The mainstream media reports that the shooting down of the Ukrainian airliner is the primary – even the sole — reason for the anti-government demonstrations on the streets of Tehran. That is simply not true.
So, why would the press so uniformly misinform the American public? There are several reasons.
First and foremost is the fact that those reports are being advanced by the portion of the media that is vehemently anti-Trump. They are spinning to the point of distortion because the truth may reflect well on President Trump.
The second reason is that the anti-Trump media has to protect an earlier biased interpretation – and earlier false narrative. You will recall that during the funeral of terrorist commander Qasem Soleimani, the news media was filled with stories of how the killing of the erstwhile general had united the people of Iran against the United States – and took the energy out of the previous anti-regime demonstrations.
According to most media reports, the hundreds of thousands who appeared on the streets for the Soleimani funeral were proof that the people of Iran had united in its enmity of America. Of course, that interpretation required the media to ignore a number of facts – that the government of Iran had closed all schools and government offices and ordered students and workers to attend the public funeral. They also offered other incentives, such as food and money.
In the pre-funeral demonstrations, more than 100 Iranians were murdered by government security forces and thousands rounded up and arrested – many of whom remain in Irani prisons. Those memories were not eradicated – and it is illogical to believe that such strong feelings would evaporate over a plane shoot – or even the death of Soleimani. In fact, many anti-regime demonstrators celebrated the death of Soleimani, who had been responsible for the murder of thousands of Iranians.
The claim of renewed Iranian unity behind the Tehran government was proffered by the press to build a case that the order to kill Soleimani was a rash, reckless, and stupid decision – the same claims, incidentally, emanating from Iran’s propaganda operation.
Once the funeral was over, and even more anti-regime demonstrators took to the streets, the American media could not – and would not – deviate from their Trump-is-always-wrong disinformation campaign. They needed an excuse – a reason – other than Trump may have been correct in his assessment of Iran. The shooting down of the Ukrainian commercial airliner gave them their excuse. It just happened that what they were reporting about it was simply untrue – a lie.
The shooting down the plane was NOT the only or even the primary reason that thousands of Iranians took to the streets. It was a continuation of a rising tide of public opposition to the Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei and the puppet government of President Hassan Rouhani. The primary motivation was the longstanding and deadly oppression of the Irani regime and the resultant impact of the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.
The people in the streets were not motivated by anti-American sentiment. Quite the contrary. We know this from the chants, the placards and interviews that were not aired or reported – censored? — by the anti-Trump press, but appeared on other outlets, such as FOX News, One American News and others.
There were virtually no references to the plane shooting, but there were a lot of anti-regime messages. “death to the Supreme Leader” had replaced the “death to America” chants scripted at government-sponsored rallies and demonstrations.
Most of the placards and graffiti were demands for democracy – nothing about the plane crash. They openly and bravely declared that “America is not the problem. It is our own leaders.” In one interview, a demonstrator said, “We love Americans.”
When large American and Israeli flags were painted on the ground to be walked on – a traditional demonstration of disrespect – the crowd of demonstrators parted like the biblical Red Sea to avoid treading across them. Some even held back those who might unwittingly or unwittingly walk across the banners. There were no burning American flags to be seen.
It is also noteworthy that there were no images of the plane crash scene or of the victims – something one would expect if this was all about the plane downing. AND the only images of Soleimani were being ripped up, kicked or smeared. These demonstrators had only one enemy and that was the ruthless terrorist leaders in Tehran – and they appeared to be rejoicing in the demise of Soleimani.
What the American press also seems to play down is the fragility of the regime in Tehran. The street demonstrations are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Large segments of the business community and intellectual leadership are showing signs of weariness with the folks in Tehran.
And well they should be.
Unlike the Iran Nuclear Deal – that gave a desperately needed economic boost to Iran – the sanctions have been crippling the economy. Unemployment is soaring – as is inflation. The Irani economy is very close to collapse – and that could do more to take down the regime than all either bombs, endless diplomatic concessions or Neville Chamberlain-like deals.
Iran’s primary mission since it was taken over by the Islamic jihadist extremists as been “death to America” and the rest of the western world. It has been 40 years or terrorism, war crimes and brutal oppression. That has not changed and will not change as long as the regime that controls Iran remains in power. And the best way to avoid a war is to have the Iranian people topple the government.
The American press should focus more on bringing down the rogue regime in Tehran than a legitimate President in Washington. They should restore integrity to the profession of journalism. They should heed their own advice and put country ahead of politics.
So, there ‘tis.