I had to write a paper on Iran yesterday, analyzing how different media sources portrayed the same current event and what that meant for understanding a non-transparent country like Iran.
I was sad with what I found. There is so much bias in the media, from all sides. The western media sources such as The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post, all showed Iran in such a negative light and only focused on any anti-US rhetoric Iran produced. Iranian news sources, of course, were pro-Iran and sharply in defense of Iranian policies. There were very few sources that painted a clear picture. (If you’re interested, The Tehran Bureau and insideIRAN were two good ones I found.)
It just saddens me because the media can give us opportunities for peaceful negotiation if just straight facts were reported. But instead, now we just have more reasons for confrontations resulting from poor communication and misunderstandings.
I would hate to think that a war with Iran would come out of just that. It’s just not worth it.
“red lines”(From the New York Times: U.S. Backers of Israel Pressure Obama Over Policy on Iran)
While defenders of Israel rally every year at the meeting of the pro-Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, this year’s gathering has been supercharged by a convergence of election-year politics, a deepening nuclear showdown and the often-fraught relationship between the president and the Israeli prime minister. Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu will both speak to the group, known as Aipac, as will the three leading Republican presidential candidates, who will appear via satellite from the campaign trail on the morning of Super Tuesday. Republicans have seized on Iran’s nuclear ambitions to accuse Mr. Obama of being weak in backing a staunch ally and in confronting a bitter foe.
The pressure from an often-hostile Congress is also mounting. A group of influential senators, fresh from a meeting with Mr. Netanyahu in Jerusalem, has called on Mr. Obama to lay down sharper criteria, known as “red lines,” about when to act against Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
To counter Aipac’s message, J Street has circulated a video on Capitol Hill, highlighting American and Israeli military experts who have voiced doubts about the efficacy of a strike on Iran.
“We are saying there needs to be time for enhanced sanctions and diplomacy to work,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street. “We’re trying to calm down the drumbeat of war.”
“...three and a half years after George W. Bush left office, his successor continues to insist that Iran surrender to Washington’s diktats or face attack. By doing so, Obama is locking America into a path that is increasingly likely to result in yet another U.S.-initiated war in the Middle East during the first years of the next presidential term. And the damage that war against Iran will inflict on America’s strategic position could make the Iraq debacle look trivial by comparison. ”—Hillary Mann Leverett and Flynt Leverett
Clearing some things up
I’ve been hearing claims that Iran is building a nuclear program. A lot of people are saying this is 2003 all over again-this is exactly what Bush did with Iraq, they say. Others are saying a nuclear Iran is a threat and there’s hints at military action against Iran to prevent this.
I’m in the middle on this issue. First, Iran is building a nuclear program. NATO report stating Iran is building a nuclear program here: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/world/2011/IAEA-Nov-2011-Report-Iran.pdf
It’s reported Iran says their nuclear program is for electricity production. Source:http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/iran/nuclear_program/index.html
From what I’ve read, Iran doesn’t seem to be hiding its nuclear program, so to say they’re not and it’s all war propaganda is to live in denial.
Before assuming I’m saying “Iran’s building nuclear weapons! Stop them by all means necessary!” hear me out. Iran may be honest and may be having a nuclear build up for energy purposes. Or they may be building nuclear weapons. But if they are building nuclear weapons, what does that mean?
This is a text book security dilemma- maybe Iran isn’t planning an attack, but is trying to feel more secure. It may sound naive, but with so many countries having nuclear weapons, it’d make sense to build up their own.
This is what I’ve been getting at, and could’ve said from the start but would’ve nothing to support my stance: Iran is increasing its nuclear capabilities, unlike Iraq circa 2003. It’s unclear if this proliferation is for peace or military, but neither are justifications for military action. The US can’t afford more war, and I never like pre-emptive military action.
PS: While researching this, I found that the US has put themselves in another situation where globalization and alliances have bit them in the ass. Like supplying weapons during the Cold War to the same people the US is now trying to combat, the US helped Iran build a nuclear program until 1979.
Iran’s nuclear program started with the support, encouragement and participation of the United States, …
At a time when Iran’s nuclear program is portrayed as an imminent threat, its interesting to see that the program actually started long ago, with the support and participation of the same countries that today insist Iran abandon its nuclear program.