Knight-Ridden and New York Times Beat the War Drums

February 16th, 2006 - by admin

Iron Clay / Uruknet & Mike Whitney / ICH – 2006-02-16 09:18:46

Iran: Knight-Ridder Bangs the War Drums
Iron Clay /

“…it could just as easily be argued that an Iranian nuclear bomb would stabilize the region by putting limits on Israel’s ability to act unilaterally in using nuclear weapons, as it has threatened to do.”

(February 13, 2005) — Knight-Ridder newspapers are out with a major article on Iranian nuclear activities; it’s splashed all over page 3A of today’s San Jose Mercury News, complete with ominous maps showing the alleged range of Iran’s Shahab missiles (being sure to note that “American troops in the region” are at risk, naturally without asking the question of what those troops are doing there in the first place), ominous “Colin Powell at the UN”-style aerial photos showing alleged underground buildings (quite a trick in an aerial photo) and alleged “dummy buildings covering the entrance to an underground truck road” (again, quite a deduction from an aerial photo). Here’s the article’s lead sentence:

Tehran’s insistence on enriching uranium could destabilize a volatile region, wreak havoc on energy markets and bring nuclear weapons to an Islamic theocracy.

Throughout the article, which is more than a thousand words long, there is not one word to indicate that enriched uranium is used in nuclear power plants; it is simply assumed that “Tehran’s insistence on enriching uranium” is due to an intent to build a bomb. Iran’s denial that it has any such intent? Never mentioned in the article.

And the “options” which the article lays out for the “international community” to “deal” with Iraq? Sanctions, “beef up treaty” (“significantly increase the diplomatic costs of Iraq ever deploying nuclear weapons,” whatever that means), “strengthen regional defenses,” “bypass the Persian Gulf” (meaning take Saudi Arabian oil by a different route), and military strikes.

There are five options, some of them peaceful, so why did I title this post “Knight-Ridder bangs the war drums”? Because the entire thrust of this article is to convince the American people that there is a “problem” that “we” have to “deal with.” Which, in the end, is quite likely to mean war of some kind, a war which articles like this will have pre-conditioned the American people to accept and support.

I mentioned that there is no clue in this article that enriched uranium is used in nuclear power plants and not just in nuclear bombs. There’s another subject missing from the article, and if anything it’s even more astonishing than that. The word “Israel” does not appear in this article. How bizarre is that?

Here’s one quote from the article: “Arab states also will have to worry that Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons will embolden Tehran to revert to a more aggressive foreign policy.” Arab states? Not Israel?

A map accompanying the article showing “a nuclear world” even includes this curiously circumspect description: “Israel neither confirms nor denies possessing nuclear weapons. United States intelligence reports have labelled Israel as a de facto nuclear power for years.”

An uneducated reader would clearly be left thinking this was still an open question. After all, we all know “United States intelligence reports” were wrong about Iraqi WMD, clearly, they might be wrong about this too. And, by the way, what the heck is a “de facto” nuclear power? What other kind is there?

Elsewhere in another sidebar describing “the role of the IAEA,” the reader does learn than Israel is “estimated to own 200 nuclear warheads,” but it’s curious this information doesn’t appear on the map’s label of Israel itself

The curious (and absolutely intentional) omission of Israel from the article has an obvious effect on the central conclusion of the article. The author claims that Iran’s “enriching uranium” (by which he means build nuclear weapons, as I’ve already discussed) “could destabilize a volatile region,” but, had he noted that Israel is the sole nuclear power in the region, it could just as easily be argued that an Iranian nuclear bomb would stabilize the region by putting limits on Israel’s ability to act unilaterally in using nuclear weapons, as it has threatened to do.

Frog-Marching the Media to the Gallows
Mike Whitney / ICH

(February 12, 2006) — No one knows better than the editors of the New York Times that Iran does not have nuclear weapons or a nuclear weapons program. The Times editors comb through mountains of information every day and have not yet produced even a shred of evidence to support their fraudulent claims.


So what’s the game here? Is the Times willing to sacrifice what’s left of its tattered credibility just to pave the way to another unprovoked war?


Apart their from their daily updates, which are invariably skewed against Iran, their February 8 editorial reiterated at least 5 times that Iran was developing nuclear weapons.


According to the Times, Iran has continued to pursue “its two-decade long drive to build nuclear weapons”. The editorial suggests that it would be preferable if the Iranian government was “more willing to put the economic future of its people ahead of building nuclear bombs.”


But, where’s the proof? Or is the Times simply circulating the same speculation, hearsay, and gibberish it did prior to the war with Iraq?

If the Times has knowledge of proscribed weapons-programs they should come forward and dispute the findings of the foremost nuclear weapons inspection team in the world (the IAEA), which has consistently found “no evidence” of nuclear weapons programs.

The Times charges are also refuted by the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) which projects that Iran will not be capable of building nuclear weapons for at least 10 years.


The Times, of course, needs neither evidence nor intelligence to achieve its objective of fabricating a crisis. They simply rely on a steady stream of baseless accusations that contribute to the rising public anxiety.

Judith Miller may have left, but her legacy of deceit still courses through the paper of record like a raging torrent. The strategy for manipulating public opinion never changes. The media settles on a narrative grounded in pure fantasy and simply repeats the same fiction over and over again from its many outlets.

The Times has proved once again that the elite-media is a steadfast partner in mobilizing the masses for unpopular wars. Despite the countless thousands of innocent people who have already been killed by the Times fear-mongering coverage of “imaginary” Iraqi WMD, the editors continue to use the corporate-bullhorn to call the nation to arms.


When America’s war of terror finally concludes, the international community will have to determine the culpability of the media in abetting the vast devastation, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

No one should be surprised if the first group frog-marched to the gallows is the editorial staff of the New York Times.

Their guilt was already established long before Iran.

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