Iran: A Whispering Campaign Unfolds

News Commentary – March 2, 2013

Iran has made some headway on the diplomatic front recently; reaching an agreement with Argentina to set up a joint investigation into the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center and concluding talks over its nuclear program with its negotiators upbeat and further talks scheduled.
Even though a Western participant in the talks described them as “more constructive and more positive than previous meetings”, the Boston Herald was still ready to dismiss them as meaningless.
While predictably, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned the agreement between Iran and the six world powers, saying that it gave Iran more time to build a nuclear bomb.
However, the response elsewhere in the Western corporate media has been just as telling. It wasn’t as forthright but a more subtle indirect reaction on an almost subliminal level. So subtle yet seemingly coordinated that one wonders if it wasn’t orchestrated by Western intelligence.
With what amounts to disinformation appearing in both ‘left’ and ‘right’ wing publications, a very subtle but concerted campaign appears to be unfolding.
A couple of examples from recent days serve to illustrate this.
A review of Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic by Michael Axworthy appeared in Friday’s ostensibly ‘left leaning’ ‘liberal’ Guardian. Decribing the book as a “calm, literate portrait of the Islamic Republic” the review goes on to claim:
“An attempt to consolidate Islamic government with a nuclear weapon has alarmed Israel and the world powers.”
Of course, absolutely no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program has emerged and James Buchan, the reviewer provides none. As is the case in subliminal suggestion, no hard intellectual scrutiny is required. Only a mere insinuation is necessary. In this case a throwaway line.
Likewise Friday’s New York Times featured an op-ed by Fabian Bosoer and Frederico Finchelstein entitled ‘Argentina’s about face on terror’. Describing the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires as “one of the deadliest anti-Semitic acts since the Holocaust”, it asked why Argentina had agreed to a joint probe of the bombing with Iran?
The writers seem to take for granted that Iran was behind the bombing. Although absolutely no evidence is provided, like claims that the Nazis “gassed 6 million Jews” the accusation alone is enough.
Like allegations about Iran’s nuclear weapons program, it seems suggestion alone is sufficient to condemn those deemed guilty.
In effect, this is the equivalent to an illusionist’s sleight of hand. Repeat an accusation enough times and like mud, some will eventually stick.
Just as repeated claims about “Saddam’s WMD” ultimately led to the Iraq invasion – and the discovery that Saddam had no WMD – so repeated claims about Iran’s “nuclear weapons program” could lead to the same conclusion.
Only now the accusations are little more than insinuations. The journalistic equivalent of a whispering campaign, the allegations are implied rather than voiced explicitly.
Like the publicity surrounding Saddam’s fabled WMD however, this is part of a campaign to ramp up the rhetoric and condition the Western public mentally for an all out assault on Iran.
Only if this does ultimately succeed the resulting military conflict will be much more destructive than the Iraq invasion. And there is every chance that it will escalate into a global conflict.

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