Jello Biafra on Iran: the Coup, the Threats

Jello Biafra From NAFTA to Obama, capitalism to terrorism, Jello Biafra has an opinion about everything.

Born Eric Reed Boucher in 1958, "Biafra" is a famous punk rock musician/frontman who used to lead The Dead Kennedys. In 1979, he founded the record label Alternative Tentacles and ran for Mayor against Dianne Feinstein in his hometown of San Francisco.

Biafra is also a spoken word artist, well known political activist and outspoken social critic. In 2000, he was nominated as a Presidential candidate for the Green Party, the position ultimately held by Ralph Nader.

Open Letter to Barack Obama - 2008

In December 2008, Biafra wrote an expansive "Open Letter to Barack Obama", which referred to Mossadegh and the 1953 coup, linking to (thanks Jello):

"Threatening Iran made for great red meat on the campaign trail. But any attack on Iran—by us or using the Israelis as a proxy—will blow up in our face worse than Iraq and Afghanistan combined. It will wipe out any good will and benefit of a doubt we have left in the eyes of the rest of the world. Iran is three times the size of Iraq and much more mountainous. The people there already hate our guts, thanks to our overthrow of their democratically elected leader Mohammed Mossadegh in 1954, ushering in 25 years of torture under the Shah. Backing and aiding Saddam Hussein in the eight-year Iran-Iraq war that cost a million lives did not help either.

So, alas, we will not be "greeted as liberators." But we could run straight into a worldwide "Day the Earth Stood Still" if Iran responds by blocking all oil shipments out of the Persian Gulf. Iran knows full well they wouldn't even have to blockade the narrow Strait of Hormuz. All they would have to do is sink a tanker or freighter or two and no other ships will move. Not from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, nothing. Surely we can do better than this. Even Robert Gates seems to think so. Reckless threats against Pakistan will not solve anything, either."

2006 Interview

In a June 2006 interview with alternative Virginia newspaper The Port Folio Weekly, Jello Biafra talked about the possibility of war with Iran and the 1953 coup which toppled the elected government of Iran.

A vocal opponent of the Iraq war, Biafra warns that Iran is "not a real threat" and that a war with Iran would be "10 times worse" than Iraq, adding "If we attack Iran, we're toast!" And..

"It didn’t take some weasel in a think tank to predict what was actually going to go wrong in Iraq. I’m probably one of millions of people who accurately predicted it long before we invaded, based on the minimal amount of logic and common sense.

If we invade Iran, it’s gonna be 10 times worse. The Pentagon admits that 80 percent of our military is either in Iraq or recuperating from Iraq. Plus, we have to run around bullying North Korea, refusing to leave our bases in Europe, we’re putting up bases in central Africa now because we think there might be oil there…and, after all, what is the U.S. military really for except a global oil protection force...

That’s what we’ve got. Iran, on the other hand…if you think the Iraqis hated our guts from the get-go, wait until you get to Iran! I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that Iran was a real democracy, but then in the early 1950s, the CIA had the democratically-elected leader, Prime Minister Mossadegh overthrown and replaced by a brutal, dictatorial monarchy headed by the Shah, who was so vicious on his own people that he literally killed off all secular moderate opposition to the point that, when the Iranians finally got so mad they were able to overthrow him, the only people with any leadership skills left for them to follow were violent Islamic fundamentalists led by Ayatollah Khomeini. And whaddaya know? After that, Iran is our mortal enemy instead of our policeman…our puppet policeman…of the Middle East, and violent Islamic fundamentalist uprisings start catching fire all over that part of the world and beyond. I wonder how much trouble we would be having with terrorism, suicide bombings, and violence and hatred around the Persian Gulf today if we’d just left the Iranians alone in the 1950's and let them elect their own leaders."

Leaving people alone — what a concept.

Related links:

Allen Ginsberg: Iran Was OUR Hostage!

IRAN TO OBAMA: Show Us the Change

Congressman Ron Paul on Iran, the CIA and Blowback

Jimmy Carter: 1953 Coup is "Ancient History"