Wednesday, April 23
MSNBC reveals facts on ISRAEL’S W.M.D.
Ira Chernus, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder
Most astounding web page of the week: http://www.msnbc.com/news/wld/graphics/strategic_israel_dw.htm
Here is MSNBC, giving us more information on Israel’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) than I’ve seen in any left-wing or peace-activist news source.
Here is the mainstream U.S. media, that beast we love to hate, giving us a story that gives away the store.
It’s a story we expect the elite media to hide, because it is so embarrassing to U.S. policymakers.
How could anyone cheer for the carnage in Iraq, where no WMD have yet been found, if they knew that Israel is the only Middle Eastern nation wit a proven WMD arsenal?
How could anyone approve of a U.S. policy that kills where WMD don’t seem to exist and turns a blind eye where they obviously do?
Far from hiding the story, though, MSNBC uses its graphic skills to put all the details just a mouse-click away. What’s going on?
Supporters of Israeli policy will give you an answer in a single word: anti-semitism. These folks are always amazing us with their charges of anti-Israel bias in the U.S. media, which they insist proves anti-semitism.
It’s silly, of course.
If the media were biased against Israel, the facts about Israeli WMD would have been headline news every day during the debate about the Iraq war.
Those facts were headline news in the Arab world.
They were absolutely crucial, because they undermined the Bush administration's principal justification for war.
But mainstream news sources here paid very little attention.
Even now, MSNBC is not making the information easy to get.
It is tucked away in an obscure corner of the website.
Try finding it from the home page, and if you figure out how, let me know.
The Real Axis of Evil by Charles V. Peña
Charles V. Peña is director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute.
In his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush named Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as an axis of evil, "arming to threaten the peace of the world." The charge leveled at those countries concerned their development of weapons of mass destruction and whether "they could provide these arms to terrorists." From the start, North Korea was the "odd man out" because it had little in common with the other two axis members. Now that the war in Iraq is ending, it's clear who the real axis of evil is: Iraq, Iran, and Syria.
The current rhetoric about Syria is déjà vu. It's almost like an instant replay of what was said about Iraq. Syria has weapons of mass destruction. Syria supports and harbors terrorists. Add to this the claims that Syria supplied the Iraqi military with night vision goggles and allowed Islamic fighters to cross the border to fight against U.S. forces, and that Syria has allowed Iraqi leaders (perhaps even Saddam Hussein himself) to flee across its border.
Some of the accusations by the Bush administration include the following: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said that Syria is "behaving badly" and that "there's got to be change in Syria." Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, "the Syrians need to know ... they'll be held accountable." Secretary of State Colin Powell said that Syria "should review their actions and their behavior" and that the administration will "examine possible measures of a diplomatic, economic or other nature." White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said, "Syria needs to cooperate" and that "rogue nations need to clean up their act." And President Bush said he believes that "there are chemical weapons in Syria" and that he is "serious about stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction."
It's clear where all this is leading. It seems that the drums of war are beating, again. Maybe not for an immediate invasion of Syria. But it lays the groundwork for a future invasion. [...]