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January 11th
3:00 PM

Iran Hype undermined by Obama Administration Admissions

Juan Cole »

The announcement of the Iranian government that it will activate its Fordow nuclear enrichment site has predictably drawn forth a new round ofwar propaganda from the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In contrast, the Chinese media accurately report Iran’s affirmation that the new site will be subject to UN inspections and so is perfectly legal.

Ironically, what Clinton says is diametrically opposite from the repeated assurances given by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, that Iran is not trying to construct a nuclear warhead. True, he put it in a misleading way, saying that Iran
“is not yet building a bomb,” as though it is only a matter of time. But in order to build a bomb, Iran would have to deny access to UN inspectors and, well, initiate a program to build a bomb. That it has not done so is covered up in mainstream US political and journalistic discourse, to the point where the NYT had to apologize for stating (contrary to Panetta) that Iran has a nuclear weapons program (it does not, as far as anyone can tell).

And now, it turns out, the Obama administration is even willing to admit the truth. The sanctions regime on Iran is not even primarily about the civilian nuclear enrichment program (to which Iran has a right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), but about causing the regime to collapse.(Apparently the appearance in print with its admission of illegal motives provoked a sharp set of phone calls and a revision of the statement to merely a collapse of the nuclear program. I believe WaPo got it right the first time.)

I think blockading a civilian population for the purpose of instituting regime change in a state toward which no authorization of force has been issued by the UN Security Council may well be a war crime. Even advocating a war crime can under some circumstances be punishable, as happened at the Nuremberg trials.  >continue<

July 11th
1:45 PM
Part of a history quiz imagined by Roger Ailes from a 1971 thesis entitled &#8220;Candidate + Money + Media = Votes&#8221; from a dump of Nixon era documents unveiled by Gawker in Roger Ailes’ Secret Nixon-Era Blueprint for Fox News. Just before this, we have Ailes explaining:

The biggest problem today, I believe, is communication on all levels. Before print and before radio and television there was some excuse for this failure. Today there is none. And the self-perpetuating symptom of this disease is a completely negative attitude about ourselves and our system. America has a cancer. Cancer is usually fatal, but it doesn&#8217;t have to be if it is discovered and treated in time. Well gentlemen, we as a nation have it, we have positively identified it. There may be time, but our national life depends on our ability to use our technical knowledge to cure the ills of the country and upon our refusal to be caught up in this negative attitude about our system. In other words it must exhibit and communicate an unbending will to live. Without these things America will be nothing more than a history lesson in a student-run college of the twenty-first century.

Emphasis mine. If the constellation of evidence pointing to Fox news as a vanguard of GOP propaganda isn&#8217;t already clear, these early remarks appear to demonstrate a near evangelical verve &#8220;to translate the ideals&#8221; in combat with, as Agnew put it, the &#8220;nattering nabobs of negativism&#8221; and the &#8220;effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals&#8221;. The only thing that separates Ailes from the Diana Christensen in Network is that he believes in something. - CZ

Part of a history quiz imagined by Roger Ailes from a 1971 thesis entitled “Candidate + Money + Media = Votes” from a dump of Nixon era documents unveiled by Gawker in Roger Ailes’ Secret Nixon-Era Blueprint for Fox News. Just before this, we have Ailes explaining:

The biggest problem today, I believe, is communication on all levels. Before print and before radio and television there was some excuse for this failure. Today there is none. And the self-perpetuating symptom of this disease is a completely negative attitude about ourselves and our system. America has a cancer. Cancer is usually fatal, but it doesn’t have to be if it is discovered and treated in time. Well gentlemen, we as a nation have it, we have positively identified it. There may be time, but our national life depends on our ability to use our technical knowledge to cure the ills of the country and upon our refusal to be caught up in this negative attitude about our system. In other words it must exhibit and communicate an unbending will to live. Without these things America will be nothing more than a history lesson in a student-run college of the twenty-first century.

Emphasis mine. If the constellation of evidence pointing to Fox news as a vanguard of GOP propaganda isn’t already clear, these early remarks appear to demonstrate a near evangelical verve “to translate the ideals” in combat with, as Agnew put it, the “nattering nabobs of negativism” and the “effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals”. The only thing that separates Ailes from the Diana Christensen in Network is that he believes in something. - CZ