Front page above the fold today at the ‘NYT,’ stenographer to the Israelis Ethan Bronner reports, “Israel Senses Bluffing in Iran’s Threats of Retaliation”:
Israeli intelligence estimates, backed by academic studies, have cast doubt on the widespread assumption that a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would set off a catastrophic set of events like a regional conflagration, widespread acts of terrorism and sky-high oil prices.
The estimates, which have been largely adopted by the country’s most senior officials, conclude that the threat of Iranian retaliation is partly bluff….
“A war is no picnic,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said. But if Israel feels itself forced into action, the retaliation would be bearable, he said. “There will not be 100,000 dead or 10,000 dead or 1,000 dead. The state of Israel will not be destroyed.”
For American audiences, the translation is: If Israel attacks Iran, the consequences will be…what? Maybe not an enjoyable picnic, but one where ants invade the egg salad?
Nowhere in the story is there a mention of the anticipatable human and environmental consequences to the Iranian people. Additionally, all of those quoted are Israeli or affiliated with the Israeli government. Where is the balance? Where are the quotes from neutral, international conflict experts from organizations like the International Crisis Group or Transcend? This is one of the worst pieces of war journalism I’ve ever seen. We need peace journalism, now!