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IRAN: WHO'S DIDDLING DEMOCRACY?
by: Steve Weissman,
Thursday 18 June 2009
THE CIA: MEDDLING IN
THE AFAIRS OF IRAN
Watching the protesters in Tehran, many Americans feel a strong sense
of empathy, exhilaration and hope. I strongly share those feelings, especially
since I know firsthand the danger the protesters face from government thugs
on motorcycles, provocateurs and the secret police. But none of this should
blind us to the likelihood that our own government is dangerously meddling
in Iran's internal affairs and playing with the lives of those protesters.
in 2007, ABC News reported that President George W. Bush had
signed a secret "Presidential finding" authorizing
the CIA to mount covert "black" operations to destabilize
the Iranian government. According to current and former intelligence
officials, these operations included "a coordinated campaign
of propaganda broadcasts, placement of negative newspaper articles,
and the manipulation of Iran's currency and international banking
In the language of spookery, this was an updated version of the destabilization
campaign that the CIA had earlier used to overthrow the progressive government
of Salvador Allende in Chile.
THE NEO-CONS (AMERICA'S ROGUE GOVERNMENT)
SUPPORT THE DESTABILIZATION OF IRAN
The plan had the strong backing of Vice President Dick Cheney, National
Security Adviser Steve Hadley and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott
Abrams. As ABC noted, Abrams had earlier pled guilty to withholding information
from Congress about efforts to destabilize the Sandinista government in Nicaragua
during the Iran-contra affair of the 1980s.
ABC News also reported that American and Pakistani intelligence were
backing a separatist militia of militant Sunni tribesmen from the non-Persian
Baluchi region of Iran. The group - Jundallah (Soldiers of God) - conducted
deadly raids into Iran from bases in Pakistan's Baluchistan Province. Funding
for this was reportedly funneled through Iranian exiles with connections
in Europe and the Gulf States.
Baluchistan (in pink) is controlled in part by Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan; it is the Iranian portion of Baluchistan that the CIA has been attempting to destabilize.
US officials denied any "direct funding" of Jundallah,
but admitted regular contact since 2005 with Jundallah's youthful leader Abd
el Malik Regi, who was widely reputed to be involved in heroin trafficking
"I think everybody in the region knows that there is a proxy war already
afoot with the United States supporting anti-Iranian elements in the region
as well as opposition groups within Iran," said Vali Nasr, adjunct senior
fellow for Mideast studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
"And this covert action is now being escalated by the new US directive,
and that can very quickly lead to Iranian retaliation and a cycle of escalation
SEYMOUR HERSH ON WHAT'S HAPPENING
The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh subsequently confirmed the story, reporting that the
Presidential finding focused "on undermining Iran's nuclear ambitions
and trying to undermine the government through regime change."
He also reported that the Democratic-controlled Congress had approved
up to $400 million to fund the destabilization campaign. "The covert
activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups
and other dissident organizations," said Hersh.
"The irony is that we're once again working with Sunni fundamentalists,
just as we did in Afghanistan in the nineteen-eighties," he wrote. "Ramzi
Yousef, who was convicted for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade
Center, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is considered one of the leading planners
of the September 11th attacks, are Baluchi Sunni fundamentalists."
Flash forward to the new presidency of Barack Obama. Did he and his
CIA chief Leon Panetta cancel the destabilization program? Not that I can
find. The tea leaves are murky, but they suggest that, so far at least, Team
Obama remains wedded to the Bush-Cheney-Abrams destabilization of Iran.
OBAMA'S EFFORT TO WORK
"CONSTRUCTIVELY" WITH IRAN IS STYMIED
The issue came to a head in the last few weeks. Obama wanted to bring
the Iranian regime to the table, and the administration knew through scholars
like Selig Harrison that the ayatollahs wanted a signal that the new president
would stop supporting terrorists within Iran. At the end of May, the chance
to send that signal came when Jundallah claimed credit for a suicide bombing
that killed 25 people and injured as many as 125 others at a prominent Shiite
mosque in the southeastern city of Zahedan.
The ayatollahas wanted assurances from US that they would stop supporting dissident groups in Iran before talking with US; the U.S. refused to give such assurances.
Both the White House and State Department immediately denounced
the bombing and denied any involvement in what Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs
explicitly called "recent terrorist attacks inside Iran."
Several news articles then reported that the administration was considering
placing Jundallah on the State's Department's list of terrorist organizations,
which would have signaled a major shift in policy. But, suddenly, the administration
backed away from making the terrorist designation or from otherwise indicating
that it would stop the destabilization campaign.
SUPPORTING IRAN'S DISSIDENT GROUPS
To the contrary, in the build-up to the Iranian election, Washington
sharpened its propaganda efforts. According to Ken Timmerman, the executive
director of the right-wing Foundation for Democracy in Iran, the Persian
Service of Voice of America (VOA) clearly sided with the anti-Ahmadinejad
candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi against those dissident groups who wanted to
boycott the election entirely, the position Timmerman favored.
Mir Hossein Mousavi
Timmerman claims that VOA refused to give the boycotters airtime
while giving extensive coverage to a secret fatwa that the Mousavi campaign
claim to have discovered, a fatwa that encouraged bureaucrats at the Interior
Ministry to do "whatever it takes" to get Ahmadinejad elected.
USING THE SAME TACTICS THE U.S. HAS USED IN
GEORGIA, THE UKRAINE AND VENEZUELA
Timmerman also saw the branding of Mousavi's "green revolution"
as evidence that the US government was using its National Endowment for Democracy
to support the former prime minister.
"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," Timmerman wrote on the right-wing newsmax.com.
The National Endowment for Democracy: a CIA front organization
"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."
Please note that this comes from a very involved right-wing critic
who personally knows the expatriate Iranian community. It is impossible to
know how much government money went to these groups. Clearly, Congress should
begin to ask some tough questions about funding for Mousavi's "green
revolution" before any more Iranian protesters are killed.
USING TWITTER TO FURTHER U.S. AIMS IN IRAN
One other clue is worth considering. The State Department somehow
knew that the social-networking site Twitter had intended to close down for
maintenance earlier this week during what would have been morning in Tehran.
So, as The Washington Post put it, the State Department asked Twitter
to delay the scheduled maintenance "to avoid disrupting communications
among tech-savvy Iranian citizens as they took to the streets to protest Friday's
re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."
At first glance, those of us deeply involved in the new technology
thought this was great, a serious affirmation of our own importance. But,
to the ayatollahs, the State Department's intervention sent a clear signal
that the Obama administration was siding with Mousavi's protesters. Ahmadinejad's
government, militia and police had all the internal communications they needed.
Only the protesters stood to benefit.
Even more compelling, the benefit went to a particular group - those
among the protesters who speak English and particularly those Iranian-Americans
working with the National Endowment for Democracy. According to news reports,
Twitter does not accept input in Farsi.
ALL THE EVIDENCE POINTS
IN ONE DIRECTION
Does my reading of the tea leaves prove conclusively that the Obama
administration was hell-bent on regime change? Not conclusively, but all the
evidence points in that direction, especially now that many extremely reputable
scholars are suggesting that Ahmadinejad probably did win more than a majority
of the votes cast.
Ahmadinejad is a very bad guy, as I have recently written elsewhere.
But our opposition to him does not justify meddling in another country's election
while proclaiming "universal democratic values."
Please also see our articles, "The
Truth about What's Happening in the Ukraine; Managing Democracy,"
"More Lies and Deceptions
Concerning Kosovo" and "Obrador's
Parallel Leftist Government In Mexico City & The Spread
We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the
eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR
HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN"
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OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles,
"The Third World
as a Model for the New World Order," Inside
the American New World Order System" and "The
American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary
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