6/23 "Who's Diddling Democracy?" 79 Million Iranians Voices Silenced; Lovers of U.S. Democracy Devotion Includes Lotsa Lefties

digest comment:

The U.S. & friends, using Iranian elections, in the name of genuine struggle by Iran's working and oppressed people against the system, are fueling the vast, transparent propaganda war and protests led by 'human rights' / color revolution forces democratically demanding "death to the dictator", "death to Ahmadinejad", to intensify decades-long regime change plans critical to its hegemonic world agenda.

U.S. Obama / 'soft power' self-righteous left liberals aid the u.s. juggernaut by being more passionate supporters of Iranian 'democracy' / 'human rights' than they are opponents of u.s slaughter from 'Af-Pak, Iraq, Palestine, Peru, Africa and beyond. Unable to 'explain' why the war-mongering u.s.a. is also passionately devoted to Iranian -- and other globally strategic 'freedom' games -- they disingenuously delete history & irrefutable evidence to attack documented exposure of U.S. intervention as 'support for Ahmadinejad and 'arrogant american' indifference to the tiny twittering -in-Tehran pro-u.s. sections of Iranian people of the US/NGO operation ---- no "voice of he people" from 98% of Iran's 80 million people.

Shah's son in Washington: We won't let protest die:
The shah's son also said during a press conference held in Washington that the Iranian regime is wasting money on nuclear weapons and terror while the Iranian nation is hungry.

Shah's son asks Israel to back rioters
23 Jun 2009
The ousted Shah of Iran Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi's son urges Israel to support post-election riots in Iran to bring down the government

Shah's Son Plans Overthrow of Regime:
Reza Pahlavi, son of the late Shah of Iran, who lives in exile in the United States, said that in the next two to three months he hopes to finalize the organization of a movement aimed at overthrowing the Islamic regime in Tehran and he would be willing to become a constitutional monarch in Iran if an Iranian constitutional convention offered him that role and how he thinks his country can be transformed from an Islamist dictatorship into a free democracy...asked if "you would not demand that Israel disarm?" he replied "Since when has Israel been a threat to anyone?" http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=14424

Kissinger Calls For "Regime" Change In Iran If Protests Fail
1 Minute Video
Talking on BBC Newsnight Henry Kissinger says that while the US will not intervene in the current crisis, if the protests fail and a "popularly based" government is not installed (ie the one he wants), then "we may conclude that we must work for regime change in Iran from the outside".

In case you missed or forgot this:
Coalition for Democracy in Iran Formed 2002
Advocate for Regime Change Michael Ledeen joins Morris Amitay, vice-president of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and one-time director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC); ex-CIA head James Woolsey; former Reagan administration official Frank Gaffney; former senator Paul Simon; and oil consultant Rob Sobhani to set up a group called the Coalition for Democracy in Iran (CDI).

Stop the War statement on the crisis in Iran
The crisis unfolding in Iran must not become the pretext for renewed intervention by the USA or Britain in the region, nor for a whipping up of further tension around Iran’s nuclear programme. The responsibility of the [British] anti-war movement is first of all to oppose the role of the British government in the region, and to prevent its posturing being used as a pretence to justify a US or Israeli military attack against Iran, an attack which would have catastrophic results for the whole Middle East, and the Iranian people first of all... The Stop the War Coalition believes that resolving the crisis is the right and responsibility of the Iranian people alone, and that external interference can play no positive role – particularly interference by those powers which have laid waste to neighbouring Iraq in a lawless war and occupation, and which unfailingly support Israeli aggression in the region. The British and US governments wish to see regime change in Iran in order to dominate the Middle East and its resources and leave Israel as the region’s unchallenged military superpower. And a government which ignored millions of its own people marching against its planned war against Iraq is in no position to lecture others on democratic attitudes.

Iran Had a Democracy Before We Took It Away
by Chris Hedges
Iranians do not need or want us to teach them about liberty and representative government. They have long embodied this struggle. It is we who need to be taught. It was Washington that orchestrated the 1953 coup to topple Iran’s democratically elected government, the first in the Middle East, and install the compliant shah in power. It was Washington that forced Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, a man who cared as much for his country as he did for the rule of law and democracy, to spend the rest of his life under house arrest. We gave to the Iranian people the corrupt regime of the shah and his savage secret police and the primitive clerics that rose out of the swamp of the dictator’s Iran. Iranians know they once had a democracy until we took it away.

The fundamental problem in the Middle East is not a degenerate and corrupt Islam. The fundamental problem is a degenerate and corrupt Christendom. We have not brought freedom and democracy and enlightenment to the Muslim world. We have brought the opposite. We have used the iron fist of the American military to implant our oil companies in Iraq, occupy Afghanistan and ensure that the region is submissive and cowed. We have supported a government in Israel that has carried out egregious war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza and is daily stealing ever greater portions of Palestinian land. We have established a network of military bases, some the size of small cities, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Kuwait, and we have secured basing rights in the Gulf states of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. We have expanded our military operations to Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Egypt, Algeria and Yemen. And no one naively believes, except perhaps us, that we have any intention of leaving.
We are the biggest problem in the Middle East. We have through our cruelty and violence created and legitimized the Mahmoud Ahmadinejads and the Osama bin Ladens. The longer we lurch around the region dropping iron fragmentation bombs and seizing Muslim land the more these monsters, reflections of our own distorted image, will proliferate. The theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote that “the most significant moral characteristic of a nation is its hypocrisy.” But our hypocrisy no longer fools anyone but ourselves. It will ensure our imperial and economic collapse.
The history of modern Iran is the history of a people battling tyranny. These tyrants were almost always propped up and funded by foreign powers. This suppression and distortion of legitimate democratic movements over the decades resulted in the 1979 revolution that brought the Iranian clerics to power, unleashing another tragic cycle of Iranian resistance.
“The central story of Iran over the last 200 years has been national humiliation at the hands of foreign powers who have subjugated and looted the country,” Stephen Kinzer, the author of “All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror,” told me. “For a long time the perpetrators were the British and Russians. Beginning in 1953, the United States began taking over that role. In that year, the American and British secret services overthrew an elected government, wiped away Iranian democracy, and set the country on the path to dictatorship.”
“Then, in the 1980s, the U.S. sided with Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war, providing him with military equipment and intelligence that helped make it possible for his army to kill hundreds of thousands of Iranians,” Kinzer said. “Given this history, the moral credibility of the U.S. to pose as a promoter of democracy in Iran is close to nil.
Especially ludicrous is the sight of people in Washington calling for intervention on behalf of democracy in Iran when just last year they were calling for the bombing of Iran. If they had had their way then, many of the brave protesters on the streets of Tehran today—the ones they hold up as heroes of democracy—would be dead now.”
Washington has never recovered from the loss of Iran—something our intelligence services never saw coming. The overthrow of the shah, the humiliation of the embassy hostages, the laborious piecing together of tiny shreds of paper from classified embassy documents to expose America’s venal role in thwarting democratic movements in Iran and the region, allowed the outside world to see the dark heart of the American empire. Washington has demonized Iran ever since, painting it as an irrational and barbaric country filled with primitive, religious zealots. But Iranians, as these street protests illustrate, have proved in recent years far more courageous in the defense of democracy than most Americans.
Where were we when our election was stolen from us in 2000 by Republican operatives and a Supreme Court that overturned all legal precedent to anoint George W. Bush president? Did tens of thousands of us fill the squares of our major cities and denounce the fraud? Did we mobilize day after day to restore transparency and accountability to our election process? Did we fight back with the same courage and tenacity as the citizens of Iran? Did Al Gore defy the power elite and, as opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has done, demand a recount at the risk of being killed?
President Obama retreated in his Cairo speech into our spectacular moral nihilism, suggesting that our crimes matched the crimes of Iran, that there is, in his words, "a tumultuous history between us." He went on: "In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians." It all, he seemed to say, balances out.
I am no friend of the Iranian regime, which helped create and arm Hezbollah, is certainly meddling in Iraq, has persecuted human rights activists, gays, women and religious and ethnic minorities, embraces racism and intolerance and uses its power to deny popular will. But I do not remember Iran orchestrating a coup in the United States to replace an elected government with a brutal dictator who for decades persecuted, assassinated and imprisoned democracy activists. I do not remember Iran arming and funding a neighboring state to wage war against our country. Iran never shot down one of our passenger jets as did the USS Vincennes-caustically nicknamed Robocruiser by the crews of other American vessels-when in June 1988 it fired missiles at an Airbus filled with Iranian civilians, killing everyone on board. Iran is not sponsoring terrorism within the United States, as our intelligence services currently do in Iran. The attacks on Iranian soil include suicide bombings, kidnappings, beheadings, sabotage and "targeted assassinations" of government officials, scientists and other Iranian leaders. What would we do if the situation was reversed? How would we react if Iran carried out these policies against us?
We are, and have long been, the primary engine for radicalism in the Middle East. The greatest favor we can do for democracy activists in Iran, as well as in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and the dictatorships that dot North Africa, is withdraw our troops from the region and begin to speak to Iranians and the rest of the Muslim world in the civilized language of diplomacy, respect and mutual interests. The longer we cling to the doomed doctrine of permanent war the more we give credibility to the extremists who need, indeed yearn for, an enemy that speaks in their crude slogans of nationalist cant and violence. The louder the Israelis and their idiot allies in Washington call for the bombing of Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions, the happier are the bankrupt clerics who are ordering the beating and murder of demonstrators. We may laugh when crowds supporting Ahmadinejad call us "the Great Satan," but there is a very palpable reality that has informed the terrible algebra of their hatred.
Our intoxication with our military prowess blinds us to all possibilities of hope and mutual cooperation. It was Mohammed Khatami, the president of Iran from 1997 to 2005-perhaps the only honorable Middle East leader of our time-whose refusal to countenance violence by his own supporters led to the demise of his lofty "civil society" at the hands of more ruthless, less scrupulous opponents. It was Khatami who proclaimed that "the death of even one Jew is a crime." And we sputtered back to this great and civilized man the primitive slogans of all deformed militarists. We were captive, as all bigots are, to our demons, and could not hear any sound but our own shouting. It is time to banish these demons. It is time to stand not with the helmeted goons who beat protesters, not with those in the Pentagon who make endless wars, but with the unarmed demonstrators in Iran who daily show us what we must become.
The fight of the Iranian people is our fight. And, perhaps for the first time, we can match our actions to our ideals. We have no right under post-Nuremberg laws to occupy Iraq or Afghanistan. These occupations are defined by these statutes as criminal "wars of aggression." They are war crimes. We have no right to use force, including the state-sponsored terrorism we unleash on Iran, to turn the Middle East into a private gas station for our large oil companies. We have no right to empower Israel's continuing occupation of Palestine, a flagrant violation of international law. The resistance you see in Iran will not end until Iranians, and all those burdened with repression in the Middle East, free themselves from the tyranny that comes from within and without. Let us, for once, be on the side of those who share our democratic ideals.

A Hard Look at the Numbers
What Actually Happened in the Iranian Presidential Election?

"No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons."
Obama, 6/4/9 Cairo speech

US targets Iran gasoline imports
24 Jun 2009
Before post-election tension in Iran, the US declared it planned to target Iran's gasoline imports to put more pressure on Tehran to halt its uranium enrichment program.

No prez. statement or media coverage here where real terror serves u.s. agenda
PERU: Images reveal full horror of 'Amazon's Tiananmen'

Heads of modern history's 2 biggest genocidal terrorist states
Statement from President Obama on Iran:
The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Statement-from-the-President-...

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Iranians protesting against the election results and said Tehran's "aggressive and violent" behavior made it the greatest threat to world peace http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1094988.html

Over 1,330,000 Iraqis Slaughtered by U.S. Invasion & Occupation

U.S. Drone Strike Said to Kill at least 60 in Pakistan

Obama Assails Iron Fist in Iran Against Protesters

Obama Warns Against [ed: appearance of] Direct Involvement by U.S. in Iran
...Aides said the White House response had been calibrated to avoid a perception that the United States was trying to push for a regime change.
With protesters filling the streets of Tehran to denounce the declared outcome of the election, administration officials said they were wary of doing anything that would allow the declared victor, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to portray the protests as American-led.... The shadow of Tiananmen Square in which Chinese tanks and troops crushed a flowering democracy movement in Beijing — has hung over the White House this week....
Mr. Obama has won support from across party lines. Henry A. Kissinger, the former secretary of state, said on Fox News: “I think the president has handled this well. Anything that the United States says that puts us totally behind one of the contenders, behind Moussavi, would be a handicap for that person,” he said...
Mr. Obama, officials said, was determined to react to events as they unfold, rather than make statements that might play well politically but hinder his longer-term foreign-policy goals...
The news conference in which Mr. Obama reacted to Republican criticism was a joint appearance with President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea. Mr. Obama said that recent nuclear rumblings from North Korea presented a “grave threat” to the Korean Peninsula, the United States and the world. He said that “belligerent” threats from the North made it clear that the nation could never be accepted as a nuclear power. “We are going to break that pattern,” Mr. Obama said, noting that a new United Nations resolution seeking to stop the development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in North Korea must be fully enforced....

U.S. Destroyer Shadows North Korean Ship
A North Korean cargo ship shadowed by a United States Navy destroyer was reportedly steaming toward Myanmar on Sunday, posing what could be the first test of how far the United States and its allies will go under a new United Nations resolution to stop the North’ suspected arms trade....Pentagon officials have said they suspect the ship of carrying prohibited materials, but declined to say where it may be headed.... If the ship is heading to Myanmar, another nation defying international weapons sanctions, a port there would be unlikely to comply with the United Nation request.... North Korea has said it would consider interception an “act of war” and act accordingly....

Shortly after North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, the Kang Nam was detained in Hong Kong following a Security Council resolution banning trade in nuclear and ballistic missile technology. But the ship was found to be carrying no cargo....

The potential high-seas confrontation over the Kang Nam came as United States defense officials planned to travel to South Korea, Japan and China this week to discuss how to enforce the sanctions. Last week, Washington urged banks to become more vigilant against financial transactions involving North Korea. It also said it has deployed a floating radar base near Hawaii
to guard against a long-range North Korean missile. The North’s hostility toward the outside world was also driving the country deeper into isolation. According to a report Sunday by South Korea’s customs authorities, trade between the two Koreas plunged 38% from a year earlier to $106 million in May....the ninth straight monthly decline in inter-Korean trade.

Obama says US is prepared for North Korean attack
22 Jun 2009 US President Barack Obama says America is "fully prepared" for any action by North Korea. Pyongyang has declared itself "a proud nuclear power" that would hurt the US if provoked. The White House has increased its protection for Hawaii amid speculation that North Korea is preparing a long range missile test in the direction of the Pacific island - possibly on July the 4th.

N.Korea accuses Obama of nuclear war plot
21 Jun 2009 North Korea has accused US President Barack Obama of plotting a nuclear war on the nation by reaffirming a US assurance of security for South Korea, the North's state media said. In a first official response to last week's US-South Korean summit, the state-run weekly Tongil Sinbo said in its Saturday edition Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak "are trying to ignite a nuclear war". "The US-touted provision of 'extended deterrence, including a nuclear umbrella' (for South Korea) is nothing but 'a nuclear war plan,'" Tongil Sinbo said.
both the above via http://www.legitgov.org/#breaking_news:

 Iran's PRESSTV Versus America's CNN
Iranian protesters decided not to defy their government's ban on street trouble, largely stayed indoors. But CNN kept insisting that something was happening today... used old footage to mislead the international audience about the size of today’s protestors. CNN and the rest of the American media went into an overdrive to provoke Iranian protesters, especially mislead the younger ones, into creating a situation that could result in bloodshed.... simultaneously CIA's Iran desk must be busy in 'quiet outreach' through Facebook and Twitter and through their assets on the ground in Iran...
We've seen this happen many times, in Georgia and elsewhere, that it stands exposed.... has nothing to do with democracy and human rights. Sure, the Iranian government has problems and it has opponents within the Iranian populace. So it’s not a big deal if a few gather in Los Angeles and Washington in small demos. What IS a big deal is how the Am-Brit media has rushed to play a strategic game disguised as journalism. This is the same Am-Brit media that continues to produce state agents hiding as accredited journalists. The latest example is of an Iranian woman who was sent back to Iran as an American journalist so that she could get in touch with her former colleagues in a sensitive government department and obtain secret documents. She was caught with those documents. And now we have two American journalists from Korean descent sent to North Korea for the same purpose, espionage. All three spies found major American news organizations ready to give them the cover of an accredited journalist so that CIA could use them for espionage. This is the state of the Am-Brit media that sets the world news agenda.

 Am-Brit media can be and is manipulated by the governments in London and Washington just like anywhere else.... of course, is that the US State Department gets to issue grade reports about how other countries fare on media freedoms.

CNN attacked PRESSTV calling it a 'government mouthpiece'. CNN's agenda appears to mirror that of US government and the CIA, with no questions asked and no room for the opposite viewpoint, doesn’t that make CNN a government mouthpiece too? How about CNN and New York Times and others airing absolute lies about Iraq's nuclear program in order to convince the world that an invasion was necessary? And then when everything turned out to be a ruse...promoted by CNN, NYT and others as truth, do we see  Am-Brit free media apologizing for becoming government puppets? .... The Iranian government actually helped Washington and London invade Iraq and Afghanistan and supported the two invasions on military and intelligence levels....Today, the Iranian government learns the lesson the hard way.

Iran finds US-backed MKO fingermarks in riots
Sun, 21 Jun 2009
The terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) has reportedly played a major role in intensifying the recent wave of street violence in Iran.Iranian security officials reported Saturday that they have identified and arrested a large number of MKO members who were involved in recent riots in Iran's capital.  MKO leader Maryam Rajavi supported the recent wave of street violence in Iran during a Saturday address to supporters in Paris....
Anne Singleton, an expert on the MKO...explains that the West aims to keep the group afloat in order to use it in efforts to stage a regime change in Iran. "With a new Administration in the White House a pre-emptive strike on Iran looks unlikely. Instead the MKO's backers have put together a coalition of small irritant groups, the known minority and separatist groups, along with the MKO. These groups will be garrisoned around the border with Iran to launch terrorist attacks into Iran over the next few years to keep the fire hot,"....
Press TV, the first Iranian international news network, broadcasting in English round-the-clock.

forthright fascist
Iran is change we should believe in, Mr. President
Charles Krauthammer
... This started out about election fraud. But like all revolutions, it has far outgrown its origins. What's at stake now is the very legitimacy of this regime —and the future of the entire Middle East. This revolution will end either as a Tiananmen or as a true revolution that brings down the Islamic Republic. The latter improbable but, for the first time in 30 years, not impossible. Imagine
the repercussions. It would mark a decisive blow to Islamist radicalism, of which Iran today is not just standard-bearer and model, but financier and arms supplier. It would do to Islamism what the collapse of the Soviet Union did to communism — leave it forever spent and discredited.
In the region, it would launch a second Arab spring. The first in 2005 — the expulsion of Syria from Lebanon, first elections in Iraq and early liberalization in the Gulf states and Egypt — was aborted by a fierce counterattack from the forces of repression and reaction, led and funded by Iran.
Now, with Hezbollah having lost elections in Lebanon and with Iraq establishing the institutions of a young democracy, the fall of the Islamist dictatorship in Iran would have an electric and contagious effect. The exception — Iraq and Lebanon — becomes the rule. Democracy becomes the wave. Syria becomes isolated; Hezbollah and Hamas, patronless. The entire trajectory of the region is reversed. All hangs in the balance... The only hope for a resolution of the nuclear question is regime change, which might either stop the program, or make it manageable.
That's our fundamental interest... And where is our president? Afraid of "meddling."...

Iran: Who's Diddling Democracy?
18 June 2009
by Steve Weissman, t r u t h o u t | Perspective
From the Rooftops of Tehran, Cries of Protest Stir a Student
In the language of spookery, this was an updated version of the destabilization campaign the CIA had earlier used to overthrow the progressive government of Salvador Allende in Chile.
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 Baluchista Province. Funding for this was reportedly funneled through Iranian exileswith connections in Europe and the Gulf States. 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 from Afghanistan. "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 can follow." The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh subsequently confirmed the story... He also reported that the Democratic-controlled Congress had approved up to $400 million to fund the destabilization campaign. "The covert activitie involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations,"...

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...tea leaves are murky, but they suggest that, so far Team Obama remains wedded to the Bush-Cheney-Abrams destabilization of Iran. 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 throug scholars like Selig Harrison that the ayatollahs wanted a signal that th 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. 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.

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. Timmerman claims that VOA refused to give the boycotters airtime whil 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. Timmerman also saw the branding of Mousavi's "green revolution" a 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. "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."...

One other clue 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' re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." ... 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....

same game, same u.s. players
Protests in Moldova Explode, With Help of Twitter
the protesters used their generation’s tools, gathering the
A crowd of more than 10,000 young Moldovans materialized seemingly out of nowhere on Tuesday to protest against Moldova’s Communist leadership, ransacking government buildings and clashing with the police.... Evgeny Morozov, a specialist in technology and politics at the Open Society Institute in New York, a group that works with democratic movements worldwide and has been active in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, said Facebook and Twitter had apparently played a major role in the protests. The immediate cause of the protests were parliamentary elections held on in which Communists won 50 percent of the vote, enough to allow them to select a new president and amend the Constitution. Though the Communist were expected to win, their showing was stronger than expected, and opposition leaders accused the government of vote-rigging... Young people enlisting text-messaging, Facebook and Twitter, the social messaging network created their own searchable tag on Twitter, rallying Moldovans to join and propelling events in this small former Soviet state onto a Twitter list of newly popular topics.. cellphones and text messages also helped swell protests in Ukraine in 2004, and in Belarus in 2006...http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/world/europe/08moldova.html?pagewanted=print

Pentagon sets sights on public opinion
winning hearts and minds cost at least $4.7 billion this year
Feb. 5, 2009
The Pentagon is steadily and dramatically increasing the money it spends to win what it calls "the human terrain" of world public opinion. In the process, it is raising concerns of spreading propaganda at home in violation of federal law. An Associated Press investigation found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year, according to Department of Defense budgets and other documents. That's almost as much as it spent on body armor for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004 and 2006. This year, the Pentagon will employ 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations — almost as many as the total 30,000-person work force in the State Department. The biggest chunk of funds — about $1.6 billion — goes into recruitment and advertising. Another $547 million goes into public affairs, which reaches American audiences. And about $489 million more goes into what is known as psychological operations.

a qualitative offensive leap in existing surveillance, command and control ...for "national security" dontcha know
Pentagon Plans New Arm to Wage Cyberspace Wars
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace stepping up preparations by the armed forces to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare. The military command would complement a civilian effort to be announced by President Obama ...The main dispute has been over whether the Pentagon or the National Security Agency should take the lead in preparing for and fighting cyberbattles. Under one proposal still being debated, parts of the N.S.A. would be integrated into the military command so they could operate jointly...
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has pushed for the Pentagon to become better organized... The decision to create a cybercommand is a major step beyond the actions taken by the Bush administration, which authorized several computer-based attacks but never resolved the question of how the government would prepare for a new era of warfare fought over digital networks.... The creation of the cyberczar’s office inside the White House appears to be part of a significant expansion of the role of the national security apparatus there. A separate group overseeing domestic security, created by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks, now resides within the National Security Council. A senior White House official responsible for countering the proliferation of nuclear and unconventional weapons has been given broader authority. Now, cybersecurity will also rank as one of the key threats that Mr. Obama is seeking to coordinate from the White House....
It is unclear whether the military’s new command or the N.S.A. — or both — will conduct this new kind of offensive cyberoperations... Although Pentagon civilian officials and military officers said the new command was expected to initially be a subordinate headquarters under the military’s Strategic Command, which controls nuclear operations as well as cyberdefenses, it could eventually become an independent command.... Officials declined to describe potential offensive operations, but said they now viewed cyberspace as comparable to more traditional battlefields. “We are not comfortable discussing the question of offensive cyberoperations, but we consider cyberspace a war-fighting domain,“ said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman....

Spying on Individuals and Organizations: Anglo-American Defense Giants Entrusted with "Mastering the Internet"
By Tom Burghardt
Global Research, May 8, 2009
The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the National Security Agency's "kissin' cousin" across the Atlantic pond, has awarded a £200m ($300m U.S.) contract for an internet panopticon. American defense and security giant Lockheed Martin and BAE subsidiary Detica ... another firm specializing "in collecting, managing and exploiting information ...snagged the contract The Register and The Sunday Times revealed May 3. According to The Register the new system, called Mastering the Internet (MTI) "will include thousands of deep packet inspection probes inside communications providers' networks, as well as massive computing power at the intelligence agency's Cheltenham base, 'the concrete doughnut'."

Lockheed Martin and Detica ... have referred all inquiries on the MTI contract to GCHQ. ComputerWeekly reported May 6 that Detica, a firm with close ties to MI5 and MI6, "has data mining software that can detect links between individuals based on their contacts with sometimes widely separated organisations." The magazine revealed in 2007 that the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) "has outsourced its data mining operations to Detica, a specialist IT company. Its NetReveal software applies social network analysis to huge amounts of data to identify, understand, and evaluate higher-level networks of potentially collusive individuals and organisations."... as a repressive tool for corralling recalcitrant individuals...thousands of digital nodes designed to "master the internet" would certainly fit the bill ....
Not to be outdone by NSA's all-inclusive driftnet surveillance of American citizens, The Sunday Times reported that "the £1 billion snooping project ... will rely on thousands of 'black box' probes being covertly inserted across online infrastructure." ...Chakrabarti told The Sunday Times, "We opposed the big brother database because it gave the state direct access to everybody's communications. But this network of black boxes achieves the same thing via the back door." One might add, seamlessly and silently through deep packet inspections of message content. A deep packet inspection refers to a form of computer network filtering that examines the data portion of a communication (including a message header) as it passes the inspection point of an ISP. While it can filter out viruses and spam, the technology can also enable advanced security functions such as data mining, internet eavesdropping and censorship. Additionally, because ISP's route all of their customers' traffic to a multitude of network providers, they are also able to monitor web-browsing habits in a way that permit them to gain insight into their customers' interests; this then, becomes the basis of a new form of corporate grift
In the United States for example, NSA's unholy alliance with AT&T, Verizon and other giant telecommunications companies, use deep packet inspection to facilitate internet surveillance, sorting and forwarding private communications to a multitude of spook agencies.As the Electronic Frontier Foundation documented in their landmark lawsuits against telecommunications' grifters and the state, Hepting v. AT&T and Jewel v. NSA, AT&T's suite of "secret rooms" located across the country function as virtual--and illegal--NSA listening posts....

FBI “Going Dark.” Budget Request for High-Tech Surveillance Capabilities Soar
by Tom Burghardt / May 18th, 2009
New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest. It would be the first time the FTC tries to patrol systematically what bloggers say and do online. Any type of blog could be scrutinized, not just ones that specialize in reviews. Proposed guidelines: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2008/11/P034520endorsementguides.pdf

Iran's Web Spying Aided By Western Technology
JUNE 22, 2009
The Iranian regime has developed, with the assistance of European telecommunications companies, one of the world's most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet, allowing it to examine the content of individual online communications on a massive scale. Interviews with technology experts in Iran and outside the country say Iranian efforts at monitoring Internet information go well beyond blocking access to Web sites or severing Internet connections. Instead, in confronting the political turmoil that has consumed the country this past week, the Iranian government appears to be engaging in a practice often called deep packet inspection, which enables authorities to not only block communication but to monitor it to gather information about individuals, as well as alter it for disinformation purposes, according to these experts. The monitoring capability was provided, at least in part, by a joint venture of Siemens AG, the German conglomerate, and Nokia Corp., the Finnish cellphone company, in the second half of 2008, Ben Roome, a spokesman for the joint venture, confirmed. The "monitoring center," installed within the government's telecom monopoly, was part of a larger contract with Iran that included mobile-phone networking technology, Mr. Roome said. If you sell networks, you also, intrinsically, sell the capability to intercept any communication that runs over them," said Mr. Roome. The sale of the equipment to Iran by the joint venture, called Nokia Siemens Networks, was previously reported last year by the editor of an Austrian information-technology Web site called Futurezone....

Deep packet inspection involves inserting equipment into a flow of online data, from emails and Internet phone calls to images and messages on social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Every digitized packet of online data is deconstructed, examined for keywords and reconstructed within milliseconds. In Iran's case, this is done for the entire country at a single choke point, according to networking engineers familiar with the country's system. It couldn't be determined whether the equipment from Nokia Siemens Networks is used specifically for deep packet inspection.... in confronting the political turmoil that has consumed the country this past week, the Iranian government appears to be engaging in deep packet inspection, which enables authorities to not only block communication but to monitor it to gather information about individuals, as well as alter it for disinformation purposes, according to these experts...

Content inspection and filtering technology are already common among corporations, schools and other institutions, as part of efforts to block spam and viruses, as well as to ensure that employees and students comply with computer-use guidelines. Families use filtering on their home computers to protect their children from undesirable sites, such as pornography and gambling.

Internet censoring in Iran was developed with the initial justification of blocking online pornography, among other material considered offensive by the regime, according to those who have studied the country's censoring.... ran has been grappling with controlling the Internet since its use moved beyond universities and government agencies in the late 1990s. At times, the government has tried to limit the country's vibrant blogosphere -- for instance, requiring bloggers to obtain licenses from the government, a directive that has proved difficult to enforce, according to the OpenNet Initiative, a partnership of universities that study Internet filtering and surveillance. (The partners are Harvard University (Berkman Center) , the University of Toronto, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.) [U.S. /SOROS backed soft power 'initiative' -- see http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/205] ....

Countries with repressive governments aren't the only ones interested [SIC] in such technology. Britain has a list of blocked sites, and the German government is considering similar measures. The Australian government is experimenting with Web-site filtering to protect its youth from online pornography, an undertaking that has triggered criticism that it amounts to government-backed censorship. The U.S. National Security Agency has such capability, which was employed as part of the Bush administration's "Terrorist Surveillance Program." A White House official wouldn't comment on if or how this is being used under the Obama administration. [all emphases added by the digest]

How spooks took over the news
Nick Davies argues that shadowy intelligence agencies are pumping out black"" propaganda to manipulate public opinion that the media simply swallows wholesale
11 February 2008
On the morning of 9 February 2004, The New York Times carried an exclusive and alarming story. The paper's Baghdad correspondent, Dexter Filkins, reported that US officials had obtained a 17-page letter, believed to have been written by the notorious terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi to the "inner circle" of al-Qa'ida's leadership, urging them to accept that the best way to beat US forces in Iraq was effectively to start a civil war.... one product among many from a new machinery of propaganda which has been created by the United States and its allies since the terrorist attacks of September 2001....
So, who exactly is producing fiction for the media? Who wrote the Zarqawi letters? Who created the fantasy story about Osama bin Laden using a network of subterranean bases in Afghanistan, complete with offices, dormitories, arms depots, electricity and ventilation systems? Who fed the media with tales of the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, suffering brain seizures and sitting in stationery cars turning the wheel and making a noise like an engine? Who came up with the idea that Iranian ayatollahs have been encouraging sex with animals and girls of only nine?
Some comes from freelance political agitators. It was an Iranian opposition group, for example, which was behind the story that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was jailing people for texting each other jokes about him. And notoriously it was Iraqi exiles who supplied the global media with a dirty stream of disinformation about Saddam Hussein. But clearly a great deal carries the fingerprints of officialdom. The Pentagon has now designated "information operations" as its fifth "core competency" alongside land, sea, air and special forces. Since October 2006, every brigade, division and corps in the US military has had its own "psyop" element producing output for local media. This military activity is linked to the State Department's campaign of "public diplomacy" which includes funding radio stations and news websites....

ABC News: CIA's Black Operation in Iran: "consistent with U.S. Iran policy"
Brian Ross talks with its principal reporter.
Back 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 transactions."

We Really Care About Democracy? Iran Election
By Charting Stocks
After being victims of multiple false and propagandistic media campaign one would think that we would be able to read between the lines when our mainstream media sources act in lockstep with one another in marketing th agenda du jour....
Have you heard much about the democratic elections in Saudi Arabia lately? Of course not. They don’t have elections. Any media outrage for the people of Saudi Arabia? A country ruled by one of the most repressive regimes on the planet. But hey, they’re our allies. What about the 2006 (monitored) democratic election in Gaza in which the people resisted western threats and bribes and elected Hamas as their leader? We responded by punishing the people of Gaza and cutting aid to the region. Well, they committed a supreme crime. They voted the wrong way and must be punished for it...
Have we already forgotten the “flowers and candy” which the gracious Iraqi people were going to greet us with as “Liberators.” The weapons of mass destruction? The fear campaign waged against us to surrender our national treasure to a few Wall Street firms? When the mainstream media moves together in uniform, repeating the same talking points, it’s time to get suspicious....http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22878.htm

U.S. geopolitical/intelligence report portrays it as an incipient, failed, 'revolution', u.s. propaganda that was 'misunderstanding' -- to cover up the massive 'free press' propaganda campaign at the core U.S./NGOS soft power destabilizing efforts...but betrays itself by comparison with Tienanmen, and another u.s. fueled 'color revolution'
The Iranian Election and the Revolution Test
June 22, 2009
By George Friedman
Revolutions fail when no one joins the initial segment, meaning the initial demonstrators are the ones who find themselves socially isolated. When the demonstrations do not spread to other cities, the demonstrations either peter out or the regime brings in the security and military forces... This is what happened in Tiananmen Square in China: The students who rose up were not joined by others. Military forces who were not only loyal to the regime but hostile to the students were brought in, and the students were crushed.
This is also what happened in Iran this week. The global media, obsessively focused on the initial demonstrators — who were supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opponents — failed to notice that while large, the demonstrations primarily consisted of the same type of people demonstrating. Amid the breathless reporting on the demonstrations, reporters failed to notice that the uprising was not spreading to other classes and to other areas. In constantly interviewing English-speaking demonstrators, they failed to note just how many of the demonstrators spoke English and had smartphones. The media thus did not recognize these as the signs of a failing revolution....
Later, when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke Friday and called out the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, they failed to understand that the troops — definitely not drawn from what we might call the “Twittering classes,” would remain loyal to the regime for ideological and social reasons....
But critically, the protesters were not joined by any of the millions whose votes the protesters alleged were stolen. In a complete hijacking of the election by some 13 million votes by an extremely unpopular candidate, we would have expected to see the core of Mousavi’s supporters joined by others who had been disenfranchised. On last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, when the demonstrations were at their height, the millions of Mousavi voters should have made their appearance. They didn’t. We might assume that the security apparatus intimidated some, but surely more than just the Tehran professional and student classes posses civic courage. While appearing large, the demonstrations actually comprised a small fraction of society....

That no revolution broke out does not mean there isn’t a crisis in the political elite, particularly among the clerics... The Western media misunderstood this because they didn’t understand that Ahmadinejad does not speak for the clerics but against them, that many of the clerics were working for his defeat, and that Ahmadinejad has enormous pull in the country’s security apparatus. The reason Western media missed this is because they bought into the concept of the stolen election, therefore failing to see Ahmadinejad’s support and the widespread dissatisfaction with the old clerical elite. The Western media simply didn’t understand that the most traditional and pious segments of Iranian society support Ahmadinejad because he opposes the old ruling elite. Instead, they assumed this was like Prague or Budapest in 1989, with a broad-based uprising in favor of liberalism against an unpopular regime....

Tehran in 2009, however, was a struggle between two main factions, both of which supported the Islamic republic as it was. There were the clerics, who have dominated the regime since 1979 and had grown wealthy in the process. And there was Ahmadinejad, who felt the ruling clerical elite had betrayed the revolution with their personal excesses. And there also was the small faction the BBC and CNN kept focusing on — the demonstrators in the streets who want to dramatically liberalize the Islamic republic. This faction never stood a chance of taking power, whether by election or revolution. The two main factions used the third smaller faction in various ways, however. Ahmadinejad used it to make his case that the clerics who supported them, like Rafsanjani, would risk the revolution and play into the hands of the Americans and British to protect their own wealth. Meanwhile, Rafsanjani argued behind the scenes that the unrest was the tip of the iceberg, and that Ahmadinejad had to be replaced. Khamenei, an astute politician, examined the data and supported Ahmadinejad.

Now, as we saw after Tiananmen Square, we will see a reshuffling among the elite. Those who backed Mousavi will be on the defensive. By contrast, those who supported Ahmadinejad are in a powerful position. There is a massive crisis in the elite, but this crisis has nothing to do with liberalization: It has to do with power and prerogatives among the elite. Having been forced by the election and Khamenei to live with Ahmadinejad, some will make deals while some will fight — but Ahmadinejad is well-positioned to win this battle.
We continue to believe two things: that vote fraud occurred, and that Ahmadinejad likely would have won without it. Very little direct evidence has emerged to establish vote fraud, but several things seem suspect....

Gauging Whether Obama Is Creating Openings in Iran
Could there be something to all the talk of an Obama effect, after all? A stealth effect, perhaps As the silent protests in Tehran dominated television screens around the world last week, a peculiar debate in Washington erupted. On one side, a handful of supporters of President Bush said Iranian protesters had taken to the streets because they were emboldened by President Bush’s pro-democracy stance, and the example of Shiite democracy he set up in Iraq. On the other side, some of President Obama’s backers countered that the election of Barack Obama in had galvanized reformers in Iran to demand change....
During the Bush years, Iran’s regime was able to coalesce support by uniting the country against a common enemy: President Bush, who called Iran a pillar of the “axis of evil” in a speech that alienated many of the very reformers whom the United States was trying to woo.... The result, according to many experts here and in Iran, was that Iranians, including reformers, swallowed their criticism of the hard-line regime and united against the common enemy. Iranians with reformist sympathies even began advising Americans to stop openly supporting them, lest that open them to attack as pawns of America. Mr. Obama seemed to be taking that kind of advice to heart last week — to a fault, perhaps...
Afshin Molavi, an Iran expert at the New America Foundation, said that the vast majority of Iranians today want better relations with the United States, and middle-class Iranians in particular, he said, were hoping that the Iranian regime would capitalize on Mr. Obama’s much talked about unclenched fist. Even though Mr. Moussavi shared the leadership’s commitment
to Iran’s nuclear program, many middle-class Iranians believed that he would be better able than Mr. Ahmadinejad to strike a warmer relationship with Mr. Obama, said Mr. Molavi....
In his campaign, Mr. Moussavi used many tactics that echoed Mr. Obama’s. He pledged to re-engage politically with the United States; he used poster of himself and his wife side by side, and he hired a young chief strategist who said he looked to the Obama campaign for ideas. Mr. Moussavi, like Mr. Obama, even used social networks on the Internet to campaign. And once the count was in, his supporters found new uses for the networks in their uniquely Iranian fight....

digest comment:
Gowans draws the correct conclusion: exposing u.s. intervention does not oppose but supports Iranian struggle for freedom from foreign domination, which is not support for their national oppressors as pro -u.s. 'soft power' demagogues pretend. While his good 'color revolution' info. is important, so is critiquing the left economism that misinterprets 'corporate profits' as the goal of U.S. attacks on (non-existent) 'socialist' /'revolutionary' nations'.
Theoretically such vulgar economism trashes revolutionary marxist dialectical poltical -economy and defies reality: the u.s. finance capitalist agenda for global political - economic domination as spelled out in imperialist documents following this article.

Color Revolution Counterpunch
By Stephen Gowans
Few people had heard of Haleh Esfandiari until she was jailed by skittish Iranian authorities who feared she was involved in a U.S. plot to engineer a color revolution in Iran.The director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Esfandiari had been visiting her mother when she was detained by Iranian authorities in May. She was accused of co-opting Iranians into a U.S.-sponsored regime change program, offering them research grants and scholarships, paying their way to conferences and linking them up with “decision making centers in America.” (1)

This wasn’t the first regime change-related arrest. Last summer, Iranian authorities arrested Ramin Jahanbegloo, a scholar with dual Canadian-Iranian citizenship (*). The Ministry of Intelligence said the arrest was made in connection with U.S. efforts “to start a soft revolution in Iran.” (2) Parnaz Azima, a reporter who works for Radio Farda, a Persian language radio station financed by the U.S. government has also been arrested, as has Kian Tajbakhsh, a consultant with billionaire speculator George Soros’ Open Society Institute. OSI has been instrumental in providing funding for color revolutions in Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine [ed: for U.S. /OSI in Iran see http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/205 , for worldwide ops see

While there has been “a spate of recent crackdowns against Iranian activists” reflecting a “concern by the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the United States is using "democracy" advocates to promote regime change,” (3) Esfandiari’s case has received the most attention.... Noam Chomsky and Juan Cole, have condemned Esfandiari’s arrest, and others have suggested that the Ahmadinejad government is cracking down on legitimate dissent. But how legitimate, and how independent, are the so-called democracy advocates, Tehran has jailed?

Esfandiari is the director of the U.S. government-established Woodrow Wilson Center’s Middle East Program. The Center is hardly a neutral body independent of the U.S. government or its foreign policy goals. Partly funded by the OSI, the Middle East Program was launched in February 1998 to assess “American interests in the region” and “strategic threats to and from the regional states.” It’s no secret that the U.S. considers... its interests are best served by regime change in Iran. Esfandiari’s program, according to the Center’s website, “devotes considerable attention to the analysis of internal domestic and social developments in Iran” including “the aspiration of the younger generation for reform and expansion of individual liberties” as well as the development of “civil society.” (4) Is it any wonder Iranian authorities regard Esfandiari as a threat? She’s an Iranian living in the U.S., works for a U.S. government-established body, and directs a program whose mandate relates to American interests in the region. The program receives funding from the OSI, which has been instrumental in regime change operations in countries that remained stubbornly outside the U.S. imperial orbit. By itself, this is damning, but in the broader context of U.S. policy, it’s difficult to dismiss Tehran’s accusations as either paranoid or contrived.

Bankrolling a counter-revolution
Nick Burns, one of the many Ivy League-educated “mechanics” of US foreign policy. Behind the smooth baby faces and elegant diction lie great crimes eventually whitewashed by the courtier historians and media vermin. In May of 2005, R. Nicholas Burns, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs said the U.S. was ready to hike funding to groups within Iran seeking regime change. The United States had already spent $1.5 million in 2004 and $3 million in 2005 on exile groups with contacts inside Iran. (5) Burns equated the ramped up spending to “taking a page from the playbook” on Ukraine and Georgia, where, as the New York Times explained,” in those countries the United States gave money to the opposition and pro-democracy groups, some of which later supported the peaceful overthrow of the governments in power.” (6) But it would take longer to spark a color revolution in Iran, Burns warned. “We don’t have a platform to do it. The country isn’t free enough to do it. It’s a much more oppressive environment than Ukraine was…during the Orange Revolution” where the U.S. was able to take advantage of the country’s openness to meddle in its internal affairs. (7) On February 15, 2005 U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice proposed to add $75 million to the $10 million already earmarked for U.S. government programs to “support networks for Iranian reformers, political dissidents and human rights activists.” Two-thirds of the additional funding was to be used to “increase television broadcasting to 24 hours a day all week in Farsi into Iran.” (8)

It’s unlikely that Esfandiari, working for the U.S. government through the Woodrow Wilson Center, on a program that emphasized U.S. interests in Iran, wasn’t part of the stepped up efforts to oust the Ahmadinejad government.

Mercenaries of non-violent struggle
Equally unlikely is that the Iranian Center for Applied Non-Violence was passed over for Uncle Sam’s regime change largesse. The Center invites Iranians to workshops to teach them how peaceful revolts in Georgia, the Philippines and elsewhere were set off. Training sessions are held “every month or so, hoping to foment a non-violent conflict in Iran.” The Washington-based International Center on Non-Violent Conflict helps organize the sessions. (10). The U.S. Center is interesting. It appears to be a grassroots organization – the kind of group that appeals to Z Magazine-reading activists in the West — but has strong connections to Wall Street and the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

The Center’s founding chair is New York investment banker Peter Ackerman, who is also a member of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations, an organization dominated by directors of major U.S. corporations, corporate lawyers and CEOs. The CFR formulates foreign policy for the U.S. State Department. Its key members circulate between the council, corporate board appointments and State Department positions. Ackerman is also chairman of the board of Freedom House, an organization that champions the rights of journalists, union leaders and democracy activists to organize openly to bring down governments whose economic policies are insufficiently friendly to U.S. trade and investment. Funded by the OSI, USAID, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Congress’s National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House features a rogues’ gallery of U.S. ruling class activists that have sat, or currently sit, on its board of directors: Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Otto Reich, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Steve Forbes, among others. The only freedom these people are interested in is the freedom of U.S. corporations and investors to accumulate capital wherever and whenever they please.

Ackerman’s Center has been heavily involved in successful and ongoing regime change operations, including in Yugoslavia, which Ackerman celebrated in a PBS-TV documentary, Bringing Down a Dictator, about the ouster of Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. Ackerman studied under U.S. non-violence guru Gene Sharp...
The Center’s vice-chair is Berel Rodal, formerly a senior Canadian government official in foreign affairs, international trade, defense, security and intelligence...
Another Center associate is Robert Helvey, whose book “On Strategic Non-Violent Conflict: Thinking about the Fundamental”, is promoted on the Center’s website. Anyone who does a little digging into Helvey’s background will soon discover that strategic non-violent conflict means enlisting grassroots activists to bring down...governments... for the benefit of U.S. corporations and investors.

Helvey is a retired U.S. Army colonel and former U.S. military attaché to Burma ...who was brought to Caracas in 2003 “by a group of businessmen and professionals to give courses to young activists on how to ‘resist, oppose, and change a government without the use of bombs and bullets.’” (10) Helvey’s dalliances with the anti-Chavez opposition came fast on the heels of “his work in Serbia before Milosevic’s fall” where he “briefed students on ways to organize a strike and how to undermine the authority of a dictatorial regime.” (11)

What comes after a color revolution?
So, what has happened to Serbia, now that the non-violence loving, dictator-hating Ackerman and Helvey have completed their missions and moved on to plotting the overthrow of other foreign leaders, like Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabe and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
“In Serbia dollars have accomplished what bombs could not. After U.S.-led international sanctions were lifted with Milosevic’s ouster in 2000, the United States emerged as the largest single source of foreign direct investment. According to the U.S. embassy in Belgrade, U.S. companies have made $1 billion worth of ‘committed investments’ represented in no small part by the $580 million privatization of Nis Tobacco Factory (Phillip Morris) and a $250 million buyout of the national steel producer by U.S. Steel. Coca-Cola bought a Serbian bottled water producer in 2005 for $21 million. The list goes on.” (12) Meanwhile, in the Serb province of Kosovo, the “coal mines and electrical facilities, the postal service, the Pristina airport, the railways, landfills, and waste management systems have all been privatized. As is the case across the Balkans, ‘publicly-owned enterprises’ are auctioned for a fraction of their value on the private market with little or no compensation for taxpayers.” (13)...

Helvey hasn’t limited himself to training activists to overthrow governments in Venezuela and Serbia. Wherever Washington seeks to oust governments... you’ll find Helvey holding seminars on non-violent direct action: in Belarus, in Zimbabwe, in Iraq (before the U.S. invasion) and in Iran. “Helvey conducted a week-long course on nonviolent struggle for a group of Iranians in March 2003. The participants were young professionals in exile in the United States and Canada who would be used as spokespeople for various Iranian democracy groups.” (14)...

Advancing U.S. corporate interests
’Regime change’ did not begin with the administration of George W. Bush,” New York Times journalist Stephen Kinzer points out in his book Overthrow, “but has been an integral part of American foreign policy for more than one hundred years…starting with the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1883” (15) and yes, including the overthrow of Iran’s economically nationalist president Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. Mossadegh had nationalized British-owned oil companies. The U.S. engineered his overthrow and then handed the once British-owned and now nationalized oil industry over to U.S. companies. In his survey of Washington’s addiction to regime change, Kinzer couldn’t help but trip over the centrality of the profit-making interests of U.S. capital in decisions to overthrow foreign governments. American corporations, Kinzer explains, are so powerful that they find “it relatively easy to call upon the military or the Central intelligence Agency to defend their privileges” in other countries. Of course, no one ever says regime change is about profits. Who’s going to rally around fattening ExxonMobil’s, Lockheed-Martin’s, GM’s, General Electric’s and Bechtel’s bottom lines? Regime change is always said to be about something larger: democracy, human rights, freedom, checking the spread of nuclear weapons and combating terrorism....

From the perspective of U.S. corporations and investment banks the problem with Iran is the same as the problem with Yugoslavia under Milosevic and Belarus today. There are too many publicly-owned enterprises, which means not enough room for U.S. investors and corporations to sell their goods and services and to profitably invest their capital. “Today,” observes the New York Times, “Iran’s economy … is almost entirely in the hands of the government.” (16) The country has its own automobile industry, and has secured deals with Venezuela and Syria to produce cars in those countries. Virtually all of the country’s drugs are produced domestically. (17) And, of course, there’s oil. “Iran’s petroleum reserves are the second largest of any OPEC country.” Only “Russia has more natural gas.” (18)

Ahmadinejad represents the economically nationalist wing of the Iranian ruling class, which “advocates state control of the economy, subsidies, continuation of uranium enrichment and the standoff with the U.S.” (19) “His call for justice – primarily economic justice…resonate(s) with a population angered by a perception that it had been denied the benefit of oil wealth.” (20) Iran will spend $25 billion this year to hold down the price of flour, rice, even gasoline. Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani, who lost the last presidential election to Ahmadinejad, represents the neo-liberal faction and favors “privatization, negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and overtures to the U.S.” (21)

While Tehran’s support for the Palestinian nationalist struggle and the country’s nuclear program may irritate Washington’s policy makers, it’s unclear that these irritants figure prominently in Washington’s regime change policy. Soon after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Iran approached Washington with a proposal for a broad dialogue, to include “full cooperation on nuclear programs, acceptance of Israel and the termination of Iranian support for Palestinian groups.” (22) In other words, Iran would act to resolve all the irritants Washington said were at the heart of its dispute with Iran. Richard Hass, then head of policy planning at the U.S. State Department and now president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said Washington rejected the proposal because the administration wanted the regime changed. And the administration believed “the Iranian government was on the verge of collapse.” (23) If Ahmadinejad’s government fell, or was toppled from within thanks to U.S.-funded regime change efforts, the neo-liberal, pro-West Rafsanjani would likely be the successor.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, capitalist ideologue Francis Fukuyama asked, “What is it that leaders like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez have in common that vastly increase their local appeal?” His answer: “Their ability to promise, and to a certain extent deliver on social policy – things like education, health and other social services, particularly for the poor.” Fukuyama lamented that “The U.S. and the political groups that it tends to support around the world…have relatively little to offer in this regard.” (24)

The Brzezinski warning
Earlier this year, former Carter National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski speculated on how Washington might engineer a “plausible scenario for military collision with Iran.” He warned that U.S. military action against Iran could follow “Iraqi failure to meet the benchmark followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure, then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran.” (25). In late May, Brzezinski’s prediction seemed to be coming true. U.S. officials began to accuse Iran of forging an alliance with al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents, and Syria, with the goal of undermining achievement of the benchmarks in Iraq [SIC] . In addition, the U.S. claimed to have “proof that Iran had reversed its previous policy in Afghanistan and is now supporting and supplying the Taliban’s campaign against U.S., British and other NATO forces.” (26)...

It’s probably true that Haleh Esfandiari was working to build a U.S. government and U.S. funded fifth column within Iran... Iran’s arresting Esfandiari, as well other mercenaries of public persuasion in the pay of the U.S. government and regime change organizations... to resist domination by U.S. capital are no less worthy of solidarity than the efforts of the resistances in Iraq and Afghanistan to throw off the U.S.-led occupations or of Cuba’s and north Korea’s resistances to the unceasing efforts of the U.S. and its allies to return both countries to the capitalist fold and bring them into the U.S. imperialist orbit.
Taking sides with the Iranian government in its resistance to U.S. aggression is in no way equivalent to endorsing the Iranian regime, theocratic rule or the theories of Iran’s president on the anti-Jewish holocaust. It is, instead, a recognition of the rights of other people to self-determination and to be free from foreign domination....


digest: the following documents outline the still-operative U.S. geostrategic bipartisan 'national security' agenda for world domination with necessary tactical changes culminating in Obama's hiring to repair and reverse major setbacks under Bushcon tactics in order to advance the same fascist agenda
Pentagon's Plan: 'Prevent the Re-Emergence of a New Rival'
NYT, March 8, 1992
Following are excerpts from the Pentagon's Feb. 18 draft of the Defense Planning Guidance for the Fiscal Years 1994-1999: This Defense Planning guidance addresses the fundamentally new situation which has been created by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the disintegration of the internal as well as the external empire, and the discrediting of Communism as an ideology with global pretensions and influence. The new international environment has also been shaped by the victory of the United States and its coalition allies over Iraqi aggression -- the first post-cold-war conflict and a defining event in U.S. global leadership. In addition to these two victories, there has been a less visible one, the integration of Germany and Japan into a U.S.-led system of collective security and the creation of a democratic "zone of peace."

1996 A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm
A policy blueprint for incoming Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu prepared by The U.S. Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies’ "Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000."
Benjamin Netanyahu’s government comes in with a new set of ideas. While there are those who will counsel continuity, Israel has the opportunity to make a clean break; it can forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform. To secure the nation’s streets and borders in the immediate future, Israel can:
Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, "comprehensive peace" to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power.

Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat’s exclusive grip on Palestinian society.

Forge a new basis for relations with the United States—stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West. This can only be done if Israel takes serious steps to terminate aid, which prevents economic reform.
This report is written with key passages of a possible speech marked TEXT, that highlight the clean break which the new government has an opportunity to make. The body of the report is the commentary explaining the purpose and laying out the strategic context of the passages.

A new strategy to seize the initiative can be introduced:

We have for four years pursued peace based on a New Middle East. We in Israel cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent. Peace depends on the character and behavior of our foes. We live in a dangerous neighborhood, with fragile states and bitter rivalries. Displaying moral ambivalence between the effort to build a Jewish state and the desire to annihilate it by trading "land for peace"will not secure "peace now." Our claim to the land —to which we have clung for hope for 2000 years--is legitimate and noble. It is notwithin our own power, no matter how much we concede, to make peace unilaterally. Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial dimension, "peace for peace," is a solid basis for the future.

1997 A Geostrategy For Eurasia, by Zbigniew Brzezinski (now an Obama foreign policy advisor)
Foreign Affairs,76:5, September/October 1997 Council on Foreign Relations Inc. http://www.comw.org/pda/fulltext/9709brzezinski.html

1997 THE GRAND CHESSBOARD: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives
Zbigniew Brzezinski http://www.amazon.com/Grand-Chessboard-American-Geostrategic-Imperatives...

"At present the United States faces no global rival. America’s grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible."
Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century
America’s global leadership, and its role as the guarantor of the current great-power peace, relies upon the safety of the American homeland; the preservation of a favorable balance of power in Europe, the Middle East and surrounding energy producing region, and East Asia; and the general stability of the international system of nation-states relative to terrorists, organized crime, and other "non-state actors." The relative importance of these elements, and the threats to U.S. interests, may rise and fall over time. Europe, for example, is now extraordinarily peaceful and stable, despite the turmoil in the Balkans. Conversely, East Asia appears to be entering a period with increased potential for instability and competition. In the Gulf, American power and presence has achieved relative external security for U.S. allies, but the longer-term prospects are murkier. Generally, American strategy for the coming decades should seek to consolidate the great victories won in the 20th century – which have made Germany and Japan into stable democracies, for example – maintain stability in the Middle East, while setting the conditions for 21st-century successes, especially in East Asia.
A retreat from any one of these requirements would call America’s status as the world’s leading power into question. As we have seen, even a small failure like that in Somalia or a halting and incomplete triumph as in the Balkans can cast doubt on American credibility. The failure to define a coherent global security and military strategy during the post-Cold-War period has invited challenges; states seeking to establish regional hegemony continue to probe for the limits of the American security perimeter. None of the defense reviews of the past decade has weighed fully the range of missions demanded by U.S. global leadership: defending the homeland, fighting and winning multiple large-scale wars, conducting constabulary missions which preserve the current peace, and transforming the U.S. armed forces to exploit the "revolution in military affairs." Nor have they adequately quantified the forces and resources necessary to execute these missions separately and successfully. While much further detailed analysis would be required, it is the purpose of this study to outline the large, "fullspectrum" forces that are necessary to conduct the varied tasks demanded by a strategy of American preeminence for today and tomorrow...

U.S. Human Rights and Democracy Strategy
Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Guiding Principles on Non-Governmental Organizations

Washington’s New World Order “Democratization” Template
by Jonathan Mowat
Dr. Peter Ackerman, the author of “Strategic Nonviolent Conflict” in the “National Catholic Reporter” on April 26, 2002: “It is not true that the only way to ‘take out’ such regimes is through U.S. military action.”…Speaking at the “Secretary’s Open Forum” at the State Department on June 29, 2004, in a speech entitled, “Between Hard and Soft Power: The Rise of Civilian-Based Struggle and Democratic Change, ” Ackerman elaborated on the concept involved. He proposed that youth movements, such as those used to bring down Serbia, could bring down Iran and North Korea, and could have been used to bring down Iraq… And he reported that he has been working with the top US weapons designer, Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, on developing new communications technologies that could be used in other youth movement insurgencies.“There is no question that these technologies are democratizing,” he stressed, in reference to their potential use in bringing down China, “they enable decentralized activity. They create, if you will, a digital concept of the right of assembly.”...
The Democratic party’s National Democratic Institute, the Republican party’s International Republican Institute, the US State Department and USAID are the main agencies involved in these grassroots campaigns as well as the Freedom House NGO and billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Institute […] (emphasis added)
…Col. Helvey’s long experience in Myanmar in training insurgent ethnic minorities in a region that is the center of world opium production raises another question of great bearing on “post modern coups.” That is: what is the role of narcotic mafias in facilitating “regime change?” Law enforcement agencies from many nations, including the United States, have long reported that the Balkans is the major narcotics pipeline into Western Europe. Ukraine is said to be a top conduit, as is Georgia. Kyrghyzstan, now at the top of the hit list, is another opium conduit. And George Soros “the Daddy Warbucks of drug legalization,” has been the top “private” funder of all the Eastern European and Central Asian insurgent groups, as well as those in Myamar. The spread of such mafias, is, of course, one of the most efficient ways of infiltrating and corrupting government agencies of targeted states…. http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MOW502A.html

Under President Clinton, Human Rights Watch was the most influential
pro-intervention lobby: its 'anti-atrocity crusade' helped drive the wars in
Mr. Soros established his first foundation, the Open Society Fund, in New
York in 1979 and his first Eastern European foundation in Hungary in 1984.
He now funds a network of foundations that operate in thirty-one countries
throughout Central and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union, as well
as southern Africa, Haiti, Guatemala, Mongolia and the United States....

George Soros: Prophet of an "Open Society"
Karen Talbot

George Soros — a profile by Neil Clark, Statesman (UK)

The NED, NGOs and the Imperial Uses of Philanthropy: Why They Hate Our Kind Hearts, Too
By Joan Roelofs
In recent years, nations have challenged the activities and very existence of U.S. non-governmental organizations. Russia, Zimbabwe, and Eritrea have enacted new measures requiring registration; “Open Society Institute” affiliates have been shut down in Eastern Europe; and Venezuela has charged the Súmate NGO leaders with treason. In Iraq and Afghanistan, staff of Western charitable NGOs (CARE and Doctors Without Borders) have been assassinated. What are these organizations, who and what is behind them? {…]