Dateline: Monday, 02 November 2020 6:17 AM [ Last Update: Monday, 02 November 2020 8:01 AM ]
We have interviewed and passed on the analyses of socialists, Greens, Libertarians and more. However, perhaps the most prominent outsider political group has repeatedly refused our normal media requests - the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which is perhaps best incarnated by its figurehead, the failed presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
In another effort designed to give unheard American voices more media coverage, PressTV sent their primary election correspondent not to Washington, New York City or California, but to the unofficial capital of what’s disparaged as “flyover country” - Chicago, the nation’s 3rd-largest city. However, in online discussions DSA’s Chicago chapter openly refused to speak with Iranian media, saying: “The officers of our organization have decided that it would not serve our interests to do an interview.”
That’s a curiously self-centered phrase for a group of officers who likely aspire to serve as civil servants - aren’t civil servants supposed to put the ideals and needs of the nation ahead of their own interests?
Chicago DSA’s conduct was, sadly, in keeping with PressTV’s experience with DSA’s national leaders: for weeks their New York City headquarters has not returned our calls, even when the calls were from PressTV management asking about this apparent blacklist of Iranian media. Representative Rashida Tlaib, one of DSA’s two national-level politicians, also refused to return contacts from PressTV, even though we assumed that she would definitely want to help break past the longstanding communication barriers which have been erected by American Islamophobia.
Personally, I am not surprised by any of this: If I had one euro for every time an (allegedly) leftist group in France (where I am normally based) refused to speak with PressTV - I could afford a month’s vacation. But for the Iranian taxpayer and voter French fake-leftism is not as important as the DSA’s refusal to speak to Iranian media: France has slavishly followed Washington’s foreign policy on Iran for decades, and DSA now aspires to set that policy.
PressTV feels it is critical to broadcast the DSA’s blacklisting of Iranian media because DSA’s prejudice has many political implications within the country that has waged such devastating capitalist-imperialist war on Iran since 1979. Iran, too, has a critical election coming up to prepare for - in June 2021.
Regardless of the timing of the US presidential election - and Iranians reject the absurd, pathetic and amateurish recent claims that Iranian operatives have meddled in the 2020 US election - it is critical to broadcast this information to Iranians so they can have a proper amount of time to absorb and incorporate the implications of DSA’s anti-Iran prejudice into their own analyses as voters and responsible citizens.
So PressTV’s decision is merely responsible public journalism. This cannot - as DSA openly feared, you will read - possibly be construed as “foreign meddling” by any thinking person.
That preamble now dispensed with, the conundrum posed by DSA’s arrogant blacklisting is this:
If this is the (allegedly) leftist wing of the Democratic Party, and they are so very nakedly anti-Iranian, then why should an Iranian believe that victories by Joe Biden and the Democratic Party will herald a major change in Washington’s belligerent, murderous, long-running policy towards Iran? Many currently suggest this, but DSA’s anti-Iranian stance must give us pause for reconsideration.
The (allegedly) leftist wing of the Democratic Party is not some new, principled, pro-Iran lobby in the lobby-dominated US system
DSA is the one influential group within the Democratic Party (but I will easily disprove the myth of their reach shortly) which openly and repeatedly promises to push the Democrats to the left, and yet they clearly have no interest in basic discussion or the merest exchange with Iranians.
They will talk about Iran, but not with Iran - this is a fundamentally unilateral and classically imperialist stance, no?
And this stance remains unjustly firm even when Iranians insist openly that they have a cooperative and even sympathetic stance towards DSA - I have already related PressTV’s editorial policy regarding the election. Iranians will likely see parallels between the efforts of PressTV to speak cooperatively with DSA officials and the efforts of Iranian diplomats to speak cooperatively with officials in Washington.
DSA may be surprised to learn that Bernie Sanders was reasonably appealing to Iranians, and probably for the same reason he is somewhat popular among the American public - he and DSA make pleasant-sounding promises which contradict the incredible and undeniable belligerence, violence and rapacity of Washington. For an Iranian nation which debated for years in public about the JCPOA pact on Iran’s nuclear energy program, which sacrificed much to implement it, and which is waiting even today for Western nations to finally uphold their word after signing it, there is a lot of lure in words like these from the DSA’s most prominent elected official member, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:
"I think, overall, we can likely push Vice President Biden in a more progressive direction across policy issues," said Ocasio-Cortez in September. "I think foreign policy is an enormous area where we can improve; immigration is another one.”
But how can DSA improve US foreign policy if they refuse to dialogue with foreign nations and their media representatives? How can the knowledge of foreign policy which is held by DSA officials - from the national down to the local level - increase, and thus improve their ability to conduct foreign policy if elected or appointed to office, if they are forbidden or unwilling to engage with foreigners? How can foreign policy improve when dialogue comes from only one unilateral direction? How can diplomatic progress be pushed in a more progressive direction if there is such a huge gap between words and actions, as Iran is currently fuming about due to the West’s failure to honor the treaty they have signed?
For many in places like Iran, China, Russia and elsewhere, these logical questions are about as difficult to understand as it is to understand the funny way a knight moves in chess, yet all this appears to be beyond the ken of DSA. Whatever DSA’s rationale - ignorance, apathy, duplicity, inexperience, cynicism - it results in a huge, telling blind spot which may produce deadly real-world consequences for Iranians.
However, DSA is not just illogical, but also - we are sad to say - unprincipled and even hysterical.
The Chicago chapter of DSA made this very clear in their messaging to me (PressTV may decide to publish all our correspondences, but only if our honesty and accuracy is questioned - we assume it will not be.) when they said, “…DSA will not reach the levels of relevancy necessary to be an active player in building those ties if we make choices that our political enemies can use to claim we are under the influence of foreign powers.”
DSA rather exemplifies the common global perception of Western-style democracy via admitting to a belief that one should attain political relevancy not by years of exemplary public service and by providing proofs of moral selflessness in favor of the masses and especially of the lower classes, but merely by making enough brutal realpolitik moves.
What DSA fails to realize is that even if they achieve their goal of relevancy, by the time they do the perceptive American people will have seen right through their phony claims, hypocrisy and inability to uphold quintessentially American values like the freedom of the press. This article is one example - necessarily rendered for public view and public judgment - of DSA’s phony claims. DSA will simply not get away with xenophobic, anti-free press polices such as this one forever, I am sorry to inform them.
To whom does this policy extend? Russia, China, Cuba, etc.? These countries will also publicly ask the same questions Iran is asking now. How much of the world is DSA planning to exclude from the human right of free speech, free press and the expectation of basic politeness and cooperation?
DSA seems to foolishly believe they are a private group or private media - absolutely not: many of their members are running for public office and thus they must be transparent, diplomatic and held to higher standards - DSA does not seem to realise their own voters will expect that of them?
DSA is not going to push the establishment anywhere, because they are the establishment
In that explanation from DSA there is another telling trait: unreasoning hysteria, which leads to very real, very damaging xenophobia, ignorance and the foundations of war. It’s hysterically paranoid of DSA to assert that merely speaking with Iranian media - which has very little reach in the US (due to American censorship of our outlets) - automatically means that DSA members are “under the influence of foreign powers”.
This reveals a hysteria regarding the unscrupulous behavior of their opposition - DSA’s “political enemies”, who are also, incidentally, their fellow citizens - but more importantly it reveals the lack of a backbone to stand up to and to combat unscrupulous and hysterical behavior.
There is also an implication there about what they seem to believe is the low intelligence of the average US citizen - that they apparently cannot be trusted to think rationally, and for themselves, and in favor of freedom of the press? That’s surprising, especially because the average American is so very much in favor of freedom in the press.
But it mainly reflects a hysterical lust for power. DSA is saying quite clearly: to hell with the average American’s oft-trumpeted values of free press and free speech if it might hinder DSA’s acquisition of influence and privilege.
I don’t know why they are so worried about gaining power? DSA already has it. (Or, rather, they incorrectly think that they do.)
Every single other third party jumped at the chance when Iranian media came knocking on their door with a promise of balance, fairness and open ears except for DSA. This is because DSA is undoubtedly a part of the establishment, unlike other third parties and non-mainstream political groups. DSA is not an official political party, but they do much to give this impression. No, DSA is and has always been merely committed to working within the Democratic Party establishment and has no interest in upending the anti-democratic duopoly which dominates the US and - crucially - keeps providing the world’s richest nation with such atrocious public servants.
Ok, so they are another American political group which is totally allied with the establishment and thus is also totally anti-Iran - so what?
How bad is DSA’s blacklisting of Iranian media, really?
The reality is that DSA are a paper tiger if there ever was one. Iranian voters, diplomats and thinkers must look past their youthful, photogenic appearances and (obviously) empty words.
DSA currently has about 75 members holding national, state, city and county posts in this huge country of 330 million people. That includes just three members in federal posts, all in the House of Representatives. Bernie Sanders is not even a member of DSA. The idea that such a powerless minority will somehow be handed top cabinet posts in a Biden presidency is beyond laughable, yet DSA supporters constantly dangle this exact claim.
However, that ludicrous claim is made precisely to get people to not vote for a real third party, especially a genuinely socialist one, like Party for Socialism & Liberation for example. What’s even funnier is that American reactionaries fearfully believe these outlandish claims by DSA! But American reactionaries are especially foolish.…
Non-Americans should realize that DSA exists to act as an anti-progressive safety valve within the Democratic Party - DSA is incredibly effective at ensuring that the establishment does not have to make any genuine domestic changes. They are not “socialists”, they are “reformists”, and their obvious flaw is that they are mere reformists of an atrocious, antiquated, aristocratic, capitalist-imperialist system.
DSA has just brazenly proven that when it comes to Iran they won’t lift a finger in favor of major changes in Washington.
But they want no real changes domestically, too, and they couldn’t even get them achieved even if they weren’t just paper tigers: From Bernie’s backing down in 2016 despite leaked proof of collusion against his candidacy by the Democratic Party elite, to the ascendance of the Clintonista Kamala Harris in 2020, to infuriatingly and unforgivably adding the qualifying adjective of “Democratic” to “Socialist” which actually propagandizes against international socialism and not for it, to the unspoken reality that DSA’s media prevalence is almost wholly due to a hysterical American right-wing which needs some leftists (even fake-leftists) to scapegoat - this list can go on and on and on.
Deeper explanations as to why DSA is repeatedly seen but never felt in American politics are obviously too numerous to list here, but - when it comes to DSA readers - this article does not aim to focus on DSA’s shortcomings but instead to persuade them to reform their anti-Iranian press policy.
The reality which non-American readers must comprehend is that the US system is based entirely on the influence of monied lobbies. Iranians must realize that there is absolutely not one single pro-Iranian lobby within the US, but that there are many, many anti-Iran lobbies willing to pay for influence (and also for Iran’s destruction) within this strange “democracy with American characteristics”.
In short, unless Iran sells off a significant minority of Iran’s state-controlled economy to American corporations, or unless Iran recognizes Israel, no such pro-Iran lobby can be created: those are the preconditions which the US 1% has always insisted upon from modern Iran in order to end their hot and cold war.
Of course, not only are these things democratically rejected by the Iranian people, but any intelligent analysis of Iran shows that (and DSA members may learn something new about Iran here) any political party which undertook such efforts would be democratically voted out of office before they could complete such immoral, unpatriotic and anti-revolutionary tasks. Iran is a unique (revolutionary) nation with a unique (revolutionary) structure, and just as the US Constitution clearly prescribes an awful duopoly, modern Iranian culture has created - via undeniably vibrant, innovative and open debate over decades - a political system which proscribes certain things, two of which were mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
This is precisely why people like Bernie Sanders and DSA hold such appeal in Iran: the enlightenment of the average US voter appears to be the only way that Washington will ever give up their war on revolutionary (unique) Iran.
This is precisely what makes DSA’s blacklist of Iranian media so disheartening: it shows that neither mainstream party appears to have any sincere goodwill towards Iran - which is the basis of cooperation between equals - not even on the (alleged) left.
Of course, that concept is hardly new among Iranians.
Conclusion: One is on the right path over and over again, but via necessary self-corrections
It seems entirely necessary to assert that DSA’s promises of a progressive push to foreign policy towards Iran are not achievable at best and entirely disingenuous at worst, especially if they do not engage in immediate and sustained self-reform.
The current leaders of the DSA stand in incorrect opposition to the democratic will of 80 million Iranians, and we can safely assume the democratic will of their own members as well, and probably - by a slight democratic majority - the democratic will of 330 million Americans.
As it currently stands DSA - like so many Westerners - arrogantly, imperialistically and chauvinistically insists that they have the right to tell Iranians what they should want, and what they should do, and that if Iranians do not slavishly follow them then this means war… or at least silence, suppression and blacklisting for starters.
That is all totally unacceptable.
This article serves notice to Iranians as to what the DSA appears to have in mind for Iran should they gain power - their views are absolutely not rightly-guided. As to Americans who are about to head to the ballot box, this article makes no suggestion - it only fairly and accurately adds new information.
PressTV would like to place great emphasis on the ideas which are guiding our coverage of this unfortunate issue:
PressTV expresses no animosity nor hard-heartedness to DSA due to their mistakes regarding Iran - they have obviously been misled via decades of unchecked Western Iranophobia. PressTV cannot stress enough that our desire for normal cooperation, friendly discussion and moral comportment has not been changed one iota despite this disagreement and the necessary airing of our fair and dispassionate criticisms, which are made entirely in the name of normal journalistic and (informal) diplomatic dialogue. PressTV would be rude to appear as if we are making any demands of anyone or any organisation - nor would PressTV degrade themselves thusly - we only politely ask, publicly, that DSA reform their stance on their misguided decision to blacklist Iranian media.
^5000The mainstream imperialist media lie CONSTANTLY. Literally 24/7. And it's getting worse.
All of them do it: radio, tv, the newspapers, the movies. The internet. No exceptions.
The corporate Big Lie is pervasive and totalitarian. CBS does it. NBC does it. ABC does it.
CNN does it. FOX does it. NPR does it. And of course the NYTimes and WaPo do it.
Thousands of "diverse" voices telling you the same lies. Enough to convince anyone.
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