More than two years ago, Seymour Hersh disclosed in the New Yorker how George W. Bush was considering strategic nuclear strikes against Iran. Ever since, a campaign to demonize that country has proceeded in a relentless, Terminator-like way, applying the same techniques and semantic contortions that were so familiar in the period before the Bush administration launched its invasion of Iraq.
The campaign’s greatest hits are widely known: “The ayatollahs” are building a Shi’ite nuclear bomb; Iranian weapons are killing American soldiers in Iraq; Iranian gunboats are provoking U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf — Iran, in short, is the new al-Qaeda, a terror state aimed at the heart of the United States. It’s idle to expect the American mainstream media to offer any tools that might put this orchestrated blitzkrieg in context.
Here are just a few recent instances of the ongoing campaign: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates insists that Iran “is hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons.” Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, admits that the Pentagon is planning for “potential military courses of action” when it comes to Iran. In tandem with U.S. commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus, Mullen denounces Iran’s “increasingly lethal and malign influence” in Iraq, although he claims to harbor “no expectations” of an attack on Iran “in the immediate future” and even admits he has “no smoking gun which could prove that the highest leadership [of Iran] is involved.” [complete article]