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Article posted Oct 31 2011, 11:56 PM Category: Commentary Source: Glenn Greenwald Print

Middle East Propaganda 101

By Glenn Greenwald

When it comes to American propaganda about the Middle East, this New York Times article — detailing U.S. plans to bolster its influence in the region after it “withdraws” from Iraq — is a masterpiece. Here’s the crux of the new American strategy and its ostensible rationale:
With an eye on the threat of a belligerent Iran, the administration is also seeking to expand military ties with the six nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. While the United States has close bilateral military relationships with each, the administration and the military are trying to foster a new "security architecture" for the Persian Gulf that would integrate air and naval patrols and missile defense.
The U.S. has Iran completely encircled. It has over 100,000 troops in the nation on Iran’s eastern border (Afghanistan, where, just incidentally, the U.S. continued through this year to turn over detainees to a prison notorious for torture) and has occupied the nation on Iran’s western border (Iraq) for eight years, and will continue to maintain a “small army” of private contractors and CIA officials after it “withdraws.” The U.S. continuously flies drone aircraft over and drops bombs on the nation on Iran’s southeastern border (Pakistan). Its NATO ally (Turkey) is situated on Iran’s northwestern border. The U.S. has troops stationed in multiple countries just a few hundred miles across the Persian Gulf from Iran, virtually all of which are client states. The U.S. has its Fifth Fleet stationed in a country less than 500 miles from Iran (Bahrain) containing “US warships and contingents of U.S. Marines.” And the U.S. routinely arms Iran’s two most virulent rivals (Israel and Saudi Arabia) with sophisticated weaponry.

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