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    Default Why the US wants to delegitimize the Iranian elections

    Are You Ready for War with a Demonized Iran?

    Why the US Wants to Delegitimize the Iranian Elections

    By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

    June 16, 2009


    How much attention do elections in Japan, India, Argentina, or any other country, get from the U.S. media? How many Americans and American journalists even know who is in political office in other countries besides England, France, and Germany? Who can name the political leaders of Switzerland, Holland, Brazil, Japan, or even China?

    Yet, many know of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad. The reason is obvious. He is daily demonized in the U.S. media.

    The U.S. media’s demonization of Ahmadinejad itself demonstrates American ignorance. The President of Iran is not the ruler. He is not the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He cannot set policies outside the boundaries set by Iran’s rulers, the ayatollahs who are not willing for the Iranian Revolution to be overturned by American money in some color-coded “revolution.”

    Iranians have a bitter experience with the United States government. Their first democratic election, after emerging from occupied and colonized status in the 1950s, was overturned by the U.S. government. The U.S. government installed in place of the elected candidate a dictator who tortured and murdered dissidents who thought Iran should be an independent country and not ruled by an American puppet.

    The U.S. “superpower” has never forgiven the Iranian Islamic ayatollahs for the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s, which overthrew the U.S. puppet government and held hostage U.S. embassy personnel, regarded as “a den of spies,” while Iranian students pieced together shredded embassy documents that proved America’s complicity in the destruction of Iranian democracy.

    The government-controlled U.S. corporate media, a Ministry of Propaganda, has responded to the re-election of Ahmadinejad with non-stop reports of violent Iranians protests to a stolen election. A stolen election is presented as a fact, even though there is no evidence for it whatsoever. The U.S. media’s response to the documented stolen elections during the George W. Bush/Karl Rove era was to ignore the evidence of real stolen elections.

    Leaders of the puppet states of Great Britain and Germany have fallen in line with the American psychological warfare operation. The discredited British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, expressed his “serious doubt” about Ahmadinejad’s victory to a meeting of European Union ministers in Luxembourg. Miliband, of course, has no source of independent information. He is simply following Washington’s instructions and relying on unsupported claims by the defeated candidate preferred by the U.S. Government.

    Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, had her arm twisted, too. She called in the Iranian ambassador to demand “more transparency” on the elections.

    Even the American left-wing has endorsed the U.S. government’s propaganda. Writing in The Nation, Robert Dreyfus’s presents the hysterical views of one Iranian dissident as if they are the definitive truth about “the illegitimate election,” terming it “a coup d’etat.”

    What is the source of the information for the U.S. media and the American puppet states?

    Nothing but the assertions of the defeated candidate, the one America prefers.

    However, there is hard evidence to the contrary. An independent, objective poll was conducted in Iran by American pollsters prior to the election.
    The pollsters, Ken Ballen of the nonprofit Center for Public Opinion and Patrick Doherty of the nonprofit New America Foundation, describe their poll results in the June 15 Washington Post. The polling was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and was conducted in Farsi “by a polling company whose work in the region for ABC News and the BBC has received an Emmy award.”*

    The poll results, the only real information we have at this time, indicate that the election results reflect the will of the Iranian voters. Among the extremely interesting information revealed by the poll is the following:

    “Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but our nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin -- greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday's election.

    While Western news reports from Tehran in the days leading up to the voting portrayed an Iranian public enthusiastic about Ahmadinejad's principal opponent, Mir Hossein Moussavi, our scientific sampling from across all 30 of Iran's provinces showed Ahmadinejad well ahead.

    “The breadth of Ahmadinejad's support was apparent in our pre-election survey. During the campaign, for instance, Moussavi emphasized his identity as an Azeri, the second-largest ethnic group in Iran after Persians, to woo Azeri voters. Our survey indicated, though, that Azeris favored Ahmadinejad by 2 to 1 over Mousavi.

    “Much commentary has portrayed Iranian youth and the Internet as harbingers of change in this election. But our poll found that only a third of Iranians even have access to the Internet, while 18-to-24-year-olds comprised the strongest voting bloc for Ahmadinejad of all age groups.

    “The only demographic groups in which our survey found Moussavi leading or competitive with Ahmadinejad were university students and graduates, and the highest-income Iranians. When our poll was taken, almost a third of Iranians were also still undecided. Yet the baseline distributions we found then mirror the results reported by the Iranian authorities, indicating the possibility that the vote is not the product of widespread fraud.”


    There have been numerous news reports that the U.S. government has implemented a program to destabilize Iran. There have been reports that the U.S. government has financed bombings and assassinations within Iran. The U.S. media treats these reports in a braggadocio manner as illustrations of the American Superpower’s ability to bring dissenting countries to heel, while some foreign media see these reports as evidence of the U.S. government’s inherent immorality.

    Pakistan’s former military chief, General Mirza Aslam Beig, said on Pashto Radio on Monday, June 15, that undisputed intelligence proves the U.S. interfered in the Iranian election. “The documents prove that the CIA spent 400 million dollars inside Iran to prop up a colorful but hollow revolution following the election.”

    The success of the U.S. government in financing color revolutions in former Soviet Georgia and Ukraine and in other parts of the former Soviet empire have been widely reported and discussed, with the U.S. media treating it as an indication of U.S. omnipotence and natural right and some foreign media as a sign of U.S. interference in the internal affairs of other countries. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that Mir Hossein Moussavi is a bought and paid for operative of the U.S. government.

    We know for a fact that the U.S. government has psychological warfare operations that target both Americans and foreigners through the U.S. and foreign media. Many articles have been published on this subject.

    Think about the Iranian election from a common sense standpoint. Neither myself nor the vast majority of readers are Iranian experts. But from a common sense standpoint, if your country was under constant threat of attack, even nuclear attack, from two countries with much more powerful military establishments, as is Iran from the U.S. and Israel, would you desert your country’s best defender and elect the preferred candidate of the U.S. and Israel?

    Do you believe that the Iranian people would have voted to become an American puppet state?

    Iran is an ancient and sophisticated society. Much of the intellectual class is secularized. A significant, but small, percentage of the youth has fallen in thrall to Western devotion to personal pleasure, and to self-absorption. These people are easily organized with American money to give their government and Islamic constraints on personal behavior the bird.

    The U.S. government is taking advantage of these westernized Iranians to create a basis for discrediting the Iranian election and the Iranian government.

    On June 14, the McClatchy Washington Bureau, which sometimes attempts to report the real news, acquiesced to Washington’s psychological warfare and declared: “Iran election result makes Obama’s outreach efforts harder.” What we see here is the raising of the ugly head of the excuse for “diplomatic failure,” leaving only a military solution.

    As a person who has seen it all from inside the U.S. government, I believe that the purpose of the U.S. government’s manipulation of the American and puppet government media is to discredit the Iranian government by portraying the Iranian government as an oppressor of the Iranian people and a frustrater of the Iranian people’s will. This is how the U.S. government is setting up Iran for military attack.

    With the help of Moussavi, the U.S. government is creating another “oppressed people,” like Iraqis under Saddam Hussein, who require American lives and money to liberate. Has Moussavi, the American candidate in the Iranian election who was roundly trounced, been chosen by Washington to become the American puppet ruler of Iran?

    The great macho superpower is eager to restore its hegemony over the Iranian people, thus settling the score with the ayatollahs who overthrew American rule of Iran in 1978.

    That is the script. You are watching it every minute on U.S. television.

    There is no end of “experts” to support the script. For one example among hundreds, we have Gary Sick, who formerly served on the National Security Council and currently teaches at Columbia University:

    "If they'd been a little more modest and said Ahmadinejad had won by 51 percent," Sick said, Iranians might have been dubious but more accepting. But the government's assertion that Ahmadinejad won with 62.6 percent of the vote, "is not credible."

    "I think,” continued Sick, “it does mark a real transition point in the Iranian Revolution, from a position of claiming to have its legitimacy based on the support of the population, to a position that has increasingly relied on repression. The voice of the people is ignored."

    The only hard information available is the poll referenced above. The poll found that Ahmadinejad was the favored candidate by a margin of two to one.

    But as in everything else having to do with American hegemony over other peoples, facts and truth play no part. Lies and propaganda rule.

    Consumed by its passion for hegemony, America is driven to prevail over others, morality and justice be damned. This world-threatening script will play until America bankrupts itself and has so alienated the rest of the world that it is isolated and universally despised.

    * You can find the Ballen-Doherty report here.

    http://jnoubiyeh.blogspot.com/2009/06/are-you-ready-for-war-with-demonized.html

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    So, the U.S. is responsible for Ahmadinejad's bad image? It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he's a nutcase.

    But considering the massive public support for Moussavi before the election and the violent reaction to Ahmadinejad's 'victory' I think it's a little too 'conspiracy theory' to say that the U.S. is behind the entire thing. I don't put too much by the government but that's just as crazy as the people who think Dubya planned 9/11.

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    Wow, what the HELL happened to Paul Craig Roberts???

    Roberts, who is supposed to be some kind of economist, used to be a regular antagonistic columnist whose entire existence seemed to be about criticizing Bill Clinton. Relentlessly taking a hardline conservative stand against everything that Clinton stood for.

    Now, Roberts has become a black-helicopters loon? Most arch conservatives would be loving this mess happening in Iran, but somehow Roberts doesn't.

    He apparently believes that the Ayatollah Khamenei who KO'd the last reformer president of Iran (Khatemi) by arresting virtually all of his political allies, is some kind of benevolent democratic presence who is doing the will of the people. And that Khamenei who magically announced that Ahmedinejad was the winner of the election before the polls closed is being undercut by the devious United States?

    And that the Iranian people are just loving the fact that under the religious council there, the country is in an economic shambles?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    So, the U.S. is responsible for Ahmadinejad's bad image? It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he's a nutcase.

    But considering the massive public support for Moussavi before the election and the violent reaction to Ahmadinejad's 'victory' I think it's a little too 'conspiracy theory' to say that the U.S. is behind the entire thing. I don't put too much by the government but that's just as crazy as the people who think Dubya planned 9/11.
    1-There was no 'massive public support' for Moussavi before the election. Here, I'll link that report for you again:
    * You can find the Ballen-Doherty report here.

    2-Ahmadinejad may be a nutcase, but at least some of his 'bad image' is due to outright propaganda:
    'Wiped off the Map' – The Rumor of the Century - by Arash Norouzi

    Besides, he is their nutcase. It's none of our business unless he starts threatening to nuke another nation. Like we've done to Iran.

    3-CIA sponsored destabilization and outright coup d'état by means of covert psychological operations carried out in foreign nations, including Iran (and Venezuela and Haiti) is not a conspiracy theory, but a fact:
    1953 Iranian coup d'état - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    4-W didn't plan 911. Cheney did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    Wow, what the HELL happened to Paul Craig Roberts???

    Roberts, who is supposed to be some kind of economist, used to be a regular antagonistic columnist whose entire existence seemed to be about criticizing Bill Clinton. Relentlessly taking a hardline conservative stand against everything that Clinton stood for.

    Now, Roberts has become a black-helicopters loon? Most arch conservatives would be loving this mess happening in Iran, but somehow Roberts doesn't.

    He apparently believes that the Ayatollah Khamenei who KO'd the last reformer president of Iran (Khatemi) by arresting virtually all of his political allies, is some kind of benevolent democratic presence who is doing the will of the people. And that Khamenei who magically announced that Ahmedinejad was the winner of the election before the polls closed is being undercut by the devious United States?

    And that the Iranian people are just loving the fact that under the religious council there, the country is in an economic shambles?
    First of all, PCR is not a loon, he's a paleoconservative as opposed to a neocon and everything he's written here can be backed by well-documented and widely known historical facts. The NEOCONS are the ones who are happy with the chaos/destabilization because it will give them an excuse to do what they have longed for, prayed for, and threatened to do for years, which is attack Iran. The chaos will give them a causus belli, which is the reason for chaos in the first place.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    moussavi won the elections and the extent of fraud by the election commission is staggering and the results are pretty much impossible. there was massive, retarded fraud. they could have gone for a more bushian 59-41, that might have been believable. but that would have been too subtle for them.
    moussavi won, and the elections commission actually called him to tell him that, but told him that the result had to be vetted (i.e. approved by clerics) before it could be announced. then suddenly the results change and ahmedinejad is declared winner...

    this has nothing to do with being pro- or anti- US.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha View Post
    First of all, PCR is not a loon, he's a paleoconservative as opposed to a neocon and everything he's written here can be backed by well-documented and widely known historical facts. The NEOCONS are the ones who are happy with the chaos/destabilization because it will give them an excuse to do what they have longed for, prayed for, and threatened to do for years, which is attack Iran. The chaos will give them a causus belli, which is the reason for chaos in the first place.
    Nope, he's crazy. Totally, irretrievably bent. It started with him proudly being the author of supply-side economics, but I can see it's only gotten worse over time.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    reza aslan and a few others had some interesting things to say on the matter:

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltB2Jfh5Hy8[/YOUTUBE]

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXzYYMbCgQk[/YOUTUBE]
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    moussavi won the elections and the extent of fraud by the election commission is staggering and the results are pretty much impossible. there was massive, retarded fraud. they could have gone for a more bushian 59-41, that might have been believable. but that would have been too subtle for them.
    moussavi won, and the elections commission actually called him to tell him that, but told him that the result had to be vetted (i.e. approved by clerics) before it could be announced. then suddenly the results change and ahmedinejad is declared winner...

    this has nothing to do with being pro- or anti- US.

    Once again, read the report:

    You can find the Ballen-Doherty report here.

    And tell me why Mousavi is demanding a new election instead of a recount.

    For emphasis, I'm going to quote this bit again:

    Think about the Iranian election from a common sense standpoint. Neither myself nor the vast majority of readers are Iranian experts. But from a common sense standpoint, if your country was under constant threat of attack, even nuclear attack, from two countries with much more powerful military establishments, as is Iran from the U.S. and Israel, would you desert your country’s best defender and elect the preferred candidate of the U.S. and Israel?

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha View Post
    1-There was no 'massive public support' for Moussavi before the election. Here, I'll link that report for you again:
    * You can find the Ballen-Doherty report here.

    2-Ahmadinejad may be a nutcase, but at least some of his 'bad image' is due to outright propaganda:
    'Wiped off the Map' – The Rumor of the Century - by Arash Norouzi

    Besides, he is their nutcase. It's none of our business unless he starts threatening to nuke another nation. Like we've done to Iran.

    3-CIA sponsored destabilization and outright coup d'état by means of covert psychological operations carried out in foreign nations, including Iran (and Venezuela and Haiti) is not a conspiracy theory, but a fact:
    1953 Iranian coup d'état - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    4-W didn't plan 911. Cheney did.
    1) The massive crowds in the street show that Moussavi did have massive public support. That can't be disputed. And the violent reaction to the election results proves that, too.

    2) So, you admit Ahmadinejad is a nutcase, but his bad image is still created, fully or partially, by U.S. propoganda? Well, U.S. propoganda couldn't convince the rest of the world that Iraq was a justified war, but it had the power to demonize Ahmadinejad? And the fact that he's ready to wipe a U.S. ally of the map makes him the U.S.'s problem.

    3) I'll admit the U.S. has helped to destabilize other nation's governments. But to assume that the obvious discontent among many of Iran's citizens is the fault of the U.S. is ridiculous.

    4) And I assume you're joking about Cheney planning 9/11, so I won't even make an issue out of it.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha View Post
    Once again, read the report:

    You can find the Ballen-Doherty report here.

    And tell me why Mousavi is demanding a new election instead of a recount.
    Who the heck says that the Ballen-Doherty report is sacrosanct??? Like its accuracy is attested to by God or something. Ridiculous. I also saw its claim of an error of something like 3%. Yeah riiiiiiiiiight......

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    A Few Thoughts on Iran



    The evident electoral theft in Iran is obviously a bit outside the normal purview of this blog. But I feel uncomfortable ignoring it totally. This is a very big deal in very obvious ways. New Yorker writer Laura Secor's take is, I think, largely correct:
    There can be no question that the June 12, 2009 Iranian presidential election was stolen. Dissident employees of the Interior Ministry, which is under the control of President Ahmadinejad and is responsible for the mechanics of the polling and counting of votes, have reportedly issued an open letter saying as much. Government polls (one conducted by the Revolutionary Guards, the other by the state broadcasting company) that were leaked to the campaigns allegedly showed ten- to twenty-point leads for Mousavi a week before the election; earlier polls had them neck and neck, with Mousavi leading by one per cent, and Karroubi just behind. Historically, low turnout has always favored conservatives in Iranian elections, while high turnout favors reformers. That’s because Iran’s most reliable voters are those who believe in the system; those who are critical tend to be reluctant to participate. For this reason, in the last three elections, sixty-five per cent of voters have come from traditional, rural villages, which house just thirty-five per cent of the populace. If the current figures are to be believed, urban Iranians who voted for the reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami in 1997 and 2001 have defected to Ahmadinejad in droves.
    What is most shocking is not the fraud itself, but that it was brazen and entirely without pretext. The final figures put Mousavi’s vote below thirty-five per cent, and not because of a split among reformists; they have Karroubi pulling less than one per cent of the vote. To announce a result this improbable, and to do it while locking down the Interior Ministry, sending squads of Revolutionary Guards into the streets, blacking out internet and cell phone communication and shuttering the headquarters of the rival candidates, sends a chilling message to the people of Iran—not only that the Islamic Republic does not care about their votes, but that it does not fear their wrath. Iranians, including many of the original founders and staunch supporters of the revolution, are angry, and they will demonstrate. But they will be met with organized and merciless violence.
    There are a couple things to say about this, all of them depressing. First, those of us who have long argued for the fundamental rationality of the Iranian regime have seen our case fundamentally weakened. A rational regime might have stolen the election. But they would not have stolen it like this, where there is no doubt of the theft. This is like robbers leaving muddy footprints and a home address. Tehran's evident vote-tampering is tempting both domestic revolution and international isolation. That they appear to fear neither says something very unsettling about the mental state of the regime.
    The second is that it is likely to disrupt what was, to my mind, a very positive trend in the United States: the long-overdue effort to pressure Israel on the settlements. Among America's points of leverage was that Israel desperately needed our help to handle Iran. Among the trends freeing our hand was the apparent quieting of Iran's drumbeat of provocations. Now that Iran appears to be more of an independent problem and less likely to fall into a period of relative quiet, it's hard to imagine either Israel or America spending too much time worrying about their relationship with each other.
    The third is that energy prices tend to dislike turmoil in the Middle East. The economist James Hamilton has previously argued that rocketing oil prices were the key driver behind the recession of 2008 and 2009. Conversely, some of the recent pick-up in the economy is presumably related to the fact that energy costs had fallen pretty sharply (due, in part, to the slackening demand brought about by the recession). In recent weeks, however, oil had been trending back upward, and if things devolve in Tehran, we can expect it to spike. And a spike in oil prices is exactly the sort of things that could choke off an emergent recovery.
    (Photo of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi taken by AP Photo's Ben Curtis)
    By Ezra Klein | June 15, 2009; 9:10 AM ET

    Ezra Klein - A Few Thoughts on Iran
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    the laura secor article quoted in above article:


    June 13, 2009
    Laura Secor: The Iranian Vote

    At the Grand Hyatt Hotel in midtown Manhattan on Friday, a decorous LCD placard outside a ballroom—the sort that might have announced the name of a session at a conference of anthropologists or oral surgeons—read, “The Islamic Republic of Iran: Elections, 7 A.M. to 9 P.M.” On the way to the hotel, I’d swapped headscarves with an Iranian friend. The one she’d brought was green, the official color of the campaign of the reformist presidential hopeful Mir Hossein Mousavi, and she had heard that in Tehran it was forbidden to wear green inside the polling places. But at the Grand Hyatt, there were no headscarves to be seen, and plenty of green.
    The ballroom was nearly empty when we arrived at 3:30 P.M., except for a table staffed by three Iranian-Americans, one of whom assured us that they were volunteers, not employees of the Iranian government. That would explain the lack of compulsory hijab. He said he’d seen about five hundred voters so far, and he estimated that seventy-five per cent of them were young people. Our little group included a thirty-year-old man and three women in their twenties. “Iran has a bright future,” the volunteer told us in avuncular tones, “with so many young people getting involved.” My friends filled out their ballots. Three were voting for Mousavi, one for the other reformist in the race, Mehdi Karroubi.
    We loitered outside the ballroom, where two Iranian journalists sat on the floor glued to their Blackberries, looking for Facebook updates from Iran. The ballroom was filling up. A leggy young woman entered, in a green tank top and white hot pants, to a burst of appreciative laughter and a flurry of photographs. Iranian sweets called gaz appeared on the refreshments table. They were green, one voter pointed out, for Mousavi, and white, for Karroubi. Another, mocking President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2005 campaign promise to bring oil to the people’s supper tables, said, “This is the gaz Ahmadinejad has brought to our tables.”
    From 3:30 P.M. until 4:15 P.M., the scene at the Hyatt was festive, despite the news earlier in the day that the reformist headquarters had been sacked and prominent reformists arrested. Everyone had a story about a relative who had never voted before, who was a royalist or an all-purpose skeptic, who was wearing green in the streets or simply casting a vote for Mousavi. There was only one way this could go. Turnout, we heard, was over eighty per cent.
    But then the first ominous Facebook update came in. The Ministry of Interior had announced that of the twenty-five million votes counted thus far, sixteen million were for Ahmadinejad. The time, in Tehran, was just past midnight. The polls in the cities had just closed. It was not time to panic yet; maybe this was just the rural vote. But the mood in our little circle darkened. It wasn’t true, came another update—only five million had been counted, and, of them, both candidates were claiming sixty per cent. Then the tally reached ten million, with sixty-seven per cent for Ahmadinejad. And then the most sinister news of all: the public had been told that if anyone approached the Interior Ministry, which would be the obvious site for a protest of the vote count, the police had orders to shoot.
    There can be no question that the June 12, 2009, Iranian presidential election was stolen. Dissident employees of the Interior Ministry, which is under the control of President Ahmadinejad and is responsible for the mechanics of the polling and counting of votes, have reportedly issued an open letter saying as much. Government polls (one conducted by the Revolutionary Guards, the other by the state broadcasting company) that were leaked to the campaigns allegedly showed ten- to twenty-point leads for Mousavi a week before the election; earlier polls had them neck and neck, with Mousavi leading by one per cent, and Karroubi just behind. Historically, low turnout has always favored conservatives in Iranian elections, while high turnout favors reformers. That’s because Iran’s most reliable voters are those who believe in the system; those who are critical tend to be reluctant to participate. For this reason, in the last three elections, sixty-five per cent of voters have come from traditional, rural villages, which house just thirty-five per cent of the populace. If the current figures are to be believed, urban Iranians who voted for the reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami in 1997 and 2001 have defected to Ahmadinejad in droves.
    What is most shocking is not the fraud itself, but that it was brazen and entirely without pretext. The final figures put Mousavi’s vote below thirty-five per cent, and not because of a split among reformists; they have Karroubi pulling less than one per cent of the vote. To announce a result this improbable, and to do it while locking down the Interior Ministry, sending squads of Revolutionary Guards into the streets, blacking out Internet and cell-phone communication, and shuttering the headquarters of the rival candidates, sends a chilling message to the people of Iran—not only that the Islamic Republic does not care about their votes, but that it does not fear their wrath. Iranians, including many of the original founders and staunch supporters of the revolution, are angry, and they will demonstrate. But they will be met with organized and merciless violence. Already, YouTube clips are streaming out of Iran, many of them showing riot police savagely beating protestors.

    Mousavi and Karroubi have been placed under house arrest. (Update: It appears that Mousavi’ situation is more complicated.)
    When it comes to the instruments of democracy in Iran, there is understandable confusion abroad. Iran has elections, and in 1997 Mohammad Khatami won them by a landslide and initiated an eight-year period of internal reform. But this is only half the story of the reform years. The other half involves the relentless occlusion of the reform agenda by clerics who outrank the president, and the systematic elimination of every loophole through which another Khatami might creep into the state apparatus. By 2005, the country’s hard-line Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, had made it abundantly clear that he did not intend to tolerate a divided government. The mood of the electorate, in 2005 and at the two mid-term elections since, has been cynical and despondent. It was logical to conclude that no candidate who ran in the 2009 race could be expected to put up real resistance to the Supreme Leader, and that no reforms would be successful. And so it was particularly stunning to watch Iranians resurrect their hopes and place them in Mir Hossein Mousavi—even if they did so for the main purpose of ejecting Ahmadinejad from power.
    When the Supreme Leader approved Mousavi and Karroubi as presidential candidates earlier this year, Karroubi lacked a constituency, and Mousavi was no liberal. Perhaps Khamenei did not count on Mousavi’s emergence as the vehicle for a groundswell of youthful democratic sentiment—meaning whatever his personal views or background, if Mousavi became president, he would carry with him the same social forces and the same expectations as Khatami, who was fatefully paralyzed between the demands of his supporters and the constraints of his superiors. Where Khatami was conciliatory by nature, Mousavi had a reputation for a steelier resolve. And there is the small matter of Obama, the outreach from the United States, and the unavoidable sense that most of the Iranian public and its political establishment, including all three presidential challengers, support dialogue with America. The major exceptions have been the Supreme Leader himself, his hard-line inner circle, and Ahmadinejad. Did Khamenei fear the presence of unreliable forces in government during such a sensitive moment in Iran’s foreign policy? Or did he want to shut down the possibility of dialogue altogether?
    That the reformists, who urged participation in the system in order to change it, have been so thoroughly shown up this June is depressing on many levels. For all its failings, the reform movement has been the most constructive and effective channel for Iranian frustrations and desires under the Islamic Republic. While Iranian opposition activists have fiercely debated the efficacy of voting—whether it provided a fig leaf for dictatorship or a necessary choice among evils—hardly anyone in Iran’s opposition wants a bloody uprising. That road has been too well travelled in Iran, and so the contemporary debate has been among nonviolent tactics, some with longer timelines than others. But now the regime has forced the issue, leaving Iranians who oppose strong-arm tactics and hard-line policies with just two cards in their hands. One is passivity, and the other is revolt. The outcome depends in part on how high a price the regime is willing to extract from its people.
    In the days before the vote, my Iranian contacts breathlessly compared the atmosphere in Iran to that of 1979, the year of the Islamic Revolution. In the last twenty-four hours, the unavoidable analogy has become 1989. The big question is where we are: Wenceslas Square or Tiananmen.




    Posted by Laura Secor


    Laura Secor: The Iranian Vote: News Desk: Online Only: The New Yorker
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  14. #14
    Hit By Ban Bus!
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    Some Dots You May Want To Connect

    In any ordinary business, Manucher Ghorbanifar would cut an implausibly mysterious figure. Officially, he has been a shipping executive in Tehran and a commodities trader in France. By his own account he was a refugee from the revolutionary government of Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, which confiscated his businesses in Iran, yet he later became a trusted friend and kitchen adviser to Mir Hussein Mousavi, Prime Minister in the Khomeini government. Some U.S. officials who have dealt with Ghorbanifar praise him highly. Says Michael Ledeen, adviser to the Pentagon on counterterrorism: "He is one of the most honest, educated, honorable men I have ever known." Others call him a liar who, as one puts it, could not tell the truth about the clothes he is wearing.
    The Murky World of Weapons Dealers, Time Magazin, Jan. 19, 1987
    ---
    On or about November 25, 1985, Ledeen received a frantic phone call from Ghorbanifar, asking him to relay a message from the prime minister of Iran to President Reagan regarding the shipment of the wrong type of HAWKs.
    United States v. Robert C. McFarlane, Walsh Iran Contra Report, 1985
    ---
    Franklin, along with another colleague from Feith's office, a polyglot Middle East expert named Harold Rhode, were the two officials involved in the back-channel, which involved on-going meetings and contacts with Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar and other Iranian exiles, dissidents and government officials.
    ...
    The administration's reluctance to disclose these details seems clear: the DoD-Ghorbanifar meetings suggest the possibility that a rogue faction at the Pentagon was trying to work outside normal US foreign policy channels to advance a "regime change" agenda not approved by the president's foreign policy principals or even the president himself.
    Iran-Contra II?, Washington Monthly, September 2004
    ---
    Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.
    ...
    “The Finding was focussed on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” a person familiar with its contents said, and involved “working with opposition groups and passing money.”
    Preparing the Battlefield, The New Yorker, July 7, 2008
    ---
    The Ukrainian Orange phenomenon was modeled quite explicitly on the example of the Rose Revolution, which featured a disputed election, massive youth-oriented street protests, and plenty of subsidies from U.S. government agencies.
    The 'Color' Revolutions: Fade to Black, Antiwar, September 29, 2006
    ---
    The Pentagon and US intelligence have refined the art of such soft coups to a fine level. RAND planners call it ‘swarming,’ referring to the swarms of youth, typically linked by SMS and web blogs, who can be mobilized on command to destabilize a target regime.
    Color Revolutions, Geopolitics and the Baku Pipeline", Engdahl, (no date)
    ---
    Even before the count began, Mousavi declared himself “definitely the winner” based on “all indications from all over Iran.” He accused the government of “manipulating the people’s vote” to keep Ahmadinejad in power and suggested the reformist camp would stand up to challenge the results.
    “It is our duty to defend people’s votes. There is no turning back,” Mousavi said, alleging widespread irregularities.
    Iran declares win for Ahmadinejad in disputed vote, Associated Press, June 13, 2009

    M of A - Some Dots You May Want To Connect

  15. #15
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    What would happen if the U.S. stayed out of this, for once?

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