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View Diary: IRAN: Time for a Bit of Analysis (290 comments)

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  •  you pretty much started (31+ / 0-)

    the coverage last week;nice job

    i don't mind if arlen remains the senior senator from pennsylvania IF the voters in the DEMOCRATIC primary choose him BUT until then...........

    by primaryarlen on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 07:35:03 AM PDT

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    •  Its 'axis of evil' all over again (12+ / 0-)

      Most diaries I have seen side with the conventional wisdom in the USA, that the government of Iran is evil/they will greet us with flowers bullshit I have seen for the past 30 years in the USA.

      I have not seen any evidence of vote rigging, or sufficient speculation to confince me there was.  The speculation with this election is similar to the ACORN claims in the 2008 election.  The only difference is the person who lost the 2008 election in the US is famous for chanting "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" and in Iran, neither candidates proclaimed something similar to the US.

      All we have is speculation and speculating the candidate in Iran who embraced the west's "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" should have won over the candidate who is critical of the west, strikes me as wild speculation.

      •  I believe NYT has it wrong in editorial (15+ / 0-)

        They claim Ahmadinjad's power has increased because of this election.  I strongly disagree.  He will have to be seen as more of a negotiator and partner the west in talks to take the air out of this election fraud at home.  But the window for this is short, so Obama is certain to pounce quickly to seize this opportunity for meaningful dialogue.  

        Justice for Siegelman

        by realwischeese on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 09:45:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah NYT got it wrong again (7+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jay C, Wary, sullynyc, MrJersey, JesseCW, MooseHB, Olon

          They disappoint more and more everyday.

        •  Worse, it's "News Analysis," not an editorial (17+ / 0-)

          Leader Emerges With Stronger Hand
          June 14, 2009, New York Times

          The New York Times really tips its hand with this one.  The article is dripping with salivation for the strongman, in the form of Ahmadinejad.  It says, "We love executive power, and popular movements are bad."  It gives away the game, that the editors, or at least a strong portion of them, don't care all that much for democracy.

          Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

          by Simplify on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 10:02:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Taking a view over time (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Analogies I see that exist within my mind.

          The US 2000 Election was contested and we all know that a higher council installed a leader who came without even garnering the most votes.

          Legitimacy for the US Bush 43 Administration wasn't in doubt internationally although in the USA it was a big deal.

          In Iran, perhaps the same can be said.

          In the USA the installed President took strong actions at every opportunity to perhaps "legitimize" to himself that he was indeed the President.

          Will Iran's recently re-elected President set about to do something similar? Or will his powers that exist be reigned in by those with whom he shares power with? Or, will those above his station effectively keep him in check?

          Or none of the above?

          If you look at the Iranian Revolution and the Reagan Revolution one thing stands out, they both are about the same age.

          Measured in human terms, has the life force diminished sufficiently within the Revolutionaries or is there another decade of vitality remaining in the original nation changers in Iran?

          I cannot help but come to the conclusion that Iran may be politically in a position that mirrors the US 2000 political and demographic power structure more closely than not.

          I see that both sides of our American political spectrum are watching the developments with our Western goggles firmly in place as wistful Americans wish for substantive political change from a nation and a culture that we don't come close to understanding on an individual level.

          We Americans know, love and have a true sense of ownership in our Government that we cannot appreciate how different other Governments and Societies can exist without our peculiar form of freedom.

          Even as we rail against the portions and policies of our Government we dislike, Americans understand what we possess.

          I hope that Iranians have begun their movement, within their own form of Government, establishing the political give and take that allows nations to evolve their institutions of Government for the benefit of themselves, with self determination and self direction, 2009 has given Iran a view of it's future.

          That future will progress as those old Revolutionaries no longer have relevance to Iran's 21st Century needs.

          Our nation's election of Barack Obama, signalled the world that change is truly possible and when change occurs great chasms of differences get spanned in an instant.  

          "A functioning Democracy must defy economic interests of the elites on behalf of citizens" Christopher Hedges Econ 3.50&Soc. 5.79

          by wmc418 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 10:30:32 AM PDT

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          •  Ray-gun is not a "revolutionary" (0+ / 0-)

            That was just the moneyed elites consolidating their power- don't use the "ray-gun revolution" as though such a thing actually happened.  In fact, the slimy ray-gun and his criminal gang slunk into office with a secret back room deal with Iran- what suckers the US citizens were to accept the neo-con slimes for 28 years of misery.

            "I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." - Barack Obama, 3-24-09

            by MD patriot on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 12:34:35 PM PDT

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            •  Most people take "Reagan Revolution" (0+ / 0-)

              to describe "moneyed elites consolidating their power", I think. It was when US government policy became explicitly about growing the wealth of the Forbes 400 at the expense of everyone else.

              I'm wondering if the policies of the theocrats who make the final decisions in Iran were created to explicitly favor members of their super-rich class allied with their regime.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 01:25:48 PM PDT

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              •  "moneyed elites": always have had power (0+ / 0-)

                I object to the term, revolutions are supposed to mean when majorities of people are for something, while the greedy ray-gun's were all about the rich.  But the moneyed elites have run the USA since day one, and the "Official US History" books write out the real people in favor of a few "great men" who were naturally, the moneyed elites.

                People's History of the US talks about how popular uprisings had tossed out the Brits across vast parts of Massachusetts, but of course the new elites didn't want too much power to the people- only the property owning class could vote, and of course no women or people of color- they were owned!

                "I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." - Barack Obama, 3-24-09

                by MD patriot on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 01:47:50 PM PDT

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          •  very interesting analogy (0+ / 0-)

            Is anyone around here well-informed enough about both the Reagan and Iranian revolutions to be able to compare and contrast the policies put forward by both?

            I suspect that crony capitalism and corruption played and important parts in both the US and Iranian economic 'revolutions', but I'd like to see this point nailed down or disproven.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 01:06:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  troll sez what? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dconrad, burana


        i don't mind if arlen remains the senior senator from pennsylvania IF the voters in the DEMOCRATIC primary choose him BUT until then...........

        by primaryarlen on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 10:50:55 AM PDT

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      •  Ridiculous (14+ / 0-)

        Pre election polling had Mousavi up or at least in a close race -

        You said:

        I have not seen any evidence of vote rigging, or sufficient speculation to confince me there was.  The speculation with this election is similar to the ACORN claims in the 2008 election.

        I did not realize that after the election of 2008 there were massive popular demonstrations on John McCain's behalf and that the U.S. used immense brutality to put down thos demonstrations. Where the hell have I been for the last 8 months. I thought our transition was peaceful (snark).

        The kind of brutality being exhibited by the Guard and Maddogs people are not part and parcel generally of fair elections. They are responding quickly and ruthlessly to suppress protest.

        Let's put it this way: When the Iranian Army has to tell the Revolutionary Guard that despite what they may say - they will NOT fire on fellow Iranian citizens - that should be telling you something.

        -5.62, -3.64 I have some good company here.....

        by volleyboy1 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 10:53:10 AM PDT

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      •  Rogue (15+ / 0-)

        You are coming at this from a US perspective only, without much understanding or awareness of Iran. You are also drawing cartoon figures of the two candidates.  Iranian voters may not have been voting only for or against whichever candidate "stood up to the west".  Some are voting for Mousavi because of a desire for a more open society and a reform agenda opposed to hard-line religious restrictions and the increasing power of government militias like the pasdaran.  Some are voting for Ahmedinejad because of anger at corruption on the part of Rafsanjani (which the diarist points out) and because of regional or rural-conservative vs urban middle-class differences in interests.  

        From your perspective, the anti-US guy must have won because everyone in Iran is focused on the US-Iran relationship. You have not seen any "evidence".  Well, according to the electoral commission, Mousavi appears not to have won his home town.  That's next to impossible.  It is highly likely that there was fraud even if Mousavi did not actually win.  

        Iran is a complicated place, and people vote for all sorts of reasons other than the relationship with the US - which is the narrow lens through which you view the election.  Mousavi may have won; he may have lost.  More information needs to come out.

        And your suggestion that Mousavi was the candidate who supported our "bomb bomb Iran" policy is actually just bizarre.

        speculating the candidate in Iran who embraced the west's "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" should have won over the candidate who is critical of the west, strikes me as wild speculation

        Not sure where you are coming from with that odd statement, but wherever you pulled that from, it has little to do with Iran.

        "The red is going out. It's getting more bluer."

        by ivorybill on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 11:32:44 AM PDT

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      •  An unstable Iran is the last thing (0+ / 0-)

        the world needs right now.  Outsiders need to stay out of Iran's business, no matter what happened with the voting. That includes well-meaning westerners who sympathize with the democratic aspirations of the green movement.

        Light is seen through a small hole.

        by houyhnhnm on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 12:12:08 PM PDT

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        •  Why? (5+ / 0-)

          What exactly do you think an unstable Iran is going to do that is so horrific for the world?  A stable Iran under Ahmadinejad is like a US under 'bomb, bomb, bomb Iran' McCain - full of saber rattling and threats to nearby countries.

          I was just thinking this morning, that in a globalized world, the old phrase 'the only thing evil needs, is for good men to do nothing' needs updated to reflect doing nothing when your neighbor is trying to fight evil.

          Saying 'we should stay out of their business' is very similar to those English who said the same about Hitler before he attacked England, or the US before Pearl Harbor.

          You can't just ignore evil because it's not in your own front yard.

          Bah. Typoed during acct creation. It's Ezekiel 23:20

          by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 12:23:45 PM PDT

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          •  But there is a difference (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            England did not have a long, recent history of interfering in German politics. In the past half-century, the US has

            1. Orchestrated the overthrow the democratically-elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq in 1953 because he nationalised the oil industry. Silly man actually argued that Iran should receive some of the profits from the sale of its oil. We (a private oil company) disagreed so we (the CIA) staged a coup d'etat (Operation Ajax).
            1. We installed the pro-American Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi on the throne, where he remained until overthrown in 1979 by the same folks (and their children) who are the Green Party today.
            1. The Shah abolished the multi-party system of government, ruling an autocratic one-party state under the Rastakhiz (Resurrection) Party. All Iranians were pressured to join it. Here is the Shah’s justification:

            We must straighten out Iranians’ ranks. To do so, we divide them into two categories: those who believe in Monarchy and those who don’t.... A person who does not enter the new political party will have only two choices. He is either an individual who belongs to an illegal organization, or is related to the outlawed Tudeh Party, or in other words a traitor.

            In other words, you're either with us or against us.

            1. During the 1979 Revolution (all that embassy hostages stuff) Regan illegally sold arms to Iranian revolutionaries on the condition that they not release the hostages until after Carter was defeated. They were released on Regan's inauguration day, Jan. 20, 1981.
            1. Fast forward through 9 democratic (by Iranian standards) elections to 2005, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hardline mayor of Tehran, was elected. A populist, he won with 68% of the vote in a runoff against Iranian ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani after original field of seven candidates was narrowed in the first round of voting.
            1. Given that Iran had already been declared part of the "Axis of Evil" and shrub (and the idiot John Bolton, among other neocon saber-rattlers) was threatening Iran overtly or covertly on a regular basis since 2001, there is no chance he could have been anything but stridently opposed to us and still have gotten elected. (Rafsanjani was the pro-business centrist who was president 1989-1997.)

            While I am sure the protesters would take any help they can get, and I certainly hope they get some, anything that looks like interference from us is going to mitigate against them.

            Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ---Plato

            by carolita on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 01:29:32 PM PDT

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            •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

              your arguments are clear and cogent and detailed, unlike the blithe assertion to which I responded.

              But they also merely address and highlight the difficulties association with the US brings to the protesters, not in what way 'stability' of Iran, no matter under whom is the most desirable outcome at this point in time.

              The stability of the English colonies under the rule of Charles II in the 1700's was certainly not something the colonists felt was the best possible outcome, and likewise this appears to be possibly a moment for country-redefining change in Iran to move it into step with the worldview of the half the country that is under 25 and chafing at religious rule, and those over 25 who see things more like their younger counterparts.

              Bah. Typoed during acct creation. It's Ezekiel 23:20

              by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 01:49:36 PM PDT

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      •  Why do you fixate on thier election having (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard, Reptile, dconrad, sydneyluv

        anything to do with 'the west' or 'the US'?

        Could it not more simply be that half the population is under 25 and chafes under religious restrictions and wants more freedoms, and thus votes for the guy who at least pretends he wants reform, just as they did for the decades before Ahmadinejad slithered in with a win after Bush went on the 'Axis of Evil' warpath?

        The only election that might have been a result of US policy was Ahmadinejad's first win, when Bush went off the deep end and seemed to possibly be threatening war with Iran.  Most of the time, Iranian voters don't give a rat's ass for US policy.

        And given that the guy in charge of elections is actually some sort of advisor to Ahmadinejad, the fact that you personally haven't seen 'any evidence of vote rigging' isn't that startling.  Of course Ahmadinejad doesn't want evidence getting out.

        Framing this as some sort of bizarre referendum on whom 'the west' wants in power as you do, strikes me as wild speculation.

        Bah. Typoed during acct creation. It's Ezekiel 23:20

        by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 12:17:42 PM PDT

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      •  The only difference between this and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, drksdeofthemoonx

        claims of ACORN fraud was McCain's irresponsible joke?

        That is more than nuts; it makes me question your sincerity. There are many people here who have done a very good job explaining why, at the very least, the announced results are virtually impossible. There is nothing "wild" about their objections, which are based on their understanding of the situation plus actual evidence. Disagree all you want, but you are the one claiming ignorance of the situation. Ignorance granted.

        Beyond that, you draw the false equivalency between an entrenched power announcing virtually impossible election results and some fraudulent voter registrations ACORN was required by law to submit -- not actual votes, mind you, just registrations. That is a failed attempt at equivalency for which I can discern no evidence, reasoning or motive.

        Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. -Paulo Freire

        by sanglug on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 12:34:12 PM PDT

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      •  Rogue, something to ponder, if you will (2+ / 0-)

        According to the CIA World Fact book, 77 million people in Iran are over 15 years of age. They must be 18 years old to vote in Iranian elections. Lets just say 40 million people voted.

        We've seen how their votes are collected by literally pushing a piece of paper into a ballot box. Counting 40 million paper ballots is going to take a whole lot longer than tabulating our votes for President in this country as roughly 90% of our votes in this country are cast on electronic machines that can spit out the vote totals in minutes. Ahmadinejad was declared the winner in less than 24 hours after the voting had ended. Do you really think it's possible to accurately count by hand 40 million votes in under 24 hours?

        We have election irregularities with electronic tabulators (mostly because these machines have been shown to be easily tampered with - see Black box Voting for more info on this). You do not believe that there can be voting "irregularities" in Iran? I suggest you study up on ballot box stuffing/  starting during this country's reformation in the 1870s in the South and work your way forward to 2004 to see what happens in an election with ballot boxes. And don't forget to account for the situations where the controlling party also oversees the elections and when their friends (Wally O'Dell) own the company that makes the electronic machines that tabulate the votes.
        Diebold voting machines

        Ethical questions about Diebold personnel

        Jeff Dean, Senior Vice-President and Senior Programmer at Global Election Systems (GES), the company purchased by Diebold in 2002 which became Diebold Election Systems, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft for planting back doors in software he created for ATMs using, according to court documents, a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of two years[4]. In addition to Dean, GES employed a number of other convicted felons in senior positions, including a fraudulent securities trader and a drug trafficker[5].

        In December 2005, Diebold's CEO Wally O'Dell left the company following reports that the company was facing securities fraud litigation surrounding charges of insider trading[6].

        O'Dell's fundraising

        In August 2003, Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold, announced that he had been a top fund-raiser for President George W. Bush and had sent a get-out-the-funds letter to Ohio Republicans. In the letters he says he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." Although he clarified his statement as merely a poor choice of words, critics of Diebold and/or the Republican party interpreted this as at minimum an indication of a conflict of interest, at worst implying a risk to the fair counting of ballots. He has responded to the critics by pointing out that the company's election machines division is run out of Texas by a registered Democrat. Nonetheless, O'Dell vowed to lower his political profile lest his personal actions harm the company. O'Dell resigned his post of chairman and chief executive of Diebold on December 12, 2005 following reports that the company was facing securities fraud litigation surrounding charges of insider trading.

        The beatings will continue until morale improves. -8.50, -6.92

        by ferallike on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 01:11:35 PM PDT

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      •  I'm amazed that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        you found 9 people to recommend your post.

        It appears that every informed opinion about the Iranian election IN IRAN, starting with the Iranian government commission which was appointed to oversee the elections called the results fraud.

        The correct analogy to the situation doesn't include the right-wing talking points you resurrected about ACORN.

        Imagine a 2000 US election where the US Federal Election Commission denounced the results of the national election as fradulent and SCOTUS certified Bush as President anyway.

        As for your personally seeing evidence of vote rigging, just how is any American in America going to see that evidence in person?

        Who won or lost the election?

        I don't think anybody inside or outside Iran will ever know.

        I do know that if Iran wants to be considered any form of democracy, they're going to have to redo the election with international observers NOT FROM THE USA present in polling places and where the votes are being counted.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 01:15:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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