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Iranian Misdirection

Reported by Judy - September 13, 2004 -

Fox News today (Sept. 13) seemed to have evicted North Korea from the axis of evil.

FNL anchor Jon Scott interview Major Gen. Bob Scales, Fox News military analyst, about the explosion in North Korea over the weekend which other countries were concerned might have been related to its nuclear weapons development program. Scales downplayed the importance of N. Korea's nuclear weapons program, saying North Korea uses its nuclear program to blackmail other countries into getting its own way. "North Korea will do what is in its own best interests," he said, meaning not actually use the weapons.

Iran, on the other hand, he said, "is by far the greater threat" because it might use the weapons for a pre-emptive strike against Israel or might give them to al Qaeda. Since Iran's nuclear facilities are under ground or hardened, he said, it would be "incredibly difficult" to disable its program.

Why the desire to downplay the North Korean threat? To admit North Korea is a danger would be to invite questions as to the wisdom of the Bush plan to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from South Korea unilaterally, without extracting some sort of concession from North Korea. It also calls attention to Bush's failure to engage North Korea over the nuclear issue and to allow it to evade the 1993-94 agreements North Korea signed limiting its nuclear program.

Iran, though, must be seen as the greater threat, according to Fox, because it is close to Iraq. Bush can use Iran's nuclear program as a rationale for keeping troops in the neighborhood, even if by some miracle Iraq becomes peaceful. The focus on Iran's nuclear program could even be used to justify an invasion of Iran in a second Bush term.

No WMD in Iraq? No problem. Let's look in Iran.