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Selling Iran: Part Four

Spin for Dummies, page 15: “When square news does not fit the round hole of your narrative, bang it with a hammer until it fits.”

A new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has been released. Apparently, the intelligence professionals have learned the lesson of Iraq, even if Bush and Cheney haven’t. Intelligence used to be a business of bet-hedging; the Cold War encouraged wishy-washy nuance among the CIA and NSA. Now, here’s a plain statement from the new NIE:

Our assessment that Iran halted the program in 2003 primarily in response to international pressure indicates Tehran’s decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic, and military costs.

Oh my! Iran is a rational actor? Whodathunkit!

The opponents of a new war need to capitalize on this. They need to offer an alternative narrative: Iran wants to negotiate. This is an opportunity, not an emergency.

And they shouldn’t hesitate. The president is already pounding square facts into a round holes:

“So, I view this report as a warning signal that they had the program, they halted the program. And the reason why it’s a warning signal is that they could restart it,” the president said.

So we’re supposed to declare war on Iran because they STOPPED building nukes? Only in BushWorld…

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