Wednesday, August 23, 2006

How VOA Confuses the Iranian People

Hoder was a guest at Voice of America, Views and News program on Monday. The host, Baharloo, was back from his holidays and the interview was a fine example of how VOA completely confuses the Iranian public.

For those who cannot understand Persian, let me explain what was said on this pathetic interview.

Hoder presented two of his ideas on how to combat the Islamic regime's onslaught on bloggers in Iran. His first idea was to target the service providers who remove dissident blogs. He explained how the service providers have a close relationship with the regime and he suggested writing letters of protest to these service providers. In other words let the regime know that you are one of those reading dissident blogs! But wait, worse is to come yet.

Hoder then went on to say that the Islamic Republic is based on the principles of Shiite theology and in Shiite theology, private property is considered sacred. So we should try to get one of the Shiite Sources of Emulation (Grand Ayatollahs) to issue a fatwa that weblogs are also private property!!!

I don't need to tell those who follow Iran news that the Islamic regime has confiscated people's houses, properties, musical equipment, tapes, videos ..., but straight after this ridiculous statement, the interview turned to the recent renewed crackdown on people's satellite dishes. Here was a clear example of a weak VOA interviewer, whose constant "Hossein joon, Hossein joon" - Dear Hosein - made the interview look more like close buddies chatting on air. Even then Baharloo didn't click to ask "Hossein joon", but satellite dishes are private property, so is there much point in wasting time to get a fatwa on blogs being private property?

Hoder also commented on Ahmadi-Nejad's blog and repeated what he had said on one of his posts that Ahmadi-Nejad is not a fundamentalist but a populist. He said we should encourage Ahmadi-Nejad by writing comments on his blog, so that Ahmadi-Nejad will recognise the potential of getting more votes in this way for the next presidential elections. Hoder was cleverly suggesting that elections in Iran are free and it is really the people who decide the outcome. Again Baharloo didn't have the savvy to pick up on this.

Normally there are lots of phone calls from the public on Baharloo's programs. This time there were only a couple. One didn't really ask a question and just gave a report on the satellite dish crackdown. The other caller did ask a good question. He told Baharloo that his guest is a bit of naive optimist and added that if being a populist means jumping on the bandwagon and riding on the wave of people's demands, neither Ahmadi-Nejad nor any one else in IRI give a damn about what the Iranian people want! Hoder did not answer this question - the only question - and Baharloo did not remind Hoder to do so either, as a good presenter should.

And that was it, a wishy washy interview that just confused the Iranian people further. Throughout the program, Baharloo did not press Hoder on his shameful posts on Akbar Mohammadi, on Hossein joon's problems with Ganji's hunger strike, Hoder's resentment of the recent BBC documentary "Execution of a Teenager", on his views that Shahroodi is a reformist, ... Baharloo as usual was having problems constructing sentences in Persian and rabbitting "Hossein joon, Hossein joon".

This was President Bush's address to the Iranian people on radio Farda:
"For many years, the United States has helped bring news and cultural broadcasts for a few hours every day to the Iranian people via Radio Freedom. Yet the Iranian people tell us that more broadcasting is needed, because the unelected few who control the Iranian government continue to place severe restrictions on access to uncensored information. So we are now making our broadcast available to more Iranians by airing news and music and cultural programs nearly 24 hours a day, and we are pleased to continue Voice of America and VOA TV services to Iran. "

Well someone needs to tell President Bush, that it is not this kind of broadcasting on VOA thats needed, this kind of broadcasting that brings a dubious person on air and presents him as an opposition to IRI to the Iranians, can only confuse the Iranian people. The Islamic Republic has an Arabic satellite TV station, Al-Alam, which was aired immediately after the war on Saddam. Al-Alam television does not pull back any punches, it is clear in achieving its aims and objectives, it is being successful. The VOA on the other hand is as confused as the Iran policy makers in the US State Department. Success does not come about from confusion. The VOA needs a shake up right now and those who have passed their sell by date need replacing asap.

21 comments:

Pasha said...

I didn’t see that interview and I don’t know how Herr Hode (Mr. Hoder) looks like, but his statements remind me of a feckless boring comedian with to tastelessness chewed jokes:

“Get one of the Shiite Grand Ayatollahs to issue a fatwa that weblogs are also private property.”
or
“Ahmadi-Nejad is not a fundamentalist but a populist.”
or
“We should encourage Ahmadi-Nejad by writing comments on his blog, so that Ahmadi-Nejad will recognise the potential of getting more votes in this way for the next presidential elections.”

Herr Hode, listen! Stop joking!

Herr Hode, remember, I don’t care about any Ayatollah. What an Ayatollah says or not says doesn’t interest me! Who the f… is a Shiite Grand Ayatollah?

Herr Hode, remember, whether Ahmadi-Nejad is a fundamentalist or a populist is not important, because he is a terrorist! What is the difference between a fundamentalist terrorist or a populist terrorist?

Herr Hode, remember, who the f… is Ahmadi-Nejad, that I should have a reason to write comments on his blog? What your beloved president must know is that his days are counted. And I think he knows that. And I think you know that too.

Winston said...

Good point!

But you ought to remember that VOA like any other media outlet is run by Leftists and they don't give a damn what Iranian people inside of Iran want.

And Hoder is the product of the same regime he loves and cares about and he should be boycotted.

I wonder why VOA thinks he is the only credible blogger to invite to their programs while there are hundreds of GREAT bloggers and freedom loving individuals who could be invited to the show as well.

Yes, VOA and radio farda confuse people as Mr. Fakhravar said in his testimony before the US Senate.

Anonymous said...

Another view on the Hoder interview:
http://arashsahami.blogspot.com/2006/08/confusion-voa-hoder.html#links

Omid Iravani said...

Baharloo is horrible and his program really is a burden rather than any help.
Just after the new war between israel and Lebanon, baharloo invited , guess who, Hamid Dabashi to comment on this event!
Hamid Dabashi is a virulent anti-American , pro Jihadi propalestinian ultraleftist university professor. Daniel Pipes has any notes on him and his distortions of truth in his university lectures. that is not a man the VOA should be interviewing in the wake of the Lebanon war. People already get all that crap from the mullhas anyway. Baharloo also had Manashe Amir by phone, but the connection got lost every once ina while and all the paltform was handed to dabashi and his nonsense hatred of Americxa and the West ina golden platter.
The US government must change the staff of VOA and its programming ASAP.
This is just pathetic and ridiculous!

Winston said...

I just read his Bullshit on Washington Post... How can he get away with this amount of BS?

Anonymous said...

Dubious agenda culminates in dubious presenter. Are you surprised? Did you expect a world class presenter on VOA TV?!!

Bob said...

I am 100% agree with you.
I wish I had enough time to write several issues on stupid hoder's openions and many broadcasters such as VOA.

Anonymous said...

Well, by taking a look at your "about me" note and your post about the travel to paris, I found perfectly how shallow a man can think, even more superficial than hoder's controversial statements in VOA. What do you know about the facts and realities of living in Iran, if your last stay in Iran was during "cultural revolution"? Statements like "Perhaps thats why the French have never won a war." and "I believe the best way forward for Iran to be based on four pillars of Democracy, Secularism, Nationalism and Meritocracy. Most countries that have adopted these principles have been prosperous, why shouldn't our people be one of them?" significantly explain how deep your thought are rooted in reality. The reality is that the Iranians have "VOTED" for Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs are "REIGNING" in Iran. In your photo beside Bakhtiar's tomb we can see a badly shaved photocopy of "Jamshid Hashempoor" leaning towards the grave, with a facial expression of pointless confidence on his face. Your thoughts too, are as simplistic as Jamshid Hashempoor's roles. Extremely funny and ignorant you are, when you say "Oh and good luck with your efforts regarding getting a fatwa from one of the Shiite Sources of Emulation to declare weblogs as private property :)))". You've better keep visiting Bakhtiar's grave (and eventually other graves).

Anonymous said...

Well, by taking a look at your "about me" note and your post about the travel to paris, I found perfectly how shallow a man can think, even more superficial than hoder's controversial statements in VOA. What do you know about the facts and realities of living in Iran, if your last stay in Iran was during "cultural revolution"? Statements like "Perhaps thats why the French have never won a war." and "I believe the best way forward for Iran to be based on four pillars of Democracy, Secularism, Nationalism and Meritocracy. Most countries that have adopted these principles have been prosperous, why shouldn't our people be one of them?" significantly explain how deep your thought are rooted in reality. The reality is that the Iranians have "VOTED" for Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs are "REIGNING" in Iran. In your photo beside Bakhtiar's tomb we can see a badly shaved photocopy of "Jamshid Hashempoor" leaning towards the grave, with a facial expression of pointless confidence on his face. Your thoughts too, are as simplistic as Jamshid Hashempoor's roles. Extremely funny and ignorant you are, when you say "Oh and good luck with your efforts regarding getting a fatwa from one of the Shiite Sources of Emulation to declare weblogs as private property :)))". You've better keep visiting Bakhtiar's grave (and eventually other graves).

میناب said...

دعوت و مصاحبه صدای امریکا با یکی از عوامل شناخته شده ایجاد جنگ روانی در اینترنت توسط جمهوری اسلامی را همچین هم ناشی از بی خبری و ناشیگری دست اندرکاران برنامه نمی توان تصور کرد. می دانید که طیف وسیعی از سیاستمداران غربی منافع خود را در ابقا رژیم میدانند. بقا نظامی چنین خونخوار برای 27 تنها بمدد امدادهای غیبی ممکن نیست.1

Shiva said...

Handsome Potkin, I think your being away from Iran since the cultural revolution has made you forget how things work in Iran.

Neither you, I or many of readers here are religious. But the majority of Iranians are quite religious and that's why the regime has managed to survive by framing their totally self-serving agendas in religious concepts.

I think Hoder's idea to use loopholes in the Iranian legal system to fight censorship is quote brilliant within Iranian context.

Shi'ii Feqh is where this regime is vulnearable and this is where we could challenge them more than anything.

Anonymous said...

Unrealistic means something against the reality. Naive means seeing the reality simpler than it is.

So how could one realise something is or is not realistic when he or she has not got a grip on the reality?

And how can one who has not talked to people in Tehran in a Taxi or seen them in a mosque in Mashhad or talked to real students in campuses in Isfahan know what the reality of today's iran is?

Azarmehr said...

Shiva, you talk complete nonsense both about me being handsome and using Shi'a legal loopholes!

IRI has confiscated private property since it was established in 1979. To say that if we get one of the Sources of Emulation to decalre weblog is a private property and thus stop the closure of weblogs in Iran, is lunacy beyond belief and shows you have another agenda.

If IRI survives simply because people are religious then whats the need for crackdown?

Azarmehr said...

Anonymous, we now live in the 21St century in case you didnt know. There are many means of communication to establish contact with people in another country, as well as simple common sense.
Remember the people in Mashad that you talk about took over the city for two days?? or did you not hear about it because you only read Hoder and Washington Post?

babak said...

I think its very important that you pay attention enough to reality life in Iran. as all of us know there is many problems for getting right of freedom publishing and get you a good communication with thw other country, but we also know that society of iran dont have a certainity response to this issues.
we can test all of our chance and all of approaches that seem to get our right and in this way we face Mr Hooder that suggest a strange way.may be it is one of the solutions.if you have any you can say it too.
thanks

babak said...

I think its very important that you pay attention enough to reality life in Iran. as all of us know there is many problems for getting right of freedom publishing and get you a good communication with thw other country, but we also know that society of iran dont have a certainity response to this issues.
we can test all of our chance and all of approaches that seem to get our right and in this way we face Mr Hooder that suggest a strange way.may be it is one of the solutions.if you have any you can say it too.
thanks

Anonymous said...

what do you know about hooder?

Azarmehr said...

Babak,

It is true that I have been away from Iran for over two decades, and the reality that I perceive is not first hand. However because someone has been away it does not mean a) they should no longer be interested in the destiny of their homeland b) not use their own logic from the information they get from various sources including activists in Iran and IRI's own sources, to form an opinion.
For example it is true that I was not in Sanandaj recently but I doubt if my information about the attack on Sannadaj weaving factory workers and their families is wrong. After all the incident was quoted in IRI's own news agencies
and the member of the Islamic assembly. Based on these I can form an educated opinion. i.e. that workers in Iran are suppressed when they demand their legitimate rights. Or I do not have to be in Iran to know that the Islamic Republic laws in Iran are discriminatory against women. Just reading the Islamic Republic laws is enough to make up my mind.

If we extend your argument then no one should have any opinion about any where other than their own immediate vicinity. For example some one who has never been to North Korea should never have an opinion on what goes on there. This is simply absurd.

The likes of Ayatollah Khomeini, Yasser Arafat, Ibrahim Yazdi, Lenin and many more that I can't think of right now were also away from their homeland for many years. Not that I wish to compare myself with them at all, I mentioned them because they are well known and were away from their homeland. This does not mean that they should not have had an opinion about the situation in their country.

However you are right if you mean that I do not have a right to tell the people in Iran what to do. This I agree with and if I have ever made such mistake please let me know.

What I see my duty as is to tell the outside world about the other side of things that Western news agencies do not report. I offer my opinion and you can debate that with me.

So in line with the above it is my opinion that what Hoder suggests wrt getting a fatwa from Shiite Sources of Emulation about weblogs being private property is absurd.
IRI has shown with their action that they do confiscate properties, satellite dishes, even videos and so on. Also even Shiite Sources of Emulation are deemed as enemies of the state if they are not in line with those running the Islamic Republic.
Was Shariatmadari not a Source of Emulation, is Montazari not a Source of Emulation?
Come on get real!!

Anonymous said...

you are soooooooo good looking

Nasrin said...

I saw the interview. Indeed the whole interview was so pathatic and I am so agree with you on this.

I sometimes visit Hoder's webpage, but not to read his mullah-loving opinions, but to read the people comments which are funny and 95% against him! in one word; HE IS A FOUL.

golna said...

It is intersting to read all the ideas. I also read the article and the comments Hoder had on the washingtonpost.com: Iran Needs Nuclear Weapons. In light of all the news about Iran's nuclear issues it is great to see that we all are so concernd and take an active role to press our opinion. To my surprise, I saw that the State Department had a few live webchats on the issue and people exchanged comments with Ambassador Schulte and Jeffrey. It is interesting what policy makers in DC think on Iran and all the current issus. If intersted read the articles at www.state.gov