The Struggle interviews activist & folk singer David Rovics in April 2009. Hear him play his new song “Pirates of Somalia” and discussing his career and his visits to Gaza and the West Bank. He is an advocate of artists uploading their music on the internet for free.
Since the June 12 Iranian presidential elections, Iran “experts” have mushroomed like bacteria in a Petri dish. So here is a quiz for all those instant experts. Which major country has elected more presidents than any in the world since 1980? Further, which nation is the only one that held ten presidential elections within thirty years of its revolution?
The answer to both questions, of course, is Iran. Since 1980, it has elected six presidents, while the U.S. is a close second with five, and France at three. In addition, the U.S. held four presidential elections within three decades of its revolution to Iran’s ten.
The Iranian elections have unified the left and the right in the West and unleashed harsh criticisms and attacks from the “outraged” politicians to the “indignant” mainstream media. Even the blogosphere has joined this battle with near uniformity, on the side of Iran’s opposition, which is quite rare in cyberspace.
Much of the allegations of election fraud have been just that: unsubstantiated accusations. No one has yet been able to provide a solid shred of evidence of wide scale fraud that would have garnered eleven million votes for one candidate over his opponent.
Laura Durkay describes what she witnessed as part of a Code Pink delegation that visited Gaza earlier in June. SocialistWorker.org
June 22, 2009
“PEOPLE ARE being kept alive.” It was one of the first things that John Ging, the director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency UNRWA in Gaza told us.
It’s a pretty accurate description of the conditions in Gaza, four months after the end of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, which left 1,400 dead, over 5,000 wounded and at least 40,000 homeless. People are being kept alive–and that’s about all.
Four months after the ceasefire, not a brick has been rebuilt in Gaza. Thousands of buildings–from the Palestinian parliament building (heavily damaged) and presidential residence (obliterated), to the Islamic University, the American School, Al Quds Hospital (hit with white phosphorus) and thousands of homes, shops, factories and police stations–stand exactly as they were on January 18, the last day of the war.
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.
As part of a series of recent releases from Guantánamo, three Saudi prisoners were repatriated, along with Guantánamo’s youngest prisoner, an Iraqi refugee, and four Uighurs who were sent to Bermuda. As I explained in a recent article, “Empty Evidence: The Stories Of The Saudis Released From Guantánamo,” all three men had been cleared for release by military review boards at Guantánamo, and, in an examination of the government’s supposed evidence against two of the men, Kahlid Saad Mohammed and Abdul Aziz al-Noofayee, I was able to demonstrate why they had been approved for release: there was, to put it bluntly, absolutely no evidence to demonstrate that either man had been involved in terrorism or any kind of militancy whatsoever.
The protests in Tehran over the weekend have served to highlight the limited social base of the political opponents of the dominant faction of the Iranian clerical regime. The opposition movement has not only failed to draw in broader layers of working people, but has markedly weakened.
From the outset, the color-coded campaign to replace incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Mir Hossein Mousavi has been a highly orchestrated political operation backed by the US and managed by dissident elements of the ruling elite—in particular, former president and billionaire businessman Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani—for their own ends.
There is nothing progressive in their aims. Insofar as they have differences with their erstwhile associates, Mousavi and his supporters are seeking to shift policies further to the right through a more rapid accommodation with the US and a drastic acceleration of the program of market reform. They make no appeal to working people, for whom such a program can only mean economic devastation, and base themselves on sections of the bourgeoisie and more privileged and frankly selfish layers of the urban middle classes.
Iranians do not need or want us to teach them about liberty and representative government. They have long embodied this struggle. It is we who need to be taught. It was Washington that orchestrated the 1953 coup to topple Iran’s democratically elected government, the first in the Middle East, and install the compliant shah in power. It was Washington that forced Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, a man who cared as much for his country as he did for the rule of law and democracy, to spend the rest of his life under house arrest. We gave to the Iranian people the corrupt regime of the shah and his savage secret police and the primitive clerics that rose out of the swamp of the dictator’s Iran. Iranians know they once had a democracy until we took it away.
The story is worse than just “Pres. Obama labored, and brought forth a mouse.” He is morphing into Joe Lieberman in reaching across the aisle for Republican support – and no doubt future campaign contributions from the financial sector. There also is a touch of Boris Yeltsin in sponsoring a financial “reform” disturbingly similar to what advisor Larry Summers backed in Russia – relinquishing government power to a banking elite (the notorious “Seven Bankers” in post-Soviet Russia). The Financial Regulatory Reform proposal promotes Wall Street’s “product,” debt creation, at the expense of the economy at large, and lets financial chieftains continue to self-regulate the debt industry – and by the way, to keep all their gains from the past decade’s worth of fraudulent lending, scot-free.
For over 30 years, F. William Engdahl has been a leading researcher, economist, and analyst of the New World Order with extensive writing to his credit on energy, politics, and economics. He contributes regularly to business and other publications, is a frequent speaker on geopolitical, economic and energy issues, and is a distinguished Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.
Engdahl’s two previous books include “A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order” explaining that America’s post-WW II dominance rests on two pillars and one commodity – unchallengeable military power and the dollar as the world’s reserve currency along with the quest to control global oil and other energy resources.
Engdahl’s other book is titled “Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation” on how four Anglo-American agribusiness giants plan world domination by patenting all life forms to force-feed GMO foods on everyone – even though eating them poses serious human health risks.
Buried on page 83 of the 89-page Report on Financial Regulatory Reform issued by the U.S. Administration on June 17 is a recommendation that the new Financial Stability Board strengthen and institutionalize its mandate to promote global financial stability. Financial stability is a worthy goal, but the devil is in the details. The new global Big Brother is based in the Bank for International Settlements, a controversial institution that raises red flags among the wary . . . .