Sep 6, 2007

Intelligent Responses to the Propaganda Campaign

"Every person is entitled to his own opinion. He is not entitled to his own facts, " said Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Great quote, great notion to hold to.

Have you been watching the media blitz supporting War with Iran? It will be continuing. A war hawk, Reuel Marc Gerecht, from the American Enterprise Institute in Newsweek; a Washington Post editorial attacking Mohammed el Baradei as if he were in league with the Iranians against the United States rather than a man trying to establish a rational alternative to another war of aggression; a few "expert" interviews on NPR.

(The people NPR calls upon for commentary on foreign affairs these days are so supportive of administration policy, almost all of them from the more conservative side of the spectrum. I don't see what the right wingers are so concerned about these days. NPR hath capitulated. The one exception was Terri Gross's interview with Charlie Savage about his new book on how the Bush administration has usurped the Constitution and re-created an "Imperial Presidency." You will remember that phrase. It was used during Nixon's era--I can remember he once had personally approved--or may even personally have designed some uniforms for the marines who guarded the White House--his own Eastern European braided and beribboned "palace guard." Or was it a design for the Washington, DC police? Funny what you remember and what you don't.)

So with Charlie Savage putting the usurpation in context, it is also good to have solid facts and common sense to go against the grain of the propaganda. Thus, I recommend that you read these, even go so far as to print them out, and make your own talking points against the supporters of the invasion of Iran--those who have had their consent manufactured by the Main Stream Media ("MSM" as I learned to call it in Memphis back in January).

First, some common sense about the Iranian (and Syrian threats) from Michael Scheuer, ex CIA analyst who is no defender of terrorism but is smart enough to see fanaticism when it appears in Washington, DC: read his article "Syria and Iran: The Threats that aren't" at It's worth a few excerpts:
And then there is Iran. How does one explain the U.S. governing elite's fear of Iran? Here we have a country that admittedly is led by one of the world's more histrionic politicians, but one that also is ringed by U.S. military bases and surrounded by an overwhelmingly more numerous Sunni world that hates Shi'ites far more than it hates Westerners. Iran‘s Islamic regime, moreover, is helplessly watching the final stages of the march of its energy resources toward oblivion, and preparing for the impoverishment and resulting internal political instability that event will usher in.
And his analysis of the real threat to the United States:
So where in this portrait is the threat to the United States? While Iran is a threat to Israel, there is surely no threat to America in Iran's less-than-impressive military forces, nuclear development program, or unattractive public diplomacy. No, the threat to the United States comes from two sources. First, the relentless "Iran is the new Nazi Germany" propaganda pushed by Israel and the American citizen Israel-firsters, and, second, the multi-decade failure of the U.S. Congress to seriously address the national-security issues of energy, borders, and immigration.
Second, another great riposte by Paul Craig Roberts, "Who Are the Fanatics?" defining further the real enemies in this conflict, the warmongers who refuse to pay attention to reality:
If Americans did rely on reason, tolerance and deliberation, they might free their minds of shrill propaganda long enough to consider the "Muslim threat." Muslims are disunited. Their disunity makes them a threat to one another, not to the West. . . .There is no such thing as Islamofascism. This is a coined propaganda word used to inflame the ignorant. There is no factual basis for the hatred that neoconservative Islamophobes instill in Americans. God did not tell America to destroy the Muslims for the Israelis. . . .In America today, blind ignorant hate against Muslims has been brought to a boiling point. The fear and loathing is so great that the American public and its elected representatives in Congress offer scant opposition to the Bush administration's plan to make Iran the third Middle East victim of American aggression in the 21st century.
Third, if any of your friends tries to adopt Bush's idiotic comparison of Iraq to Vietnam, here's ammunition from Andrew Bacevich, a man who actually fought in Vietnam, rather than hanging out in a National Guard unit based in Texas after Daddy pulled some strings in order to avoid getting sent to fly combat missions--a soldier who was a real conservative and supporter of the military until he began to study US Imperialism. And, sadly, a man who just this year, lost his officer son in the Iraq War. The man knows what he is about, and his thoughts can be heard on Antiwar radio, interviewed by Charles Goyette, the wonderful conservative voice of conscience down in Phoenix.

And finally, some more ammunition from Barnet Rubin, the Middle East scholar who I first referred to a few days back talking about how the propaganda machine was cranking up. His latest piece appears in the "Informed Comment Global Affairs" blog entry for Wednesday, September 5, 2007: "Theses on Policy toward Iran." Rubin talks about "regime change" as the motivating factor for any attack on Iran, posits some results that might come from an attack, and suggests two strategies Congress might adopt in order to avoid a conflagration. (Don't hold your breath.)

Armed with the facts and some common sense thinking, you are now ready to face the bizarre fantasies of the warmongers. Go and be gratified.

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