Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pravda, anyone?

In an interview with the Haaretz newspaper published yesterday, Israeli Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz was asked his view of the Iranian nuclear weapons program.  Here are some key excerpts:
"If Iran goes nuclear it will have negative dimensions for the world, for the region, for the freedom of action Iran will permit itself," Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz told Haaretz in an Independence Day interview. That freedom of action might be expressed "against us, via the force Iran will project toward its clients: Hezbollah in Lebanon, Islamic Jihad in Gaza. And there's also the potential for an existential threat. If they have a bomb, we are the only country in the world that someone calls for its destruction and also builds devices with which to bomb us. [...]
Asked whether 2012 is also decisive for Iran, Gantz shies from the term. "Clearly, the more the Iranians progress the worse the situation is. This is a critical year, but not necessarily 'go, no-go.' The problem doesn't necessarily stop on December 31, 2012. We're in a period when something must happen: Either Iran takes its nuclear program to a civilian footing only or the world, perhaps we too, will have to do something. We're closer to the end of the discussions than the middle."[...]
Iran, Gantz says, "is going step by step to the place where it will be able to decide whether to manufacture a nuclear bomb. It hasn't yet decided whether to go the extra mile.  As long as its facilities are not bomb-proof, the program is too vulnerable, in Iran's view. If the supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants, he will advance it to the acquisition of a nuclear bomb, but the decision must first be taken. It will happen if Khamenei judges that he is invulnerable to a response. I believe he would be making an enormous mistake, and I don't think he will want to go the extra mile. I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people. But I agree that such a capability, in the hands of Islamic fundamentalists who at particular moments could make different calculations, is dangerous."
And here are Reuters correspondent Maayan Lubell's headline and lede in her report on the Haaretz/Gantz interview:
Israel army chief says Iran unlikely to make bomb
(Reuters) - Israel's military chief said he does not believe Iran will decide to produce an atomic bomb, describing its leadership as "very rational" in an interview published on Wednesday.
Of course, this is not what Gantz is saying at all.  He is saying that Iran is on the deliberate path toward nuclear weapons but that the regime will not take the final decision to build a bomb until the Supreme Leader "judges that Iran is invulnerable to a response", i.e., foreign attack.  Gantz believes this decision will be taken once Iran's nuclear facilities become bomb-proof.  It is in this sense, that Gantz judges Iran's leadership to be rational.

Lubell and Reuters willfully edit and twist Gantz' words to make it appear that he has said he believes Iran will not produce an atomic bomb, because the leadership is rational.

The depths to which Reuters correspondents will stoop to obfuscate reality are truly astounding.

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