Rumors of a nuclear test in North Korea prompted little to no concern from the American government. So why should we be concerned with Iran, whose program is even further behind?
The American press is a funny creature.
Like a junkyard dog, it gives the veneer to the casual observer of a righteous predator, attacking and without discrimination whatever tries to get in its way. A snarling and slobbering mess, it sits there hoping you won't approach and examine it and thus learn it is as helpless and neutered as a baby pup.
It's really kind of sad, because with newspaper and magazine readership in decline and major news networks fighting over that one brainless yokel who wants to hear Bush opining that "too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across the country," media conglomerations should be reaching for whatever audience they can — even if it clashes with the corporate mission statement. A primary goal should be drawing back demographics long alienated by the perpetual dumbing-down of news. Instead, the press continues to sit and guard the wasteland of "infotainment" it likes to promote instead of things that actually pertain to the average American.
The result? Millions of people feeling up to date on what's happening in the world because they know just how fake or real Bush's service record appears to be (for the last time, the bastard was AWOL). Vast tracts of political campaigning focused on John Kerry's war baubles.
Instead of blowing open the lid on the massive spy scandal that links AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee: America's Pro-Israel Lobby) and Israel to the Office of Special Planning, we hear about Chechen "rebels" holding kids hostage.
None of the "front stories" are remotely relevant to life in the United States. That Bush lied 30 years ago is about as shocking as the sun rising in the east. Kerry's record as a swift boat captain shouldn't take center stage over the current casualties in the Middle East. Valuable media coverage is wasted on these distractions instead of educating the populace on real issues.
That's what a government wants in a populace. Let the citizens know how their country's name is being squandered and they might revolt. The only cure for that is a steady diet of misinformation.
Sometimes the propaganda, however, is so blatant and hypocritical even a drunken hillbilly can recognize it for what it is.
Case in point: five days ago news sources around the world reported a mushroom cloud 2? miles in diameter over the Ryanggang province of North Korea. It seemed entirely possible that North Korea had become Shiva, a destroyer of worlds.
That's huge — it's not every day that a country acquires the ability to make a nuclear bomb, let alone one from the purported "Axis of Evil." (Doesn't the sheer gall of that name make you smile, even just a little?) Considering we've already dismantled Iraq because it might have chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, wouldn't this rate a little higher on the News Meter? The government and media have been working overtime to feed Americans baseless terror alerts and vague warnings of doom for quite a while now.
Consider the breaking information:
A mushroom cloud 2? miles in diameter was picked up by South Korean satellite;
The epicenter was near the Yongjori Missile Base, an isolated facility capable of deploying and launching medium-range missiles;
Bush Administration intelligence indicates North Korea is ready to conduct nuclear tests at any time;
North Korea celebrated its 56th anniversary last week, the perfect opportunity to showcase its emergence as superpower;
North Korea has a prior history of ignoring international nuclear regulatory initiatives.
Did you hear a blip about this in the American press? Please — there are hurricanes blowing in over Florida! How often does that happen?
It's ironic that after all the mumbo-jumbo predictions of catastrophe that have been floating around since 9/11, the one time the government couldn't have been handed a more perfect compliance package is ignored.
Completely and utterly ignored.
Granted, yesterday North Korean officials tied the explosion to a controlled demolition of a hydroelectric project. But so what? The press has never been gun-shy about running with unfounded accusations (Iraq having WMDs being one of those pesky year-long snafus), and this is one that has plausible deniability written all over it. The lack of comment from the North Korean government for four days only heightened the mystery and intrigue that newscasts love to lead with.
That the United States casually brushed aside early reports of the nuclear test only underscores how much of a ruse the "war on terror" really is. (Well, that, and Bush admitting the war on terror can't be won. Boffo.)
After all, if American intelligence points to North Korea's legitimacy as a nuclear power, why all the condemnation of Iran's program, which is further behind in development and is committed to building civilian power plants, not weapons?
Iran is hounded daily in the press as a threat to world peace. Congressmen and senators seek to impose sanctions against the need to provide power to the people of Iran. All of this without any verifiable weapons program in operation. On the other hand, North Korea has threatened to nuke the U.S. if it's attacked. And for four days in September, that threat was very real.
Such a double standard is beyond ridiculous.
Fact is, Iran is being hounded because it is not a threat. You don't attack if you have something to fear, and the U.S. rightly fears nuclear conflict of any kind. Iran in comparison is harmless; it's just the next target set in the United States' sights.
Why? The majority of the bogus information justifying Iraq's invasion came from the Office of Special Planning. The OSP is also the biggest proponent of taking out the Iran's nuclear program.
Most importantly, the OSP is where that Israeli spy ring was just unearthed, if you recall.
Hey, doesn't Israel have a nuclear weapons facility at Dimona along with hundreds of nuclear weapons? And aren't Iraq and Iran two of its biggest potential enemies?
Nah... if so, the press would have been all over that story.
Canon Fodder is a weekly analysis of politics and society.
Canon Fodder is a bi-weekly analysis of politics and society.