Released July 25, 1998
The Wisdom Fund, P. O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA 22202
Website: -- Press Contact: Enver Masud

Iran Missile Test: NYT Slants Reports, Accommodates Defense, Israel

WASHINGTON, DC -- The New York Times slanted its reporting of Iran's Wednesday, July 22, 1998, medium-range missile test to accommodate the defense establishment and Israeli interests.

The day following Iran's missile test, the NYT front page carried a story headlined, "Iran Said to Test Missile Able to Hit Israel and Saudis." the NYT reported a senior official of the U.S. government saying on Wednesday night: "The weapon, with a range of about 800 miles, is capable of hitting Israel and Saudi Arabia, and of altering the political and military balance of power in the Middle East." Surely, the NYT should have asked, "why?"

A simple "why" would have revealed that "Israel has also produced ballistic missiles, against which its potential enemies have no defense," according to the Washington based Center for Defense Information.

A simple "why" would have revealed that Israel has 100 plus nuclear weapons according to CDI. Iran has none. Estimates of Israel's nuclear weapons by others are as high as 400 warheads.

A little further investigation would have revealed that, according to CDI, "The highly capable and well-equipped Israeli air force would more than suffice in the nuclear weapons delivery role, particularly with U.S.-supplied aircraft such as the F-4E and F-16. However, Israel has also produced ballistic missiles, against which its potential enemies have no defense. The Jericho I suffices for its immediate adversary of Syria, and the Jericho II brings the entire Middle East under Israel's range, particularly Iran. The Shavit space-launch booster could also be adapted to a long-range nuclear delivery role, and given the decision, Israel would be able to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile."

A little further investigation would have revealed that Israel received the first two of the $84 million F151 warplanes made by the U.S. in January, and "the $2.5 billion order for 25 of the world's most advanced fighters, plus spare parts, is due to be completed by the end of this year" as reported by The Times of London last month.

However, the NYT neither asked "why," nor did they report relevant facts. That, of course, would not fit the "spin" they desired to give the story.

The NYT' "spin" on foreign affairs is usually adopted by major media. The Associated Press followed up on July 24 by reporting:

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on the Near East and South Asian Affairs, said Wednesday's test creates "a new and incredibly more dangerous environment for the Middle East."

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said if Iran has a missile capable of threatening its neighbors, "what is to stop them from developing the means to deliver such a weapon upon the United States and any of our allies?"

House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., reiterated calls for a national missile defense system.

The same day, July 24, the London Times revealed that "The Shehab 3 test [Iran's missile test] was leaked to the paper [the NYT] within hours of its detection by a US spy satellite."

The leak to the NYT by the intelligence community is part of the continuing effort by the defense establishment to justify bloated defense spending.

The U.S. $265 billion military budget request for 1998 is five and one-half times that of the second largest spender, Russia. According to CDI: "It is nearly eighteen times as large as the combined spending of the seven countries often identified by the Pentagon as our most likely adversaries (North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan and Cuba)", and the United States and its close allies spend far more than the rest of the world combined. They spend more than thirty-three times as much as the seven potential "enemies" combined!"

"For 45 years of the Cold War we were in an arms race with the Soviet Union. Now it appears we're in an arms race with ourselves," says Admiral Eugene Carroll, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.), Deputy Director of CDI.

To conclude, the NYT used a self-serving report, leaked by the defense establishment, to slant NYT reporting, thereby, accommodating the defense establishment and Israeli interests.

Copyright © 1998 The Wisdom Fund - All Rights Reserved. This article may be reproduced only in printed newspapers and magazines provided that it is not edited, and our name and URL are included. It may not be saved in digital form without our written permission.
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