Friday, March 2, 2012

Where are Iranian Voices on Bomb-Iran Prospects?

Glenn Greenwald at Salon, on how the US mainstream media - with the NY Times as perhaps prime offender - gives the American public mostly the voices of Israeli leaders (or Israel's amen chorus in the US) on the bomb-Iran debate.  

What is missing from the debate are the views held not only by Iranian leaders but also large populations in numerous capitals and nations around the world: that Iran has the right to pursue its nuclear program; that it is Israel and the U.S. — not Iran — that poses the greatest threat to world peace; that American and Israeli aggression against non-nuclear states (along with their massive stockpile of nuclear weapons) is what makes it rational for a nation to want to proliferate, etc. One does not have to agree with any of those views to recognize how widely they are held in the world and how much of a place they (therefore) merit in the discussion.

If one searches hard enough, one can likely find American media accounts attempting to describe or present the views of Iran on this conflict or other nations which support it — just like NBC News can point to a single Iranian source among the tidal wave of American and Israeli government and military officials who brief its top executives and shape their understanding of the issue. But overwhelmingly, the American media continuously amplifies the views of American and Israeli officials while all but suppressing the views of those on the other side. For every one Iranian official Americans are permitted to hear from (and they are treated with extreme skepticism by American journalists), they hear from countless Israelis (who are treated with the utmost deference). 

Case in point: today's NYT piece from Ethan Bronner (thankfully, though much too late, departing as NYT bureau chief in Israel) on the tensions between Messrs Obama and Netanyahu as their meeting - and the AIPAC confrontation - approaches.  His sources?  Two former Israeli ambassadors to Washington, Abraham Foxman (Zionist supremo who has long reigned as Israel's chief US apologist), and John McCain.  Not a word from any expert with a point of view that might have some semblance of balance.

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