PBS: Our Man in Tehran, Part II

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Note that most of my points were covered in Part I so this will be relatively curt.

It’s pretty cool seeing someone grill the Dutchman about modernity. The problem is can it even be modernity if you end up someplace else? It seems like a large percentage of Erbrink’s female friends end up abroad from his assistant Somayeh to about half of his wife’s family. Their minds are already functionally turned westward so what would it even say about the changing nature of society if such people leave anyway. ‘What were you trying to show?’ He asks which is a valid question. It calls into nature either his naivety or his duplicity. Neither which is a good picture.

Even when he covers the more modern aspects of the country promoted by the government such as the luxury angle it’s done somewhat mockingly as they shoo off a homeless man that any Western celebrity would have probably already maced and tasered. Even whatever freedoms the reformists have brought on make it sound like these Western-backed propaganda campaigns had functionally held their country hostage for their freedom. Another triumphalist account of the soft power of the West effectively pushes his ideas of their superiority and modernity. He even ‘thanks’ the internet for the new cappuccino café in Tehran which requires all manner of logical jumps.

He then gets into the more recent headscarf protests as if to confirm a very real fear of desire creep. Like many examples of this banal phenomenon he doesn’t distinguish between societal and government suppression of these headscarf-less women.  As the government structures merely retreated rather than going away entirely like Erdbrink wished the implication of a government unwilling to let these great things happen does at least plant the seed of the regime change idea. The women act belligerently towards the police vehicles and their suppression is backwards and shocking. In enlightened nations like the United States they just shoot you for such behavior.

One of his ‘friends’ is already involved in these protests and has so for a while which only confirms the reality of the kind of circle Erdbrink is surrounded by. If anything this might actually serve as a confirmation about the ‘Western subversion’ coming from outside.

Throughout the second part of the documentary  there is a constant reoccurring mantra. The Isalmic Republic will not allow these freedoms. Things that he’ll portray as desirable: dance, music, Instagram, and fashion. He never mentions the term ‘regime change’, but at the end he does encourage protests. Overall the message is clear: for these (obviously desirous) changes to happen, the clerics must be stripped of power. The elected government such as the President of Iran can stay. Rouhani is actually talked about favorably initially so once again it is fair in some respects. The desire creep is influenced by a faction of the foreign enemies of the country that will accept nothing less than full capitulation. A defenseless Iran which goes along with every Israeli policy is needed and nothing else will be accepted by Washington or Tel Aviv. Of course this would be disastrous for the region’s security.

 

Also there’s the new girl who does the hijab protests for Instagram. A younger woman with strange hair but it doesn’t seem to be political in her own mind. It seems that in an age of social media everyone wants to get noticed. This is really what it’s about. These things make for prime destabilization and distraction in the streets of Tehran. Of course there was then the threat by ‘Mr. Big Mouth’ to the US funded promoter of the headscarf campaign, which terrified the narrator. Yes this is something that is frequently glossed over. The fact that these campaigns are promoted by hostile foreign entities in both the channels and housing the promoters. Perhaps there is a safety issue, but you  can never get around the fact that all this high minded rhetoric about individual rights is promoted by a hostile foreign power. The obfuscation of this fact is what keeps this narrative on life support for those ignorant of the objective facts.

In his part about the diaspora there is a paradox in his constant politicization of identities that is contradicted by his subjects insisting that their lifestyle is not political. The paradox here is that Westerners like him constantly politicize it. Much of the political establishment in Iran is actually quite well-read and realize how much of this works. As much as the singers and dancers might insist they are not revolutionaries, Western periodicals push everything as it’s a revolution and another nail in the Islamic Republic’s coffin.

It almost feels at points as if he shows his true motives as he curses the girl, his niece, who would like to go back to Iran. She sees no problem in adopting the local dress code. She’s proud of her heritage with a tattoo of Iran on her back. I believe this rubs Erdbrink the wrong way. Nationalism in all its forms no matter how benign seem to arise a sense of disdain in the man. He doesn’t analyze the clearly unrealistic expectations others have of the United States. Ordinarily Europeans are happy to point out the flaws in the US, but not here. Even though this film was supposedly supposed to prop up Iran the Western world is clearly superior. There is no discussion. The only people who push back are either zealots or naïve people.

In the diaspora the fact is that some Iranian descended people will not have the connection to a country that is hostile to their motherland. A country that doesn’t possess nearly the amount of history and culture that the man spent the first part of the series going over. The emptiness of materialism in American life has been covered by writers and philosophers since the 1950s. While you may dismiss such works you cannot deny that this body of thought exists.

There are also issues of race and class that are never explored because that would complicate this narrative. It’s all about gender and modernity. Everything else is more or less meaningless. The issue that one of the men in the US he interviews hints at the racial problem and the sense of displacement. These things that are to some extent brought on by the narrative that media figures like Erdrbrick promote. He doesn’t emphasize with it at all.

There were about a thousand moments in which he could have brought up the issues with other nations in a way that may have been meaningful. Since this is in fact the New York Times, the first part was filled with optimism as they expected a different presidential candidate, but now that The Donald has won they blame him for his lack of optimism. This is a pure falsehood. The neoconservatives of his administration have nothing but optimism that the country will give up their interests and surrender their sovereignty. The man who was hired to manage the ‘Iran issue’ cited this documentary. It’s insane that they would still pretend to have meaningful disagreements.

It doesn’t take the man long to shift the blame afterwards towards the faceless and backwards leader stopping the ‘inevitable’ trend of opening and modernizing Iran. He talks of his friend’s father being arrested for somehow accidentally planting cameras around Iranian nuclear sites. The friend asserts that he imagines everyone is sure of his father’s innocence. Perhaps the man was entrapped, but he admits he may never know the answers. Still his version of the story seems to tow to some manner of propaganda line even if it is completely genuine.  Given his other connections that makes him even more suspect. Let’s not forget the incredibly Zionist slant of the New York Times which is possibly the most pro-Israel than some Israeli papers.

“Surely we all agree” is now a sentiment that raises alarms in my mind because of the breadth of  assumptions that are allowed to go unchallenged. Particularly when I strongly believe they are false. Let us analyze the things that are largely ‘unquestionable’ in this documentary:

Erdbrink’s friends are innocent

Westernization is an unquestionable good

The world inevitably heads towards modernity

The clerics restrict freedom

These are the narratives that make up most of the unquestioned narrative of Iran. The only part of that which may not have been shared by the Trump administration is that the JCPOA was an unquestionably good thing. The fact is that among a certain segment of neocons they can and will nitpick at this agreement and all you’re left with is the same narrative. There never was a vigorous defense of the JCPOA in this thing.

He seems to lament the lack of activism especially between elections saying that people have been lured away from pollical struggle by ‘superficial’ freedoms. There is however a level of superficiality in all the individual rights he talks about. He asks whether the people are ready to sacrifice and writes of these upper classes who may hesitate to get involved. It seems however that these upper classes who embrace the Western modernity are the ones who support these Western style ideas in the first place. In a strange way it’s a call of going ‘back’ to the revolution when he interviews the older democracy activists. Of finishing what was started. Ironically some of the principilist conservative types feel the same way.

Functionally I believe Erdbrink signed Iran’s death warrant. Both him and his typical audience failed to understand the fragility of whatever rapprochement would be attempted. Iran will survive sure, but his audience will think they learned something in those grueling four hours when they really haven ‘t. The audience that most needs to understand how and why this is allowed to persist is able to escape their role in the machine that props up the ever-looming specter of war and famine. Even the most harmless Western-supported protests have been extremely damaging to Iran and have had deadly consequences. Every attempt to help has actually had the opposite effect. There is a crackdown. A justifiable crackdown. This is what happens when hostile powers promote unrest. It doesn’t matter what the ideal end result is. For even the sanctions relief to ever be palatable to the current political establishment, the one-sided narrative of Iran needs to finally be laid to rest. The conventionally orthodoxy about the country needs to be questioned. The impact of foreign policy towards Iran needs to be examined in all its brutal entirety. From US support to Saddam to sanctions to the drumming up of sectarian violence in Iran’s society and along its borders.

 

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PBS: Our Man In Tehran Part I

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Our protagonist a strangely cringey Dutch man starts off with the rather obvious falsehood of Iran’s isolation and stock footage of chador adorned women protesting. Firstly, the isolation element is a falsehood that only seeks to help draw parallels with North Korea. North Korea’s purpose as a comparison point helps draw a parallel with perhaps the single most popular target for ‘regime change’ in the western mind. This premise not only hypes up the content, but also serves as discouragement for people who would look into Iran. This props up the rare few in the Western media that can access it as the sole authority. It’s locked away and we have the key. Don’t look for it.

“A country where nothing is allowed but everything is possible” the announcer booms as the audience is bombarded with this dichotomy of white bearded Islamic clerics and girls in track suits doing Zumba one after the other. This aforementioned dichotomy once more props up the narrative of young and free versus old and oppressive. A narrative which implies the weakness of the government and the inevitability of its collapse at least on the societal scale. It follows this with a man pushing one of the headscarf protesters off the electric box she was standing, one of the short videos that make the rounds on the various propaganda networks.  Right here we have the clash and all the while the main subject of Thomas Erdbrink is unaffected and undeterred as the Persian language pop blares.

Erdbrink claims to believe that the Iran Deal was a game changer in his many interviews on American media. In retrospect I don’t see why anyone should have had high expectations unless they were completely out of touch with US politics. Even the Hafez poem in the documentary seemed to predict it when he visited Shiraz: “when did our friendship end? Where are those who support you?”. It seems like he was mostly focused on showing his day-to-day life in Tehran although the often unstated fact of focusing on Tehran is that there is no reason anyone should assume the nation’s largest city is in any way typical of the rest of the country. Especially in this case because he is one of a number of foreign correspondents who coalesce there.

One of the first subjects he focuses on is a divorced woman who he notes ‘have a hard time in Iran’. This once again holds up a very different country to the Western audience’s standards. These contradictions are never actually addressed. In fact given the ‘post-nuclear deal’ setting, the Western audience is somehow able to subconsciously take credit for these changes that come about the in 2nd part of the documentary with Erdbrink as the stand in for the white savior.

The problems of individuals in his life with the society around them thus becomes part of a greater clash between tradition and modernity. These ideas of modernity and Islam are once more part of the politicized analysis of the Orient that is propped up by people like Bernard Lewis and Francis Fukuyama. Once more a supposedly open-minded audience is imprinted with the post-9/11 period’s political orthodoxy.

With the divorcee she’s from a smaller, backwards and traditionalistic world that’s just one of many examples of the lost potential of women within the country. The New York Times gives her work in essence serving as a savior within itself. The issues of mandatory clothing are covered perhaps too extensively as she talks about her issues with her move to Tehran and no longer wearing a chador ‘shocks’ her father. They still have perfectly fine relationships; However, she states that not wearing the chador is a part of her ‘identity’. In that another part of the problem lies as this very specific line of thinking coming from the West wherein everything becomes identity and identity becomes political. She’s a woman, not just a woman, but not one of those chador-wearing women. A modern type of woman.

Her words at the time are somewhat mistranslated I have noticed. I might wonder if it is done so manipulatively. Some statements are made more profound and others are made less profound. When speaking about chadors these statements about the clothing issue are blown out of proportion in both its coverage and its translation.  He shares some time with the traditionalist family. After leaving he applauds her ‘bold move’ and ‘choosing her own path’. It seems 17 years in this country hasn’t torn him from a mindset of identity politics and staunch individualism divorced from any greater social context. It’s followed by an Iranian woman who works as a trucker which is somehow a surprise. There was a prominent film about a taxi driver not too long ago. From that point a trucker seems like hardly a stretch, but his fascination with a  woman trucker seems like the epitome of the American mindset in Iran. The fact that she’s been doing it for over 20 years isn’t even touched on compared to conditions in the rest of the Muslim world.

Someone does actually bring up the problem of a Westerner writing for a Western audience in the Western media. It has pitfalls, which he acknowledges for a half second through a fictional ruling of some Ayatollah. In this fictional scenario with a fictional Ayatollah that makes a decree about outlawing vascectomies or something, the journalist says that he would question the authority in Iran. “This fictional ruling will not work how you think!” he says.

Here is where we have an inherent paradox. By challenging the authorities within the country. These challenges to their authority however is not for an Iranian audience. It’s for a Western audience, so it serves a different utility. Namely to mock the irrationality of the people who would defy the Western order. The single entity that matters in his life is this faceless ‘state’ he quietly rebels against in small ways when he’s inside the country. By putting film on his windows. By bringing up the ever-trendy hijab topic that keeps getting funded by Western governments and media every chance he gets.

Speaking of Western media he speaks about Jason Rezanian’s arrest in 2014. Rezanian was at The Washington Post which does in fact have ties to the CIA that have been frequently documented. The problems of periodicals like the New York Times and Washington Post could be chronicled on their own. Still Rezanian is an Uncle Tom whose appearance in this makes for a useful discussion point. While Rezanian once more claims to oppose sanctions he serves as a neocon talking point. The first and most obvious factor is his arrest. Secondly he promotes just about all the fashionable talking points and human rights campaigns that are funded by various Zionist interests.[1] He writes stories that demonize the government and spread paranoia against it. Immediately after promoting his book he writes on the handful of Facebook accounts that are part of the Iranian ‘propaganda and brainwashing’ campaign that has nothing to do with Iran and merely promotes leftist, occasionally veering into anti-Israel talking points. The issue here as with Erdbrink is that they both work for periodicals that are ‘occupied territory’. NYT and Washington Posts are filled to the brim of apologetics for the nation that has constantly been sabre rattling against Iran and at this point poses an existential threat to Iran: Israel[2]. Neither of these writers ever break in their demonization of Iran in their contextually devoid analysis. Rezanian has been released by the Iranian government only to prove them right by putting CIA talking points at full blast. It was a similar case of the Western aligned journalist arrested during the rather suspect Green Movement. Furthermore the man’s presence in this all exposes one issue that I’ve long had with the mainstream US media; that it is a largely incestuous clique. This particular kind of clique is smugly self-assured in its own political orthodoxy.

This props up a foreign establishment. He’s a foreigner. Writing for foreigners. Reinforcing the perceptions of foreigners. An oft unsaid problem is that there is a narrative in which all young people are yearning for and potentially even willing to die for liberal, secular, modern western style democracy. This is taken for granted when the strawman that an entire nation is a monolith is brought up. The problem is not that there is any perception of these nations being monoliths. Yes there might be an evil caricature of the nation. Yes this can be used to prop up a disdain for the country leading to even action from outside the country. The problem is when you think this somehow works against the wishful thinking of these neoliberal types in which everyone will ‘get on board’. These ideas work in concert unless someone decides to point out how one idea could contradict the other. If this is a society crying out for modernity, has the program of countries of the United States worked against that? This question, if the people doing these works should have been a central question if the people who make them are in any way genuine about being a well-wisher of this country.

Being a Westerner he lives in the country and largely considers the state somewhere between a nuisance and a modern authoritarian state. In the age of the NSA and CIA he state ‘they watch you ALL the time’ as if it is somehow different or surprising. It is painful to watch someone who can judge this nation with this much naivety towards the US or anywhere else that seem to fit more into some manner of anarcho-communistic ideal than the actual reality in the way that his perceptions seem airlifted from the most alarming interpretation of The Authoritarian Personality.

Another issue with the man’s background as a secular European is his mystification when it comes to religion or even nationalism. Such is apparent when he claims that Westerners do not comprehend martyrdom when the concept itself is in a sense found in many cultures. Christ’s crucifixion for the most obvious example. The detachment from ‘the Passion’ in some forms of Christianity does not wipe out the role that such a concept has had in the past. The man scarcely comprehends how Iranians could want to die for their country oblivious to the concepts of honor and service inherent within every nation’s military. Once more I find that many of those Westerners who spend all this time analyzing Iran fail to understand the United States.

He considers Iran’s involvement in Syria ‘strange’ as it has been labeled as a ‘holy war’. It is ‘across the border’ as has been the tradition since the Iran-Iraq War. This is another point where the weak geopolitical analysis is a great problem. Syria isn’t just ‘across’ the border, it is ON the border as the Syrian war had bled into Iran’s neighbor Iraq. This is without involving the cultural ties or even the military alliance with Assad that aided Iran during this Iran-Iraq War. Is it so strange that Iran is involved there? Is it really that far away considering that even Australians are involved? When any Western reporter even asks these questions its as if they open their mouths and Netanyahu’s voice comes out. The same voice that came up in those more recent 2018 protests and a few soundbites called out against what is perceived as ‘foreign intervention’ by the handful of street interviewees he got. These people must have somehow managed to stay ignorant of the terrorist attacks and skirmishes on their border. It is clear that like the narrator they have even entertained the possibility that the ‘regime’s’ foreign policy is a pragmatic means of keeping war out of Iran itself. The sole voice of reason was the Iranian soldier who clearly dashed Erdbrink’s expectations.

The Syrian War clearly has a negative impact on some in the country and while he tries to keep it in religious terms, he can’t bring himself to demonize the people who support Iran in it. Another aspect he would never dare mention is the role of the Western powers and Western media in escalating the role in the first place. The Syrian War serves as a reason why many Iranians are justifiably worried about participation in another 2009 style resolution. It was media outlet’s like Erdbrink’s who portrayed the conflict as a one sided struggle for freedom. Particularly by the left-wing Western media that Thomas Erdbrink works for. They propped it up on mainstream media and social media. Some elements of the Western governments even funded it. He is silent in all of this. Another aspect of Western complicity, one involving the media no less, is brushed under the rug.

The only area in which I would give this kind of soft propaganda credit is that there is at least a human element which yes does vocally recoil at the ever-present threat of war and sanctions. That being said, it still props up the narrative of those who do not see the people in Iran as individuals. People like Benjamin Netanyahu who will make up fictional people to talk about their hardships on one hand and tell Congress to bring back sanctions on the other. To them, they are abstracts and the ends justifies the means. This is the inherent problem. The problem being is that the forces of US interventionists, the Israelis, and even a portion of Europe will go ‘ok but this is good for you in a long run; the status quo can’t persist’. At the end of the day a regime collapse is still at least implicitly the desirable outcome because the government is nothing but an oppressive and nebulous force.

Even when people like Erdbrink argue against sanctions they do it for entirely the wrong reason. They claim it is because this is not the way to accomplish what the Western governments want. They claim that this will only strengthen the most reactionary elements of the regime. However, the very same people who make this narrative go out of their way to prop up the reformist elements of the society as the easy winners. Furthermore, they do very little to make the more straightforward argument: that the sanctions and warfare are inherently immoral.

This renders this liberal argument vulnerable to the same kind of wishful thinking they have engaged in all along. If modernization is inevitable, if the youth will wash over this desiccated old government, why should we not have a hand in it? Why not hasten it along? They cannot argue against this because no matter what the other side will engage in the same kind of wishful thinking they did when they showed the youth of Tehran in their cafes, Zumba classes, and anti-hijabi protests.

Perhaps it would have been effective if after the collapse of the deal Erdbrink would go over to the notorious Mr. Big Mouth’s house and conceded that he was wrong. Maybe end it on a less than hopeful note and remind the Western world that some actions can and will have negative consequence, but to do so would betray his own hubris. This brand of Western modernization is not only inevitable, but without fault. He cannot concede the merits of enmity towards Western governments. Also by the end of the series he’s probably terrified of the man even if he’s usually joking half the time and holds no real political power.

Western, secular liberal democracy both compositely and in its entirety can be nothing but a force for good. The ‘real’ solutions to Iran’s failed policies have to come from the West whether its environmental scientists, Alcoholics Anonymous, or the dollar itself. Everything about US wars on Iran’s borders has to be pushed aside to talk about hijabs and Pharrell. In other words the kind of things about Iran that go viral in Western media.[3]

The end of the first part seems to give way ultimately to a kind of cultural assault. This Islamic order is a set of rules. Rules against love and fun like many of the early depictions of Khomeini’s uncompromising cultural revolution. There’s a gender partition that is every present and probably accounts for about 75% of this thing’s coverage. He covers a Zumba instructor just to see what parts would have to be censored. In some ways it almost turns to mockery.  The Zumba woman clearly hasn’t spent all or even most of her life in Iran first of all. There are foreign elements to this which remain unaddressed. In some ways it nearly seems like the Western media there is using Islamic sexual hang-ups to instigate. Anyone who has read The Arab Mind and thus has observed Israelis broadcasting pornography into Palestine or US conduct in Abu Ghraib should recognize the pattern. While this may sound conspiratorial it would be equally ridiculous to dismiss what is clearly Western mockery.

“Perhaps it seems childish to go about this, but your personal freedom and space are determined by the state.” Is a quote that rang a number of alarm bells for myself as it both uses Western ideas of human rights that have been manipulated to bring Iran down since before the Revolution, and the racist tropes of Arabs or Muslims being ‘childish’. He humors the clerics like a man toying with a baby. While there is a reflexive skepticism of racism accusations in some circles, I must admit there is a level of condescension coming from this European man.  His mission to get Zumba on Iranian TV isn’t genuine. The man has no intention of it and covers little if any of what is actually on Iranian TV at all. It’s simply another step to show media suppression in comparison to Western countries. This is the only standard where such perceptions can hold water. Women in urban clothes dancing whether in Zumba classes or on Instagram might be regular and even ‘innocent’ in Europe but outside of this very narrow worldview nothing close to this is even entertained.

The causes of Iranian enmity towards the West come up in the extremely brief discussions on the overthrow of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh and subsequent takeover of the Shah. He did briefly throw in the Iran-Iraq War, and the downing of the civilian airplane, but the issue is this is supposed to be ‘all in the past’. It’s a part of merely decorative national identity.

 

The idea that this is ‘all in the past’ is absolutely laughable because the elements in the American government which agitate against Iran have not gone away like he would like to believe. Sanctions and covert operations are still an ongoing problem. On a more concrete note we should contemplate how the consigning of these grievances to the past is disingenuous.

The overthrow of Mossadegh was an attack on Iranian sovereignty by US intelligence agencies which still attempt to do the exact same thing. These agencies also fund the son of Iran’s last Shah and funnel his messages into Iran through satellite stations such as the Voice of America. The latest string of protests had people crying out for the Shah because an element of the diaspora broadcasts propaganda that lionizes Iran’s monarchy. The United States houses a number of both current and former Shah supporters. The United States has scarcely recognized the new government of Iran since the 1979 revolution. They have not made peace with the past of the Shah and still house both him and his supporters while elements of every Western government wax nostalgically about the Shah’s time.

 

The Iran-Iraq War as explained by Iran’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Javad Zarif, was a time in which the entire international community turned their back on Iran.[4] Even just recently, evidence that the United States supplied Saddam Hussein with the materials to use chemical warfare on Iranian civilians is just being released. The Iran-Iraq War is a part of the governments well-founded belief that sets Iran against much of the rest of the world that have largely become subservient to US interests. It is symbolic of a larger issue that when an Iranian government puts their trust in international institutions they are functionally signing a death sentence.

The irony of asking Iranians to brush the Iran-Iraq War aside is particularly ridiculous when the Iraq War never really ended after the former Iraqi leader’s execution. This is only considering the United States of course. When looking at the real agitator against Iran in current years, the Israelis and their relation to the Holocaust this becomes even more worthy of disdain. I highly doubt there would be a single documentary in Israel that would brush this particularly thorny historical issue as ‘just the past’.

While the architects of the 1953 coup are largely dead, those responsible for much of the others problems are largely either active themselves or their progeny carry out their work without hiccup. Bush Jr.  took over the work of Bush Sr up until 2008. Bush Sr. who refused to apologize for the death of Iranian civilians on flight 665. Bush Sr. who with Donald Rumsfeld cooperated with Saddam Hussein. Every President after Carter including Barack Obama kept up the economic siege of sanctions on Iran. The neoconservatives within the various administrations never stopped beating the war drums along with their Israeli counterparts in the Likud party. These basic policy doctrines never really changed. Now that Saddam is dead the US government had taken to backing the MEK, a former terrorist group which sided with Saddam during this war. These historical issues were never really dead.

The human-interest element of work like this does not give the piece the appropriate amount of pessimism that this topic deserves when those in power are so quick to pass judgement while being completely out of touch with reality. If he considered at least the possibility that the US government would see this and still judge it worthwhile to torment these people to spite a government, they had quarrel with perhaps that would have made a difference.

The fact that this is a PBS documentary by a New York Times reporter actually subverts the simple need to depict Iranians as ‘simply humans. Both of these American media outlets are affiliated with US democrats. They will concede that yes foreigners are people intellectually. They have no problem with this sentiment. Their issue is that they will not do anything to circumvent any of the mechanisms which make life difficult for these people. The information presented in human interest pieces like these are fundamentally useless. They’re not helping. The chief focus is on a relatively well-to-do and cosmopolitan population overall. These people can survive sanctions and in fact many of them will flee to Western countries. Anyone who thinks that these people will fight either for or against the regime is simply fooling themselves. It is the poor and vulnerable classes which will actually suffer the most such as the 15 year old boy who died without receiving his hemophilia medication. [5]

Throughout all of this he states nothing of the role of foreign powers in Iran’s problems. In fact he dismisses the sentiment but when it comes to Western cultural capital and Western support on social media THEN the United States is allowed to be impactful. The message that this sends is that the policy of the United States has no affect on Iranian lives when it comes to something negative. Maybe he lacks the intellectual capacity to get his head around such issue. At points he even seems to believe that it was Iran posing the sanctions on itself.

The assumption is they would support a change of government. They would support protests. The fact that these people are a centerpiece reinforces the assumptions of the men in the Foundation of Defense of Democracies.[6] Erdbrink’s analysis is rather weak and one sided even if this isn’t the worst documentary about Iran. In fact, due to the really low standards of them, this one is relatively ok. At least some of the more conservative side got their voices out. He doesn’t even really seem to accept that there is an element of Iran’s society that supports the government. They were dismissed, and nobody stuck around that long to hear them, but they got out.

 

 

[1] This isn’t hyperbole. All you need to do is see these human rights people praising John McCain or follow the money trail

[2] Or Occupied Palestine if you prefer

[3] For more see: https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/this-is-what-modern-war-propaganda-looks-like-ffb523ce8be

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqhfGTNZhg8

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/nov/14/sanctions-stop-medicines-reaching-sick-iranians

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5-fcZU1b0U

 

You’re Not Helping

woman-waterpipe-iran-1390-4872You’re Not Helping[1]

The media no matter what its political affiliation serves as a mythmaker for the public for all future, past, and present wars. While the Iran War is thankfully not yet a reality this is an idea on the mind of every Western journalist that covers Iran. Unfortunately, when they cover Iran in abstracts their opposition never comes clear. If they write in the ‘human element’, this is when supposedly their opposition to the campaigns of war and sanctions against a vibrant and kind people comes through…or does it?

The truth is that the media’s coverage of Iran props up many of the same myths that keep the constantly circulated meme that the government will collapse any day now and the ‘people’ will welcome it. Anyone who is even tangentially familiar with the concept of a ‘Color Revolution’ will be able to connect this to well-trod techniques for destabilizing, and ultimately collapsing a government.[2] These oft stated ideas that the youth of Tehran will bring about the kind of government that both sides of the American political spectrum want keep the myths that push the current US foreign policy establishment alive.

Currently millions of “leftists” weep for soulless warmonger John McCain. I’m not going to get into the specifics of his career but I must once again reiterate how people on the political left in the US and even Europe frequently play their role in the neoconservative establishment’s mythmaking. As McCain is laid to rest I have no doubt his colleagues will continue to push his last unfulfilled ambition to “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran”

While few on the so-called left will openly state their desire for sanctions, war, and regime change, they prop up the same myths which give rise to the inevitability of such policies. The one I specifically mean is the idea of the embattled Iranian youth against the stale, old repressive ‘regime’. A theme that is repeated time and time again as Westerners creepily try to catch a glimpse of ‘Iran under the veil’.

This idea was touched on in the recent Frontline PBS documentary “Our Man in Tehran” in which a Dutch man who has lived in Iran for 17 years covers Iran for the New York Times. Like the periodical’s articles he reveals the exact same biases that he wanted to step away from. The Iranian censorship minister even brought it up to his face in part II. He hastily changed the subject.

The documentary that had been 17 years in the making and totally at 4 hours of footage  is long enough to serve as a representation of all of the left-wing media talking points on the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

 

There is great support for the reformist camp but given their inability to completely turn Iran into what suits the high expectations of Westerners and Westernized Iranians they are inevitably disappointed. You can almost here the cries for government overthrow beneath the surface even implicitly. Always more. More protests. More media. More miniskirts. Even as the Washington Post and New York Times condemn sanctions when led by the Republican party they are silent when these same sanctions came from their own party. It seems as the issue is not what is being done, but who’s doing it.

The youth in Iranian as a topic are largely considered the great white hope for the Western media. They are the future. The ones who will overthrow this old and stale regime bringing secular, liberal democracy. This is a recurring theme in all Western media. If they keep pushing this idea is it any wonder that neoconservatives would take this idea and run with it? Why it sounds like they would greet American soldiers as liberators! Just as they greet the Western media.

[1] Alternatively: Stop Peering Under the Veil You Subversive Kharaji Concern Trolls

[2] Joaquin Flores, “The Color Revolution Model: An Exposé of the Core Mechanics,” Center For Syncretic Studies (blog), December 3, 2014, https://syncreticstudies.com/2014/12/03/the-color-revolution-model-an-expose-of-the-core-mechanics/.

Death of an American War Hero

On August 25th 2018, the world mourned as it lost a true patriot. After a battle with a terrible disease that lasted 15 months this American icon was lost and the flags were cast half mast. While we may have had our disagreements with his methods, we would be right to take a moment of silence for one who gave themselves entirely to the service of the United States and the world.

I am of course talking about John McCain’s Tumor.

an-illustration-depicting-a-brain-tumor

Tumor was a tireless peace activist who suffered from the awful condition of being in John McCain’s brain. All around poor Tumor the disease of warmongering and imperialism festered. Tumor perished fighting for peace. I only wish that we could have gotten to know Tumor better before they gave their ultimate sacrifice to this country and indeed the world. Truly the United States had not seen a more dedicated and passionate  activist in our time. With Tumor gone we are truly at the end of an era. I hope you can find time to celebrate his great accomplishments.

Iranians and the Emptiness of Liberalism

1f7q71

“The Negro ‘revolt’ is controlled by the white man, the white fox. The Negro ‘revolution’ is controlled by this white government. The leaders of the Negro ‘revolution’ (the civil rights leaders) are all subsidized, influenced and controlled by the white liberals; and all of the demonstrations that are taking place on this country to desegregate lunch counters, theaters, public toilets, etc., are just artificial fires that have been ignited and fanned by the white liberals in the desperate hope that they can use this artificial revolution to fight off the real black revolution that has already swept white supremacy out of Africa, Asia, and is sweeping it out of Latin America…and is even now manifesting itself also right here among the black masses in this country.” -Malcolm X

C.S Lewis believed that the most dangerous autocrats were those who were ruled not by greed, but by their conscience. While a tyrant who merely wants the wealth from oil or weapons deals might be sated as some point, the truly dangerous people are the people who believe they are waging war for peoples’ own good. Such is the case with the “liberals” on the issue of intervening within Iran. The very same liberals which claim to speak for minority groups like Iranians. It is liberals who give their stamp of approval to war and sanctions. It is liberals that focus on the social aspect of Iran’s wedge issues. It is the liberals which prop up the Saudi and Israeli backed human rights organizations to wage propaganda campaigns . When these liberals advocate any kind of engagement with ‘the mullahs’ they are predictable lambasted by their political opposition. Perhaps the opposition is right to do so, but the fact remains that within liberalism there has never been a proper advocate for the Iranian side of the issues.[i]

The entire push against war and sanctions against Iran is entirely controlled by white liberals. Any form of advocacy that Iranians might have is at the behest of white liberals. The few defenders of Iran in the West are of these white liberal sensibilities. The Reza Aslans, the Maz Jobranis, or to an extent the people from NIAC (National Iranian American Council) or PAAIA (Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans). Just follow these liberal leaders and everything will be fine. This is more or less to keep the small yet growing constituency with little more than lip service or plans that barely deviate from what they were going to do anyway. To people like this the solution is simple: oppose racism, vote democrat, and champion progressive causes.

This is a falsehood for many reasons. Let us not forget that interventionism is a bipartisan affair. It was true with Iraq and it is true now with the case for regime change. Even among Iranians there is at least according to anecdotes that there are diaspora Iranians who ‘support Trump on Iran’. In fact even within the country people have thrown up their hands on reform and taken a sip of the metaphorical Kool-Aid[ii]. Democrats have been imposing sanctions on Iran for years. They have the same program when it comes to hoping that Iranians overthrow their government, change their foreign policy, and embrace secular liberal democratic values. While the last part is a sentiment that many share, the issue becomes heightened when quite frankly people do not deviate from the goal even when it runs in the face of the facts on the ground.

Right now the facts on the ground is that the IRGC is in perhaps the most dominant position it has had in years. The protests are also being led by the most vapid concerns of economic problems and headscarves which the nation had to contend with the possibility of ISIS within its borders. Liberals often use the hope that these wedge issues will be resolved as a distraction for the larger problems such as the case of segregation above. They lead the charge on the headscarf issue, whereas conservative elements of the West are so compromised by anti-Iranian interests even as they see the point of traditionalism, they will voice their support of acts they consider degenerate in their own countries. This is however, as I said, a mere distraction from the real issue that Western liberal values are called ‘universal’ and imposed onto the rest of the world.

This brings me to criticism of the weak apologetics of the Iranian Americans’ own liberal leaders. While the diaspora may desire change, they do not do themselves any favors by lying to themselves about the causes of Iran’s revolution, the opinions of actual Iranians, and the West’s ability to impose the changes that would make Iran like the lands they have grown accustomed to. Firstly we have Reza and Maz[iii] These two ‘faces’ of Iranian Americans once again have that issue of harmlessness. Ironically emphasized by Jobrani’s ‘Persian like the cat’ bit. They’re essentially made to not look like the image of a scary brown man. In fact they’re pussycats. One video once compared Reza Aslan to the Cat from the movie Shrek making puppy eyes at an opponent.[iv]

For all their defenses of both Islam and Iranians and the criticism arising from therein, they lack the vigorous defense that such a contentious topic needs right now. Their jabs at their opponents are done lightly which greatly softens the perceived stakes. They join hands for peace with Jewish neoconservatives and join in the siren song that Western liberalism will crawl into Iran. Their indictment of the methods which do it fall on deaf ears however. When push comes to shove they support almost all the same lines as the rest of the American establishment. They have the same goals. The same antipathy to the regime. Their only defenses are ‘well gee isn’t war and racism bad?’. They will not condemn, much less name the people who are slowly killing their people. That would rock the boat too much. After all, rocking the boat tends to scare people.

What of actual political leadership? What is there? I will save you the trouble: Not much. I will discount the NCRI and their fronts as obvious astroturfing operations as well as any of the other ‘resistance’ movements as to me they are worthy of the same amount of thought as the most radical anarcho-communist antifa cells. To my knowledge this leaves the NIAC and the small contingent of Iranian Americans that are running for office these days.

Trita Parsi is an interesting figure who may be worth a discussion on its own; However, I will leave his issue with what I will call his ‘Persian cat’ syndrome with his frequent condemnations of anti-Semitism. Now you might ask what is wrong with that? Is this some kind of racist blog? And you would be fair to ask these questions, however, I would posit that there are dozens of organizations to speak out against anti-Semitism. There are in contrast very few organizations which deal with the issues of Iranian Americans. Not only is this a waste of time and energy, but in standing shoulder to shoulder with Jewish organizations in the United States without being choosy about which ones, Parsi cuckolds himself. When he gave his condolences to the Jewish organizations under threat in the new ‘Trump era’, not only did he spend time and energy that could have been spent indicting those who would tear up the Iran deal, but he actively expressed solidarity with those responsible for crimes against the people he was supposed to protect. These are groups that spread Islamophobia and some of which propped up Trump in the first place.

Parsi expressed condolences to not just any synagogues, but AJC-affiliated synagogues. This was one of the many Jewish organizations who accused him of treason. This was one of the many interest groups that funded Black Cube to spy on him. His capitulation to such forces is a betrayal of everything he should have stood for. It is therefore unsurprising that he stepped down and I hope his successor does not make the same mistakes. In the face of this all he gave a message of how even Israel and Iran could solve their differences. His mistake was believing that it was in any way mostly up to the Iranians—it isn’t. Power disparities make choices for us.

Then we have the handful of Iranians who ran for office under the democratic ticket. There has been little to know success on this front. The cynic in me would say that these are just an attempt to push the ‘progressive’ envelope before capitulating to the regular centrist interest groups just to rile people up to come vote for whoever wins the primary.

I have 2 candidates that were predictably unsuccessful: Shabnam Lofti and Kia Hamadanchy.

The only role that their Iranian-ness played in their campaign or their ideas were a vague claim to being a Person of Color. This term means very little outside of progressive liberal circles and while it may get some constituency it does nothing to differentiate them between other similar candidates. Now onto the substance of what they said:

Kia Hamadacy according to a Huffington Post article decided to run when Donald Trump won. This could hint at a variety of motives. In any case he worked for a ‘Sherrod Brown’ which also hints at the man being somewhat of a tool of Brown. The first mistake he makes there is by making his run about the broader issues of ‘immigrant struggles’. Already there he fails because he panders to a constituency that barely votes, but furthermore propping up these narratives already hints at irreconcilable differences between himself and Iran. In addition it attempts to prop up a pluralistic ‘salad bowl’ image of America while the man seems fairly Americanized. I’ll admit I initially had high hopes when he sold himself by ‘keeping his name’. A struggle that many of us know far too well. After that point, this political novice attempts ‘flipping’ the district meaning red districts voting ‘blue’. This is a formula which is unpredictable and rarely successful. He could have touted his mentor Sherrod Brown as one of the most pro-Iranian senate candidates.[v] Kia’s foreign policy was stated as this:

FOREIGN POLICY

“I will fight for a smart foreign policy that actually keeps this country safe and secure. I believe that the policies of Donald Trump are dangerous, have empowered hardliners around the world, and represent a complete abdication of moral leadership. I believe we must:

Rebuild and strengthen our relationships with European and NATO allies. Address the role that Russia played in our election and to put together a real plan to combat cyber attacks and influences on our nation. Come up with a plan to fight ISIS, both at home and abroad. Address the Syrian civil war, which is a humanitarian crisis. I do not believe the United States should send ground troops to Syria. Actually try to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as opposed to putting Jared Kushner in charge of the problem. Uphold the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Iran Deal, which is strongly supported by the Israeli military and intelligence apparatus, represents the best path of stopping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and preventing a war. End the war in Afghanistan. Implement trade deals that allow our workers to compete on a level playing field and which have enforceable labor and environmental standards. “[vi]

The issues here are part of the liberal platform which seems to say that America’s foreign policy problems started in 2015. His platform seems to be focused more of a distrust in Trump than the actual shapers of this policy. He goes into the false neoliberal narratives of the Syrian Civil War and Russia. These narratives only serve to demonize Iran. His criticisms of US Policy towards Iran are overly trustful of the Democratic establishment. It is only bad because it ‘empowers hardliners’. This phrase is just a way to problematize the fact this simple fact: The Hardliners were right. The nixing of the deal was bad because those Iranians can’t be trusted to not nuke Israel. In fact he even cites Israelis to give the opinion on Iran. Nothing relates to his own knowledge or background. I have heard even worse rumors about the man’s real beliefs. In any case he does not drive his own ideas, rather echoes the other ideas without backing them with any of his own thoughts.

Shabnam Lofti is another candidate who also tries to join with the immigrant issue. Once more this is inherently flawed because not only does it paint the US as a solution rather than the cause of its own problems, but the added element of being a Muslim-descended woman aggravates the Western fixation with the Middle Eastern women just begging for ‘liberation. On the onset we run into these problems. She works with a community that rarely turns out for primaries and has no reason to care about foreign policy issues. Her bio posits: “Born in Tehran, Shabnam and her family left Iran for the U.S. during the Iran-Iraq War.  Shabnam cites her experiences in Iran as a major influencing factor in her life, deciding as early as seven years old that she “wanted to be a lawyer so that no one else experienced what my family and I had experienced.”[vii] Given her field is immigration the solution is simple: run away. This is a band-aid to a larger problem that needs to be tackled. Shabnam works for organizations that would attract democrats and nobody else. It is somewhat gratifying to see Iranian Americans run, but they are too ingrained in American society to offer anything new.

They could have condemned the endless wars that the US has involved itself in. No indictment could be too vicious. Instead he focused on popular wedge issues like subsidizing colleges and healthcare. The Middle East hardly came up outside of some limp opposition to the ‘travel ban’, which is a ‘safe’ enough topic for Iranian American activists. The problem is identity politics without the formation of identity.

Many Iranian liberals will try to posit their struggle as part of a larger anti-racist struggle, but there have been few results as the fact is, Iran is a nation. We have a connection with a nation or even the idea of a nation and our tied to a culture that is greater than the sum of squabbling minority communities.[viii] This is why I would choose Malcolm X or Mandela over Martin Luther King. This struggle has an international and anti-colonial nature when there are those who would deny us autonomy.

The issue is that the liberals who would purport to help Iranian Americans are rarely if ever led by those with Iranian blood. They offer weak defenses of Iran, of Islam, and in doing so they distort the past. To make up for this they over-focus on economic issues and the standard liberal tripe that ‘everyone can get behind’. They never challenge the West, much less take it to task for its role in the current political quagmires.

Furthermore, they never espouse any remotely traditional Iranian or even Islamic values publicly all in their quest to be as non-threatening as possible. To do so would upset the white liberals that propped them up. I can’t imagine their reaction would be if an informed and assertive pro-Iranian person were to speak up. I imagine they would be confused. “You don’t really think that secular, liberal, democracy is unimportant right now? No you, and other Iranians clearly want this.” I am beyond being told what I should think is best. By subscribing to the liberal narratives they both prop up naïve ideas about the Middle East and perpetuate the establishment narratives that have run US foreign policy since Vietnam.

 

Remember as Malcom X said on the white liberals that exerted control over the black community: “Their motives are the same, their appetites are the same, it’s only their mannerisms and methods that differ.”[ix]

 

[i] Excluding ‘some’ elements of the far left

[ii] Or Sharbat 😉

[iii] I met both of them in real life. They are actually nice people so forgive me if my commentary is not as biting as it should be.

[iv] Who headed NIAC until recently

[iv] https://www.niacouncil.org/trump-administration-far-greater-threat-jews-iran/

[v] Admittedly that might be political suicide and the standard of this is low.

[vi] https://ballotpedia.org/Kia_Hamadanchy

[vii] http://www.iranianamericanpac.org/shabnam-lotfi.aspx

[viii] Reminder that Middle Eastern Americans don’t even get a separate racial category

[ix] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6Eqc2JAMbs

Why Uncle Tom Matters Right Now?

whyuncletommatters

 

 

Uncle Tom was a hero when he was first written. He made a heroic sacrifice to save his fellow slaves and yet over time the phrase became a pejorative.  The question is why? Well the short answer is the nature of Uncle Tom changed between adaptations and he came to be associated with a class of blacks who were inherently more servile.[i] In today’s world this analogy succinctly describes how I feel about the struggle for democracy in Iran. While it began as something bold, heroic, selfless, and self-sacrificing, more and more it looks like self-loathing and servility in disguise. I am not focusing on the switch however. I am dedicating this one to the Iranian Uncle Toms.[ii]

The first hurdle is whether the term Uncle Tom is even accurate to Iranian issues. It’s an inherently African-American term associated with ideas of ‘blackness’ and ‘whiteness’. In recent years and months however, I have seen it associated with all Muslims particularly by the more uncompromising elements of British Muslim activism.[iii] The term was a favorite of black activist Malcolm X and while not all elements of his activism can be applied to the current dilemma, the issues of prejudice and political structure can strike some daunting parallels. Especially in the face of Mike Pompeo and the NCRI’s laughable show of support for Iranian voices.[iv]


To understand this, you have to go back to what [the] young brother here referred to as the house Negro and the field Negro — back during slavery. There was two kinds of slaves. There was the house Negro and the field Negro. 

If the master’s house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say, „What’s the matter, boss, we sick?“ We sick! He identified himself with his master more than his master identified with himself

You’ve got field Negroes in America today. I’m a field Negro. The masses are the field Negroes. When they see this man’s house on fire, you don’t hear these little Negroes talking about „our government is in trouble.“ They say, „The government is in trouble.“ Imagine a Negro: „Our government“! I even heard one say „our astronauts.“ They won’t even let him near the plant — and „our astronauts“! „Our Navy“ — that’s a Negro that’s out of his mind. That’s a Negro that’s out of his mind.

Just as the slavemaster of that day used Tom, the house Negro, to keep the field Negroes in check, the same old slavemaster today has Negroes who are nothing but modern Uncle Toms, 20th century Uncle Toms, to keep you and me in check, keep us under control, keep us passive and peaceful and nonviolent. That’s Tom making you nonviolent. It’s like when you go to the dentist, and the man’s going to take your tooth. You’re going to fight him when he starts pulling. So he squirts some stuff in your jaw called novocaine, to make you think they’re not doing anything to you. So you sit there and ‚cause you’ve got all of that novocaine in your jaw, you suffer peacefully. Blood running all down your jaw, and you don’t know what’s happening. ‚Cause someone has taught you to suffer — peacefully.“[v]

While the Iranian experience does not have a direct connection to slavery, there has been a legacy of foreign domination. Specifically, the same kind of colonial domination that persisted throughout the Muslim world.

Westernized Iranians are no doubt the ‘house negros’ or Uncle Toms in this scenario. The Westernized Iranians that serve their purpose as propagandists for the West deserve special attention like Amir Taheri and other Iranian neoconservatives as well as the softer more liberal interventionist types like the anti-hijabi crowd.[vi] The first issue Malcolm X touches on is their identification with their ‘masters’. This is a problem in the diaspora mostly but it can apply to all Iranians who suffer what was once called Gharbzadegi (Westtoxification). They identify with the Western ideals so much that to deviate from them would be unthinkable. Western liberal democracy. A life in the West. These Uncle Toms are bought by materialism into defending and promoting a system which quite frankly is not their own. Anyone who would tell you that these ideals are ‘universal’ is an Uncle Tom themselves. There are no such thing as universal ideals when it comes to statecraft. The very concept is ridiculous.

These Toms do not identify with the Iranian nation or government. Many of them would openly or covertly promote war as well as sanctions. Others may not, but they are still assured that the Western system is the system they should identify is. Not ‘you’ have a nice democracy system, but ‘we’ have a nice democracy. Nevermind that almost all politicians are hostile towards Iran in one sense or another and some of it extends towards even naturalized Iranians. They do not identify with the motherland enough to celebrate its successes. To even care about most of its culture. They merely pay lipservice towards their people. It’s ‘our’ quest to fight for democracy. ‘Our’ attempts to expand our hegemony. ‘Our empire. ‘Our’ shining city on the hill. This identification need not be blatant, however the political pressure that is exerted on the community prevents any expressions out of line with the establishment lines.

Another element of this line of thinking is the impossibility of identifying with an Iran other than the one that was a US ally. It is true that most of these people severely lack the rudimentary geopolitical and historical knowledge to parse together these issues. This overidentification with the failed nationalism under the Shah is both blind to its flaws, but also blind to everything that contributed to his downfall besides Islam. Thus Westernized Iranians often join the chorus with the most Islamophobic people on this planet. This is not a word I throw around lightly. It is a word reserved for a hysterical opposition to any Islam on an almost pathological level.

Islam is taboo among the diaspora community. In part this may have something to do with a large number of people who fled the revolution not being Muslims. This is a fair consideration. That being said, the views of Westernized Iranians are the same misinformed platitudes and hysteria on par with Israeli zealots or belligerent white trash after about three glasses of Everclear. Islam is anti-modern. And we want modern. We want democratic. We want secular. Yes. This is a good system ‘we’ have. Mindlessly aping the west is all they know as very few of them engage in any serious political thought rather preferring fields which feed into their materialism. Uncle Tom must have his nice coat and tophat after all.

Finally, the penultimate thing that makes an Uncle Tom is they don’t ever dream of challenging whites or whiteness. No they believe they have whiteness. It’s an obvious lie, but Uncle Tom identifies with his ‘master’. In this case the master is the interests that run the US government and society. The Iranians held up are uniformly people who feed into a Western narrative that invites liberal interventionism. They’re intelligence agents, Zionist activists, feminist icons, and anything and everything to show how generous and righteous the West is. The worst thing a Westernized Iranian could imagine is Iranians being those ‘scary brown people’. No they must be as white and non-threatening as possible. This means numbing themselves against the crimes of their own country. Sure they might absorb the propaganda of Voice of America, but all that would do is support the popular regime change bandwagon. They get to join the cool kids club with the Shah Jr. and Maryam Rajavi who teamed up with US asset Saddam Hussein to wage chemical warfare on Iranians. They don’t think about her. No they’re numb to the geopolitical realities of the region. They know little more about the Middle East than the average American at this point.

If an Iranian was to come out and indict the US government. If they were to reject the calls for Iran to come crawling back to America’s doorstep. If they were to even say that perhaps the people of Iran deserve self-determination…that would be it for the carefully cultivated social image that these complicit Iranians imagine they have. After all they have a nice house. The master probably won’t let him in public office but at least they get the white BMW.

[i] https://www.theroot.com/when-uncle-tom-became-an-insult-1790879561

[ii] The first of many in fact.

[iii] https://twitter.com/asgharbukhari/status/612205813361418240

[iv] https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2018/07/284292.htm

[v] X, Malcolm. „Message to the Grass Roots.“ Northern Negro Grass Roots Leadership Conference. Group on Advanced Leadership. King Solomon Baptist Church, Detroit. 10 November 1963.

http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/mmt/mxp/speeches/mxt29.html

[vi] I will expand upon this topic at a later date