Media Oblivious to “The Empire’s New Clothes”

Once again, Glenn Greenwald is more adept than almost any other  journalist at tearing away the patriotic facade to reveal the lies and obfuscation coming from Washington:

U.S. Media Takes the Lead on Iran

by Glenn GreenwaldSalon.com/ Feb. 14, 2012

Many have compared the coordinated propaganda campaign now being disseminated about The Iranian Threat to that which preceded the Iraq War, but there is one notable difference. Whereas the American media in 2002 followed the lead of the U.S. government in beating the war drums against Saddam, they now seem even more eager for war against Iran than the U.S. government itself, which actually appears somewhat reluctant. Consider this highly illustrative, one-minute report yesterday from the nightly broadcast of NBC News with Brian Williams, by the network’s Chief Pentagon Correspondent Jim “Mik” Miklaszewski, which packs multiple misleading narratives into one short package:

See NBC News Video at Salon.com article

In this April 8, 2008, photo released by the Iranian President's Office, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, listens to a technician during his visit of the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility.
In this April 8, 2008, photo released by the Iranian President’s Office, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, listens to a technician during his visit of the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility. (Credit: AP Photo/Iranian Presidents office, File)

We’re told that if the U.S. ends up in a war with Iran, then “the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet would be the world’s first line of defense“: because Iran is threatening the entire world, and the U.S. would be defending “the world” from this grave Persian menace. Then there’s the ominous claim that “Iranian leaders have threatened all-out war”: but that’s “if Israel launches air strikes against Iran’s nuclear program,” which would already itself be “all-out war.” The NBC story — which begins with video shots of Iranians in lab coats lurking around complex, James-Bond-villain-like nuclear-ish machines — ends with twenty seconds of scary video footage of Iranian missiles being launched, accompanied with this narration: “U.S. officials warn that Iran’s massive stockpile of ballistic missiles is the more serious threat”; after all, “within just the past few days, Iranian leaders [cue video of a scary, ranting Ahmedinijad] have threatened that if attacked, they would launch those missiles at U.S. targets.”

It’s just remarkable to watch the American media depict Iran as the threatening, aggressive party here. Literally on a daily basispolitical andmedia figures in boththe U.S. and Israelopenly threaten to attack Iran and debate how the attack should happen with a casualness that most people use to contemplate what to have for lunch. The U.S. has orchestrated devastating and always-escalating sanctions which, by design, are wrecking the Iranian economycollapsing its currency, and generating serious hardship for its 75 million citizens. The U.S. military has that country almost completely encircled. The U.S. military behemoth, and Israel’s massive nuclear stockpile and sophisticated weaponry, make the Iranian military by comparison look almost as laughable as Saddam’s. Iran’s scientists have been serially murdered on its own soil, their facilities bombarded with sophisticated cyber attacks, and dissident groups devoted to the overthrow of their government (ones even the U.S. designates as Terrorists) have been armed, trained and funded by Israel while leading American politicians openly shill for them in exchange for substantial payments.

Yet the Manichean narrative driving this NBC report is par for the media course: Iran’s aggression must be contained, and it is leaving the U.S. and Israel with no choice but to pre-emptively attack it. Most telling is how Iran is continuously depicted as though they are the ones issuing threats of aggression even though all of their threats are retaliatoryif you attack us, we will attack back. Here, for instance, was how The Washington Post – under the headline “Iran, perceiving threat from West, willing to attack on U.S. soil, U.S. intelligence report finds” — described the recent warnings about The Iranian Danger from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper:

That plot “shows that some Iranian officials — probably including Supreme Leader 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 U.S. actions that threaten the regime,” Clapper said in the testimony, which was submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee in advance of a threat assessment hearing Tuesday. “We are also concerned about Iranian plotting against U.S. or allied interests overseas.”

As this blogger correctly observed:

What I like about the latest Iranian hijinks is that everyone is so forthright about the fact that any increase in Iranian bellicosity–ahem, “real or perceived”–is the direct result of American sword-rattling. There’s not even a stutter in the direction of circumlocution. It’s all straight up: “Senator, we are concerned that the Iranians may respond if we go to war with them.” It may necessitate a war! 

The propaganda at play here is intense indeed. For several years, the U.S. and Israel threaten on an almost daily basis to aggressively attack a country, all while engaging in multiple acts of war against them, and then when their leaders suggest they may not acquiesce to such an attack with passivity and gratitude, those vows of defensive retaliation are used to depict them as the threat-issuing aggressors. And the American media, as always, eagerly implants the propaganda. Thus, if such a war breaks out,NBC News‘ Mik announces, “the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet would be the world’s first line of defense,” though those crazed Persian leaders have threatened to use “Iran’s massive stockpile of ballistic missiles” and to launch those missiles at U.S. targets.”

I used to find somewhat baffling this bizarre aspect of American public opinion: time and again, Americans support whatever new war of aggression their government proposes, then come to regret that support and decide the war was a “mistake,” only to demonstrate that they learned no lessons from their “mistake” by eagerly supporting whatever the next proposed war is. Thus did the widespread belief that Vietnam was a “mistake” have no impact on their support for the attack on Iraq, and now — with some polls showing Americans, before their government even proposes it, preliminarily willing to cheer on an attack on Iran — it is clear they have learned nothing from their acknowledged “mistake” in supporting the attack on Iraq. Most Americans continue with this strange mindset: we realize we were wrong to support those past wars you gave us, but we stand ready and eager to support this next one!  (Continued)

Read entire article here Salon.com

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This entry was posted in foreign policy, Iran, media, military, Uncategorized, war and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Media Oblivious to “The Empire’s New Clothes”

  1. Pingback: Pick Up the Fight « A Conscious Action

  2. okieprogressive says:

    Reblogged this on okieprogressive and commented:
    WAR

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