The word of the day is…

by Mark Doran


If there’s one thing that the West’s state-corporate media loves to report, it’s public protest in a non-compliant country — people demonstrating against some government that has refused to roll over in the face of US aggression and greed.
If you’re in the habit of examining these media reports, you’ll often find that there’s a particular word which gets used a lot.
Here are a few highly topical examples; see if you can work out which word it is…

Iranians protesting the country’s strained economy gathered in Tehran and another major city on Friday, for the second day of spontaneous, unsanctioned demonstrations […] (US, Associated Press, via Washington Post, 29 Dec 2017)

A wave of spontaneous protests over Iran’s weak economy swept into Tehran on Saturday, with college students and others chanting against the government… (UK, Associated Press, via Mail Online, 30 Dec 2017)

Unauthorized, spontaneous protests engulfed Iran’s major cities for a third straight day on Saturday as what started out as demonstrations over rising prices seem to have taken a decidedly anti-government tone. (Slate.com, 30 Dec 2017)

Pro-government Iranians rallied in Tehran Saturday following spontaneous angry protests in the capital and other major cities. (US, Fox News with Associated Press, 30 Dec 2017)

A relatively small protest on Thursday in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city . . . unexpectedly gave impetus to a wave of spontaneous protests spreading across provinces. (UK, Guardian, 31 Dec 2017)

Protests seem to be spontaneous and lack a clear leader. (Australia, ABC Radio Australia, 1 Jan 2018)

Yes: the Word of the Day is spontaneous.
As far as our state-corporate media and its ubiquitous anti-journalism are concerned, this is one of the most fascinating adjectives we see. Let’s take a moment to examine its use…
For a start, how would anyone really know — and so quickly, too! — that these foreign protests, these far-away demonstrations were all ‘spontaneous’? Are thousands of protestors across Iran currently in touch with hundreds of Western journalists — and constantly insisting on the utter spontaneity of everything they do?
No, they aren’t. And even if they were, why would anyone with any sense believe they were telling the truth?
The reality is, of course, that ‘spontaneous’ is a propaganda word, purely manipulative. It’s there to achieve three different but related aims — every one of which serves the imperialist agendas of the Western elites.

see full article here


Filed under: Essays, Iran, latest
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
vexarb
Reader

Have a look also at:
Prof. Tim Anderson
https://twitter.com/timand2037
Marwa Osman
https://twitter.com/Osman_Marwa1

vexarb
Reader

Non-corporate news version of what’s going on in Iran with frequent updates: https://twitter.com/SayedMousavi7/status/948331426809708544

Alan
Reader
Alan

It isn’t a question of protests, I just don’t believe the messengers.

mohandeer
Reader

“…..Both the liberals and the hardliners, as well as the rest of the world, were taken by surprise when the manifestations spread to various cities just before the new year 2018. Actually, thousands of Iranians hit the streets a couple of days before the 9 Day, a manifestation organised yearly to reaffirm allegiance to the Islamic Republic and its religious leadership, and mainly against the reformists Mir Hussein Mussavi and Mahdi Karrubi’s Green Movement (still under house arrest since then)….. …..However, the nuclear deal that President Rohani relied on to secure positive results and went through an extra stretch to… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

The reason that the nuclear deal with Iran did not produce results is that the US Treasury has kept sanctions on Iran, and, in typical thuggish fashion, has threatened any other country that seeks to trade with or invest in Iran. At present the US Treasury section dealing in sanctions and economic war is run by a Zionist Jew, the third such to hold the position in succession. Surely just a coincidence, of course.

mohandeer
Reader
Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum
vexarb
Reader

WSWS are Trotskyist scum. For a more polite version of the same opinion in a couple of thousand friendly words read article by Iranian socialist Ramin Mazaheri in today’s Saker Vineyard.

vexarb
Reader

Another polite reply from Ramin Mazaheri to the Trotskyist WSWS reply to his first reply to their ZioCapitalist inspired attack on the socialist republic of Iran.
https://thesaker.is/iran-protests-reply-to-the-wsws-response-to-my-critique/

flaxgirl
Reader

Apparently, pro-government protests in Iran outnumber anti-government.

Here is another video questioning authenticity and talking about Trey Gowdy Benghazi coverup.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Most of the sensible commentary I’ve read leads me to believe that the current wave of protests are genuinely anti-austerity and pro-civil rights …which means they may well be “spontaneous ” in nature? The point that Mark is aiming at (in the full article) – that the word is a propaganda diversion from the orchestration and implementation of a Western backed coup – would seem far fetched at the moment. Apart from a bit of astroturfing about the fringes, the coup is a wishful thinking media construction. This is not 1953. The days when Kermit Roosevelt could fly to Tehran… Read more »

Catte
Reader
Catte

Well, there’s having some grassroots basis and there’s “spontaneous”. How do you have a truly spontaneous protest rally? If it’s going to be anything more than a few random people shouting and throwing stones there needs to be some level of organisation. Even genuine grassroots protests are rarely completely “spontaneous” – and that is why it’s a propaganda word.

Big B
Reader
Big B

Catte: according to Alexander Mercouris … “[…] the single factor which almost certainly set the scene for the protests is that this is a time of the year when large numbers of Iranians are likely to be on the streets anyway. The day which in the Western calendar is 30th December is the day when conservative supporters of the Iranian government annually mobilise in their millions to commemorate a large demonstration staged on 30th December 2009 in response to the so-called ‘Green Revolution’ protests which took place in Iran in 2009.” … which seems perfectly reasonable to me. As opposed… Read more »

Catte
Reader
Catte

Let’s no get bogged down here. The point is the word is used to convey approval and withheld to convey disapproval, rather than to define anything actual.

Jen
Reader
Jen

Actually it’s precisely because several demonstrations have suddenly appeared at the same time in different cities and towns around the country – and mirroring demonstrations in other countries in the same region (Dar’aa in Syria in 2011, Kiev in Ukraine in 2014, Yerevan in Armenia in 2015) that begin as small protests against higher food prices or economic austerity programs and which then are taken over by a second wave of protests calling for the removal of the government, accompanied by attacks on police and acts of arson against public buildings – that the suspicion that these demonstrations are being… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

Jen: I respect MoA as being very session informed. 20-50 people agitating around the fringes of what seem to be genuine protests …do not make a coup. That’s what I referred to as astroturfing above. If it is an external attempt at fomenting wider unrest – it will likely fa

Jen
Reader
Jen

Reading Alex Mercouris’ second article on the Iranian protests over at The Duran, I see you are right in stating that the initial protests were anti-austerity: they were against the Rouhani government’s recently released budget which proposed cutting back on subsidies in order to fund major infrastructure projects, and not simply against a one-off rise in the prices of staple items. That partly explains why the protests first broke out in cities and towns in areas far from the capital Tehran (where no protests have been reported) and in Mashhad, a politically and socially conservative city (it’s a place of… Read more »

Big B
Reader
Big B

[…] it will more than likely fail, as MoA attests. Now as a long term strategy, as MoA outlines in his second article …of tightening sanctions and restrictions – that makes perfect sense. But we are years, if not decades away from interventionism. And should that ever occur; demoralised US imperial forces against (pro or anti government) motivated nationalist Iranians? I know who I’d back.
[Not sure where the word “session” came from – keyboard interventionism??? LOL!]

flaxgirl
Reader

When I was growing up and there was a coup, especially in a country with a democratically-elected leader, my father would say, “It was the CIA,” in a tone suggesting that, of course it was the CIA and anyone who thought otherwise would have to be a moron. I have no idea how he knew back in pre-internet days and without seeming access to any special media sources – perhaps he simply knew how to interpret the propaganda.

bevin
Reader
bevin

“The next time residents of Durham County, North Carolina, feel the itch to spontaneously express political feelings on public grounds, they’d better hope somebody had the foresight to ask permission two days earlier. “The Durham County Commission opened the new year with a proposal to require 48 hours’ notice before any demonstration on County-owned land. “In order to ensure the safety of all involved in and near demonstrations on County grounds prior notification is required if the group will be 50 or more individuals or has the potential of 50 or more individuals,” the rules before the commission on Tuesday… Read more »

Admin
Reader

Good ol NC – ever in the vanguard of freedom and progress

Eric Blair
Reader

Some commentators in Iran and Iranians with contacts there are saying these protests were organized by religious fanatics who think Ay. Khamenei and President Rouhani are too moderate. If this is true, how ironic that the Western media and that moron Trump are falling all over themselves praising them as friends of the west who want democracy.

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Very hard to tell but since I read English my sense is that the prevailing winds continue to discolour Iran in the interests of the US and Israel. You must have missed the previous article pointing out that of the 7 countries listed by the US for regime change, 6 have had their medicine and Iran remains. And yet you think they are being fawned over? Really?

Eric Blair
Reader

The sense I get is that the west is attempting to construct a “narrative” around these protests to justify its regime change plans for Iran. (I am well aware of Clarke’s list.) Is that what you mean by “fawning” or is reading comprehension an issue for you?

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

You did not say that in your first post nor to me, implied it. The gratuitous comment about my reading comprehension suggests you are not on this thread for wholesome reasons.

Eric Blair
Reader

I’m here to share my perspectives and potentially interesting snippets I’ve picked up pertaining to current geopolitical issues to and to read what other posters are sharing. Wholesome, or not, I suspect most people who post here do so for similar reasons. My comment was a response to your snarky misreading of my original post. I mentioned what some Iranians are saying about the protests (that they began as demonstrations by conservative Shia Muslims against the current Iranian government which they supposedly find too moderate). I went on to say that if this is true (note the “IF” part) it… Read more »

klarity
Reader
klarity

Not to be snarky, but the championing of conservative Muslims as allies in US regime plans is a long held tactic, which has been nurtured and cultivated since the days of resistance to the Soviets in Afghanistan.

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Is that the way you reply to people who you think (correctly) are on the same page? There was no snarky intent but apologies if you felt it was.

marley engvall
Reader

n – a – n – o – t – h – e – r – m – i – t – e
https://benthamopen.com/contents/pdf/TOCPJ/TOCPJ-2-7.pdf

Admin
Reader

we have that article hosted here already, but it has nothing to do with the subject under discussion here. Please visit the 9/11 threads if you want to discuss nanothermite

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

So true! Also fascinating and most revealing is the urgent news massages from corrupted papers like the Guardian. Today’s gem was to let the world know that a “book” , being flogged by the Guardian , had let It’s readers in on the scoop ( with the Guardian’s help) that Rupert Murdoch had called Trump an idiot. Ooweee. This was so important it flashed up on my screen as an isolated item, eclipsing all other news items. How the flighty have fallen. Well shiver me timbers! How could the world possibly have continued! The Guardian hates Murdoch so it is… Read more »