by Michael K. Smith
Every time you think the U.S. media can't misrepresent reality any more preposterously, they turn around and outdo themselves, as they have with the current attempt to portray the losers of the Iranian elections as revolutionaries leading the way to a democratic dawn.
The media czars appear to be quite untroubled by the fact that no evidence has surfaced to substantiate the claim that the Iranian elections were fraudulent. What we are left with, then, is an election with an 85% turnout, far beyond anything seen in the United States, in which Prime Minister Ahmadinejad was the choice of 63% of the voters, with Mousavi gaining slightly more than half that. Moreover, unlike in the U.S., it was a multi-party race in which even candidates that ended up receiving a tiny percentage of the vote were allowed to debate the issues before a national audience. In the United States this is not permitted. Ask Ralph Nader.
How quickly the ballots were counted and who won and who lost in whose hometown does not constitute proof of anything other than a suspicious cast of mind. One can suspect anything one likes, of course, but to substantiate a factual claim one needs proof. Of fraud, there is none.
What about the street violence?
What about it? What would happen in the U.S. if mobs unhappy with an election outcome burned banks and torched buses and attacked the police? What would happen if all this occurred while a foreign state vastly more powerful than the U.S. were engaged in covert operations to overthrow the U.S. government, while it repeatedly stated its willingness to bomb the country and carry out terrorist acts within its territory, as the U.S. and Israel have threatened to do to Iran for years now?
Indeed, what happened at Waco Texas in the Clinton years with no violent provocation at all? Answer: Dozens of American citizens were burned alive by their government.
What about women having to wear the hejab? What of it? Many women feel no conflict in wearing it, convinced they are honoring Allah, not male supremacy. In any case, if the man down the block forces his wife to wear a uniform, does that mean a bully who lets his wife wear what she wants has the right to take over his house?
For Americans to cry foul over the Iranian elections, in sheeplike adherence to our media mind managers, is particularly absurd. A little recent history will show why.
In 1953 the C.I.A. overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran after it nationalized its own oil. The country was turned over to the Shah of Iran, who proved an able student of Nazi torture techniques, which he learned from his Western benefactors, going on to murder and mutilate Iranians on a gargantuan scale. In 1976, Amnesty International reported that his secret police (SAVAK) had carried out more official executions than any other country in the world, a rate Amnesty characterized as "beyond belief." Many victims vanished without a trace. Many were tortured even after they were convicted.
Meanwhile, the U.S. deluged the Shah with billions of dollars of lethal technology, including air-to-air missiles, smart bombs, and aerial tankers, "everything but the atomic bomb," according to a State Department official. An anti-Communist, the Shah was a greatly admired leader of the "Free World," and, as a result, his nuclear program, similar to Iran's nuclear program today, was strongly supported by the U.S..
In 1977 President Jimmy Carter dined with the Shah in the Niyavaran Palace on New Year's Eve. When his turn came to speak, he effusively praised "the great leadership of the Shah," and proclaimed Iran "an island of stability" in a "troubled" region of the world. The region was "troubled" primarily because Arabs and Muslims did not take kindly to Israel murdering and dispossessing them. Carter said Iranian stability was a great tribute "to you, Your Majesty," and to "the respect and the admiration and love" which the Iranian people allegedly felt for him. Overlooking the thousands of political prisoners suffering torture in the Shah's jails, Carter added that, "The cause of human rights is one that also is shared deeply by your people and by the leaders of our two nations." Concluding on a note of utter devotion, he said: "There is no leader with whom I have a deeper sense of personal friendship and gratitude."
The Shah was thrilled. The Iranian people were not. Carter didn't even notice the thousands of young Iranians pelting the army with rocks as he was driven to the airport. Not long after, nationwide riots broke out.
In 1978, the Shah's miserable subjects, fed up with hunger, squalid huts, 13-hour workdays, and the ravages of untreated disease, rocked Teheran with furious protests. Attempting to quell the growing turbulence, the Shah's troops machine-gunned a crowd in Jaleh Square, killing and wounding hundreds. In Washington, President Carter told the Shah's son: "We're thankful for this move toward democracy. We know it is opposed by some who don't like democratic principles but his progressive administration is very valuable, I think, to the entire Western world." The Shah's ambassadors politely queried Washington on its appetite for terror: "Would you accept five thousand deaths? Ten thousand? Twenty thousand?"
In 1979 the Shah was overthrown. When President Carter subsequently allowed him to enter the U.S. to receive medical treatment for cancer at a New York hospital, enraged Iranian protesters seized the U.S. Embassy in Teheran along with 66 Americans inside. They held 52 of them for the remainder of the Carter presidency (until January 20, 1981) During this "hostage crisis" the U.S. media portrayed Iranian street demonstrations as circuses manipulated by mad clerics caught up in religious frenzy, never giving credit to the many legitimate grievances they had with the U.S. Conceding that the ex-Shah had tortured his subjects, the Washington Post found it inconsequential, since "it can be argued that it was entirely in the tradition of Iranian history." By this logic, a foreign power could take over the U.S. and lynch its victims, since lynching is entirely consistent with U.S. history.
Throughout the 1980s, the U.S. backed Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, which killed and wounded hundreds of thousands of Iranians, many of them in repeated poison gas attacks. In 1981, the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, a group acting on behalf of the Iraqi regime exploded a 60-pound bomb at a meeting of the ruling Islamic Republican Party in Teheran, blowing apart 71 party leaders who were listening to a speech by the chief justice of the supreme court. Among the dead were four cabinet ministers, six deputy ministers and 27 members of the Iranian parliament. In 1988, the U.S.S. Vincennes shot down an Iranian civilian plane in an ascending flight path, killing 290 people on board. Returning to the docks in San Diego, the Commander of the ship was given a hero's welcome. Later he was awarded a medal. Vice President George Bush (Sr.) declared: "I'll never apologize for the United States of America. I don't care what the facts are."
In recent years the U.S. has been involved in another coup attempt in Iran. In 2007 President George W. Bush authorized the C.I.A. to destabilize the Iranian government. These operations, according to current and former intelligence officials, include a coordinated propaganda campaign, placement of negative newspaper articles, and the manipulation of Iranian currency and international banking transactions.
U.S. and Pakistani intelligence backed a separatist militia of militant Sunni tribesmen from the Baluchi region of Iran. The group - Jundallah (Soldiers of God) - carried out murderous raids into Iran from bases in Pakistan's Baluchistan Province. "I think everybody in the region knows that there is a proxy war already afoot with the United States supporting anti-Iranian elements in the region as well as opposition groups within Iran," said Vali Nasr, adjunct senior fellow for Mideast studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker confirmed the story, stating that the U.S. was intent on "undermining Iran's nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change." He added that the U.S. Congress had approved up to $400 million to fund the destabilization efforts. "The irony is that we're once again working with Sunni fundamentalists, just as we did in Afghanistan in the nineteen-eighties. Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is considered one of the leading planners of the September 11 attacks, are Baluchi Sunni fundamentalists.
In short, lack of democracy in Iran is a longstanding U.S. value, just as it is around the world. Washington cannot tolerate independent nationalism, and even less a leader who tells the truth to its face about Israel, and refuses to kowtow to Holocaust orthodoxy. Now the Iranian people have spoken and elected Ahmadinejad to a second term. The proper way to respond to this event has been demonstrated by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who issued the following statement upon receiving the news:
"The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in the name of the Venezuelan people, confirms to the people and government of the Islamic Republic of Iran its recognition of the extraordinary democratic day evidenced this past Friday, June 12, when presidential elections with historical levels of popular participation took place and resulted in the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"The Bolivarian Government of Venezuela hereby declares its firmest rejection of the vicious and unfounded campaign to discredit the institutions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, unleashed from outside the country, designed to confuse the political climate of our brother country. From Venezuela we denounce these acts of interference in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, at the same time as we demand an immediate end to the maneuvers of intimidation and destabilization against the Islamic Republic.
"The people and government of Venezuela are certain that the Iranian people will know how to solve its internal problems and will continue the path of the Islamic Revolution."
Now there's a gentleman who respects democracy.
Robert Fisk, The Great War For Civilisation - The Conquest of the Middle East (Knopf, 2005)
William Shawcross, The Shah's Last Ride, (Simon and Schuster, 1988)
Lawrence S. Wittner, Cold War America: From Hiroshima to Watergate, (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1978)
Pierre Salinger and Eric Laurent, Secret Dossier: The Hidden Agenda Behind The Gulf War, (Penguin, 1991)
Noam Chomsky, Towards a New Cold War - Essays on the Current Crisis and How We Got There, (Pantheon, 1973-1982)
Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism, (South End, 1979)
Reza Baraheni, The Crowned Cannibals, (Vintage, 1976)
Edward Said, Covering Islam, (Vintage, 1981)
Steve Weissman, How Uncle Sam Diddles Democrats From Ukraine to Venezuela, Truthout, June 18, 2009
Chavez saludo y reconoce triunfo de Mahmoud Ahmadinejad y quiere hacer desaparecer Globovision, http://www.novacolombia.info/nota.asp?n=2009_6_18&id=9358&id_tiponota=8