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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

“Either Death or Life!” – Protests, Strikes, Crackdown

Shopkeepers strike and retirees protests continueIslamic Republic...

Islamic Republic Regime and Propaganda

Propaganda is the camouflage and distribution of lies. In propaganda, one or more small and large lies are intertwined and decorated with some form and appearance of facts to make it difficult to identify their false identity.

Pretending something exists when it doesn’t and external existence of that thing is called a lie!

Propaganda is the camouflage and distribution of lies. In propaganda, one or more small and large lies are intertwined and decorated with some form and appearance of facts to make it difficult to identify their false identity. Propaganda’s power of influence is derived exactly from the way this false design is combined with non-porous elements as decor. Therefore, propaganda is never pure. Although always a great lie is at its core, propaganda is hybrid in its nature. For someone affected by propaganda, the false parts or that big lie hidden in the middle are not convincing, what fascinated him is the true elements decorating this hybrid design. Propaganda lies do not have magical powers, it is the decoration of reality that captures the minds of the fascinated.

Nothing is as dynamic and effective for propaganda as the ability to conceal the lies within itself.

That is why the Third Reich’s Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, acknowledges in a speech at the first annual “Reich Film Room” annual convention in 1937:

“[…] Propaganda will be ineffective as soon as one realizes it. But as long as it is covered by a tendency, a character or an approach behind the scenes and is only shown by humans, behaviors, trends and events, or by conclusions, then it will be influential in every way. “

Propaganda does not convince anyone but deceives. But all the charms of propaganda are derived from the same tools that others use to persuade: reasoning!

Totalitarian movements such as those that emerged in Germany in the twentieth century and what we see in Iran today do not use propaganda as a tool at all time/places or at all its historical stages.

What is certain is the need for propaganda and the high volume of its use in the period prior to confiscation and consolidation of power. When the totalitarian movement overcomes all the apparatus of government, then the need for propaganda and its use is reduced. In places and societies that totalitarianism reaches its full potential (Auschwitz or Evin and the Revolutionary Guards detention centers in the Islamic Republic), the propaganda has disappeared completely, and the “totalitarian truth” is the only remaining truth: horror! According to documents left of the Third Reich, the use of any kind of propaganda in concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Buchenwald was strictly forbidden at the behest of Heinrich Himmler.

If we see propaganda in totalitarian societies, it is not because the system is trying to convince those who have not yet been deceived. It does so by creating an atmosphere of terror and killing. Propaganda in these societies is used to prevent real-world encounters with the fantasy world of the fascinated population, in order to protect the “big lie”, the hidden core of propaganda.

In Islamic Republic prisons, where IRIB, Khamenei’s propaganda body, is filming IRGC documentaries, there is no place for implementing propaganda on prisoners in the middle of torture and rape. The totalitarian system has reached its perfection and is at home, producing a pure propaganda in the midst of the terror that forms the core of the system.

Where there is nothing but the totality of the system there is no propaganda. Whatever it is, it is all fear.

Hannah Arendt had well understood the relation between the extent of totalitarian system and propaganda:

“Propaganda always has an eye on an external existence. Now this external existence can be made up of non-totalitarian strata of people or non-totalitarian countries […] A totalitarian government is always trying to apply propaganda methods in its foreign policy or feed its active branches abroad with proper propaganda tricks.” [1]

This truth is clear today in the characteristics of the Islamic Republic’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Javad Zarif, and his collaboration with NIAC (National Iranian American Council), the active branch of the IR regime’s propaganda machine in the US.

Explaining why a “film” is propaganda’s dream media can’t fit in this short article, and there are many articles and works to study.

But what the headline of this article also points to is the inversion of a relationship. The relationship between film as a production and propaganda hybrid and Imaginary reality as reference. What the Third Reich, or in the early decades of the Islamic Republic, the propaganda machine produced were films that referred to a nonexistent reality. This relationship is now reversed in the IRGC Intelligence agents (anonymous soldiers) production system’s cogwheel.  A scenario is produced with the techniques we typically know from the world of cinema and film making. According to this scenario, components of a reality derived from the same scenario are implemented in the real world. Actually, based on a film a reality is made for a particular narrative. This is a new quality of deception. A quality that comes from the combination of indoctrination and propaganda. We have seen the latest example of this inversion in Qom and Mashhad over the past few days.

The regime spread this deadly disease in Iran and around the world due to its cover-up and lies, poor management and mistakes in controlling the Coronavirus , and was widely criticized in all media around the world. One of the criticisms was not quarantining the city of Qom, the epicenter of the disease and source of the spread to all over the country.

As always, the regime at first tried to make the lie a reality by talk: that everything is under control and that there is no need to quarantine the city, and basically quarantine was for WWI era,…Soon Qom evolved from a holy city to the city of catastrophe and disease. The regime was more and more unable to deal with the virus every day. The voices of criticism from the media and people became louder day after day. This is when they closed off the holy shrines to pilgrims in Qom and Mashhad. As the question in the public mind was why this had not been done earlier and who was responsible for this irresponsibility, the authorities began shifting the blame from one to another. The reality is that none of these actors on the public scene are responsible, and those responsible are not publicly available and would never be held accountable. At the same time, protesters gathered in front of the holy shrines’ closed doors in Mashhad and Qom simultaneously, protesting violently in the style that was previously seen by “unruly” and “fire-at-will” agents in other occasions. The scenario that was written and led to these events was: “The authorities (?) In the government wanted to quarantine the city of Qom and shut down the shrine, but they couldn’t overcome the extremist religious (?) groups.” There are two lies embedded within this scene. One is the demand of government agencies for Qom’s quarantine and the other a confrontation with these religious extremists. The result was that international media published this exact scenario after these events. They sat one of the men in front of the cameras the next day and forced him to repent. But as the cast of these events had to prove what was happening and to broadcast in the media, they had to record videos like protest clips some of them were identified. The rioters in front of the shrines were members of the Ansar, one of IRGC intelligence bases.

Another result of this upside-down propaganda was the reincarnation of the regime’s greatest and most effective lie throughout its 41 years of existence: the existence of something called “opposition, moderate, and reformist” versus “religious, radical, and fundamentalist (hardliner)” inside the totalitarian structure of the regime.

Translation of this article by Sahar.

[1] ِElemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft, Hannah Arendt

Arezou Saaberi
Arezou Saaberi
There comes a time in life when you have to choose whether to turn the page or to close the book!