We often ask ourselves why Russia (and China for that matter) are so lousy at mounting global propaganda campaigns. Granted, the Western empire has more than a century of practice, and over generations has created the most gianormous machinery of mass communications and cultural influence ever seen in history. Not to mention that with a machine spawned by developed capitalism, it was born with the propaganda talent to seduce and deceive sociopathically, it’s in their genes, so to speak, something other nations are not so adept at, at least not with the advanced production values that Hollywood and a huge p.r. industry are able to inject into such exercises. Yet soft power is an art that those who oppose imperialism must try to muster.
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Jordan, for its part, [as a longtime satellite of the West in the region] has also acknowledged that it allowed the UN to arrange for the entry and passage of 800 Syrian “civil defense workers,” according to Reuters, citing Mohammad al-Kayed, spokesman for the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry. The Jordanian authorities later revisited the numbers, saying that only 422 White Helmets members have actually made it into the country.
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RAMIN MAZAHERI—The bonyads are not just in consumer goods but have been awarded parts of more sensitive economic sectors; the same goes for the Basij, another co-operative foundation. However, it’s the Revolutionary Guards who have been handed partial control of the big portfolios, sectors and projects upon which the country’s well•being depends: oil, telecommunications, large•scale development and construction. This was obviously all by plan (and not “market forces”), and all of these groups, their political backers and their employees have discouraged private competition because their ideology is that the state should control it — they prefer the bonyads (and Basji and the Revolutionary Guards) to Western capitalism (ands thus Western capitalists).
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RAMIN MAZAHERI—Non-Iranians need to realize that any foreign invasion of Iran implies the mass, grassroots involvement of the Basij. Certainly not all of them, as only a small percentage of this volunteer group are involved daily in security operations (contrary to popular belief), but very certainly invasion would involve a lot of them. I think that if people learned about the solidity of this group – whether one condones or condemns them, and I remain 100% objectively neutral in my examination and refuse to either condone or condemn them on my part – one must simply accept that they are a huge force to be reckoned with in any war.