Corporate media features serial liars and pundits paid by the weapons industry to discuss the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist and Defense Minister Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Dan Cohen examines the propaganda campaign to drum up support for a war against Iran.
The Trump administration committed another act of war against Iran, and like every U.S. war in the modern era, it began with a lie: that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. It’s a total falsehood we’ve heard get repeated again and again throughout mainstream media and from pundits who personally profit from U.S. aggression.
Jack Keane, who once proclaimed, “Iran with nuclear weapons and missiles that deliver them is absolutely a bonafide existential threat to Israel,” has a cozy relationship with the MEK, an Iranian exile cult that has assassinated Iranian scientists itself and who the U.S. government had listed as a terrorist group until recently. It’s no secret that the MEK pays U.S. officials to advocate on its behalf. Keane is the chairman of the Institute for the Study of War – a think tank funded by arms manufacturers like Raytheon and General Dynamics, which paid Keane more than $200,000 dollars in 2018 alone.
Then there’s the uber-hawkish human walrus John Bolton. Bolton was on the payroll of the MEK too, but CNN didn’t bother to mention that, nor that Bolton famously told a fawning audience at an MEK rally, “that’s why before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran. Thank you very much!”
It’s not just right-wing fanatics paid by the MEK that are lying about Iranian weapons capabilities. It’s also respectable liberal media outlets.
Sonam Sheth, a political correspondent at Business Insider covering national security issues told MSNBC that, “it’s very unlikely that his [Mohsen Fakhrizadeh] assassination is going to impede Iran’s efforts to continue its producing nuclear weapons.”
ABC News also presented the allegation of an Iranian nuclear weapons program as an undisputed fact, describing Fakhrizadeh simply as, “The scientist believed to be the mastermind behind Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program.” “Believed to be” – what an interesting term. It was used over and over in coverage of the assassination of Fakhrizadeh. Who exactly is doing the believing here?
The New York Times described the operation as being carried out by “U.S. and Israeli intelligence,” which the so-called paper of record said, “are known for their upstanding behavior and honesty.”
A broken record
Remember when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swore that Saddam Hussein was developing nuclear weapons? “There is no question, whatsoever, that Saddam is seeking and is working, and is advancing towards the development of nuclear weapons. No question whatsoever,” he said in 2002 testimony to Congress.
Whatever happened to those anyway?
George Bush, too, proclaimed that “Those weapons of mass destruction gotta be somewhere.” At the very same hearing pushing for U.S. war on Iraq, he said “Iran was developing nuclear weapons too.”
Of course, all of these outlets conveniently ignore the statement from then-top intelligence official Dan Coats that “we do not believe Iran is currently undertaking the key activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device.” Because that would undermine the drive to war.
But don’t worry. Biden isn’t like Trump. He’s one of the adults in the room. And he’s surrounded by seasoned diplomats who have made it clear they’ll return to the Iran deal that stupid Trump tore up, right? Wrong.
Biden’s secretary of state Tony Blinken said this, “If Iran returns to compliance with the nuclear agreement, we would do the same. But then we would use that as a platform to try to, working with our allies and partners, to try to strengthen and lengthen it.”
And then there’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan, who said Biden would return to the JCPOA (Iran deal) if Iran “returns to compliance… and is prepared to advance good-faith negotiations on these follow-on agreements.”
So Biden’s Iran policy is basically just Trump lite. But that’s not terribly surprising when you examine his top foreign policy advisor’s record. Jake Sullivan is a favorite of the Foundation of Defense For Democracies, the neoconservative think tank funded by top Trump donor and ultra-zionist Sheldon Adelson which an Israeli official described as acting on its behalf. The FDD crafted Trump’s maximum pressure strategy to achieve regime change in Iran.
So even if Biden doesn’t go to war with Iran, he’s not projecting any desire for real diplomacy or de-escalation of hostilities. He hasn’t even said he’ll lift the crippling sanctions the Trump administration leveled. And what happens when the next administration decides it wants full-on war with Iran?
Just because Trump is out, don’t think for a second that the U.S. is going to fundamentally change. The U.S. is gearing up for war a catastrophic war on Iran, even if Biden doesn’t authorize he’s not going to prevent his successor from doing it.
Feature photo | Graphic by Antonio Cabrera for MintPress News
Dan Cohen is a journalist and filmmaker. He has produced widely distributed video reports and print dispatches from across Israel-Palestine. Dan is a correspondent at RT America and tweets at @DanCohen3000.