The American freedom of speech allows a person, group, or organization to speak (whether truth, lies, or unjustified accusations without evidence).
In 1953, American Food Corporation paid lobbyists and other news media to demonize Guatemala because Gutemala would not sell the rights to its lands to the American Food Corporation.
The American Food Corporation and its targeted demonization of Guatemala resulted in the U.S. government support for a CIA coup in that country which cost the lives of 300,000 Guatemalans.
Dehumanization of a country and its people -Target: Iran
Dehumanization is a process by which a person, or a group of people, or a country as a whole is subjected to constant (but subtle and overt) statements of asserted demonization, for instance being called 'evil' or being compared to a historic figure (like Hitler) which most people despise.
Dehumanization may be directed by an organization (such as a state) or may be the composite of individual sentiments and actions, as with some types of de facto racism. State-organized dehumanization has been directed against perceived racial or ethnic groups, nationalities (or "foreigners" in general), religious groups, genders (against women and men), minorities of various sexual orientations (e.g. homosexuals), disabled people as a class, economic ( for instance, the homeless), and social classes, and many other groups.
Again and again I see references made regarding Iran that resembles that of Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union.
For instance when President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, came to U.S. and was invited by the Colombia University to speak, he was introduced as a dictator. Many decent people in U.S. were shocked that America was portrayed in such an inhospitable way - first you invite a President to speak, and just before he speaks, he is bashed by a University Official. The President of Iran won the day be being gracious, pleasant, and conciliatory.
If you lookup the textbook definition of a 'dictator', you would find: absolute ruler, especially one who is harsh and oppressive.
However, Mr. Ahmadinejad is not an absolute ruler of Iran (he barely has any power and has no power whatsoever to declare war and oversee Iran's military).
Additionally, he was voted into office by the people of Iran, and he has not declared war on any other country, nor has he been the supporter of oppression in Iran as this area falls under the responsibilities of the Supreme Revolutionary Council.
Ahmadinejad is the center of all the U.S. media demonization. First because of his naive approach to speak without a PR department guidance that educates him about the interpretations of Western media of his comments and second because we just love to hate a man that looks so 'ugly'. Really.
Let's be honest with ourselves. He is an unattractive individual and we psychologically associate unattractive individuals to being 'bad' individuals. Most people are brainwashed that way since they were children. Or are other reasons, like real political motive reasons that is not emotional and has nothing to do with the AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee)?
So why so many US politicians and all U.S. media love to bash Ahmadinejad and call him evil or a dictator?
Well, according to Cato Institute, here's the reason:
"Once you start demonizing a president or leader of a country you are permanently embedding ideologically-driven dehumanization into the heart and minds of Americans and justifying any future acts of violence against that country and her people."
First, let's examine the definition of the word, 'evil'. According to Webster’s Dictionary, evil is: something morally wrong and reprehensible arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct.
Does Iran or her leader fit this definition?
During 2005, in meetings with Muslim clerics in Qom there were many other organizations participating that you would not associate to an 'evil Hitler-type behavior'. The list included: Jewish Rabbis representing Tehran’s 20 synagogues, the Armenian Christian Archbishop in Esfahan, Zoroastrian priests, parliamentarians, non-governmental organizations, and news reporters.
The meeting's subject was: "mutual tolerance and respect".
Iran is not an extremist Islamic state trying to establish an order reminiscent of a 7th century caliphate, as American politicians and media often imply - although Saudi Arabia is.
And, there are nearly 20,000 non-governmental organizations active in Iran, clearly supporting the idea that civil society is well established in Iran.
How many other middle eastern countries do you know with that kind of record?
And no informed and rational individual would argue that Iran’s domestic policies are worse in comparison to the records of China, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, all maintaining trade relations with the US government while intimidating dissidents with little or no civil rights, conducting torture regularly, and depriving their people of a democratic process of elections.
Iran has not invaded any neighboring country in 300 years and remains compliant with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, two things that cannot be said for US allies India, Pakistan, or Israel.
Iran has elections (although not perfect) which is more than what you can find in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, or other Arab counties in the Persian Gulf.
As Iran's president faces castigation by his parliament, past presidents, and the Supreme Leader for his anti-Israel statements, can you find an example of this kind of open criticism in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait - all of whom are US's allies in that region?
Iran is demonized and dehumanized simply because the Iranian nation and its government are attempting to build a healthy domestic infrastructure, and benefit from its own natural resources. Additionally, Iran has shown at every level that it has the desire to be independent and self-sufficient to protect itself and avoid being a puppet of US or Britain.
This is what commits Iran to castigation by the superpowers. Evil is reserved for countries that are unwilling to be submissive to the masters of the Universe, the U.S. and Britain.
If Iran denationalized its oil supply and allow American companies own and operate Iranians oil fields, then you will be surprised how fast the US politicians and US media would stop calling Iran an 'evil' country and soon Iran will be regarded as a friend to the U.S. once again as it was the case under the U.S. supported non-democratic military government of the Shah.
But you may argue that ‘evil’ addresses Iran’s nuclear ambitions which are very suspicious and therefore a threat to the world.
According to the UN, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (of which Iran is a member) is intended to promote cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear technology and equal access to this technology for all State parties, while safeguards prevent the diversion of fissile material for weapons use.
Iran is a member of this treaty, which nuke owners India, Pakistan, and Israel refuse to ratify. Iran states that all nuclear initiatives within Iran are for peaceful purposes and gives objective individuals no pretext for believing otherwise. You can visit the nuclear facility in Iran freely and inspectors visit on a regular basis and have complete access to all of Iran's nuclear sites. Again, this is not the case with India, Pakistan, and Israel.
Analyzing Iran’s energy infrastructure makes it quite obvious that nuclear energy remains one of Iran’s only available sources for power generation with a growing population and old oil fields that are too expensive to operate.
If the name-calling stems from America’s democratization agenda in the Middle East, then Iran still does not fit the bill since the U.S. overthrew Iran’s democratically-elected leader, Dr Mohammed Mossadegh, in the 1953. And not surprising, that Mossadegh attempted to nationalized Iran’s oil which angered the British and American oil interests. And Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan don't even have real elections, and there is no evidence of any democracy. In Saudi Arabia, women don't have birth certificates yet in Iran, 60% of university students are women (more than men).
After overthrowing Mossadegh through covert operations and funding a violent coup that caused the death of 1042 civilians on the streets of Teheran, U.S. influence in Iran’s political affairs through the 1970s directly caused the revolution of 1979 to free the country from a U.S. installed and supported a military government that executed and tortured 140,000 political prisoners in 26 years.
The U.S. support for the brutal puppet government of the Shah resulted in the call for justice and fairness — two tenets of Shia Islam that arguably spurred the development (post-revolution) of health clinics and schools in every town.
From Iranian perspective, how can the U.S. speak of human rights abuses in Iran when U.S. has breached every international convention for human rights in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, outsourcing interrogation to Intelligence forces in Egypt and Jordan, and the CIA kidnappings of European citizens even remotely suspected of being a family member of a suspected terrorist?
Consequently, Iranians feel that U.S. enforcement of international treaties is far from just and fair.
How can the U.S. discourage Iran’s treaty-protected rights to legally develop nuclear technology, when allies like India, Pakistan, and Israel proceed to completely ignore and disregard the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s governing authority?
Iranians scientists are being assassinated by Israeli agents with full support and knowledge of U.S., Britain, and France. Is that not an act of terrorism?
Assassinated By Israeli Agents (among other scientists)
Despite glaring inconsistencies in U.S. policy, Iranians distinguish between U.S. government and American people and are overwhelmingly generous and gracious towards American people. Iranians were the only people in the entire Middle East that held a candlelight vigil for the Americans that lost their lives on 9/11. Whether on the street, synagogue or shrine, Iranian hospitality is all consuming with a clear evidence of a profound appreciation for Persian norms vis-à-vis politeness, generosity, respect and tolerance.
Dehumanization of Iran is an act of inhumanity.
Albert Sterns is an author and newspaper columnist for Springfield Times. Albert has a PHD in Economics and is also a regular speaker at CSPAN for International Justice & Universal Equality. He has been a WritersViews.com member since 2010 and can be reached via our contact page, writer ID 16,047.
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I don't blame Iran's suspicions towards the West and our policies towards that region considering the history and U.S. and Britain in the Middle East. The book All the Shah's Men by Steven Kinzer, The New York Times correspondent is a great book , ... More
Stephen Kinzer reconstructed the CIA's 1953 overthrow of the democratic leader of Iran, Dr. Mossadegh, in a coup that ushered in the long and brutal dictatorship of the Shah, the U.S. puppet and himself overthrown by the Islamic revolution of 1979 , ... More
If you read ALL THE SHAHS MEN, it impossible to avoid feeling sympathy for Iranians and their leader, Dr. Mossadegh, and yet so easy to develop a sense of loathing for the British and Winston Churchill , ... More
As an Iranian, I can tell you that deep down inside, Iranians still detest the British - nothing whatsoever similar to how they feel about USA. I have traveled to so many villages in Iran and the elderly still talk about the blood-sucking British, and how they hate them , ... More
by:Ali Sabzzi - April 22nd, 2014 at 10:25am
Even among Iranians living here in USA, everybody always regards the Brits being responsible for all the horrible disgusting things in the world. My father always says, the British are parasites on earth, strong language after all these year , ... More
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