This July 30, I registered under an alias to join a workshop organized by the Syrian American Council (SAC), the leading voice of the lobby that aims to starve and destabilize Syria into submission to the West’s demands. The workshop instructed SAC members to advocate for the most recent Syria regime change bill, H.R. 3202, during those visits. During the seminar, I was able to witness firsthand the impact of the anti-Syria lobby and understand the cynical tactics it employs to condemn the population of Syria to poverty and famine. Most recently, the lobby successfully ended the life-saving sanctions exemption known as General License 23 (GL 23), which allowed humanitarian aid into Syria following the catastrophic earthquake that struck the country this February.
US Regime Change
For a long time, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plotted “peaceful evolution” and “color revolutions” as well as spying activities around the world. Although details about these operations have always been murky, a new report released by China’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and Chinese cybersecurity company 360 on Thursday unveiled the main technical means the CIA has used to scheme and promote unrest around the world. According to the report, since the beginning of the 21st century, the rapid development of the internet offered a “new opportunity” for CIA’s infiltration activities in other countries and regions.
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, asked his US counterpart, Joe Biden, to stop his government from funding organizations that are “openly opposed to the legal and legitimate government” of Mexico, since “it is clearly an act of interventionism, contrary to international law and the respect that should prevail among independent and sovereign states.” During his morning press conference on Wednesday, May 3, in response to a question by journalist Nancy Flores of Contralínea, AMLO showed the letter he had sent to Biden the day before, asking the US president to stop the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from funding opposition parties and associated NGOs, such as Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI) and Article 19 that are trying to destabilize the government of Mexico.
The explosion of protests in Iran that began in September were not about the Islamic Republic’s “hijab law” specifically, but about the abuses and excesses of the so-called morality police – the Gasht-e-Ershad (also known simply as Ershad, or in English, the ‘guidance patrol’) – against regular Iranian women who were considered to be immodestly garbed. Public disgruntlement was triggered by the widely-publicized death of Mahsa Amini, who was apprehended by the Ershad and died while in their custody. Although subsequent video footage released by Iranian police authorities showed that Amini had collapsed herself – likely due to her personal health history, as her official autopsy indicates, and not from alleged “beatings” – Iranians argued that the stress of it all may have triggered that collapse.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is on the verge of effectively making protest illegal. The Public Order Bill has passed in the House of Commons and is expected to be approved in the House of Lords and become law. The bill will ban any protest that “interferes with national infrastructure” or blocks construction or transportation. It gives police powers to search without “reasonable grounds.” It allows for Serious Disruption Prevention Orders (SDPO) which give police the right to arrest anyone who may have violated these deliberately vague rules and prevents them from attending another protest for up to two years. The ban gives police the right to electronically monitor anyone they think is in violation. These criteria effectively prevent any large scale public protest.
The United States seized the opportunity when protests over the death of Mahsa Amini started in Iran to push a narrative of mass dissent and repression in the country. This is a narrative the US used in the lead up to its invasion of Afghanistan. There are other signs and evidence of US interference in Iran to foment regime change and justify military intervention. The US Special Envoy to Iran said last week that the military option is on the table. Clearing the FOG speaks with Dr. Foad Izadi, a professor at the University of Tehran, about the demonstrations, how Western media are pushing misinformation and how the actions of the United States are counterproductive. He explains that if the United States actually cared about women in Iran, it would end its illegal sanctions.
The Venezuelan opposition, more divided than ever and internationally isolated, wants to end the “interim government” of Juan Guaidó and remove him from leadership position. Three of the four main parties of the opposition alliance Unitary Platform expressed their support for ending the “interim presidency” and stop recognizing Guaidó as Venezuela’s “president in-charge.” They have enough votes to get this decision approved, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, October 20, citing a senior figure in the opposition alliance. The decision comes as 10 largest opposition parties in Venezuela have agreed to hold primary elections in June 2023 to choose a single candidate for the presidency. The presidential election is scheduled for 2024.
Over the last weeks there were some riots in Iran. At first there were protest about the falsely reported death of a young women, Mahsa Amini, who had suddenly collapsed (video) while waiting in a police station. She died a few days later. Mahsa Amini had previously had brain surgery and her collapse and death were related to that, not to police action. The protests by mostly women, and supported by a well known U.S. government employee, were soon taken over by separatist groups who turned them into riots. This especially in the northwestern Kurdish border region and the southeastern Baloch region. These groups are know to have foreign support. Police stations were attacked, cars were set on fire and night riots set off. In total some 24 policemen and some 100 protesters died. It is not the first time that such riots are happening in Iran.
Iran has been in Western media headlines a lot recently — and as usual, it’s for all the wrong reasons. Despite the media hype about a “revolution” coming to Iran, events over the last month have a distinctly counter-revolutionary whiff about them. This is clearly the case, despite the fact that there are no doubt legitimate grievances with the Iranian government to be had. But the Western media, almost without exception, always follows the line of Western governments and intelligence agencies. The very same agencies that have been working to overthrow the Iranian government for decades (and which carried out a successful coup against the elected prime minister of Iran in 1953 so that they could to steal Iran’s oil).
This Wednesday, October 5, various international websites reported that Juan Guaidó’s “envoy” to the general assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), Gustavo Tarre, decided not to attend after learning that 11 nations intended to expel him from the Lima summit. Among the countries that requested the expulsion of Juan Guaidó’s illegitimate diplomat in the OAS are Mexico, Bolivia and Antigua and Barbuda. The representatives of those countries showed their intention to not recognize Tarre in the US-controlled regional body’s general assembly. In fact, in the last assembly of the organization in November of last year, Mexico, Argentina and Bolivia rejected the presence of Guaidó’s envoy.
The United States Peace Council is deeply concerned about current events in Iran and the international reaction to them. As an initial matter, the USPC unequivocally condemns the events which led to the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the “Morality Police” for failing to wear a hijab. The USPC supports the right of women in Iran and around the world to make decisions about their own bodies and lives, including decisions about what they wear. No state organization has the right to interfere in such decisions, and no woman should be arrested, interrogated or otherwise abused because of the manner in which she exercises her rights. At the same time, the USPC is very concerned about how this death is being used by the United States and its allies for nefarious purposes unrelated to a bona fide concern for women’s rights.
The civil unrest in Iran in response to the recent death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was waiting at a Tehran police station, although rooted in legitimate grievances, also bears the hallmark of a western-sponsored covert war, covering multiple fronts. Mere days after the protests erupted on 16 September, the Washington Post revealed that the Pentagon had initiated a wide-ranging audit of all its online psyops efforts, after a number of bot and troll accounts operated by its Central Command (CENTCOM) division – which covers all US military actions in West Asia, North Africa and South and Central Asia – were exposed, and subsequently banned by major social networks and online spaces. The accounts were busted in a joint investigation carried out by social media research firm Graphika, and the Stanford Internet Observatory, which evaluated “five years of pro-Western covert influence operations.”
On April 10, in Islamabad, Pakistan the Supreme Court upheld a vote of no confidence to remove Imran Khan of the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from power. The opposition parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) voted in favor of no confidence. 174 votes were in favor for no confidence, two more than 172 vote mark that needed for this to be passed.
Pakistan is in the middle of a full-blown constitutional crisis with each day bringing a fresh series of developments that increase the uncertainty surrounding the country’s future. Monday April 4, was a day of dramatic developments. The Supreme Court began hearing arguments on the constitutionality of the events of the previous 24 hours and is likely to arrive at a decision on Tuesday. On Sunday, the country’s National Assembly had met to vote on a no-trust motion against prime minister Imran Khan. However, in a surprise move, deputy speaker of the assembly Qasim Khan Suri dismissed the motion. Suri ruled that the motion was in violation of Article 5 of the country’s constitution which states that “Loyalty to the State is the basic duty of every citizen.”