It may be a new month, but it's the same old Wall Street Journal trumpeting
the latest US gambit designed to hide its real intentions toward Iran. Again
it was in a front page feature story on June 1 headlined: "In Shift, U.S.
Offers to Talk to Iran, Aiming to Bolster Allies' Cohesion." The WSJ is
never up to explaining the real motive behind the latest ploy and instead falsely
claims it's "a nod to European allies' desire to offer carrots as well
as sticks to steer Iran away from its efforts to produce weapons-grade uranium."
So to achieve that supposed end, the US has now said it will join with the European-led
"negotiations" currently ongoing and actually talk to the Iranians.
One has to be impressed with such professed generosity, which, in fact, is just
more barely disguised US audacity with a heavy dose of mendacity.
Don't be misled and believe this is a genuine step forward as surely it's not.
It's simply just the latest ploy and example of US deceit designed to solidify
support among its European allies as well as try to convince the Chinese and
Russians to come aboard. It's unlikely they will as those two countries would
have a lot to lose should they agree to what the US, in fact, has in mind which
has nothing to do with Iran's legal right to enrich uranium for its commercial
nuclear program. The Iranians are a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty (NPT) and under its rules are behaving in full compliance with it and
doing so no differently than all other countries that have signed it and have
their own nuclear reactors for commercial use.
The Real US Intentions Toward Iran Unreported in the Wall Street Journal
and the Rest of the Dominant Corporate Media
So if the latest diplomatic effort is, in fact, couched in deceit, what are
the real US intentions. The best way to explain it is to examine the recent
past and show how the US public face and pronouncements usually hide its real
motives and plans which are quite different and not at all in the spirit of
diplomacy. They're also never reported on the pages of the WSJ or elsewhere
in the US corporate media.
We need only revisit the run-up to the ongoing Iraq war (the same is true for
Afghanistan) to see how the US used one ploy after another to move closer to
its fixed plan to invade and occupy the country whatever Saddam was willing
to agree to. So after Saddam bowed to virtually everything asked of him, it
was to no avail. New demands replaced the old ones complied with until the bar
was raised higher than Saddam could reach hard as he might try - to be able
to prove a negative: that he had no so-called "weapons of mass destruction"
which we knew at the time he didn't and now everyone knows it. So just as the
"now you see 'em, now you don't WMDs" were not a casus belli to attack
Iraq, so too US hostility toward Iran has nothing to do with the country's supposed
"nuclear threat." In both cases, the issue was and is regime change
and the US wanting control of both countries' immense oil reserves.
One more example is how the US negotiated with Slobodon Milosovic in the run-up
to the "shock and awe" assault against Serbia and Kosovo in 1999.
While Saddam was accused of being a threat he couldn't disprove, Milosovic was
offered a final proposal he couldn't accept - an ironic twist to how a local
"Godfather" will make an offer that can't be refused. It was the so-called
Rambouillet accords of March, 1999, a take-it-or-leave-it offer that no sane
or responsible leader would ever agree to. Had he done it, he'd have surrendered
his country's sovereignty to a NATO military occupation force that would have
had the right to unimpeded access throughout the FRY including its airspace
and territorial waters and use any area or facilities therein to support its
operations. In addition, it would have had the right to do as it wished with
no regard to the country's laws and would require the FRY to adhere to NATO's
full authority. It was an offer deliberately designed to be rejected to give
the US-led NATO force an excuse to attack, which it did in full force for 79
days, decimating the country, its infrastructure, its people and from which
it's yet to recover seven years later.
The war had nothing to do with Milosevic's supposed recalcitrance, and everything
to do with US imperial aims - to breakup the country, remove a leader who refused
to sell out his nation's sovereignty, establish a US military presence in the
region and facilitate the transshipment of oil and gas through pipelines that
would pass through the Balkans. The WSJ never reported this and neither did
the rest of the corporate media.
To offer closure to the Milosevic chapter, the WSJ posted a front page four-line
statement on June 1 from the Hague inquiry into his death. In it, it simply
said he died from a fatal heart attack brought on by "smoking and self-medication,"
not the UN's refusing him treatment in Russia. Even in death, the NATO-created
kangaroo International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) wouldn't
let him rest in peace and instead refused to acknowledge its own role in causing
Milosevic's death. It was the court that created the conditions that worsened
his health and then denied him the right to the medical treatment he sought
and needed. Milosevic clearly died either from gross neglect or from something
So now we can fast-forward to the present as the US casts its imperial eye
on Iran which is at the head of its target queue along with Venezuela to be
discussed below. The Wall Street Journal was in full battle mode on June 1 both
on its front and editorial page lashing out at Iran's mullahs but not particularly
supporting the administration's effort. The editorial page is especially truculent
and painful to read except for those who love far right ideology with no give
at all to more moderate views. Today it states that the US "offer has one
big virtue: ending the three-year pretense that the so-called EU 3 - Britain,
France and Germany - had any chance of ending Iran's nuclear ambitions."
It then goes on to say "Condi's gambit could help to expose Iran's real
intentions should it refuse to negotiate seriously." The Journal editorial
writers especially never miss a chance to take a swipe at the Iranian leadership,
and in this editorial lashed out with a whole array of them. I'm still reeling
from the impact, but when they calmed down a bit they added: "We suppose
it would serve Mr. Burns (US Undersecretary of State) right if he has to negotiate
with this zealot (Iranian President Ahmadinejad), except that the entire State
Department seems almost as zealous in its pursuit of any kind of deal."
There's even more from a none too happy Journal editorial writer: "Perhaps
the most dispiriting part of this new diplomacy is the signal it will send to
Iran's internal opposition. The regime is widely unpopular, but it will use
this implicit U.S. recognition to show that it has earned new world respect.
It will also demand that the U.S. cease its support for 'democrats' inside the
country.....We hope Mr. Bush has vetoed that kind of 'appeasement.' We hope,
too, that he'll continue to put pressure on the mullahs by interdicting Iranian
'terror' financing, and shipping under the Proliferation Security Initiative,
where warranted." They wrap up their savage invective by accusing Iran
(with no evidence, of course,) of a "relentless drive for a nuclear weapon"
and then taking a final jab at Ms. Rice saying if her gambit fails "she'll
have succeeded mainly in giving the mullahs more time to become a terrorist
nuclear power." I need to catch my breath.
The WSJ is accusing Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons and by implication
an intent to use them. It hardly matters to its editorial writer that there
is no evidence whatever Iran is doing anything illegal or that it ever suggested
it intends to use a nuclear weapon if it ever had one. As stated above, Iran
is in full compliance with NPT and is entirely within its legal right to pursue
its commercial nuclear program. It's uranium enrichment activities are no different
than what all other countries are now doing that have their own commercial nuclear
programs including India, Pakistan and Israel. Those countries are close US
allies, they've all got illegal nuclear weapon stockpiles, they're all in violation
of NPT rules and haven't signed the treaty, and the US has no fault to find
with them. Double standards never get in the way of US foreign policy and are
never mentioned on the pages of the Wall Street Journal. It's also never mentioned
that since Persia was renamed Iran in 1934, the country never initiated a hostile
action against a neighbor or any other country. It fought a long and costly
war against Iraq in the 1980s after Iraq began it and did so with strong US
urging and support.
The Journal also failed to report today that for years Iran has sought rapprochement
with the US and has made numerous offers of reconciliation to achieve it. They
were all rebuffed as the US since the 1980s had a firm policy of rejecting any
normalization of relations with Iran and never deviated from it. Throughout
that period and especially under the Bush administration, the US without compromise
wants nothing other than regime change, the end of an Islamic Iranian state,
and the transformation of the country to one totally under US control (as it
was under the infamous Shah from 1953 to 1979) along with all other oil producers
in the strategically important Middle East.
You'll never learn than on the pages of the Wall Street Journal, particularly
from its far right hostile to reason editorial page. Nor will you learn the
Bush administration has already signed off on a "shock and awe" assault
against Iran using so-called "bunker-buster" mini-nukes I've written
about before. I've called these industrial strength nuclear bombs that are anything
but mini and that will spread deadly toxic radiation over a vast area depending
only on how many of them may be used against whatever targets the US has in
mind if it launches an attack. Based on the May 31 Rice proposal, the US may
first prefer moving incrementally against Iran by imposing tough economic sanctions
prior to launching an attack at a later time. It's hardly likely the Iranians
will accept the US overture as it demands they give up their legal right to
develop their commercial nuclear program which they've stated many times they
have no intention of doing. So far the Iranian response has been less than positive
and some in the country have called it propaganda. I prefer calling it what
it is - another Washington stunt or head fake designed to make the administration
look conciliatory when, in fact, its real intentions are unalterably hostile.
In a late development on June 2, the foreign ministers of the five permanent
members of the UN Security Council plus Germany meeting in Vienna announced
they had reached an agreement on a (so far unrevealed) "package of incentives"
to Iran if it was willing to give up its (legal) right to enrich uranium for
its commercial nuclear program. It stated further if Iran declined to do so
(which it no doubt will), the Security Council will take further (unspecified)
What Else Is the Wall Street Journal Not Reporting
You'll also never learn about the Pentagon's "long war" from the
WSJ that Washington believes will dominate the next 20 or even 30 years. The
Pentagon calls it a global integrated military, financial and diplomatic war
against al-Qaida and its affiliates that will affect the next generation as
the "cold war" defined the baby boomers. It laid all this out in its
latest Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). This is to be part of what the Bush
administration calls a "global war on terror" which, by implication,
is a war on Islam. It's also defined as a long war between the forces of civilization
and democracy against the terrorists. What it is, in fact, is a 20 or 30 year
grand imperial plan for US global dominance to be enforced with unchallengeable
military power. It's the vision first detailed in 1997 by the neoconservative
Project for a New American Century (PNAC) that's now become policy.
The PNAC plan began in Afghanistan and Iraq, is likely next to include hostile
action against Iran, and if that isn't enough will also for certain include
a fourth attempt to oust Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and possibly Bolivian
President Evo Morales with him. I've written in some detail about this before,
and as I follow events in Venezuela and listen to the belligerent rhetoric from
high level officials in the Bush administration it becomes even clearer something
is brewing and may unfold sooner than one might think.
Yesterday classes at the University of the Andes were suspended again as student
disturbances and protests continued in Merida (in the country's southwest) for
the fourth straight business day. The Venezuelan daily, El Mundo, reported similar
actions were taking place at other universities with a possible student national
demonstration and march across the country to follow. Government officials called
these actions a deliberate provocation to destabilize the country and do it
to embarrass and discredit the Chavez government as it hosts the 141st Extraordinary
OPEC Conference in Caracas from June 1 - 3. It likely is and with the US CIA
the main instigator using Venezuela proxies to do its dirty work. It may also
be further softening up and marshalling of the anti-Chavez forces preparatory
to the US initiating its fourth coup attempt which this time may include a military
assault and attempted assassination of Hugo Chavez and other close allies. Events
unfolding now bear close watching, and the Chavez government must stay on high
alert lest it let its guard down and fall prey to the certain coming US assault
against it. The stakes are very high for the President and the people of Venezuela.
It's their right to preserve their glorious Bolivarian Revolution now in place
and be able to see it grow, spread and be secure from any hostile action against
it. This writer makes no pretense in my being in full support of that hope and
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.