“The World Is Watching,” the US recently warned Iran, as related by the BBC. The report continued: “The US says “The world is watching how Iranian authorities respond to anti-government protests that have broken out in several cities. A White House statement said Iranians were fed up with “the regime’s corruption and its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism.” During the week President Donald Trump has published multiple tweets on the matter, excoriating Iran for human rights abuses.
The news is particularly concerning in light of geopolitical fallout from any potential military intervention, and highlights the hypocrisy of Western treatment of whistleblowers, protestors and advocates of transparency. The potential for Western-backed regime change in Iran raises serious concern in light of the repetitious failure of past interventions, including Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and many others.
Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! #IranProtests
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2017
The US’ violent intervention in Libya stands out in particular. In the wake of Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s 2011 demise, Libya has descended into chaos, with slave markets of Nigerian migrants now a horrifically common occurrence. Newsweek reports: “Stories of black slavery in Libya have emerged frequently over the last two years after a NATO-backed intervention in the North African nation toppled 40-year leader Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011. The bloody civil war that followed years later has led to an explosion in people-trafficking in the country and a clandestine slave trade.”
US intelligence agencies have had a long history of intervention in Iran. Newsweek outlines part of that history, including the 1980’s Arms-For-Hostages scandal that became known as the Iran-Contra affair. More recently, US spies launched a successful cyber attack under the name Stuxnet on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Wired wrote of the event: “Stuxnet, as it came to be known, was unlike any other virus or worm that came before. Rather than simply hijacking targeted computers or stealing information from them, it escaped the digital realm to wreak physical destruction on equipment the computers controlled.”
In 2013 The Guardian reported that the CIA had finally admitted to its participation in a coup that resulted in the overthrow of democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953: “The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government,” reads a previously excised section of an internal CIA history titled The Battle for Iran.”
Although the current regime was not put in place by the CIA, its existence can be attributed to the destabilization caused by US intervention. Based on the lengthy history of such actions, it is extremely unlikely that future intervention would have a stabilizing or democratizing effect on the region, and would be most likely to deteriorate human rights conditions.
The growing public support for the establishment’s narrative regarding in Iran is particularly troubling in light of the country’s strategic position in relation to other world powers including Russia and China. The support of protestors is entirely legitimate, however, if the US were to intervene militarily in Iran, it could very well incite a larger conflict between these powers. After the US establishment’s extremely loud and equally baseless accusations of Russian interference, it would be an especially bad time to raise tensions further.
In the worst possible scenario, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US would join forces to militarily “intervene” in Iran, leaving it in the same variety of devastation and destabilization that previous intercessions have created, including the starvation and rampant cholera currently ravaging Yemen.
As John Bolton calls for the US to impose regime change in Iran, a military source who wished to remain anonymous tells Disobedient Media that Saudi interests are planning to take advantage of the fluid situation in Iran by: “possibly launching a surprise attack on the country, which will include targeting civilian populations.” They stated that: “The CIA is not only a fully aware of the situation, they are advising the Saudi’s in conjunction with Israeli military leaders.” When President Trump vows to ‘support the Iranian people,’ it is hardly a statement of moral solidarity or emotional support. It is an intimation of military intervention, and should be treated as such.
Additionally, as Wikileaks recently highlighted via Twitter, a leaked memo from the State Department policy chief revealed that the “US human rights playbook” was currently active in Iran. Independent Journalist Caitlin Johnstone has also noted this fact in her article, “US Empire Is Running The Same Script With Iran That It Ran With Libya, Syria.”
"Human rights is not actually something the U.S. government believes in," says @ggreenwald. "They use denunciations of human rights abuses to undermine and weaken governments that are contrary to their agenda, like in Iran" #DNlive pic.twitter.com/nx3OXBEerd
— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) January 2, 2018
Likewise, the disastrous 1992-1995 US-led intervention in Somalia under the pretense of humanitarianism and ‘peacekeeping’ ended in disaster and was eventually memorialized in the blockbuster film ‘Black Hawk Down.’ Somalia then devolved into the epitome of a failed state, a situation which The Guardian reports is showing glimmering signs of change decades later.
The establishment’s outspoken support for Iranian protestors also serves to underscore the legacy of hypocrisy with which Western dissidents have historically and recently been treated. Disobedient Media recently reported that US authorities had employed the pretext of Russian collusion allegations to launch an outright witch-hunt against anti-establishment figures including Randy Credico and Dr. Jill Stein.
The West has shown its intolerance for free speech and evidence-based criticism in a more general sense for decades. Recently, the European Union remained idle as a member state violently crushed peaceful Catalans in their effort to vote for independence. Individuals including Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Lauri Love, and others who have proven troublesome to establishment interests have faced massive threats to their lives and livelihoods or long prison sentences and documented inhumane treatment.
In the West, even organizations who are supposedly in favor of press freedoms overtly attack whistleblowers and publishers whose material contradicts US interests. The latest example of this flavor of hypocrisy can be seen in the Freedom of The Press Foundation’s decision to discontinue hosting donations for Wikileaks, which took place after the group reportedly fell under the sway of Pierre Omiydar, who had received an alarming $55 million from the Clinton Foundation. Yesterday Lee continued his attacks towards Wikileaks, associated twitter accounts and Assange.
The International Business Times wrote of Assange’s response to the situation: “The [Freedom of The Press Foundation] faces criticism for receiving donations on our behalf, but that is its function,” he responded. “If it bows to political pressure it becomes part of the problem it was designed to solve and yet another spurious free speech organization – of which there are plenty.” The decision coincided with a number of defamatory statements by Freedom of the Press Foundation director Micah Lee toward Assange, making the parting of the organizations particularly acrimonious.
"Freedom of Press" foundation to blockade WikiLeaks donations next week after creeping take over by $55m Clinton Initiative Donor. https://t.co/WbUzdoSTMO
— WikiLeaks Task Force (@WLTaskForce) January 2, 2018
The Freedom of the Press Foundation and its Director Micah Lee’s attitude towards Assange and Wikileaks is emblematic of the acidic treatment of the supposedly liberal, free speech loving Western establishment towards its own critics and advocates of transparency. In 2017 The Hill reported that CIA Director Mike Pompeo lambasted Wikileaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” Lee has also been associated with a central figure in the scandal surrounding the outing of Chelsea Manning. Although protestors and transparency advocates should always be protected and supported, Western attacks against its own critics and Trump’s vocal support of Iran’s protestors rings especially hollow.
Humanitarian interest is an especially insincere in light of ally-nation Saudi Arabia’s atrocious disregard for civil and human rights. The country has been renowned for its outrageous human rights violations towards citizens for decades. The country still engages in abhorrent medieval public beheadings and other draconian punishments meted out for the slightest infraction. Despite this, no protest is raised from the West, and The Independent reports that the country astoundingly retains its seat on the UN’s Human Rights Council. When Saudi Arabia finally allowed women to drive, the country was heralded for it’s ‘liberal’ decision.
.@statedeptspox: We support a freedom of the press. When a nation clamps down on social media, we ask the question — what are you afraid of? We support the people of #Iran, and we support their voices being heard. pic.twitter.com/4dG4FlWTMJ
— Department of State (@StateDept) January 2, 2018
Multiple American Presidents, including Trump, have rewarded the Saudis’ abuse of civil rights of Yemen and their own citizens by repeatedly agreeing to arms deals with the state amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars over the last decade.
Additionally, the stellar reporting of Robert Parry at Consortium News has underscored the unfortunate reality that the US may have supplied the terror group ISIS. With the monstrous history of ISIS in mind, Parry’s report becomes particularly galling in comparison to the US’ claim of interest in human rights. As Redacted Tonight recently noted, American officials have publicly advised on the best ways to avoid human rights abuses compromising profit.
The unfortunate truth is that fickle US Deep State interests are using the pretense of ‘supporting human rights’ as a pretext for inciting regime change in benefit of allies including Israel and Saudi Arabia. Such an action, if it were to take place, would inevitably see the creation of another destabilized region in its wake. Adding to the irony of recent events is the reality that the current Iranian regime antagonized by the West would never have taken power if not for the intervention of the CIA, which set the path for the current regime to take hold into motion.
The West’s attempt to crush whistleblowers, advocates of transparency and protest movements sheds light on the duplicitous nature of current calls from the West to support ‘free speech’ or to protect human rights in Iran. The same BBC that breathlessly related Sarah Huckabee’s “warning” to Iran regarding its treatment of protesters also reported that Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions had called Assange’s arrest a ‘top priority.’
With all of this in mind, it is clear that, while Iranian protestors absolutely should be protected, a US-led military intervention in the name of protecting human rights would be unacceptable. The West and its allies including Saudi Arabia have violated human rights tirelessly both at home and abroad. Perhaps American establishment figures should turn their attention towards addressing domestic human rights abuses before they encourage regime change in other nations.