There was once again an army of expatriates organized and funded by the U.S.—the contras—that engaged in systematic terrorism. Once again the neighbors of Nicaragua couldn’t see the dire threat and spent a great deal of effort in trying to fend off the United States by mediation and proposed compromises, which the Reagan administration resented and shunted aside. Once again, an appeal to the UN for protection against intervention by violence was futile and an International Court finding against the United States was ignored. In this case, the United States was able to oust the Sandinistas by the combination of terrorism and boycott, which halved per capita incomes, and by the effective manipulation of an election, in which the United States intervened with advice, money, propaganda, and a blackmail threat—only if the Sandinistas were ousted would the boycott and sponsored terrorism be terminated. The combination worked and the Sandinistas were ousted.

The mainstream media carefully avoided the Guatemala context as they once again served as agents of state propaganda, demonizing the Sandinistas, failing to contest the stream of lies justifying the violent intervention, ignoring its gross illegality, declaring the 1984 Nicaraguan election a “sham” (New York Times), whereas the genuine sham elections held in El Salvador in 1982 and 1984 under conditions of severe state terror were declared promising steps toward democracy (see Herman and Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent; note also how the U.S. media is now finding the U.S.-appointed puppet government of Iraq a democratic breakthrough: “Early Steps, Maybe, Toward a Democracy in Iraq,” NYT, July 27, 2004). When the terror war, blackmail, and other forms of electoral intervention successfully removed the Sandinistas, the media were ecstatic, the New York Times featuring David Shipler’s ode to “Victory Through Fair Play.”

So just as Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Iraq were dire threats, so is Iran today because the Bush government says so and is supported here by Ariel Sharon. The first rule in supportive propaganda is to intensify attention to the villain and the alleged threat that he poses. Thus, the claims that Iran is trying to become a nuclear power have become the continuous basis of news, with all the details and claims of its moves toward nuclear capability newsworthy, emanating as they are from a superpower that is a primary-definer-plus. When it barks, all the smaller doggies in the “international community,” including Kofi Annan and relevant UN agency officials (in this case, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]), join in with their complementary barks. Nevertheless, Dr. ElBaradei has been uncomfortable in his role of UN agency frontperson for the U.S. buildup toward an attack on Iran, his role being similar to that of Hans Blix in the preparation for the Iraq attack. In a recent interview with Al-Ahram News (July 27, 2004), he notes how confined he is by his limited powers, so that he cannot visit Israel’s Dimon reactor, only Iran’s facilities, although he believes the only real solution is denuclearization throughout the Middle East (

The analogy with the attention to Iraq’s alleged possession and threat of weapons of mass destruction in 2001-2003 is close: the United States made those claims, pressed them on the UN and its allies, and in consequence this became first order news. Today, the United States makes charges against Iran, presses its allies and the IAEA, and this makes the issue newsworthy. As a crude index, during the last six months (February 27-August 27, 2004), the New York Times had 21 articles whose headlines indicated that their subject matter was Iran’s threat to acquire nuclear capability, with dozens more mentioning the Iran-nuclear connection.

The second rule in supportive propaganda is to frame the issues in such a way that the premises of the propaganda source are taken as given, with any inconvenient considerations ignored and any sources that would contest the party line bypassed or marginalized. This technique is well illustrated in David Sanger’s “Diplomacy Fails to Slow Advance of Nuclear Arms,” the front-page feature article in the New York Times of August 8, 2004—a virtually perfect model of propaganda service.

The frame of Sanger’s article is the threat of the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea, the efforts to contain that threat via diplomacy, the difficulties encountered in these efforts, U.S. and Israeli concerns over the matter, and the opinions of Western officials and experts over what should be done. All seven quoted sources in Sanger’s piece are present or former U.S. officials, which allows the establishment frame to be presented without challenge.

A basic Sanger premise is that the United States and Israel are good and do not pose threats worthy of mention, so that any “advance” in nuclear arms, or the possession and threat of use of such weapons by these states, is outside the realm of discourse. Thus, the ongoing and well-funded U.S. program of developing “blockbuster” and other tactical nuclear weapons, the Bush plan to make nuclear weapons not merely a deterrent, but usable in normal warfare, and the U.S. intention to exploit space as a platform for nuclear as well as other technologically advanced weapons systems, do not fall under the heading “advance of nuclear arms” and they are not mentioned in the article. These are not the views of the global majority, but they represent the official U.S. view, hence serving as a premise of the Times reporter.

A second and related Sanger premise is that the United States has the right to decide who can and cannot have nuclear arms and to compel the disarmament of any country that acquires them. He quotes Bush’s statement that he will not “tolerate” North Korea or Iran acquiring such arms, and Sanger treats the U.S. push to keep its targets disarmed as an undebatable position.

A third premise is that while Iran’s possible violation of its commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty is newsworthy and important, the failure of the United States to follow through on its promise in signing that treaty to work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons through good faith negotiations, a commitment brazenly violated in the open Bush effort to improve and make usable nuclear weapons, is not newsworthy. Again, this is what a press arm of the government would take as a premise, and so does the New York Times (and virtually the entire corporate media).

A fourth premise of Sanger’s piece is that Israel’s refusal to have anything to do with the Non-Proliferation Treaty and its possession and threat to use nuclear arms is not relevant as context in discussing the threat of Iran’s nuclear capability. Israel is referred to by Sanger only as fearing the Iran threat and possibly planning on preemptive action to eliminate that threat. The Arab states and most of the world cannot see the justice of Israel being allowed to acquire nuclear arms, even with superior conventional forces and a U.S. protective umbrella, while Arab states cannot do so. Again, as Israel is a U.S. client state whose acquisition of nuclear arms was facilitated and is protected by the United States, this matter is outside the orbit of discourse for U.S. officials and hence of the New York Times (etc.).

A fifth premise, implicit in the foregoing, is that Iran does not have a right to self-defense. Israel claims that its nuclear weapons are for self-defense in a hostile environment, but Iran, threatened by both Israel and its superpower ally, does not have that right, although its self-defense needs are far more serious than either Israel’s or the U.S.’s. This was a premise of officials, and hence of the New York Times, in dealing with Guatemala’s attempt to buy arms back in 1953, Nicaragua’s similar efforts in the 1980s, and Saddam’s mythical threatening WMD in 2002-3.

Sanger’s article is clean in the sense that there is no deviation from the party line on the source of any nuclear threat and the “advances” that are worrisome. The Times’ subservience to the state in the propaganda buildup to the invasion-occupation of Iraq was not new and was not terminated by that sad experience. On the contrary, it proceeds apace, with any lessons or qualms overpowered by institutional forces that press it to support state crimes now just as it did in the case of the overthrow of democracy in Guatemala in 1954 and other alleged “liberations.”

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October 2004


Iran Next - Part 1
(October 31, 2004)
In a few days the American election itself will be history. The likelihood is the Bush/Cheney/neocon regime will remain in power; hard as that still is for so many to imagine and understand. Should the Democrats win the White House Middle East policies will be largely in the hands of the neoliberals and the super money-men like Haim Saban who when it comes to the Middle East and Israel have far more in common with the neocons than has yet been realized by many who will vote for them. Whatever happens on Tuesday next the build-up to attacking and if at all possible regime changing Iran is well underway and the showdown increasingly imminent.

Osama, Bush, Kerry - Past, Present, Future
(October 30, 2004)
Few Middle East realities have been heard during this long grueling American election campaign. Most of the rhetoric has been extraordinarily self-righteous and self-serving, disingenuous and dishonest. Sad and tragic as it is to have to say, for many in the Middle East and around the world beyond American shores, tactics aside, the words of Osama Bin Laden ring more true to their experience and perspective regarding U.S. foreign policy than those of either George Bush or John Kerry.

Fahrenheit 9/11 - Watch It On Your Computer This Weekend
(October 30, 2004)
Who would have imagined on 9/11 more than three years ago now that the top front-page story in the Washington Post Saturday before the 2004 election would be a picture of Osama Bin Laden addressing the American people! Reality keeps trumping fiction time after time in our era!

Escalating War Against the World after November 2nd?
(October 29, 2004)
Whether the Americans are lead by Bush and the neocons, or by Kerry and the neoliberals, the reality is that both of the great American political parties are today dominated by their super-hawkish Israeli-connected elements and that both are heavily mortgaged to major, however competing, segments of the Israeli-Jewish lobby in Washington.

ARAFAT - Pathetic Symbolism for the 'Grand Old Man' of the Palestinians
(October 29, 2004)
There is often such pathetic symbolism surrounding Yasser Arafat even as many of his people cling to his legacy as the 'symbol of Palestinian nationalism' -- itself nearly as tattered and frail as the Grand Old Man has himself become.

Bush Uncensored; Cheney Unauthorized
(October 28, 2004)

Gaza Scam + Dem Party Emails American Jews
(October 27, 2004)
The price for the past political trickery has already been very high. The poison of the Israeli-Arab conflict has spread continually for decades now and played a substantial role in bringing about today's 'Clash of Civilizations' whose end is yet in sight. The eventual future price for what is happening these days threatens to be higher yet, potentially catastrophic.

IRAN Attack Imminent?
(October 24, 2004)
Though few in the world may fully realize it, international society is now at a historic moment and the future, even a potential World War III, is in the balance. Hence the leaks coming from Washington from those trying to warn, and to prevent, what the top neocons and Israeli operatives are pushing hard to bring about. Hence last month's extremely unusual 'Israeli Spy Scandal' which had officials in the FBI charging people working on the Iranian attack in coordination with the Israeli-Jewish lobby with espionage for Israel. Hence, as this article by a former National Security Council operative suggests: "Intelligence circles report that both intelligence agencies (CIA and Pentagon) are in open revolt against the Bush White House." It appears to have been quickly written and then quickly internet published using LebanonWire in the Middle East.

Cheney Uncovered - An Unauthorized Documentary by the CBC
(October 23, 2004)
Reporter Jean Heller presented Soviet satellite photos which did not show Iraqi troops amassed on the Saudi border to the Pentagon. "It's what it (the photos) didn't show that's more important. What you expected to see were tanks on the border. There was none that we could see. I said, look, if you can prove to me that our story isn't true, we won't run it. And they just ignored it. They have never shown those (U.S. satellite images) photos. Not then and not since."

New CIA 'Shocking' Cover-Up
(October 22, 2004)
Completed in June, mandated by Congress nearly two years ago, the CIA Report that names names is being suppressed until after the election. "What all the other reports on 9/11 did not do is point the finger at individuals, and give the how and what of their responsibility. This report does that," said the intelligence official. "The report found very senior-level officials responsible."

Talk about American Imperialism and Chutzpah!
(October 22, 2004)
The reaction in many quarters must be 'Oh My God'. Bill, Hillary, and Tenet all seek higher office! Talk about American Imperialism and Chutzpah!

(October 21, 2004)
Regardless of what happens on 2 November in the U.S. election, one group or another of "the Warlords of America" will be in power in Washington. And the years now immediately ahead, regardless if the President is named Kerry or Bush, are quickly shaping up as likely to be the most dangerous in modern history.

America on the Edge
(October 20, 2004)
The amazing thing about this American election is that in view of what has happened in the U.S. and in the world the Democrats should be running away with it -- and yet they are struggling everywhere and likely to go down to defeat.

Israel on Road to being Pariah State
(October 15, 2004)
Indeed Israeli policies and attitudes have for some time now seriously poisoned political relations throughout the Middle East, substantially helped bring about the era of the 'Clash of Civilizations', and through the powerful Israeli/Jewish lobby in Washington pushed the United States into the invasion of Iraq and other militarist isolated policies whose dangerous and destructive ramifications will be felt for many years to come

The Next Generation of Palestinians
(October 13, 2004)
If what has happened in Gaza in recent years would have happened in the USA (adjusted for population size) more than 100,000 Americans would have been killed and more than a quarter million homes destroyed by a foreign occupying army using battle tanks and attack helicopters against small resistance groups in cities and towns.

(October 14, 2004)
THE CIA has greatly expanded its activities throughout the Middle East including in Jordan and Egypt as well as Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other countries throughout the region. Of course the CIA and the Mossad are working more closely together than ever to control the region and enforce what is now essentially the militarily imposed 'new world order' first announced during the current President father's days in the White House. Before President Bush I became President he was in fact the Director of the CIA, whose main headquarters is now named after him.

AOL Censors MER
(October 20, 2004)
AOL -- one of the largest internet service providers -- is blocking and censoring MER. Persons who subscribe to MER using an AOL email address can not receive MER -- it is being secretly censored from their mailboxes by AOL without notice of any kind. It is believed persons working for AOL may be censoring MER in coordination with Jewish Zionist groups. It may be that AOL has a special relationship with and other Israeli-connected groups in some way. It is all being done in secret with no notice of any kind to either AOL users or MER. A few of the messages we have received from AOL subscribers to MER follow:

Major Iraq Attacks on Hold Until After U.S. Vote
(October 11, 2004)
The Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld made an unannounced visit to Iraq in recent days. And soon after the American election the superpower military will be much more fully unleashed throughout the country preparing to push the U.S.-appointed strong-man Iyad Allawai forward in the carefully staged 'election' that will proceed if 'conditions are right'. In other words, just as Hamid Karzai was U.S. -installed and then essentially U.S.-elected in Afghanistan, the same template is now planned for Iraq.

U.S. Forces IMF into secret Iraqi debt 'forgiveness' scheme
(October 11, 2004)
But maybe most of all in the longer run, and unspoken now for all of these reasons by the powers that be, once Iraq's prior debt to other countries is 'off the books', the new U.S.-installed and CIA-controlled government in Baghdad is free to sign agreements with the Americans -- secret or otherwise -- that will essentially mortgage Iraq's future oil revenues to the U.S.A. and those it approves.

Chomsky on American Force and Pre-emption
(October 10, 2004)
"Bush planners know as well as others that the resort to force increases the threat of terror, and that their militaristic and aggressive posture and actions provoke reactions that increase the risk of catastrophe."

IRAN - Targeted by U.S. and Israel
(October 9, 2004)
You would think after the Iraq debacle that the ability of the U.S. to blackball, sanction, and then attack, occupy and regime-change another country would be considerable reduced. Not so however as this article in Z Magazine helps explain with regard to Iran. Indeed, soon after the American election the situation will quickly escalate.

The Debates - Fixed and Controlled
(October 8, 2004)
The moderators -- both from the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) -- could have, and should have, asked hard, probing, unexpected questions like this:

Israeli AIPAC Spy Scandal - Update
(October 7, 2004)
It was just a month ago that the latest Washington spy scandal involving the very heart of the Israeli-Jewish Lobby had everyone buzzing. Then it faded from view as the corporate media moved on, as CBS News which originally broke the story found itself under assault, and as the election campaign and debates took center stage. Interesting, not one question from the PBS moderators about Israeli spying, nor even about the U.S. veto of the Security Council resolution condemning Israel, nor the International Court of Justice decision doing the same. Here's an update -- however inadequate -- from yesterday's L.A.Times. Though the real heart of the story should be AIPAC and the influence, tactics, and status of the Israeli-Jewish lobby; instead they focus on just the individual and not as they should on the large group of support persons and organizations. This should especially include, of course, the current cabal of largely Jewish neocons in top positions...including the one who hired Larry Franklin (Douglas Feith), and the ones who hired him (Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle).

AOL Blocks and Censors MER Articles
(October 6, 2004)
AOL is blocking and censoring MER articles because of pressures originating with Jewish and Israeli groups.

Emergency U.N. Security Council Meeting on Israel
(October 4, 2004)

The Springsteen 'Vote For Change' Concerts
(October 5, 2004)
"The press has let the country down. It's taken a very amoral stand, in that essential issues are often portrayed as simply one side says this and the other side says that. I think that Fox News and the Republican right have intimidated the press into an incredible self-consciousness about appearing objective and backed them into a corner of sorts where they have ceded some of their responsibility and righteous power." - Bruce Springsteen

Israel's Peacenik - Uri Avneri: Realities
(October 5, 2004)
"Uri Avneri, along with many Israelis and Jews, rightly fears that at some point Israel will be the direct target of blame for it's major contribution to having brought about such terrorism in the world and pushing the U.S. into invading Iraq. It is an understandable fear; for it is to a significant degree true."

Iraq is a "disaster...that will haunt the U.S. for decades" - Wall Street Journal Reporter
(October 2, 2004)
Iraq is a "disaster" that has deteriorated "into a raging barbaric guerilla war" that will haunt the United States for decades.

The Passion of the Bush
(October 2, 2004)
As the modern-day American-Israeli led Christian-Jewish crusade to remake the Middle East in the name of 'democracy and freedom' proceeds, this new documentary is telling indeed. It was first shown at the Republican Convention in New York a few weeks ago; and now, as a kind of Bush-loving counter to Fahrenhite 9/11, the DVD is being rushed out in advance of the upcoming election.

U.S. and Israel Prepare for Iran +
(October 1, 2004)
Even as the two branches of the American political establishment semi-debated last night who would fight the new wars better than the other, even as U.S. and Israeli battle tanks and attack aircraft bombed and killed in Iraq and Palestine worse than ever, preparations to either force compliance or attack Iran, Syria, Hezbollah (Lebanon), Hamas (Palestine), and North Korea soon after the American election are fast proceeding at the Pentagon and the CIA.

© 2004 Mid-East Realities, All rights reserved