Demonizing the Enemy: Preparing Americans and the World for an All Out Attack against Iran
by Russ Baker
December 27, 2011
A growing body of evidence points to a concerted campaign to prepare Americans and the world for war against Iran. This is not idle speculation. It fits a pattern that repeatedly preceded previous hostilities.
Here are the recent examples on Iran:
-The claim that Iran is a WMD threat. Pretty much everyone is familiar with the long-term, continuing efforts to paint Iran as some kind of nuclear threat. This ignores the possibility that Iran is telling the truth in contending it is embarked on solely non-military nuclear research (debatable), and serious doubts among many experts that Iran is preparing nuclear weapons. Perhaps most important, it discounts the fact that many countries (including Iran’s arch-enemy Israel) have nuclear weapons, and disregards the undoubted truth that if a country like Iran ever did launch nuclear weapons, it would be wiped out in a nanosecond, creating a very strong disincentive for offensive use. At the same time, by encouraging other countries and internal foes to believe that it has nuclear weapons, Iran creates an inexpensive protective shield for its regime. A dangerous game, to be sure, but without further evidence of Iranian nukes, hardly a reason to launch a war that would surely cause even more death and destruction than the misguided Iraq invasion.
-The claim that Iran tried to hire Mexican drug cartel hit squads to kill a Saudi ambassador on US soil (fizzled). Remember this one? So ludicrous that even ultra-cautious corporate news organizations laughed it out of the spotlight. Still, it may have been a test of what will fly—and likely did impact a percentage of the population, particularly those getting their info from jingoistic outlets like Fox.
-The claim that Iran was complicit in the 9/11 attacks (current). A federal judge, reviewing evidence presented in a lawsuit on behalf of 9/11 victims, concluded this month that it proved Iran “provided direct support to Al Qaeda specifically for the attacks…on September 11, 2001.” This one may gain traction due to powerful lingering emotions on the topic. (For complaints about the general operating style of the judge who ruled in the case, click here.) Because this ruling and the underlying lawsuit are based largely on the claims of defectors (and past experience shows that defectors frequently trade politically valuable assertions for personal benefits), more research is needed on this. (Remember discredited CIA Iraq source “Curveball”?) The cited “NSA intercepts” also bring to mind the intercepts put forward as proof that Saddam had WMDs.
It is further worth noting that the defendant, Iran, was not present to challenge the assertions. In addition, examination of many of the plaintiff assertions shows that they may misrepresent circumstantial evidence. (Example: “Several of the 9/11 hijackers transited Iran on their way to or from Afghanistan, taking advantage of the Iranian practice of not stamping Saudi passports.” This ignores the fact that Iran, which is an enemy of Saudi Arabia, makes a practice of not stamping Saudi passports so that Saudi nationals, especially minority Shiites, do not get in trouble with Saudi authorities on their return—similar to Cuba’s practice of not stamping American passports.)
This story has yet to break big, but count on the ruling to be cited increasingly in the months ahead by those pushing for war.