One of the things that I've found most disconcerting about American news coverage of Iran is the complete disconnect between what our own (and inter
February 23, 2009

One of the things that I've found most disconcerting about American news coverage of Iran is the complete disconnect between what our own (and international) intelligence reports say and the almost rapturous assurance by the media and public officials that Iran is heading full bore towards our nuclear annihilation. Sean Paul Kelly @ The Agonist:

The FT is reporting today that Iran has enough uranium for a bomb! Oh dear. Except their reporting is very, very lacking in the physics and engineering department.

Here's what El Baradei recently said about Iran and the bomb:

SZ: In your report it says that Iran is gaining an ever greater mastery of uranium enrichment. Can the USA and Israel accept the fact that Iran is on the threshold of becoming a virtual nuclear power?

ELBARADEI: The question is, what can they do? What are the alternatives to direct negotiations? As long as we are monitoring their facilities, they cannot develop nuclear weapons. And they still do not have the ingredients to make a bomb overnight.

How hard is it to google this sh*t?

Update: As Paul Kerr, from Total WonKerr, just wrote to me in an email: "Here's the number of weapons you can make with LEU: zero." Any questions?

Hurts your " scared of the bogeyman" fear-mongering when you inject actual facts and science into it, doesn't it? Whirled View and my buddy Cernig look further.

Douglas Saunders at The Globe and Mail looks at how the way we view Iran affects our attitude towards them:

What if the world's biggest threat, instead of growing in size and menace, simply vanished?

Imagine if Iran, after years of extremism, found itself led by a president who had been elected on a platform of women's rights, a free press, foreign investment and closer relations with the United States and other Western countries.

Imagine if, in response, the U.S. government made a public, formal apology for the 1953 Central Intelligence Agency overthrow of Iran's elected government, the act that had sent the country on the path to extremism in the first place.

Imagine if the Iranian people then began holding pro-U.S. demonstrations.

And imagine if that moderate Iranian leader offered to accept peace with Israel, to permanently halt funding of Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas and to submit fully to inspections as it abandons any nuclear-weapons programs in exchange for better relations with America.

Ah, imagine. It could never be so easy. But wait. Don't I recall something from my pile of newspaper clippings? Ah yes, here it is, and not even yellowed. Amazing how fast we forget things.

Mohammad Khatami, the pro-Western reformist, was elected in 1997.

Madeleine Albright, the U.S. secretary of state, issued the big apology to Iran in March of 2000. “Certainly, in our view, there are no obstacles that wise and competent leadership cannot remove,” she said. “As some Iranians have pointed out, the United States has cordial relations with a number of countries that are less democratic than Iran.”

The pro-American demonstrations, by all reports genuine (and unpunished), took place over several days in 2003. In that spring, Mr. Khatami sent a Swiss official to Washington to make the peace offer. In exchange for recognizing Israel, cutting off Hamas and proving it had abolished any nuclear-weapons plans, Iran wanted an end to sanctions, normal diplomatic relations with the U.S. and recognition of its role in the region.

So what happened? Well, nothing. George W. Bush was president, the Iraq war was just approaching the “mission accomplished” phase, and nobody in the White House thought it would look good to make peace with Iran, a country that only the year before had been made a rhetorical component in Mr. Bush's “axis of evil.”

As one State Department official directly involved with the Iranian offer told me, “It was like we missed the biggest Middle East peace opportunity of the decade, just so we could keep saying ‘axis of evil.'”[..]

It was physicist Werner Heisenberg who found that the act of observing can affect the nature of the thing being observed. It is likely that simply by looking at Iran as a threat, we've made it one. Look again, and it might change.

Maybe it's time to start looking at Iran a different way:

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.