Ahmadinejad won indeed, and the real source of interference in Iran's election is likely the United States

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JOHN CHUCKMAN
Ahmadinejad won indeed, and the real source of interference in Iran's election is likely the United States

 

 

AHMADINEJAD WON INDEED AND THE REAL SOURCE OF INTERFERENCE IN IRAN'S ELECTION IS LIKELY THE UNITED STATES

 

John Chuckman

 

A recent article called "Ahmadinejad Won, Get Over It" by Flynt and Hillary Leverett is not the only source with serious credentials offering reasonable, non-sensational explanations for events around Iran's presidential election.

 

Kaveh Afrasiabi, a scholar who once taught at Tehran University and is the author of several books, says many of the same things.

 

Close analysis of the election results gives absolutely no objective basis for making charges of a rigged election. Mousavi's expected win - expected, that is, by the Western press and by Mousavi himself - never had any basis in fact.

 

Afrasiabi also tells us that Ahmadinejad is extremely popular with the poor in Iran, a very large constituency, and he tells us further that Ahmadinejad spent a great deal of time traveling through the country during his first term listening to them. Ahmadinejad is himself a man of fairly humble origins with a good deal of genuine sympathy for the poor.

 

Of course, the public in the West has been treated to a barrage of propaganda about Ahmadinejad, conditioned by countless disingenuous stories and editorials to regard him as the essence of evil, ready to stir up trouble at a moment's notice. These perceptions, too, have no basis in fact.

 

Ahmadinejad is a highly educated man, ready and willing to communicate with leaders in the West, although given to poking fun at some of the shibboleths we hold to. His office as president is not a powerful one in an Iran where power is divided amongst several groups, just as it is in the United States. He has no war-making power.

 

Even his infamous statement about Israel - mistranslated consistently to make it sound terrible - was nothing more than the same kind of statement made by the CIA in its secret study predicting the peaceful end of today's Israel in twenty years or the statement by Libya's leader, Gaddafi, saying Israel would be drowned in a sea of Arabs. Unpleasant undoubtedly for some, the statement was neither criminal nor threatening when properly understood.

 

The post-election troubles in Iran definitely reflect the interference of security services from at least the United States and Britain. We have several serious pieces of evidence.

 

First, Iran discovered and arrested just recently a group with sophisticated bomb equipment from Britain. They were caught red-handed, although our press has chosen to be pretty much silent on the matter. Of course, we all recall the arrest of  a group of fifteen British sailors a couple of years ago, an event treated in our press as the snatching of innocents on the high seas when in fact they were on a secret mission in disputed waters claimed by Iran.

 

Robert Fisk recently wrote an excellent piece about photocopies of what purported to be a confidential official government report to the head of state, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, regarding the election results. It attributed a ridiculously small share of the vote to Ahmadinejad and was somehow being waved by Mousavi's followers all over the streets. It seems clearly invented as a provocation, much in the fashion of the famous "yellow cake" document before America's invasion of Iraq.

 

We know that Bush committed several hundred million dollars towards a program creating instability in Iran and that Obama has never renounced the operation.

 

Iran, surrounded by threatening enemies and the daily recipient of dire threats from Israel and the United States, has absolutely no history of aggression: it has started no conflicts in its entire modern era, but naturally enough it becomes concerned about its security when threatened by nuclear-armed states.

 

Such threats from the United States are not regarded idly by anyone, coming as they do, from a nation occupying two nations of Western and Central Asia, a nation whose invasions have caused upwards of a million deaths and sent at least two million into exile as refugees.

 

It is a nation moreover that definitely threatened, behind the scenes, to use nuclear weapons against Afghanistan immediately after 9/11, helping end that threat being one of the main reasons for Britain's joining the pointless invasion in the first place.

 

In assessing the genuine threats in the world, please remember what we all too often forget: the United States is the only nation ever actually to use nuclear weapons, twice, on civilians. It also came close to using them again in the early 1950s hysteria over communism - twice, once against China and once in a pre-emptive strike at the Soviet Union - and again later considered using them in Vietnam.

 

As for the other regular source of threats against, Israel, it is a nation which has attacked every neighbor that it has at one time or another. In the last two years alone, it has killed more people in Lebanon and Gaza than the number who perished in 9/11. It is also a secret nuclear power, having broken every rule and international law to obtain and assist in proliferating nuclear weapons.  

 

Of course, there are many middle class people in Iran who would like a change of government. Such yearnings are no secret and exist everywhere in the world where liberal government is missing, including millions of Americans under years of George Bush and his motivating demon, Dick Cheney.

 

But saying that is not the same thing as saying that a majority of Iran's people want a change in government or that the election was a fraud.

 

And remember, too, Iran had a democratic government more than half a century ago, that of Mohammed Mosaddeq, but it was overthrown in 1953 and the bloody Shah installed in its place by the very same governments now meddling in Iran, the United States and Britain.

 

 

 

sanizadeh

What a load of bullshit. It  is actually some "Iran experts" who are shocked at the reaction of the Iranian people against Ahmadinejad, who they "assume" is supported by the poor or the majority. The Iranian people themselves know a lot better.

Ahmadinejad a highly educated man? you are killing me!

 

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Very interesting, John.

Here's a link to the first article you mentioned, for those who'd like to delve deeper.

sanizadeh

Let's deconstruct some of the arguments in that silly article:

1) "They ignore the fact that Ahmadinejad’s 62.6 percent of the vote in this year’s election is essentially the same as the 61.69 percent he received in the final count of the 2005 presidential election, when he trounced former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani."

The correct measure for Ahmadinejad's popularity should be the first round of the 2005 election, not the second round. Even his coming in second in the first round was alleged as a result of vote rigging, however in the second round he ran against Rafsanjani, who at the time was the most hated politician in IRI and held responsible by many people for everything wrong about the country (including the selection of Khamenei as leader and the defeat of Khatami's reforms). Ahmadinejad's vote in 2005 was a vote against Rafsanjani. You could have run a one-eyed dog against Rafsanjani and win in that election.

2) "American “Iran experts” missed how Ahmadinejad was perceived by most Iranians as having won the nationally televised debates with his three opponents — especially his debate with Mousavi."

Interesting to see how many non-Iranians claim to speak on our behalf. In his debate with Mousavi, Ahmadinejad hurled a tsunami of unexpected personal attacks against him for which Mousavi was unprepared. While Mousavi looked weak and mumbling in that debate, Ahmadinejad's style disgusted people. This kind of personal attacks, while common in the debates here, is unusual and against the style in Iran. In the following debates, karoubi and Rezaei (the other two candidates) knowing Ahmadinejad's style, came prepared and knocked him down cold. Rezaei pounded Ahmadinejad on economic issues so effectively that even the state-owned media admitted it. Mousavi himself recovered in the sub sequent debates and were able to present his policies in a a fairly effective way.

It is also more important to note that debates in Iran are less important to people than the background and reputation of the candidates. Ahamdinejad was known as a man who took a country in a fairly healthy economic situation from Khatami, and ruined it at the time that oil was almost $150 a barrel. Mousavi was remembered as a prime minister at the time of a devastating war, who managed the country on a $8/barrel oil without a single dime of foreign debt.

3)"Before the debates, both Mousavi and Ahmadinejad campaign aides indicated privately that they perceived a surge of support for Mousavi; after the debates, the same aides concluded that Ahmadinejad’s provocatively impressive performance and Mousavi’s desultory one had boosted the incumbent’s standing."

Never heard any such thing during the election (where I was in Iran). Ahmadinejad's camp before and after debates insisted that they would win with 24 million votes (surprise prediction?!) while Mousavi's camp never conceded.

4) "while many Iranians complain about inflation, the TFT poll found that most Iranian voters do not hold Ahmadinejad responsible."

Not just the people, but even the politicians close to his rightist camp in Parliament blamed him for economic instability and inflation. His firing of three Central bank Chiefs and two economy ministers (that he had appointed himself) over two years, his lowering of tariffs and surge in imports, and his evasive responses about the missing oil revenue when he submitted his budget.

5) "The “Iran experts” further argue that the high turnout on June 12 — 82 percent of the electorate — had to favor Mousavi. But this line of analysis reflects nothing more than assumptions."

Interesting that an article full of so many false assumptions should simply reject a well known fact as "assumption". The government in Iran makes voting a religious and revolutionary duty. So those who don't vote, obviously do not believe in the religious and revolutionary rhetoic of the regime. When they come out to vote, they are not going to vote for someone who represent the religious and revolutionary rhetoric of the system they blame. These silent voters were responsible for Khatami's win in 1997. And it was obvious who they supported in 2009. I don't know any Ahmadinejad supporter who had not consistently voted in previous elections.

6)"Some “Iran experts” argue that Mousavi’s Azeri background and “Azeri accent” mean that he was guaranteed to win Iran’s Azeri-majority provinces; since Ahmadinejad did better than Mousavi in these areas, fraud is the only possible explanation. But Ahmadinejad himself speaks Azeri quite fluently as a consequence of his eight years serving as a popular and successful official in two Azeri-majority provinces"

Interesting that this "popular and successful official" received the least votes in 2005 in those provinces where he was a governer! In Ardebil province where, according to article, he was a "popular official" with "close ties to people", he ranked 6th among 7 candidates in the first round of the 2005 election! And now we are to believe that they suddenly remembered his success and overwhelmingly voted for him!

sanizadeh

The following graphs from 2005 election are quite telling:

 

This shows, contrary to the popular belief in the west, Ahmadinejad's support in 2005 was mainly from the densely urban areas in the Central Iran (Tehran, Esfehan, Qum and his home province of Semnan), while remote provinces, rural and border areas were against him, even the nothwestern provinces were he was previously a governer. By contrast, Khatami's support was stronger in the provinces, indicating that contrary to popular belief, people of the rural areas and provinces were even more supportive of him than the urban areas of Central Iran. This is also consistent with the 1997 election where Khatami received his highest votes in rural western provinces.

The second graph shows the provinces won by different candidates in the first round of the 2005 election:

 

 

The most obvious conclusion from the above is that Iran provincial and rural votes are regional: people by far vote for the candidate orginally from their own region. Karoubi swept the southwestern Iran, where he is from. Mehralizadeh, a completely unknown Azeri, won the three Azeri provinces in Nothwest eventhough Ahmadinejad was previously the governer there. Tehran mayor Ghalibaf won the Notheastern province of Khorassan, where he is originally from, even though he had not lived there for decades.

Slumberjack

sanizadeh wrote:
Interesting to see how many non-Iranians claim to speak on our behalf.

It's just as interesting to see how many Iranians speak on behalf of the aggressor nations, and how many of them adorn their walls with pictures of Reza Pahlavi.

sanizadeh

Slumberjack wrote:

It's just as interesting to see how many Iranians speak on behalf of the aggressor nations, and how many of them adorn their walls with pictures of Reza Pahlavi.

Speaking like a true colonialist preaching to the ignorant third worlder, eh? Who are the Iranians who talk on behalf of the aggressor nations? I sure haven't seen many.

As for Reza Pahlavi, the older generation may still respect or support him. He is an Iranian afterall. For the younger generations, he is totally irrelevant.

By the way, any specific comment on the several points I raised, or  just insults and stererotypes?

 

Slumberjack

It isn't me who is speaking as a colonialist.  I witness the same divisions and preferences daily within my own family and extended family.  Some are nationalists, some monharcists, and some are enamoured of all things American.  Your 2005 election map roughly corresponds with the demographic population distribution, according to the CIA at least.  Persians are the majority in Iran, aren't they?

sanizadeh

Absolutely. But Iran's elections are based on popular votes across the country, not electoral colleges per province. Ahmadinejad's win in those provinces meant he got most of the votes among seven candidates, in some cases with a mere 25% of the votes. It does not mean the Persians support him overwhelmingly (though it does indicate that he had no support in non-Persian areas). You can check the detailed results here:

http://www.electoralgeography.com/new/en/countries/i/iran/2005-president...

But that graph indicates a more important fact, that it is absurd that the southwestern province of Lorestan, for instance, that elected Karoubi with 55% of the votes in 2005, now votes only 5% for Karoubi. According to official 2009 results, he did not even win a single box his own home town (Aligoudarz).

In Northwest Azeri provinces we are to believe that Ahmadinejad's strong show (won 2 of 3) was a result of his past governership n the region. Surprisingly, that past governership earned him the sixth rank out of seven in 2005!

By the way what percentage of those nationalist, monarchist, socialist and other Iranians you know believe the election was fair and not rigged?

Ghislaine

What a BS opening post. One million people protesting and risking their lives in Iran for weeks is just US interference?

sanizadeh: thank you so much for your posts and patience.

sanizadeh

Thanks. My participation in these debates here (and other forums) is not merely for the sake of debate. We have got over 800 students, reformist leaders, journalists etc arrested in Iran over the past two weeks. Raising awareness about the situation and preventing the world from going along with the propaganda of the Ahmadinejad Government may be the only thing we can do to save them from the firing squads.

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

I withhold judgment, as I don't have a horse in this race. But I do find the level of interest in this election displayed by the Empire somewhat disconcerting. That said, sanizadeh has established his/her credentials around here - and Mr. Chuckman has not yet tried to defend his assumptions.

Slumberjack

sanizadeh wrote:
By the way what percentage of those nationalist, monarchist, socialist and other Iranians you know believe the election was fair and not rigged?

Most I've spoken with said they were inclined to believe some rigging took place in certain areas, but not enough to sway the difference substantially, as the western propaganda would have everyone believe.  Some contend that for Mousavi to have won the election, widespread vote rigging would certainly have been needed for that to occur.  Regardless of their preferences in the election, none that I know are willing to become a tool for western interference.

Are parliamentary seats distributed according to density of population?

Slumberjack

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:
That said, sanizadeh has established his/her credentials around here...

That much is clear.

Ghislaine

Have you checked out [url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/03/iran-uprising-blogging-fr_n_225... what Dr. Arash Hejazi [/url] has been saying?

He is the Iranian doctor who attempted to save Neda's life: (link includes a link to his actual blog in Farsi):

 

Quote:
After my interview on June 25th, 2009, regarding my personal account of the brutal killing of Neda Agha Soltan, I read the news of my arrest warrant by the government of Iran.

As I mentioned in the interview, I was expecting such as action from a government, which is founded on lies and deceit. I was expecting them to deny my statements. This government, instead of bringing justice to the murders of this innocent girl and others and accepting their responsibilities, tries to blame individuals and organizations, which have done nothing wrong.

They have put pressure on my friends and family who have done nothing. They have harassed my father who is 70 years and a university professor.

I did what every human would have done in my situation. I tried to save a victim. When the government tried to cover up the details, I testified what I witnessed.

I have lived my life so that I would have no regret. I was one of the first physicians who went to Bam after the earthquake so that I could be near the victims who had no hope. However this time, this victim was not the victim of a natural disaster.

I am a writer and from my essays and stories, you will realize that I have always been a human rights advocate and I have paid the price.

I have always tired to live honestly and do not betray my principles.

I believe what I did regarding Neda was the right things. I believe that if I have to pay the price, so be it, but I reserve the right to defend my honor.

God is my witness that I told the truth.

This lie questions the entire principles of this government. A government which questions the events of WWII, claims that there is freedom of speech in Iran, claims that there is no censorship, states that there are no political prisoners and that each individual enjoys full rights including regarding their sex, religion and race.In the past 20 days, the world has come to realize that these are false claims. I know that the world will not believe these new lies and know that this physician has do nothing except following his principles and coming to the help of people who need help and stating the truth.

Neda was not the only victim. Are all the other victims the result of Western conspiracy?

I am only a witness. Why are they pursuing the witness and not the killers? Is there enough bloodshed? Should I have been silent regarding this horrible crime? Is this the message that we want to send to the future generations?

I believe that all the citizens of the world will support me and thousands of other Iranians who have been beaten, murdered and imprisoned, in order to achieve freedom and join the rest of the free people.

I am proud of myself for being a part of this movement. I have done something that every honest human being would have done. This is my crime and this is why they are threatening me.

 

Sven Sven's picture

Ghislaine wrote:

What a BS opening post. One million people protesting and risking their lives in Iran for weeks is just US interference?

Ghislaine, don't you know that it is absolutely impossible for any evil or nefarious activity to happen anywhere in the world without the US being "the real source" of it?!?  In fact, with regard to Iran specifically, I've heard that the million people protesting in the streets are not even Iranian...rather, they are actually Iowans that the CIA snuck into Iran just before the election!!!  [IMG]http://i34.tinypic.com/11raq06.gif[/IMG]

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Doug

It's entirely within the realm of possibility that Ahmedinejad did have the support of better than 50% of Iranians. The problem is that with the allegations, backed up by some evidence, of cheating there is no way to determine if that's so. You cannot have election results that are widely accepted without a trustworthy electoral system.

sanizadeh

Slumberjack wrote:

Most I've spoken with said they were inclined to believe some rigging took place in certain areas, but not enough to sway the difference substantially, as the western propaganda would have everyone believe.  Some contend that for Mousavi to have won the election, widespread vote rigging would certainly have been needed for that to occur.  Regardless of their preferences in the election, none that I know are willing to become a tool for western interference.

Are parliamentary seats distributed according to density of population?

Absolutely. I have not heard any Iranian activist support western invasion. Neither do I request it. All we expect is that the illegitimacy of this election and this government is recognized, and for the human right agencies to remain aware of the situation and push for freedom of the arrested people. The regime we Iranians will have to deal with it on our own.

As for Parliamentary seats, yes, typically one seat per about 200,000 population or so, with some adjustment for rural areas. The city of Tehran itself has 30 MPs. The recognized minority religions are allocated seats (one for Jews, Two for Armenians, one for Assyrians and one for Zoroastrians) even though their population is less than 200,000 per seat.

Slumberjack

Sven wrote:
Ghislaine, don't you know that it is absolutely impossible for any evil or nefarious activity to happen anywhere in the world without the US being "the real source" of it?!?  In fact, with regard to Iran specifically, I've heard that the million people protesting in the streets are not even Iranian...rather, they are actually Iowans that the CIA snuck into Iran just before the election!!! 

More likely, some of them were not actually from Iowa, but from Tehrangeles.

sanizadeh

I may not be able to convince some about the rigged nature of the Iranian election; but I hope at least all could acknowledge and object to the post-election brutality by the Iranian regime against the potestors? What happend in the election is now done and gone. But hundreds were arrested since the fiirst day, including Mousavi's campaign staff around the country, people's protests have been violently suppressed by the government, newspapers shut down, and no doubt trials and punishments are going to start soon.

These are not US agents from Langley being arrested and tried. The entire Mousavi's campaign headquarter were arrested on the first day after election, even before any protest took place. Hundreds of students were arrested in attacks on university dorms in the days after. Among the arrested are leading reformist politicians (including several ex-ministers, Khatami's deputy and chief of staff, heads of most reformist parties etc) most of whom were not even opposed to the system itself. University professors, many union leaders, editors of several newspapers etc. You can find the list on the net.

After the main show down on June 15 where over a million people demonstrated in Tehran, the pro government militia started a serious crackdown on protests across the country. This is even in contrast with the article 27 of the constitution of the Islamic republic of Iran that supposedly guarantees freedom of gatherings and demonstrations!  

We may not agree about the facts behind the Iranian election, but I hope we can at least agree to condemn the brutality of this regime against its own people.

Slumberjack

sanizadeh wrote:
  We may not agree about the facts behind the Iranian election, but I hope we can at least agree to condemn the brutality of this regime against its own people.

I'll leave the condemnation to Iranians as they see fit.  Internal domestic politics there does not interfere with, nor have negative influences here.  The same cannot be said in reverse of North American or European politics, and therefore criticism in that regard is appropriate.

NDPP

The World Left and the Iranian Election

http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/22228

"the world left should not be mute.."

Ahmadinejad Privatizes 14 More State Companies

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=102386&sectionid=351020102

"As President Ahmadinejad starts his second term in office, his government announces the privatization of 14 state owned giant companies..

remind remind's picture

Guess those companies were the trade off, for him to keep his position.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Ahmadinejad a highly educated man? you are killing me!

 

To be fair, he's trying to educate himself. Remember a couple of years ago when he organized a conference to look into those rumours about some kind of "Holocaust"?

NDPP

'Human Beings Are Members of a Whole': Protecting the Iranian Civil Society

http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/22247

"As supporters of the Iranian civil society, we stress the genuine nature of the protests by the Iranian democracy movement.."

Where Now for Iran?

http://stopwar.org.uk/content/view/1402/27/

"In the current post-election crisis, we see it as our duty to share our views based on years of defending Iran's national rights, and to help develop realistic solutions for the benefit of all our compatriots of whatever political persuasion.."

George Victor

Slumberjack wrote:

sanizadeh wrote:
  We may not agree about the facts behind the Iranian election, but I hope we can at least agree to condemn the brutality of this regime against its own people.

I'll leave the condemnation to Iranians as they see fit.  Internal domestic politics there does not interfere with, nor have negative influences here.  The same cannot be said in reverse of North American or European politics, and therefore criticism in that regard is appropriate.

 

 

Just as Snert's (marvelous) observation about attempts at self-education on the subject of the holocaust, can be given the blind eye by we who must be obeyed ?

 

Quote:Ahmadinejad a highly educated man? you are killing me!

 

Snert: 

To be fair, he's trying to educate himself. Remember a couple of years ago when he organized a conference to look into those rumours about some kind of "Holocaust"?

 

George Victor:

And there must be no protest at the fate of the protesters, just as mention of the fate of Canadian journalists in prison there is verboten.

You are humanitarian to the core, Jack. And with the same, highly developed sense of political action designed to win over world opinion as the leaders of Hamas. Who knew that they were also given over to posto-modernist relativism to that degree.

 

 

Slumberjack

George Victor wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:

sanizadeh wrote:
  We may not agree about the facts behind the Iranian election, but I hope we can at least agree to condemn the brutality of this regime against its own people.

I'll leave the condemnation to Iranians as they see fit.  Internal domestic politics there does not interfere with, nor have negative influences here.  The same cannot be said in reverse of North American or European politics, and therefore criticism in that regard is appropriate.

Just as Snert's (marvelous) observation about attempts at self-education on the subject of the holocaust, can be given the blind eye by we who must be obeyed ?

Quote:Ahmadinejad a highly educated man? you are killing me!

Snert: 

To be fair, he's trying to educate himself. Remember a couple of years ago when he organized a conference to look into those rumours about some kind of "Holocaust"?

 George Victor:

And there must be no protest at the fate of the protesters, just as mention of the fate of Canadian journalists in prison there is verboten.

You are humanitarian to the core, Jack. And with the same, highly developed sense of political action designed to win over world opinion as the leaders of Hamas. Who knew that they were also given over to posto-modernist relativism to that degree. 

While underway with your swaggering stride, you may have missed entirely what would only be perceptable to you when pointed out, as a faint line between condemnation and education, between relative revulsion in all circumstances that call for it, and awareness of our historical unhelpfulness, and indeed our proclivity to exacerbate wherever we tread.  So while you are busy at work forumulating strategies in your head to once again rescue them from themselves, or us from them, it might be worthwhile for you to consider that a little time, if any can be spared, might be put to good use in marking where that line exists, to render it more visible the next you're out for a stroll.

sanizadeh

remind wrote:

Guess those companies were the trade off, for him to keep his position.

What do you mean by that?

George Victor

Jack:

 

"While underway with your swaggering stride, you may have missed entirely what would only be perceptable to you when pointed out, as a faint line between condemnation and education, between relative revulsion in all circumstances that call for it, and awareness of our historical unhelpfulness, and indeed our proclivity to exacerbate wherever we tread.  So while you are busy at work forumulating strategies in your head to once again rescue them from themselves, or us from them, it might be worthwhile for you to consider that a little time, if any can be spared, might be put to good use in marking where that line exists, to render it more visible the next you're out for a stroll."

 

 

My experience, Jack, is that those who are interested in ferreting out the subtleties that you recommend, are shouted down, bullied into submission of adherence to the line of the moment.

 

It has given me real insight into the flexibility of solidarity movements in the past.

 

"Swagger" in this case is only a brave front for one almost despairing of the herd effect. The open forums such as the UCC are entising in their relative freedom.

Slumberjack

George Victor wrote:

It has given me real insight into the flexibility of solidarity movements in the past.  "Swagger" in this case is only a brave front for one almost despairing of the herd effect. The open forums such as the UCC are entising in their relative freedom.

To my understanding, if we're discussing condemnation, the flexibility of the left both past, and more noticeably the present, is the least of its virtues.  It is not that we should become blinded to the horrific realities being perpetuated, while checking all sense of humanity at the door to discussion, but recognize the reactionary nature for what it is, as the defensive response of those in power toward dire external threats to their very existence, to self determination as they would portray it.  The outside intrigues of course care nothing of freedom for the people being suppressed, nothing of individual rights, but would appropriate the cause for their own nefarious gain, and crush them just as readily if the circumstances could be manipulated to favour a preferential puppet.  There exists no court of law that we could look to in equally presiding over the crimes and excesses of our representatives or theirs, except for the occasional tin pot that has outlived their usefulness to the extent that even global hegemony can no longer tolerate them.  In the absence of just reconciliation, we on the other hand should maintain the visibility to equally agonize on behalf of all who suffer under the weight of oppression, here and elsewhere, while bearing in mind to never lend a shred of validity to the caustic forces seeking to hypocritically influence our opinion, to never permit the flexibility of our thought processes to accept their mantra that we are any better.

CMOT Dibbler

 We actually know sweet fuck all about these "elections" (given that Iran is a closed theocratic state and any Iranian president at this point will be the sock puppet of a rapidly ageing(sp?) cleric) so why the hell are we getting all bent out of shape over this stuff. We do not have an apropriate amount of information on this subject.  Please sop the dickwaving.     

George Victor

 

But I was assuming that the protesters in Iran DID have some idea of what was happening there.  Heck, lots of them might even be condemned to death by firing squad or to a life of squalor in  prison, where they could be tortured and raped, like that late Canadian journalist...eh? Even WE have some idea of what is happening when our journalists wind up dead there.

Maybe the protesters wanted change, not a "sock puppet of a rapidly aging cleric".

Hundo Hundo's picture

CMOT Dibbler wrote:

any Iranian president at this point will be the sock puppet of a rapidly ageing(sp?) cleric) 

The idea is that Mousavi is the good guy, get it?

 

CMOT Dibbler

George Victor wrote:

 

 

Maybe the protesters wanted change, not a "sock puppet of a rapidly aging cleric".

If they really wanted a change, they should have told both candidates to go fuck themselves and called for the overthow of theocratic rule in general.   Mussavi wouldn't have changed anything. The Ayatollahs would still have had the last word.  Do I perfer a moderate to a wackjob conservative?  Certainly, but if he did get into office  his decisions would be guided by his clerical patrion(Rafsanjani) and not by his own conscience.  Mussavi has played the sock puppet role before, by the way.   He had a human rights record similar to Ahmed's in the early 80's         

 and...

 We can't really be sure that ol' Ahmed did cheat,  We can't really be sure that he didn't either.

 

sanizadeh

CMOT Dibbler wrote:

If they really wanted a change, they should have told both candidates to go fuck themselves and called for the overthow of theocratic rule in general.   

wow, how come this briliant strategy did not occur to me when I was in Tehran back in June? A pity you werent there to lead us to victory. We could have gone there together, you know, and you could have lots of fun overthrowing the regime while we cheered for you.

Quote:

Mussavi wouldn't have changed anything. The Ayatollahs would still have had the last word.  Do I perfer a moderate to a wackjob conservative?  Certainly, but if he did get into office  his decisions would be guided by his clerical patrion(Rafsanjani) and not by his own conscience.  Mussavi has played the sock puppet role before, by the way.   He had a human rights record similar to Ahmed's in the early 80's         

 We can't really be sure that ol' Ahmed did cheat,  We can't really be sure that he didn't either.

I am here to help you with all the information you need, my friend. First lesson: In Persian we say Ahmad, not Ahmed. Then, his first name is not Ahmad anyways, it is Mahmoud. Now his last name, it is Ahmadinejad. with a French J.

 

CMOT Dibbler

I am here to help you with all the information you need

Alright. I know that generally speaking Iranian Clerics have more power then Iranian presidents, and that Iranian presidents cannot declare war, but beyond that, I don't know what they can and can't do. Can you tell me?

How reformist can a reform candidate be in the Islamic Republic?

martin dufresne

I think that the West's strategy is to discredit in advance democratic processes wherever the West has a strategic interest. It has never ceased to try and discredit these processes in Iran, for instance, but we have seen identical tactics in dozens of other target countries over the years, e.g. Venezuela, where elections are only deemed legitimate if the West's candidate wins. The press dutifully follows suit, reprinting before and after elections State Dept press releases, presenting CIA operatives as objective international experts, etc. Western governments' war is against self-government by Iranians, Afghans, Haitians, etc. not whomever these people elect to power. But the MSM go on demonizing leaders, parties and popular movements one after the other. Just read what Malalai Joya says about the West's meddling in Afghanistan. I am sending this interview to my MP, won't you?

 

sanizadeh

Martin, it would be informative for you to read the threads on Iranian election before posting. on the subject

CMOT, the process of power in Iran is a lot more complicated than the simple picture of "clerics" and "reformists" etc. If you want a "good guy" vs. "bad guy" image, I am afraid I am unable to offer it here.

First of all, About "clerics". Islam has no clerical hierarchy similar to the Catholic Church. There are tens of thousands of clerics of different ranks and kinds in Iran, from the simple seminary students all the way to Marja rank (which means the highest source of scholarship and eminence). There is no single central hierarchy. Among the top rank clerics you find some who entirely reject Khomeini's view of Islamic government, to those who enthusiastically support it. So it is false to assume that a grand organization of clerics of some kind pulls every string in Iran.

The powers in Iran are also very complex. It is true that the position of supreme leader that Khomeini created, of course, has something like unlimited, supreme power. But his successor, Khamenei, lacks his religious rank, charisma and popularity and therefore, his influence is more limited as well. In many regards on most issues he is being pulled in different diections by various power centers who influence and protect him.

Now describing Mousavi as a "cleric lackey" is also simplistic. Mousavi was (and is) a leftist Islamist, as many Khomeini's disicples (and Khomeini himself) were. Khamenei and the rest of the clergy, as well as the traditional wealthy merchants and landowners, were hard rightists on economy issues. Once Khamenei became the leader, Mousavi and other leftist followers of khomeini were gradually purged from the system. He remains radically oppose to Khamenei's view in this regard. So if elected, he would definitely be anything but Khamenei's lackey.

Ahmadinejad came to power as Khamenei's man. He also has a strong power base in the revoltionary guards, as well as certain hardline clerics in Qum who were not happy with the path Khatami was taking the nation during his presidency. Describing Ahmadinejad as a fighter against the "old guard" and "rich corrupt officials" is entirely false. His whole approach has been based on a simple objective: purging Khatami's reforms from the system. That's why it is laughable to read articles that describe him as a man of the poor. He has restored the power to the traditionalists, and has made Khamenei a king. Now we do know that Khamenei is not capable of acting like a king, so it remains to be seen how the whole thing would turn out.

sanizadeh

By the way officially the role of the president in Iran is similar to a Chief Operating Officer. However in reality, many power centers inside and outside the government influence the way things are done. There are certain issues that are decided at higher levels; kind of consensus between all power centers in the system: one is for instance the nuclear issue. So yes, election of Mousavi would not have made much difference in the nuclear standoff.

martin dufresne

Sanizadeh: Martin, it would be informative for you to read the threads on Iranian election before posting. on the subject.

And it would be respectful of you not to presume I didn't.

CMOT Dibbler

Mousavi was (and is) a leftist Islamist, as many Khomeini's disicples (and Khomeini himself) were.

Khomeini was a leftist?

Look, I'm basing my analysis(such as it is) on a piece by Al Jazeera english on Mousavi and an article by Uri Avnery. I don't think either man is my cup of tea.
Sorry for the fucked up formatting

George Victor

martin dufresne wrote:

Sanizadeh: Martin, it would be informative for you to read the threads on Iranian election before posting. on the subject.

And it would be respectful of you not to presume I didn't.

 

And Martin, it would be seen as an attempt at acquiring wisdom on your part if you recognized sanizadeh's account as probably the most detailed and accurate understanding of the political situation in Iran - complete with a demonstrated understanding of the shifting religious ground in recent years - that you are going to read anywhere. It makes understandable what up to now is the wooden and confusing renditions coming out of the media in its own ignorance of recent history.

Don't come on the complete ass with your bruised ego, please.

NDPP

Rape

http://www.sidewalklyrics.com/?p=1150

Hossein Karoubi said: "My father wrote this letter for Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani and sent it to him privately. He insisted that Mr Hashemi Rafsanjani reply to this letter and take appropriate action. Unfortunately Mr Hashemi Rafsanjani did not reply to the letter.."

martin dufresne

George Victor, my ego is fine, thank you very much; please don't reduce this discussion to inane personal attacks. I commented on the West's systematic bashing of the electoral process in the countries it has an interest in, not on "sanizadeh" (whoever he is) and the analyses he offers here.

 

George Victor

 

"Sanizadeh: Martin, it would be informative for you to read the threads on Iranian election before posting. on the subject.

Martin: And it would be respectful of you not to presume I didn't."

Nothing "inane" or "personal" in that, of course.

Frmrsldr

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/08/09/clinton-us-supported-iran-protesters-... -scenes/

As was suggested earlier on this thread, the U.S. and the West seem to be playing a hand in and gleefully taking any benefit they can from the chaos surrounding the Iranian election. As per normal, the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House don't care about the Iranian (or any country's they meddle with) people.

What do you make of the link?

NDPP

Frmrsldr wrote:

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/08/09/clinton-us-supported-iran-protesters-... -scenes/

As was suggested earlier on this thread, the U.S. and the West seem to be playing a hand in and gleefully taking any benefit they can from the chaos surrounding the Iranian election. As per normal, the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House don't care about the Iranian (or any country's they meddle with) people.

What do you make of the link?

NDPP

Clinton's statements will hurt not help the Reform cause. This might even be her true intent..

George Victor

 Frmrsldr:

"What do you make of the link"?

 

 

Look, mate. I understand completely the way in which the insurrection in Iran has been capitalized on by forces in the West.

But all of the accounts from solidarity with progressive forces aside - the degree to which we can ignore the real history and structure of institutions and events in Iran, is the degree to which our attempts at peacemaking founder on ignorance, which can be easily dismissed.

 

Sanizadeh has given us the real picture. What we do with it, friend and foe, is for us to decide, now knowing facts like this:

 

"By the way officially the role of the president in Iran is similar to a Chief Operating Officer. However in reality, many power centers inside and outside the government influence the way things are done. There are certain issues that are decided at higher levels; kind of consensus between all power centers in the system: one is for instance the nuclear issue. So yes, election of Mousavi would not have made much difference in the nuclear standoff.

Frmrsldr

George Victor wrote:

...our attempts at peacemaking founder on ignorance, which can be easily dismissed.

Sanizadeh has given us the real picture. What we do with it, friend and foe, is for us to decide,...

Peacemaking (a NATO term btw)? For us to decide?

The way I see it, we have no "right" or business meddling in Iran's internal affairs. That is for Iranians to sort out without our interference. Should we do what we reasonable can to alleviate human rights abuses and the suffering of Iranian individuals? Yes. But we have no right to anything more than that.

If we wish to intelligently discuss what is going on in Iran, then yes, we have an obligation to inform ourselves.

George Victor

 

And how do we help "alleviate the suffering" of people being  tortured? I would not "interfere" by suggesting marching or bombing, but the occasional word on the subject in the nearest mullah's shell-like ear? Perhaps indicate to Iranian protestors we give more than a tinker's damn about their situation?

 

And I would hope that someone is concerned about "peacemaking" - which has to begin with understanding where everyone is coming from. I have admitted to great ignorance of the Muslim world, myself. Now on a very sharp learning curve.

 A step up from peacekeeping, when the dogs of war have already been loosed.

Frmrsldr

George Victor wrote:

And how do we help "alleviate the suffering" of people being  tortured?... the occasional word on the subject in the nearest mullah's shell-like ear? Perhaps indicate to Iranian protestors we give more than a tinker's damn about their situation?

Yep, moral suasion.

We the people need to do it as Obomba and Harpoon certainly aren't.

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