Update on the Iran-War Product Rollout

Craig de-lurked long enough to vote “paranoia” on my earlier item about Barnett Rubin’s report that an anonymous source had told him Cheney was pushing the right-wing press to roll out stories building the case for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day. The substantive part of Rubin’s allegation went like this:

They [the source's institution] have “instructions” (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects.

So, as promised, I’m here with a report card on how faithfully the listed mouthpieces followed their alleged instructions:

  • the American Enterprise Institute: AEI fellow Michael Ledeen’s latest book, The Iranian Time Bomb, is being pushed by the institute this week. They list an upcoming panel discussion on the book, though technically that discussion won’t be taking place until this coming Monday, so one could argue that the timing is a little off there. The institute’s home page currently lists the same book in its “latest books” section, though that item was posted the week before Labor Day, so again, the timing isn’t very good.
  • Wall Street Journal: The Journal ran an excerpt from Ledeen’s book Friday. Otherwise, a quick check of OpinionJournal doesn’t turn up any obvious smoking guns.
  • Weekly Standard – Bill Kristol chimed in with this item in the Daily Standard blog on Wednesday: Terrorist Training Camps in Iran: Should they be safe havens? (I’ll let you click through for his answer, in case you’re in doubt.)
  • Commentary: The best I could come up with in a quick perusal of the magazine’s site was this item, posted in the magazine’s “contentions” blog on Wednesday, in which Emanuele Ottolenghi criticized Michael Slackman’s article in the Interntional Herald Tribune characterizing Hashemi Rafsanjani as a moderate by quoting from a December, 2001, press release in which Rafsanjani seemed to imply that a nuclear exchange between Israel and a hypothetical nuke-equipped Islamic power would leave the Muslim world damaged but still standing, while Israel would just be gone.
  • Fox: Best I could come up with in a few minutes of clicking around on FOXNews.com was an AP wire story on the $2.65B fine over the 1983 Beirut Marine barracks bombing.
  • “Usual suspects”: Not sure who to go with here, but National Review Online has a nice example from Tuesday, with Andrew McCarthy offering up a hagiographic review of Ledeen’s book.

As long as we’re evaluating Rubin’s story, we should also check out Rubin’s own followup posting from Tuesday (in which he points to a Newsweek article from AEI fellow Reuel Marc Gerecht as the beginning of the “war rollout”), and also from Tuesday, Spencer Ackerman’s report of a conversation with Rubin in TPMmuckraker. That item said that “Rubin said he didn’t know specifically that Gerecht was part of the campaign, but he pointed to the argument as fitting neatly within the pattern.” Rubin also cited the AEI panel discussion on Ledeen’s book, and mentioned another event scheduled for that day, in which Newt Gingrich will give a speech on how “it has been almost six years since the attacks of 9/11, and the United States has yet to confront the threat posed by the irreconcilable wing of Islam.”

So, summing it all up, what’s the verdict? Did the predicted onslaught of pro-Iran-war items appear in the echo chamber? Well, sort of. Most of the listed outlets did indeed run something prominent in the course of the week. And to be fair, Rubin said this would just be the opening act, with the big push timed to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11 next week. Playing devil’s advocate, though, a lot of this week’s activity seems to be coordinated with the rollout of Ledeen’s book, which would have been fairly predictable in advance, even without top seekrit inside information about Darth Cheney having instructed his minions to make a push at this time. But that predictability cuts both ways: knowing that the book was due to come out, Cheney could indeed have put the word out that now was the time to push the story. Or, knowing that a flurry of book-related activity was due to happen, Rubin could have pushed an invented story about Cheney being behind it, knowing that events would bear him out, at least in the eyes of the paranoid.

I guess I’m left pretty much where I started. Which is pretty typical for the real world, which only rarely reveals itself all at once, in dramatic fashion.

25 Responses to “Update on the Iran-War Product Rollout”

  1. knarlyknight Says:

    Good review.

    However, if you want to see a little piece of the real world reveal itself in dramatic fashion, there is always…

    http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=10103&IBLOCK_ID=35

  2. ymatt Says:

    Could you please mark links that are NSFW as such?

  3. knarlyknight Says:

    ymatt,
    NSFW = not safe for work? Do you work at a seventh day adventist church, because then most everything is not safe for work. Anyway, I’ll do my best. My apologies if you got fired for clicking the last link, but if so I am certain it will turn out to be for the better.

    This one is better…big problems with nukes flying over America story (on topic?):

    http://www.freeworldsurvey.blogspot.com/2007/09/6-nukes-fly-over-us-big-problems-with.html

    Comments?

  4. ymatt Says:

    I’m a big boy and it’s not practically a problem, but it’s just annoying when the link is completely irrelevant.

  5. knarlyknight Says:

    Okay, then let me be clear: I am sorry and I will not do that again.

  6. ymatt Says:

    Thanks, dawg.

  7. knarlyknight Says:

    FYI, an old item that has been mostly forgotten:

    Media Exagerates Threats from Iran

    The quote attributed to Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, “Israel must be wiped off the map” has been met by worldwide condemnation and alarm. Ahmadinejad’s actual statements, however, were significantly less threatening. In October 2005 Ahmadinejad expressed the belief that the West oppresses Muslims through an imposed Zionist regime. He quoted the late Ayatollah Khomeini, “The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time. This statement is very wise.” Clearly Ahmadinejad’s actual words call for regime change, not war. A similar statement by Ahmadinejad in December 2006, “As the Soviet Union disappeared, the Zionist regime will also vanish and humanity will be liberated,” was once more altered by AP and Reuter to sound more threatening and sent around the world. Author Arash Norouzi calls this “media manipulation and propaganda in action.” In May of 2006 President Ahmadinejad published an open letter to President Bush clearly asking for peace and the mutual respect of human rights. He warns that Western media, through contrived and deceptive information, has intensified the climate of fear that leads to attacks on innocent peoples. That letter was not picked up by the US news wires.

    “‘Wiped Off The Map’ – The Rumor of the Century” Arash Norouzi, Global Research, 1/20/2007
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=NOR20070120&articleId=4527
    “ Full Text: The President of Iran’s Letter To President Bush” Translated by Le Monde, Information Clearing House, 05/09/06
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12984.htm

  8. knarlyknight Says:

    FYI, an old item that has been mostly forgotten:

    Media Exagerates Threats from Iran
    The quote attributed to Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, “Israel must be wiped off the map” has been met by worldwide condemnation and alarm. Ahmadinejad’s actual statements, however, were significantly less threatening. In October 2005 Ahmadinejad expressed the belief that the West oppresses Muslims through an imposed Zionist regime. He quoted the late Ayatollah Khomeini, “The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time. This statement is very wise.” Clearly Ahmadinejad’s actual words call for regime change, not war. A similar statement by Ahmadinejad in December 2006, “As the Soviet Union disappeared, the Zionist regime will also vanish and humanity will be liberated,” was once more altered by AP and Reuter to sound more threatening and sent around the world. Author Arash Norouzi calls this “media manipulation and propaganda in action.” In May of 2006 President Ahmadinejad published an open letter to President Bush clearly asking for peace and the mutual respect of human rights. He warns that Western media, through contrived and deceptive information, has intensified the climate of fear that leads to attacks on innocent peoples. That letter was not picked up by the US news wires.

    “‘Wiped Off The Map’ – The Rumor of the Century” Arash Norouzi, Global Research, 1/20/2007

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=NOR20070120&articleId=4527
    “Full Text: The President of Iran’s Letter To President Bush” Translated by Le Monde, Information Clearing House, 05/09/06
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12984.htm

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    FYI, an old item that has been mostly forgotten:

    Media Exagerates Threats from Iran
    The quote attributed to Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, “Israel must be wiped off the map” has been met by worldwide condemnation and alarm. Ahmadinejad’s actual statements, however, were significantly less threatening. In October 2005 Ahmadinejad expressed the belief that the West oppresses Muslims through an imposed Zionist regime. He quoted the late Ayatollah Khomeini, “The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time. This statement is very wise.” Clearly Ahmadinejad’s actual words call for regime change, not war. A similar statement by Ahmadinejad in December 2006, “As the Soviet Union disappeared, the Zionist regime will also vanish and humanity will be liberated,” was once more altered by AP and Reuter to sound more threatening and sent around the world. Author Arash Norouzi calls this “media manipulation and propaganda in action.” In May of 2006 President Ahmadinejad published an open letter to President Bush clearly asking for peace and the mutual respect of human rights. He warns that Western media, through contrived and deceptive information, has intensified the climate of fear that leads to attacks on innocent peoples. That letter was not picked up by the US news wires.

    “‘Wiped Off The Map’ – The Rumor of the Century” Arash Norouzi, Global Research, 1/20/2007

    www dot globalresearch dot ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=NOR20070120&articleId=4527
    “Full Text: The President of Iran’s Letter To President Bush” Translated by Le Monde, Information Clearing House, 05/09/06
    www dot informationclearinghouse dot info/article12984.htm

  10. TeacherVet Says:

    Knarly Teacher, if we don’t read the articles 3 times, is our grade lowered?

    Okay, so the quote was paraphrased – with the meaning and intentions remaining intact. Does it matter who said it first? Did Ahmadi-Najad “misquote” Khomeini, or was it a verbatim regurgitation? Nit-pickers want to know! He repeated it, and obviously meant it.

    I submit that if Ahmadi-Nutjob (or any other world leader) states that “This regime of democracy occupying North America must vanish from the page of time,” I won’t care whether the statement was original with the orator. I will consider it a threat to my own existence, and expect my government to react accordingly – and preemptively if the threatening leader might have access to the tools necessary to accomplish his stated intentions.

    If Ahmadi-Nutjob’s intentions were misinterpreted by the “misquote,” he would have denied it in the Mike Wallace & Anderson Cooper interviews. Instead, by inference, he reinforced the “rumor of the century,” even in his letter to Bush.

    Was the letter actually scripted by Ramsey Clark, or perhap Cindy Sheehan? The words are the same as theirs – only the name was changed, maybe to protect the “innocent.” In the letter, he condescendingly and anecdotally describes a scenario in which his students are unable to find Israel on a world map of 60 years ago. Of course, he fails to mention that the nation of Israel had been removed “from the face of time” prior to 60 years ago.

    Perhaps his students would have been more successful with a map of 1099, when the Jews (or, at least, the ones who weren’t slaughtered) were expelled from Jerusalem. Or perhaps 1244, when the Muslims took Jerusalem. Or 1799, the year of Napoleon’s Proclamation of a Jewish State.

    Or he could have gone back to 133 AD, when the Jews were banned from Jerusalem (and before Islam was even founded in 622 AD)

    Perhaps his students should searched a map of 1300 BC. Or 721 BC, when Israel was first removed “from the face of time.” Or 539 BC, when the Jews returned, only to subsequently removed “from the face of time” (again). Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Can there really be any doubt of Ahmadi-Nutjob’s desire to repeat history?

    In his letter to Bush, regarding 9/11, he wrote that “Our government immediately declared its disgust with the perpetrators and offered its condolences to the bereaved and expressed its sympathies.” How nice. He discredited the “truther” notions by misquoting the familiar “I feel your pain” phrase – immediately following the street celebration. Nice guy!

  11. TeacherVet Says:

    Perhaps I should have posted my comments 3 times…?

  12. enkidu Says:

    he posted it three times, because it didn’t show up the first time moran

    your hysterical anti-Iran propaganda is as bizarre as it is dangerous
    after 9/11 the Iranians held spontaneous street vigils in sympathy for America
    it was the Palestinians who danced in the streets

    moran

  13. TeacherVet Says:

    He took the time to spell out the URL in both links the 3rd time he posted it, idgit.

    Anti-Ahmadi-Nutjob, absolutely. Identify any anti-Iran propaganda in my post, idgit.

    The Palestinians were the only people who danced in the streets? Guess again, idgit.

    Word count check, Knarly…

  14. knarlyknight Says:

    enkidu guessed right, it didn’t post first, second or third time… then they all showed up later the next day. One evidence of being a moran is making wild accusations about something you have no clue about, such as that.

    TV Thank you for that most enlightening depiction of dates relating to the wanderings of Jewish tribes and subsequent trials and tribulations. You are truly a scholar and your conclusions, despite being a borderline total non sequitor, is worthy of the highest marks in academia. Not.

  15. TeacherVet Says:

    Ah, so the timeline of Israel’s history begins in the 1940s… If so, then I must concede that you and Ahmadi-Nutjob are correct with your fact that the nation of Israel never existed prior to that decade.

    History tells us otherwise. The Jewish tribes didn’t just wander off of some reservation, the Jewish survivors who weren’t slaughtered wandered after being banished from their homeland – repeatedly. My conclusions were a borderline total non sequitor?

  16. knarlyknight Says:

    yea, i can’t follow your insanity any more, it makes very little sense. It’s like you are saying since X is a result of Y (which it isn’t by the way) and Q happened 5 times by peoples J, K, L twice and later M, and so therefore Iran’s leader is evil. Plus, he said this sentence (pick one, any one, but make sure it is not set in the context of the full message which is quite different.) Thus, according to TV and the rwnj crowd, the people of Iran should suffer the full vengeance of economic sanctions and the fallout from America’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. Who said anything about starting a timeline in 1940? You did, and you appear to be losing your grasp.

  17. TeacherVet Says:

    Knarly, did you read the articles you referenced? Who said anyting about starting a timeline 60 years ago? Your buddy, Ahmadi-Adolf-Nutjob, in his little letter to Bush.

    It seems that any opinion that differs from your own is perceived as insanity. Your imagined equation isn’t necessary in determining whether Adolph, Jr. is evil. He denies the holocaust, threatened the existence of our greatest ally in the region, supports terrorist activities (quite an understatement there), and is quite surely responsible for the deaths of many of our troops. Formulate an untelligible equation if you must, but he doesn’t meet my criteria for a “nice guy.”

    You said, “According to TV…, the people of Iran should suffer the full vengeance of economic sanctions and the fallout from America’s Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Huh? Please point to any such statement in any of my posts. If you’re learning mind-reading from Inky-doo, I’d advise finding another teacher. I don’t think you’re necessarily “losing your grasp,” I think you’re finding it necessary to intentionally misquote to facilitate your rebuttal.

    On another note, if your learning to communicate/rant Inky-doo style, incoherently, perhaps you’re quite a good student.

    Btw, I threw out a little bait for Inky, and he bit. Note that I never attributed the street celebrations on 9/11 to the Iranian citizenry, knowing full well that he would make an erroneous assumption. Predictably, he did, but my statement still stands. Mahmoood issued his disingenuous words of condolences “to the grieving” immediately following the street celebrations – of many Iraqis and their (now deceased) great leader.

  18. NorthernLite Says:

    That’s sort of funny, because about the same amount of Iraqi’s were in the streets celebrating the fall of the Towers as there were when the statue of Saddam was being pulled down.

  19. shcb Says:

    could that be because about half the Arab population is for us and half against us? Where have I heard that before?

  20. enkidu Says:

    here are your words mr treasonous veterinarian (note this is the wrap up to a longish post demonizing a-rabs and ahm-a-dinky-nutjob etc)

    “In his letter to Bush, regarding 9/11, he wrote that “Our government immediately declared its disgust with the perpetrators and offered its condolences to the bereaved and expressed its sympathies.” How nice. He discredited the “truther” notions by misquoting the familiar “I feel your pain” phrase – immediately following the street celebration. Nice guy!”

    so where exactly were these street celebrations? Only a complete moran would think you were not referring to Iran. There wasn’t a single word of your screed about Palestinians dancing in the streets. It was all “iran! Hitler! crazy! angry! blah blah blah” Bait? You shouldn’t be trusted with a fish hook. Scariest thing you ever said is that you supposedly ‘teach’ children.

    shrubco’s seizing the oil wealth of Iraq had nothing to do with AQ, WMDs or ‘peace’. It is all about the OIL. Even Greenspan says so.

  21. shcb Says:

    seize, secure, tam-a-to, tam-ah-to

  22. TeacherVet Says:

    You’re right, Inky-doo; only a complete moran (Jim Moran, (D) Virginia?)would think I was not referring to Iran.

    Predictably, you were able to read stuff that was not mentioned in my “screed” on September 17 (demonizing references to Iranian citizens, a-rabs (sic) in general, Hitler, crazy, angry, blah three times), but couldn’t see the obvious. I didn’t mention either group, the Palestians (whose home-grown suicide bombing terrorists’ families were being financially rewarded by Saddam Hussein) OR some Iraqis (led by their late, great dictator). You still haven’t mentioned one of those groups.

    Only a complete moran would leap at the opportunity to snipe without observing the omission. Even a complete moran would notice that you still haven’t mentioned one of those two groups.

    NL, you can’t possibly be correct. (heh) Everyone knows that there were no expressions of support or appreciation for our efforts by Iraqis. No roses, no hugs, no demonstrations of any kind, etc. The images of the Saddam statue toppling was produced in Hollywood as propaganda. I’m not trying to pick a fight with you, but to thank you for acknowledging the appreciation/support of many non-Sunni Iraqis. I can link to many photos of thankful Iraqis expressing their gratitude with roses, hugs, kisses, etc – before, and after, their families were threatened for those expressions.

  23. NorthernLite Says:

    So about 200 people out of a country of 28 million shows you “appreciation/support”? I hope you don’t teach math.

    Go ahead, post a few photos of happy Iraqi’s. For every one that you post of that, I’ll post a few pics (videos, too!) showing the reality that is now Iraq.

    Let’s go.

  24. TeacherVet Says:

    Yes, NL, there are lots of pics and videos of the unfortunate reality of war, most of them broadcast redundantly as propaganda to convince the public that ALL Iraqis share the initial Sunni resentment. I doubt that you could link to many that I haven’t already seen, over and over again.

    My point addressed the oft-repeated lie that virtually NONE of the Iraqi people demonstrated their having been freed from the bondage of Saddam’s dictatorship. They attempted to do so, and have continued to do so consistantly throughout the campaign, in spite of death threats against the lives of their family members and themselves.

  25. TeacherVet Says:

    That should have read … demonstrated their appreciation with the giving of roses, hugs, kisses, etc. for their having been freed….

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