This performance speaks for itself. The barrage of lies is as expected.
This performance speaks for itself. The barrage of lies is as expected.
Provocateurs are undercover agents who initiate violence to blame it on a particular group. In this case the provocateurs appear to be working directly for the Ukrainian police, but are dressed to appear like “pro-Russian” protesters.
These provocateurs shot bullets at a pro-Kiev football crowd, and this led to the complete anarchy and mass murder at the union hall.
“One of the identified coordinators was deputy chief of the Odessa Interior ministry branch Colonel Dmitry Fucheji.”
Russian news coverage:
Bonus hypocrisy from the US State Dept. itself:
“We urge Ukraine’s leaders to respect their people’s right to freedom of expression and assembly…
We call on the Government of Ukraine to foster a positive environment for civil society…
and to protect the rights of all Ukrainians to express their views on their country’s future in a constructive and peaceful manner
in [Kiev] and in other parts of the country.
Violence and intimidation should have no place in today’s Ukraine.””
Violence and intimidation of protesters holds a near and dear place in the United States itself though. Are memories that short over at the State Department?
Much concern for the Ukrainian protesters — a large chunk of whom are neonazis, apparently, and many others are “color revolution” stooges of western imperial meddling, in other words: On The Payroll. This is the same old story, and the US media is always complicit in selling Uncle Sam’s self-interested tall tales to the rubes.
What a loathsome piece of shit. Thankfully Glenn Greenwald sets Maher and his bigotry straight. Bill Maher is as ugly as Hannity and Limbaugh, and just as dangerous when he misleads his section of the viewing audience.
After an uncharacteristically swift (and passionate) response to the bad Lone Ranger reviews I posted here yesterday, I figured I’d look a little more into this masked man and his crow-accessorized companion.
Some critics are calling it genuinely subversive, misunderstood and other sorts of praises.
“This will not likely come as a shock to anyone, but lest there was any doubt, yes, it adds fantasy elements and makes many of the major characters insane, while not being remotely accurate to real history. What may surprise you is that there is a legitimate in-story reason for this, one that also accounts for its mood-swings, tonal shifts, and occasional plot holes that the story quite deliberately calls your attention to.”
With the Tomatometer in freefall at 23% and with audiences at 68%, quite the split, we have something to think about here.
I’m inclined to listen to what Native Americans think of it before taking the word of middle aged white guys.
“It’s 2.5 hours of a film with an identity crisis, not knowing if it’s supposed to be funny, campy, dramatic, “authentic,” or what. At points it was very hard to separate the stereotypical and hurtful from the bad script, bad editing, and bad character development of the movie itself.”
Apparently its defenders are pulling a Pee Wee Herman:
Disbelieve the government when we tell you to.
Believe the government when we tell you to.
You are not qualified to think.
Will have more on this in the coming days. Another anti-Iran exercise, as Israel and the US push for war against Iran, as they have done for over a decade. Imperial court jester Stewart apparently finds something funny about further demonizing the Iranians, and has bought the rights to this:
“Stewart has adapted [Maziar] Bahari’s 2011 book “Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival,” a fascinating and suspenseful true story about the journalist’s 2009 arrest during the Iranian election protests, which led to him spending 118 days in jail.
I caught several problems with Bahari’s Daily Show interview, which I’ll comment on shortly.
Stewart evidently couldn’t find any stories in the United States itself worthy of his directorial debut.
With quite a bit of luck compiling all the Zero Dark Thirty files into one place, I thought I’d do the same here for Argo, the 2013 alleged “Best Picture” according the the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (Is there any kind of actual academy, or is it more of an elite club, btw?)
The problems with Argo are of two main strands:
by Nima Shirazi
One year ago, after his breathtakingly beautiful Iranian drama, “A Separation,” won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, writer/director Asghar Farhadi delivered the best acceptance speech of the night.
“[A]t the time when talk of war, intimidation, and aggression is exchanged between politicians,” he said, Iran was finally being honored for “her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics.” Farhadi dedicated the Oscar “to the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”
Such grace and eloquence will surely not be on display this Sunday, when Ben Affleck, flanked by his co-producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov, takes home the evening’s top prize, the Best Picture Oscar, for his critically-acclaimed and heavily decorated paean to the CIA and American innocence, “Argo.”
Over the past 12 months, rarely a week – let alone month – went by without new predictions of an ever-imminent Iranian nuclear weapon and ever-looming threats of an American or Israeli military attack. Come October 2012, into the fray marched “Argo,” a decontextualized, ahistorical “true story” of Orientalist proportion, subjecting audiences to two hours of American victimization and bearded barbarians, culminating in popped champagne corks and rippling stars-and-stripes celebrating our heroism and triumph and their frustration and defeat. Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir aptly described the film as “a propaganda fable,” explaining as others have that essentially none of its edge-of-your-seat thrills or most memorable moments ever happened. O’Hehir sums up:
The Americans never resisted the idea of playing a film crew, which is the source of much agitation in the movie. (In fact, the “house guests” chose that cover story themselves, from a group of three options the CIA had prepared.) They were not almost lynched by a mob of crazy Iranians in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, because they never went there. There was no last-minute cancellation, and then un-cancellation, of the group’s tickets by the Carter administration. (The wife of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor had personally gone to the airport and purchased tickets ahead of time, for three different outbound flights.) The group underwent no interrogation at the airport about their imaginary movie, nor were they detained at the gate while a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard telephoned their phony office back in Burbank. There was no last-second chase on the runway of Mehrabad Airport, with wild-eyed, bearded militants with Kalashnikovs trying to shoot out the tires of a Swissair jet.
One of the actual diplomats, Mark Lijek, noted that the CIA’s fake movie “cover story was never tested and in some ways proved irrelevant to the escape.” The departure of the six Americans from Tehran was actually mundane and uneventful. “If asked, we were going to say we were leaving Iran to return when it was safer,” Lijek recalled, “But no one ever asked!…The truth is the immigration officers barely looked at us and we were processed out in the regular way. We got on the flight to Zurich and then we were taken to the US ambassador’s residence in Berne. It was that straightforward.”
Furthermore, Jimmy Carter has even acknowledged that “90% of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian [while] the movie gives almost full credit to the American CIA…Ben Affleck’s character in the film was only in Tehran a day and a half and the real hero in my opinion was Ken Taylor, who was the Canadian ambassador who orchestrated the entire process.”
Taylor himself recently remarked that “Argo” provides a myopic representation of both Iranians and their revolution, ignoring their “more hospitable side and an intent that they were looking for some degree of justice and hope and that it all wasn’t just a violent demonstration for nothing.”
“The amusing side, Taylor said, “is the script writer in Hollywood had no idea what he’s talking about.”
O’Hehir perfectly articulates the film’s true crime, its deliberate exploitation of “its basis in history and its mode of detailed realism to create something that is entirely mythological.” Not only is it “a trite cavalcade of action-movie clichés and expository dialogue,” but “[i]t’s also a propaganda movie in the truest sense, one that claims to be innocent of all ideology.”
Such an assessment is confirmed by Ben Affleck’s own comments about the film. In describing “Argo” to Bill O’Reilly, Affleck boasted, “You know, it was such a great story. For one thing, it’s a thriller. It’s actually comedy with the Hollywood satire. It’s a complicated CIA movie, it’s a political movie. And it’s all true.” He told Rolling Stone that, when conceiving his directorial approach, he knew he “absolutely had to preserve the central integrity and truth of the story.”
“It’s OK to embellish, it’s OK to compress, as long as you don’t fundamentally change the nature of the story and of what happened,” Affleck has remarked, even going so far as to tell reporters at Argo’s BFI London Film Festival premier, “This movie is about this story that took place, and it’s true, and I go to pains to contextualize it and to try to be even-handed in a way that just means we’re taking a cold, hard look at the facts.”
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Affleck went so far as to say, “I tried to make a movie that is absolutely just factual. And that’s another reason why I tried to be as true to the story as possible — because I didn’t want it to be used by either side. I didn’t want it to be politicized internationally or domestically in a partisan way. I just wanted to tell a story that was about the facts as I understood them.”
For Affleck, these facts apparently don’t include understanding why the American Embassy in Tehran was overrun and occupied on November 4, 1979. “There was no rhyme or reason to this action,” Affleck has insisted, claiming that the takeover “wasn’t about us,” that is, the American government (despite the fact that his own film is introduced by a fleeting – though frequently inaccurate1 – review of American complicity in the Shah’s dictatorship).
Wrong, Ben. One reason was the fear of another CIA-engineered coup d’etat like the one perpetrated in 1953 from the very same Embassy. Another reason was the admission of the deposed Shah into the United States for medical treatment and asylum rather than extradition to Iran to face charge and trial for his quarter century of crimes against the Iranian people, bankrolled and supported by the U.S. government. One doesn’t have to agree with the reasons, of course, but they certainly existed.