Iran: A Manufactured Threat
by Stephen Lendman
Iran attacked no other country in over 200 years. It threatens none now. It’s neighbors know it. So do Washington and Israel.
Nonetheless, saber rattling warnings continue. At issue is making an independent state a client one. It’s why Washington orchestrated Syria’s insurgency and continues anti-Iranian propaganda.
Tehran won’t tolerate losing its sovereignty, nor should it. It suffered a generation of repression under Washington’s installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi after the CIA’s first ever coup ousted democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh.
It also knows how America and Israel reign terror throughout the region. As a result, it’s prepared to defend itself if attacked.
America’s business is war, permanent war for unchallenged global dominance. Post-9/11, multiple ones raged and continue. Ordinary people want them stopped.
On February 4, dozens of anti-war organizations held a “Day of Mass Action to Stop a US War on Iran.” Among others, The World Can’t Wait announced it headlining, “NO war! NO sanctions! No intervention! No Assassinations.”
A press release listed dozens of participating US cities, large and small. Other known countries involved included Canada, Britain, India, Ireland, Turkey, Norway, and Bangladesh.
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark participated. In 1992, he founded the International Action Center (IAC). Calling itself “anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist,” it’s committed against wars, racism, economic exploitation, and other forms of injustice.
Its web site urged worldwide participation in an “emergency” protest day of action.
Thousands across America alone participated. Follow-up actions are planned. People are fed up and want America’s war machine stopped. Vital resources are squandered while growing needs go unaddressed.
Major media scoundrels misreported about Saturday’s pro and anti-government protests in Moscow, but ignored anti-war ones in their own cities and across America.
In fact, they cheerlead Washington’s wars. For months, they regurgitated hostile Syrian/Iranian propaganda. Their drumbeat continues daily.
Their misinformation promotes war, mass killing, vast destruction, and human misery. Their reports exclude these and other key facts. Instead they feature agitprop and bald-faced lies about a nonbelligerent state, threatening on one, including America and Israel.
Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) on Anti-Iranian Propaganda
On February 2, FAIR’s Peter Hart headlined, “Iran: This is What Propaganda Looks Like,” saying:
Like crabgrass infests lawns, it’s “everywhere, thanks to a Senate appearance yesterday by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.”
Yet his comments fell far short of justifying heightened anti-Iranian propaganda in response. “His main point was that Iran could launch attacks if it felt threatened.” He also cited falsified claims that should have been condemned, not repeated as alleged facts.
For example, he said:
“The 2011 plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States shows that some Iran officials – probably including (Ayatollah) Ali Khamenei – have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived US actions that threaten the regime.”
At the time, CBS News called the report “dire,” saying “Iran would likely launch terrorist attacks on US soil as pressure mounts against the regime in Tehran.”
NBC’s Matt Lauer asked if an Israeli “preemptive nuclear strike” was justified in response.
Only the Wall Street Journal couldn’t stomach the ludicrous charge. Obama officials claimed it was “authorized at the highest levels in Tehran,” according to Carnegie Endowment for International Peace” analyst Karim Sadjadpour and many other paid-to-lie commentators, reporters, and opinion writers.
In fact, the allegation didn’t pass the smell test or others about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program and wanting to wipe Israel off the map.
On February 3, ABC News reported a spurious accusation about potential Iranian strikes in North America, including against Israeli facilities. It cited an Israeli “internal security document,” saying:
“We predict that the threat on our sites around the world will increase….on both our guarded sites and ‘soft’ sites.”
Israel’s Consul General for the Mid-Atlantic States Eliran Avitan circulated the allegation. Recently in Tel Aviv, Shin Bet’s Yoram Cohen told an audience that Iran plans targeting Israeli sites in retaliation for Mossad’s assassinations of its nuclear scientists.
All accusations are baseless. Yet ABC TV, other broadcasters, and cable channels featured them to generate anti-Iranian hostility.
On January 31, ABC’s Diane Sawyer introduced Pentagon correspondent Martha Raddatz’s propaganda piece complete with alarmist graphics and unrelated belligerent video footage, saying:
“The saber rattling from Iran has been constant.” Tehran “may be more ready than ever to launch terror attacks in the United States.”
Unrelated images of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Venezuela’s Chavez and Fidel Castro in Cuba were featured, saying these leaders “have little love for the US.”
Neither do growing millions worldwide, especially throughout the Middle East and Afghanistan where US policies and officials are reviled with good reason.
Notably, since Iran’s 1979 revolution and US hostage crisis, Washington’s been spoiling for a fight. The Carter administration considered invading and seizing its oil fields.
Reagan escalated Carter’s policies short of committing US forces in combat. Saddam then got US backing. A decade of war followed. America pretended support for both sides, but mostly gave it to Iraq.
US/Iranian relations remain tense. Washington’s sought regime change for years. Various confrontational tactics include on and off saber rattling, sanctions, direct and covert meddling in Iran’s internal affairs, cyberwar, subversion, targeted assassinations, other destabilization tactics, and vicious propaganda to incite fear and justice war.
Yet major media scoundrels regurgitate it like fact instead of offering readers and viewers truth and full disclosure.
On January 31, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams lied to viewers saying:
“Iran’s threat. Not just the nuclear program. Tonight, US intelligence warns Iran may be prepared to strike on American soil.” Referring to Clapper’s testimony, he called it a “chilling new assessment about the scope of the threat from Iran.”
NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell added:
“Experts warn that the US is even more vulnerable than Israel if Iran retaliates or launches a preemptive bomb plot….Soft US targets like embassies throughout the Persian Gulf and 90,000 American troops in Afghanistan, next door to Iran” are vulnerable.
“Still, intelligence officials told the Senate today they don’t think Iran has taken the final step, deciding to build a bomb. But Israel does think Iran has crossed that red line, and US officials say if attacked, Iran would not hesitate to retaliate against both Israel and the US.”
In fact, international law permits responding to belligerent attacks in self-defense. It’s not only justified, it obligates nations to protect their people against enemies. US media reports exclude those facts. Instead they generate fear and hostility against nonexistent threats.
Is America headed for war on Iran? Only the fullness of time will tell. Yet heightened tensions make anything ahead possible, especially given Washington’s intolerance for independent regimes. Stay tuned. Updates will follow.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.