Washington Post Trashes IAEA


I know I’m a week late in seeing it, did this attack on Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei come out of nowhere or what?
The Washington Post doesn’t always get it right, but it’s never gotten it quite this wrong. First, the editors can’t seem to decide whether they want the IAEA Director General to be more or less independent. They fault him for ignoring his mandate as an international civil servant and then, paradoxically, suggest that he should more faithfully follow the lead of the United States.
There’s plenty of sloppy thinking in this piece, but the second paragraph is really a gem:

Mr. ElBaradei was lionized by opponents of the Iraq war for debunking Bush administration charges that Saddam Hussein had restarted his nuclear program before the 2003 invasion. Emboldened, he has now set himself a new task: stopping what he considers to be the “crazies” in Washington who “want to say, ‘Let us go and bomb Iran.’ ” We’re not part of that camp, though we consider its members saner than many of the statements of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But what’s really unacceptable is Mr. ElBaradei’s way of accomplishing his aim, which is to excuse the Iranian activity that most justifies the would-be bombers — uranium enrichment — while also trying to undermine the principal non-military leverage against it, which is economic sanctions.

Let’s review. First, the Post insinuates that Dr. ElBaradei doesn’t deserve a feather in his cap for getting Iraq WMDs right when the world’s largest intelligence bureaucracy got it wrong.
Then comes a weird, backwards bit of logic. To summarize: Iran hawks are less crazy than Ahmedinejad. That means that Iran hawks are sane. Therefore, ElBaradei, who wants to stop the Iran hawks, is crazy.
And it’s downhill from there. The Post says ElBaradei excuses uranium enrichment. Actually, ElBaradei makes an enrichment freeze a central point of negotiations with the Iranians and talks about its importance at every turn. Finally, the Post concludes that sanctions are the “principal non-military leverage” the international community has. Diplomacy anyone?
Really, the Washington Post editorial board is not always crazy. After all, I consider them much less crazy than the editorial board of the Washington Times, so they must be sane!
— Scott Paul


12 comments on “Washington Post Trashes IAEA

  1. cmills says:

    Maybe this editorial is part of the previously reported propoganda campaign, to be started after Labor Day, that the neocons are using to set the stage to bomb Iran.


  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And another thing…
    “…then prime minister Ariel Sharon warned that satellite imagery had shown large truck convoys of suspicious materials moving from Iraq to Syria. Former IDF chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya’alon later reiterated Sharon’s claims….”
    Are these lying pieces of shit in the Israeli media expecting us to believe that we just allowed “large convoys of suspicious materials” to move into Syria from Iraq when we enjoyed TOTAL 100% control of Iraqi airspace? Yeah right, like Bush was going to allow the “evidence” he claimed existed to just drive on outta Iraq into Syria.
    How long are we going to dance to the God damned LIES of Israel, arm them, send them billions of dollars, and spill our children’s blood for them?


  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And heres the “tone” of the typical article about ElBaradei coming out of the Israeli media.
    Note that these propagandist lying pigs fail to mention that the missing nuclear related items that went missing did so because this inept little prick in the Oval Office made no provisions to protect sealed sites such as Tuwaitha, where these items were catalogued, sealed, and monitored by the UN.
    Our World: ElBaradei’s nuclear policy
    The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency Director Muhammad ElBaradei is a man of dubious integrity. In 2005 he was vaunted to the heights of the international stratosphere when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel committee extolled him for his “efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes.” Yet the facts indicate that the opposite is true. In his five-term tenure at the IAEA, ElBaradei has used his power to facilitate the proliferation of nuclear energy for military purposes. This he has done by working to prevent responsible states, like the United States, from taking action to prevent rogue states from pursuing nuclear weapons.
    Take Iraq for example. Right up to the US-British invasion of Iraq in March 2003, ElBaradei consistently maintained that he either couldn’t tell if Iraq was or was not pursuing nuclear weapons, or that he could see no evidence that Saddam Hussein was pursuing nuclear weapons. Indeed, just before the war, in an effort to scuttle US-British efforts to convince the UN Security Council to pass a new resolution approving the use of force against Saddam Hussein’s regime, ElBaradei reported to the Security Council that Iraq had abandoned its nuclear weapons program.
    Then, in October 2004, with the still-same object of denying international legitimacy to US operations in Iraq, ElBaradei indirectly acknowledged his previous mendacity. He announced that since the invasion, equipment and materials that could be used to make nuclear bombs had disappeared from Iraq.
    As he told it, in the aftermath of the US-led invasion, entire buildings related to Saddam’s nuclear weapons programs had been dismantled without any record being made of their contents. High precision “dual use” items such as milling machines, electron beam welders, and high strength aluminum all turned up missing.
    Suddenly, the same ElBaradei who had insisted that Iraq had no nuclear program warned, “The disappearance of such equipment and materials may be of proliferation significance.” In the months ahead of the US-led invasion – months which ElBaradei spent buying time for Saddam by prolonging inspections that could be relied on to never end conclusively – then prime minister Ariel Sharon warned that satellite imagery had shown large truck convoys of suspicious materials moving from Iraq to Syria. Former IDF chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya’alon later reiterated Sharon’s claims.


  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Notice in this Fox News article, the headline mentions “allies”, but nowhere in the article does it name these “allies”. Golly, I wonder why? Sometghing tells me that the plural is mis-used in this case, and the more apt wording would be “ally”. No need to wonder who, is there?
    U.S., Allies Accuse IAEA Chief Nuclear Inspector of Mishandling Iran File
    Sunday, September 09, 2007
    VIENNA, Austria — Chief nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei is coming under intense pressure for his handling of the Iran file, with the United States and key allies accusing him of overstepping his authority, diplomats said Sunday.
    The diplomats suggested that U.S. disenchantment with the International Atomic Energy Agency chief was at its highest since early 2005. That was when Washington actively considered pushing for his ouster because it considered him too soft on Iran and a drag on attempts to refer the Islamic republic to the U.N. Security Council — which finally happened last year.
    Faced with majority support for ElBaradei among his agency’s 35-nation board, the Americans dropped public opposition, and he was appointed for his third and final term in February 2005.
    But U.S. displeasure was again aroused this year.
    First ElBaradei suggested it was too late to expect Iran to scrap its uranium enrichment program — a key demand from Washington.
    That provoked an informal warning in June to ElBaradei from a member of the U.S. mission to the IAEA — which he later withdrew — that Washington could launch a new attempt to oust him, said one of the diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity in exchange for discussing confidential matters with The Associated Press.
    Attempts to reach members of the U.S. mission for comment were unsuccessful Sunday, the eve of the start of an agency board meeting focusing on Iran.
    Washington accuses Iran of wanting to build nuclear arms — something Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denied Sunday, saying his country had “no plans to create this deadly weapon.”
    In July, ElBaradei’s agency displeased the Americans further by signing a deal with Tehran committing the Iranians to end years of stonewalling and answer questions about more than two decades of nuclear activities — most of it secret and some of it with possible links to a weapons program.
    A report to be discussed by the board describes Iran’s cooperation under the plan as “a significant step forward.” But the U.S. continues to suspect that Iran is exploiting the plan as a smoke screen to deflect attention away from its continued defiance of a Security Council ban on enrichment, a potential pathway to nuclear arms.
    The diplomats said Washington also feels that ElBaradei overstepped his authority by agreeing to such a deal without consulting the IAEA board.
    But publicly, Washington and other nations backing new U.N. sanctions against Tehran have toned down initial criticism over the pact because they realized that opposition could backfire.
    A diplomat said it could leave the impression that Iran’s most vocal backers of new U.N. sanctions did not care about resolving the issue that had sent Iran’s nuclear file to the Security Council in the first place — its refusal to cooperate in dispelling suspicions about past nuclear activities.
    The Americans had sought to downplay differences as recently as Friday, with Gregory L. Schulte, the chief U.S. delegate to the IAEA, saying his country “appreciates and supports” IAEA efforts to glean information from Tehran.
    At the same time, he said, Tehran “should suspend activities of international concern” — shorthand for enrichment.
    ElBaradei himself has started hitting back. Also Friday, he disparaged the “Monday-morning quarterbacks” criticizing the Iran-IAEA cooperation plan without giving it enough time.
    ElBaradei, who first incurred U.S. displeasure by challenging Washington’s assertions of a nuclear weapons program in Saddam’s Iraq, warned against “war-drums” rhetoric on Iran that is a “reminder of prewar Iraq.” And he said calls for board involvement in agreements between the agency and one of its members — such as the cooperation pact — were “micromanagement.”
    Still the diplomats said that because of the pressure, the agency chief had agreed to stress the need for Iran to freeze enrichment in remarks at the board meeting opening Monday.
    That commitment came after demarches — diplomatic expressions of protest — from the “pro-sanctions camp” about the IAEA-Iran pact and lack of board consultation on it, said one of the diplomats.
    Some diplomats said the IAEA chief had also been subject to more insidious attacks in recent weeks, though they could not be certain these were linked to the diplomatic push against him.
    Incidents included late-night threat calls to ElBaradei’s residence and e-mails to representatives of board-member nations accusing him and other senior agency members of wrongdoing.
    One e-mail, shared with the AP, says they are guilty of “abuse of power, arbitrary rule, widespread corruption, nepotism … and violations of fundamental human rights.” The e-mail purports to come from a former IAEA employee, but this could not immediately be verified.


  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, this is Bushworld, and another good man is about to be thoroughly trashed because of the wishes of a ner’do well little pissant like George Bush and his butcher compatriots in Washington and Israel.
    Mark my words, the death toll wrought by these monsters is about to number in the millions.
    Nuclear chief walks out on EU speech on
    September 12, 2007 05:31am
    UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei walked out on an afternoon session of his IAEA to protest an EU speech which did not fully support his deal for new inspections in Iran, diplomats said.
    “He walked out because the EU did not support the Secretariat,” a diplomat who was at the meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation board of governors said.
    “The Europeans gave a nasty statement and the director general (ElBaradei) walked out of the room,” a second diplomat said, demanding anonymity in return for revealing information about the closed-door session.
    But a senior European diplomat said the EU supported Mr ElBaradei and had only reiterated the IAEA chief’s view that the timetable needs “Iran’s full and active cooperation”.
    IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming declined comment but several diplomats confirmed that Mr ElBaradei had walked out in protest.
    Mr ElBaradei has been under pressure as the United States and other Western countries warn that a timetable for new inspections in Iran agreed by the IAEA and Tehran last month gives the Islamic republic room to delay new UN sanctions.
    They also warn that it gives Iran time to continue improving its work on enriching uranium, which makes power reactor fuel but also atom bomb material.
    Still, the US and Mr ElBaradei had closed ranks yesterday, the first day of a regular meeting of the IAEA board, in urging Iran to meet the timetable and also to do more to show the world it does not seek the bomb, such as suspending uranium enrichment.
    At issue is how to win guarantees that Iran’s nuclear work is peaceful, with US patience wearing thin as it presses for more UN sanctions but Mr ElBaradei urging more inspections that could lead to talks on ending the crisis.
    The European Union speech, given by Portuguese ambassador Joaquim Duarte as Portugal is the current EU president, came when the agenda item on safeguards in Iran came up.
    Mr Duarte hammered Iran for failing to suspend uranium enrichment “contrary to the decisions of the (UN) Security Council”, referring to three UN Security Council resolutions and two rounds of UN sanctions.
    He said that since Mr ElBaradei’s last report in May “Iran has further increased its enrichment capacities”.
    The speech only mentioned briefly the timetable the IAEA worked hard to get and did not give it the diplomatic backing Mr ElBaradei expected.
    The timetable, in a report Mr ElBaradei submitted to the board yesterday, is to resolve outstanding questions in the agency’s over four-year-old investigation of Iran on US charges that Tehran is using a civilian energy program to hide the development of nuclear weapons.
    The speech focused on Iran’s lack of cooperation, including its refusal to provide early design information on new nuclear facilities and called repeatedly on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment.
    After walking out, Mr ElBaradei stayed away until the session was adjourned at its regular time until Thursday. The Portuguese speech was followed by speeches from Canada and Norway.
    Just before the Portuguese speech, Mr ElBaradei had received a rousing statement of support from the non-aligned movement, in a speech by Cuban ambassador Norma Miguelina Goicochea Estenoz as NAM leader.
    She said “NAM shares the view that this work plan (timetable) is a ‘significant step forward'” and “reiterates its full confidence in the impartiality and professionalism of the Secretariat of the IAEA and its Director General, Dr Mohamed ElBaradei”.
    A diplomat said Mr ElBaradei had expected the same personal tone of appreciation in the EU speech and took the lack of it as a rebuff to his sustained diplomatic efforts.


  6. Kathleen says:

    Pravda Companion… good one.
    Wapo is applying the same selective inattention they do with presidential candidates who got it right in the first place…. Russ Feingold, who ultimately chose not to run, and Dennis Kucinich. I guess if someone does get it right, it means they failed to do their job. Can’t admit that… better to go into deep denial, even if it means bombing and killing.,


  7. sdemetri says:

    This, as well as an interview this am on NPR with Sen. Jeff Sesssions with pointed references to Iran, and the constant demonization and drumbeat for action is all so reminiscent of “Carthage must be destroyed.”


  8. Marcia says:

    Now they need another Friedman. If we had a picture of Tom surrounded by his little family, one six months after another, there would be no need to to ponder on infinity.
    This could go on forever and Congress laps it up!


  9. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    Miller and Gordon aren’t the only two. You can count all the major TV networks as well(ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Faux).


  10. JohnH says:

    How amazing that the traditional media can still stake any claim to objectivity and professionalism. This after the likes of Judith Miller and Michael Gordon at the NY Times. General Petraeus is a hired gun and the foreign affairs “news” editors are hired pens, all serving at the pleasure of HRM Bush and the foreign policy elite/national security mob.
    Fortunately my internet connection still allows me to get authentic news from international web sites and independent domestic ones.
    BTW has anyone answered the question of how the US can justify attacking Iran for interference in Iraq when the most prominent shi’ite militia, the Mahdi Army, has stood down for the next six months? Don’t look for any answers about this in the traditional media.


  11. Marcia says:

    The WP has become an echo chamber for government propaganda, since there is no longer any real information. Is this because of conviction, their corporate owners, or the eavesdropping that has been going on for years now? The slant is so biased, by what they report as well as what they do not report, it is difficult not to see them as a sort of Pravda companion.
    That is why more and more people are turning to blogs, this in spite of the sleezy commentary of David Brooks on Newsline.
    Seen from outside Washington looks more and more like something out of the “Satyricon” masquerading as a twisted copy of what it once was.


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