Monday, June 15, 2009

Persian Election Investigation Ordered, but so what?

So called "Supreme Leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered an investigation to see if there was fraud, in the recent "land slide" victory of extreme right wing, nationalistic, religious fundamentalist supporting, incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran today. Yeah, and W ordered the 9-11 commission report on what happened... and the SCOTUS decided in favor of Bush in 'Bush v Gore' in 2000 - alot of good it did. Yes, Khamenei is understandably concerned about the violent backlashes that have gripped nearly every urban area in his country, as disenfranchised voters who support Mir Hossein Mousavi have taken to the streets. Fundamentalist edicts of investigation do not produce results that are contrary to the Fundamentalists' grip on power.

Over the weekend on Saturday morning, with some dread, I read Andrew Sullivan, and Juan Cole, who were noting how Western media were paying more attention to the Stanley Cup and most of the MSM were asleep on the Iranian elections. The election results were supposed to be held for 3 days before a winner was released (per the Iranian Constitution, they said, but I looked it up, and I could not find a three day holding delay), and how all of Mahmoud's opponents had been jailed, and how Mullahs close to the military had ordered fatwas stating that Ahmadinejad needed to win the election at all costs and any other result would be unacceptable (reminiscent of "Christian" pastors in the US stating the same thing about W in 2004 and then McCain in 2008 - those religious fundamentalists are supposed to be good at getting out the base to overwhelm the vote).

But then today, I read in The Guardian that Ahmadinejad had a commanding 2 to 1 lead, 3 weeks before the election... ?? 538's Nate Silver publishes some very homogeneous data that he was forwarded to him, translated by a reader who is "pursing a masters in Iranian Studies at the University of St. Andrews" ... but even Mondale won his home state of Minnesota.. Ahmadinejad did well even in Sunni areas that hate him, and a "normalized vote" without spikes or troughs, appears to be the official Iranian government party line. It's hard to figure out what really happened.

I was hoping that after Lebanon's rejection of Hezbollah earlier this month, that Iran might follow a similar trend in rejecting religious extremism, lacking an odious "Great Satan" ( شيطان بزرگ Shaytan-e Bozorg) to oppose, but it doesn't appear that has happened, or will happen. I hope the Persians can sort it out quickly, with as little violence as possible. Insha'Allah (إن شاء الله) - I guess.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think the US has much room to talk when it comes to Iranian democracy. We overthrew their democracy in 1953 and installed the Shaw...all to de-nationalize formerly British petroleum assets. So when Obama, Bush, Clinton, or any other US politician extolls the "will of the Iranian people" I have to laugh out loud.


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