Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Economist editorial "The Riddle of Iran" --Why was it Written?

The Economist editorial "The Riddle of Iran" --Why was it Written?

William O. Beeman

The mystery of the Economist "editorial" about Iran, entitled "The Riddle of Iran" is why it was written at all, and why now? The editorial once again attacks Iran for its nuclear development program. It contains absolutely nothing new--nothing that was not already in the press and in the editorial pages a year ago or more. It gives prominence to the demagoguery of likely future Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, spouting the same anti-Iranian rhetoric he has been pushing on Fox News for the past two years. It also contains the same falsehoods about the illegality of Iranian actions under the NPT. However, the Economist employs a trick that the New York Times and others have used. They get away with publishing outright untruths, but in an editorial, where it is "opinion" and not news reporting. The underlying "special report" referred to in the editorial is also dismally stale, containing nothing at all of note, except to advertise that the American Enterprise Institute is trying to publicize companies who are doing business with Iran in some vain hope that Washington might somehow find a way to enforce the economic sanctions against Iran, the better to generate some minimal pressure on the Iranian leadership. The sanctions are foolish and unworkable, but presenting a picture where all is copasetic is the White House line, lest they endure another dismal and embarrassing failure of strategy. We had Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman in a speech here in the Twin Cities recently, accompanied by AIPAC Handlers (who reportedly sponsored the event) giving exactly the same talk to a pre-selected audience--"the economic sanctions are working, Iran is feeling the pain, etc.". Of course it is nonsense. It is wearying to hear the same tripe over and over again, and surprising in the extreme to see such a respected journal as The Economist joining in--especially with a cover story no less with virtually no news inside. But every time these lies are repeated, it makes me fearful that the administration hawks and the neocons are on a tear to soften up the American public for their cherished military strike.

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