2009.06.28 Shill Heaven
If anything is clear about the recent Iranian election it is that all sides have been afforded ample opportunity to get in their licks. First of course there is the mainstream media, who have been screaming fraud at the top of their hypocritical lungs while keeping steadfastly mum about massive and transparent election fraud in the US (Selection 2000 being only the most conspicuous example). Not to be outdone, "dissident" pundits of all stripes have swooped in on the opportunity to accuse the mainstream of a shameless propaganda campaign in order to discredit the election results and manufacture an excuse for a harder stance against Iran, or even military intervention.
The smoke and mirrors here are perfectly positioned for all sides. The anti-Ahmadinejads can claim, quite rightly as has become increasingly clear, that the incumbent Iranian regime not only rigged the vote but also put down the protests with despicable brutality. The anti-anti- (not to say pro-) Ahmadinejads can claim, with much less evidence (none, in fact, that I know of) but with ineluctable logical appeal to a certain mind-set, that the protests were orchestrated by the CIA. After all, they say, quite correctly, the CIA does bad stuff all over the world, every history of the Agency tells the story of how Kermit Roosevelt replaced Mossadegh with the Shah in 1953, etc.
From the cui bono point view, both sides have a plausible argument. One can easily imagine that not only the CIA and the US government but Americans in general and people all over the (western) world like the idea of a popular uprising in Iran against the evil Ahmadinejad. How much more evil can you get than being a nationalist and nuclear aspirant not in the US camp, and to top it off a Holocaust denier! With just a bit more thought, it is even easier to imagine that the hardliners in this country and elsewhere are quite happy with Ahmadinejad as the designated enemy. It would be considerably more difficult to agitate against Iran with a leader that is -- if only in appearance -- more moderate. Stephen Zunes made this point in a recent article entitled "Why U.S. Neocons Want Ahmadinejad to Win."
You can knock me down, step on my face, and slander my name all over the place, to quote Carl Perkins (and Elvis), should I defend the CIA, but has anyone stopped to ask just how the CIA could have persuaded thousands of Iranians to pour into the streets and get clubbed and shot to death for their own good? Surely they would not have done so knowing that the CIA, whose notorious history is well known in Iran, was behind it. So how was this trick accomplished? I do not underestimate the CIA's cunning, power, or ruthlessness. Their ability to buy, sell and kill people and control organizations and events is undisputed, but I cannot think of any examples offhand of their successfully fomenting popular uprisings, especially in countries where they and their tactics are well known and hated. I am not saying it cannot or did not happen; I'm just saying I would like to see some evidence. It would be important for us all to know how this is done, so that the next time we go to the barricades -- if there is a next time -- we can feel confident that it's not just the CIA pulling our strings again.
Not only is the Iranian situation good for all sides, it's so good that some commentators cannot resist playing on both sides. For example, Michael Green, who has unfortunately stopped adorning himself with the title "former assistant professor" and thus depriving us of needed comic relief, has weighed in with a particularly foolish contribution that supports both sides in the same article, appropriately entitled (originally) "Whatever the results of the June 12, 2009 Iranian election are, the U.S. intent is to demonize and destabilize Iran." In a later revision of the article, now entitled "The CIA and US Media Roles in Destabilizing Iran," having learned that "additional information has come to light supporting the charge of massive electoral fraud," he regrets not having kept the original title, even though it is clear, up until the end of this silly piece, that he sides with those who disbelieve the reports of fraud.
Green erupted on the scene in 2005 by viciously attacking two real professors, each with a CV and list of publications that puts his to shame (zero prior to 2005), because they (along with Dylan Avery, the creator of the phenomenally successful internet film Loose Change) dare to consider ideas about 9/11 that Green and his equally narrow-minded (putting it generously) colleagues Jim Hoffman and Victoria Ashley do not consider worthy. (See my "9/11 Aletheia.")
In the same spirit, Green now attacks the aforementioned Stephen Zunes for 1) not answering his email, 2) writing "from the omniscient perspective," and 3) not having written about election fraud in the US -- until now. The third accusation is particularly amusing coming from someone who wrote nothing at all about anything until he came out of the blue (retirement, apparently) in 2005 to attack three of the most prominent members of the 9/11 truth movement, and now Zunes, a prominent progressive leftist Green derisively calls "Mr. ZMag." The sin of "omniscience" means that Zunes failed to "source" his opinions. Green takes most of his own opinions from much better articles by Paul Craig Roberts, Stephen Lendman (whose name he misspells), and savvy writers at wsws.org like Bill van Auken (who will cringe, I'm sure, to see Green refer to him and his colleagues as "fellow socialists", but chastises Zunes for being "oblivious" to a study sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund that he (Green) admits is "flawed and fallible and incomplete"! Nevertheless, Green considers it a credible source because it supports his view -- at the beginning of the article -- that Ahmadinejad's victory was legitimate.
By the end of the article, Green has reversed himself about the evidence of fraud, but instead of rewriting or (heaven forbid) taking back what he said about Zunes, he feels inspired to ask the "interesting question" as to "why the rigging was done so crudely." We are left to figure out for ourselves how it is that Zunes, who was right, is "either a very dim-witted progressive academic, or he has another agenda," whereas Green, who was wrong, can retain his exalted opinion of himself (as he wrote in an earlier article) as "a mind acquainted with history and unburdened with a trust in the devotion of the US ruling class to democracy and to the welfare of the American people" and "familiar with the resources of the USG Intelligence Community and the cooperation it commands within the ruling class." He adds, magnanimously, that Zunes "does not appear to be dim-witted," but unfortunately, despite his familiarity with the USG Intelligence Community, he does not specify further. It doesn't matter, because Green has fingered everyone from the Council on Foreign Relations to the CIA to "privatized covert action mercenaries," "high-ranking members of the U.S. military," "elements of private industry and finance capital," "the invisible government," and, ultimately, "the ruling class" as being responsible for 9/11 (see "9/11 Aletheia"), so we can assume that they (and Zunes) are behind this Iranian business too, although he now adds to his culprit list, just for good measure, "the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group that jointly seek to dominate and control this planet." (He left out the Illuminati, Freemasons, P2, Bohemian Grovers, Skull and Bonesers, the International Banking Cartel, and a few others, but maybe he'll get them in next time.)
In addition to telling us that the Iranian election both was and was not rigged, Green enlightens us on other matters. I did not know, for example, that the CIA overthrew the Shah and installed the Ayatollah Khomeini. Nor did I know that the Lyndon LaRouche organization was charged by the USG intelligence community "to advertise obscurely a covert operation that they dearly wished to keep secret, but to wrap it with the noxious LaRouchian ideology and nimbus so that anyone else respectable who revealed it could be smeared and dismissed as touting a crazy LaRouchian idea." Aha!
And what about The Nation? I have had my doubts about them, but until now I would not have been able to say with such certainty that it stands "shoulder-to-shoulder with the Agency" and that its mission is to take "a 'liberal' posture in order to channel political dissent back into the existing systems of establishment power and to legitimize that establishment. One of its particular tasks is to deny the existence of major USG domestic covert operations, especially since its editorial staff and some of its writers are engaged in at least the propaganda cover for such." Aha No. 2!
With so many CIA shills in place, not to mention the Trilateral Commission, Bilderbergers and all the rest, one wonders if there is anybody we should listen to -- other than Michael Green, of course, who has it all figured out. Given that choice, I'll go with the shills.