Thursday, April 07, 2005

Seymour Hersh and the Mythical 'Strike on Iran'

In the aftermath of Bush's 'reelection,' the Washington establishment were in need of a new causus belli -a new target for their unending war. Attention had to be shifted away from Iraq -where the U.S. forces were floundering.

That's when Seymour Hersh "uncovered" information about Bush plans to attack Iran. Soon after, the London Times chipped in -warning that Israel was preparing to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.

It was a perfect 'tough talk' gambit, which the Iranians rightly dismissed as psychological warfare designed to intimidate them. They were partly right. But the aim was to intimidate everybody!

A reality check would have revealed that the U.S. was logistically, militarily and politically sinking in the mire in Iraq -thus in no position to take on any new adventures. Which was precisely what the 'tough talk' bluster was designed to cover up.

It was laughable then, to see the Seymour Hersh 'exclusive' marketed to public opinion in the U.S. -like it was a real discovery of secret Bush plans. It was downright side-splitting to see a raft of gullible/useful left-wing commentators promoting this lie. And it was predictable that this nonsense was filtered through Seymour Hersh to lend it all an air of credibility.

Could Hersh really be so dumb as to fail to see he was being used? Was eyeryone else just as credulous? Or is it just that the CIA hacks outnumber semi-journalists by enough to guarantee these disinformation campaigns will always work?

Reality Check: Beware of unnamed 'sources.' A sizeable chunk of 'left-wing' commentators/journalists are (knowingly or unknowingly) regularly used to float these fabrications.

(See: Madsen's VoteFraud Tale Spin for a classic case)

After all that, here's an Asia Times piece outlining how the nuclear strike spin was clearly infeasible from the start:

The myth of an Israeli strike on Iran
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

BERLIN - There is much talk these days of an impending Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, fueled most recently by a London Times article indicating that the Israeli parliament had given the initial nod to the planned attack - to take care of what the Israeli politicians of various persuasions regularly describe as the "biggest existential threat" to the Jewish state.

Yet a careful examination of the various logistical, operational feasibility as well as geopolitical and regional aspects or consequences of this much-debated scenario leads us to the opposite conclusion, namely, the impractical and unworkable nature of the so-called "Osirak option", named after Israel's successful aerial bombardment of Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981....

Unfortunately, the high improbability of an Israeli operation against Iran through Turkey has consistently escaped the attention of Western media and the army of military and security pundits writing about this scenario. To give an example, in his recent book, The Persian Puzzle, Kenneth Pollock overlooks Turkey's unwillingness to accede to Israel's request when discussing the "Osirak option". Similarly, veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, in his New Yorker article on a similar subject, simply takes for granted that because of Turkey's close ties to both Israel and the US it could be a launching pad for military offensives against Iran's nuclear installations.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always distrusted Hersh since he did a hatchet job on JFK. Once you have done something like that, you have no credibility left anymore in my book.

1:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, he's not the only one saying it now....

3:19 am  

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