With Iran’s election of Hassan Rohani as the new president, the West is confronted with the PR dilemma of not having Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to kick around anymore. But there is a route to a more constructive relationship, if Official Washington would lessen its hostility, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.
The mainstream U.S. news media always blames Iran for the nuclear dispute, while ignoring other key facts like Israel’s rogue nuclear arsenal and the failure of the West to offer Iran meaningful sanctions relief. But Iran’s election of Hassan Rouhani creates a chance for mutual concessions, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Four years ago, the U.S. news media pronounced Iran’s elections a fraud despite no hard evidence, and predicted a similar outcome again this year. But the election of Hassan Rouhani is now hailed as a democratic victory, a paradox addressed by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett and Seyed Mohammad Marandi.
From the Archive: When the U.S. news media adopts a “conventional wisdom,” it is hard to dislodge, as the narrative of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “stealing” the 2009 election shows. Though still politically pleasing to Big Media, the storyline was never supported by evidence, Robert Parry reported in 2010.
Every four years when Iran holds presidential elections, U.S. journalists travel to Tehran, hang out with middle-class English speakers and – when the vote tallies are in – insist that the electoral outcome must have been rigged. But that typically reflects a lack of U.S. media objectivity about Iran, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.
The U.S.-Russia-led peace talks on Syria face many obstacles, including rebels demanding weapons in exchange for showing up. But one self-imposed obstacle would be Official Washington blocking Iranian participation out of a misguided fear of political fallout, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
Official Washington’s “tough-guy-ism” often cites historical precedents, like Hitler at Munich or the Rwanda genocide, as simplistic justifications for new wars. President Obama’s two new national security appointees – Susan Rice and Samantha Power – seem prone to that mistake, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
For decades, the U.S. State Department’s reports on human rights and terrorism have been exercises in hypocrisy. The reports have been used as clubs against “enemies” and as excuses for “allies.” The latest terrorism report fits that sorry and dishonest trend, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
Exclusive: The U.S. government wants to lock away Pvt. Bradley Manning for life because he released hundreds of thousands of classified documents that he believes revealed war crimes and other wrongdoing. But overlooked is how much damage over-classification does to the Republic, says Robert Parry.
Propagandists often speculate about the evil intentions of some rival state and then bait anyone who suggests that the other side is just looking out for its own interests or harboring its own fears. This propaganda technique has been honed into a fine art form regarding Iran, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.