Iran and the Americans


Can anyone tell me whether the major tide of events sweeping across Iran since the day of Iran‘s presidential election on June 12 is revolutionary or counterrevolutionary? 

Revolutionary , that is, in the sense of Iran‘s people moving towards the ouster of the current Islamic Republic and its repressive clerical-state apparatus and customs.  As opposed to counter-revolutionary, in the converse sense of their moving towards the re-instauration of rule by the old metropolitan centers of the Western bloc (regardless of whatever the mass of political actors on the streets and elsewhere may or may not believe about the significance of their actions), and the re-integration of Iran’s national resources and the lives of its citizens back into the Axis of Good, from which they departed only one generation ago? 


But, seriously. — How can one tell?


Don’t forget, either, that along with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Kim Jong-Il’s Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the original members of the Bush regime’s "Axis of Evil" (January 2002 -), "arming to threaten the peace of the world," "seeking weapons of mass destruction," "pos[ing] a grave and growing danger."

Such rhetoric and the actual threat — then as now — posed to the "peace of the world" were joined only seven-and-a-half years ago.  (Though the U.S. regime has arranged similar marriages for decades on end.)  It takes quite a strong dose of historical forgetfulness to wake-up on the morning of this past June 12 and think that the entire world suddenly had just awakened too.

Consider the contrast that exists between public displays in Western capitals of "solidarity" with the street demonstrators and The Opposition inside Iran, on the one hand, and the lack of public displays in the same Western capitals of "solidarity" with the victims of U.S. and NATO-bloc threats and breaches of international peace and security, economic embargos, slaughters, terrorism, and subversion inside the many countries where Western violence and domination are currently active.  (For example, the tears that aren’t shed over the repeated killings of Afghan and Pakistani families by U.S. bombers and robotic drones, as recalled again this past Friday, June 19.)


Also try to draw the same contrast with respect to the relevant perpetrator – and – victim sets (the true crux of this whole matter, in my opinion), and the amount and kind of attention paid to each perpetrator – and – victim set by Western political figures, media, activists, and intellectuals.

That is to say, when the ruling regime in Iran cheats its people in an election, and then threatens, detains, murders, and violently suppresses those Iranians who stand-up and object to it, we have one specific perpetrator – victim set. 


Similarly, when the regime in Washington (and allied regimes elsewhere) invades whole foreign countries, and then threatens, detains, murders, and violently suppresses those people who stand-up and resist it, we have another specific perpetrator – victim set. 


How much of the current focus on events inside Iran do you think is an expression of concern with innocent people struggling to improve their lives and secure greater freedoms, faced with a repressive state and civil society?  And how much of it is an expression of the fact that the perpetrator of vote fraud in Iran’s June 12 election, and the perpetrator of violence against the street demonstrators and opposition to the regime, not only is the 30-year-old Islamic Republic of Iran (from Ayatollah Khomeini straight through Ayatollah Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, no readers of Nabokov in this bunch), but also one of the two remaining members of the "Axis of Evil" — an Official Enemy of the American regime?


Doubtless, the correct answer here is an indeterminate mixture of both — though I for one strongly suspect it’s a lot more of the latter than the former.


I mean, how often have Americans organized committees in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan (etc.), while these people endure the myriad forms of violence that only the regime in Washington can unleash — and then wound-up as "expert" commentators on events inside Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan (etc.) for the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and the major U.S. broadcast networks, the way that so many Americans and expatriate Iranians have for current events inside Iran?  When was the last time Americans "tweeted" on behalf of the Afghan, Iraqi, and Pakistani victims of American bombs? 

Better yet, when was the last time that a resistance cell actively opposing the U.S. military presence inside Afghanistan, Iraq, or Pakistan was hooked-up via cell-phone and audio-streamed directly to the American viewers of CNN?  Or a resistance cell’s blog or "tweet" given lavish space on the op-ed page of the New York Times to inform us all about what life is really like, living under the violence of the American military?

The answers to these questions are not trivial (obviously).  But at least they’re checkable. — And it’s a no-brainer to predict how they’ll turn out. 

If Twitter and the other state-of-the-art communications platforms of the current moment (cellular calls and cell-phone imaging, for example) have been so successful at ripping-the-veil-off the rigged election and the pseudo-legitimacy of the regime inside Iran, as is alleged, why have these same technologies ripped-so-tragically-little-off the veils that surround American Power? 


The ease with which the "We Are One With the Iranian Opposition" bandwagon splinters what remains of the Left in the States and elsewhere throughout the NATO bloc, and cross-pollinates with — or simply crawls into bed with — the assorted Oil & Gas, "Whack Iran," "Regime Change," and "Democracy Promotion" lobbies afoot in this world, bodes ill for the health of the Left more generally.  And this means for its revolutionary hopes and dreams, too.  As opposed to global counterrevolutionary forces ready to exploit it. 


But I’ll bet that the Left’s splintering over Iran looks damn good right now from the point of view of the metropolitan centers.  Where so many of the so-called "cosmopolitans" and "internationalists" still live and breed.


Just remember that where this historic distinction is at issue, the price of indifference is truly catastrophic.  





Statistical Centre of Iran (Homepage) 

CASMII : Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (Homepage)

"It’s Official — The Era of Cheap Oil Is Over," Michael T. Klare, TomDispatch.com, June 11, 2009

"The contested results" (Map), The Guardian, June 17, 2009

"U.S.: Afghan bombing killed 26 civilians," Associated Press, June 19, 2009  

Results of a New Nationwide Public Opinion Survey of Iran before the June 12, 2009 Presidential Elections, (May 11 – 20), Terror Free Tormorrow, Center for Public Opinion, and New America Foundation
"The Iranian People Speak," Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty, Washington Post, June 15, 2009

"Stealing the Iranian Election," Juan Cole, Informed Comment, June 13, 2009
"Terror Free Tomorrow Poll Did not Predict Ahmadinejad Win," Juan Cole, Informed Comment, June 15, 2009
Chatham House Study Definitively Shows Massive Ballot Fraud in Iran‘s Reported Results," Juan Cole, Informed Comment, June 22, 2009
"Washington and the Iran Protests: Would they be Allowed in the US?" Juan Cole, Informed Comment, June 24, 2009 

"Iran’s Rural Vote and Election Fraud," Eric Hooglund, Agence Global, June 17, 2009

"Iranian Election Results by Province," Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight, June 15, 2009
"Worst.  Damage Control.  Ever.," Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight, June 21, 2009

Preliminary Analysis of the Voting Figures in Iran’s 2009 Presidential Election, Ali Ansari et al., Chatham House (U.K.), June 21, 2009
"Iran’s Magic Numbers," Ali Ansari and Thomas Rintoul, The Guardian, June 22, 2009

"Lebanon’s Triumph, Iran’s Travesty," Elliott Abrams, New York Times, June 12, 2009
"With a Hint to Twitter, Washington Taps Into a Potent New Force in Diplomacy," Mark Landler and Brian Stelter, New York Times, June 17, 2009 
"Iran’s cyber-revolution gets a hand from Canada," Omar Akkad and Matt Hartly, Toronto Globe and Mail, June 17, 2009
"Twitter Is a Player In Iran’s Drama; State Dept. Asked Site to Keep Running," Mike Musgrove, Washington Post, June 17, 2009
Secret letter ‘proves Mousavi won poll’," Robert Fisk, The Independent, June 18, 2009
"A Different Iranian Revolution," Shane M., New York Times, June 19, 2009
"‘No Comment’ Is Not an Option," Paul Wolfowitz, Washington Post, June 19, 2009 
"Iran‘s crisis of legitimacy," Ramin Jahanbegloo, Bangkok Post, June 20, 2009 
"I speak for Mousavi.  And Iran," Mohsen Makhmalbaf, The Guardian, June 20, 2009 
"Twitter Ripped the Veil Off ‘the Other’ — and We Saw Ourselves," Andrew Sullivan, Sunday Times (U.K.), June 21, 2009

Overthrow of Premier Mossadeq of Iran, November 1952-August 1953, Dr. Donald Wilber, CIA Clandestine Service History, March, 1954 (Electronic Briefing Book No. 28, Malcolm Byrne, Ed., National Security Archive, University of Maryland)

"Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran," Brian Ross, ABC News, May 22, 2007 
"State Department’s Iran Democracy Fund Shrouded In Secrecy," Jason Leopold, CounterCurrents, July 11, 2008

"Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?" Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker, April 17, 2006
"The administration’s plan for Iran," Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker, October 8, 2007   
"The Bush administration steps up its secret moves against Iran," Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker, July 7, 2008

"Proof: Israeli Effort To Destabilize Iran Via Twitter #IranElection," Charting Stocks, June 15, 2009
"Extent of E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress," James Risen and Eric Lichtblau,
New York Times, June 17, 2009
"Iran’s democratic upsurge," Hamid Dabashi,  
Al-Ahram Weekly, June 18 – 24, 2009
"Lapdog Journalists," Anthony Dimaggio, CounterPunch, June 18, 2009
"Iranian Elections: The ‘Stolen Elections’ Hoax," James Petras, Centre for Research on Globalization, June 18, 2009
"Some Observations on the Iranian Presidential Election and Its Aftermath," Phil Wilayto,
Truthout, June 19, 2009
"Are the Iranian Protests Another U.S. Orchestrated ‘Color Revolution’?" Paul Craig Roberts,
CounterPunch, June 19-21, 2009
"What Actually Happened in the Iranian Presidential Election?" Esam Al-Amin, CounterPunch, June 22, 2009

The Iranian Election and the Revolution Test," George Friedman, Stratfor, June 22, 2009
"Has the U.S. Played a Role in Fomenting Unrest During Iran’s Election?" Jeremy R. Hammond, Foreign Policy Journal, June 23, 2009 

"The Fourth ‘Supreme International Crime’ in Seven Years is Already Underway," Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, Electric Politics, May 16, 2006
"Hegemony and Appeasement: Setting Up the Next Target for the ‘Supreme International Crime’," Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, Electric Politics, January 29, 2007 
"The U.S. Aggression Process and Its Collaborators: From Guatemala (1950-1954) to Iran (2002-)," Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, Electric Politics, November 26, 2007

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