Sunday, January 10, 2010

A nitpick about the description of Iran's election


During the summer, mainstream US press reports that mentioned Iran's June election often quoted someone who would refer to them as "fraudulent elections". Most editorials and opinion pieces followed the same practice, despite the fact that as time passed, significant evidence was not being produced that the election results did not reflect the preferences of the Iranian people.

More recently, I've been seeing the election referred to as "disputed". It is difficult to call that unfair, though Barack Obama's US citizenship is also disputed, possibly by about the same proportion of the population as only 10% of Iranians do not consider Ahmadinejad the legitimate president of Iran according to a WorldPublicOpinion.org poll.

Yesterday, for the first time I saw a new formulation in a Washington Post article about the Revolutionary Guards by Thomas Erdbrink.
The Guard's expanded economic role is mirrored by a greater role in politics and security since the disputed presidential election in June, which the government says was won by incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a landslide but which the opposition says was stolen.
What I find interesting is that Ahmadinejad and his supporters still say he won in a landslide but the opposition does not any more say the election was stolen. By the end of the summer the opposition has been saying "nobody knows who won", "Mousavi may have won" or funniest, "by now, it doesn't matter who won".

Evidence of fraud just never panned out. Mousavi's extremely early and disruptive claims that there was certainly fraud so people should take to the streets before evidence could be gathered and evaluated seem now to have been a poorly-made decision. His new claim, and that of his supporters, is that the process should be more transparent. The votes are counted mostly by trusted local figures such as teachers all over the country in the same polling locations where the ballots are cast. The results are published so the people who do the counting can read them and verify their result. The process is actually pretty transparent already. Far more transparent than computer voting machines in the United States, but in theory any election could be more transparent. Mousavi's current claim that more transparency is needed is far from an assertion that the election was stolen.

By now Erdbrink may be the only person left who believes there are people still saying the election was stolen.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't think it would have made much difference in the west's attitude if Mr Mouse had won; only a tactical difference.

If Mr Mouse had won, be sure that there would have been accusations from the west about "the outcome already being determined" or something like that.

Now he and his supporters gave more than enough ammunition to the US for a "legitimate" reason to continue the Iran-bashing in the name of "human rights". And even better. If I am not mistaken Obama is using the opposition movement (creating a uprising) as a pretext to levy more sanctions. I wonder if Mr Mouse and his friends really didn't see that one coming?

Point being however that Obama would have increased the sanctions anyway. And Mousavi would have been accused of being a puppet of the Supreme leader and so on and so forth.

What I am trying to say: It wouldn't matter if Iran had the most free and transparent election system in the world. The west would still make shit up until Iran bends over, takes it from behind, thanks the west and asks for seconds.

GeneralOreo said...

Anonymous,

If mousavi had one it WOULD be predetermined and he would be a puppet of the supreme leader.

Now you might think Iran is an 'islamic' democracy, but to any sane person it's nothing but a totalitarian dictatorship.

the west doesn't have to 'make stuff up' considering the wealth of material the iranians freely give them.

And how deluded do you have to be to think this is all some conspiracy to dominate and humiliate Iran. If the iranians gave the world assurances about their nuclear program it could join the world community and enjoy economic development without sanctions. Nobody would give a damn about Iran were it not for its threats of nuclear weapons and the other threat at the world economy by threatening world oil supply.

But hey, poor victim Iran. Civlized, rational, country developing and nobody would just let it! LOL.

I can't wait until technology advances enough to displace oil, and it's going to happen a lot faster than people think. Then Iran and other 'oppressed' countries can go bankrupt like its ideology and the ideologies of those who support it.

Then we really might see iran bend over, hah. ;)


Regarding the OP,

How many people in a totalitarian country would answer a survey honestly? Really? Give me a break.

That said, I really could believe that. Knoweldgable people say about a quarter of the population is for the system, but who knows. It is after all a muslim country, bowing to the tyranny of velayet-e-faqih is an obligation. I remember one poll where people said the government should have the right to censor 'disruptive' things. That tells you a lot about the people and their culture. So pathetic the whole world is held hostage by those people, if it weren't for oil. That will change soon though.

GeneralOreo said...

I just want to add that this blog being called mideast reality is worse than khomeini being called a humanist. It is about as real as glenn beck's reality.

Lysander said...

GO, were Israel or the US to launch an attack on Iran I suspect you would be very pleased and yet that hardly would do anything to improve its development, culturally or otherwise.

Also, if democracy and civil rights are what you are after, why not attack Egypt, Jordan or Saudi Arabia? They are *FAR* behind Iran by any measure.

Indeed, if you were to have democracy all over the middle east, you will closely see parallels between Egyptian and Iranian policy, for example. Already in Turkey, where control by the US allied military has diminished, you see closer ties with Iran and greater sympathy with the Palestinians.

GeneralOreo said...

I would support an attack on Iran IF the nuclear program would be stopped by it, but since a delay is the best that can be hoped for I'm against it. Also, the damage to Iran it would do by strengthening the fanatics is too horrific for me to think about.

And yeah if the middle east was democratic it would be like Iran. So? The US could elect sarah palin and it wouldn't mean she knows jack shit and be anything but an ignorant cunt. Ignorant people electing ignorant people. Nothing new.

And what the hell is attacking egypt or saudi has anything to do with civil rights? It won't change a thing, but make things worse, just like in Iran.

BTW, lysander, was it you that said in another post here that israel is most afraid of iran allying itself with china and russia and developing into some sort of economic superpower (LOL)? It's funny because they've had 3 decades to do that and still can't. I guess they're just waiting for the right moment, huh? Funnier that the only way they can do that is by stopping threatening other countries and joining the world. Its progress will be more like china then india, and could have bigger leverage over israel and the region in a decade then any leverage they can dream of now. But they can't, they don't want that. They want to continue funding terror and screaming death to something and blaming others for their problems. Or more accurately engaging in delusions about being a superpower that has no problems and is the champion of the oppressed (what a joke).


I keep promising myself to stop reading blogs and comments that aren't worth it, I already know everything there is to know about people like you and these 'debates' achieve nothing. So that's it for me on this blog, I hope. Don't bother wasting your time, I'm not.

Lysander said...

By "attacking" Egypt, Saudi, etc I meant why aren't you directing your prodemocracy tirades at them rather than the far more democratic Iran.

I guess we have a different idea of what threatening other countries means. For example, I would consider the invasion of Iraq based on a contrived pretext far more threatening and far more out of the mainstream of what modern civilizations expects than **ANYTHING** Iran has ever said or done. Previously, the deliberate starvation of Iraq under severe sanctions was uncivilized. As is the current starvation of Gaza. Not to mention war in Vietnam, death squads in South America, Coups in Chile, Guatemala, etc. The list is long. Iran has done nothing of the sort.

While you continue to call Iran a horrible threat, it is the United States that continues to pursue a policy of "full spectrum dominance" and seeks to solidify a military presence in every corner of the globe.

There are no Iranian bases in Mexico.

While Iran calls for universal nuclear disarmament, the US will not even renounce the use of nuclear weapons in a 'first strike.' While demanding Iran halt its fully inspected nuclear program, the US continues to fashion "small" nuclear weapons.

Unlike Israel, Iran has also not ethnically cleansed a native population into neighboring countries, and then threatened those countries with severe reprisals if they cannot prevent those ethnically cleansed people from annoying it.

You did , however, make one valid point and that is Iran could have, and should have, terminated the Iraq war much earlier. I happily concede that point.

@GeneralOreo said...

"If mousavi had one it WOULD be predetermined and he would be a puppet of the supreme leader."

Your logic is flawed. Mousavi is the leader of the Goblin movement, but if he had won he would have been a puppet? So the reason he didn’t receive any votes was because if people voted for him he would have won thus proving it was all predetermined and he was a puppet all along.

… People like you will always find an enemy.

"Now you might think Iran is an 'islamic' democracy, but to any sane person it's nothing but a totalitarian dictatorship."

Sanity requires logic.

"the west doesn't have to 'make stuff up' considering the wealth of material the iranians freely give them."

You make shit up and then you say it comes from the enemy who freely gives you the stuff. See above. Logic. You lack it.

"And how deluded do you have to be to think this is all some conspiracy to dominate and humiliate Iran. If the iranians gave the world assurances about their nuclear program it could join the world community and enjoy economic development without sanctions. Nobody would give a damn about Iran were it not for its threats of nuclear weapons and the other threat at the world economy by threatening world oil supply."

This is enough to determine that you are a troll. You obviously ignore all the facts surrounding this issue.

"But hey, poor victim Iran. Civlized, rational, country developing and nobody would just let it! LOL."

Insulting. Nice touch.

"I can't wait until technology advances enough to displace oil, and it's going to happen a lot faster than people think. Then Iran and other 'oppressed' countries can go bankrupt like its ideology and the ideologies of those who support it."

Unfortunately, people like you will still be around, and you will conjure up new enemies and keep your hate going strong.

It's sad that we can't find a way to harvest the hate people like you generate towards others. At least then you'd be useful in some way.

GeneralOreo said...

^Harvesting hate would be extremely dangerous technology, the muslim world would once again have access to the biggest energy resources.

Anonymous said...

Ever wondered why theres a lot of hate in the islamic world?,well why don`t you go and take a good look in the mirror general,after you`ve finished masturbating with your own feces to guns and ammo or soldier of fortune

GeneralOreo said...

" masturbating with your own feces "

Oh, now that's disgusting!

here, let me try:

Maybe someone should make a cartoon of the prophet mohammad masturbating with his own feces, not to guns and ammo though, but to his 9 year old wife playing with dolls before he goes off to a terrorist raid to murder and blackmail non-muslims for jizya.

GeneralOreo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GeneralOreo said...

Anonymous,

are you a muslim by any chance? The sort of post you made gave me that impression, as that's the level of debate in the muslim world or middle east. Usually when I visit boards with muslim/middle eastern posters, it's very much like this. or when I encounter those in english language boards and they argue with non-muslims. Really, many think insulting your opponent and arguing about something is the same thing.

Obviously, I'm guilty of it too in the previous post, I'm from the region too, heh (though an atheist). So yeah, I sort of apologize. Bringing mohammad out of nowhere and adding in that brilliant image of yours wasn't good. It doesn't help though that simply stating facts about mohammad's life would be an insult. OK I'll stop.

To go back on my first point, It's not just muslims though. Recently I've been noticing a lot of chinese natinalists dedicated to defending china and attacking everything remotly percieved to be a slight against it. This is not to say thought that westerners on the internet are beacons of civilized discourse, but they're certainly ahead of most, as their societies are. And I mean that relativley, a closer look on those societies definitley puts an emphasis on that word.