This is just a quick diary to call out some of the more egregious pro-war-with-Iran propaganda in the media today.
Today's edition comes from Israel via, of course, the New York Times. Ari Shavit, a senior correspondent and editor of the "left" leaning Ha'aretz newspaper, has a dozy of an op-ed in the New York Times today promising all sorts of doom, either from a Iranian nuclear bomb (which they are not building, but that is beside the point), or from an apparently inevitable Israeli attack on Iran.
In the process, this doomsday piece acknowledges that the entire Israeli campaign of threatening to bomb is pure propaganda. More to the point, the propaganda is not aimed at Iran itself, but aimed entirely at scaring US decision-makers into doing something that they would not rationally do on their own.
The Bomb and the Bomber
If Iran goes nuclear it will change our world.
An Iranian atom bomb will force Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt to acquire their own atom bombs.
This is presented as an absolute. No effort is made to explain how an Israeli atom bomb (or a Pakistani one, for that matter) did not "force Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt to acquire their own atom bombs."
Thus a multipolar nuclear arena will be established in the most volatile region on earth. Sooner or later, this unprecedented development will produce a nuclear event.
Again, there will
be nuclear war. No effort it taken to explain why this must be so, or explain how a "multipolar nuclear arena" in a volatile region is "unprecedented" (India and Pakistan, anyone? Or for that matter, the Cold War?).
An Iranian bomb will bring about universal nuclear proliferation.
Again, no explanation is offered as to why US, USSR (now Russia), China, France, Britain, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea do not trigger "universal nuclear proliferation," but Iran alone, as an unarguable fact, certainly will.
An Iranian atom bomb will give radical Islam overwhelming influence. Once nuclear, the rising Shiite power will dominate Iraq, the Gulf and international oil prices. It will spread terror, provoke conventional wars and destabilize moderate Arab nations.
Again, no explanation is given. Iran is routinely accused of "spreading terror" and "destabilizing moderate nations" so it's not clear what difference a nuclear weapon would make. As for "provoking conventional wars," this sentence is left unexplained. Why on earth would Iran wish to drag itself into conventional wars (was the Iran-Iraq war so much fun that Iran is seeking a repeat?). As for "Shiites dominating Iraq," that is not an inherently bad thing given they are 60% of the population. Are we expected to prevent that as well?
As Iranian nuclear warheads will jeopardize Israel, they will imperil Europe. For the first time, hundreds of millions of citizens of free societies will live under the shadow of the nuclear might of religious fanatics.
No explanation is given for how or why Europe would be imperiled. Just as no explanation is given as to why these "religious fanatics" are worse than "nihilist communists." In fact, US military officials repeatedly state the obvious: that Iran is a rationale actor not interested in nuclear war.
If Israel strikes Iran it will change our world.
Now we step up the real
An Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities will create the most dramatic international crisis of the post-cold war era...Middle East will be rattled. Tensions will rise... oil prices soar higher (to $250-$300 a barrel), financial markets will panic and the world economy will experience a real setback... unleash a regional war whose consequences might be catastrophic...Iran will block the Strait of Hormuz...the Arab masses might rise...The religious struggle provoked by the Israeli action might go on for decades.
Sounds pretty bad. Note, at no point are these consequences ever offered as a reason for Israel not to attack (or not to threaten attack).
While Iran is accused
of being irrational, Israel is actually painted as the irrational actor
intending to attack in spite all of the known negative consequences (including " Iranian-led counteroffensive sets Tel Aviv ablaze and kills thousands of Israeli civilians.").
An Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities might drag the United States into war... Rather than initiate a well-planned and internationally backed American surgical strike on Iran’s nuclear project, America will become captive of an Israeli-Iranian war spiraling out of control.
Again, these are not offered as reasons for Israel not to attack
or for the US not to intervene
. Israel apparently would ensure that the US is drawn in (as a French general at the start of WWI is reputed to have responded when asked by the British what is the smallest number of British troops they would accept: "just one, and we'll be sure to get him killed").
America will be bogged down by a highly charged and highly priced conflict with the Islamic Republic.
Note again the certainty of the destructiveness to America if Israel attacks. Again, no suggestion that Israel simply not do it.
Naturally, failings are everyone else's fault:
Yet the West failed to rise to the challenge in time.
For years it made every possible mistake. First President George W. Bush focused on Iraq rather than Iran. Then President Barack Obama wasted precious time on idle diplomacy. Britain and France tried their best but the European Union dragged its feet before taking decisive action. The economic sanctions that should have been activated 10 years ago were activated only last year.
It's nice to see what they really
think of diplomacy. But then we get to the kicker:
Now we are witnessing a shift. Terrified by the prospect of an imminent Israeli strike, decision makers and opinion leaders in the United States and Europe have Iran on their mind. Last week Tehran was cut off from the SWIFT bank-transfer network. By July, all E.U. nations will stop purchasing Iranian oil.
Here we see admitted, clear as day, that the point of threatening to attack Iran is NOT to actually attack Iran, or even to SCARE Iran. Rather, it is to "terrify" "decision makers and opinion leaders in the United States and Europe"
Finally, we get the classic capstone, that even the "crippling sanctions" now enact are not enough, and the open threat that Israel will intentionally drag the US into war will every dire consequence imaginable:
Yet all this is too little too late....
As it will be existentially threatened, the Jewish State will feel obliged to take action...
So the summer of 2012 now seems to be the summer of last opportunity...
All hell might break loose...
If the West doesn’t get its act together at this very last moment, it might soon face the dire consequences of its own impotence.
This op-ed perfectly illustrates the self-described Israeli campaign of terrifying US decision-makers (and the populace at large). There is never any actual discussion of the NEED for an Israeli attack. No discussion of any possibility of success. Indeed, the attack itself is hardly mentioned, because the attack itself is immaterial. Hence, Israelis paint themselves
as irrational actors. The only purpose of any attack would be to drag the US into a devastating war with Iran. Likewise, without any direct point to attack Iran, Israel would never actually mount such an irrational attack
. The only point to this constant fear-mongering campaign is to terrify US leaders into mounting an attack for Israel, an attack that, as the op-ed itself describes, is filled with negative consequence that will rebound for generations.
The New York Times op-ed truly overplays Israel's hand, and exposes Israel's campaign to achieve results that it freely acknowledges are directly hostile to US interests.