After The Iraq Debacle, It Would Be Negligent For Americans Not To Watch Ahmadinejad’s U.N. Speech
One reason why the most powerful interests succeed in pulling the wool over the eyes of the American people is because the masses rarely if ever take the time to read or view the raw information available to them. Instead they rely on others’ interpretations.
Everyone is guilty of this to different degrees. People’s lives are hectic, there are only so many hours in a given day. So the masses look for quick summaries, 30-minute news programs covering dozens of different news briefs that can be measured in seconds. Fast food news consumption for those on the go.
But in doing so, they become dependent upon these same powerful interests, not only to inform them about what they need to know, but how to think about these issues.
When the interests of both the public and the powerful coincide, then the public can often glean an accurate, though often ‘Cliffs Notes’-level of comprehension on any given issue. But when the public interest conflicts with the interests of the powerful on an issue, then the establishment is well positioned to massage the message and misinform, or to drop its coverage entirely, thereby ensuring the public remains uninformed.
This helps to ensure the masses vote and cheerlead against their own best interests, and in ways that further enrich the powerful. The public ends up supporting wars they later learn were unnecessary, unlawful, costly, and resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, often including members of their own families.
A majority of Americans knew close to nothing about Saddam Hussein after Sept. 11, 2001, at a time when the Bush Administration began its propaganda campaign to mislead the country into a war with Iraq. This made the Neocons’ job very easy. By repeating talking points laced with demagoguery and fear mongering, the Bush Administration convinced a major majority of Americans that this dictator was so evil, so dangerous, so irrational, that his accelerating ‘nuclear weapons program’ made him an ‘imminent threat’ to American security.
One of the most oft-repeated phrases the Neocons used to help demonize Saddam as a monster was “he gassed his own people.”
George W. Bush on Oct. 11, 2001 (one month after 9-11):
“There’s no question that the leader of Iraq is an evil man. After all, he gassed his own people. We know he’s been developing weapons of mass destruction. … And so we’re watching him very carefully. We’re watching him carefully.”
The gassing allegation was true. Saddam DID gas the Kurds on 40-some different occasions. His largest gassing was against the Kurdish town of Halabja in March of 1988, resulting in the deaths of 5,000 people. But what George W. Bush didn’t want you to know, and could rely on the establishment media not to tell you, was that this gassing took place back when Saddam was an ally and aid recipient of the United States, during the Administration of his father, George H.W. Bush.
Samantha Power, in her Pulitzer Prize winning book, “A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide,” revealed that not only was the Bush Administration well aware of the gassing of the Kurds, they refused to even condemn it. Despite knowing definitively that Saddam was responsible, as declassified documents now reveal, the State Department went as far as to suggest that perhaps Iran was involved on some level in the gassing.
Does this fact make Saddam any less evil? Of course not. But had the public at large realized that Bush and his fellow Neocons were capitalizing on incidents that occurred nearly 15 years earlier — incidents that happened when Saddam was cozy with Bush’s own father and some of these same Neocons, and with their full knowledge — it might have led the public to question why these Neocons suddenly ‘saw the light’ on Saddam’s monstrosity. And that might have taken some of the air out of the ‘imminent threat’ bubble.
And now Americans are being sold that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the new Adolph Hitler. This week, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly (99 votes to 1) passed a new non-binding resolution, proclaiming war to be a viable option should the Iranians gain the capability for a nuke — even if they have no intentions of creating one. The knowledge, in itself, has now been pronounced grounds for war.
Now, you might not like Ahmadinejad, you might even find his views on any number of subjects repugnant, or his abuse of political dissidents criminal, but he is NO Adolph Hitler, NOR Saddam Hussein.
The Washington establishment is terrified that you too might draw this same conclusion. Because if Israel were to launch an attack on Iran, the U.S. would undoubtedly be dragged into war. And none of our politicians have the guts to ward Israel off by threatening repercussions (e.g. aid cuts, no more U.S.-vetoes to shield Israel from accountability at the U.N. Security Council, etc.). And no one in the mainstream media has the courage to address this unprecedented ‘tail wags dog’ dynamic.
So instead, they ALL demagogue the Iranian President, embellish his words, make comparisons to Hitler, as if to make his ‘irrationality’ and ‘evilness’ a type of conventional wisdom that must remain unchallenged, especially during prime time.
When President Ahmadinejad gave a speech at the U.N. yesterday, the U.S. delegation boycotted it, thereby sending a loud and clear message to the nation that this leader is so despicable, so evil, so threatening, that they wouldn’t dare attend.
Despite President Obama’s apparent reluctance for war, the American war drums continue to bang loudly. Each week, the threat of an Israeli attack gets heightened and PM Netanyahu continues to meddle in the U.S. Presidential Elections, blatantly trying to entrap the U.S. President into committing to war.
All Americans owe it to themselves to watch Ahmadinejad’s U.N. speech. Watch it and decide for yourselves whether the Iranian President is the depraved lunatic you’ve been told; whether his words make him such an ‘imminent threat’ to the United States, that hundreds of thousands more innocent lives are worth losing, trillions more dollars are worth spending (err borrowing); that it is worth having our gas prices tripled, and our economy ransacked.
Spare yourselves the establishment’s caricature of Ahmadinejad and just watch him for yourself:
VIDEO: WINEP’s Director of Research: U.S. Needs A False Flag to Start A War With Iran
Many of the notables who served in the Bush Administration and played key roles in misleading the United States into war with Iraq have passed through the corridors of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). In fact, the think-tank serves as an incubator for the hawkish Neoconservative ideology.
Here is how Harvard professor of Int’l Affairs Steven M. Walt describes the think-tank:
[WINEP] is a key organization in the Israel lobby. It was founded in 1985 by three individuals: Larry and Barbi Weinberg, who had formerly been the president and vice-president of AIPAC; and Martin Indyk, who was previously deputy director for research there. These founders understood that AIPAC’s efforts would be enhanced if there was a separate, seemingly “objective” research organization to provide consistently “pro-Israel” analysis and commentary, while AIPAC concentrated on more direct lobbying activities. Although WINEP claims that it provides a “balanced and realistic perspective” on Middle East issue, anyone who spends a few hours examining its website and reading its publications will realize this is not the case.
In fact, WINEP is funded and led by individuals who are deeply committed to defending the special relationship, and promoting policies in Washington that they believe will benefit Israel. Its board of advisors is populated with prominent advocates for Israel such as Martin Peretz, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, and Mortimer Zuckerman, and there’s no one on this board who is remotely critical of Israel or inclined to favor any other country in the “Near East.”
Former AIPAC staffer MJ Rosenberg was literally “in the room” when WINEP was founded. Here he describes its birth:
I was in the room when AIPAC decided to establish WINEP.
It was Steve Rosen (later indicted under the Espionage Act, although charges were subsequently dropped) who cleverly came up with the idea for an AIPAC controlled think-tank that would disseminate the AIPAC line but in a way that would disguise its connections.
There was no question that WINEP was to be AIPAC’s cutout. It was funded by AIPAC donors, staffed by AIPAC employees, and located one door away, down the hall, from AIPAC Headquarters (No more. It has its own digs).
It would also hire all kinds of people not identified with Israel as cover and would encourage them to write whatever they liked on matters not related to Israel. “Say what you want on Morocco, kid.” But on Israel, never deviate more than a degree or two.
So, it probably shouldn’t have come as TOO big a shock when this video became circulated on Twitter tonight, showing the depths the Neoconservatives are prepared to plunge to get their war against Iran.
Here is a video of WINEP’s Director of Research Patrick Clawson, telling a gathering in the group’s conference room that the United States should find a ‘false flag’ to get into war with Iran.
I frankly find that crisis initiation is really tough. And it’s very hard for me to see how the United States President can get us into war with Iran. Which leads me to conclude that if in fact compromise is not coming that the traditional way that America gets into war is what would be best for U.S. interests.
Some people might think that Mr. Roosevelt wanted to get us into World War II, as David mentioned, you may recall we had to wait for Pearl Harbor. Some people think Mr. Wilson wanted to get us into World War I, you may recall we had to wait for the Lusitania episode. Some people might think that Mr. Johnson wanted to send troops to Vietnam, you may recall we had to wait for the Gulf of Tonkin episode. We didn’t go to war with Spain until the USS Maine exploded. And may I point out that Mr. Lincoln did not feel he could call out the Federal Army until Fort Sumter was attacked which is why he ordered the commander of Fort Sumter to do exactly that thing which the South Carolineans had said would cause an attack.
So if in fact the Iranians aren’t going to compromise, it would be best if somebody else started the war. One can combine other means of pressure with sanctions. I mentioned that explosion on August 17th. We could step up the pressure.
I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down, some day one of them might not come up, who would know why? We could do a variety of things if we wish to to increase the pressure. I’m not advocating that, but I’m just suggesting that this is not an either or proposition, you know it’s just sanctions have to succeed or it’s other things.
We are in the games of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier.
Would A Nuclear Iran Bring Stability To The Middle East?
Kenneth Waltz, from the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, recently wrote a piece in Foreign Affairs entitled “Why Iran Should Get The Bomb,” in which he contends that “power begs to be balanced” — that Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear bomb would actually restore stability to the Middle East.
Waltz’s is a viewpoint largely excluded from mainstream media discourse. The beltway establishment point-of-view merely bounces between that of the far-Right: “We should bomb Iran now” vs. that of the Obama Admin: “We should give sanctions more time, but military options remain on the table.”
Of course, ALL the U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies recently revealed there is NO EVIDENCE that Iran is even pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
But since the mainstream media and our politicians routinely obscure this thorny fact, and for the sake of this discussion, let us move even beyond this point to a hypothetical worst case scenario. Let us assume that Iran is working towards developing a nuclear arms program.
The important question we should be focused on is: “Is Iran a rational actor that will act in ways that maximize its own strategic interests?” Only by answering this question can we realistically asses how a worst-case scenario — a nuclear Iran — would likely, if at all, harm vital U.S. interests, or threaten Israel’s existence.
Most of our ‘serious’ beltway political punditry speak as if it is a foregone conclusion that Iran is an irrational actor, who would gladly act in ways that would ensure its own nuclear-self-destruction (thereby annihilating its 74 million citizens), just as long as Israel were destroyed in the process.
Such a flimsy, unsupported attempt at fear-mongering, and yet it remains the bipartisan consensus in the nation’s Capitol (courtesy of AIPAC). Americans are being led to believe that they should assume enormous risks to their own vital national interests, including the certain death of more U.S. troops, increased terrorism against Americans abroad and possibly at home, the jack-hammering of our already bleak economy into a depression (as oil-prices would soar to levels never before seen); all of which would ultimately put the financial solvency of our nation in serious jeopardy.
Such serious risks attached to this policy of bombing Iran, yet, few mainstream media pundits or politicians have the courage to call into question whether a nuclear Iran actually even poses a threat at all.
As far as Iran’s true strategic concerns, as they relate to its alleged nuclear ambitions, I’ll leave it to neocon Eli Lake (writer for the Daily Beast/Newsweek) to explain. Lake recently slipped up in a Bloggingheads debate with The Atlantic’s Robert Wright, when Wright suggested that perhaps Iran no longer even wants to be a nuclear power.
To make the point that Iran is still intent on pursuing WMDs, Lake ADMITTED that Iran is a rational actor that obviously wants nuclear power as a deterrent, so that it won’t end up getting bombed like Iraq:
WRIGHT (on Iran building the bomb): … Maybe they did seven years ago, and maybe they don’t want to now…
LAKE: I find it hard to believe. Iranians look around and they see what happened to Qadhafi after he gave up his nuclear program. They look around and they see that Saddam was invaded when he didn’t have one. And they look around and they see that North Korea, you know, does horrendous things and is not, generally — there’s very little that’s really done against them. And they think to themselves.
And they look at Pakistan — that was harboring Osama bid Laden, it appears — you know, the number one enemy of America — and it’s still, you know, we make efforts to try to pretend that they’re allies. And [Iran] says, “what do the countries we don’t want to be like not have, and what do the countries we’d like to be treated like do have?”
WRIGHT: Okay, so if I understand you correctly, you are saying that Iran has a rational reason to pursue a nuclear weapon that has nothing to do with wanting to annihilate Israel.
LAKE: Well, …[ long pause. Doh!!!! ]… before we get into the annihilation of Israel ….
WRIGHT (screams): Eli!!!!! …
Yesterday, PBS’s Judy Woodruff invited two distinguished guests with deeply dissenting opinions onto her program to debate the merits of Waltz’s assertion that a nuclear Iran would bring stability to the Middle East. They include University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer and former George W. Bush-appointee at the Pentagon (and former PNAC member), Dov Zakheim.
Here are a few key points made by Mearsheimer worth pondering:
- We have nearly three-quarters of a century of empirical evidence showing that a nuclear balance between opposing nations ultimately leads to a deterrence of war, not more war.
- Israel (and the United States) has a well-documented history of aggressive military escalations in the region against non-nuclear countries, and do so with complete impunity. A nuclear Iran would help to balance Israeli hegemony in the region, thereby helping to deter aggressive military actions.
- Nuclear proliferation by other countries in the region (like Saudi Arabia & Turkey) would be unlikely since the U.S. would just extend its nuclear umbrella to cover its allies in the region exactly as it did for Germany and Japan during the Cold War.
WATCH the debate:
VIDEO Debate: Rashid Khalidi VS Jonathan Tobin: Attacking Iran, AIPAC, Israel-Palestine & Obama
Yesterday, President Barack Obama addressed the annual policy conference of the powerful pro-Israel lobby group, AIPAC. In his speech, he attempted to walk a fine line between reassuring the group of his ‘sacrosanct’ commitment to both Israel’s security and ethnic identity as a ‘Jewish state,’ and yet tamp down on its insistence that the United States bomb […]
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Neocon David Frum Distorts Reality To Push An Anti-Palestinian Narrative
Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum just posted pure pro-Israel propaganda on his blog, Frum Forum. In it he attempts to outline why a UN Security Council recognition of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders would be counterproductive. First, he disingenuously blames the failure of the latest rounds of peace talks on the […]