Before the American led invasion of Iraq in 2003 there was a carefully planned propaganda war going on in western media. The Bush administration, and interests close to him, needed to convince the public (especially in the US and the UK) that Saddam Hussein possessed, or was in the process of making, weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The infamous observer articles in 2001 are prominent examples. The articles claimed that there was evidence that the Iraqi dictator had a training facility for al-Qaeda and an anthrax-factory on his soil. The “evidence” leaked by so called “leading US intelligence sources”.
We all know how that turned out. Fake. Fake. And fake yet again. Goal achieved though. Notwithstanding the complete loss of face, of course, when the public became aware that there were no WMDs and that al-Qaeda in fact didn’t even like Saddam Hussein. No shocker: if you don’t have a reason to go to war, make one up. And when you’re found out, let the scapegoat dangle. Surely, there was a use for Collin Powell after all.
Now, to the point: is the same thing about to happen with Iran? Are the confrontations with Iran over their nuclear program just the beginning of the end for the Islamic republic, and the beginning of a never ending Middle Eastern war? Are the claims that Iran does not have peaceful intentions with their nuclear program merely designed to give head way for a future attack, if so is wanted, or needed? Is there even interest to find out whether the mullah’s rebuttal of these claims is part of a plan to cover up evil schemes to destroy the world, or boringly, simply the truth?
Certainly, it was not hard to be convinced that President Bush would try something so devious, yet oh so poorly executed. I admit it, the slurry accent and his macho-pose for the cameras didn’t exactly make him the poster boy for presidential authority. But what do we make of Obama? Handsome? Right! Elegant? Certainly! Eloquent? Always! In other words: a man with that presidential “aura” of truthfulness and foresight. It’s going to be pretty hard to believe that the man of hope and change is trying to deceive us.
So, to answer the initial question: Heck, I don’t know. But I’d sure as hell rather like to believe President Obama than Ayatollah Khameni and Ahmadinejad. Why? Certainly, I’d prefer a dark suit to a white dress any day, and “hope and change” rings better in my ears than the Holocaust denials of Ahmadi, as Khameni’s lapdog has lovingly been nicknamed. Another certainty though is that whilst I’d love to see the world rid of the Koran-thumping, cold hearted fanatics that currently rule Iran; I firmly believe that only the Iranian people are capable of instituting lasting, positive, change in Iran. Like the Americans voted for the kind of change they desired, the Iranians need to choose theirs.