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Three Stooges

Three Stooges

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Published by Shahrvaraz
A report on the professional tactics of Martin Fletcher, Brian Whitaker and Con Coughlin - Iran propagandists for the British establishment press.
A report on the professional tactics of Martin Fletcher, Brian Whitaker and Con Coughlin - Iran propagandists for the British establishment press.

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Published by: Shahrvaraz on Oct 03, 2010
Copyright:Public Domain

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12/20/2010

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Martin Fletcher, Brian Whitaker and Con Coughlin: Iranpropagandists for the British Establishment press
Reza Esfandiari
Oct 2010esfandiarireza@ymail.com
Martin Fletcher Brian Whitaker
 
Con Coughlin
The state of British journalism is something for which it is often difficult to find anything praiseworthy. The press in the United Kingdom is largely owned and controlled by what can best be described as a mafia clique consisting of various powerful corporate interests, themselvesmanipulated by the security/intelligence apparatus of the British State and its age-old rulingestablishment (largely unchanged in its political and social structure since feudal times).Domestic news reporting is bad enough, it seems, but at least there is a measure of adherence tostandards because the public has better access to information about events which they can readilyconfirm for themselves if they want to. Foreign reporting, however, is different in that it is far easier for the press to distort the news because the public is more dependent when it comes tolearning about events taking place in other countries. This was certainly true about Iraq, wherethe British government purposefully misled the public about the non-existent stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction which could be launched against western allies at 45 minutes notice[1]. The role of the newspapers and efforts of journalists like Con Coughlin, in serving as themouthpiece for elements in the UK¶s military and security institutions is acknowledged by many.Mr. Coughlin is also a supporter of the µPeople¶s Mujahedeen¶ ± a terrorist organisation included
 
2
on the US State Department¶s list of such groups. The Marxist movement, with its own cult of theleadership, has been involved in hundreds of shootings and bombings both before and after theIranian Revolution and allied itself with Saddam Hussein during his invasion of Iran. Many in theupper chamber of Parliament, the House of Lords, as well as several Tory MPs are also fans of the People¶s Mujahedeen with Lord Waddington and Brian Binley amongst the most enthusiastic.It is ironic that unelected British parliamentarians support terrorists as a pro-democracy group [2].Brian Whitaker, who directs much of what is approved and published about the Middle East onthe
Guardian
¶s
Comment is Free
(CIF) section, declared in April 2009 an intellectual war againstIslam as both a religious and political phenomenon, claiming it was incompatible with his notionof the principles of democracy [3]. A bigoted Islamophobe, who has also championed the peculiar sect of the Bahais, he and Simon Tisdall represent another side to the ³liberal´
Guardian
 newspaper ± namely, that of the neo-imperialist and old orientalist tradition within the Britishestablishment which is really no different to the neoconservative ideology in the United States. Itshould come as no surprise that the colleagues of Michael Ledeen at the ³Foundation for theDefense of Democracies´, some of the most fanatical neconservatives, are among the
Guardian
¶sIran contributors. Ledeen is known for twice declaring that Ayatollah Khamenei had diedaccording to his µreliable sources¶ [4]. Unlike reporters like Jonathan Freedland who aresympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians, Whitaker and Tisdall are supportive of the ZionistState and in his book ³
What¶s really wrong with the Middle East?
´[5] Whitaker takes the side of Israel, and blames adherence to Islamic tradition among the Arabs and Persians for the failure of  peace in the region and its perceived lack of political, social and economic progress.Martin Fletcher is an associate editor with
The Times
of London, the oldest British newspaper owned by media moghul Rupert Murdoch¶s Newscorp, is perhaps better known for his work on Northern Ireland. However,
The Times
has consistently taken an anti-Iranian, pro-Israeli / pro-Saudi line and is a strong defender of western interventionism in the Middle East. It wasfollowing the controversy regarding the Iranian presidential election of 2009, that he became anobsessed anti-government writer authoring over 100 articles on the subject. It is the response tothe election and its aftermath that would serve to define the journalism and ethics of Mr. Fletcher,as well as Messrs Coughlin and Whitaker, and serve to highlight just how free/independent theBritish press is on matters where there is a concerted foreign policy agenda being waged.
1.
 
D
enying the outcome of the ballot box
 
3
On election night in Iran, June 12
th
2009, opposition candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi announced just one hour after the polls closed that he was the ³definite winner´. His campaign team claimedthat ,based on their estimations, he would secure up to 65% of the vote [6] ± in the affluentnorthern suburbs of Tehran he did in fact win by that margin. Mousavi¶s pre-emptive move wouldlead Iran into a state of political turbulence for nearly a year and presage the series of unfortunateevents that were to follow. The international media, with no love for Ahmadinejad and hisgovernment and upon seeing mass demonstrations held in Tehran, would conclude fraud hadtaken place and that the election had been stolen. Among all the news outlets in the world, theAnglo-American media ± headed by the likes of the BBC, CNN, VOA, the
 N 
ew York Times
and
Washington Post 
among others - would promulgate this story as if it were an established fact.The BBC would even take photos from an Ahmadinejad victory rally held on the 14
th
of June andclaim that the mass of people present were Mousavi supporters [7]. Within hours of the electionresult, Christopher Booker of 
The
 
 Daily Telegraph
, like Con Coughlin an avid supporter of thePeople¶s Mujahedeen, would dismiss the election as a ³
loathsome charade
´ without making anyreference whatsoever to the results themselves at a provincial and district level [8].Martin Fletcher and Con Coughlin, in particular, would go on to devote considerable time andeffort to smearing the outcome of that election and the legitimacy of the duly elected governmentof Iran in the process, openly siding with the opposition and now moribund ³Green movement´.The satirical British political magazine,
 Private Eye
, would report just how desperate Mr Fletcher was to get his news stories from Iran published, ordering his Iranian assistant to seize amotorcycle so that he could bypass heavy traffic on the streets and get back to his hotel [9]. Mr.Fletcher asserted in an article that incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
"had almost certainly been voted out of office" 
but had been re-imposed because of 
" a coup d¶état by ahardline regime that can steal an election with impunity, and then brutally crush the opposition.´
He continued by concluding that the Iranian government was thus "
illegitimate
" and ruling by
"diktat" 
alone [10] and that ³
it has lost its last shred of legitimacy. Those Islamic and revolutionary values it claims to champion turn out to be lying, cheating and the wholesalebeating, butchering and incarceration of its own people for daring to protest.´
[11]He had previously cited a number of ³reasons´ why he thought the election was ³rigged´ and³stolen´. One of these was his own argument from personal incredulity: ³
The idea that he wonwith 63 per cent ran contrary to every manifestation of the public mood before polling day, defied electoral logic, and was simply incredible
.´ Another was that apparently the official figures

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