New York Times writers skirt balanced reporting on Iranian
resumption of uranium enrichment
reverted to its default posture of being used as a foreign policy tool
of we don't know whom. Richard Bernstein and Steven R. Weisman (1/13/06
p 1, 8) in their front-page article announcing British, French and
German intent to end negotiations with Iran over that country's move to
resume uranium enrichment operations. Their headline implies that all
of Europe is on board, but in actuality, only the three nations appear
to have made statements backing the end to negotiations and the
referral of the Iranian case to the United Nations Security Council. At
the same time, the article notes that United Nations Secretary General
Kofi Annan, after speaking with the Iranian nuclear negotiator, said
that Iran was interested in "serious and constructive negotiations,"
adding that the only acceptable course to follow was "a negotiated one."
The hook appears to be the fact that Iran failed at
one point to
disclose some of its activities relating to its nuclear program.
Whether or not this is enough justification for referring Iran's case
to the Security Council for possible sanctions is not made clear in the
article. Very little of Bernstein's and Weisman's article is devoted to
Iraq's side of the issue, or in clarifying the precise nature of Iraq's
violations or if this indeed merits sanctions. A reader can't help but
be confused by this waterfall of propaganda for which The New York Times is famous.
In another article (1/13/06, p 8), Steven
various talking heads on how long Iran is away from building a nuclear
weapon, although Iran has repeatedly denied that that is their intent
or goal. By writing such articles, the reader is led to believe that it
is a foregone conclusion that this is exactly what Iraq is up to. But
no justification for this view is given. It's unfortunate when The Times articles revert to the
printing of pure propaganda posing as journalism. Sometimes The Times does do a little
journalism, but when it comes to foreign policy issues, it just tows
the line. In an editorial, entitled "Iran and the Bomb" in the same
issue, it states:
"Fortunately, Iran is believed to still be several years away from
being able to produce nuclear weapons. But it has now embarked on a
course that can have no other plausible intent."
Times makes no case to back
this statement, except the confusion provided by the previous two
articles. The Times insists
that Iran, by wanting to produce its own nuclear fuel, has "thumbed its
nose" at the Western world, which tried to provide other means of
supplying Iran with nuclear fuel. But if Iran did this, the fuel would
not be under their control, which is, of course, the optimal situation
for any country, particularly one which, The Times asserts, "nature has
given ....all the uranium it needs." As an autonomous state, it is
natural for Iran, which apparently has the technological expertise
necessary, to produce its own supply of nuclear fuel. I'm afraid The Times does not make the case
for Iran's intention to use enriched uranium to make a bomb. The Times
insists that Iran has "contempt for diplomacy." But it is not Iran that
has called off the negotiations. Would it not seem that the nations who
have ceased to negotiate are the ones who have contempt for the process?
We must ask, then, if there is not some other reason
why Iran is being
set up for condemnation and sanctions. Perhaps the nuclear issue is
merely an excuse for the West's ultimately commandeering Iraq's oil
supply. Why has The Times not
addressed this possibility?