Friday, July 11, 2008

Fantasyland Media

In a new analysis released today comparing the conventional military capabilities of the United States and Iran, experts at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation conclude that the current threat posed by Iran is exaggerated by conflating it with Iran's potential, but far from certain, acquisition of a nuclear weapon in the future.

The United States will spend 99 times more on defense than Iran in the upcoming fiscal year. U.S. fighter aircraft outnumber Iranian aircraft 12.4 to 1, and American planes like the F-22 Raptor are far superior to aging Iranian aircraft.

“It is dangerous to allow speculation about what Iran might be able to do in the future to permeate debates about the threat posed by Iran today,” said Carah Ong, Iran Policy Analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. “Conflating future and present threats creates an artificial sense of urgency about what the United States must do to protect itself.”

--->Such rational talk, however, is missing from the NY Times. It didn't cover this story at all, although it published 58 stories in the last month about Iran and nuclear weapons.


In recent weeks we’ve again seen an escalation of US/Israeli threats to attack Iran. Among many other examples, the House of Representatives is currently considering a resolution promoted by AIPAC that would effectively demand a blockade against Iran. This resolution has over 200 co-sponsors (including our own supposedly antiwar Rep. Kirstin Gillibrand), although a surge of opposition has prevented it from being passed so far. The resolution is H. Con. Res. 362.

Here’s what those promoting military attacks and blockades on Iran don’t want Americans to know: there’s an offer on the table that could resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program and allow both sides to claim victory.

The former US Ambassador to the United Nations Thomas Pickering has made a case for talks with Iran without pre-conditions on multilateral uranium enrichment in Iran. It is even on Youtube.

--->But such stories don't sit well with the NY Times as this country eases into war with Iran. It didn't cover Pickering's statement. Nor has it covered House Res. 362 in the last month. The only "362" found in pages of the NY Times since early June is a story about a Mets and the Phillies game (the batting average of baseball player Damion Easley).


The highly regarded American journalist Seymour Hersh just confirmed that the U.S. Congress authorized a $400-million plan to overthrow Iran’s government and incite ethnic unrest. This column reported a year ago that U.S. and British special forces were operating in Iran, preparing for a massive air campaign. Israel’s destruction of an alleged Syrian reactor last fall was a warning to Iran.

This week a Pentagon official claimed an Israeli attack on Iran was coming before year end.

Other Pentagon and CIA sources say a U.S. attack on Iran is imminent, with or without Israel. The Bush administration is even considering using small tactical nuclear weapons against deeply buried Iranian targets. 2008/07/05/6077376-sun.php

--->The NY Times reports the story as "Mixed Reactions to Report on U.S. Moves Against Iran," although the only quotes used were those questioning Hersh's research and motives.

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