Since that setback, the neocons have stepped up the disinformation campaign designed to incite war fever in the U. S., Israel and other nations like Canada and Australia who could be potential allies in an attack on Iran. Some of the outrageous examples below the fold:
Right wing press outlet, The National Post of the CanWest news conglomerate, reported that the Iranian parliament had already passed a law requiring religious minorities to wear color-coded armbands. The credibility of CanWest on war/peace issues was called into question by Robert Fisk as far back as the 2002 runup to the Iraq war:
Don't ask who is resisting forthcoming US censorship of the Iraq war. Ask who is first to climb aboard the bandwagon.
In Canada, the situation is even worse. Canwest, owned by Israel Asper, owns over 130 newspapers in Canada, including 14 city dailies and one of the country's largest papers, the National Post. His "journalists" have attacked colleagues who have deviated from Mr Asper's pro-Israel editorials. As Index on Censorship reported, Bill Marsden, an investigative reporter for the Montreal Gazette has been monitoring Canwest's interference with its own papers. "They do not want any criticism of Israel," he wrote. "We do not run in our newspaper op-ed pieces that express criticism of Israel and what it is doing in the Middle East..."
Despite the reputation for bias of the source, the Canadian Prime Minister, the Australian Prime Minister and the U. S. State Department, without waiting for further confirmation, all condemned Iran for its alleged policy and were quick to make comparisons to Nazis.
The 13-article bill, which received preliminary approval a week ago, does not mention requiring special attire or markings for religious or other minorities.
Iran Already Has The "Bomb"
Today's YNet headline reads:
Expert: Iran May Already Have the Bomb
It quotes Professor Zeev Alfassi, former head of the Nuclear Engineering Department at Ben-Gurion University, who believes that Iran may already have a nuclear weapon. To make matters even more melodramatic, Alfassi says:
However, he said, "even five to six bombs won't destroy Israel."
Alfassi told Ynet that a nuclear bomb could definitely hit an entire city, but not destroy a state.
That comment certainly makes the article less sensationalistic.
Later in the interview, Alfassi sounds like he may be a couple of fuel rods short of a reactor:
Alfassi called on the public to recognize the true proportions of the threat and claimed the bomb's most severe damages are not the radioactivity factor, but the heat and the shock waves. Radioactive material can even aid in the treatment of diseases like cancer, Alfassi purports, and even if a nuclear bomb scatters the poisonous matter, the danger in it is not great.
"It's like giving people over 50 a regular dose of aspirin. It would be reasonable if someone said - stand in a radioactive cell because it could eliminate the development of cancer," Alfassi said. As part of his research into the question, Alfassi experimented on rats and dogs, and he noted that in Japan the method is used to treat cancer patients.
And here we thought nuclear fallout was a bad thing.
YNet is not a right wing outlet like Debka.com but is the online edition of Yediot Ahronoth, Israel's largest daily newspaper. They should know better than to publish such inflammatory material. But then the Washington Post and The New York Times have been used similarly by the Bush administration in the U. S.
Expect Alfassi's pearls of wisdom to be spread all over the right wing press and Internet today.
In A White Room (But No Black Curtains)
Murdoch's London Times and Richard Perle have combined with a newly-escaped Iranian exile to demand regime change in Iran because of human rights abuses. The escapee mysteriously appeared last week in Dubai where he was quickly met by Perle and whisked to Washington for an interview in which he reveals new, strange Iranian torture methods:
For almost eight months, Amir Abbas Fakhravar was held in solitary confinement in a soundproof cell in Iran. His bare, constantly lit surroundings were all a creamy white -- the walls, the floor, his clothes and the door, with a slit through which white rice would be delivered in a white bowl by guards wearing slippers to muffle their footfall.
Amnesty International calls his case the first known example of "white torture" in Iran and it nearly drove Fakhravar mad. He was stuck in a terrifying, real-life version of the George Lucas film, THX 1138, about a dystopia where dissidents are imprisoned in a white room.
Adding to Fakhravar's credibility, at least among neocons, is what he reports about America's President who currently suffers from low ratings in the U. S.:
In Iran, Bush is regarded as a liberator, Fakhravar said. "People are afraid to express what is in their hearts, but in small, private gatherings, they see him as a saviour."
Maybe Bush still has a future--in an Iran "liberated" by the U. S. military--either as a politician or a Messiah.
There is, of course, only one prescription for Iran's problems--American bombs:
Fakhravar believes dialogue with Iran is useless. "The regime wants to have a nuclear bomb so it can wipe out a country it doesn't like," he said. "We don't understand why the rest of the world doesn't understand this."
He hopes to warn President George Bush and Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, in person not to be lured into talks with the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which he says is lying about its plans for peaceful nuclear energy.
Dial your bullshit detectors up to maximum, Kossacks. Don't be fooled, as several diarists have been, by disinformation produced by pro-war factions determined to demonize not just loony Ahmadinejad but all Iranians, while paradoxically claiming that the country is full of Bush-lovers just waiting for a little U. S. air cover to revolt. Check your sources. Wait for confirmation from reputable journalists.
And when your local media outlets repeat the bullshit, write LTE's and call in to talk shows to set the record straight.
Cross-posted at MLW