An important interview with Scott Ritter, the former UN chief weapons inspector in Iraq, on Democracy Now!, debunking some of the myths spun around Iran’s nuclear programme.
In a frightening replay of its pathological gullibility for state propaganda, the mainstream press (with honourable exceptions, as ever) has once again adopted the dominant narrative set by Western governmental officials, with journalists and other members of the intelligentsia dutifully performing their role as Gramsci’s “experts in legitimation”.
As the editors of MediaLens note in their latest review of the British press (see the full media alert here):
It is indeed with a sense of wonder, verging on awe, that we witness the same media performing the near-identical war dance on Iran that they performed on Iraq just seven years ago. To us it seems like yesterday – the sense of madness is fresh in our minds. When Obama acts the stern father in demanding: “Iran must comply with United Nations resolutions,” he is repeating, with the alteration of but a single letter, the same sentence in the same tone used by George Bush and Tony Blair on Iraq.
I strongly urge everyone concerned about these issues to visit the IAEA website and read the relevant documents about Iran’s nuclear programme, something that very few commentators seem to find time for. Despite the at times complex nuclearspeak, it’s a very rewarding exercise. Yes, there are clearly areas in which Iran has so far not fully cooperated with the IAEA but as its chief Mohamed ElBaradei told the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently:
“We have not seen concrete evidence that Tehran has an ongoing nuclear weapons program… But somehow, many people are talking about how Iran’s nuclear program is the greatest threat to the world… In many ways, I think the threat has been hyped. Yes, there’s concern about Iran’s future intentions and Iran needs to be more transparent with the IAEA and the international community… But the idea that we’ll wake up tomorrow and Iran will have a nuclear weapon is an idea that isn’t supported by the facts as we have seen them so far.”