Saturday, February 03, 2007

Iranian Tentacles

Listening to NPR of late I wouldn't be surprised if they told us that the Iranians were behind the deadly tornadoes that hit Florida on Friday. The saturation of the Iranian boogeyman on NPR is really astounding - and sadly reminiscent of the 2002-03 run-up to the Iraq invasion.

I mistakenly thought that Friday evening's piece on Arab heroes of the Holocaust might actually be a thought provoking, interesting piece...alas it turned out to be yet another bash Iran story. If I had known who Robert Satloff - the man being interviewed - was, I wouldn't have been surprised. Robert Satloff is an "expert" from the AIPAC founded, pro-Zionist Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). This is a man who has written, in all seriousness, "[Ariel] Sharon has already accomplished more than enough to earn a place among Israel's giants."

The heart of the interview came after Siegel asked Satloff to compare his State Department speaking tour with Iran's recent Holocaust Denial conference. Satloff responded:
"Yes, I think that there is a fundamental connection here. Sunni Arab leaders, Sunni Arab intelligentsia are apoplectic about the rise of Iranian, and more generally Shiite influence that they see throughout the Middle East. They fear that the Iranians have their tentacles out and that they are spreading their influence, and they fear the United States is receding and they are begging the United States, 'Help the Sunni Arabs combat the spread of Shiia radicalism'..."

Now by itself this would be bad enough, but consider the NPR context in which this report is aired: earlier in the day on Morning Edition Mary Louise Kelly, reporting on the grim National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) for Iraq, states, "...and it also talks a little bit about the role that Iran is playing. It says that Iran is making the situation worse, what we don’t know is quite how much detail the estimate provides on the role that Iran is playing..."

Then in another report on Morning Edition, Iran is blamed for the armed violence between Fatah and Hamas in the Occupied Territories. Renee Montagne says to Linda Gradstein, "And Linda, in the middle of all this, Fatah is saying that they've arrested seven Iranian weapons experts working for the ruling Hamas party. They arrested them, they say, in Gaza. Tell us that story."

Gradstein dutifully responds, "Yes, Fatah officials say that they raided the Islamic University, which is a Hamas stronghold, late last night, and that they found eight Iranian weapons experts and that one of the men committed suicide rather than be captured. Israel radio, also quoting Fatah, said at least some of the men were chemical experts."

I wonder if these chemical experts drove into Gaza in those amazing Winnebagos of Death that went missing in Iraq?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I just listened to the re-airing of the interview today.

Found your site off of the Source Watch entry for Satloff

-J Orvis