Iran beats US for wrestling world cup, but you wouldn’t know it from watching NBC

Middle East
on 14 Comments

When U.S. President Donald Trump stopped all incoming travelers from seven primarily-Muslim countries, Saudi Arabia was not on the list but Iran was.  Iran retaliated by blocking all Americans from traveling to Iran, including the U.S. wrestling team who were scheduled to compete in the annual wrestling version of the World Cup. When the ban got knocked down stateside, the Iranians relented and at the last minute the U.S. wrestlers got on a plane and arrived in Iran to a warm welcome.

The plot thickened as it all came down to the U.S. vs. Iranian teams in the final.

In a close competition, the Iranians won for the 6th year in a row, an amazing feat for a relatively small nation. You might think a sports drama like that would be of interest to the media. But NBC, who had rights to cover the event, instead opted for a blackout on it.  Presumably, it conflicted with their propaganda talking points.  But even sports fans might be catching on.

I saw the following posted in the comments section of a wrestling website:

“The powers that be in the US mainstream media, of which NBC is a prominent player, are not willing to expose Americans to an athletic event in which Iran and Iranians are portrayed as they actually are: cultured, rational, and especially friendly to the US and Americans. Did you hear the chants of “Jordan, Jordan” when Burroughs wrestled opponents from other countries? All Americans were warmly welcomed by the Iranian wrestlers and fans. Do you think the shapers of thought in the US want Joe Sixpack and the common man to see this and ask themselves the big question: “Boy, everyone says that those Iranians are the apex of evil, and that they hate us in America, but look: they love the American wrestlers and they root for our guys. They also look pretty normal and enthusiastic about wrestling. Maybe they’re not so bad after all…” Wake up, people. You have been IV dripped with false kool aid about these people. They are the ones with boots on the ground in Syria, fighting the head choppers and liver eaters of ISIS. I know that FLO is a wrestling site and not a political site, but when they post on why mainstream media is not willing to show wrestling from Iran, ignoring the mainstream media’s politically driven bias against Iran gives much less than a complete picture.”

About Robert Visznevski

Robert Visznevski is a native born American who has never owned a television.  He works as a building scientist on the east coast.

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14 Responses

  1. WH
    February 24, 2017, 12:02 pm

    A relatively small nation? From Wikipedia: ‘Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second-largest country in the Middle East and the 18th-largest in the world. With 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the world’s 17th-most-populous country.’

  2. gamal
    February 24, 2017, 4:35 pm

    Hafez wrote

    “fear is the cheapest room in the house, you deserve better conditions”

    and

    “the Sun never said to the Earth you owe me, love like that lights the whole sky”

  3. Frankie P
    February 27, 2017, 5:46 am

    Damn, Robert! More than half your article is MY comment from flo. Who could imagine that Frankie P’s laser comments would be picked up from a wrestling website and then put in an article on mondoweiss, a site that I have visited for years, not as regularly any more. There are too many restrictions on content here, content that is germane and necessary in order to understand and analyze the I/P conflict. Anyway, thanks. I’m glad someone likes my comments! Actually, a few people on flo hit that comment with a “like”.

  4. Frankie P
    February 27, 2017, 6:52 am

    Another comment to offer some interesting points.

    First, in international competition in wrestling, Iranian wrestlers will NOT wrestle against opponents from the apartheid state of Israel. They forfeit the match and take a loss. Iranian wrestlers do, however, compete against Jewish wrestlers from other nations. A perfect example of how being anti-Israel is NOT being anti-semitic.

    Second, for those with any interest in wrestling, the oldest sport, you should know that Russia does NOT send their A squad to the World Cup, a team competition. If they did, you can be confident that the outcome would be different. Another point that makes the US less competitive in international wrestling is the fact that folkstyle wrestling is what we do in the US, from pee-wee leagues right up through NCAA university competition. Folkstyle is not an international style of wrestling and it’s not easy to make a quick transition from folkstyle to freestyle or Greco-Roman, the two styles of international competition. The number of US wrestlers competing in freestyle at a younger age is growing, which gives more hope that the US can stay in the top tier of nations in the sport.

    Finally, your condescending attitude towards “sports fans” is nothing less than ugly and uncalled for, and I’m calling you out on it. I would wager that I am equally if not more knowledgeable on the I/P conflict as yourself. Don’t fall into one if the “Chomsky contradictions”. Old Noam sticks up for the proles out of one side of his mouth, saying that common workers, blue collar deplorables, are entirely able to make decisions about governance and civil issues, but then he attacks sports fans for following their favorite sport and being knowledgeable about player statistics. Can’t they do both, Noam and David?

    On flo, I comment under the name “mattsuncle” or “pa in taiwan”, but here I remain,

    Frankie P

    • gamal
      February 27, 2017, 11:05 am

      “Second, for those with any interest in wrestling, the oldest sport, you should know that Russia does NOT send their A squad to the World Cup, a team competition”

      and yet

      “We always went to the World Cup with different squads, but it is the first time when we are taking the top squad. We know what it is to wrestle in Iran, the World Cup is held there for the fifth time in a row. We managed to win once there, and now we are intended to repeat that success. Today, the calendar has slightly changed, and the European Championships was moved from March to May, but we are taking the top Russia Wrestling team athletes to Iran not only for this reason, I am going to tell you a little bit differently. The World Cup is a significant event for us, which goes after the World Championships. The best teams of the world are coming there, coming with its strongest wrestlers in the squads. And we want to proof that we are the strongest in the world. In fact, it does not matter for our team which wrestlers we are going to take and who will come to wrestle against us. When we are wrestling with the Iranians in Iran – it is a true wrestling rivalry meeting for us. Even though the draw has not taken place yet, for the dual against the Iran wrestling team we are going to focus and prepare in a special way. Do not emphasize that we have Olympic champions in our team squad; any squad of Iran wrestling team together with their fans is comparable to the national team of Olympic champions. Iranians, like us, will wrestle only for the gold.”

      http://russiawrestling.com/russia-greco-roman-team-bringing-top-wrestlers-take-revenge-world-cup-2017/

      “Old Noam sticks up for the proles out of one side of his mouth, saying that common workers, blue collar deplorables, are entirely able to make decisions about governance and civil issues, but then he attacks sports fans for following their favorite sport and being knowledgeable about player statistics”

      if I recall right the point Chomsky makes is that those who say that blue-collar people are too dim to deal with complex politics he points out that they are perfectly capable of retaining astonishing amounts of complex information about the sports teams they support and are thus well able to retain data and deal with complexity he was affirming their mental capacities not denigrating them.

      and as to Russian wrestling they are not all Alex Karelins or even Feodor Emelianenkos, I grapple for hours every week but am very weak on stats, I can’t remember the names of most of my training partners, i blame upward mobility and blood/ air deprivation.

      • Keith
        February 27, 2017, 11:38 am

        GAMAL- “if I recall right the point Chomsky makes is that those who say that blue-collar people are too dim to deal with complex politics he points out that they are perfectly capable of retaining astonishing amounts of complex information about the sports teams they support and are thus well able to retain data and deal with complexity he was affirming their mental capacities not denigrating them.”

        My recollection is the same as yours. I do, however, disagree with Noam’s assessment insofar as the current state of the American political economy does not reflect well on the US citizenry. Surely, the citizens are not entirely blameless. And what does this say about a truly meaningful democracy?

      • Frankie P
        February 27, 2017, 6:45 pm

        Gamal,

        I am a huge fan of Iranian freestlye wrestling, and my comment regarding Russia not bringing their top squad was not meant to imply that Iran would not have won the World Cup. I stated that the outcome would have been different, and I stand by that. You should keep in mind that this article and my comment were addressing freestyle wrestling, not Greco-Roman. The article you link to refers to the Russian Greco-Roman team. I’m not much of a fan of Greco-Roman, a much less popular and dynamic form of wrestling in which leg attacks are not allowed. The main course of the World Cup in Iran is freestyle wrestling.

        The evidence that Russia did not bring their best is easy to find. On January 27 – 29, 2017, the Russians held the prestigious Ivan Yariguin wrestling tournament in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
        https://unitedworldwrestling.org/event/ivan-yariguin-2
        This tournament is widely hailed as one of if not the most difficult freestyle tournament in the world. The wrestlers who represented Russia in the freestyle World Cup in Iran were bronze medal winners in that tournament, falling to other Russians. Another piece of evidence can be found in the United World Wrestling freestyle rankings. The Russian representatives to the World Cup in Iran were NOT the highest ranking Russians at their weight classes; indeed, some were not even ranked in the top 20 in the world while other Russians were in the top 5.

        Peace and happy grappling!
        Frankie P

    • gamal
      February 27, 2017, 7:32 pm

      “does not reflect well on the US citizenry. Surely, the citizens are not entirely blameless”

      that may be so but how do you expect the working classes (middle class) to unravel the mass of propaganda to which they are exposed, there is no left at all in the US (i have been reading Morris Berman and watching him on youtube, he seems ok to me)

      in the west the left has failed, in the UK it has evaporated, in the US its common for people to be unable to distinguish between social democrats, socialists, communists, Maoist, Trots etc,

      they are all equally evil, the whole culture has been crushed under a nieburh lippman bernays avalanche of deranging propaganda

      American culture has some very totalitarian qualities, people are afraid.

      Tom Frank said something that struck me ‘In a meritocracy there is no solidarity’

      like Chomsky i partially grew up in working class environments where everyone understood instictively the need to show solidarity against the authorities, Americans have become fearful and confused and inevitably when revolution comes to the US it is a revolution of the right,

      what is the populace supposed to do there is no credible resistant social justice movement, the entertainment/news confuses if you consume it uncritically,

      the Arabs always say you can’t blame the US people because their government drenches them in propaganda

      where is the left? i haven’t seen it since the mid-eighties and it didn’t look well.

      weren’t red necks originally those heroes who fought at Blair mountain, working people

      we are going to need something new to transform this society after the open looting of the economy Americans have been mobilised against the sharia, black boys, refugees and mexicans, well i have been here before its the ’70’s but without a left.

      you win nothing politically by winning arguments someone is going to have to confront the state, its a messy business fraught with problems, you need good politically well educated cadres it takes time needs building

      were i to blame anyone its the left thinkers and theorists and activists, new ideas are needed.

      the people are the object of love, however down pressed however they collude, it is love of all the people that powers real resistance how can i hold them to account when their failures are in the main mine.

      • Keith
        February 27, 2017, 10:28 pm

        GAMAL- “that may be so but how do you expect the working classes (middle class) to unravel the mass of propaganda to which they are exposed….”

        Where there is a will there is a way. I am not seeing the will. I am seeing a society willingly organized into a hierarchical tribe, like Chimpanzees, with the majority acting as faithful followers searching for cues as to how the elites want them to behave. Propaganda works because most wish to be deceived. To put their faith in unifying myths rather than divisive reality. At this stage of the game, the Deep State is likely too powerful to be effectively resisted. But it wasn’t always thus. The very fact that a revolt at the polls is virtually inconceivable (Trump hardly qualifies as a revolt) is testament to a citizenry eager to comply and demonstrate their loyalty to oligarchy and empire. And the left has failed because in the long run money overwhelms all opposition. “Democracy” is a myth. We have spent about 200 years replacing a religion justified nobility with a money justified capitalist nobility. Lord Gates, Lord Saban, Lord Soros, etc.

      • RoHa
        March 1, 2017, 3:47 am

        For the British working class, and, perhaps, the working classes of most of Europe and Asia, there has not been a lot of point to learning the details of political affairs. Historically, their lives were directed by emperors, kings, rajas, lords, abbots, high priests, archbishops, and the like, regardless of the wishes, interests, or ideas of the peasants and workers. And now come the new, unhappy, lords, who fight by shuffling papers, but with equal disregard for the opinions of the lower classes. Capitalist or commissar, their doors are shut in the evening, and they know no songs.

        http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/secret-people.html

  5. Kay24
    February 27, 2017, 7:30 am

    In the US, the media always diminish the greatness of a nation that it has been told is an enemy, out to get us, and any accomplishments are ignored. It is always the negatives that get highlighted, leaving the people ignorant, misinformed, and disliking it. It is such a shame.
    Iran is supposed to be a beautiful country, with a culture and history, any nation can be proud of.
    They have a young and educated population, and it is time they were accepted by the rest of the world (okay it does not matter one bit that Israel demonizes it).

  6. John Smithson
    February 27, 2017, 7:00 pm

    That’s the beauty of this website – it grows roots and spreads. Good ideas do well in the marketplace of ideas and spread. No matter how hard others try to stop the meme from spreading.

    Phil and the boys pushed a relatively small rock down the hill, it’s picking up speed and size as it rolls…

    Amazing how much more receptive friends and family are after a few years of ‘closer’ or more ‘critical’ observation of their own government, politicians, and Israel itself – once you look thru the new prism you can un-see what you’ve seen.

    Like the Soviet system – all seems powerful and solid, until the sudden collapse.

    Wish I could short Israel as a stock – wait, maybe I can…

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