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Taheri: Reporting for Destruction

By Soraya Ulrich


When it was reported in May 2007 that Rupert Murdoch's "surprise" $5 billion bid for the nation's largest financial newspaper, the prestigious Wall Street Journal, it was regarded with apprehension lest this paper of record for the U.S. economy lend itself to Murdoch's conservative leanings.  The anxiety felt was not misplaced.  Murdoch now has The Wall street Journal from which to propagate misinformation to the public; the latest such scandal being an opinion piece by Amir Taheri.


What prompts  Murdoch to allow such an incredulous opinion piece to be published in his paper? 


Murdoch asserted his strong personal and business attachments with Israel and like many similar neoconservative, received recognition for it.  The American Jewish Congress of New York voted Murdoch "Communication Man of the Year" in 1982.    His support of Israel is so strong-surpassing business interests, that a former London Times correspondent by the name of Sam Kiley states: "No pro-Israel lobbyist ever dreamed of having such power over a great national newspaper."[i]


Israel has made its position clear: it wants war declared on Iran and it wants the United States to attack.  And America needs the world to be on its side, or at least, the American public.  When Dick Cheney visited Israel, Olmert hoped he would be the one to "push the envelope" and make the case of Iran enriching uranium as the "smoking gun"[ii].

Murdoch's paper is providing a platform for Amir Taheri to spin his lies.  Why is  the owner of Fox News so enamored with Taheri? Foremost, because  Taheri excels at propagating misinformation and Murdoch picked him at an auction of sorts.   His investment has paid off.  No doubt Murdoch had eyed his talent from afar - as Benador Associate.   


Benador Associates has a host of clients and helps to promote them by arranging their TV appearances and speaking engagements, and helps to place their articles in newspapers. Ms. Benador, the founder of Benador Associates has many noteworthy clients including Senator Lieberman (advising McCain on Iran), Charles Krauthammer,  Martin Kramer, Max Boot, Meyrav Wurmser, Michael A Ledeen, Michael Rubin, Michel Gurfinkiel,  R James Woolsey,  Richard Perle, Richard Pipes,  Reza Pahlavi, Michael Ledeen, and many more[iii].   These associates do not endorse peace with Iran.

Taheri's publication promoted through Benador showed promising signs prompting him to be noticed by Fox owner Murdoch.  In May 2006, Taheri claimed that Iranian authorities demanded a color code for Iranian minorities and he attempted to draw a parallel to Nazis
[iv].  This outrageous allegation was nullified by minority parliamentarians in Iran.  A Christian Assyrian leader and member of Iranian parliament, Yonathan Betkolia stated:"Christians and Zoroastrians leave because of unemployment, the bad economy, but these problems affect all Iranians," said, an Assyrian Christian leader and member of Iran's parliament who holds the United States responsible for his community's decline. "They give all those green cards to our people. Their only goal is to propagate the idea that Iran is mistreating its minorities."[v]  Yet Benador continues to post such false allegations on its website.  Murdoch employed his treacherous talents and published an opinion piece of Taheri's in his  New York Post (Dec 17, 2006)[vi] -  a once respectable paper in the hands of Alexander Hamilton- which attempted to draw a rift between Iran and Saudi Arabia.    


In writing this latest opinion piece, Taheri has become lax, for he fails to use his usual cunning imagination, but instead he copies from PNAC founder and Weekly Standard editor (and now The New York Times columnist, William Kristol who on July 24, 2006,  published an editorial on the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.  Kristol maintained that the real enemy of Israel and the democratic civilization was not so much Hezbollah, but Iran: "No Islamic Republic of Iran, no Hezobllah, no one to prop up Assad regime in Syria.. no Shiite Iranian revolution, far less an impetus for the Saudis to finance the export of the Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam as a competitor to Khomeini's claim for leadership of militant Islam - and thus no Taliban rule in Afghanistan, and perhaps no Hamas either..."


In the same vain, Taheri would have us believe that the enemy of the world is Iran and the Iranians, powerful and with tentacles everywhere like the  CIA and Mossad, have the  capacity to undermine and terrorize regimes around the world and orchestrate terrorist activities, the kinds of which history has witnessed American and Israeli government carry out in the name of security and national interest.  In his zest to accommodate a war, he confuses the ideology of those he wishes to destroy with those he serves.  According to Jacob Heilbrunn, a 'former' neocon, neoconservatism grew out of a split in the 1930s between Stalinists and followers of Trotsky.  A little research would have served Taheri so that he would avoid offending those who sign his paycheck. 


While the audacity of his lies need no response from the intelligent reader, and addressing the outrageous allegations is an exercise in futility, it is worthwhile  underscoring the dismal state of our media for allowing such unsubstantiated claims to be published by a person of such objectionable character.  We must remind ourselves that the neocons advising the Bush administration initially attempted to draw a picture of a 'Shiite crescent' - of a dangerous Shiite Iran on the rise.  Next they are endeavoring to persuade us that under the influence of Iran, the Shiite and Sunnis have joined forces to take over the world, as outlined by Murdoch's prize propagandist. 


War has unbearable casualties, but for some, it has its prize. Perhaps the owner of Fox News has more to gain than just proving his loyalty to Israel.  In the lead up to the Iraq invasion, in January 2003, some sixty New York based collectors and dealers by the name of "American Council for Cultural Policy" met with Mr. Bush and discussed ways to loot Iraq's artifacts by suggesting that once the country was invaded, there should be more lax antiquities laws[vii].   Iran is rich with antiquities.  Has Mr. Bush been visited by Murdoch and others?  Will Taheri be allowed to participate in looting of Iran's ancient sites?


The world watched in horror as Fox and other media brought unforgiveable destruction of the  Buddhist statues by the Taliban in 2001.  Yet the same media sources are hiding the destruction of a civilization by American forces, the helicopters which have sandblasted the brick fašade of the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon from 605 to 562 BC[viii].   They led us to a war of destruction based on lies.  Not only have lives been lost, far, far too many lives, but the best know civilizations - the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Parthians, Sassanids, and Muslims, all part of Iraq's culture and contributors to humanity are being destroyed while the news media is leading us to ravage another greater culture with its deception, with more lies.  When will the world ask for accountability?


[i] Richard Curtiss, "Rupert Murdoch and William Kristol: Using the Press to Advance Israel's Interests,: Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June 2003, pp. 24-26

[vii] Chalmers Johnson, "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic" Metropolitan Books

Liddle, Guardian, April 15, 2003. http://www.,,936943,00.html.

[viii] Chalmers Johnson, "Guardian, June 20, 2005, Guardian.


... Payvand News - 03/31/08 ... --

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