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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

War with Iran?

Glenn Greenwald reports at Salon about retired General Barry McCaffrey:

On January 12, 2012, McCaffrey presented a seminar to roughly 20 NBC executives and producers — including NBC News President Steve Capus — entitled “Iran, Nukes & Oil: The Gulf Confrontation.” We’ve obtained the Power Point document McCaffrey prepared and distributed for his presentation, and in it, he all but predicts war with Iran within the next 90 days: one that is likely to be started by them. The first page of the breathlessly hawkish document is entitled “Iran & the Gulf: Creeping Toward War,” and the first sentence excitedly proclaims (click to enlarge):
Most of the report emphasizes the likelihood that Iran — not the U.S. — will act aggressively and trigger a war:
He adds: “We should not view the Iranian rhetoric as empty threats. They are likely to further escalate. There is great opportunity for miscalculation on their part. . . . They will not under any circumstances actually be deterred from going nuclear. They will achieve initial nuclear capability within 36 months.” About a war with Iran, he says: “Israel would welcome such a confrontation. They have an existential threat to their survival looming in their very near future.” Among his conclusions:
The last page of his presentation pointedly notes what he called “The American People: A Crisis of Confidence in Institutions.” The accompanying chart showed that 78% of Americans have faith in the military — by far the most admired institution in America — but near the bottom was “television news,” with 28%.
While McCaffrey’s office failed to return several calls seeking comment — I was particularly interested to know whether any of his ample consulting clients would benefit from a war with Iran — Lauren Kapp, an NBC News spokeswoman, confirmed the existence of this meeting. She said: “We regularly host editorial board meetings with our editorial board staff,” and besides McCaffrey: “we have heard from top ranking current and former US Government officials” (she also says that they once heard from an Iranian ambassador to the U.N.). She added:
We are exhaustive in our conversation with people from various perspectives and expertise when we over a story of this magnitude. And we are confident in the level and breadth of the conversations we are having with representatives from all viewpoints.
Council for foreign relations, etc….
Not just current and former U.S. government officials and Generals, but also members of the “Council for foreign relations”: the diversity of viewpoints is staggering.