James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Press pimps for Bush on Iran

The little band of crazy imperialists who rule the United States hardly bother any more to conceal their belief that the news people of this country are cowards and idiots who can be manipulated with little more effort than it takes to scratch an elbow.

They also see the American public -– or the part of it they care about -- as eager to believe the most outrageous fairy tale, so long as it appeals to “patriotism.” Dick Cheney and pals are certain that they can wave the flag over an enormous pile of steaming horse manure and make millions of us believe it's chocolate pudding.

Their contemptuous assessment of corporate, or “mainstream,” journalists is one of the very few things they've ever gotten exactly right.

Whether they're equally correct about the public remains open to some question, but only some. Don't give odds against them.

We'll know soon, anyway -- as soon as it becomes clear how many Americans are buying the outrageously dishonest stories about Iranian weapons supposedly being used against “our troops” in Iraq. Well, that and whether people accept whatever incident the White House manufactures to justify an attack on Iran.

(I put “our troops” in quotation marks because it long ago became a magical propaganda phrase that has little or nothing to do with the flesh and blood men and women who are being maimed and killed and those whose lives are being destroyed in Iraq for no reason other than to further the fortunes and ambitions of the Bush clan.)

That we are now awash in trumped up baloney about Iran is a terrible indictment of American corporate journalism. Luckily for us and unluckily for Karl Rove and Crazy Dick Cheney, we'd be more awash if some aging famous-for-being-famous bottle blonde hadn't died and stolen some of the administration's thunder. But the White House manipulators will catch up.

Editorial writers on a very few newspapers around the country have called upon Congress in the past couple of days to prevent an attack on Iran by President Bush-Cheney or our surrogate, Israel, but the news pages of those same papers continue to present the administration's lies and distortions as though they are fact.

“U.S. offers evidence Iran is arming Iraq extremists,” said the big headline in my local rag Monday, although what was presented as “evidence” obviously is nothing of the sort.

Yet the stenographers pretending to be reporters seem unaware that there are big questions about what has been said in support of the planned attack. If there are some who are aware of the huge holes in the stories, they obviously are afraid to ask the questions and press for answers.

Here are some things to think about the next time you see one of those “evidence” stories on hear someone citing them as proof that we must move against Iran:

* The sources for the claims that Iran is supplying Shiite militias with weapons are “civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies,” reporters were told, and dutifully regurgitated. It also was said that “all” of the agencies in the U.S. “intelligence community” agree that it's probably true.

But the officials were not identified. We don't even know the identities of those purported “Pentagon officials” who conducted the press briefing in Iraq. No names were given, and no one recognized them. If you can't identify them, or find them again, you can't push them about what they said. It was a bizarre performance, to say the least.

* The “evidence” presented in support of the allegations was puny and unbelievable. Here are some cannisters, they said. The numbers on them show they come from Iran, they said.

Why would, how could, anyone believe such no-proof from a bunch of people who have lied to us blatantly and ceaselessly for six years and more? Hey! Does anyone in the news biz remember those aluminum tubes that were, then were proven not to be, part of Saddam's nuclear weapons program – which also didn't exist.

The rest of the world isn't buying it. As the Independent in Britain said Monday, “The allegations against Iran are similar in tone and credibility to those made four years ago by the U.S. government about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction...”

* We have been told now that the Pentagon et al knew as far back as 2004 that Iran was supplying weapons to Shia “insurgents” in Iraq.

But wait. If they knew in 2004, why is it only now, and suddenly, an urgent matter?

* As for the supposedly new weapons: Pentagon (Bush administration) mouthpieces called them the “most lethal” weapons being used against U.S. forces in Iraq. It was strongly implied, but not stated, that such things could be constructed only in a major armaments program and supplied by a government.

The things are being called “explosively formed penetrators,” or EFPs, a name and acronym which give rise to visions of government-supported armaments factories producing sophisticated weapons.

In fact, as the Independent noted, such devices are easy to build and have been around for a long time. They're basically a bigger version of the roadside bombs that have been used in Iraq since the beginning of the occupation and, in fact, have been used by terrorists, such as the Irish Republican Army, since about 1919.

* The allegation is that Iran is supplying Shiite militias which are using the bombs against U.S. troops. There is little doubt that the devices have indeed been used against American soldiers. There is no hard evidence that the Shiites are getting the bombs from Iran. Or, at least, despite the misleading headlines, no reporter has been shown hard evidence.

As several writers for thorough and thoughtful journals have pointed out, Saddam Hussein's arsenals were emptied by raiders within days of the U.S. invasion. Our military stupidly or deliberately failed to protect the armaments. The country is drowning in weapons and explosives. Further, any neighborhood arms dealer and chewing gum vendor – thousands of them work the Mideast – can come up with such weapons or the makings for such weapons for any buyer at any time.

* As even the Bush crowd and Pentagon must admit when asked plain questions, the vast majority of U.S. troops, and a majority of Iraqis, wounded or killed in Iraq have been the victims of Sunni, not Shiite, murderers. The Sunnis most certainly are not being supplied by Iran.

It is widely believed, and the Bush crowd has never flatly denied, that the Sunni killers in Iraq are getting major support, including most of their financing, from sympathizers and active allies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and other states “friendly to the United States.”

Of course, the rulers those countries, and especially Saudi Arabia, have close ties to the Bush family, Cheney and the rest of the Bush administration's oil industry buddies. George W. Bush holds hands with royal Saudis, he doesn't threaten them with American bombs.

Many reports by news agencies not owned by large U.S. corporations have reported that the Arab governments that are so cozy with the Bushes are fully aware of the help the Iraqi Sunnis are getting from within their countries. Though their outsized spy agencies miss nothing, they close their eyes and pretend they've seen nothing. Reason: Large majorities of their citizens are full of rage at the U.S. since the invasion of Iraq, and any attempt to interfere with the arms and money trafficking probably would lead to loss of their thrones.

In any case, you'll note that those Pentagon officials with no identities did not talk about Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt or others which ultimately are responsible for far more American deaths than is Iran, even if you believe the story about Iran providing bombs for Shia militias.

* Nobody from the White House or the Pentagon is eager to address this, but it is likely that more Americans in Iraq, and more Iraqis, are being killed by American-made weapons than by anything coming out of Iran. It's an open secret that many U.S. weapons (like American taxpayers' money) have been stolen, and unknown quantities also have been sold by crooked American military people and contractors without concern for how the weapons will be used.

* The weak and largely useless Iraq government is closely allied to the Shiite militias that are doing most of the killing and maiming of Americans in Iraq. For obvious political reasons – we're building a democracy there, you betcha – the Bush crowd essentially ignores that murderous alliance even as it creates fictions to justify an attack on Iran.

There are a number of other pieces to the Iraq/Iran/American story that honest and fair people must consider. Try these, for a start:

The United States still has by far the most deadly force in Iraq. It has on numerous occasions rained bombs on civilians – men, women and children – on the grounds that “suspected insurgents” “may be” in the areas bombed. Not identified insurgents, not known militia fighters, but “suspected insurgents.” And in some cases, the presence of even “suspects” was/is uncertain.

Is that the behavior of a civilized nation? And if some third country provides aid to natives of a country who are fighting foreign forces occupying their territory and bombing their towns, which country is engaged in criminal activity?

There's little doubt that a majority of Americans would say it's treason, or the next thing to it, to even think about such questions. And that is a symptom of our own national sickness.

Just one more thought:

It appears that Cheney, Bush and their insane but deadly neocon cell in the White House don't care that a potentially large majority of Americans will be against an attack on Iran.

The charade we're being forced to watch now is primarily for the administration's faithful followers, those who continue to believe in Bush as they believe in their (other) gods. The shows of nonevidence are meant to give those sad buggers something more to cling to in the face of unpleasant reality, and arguments to shout at Democrats and other sinners.

Bush & Co. figure a majority of Americans will tolerate whatever they do, however reluctantly, as soon as Americans are being fired at in Iran because, of course, we have to “support our troops.”