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Is the Uprising in Tehran Real or a CIA Backed Exercise?
by Davey D
Sunday Jun 21st, 2009 6:50 PM
It’s interesting to hear a number of progressives who immediately jumped out the box telling people that they were being duped by supporting the protests in Tehran. Many arrogantly pointed out that we were somehow carrying the mainstream party line and what we were seeing in the streets was a CIA backed operation. In fact one person hit me up and told me I should be ashamed of myself and that I was somehow pushing the mainstream party line.
What was interesting about these progressive assertions was they were in stark opposition of people who we know on the ground. People who are ordinary folks and expressed a different tale. For starters there we many who never been politically involved but had grown tired of the oppression in Iran. There’s been a student movement that’s been in the works for years. I know for myself when I visited Beirut for a conference on censorship, I ran into a number of students from Iran who had been in and out of jail for refusing to stop expressing themselves musically and culturally. They felt like too many freedoms were restricted and so the push for change has been going on for a minute. So I could easily see how folks dissatisfied with the current state of affairs would be looking take advantage of any situation that could spark some change

A good friend of mine Cristina Veran, who co-wrote the ground breaking book Women in Hip Hop, has traveled extensively around the world and was immediately intouch with many of her friends living in Tehran. She too bristled at the notion that somehow her friends and activists who were out on those streets were doing so on behest of the CIA or US covert forces. She explained that was taken place was real. Sadly too many progressives kept pushing this line as if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was what these hundreds of thousands of young people out on the streets really wanted.

The intial push back from progressives was to point out that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s main political opponent Mirhossein Mousavi’s was not this true reformer the way the mainstream media had depicted. If anything he had a shady background and was more on the oppressive side. However, what was not included in the conversation was the fact that the average person in Tehran is much more politically astute then the average person here in the US. Hence whatever was being unveiled here about Mousavi was already widely known and understood. The rebellion on the streets was not done in the same way they might take place here in the US where folks with no political understanding may jump into the fray and roll with the momentum. There people know whats up and they clearly understood that whatever fervor directed at Mousavi was a lotbigger then him. He was a catalyst and symbol for greater possibilities but not the sole personification. I would liken it to President Obama’s run for the White House. Yes, he captured and is well liked by many, but at the same time there was a movement behind Obama that ideally should go on and have a life of its on with or without him.

As far as the people in the streets of Tehran are concerned is that the election was rigged and that a coup of sorts took place. People have gotten killed, many arrested and the move to oppress is in full gear. Current Iranian President Ahmadinejad with all his posturing and boisterousness knows full well that while the US and Israel may have found ways to help stoke the fires and push for some of the unrest, the unrest that is going on is very real and has lot to do with people’s desire for substantial change.

We been covering the protests all week on progressive radio station KPFA. Many of the guest are from Tehran and have been out there rebelling. Many have been long involved with movements to bring about change. In the radio show link we are placing below the progressive community is addressed about why they keep pushing particular line about CIA backing as if they want all those people to go home and accept President Ahmadinejad as their leader..

Something to ponder

-Davey D-

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by deanosor
(deanosor [at] Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 1:48 AM
Davey D doesn't answer what the politics of either of any of the demonstrators are, other than they are for a vauge change, the same vague that Obama called for. This the Obama who's continuing both of Bush's wars, who's continuing to support and justify torture, and who won't even cosnider single-payer healthcare. There is no movement of Obama supporters that has existed since the election. One does not have to be a Ahmadinejad supporter (or even believe he won the election-even it is still debateable) or a supporter of the horrible clerical system in Iraq to realize Mousavi with his supprt of neo-liberal privatization is the candidate that the US government likes. And the US has shown its support by teh state department telling Twitter to not do its scheduled maintenace, so that the messages from the field could get out. I have never seen that done in any fashion supporting any leftist or real civil libertarian struggle.
No, i don't believe the protestors are dupes. I believe that certain parts of the middle classes in Iran actually believe the election was stolen and that Mousavi is the better candidate, but i believe that as radicals we cannot support vague calls for one side in an bad internecine war, but instead people should be calling for, as they did in argentina, that "Everyone must go".
by mc
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 3:07 AM
sure, i think everyone must go, but at the same time, i am not in or from iran, so it isnt really my place to be telling them what they should be doing or who they should be supporting.

however, i do believe in freedom of information and speech and am willing to run a proxy server to let those in iran who want to bypass state censorship.

if by doing so i help get a crazy populist racist out of office and replace him with a neo-liberal, awesome. id prefer the later to the former. and more importantly, if that is what people in iran want, then awesome.
It is unbelievable how people can get worked up about some far away country where no American has any business being, BUT SIT AND DO NOTHING ABOUT THE CATASTROPHE OCCURRING RIGHT HERE IN THE USA. We are experiencing a GREAT DEPRESSION RIGHT HERE IN THE USA. Davy D: Did you notice that fact? Did you notice that YOUR FELLOW DEMOCRATS just gave over $100 BILLION FOR WAR after giving over $700 BILLION to the banks last fall, at the behest of O'BS and Pelosi? Did you notice that the banks are sitting on our tax dollars, refusing to provide loans which would certainly stimulate the economy and provide jobs? See Dollars and Sense, May-June 2009, "Pushing on Strings" by Gerald Friedman at
Did you notice that the unemployment rate is THE WORST SINCE 1941? See Dollars and Sense at
Did you notice that the State of California where you live is being systematically, with malice aforethought, being destroyed by both the state and federal governments, the latter led by your millionaire, warmongering, death penalty promoting president, O'BS, who refuses to provide loans to California, and the former has a Democratically controlled legislature, a first lady being a Democrat (Maria Shriver) and all but 2 of the constitutional officers being Democrats and yet they are not either demanding loans or raising the progressive income tax on the rich, those who make over $200,000 a year? Did you notice that these same California Democrats did not put on the November 2008 ballot the long overdue measure to change California's budget passing law from 2/3 to a simple majority as for the PAST SEVERAL YEARS, the phony budget crisis has resulted in destruction of services to the workingclass? Did you notice that California schools are among the worst in the nation, with California being 46th in education spending and EDUCATION SPENDING IS BEING CUT, to the detriment of the workingclass, mostly African-American and Latino? Did you notice the healthcare crisis among California workingclass school children because unlike the 1950s and 1960s, when this writer went to California public schools, physical education is now NOT required from grade school through and including the first 2 years of public university? An expose of the disparities in funding between the rich schools nationwide, where rich parents can contribute to the schools with tax deductible contributions to foundations and the workingclass schools may be found at SF Chronicle, 6/21/09 at
"When Hale arrived at Eberhart 10 years ago, most kids could run a mile in 13 or 14 minutes. Now only a few can. At Louisiana State University in New Orleans, professor Melinda Sothern sees children at the school's Health Sciences Center with a range of related problems more typical of adults: high cholesterol, diabetes, muscular-skeletal disorders."

Yet, you get yourself worked up over 2 reactionary candidates in far away Iran, where the US and its puppet Israel, have a vested interest in promoting the most pro-oil profit lackey they can find, and they have been doing that at least since WW2, with the CIA coup in 1953, the installation of the Shah of Iran, and when he became vulnerable, the equally reactionary cleric Khomeni (remember the Iran-Contra scandal of selling arms to Iran, then supposedly under an embargo, for money for the anti-communist Contras in Nicaragua). Now, we have another CIA frenzy to promote US imperialism. The only solution is to demand that the US get out of the entire world and that can only occur with a GENERAL STRIKE RIGHT HERE IN THE USA.

And your favorite lackey of the capitalist class, President O'BS, refuses to consider single payer healthcare, much less the socialized medicine he, his cabinet and the entire US Congress enjoy, all paid for with our tax dollars!

As to this past election, it was not much different from previous elections, and there is no movement of any kind as a legacy of that election. About 60% of the adults in this country voted in November 2008, up from 50% in most presidential elections. In a country of 301 million people, with about 225 million adults, about 131 million voted. See
In California, the usual 13 million voted in a high voter turnout election, in a state of 37 million people, with about 27 million adults. That is almost 50% of the adults. See:
Your favorite con artist, President O'BS, had absolutely nothing to offer when he ran for president and still has nothing to offer. He is promoting Continuity of Government, with a very reactionary cabinet which include Republican Secretary of War Gates to war criminal Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State, and beyond his cabinet, his dual-citizen US&Israel chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. He has come out in support of torture, secrecy in government, against gay marriage, and much more. He is absolutely rotten to the core; that is why the corporations gave him billions of dollars: to maximize their profits.
DAVY D AND HIS FELLOW SUPPORTERS OF ANOTHER IRANIAN REACTIONARY: DO YOUR HOMEWORK! AND STOP VOTING FOR THE DEMOCRAT-REPUBLICANS. I am glad I voted for Cynthia McKinney, the Green candidate for president. She is good on all the above issues, and she is good on exposing the 9/11 Inside Job, another topic O'BS refuses to investigate. IN EVERY ELECTION, REMEMBER: NO MILLIONAIRE CAN REPRESENT THE WORKINGCLASS.
by repost
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 6:57 AM
From: 6/22/09 World Socialist Website, "For a socialist, not a “color” revolution in Iran" by Peter Symonds at

"The formal dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 ushered in a series of “color revolutions” that bore no relationship to any real popular movement for democratic rights. The “Bulldozer Revolution” of 2000 that toppled the Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic was the forerunner to the “Rose Revolution” in Georgia in 2003 that brought Mikhail Saakashvili to power, the “Orange Revolution” in the Ukraine in 2004 and the pink and yellow “Tulip Revolution” in Kyrgyzstan in 2005."

The characteristics of all these “revolutions” were similar. Dissident pro-Western sections of the ruling elites mounted a carefully-managed and well-financed campaign to topple their rivals that drew in frustrated sections of the middle classes and youth. Various non-government organisations, in some cases with direct connections to American think tanks and foundations, prepared the ground, establishing connections with student groups, trade unions, the local media and other groups and laying out the marketing plan. In every case, the opposition parties lost an election, which then became the pretext for a frenzied bid for power on the basis of unsubstantiated ballot rigging—all with the backing of the international media."

"The outcome has been pro-US regimes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union that are no more democratic than their predecessors. The guiding principle of these “revolutions” has not been the needs and aspirations of working people, but the aims of US imperialism to extend its domination, particularly in the former Soviet republics in the energy-rich Caucuses and Central Asia. Reestablishing a dominant influence in Iran, which lies at the intersection of these regions with the Middle East, has been a longstanding American ambition."

"Undoubtedly, many students, young people and others support Mousavi in the naïve belief that he will bring about democratic reform. They ignore the fact, however, that Mousavi is a longstanding member of the regime who also has blood on his hands. "

"The Obama administration’s objectives are no less predatory than those of its predecessors. In fact, a major factor in significant sections of the American political establishment throwing their weight behind Obama’s election campaign was that the Bush administration’s reckless and criminal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan generated broad anti-US sentiment around the globe, undermining Washington’s diplomatic and political leverage. Over the past three years, more color revolutions failed—for instance, in Azerbaijan and Belarus—than were successful. A new face was needed to mask reactionary aims."

"Those who claim that the current “Green Revolution” in Iran is any different are either deluding themselves or have ulterior motives. The central political task is the fight for an independent political movement for a workers’ and farmers’ government and a socialist Iran as part of a United Socialist States of the Middle East and internationally. That requires the construction of a revolutionary party of the working class armed with a scientific socialist program based on all the strategic experiences of the twentieth century."
by deanosor
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 8:02 AM
How do you knoow that is wha the people want? And why do you believe Mr. A. is a crazy racist? And that Mr. M would be better. I don't fault what you're doing but these are real not rhetorical questions. AAnd yes i know that his strong anti-Zionism hss veered into anti-Semitissm and holocaust denial. Do you know Mr. M's views on the zionism and the holocaust?
by skeptic
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 9:43 AM
Deanosaur says Mr. A's Rhetoric is anti-Semitic. Wow! So now we have an article that says lets not worry about how encouraging Iranian protests will help the Israeli agenda, and we have the primary critic of the piece saying that Mr. A. is an anti-Semite. By the way, Palestinians are Semites...

The fact is, the corrupt state of Israel has no right to exist, and Mr. A. has never denied that Jews were killed in Germany. He simply takes issue with the disproportionately overwhelming reiteration of that fact in light of the other atrocities that have occurred and continue to occur and get very little mention. He also has asked the very logical question: if the holocaust occurred, then why must the Palestinians pay for what the Germans did to the Jews? This is a simple non-recognition of the formal imposition of a corrupt state called Israel in the midst of Palestinian land.

Regarding Iran, yes, if anyone is worried about some kind of suppression of speech occurring, you can rest absolutely assured that the mass corporate media will continue to see to it that those "suppressed" voices are heard. In fact, they will be heard far out of proportion to the true ratio that they represent vis-a-vis pro-Mr. A's voices. You will rarely hear the latter even though about half the country's voters (or more) supported him. So I think if anyone's free speech isn't getting out, it's the speech of those who support Mr. A.
by pro-palestine
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 10:14 AM
The instability is being fed by Israel and the west. As long as Iran is stable and strong, the balance of power in the Middle East between Iran and Israel is such that it deters the latter from its tendency to be aggressive.

On a separate note, just for fun, imagine if Answer and WCW and Code Pink and some effective anarchist groups suddenly got huge infusions of cash from, let's say, Saudi Arabian operatives to organize and market mass demos in the US to oppose our government's supplying of arms to Israel and our self-detrimental pro-Israel policies.

With the funding, some very large demos could occur. The TV images of these demos might look to others like a revolution is occurring here. But it would just be the result of expensive advertising. It would be nice to get that message out, though you can be sure our cops would be firing on the crowds if we tried to do anything close to what the government has tolerated in Iran.

Does anyone think the US is NOT using cash right now to fund the marketing and organizing of these demos in Iran?
by terry
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 11:47 AM
Check out any Hamas or Hezbollah rally and you'll see a smiliar "color revolution". Hamas uses green in their rallies. Hezbollah uses yellow. Are they funded by the CIA? Perhaps they are if you believe in the hall of mirrors theory of politics. Musavi's "Green Revolution" comes from the green in the Iranian flag. The campaign has been using it since it began. Ahmedinijad's campaign used the color red and green also from the Iranian flag. The CIA might stoke the flames but it can't buy one million people in the streets of Tehran the way Ahmedinijad bought votes in pockets of the country.

Both Israel and the neocons in the US Congress want Obama to come out strongly against Ahmedinijad because they want the status quo to continue in power in Iran. It's the best chance Israel and the US have to keep the war against terror alive. Netanyahu has actually publicly stated he prefers Ahmedinijad over the more conciliatory Musavi. Why? Because he's the neocon's dream villain and fundraiser. Musavi is just another tool of the Islamic Republic and the people of Iran know it. These demonstration are about much more than Musavi.

And, yes, some of us have heard that Arabs are Semites as well as Jews. Iranians, however, are not Semites. A wiki search on the terms "Semite" and "anti-Semitism" might be enlightening.
by other point
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 12:02 PM
I didn't notice anyone referring to Iranians as Semites, so I don't see why Terry suggested a wiki lesson.

Interesting that Terry accuses Mr. A of buying votes. Apparently, he forgot to buy PR from the western press.

Speaking of the press, isn't the press actually the biggest organizer for A's opposition? I mean, if CNN told us every day for a week that there was going to be a huge anti-Iraq occupation demo at Union Square this Saturday, I suspect at least tens of thousands would show up, and every big org on the left would be trying to take credit for being the lead organizer.

But it's not just CNN announcing that there will be more demos: it's every major media outlet in the west. Who needs cash to market an event when the marketing is being done for free?

by onepoint
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 12:13 PM
I don't deny that there was a holocaust in Gaza last January.
by deanosor
(deanosor [at] Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 12:22 PM
To skeptic: You said: "The fact is, the corrupt state of Israel has no right to exist, and Mr. A. has never denied that Jews were killed in Germany. He simply takes issue with the disproportionately overwhelming reiteration of that fact in light of the other atrocities that have occurred and continue to occur and get very little mention. He also has asked the very logical question: if the holocaust occurred, then why must the Palestinians pay for what the Germans did to the Jews? This is a simple non-recognition of the formal imposition of a corrupt state called Israel in the midst of Palestinian land." i agree with every word of this, period.

I also don't think that's all Mr. A has said on the subject of Jews. and by the way, I didn't say he was anti-Jewish, i said in effect that some of his rhetoric veers in that direction.

I don't know the difference (if there is any) between Mr. M. and Mr. A on some other questions that bother me about the Islamic Republic of Iran's policies-the forced veiling of women and other anti-women actions, and the execution of people who have same sex relations. (By the way, in US-supported Iraq, more gays have been executed by the U.S. supported government than in Iran, but 1 is too many, no matter where they occur.)

I don't know for sure, but i don't think demonstrators (or their organizations) are actually being paid to go demonstrate. I do believe that the middle class demonstrators are honest and aren't dupes. They are supported by western propaganda and infrastructure. I say middle-class because there hasn't been working class tactics employed-no strikes or calls for a general strike. In the "riots", businesses haven't been trashed or taken over. And the demands are limited to sub-bourgeois-democratic demands of 'put my candidate in instead of the other guy' and a vauge call of "Down with the dictatorship".
by Frisk
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 1:10 PM

Destroys the ridiculous dichotomy of the old left with regard to Iran.
by Terry
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 1:12 PM
"I don't deny that there was a holocaust in Gaza last January."

Neither do I but if you think one holocaust cancels out the other then you're made for the politics of Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad. But the left's flirtation with Political Islam and its mirror image Zionism is reaching an impasse. And partisans might be asked to choose to bed down with some very strange bedfellows in the coming future.
by pro-responsive
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 4:27 PM
I don't think there was any reason to presume that the comment about the Gaza holocaust was intended to cancelout something else.

However, the fact that the perpetrators of the Gaza holocaust repeatedly and obsessively remind the world in a very loud and obnoxious voice that they were victims of some other holocaust makes them an epitome of hypocrisy. And slime.
by pro-palestine
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 6:00 PM
Frisk should have also included these links:

by Tennessee-Chavizta
(marxistsocialist [at] Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 8:43 PM

What we need in USA is an Anti-Israel socialism thats what we need in USA.

First task: To take AIPAC people and throw them into the Atlantic Ocean where they belong,

Second task: nationalization of Starbucks coffee under AMERICAN CONTROL.

by Todd Chretien
Tuesday Jun 23rd, 2009 8:28 AM
Between revolt and repression in Iran
Lee Sustar looks at the balance of forces in Iran's political crisis.

June 23, 2009

The Iranian government's crackdown on post-election protests has claimed numerous casualties (Faramarz Hashemi)
BLOODY REPRESSION in the streets, political maneuvering at the top, and continued popular organizing from below signal a new stage in Iran's post-election crisis as the country's ruling class is increasingly haunted by the specter of revolution.

The crackdown intensified five days after the June 16 demonstration of up to 2 million people in Tehran protesting the disputed re-election claim of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Offices were shut down as large numbers of workers stayed away from their jobs.

Read the full story at:
by -A-
Tuesday Jun 23rd, 2009 2:39 PM
This is exactly why meddling in other people's affairs via the CIA was the worst thing that could have been done but hey we need the oil don't we?

If the Middle East never had the oil to begin with the United States would have no history of being in Iran and 911 would have never taken place as well.

911 happened because we can't stay out of other peoples business and now even with a black man in the white house our word means nothing and we are no longer trusted.

American news reporters representing the U.S. government and business sector sure have a lot of nerve to judge other governments and how they treat their people. The last time I checked America's track record on human rights abuse and police abuse ranked pretty high and not only that, but also the highest incarceration rate than anyone else on the American journalists can go shove it with their opinions about they way other people are treated in other countries. What about us? It doesn't have to be political to get SHOT at by the police where I live.

When American riot police crack heads and take names you do not hear so much of the same condemnation. It's okay if our police do it but when other police in other countries do it we always blame their president. That would be like some foreign leader telling the world to rise up against Obama because Oakland Riot police are beating Oscar Grant Protestors. Makes no sense to me

Oh and another thing, why are America news journalist silent about the violent protestors burning trash bins and throwing rocks at the police? In America, they would have been vilified by now already but since their in Iran it's okay because their not happy. What about when people are not happy in the U.S. we don't have that same right to act out. Why doesn't the American media encourage it's own people to act the same when their not happy too? When people pro-democracy protestors die in a riot in other countries the American media blames the police. When it happens in America they blame the pro-democracy protestors for starting the riot. No wonder everybody thinks it's okay there but not over here. Were all brainwashed.

In America the rioters would be blamed for the shooting. That’s the Truth!

What's my point?




"DEMOCRACY IS AN ILLUSION" anyway….. nobody is free



by deanosor (reprint)
(deanosor [at] Tuesday Jun 23rd, 2009 5:46 PM

June 22, 2009

Iran, Social Media and the Rise of Genetically Modified Grassroots Organizations

The Fog Machine


O ccasionally, an event gushes through media channels, spectacularly belying the notion that news outlets have major ideological differences. The current surge is a Green Wave, emanating from Iran. But there is more going on here than a uniform support for the anti-Ahmadinejad forces. We are witnessing something older, what media scholars have called the “technological sublime”. In this quasi-mystical sentiment, each media development brings with it a promise for a new age, even revolutionary. The twittering enthusiasm over the role of social media in the election protests has invoked this archaic link.

Let me say upfront that

1) I’m not interested in supporting Ahmadinejad’s regime nor the theocracy that would be preserved whether he or Mousavi were elected. These internecine battles within a religious state, resulting in a palace coup at best, are not my concern.

2) I don’t disagree that there are democratic aspirations circulating on the streets and in the air from Iran. Any mass mobilization of opposition will contain these and a variety of other impulses, including patient Shah-era vestiges and neoliberal/traditionalist hybrids. The point is to not mythically dissolve these differences into a wave.

3) Most importantly, I do believe that networks, technical and social, have a role to play in composing and organizing oppositions. I fully support a number of domestic cyberactivist projects, so there’s no use Luddifying me. Rather, the point is to understand the contexts and alliances that shape an event. Every network has a number of layers: it’s time to unpeel one that involves some not-so-new patterns.

We can start with a telling anecdote. State Department advisor Jared Cohen earlier this week emailed the co-founder of Twitter, requesting that they postpone a scheduled maintenance downtime. The reason? It was a critical moment for the demonstrators, and service needed to go uninterrupted. Twitter complied. The fact that a US government official is able have such pull, while not surprising, tends to get lost in a green wave of reports about social media belonging to “people power”. Who gets to place these calls and get results?

Cohen’s access should be even less surprising, given his role in State Department efforts to harness the power of social media. To wit, his role as press contact for the Alliance of Youth Movements. Launched in late 2008 with a Summit in NYC, the AYM gathered together an ensemble of media corporations, Obama consultants, social network entrepreneurs, and youth organizations, under the auspices of the State Department. Representatives came from Media Old (MTV, NBC, CNN) and New (Google and especially Facebook). The AYM produced a Field Manual and a series of How-to videos (How to Create a Grassroots Movement Using Social-Networking Sites, How to Smart Mob, How to Circumvent an Internet Proxy). The goal was to have youth leaders from around the world learn, share & discuss how to build powerful grassroots movements.

A few months ago, I wrote about this Alliance, calling it a “Genetically Modified Grassroots Organization” (GMGO). Neither wholly emerging from below (grassroots) nor purely invented by external forces (the Astroturfing done by public relations groups), these emergent groups are seeded (and their genetic code altered) to control the direction of the movement.

Through the How-to videos we are incessantly reminded about the code of this genetically modified activism: Make sure you avoid violent extremism. Respect property. Use leaders. Speak forcefully without being incendiary. Avoid obscenities and violent imagery. Use as your model Cold War Latin American anti-Communism (anti-Castro, -Chavez, -FARC).

And these are purely exports: Apparently the election of Obama means not only that social networks are electorally effective, but that they no longer need to be used for organizing within the U.S. Now it’s just time to sit back and click your social media support for sanctioned “democracy” movements elsewhere.

And in case we had doubts about whether these protests were democratic, thankfully they’ve been given an official color. Green is the shade of this season’s infowar-paint. We don’t know if Gene Sharp, the Albert Einstein Institute, or the National Endowment for Democracy (the folks who influenced other branded youth movements and color-coded oppositions such as Serbia’s Otpor and the post-Communist Oranges of Ukraine) were directly involved in Iran. But Sharp’s fingerprints (even if only via printed matter) are all over it. In any event, US ambitions of destabilizing Iran have been well publicized, reported by Seymour Hersh among others.

What would clear proof look like in an infosphere that is cloudy (perhaps deliberately so)? There is no direct evidence that the Iranian election was stolen either, but that hasn’t prevented U.S. journalists from operating as though it were so (“faith-based reporting” as Dave Lindorff calls it). Wild speculations, repeated through media channels, come easily out of what media scholar Jayson Harsin names diffuse “rumor bombs.” What are the “facts on the ground” when social media produce a bottom-up mist? In these latest infowar escapades, we need to revise our concepts: not the fog, but the fog-machine of war.

One thing is clear: cyberwar has once again taken front stage. Here traditional ambitions meet new technical developments. And there’s even an “old media” angle here. In November 2008 French authorities jailed readers and a suspected author of The Coming Insurrection for “associating with a terrorist enterprise”. The Tarnac 9, as they’ve come to be known, were accused of being inspired by the manifesto/manual, pseudonymously penned by The Invisible Committee.

The book’s recent translation into English (and last week’s smart mob prank-reading at a New York City Barnes and Noble) might be a portent of media-galvanized domestic action. Will Jared Cohen’s efforts to “counter-radicalize” foreign populations find a domestic twist? How do we distinguish among cyber-assisted youth movements? While Gene Sharp’s books are secreted into populations via well-funded sources and considered inspiration for people power, other books are deemed terrorist tracts worthy of criminalization. For some youth movements, we change our Facebook profile pics; for others, Facebook ‘em, Danno!

Immediately, the hackles are raised: “These tracts espouse violence while the Sharpies are nonviolent!” But let’s not let delude ourselves into thinking the State Department has suddenly been stricken by pacifism fever. Cyberwar is part of information war connected to broader warfare (in which State violence is not very far behind). In the big picture, networked “people power” should be nonviolent because violence belongs exclusively to the State. Nonviolence from below, violence from above. Remember that Otpor destabilized from the streets, but NATO bombs rained from the sky. Will this Green wave wash over Obama’s public reticence, resulting in an American thumbs-up to Israel’s recurring announcements about launching strikes? Which alliance-cloud is on the horizon: one that saturates the soil for the spread of anti-repressive measures everywhere or one that unleashes a torrential downpour of condensed violence?

Jack Bratich is Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University. He is also a zine librarian at ABC No Rio in New York City. This summer he will be co-teaching a course on Affect and Politics at Bluestockings Bookstore through their Popular Education program. He can be reached at jbratich [at]
by kristin
Tuesday Jun 23rd, 2009 8:07 PM
great points, we think we are the "land of the free" and everyone else is oppressed, so we focus on the oppression of other countries to ignore what happens in our own. thanks for sharing that, seriously. more people need to hear that.
A wolf is a wolf even if a so-called progressive.

I don't give a shit how a person self-identifies, if they are controlling and want to control others, support totalitarian regimes (right, left, secular or religious), then they're fascist in my book.

We need to back away from labels and just start looking for wolves.

The current Iran regime is a theocratic totalitarian regime that has been perpetuating terror on it's own people and others (through terror funding) for decades, including the time the Shah was in power.

If a movement of people want freedom from oppression, want their voices heard, if women want to be treated as full citizens, if gays and lesbians in Iran would like not to be executed, then who is it for a bunch of privileged (mostly white men in the US) to lecture other people about how they should suffer in silence because the white progressives think the CIA might have their hand in stew.

If the CIA is helping this green movement on any level I say it's about fucking time you actually support people pissed off and reacting to totalitarian regimes.
by deanosor
Wednesday Jun 24th, 2009 1:53 AM
You comment makes me angry. Both sides in this dispute are against women liberating themselves, both sides in this dispute are against gays. Mr. A and Mr M. are both supporters of fundamental Islam. The CIA has chosen the side that is more neo-liberal (supportive of capitalist free trade etc.) Yes there are good people in Iran, and they aren't organized on the Green side. Some of them are fighting but the Green Wave is not progressive or even civil libertarian.
by Petra
Wednesday Jun 24th, 2009 4:15 AM
The greens "winning" is about as worthwhile as the democrats winning over the GOP. Two heads same beast.

What is happening though, something that is bigger than a bunch of old men in headgear who want to control the destiny of Iranian citizens because they think God is talking to them, something bigger than corporate backed CIA, is that a cork is being unleashed.

People are expressing themselves.

It's a genie that neither the CIA nor the old fundamentalists can put back in a bottle.

And to the extent that people are on the streets, demanding a voice, demanding change, demanding SOMETHING that is part of being human, then yes, I support the movement.

Mousavi is no saint, he is a radical Islamic fundamentalist who is a reformer in the worst sense of the term, he is simply less of a shithead than the others. But those are the choices that face Iranians and they are appalled at the voting fraud. Unlike us in the US who mostly sat on our fat asses and maybe went to a one day rally when Bush stole an election, these people are taking to the streets for a voice.

I applaud them and I take issue with US progressives who feel compelled to somehow wish to not participate or shit on people raising their voices, just because their voices don't represent the choice the so-called progressives feel the Iranians should make.

by re: Petra
Wednesday Jun 24th, 2009 10:13 AM
Petra seems to presume that if we all rally behind any young sheep in the Iranian streets that the US corporate media calls repressed and disenfranchised, then some new just and promising system will emerge.

Does an imperfect current system mean change is good no matter what? What's the plan Petra? Or should it just evolve like it did after the US invasion of Iraq?
by repost of Paul Craig Roberts
Wednesday Jun 24th, 2009 10:18 AM

Have the Neocons and Israel Won?
The U.S. Regime-Change Recipe for Iran

President Obama called on the Iranian government to allow protesters to control the streets in Tehran. Would Obama or any US president allow protesters to control the streets in Washington, D.C.?

There was more objective evidence that George W. Bush stole his two elections than there is at this time of election theft in Iran. But there was no orchestrated media campaign to discredit the US government.

On May 16, 2007, the London Telegraph reported that Bush regime official John Bolton told the Telegraph that a US military attack on Iran would “be a ‘last option’ after economic sanctions and attempts to foment a popular revolution had failed.”

We are now witnessing in Tehran US “attempts to foment a popular revolution” in the guise of another CIA orchestrated “color revolution.” It is possible that splits among the mullahs themselves brought about by their rival ambitions will aid and abet what the Telegraph (May 27, 2007) reported were “CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.” It is certainly a fact that the secularized youth of Tehran have played into the CIA’s hands.

The Mousavi protests have set up Iran either for a US puppet government or for a military strike. The mullahs are in a lose-lose situation. Even if the mullahs hold together and suppress the protests, the legitimacy of the Iranian government in the eyes of the outside world has been damaged. Obama’s diplomatic approach is over before it started. The neocons and Israel have won.

The US intervention and the orchestrated disinformation pumped out by the western media are so transparent that it is impossible to believe than any informed person or government is taken in. One cannot avoid the conclusion that the West wants the 1978 Iranian Revolution overthrown and intends to use deception or violence to achieve that goal.

It has become increasingly difficult to believe that facts and truth motivate the western news media. For the record, I would like to point out a few of the most obvious oversights, to use an euphemism, in the Iran reporting.

According to a wide variety of news sources (for example, London Telegraph, Yahoo News, The Globe and Mail,, Politico), “Before the polling closed Mr. Mousavi declared himself ‘definitely the winner’ based on ‘all indications from all over Iran.’ He alleged widespread voting irregularities without giving specifics and hinted he was ready to challenge the final results.” Other news sources, which might not have been aware that the polls were kept open several hours beyond normal closing time in order to accommodate the turnout, reported that Mousavi made his victory claim the minute polls closed.

Mousavi’s premature claim of victory before polling was over or votes counted is clearly a preemptive move, the purpose of which is to discredit any other outcome. There is no other reason to make such a claim.

In Iran’s system, election fraud has no purpose, because a small select group of ruling mullahs select the candidates who are put on the ballot. If they don’t like an aspiring candidate, they simply don’t put him on the ballot.

When the liberal reformer Khatami ran for president, he won with 70 per cent of the vote and served from 1997-2005. If the mullahs didn’t defraud Khatami of his win, it seems unlikely they would defraud an establishment figure like Mousavi, who was foreign minister in the most conservative government, and is backed by another establishment figure, Rafsanjani.

As Mousavi was seen as Rafsanjani’s man, why is it “unbelievable” that Ahmadinejad defeated Mousavi by the same margin that he defeated Rafsanjani in the previous election?

Neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman let the cat out of the bag that there was an orchestrated “color revolution” in the works. Before the election, Timmerman wrote: “there’s talk of a ‘green revolution’ in Tehran.” Why would protests be organized prior to a vote and announcement of the outcome? Organized protests waiting in the wings are not spontaneous responses to a stolen election.

Timmerman’s organization, Foundation for Democracy, is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for the explicit purpose of promoting democracy in Iran. According to Timmerman, NED money was funneled to “pro-Mousavi groups who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.”

The US media has studiously ignored all of these highly suggestive facts. The media is not reporting or providing objective analysis. It is engaged in a propagandistic onslaught against the Iranian government.

We know that the US funds terrorist organizations inside Iran that are responsible for bombings and other violent acts. It is likely that these terrorist organizations are responsible for the burning buses and other acts of violence that have occurred during the demonstrations in Tehran.

A writer on says that he was intrigued by the sudden appearance of tens of thousands of Twitter allegations that Ahmadinejad stole the Iranian election. He investigated, he says, and he reports that each of the new highly active accounts were created on Saturday, June 13th. “IranElection” is their most popular keyword. He narrowed the spammers to the most persistent: @StopAhmadi,
@IranRiggedElect, and @Change_For_Iran. He researched further and found that On June 14 the Jerusalem Post already had an article on the new twitter. He concludes that the new Twitter sites are propaganda operations.

One wonders why the youth of the world, who do not protest stolen elections elsewhere, are so obsessed with Iran.

The unexamined question is Mousavi and his motives. Why would Mousavi unleash demonstrations that are obviously being used by a hostile West to discredit the government of the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the US puppet government? Are these the actions of a “moderate”? Or are these the actions of a disgruntled man who kept his disaffection from his colleagues in order to gain the opportunity to discredit the regime with street protests? Is Mousavi being manipulated by organizations funded with US government money?

John Bolton laid out the US strategy. First we try to destabilize the regime. Failing that, we strike them militarily. As this strategy unfolds, Iranians will pay in lost independence or in blood for the naiveness of its secularized youth and for the mistake the mullahs made in trusting Mousavi.

*Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at]
by a Mexican in SF
Wednesday Jun 24th, 2009 11:29 AM
Wow, if the U.S. paid this much attention to every stolen election (or at least elections where we strongly believe there is fraud), the world would be a much better place.

Take for example the Mexican election for Presidency in 2006. The first government count was missing three million votes. All while evidence piled up all over the country of vote ballot tampering and fraud. The media in the U.S. never gave a shit. But, Iran, oh my, it must be "the first stolen election of the century!" according to all these stupid gringos you see on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc.

Wake the fuck up peoples! The corporate elites are doing everything they can to maneuver shit against Iran and don't have any honest interest in election democracy and integrity. They wouldn't have given Bush a pass twice if they actually cared.
by Petra
Wednesday Jun 24th, 2009 12:25 PM
typical response from a privileged punk who probably thinks oppression is getting a parking ticket from the man.

people ARE being beaten and killed there and from your cushy seat that your fat ass is sitting on all you can think about is corporate media. I feel sorry for you because clearly your heart is already dead.

people wonder why the progressive movement doesn't make further in roads into the population, you need not look further than many of your hearts. You're so arrogant that you know better and so many hearts are as dead as those you claim to oppose because they oppress others.

by Mexico, Iran and U.S.
Saturday Jun 27th, 2009 1:43 PM
Let's say hypothetically ALL the above elections were stolen (Iran, Mexico and U.S. in '00 & '04). Many progressives in the U.S. are certain that GW bush used fraud and tampering in both elections against Gore 2000 and Kerry in 2004. The U.S. media talked about it somewhat, though became immediately silent about recounts and dimpled chads after 9/11 and then not much other than supporting the status quo version of the election after '04. There is plenty of proof of DIEBOLD voting machines making large errors and switching batches of votes from one candidate to the other, though our corporate media didn't touch this issue either..

In Mexico a pro-free trade candidate (Felipe Calderon) was said to be the winner of their most recent presidential election, though the losing candidate (Manuel Lopez Obrador) claims that there was election fraud there also. However, Obrador's campaign platform included serious reform, renegotiation and possibly even withdrawal of Mexico from BOTH NAFTA & GATT free trade agreements, and this was not something the U.S. government and multinational food corporations like Cargill, ADM and others who (as a result of these free trade deals) now have greater control over Mexican lands and workforces wanted to hear from the next Mexican President. The net result was despite massive amounts of Mexican voters protesting in the streets along with Obrador, our U.S. media downplayed the protests of Mexico's stolen election and after a few days ignored them entirely, supporting the decision that pro-NAFTA/GATT Calderon was the new Mexican President..

Now with Iran, during his terms in office, Pres. Ahmadinejad was VERY outspoken against the Israeli occupation of Palestine, most of the reason for the support he gets from the greater Arab community and the Iranian people. His views on homosexuality are really in alignment with the right-wing mullahs that he answers to, despite the unpopularity of these views with more progressive and aware people around the world. As an individual, Mr. A seems more secular and logical and would probably be more open to granting homosexuals greater rights in Iran were in not for the Ayatollah K watching his every move..

The "holocaust denial" label is just that, media misquotes and taking statements out of context to avoid hearing Ahmadinejad's actual message for Palestinian self determination and autonomy with their own voting rights and equality. Listen to an interview he did several months ago with Larry King where he is actually given enough time to explain himself about all these accusations. He states one of the above comments mentions; Palestinians were not responsible for what happened in Nazi Germany, so why do they bear the brunt of the Israeli government's apartheid oppression??

Quotes from the interview;

"KING: We're back. Mr. President, you mentioned the Zionist regime. You called - let me get this correct, you called for Israel to be wiped off the map. Now, since you say you are a peaceful nation, you don't mean militarily. You mean politically wiped off the map? What do

AHMADINEJAD: I think that I have to elaborate on two points here.

Today marks in fact the fourth year that I visited in New York City and the questions that are being asked of me are the same questions that were asked four years ago. Whereas the world, in fact, has undergone some tremendous changes, many developments have unfolded since then in the United States, in Europe and everywhere else around the world. Developments are new.

I have responded to this question many times before. The fact that we oppose the fundamentals of the Zionist regime is because of peace and justice. We see a viable peace. Perhaps as a journalist who has years of experience, you must be aware of what goes on there. The extent of the calamity, in other words, for over 60 years more than five million Palestinian have been displaced. People who were forced out of their homes.

And those who have stayed are being bombarded every day militarily. They are being killed in their homes at times. Women and children at times. Are besieged and medicine, water and food does not always reach them sufficiently. Children lose their lives as do women as a result at times.

Sometimes women die giving birth. Palestinian figures are assassinated and it goes to such extent that it's actually announced beforehand. Three big wars started by the Zionist regime. The last of which was in 2006 when they attacked Lebanon. So when will this calamity, this catastrophe end? Our solution is a humanitarian one.

KING: How?

AHMADINEJAD : What we say is that in the Palestinian territory there must be a free referendum and the Palestinian people should determine their own fate. This is the spirit and the letter of the Charter of the United Nations.

I'd ask you, I'd like to ask you, really, how is it possible to force out the people from one land and gather other people from around the world and let them live in the homes and others and establish a government. This is really a logic that is unacceptable. What are the Palestinians to do? The world community that the United States claims to speak for, how come does not embody the voices of the Palestinians?"

full text interview @;

For questioning research about the actual Nazi Holocaust, maybe looking at Norman Finkelstein's book "Holocaust Industry" about how the Nazi Holocaust was used as an excuse by U.S. and Britain to settle Palestine after WW2 with displaced Israelis should open doors to a few more questions..

From Radio Islam;

"Notes on Finkelstein's book, ‘The Holocaust Industry'

The Holocaust Ideology'

Finkelstein argues that up until the june 1967 war between the zionist state and the arab world, american jews had little interest in the fate of the jews during the Second World War or in the zionist state in Palestine, "Between the end of world war II and the late 1960s only a handful of books and films touched on the subject." (Norman G. Finkelstein ‘The Holocaust industry. Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering’ Verso London 2000 p.12). The zionists' success in that war led the american government to regard the zionist state as its ally in the region. The american public looked upon the zionist state with approval and this enabled american jews to express their support for the zionist state. American jews then started to develop a holocaust ideology to increase support for the zionist state in Palestine and to cover up its criminal activities against the palestinian people, "It was not Israel’s alleged weakness and isolation, not the fear of a ‘second holocaust’ but rather its proven strength and strategic alliance with the united states that led jewish elites to gear up the Holocaust industry after june 1967." (Norman G. Finkelstein ‘The Holocaust industry. Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering’ Verso London 2000 p.31); "By virtually all accounts, it was only after this conflict (june 1967) that the Holocaust became a fixture in american jewish life." (Norman G. Finkelstein ‘The Holocaust industry. Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering’ Verso London 2000 p.16). Finkelstein believes the holocaust took off after Israel’s triumphal victory in the october 1973 war. p.27).

He argues the holocaust industry is also being used as an ideological weapon. It .. "has been used to justify criminal policies of the israeli state and u.s. support for these policies." (Norman G. Finkelstein ‘The Holocaust industry. Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering’ Verso London 2000 p.7-8)."

more quotes found @;

This is the sort of questioning that Mr. A is calling for, and like Mexico's Manuel Lopez Obrador questioning NAFTA/WTO's legitimacy, Mr. A's calls for further investigation of the Nazi Holocaust and Israeli exploitation thereof is feared by the status quo of U.S. pro-Zionist lobby groups like AIPAC and CUFI (Christians United for Israel, headquartered in Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX headed by Rev. John Hagee). This results in Mr. A being the least favorite candidate for winning Iran's Presidency, so any protests claiming Mr. A stole the election will be magnified 10X by the U.S. media, where both the stolen Mexican and stolen U.S. elections and their resulting protests were given 10X shrunken coverage by U.S. media outlets..

Personally i agree with Mr. A on his position for supporting self-determination and equality for Palestinians, giving them the chance for an actual vote to control their own destiny, though am in disagreement for his stance against homosexuality (really submitting to Ayatollah K) and his desires for nuclear energy. Sort os a "don't make the same mistake we did" on the nuclear issue, we in the U.S. have no safe way to dispose of our nuclear waste, and the same problem will occur in Iran, Germany, France or any other nation wioth nuclear energy and the resulting radioactive nuclear waste. Here the right wing mullahs are usually against nuclear energy, saying it goes against the Koran and violates Islam. So why not listen to them on that issue instead of their anti-gay rhetoric?

The pro-Palestinian progressive community in the U.S. and Europe would be more in favor of Mr. A if he toned down the anti-gay rhetoric, cooled out on the pro-nukes stance yet maintained and even increased his well thought out verbal critiques of Zionist Israeli apartheid policies. When we hear Mr. A's statements in full (without media spin), his ideas are humanitarian and pro-equality for Jews and Palestinians, just no support for the actions of the Israeli government. Remember, outside of Israel, Iran's Jewish community is the second largest in the Middle East and Iranian Jews have not yet accepted bribes from CUFI missionaries attempting to relocate them to Israel "for their own good", they feel safer living as Jews in Iran. Do they know something others do not??

Background on CUFI;

"Created in early 2006 by Christian Right leader John Hagee, the influential evangelical pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) is a Christian Zionist advocacy organization that promotes the idea that Christians “have a biblical obligation to defend Israel.”1 CUFI supports aggressive U.S. action against what it sees as threats to Israel from “new Hitlers,” who in the group’s estimation include Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. According to CUFI’s website, “Bible-believing Christians must speak up and stand up for Israel. We must act to do whatever we can to protect Israel’s 6 million Jews from the second Holocaust. We must get it right this time. Our faith demands it. The times require it. Silence is not an option.”2

Similar to the way the neoconservative group Project for the New American Century brought together different political factions behind its call for a militarist Middle East agenda (including ousting Saddam Hussein from Iraq), CUFI has brought together disparate sectors of the American Right—including Christian conservatives, Republican Party insiders, and neoconservatives—behind a vision of Mideast peace that is rooted in CUFI’s belief that Israel plays a key part in the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. CUFI’s executive board is comprised largely of conservative evangelical leaders, such as Gary Bauer, who share Hagee’s belief in dispensationalism, a core idea of Christian Zionism that holds that Jews must control certain parts of the biblical “Holy Land” as a precondition for the Second Coming.3 As writers Chip Berlet and Nikhil Aziz observe, “For some Protestant evangelicals and fundamentalists the text in [the Book of] Revelation is read as a timetable and script for the end times, complete with a massive battle between God and Satan on the plains of Armageddon, located in Israel.”4

This idea is in tune with the neoconservative notion, shared by Israel’s Likud Party, that peace agreements with Israel’s neighbors that involve relinquishing territory are tantamount to rewarding terrorists.5 Because of this confluence of agendas, neoconservatives have frequently joined Christian Right figures and groups in pushing advocacy campaigns. As reporter Jim Lobe explains, the Christian Right’s support for the Israeli state “explains the willingness of Jewish neo-cons to overlook the anti-Semitism of their Christian Right allies, whose own identification with Israel is based on a ‘Christian Zionist’ reading of Biblical scripture that recognizes a God-given right of the Jews to what both religions consider the ‘Holy Land,’ at least until the Apocalypse and the Second Coming of Christ. [Irving] Kristol and other leading neo-cons have long argued that other Jews should not be offended by this alliance. ‘Why would it be a problem for us?’ he wrote some years ago. ‘It is their theology; but it is our Israel.’”6 "

article cont's @;

In conclusion, Mr. A seems to represent a far more significant challenge for the pro-Zionist establishment in the U.S. to overcome, so we could expect the CIA to enhance and expand the protests in Iran against Ahmadinejad as a result. That in itself does not answer the question of whether on not the election actually was stolen, just how much more we'll be hearing about it that we did with Mexico's possible stolen election, and our two ('00 and 04) likely stolen elections here in the U.S.
by JimG
Wednesday Jul 22nd, 2009 9:44 AM
I completely agree with this post, particularly after reading the socialist article claiming CIA backing for Mousavi. What a crock! Socialists are either dumber than I thought or they think everyone else is dumber than they are. (Maybe both).The ones who espouse this imaginary CIA backing of the protests are unwitting dupes of Ahmadinijad and Khameini's hard line dictatorial insanity. Fat cat Mousavi is not exactly a "man of the people" but he was cheated and that is very clear. Americans are too simplistic in their assumptions. It's either "Mousavi the billionaire puppet of the USA" or "Mousavi the Man of The People". He is neither. He got cheated in a bald-faced coup and that is the problem. I hope that truth will prevail over the distortions of the far left and right.