Moments of Love and Support

Everyone has a story, a chapter to tell. Here I share the moments of love and support I receive every time I dare to read out loud my stories, my chapters.

Ironies of Demonizing Iranians

by Steve McCarty (Professor, Kansai University, Osaka Jogakuin, and the Japanese government (JICA), Japan)

An innocent Iranian scholar in Japan working tirelessly for international goodwill is the latest victim of the demonization of her country: Denied yet Present at EUROCALL 2017: A Memoir

Denied yet Present at EUROCALL 2017

The absurd yet effective “Axis of Evil” propaganda appropriated a powerful historical metaphor to lump together Iran (Persian ethnicity, Shia religion) with Iraq (Arab ethnicity, Sunni religion) and North Korea, which is defying the world community, while Iran gets scant credit for defying neo-cons and other warmongers by complying with international restrictions: see ‘Sad Day for Warmongers’ as UN Finds Iran in Total Compliance with Nuke Deal and Getting Tough on North Korea: Iran and Other Mirages.

So one irony is that, unlike actual adversaries of the West that are freely doing international business, most Iranians are pro-Western and would like to be responsible members of the international community. But hostile policies led by Israel and the U.S. ironically keep pushing the Iranian government into the arms of China and Russia, as well as maintaining historical resentments that cause rejection of Western values or hostile geopolitical actions out of pride and defensiveness: Iran, Again.

Many issues can be better understood by looking at maps around the vicinity of Southwest Asia. Much of the recent revival of white supremacy, despite its sordid history, is based on misguided assumptions about skin color. Iran is located in the south of the Caucasus, from which the word Caucasian originates. Ironically for Nazi admirers who assume that Iranians are one of the non-white races, the word Aryan “forms the etymological source of the country name Iran” Aryan.

Maps also show where pipelines and so forth can be efficiently located. China cannot produce much petroleum, for instance, so it is trying to incorporate its southern neighbor Iran into its sphere of influence and infrastructure projects to secure its oil supply.

But there may be a simple explanation why Iran is demonized and economically blockaded. Israel wants to be invincible in a region of weak and divided states, and Iran is the strongest rival and a possible threat to Israel’s dominance, so Israel forms unlikely alliances such as with Saudi Arabia to keep Iran in check. The big oil producing countries care little about ideology or even religious differences, because there is one factor that seems to explain nearly everything best. So-called Big Oil wants to keep the price of oil as high as possible, which can be more important than the output or reserves. Iran-Iraq or other wars are generally good for the other oil producers.  They have just arbitrarily decided that Iran is most convenient to exclude from world markets so the price of petroleum can be kept artificially high.

Big Oil is evil enough to collect government subsidies, manipulate geopolitics, and hasten global warming in order to continue its reign as the world’s most profitable industry. Now even the U.S. Secretary of State is an oil industry leader, who was close to ostensible adversary Russia, but national loyalties might not be as important as an Exxon-Rosneft deal to drill for petroleum in the pristine Arctic, which has been held up by sanctions.

The general public seems to be no match for increasingly sophisticated propaganda and social media manipulation techniques. There also seems to be an irony in their confusion about foreign policy. Opinion polls show that Americans consider Iraqis and Afghans their enemies, similar to Iranians, whereas U.S. soldiers are supposed to be dying to protect rather than fight against Iraq and Afghanistan.

So until people are educated to gain sufficient media literacy, they can be easily manipulated against the scapegoat of the day. Scientific and social progress can only proceed from a baseline of facts and peace, so scholars have our hands full clarifying issues, and our voices are much needed on the front lines of fractious social issues and threats to democratic governance. If people do not mind cheaper oil products, they can have fewer enemies as well by rejecting the demonization of Iranians, treating fellow humans not as objects but as subjects with agency, feelings, and equal inherent rights.

Read the News with A Critical Eye

by Sean Gay (Ritsumeikan University)

Journalists really need to start using the actual definition of terrorism correctly… Terrorism is the use or threat of harm for political purposes. A recent report wherein unconfirmable intel is used to link Iran with Al Qaeda shows two major issues with its writing. First, its primary source for interpreting the intel is a rightwing think tank that specializes in anti-Iran propaganda. Second, they say that it shows that Iran supported terrorism, wherein the actual report shows support for the attacking of American military assets. While this is a form of aggression. It is far different from terrorism and came shortly after the US-supported invasion of Iran by Iraq, and, as such, could be perceived as defensive military action. The intel also seems to support Iran’s claim that they only offered support prior to the 1998 terrorist attack on American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

So basically, the intel appears to support the claim that Iran supported Al Qaeda actions against American military targets in Arabia between 1991 and 1998. This is a reasonable stance for a nation who has had their leader overthrown multiple times by the US and was recently targeted by the US in a military campaign via Iraq. Following the terrorist attacks there is no evidence of support.

The article confuses military action and terrorism. In addition it sites a radical anti-Iranian propaganda organization. The title radically generalizes the findings in a manner intended to incite rather than inform. This clouds the information in the article and makes it unreliable overall.

Here is the link to the report: