Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - July 2, 2005 - Iranians overwhelmingly favorable of United States
Posted on 07/02/2005 6:53:02 PM PDT by freedom44Edited on 07/02/2005 11:02:30 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
THE hottest book in Iran these days is Bill Clinton's "My Life." There are three unauthorized translations on the market and at least two more on the way, Iranian newspapers report. By all accounts, a George W. Bush memoir might do just as well. And that is only the most recent indication of the overwhelmingly favorable disposition of the Iranian population toward the United States.
(Excerpt) Read more at regimechangeiran.com ...
They're reading the wrong book.....
We can only hope that this guy hammers the last nail into the coffin of the mad mullahs.
Hard to sift through all the spin in this article. Let's face it, the Iranians have made their bed and now they're going to have to lie in it. Let's hit 'em before they can hit us.
Welcome to FR. I know the MSM has brainwashed you, but you have alot to learn on Iran & difference between the pro-US populace & and the anti-US regime.
"Hard to sift through all the spin in this article."
Agree. One thing is for sure. This Ahmadinejad is a hardliner, Shiite, who wants any westernization to stop, from the social point of view. The only things he wants from the west is technology and knowledge base that goes along with it. We may read the day he assumes power, that books such as meantioned in this article are banned, because anything from the west is anti Islamic in nature. As for the 50 Mullahs losing any power. They control the government. Who is going to kick them out? And since they control who is allowed to be put on the ballots, don't expect someone in the future to show up that wants to put and end to them. The only way Iran is going to end this long nightmare is for a military leader with the secret backing of the military to take over, much like happened in Pakistan. A military leader who secretly wants Iran to kick the mullahs out, get rid of the secret service, and change the rules. But then once in, the problem is the same as usual. How does one transit to a democracy? It would take one remarkable Persian general to take over, stablize things, and then step down after a truely westernized democracy was put in place, a new constitution was set up, etc., which in essence forbids Islam to role the roost. Much as what is happening in Iraq currently. That's my take on the real situation in Iran.
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Tell me what you think of the President Elect od Iran.
The Iranians didn't make the bed, the corrupt leaders did. The election was a sham
Where is the Iranian Ataturk?
"How Iran's Reformers Lost Their Political Way"
By Scott Peterson, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Fri Jul 1, 4:00 AM ET
The Nobel Peace Prize winner could not be more emphatic about the election that swept Iran's hard-liners into the president's office a week ago.
"Nothing has changed in Iran," says human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi, her gaze unwavering as she sits in her modest basement office in Tehran. "Those who were in power are still in power. Why should it get better? If it's been bad up to now, it's going to be bad from now on."
Iran's unelected supreme religious leader still wields ultimate authority; and hard-line ideologues and militants have successfully blocked, sometimes violently, popular efforts to reform.
But while that political dynamic may not have changed, the movement that propelled outgoing President Mohamad Khatami to his first landslide victory in 1997 - borne upon promises of democracy, respect for human rights, and more social freedom - is now unrecognizable.
Divided and now deeply resented, the reform camp has disintegrated, analysts say, and is out of touch with Iranians who now rate rhetoric about freedom below solutions to grave economic problems. Analysts, in fact, no longer speak of a reform "movement" at all, but say that it has collapsed into an agenda with little direction that will drive it into the future.
"I think you have to have bread in the first place, to eat, and talk of freedom next," says Mrs. Ebadi, who has taken on some of the most politically sensitive cases in Iran. "But can [president-elect Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad give bread to the people? The president does not have much power."
Those limits have been made clear during the tenure of Mr. Khatami, who, many argue, became part of the problem for not standing up, early in his presidency, when challenged by the hard-line judiciary and security services who shut down newspapers and jailed opponents.
"Khatami did not provide leadership for the reformists - he was more like a spokesman, and no one else had the authority or the mandate to lead," says Nasser Hadian-Jazy, a US-educated political scientist at Tehran University.
"This election shows reformists out of touch with their constituents, and shows that people can't eat human rights and democracy," says Mr. Hadian-Jazy. "[I]t is no longer a movement ... its natural evolution will be to a social democratic party. But they need grass-roots organization, because they have lost touch with the people."
One reformist candidate, former parliament speaker Mehdi Karrubi, nearly made it past Mr. Ahmadinejad into the second-round runoff, largely on a pledge to hand out $60 per person per month.
But that was the only reformist nod to economic malaise. The campaigns of candidates across the spectrum - except for that of Ahmadinejad - sought to out-reform each other. That political reading could not have been more wrong.
"This election brought an unprecedented broadening of political dialogue; a lot of red lines were crossed," says Karim Sadjadpour, of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group. "But that doesn't mean [reform] will cease to be an elite movement. So how do you fill that gap between reform and the people, and transfer this into a popular movement?"
"Now you have tens of millions of Iranians who share the ideals of reform, but feel they have no political representation," says Mr. Sadjadpour. "The Iranian street is like a sleeping elephant: this enormous reservoir of energy and will for political, cultural, and social reform that is not being tapped into right now."
Hoping to reassure reform-leaning voters, Ahmadinejad has begun to temper a radical outlook. As Tehran mayor, he converted cultural centers into mosques. But his culture adviser, Mehdi Kalhor, this week went further than even reformists dared.
When asked about rumors of installing curtains on sidewalks to separate men from women, Mr. Kalhor scoffed, saying that Ahmadinejad "wants everyone to be joyful," and that his efforts aim to "prevent the government from interfering in private lives."
Press clampdowns were over, Kalhor promised. He endorsed freedom of live music - which has been tightly controlled - and the return to Iran of singers and actors who play now-illegal music from exile. Satellite dishes - also illegal - are "inseparable from people's lives," he said, and women are "free to choose their dress."
But Kalhor retreated later, saying, "these are not the words of the president," even as a hard-line parliamentarian called for a "cultural revolution" to counter greater openness, and said the president should crack down on "badly veiled" women wearing "unIslamic and immoral cloth."
Ebadi is in a good position to test any change, if it comes. Her image and voice have been banned from TV for two decades. When she won the Nobel Prize, state-run TV ignored it until mounting complaints led to a brief mention 24 hours later, in an 11 p.m. broadcast. Hard-liners criticized her for shaking the hand of the man who gave her the Nobel prize.
People may need bread before freedom, Ebadi says, but one can help gain the other. "The reformists did not forget [the economy], but they had no power," she adds, adjusting her multicolored head scarf. "They cared about freedom of speech very much, and if there is enough of it, you can reveal the economic problems and corruption - so the bread will come."
Did Iran's president-elect help seize the US Embassy in 1979?Student militants who seized the American Embassy here in 1979 - prompting more than a quarter-century of enmity between the US and Iran - Thursday denied that hard-line President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad played any role in the takeover.
"I did not see him there," Abbas Abdi, one of the student leaders who plotted the embassy seizure, told the Monitor. "I have nothing else to say."
Mr. Abdi's denial echoed that of two other leading figures in the saga Thursday, who said that Mr. Ahmadinejad was not among those who captured 52 American hostages, and held them for 444 days.
"I deny such reports. Ahmadinejad was not a member of the radical student group that seized the embassy," former ringleader and recent parliamentarian Mohsen Mirdamadi told Reuters.
All three men have since become reformists who have sometimes been imprisoned for their beliefs. Their views contrast sharply with those of Mr. Ahmadinejad, and Iranian analysts say there is little reason that such a role would not already have been well known. But he may well have been in the compound numerous times, as were other revolutionary students at the time.
Still, the images of his election victory have stirred memories in several former US hostages."This is the guy," former hostage Charles Scott, a retired US Army colonel, told the Associated Press. "There is not question about it. You could make him blond and shave his whiskers, put him in a zoot suit and I'd still spot him." He told The Washington Times that Ahmadinejad "was one of the top two or three leaders."
The AP quoted four other former hostages who concluded that they recognized Ahmadinejad. But it also noted that a fifth former hostage, Air Force Col. Thomas Schaefer (Ret.), did not recognize the president-elect.
Ahmadinejad was a member of the students' Office of the Consolidation of Unity, his office has denied that he had any role in the embassy takeover. Some sources suggest that he instead favored a takeover of the Soviet Embassy, in line with the revolutionary tenet that opposed both cold-war superpowers.
Since Ahmadinejad's victory over Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani - who wanted to explore better ties with the US - the president-elect says Iran has "no particular need" for such ties now.
He's an appointment by the so-called 'Supreme leader' Ayatollah Khamenei. One of the most hard-line elements in the Iranian government and a person who may lead US-Iran into a head on collision.
They should inform their President, "Landslide Mahmoud".
The only "brainwashing" that I see is in pieces like this. This is nothing but spin. The Iranians just had elections, and they voted this terrorist in. Fine. As another poster noted, let them lie in the bed they have made.
This afterthink that the masses in Iran are actually pining after some other type of government has little to back up. We occasionally see some pictures of riots presented as if they were anything more than students occasionally raising some hell, as students do in plenty of other places such as South Korea.
Iran is a dictatorship genius. Did the people of Cuba elect Castro and people of Iraq elect Sadadm?
Good analysis by Amir Taheri....
Signals From Tehran
Arab News / Amir Taheri
It may take some time before the shock caused by the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the sixth president of the Islamic Republic of Iran is absorbed. But one thing is already clear: The election signals the beginning of the first major shift in the balance of power within the Khomeinist regime since 1981.
Khatamis brother Muhammad-Reza has told journalists of his surprise that an unknown like Ahmadinejad could collect 18 million votes. But Muhammad-Reza forgets that eight years ago his own brother, another unknown at the time, was credited with 20 million votes.
Within the parameters fixed by the Khomeinist regime, Ahmadinejads election is as legitimate, if not more, than the elections that made Rafsanjani and Khatami two-term presidents.
Nor is Ahmadinejad such an unknown as Rafsanjani and Khatami claim. The newly elected president has held various official positions for more than two decades. An officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard he has served as special emissary for the Supreme Guide on a number of sensitive domestic and foreign policy missions. He has also served as provincial deputy governor and governor for six years. On three occasions he was named Governor of the Year by his peers. As mayor of Tehran for the past two years he has shown greater managerial ability than either Rafsanjani or Khatami.
Rafsanjani and Khatami have tried to portray Ahmadinejad as an uneducated street lout. Nothing is further from the truth. In fact, Ahmadinejad is the best-educated president that the Khomeinist republic has had so far. Rafsanjani had no formal education while Khatami had a BA in divinity from Isfahan University. Ahmadinejad, however, attended the Science and Industry University, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in Iran, and ended up earning a Ph. D. in civil engineering. Far from being uneducated he became a professor at his old alma mater, and has authored a number of scientific textbooks.
Ahmadinejad is also the first president of the Islamic Republic with a military background. He fought in the eight-year war against Iraq and has taught at the Revolutionary Guards staff college for years.
There are two more important facts that distinguish Ahmadinejad.
The first is that he is the first president of the Islamic Republic to come from a poor, rural family, and not to be related to a mulla. As son of a blacksmith he is a genuine child of the people and as removed from the various aristocracies of pedigree, money, and religion as possible.
Secondly, and much more importantly, Ahmadinejad is a sincere Islamist. And in that he is at an opposite pole from Rafsanjani and Khatami, confused men who never managed to decide what they actually believed in. Ahmadinejad proudly describes himself as a fundamentalist (usuli) while Khatami and Rafsanjani have treated the term as an insult and tried to sell themselves as moderate, a meaningless term in a totalitarian regime.
Ahmadinejads victory represents the defeat of a political and philosophical current that has been present in the Khomeinist movement from the start.
Known as Iltiqati (hybrid), the current represents mullas and politicians who see Islam as an instrument of achieving power rather than a model for society. Mahdi Bazargan, Khomeinis first prime minister, was an iltiqati as was Abol-Hassan Banisadr, the first president under the ayatollah. Rafsanjani and Khatami were also iltiqati, albeit each in his own way.
But what does iltiqatism, to coin a phrase, actually mean?
It means someone who wants to have his cake and eat it.
Under the Shah it meant the use of religion as a means of mobilizing the masses of the poor and illiterate against the regime.
It was obvious that for as long as the Shah controlled the army plus the oil revenue, no ordinary political force could dislodge him. The only force capable of counter-balancing the Shahs power was that of the poor masses. But the masses could not be mobilized in the name of Western ideologies such as nationalism, socialism or communism. The only way they could be mobilized was in the name of Islam. It was on that basis that even atheist groups, such as the Tudeh Communist Party and the Peoples Fedayeen Guerrilla, the Islamo-Marxist groups such as the Peoples Mujahedeen, and the Mussadeqists, suddenly grew beards, bought rosaries, discarded neckties, started going to Friday mosque prayers, and became self-styled devotees of Khomeini.
After the fall of the Shah the various branches of iltiqatism tried to reduce Islam to the level of a décor behind which they could build their various ideal systems. Part of the history of the past quarter of a century consists of the war between Khomeinism and iltiqatism in its different versions, the last of which was represented by Khatami.
Iltiqatism is secretly convinced that the ideal Islamic society either does not exist or would be impossible to build in a world long shaped by Western ideas and experiences. Islam, therefore, should be retained only as the ideological façade behind which a largely Western-style society, minus some of its individual liberties, is built.
The iltiqatis believe that while they and their own children should live a largely Westernized life, the masses should continue stewing in the juice of poverty and ignorance in the name of religion. The iltiqati sends his own children to Europe or America to study but insists that the children of the masses attend Quranic school and be protected against Western corruption. You would be surprised how many children of the grandees of the Islamic Republic, including Rafsanjani, have been sent to the West for education.
All in all the iltiqati lacks the courage of his claimed convictions. When faced with the contemporary world, which is anything but Islamic, he suffers from a deep inferiority complex. He tries to get round this by using the Islamic label for the Western ideas and methods that he is forced to adopt. He speaks of Islamic democracy and Islamic physics, although he knows that the adjective cannot modify the noun.
The iltiqati attends the Davos Forum in Switzerland and pretends to be as modern as any Western politician or business executive. He loves traveling around the globe to talk about Hegel and Nietzsche to prove that, despite his beard and turban, he is as versed in Western philosophy as an undergraduate in Frankfurt.
Ahmadinejad, however, represents the usuli current. He has no inferiority complex toward the West and is sincerely convinced that Islam alone offers a blueprint for the perfect society.
He says that men and women can never be equal although this does not mean that women should not have rights or be respected. He does not hide behind labels such as Islamic democracy. Instead, he states that Islam, which represents perfection, is incompatible with democracy that is, by definition, imperfect.
Rafsanjani and Khatami claim that Ahmadinejad wants to create a Taleban-style system in Iran. Nothing is further from the truth. Ahmadinejad is no mulla Muhammad Omar and Iran is not Afghanistan. What Ahmadinejad shares with Mulla Omar is the belief that a non-Western, largely Islamic, method of organizing society is possible. Omar built his version and Ahmadinejad, if given a chance, would try to build his.
Ahmadinejad s election is good news for all concerned, if only it clarifies the situation. Having tried to dodge the inevitable duel between Islamism and democracy, the Khomeinist regime, by propelling Ahmadinejad into the presidency, declares its intention to take the modern, Western-dominated, and utterly corrupt world head on.
We shall see which side wins.
The level of anger must be very high right now in Iran?
While there will be people who aren't happy at the results of any given election (look at the bellyaching that we heard from the Democrats after our last election), there's no indication of widespread rejection of this election as some sort of sham election, unlike say in the recent Venezuela, where there were serious and credible reports of fraud.
The Iranians have chosen their leader, an Islamic terrorist. Fine. They have acted like a bunch of nutters for over 25 years, and with a large increase in the nuttiness factor since about September of last year.
A few pictures of some of the folks jubilant at the results of the elections in Iran.
"We occasionally see some pictures of riots presented as if they were anything more than students occasionally raising some hell, as students do in plenty of other places such as South Korea."
Hellloo???? Anyone home???
You're comparing Iran to South Korea??
Obviously, you're unaware that it's against the law for people to assemble in Iran. A small group of people standing around can be cause for arrests and charges of conspiring against the government. That's a very nasty charge.
This is one of the main problems that the people in Iran have, vs the people in say the Ukraine. They were allowed to assemble and march in the streets and thereby gather huge crowds of support. That's not allowed in Iran. So, anytime you see a group of 50 or 100 or 1,000 people protesting in Iran, that's very significant, because those people are risking their lives just to peacefully protest.
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