I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your centrifuges down
â€œThe military option is not the worst option â€¦ The worst option is a nuclear Iran.â€ â€” Danny Yatom, former Mossad boss
Lâ€™affaire Iran in its latest incarnation has been going on now for over two years with all kinds of dire threats emanating from the Beltway (and elsewhere eg, Sarkozyâ€™s recent remark about taking out Iran).
The latest â€˜leakâ€™ from the imperium is the Newsweek story â€˜The Whispers of Warâ€™ (Sunday, 23 September 2007) in which it is alleged that earlier this year vice-prez Cheney had suggested that Israel launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranâ€™s nuclear facilities at Natanz. Apparently it was the Zionist David Wurmser, former Middle East adviser to Cheney who told a group of unidentified individuals that Cheney had suggested this to Israel.
â€˜Wurmser told a small group of people that Cheney had been mulling the idea of pushing for limited Israeli missile strikes against the Iranian nuclear site at Natanzâ€”and perhaps other sitesâ€”in order to provoke Tehran into lashing out. The Iranian reaction would then give Washington a pretext to launch strikes against military and nuclear targets in Iran.â€™
But what is most revealing about the piece is the following for it puts the Wurmser â€˜leakâ€™ into context,
â€˜One U.S. official who preferred not to be identified discussing sensitive policy matters said he took part in a meeting several months ago where intelligence officials discussed a “public diplomacy” strategy to accompany sanctions. The idea was to periodically float the possibility of war in public comments in order to keep Iran off balance. In truth, the official said, no war preparations are underway.â€™
When one looks back over all the statements put out by the USG, they all follow the same pattern, dire but veiled threats to do something about Iran. All conform to the â€˜public diplomacy strategyâ€™ outlined above; whether itâ€™s to keep Iran â€œoff balanceâ€ (it surely keeps the public off balance but then we are the real target) is open to question but there is no doubt that all are designed for public consumption and use as their justification Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadâ€™s alleged statements about â€˜destroying Israelâ€™ and that Iran â€œliedâ€ to the IAEA (BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, 25/9/07) about its nuclear programme.
Itâ€™s pretty thin stuff and very difficult to use as a justification for an attack on Iran but this is where Israelâ€™s role is very clear, for it is Israel as US rottweiler and the â€˜faceâ€™ of US strategy for the region that appears to call the shots.
Using Israel in this manner has worked extremely well for decades, pumping up the â€˜victimâ€™ status of Israel into which the (mis)quoted statements of Ahmadinejad fit perfectly. But this is a strategy that no longer works, Israel has effectively blown its â€˜victimâ€™ status through its genocidal actions in the Occupied Territories.
And although I have my expressed my scepticism over all the reports of an â€˜impending attackâ€™ on Iran, what is interesting here (though impossible to measure) is the role of the Web in keeping the â€˜pot boilingâ€™, through â€˜crying wolfâ€™ so often.
The latest wheeze dutifully carried by Newsweek is obviously designed to keep the pot boiling and no doubt is closely connected to Ahmadinejadâ€™s visit to the UN (the BBC did a hatchet job on the fellow this AM, giving a lot of coverage to Ahmadinejadâ€™s talk at Columbia U where he came under fire from a posse of Israeli supporters, surprise-surprise).
What is important about these â€˜public diplomacyâ€™ exercises (started under Reagan) is how they can only be effective with the complicity of the corporate and state-run media who act as the messengers. The degree to which they work hand-in-glove can be seen from the choice of phrases used by the MSM which echo exactly the messages that the imperium wants delivered.
Thus with boring regularity, Ahmadinejadâ€™s comments about Israel are dragged out as are Iranâ€™s â€˜denialsâ€™ about its nuclear ambitions, the assumption being that no matter how many times Tehran denies that itâ€™s trying to build an A-bomb, the MSM tell us matter of factly, â€œHow far will Israel go to keep Iran from getting the bomb?â€ (Newsweek 23/9/07) but just to keep the mask of objectivity in place, it also says â€œIran says its program is for peaceful purposes onlyâ€. Well, what else do you expect them to say?
Denials from Iran are pointless (why do they even bother?) and in any case the point is to keep the idea forever in the public mind, exploiting the carefully nurtured xenophobia and racism that exists in the so-called developed world.
The same Newsweek piece quotes an Israeli policy-maker,
â€˜”Two thousand seven is the year you determine whether diplomatic efforts will stop Iran,” says a well-placed Israeli source, who did not want to be named because he is not authorized to speak for the government. “If by the end of the year that’s not working, 2008 becomes the year you take action.”
Yeah, yeah. In the same piece we read yet another (mis)quoted statement only this time by a â€˜moderateâ€™,
â€˜â€¦ former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, considered a moderate, warned in 2001 that Tehran could do away with Israel with just one nuclear bomb.â€™
But not that they would, but why niggle over the details, itâ€™s enough that somehow whatever Rafsanjani really said, he can be â€˜quotedâ€™. By the time the wrangling is over, we the public, will get the quote above and precious little else.
In fact, Newsweek should be renamed NewsSpeak, the piece reeks of the White House, regurgitating every rumour and supposition about Iranâ€™s nuclear capabilities, let alone its alleged nuclear ambitions. Thus various and sundry â€˜expertsâ€™ are quoted first this way and then that, with all manner of â€˜scenariosâ€™ that allegedly explain what could happen, all based on even more supposition about Iranâ€™s abilities and intentions.
This is how â€˜public diplomacyâ€™ works (propaganda to you and me); rumours and allegations abound, designed explicitly for media consumption which craven institutions like the BBC dutifully repeat (doing their masterâ€™s bidding) eg,
â€˜Mr Ahmadinejad has called in the past for an end to the Israeli state and described the Holocaust as a myth.â€™ â€” â€˜Iran leader plays down ‘US warâ€™, BBC Website 24/9/07
What we have with the interminable barrage of disinformation about events is the media equivalent of low intensity warfare, or Psyops if you prefer, a concerted campaign based upon a few well-chosen bites such as the BBC quote, designed to push all the right fear buttons, for who is going to go to the trouble of of trying source quotes, especially those translated from Farsi or Arabic, languages that are fluid and full of allusions and allegories.
All quotes, barring the BBC one are from the Newsweek article.
PS: Six ambassadors from non-aligned countries, along with a number of journalists, including Channel 4 News were invited by the Iranian government to visit the uranium conversion site just south of Isfahan. Watch the video
A further postscript:
Cheney Sounds Out Jordan, Egypt on U.S. Bombing of Iran
Posted: 27 Sep 2007 08:42 AM CDT
by Marjorie Cohn
My cousin Larry Russell, a travel writer, spent three weeks (May 11 through May 31 of 2007) in Jordan as a guest of the Jordanian Tourist Board. He was invited to dinner at the home of Karim Kawar, Jordan’s ex- ambassador to the United States (2002-06), in Amman. Dick Cheney and his daughter were Kawar’s guests two nights before Larry arrived. Kawar confided to Larry that “Cheney’s mission was to sound out the reaction to a forthcoming bombing of Iran’s nuclear sites (no ground invasion planned) by the U.S. from Jordan’s King Abdullah and President Mubarak of Egypt. They both rejected the idea.”
When Larry pointed out that Jordan and Egypt receive regular economic and military equipment assistance from the United States so any resistance to this plan on their parts would probably be of a token nature at best, Kawar just smiled.
I donâ€™t doubt the veracity of the conversation but it no way undermines my contention concerning the â€˜Psyopsâ€™ nature about an impending attack.