Eric Westervelt does Strangelove this morning on NPR. Given that fear-mongering, cherry-picking, lies, and half-truths helped launch the disaster of the Iraq War, you'd think NPR might not buy into a new round of the same to help launch the sequel in Iran. No chance. Like Fox News, NPR is selling an attack on Iran. Click on the "Iran" label below to see other posts on NPR's shameful track record.
In case you don't know that you are supposed to be in panic mode about evil Iran, Montagne sets the stage: "nowhere is the alarm and concern about Iran's nuclear program and growing regional clout more acute than Israel. On several occasions Iran's president has called for Israel to be eliminated."
This junk about "eliminating Israel" is fear-mongering simplification- and NPR turns to it again and again. Take a look at Ahmadinejad's most inflammatory rhetoric on the ADL site. Is he extreme and undiplomatic? I think so. Is he narrow-minded and wrong about the Holocaust? I think so. But does he call for the elimination of Israel, wiping Israel off the map, or attacking Israel?...hardly. He obviously hates the ideology of Zionism and wants it to end. Nothing terribly surprising about that. Hating Zionism, like hating communism, capitalism or imperialism may be contentious, but it is a legitimate position to hold. People can hotly denounce (or defend) Zionism without being genocidal.
In the report Westervelt turns to an Israeli hair salon operator (!) for over a minute of "analysis." This Tel Aviv resident says, "Iran is different because they [are] fanatics; they think that the Muslims have to rule all the world. It's a bit crazy."
As in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion, fear mongering would be weak without the threat of the mushroom cloud. Westervelt tells us, "Israeli military intelligence estimates, that if left unchecked, Iran will master the nuclear fuel cycle and begin producing nuclear weapons in as few as three years." He mentions that "the American estimate is...6 to 8 years."
Westervelt fully accepts the position that Iran is a major threat and weighs in on strong sanctions by noting, "but will strong sanctions prove painful enough to get Tehran to back down?"
So what should the US do? Westervelt brings up Israel's earlier airstrikes against a perceived threat: "In 1981 Israel successfully launched a preemptive airstrike on Iraq's nuclear reactor at Osirak south of Baghdad - dealing a major blow to Saddam Hussein's nuclear ambitions." Really, if there were any accountability, Westervelt would get fired for just this kind of stupid journalism. Successful? By what standards? Many experts and people involved in that situation argue that the Osirak attack spurred Iraq's nuclear programs.
The report ends with the briefest mention that some in Israel are calling for dialogue with Iran, but that is quickly dismissed by an unnamed Israeli diplomat who, according to Westervelt, said "There is nothing to talk about."