Metropolitik: New war? Debate could be final decider

Ron Paul’s not a fan of war in Iran.

It is safe to predict that Ron Paul will once again be the sole voice of reason on Iran, when he debates the unashamedly hawkish Santorum, Romney and Gingrich in Arizona tomorrow.

But whether this trend will continue depends on the moderator, CNN’s John King. Will he allow the debate to be framed by the dangerous propaganda that has pervaded much of the reporting on Iran, or can he force the candidates to confront surprising new intelligence on Iran that vindicates Ron Paul’s pleas for restraint?

Sadly, the former scenario is far more likely. Even as the military-industrial complex continues to point its apocalyptic priapism at Iran, many in the media are sharing in the fluffing duties.

ABC’s Diane Sawyer and  Brian Ross claim to have evidence that Iran is waging “a kind of shadow war” around the world, and that “Jewish places of worship in at least 10 U.S. cities have been told they could be targets.” Not only do they neglect to mention who exactly is issuing these warnings, turns out that the “evidence” they claim to have is nothing more than the speculative accusations of Israeli officials, who have blamed three recent bombings in Georgia, Thailand and India on Iran. Sawyer and Ross also fail to mention that, according to official investigators of the India bombing, the evidence appears to implicate a Sunni group within India that is completely unconnected to Iran.

Similarly, NBC News’ Jim Miklaszewski boldly proclaims that the U.S. will be “the world’s first line of defense,” now that “Iran has already threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz,” and “Iranian leaders have threatened all-out war!” To his credit, Miklaszewski at least mentions in passing that Iran has “threatened all-out war” only if Israel were to drop bombs on its nuclear facilities, and that Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz only in response to U.S. economic sanctions. What Miklaszewski doesn’t bother explaining is that these economic sanctions would involve cutting Iran off from the international banking system, through which it receives payment for its oil exports — a devastating blow to its economy.

But most importantly — he fails to mention that the U.S. military does not actually know whether Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon.

That’s right — on Feb. 5, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, told Congress that Iran has not yet made the decision to “go ahead with a nuclear weapon.” And this weekend, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN that “a military strike against Iran would be premature, because it is unclear that Tehran will actually use its nuclear capabilities to build an atomic bomb.”

If this news surprises you, you aren’t alone. According to a CNN poll from 2010, 71 percent of Americans mistakenly believe that Iran already has nuclear weapons. But instead of seeing this as a rallying cry to correct the dangerous misperceptions of ill-informed Americans, many in the media instead choose to push the false narrative that war with Iran is becoming ever more inevitable.
One can only hope that John King will do his best to prevent Romney, Santorum and Gingrich from perpetuating that false sense inevitability in tomorrow’s debate.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

By Alex DobuzinskisLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A one-time follower of mass murderer Charles Manson who in 1975 tried to assassinate then-President Gerald Ford told a…

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

Local

VIDEO: Conflicting accounts after horse carriage falls over…

There were conflicting accounts about what caused a horse carriage to fall near Central Park and Fifth Avenue on Wednesday.

Local

Bronx Zoo welcomes 2 newborn gorillas

Rounding the number of western lowland gorillas up to 20, the two tots are the first born at the Bronx Zoo since 2006.

Going Out

Pop-up cat cafe opens to long lines in…

The country's first pop-up cat cafe opened in New York on Thursday.

Movies

Interview: Steven Knight on making Tom Hardy normal…

Filmmaker Steven Knight discusses his new movie "Locke," set entirely within a car and featuring only one actor on-screen: Tom Hardy.

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

Entertainment

Here's what to do in New York City…

ART Opening Reception for Gerson Leiber’s Rites of Spring: A Modernist View of Nature Tonight, 6 p.m. Carter Burden Gallery 548 West 28th Street #534…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

MLB

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected for using pine…

Pineda was thrown out of the game against the Red Sox Wednesday for having pine tar on his neck -- for all the world to see.

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.