By James North
November 17, 2020 “Information Clearing House” – “Mondoweiss” – This site has been warning for months that Donald Trump might launch a military attack against Iran — and meantime, the mainstream press mostly ignored the danger.
We were right, and they were wrong.
The New York Times just reported that last Thursday, Trump asked senior advisers if he could militarily strike at Iran’s nuclear program, but the officials, including Vice President Mike Pence and General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talked him out of it. The article warns the threat has not ended:
Mr. Trump might still be looking at ways to strike Iranian assets and allies. . .
The Times report is misleading in several respects, starting right with the headline: “Trump Sought Options for Attacking Iran to Stop Its Growing Nuclear Program.” It sounds ominous, and you have to read down to the 15th paragraph for details: it was the U.S. that unilaterally ended the nuclear deal in 2018, and “the Iranians have hardly raced to produce new nuclear material.”
The report also included the following astonishing sentence: “The episode underscored how Mr. Trump still faces an array of global threats in his final weeks in office.” In fact, in recent months the U.S. and Israel have waged a clandestine sabotage campaign inside Iran, including destroying power plants, aluminum and chemical factories, a medical clinic and 7 ships at the port of Bushehr.
The people facing “global threats” are not “Mr. Trump,” but the people of Iran.
The Times also downplayed the Israel angle. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tried for more than a decade to goad the U.S. into conflict with Iran. Donald Trump’s biggest donor, billionaire gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson, is enthusiastically pro-Israel and publicly said the U.S. should drop an “atomic bomb” on Iran.
The mainstream press failure to report on the Trump/Netanyahu threat to Iran has been astonishing. One example: Thomas Friedman, the most influential foreign affairs columnist in the world, is supposed to be a Mideast specialist. He has a twice-weekly column in the Times. And so far, he hasn’t said a word of warning.
James North is a Mondoweiss Editor-at-Large, and has reported from Africa, Latin America, and Asia for four decades. He lives in New York City.