By Kourosh Ziabari
Many people around the world might have credulously or perhaps naively fallen in the trap of believing the tempting claims of the U.S. statesmen and politicians who say that their country is a "beacon of freedom" and a "pioneer of democracy."
It's a bitter reality that many of us have been defeated and overwhelmed by the propaganda of the U.S. mainstream media who incessantly attempt to make their audiences believe that democracy and freedom are originally American values and cannot be found anywhere else in the world, that all of the world nations need the United States to achieve these values and that the United States must resort to every instrument to export these home-made values to the rest of the world, including frequent military expeditions.
But what's the reality on the ground? Who really knows about what's taking place behind the scenes? How much difference is there between the United States which is trimmed and made neat to be put before the eyes of the international community and the United States which mercilessly and inexcusably deprives its own people of getting informed about the latest developments in the world? Isn't it ironic that the same United States whose leaders always boast of democracy, freedom and equal opportunities set off media outlets to direct black propaganda against countries such as Iran while preventing its people from having access to the content of such media?
If you're familiar with the conventional double standards and hypocrisy of the American type, you might have heard about the US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948, popularly known as the Smith-Mundt Act.
This discriminatory and indefensible act which was first signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on January 27, 1948 after getting approval by the 80th Congress is, in a nutshell, a regulation which allows the United States to establish and initiate media outlets which are aimed at non-American audiences in order to further the diplomatic and political objectives and interests of the U.S. overseas; however, these media outlets, including radio and TV stations, are unavailable to the U.S. citizens, and to put it more succinctly, it's forbidden for them to have access to these media channels.
The legislation which was introduced in the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs at the request of State Department, authorizes the U.S. State Department to communicate to audiences outside of the borders of the United States through broadcasting, face to face contacts, exchanges, online activities, the publishing of books, magazines, and other media of communication and engagement. Funding for these activities comes from other legislation passed by the U.S. Congress called appropriations.
According to this law, the materials which are produced to be broadcast through certain American media outlets cannot and should not be disseminated and publicized domestically and can be only available to the members of Congress and academicians. With the concerted efforts of several U.S. Congressmen, the Act was amended to read: "no program material prepared by the United States Information Agency shall be distributed within the United States."
However, it's interesting to note that at the time of working on the compilation of the Smith-Mundt Act, fierce controversies had arisen among the congressmen, including a quarrel over how to "remove the stigma of propaganda" from this law, because even the U.S. lawmakers had come to the conclusion that it was an all-out replica of the propaganda machinery of the former Soviet Union and Nazi regime.
Seven radio and TV stations are covered by the Act, two of which are exclusively dedicated to Iran: Radio Farda and Voice of America. It means that the American citizens cannot watch the TV programs which VOA airs and listen to what the Radio Farda broadcasts.
This clearly shows that the U.S. statesmen and politicians have predetermined and programmed plans for the nation of Iran and it's on their agenda to sow the seeds of discord between different groups of Iranian nation by airing programs in which nothing can be traced but mere propaganda, falsification and fabrication.
A quick look at the performance of media outlets such as VOA and Radio Farda helps us comprehend that making the Iranian nation worried about the current situation of the country, spreading falsehood and untruth about the course of events and developments in the country and advertising the large-scale policies of the White House and the Israeli regime with regards to Iran are the main objectives of these state-run media which are sumptuously funded and excessively supported by the U.S. government.
According to the statistics released by Washington Post, the U.S. Congress has allocated an annual budget of $7 million to Radio Farda and by using this profuse amount of money, this soft war machine unremittingly produces and disseminates falsehood and mendacious propaganda against the nation of Iran.
Maybe, it may be necessary for the people of the United States to know where they taxes go and how their government spends on its unrelenting wars with the countries which don't want to fall under the umbrella of U.S. hegemony.
The American people are deprived of listening to the propaganda of Radio Farda and VOA; however, it is vital for them to know that their government does not really represent a "beacon of freedom" nor does it have the features of a "pioneer of democracy" but is more of a propaganda machine programmed to wage wars and win profits.