April 13, 2006


Bush's Plans for Iran: Seymour Hersh sticks to his story: that Bush's ultimate goal is regime change in Iran. (Democracy Now!, April 13, 2006)

[Editor's Note: This is the edited transcript of an interview between Amy Goodman and Seymour Hersh. It originally aired on Democracy Now! on Wednesday, April 12. The full transcript and audio of the interview are available from Democracy Now!.] [...]

AG: You say ... there's a growing conviction among members of the U.S. military and the international community that President Bush's ultimate goal is regime change in Iran.

SH: There's no question that there's a lot of skepticism, particularly among our former allies -- the allies we now have, the European allies who have been with us. The United States joined late after the negotiations began, but England, France and Germany have been talking to the Iranians for years, three years now, about doing something about -- to keep them away from the nuclear edge. Our allies there are frankly skeptical about what this president really wants to do. They don't think necessarily, although there's -- it's not that the President isn't concerned about any enrichment. He's set that as a red line. He's publicly said many times that when Iran begins to enrich, that's a line we won't let them do. It's that they really think that beyond -- the whole issue is really predicated on a belief that we've got to get rid of these ruling clerics and replace it with Bush's idea, that he thinks he's still pushing very hard, which is of a democratic Middle East.

...and assume that their ultimate goal is likewise a democratic Middle East.

The war On Iran (Pepe Escobar, 13 April, 2006, Asia Times)

The ominous signs are "on the table" for all to see. The Pentagon has its Long War, the rebranded "war on terror" that Vice President Dick Cheney swears will last for decades, a replay of the war between Eastasia and Oceania in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. [...]

From the point of view of the Pentagon's Long War, a strategic nuclear attack on Iran can be spun to oblivion as the crucial next stage of the war on "radical Islam". From the view of a factionalized European Union, this is (very) bad business; the Europeans prefer to concentrate on the factionalized nature of the Iranian government itself and push for a nuclear deal. [...]

As was the case with Iraq, Iran is being sold as a threat to world peace (it may be pursuing nuclear weapons). Bush - at least vocally - hopes diplomacy will prevail. But the decision to attack may have been made already, just as it was taken regarding Iraq way before March 2003.

The Long War is, of course, already two centuries old and nearing its end with the defeat of Islamicism, the last unworkable challenger to parliamentary democracy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 13, 2006 7:54 AM

No kidding, Mr. Hersh? The US government is pursuing regime change in Iran? However did you determine that little secret? Who leaked it to you? Why, I am in awe of your investigative skills!
/sarcasm off/

To his credit, though, he must have actually listened to one of the president's speeches and is taking him seriously.

Posted by: Mikey at April 13, 2006 8:02 AM


It's not the Hersh has this "scoop", but that the rest of the Old Media treat it as a scoop.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 13, 2006 8:41 AM

Rush's term for the old media (the "drive-by" media) is very instructive. It seems most journos would rather be cult figures like Sy Hersh or Bob Woodward or even Dan Rather than actually be correct in their work.

The level of reporting on WMD, on the Fitzgerald 'investigation', on Hurricane Katrina, on election fraud, on the global climate, on energy, on the economy, on just about any topic, is so cliched, so full of the same stale errors, and so driven by Bush Derangement Syndrome, that even the media themselves can't believe what they write (or say) anymore.

The old media has turned into a caricature of American Idol, with a few clucking observers acting as judges, and performances directed towards a very narrow audience (parts of Boston, the Upper West Side, and inside the Beltway). The rest of America just doesn't care anymore.

Live by the lie, perish by (with) the lie.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 13, 2006 9:25 AM

Folks like Hersh or (to a lesser extent today) Woodward are given the same type of free pass as the Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies gave Rodney King after the 1992 riots. King pretty much had carte blanche to do anything after that an never spend much time behind bars, while in Hersh's case, being the reporter who broke the My Lai massacre has given him free reign over the past 35 years to write just about anything he wants and never get called on it.

To my knowledge, no one has ever asked Seymour to explain why the release of Soviet files on the KAL 007 downing contradicted his entire book claiming the jet was actually on a spy mission for the U.S. when it overflew Soviet territory. The only way writers like Hersh lose their immunity from criticism is when they go off the reservation, which he briefly did a few years ago with his unflattering portrayal of John F. Kennedy, or which Woodward has done a few times recently, in his balanced book on Bush after 9/11 and his admission that he knew about Valerie Plame's CIA status before anyone at the White House told Bob Novak or Judith Miller.

Posted by: John at April 13, 2006 10:28 AM

I love the way Escobar refers to "radical Islam" in "quotes" as though it really were some sort of "threat". Just because it has a propensity to "kill" those who do not wish to adhere to it, to "attack" both civilian and governing authorities in it's name all over the "world", from "New York", to "Madrid", to "London", to "Russia", to "Thailand" to the (so-called) "Middle East" in general, etc etc.

Posted by: Andrew X at April 13, 2006 10:54 AM

Similarly, no Christian author would refer to Communist terrorists as radical Christians.

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2006 11:00 AM

oj: Not similarly at all. It's more the equivalent of someone at the Nation putting scare quotes around "Communism" when writing about the Cold War.

Posted by: b at April 13, 2006 11:56 AM

Yes, the Left denies that Communism is communism and the Right denies it's just a Christian heresy

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2006 12:01 PM

Marx, Lenin and Trotsky. The Christian heretics. "My kingdom is not of this world". "Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and to God..."

To be diametrically opposed to basic Christianity does not make one a 'Christian' heretic. It makes one opposed to Christ, no matter the intention.

Islam is different.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at April 13, 2006 1:06 PM

Only in your mind.

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2006 1:12 PM

oj: Your point only makes sense if you're talking about "liberation theology" since conventional Communism makes no appeal to orthodox Christianity of any sort in the way that radical Islam does to mainstream practice. Which shows the strength of the Church--there needs to be an establishment (even a single guy) with the standing to crush heresy.

Posted by: b at April 13, 2006 1:19 PM

radical Islam doesn't appeal to mainstram practice.

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2006 1:30 PM

Of course it does. They know their Koran very well, just like Christian heretics tend to know the Bible better than most of the faithful.

Posted by: b at April 13, 2006 1:33 PM


Posted by: oj at April 13, 2006 1:36 PM

Anybody can know the words (i.e., individual verses). Knowing the themes, the foundation, and the author - well, that's another story.

Here, the radical Muslims are as cursed as the Pharisees, probably even more so.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 13, 2006 1:56 PM

If the reports about Mullah Omar's bedroom in Kandhar were true, then yep, he's cursed. And darned to heck.

Posted by: Mikey at April 13, 2006 2:36 PM

Mikey, What's with the Mullah's bedroom? Do you have a link?

Posted by: erp at April 14, 2006 3:51 PM