The Iranian Activists in Diaspora version.
When it comes to the citizen journalists who cover the Middle East, I admire most of the controversial posts of my Facebook friend Leila [in Persian]. Most of them because I think she is cherry-picking when it comes to the military aggression of the Iranian regime in the areas where they bring more tension.
Anyhow, she is constantly calling out on some Iranian political activists in exile, who in their opposition to the Iranian government and paid by the western media outlets or other mainstream organizations in the free world, strategically side with financial sanctions and military invasion against Iran or even go as far to covertly side with its enemies, the likes of ISIS.
I don’t know about the accusations in this particular case. But want to draw attention to a situation we are facing here, which is financial:
Follow the money.
Activism and journalism hardly pays off, and even harder for immigrants with a different cultural background and a mother tongue other than that of the host country. And it is natural for people to survive doing what they have been doing for years if they don’t have an immediate access to another occupation. So I observe that there is an increasing population among the Iranian diaspora who even though started with an honest and genuine pro-democracy and pro-freedom cause, are now finding themselves increasingly struggling to stay relevant and are prone to be hijacked by malicious causes who want to optimize their profit by using them.
Of course a lot of things regarding the situation inside Iran has not changed and the struggle for freedom should always be valid, but as the game in the region changes the old paradigms expire, become ineffective or get worn out. Now imagine you are a political discident, a refugee, or an activist. And your very identity in the host country is being a political discident opposing an oppressive regime in the Middle East. What are your alternatives after paradigms shift?
Now that after nuclear negotiations, the failure of US/NATO policies in the whole region, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Syria and Libya and what not, you find yourself barking the wrong tree, what should you do? Jumping on a new train somehow? Stirring geopolitically to upgrade (which may be counter-productive)? Or switching to a new branch of job? Or should one choose to not survive instead?
It is a big problem, but it is not the problem of the public who have to consume the cultural products these genre makes.
* * *
From the volunteer human right activities during the past two decades, I have already accumulated a whole representative group of this profile as Facebook friends or I follow them on other social media. During the times of campaigning, collaboration or personal acquaintance we were united towards similar goals but time passed and things changed. So some chose one way of adaptation to another. And so as time went by those most rigid or most egoistic (if I may call them that way), diverged and came out clearly to took side with a different oppressive dominating force. Practically out of habit or financial ties.
I have become increasingly careful giving my trust help organizations or NGOs before studying their financial ties or seeing close to which think tanks their activities is coordinated. And I sense that there is an increasing number of corporate activists, corporate journalists, writers or even artists who functionally under the cover of a human right cause side with the authority and covertly justify military actions, defend US invasion or NATO’s aggression or at least financial sanctions against the countries in the Middle East or North Africa. This has started to emerge implicitly, and even explicitly and activists exhibit this in a whole range of human right causes from freedom of speech, anti-death-penalty, pro-democracy, women rights or LGBT rights. For obvious reasons, the only exceptions are environmental, anti-war or labor right activists.
So what these activists used to do for the benefit of their people, may now serve the opposite purpose. I can not even think of a particular person but I think in patterns. And nature always finds models to satisfy. So here is a test if you have been a pro-democracy activist:
Wherever you are, if you read this and secretly know this is your story there are a couple of signs and symptoms before things break out: You have a tribune from which you can freely condemn the dictatorships of ME but can not not speak up against carrier politicians in the West? Or even some of them because your very survival depends on this self-censorship? Then you are at least susceptible if not affected. Please be pro-active before it is late, reconsider and find new horizons to stay relevant, especially in connection with the host society.
But If you are affected, have you gone that far to join or help a tink tanks who promote wars or financial sanctions officially, not OK.
And since no descent human deserves to have in their social circle a corporate activist/journalist who works against the well-being of their homeland, I thank for your friendship already. But please remove me, before your track record start to indicate enough in few years to come and things start to look bad. I had to already remove few of such connections from Facebook or oppose/unfollow them elsewhere. They had crossed the boundaries. With the ever increasing role of finance in the politics, the current political climate, and the basic rule of “follow the money”, I predict there will be more over time. Feel free to take the upper hand!
The world is complex, geopolitics are dynamic, and an intelligent organism needs to adapt. In the case of us humans not only financially, but also to presevere their dignity.