#Maha_Amini hashtag on street advertising in downtown Brussels! What can this mean?

Till now I have found the ubiquitous coverage of the anti-Government demonstrations in Iran on our key news broadcasters in Europe to be merely a minor nuisance as regards my news intake.  The BBC, Euronews and similar mainstream stations have merely replaced their Kiev-written scripts about the war as lead news items at the top of the hour with Washington-written scripts about the disturbances in Iran.  Both propaganda scripts are tedious and compel me to flip channels to Mezzo, even if I am not particularly in the mood for classical music at that moment.

But this afternoon the propaganda deluge has reached a new dimension. As I strolled down Avenue Louise on my way home from my swim club, I was struck by a new advertising display on the sidewalk which replaced the usual promotional ads for wine or veggies at discounted prices by one or another of the supermarket chains:  there was the portrait of Mahsa Amini with her hashtag! My first thought was who in hell is paying for this invasion of our collective right to a politics free promenade down one of the city’s best boulevards.

The website www.iranintl.com informs us that the Mahsa Amini hashtag has broken historic records:
“The hashtag that has been trending in support of Mahsa Amini, the young woman whose death has triggered nationwide protests in Iran, has been retweeted more than 40 million times.”  

And how do they explain this success, which is said to be about 10 times more than the trendiest hashtags on twitter:  “it is a feat achieved thanks to the cooperation of numerous celebrities and political figures as well as human rights activists and organizations.”

What is missing in this explanation is the unseen hand of the U.S. Government and its helpmates, whether George Soros or other do-gooders, who are surely busy financing both the demonstrations in Iran and the vast media coverage about the demos here in Western Europe if not around the world.

Why the anti-Government demos in Iran that are calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic?  Why now?

Well, a couple of weeks ago we all learned from the Washington megaphones that Iran is supplying drones, and/or drone technology to Russia to help with the destruction of the Ukrainian electricity and heating infrastructure.  The call went up on Capitol Hill to impose new, crushing sanctions on Iran as punishment for its joining the Russian war effort. Unfortunately, it soon emerged that every conceivable sanction had already been imposed on Iran ages ago, so that route proved to be a dead end.  Hence, the bright idea of some ambitious careerists in the State Department or its paid consultants to fire up the Opposition forces in Iran and to give them unlimited promotional coverage on global broadcasting. 

This ‘turn the tap’ kind of cynical manipulation of public opinion in the West might seem inventive if it had not been so well foreseen and described by George Orwell in 1984

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022

12 thoughts on “#Maha_Amini hashtag on street advertising in downtown Brussels! What can this mean?

  1. There were protests here in London too and many of my many Iranian friends participated. I am not sure whether this is the product of some manipulation by the US, and it may well be. Nonetheless, women being killed for exposing their hair is a disgraceful fact, which should be rightfully protested against. It is true from what I hear from my Iranian acquaintances that in Iran there is a “morality police” which arrest women for such indecencies as not wearing the veil properly. And while the Ukrainian issue is becoming controversial, as most people are losing faith in the righteousness of opposing Russia, I cannot find anyone in their right mind who would not stand for Iranian women in this case. Interestingly, some Iranians were saying that Ukraine was stealing too much attention from the abuses and oppressions of Muslim regimes across the world.


    1. Nobody is being killed for “exposing their hair”. People are being killed by the security forces during violent protests aimed at overthrowing the current government, many of these protests being organised and assisted by foreign powers and NGOs. Many Iranian police and security forces have been killed during these protests. Are you aware a Shia shrine shrine was bombed recently resulting in at least 15 deaths? You think your Western “liberal” governments would turn a blind eye to protests that turn openly violent.

      And, while I personally do not care for the idea of a religion based “morality police”, I do not endorse or support the right of any nation in the collective West to try and destabilise or destroy countries with different social and cultural values.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Be it as you say, and those protests may well be pumped by the collective West and highlighted in the media (but not sooo much really, as some Iranians were quick to point out to me). It is also an easy cause for celebrities to espouse. However, there are many in Iran who don’t want to live under that oppressive regime which deprives especially women of their basic rights. To say nothing of homosexuals, who can be killed. Iranian women who lived in the 70s remember a different world. The world out there reaches the ears of young Iranians. It is not a matter of being open-minded, intercultural, and respectful of other ideological systems. Someone there is oppressed and if they could, they’d get rid of their oppressors. There is no protest without violence if the oppressor themselves is violent.


  2. This comment is intriguing, but a tad unsatisfying: it explains the motivation of those who would want to see widely publicized anti-government demonstrations in Iran but says nothing about the method.


  3. Orwell? Forsooth. Edward Bernays.

    “His best-known campaigns include a 1929 effort to promote female smoking by branding cigarettes as feminist “Torches of Freedom”, and his work for the United Fruit Company in the 1950s, connected with the CIA-orchestrated overthrow of the democratically elected Guatemalan government in 1954.”


  4. Yes, of course ! that’s the reason Gilbert, for all this anti-Iran propaganda, its suppling drones to Russia. I read somewhere that the young woman had died of a health problem she had – she was not killed by Iran’s police or other forces… hard to get that thru the tumult of allegations.. typical western trickery


  5. Certainly it seems that Maha Alini may have had a pre-existing medical condition that led to her demise in police detention. So what? Hardly the point, is it? Why was she arrested in the first place? I have no time whatsoever for religious fanatics of any kind in power in this day and age, and the petty officiousness of small-minded police bureaucrats enforcing stupid rules. We get that in my country, where Quebec fines English commercial signage, workplace usage of English and bans most education in English. It has a cadre of language police to ferret out the “guilty”. Not to mention the banning of hijabs and other religious symbols is also the law. They’re a right bunch of cretins in Quebec, in my view, not that different from Ukraine forcing Russian speakers to learn in Ukrainian.

    Never mentioned in any of this pro-Iran nonsense is the way a Canadian woman of Persian extraction back on a genealogical expedition was jailed for years for no reason. Or the SAM downing of a discount Ukraine Air jetliner Flight 752 very shortly after leaving Tehran airport in Jan 2020. 176 people died horribly. Flights before and after suffered no attacks. On board that airliner were 138 souls who were either Canadian or landed immigrants or students returning to university in Canada. The feeling here was was that the shootdown was punishment for Canada’s continual carping about the way its visiting citizens were treated in Iran. The most absurd reasons were advanced by the Iranians about how this atrocity came about, ONCE they even admitted they had done it. Like a shift change of the soldiers manning the missile battery, but somehow they got off two well-aimed rounds. Unbelievable nonsense.

    Look, it’s one thing to support Russia’s reasoning for the SMO and to dismiss the ravings and atrocities of Zelensky and co as complete nonsense that needs to be ended forcibly, I do. But that does not mean that one should fall into the trap of awarding the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to the governing religious nutbars in Iran simply because they are Russian allies. It’s perverse to do so, in my opinion. Nobody can use that kind of fake logic on me and make it stick, particularly as I know some Persians who’ve lived in my country for years and are naturalized citizens who can supply chapter and verse on the utter nonsense of the ruling clerics. And as Elena says above, women get the short end of the ideological stick, so defending Iran’s social mores is a losing proposition with me.

    Sure, the US is up to its usual colour revolution regime-destabilization antics, for which I have no time either. But the current social situation in Iran is not one to put up to a mirror or under a microscope and declare as wonderful. Russophiles should remember that if they are true to themselves.

    When you live in a smaller country like Canada, you discover the way the big boys treat us is not the same way they treat each other. I am decidedly not a fan of the way Chinese ambassadors have lectured us in the past, for example, particularly in 2015. On the other hand, I do not recall Russia being nasty to us, so the current hate is pure fabricated Western nonsense per the US script. The USA often has trade disputes with us even though we have a trade treaty that should obviate the need for complaints. However, as one example, when the growers of US softwood complain, we get it in the ear and duties on our exports soar unilaterally. The US has lost every WTO case on the matter for decades, but that doesn’t stop them doing it over and over again hoping for a different result. And American politicians back these people because money. Einsteins they are not.


    1. I am really impressed by the thought process from which your comment emerges: unlike most of the rest of us, you refuse to be mentally enslaved by any kind of party membership or ideological adherence. I, for example, a Canadian like you with deep antipathy towards the US, often fall in love uncritically with anyone who challenges our southern neighbours. Many of us can learn from you!


  6. . The feeling here was was that the shootdown was punishment for Canada’s continual carping about the way its visiting citizens were treated in Iran.

    I live in Canada and have not head that.

    It was shot down because Tehran was at a very high level of alert. Iran was in the process of delivering a missile attack on a US military base in Iraq and was worried about US retaliation. The air defence people screwed up badly but they were not shooting at Canadians.

    The Iranian gov’t may be a collection of religious hardliners but they are not stupid.


Comments are closed.