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McCain was just on CNN, doing his tough, sensible guy schtick, and pointing all the arrows toward Syria and Iran. TV right now is a stream of talking heads, anchors, and politicians doing roughly the same.

Just a few of Wolf Blitzer’s references last night during the first two hours of his show.

BLITZER: This hour, breaking news from the Middle East. The crisis there growing more volatile and dangerous by the minute. Israel’s ambassador to the United States is calling a rocket attack on the northern Israeli port city of Haifa a major, major escalation. That’s his words. And he’s warning Iran and Syria that they are playing with fire for supporting Hezbollah militants and that those nations will face consequences.

BLITZER: I want to move onto Iraq, but what I hear you saying is that as the Iranians feel the heat on their nuclear program, they’re reacting by maybe encouraging their allies in Hezbollah or Hamas to take these kinds of actions, sort of to show that they have some muscle as well.

BLITZER: I don’t know if you heard my interview with the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, just now in THE SITUATION ROOM, but he made the point — he was pointing a direct finger at Iran, saying that the Iranians who are under enormous pressure because of their own nuclear program may be using their influence with Hezbollah and Hamas to up the ante elsewhere, to show that they have some influence in that part of the world as well. Do you see Iran and/or Syria involved in this escalating tension?

BLITZER: Rockets fired from Lebanon reach deep into Israel. Israel is blasting right back, pounding hundreds of targets in Lebanon. And still, two Israelis soldiers are missing in Lebanon.

Now Israel fears Hezbollah guerillas could take them to Iran.

BLITZER: We heard in the last hour the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, make a very similar point, that the Iranians are trying to deflect attention from their own nuclear program, the criticism it’s facing by, perhaps, using its influence with Hezbollah and Hamas to change the subject, to show that they have a card as well.

But let me rephrase the question. What can you do, Israel, against Syria and Iran, if, in fact, as you suggest, they are responsible for this situation? Because so far, what we’ve seen are attacks against various Hezbollah targets or other targets in Lebanon.

BLITZER: One of your Israeli colleagues today in Jerusalem suggested that they had indications that the Hezbollah was going to try to transfer those two kidnapped Israeli soldiers to Iran.

Is that true?

BLITZER: This just coming in to CNN from the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying this, according to Iranian State Television. “If the Zionist regime commits another stupid move and attacks Syria, this will be considered like attacking the whole Islamic world and this regime will receive a very fierce response.” The Iranian president quoted as saying that in a telephone conversation earlier with the Syrian Bashar al-Assad. The situation clearly heating up.

BLITZER: Now the latest on the escalating situation in the Middle East. Two Israeli soldiers are still missing in Lebanon and Israel fears Hezbollah guerrillas could take them to Iran. Now Iran’s foreign ministry is denying that the Israeli soldiers will be brought there. Also, Israel has now hit the main highway linking Beirut to Damascus.

See what I’m saying? War starts between Israel and Lebanon, and our nightly news is entirely dominated by talk of Iran and to a lesser extent Syria.

Just as, immediately after 9/11 (relatively speaking), the airwaves were engulfed with speculation about whether we should head to Iraq, Israel’s incursion into Lebanon has provoked a torrent of speculation here (in the US, on our cable news channels) about what is to be done about Syria and Iran.

It’s not good. We’ve been here before. The mass media’s self-chosen role seems to be to warm the American populace up, to prepare them for what is to come, to chatter along about things that are not happening now, but will soon, until they become inevitable, preordained, necessary. The media always somehow knows what’s next. We are push polled on a nightly basis by our media, “What do you think about invading Iraq / Iran / Syria?” until we’ve got so much idle talk floating around in our heads that the initial question – how we got to Iran from Israel – Lebanon – has slipped down the memory hole.

Written by adswithoutproducts

July 14, 2006 at 10:11 am

Posted in distraction, teevee, war

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