MEDIA ALERT: IRAN - THE WAR DANCE
On September 19, the Irish Times reported:
"Israel has rejected the call by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and open up its atomic sites to international inspection." (Mark Weiss, 'Israel spurns nuclear watchdog's call to open atomic sites to inspection,' Irish Times, September 19, 2009; http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009/0919/1224254860406.html)
The IAEA, which met in Vienna on September 18, adopted a resolution expressing concern about "Israeli nuclear capabilities" and called on agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei to work on the issue. The motion was adopted by 49 votes to 45, with 16 abstentions. Russia and China, both permanent members of the UN security council, voted in favour. The United States and the European Union initially tried to block the vote, and then voted against it. David Danieli, deputy director of Israel's atomic energy commission, said: "Israel will not co-operate in any matter with this resolution." (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/09/2009918173136830771...)
Despite this defiance, despite Israel's appalling record of violating international law, despite its record of waging and threatening war in the region, and despite possessing as many as 400 nuclear warheads, no Western journalist suggested that Israel should be bombed or blockaded as a result. Indeed, apart from the tiny left-wing Morning Star newspaper and a couple of wire agencies, it appears the Irish Times was the only English-language media outlet to cover this story.
Israel is one of three countries, along with India and Pakistan, which is not a signatory to the NPT. The treaty is intended to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, but Article VI constitutes a specific obligation on nuclear-weapon states like Britain and the United States to disarm themselves of nuclear weapons, an obligation they have conspicuously failed to meet.
On September 27, the Financial Times was also a lonely voice in reporting that India "can now build nuclear weapons with the same destructive power as those in the arsenals of the world's major nuclear powers". According to New Delhi's senior atomic officials, India has built weapons with yields of up to 200 kilotons. It is estimated to have manufactured weapons-grade plutonium for at least 100 warheads. (James Lamont and James Blitz, 'India raises nuclear stakes,' Financial Times, September 27, 2009; http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d63f3a70-ab90-11de-9be4-00144feabdc0.html?ncli...)
India has no problem delivering these weapons. Britain supplied the Hawk ground-attack aircraft used to train Indian pilots to fly Jaguar nuclear-capable bombers, also built by BAE Systems. In 2003, the Independent reported:
"The deal comes after intense lobbying by the British Government, with Prime Minister Tony Blair, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw taking it in turns to persuade the Indians to buy the jets." (Clayton Hirst and George Fernandes, 'BAE to enjoy Indian summer with £1bn order for Hawk jets,' The Independent, August 3, 2003)
Meanwhile, news that Iran has a "secret underground uranium enrichment plant south of Tehran" at Qom, (http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2009/sep/25/iran-nuclear-plant-qanda) generated a fevered war dance right across the liberal media. Simon Tisdall wrote in the Guardian:
"Today's disclosure, and the concomitant conclusion that Iran's leaders are congenital double-dealers, will further spur the debate among regional neighbours, in particular Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt, about acquiring nuclear capabilities of their own. Thus does the feared, fabled Middle East nuclear arms race inch closer." (Tisdall, 'Iran has been caught red-handed,' The Guardian, September 25, 2009; http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/25/iran-secret-nuclear-...)
Tisdall made no mention of the September 18, IAEA resolution that was a clear reminder that "the feared, fabled Middle East nuclear arms race" has long since been started by Israel. Tisdall added:
"For its part Israel will be gratified that Iran, long its 'existential' security issue, is now being treated with equal seriousness by western countries and Russia."
Israel will also be gratified that its own capacity to pose "existential" threats to its enemies is being treated with the standard seriousness - zero - by its allies.
More here from the U.K. Media Lens