I just watched a report on how things are going in Syria that appeared a few days ago on February 10th when the rebel assaults in Damascus and elsewhere were already well underway. The title was, "Foreign-backed militancy losing momentum across Syria: Dr. Webster Tarpley Link:
Two things amazed me about the story:
--The claim that the regime was winning the war, despite a single major victory in the last six months. Watching the Iranian newscaster, you'd think that Assad had victory practically in the bad, except for some minor mopping up.
--The nature of the "distinguished expert" on whom state media relies. (Tarpley). So I looked him up. The guy is so "distinguished" I never heard of him (and I am reasonable well read in world affairs. I had to look him up on the internet. So here's what I discovered:
Tarpley is a former follower of a Lyndon LaRouche, a well-known crackpot with fascistic tendencies. Apparently Tarpley is just as nutty when it comes to conspiracy theories. Online research revealed a Tarpley claim that a majority of the world's top scientist and engaged in a Malthusian scheme to decimate the world's population. The guy really has a stiffy about the Brits who--among other things-- seem to have conspired with Italy's Red Brigades to murder Italian Premier Aldo Moro a few decades ago. Check out "the truth" about 9/11 according to Tarpley.
Geez, why didn't the IRI just invite Kim Kardashian as a "respected expert" on Syria? Do Iranians really watch state TV for news? When they see a guy like Tarpley, do they actually believe he is an "expert analyst" simply because Press TV says so.
I don't see how--once most educated Iranians wise up to how "off" Press TV really is--the regime can ever expect that anything it reports should ever again be taken as credible. For example, it relied on similar "respected (by whom?) experts" who are apparently IRI lobbyists) as the prime evidence that the 2009 election was stolen. The IRI may as well have put Tarpley on the stand.
Watching such nonsense makes it self-evident why the idea of an open press, internet or satellite new access is regarded as completely intolerable in Iran. I can see why the ruling mullahs go to such lengths to isolate Iranians from any outside sources of information.
This sort of North-Korean-style info management suggests on of many reasons why the Islamic Republic can never become a modern economy capable of matching places like South Korea. It's just one more example of the regime's schizoid and contradictory goals. On the one hand the mullahs desire such an economy to finance their own projects. On the other hand, how can you have one without people free to use their minds, have access to information and ask questions?
The best and brightest continue to flee and hold the regime in contempt and news reports like this one tell us exactly why. The uneducated may be duped (though they are gradually wising up when it comes to the regime's economic hopelessness) but this stuff will never play with the sophisticated middle class an advanced economy needs.