Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Few Attempts at Destabilizing Iran

Vaskar Nandy

The US imperialists are desperate. They want Iran to be another nice miniature poodle for their laps like the despicable Jordanian royals or the even more despicable Saudi royals. Without the Iranians submitting to their hegemonic interests, the US imperialists cannot wholly subdue the myriad insurgencies engulfing and threatening to engulf west Asia, especially the ones led by Hamas in Palestine and the Hezbolla in Lebanon. Indeed, in Iraq itself, the Shi’ite majority could easily come to be led by the young Imam from Sadr City who is very close to the Iranian clerics.

So Iran has to be destabilized, possibly dismembered. There is no quarrel with the Islamic ethos and polity there, only those should be in the service of US hegemony, much like the situation that obtains in the Islamic theocracy that is Saudi Arabia. Dual tactics requiring armed and non-armed intervention are already in full view. Only, the Indian media don’t refer to them.

First, the rabid fascists Netanyahu and Lieberman have been manoeuvred into power in Israel and there is now frequent, very inflammatory talk about bombing Iran ostensively to take out the Iranian nuclear project. This from a country that has a very large stockpile of “secret” nuclear weapons! But since the US imperialists who have given the Israelis the technology and much else to build that stockpile pretend that they know nothing about it, therefore those weapons do not exist and there are no crippling sanctions on Israel such as those imposed on Iran and North Korea or even akin to the much softer sanctions imposed on India before its leaders began to shake their turbans to the Empire in the West. But Israel could not and would not dare to bomb Iran without the explicit consent of the US warmongers. The threat of Israeli bombardment is the sword hanging over Iran and it is not the sword of that ancient ruffian Damocles but of the modern smooth talking head of the US administration. So the threat of Israeli bombardment of Iran is kept alive till the time for it arrives.

Second, armed intervention is no longer confined to mere threats. It is now actual. For more than six months now, two terrorist groups based in Pakistan’s Baluchisthan have been raiding the Iranian province of Zahedan and committing atrocities such as bombing mosques, various other public places, assassinations, etc. This whole operation is backed by none other than the US imperialists, perhaps the CIA. These raids may be the beginning of further armed explorations in a country which is multi-ethnic and multi-religious where no one group is big enough to be dominant. The Azeris are the second largest ethno-linguistic group in Iran. The pro-West Moussavi, the main losing candidate in the latest Presidential election, is an Azeri and he went very far indeed to try and consolidate the Azeri vote in a divisive way. Given the CIA’s massive presence in neighbouring Azerbaijan, the Iranian Azeris may start witnessing atrocities such as in Baluchisthan. There are of many other ethno-linguistic groups in Iran which may come to the attention of the US imperialists.

Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan, in surprisingly candid revelations, has written that “there have been numerous news reports that the US government has implemented a programme to destabilize Iran. There have been reports that the US government has financed bombings and assassinations in Iran” How closer to the horse’s mouth can you get?

Third and most important is the attempted “colour” or “velvet” revolution focusing on the Presidential election in Iran. There is now massive evidence about the mechanics of these so-called revolutions in eastern Europe by which pro-Western governments were installed. Everything kicks off with loud and continuous black propaganda by the media controlled by the US and other imperialists. Right wing think tanks do the required research to pinpoint the vulnerability of those to be toppled and develop black propaganda material that is terse and effective. Several organisations are then deployed to train, both inside and outside the country to be subverted, whole groups from the middle classes that have bought into the neo-liberal ideology. The training consists of creating crisis-inducing events as and when required by the foreign handlers and learning the skills for massive computer networking and cell phone messaging that spread the terse, black propaganda. All organisations and individuals participating in these operations are flooded with millions of dollars from the CIA and many foundations, such as the one run by George Soros. According to Mr Roberts, the US government alone has spent 400 million dollars to subvert the electoral process in Iran. Going by the evidence from eastern Europe, direct governmental expenditure is only a small part of the money thrown at such operations. The main funding comes routed through various foundations, endowments, etc. The massive scale and the swiftness of the operation is such that the adversaries, like President Shevardnadze of Georgia who was replaced by US-trained puppet President, get ousted even before they fully comprehend what is happening.

But in Iran the script for the “colour” revolution did not quite work out. Now the attempt is to give the script the colour of blood. But we will come to that presently.

Was there massive fraud in the Iran elections? No one has come out with an iota of credible evidence that this was so. The latest “evidence” is a forged letter purportedly written by the interior minister to the head Ayatollah of the Guardians’ Council. But there is evidence in the opposite direction. A poll carried out by US psephologists three weeks before the polling reflects the results rather uncannily. These poll results require extensive treatment.

The two pollsters were American: Ken Ballen of the Centre for Public Opinion and Patrick Doherty of the New America Foundation. The polling was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. It was conducted in Farsi “by a polling company whose work in the region for ABC News [a big corporate channel reflecting US ruling class opinion] and the BBC [a government-funded British ruling class mouthpiece with a deceptive veneer of objectivity] received an Emmy award [considered to be of very high value in the profession]. A very up-front arrangement this, without any trace of Islamic fundamentalist bias unless of course the black propaganda department of the CIA discovers that the Rockefellers were closet Muslims.

After the big hue and cry started about a stolen election, the pollsters who had conducted the polls three weeks before the polling day, sent an article to the Washington Post, a leading US newspaper, which published it on 15 June as a major piece for the day. Now, let us hear what these psephologists have to say.

Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent President Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but our nationwide survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by more than 2 to 1 margin — greater than in actual apparent margin of victory in Friday’s election.
While Western news reports from Tehran in the days leading up to the voting [the slog overs in the black propaganda game] portrayed an Iranian public enthusiastic about Ahamadinejad’s opponent, Mir Hossein Moussavi, our scientific sampling from across all 30 of Iran’s provinces showed Ahmadinejad well ahead.
The breadth of Ahmadinejad’s support was apparent in our pre-election survey. During the campaign, for instance, Moussavi emphasised his identity as an Azeri, the second largest ethnic group in Iran after the Persians, to woo Azeri voters. Our survey indicated, though, that Azeris favoured Ahmadinejad by 2 to 1 over Moussavi.
Much commentary has portrayed Iranian youth and the Internet as harbinger of change in this election. But our poll found that only a third of Iranians have access to the Internet, while 18-24 year-olds comprised the strongest voting bloc for Ahmadinejad of all age groups.
The only demographic group in which our survey found Moussavi leading or competitive with Ahamadinejad were university students and graduates, and the highest-income Iranians. When our poll was taken, almost a third of Iranians were also still undecided. Yet the baseline distributions we found them mirror the results reported by the Iranian authorities….

We have quoted the pollsters quite extensively from the Washington Post. But how many people know about this poll and its direct bearing on the results announced? The devaluation of the poll begins in the very same issue of the Washington Post. The paper carries a leading article on the very same day which does not even refer to the article of the pollsters on the front page and trots out threats against the Iranian authorities for stealing the election. Our own newspapers just follow the lead of the imperialist media. So, when they report a massive rally of Moussavi supporters, they just happen to forget or not notice a simultaneous rally of the President’s supporters in the poor quarters of Tehran which was at least double the size of the other one. This kind of reporting helps build up the false picture that the people of Iran are with Moussavi.

The imperialist charge against Ahmadinejad, as also of the Moussavi, boils down to two main points: he provokes the famous “international community” with his nuclear programme, a programme which interestingly was started by Moussavi when he was the Prime Minister (a post that has vanished), and his support for Hezbolla and Hamas; and, he wastes Iran’s great oil wealth by squandering it all on welfare programmes for the urban slums and the poor villages against all “economic wisdom”. I think all democratic and anti-imperialist forces of the world who do not have economic wisdom should rally in support of President Ahmadinejad in this crucial hour when a massive imperialist (primarily US and British) attempt at destabilising Iran.

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