One of the things about the Truth movement that confounds me the most is how many of it’s members have taken a liking to PressTV. High-profile ‘truthers’ like Webster Tarpley, Alfred Webre, and wingnuts like Professor Anthony Hall & Joshua Blakeney have all had multiple appearances on PressTV. Considering PressTV is the propaganda wing of the Iranian government, how could people who claim to support truth even consider associating with them?
First, let me make it very clear that I am not one who supports the Neocon call to attack Iran. I’m against war for all reasons, and would never support a pre-emptive bombing of any country. Also, I think it would be insane to start a war with Iran at this point in history- we can’t even keep Iraq and Afghanistan under control, it would be suicidal to start another war.
PressTV seems to have gained a lot of support amongst truthers because the station backs their assumptions that 9/11 was an inside job. Consequently, as PressTV promotes their theories, and gives them airtime, truthers have embraced the channel in a way I’ve not seen of any other news organization. But, is this sensible for people who claim to support the truth? Because, the truth is, that PressTV is as much about propaganda as any other channel on TV.
Beyond their propaganda, there are a number of reasons people shouldn’t be supporting the Iranian state. In fact, many of the things that the Iranians support are hardly congruent with the human rights values of most truthers. Here are a few to consider:
1. Death Penalty
Iran supports the death penalty. And, not only for capital crimes like murder, but for lesser crimes like alcohol consumption, sodomy, drug trafficking and adultery. So, for example, truther heroes like Rick Simpson would be put to death. And, their death penalty isn’t at all humanitarian, they use methods like hanging, and public stoning.
2. Reproductive Rights
Iran liberalized abortion laws in 2005, but only in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, or where the baby has a birth defect. But, otherwise, women in Iran do not have the right to an abortion.
3. Women’s Rights
In Iran, if women expose any part of their body other than their hands or face they are subject to 70 lashes and/or 60 days in jail. Outside of a special prenuptual contract (which most men will not sign) Iranian women are not allowed to ask for divorce, but men are allowed unconditional divorce. Men are also allowed to take a second wife, even if the first wife doesn’t want it. Basically, women are almost treated as possessions in Iran.
4. Gay Rights
Iran’s President Ahmadinejad is famous for making many crazy comments- but, one of his most outrageous ones was that gays don’t exist in Iran. Homosexuality is a crime in Iran- punishable by imprisonment, corporal punishment, and even execution. Is this the world that truthers want to see in their future?
This last issue kind of rounds all of the above issues into one. Iran is not a democracy, it is a theocracy- meaning, all decisions of the state are based on religious principles. Considering how many people in the Truth movement have strongly negative feelings about religion- isn’t it a bit hypocritical to see them partnering with a theocratic state organization?
Considering that PressTV is owned by the same government that supports these policies, and that it was created as a propaganda tool, it truly astounds me that truth activists could even consider supporting them. People need to re-think who they are working with and drop supporting this channel. Regardless of the old adage about “the enemy of my enemy”, it is unacceptable to promote any government that oppresses its people like this…