Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Source Of Bush's Delusion

By Cernig

Both the WaPo and McClatchy have noticed that Dubya erroneously claimed that Iran had said that it wants "to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people” (Dubya's words).

The claim came in an interview with Radio Farda in which Bush also acknowledged Iran's right to have a peaceful nuclear program, but said he wanted Iran to entirely outsource its enrichment to Russia. Iran has rejected this approach mainly because of Russia's track record in using energy supplies to hold customer nations hostage on political matters.
Bush cited his "belief that the Iranians should have a civilian nuclear-power program. It's in their right to have it." But he added: "The problem is that the [Iranian] government cannot be trusted to enrich uranium because, one, they've hidden programs in the past and they may be hiding one now -- who knows? And secondly, they've declared they want to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people -- some -- in the Middle East."

Iran has consistently said that its uranium-enrichment program is aimed only at producing energy, but the United States and some allies fear Iran is seeking the capability to develop nuclear weapons.

"There's a chance that the U.S. and Iran can reconcile their differences, but the government is going to have to make different choices," Bush said. "And one [such choice] is to verifiably suspend the enrichment of uranium, at which time there is a way forward."

The UN Security Council has passed three rounds of sanctions against Iran in an effort to pressure Tehran to halt its enrichment activities.

"What is acceptable to me is to work with a nation like Russia to provide the fuel so that the plant can go forward, which therefore shows that the Iranian government doesn't need to learn to enrich [uranium]," Bush said.
So where is Bush getting this delusion that Iran has said it wants a nuke? Look no further than the influential neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, which has constantly banged the drum for war with Iran. Over at National Review's "Corner" blog today, Michael Rubin - a resident scholar in foreign and defense policy studies at AEI - cites....Michael a source for such claims.

On examination, too, one of Rubin's key sources in his self-referenced article for the AIE turns out to be an Iranian Hezboullah hardliner arguing against then-President Rafsanjani, telling him what he should be doing but isn't. Another is by the Daily Telegraph's neocon serial fabulist Phil Sherwell and although Rubin says the cleric involved later "backtracked", what actually happened is that the cleric said he'd been outrageously misquoted and denied ever making the statement Sherwell claimed.

Self-reference and the misuse of sources can be bad blogging - but coming from a highly influential warmonger like Rubin who's scholarship has been questioned in the past - for not revealing his involvement in Bush administration propaganda efforts in Iraq - they are positively dangerous. With such organisations as the AIE and the Heritage Foundation feeding him their highly-spun version of events and issues, Bush is living in a reality of their making. Thus comes the source of his delusion.

No comments: