Matt Taibbi responds to the ludicrous rant by CNN’s Erin Burnett on Iran’s ‘imminent’ attack on America:
Our newspapers and TV stations may blather on a thousand times a day about attacking Iran and bombing its people, but if even one Iranian talks about fighting back, he is being “aggressive” and “threatening”; we can impose sanctions on anyone, but if the sanctioned country embargoes oil shipments to Europe in response, it’s being “belligerent,” and so on…. now the public openly embraces circular thinking like, “Any country that squawks when we threaten to bomb it is a threat that needs to be wiped out.”
Maybe Burnett was asleep during the build up to war in Iraq, or maybe she simply didn’t understand what was going on – that her government sold her a pack of lies and attacked a country that posed no threat to America whatsoever. We’re hearing the same rhetoric from the same branches of government and the same media commentators about the Iranian danger, and no one seems to be connecting the dots.
No one wants Iran to have nuclear capabilities, but the US doesn’t exactly have a leg to stand on when it comes to lecturing others on owning deadly weapons. The United States is by far and away the most militarily powerful nation in the history of humanity. It could annihilate Iran many times over using a fraction of its capabilities, so the idea that Iran would be insane enough to directly threaten the United States on its own territory is laughable. They haven’t and they wouldn’t. The Iranian government is certainly retaliating in a measured way to America’s extreme agression in the Middle East (remember, the US has launched three wars there in the last 9 years and is occupying two countries on Iran’s border), but it is not in any way looking to pick a fight, particularly on American territory (and there’s no evidence it has decided to build nuclear weapons either).
It is most likely that Iran is developing nuclear capabilities to act as a deterrence for US and Israeli aggression. It won’t actually build weapons, but will maintain the ability to do so in order to leverage its power in the region. Is this a good idea? Of course not – the more countries with nuclear capabilities, the less stable the planet becomes. The Iranian government isn’t exactly a shining beacon of democracy and human rights, and the less militarized it is the better. But from a self interest point of view, they would be crazy not to build a deterrence given the actions of the US over the past decade.
People like Burnett simply cannot comprehend how the US could be seen as an aggressor – to her, America is the defender of human rights and democracy, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary. Regardless of the covert wars, human rights abuses and unquestioning support of nasty dictatorships around the world, Burnett swallows the government’s claims without questioning it, making her role as a journalist completely laughable.
We could be headed for another bloody war with another country in the Middle East – a horrendous prospect that should have everyone quaking in their boots. If Burnett continues to recklessly hurl accusations without researching the facts, she will bear some responsibility for the outcome. And anyone who understands history knows that another war in the region will be tragic beyond belief.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.