Lies and Misconceptions: Iran On the Agenda?

So they lied again. And again. Despite the fact that the Bush administration knew quite well that its very own intelligence estimate stated quite clearly that the Iranian government had halted its work on building nuclear weaponry, Mr. Bush told the world not more than two months ago that Iran was risking World War Three if it continued said work. On Monday, December 3, 2007, a report from Mr. Bush’s own government said quite clearly that its intelligence proved that Iran halted nuclear arms work four years ago. Despite this knowledge, the Bush administration and its enablers in Congress have continued to move the United States closer and closer to war with Iran.

Of course, the fact that the White House has been lying for at least four years about the dangers of Iranian nuclear weaponry comes as no surprise to many of the world’s citizens. After all, it was this very same administration that invaded Iraq on the basis of lies regarding Iraq’s nuclear ambitions and its long lost weapons of mass destruction. What is somewhat surprising is the response to Monday’s news from the White House. According to national security adviser Stephen Hadley, everything that the White House has said up to now about Iran’s nuclear intentions was not wrong. Indeed, according to Hadley, it only proves that gathering intelligence is “notoriously difficult.” Furthermore, in the White House’s estimation, this revelation proves that the White House was right and that the US is correct to continue threatening war and encouraging sanctions. You know, just to keep Iran in line. Now, I don’t know about you, but this argument sounds very similar to Bill Clinton’s line about what constituted having “sex with that woman.” In other words, they got caught in a lie and now the Bush White House and its allies in the government and media are using facetious arguments to justify those lies.

Will it fly? If US politicians like Joseph Lieberman and the government Israel have anything to say about it, it will. Israel has already essentially dismissed the report and continues to insist that Iran is very close to possessing a nuclear weapon. In addition, the recent appointment of Iraq war architect and propagandist Paul Wolfowitz to the State Department office that deals with other nation’s WMD may be an indication that some type of story creation a la the yellow cake lie of 2002 is already in progress. Even if this doesn’t occur, the ongoing spin by the White House to make Teheran’s cessation of nuclear arms activity a continuation is enough to convince me that Bush and Co. are still keeping an attack on Iran on its front burner, despite the hopeful and confused commentary by former CIA analyst Robert Baer that appeared at on December 4, 2007. In this odd little piece, Baer puts forth the supposition that George Bush himself was behind the release of the intelligence estimate. Why? To forestall an attack on Iran, of course. Essentially, Baer writes that Bush is against attacking Iran because of the situation in Iraq — where he repeats the latest Washington line that things are “looking up” — and because the White House is afraid Israel will be attacked if Iran is. I’m not sure where Mr. Baer has been or what prescriptions he may be on, but the possibility of Israel being attacked because of Bush’s bellicosity has never been a concern of Bush in the past and if, Tel Aviv’s statements since the release of the intelligence estimate are any indication, it doesn’t seem to be a concern of Tel Aviv now. In the New York Times, a different story is emerging — that the intelligence estimate “holds up to scrutiny, but they (various experts) acknowledge that some conclusions seem to have been thinly sourced.” This statement sounds like an open door to more spin. As for the situation in Iraq, Mr. Bush certainly wasn’t too concerned about destabilizing it in 2003 when he invaded.

Anti-Invasion and Anti-Tehran — HOPOI and Stop the War UK

Meanwhile, in the British segment of the movement against war with Iran there is a debate over whether or not those groups and individuals opposed both to a US/Israel attack on Iran and the theocracy that currently rules that country can be part of the national Stop the War UK Coalition. Some of those forces, now coalescing around the group Hands Off the People of Iran (HOPOI), recently had their petition to join that coalition rejected. The reasons for this decision are murky, with the Stop the War UK Coalition claiming that HOPOI is hostile to its aims and is seeking to set itself up as an alternative to Stop the War UK. HOPOI’s response to the rejection and explanation is that Stop the War UK includes dozens of groups with differing agendas on several issues but all of them are opposed to the occupation of Iraq and any attack on Iran. How, they wonder, is HOPOI any different? Furthermore, HOPOI claims the exclusion is political and revolves around some prominent members of Stop the War UK being apologists for the Iranian mullahs.

This argument is somewhat reminiscent of the debates that took place among leftists regarding the Soviet Union and China during the post Cold War era of the twentieth century. Like that argument, it has the potential to divide a movement that needs to remain united. After all, many of the groups in Stop the War UK are leftist, as are the groups currently making up HOPOI. Divisions precipitated by different tendencies on the left in antiwar movement around Vietnam occasionally caused confusion not only amongst the Left but also among the general population opposed to the war. Indeed, the support for the Soviet Union by some left formations probably caused some folks to not participate in the movement. Similarly, a perception by the general population opposed to war with Iran might not participate in a movement that appears to align itself with the government in Tehran — even if it doesn’t in actuality.

The groups in HOPOI are anti-imperialist first and foremost. This means that before everything else they are opposed to an attack on Iran and its people. They oppose US imperialism and Israeli aggression. As noted above, the group is composed of small communist organizations and also opposes the theocrats in Iran, considering them to be antidemocratic and a betrayal of the revolution against the Shah. At one time the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI) might have been considered to be in an allied camp with HOPOI, but in recent years the PMOI’s work with some of the neocons in the United States and rumors that it works with various US intelligence agencies has insured HOPOI’s opposition to the group, despite the PMOI’s publicly stated opposition to a US invasion.

For those of us in the US and western Europe, our primary concern should be preventing war with Iran. This may mean making temporary alliances with groups with whom we disagree on several points, but to allow those differences to supersede opposition to an invasion would not only be foolish; it would be doing Washington’s work. Perhaps HOPOI’s conference in London this weekend will make progress toward alleviating some of the problems it is experiencing with Stop the War UK.

Ron Jacobs is the author of The Way The Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground and Tripping Through the American Night, and the novels Short Order Frame Up and The Co-Conspirator's Tale. His third novel All the Sinners, Saints is a companion to the previous two and was published early in 2013. Read other articles by Ron.

26 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. gerald spezio said on December 8th, 2007 at 12:54pm #

    There is no genuine evidence that the Israelis have ever tried to infect the Teheran water supply with cholera in order to exterminate the fanatical anti-Semitic Iranians.

    This is identical to the recently released Islamo-Nazi dis-information accusing the Israelis of deliberately infecting the Palestinian water supply in the GAZA CONCENTRATION CAMP with cholera in order to exterminate the Palestinians.

    Ditto for the Islamo-fascist peeyar lies and foma that the kindly Mericans tried to waste Iraqis by infecting the Iraqi water supply with cholera.

    Sure, the rampant cholera in Iraq resulted from the destruction of everything by the Mericans including the water supply.

    But the Mericans were never ordered by the Israeli Zionists to put cholera in the water.

    Any claims that the Israelis are behind the Mericans accused of polluting the water is pure bull.

    In the name of truth and solidarity with all peoples, such preposterous anti-Semitic claims must be considered as just more foul and vicious anti-Semitic propaganda from forked tongue Islamo-fascist peeyar yuppies educated in rhetoric and communications theory and technique.

    Shid like this peeyar scamming all he time cannot lead to peace, justice, and solidarity.

    Just because the Islamo-Nazis are obsessed with linguistc manipulation to disseminate their vicious anti-Semitism doesn’t mean that intelligent should buy their foul propaganda.

  2. dan elliott said on December 8th, 2007 at 8:35pm #

    I didn’t see anything in the present article about cholera or polluting water supplies, so how is Mr Spezio’s comment relevant to the subject matter of Mr Jacobs’ essay?

    Did I miss something? Quotation or excerpt, please?

    Thank you.

  3. gerald spezio said on December 9th, 2007 at 6:25am #

    dan, if you can see through neal, and I agree that you have; please try to consider how circuitously depraved the Zionist scam goes.

    At a time when Zionism demands that Iran be destroyed, professed “socialist” wailings about “regime change in Iran” whether for secularism or socialism must be considered as aiding the Zionist plan.

    Hopi is clearly anti-Muslim – or even anti-Muslimofascist, right?

    Does Hopi help or hurt the Zionist agenda?

    When Joshua Frank writes that Zionism isn’t part the current mess in the Middle East, you can learn something.

    Historically, the same game plan played out in Europe in the thirties.

  4. ron said on December 9th, 2007 at 11:34am #

    Hopoi is not anti-Muslim –they are against religious rulers of any faith. Just because someone doesn’t support the Iranian government doesn’t mean they are pro-Israeli. Just like back in the days of the Soviet union it didn’t mean being opposed to Moscow was the same as being in favor of US imperialism….the world is not an either/or place…there are many shades of gray. get used to it and organize appropriately. I have worked with anti-imperialist Muslims from different countries, anti-imperialist Jews and anti-imperialist Christians, not to mention folks who don’t believe or don’t care if there is a supreme being.

  5. ron said on December 9th, 2007 at 11:34am #

    Hopoi is not anti-Muslim –I believe they are against religious rulers of any faith. Just because someone doesn’t support the Iranian government doesn’t mean they are pro-Israeli. Just like back in the days of the Soviet union it didn’t mean being opposed to Moscow was the same as being in favor of US imperialism….the world is not an either/or place…there are many shades of gray. get used to it and organize appropriately. I have worked with anti-imperialist Muslims from different countries, anti-imperialist Jews and anti-imperialist Christians, not to mention folks who don’t believe or don’t care if there is a supreme being.

  6. Deadbeat said on December 9th, 2007 at 1:21pm #

    Here’s the link to the UK Stop The War Coalition missing from Ron Jacobs’ article. I’m inclined to agree with Gerald Spezio’s suspicions with the implications of Ron Jacobs’ article. Ron recently submitted a rather reactionary article here on DV claiming that the War in Iraq is all about oil. See for yourselves.

    I suspect that the UK Stop The War Coalition has GOOD reasons for rejecting HOPOI’s petition.

  7. gerald spezio said on December 9th, 2007 at 4:35pm #

    The most important tragedy to avoid is the immediate possibility that Iran will be attacked by US power and innocent Iranians will be murdered.

    If socialists of any persuasion are most concerned about avoiding Iranians being murdered by the US for Zionist expansionism, then the professed socialists would clearly work toward insuring that Iran is not attacked.

    The Zionist agenda is furthered by socialist attacks on “Muslim fanaticism” in the name of secular socialism.

    US operatives are working in Iran now to further precisely what the professed secular socialists are advancing at the same time.

  8. Ron Jacobs said on December 9th, 2007 at 4:59pm #

    First of all, I resent being called a reactionary. Second of all, I did not say the Iraq war was ALL about oil. I did say that the number one reason for the US invasion and occupation of Iraq was to gain control of Iraq’s energy resources so that Washington could determine how and who would have access to them in the coming decades. That is not a secret–It is in the primary document of the PNAC and the Democrats’ similar paper. I also said that folks who blame it all on Israel ignore too much of the historical and current political reality we live in. (IN other words, Israel exists because of Washington, not the other way around). Thirdly and in regards to HOPOI, HOPOI is first and foremost an organization whose primary purpose is to stop a US/Israeli attack on Iran. Just because they don’t like the mullahs and their current setup in Iran does not mean they are anti-Muslim. It only means that their understanding of Iranian politics is that the history of Iran subsequent to the elimination of the non-religious elements from the top leadership of the revolutionary government in the early 1980s was a betrayal of the Iranian revolution. Attempts trying to link HOPOI’s position to the position of Tel Aviv and Washington are simplistic and ignorant of the complete history of that revolution. The so-called secular anti-imperialists are not the enemy of Iran–they just would like to see an Iran where workers and peasants reaped more of the benefits of their labor and the top clergy had considerably less say in political matters. In other words, we support Iran in its opposition to US imperialism, but struggle with it in the areas where we disagree. I wonder if some of the folk making comments here can comprehend this complexity?

  9. Deadbeat said on December 9th, 2007 at 6:35pm #

    Oh really Ron you “resent” being referred to as a “reactionary” yet in your piece who do you cite as being the key “authority” in supporting your claim that the War in Iraq is about oil — ALAN GREENSPAN. It sound like to me that over the years your politics has moderated from radical to reactionary. Any RADICAL (which means getting to the ROOT) would NEVER cite GREENSPAN as a credible source after spending his entire career obfuscating the motives of the ruling class and the political economy.

    Here’s the first sentence of your article…
    So, the secret is finally out. The Iraq war and occupation is about oil! Alan Greenspan, the man on whom the capitalist press has conferred the title of sage numerous times, says exactly that in his memoirs released this week..

    Then you go on in your article to ridicule and distort the position of the critics of Zionism since the Great Obfuscator says it’s a “War For Oil”.

    Certain members of the “left” has pathetically morphed into a sea of reactionaryism in order to either not confront Zionism or to adhere to its racist tenets.

  10. Shabnam said on December 9th, 2007 at 9:53pm #

    We have another article from those who have supported Mojahedin, MEK, or (PMOI) where has been listed as terrorist organization by state department, and has close relationship with Zionists such as Daniel Pipe and the Neocon like Richard Pearle who was the keynote speaker at MEK’s 2000 convention as alternative to regime in Tehran.. He writes:
    “For those who think that a blind eye should be turned to the excesses of the regime in Iran because of its opposition to US imperial ambitions, this book proves that a humane alternative to both Tehran and Washington exists.”
    Mojehedin like the tribe of Kurds, the spy network for Israel for the past 50 years, and the monarchist who are supported by another faction of the Zionists, Kenneth Timmerman, are among the Iranian opposition groups who are praying for a Zionist war for different reasons. The monarchists want to return to power, like they did in 1953 through a coup staged by CIA and for economic interest. The Kurds in Iraq who assisted US in its war against Iraq where more than 1.2 million Iraqi were killed and many were tortured hope through war expand their territories.
    Now supporters of HOPI who are extremely anti Hezbollah, anti Hammas, anti Iranian government, like Israel, want a “regime change” in Iran.
    HOPI with slogan “No to imperialist war! No to the theocratic regime!, pushes for “regime change”, like Zionist/Imperialist forces do.
    In an interview one of HOPI supporters, Benjamin Lewis, said:
    “We in HOPI point out that the Iranian theocracy has never been a consistently anti-imperialist force…..We also understand that the Iranian regime is cynically using the pretext of war to justify its increased repression of radical movements for democracy within Iran.”
    HOPI has been rejected by “Stop the War” campaign in Britain. Lewis explanation:
    “We think these crassly bureaucratic shenanigans [which resulted in the rejection of HOPI] drew a clear line of apology for the Iranian regime. On numerous occasions we have stood accused of being pro-war for simply highlighting the struggles of the Iranian people against the Islamist government.
    People think “stop the war” was correct to reject HOPI
    Supporters of HOPI, like Chomsky, Jacobs, Bennis, Klein, Norman Solomon, Morris, George Joffe, Marvin Joel Rubin, do not think that Zionism is a problem. They always concentrate on Imperialism only. Please look at the HOPI suppers on their home website
    Contrary to Mr. Jacobs who believe HOPI is not against Islam, in fact HOPI thinks, Islamic movement is a threat to world peace not the Zionism since they are only talking about “Israeli Aggression” and not about Zionism in general.
    That’s why the Zionist and HOPI have identical policy and worldview on Islam and Islamic liberation movement such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hammas in Palestine.
    In an interview Yassamine Matter, an Iranian exile who speaks Persian with an accent, with Khoshdel condemned the British left who supports human rights of Hezbollah against Israeli aggression which killed more than 1100 innocent people; many were children, in Lebanon last summer. They look at these forces as “reactionary” not liberation movement. Samir Amin, a socialist, in an article “Political Islam in the Service of Imperialism” believes that”
    “….[I]ran is not by nature incompatible with integration of the country into the globalize capitalist system such as it is, since the regime is based on liberal principles for managing the economy. The second is that the Iranian nation as such is a “strong nation,” one whose major components, if not all, of both popular classes and ruling classes, do not accept the integration of their country into the globalize system in a dominated position.”
    He continues:
    “It is Iranian nationalism—powerful and, in my opinion, altogether historically positive—that explains the success of the modernization of scientific, industrial, technological, and military capabilities undertaken by the Shah’s regime and the Khomeinist regime that followed. Iran is one of the few states of the South (with China, India, Korea, Brazil, and maybe a few others, but not many!) to have a national bourgeois project.”
    Therefore, Mr. Amin separates Iran from those Islamists who have been created and supported by the US imperialism for expansion of its influence, such as Taliban, Muslim Brotherhood, Ben Laden and his associates.
    HOPI, that Mr. Ron Jacobs supports, is seeking “regime change” in Iran, while HOPI who is supported mainly by westerners and are pro Israel’s interest not only does not seek regime change in occupied Palestine, Israel, but also attack the Islamic liberation movements such as Hezbollah and Hammas and is very hostile to Iranian government. Iran Communist Party, one of HOPI’s wings, has been charged, by Iranian political activists such as Raiys Dana, Sahabi, Said Hajarian and even Akbar Ganji, who has received many “awards” from the intelligent services of the West, disguised as “Human rights” organization such NED, with receiving money from Israel.
    In the light of NIE release that shows Iran has no nuclear program, Israel does, now the international community must be mobilized more than ever to neutralize any aggression, military or economic sanction, against Iranian people and be united to put pressure on world leaders to lift current sanctions on Iran to save the Iranian children from hunger and economic strangulation of more than 72 million people. Iran did not have a nuclear program as the Zionist/imperialist forces charge. They have lied again when they said “Iran stop its program in 2003.” There was not such a program to begin with.

  11. Deadbeat said on December 9th, 2007 at 11:51pm #


    A world of thanks for your contribution and exposure of Ron Jacobs’ reactionary perspectives. This is no mere “disagreement”. The actions and positions advanced by Mr. Jacobs is FAR from being radical and is design to confuse and split the left and to deter solidarity.


  12. ron said on December 10th, 2007 at 6:06am #

    A quick response. Just because one quotes a capitalist pig does not make one a capitalist pig. To believe so is simply ignorant. As for the “blame it all on the Zionists” argument, that singlemindedness speaks for itself. Zionism and its dreams of a Greater Israel are certainly part of the puzzle, but it is not the key to everything wrong in the Middle East or the world. US imperialism is! Why do you all not address that instead of focusing on Zionism? And the argument that one can not be opposed to imperialism and the current Iranian government? What do you have to say to the well documented interactions between the US imperialists, the Israelis, and the government of Khomeini and Rafsanjani? You know-trading money for missiles and hostages? I have never said Iran had a nuclear program-I don’t know since I don’t have access to the info my detractors here apparently do. As for hezbollah and Hamas–I support them in their resistance to the imperialists and Zionists, but also understand that they are but one element of the resistance. My detractors seem to be of the sort that are not into alliances with forces they do not agree with 100%. My work and understanding of history doesn’t allow me to think that such formations can work.

  13. ron said on December 10th, 2007 at 6:20am #

    An excerpt from a recent article on Iran from the Wekkly Worker (UK)

    In the midst of all this madness, Iranian students and workers have been showing the way. Around 1,500 students protested in Tehran on Wednesday December 6 on the eve of Iran’s national student day. Although some news agencies tried to portray the demonstration as a pro-reform rally, the students’ slogans and placards were clearly very radical: ‘Socialism is way to emancipation’; ‘Socialism or barbarism’; ‘Students, workers, teachers – unite and fight’; ‘Freedom for political prisoners’; ‘We don’t want war, we don’t want nuclear weapons – we just want a better life’.

    Then there was: ‘Annihilation of the Taliban’ (students often refer to the islamic regime in this way); ‘Sexual apartheid shows contempt for human beings’; ‘Equality, freedom – these are the people’s slogans’; ‘Students fight, reactionaries tremble’; ‘Execution must be abolished today’; ‘Free all student activists from prison’; ‘Freedom for independent student organisations’.

    Police blocked off roads surrounding the campus. Thousands of students angry at the repression in the universities broke down the doors of the faculty of science and clashed with security forces. Activists say that since Ahmadinejad’s election 181 students have been summoned to university disciplinary boards and 105 of them have been suspended as part of a crackdown against the politically active. Then on December 11, The Iranian president’s speech at Amir Kabir university was interrupted by protests and firecrackers, as students set fire to photographs of Ahmadinejad. One placard read: “Fascist president, the polytechnic is not your place.” This was a clear reference to Ahmadinejad’s sponsoring of the holocaust denial conference.

    Meanwhile, there were scores of workers’ actions, as 2006 drew to a close. Eight hundred workers from the Iran Sadra factory went on strike in protest at non-payment of wages, as did workers from the Ghove Pars factory in Alborz, who mounted a demonstration outside provincial offices on December 12. Workers from the Farsh Pars Ghazvin carpet factory gathered in front of the local governor’s office on December 9 to protest at the closure of their factory and the fact that they have not received any wages for over four months.

    Protesting workers from Poushineh Baft in Ghazvin blocked roads in response to the uncertain future facing them following the privatisation of the plant, while a meeting of council workers in Yassouj – again over the non-payment of wages – was broken up by the military when they tried to enter the municipal offices. Dozens were involved in skirmishes with the security forces and a number were subsequently arrested.

    Of course, over the last few months many rightwing, pro-imperialist forces have shed crocodile tears for Iranian workers. Tony Blair, New Labour and some rightwing trade unions claim military action in the Middle East has helped defend workers’ rights against islamists. Yet Iranian workers have shown in their daily struggles that, as far as they are concerned, the battle for democratic trade union rights are an integral part of the struggle against contemporary global capital – irrespective of whether it appears under an islamist, christian or neoliberal banner. Time and time again these workers have made their position against war and sanctions clear and it is to them that the anti-war movement should look.

    Western radical forces struggling against imperialism and its wars in the region have genuine allies in this revolutionary movement of workers and youth inside Iran. It is time the left in the anti-war movement woke up to this reality and took up a principled stance not only against imperialist wars and sanctions, but also against theocratic regimes such as Iran’s islamic republic. I urge such forces to support the recently launched Hands Off the People of Iran campaign, whose founding statement embodies precisely this principled stance.

  14. Shabnam said on December 10th, 2007 at 4:48pm #

    Akbar Ganji, has received the annual award from “Rights and Democracy” (or international Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development) a Canadian government-funded organization, like its twin sister NED in US where his ‘award’ was given to him by Saad Eddin Ebrahim, an Egyptian US citizen pro Neocon plan to spread democracy in the Middle East American style and supporter of Israel who sits on the advisory committee of the Journal of Democracy, published by NED and is represented by Benador Association, an Israeli think tank.
    Akbar Ganji who is a hero for George Bush served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps during the Iran Iraq War and joined the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic. Later in 1990’s he turned against the regime and quit the guard to become an investigative journalist. He was arrested in 2000 when he returned from a conference abroad. He went on hunger strike while in the prison and attracted western mass media attention and his case has been widely publicized so he became a darling of the west especially the western intelligent services where are in the business of ‘spreading democracy’ in Iran such as NED or Freedom house.
    Iran is an important Islamic country where has militarily been targeted by the Zionist/imperialist forces to destabilize Iran for ‘regime change.’ These forces create the imaginary “Persian” enemies against “non-Persian” as victims to achieve their goals through divide and rule policy, an old Imperialist game.
    As you have mentioned, Mr. Jacobs, there was a demonstration at Tehran University on December 9, 2007 held by the students where
    some have ties to the Office to Foster Unity (Daftar-e tahkime-e Wahdat) where is under attack since number of its members have become close associates of the Necon and support Bush spread of democracy by military means and are living in the US at the present, figures such as Akbar Atri and Ali Afshari who have joined various “pro-human rights” and “pro-democracy groups.” (Atri apparently works for Iran Human Rights Documentation Center now and he’s also been involved in Iran Freedom Concert’s campaigns at Harvard). Moreover, Ali Afshari, Akbar Atri, Reza Delbary, Abdollah Momeni were among the founding members of the Referendum Movement endorsed by Reza Pahlavi, Shah’s son, and created by Mohsen Sazegara, himself a former member of Tahkim Vahdat who has still maintained close ties with them. Some of their Slogans read: “Freedom and Equality!” and “No to war”. …
    Mr. Jacobs: all countries have their own problems and certainly Iran is not different from other countries, however, we have to keep in mind that Iran is a targeted country for “regime change” by the Iran enemies. Iranian students are politically active and would not easily accept bruises like in the other countries:
    At the end of the day the participants in the protest expressed their frustration that “can no longer put up with the current political, economic, and social pressures.” A lot of these pressures are associated with the Economic sanction that the West has forced upon Iran to create dissatisfaction to set the environment for more disobedience and through manufactured ‘crisis’ such ‘nuclear weapon program’ to bring ‘regime change’ in Iran. These slogans such as calling Ahmadinejad a ‘dictator’ or as Ron Jacobs suggests ‘Fascist President’, are to attract attention of the west since these terms have been created by leading figures in the neocon pro-Israel lobby on a vicious campaign of demonizing Iran by comparing it with the Nazi Germany and its President with Hitler.

    The west is pushing ‘democracy promoting’ institutions to bring ‘regime change’ through financial support of some figures in the students, women, youth and labor organizations in Iran.
    To make their plan effective and, therefore, fruitful they have used their power to influence ‘world community’ to impose sanction on Iranian people to keep them jobless and poor and deny the country transfer of technology to meet the needs of the country where majority of its population are young, therefore, creates dissatisfaction and social and economic pressures which then can be directed and manipulated through ‘human rights’ organizations. Many younger generation of Iranian are very much influenced by the western consumerism culture and are not political activists. Through these tactics they have attracted, like other countries, the educated and professional groups to meet the needs of the Imperialist west to keep the ‘peripheries’ poor and dependent.
    Therefore, world community must act now and put pressure on world leaders to stop economic strangulation of Iran and stop interference in Iranian affairs, and remove all the sanction on Iran. Zionism and imperialism are both sides of the same coin. To fight against one alone is not fruitful.

  15. sk said on December 11th, 2007 at 8:53am #

    One other thing to keep in mind is that several of the outfits behind HOPOI are sectarian/puritanical grouplets. These include SSP and CPGB which have a reputation for wrecking working coalitions based on past experience.

    The HOPOI statement looks reasonable on the face of it, but outsiders should investigate the history behind some of these sectarian outfits and why their brand of politics has never attracted more than a roomful before condemning organized movements for keeping a healthy distance from them.

  16. Chris Crass said on December 11th, 2007 at 1:12pm #

    “Supporters of HOPI, like Chomsky, Jacobs, Bennis, Klein, Norman Solomon, Morris, George Joffe, Marvin Joel Rubin, do not think that Zionism is a problem. ”
    I don’t know about these other folks, but Chomsky has said repeatedly that he is opposed to zionism. Lies like this tend to cast doubt on the shit yr selling.

  17. gerald spezio said on December 11th, 2007 at 2:24pm #

    Zionism, as evidenced in Palestine, is as vicious and rapacious example of imperialism as any imperialism ever.

  18. Shabnam said on December 11th, 2007 at 3:47pm #

    I don’t know if you are aware of the fact that Chomsky was an active Zionist until 1970.
    He lived as an active Zionist in Israel to help the Zionist state in the past. Later, he was disappointed and left Israel. He never, as far as I know, publicly has abandoned or wrote anything against Zionism like others, for example, Joel Kovel in his book “overcoming Zionism”.
    It is true that Chomsky criticizing Israel for its treatment of Palestinians but he has also rejected the influence of Zionist Lobby on US foreign policy in the Middle East where one can say this is his opinion.
    Do you have anything in writing that show Chomsky has
    abandoned his Zionism or has he ever written anything against Zionism? When a Socialist criticizing a Socialist country, imagine, it
    does not necessary mean that person is against Socialism.

  19. Deadbeat said on December 11th, 2007 at 9:14pm #

    Here’s a link to Jeffrey Blankfort’s critique of Noam Chomsky’s denials.

    Also to Ron Jacobs…

    You’ve misleadingly used Alan Greenspan “War For Oil” proclamation as the basis to distort the position of anti-zionist with ridicule. That is NOT the behavior of radicals but is the behavior of reactionaries.

  20. Chris Crass said on December 12th, 2007 at 9:13am #

    That Jeffrey Blankfort thing is some pretty low journalism. The quotes are all taken out of context. The proper context would be that Chomsky says they’re all guilty.
    Yeah, he lived on a kibbutz for about 6 weeks in 1953. Then he left because he was disgusted with the colonial, racist mindset of the people there (as well as the authoritarian socialism).
    In “Perilous Power,” he goes into the influence of the Israel lobby. To sum it up, he thinks it has influence, but it is nothing compared to the weapons industry’s influence. Seeing as how weapons industry lobbists have much more money than their Israeli counterparts (keeping in mind that “lobbying” is essentially paying out bribes), he concludes that the weapons industry has more political clout. They are both responsible for all these god-damned wars as well as the apartheid situation in Israel because conflict = profit. They both have the same agenda: murdering people with brown skin for fun and profit. They’re all guilty.

    Now for the zionism:

    1. a policy for establishing and developing a national homeland for Jews in Palestine
    2. a movement of world Jewry that arose late in the 19th century with the aim of creating a Jewish state in Palestine

    By this definition, it is implied that Israel should be a state only for Jewish people. If you read this interview, you’ll see that was never an aspiration of Chomsky’s, as he sought cooperation with and inclusion of Palestineans. His vision was of a secular state organized along anarcho-syndicalist lines. If that makes him the same as Ariel Sharon in your mind, I guess that’s that.

  21. sk said on December 12th, 2007 at 6:51pm #

    A visit to the Promised Land can lift of scales from the eyes of the pilgrim. Of course, not all can handle the reality in a healthy manner like Anna Baltzer, Noam Chomsky, Joel Kovel, and even Jeffrey Blankfort did–even if they might differ in political interpretation and actions needed to change that reality.

    According to Susan Nathan in The Other Side of Israel: My Journey Across the Jewish/Arab Divide, a significant percentage of of those who pull up stakes in places like New Jersey and emigrate to Israel suffer nervous breakdown when they come to terms with the herrenvolk “settler morality” needed to stay there. She explained the evolution of her thinking in a BBC audio interview here.

  22. sk said on December 12th, 2007 at 9:03pm #

    btw, if anyone gets a chance, it’s very enlightening to go to a presentation by Anna Baltzer. Here’s the current schedule and following are some clips of it I found on youtube:

    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4
    Part 5

  23. gerald spezio said on December 16th, 2007 at 8:50am #

    sk, About the best and most effective pro-Palestinian/pro-Israeli good guys peeyar that I have ever seen, period.

    I tried to find some Zionist double talking advantage in such an effective presentation -almost too good to be pro-Palestinian.

    But I couldn’t find any slick Zionist double messaging behind Anna’s objective eloquence and humanism.

    Anna Baltzer appears to be genuine.

    Anna Baltzer is not only a classically beautiful lady trying to make a difference in the world, she is the best hope for all our futures – not matter what your politics.

    Ten minutes of Anna Baltzer shows the intelligence, kindness, and greatness inherent in Judaism and some Israelis.

    Zionism has become an ugly scourge on Judaic principles.

    Anna Baltzer is genuine Judaism’s spokes-lady.

    “If you will,” Anna Baltzer is no “fairy tale.”

    Peace is still possible.

  24. Mike McNiven said on December 18th, 2007 at 3:35pm #

    The latest from the non-reactionary Muslims of Iran and their non-Muslim supporters:

  25. Mike McNiven said on December 18th, 2007 at 4:20pm #

    The latest on gender apartheid, a photo report from
    Human Rights Watch:

  26. Deadbeat said on December 19th, 2007 at 11:13am #

    His vision was of a secular state organized along anarcho-syndicalist lines. If that makes him the same as Ariel Sharon in your mind, I guess that’s that.

    That’s contradictory. For there to be an “anarcho-syndicalist” state in “Palestine” for Jews means that the indigenous people of Palestine be removed. Zionism was always about Jewish nationalism. A true leftist/radical/libertarian socialist would never defend such ideology. It is not a matter of “degree” a leftist would reject ANY ideology based on exclusion, chauvinism, and racism. Unfortunately, I have heard Chomsky defend Zionism in his presentation. Essentially he believe that Zionism became distorted. Unfortunately, that doesn’t hold with its history and historical goals. Jeffrey Blankfort’s assessment of Chomsky is quite accurate and therefore in the end Chomsky is very duplicitous in his analysis regarding U.S. Middle East policies. The problem with the left failing to challenge Zionism is that duplicity breed distrust and inhibits solidarity.