Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 26, 2009

Iran Election Wrap Up

It seems the Iranian election is now officially decided:

"After 10 days of examination, we did not see any major irregularities," Guardians Council spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodai told the state IRNA news agency, rejecting opposition allegations that have brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets.

"We have had no fraud in any presidential election and this one was the cleanest election we have had. I can say with certainty that there was no fraud in this election."

Well - who to believe? Unless we see some real proof of fraud I am content to believe that there was none.

The result is disappointing for the millions who voted for Mousavi and took to the streets in those big demonstrations. Pat Lang predicts:

I think there is likely to be a sine curve of resistance that fluctuates between relative quiet and street action. This will eventually either eliminate this [ruling] clique or cause a massive change in its policies.

I am not so sure. The last days' street action were mostly youth riots that can be seen on and off again in any normal state and with the usual outcome. They are no danger to the government.

Most Iranian people, after thinking through the issue in calm, will probably also wonder about the absence of any proof for fraud. So there is a chance that this really may quiet down. Some changes in Ahmadinejad's policies could help too. It will be interesting to see what modifications he will make in his cabinet.

To prevent a repeat of such protest, Iran should try to make the election process even more transparent. Publishing the local results immediately after the local counts are done by hanging them out at the front of each election place would certainly help to bring more clarity. Then, when the central tally is made and publish together with all local results on a website and in newspapers, everyone can compare and recalculate the totals.

We still do not know how much the whole protest was initiated from the outside. Those $475 million of U.S. government money invested into regime change in Iran certainly had some effects we may never learn about. What is certain is that official 'western' propaganda media like BBC Farsi and Voice of America's Farsi service did their very best to prepare and support the election fraud claims in Iran. In parallel the general 'western' mass media followed that claim to influence the 'western' public mind. Their lockstep has reached an amazing perfection that Hitler's best troops would have been proud of.

This week has been bad for Iran's international image in the 'west', but overtime the public will forget the issue. Therefore the people who want to attack Iran are preparing a new campaign. Lang again:

The war parties in the US and Israel have taken up a new propaganda theme. They are now saying that a "military coup" by the IRGC and other "radicals" has taken place and that the resulting regime is no longer under the influence and control of the Shia 'ulema. The new theme insists that the new "coup junta" symbolically headed by Khamenei is even more dangerous and more likely to rashly use nuclear weapons as an expression of their lunacy.

This is an obvious attempt to twist the situation in the best agitprop tradition for the purpose of obtaining American popular consensus for war against Iran.

Ahmadinajad is a fool and he will undoubtedly play into the hands of the propagandists.

Lang knows the neocons, but I am not so sure about his judgment about Ahmadinejad. Ahmedinejad is first and foremost a smart politician. Iran has term limits and he can not be reelected as president.  He now has no pressing need to keep up the vote winning rhetoric he used over the last years. I expect him to now take a much calmer and more realist rhetoric approach towards international issues.

MoA has seen a lot of comments on the Iran election issue. I am really proud of all your comments even when, in the heat of the discussions, some drifted too much towards personal accusations. The various threads and discussion certainly gave room for everyone to look at every side of the issue. What counts in the end are facts. Opinions can be derived from those. In my personal view Arnold Evans' conclusion is very fact based and his opinion will likely survive historic scrutiny.

To the people of Iran: I wish the very best for you. I hope your wounds, partly deepend by outer interference, will heal fast. Stay proud and confident in your abilities and independence.

Posted by b on June 26, 2009 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

Comments
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Thank you b.

Posted by: Loyal | Jun 26, 2009 12:36:42 PM | 1

Dragonfly:
This is a response to Iran lost progapanda war 270 and conclusion 105

My problem with the election officials noticing that the published results wasn't as much that the numbers would be off than that a different person won. Thousands of people know that they reported Mousavi victories to the MOI and the MOI reported Ahmadinejad victories in their polling places.

I also do not find plausible that they are all terrified to tell the truth "Ahmadinejad did not win my district" because even if some are intimidated, there Dragonfly and Parviz are not the only people speaking against the Iranian regime right now, people are presenting the Chatham report as conclusive evidence against the regime, even though I consider it nothing of the sort, and not going to jail. A person with real evidence would be just as free to speak as the people spreading the false report that the ballots were removed from local polling stations at the last minute.

My problem with Khamenei having hundreds of basiji personnel doing full shifts for two full weeks making 10 million ballots is that he could keep it secret from me. He could keep it secret from Mousavi, the retired politician who last held office 20 years ago, but it strikes me as implausible at least that he can keep it secret from the rival power structure in Iran, the one led by Rafsanjani - where Rafsanjani is powerful enough that he elevated himself to the chair of the elected Assembly of Experts.

I got the 40,000 election observers from a comment by Loyal he pointed me to this page as support. If he's right, there were tens of thousands of Mousavi observers and greater number of observers from other opposition campaigns observing the vote counting all over the country.

My assertion that Mousavi acknowledges that his observers were allowed to observe the counts, but complained that they were not able to participate in the counts was based on my understanding of an english language summary of Mousavi's complaint to the Guardian Council. A different, more detailed summary I found later leaves no indication that Mousavi's observers had any complaints of a large enough scale that Mousavi would list them as evidence of election wrong-doing, and according to this summary Mousavi seemed willing to list things that have very little bearing on the claim of election fraud.

To your questions about why hold an honest election, Iran has held many elections since the revolution and the default proposition would be to hold another election of the same sort. These elections all restricted who could run, but other than that have generally reported their results honestly. If your claim is that most or all of the previous elections have also been fraudulent I won't be able to convince you otherwise, but I've seen no information to support that until now.

I'm not sure when the MoI legally or customarily releases disaggregated data. If the MoI released the data more slowly than usual, I do not consider that evidence of fraud the way a report of changed results is evidence of fraud. Mousavi's protest did seem to me to be aimed at destabilizing the country, I'd expect the regime perceived them the same way and made preventing national destabilization its first priority after the protests started.

Khamenei's announcement and endorsement of Ahmadinejad's win seems aimed at preventing the idea from gaining steam that if enough protesters go onto the streets, they can impact the election result.

I have no idea how many basiji were involved in what ways in the election process. But if thousands of basiji have evidence of election fraud, for example, they were involved in producing fraudulent ballots, or they were able to vote more than once, I do not believe thousands of basiji could effectively keep this secret from the Assembly of Experts. More than one of the thousand would talk to someone.

I have no idea what print shop was used. I'm sure the identity of the print shop itself is not evidence of fraud.

Ahmadinejad supporters do not come on the streets in the numbers of Mousavi supporters after the election because Ahmadinejad supporters were not shocked and angry.

My guess is that after the debates where Mousavi defended Rafsanjani and Rafsanjani began attacking Ahmadinejad, Most of Iran's people stopped accepting the proposition that Mousavi was a "reform" candidate and Ahmadinejad was a "conservative" candidate. To the degree refom is going to mean confronting the people who are now benefitting from corruption, I think Ahmadinejad got a lot of "reform" votes, possibly in Iran he got a lot more of those votes than Mousavi.

I'm sure you didn't like Ahmadinejad's debate performance. I think a whole lot of Iranians did like his performance and the debates caused a big swing in his direction, from a position where he was already further ahead than the polls indicated because telephone ownership is skewed toward Mousavi supporters.

This was my attempt to answer all of your questions.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jun 26, 2009 12:51:05 PM | 2

I double posted. Sorry. If the duplicates could be removed, I'd really appreciate it.

http://www.moi.ir/Portal/Home/ShowPage.aspx?Object=News&CategoryID=832a711b-95fe-4505-8aa3-38f5e17309c9&LayoutID=dd8faff4-f71b-4c65-9aef-a1b6d0160be3&ID=e93a5827-9b34-4f22-9439-13bfbb4b1ccf>The link to the MoI counts of election observers is here. (from Loyal)

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=32888>The link to the summary of Mousavi's election complaints is here.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jun 26, 2009 12:54:52 PM | 3

Pat Lang predicts:
Pat Land (or anybody) can't predict the future. If he could he'd be at Santa Anita (racetrack).

"Ahmadinajad is a fool"-- Pat Lang
Denigrating A. has been (and is) high sport, however it is not supported by the fact that Iran is enjoying such an ascendancy in the ME, and in Asia as a whole, and elsewhere, that the US can focus on little else.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26, 2009 1:14:53 PM | 4

Don Bacon, yes, pride always comes before a fall. The whole 'regional superpower' thing has gone to their heads, Khamenei actually believes he, a mid-level cleric when handpicked for the job by Rafsanjani, was indeed chosen by the Prophet of Time (The Missing 12th Prophet) to reign till the prophet comes. It's not just America that is worried but ordinary Iranians.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 26, 2009 1:32:43 PM | 5

well Pat Lang thinks that the US might attack Iran militarily. My guess is that if they did not do it during the last few years then because it is not good for their interests and the Iranians know it - they have survived in this strategic place for some thousand years.

there is a lot of irony in the discussion of this election in the US.

I quote:

"Ahmajenidad-Mousavi 2009 vs. Bush-Gore 2000 ... And the most important difference of all: In AM09, as you would expect in every other civilized democracy besides the United States, the guy who had the most people voting for him won!"

http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977720506

Posted by: outsider | Jun 26, 2009 1:37:45 PM | 6

The last days' street action were mostly youth riots that can be seen on and off again in any normal state and with the usual outcome. They are no danger to the government.


I think this is a peculiarly European view.

Texas doesn't have many youth riots; other places in the US do, but where i grew up - zilch.

Taiwan, also, doesn't have youth riots today. In days not long past, it did; but not now.

In those days past, the riots were a harbinger of change.

This would be an interesting debate if i had the knowledge to explore it any further, but i don't. Even so, i really do think this "youth riots that can be seen...in any state" is a very European declaration.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 26, 2009 1:59:40 PM | 7

Election fraud or no fraud does not end the politics in Iran. People in Iran have faced the bigger tyrants in the history and they will overcome this group too.
Elections are manipulated in many ways and saying that there was no fraud and they were the cleanest election will not end this story.
Many in Iran are unhappy with the current regime and they have shown their dissatifaction with the way the Mullah regime handled the political unrest.
This is not over by any means as there is nothing static in politics. The desire for change drives the political ambitions in common folks.

The social and economic conditions are changing in Iran and that will change the politics too. The Mullah, like the Shah, cannot remain entrenched in a cocoon. The regime will have to adjust or people will show it the door like they did to the Shah and the other tyrants before him.

Posted by: Hasho | Jun 26, 2009 1:59:59 PM | 8

I agree that there will be and should be change in Iran's political system even though Ahmadinejad did beat Mousavi in this particular election.

Oil revenues are being funnelled into private accounts of members of the clerical or security establishments or their families, is a very important issue concerning the trajectory Iran's economy will take into the future. One necessary step for ending those practices is getting as much information as possible out into the open.

Does anyone have links that describe this corruption?

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jun 26, 2009 2:31:36 PM | 9

A fair-minded person could suspect fraud in this election, without necessarily becoming an accomplice to deception, on the scale of Hitler's followers. It is true that Ahmadinejad was favored to win before the campaign began. But techtonic-like shifts in turnout do not usually take place after intervals where there have been boycotted elections, unless some are disgruntled about the incumbent. Karroubi's tiny vote total, compared to his previous total, in regions friendly to him, was highly suspicious. Apathetic slumps in voter turnout cannot reasonably be compared to boycotts, which are pointedly protests. No one has conclusively proved the case for or against fraud at this point in time. In the 2000 election, in our country, Ms. Harris certified the result in favor of Bush, in her capacity as Florida's Secretary of State.

I don't think the election in Iran was won by the margin that the authorities reported. I think it's quite possible, even likely that Ahmadinejad, in the aggregate, won the election. But I think that is beside the point. It is likely, as I see it, that the clique that feared an upset inadvisedly jimmied the electoral process. In effect they shut down the electoral process and issued bogus numbers. Like most screw-ups of this order, it was completely unnecessary, uncalled for, but now they are living with the consequences.

Much of the argument by Arnold Evans focuses on ballot box stuffing, or falsification of the ballots. This scheme would require too many conspiratorial hands; and yes, someone would inevitably talk and give the game away.

But we are still waiting on Iranian authorities to present the ballots themselves for inspection, and this is the only empirical evidence that matters, Otherwise the shutting down of the electoral process, the sitting on ballot boxes for ten days, remains a process of obscurantism. If totals, even winning totals for Ahmadinejad, are at wild variance with the real results, the in-crowd will be embarrassed to say the least, and will lose face.

I am surprised that after keeping a lid on the ballots for twice as long as stipulated by law, and rolling out a rather vicious repression in the streets, that there wouldn't be some suspicion of someone having shunted the process, by the classic tactic of sitting on the boxes.

Posted by: Copeland | Jun 26, 2009 3:03:52 PM | 10

[comment by Parviz via email - b.]

Nothing has been 'decided' other than by the ruling Kleptocracy and by those insisting the election result was fair. What did you expect the Guardian Council to report -- that 10 - 15 million votes were manipulated, an admission that the Islamic Republic is rotten to the core? or that the Interior Ministry (whose IT Chief Mahmood Asgari has mysteriously 'disappeared') ignored the ballots and simply announced its predetermined results? or that the 20 million mainly young voters who had boycotted EVERY election other than the two which Khatami won by 80 % in the first ballot DID INDEED -- oops -- vote for Moussavi? Or that, for the first time ever, the winner impossibly received identical results nationwide?

The people are angrier than ever. The entire nation is in lockdown. Few people go out at night in any of the nation's towns, the streets are virtually empty, Tehran's traffic is fast flowing for the first time in decades, 70 professors who met Moussavi were arrested and have disappeared, wounded youngsters have been seized from their hospital beds by the dreaded SAVAMA, the nation's biggest butcher (Public Prosecutor Mortazavi) has been appointed to supervise the torture of prisoners in the same manner as his people dealt with Zahra Kazemi, Friday Prayer Leader Ahmad Khatami (no relation to ex-President Mohammad Khatami) today demanded immediate execution without trial of all dissidents and claimed that Khamenei is the direct representative of the Missing Prophet (some kid who fell down a well several hundred years ago and is considered by Shi'ites as the saviour who will return to purge the world of all non-believers -- which includes most of you in
this forum, so you have something to look forward to).

Yes, the street protests have died down owing to a massive military presence enforcing the "kill or maim" policy of the 'Islamic' Baseej, but the regime has lost its credibility, its religious halo and its famed cohesion but, just as it took a year for the anti-Shah protests to bear fruit, it will take time for this uprising to be successful too and you are premature to pass judgement on the basis of protests silenced by unimaginable brutality and a state of virtual Martial Law throughout the country, with vastly slowed down internet speeds, closure of liberal newspapers (including Moussavi's) and arrest of anyone even hinting at disenchantment with the regime.

Finally, b, our wounds are not 'deepened by outer interference' but by a treacherous, blood-sucking regime that will kill its own to maintain power and suck the nation dry economically. Its philosophy is "power and money at any price". Such policies ultimately fail. You have not heard the end of this. Either Khamenei will die or Ahmadinejad will have an 'accident' which this regime is so good at arranging for people who have outlived their usefulness. And then the protests will recur and continue till the nation once more becomes 'Iran' instead of the Brutal Islamic Kleptocracy of Iran.

[end comment by Parviz via email - b.]

Posted by: b | Jun 26, 2009 3:05:12 PM | 11

@Parviz - a simple request: Stay with the facts please.

Here is just one contradicting you. I am sure I can find more. AP:

Authorities arrested 70 university professors Wednesday after they met with Mousavi, and all but four were later released, his website said. Those still in custody included Qorban Behzadiannejad, Mousavi's former campaign manager.

Posted by: b | Jun 26, 2009 3:09:30 PM | 12

Thanks b for your efforts to provide a space to discuss the Iranian elections outside the frame of the pre-designed narratives of the mainstream media.

@ 9 I'd also love to see anything about the flow of oil revenues and the who's who of the economy.

Posted by: BenIAM | Jun 26, 2009 3:13:19 PM | 13


Rock-throwing demonstrators break into Iranian Embassy in Sweden

Posted by: ensley | Jun 26, 2009 3:22:53 PM | 14

i think some people here are extremely naive if they think iran possesses a monoploly on what parviz calls "unimaginable brutality". as lauren pointed out in a post yesterday the death in the cells of an franco algerian man is not far from being a common practice. the repressive state apparatus in the united states imprisons over 2,000,000 people for fuck's sake - & what has happened to generation after generation of young black men can only be called slaughter? from thatcher to brown - rsa - in england deprives people of both their liberty & sometimes their lives

what the underclass, especially in the west, lives through each day is nothing other than "unimaginable brutality". i have worked on three continents amongst these communities, as lizard does & the profoundness of their loss can hardly be imagined - i have worked in these communties for most of my life i remain horrified by what rich societies do to those they reject

& what is the 'unimaginable brutality' of the inequality of opportunity that lies at the very heart of the imperial project. it is falling aprt this empire, mostly from its own neglect & stupidity but who does it blame - it blames the poor & as i have stated repeatedly - that class will multiply unbelievably in the next few years. we are going to go through the darkest times

when you witness bright kids who will never go to university as they ought to, when you see people never find the health that is their right, that the labor that often enobles is not offered

the iranians will have to fight for their civil rights like everybody else & they are more likely to do that without any interference from outside

i do not delight in the suffering of other people - witness & feel it too often - slothrop may mock but my body has become in its way a site of that suffering - but i do not like lies, or as r w fassbinder suggested if you are not capable of telling the truth - have the humanity to not lie

& i'm afraid that the campaign to delegitimise iran has been nother other than lies, fabrications & outright fantasies

& if there are people who believe that any nation in the west - would allow rioting to continue as it did in iran - without using "unimaginable brutality" is absolutely blind

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 3:33:09 PM | 15

Erm, what happened to the 50 cities with greater than 100% voting etc. (as a sample of voting irregularity)? And as I understand it, the main claim is not that there's been a mis-count as a mis-reporting of the count by the interior ministry personnel put in by Ahmadinejad.

Posted by: Capatriot | Jun 26, 2009 4:07:46 PM | 16

if there are people who believe that any nation in the west - would allow rioting to continue as it did in iran - without using "unimaginable brutality" is absolutely blind

Traditionally violence has been used by the State and by the protesters in Asian and other countries. The West is a small entity in this world and the protesters don't go on burning buses, stores and other paraphernalia during public protests but that happens all the time in the rest of the world. Iran is not the west and it is part of the real world.

As has always been the case the protesters in Iran did not start rioting until they were confronted by the violent tactics.

Btw, in the West the police does not go on shooting real bullets at the protesters too. Lets compare apples to apples and not apples to mangoes.
Sounds like the "old timers" on this site are accusing the people of Iran of the brutalities. Earlier in the year, the protesters in Greece were model citizens for the "old timers" here.

Posted by: Hasho | Jun 26, 2009 4:29:53 PM | 17

I do not know why anyone would give credence to what Parviz says. From the last time I had an extended interaction with him, he revealed his HATRED to Islam and everything Islamic and lately he revealed his HATRED to Arabs and Palestinians alike.

The guy clealry wants an Iran that does not exist and will not exist. He wants a secular Iran that has freedoms and liberties similar to those in the West. That is NOT going to happen. Almost everything that he has said is contradicted by the facts, slim though these facts maybe.

First, he asserts that there are Lebanese Hizballah and HAMAS militia men in Tehran. This is totally illogical. How on earth are you going to transfer these people w/o the countries surrounding Iran and the US knowing about it? Maybe, they dug tunnels all the way to Iran. After all, HAMAS is very famous for digging tunnels :-P Why on earth would Hizballah leave Lebanon undefended against the external and internal enemies?

Second, he and his fellow travelers keep asserting that the Iranian elites have done nothing to benefit the people. Again, this is false as reported by the World Bank and the UNDP. Iran has tremendously improved the standard of living of the average Iranian person.

link

Just take a look at the improvements in the commonly used indicators of development from 2000 to 2005

link

His favorite assertion is that Iran is the most corrupt regime on earth. Again, that is not correct. While Iran is certainly corrupt, it is not the most corrupt in the ME and is certainly not corrupt because it is Islamic. Transperancy International has a corruption ranking and Iran is ranked 141 out of 180 countries. Iran has less corruption than Russia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and many others.

link

He also tells us that the Iranian people do not care about the Palestinian issue. Again, this is false. A majority of them do care about the Palestinian issue and a majority of them dislike Israel.

According to the TFT poll conducted before the election, 62% of Iranians oppose peace with Israel and favor all Muslims fighting the state until it does not exist. 64% support Iranian govt aide to Palestinian groups HAMAS and Islamic Jihad.

link

Scroll down to page 16 for the above mentioned questions.

How many times do you have to be wrong before you lose credibility?

The best analysis that I have seen to what is happening in Iran came from b. It closely mirrors the analysis by stratfor.

link

This is not a revolution. It is just a class based reaction by those who have lost the election. Once the Iranian state asserted itself against the demonstrators, they went away. If it was a revolution, that would not have happened. States cannot rule by force alone. They must have legitimacy and the Iranian state has that. Its legitimacy might be compromised by the latest violence, but the state does not depend on the "twittering" class for its legitimacy. The source of legitimacy for the Iranian state is the working class and the peasants.

Posted by: nj1266 | Jun 26, 2009 4:30:04 PM | 18

Arnold@9: I googled Iran + oil + IRGC and got 81,000 references. The first page had the article from Asia Times that I first read of the IRGC's involvement in oil industry. Most of the articles have assumptions similar to this Wiki note:

Economic activity
The IRGC are thought to control around a third of Iran's economy through a series of subsidiaries and trusts.[32] The Los Angeles Times estimates that IRGC ties to over one hundred companies that control more than $12 billion in business and construction.[33] IRGC has been awarded billions of dollars in contracts in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, as well as major infrastructure projects.[34]****

Hard facts are hard to find in these articles. But a sizeable number long preceed the election. There are some commentators who almost surely know some facts related to your inquiry, such as frequent ATimes contributor Kaveh L Afrasiabi, but none to my knowledge have commented on what part of the economy the IRGC controls.


Posted by: ds | Jun 26, 2009 4:30:58 PM | 19

Privatization of National Assets


The bitter truth is that the major cause of the differences among the upper echelon of Iran’s political leadership goes much beyond the dichotomies concerning the election results. One of the most crucial issues discussed much before and during the election campaign has been the problems with the economy of Iran and its critical components, such as high rates of unemployment and inflation, low levels of labor productivity, and handling the monetary and fiscal policies.

But among all these vital parts, privatization of the state’s industrial, financial, mining and infra-structural assets attract the most attention of the domestic and foreign owners of capital – this is the focal point where the political agents of social forces fight to the death. Privatization of the state assets is the greatest motive force for capturing the state power for use as a tool to shape Iran’s wealth distribution and concentration of capital in the hands of a few for decades to come.

While the working class, small shop keepers and family farmers are mainly concerned with the hazards and pain of unemployment, high prices of necessities of life such as food, shelter, means of transportation, health care services and educational expenses, the big landlords, owners of private banks, insurance companies and shareholders in the stock markets are busy purchasing the state-owned factories, railways and bank assets at fire-sale prices, an arrangement which had methodically been the fast track of becoming wealthy over-night at the expense of the entire nation.

While Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan college students aspire to gain employment opportunities, cultural and social freedoms, the big capitalist class is networking the strategy of how to use the vigor and vital energy of the intellectuals, artists, university professors, along with the entire middle class to capture the state power, not for its own sake, but as a bridge to the national wealth, whose thousands of factories are awaiting to be auctioned soon after the election. Mir Hossein Mousavi cannot wait to be in charge of giving these establishments away to the rich Iranians.

Therefore, while the upper middle and educated class dreams of widening its social space, the moneyed class is busy dreaming about the easy access to the wealth of the nation that it took the state a century or more to accumulate.

The experience of Russians after the collapse of the Soviet Socialist state and the immediate rise of a class of oligarchy that attained the status of billionaires is still fresh in our minds, the charges and counter-charges between the reformists, which in fact is a misnomer, and the Ahmadinejad administration has been centered around the depth and breadth, but more so, on the pace and the kind of economic sectors which would be up for grabs on the auction block. This current election and the ensuing upheaval is in essence more about who - the capitalist class or the workers - will get the lion’s share of the people’s assets.

Posted by: hans | Jun 26, 2009 4:38:06 PM | 20

Hasho, in the West the police do shoot protesters. b has a picture of a German policeman with a drawn pistol ready to shoot. In the US we have Kent State where National Guardsmen shot dead four students. In Genova a policeman shot and killed a protester during a G8 demonstration. What set off the Greek riots was a policeman killing a young man. 53 people were killed in Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots. As I recall, the French riots in Paris recently were sparked by the death of a young man that was caused by the police too.

from what I saw on the teevee, there were a lot of hooligans in Iran throwing rocks and setting garbage bins on fire. they looked much like the drunken fools you find in the streets after English football games. young men looking to start some shit. the mob mentality takes over and everyone feels invisible and powerful.

someone else talked about brutality before here, he said, you want to see police brutality? spit on a US cop. anyone who has spent any time at all in the US knows exactly what would happen.

I want to say that I am mightily impressed with large crowds showing up to protest and to celebrate for that matter. It means that they still think they can make a difference. Me, I have become much more cynical about the whole thing. I remember the great gatherings and protests all around the world on the runup to the invasion of Iraq. Millions of people all around the world. It didn't make one bit of difference in any of the countries where it happened. the boy king dimissed it all as "focus groups" and swiftly set up "free speech zones" or highly controlled areas where people could gather, far away from cameras and media.

and for the last time, the general lack of enthusiasm for the opposition candidate in Iran does not mean there is a great deal of support for the incumbent. There are some things that I like about AN such as his dealings with the US where he does not grovel but always leaves the door open to dialogue. Mousavi seems to be just a different color cat in this story, a lot like the choice we had in the US between bush and kerry.

Iran needs an Obama, then everything will be just great /snark

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 26, 2009 4:52:50 PM | 21

Everyone, I think, is agreed that the post-election revolt is fizzling, and that because it did not make the leap from the educated classes to a wider public.

In itself, that is only proof that people were not motivated enough at this time to risk their lives. That is a much greater commitment than voting in an election. The fact that a revolt took place at all demonstrates that there was a wide dissatisfaction with the results.

Khamenei/Ahmedinejad did take the correct decision, after a couple of days, not to shoot any more. That was wise. Evidently it implies memory of 1979, but also discipline in the security forces.

I find Iranian internal politics particularly opaque. The general conclusion here, if I understand it correctly, is that evidence of fraud in the election is "not proven". I agree with that. Though I don't agree either with so-called proofs that rigging didn't take place, for example Arnold Evan's remarks that if rigging did take place, some signs would have leaked. That is a Western attitude. Much more likely people shrugged, and said to themselves 'That's the way things are', in order to avoid reprisals. 'Not proven' of course cuts both ways; true that there may not have been fraud, but also true that there may have been, but it is not proven.

Throughout, Khamenei has taken an extreme hardline position, apart from the not-shooting. That is strange, and doesn't look good for his future. The reasons that have been suggested are 1) that he personally detests Musavi, and 2) that he lacks personal confidence as successor to Khomeini.

Whatever the reason, it means that there's going to be another round. In the US, demagoguery works; in Iran I doubt. There's a millenial history of domination by the aristocracy, as I detailed on a previous thread, and it has not been softened in the 20th century, because of external intervention - 1953 and Mossadegh.

Khamenei should have held out a hand, to reconcile the opposition. If he does not do so in the near future, another round is certain.

The authoritarian tradition may well be playing a role. Autocratic rule has a long history in Iran, going back before Islam, certainly to the Sasanians (226-651 AD), and possibly before. Authoritarianism is of course not real; autocratic rulers have always bent to political winds. If they do not do so, then they are overturned. Nevertheless, they think they are free to make their decisions. And I suspect Khamenei is thinking that.

Posted by: Alex_no | Jun 26, 2009 5:08:55 PM | 22

& strictly speaking barrack obama, nicolas sarkozy, bernard kouchner & david milliband owe the iranian people & their president a public apology

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 5:15:08 PM | 23

Hasho #18

As has always been the case the protesters in Iran did not start rioting until they were confronted by the violent tactics.

Btw, in the West the police does not go on shooting real bullets at the protesters too. Lets compare apples to apples and not apples to mangoes.

Hasho, I appreciate your sentiment. I too felt the same when I immigrated to America in 1972. And I believed it and worked for the man until I started to realize I’d been hoodwinked and exploited. Since then I have been learning the truth behind Western culture’s expansion into the Americas. It is not a pretty picture. Pillage, genocide, enslavement, you name it, it’s been horrendous for those who were the victims. And it hasn’t stopped. It continues today with increased urgency and improved technological techniques of destructive violence.

One of the more recent contradictions to your above statement is Kent State but it is only the tip of the iceberg. The state apparatus here in America is defacto as ruthless as any, probably more so because of the most advanced technology. It only needs any real challenge to the elites agendas and it will be brutally suppressed. Our history is one of murder and mayhem to keep power and wealth right where it presently is. Form 1492 onward. Check some of Howard Zim’s writings but there are many more. (Any real interest on your part and I’ll research a list for you.) We’re not comparing apples to apples but bullets and clubs to napalm and white phosphoreus.

Listen or read again. There is absolutely no fucking way that any of these “old timers” here are accusing the People of Iran of brutalities.

Posted by: Juannie | Jun 26, 2009 5:29:28 PM | 24

hasho

i don't know where you live but the nature of revolts here in europe, or even very active demonstrations - means there are buses & cars burning, stores burnt - they are what they seem to be

in any case the deaths which now include members of govt militias is far from clear - when & by whom

the violence i was speaking of, of course - was the daily violence of the life of the underclass not only but especially in the west - that does its best to deny that violence

i posted from an australian newspaper - the other week - the cooking alive of an aboriginal elder & teacher in a police paddy wagon driven in unbearable heat for over six hours while he was literally cooked in the cage

the murder of aborigal men in australia is not rare - in fact it has happened with sickening regularity - though there have been commission after commission on their murders in custody.

the underclass is overrepresented in prisons & in what is left of mental health institutions & even the latter has thrown them out on the streets since the thatcher reagan period

& this is violence every bit as real as a baton across the head & as the old saying goes a baton over the head by a policeman will teach you more about the violent nature of the state than a hundred paperbacks

& this violence is grown apace in recent decades - that is clear to the people & observers.

strangely, or not so strangely is a corresponding corruption in the political life(money for questions & backhanders being the most normal & obvious); an intense criminality of police forces - with whole squads having to be arrested in some countries & the death of real community life

go to glasgow hasho, or roubaix, or munich, or milan, or sheffield - go to the cities in the east of europe - city after city, town after town - where violnce walks a thin line in both public & private life

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 5:35:13 PM | 25

One factor that I think many miss, especially the Iranians here is that Shia is a very hierarchical tradition. This is VERY similar to Catholicism. Most Catholics, good Catholics obey the Pope.

American Catholics are not good at this. We have a tradition that socially at least is contemptuous to age and tradition. We have been quite taken with a very selfish, self centered existential view of life.

Parviz and Asif DONT get this. I don't get it either, but I SEE it. (I wonder China, where you are) In TX we deal with this too. Some of the most contemptible people invoke the lord with near every phrase they speak.

Yet again, we know some really decent, righteous, wonderful people too. Some are earnest in their faith, others aren't. But most have some relationship with faith.

I don't think those who live on the East and West Coast of the US have this same experience. Non religious is much more common.

Parviz, seems to have little appreciation for, and insight into the religious folk about. Truth be told, if I hadn't gone to SWT--a second tier school, where I met and had some yokel teammates and friends. I know several backward ass, unlearned folk that are some of the smartest people I know.

Compare that with the Neo-cons and elite economists who are totally stupid, with no common sense. Perhaps I dismiss them too lightly, and they are venal whores making their sales pitch. Only, I think they don't even make their cases well. They are sophist, so an earnest argument doesn't appeal to them.

This whole affair has really depressed me. Parviz, I am not dismissing your little uprising. It was a fairly good show. What saddens me is that forcing change is going to be tougher than I thought. Getting people on board for change is hard enough, educating them tougher. Then, how do you moderate a mob?

Posted by: scott | Jun 26, 2009 5:57:44 PM | 26

bishari - an alternative reading

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 6:04:30 PM | 27

iran - this is not a revolution

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 6:12:51 PM | 28

sorry, the last link - b gave to us a couple of days ago

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 6:50:50 PM | 29

hasho
& if the truth be known - the lack of taste -of cnnbbcaljazeerasky - is a crime of violence in & of itself as is revealed rather indelicately the way they have all shifted from sufferring iran to dead michael

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 7:03:09 PM | 30

remembereringgiap, Juannie, dan of steele and others.

I guess I did not make myslef clear. My concern was r'giap's implication that somehow the protesters in Iran are wrong and mere rioters.(remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 3:33:09 PM | 15).

My point was: the violence by the protesters has no relevance as that happens all the time in many countries and yes, including the Western Countries.

I would refer the readers to the article linked by r'giap in post # 28 (http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/aam230609.html)

please read the comments and see how many people don't agree with the characterization that somehow the protesters are a part of the campaign to malign the regime in Iran. The people of Iran are showing their resentment as humanely as possible given the conditions in Iran. Does anyone remember it was the same segment of the Iranian population that stood up against the Shah in 1978?
The Iranian regime de-legitimized itself the day it refused democratic reforms in the country. Does any one remember what the Iranians in 1978-79 fought for against the Shah? The current regime has modeled itself as the second incarnation of the Shah's regime. The complete control of the state institutions, the same desire to control who can represent the people and who cannot, the same control over the media, the same suppression of the media and the same suppression of the progressive and the liberal opposition. The only things different are the ostentatious piety and Anti-Americanism.

Is that enough for the people of Iran to be satisfied with? I think we need to ask ourselves whose interests do we hold dear. The Mulllah regime's or the people of Iran.

The fear that the Mullah regime will be replaced by a pro West regime is completely unfounded. If the US can approach the innermost circles of the Mullah power, if the US can find the Rafasanjanis and the Mausavis within the ruling elite of Iran, then it sure can find a way to change the whole supreme council and AN too.

The people of Iran have already shattered many myths about the Mullah regime. It has many chinks in its armor and the US will exploit that. The best approach is to support the people of Iran to stand up against both the Imperialists and its subtle agents ruling Iran currently.

Posted by: Hasho | Jun 26, 2009 7:15:06 PM | 31

For the record, and before this closed circle of ass-kissing runs out of arnold evans's saliva, some immense failures here:

1. as antifa said, this was not about who or if someone cheated, but whether the opposition was worthy of support

2. no way can enough proof is supplied to unassailably prove fraud

3. b and a legion of knuckleheads here (under the usual auspices of magus knucklehead rememberingberia) repeatedly claimed that AN and the regime are, as b put it, "social democrats," "defenders of the poor and workers," etc. of which, shamefully, there is no support available for these claims

4. the ridiculous claim that millions spent by the west to influence the election amounts to a color revolution. This accusation reduces the people of Iran to brainless automatons without volition, and absurdly overstates the influence of externally produced propaganda.information. An immensely hypocritical argument made by self-styled leftists who believe in "the people."

5. Finally, the required assumption here that Mousavi et al. are American stooges is so stupid as not to deserve a hearing, but that didn't stop the knuckleheads from listening.

The bottom line: this blog not so implicitly and in a clumsily explicit way used the unprovable but compelling fraud allegation as a way to support the totalitarian regime.

"I hope your wounds, partly deepend by outer interference"--b's arrogant and scathing hatred of these brave people disgusts me.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 26, 2009 7:32:35 PM | 32

slothro

you are a dishonest dwarf & your ideology nothing other than idiocy

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 7:41:03 PM | 33

& it is patently clear that you know nothing about iran, your absolute ignorance of the larger middle east has been on display for years & i am wondering if you really know very much about the empire you live within

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 7:49:03 PM | 34

@ R'GIAP 33

Are you trying to prove his point?

Posted by: L'Akratique | Jun 26, 2009 7:50:48 PM | 35

Here's the best laugh (a laugh because you're too feeble for anything approaching a praxis in the real world): you love domination. The spectacle of who you believe deserve the taste of the nightstick (all those helpless "bourgeois" women), made you horny.

And the many outright lies I've caught you making--most recently your fantastic exaggerations about Steve Coll's book--proves once and for all that nothing you say can be trusted. Because you are a complete fraud.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 26, 2009 7:52:09 PM | 36

Here's another lark: your surprisingly astute remark that iran's hybrid political Islam borrowed from Iran's left--an important fact! I think I know where you got this from Ali Misepassi "The Tragedy of the Iranian Left"--a version http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/cam032/99049057.pdf>located here which I think you probably googled and found, but as usual didn't read. A shame, because the article explains the subsumption of domestic leftist though excluded quaint shit like the defense of workers, women, human rights.

See also th essays in "Reformers and Revolutionaries in Modern Iran" suggested by a lurker here. Maybe when some of the morons here finish their counterpunch conspiracy theory books, they can take a gander at actual history.

Jesus. You're a fraud, rememberingberia.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 26, 2009 8:04:01 PM | 37


Arnold Evans @ 2

Hereby I officially give up on you. You are so clueless about even the basics of power structure and power brokers in Iran that I am left speechless. It is almost sickening. Spending more time with a man who pretends to be deaf does not make him hear. I am not even sure a few university courses on the Iranian political system and society will cure your persistent transference syndrome, since you don't want to be cured.

What I can do though is this: Let's assume you live fifteen more years at least. I will leave my email with Bernhard. So he knows how to get a hold of me. If within the next fifteen years there is conclusive evidence -- as customarily understood -- that there was fraud in this election, you will pay me a pot of money. Name your price. If there isn't, I will pay you 10 times the amount you are willing to pay me.

I know as a self-styled leftist you may not find the idea of a wager appealing, but given your utter ignorance about Iranian politics such that you spew nonsense about the Assembly of Experts led by Rafsanjani as somehow an arbiter of the election, this is one of the few alternatives left for me to deal with you.

Posted by: Dragonfly | Jun 26, 2009 8:07:54 PM | 38

l'akratique

it is for you & others to decide that. myself, i am unconcerned, really. i suggest, for example, everyone read the steve coll book ' ghost wars' & see if the come to an analysis anywhere near slothrop. & though, the issues of iran have brought up something that does irk me - the way he has constantly & often with relish displayed & real & objective hatred of the arab people, their ideas,their culture & their sovereignty.

that does trouble me because in these last few weeks he parades here as if he is a friend of the iranian people & nothing could be further from the truth. since the invasion of iraq he has become demonstrably twisted - as i have already noted - he alternates between a rapturous faith in the armed forces of empire - with a misreading of the actual history so deep that it cannot be arrived at other than design

the left has many doubts about political islam, mostly because we were defeated by them but for slothrop it is & as i suggest often - read the archives - just an excuse to demonise those people, their struggle & ultimately their self determination

i am happy for anyone to read through the archives & know that those archives here will give testimony to the fact that i have been consistent & i regret not a word i have written unless i have expressly said so in a post

just as he does not know the reality of the iranian people, or the people of the middle east - he knows nothing of my reality & while he can presume all the way to hell - i will not let history even immediate history be rewritten. it has been a hot time here - someone mentioned over 1,000 posts & all you have to do as a reader or a writer is to read them all & judge for yourself - what has actually happened here

perhaps i should not bother but his perversion is dressed up in decency, the chaos within his mind as coherence & if you would like me to be frank - aesthetically & morally it is offensive to me

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 8:20:54 PM | 40

scott@26. It's unwise to remind Parviz of Shi'te hierarchalism; he knows his country, even if he has a particular political orientation.

giap@27. These two posts are linked in that they bring back the issue of authoritarianism, as in my 22.

giap's link in 27 brings back the image of Orientalism, as criticised by Edward Sa'id, the image of the eternal autocratic oriental potentate, who makes decisions for capricious reasons.

This Western idea was born in the ancient Greek texts, Herodotus in particular, who for political reasons opposed Greek democracy (which nevertheless excluded women, and accepted slavery) against oriental 'autocracy'. Actually 'autocracy', whatever that means, was born in ancient Egypt under the Pharoahs (thus Mubarak as Pharoah), and in Mesopotamia. According to the cuneiform tablets, in the 3rd dynasty of Ur (2100 BC), the entire economy was controlled by the state. Reminiscent of the modern world, isn'it it? At any rate, all of this continued in Assyria and Babylon. Everything, of course, has since been whitewashed by the scholars, because Egypt and Mesopotamia are our ancestors, are they not?

The same principles of government continued under Islam (not because of the Prophet, but rather in spite of him), but lessons had been learnt. 'Autocracy' was hollowed out. Everybody said 'yes, yes, yes', but then actually did the opposite. It was normal practice under Saddam, as I myself experienced.

Posted by: Alex_no | Jun 26, 2009 8:23:09 PM | 41

alex_no

you will find on our archives here - slothrop first ignored the terrible destruction & looting of culture & scholarship, the burning of libraries, the saching of museums, the negligent destruction of archeological sites - then provided an atlantic or harpers article - that tried to minimise that destruction but what he exhibited was a complete contempt of that culture & that contempt continues

& while i disagree with political islam i do not hold it in contempt & i am concerned that people use political islam as a way to diminish & degrade the real & actual struggle for self determination

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 8:37:57 PM | 42

In many ways, it was the cold war west which crushed moslem leftists. About that eqbal ahmad and chomsky are correct.

But, you'd be a fool to defend "political islam" as a "leftist."

But that's all you've been doing for the past three weeks.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 26, 2009 8:41:40 PM | 43

I argued that there was virtually no proof to your claim the US intended for the antiquities to be plundered.

You can't tell the truth. What's up with that?

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 26, 2009 8:46:51 PM | 44

From Patrick Cockburn, the former lactating duenna to Donald Rumsfeld:

The weekend of April 11-12 saw the mass looting of Baghdad and all other Iraqi cities and towns. Any building remotely connected to the government or the Baath party was fair game. Looting was an Iraqi tradition born of tribal raiding and poverty, and it should not have come as a surprise. After the invasion of Kuwait, the Iraqi army had systematically looted everything of value, from bulldozers to hotel cutlery. In the Shia uprising of 1991 looters had promptly ransacked the factories as well as state institutions. During the Kurdish civil war in 1996 some five thousand cars had been stolen in a single day in Arbil. There was a social revolutionary ferocity in the robbery and destruction that now swept across Iraq. Houses of the Baathist leadership were targeted in acts of political revenge and on the wholly correct supposition that it was there that the richest pickings were to be found. It was not only the impoverished masses ofSadr City who saw their opportunity. Government officials seized ministerial cars, computers, and photocopiers. The destruction often seemed driven by hatred ofthe powers-that-be and all their works. In the Natural History Museum in the Wazzariyah district of northeast Baghdad looters systematically smashed with the butts of their Kalashnikovs the display cases showing Iraqi wildlife. Only a stuffed white horse, given, when alive, to Saddam by the king of Morocco remained intact, for no obvious reason. Outside in the museum forecourt were enormous model dinosaurs that the looters had sprayed with machine-gun fire. One of them had even shinned up the long sinuous neck of a dinosaur to lop off its concrete head. A Sadrist militant from Sadr City explains that this apparently senseless vandalism was born of a new sense of empowerment and freedom from fear. "When people started to steal and destroy state property," he says, "they wanted to demonstrate to themselves that fear was gone and there was no longer any authority to watch, trap, and kill them. When a young man smashed up a police car he was really saying: 'This is the Saddam state and I am destroying it."'4 The looting posed a dilemma for the Sadrists. On the one hand, it was deeply offensive to pious and puritanical young Sadrists like Abbas. On the other, the mass of the looters were the very same poor and angry young men who were the main support of Muqtada. Sadrism was a social as well as religious movement, though it was also true that Sadr City had long been famous for its thieves' markets. Abbas was proud ofwhat he and other selfappointed guardians of order achieved, though his claims are a little too good to be true.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 26, 2009 9:02:30 PM | 45

b, (#12), thanks for posting my message. However, please cease the unsavoury habit of suggesting I purposely twist the facts. I had no idea all but 4 of the professors had been released till I read your post. In fact, there was little news of their release even on State TV, and I believe instead of continually acting as though the Snake (sorry, State) did nothing wrong in all of this you should be asking why the 70 professors were arrested to begin with.

As for violence, it shows how little most of you know about my country and how it is run, and how the population is intimidated by plainclothed knife-wielding Baseej mercenaries whose warlords are paid $$$ hundreds of million (I provided b with documentary proof of this from the Agricultural Bank but he refused to post it) to cripple and kill protesters on command. Please stop this childish comparison with Kent State.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 26, 2009 9:10:12 PM | 46

i suggest, for example, everyone read the steve coll book ' ghost wars'

Heed your own advice.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 26, 2009 9:15:41 PM | 47

Dragonfly (#38), I fully share your sentiments. It has been incredibly frustrating to have been portrayed as people with agendas, or just plain ignorant, when in fact those making the accusation have bent over backwards to 'prove' that there was no fraud, that it was a 'colour revolution' and that it failed only because of a lack of popular support rather than overwhelming State brutality.

Time will prove us right, for what it's worth.

I wonder how many of you have actually walked the streets, visited shops, spoken with workers and actually asked them whom they voted for. I've asked over 200 -- no, not a scientific sampling -- but enough to convince me that Moussavi won by a huge margin. Among those I asked were workers from many of the provinces whose entire families boycotted the last election, and they all confirm they and everyone they knew voted for Moussavi.

The proof is partially in the fact that "Allah Akbar" is still shouted from the rooftops every night, the only form of protest that is still relatively safe. 'Loyal', do you deny this?

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 26, 2009 9:20:51 PM | 48

alex_no

my fears from your posts on this thread is that there is something inherent in the culture that lends itself to autocracy. bent as it may be iran is far more democratic than either egypt or saudia arabia & there has been little written about those tensions. the tensions, if you will, not of a closed society - but in context - an open one

when today, obama has again tried to maintain cheney's junk jurisprudence & of absolute inhumanity of holding people in detention in perpetuity

just on this level, the level of jurisprudence in iran considerably more open, the surveillance which is part & parcel of living in most european cities but especially those of england are vastly more closed than iran - in a real & substantial way

you can speak of iran in millenial terms - but in the west the concentration of power has only really happened within the last 80 years & concretely within the last 40. & this concentration of power & the corruption of its political & jurisprudential life is a fact of life & rather than be challenged - even in the worst of times - that concentration continues

in iran, on the contrary the contradictions of jurisprudent & political life are a living thing

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 9:35:40 PM | 49

Finally, instead of constantly accusing me of ulterior motives or elitism, wouldn't it be nice if some of you searched your consciences and asked whether your fierce defence of the regime's official line hasn't been motivated by the following:

The fear that the Hamas and Hezbollah would lose their strongest source of support and funds?

The fear that by liberalizing the economy my nation would be subjected to U.S.-style Capitalism?

The fear that a more humane regime would be dominated once more by the imperialistic animal?

To prevent the above, some of you have implicitly minimized the extent of the uprising, discounted massive fraud (despite the Chatham House statistical analysis and other evidence), supported regime terror and applauded the revolution's setback. The fact that the Friday Prayers Leader stated yesterday that the protest leaders exercising their constitutional rights should be executed doesn't seem to bother many of you armchair Leftists.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 26, 2009 9:47:04 PM | 50

Your relativisms (living in the USA is no more limiting to individual rights than tehran) is astonishing. It's like reading bataille's defense of stalin ("a reasonable consequence of central planning" analogous to the repression of unions needed in the west to industrialize etc.)

Annie's recent bold claim that we are infected by spies. Surely, this is no worse than living in iran?

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 26, 2009 9:48:54 PM | 51

#51
or in the usa?

Posted by: rudolf | Jun 26, 2009 9:52:30 PM | 52

alex_no

hopefully you will elaborate further here because i imagine there is disagreement between us - it is possible to learn something

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 9:53:33 PM | 53

Sucks, sure. But an equivalent state suppression of speech? Are you kidding me?

And yet these are the kinds of arguments made by b and acolytes for three weeks.

Compliments all around, says arnold.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 26, 2009 9:55:33 PM | 54

And it's possible parviz is cia who uses an iranian proxy to marginalize "the left."

Ok. I'll play your game.

More, parviz, dragonfly et al. --you go girls!

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 26, 2009 9:58:17 PM | 55

The fear that the Hamas and Hezbollah would lose their strongest source of support and funds?

Again with the CNN or NYT style H & H diatribe & interwoven meme ... given your situation, why the repeated references to H & H in utterly negative contexts, especially your ludicrous breathless first hand accounts re Stormtroopers and Darth Vaders ... never substantiated ... you have no sympathy or identification with oppressed resistance movements, the Shia of Lebanon ... in fact you are openly antagonistic, doesn't make sense ... you do your credibility no good ...

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 26, 2009 10:39:48 PM | 56

& the hateful thing - is that hesbollah & hamas are spoken of as if they are criminal organisations & not an expression of the people's will. hamas was democratically elected & the world & its media showed not one inch of respect for them or for the palestinian people. hezbollah stood up in way that was immensely courageous to a brutal enemy that had spent 50 years liquidating all its enemies by bloody murder & their able defence of lebanon was demonised as was its leader nasrallah - as if the people counted for nothing. the terrible destruction visited on lebanon was rarely given the time of day

no the real narrative is too terrible to tell

no they want narratives from people who do not know the difference between shia & sunni, salafist or sufi, wouldn't know nasser or nidal, habash or haddad - on & on - their ignorance is just an expression of hatred

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 10:53:14 PM | 57

Yes, expect to hear more absolute rubbish like this, from highly regarded Washington Post (Not) ... after all, many seeds have been sown ...

Rumors and Theories Swirl Around Protests

Almost as soon as the crackdown on protesters began in Tehran, rumors started to spread: Those doing the shooting were not Iranians.

"Confirmed: Basijis heard speaking Arabic at protests in Iran," a Facebook user wrote, referring to pro-government militiamen.

"Don't know where Arabic-speaking foreign forces are coming from, but no doubt they are now in Iran," someone tweeted.

Rumor had it that 5,000 fighters from Lebanon had been brought in to suppress the demonstrations.

No doubt these Arab & H & H entered Iran undetected, un-interdicted, in the equivalent of Brigade size, to stand side by side, with uniformed Riot Police -

... as a dance troup, as a circus, as an extremely large production of king lear, or as participants in a conference on the 'political economy of paradisical possibilities. so how did these devils enter iran, as lebanese businessmen or as palestinian mathematicians.

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 26, 2009 10:54:12 PM | 58

tall tale telling from tehran will not open up possibilities but on the contrary will serve to delegitimise iran & make her vulnerable to attack

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2009 11:00:05 PM | 59

The media swarming and the promotion of Dennis Ross by the Obama administration tells me we are on the fast track to overt war with Iran. That should bring an end to Bush's covert black ops against Iran.

The only question is: Was Obama outmanovered? Or was he a warmonger from the beginning?

If anyone finds factual issues on my blog, by all means let me know. I love your blog, and will soon find a place for it on mine.
http://shoe08.blogspot.com

In my opinion, the most dangerous issue is the propagandising of the American people, so they no longer have their right mind, and cannot think for themselves. (remember Terry Anderson? The US did nothing to get him released. Why?)

Posted by: Kathy | Jun 26, 2009 11:32:46 PM | 60

Fareed Zakaria writes this in Newsweek:

The current supreme leader declared the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be a 'divine assessment', using his key weapon: divine sanction. But millions of Iranians are not buying it
Zakaria argues that a moment has come when many Iranians have seen through the presumption of the infallible judgment of the religious leader.

Posted by: Copeland | Jun 27, 2009 12:00:00 AM | 61

@Outraged, 56:

Yes, yes. With each next post, Parviz is revealing himself a dissembled personality.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 27, 2009 12:19:55 AM | 62

This is from Naj's blog, a statement by Mousavi:


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mousavi asks Iranians to DISTANCE themselves from all war-mongers and those who profess regime change in Iran.
In the Name of the God, The Compassionate, The Merciful

Dear compatriots,
Honorable Iranians living abroad,

Your widespread and energetic presence in this year’s 22 Khordad elections is indicative of your ties to our beloved Iran, and your admirable worries about the future of your country, and as I mentioned to you in my election message, Iran belongs to all Iranians and all layers of the populous are responsible for its future, and enjoy the same rights in it.

I feel obliged to thank you for your epic presence in determining the future of your country. Your widespread welcoming of these elections and your green and energetic presence at the ballot boxes was so large that it even forced the government and the organizers of the elections to admit to a 300% increase in the participation of Iranians in the tenth presidential elections outside of the country.

Your trust in this insignificant civil servant and your decisive vote for me in most of the voting stations outside of the country has placed a heavy burden on my shoulders. I would like to give you my assurance that I remain true to my existing pact with you and all layers of the great people of Iran, and using all legal avenues will demand your deserved rights that have been violated at the ballot boxes.

Unfortunately, as you witness in the international media, contrary to the letter of the constitution, and the stated freedoms in the Islamic Republic, all my communication with the people and you has been cut off, and people’s peaceful objections are being crushed. The national media which is being financed with public funds, with a revolting misrepresentation is changing the truth, and labels the peaceful march of close to three million people as anarchist, and the media that are being controlled by the government have become the mouthpiece of those who have stolen the people’s votes.

I’d like to thank you again for your peaceful objections which have received widespread coverage across the world, and would like to ask you that by using all legal channels, and by remaining faithful to the sacred system of the Islamic Republic, to make sure that your objections are heard by the authorities in the country. I am fully aware that your justified demands have nothing to do with groups who do not believe in the sacred Islamic Republic of Iran’s system. It is up to you to distance yourself from them, and do not allow them to misuse the current situation.

Mir Hossein Mousavi

Posted by: Copeland | Jun 27, 2009 12:34:53 AM | 63

veering OT, but as alex_no has expertise in the field perhaps he can comment on "proof to [the] claim [that] the US intended for the [iraqi] antiquities to be plundered". slothrope's "definitive" proof that it wasn't comes from, as i pointed out in #141 of that thread,

"trained" expert, colonel matthew bogdanos, ex-marine ... who elsewhere posits that maybe the iraqi army did it since the invaders supposedly took fire from snipers in those areas & iraqi army uniforms were found in a couple museums.

wikipedia confirms that this was a u.s. military-led investigation that cleared itself of any responsibility
In 2003, while on active duty in Marine Corps, he led the investigation into the looting of Iraq's National Museum, and was subsequently awarded the National Humanities Medal for his efforts.

those efforts concluded that "charges of U.S. military complicity in the thefts hemselves are easily dismissed as anti-American rhetoric with no basis in fact"

any insight you can share on this issue, alex_no?

Posted by: b real | Jun 27, 2009 12:55:04 AM | 64


this forum has never discussed Nasrallah in any detail. How to measure this man accordingly. Whom even his greatest adversaries must concede what he has made possible for the community of South Lebanon. Is there a breathing soul who would not wish for a Nasrallah in their corner ?

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jun 27, 2009 2:24:01 AM | 65

Now everyone can show their solidarity with Iranian protestors by buying t-shirts, bumper stickers, aprons, teddy bears and much, much more!!!
The Revolution is Commodified? Free Iran from what? Cultural Sovereignty, Religious sovereignty, and most importantly Economic sovereignty. This is an attempt to attack Iran because Iran is free Empire domination. I wonder who is behind this t-shirt campaign? hmmm… The people who created these t-shirts don’t give a damn about Iranian democracy. The phrase “spreading democracy” was created by neoconservatives who want to justify invading countries.

Posted by: hans | Jun 27, 2009 2:47:10 AM | 66

[comment by Parviz via email - b]

Outraged (56), your accusations against me
are plainly, well, outrageous:

"... why the repeated
references to H & H in utterly negative contexts, ... you have no sympathy
or identification with oppressed resistance movements, the Shia of
Lebanon",
= a continuation of your usual B.S..

Your accusations just demonstrated you have
not read my numerous posts of the past year fiercely defending Hezbollah and
Hamas. Go back and read, you might learn something.

And China_hand, jumping on the bandwagon
and supporting Outrage's insults doesn't say much for your integrity either.
But you are to be excused if you joined this Blog only after publication of my
year of anti-Neocon/Zionist/imperialist posts.

You are both so blinkered that you think Iran's desire for
its own freedom means we don't care about other freedom movements. The fact is
that MoA's general reaction (Copeland and others at least try to fathom what
Dragonfly and other Iranians have been writing) to the Iranian uprising shows
it is most of YOU, not I, who are scared that if the status quo is upset Iran
will become an imperialist, capital tool, which is why some of you so strongly
support the crackdown and suspension of Iranians' constitutional right to
protest peacefully. For you, survival of the region's last bastion of anti-imperialism is necessary at any price.


This has led you to completely support a
totalitarian state’s account of how it ran an election, even though the only
two elections of the past 30 years that generated a huge voter turn-out gave
those running on an anti-hardliner platform a 79 % and 81 % majority.
Hardliners have only ever won when the silent majority has boycotted elections,
whether municipal, parliamentary or presidential.
As for the alleged lack of substantiation of my
"breathless accounts re stormtroopers and Darth
Vaders"
, what am I supposed to do? Capture one of them and bring
him to you so you can 'substantiate' my account? Come down here and I'll give
you a tour.

[end comment by Parviz via email - b.]

Posted by: b | Jun 27, 2009 2:59:23 AM | 67

Parviz:

Now you're putting words in my mouth, while at the same time saying i should ignore current statements in favor of statements which i have never read nor been exposed to.

Your statement in #50 is a thinly veiled appeal to mainstream American neo-con and neo-liberal values; to wit:

All you people who questioned whether or not the election was actually stolen were in fact just commie scum looking to support terrorism, the Arabs who created it, and all those fanatical heretics who believe in Islam.

I've spent the better part of the last two weeks basically defending you against a lot of people who believe you're only here to sow discord and provoke fights.

I have asked you to back up the ridiculous accusations you make against many, here, with some sort of proof, simply by linking to the claims you insist they have made.

I have never defended AhamdiNejad; rather,i have suggested that your anger towards him probably represents the opinion of a minority of Iranis. I have never defended the stealing of the election; rather, i have questioned whether or not it truly was stolen. I have never supported the violence; i have repeatedly expressed concern not only for the protestors' well-being, but for your own, as well. I have never supported the status quo; i have only worried that what we are seeing is a thinly veiled attempt to manipulate gullible youth into acting against their own best interests.

Now, that said: frankly, the more you post on these issues, the less i believe you are the person you claim to be.

If you want to maintain the respect you feel you have earned here, then perhaps it would be best for you to take a break for a while.

Either that, or you should very, very quickly figure out some way to curb that habit you have of forcing false interpretations and innuendos upon the words of others.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 27, 2009 3:31:15 AM | 68

Thank you Kathy @60 for bringing to attention your website. It brought memories when I was in Iran and visited the province where my friend and host's family grew up. This is the real Iran where Twitter can twit as much as it likes and nobody cares a damn!

Rural Areas in Iran: In His Own Words Ahmadinejad

Posted by: hans | Jun 27, 2009 4:10:11 AM | 69

Well, how would you ha e reacted if I had written this about you:

@Outraged, 56:

Yes, yes. With each next post, Parviz is revealing himself a dissembled personality.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 27, 2009 12:19:55 AM | 62

Reinforcing other people's insults does not become you. YOu are far, far better than that.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 4:17:04 AM | 70

From a HuffPo piece: Iran: new audience for US scholar's protest guide

[Gene] Sharp denies playing any role in driving Iran's worst internal turmoil since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. But he said he would be pleased if his work helped Iranians wage peaceful resistance.
...
Sharp said the Farsi translation of his guide has been downloaded thousands of times from the Web site of the Boston-based center he founded in 1983 to study nonviolent resistance, The Albert Einstein Institution. A shorter introduction to peaceful struggle, written by Sharp, was legally published in Farsi in Iran in recent years, he said.

Sharp, who held a research position at Harvard University for almost 30 years, originally wrote his guide for Burmese dissidents waging an anti-government struggle from the jungle. It eventually made its way to activists in Eastern Europe, where it was cited during the Rose Revolution in Georgia and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine earlier this decade.

Sharp has said his group receives no U.S. government funding, but it could become part of Iranian accusations that the United States and other countries are behind the protests.[*]

The roughly 80-page book lists 198 different nonviolent methods that protesters can use to pressure authoritarian regimes, ranging from adopting symbolic colors to staging mass strikes. Less conventional methods include skywriting and "protest disrobings." A portrait of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi sits prominently in Sharp's Boston office.
...
"If this movement is defined as street demonstrations against the police that may or may not turn violent, then the opposition will lose," said Peter Ackerman, the founder of the Washington-based International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, which held two confidential workshops in Dubai in 2005 for Iranian activists, some of whom were arrested when they returned home.


* according to its own yearly report (pdf, page 2), the Albert Einstein Institute received funding from the NED and other U.S. government institutions.

Posted by: b | Jun 27, 2009 4:39:49 AM | 71

b (#71), there is an expression that "two swallows do not a summer make". Revolutionary material has been available all over the internet and from other sources for quite some time now, and yes, there have been Iranians receiving training abroad: we have British spies, U.S. spies, Zionists trained in Israel and Mujaheddin-e-Khalgh members who make no secret of their desire to overthrow the regime violently.

HOWEVER, I don't understand the purpose of your post: Was it meant merely to inform as a point of curiosity? Or was it intended as evidence that the whole thing was inspired and planned from abroad?

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 4:51:43 AM | 72

Re b real's request @64, there have been a fair number of studies now of the looting of Iraq's antiquities. The general conclusion is that US archaeologists specialist in the area prepared lists of sites and museums to be protected, and a plan prepared with the State Department. At the last minute before the invasion, the Pentagon dropped everything, and ignored all the plans. With the results we have seen. The actual looters were a mix of professional antiquity smugglers, and local people out to pick up something to sell.

Was there collusion between Donald Rumsfeld and his antiquity collector friends? It is possible, but not proven. Certainly the Marine-lawyer Bogdanos, who was selected to investigate, was chosen to whitewash US actions, which he then did.

The issue is more about profit, than about eliminating Iraqi history. Funnily enough, though, nobody has actually made much profit from smuggling out the Museum's antiquities; virtually nothing has appeared on the world market, as Iraqi antiquities are too well known, and the international legal regime is increasingly strict.

It was another round of the Bush cabal's incompetence. They didn't get their hands on Iraq's oil, nor on the antiquities. It was the US taxpayer who was plundered.

There are of course sub-issues, like the burning of the national archives, which may have had to do with revenge, or concealing evidence of past dealings.

Posted by: Alex_no | Jun 27, 2009 5:29:25 AM | 73

how would you ha e reacted if I had written this about you:

I'm not sure. Probably "Fuck off". But if it i had been you who had said that about me, i certainly wouldn't invent false invective, attribute it to you, and try to suggest you're something you're not.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 27, 2009 7:22:41 AM | 74

@Parviz
Firstly, if you consider the post an insult, you are incredibly thin-skinned. Don't you have something more constructive to do ... C'est la vie.

Outrageous ? Well, outrageous is your repeated references to Arab & H & H in the said contexts. The following also troubles me greatly "...the Missing Prophet (some kid who fell down a well several hundred years ago and is considered by Shi'ites as the saviour who will return to purge the world of all non-believers ..." ... what was that about protesting with cries of 'Allāhu Akbar' from the rooftops at night ...

MOAs self-styled 'Man in Tehran', given such claims and no willingness to factually support, corroborate or alternately retract, makes me wonder along the lines of 'Our man in Havana' ... what next in the serial of the Tall Tales From Tehran ...

You continue to attribute a generalised viewpoint I have not articulated and attempt to put words in my mouth not uttered ... you consistently do the same to others, this entire blog, in fact ... your pompous, bombastic, demanding obeisance to your declared viewpoint, means you come across as 'authoritarian', in your outlook and methods ... remarkably ironic, really :)

Do you follow football (any code), respectfully, my I suggest, you 'Play the ball, not the man', Parviz.

Since the claims re H & H are utterly ludicrous, about the only way any informed rational mind would believe it is if there was irrefutable footage with voice recording, from confirmed, corroborated, credible sources ... low res, indeterminate mobile phone footage referenced through twitter or facebook wouldn't count ... even then it would defy rational belief re 5,000, trooped in, standing in formation, defending the authoritites, the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iraq, Iran, the Iran-Iraq War and Gulf War I, and parts of the Middle East are not personally unknown, nor abstract to me, though not in recent years ...

For the record I doubt the elections were stolen, for reasons I have previously indicated ... for the record I do not believe the rioting 'protesters' have widespread, majority of the population support, given, as I have previously mentioned, no hard Intel Indicators to support such, re numbers, turnout, growing momentum, demographic locations, evidence of wavering or defections from the non-monolithic Police and paramilitaries re their fellow Iranians. As I have asked you, Amir and Dragonfly repeatedly without ever any answer, where are the voices of the voters of Southern Tehran, not the priveledged of the Northern suburbs ... demonstrate thier support and one would consider your assertions repeated ad nauseum re claims of majority disenfranchisement ... Tehran has a population of over seven million, in a country of over 70 million. Demonstrations of 100,000+, dropping to 3,000, then pfft, do not a national mass population supported movement make, IMHO.

If one accepts your narrative of a 1984 style, overwhelmingly oppressive, all-invasive, inhuman existence, against the will of the majority, then the human beings, your fellow Iranians, many of whom would be mere footsoldiers in the Police, etc, would be worthy of some empathy, sympathy for thier 'I'm trapped', 'unwillingly following orders' situation ... yet, your hostility and invective is so one dimensionally almost feral and monolithically so ... where is the nuance re your fellow Iranians being forced against thier will to act in support of the evil authoritarian 'regime' ...

For clarity, I do not 'Support' the rulers of the current Islamic Republic of Iran, nor am I am against it. I do not support the rioting protesters, either ... given I have serious doubts re manipulation and external influence and a certain, *ahem* lack of clearly articulated 'objectives' ...

Only the Iranians people themselves should resolve their own internal disputes, without outside interference, for in the current geostrategic situation, otherwise would result in the gravest tragedy for ordinary human beings, both in Iran and throughout the region.

The Iranian people produced the Constitutional movement at the turn of the last century, the Iranian people responded to the toppling of thier government by the British in WWII, the Iranian people almost succesfully defended against and averted the shambolic USUK coup re Mossadeq, the Iranian people threw off the oppressive, ruthless, brutal, exploitative yoke of the puppet, the Shah, and the Iranian people created the current Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iranians are much better off, worlds apart in fact, then the average Egyptian (What elections ?), the Shia of Saudi Arabia, most Iraqis, or any of the Palestinians, for example ... Where it goes from here, is, as always, up to the Iranians themselves.

You have previously referenced culture re nuanced language, love of poetry, etc. The Iranians I have associated with have demonstrated nuance, tolerance, insight, and a very humbling generosity and graciousness of spirit. I have always percieved a many layered, patient, considered, long term viewpoint and depth ... probably why I was regularly whooped at chess ...

People are unique, and these are huge, broad, generalizations ... but ...

I do not support and will raise my voice to challenge any attempt to conflate proven, demonstrably legitimite movements that represent the majority of thier people against injustice, oppression and barbarity from the harbingers of death, destruction and exploitation, routinely referred to as the, civilized, 'International Community' and 'Western Democracies'.

Attempts to conflate the events in Iran, and it's current
government with the formerly mythically demonized Soviet Union ('the commies toss babies to feral dogs' and were the first 'Evil Empire', weren't they ... "... the bombing commences in five minutes ...") nor other interwoven tropes and memes of the all pervasive, loosely co-ordinated and very real Black, Grey and White propaganda we endure 24 hours from our progagenda and infotainment news(Not) services will not go unchallenged. This cannot be in the interests of Iranians given the very real and ongoing geostrategic threats they face as a nation and people.

I have misspent the major portion of my life, actively serving the false call of 'Patriotism', 'Democracy', 'Liberty', 'Justice', 'Freedom' and 'Country First'. I seared my soul in the process. Such catch cries and calls no longer readily seduce ... having thought one was trampling a new pathway through the jungle to only discover, in my personal epiphany, to have been led down a well worn, heavily trodden path ... the evil that old grey men do, as typified by the Yellow Journalism of the 19th centuries cry of 'Remember the Maine' never left us, just became more refined, multi-layered and nuanced ... (but heh, don't let the facts get in the way of a good excuse to start a war, invade and occupy a country and earn medals and advancement whilst slaughtering the 'other' with 'honor' ...)

Iran was incredibly fortunate to escape out from under the Shah, and to have remained free of the foreign jackboot since, these last thirty years ... things could well revert, given the subtantial forces arrayed against Iran and her people.

Perhaps it would be better if every nation had nukes ... the knowledge that Iraq didn't have WMDs was the determinant that called Saddam's bluff and meant it was an 'acceptable risk', 'worth it', to invade, literally massacre and trample a people for thier resources and worth as a piece on the Great Game's chessboard ...

So, what do I wish, Parviz ?

I wish the people of Iran, from all the different strands of internal politics, in the wisdom and the humanity of thier chosen faiths, to resolve thier internal differences peacefully and reap the rewards of thier nations potential and resources, as is thier right. What Iran has achieved as a nation with largely only thier internal resources, few friends, and many powerful enemies, given 30 years of the same inhuman treatment and sustained, very real demonstrable ongoing threats, which the people of Cuba, for example, have and still endure, is highly admirable ... I wish ordinary Iranians further success, as a proud, strong, undivided nation, a united yet diverse and tolerant people, choosing thier own destiny, the 21st century bearers honoring a proud contiguous history dating back millenia through the Persia of antiquity, not as a 'yellowed', manufactured, 'one-dimensional' Pariah, unjustly denied thier place amonsgt the peoples and nations of the world.

Peace, Salaam, Shalom, Parviz.

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 27, 2009 7:31:29 AM | 75

They built their fucking army base atop of the historical site of Ur. Soldiers freely spraypainted obsenities on several thousand year old structures.

Is that enough evidence of willful contempt of culture for you shithead, or was that also "accidental."

When Rumsfeld said that "shit happens," perhaps he was referring to you, slothrop. Your blithe disregard for what others value, while covered up by false solicitude, sickens me; your solecisms are those of the Empire which feeds and clothes you, and has colonized every brain cell within your feverish mind.

Posted by: Scorpion Warrior | Jun 27, 2009 8:05:31 AM | 76

Outraged, it's a pity you don't read all the posts: Tehran Mayor Qalibaf estimated the reformist demonstration the day before Khamenei's announced clampdown at OVER THREE MILLION despite its having been declared illegal beforehand. Time Magazine estimated it at 2-3 million. So how can you write:

"Tehran has a population of over seven million ... Demonstrations of 100,000+, dropping to 3,000, then pfft, do not a national mass population supported movement make, IMHO."

IMHO, 3 million in a total population of 7 million would (and did) include large numbers from Southern Tehran and across all social spectra. It involved several miles of walking, which reduced the numbers considerably as the aged,the infirm and infants could not participate. The fact that it declined to a few thousand doesn't mean "pfft", as you claim, but overwhelming brutality and barbarity far worse than anything the Shah could dish up.

Why are you fiddling the numbers? In any case, the fact that 3 million instantly declined to "a few thousand" bears greater witness to my claims of Darth Vaders than does anything you might have dismissively written to the contrary.

I suppose the lack of open demonstrations in the Soviet Union meant Russians adored their regime ...


TWO TO THREE MILLION MARCHED IN SUPPORT OF MOUSSAVI

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 8:06:03 AM | 77

Oh, and by the way, Iran has changed its official version of the Neda shooting 3 times. The latest version, explained by Iran's ambassador to Mexico who laughed throughout the interview and showed not one ounce of sympathy or humanity for the murdered deceased, said the CIA did it!

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 8:09:12 AM | 78

" ... but overwhelming brutality and barbarity far worse than anything the Shah could dish up." ???

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 27, 2009 8:23:55 AM | 79

An outstanding article by Karim Sadjadpour, a renowned Iran expert and till now a fierce defender of Khamenei's foreign policy, confirms the cracks in the regime resulting from the popular uprising:

"The popular mayor of Tehran, the former Revolutionary Guard commander and Ahmadinejad foe Mohammed Bagher Ghalibaf, has asked that people be allowed to protest peacefully. And though the conservative Iranian parliament was invited to attend a celebration for Ahmadinejad's victory, only 105 of 280 MPs showed up."


"The crowds have gone but Tehran has changed forever"


Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 8:28:54 AM | 80

79, yes, I 100 % stand by that statement. The Shah was brutal, but after the first 50 deaths at Jaleh Square he ordered his troops to stand down and fled the country. His top generals, especially Oveissi, begged the Shah to let him kill a few thousand and impose Martial Law, but the Shah said he didn't want mass bloodshed on his hands. EVERY Iranian knows this and will confirm this, even Iranians like myself who were vehemently anti-Shah. His perceived 'weakness' contributed to Khomeini's success. (His father, Reza Shah, would have thought nothing of having 5000 mullahs executed to put down any uprising).

Please don't knee-jerk question everything I write as you're clearly ignorant of Iranian history from 1953 - 1979.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 8:34:51 AM | 81

As you have done so often, Parviz --


you are retreating behind a cloud of half-assed assertions and straw men.

Outraged just gave you a clear, direct elaboration of his outlook and perspective, both of which fly in the face of your characterization of him as "supporting regime terror", "setting the revolution back", and "discounting massive fraud" --

among other things.

It's clear, now, that you really do have no shame. Goodnight, Parviz.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 27, 2009 8:34:55 AM | 82

Outraged just gave you a clear, direct elaboration of his outlook and perspective, both of which fly in the face of your characterization of him as "supporting regime terror", "setting the revolution back", and "discounting massive fraud" --

among other things.

*Your only response is to point out how many people the Mayor of Teheran estimates were in the streets and remind us that Time Magazine (!?) quoted him.

It's clear, now, that you really do have no shame. Goodnight, Parviz.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 27, 2009 8:38:00 AM | 83

China_Hand,

Pleasant dreams, you idiot.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 9:03:47 AM | 84

the wholesale slaughter of iraq's intellectuals began in 2003 & furthered by the salvador option under direct imperial governance well into 2007 - an absolute silence - the complicity in these crimes against a living culture will never be forgotten

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 27, 2009 10:00:05 AM | 85

what the archives will show - is that it was outraged who explained in detail - the methodology & intention of that slaughter. & those same archives will show that slothrop ignored its existence

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 27, 2009 10:08:52 AM | 86

Ah.

I now feel that i can rest at ease on the right side of things.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 27, 2009 10:46:44 AM | 87

I do not know why anyone would give credence to what Parviz says. From the last time I had an extended interaction with him, he revealed his HATRED to Islam and everything Islamic and lately he revealed his HATRED to Arabs and Palestinians alike.

The guy clealry wants an Iran that does not exist and will not exist. He wants a secular Iran that has freedoms and liberties similar to those in the West. That is NOT going to happen. Almost everything that he has said is contradicted by the facts, slim though these facts maybe.

First, he asserts that there are Lebanese Hizballah and HAMAS militia men in Tehran. This is totally illogical. How on earth are you going to transfer these people w/o the countries surrounding Iran and the US knowing about it? Maybe, they dug tunnels all the way to Iran. After all, HAMAS is very famous for digging tunnels :-P Why on earth would Hizballah leave Lebanon undefended against the external and internal enemies?

Second, he and his fellow travelers keep asserting that the Iranian elites have done nothing to benefit the people. Again, this is false as reported by the World Bank and the UNDP. Iran has tremendously improved the standard of living of the average Iranian person.

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTIRAN/Resources/IRAN-web-brief-June2009.pdf

Just take a look at the improvements in the commonly used indicators of development from 2000 to 2005

http://ddp-ext.worldbank.org/ext/ddpreports/ViewSharedReport?&CF=&REPORT_ID=9147&REQUEST_TYPE=VIEWADVANCED

His favorite assertion is that Iran is the most corrupt regime on earth. Again, that is not correct. While Iran is certainly corrupt, it is not the most corrupt in the ME and is certainly not corrupt because it is Islamic. Transperancy International has a corruption ranking and Iran is ranked 141 out of 180 countries. Iran has less corruption than Russia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and many others.

http://www.transparency.org/news_room/in_focus/2008/cpi2008/cpi_2008_table

He also tells us that the Iranian people do not care about the Palestinian issue. Again, this is false. A majority of them do care about the Palestinian issue and a majority of them dislike Israel.

According to the TFT poll conducted before the election, 62% of Iranians oppose peace with Israel and favor all Muslims fighting the state until it does not exist. 64% support Iranian govt aide to Palestinian groups HAMAS and Islamic Jihad.

http://www.terrorfreetomorrow.org/upimagestft/TFT%20Iran%20Survey%20Report%200609.pdf

Scroll down to page 16 for the above mentioned questions.

How many times do you have to be wrong before you lose credibility?

The best analysis that I have seen to what is happening in Iran came from b. It closely mirrors the analysis by stratfor.

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20090622_iranian_election_and_revolution_test

This is not a revolution. It is just a class based reaction by those who have lost the election. Once the Iranian state asserted itself against the demonstrators, they went away. If it was a revolution, that would not have happened. States cannot rule by force alone. They must have legitimacy and the Iranian state has that. Its legitimacy might be compromised by the latest violence, but the state does not depend on the "twittering" class for its legitimacy. The source of legitimacy for the Iranian state is the working class and the peasants.

This is ndahi btw.

Posted by: polisci | Jun 27, 2009 11:34:59 AM | 88

how old is Parviz? I understand the uprising against the Shah was many years in the making. Demonstrations like what we've seen occurred frequently from '76-'79.

Posted by: scott | Jun 27, 2009 11:49:00 AM | 89

Scott, since you "vehemently disagree" with my assertion I can only assume you profess to be an expert in the Koran. Have you ever actually read it? How can you "vehemently defend" something you've never read, or only partially read? O.K., here is a random smattering of examples:

4.89: "They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them". (In plain English: "Kill non-Muslims wherever you find them", which forms the basic justification for the atrocities committed by Al Qaeda).

5.51: "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk." (= so much for religious tolerance!)

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 12:06:56 PM | 90

8.67: "It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land." (In fact, Tehran Friday Prayers leader Ahmad Khatami, by yesterday demanding that the protesters be 'executed' in order to "teach them a lesson", is following the law of the Koran verbatim).

22.19: "These twain (the believers and the disbelievers) are two opponents who contend concerning their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads,

22.20: Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted;

22.21: And for them are hooked rods of iron.

22.22: Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning."

(= basically, non-Muslims will go to Hell, so you guys/gals had better convert pronto!).

I could go on and on, as I did on this Blog, a year ago, when I similarly criticized the Talmud which I believe is even worse. I don't see what this has to do with 'exile Cubans', self-loathing and your other non-sequiturs. Kindly explain.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 12:07:07 PM | 91

Parviz-

I think the only religion that doesn't advocate killing of ones foes and unbelievers are the atheist. Damn them all to hell for not being more violent like all the godfearing religious freaks.

Peace and love might get ya' laid on a saturday night, but it's preaching violence and hate that will get ya' a following (foolowing?) and money and power. Go warmongers!

Posted by: DavidS | Jun 27, 2009 12:14:30 PM | 92

I think the only religion that doesn't advocate killing of ones foes and unbelievers are the atheist.

You don't know much about religions, then.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 27, 2009 12:20:20 PM | 93

David, you took the words right out of my mouth.

Scott, let's just say I'm "over 60", and I lived through the demonstrations and the Iran-Iraq war.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 12:20:52 PM | 94

CH2@92

Ahem... umm I meant western monolithic religions. But that said, I'm sure there are sects within sects (insects?) that advocate killing enemies regardless of what their spiritual guides might be; humans love a reason to kill other humans regardless of how zen they might profess themselves to be.

But I must say that the way you stated your "question" was awful! Why don't you try, if you really think I'm such a religious idiot, educating me?

You don't even write it as a question but as an attack on my intellect; which I'm supposed to respond, how?

If you would have taken a moment and suggested a couple of religions you feel don't fit the euro-centric mold of an angry and violent godhead, you would have given me a point to begin a debate with you or an education of myself. Think of the lurkers who aren't posting and what do they get out of your post? Nothing but a snide comment that won't make them think at all.

If you're are trying to insult me, my knowledge or my religion at least give it the slothrop go and use a bit of prose or some really bad-assed lingo...


Posted by: DavidS | Jun 27, 2009 1:09:04 PM | 95

breal

The fact that report was produced by a military man should not cause terminal incredulity, as is the usual moa fashion.

And the report on the looting is damning, because the use of force was incompetent. All we have to back up the claim of "intention" is a comment made by Feith that he didn't care. Furthermore, there was no advantage for occupying forces to permit the looting.

Add to all this cockburn's take, among others, and the claims by Old Scold and others are disarmed.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 27, 2009 1:10:58 PM | 96

No attack on Iran (for the nth time since on this board.)

The present hullaballo, resistance, call it whatever, has weakened the mullahcracy no end.

Power plays at the top have been aired internationally. That is welcome to the US, Isr, the EU. Discrediting Iran for any reason is all stellar.

Often, a show of strength - Iran top dogs - is evidence for weakness.

As r’giap wrote, interpreting what we have seen points to, if anything, civil war. Not to manipulated elections as the media would have us believe, imho, for the moment. This is just an excuse that is employed to get Westerners riled up, allowing them to push their agenda, champion anyone who contests the powers in place, for any reason at all.

My prediction: nothing mind blowing will happen for one year or two, three at most, and then novel, and perhaps more serious events will unfold, internally, in Iran. Takes time for things to boil up.

Ignoring the ‘class’ war aspect, the power play at the top, and how that resonates to the so-called upper classes who now expect, demand more, a bigger share of the cake, jobs for their children, a more international atmosphere, détente to fill the bank accounts, the right to have...well all that stuff plus international recognition (oh it must be unbearable) is a big mistake.

Not that I am accusing anyone here of ..err.. toeing that line.

Anyway.

Iran is a very rich country. It is a grand prize. It cannot be held or managed without internal stability and control. So no one is going to rock the boat big time.

off the cuff.

Posted by: Tangerine | Jun 27, 2009 1:11:58 PM | 97

Outraged

You can spike your analyses with dabs and dashes of Stephen Crane, things Ike and thomas jefferson said, and william blake poems, etc., but the plain fact is, you missed by a very wide mark the capabilities of the insurgency, it's makeup, and the response of the US military.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 27, 2009 1:16:20 PM | 98

Tangerine, thanks. My only disagreement (strong disagreement) is on the possibility of civil war and the possibility that Iran will be so weakened that it won't be able to withstand 'the empire', the thought of which seems to freak most people out on this Blog.

Iran isn't Lebanon or Iraq or anywhere comparable. There is a major power play occurring at present, but at some stage the nation will reform internally and it will be over before you even know it.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 1:30:08 PM | 99

I fully agree with you, David, China_Hand has become a really puerile jackass.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 27, 2009 1:30:50 PM | 100

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