Neil Clark who, at least, regularly writes about Central-Eastern Europe and the reality of post-communist disappointment and failure rather than the banal triumphalist version of CNN has written on anti-Iranian propaganda this,
As the neocon-inspired propaganda campaign against Iran goes into overdrive, I thought it was time we had a new regular feature: Iran Lie Watch.Certainly, the way the USA is using any evidence of supposed Iranian perfidity as a potential list of abuses that might be used as a pretext for either invading Iran or trying to pay NGO "democrats" to open up this oil rich economy to the USA is the wrong way. This is what is happening in Belarus, next door to Poland, though it's concerned with pipelines not people.
For starters: compare and contrast.
The Guardian, 1st January 2010.
David Petraeus says hostage Peter Moore was 'certainly' held in Iran
General David Petraeus, the head of US Central Command, today confirmed a US intelligence assessment which said the freed British hostage Peter Moore was "certainly" held in Iran for at least some of his 31 months in captivity.
As Moore arrived back in Britain at RAF Brize Norton this evening, Petraeus told a press conference in Baghdad: "I am on the record as having said that our intelligence assessment is that he certainly spent part of the time, at the very least, in Iran."
The First Post, 12th March 2010.
Peter Moore: Iran did not kidnap me
Peter Moore, the British IT consultant kidnapped on May 29, 2007 in Iraq and held hostage for three years by Shia extremists, has spoken about his ordeal. In the first interview about his time in captivity, Moore says he was held in Basra - not in Iran, as many reports had claimed - and denies there was any significant Iranian link to the group beyond some covert funding. He also dismisses the suggestion the kidnap was orchestrated by Iran's Republican Guard, insisting the kidnappers – a group calling themselves the League of the Righteous - were "Iraqi resistance" with "representation" in Iraq's government.
The problem is that these Colour Revolutions are designed to empower only pro-US elites,cabals of placemen who aim at privatising Iranian assets into Western hands. This neoliberal "shock therapy" approach only alienates large numbers of the poor and creates mass anger and discontent, as seen in Georgia, and a nationalist backlash.
All that should not, however, act as a defence, by default, of the Iranian regime established by the Ayatollah, one reason I am just as sceptical of Colour Revolutions as of Galloway and the "anti-war" movement in Britain ( at least it's leaders and RESPECT ). As George Orwell wrote those like Galloway are conducting propaganda too as part of what Orwell called "transferred nationalism". Press TV, that Galloway works for, is funded by Iran.
The most pressing need it to expose any pretext for an military invasion of Iran or of lies about the extent of it's nuclear programme which even the IAEA has rejected as having no conclusive evidence of a weapons programme. It should not be forgotten that Iran has a regime that kills and executes homosexuals and is not a state that respects the dignity individuals or human rights.
For some this is not enough, the kind of person who claimed "which side are you on ?". This is question Lenin posed a long time before this ideologue plunged Russia into even further chaos in the wake of the Great War with his mass terror and imprisonment of dissenters in the nascent Gulag growing from Solovetsky Island
The silly notion that an individual person sceptical of all power blocs save that which opposes the power bloc he favours just because they oppose it in nonsensical. Which is what Orwell was getting at with transferred nationalism and doublethink when he wrote 1984. It is easy to quote the word "Orwellian" whilst actually failing pathetically to understand what he meant.
Orwell's vision of 1984 was based on the break up of the world into huge competing power blocks which has happened apace since the end of the Cold War. This does not meant Orwell can be conscripted into US New Cold Warrior campaigns as Christopher Hitchens seems to think that he can or those who support "humanitarian intervention" without looking at the reality.
Orwell was born into a period when the British Empire was at it's maximum extent and, indeed, overstretch. The Ministry of Love was influenced not by Stalin's horrid buildings but by the BBC building in fact and Orwell's frustration was in not being able to get Animal Farm published as it might "offend" the USSR, still an ally at the time.
There is this unfortunately this neurosis in some in Western nations even today from the "anti-globalisers" that because the USA is rampaging around and invading foreign nations for oil and gas, that, therefore, just any power that opposes the US is thus automatically better than the US and all evidence that these regimes are repugnant should be overlooked.
Only a lunatic can believe a regime such as that in Iran that murders homosexuals or mass executes people or treats human like fungible material or "human resources" as the poor are in China or the black new slaves in Africa is a wholly deluded halfwit without any proper grasp of reality. Or 'indifference to reality' as Orwell put it in his Notes on Nationalism.
Everything I have tried to write is in defence of what is valuable about liberalism on the political plane and about the way civil society is a good idea people ought to like to see more of and which is stifled and eroded by unaccountable neoliberal corporatism. If anything in our time there is an increasing convergence between authoritarian "governance" and capitalism of the worst kind.
In 2010 we are dominated by new banal orthodoxies in the West dominated by "think tanks", where those with academic pretensions prostrate themselves before a line, the prescriptions of a creed. NATO, now referred in the lower case to Nato, has transformed itself from a defensive alliance into an offensive one concerned with procuring oil and gas.
Within Britain independent thought is being marginalised by both New Labour and Cameron's NewCons, whilst those who shout and harrangue like Galloway are given airtime because they tap into the need for anger, the need to feel that "socialism" is still a force and there is an alternative. And that he is the "authentic" version of it.
Galloway is not so any more than Christopher Hitchens who thought the US President was fighting a war in Iraq for his reasons. Ironically, Hitchen's wrote a book praising Orwell's bravery and accuracy about what Stalin's hideous totalitarian regime meant, whilst then going on to, if not justify torture, then to rationalise it by the US.
Orwell was subtle enough to know this is the projection on to superpower to carry out a world historical mission that the intellectual, feeling his impotence, believes IT can do what he, the fellow traveller can not. Orwell's Victory is clearly not Hitchens' victory as an uncritical Orwell worshipper who ignores the present context and and has used Orwell's anti-totalitarian and anti-authoritarian stance for his own polemics as well as lacking his moral clarity.
Ironically, supporting hyperpowers uncritically is precisely what many pro-Communist intellectuals believed about the USSR long after it was apparent that it cared for power, domination, and the control of "Eastern Europe". Just as the USA, as is clear from "think tanks" and Brzezinski, wants to dominate Eurasia-which is what the war Poland is fighting in Afghanistan is actually about.
As regards Iran a change is needed. But it must come from democratic Iranians and not US "designer democrats" whether in Belarus or elsewhere on Frum's idiotically coined "Axis of Evil". Nor from the coterie of warmongers and hawks the Benetton style packaged Barack Obama represents, termed by Belarus' Charter 97 as a "saviour".
How that change can be brought about is the crucial question of the epoch we live in. I do not pretend to have the answers to this but there was something dodgy about RESPECT from the beginning. Just as there is about all these Colour Revolutions and use of PR from the time of Edward de Bernays who saw how advertising in capitalist society was more effective than that of Communist regimes.
The opposition to the war in Iraq in 2003 was justified but unfortunately led by the stale remnants a coterie of pro-USSR worshipping creeps like Kate Hudson of CND (now that's Orwellian ) revolved around a slimy demagogue with a line in media and self presentational anger called Galloway and Islamo-Bolsheviks.
So no, they are not answer, provide none and have none apart from ramping up mere hatred.
The great philosopher Alan Watts who made accessible the wisdom of Eastern Taoism once wrote of such people "they hate the hating of hatred-three instead of one" and the promotion of a sane society cannot come that way. Nihilism turned the Russian Revolution from Lenin to Stalin into a bloodbath.
A coalition of civil society activists opposed both to fake designer PR democrats wanting to grab the resources of states which belong to the people there and horrid totalitarian and authoritarian regimes is the only hope. How and when this will come into effect is an urgent question and I do not pretend to have answers.
Journalism is supposed to be about challenging unquestioned orthodoxies, at least at one level beyond passing on messengers about just "what" is going on. Those journalists like the repellent Seumas Milne of the Guardian are irresponsible by default letting other regimes like Iran off the hook despite their abuses of power and injustices is a spineless and craven act.