Iran and Samoa

propagandaJohn Pilger spotlights that Obama’s propaganda machine is in full swing:

Iran’s crime is its independence. Having thrown out America’s favourite tyrant, Shah Reza Pahlavi, Iran remains the only resource-rich Muslim state beyond US control. As only Israel has a “right to exist” in the Middle East, the US goal is to cripple the Islamic Republic. This will allow Israel to divide and dominate the Middle East on Washington’s behalf, undeterred by a confident neighbour. If any country in the world has been handed urgent cause to develop a nuclear “deterrence”, it is Iran.

As one of the original signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has been a consistent advocate of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. In contrast, Israel has never agreed to an IAEA inspection, and its nuclear weapons plant at Dimona remains an open secret. Armed with as many as 200 active nuclear warheads, Israel “deplores” UN resolutions calling on it to sign the NPT, just as it deplored the recent UN report charging it with crimes against humanity in Gaza, just as it maintains a world record for violations of international law. It gets away with this because great power grants it immunity.

Obama’s “showdown” with Iran has another agenda. On both sides of the Atlantic the media have been tasked with preparing the public for endless war. The US/Nato commander General Stanley McChrystal says 500,000 troops will be required in Afghanistan over five years, according to America’s NBC. The goal is control of the “strategic prize” of the gas and oilfields of the Caspian Sea, central Asia, the Gulf and Iran – in other words, Eurasia. But the war is opposed by 69 per cent of the British public, 57 per cent of the US public and almost every other human being. Convincing “us” that Iran is the new demon will not be easy. McChrystal’s spurious claim that Iran “is reportedly training fighters for certain Taliban groups” is as desperate as Brown’s pathetic echo of “a line in the sand”. – John Pilger, Iran’s nuclear threat is a lie

On another – and more immediate – note, the Global Mission Office of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand is coordinating a relief effort for the people of Samoa hit by the tsunami of 30 September, donations to be passed on to partner churches and agencies working in Samoa. Appeals are also being run by Oxfam and the New Zealand Red Cross.


  1. John Pilger seems a bit of an enigma to me. He sees Western countries as enemies, no matter what good they do, and Iran and Iraq as safe havens. I sometimes get the impression his vitriolic is the result of a tongue let loose without the mind thoroughly engaged in critiquing what’s being said. I don’t disagree that both the US and the UK were scarcely faultless over the Iraqi War, and that the US’ foreign policy leaves much to be desired, but….whenever Pilger speaks or writes, I feel uncomfortable – not for the reasons he wants me to feel uncomfortable. There’s an interesting – and pretty objective review of one of his books here. That’s kind of how I see Pilger too. Hard to know when to believe him and when not to.


  2. Thanks Mike for your comments, and for the link to the Hari piece. I agree that Pilger is an enigma, but thank God for enigmas. As Jim Gordon suggested in a comment on an earlier post, Pilger may be the nearest thing to Amos that the mainstream media knows ‘for the restrained scorn and razor sharpness of his moral anger. His writing combines courage and outrage, and tells truth the powerful don’t want to hear, and usually manage to ignore in those places where disgraceful decisions are made. There are parts of Isaiah, Amos and Micah, that should be studied using biblical commentaries, and commentaries like those of Pilger. The journalist with a conscience often embarrass a Church playing small minded survival games which it calls mission, while missing the place where the Gospel should come with Magnificat force!’

    This is not to say that Pilger always ‘gets it right’ (I don’t think that he always does, completely), but then again neither do you when you say that Pilger ‘sees Western countries as enemies, no matter what good they do’. My reading of Pilger over many years is that he is concerned to put the spotlight on the machineries of injustice, greed, lies and violence where he sees them at work most destructively , though he makes a call about where he chooses to look (perhaps based on where he feels he is most likely to be heard). Perhaps he’s just looking in different places than most of us. That said, it is always policies and actions, not countries per se, that he understands to be destructive to the flourishing of human community.

    So Mike, do you think that Pilger is right in this case, and even about the claim that ‘convincing “us” that Iran is the new demon will not be easy’?

    Now let’s be honest: your hesitation about Pilger is just because he’s an Aussie isn’t it!


  3. Nope, not just because he’s an Aussie…because officially, according to my passport, I’m one too…!
    I agree that prophets are hard to live with; how many of us would have been on Jeremiah’s side, when he was insisting on going to Babylon? The ‘minor’ prophets (not so minor to their neighbours, I bet) are equal cases in point. Some of them weren’t far from the crazies you see in the average city.
    As for Pilger’s arguments here. The Shah has been long gone and Iran had the Ayatollah for a considerable time: not exactly the sort of power most of us would want to live under, surely? Israel is the only one with the right to exist in the Middle East…hmmm, bit of a underpinned statement, that one. Israel can’t win, whatever it does. If it defends itself, it’s wrong. If it attacks others, it’s wrong. The fact of it’s being where it is, is wrong, in many eyes. But it was given the land ‘back’, of course, by Western nations, if I’m not wrong. The history is too complex just to say Israel is the big bad boy on the block.
    ‘As one of the original signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty” – so why is Iran talking nuclear?
    I don’t know anything about Stanley McChrystal, but no doubt he’s got all these soldiers hanging around doing nothing all day and he wants them to GET TO WORK! lol
    On another blog the other day it was written that Obama has brought a Communist onto his think tank team (whatever their official title is). Obama is a bit like Israel – he can’t win either. He brings black into the White House and he’s wrong; he tries to bring some sense to a little fireball of a President in Iran and he’s wrong – and it has to be admitted that there was an awful lot of anti the Iran President when he managed to get re-elected.
    Need to do some work. The stuff I’m paid for!


  4. Sorry, I have a hard time with this one. Bush had already been painting Iran as part of the Axis of Evil for years, this is nothing new. If anything, Obama has backed off such rhetoric of fear. There is no way we will go to war with Iran. They have a hardened military, and our losses in life would make Iraq look like a picnic.

    The funny thing about Cold War “Mutually Assured Destruction” was the it required someone with a conscience to keep from launching nukes. Now you have the president of Iran, who says he’d gladly sacrifice the 40 million people in his country to wipe Israel off of the map.


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