The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, Vol. 5, No. 3/4 (Summer/Fall 2009)

The pink revolution in Iran and the “Left”, Takis Fotopoulos

Chapter 5. The reformist left plays its usual role of the system’s cheerleader


The role of the “Left” in the New World Order

The common stand supported by “genetically modified” Marxists like Slavoj Žižek and so called “anarchists” like Noam Chomsky, as well as by analysts hosted by the Znet empire, is the following one: a popular uprising erupted in Iran against an obscurantist and oppressive Islamic regime, which, in the recent presidential elections, has “stolen” the victory supposedly achieved by the “progressive” reformers.

Of course, this kind of stand is not new, as the reformist “Left” adopted a similar stand with respect to all the wars of the transnational elite in the New World Order era, which began with the flourishing of neoliberal globalisation and the collapse of “actually existing socialism” in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Thus, first, the NATO bombing of Serbia was justified by this Left, the Greens and others, supposedly in order to protect the human rights of Kosovars, which were violated by the “tyrannical” Milosevic regime. At the end of this process, the only independent from the transnational elite regime in the Balkans was dismantled.[1]

Then, it was the turn of the regime in Iraq, which had become the target of the transnational elite twice: first, in 1991 with the aim to “liberate” Kuwait (with the open support of the reformist Left and the tolerance of the Greens) and, second, in 2003, with the aim to save us from its weapons of mass destruction.[2] At the end of this process (surprise, surprise!) one of the two main independent regimes from the transnational elite in the area, the Baathist regime which had nationalised Iraqi oil, was destroyed.

Finally, the transnational elite organised and financed the “pink” revolutions in the ex-Soviet Union (Georgia, Ukraine[3]), and these campaigns were supported again by the reformist Left, the Human Rights NGOs and similar organisations. Another “surprise” emerged at the end of this process when new client regimes were established in these countries, one of which has even caused a war with Russia! [4]

Similarly, today, the reformist Left’s contribution to the demonisaltion of the Islamic regime by the transnational elite, in preparation of a coup from within or of a military blow from without, has been decisive in disorienting activists in the Left from the real enemy, which is not of course Ahmadinejad and the Islamic regime but the transnational elite itself! Clearly, the fall of the present Islamic regime and its replacement by a client regime (which is the only real possibility at the present balance of power) will only bring about the “pacification” of the Mid East and beyond—a fact which shows beyond any doubt that the role which the same reformist Left plays today, (irrespective of the anti-capitalist rhetoric it might use), deliberately or at least objectively, is that of a fellow-traveller of the transnational elite.

Having said this, the Islamic regime, as any theocratic or religious regime, has nothing to do with democracy and autonomy. In fact, theocracy and religion in general are prime examples of heteronomy and are utterly incompatible with a genuine democracy like an Inclusive Democracy.[5] Neither is there any doubt that the Islamic regime, once it stabilised its power after the 1979 Revolution, it turned against its former allies against the Shah (communists, libertarians and so on) and imposed various restrictions on social movements not controlled by it, in order to secure its monopoly of power. This does not mean of course that serious restrictions are not imposed by the “democratic” regimes in the West today as well, under the pretext of the fight against “terrorism”. Furthermore, the Islamic regime, being a theocratic regime, had no qualms to support, directly or indirectly, the transnational elite in its campaigns to secure the submission of the “rogue” regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, simply because its criteria were not purely political (the fight against the New World Order) but also cultural, i.e. the need to support the Shias against the Sunnis and similar considerations. In other words, the Islamic elite, being a theocratic regime, bases it decisions both on religious and political grounds. This is because, for this kind of regime, the main axis of its conflict with the transnational elite and neoliberal globalisation is not economic and political globalisation but cultural globalisation.

However, all this should not cast any doubt on the general anti-New World Order stand of the Islamic regime, as the reformist Left attempts to do. In fact, the Iranian incentives, both with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan were not purely cultural either. In Iraq, the US invasion decisively helped bringing to power the Iraqi Shias, who are the majority in the population and, crucially, are supported by the Iranian Islamic regime. Clearly, on this, there was a convergence of interests among the US and Iranian elites, although for different reasons. Thus, the American elite was simply using the old “divide and rule” tactic, through which they succeeded to have a client regime in Iraq, and which will have to depend for a long time on US military and economic support. On the other hand, the Islamic elite in Iran gained a Shia regime next door, which—they assume—will not allow an attack from its soil of the transnational elite against them and, in the long term, they could even unite with them in controlling the area. This is of course an assumed convergence of interests based on the fundamentally flawed assumption that the American elite will withdraw its military capability from Iraq (which does not include just land forces but, even more important, air and naval ones), even before they have sorted out first the “Iranian regime“ problem, either from within or from without.

As far as Afghanistan is concerned, there is also a similar assumed convergence of US and Iranian interests, given that both the transnational elite and the Islamic regime are against the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden, although, again, for different reasons. The former, because they want to smash any resistance against the New World Order and the latter, because they distrust the anti-Shias Taliban, as well as Al Qaida. Yet again, the Islamic regime makes another flawed assumption that the client regime in Afghanistan, with which it has cultivated good relations, will not turn against it, forgetting in the process the complete political, military and economic dependence of the present elite in Afghanistan on the transnational elite!

But, as I mentioned in the Introduction, gaining the political independence (and if possible the economic independence as well) from the transnational elite and the system is a necessary condition for democracy and autonomy. The ideas therefore promoted by the reformist Left and post-modern anarchists about a simultaneous fight against the transnational elite and the theocratic regime (or any Islamic movement fighting for independence like Hamas, Hezbollah etc) end up with a reactionary “equal distances” approach. Such an approach not only objectively enhances the transnational elite but it is also definitely promoted by it, with the aim to neutralise the Left and disorient activists all over the world, by distracting their attention from the fact that the real and primary enemy is the transnational elite and associated elites (Zionist elite and local elites of client regimes) and not what these elites call “rogue” regimes (Iran, Venezuela, Cuba etc) and movements. This is because a genuine antisystemic struggle should have as its first enemy the elites supporting the system itself and not the local hierarchical structures that have been imposed by the “rogue” regimes and movements. The confusion therefore created today by the reformist Left and post-modern “anarchists” on the need to fight first for human rights in each country aims to move the focus of the social struggle from an antisystemic struggle to a reformist struggle within the system –something perfectly consistent with today’s credo of the genetically modified “Left”, which it seems that only in its rhetoric fights the system itself !

However, these sorts of conclusions are not even understood by another part of libertarian Left, the so-called “autonomists”, who believe that all wars are class wars and that therefore there is no need to support national liberation movements. On the other hand, the alternative view supported by this book and the ID project is that such movements should be supported, not only because they play a crucial role in weakening the transnational elite in a globalised world like the present one, but also because national liberation is a precondition for a social liberation based on autonomy. It is obviously ridiculous to see common interests between the US soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan and the occupied Iraqi and Afghani workers and peasants, or between Israeli soldiers and occupied Palestinian peasants, given that such commonality of interests arises only at a very high level of abstraction which has nothing to do with real people with different cultures who have passed through fundamentally different processes of socialisation. Furthermore, this sort of silly approach has very negative practical implications, given that it ends up, again, with the adoption of an “equal distances” stand which neutralises activists and condemns them to inaction, to the utmost delight of the transnational elite! No wonder that “Left”, and so called “anarchist”, Zionists are enthusiastic supporters of this approach, arguing that any resistance against the Zionist occupiers is reactionary, since they are also workers oppressed by their elites and therefore workers on both sides should unite and turn against their common enemy, the capitalists on either side!

The above conclusions about the role of the reformist Left could be justified if we consider in more detail the main arguments produced by analysts, who directly or indirectly support the propaganda of the transnational elite and the world mass media it controls.

Zizek and Chomsky on Iran

Slavoj Zizek,[6] the post-modern “Marxist” darling of the mass media controlled by the transnational elite, managed to give a completely distorted picture of the pink revolution in Iran which on the basis of the analysis above is close to a complete reversal of the truth. The following extract shows how he managed this achievement!:

We are dealing with a genuine popular uprising of the deceived partisans of the Khomeini revolution. There are a couple of crucial consequences to be drawn from this insight. First, Ahmadinejad is not the hero of the Islamist poor, but a genuine corrupted Islamo-Fascist populist a kind of Iranian Berlusconi (…) behind him are not only organs of police repression and a very Westernized PR apparatus, but also a strong new rich class, the result of the regime’s corruption (Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is not a working class militia, but a mega-corporation, the strongest centre of wealth in the country) (…) Mousavi is something entirely different: his name stands for the genuine resuscitation of the popular dream which sustained the Khomeini revolution. Even if this dream was a utopia, one should recognize in it the genuine utopia of the revolution itself (…) Whatever the outcome, it is vitally important to keep in mind that we are witnessing a great emancipatory event which doesn’t fit the frame of the struggle between pro-Western liberals and anti-Western fundamentalists

So, in this post-modern “Marxist” caricature of reality, all we have in Iran is a conflict between, on the one hand, the Iranian version of Berlusconi (Ahmadinejad) backed by a strong new rich class and, on the other, a “utopian”, who stands for the genuine resurrection of the Khomeini’s revolution ideals, (Mousavi) backed by an emanciparory movement that sees in him the possible realisation of the 1979 dreams! On top of this, this Coca-Cola kind of a “radical” thinker, had no qualms to describe those in the antisystemic Left, who attempted to see the dirty international game played on Iran by the transnational elite and the Zionists to integrate the entire Mid East into the New World Order, as follows: “the saddest of them all are the Leftist supporters of Ahmadinejad” for whom what is really at stake is Iranian independence. However, Zizek in one sense is absolutely right. It is only when the entire world will have been integrated into the New Order that he and his likes in Znet etc would be able to play the role of a “radical” (i.e. genetically modified) Left fighting for a human face of this Order!

At the same time, Chomsky sided with the pink revolution with no hesitation at all, as it is obvious by the following extract in which, based on the flimsiest evidence possible and no analysis at all, he concludes that the electoral results lacked credibility and “an enormous popular protest followed, brutally suppressed by the armed forces of the ruling clerics”. Thus, for Chomsky[7]:

In Iran, the electoral results issued by the Interior Ministry lacked credibility both by the manner in which they were released and by the figures themselves. An enormous popular protest followed, brutally suppressed by the armed forces of the ruling clerics. Perhaps Ahmadinejad might have won a majority if votes had been fairly counted, but it appears that the rulers were unwilling to take that chance. From the streets, correspondent Reese Erlich, who has had considerable experience with popular uprisings and bitter repression in US domains, writes that “It's a genuine Iranian mass movement made up of students, workers, women, and middle class folks” and possibly much of the rural population. Eric Hooglund, a respected scholar who has studied rural Iran intensively, dismisses standard speculations about rural support for Ahmadinejad, describing "overwhelming" support for Mousavi in regions he has studied, and outrage over what the large majority there regard as a stolen election.

Clearly, Chomsky’s considerate conclusions are therefore based on what he heard and read in the mass media of the transnational elite and such “unbiased” reports as those of Reese Erlich (see next section on Znet) and that of Eric Hooglund,[8] whose conclusions of fraud are based on what he heard happened to the votes of a village he knew from his research and on the demos in a city near by!

The sort of “alternative” information provided by Znet

As regards the analysts hosted by the Znet empire, which (supposedly) provides “alternative” information and analysis, it is obvious that the stand it adopted on the Iran issue hardly differs from the one adopted by the media of the transnational elite!

Thus, Reese Erlich,[9] a freelance foreign correspondent and author of The Iran Agenda: the Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis, with the air of superiority of a personal witness of events, draws the usual conclusions, based however just on description rather than on analysis, which is hardly the way to interpret this sort of events. Furthermore, he should know that being a witness to a social explosion gives very little clues, if any, about its causes and its real nature. Obviously, the same demonstrations in Tehran would be presented and interpreted very differently by a supporter of their cause (as he clearly is) and an opponent to them. The very first paragraph of his article clearly betrays how unbiased he is when he talks about “those risking their lives daily on the streets of major Iranian cities fighting for political, social and economic justice”. But, unlike the 1979 demos, not only there were no reports of any big demos on the streets of other major Iranian cities apart from Tehran, but also the demand for social and economic justice has nothing to do with the protests against inflation nor with the demands for human rights, the punishment of corruption and fair elections voiced by the Tehran demonstrators. We did not see for instance any slogans for economic equality—a basic demand for economic justice—something consistent with the analysis in this book that the participants in these demonstrations were mainly bourgeois students and ladies from the northern suburbs of Tehran, as well as supporters of the reformist clerics who wish to further liberalise the economy—a demand which is completely incompatible with economic equality—from various social groups!

Then, Erlich attempts to show the spontaneous character of these demos by stressing their multi-class character—something however which simply confirms our analysis of a double conflict in Iran. As the “unholy alliance” described above includes not only bourgeois modernizers but also supporters of the reformist clerics (who obviously come from all social strata) the multi-class composition of the demos is not surprising at all. He then goes on to adopt the “stolen elections” argument, not producing in the process a shred of concrete—let alone conclusive–evidence on it, but resorting in the end to the biased academic study mentioned above, which confesses that all the evidence it produced does not consist a “smoking gun”! There is no need to deal with his argument that there is no democracy in the Iranian institutions (something I discussed in the previous chapters) but the funny thing is that the impression one gets from his description of the role of the ruling elite in Iran is that there is no ruling elite in USA, where presumably there is democracy!

Erlich then goes on to discuss the silly question whether the CIA and Obama were involved in the organisation of these demos–accusing in the process Left supporters of this view that all their arguments are by analogy and implication, although, essentially he does exactly the same ! This is of course inevitable given that neither the supporters of the view about CIA intervention, nor its opponents could have any real hard evidence on this and therefore all that analysts could do, as I also tried to do in this book, is to show the reasons why Obama and the transnational elite have every reason to support these demos in their aim for regime change. Finally, there is no need to deal with assertions of the form “Ahmadinejad has introduced 24% annual inflation and high unemployment”, which are launched within the context of his vitriolics against the regime in general and Ahmadinejad in particular and which, at best, betray complete ignorance of the economic factors and processes leading to such phenomena, as I showed in chapters 2 and 3.

The question therefore arising from this sort of “analysis” is whether this is an exception or whether instead this is the sort of “alternative” information hosted by Znet on the matter. An examination of the views on Iran presented by Znet, in the form of articles, overwhelmingly supports the latter hypothesis, whereas an examination of the comments on these articles in the Znet forum shows a widespread feeling of disgust of Znet visitors with this sort of stand and the kind of information provided!

Thus, Saeed Rahnema,[10] a formal Zwriter and an Iranian expatriate academic and member of several establishment research projects, including the Ford Foundation on Muslim Diasporas in the West, is an even clearer case of the utter reformist views– which indirectly support the transnational elite’s line on Iran– hosted by Znet. This becomes clear almost from the very opening statement of his article:

disturbingly, like in the situations in Gaza or Lebanon, where Hamas and Hezbollah uncritically became champions of anti-imperialism, for some other people on the left, Ahmadinejad has become a champion because of his seemingly firm rhetoric against Israel and the US. Based on a crude class analysis, he is also directly or indirectly praised by some for his supposed campaign against the rich and imagined support of the working poor. These analyses also undermine the genuine movement within the vibrant Iranian civil society, and denigrate their demands for democracy, and political and individual freedoms as middle class concerns, instigated by Western propaganda

Presumably, this “Left” academic hosted by Znet never heard of national liberation movements and reproduces the transnational elite and Zionist propaganda that Hamas and Hezbollah are “terrorist” organisations and-even more important-never heard of an antisystemic Left and yet he is prominently hosted by the supposed anti-capitalist Michael Albert in his Znet empire! All that Rahnmena understands as the Left is the present genetically modified “Left” that has abandoned any questioning of the system of the capitalist market economy and representative “democracy”, which he takes for granted and bothers only about the demands of the “civil society”. In other words, for him, the “Left” is that part of the political spectrum which adopts the various middle class, (usually single-issue) movements, which form the Non Government Organisations that are directly or indirectly financed and promoted by the transnational elite, and fights for what passes as “democracy” today in the West, and the protection of human rights. Any coincidence of this with the ideology of the transnational elite that it used to justify all its recent wars, including the “war on terror” (which the “progressive” Obama renamed but still fights it in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere) is NOT accidental!

Thus, the author violently attacks the old antisystemic Left (Monthly Review, James Petras et al.) for their correct stand on the Iranian “pink” revolution, exploiting the weak points of their analyses which I also mentioned in chapters 2 and 3, i.e. the inconsistencies of the Iranian regime’s stand with respect to neoliberal globalisation, the theocratic irrationalities and so on. Yet, this does not prevent Rahnema to have the nerve to accuse the old antisystemic Left for “not understanding that all factions of the Islamic regime have always been staunch capitalists”, as if the bourgeois modernisers whom he clearly supports, are proletarians and not fully committed to the capitalist system! And it is ridiculous indeed that Rahnema blames exclusively Ahmadinejad and the fundamentalists for “failed economic policies, the rising 30% inflation rate, growing unemployment”, whereas, as we saw in chapters 2 and 3, unemployment and inflation are much more the effects of the neoliberal reforms introduced by the reformists (whom he supports as part of the “unholy alliance”) rather than of the state controls introduced by the fundamentalists to support the victims of these reforms.

But, our “Left” academic has the nerve to go even further, as the following statement makes it clear:[11]

The left has historically been rooted in solidarity with progressive movements, women's rights and rights for unions and its voice has been first and foremost a call for freedom. The voices that we hear today from part of the Left are tragically reactionary. Siding with religious fundamentalists with the wrong assumptions that they are anti-imperialists and anti-capitalists, is aligning with the most reactionary forces of history. This is a reactionary left, different from the progressive left which has always been on the side of the forces of progress

And he concludes informing us about what is actually going on in Iran and what the role of the Left should be[12]:

What is happening in Iran is a spontaneous, ingenious and independent revolt by a people frustrated with thirty years of obscurantist tyrannical religious rule, triggered by electoral fraud but rooted in more substantial demands. Much to the dismay of the clerical regime and their supporters inside and outside the country, the ever expanding Iranian civil society brilliantly seized the moment of the election to take strong steps forward. They have no illusions about the Islamist regime, or about their own capabilities. Their strategy is to gradually and non-violently replace the Islamic regime and its hegemony with a secular democratic one. This is a hugely significant, delicate and protracted confrontation. It is essential that they get the wide-ranging effective support from the left in the West so that they don't fall prey to the misleading conception of the left not having concerns for democracy and civil liberties.

So, the author, taking for granted that the Left consists of the reformist part of it which, indeed, fights only for human rights and liberties, i.e. for the liberal meaning of freedom (“freedom from”), instead of the socialist and libertarian meaning of it (“freedom to”) that implies the fight for the change of the system itself– i.e. “forgetting” the original task of the Left itself– accuses the antisystemic Left as “reactionary”! Why? Because it dared to reveal the aims of the transnational elite and of the system itself with respect to the present dual conflict in Iran for regime change. He has good company on this with the entire transnational elite and the mass media controlled by it, who are in the midst of a massive disinformation campaign to demonise the Iranian regime (very similar to the ones they followed before the attacks against the peoples of Serbia, Iraq etc), with the aims I showed in the last chapter. In other words, the proper role of the Left for him is to fight against the regimes that the system classifies as “rogue” rather than against the system itself– even if the latter involves allying with regimes which are not to our liking but which fight for their political and economic independence from the transnational elite. It is only fools (or people pretending to be fools for their own reasons) who do not understand that the precondition for genuine democracy and autonomy, i.e. for systemic change in any country belonging to a globalised world, is the breaking of the dependence ties of the country concerned from those controlling this globalised system rather than the overthrowing of an indigenous elite which—for its own reasons—follows such a policy! Rahnema and his ilk in the reformist Left are indeed perfect examples of today’s degradation of the Left, which plays the role of the cheerleader of the system and its campaigns to impose client regimes all over the world and stifle any resistance against the New World Order.

Exactly the same line is promoted by another star of the Znet stable: Farooq Sulehria who, in an article entitled “Ahmedinejad and the anti-imperialism of fools”,[13] exploits the same inconsistencies of the Iranian regime with a proper anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism which I mentioned above. As he put it, “not merely is Ahmedinejad's anti-Americanism, anti-Israel policy highly questionable but declaring him an anti-imperialist blatantly trivializes anti-imperialism”. Here the trick is to criticise– supposedly from an antisystemic viewpoint– the Iranian regime, justifying in the process the demand of the “pink revolution” that it has to be overthrown. Of course, he never attempts to draw the logical implication that if the present unholy alliance does succeed in overthrowing this regime, the alternative will not be a proper anticapitalist and anti-imperialist one, but just another client regime of the transnational elite! No wonder that he gives a definition of anti-imperialism which has nothing to do with the classical meaning of it but is, in fact, a post-modern salad based on what the reformist Left is all about today.

Thus, for Sulehria :

Anti-imperialism includes national liberation, women's emancipation, democratization, political and economic empowerment, respect for religious minorities, and self-determination for oppressed nationalities. Anti-imperialism is freedom for all oppressed, from all oppression”.

However, the classical meaning of the term involved only the national liberation movements against colonialism (i.e. against the colonial powers) and neo-colonialism (i.e. against political and economic dependence on the West), as a precondition for social liberation. This implied the continuation of the struggle within a liberated country against the local political and economic elites, once the national liberation has been achieved. Therefore, the struggle for women’s emancipation, self-determination for oppressed nationalities and generally for self-management at all levels, what we call an Inclusive Democracy (ID), should follow national liberation not precede it! Otherwise, by implication, we should, for instance, support the struggle of the bourgeois expatriates in Florida and a possible pink revolution against the Castro regime in Cuba in the future, because this regime also violates the bourgeois defined human rights which, by the way, are being reversed today even in countries with a long tradition on them like Britain.

Yet,Sulehria also distorts the historical process of the post-Second World War period in the Muslim world in order to establish his case of an alliance of imperialism with fundamentalism. He uses for this purpose a plot theory of history, for lack of any real analytical framework. Thus, for him, the present pseudo anti-imperialism of the Islamic regime is just “the product of the process run by imperialism in collaboration with fundamentalism, to eliminate genuine anti-imperialism in the Muslim world”! In his words:

The anti-imperialism currently on display in the Muslim world is symbolic and not of substance. It signifies a new phase in the relationship between two estranged lovers, fundamentalism and imperialism. It is the product of the process run by imperialism in collaboration with fundamentalism, to eliminate genuine anti-imperialism in the Muslim world… there is a clear connivance between fundamentalism and imperialism. With radical nationalist leaders dead and communist or socialist parties eliminated, the political arena was wide open for Imam Khomeni, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Muhammad Omar or their local clones () An anti-imperialism that does not threaten to nationalize oil (Osama declares that oil is an asset owned by Arabs but opposes its common ownership), stand for land distribution or allow the working classes to organize trade unions such "anti-imperialism" does not bother the Empire. It is an anti-imperialism based on the repression of women, religious minorities, small nationalities, trade unions, peasant organizations, and political parties. Thus, it actually functions to carry imperialism's needs: repression of the masses. It is countries that oppress their masses and lack trade unions and workers' parties that best suit multinationals. The so-called anti-imperialism of these religious forces thus actually serves imperialism in the current global scenario. It is, at best, the anti-imperialism of fools.

To draw this conclusion Sulehria had to completely distort History and manipulate the events to fit his Procrustean bed of a connivance between fundamentalists and imperialists. It is true that the Western elites in the Cold War period and their successor (i.e. the transnational elite) in the New World Order had to eliminate a number of “rogue” regimes, including their leaderships as well, although what they were most afraid of was not the personalities of the leaders, as he states, but the massive popular movements supporting them. It is also true that to achieve this result their natural allies were the fundamentalists, who were rising everywhere in the Arab world (and not only!) following the collapse of actually existing socialism” and the consequent decline of the movements for Arab socialism and nationalism.[14] However, this was an obvious “divide and rule” exercise of the Western elites, while the fundamentalists themselves were fully aware of the fact they were used by them as instruments of their policies. In fact, they took part in these alliances with the elites with the sole aim to take over from the secular regimes, in order to implement their Islamic fundamentalism, which, however, by its nature, was incompatible with the cultural globalisation of the New World Order. No wonder that as soon as these fundamentalist regimes took over in Iran, Afghanistan, Gaza etc they became “enemy number one” for Western “Imperialists”, as they were fully aware of the fact that the popular movements supporting them were not just religious irrationalists but mainly people who were fighting for their national liberation in an era of collapse of the traditional secular political movements.

Furthermore, if anti-imperialism today means the fight against the “repression of women, religious minorities, small nationalities, trade unions, peasant organizations, and political parties”, as Sulehria put it, then, he is in good company! The entire transnational elite and its formidable power is behind him. Therefore, the “Left” he supports could go back to its sofas and wait for the dismantlement of the last rogue regime in the area, so that they could get the Western kind of “democracy” they so admire, until his pseudo “anti-imperialism” would have won.

Then, it was the turn of Stephen Shalom, close associate of Michael Albert and author of ParPolity: Political Vision for a Good Society[15], (the political dimension of Parecon[16] which was never written by Albert) who, in a simplistic Q&A format which reminds one of the framed poll questions asked by pollsters to get the replies they want,[17] supposedly tried to clarify the issues involved but, in fact aimed–through his manipulation and distortion of the facts and omissions to obscure them and disorient Left activists. Thus, first, he takes for granted the stolen elections hypothesis invoking as “proof” the “non-smoking gun” I mentioned in chapter 3 and a report by Chatham House, a British think tank of an impeccable bias, as we saw in the same chapter!

He then asks the question “Hasn't the U.S. (and Israel) been interfering in Iran and promoting regime change, including by means of supporting all sorts of "pro-democracy" groups? Pretending to be unbiased, he concedes meddling by US and others but he then immediately denies its significance by asserting that “foreign meddling does not prove foreign control” and that, “In any event, there is no evidence that the CIA or any other arm of U.S. intelligence – or Mossad – had anything to do with initiating or leading the protests in Iran”, adding for good measure that “it is absurd to see a parallel between the rightwing elements in Venezuela and Bolivia”! So, the huge right wing demos in Chile before the coup, or in Venezuela before the attempted coup, let alone the “pro-democracy” demos in Georgia and Ukraine which established client regimes in these countries had nothing to do with “foreign meddling”! For him, as supporters of the Left, as long as we see a demo demanding human rights and “democracy” we have automatically to greet it, without any analysis of who are the demonstrators and why and against whom they protest and what sort of forces and why support them. And Professor Shalom calls this sort of propaganda as analysis!

But the culmination of hypocrisy, which at the same time shows the strange role of “equal distances” played today by a supposed “Left”, like the one represented by Chomsky, Shalom, Albert, and company, is the answer he gives to the question “Is Ahmadinejad good for world anti-imperialism?”:

There is a foolish argument in some sectors of the left that holds that any state that is opposed by the U.S. government is therefore automatically playing a progressive, anti-imperialist role and should be supported. On these grounds, many such "leftists" have acted as apologists for murderous dictators like Milosevic and Saddam Hussein. The Campaign for Peace and Democracy has always argued that we can oppose U.S. imperial policy without thereby having necessarily to back the states against which it is directed.

Thus, in this view, we do not have to examine the reasons for the Western demonisation of Milosevic or Saddam but instead we should accept it at face value and proceed to implicitly (if not explicitly) endorse the Western campaigns for regime change, although we should keep condemning at the same time both the transnational elite and the “rogue” regimes.

Of course, neither Milosevic nor Saddam was an angel, as I tried to show elsewhere[18] but they were still expressing the wishes of huge popular movements in their countries for political independence from the transnational elite. Furthermore, the historical role of the Left when such huge conflicts were taking place was not to stay on the sidelines and condemn both combatants but instead to side always against the elites which represent the system itself, i.e. in this case against the transnational elite. One therefore really wonders what sort of “Left” we have today, which in all the major conflicts of our era that actually fixed the contours of the New World Order, it either explicitly or implicitly endorsed the criminal regime change campaigns, exactly as Shalom and the rest do today when they demonise the Iranian regime and prepare the peoples all over the world for the “Big Blow” against the Iranian people being planned supposedly in order to protect them from a tyrannical regime! No wonder that when Shalom asks himself whether the “pro-democracy movement in Iran “plays into the hands of U.S. imperialism” he replies that “on the contrary, a people's pro-democracy movement is the worst fear of the many authoritarian regimes on which Washington relies to maintain its hegemony; such as the rulers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan and elsewhere”. No coincidence that no member-country of the transnational elite is in his list!

But, there is a question which we, in turn, could ask Shalom and company in relation to his conclusion to this ludicrously biased Q&A:

“What was wrong with Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not that the regime of Saddam Hussein was overthrown – his was a hideous regime and anyone concerned with human decency wanted it ended”.

Question: Is the Zionist Israeli regime also a hideous regime and anyone concerned with human decency want it ended, particularly after its latest Gaza massacre, when even the UN and NGOs accused it of huge war crimes? If yes, why Shalom & co never asked for the immediate cut off of any kind of state or private US aid to it –something that would have ended their crimes long ago, particularly if they had applied it once they began them, following the 1967 occupation of most of Palestine?

Then, there was Robert Dreyfuss’s[19] report, which supposedly provides statistical proof of the rigging of the Iranian elections on the basis of a study by a supposedly “independent” think tank (if such a thing exists!) but, in fact, by the well known Chatham House, on the “ubiasedness” of which I commented above. But, who is Robert Dreyfuss the Nation’s man in Tehran? Here is an extract of an article on him by Bill Van Auken, a writer in the World Socialist web site[20]:

In its coverage of the recent political upheavals in Iran, the position of the Nation magazine, the self-styled voice of progressive politics, has become increasingly indistinguishable from that of the US political establishment. Robert Dreyfuss, the magazine’s principal correspondent on the Iranian events—and on “politics and national security” generally—has parroted the unverified charge of a stolen election and characterized the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as his supporters, as a “virtual fascist movement.” () The Nation describes Dreyfuss merely as “an investigative journalist in Alexandria, Virginia, specializing in politics and national security.” Nowhere does it inform its readers that its principal correspondent on Iran is a former member of a fascistic organization who publicly defended the Shah’s dictatorship.(!)

Finally, Znet did not have any qualms to publish a dishonest “Open letter to the workers of Venezuela on Hugo Chávez's support for Ahmadinejad”,[21] presumably by a group of Iranian expatriates based in London, who, like those based in the USA –either using their academic posts or other public relations posts– did everything they could to disorient people in the Left about what is actually going on in Iran. As Eric Walberg[22] pointed out in his Zspace page, (in one of the rare exceptions to the general line on Iran hosted exactly in order to create the pseudo impression of “objectivity”):

“The US has generously financed Iranian expatriate dissidents and has penetrated Iranian society with the clear intent to overthrow Ahmedinejad, exactly like they did in Venezuela, though it is rarely mentioned in the Western press”

In this letter, the group, supposedly representing the “Revolutionary Marxists of Iran” (!) explicitly aims to disorient the “workers and students” of Venezuela and beyond declaring that Chavez “with his support for Ahmadinejad has ignored the solidarity of the workers and students of Iran with your revolution, and in a word, made it look worthless”. And it concludes with one of the most disgusting statements supposedly issued by supporters of the Left:

Only the unity of the real representatives of the workers and toilers can confront imperialism…Stand together with the Iranian workers and condemn the foreign policy of your leaders. Support for Ahmadinejad means support for the repression of Iranian workers and youth. Challenge the flawed positions of Chavez and reject them.

So, the middle classes who demonstrated in the roads of Tehran, together with the conservative supporters of the reformist clerics within various social groups, suddenly became “the Iranian workers”, despite the fact that the real Iranian workers, particularly those working in the petro-chemical industry which absorbs the bulk of the Iranin working class, neither organised any strike in favour of the unholy alliance nor took part in the recent demonstrations, as some postmodernist Iranian “anarchists” who are in favour of the pink revolution fully expected![23]

Similarly, Znet hosted statements from obscure “revolutionary Marxist” organisations like that of the “Revolutionary Marxist Current (Venezuela)”,[24] which, also, referred to the inconsistencies of the Iranian regime with its anti-imperialist rhetoric that I also mentioned above. However, their novelty is the historical conclusion they drew, according to which “the power of the Islamic Republic was consolidated over what had been a working class and anti-imperialist revolution”. However, even though it is true that there have been such currents among workers and other participants in the 1979 revolution, there is no doubt that they were marginal, otherwise no Islamists would ever have been able to smash them. The very fact that the Islamic regime and its constitution were approved by overwhelming majorities soon after the revolution speaks for itself. As Dilip Hiro[25] described the process:

Although his (Khomeini’s) revolutionary movement included secularists, only the religious segment was capable, via the mosque, of providing a national organizational network down to the village level. Both as an institution and a place of congregation, the mosque proved critical. Since the state could not suppress the mosque in a country that was 98% Muslim, it offered a sanctuary to the revolutionary movement. That was why Khomeini instructed the clergy to base the Revolutionary Komitehs (Committees) coordinating the anti-Shah movement in those mosques. It was in this way that the unprecedented upheaval, claiming an estimated 10,000 to 40,000 lives (largely unarmed Iranians killed by military gunfire), turned into the successful "Islamic revolution."

However, to assert that there was initially a workers revolution which was then smashed by the Islamists is one of the usual exaggerations of “revolutionary Marxists”, although there is no doubt that the new regime consolidated its power by attacking those it considered its enemies. In other words, revolutionary workers and the changes they attempted in terms of worker’s power would obviously have been the enemies of a theocratic regime.

But, only a fool could characterise himself a revolutionary Marxist, particularly when living in Venezuela, if he cannot realize that once the New World Order consolidates itself in the entire Mid East, following a regime change in Iran, the Venezuelan regime would be one of the very first targets of the US elite!

In contrast, however, to this massive support by Zwriters and associates for the pink revolution in Iran, commentators in the Znet forum put forward very negative comments on the kind of “alternative” information provided by the Znet empire on Iran. Here is a sample of such comments:

“The articles on Zmag condemning fraud sound like they are straight out of Fox news with circumstantial evidence”.[26]

And another:

Znet, like nearly every other 'alternative' internet site, has proven that it is nothing but a worthless source of right wing propaganda”.[27]

And another:

“In short - it is a piece of propaganda, without much proof, but one, unfortunately, got used to such thing in Znet (at least regarding Iran)”[28]

Yet, this kind of misinformation by Znet did not prevent Noam Chomsky to declare on a recent occasion:[29]

Znet has proven to be an invaluable source of information while also providing unparalleled opportunities for interchange about ongoing events and innovative possibilities for activism and serious work for social change. As it expands worldwide, it has helped substantially to carry forward the form of globalization that has always been a dream of the left: globalization in the interest of people, not investors, based on solidarity, mutual aid, and cooperative efforts to confront the great problems of today and to lay the basis for a more humane and decent world tomorrow.


[ Jump to the next Chapter: Conclusion ]


[1] See references in footnote 11 (ch 1)

[2] See Takis Fotopoulos, “The Significance of the Assassination of Saddam by the New World Order,” The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 3, No. 1 (January 2007).

See also “Iraq: the new criminal "war" of the transnational elite,” DEMOCRACY & NATURE: The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 9, No. 2 (July 2003). and “The Global "war" of the Transnational Elite,” Democracy & Nature, Vol. 8, No. 2 (July 2002).

[3] See Takis Fotopoulos, “The Ukrainian Crisis and the Transnational Elite,” The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 1, No. 4 (July 2005).

[4] See Takis Fotopoulos,Transnational elite and Russia: a new bipolar world?,” The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 4, No. 4 (October 2008).

[5] See Takis Fotopoulos, “The Rise of New Irrationalism and its Incompatibility with Inclusive Democracy,” Democracy & Nature: The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 4, Nos. 2/3 (issue 11/12) double issue (1998).

[6] Slavoj Zizek, “Will the cat above the precipice fall down?.”

[7] Noam Chomsky, “Season of Travesties: Freedom and Democracy in mid-2009,” Znet (July 10, 2009).

[8] Eric Hooglund, “Iran's Rural Vote and Election Fraud,” Znet (June 27, 2009).

[9] See e.g. Reese Erlich, “Iran and Leftist Confusion,” Znet (29/6/2009).

[10] Saeed Rahnema, “The Tragedy of the Left's Discourse on Iran,” Znet (10/7/2009).

[11] ibid.

[12] ibid.

[13] Farooq Sulehria, “Ahmedinejad and the anti-imperialism of fools”, Znet (10/7/2009)

[14] See Takis Fotopoulos, “The Rise of New Irrationalism.”

[15] See for a critique of Parpolity, Takis Fotopoulos, “Recent Theoretical Developments on the ID project” in Global capitalism and the demise of the left:
renewing radicalism through inclusive democracy
The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 5, No. 1, Special Issue (Winter 2009), pp. 298-300

[16] See for an extensive systematic critique of Parecon, “Participatory Economics (Parecon) and Inclusive Democracy”, The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 1, No. 2 (January 2005)

[17] Stephen Shalom, “Question & Answer on the Iran Crisis”, Znet (July 08 2009),

[18] See references in footnotes 11 (ch. 1) & 2 (this chapter)

[19] Robert Dreyfuss, “The Next Explosion in Iran,” Znet (June 22, 2009).

[20] Bill Van Auken, “The Nation’s man in Tehran: Who is Robert Dreyfuss?,” World Socialsit Web Site (22 June 2009)

[21] Maziar Razi, Maziar Razi's ZSpace Page (Source: London Progressive Journal: July 12, 2009)

[22] By Eric Walberg, “Venezuela & Iran: Whither the revolutions?,” Znet (July 12, 2009).

[23] See the ALB Noticias interview with the Iranian expatriate anarchist Payman Piedar, on 26 Jun 2009 (in Greek translation

[24] Revolutionary Marxist Current (Venezuela): “Solidarity with the Iranian masses,” Znet (July 12, 2009).

[25] Dilip Hiro, “The Clash of Islam and Democracy in Iran.”

[26] Keegan, Keegan “Touchy subjects! - Comment on «Walberg: Venezuela & Iran: Whither the revolutions?»” (July 13, 2009).

[27] Kane, Paul “Comment on «Shalom: Question & Answer on the Iran Crisis»” (8 July 2009).

[28] Nikonov, Alla, “Comment on «Shalom: Question & Answer on the Iran Crisis»” (July 7 2009).

[29] Noam Chomsky greeting the inauguration of Hellenic PP's ZSpace Page.