United4Iran: Financial and Corporate Interests Mobilize the Left
By Stephen Gowans
United4Iran, which describes itself as “a non-partisan collaborative of individuals and human rights organizations” whose “aim is to support the Iranian people’s human rights,” has organized a Global Day of Action for July 25.
People are invited to “join this unprecedented wave of global citizen activism in solidarity with the people of Iran,” to be held in more than 105 cities around the world.”
United4Iran is sponsored by a number of organizations that receive funding from philanthropic foundations dominated by corporate interests and by the US National Endowment for Democracy, an organization established by the US government to do overtly what the CIA used to do covertly (i.e., funnel money to groups and organization working, often unknowingly, toward US foreign policy goals.)
A global day of action in 105 cities requires organizing and publicity that depends critically on generous funding — funding which corporations, wealthy individuals and the governments they dominate are all too happy to provide if it serves their interests.
While there will be a global day of action on behalf of the people of Iran, it’s a pretty good bet that none of the following are in the works: large-scale, global actions to show solidarity with the people of Honduras, or of Kyrgyzstan, where the incumbent president, who has been accused of political repression, was re-elected amid charges of fraud, or of Saudi Arabia, despite Amnesty International, one of the sponsors of this week-end’s action, accusing the Saudi authorities of using torture to extract confessions and of using their powerful international clout to get away with it.
The Honduras coup is tacitly supported by Washington; Kyrgyzstan is home to an important US military base; and Saudi Arabia is an oil rich country that works cooperatively with US oil companies and military interests.
There are dozens of countries whose people we ought to be showing solidarity with, but predictably, it is only countries that are on Uncle Sam’s regime change hit list that merit generously funded actions.
Indeed, the only global day of action sponsored by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Reporters without Borders, and any other organization which receives funding from Western governments and corporate philanthropic foundations, will be those aimed at countries that are charting an independent course and offer too few investment and export opportunities to Wall Street and corporate America.
If and when these same countries are brought under US domination, all funding for demonstrations of solidarity with the people of these countries will dry up, along with concern for their plight. Indeed, no one will have the slightest clue as to the welfare of the people they once showed such keen solidarity with.
No matter; the attention of those who zealously show their solidarity with the people of Iran (which people? the peasants and working class who supported Ahmadinejad, or the affluent, who were educated in tony universities in the West, who supported Mousavi?) will soon enough focus their attention on the people of another US State Department target country, and new global days of actions will be held, to pave the way for the overthrow, through destabilization, color revolution or military intervention, of that country’s government.
And so it goes. The media, dominated by corporate and financial interests, and the corporate philanthropists who fund left and human rights groups, set the agenda which the left, with no sophisticated understanding of who wields power and how and to what end, blindly follows. Imperialism is so much easier when the one sector that ought to be against it, can so readily be manipulated into acting on its behalf.