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Culture & Religion

Interview Khamenei.ir: 1953 coup centerpiece for new imperialism

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The coup d’état of the 28th of Mordad in Iran remained the centerpiece for the new imperialism. It was only natural that the US embassy in Tehran became a "nest of spies", as it has been dubbed since then, ‘mission control center’ for all US espionage activity in the Muslim world.
The following is Mr. Walberg’s interview with the English section of Khamenei.ir.

What made the US orchestrate the coup d’état of the 28th of Mordad in Iran (August 19, 1953)?

It is important to follow the events in the region that the 1953 coup in Iran was part of. Imperialism has gone through three distinct stages since the term “Great Game” was coined in the nineteenth century to describe the rivalry between imperialist powers, in the first place, Russia and Britain. Imperial strategy was simpler then, but the basic elements were in place.

Britain sent spies disguised as surveyors and traders to Afghanistan and Turkestan and, several times, armies to keep the Russians at bay. The ill-fated Anglo-Afghan war of 1839–42 was precipitated by fears that the Russians were encroaching on British interests in India after Russia established a diplomatic and trade presence in Afghanistan. Already by the nineteenth century there was no such thing as neutral territory. The entire world was now a gigantic playing field for the major industrial powers, and Eurasia was the center of this playing field.

The coup in 1953 in Iran was a key move in what I refer to as Great Game II: the imperialist powers, now united in a Cold War against socialism and third world liberation, which went into high gear following WWII.
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Reality games but not reality shows

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Interview with Iranian weekly Panjereh*

These days we hear a lot of "Pokemon Go". What do you think about the effect of reality games within US and around the globe? What will be the future of these games which attract ten of millions? Do they reinforce or neglect which aspects of human life?


Video games have become the staple of children with the advent of the computer age. The Japanese are the most innovative. Along with Nintendo, the most popular is Pokémon (Pocket Monsters), first issued in 1996, where humans, known as Pokémon Trainers, catch and train their 'pocket monsters' to battle each other for sport.

The latest games, called virtual reality games, allow the player to surrender his/ her mind to a computer world of sight and sound, a magic black box on the head, where the mind can feel all kinds of physical effects -- flying, teleporting at will to other planets in a heightened, superhuman reality, like an angel or a god.
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Renouncing Jewishness: Shlomo Sand and Gilad Atzmon

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For years now, I've known there was something wrong when my well-meaning anti-Zionist Jewish friends found it necessary to join Jewish anti-Zionist groups opposing Israel. In the US, Jewish Voice for Peace, in Canada, Not in Our Name; in Britain, Jews Against Zionism -- every country has its group, usually more than one. "I am a Jewish witness against Israel," I would be told. Sounds good, even brave. Sand's latest deconstruction of Jewishness and Israel, How I Stopped Being a Jew (2014), makes it clear why my suspicions were well founded.

Barely 100 pages, it is a page-turner, a precis of his earlier more scholarly works, arguing that the romantic, heroic age of Jewish nationalism, as embodied in the creation of a Jewish state, is coming to an end. Israel will not disappear, but it is an anachronism, an embarrassment in the postmodern age. A reminder of the horrors of Nazism, but not as the Zionist crafters of the "holocaust industry", or "holocaust religion", would have it. The Zionist project is exposed by Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir and many more Jewish critics as reenacting the same policies of yesteryear. A flawed answer that is doomed, "an insidious form of racism". 

For the Israeli Sand, the Jewish "national" identity is a fraud (an Israeli identity is fine); the only viable Jewish identity is a religious one, and as a nonbeliever, he logically concludes,  "Cogito, ergo non sum."
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Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot: Afghanistan is FUBAR

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Afghanistan keeps dropping out of the headlines. Despite its endless bleeding, its “Enduring Freedom” torment, caused by America's anti-communist obsession, and perpetrated by its imperialist instinct for world control at all costs, it's just not interesting for the thrill-seeking msm, and is embarrassing to its lame-duck Nobel laureate president.


It doesn’t get much help from Hollywood, either. No Bob Hopes, who was once the bedrock of WWII-era United Service Organizations (USO), exhorting idealistic troops to fight a very real fascism, a genuine threat. He refashioned his skits to fit Vietnam, to exhort depressed, doped, reluctant troops to fight a nebulous communism that it turns out wasn't a threat at all.


Steve Colbert went to Iraq in 2008, though he was no fan of Bush II or the war, more out of pity for the thousands of young Americans marooned there. He had Obama order Commanding General Odierno to shave him bald, and joked about how the troops must love Iraq as they kept coming back, earning enough air miles for a free trip to Afghanistan.

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Killer Drugs: Sleep through your Waking Life

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A review of Nino Ricci Sleep (2015) and Richard Linklater Waking Life (2001)

Ricci's latest novel, Sleep, inspired by his own sleep disorder, is really more a fun text book on the latest brain research and the blind use of powerful drugs to alter--and possibly restructure (who knows?)--the brain. It's like a 'don't smoke' ad that's actually informative and hilarious, with a classic 'death of a salesman' plot moving it along.

The complexity of the brain and the perilousness of the chemical warfare we casually inflict on it is far greater than, say, sending a man around the moon or deploying star wars 'defense' systems. Imagine your brain: a ball the size of a large fist, crammed with billions of neurons, brain cells, a tiny Mission Control module, with dozens of centres, some highly specialized, some working in tandem with others, a fantastic electrical grid.

The more scientists reveal about the workings of the brain, the more questions arise. Enter profit-hungry pharmaceutical companies, developing ever new drugs, testing them as quickly as the lax laws allow, where concern for long term effects (there could be many, far reaching, varying among various brains) is cavalierly ignored.

Killer candy floss

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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