The forever threat: The imminent attack on Iran that will never happen

“Israel has drawn up plans for a combined air and ground attack on Iranian nuclear installations if diplomacy fails to halt Tehran’s atomic program…”
– Toledo Blade, March 14, 2005

Last month, amid the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, accomplished lunatic Louie Gohmert, a Republican congressman from Texas, took to the House floor and called for Iran to be attacked.
 After insisting it is “time to cut off every dime of American money going to anyone who has any kind of relationship with Hamas or those killing in the Middle East, and especially in Israel,” Gohmert added, “It is time to bomb Iran’s nuclear capabilities. It is time for the United States, if we are not going to stop Iran’s nukes, then let Israel do it. A friend will not put another friend in this kind of jeopardy.”
Never mind that Iran has no “nukes” for anyone to “stop,” since it’s not actually making any and never has made or acquired any. Never mind that Iran has been consistently complying with the prescriptions of the multilateral deal agreed to last November by Iran and six world powers. Never mind that a number of recent articles in widely-read media outlets have addressed the myriadfalsehoods and myths responsible for the past three decades of fear-mongering and propaganda about Iran’s civilian nuclear program.Still, the persistent false narrative that military strikes by either the United States or Israel may follow any potential failure to reach a deal continues to berepeated in the press. Of course, the fact that any such attack would beunequivocally illegal under international law is rarely noted in these assessments. Indeed, even the “threat” of attack is itself expressly prohibitedunder the terms of the United Nations Charter.Pronouncements that Iran is close to having a nuclear bomb, or close to being bombed, are ubiquitous in the media. Threats against Iran – by both theUnited States and Israel – have been made for decades, despite routine Iraniandismissal of such rhetoric as mere bluster.

The frequency of such threats – always reported with fever-pitched alacrity by a dutiful and prostrate press – is alarming.

Not only is an American or Israeli attack on Iran always just around the bend – regardless of the state of diplomacy or intelligence assessments – but the media consistently provides fantasy scenarios by which its audience canimagine, replete with maps and graphics, just how such war crimes wouldtake place.

Over twenty years ago, a report in the Independent (UK) published on June 23, 1994 revealed that the Pentagon had inked a deal to provide Israel with advanced F-15I fighter jets, designed to “enable the Israelis to carry out strikes deep into Iraq and Iran without refuelling.”

Three years later, on December 9, 1997, a The Times of London headline screamed, “Israel steps up plans for air attacks on Iran.” The article, written by Christopher Walker, reported on the myriad “options” Israel had in confronting what it deemed “Iran’s Russian-backed missile and nuclear weapon programme.”

Such reports have been published ever since. Of course, neither the United States nor Israel will attack Iran, regardless of the success or failure of negotiations, but such reports (often the result of strategically timed “leaks” by anonymous government officials) serve to not only to intentionally torpedo diplomacy but also mislead the public into believing the absurdly false narrativesurrounding the Iranian nuclear program; that is, either Iran must be bombed or it will acquire a nuclear arsenal. This is nonsense.

Below are some of the constant headlines we’ve seen over the past dozen years promoting such propaganda. When will this madness – this pathological obsession with the false necessity of dropping bombs and the righteous inevitability of killing people – stop?

The Times of LondonNovember 5, 2002:

AFPOctober 11, 2003:

The ScotsmanNovember 22, 2003:

New York Daily NewsNovember 23, 2003:

The New York TimesAugust 21, 2004:

Los Angeles TimesOctober 22, 2004:

The Jerusalem PostJanuary 21, 2005:

The IndependentJanuary 27, 2005:

Toledo BladeMarch 14, 2005:

Associated PressDecember 4, 2005:

The Straits TimesDecember 17, 2005:

Associated PressJanuary 22, 2006:

Fox NewsJune 4, 2006:

The TelegraphFebruary 24, 2007:

Associated PressMarch 21, 2007:

NewsweekDecember 19, 2007:

The Daily Star (Lebanon)May 30, 2008:

USA TodayJune 6, 2008:

The TelegraphJune 7, 2008:

The AgeJune 9, 2008:

Fox NewsJune 20, 2008:

The TelegraphJune 23, 2008:

ABC NewsJuly 1, 2008:

Ha’aretzJuly 2, 2008:

AFPJuly 30, 2008:

Associated PressAugust 7, 2008:

CBS NewsAugust 7, 2008:

WiredApril 2, 2009:

SalonApril 14, 2009:

The Times of LondonApril 18, 2009:

The Wall Street JournalJune 12, 2009:

The Washington PostJuly 2, 2009:

CBS NewsJuly 27, 2009:

Los Angeles TimesAugust 30, 2009:

Talking Points MemoAugust 31, 2009:

Fox NewsSeptember 21, 2009:

Huffington PostSeptember 28, 2009:

YnetOctober 9, 2009:

The Washington TimesOctober 22, 2009:

Ha’aretzNovember 6, 2009:

The New York TimesDecember 23, 2009:

NewsmaxApril 2, 2010:

The Wall Street JournalApril 21, 2010:

AFPJune 12, 2010:

TIMEJuly 15, 2010:

The Weekly StandardJuly 26, 2010:

Christian Science MonitorAugust 12, 2010:

The Spectator (UK)August 12, 2010:

Christian Science MonitorAugust 13, 2010:

The Weekly StandardAugust 14, 2010:

The WeekAugust 17, 2010:

New York Daily News, August 17, 2010:

The AtlanticAugust 18, 2010:

NewsmaxSeptember 2, 2010:

The AtlanticNovember 28, 2010:

AFPNovember 29, 2010:

The AustralianNovember 30, 2010:

The Washington TimesDecember 3, 2010:

The AustralianJanuary 13, 2011:

Associated PressMay 30, 2011:

Ha’aretzSeptember 28, 2011:

Associated PressNovember 2, 2011:

The Daily BeastNovember 2, 2011:

The GuardianNovember 2, 2011:

The TelegraphNovember 6, 2011:

ReutersNovember 9, 2011:

Arutz ShevaNovember 10, 2011:

Chicago TribuneNovember 13, 2011:

Arutz ShevaDecember 1, 2011:

The New York TimesJanuary 25, 2012:

Foreign AffairsJanuary/February 2012:

The Washington PostFebruary 2, 2012:

ReutersFebruary 3, 2012:

Foreign AffairsFebruary 23, 2012:

Congressional Research ServiceMarch 27, 2012:

CNNMarch 30, 2012:

Salon/GlobalPostMay 9, 2012:


The TelegraphMay 17, 2012:

CBN NewsMay 24, 2012:

The BlazeJuly 8, 2012:

ReutersAugust 10, 2012:

The Times of IsraelAugust 11, 2012:

The Daily MailAugust 21, 2012:

The Jewish ChronicleAugust 27, 2012:

ForbesSeptember 30, 2012:

National JournalOctober 9, 2012:

The TelegraphOctober 9, 2012:

Voice of AmericaDecember 19, 2012:

The New York TimesJanuary 26, 2013:

The Times of IsraelMarch 14, 2013:

NewsmaxApril 13, 2013:

The Wall Street JournalMay 2, 2013:

Ha’aretzMay 3, 2013:

The Times of IsraelMay 9, 2013:

Al Jazeera EnglishJuly 17, 2013:

The AtlanticAugust 1, 2013:


Washington Examiner
September 18, 2013:

Gatestone InstituteOctober 7, 2013:

Financial TimesNovember 17, 2013:

CNNNovember 19, 2013:

The Times of LondonNovember 26, 2013:

Defense NewsDecember 4, 2013:


CBS NewsDecember 6, 2013:


ThinkProgressJanuary 2, 2014:

Foreign AffairsJanuary 7, 2014:

Ha’aretzMarch 19, 2014:

Associated PressMarch 21, 2014:

The National InterestApril 16, 2014:

Iran TimesMay 16, 2014:


Defense News
June 8, 2014:

Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), June 12, 2014:

The Raw StoryJuly 23, 2014:

*****

UPDATE:

August 30, 2014 – Like clockwork, yet another headline asking the question everyone already knows the answer to.

SPOILER: no.

Al ArabiyaAugust 29, 2014:

 

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