Iranians (Persians) have viewed Russia (Soviet Union) with distrust and as a menace or outright threat for hundreds of years, at least since the Russian Tsars cemented their expansion into Turkestan (or the Turkic countries in what is now called Central Asia). The fact that Iran sits on top of one of the world's largest reservoirs of oil and gas adds to their fears. Russia is also much closer to Iran than the United States. So from a Russian perspective, the emergence of an Iranian nuclear delivery capability would be a far more dangerous ramifications for Russia than for the US, at least in raw geopolitical terms.
With this in mind, the attached report by Gareth Porter begs the question: Why are the Russians less concerned about the so-called Iranian ballistic missile/nuclear threat than the United States? Why would the Washington Post and New York Times bias their reporting in a way that downplays the Russia's more moderate view?
To ask this question is to answer it. (hint: Simply ask what other country is most obsessed by Iran?) Chuck
December 1, 2010
Documents Show NYT and Washington Post Shilling for US Government on Iran Missile “Threat”
A diplomatic cable from last February released by Wikileaks provides a detailed account of how Russian specialists on the Iranian ballistic missile program refuted the U.S. suggestion that Iran has missiles that could target European capitals or intends to develop such a capability.
In fact, the Russians challenged the very existence of the mystery missile the U.S. claims Iran acquired from North Korea.
But readers of the two leading U.S. newspapers never learned those key facts about the document.
The New York Times and Washington Post reported only that the United States believed Iran had acquired such missiles – supposedly called the BM-25 – from North Korea. Neither newspaper reported the detailed Russian refutation of the U.S. view on the issue or the lack of hard evidence for the BM-25 from the U.S. side.
Fascinating article, including leaks in the pipeline (banks), whistleblowers, censorship, his story, trying to stop leaks, spying, untrustful competitors, secrecy, war, field of intelligence, etc. … “our primary defense isn’t law, but technology…courage is contagious” (p.8) — JAS
Following is an excerpt from page 5 regarding moving in the direction of ethical business — JAS
What do you think WikiLeaks mean for business? How do businesses need to adjust to a world where WikiLeaks exists?
WikiLeaks means it’s easier to run a good business and harder to run a bad business, and all CEOs should be encouraged by this. I think about the case in China where milk powder companies started cutting the protein in milk powder with plastics. That happened at a number of separate manufacturers.
Let’s say you want to run a good company. It’s nice to have an ethical workplace. Your employees are much less likely to screw you over if they’re not screwing other people over.
Then one company starts cutting their milk powder with melamine, and becomes more profitable. You can follow suit, or slowly go bankrupt and the one that’s cutting its milk powder will take you over. That’s the worst of all possible outcomes.
The other possibility is that the first one to cut its milk powder is exposed. Then you don’t have to cut your milk powder. There’s a threat of regulation that produces self-regulation.
It just means that it’s easier for honest CEOs to run an honest business, if the dishonest businesses are more effected negatively by leaks than honest businesses. That’s the whole idea. In the struggle between open and honest companies and dishonest and closed companies, we’re creating a tremendous reputational tax on the unethical companies.
No one wants to have their own things leaked. It pains us when we have internal leaks. But across any given industry, it is both good for the whole industry to have those leaks and it’s especially good for the good players.
But aside from the market as a whole, how should companies change their behavior understanding that leaks will increase?
Do things to encourage leaks from dishonest competitors. Be as open and honest as possible. Treat your employees well.
I think it’s extremely positive. You end up with a situation where honest companies producing quality products are more competitive than dishonest companies producing bad products. And companies that treat their employees well do better than those that treat them badly.
Would you call yourself a free market proponent?
Absolutely. I have mixed attitudes towards capitalism, but I love markets. Having lived and worked in many countries, I can see the tremendous vibrancy in, say, the Malaysian telecom sector compared to U.S. sector. In the U.S. everything is vertically integrated and sewn up, so you don’t have a free market. In Malaysia, you have a broad spectrum of players, and you can see the benefits for all as a result.
How do your leaks fit into that?
To put it simply, in order for there to be a market, there has to be information. A perfect market requires perfect information.
There’s the famous lemon example in the used car market. It’s hard for buyers to tell lemons from good cars, and sellers can’t get a good price, even when they have a good car.
By making it easier to see where the problems are inside of companies, we identify the lemons. That means there’s a better market for good companies. For a market to be free, people have to know who they’re dealing with.
You’ve developed a reputation as anti-establishment and anti-institution.
Not at all. Creating a well-run establishment is a difficult thing to do, and I’ve been in countries where institutions are in a state of collapse, so I understand the difficulty of running a company. Institutions don’t come from nowhere.
It’s not correct to put me in any one philosophical or economic camp, because I’ve learned from many. But one is American libertarianism, market libertarianism. So as far as markets are concerned I’m a libertarian, but I have enough expertise in politics and history to understand that a free market ends up as monopoly unless you force them to be free.
WikiLeaks is designed to make capitalism more free and ethical.
But in the meantime, there could be a lot of pain from these scandals, obviously.
Pain for the guilty.
Do you derive pleasure from these scandals that you expose and the companies you shame?
It’s tremendously satisfying work to see reforms being engaged in and stimulating those reforms. To see opportunists and abusers brought to account.
I think the natural tendency would be for the system to move toward a monopoly control, but everything that’s natural isn’t necessarily inevitable. For years everyone thought that every republic would eventually turn into a dictatorship. So I think if people want to, we can maintain a greater openness, but it’s unclear if Americans really want that…. The question is whether there is something about the Internet that is fundamentally different, or about these times that is intrinsically more dynamic, that we don’t repeat the past. I know the Internet was designed to resist integration, designed to resist centralized control, and that design defeated firms like AOL and Time Warner. But firms today, like Apple, make it unclear if the Internet is something lasting or just another cycle.
Phi Beta Iota: This is one of the most balanced sensible white papers from a vendor it has been our pleasure to encounter. Taken in context of Microsoft thinking about buying Adobe after failing to see the value of Sun's Open Office, this white paper merits broad appreciation against the possibility that Adobe could become the Context & Content Division that Microsoft does not have and will not have under Steve Ballmer now that Ray Ozzie has given up on Microsoft and moved on.
“Net neutrality” and “freedom to connect” might be loaded or vague terminologies; the label “Open Internet” is clearer, more effective, no way misleading. A group of Internet experts and pioneers submitted a paper to the FCC that defines the Open Internet and explains how it differs from networks that are dedicated to specialized services, and why that distinction is imortant. It’s a general purpose network for all, and can’t be appreciated (or properly regulated) unless this point and its implications are well understood. I signed on (late) to the paper, which is freely available at Scribd, and which is worth reading and disseminating even among people who don’t completely get it. I think the meaning and relevance of the distinction will sink in, even with those who don’t have deep knowledge of the Internet and, more generally, computer networking. The key point is that “the Internet should be delineated from specialized services specifically based on whether network providers treat the transmission of packets in special ways according to the applications those packets support. Transmitting packets without regard for application, in a best efforts manner, is at the very core of how the Internet provides a general purpose platform that is open and conducive to innovation by all end users.”
Numerous Internet and technology leaders issued a joint statement last night encouraging the FCC to expand its recent analysis of open Internet policy in a newly fruitful direction.
In the statement, they commend the agency’s recent request for input on “Two Underdeveloped Issues in the Open Internet Proceeding” for its making possible greater recognition of the nature and benefits of the open Internet — in particular, as compared to “specialized services.” In response to the FCC’s request, their submission illustrates how this distinction dispels misconceptions and helps bring about more constructive insight and understanding in the “net neutrality” policy debate.
Longtime network and computer architecture expert David Reed comments in a special blog posting: “It is historic and critical [to] finally recognize the existence of ‘the Open Internet’ as a living entity that is distinct from all of the services and the Bureaus, all of the underlying technologies, and all of the services into which the FCC historically has partitioned little fiefdoms of control.”
Another signer, John Furrier of SiliconANGLE, has publicized the statement, stating “the future Internet needs to remain open in order to preserve entrepreneurship and innovation.”
The statement’s signers are listed below. Please reply to me, Seth Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org), to request contact information for those available for comment.
Ali Fisher is Director of Mappa Mundi Consulting and a former Director of Counterpoint, the cultural relations think-tank of the British Council. Ali blogs on network mapping and Public Diplomacy at WandrenPD.com
This [above link] is the first in a series of posts that will explore our world of disappearing boundaries – from geographic to linguistic to time to organizational – that create new opportunities and challenges to agenda setting and influence. Wikileaks, as an exemplar non-state actor in this world of “now media,” requires analysis beyond the superficial and polarized debate common in today’s coverage of both the organization and the material it disseminates. The MountainRunner Institute is working to convene a series of discussions with experts across the spectrum, including (ideally) someone from Wikileaks, to discuss the role and impact of actors like Wikileaks and the evolving informational and human landscape. If you are interested in more information or in participating, email me at email@example.com.