The mainstream U.S. news media is blaming Iran for the impasse over nuclear talks, but many stumbling blocks – like refusal to accept Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program – are the fault of Western negotiators, raising Iran’s concerns about what is actually afoot, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
Venturing outside Official Washington’s conventional wisdom to apply realistic analysis to U.S. foreign policy can be dangerous to one’s reputation, especially when challenging cherished myths about a designated enemy. Then, the realist can expect to be dismissed as a loon, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have seen.
U.S. propagandists and the mainstream media present foreign crises, like the current one with North Korea, as black-and-white morality plays with Official Washington behaving wisely and the adversaries as crazy. But the reality is always more complex, as Christine Hong told Dennis J. Bernstein.
Official Washington’s conventional wisdom on Iran – that it is building a nuclear weapon though the U.S. intelligence community says it isn’t – is spilling into the results of public opinion polls. The false assumption about Iran’s nuke program affects both the questions and the answers, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
After signaling a willingness last year to undertake serious negotiations on Iran and Syria, President Obama appears to have slid back into the default U.S. position of “tough-guy-ism.” Obama’s retreat to that neocon-favored posture could bring chaos to the Mideast, warns Adil E. Shamoo.
The warnings about fallout from nuclear tests six decades ago often noted that cancers from the radiation would probably not begin appearing in large numbers for many years. But that time is now – and medical experts are wondering whether the surge in some cancers is a result, writes John LaForge.
President Obama warns that “all options are on the table” regarding a possible attack against Iran, though there’s no credible evidence that it’s building a nuclear bomb. By contrast, Israel maintains an undeclared nuclear arsenal and the U.S. has thousands of nukes with no specific plans to get rid of them, Nat Parry notes.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper calls cyber-attacks a top national security concern, but these U.S. alarms sound hypocritical after the joint U.S.-Israeli cyber-sabotage of Iran’s nuclear industry, as Dutch computer expert Arjen Kamphuis explains.
President Obama’s repetitious warning to Iran that “all options are on the table” carries with it the implicit threat of a nuclear strike against a non-nuclear state, a violation of previously declared principles and a provocation that encourages Iran to build an atomic bomb, as Tad Daley explains.
By cozying up to Israeli hardliners and embracing Official Washington’s hostility toward Iran, President Obama may be squandering an opportunity to resolve the Iranian nuclear dispute and inviting a worsening crisis in the Middle East, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.