The Clarion Fund has been careful to promote their latest film, “Iranium,” as an attempt to educate the public and “sound an alarm” about Iran. The film’s director, Alex Traiman, told an audience at the film’s Washington, D.C. premiere that it was designed to further public discourse.
We’ve gotta show support for the right side of this debate, which is the Iranians, the Iranians that risked their lives in June 2009 to fight for freedom of speech, to fight for free elections, to fight for democracy. We’ve got to support them. If we would come out with simple statements — in June 2009, if we would have said we support the Iranian people’s rights to free and fair elections, and their rights to protest in the streets, we might have already gotten through these problems.
But, after the New York premiere of the film last night, the reaction from audience members, which was actively encouraged by the moderator of the post-screening’s Q&A, suggested that “Iranium” was an attempt to build support for a military strike on Iran.
The post-screening Q&A, hosted by Traiman and Fuel For Truth’s president Todd Ingwer (see Kiera Feldman and Josh Nathan-Kazis’s exposé on the group), had a strikingly hawkish tone.
Ingwer kicked things off by asking, “What can we do as regular people? What can we do?”
The first person to answer suggested that “we need a tea party,” which was largely met with derisive laughter from the audience.
The second answer was more to the point, it would seem, of what Fuel For Truth and the Clarion Fund were hoping to evoke from the audience.
Audience Member: It’s very serious. We need to strike hard in the heart of Iran and destroy all of its tentacles. Not another word needs to be said. The staggering amount of evidence over thirty years and the lack of action by leadership all over the free world– it’s a disgrace. What are they there for? What is the purpose of the free world? What do we send all these taxes to Washington for? The UN is a pathetic joke.
Ingwer: I agree with you. And Alex, I think you hit your mark.
Alex Traiman did not indicate that this comment was out of line or missing the “mark” of what his film is trying to convey.
He did, however, do his part to stoke fears and made some rather bizarre claims about Meir Dagan’s and Hillary Clinton’s motivations:
Statements that came out of the mouths of Secretary Clinton as well as even the Israeli outgoing Mossad chief Meir Dagan which stated that we have in fact set back Iran’s nuclear program three to five years– those statements are extremely dangerous. And I think that those statements are being made to lull the American people as well as the rest of the free world into a sense of security that I don’t think exists.
I raised my hand to ask what information Traiman had access to that would run counter to the messages conveyed by Clinton and Dagan. Furthermore, I would have liked to know why Clinton and Dagan would seek to “lull the American people as well as the rest of the free world” into a false sense of security. Unfortunately, I was not called upon to pose these questions.