( The better informed everybody becomes the greater the chance that war can be prevented and propaganda can not distort reality. With a couple of clicks you can do your part by simply forwarding this to others.)
Lessons From Another War
By Arthur S. Brisbane
(Here is an important article from the Public Editor of The New York Times addressing the issue of it's coverage of news on Iran and if it is a repeat of what happened with Judith Miller's reporting prior to the Iraq war. A MUST READ. Here are some highlights.)
"Among the criticisms are that The Times has given too much space to Israeli proponents of an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities; has failed to mention often enough that Israel itself has nuclear arms; has sometimes overstated the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency; has repeated the questionable assertion that Iran’s leaders seek the eradication of Israel; has failed to analyze the Iranian supreme leader’s statement that nuclear weapons are a “sin”; and has published misleading headlines."
(You can include me as being one of the critics….)
"William O. Beeman, author of “The ‘Great Satan’ vs. the ‘Mad Mullahs’: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other,” told me he believes The Times’s coverage has contributed to a dangerous public misunderstanding of the situation.
“The conventional wisdom with regard to Iran is that Iran has a nuclear weapons program and that they are going to attack Israel and going to attack the United States,” said Mr. Beeman, who is chairman of the anthropology department at the University of Minnesota. “But all these things are tendentious and highly questionable.”
Mr. Beeman faulted The Times for mischaracterizing I.A.E.A. reports and for a “disconnect between headline and the actual material in the stories that really affects public opinion,” saying these problems raised a question about the “civic responsibility of The Times.”
"Jill Abramson, executive editor of The Times, told me the paper is “certainly mindful that some readers may see an echo of the paper’s flawed coverage of Iraq,” but she also noted distinct differences. This time, she said, the United States government is expressing doubts about weapons of mass destruction, not leading the drumbeat for war."
(Maybe "not leading the drumbeat for war" but certainly accompanying the drums by playing the flute.)
"The Times, for example, ran a 7,627 word Sunday magazine article by the Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman about Israel’s calculations for a possible attack. No such word count can be tied to the Iranian point of view."
(Not only did The Times run the article but it ended the article by having Mr. Bergman conclude that Israel would definitely attack Iran, which fits in perfectly with my last post about how leaks from Israel were so effective in distorting the news in America. See 007 .)
"What is needed from The Times, he added, is more effort not only to get ordinary Iranian voices into the coverage but also to reach across the cultural divide to fully understand significant statements from the Iranian leadership, like the fatwa against nuclear weapons by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader.
I share this view and believe the West’s inability to understand the other side’s leadership may have a parallel with the run-up to the Iraq war. Once again, the stakes are high for all involved, including The Times, which has an opportunity to get it right this time."
("The West's inability to understand the other side's leadership may have a parallel with the run-up to the Iraq war". Shouldn't "inability" be substituted with "unwilling"? Come on Mr. Brisbane this is such a whitewash and a declaration of past (and present) negligence that you have the gall to conclude your article on this flimsy excuse? There are tons of sources for understanding the leadership of Iran…if you bother to look. Prof. Mohammad Sahimi has worked tirelessly to do just that and does a brilliant job. You will find most of his work on Tehran Bureau. Yes, a Google search will bring that up. Then there is Lobelog.com, Payvand.com, Antiwar.com, Iranaffairs.com, Juancole.com, wideasleepinamerica.com, commondreams.org, counterpunch.org, roozonline.com, CASMII, Gary Sick's site, and yes, Iranian.com also….these are all long established sites that have consistently given a far more informed presentation than has The New York Times and have done so with the same level of restrictions and limited sources. So please don't try to dodge the truth, after all isn't that your job, to report the truth?)
(I encourage Iranian.com readers to write the Pubic Editor at The New York Times and tell them what you think. The email address is: )
(Be a lobbyist for peace and don't let the warmongers distort reality in their favor.)
A better understanding of Iran might save us from catastrophe
By Peter Beaumont
"The problem with the present dangerous debate, as it has been framed ever-more closely through the exclusive prism of Israel's security concerns and its ever-louder threats to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, is that far from illuminating what actually motivates Iran in its nuclear ambitions, it has tended to obscure Tehran's motives instead.
So what does Iran really want?"
Writing in 2009, Kayhan Barzegar, an expert on Iran who has taught both in Tehran and in the US, described what he called the "paradox of Iran's nuclear consensus". He was attempting to lay bare the complex and competing historical, political and strategic considerations behind the theocratic regime's nuclear decision-making processes.
Indeed, as Barzegar argued: "There are quite a number of reasons why, from the perspective of the Iranian leadership, weaponisation is untenable, unnecessary and unwise."
"…a debate that should be about Iran's real nuclear ambitions and motives, and about how to engage with the regime constructively to prevent further proliferation, has been hijacked by a largely false premise."
For those of us who were intimate observers of the headlong charge to war against Iraq, it seems nothing more than a dispiriting rerun
A war with Iran is not inevitable, but it might yet become so if the debate does not become both more honest and realistic. Indeed, the west has misread Iran for the best part of a century and more, not least since the country's revolution.
To go to war twice in the Gulf within the space of a decade based on rhetoric, lies and misunderstanding would not simply be a tragedy but an utter catastrophe that would shame the west."
Clash with Iran could see use of huge, new U.S. bomb
"Serious talk of the buster bomb surfaced on Thursday after a high-raking military official described the bomb, designed to smash through some 200 feet of concrete before exploding, as a "great weapon” and could be used by U.S. forces in a clash with Tehran over its nuclear program."
(Yes, it's "a great weapon" which will cause disbursement of radioactive material for thousands of miles and essentially mean a conventional attack will turn into nuking Iran.)
Former Mossad head says Israel should consider alternatives to Iran strike
Israeli Officials Voice Skepticism of Iran’s Nuclear Intentions
By ISABEL KERSHNER
Pondering a Threat, but Taking Panic Off the Table
By ISABEL KERSHNER
Usual Suspects Are Beating Drum for Ill-Advised Attack on Iran
By David Zweifel
"Peter Beinart of the Web magazine the Daily Beast remarked: “I’ve never seen a more lopsided debate among the experts paid to make these judgments. Yet it barely matters. So far, the Iran debate has been a rout, with the Republican presidential candidates loudly declaring their openness to war and President Obama unwilling to even echo the skepticism of his own security chiefs.”
Yes, the usual suspects are all there, from Elliott Abrams to John Bolton, the same neo-cons who sold us on Iraq, pounding the drums to once again attack another Mideastern country, apparently not learning anything from the a 10-year war that cost America trillions of dollars and many thousands of dead and maimed young people.
“How can it be, less than a decade after the U.S. invaded Iraq, that the Iran debate is breaking down along largely the same lines?” asked Beinart.
What would make it worse is if the country once again accepts their flawed advice."
Fukushima Should Compel All Countries to Discard Nuclear Energy
By Amitabh Pal
“Kuwait pulled out last month of a contract to build four reactors, Venezuelan froze all nuclear development projects and Mexico dropped plans to build ten reactors,”
The pressure has compelled the Japanese government to promise (albeit in vague terms) to try to get off of nuclear power. As an effect of the disaster, as many as fifty-two of the country’s fifty-four reactors are currently offline due to community opposition.
The message of Fukushima should be clear to every country: Nuclear energy isn’t worth the risk. The time to abandon this path is now."
(Personally I think Iran should abandon it's nuclear energy program and close down the Bushehr nuclear reactor, but use this proposal as a bargaining chip during the upcoming meeting between Iran and the West that is supposed to take place in Turkey. The proposal would be that Iran should be compensated for all the money it has spent on it's nuclear program and receive funding for establishing a solar energy program along the lines of Desertec; let's say $100,000,000,000. Yes, a hundred billion dollars. When you consider the Iraq war cost over a TRILLION dollars – some estimate three trillion dollars --- such a deal would be a bargain.)
Here is some information on Desertec: )
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