Skip to comments.The Iranian Circus III (Michael Ledeen)
Posted on 06/13/2009 9:21:38 PM PDT by nuconvert
Iran doesnt have elections, it has circuses, and this was proven once again on Friday, when the regime announced that Ahmadinezhad had been retainedcall him landslide Mahmoud pleaseas president of the Islamic Republic. So much for the remarks of various pundits claiming that Iran was some sort of democracy. There isnt a single educated Iranian who thinks that the official numbers represent anything more than a brazen insult to the opponents of the regime. Supreme Leader Khamenei rubbed it in when he called the outcome divine, but the subtlety was no doubt lost on American commentators, who were mostly concerned that the ugly circus might be good for neocons, or for Israel (yes, much the same thing, I know). Maybe Roger Cohen still believes in Iranian democracy (albeit incomplete), but that in itself tells you how silly the idea was.
Ever since the proclamation of Ahmadinezhads triumph, the streets of the cities have been boiling with anti-regime demonstrations, with the predictable violent crackdown from the security forces. There is hardly a city anywhere in the country where demonstrations are not taking place, and you can gauge the seriousness of the situation by the regimes response:
Mousavi and Karrubi, the two reformist candidates in Fridays elections are under house arrest, along with dozens of their followers; Reformist journalists and activists have been rounded up and jailed; Cell phones (including, after a days delay, international cell phones) have been blocked, access to internet has been filtered, facebook is unreachable, and you cant tweet (can the silencing of Western reporters be far behind?); In Tehran, student dormitories are surrounded by security forces. Stalin would be proud. But even his Soviet Union eventually succumbed to the dissidents, and while the regime has most all of the guns, the chains, the clubs, the tear gas cannisters, and the torture chambers, there are tens of millions of Iranians who hate the regime. The question is whether they are prepared to face down the Basij, the police, and the Revolutionary Guards. It is usually a matter of numbers in these cases: if a million people gather in front of the Supreme Leaders palace and demand freedom, while half that number make the same demand in front of the government buildings in Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz and Mashad, they might win.
Until quite recently, the Iranians did not believe they could do such a thing on their own. They believed they needed outside support, above all American support, in order to succeed. They thought that Bushitlercheney would provide that support, and they were bitterly disappointed. But nobody believes that Obama will help them, and they must know that they are on their own.
Any hope they might have had in the Obama White House was quickly dismissed in the administrations two statements on the matter. The first came from the president himself, anticipating a Mousavi victory (it is too soon to speculate on the source of this happy thought), and of course, in his narcissistic way, taking personal credit for it:
We are excited to see what appears to be a robust debate taking place in Iran and obviously, after the speech that I made in Cairo, we tried to send a clear message that we think theres a possibility of change and, ultimately, the election is for the Iranians to decide but just as what has been true in Lebanon, what can be true in Iran as well, is that youre seeing people looking at new possiblities, and whoever ends up winning the election in Iran, the fact that theres been a robust debate hopefully will help advance our ability to engage them in new ways.
Ive reread the Cairo Sermon, and I cant find a single word calling for freedom for the Iranian people. Au contraire, Obamas words about Iran were penitent, apologizing for the American role, back in 1953, in removing what the president called an elected government (Mossadeq, that is. Except that he was appointed by the shah, not elected at all). But then, history is not his strong suit.
Once it became clear that Ahmadinezhad was staying, the White House, while expressing skepticism about the accuracy of the vote count, nonetheless insisted that it might be good news after all:
The dominant view among Obama administration officials is that the regime will look so bad as a result of whipping up Iranian hopes for democracy and then squelching them that the regime may feel compelled to show some conciliatory response to Obamas gestures of engagement.
I suppose that might be true if the regime were interested in winning a few points in the next Gallup poll, but these guys are currently fighting for survival. Everybody now knows that most Iranians hate the regime, and a lot of them are not quietly going home and getting ready to soldier on for the next four years of brutal repression, seeing their oil revenues sent to Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda, and to the nuclear weapons program rather than to their own increasingly miserable circumstances. They are making a stand, at least for the moment.
There are many videos on YouTube, and this description from Marie Colvin, a first-class reporter at the (London) Times gives you an idea of the earliest demonstrations in Tehran:
In the Iranian capitals most serious unrest for 10 years, thousands of liberals who claimed the election had been rigged vented their fury in running battles with police.
They fought officers armed with batons and stun grenades, set fire to police vehicles and threw stones at government buildings.
I saw police in camouflage uniforms and black flak jackets respond by firing the grenades from motorcycles into a crowd that chanted Down with the dictator and denounced what it called a stolen election.
In a stand-off near the interior ministry, which oversaw the count, opposition supporters formed barricades of burning tyres, sending plumes of smoke over the city. Helmeted police chased protesters who became detached from the main group and beat them with truncheons.
The first wave of repression failed. By all accounts, as of Saturday/Sunday night the demonstrations had grown. There were demonstrations all over Tehran, from the good neighborhoods to the slums, as in every other major city.
If ever there were a time for an American president to speak out in behalf of freedom, this is it. And Steve Hayes called upon Obama to do it:
Obama could tap into the enthusiasm and frustration of the protesters with a few well-chosen words about democracy, the rule of law, the will of the people, consent of the governed and legitimacy. He could choose a compelling story or two from inside Iran to make his points most dramatically, perhaps an anecdote about sacrifices some Iranians made to vote or an example of post-election intimidation.
Not bloody likely. As Allah knows, anything said by Obama on behalf of freedom in Iran would sabotage his utopian vision of negotiating a Grand Bargain with the mullahs, and hes not a favorite to do that simply because seventy million people are being crushed by an evil regime that vows Death to America, and moves closer to building an arsenal of atomic bombs every day.
No, its up to the Iranians. Can the green revolution succeed in the face of the dictatorship of lies? Unlikely, to be sure. But life is full of surprises. The end of the mullahcracy is not impossible.
I guess it's not much more of a stretch to call the U.S. a "democracy" any more for that matter, thanks to our "community organizer" President and his collaborators at ACORN.
I am seeing and reading reports of substantial unrest in Iran over the elections. It will be interesting to see how this works out.
Equally interesting but far less consequential will be 0bamas’ comments about the situation.
The TRUE "dominant view" among Obama administration officials is: "We're so great!"
“Michael is in denial real bad. 82% turn out. Total mandate. The voters speak loud and clear. Obamas speech was total failure. This election is over . Read it and weep!!”
And you are ...?
The worst thing that could have happened would have been if Mousavi had been declared the winner. Khameni would still be the real power, and meanwhile the Obamunist media would be gushing about “reform” and “moderates”. The adminstration would claim that this was proof that their policy is working and work on starting a new dialog with them. They would waste another year or two getting dicked around by the Iranians, while the mullahs build a stockpile of nukes. As it is it will be harder for Obama to do so.
“The worst thing that could have happened would have been if Mousavi had been declared the winner.”
This is Iran. Anything can happen
82% yes, but do we have any confidence in the results? Was there a system of checks and balances at the polls that when they announce Nutjob the winner, do we really believe Iranians voted for him?
Just wait for Carter to endorse the election as fair.
I think Rush was right (as usual) on Iran’s elections.....whomever the MULLAHS wanted would be elected....
“The end of the mullahcracy is not impossible.”
It is in fact guaranteed. No one could dream of a more fitting demise than the one God Almighty has planned for these children of Satan.
The end of the abomanation is not impossible.
welcome to Free Republic.....
exactly. Amb John Bolton said the only difference between the two was that Mousavi would keep his mouth shut about plans to nuke Israel.