Monday, June 15, 2009
Calm Heads Must Prevail When Reacting To Iran's Election
I really wanted to title this post "Before We Show Our *sses Making Assumptions" but I think you get the point. We need to be careful how we discuss and engage North Korea as well. We had better think carefully about how easily we are manipulated by the United States corporate media. Also do I need to mention the not entirely implausible potential involvement of the CIA and other foreign government agencies? How do we know Mir-Hossein Moussavi doesn't have ties to a counterintelligence group? We should also remember Ahmadinejad may be President but he still has to answer to the cleric(s) with the real power. I believe that is Ayotollah Khamenei. So perhaps we should think of the Iranian President as a more powerful member of the UK Royal Family who defers to the Prime Minister if there can be an adequate comparison.
I'm especially cautioning some Black political junkies to not overreact as a few seemed quite invested in the media coverage and found it to be wanting. This was part of the larger #CNNfail hashtag generated as many expressed their frustration on Twitter yesterday. I've singled out the POC because of our lovely history of being on the butt end of bad press, slanted media coverage and subterfuge. So don't fall for the okey doke with this election. We need to review how COINTELPRO works and the very effective tactics used to make organizations the government considered a threat implode upon themselves. It's simple history.
The more things change the more they stay the same. Anytime something "fishy" goes down that makes the news I always give it the smell test. As we should be aware most of the foul actions that occur, the coups, assassinations and such are NEVER reported on the news and if they are it's always a cloaked in a half-truth or reported as an accident. Does anyone still believe Kenneth Lay of Enron died of a heart attack? How about the CIA declassifying that they'd put a hit out on Bob Marley for writing songs - when those songs got poor people to begin thinking critically and had the potential to mobilize them politically - he was considered a threat to be removed. A "mere" musician. How much more of an effort would be made for those considered formidable?
People had better start thinking about how much of what we do is being monitored or has been co-opted by the government on some level. I remember the difference in coverage of the Iraq raid-fest from the near media silence in the US to the very shocking detail in the UK. Are we still calling it a "war" when it was an annihilation? There's a reason why AIG keeps getting money, Google is so strong and even now Twitter is all the rage. Even the blogging platforms we use. Nothing we do hasn't been vouched for by "Oz". Despite all of our hopes and dreams for "change" President Obama is still a politician - not a Magic 8 Ball. There are people behind the curtain. Dismiss this as tin-foil hat, conspiracy theory lunacy if it makes you feel better or prepare yourself to a life that requires some scrutiny.
Besides, the United States has its own sordid history of rigging elections, stuffing ballot boxes, throwing out votes (Tom Bradley's 80's Gov. race), phony recall elections (any wonder why CA is so messed up now), poll taxes, ID requirements, Electoral College and such. I mean if people are going to get so worked up over one sovereign nation's election maybe they should be looking at their home country instead. I say this is one big fat distraction. *Ask some of those Laker fans how to throw a proper riot (smashed windows, torching cars and other fun stuff) cum celebration. All for a basketball game. This is the "real" priority of some.
Now that's not to say the Iran election wasn't rigged, but we don't know by whom. We don't know all the details - nor should we. It's not our country. It's time to put the thinking caps on and ask who benefits from this chaos and why would they be stirring things up? I will say it once and say it again: today's friend is tomorrow's foe; yesterday's freedom fighter will be called a terrorist. It just depends on who likes - or doesn't like what that person does.
The United States has a lot of nerve fueling the flames talking about stolen elections after the last 8 years of Bush, after Osama Bin Laden, Pinochet, Pol Pot and a host of brutal dictators/military leaders who were trained/supported by us. Well..."them". No I didn't have anything to do with it, nor you personally but we have a say in what happens now. We can control what our government does in our name. Yeah it'll take a lot of effort but it can be done. It's how we got Civil Rights, a 40-hour (in theory) work week and a host of other things many of us consider necessary...and good for us. There was always a group of people who would've preferred otherwise.
So perhaps we should be putting our efforts in that instead of crying foul about another country. Unless the United States is willing to look into balancing its ties to the Israeli government they should expect resistance from other countries that feel they're getting the short end of the stick. As unpopular an idea as this may be for some, if the situation was reversed many would be making this very argument.
Some see this election blowback as a potential Tienanmen Sq. but we don't know that. "We" also couldn't do anything to stop it not while it was going on if it was. This is one of those scenarios where some of us can get outraged but aren't really going to do anything. Where was this outrage when Rwanda happened? Journalists Lee and Ling could be pawns or they could've been spying. Current TV isn't CNN or ABC after all. We just don't know. There are plenty of people being held against their will by foreign governments that get zero media attention.
As popular an idea as it may sound we the United States have NO moral authority on anything. We haven't begun to pay for the crimes we've committed on foreign soil. Just because we haven't heard about it doesn't mean it hasn't happened! Surely we're not that naïve. I'd love to see some of this energy being spent here in this country say dismantling the airwaves of the constant bombardment by hatemongers and their bully pulpit. Let's clean up our own house first that's all I'm saying.