Wednesday, May 03, 2006

UH 330 Media Review No. 6

I remember watching the President’s State of the Union address with a sense of impending doom. Bush spoke of the spread of democracy, and specifically singled out several nations which were not yet democratic, including Iran. Bush accused the Iranian government of essentially terrorizing its citizens, and told its citizens that America wishes to be their closest friend. Of course, Bush also accused the government of Iran of defying the wishes of the rest of the world with its “nuclear ambitions,” implying that any use of nuclear technology by Iran must necessarily involve the production of nuclear weapons, something which has been vehemently denied by the Iranian government. Given the snafu after Bush accused Iraq of having weapons of mass destruction, one can’t help but give Iran the benefit of the doubt, seeing as how our government isn’t too accurate in its accusations. The sense of impeding doom I felt was the same feeling I had when Colin Powell gave his famous PowerPoint presentation to the United Nations, that feeling that we would soon be going to war, and for all the same reasons.

Are we going to war again? It sure seems like it. The build-up to the war in Iraq included seemingly countless accusations by our government that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. There were also the occasional claims that we would be liberating Iraq. It seems a parallel situation now. Just switch a letter, and Iraq becomes Iran. The weapons of mass destruction in question are no longer biological or chemical, but nuclear. The dictator in power is no longer Saddam Hussein but Ali Khamanei. One can’t help but wonder if the Supreme Leader of Iran has giant statues of himself so that a well-orchestrated media stunt can convince Americans that they really are doing the correct thing. But it’s not Colin Powell this time. This time it’s the infinitely less photogenic John Bolton, ambassador to the United Nations. It’s not a PowerPoint presentation, it’s a draft of a Security Council resolution. CNN quotes Bolton as stating that the resolution, drafted in accordance with Chapter 7 of the United Nations charter and only able to mete out sanctions or the use of force, “will not deal with sanctions.” There it is, plain and simple. If the resolution passes, there will be no sanctions, simply the use of force. CNN even notes that Bolton has said in the past that force would not be used, but it’s hard to swallow anything the administration says these days.

The article on the issue over at Al Jazeera is most interesting. Bolton manages to not only threaten Iran, but Russia as well. In an attempt to argue that Russia (and presumably China as well) should not use its veto power against the resolution, Bolton states that it would be undesirable for Russian “to be within the range of another nuclear power.” Apparently Bolton has forgotten that America is in possession of nuclear weapons which could easily target Russia. And Bolton also seems to have forgotten that Iran would be much more likely to attack America than Russia, particularly since it has been rumored that Iran has obtained at least some of its nuclear technology from Russia.

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