Despite the evidence, our leaders and the corporate news industry are working very hard to convince us that Iran is a threat.
The Iran story
“The whole purpose of the economic sanctions is to stop the Iranians from making a bomb that we know they’re not making,” journalist Seymour Hersh told Amy Goodman during an April 10 interview on Democracy Now.
“And by the way, let me say again, there is no evidence that our intelligence community or even the Israeli intelligence community has – and I know that firsthand – suggesting that there’s an ongoing bomb program,” the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter said. (See democracynow.org.)
Hersh’s main subject during the interview was a story he wrote recently for The New Yorker magazine blog describing how members of Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), were secretly trained by the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command in Nevada during the Bush administration even though MEK was listed as a foreign terrorist group by the U.S. State Department. The presence of a recognized terrorist group trained by Americans under the auspices of George W. Bush is the very definition of a double standard, to say nothing about a crime. Such special favors depend on who is momentarily perceived to be an effective force against a disfavored regime.
According to Hersh, the desert site in Nevada resembles terrain in Iran and is no longer being used to train MEK. But his report is another warning against falling for the propaganda and mainstream media lies likely to be issued around negotiations between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran. American invasions and occupations have long been sold publicly as legitimate responses to security threats, when the threats were actually concoctions of American leaders determined to wage war.
Remember the alleged Gulf of Tonkin “incident” which led to 10 years of death and destruction in Vietnam? Or recall the nonexistent Weapons of Mass Destruction which led to 10 years of death and destruction in Iraq?
A recent conversation with a high school student in Richland Center was evidence of how deeply this type of deadly information reaches into the heartland. The student intelligently asked why there were more U.S. troop casualties in Iraq than Afghanistan, given that the war in Afghanistan is longer lasting. It’s important to keep in mind that two-thirds of this boy’s life has passed while his country has been at wars.
He then asked: “Who are these guys now that are trying to nuke us?”
He referred to Iran, but he couldn’t identify the sources of his outlandish misinformation. More than likely they emanated third- or fourth-hand from Rush Limbaugh or another unthinking hawk.
The student’s misunderstanding typifies the ease with which wars are bought by the public and sold by politicians and those who profit from wars. It’s difficult to convince a young person of the need to look for alternative sources of information, like Democracy Now and Seymour Hersh, when the adults around him are very likely to be devoted to Fox News.
But we’ve got to start somewhere, first by informing ourselves and then by telling the truth to young people around us.
As I listened to Seymour Hersh, a brilliant and informed investigative journalist on the radio with Amy Goodman, I detected some incredulity in his voice when he said: “There are amazing things out there that happened that we just don’t know about.”
Hersh also said, “After 9/11, the Iranians were absolutely willing to work with us, particularly against al-Qaeda." In another reference to Bush, Hersh added, “We really blew a chance by putting them (Iran) in the Axis of Evil.”
April 12, 2012
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David Giffey is a freelance journalist and FightingBob.com contributing editor who lives in Arena. He is the author of "Long Shadows: Veterans’ Paths to Peace" (Atwood Publishing), "Struggle for Justice: The Migrant Farm Worker Labor Movement in Wisconsin," and "The People’s Stories of South Madison."