Reese Erlich


Reese Erlich, author of Conversations with Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence, and Empire, discusses his firsthand account of Iranian street protests following the disputed 2009 election, why the CIA will have trouble co-opting the agendas of Iran’s opposition political parties, the Western tendency to ignore the existence of moderates and focus on the most radical element in Iran (oscillating from the ayatollahs to the president) and how the 1953 coup proves that U.S. policy is to install friendly regimes of any sort while paying lip service to democratic government.

MP3 here. (14:24)

Reese Erlich is the author of The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis, Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You and Dateline Havana: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Future of Cuba. He also produced a one-hour public radio documentary, “The Struggle for Iran.”

In June 2009 he covered the elections in Iran, when an estimated one million demonstrators marched through the streets of Iran. Previously, Erlich had traveled to Iran with the actor Sean Penn. Erlich’s photos accompanied Penn’s five-part series about the trip that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and later in an A&E biography of Penn.

Erlich’s career in journalism goes back more than 40 years, beginning at Ramparts, a national, investigative reporting magazine published in San Francisco, followed by a stint teaching journalism at Bay Area universities for 10 years. He is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and produced acclaimed radio documentaries, which have aired internationally, including “The Russia Project,” “Reaching for Peace in the Holy Land” and “Lessons from Hiroshima 60 Years Later,” all hosted by Walter Cronkite, the legendary CBS news anchor. His documentary “Children of War” was hosted by Charlayne Hunter Gault of NPR and PBS. He reports regularly for a variety of radio networks, including NPR, CBC, ABC (Australia), Radio Deutsche Welle, as well as KQED Radio News and The California Report.

His newspaper articles have appeared in numerous papers in the United States and around the world, including the Christian Science Monitor, the San Francisco Chronicle, St. Petersburg Times, The New York Times Syndicate, Dallas Morning News, and the Chicago Tribune.

13 thoughts on “Reese Erlich”

  1. “Fraudulent election”?

    Amazing accusation by Elrich. After so many academic reports prove:

    “Not a single credible evidence of fraud is fount in the Iranian 2009 presidential election”

    Everyone who talks about that issue MUST read )
    or watch the videos of the statisticians of University of Maryland (WPO) in this link

    I found half a dozen other biased statement from this supposedly anti-war "guest".

    1. The Saban Center at the Brookings Institute, released a publication in June 2009 penned by neocons Martin Indyk, Kenneth Pollack, et al, titled: "Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Towards Iran". Chapter 6: “The United States could play multiple roles in facilitating a revolution. By funding and helping organize domestic rivals of the regime, the United States could create an alternative leadership to seize power. As Raymond Tanter of the Iran Policy Committee argues, students and other groups “need covert backing for their demonstrations. They need fax machines. They need Internet access, funds to duplicate materials, and funds to keep vigilantes from beating them up.” Beyond this, US-backed media outlets could highlight regime shortcomings and make otherwise obscure critics more prominent. The United States already supports Persian language satellite television (Voice of America Persian) and radio (Radio Farda) that bring unfiltered news to Iranians (in recent years, these have taken the lion’s share of overt US funding for promoting democracy in Iran). US economic pressure (and perhaps military pressure as well) can discredit the regime, making the population hungry for a rival leadership……”

    2. One has to ask where in Iran was Mr. Erlich? Tehran, with English speaking friends? I know for a fact he does not speak Persian.

  2. Reese claims MKO are no longer marxist. That is not true, they are still marxist-leninist-islamists, but when courting the neocons they tone down the commie-stuff.

  3. It is quite unfortunate to see that people are willing succumb, and sell their credibility, to a media dominated by AIPAC just to stay in the mainstream.

  4. so much for Anti-war and its inclination towards truth. I am not impressed. In the comments above I noticed the following:

    "One has to ask where in Iran was Mr. Erlich? Tehran, with English speaking friends? I know for a fact he does not speak Persian. "

    I like to see Mr Erlich answer the above question. I also like to ask Mr. Erlich if he has seen the multitude of reports from reputable organizations that analyzed the voting patterns in the last Iranian election and found the result Ahmadinejaad as the clear winner? Does Mr Erlich think that all Iranians live in Tehran? Does he not realize that Iran is a huge country with close to 80 million people where only 14 million of them live in Tehran? Mr. Erlich exemplifies all other so-called Middle East specialists who have absolutely no clue what they are talking about.

  5. Fradulent elections????

    Reese along with others needs to dig far deeper to understand the role of the CIA and other so called "democracy promotion organizations" in the 2009 elections.

    (1)The International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (founded by Peter Ackerman, former Chair of Freedom House and on the board of directors of the CFR) ran a training session during a human rights seminar in Dubai in April of 2005 organized by Yale University’s Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. The session, which included a screening of “Bringing Down a Dictator,” was led by Serbian activist Ivan Marovic, and was attended by several Iranian dissident.. who helped organize the event.

    (2)Michael McFaul, Abbas Milani, and Larry Diamond have been co-directors of the Hoover Institute’s “Iran Democracy Project.” Diamond has been a VP of NED and he and McFaul have been Co-Editors of its journal. Need to check out the "Trojan Horse Plan" conference held by Milani and McFaul at the Hoover Institute!!

  6. (cont'd)

    (2) Note from Abbas Milani’s Washington Quarterly (CSIS) Summer 2005 article, “U.S. Foreign Policy and the Future of Democracy in Iran” from page 51 and 52:

    “The Iranian clerics came to power relatively recently by masterminding a
    political heist and usurping absolutist power in the midst of a democratic
    revolution. They know from experience how easily a small error can gain
    revolutionary momentum overnight and are unlikely to open their citadel to
    gift-bearing Americans. Consequently, the new U.S. strategy must be built
    with small, innocuous jigsaw pieces that can and will coalesce into an organic
    and democratic whole at some unpredictable moment. Every Iranian
    youth who studies at a U.S. university and every Iranian scholar who attends
    a conference, every U.S. scholar or intellectual who visits Iran, and every
    genuine political activist who manages to visit the United States, as well as
    every successful member of the Iranian diaspora who travels home, is a piece
    of that Trojan horse puzzle. It is folly to try to predict the exact moment
    when the pieces will coalesce into a whole.”

  7. Catalyst for Iranian Resistance

    …. in 2005, a secretive "skills-building" meeting for Iranian activists – self described as a "human-rights" workshop – was held in Dubai (United Arab Emirates). According to an attendee, the workshop was organized by "a mixture of Los Angeles-based exiled Iranians, Americans… and three Serbs who said they belonged to the Otpor democratic movement that overthrew the late Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic in 2000." [38] The Serbian connection suggests the possible involvement of two NGO's formed by ex-Otpor members after the ouster of Milosevic, those being the Centre for Non-violent Resistance and the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies; both of which offer training courses all over the world on how to create and run resistance movements. [39] Other possible workshop organizers include the Washington-based International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, as the Dubai workshop focused on teaching how the non-violent tactics used in Serbia could be used "to bring down the [Iranian] regime." [40]

  8. (take a look at this site!)


    AZADY 4


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    …."Tools Needed: You will need Camera’s, (Digital and high lens zoom Camera’s for distant photography, Night film or lens camera, Video recorders and the zoom type video recorders, Phone cameras etc.) "

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