Iran and the Military-PR industrial complex

In a recent interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel, the former US representative at the UN, John Bolton, declared that the publication of a report by the US secret service agencies, according to which Iran had discontinued any atomic weapons program in 2003, amounted to a “coup” of the secret service against the American president. Indeed, he is right if one assumes that the president had and has plans to attack Iran, because the report removed any pretext justifying such an attack. Likewise, it even removed the basis for sanctions imposed on that country.

But who believes that it will have a significant impact on US policy in the Near East, except perhaps for putting a greater burden on the vast PR industry, which has very effectively prepared the war against Iraq and has convinced many that Iran is a dangerous country because it is close to possessing atomic weapons. The former US president Dwight D. Eisenhower was quite right, when he stated in his farewell address in 1961 with regard to the military-industrial complex: “A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence ” economic, political, even spiritual ” is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

In those days it was the military-industrial complex which was the potential danger, although propaganda always played a significant role. Today, as the result of immense advances in communication technology and an ever increasing control of the PR industry by fewer and fewer interest groups, emphasis should shift to the military-PR industrial complex. It is obvious that the oil and other industries pumped vast sums into the campaigns of Bush, but it was used to influence public opinion through the PR industry.

Relevant here is a comparison of what is happening about Iran now with what happened to Iraq.

According to WHO estimates, the Gulf war followed by sanctions against Iraq prior to the invasion which included many pharmaceuticals, cost the lives of approximately half a million children, and two inspectors of the sanctions program resigned over what they thought was the illegality of the sanctions. But public opinion was hardly aware of it. What was reported were cases of some cases of corruption related to the sanctions. Accordingly, no changes in politics occurred (as far as I am aware). Highly unlikely that humanitarian considerations will have any effect this time, but let us wait and see. After all, what is said to count is American lives and not Iraqi or Iranian lives. In this context: According to the Sydney Morning Herald, January 8, 2008, ” Iraq is not a dirty word…in McCain campaign. ….But John McCain clearly believes the significant drop in US casualties has altered political dynamics….. As one of the points he spotlights is his longstanding support for increased US military involvement in Iraq…. at one point saying the changed policy has “saved America’s most precious resource”- the lives of soldiers.” Not a word about Iraqi lives in his campaign to win the nomination for president.

Also in this context: was the recent flight of a US bomber across the US loaded with atomic weapons really an “accident”? Click here. I hope it was and all this is sheer scare mongering.

4 Replies to “Iran and the Military-PR industrial complex”

  1. A comment on my own post. John McCain has indeed won the New Hampshire primary. It seems he was right in interpreting the political atmosphere, at least in New Hampshire.

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