There has been a lot of rhetoric flying about during the last few weeks. And I have received some inquiries from followers on twitter as to why I had no comment on the media’s reportage of Bibi’s speech.
It’s not easy to keep up with the whirlwind of reports on the Iranian nuclear crisis. Quite tiring, actually, but I’m doing my best to hang in there. I failed to write about Bibi at the UN. Guess I was the only one!
Well, let’s try and rectify that.
At first glance, his presentation looked to be a combination of serious and silly, an effort by the Israeli leader to simplify a complicated issue in order to accentuate its urgency.
Regarding the media, on the whole, the coverage was a mixed bag: the pictorial stunt grabbed its front-page headlines and was supported with a mixture of straightforward reportage, a few tomatoes; while some media, of course, could not resist reprinting Ahmadinejad’s childish response.
Clearing through all this verbiage, this CNN interview caught my eye: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1209/27/ctw.01.html
The ‘expert’ here is Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund. His message is one of firm opposition to the use of force at this time to stop Tehran’s march toward the bomb. Since CNN chose him as its talking head, it can be assumed that CNN knows him. We should, too.
First of all, from its website one can gather that the has some serious affiliates: former Defense Secretary Willam S. Cohen, former senior NYT editor Phillip Taubman, and even actor Mike Douglas. These big-names have joined together for a very lofty cause: the elimination of nuclear weapons. For someone concerned with the Iranian bomb, I can certainly understand their point of view in principle.
But then it gets a bit murky. It turns out that the Ploughshares Fund contributes financially to the National Iranian American Council, a pro-Iranian regime lobby which fights tooth and nail to stop sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program and which is headed by Trita Parsi, already featured here on my blog. Digging further below the surface, there are reports that the fund may be actively promoting efforts to delegitimize the threat of the use of force.
It then is less of a surprise to discover that Cirincione is absolutely consistent in opposing the military option in his media appearances.
And then I recalled Amanpour’s interviews with former senior US diplomat Thomas Pickering – who just appeared at NIAC’s leadership conference in Washington DC – and Seyed Hossein Mousavian, recently featured here. They both had the same opinion (i.e., the Iranian official line).
And no wonder: Pickering, like Mousavian, is all over the map in promoting US concessions to Iran. This shouldn’t come as any surprise, either: Pickering is on the board of directors of the American Iranian Council, which purports to be devoted to the normalization of relations between the two countries – and is based in Princeton, just like Mousavian. There is also a foreign affairs fellowship awarded in his name by Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs – the very center that hosts Mousavian.
What exactly is CNN trying to tell us about its own editorial position?