A number of ‘lefties’ have gone missing in action. The precise point they went missing is telling.
Owen Jones writes articles on a number of issues, but mainly Labour support, and, being gay himself, on LBGT+ issues.
You’d think Owen would be all over the Iranian regime, given they are well known for hanging gay men. He has occasionally tweeted that Iran’s regime is “vile”, though under the search term ‘Iran’ there’s no explicit tweet about the hanging of gay men, or the protests by Iranian women about the forced hijab.
His comments on Iran focus almost exclusively with an obsession about US potential for starting a war with Iran – not in itself an unrealistic concern, but when he has zero tweets about gay men being hanged by the regime, it’s a little suspicious of his motivations and agenda. I’m not suggesting he’s not interested in these issues and the suffering of people in Iran, but what I am suggesting is that his political biases prevent him being explicit about it … after all, it wouldn’t do to be thought an Islamophobe. And, what would Mehdi Hasan think about it?
This post is about how Owen is quite interested in events in Iran, the killing of Soleimani, and the prospect of US troops going into Iran. Until that is flight PS752 is shot down. Then it all goes very quiet. Not unlike other left wing accounts.
We’ll pick up Owen’s tweets and retweets here, on the 3rd, when news broke of the killing of Soleimani. I won’t include all tweets, but I will point out the gaps, and give examples of other tweets he was posting or retweeting.
11:09 AM · Jan 3, 2020 – Donald Trump killing Iran’s second most powerful leader risks a horrific wider war in which many innocent people will die, in a region already long consumed in death. But it could also bolster Trump’s re-election chances by making him a wartime President. Which he knows.Owen Jones
11:15 AM · Jan 3, 2020 – Britain must not back another US-instigated catastrophic war: discussing that on @LBC at 11.20am.Owen Jones
11:21 AM · Jan 3, 2020 – You don’t need to try hard to work out what’s going on in Trump’s head. You just need to read his old tweets.Owen Jones
11:37 AM · Jan 3, 2020 – Qassem Soleimani does indeed have blood on his hands. As do many current and former US leaders and senior officials – indeed, from Henry Kissinger to George W Bush, far more. What precedent does Trump think has been established?
6:06 PM · Jan 3, 2020 – The orchestrated right wing pile on against this good tweet underlines that any Labour leader who doesn’t cheerlead for the foreign policy of Donald Trump will be deemed unacceptable and beyond the pale[Quote Tweet of Lisa Nandy on Iraq war as a warning]Owen Jones
Retweets Mehdi Hasan, fan of Iran, who else:
4:25 PM · Jan 3, 2020 – If the argument is simply that Suleimani was a bad man who has American blood on his hand and therefore deserved to die/be killed/assassinated, then who’s next? Kim Jong-Un? Oh wait, Trump gets “love letters” from Kim. So the Iranians need to brush up on their writing skills.Mehdi Hasan
Owen continues with retweets of others that posted on the 3rd. He might retweet on the 4th (I’ve not checked time of retweets, only tweets).
He retweets less frequently, and posts none of his own tweets on Iran – though his tweets continue on a number of other issues.
He manages to retweet the glorification of the support for Soleimani, on the latter’s funeral:
2:25 PM · Jan 5, 2020 – A video of the Soleimani funeral. This is the largest crowd I’ve ever witnessed in my life. I’ve never seen Iranians so unified, ever. This is Suleimani’s funeral in Ahvaz, Iran. Trump has no idea what he has done.Amir Amini
This is the last retweet on Iran as far as I can see:
On the 8th, the plane was shot down. Of course plenty of reports echo the Iranian state position of engine failure, but I would find it difficult to think anyone but the most naive would not at least suspect the plane had been downed by an Iranian missile.
There are no other tweets from Owen on the subject. None. Not while we awaited the outcome of the initial investigations. Eventually, the regime admitted that the plane had been downed by a missile. Nothing from Owen.
Not ‘nothing’ as in no tweeting, no. The thankful relief of anti-Meghan racism (of which there’s no actual evidence) fills a few tweets from Owen, along with other subjects that would make you think the Iran situation had never happened. I mean, seriously, Owen doesn’t even have anything to say about Trump’s war mongering.
Surely Owen would eventually come out with a tweet or two in support of the people of Iran as they find their brave voices of opposition to the “vile” regime. After all, in several of his older tweets, while lambasting the Great Satan, he has made sure he has virtue signalled the fact that he supports a ‘democratic iran’ … we’re just not sure which democratic Iran – a really democratic Iran, or the pseudo-democratic Iran of the oppressive regime. This would be a big opportunity for him to speak out and let us know.
But no. … Well, not quite. He does retweet this …
4:58 PM · Jan 11, 2020 – Solidarity to the 100,000s taking to the streets in India led by women marchers to protest the plans of the far right Govt of Modi to strip Muslims of citizenship. Smash fascismAsad Rehman
Hold on! This isn’t about the Islamofascism of the Iranian theocracy, It’s about the Modi government.
That’s right. From the downing of the plane, through the street protests of the Iranian people, his only tweet of street protests is of events in India.
Oh, and he tweets this … on the police labelling XR an extremist group.
5:08 PM · Jan 11, 2020 – Where this is heading is very clear: towards an authoritarian state in which dissent – in this case, trying to stop the destruction of human civilisation – is equated with dangerous extremism.Owen Jones
A particularly ironic tweet, given his MIA on Iran. Let’s absorb his words:
“Where this is heading is very clear: towards an authoritarian state in which dissent – in this case, trying to stop the destruction of human civilisation – is equated with dangerous extremism.”Owen Jones
An authoritarian state? The UK? Well, I too am concerned about the restrictions on free speech that Owen Jones seems to have either overlooked or supported. And yet he has nothing to say on Iran and the #FreeIran2020 protests going on there, where an actual authoritarian state is now taking pot shots at protesters, with live rounds.
This is our freedom loving socialist people supporting left.