Iran: US military provocations; the Threat of War Becomes Tangible


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TITLE: Iran: US military provocations; the Threat of War Becomes Tangible


A new unprovoked military move by the US and its imperialist allies against Iran has escalated tension in the region and has rought us much closer the possibility of war than ever before.

A US armada of military ships and submarines has recently entered the Persian Gulf with the clear intent to disrupt the present global and regional military and diplomatic equilibrium 1; the dynamic was already very unsteady – and this move is obviously NOT a step towardS Peace. The insertion of these tremendous military forces has sent Iran into a state of emergency and activated its Shoreline artillery and missile radar defences.

Several actions around the world opposed this threat by the US government to support the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII).

(Read whole article by Cyprus Indymedia: Realities about Iran; the Empire Threatens War | 1 Image descripton: The map of the forces was prepared by the US Pentagon and by the UK Ministry of Defence in the BBC propaganda report EU Iran sanctions: Ministers adopt Iran oil imports ban, in which they are listing where their own naval forces are placed. So the aggressors themselves are admitting their own despicable actions.)


Military contacts in communication with the Cyprus IndyMedia Collective estimate that the firepower of the US armada (which includes craft from the United Kingdom and France) is larger than the air force and navy of Iran, combined. The original source of this evaluation is a very high ranking officer; it was confirmed by a general. This evaluation, even if it’s only an approximate and not an absolute truth, shows that the intentions of the US for the Middle East are in total violation of the
sentiments and true needs of the area’s millions of people who want Peace and Justice, above all, and an end to foreign intervention in their affairs.

Otherwise, if the US wants Peace, why would it amass enough force to obliterate the defences of an independent and sovereign country that has not invaded any of its neighbours for more than a hundred years?

As independent journalists and world citizens we are very concerned about the situation. Please read an article composed by the Cyprus IndyMedia Collective that explores the pretexts that are being used to justify war against Iran; President Obama’s role, Iran’s nuclear industry; ecological concerns and issues of democracy and equality within Iran; and pending issues for the Peace movement in the US and Western Europe: Realities about Iran; the Empire Threatens War

The people and of the Middle East are preparing for another round of needless slaughter and more bloodbaths following the recent invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Gaza and the almost daily US bombings of Pakistan. This inevitably entails the strengthening of the regional forces of popular resistance in the Middle East, since the formally constituted governments of the region are doing very little to repel the US military provocations against Iran. We recognize that this point, the only way to prevent a new war is to strengthen both the local and global efforts of the Peace movement, with a special attention to the duties of the Peace movement within the US and Western Europe.

feedback / discussion

More links to other media

There are virtually no links to any media, let alone independent
media – two in the entire proposal.
It would be nice if someone wants to propose add more links. All
additions would be very welcome.

Links to BBC

i also do not think that indymedia is the place to re-publish images stolen from corporate media – or that we should link to them. i therefore think the suggested bbc image is inappropriate.

The map accompanying the proposed article is a map prepared by the US
Pentagon and by the UK Ministry of Defence, in which the aggressors are
listing where their own naval forces are placed. This information has
value precisely because of who the sources are. It can and should be
shared broadly with the people in the worldwide Peace movement. There is
value in showing to our readers that the aggressors themselves are
admitting their own despicable actions.

The image is not “stolen”, as one of our colleagues objected. We have a
right and a duty to use such materials for the common good. Indeed, this
is even recognized by law, in legislation that we (and generations of
civil liberties struggles) have fought hard to get enacted.

a. Usage of the image in order to discuss it is protected by
International laws and treaties signed by both the US and the UK; by
current legislation governing copyrights; and by the legal precedents
created by past Court decisions. In particular it is covered by the US
Code (U.S.C.), which is the official compilation of all laws in the
United States. We have an exemption to publish such information in order
to discuss it and we can re-affirm that if anyone feels the need to do
it, by adding the following phrase at the end of the article:
“These materials are distributed in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
Section 107 without profit, to those who have expressed a prior interest
in receiving the included information for research, educational, and
religious purposes.”

Regarding imagery produced by the Pentagon: there is clearly stated
legislation and many legal precedents in the US ensuring that anything
produced by the Government belongs to the people to use as they see fit;
it is ordained by law that there’s NO copyright binding usage of such
materials. Please see here for a quick reference:

More on the issue of copyrights here:
“Copyleft – Copyrights/ Legal”

The link that mentions a BBC article is mentioned only to name the
source of the map. We don’t have to name the source if there’s
objections to doing that. But in general, sharing (naming) the sources
of materials empowers the readers and shows respect for them.

Additionally, the BBC is the most “official” arm of propaganda of one of
the three main aggressor States involved in this military incursion.
That is why the source has validity. There is nothing wrong with – in
fact there is value in – showing what the opponent is doing and
utilizing it for the purposes of Peace.

There is a long tradition in antiwar journalism of showing what the
militarists are doing and saying, in their own words, and contrasting it
to what the people really want, feel, desire and need. There’s nothing
wrong with honouring that tradition.

But all in all, if what I wrote is not understood, of if there’s still
concerns about using those links, we can drop all mention of the BBC,
and use the map as it was stored on the Cyprus IndyMedia website:

3. I agree with Petros’s assessment of the value in posting the image,
and the political and legal arguments he makes that to do so is
legitimate. I have no objection to crediting BBC, but like Petros I am
ok to leave this reference off as well.

Military contacts

The phrase “our military contacts” refers to contacts and sources for
information maintained and cultivated by members of the Cyprus IndyMedia
Collective. We can identify that explicitly in the article – in fact it
would be more fair to do so, adding validity and clarity to the article.
In this particular case the original source of the quoted evaluation
about the armada’s firepower is a very high ranking military officer,
and we confirmed it with someone even higher up, a general.

So the paragraph in question (first paragraph of the main body of the
proposed article) can be re-written as follows:

“High-ranking military sources in communication with members of the
Cyprus IndyMedia Collective estimate that the firepower of the US armada
(which includes craft from the United Kingdom and France) is larger than
the air force and navy of Iran, combined. This, even if it’s only an
approximate and not an absolute truth, shows that the intentions of the
US for the Middle East are in total violation of the sentiments and true
needs of the area’s millions of people who want Peace and Justice, above
all, and an end to foreign intervention in their affairs.”

4. I think the edit petros proposes regarding the “military contacts”
seems effective. In addition, I think some reference at the top of the
article should be given that clarifies that the text is from Cyprus
Indymedia. Normally we do this at the end by noting “Source Article” but
I think in some cases it is clarifying to do so earlier in the article.
Please a similar example on here:
In that article, we opted for to note the source in the abstract. In our
situation today, though, I think the citation text could be placed at
the start of the “Body” section, ie. just before the line in question,
and not so it shows up on the front page.

“Commentary, not news”

it seems like commentary, rather than news – i am not sure who “our military contacts” are (i don’t have any!!) nor does “we are very concerned about the situation” sound particularly like a relevant piece of information (even if we are).

One reservation about the proposed article is that “it seems like
commentary, rather than news”. Also it was said that the phrase “we are
very concerned about the situation” does not “sound particularly like a
relevant piece of information (even if we are).”

Commentary? Yes, guilty as charged. The proposed feature article and the
main one by Cyprus IndyMedia that it points to at the end,
are both full of objective information and facts married with moral
positions and political opinions stemming from them.

Every article published by indymedia everywhere has positions and
opinions embedded within it. They are sometimes embedded in the choice
of sources, titles and wording, the choice of subject, the choice to not
include certain views, the choice to promote views contrary to Corporate
and State ideology and practice. All of our globally published Feature
articles are characterized by this. Most often though, the opinions are
expressed “sideways”, instead of directly, and the articles are
presented in a style that has the appearance of neutrality.

But there’s no reason to be ashamed of our moral and political
opposition to unjust war and aggressive military moves. On the contrary,
expressing them openly and directly encourages people and helps to boost
the morale of oppressed populations and a Peace movement already cowered
into silence and fed on misinformation.

Being objective AND forthright about our moral-political positions,
thoughts and feelings is what makes indymedia a peoples’ organ of
expression. There is no need to always emulate the pretended
“neutrality” of Corporate and State media. Their style pretends
neutrality but conceals death and tyranny. Being openly honest and
direct about our thoughts and feelings gives relief to people who read us.

Further, I’d like to thank GDM for acknowledging that we are, indeed,
concerned about the scary situation in the Middle East. And perhaps we
can rethink the question of whether that item is news or not.

Is it valid news that President Obama “feels bad” about something? Yes,
here it is:
“President Obama says he feels bad…”

Why is it not valid news to say that members of indymedia feel bad about
a pending war? Or that “we are very concerned about the situation”? Is
it not valid news that real people, peasants and workers all over the
Middle East dread the possibility of all those cruise missiles, drones
and “precision bombers” will begin to rain death on our heads again,
opening up a new military front in the midst of our lives and our homes?

The State and Corporate news sources make a point of always excluding
the feelings, needs and aspirations of the “common” people. We don’t
have to do that. We can reject that style of writing and render
ourselves even more newsworthy and even more objective by doing so.

  • * *

IndyMedia used to be the flagship of the global liberation movement for
a period of a few years, especially from the beginning to the middle of
the 2000 decade. We can regain that status again, or at least contribute
significantly to the needs of the liberation movement by doing what Rona
said (“publish, publish, publish”) and especially so if we regain the
moral high ground and political status we had embodied in the first
years of our work together.

Being open and honest about our politics is necessary; additionally, it
is very dignified and graceful to do so. It’s easy to be objective and
factual and at the same time to articulate the moral positions and
political values of the people we express – or seek to give voice to.
There’s no reason for us to imitate the dry style of “factual
information only”, that has pushed away most people from reading and
writing political materials. On the contrary, re-infusing our articles
with our emotions, thoughts, feelings and positions will help bring back
some of our readers and political allies, and will help the broader
global liberation movement by providing one more compass by which to
navigate and orient in an already very confusing world.

5. I think that this addition proposed above also takes care of the
concern about editorializing — I agree with petros that imc has always
editorialized. i think though that what makes the sort of “we”
statements that petros is using different from most is that the we’s
petros is using draw the readers attention to the writers, which is a
particular writing style, akin to the “editorial position” pieces that
mainstream newspapers often publish. i think is a complex question to
what extent this style of writing is helpful or not. but for now, the
thing i can say for sure is that we should try to be clear with the
reader about who is speaking. given this i’d propose the following edit
to the last paragraph, assuming that my proposal in #4 is also accepted:

“As independent journalists, we are very concerned about this situation.
Please read our full report exploring the pretexts
being used to justify war against Iran… " (paragraph continues)

An alternative would be simple to say “The Cyprus IndyMedia Collective
is very concerned…”
but I proposed the above as my first choice because it also addresses
petros’ larger point that the indymedia community has to assert our
pro-active identification with these struggles in timely manners.
Technically it is referring to Cyprus IMC, but the language suggests
that we as the global features team are affirming and echoing the Cyprus
IMC right now as they assert this voice. I believe we also have done the
same from many other imc’s in many other situations.
Thanks very much for your patience in reading all this.

in case you want to add a link from london: