Stephen Lendman

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Iran Bashing

Iran Bashing

by Stephen Lendman

It's longstanding. It's been ongoing since the 1979 Iranian revolution. February 11, 2014 marks its 35th anniversary.

It ended a generation of repressive Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi rule. He's not missed.

In 1953, Theodore Roosevelt's grandson/CIA operative Kermit Roosevelt engineered the Agency's first coup. Democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh was ousted.

At the time, The New York Times called him "the most popular politician in the country." It didn't matter. Washington wanted its man in charge.

Reza Shah Pahlavi was installed. America and Britain regained an Iranian client state. A generation of darkness followed. In 1979 it ended.

Strained Iranian/Western relations followed. They persist. Occasionally they boil. Rohani's election changed nothing. Regime change remains longstanding US policy. Iran bashing reflects it.

It's the oil, stupid. It's gaining control of Iranian banking. It's independent. It prohibits usury. Western banks thrive on it. Money control is key to making more of it at the public's expense.

At issue mostly is America's quest for unchallenged regional dominance. It wants it globally. It's beholden to what Israel wants.

Media scoundrels march in lockstep. Iran bashing is longstanding. It's relentless. It's openly hostile. It's vicious. It's based on Big Lies.

On September 21, The New York Times headlined "President Rouhani Comes to Town," saying:

"All eyes at this week's United Nations General Assembly will be on Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani."

He "sent encouraging signals about his willingness to engage more constructively with the West than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who insisted on proceeding with Iran's nuclear program, (and) denied the Holocaust."

Fact check

Ahmadinejad was frequently misquoted. He's not a holocaust denier. In September 2007, he spoke at Columbia University. The Times covered the event.

"I'm not saying (the holocaust) didn't happen at all," he said. This is not the judgment that I'm passing here."

He had lots more to say about Iran, its policies, its people, and its right to pursue a legitimate peaceful nuclear program. No evidence suggests otherwise.

"We're all well aware that Iran's nuclear issue is a political one," he explained. "It's not a legal one."

Since 1979, Iran sought normalized relations with all countries. It wants "brotherly ties" with the world community, said Ahmadinejad.

Washington bears full responsibility for obstructing it. Don't expect Times editors to explain.

"The world's chief concern, President Obama stressed last week, continues to be Iran's nuclear program, which would threaten Israel and destabilize the region if it produced a weapon," said Times editors.

Rohani's "charm offensive is in full swing." Times editors and their counterparts demand he prove his good intentions. They turn a blind eye to Washington's bad ones.

On September 23, The Times headlined "Enigmatic Leader of Iran Backs Overture, for Now," saying:

"This is Hassan Rouhani's moment. But when he stands before the world to speak on Tuesday, he will do so as the loyal representative of Iran's supreme leader, the ultimate authority behind the country's recent diplomatic charm offensive."

For nearly 35 years, Washington treated Iran more like a hostile alien force than a normal country.

Unless or until that changes, confrontational US policies will persist. Rohani's best intentions won't matter. Rogue states operate that way. America's by far the worst.

The Chicago Tribune headlined "Iran's fresh face. Is Rouhani's overture real or a head-fake?"

He "scored style points in his first weeks in office."

"He even showed some social media savvy."

"Most prominently (he said he's) ready to engage in serious and substantial talks without wasting time."

"This has prompted a parlor game: What's Iran up to?" Skeptics say Tehran's "channeling its inner Putin."

It's "still building its nuclear capabilities, by installing advanced centrifuges to more quickly enrich enough nuclear material for a weapon."

"The mullahs also are forging ahead to complete a nuclear reactor that would produce plutonium, giving them a second path to building a bomb."

"And those are just the known facilities. International inspectors keep tabs on declared nuclear facilities. They don't have carte blanche to scour countries for secret facilities."

"Iran has propped up Syria's dictator, Bashar Assad. Iran has funneled missiles to Hezbollah, a threat to Israel."

"Iran has spent big on Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip and has vowed to block any peace deals between the Palestinians and Israel."

"Iran has allied with al-Qaida, allowing safe passage for cash, arms and fighters to its fighters in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

"So sure, engage with Iran's fresh, smiling diplomatic face. Just don't forget history."

Fact check

Iran's a normal country. It operates like most others. It wants peace. It deplores war, terrorism and activities relating to them. Claims otherwise don't wash.

It's nuclear program is legal. It's peaceful. No evidence suggests a military component. It sought normalized relations with Western countries for decades.

Its best efforts are rebuffed. It's treated with scorn. It's wrongfully maligned and vilified. Don't expect media scoundrels to explain.

The Wall Street Journal is unrelenting. It's at war with Iran. On September 22, it headlined "From Damascus to Tehran," saying:

"The ruling clerics in Tehran haven't survived in power for 34 years without cunning."

"Fresh from their ally Bashar Assad's diplomatic victory in Damascus, they now see an opening to liberate themselves from Western pressure too."

"They're hoping an eager President Obama will ease sanctions in return for another promise of WMD disarmament."

"New President Hassan Rouhani sounds less strident notes than his predecessor, but the regime has rolled out other presidents who turned out either to have no power or to be false fronts to beguile the West."

Obama meeting Rohani in New York "would give the dictatorship new international prestige at zero cost."

"Iran continues to support US enemies in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza and Afghanistan, and it continues to crush its political opposition at home."

"The danger for world order is that Iran is already close to a nuclear breakout capacity when it will be able to finish a device in a matter of weeks, without technically testing or possessing a bomb."

"The mullahs could also easily pull the North Korean trick of dismantling one facility while secretly running another one."

"They have systematically lied about their nuclear program for years."

"All of which bodes ill for any genuine nuclear breakthrough."

"If true global security is Mr. Obama's goal, then at a bare minimum any deal would have to halt Iran's enrichment of uranium, remove the already enriched uranium from the country, close all nuclear sites and provide for robust monitoring anytime and anywhere."

"Anything less would be a mirage."

"A negotiation that dismantles Iran's nuclear program would be a great step forward, but a deal that promises peace while letting Iran stay poised on the edge of becoming a nuclear power would endanger the world."

Fact check

The editorial was beginning-to-end misinformation, lies and damn lies. It bears repeating. For decades, Iran sought normalized Western relations. Its best efforts are spurned. It's through no fault of pursing sincere ones.

Evidence shows its nuclear program is legal. It's peaceful. It advocates a nuclear weapons-free region. It wants all WMDs destroyed.

It threatens no one. It hasn't attacked another country in centuries. It deplores war, terrorism and activities relating to them. Don't expect Journal editors to explain.

On September 23, deputy Journal editorial page editor Bret Stephens headlined "Striking Deals With Despots," saying:

"Why are democratic leaders so easily suckered and rolled by dictators when it comes to diplomacy?"

"That's the question to ask as the Obama administration, fresh from getting rolled by Russia over Syria's chemical weapons, now tempts getting suckered by Iranian President Hasan Rouhani over his country's nuclear ambitions."

"(T)he fundamental problem in encounters between democrats and despots is that, while the former understand the psychology of motivation and seduction (political and otherwise), the latter are masters of the arts of deceit and domination."

"President Obama has spent five years giving abundant evidence of his desire to reconcile with autocrats."

Meeting with Rohani "will be hailed as a master diplomat(ic) (and) peacemak(ing) triumph. "(I)t won't take long to learn who is betrayed, and what is lost, in the service of an illusion.

Fact check

As usual, Journal commentaries get things upside down. Rohani genuinely seeks normalized relations.

He has every right to do so. It's long overdue. After decades of Western hostility, Iranians deserve that much and more.

Obama's a warrior president. He's no peacemaker. He's all take. He's no give. He long ago lost credibility.

His word isn't his bond. His policies belie his rhetoric. It's empty, duplicitous and meaningless. He's wants all independent governments toppled. He's got war plans readied to do so.

Rohani knows his challenge. Despite long odds against success, he's sincerely pursuing what no other post-1979 Iranian leader achieved. His efforts deserve universal support. Don't expect Journal editors to provide any.

Foreign Policy magazine contributor Colum Lynch headlined "Iran's Charm Offensive Has Diplomats Asking Themselves: Is It Real?"

Lynch calls Iran "the perennial bad boy of the international community." It's typical of how Western sources mischaracterize the Islamic Republic.

Rohani's so-called "charm offensive" represents a legitimate, sincere outreach. It's what any responsible leader would pursue.

Disparaging it shows longstanding anti-Iranian sentiment. It's not about to change soon. Media bashing won't let it.

It persists relentlessly. Lynch quoted Gary Samore. He's Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs executive director.

He Brookings Arms Control Initiative nonresident senior fellow.

In 2009, the think tank's report titled, "Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran" was a regime change policy paper. Pro-Israeli right-wing ideologues prepared it.

Samore's cut out of the same mold. His views are duplicitous. He's entirely one-sided.

"Nobody is fooled by the charm offense; everybody understands the supreme leader is seeking nuclear weapons," he said.

"No matter how many times Rouhani smiles doesn't change the basic objective of the program."

False! Samore knows it. He deceitfully claimed otherwise. Lynch lost credibility quoting him.

He added that he's seen no "indication that (Iranians) are willing to sacrifice that part of the program, which has taken 10 years to build up."

Why should they? It's entirely legal. It violates no Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions. It operates the same way as other nuclear nations.

Iran alone is criticized. It's unwarranted. It unjust. It's long past time it changed. Don't expect Samore or Lynch to explain.

William Kristol co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). The Foreign Policy Initiative's its new incarnation.

Kristol is a prominent board of directors member. His worldview is sinister. It's dangerous. It threatens humanity. He headlined his Weekly Standard article "From Bad to Worse," saying:

Assad's "more firmly in power than before." Al Qaeda is "stronger." America "lost credibility."

Iran and Russia "gained in stature and influence." An "irresolute president" bears responsibility. So do "shortsighted" congressional representatives.

Syria is "Act One," said Kristol. "Act Two opens at the United Nations. There, we'll see (Rohani display) a charm offensive worthy of Richard III."

Kristol calls him a "veteran deceiver of the West."

"in response, (Obama) will move on from punting in Syria to appeasing Iran."

"The diplomatic dance with Iran will be long and complex. But who doubts that the couple will end up where Iran, the leading partner, wants to go?"

Kristol's one of America's most vocal imperial proponents. He endorses every war America wages or plans.

He repeats one Big Lie after another doing so. He deplores peace. He thinks it's sissy. It shows in what he writes, says and promotes.

He does so disgracefully. He's not alone. Legions of others are like him. They infest Capitol Hill. They dominate administration thinking.

Media scoundrels feature their commentaries. They're regular TV guests. They support wrong over right. They endorse one war after another.

Whether or not humanity survives makes no difference. Advancing America's imperium alone matters

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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