The BBC World Service radio this morning, Radio 4’s Broadcasting House – and other mainstream media – offered distorted reporting:
- first headlining the “iron fist” threat and repeating this several times, before acknowledging its conditionality ‘if political unrest continues’
- and failing to focus on the far larger rallies supporting the Iranian government
They stressed that the demonstrations erupted over falling living standards, but Iranian interior minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli said that those people in the larger demos realised this was due to imposed sanctions – but the BBC website chose only to report his words about the consequences of damage to public property, disrupting order and breaking the law.
The USA’s use of soft power to foment unrest has been effective with many worldwide
The use of soft power was touched on in a linked site in 2015. We quote: “Hard power is exerted by financial inducements, invasion and remote killing by drone aircraft. Soft power sounds quite benign, but as Joseph Nye points out in The Future of Power (2011, left), it can be wielded for good or ill: Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all possessed a great deal of soft power. He adds: “It is not necessarily better to twist minds than to twist arms”.
An illusion of a free society (‘liberating minds’) is presented and a consumerist culture cultivated. One actor in this drive is the Human Rights Foundation, whose approving Wikipedia entry emphasises its insistence on ‘economic freedom’. In Central and South America and the Middle East it has paved the way for the overthrow of regimes which would not co-operate.
Has it escalated in Iran after its threat to further ‘eliminate’ use of the dollar?
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said to Putin in November: “we can nullify US sanctions, using methods such as eliminating the dollar and replacing it with national currencies”. Forbes earlier reported that this policy would be implemented. Several countries have not fared well after ‘ditching the dollar’:
- In 2002 North Korea’s state-run Korean Trade Bank announced a ban on the use of US dollars in daily payment and settlement for its citizens and foreigners.
- In 2003 Coilin Nunan wondered: “Could one reason for the US wish for ‘regime change’ in Iraq and unprecedented European opposition to such a project be Iraq’s decision two years earlier to accept euros only as payment for its oil, instead of the customary dollars? Could America’s current focus on Iran be similarly explained?”
- In 2004 Fidel Castro decreed that the dollar would no longer be legal for commercial transactions.
It should be stressed that the soft power illusions of total normality, freedom and prosperity are a confidence trick. The unmentioned features of the USA, a country which young Iranians and others have been led by soft power to admire as ‘an ideal state of freedom’, include pollution, child abuse, violent pornography, inequality of opportunity, youth unemployment, high cost housing and military aggression.
A reader sent a link to news that the former Labour Party leader helped PetroSaudi to break into Chinese market, receiving £41,000 a month plus 2% commission whilst acting as Middle East peace envoy at the time.
Contrast that with the corporate media onslaught on Corbyn, whose lack of political ambition and constant support for peace and reconciliation has made him an enigmatic and threatening figure to those who live for power and wealth.
How they are now revelling in Ken Livingstone’s misleading reference to Hitler’s motive for assisting Jews to relocate to Israel, using it to cast a shadow – by association – over the Labour leader and his supporters.
For the record:
Jeremy Corbyn says: “We are totally opposed to anti-Semitism in any form within the party. The very small number of cases that have been brought to our attention have been dealt with swiftly and immediately and they will be.”
He added that he suspected much of the criticism “actually comes from those who are nervous of the strength of the Labour Party at local level”.
Ken was correct in that the German government headed by Hitler set up the 1933 Haavara (Transfer) Agreement to help German Jews to emigrate to Palestine. Their possessions were transferred to Palestine as German export goods. This was not seen as a mark of admiration or approval for Zionism however; the agreement was designed to encourage Jewish emigration from a Germany which was politically hostile to non-Aryan minorities at the time.
See a medal in the collection of Canada’s North Shore Numismatic Society described as having been struck by Goebbels’ Berlin daily Der Angriff to commemorate the co-operation and support given by the Zionist Jewish Agency in helping to make Germany “Judenfrei”.
Confirmation of this Wikipedia account is to be found in a partisan source, published by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, established in 1993 as a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization to strengthen the U.S./Israel relationship by emphasizing the fundamentals of the alliance — shared values.
Real Labour under Jeremy Corbyn opposes military aggression and corporate piracy and stands for peace, justice and equality of opportunity for all.