Truth in Iran

This is a guest post from long-time Peking Duck reader and contributor Bill Stimson. It’s not about China, but maybe there are some parallels?

Truth in Iran
by William R. Stimson

A fake president rants to a fake crowd about his administration’s mobilization to confront a fake enemy. Fake journalists are present to ensure that the fake story gets out. The real journalists are all in jail. The real media are all closed down. The real president gets attacked by thugs for trying to come out and speak to the real crowds that are trying to gather. The fake crowds have been assembled, paid, bussed in, and provided with flags to wave; but the real ones have been intimidated with arrests and even hangings and have had their means of communication cut. What few still do manage somehow to form are quickly chased down and attacked by the administration’s only real mobilization, the one against its only real enemy – its own people.

These descend from one of the world’s oldest and most magnificent linguistic, literary, and cultural traditions. In 13th Century Persian, its great poet Jalalud’din Rumi expressed the deepest and most utterly authentic pole of Islam. In lines still sung by schoolgirls all over Iran, he celebrated the intoxicating delight of the heart that breaks free from stale religious dogma and its niggling rules to flow with divine love emanating from the eternal now – a winged heart that heals everything it touches, and half the time doesn’t bother to categorize itself as religious, political, or personal. Many who sang and danced in the streets of Teheran prior to last summer’s election felt and expressed this heart that flies with truth and can see through the present order to a better world.

This joyous outpouring of people celebrating in the streets deeply alarmed Iran’s uptight supreme leader and his cohorts, who represent the diametrical opposite, most superficial and deadeningly fake, pole of Islam. For these sterile ideologues and harsh disciplinarians, religion is not an indwelling enlightenment dancing naturally out of the awakened heart, but entails forcing upon the mind and behavior of the populace an acquired belief system, outside authority, shallow legalistic codes, and (their own) political tyranny.

By rigging the election, the supreme leader thought to crush what he saw as a velvet revolution. But it wasn’t a velvet revolution. The velvet revolutions of Eastern Europe aimed to and did overthrow Communist regimes to install democratic ones. Iran’s opposition never set out to change Iran’s system of government – only make it function as it should according to its own constitution.

The green opposition movement could never have undone the supreme leader to the extent it has were it not for the fraudulent behavior he condoned and perpetuated, the mendacity, and the unbelievably cruel and brutal tactics unleashed against innocent civilians. Whatever in the end becomes of him and his cronies can only be what he and they deserve. That this victory is being won by a whole people, unarmed, standing together on the side of truth, will be seen as the defining moment of our times.

The unique power of Iran’s green opposition, and the reason it cannot be defeated, is that it is composed of so many disparate sectors of society, all sharing a certain core belief in a new and more wholesome direction and all acting from a deeply shared part of themselves. The government can take away the people’s Twitter, their Facebook, their Gmail, and even their cell phones. It can prevent them from gathering, it can imprison them, it can torture them, it can sodomize and rape them. It can even hang them. But it can’t seem to cut them off from their only real resource and means of communication – the heart that flies with truth.

* * *

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 57 Comments

I’m sorry, Richard, Bill, but this is disastrous hyperbole. The Green Revolution has, I’m sure, all our sympathies, but the idea that it will, in some way, ‘inevitably’ be victorious is pure fallacy. Ahmadinejad certainly has a significant portion of the population supporting him, and far more importantly the entire weight of the state security organs has stayed fairly constantly on his side. Dictatorships have survived for decades on far less. There is no reason why Ahmedinejad should not be able to last just as long as Mugabe has, or, in fact, any reason why this movement in Iran is so much more deserving of our praise than that in Zimbabwe, or Belarus, save that Iran is more of an enemy to the west than these countries.

I also, I must say, dislike the way in which the Green movement in Iran has been referenced in support of the most ridiculous of arguments. Suddenly people who in other circumstances would deny having more than cursory knowledge of the Islamic faith find themselves commenting on which side more accurately represents that particular faith, or which side would be better for peace in the region. This piece on the ‘Taiwan Matters’ blog comparing the KMT to Iran’s theocracy, and saying that armed insurrection might be necessary if the KMT were to win the next election, was particularly low:

http://taiwanmatters.blogspot.com/2009/06/iran-and-taiwan.html

The best thing we can do for the Green Revolution is to stay out of their way, do not allow the Tehran regime to play on fears that the movement is a trojan horse. Warnings of ‘lending legitimacy’ to the Tehran regime by negotiating with them are, I’m sure, well meant. The problem is that we have got ourselves into such a fix in Afghanistan and Iraq that we have much to discuss with them, and this even before the Iranian nuclear program is brought into consideration – supported as it is by both sides of the dispute in Iran.

And since this is a China blog, it’s worth throwing in a little link to Chinese matters, so here goes:

The one lesson that the CCP will learn from this, if it hadn’t already learned it from the way in which the Soviet dictatorship was steadily unpicked by domestic human rights advocates following the Helsinki Accords, is that the most dangerous thing a government can do is promise political freedom and then dash that hope.

March 7, 2010 @ 4:49 pm | Comment

To FOARP:
well said, especially this: “the most dangerous thing a government can do is promise political freedom and then dash that hope.”

March 7, 2010 @ 5:05 pm | Comment

So I guess the safest route for the CCP is to never promise political freedom. I suspect they already know that, though.

Bill may be a bit too optimistic – I see the Green Revolution as significant, but not necessarily “the defining moment of our times.”

March 7, 2010 @ 5:06 pm | Comment

A complication is that the “Green” politicians were allowed to run for election…which means tehy were picked by the ruling religious leaders to do so.
I know a few Iranians. OK, they are mostly expats, some even refugees, if you like (one had his father killed by the regime in power now). They don’t like the theocracy. Stands to reason – they are expats, after all. But given the numbers outside of Iran that would want change….
Not sure how this works with China, mind…http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/07/world/asia/07scholar.html

March 7, 2010 @ 5:14 pm | Comment

FOARP’s response strikes me as what Noam Chomsky would call “manufactured consent.” I don’t doubt that his view is mainstream American. I see things different.

The reason the green movement in Iran will win is that it has truth on its side, it has fair play on its side, it has respect for universal norms of human decency on its side. In addition its leaders are not narrow-minded nut cases and its tactics are not brutal, cruel, sexually sadistic, and murderous. The reason the green movement in Iran will win is that it represents the great Iran, the universal Iran, the Iran that stretches deep into the past and is moving forward into the future as a world leader. The present government in Iran, all the way up to and including the supreme leader, represents some narrow pinched cult. What it is doing is evil, wrong and hugely silly. It is doing this in front of the eyes of the whole world. At some point this has to be felt as a huge embarrassment to the Iranian people.

No one has to be a scholarly expert to tell at a glance which side in Iran today represents the values and truths at the core not just of Islam but of every single spiritual tradition on Earth, secular as well as religious – and which side represents the sickly distortions and perversions of these which also break out from time to time in any one of those and may even come to dominate it for a time.

Iran’s green opposition is of pivotal importance to these times in the same way that the American revolution was in its time. It’s a game-changer. The Americans might stupidly attempt to interfere or “help out” in some characteristic way. But I doubt Iran’s green opposition would be so foolish as to accept American help and thereby sacrifice one of the only things it has going for it – its legitimacy as a wholly Iranian phenomenon.

As regards the relevance of events in Iran to China and the situation there – I think the tight Chinese censorship of news about Iran says it all.

By the way, I’m not connected, and neither are my ideas, with that other Taiwan writer who produced that other piece about Iran on that other blog.

March 7, 2010 @ 8:18 pm | Comment

“FOARP’s response strikes me as what Noam Chomsky would call “manufactured consent.” I don’t doubt that his view is mainstream American.”

Yeah, funny that, because I happen to have been born, raised, and spent the entirety of my life outside the Americas, rarely watch American news media because I find the vast majority of it to be quite vapid, and often find myself at odds with what I guess – although I don’t actually have any first-hand experience to guide me on this – is “mainstream American” opinion.

“The reason the green movement in Iran will win is that it represents the great Iran, the universal Iran, the Iran that stretches deep into the past and is moving forward into the future as a world leader.”

Are there two Irans? Because the one I’ve heard of, the one whose history stretches back to before the great Xerxes (my mother was a fanatic on the classics and made me translate Herodotus’ description of Xerxes’ army crossing the Hellespont, such was family life in the FOARP household) is not ‘universal’ (what country is?) nor is it likely to become a world leader. It is an oil-rich but otherwise poor and backward nation, neither very large, nor vanishingly small, but not a world leader – past, present, or future.

“No one has to be a scholarly expert to tell at a glance which side in Iran today represents the values and truths at the core not just of Islam but of every single spiritual tradition on Earth, secular as well as religious – and which side represents the sickly distortions and perversions of these which also break out from time to time in any one of those and may even come to dominate it for a time.”,

Well, to be quite honest here, if you are going to comment on what the correct interpretation of a religious faith is, then you bloody well ought to be an expert of some sort, if not necessarily scholarly. Even as someone raised in the Christian tradition I would never dare to say whether Pope John Paul II, Torquemada, or the present pope is a true representative of the Catholic faith, although I can definitely say which one I have a preference for.

“Iran’s green opposition is of pivotal importance to these times in the same way that the American revolution was in its time.”

You mean ‘not much of one’? The idea that the American War of Independence was a ‘game changer’ mistakes what the game was, the US’s rise to world-power status did not happen until a full century afterwards. The real revolution, the real game-changer, was that which occurred in France – the American one was a mere pre-cursor, whose importance has swelled as the importance of the American nation has swelled.

Seriously, the revolution has so far been a failure, it may yet succeed, but the odds are lengthening. Why put such vast importance on it, given that even if it does succeed, the winners will merely be more moderate members of the same Mullahocracy? Yes, votes should be counted and elections decided fairly, in Iran and in Zimbabwe, and in every other country, and all nations which promise free elections should be held to their promise, or otherwise face the disdain of the free world. However, beyond this, what else is there to know? What else is there to say?

March 8, 2010 @ 12:46 am | Comment

Bill, also, you speak of “truth” as the reason that the revolution will succeed – but isn’t this really disingenuous? Lots of things have “truth” of one form or another on their side, and in may aspects of society, yet they don’t always succeed. This is why every company invests millions of dollars in marketing every year.
imho, the Greens need an immense advantage in numbers, or in military strength (pretty much the recipe for all revolutions in the past, no?). to me, a mere outsider without very detailed knowledge of the situation, it appears that they have neither.

March 8, 2010 @ 3:51 am | Comment

*in many

March 8, 2010 @ 3:52 am | Comment

If I were Iranian I’d be somewhat suspicious of British or American ‘truths’; historically British oil companies did not behave well and, unfortunately, managed to convince both countries security forces to get involved in attempts to usurp incumbent governments.

March 8, 2010 @ 4:23 am | Comment

Wow FOARP, Michael Turton really is insane.

March 8, 2010 @ 6:27 am | Comment

and agree with UK Visa Lawyer.

The British literally overthrew Iran’s democratic government and sucked their blood for 70 years.

March 8, 2010 @ 6:28 am | Comment

FOARP: “Are there two Irans?”

The Persian culture has been a very great contributor to human history in terms of science, religion, art, etc. If you read up on it you’ll be quite surprised how much we take for granted comes from these people and their cultures – both before the Islamic invasion and afterwards. It’s a very rich a wonderful mix of a tradition. There is a body of people today who adhere not to the full base of this broad humanistic tradition but only to a tiny sliver of ideological extremism. They are not rooted in the whole of their own culture but take a piece as the whole. They present themselves to the world as “Iran.” And yes, FOARP, there is another Iran, the whole rich mix, which we find in the green opposition movement to these extremist fanatics. It might as well be another country it is so different from the official government version.

FOARP: “If you are going to comment on what the correct interpretation of a religious faith is, then you bloody well ought to be an expert of some sort, if not necessarily scholarly.”

This isn’t an issue of the mere “interpretation” of a religious faith. At the core of every one of the great world religions, as well as of many of its secular spiritual traditions, we find the individuals who have directly experienced what is inexpressible except in terms of metaphor. And in every one of the great religions, as well as the secular traditions, it has been the case that the almost unutterable truth of this experience, which can only be expressed in the language of metaphor, has been reified by those who have not themselves had the direct experience – that is to say the metaphor is treated as an actuality and so a fiction grows up, a cartoon caricature of the real faith. In Zen terms, the finger pointing at the moon is taken to be the moon. This is a big mistake and leads to all sorts of problems, as we see in Iran today. A deep and beautiful religious tradition, so full of timeless truth, is reduced by heartless fanatics to a treacherous and murderous cult capable of doing a great deal of evil.

FOARP: “The idea that the American War of Independence was a ‘game changer’ mistakes what the game was, the US’s rise to world-power status did not happen until a full century afterwards.”

The American Revolution was an amazing occurrence in that it set fire to the hearts of men around the world. “We hold these truths self-evident.” So, not what some king tells us, but what we ourselves feel to be true in our hearts shall govern our behavior, as an individual and as a nation. Men are created equal. They are free. They are free to speak the truth as they see it. The events that happened in the American Colonies are still reverberating around the world. Iran and China will find their freedom not in the American way, but in their own unique and appropriate way. And yet the only secret is out: that freedom can be had. A people can be free, can express the truth as they see it, and can determine their own fate. They don’t need a dictator. (What’s so sad and ironic is the extent to which the “free” Americans have tried to set themselves up as the “dictator” to the rest of the world, thus earning the enmity of a big part of it.)

FOARP: “Why put such vast importance on it, given that even if it does succeed, the winners will merely be more moderate members of the same Mullahocracy?”

If the Iranians want a Mullahocracy that’s their business and I’m sure they’ll do a good job of it. It’s not for us or anyone else to tell them what kind of government to have. I put such a vast importance upon Iran’s green opposition because it has already demonstrated that perhaps for the first time in the history of the world an authoritarian government that is going all out to control and shape the “truth,” has had its efforts undercut by simple, ordinary people using the new internet tools to tell a different truth, their truth. What this means is that the people now, not just in Iran but everywhere, do have a say. They don’t have to wait for their government to grant them one. They have multiple avenues to speak up. The truth can get out. For large areas of the world this is a completely new development. It’s a game-changer.

FOARP: “All nations which promise free elections should be held to their promise, or otherwise face the disdain of the free world. However, beyond this, what else is there to know? What else is there to say?”

Well, quite frankly it’s not the disdain of the free world that’s behind the events in Iran. It’s the disdain of Iran’s own people for a government that in their eyes has lost all legitimacy. Anyone whose heart does not go out to the Iranian people is someone who’s heart is dead. These amazing people in this amazing country are doing something that we can learn from. For one thing, we can learn how important are some of the basic freedoms we take for granted. For another, we can know how important honest self-expression is; and not sit back and let other people tell us what our truth is.

March 8, 2010 @ 7:45 am | Comment

Thank you so much, dear Mr Stimson!
You made my day :-)

beshou az ney chun hekayat mikonad
az jodaie ha shekayat mikonad …

ma bishomarim (we are countless)
Arshama

March 8, 2010 @ 7:58 am | Comment

It’s the disdain of Iran’s own people

Speak for yourself.

March 8, 2010 @ 8:36 am | Comment

Let me ask this question: has William R. Stimson ever been to Iran?

March 8, 2010 @ 10:32 am | Comment

@Pugwash #15
Given the Chinese experts on the west after a brief sojourn in the US, does one need to be in a country to have an opinion?

What’s good for the goose is, after all, good for the gander, no?

March 8, 2010 @ 10:43 am | Comment

http://www.tnr.com/article/world/green-energy
“Is the Green Movement finished? That is what the Iranian government wants the world to believe. And it has recently been trumpeting a few pieces of evidence to make its case.”

March 8, 2010 @ 11:20 am | Comment

Mike Goldsmith,

At least these ‘Chinese experts’ have seen the US, unlike this guy. This piece is nothing but propaganda, although I would give William R. Stimson an ‘A’ in creative writing.

March 8, 2010 @ 1:25 pm | Comment

Pugwash
The US is not the west.

March 8, 2010 @ 2:21 pm | Comment

FOARP either can’t read or wishes to purposely distort. The post he linked doesn’t say “that armed insurrection might be necessary” — it says:
- – -
[...] a few AK-47s wouldn’t make a difference versus the government’s weaponry. Without the army, you’re fucked. And with the army, you’re probably also fucked [...]

[...] I suspect any similar uprising in Taiwan would have the same moderate tendencies and the same useless result. And that reminds us that time is all the shorter. We must act while there is still a chance to affect change via the ballot box.
- – -

merp probably didn’t even bother to read before calling someone “insane.” That post isn’t by Michael Turton — it’s by A-gu (阿牛). In fact, Michael Turton hasn’t been with Taiwan Matters since September 2008:
http://taiwanmatters.blogspot.com/2008/09/my-good-bye.html

Shameless.

March 8, 2010 @ 3:57 pm | Comment

“The US is not the west.”

Is more or less in the middle.

March 8, 2010 @ 4:04 pm | Comment

Let me ask this question: has William R. Stimson ever been to Iran?

A weird question. I’ve never been to Iraq or Afghanistan yet I have written about them many times. I wasn’t there when the planes struck the twin towers in 2001 but I’ve written about it. I was never in Nazi Germany but I’ve written a lot about it. I’ve never been to Chile but I condemned Pinochet and his torture chambers. Another example of the essential vacuousness of every comment Pug puts up.

March 8, 2010 @ 4:09 pm | Comment

Eco
the US is one part of the “west” :-) You’ll also find it east of China… ;-)

March 8, 2010 @ 4:32 pm | Comment

Whilst I haven’t written the the Green Movement off, I’m not holding my breath either. The State has shown that it is willing to beat it down with increasing force. The Green Movement has no response to the use of armed force other than to call for more protests. That will only be able to force change if the leadership becomes cowardly, which neither Imadinnerjacket nor Khamenei are. So far protesters have not shown that they can apply real pressure to the State, such as by organising strikes that cripple the country/economy.

Given that the regime has such wide-ranging support amongst the armed forces and also has its backers among the general population, it is hard to see how it will be toppled unless it commits some atrocity so awful that the people as a whole will rise. That just isn’t going to happen.

It is true that the regime was so stupid in fixing the result when no one on the list was going to get rid of the theocratic rule, as now government critics are revaluating the entire system and not just attacking the president. But that’s a stupidity the people in charge are simply learning to cope with.

Change may come, but it could be after we’re dead and for purely economic reasons.

March 8, 2010 @ 6:52 pm | Comment

@Time – The kicker comes in the sentence you left out:

” . . .that reminds us that time is all the shorter. We must act while there is still a chance to affect change via the ballot box.”

That clearly implies that the if the election is lost, armed rising might be the only answer, otherwise why even talk about it? And in the context of Taiwan for god’s sake?

March 8, 2010 @ 8:41 pm | Comment

Pugwash
The US is not the west.

Mike Goldilocks,

What have you been smoking?

March 8, 2010 @ 9:28 pm | Comment

Ah, yes. I “left out” the part which encourages people to vote so that they won’t get shot instead; therefore, that “proves” (in your mind) that A-gu’s post is really — as you put it — “saying that armed insurrection might be necessary.”

At the very least, you have a highly overactive imagination, but I think the problem is more deeply-rooted.

March 9, 2010 @ 12:06 am | Comment

FOARP,

I thought I was being rather clear when I said armed insurrection is useless, as you can’t beat an army. To me, that hardly implies armed insurrection “might be necessary.”

March 9, 2010 @ 1:26 am | Comment

Pugface
I don’t smoke.

I’ll write it phonetically

The US is not THEE west. It is but one facet of what one refers to as the west. What you glean from the US doesn’t help you in Europe or teh Antipodes much – it is too different. Trust me – I have stayed in the US at times…it is very foreign to me.

March 9, 2010 @ 4:45 am | Comment

Other views of Iran
http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2007/11/13/is-iran-dangerous-or-a-paper-tiger/
Spengler’s opinions are interesting….

March 9, 2010 @ 4:52 am | Comment

And more…from the Green Movement
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/03/08/the_green_movement_is_more_than_facebook

March 9, 2010 @ 7:35 am | Comment

“As regards the relevance of events in Iran to China and the situation there – I think the tight Chinese censorship of news about Iran says it all.”

Indeed.

As does Beijing’s monotonous (and strategic) UNSC calls for ‘more dialogue’ with a madman. Not that the Chinese are at all interested in the taking an active role in such a process themselves.

March 9, 2010 @ 8:46 am | Comment

Some interesting comments in that thread. There is strong condemnation of China’s interference in Iranian affairs. And mention of China’s elite army unit known as the “Cheng Guan”.

March 9, 2010 @ 11:02 am | Comment

From Mike’s link:

The tyrannical and blood thirsty government of China should realize that this inhumane action against the people of Iran will turn out to be a big punishment. We will cut off their hands from our country and we will try our best to get rid of their products in our region.

This clear interference of China in Iran’s internal affairs and their cooperation in putting down the Iranian people must be condemned by all nations of the world. We also feel sorry for the “Supreme Leader” who is willing to kiss the bottoms of the Chinese who do not even believe in God, but is not willing to listen to the people of Iran.

These are the seeds that China is sowing throughout the Middle East and Africa. I’m amazed that so many people still want to give the Chinese government the benefit of the doubt.

I sense the arrival of a basket full of tu quoque …

March 9, 2010 @ 1:17 pm | Comment

Mike Goldilocks,

I wonder how much William R. Stimson gets paid to write this article. This ‘truth’ in Iran is nothing but a CIA runned black op.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRwUZ-u6KFo

March 9, 2010 @ 1:42 pm | Comment

@Pugster

wonder how much William R. Stimson gets paid to write this article

My educated guess is that even if he is ever being paid, it will be more than what the Wu Mao Dang (50 Cents Party) is getting.:)

March 9, 2010 @ 2:52 pm | Comment

Plug (one hopes you’ve read the Beano to get this ref…)
CIA run (not runned) op? Oooooh…foil hat territory!
I’m kinda interested, mind…how’d they get the Chinese in on this?

Occam’s Razor, my dear Plugsy
http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/stratfor-19/

“Effective sanctions must be so painful that they compel the target to change its behavior. In Tehran’s case, this could only consist of blocking Iran’s imports of gasoline. Iran imports 35 percent of the gasoline it consumes. It is not clear that a gasoline embargo would be crippling, but it is the only embargo that might work.”

“The Chinese will not participate in any gasoline embargo. Beijing gets 11 percent of its oil from Iran, and it has made it clear it will continue to deliver gasoline to Iran.”
Also here http://www.stratfor.com/memberships/152003/analysis/20100112_iran_beginning_sanctions

11% of oil is a whole heap of oil…
Protecting your interests isn’t a purely western concept. We deposed a democratically elected government and installed a compliant puppet, the Chinese keep a compliant government that does anything to annoy the west in power as it performs a very useful function. The CCP doesn’t care what the government is – as long as it feeds the economy, it’ll deal with them.

CIA plots….yeah right ;-) Be the British Secret Service next – comlete with a Bond character :-D

March 9, 2010 @ 3:55 pm | Comment

And more
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/weekinreview/07mouawad.html?ref=global

“The argument that Iran may be much less vulnerable to sanctions than Washington would wish is based largely on the long-term stakes that three powers in the United Nations Security Council — China, Russia and France — have in the future of Iran’s energy resources, either as customers, investors or potential partners.”

And France, eh? Suggets this isn’t some B&W east v west schtick Maoists so love to spout about.

“Iran still may be counting on China to use its power in the Security Council and its leverage in Washington to shield it against international sanctions that could really hurt, like a ban on gasoline exports to Iran, as well as unilateral American sanctions. But some analysts believe that would be expecting too much; they point out that China has been reluctant to openly challenge America, especially in the Persian Gulf. “The Iranians are overconfident in the Chinese reliance on them,” said Jon Alterman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.”

Seems, then, that China is keeping it’s options open. Help the regime…but not too much :-)

“That’s a point Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made last month in Saudi Arabia, where she asked King Abdullah to guarantee more oil to China to help persuade the Chinese not to block new sanctions. She also suggested that China’s Persian Gulf oil supplies could be threatened by a nuclear Iran.

Given how much it has at stake in Iran’s future, China might even find it in its own interest to get Iran to the negotiating table, said Lawrence Goldstein, an energy expert. “The key is what role China is prepared to play,” he said. “The Chinese have a lot to lose if things go wrong in Iran.” ”

Soooo, Plug – CIA? Or just your general trade/economy/geopolitics at play?

March 9, 2010 @ 4:05 pm | Comment

Mike & Ike,

Have you ever seen the youtube video? There’s even links in the youtube video.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/05/bush_authorizes.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1552784/Bush-sanctions-black-ops-against-Iran.html

Of course your excuse is that China bribed someone in the western Media post these articles.

March 9, 2010 @ 7:56 pm | Comment

From ABC
“The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a “nonlethal presidential finding” that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran’s currency and international financial transactions.

“I can’t confirm or deny whether such a program exists or whether the president signed it, but it would be consistent with an overall American approach trying to find ways to put pressure on the regime,” said Bruce Riedel, a recently retired CIA senior official who dealt with Iran and other countries in the region.”

Torygraph would be following the story from the same leads.

Not really conclusive, wouldn’t you agree? Unnamed sources, “can’t confirm or deny…” hardly inspire confidence.

Sure, I can see western intelligence working against the regime (or with…some of them have interests there). Israel and the US do have strategic issues with Iran (Hezbollah being one) but then others also have strategic issues too, like China and Russia.

Just because Dubya (who is no longer president) said they could do it doesn’t mean they did it or indeed are doing it. Even then, it doesn’t make it a fait accompli – if the CIA et al were so good, how come the Islamic Republic came into being in 1979? Same with the Chinese anti-riot equipment (and probably technology and advice…like denying reporters’ access and cutting off communication media…I don’t think it’s a Chinese plot to maintain the regime for “evil” reasons as safeguarding it’s interests by cooperating with and selling equipment to a “legitimate” government (I use quotation marks as it’s basing it’s power on woo reasons and maintaining that with force)

I maintain it’s just a standard business as usual geopolitical issues, with ordinary people being, as usual, the pawns in the Great Game…

To think Mousavi et al are in the CIA is stretching it a bit – they were approved by Khamenei to run in the first place (all candidates have to get his approval, I read). Given the Iranian paranoia, I would assume some background checks were done…
Given what the Iranians I knew felt, I thik this was a relatively popular showing of displeasure at the regime. Not many like the theocracy (and yes, I’ll admit the Iranians I knew weren’t poor farmers etc) and it’s stifling hand on their lives (which is why they left). Couple that with an economy that’s fucked despite oceans of oil….well.

The CIA is taking advantage of a situation but not initiating it, just as Iran took advantage of the 2nd and 3rd Gulf Wars wars without initiating them. Standard procedure.

March 10, 2010 @ 5:00 am | Comment

Bum_ster
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6251AO20100306
Are you going to believe this too?

March 10, 2010 @ 5:10 am | Comment

Mike Goldfinger,

Black Ops are never a sure thing. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it fails. Despite what you think, Iran has a fairly stable government and was able to outsmart CIA’s cheap tricks. Black ops often fits in the deniable category very much like the google hacking incident.

This is meddling with other country’s elections and sovereignty. Imagine if China’s MSS decided to funnel money to a certain candidate in one of the US’s elections think of the controversy. Yet it doesn’t seem a big deal for you for the CIA or the NED to operate in other countries. Yes MSS does espionage aimed at gaining commercial, technological and military secrets but so are other countries, but not interfering at other countries affairs.

As for 9/11. I think there is some controversy in terms of how the buildings went down, especially of how WTC7 went down. In the history of Steel structured buildings, the only time when steel buildings collapsed due to fire or terrorist attack was during 9/11. I don’t think the US government is exactly straight forward on this one.

March 10, 2010 @ 6:14 am | Comment

Wor_cester
“Despite what you think, Iran has a fairly stable government and was able to outsmart CIA’s cheap tricks”
Stable government? Ummmm…you been reading the news recently? I reem to recall something about a colour…what was it? Ah, yes, Green…need I go on?

“This is meddling with other country’s elections and sovereignty”
Deposing a government against the wishes of the people or maintaining a government against the wishes of the people…you’ll have to clarify that a bit more for me as I can’t really tell the difference.

“As for 9/11. I think …” we’ll just leave that there, I think. Foil hattery.

March 10, 2010 @ 6:34 am | Comment

Mike golddump,

Yeah, western progaganda wants to believe there’s some kind of green revolution and the elections is ‘rigged.’. Just keep reading williams garbage about a revolution is going to happen. Call it the vocal minority syndrome.

9/11 is considered a controversy to some people. Just keep drinking the govrernment’s kool aid.

March 10, 2010 @ 8:17 am | Comment

Dump_ster
Foil hattery.

March 10, 2010 @ 8:26 am | Comment

Mike Goldmine,

You have no problems blaming China on the world’s problem including Iran, but seem speechless when you want to troll about WTC. Instead, you call me a foil hat. You seem to do a better job calling people names than debating.

March 10, 2010 @ 12:10 pm | Comment

9/11 is considered a controversy to some people.

If that’s the case, one can also say that..

The Holocaust is considered a controversy to some people

The Rape of Nanking is considered a controversy to some people

The Tiananmen Square massacre is considered a controversy to some people

The Cultural Revolution is considered a controversy to some people

The Gwangju massacre is considered a controversy to some people

on and on and on…….

Let’s have some decency to have respect for those who perished in these tragedies.

the elections is ‘rigged.’.

Does that matter at all? The Supreme Leader, not the President, calls the shot in that theocratic state.

March 10, 2010 @ 2:19 pm | Comment

sptwo,

Let’s have some decency to have respect for those who perished in these tragedies.

Since when I don’t have any respect about the dead? I said it was a controversy because the way the towers fell. Read what I said and stop trolling.

Does that matter at all? The Supreme Leader, not the President, calls the shot in that theocratic state.

In that case, why does this theocratic state have an election in the first place?

March 10, 2010 @ 3:19 pm | Comment

Foil_hat
Show me where I have blamed China for any Iranian problem? As I recall, I wrote
“I don’t think it’s a Chinese plot to maintain the regime for “evil” reasons as safeguarding it’s interests by cooperating with and selling equipment to a “legitimate” government (I use quotation marks as it’s basing it’s power on woo reasons and maintaining that with force)”

The WTC “conspiracies” are all over the ethernet and debunked numerous times. Instead of a decent argument, you tell me to “Just keep drinking the govrernment’s kool aid” (a death threat??).

You are an idiot. Here’s one way of telling
“In that case, why does this theocratic state have an election in the first place?” If you’re not an idiot, you’re incredibly naive.

Here’s another
“Yeah, western progaganda wants to believe there’s some kind of green revolution and the elections is ‘rigged.’.”
The people doing the compaining were….Iranian. Iranian politicians, Iranian clerics, Iranian people. You’ll find the west was rather quiet on that issue, politically. And given my opening line on this comment, that’s three examples of idiocy. Sorry, fool – that means you’re out. Now go and play with the kids and leave us grown ups alone…

March 10, 2010 @ 3:53 pm | Comment

Mike Golddork,

Show me where I have blamed China for any Iranian problem?

Why did you post this article?

http://persian2english.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/a-note-about-the-armoured-vehicles-from-china-to-iran/

The WTC “conspiracies” are all over the ethernet and debunked numerous times.

Sure sure sure, and those same people still believe that Saddam has something to do with 9/11.

You are an idiot. Here’s one way of telling
“In that case, why does this theocratic state have an election in the first place?” If you’re not an idiot, you’re incredibly naive.

That’s not a dumb question. Instead of name calling, why don’t answer the question?

Here’s another
“Yeah, western progaganda wants to believe there’s some kind of green revolution and the elections is ‘rigged.’.”
The people doing the compaining were….Iranian. Iranian politicians, Iranian clerics, Iranian people. You’ll find the west was rather quiet on that issue, politically. And given my opening line on this comment, that’s three examples of idiocy. Sorry, fool – that means you’re out. Now go and play with the kids and leave us grown ups alone…

Iranians complains, so what? There are Iranians who also support the current president and clerics. And according to the elections, most of them voted for the current president. Oh yeah, according to you, they don’t count because they are not part of the ‘green’ revolution.

That’s okay, keep calling me names, maybe you described yourself best as who’s the kid around here.

March 10, 2010 @ 9:59 pm | Comment

Is anyone surprised that Pug is a 911 Truther? Now we know.

Pug, no one rational believes Saddam had anything to do with 911. That meme was blasted to bits by the US media, and you cannot cite a single major media that claims Saddam had something to do with the attack, as disappointed as that made Dick Cheney. The only ones clinging to such nonsense are loons and losers, akin to those who say 911 was an inside job.

March 11, 2010 @ 12:33 am | Comment

Tea_party
“Why did you post this article?”
It showed Chinese involvement (in some small way) in the Iranian protests etc and I felt it might have been of interest in this discussion.

“That’s not a dumb question”
It makes my head hurt in it’s sheer idiocy. Why does Burma have elections (elections that end up in your house arrest if you happen to win instead of SLORC)? Why did Saddam Hussein have elections (where he used to get 99% of the vote). Why does PRC have non Communist political parties (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China) when only the CCP can have power (and what heppens if you join a banned party? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/10/chinese-worker-jailed-political-party)? It’s to confer a degree of legitimacy to the regime…sheesh! Helloooo, anything upstairs?

I shall continue to taunt you until you grow a pube or two and come back with some decent arguments.

March 11, 2010 @ 4:11 am | Comment

For Pug
http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20100301_thinking_about_unthinkable_usiranian_deal

Now, none of this is the “truth” – it is geopolitical opinions…though made by people who study this sort of thing. Linked above but here it is online in full (you don’t have to give your email address for to receive the article).

March 11, 2010 @ 4:28 am | Comment

Mike Goldthumb,

It showed Chinese involvement (in some small way) in the Iranian protests etc and I felt it might have been of interest in this discussion.

Exactly, from that article, you seem to blame China on problems in Iran.

It makes my head hurt in it’s sheer idiocy. Why does Burma have elections (elections that end up in your house arrest if you happen to win instead of SLORC)? Why did Saddam Hussein have elections (where he used to get 99% of the vote). Why does PRC have non Communist political parties (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_People’s_Republic_of_China) when only the CCP can have power (and what heppens if you join a banned party? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/10/chinese-worker-jailed-political-party)? It’s to confer a degree of legitimacy to the regime…sheesh! Helloooo, anything upstairs?

Maybe your head hurt because you seem to be flopping at your own questions. So did anybody got arrested (like Burma) or one party got 99.% of the votes like in Iraq? No. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad got 62.63% and Mir-Hossein Mousavi got 33.75%. Are there supporters of Mousavi who weren’t happy that Ahmadinejad got elected, probably. But should we ignore that Ahmadinejad had clearly won? no? And what does this have to do with ‘elections’ in China? Troll.

March 11, 2010 @ 5:43 am | Comment

“Exactly, from that article, you seem to blame China on problems in Iran.”
How is that baming China for the outpourings of people in Iranian cities?

“So did anybody got arrested (like Burma)”
Aung San Suu Kyi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi
“1990 general election
In 1990, the military junta called a general election, which the National League for Democracy won by an overwhelming 82% of the votes. Being the NLD’s candidate, Aung San Suu Kyi under normal circumstances would have assumed the office of Prime Minister.[23] Instead, the results were nullified, and the military refused to hand over power. This resulted in an international outcry. Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest at her home on University Avenue (16°49′32″N 96°9′1″E / 16.82556°N 96.15028°E / 16.82556; 96.15028) in Rangoon. During her arrest, she was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990, and the Nobel Peace Prize the year after. Her sons Alexander and Kim accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on her behalf. Aung San Suu Kyi used the Nobel Peace Prize’s 1.3 million USD prize money to establish a health and education trust for the Burmese people.[24]”
and
“On 11 August 2009 the trial concluded with Suu Kyi being sentenced to imprisonment for three years with hard labour. This sentence was commuted by the military rulers to further house arrest of eighteen months.[80] On 14 August, U.S. Senator Jim Webb visited Burma, visiting with junta leader Gen. Than Shwe and later with Suu Kyi. During the visit, Webb negotiated Yettaw’s release and deportation from Burma.[81] Following the verdict of the trial, lawyers of Suu Kyi said, they would appeal against the 18-months sentence.[82] On 18 August, United States President Barack Obama asked the country’s military leadership to set free all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi.[83] In her appeal, Aung San Suu Kyi had argued, that the conviction was unwarranted. However, her appeal against the August sentence was rejected by a Burmese court on 2 October, 2009, although the court accepted the argument that the 1974 constitution, under which she had been charged, was null and void, but said the provisions of the 1975 security law, under which she has been kept under house arrest, remained in force. The verdict effectively means, she will be unable to participate in elections scheduled to take place in 2010 – the first in Burma in two decades. Her lawyer stated that her legal team would pursue a new appeal within 60 days. [84]”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2331951.stm

Who reported the election results in Iran? Ooooh, it was the mullahs…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_presidential_election,_2009
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE55C0W620090613
“KARIM SADJAPOUR, ANALYST AT CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR

INTERNATIONAL PEACE:

“I don’t think anyone anticipated this level of fraudulence. This was a selection, not an election. At least authoritarian regimes like Syria and Egypt have no democratic pretences. In retrospect it appears this entire campaign was a show: (Supreme Leader) Ayatollah (Ali) Khamenei wasn’t ever going to let Ahmadinejad lose.”"

Damn, you are so dense at times that…..oh fuck it – like discussing genetics with a brick…

March 11, 2010 @ 6:01 am | Comment

In that case, why does this theocratic state have an election in the first place

In the first place, what kind of elections is this when those who want to run for the presidency have to be approved by the Council of Guardians?

March 11, 2010 @ 10:27 am | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.