Iran’s Elections & Selective Coverage

Continuing the Smell Test

I see the previous post I had on conducting a smell test on the latest intense coverage of Iran’s elections got quite a bit of traction, including some retorts from the ‘misinformed’ in a few places. First, let me remind you, I don’t disagree with the view of highly probable election fraud in this case. My main point in this was ‘the selective coverage’ of election fraud throughout the world and the typical riots and government attacks that tend to follow these incidents. Also, I have a real issue with the timing of this media focus. Why don’t we have similar coverage and discussion when identical, or in many cases worse, incidents take place elsewhere? Especially when it occurs in countries we consider allies and friends regardless of how dictatorial, corrupt, or atrocious.

I can provide tens if not hundreds of similar cases of election fraud followed by dictatorial repression of demonstrators/rioters who take a stand against such practices.

Here is an excerpt from the election fraud scandal and the following violence in Egypt as reported by Human Rights Watch in 2006:

    “Egyptian authorities should drop threats to dismiss two senior judges protesting election fraud and investigate the violence and fraud that plagued elections last year, Human Rights Watch said today.
    The organization also expressed grave concern about a police attack against peaceful demonstrators outside the Judges Club in the early hours of Monday morning. An eyewitness told Human Rights Watch that a large number of men, apparently plainclothes police, attacked around 40 persons who had been holding a round-the-clock vigil in support of the two judges threatened with dismissal. They beat 15 demonstrators and Judge Mahmud `Abd al-Latif Hamza, who came out from the club.”

The 2003 presidential election results in Azerbaijan dubiously declared Ilham Aliyev the president. Of course this was cheered by many in Western policy circles since they viewed Ilhan Aliyev ‘critical’ to the stability of billions of dollars of investments in Azerbaijan’s energy sector. This is an excerpt from another report:

    “International and domestic monitors reported widespread irregularities in the Oct. 15 election. The government clearly stole the election, and then brutally beat hundreds of people who poured out in the streets in protest. The day after the election, I watched from the roof of a hotel in Baku as thousands of riot police beat protesters unconscious. Afterward the riot police raised their shields to the sky and turned their batons into drumsticks, celebrating the victory of intimidation.

    Now hundreds have been arrested, while Isa Gambar, the opposition leader, is effectively under house arrest and activists from his Musavat party are being beaten and detained all over the country. Everyone I speak to is scared.”

And here is a further damning quote from Peter Bouckart:

    “More astonishing, however, were the public assessments of the election made by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe. Their election-monitoring missions in Azerbaijan took due note of the violence and election irregularities, but their overall appraisals were alarmingly upbeat.”

Speaking of post election protests and the recent ‘bloody’ pictures in post election Iran that have been circulating, here are some that didn’t make it into our social awareness, since it involved another ally country, thus was avoided by our press:

Click here to watch a protest against election fraud in Agri, Turkey.

And where was the same level of ‘attention’ and coverage in cases like this one reported by Craig Murray, where the dictator government of Uzbekistan (supported by us), whom Murray rightfully calls a ‘fascist regime,’ was (and probably still is) engaged in atrocious human right abuses. Yes, we certainly were closely courting a dictator regime where the dissenters were/are boiled alive.

    “The police repeatedly tortured prisoners, State Department officials wrote, noting that the most common techniques were “beating, often with blunt weapons, and asphyxiation with a gas mask.” Separately, international human rights groups had reported that torture in Uzbek jails included boiling of body parts, using electroshock on genitals and plucking off fingernails and toenails with pliers. Two prisoners were boiled to death, the groups reported. The February 2001 State Department report stated bluntly: “Uzbekistan is an authoritarian state with limited civil rights.””

And here is how elections are held in Uzbekistan:

    “The Communist Party simply renamed itself the Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, and, after getting rid of

Muhammad Salih, his only rival for power by exiling him, engaging in massive election fraud, and banning his Erk (Freedom) party, Karimov, president of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic and a Politboro member, seized the reins of power and refused to let go. A completely controlled “referendum,” in 1995, led to an extension of his term in office, and in January, 2002, a similar farce awarded him 92 percent of vote, with nominal opposition. Political parties that aim to “change the established order” are banned, including the “Birlik” Popular Unity

    movement, which advocates democracy, religious tolerance, and economic liberty, as well as Islamist groups which the Karimov regime blames for the violence.”


And finally, for a bit of deja vu, remember Black Friday of 1978 in Iran? On September 8, 1978, a huge demonstration against the Shah’s regime was staged in Tehran. Thousands of students and progressive activists took part in this demonstration to peacefully express their dissent against the dictator monarch, Shah Pahlavi. The Shah’s military responded with extreme violent force, and even resorted to using tanks and helicopter gunships to respond. While the Shah Regime and Western media put the number of those massacred at around 80 or so, mainly students, other reports put that number in the range of thousands.

Again, I am inviting you all to join me for a ‘collective smelling test.’ I truly appreciated and enjoyed your informed comments and perspectives posted here. As for those people who chose to attack my previous points ‘elsewhere’: it is okay, unlike the regimes I mentioned above I do indeed welcome dissent. However, please do it with facts and logic, not as some loose lipped incoherent rant. Go buy a map, learn where Iran is located, then read a bit of history (not the ones written by the Neocons, that is), put aside what you are being fed by the propaganda machine and PR spin, take some vitamins and minerals to fortify your mental clarity, check with your grandparents and receive a tip or two on the value of giving respect in order to receive it in return, then come back and put forth your counterarguments and disagreements; I’ll be all ears.

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Comments

  1. Hopefully this will add perspective, especially in the role the media plays in thoughts of both governments the US supports and those they don't.

  2. avatar Sibel Edmonds says:

    Here is a link to an interesting perspective/comment by Jeremy:

    http://rebelreports.com/post/125211533/my-two-cents-on-the-twitter-revolution-in-iran

    I really liked his book on BlackWater. I met him during one of my interviews with Amy Goodman, and admire 'some' of his work…

  3. avatar Daniel Schmidt says:

    Great post. Selective memories and championing of allies over collective civil rights has been a problem America has struggled with for centuries.

    This isn't just a Middle East experience either. The same sort of analysis can be extended to Latin America in the twentieth century – the suppression of protest, peaceful and not, silenced or forgotten in favor of US investments in military regimes.

    Latin America has changed in the last decade, but time will tell how Iran will turn out. Thanks for the post, it is much needed.

  4. avatar Metemneurosis says:

    Sibel thanks for this. Always interesting to hear your perspective. A lot of these specifics I was unaware of, though I knew some of the basic contours here and there. Sorry to hear you got some animosity or careless knee-jerk comments.

  5. avatar cyre2067 says:

    I definitely agree a 'smell test' is in order. How come we're getting blasted about fraudulent elections in Iran – but when it happens here, two presidential elections in a row – we didn't hear one word about it?

    Oh i know, must have been the lack of twitter…. ::groans::

    there's also some discussion suggesting that the elections in Iran weren't fraudulent and he won by a landslide due to the high voter turnout.

    Dunno what I believe but it does seem suspicious that Iranian 'fraud' gets massive air time and haughty cries of 'injustice'. Meanwhile war criminals here who stole two presidential elections, in a row, are still treated like respected politicians by the same talking heads.

  6. avatar cyre2067 says:

    And there is also this piece, from the guardian, which i think solidifies the 'there was no fraud' argument.

  7. avatar Sibel Edmonds says:

    Daniel: Welcome."This isn't just a Middle East experience either"-You are right, and we'll see it over and over in Central Asia.

    Cyre2067: Thank you for the link, and welcome. Please disseminate it everywhere to enlighten some of these bewildered misguided individuals who've been spreading this misinformed and misinterpreted campaign…

  8. Ms. Edmonds: do you have any sense as to why the Ergenekon trial is ignored by US media? "Too complicated" is the common excuse, but do you have any sense as to whether the Ergenekon case involves facts and/or persons in common with your allegations?

    cal

  9. avatar Sibel Edmonds says:

    Cal: The same reason Susurluk was. Mizgin has a pretty good analyses on her site.

  10. As usual your analysis is spot on and incitefull. The media picks and choses which stories to follow and report, conveniently missing bigger news and bigger stories that does not fit their agenda.

  11. avatar Anonymous says:

    Anon the Necon -

    It is our first duty to support democratic aspirants everywhere, especially when "possible".

    Iran is that "possibility".

    Azerbaijan, Turkey, Uzbekistan – are not.

    Since you have some experience with Iran, Mrs. Edmonds, you must be familiar with the intense desire for modernity, unmatched in neighbouring countries.

    Iranians see themselves as a people apart – with far greater feeling of continuity with their pre-Islamic past, than is the norm.

    Even when instrumentalised, democracy movements are ultimatelly optimal.

    Democracy may suck – but it sucks less than the rest.

    I frankly would expect to see on this issue – some support on your behalf. How stereotypical of critics of American policy, to pick on our policies at moments, when some encouragement and support for certain policies, coincide with their own demands.

    Aren't your demands for transparency, government responsibility, oversight, and people's involvement, calls to greater democracy?

    Why can't you take part in a historic moment, and show your solidarity?

  12. avatar Kingfisher says:

    Muhammad Salih and the Erk Party – that's something interesting. Know anything about Salih, Erk, and Turkey Sibel?

    Anon the Neocon -

    Noise from the US and shows of solidarity will only undermine the Iranian protesters. Is that what you want? This is not about us, it is up to the Iranian people.

  13. Fair enough. Do you think this is true?

    Iran accuses the US of meddling in election crisis
    AP
    By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 8 mins ago

  14. avatar Metemneurosis says:

    After the last eight years it's rather rich to hear someone who, even if not completely forthrightly, calls himself a neocon saying we should support democracy. Since when were neocons interested in anything of the kind? The democracy we should be interested in is our own. Defending it against our own government, against neocons.

    On Iran it's perfectly consistent (in fact it's really much more consistent) to hope they get the freedoms they want and perhaps democracy too and also hope that the US doesn't try to "help". Our government's idea of help has not been my idea of help.

    Look at how we've 'helped' Iraq now by training special forces death squads outside any chain of command except supposedly Maliki (thought it's really US). Thanks US. It's Central American death squads all over again. I'm sure many people behind this stuff believe their doing the right thing and that you have to get your hands dirty sometimes. The question is how far down that road before your not a person I ever want living next door. How far before you become worse than what you're fighting. Two sayings come to mind. "The road to hell . . . "
    and
    “Battle not with monsters lest you become one.” And we have.

  15. avatar Sibel Edmonds says:

    John V: Couldn't agree more. Thank you & welcome.

    Anon the Neocon: 'Iran is that possibility'- Sure! The preemptive attack plans using Nuke angle didn't work, so why not go after a better sounding 'excuse' to tap that oil and build a new base in a strategically extremely important place right across from the Caspian. Is that it?

    Azerbaijan & Turkey: Sure! We already took care of that- puppet regimes in place, one already a NATO member, the other one on it's way…that 'opportunity' has been check-marled already.

    This has nothing to do with my feelings and views for Iran and the Iranians. Of course I'd cheer any progress made towards democracy there. On the other hand, been there when it comes to Western meddling in the Middle East. I want these Hands 'off.'

    Kingfisher: 'Salih & Erk'- Not directly. Check out the Turkish front companies there, and then cross reference with those on the list of ATC, and after that, with Gulen movement. There, you'll have the entire picture. "Noise from the US and shows of solidarity will only undermine the Iranian protesters." I concur.

    Nunya: Welcome. I have to read the article. I'll do that this evening, but thank you for the link. Also, read Cyre2067 comment above and check out the nicely done article by Guardian.

    Metemneurosis: All good points. " Our government's idea of help has not been my idea of help." Right on. I'd go even further, it's not our government's idea but the establishment with their special interest: Oil & MIC. Our government happens to be their vehicle to get their 'objectives.'

  16. avatar Sibel Edmonds says:

    http://travellerwithin.blogspot.com/2009/06/to-you-new-iran-expert.html

    Another interesting and relevant perspective on this.

  17. avatar Kingfisher says:

    Metemneurosis:
    After the last eight years it's rather rich to hear someone who, even if not completely forthrightly, calls himself a neocon saying we should support democracy. Since when were neocons interested in anything of the kind?

    The neoconservative, at least the Perle-Likud crowd, interest in promoting democracy is the instability it fosters. I mean what do think is going to happen when you bring democracy to countries so divided along strong ethno-sectarian lines? Chaos, instability, civil war, partition – that was the point. The other aspect from their strategic perspective is the inherent weakness of democracies. Yes it is self serving, but neocons are interested in promoting democracy. Your observation is misplaced. I would have gone with a “Saddam-Lite” option if we absolutely had to do anything, but hey that’s just me.

    Look at how we've 'helped' Iraq now by training special forces death squads outside any chain of command except supposedly Maliki (thought it's really US). Thanks US. It's Central American death squads all over again.

    Yawn. You say death squads, I say loyalist paramilitaries. The US has aided ‘death squads’ in other places besides Central America you know. This is example is used so often by progressives that it has become cliché.

    I'm sure many people behind this stuff believe their doing the right thing and that you have to get your hands dirty sometimes.

    I believe you have to get your hands dirty sometimes; but usually it is neither for the right thing or the wrong thing. You usually have to get your hands dirty because you have to solve something neoconservatives or liberal interventionists want to meddle in, or clean up some mess they made.

    The question is how far down that road before your not a person I ever want living next door.

    Oddly enough one of the best neighbors I ever had, and nicest guys I've ever met worked on Phoenix Program.

  18. avatar Eric Pottenger says:

    Sibel, I sure do wish that I could contribute to this discussion. Although I am following the MSM coverage pretty closely, I find that my cynicism with regard to the election coverage reflects more about my opinions of the Washington/Wall Street clique (and the media) than any deep knowledge of Iranian politics. In that framework, I observe how conveniently Obama can sit back and play the "reasonable" new president while his arsenal of media whores continue to make the case for a West-sponsored regime before the world.

    my gut tells me that your analysis is correct, at least from what little I know.

    what has made me curious in the days since the election is why the Iranian media seemed to be building support for Moussavi immediately before the election. maybe I read this wrong, but if that was the case, what could their actions be indicative of? do you (or anyone else) have any opinions/observations here?

    also, do you suspect any role played by the National Endowment for Democracy in this business?

  19. avatar Kingfisher says:

    Kingfisher: 'Salih & Erk'- Not directly. Check out the Turkish front companies there, and then cross reference with those on the list of ATC, and after that, with Gulen movement. There, you'll have the entire picture.

    IIRC, Karimov claimed Salih and Erk were trained in Turkey. Thats why I ask, not that believe everything Karimov says.

    Think I have the picture. Looking for ties to Cold War era networks and operations, Henze-Fuller stuff.

    "Noise from the US and shows of solidarity will only undermine the Iranian protesters." I concur.
    I fear this may be precisely what certain lobbies want to happen.

  20. avatar Metemneurosis says:

    Kingfisher I have no doubt your right about the Perle-Likud. But as I doubt they, or we, would allow just anyone to be elected even if there were a 'democracy' I still don't think their plan is to bring democracy. But even if it were that's perfectly consistent with my point which was the rather obvious one that they're being hypocritical given their anti-democratic behavior here.

    You say loyalist paramilitaries call them what you like I don't like them. I imagine we'll have to agree to disagree over whether these kinds of things are ever justified.

    As for the dirty hands, I meant that to be understood as a reference to the "problem of dirty hands". It's about moral dilemmas. Some think certain leaders have moral justification under special circumstances to do things that are wrong. For example it might be morally wrong to torture but given that a certain person is responsible for the safety of others some think he might be justified under extreme circumstances in doing it even though it's still wrong. I think that's incoherent if it's justified it ain't wrong and vice versa. But since you say some things are neither right nor wrong I assume you'll disagree with me there. That's fine we can agree to disagree here too. But I didn't mean it in the sense of 'you have to get your hands dirty' where that means 'get in the fray and do something'.

    Cliches non-cliches, can we skip the swipes, and attitude please? This blog has been pretty civil so far.

  21. @ cal:

    Well, Ergenekon is pretty complicated if you don't know the history of the people involved. If I said, "Veli Kucuk" to you, what would come to mind, for example? The bottom line on Ergenekon is this: It's merely the shifting of control of the Deep State. The Deep State itself is perfectly alive and well and shall remain that way for the foreseeable future. Seriously. Everyone they've arrested are old, like retired military or small fry. They're "throw-aways". The indictment was two thousand five hundred pages of totally unorganized BS. Don't expect a whole lot to come of it and certainly don't expect any decent analysis in the American media.

    @ Sibel:

    Thanks for the mention of Agri. That video was by a German election observer team who, along with a French team, sided with the people of Agri against election corruption and the voiding of 3,000 votes for the pro-Kurdish DTP.

    I should also mention that DTP parliamentarians were also beaten by police at several locations. After Obama's visit, the Ankara regime arrested over 400 DTP politicians and party workers, most of whom are still imprisoned.

    For an update and an explanation of what happened in the days before the elections, there's a recent interview with Istanbul DTP parliamentarian Sebahat Tuncel, here.

    You are probably aware that Turkish prisons are full of tens of thousands of political prisoners and that there are occasional "amnesties" for the regular criminals, but never for political prisoners.

    You are also aware that Turkish police and security forces enjoy an environment of impunity and have for a very long time.

    So there you have America's Model of Democracy for the Middle East.

    As for the 'Stans, yes, everything should be checked for links to Turkey and, particularly, the Gulen gang. And I remember something else that I came across years ago . . . The Israeli foreign ministry has a program that seemed to be equivalent to USAID and they were working in the 'stans with USAID at least, oh, six years ago or so. Supposedly they were working in the 'Stans with USAID because Israel has a lot of Russian speakers. Once again, we see that the "unholy" triangle of US/Turkey/Israel are present in the region and I'm willing to bet they're all working together–Katil Erdogan's Davos outburst (i.e. campaign tactic) notwithstanding.

    And since we're all talking about the spread of democracy, Ken Silverstein at Harper's had a great article a few years ago in which he pretended to be a lobbyist for Turkmenistan in order to find out exactly how the lobbies for the 'Stans worked. The piece is still available here. Really great. Highly recommended.

    @ Kingfisher:

    What happens when the people attempt to exercise democracy but they continue to be divided by "ethno-sectarian lines" by the ruling party and government themselves? Check the results of the March 29 elections in Turkey and you'll have your answer. That's what happens when you have a regime put in power via a military coup that was sponsored by the US. That's what happens when you have a constitution that was written by generals.

  22. avatar Anonymous says:

    Sibel, A thousand thanks for inspiring US
    We should not think that political activities are not squashed here in the US before they can flower. During the DNC in Denver Federal SS agents eliminate a protest and political rally for a local independent candidate: blocking all access to a park where the action had been permitted by the city and towing away the candidates campaign bus.
    As Sibel has pointed out many times over: the so called government/military command controls the media, blacks out info or produces rumors, illusions and deception in a 24/7 tax funded fraud of historic magnitude. See http://www.wtc7.net or buddymoore55@yahoo.com

  23. Pepe Escobar of Real News Network is reporting the stolen Irani election as a military Revolutionary Guard power faction coup at this link. http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=3869

    Irani's were expected to believe that Mousavi (backed by the billionaire Rafsanjani power faction) lost in his home district by a 4 to 1 margin…. NOT !
    That does not mean that Mousavi won across the country…. that is very very doubtful.

  24. avatar Anonymous says:

    Anon the Neocon

    1_ This is interesting:
    http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/06/hbc-90005203

    2_ Also, what do you think of Tuncay Güney, Mrs. Edmonds?

    3_Do you believe the military was trying to set up Gulen?
    http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13871188

    Does it make sense in light of the allegations that the CIA fronts through Gulen?

    ***

    On the subject of Iran, and democracy.

    Hands off?

    Why?

    Without our hands, there will be no democracy.

    Democracy doesn't come naturally. And it cannot be achieved bottom up.

    If we have the opportunity for democracy, we need to take it, and support it at maximum.

    Karimov and Aliev, are irrelevant – unless you want us to remove them – and I am sure that we will, if it wasn't about ceding control to Russia.

    As for the argument that we do our job imperfectly – its not an impediment to democratization.

    Nor are sectarian divisions. In fact, there is no long-term alternative to democracy, for overcoming these divisions.

  25. avatar Sibel Edmonds says:

    A quick Note:

    I'll be with you later today & respond to the latest comments (great as always). I see you've provided us with good relevant links on the latest. I'll read every single one of those before I respond.

    I have another short post on Iran. It's a draft and I'm still working on it as we speak. I know it is quite ironic: First, I bash the ridiculous coverage, next, here I am, writing about it!!! So, hopefully this will be the last one on the topic (unless some people irritate me further;-).

    Now I am going to take my daughter out for lunch to celebrate her 11th month.

  26. avatar Eric Pottenger says:

    who loves the media? eye loves the media!

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/iranprop.php

  27. avatar Kingfisher says:

    Anon Neocon:On the subject of Iran, and democracy.
    Hands off?
    Why?
    Without our hands, there will be no democracy.
    Democracy doesn't come naturally. And it cannot be achieved bottom up.

    Our involvement will undermine the legitimacy of the Iranian protesters. What part of that do you not understand? Saying that without our hands there will be no democracy borders on delusional hubris. Democracy can ONLY be achieved from the bottom up, where in the course of world history has democracy been established from the top down? Democracy by its nature is inherently driven from the bottom up.

  28. avatar Kingfisher says:

    Now I am going to take my daughter out for lunch to celebrate her 11th month.

    Sibel, I had not known of this recent addition to your family. Congrats!

  29. avatar Metemneurosis says:

    Kingfisher I agree with your sentiment here. So in my opinion it actually strengthens the point your making to say that unfortunately Iraq might be an example of an attempt at imposing democracy top down. Or imposing 'democracy'. But if it were to become a real democracy that would still be from the bottom up forces. So I suppose Mr. Neocon will say 'Ok so once we do the top down part like in Iraq let them do the bottom up part like your suggesting. If it wasn't for us Sadam would still be there." Which is why I asked the question earlier at what price do we go this route. And besides the obvious cost in lives and suffering there's the lost of the value self-determination. There's a difference between an Iranian deciding on his own to risk his life with his countrymen and his having his life put at risk due to our interference for our own benefit even if he were to get 'democracy' out of the deal.

  30. avatar Sibel Edmonds says:

    Metemneurosis: "It's about moral dilemmas. Some think certain leaders have moral justification under special circumstances to do things that are wrong." Right. The end justifies the means. No, it doesn't. It never has. Sooner or later the price is paid, and usually the price ultimately paid is much higher than what's considered gained. Just take a look at Bin Laden.

    Mizgin: As always right on and with good supporting documents/links/examples. I encourage all to check the links provided by Mizgin.

    Anon the Neocon: Tuncay Guney-people have out plenty out there on him, his past, and his current dubious rabbi position in Canada (even the synagogues in Canada deny his legitimacy). Why would military try to do that? The military in Turkey is not united; the stronger faction, supported by the foreign policy masters here, supports and works with Gulen. 'Exporting democracy': please. That line no longer works. Bush Exhausted it. Now we have a new method via Obama: play it low key, push from the back scene, and do it the old proven way; thus, lining up the public support here by appealing to their sense of justice and comradeship…next, they will help stage a few bloody incidents: a bomb in a cinema or a shopping center (Bazaar), and scarifies a few students' lives…and THEN, move to the next stage: get the international support and go after Iran under 'humanitarian' cause…

    KingFisher: " Democracy can ONLY be achieved from the bottom up, where in the course of world history has democracy been established from the top down?" I concur. And, thank you-She is the love of and number one priority in my life.

    I have my post ready; waiting to see if I can get one of Paul Jamiol's punchy cartoons to go with it. I gave him a very short notice, so if he can't it will be up without it momentarily; I'll add his touch later…

  31. avatar Cascadiance says:

    Anon the Neocon, I think we all want to see democracy give more power to the people… Or at least outwardly we chant this as a way to justify actions that at times don't really want that at all (MIC and big oil I think just use "spread Democracy" as a a marketing campaign).

    But real democracy isn't a simple thing and really those people that put in place have to own it, and it has to be those that are collectively governed by it. Even in some of the best known ground up "revolutions" that happen, there are different factions, and different agendas going on that only those really close to the problems that are affected by it can understand and work out how to deal with them. If we claim to be the "father" or "mother" to shepherd someone through their efforts, we are really being too smug about our ability to do this without getting ourselves into trouble picking the wrong side, etc. even if we have decent motivations in doing so, which often times we're not.

    A good example of a bottoms up revolution that happened was when indigenous people's leader Evo Morales has risen up to take power in Bolivia. But even that effort wasn't without its problems. Watch the documentary "Our Brand is Crisis" to show how even the Democrats with Carville in their efforts to spread neo-liberalism and globalist mind sets to Bolivia failed and were counter to what people wanted and eventually got.

    Then check out a more recent documentary "Waiting for the Revolution" on Link TV. Not sure if its still showing now at the moment, but you can watch the first six minutes of it online here to get an idea of what its about. As the movie progresses, you can see that even the central characters run up against barriers and its hard to tell who is working more for themselves and who is working for the people, and the citizens (as motivated as they are to have a decent representative government) can build someone up or tear them down on the different perceptions that are present at any given time of those different forces for change that are in the mix. If you watch all of this show, you can see that had we tried to get involved with ANY of this, that we would have just been a problem and not a solution.

    To echo the quote shown at the beginning of this show from Che Guevara who died there trying to foster revolution himself there:

    "I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves."

    We best let the Iranians own this revolution, and cycle through their stages where there will be mistakes made here and there. Certainly most people will probably agree that Mousavi has his own skeletons and problems as well, but for the people it appears that he's the next step away from the authoritarian system they have now.

  32. avatar Cascadiance says:

    And to follow up on my last post here, there are recent developments that really are hard to sort out if you're not reaching below the surface to see what's really going on. I'm guessing that the timing of some of this isn't really that uncoincidental to what's going on in Iran now…

    There really is a lot going on behind the scenes now to make it really hard for even us to sort out who's supporting who for what reasons. How AQ Kahn's gaining of our nuclear secrets that Sibel has been warning us about and recent news around this seems tied in to what's going on in Iran too.

    Check out the following recent news links:

    1) link, link – An aide to Kerry was threatened with arrest in Switzerland for trying to investigate Urs Tinner and the CIA's role in nuclear smuggling. Kerry, BTW, is the senator that earlier TRIED to go after BCCI unsuccessfully, that arguably has a big role in these messes too. The second link also just published a short time ago documents Tinner's involvement here.

    2) link – POGO supports Sibel's earlier claims that the CIA was linked to allowing the AQ Kahn network being built up that fueled entities like North Korea's and Iran's nuclear programs (who are coincidentally both in the news now too).

    3) link – Just yesterday, Fox News' Greta Van Susteren interviews old nemesis John Bolton, who claims that Mousavi is intimately tied setting up Iran's nuclear program with AQ Kahn.

    4) link – The Senate and the House passed a "partnership with Pakistan act of 2009" bill that gives Pakistan aid, but pulled out contentious amendments to monitor and make other demands on both AQ Kahn and the nuclear program there.

    5) link, link, link, link – In the last week, none other than AIPAC handmaiden Jane Harman (who helped Bush and Gonzo with their domestic spying efforts) was one that's been involved with crafting these amendments. Hard to tell if she's driving the effort to get access to AQ Kahn, or if she's trying to help with getting in the more watered down version of it. Either way, I think we need to know more on what's really going on before rushing to judgement on how we should "help" Iran now or take other sorts of actions.

  33. avatar arealjeffersonian says:

    Great follow-up post. I agree with you that our media is selectively hypocritical, as is our government. Your examples illustrate this perfectly.

    Being a follower of Jefferson, I usually look to his writings for guidance as to how we should behave as a nation in foreign affairs; so here are a couple of quotes that I feel are particularly appropriate.

    These are directed more specifically to Anon the Neocon, in response to his comment "It is our first duty to support democratic aspirants everywhere, especially when "possible". Iran is that "possibility"." And I do apologize for re-using one of these from a prior post, but it is so very relevant:

    "The relationship of one nation with a foreign nation rests on natural law and moral principles as well as on recognized international law. We owe other nations a respect for their chosen form of government as we expect our own form to be respected, and we have no right to interfere in another people's choice of government or internal policy any more than they have to interfere in ours."

    "We certainly cannot deny to other nations that principle whereon our government is founded, that every nation has a right to govern itself internally under what forms it pleases, and to change these forms at its own will; and externally to transact business with other nations through whatever organ it chooses, whether that be a King, Convention, Assembly, Committee, President, or whatever it be. The only thing essential is, the will of the nation." –Thomas Jefferson

    He said it better than I ever could.

  34. avatar Hannah K. O'Luthon says:

    Thanks to Mizgîn for the excellent link to Silverstein's article in Harper's.
    It's a fascinating problem, and a civic duty, to try to distinguish information from disinformation, and that article gives a bit of insight into the folks manning the "smoke-making machines".
    This link

    http://www.chartingstocks.net/2009/06/jpost-removes-the-evidence-and-issues-a-response-iranelection/

    is, perhaps, more relevant to the question at hand: who is "supplying" our information from Iran, and how are
    they "slanting" it for use in furthering non-Iranian agendas?

  35. avatar Mizgîn says:

    Hannah writes:

    . . . more relevant to the question at hand: who is "supplying" our information from Iran, and how are they "slanting" it for use in furthering non-Iranian agendas?

    Exactly!

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