“Tehran has developed technical expertise in a number of areas – including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors, and ballistic missiles – from which it could draw if it decided to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons,” reads Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper’s April 2013 report to the Senate Committee on Armed Services.
Then comes the statement usually ignored by mass media: “We do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”
The spying scandal by the US government, which was exposed by Glenn Greenwald, is only surprising in its scale. The National Security State is an old phenomenon and Europeans were at one point alarmed by ECHELON, which was also run by the National Security Agency (it is a testimony to the success and penetration of the NSA that most Americans have never heard of it, and its very existence was a state secret only years ago). The revelation is a big scandal, but it is unlikely to produce coverage similar in scale to that of the Lewinsky or Iran-Contra scandals.
I read this glowing profile of Henry Jessup in the mouthpiece of the American University of Beirut, Main Gate. This sentence struck me: "Jessup routinely aligned himself with some of the more conservative members of the SPC [Syrian Protestant College] faculty and administration on many issues."
In 2011, when Arab revolts began to sweep the Middle East and North Africa, the view from Washington and its closest allies was one of concern. How would the removal of mostly pro-Western dictatorships affect the balance of power in the region? More importantly – how to prevent these events from boosting Iran’s influence?
In the past few weeks, 200,000 undocumented immigrants were deported from Saudi. Arrested in raids, left to sleep in the open air, piled in front of migration offices, and shown every kind of discrimination and abuse, those immigrants continue to be deported by the country that is home to King Abdullah’s Interfaith Dialogue Center.
It is unlikely that Western media will take note, but there seems to be a rejuvenation of Arab atheism. Western media never take note of Arab intellectual trends, especially if they deviate from the classical conventional assumptions about the Theologocentric (as Maxime Rodinson called it in his La Fascination de l’Islam) impulses of all Arabs and all Muslims.