It’s Iran now

Some Americans, too many I’m afraid, open up their newspapers or turn on the 6 o’clock news to find out what country or foreign leader our government wants us to be angry at, quickly followed the blitz of the media

Today and for sometime it has been Iran, the latest in a long list to include Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Cuba. There was even France for a little while over their opposition to our invasion of Iraq. Remember that?

I don’t know who won that Iranian election. But then I don’t know who won the U.S. election in 2000 either. Remember Bush-Gore?

What I do know is that Iran has been on our hit list ever since the Iranian people overthrew our oil “buddy,” Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, otherwise known as the Shah of Iran, 30 years ago.

The Shah wasn’t the “buddy” of his people. He was the “hated one” for his dictatorial, heavy-handed, no-nonsense oppression of any kind of dissent. Elections? Think again.

But articles critical of “our man in Iran” were few and far between. Instead we were fed features of him and his beautiful wife skiing in Switzerland or attending a state function with one of our presidents. You can look up the handsome picture of JFK and Jackie along side the Shah and his lovely. You can be sure many Iranian people remember it.

Likewise, articles of our other long-standing “buddy” in the Middle East for 27 years to the tune of two billion dollars annually, Mousani Bubarak’s dictatorial regime in Egypt, are few and far between.

Oh, and our other client state over there, Israel, recently bombed Syria without provocation. Ho-hum. No big deal in the press.

So read your papers, watch the nightly news, and let’s get Iran!

Lawrence H. Geller
Philadelphia PA

I have read many conflicting accounts from different progressive sources on many aspects of the Iranian election. The sources are saying different things about whether or not the election results are accurate, the class composition of the protesters and the relationship between the protesters and U.S. imperialism. I am very confused.

Sean Mulligan
Via e-mail

Editor’s note: We hope the background briefing by the Tudeh Party on page 5 of this week’s issue helps clear the confusion. Many other articles with working-class, solidarity analyses are on

President Obama is being criticized for not more forcefully supporting the Iranian people who were probably in the majority in choosing Mousavi as president to oust Ahmadinejad from office. Though Obama sympathizes with the people who voted for Mousavi, he has decided on a policy of non-intervention and permitting Iran as a sovereign nation to determine its own internal affairs.

Since when have Obama’s Republican opponents ever cared about or championed the Iranian people? When the Republicans were in power under President Eisenhower, Iranian democracy meant nothing as Mossadegh was overthrown by the CIA.

When Jimmy Carter was president, the Republicans and Reaganites criticized Carter for not supporting the government of the Shah along with the Iranian secret police, Savak, who terrorized opponents of the Shah. Carter was accused of sympathizing with the people who were revolting in the streets of Teheran against the Shah.

The Republicans can currently have their anti-Obama, pro-Mousavi policy if they want, but also ought to admit their inconsistency, blatant hypocrisy and outright political nonsense.

Raymond Daugerdas
Pittsburgh PA

No to furloughs

California State University (CSU) is facing a $583.8 million dollar budget cut for the 2009-10 fiscal year. CSU faculty are being asked to take 10 percent less pay by accepting two days of furloughs per month for 2009-10. Justification for this request is to protect 3,700 full time equivalent lecturer positions (9,000 instructors) from lay-off. CSU faculty, like state workers, is being asked to bail out the state by accepting less pay because of massive budget deficits. Giving concessions undermines the wages for working people across the board. It also means protecting the incomes of the rich and most powerful corporations in California.

The budget crisis in California has been artificially created by cutting taxes on the wealthiest people and corporations.

Tax cuts enacted in California since 1993 cost the state $11.3 billion dollars annually. Had the state continue taxing corporations and the wealthy at rates from fifteen years ago we would not have a budget crisis today. Even though a budget crisis was evident last year, in February California income tax laws were changed to provide corporations with even greater tax savings equal to over $2 billion per year.

Half of all state revenue comes from personal income taxes paid by working people, and another third comes from sales and use taxes. Corporations only pay for about 1/10 of the state budget. The rest of us are bailing out the rich by accepting massive budget cuts at a time when less spending will only exasperate the economic situation.

Unions and working people need to say no to massive state budget cuts, and fight for every service and job possible. We must say no to voluntary furloughs and push for new taxes on the wealthy and largest corporations. CSU professors should be the leaders for working people in the State. We must stand firm on no concessions, no furloughs and no cuts in classes for our students.

Peter Phillips
Via e-mail
Peter Phillips is professor of sociology at Sonoma State University.

Right wing deprogrammer

I am a very staunch liberal (on most issues). Although I’ve been referred to by my ignorant conservative friends as a “commie,” I am not. Ever since I saw my first of only two communist newspapers that actually stated that they wanted to control my whole life, I was stunned and turned off.

However I would choose communism over right wing, racist, unfettered, protect the rich capitalism any day. I truly hate them.

With what little money I had (I’m a musician) I developed a product in 2008 as my patriotic duty. I’ve had some success but I could really use new outlets. Please check my website: and let me know what you think. I do believe that you are closer to Christ’s teachings than anyone else.

Jim Donnelly
Via e-mail

Apology is right

The U.S. Senate did the right thing by passing a resolution apologizing for slavery and “Jim Crow” laws. The House of Representatives passed a similar resolution last year. The Supreme Court should issue an apology as well. Slavery should never have been constitutional in the first place.

Chuck Mann
Greensboro NC

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