Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Iran Election Follies (Brought to You by Right Wing Media!)

If you get your info from Faux Snooze-type sources, you might not have been aware that amidst the mainstream propaganda about the Iranian election being close, stolen, et al., (and how closely covered was this election when seen in light of the ones that occurred in India, Russia, etc.?) what the real news is. And notice the "high tech" campaign of our new Western hero Mousavi. Wonder who ran his campaign?

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei won a resounding victory. The grey cardinal of Iranian politics Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been dealt a crushing defeat. Is the curtain finally ringing down on the tumultuous career of the "Shark", a nickname Rafsanjani acquired in the vicious well of the Iranian Majlis (parliament) where he used to swim dangerously as a political predator in the early years of the Iranian Revolution as the speaker/sperm whale of immense, premeditated ferocity and stamina in Herman Melville's epic novel Moby Dick. Rafsanjani is going down, deeply wounded by the harpoon, into the cold oblivion of the sea of Iranian politics. But you can never quite tell. . . . Who is Mir Hossein Mousavi, Ahmedinejad's main opponent in the election? He is an enigma wrapped in mystery. He impressed the Iranian youth and the urban middle class as a reformer and a modernist. Yet, as Iran's prime minister during 1981-89, Mousavi was an unvarnished hardliner. Evidently, what we have seen during his high-tech campaign is a vastly different Mousavi, as if he meticulously deconstructed and then reassembled himself.
Read all about it here. And as further proof of U.S. concern over stolen elections in other countries:
Without any evidence, many U.S. politicians and “Iran experts” have dismissed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection Friday, with 62.6 percent of the vote, as fraud. They ignore the fact that Ahmadinejad’s 62.6 percent of the vote in this year’s election is essentially the same as the 61.69 percent he received in the final count of the 2005 presidential election, when he trounced former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The shock of the “Iran experts” over Friday’s results is entirely self-generated, based on their preferred assumptions and wishful thinking. Although Iran’s elections are not free by Western standards, the Islamic Republic has a 30-year history of highly contested and competitive elections at the presidential, parliamentary and local levels. Manipulation has always been there, as it is in many other countries.
I'm not issuing an apology for Iranian politics, of course, but following the debacles in the U.S. of the 2000 and 2004 elections, they seem like so much icing. Here's another tasty bite:
Like much of the Western media, most American “Iran experts” overstated Mir Hossein Mousavi’s “surge” over the campaign’s final weeks. More important, they were oblivious — as in 2005 — to Ahmadinejad’s effectiveness as a populist politician and campaigner. American “Iran experts” missed how Ahmadinejad was perceived by most Iranians as having won the nationally televised debates with his three opponents — especially his debate with Mousavi. Before the debates, both Mousavi and Ahmadinejad campaign aides indicated privately that they perceived a surge of support for Mousavi; after the debates, the same aides concluded that Ahmadinejad’s provocatively impressive performance and Mousavi’s desultory one had boosted the incumbent’s standing. Ahmadinejad’s charge that Mousavi was supported by Rafsanjani’s sons — widely perceived in Iranian society as corrupt figures — seemed to play well with voters.
Glenn Greenwald serves up the coup de grace:

I'm going to leave the debate about whether Iran's election was "stolen" and the domestic implications within Iran to people who actually know what they're talking about (which is a very small subset of the class purporting to possess such knowledge). But there is one point I want to make about the vocal and dramatic expressions of solidarity with Iranians issuing from some quarters in the U.S. Much of the same faction now claiming such concern for the welfare of The Iranian People are the same people who have long been advocating a military attack on Iran and the dropping of large numbers of bombs on their country - actions which would result in the slaughter of many of those very same Iranian People.

During the presidential campaign, John McCain infamously sang about Bomb, Bomb, Bomb-ing Iran. The Wall St. Journal published a war screed from Commentary's Norman Podhoretz entitled "The Case for Bombing Iran," and following that, Podhoretz said in an interview that he "hopes and prays" that the U.S. "bombs the Iranians." John Bolton and Joe Lieberman advocated the same bombing campaign, while Bill Kristol -- with typical prescience -- hopefully suggested that Bush might bomb Iran if Obama were elected. Rudy Giuliani actually said he would be open to a first-strike nuclear attack on Iran in order to stop their nuclear program.

Imagine how many of the people protesting this week would be dead if any of these bombing advocates had their way - just as those who paraded around (and still parade around) under the banner of Liberating the Iraqi People caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of them, at least. Hopefully, one of the principal benefits of the turmoil in Iran is that it humanizes whoever the latest Enemy is. Advocating a so-called "attack on Iran" or "bombing Iran" in fact means slaughtering huge numbers of the very same people who are on the streets of Tehran inspiring so many - obliterating their homes and workplaces, destroying their communities, shattering the infrastructure of their society and their lives. The same is true every time we start mulling the prospect of attacking and bombing another country as though it's some abstract decision in a video game.

After The Wall St. Journal published the Podhoretz war dance demanding that Iran be bombed, and after Podhoretz casually called for England to "bomb the Iranians into smithereens" if their sailors weren't immediately returned, I wrote:

In this week's Newsweek, Michael Hirsh has a worthwhile article reporting on his observations during his visit to Iran. While listing the internally repressive measures taken by the Iranian government, Hirsh describes Tehran as "bustling, "as "traffic crowds the streets and boulevards," filled with the "chic" Iranian women and the meterosexual" Iranian males who seek greater economic security and prosperity. That is what Norm Podhoretz and his friends hungrily want to annihilate.

Matt Yglesias, in a recent post about the administration's "debate" over whether to bomb Iran, wisely included a random photograph of an Iranian street with civilians walking on it. These are the people Norm Podhoretz and his comrades want to slaughter. (See photo here.) Our ability to render invisible the people we kill when cheering on our wars is one of the primary mechanisms which make it so easy to embrace that option. Perhaps the scenes unfolding in Iran, our Enemy Du Jour, will make those dehumanization efforts - the linchpin of our militarism and state of perpetual war - more difficult in the future.

I doubt this, but it is nice to see the bloodthirsty prevaricators come out for a bow isn't it? Suzan ______________


Stienster said...

Doesn't anyone remember Obama saying "I will do everything within my power to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons." He even repeated it 3 times in a row! It doesn't matter if it was McCain, Bush, Obama, Clinton, et al. They all work for the same bunch of evil eugenicists. Pray against evil. Pray for endurance. Pray for Godly wisdom. Pray without ceasing. The Four Horses are riding.

Suzan said...

I remember. And I'm sure he does.

But how praying will stop the coming events is a mug's game.

Thank you for your comment.