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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

When the media forgets its role

When I made aliya (immigrated to Israel), I used to tell people that the difference between the media in the US and the media in Israel was that in the US you could tell the difference between the news pages and the op-ed pages.

Those days are long since gone. As further proof, I present this unthinking editorial from the New York Times, which dismisses Israeli concerns over being turned into 1938's Czechoslovakia (Hat Tip: Eli Tabori).
As outlined on Monday by Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of intelligence and strategic affairs, the Israelis are now insisting that Iran end all research and development on advanced centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium; reduce the number of operating centrifuges at its Natanz plant beyond what was agreed to in the framework; and close its underground enrichment facility at Fordo. Also, Israel has demanded that Iran allow inspections “anywhere, anytime” by international monitors, ship its stockpile of enriched uranium out of the country and disclose past nuclear-related activities that might involve military uses.
Funny, but every one of those demands, which the Times now calls 'unreasonable,' was part of the original Western negotiating position at the beginning of the JCPOA talks. 
In any negotiation, there could never be a deal without compromise. It would be preferable if every vestige of Iran’s nuclear program were eradicated. But that was never going to happen, not least because Iran’s know-how could never be erased.
What a load of bunk. The know-how may always exist but if you can't fire up a centrifuge, you can't enrich uranium. It's that simple.
Iran’s leaders would not accept a deal in which they did not maintain some elements of a nuclear program tailored for energy and medical purposes — not weapons.
But Iran's program is not 'tailored for energy and medical purposes.' For example, consider this regarding Fordo:
Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility, a clandestine underground site near the city of Qom, is “unnecessary for its civilian nuclear program” and unneeded unless Iran wants nuclear weapons, according to the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).

“Iran’s decision to build a relatively small, deeply buried enrichment facility without first informing the IAEA suggests that Fordow was intended to be used to make weapon-grade uranium (enriched to over 90 percent) for nuclear weapons, or to provide Iran with that option,” the Fordow report said, citing International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) evidence.

Since the plant was discovered in 2009, Iran has changed its stated purpose multiple times in official IAEA documents and correspondence, adding “credence to the assessment that after realizing it was caught in 2009 building the facility in secret, Iran rushed to proclaim a civilian purpose for it with the IAEA.”
Now, how exactly is that tailored for 'energy and medical purposes'?
While the deal does not grant international monitors the right to go anywhere, anytime, it does impose a tough inspection regime and establishes a commission to resolve disputes if Iran blocks access to a suspected site.
Given Iran's history of hiding its nuclear activities, how 'tough' could any inspection regime that requires giving notice to Iran be?
It allows research on advanced centrifuges, but the machines can’t be used for enrichment for 10 years.
Why would they 'research' them if they weren't planning to use them? 10 years is not a long time - it's less than the age of Iran's nuclear program and less than the amount of time since the IAEA caught on to it. Do you have a reasonable expectation of being alive in ten years? All this deal does is kick the can down the road and leave us to face a much stronger Iran with a more advanced nuclear weapons program ten years hence. Some accomplishment.
There is confusion about how the deal addresses Iran’s willingness to come clean on its past military activities, but experts have said that a final agreement would require Iran to answer all questions before sanctions are lifted.
Who are those 'experts' and what is the basis for their opinion?

The Times had made up its editorial mind to support whatever deal Obama presented before the deal was ever presented. It will only read the fine print after its opinion is out there. That's not the job of a critical media in a Western country.  It's no longer 'all the news that's fit to print.' But then, that slogan was always a sham anyway.

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At 3:22 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel needs a Jewish Andrei Gromyko.

Sometimes saying "no" is all the only thing you can do.

The New York Times can take its demented defense of Obama's appeasement of Iran and stuff it where the sun don't shine.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

An often used tactic of the left is to demand you offer up a 'better solution' as if criticism of THEIR ideas and solutions is less than worthless without that. It's a tactic they used to put people back on their heels. Like Obama chastising Scott Walker on foreign policy...'what would YOU do?' And Gov Walker's response was pretty good "I'm a governor, states don't have foreign policies, but you do". So it's important not to fall into that trap. When the Obamadroids cackle that we're all idiots and fools because 'we' don't have a 'better' idea, the correct response should be to ignore that and put their feet to the fire on their own words.


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