Why All the Iran Fear-Mongering Now?

I wrote about this earlier this week because I noticed an uptick in the articles appearing in the MSM and on right wing blogs about the imminent threat posed by Iran. There is always some fear-mongering boiling under the surface but this almost seems like a coordinated effort to get Iran back on the front burner as an issue that needs to be dealt with immediately.

But why now? Is it because of the up-coming election? Is it because the neocons are afraid a full-scale troop withdrawal in Iraq will make attacking Iran harder? Is this all part of the Israeli timetable? Remember, Jeffrey Goldberg went to Israel earlier this year to report on the possibility that Israel would launch a military strike on Iranian nuclear targets. Or not. He said that if Israel undertook such action, they would likely do it this summer. Tick tock, tick tock…

Then Jackson Diehl, one of the Washington Post’s many resident hawks, wrote an opinion piece this week stating that if America pulls out most troops in Iraq then Iran would be the primary beneficiary. Given Diehl was a cheerleader for the Iraq War, perhaps he should have thought of that prior to donning his pom poms.

Then I saw this article from the American Enterprise Institute criticizing the CIA for reaching the conclusion that Iran is not actively building nuclear weapons. Because apparently, the CIA wouldn’t have access to top secret intelligence or anything. Remind you of anything? Maybe it reminds you of how the Bush administration and the neocons kept leaning on the CIA to come up with some intelligence on Saddam’s non-existent WMD program to give them an excuse to invade and occupy Iraq. Remember the whole Joe Wilson/Valeria Plame thing? That was all about the intelligence surrounding Iraq’s lack of WMDs. Sure, Bush blamed “faulty intelligence” anyway but evidence suggests that the CIA’s intelligence actually wasn’t all that flawed, but rather the administration politicized the intelligence by twisting the facts to fit the policy. And that was clear at the time, not just with the benefit of hindsight.

So when you read all these articles popping up all over the place about Iran, I hope you are getting a feeling of deja vu, because we’ve been here before. On Wednesday, neocon (and former CIA analyst and News Max columnist) Fred Fleitz wrote a commentary in the WSJ about how the entire intelligence apparatus is in denial about the threat posed by Iran. Fleitz, like almost every other person discussing the issue, gives a very bad interpretation of the difference between low enriched uranium and weapons-grade uranium.

So, what is it with these guys (and women)? Did they all call each other last week and say “hey, lets blanket the media with scary commentary about Iran?”

And note that absent in every single article about the supposed imminent threat Iran poses to Israel, is any discussion of Israel’s huge nuclear weapons arsenal, which exists for this very purpose- deterrence. So much for objective, informed media reporting. The U.S. government never brings it up either because a) Israel doesn’t want them to and b) people might reach the logical conclusion that Israel holds most of the cards in this scenario.

BTW, for an excellent discussion of all the fear-mongering about Iran, check out this post over at the fantastic blog Wide Asleep in America by Nima Shirazi.

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About Stacy

Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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2 Comments on “Why All the Iran Fear-Mongering Now?”

  1. Pilgrim Says:

    Maybe it’s a type of hasbara, an intentional twisting of theories and speculations into a propoganda programme.


  2. thainjacobs Says:

    I agree that nothing has changed since Iraq. The neocons make the same arguments without any proof but just throw around words about uranium, highly enriched uranium, centrifuges etc.

    If we attack Iran, why not attack N. Korea since they already have nukes and their leader is bat-shit crazy and threatening S. Korea all the time, sinking S. Korean ships etc.? Oh, that’s right, N. Korea doesn’t talk about Israel so we don’t care so much about them. In their case sanctions and containment are more than enough.

    If we are totally honest we just have to admit that our foreign policy in the Middle East is basically whatever the Israel Lobby wants.

    I love all the PEPs running around- Progressive Except Palestine- Rachel Maddow, Howard Dean, etc. love to claim the moral high ground until the issue of Israel comes up then they suddenly start growling and banging war drums -suddenly human rights for all becomes human rights except for those terrible Palestinian. Maddow basically ignores the issue altogether.

    Did you know that the oh-so-liberal Firedoglake and Daily Kos censor their writers because they don’t want criticism of Israel? So you are allowed to be liberal on all kinds of issues, except the human rights of Palestinians, then you must support Israel’s far right wing ethnocratic leaders. Makes perfect sense.


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