In a January 2023 article for MintPress News, Alan MacLeod highlights Elon Musk’s plans to support and aid in US regime-change efforts in Iran. The January 17 article discusses Musk’s attempt to have hundreds of Starlink devices smuggled into the region to “take action” against internet censorship in Tehran. However, critics suspect that Musk and his Department of Defense (DOD) counterparts are taking advantage of the ongoing conflict to flood foreign countries with pro-US propaganda.
This is not Musk’s first attempt at aiding in Washington’s effort to weaken or overthrow authorities in Tehran. Last year, the tech giant responded to a tweet from Secretary Anthony Blinken about taking action against internet censorship by tweeting, “Activating Starlink.” On the surface, it may seem like a positive attempt to inspire change in the region, but history has shown the US does not have a good track record spreading “freedom” across the Middle East. Moreover, it is an opportunity for Musk to make headlines and sell his products—a 2-for-1 deal for both Tesla and the US government.
The tech in question is Starlink, an internet service that allows those with monitors to connect to one of Musk’s 3,000 smart satellites following Earth’s orbit. Although the tech sounds promising, there are many caveats. To become operational, the servers would have to be illegally smuggled into the region and bought for upwards of $1,000 each. Sources suggest that over 800 servers have made it across Iran’s border without being confiscated.
In addition to Iran, Musk announced earlier in 2022 that he would donate thousands of Starlink satellites to Ukraine to combat internet outages. However, most of the satellites were kept by the Ukrainian military and aided in their advancements against Russia. According to statements from Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, it appears that their government approves of the operation: “SpaceX and Musk quickly react to problems and help us.” Fedorov went on to say that there is “no alternative” other than SpaceX technology.
Musk has benefitted and profited from military-related business dealings for years. The US security state’s venture capitalist firm Q-Tel was imperative to the success of SpaceX. This branch of the CIA is particularly concerned with sourcing individuals and businesses to work alongside the CIA to maintain dominance over technologically advanced enemies.
Michael Griffin, the Chief Operating Officer of Q-Tel referred to Musk as the “Henry Ford” of the rocket industry and would later attempt to help him obtain Russian rockets. Musk was not successful in this endeavor, but SpaceX would eventually receive a $396 million contract from Griffin, who had become the head of NASA. Later on in 2008, after both Tesla and SpaceX faced bankruptcy, Musk was resurrected with a $1.6 billion check from NASA.
So far, Musk’s relationship with the DOD has received little criticism from establishment news sources. The Starlink dealings in Ukraine and Iran have been covered by most major outlets. However, none of the outlets have questioned the billionaire’s proximity to the national security state. Politico and Wired refer to the operation as a “lifeline” and an “essential tool.” Time Magazine views Starlink as a way to implement “freedom” in Iran, granting protestors the ability to speak out against their authoritarian government. While this may be true in part, are Musk and other billionaires deserving of this praise? Should Musk and the Department of Defense have the authority to decide who is entitled to freedom and who is not? Or is the Starlink operation another business opportunity for corporations to profit from deadly conflict and destabilization?
Source: Alan MacLeod, “How Elon Musk Is Aiding The Empire’s Regime Change Operation In Iran,” MintPress News, January 17, 2023.
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