Iranian election thread

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Stockholm
Iranian election thread

Today is election day in Iran so we may as well start a thread. I think that if that ignorant jackass Ahmedinejad is defeated - it could create conditions for a major rapprochement between Iran and the international community. Of course since no one can even run for President without being approved that some kangaroo court of religious freak mullahs - its not as any anyone else will ever be allowed to bring any progressive policies if they win - but the other leading candidate seems to be a bit more diplomatic and seems to be backed by younger and more progressive people and it would probably be a lot easier for leaders like Obama to meet Iran halfway if that country is not led by some lunatic Holocaust denier like Ahmedinejad who is so easily dismissed and caricatured.

So far they have extended voting hours in Iran by three hours because turn-out is so high and a lot of people are speculating that people are revolting against the incumbent because the economy has been so bad ever since he took power.

Doug

It seems he was re-elected but there's some dispute over how genuine that result was.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090613/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iran_election_109

breezescream

Report: Defeated Ahmadinejad rival arrested in Iran

 

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1092304.html

 

breezescream
Bärlüer

This thread on Daily Kos gathers quite a lot of the information that has trickled out today.

Of the latest reports, one that is particularly interesting is the rumour of a national strike on Tuesday. (From this Twitter feed.)

Right now, the opposition, although substantial, seems to be scattershot. It remains to be seen if the Iranians will be able to organize an effective, canalized resistance in the face of repression.

remind remind's picture

With all the communication devices disabled it would be hard for them to get organized unless they had a plan ahead of time.

Bärlüer

That's a challenge. Although uprisings certainly predate the advent of Twitter/(cell) phones...

The Shah was rather swiftly overthrown in the late '70s at a time where many people thought that the regime had a stranglehold over the population.

West Coast Greeny

63% to 33% seems way too one-sided, for a race that was supposed to be close, and for a president that's supposed to be Iran's version of George Bush.

I think we sometimes forget that its Khamenei who actually runs the country.

A_J

West Coast Greeny wrote:
63% to 33% seems way too one-sided, for a race that was supposed to be close

One report I've heard is that the election commission has confirmed that there was fraud.

Michelle

I just heard on twitter that Mousavi has been put under house arrest.

Michelle

Also, you can follow an Iranian student who is reporting from on the ground in Tehran on twitter: @tehranelection

josh

The worst possible outcome.  This will allow the neo-cons, and particularly Israel, to sustain and increase the pressure for military action against Iran even though, of course, fraudulent elections take place, and have taken place, throughout the world.  Already Netanyahoo is salivating and using the election as an excuse to focus on Iran and divert attention from Israel's settlement policy:

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to devote a more significant part of his greatly anticipated foreign policy speech to the Iranian threat, officials close to the premier said, in the wake of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's electoral win Saturday.

The officials added that this is a golden opportunity for Netanyahu to stress the issue before the world, after having called for years to stop Iranian nuclearization.

 

 

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1092675.html

josh

But just as a first reaction, this post-election situation looks to me like a crime scene. And here is how I would reconstruct the crime.

As the real numbers started coming into the Interior Ministry late on Friday, it became clear that Mousavi was winning. Mousavi's spokesman abroad, filmmaker Mohsen Makhbalbaf, alleges that the ministry even contacted Mousavi's camp and said it would begin preparing the population for this victory.

The ministry must have informed Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has had a feud with Mousavi for over 30 years, who found this outcome unsupportable. And, apparently, he and other top leaders had been so confident of an Ahmadinejad win that they had made no contingency plans for what to do if he looked as though he would lose.

They therefore sent blanket instructions to the Electoral Commission to falsify the vote counts.

http://www.juancole.com/2009/06/stealing-iranian-election.html

Michelle

It's shocking, really, because their usual thing isn't to actually falsify election results - they generally rig elections by not letting candidates they don't like run in the election, or shutting down media, not by tampering with the ballots.

It's hard to know what's really happening on the ground.  I'm following some twitter feeds from people on the ground, but who really knows if they're accurate?  The suggestion has come up on twitter now that @tehranelection is a troll, but a lot of people are worried about him because he hasn't posted in eight hours.

On the other hand, certainly the news agencies in Iran aren't going to be accurate either since they're state-controlled, and I also don't really trust western media spin on it either.

ceti ceti's picture

Well there seems to be a fair bit of delusion not only from Western liberal analysts but also a fair share of the Iranian middle class. Up until the end of this week, even US-based opinion polls were showing a big win for Ahmedinejad, precisely by the proportions he did eventually win.

The media coverage has played up a different story, focusing on the Iranian urban middle class, but not on Ahmedinejad's bedrock support amongst the poor and working classes. Seems very similar to what we've seen recently, no? The fact that powerful interests in Iranian society like former president Rafsanjani (who is part of the oligarchy) are opposing Ahmedinejad feeds the hysteria over a stolen election, but it might be at odds with the reality of the voting.

The underlying factor here is the increasingly wide economic and cultural chasm in Iranian society between the urban and rural, and middle and working classes. This definitely heading towards an explosive situation.

breezescream

Ahmadinejad: No gaurantee on protecting the life of Mousavi

 

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=94a_1244998551

 

breezescream

Toronto Iranians Protest Against Election Results

 

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?sid=d5f2df0f78786f0674c3e89833b3f2ec&e...

 

Doug

There is supposed to be a pro-Mousavi march tomorrow and a general strike on Tuesday.

Bärlüer

@ceti: First, about the polls: I haven't seen those "US-based opinion polls [...] showing a big win for Ahmedinejad"—care to provide a link? (Also: shouldn't we wary of a possible inherent bias/weakness in any "US-based" polling if we are to keep in mind the general cautionary argument of your post...?) In any case, the general impression I had gathered was that polling of the election was considered to be: 1) all over the place; 2) wildly unreliable.

I think that there is some merit to your point that Westerners' expectations about the plausibility of the electoral outcome are being distorted by an inaccurate or incomplete view of the political landscape in Iran. That's why I remained slightly skeptical when the first allegations of fraud were made. However, having now been exposed to all the reports, declarations and so on, it seems to me that some of the anomalies are just too big to lead to any other reasonable conclusion than the commission of a fraud. Not that I agree with all he's written in his posts about the Iran election, but still, Juan Cole's post about the evidence of a fraud contains some very strong points.

WRT the latest developments on the ground: there are reports (hard to confirm, as always) of tanks now being in the streets of Teheran... There have also been reports of raids on the offices of NBC and confiscation of cameras; an ABC reporter has confirmed confiscation of their cameras (they have resorted to cell phones to shoot some video); BBC apparently has been told to get out of the country (from the comments of this thread).

jimbabwe

The 'middle class' comments remind me of mainstream media commentary about how most anti-globalization protestors at the turn of the millennium were privileged, white middle-class college kids.

Vansterdam Kid

It seems pretty obvious that there would've been some fraud, due to the implausibility of this election. For one turnout was only ever anywhere near this high when Mohammad Khatami, the previous reformist President, won back in 1997. Two, the turnout of young people who are far more pro-reformist than they are conservative was up substantially and yet Ahmadinejad wins in a landslide? Obviously something is going on there. Three, Ahmadinejad won by lopsided margins even in Mousavi strongholds like Isfahan and Iranian-Azeri regions, which like all minority populations, tend to support reformist candidates more so than conservative ones. Keep in mind btw, that Mousavi is from the minority Azeri population, and Ahmadinejad winning their votes would've been like McCain winning the African-American vote in 2008.

ceti ceti's picture

Here's the link to the poll.

I'm not a supporter of Ahmedinejad and was hoping for Mousavi, but at least half the press coverage in the week before the vote showed Ahmedinejad with a commanding lead.

ceti ceti's picture

And the poll does show Mousavi's Azeri background having little impact on the vote (Ahmedinejad still doubling his support). Remember before the last two weeks and the TV debates, Mousavi was little known and had very slim hopes, even if he was PM from 1981 to 1989. The campaign only caught fire after the TV debates so perhaps not enough time to make up the difference.

 

jimbabwe

The poll is interesting, but it should be noted that polling agencies working within Iran have strong incentives to produce a result favourable to the hard line, as the case of Ayandeh and Abbas Abdi illustrate.  The poll seems to contradict other significant indicators.  For example, on the Azeri vote:

Tabriz is the heart of East Azerbaijan, and Azeris are among the tightest ethnic groups in the country, unfailingly voting along ethnic lines.

In the 2005 presidential election, Mohsen Mehralizadeh was a largely unknown and wholly unsuccessful candidate. He came in seventh and last, and yet he still won the Azeri vote in the Azerbaijani provinces. Mir Hossein Mousavi is an Azeri from Tabriz.

(from Al Jazeera)

And the suggestion that support for Mousavi was a middle class bubble, with lower and working class support for Ahmadinejad, is hard to swallow considering the backlash recently to food and fuel price rises and rising unemployment.

I would be interested in a credible rebuttal to the compelling case that Juan Cole makes here and here, giving a historic perspective and citing multiple third-party sources in debunking the myth that the opposition to Ahmadinejad was a middle class bubble.

The results of the poll ceti references just aren't credible.

Doug

This is a brave woman. I hope she's okay tonight.

 

Doug

Globe and Mail correspondent "accidentally" arrested and beaten

 

I was walking by a checkpoint and an officer grabbed me and forced me onto a motorcycle. As soon as we stopped, I was grabbed from the bike by another officer and slapped me across the head. Seven officers ran up to join in the slapping, and one punched me in the head. A large officer, about 6 foot 4 and dressed in camouflage, grabbed me by the neck, pinching my jugular but not my wind pipe. His leather gloves cut through my skin and I was pinned against a van, my arm bent high behind my back.

I was then thrown onto a second motorcycle with one police officer in front of me and another behind, slapping me more and cursing during the quick ride around the corner.

jimbabwe

photoverybig104667.jpg

iranprotest608.jpg

The images, videos, and deluge of minute-by-minute updates are incredible.  2:32 to 2:44 of this.

I'm reminded of photos I'd seen before of Iranians who were publicly beaten, forced to put toilet water cans in their mouths, and then taken away.  Not the worst thing that happened under that regime, surely, but the images just stuck in my mind.

crackdown

Rumors now from twitter that 30,000 anti-riot Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps are getting ready to crush the uprising.  Live rounds to be used?  Mass killings?  Videos and photos to be used to round up instigators?

ceti ceti's picture

Also check this blog for context: http://djavad.wordpress.com/

I am also a bit wary of the internet, blog, and twitter-led revolutions. What's it to a poor farmer in the countryside?

As for the polls, why would these US and European groups have a reason to bias the poll? It seems that they should side with Mousavi more than anything. These polls were also conducted in middle to late May so before all this craziness.

It's easy to jump on the bandwagon here, but some caution should also be exercised in drawing conclusions that might only be based on slivers of the population (the most well-heeled, Westernized, and internationally connected to boot).

 

jimbabwe

I am also a bit wary of the internet, blog, and twitter-led revolutions. What's it to a poor farmer in the countryside?

The same point was made in a Guardian editorial by Abbas Barzegar, Wishful Thinking from Tehran.  I don't understand what provokes that point.  Was anyone suggesting that poor farmers did care about twitter?  The interest in twitter and other media distribution systems right now is, from what I can tell, the window they offer to the outside world of what is indisputably happening in the streets of several Iranian cities right now.  To spin that attention into some kind of claim that many naive people think that the internet is influencing the perceptions of rural or working-class Iranians is unfounded and dishonest.

As for the polls, why would these US and European groups have a reason to bias the poll?

If the poll were conducted by fieldworkers operating within Iran, then I believe I've already answered this question with my observation about punitive disincentives to report the truth if that truth is not to the hardliners' liking (I even provided examples).  However, I now acknowledge, having taken a closer look at the survey (page 25), that the fieldworkers were operating from outside of Iran.  So my original objection was invalid for this poll.  Sorry.

I think you have a limited point about expected biases of TFT.  Limited by it being speculative.  Granted, many of the independent threads of consideration taken by Juan Cole could be called speculative too.  Speculative, in this case, because it presumes, in the case of a biased organization, a particular nature of the bias, and, more significantly, because it presumes that this particular bias would gravitate towards a certain kind of result.  To offer contrary speculation: imagine that the polling organization, having an ulterior agenda informed by Western, pro-Israeli, anti-Islamic prejudice, wanted to portray the Iranian people as unfriendly to the West as a case against the realistic expectations of a policy of diplomacy and dialog.

It's easy to jump on the bandwagon here

I don't think it's sensible to judge someone's inclination to believe that the election was stolen as jumping on the bandwagon.  By that standard I would offer an alternative narrative: that radicals who see the likes of CNN or Fox News or the New York Times reporting that the election was stolen have a strong predilection for believing the opposite, as it is more common and even more fashionable for radicals to believe the contrary of what is reported in the mainstream media.  But that statement is only to illustrate the point -- it is meaningless to attach crass motivations to people's judgements on a speculative basis in this way.

I must admit that I did not find the Wishful Thinking in Tehran piece convincing, despite its manipulative rhetoric.  I found little substantiation of the author's position.  For example, consider this:

In this election moreover, there were two separate governmental election monitors in addition to observers from each camp to prevent mass voter fraud. The sentimental implausibility of Ahmedinejad's victory that Mousavi's supporters set forth as the evidence of state corruption must be met by the equal implausibility that such widespread corruption could take place under clear daylight.

All well and good, except when compared to other accounts.  The following is from an interview with dissident and former foreign minister Ibrahim Yazdi:

There were many, many irregularities. They did not permit the candidates to supervise the election or the counting of the ballots at the polling places. The minister of the interior announced that he would oversee the final count in his office, at the ministry, with only two aides present.

In previous elections, they announced the results in each district, so people could follow up and make a judgment about the validity of the figures. In 2005, there were problems: in one district there were about 100,000 eligible voters, and they announced a total vote of 150,000. This time they didn't even release information about each particular district.

In all, there were about 45,000 polling places. There were 14,000 mobile ones, that can move from place to place. Many of us protested that. Originally, these mobile polling places were supposed to be used in hospitals and so on. This time, they were used in police stations, army bases, and various military compounds. When it comes to the military compounds and so on, if even 500 extra votes were put into each of the 14,000 boxes, that is seven million votes.

Much of the Wishful Thinking piece was generic observation about Western ignorance of the realities of Iranian society.  Worth taking into account, but in my mind it doesn't even come close to explaining the specific inconsistencies described in detail by Juan Cole and others.

Jingles

I've learned from Venezuela that the situation portrayed in the western media about events in a country which is in the crosshairs of the empire to be taken with a grain of salt, at the very least.

Ditto all those "color" revolutions which turn out to be heavily funded by western intelligence agencies.

I have no idea what's happening there, but there is no way in hell I'll trust the likes of the NYT or CNN to tell the truth about anything.

 

Star Spangled C...

My wife's family is from Iran. She still has an aunt there (in Shiraz). As of election day, she wants to get the fuck out. Her whole community is very anti-Ahmadinejad and is very worried about repercussions. Internet and cell phones now appear jammed.

breezescream

Iranian government using machetes on the public

 

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/06/15/tehran_two/index.html

M. Spector M. Spector's picture
Unionist

Yay Spector! Good to see you! And I was just about to post that article, when I noticed that in fact it's an op-ed piece, it's by some right-wing types, and it's countered by [url=this">http://voices.washingtonpost.com/behind-the-numbers/2009/06/about_those_... other op-ed piece debunking it somewhat[/url], so now I don't know what to believe.

 

Bärlüer

The poll analysis made by the WaPo op-ed writers is marred by some serious flaws.

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Piffle. Pointing at minor flaws in the way that the poll was rendered in the press, does not undermine the data, just as pointing out there was a large number of undecided voters does not undermine that fact that Amedinejad had a substantial lead, 2 to 1 over Mousavi, unless you are saying that every man jack of them was going to vote for Mousavi.

Bring on the semantics and prevarication! There is a propaganda war to win! Tales to spin. "Impressions" to create. People to confuse.

Bärlüer

It's not "minor flaws": this single poll on which some are apparently completely hinging their argument that the possibility of some form of electoral fraud having been committed is to be rejected, that poll itself said that "none of the candidates will likely pass the 50 percent threshold needed to automatically win".

In any case, as a commenter on Juan Cole's blog put it:

Quote:
A reminder to avoid false logical dichotomy: It isn't a question of, did M. really win but A. cheated him out of it, v. did A. really win fairly. Ahmadinejad might have won the vote, but the election still could have been mishandled in various ways (premature release of vote totals, manipulation of a win to make it look even better, suppression of the other side, etc.)

Doug

There's very little that's amusing about this whole situation, but then someone made this:

Cats make everything better. Laughing Except my allergies.

ceti ceti's picture

Here's some good analysis from Lenin's Tomb.

The Obama Administration's reaction will be important -- allowing the Iranian people to lead, and not be perceived as interfering. So far, their approach has been the right one.

Khamenei has buckled a little bit, especially as Khatami, Rafsanjani, and many other top clerics are behind Mousavi as well as the fraud claims. 

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Bärlüer wrote:

It's not "minor flaws": this single poll on which some are apparently completely hinging their argument that the possibility of some form of electoral fraud having been committed is to be rejected, that poll itself said that "none of the candidates will likely pass the 50 percent threshold needed to automatically win".

In any case, as a commenter on Juan Cole's blog put it:

Quote:
A reminder to avoid false logical dichotomy: It isn't a question of, did M. really win but A. cheated him out of it, v. did A. really win fairly. Ahmadinejad might have won the vote, but the election still could have been mishandled in various ways (premature release of vote totals, manipulation of a win to make it look even better, suppression of the other side, etc.)

You can't even decide if you object to the poll, or the article which was written about it. Which is it? The poll is flawed? If the poll is flawed why are you quoting the statistics in it, such as that "none of the candidates will likely pass the 50 percent threshold needed to automatically win." If the poll is flawed its flawed. Or is it just convenient for you to cherry pick the data you like. That brings us too the second point, which is that you don't like the way things are put together in the article. Why? Well because you think the author is cherry picking the poll numbers that they like.

BTW: if you take 34 to 14, and then intrapolate that ratio over the numbers of undecided voters, then Amedinejad wins by way over 50%.

jimbabwe

Interesting points.

From the comments to "About Those Iran Polls":

Let's see: "...telephone poll carried out in mid-May".

1. Using a telephone poll in a country that jails dissenters: If you lived in Iran, to what extent would you trust an anonymous person who called you on the phone to ask who you plan for vote for, for president?
2. Mid-May: That was eons ago. Mousavi came on strong during the 4 weeks preceding the election.

Ballen's and Dougherty's poll was defective.

Michael Herrinton
Oakland, California

Slumberjack

In speaking with some non-political people from Tehran and Shiraz by telephone today, the impression given is not of a widespread popular movement that has taken to the streets, so much as it has to do with vocal pro-government and pro-opposition supporters out in support of their respective interests.  Beyond that, it didn't appear that electoral fraud was the view outside of partisan opposition interests.  The images from western news sources being repeatedly shown, of thousands of demonstrators in a city like Tehran of over 13 million people make it appear that it is more widespread among the population than it actually is.  Shiraz has seen some demonstrations as well, numbering around a couple thousand, but in a city of well over 1 million, and like Tehran with the protests limited mainly to the downtown/university areas, it's apparently viewed as little more than an inconvienience to motorists.  Also, demonstrations by student or political groups are nothing new, a fairly regular occurrence in both cities, although there does seem to be more people than normal out for these protests due to the election which has captivated much interest within the country.  We rarely see reporting from western sources on the routine protests that occur at other times for various reasons.

Doug

Slumberjack wrote:

In speaking with some non-political people from Tehran and Shiraz by telephone today, the impression given is not of a widespread popular movement that has taken to the streets, so much as it has to do with vocal pro-government and pro-opposition supporters out in support of their respective interests.

 

I don't know if that really washes with demonstrations involving hundreds of thousands of people in an environment where there's some likelihood of being beaten or shot. It's obviously not everyone out on the streets, but it's more than what you could call the usual suspects. Also, the apparent necessity of asking for Hezbollah assistance from Lebanon makes it seem as though the Ahmedinejad-supporting part of the government doesn't fully itrust in the loyalty or support of its own security organizations.

Cueball Cueball's picture

jimbabwe wrote:

Interesting points.

From the comments to "About Those Iran Polls":

Let's see: "...telephone poll carried out in mid-May".

1. Using a telephone poll in a country that jails dissenters: If you lived in Iran, to what extent would you trust an anonymous person who called you on the phone to ask who you plan for vote for, for president?
2. Mid-May: That was eons ago. Mousavi came on strong during the 4 weeks preceding the election.

Ballen's and Dougherty's poll was defective.

Michael Herrinton
Oakland, California

Good catch. Obviously Michael failed to read the source material, perhaps because he prefers hammering out his pearls of wisdom on the keyboard to actually seeing if the facts fit his case. Indeed he even signs his internet blather... with the name of the city he hails from. Brave man! Who knows when the RG might be rounding up the Michael Herrington's of the world. Worse his mother might stumble upon his drivel.

Woot!

Anyway, the source material site the following:

Quote:
Some might argue that the professed support for Ahmadinejad we found simply reflected fearful respondents' reluctance to provide honest answers to pollsters. Yet the integrity of our results is confirmed by the politically risky responses Iranians were willing to give to a host of questions. For instance, nearly four in five Iranians -- including most Ahmadinejad supporters -- said they wanted to change the political system to give them the right to elect Iran's supreme leader, who is not currently subject to popular vote. Similarly, Iranians chose free elections and a free press as their most important priorities for their government, virtually tied with improving the national economy. These were hardly "politically correct" responses to voice publicly in a largely authoritarian society.

What is wrong with this picture? Is it that Iranians are living in a police state were no contrary opinion is allowed and so all the respondents were all coached to give answers that would give the liberal press the impression their was freedom to dissent, or is it possible that ordinary Iranians are not living in fear of immediate arrest should they suggest, essentially, overthrowing the supreme authority of the clergy, as 4 out of 5 poll responded?

Guess the jokes on Michael, eh, Jim?

Cueball Cueball's picture

So you say. But then that was not how it worked in 1979, when there was a a clear consensus the Shah was illigitimate.

jimbabwe

Indeed he even signs his internet blather... with the name of the city he hails from. Brave man! Who knows when the RG might be rounding up the Michael Herrington's of the world.

I'm guessing that was an attempt at humour?  It's common for letters to newspapers to identify the city of the author, to the point that it frames at least one recurring British joke, "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells."

Anyway, the source material site the following

Or maybe that was the joke.  That an abstract, unactionable question is compared to the question that has a chance of impacting the hardline establishment.  That's ridiculous.  "I have friends who are black."

Is it that Iranians are living in a police state...

Internet blather indeed.

Slumberjack

What would we do without those invaluable wiki sources, and so close at hand with everything you need, that one needn't bother with the inconvienience of looking any further.

Cueball Cueball's picture

jimbabwe wrote:

Indeed he even signs his internet blather... with the name of the city he hails from. Brave man! Who knows when the RG might be rounding up the Michael Herrington's of the world.

I'm guessing that was an attempt at humour?  It's common for letters to newspapers to identify the city of the author, to the point that it frames at least one recurring British joke, "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells."

Anyway, the source material site the following

Or maybe that was the joke.  That an abstract, unactionable question is compared to the question that has a chance of impacting the hardline establishment.  That's ridiculous.  "I have friends who are black."

Is it that Iranians are living in a police state...

Internet blather indeed.

And that is an attempt at prevarication? I have seen better. Now you are even decontextualizing individual quotes, and making join-the-quote strawmen. How trite.

You logic is totally facile. Here you are disputing the validity of an election result, in the name of an opposition leader, who you seem to assert is a dissenting voice. Living. breathing. Making speeches. Posters. Internet blogs, Twitter, the whole nine yards. Having interviews with the supreme leader to plead his case and so on, and then in the very next breath asserting that the state is an absolute totalitarian police state, where everyone is so afraid for the lives at they can not say that they don't like Amedinejad, without risking immediate incarceration, but for some reason can say they want to end the Islamic Dictatorship.

Heh heh.

Keep em coming.

jimbabwe

Facile logic is exemplified in your "You logic is..."  paragraph.  Presenting a false dichotomy; mischaracterizing others' positions while accusing others of employing strawmen.  Not to mention rephrasing the poll question concerning an elected Supreme Leader beyond all recognition; in a way that you might facetiously argue is logically equivalent, but that is as different from the original as night and day in the context of Iranian society.

jimbabwe

absolute totalitarian dictatorship

Strawmen?

And, oh, on the general subject of Iranian opinion polls

Cueball Cueball's picture

Please explain why it is that in the absolute totalitarian dictatorship, where people are so completely paranoid as to not be able to state their opinions, in opinion polls, as you and Michael Herrington (seperated at birth maybe?) are suggesting, have election campaigns with opposition leaders and so on and so forth?

Or perhaps it is entirely a sham, and the opposition leaders are part of the system. A distraction. A sop for public discontent, or so. Very good I can go for that. But why then, in this fascinatingly complex and well organized Orwellian Dystopia would it matter then if you said you like Amedinejad or Mousavi, since both would be part of the state approved Grade "A" hoax?

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