Is This the Culmination of Two Years of Destabilization?
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration
June 19 - 21, 2009
A number of commentators have expressed their idealistic belief in the purity of Mousavi, Montazeri, and the westernized youth of Terhan. The CIA destabilization plan, announced two years ago (see below) has somehow not contaminated unfolding events.
The claim is made that Ahmadinejad stole the election, because the outcome was declared too soon after the polls closed for all the votes to have been counted. However, Mousavi declared his victory several hours before the polls closed. This is classic CIA destabilization designed to discredit a contrary outcome. It forces an early declaration of the vote. The longer the time interval between the preemptive declaration of victory and the release of the vote tally, the longer Mousavi has to create the impression that the authorities are using the time to fix the vote. It is amazing that people don’t see through this trick.
As for the grand ayatollah Montazeri’s charge that the election was stolen, he was the initial choice to succeed Khomeini, but lost out to the current Supreme Leader. He sees in the protests an opportunity to settle the score with Khamenei. Montazeri has the incentive to challenge the election whether or not he is being manipulated by the CIA, which has a successful history of manipulating disgruntled politicians.
There is a power struggle among the ayatollahs. Many are aligned against Ahmadinejad because he accuses them of corruption, thus playing to the Iranian countryside where Iranians believe the ayatollahs' lifestyles indicate an excess of power and money. In my opinion, Ahmadinejad's attack on the ayatollahs is opportunistic. However, it does make it odd for his American detractors to say he is a conservative reactionary lined up with the ayatollahs.
Commentators are "explaining" the Iran elections based on their own illusions, delusions, emotions, and vested interests. Whether or not the poll results predicting Ahmadinejad's win are sound, there is, so far, no evidence beyond surmise that the election was stolen. However, there are credible reports that the CIA has been working for two years to destabilize the Iranian government.
On May 23, 2007, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito reported on ABC News: “The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell ABC News.”
On May 27, 2007, the London Telegraph independently reported: “Mr. Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.”
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.”
The protests in Tehran no doubt have many sincere participants. The protests also have the hallmarks of the CIA orchestrated protests in Georgia and Ukraine. It requires total blindness not to see this.
Daniel McAdams has made some telling points. For example, neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman wrote the day before the election that “there’s talk of a ‘green revolution’ in Tehran.” How would Timmerman know that unless it was an orchestrated plan? Why would there be a ‘green revolution’ prepared prior to the vote, especially if Mousavi and his supporters were as confident of victory as they claim? This looks like definite evidence that the US is involved in the election protests.
Timmerman goes on to write that “the National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars promoting ‘color’ revolutions . . . Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.” Timmerman’s own neocon Foundation for Democracy is “a private, non-profit organization established in 1995 with grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), to promote democracy and internationally-recognized standards of human rights in Iran.”
Posted by Daniel McAdams on June 19, 2009 05:35 AM |
The United States, of course.
As in the previous “colour revolutions” that seem to tirelessly capture the romantic imagination of US journalists, elites, and the propagandized population, the warm embrace of the US empire is firmly guiding the “spontaneous” Iranian uprising against last week’s election results. While I do not and should not– nor should any other American — care in the slightest who rules a country some seven thousand miles away, when the fingerprints of the US Empire show up on these dramatic events overseas it is very much my business.
Several commentators have already dredged from the memory hole press reporting at the time on a presidential “finding” on Iran, which is the formal method for the president to initiate covert actions against another country. Back in 2007 — plenty of lead time for this election — the president met with the Congressional Star Chamber, the “gang of 8″ House and Senate leaders, and was granted the authorization to use some $400 million for among other things, as the Washington Post reported, “activities ranging from spying on Iran’s nuclear program to supporting rebel groupsopposed to the country’s ruling clerics….”
Arch neo-conservative Kenneth Timmerman spilled the beans on activities of the other arm of US meddling overseas, the obscenely mis-named National Endowment for Democracy, in a piece written one day before the election, stating curiously that “there’s the talk of a ‘green revolution’ in Tehran.” Interesting. I wonder where that “talk” was coming from. Timmerman did not appear to be writing from Iran.
Timmerman went on to write, with admirable candor and honesty, that:
“The National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars during the past decade promoting ‘color’ revolutions in places such as Ukraine and Serbia, training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques.
“Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.”
Yes, you say, but what does a blow-hard propagandist like Timmerman know about such things? Well, he should know! His very spooky Foundation for Democracy in Iran has its own snout deep in the trough of NED’s “open covert actions” against the Iranian government.
How does the “Foundation for Democracy in Iran” seek to “promote democracy” in Iran with our tax dollars? Foundation co-founder Joshua Muravchik gives us a hint in his subtly-titled LA Times piece, “Bomb Iran.”
Frankly, what I find more disturbing than the fact that the US government continues meddling in this new magical era of Obama is how many in the United States continue to be taken in by these events color-coordinated from afar. Pundits have turned their websites green in “solidarity” with this “green revolution.” Self-described “libertarians” have thrown all critical thinking aside to embrace their inner green. As if hoping, somehow, that this time it will all be true. That the “people power” really is on the march. That it is a binary world where there are evil incumbents — the old guard — oppressing thrusting “reformers” who are Twittering away toward the bright tomorrow of a world where everyone wants to be just like us! Democracy!
At times like these, I turn to the great Matt Taibbi, who has written the best piece of all time on how the US has morphed into the USSR:
“Modern observers look back at the early Soviet days and wonder how it is that people could possibly have believed those fantastic tales they read about in the state papers–the lurid descriptions of fascist terrorists and wreckers who conspired to poison reservoirs and turn up rails and put broken glass in sausage in the most faraway, seemingly irrelevant places in Siberia and the far north. The answer probably is that they wanted to believe them. Because that was what was in their hearts. It wasn’t a lie that was being put over on them. It came from them.”
And on it goes…
State Department Backs 'Reformists' in Wild Iranian Election
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
Thursday, June 11, 2009 10:16 AM
As the wildest campaign of the past 30 years winds down, Iranians are worried that their votes won't decide the result of the election Friday. Instead, they fear, the unelected officials at Iran’s Interior Ministry in charge of counting those votes will sway the outcome.
With no reliable opinion polls, and published polls varying wildly, the candidates and their supporters have been hurling accusations of fraud at each other at a furious rate.
Supporters of “reformist” candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, with the backing of the Persian Service of Voice of America, claim to have discovered a secret “fatwa” or religious ruling issued by a radical cleric close to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They contend that it encourages bureaucrats at the Interior Ministry to do “whatever it takes” to get their man elected.
Revolutionary Guards Gen. Sadeq Mahsouli runs the Interior Ministry, which runs the elections and counts the votes. Ahmadinejad appointed him, and Mahsouli is fiercely loyal to the president.
The “fatwa” was revealed in an open letter to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei from a pro-Mousavi group of Interior Ministry officials, who asked him to intervene to keep the election fair.
Of course, “fair” in Iran still means having to vote for candidates who have the approval of the Council of Guardians, the seat of clerical power, and who all support the doctrine of velayat-e faghih, or absolute clerical rule.
While the supporters of different candidates clashed in the streets of Tehran on Wednesday evening, the supreme leader and the state-run media — and the Voice of America — urged Iranians to go to the polls no matter what.
“Time to vote,” headlined the Tehran Times.
Several times during this election campaign, Khamenei urged Iranians to vote for the candidate of their choice. (While pretending to keep his own choice secret, few observers believe there can be any doubt that the supreme leader prefers keeping Ahmadinejad in power).
Voting is the how the people “show their support” for the regime, Khamenei said.
The interior ministry says it has prepared ballot boxes to handle 46 million votes. It has set up more than 300 polling places for expatriate Iranians living in Iraq, and another 35 for Iranian-Americans.
Expediency Council Chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani stated that anything over 40 million votes cast will “guarantee the survival of our regime for the next four years,” while anything below 40 million votes will cast a pall on the regime’s legitimacy.
Hard-line cleric Askar Oladi made the point explicitly. “All four major candidates are in line with the system,” he told an election rally last month. “So we do not feel concerned about who will be our next president. We should make sure we can maximize the turnout because that high turnout can ensure and secure the future of our system.”
[For more on the topic, read "‘Reformist’ Iranian Candidate Helped Found Hezbollah."]
The only thing the regime fears is a massive boycott of the polls. And that is precisely what opposition groups — inside Iran, in the United States, and elsewhere — have been trying to organize.
Well-respected parties, including the Iran Nation’s Party, the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran, Marze Por Gohar (Glorious Frontiers), and others have called for a boycott. But in recent weeks, editors and supervisors at the Voice of America’s Persian Service have banned them from the airwaves.
“It would be one thing if they just closed their eyes,” Roozbeh Farahanipour, a spokesman for Marze Por Gohar, told Newsmax. “But it’s as if the State Department and Voice of America had become campaign advisers to Mousavi.”
Some Iranians believe that has happened.
Saeed Behbehani, the owner of Mihan TV in suburban Washington, D.C., says he recently spoke with a well-known Iranian-American businessman who boasts of his ties to the State Department and who just returned from a trip to Dubai. The businessman said he met with Mousavi’s campaign manager, Mehdi Khazali.
“The day after they met, VOA put Khazali on the air,” Behbehani said.
Some of the VOA broadcasters themselves are upset at how slanted the U.S.-taxpayer funded network has become.
“People have apologized to me for disinviting me,” said Farahanipour, who was scheduled to talk about an election boycott on VOA last week. “They told me they were given instructions by their bosses to beat the drum of participation.”
Rep. Gus Bilrakis, R-Fla., is circulating a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing concern that Iranian government officials or their proxies may be violating U.S. law by renting 35 polling locations across the United States and officiating at the balloting.
“Any Iranian official allowed to travel to any of the 35 polling places throughout the United States would be violating the Immigration and Nationality Act, and, therefore subject to arrest,” he wrote to Clinton.
“As such, I ask that you monitor these polling sites vigilantly and remove Iranian diplomats illegally traveling throughout the United States.”
And then, there’s the talk of a “green revolution” in Tehran, named for the omnipresent green scarves and banners that fill the air at Mousavi campaign events.
The National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars during the past decade promoting “color” revolutions in places such as Ukraine and Serbia, training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques.
Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.
Reza Saraj, a spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards, warned ominously on Monday that the Guards would intervene forcefully if they see the situation get out of hand.
“In all those countries where they have had ‘color’ revolutions, they didn’t have a Revolutionary Guards Corps,” he told the Fars News Agency. “We do.”
If Mousavi is declared the winner in the election, the Guards will “storm Parliament and occupy it,” he said.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly denied that there has been any attempt to influence Voice of America’s coverage of the Iranian elections, insisting that there is a “firewall” to guarantee the “journalist independence” of Voice of America and other U.S. government broadcasting outlets.
“The Department of State respects the journalistic independence of [Broadcasting Board of Governors] journalists, including VOA,” he said in response to a reporter’s question at the daily briefing on Wednesday. © 2009 Newsmax.