Reza Pahlavi sells himself at a 98% discount to MBS’ propaganda channel

July 15, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog (cross-posted with PressTV by permission)

Reza Pahlavi sells himself at a 98% discount to MBS’ propaganda channel

(Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of “I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China”.)

Reza Pahlavi, the son of deposed Iranian king Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, is reportedly set to star in a TV program for UK-based media Iran International.

The Farsi-language channel is reportedly funded by Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad bin Salman, and exists to produce propaganda against modern Iran. It also exists as a mouthpiece for terrorists: Iran International gained infamy in Iran – but no condemnation nor penalty from UK media authorities – for broadcasting a gloating interview with the perpetrators of the 2018 Ahvaz terror attack, which killed 25 people and wounded 70 others.

Mohammad bin Salman reportedly conceived the idea that the camera just loves Reza Pahlavi – MBS likely believes the camera loves all monarchs, even “never were” monarchs like Pahlavi.

MBS and Iran International may have a tough time attracting an audience, mainly because the Iranian people are not at all interested in the obvious goal of the program: whitewashing the crimes and multiple treasons of the Pahlavi household. Pahlavi will find it very hard to reverse the widespread opinion in Iran that the Pahlavi family is a hollow puppet of foreign powers which have only ill-will towards the average Iranian person.

Pahlavi, showcasing the negotiation skills he proposes to return to Iran’s top office, agreed to do the show at just 2% of his original salary demand. Perhaps Pahlavi cut his rates because he finally realised that he was not only not an actual king, but simply the son of a king, and a long-deposed king at that.

Unfortunately for those who value truth in journalism, this royal-sized discount leaves more money in the budget of Iran International – anti-Iran terrorists surely appreciate Pahlavi’s agreement to take a pay cut.

However, the same report said that he put aside his royal pride after getting pressured by the intelligence services of an unnamed European country. That European country is, of course, Poland. I realise that I am unusual in this assertion – every other Iranian surely assumes that the unnamed country can only be the UK, because bribing Iranian (ex-) elite to work for the detriment of the Iranian democratic will is what they have done since the early 1800s.

The only other European country with the neo-imperialist inclination to get involved in this type of a situation is France. However, they have long-hosted the MKO terrorist group, proving that they back the other losing horse in this pathetic race to history’s glue factory.

The MKO took time out of planning their next assassination attempt and their friendly chats with John Bolton to let it be known to their supporters inside Saudi Arabia that giving Pahlavi a program would result in the MKO leaking damaging information in retaliation. The MKO does not want Pahlavi viewed as a possible leader of the opposition to Iran’s popularly-supported democracy.

Sometimes people have fallen so far behind in a race that they actually convince themselves they are winning, and this is the case here. Watching the MKO argue with Reza Pahlavi while the Saudis try to hold the two back reminds all of Iran of Moe trying to restrain Larry and Curly in the “Three Stooges” film shorts.

The reality-show car crash which is the Pahlavi family, the “more horrifying than any movie” MKO – Iranians view both with tabloid interest combined with the relief that our national nightmares with them are completely finished. No matter how much support the US, Israel, the UK, the Arab monarchs and the French give, and no matter how much whitewashing they can get from mainstream Western media like The New York Times and Politico, neither of these groups have any political support inside Iran.

Pahlavi’s program will treat us to him traveling around the world and meeting with “dissident movements”. It boggles the mind as to whom would welcome an association with the Son of the Deposed King of Kings? Any movement which supports the restoration of royalty is automatically a reactionary group. The liberal democracy supporters (either of the republican or constitutional monarchy variety) who would go on Pahlavi’s show are obviously pathetic, aristocratic opportunists. Certainly no supporters of socialist democracy nor Islamic democracy would appear at any price.

I assume then that Pahlavi will be confined to taking his viewers to the only two areas of the world where overpaid, under-democratic monarchs predominate – the autocratic monarchies in the Muslim world and the liberal democratic monarchies of Europe.

The incredibly amusing joke which is forever ready in the bush whenever one debates with one of the “restore the shah” rich Iranian exiles is this: In their mind and in their discourse they are picturing that Darius the Great will take over, but the reality is… it’s just Reza Pahlavi!

Pahlavi is not considered by Iranians to be an especially smart guy – his only “job” has been to make well-paid speeches against Iran. Nobody, apart from the Arab monarchies, believes that “living off your inheritance” is an actual job qualification you can put on your CV. Nobody, apart from the US, imagines that “TV show star” qualifies one to lead a country.

Who will watch Reza’s new show?

We can say this for certain – absolutely nobody under the age of 40: this is a show whose appeal is based entirely around the concept of nostalgia, and Iranian youth obviously have zero experience with the Pahlavi era. And because they have been schooled in modern political concepts, they also have as little tolerance for royalism as do youth in the republics of France, Algeria or the US.

Among the middle-aged, no Reformist or Principlist party supporter could possibly take the show seriously either. The elderly who could possibly tune in once aren’t shah restorationists either – they are simply old and curious to see how the figures of their younger days turned out.

And how has Reza Pahlavi turned out? He is not someone Iranians respect, and this is for very obvious reasons: Any non-Iranian could easily grasp why he is considered to be a shameless opportunist, and the fact that he would work with the Saudi monarchy is just the latest example of this character trait.

This perception was sealed in Iran long, long ago: we must remember that Reza Pahlavi works with the Americans, who ejected his very sick father out of a hospital and into Panama, and that is something which will earn him eternal disapproval in family-loving Iran. What kind of a son works with those whom effectively killed his own father?

I’m sure non-Iranians are a bit confused and wondering: “But didn’t Iranians dislike and democratically depose his father?”

Yes, they did.. but even if your father is as bad as Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, you still shouldn’t treat your father like that! Family comes first in Iran, and please trust me that I am not joking about this Iranian cultural trait.

So, it is true – Reza Pahlavi just can’t win with Iranians, no matter what he does. Not unless he can go back in time….

Western imperialists and Zionists obviously have their own selfish reasons to ignore the reality of his total political irrelevance, but it is unfortunate for his own redemption that Pahlavi himself does not appear to grasp this fact either.

The only way Reza Pahlavi could be half the patriot, leader and sincerely religious Shia he claims to be would be to follow the example someone like the last emperor of China, Pu Yi.

Revolutionary China reformed Pu Yi from a self-centred autocrat who considered himself divine into someone who tried to be a genuinely good person. He was not executed in 1949 – he served 10 years in jail, and then was given a regular job as a street sweeper and gardener. He regularly spoke out in support of the democratic choice of the Chinese people, and he sincerely seemed to realise that monarchy is antiquated, immoral and unwanted. What Pu Yi absolutely did not do was collaborate with the enemies of the Chinese people, and at a 98% discount.

But two percent of a phony job is better than 100% of socially-productive work to some people; some people work with the worst elements of society in vain attempts to steal glory, power and ease.

Such people are not wanted around, and especially not to lead. As long as Reza Pahlavi cannot reform himself, he will never allowed to reform even a post office in Iran’s most remote mountain village, and that is the implacable and universally-known will of the Iranian people.

The only thing you can say in favor of Reza Pahlavi is that he is probably more popular inside Iran than the MKO, who – in something which can obviously never be forgiven by the average Iranian – fought alongside Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War.

However, as a journalist I am compelled to point out that both of them combined truly do not have 2% support in Iran. When Politico’s reasonably-trained journalists address this issue of obvious journalistic interest, they can only pen obscuring lies like, “it’s impossible to gauge how widespread support for the royals truly is inside Iran”. Nonsense: 2% is a totally-accurate estimation and I doubt any Iranian would seriously dispute that figure – Politico just doesn’t want non-Iranians to know or believe the truth.

And what is 2%? If you examine the number of US write-in votes in their elections we truly find that the combined votes of Disney characters and American football head coaches equals this same figure. As a serious democratic option, Pahlavi and the MKO are as serious as Mickey Mouse to the average Iranian, and if a non-Iranian wants to take one thing from this column – that should be it.

The only type of people getting their popcorn ready to watch MBS’ and Iran International’s new “Reza Pahlavi Comedy Hour” are the rich Iranian exiles in the wealthy areas of Los Angeles and Washington DC. Or rather, they are telling their servants to get the popcorn ready.

The Pahlavi show is thus designed to allow this group to continue to live in their bubble, unburdened by the facts that they often fled their own country with ill-gotten gains, that they failed to support a popular democratic revolution which took decades of sacrifices to realise, that they are nostalgic for an era which is not anywhere as beloved as they would like it to be because the mass majority was oppressed, that they are not qualified to be the leaders of modern Iran, and that they viciously and treacherously support even more hot war, cold war, sanctions and death on their own compatriots, culture and likely members of their own extended families.

This ratings group I have just described may be incredibly wealthy and able to produce any type of nonsense they want on television, but they are very small. They are also old and will soon pass into history, along with the King of Kings, his son and all their monarchical allies who – those of us living in the modern world agree – are not divine in the slightest.

As it should be, royalty is cheap in 2019 – the Saudis got Pahlavi at a 98% discount.

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السعودية برعاية ترامب تموّل أعداء العرب الأوروبيين

مايو 6, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

في مفاجأة للكثيرين، من المراقبين الإعلاميين والسياسيين في أوروبا، فاز حزب يميني اسباني متطرف ومعادٍ للعرب والمسلمين والمهاجرين ولعضوية اسبانيا في الاتحاد الأوروبي، واسمه حزب صوت الشعب Vox ، فاز هذا الحزب بـ 24 مقعداً في البرلمان الإسباني الجديد، أيّ ما نسبته 26.10 من أصوات الناخبين، وذلك بتاريخ 28 نيسان 2019.

وكان هذا الحزب قد تأسّس بتاريخ 17 كانون الأول/ ديسمبر 2013، من قبل أحد أعضاء حزب الشعب الإسباني المحافظ آنذاك، وهو الييخو فيدال قادراس، والذي كان عضواً في البرلمان الأوروبي ونائباً لرئيسه في ذلك الوقت.

كما كان هذا البرلماني الأوروبي، الإسباني الجنسية، صديقاً لمنظمة مجاهدي خلق الإيرانية ويلتقي زعماءها باستمرار ويشارك في معظم نشاطاتها. وقد قامت هذه المنظمة بإطلاق حملة جمع تبرّعات لهذا الحزب الجديد يوم تمّ تسجيله رسمياً، كحزب سياسي في مدريد وذلك بتاريخ 17 كانون الأول/ ديسمبر 2013، حيث بدأ أنصار هذه المنظمة في أوروبا والولايات المتحدة بتحويل تبرّعات بشكل فردي، تراوحت قيمة التحويل الواحد منها بين ستين دولاراً وخمسة وثلاثين ألف دولار. وقد وصل إجمالي ما تمّ تحويله الى حسابات هذا الحزب آنذاك إلى تسعمائة واثنين وسبعين الف يورو.

هذا ما اعترف به مؤسّس الحزب، الييخو فيدال قادراس، لصحيفة «إلباييس» الإسبانية والذي تمّ نشره فيها قبل أيّام.

كما انّ منسق شؤون مكافحة الاٍرهاب في الخارجية الأميركية، السفير دانييل بنجامين، قد كتب مقالاً في مجلة «بوليتيكو ماغازين» الأميركية بتاريخ 23 تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر 2016، قال فيه انّ مجاهدي خلق قد استقطبت العديد من الساسة والنواب الأميركيين لصالحها، مثل جون بولتون مستشار الرئيس ترامب حالياً لشؤون الأمن القومي، ورئيس بلدية نيويورك السابق رودي جولياني، ورئيس مكتب التحقيقات الفدرالي السابق لويس فريه وقائمة طويلة غيرهم، حيث كانت تدفع عشرين ألف دولار مكافأة لكلّ مشاركة لأيّ منهم في نشاطات المنظمة المختلفة.

وهو بكلامه هذا يشير بكلّ وضوح الى انّ منظمة مجاهدي خلق لا تملك كلّ هذه الإمكانيات المادية لتمويل كلّ هذه النشاطات.

الأمر الذي أكدته مجلة «فورين بوليسي» الأميركيه، على موقعها الالكتروني بتاريخ 27 نيسان 2019، عندما نقلت عن المنشق عن منظمة مجاهدي خلق، والمسؤول الأمني السابق فيها، مسعود خوداباندي، قوله إنه ذهب إلى الرياض، أوائل تسعينيات القرن الماضي، وتسلّم من ضباط مخابرات سعوديين، عندما كان تركي الفيصل رئيساً لجهاز المخابرات السعودي، ثلاثة شاحنات مليئة بسبائك الذهب والتي قمت بنقلها الى الأردن وبيع الذهب هناك لصالح منظمة مجاهدي خلق.

وهو ما أكده للمجلس المنشق الإيراني الآخر عن منظمة مجاهدي خلق، عضو القيادة حسن حيراني، الذي أعلن انشقاقه عام 2018، حيث قال لـ «فورين بوليسي»، في معرض ردّه على سؤال لها حول مصادر الأموال التي تبرّعت بها مجاهدي خلق للحزب اليميني الإسباني مؤخراً، ولغيره من الأحزاب والمنظمات اليمينية الأوروبية، التي يشرف على تشغيلها وتحريكها ضابط البحرية الاميركية السابق، ستيف بانون، والذي عيّنه ترامب كبير مستشاريه الاستراتيجيين سنة 2017، قال حسن حيراني مجيباً:

انها بلا أدنى شك السعودية. فمنظمة مجاهدي خلق ليست إلا أداة تنفيذية بينما المموّل الحقيقي لكلّ هذه الأحزاب والتنظيمات هو السعودية.

بينما قال مدير مكافحة الإرهاب السابق في الخارجية الأميركية، السفير دانييل بنجامين، مجيباً على نفس السؤال: البعض يقول إنّ دول الخليج هي من يقف خلف الدعم الذي يقدّم باسم منظمة مجاهدي خلق.

علماً انّ ستيف بانون هذا كان قد التقى مسؤولي حزب صوت الشعب اليميني الإسباني المتطرف، المسمّى صوت الشعب Vox ، عدة مرات في واشنطن وفي عواصم أوروبية عدة. إضافة إلى انه كان يعمل على مساعدة هذا الحزب لتحقيق انتصاره في الانتخابات الإسبانية، التي جرت قبل أيّام وحصل فيها هذا الحزب على 24 مقعداً في البرلمان الإسباني، وذلك حسب ما جاء في مقال للكاتب بابلو باردو نشر يوم 27 نيسان 2019 على موقع مجلة «فورين بوليسي» الأميركية.

العلامة الفارقة في كلّ ما تقدّم هو انّ السعودية مستعدّة لصرف مالها في ايّ ساحة تريدها واشنطن وعلى أيد أقذر التنظيمات الإرهابية، المهمّ أنها ترضي ترامب وتناكف طهران…!

وبعد ذلك فليكن الطوفان…!

لكن السحر سينقلب على الساحر مهما طال الزمان…!

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

Iranian Intel Ministry Identifies CIA Network in Iran, Region

Source

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s intelligence forces have managed to discover a CIA’s espionage network in the country and in the region, said Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi on Friday.

“In a complicated process against the US Central Intelligence Agency, its espionage network was identified with 290 spies in different countries, including Iran,” he said, adding that the information was offered to friend countries which led to arrest of CIA agents.

He made the remarks before the start of Tehran’s Friday prayers while briefing the nation about achievements of Intelligence Ministry.

The forces have also given a similar blow to UK’s MI6, he highlighted, noting that details of both these operations will be announced soon.

Alavi went on to say that dozens of spies who had been working in the country’s sensitive sections have been identified and arrested.

In the past [Iranian calendar] year 1397 (March 2018-March 2019), intelligence forces have dismantled 114 Takfiri terrorist teams, 116 circles related to MKO, 44 anti-Revolution teams, and 380 drug smuggling bands, he added.

Furthermore, the ministry has neutralized 188 operations, he noted, adding that the last of which was carried out in the south of the country, leading to the arrest of 4 individuals and seizing 15,000 Ak47 bullets.

Related News

Mir-Salim: Iran’s Defense System One of Best Achievements

By Nour Rida

Tehran – Commemorating the 40th victory of the Islamic Revolution, al-Ahed news interviewed Vice-president of the Islamic Coalition Party Council Seyed Mostafa Mir-Salim, who was active during the revolution and had served as police chief following the revolution. He was proposed by then president Abulhassan Banisadr in July 1980 as a candidate for prime minister. He filled different posts during his career years and was also former minister of culture and guidance. Mir-Salim was also named as Islamic Coalition Party’s nominee for Iranian presidential election, 2017 in December 2016. He launched his campaign in April 2017.

Mr. Mir-Salim told al-Ahed news

“The Islamic revolution passed through several stages before arriving to its victory. We can say that the inception point came with the movement of Ayatollah Khomeini, especially in the year 1963 when he stood up to the oppressive Shah regime which led eventually to the events of 15 Khordad.”

The demonstrations of June 5, 1963, known as 15th of Khordad Uprising, were the public protest against the arrest of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after his strong remarks on Iran’s Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, ‘Israel’ and the United States. The protestors were harshly suppressed but the event marked the vitality and power of the opposition against Pahlavi dynasty and the support Iranian nation had for their religious and political figure, Ayatollah Khomeini, who 15 years later led the Islamic Revolution to establish the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“The uprising in 1963, during which many Iranians lost their lives, was one of the main events that culminated in the Islamic Revolution some 15 years later,” he noted.

The politician continued

“Then, the period of intense repression and suppression of the struggle continued until 1974. During that year, the nature of dissension of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization MEK was revealed, and the fighters of the Islamic revolution eliminated themselves from the existence of these hypocrites. The Shah regime’s humiliation of the people and their beliefs and its neglect to their needs and principles prompted the people to continue their popular uprising.”

As Mir-Salim pointed out, the negligence of the regime and its offenses towards Imam Khomeini flared the sparks of anger across the different cities such as Qom, Tabriz, Yazd and other cities.

“The leadership of Imam Khomeini who was in exile at that time brought the people together, and on as the events continued and many were martyred, the victory saw light on the 22 of Bahman (February) 1979. It was a soon and unexpected popular victory owing to the strong faith, popular will and the wise leadership of Imam Khomeini.”

During that time, Mir-Salim was already member of the Islamic Coalition Party. However, he emphasized that

“during the early days of the revolution, no political party was officially active due to the violence and suppression of the regime Shah. However, after the Islamic revolution, political parties started to take shape, one of which is the Islamic coalition party.”

The party is a pivotal organization within Front of Followers of the Line of the Imam and the Leader and is considered a lay ally of the influential Combatant Clergy Association.

Asking him about what memories he holds from those days he said “I have bitter and sweet memories of that time. One of the shortest sweet memories that is still alive in my mind and heart is once when I was taking part in the rallies on the way to Azadi square. Suddenly, someone pats my shoulder from the back and says from behind “Sir, the speeches you gave were not futile, the revolution did triumph!” He was one of my committed students.”

As for progress and development that was realized since the days of the Islamic revolution, the vice-president says these are abundant.

“However I will mention what I believe was one of those achievements of which we should be very appreciative. I believe that Iran’s capability to defend itself since the very beginning of the birth of the Islamic Republic of Iran is an important attainment that helped all Iranians achieve independence and liberty in face of arrogance and oppression. It also helped establish an independent and religious democratic system, thanks to the guidance of Imam Khomeini and help of God. We must be thankful to see Iran’s successful defense system which allowed Iran to stand in the face of aggression during the imposed war, and this has made the US very furious to an extent it has used different methods and means to prevent the Islamic Republic from being self-sufficient and ready to confront any attack.”

The White Helmets Ride Again

White-Helmets-Terrorists-600x337.jpg

By Philip Geraldi
Source

I am often asked to explain why countries like Iran appear to be so aggressive, involving themselves in foreign wars and seeking to create alliances that they know will provoke the worst and most paranoid responses from some of their neighbors. My response is invariably that perceptions of threat depend very much on which side of the fence you are standing on. Saudi Arabia and Israel might well perceive Iranian actions as aggressive given the fact that all three countries are competing for dominance in the same region, but Iran, which is surrounded by powerful enemies, could equally explain its activity as defensive, seeking to create a belt of allies that can be called upon if needed if a real shooting war breaks out.

The United States and Israel are, of course, masters at seeing everything as a threat, justifying doing whatever is deemed necessary to defend against what are perceived to be enemies. They even exercise extraterritoriality, with Washington claiming a right to go after certain categories of “terrorists” in countries with which it is not at war, most particularly Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. Israel does likewise in its attacks on Lebanon and Syria. Both Tel Aviv and Washington have regularly crossed the line drawn by international legal authorities in terms of what constitutes initiating a “just” or “legal” war, i.e. an imminent threat to use force by a hostile power. Neither Israel nor the United States has really been threatened by an enemy or enemies in the past seventy years, so the definition of threat has been expanded to include after-the-fact as with 9/11 and potential as in the case of Israel and Iran.

The “which side of the fence” formulation has also had some interesting spin-offs in terms of how so-called non-state players that use violence are perceived and portrayed. Nearly all widely accepted definitions of terrorism include language that condemns the “use of politically motivated violence against non-combatants to provoke a state of terror.”

It is quite easy to identify some groups that are unambiguously “terrorist.” Islamic State in Syria (ISIS) and its various affiliates fit the definition perfectly, but even in that case there is some ambiguity by those state actors who are ostensibly pledged to eradicate terrorists. There have been credible claims that the United States has been protecting the last enclaves of ISIS in order to maintain its “right” to stay in Syria, allegedly based on the stated objective of completely destroying the group before withdrawal. As long as ISIS is still around in Syria, Washington will have an admittedly illegal justification for doing likewise.

There are two notable groups that should be universally condemned as terrorists but are not for political reasons. They are the Mujaheddin e Khalq (MEK), Iranian dissidents that are based in Paris and Washington, and the so-called White Helmets who have been active in Syria. MEK is particularly liked by Israel and its friends inside the Beltway because it retains resources inside Iran that enable it to carry out assassinations and sabotage, and if it is only Iranians that are dying, that’s okay.

MEK has been on the State Department roster of foreign terrorist organizations since the list was established in 1997. Its inclusion derives from its having killed six Americans in the 1970s and from its record of violence both inside and outside Iran since that time. The group was driven out of Iran, denied refuge in France, and eventually armed and given a military base by Iraq’s leader Saddam Hussein. Saddam used the group to carry out terrorist acts inside Iran. MEK is widely regarded as a cult headed by a husband and wife team Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. Its members were required to be celibate and there are reports that they are subjected to extensive brainwashing, physical torture, severe beatings even unto death, and prolonged solitary confinement if they question the leadership. One scholar who has studied them describes their beliefs as a “weird combination of Marxism and Islamic fundamentalism.” Like many other terrorist groups MEK has a political wing that operates openly referred to as the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is based in Paris, and another front organization called Executive Action which operates in Washington.

MEK was regarded as a terrorist group until 2012, when it was taken off the Special Designation list by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It was removed because multi-million dollar contracts with Washington lobbying firms experienced at “working” congress backed up by handsome speaking fees had induced many prominent Americans to join the chorus supporting NCRI. Prior to 2012, speaking fees for the group started at $15,000 and went up from there. Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell reported more than $150,000 in honoraria. Rudy Giuliani has been paid generously for years at $20,000 per appearance for brief, twenty-minute speeches. Bear in mind that MEK was a listed terrorist group at the time and accepting money from it to promote its interests should have constituted material support of terrorism.

The group’s well-connected friends have included prominent neocons like current National Security Advisor John Bolton and ex-CIA Directors James Woolsey, Michael Hayden and Porter Goss as well as former Generals Anthony Zinni, Peter Pace, Wesley Clark, and Hugh Shelton. Traditional conservatives close to the Trump Administration like Newt Gingrich, Fran Townsend and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao are also fans of NCRI. Townsend in particular, as a self-proclaimed national security specialist, has appeared on television to denounce Iran, calling its actions “acts of war” without indicating that she has received money from an opposition group.

MEK’s formula for success in removing itself from the terrorism lift involved paying its way through a corrupt political system. More interesting perhaps is the tale of the White Helmets, who have just been given the 2019 Elie Wiesel Award by the National Holocaust Museum, with the citation “These volunteer rescue workers have saved lives on all sides of the conflict in Syria. Their motto is ‘To save one life is to save all of humanity.’”

The White Helmets have been praised by those who hate the government of President Bashar al-Asad in Syria and want to see it removed because of its role as a leading element in the propaganda campaign that seeks to instigate violence or use fabricated information to depict the Damascus government as guilty of slaughtering its own citizens. The propaganda is intended to terrorize the civilian population, which is part of the definition of terrorism.

Favorable media coverage derives from the documentary The White Helmets, which was produced by the group itself and tells a very convincing tale promoted as “the story of real-life heroes and impossible hope.” It is a very impressive piece of propaganda, so much so that it has won numerous awards including the Oscar for Best Documentary Short last year and the White Helmets themselves were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. More to the point, however, is the undeniable fact that the documentary has helped shape the public understanding of what is going on in Syria, describing the government in Damascus in purely negative terms.

Recently, with the Syrian Army closing in on the last White Helmet affiliates still operating in the country, the Israeli government, assisted by the United States, staged an emergency humanitarian evacuation of the group’s members and their families to Israel and then on to Jordan. It was described in a BBC article that included “The IDF said they had ‘completed a humanitarian effort to rescue members of a Syrian civil organization and their families’, saying there was an ‘immediate threat to their lives.’ The transfer of the displaced Syrians through Israel was an exceptional humanitarian gesture. Although Israel is not directly involved in the Syria conflict, the two countries have been in a state of war for decades. Despite the intervention, the IDF said that ‘Israel continues to maintain a non-intervention policy regarding the Syrian conflict.’”

All of the Israeli assertions are nonsense, including its claimed “humanitarianism” and “non-intervention” in the Syrian war, where it has been bombing almost daily. The carefully edited scenes of heroism under fire that have been filmed and released worldwide conceal the White Helmets’ relationship with the al-Qaeda affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra and its participation in the torture and execution of “rebel” opponents. Indeed, the White Helmets only operate in rebel held territory, which enables them to shape the narrative both regarding who they are and what is occurring on the ground.

The White Helmets travelled to bombing sites with their film crews trailing behind them. Once at the sites, with no independent observers, they are able to arrange or even stage what is filmed to conform to their selected narrative. Exploiting their access to the western media, the White Helmets thereby de facto became a major source of “eyewitness” news regarding what was going on in those many parts of Syria where European and American journalists were quite rightly afraid to go, all part of a broader largely successful “rebel” effort to manufacture fake news that depicts the Damascus government as engaging in war crimes directed against civilians, an effort that has led to several attacks on government forces and facilities by the U.S. military. This is precisely the propaganda that has been supported both by Tel Aviv and Washington.

Perhaps the most serious charge against the White Helmets consists of the evidence that they actively participated in the atrocities, to include torture and murder, carried out by their al-Nusra hosts. There have been numerous photos of the White Helmets operating directly with armed terrorists and also celebrating over the bodies of execution victims and murdered Iraqi soldiers. The group’s jihadi associates regard the White Helmets as fellow “mujahideen” and “soldiers of the revolution.”

So, the National Holocaust Museum, which is taxpayer funded, has given an apparently prestigious award to a terrorist group, something which could have been discerned with even a little fact checking. And the museum also might have been sensitive to how the White Helmets have been used in support of Israeli propaganda vis-à-vis Syria. Perhaps, while they are at it, the museum’s board just might also want to check out Elie Wiesel, for whom the award is named. Wiesel, who was a chronicler of Jewish victimhood while persistently refusing to acknowledge what Israel was doing to the Palestinians, notoriously mixed fact and fiction in his best-selling holocaust memoir Night. Ironically, the award and recipient are well matched in this case as mixing fact and fiction is what both Elie Wiesel and the White Helmets are all about.

 

Iran’s definitive account of the Iraq war: Written by a female Iraqi Kurd

Iran’s definitive account of the Iraq war: Written by a female Iraqi Kurd

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

On September 22nd there was a terrible terrorist attack in the Iranian city of Ahvaz which killed 25 innocent people and wounded 70 other people. This was universally reported in the West as having occurred at a “military parade”, when it was actually a parade to commemorate the 1980 start of the Western-backed, Western-funded, Western-armed invasion which used Iraq to try to destroy the democratic 1979 Iranian Revolution.

But none of those accurate adjectives can be said in the West…no, no, no – it was just a no-reason-needed military parade, as if Iran was a warmongering nation prepping its fanatical people for imperialist adventures. (Iran has not invaded a country in well-over 200 years.)

The timing of the attack was obviously (though not primarily) a way to divert the world’s attention from the deadliest conflict of the last quarter of the 20th century. Instead of talking about what disaster and death was heaped on Iran from 1980-1988, it was Iranian “militarism” which was discussed and not anyone else’s.

But ho-hum, more misreporting on Iran. In other news: the sun rose this morning. This is just life for all socialist-inspired democratic revolutions – Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, China, etc., have all had their sufferings ignored, their mistakes amplified and their successes denied. To even raise this point makes one an unthinking “apologist”, an Islamofascist, a totalitarian commie, blah blah blah.

This is the front cover art for the book One Woman’s War: Da (Mother) written by Seyedeh Azam Hosseini. The book cover art copyright is believed to belong to Mazda Publishers.

The tragic event, and the subsequent false histories of the Western media, makes this an appropriate time to bring up what has become the most important literary reference for Iranians regarding the war – a book called Da. “Da” means mother in Kurdish, and not in Farsi. The book was written by a woman whose Iraqi Kurdish family had emigrated to Iran when she was a child.

How could the definitive account on the Iranian view of the Iran-Iraq War have been written by an Iraqi Kurd, and a female to boot?!

You would think Iranians hate Iraqis; you are certain that Iran hates women; and you assume that Iran has a war against the Kurds, just like Iraq, Turkey and Syria. If you assume everyone follows the dictates of capitalism’s identity politics, you likely would predict that this book is a litany of accusations and compiled hatreds towards Iran.

If you assume all these things it’s because you fail to realize that Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution was inspired by socialism, which demands a citizen and a government loudly banish racism from the public sphere. Much like this stoned surfer-dude American idiot who wrote an article titled Whoa. The Soviet Union Got Racial Equality Right Before America?, you are way, way, WAY off. (And when did America get racial equality “right”?)

For a comparison: Can anyone imagine that France’s definitive account on the Algerian War for Independence would come from a non-White? Their most famous work on Algeria is The Stranger by Albert Camus, who was an isolated-from-Algerians pied noir whose refusal to condemn French oppression was selfishly defined by the fact that he cared more for his mother’s comfort than a million dead Algerians. Heaven forbid that Madame Camus would have to relocate back to France, even if that meant ending a war and a 132-year occupation.… Camus’ view of morality is 100% rooted in Western capitalism individualism, after all, which is the reason its popularity still endures today.

But Iran had no problem making Da a huge best-seller despite the author’s Iraqi Kurdish roots; and, somehow, Iranian men took time out of their daily oppression of women to find out their thoughts and feelings on past experiences. The 700-page account of the war was read by everyone, including President Rohani.

The book is a memoir of Seyyedeh (indicating lineage from Prophet Mohammad) Zahra Hoseyni, a teenager who was living with her extremely poor but tight-knit family on the border city of Khorramshahr. The city was the first to be sneak-attacked by the Iraqis, and the massacres and devastation wrought there would be reflected by a Farsi pun on the city’s name: “City of Blood”.

A memoir of the last, worst traditional war in our modern times

The book is not an easy read, as Hoseyni recounts one tragedy after another.

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In short, for those attacked by Iraq the war was one day from hell after another, with each one worse than the next. Hunger, thirst, physical exhaustion, emotional exhaustion, the nightmares of screaming planes, repeatedly watching people go insane with the pain of mourning, every weary pause only giving rise to recent tragic memories, the constant filth and lack of clean water a bombarded people must deal with, actual nightmares when sleep does come, the perpetual sound of war which then makes silent pauses totally strange, and the constant, constant guilt of being alive combined with the knowledge that death from a shell could come at any moment.

So much of the book is something like a horror hallucination of the first few weeks of an unexpected, undeserved war, combined with a recounting of the vast citizen efforts to fight back.

Each according to their abilities, of course: Hoseyni is an young lioness fighting for the cubs of the Iranian nation and Khorramshahr. She accepts responsibility after responsibility, and even refuses to back down to proud & protective Iranian men in her insistence on going to the front to help amid the bullets and bombs. She volunteers as a corpse-washer, which turned out to be a never-ending job, and which is certainly a job few would want. Her beloved father and brother die at the front, but still she endures and gives, gives, gives. Everyone is looking at her and seeing a person with an iron sense of justice, duty and faith.

What I suggest makes this memoir so compelling and successful is that, in Hoseyni’s retelling, she remembers not only that every day was a living hell but that every moment within every day was a living hell. Hoseyni repeatedly talks about the constant abyss of mourning and horror opening up inside her at every moment; seemingly dozens of times a day she is assaulted by an event/tragedy/memory/feeling which could send a normal person to a hospital for weeks of recovery and therapy. It is unlikely that a memoir by a male would admit the incredibly sad emotions which any human would go through in Hoseyni’s situation.

And yet Hoseyni appeared to all as indomitable (even after she is wounded at the front). She simply said a prayer of “Ya Hossain” and rushed towards another difficult task nobody else wanted. She was the model defender of the nation – indeed, Iran’s war “Mother” is not even a “true” Iranian, in non-socialist logic — but the book reveals that she was able to live this ideal even though her feelings were the absolute opposite of proud glory.

Saying a prayer before a difficult task can go a very long way, but it’s this juxtaposition of a public persona of revolutionary steel combined with total inner crumbling which makes the book so compelling. How she could do what she did – when she could not even bring herself to eat, nor sleep, nor mourn day after day after day – is astounding and an inspiration to anyone sanctioned by injustice.

For those who are not just uninterested in religion but who also actively detest religion, I’m sorry to objectively report that a huge part of her strength came from her religious faith – she and her family were pious people who took their title of “Seyed” as a serious injunction to be moral examples. However, the family was also extremely politically aware and active – these were true revolutionaries; they were also so poor as to come from the “correct” class to qualify as a revolutionary, although such prejudices represent antiquated notions about who can or cannot be a socialist.

There is much to learn from the war memoirs from World War I, II, or the Holocaust, but Da is exceptional in that it is from our modern times. When she recounts her rage and disbelief at BBC Radio’s totally misguided coverage of the war, we in 2018 share her shock at “fake news”.

Da should be essential reading to any war hawk advocating invasion in any foreign country which has had a socialist-inspired revolution, because you will be facing a very unique type of people. Whether it be the USSR, China, Vietnam, Korea or Iran, these are societies which cannot be divided into tribes or identities, as they have achieved socialist cultural unity:

“I saw myself as a tree with deep roots, resisting being pulled from the ground. How could I allow myself to be uprooted? Although born in Basra, I felt no attachment to the place. I loved Iran…my love for Khorramshahr overwhelmed all reason and logic.”

The Western capitalist and anti-multicultural societies of continental Europe cannot imagine that an immigrant is capable of ever feeling this way, and thus many there want immigrants expelled or at least segregated.

But the old tricks of divide and conquer, Balkanisation or the political segregation of Lebanonization will not work in socialist-inspired nations. The author recounts how Saddam Hussein tried exactly that – telling Iranian Arabs to join their Arab brother – but only the most reactionary fell for such a stupid worldview.

Hoseyni talks about the MKO/MEK terrorist group (and I am only talking about them because Western nations and their propaganda outlets keep pushing them back into the spotlight): stealing corpses to inflate their body counts for propaganda purposes, attacking people who disagreed with them at public debates, working as spies for Iraq and giving them coordinates of places to bomb, attacking ardent revolutionaries and then literally rubbing salt or pepper in their wounds out of sadism. The idea that the MKO isn’t detested by 100% of Iranians, and that they have a zero percent chance of ever being rehabilitated – much less being democratically elected into power – is totally, totally absurd to Iranians. Again, why would anyone even talk about them anymore? Oh yes, because they are propped by the West, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

She also talks about what an exceptionally politically-open society Iran was in the early days of the Revolution, and few non-Iranians know that much of this remains true today. Parliament was open to anyone to come observe and even shout disruptions, Khomeini held public audiences for two hours twice a week and received anyone and everyone, elected representatives were easily accessible and lived the common, poor lives of a nation under war. All of this is in stark contrast to the leaders of seemingly every Arab nation not named “Algeria”, and it also shows the democratic bonafides, the more-than-majority support, of the Iranian Islamic Revolution: you can shudder at the word “Islamic” all you want, but the revolution was democratic in the truest sense of the word and no matter in what country that word is uttered.

Western culture is full of ‘war porn’, but Iran is not titillated by such things

“The fall of Khorramshahr and the things I had experienced in the past weeks had made me more aware of how people suffered.”

Such are the types of wisdoms Hoseyni tosses off, but there is no doubt that they are not false cliches for her, nor for millions of other Iranians.

It reminds me of a major problem with America and the West: they are so war-crazy, and yet everything they know about it – to anyone under 85 – is totally fictitious, video-game-like nonsense.

The American view of war is truly one constant cliche, where glory appears to be a feeling to run after but which Hoseyni proves it is actually the result of living through unwanted horrors and tragedies.

It’s true that the younger generation of Iranians has little memory of the sacrifices, bombardments and war rationing, but the way Iran and the US remember their war martyrs is so very different.

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Can you name one famous American solider who died in Iraq or Afghanistan? All I can think of is Pat Tillman, and that’s only because he was also an American football player (and who was killed by friendly fire). However, Iran is full of portraits and memorials to dead soldiers and even dead teenagers…one cannot even make a comparison of the psychological/emotional/human gravity of war in the minds of the average Iranian versus the average American.

My point is that, for all their fighting, ever since Vietnam Americans have essentially been hero-worshipping an empty solider’s uniform. Unless we are talking about rural Americans from their lower class, most Americans really have no personal/psychological connection to actual war, unlike Iranians.

Such people, like the 4-F Trump, grow enraged at taking anyone knee during the National Anthem to protest the undeniable mass incarceration/mass murder/mass oppression of an ethnic minority, but there is no truly human element present – their honouring is phony and faceless.

Say what you will about Iran, but you cannot say that.

Furthermore, Iranian martyrdom – where death is assured – is far, far different from the power-trip fantasies and motivations of the American solider and the American chickenhawk playing Call of Duty video games.

For Iran war is not a glory, but a horror, and whatever sacrifices the nation must make due to the Western Cold war…at least it is better than the Hot War. Befuddled Western “analysts” of Iran cannot imagine this type of logic playing such a large part in Iranian policymaking because they have zero experiences and comprehension of any war which is not just on a two-dimensional screen.

Iran fights in places like Syria, Iraq an Afghanistan because their allies, cousins and cultural-cousins are being attacked, and also because justice itself is being attacked; America fights wars because it seems like fun, because they have such neat toys to play with, and they fight without gallantry and without esteem from the locals they claim to be “fighting with”. America massacres and plunders; Iran’s forces are far closer to Mao’s Long March injunction that soldiers should not take even a pin from locals they were trying to liberate from fascism.

Image result for Ahvaz Terror Attack,

Thirty years after the end of Iran’s “War of Sacred Defense” Iran’s “military parades” are attacked, but the world still doesn’t really comprehend exactly what the West is attacking in Iran. Da is an unsparing account of a civilian Islamic socialist revolutionary in wartime – reading this memoir would certainly help Westerners understand what they remain up against as they keep trying to implode Iran’s socialist-inspired democracy.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

Does the coincidence explain the concurrence of targeting Russia and Iran? هل يفسّر قانون الصدفة تزامن استهداف روسيا وإيران؟

Does the coincidence explain the concurrence of targeting Russia and Iran?

أكتوبر 5, 2018

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Washington is involved in the blood of the Russian officers and soldiers and in the blood of the Iranian soldiers, officers, civilians, and children in two planned operations. This was clear in the Russian successive statements which insist to refer to the backgrounds and refuse to consider the aggression as an accident and through the aggression which targeted Iran as programmed and arranged act in order to transfer the battle to the Iranian interior as announced by the Advisor of the Emirati Crown Prince. There are two messages that the American operations room which managed the two incidents wanted to send; first, the embroilment of Gulf hands that can only manipulate in the Arab tribalism in the south of Iran. Second, the embroilment of Israeli hands that can only move freely in the Syrian airspace observed by Russia since its military positioning in 2015 and its holding of understandings  and drawing lines of movement regarding the relationship with America, Israel, and Turkey.

The fact that the attackers take countries in the south of Iran such as Netherlands, Denmark, and Britain as headquarters of their leaders does not negate the fact that the Gulf countries are concerned in funding, mobilizing, and following up. The security project is useless unless it is related to stir up the tribalism in the components of the Iranian collective identity, after the Iranian –Kurdish relationships seemed governed by equations of deterrence, and the Iranian-Turkish relationships governed by relations of cooperation in many issues , and the Iranian-Pakistani relationships are open to further coordination and cooperation, but there is no longer way for valuable manipulation in the Kurdish, Baluchi, and Turkman components, and the bet on the tribalism is no longer possible without Pakistani and Turkey as the two sponsors of the largest national sectarian components. Therefore, the Arab tribalism became the only available way for tampering in the Iranian interior, as the tweets of the US President about transforming the conflict to Iran where the Gulf financer and operator interprets the American policies and trends.

Israel seems to be the last American resource to confuse the Russian role in Syria, after the bet on the return of Turkey to the front of the war on Syria fell, and after the Turkish-American relationships became deteriorated concerning the Syrian issue and in many new issues. The bet on the terrorist groups has become above the ability of Washington and these groups, while Israel has the opportunity to wage the experience of modifying the rules of movement in the Syrian airspace through presenting the issue of the Iranian presence in Syria along with the resistance forces as a factor of complicating the Russian -Israeli relationship from the gate of a clash that imposes dialogue and negotiation to draw new rules of engagement rules. Washington betted to make the presence of Iran and the resistance forces agreed legitimate goals between Moscow and Tel Aviv in avoidance of a clash once again, as long as Israel has effective tools in the Russian interior that are similar to what it has in the Israeli interior. Therefore the Russian seeking to avoid the clash becomes more important than searching for the points of disagreement.

The American facts in the two events embroil its owners. Washington wanted to threat Moscow and Tehran in an attempt to go to negotiation in which it has the decision of ensuring security to Russia and Iran in exchange for concessions, most importantly those related to meet the requirements of the Israeli security in Syria that grants a status for America, that is lost till today in the equations of conflict and the negotiation with Russia and Iran. As long as Washington wants to tamper indirectly, Moscow and Tehran seem comfortable for making the direct players paying the cost. Moscow did not make a secret negotiation with Tel Aviv as a result of the incident of the plane, but it made it an entrance for a public confrontation and a reason for redrawing the rules of flight in the Syrian airspace, while Tehran opens the door for minute investigations that lead it to the direct responsibilities in order to react harshly without excuses.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

هل يفسّر قانون الصدفة تزامن استهداف روسيا وإيران؟

سبتمبر 24, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– فيما واشنطن تغسل أيديها من دماء الضباط والجنود الروس، ودماء الجنود والضباط والمدنيين والأطفال الإيرانيين، في عمليتين مدبّرتين، كما بات واضحاً من البيانات الروسية المتتابعة والمحكومة بإصرار على التحدث عن خلفيات، ورفض الأخذ بأسباب تخفيفية لجعل العدوان مجرد حادث. وكما هو واضح من الاعتداء الذي استهدف إيران معلناً عن نفسه كعمل مدبّر ومبرمج، لنقل المعركة إلى الداخل الإيراني، كما أعلن مستشار ولي العهد الإماراتي، ينطرح سؤال محدّد يطال غرفة العمليات الأميركية التي تدير المسرحين، والرسائل التي أرادتها من عمليتين كبيرتين يصعب الصمت عليهما، واحدة تمت بتورط أيادٍ خليجية وحدها تستطيع التلاعب بالعصبية العربية في جنوب إيران، والثانية تمّت بأياد إسرائيلية وحدها تستطيع حرية التحرك في الأجواء السورية التي تديرها روسيا منذ تموضعها العسكري عام 2015، وعقدها تفاهمات ورسمها خطوط تحرك على محاور العلاقة بأميركا و»إسرائيل» وتركيا.

– أن يتخذ المهاجمون في جنوب إيران من دول مثل هولندا والدنمارك وبريطانيا مقار لقادتهم، لا يلغي كون اليد الخليجية هي المعنية بالتمويل والتحريك والمتابعة. فالمشروع لا يصلح لإزعاج إيران كمشروع أمني، ما لم يتم ربطه بإثارة العصبيات في مكوّنات الهوية الإيرانية الجامعة، وبعدما بدت العلاقات الإيرانية الكردية، محكومة بمعادلات الاحتواء والردع، والعلاقات الإيرانية التركية محكومة بعلاقات التعاون في ملفات عديدة، والعلاقات الإيرانية الباكستانية منفتحة على المزيد من التعاون والتنسيق، لم يعُد ثمة مجال لتلاعب ذي قيمة بالمكوّنات الكردية والبلوشية والتركمانية، ولا عاد الرهان على العصبية المذهبية ممكناً، بدون باكستان وتركيا، كراعيتين لأكبر مكونات قومية ذات لون مذهبي يصلح للاستعمال، فصارت العصبية العربية هي المدخل الوحيد المتاح للعب بالداخل الإيراني، وترجمة تغريدات الرئيس الأميركي حول نقل الصراع إلى داخل إيران، حيث يترجم المشغل والممول الخليجي السياسات والتوجهات الأميركية.

– في سورية تبدو «إسرائيل» آخر الملاذ الأميركي لإرباك الدور الروسي، بعدما سقط الرهان على استرجاع تركيا إلى جبهة الحرب على سورية، وبعدما بلغت العلاقات التركية الأميركية ما بلغت من تدهور في العنوان السوري وفي عناوين جديدة كثيرة. والرهان على الجماعات الإرهابية صار فوق قدرة واشنطن وقدرة هذه الجماعات معاً، بينما تحظى إسرائيل بالفرصة لخوض غمار تجربة تعديل قواعد العمل في الأجواء السورية عبر تقديم الوجود الإيراني في سورية، وحضور قوى المقاومة فيها كعامل تأزيم للعلاقة الروسية الإسرائيلية، بوضع هذه العلاقة على المحك، من بوابة تصادم يفرض الحوار والتفاوض لرسم قواعد اشتباك جديدة، راهنت واشنطن أن تتيح جعل وجود إيران وقوى المقاومة أهدافاً مشروعة متفق عليها بين موسكو وتل أبيب، تلافياً للتصادم مجدداً، طالما أن لـ»إسرائيل» أيادي فاعلة في الداخل الروسي تشبه إلى حد كبير ما لها في الداخل الأميركي وما يجعل السعي الروسي لتلافي التصادم والافتراق أعلى مرتبة من البحث عن نقاط الخلاف.

– الوقائع الأميركية في المسرحين تبدو ورطة لأصحابها، حيث لم يطابق حساب الحقل حساب البيدر، فواشنطن أرادت أن تظهر العين الحمراء لكل من موسكو وطهران سعياً لتفاوض تملك فيه قرار توفير الأمن لروسيا وإيران، مقابل تنازلات أهمها يتصل بتلبية متطلبات الأمن الإسرائيلي في سورية، وتضمن بمجرد حدوثها تكريساً لمكانة أميركية مفقودة حتى اليوم في معادلات الصراع والتفاوض مع روسيا وإيران. وطالما أن واشنطن تريد اللعب وراء الكواليس تبدو موسكو وطهران مرتاحتين لجعل اللاعبين المباشرين يدفعون الثمن، فموسكو لم تمسح الضربة بجلدها وتذهب لتفاوض سري مع تل أبيب بل جعلت منها مدخلاً لمواجهة علنية، وباباً لإعادة رسم قواعد الحركة الجوية في السماء السورية، بينما طهران تفتح الباب لتحقيقات دقيقة توصلها لتحديد مسؤوليات مباشرة، وبعدها الردّ القاسي من دون عذر لمن تورّط.

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