Does Bob Schieffer Owe Ron Paul an Apology?

ADM. FALLON: Yeah – just to add, if I could, to what General Cartwright said: I think it’s really important that at the end of the day, these are people – 70,000,000 of them [Iranians]. They have aspirations and desires, and there needs to be, for demonstrated cooperation and a willingness to walk away from things that are detrimental to the region – that there’s something in this for them. And so having some light at the end of the tunnel, not closing off all options, but letting them – hey, we’re willing to have you play a role in the region. You got a lot of capability, you got a lot of smart people, a lot of things you could – you could really be helpful if you decided to be cooperative in your dealings with your neighbors.

This is from “Iran: U.S. Policy Options,” an event held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) last week. The transcript (.pdf) is here. Fallon’s meaning is a little unclear but, taken in context, he seems to be saying, among other things, that there would a lot of innocent Iranian victims if the U.S. government and/or the Israeli government made war on Iran.

His sympathy for Iranians, though, did not seem to extend to the innocent Iranian victims of the sanctions. He stated:

I’ve felt for some time that one of the more effective – if you’re going to – going to try to put somebody in irons, that getting their pocketbook is usually a way to make people pay attention. That appears to be the case now. I’ve seen a lot of evidence, and you – David [Sanger, NY Times reporter], you may have more of this than I see, that in the economic sphere, it’s extremely – getting very, very difficult for them to do simple things, like even get food imports into the country, because they can’t pay for them because nobody will deal in dollars and their currency’s not worth too much now.

Granted that this is a simple factual statement that’s probably accurate and also that it’s in “if” statement: IF you want to put somebody “in irons,” here’s the way to do it. So Fallon could actually be sympathetic to the Iranian victims of the U.S. and European assault on free trade. Read the transcript and judge for yourself.

Interestingly, the session was chaired by CBS’s Washington Correspondent, Bob Schieffer. Indeed, the session was part of the “Schieffer Series.” Throughout the session, Schieffer respectfully countenanced somewhat antiwar views from the three people on the panel. In an interview with Schieffer three months ago, Ron Paul stated similar views about Iran, and, by the way, did so in plain English, without the new Washington euphemism for war–“kinetic act”–a term that former Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Cartwright used. But Schieffer dissed Ron Paul. (See this video at the 3:06 point and on.)

HT to John Glaser.