KAHLILI: Michael Moore, rethink your trip to Iran

Filmmaker fixates on anti-Americanism while ignoring mullah massacres

Illustration: Michael Moore by Linas Garsys for The Washington TimesIllustration: Michael Moore by Linas Garsys for The Washington Times

 

American filmmaker Michael Moore has asked for permission to travel to Iran to attend Cinema Verite, an Iranian international festival for documentary films, according to Mehr News, the mouthpiece news agency of Iran's Islamic regime.

In a big-headlined story in the Iranian media, Mr. Moore is quoted as saying he wants to visit Iran to do research about the country. In addition, he is an opponent of U.S. government policies, and he wants to show his objection by traveling to Iran.

Mr. Moore, who has directed several well-known documentaries, has always claimed to take the side of ordinary people and has portrayed himself as someone who stands up for the rights of the abused.

It is this reputation that makes Mr. Moore's proposed visit to Iran a betrayal of the very principles he claims to stand for.

Since the 1979 revolution, the Islamic regime of Iran has executed tens of thousands of Iranian youths without giving them the right to a defense. During the summer of 1988 alone, about 30,000 young people were executed and buried in mass graves because they were accused of being "mohareb" - enemies of Allah - all because they objected to the harsh rule of the clerics.

Mr. Moore should know - he should understand - that Iranian citizens have no rights. Women are subjected to flogging for failing to wear the Islamic hijab; men are beaten for drinking, even in the privacy of their home. People suffer amputation for stealing; they are stoned for adultery; and rape, torture and hanging are common for speaking out against the clerics. Thousands of Iranian girls, boys, poets, writers, activists, teachers, artists and others from every walk of life remain in Iranian prisons without the right to defend themselves. Iranian officials are routinely sanctioned for violating human rights in Iran.

The very cinema festival that Mr. Moore wants to endorse is subjected to extreme censorship by the Guidance Ministry, which decides which films will be shown and which will be banned. Many movies don't make it to the screen because they promote free thinking or give a hint of what freedom really means. Many directors and actors end up in prison because they try to defend the rights of the people.

More recently, one of the most influential Iranian filmmakers, Jafar Panahi, was imprisoned - because he supported the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom and had sympathized with the youths who had protested the fraudulent 2009 presidential elections. The secret police arrested him in March of 2010 along with his wife, children and friends. He was sentenced to prison and barred from making movies for 20 years.

Mr. Panahi stated in an open letter on the occasion of the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival, Berlinale (which he was barred from attending) "The reality is that they have deprived me of thinking and writing for twenty years; however, I cannot avoid dreaming that in twenty years the inquisition and intimidation will be abolished. ... They have condemned me to 20 years of silence. However, in my dreams, I scream for a time when we can tolerate each other, respect each other's opinions, and live for each other."

Many before Mr. Moore have traveled to Iran to show their opposition to the policies of America, the very country that has provided them the opportunity of free thinking and free will.

Mr. Moore fails to understand what endorsing evil does. He fails to understand that any affirmation, any recognition of the radicals ruling Iran is a direct insult to all the Iranians who have paid dearly with their blood to have what Mr. Moore takes for granted.

Instead of traveling to Iran, where the Islamic government will use him as a means for its propaganda, as it has done with others, Mr. Moore should make a documentary about the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy - a documentary about the injustices done to young people, middle-aged people, old people who want nothing more than their rights as human beings.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy who is a fellow with EMPact America and the author of "A Time to Betray," about his double life in Iran's Revolutionary Guards (Threshold Editions, Simon & Schuster, 2010).

Views: 678

Tags: Hizbollah, Iran, Islam, Islamic, Michael, Moore, Republic, terrorism

Comment by kris feenstra on September 6, 2011 at 4:00am

Mr. Moore should make a documentary about the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy...

 

And he's supposed to do that without even going to the country?  I'm not really much of a Michael Moore fan, but my criticism has little to do with my opinion of him.  This article has almost no facts in it; it's a giant straw man.  Perhaps the article would be better served by direct comments from Moore himself showing that a) he is, in fact, going, and b) that he supports anything attributed to him in this article, explicitly or implicitly.

 

I'm actually a bit skeptical that he even is going (not that I really care all that much).  There isn't much in the way of information on this.  According to the Tehran Times, there have been two similar announcements in 2007 and 2008. Moore did not go to Iran in either of those cases.  I don't know much about the Tehran Times, but the information appears to be accurate.  While the third time may be a charm, and Moore may, in fact attend, I think this is cause for some pretty healthy skepticism. 

 

Perhaps the claims true, and the author has a valid point, but I'm not sure why I'm supposed to take him at his word without any statements from Moore or his representatives.  The article itself is trash.

Comment by Albert Bakker on September 6, 2011 at 5:54am

I don't think facts are of primary interest to mr. "Reza Kahlili"  This thrash piece was placed in the Washington Times, which is also not famous for it's accuracy to say the least.

Khalili's background remains unclear, his claims grandiose, but shaky or unsubstantiated, yet his performances outstanding. The pattern reminds me a lot of Khidir Hamza aka "Saddam's Bombmaker" subtitled "The Daring Escape of the Man Who Built Iraq's Secret Weapon."

If it is all true that he claims here about Moore, he should be grateful to him. For just by showing up at a movie festival he sets up Iranians against him and by extension against any liberal peace-nik. Maybe if he gives autographs he might annoy Iranians so much that it drives them straight into the hands of MEK, and loudly support the pro-war hawks who want to "nuke" Iran, which would be a victory for neocons (who feverishly support the terrorist organization) beyond anything even remotely imaginable today.

Comment by Sassan K. on September 6, 2011 at 6:07am

Kris, Michael Moore doesn't need to go inside of Iran to make a documentary of the 2009' protests and the aspirations of the Iranian people. Michael Moore going to Tehran would be going in the way that Sean Penn did to cozy up with the Mullahs. He would be going as a stooge of the Islamic Republic. And to call the article trash is ridiculous and wrong. The article is exposing Michael Moore in an attempt to influence his decision making by exposing this to the media.

And Albert, I would suggest you spelling the word "trash" correctly. In addition, Mr. Kahlili is a hero who risked his life for exposing the Islamic Republic. He himself is the one who exposed the video in which he was the source of the leak ("The Coming is Upon Us") in which the Islamic Republic produced a video about their preparations for mass havoc in the return of the "hidden imam". And you can try to discredit the messenger but it simply doesn't work. Mr. Kahlili was a CIA/Revolutionary Guards spy who risked his life in exposing the IRI and this has been confirmed on numerous occasions by the intelligence agencies and currently is a part of the JCITA’s (Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy of DOD) and the CI CENTRE: The Leader in Counterintelligence programs.

And while I don't mind either way the MEK being on or off the list of terror sponsors; the MEK has no relevance in this discussion and have virtually no support among the Iranian populace. You attempt to change the conversation at hand - but the fact remains that our only policies need to be regime change and assisting the Iranian people when they rise up once again in approximately 2-years during their next round of fake elections.

Comment by Sassan K. on September 6, 2011 at 6:13am

and loudly support the pro-war hawks who want to "nuke" Iran, which would be a victory for neocons

And no one wants to "nuke" Iran. Stop the lies and nonsense in an attempt to drive in a false point. International assistance via NATO is not "nuking".

Comment by Michael on September 6, 2011 at 6:54am

You must be kidding me if you think there are not elements in American politics who would love nothing more than to drop bombs on Iran.

Comment by kris feenstra on September 6, 2011 at 6:55am

And to call the article trash is ridiculous and wrong. The article is exposing Michael Moore in an attempt to influence his decision making by exposing this to the media.

 

If there was a reference to anything that Michael Moore has actually said, done, or factually committed to, then you might have a point.  There isn't.  It's garbage.

 

From Kahlili's article:

In a big-headlined story in the Iranian media, Mr. Moore is quoted as saying he wants to visit Iran to do research about the country. In addition, he is an opponent of U.S. government policies, and he wants to show his objection by traveling to Iran.

 

If it's a direct quote, then why not just provide the direct quote?  Possibly because it's not a direct quote; it's actually a quote from Javad Shamaqdari speaking on Moore's behalf (at least that's what I get in the english version on mehrnews.com.)  If there's another version out there somewhere -- one that provides a direct quote from Moore or his representatives --, I'd certainly take that, but until then, I stand by calling the article trash.

 

Kris, Michael Moore doesn't need to go inside of Iran to make a documentary of the 2009' protests and the aspirations of the Iranian people.

 

It's a pretty half-assed documentary if he doesn't.

Comment by Sassan K. on September 6, 2011 at 7:00am

You must be kidding me if you think there are not elements in American politics who would love nothing more than to drop bombs on Iran.

Not nukes. And as an Iranian, I would also support the support of the international community in liberation. Again, he said "nukes" - big difference.

And Kris, the sole purpose of that film festival is for propaganda. He can not produce a film against the regime based on a pro-government film festival he would be attending. He would be used as a propaganda tool by the regime - nothing more and nothing less.

Comment by kris feenstra on September 6, 2011 at 7:06am

The point is about going to the country.  He can't make a credible documentary on Iran without going to Iran, which I don't think he even has any intentions of doing.  You speak of propaganda, but to be honest, the announcement that he's going to the film festival appears to be nothing but propaganda.

Comment by Sassan K. on September 6, 2011 at 7:08am

We shall see the response from his representatives.

Comment by kris feenstra on September 6, 2011 at 7:11am

This is still missing the mark.  You can't put out a story on sketchy info and hope that it's true in the end.  On two previous occasions, it was not true, making this time a round a bad (though, I suppose, not out of the question) bet.  By proper methods, an official statement from his reps should have be acquired first.

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