Last year, at about this time, I wrote a post entitled… The Persian ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ and ‘the Phantom Menace’…! In it, I had featured Nami Shirazi’s most excellent post: The Phantom Menace: Fantasies, falsehoods, and fear-mongering about Iran’s nuclear program… An extensive look at all the din and hue in the MSM, of how close Iran was to the bomb, starting in 1984…! Basically, it averages out to Iran always being about two years away from the bomb…!

Now, in my latest installment, I’d like to feature the prolific, Robert Naiman, in both the Huffpoo and AlJazeera, today, in which he takes the Grey Lady, out behind the woodshed…

The New York Times misleading public on Iran

The paper has made faulty allegations about Iran’s nuclear programme without running proper corrections

…It’s deja vu all over again. AIPAC is trying to trick the United States into another catastrophic war with a Middle Eastern country on behalf of the Likud Party’s colonial ambitions, and the New York Times is misleading the public with allegations that say that the country is developing “weapons of mass destruction”.

In an article attributed to Steven Erlanger on January 4 (“Europe Takes Bold Step Toward a Ban on Iranian Oil”), this paragraph appeared:

The threats from Iran, aimed both at the West and at Israel, combined with a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear programme has a military objective, is becoming an important issue in the American presidential campaign [emphasis my own].

The claim that there is “a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear programme has a military objective” is misguided…

…Of course, referring to Iran’s “development of nuclear weapons” without qualification implies that it is a known fact that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. But it is not a known fact: It is an allegation. Indeed, when US officials are speaking publicly for the record, they say the opposite.

As Washington Post’s Ombudsman Patrick Pexton also noted on December 9:

This is what the US director of national intelligence, James R Clapper, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March: “We continue to assess [that] Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.

To demand a correction…

Yes, certainly a correction is in order… *crickets*

In the Huffpoo, Robert takes aim at the Wapoo…

WaPo: Sneaky Persians Menace Pentagon’s Noble Aim to Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan Forever

…In a front page exposé on January 4, the Washington Post revealed that sneaky Persian agitators are conspiring to thwart the Pentagon’s noble aim of keeping 10,000-30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan on “non-permanent,” “non-U.S.” bases after “all foreign troops are supposed to be withdrawn” in 2014, just as these sneaky Persians conspired to thwart the Pentagon’s noble aim of keeping U.S. troops in Iraq.

The Post story is quite instructive, even if it is not exactly “news” in the common sense of the term. It presents the world from the point of view of diehard Pentagon revanchists who want to keep U.S. troops in Muslim countries forever against the will of the majority of Americans and against the will of the majority of people who live in these countries. It presents this diehard Pentagon revanchist view as if there were no interests in the world besides those of Pentagon revanchists and wily Persian agitators, such as the interests of the majority of people who happen to live in the United States, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Of course, in the world view of the diehard Pentagon revanchist, the concerns of these mere residents are largely irrelevant, if they have no military implications. How many divisions do these mere residents control? These mere residents are just pawns in a game of Pentagon-sneaky Persian chess…

Now, the intrepid, MJ Rosenberg, takes the Mittster out back…

Mitt Romney embraces the Neocons

Mitt Romney’s newfound relations with the neocons could spell disaster for the United States, as the war drums begin.

Misleading claims

His disturbing emphasis on Iran, which in no way presents a military threat to the United States – over the economy, no less – is very telling.

Romney insists that the administration’s engagement efforts have failed. Not quite.

Obama has hardly engaged in any diplomacy with Iran. After an initial foray in that direction, he quickly pulled back, deterred first by the Iranian government’s crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in 2009 and then by a Congress that, guided by AIPAC, vehemently opposes any negotiations with Iran.

According to Iran expert and journalist Barbara Slavin, the Obama administration has spent a grand total of 45 minutes in direct engagement with Iran.

Romney’s claim that “we have no sanctions of a severe nature” is just as false. The sanctions regime imposed by Obama is unprecedented in its severity. (Take a look at the full range of sanctions.)

According to a law signed by Obama in December, as of next summer, anyone who buys Iranian oil will be banned from doing business with the US. We have the largest economy in the world, so this act could do much to damage not only Iran’s economy, but also the economies of some of our most trusted allies, such as South Korea. If Iran retaliates by keeping its oil off the world market and causing prices to skyrocket, the dire effects will be felt globally. Including here at home.

Sanctions will probably not succeed in preventing an Iranian bomb (since the days of the Shah, Iranians of all political stripes, including the Green Movement, have supported Iran’s right to nuclear development), but it is just absurd to argue that Obama has resisted imposing them.

As for the claim that Obama was “silent” when Iranian demonstrators took to the streets, Romney must know that the US’ embrace of the demonstrators would have been the kiss of death to their movement. Or maybe Romney actually believes that their cause would have been advanced if they could have been convincingly portrayed as US puppets…

Can I get off this clown car, I’m getting sea sick…!

As MJ stole my line…

God help us all…!