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Monday, December 28, 2009


Meanwhile in Iran...

The U.S. continues its hypocrisy. Obama condemns the "violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranian citizens...[who] have sought nothing more than to exercise their universal rights." In yesterday's actions, Press TV reports that "Nine residential buildings, 9 vehicles, 7 shops, 2 banks and 3 power stations were set on fire [by anti-government protestors]." I wasn't aware that was a "universal right." Do you really think that if that happened in the U.S., that anyone would express shock that 300 people were arrested? Indeed, more people than that are routinely arrested in the United States during entirely peaceful protests.

In addition to trumpeting the arrests, of course the media is focusing on the deaths which occurred yesterday in Iran. The numbers vary from media source to media source, but one thing is entirely in common - not a single U.S. corporate media source (or Democracy Now for that matter) reported what Al Jazeera did about the nature of the deaths: "Referring to four of the deaths, [Ahmad Reza Radan, Iran's deputy police chief] said: 'One fell off a bridge, two died in car accidents and one was killed by a bullet. As the police was not using firearms this [death] is suspicious and it is being investigated,' he said."

Now you can (and should) take that with a grain of salt. Police departments (and militaries) routinely lie about deaths they are responsible for - the prisoner who allegedly "hanged himself in his cell" etc. But given the scant evidence in anyone's possession, these claims are as credible as any other. Indeed, they are more credible than the claims that "police fired into the crowd" and yet managed to kill almost no one; with crowds packed that tightly, you wouldn't have to be much of a shot to kill scores of people. Add to that the rather specific nature of these claims, which add a certain credibility in that they could be at least potentially easily disproven if false (e.g., someone "killed in a car accident" won't have a bullet in their body). So at the very least, the claims of the Tehran police deserve to be reported. They were not.

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