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Deal With It!
An election goes tragically awry

by Bryan Zepp Jamieson
June 14, 2009

There isn't an American State Department since the fall of the Shah that hasn't dreamed of this moment. The most hotly contested election in Iran, possibly in the country's history, has concluded with a shocking result that nobody anywhere on the American political spectrum believes to be an honest result.

It was widely expected that if there was a large voter turnout, that the challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, would win the election for President against the incumbent, the hardline firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The turnout was an amazing 87% of the voters, and everyone figured that in the next day or so, Iran would have a new President, one not as creepy and scary as the clownish Ahmadinejad.

Less than an hour after the polls closed, the government of Iran declared Ahmadinejad the winner in a landslide. At this point, less than 10% of the ballots had actually been counted. Mousavi immediately appealed to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the shadowy mullah who holds the real reins of power in Iran. Less than an hour after that, and with 88% of precincts not reporting, Khamenei declared that the elections had been handled fairly, and said, “All Iranians must support and help the elected president" which is Godhead/Religious Head of State speech for “Deal with it”.

All Iranians don't seem real interested in supporting and helping the...well, “elected” probably isn't the term I'm looking for, even if Khamenei, Allah's Asshat on Earth, likes it. Simply stated, nobody believes the results, and except for Allah's Asshats, Incorporated, nobody thinks there was an honest count.

Nobody. It just isn't credible that the widely popular Mousavi would lose his own home district, or that the two splinter candidates, both of whom were polling between 5 and 8% in the polls, would get less than 1% each. The huge turnout was seen as a widespread revolt against Ahmadinejad's hard-line policies, nuclear brinkmanship, and wear and tear on the economy. Despite having nearly 10% of the world's oil, and a constitution that, curiously enough, is actually more liberal than the American one, and a strong healthy support of education and science, Iran isn't flourishing, with a health system ranked 93^rd in the world and a general lack of respect in the world. A lot of this has to do with the theocratic nature of the government which, like all religious-based governments, is authoritarian, imperious, and corrupt.

As a result, there are demonstrations and riots going on all over Iran tonight, and the sense I'm getting is that the public anger is such that it is an actual threat to the regime.

Mousavi, while pretty right wing by western standards, did at least support such things as allowing private radio and television in Iran. (Granted, he hoped to defray the influence of the Persian language BBC). He also wanted to abolish the widely-hated religious police, and bring accountability and transparency to the state budgetary process. Compared to Ahmadinejad, not such a bad guy.

Until 2001, Iran had been gradually easing away from the precepts of the 1978 revolution, and slowly becoming a more secular and enlightened place. Unfortunately, Iran runs its foreign policy much the way Dean Acheson ran America's—it doesn't define itself by what its best interests are, but rather as being the antithesis of a feared foe's. In Acheson's case, it was the Soviet Union. In Iran's case, it was the United States, and the contested election of a hardline right winger in the US sent Iran back to their own hardliners.

Now they are facing a less frightening US regime, and want to get rid of their own hardliners.

And they are finding out that this isn't going to be as easy as just having a presidential election.

Clearly, Ahmadinejad's regime was planning this. Three days before the first vote was cast, the security apparatus chief warned that demonstrations and other disturbances would be dealt with harshly.

“Deal with it.”

The regime showed more substantive signs of preparation, moving late on election day to shut down websites in Iran critical of the regime, Twitter (with little success; indeed, this is becoming known as “The Twitter Revolution”), and block BBC transmissions.

This was at the order of Ahmadinejad, who was simultaneously saying things like “These [protests] are not important and these are natural." Deal with it.

He called the elections "model of democracy" and accused "western oppressors" of criticizing the election process. "On Friday's election, the people of Iran emerged victorious." Deal. Just deal.

Something about Ahmadinejad's words reminds me of Bush's idiotic “bring it on” remark early in the Iraqi occupation. The Iraqis promptly obliged him, resulting in the deaths of some 4,000 Americans. I have a feeling that Ahmadinejad, like Bush, will regret the dismissive and combative tone.

“Western oppressors” usually means the US (and usually with good reason), but publicly, at least, the Obama administration has been bending over backward to not stir things up. Hillary Clinton took a very mild approach to the controversy, saying only that she hoped the election reflected the "genuine will and desire" of Iranian citizens. Oh, they're dealing. It was a sensible approach by the Americans. There's only one thing that can unite combatants in Iran faster than American interference, and that's Israeli interference.

Ahmadinejad's mirror image, Benjamin Netanyahu, promptly shot off his mouth, demanding that western allies intensify efforts to bring Iran to heel. Of course, Netanyahu WANTS a war that will give Israel an excuse to decimate the Iranian population, and hopefully Iranians will be mindful of that.

Starting with Kosovo, the internet has changed the face and nature of social insurrections. Now repressive regimes find it far harder to cut off information, not only from the outside world but among the agitators themselves.

Iran is a first-world nation, one in which a large segment of the population have cell phones, laptops, know how to Twitter, and can mirror to websites safely outside the national borders. And of course, they can blog. Some of the best and most dramatic images have come from a blog that was covering Asian World Cup elimination rounds.

As a result, I can track what's happening in Tehran (current temperature is 96 degrees, and most of downtown is closed off, apparently to no avail)

This will present quite a challenge to the 12th century minds of the ayatollahs. Jamming the BBC doesn't help when anyone with WiFi can simply browse to bbc.co.uk and get clear broadcasts in clear in Persian, with hundreds of links to other sources reporting on the rebellion, foreign and domestic.

I hope the rebellion succeeds. I despise all theocracies; being “instruments of” one sky pixie or another, they regard themselves as being answerable to no-one except the sky pixie (and any politician who actually believes that sort of drivel isn't going to be able to climb to the top; you need a cynic who can soak the sky pixie, wring him out, and bend him to the politician's will), and generally cannot admit error, and, like all religions, have “mysteries” requiring secretiveness and usually involving money. As a result, they are even worse than fascists when it comes to being arrogant and corrupt.

Mousavi isn't a saint by any means. But he's a damned sight more rational than Ahmadinejad, and not as other-directed as the Chief Asshat and his Allah-flogging.

This all comes at a time when the United States has finally replaced a corrupt and bellicose regime, the idiot Bush, with an administration that is at least willing to negotiate with Iran. And has, so far, shown enough sense not to involve itself in Iranian domestic matters.

It would be a shame if, just when America had thrown off the nightmare brought about by rigged elections, Iran were to fall into an even worse cesspool. Ironically, at least one analyst, Steven Clemons, of the New America Foundation believes that the Asshats moved to rig the election after the people of Lebanon, reacting to a more reasonable regime in Washington, responded by kicking out Hezbollah and elected a more moderate government instead.

Ahmadinejad got his ass kicked Friday, and everyone knows it. He needs to go. He can leave peacefully, or on a rail in a popular revolt.

Deal with it.

US skeptical of Iranian election results

*US officials tell Fox News analysts find it 'not credible' that Mousavi lost balloting in his home town, but see no prospect of full-scale attempt to topple Ahmadinejad's regime *

Yitzhak Benhorin


06.13.09, 19:08 / _Israel News _

*Washington –* American officials are casting doubt over the results of Iran's election, in which the government declared the winner Saturday, FOX News reported.

Fox News quoted a senior US official as saying that analysts find it "not credible" that challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi would have lost the balloting in his hometown or that a third candidate, Mehdi Karoubi, would have received less than 1 percent of the total vote.

*Related articles:

* Clear win for Ahmadinejad

* Mousavi: Iran election results fraudulent

* Syria, Hamas welcome Ahmadinejad victory

* Clashes follow Iran vote

Asked by Fox News if the turnout figures should be considered suspect, given the "not credible" counts for Mousavi and Karoubi, the official said the turnout clearly was questionable.

As for the reports of violence outside Mousavi's campaign headquarters and of huge demonstrations for both sides in central Tehran, analysts claim that even if widespread violence occurs, they see no prospect that this event would lead to a full-scale attempt at revolution or the toppling of the regime, said the report.

The dominant view among Obama administration officials, Fox News reported, is that the regime will look so bad as a result of whipping up Iranian hopes for democracy and then squelching them that the regime may feel compelled to show some conciliatory response to Obama's gestures of engagement.

Posted: June 18, 2009

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