Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Iran War talk

Not satisfied with the disaster known as the Iraq War, the neocons and assorted other warmongers want to attack Iran and create an even bigger disaster for US foreign policy.

The latest flurry of Iran War propaganda came with the recent report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquartered in Vienna. Seymour Hersh, who has been doing great reporting on this for years, addresses the latest IEAE report in Iran and the I.A.E.A. New Yorker 11/18/2011:

The new report ... leaves us where we've been since 2002, when George Bush declared Iran to be a member of the Axis of Evil—with lots of belligerent talk but no definitive evidence of a nuclear-weapons program.
He includes an important bit of information on the current management of the IAEA:

The shift in tone at the I.A.E.A. seems linked to a change at the top. The I.A.E.A.’s report had extra weight because the Agency has had a reputation for years as a reliable arbiter on Iran. Mohammed ElBaradei, who retired as the I.A.E.A.'s Director General two years ago, was viewed internationally, although not always in Washington, as an honest broker — a view that lead to the awarding of a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. ElBaradei's replacement is Yukiya Amano of Japan. Late last year, a classified U.S. Embassy cable from Vienna, the site of the I.A.E.A. headquarters, described Amano as being "ready for prime time." According to the cable, which was obtained by WikiLeaks, in a meeting in September, 2009, with Glyn Davies, the American permanent representative to the I.A.E.A., said, "Amano reminded Ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77 [the group of developing countries], which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program." The cable added that Amano's "willingness to speak candidly with U.S. interlocutors on his strategy ... bodes well for our future relationship."

Part of the mainstream US press dissing of Wikileaks was the claim that none of the information they are leaking is particularly important. Actually, there have been important leaks, including this one. It would be a shame if Wikileaks gets shut down, because they are doing investigative reporting that much of the Establishment press in the US is unwilling to do.

Our US national press really makes you wonder how much people can or do actually learn from history. Even recent history. As Glenn Greenwald puts it (The media and Iran: familiar mindlessness Salon 11/22/2011):

The lesson supposedly learned by the U.S. establishment media from the Iraq debacle was the danger of relying on anonymous government sources to disseminate unverified fear-mongering accusations. Rather obviously, no such lesson has been learned, as this continues to be the primary reporting method for accusing the Supreme Hitlers of the Moment — Iran — of anything and everything the U.S. Government can dream up.
Gareth Porter adds some information relative to the report in Former Weapons Inspector: Iran Does Not Have Nuclear Weapons Test Chamber Alternet 11/20/2011. Gareth also links to this interview with nuclear engineer Robert Kelley of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), who has been an IAEA inspector by The Real News Network, Former IAEA Inspector: Misleading Iran report proves nothing 11/14/2011:

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