Truth and Lie at the Big Boys' Club: The Hegemony of Hypocritical Discourse
When a fool lais, neither the fool
nor the person who has been lied to, know of the lie.
When a merchant lies, only the
merchant knows that he has lied.
When a charlatan lies, both the
person who has been lied to and the charlatan know of the lie, but the charlatan
still insist on lying.
When politician lies, not only he
knows that has lied and his lie has been exposed, but he also knows that the
other side knows that he knows that he haws lied.
When a hypocrite lies every one
knows that every one know that the hypocrite he has lied, yet the liar insist on
I don’t know if any of you can
remember old public bathhouses (Hammam) in Iran. Well, this
story takes place in that setting.
One early morning, in a village
somewhere Iran, truth and lie independent of
each other decided to go to hammom for a wash. Truth went first, undressed and hung his
cloths on the wall. Then came lie, he saw truth’s cloths hanging on the wall and
got an idea. He went in, quickly washed himself and walked away dressed in
truth’s cloths. Truth finished washing himself and went to get dressed and saw
that his cloths were gone but lie’s cloths were still hanging on the wall.
Naturally, truth refused to dress in lie’s cloths and remained naked. The legend
is that since then lie dressed in truth cloths goes everywhere but naked truth
is embaressed to go anywhere and remains mostly unseen. And so is the state of
affairs in world politics these days.
Here is the big question. What is
truth; one that is stated or the one that obvious? Is truth what history time
and time again has proven to us or the one that is coming from megaphones of
powerful? Which one, the one that dressed in truth cloths, or the one that is
naked is the true truth. The answer is simple, lie is manufactured, and truth is
self evident. And this is
Years ago, during graduate work at
School of Journalism at University of Missouri, we frequently discussed such
journalistic principles as objectivity, free expression of ideas and free flow
of information. Being the idealist that we were, we accepted these principles as
divine models of civility and righteousness. We learned about existential journalism
and journalist’s blind loyalty to truth. We learned that journalists are eyes
and ears of people in a world that is becoming increasingly complex. These
principles were presented to us as undisputable properties of honest
journalistic work and righteousness of academic setting. Certainly in this intellectual climate of
world’s oldest school of journalism these concepts had the divine merits and
without exception. Proud of this valuable education (and still are,) we never
thought that these ideas would be challenged in the same setting, and that there
is a limit to honest intellectual exchange, that on some cases these ideas would
be rejected as backward. Not until one of our classmate, a bright Sudanese
student posed this question in one of the graduate
What properties can distinguish an
act of terror from other forms of violence? Is it the justness of cause that
separate terrorism from legitimate resistance? If so, who will determine which
cause is just and which is not? Has definition of terrorism anything to do with
methods or the kind of weapon used? If so, what is the difference between
death by bombs that is dropped on innocent civilians and death of innocents that
is caused by a bomb in the market? Has definition of terrorism anything to do
with who is committing the act of violence? If so, who has the right to kill others
and who does not?
Our friend never received a straight
answer to his questions, but for weeks in privet conversation among students and
faculty he was criticized for putting the invasion of Granada and Panama and the downing of Iranian
passenger jetliner by US navy in the same category. These two forms of violence
are perceived differently, and this is why.
In the politics of international
relation, there is a phenomenon that could be called the hegemony of discourse.
That is, in dialectic of global issues, and in western media’s presentation of
truth, there are realities that are absent while others are repeated
frequently. To be precise, those
arguments that favor the West are repeated over and over, but those facts that
rightfully challenge West’s assertion are absent. More specifically all good is happening
in West. This gives the impression that in this world there are those who are
responsible, democratic and just and those who are not. Hence the west because
of its moral superiority has the right and indeed the obligation to control the
rest of world. This is why when the few members hegemonic club take a position
or make a statement, ‘the world community’ has spoken. This is the hypocrite’s
lie and on its face is racist, ethnocentric and above all false. Here are some
- In discussion and presentation of
Iran’s nuclear program,
Iran has been portrayed as
irresponsible and aggressive therefore too dangerous to have nuclear
know-how. Never mind that over
the past 200 years, Iran has never committed act of
aggression against any country while has been the subject of violence by,
Americans, British, Russians, Turks and Iraqis. Absent from this distorted
presentation of reality are the facts on stockpiled Israeli nuclear weapon,
Israel’s repeated violence against neighbors and Palestinian people and US’s
public threats. The hegemonic
discourse rarely includes systematic American violence against other
countries, its’ violation of human right, its illegal occupation of another
country and the fact that it is the only country that has used nuclear weapons
and is developing new generation of them.
- In reporting Palestinian Israeli
conflict, often the news is limited to death and casualties and accompanied
with assertions from Israeli or other sources referring to Palestinians as
terrorist. Not once the causes of violence are mentioned. Not once there is
reference to the fact that Palestinian struggle is aimed at regaining their
homeland unjustly stolen from them. Not once, even as background the public is
told that that Israel was a western creation and
almost all its citizens have migrated from other parts of the world. The result, in the absence a logical
explanation and reason for Palestinian anger and frustration, the indigenous
people of Palestine appear as mad criminals who enjoy
- Almost any child in Middle East
who is old enough to think, knew before invasion of Iraq, that real reason behind
US attack was oil. It had to be,
for fifty years the United
States had justified its presence in Persian Gulf as ‘to guarantee the flow of oil.’ The grand design of conspiracy between
US and Israel was public knowledge and was
discussed by the experts even before 9/11. Dick Chaney had traveled around
Middle East to convince other countries to support US plan to invade Iraq. But
hegemonic discourse circled only around reasons fabricated by Bush
administration. Even after
invasion, when all justification for war proved to be false, when it became
abundantly clear that Bush administration had intentionally misled the public,
no one said anything about preplanned US, UK and Israel conspiracy to redraw Middle East map.
The hegemonic discourse had already inoculated public against use of
the world ‘conspiracy’ by portraying those who forwarded such a notion as
paranoid and irrational. Why not,
isn’t there enough evident to validate such theories? Weren’t enough
documentation to prove that there indeed was conspiracy? Even today, the hegemonic discourse
defines success in Iraq as
creating a democracy when in fact all efforts are aimed at guaranteeing
US strategic position by giving it
control over diminishing energy resources. When the hegemonic discourse talks
about pulling US troops out of Iraq, is not because occupation is wrong and
illegal, it is to limit American casualties not death and dislocation of
millions of Iraqis or total destruction of a country of 20
- Here is another example. I dare to
say that Columbia University event in which Ahmadinejad was confronted
with unusually hostile reception was staged to humiliate him and by the way of
that embarrass Iran. It was in my opinion
orchestrated by AIPAC in line with Israel’s wish to prepare the ground work to
attack Iran. Daemonization of Ahmadinejad
had started even before he arrives to New York, for he was certain to speak
outside hegemonic discourse and that is what he did. In fact immediately after
he was elected, hegemonic discourse began his character assassination by
accusing him of being involved in taking Americans hostage. But that didn’t
work. How often do you see his name mentioned in the western media without
brining up his remarks on Holocaust and Israel? Is there anything else to the man than
his stand on Holocaust and opposition to Israel?
Anywhere he spoke; in any interview he gave the same questions were asked to
embarrass him. Hadn’t American journalists and public heard answers to those
same questions over and over again. What was gained when Lee Bollinger the
president of Columbia University on a queue from AIPAC,
regurgitated the same fallacy that had been put in front of him. What form of
intellectual enlightenment was achieved when he chose to violate every
academic and intellectual principle, every diplomatic protocol and every norm
of civility by repeating the same hostile questions instead of engaging him in
a civil debate? Next day, the hegemonic discourse refused to discuss
Bollinger’s violation of human decency. Instead from all argument that
Ahmadinejad had forwarded, from all his conciliatory gestures (and there were
many of them valid and important for debate) only his reference to homosexuals
in Iran was brought up. Would there have been the same outrage
if instead of Ahmadinejad an Arab leader had visited Columbia University. Isn’t there far worse
on Holocaust in Arab
media, history books, school textbooks.
Why wasn’t there any critic of Bollinger’s behavior who in contrast to
Ahmadinejad’s calm, rational and civil performance tried hard to prove his
loyalty to his masters?
I can give many more examples but I
avoid it for the sake of limited space.
How can this happen, how can such
obviously intentionally selected facts become the dominant discourse? How can
lie dressed in truth’s cloths become global journalistic agenda? This is
First is shortsightedness our own
leaders who do not allow development of trusted media in our country so that
they can share the global stage and present the alternative view, to make
mistakes, to fall and rise again.
They do not trust their own people and journalists not because our
journalists are unable to do what the powerful western media does, but because
of our leaders desire for self preservation. Otherwise towering tradition of
reporting the truth, our journalist’s history of struggle to advance the cause
of people, repeatedly at the cost of their own life, is an undeniable testimony
to their ability. It is our own governments that have chained captive our
journalists, these defenders of our voice in the world. Over and over our
journalist, writers and intellectuals shown their loyalty to truth and unlike
corporative, money driven counterparts in the West, have done more with their
limited recourses. It is tyranny
that has tied our hands, silenced our voice and left us blind to defend
ourselves against onslaught of colonial imperialism. It is the tyranny that has
prevented our journalist to mature in bosom of our own people and not in foreign
Second are those intellectual,
experts and opinion leader who either for their own name recognition or the
opportunity to work in west have betrayed their own people. I am not talking about bankrupted groups
such as Mujahedin Khalq who spend the night in bed with enemies of our people
and in the morning cry freedom. Their account is different. They are sentenced to the destiny of
decaying in the arms of those who call them terrorist yet protect them to use in
another day. I am talking about
those of us who are willing participate in the hegemonic discourse to further
our career in west. How often we have felt obligated to apologize for our
critique of west in defense of our right by expressing our dismay all that is
related to our political apparatus and our achievements is bad and must be
thrown away. Certainly we have problem with our leaders, certainly we are angry
about their oppressive behavior, corruption and the unjust treatment of our
sisters, mothers and wives, certainly we oppose their mistake and their
policies. But have we ever considered the possibility that they may have done
something right? Iran has been that valuable peace of
real state that countries near and far have tried to grab and dominate, by force
and by economic pressure. Looking at the resume of Islamic Republic we see many
wrongs, yet it is the Islamic Republic that has returned Iran’s
independence back to her. It is the Islamic Republic that for the first time in
our modern history has made serious attempt to ensure Iran’s
territorial integrity by developing our own defense industry. It is the Islamic
Republic that has stood up to hegemony to protect our right to scientific
progress. Do we dare to talk about this?
Third is the overtly undemocratic
and unjust global structure that marginalized the vast majority world
population. Systems that allow defining the world based on the centrality of
westerners views and interests. Institutions such as UN Security Council, World
Bank, vast network of powerful corporate entities, the imperialistic financial
institutions are there to serve the interests of hegemons and are belatedly
undemocratic, ethnocentric and aggressive.
Every thing is defined according to the west, designed around their
cultural properties, shaped to facilitate their advance. Why shouldn’t we
angrily reject the proposition that Iranians are divided into pro and anti
American? Like many other countries Iran is a complex composite of
nationalities and political tendencies.
Yes they do have problem with their leader, but that is something between
them and their leaders and they have proven that they can prevail in their
struggle against oppression. They do not need others to do the job, especially
those who throughout history labeled them backward.
So my friends next time anyone
ridiculed the idea of western hegemony, aggression and conspiracy, next time the
hegemonic discourse claims violence to be the middle easterners second nature,
next time when someone portrays our people as incapable of dealing with their
own problem, next time when the west is described as objective arbiter for peace
and the promoter of democracy, please give them this, the 137 year resume of
western violence, interference and aggression in the Middle
2006: Israel intensifies bombings of Lebanon. Hezbollah hits an Israeli
warship blockading the Lebanese coast, killing four sailors.
2006: Israel broadens the Gaza offensive, sending
troops and tanks into the eastern part of the strip. The Hamas-led government
calls for a cease-fire but fails to offer the soldier's release.
Israel refuses. Israeli air force
drops a quarter-ton bomb on a home in an attempt to assassinate top Hamas
fugitives. Nine members of a Palestinian family are killed.
2005: U.S. occupation military police personnel
mentally and physically abused (tortured) detainees in Abu Ghraib, west of
Baghdad. By videotaping and photographing them
nude, both male and female, as well as intimidating them with military dogs,
accusing Iraq for position of
weapons of mass destruction, US Brittan and handful of countries attack and
launches military raids against the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank .in an attempt destroys the
Palestinian Authority and its economic and civilian infrastructure.
president George W. Bush In his first State
of the Union address, warns that the proliferation of long-range missiles,
reported to be under development Iraq,
and North Korea constitute a as great a danger to the U.S. calling these
countries "axis of
U.S. government launched Radio Free
Iraq and RFE/RL Iran in attempt to undermine governments of these
1998: U.S. and U.K. bomb Iraq over the
issue of weapons inspections, even though Security Council is just then meeting
to discuss the matter.
1998: U.S. destroys factory producing half of
supply, claiming retaliation for attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and that
factory was involved in chemical warfare. Evidence for the chemical warfare
charge widely disputed.
U.S. imposes oil and trade
sanctions on Iran for allegedly sponsoring
terrorism, seeking to acquire nuclear arms, and promoting hostility to the
Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Iran denies the
U.S. bombs Iraqi intelligence
headquarters after a report that the Iraqis have planned to assassinate former
president George Bush on his trip to Kuwait in April 1993.
1993: U.S. launches missile attack on
Iraq, claiming self‑defense against
an alleged assassination attempt on former president Bush two months
1991: U.S. forces are permanently based in
Saudi Arabia but are asked to
leave after US invade Iraq.
1991: Devastating economic sanctions are
imposed on Iraq. U.S. and Britain block all attempts to lift
them. Hundreds of thousands die. Though Security Council had stated that
sanctions were to be lifted once Saddam Hussein's programs to develop weapons of
mass destruction were ended, Washington makes it known that the sanctions
would remain as long as Saddam remains in power.
emigration restrictions are loosened in Russia and former Eastern bloc countries, about a
million Jews arrive in Israel.
Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the United States, the former Soviet Union, Japan, and much of Europe and the Middle East condemn the attack and resolve to drive the
Insisting on an Arab solution to the Persian Gulf crisis (which began in
August 1990 with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait), King Hussein of Jordan and
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat spearhead peace initiatives, but are regarded
as appeasers of Iraq's Saddam Hussein by the West and the US's Gulf Arab allies.
Both King Hussein and Yasser Arafat suffer global diplomatic isolation..
1991: The war with Iran from 1980-88 and the recent Gulf War,
together with the subsequent imposition of international sanctions, has a
devastating effect on Iraq's economy and society. UN
reports describe living standards as being at subsistence level. Some 47,000
children under 5 years of age are believed to have died from war-related causes
following the Gulf War alone.
1991: In what is called Operation Solomon, a
dramatic airlift, brings 15,000 Ethiopian Jews to live in Israel.
1991: In the first round of general
elections in Algeria in 1991, the FIS wins 188
seats outright and seems sure to obtain an absolute majority in the second
round. But shortly after, instructed France and other western countries,
The National People's Assembly is dissolved by presidential decree, and a
military council takes power. The FIS election victory and response by the
Algerian state opens a debate in the Middle
East and the West on whether Islamists should be allowed to come to
1990: U.S. rejects any diplomatic settlement of the
Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and
leads international coalition in war against Iraq. Civilian
infrastructure targeted. U.S. refuses to aid post‑war
uprisings by Shi'ites in the south and Kurds in the north, denying the rebels
access to captured Iraqi weapons and refusing to prohibit Iraqi helicopter
1988: U.S. vetoes 3 Security Council resolutions
condemning continuing Israeli occupation of and repression in
USS Vincennes opens fire on an Iranian civilian airbus as it crosses the
Gulf on a scheduled flight and kills 290 passengers.
1987: As Iraqi attack on ships carrying
Iranian oil and Iranian response escalates U.S. sends its
navy to protect Kuwaiti oil under American flag.
1986: Following Berlin bombing of a nightclub US blames
Qaddafi for the attack and lunches military strike against Libyan patrol boats, and shore
installations killing 72.
1986: U.S. provides military intelligence to Saddam in
an attempt to block Iran’s victory.
1984: While Iraq uses chemical weapons against
Iran, U.S. restores diplomatic relations with
Iraq and removes
Iraq from its list of nations
supporting terrorism allowing U.S. arms to be transferred to
1983: U.S. troops sent to Lebanon as part
of a multinational peacekeeping force; intervene on Christian side and USS New
Jersey bombarding Hezbollah positions.
1982: U.S. chooses not to invoke its laws prohibiting
Israeli use of U.S. weapons except in self‑defense.
invades Lebanon, cutting off
food and water in Beirut.
Maronite president-elect Bashir Gemayel is assassinated. Two days later,
Christian militias allied with Israel against the PLO enter the Sabra and
Shatila refugee camps in Beirut and massacre some 800 unarmed
Palestinians. The Kahan Commission (an Israeli commission of inquiry) finds that
Defense Minister Ariel Sharon bears personal responsibility.
1982: U.S. vetoes
several Security Council resolutions condemning the
1982: U.S. gives "green light" to Israeli
invasion of Lebanon, killing some 17
1981: U.S. holds military maneuvers off the coast of
Libya in waters claimed by
Libya with the clear purpose
of provoking Qaddafi and U.S. shoots down two Libyan
1980: Iraq invades Iran, the U.S. opposes any
Security Council action to condemn the invasion.
Soviet military invades and occupies Afghanistan, beginning a decade-long
1979: Iranians begin demonstrations
against the Shah. U.S. tells Shah it supports him
"without reservation" and urges him to act forcefully. Until the last minute,
U.S. tries to organize military coup
to save the Shah, but to no avail.
1975: U.S. vetoes Security Council resolution
condemning Israeli attacks on Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.
1972: U.S. blocks Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat's efforts
to reach a peace agreement with Israel.
1967: U.S. blocks any
effort in the Security Council to enforce SC Resolution 242, calling for Israeli
withdrawal from territories occupied in the 1967 war.
1963: U.S. supports
coup by Iraqi Ba'ath party and reportedly gives them names of communists to
murder, which they do with vigor
1962: U.S. unsuccessfully attempts
assassination of Iraqi leader, Abdul Karim Qassim.
1958: U.S. troops land in Lebanon to
Egypt after the Egyptian
president Nassar nationalizes the Suez Canal.
conspire to recapture the canal they once owned, with Israeli assistance.
Israel invades Sinai, and
France "intervene" and occupy the
canal zone. They withdraw under Soviet pressure.
begins an 8 year bloody War of Independence against the
British and American
intelligence conducts a joint operation to overthrow Mossadeq. Gen. Fazlollah
Zahedi, the leader of military coup, becomes prime
1950: Israel proclaims Jerusalem its capital despite a 1947 partition plan that
declares Jerusalem an international zone.
1949: CIA backs military coup deposing
elected government of Syria.
Britain to declare its
mandate over Palestine unworkable. Britain makes plans for its withdrawal and leaves
the question of what to do with Palestine to the UN. In August, the United
Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) recommends the creation of
independent Jewish and Arab states. The plan divides Palestine into roughly equal halves, with Jerusalem and religiously
significant surrounding sites under the control of a separate international
authority. The report also calls for the Arab and Jewish states to form a united
economic bloc. The Jews accept this plan, but the Palestinian Arabs do not. The
partition plan is approved by majority vote of the UN General Assembly on
November 29. Britain
completes its withdrawal from Palestine in early May 1948, and on May 14, the
State of Israel is declared, with David Ben-Gurion as its first prime minister.
Both the United States and
the USSR immediately recognize the new
state. In support of the Palestinian Arabs, however, neighboring Arab nations --
Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan,
Syria -- declare war on
Israel the next day. The Israelis
repel the Arab attack. The 1948 War, also known as the Israeli War of
Independence, ends in July 1949. Israel signs separate cease-fire agreements with
Transjordan, Syria, and Egypt and now
controls about 70 percent of what had been Mandatory Palestine.
Egypt holds the Gaza Strip,
Jordan annexes the West Bank,
and Syria retains the
complains to the newly formed UN Security Council, demanding that Soviet troops
withdraw. Soviet troops,
originally positioned in northern Iran in 1942 to prevent a possible
German move and to protect Iranian oil, intentionally ignore an agreement that
calls for the removal of all occupying forces by 1943. They stall as they debate
whether they can carve out of the oil-rich northern Iranian province of Azerbaijan an autonomous entity that would
be subject to their control. The Soviets ultimately leave after the
U.S. threatens military action. The
incident contributes to the start of the Cold War.
forces Egypt's King Faruq to appoint a
pro-British prime minister.
powers invade Iran and force Reza Shah Pahlevi into
exile. Iran had declared its
neutrality at the start of World War II, but Britain is upset at Iran's refusal
of Allied demands to expel all German nationals from the country.
(Germany had been
Iran's largest trading partner prior
to the war.) After Hitler's 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union, the Allies
desperately need to create a transportation route across Iran and into the Soviet Union, and on August 26,
Britain and the Soviet Union
simultaneously invade Iran. On September 16, with the
collapse of the resistance, Reza Shah Pahlevi abdicates the throne to his son,
Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlevi. Exiled to Mauritius and then to Johannesburg, South Africa, Reza Shah dies in July
Prime Minister Rashid Ali attempts a coup, which results in rebellion and an
invasion of British troops.
sentiment and an increasingly powerful urban nationalist movement come together
to spark Prime Minister Ali's 1941 coup attempt. The coup is ultimately
unsuccessful in ousting the monarchy, but the landing of British forces
completely divorces Iraq's monarchy from the nationalist
League of Nations issues a mandate to Britain to establish a national home for the
Jewish people in Palestine.
Ottoman-controlled territories in the Middle
East are assigned as mandates to Allied powers. At the post-World
War I San Remo Conference in Italy, former Ottoman-controlled
territories are allotted as "mandates" among the victorious Allies. Established
as part of the Treaty of Versailles, the mandate system entrusts
France with the task of governing the
territories until it is determined that they are ready for independence.
Syria and Lebanon are assigned to France, Palestine
and Iraq to
Britain. Transjordan is created from the Palestine Mandate in 1921.
the Balfour Declaration, the British promise to help create a national home for
the Jews in Palestine. Since the late
1800s, Zionists had wanted a Jewish state to be created in Palestine, part of the
Jews' holy land. Though the wording of the Balfour Declaration is vague, it
implies that Great
Britain will support the Zionists in
establishing such a state. "His Majesty's Government view with favor the
establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will
use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being
clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and
religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights
and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country." The Arabs perceive
the Balfour Declaration as an act of British dishonesty. They believe the
British had promised them to help with the establishment of a united Arab
country reaching from the Red Sea to the Persian
Gulf in return for their support during World War I.
divided into three zones, each one controlled by a different country.
protect their economic interests in the region, Russia and Great
Britain divide Persia into three zones.
Russia controls the northern
Britain the southern zone, and the Shah of Iran
controls the neutral middle zone.
troops take control of Egypt. After Egyptian
nationalist supporters rebel against Egypt's British-backed government, British troops
attack and occupy Alexandria before defeating opposition forces.
Britain is primarily
interested in protecting its investment in the Suez Canal, a crucial
communication and transportation link to British colonies in India.
French conquer and colonize Tunisia. Tunisia will not regain
independence until the 1950s.
maintains control over several independent emirates of the Persian Gulf.
conquers and colonizes Algeria.
Hosseinzadeh is an Iranian journalist living in United States.
... Payvand News - 10/12/07 ... --