June 22, 2009
Iran: 'There is very little logic at work'
[-c contacted me yesterday. She is a "perennial lurker" here and "an Iranian ex-pat living in the US". I asked her what she might want to add and the she wrote back the following . The text is unaltered but for a personal closing paragraph directed to me which I decided to omit - b.]
I'm not really sure that anyone can add anything of value at this point. We have to wait to and see. Having said that, I will share my thoughts on what is happening now and what bothers me about what I see and hear. Apologies if my thoughts are disjointed; I've tried to lay them out as best I could. Believe it or not, I've also tried to keep it brief -- there are many aspects to what is happening, and I only touch upon one or two that resonated with me.
I don't want to address the issue of election fraud because, frankly, I don't have a favorite in this race (I had serious problems with both candidates) and I can buy plausible scenarios for both having won. I also don't presume to speak for anyone else with my remarks. The relationship that the people of Iran have with the government is, like most things in this world, more nuanced than people on both sides would like to admit, and if one person says that they know that the majority of people feel a certain way, that person is lying. In any case, it seems as though we might be seeing the end of the protests, so some of what I write is moot. (But I will write it anyway! ;-) )
The problem, in my view, is that there are three groups, all of whom are convinced that they are absolutely right and hold a majority: those who support Mousavi and think the election has been stolen from them, those who support Ahmadinejad and think that foreign elements are trying to steal the election from them, and those who hate the Islamic Republic and want it gone.
These people do not talk to each other, and they refuse to accept that the other side has valid concerns and/or solutions. No one in the country talks to those who have differing views, unless it is to insult them. Last week, I asked my cousin (a Mousavi supporter) what she wanted. She told me that she just wanted the government to count her vote, and she was upset that Ahmadinejad had insulted those who voted for Mousavi. She said that all they wanted was a re-vote, but when I asked what would happen if Ahmadinejad won the re-vote, she said that that would never happen. "But what if it did happen," I asked. "Would you accept the result?" Her answer? No, because it would mean that the government had cheated again. As has become clear to most people over the past week, there is very little logic at work in this situation, and it is that more than anything else that makes me despair for a solution to this conflict.
Regardless of what happens, there needs to be fundamental changes in how society operates. This atmosphere of isolation and disdain for people who have differing viewpoints, and the idea that compromise is for pussies, if you will, will break the country in the long term. That way lies civil war and massive bloodshed. Nevertheless, if the government can successfully paint a picture of foreign interference in the short term, I think they will come out on top. Iranians across the political spectrum are incredibly nationalistic, and I'm not sure how much they will be willing to tolerate if they get the impression that Western nations, particularly Britain and the U.S., are benefitting from the current unrest.
I mentioned in my earlier e-mail that I was disturbed by coverage of the protests in the United States. More than that though, I am disturbed by, and skeptical of, the manner in which the opposition has proceeded. From the very beginning, there was a concerted effort to co-opt iconic images and chants of the 1979 revolution. For example, the AP, I think, had a neat page where they compared a photo of a gathering in Azadi from '79 to one from '09 and the staging was fairly close to identical. The shouting from rooftops and chants are eerily similar to or exactly the same as those used against the Shah. The Pinochet/Chile one was used originally in '79 as was the "I will kill whoever kills my brother".
I was a baby in 1979, but I do remember my childhood in Tehran. I remember how good people felt, not necessarily because of the new government (though Khomeini was incredibly popular), but because they had defeated a superpower that had crippled the country. I have always felt that the revolution, for all its faults, was an organic next step in opposition to the Shah. The chants, the gatherings, the shouting from the rooftops because of the oppressive regime, happened naturally because people had had enough. "Allah-o-akbar!" was chosen partly because of the Shah's offensive on religion. The Pinochet chant was used because Pinochet had come to power only a few years before with the help of the US government, and the people wanted to let the US know that Iran was different. This time, they trotted out these things one day after the elections ended. Being at least somewhat aware of their original meaning(s), it was jarring to hear them used in a situation to which they weren't really relevant.
The other day, one of my co-workers marveled at how organized the protesters were, and she said that some American movements could use organization like that. And you know what? She's right. But I believe that the movement (at least in its current incarnation, and assuming that we are not seeing a color revolution in the works) is doomed to failure precisely because of the spectacular organization. In 1979, the protesters formed the chants. In 2009, the chants formed the protesters. This may work in the short term, but the problems people have with the government, the reasons they poured out onto the street, will not be solved by Mousavi or Rafsanjani coming to power. And if the protesters do somehow overthrow the government, we'll be in this same spot ten years from now because a large segment of the population, the ones who really did vote for Ahmadinejad, will have been disenfranchised.
In speaking to my aunt in Tehran, her greatest desire is that things calm down. She is terrified for her children who have to go to the university, where much of the violence was happening earlier, and rapidly growing tired of the disruption to her life by both rioters and the Basij. Of course, as someone who wishes only the best for the country and its people, I certainly hope that the worst of the violence has passed. My own personal hope for the country is that Iran one day be allowed to govern itself without outside interference. I thought that day was here, but I guess not.
At the end of the day, while I have my own preferences about the kind of government I want, I don't really care about the political or social orientation of the person that can make that independence happen: communist, socialist, conservative, religious, secular. It doesn't matter to me. All I want is for the people of Iran to be able to choose whether or not they want a revolution, not to have one foisted upon them. If the Iranian people truly want a revolution, then by all means, they should go out and protest and try to overthrow the government.
Then again, if the Iranian people truly wanted a revolution, the protesters would not need to be begging for help from people in foreign countries.
Posted by b on June 22, 2009 at 02:37 AM | Permalink
'Using the incendiary style he perfected for "Swiftboat veteran" television attack advertisements, Corsi declares, "Islam is a peaceful religion as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered and the infidels killed." Comparing Islam to a disease, he added, "How's this for an analogy? The Koran is simply the 'software' for producing deviant cancer cell political behavior and violence in human beings' and Islam is like a virus. It affects the mind. Maybe even better as an analogy: it is a cancer that destroys the body it infects. No doctor would hesitate to eliminate cancer cells from the body." In April 2004 Corsi said, "Let's see why it isn't the case that Islam is a worthless, dangerous, Satanic religion. Where's the proof to the contrary?"
Surrounding Corsi at his walk were three dozen Los Angeles Iranian dissidents and pro-monarchists interviewed by an Orthodox Jewish journalist and by the CIA-backed Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Farda. The Los Angeles Times of March 20 revealed that "Tehrangeles" has become a crucial recruiting ground for Iranian expatriates who gather information for the US intelligence community. Also providing assistance are various Farsi language media which broadcast messages against the Iranian government into Iran.
According to the March 4 Los Angeles Times, the US currently spends US$14.7 million a year on Farsi "opposition broadcasts" into Iran. The Voice of America's Farsi service reaches an estimated 15 million Iranians with news programs and websites, and the Bush administration has recently requested an additional $5.7 million for 2006 to expand the hours of transmission.'
Posted by: brian | Jun 22, 2009 3:04:59 AM | 1
More evidence of fraud.
• In two Conservative provinces, Mazandaran and Yazd, a turnout of
more than 100% was recorded.
• At a provincial level, there is no correlation between the increased
turnout, and the swing to Ahmadinejad. This challenges the notion
that his victory was due to the massive participation of a previously
silent Conservative majority.
• In a third of all provinces, the official results would require that
Ahmadinejad took not only all former conservative voters, and all
former centrist voters, and all new voters, but also up to 44% of former
Reformist voters, despite a decade of conflict between these two
• In 2005, as in 2001 and 1997, conservative candidates, and
Ahmadinejad in particular, were markedly unpopular in rural areas.
That the countryside always votes conservative is a myth. The claim
that this year Ahmadinejad swept the board in more rural provinces
flies in the face of these trends.
So this is the third academic study that's come up which has come to the conclusion that there was fraud (After those by Prof. Roukema and Prof. Mebane's). None of these have made MoA's front page. Mebane's made it, but that was before he changed his mind to say there was fraud after getting more data.
Also the WaPo article about the digits didn't make it either. (And I know a bit of statistics, and it seems sane, more sane the criticisms leveled against it here).
On the other hand, random opinions by "debs" "parviz" and "c" make it to the front page.
Posted by: Amir S. | Jun 22, 2009 3:21:10 AM | 2
The pahlavists are odd... They are at best a delusional group of old men. At worst neocon collaborators.
I'm not quite sure why they're pouncing on this movement right now... 2 weeks ago, they were ridiculing people who wanted to vote.
Posted by: Amir S. | Jun 22, 2009 3:23:29 AM | 3
Thank you for your very considered take on the present situation, -c. I have kept my silence on this issue because I have had nothing informative to add, but I am interested in hearing from those who do and who are able to articulate their appraisals without recourse to invective, arguments either ad misericordian or ad hominem, or self-aggrandisement. You have provided some decent food for thought- at least for me- and you have my appreciation.
Posted by: Monolycus | Jun 22, 2009 3:37:56 AM | 4
Who committed the fraud and how?
Is your theory still that no ballots were counted and instead numbers just made up afterwards?
Why has nobody involved broken ranks with the other conspirators?
Why is there no tangible evidence that the fraud you're describing took place yet?
Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jun 22, 2009 4:37:26 AM | 5
Parviz and Amir:
What specific policy changes do you want to see the government make?
What makes you believe most Iranians want to make the changes you want to make?
By what mechanism do you hope the street protests will lead to the changes you want to see made?
Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jun 22, 2009 4:45:02 AM | 6
1. Dear thanks to -c for sending the above. It gives a perspective we have missed here.
2. We have by now discussed the issue of election fraud in about 1,000 comments. We could probably add another 1,000 and will not know more. We do not know who has won and it may be that we never will. Discussing the longer term issues may be more worthwhile.
Linked in another thread was this piece from Today's Zaman. It is a 2006 interview with Eric Hooglund and it gives, in my view, some good background and food for thought. I recommend it as addition to -c's writing above.
Posted by: b | Jun 22, 2009 4:50:07 AM | 7
As usual, this site has been enormously insightful into the happenings of Iran. I just can't trust anything coming from the main stream media these days. I think this is why so many have of us have been so very skeptical during this hole ordeal. I do think there is a real under current in Iran for Dramatic Change by some Iranians but still, I can't help but to think the western elite have had a hand in fueling this. Iran's future does not look promising in my mind because in the end Iran is vital for both Russia and China. If Iran were to become a western puppet, it would be game over for both of them and I think they will never allow that to happen. I'm sorry, but it's looking very ominous indeed.
Posted by: Hmm | Jun 22, 2009 4:58:53 AM | 8
Nice writeup c very well balanced. You write:
Nevertheless, if the government can successfully paint a picture of foreign interference in the short term, I think they will come out on top. Iranians across the political spectrum are incredibly nationalistic, and I'm not sure how much they will be willing to tolerate if they get the impression that Western nations, particularly Britain and the U.S., are benefitting from the current unrest.
How easy or difficult do you think this will be for the Iranian government at this stage?
Posted by: a | Jun 22, 2009 6:09:31 AM | 9
Thank you, -c.
Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 22, 2009 6:26:37 AM | 10
Again, thank you b. Much appreciated getting opinions from people who know Iran.
Posted by: swio | Jun 22, 2009 6:52:54 AM | 11
I have sent a lengthy email to b for posting regarding this thread, and I have separately submitted a new thread on the 'breaking news' that the Guardian Council has today admitted "in excess of 3 MILLION fraudulent votes". This is the tip of the iceberg. If the Khamenei-controlled Guardian Council had admitted 5 million fraudulent votes there would have had to be a new election since Ahmadinejad wouldn't have won the first round and would certainly have lost the run-off.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 6:54:13 AM | 12
... I meant "Ahmadinejad wouldn't have won the first round outright".
And he certainly wouldn't have won the 2nd round either because, of the 20 million 2005 boycotters, 10 million voted this time and the prospect of defeating Ahmadinejad would certainly have brought the other 10 million to the booths a week later.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 6:56:27 AM | 13
Arnold, your post 5 has been partially answered by the Guardian Council which kept its fraud asessment at the lowest level politically permissible.
With due respect, your post #6 is too complicated to answer. There are too many issues involved. My short answer:
The protesters want far less corruption and far more personal freedom (dress codes, permission to hold hands in public if they want, independent news channels and media, less state involvement in every sector of the economy and political life, etc.,. etc.,.). It's what many of you want and complain about even though you have already far more freedom than we do.
Arnold, as in every society, people have different aims, but in this case they are united by what they DON'T want, namely, the current morally corrupt and stifling repressive Islamic Regime.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 7:02:39 AM | 14
[comment by Parviz via email - b]
Well, the thread supports the views expressed in all the threads, without a single exception other than mine ("Khamenei's Aura of Invincibility Shattered"), that have been displayed on this Blog during the past few weeks.
The threads have all tried to cast doubt on the claims of vote-rigging, have strongly suggested that the uprising was not spontaneous but planned, and now end up with the latest offer from an Iranian expatriate who amazingly claims that "if the Iranian people truly wanted a revolution, the protesters would not need to be begging for help from people in foreign countries." I'm not personally aware of any help from outside except for the usual standard and feeble protests about human rights voiced by Merkel, Sarkozi and others. Even Obama has remained totally silent (a policy with which I fully concur) for fear of giving the regime the ‘excuse’ it needs to portray popular anger as a foreign concoction.
Then the writer incredibly criticizes the tactics used by demonstrators on the following grounds:
"The shouting from rooftops and chants are eerily similar to or exactly the same as those used against the Shah."
What does she expect the demonstrators to do to voice their anger? The shouts of Allah-Akbar are a cynical co-opting of the 1979 revolutionary chant precisely to emphasize that the regime, and not
they, are the ones subverting Islam. It is throwing the pseudo, corrupt antics of the Talebanized regime back in its face, as does the use of the Islamic colour green. In fact, the most senior Shi'ite clerics inside and outside Iran (Montazeri in Ghom and Al-Sistani in Iraq) have objected strongly to the politicization of religion (not to mention the shame that state-sponsored corruption has brought on the religion) practised by the 'Islamic' Republic, and in particular they object to Iran's introduction of the concept of "Supreme Jurisprudence" which is mentioned nowhere in the Koran and which basically says that one man alone, like God, decides everything. The
Koran considers religious dictatorship as ‘Apostasy’, and anyone who doesn't recognize this doesn't belong on an intellectual Blog like MoA. The fact that Khamenei was a junior cleric when elevated to his lofty position by the powers behind the throne only pours more salt on the festering sore. This is the 21st century, not the 15th.
There is currently an intensive battle going on in Iran, behind the scenes, between senior religious figures, who want a return to the principles espoused in the Koran, and those who have used Islam as an instrument of political power and corruption. Mojtaba Khamenei (the Supreme
‘Religious’ Leader’s son) is executing billion-dollar projects in South Africa instead of in his own country, the Rafsanjani clan are the most corrupt imaginable, and real estate and valuable mines are seized and parcelled out among the Pasdaran with impunity, even more so since Ahmadinejad became President in 2005. Ministry of Justice official Palizdar issued a statement containing precise cases of corruption (each case in the $$$ hundreds of millions), submitting original signed/stamped documents, and was imprisoned and tortured for his pains.
THESE are what the demonstrators have risen up against. They mostly don't give a damn about Palestine (ironically, I do) and only want a free and just society for all, not a nation run by pseudo-religious goons. 'c' brings nothing to this debate other than abstractions and a few anecdotal references from afar.
[end comment by Parviz via email - b.]
Posted by: b | Jun 22, 2009 7:06:04 AM | 15
Thank you for sharing your perspective with us c.
Another woman's view.
Posted by: beq | Jun 22, 2009 7:09:37 AM | 16
Are you sure the GC admitted 3 million fraudulent votes? I thought there were 50 locations where the voter counts were greater than 100% of the registered voters in that locality, which is explainable by people voting in different localities.
Either way, wasn't 3 million the total number of involved votes, meaning the total number of votes in the 50 localities that had vote counts greater than 100% of the registered voters?
"What specific changes do you want to make" is too complicated to answer?
My skepticism of the protest movement is increasing.
Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jun 22, 2009 7:11:31 AM | 17
Posted by: beq | Jun 22, 2009 7:14:19 AM | 18
Something Pepe Escobar's said in the Asia Times struck me:
Khamenei is ill. (Please see An ill wind in Iran Asia Times Online, March 2, 2007.) Most, if not the whole current drama, is about his succession. Rafsanjani, as chairman, can not only steer the votes but install his own candidate as supreme leader.
This gives a lot more context to the Rafsanjani attempt, as does the post elsewhere in MoA, from the Iranian who said that the Rafsanjani clique has a lot of money tied up in Western investments, and that AN's oriental orientation is worrisome to them.
Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 22, 2009 7:19:42 AM | 19
I found this piece by Bhadrakumar a good read, too; it gives a good foundation to begin considering what the post-Pistachio revolution is going to look like.
In it, this was mentioned:
Ahmadinejad was warmly greeted at the SCO summit, too.
"Iran, Russia and China are three major economic and political poles attending the [SCO] summit ... [They] play important roles in dealing with the world's current and upcoming developments," Ahmadinejad was reported as saying in the People's Daily and it also highlighted Ahmadinejad's tirade against the "unipolar world order" in his speech. On its part, Moscow said in a structured statement, "The Iranian elections are the internal affair of Iran. We welcome the fact that elections took place, we welcome the new president on Russian soil and see it as symbolic that he made his first visit [as newly-elected president] to Russia. This allows hope for progress in bilateral relations." Russian President Dmitry Medvedev scheduled a bilateral with Ahmadinejad at Yekaterinburg.
Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 22, 2009 7:19:56 AM | 20
And then there was this, in a comment from "zadeh", here in MoA:
This is my oponion for what it is worth.I agree with the chap who said rafsanjani is overplying his hand. this thing has been brewing between him and ahmadinejad for quite a long time.if you listen to the supreme leader speech on friday he very briefly hinted about a letter(from obama).the content of the letter nobody knows exactly.but it is apperrently very polite friendly and concilitary.it has always been the best known secret in iran that if anybody would start a normal relation with the west it would be rafsanjani&co.because most people around him are the businessmen who have invested quite a lot of their wealth in businesses with the west,among them many sons and daughters of some clergies. now with ahmadinajad first term in the office as the president and slogan of GO EAST it started to sound the alarms in rafsanjanis camp and also ahmadinejad again under the slogan of putting the oil money on the working class peoples table started a widespread purge of the top managers in the oil and gas industries. that cut off many lucrative cantracts and commissions favouring rafsanjani and the reformers camp.being afraid of a grand bargain being struck between america on one side and ahmadinejad with the blessing of the supreme leader on the other side put the fear right in the heart of rafsanjani camp.rafsanjani is 75 yrs old for him it was now or never.
Finally, with regard to the SCO meeting, i also found an article over on the Asia Times that came out just these last few days, called The yuan lies in waiting.
Chinese economists are now playing with [an] idea: yuan-denominated loans to foreign countries, mainly neighbors. This could be a powerful tool to make the yuan stable against future currency fluctuations....
If neighboring countries accept yuan loans, they would de facto pressure the US to keep the dollar-yuan exchange rate stable, thus helping China in dealing with the US....
The consequences could be huge. A pool of countries accepting these Chinese loans would push China's yuan to the center stage of world currencies. China's yuan could de facto become the currency of reference for international trade. This could further push China to fully liberalize its exchange rate, and thus update its backward domestic financial structures.
Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 22, 2009 7:20:03 AM | 21
Arnold (17), yes, the number of fraudulent votes was admitted as being in excess of 3 million. I believe, considering the nature of the Guardian Council, that it was 10 million. 3 million was a whitewash:
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 7:23:33 AM | 22
That was a response to b's call to get the discussion moving away from whether or not the Pistachio Revolution really was orchestrated. I posted those in series to skip the spam-bot.
As i see it, the "revolution" was orchestrated by Rafsanjani and his clique, as a challenge to the Basij and the IRGC over the coming fight regarding Khamenei's succession. At its root was the pressure the re-orientation of Iran's economy towards Asia Major, and so in his efforts he was tacitly -- if not overtly -- supported by the Western powers, who both condoned and, so far as they could, encouraged the effort.
Yet as many have pointed out here, beyond this very limited scope, there really wasn't much else at stake: the "reformers" weren't really much in the way of reform, they certainly weren't anti-theocratic (indeed, Rafsanjani apparently represents some of the most cynical of the theocratic elite), and there seems to be little question that their "democratic" reforms would have done little else besides opened Iran's energy industry and economy to western access.
Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 22, 2009 7:26:21 AM | 23
Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 22, 2009 7:26:37 AM | 24
O.K., Arnold, here's what I want, in a nutshell:
I want (in no particular order)
-- the "Supreme Jurisprudence" broken up
-- the elimination of all other non-elected councils
-- the re-privatization of the economy
-- the disbanding of the para-military forces
-- free and fairly monitored parliamentary and presidential elections
-- the disbanding of the 'religious police'
-- return of the mullahs to their mosques
-- removal of media and internet censorship
-- continued uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes
-- good relations with any nation that doesn't threaten us
-- creation of a functioning Ministry of Justice
Re your second question, I believe that if you gave the above list to the protesters they would agree with most, if not all, of the above.
Satisfied with my answer?
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 7:31:12 AM | 25
@Parviz - @12 - I have sent a lengthy email to b for posting regarding this thread, and I have separately submitted a new thread on the 'breaking news' that the Guardian Council has today admitted "in excess of 3 MILLION fraudulent votes".
Funny, what you are setting in quotes there is
b. not available in any piece I searched
Where is it from?
I do not accept the submission you send for a post as I find it a quite misleading interpretation this Press TV piece. The Guardian Council has admitted nothing like what you claim.
Selectively excerpting a half sentence without its context and without linking to the original text to mislead others, like you did in the post submission, is not the level of discussion I want to have here. Besides that, the issue has been dealt with by The Paper in comment 120 here.
From the PressTV report:
Iran's Guardian Council has suggested that the number of votes collected in 50 cities surpass the number of people eligible to cast ballot in those areas.
Kadkhodaei further explained that the voter turnout of above 100% in some cities is a normal phenomenon because there is no legal limitation for people to vote for the presidential elections in another city or province to which people often travel or commute.
According to the Guardian Council spokesman, summering areas and places like district one and three in Tehran are not separable.
The spokesman, however, said that the vote tally affected by such issues could be over 3 million and would not noticably affect the outcome of the election.
I read that as that the total number of votes in those districts is 3 million. If the districts have for whatever reason a 10% "too many" votes those votes indeed would not effect the outcome.
If you submit something serious to post I will do so. But please spare me propaganda.
Posted by: b | Jun 22, 2009 7:33:21 AM | 26
You read it in a manner that supports everything you've written so far. Are you trying to tell me that the TOTAL NUMBER OF VOTES in 50 cities was THREE MILLION? Iran has 70 million population, and 50 'cities' (as opposed to towns or villages) certainly involves tens of millions of people, and certainly more than 3 million fraudulent votes.
Please print my post and stop your relentless diminishing of the extent of the crime.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 7:37:26 AM | 27
I just read ThePaper's piece in which the GC rep said:
"it has yet to be determined whether the possible change in the tally is decisive in the election results,"
I ask you, think hard, if it is "yet to be determined" whether the vote affected the outcome, do you still believe he is referring to 3 million 'affected' votes or to 3 million 'fraudulent' votes?
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 7:41:34 AM | 28
there has'nt been any follow-up on the five to seven million votes in Lorestan allegedly stolen from Kourabi in favor of AN ? Its not clear that Kourabi ever filed a complaint or if the GC has addressed it.
Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jun 22, 2009 7:42:20 AM | 29
Look, Parviz --
The context of the article makes clear that your interpretation is badly skewed, at best.
It was i who first pointed out that, because a voter in Iran can simply present their i.d. card wherever, then on election days that fall on holidays or long weekends many, many precincts will show a higher number of voters than they have registered residents.
This is normal, and to be expected; i got it from a simple review of the voting rules as published on the aceproject website, here.
It's disingenuous of you to play these games.
Frankly, you're disappointing me. Do you really want to turn your hard-won image here into something like Amir S?
Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 22, 2009 7:43:22 AM | 30
Come on, guys, this was just a 'sampling'. If every ballot box had been inspected (= the remaining 90 %) God knows how high the final tally of fraud would have been. The GC checked only 10 %.
WHOSE interpretation is skewed?
Sorry, but this Blog's defence of the Islamic Republic's voting procedures has been relentless and relentlessly flawed, as was the voting.
China_Hand, you're the one being disingenuous. If so much 'over-voting' occurred there should have been massive 'undervoting' elsewhere, which hasn't even been mentioned.
You seem to place more faith in the honesty of the Interior Ministry and of the voting stations manned by Ahmadinejad appointees, than in my comments. So be it. I know you're more desperate for an SCO development with Ahmadinejad than anything else. I, at least, am an independent thinker and simply want the Rule of Law in my country to replace the Hooligan Law that currently dominates.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 7:54:28 AM | 31
I repeat, and ask anyone for an answer:
If the GC spokesman says it is "yet to be determined" whether the vote affected the outcome, do you still believe he is referring to 3 million 'affected' votes (which would have implied a few hundred thousand 'fraudulent' votes at most) or to 3 million 'fraudulent' votes, which could indeed have affected the outcome if the survey had been extended to the entire nation?
MY interpretation is skewed? Not yours?
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 7:57:29 AM | 32
China_Hand, you're the one being disingenuous. If so much 'over-voting' occurred there should have been massive 'undervoting' elsewhere, which hasn't even been mentioned.
Correct me if i'm wrong, Parviz, but isn't it alleged that in several parts of the country certain urban candidates posted a dismal showing that belied their base of support?
If their base of support were wealthy or middle-class people who went home for the weekend, then there you have your undervote --
and the reasons why those regions had such poor showings.
Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 22, 2009 7:57:37 AM | 33
I am not iranian, i am arab.but i do care about iranian stability and safety.
The ones that are encouraging the protests are the ones that had Iran on crosshairs , to be crushed right after iraq.
Whatever governement the iranians have, they surely have a governement that played the game very smart to still stay in power and manage to save Iran from an inevitable destruction.Make no mistake, iran was going to be teared appart, its oil looted,its houses destroyed,the best of its men killed and its women raped, just like Iraq.
i think people of Iran should stay quiet ,untill the major power shift we are witnessing today completes its move.The US power is shrinking day by day.let us not give them a hand.
democracy ? what about safety first?
Posted by: Nabil | Jun 22, 2009 8:09:33 AM | 34
@Parviz @31 - If every ballot box had been inspected (= the remaining 90 %) God knows how high the final tally of fraud would have been. The GC checked only 10 %.
Has the GC announced anything about the recount? Not to my knowledge. The GC statement was about election district totals compared to a 2006 people count, not about the recount.
Posted by: b | Jun 22, 2009 8:26:51 AM | 35
I appreciate your comments, because I know you mean well, but it's easy for you to make such statements without experiencing first-hand the suffering perpetrated by a thoroughly corrupt regime.
You all make one incorrect assessment: The protestors are not traitors or foreign dupes. They are both genuine and nationalistic, all of us with a deep longing for independence and protection from external threats, as our nation has suffered enough from foreign intrigues and domination over the past 150 years, and particularly since 1953.
The problem lies elsewhere: The domestic repression, like Communism in the Soviet Union, has weakened the nation so much internally that it has made us vulnerable to forces that misuse rapidly growing public discontent.
The 'ideal Iran' for most protestors were the 2 years of Mossadegh's rule, 1951-3, where we thumbed our noses at the British, nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and held totally free elections and referendums for the first time in our 2,500 year history. Imperial forces were too strong in 1953 and the rest is history, but today I don't believe a democratic, secular, nationalistic government could be overthrown so easily: Even back in 1953 it took 2 years of extreme effort for the British/Americans to achieve their goal. Today a thoroughly weakened U.S. and Britain would face far stiffer resistance and fail.
If the Mullahs want to make Iran strong they had better find a way of locking up and even executing the financial oligarchs as they do in China, invest more in Iran than the regime does abroad and make the economy available to independent Iranians and not just to the religious leadership and the Revolutionary Guards. They are creating another USSR instead of another China and India.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 8:33:47 AM | 36
Posted by: a | Jun 22, 2009 8:38:06 AM | 37
Parviz you are boring us with your non-truths and disingenuity.
It was the likes of you that made the 1953 Mosaddeq overthrow possible.
Posted by: a | Jun 22, 2009 8:45:47 AM | 39
Thanks c for the nice piece... another hornets nest of opinion, my thoughts go out to the people in Iran who just want to go to work during the day and sleep in a safe bed at night.
As the Chinese curse states, " May you live in interesting times."
Looks like we're all cursed.
Posted by: DavidS | Jun 22, 2009 8:47:24 AM | 40
About the list of things, I agree that most protesters would agree with most items on the list. Of course, protesters are not a majority of Iran's population.
I think there are several items on your list that would not pass a national referendum, meaning there is not a national consensus behind them.
I think there are several items on your list that are vague ideals that everybody wants and the only possible disagreement would be on how to achieve those aspirations.
So now that you've said what you want, which is likely what a lot of the protesters want, how do the protests relate to achieving all or any of those objectives?
Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jun 22, 2009 8:54:27 AM | 41
It was the likes of you that made the 1953 Mosaddeq overthrow possible.
Posted by: a | Jun 22, 2009 8:45:47 AM | 39
A typically constructive and informative statement. Thanks, I'm taking a break from crap like you. Bye for now.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 8:56:12 AM | 42
b (35), the 'over-voting' by 3 million is already so severe as to suggest that this is merely the tip of the iceberg or, in plain terms, a 'whitewash'.
A 'recount' would reveal further discrepancies, based on our knowledge of the massive discrepancies already admitted. There may be bogus IDs, IDs of deceased persons, multiple votes, votes classified as 'tainted' because people wrote 'Mir Hossein Khamenei' instead of 'Mir Hossein Khameneh', and votes tallied incorrectly.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 8:57:00 AM | 43
b, THEN we have the problem of the infamous Interior Ministry's receipt of the nationwide tallies and its own 'interpretation' of who won, etc.,. Already Mohammad Asgari, the head of the I.M's computer division, has mysteriously 'disappeared' among opposition claims that he had passed on evidence to the Guardian Council of massive Ministry fraud.
The GC's suggestion that the extent of the fraud and its effect on the final outcome is "yet to be determined" proves that its audit raises more questions than answers.
b, I generally admire your powers of analysis, but I ask you this time to wear another hat and try to find as many holes as possible in the GC spokesman's statement. All you have done above is to place a positive slant on everything the GC says and does, while I (knowing the GCs background and motives) have done exactly the oppsite.
I'm truly amazed that MoAers, who normally view each Western government's statements with extreme skepticism, can so readily accept the pronouncements of a thoroughly Government that is run by one man (even if that man thinks he was appointed by God) with all levers of power at his disposal.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 8:57:21 AM | 44
"So now that you've said what you want, which is likely what a lot of the protesters want, how do the protests relate to achieving all or any of those objectives?"
It's difficult to answer because the goals have changed:
First the protesters wanted to get rid of Ahmadinejad. Then the fraudulent voting made them want to change the system (Religious Dictatorship). Now they're continuing their protests against the ruthless killing of unarmed demonstrators and simply hope that the regime will either give in (for example, by calling new elections) and/or scrap the office of the Supreme Jurisprudence and/or instigate more liberal domestic socio-economic policies. Since the political situation is totally rigged against peaceful demands, and since nobody in the Islamic Government bothers to read written complaints, the people have taken to the streets with a vengeance.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 9:03:49 AM | 45
GC yet to finish his investigation and published results.
Originally they had 7-10 days to answer to candidate’s protests and that deadline is not over.
Cadidates has 48 hours to register written protest to GC. Only Musavi and Rezaei did that. GC told candidates their written protest has been general and not sufficient for investigation and gave them extra time (they did not need to do that). After extending deadline Rezaei, Karoubi, Musavi registered written protests. GC invited candidates for face to face meeting but only Rezaei showed up.
GC verdict will be announced by TV& Radio in Iran.
Even after GC verdict, Candidates can resort to court about any violation.
During face to face meeting with Rezaei all his claims has been dismissed except one. He requested recount of about 1000 voting center, and GC granted him more. In final verdict, DC will grant him recount of randomly 10& recount and if there is meaningful differences, total recount.
My understanding of what GC said is total recount is on the table .
Posted by: Loyal | Jun 22, 2009 9:09:19 AM | 46
OK. Thanks for the explanations of what you want and how you're planning to get them. I won't comment on them further.
Were there protests today? What did you see in the streets of Tehran?
Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jun 22, 2009 9:11:37 AM | 47
c, that was beautifully said, and absolutely sincere. Your forthright words resonated with me, and, like you, that's what I want for Iran.
That being said, the international community must know it's over as is reflected in the price of oil. It's dropping. If theere was any chance of significant strife in Iran, and potential disruption of the oil flow, the price of oil would be rising.
Still, the Mockingbird Press continues its lopsided coverage, showing the blood & uts pictures with the caveat "these are disturbing images, but we feel they should be shown." Funny how they weren't so "concerned" when it came to the Israeli incursion in Gaza and Lebanon and the attendant atrocities. I now spit at these talking head bastards when they pop up on my screen. They are compromised scum who spread deceitful disinformation. They seek not the truth, but to misdirect. I could go on, but we all know it to be true.
Posted by: Obamageddon | Jun 22, 2009 9:11:43 AM | 48
parviz....I asked this yesterday but it seems to have got lost in the shuffle. Where do you/Moussavi stand on the nuclear enrichment issue? This seems to be central to what's going on.
Posted by: dh | Jun 22, 2009 9:14:23 AM | 49
(43) correction (which shows how difficult it was for people to write Mousavi's name correctly, as many are semi-literate and have difficulty writing such long names):
His full name had to be hand-written on the ballots as follows, a clear disadvantage over Mahmood Ahmadinejad whose name everyone knew and carried far less risk of error:
Mir Hossein Moussavi Khameneh
The Spiritual Leader's name is Khamenei, and I know that many people (including my father-in-law) wrote Mir Hossein Moussavi Khamenei and were forbidden from correcting the one letter.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 9:15:03 AM | 50
There were two different places to select a candidates on ballot tickets
Names of candidates or candidates codes (by alphabetic order).
People had a choice to write names or in case they can't write, just pick their codes.
Posted by: Loyal | Jun 22, 2009 9:23:08 AM | 51
Very astute comment by Nabil @34. It's a grand chess game, and Iran's soveriegnty is at stake. Once that's gone, it's all over and the Iranian people will suffer tenfold what they are experiencing today.
Posted by: Obamageddon | Jun 22, 2009 9:35:29 AM | 52
Does someone have the wherewithall to take a snapshot of Parviz' latest goalpost? I'm not great with the search function, so I don't want to have to look up the old one when the goalpost inevitably shifts.
Posted by: Obamageddon | Jun 22, 2009 9:41:33 AM | 53
There are a couple of developments that have not been discussed yet. This morning I read that at this point it's uncertain who is directing the protests. It seems that messages attributed to Musavi are appearing at different opposition websites (or other information distribution mechanism, because ... how are they still open and accessible to the general irani? unless the target is only the western audiences). But there is no actual confirmation of their authenticity and the current location of Musavi is not really known. Yesterday message calling for a general strike was an example of such messages. The original message seems that said that Musavi had called for the strike in a meeting at South Tehran. However that meeting didn't happen, Musavi didn't show in that area.
Second, that terrifing video about the girl being killed, how convenient for the opposition and the western propaganda campaign. However the official statement from the police is that they were ordered to only use non-lethal anti-riot weapons, not firearms and the police spokeman blames 'vandals' firing on the citizens (in the same reports blames 'terrorists' on burning a mosque and two fuel stations). Who to believe? The government has an incentive to stop the spiral of provocations, but may be they don't really care about appearing as brutal (it doesn't looks like it from my perspective, but what do I know). However other elements would be actually intereste in creating such provocations (and if they can get on video and played on YouTube much better). It doesn't means that it's the opposition. There other suspects that would be quite interested in doing so. Remember also that precisely two days before Google accepted to stop the censorship of violent videos that could come from Iran. Just coincidence or preparing for the 'inevitable' ... or planned?
Posted by: ThePaper | Jun 22, 2009 9:46:17 AM | 54
BTW, PressTV website has been dead for a while. Anyone can access it?
Posted by: ThePaper | Jun 22, 2009 9:51:22 AM | 55
Well,all this what are you writing is very abstract. I do not want to hijack this post but REAL people die and suffer.
A poem in honor of "Neda" and her Fallen Friends
A poem in honor of "Neda" and her Fallen Friends
Neda Soltani: 1982-2009
Neda you have not died in vain
Your voice still resonates loud and clear
Your death has woke the world-
Your blood has paved our course
In your honor and those of your fallen friends
We stand and demand your vote
We will not succumb to tyranny and force
And fight until we prevail.
No Neda your death is just a start.
The marches will go on and on
until wrongs are undone
until freedom in ours
O Neda. The lioness of my heart my soul
You are the symbol of our pride
You have made our nation proud
You are my mother, sister, and child
You gave voice to our cause
No, you have not fallen in vain
You have given us courage to rise
And when that day of freedom come
We will cry out your name from the rooftops of Tehran
for all the world to hear
That Neda was our guide, our saving grace.
O dear Neda from your call, thousand of lionesses have risen to fight
and they are all proud to say.
that their name is too. "Neda"
Posted by: balkanac | Jun 22, 2009 9:53:39 AM | 56
Please, enough with the Neda crap. Yes, a death such as this is sad, you would have to be a monster to think otherwise, but let's have some perspective about this and not spread propaganda. Do you know for sure who killed Neda? I don't. Most likely it was the Government, but the possibility exists that it was a provocateur to stoke the fires and create a symbol.
Posted by: Obamageddon | Jun 22, 2009 10:21:39 AM | 57
dh (49), yeah, I know, and I apologize, it feels like I'm fighting alone like Davie Crocket at the Alamo, losing the war of attrition because I get numerous posts directed at me, some of them intelligent, some of them provocative and the rest of them plain rude like post #39.
Anyway, if you read my post #25 to Arnold I've already answered your question. Virtually everyone in Iran, including Moussavi and me, is in favour of nuclear enrichment for peaceful purposes. We don't want to get caught in the position we were in during the Revolution when nuclear energy construction contracts with Framatome and KWU in Bushehr were unilaterally abrogated because they didn't like our politics. (Nobody ever sanctioned the U.S.A. despite its history of atrocious politics).
But no, it's not central to what's going on. The other many points in my post #25 are equally important for both sides here.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 10:23:50 AM | 58
#47, the proptests are continuing at 7th Tir square where protestors demonstrated in honour of Neda.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 10:28:11 AM | 61
Important and amazing news:
I have received multiple emails from the Iranian community at home and abroad showing the faces, names, addresses and mobile numbers of the Baseej mercenaries who stood on rooftops and shot indiscriminately into the crowd on Saturday, killing (by state admission) 19 people and wounding many others.
The Baseej are basically state-sponsored mercenaries and goons, the Iranian Nazi Stormtroops, and I wouldn't like to be in the place of those who were fully identified. They're dead men walking.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 10:28:33 AM | 62
If it turns out that the neolibs (whether they are rooted in the West or not) are behind this revolution in Iran, I hope, as all secularists do, that the people of Iran will gain freedom from theocracy without becoming imprisoned by plutocracy. But I suppose that many of them, perhaps even secularist like Parviz, are willing to sacrifice some economic freedom in order to be totally freed from theocratic oppression.
Posted by: Cynthia | Jun 22, 2009 10:30:38 AM | 63
Thanks, Balkanac, but here is an even more moving poem as it was written by Neda's sister:
I'm here to tell you my sister died while in her father's hands
I'm here to tell you my sister had big dreams...
I'm here to tell you my sister who died was a decent person... and like me yearned for a day when her hair would be swept by the wind... and like me read "Forough" [Forough Farrokhzad]... and longed to live free and equal... and she longed to hold her head up and announce, "I'm Iranian"... and she longed to one day fall in love to a man with a shaggy hair... and she longed for a daughter to braid her hair and sing lullaby by her crib...
my sister died from not having life... my sister died as injustice has no end... my sister died since she loved life too much... and my sister died since she lovingly cared for people...
my loving sister, I wish you had closed your eyes when your time had come... the very end of your last glance burns my soul....
sister have a short sleep. your last dream be sweet.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 10:31:13 AM | 64
Propaganda? For who?
I'm going leave to you to speculate who killed her? Doesn't matter to me,both are just ruthless looters and criminals and lunatics.
Posted by: balkanac | Jun 22, 2009 10:31:28 AM | 65
Jesus, Obamageddon: "Neda CRAP"!!!
The only crap is YOU, you filthy scumbag.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 10:32:25 AM | 66
I was using http://www.presstv.ir but no luck with the other name. It's not a DNS problem (but addresses point to the same IP). The route trace stops at some point in or after Turkey.
6 32 ms 36 ms 36 ms vlan99.csw4.Frankfurt1.Level3.net [184.108.40.206]
7 32 ms 34 ms 32 ms ae-92-92.ebr2.Frankfurt1.Level3.net [220.127.116.11]
8 43 ms 44 ms 35 ms ae-2-2.ebr1.Dusseldorf1.Level3.net [18.104.22.168]
9 36 ms 36 ms 36 ms ae-1-100.ebr2.Dusseldorf1.Level3.net [22.214.171.124]
10 39 ms 38 ms 38 ms ae-2-2.ebr1.Amsterdam1.Level3.net [126.96.36.199]
11 38 ms 40 ms 39 ms ae-12-51.car2.Amsterdam1.Level3.net [188.8.131.52]
12 111 ms 105 ms 100 ms TURK-TELEKO.car2.Amsterdam1.Level3.net [184.108.40.206]
13 107 ms 104 ms 104 ms acb_t1_2-acibadem_ebgp_1.turktelekom.com.tr [220.127.116.11]
14 * * * Request timed out.
15 * * * Request timed out.
Posted by: ThePaper | Jun 22, 2009 10:33:10 AM | 67
Any other offers?
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 10:34:31 AM | 68
I'll delurk to say that I'm the one who wrote this. I wanted to thank everyone for their comments and links and finally jump into the discussion:
Some seem very hung up on whether or not these elections were stolen. My point is that this Iranian election has been analyzed more than any other that I can remember, perhaps more than any other in history, by people deliberately looking for fraud. I have to ask myself: why? Why are they so invested in proving fraud when it doesn't really matter anymore, if it ever did? It doesn't matter whether Ahmadinejad stole the election or Mousavi is trying to. All that matters is that a significant number of people think Ahmadinejad did and they believe it fervently enough to pour out onto the streets.
I appreciate your viewpoint. I really do. I certainly don't mean to say that the people of Iran, the ones who were protesting, don't have valid complaints about the government. Like pretty much any other country, Iran is far from perfect. Some of the points you outline above are things that I think every Iranian should have.
At the same time, there are certain things that are facts in this situation and certain things that are opinion. That American society has been over-involved is not true only if you think American society should be this or more involved in every election in the world. I have yet to meet anyone who thinks that, so I can only conclude that American society is, in fact, over-involved. I mean, forget about CIA plots or money and focus on what we have seen with our own eyes. The State Department made Twitter change its maintenance schedule. And that's the least example!
I hate to keep going back to it, but in 1979 the Iranian masses didn't need help from people setting up foreign proxies to get their message out to the rest of the world. They overthrew the government with the use of cassette tapes. You know why they were successful? Because they had a leader and a movement, and the movement created the revolutionary atmosphere. It doesn't work the other way. You can't create a revolutionary atmosphere and hope that a leader and a movement will emerge. (Or maybe you can. I guess we'll find out soon enough.)
I talked to one of my relatives last night after I had sent this. She's a former communist, one of those who wants the Islamic Republic gone yesterday. Anyway, she was saying that she thought it was over because while the atmosphere had been exactly like the that of the revolution, they were all waiting for a leader like Khomeini to emerge and, well, lead them. None did.
The government has thus far been trying to pin the unrest on the MKO and through them, on Britain. They have a taped recording (no idea if it's real) of an MKO leader from Britain telling someone how to set a car on fire and not get caught that's been playing on the news a lot. I have no idea how successful this effort has been among the general population. Not very, among the people I've talked to, but they're hardly representative.
One of my other relatives (yeah, I know, there are a lot of them) said that he felt that even among the people who think Mousavi really won, there is the growing but not yet widespread sense that whatever happened, Western nations are the ones who are benefitting right now. Maybe if the violence had dragged out, people might have rallied around the country more. In any case, I'm glad it ended.
Posted by: -c | Jun 22, 2009 10:36:22 AM | 69
Parviz, you are being disingenuous and you are out of line with your insults. The CRAP part is how Neda is being played as propaganda in the Western Media outlets in order to induce sentiment for a global protest and further indict the government of Iran as a ruthless, undemocratic dictatorship.
I don't expect to find that propaganda propagated here, of all places, and when I do I'm going to say something about it. You are being intellectually dishonest by claiming I was doing anything else, and you owe me an apology, as does balkanac for your blatant insults.
Posted by: Obamageddon | Jun 22, 2009 10:49:31 AM | 71
Thanks for that (#58). I'm sure the other issues are more important to you than nuclear enrichment. I'd suggest however that the nuclear issue is the main reason for the neocon pressure, sanctions etc.. I suppose they think Moussavi will be more flexible.
Posted by: dh | Jun 22, 2009 10:50:45 AM | 72
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KF23Ak01.html>Pepe reads MoA?:
Blame foreign "terrorists", blame the United States, Britain, France and Germany - the theo-political oligarchy's panicky reaction is totally beside the point. As are vast, proselytizing sectors of the Western progressive left - bound by the iron chains and faulty logic of "everyone fighting US imperialism is my friend". They have been duped - uncritically swallowing regime propaganda, blind to the complexities of Iranian society, and unable to identify a completely new political equation for what it is. To believe that "Western puppets" are crying Allah-O Akbar all over Iran's rooftops, or being shot at by Basiji in the streets, is criminally absurd.
Posted by: slothrop | Jun 22, 2009 10:57:20 AM | 73
Iranian health officials have confirmed the country's first case of swine flu after a 16-year-old boy tested positive for the H1N1 virus.
According to Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education, the Iranian-American teenager was found to have respiratory infection upon entering Iran with his family last week.
A virus time bomb!
Posted by: Hans | Jun 22, 2009 10:58:49 AM | 74
You can't really believe that the western media really cares about Neda. How many Nedas died in Palestina early this year, how many have been dying every week in Afghanistan or Pakistan? But we won't get to know their names or see videos of their executions posted in YouTube.
As Angry Arab uses to say there are first class deads, or votes, (westerners or whoever the western media wants to support for their own selfish reasons, like 'color' revolutions) and second class deads (any dark colored person from which propaganda benefit can't be extracted or is supporting the 'wrong' side).
How many were killed two weeks ago in protests in the so 'democratic' Peru? How many in the western media are calling Alan Garcia a dictator and a murderer?
Posted by: ThePaper | Jun 22, 2009 10:59:03 AM | 75
thanks c, that was informative.
Parviz wrote:The threads have all tried to cast doubt on the claims of vote-rigging
The problem is that vote-rigging is a blanket term and needs specification, some accusation about what was done and how. For the moment, and following on from what I posted before, which I suppose P. did not read, the Iranian system is open to various kinds of fraud. Who committed it, if they did so, how, why, why the system is what it is, needs to be addressed.
I pointed out that it was the voters who had the latitude to ‘cheat’. So?
With the accusation of 3 million extra votes Parviz, at 12, is on the right track, I would have to say, in the light of my previous vague post (no good numbers, hard sure data) so mistaken I might be. b was sceptical.
I won’t be posting about this topic again.
When passions run so high, irrationality sets in, and ppl seek validation anywhere, peculiarly referring to shoddy ‘experts’, weird position papers from state-funded think tanks or individual on the net who write the crap over the morning coffee, giggling all the way.
Iranians are considered evil: and fools who can be manipulated.
Obey the masters, they want you to quarrel.
Posted by: Tangerine | Jun 22, 2009 10:59:48 AM | 76
Propaganda? For who?
I think you're intelligent enough to figure that out, or have you been absent from the discussion thus far.
There are young people willing to martyr themselves for this right now. There are some who are wishing the riot police to do it, and you want to encourage that further by enshrining someone who has fallen as a symbol to continue this protest? The debate here is about what this protest is, who's behind it and where it will lead. Sentiment for the fallen can be proferred constructively without being an unwitting dupe to propaganda.
How dare you call me a moron. That's out of line. I haven't insulted you, I addressed something you posted. Why the need to insult?
Posted by: Obamageddon | Jun 22, 2009 11:01:37 AM | 77
Cynthia, you are always a voice of reason, more understanding than most people here:
When the Revolution occurred in 1979 I said to my wife that I would be prepared to sacrifice ALL my little creature comforts (open air cafes where people could mingle freely, alcohol, etc.,.) as long as it improved the lot of the people and the country stopped being a slave to the U.S.A.. I marched with the anti-Shah crowds on every occasion.
Today I (and most others) feel cheated. My country is the world's wealthiest per capita on paper, in terms of its $ 20 trillion of proven oil/gas/metallurgical reserves, plus 16 land and sea borders, plus self-sufficiency in water and agriculture. We should have annual 12 % GDP growth and virtually full employment and single-digit inflation, all WITHOUT any 'domination' by a single foreign power.
Instead we have an economy destroyed by a thoroughly corrupt Mullocracy, we have a President who elects as Interior Minister somebody with a high school diploma who then 'buys' a Ph.D. from Oxford, and after being exposed the latter is then 'excused' by that same President on the grounds that Ph.Ds are simply "worthless scraps of paper" (but presumably not his own which he so dearly cherishes and which took him 20 years to 'obtain') ..... How do you think the 20 million students feel about studying so hard and so expensively for "worthless scraps of paper"? This was ‘their’ President speaking, the President of an entire young and highly educated population but who behaves like the President of the Brainless Mercenary Brigade.
I could go on forever. This Theocracy, a very corrupt and self-destructive one, has to end. We have simply become a glorified version of North Korea.
P.S., I can’t believe this is MoA: Massive fraud admitted by the already tainted Guardian Council, probably just the tip of the iceberg, and Parviz is the one everybody’s attacking! The regime gets away scot-free because it’s ‘anti-American’! So much for ‘intellectual integrity’. Jeez!
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 11:05:44 AM | 78
the Iranian system is open to various kinds of fraud. Who committed it, if they did so, how, why, why the system is what it is, needs to be addressed.
Ah yes. Finally, "fraud" is really a problem of semantic imprecision.
Posted by: slothrop | Jun 22, 2009 11:06:37 AM | 79
You can't really believe that the western media really cares about Neda.
Is this addressed to me and what I said? If so, of course I don't think they give one shit about Neda. They're only interested in her as a symbol to further their cause which is to paint the Iranian Government as an Annihilationist, Human Rights Abusing, Undemocratic, Ruthless Dictatorship that seeks nuclear weapons to destroy Israel and drag the world down into a nuclear confrontation.
Posted by: Obamageddon | Jun 22, 2009 11:10:46 AM | 80
"With the accusation of 3 million extra votes Parviz, at 12, is on the right track, I would have to say, in the light of my previous vague post (no good numbers, hard sure data) so mistaken I might be. b was sceptical."
Well, FINALLY! Thanks!
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 11:15:13 AM | 81
I'd like to know if anyone here has any idea how close Montazeri, Mousavi, and Rafsanjani might be.
Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 22, 2009 11:16:48 AM | 82
China_Hand, they're very close in their joint philosophy of eliminating the "Jurisprudence of the Supreme Leader" which isn't embodied in the Koran. They want it eliminated at best and replaced by a "Jurisprudent Council" at best. Either way, they don't want any more self-appointed Messiahs. Re-read my lengthy post 15 carefully. It describes the internal battle and the political-religious alignments.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 11:20:37 AM | 83
Wow, Parviz, what you said @77 is right on, and I'm glad to see you articulate it all in one post, but what, please tell, considering what you have said, will protesting the election results accomplish? The Mullocracy, regardless of internal strife, will not solve the problem because it is the problem. It must be overthrown. Are the protesters prepared for what that would take? Are you and the protesters prepared for what may swoop in to fill the power vacuum if and when that happened? These are all things that need to be highly considered, otherwise, this spilled blood will be for naught.
Posted by: Obamageddon | Jun 22, 2009 11:21:06 AM | 84
Obamageddon, I'll apologize to you when Hell freezes over. You are an insensitive piece of shit.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 11:22:02 AM | 85
There is no Hell, Parviz, so you'll need a better metaphor. It's amazing to me that you get the respect you do at this site. You have never fooled me, from the very beginning when you first started posting here, curiously, not too long ago, and here we are now, Iran in turmoil and you with a venue to spout disinformation and fashion Strawmen.
Posted by: Obamageddon | Jun 22, 2009 11:28:56 AM | 86
@-c @68 - thanks for your insight.
You know why they were successful? Because they had a leader and a movement, and the movement created the revolutionary atmosphere. It doesn't work the other way. You can't create a revolutionary atmosphere and hope that a leader and a movement will emerge.
Yes - I think that is an important point - Mousavi does not have the charisma and is not uniting enough fractions with his program to be a leader. He might be a good anti-Ahmadinejad-vote candidate, but that is not enough to lead a movement.
Besides that the whole issue seems to be much more of an inside fight between various parts of the ruling elite than a real public movement. I guess that many Iranians understand that and do not actively take position.
The poor turnout of 3,000 on Saturday against the police shows as much. In my city here with only 1.6 million people that would be a regular "black block" anarchist demo that would require 1,000 policemen plus water cannons to suppress and control. We have such about twice a year. Tehran has 12 million(?) inhabitants. Where were they if this is a mass movement?
Still - this may change. In 1979 the protest grew slowly and the rallying points were the funerals and mourning. Maybe bigger stuff will happen. Still - the ideological lead is missing for now.
Posted by: b | Jun 22, 2009 11:32:53 AM | 87
@Parviz - a warning - stop personal insults. Now.
They do not help your arguments at all.
Posted by: b | Jun 22, 2009 11:38:35 AM | 88
@Parviz @77 - P.S., I can’t believe this is MoA: Massive fraud admitted by the already tainted Guardian Council, probably just the tip of the iceberg, and Parviz is the one everybody’s attacking! The regime gets away scot-free because it’s ‘anti-American’! So much for ‘intellectual integrity’.
As proven earlier in this thread the GC has NOT admitted any fraud but said that some overvoting patterns in certain districts indeed happened and that these are "normal" and explainable. Now one can probably test that assertion and then falsify it.
People here are not attacking YOU but your ARGUMENTS. And that is the way it should be at MoA.
Posted by: b | Jun 22, 2009 11:43:44 AM | 89
I have a question. Can someone steer me to where I can find the answer: Assuming that I don't accept the reasons already given for why there may be 3 million (or 3+ depending on who is commenting) excess votes, does anyone say it is a fact that all 3 million went to AN? Is there a breakdown of who got what of the excess? Without a breakdown, just because there are excess votes does not mean that AN specifically benefitted from them. Not saying he did or didn't, but just saying there are excess votes doesn't assign them to anyone specifically.
Thank you so much, -c, for your insights.
Posted by: ensley | Jun 22, 2009 11:59:43 AM | 90
PressTV continues to be dead for me. I don't know. I was able to get into IRIB and other sites in the .ir domains (but they may not be actually located inside Iran).
Parviz, are you so deluded to think that the GC would openly admit massive fraud even if it was true at this point? The point of the PressTV article, which I can't quote now, was an attempt to dismiss the fraud allegations by Rezai (excess 100% vote in most cities), not supporting them. There is no point in accepting there is fraud when you actually want to say there isn't. I put this a innocent, or not so innocent, bad translation of the GC spokeman statements.
But I finally found a clearer translation of the GC statement at http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE55F54520090622?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0>this article Reuters (page 2):
But a spokesman for Iran's top legislative body, which is looking into complaints by the defeated election candidates, conceded that in some constituencies the number of votes had surpassed eligible voters.
"Based on initial information, 50 towns had this problem," Guardian Council spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodai was quoted by state broadcaster IRIB as saying on Sunday evening.
He said this might be due to Iranians being able to vote wherever they want, as well as other factors. He said inspectors would look into the issue.
"However, the total votes in these constituencies do not exceed 3 million and consequently will not have any impact on the election," he said.
The 3 millions were the total votes in the 50 towns/cities. Many western media is misquoting the original news report as Parviz is doing and telling that the GC is accepting that there were irregularities or fraud but this isn't actually an irregularity given the lax irani electoral law unless proven with extra details. Another question is if iranian electoral law is acceptable, but there are plenty of unacceptable electoral laws around there. And this special item of the electoral law being so strange for western audiences requires very clear explanation if you don't want to misinterpret it. Of course few care.
I wonder if PressTV being dead is a reason for this or it's just my connection. Perhaps someone was 'axed' for 'mistranslating' or something. The iranian regime isn't a democracy. Never was. I don't expect it to behave like it was.
Posted by: ThePaper | Jun 22, 2009 12:02:33 PM | 91
Presstv.ir is now reporting that the Tehran prosecutor-general's office is attributing the shootings on Saturday to "armed vandals" who opened fire on civilians. Can anyone in Iran shed light on what this means? It's possibly a good sign if the government is trying to disown whoever was responsible for opening fire.
Posted by: pmr9 | Jun 22, 2009 12:04:11 PM | 92
b, for Heaven's sake, you attack my 'content' but apaprently don't read it. You write:
"The poor turnout of 3,000 on Saturday against the police shows as much."
I already explained in minute detail why 'only 3000' managed to get through. Over a million tried but there were half a million military and militia blocking EVERY route to Enghelab Square. They stood on both sides of the pavements of every street, they controlled every crossing in Tehran in an area of almost 200 square km and prevented not only cars but pedestrians (including my group which they threatened to beat up and against whom they drew their truncheons after we hesitated) from getting through.
Your comparison of the 3000 in Enghelab who managed -- God knows how -- to get through, with a 3000 demo in sleepy Hamburg is frankly sickening. It's typical armchair criticism. I like you and admire what you do here (apartv from this topic), but please, please stop denigrating and minimising what took place in Tehran on Saturday.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 12:06:32 PM | 93
"@Parviz - a warning - stop personal insults. Now."
With pleasure, providing you'll show some fairness and warn the others too.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 12:08:27 PM | 94
pmr9 that was reported this morning but the only source I has is an EuropaPress report (spanish news agency).
I already mentioned that detail in a previous post.
I think there are two points in the police spokeman words:
1) It wasn't the police or armed forces because they were prohibited from using letal weapons
2) I doubt 'vandals' was meant to signify 'Basij' or Ahmadinejad supporters gone stray, but actual 'agent provocateurs' or 'terrorists' or 'foreign agents' (which is the official line right now about most of the violence)
Basically they aren't endorsing the violence or the killings. Of course even if they did or other official repressive agencies did he isn't going to tell us openly.
Posted by: ThePaper | Jun 22, 2009 12:16:15 PM | 95
You know, to all of you who set such low standards and show such condescension towards the Iranian regime, I would like to ask you the following:
How would you have felt if I had come on this Blog in 2003 and praised the Patriot Act, Guantanamo, water-boarding, the Necons and Bush's appointments, the stifling of free expression, Bush's flippant reaction to New Orleans disaster, the New York Times, etc.,. .... and if I had told you that the Jeb Bush 2000 Florida election wasn't rigged and that you should all just get over it and accept Mr. C+ Yale Graduate Bush as your next President ....
Wouldn't you all have reacted with extreme ferocity and told me to fuck off?
Well, now you know how I feel when I see so many supposedly principled people defending the Islamic regime, 'justifying' massive fraud, ignoring brutality and dismissing the people's discontent with obvious disdain.
Put yourselves in my place, if you can make that leap. Maybe you'll see why I fight so fiercely, especially as I'm very apprently on my own and gain zero sympathy from the prevalent MoA attitude that Ahmadinejad "may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch".
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 12:18:31 PM | 96
To The Paper:
Kadkhodaei's statement came in response to a question about Musavi’s second protest letter. In his letter to Guardian Council, Musavi complained of about 170 cases of total votes exceeding eligible votes. Kadkhodaei rejected Musavi's clime and said correct number is 50 and not 170s.He said total votes for those 50 locations is about 3 million. He denied report claiming he has confirm any cheating.
Guardian Council will issue statement Wednesday.
Musavi Kalemeh site today is asking Iranian to provide them any evidence of election cheating. I wish they have done that earlier.
Posted by: Loyal | Jun 22, 2009 12:20:21 PM | 97
pmr2, yes I can throw a lot of light on this. The murders were committed by the Baseej paramilitary mercenaries loyal to Ahmadinejad. I have been flooded with emails showing the photographs of those on the roof in a Baseej building near Azadi Square, and below the photos are their names, full addresses, home and mobile phone numbers. They are dead men walking.
Nobody will believe the regime's creative explanation, especially in the light of copious video evidence, the clear Baseej signs on the building and the clothing.
Posted by: Parviz | Jun 22, 2009 12:25:54 PM | 98
praised the Patriot Act, Guantanamo, water-boarding
providing you'll show some fairness and warn the others too.
parvis, b has provided you with a platform and a built in audience for your posts to dominate the discourse here for the last week. you might try not bargaining with him when he makes simple requests of decency from you.
Posted by: annie | Jun 22, 2009 12:30:28 PM | 99
I think that for many the point of this blog is to analyze an get closer to the truth of this kind of international, or economic, events. I personally put sympathysing with others as a secondary thing, but that's just my take, after all if you are going to get killed by a regime agent, or bombed by israeli or US planes what can I really do? Say sorry? Cry for every single people that is killed or abused in this world? Sympathy for the sake of it is cheap. After all you may show sympathy for emotional reasons or because you relate with something. And sympathy may be heavily biased by your personal believings (for example my disdain for the 'higher class').
But if you just wanted sympathy you have been doing a pretty bad job bad mouthing half of the people here including the host.
I desire opposing visions of the same reality but the more I read some of your posts or even more those of Amir the more I was being pushed to discard completely that there was fraud in the elections just as a reaction. Because at the end whatever you actually believe, whatever is the truth (and with humans there isn't a single absolute truth, there is a sligtly different truth or vision for each person ... or at least for me that I don't believe in Gods), your posts increasingly look to me like emotional fact free propaganda. The same that our media is spreading. That doesn't help to convince me or others. The accumulation of lies in the last years have made me really disgusted at reading propaganda in forums of all kind. Think of it as an alergic reaction.
Posted by: ThePaper | Jun 22, 2009 12:34:13 PM | 100