Press TV has conducted an interview with Dr. Kevin Barrett, with the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance from Wisconsin, to share his thoughts on the West’s double standards on freedom of speech. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Dr. Barrett, you heard our guest there [talking about Intelsat “complying with sanctions against Iran”], your reaction.
Barrett: That was the most vague and nonsensical bunch of gibberish I have heard in a long time and I’ve been up against some pretty goofy people on this show before. “It is not a breach of freedom of speech” (he says) even though what we are talking about here is shutting down a major TV channel because somebody might be worried about being in breach of sanctions or something like this. This is ridiculous!
Let’s face the facts here, the office of asset control of the US Treasury Department was handed over to a bunch of hard-line neoconservative arch Zionist Likudnik radical Israeli partisans and those people have been given carte blanche by the US government for some ungodly reason to go after Iran in an all-out monetary war, and an ideological war. They are trying to shut down Iran’s economy.
They are also trying to shut down the free flow of ideas back and forth between the West and Iran. If they had nothing to fear from the ideas that are coming across on Press TV, al-Alam and the other Iranian channels, this wouldn’t be a problem.
So, it’s a case of egregious hypocrisy; these people endlessly blabber on about free speech and democracy.
Before the Iranian elections, they were claiming that Iran is not really a democracy, that the elections there are always stolen. And guess what, every media outlet that I read in the Western Zionist-controlled press said that there was absolutely no chance that the new president [elect Hassan] Rohani would win because “the hardliners are in absolute dictatorial control of Iran and there are no free elections in Iran,” and all this kind of nonsense.
They were proven wrong. The Reformist candidate was elected and one would think that this would lead to a rethinking of policy towards Iran and a willingness to engage in this exchange of ideas, which is exactly what President Rohani has called for in the debates leading up to the elections. President Rohani was calling for dialog and he was calling for a shift towards soft power.
In other words, he is not interested in militarily threatening anyone. He wants a war of ideas in which the better ideas will prevail. Obviously, the hardline Zionists in the West know very well that if there is a free flow of ideas, they will lose. And that is why they are shutting down the last bastion of free speech in major international networks.
Press TV: What about the laws…, if you want to talk about laws, we have other laws. You have the European Convention on Human rights, you have the US Constitution and you have Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that promotes media freedoms. Dr. Barrett, obviously that is not what the US government, through their office OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control), is going by.
Barrett: Well, of course not, and the reason I think is that the Iranian channels, in particular Press TV but I think al-Alam is doing the same thing in the Arab world, are having a big effect on public opinion. Because the fact is that the media in the West has become less and less free. We have less and less freedom of speech every year here in the West, and there has developed a robust alternative media on the Internet, which tells the truth about many of the most contentious and controversial issues, including the loss of freedom, including the really hardline, sort of red line issues that you are just not allowed to talk about – such as the coup d’état on September 11, 2001 and the domination of power here in the US by hardline pro-Israeli Zionists. These are things that nobody is allowed to talk about in polite company in the West or they will lose their careers, they will be targeted one way or another and in a few cases people even get killed.
So, in the face of this loss of freedom in the West and the reaction to it in the form of the development of alternative media, which is getting out there presenting a wide spectrum of viewpoints including those that are much more accurate than anything mainstream will ever tell you. Those people (in Iran’s international media) have started to get more and more professional. It is quite wonderful that they have a policy to provide better English language information in a high production value format than anything you can find in the West.
This is a threat (to the powers that be). If you try to start something like Press TV here in the US, you will be squashed. The powers that be will find a way to stop you and shut you down – or buy you out, which is what they mostly do. But, then Iran is not for sale, so Press TV is going to keep providing this outlet to American intellectuals and dissidents who are shut out from the mainstream media in the West. And it is going to keep presenting a broader spectrum of opinion (than the mainstream) including these accurate views on extremely controversial issues.
This is a tremendous threat to certain aspects of the powers that be; particularly these hard line Zionists and particularly people who are trying to keep the US throwing billions of dollars in the direction of Israel.
The truth about September 2011 is of course a tremendous weapon in this struggle against the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Press TV has been open to this as have a few other international outlets and the alternative media here in the West.
This is such a threat that they are using their assets to try to shut it down.
Press TV: Dr. Barrett, go ahead [and comment on our other guest’s comments on the West’s point of view on Iranian policies and their reasons for blocking Iranian TV channels – namely, that Iran supposedly wants to “wipe Israel off the map,” and that it is building nuclear weapons to do so.]
Barrett: What we have just heard are these Zionist talking points. They are designed to brainwash the lowest common denominator in public opinion. This is the sort of thing they repeat endlessly on the Hannity and O’Reilly shows over at Fox News (a US news network) because they think their audience is stupid enough to believe it.
But, the fact is that Iran is in full compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty – unlike Israel, which is an outlaw rogue nation that has torn up that treaty and burned it and built 400 nuclear weapons, with which it is threatening every capital in the Middle East.
Iran’s official policy, as dictated by its Supreme Leader, is to absolutely under no circumstances ever build a nuclear weapon because that is haram, that is forbidden. And there is not a shred of evidence that Iran is working on a nuclear weapon as the CIA has certified repeatedly just most recently, a year and a half – two years ago.
So, as far as wiping Israel off the map, I am sure Richard [Millet] (the guest in London) knows that he is lying. That that was a quote from the Ayatollah Khomeini that was repeated by the recent ex-President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad and that quote is simply calling for regime change in occupied Jerusalem.
It said that the regime that is occupying Jerusalem should vanish from the pages of time, it didn’t say anything about wiping anybody off the map and certainly not militarily. It wasn’t talking about military regime change; it was talking about changing this genocidal regime that is killing and expelling and ethnically cleansing the indigenous people of Palestine, and has been doing so for more than the last half-century.
That regime does need to change just like the apartheid regime in South Africa needed to change.
Everyone in the Middle East agrees with this. Try, Richard, to find me one Middle Easterner outside of the hardline Jews of Israel who doesn’t agree with that quote from Ayatollah Khomeini.
So, there is no wiping off the map, there is no nuclear weapon issue; everybody knows this, these are talking points for idiots.
The real issue is that Iran is using its soft power, like these TV channels, to get the truth out to the people of the West and the Zionists are mortally threatened by the truth and they have to kill the messenger.
Press TV: Dr. Barrett, before this program ends, I would like to get your explanation about why the US right before Iran’s successful, over 70 percent turnout, 11th presidential election had sanctions removed on telecommunications.
What’s interesting is that the US says that people should be able to communicate and access information without being subjected to reprisals by the government and they said to help facilitate the free flow of information in Iran. So, they removed sanctions on that, but then they ban Iranian channels including Press TV. That’s ironic isn’t it?
Barrett: Well it sure is. What they are saying is that we are going to pick up this megaphone and yell in your ear, but we are going to put earplugs in our ears and we are not going to listen to you and we are not going to allow you to speak, and if you try to speak we are going to put a gag over your mouth. That’s what this opening after the election amounts to.
It is really sad because one would have thought that the election of a reformist president, which everyone in the West was saying was completely impossible because Iran wasn’t a democracy – and we know that that is not true; Iran has actually hand counted paper ballots unlike the US. Iran is probably more democratic in terms of its honesty of its elections than the US is – and one would expect that after such an election the West would want to hear what kind of viewpoints are coming out of Iran in order to have a frank dialog and resolve all of these outstanding issues. But, there are forces here in the West that don’t want a dialog. (Those forces are) led by the hardline Likudnik Zionists of Israel, who have a real problem with the ideas that are coming out of Iran and the ideas that are coming out of the rest of the Middle East, but are suppressed by puppet governments. And they just don’t want to allow those ideas to be heard in the West.