Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bush Telegraph - Let's Blitz Iran Now!

I'm still playing the parlor game of "spot the Pentagon's planted news stories" and today is the easiest day so far - look no further than three linked stories in the UK's highly rightwing newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, as they channel Pentagon and White House insiders and call it journalism.

Con Coughlin, the paper's Defence and Security Editor is in Washington and begins the ventroloquism with a piece entitled "Iran plant 'has restarted its nuclear bomb-making equipment'". With a title like that, you would expect some attribution for the quote that makes up most of it, but no, there is no such quote in the body of the text. One is left wondering who said such a thing and on what evidence. Well, one is left wondering if one isn't the kind of doddering old "little England" fogey who makes up the Torygraph's main demographic at least.

The article then goes on to cite "Western intelligence" as they tell tales of Iran's exclusion of IAEA inspectors that carefully omit any reference to Iran's only cutting back on areas it had volunteered to in excess of those required by the IAEA and international law. It ends with:
However, a senior Western intelligence official said: "Iran's recent activity is a clear escalation of its attempts to enrich uranium to weapons grade. With the UN inspectors out of the way they are basically free to do as they please."
The IAEA obviously doesn't think so as it is still sending inspectors and saying they are making progress so which "Western intelligence" agency wants us to think progress on inspections is over? Well, Coughlin is in Washington so I somehow don't think its the French, German or British agancies...

Next up comes long time Defense Dept. mouthpiece Philip Sherwell, also in Washington. Sherwell has the tale of the Bush League's readiness to blitz Iran using B2 stealth bombers and sub-launched missiles. Want to bet he and Coughlin attended the same briefing from "anonymous sources"? Anonymous sources able to tell him that "Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation, the Sunday Telegraph has learnt.They are reporting to the office of Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary... "

Then we're back to Con Coughlin, still in Washington, as he tells us "Bush knows that America needs its friends" and that creating a coalition of the willing over Iran has been aided by the departure of neocon hawks like Sherwell's pal Paul Wolfowitz. The article begins and ends with two paragraphs which are startling in their cognitive disonance:
When it comes to dealing with the threat posed by Iran's nuclear programme, the Bush administration is prepared to take a far more measured - some would say mature - approach to coalition-building than was obvious during the build-up to the Iraq war.

...For the moment the President is prepared to indulge in "jaw, jaw", in the knowledge that unless there is a radical change of heart in Teheran in the next few months, he will have no alternative other than to resort to military action.
Although how anyone not on meds could call resorting to a disasterous military option "mature", after only waiting a token "few months" when even the dangermongers admit to a ten year timeline, beggars belief.

So there you have it. The Pantagon and White House don't have to pay to get their propoganda printed wholesale in major newspapers abroad or at home. They need only give exhaustive briefings of their narrative time and again to lazy or ideologically driven journalists who long ago became corrupted into taking these briefings by "unnamed sources" as gospel. The laziness of the mainstream media by not looking beyond the official pap does the rest.

No comments: