The Future Does Not Look Good for Iran by Michael Parenti

peace in persia

Image by Shreyans Bhansali via Flickr

by Michael Parenti
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Michael Parenti Blog
August 5, 2012

Occasionally individuals complain that I fail to address one subject or another. One Berkeley denizen got in my face and announced: “You leftists ought to become aware of the ecological crisis.” In fact, I had written a number of things about the ecological crisis, including one called “Eco-Apocalypse.” His lack of familiarity with my work did not get in the way of his presumption.

Years ago when I spoke before the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in New York , the moderator announced that she could not understand why I had “remained silent” about the attempt to defund UNESCO. Whatever else I might have been struggling with, she was convinced I should have joined with her in trying to save UNESCO (which itself really was a worthy cause).

People give me marching orders all the time. Among the most furiously insistent are those fixed on 9/11. Why haven’t I said anything about 9/11? Why am I “a 9/11 denier.” In fact, I have written about 9/11 and even spoke at two 9/11 conferences (Santa Cruz and New York), raising questions of my own.

Other people have been “disappointed” or “astonished” or “puzzled” that I have failed to pronounce on whatever is the issue du jour. No attention is given by such complainers to my many books, articles, talks, and interviews that treat hundreds of subjects pertaining to political economy, culture, ideology, media, fascism, communism, capitalism, imperialism, media, ecology, political protest, history, religion, race, gender, homophobia, and other topics far too numerous to list. (For starters, visit my website:

But one’s own energy, no matter how substantial, is always finite. One must allow for a division of labor and cannot hope to fight every fight.

Recently someone asked when was I going to “pay some attention” to Iran. Actually I have spoken about Iran in a number of interviews and talks—not to satisfy demands made by others but because I myself was moved to do so. In the last decade, over a five year period, I was repeatedly interviewed by English Radio Tehran. My concern about Iran goes back many years. Just the other day, while clearing out some old files, I came across a letter I had published over 33 years ago in the New York Times (10 May 1979), reproduced here exactly as it appeared in the Times:

To the Editor of the New York Times:

For 25 years the Shah of Iran tortured and murdered many thousands of dissident workers, students, peasants and intellectuals. For the most part, the U.S. press ignored these dreadful happenings and portrayed the Shah as a citadel of stability and an enlightened modernizer.

Thousands more were killed by the Shah’s police and military during the popular uprisings of this past year. Yet these casualties received only passing mention even though Iran was front-page news for several months. And from 1953 to 1978 millions of other Iranians suffered the silent oppression of poverty and malnutrition while the Shah, his family, and his generals grew ever richer.

Now the furies of revolution have lashed back, thus far executing about 200 of the Shah’s henchmen—less than what the Savak would arrest and torture on a slow weekend. And now the U.S. press has suddenly become acutely concerned, keeping a careful account of the “victims,” printing photos of firing squads and making repeated references to the “repulsion” and “outrage” felt by anonymous “middle-class” Iranians who apparently are endowed with finer sensibilities than the mass of ordinary people will bore the brunt of the Shah’s repression. At the same time, American commentators are quick to observe that the new regime is merely replacing one repression with another.

So it has always been with the recording of revolutions: the mass of nameless innocents victimized by the ancien régime go uncounted and unnoticed, but when the not-so-innocent murderers are brought to revolutionary justice, the business-owned press is suddenly filled with references to “brutality” and “cruelty.”

That anyone could equate the horrors of the Shah’s regime with the ferment, change and struggle that is going on in Iran today is a tribute to the biases of the U.S. press, a press that has learned to treat the atrocities of the U.S.-supported right-wing regimes with benign neglect while casting a stern self-righteous eye on the popular revolutions that challenge such regimes.

Michael Parenti
Washington, D.C.

There is one glaring omission in this missive: I focused only on the press without mentioning how the White House and leading members of Congress repeatedly had hailed the Shah as America’s sturdy ally—while U.S. oil companies merrily plundered Iran’s oil (with a good slice of the spoils going to the Shah and his henchmen).

A few years before the 1979 upheaval, I was teaching a graduate course at Cornell University. There I met several Iranian graduate students who spoke with utter rage about the Shah and his U.S.-supported Savak secret police. They told of friends being tortured and disappeared. They could not find enough damning words to vent their fury. These students came from the kind of well-off Persian families one would have expected to support the Shah. (You don’t make it from Tehran to Cornell graduate school without some money in the family.)

All I knew about the Shah at that time came from the U.S. mainstream media. But after listening to these students I began to think that this Shah fellow was not the admirably benign leader and modernizer everyone was portraying in the news.

The Shah’s subsequent overthrow in the 1979 revolution was something to celebrate. Unfortunately the revolution soon was betrayed by the theocratic militants who took hold of events and created their Islamic Republic of Iran. These religious reactionaries set about to torture and eradicate thousands of young Iranian radicals. They made war upon secular leftists and “decadent” Western lifestyles, as they set about establishing a grim and corrupt theocracy.

U.S. leaders and media had no critical words about the slaughter of leftist revolutionaries in Iran. If anything, they were quietly pleased. However, they remained hostile toward the Islamic regime. Why so? Regimes that kill revolutionaries and egalitarian reformists do not usually incite displeasure from the White House. If anything, the CIA and the Pentagon and the other imperial operatives who make the world safe for the Fortune 500 look most approvingly upon those who torture and murder Marxists and other leftists. Indeed, such counterrevolutionaries swiftly become the recipients of generous amounts of U.S. aid.

Why then did U.S. leaders denounce and threaten Iran and continue to do so to this day? The answer is: Iran’s Islamic Republic has other features that did not sit well with the western imperialists. Iran was-—and still is—a “dangerously” independent nation, unwilling to become a satellite to the U.S. global empire, unlike more compliant countries. Like Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Iran, with boundless audacity, gave every impression of wanting to use its land, labor, markets, and capital as it saw fit. Like Iraq—and Libya and Syria—Iran was committing the sin of economic nationalism. And like Iraq, Iran remained unwilling to establish cozy relations with Israel.

But this isn’t what we ordinary Americans are told. When talking to us, a different tact is taken by U.S. opinion-makers and policymakers. To strike enough fear into the public, our leaders tell us that, like Iraq, Iran “might” develop weapons of mass destruction. And like Iraq, Iran is lead by people who hate America and want to destroy us and Israel. And like Iraq, Iran “might” develop into a regional power leading other nations in the Middle East down the “Hate America” path. So our leaders conclude for us: it might be necessary to destroy Iran in an all-out aerial war.

It was President George W. Bush who in January 2002 cited Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as an “axis of evil.” Iran exports terrorism and “pursues” weapons of mass destruction. Sooner or later this axis would have to be dealt with in the severest way, Bush insisted.

These official threats and jeremiads are intended to leave us with the impression that Iran is not ruled by “good Muslims.” The “good Muslims”—as defined by the White House and the State Department—are the reactionary extremists and feudal tyrants who ride high in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirate, Bahrain, and other countries that provide the United States with military bases, buy large shipments of U.S. arms, vote as Washington wants in the United Nations, enter free trade agreements with the Western capitalist nations, and propagate a wide-open deregulated free-market economy.

The “good Muslims” invite the IMF and the western corporations to come in and help themselves to the country’s land, labor, markets, industry, natural resources and anything else the international plutocracy might desire.

Unlike the “good Muslims,” the “bad Muslims” of Iran take an anti-imperialist stance. They try to get out from under the clutches of the U.S. global imperium. For this, Iran may yet pay a heavy price. Think of what has been happening to Iraq, Libya, and now Syria. For its unwillingness to throw itself open to Western corporate pillage, Iran is already being subjected to heavy sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies. Sanctions hurt the ordinary population most of all. Unemployment and poverty increase. The government is unable to maintain human services. The public infrastructure begins to deteriorate and evaporate: privatization by attrition.

Iran has pursued an enriched uranium program, same as any nation has the right to do. The enrichment has been low-level for peaceful use, not the kind necessary for nuclear bombs. Iranian leaders, both secular and theocratic have been explicit about the useless horrors of nuclear weaponry and nuclear war.

Appearing on the Charlie Rose show when he was visiting the USA, Iranian president Ahmadinejad pointed out that nuclear weapons have never saved anyone. The Soviet Union had nuclear weapons; was it saved? he asked. India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons; have they found peace and security? Israel has nuclear weapons: has it found peace and security? And the United States itself has nuclear weapons and nuclear fleets patrolling the world and it seems obsessively preoccupied with being targeted by real or imagined enemies. Ahmadinejad, the wicked one, sounded so much more rational and humane than Hillary Clinton snarling her tough-guy threats at this or that noncompliant nation.

(Parenthetically, we should note that the Iranians possibly might try to develop a nuclear strike force—not to engage in a nuclear war that would destroy Iran but to develop a deterrent against aerial destruction from the west. The Iranians, like the North Koreans, know that the western nuclear powers have never attacked any country that is armed with nuclear weapons.)

I once heard some Russian commentators say that Iran is twice as large as Iraq, both in geography and in population; it would take hundreds of thousands of NATO troops and great cost in casualties and enormous sums of money to invade and try to subdue such a large country, an impossible task and certain disaster for the United States.

But the plan is not to invade, just to destroy the country and its infrastructure through aerial warfare. The U.S. Air Force eagerly announced that it has 10,000 targets in Iran pinpointed for attack and destruction. Yugoslavia is cited as an example of a nation that was destroyed by unanswerable aerial attacks, without the loss of a single U.S. soldier. I saw the destruction in Serbia shortly after the NATO bombings stopped: bridges, utilities, rail depots, factories, schools, television and radio stations, government-built hotels, hospitals, and housing projects—a destruction carried out with utter impunity, all this against a social democracy that refused to submit to a free-market capitalist takeover.

The message is clear. It has already been delivered to Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, and many other countries around the world: overthrow your reform-minded, independent, communitarian government; become a satellite to the global corporate free-market system, or we will pound you to death and reduce you to a severe level of privatization and poverty.

Not all the U.S. military is of one mind regarding war with Iran. While the Air Force can hardly contain itself, the Army and Navy seem lukewarm. Former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, actually denounced the idea of waging destruction upon “80 million Iranians, all different individuals.”

The future does not look good for Iran. That country is slated for an attack of serious dimensions, supposedly in the name of democracy, “humanitarian war,” the struggle against terrorism, and the need to protect America and Israel from some future nuclear threat.

Sometimes it seems as if U.S. ruling interests perpetrate crimes and deceptions of all sorts with a frequency greater than we can document and expose. So if I don’t write or speak about one or another issue, keep in mind, it may be because I am occupied with other things, or I simply have neither the energy nor the resources. Sometimes too, I think, it is because I get too heavy of heart.

Michael Parenti’s most recent books are The Culture Struggle (2006), Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader (2007), God and His Demons (2010), Democracy for the Few (9th ed. 2011), and The Face of Imperialism (2011). For further information about his work, visit his website:

From the archives:

Barack Obama’s Executive Order: Authorizing Additional Sanctions With Respect To Iran

Gareth Porter: Economic War Against Iran Continues; Still No Evidence of a Weapons Program

51 thoughts on “The Future Does Not Look Good for Iran by Michael Parenti

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  8. Chris Hedges may be held as an example of challenging the establishment on his recent court action (with other brave activists) against repressive US legislation.

    This is real work for a Fourth Estate to emulate.

  9. Talking in riddles is an expression of lack of understanding.

    Writing to an audience of the converted is gathering ’round that campfire.

    Alternative uses of language and writing which directly attacks the power mad and the insane blood lust of all politicians in power might be identified.

    Reporting the crimes against humanity is merely keeping score(body count) and the lunatic mass slaughters go on for ever.
    Writing must challenge power abuse at every level of society.

    Unfortunately The Fourth Estate is a myth.

    Where is the challenge of establishment corruption including mass murder of fellow humans …where will this challenge start?When?

    • We can all ask these same questions, so what are the answers? Do you have the solutions? What do you suggest? Challenging power is one thing, assuming leadership and exercising power is another.

      • The questions are never asked.
        Where are the investigative journalists/ writers who identify,name and demand justice against perpetrators of mass slaughters by the power mad politicians and their dogs of war(general staffs)?

        Where are the Fourth Estates to challenge power abuses at every level of societies?

        Constructive writing on this subject is not helped by repeating the question.

        Certainly there is no argument for claiming “we” ask those questions.

        That is a false claim …and this is the direct language required to be used in moving writers towards identifying insane slaughter and endemic blood lust by political leaders.

        • Quite so, it’s not as if there were a lack of dissident voices. We only have to recall Bertrand Russell’s Vietnam tribunal for example and everything that followed to find.countless examples worthy of great esteem, but the pharoahs of illusion are deaf to such commendable reason. What hasn’t changed enough are the institutional processes that simply condone systemic corruption. Perhaps what really needs overhauling is the legal profession, where money is god not due ethical process born of the ecological values that determine the context of life itself..

        • David , be careful pal of using Russel’s name concerning war resistance . don’t forget he endorsed WW2 . His double standard in this regard is as glaring as Dresden and Hiroshima. i prefer the work of John Hersey for consistency in this matter.

        • Yes those masquerading as The Fourth Estate are in fear of the establishments.

          There are reasons to be afraid as there are reasons to be brave.

          Then try publishing against this establishment tide of terrorised editors.

          That is why there are no real challenges in evidence.

        • In response to RK re Russell: this is probably not the place to discuss WW2 issues in detail, Rocket, but thanks, I shall have to read Hersey’s report. Jacob Bronowski was on the UK team in Japan. He was profoundly affected, as I suspect all witnesses to such horror were, for life. I should like to know the level of allied complicity in the deployment of Little Boy & Fat Man. All I will add is that pragmatic support for the allied war effort did not necessarily imply unequivocal acceptance of atomic bombing. The use of WMD in 1945 has not been sufficiently debated and explained. Sanctioning extreme punitive measures against civilian populations as revenge for atrocities executed by military operatives, constitutes the most heinous and deeply contemptible war crime imaginable in my estimation.
          Anyway, I disagree strongly with DPB. He needs to familiarise himself more with the enormous body of dissident literature, that has had a colossal influence on contemporary political morality. The issue right now is how to transmute this massive archive, into the type of qualitative social alchemy that can inspire us to create a sustainable, civilised, indigenous existence on our shared planet Earth. So I’m all for legitimate “polyvalent federation” ~ Mars ‘n all…

        • DLF might practice reading content.

          DLF has not understood the discussion here.

          The large body of brave journalism and writings on mans inhumanity to man has been acknowledged here by many comments.

          The argument is that all of this writing onerous decades has not changed or impacted on the lunatic political leaders blood lusts.

          Therefore a new use of language and a more confrontational direct challenge developed.

          For example investigative work to identify the decision makers (political and military dogs of war and mass slaughters).

          While advocating enforcement of laws which punish mass murderers.

          This is not ever written and ever published as the fear and censorship pervades societies.

          This is not rocket science but simply identifying the pervasive undermining of national and international laws.

        • OK Donal, nothing personal, but you might practice what you preach yo’self. I understand the content very well. My point is that in order to capitalise on the opportunity the internet affords us, we need to organise, not whinge interminably about how deaf and blind the public is or how muted dissident voices are. I have been saying for a while we might explore the feasibility of an on-line virtual tribunal to bring to book the despotic plutocrats and butchers of decency, in absentia. Such virtual trials could establish a serious moral bench-mark that might augment the work of the ICC. At present the Hague process is agonisingly pedantic and selective and wholly inadequate to meet the need for an inclusive and rigorous regime of international law. Moreover, to its eternal disgrace, the US refuses to be a signatory to the Jurisdiction of the Court ~ a glaring betrayal of humanity’s trust in due process that speaks volumes.

          Of course, whether real or virtual the real problem is how to assemble seamless arguments that cannot be unpicked or refuted. Admirable precedents have been set already, but I’m not a lawyer so I can only promote the on-line concept not implement it with professional expertise.

          I commend you to

          & the work of Polly Higgins, for example

          Also the Toronto 911 hearings set a worthwhile procedural standard, regardless of the actual conclusions one might draw from them.

          Then there was the Malaysian judgement

          In fact the more we examine the detail, as Paul Hawken was one of the first to point out in “Blessed Unrest,” the more apparent it is that there is a colossal groundswell of resistance to moral, ethical, financial, environmental, political and intellectual tyranny all around the globe.

          You and I may be convinced of the iniquity of the criminal elites and the corporate military juggernaut, but we have to be prepared to prove it in court. Chris Hedges has shown this is possible. The universities have an enormous potential to facilitate such a noble goal. However to date they have failed miserably because they are endowed by those very malignant elements that should be in the dock, so facetious tenure and inflated ego still rule the roost. There is no truly independent science any more.

          The reason corporate crime is “untouchable” is because it is shielded by the “sanctity” of the market. Who are the stakeholders? Why, “you” and “me” of course. So long as the public support & exploit the fraudulent benefits of the “free” casino market ideology & participate in the inexorable exponential erosion of life’s ecosystems, we are our own very worst enemies, and the Mister Big-boss-of-the-bosses knows this only too well…shout as much as you like across the parapet, it just makes you an easier target for their laser-assisted assassins of truth.

        • Read whatever, the message
          Here is simplicity itself.
          There really is no requirement for any empirical crutch.
          PS Lo please provide contact for a possible post.

        • I diverse from a recognition of the Power of WWW to confirm that the ideas are on target.

          Please do not address me personally .

          Address the content, go with the debate .

          Anything else is wasteful of the WWW.

          Wales is close but we are not neighbours and personal space is paramount for a writer.

  10. DLF might read mine…

    The reference is not that M Parenti is any reference for Iran versus anyone else.

    The point is … What do they feed these future leaders in the Universities?

    • I hear you Donal and I agree. There are huge issues of privilege and cronyism to contend with, especially in universities. The rule in most institutional settings is simple: don’t rock the boat! Play ball it’s a level field, forget about what it’s doing to the ecology. Just pray. When I was compelled to attend a private school in the sixties in London. it was well known that the “thick” people many of whom were sporty, all studied economics ~ the soft option. What does that tell you about the ethos of post-war British industry? Sporty classicists were an exception, albeit an impressive minority. Times have changed, a bit. The US model has dominated since the Reagan-Thatcher coup, and what has it produced? Devastation & global depravity as far as I can see. Wholesome gardens and healthy local markets are the solution in my humble (not that humble) opinion…

      • David,
        It’s just too bad the people don’t believe in the Biblical view, “not by weapons of war but by my Spirit” says the Lord.
        They shall beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks and the Nations shall no longer learn war anymore.

        I think your last sentence reflects the Spirit of those words.

  11. @Donal…not sure Shakespeare is a more reliable source of information on Iran than Michael Parenti. His take on Julius Caeser was grossly inaccurate. Ascribing conscious intent to those who own most of the world does not constitute “sitting around a campfire”. Here is a perspective never heard in our daily lives and it does make a difference to share this perspective with others. There is a grotesque rationalism in murdering thousands of people because it serves the interests of wealth, allowing the land and resources of these victims to become someone else’s property. There are are many “sane” people capable of such deeds since they are always committed by lower level operatives. Violence correlates directly with a lack of social justice and poor standard of living. Ordinary people will most likely co-exist if they aren’t armed to the teeth, fed endless violent media fare, stoked with fearful threats—being allowed to live in comfort and dignity with enough food/water/shelter, and with education/housing/medical care. Violence is instigated and incited to serve the interests of wealth. Our problem is not a bloody human gene, it’s a bloody capitalist gene – why one man needs more than another.

    • Very well articulated, Eunice. At the core of our “system” is the huge disconnect between primary producers (provisioners) ~ who respect and understand their embedded context, their local ecology, their real needs ~ and the so-called “free” market. This “free market” is rigged in favour of those who can manipulate it. & exploit it for greed, not for gainful wealth that can benefit those who create that wealth. It all begins with the ecosystem. If the global market were really free, we’d encourage diverse, multiple markets, open local markets, markets on the internet, markets for HONEST people not for opportunist capitalists and thieves. Government feeds off the backs of the working poor and always has. Corporations have assumed total control over governments and turned a bad situation into a worse one. We should remember Magna Carta & respect the small farmer, the peasant, the primary producers ~ they are the salt of the Earth…

    • eunice , Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar was not about historical accuracy or even Caesar… but about Brutus seeking to rationalize his conscience for killing and betraying a friend who forgave his debt and ingratitude . In this context it is very important to this discussion . Dante put Brutus , Judas , and Cassius in the 9th circle of the Inferno for their betrayal .

  12. Writers have written and endless conferences of the converted have gathered.

    Wars and attendant atrocities are reported by brave journalists.

    Please understand that nothing has changed over centuries.

    Education and media have not impacted on man’s onhimanity

  13. Writers come and writers go

    Man’s inhumanity to man goes on forever.

    Talking and writing ’round the campfires may be mutually reassuring

    What changes? We start the 21st just like the 20th.
    100 years of ignorance and inhumanity.

    • I’m not understanding your point, Donal. Would you like to elaborate?

      Should we not have an independent media? Education is the first thing that needs to happen.

      • “Education” and “Independent media” are convienent slogans and a distraction.

        We are talking about war(s) in this post?

        Michael Parenti understands my comment?

        Writing on war atrocities is a brave endeavour for journalists and authors.

        What war has ever been influenced by writing about it?

        Supporters of Michael Parenti like to read and hear from him.

        Gathering ’round the campfire of mutual perspectives his supporters may cuddle up and get a sense of safety and comfort.

        What changes, man’s inhumanity to man, that blood lust which seems to submerse every political leader and their dogs of war ( the general staffs)?
        The atrocities of war and torture (flow)”go on forever.”

        Are Michael Parenti, Robert Fisk , John Pilger, Chris Hedges et al on the library shelves of the Universities which churn out these leaders of societies ?

        Have they even read Dickens or Shakespeare?

        Is there a blood lust gene which is triggered on assuming power which requires procedural and legal safeguards for society?

        Is there a requirement for medical intervention as elected leaders may be quite mad with power?

        What sane person would participate in mass murder of hundreds of thousands of fellow humans?

        Accountability is an over used concept which in democratic terms is just an illusion.
        Please refer to mine on “The Fourth estate in Ireland is a Myth “(

        Writing might be about influencing democratic changes to prevent countries murdering millions of other humans on this planet.

        By all means please keep us informed and report on the body counts (if possible) but are we changing /stopping any wars?

        As accountability is an illusion then blood thirsty political and military leaders continue with their delusionary slaughters in the name of “democracy, peace and freedom”.

        • Perhaps we should reflect on the evolution of war, and the moral capacity of those who wage it. Industrialised warfare has placed more and more power and control in the hands of politicians and brokers, less and less is exercised by professional soldiers and chiefs of staff. Robotic theatres need technicians and “controllers.” Post-Gutenberg, we recognise the concept of free speech, a free press, but the power to publish does not assure us of an audience any more than a privileged education guarantees morality. The power to dispatch a lethal drone (a doodlebug), is assured immediate recognition. Might is right. The message is: wake up or die! we have the means to force you to submit. What law permits this? There are codes of military conduct, the most obvious being the Geneva convention. Does anyone heed it? Why is “Israel” exempt? We shall never abolish war, we can only call upon soldiers to wage “just” wars honourably, and assert their right to deploy the means, not politicians or technicians. Read Sun Zi, Lao Zi ~ even Churchill. Collateral injury is wholly dishonourable. A President who inflicts gratuitous injury and death without sanction or remorse forfeits the moral right to govern. The problem is, what is the alternative? Yet another right-wing bigot with even more cosmetic blandishments than moral intelligence? The Office of President has been denigrated into that of a corporate executioner. He/she does not govern, his purpose is to cover up iniquity. The staunch advocates of villainous interests must be indicted or America will descend into anarchy. If the institutions of the state have no appetite for rectitude, it falls to us as responsible citizens to organise and prosecute the case for an ethical world through the free internet. We need to act soon, before it is no longer free.

        • Dickens and Shakespeare cannot be taken without Dante ,the Greek Tragedies , and the Bible . Great Literature has many functions , and the main one is to expose the fraudulent inhumane nature of man to himself .

          If i may be so bold i would state to you Donal that if you are willing to admit that you are just as culpable in the eyes of your Creator as those to whom you criticize , then you will not be far from the Kingdom of God .

          But here in lies the rub does it not : admission of ones guilt before a perfect Maker , and accepting His death on the cross in humility as not only the imputing of forgiveness , but allowing one to have the grace to love those who commit unspeakable acts of evil . that is exactly why the gospel means ”good news”. And lest you think that i am in fairyland , i will tell you point blank that it works , and is as practical as potatoes.But If one seeks to omit this antidote to what Twain called ”the damned human race” , then what does one have as an effective antidote ? only finger pointing that has its roots in self righteousness , the hubris of pride , and no solutions whatsoever except maybe some kind of ersatz concept of moralizing that is repugnant and is ineffectual .

        • Donal , then you will remain in the company of the SELF righteous. and it will not be the end as you wish . for as Marcus Aurilous said ”that which does not advance goes into retrograde”. Or if you like the late great Howard Zinn says it ”you cannot stand still on a moving train . ”

        • Actually, Parenti does have textbooks used in universities. Don’t know about the others.

          Education is first most. Can’t do much of anything without educating the populace.

          Most people still receive their “news” via corporate owned and operated news sources, which is why independent media and the Internet is so important. That is changing, though toward the positive. More and more people are turning to alternative websites for their info. Question: how many of these posts do you share with your friends/family? There are share buttons on the bottom of every post or copy the url and send it to them.

          We can’t have wars without those who enlist in the military. So, don’t enlist, don’t allow friends/family to enlist.

          Peace starts with us individually. We have to take it seriously, and start with ourselves. Dennis Kucinich gets it. See:

          I agree with Rocket on this issue, please don’t shut out what he is trying to say to you.

          There is a next step involved after one is informed and educated: take action. Chris Hedges gets this. See most of his posts, particularly:

          Another thing we can do is stop voting for war criminals and war criminal wannabees.

  14. An interesting convergence of thought and time? Reading this very interesting article, just before I did so, I posted this similar comment in another blog.

    “Living in CanaDa, I think Prime Minister Harper is a vassal king to President Obama, the earthly, Babylonian king of kings on our time line.”

    Sharing your concern for the con job being foisted on the people to remain passive and silent while WWIII/Armageddon is at the almost breakout stage, this is my effort in solidarity with your effort by this writing.

    March 14, 2012

  15. Although Iran is clearly run by a horribly repressive regime, I fear that the US, Israel and their western allies are constantly far too interventionist in the Middle East, a part of the world that we still do not realy understand in the west as shown by the disastrous interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Furthermore, I find the US’ desire to control the world and its finite resources, including all that the Middle East envelopes a worrying trend, particularly considering the ability of the US to change its stance towards the leaders of countries such as Iran like the flick of a light switch. I would hate to think that the US still believes that it can control the world and install its favoured allies in countries and nations throughout the world. I would therefore stress the need for the US to avoid intervention in the Middle East, at the risk of creating an even deeper hatred of the west within the east. The US’ boldness and impetuosity in the face of slight anti-US and anti-imperialist sentiment is despicable.

  16. Well said. There are no individuals in Iran, it is an imagined place, an inconvenience, a shooting gallery, just ink on a map, a virtual landscape, with digital inhabitants, no diverse life, or breathing animals, flourishing trees or clean lakes, no cultural history, just a target, a potential territorial asset, an essential piece of the corporate jigsaw puzzle, a vague shape engineered into existence by Allah’s dark henchman. It is not a place where real people live, and work and aspire to a better life. As for music and architecture, what’s the point of that?

    • DLF has responded to my comment on this post.

      There seems to be agreement that power must be restricted and controlled at all levels of society.

      Mad political leaders and their dogs of war(s) ( General Staff), must be accountable for their atrocities and subject to all laws of society.

      It is reasonable to legislate for medical analysis of elected leaders and definitions of insanity to apply.

      Again what sane person acts to murder hundreds of thousands of fellow humans on this planet?

      DLF agrees that safeguards must be installed into the legislatures of all societies to protect against such blood lusting leaders.

      The internet is one route to attempt this.

      There is a mystery surrounding the invisibility of democratically elected politicians who come to the people and ask for votes into public office.

      After the people vote these politicians into government there is a mysterious disconnect(invisibility) with the electorate until the next begging bowel for votes comes round.

      Democratic participation might mean that these elected representatives of the people … just might be made to re- appear during their term of office and do what they are elected to do (and are paid) … represent the citizens.

      Democracy is asleep and the peoples of democracies have allowed their democratic rights to be stolen by a small establishment golden circle.

      Time to take democracy back… activate our local representatives to represent us.

      Representation is another tool (democratic representation) ,unused in all societies and which would give power back to the people …peacefully.

      • Maybe the problem lies in the system. Not in the type of the system, but the belief in the system. What if the idea that we need other imperfect beings to have some righteous power; one that no man can truly have. Maybe it’s this belief in “authority” and “government” is the reason we have so much human suffering.

        How many military service men and women knew they had a choice in whether to kill thousands of men, women, and children would actually do it? When we stop hanging onto this ridiculous belief in “government”, then we must become more responsible for our own actions. Whether you want to call it anarchy, or voluntarism, or whatever, it’s the only moral and logical idea. Maybe the only one that could save us from ourselves.

        • Thank you for reading my original comment here.

          And understanding my argument that writers may come and writers may go.

          Man’s inhumanity to man goes on for ever.

          Keep up the work in your search for an alternative to the democratic system?

          I avoid direct phone type conversation on what is the www.

          Are we reaching out there or gathering ’round that campfire.

          What is the point of internet communications when all these communications on this post adddress me by name?

          This reduces the WWW to a nonsense.

          Address the subject not the individual maybe?

          Therefore failure to address your confirmed comprehension is not an oversight more correct procedure on the WWW.

          No personal correspondence should follow any post or any comment on the WWW.

          Any inclination to address individuals can be satisfied by email or phone.

          or get a room?

        • We are dangerously close to talking in riddles here. Participatory democracy is, possibly as Churchill suggested, the least of many potential evils that purport to resolve the enduring problem of human governance. Right now what we face is not an honest choice but a smorgasbord of deception ~ ie de facto power, masquerading as “legitimate” representative government. At least we can agree about that surely? As for men’s hearts, of course this is true: were we to live in a world of genuine empathy and ethical intelligence, we could devise all manner of systems, ranging from the creatively anarchic to despotic ecological sovereignty. Can we expect men’s hearts to open to such possibilities when the seven greatest religious dispensations of the last few thousand years have failed to do so to date? Sooner or later we’re going to have to accept some simple truths, not the least of which is that the vast majority of humanity is incapable of governing itself through competent self-determination or from an ethical foundation of existential truth. The only realistic alternative is enlightened leadership, and this is what we should be educating ourselves for. In the meantime, let’s shout loudly when the fakes and the charlatans blag us with their masks of deceit.

      • Donal , nice platitudes. but you cant really believe that kingdoms will change unless men’s hearts change , now do you ? history attests that without men’s hearts changing we are just re-arranging the chairs on the Titanic.

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