Monday, April 21, 2008

1. I often wonder if the esteemed editors and writers for the Dutch government funded Iranian “news” website Roozonline are aware of a little something called the war on Iraq. These folks, along with their many other diasporic counterparts who write on a variety of other governmental or “n”go funded websites, seem to be blissfully unaware of the global context in which their statements are made.

They know neither the conditions of their own possibility (i.e. they don’t get why or how it is that suddenly the US and various EU countries are rushing to fund them in particular) nor what it means for them to say the things they do at this particular moment in time.

I deliberately abstain from citing specific problems because I don’t want to link to them and I do not want to reproduce their language, even if I am critical of it.

Suffice it to say, this press is beginning to use certain words and descriptions to draw attention to ethnic and religious distinctions among Iranians.

Also, anyone out there in the diaspora still calling themselves “Persian,” please get your head examined.

2. Surprise, surprise, the Pentagon was planting its “analysts” on the major US networks to sell the administration’s war on the world. As Gareth Porter notes, David Barstow’s lengthy and well-documented article should get people riled up to demand reform of what he calls the “massively corrupt network system of covering military affairs.”

Can someone please please translate Barstow’s article into Persian? Or better yet, can someone please please fund an NGO—or heck, even an “n”go—dedicated to gathering important articles, audio, and video and translating them to Persian?

Someone has to counter the massively funded projects aimed at shaping and skewing the material that is available to Persian-only speaking audiences.

3. I saw the Panama Deception in the fall of 2001 and was shocked to see the same rhetoric and many of the same cast of characters as those involved in the impending war on Afghanistan. I watched it again last night, and now, post the Iraq invasion, the similarities are even more eerie, especially given the parallels between the situation of Saddam and Noriega as well as what the US did to the armies of Iraq and Panama. If the film had not been made in 1992—long before the disasters of Afghanistan or Iraq--maybe some people would try to claim that the filmmaker tried to force a comparison among the situations.

The full documentary is available for free online, I highly recommend it.

This film, by the way, is a good candidate to be translated and subtitled into Persian and made available online. Now if only we had a generous funder, I would drop everything and get to work!