Iran: Parallax view

NOAM CHOMSKY: The Brookings Institute just a few months ago released extensive polls of what Arabs think about Iran. …They show that Arab opinion …—holds that the major threat in the region is Israel, that’s 80 percent; the second major threat is the United States, that’s 77 percent. Iran is listed as a threat by 10 percent. With regard to nuclear weapons, rather remarkably, a majority, in fact, 57 percent, say that …it would have a positive effect in the region if Iran had nuclear weapons.
When they talk about Arabs, they mean the Arab dictators, not the population, which is overwhelmingly opposed to the conclusions that the analysts here, Clinton and the media, have drawn. There’s also a minor problem. That’s the major problem. The minor problem is that we don’t know from the cables what the Arab leaders think and say. We know what was selected from the range of what they say. So there’s a filtering process. We don’t know how much it distorts the information. But there’s no question that what is a radical distortion is—or not even a distortion, a reflection of the concern that the dictators are what matter. The population doesn’t matter, even if it’s overwhelmingly opposed to U.S. policy. This shows up elsewhere…. –Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal “Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership”

YouTube of Iran Debate

Below is the 2 1/2 hour entirety of that Iran debate at UCR on April 1, 2010. Featured speaker was Reese Erlich. Panelists were Erlich, Larry Greenfield, Christopher Records and myself. The host was Louis Vandenberg. Thanks to Joe Briggs for putting this on his YouTube account.

One correction: After this conference, I learned from Syed Saleem Shahzad that the Jundallah that the CIA and JSOC use against Iran is different from the Jundallah that KSM used to be the leader of. However, they are both radical Salafi civilian-bombing terrorists, so same difference.