When Barack Decides to Head a Barrack
Written by Kourosh Ziabari for Smirking Chimp
Note: Kourosh Ziabari provides readers an interesting perspective as an Iranian media correspondent-editor
“The continued presence of all options on the table”; this is the disappointing message which a Nobel Peace Prize laureate dispatches internationally. In his latest interview with CBS news, American President Barack Obama refused to rule out the possibility of a military strike against Iran by harking back to the famous catchphrase of former U.S. President George W. Bush who once devised, regarding Iran’s nuclear program, the popular sentence of “all options are on the table”.
Putting the quality and quantity of these options aside, the very “table” on which the options should be placed is as well a matter of controversy. Who is in the position to decide the destiny of Iran’s nuclear program? Which table is the U.S. President referring to? What’s wrong with Iran’s nuclear program in lieu of which a 70-million nation should go on with crippling sanctions, continued threats of military strike, isolation and economic embargo? What’s the definite answer to the simple question that “why should the U.S., France and Israel possess nuclear weapons”? Which one is more offensive and violent? Iran’s nuclear program which has been demonstrated again and again that does not have anything to do with military purposes, or the adventurous, aggressive trajectory Washington and its European allies have begun to go across?
Robert Parry, an award-winning American investigative journalist austerely answers the questions we have in mind. In an April 2 article in Consortium News, he notes: “if two countries with powerful nuclear arsenals were openly musing about attacking a third country over mere suspicions that it might want to join the nuclear club, we’d tend to sympathize with the non-nuclear underdog as the victim of bullying and possible aggression.”
As Robert Parry notes, the “bomb bomb Iran Parlor Game” has much to do with the regular psychological operations the U.S. government ruthlessly directs against its victims and it has been seen several times during the post-World War II era that the U.S. government has resorted to the most brutal methods of black propaganda to demonize and demoralize its opponents.
In order to thwart Iran’s efforts to achieve the zeniths of high technology and prevent the country from becoming an influential player in the Persian Gulf region and beyond, Washington has mobilized a large number of conservative think-tanks and pundits to direct psychological warfare against Iran multilaterally. Although the New York Times by itself suffices to wage a spotless and perfect psy-op by running misleading and untruthful articles which get circulated, syndicated and believed globally, numerous websites, blogs and community portals have also been activated to function as the podium of White House so as to disseminate illusive and deceptive stories regularly and misrepresent what’s happening in Iran.
Over the past three decades and especially following the eruption of nuclear dispute with Iran, U.S. has been carrying out media operations to incite anti-Iranian sentiments vigorously. Some recent efforts include the establishment of websites such as “United Against Nuclear Iran” and the production of Hollywood-sponsored movies “300” and “The Wrestler”.
The American psychological warfare, however, is not limited to mainstream media outlets, NY Times and Fox News-like stuff, campaign websites and TV shows. A number of bloggers also have been mobilized to take part in the cyber maneuver against Iran. It means that the wave of American psychological operation against Iran has become so extensive and far-reaching that even involves bloggers and independent commentators who run e-zines and online publications.
Above all, carrying out psychological operations is one of the most sensitive and delicate responsibilities of the U.S. Army, CIA’s Special Activities Division (SAD) and National Clandestine Service (NCS). SAD is in charge of providing the U.S. President with “special” options where diplomacy and military action is likely to fail. U.S. President has the authority to order the commencement of a new clandestine operation whenever necessary. Covert and intangible intervention in foreign elections is one of the main tasks of SAD. It also carries out missions to undermine or even overthrow a regime which does not comply with the interests of the U.S. administration. SAD has a long history of carrying out inconceivable and paralyzing missions of psychological propaganda against different countries including Bolivia, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.
In Iran, where people still remember the bitter memory of U.S.-backed coup d’etat of 1953 which brought down the democratic government of Dr. Mosaddeq and inaugurated the tyranny of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, SAD has accomplished numerous operations, several of which have been revealed by the investigative journalists.
In July 2008, for example, the renowned American journalist Seymour Hersh published an article in the New Yorker and revealed that the Bush administration had taken practical steps, including the authorization of a Presidential Finding to legitimize the illegal entry of paramilitary troops into Iran, through the borders of Iraq, so as to help overthrow the government of Iran. Based on the documents he had obtained, Hersh wrote: “Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran. […] 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 countrys religious leadership.”
Hersh cited the federal law of America which brands a Presidential Finding as highly classified and only available to the Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and the Senate and the ranking members of their respective intelligence committees. This greatly highlighted the significance of his discovery of the documents. “The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change, working with opposition groups and passing money Hersh quoted an informed, anonymous source as saying.
SAD has also carried out globally significant actions such as preventing the Italian Communist Party (PCI) from winning the parliamentary elections in 1948 and 1960s, overthrowing the government of Guatemala in 1954 and staging the 1957 coup d’etat of Indonesia which removed from power the popular, democratically-elected President Ahmad Sukarno and led to a terrible massacre in which almost 1 million people lost their life.
Anyway, history seems to be repeated once again. White House and its numerous teams, departments, groups, unions and forces of psychological operation, under the decree of someone who right after winning a Nobel Prize of “Peace” began to drum for a war of bloodshed in the Middle East, are gathering together to launch a new scenario of war game and violence; however, they’ve simply forgotten an undeniable reality: Iran is a different country; different from all of the countries throughout the world.
Dear President Obama; we know that whoever rises to presidency in your country should be first an expert of psychological warfare and a dexterous pamphleteer; you’ve done your job successfully by teaching us that you have the potentiality to be a duplicate of Mr. George W. Bush. The only thing which you should know is that you had better take the options off the table and save more space consequently!
Kourosh Ziabari is an Iranian media correspondent, freelance journalist and the author of Book 7+1. He is a contributing writer for websites and magazines in the Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, South Korea, Belgium, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. He was once a member of Stony Brook University Publications editorial team and Media Left magazines contributing writer, as well as a contributing writer for Finlands Award-winning Ovi Magazine. As a young Iranian journalist, he has been interviewed and quoted by several mainstream mediums, including BBC World Service, PBS Media Shift, the Media Line network, Deutsch Financial Times and L.A. Times. Currently, he works for the Foreign Policy Journal as a media correspondent. He is a member of Tlaxcala Translators Network for Linguistic Diversity and World Student Community for Sustainable Development.