"Renee Parsons was a lobbyist for Friends of the Earth in Washington, D.C. focusing on nuclear energy issues."Very quick. Though Ms. Parsons has done other things what brought her to the Huffington Post is her background in problems involving nuclear energy and weapons. And what should come as no surprise to anyone, her first article is about Israel. Ostensibly the article is about Iran's nuclear program but in truth the whole exercise is in pointing the finger at Israel to try and establish some kind of moral equivalency. However, quickly she forgets about all that and the rest of the article runs as a hit piece on Israel which includes some tenuous claims.
To start off we have another "Jewish lobby" level comment which is so common among the Huffington Post blogsophere:
"It comes as no surprise that the US Congress has added its voice, in repayment for the Israel lobby's $3 million during the 2010 election cycle, to ban any communication between US and Iran government officials."Now if this were coming from James Zogby or MJ Rosenberg I might be a little more sympathetic. But it comes from Ms. Parsons, who is a lobbyist herself! Friends of the Earth has a multimillion dollar budget too, and you don't think they use it to try and influence the US Congress? Of course, one would think that as a lobbyist she would know that a paltry $3 million dollars is a drop in the bucket on the grand spectrum of lobbying funds, but I guess pointing that out wouldn't help her make her point.
She then tackles the question of whether Iran is working toward attaining a nuclear weapon, ignoring IAEA reports and other evidence and instead relying on the opinions of people like Leon Panetta and Hillary Clinton. So having complained that America treats its democratic ally of Israel differently from a rogue theocratic state like Iran she gets to the main point of her article, a completely uncited pseudo-history lesson of Israel's nuclear program. After such subtle lies as saying that American aid to Israel is $4 billion a year as opposed to $3 billion, she gets into something bigger:
"It is inexplicable that there is zero discussion amongst the mainstream media about Israel's "illicit nuclear activities" with estimates of between 200-400 nuclear warheads (exact number is uncertain) and all the US-supplied tanks, submarines, fighter jets, guns and assorted weaponry and implements of destruction that $4 billion from the US taxpayer can buy."You know, there isn't a discussion on the mainstream media about China's nuclear activity either. What's up with that? I think I'm going to write an article about that on the Huffington Post. Ms. Parsons tried to make the case earlier that Israel is somehow breaking the law by not signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and not allowing IAEA inspectors in. Or that it is at least hypocritical of them to condemn Iran while keeping their nuclear program so secretive. One little problem: Israel is not obligated to sign the NNPT under any international law or treaty. India and Pakistan openly defied the treaty and refuse to sign it, yet I don't see Ms. Parsons whining about them either. In contrast, Iran did sign the treaty yet continues to dance around what exactly they are doing in their development facilities, and has often been accused by the IAEA of not living up their obligations. I don't want to get too far off topic but the point is that the "I am rubber and you are glue" argument doesn't work on the playground and it doesn't seem to be working in international politics.
Here comes another questionable claim. Emphasis mine:
"US intel agencies agreed with IAEA conclusions and the Arms Control Association, a US think-tank, said that a "nuclear-armed Iran is still not imminent nor is it inevitable" while Israel's well-known hair trigger is worrisome to international experts."Really? Israel has a nuclear "hair trigger" that is "well known?" Well known by whom? Who are these international experts? Because I'd really like to read some of them and see what they have to say. Common knowledge is that the only time Israel ever even considered using nuclear weapons was when it looked like they might face total defeat on the battlefield in 1973. And even then we don't know exactly what was said and what wasn't said at the time. What I feel reasonable certain in stating is that if Israel did have a "hair trigger" as Ms. Parsons claims then Cairo and Damascus would be irradiated craters.
Next up the big claims come out:
"Even as Israel continues to neither confirm nor deny its own nuclear capacity and makes its case for military action with world peace in the balance, its accusations against Iran must be viewed in the context of a country that preaches one set of principles and yet does not follow those same principles for itself as well, as its own sordid nuclear history of lies, deceptions, evasions and total disregard for the international Rule of Law."I'm not going to lie, Ms. Parsons is coming off as just another garden variety Israel hater here, and I don't mean the laughable "Rule of Law" remark. She seems to be under the impression that Israel is all by itself in wanting Iran not to have nuclear weapons, but even a casual perusal of the newspaper reveals that this simply is not true. There was a major regional security conference held in Bahrain this week, and they talked about Iran more than any other single issue. I suppose Ms. Parsons would have us believe that Israel controls all of those Arab states as well?
Secondly, Ms. Parsons can't cite the Rule of Law to criticize Israel and then ignore it when it comes to Iran, at least without coming off like a total hypocrite. She just cited the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Well guess what? Under the Rule of Law, Israel is in the clear and Iran is not. If Iran wants nuclear weapons, they can leave the treaty. But if they want to stay in the treaty, they have to live up to their obligations. None of this has anything to do with Israel aside from Israel being one of the major players demanding that Iran be held accountable for their actions. Boo hoo hoo, poor Iran.
She then launches into a history of what she objectively calls "Israel's romance with nuclear weapons." Yes, that's right. Three genocidal wars of aggression against them and the only reason they could want nukes is because they are irrational. That's Huffington Post logic for you. Click below to continue.
Most of her history is pretty typical information we already know, such as the France helped Israel get their program running. And if that was all it was I wouldn't care. However, it isn't long before she starts to pull out ZOG-style rhetoric:
"With LBJ in the White House, Israel's domination of US Middle East foreign policy can be traced to a shift away from its previous neutrality as Johnson boosted sales of major weaponry to Israel. Despite State Department and Joint Chief objections, Johnson began what has become decades of "unconditional" US support and Israeli dependence on US military shipments."If you were expecting calm and rational historical analysis, you're looking in the wrong place. According to Ms. Parsons, America started supporting Israel for basically no reason. Johnson must have been crazy or something because for no reason at all he started sending weapons to Israel. It had nothing to do with Israel proving to America in 1967 its ability to be a strong self-sufficient ally, as depicted in such books as The Much Too Promised Land. Nope! Better just blame the Israel lobby and call it a day. That'll work. If you don't believe me the same kind of rhetoric continues further down the column:
"That same year, CIA Director Helms was known to have reported to Johnson that Israel possessed nuclear weapons. Unwilling to risk adoption of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty which Israel refused to sign and in deference to Israel, LBJ told Helms to keep the information secret and not inform any member of his cabinet.""In deference to Israel," okay sure, whatever. It can't possibly have anything to do with the fact that America would have nothing to gain from calling Israel out about this. Certainly. Now as usual, it might be true, but without a source to back it up I find it a little difficult to take at face value.
Finally, she talks about Mordechai Vanunu with this little gem (emphasis mine):
"An opponent of weapons of mass destruction, Vanunu was kidnapped and imprisoned for 18 years (11 of those in solitary) and after his release in 2004, expressed "near certain indications" that Mossad was implicated in Kennedy's assassination."Now I'll admit that I did not know this before I read it in the article, so I double checked and he did indeed say it. My question is why did this make it into Ms. Parsons' article? There's no reason to believe Vanunu at face value, since he has no background in intelligence and would have been around 10 when Kennedy was assassinated. Also, he said that there is no need for a Jewish state since "Jews can live anywhere." So I ask my question again: Why did Ms. Parsons put that footnote of history not very subtly into her article? Does she believe it to be true? If not then why is it relevant to the question of Israel's nuclear arsenal?
Anyway, that's the end of the article. The only thing could have been summed up in five words: Israel has nuclear weapons too. If she was hoping to convince us to leave Iran alone, it doesn't seem to be working very well. Maybe she could try her tactics on the playground and see how that goes.