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: 704

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

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

We shall see the response from his representatives.

Comment by Sassan K. on September 6, 2011 at 8:37am

It is quoted that he requested permission - this doesn't seem to be "false". Someone from his camp must have sent in a request. And it serves no purpose for the Islamic Republic to make a claim and then retract it - it would make them look foolish. It seems that indeed someone from Mr. Moore's camp sent in a request.

Comment by Sassan K. on September 6, 2011 at 10:47am

Again, it doesn't matter if I don't have direct quotes from him as of yet, here are direct quotes from the Iranian minister:

"He has asked [for permission] to travel to Iran, and we are trying to invite him to the Cinema Verite," Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Javad Shamaqdari said during a meeting at the Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) in Tehran on Wednesday.

The Cinema Verite is an Iranian international festival for documentary films, which is organized by the DEFC.

"Michael Moore has said that he has watched some Iranian films, which were very special for him," Shamaqdari said.

"He said that he has never had such an image of Iran as was shown in the films, and that he was astonished to see Iranian youth skiing and going to coffee shops," he added.

"He has said that 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," Shamaqdari stated.

For him to even consider it or to show interest is despicable.

Comment by Sassan K. on September 6, 2011 at 11:52am

It's the full quotation (which you obviously did not include) and in previous years such definitive statements were not made such as they were made with this statement provided. Again, most definitely there was some sort of contact between the camp of Michael Moore and the Islamic Republic. That in itself is despicable.

Comment by Albert Bakker on September 6, 2011 at 12:43pm

Actually yes nukes are going to be used, B61 Mod11 thermonuclear bunker busters, with delayed action ignition and plenty of DU to increase kinetic energy penetrating potential. Hersh reported on those plans quite a while ago. The Iranians took precautions, which might have driven the Americans to take into consideration even more drastic measures. So yes nukes are first option.

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