Sunday, October 4, 2009

We're Not Scaremongering...This is Really Happening

Title lyrics from Radiohead's "Idioteque."

The immortal Republican claim that the media apparatchik in the United States is some sort of liberal (in the US sense of the word) behemoth is so demonstrably false that it hardly bears rebuttal. This is not to say, as some do, that they are inherently Conservative (again, in the US lexicographical form). Rather, the failure of the US media is that they are entirely devoid of skepticism and the ability for critical thought processes.

Very rare is the moment when they even take a detour from the tabloid-driven drivel they typically spew forth at equally-uncritical viewers and readers, but when they do, reporting comes only in the form of blandly reporting who said or did what. Never is the veracity of these statements examined.

This method is wholly responsible for the drive to the war in Iraq in the 2002-2003 period, and, despite the hand-wringing and mea culpas in the interim, the American media is again willing to sell an unwitting public another war, this time in Iran. The script could not be any clearer. And, like Hollywood, when the government finds a formula that works, they throw creativity out the window.

Again the country is being treated to breathless front-page articles about a secret Iranian nuclear site. Just as with the Iraqi sale, we are shown pictures of buildings and must take at face value everything the government tells us they mean. Iran, of course, has declared that it is indeed a nuclear facility, but what does that mean? Without any evidence, we are told that we must assume that the site is weeks away from producing weapons-grade nuclear material. This despite the fact that not one ounce of intelligence has been produced which indicates Iran has any such ability.

Simply indicating that Iran has a nuclear facility is not a cause for war. They are entitled, by all treaties to which they are a party, to build and maintain nuclear-power facilities. Is it inconceivable that Iran would pursue nuclear weapons technology? Of course not. But one picture and bloviating does not make a sufficient case that they already have.

Even if they have, one is then forced to make the case that they are not, as a sovereign nation, allowed to pursue such ends. After all, every single one of the countries now engaging in the typical international demagoguery currently maintain vast arsenals of nuclear weapons. That Iran is not allowed to do the same is simply taken as granted, not even worth arguing. That Israel is none-too-subtle about threats to Iran is never addressed. It is just accepted that should Israel choose to attack Iran with nuclear weapons, Iran has no choice but to throw up their hands and accept their fate.

No other country on Earth spends as much money on war-making as the United States. No other country deals as many armaments as the United States. And no other country comes close in the number of fortresses on foreign soil. All this is ignored. In this current dystopian universe, the world's foremost warmongering country is still allowed to parade around the halls of the UN as a beacon of peace. This view is not anti-American, it's pro-reality.

And while Obama does his best Bush impersonation, his beating of the war drums is still too muted for the blood-thirsty press and opinion-makers. And the "liberal" press has re-assumed the role they play some handsomely, that of unquestioning sidekick for an imperial President.

Related posts:

Truth From Power April 20, 2008
Missile Defense: Rehabbing the Cold War July 13, 2008

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