Saturday, February 23, 2008


I recently linked to Benny Morris's article on how history is used to demonize Jews. The same sort of thing happens often with the present. Consider the case of the IAEA reports and the US National Intelligence Estimate when it comes to Iran. So much contextualization and minimization (in the name of not demonizing anyone) gets used to demonize Israel and Jews who are worried about the very real threat posed by Iran. Instead of dealing with the facts of the matter, Jews are accused of acting out of that "2,000 year old panic" (as it's described in Gregor von Rezzori's Memoirs of an Anti-Semite recently reviewed by Christopher Hitchens on the occassion of its re-release). The facts, as related in a New York Times article here at Middle East Analysis: the IAEA did write that Iran cooperated -in part, but not on some particularly concerning matters. And the NIE report not only concluded that Iran had been, at some point, working on nuclear weapons; it concluded that Iran was still working on part of its nuclear program:
Since the intelligence report came out, America's allies have spun all kinds of theories about the internal machinations that led to it, including that intelligence analysts were boxing Mr. Bush in, preventing him from taking military action against Iran's nuclear sites.

Officials who worked on the report have denied any such intent. The director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, told Congress he now regretted how the intelligence estimate was presented, saying it failed to emphasize that Iran was moving ahead with the hardest part of any bomb project: producing the fuel.

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