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Polk awards Neda midst propaganda

How do you give formal recognition to journalism merit in a media landscape adulterated with propaganda? Award the dubious distinction to the pseudonym for commercial disinformation: anonymous! This year a Polk Award went to the unknown Youtube videographer who captured the death of Iran "Green Revolution" martyr Neda Soltani, a wrenching sequence which transcended exploitation to give iconic status to Iran's election discontents. Fitting, while another snuff film is circulated to drum up interest in the Vancouver Olympics. The Wide World of Sports used to loop the famous ski jump wipe-out, but we were assured the skier escaped without major injury. If he'd died the footage would have been buried like that of race care crashes. But that was another age. Now a fatal luge accident gets played again and again, the pretext being to compete with Youtube, but obviously it's to amp interest in what has traditionally remained a lackluster Olympic category. What's the point of awarding nobody? Time Magazine did it when they named you as Person of the Year. It's called pandering to everyman, this time as a bald excuse to give Neda another chance to incite anti-Iranian sentiment.

Think Iran is coming down too hard on inciters of protest? Remember Neda!

You might not have expected me to invoke the name of Neda Agha Soltan(i), the Green Revolution bystander "whose name in Farsi means 'voice'" and whose angelic face adorned every subsequent Iranian reform movement ephemera. Remember the video where pretty Neda was shot by an unseen gunman, left to die on camera, the footage used to rally indignation against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's evident barbarity? Curiously our media chose to break from its usual sensibilities about snuff films. Remember your own blood lust? What fate were you wishing then for poor Neda's killers? No doubt Iran would like to see justice for Neda too. They've conducted inquiries about who killed the unsuspecting martyr. Have you? The Iranian government blames US operatives for instigating the reformist uprising, prompting Tehran's secular class to take their grievances to the streets. They point to Iranian student groups organized by nonprofits funded by the West. They hold capitalist rabble-rousers accountable for inciting impressionable consumer wannabes to push against the riot police. They know the US is spending beaucoup black budget bucks to destabilize Iranian society. "Promoting Democracy" in Farsi means subverting leadership, and where there's been a revolutionary movement against the established order, the USA habitually sets about to breed counter-revolutionaries. But that doesn't explain Neda. Political movements have infinitely more potential when there's a martyr, and it's a strategy no US adviser leaves to nuance. Movements have succeeded without them, but no psych-ops crafted scenario has done without. You wonder who volunteers for the role? We've seen recent examples, I can think of an incident in Honduras, were protesters pretended one of their number had been felled. But such is the weakness of the good guys, they're not about to kill someone as a means to an end. Can we say the same about the good guys of the CIA? When the saintly Neda was killed onscreen, the Iranian government immediately suspected a plot. Was it one of their soldiers who killed her, standing at an isolated corner, part of no confrontation? By whose orders would he have fired? Who said the reelection of Ahmadinejad was rigged? None but the Americans. Who egged on the crowds to overturn a democratically elected government? America. Who branded the reform movement, and levitated it via social media? Who else but America color-codes its exported "revolutions?" "Remember Neda" has become the rallying cry of Iranian expats and Shah loyalists in exile. They'll change their tune when authorities in Iran finger her murderers. When Iran executes those responsible for the covert machinations meant to provoke an uprising to satisfy the US call for regime change, it's not for crying out "freedom" but for yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, pointing at Neda.

Neda is Farsi for Photoshop

Does this image look Photoshopped to you? US and Israeli advisers in Tehran are still trying to pull a page from the Rachel Corrie playbook, even though world outrage about the American activist crushed by an Israeli bulldozer didn't ultimately bring them down either.

Who killed Neda Agha-Soltan?

The video footage is shocking. An attractive young woman watching the demonstrations in Tehran is struck by a sniper's bullet and dies before several video cameras. The tragedy is projected unto Facebook and Youtube, with advocates hoping it will galvanize (American) public support for the brave reform movement in Iran. News accounts blame "Basij snipers" on the rooftops. Other protesters have been killed in confrontations with Iranian riot police, without the benefit of video witnesses, much like two million Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis et al. Poor 27-year-old bystander Neda Soltani stood at the quite improbable convergence of bullet and camera --correction-- cameras. I don't have to suggest the scene was staged; whether or not the triggerman was an American is immaterial. Think about just the improbability of your seeing this video. When was the last time the mainstream press has circulated a snuff film? The average person is embarrassed to watch a person die. It's exploitive. Even when America was fixated on beheaded hostages, our television gatekeepers refused to broadcast the footage. Many horrific war killing moments have found their way unto Youtube, which antiwar activists could only hope would find wider distribution, if only to bring home the inhumanity of our soldiers' deeds. It never happens. The western press is running with this story because it demonizes the apparently naked inhumanity of Islam. Muslims stone women, hang gays, look: the bastards shoot their own people arbitrarily. Curiously our media doesn't make hay with the hapless victims of US snipers. The Neda Soltani snuff footage hit internet shores prepackaged with a smiling mug, and a name that translated means "the voice." Could a casting director have picked a better title character to represent Iran's repressed? The western press is even poised to outdo the Muslims in indignant piety, already lauding Neda as a martyr, whom we are informed should launch a thousand Shiite funeral processions. Western pundits compare Neda to the first Shiite martyr, the grandson of Mohammed himself. Of course, also showing excessive Islamic sensitivity, western reporters readily dismiss the vanishing of Neda's body, to the Muslim tradition of hasty burials. For the record, in case you missed it, Neda dies onscreen from an apparent gunshot. We do not see the bullet strike, nor now can anyone habeas corpus. If the scenario was acted entirely, given the success with which the girl's face is being made into an icon, young Neda's life is probably as utterly expendable now as already depicted. You think you're mourning Neda now, imagine her fate if this is a hoax. OR the gunman could just as well have been a US black-op hit-man who had his eye on the videographers approaching innocent Neda. The US military has long admitted that special forces are already operating in Iran. If the Iranian forces are shooting civilian protesters, what's the harm of helping them out where there's a camera ready? When we're not meant to see it, the soldiers shoot the cameramen too. It could be the work of Moussavi henchmen, who are

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