U.S. Covert Psywar on Iran: Part of the Situation

The following was posted on one of our threads as a comment on Redguards' defense of Workers World Party.

Gary starts to lay out some of the available information on U.S. covert operations in Iran -- which are important to excavate and expose.

By Gary

Redguard wrote:

A few days previously, the Telegraph reported on May 16, 2007, that Bush administration neocon warmonger John Bolton told the Telegraph that a US military attack on Iran would “be a ‘last option’ after economic sanctions and attempts to foment a popular revolution had failed.”

On June 29, 2008, Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker: “Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.”

Isn't it obvious that in such circumstances any sympathetic discussion of the protests has to be coupled with discussion of the contradiction between US imperialism and Iran, which is a more fundamental contradiction that that between the Iranian regime and its people?

People in this conversation

  • Guest - Tell No Lies

    I think this is exactly right. We can both piss and chew gum at the same time. We can expose and oppose US intervention in Iranian affairs AND support the righteous rebellion against a reactionary regime. Indeed failure to either of these things is a betrayal of our internationalist obligations to the people of Iran.

    In my view, those who I am coming to call "vulgar anti-imperialists" do objective damage to the real fight against US imperialism (not to mention the fight against the other imperialisms out there) when they insist that doing the first means they can't do the second. Their apologetics for Ahmadinejad, their analyses of Iranian politics that never even mention the word "women," their eagerness to reduce everything to geo-politics and to insist that this defines the "objective" character of the conflict -- all of this can not but disgust the broad masses of people taking inspiration from the courage of the Iranians in the street facing down women-hating theocratic thugs. And put them off the important critical exposure of the US's unquestionable involvement in events in Iran.

    As we debate the events in Iran untold numbers of newly politicized young Iranians are doing the same and some of them will be reading what we have to say. I want to know how defending a regime that comes straight out of "The Handmaid's Tale"
    as something to be upheld because it is "objectively anti-imperialist" promotes the re-emergence of genuinely revolutionary left politics among the people of Iran. It seems precisely rather more likely to drive good people into actual alliance with US imperialism out of disgust.

  • Guest - Andrew

    What concerns me is that, should the Iranian government fall, its a short step to seeing American interests dominate the nation. I sincerely hope for the people in Iran that they have the power to continue their resistance of US Imperialism, no matter the outcome of the electoral situation.

  • Guest - land

    In answer to Andrew's concern above:

    From the article by Mike ELy on Iran:They are right to rebel! And we have responsibilities!

    At a very basic level (not as an axiom but as an observation drawn from historical experience) we should understand the importance, the value and promise of people rising up against repressive regimes. And we should have some confic=dence (dare I say faith) once they have met in the streets, recognized each other on campuses and fused individual frustrations into a collective movememt.

    The ending of this article is we may not win but new things will emerge.

    It is right to rebel against reactionaries. Without that we have nothing.

    I think when people find each other and begin revolutionary conversations and really try and sort things out with some history we can get to another place.

    It is not always going to be either one of them or one of them.

  • Guest - land

    Left out an important part of the sentence "people will creatively sort out some truth from a world of falsehood.

    Begin again:

    At a very basic level (not as an axiom but as an observation drawn from historical experience) we should understand the importance, the value and promise of people rising up against repressive regimes. And we should have some confidence (dare I say faith) that people will creatively sort out some truth from a world of falsehood (as quickly as they can) once they have met in the streets, recognized each other on campuses, and fused individual frustrations into a collective movement."

    MODERATOR - IF YOU CAN FIX THIS. tHANKS.

  • Guest - Gary

    I watched Eboo Patel (Muslim faith-based initiative guy) interviewed by (a clueless) Father Ed Beck on ABC explaining how the demonstrators in Iran are young progressives inspired by Obama.

    I read about Paul Wolfowitz praising Mousavi as a "courageous man."

    I read about how Obama's moving to provide $ 20 million in USAID grants to Iranian "dissident groups."
    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/06/26/obama-moves-to-fund-iranian-dissidents/

    This stuff is important to consider as we pair videoclips of demonstration scenes with music etc. (putting a spin on it), and make broad assessments of the movement (like Zizek has)---maybe without doing adequate investigation.

  • Guest - Tell No Lies

    I think all of this is important. We need to watch carefully what the US imperialists are up to, expose it and challenge it. And yet it remains true that people are rebelling against a profoundly reactionary regime and we need to support that. It goes beyond them simply making contact with each other and producing something new. It is a critical moment in our own process of creating something new. Qite independent of what it all means in the short run for Iran it is an important moment in the emergence of a global revolutionary subject. The whole world is watching and learning from what is happening in Iran in real time. All over the world the debate we have been having here is taking place and people are trying to figure out how to navigate the contradictions of the situation. The spatio-temporality of it is something quite new in the history of revolutionary politics and we really need to let that sink in and figure out what it all means.

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