I have some hope that Ahmadinejad may be defeated in the forthcoming election and be replaced by a more moderate voice, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who might follow the path of diplomacy, not Amalek [total annihilation by Israel]. Then again, my oracle’s intuition sees a close election and the chances of a second term for Ahmadinejad looks likely with the 12 June election in Iran just three days from [now].
“Think Amalek”: Biblical Bluffs? (9 June 2009)
I wrote this comment at a time when my “oracular” intuition went against the wind of global media forecasting a victory for Iranian reformer Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Even Iran watchers I deeply respect, such as Anglo-Iranian journalist Christiane Amanpour of CNN, seemed carried off by a case of journalistic myopia so prevalent in the Western press about how Iranians vote. Let me put it this way, if you only gauge the mood of the United States by what you see demonstrated in the streets of New York City, is your reading accurate?
Mass rallies of college students in the streets of the Iranian “New York”, its capital, Teheran, a city wherein you find most of the moderates of a country of 70 million people residing, may give off a spectacular and inspiring demonstration of an Obama-like change brewing in the land governed by a supreme council of strict Sharia law-abiding Ayatollahs. Teheran’s streets, however, are no less a marker of what a majority of people desire in Iran than demonstrations of Columbia University students in the streets of New York represent the will of people in rural America. Teheran, a vast and sprawling metropolis of 13.4 million, exceeds New York in population and comprises just under 20 percent of the country’s population and indeed a majority of its moderate voters. Bus yourself outside of northern Teheran, beyond its swank and liberal districts, affluent suburbs and universities and even before you exit the city’s southern half you enter Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran: the crowded tenements of the poor, the working classes. Venture beyond Teheran and you meet the rural silent majority of the supreme council of Ayatollahs: it is conservative, far right of religiously center and traditional. This too is predominantly Ahmadinejad-land.
In Teheran today and this evening thousands of students protest and riot in the streets in a level of violence not seen there in ten years. Mousavi cries election fraud and petitions the Grand Ayatollah and clergy in the religious capital of Iran, Qom, for a review of election results. Ahmadinejad speaks before the nation after being officially deemed “victor” 24 hours after the polls closed even though the Islamic Republic’s constitution by law cannot make an election count official for three days after polls close. Ahmadinejad tonight played a good politician: put on his best squinting feral smile and promised the usual bromides of ending corruption, taking Iran forward not backward, hearing the will of the people, blah blah… There was one zinger chased with totalitarian actions. He complained about the unprecedented attempt of worldwide media to influence the elections as Facebook, Skype and most other Internet links to the outside world mysteriously shut down within Iran.
The leadership of the Revolutionary Guards has alluded to worries that the loser, Mousavi and his movement, so dependent on these internetworking tools, might escalate their protest into some velvet glove-like revolution, akin to those popular uprisings in 1990 that took down many Eastern European communist governments at the end of the cold war with the help of the media.
Despite the totalitarian moves of Ahmadinejad the day after his election, I will once again go against popular conclusions for the prophetic record. More than that, I will grind harder against the roughed grain of popular expectations of moderates in and outside of Iran who wanted to see the Iranian “Obama” as Mousavi was called bring a change revolution in Iran:
Ahmadinejad did not steal the election. He won the popular vote and handily. The unprecedented turnout favored him.
It would be good for Amanpour and other Iran watchers see Iran from beyond the urban, affluent, educated and moderate veil of Teheran’s educated middle class and upscale millions to the tens of millions of poor, peasant-rural, fundamentalist leaning Iranians of the countryside and other cities.
Mousavi may petition clerics in Qom, but remember the bombshell revelation Ahmadinejad delivered in the midst of a heated nationally televised debate with Mousavi earlier this week. Ahmadinejad said he was campaigning against more than Mousavi, he said the Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei also campaigned against his reelection.
Khamenei is the real power in Iran. It is no secret that he personally does not like Ahmadinejad. If Iranian governance from the black robed top Ayatollah was so impregnable and dictatorial as many Western reporters like to say, then how do you explain Ahmadinejad winning? How does one explain his win being officially certified, albeit ahead of what the law requires?
I answered this rhetorical question in a prediction posted 19 March 2009 in the article 2009–Four Key Elections, Part 2: Iran:
The reform strategy here is to win over a majority of Iranians on the solid footing of Mousavi’s past economic successes and his proven strength as a leader under crisis filled times. President Ahmadinejad on the other hand has been an economic bungler and his brinksmanship with Israel and America has taken him off theme as much as put his citizens under the imminent threat of war throughout his term in office. He has not fulfilled his domestic policy promises. In the end, that will be the cause of his fall from power on Election Day 12 June 2009, unless the supreme council of Ayatollahs, once again, gerrymanders the election results in his favor — if they dare. That could cause another Iranian Revolution, which I do sense, coming, but not so soon.
There does seem to be some gerrymandering of Ayatollahs with the cut off of Internet and quick endorsement of victory, but I do not think it is now done to cover a fraudulent election, but rather, to suppress what I did sense coming, the backlash of another Iranian revolution, this time of moderates. It is not coming yet. Proof of this prediction will be seen with the coming settling down of moderate protests in a few weeks, sweetened by Ahmadinejad acting the conciliator to moderates with perhaps some important cabinet posts.
In the next quote from 19 March, I predicted the fate of Ahmadinejad would be harmed or bolstered by what kind of government coalition Israel would form by early April. Would it be a moderate right of center Kadima or far right Likud coalition?
Much in Iran’s political direction hinges on what happens in early April in Israel. Will Netanyahu form a pro-war coalition of right-wing parties or a more diplomatically oriented centrist right coalition of Tzipi Livni’s Kadima Party with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud?
Between April and June, Israeli policy will either throw flaming oil on the problem with bellicosity or pave the way for Ahmadinejad’s descent into history’s rat hole of obscurity.
Save the rat hole, Madame History. Netanyahu did not form a coalition with Tzipi Livni’s Kadima Party. He went far right, picking the hardcore Zionist, Avigdor Lieberman, as his foreign minister. What was left of the leftist Labor Party came shuffling along. An interesting move to salvage dwindling political capital in the rightward lurching State of Israel. The rural majority of Iran could see — and Ahmadinejad could exploit — a stark reality: an Israeli hawkish, anti-Iran government, run by Netanyahu threatens. He has more than once pledged to bomb Iran’s nuclear reactors, a symbol of national pride to all Iranians, especially its rural redneck Ahmadinejad-leaning population who do not want to see it ever shut down. Israel does not want to see it continue and will only give Obama’s diplomatic efforts a few months’ time.
Extremism and belligerence ever feeds extremism. Ahmadinejad won because the mighty rightward lean in Israel fed a right wing reaction in Iran far more prevalent than Iranian moderates or their sympathetic journalists anticipated.
Netanyahu’s aides matched Ahmadinejad’s outlandish bluster (wipe Israel off the map of history) with a cloaked biblical message to annihilate Iran (think Amalek). The Amalek crack was worth at least a million Iranian votes for Ahmadinejad.
Now we face the coming of Mars in Cancer’s transit, in August through October, the best time for might to presume the right to strike the Iranian reactors.
(13 June 2009)