Paul Craig Roberts
Are the Iranian Election Protests Another U.S. Orchestrated “Color Revolution”?
|A number of commentators have expressed their idealistic belief in the purity of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Ayatollah Montazeri, and the Westernized youth of Tehran. The CIA destabilization plan, announced two years ago (see below), has somehow not contaminated unfolding events.
The claim is made that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stole the election because the outcome was declared too soon after the polls closed for all the votes to have been counted. Mousavi declared his victory several hours before the polls closed, however. This is classic CIA destabilization designed to discredit a contrary outcome. It forces an early declaration of the vote. The longer the time interval between the pre-emptive declaration of victory and the release of the vote tally, the longer Mousavi has to create the impression that the authorities are using the time to fix the vote. It is amazing that people don’t see through this trick.
As for Montazeri’s charge that the election was stolen, he was the initial choice to succeed Ayatollah Khomeini, but lost out to the current supreme leader. He sees in the protests an opportunity to settle the score with Ayahtollah Khamenei. Montazeri has the incentive to challenge the election whether or not he is being manipulated by the CIA, which has a successful history of manipulating disgruntled politicians.
There is a power struggle among the ayatollahs. Many are aligned against Ahmadinejad because he accuses them of corruption, thus playing to the Iranian countryside where Iranians believe the ayatollahs’ lifestyles indicate an excess of power and money. In my opinion, Ahmadinejad’s attack on the ayatollahs is opportunistic. It does make it odd for his American detractors to say he is a conservative reactionary lined up with the ayatollahs, however.
Commenators are “explaining” the Iran elections based on their own illusions, delusions, emotions and vested interests. Whether or not the poll results predicting Ahmadinejad’s win are sound, there is, so far, no evidence beyond surmise that the election was stolen. There are credible reports, however, that the CIA has been working for two years to destabilize the Iranian government.
On May 23, 2007, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito reported on ABC News, “The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell ABC News.”
On May 27, 2007, the London Telegraph independently reported, “Mr. Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.”
A few days previously, the Telegraph reported on May 16, 2007, that Bush administration neocon warmonger John Bolton told the Telegraph that a U.S. military attack on Iran would “be a ‘last option’ after economic sanctions and attempts to foment a popular revolution had failed.”
On June 29, 2008, Seymour Hersh reported in The New Yorker: “Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence and congressional sources. These operations, for which the president sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.”
The protests in Tehran no doubt have many sincere participants. The protests also have the hallmarks of the CIA orchestrated protests in Georgia and Ukraine. It requires total blindness not to see this.
Daniel McAdams has made some telling points. For example, neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman wrote the day before the election that “there’s talk of a ‘green revolution’ in Tehran.” How would Timmerman know that unless it was an orchestrated plan? Why would there be a ‘green revolution’ prepared prior to the vote, especially if Mousavi and his supporters were as confident of victory as they claim? This looks like definite evidence that the United States is involved in the election protests.
Timmerman goes on to write that “the National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars promoting ‘color’ revolutions . … 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.”
Timmerman’s own neocon Foundation for Democracy is “a private, nonprofit organization established in 1995 with grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), to promote democracy and internationally recognized standards of human rights in Iran.”
Paul Craig Roberts has had careers in scholarship and academia, public service, and journalism. From 1971 until 2004, he was associated with the Hoover Institution, Stanford University as National Fellow, Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow. A former editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service, he is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles. In 1992, he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993, the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States.
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