By Lord Baltimore
June 28, 2009 "Wide Asleep in America" --- The Western press has clearly taken a side and has successfully managed to drag its uninformed audience along with it. News reports all refer to the continuing groundswell of protest to the election results as an "unprecedented" show of courage, resistance, and people power against the government not seen in Iran since the 1979 revolution.
The coup d'etat, which took a mere three weeks to execute, was accomplished in a number of stages. First, members of the Iranian Parliament and leaders of political parties were bribed to oppose Mossadegh publicly, thereby making the government appear fragmented and not unified. Newspaper owners, editors, columnists and reporters were then paid off in order to spread lies and propaganda against the Prime Minister.
In a stroke of manipulative genius, Roosevelt then hired a second mob to attack the first mob, thereby giving the Iranian people the impression that there was no police presence and that civil society had devolved into complete chaos, with the government totally incapable of restoring order.
After all was said and done, Prime Minister Mossadegh had been deposed and a military coup returned the monarchy to Iran by installing the pro-western Mohammed Reza Pahlevi on the Peacock throne. The Shah's brutal, tyrannical dictatorship - established, supported, and funded by the United States - lasted 26 years. In 1979, the Iranian people returned the favor.
In 2007, ABC News reported that George W. Bush has signed a secret "Presidential finding" which authorized the CIA to "mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize the Iranian government." These operations, according to current and former intelligence officials, included "a coordinated campaign of propaganda broadcasts, placement of negative newspaper articles, and the manipulation of Iran's currency and international banking transactions."
Two weeks later, the Telegraph independently verified the ABC report, saying that, “Mr. Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.”
"Bush’s secret directive covers actions across a huge geographic area – from Lebanon to Afghanistan – but is also far more sweeping in the type of actions permitted under its guidelines – up to and including the assassination of targeted officials. This widened scope clears the way, for example, for full support for the military arm of Mujahedin-e Khalq, the cultish Iranian opposition group, despite its enduring position on the State Department's list of terrorist groups.
These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.” Among the activities Hersh cited were "gathering intelligence about Iran's suspected nuclear-weapons program", "undermining Iran's nuclear ambitions" and "trying to undermine the government through regime change [by] working with opposition groups and passing money."
In early June 2008, Justin Raimondo of Antiwar wrote, "Obama, with his peace overtures [to Iran], serves as the smiley-face mask for some pretty loathsome activities. The U.S. government claims to be fighting terrorism, yet is sponsoring groups that plant bombs in mosques, kidnap tourists as well as Iranian policemen, and fund their activities with drug-running in addition to covert subsidies courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers."
Days before the Iranian election, a suicide-bomber killed at least 25 people, and wounded over 125 others, inside a prominent Shi'a mosque in the city of Zahedan, in the southeast province of Sistan-Baluchistan. The rebel Sunni group, Jundallah, which is linked to the US, claimed responsibility for the blast, which was immediately followed up by attacks on banks, water-treatment facilities, and other key installations in and around Zahedan, including a strike against the local campaign headquarters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Last year, Jundallah ( which is committed to establishing a Baluchi Islamic state in southeastern Iran and parts of Pakistan and one of whose founding members is allegedly the infamously waterboarded al Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) kidnapped 16 Iranian policemen and videotaped their execution. There was also recently an attempted bombing of an Iranian airplane, which took off from the southwestern city of Ahvaz on the Iraqi border, which has a heavily Arab population. These recent events add up to what Raimondo refers to as "a small-scale insurgency" arising in Iran’s southern provinces.
However, analyst Steve Weissman notes, "the administration suddenly backed away from making the terrorist designation or from otherwise indicating that it would stop the destabilization campaign."
As such, we are told, "the U.S. is, in effect, conducting a secret war against Tehran, a covert campaign aimed at recruiting Iran’s ethnic and religious minorities – who make up the majority of the population in certain regions, such as in the southeast borderlands near Pakistan – into a movement to topple the government in Tehran, or, at least, to create so much instability that U.S. intervention to 'keep order' in the region is justified."
McAdams continues, Timmerman went on to write, with admirable candor and honesty, that:
Additionally, Weissman warns of Timmerman's devious sincerity: "Please note that this comes from a very involved right-wing critic who personally knows the expatriate Iranian community," he writes. "It is impossible to know how much government money went to these groups, since Congress has purposely exempted the National Endowment for Democracy from having to make public how it spends taxpayer money."
An early message received through a social networking site after the election, sent to the National Iranian American Council and subsequently reported by the American media, came from (allegedly) an Iranian in Tehran. It read:
The idea of an Iranian, aware of the long history of US interference in Iranian affairs, beseeching an audience in America for "help" is, to put it lightly, dubious.
Later, he describes a scene from the widespread pre-election pro-Mousavi street parties in Tehran, including this observation: "A girl hung off the edge of a car window “Dukes of Hazzard” style." What possible young "Iranian student" would casually reference bagels and Dukes of Hazzard is beyond me, but I can probably think of a few CIA agents that may enjoy both.)
As Paul Craig Roberts points out, "Every Iranian knows that the President of Iran is a public figure with limited powers. His main role is to take the heat from the governing grand Ayatollah. No Iranian, and no informed westerner, could possibly believe that Ahmadinejad is a dictator. Even Ahmadinejad’s superior, Khamenei, is not a dictator as he is appointed by a government body that can remove him."
Roberts goes on to say, The demonstrations, like those in 1953, are intended to discredit the Iranian government and to establish for Western opinion that the government is a repressive regime that does not have the support of the Iranian people. This manipulation of opinion sets up Iran as another Iraq ruled by a dictator who must be overthrown by sanctions or an invasion.
Early reports of the Tehran rallies revealed that pro-Mousavi protesters were throwing rocks at Iranian police and security forces, as well as burning police motorcycles, city buses, and even private and government buildings. In contrast, we also heard of riot police beating protesters, gas and water cannons being used on crowds, and Basiji paramilitary groups opening fire on peaceful demonstrators.
Even though Iranian officials have blamed recent street violence on Mousavi supporters and marchers point to pro-government gangs, accusing them of staging incidents in order to justify further "crackdown" of dissent, the truth may be even more sinister. As one pro-Mousavi protester, who has taken part in every single march so far this week, told Newsweek, "I think some small terrorist groups and criminal gangs are taking advantage of the situation."
American money well-spent, perhaps.
In 1953, [the New York Times] correspondent in Tehran, Kennett Love, was not only a willing conduit for CIA disinformation, but also acknowledged participating directly in the coup. He subsequently wrote of giving an Iranian Army tank column instructions to attack Mossadegh's house. Afterwards, the Times celebrated the coup and demanded unconditional support for the Shah’s regime.
The BBC is known to have spearheaded Britain's own propaganda campaign, broadcasting the code word ("exactly") that launched the coup d'état itself. Even the rise and importance of new media has to be viewed critically - something Western journalists aren't very good at. CNN recently created a new disclaimer icon to account for all the "unverified" material they've been broadcasting 'round the clock in their effort to stand with protesters and against the Iranian government.
Additionally, Caroline McCarthy of CNET News reports that "Users from around the world are resetting the location data in their profiles to Tehran, the capital of Iran, in order to confuse Iranian authorities who may be attempting to use the microblogging tool to track down opposition activity." While I'm not sure about "confusing" Iranian authorities, I am sure that actions like this serve to overhype the scope, reach, and importance of social networking and alternative media in Iranian politics and activism.
The voices of the Iranian people should, of course, be heard and listened to - but the twittering mass of American, European, and Israeli support can hardly be said to speak on behalf of the Iranian public.
"Has the U.S. Played a Role in Fomenting Unrest During Iran's Election?"