‘NBC’ likens Iran boycott to anti-apartheid struggle

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You have to read this NBC News article (by Richard Engel and Robert Windrem) about the group United Against Nuclear Iran. It’s pretty informative about the group’s efforts, yet disturbing in that typical MSM way–hardly any challenge of UANI’s narrative, barely a word from opponents of the sanctions, and, of course, not a single word about how ordinary Iranians are suffering under the sanctions regime so vigorously pressed by the likes of UANI.

But the part that is just brimming with irony is the discussion of how this group, manned by the Israel lobby’s close friends and counting on its advisory board a former head of the Mossad, has parallels to the anti-apartheid struggle–

The public shaming is a familiar strategy — with a twist. Activists demonstrated and demanded U.S. pension funds and university endowments divest stock in South African companies during the dying days of apartheid in the 1980s and ‘90s.

and how it pressured Caterpillar to stop supplying Iran. You can’t make this stuff up:

“UANI also says it forced Caterpillar, the huge U.S.-based construction company, to stop supplying equipment to Iran. After a letter-writing campaign failed, UANI bought a billboard opposite the company’s headquarters in Peoria, Ill., showing a piece of earth-moving equipment alongside a photo of Ahmadinejad and the words, “Today’s work, tomorrow’s nuclear Iran.” As soon as the company halted the sales in February 2010, the billboard came down.

“At the time, Caterpillar said it did not have extensive business dealings with Iran, and that it couldn’t control sales in the secondary market. But it did bar non-U.S. subsidiaries from accepting orders that it knew were destined from Iran.


For years activists who are working against apartheid have sought to shame Caterpillar for its sale of bulldozers to Israel, including the bulldozer that crushed Rachel Corrie to death in 2003. Has NBC ever published a fulsome piece on their human-rights campaign? Somehow I doubt it.

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Somewhat off topic (but not really,) I discover in the book that I’m currently reading, Joseph J. Trento’s Prelude to Terror: The Rogue CIA and the Legacy of America’s Private Intelligence Network, further evidence that Israel’s nuclear weapons were developed with U.S. government complicity at the highest levels: The Reagan-Bush… Read more »

thanks for the link to the article. Iran indeed has a vile, repressive regime.

people can not be liberal or progressive without understanding that Iran’s regime is backward.

The Iran boycott campaign was hatched in Israel by Benjamin Netanyahu (who had been in the US during the 1980’s) as a conscious echo of the Anti-South African Apartheid campaign — and was promoted at the start by his friend Mitt Romney.

Turning progressiveness around 180% degrees to support pointless Israeli warmongering. How many Israelis will die needlessly? Barak thinks 500 would be reasonable.

Thanks Austin for highlighting this amazing double standard, by NBC and by Caterpillar both. Caterpillar caved in to UANI after they were shamed by a billboard, but will not budge in response to the Rachel Corrie Foundation and criticism from human rights and Palestinian justice advocates. We clearly need to… Read more »