Saturday, August 26, 2006

Scott Simon's Incredible Shrinking Memory

Today Scott Simon talks to Mike Schuster about events in Iran (particularly the opening of a new nuclear heavy-water facility in Iran). Simon asks Schuster, "Help us remember how we got this far?" That is a great question, but guess how far back Schuster and Simon take us--5 years, 20 years, 50 years? No, just back to the "European" proposal in June...of this year!

Here's a little history lesson for the memory challenged at NPR--a few places that the story of Iran's quest for nuclear weapons might begin: the beginnings of Israel's quest for nuclear weapons (1948!), the overthrow of the democratic government of Iran (1953), or the revelation that Israel possessed a substantial nuclear arsenal (1986), or journalist Seymour Hersh's expose on Israel's nuclear policies (1991).

All right, maybe I'm expecting a bit much to think that NPR might go back as far as 1991! Well, the story could have even picked up at a two more recent dates to help explain why Iran might be pursuing nuclear arms (or might be demanding security guarantees and a declaration of its "right" to enrich uranium.) The story might have begun with Bush's threatening "Axis of Evil" speech of 2002 -- at a time when the political movement in Iran was toward moderation and reapproachment. Lastly the story could have begun with the Iranian offer in 2003 to put all its cards on the table and make a deal that would have included recognition of Israel, cutting ties to Hezbollah, etc.

One can see that to begin the story at any of these points in history actually puts the story in a more meaningful context--and puts US policy toward Iran in a far less favorable light: something NPR seems to be incapable of doing.

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