As soon as I saw the first image (a NYT photo from “Lohengrin,” currently playing at the Metropolitan Opera), it reminded me of the second.
The second pic — which has been all over cyberspace — was shot in the holy city of Mashhad and distributed by Mehr, the Iranian news agency. It depicts dancers venerating capsules of uranium hexaflouride and commemorating Iran’s first success at enriching this material.
This second image brought to mind another point — that the U.S. and Iran are already involved in a full-scale war (of the P.R. kind).
If Iran has the advantage of a more captive media, there is not shortage of Western press willing and eager to express the Administration’s not-so-latent impulses. This photo, captured by Reuters, uses the occasion of an Iranian military parade to point out that missiles are currently aimed at President Ahmadinejad’s head.
Maybe Iran poses a serious near term threat. Maybe that country is being used as the latest straw man by belligerent cowboys running the U.S. government. Either way, however, the quality of propaganda (in both directions) is just top notch.
(image 1: Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos. April 19, 2006. NYT.com; image 2: AP Photo/Mehr News Agency. April 11, 2006. nyt.com. image 3: Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters. April 18, 2006. via YahooNews)