Evil: Western Media's Portrayal of Iran
By Amber Pawlik
I am trying to
determine who is more evil: the Ayatollah thugs of Iran or Western
media. It is the difference between thugs who brutalize and
oppress their own people versus a group that has complete freedom to
speak out against it, yet doesn’t – in fact purposely confuses and
obscures the situation.
A brief overview of
the Iranian situation is necessary. For centuries, Muslim fanatics
have been trying to force the Persian (Iranian) people, who were not and
are not Islamic, to accept Islam through brutal measures. The
battle has gone with some victories and set backs for the Iranians.
This recent thug regime has been in place for 25 years. The
Ayatollah thugs are known as “hardlined conservatives.” In
very recent years a “reformist” movement led by President Khatami
promised the Iranians to change the situation in Iran. Ever since
the “reformists," who hold power in government, have taken some
power, they have produced no results. When the Iranian people
speak of Khatami, it is with disdain. It can be speculated that
the "reformist" movement was set up by the Ayatollah
conservatives, solely to pacify the Iranian people.
Now let’s see how
Western media portrays the situation, for instance the special on Iran
on ABC’s Nightline on Thursday January 29, 2004.
First, the show
portrayed Iran as being more progressive than its neighbors. Hey,
Iran isn’t so bad: compared to Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, or
North Korea and Cuba even!
What is the purpose
of this comparative standard? To make us think that the Iranian
situation isn't as bad as some others - so we shouldn't care?
Part of what they
say makes Iran more progressive is that they have “democratic”
elections. On the Nightline special, they showed a man who was a
“disqualified” candidate but they did not explain the situation
fully. In Iran, in order for someone to run for election, they
must be approved by the existing government who judges if they are
“Islamic” enough. That would be like a communist society in
which the leaders had “democratic” elections – but only among
candidates who were sufficiently communist. This is the
enlightened Iranian “democracy” the Western media likes to point to.
In Western media, as
on Nightline, instead of portraying the debate as the people of
Iran, mostly the students, versus the Islamic government, they
portray the debate as being the reformist movement versus the
“conservative” Islamic regime. In other words, as one part of
the government versus another, which may as well be the same thing.
All Western media believes they can pay lip service to the reformist
movement, as opposed to the students, and be comforted in the idea that
they don’t support oppressive brutes.
In regards to
whether or not this reformist movement has produced results, Nightline
interviewed a man in the reformist movement. He said on camera
that the young generation in Iran has very high expectations and they
couldn’t expect the reformist movement to “solv(e) everything.”
young Iranians. Children shouldn’t be too selfish.
Just as you cannot give children too much candy or toys, you can't give
them things like human rights, prosperity, liberty. Who are you,
young Iranians, to have such high expectations as a free, stable
documentary interviewed a man named Jonathon Lyons, who they said was
the only American journalist who lived in Iran recently. Lyons
said on the show he believed the solution to the problem was a
“collaboration” between the conservative thugs and the reformist
collaboration between two men (or two groups) who hold different basic
principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins.” – Ayn
Let’s assume the
reformist movement was legitimate, and that Lyons was saying we need a
“collaboration” between those who wanted liberty and those who
wanted oppression. What will this accomplish? What would a
collaboration between a businessman and robber produce? Would we
have defeated The Evil Empire by means of “collaboration”?
On the show,
everyone interviewed with the exception of the students kept insisting
that the reformist movement “needed more time.” They commanded
everyone to be patient, be patient, be patient.
Here is something
that I’ve noticed. Whenever someone starts preaching about the
need for more time and patience, they are generally a person reluctant
to engage or do the work for any task in front of them. They don't
genuinely care about doing the job. Their words are meant to
demoralize people. Anyone who genuinely cared about freedom and
the mission at hand (any mission) would be calling for pressure to be
put on to get effective change.
What would you think
of someone who said that Castro wasn't so bad, his country has some nice
things compared to other dictators? What would you think of a
media outlet who interviewed someone during NAZI Germany who insisted
the way to freedom was "collaboration" with the NAZIs?
Now what do you think of our current Western media, who is intent on
confusing and obscuring the situation in Iran?
I ask one more time,
who is more evil: the Ayatollah thugs or Western media? You