I was recently visiting my sister in the USA. During my short stay in Dallas I had time and interest to watch, for the first time, the Iranian T.V. channels, mostly broadcasting from Los-Angeles.
My purpose of this article is to point out, but not to develop several issues, to judge the role of their political contributions for Iranian people.
The question which can immediately be raised is to ask if these channels are globally doing well for the Iranian political future.
A part from the expatriate T.V. shows produced in L.A. that I do not comment here, I was irritated by the political positions or collusions of some channels. I knew that many of these channels are more or less Monarchist. They help and are helped by the Monarchists. Therefore their political attitude is not against fundament of dictatorship, but merely the dictatorship of the Islamic republic. The reason of their opposition against the “Mullahs” in Iran is far from democracy and secular. They confront only a little part of Iranian history, namely the post revolution from 1979 on. They advance their personal political ambitions at the expense of people's interests.
It is for a neutral observer not very difficult to realise that a number of their journalists can neither represent the Iranian intelligence nor the interests of Iranian people. The Iranian monarchist channels are not in the position to convey a message of dictatorial change in Iran, but deliberately only a political change. The analogy between the Islamic regime and the monarchists is that they both seek to charge people by those values far from democracy. They both operate from the same dictatorial ambitions and propagate dubious notions to justify their parasite. The monarchist channels are a comedy example for democracy and they try to stupefy their public.
To preach salvation and to give meaning to individual's life and at the same time advocate civil rights, democracy, human rights and free flow of information, in a country in which popular dissatisfaction is driven by rapid demographic changes, restrictive social policies, devastated economic conditions and religious dictatorial system is an obvious task of any Iranian opposition. However the monarchist channels propagate persuasive slogans which bring some mechanical and emotional reactions among people beyond their political interests, remain however very doubtful to know how to pass the final obstacle to exterminate the very deep roots of dictatorship in its entirety in Iran.
It was a rough time for democracy when the Shah abolished the ongoing puppet political parties in Iran to round them up and rally them under an extreme monarchist unique party “Rastakhiz”, resurrection, which was meanwhile for some dissatisfied mullahs another blasphemous abuse of a religious sacred term .
The main philosophy of this party was to impose the Shah's crown and throne on Iranian people as the nations sacred. The Shah saw himself as divine person heir to king of ancient Persian. This megalomania was embodied by very expensive pompous royal ceremonies — Self-Crowing and lavish celebration of 2500 years of Persian kingdom. Under such circumstances the shah needed also for his propaganda apparatus greedy, flattery journalists to associate the Shah's dictatorship with the grandiloquent titles. The debris of those journalists is still in the monarchist channels to tackle their old job. The phenomenon is old; all dictators from the ancient Roman along to the new ages need to be worshipped.
The task of propagandists is to give messages to influence political behaviour, in totalitarian systems, used for abusive ends by bombarding people with persuasive appeals with no clear argument or information, instead with the emotional agitations. The propagandists in the totalitarian systems learn how to use many techniques to manipulate public opinions, hoping many people follow their message. One of these old “Göbbels” methods is the repetition of the same message from different sources of information. That is the reason for multiple numbers of the monarchist channels emitting the same message.
When people are bombarded with many sources for the same message, they follow more spontaneously the message, as recent history shows this method has got a temporary mental short cut because events are manipulated with calculated emotional charge, so that people should not ask themselves questions when confronted with this method. An obvious example was and is the constant appeal of the monarchist propagandistic machinery that only the monarchy can guarantee sovereignty and prosperity of Iran. Of course for these monarchists, the monarchy, per se, seems to be a monopole of the corrupt Pahlavi dynasty.
Contrary to these channels the collapse of the Shah's dictatorship was a fair consequence of history. The collapse was because of massive, collective engagement of the whole Iranian nation against his dictatorship inevitable. And not, as the monarchist pretend, by the foreign conspiracies. The Pahlavi dynasty was from the beginning an illegitimate imposition of the super powers and was wiped out from the Iranian history by the legitimate anti-Shah revolution.
In 1921 an uneducated Cassack Brigade's putschist officer, Reza Khan, became, with the help of British Empire, a strong political man in Iran. Four years after his coup d'etat he replaced the Qajar dynasty by his own. Phalavi dynasty. Due to the Britain foreign policy, in order to confronting the influence of the Empire Czars in Iran. Reza Shah established a robust centralised dictatorship, his legitimacy was awarded by, at that time, the most extended colonial power of the British Empire, and not by a puppet specially convened assembly which in 1925 deposed Ahmad Shah Qajar, and named him as new Shah.
Contrary to a female monarchist “historian” from one of the numerous monarchist channels claiming that Reza Shah implemented great infrastructure projects and educational national system at his time, the fact is that no major improvement was carried out under Reza Khan's dictatorship: The majority of people remained illiterate, having become a great landlord, Reza Shah, due to the feudalist interests, deprived the majority of Iranian who lived in villages from the basics like running water, electricity, school, wealth care….
Under his dictatorship the infrastructure projects were insufficient to haul the country out of backwardness. His sympathy for Hitler and relation with Hitler's fascism brought in 1941 his sudden end. Ousted and exiled by his previous supporter, England .he left his throne, with accordance of England, for his son, Mohammad Reza who became the new Shah. Reza Khan had to leave Iran reminding his last advice to the new Shah “does not be, my son, coward”.
In 1953 the “coward” Mohammad Reza Shah escaped the country when the popular PM. Mossadegh accused him and his family of corruption and treachery against the national interests in the favour of England and the USA. However short after his escape he was escorted back to power by help of the CIA and the Britain SIS's coup and welcome by a paid mob and a high ranking Shiite cleric. The Americans then built his SAVAK up; the Shah's strong secret police to compensate brutally his “cowardliness”. The SAVAK was responsible for torture, intimidation and massive oppression against the Shah's opponents.
The irony is that the monarchist's propagandists present this coup as a national uprising which brought the Shah back to his throne and forced PM. Mossadegh to cede against people. The falsification of history seeks to legitimate the Pahlavi dynasty and now Reza Pahlavi as the legitimate crown prince — today Americans acknowledge their role in the 53 coup.
The monarchist channels are hoping to influence individuals while leading each one to believe that the information he or she receives, as response would be his own judgement. They spread propagandistic lies to make them possible to reshape even the recent historical events. The monarchist Iranian channels censure and manipulate the Iranian history hypocritically.
Another aspect of a typical manipulation is an appeal addressed to people's emotion. The appeal is to the heart. Not to the mind. Ambiguity and irrationality of appeal is the central point, otherwise the appeal may be drained off into any uncontrollable reaction. One of the easiest skillful emotional appeals is to sensitise people with their national values, a perfect tool in the hand of any Propagandist to use and abuse for determined targets.
The history of humanity shows us how nationalism can flaw the humanity. Nationalism is not only an ideological weapon, but also it is a mask to hide the real face of tyranny against democracy, progress and all human natural evolutionary instincts of normal developments . Nationalism is an analogy to a religious faith with firm reliance on the protection of divine providence which promotes the fanaticism as the nation's traditional highest value through the recognition of the sacred. A prior study shows that nationalism is a projective egocentricity. The nationalist uses this collective mechanism to justify his individual interests, no wonder that many of nationalist politicians are corrupt, traitor, racist, and aggressive against their own people.
The monarchist channels try to boost nationalistic campaign against foreign and neighbour countries of Iran in order to label themselves as patriotic. The patriotism is not a fair attribute for those channels whose sponsors ruined and robbed the fatherland during the Shah's regime, especially the Shah himself and his clan, for what the “legitimate” crown prince should tell people the truth about the amount and source of his family's wealth.
Patriotism is an altruistic regard for own people and their direct interests. It does not, in the contrary to nationalism, humiliate other nations.
An Iranian extreme right monarchist channel from England is a typical example for nationalism. The channel by putting an accent on the Iranian race insults Arabs alluding to their ancestors who ruined and imposed Islam on Iran many centuries ago. This provocative hateful nationalism has nothing to do with patriotism and secularism, and only damages the Iranian prestiges.
Approximately 2 decades after the third Reich failed to bring the world under the Aryan's domination, the Shah titled and honoured himself as “Aria-Mehr”, sun of Aryans. This and other flamboyant titles like “shadow of God on earth” have had to be used with his name. It should be another Charlie Chaplin to satirise the Shah as he did with Hitler in his masterpiece “The Great Dictator”, but Charlie Chaplin in his film not only satirised Hitler but the institution of dictatorship and racism itself.
The monarchist channels unleash and justify an attitude of racism as the pride of Iranians. They use a language as a tool of racist attitude putting a prestigious accent on the race of Iranians “Aryans” which is a racist term using by many racist groups in many different countries with different colours of skin, and even if one can really prove the pure blood transmitted from generation to generation is far from any intermediate factors like marriage, population exodus, military occupation and many other factors appearing in course of human events.
That his race is intact and original, nevertheless one has got no biological or mental proof of superiority as implicitly understood. Unfortunately the influential opinion makers like monarchist channels pave the way for unwitting attitude of racism among Iranians whose country is a multi ethnic, multilingual with one-half of its people not being pars — Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Armenians, Jews, and few other ethnic groups.
The racism in Iran, even if not very tangible, is rooted more in the history of Islam than the social. Islam allowed slavery in its previous form but proposed their releasing as an act of merit. The Islamic invaders used the occasion to kill the enemy warriors and the men of occupied territory sending their family members to the slavery market. The act of merit was the marketing trick of its increasing establishment in the Islamic society.
In 652, the invading Islamic troops entered Iran. They robbed and raped and killed up millions of Iranians. Eager to kill “to jihad” anyone who refused the compelling conversion of Islam the Invaders committed one of the bloodiest genocides of the Middle Age in Iran. All according to the Islamic laws “Shariah”, they deported many Iranian female and children into other countries to be sold as slave-workers.
The slavery like misogyny, as an acceptance of Islam, therefore without moral criticism, has been imprinted in the Islamic faith. Although two centuries after the Islamic invasion, Iran found its independence back, despite revengeful hate against the Islamic ruling class who set in motion the genocide in Iran, The Iranian old, advanced civilisation was so destroyed that could never rebuild and free itself from the Islam. The hate against the Islamic rulers became in a reflexive process blind racism against Arabs or “non-Aryans”.
In the beginning of 16th century, the Savvied Empire imposed a sect of Islam, Schism, long time repressed by Sunnis, on Iranians, since then the state religion, to hold out of Iran a solid fortress against rival Ottoman's Sunnis. The impetus of Schism against Arabs and then Turks brought racism in Iranian popular traditional culture, which is mainly against these two populations and has been coloured unwillingly in nationalism, with the transformation being relatively recent. In my opinion the Islamic roots of racism have not been sufficiently recognised in the recent time.
To answer the initial question, in my opinion, the monarchist channels are trying to disturb the process of an inevitable progress in which Iran should be a democratic, secular and modern republic. The sponsors of these channels are the debris and followers of a political system which was a corrupt, dictatorial and fundamentally subservient to Western interests. They are a U.S backed right-wing trash of the Shah's regime, once in power they will re-establish a corrupt monarchist dictatorship in Iran.