Quoting Israelis, ‘NYT’ front pager says Iran will take a military strike lying down (won’t even raise oil prices!)

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Ethan Bronner
Ethan Bronner

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!

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They will be greeted as liberators, come on Matt, get with the program! If Iran were attacked and didn’t retaliate, the Israeli’s and the US would be the pariahs of the world, and I hope that international civil society would sanction both countries furiously. A non response would be just what the doctor ordered for emerging coalitions in the Global South that Iran is apart of, it could be a tipping point…. I can’t state… Read more »

Thanks Matthew- had not heard about the concepts of war journalism and peace journalism– great to be aware of, and of course the NYT is a virtual textbook to learn the former. The thrust of Bronner’s piece is so sadly reminiscent of the lowballing of the risks and dangers of war that got us into Iraq: “it will be a cakewalk…”

I would never trust a quote in the NYT. This is the same paper that spread the vicious rumor about Ahmadinejad wanted to blow Israel off the map.

Of course they said the same horsecrap about Iraq, how it would be over in a week, the grateful population throwing flowers at the troops etc. these people are demented and don’t care, because they themselves will be well protected. Israel will sit on the sidelines and gloat whilst Iranians are killed by airstrikes and US lives are put in danger. They haven’t a clue what they are talking about, warmongering imbeciles. The repercussions from… Read more »

How have Ethan Bronner and the New York Times managed to keep sinking lower and lower? After several years now to contemplate and learn from their errors in promoting the disastrous Iraq War? What is WRONG with them? Two words: ethnic nationalism. It’s more debilitating than crack cocaine. It will destroy your judgment and common sense, and leave you utterly demented. Peter Beinart managed to achieve a course correction — he is a more developed… Read more »