Much Ado About Nothing?

The Anti-Empire Report

What is there about the Iranian election of June 12 that has led to it being one of the leading stories in media around the world every day since? Elections whose results are seriously challenged have taken place in most countries at one time or another in recent decades. Countless Americans believe that the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 were stolen by the Republicans, and not just inside the voting machines and in the counting process, but prior to the actual voting as well with numerous Republican Party dirty tricks designed to keep poor and black voters off voting lists or away from polling stations. The fact that large numbers of Americans did not take to the streets day after day in protest, as in Iran, is not something we can be proud of. Perhaps if the CIA, the Agency for International Development (AID), several US government-run radio stations, and various other organizations supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (which was created to serve as a front for the CIA, literally) had been active in the United States, as they have been for years in Iran, major street protests would have taken place in the United States.

The classic “outside agitators” can not only foment dissent through propaganda, adding to already existing dissent, but they can serve to mobilize the public to strongly demonstrate against the government. In 1953, when the CIA overthrew Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, they paid people to agitate in front of Mossadegh’s residence and elsewhere and engage in acts of violence; some pretended to be supporters of Mossadegh while engaging in anti-religious actions. And it worked, remarkably well. ((William Blum, Killing Hope, chapter 9.)) Since the end of World War II, the United States has seriously intervened in some 30 elections around the world, adding a new twist this time, twittering. The State Department asked Twitter to postpone a scheduled maintenance shutdown of its service to keep information flowing from inside Iran, helping to mobilize protesters. ((Associated Press, June 16, 2009.)) The New York Times reported: “An article published by the Web site True/Slant highlighted some of the biggest errors on Twitter that were quickly repeated and amplified by bloggers: that three million protested in Tehran last weekend (more like a few hundred thousand); that the opposition candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi was under house arrest (he was being watched); that the president of the election monitoring committee declared the election invalid last Saturday (not so).” ((New York Times, June 21, 2009.))

In recent years, the United States has been patrolling the waters surrounding Iran with warships, halting Iranian ships to check for arms shipments to Hamas or for other illegal reasons, financing and “educating” Iranian dissidents, using Iranian groups to carry out terrorist attacks inside Iran, kidnaping Iranian diplomats in Iraq, kidnaping Iranian military personnel in Iran and taking them to Iraq, continually spying and recruiting within Iran, manipulating Iran’s currency and international financial transactions, and imposing various economic and political sanctions against the country. ((See Seymour Hersh, New Yorker magazine, June 29, 2008; ABC News, May 22, 2007; and Paul Craig Roberts in CounterPunch, June 19-21, 2009 for descriptions of some of these and other anti-Iran covert activities.))

“I’ve made it clear that the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not at all interfering in Iran’s affairs,” said US President Barack Obama with a straight face on June 23. Some in the Iranian government [have been] accusing the United States and others outside of Iran of instigating protests over the elections. These accusations are patently false and absurd. ((White House press conference, June 23, 2009.))

“Never believe anything until it’s officially denied,” British writer Claud Cockburn famously said.

In his world-prominent speech to the Middle East on June 4, Obama mentioned that “In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government.” So we have the president of the United States admitting to a previous overthrow of the Iranian government while the United States is in the very midst of trying to overthrow the current Iranian government. This will serve as the best example of hypocrisy that’s come along in quite a while.

So why the big international fuss over the Iranian election and street protests? There’s only one answer. The obvious one. The announced winner, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a Washington ODE, an Officially Designated Enemy, for not sufficiently respecting the Empire and its Israeli partner-in-crime; indeed, Ahmadinejad is one of the most outspoken critics of US foreign policy in the world.

So ingrained is this ODE response built into Washington’s world view that it appears to matter not at all that Mousavi, Ahmadinejad’s main opponent in the election and very much supported by the protesters, while prime minister 1981-89, bore large responsibility for the attacks on the US embassy and military barracks in Beirut in 1983, which took the lives of more than 200 Americans, and the 1988 truck bombing of a US Navy installation in Naples, Italy, that killed five persons. Remarkably, a search of US newspaper and broadcast sources shows no mention of this during the current protests. ((The only mention is by Jeff Stein in “CQ Politics” [Congressional Quarterly], online, June 22, 2009, “according to former CIA and military officials.” )) However, the Washington Post saw fit to run a story on June 27 that declared: “the authoritarian governments of China, Cuba and Burma have been selectively censoring the news this month of Iranian crowds braving government militias on the streets of Tehran to demand democratic reforms.”

Can it be that no one in the Obama administration knows of Mousavi’s background? And do none of them know about the violent government repression on June 5 in Peru of the peaceful protests organized in response to the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement? A massacre that took the lives of between 20 and 25 indigenous people in the Amazon and wounded another 100. ((Center for International Policy (Washington, DC) report, June 16, 2009.)) The Obama administration was silent on the Peruvian massacre because the Peruvian president, Alan Garcia, is not an ODE.

And neither is Mousavi, despite his anti-American terrorist deeds, because he’s opposed to Ahmadinejad, who competes with Hugo Chavez to be Washington’s Number One ODE. Time magazine calls Mousavi a “moderate,” and goes on to add: “It has to be assumed that the Iranian presidential election was rigged,” offering as much evidence as the Iranian protestors, i.e., none at all. ((Time magazine, June 29, 2009, p.26.)) It cannot of course be proven that the Iranian election was totally honest, but the arguments given to support the charge of fraud are not very impressive, such as the much-repeated fact that the results were announced very soon after the polls closed. For decades in various countries election results have been condemned for being withheld for many hours or days. Some kind of dishonesty must be going on behind the scenes during the long delay it was argued. So now we’re asked to believe that some kind of dishonesty must be going on because the results were released so quickly. It should be noted that the ballots listed only one electoral contest, with but four candidates.

Phil Wilayto, American peace activist and author of a book on Iran, has observed:

Ahmadinejad, himself born into rural poverty, clearly has the support of the poorer classes, especially in the countryside, where nearly half the population lives. Why? In part because he pays attention to them, makes sure they receive some benefits from the government and treats them and their religious views and traditions with respect. Mousavi, on the other hand, the son of an urban merchant, clearly appeals more to the urban middle classes, especially the college-educated youth. This being so, why would anyone be surprised that Ahmadinejad carried the vote by a clear majority? Are there now more yuppies in Iran than poor people? ((, June 14, 2009; Wilayto is the author of In Defense of Iran: Notes from a U.S. Peace Delegation’s Journey through the Islamic Republic.))

All of which is of course not to say that Iran is not a relatively repressive society on social and religious issues, and it’s this underlying reality which likely feeds much of the protest; indeed, many of the protesters may not even have strong views about the election per se, particularly since both Ahmadinejad and Mousavi are members of the establishment, neither is any threat to the Islamic theocracy, and the election can be seen as the kind of power struggle you find in virtually every country. But that is not the issue I’m concerned with here. The issue is Washington’s long-standing goal of regime change. If the exact same electoral outcome had taken place in a country that is an ally of the United States, how much of all the accusatory news coverage and speeches would have taken place? In fact, the exact same thing did happen in a country that is an ally of the United States, three years ago when Felipe Calderon appeared to have stolen the presidential election in Mexico and there were daily large protests for more than two months; but the American and international condemnation was virtually non-existent compared to what we see today in regard to Iran.

Iranian leaders undertook a recount of a random ten per cent of ballots and recertified Ahmadinejad as the winner. How honest the recount was I have no idea, but it’s more than Americans got in 2000 and 2004.

By what standard shall we judge Barack Obama?

Many of my readers have been upset with me for my criticisms of President Obama’s policies. Following my last two reports, more than a dozen have asked to be removed from my mailing list. But if you share my view that the numerous atrocities US foreign policy is responsible for constitute the greatest threat to world peace, prosperity and happiness, then I think you have to want leaders who are unambiguously opposed to America’s military adventures, because those interventions are unambiguously harmful. There’s nothing good to be said about dropping powerful bombs on crowds of innocent people, invading their land, overthrowing their government, occupying the country, breaking down the doors of the citizens, killing the father, raping the mother, traumatizing the children, torturing those opposed to all this … Barack Obama has no problem with this, if we judge him by his policies and not his rhetoric.

And neither does Al Franken, who’s about to become a Democratic Senator from Minnesota. The former Saturday Night Live comedian would like you to believe that he’s been against the war in Iraq since it began, but he’s gone to Iraq four times to entertain the troops. Does that make sense? Why does the military bring entertainers to soldiers? To lift the soldiers’ spirits. Why does the military want to lift the soldiers’ spirits? A happier soldier does his job better. And what’s the soldier’s job? All the charming things listed above. Doesn’t Franken know what these guys do? He criticized the Bush administration because they “failed to send enough troops to do the job right.” ((Washington Post, February 16, 2004.)) What “job” did the man think the troops were sent to do that had not been performed to his standards because of lack of manpower? Did he want them to be more efficient at killing Iraqis who resisted the occupation?

Franken has been lifting soldiers’ spirits for a long time. This past March he was honored by the United Service Organization (USO) for his ten years of entertaining troops abroad. That includes Kosovo in 1999, as imperialist an occupation as you’ll want to see. He called his USO experience “one of the best things I’ve ever done.” ((Star Tribune (Minneapolis), March 26, 2009.)) Franken has also spoken at West Point, encouraging the next generation of imperialist warriors. Is this a man to challenge the militarization of America at home and abroad? No more so than Obama.

Tom Hayden wrote this about Franken in 2005 when Franken had a regular program on the Air America radio network:

Is anyone else disappointed with Al Franken’s daily defense of the continued war in Iraq? Not Bush’s version of the war, because that would undermine Air America’s laudable purpose of rallying an anti-Bush audience. But, well, Kerry’s version of the war, one that can be better managed and won, somehow with better body armor and fewer torture cells. This morning Franken was endorsing Sen. Joe Biden’s proposal to send 5,000 NATO troops to close the Syrian-Iraq border, bring in foreign trainers for the Iraqi officer corps, and put Iraqis to work cleaning up the destruction of our invasion. … Now that Bush has manipulated us into the invasion, Franken thinks we have no choice but to … stay until we crush the insurgents. It’s a humanitarian excuse for open-ended American occupation. And it’s shared widely by the professional political and pundit class who think of themselves as the conscience of the American establishment and the leadership of the Democratic Party. ((Huffington Post, sometime in June 2005, but it may no longer be there. ))

I know, I know, I’m taking away all your heroes. But such people shouldn’t be your heroes. You can learn to see through the liberal, Democratic Party apologists for the empire. Only a week ago, documents released by the Nixon Library in California revealed that five days before US and South Vietnamese troops made their surprise invasion of Cambodia on April 29, 1970 — which elicited widespread, angry protests in the US, resulting in the fatal shootings by the National Guard of students at Kent State University in Ohio — President Richard Nixon got approval for the invasion from the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. John Stennis of Mississippi. Stennis told the president: “I will be with you. … I commend you for what you are doing.” ((Washington Post, June 30, 2009.))

Long live the Cold War

President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras was overthrown in a military coup June 28 because he was about to conduct a non-binding survey of the population, asking the question: “Do you agree that, during the general elections of November 2009 there should be a fourth ballot to decide whether to hold a Constituent National Assembly that will approve a new political constitution?” One of the issues that Zelaya hoped a new constitution would deal with is the limiting of the presidency to one four-year term. He also expressed the need for other constitutional changes to make it possible for him to carry out policies to improve the life of the poor; in countries like Honduras, the law is not generally crafted for that end.

At this writing it’s not clear how matters will turn out in Honduras, but the following should be noted:

The United States, by its own admission, was fully aware for weeks of the Honduran military’s plan to overthrow Zelaya. Washington says it tried its best to change the mind of the plotters. It’s difficult to believe that this proved impossible. During the Cold War it was said, with much justification, that the United States could discourage a coup in Latin America with “a frown.” The Honduran and American military establishments have long been on very fraternal terms. And it must be asked: In what way and to what extent did the United States warn Zelaya of the impending coup? And what protection did it offer him? The response to the coup from the Obama administration can be described with adjectives such as lukewarm, proper but belated, and mixed. It is not unthinkable that the United States gave the military plotters the go-ahead, telling them to keep the traditional “golpe” bloodiness to a minimum. Zelaya was elected to office as the candidate of a conservative party; he then, surprisingly, moved to the left and became a strong critic of a number of Washington policies, and an ally of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia, both of whom the Bush administration tried to overthrow and assassinate.

Following the coup, National Public Radio (NPR) showed once again why progressives refer to it as National Pentagon Radio. The station’s leading news anchor, Robert Siegel, interviewed Johanna Mendelson Forman, of the conservative think tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies:

Siegel: “There hasn’t been a coup in Latin America for quite a while.”

Forman: “I think the last one was in 1983.”

Siegel did not correct her. ((NPR, All Things Considered, June 29, 2009.))

This is ignorance of considerable degree. There was a coup in Venezuela in 2002 that briefly overthrew Hugo Chavez, a coup in Haiti in 2004 that permanently overthrew Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and a coup in Panama in 1989 that permanently overthrew Manuel Noriega. Is it because the US was closely involved in all three coups that they have been thrown down the Orwellian Memory Hole?

William Blum is the author of: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir, Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire. He can be reached at: Read other articles by William, or visit William's website.

50 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Gary Corseri said on July 4th, 2009 at 8:46am #

    Thanks again to William Blum for rendering the real news behind the twittering, chattering nonsense of the MSM, including, alas, NPR!

    The C.I.A. and N.E.D. behind the protests of election results in Iran? Why, who’d’ve thunk it? Only anyone with a passing knowledge of American imperial history! Blum’s great service is to cite chapter and verse to remind the informed and pique the interest of the curious.

    Al Franken a stooge of our imperialist policies in Iraq? Good ole, funnyman Al? The guy who brings the last, essential, veto-proof Democrat/Independent vote to the Senate to ensure us all healthcare to die for? Oh, say it ain’t so! Then, who will ‘scape whipping?

    In his quiet, steady, carefully-researched way Blum eviscerates the myths of the Good Empire, the Good War, the Good People, etc. Ain’t nothin’ good about ignorance, stupidity and arrogance and the US Empire has supped full on all three dishes of horrors. And soon, one imagines–our just desserts!

  2. Max Shields said on July 4th, 2009 at 8:55am #

    Excellent piece Mr. Blum. Know that there are many out here who rely on this alternative reporting, despite the Obama deniers.

  3. Jerry D. Rose said on July 4th, 2009 at 12:50pm #

    Please add my name to the list of admirers of the work of William Blum, in this article and in so many other publications. He is a man of such principal that, were he to be President, as he said on the back cover of his Freeing The World to Death, he would accomplish miracles of progressive reform the first 3 days on his presidency and on the 4th day he would be assassinated. Alas, he is probably right.

  4. Hue Longer said on July 4th, 2009 at 3:52pm #


    You are a Chompskyite for not addressing Blum not addressing Israel’s hand in Honduras and Panama.


    I look forward to the Anti-Empire Report because Blum doesn’t waste a word and sums up perfectly and includes footnotes. It makes what others have difficulty saying look so simple.

  5. Max Shields said on July 4th, 2009 at 4:31pm #

    but of course!

  6. beverly said on July 4th, 2009 at 4:32pm #

    Correction: Elections in the US are stolen long before voters reach the ballot box. The fix is in on who gets to run, how much info the public is provided on all candidates, and who gets nominated.

    It appears the main reason for Ahmadinejad being at the top of the US boogeyman list is his criticism of Israel. On the economic front, he should be music to US ears as Ahmadinejad is no foe to neoliberal privatisation policies (see: Billy Wharton’s 6/28/09 article on this site (“Selling Iran . . .”).

    Al Franken is another pea in the poser Democratic/progressive/liberal pod. He’ll fit in nicely with the DLC henchfolk and their lap dog Congressional flacks. No surprise in Franken’s support for continued war in Iraq; he’s a Zionist cheerleader to the core and just as big a chickenhawk as those right wingers he loves to mock. Big freaking deal he entertains the troops. If he’s so hell bent on warmongering, why didn’t he enlist or at least sign up for the National Guard? Where are his college aged kids? Signed up to fight for America and Israel’s “freedom” and “security” – or safely enrolled in a good college with a lucrative gig lined up even before they graduate???

    At least one good thing will come from Franken being elected to Congress – he won’t be out torturing comedy club and late night talk show audiences with his not funny musings. Let’s hope the Congress gig also pays enough for him to buy a couple of suits that fit too.

    So-called lefties like Franken are as big an impediment to real “change” for the better than any rednecked Southern bigot – another demographic Franken and company love to mock. The list of these posers gets bigger every day. I know much about Tom Hayden but wasn’t he an Obama supporter during the election? If so, add his ass to the list. Know-it-all Bill Maher laments that this country needs a truly progressive third party, yada, yada. Has he heard of the Green Party? The Greens sent Maher an open letter (may still be on their website) and are trying to get booked on his HBO show. I don’t get HBO, but I’m sure Maher’s guest list doesn’t include people such as Nader, Kucinich, McKinney, nor any journalist or article contributor to this website, Counterpunch, or Black Agenda Report.

    Those readers of Blum’s site who got pissed about his Obama criticisms show the scary power of Reagan’s witch doctor heir. Obama has worked some serious voodoo on the public – including those pundits and advocates who know better and still can’t break the silence.

    I don’t what is really going on Iran but I do know the US has its pawprints all over much of the chaos and whatever is going down there, the Iranians would be better served if the US and related western meddlers stayed the hell out of it.

  7. beverly said on July 4th, 2009 at 4:35pm #

    Correction II: sentence should read “I don’t know much about Tom Hayden . . .”

  8. ptw said on July 4th, 2009 at 9:25pm #

    Iranian leaders undertook a recount of a random ten per cent of ballots and recertified Ahmadinejad as the winner. How honest the recount was I have no idea, but it’s more than Americans got in 2000 and 2004.


    I’ll take Obama anytime over these two here and here.

    I’m know about the problems of Empire but let us not be blinded by them.

  9. reza said on July 4th, 2009 at 11:52pm #

    A very poor piece, as pertains to the bit on Iran.

    Mr. Blum, you claim quite unproblematically that the authorities in Iran did a recount and announced that their first count was A-OK! Relying on the words of the coup organizers for ‘evidence’ of no wrong-doing??!! WOW!

    So, MILLIONS of people in Iran (young and old, men and women, middle and working class alike, etc.) are either remote-controlled like zombies by some ‘foreign’ forces (just like the coup leaders are claiming now) or completely demented and sick, dying to get beaten up by fascistic thugs, can’t wait to get taken to prisons in thousands to get tortured (some raped) … And ALL of this over nothing???!!!!

    Man, us Eye-ranians are some insane people!!!

    Sir, you clearly have very little knowledge of the Iranians’ long history of urban uprisings, and know little about the really oppressive conditions of life in the country today. And this lack of knowledge shows, since all you care about is the self-referential arguments of “Why would the US mainstream media act the way it does, blah blah?” Everything is about the U.S. The Iranian people, as a people, have NO agency, have NO independent minds, and NO humanity capable of outrage at oppression. It’s all about the U.S.!!

    Since you know so little about Iran, it is instructive for you to read a few books about our Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911; you need to learn that, as a people, we have ALWAYS fought for our social rights despite the fact that the imperialists (back then, both the British and the Russians were actually running parts of the Iranian government) have been active INSIDE the country. Imperialism is not something that goes away.

    The Iranian people will simply not submit to being pawns in the calculations of a bunch of clueless ‘leftists’ in the west (who clearly cannot explain their own societies, let alone do anything about the world we live in) to bring ‘their own’ governments under some control before Iranians and other Third World nations get the go-ahead from western ‘leftists’ to start on a clean and unambiguous path to liberation!! What conceit!!

    There are THREE camps in the fight in Iran. It’s not just about the two ruling factions. The people are the third camp, and they have entered the fray with their own demands, which go way beyond the ‘reformists’ platform for ‘change’. If you really were leftists, there would be an element of the role of the Iranian PEOPLE in your analysis, and you would know that in conditions where the people of are under such fascistic attacks, you need to show solidarity with the people.

  10. Josie Michel-Brüning said on July 5th, 2009 at 4:51am #

    Dear William Blum, thank you very much for this again well-grounded article ! I will copy it, and as soon as I have time, translate it into German, as I did with some other of your articles for my friends, which are circulating since then among interested people in Germany.
    U.S. people like you are our worldwide hope for change.
    Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful if all like you would join each other against the “public diplomacy” we are exposed to?
    By the way, I am also especially grateful for your comments on the case of the “Cuban Five”, unjustly held in U.S. prions since nearly 11 years.
    Some people, like me get initially involved by humanitarian grounds or by personal experiences.
    Such cases as the Cuban Five are giving the unjustice a face for making understandible what is going wrong.
    Sorry, for my poor English.

  11. kalidas said on July 5th, 2009 at 7:00am #

    Everyone wants “democracy.” That is, until the “poor” have their say.
    The majority have spoken.

  12. Max Shields said on July 5th, 2009 at 8:19am #

    ptw – cute. We’re now comparing “leaders”. It’s irrelevant to the article.


    Apparently you are Iranian – all assume you were born, raised and currently live in Iran and aren’t simply sitting in the US (have spent most of your adult life in the US).

    How you think you can speak for Iranians is really intriguing. I don’t see where anyone, including Mr. Blum is speaking for Iranians.

    Mr. Blum is a US citizen who has spent much of his life studying (and through direct experience) US policies, particular US use of subversion and CIA activity. He does not here, or elsewhere purport to speak for the Amerian or Iranian people. It is very clear to anyone who has been a reader of Mr. Blum’s work that he vehemently oppses US interventionism and understands the relationship of Iran vis a vis US policies in the region.

    For you, much/most of what has happened is all about a rebellion against oppression. Some of that could be, but you cannot ignore the facts that become clearer with each day of US involvement.

    If there is a “people’s movement” in Iran, let it be heard. What are its demands? Who are the leaders? None of this has been forthcoming.

    Rebellion in the street is not a revolution. Without a voice (beyond a picture of a fallen women) there is no movement. Is there oppression in Iran? Certainly regarding a theocratic regime. But how does it compare to other countries in the region? How do voices get heard in the US? Are they marginalized? Have they been violently oppressed. The answer to the last two question is yes.

    You have to provide much more Reza to provide a convincing argument. First, it was the election was stolen. Then some try to foist the idea of privatization is the reason, and then oppression.

    Blum knows US/Iranian history and it is from there he is providing his commentary. Period.

  13. Shabnam said on July 5th, 2009 at 9:38am #


    Reza, in fact Reza Fiyouzat whose articles has been posted at this site, is living in the United States since his early adulthood, at least for the past 38 years. His entire education and training has been completed in the United States. He worked for number of years as an ESL teacher in Japan. He is coming from the traditional Iranian ‘left’, mainly Stalinist who have switched to trotskyist. He like HOPI hates Islamic liberation movement. Many of HOPI’s members like Maryam Namazie who received a secularist award from Britain and lives in Britain, leads Ex-Muslim, a Zionist supported organization and is working closely with zionofascists such as Bernard Henri Levy, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji. The following is short biography of Reza where can be found on the Internet.
    Reza Fiyouzat (Encounters Book 1) was born in Abadan, Iran, and has had a rich life in four countries. His undergraduate studies varied from hard sciences, to philosophy of science to social sciences. He received his MA in applied linguistics from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Reza has written novels, short stories, and has translated and written articles about Middle Eastern politics. He has also written for and edited political-cultural magazines with international distribution. His ESL publications include Cultural Zones of Development. His first and best English teacher was his father.

  14. bozhidar balkas vancouver said on July 5th, 2009 at 9:57am #

    not long ago [2-3yrs] bill maher had said to l.king, “I am with israel”.
    i was s’mwhat suprised in view of his other views which, to me, are correct.
    with chomsky, zinn, klein, et al also with israel, my observation that 99%-99.99% of ‘jews’ are with israel [ i.e., want to reward stern, irgun, and haganah’s crimes against innocent palestinians] seems to be reconfirmed, when they want to reward ‘jews’ with a ‘jewish’ state in ex-palestine.tnx

  15. Pedestrian said on July 5th, 2009 at 9:59am #

    Just because we DID get a RANDOM recount by the very orchestrators of this charade – which by the way, the Americans didn’t even GET when their election was stolen – does not make the Nazis any better! We Iranians hold ourselves to MUCH HIGHER standards!

    Read the rest of it here:

    For the first time the neo-cons and the leftist liberals have agreed to something:


  16. stephan geras said on July 5th, 2009 at 10:52am #

    Mr. Shields is exhibiting signs of status quo bias.
    Mr. Blum said:
    “The fact that large numbers of Americans did not take to the streets day after day in protest, as in Iran, is not something we can be proud of. Perhaps if the CIA, the Agency for International Development (AID), several US government-run radio stations, and various other organizations supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (which was created to serve as a front for the CIA, literally) had been active in the United States, as they have been for years in Iran, major street protests would have taken place in the United States.”
    Reza disagrees!
    And the comparison on the level of violence and oppression to people in the USA is cheap and bogus: “How do voices get heard in the US? Are they marginalized? Have they been violently oppressed. The answer to the last two question is yes.” Are you immune to people’s suffering?
    And by what rule in public dissent is there a necessity for logic and reason. Isn’t “change” enough? Maybe without reason and the CIA et al, the USA could learn from the Iranian people.

  17. KL5 said on July 5th, 2009 at 10:56am #

    reza responding to Blum – “Sir, you clearly have very little knowledge of the Iranians’ long history of urban uprisings, and know little about the really oppressive conditions of life in the country today. And this lack of knowledge shows, since all you care about is the self-referential arguments of “Why would the US mainstream media act the way it does, blah blah?” Everything is about the U.S. The Iranian people, as a people, have NO agency, have NO independent minds, and NO humanity capable of outrage at oppression. It’s all about the U.S.!!”

    Mr. Blum has clearly indicated that the Iranian regime is repressive and the Iranian elections could be rigged like many others in the world. But this is not his main point. His main point is, why the “rigged” Iranian elections are so important in the western mainstream media and in the the White House watch list. His answer is, it is about meddling for regime change. We know from historical experience that the U.S. on many occasions started regime change on this mode: Emphasizing “human rights”, stressing the “threat” of the respective country to the U.S. and the world and at last regime change and “democratizing” the respective people. Mr. Blum warns us of this Imperialist mode. His article has nothing to do with details of Iranian conditions. If you are concerned about the latter, then fly back to Teheran and combat Iranian theocracy. Sitting somewhere in the U.S. and doing bumptious Leftism is not serious and after all uselsess for “your” country. Now, reza, be honest, as an Iranian vagabond how much do you get from the CIA a month? Where do you live from?

  18. KL5 said on July 5th, 2009 at 1:16pm #


    It is a weakness of mine that I forget case sinsitive things. Do you love coca cola , the sky blue dress of Hillary Clinton and monsantonized popcorn? I guess you do. Otherwise you would not care for “your” country Iran. Cheers!

  19. joseph lee said on July 5th, 2009 at 1:20pm #

    what a great article!

  20. KL5 said on July 5th, 2009 at 1:45pm #

    joseph lee,

    It is a great article indeed, regardless of your ambiguous intentions. But reza has not yet told us who pays his salary.

  21. momo said on July 5th, 2009 at 2:59pm #

    Shabnam :

    “Stalinist who have switched to trotskyist”, that is quite a switch!

  22. lichen said on July 5th, 2009 at 3:03pm #

    Thank you, Reza; for standing up for the fact that unlike what many white US imperialists suggest, Iranian’s do have agency, do have political uprisings and views and genuine movements.

  23. joed said on July 5th, 2009 at 3:11pm #

    great article! this article articulates so well what i have been feeling and thinking about the perverse interest by amerika into the election in iran. amerikans are very sick people. there is no moral justification for amerika to interfer into another country. like the author of this article says, if the cia etc was as active in amerika then…!
    this article helped me to gain insight into my own thoughts and feeling about the perversity of amerikas interest in iran.

  24. joed said on July 5th, 2009 at 3:14pm #

    Hey, Corseri’s here too!

  25. Max Shields said on July 5th, 2009 at 3:32pm #

    stephan geras,

    Your points are baseless. Are you immune to facts?

  26. Don Hawkins said on July 5th, 2009 at 3:35pm #

    William I was wondering when someone would bring up the elections in 2000 and 2004. I was in 2000 outside the library in Tallahassee, Florida where the finial count was happening. The real funny stuff was not in Tallahassee but Jacksonville, Florida where this whole vote counting thing was a joke. I remember that day well when the word came down from the supreme count to stop the count. I was giving away T-shirts that said a ballot in the hand is better than two in the bush. After that word came down there were maybe 20 lawyers in $5000 dollar suits and perfectly combed hair that to me they just didn’t look real. A couple of them came over to me probably for a free T-shirt and I asked is that it? Yes that was it. Those same lawyers and more are still hard at work high upon the hill with $5,000 dollar suits and perfectly combed hair and not real doesn’t begin to explain it. What a system and very sure they don’t want people to know that they are now in control of an out of control system. Yes very sure of that.

    “My fellow Americans and people of Earth we are in deep do do”.

  27. Hue Longer said on July 5th, 2009 at 3:55pm #

    Drug dealing leader
    Babies dumped from incubators
    Mass graves
    Women forced to covering their faces

    Whatever may be true about real protest in Iran should not blur how it is setting them up for a major fuck over.

  28. Shabnam said on July 5th, 2009 at 3:57pm #


    Yes, indeed. Today, majority of the ‘left’ are called themselves Trotskyists like worke-communits party who call themselves Hekmatism, where there is a rumor about their cooperation with Israel. There is a small minority, like Tofan party, who are Maoists. Majority of them live abroad. Fadayeen Khalq, split into minority and majority, where many of them were Stalinists became pro market economy and they can be found as critics of Iranian government on CIA funded program “Voice of America.” Khanbaba Tehrani, from the older generation of the Iranian ‘left’, came from Tudeh Party, pro Stalin, later turned to Moa, turned to Castro, later turned to Rosa Luxemburg and now he is pro market economy and going to CIA held meeting with a sellout ‘philosopher’ Abdul Karim Soroush, received $10,000 award from Human Right Watch, in addition to Erasmus prize 2004 for his ‘good’ work to benefit the West, and Abbas Milani, former Maoist, became a Savak informant under the shah and now is a Research Fellow and Co-Director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover institute. Yes, indeed is quite a switch.

  29. Stephanie said on July 5th, 2009 at 4:48pm #

    Thanks William …….. great article. One says you should learn something new every day ….. well today I went far beyond that.

  30. stephan geras said on July 5th, 2009 at 7:30pm #

    Fact is I know someone in the streets in Iran—someone who couldn’t afford to advance his career in the arts because he has no support, a situation most of US only imagine. Someone who was arrested by basij and released. I don’t think he’s a victim of US ops. US ops are generally flops. I have a theory that power here wants you to conclude there’s no purposeful uprising there, just a bunch of students, a bunch of disorganized rabble rousers. Press is oppressing you.
    Since Mousavi is just the other side of the same coin, what regime change would there be anyway?
    Fact is I was in Mexico when the police killed students. I was in China just after Tien An Men when military killed students. I wasn’t far from Kent State. I was not far at all when people were murdered for no particular ideology, only because they wanted freedom from oppression, corruption, bad government, lack of opportunity.

  31. Hue Longer said on July 5th, 2009 at 8:07pm #


    Blum answered your question in the article. Careful when the press is covering your uprising; It should make one at least wonder…right?

  32. Shabnam said on July 5th, 2009 at 8:52pm #

    stephan geras

    If you have any concern for human being then you MUST move your behind to organize your ignorant population to stage a riot demanding to take the killers and the rapists out of the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa immediately to stop massacring innocent people daily all over the region to steal their resources so you can have a job to continue supporting the war criminals like earlier in Iraq and elsewhere. We know you. It is better for you and people like you to stop using your fu**in g WMD on others and instead tell your mass murderers ‘leaders’ stop forcing illegal sanction on countries where refuse to be your puppet or hand in their resources to create chaos for destabilization. Due to your silence against the criminal activity of your Zionist ‘leaders’ they continue to make wars with your tax dollars on lies and deception like they did in Iraq. Where is your voice? Where is your resistance to killing civilians every single day around the world? Where is your protest against hundreds of secret prisons around the world? The fact is your behind is too fat to stand up against war criminals. On the other hand, Iranian people will continue their struggle against imperialism/Zionism aggression regardless of your inactive political life where is centered on consumption. We say: down with the war criminals and their ignorant supporters. The world can be saved without you.

  33. Deadbeat said on July 5th, 2009 at 9:46pm #

    Fact is I know someone in the streets in Iran—someone who couldn’t afford to advance his career in the arts because he has no support, a situation most of US only imagine.

    Are you kidding me. How many people can afford to quit their jobs to advance a burning desire to switch to a career in the arts in the U.S. Where’s my guitar?

  34. denk said on July 5th, 2009 at 10:29pm #

    stephen geras
    **Fact is I was in Mexico when the police killed students. I was in China just after Tien An Men when military killed students. **

    those who stayed in the square until the last min , including taiwanese students, say there was no “massacre of students”

    after all these yrs, there’s only one thing we can be sure about tam….its the mother of the “color revolutions”, a failed one at that. but then they learned their mistake and this technique was perfected into a fine art form in later ops in russian’s “near aborad”
    “Prior to the Tiananmen Square incident, NED maintained two offices inside China and conducted regular seminars on Democracy. NED also sponsored various Chinese writers and publications. Probably NED or CIA, recruited numerous Chinese students studying in the United States; and, when Tiananmen Square erupted, either sent of helped fax thousands of letters to recipients in China, inflamed opinion via the Voice of America; and sheltered a leading dissident in the U.S. Embassy, which also arranged for many dissidents to flee China. NED continues to support Chinese activists and awards tiananmen’s “Goddess of Democracy,” to noted dissidents of all nations”.

  35. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 6th, 2009 at 2:24am #

    denk, it was well known at the time that reports of massacres in Tian An Men Square were lies, and my father, a journalist, upbraided a lying Australian Government Minister over it, at a Press Club luncheon. He was well lubricated, and when the Rightwing poltroons masquerading as ‘journalists’, all little dags from the Murdoch posterior, attempted to shout him down, he gave them heaps. Ah, halcyon days!
    Meanwhile in the Australian parliament, the Prime Miniature at the time, Bob Hawke, a Zionist fanatic and former public drunk and recidivist philanderer, gave one of his trademark bathetic displays of emotional incontinence. Prone to public blabbering, his recited a little ditty of outright lies which ended with the poor, gallant ‘freedom’-loving Chinese students, run over and over until they were utterly macerated. As ever the hatemongers erred with their risible exaggeration, that demonising overkill that just reeks of projection, where the ‘unhuman’ enemies commit acts of such wanton depravity that our eternal enmity becomes a matter of irreversible moral principle.
    The existence of the Tian An Men Square ‘Massacre’ lie, along with the Saddam’s WMD lie, the ‘yellow rain’ in Indochina lie, the KAL 007, Lockherbie, 9/11, Tonkin Gulf, ‘USS Maine’, KGB plots to kill the Polak Pope (if only!)etc lies (one could fill Borges’ infinite library with them)tells us one essential lesson regarding the West and the psychopaths that own and therefore rule it, and the even more debased creatures they employ to lie and spread hatred in the service of power. That is that they inhabit a universe absolutely bereft of any morality save the anti-morality of arrogant presumption, cynical duplicity and hypocrisy and extreme hatred of the rest of humanity, including, one presumes, themselves. The Empire of Evil and Death that the US oversees, with its incessant aggression, bloodletting, subversion and febrile search for enemies to be destroyed (along with their children)that spends over one trillion a year on murder and intimidation while the planet burns about us must somehow be brought to an end, or it will see humanity destroyed. If every country in the world converted to Judaism and Protestant fundamentalism, and installed US viceroys to run their affairs, the thanatocrats of the US would still find an excuse to attack them. It’s simply too good for business. Their business is killing and business is, always, very, very good.

  36. Hue Longer said on July 6th, 2009 at 3:04am #

    Good on ya, Mulga…

    I’m re-reading “A Secret Country” and was thinking that before there was Clinton and Blair, there was the Silver Bodgie. I’ve become a fan of your writing and feel Oz is a great example for others to see how the game works. Would you have any writings of your own or others to point to?

  37. Don Hawkins said on July 6th, 2009 at 4:45am #

    The Empire of Evil and Death that the US oversees, with its incessant aggression, bloodletting, subversion and febrile search for enemies to be destroyed (along with their children)that spends over one trillion a year on murder and intimidation while the planet burns about us must somehow be brought to an end, or it will see humanity destroyed.

    Al, Mr. Gore are you out there? What the hell is going on the time is now and all you got is dumb commercials. Two million to start Capital one voice calm at peace. Don’t you have friends that can get this started? Hollywood could help unless they are all in happyland. What’s a matter with you people get with it. I’ll bet James Hansen could give a great speech who else think. Large speakers and a couple of good songs is an idea. How about I want to feel what love is and Bob Dylan comes to mind. Those people in the hall’s of congress and there thinking is frightening the stupidity. It’s the best they can do as the planet burns come on get with it. Cap and trade is a joke on the human race and you know it. As the Sun sets over the halls of power light those candles and tomorrow tomorrow it’s only a day away is one idea. Then because of stupidity do it again and again. What do you do with that peace prize just let it gather dust. Yes we know it won’t be easy well a little secret for most of us it never has I think we can handle it can you?

  38. Max Shields said on July 6th, 2009 at 5:21am #

    The US has just given Israel the green light to invade Iran at will.

    When the CIA fails in its efforts to incite a coup, the next move is assassination or invade.

  39. mary said on July 6th, 2009 at 5:46am #

    @ Joed yesterday

    We are indeed fortunate to have such fine writers as William Blum and Gary Corseri in our midst. Our prospects would be even more bleak without their spirited insights and inspiring analysis of our current condition.

    Have you read Gary’s Barbecuing Iraqis on the 4th of July. Excellent.

  40. AaronG said on July 6th, 2009 at 5:56am #

    I’ve read most of the comments to date. If I only had to use 40 words to comment I would repeat what Hue Longer said on July 5th, 2009 at 3:55pm! Gr8 work Hue……..

    My initial laughter at your witty comment quickly turned to sober reality when I thought of how we are continually duped by the US Empire. Now it’s not so funny……………

  41. bozhidar balkas vancouver said on July 6th, 2009 at 6:32am #

    max, i conclude that nato lands along with israel want to dismember iran.
    invasion by nato wld obtain that; bombings by israel most likely, imo, wld not accomplish that.
    it wld most likely make it more difficult to invade iran; let’s say by nato or US/Isr/UK/Kurdistan.
    but US will not, i coclude, rest in peace until iran also goes or is puppetized. tnx

  42. denk said on July 6th, 2009 at 10:11am #

    “massacre” or not, the stigma stuck.
    tam N china has become almost Synonymous in public forum for decades now.
    thats the beauty of the ned/soro option …..they couldnt lose.
    either the targeted country get a regime change, failing which it get a huge black eye. !
    thats why soro despised bush, not coz he opposed the pnac craps, just that bush’s shock n awe brute force tactics is “counterproductive” to pax amerikka’s empire building.
    guardian for example, has just commerorated the “20 anniversay of the tam massacre”. [sic], but see how the peru atrocities get the short shrift from our “international communities”.

    still on cia psyops,
    remember the “genocide in tibet” ?
    “Another example French gives is the claim made by the “Free Tibet” groups in London and Washington that 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed by the Chinese since the Dalai Lama regime was overturned in 1959. His own exhaustive research, he says, has turned up no evidence to back this claim.”

    these must surely be the greatest hoax of the century.

  43. Deadbeat said on July 6th, 2009 at 3:50pm #

    Excellent article by William Blum

  44. denk said on July 6th, 2009 at 6:55pm #

    make way bush, we can do it better

  45. Hue Longer said on July 7th, 2009 at 3:23am #


    Thank you very much

  46. stephan geras said on July 9th, 2009 at 2:39pm #

    Well yeah, you’re such strong nihilists Denk, Deadbeat, Vancouver??? etc. No need to prove youselves.
    Gee, I guess there’s never been a mass slaughter of people who are protesting gov without secret ops by US.
    Keep the fiction at least on this site…or maybe write a book!
    Lots of dead people slaughtered by police, army, security, and whichever acronym you choose, unable to read your posts. Right, if only they’d known about CIANSAKGBMI5HSICEFBIRCMP blah blah blah!
    Then they’d be alive and responding!

  47. phuque yew said on July 11th, 2009 at 12:12am #

    S. Geras:
    You have committed a fallacy in stating “….there’s never been a mass slaughter of people who are protesting gov without secret ops by US….”. In using the exception to demonstrated instances of US covert operations in fomenting unrest aimed at toppling regimes unfavorable to US corporate-military interests, and a rather trite and banal one at that (I’m sure plenty of anti-government protests were not the result of US secret ops before 1776!), you have failed to provide any evidence that such exceptions even exist. Blithely averring that a single fish in a barrel doesn’t stink doesn’t mean the rest don’t reek! I just love picking on logically challenged dimwits!

    As for “…lots of dead people…unable to read your posts” I’m sure lots of ’em would be more than happy to take servile morons like you with them.

  48. stephan geras said on July 18th, 2009 at 11:10am #

    phuque you, an appropriate truth for you without exceptions before 1776, doesn’t mean you don’t cause the barrel to reak.

  49. stephan geras said on July 18th, 2009 at 12:08pm #

    Oh and BTW Mr Phuqued, for a complicated logical positivist like you this may be difficult, but
    I could cite just a few revolutions with mass murdering of innocents that didn’t involve US ops after 1776, , oh just off the top of my head, like the Russian Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, The Vietnamese revolution, the Chinese revolution…just to name a few in recent memory.

  50. fekkkkog geoooore said on August 4th, 2009 at 2:28pm #

    Fantastic article.

    And stephan geras is a waste of space who should remove himself from the gene pool.