Western Media Dictatorship
By Elias Akleh
The Western wars against the Middle Eastern countries, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran, had been escalated, lately, to an unprecedented higher level. Besides being economical, political, intelligence and technological, the war had been escalated to include telecommunication. On Monday, October 15th, a total of 19 Iranian satellite TV channels and radio stations broadcasting to Europe were cut off of its Hot Bird Frequencies. Among these channels are Press TV, Al-Alam, Jaam-e-Jam 1 and 2, Sahar 1 and 2, Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, Quran TV, and the Arabic-language al-Kawthar.
Although the Iranian satellite companies have signed broadcasting contracts that are valid until 2021, and have not breached or violated these contracts in any way, the European satellite provider Eutelsat SA had ordered its media services company, Arqiva, to terminate the broadcast of the Iranian satellite channels.
Karen Badalov, the area manager of Eutelsat SA, claimed that they had terminated the contracts upon an order from the European Commission as part of Europe’s latest unilateral sanctions against Iran. In a separate statement emailed to Press TV, one of the banned channels, by the head of Public Relations Department of Arqiva, Gary Follows stated that the decision was made by the EU Council and repeated requests by France’s broadcasting authority. Such order from EU came three days after the EU had controversially won the Noble Peace Award.
Yet these claims were contradicted by Maja Kociyancic, the EU Foreign Policy Chief Spokesperson, who denied giving such an order explaining that late sanctions against Iran are directed against finance, trade, energy, and transport and do not include telecommunications.
Such deniability from both parties comes to exonerate themselves from any guilt.
Gordon Duff, senior editor of Veterans Today, stated on Press TV that a strong background check on the source of the decision revealed that the decision came from Eutelsat; an Israeli-owned company that runs about 25% of the news programs in the world. The decision, he claimed, came down from a Michelle De Rozen, an Israeli citizen, who controls Eutelsat. Duff stated that Eutelsat in particular is a Mossad propaganda operation.
This telecommunication war is a part and parcel of a policy adopted by the pro-Zionist American administration and its EU poodle to cover theirs and the Israeli war crimes and flagrant violations of human rights in the Middle Eastern and in South East Asian regions. It started in December 2004 when the US and EU banned the Lebanese pro-Hezbollah Al-Manar TV from broadcasting into the US and Europe after being designated as a supporter of terror and spreading hatred as stated by Richard Boucher, then, State Department Spokesman. In September 2012 the pro-Syrian government TV channels were banned from Arabsat and Nilesat. Now it is Iran’s turn, where not one or two but 19 satellite channels are banned. This seems to have become a dangerous interlude to other future such attacks on free speech. Recently there are attacks against Russian satellite TV channels especially those that are broadcasting alternative views of the Syrian crises contradicting the Western narratives.
The Western countries conceitedly designate themselves as the defenders and promoters of democracy and free speech to the point of waging devastating wars to guarantee it. While the EU raises the flag of democracy and free speech and claims to be a democratic organization it is completely violating the basic tenets of freedom of speech and the basic rights of its own citizens to receive news and to be exposed to alternative views.
It seems that this guaranteed freedom of speech is exclusive to Americans, Europeans and Israelis, who continuously attack Islam, insult its prophet, and burn its holy book imitating Nazi’s books burning. I wonder if Richard Boucher would ban such hate spreading activities! Would he condemn or praise the American judges who stated that the American First Amendment Right to Free Speech gives the pro-Israeli hate group calling itself American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) to sponsor the hate anti-Islamic ads in four Washington area Metro stations, yet labeling anyone who dares to condemn the Israeli terrorist attacks against Palestinians as hating anti-Semite.
Banning the Iranian satellite channels is a grave breach of Article 10 of the European Convention of the Human Rights stating that: “… it is the peoples’ basic right to receive news and information”.
The ban also violates Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating that:“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.
Besides being an infringement on the rights of citizens to receive information, the decision to ban Iranian satellite channels, causing Utelsat to lose handsome revenue and suffer some legal ramification, is not a good business decision. This indicates that the decision was a purely political decision and had to come from higher sources. The main reason behind this political decision is the fear of the Western governments to lose control over their own citizens when their lies are exposed, and their inability to enter into a meaningful media dialogue to discredit Iranian news analyses broadcasts.
The Iranian news media channels, such as Press TV and Al-Alam, have been very effective in delivering reliable and verifiable news about the Middle East and South East Asia in particular that contradict the Western unverifiable misinforming and brainwashing Western media outlets. When most of the regional media channels had concentrated their attention on the events of what has been dubbed as the Arab Spring, Iranian news channels stayed focused on the Middle Eastern core issue of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the heart of the Arab World, and the core Islamic issue of the Israeli threat to occupy, to alter, and possibly to destroy the second Islamic holiest place; Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Iranian channels have dedicated news analytical programs and documentaries exposing the terrorist realities of Zionist Israel, its genocidal policies towards Palestinians especially against Gaza Strip, such as the latest piracy crime of Israeli navy ships against the humanitarian Estelle ship bound to Gaza, and its Mossad’s political assassinations of Arab political figures to cause tension and to incite sectarian conflict, such as Mossad’s latest assassination of the Lebanese Security Chief, Wissam al-Hassan. They also expose the illegality of the Western unconditional financial and political support to all Israeli terrorist attacks in contradiction and violation of their own local laws and the international laws.
The Iranian TV channels have exposed the realities on the ground of the Syrian crises. They exposed the realities of the so-call Free Syrian Army as composed mainly of foreign mercenaries and terrorist groups financed, trained and armed mainly by US, UK, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. They also had broadcasted verifiable uncontested audio and video evidences exposing the lies and misinformation presented by anti-Syrian TV channels including the Qatari Al Jazeera, Saudi Arabian Al-Arabiya, and Arabic BBC.
Iranian news channels have the courage to tackle European and American issues that no European or American news media want even to mention at all. They have dealt with the realities of US and EU involvement in the wars in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Palestine, in Syria, in Lebanon, and their support to terror organizations operating in these countries and especially in terrorist attacks against Iran. They have discussed the illegality of the American drone attacks against civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. They have talked about the corruption of Western heads of states. They have tackled the false self-made economic crises in the US and in the Euro zone that are designed to siphon more money to the pockets of the richest 1% and to destroy the middle class. They were among the few TV channels who broadcasted the public demonstrations in major European capitals against the so-called economic austerity measures.
A major reason for the ban could be the courage of Iranian satellite channels to criticize the unfair bias present political world system represented by the undemocratic UN with the veto power of few countries that had obstructed justice and blocked many resolutions that could have solved many political issues and applied justice to many nations, among those were the resolutions that could have condemned Zionist Israeli occupation of Palestine and its genocidal measures against its indigenous inhabitants.
The other Iranian satellite channels broadcast historical, cultural and religious programs that present the Islamic Republic as a civilized country with advanced industrial, technological, and scientific fields that parallel and some even exceed those of the West. The Iranian movies, sitcoms, soap operas, and social programs portray Iranian citizens as humans like any other nation and not the extremist world threatening terrorists Israel and the other Western governments are trying to portray them.
Knowing other nations on the human level leads to understanding, empathy, cooperation, and peace, something Western political heads of states are afraid of because they could no longer control their own citizens through lies about, and fear from the unknown others. Banning Iranian broadcast is a form of media dictatorship intended to suppress their humanity and to promulgate fear and hostility towards them.