I know it’ a long time back, but I challenge my readers to think back to the days, weeks, and months leading up to our invasion of Iraq. Remember the media, breathlessly repeating every allegation Bush threw out about Iraq’s nefarious plans, drumming up public sentiment in favor of an unnecessary and ultimately ruinous war? And then after it turned out to be a pack of lies, half-truths and irrelevancies, the media claimed they had been duped, that like the rest of us they had been fooled.
Well, it’s happening again, but this time with a twist. Now, Obama isn’t rattling sabers or heating up the rhetoric. He has kept a pretty even keel, warning that military options are on the table but that a strike against Iran is dangerous and ill-advised. He’s walking a tightrope – trying to convince Israel that they would be fighting Iran alone if they did launch a strike, while keeping pressure on Iran. But let’s see how the American media is interpreting that –
In Interview, Obama says he is not bluffing on Iran, an AP story in the IR
Obama warns both Iran and Israel: I don’t bluff from MSNBC.
Note that they chose to emphasize our warning to Iran. Whereas, the BBC headline, discussing the same interview, is very different –
Obama warns against pre-emptive Iran strike (italics mine.)
This all makes me wonder how hard the Bush administration actually had to work to use the media to drum up support for the war. By over-emphasizing the conflict between the US and Iran, spinning Obama’s (and probably Iran’s) words and actions to ramp up the aggression, the media is making war more likley, or at least is creating the impression that war is likely or inevitable. They have already convinced Americans that Iran is our greatest enemy,despite Iran’s almost complete inability to directly harm us. This kind of reporting may sell papers, but it is irresponsible and dangerous.