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It Ain't Necessarily So

By Ray McGovern - Posted on 17 April 2012

Iran’s Phantom Menace

April 16, 2012

Editor ( Note: For years, a propaganda drumbeat has been rising to justify a war to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb, though U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran isn’t building one and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has decried nukes as a “great sin.” But nothing has stopped the drumbeat, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.

By Ray McGovern

Last Thursday, I took part in a panel discussion on “Targeting Iran: Sanctions and War” at California State University, Fresno. The panel discussion took place against the backdrop of all-too-familiar warnings to Iran that it has one “last chance” to stop doing what the CIA and pretty much all serious intelligence agencies say it is not doing — namely, working on a nuclear weapon.

That’s right; one “last chance” to stop doing what it is NOT doing. This unconscionably surreal — and transparently provocative — demand threatened to cast an unrelenting pall over the event, so I made a lame attempt to inject some light humor in order to head off confusion and despair.

Scene from "Porgy and Bess" on Broadway

Since the West’s rhetoric about Iran virtually cries out for parody — not to mention correction — I decided to begin my short presentation with an adaptation of “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from Porgy and Bess.

First, I needed to expose non-Gershwin fans to the song’s tune and cadence, so I began with one of the original verses and asked the audience to sing along. (You may wish to do likewise):

Oh Jonah he lived in de whale,

Oh Jonah he lived in de whale.

Fo’ he made his home in

Dat fish’s abdomen,

Oh Jonah he lived in de whale.

Well, it ain’t necessarily so;

Well, it ain’t necessarily so.

Fo’ he made his home in          

Dat fish’s abdomen,

But that ain’t necessarily so.

After that warm-up came the unveiling of three Iran-related verses composed earlier that day during the long drive from the Bay area to Fresno. (Please do sing along):

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

To claim he is mad is the fad.

He said he would zap

Israel right off the map;

Mahmoud is a cad of a lad.

Well, it ain’t necessarily so;

Well, it ain’t necessarily so.

He said he would zap

Israel right off the map;

But that ain’t necessarily so.


Israelis they sound the alarm,

The Persians are building the bomb.

But they ain’t the kooks

That do lust after nukes,

So sit back, and try to be calm.

Well, it ain’t necessarily so;

Well, it ain’t necessarily so.

Persians ain’t the kooks

That do lust after nukes.

No, that ain’t necessarily so.


Now Obama he tries to seem tough;

He huff and he puff; he don’t bluff,

In hopes Netanyahu

Will stop and shout Yahoo!

And turn all his threats into fluff.

Well, it ain’t necessarily so;

Well, it ain’t necessarily so.

In hopes Netanyahu

Will stop and shout Yahoo!

That ain’t in the cards, Barry O.


Readers are invited to submit additional verses using the abundant supply of rhetoric eminently susceptible of parody (and/or of straight-out, factual contradiction).

And by all means keep smiling, at least for the time being; it looks as if Israel and its neocon cheerleaders in the United States are likely to put off the next war of aggression, at least until after the next round of negotiations between the West and Iran scheduled for May 23 in Baghdad. Who knows? Sanity may yet prevail.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an intelligence analyst for the Army and CIA for 30 years. He is now taking extraordinary steps to maintain his sanity as he watches the U.S.-Israel-Iran imbroglio unfold, as though from a script by George Orwell.

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Now Hillary pretends to be a man

with masculine threats against Iran

proving she is NOT a feminist

this class empire thug has to go

Well  it ain't necessarily so...


Now Obama pretends to be liberal

while slipping into Fascist drivel

proving the West is not democratic

this class empire thug has got to go

Well it ain't necessarily so....

These new faces of Empire,

black, brown, female in new attire

look just like the fascist thugs of yesterday

Well, this is definitely so...

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April 4: Remembering Past Wars . . . and Preventing the Next: An event to mark 100 years since the United States entered World War I, and 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous speech against war. A new movement to end all war is growing. 6-8 p.m. at 5th and K Busboys and Poets, Washington, D.C.


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