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Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Edited quotes and a topsy-turvy world

What follows is taken from a New York Times story as it appears in the San Jose Mercury News. Strangely enough, the version that appears in the Times (online) itself doesn't contain these passages. Note carefully the placement of the quotation marks:
"Working in the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the agency is our concrete policy," [Iranian President Ahmadinejad] said. But "if we see that they are violating our rights, or they don't want to accept" what he called the country's rights, "well, we will reconsider."
Did you catch that? "What he called the country's rights" are the author's words, not Ahmadinejad's (I can't find the full quote). The next paragraphs elaborate (if you want to call it that) on that phrase:
Iran insists the Non-Proliferation Treaty gives it the right to enrich uranium for fueling civilian nuclear power plants, and he has given no ground in the international faceoff.

The United States, Britain and France maintain Iran also wants enriched uranium for atomic bombs, which would violate its commitments under the treaty.
"Iran insists..."? To the best of my knowledge, there isn't the slightest question about Iran's rights to a civilian nuclear power program under the NPT. And against that, what are we setting? A thought crime -- the U.S. and its allies asserting that they know what Iran "wants." And note the wording of that last phrase. What is it that "would violate its commitments under the treaty"? Enriching uranium for atomic bombs is the answer. But only doing so would violate those commitments, not "wanting" to do so.

The article continues with this gem:

Taken together, the actions appear to show an Iranian determination to move ahead with a confrontation with the West when the U.N. Security Council meetss, probably next week, to debate its next steps.
Iran is "moving ahead" with a confrontation with the West? How about the "West" is moving ahead with a confrontation with Iran? How dare you put your face in front of my moving fist?

The topsy-turvy world of the American government and media is also reflected in another Times article, headlined "Rice Dismisses New Threats From Iran." Iran is making threats? Technically, yes. They are "threatening" to withdraw from the NPT if sanctions are imposed on it. Put another way, they are "threatening" to "retaliate" in the mildest possible way if the economic powers of the world launch an economic war against it. And what else is Iran "threatening"? Why, those aggressive people are actually vowing to do something (unspecified) if attacked militarily. The fiends!

I searched both The New York Times and the Washington Post for the phrase "threats against Iran." I got exactly one match -- in a quote from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on why oil prices are rising!

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