Is the CIA behind all these darn protests?


by FG

When you talk about the Arab Spring or a white revolution in Russia you can see that something unprecedented is happening in way too many places at once and way too close together. Why now? Is a conspiracy involved? After all, people have always had grievances, often worse than today, without reacting like this. Thus, one thing we can say is that ordinary, run-of-the-mill grievances cannot account for it. My goal here is to look for other explanations.


The oft-blamed CIA is hardly omnipotent. It has a record of bungling (see Bay of Pigs for example), a llmited budget, only so many agents (deduct desktop analysists and newspaper clippers) and even less with the requisite language skills. It has never demonstrated so much ability at fomenting revolutions in the past, so how did it become so near perfect now? And if it had to choose a starting point, did westernized Tunisia make sense?

Since we are talking about police states with eyes and ears everywhere in countries where local populations are often nationalistic to the point of xenophobia, so how would so many CIA agents operate so freely, and how would they change so many people's minds 180 degress without being noticed or reported? How would it accomplish so much in Putin's Russia, with a huge population and endless terrain, where we are hearing the same old song about "whose behind it?" The CIA was just as surprised as everyone else, especially in Tunisia, Syria and Putin's Russia.


They have more resources that the CIA. However, people don't go to an NGO to become discontented. They go because they already have grievances or because of some other problem. When protests start, they have a vested interest in staying out of trouble, knowing their vulnerability to scapegoating.


Status quo forces get it partly right--these problems did originate in the West, especialy the USA, a cauldron of social fads and catchy ideas. However, no conspiracy would work so well. The charge of "cultural imperialism" is a cute invention with great nationalistic appeal but it clearly suggests conscious intent. What really spread troublesome western social and political ideas were two supposedly "neutral" western exports: the Communications Revolution and economic globalism.

If the theory is right, social and political turmoil should be greatest where western technology was last to arrive and where it spread quickly (impossible if not for huge drops in the price of technology). These were the most conservative, xenophobic and isolated societies. Almost overnight people who had little idea of how others lived or what rights they enjoyed acquired full knowledge, like Adam after eating the apple. If that didn't cause an explosion, it would be miraculous.

Conservative societies fearful of change found western technology a "neutral," useful and crowd-pleaser. Alas, introducing major technology always produces social and political changes one can't foresee.


In America, the autombile changed where people lived, where they shopped, how much contact they had with the outside world and (surprise!) led to the first sexual revolution. In a world of large families and little privacy, it became a "portable bedroom." TV and movies had equally amazing impact. Don't underestimate the impact of smuggled magazines, videos and music in Brezhnev's Russia. Now we see rappers, rockers and heavy metal bands are everywhere in Saudi Arabia of all places. What happens when women see female presidents, foreign ministers or hot-shot lawyers on TV or when Saudi boys and girls, unable to meet easily in public, find it easy to converse on Facebook? Does it matter how many pornographic magazines Saudi custom agents confiscate when Persian Gulf countries lead the world in porn site visits. What is forbidden always attracts.


Long-time grievances still exist but they can't explain so many protests in so many places almost simultaneously. Think about what happens to people's mindsets in conservative societies when they suddenly learn how differently others live--their social and political freedoms, their fads, their ways of dress, their music, etc. Young folks are especially impressed. Now add the effect of foreign travel (once unsual) for reasons of education, trade or leisure and you get a "grievance multiplier." The effect is to create an influx of new grievances alongside old ones. How can things go on as usual? The internet and satellite TV also guarantee that when their counterparts rise up for change in one country, it inspires others to do the same.

Having inspired those grievances, the internet simultanous makes it hard for regimes to cope with them in the old ways. Censorship, force or rigged elections of are no longer effective or easily tolerated. Any regime that needs a modern economy can't put up an iron curtain, limit travel abroad, and restrict ownership of phones, maps, copying machines, computers, etc. Creating an "internet for one country" would squander all the advantages of the internet. Stealing all cell phones and TV satellites is impossible. Meanwhile it adds one more grievance among ticked-off victims.

When every major newspaper in the world and journal is available online, along with blogs, YouTube, tweets, etc, no dictatorship today cannot hide their crimes, thievery and failures as in the past. As these are inevitaly exposed, trust and support vanishes for good. People believe the regime capable of any outrage. The old "they do it do" propaganda ploy is far less effecive when people are well aware of the virtues and downsides of life elsewhere. They know when things stink far worse at home. Finally it's far easier for thousands of people to share grievances online and make plans for changing things.


more from FG

What is this about?

by FG on

Late report from EA but quite interesting if true.  I'd sure like to hear those tapes, wouldn't you?:

According to Aftab, President Ahmadinejad has said at a private meeting with politicians, "I have two 45-minute tapes on my desk from a political meeting on 8 Bahman 1388 (28 January 2010) that prove sedition against the Government and [Ahmadinejad's Chief of Staff Esfandiar] Rahim-Mashai."

What could be on those tapes? Well, here is what EA reported, in an exclusive story, on 23 January:

Sometime after the demonstrations of Ashura (27 December), three well-placed Iranian politicians met to discuss current events. The protests, with their scenes of violence and, in some cases, the retreat of Iranian security forces before the opposition, had been unsettling, raising fears not only that the challenge would persist but that the authority of the Government might collapse.


The three men were 1) Ali Larijani, the Speaker of the Parliament; 2) Mohsen Rezaei, former head of the Revolutionary Guard, former Presidential candidate, and Secretary of the Expediency Council; and 3) Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, Mayor of Tehran.

The meeting reached agreement on a general two-step strategy. First, the crisis with the opposition would be "solved", either through a resolution with its leaders or by finally suppressing it out of existence. Then, there would be a political campaign to get rid of the unsettling influence of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Each of the three men brought not ideas but key groups to the table. Larijani, of course, commanded a good deal of backing in Parliament and was close to the Supreme Leader. Rezaei not only had the background in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps but also, in the Expediency Council, worked with Hashemi Rafsanjani. Qalibaf, although mostly quiet during the post-election crisis, had the base of support from his solid reputation overseeing Tehran.

(It is likely, according to sources, that Rafsanjani knows of the plan, especially given the connection with Rezaei. It is unclear whether the Supreme Leader knows its details.)


To Sirius: You finally got it BUT....

by FG on

RE: the availability of "western created" "communications" means are the detonator of so much unrest.


Re:  "I  there is a well orchestated agenda, propaganda and planning to reach some effects...

Folks like yourself, with strong political views (a nationalistic hatred of the West) can't even let go of a conspiracy theory when I've shown why it impossible for many reasons aside from the superman skills it would require to pull off in police state after police state. 

Do you have anything to support your theory other than"I want to believe it so it must be true?" Can you explain why would the CIA want to start with a friendly, pro-western regime in Tunisia when it could pick an unfriendly one? The theroy makes no sense and has no supporting evidence.

RE: DIsinformation by the West.

I'll bet you don't even know where the term "disinformation" originated.  The Soviets had a whole department in the KGB devoted to it.  In Guatamala they once spread a story about rich people in the USA buying local babies to consume as gourmet food and folks like you fell for it. 

Most dictatorships rely on disinformation.  Democracies, having so much that is attractive by comparison, have little need for it.  Also, being "open" societies always subject to scrutiny by hostile media and skilled journalists and scholars with no fear of arrest, can and will expose such stunts.  

By contrast, do you know anything of Khamenei's death squads duing the Khatemi period?  Who did they target?  WHo exposed them?  What did Khamenei do to those who exposed them?  Did the death squad members, who had been publicly identified, get any punishment?

RE: you tell me that "democracy" and "justice", "progress" and "culture" are property of the West,

I did?  Show me where, please.  Wasn't it the West--and no one else--who INVENTED the idea of universal rights in the Enlightenment. 

POWERFUL REBUTTAL EVIDENCE: Look up the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.  Look up France's Declaration of the Rights of man.   Note the dates when each was written.   Note how each clearly states these rights are for all men, not something intended for the West inclusively.

RE: So why is the USA in the process of a long term de-industralization, most to the benefit of... East Asia? 

Just as the current revolutions are a natural process once conservative societies come into massive if mostly indirect contact with other cultures through technology, so too is this a natural process and not a conspriracy.   It also raises living standards inthe Third World which should appearl to you.  Eventually that will eliminate much of the income differential responsible for the process.

Companies naturally seek lower costs and labor costs are very low in most of Asia and Latin America.  As they catch up, the incentive to shift production there will disappear.   We don't have a state-run or command economy in which government bureaucrat dictate what to make, how and where.   Such economies are great at heavy industry (steel production, highways, dams) but suck at light-industry (consumer industry), as anyone who lived in communist countries can tell you.  


I think I get it... You

by Sirius on

I think I get it...

 You mean (and it is the central point of your thesis) that the availability of "western created" "communications" means are the detonator of so much unrest, like Arab Spring, the protests in Russia,...

 I agree they are a factor, but I also believe that in some cases there is a well orchestated agenda, propaganda and planning to reach some effects...

The Russians, for example,  were well aware there was something at work before the elections,...


An after that, they knew well from were the monies came and where they went... and were well aware of the attempts of lies and desinformation by the part of the West.



 See? No magic.

But I understand that most people here never sees the versions of Russia, China, Syria, Iran and other "enemy countries"...




 " //Supporters

by vildemose on


//Supporters of Bashar Assad and the Islamic Republic carried pictures of their beloved tyrants in the protest and were helped by Stop the War and Socialist Workers Party activists in physically attacking Green Movement protesters in bringing down their posters and banners.

The speakers at the rally were the usual friends of dictators in the past, Lindsey German, Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn and the arch stooge of the Islamic Republic who supports Islamic Republic's jamming of satellite TVs, Imperial College lecturer,

Abbas Edalat."

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


"To Sirius: You

by Sirius on

"To Sirius: You demonstrated my point to perfection. " 

 Did I ? :D

What was your point, again?

And how did I "perfectly proved you right"?.

"Then why not do without it, starting with your computer (originated in USA), the internet (USA origin).   Ditto for cell phone (USA) or phones period (USA/Italy), DVD player (USA) and the TV (USA/Russia)?"

As far as I know, most of the appliaces in my home have a label that says "Made in (Communist) China" :D 


More serious: What I mean is something different, and has to do with fetish-size modern technology, or to assume (as you do) that those appliances are some kind of evidence of an inherent and immutable superiority, cultural or ethical, of the so called West.

So why is the USA in the process of a long term de-industralization, most to the benefit of (but not exclusively) East Asia? That is one of the reasons of the pauperization of the USA today.

But quite the contrary to you, I don't want to over-simplify things. If you tell me that "democracy" and "justice", "progress" and "culture" are property of the West, I will retort that those are Universal aspirations.

And then there are infinite layers and shades of truth and honesty, in that "sandwich" of ideas. So why the USA and Europe seems to have currently so much economical / financial and social problems, if they are so "superior" and have this supposed "democracy", that seemingly couldn't correct things that were forseen (and they were forseen) by honest intellectuals and scholars?

But everytime they wanted to call attention to the problems, they were silenced by the "real powers", that care as much for the long term well-being of their own populations, as much as they filled their mouths with garbage about "competitiveness", "the markets", or the bad intended "theories" of intellectual mercenaries like Milton Friedman.

Returning to appliances and technology: Precisely in Iran, we see much development of technology nowadays... in robotics, informatics and several other branches of techology and engeneering - I really wonder why those advances are so seldom commented in a site like this, but I guess that do not fit with the image that some people here want to spread around of an Iran as a backward Medieval Country, from feet to head.

So I guess could now better answer this...

See what I mean about getting along without?  It's impractical. And to adopt them, even though they appear neutral and indeed aren't intended for that purpose, are the key promotors of western social and political ideas that cause the present turmoil.  It's an unguided process that requires no foreign agents to make people start wanting western freedoms, personal and otherwise.

If the people is ignorant and fetish-size those appliances as accesible only by surrendering their dignity and sovereignity to the "good-will" of the imperialist West, or buy propanganda in that direction, I predict that the effect will be the contrary: More far than ever will they be from any form of personal freedom and wealth.

As an example and for starters, 99.99% of common people is completely ignorant, of what was really the key to the recovery of Japan and Germany after WW II (or currently Korea). From the very vulgar version that "the USA reconstructed those countries", to the little less vulgar that "free markets and western-styled freedoms" did the job.

The contrary is the truth: Precisely in Japan there was a "master plan", created by the goverment and implemented trough the MITI, to win markets, starting with their own via restrictions to direct foreign investment and interventionsm in trade.

But, well, it is too long a story to be told here.

Returning to Iran: I thing that it does excedenlly well in many fields of technology, economy and education, because again, I think it should be compared with neighbouring countries. And even more so, when you see how much the West is against a prosperous and powerful Iran.

Certainly, I personally would like to see (there and everywhere) more pesonal freedoms and a more liberalized (in the good sense), regime.

But is it possible, when so much people ouside and inside Iran would wish to see this rising country in the mud, under the boots of the imperialism?

Because let me tell you (if it is not obvious) that what Israel, USA, Europe, and others want, has nothing to do with a more democratic and a prosperous Iran... it has to do with a more docile, less influential, and more controlable Iran.

And they want it by any means.



Killing Childern in

by vildemose on

Killing Childern in Homs:



 A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Assad forces kill 200 civilians in Homs in one day

by FG on

Syrian activists are saying that Assad's forces killed over 200 residents of Hom in one day (Saturday).  Who knows how many injured as well?



"Prices are going up every day, life is expensive. I buy chicken or meat once per month. I used to buy it twice per week," said vegetable seller Hasan Sharafi, 43, father of four, in the central city of Isfahan.

"Sometimes I want to kill myself. I feel desperate. I do not earn enough to feed my children."

From a Reuthers story:




To Sirius: You demonstrated my point to perfection

by FG on

RE: I admit that I don't feel simpaty for a youth fascinated by Western fashion and "technology"

Then why not do without it, starting with your computer (originated in USA), the internet (USA origin).   Ditto for cell phone (USA) or phones period (USA/Italy), DVD player (USA) and the TV (USA/Russia)?

See what I mean about getting along without?  It's impractical. And to adopt them, even though they appear neutral and indeed aren't intended for that purpose, are the key promotors of western social and political ideas that cause the present turmoil.  It's an unguided process that requires no foreign agents to make people start wanting western freedoms, personal and otherwise.


A double rebuttal for Sirius

by FG on

I'll also rebut some earlier remarks you made concerning Iran in the Alois Brunner post that is soon going off the home page

Re: The Oakland protests

This is the old "they do it too" ploy embedded in the training of old-fashioned propagandists. 

LOGIC: You rely on a formal logical fallacy (argument by analogy). In this technique, you insist two things are identical by deliberately ignoring major variables.  To that extend, it's also a half truth.

I support those demonstrations.  In fact, I have no problem with police in Iran, Syria or elsewhere arresting demonstrators who smash windows, set fire or throw rocks depending... Where such fires only involve trash cans (not cars) for the purpose of countering tear gas I'm not sure it even qualifies as vandalism and certainly not as major vandalism.  If demonstrators are responding to snipers and mass beatings, then rocks are hardly an unjustified response.


USA: no snipers, no tanks and artillery firing into civilians, habeus corpus enforced, no gouging out eyes or dumping dead bodies of those arresed, REASONABLE bail allowed, defense attorneys allowed (and not arrested for doing too good a job, no secret trials, press coverage allowed, no private militias assisting the police, etc.

In Iran, Syra and Russia: Security forces can do whatever they like.  Bail is rare and rediculous, often over $100,000, etc.

So are they still comparable as you strongly suggest?

RE: Do Western secret services and "agents provocateurs" facilitate turmoil in many of these cases?

"Begging the Question" technique, as in "Are you STILL beating your wife?"   Anyone can create conspiracy theories without a stitch of proof.   You must prove your accusation.  I cannot be required to prove the negative which is impossible.

re: Mossadegh case 

Ah, the 60-year-old nugget with no relavance and you still try to exploit it.  Brit involvemen seems certain, CIA not so clear but possible.   Even if so, recall the cold war context and national security concerns. 


re: Iran have gone a long way into modernizing itself, educate its people,

HALF TRUTH: True earlier to some extent but the claim ignores reversion since (Islamized universities with talented profs replaced by regime hacks and clerics and Basilj roadming the halls.  New measures to segregate kids starting in kindergarten.

re: creating an stable and prosperous country

You gotta be kidding.  So far as the first decade, you ignore all the executions and the the co-revolutionaries executed, ousted or exiled.   I will grant that dictatorships usually do have more "law and order" when it comes to real crimes, though it replaces those crimes with crimes of its own and no one dares complain.

re: Iran could compare favorable with many countries of Europe in many aspects.

Ho! Ho! Ho!   Need I say more?

RE: Iran is for Iranians, and Western countries are for Western minded people.  Do Iranians are given the chance to be themselves?

You keep confusing--intentionally--western criticism of the regime (overwhelmingly shared by those who live there) with criticism of Iranians.   It's the old "straw man technique."  You assign an opponent a ludicrous position he'd never take and then begin whacking away at the false target you set up.

RE: Why do we see this 24/7 assessination of a Nation,  when they have not invaded any country, or proven to have engaged personally in terrorism abroad?

Why do you think virtually every Arab neighbor has turned on the regime?  Because the US asked them nicely to do so?  Or could it be that they've been caught in numerous plots involving Lebanon (whose prosperity the IRI destroyed, Yemen, the Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Washington (the Saudi ambassador plot), Syria (crackdown assistance including snipers) and Bahrain (r IRCG arrested in plot to blow up causeway.   Also the marine barracks in Lebaonon, Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.

Ca suffit.


Believe it or not, I

by Sirius on

Believe it or not, I believe that your "analysis" is very interesting.

Some people will call it gross oversimplification and "careful" selection of half-truths to make the West look like an innocent pigeon, while the "rogue regimes" simply crumble in peaces due purely to their own incompetence and, well, evil.

Well, this is exactly the kind of propaganda, so simple, that the simple non-educated minds could digest very easily.

Were I not so lazy, I would deconstruct your "analysis" peace by peace... but why should I bother to deal with this text?  Anyone could see that there is some kind of quasi-religious adoration for the shiny glass-beads that don't represent the foundation of a SOCIETY.

In the Iranian case, from my Latin American point of view, I admit that I don't feel simpaty for a youth fascinated by Western fashion and "technology", and a mendacious "double-speak" about "freedom and democracy".... if this youth, he/she, doesn't wonder first, why he/she was able to go to college when his/her parents were shepherds.

Well, as I said, I feel lazy now.

But yes, it is gross.



Do the US goverment qualify

by Sirius on

Do the US goverment qualify as a "regime" in your analysis?

Do protests and movilizations, like the recent ones in Oakland, due the impressive process of pauperization of the US society are covered by the US media in an unbiased manner, if mentioned at all?


Do the CIA is behind all the movilizations we see around?


Do Western secret services and "agents provocateurs" facilitate turmoil in many of these cases?


I though that Iranians in particular, were well versed in what USans and Britons are capable to do, due to the conspicuosness of the Mossadegh case in Iranian History.

(That was, by the way,  the classic CIA orquestated coup against a democratic regime that wanted good for its people)

Or are you going to tell me, that never happened? That will be funny.