Saturday, January 14, 2006


Doesn't this all sound a little too familiar? We're told a Middle Eastern country run by a madman has the intention to acquire nuclear weapons, so we cooperate to get them hauled before the Security Council, where a resolution will be written in such a way that this madman's country will be in violation of it before the ink is dry on the paper.

And that all of this is happening prior to a midterm election. Does it sound remotely similar to anything you've heard before? That this madman's Middle Eastern country is harboring and sponsoring terrorists--al Qaeda and such? That this country is a grave threat to us?

And the media talks about this country's "threat" to our country as a foregone conclusion--i.e., this country is a threat because they talk about it as being, therefore it's a threat, no evidence necessary. But they'll try to manufacture some anyway, just to muddy the water. Just so they'll have something that we'll have to try to disprove, and something to create the official story.

I wrote this yesterday but was too lazy to post it until I read, on Americablog, this much more eloquent, complete, and seasonally coordinated piece from Atrios:

How It Goes

Winter/Spring - The clone army of foreign policy "experts" from conservative foreign policy outfits nobody ever heard of before suddenly appear on all the cable news programs all the time, frowning furiously and expressing concerns about the "grave threat" that Iran poses. Never before heard of Iranian exile group members start appearing regularly, talking about their role in the nuclear program and talking up Iran's human rights violations.

Spring/Summer - "Liberal hawks" point out that all serious people understand the serious threat posed by serious Iran, and while they acknowledge grudgingly that the Bush administration has fucked up everything it touches, they stress, and I mean stress, that we really must support the Bush administration's serious efforts to deal with the serious problem and that criticisms of such serious approaches to a serious problem are highly irresponsible and come only from irrational very unserious Bush haters who would rather live in Iran than the U.S.

Late Summer - Rumsfeld denies having an Iran war plan "on his desk." He refuses to answer if he has one "in his file cabinet." Andy Card explains that you don't roll out new product until after labor day.

Early Fall - Bush suddenly demands Congress give him the authority to attack Iran to ensure they "disarm." Some Democrats have the temerity to ask "with what army?" Marshall Wittman and Peter Beinart explain that courageous Democrats will have the courageous courage to be serious and to confront the "grave threat" with seriousness and vote to send other peoples' kids off to war, otherwise they'll be seen as highly unserious on national security. Neither enlists.

Late October - Despite the fact that all but 30 Democrats vote for the resolution, Republicans run a national ad campaign telling voters that Democrats are objectively pro-Ahmadinejad. Glenn Reynolds muses, sadly, that Democrats aren't just anti-war, but "on the other side." Nick Kristof writes that liberals must support the war due to Ahmadinejad's opposition to gay rights in Iran.

Election Day - Democrats lose 5 seats in the Senate, 30 in the House. Marshall Wittman blames it on the "pro-Iranian caucus."

The Day After Election Day - Miraculously we never hear another word about the grave Iranian threat. Peter Beinart writes a book about how serious Democrats must support the liberation of Venezuela and Bolivia.

David Kay and "State Of War"

Here's Andrea Mitchell on Hardball last (Thursday, Jan. 12) night pontificating about Iran's "secret nukes" and Chris Matthews treating Iran's "threat" to us as a foregone conclusion. I wasn't even aware that Iran was being accused of having "secret nukes"--I mean, I didn't realize that that was supposed to now be the official story. In "State Of War," James Risen points out that, as in Iraq before our invasion, we haven't had and currently don't have CIA/intelligence resources on the ground to even know these things, thanks to the cable that mistakenly identified our assets in Iran. And David Kay admits as much in this transcript.

And Risen points out that we, the U.S., gave Iran nuclear plans!

And if you haven't or don't have the time to read the book, here's a good synopsis at Alternet, complete with this great comment on the book's perspective (I tried to say something to this in effect in an earlier post, but this nails it):

The second, and more grave point is that James Risen is a complete sucker for Bush's tonic for the terrorist threat against America and the prevailing White House rationale for the invasion of Iraq: that we must spread the wings of democracy across the Middle East.

How a reporter can get so close to the White House Big Dogs and reveal such devastating evidence about their cynical geopolitical schemes while at the same time swallow the big narrative that underwrites them all is frankly quite stunning.

And of course, Justin Raimondo at turned in a good one on Iran yesterday.

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