The media’s coverage of Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani’s death, from his “elimination” through his funeral, has been surreal. Still, Katy Tur has to win first prize for her unfathomable take on the size of the crowd of Iranian people who turned out to mourn this ruthless murderer. She told viewers, “A stunning show of solidarity just a few weeks after anti-government protests threatened to destabilize the country. It seems President [Donald] Trump did what the Iranian government has been unable to do: unite the country.”
Discussing Iran’s announcement that they would no longer abide by the nuclear agreement and Trump’s rhetoric over the last few days, almost defiantly, Tur said, “He [Trump] threatened to attack more than 50 Iranian cultural landmarks which would be a war crime.” (Video below.)
The only thing I find “stunning” is that Tur is rooting for the terrorists. I think we need to put her and a large group of her colleagues on the next plane to Iran and force them to live there for a year. Why not? They hate America.
She knows what that sea of mourners was all about: Iranian propaganda. She is well aware that most of the mourners were forced to attend the funeral by the government. Yet, she willingly and boldly lied to her viewers. I suppose we should be grateful she stopped short of apologizing to Iran like actress Rose McGowan did over the weekend.
Tur must have missed reading Monday’s op-ed in the Washington Post written by Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad. Here are some excerpts: (emphasis mine)
Over the next few days, it will be hard to escape footage of huge crowds gathering in Iranian cities to mourn the death of Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian general killed by a U.S. drone strike. For anyone watching, I have one piece of advice: Don’t take what you’re seeing at face value.
This past November, thousands of Iranians took to the streets across the country to protest against the regime, in the biggest challenge to the clerical rule in 40 years. According to Reuters, more than 1,500 people were killed by security forces, including units of Soleimani’s Revolutionary Guard, and at least 7,000 have been arrested. The Internet was shut down for five days.
In the city of Ahvaz, where large numbers of people turned out to mourn Soleimani, the government has forced students and officials to attend…According to videos sent to me by people inside the country, the authorities are making little kids write essays praising the fallen commander. First-graders who didn’t know how to write were encouraged to cry for Soleimani.
The media in the Islamic Republic is heavily controlled. Public gatherings are allowed only if they are pro-regime. Critics are jailed or shot…So it’s not hard to use all the tools and resources of the state to stage a funeral procession.
There are many Iranian voices who think Soleimani was a war criminal, but Western journalists rarely reach out to them. Ironically, the Western media is more skeptical of such state-organized events in other countries, such as Russia or North Korea, but seems to leave its critical sense at the border when it comes to the Islamic Republic.
The authorities forced many families to pay blood money in order to receive the body of their loved ones from the morgue. Some even had to sign official forms waiving the right to hold a public funeral as a condition of getting bodies returned.
Two weeks ago, the parents and nine other family members of Pouya Bakhtiari, a 27-year-old engineer who was killed during the protests, were arrested to stop them from having funeral services. Two days later, on Dec. 26, thousands of security forces using armored cars, water cannons and even helicopters were deployed to stop mourning ceremonies for some of the victims.
These families of those killed are not mourning Soleimani. In 2009, the Revolutionary Guards led the crackdown on the so-called Green Movement protests against the disputed presidential election.
Read the full op-ed here.
Middle East analyst and US Air Force Veteran Mike Maleki writes “as a student in in the 80s-early 90s, I remember being periodically put on a bus along with all my classmates and taken to regime-organized demonstrations/events. It was humiliating & we hated it but were forced to go.”
I went to school in Iran in the 80s-early 90s & remember being periodically put on a bus along with all my classmates and taken to regime-organized demonstrations/events. It was humiliating & we hated it but were forced to go. https://t.co/7NLKc3VbbW
— Mike Maleki (@mikemeleki) January 6, 2020
Ali Safavi, an official on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, tweeted that the government was providing free meals to entice people to show up. “Proof of free lunch? Here: Official news agency IRNA: “Khalil Najafi, head of reconstruction of holy sites in Central Prov.: 40K plates of warm food for lunch, breakfast & snacks distributed.”
@dam00r @mohamad43854922 @Sbweb_twiter @Reyhan33861172 @Sohail72182596 @ZahraSa18631314
Proof of free lunch? Here: Official news agency IRNA: "Khalil Najafi, head of reconstruction of holy sites in Central Prov.: 40K plates of warm food for lunch, breakfast & snacks distributed. pic.twitter.com/47Wjb8pTWM
— Ali Safavi (@amsafavi) January 6, 2020
Katy Tur was feeding her viewers disinformation. She and every other media figure who carried water for the murderous Iranian regime since Soleimani was killed is a tool. And, sadly, real journalism is dead.
Watch the video.