Saturday, July 18, 2009

The King of Pistachios and the Iran Protest Movement

The New York Times correspondent in Beirut continued to cover the Iran story from...Beirut. But there is a new twist to the NYT coverage: notice that a correspondent from London was added to the mix: "Alan Cowell contributed reporting from London, Nazila Fathi from Toronto, and independent observers from Tehran." Wow. That what I would call an extensive coverage. I mean the coverage of CNN and the New York Times have been from the start comical and offensive at the same time (by the way, why do people who appear as guests on mainstream US media feel obliged to defend the coverage of those media no matter how lousy they are in their coverage?). But this got my attention today: "Until Friday, the opposition had been mostly quiet for weeks." I mean, I read that statement and I felt dizzy. You can't even believe what they are telling you anymore. For the last few weeks, the New York Times (through its network of correspondents and its "independent observers from Tehran") has been telling us that "thousands" of demonstrators have been protesting daily against the regime. Every day there is an article, but I feel that they slipped today when they referred to Iran as being "mostly quiet for weeks". So which is which, o New York Times? Which version of the story do I believe? The New York Times of today, or the New York Times over the last few weeks--daily? Give us a final version of the truth so that we can stick to it. Yesterday, I actually watched part of the speech by the King of Pistachio and symbol of the corruption of the Islamic Revolution (and the new symbol of "reform" and "opposition" in Iran according to CNN and the New York Times, not to mention the Saudi network of King Fahd's brother-in-law, Al-Arabiyya which relies on the rejects of the Shah's regime to regale us with coverage of Iran). What struck me is the political foundations of the speech by Mr. Pistachio: he said that he had known Khomayni longer than anyone and that he alone knows what Khumayni wants. So here I ascertain that I can't ever lend my voice or hands or toes to a movement guided by the teachings of Khumayni. But here is the tricky part: I oppose the Iranian regime but I also oppose the opposition movement led by the King of Pistachio. Does that mean that I am castigating every Iranian protestor as being a tool of Rafsanjani? Not necessarily but anyone who supports or who does not speak out aginst the Rafsanjani-Mousavi clique is then complicit in the lousy movement of opposition which shares with the regime adherence to the teachings of Khumayni. I was thinking yesterday that the Iran situation is similar to the protest movement in Lebanon in the wake of Hariri's assassination: here was a genuinely popular mass movement that stood against a lousy regime. But it did not deserve support simply because it stood against a lousy regime: I stood against the Lebanese protest movement from day one because I knew its orientations from its leadership and slogans. Similarly, I have been known as an emotional supporter of the Palestinian movement but i have been opposed from the day I became alert to the Palestinian cause in my early teens to the Fath movement: which has been the biggest mass movement among the Palestinian people. Supporting a cause is one thing and supporting a mass movement within that cause is another thing. There are some mass movement that are mirror images of regimes that they oppose: does one admire the reactionary and pathetically pro-Reagan, pro-Pope mass movements of Eastern Europe that overthrew the Shah? Of course, not, at least not by my standards and the Western media were as festive and distorting (and as subservient to the US government) as they are today. What Karl Marx said about the peasants in 18th Brumaire applies to masses in many movements. Yes, there are leftists in the protests in Iran but it is important that they separate themselves from the King of Pistachio and Mousavi before they get swept away by an anti-Leftist movement, just was happened with the Tudeh party when it aligned with Khumayni or with the fake leftists of Lebanon in the March 14th movement. And did people notice that the lousy Ahmadinajad yesterday appointed a "friend of Israel" as his deputy? That did not get much publicity in the Western press.