Last week, before the White House in Washington DC, I saw CNN and other news networks frequently run a tape of a large-scale demonstration against the Iranian election results. The crowd consisted mostly of what looked like expatriate Iranian Americans. A forest of Iranian tricolor flags of red, white and green with a golden lion wielding a sword frequently marched past the cameras. The demonstrators where called pro-democracy protesters by the CNN anchors who not even once alluded to the fact that the ranks of flags bedecked by lions belonged to the regime of Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. He was a dictator, who British and US CIA intelligence operatives had restored to the throne — by force — in the early 1950s after he was deposed by a democratically elected Iranian government.
An authentic move by the Iranian people towards a democratic government was killed by the USA. It is our national bad karma that afterwards the Shah’s brutal secret police — the Savak — tyrannized his people turning them away from perceived Western democratic hypocrisy into hands of fanatic ayatollahs and an Islamic fundamentalist revolution by 1979. If Iran’s political aspirations had been left alone by US intelligence, who knows? Perhaps Iran would have followed a more moderate political evolution similar to that of Turkey and found a working balance between Islamic and secular democratic law.
Countries like individuals suffer or enjoy actions and reactions. The American sins of our fathers become, in a national context the sins of we the sons and daughters. The Karma Americans confront today started with our government in the early 1950s sending Iran a message. We talk democracy and crushed it with the Shah. The Iranian people turned away from Western democracy and now live under a theocracy after they threw down the Shah a second time. We created the majority of young voters your CNN will not report about that voted Ahmadinejad and Islamic fundamentalism into power with a landslide.
I seems the warped presentation of CNN and other Western corporate owned news agencies continue to rely on your ignorance to get away with their agendas. Somebody upstairs at corporate media headquarters is marketing the idea that Iran is about to have another popular democratic rebellion. I guess like the one the CIA and the Shah stamped out of existence. Moreover, if there isn’t actually any widespread support for such in Iran, Corpmedia will make it look otherwise, just like newsreels in 1952 propagated the young Shah Reza Palavi fraudulently as a benevolent, beloved leader of his people deposed by anti-democratic forces. (Gee, only a commie would unseat “our” anti-communist dictator friends, right? I mean, the people in Iran wouldn’t actually vote into office a parliament and Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh to end this Iranian Emperor’s autocratic rule so that they could enjoy and practice the same democratic values we enjoy, right?)
Now to part three of my commentary on STRATOR’s Geopolitical Weekly report, entitled “The Iranian Election and the Revolution Test” by George Friedman. Do check out STRATFOR at www.strafor.com.
The people and their news sources are guided by passionate bias for underdogs of like minds. Freedom seeking college kids in the streets of Teheran are our “good guys.” All evidence must conform to that identification. Any evidence that supports some of the claims of those to which our hearts have peremptorily closed — the “bad guys” — dismiss it off hand. Don’t even speak it. Shoo that little fly of fact. Don’t bother me with a tickle of truth that might disturb my sleeping BS sniffer when propaganda spills out of “good guy” mouths.
Once we have emotional investment in our underdogs never being wrong or doing wrong, things that Friedman lists below in his skeptical inquiry of Mousavi supporter calls of Ayatollah managed voter fraud can feel as hard to take as pealing one’s skin. Case in point: a question that undermines the blind faith carried by the media for all involved in Mousavi’s green-clad revolution and its brave demonstrators.
What if the Iranian presidential election was for the most part fair and Ahmadinejad actually did have grounds to say his landslide victory was legitimate.
Yes, yes, I know the regime sucks. Ahmadinejad major sucks. But let’s be frank. The hundreds of thousands of voting students and twitterers are illuminated in evidence of their own “tweets” logged before and during the 12 June elections prove they signed up to vote according to the system the regime structured for the elections. These kids know what the regime is. They participated in that establishment. Casting a ballot is casting their support for the legal totalitarian system that would check for any voter fraud.
A massive emotive investment of the moderates was fed excitement by a cell phone poll anticipating a Mousavi landslide in a country where the vast majority of voters do not have cell phones. The twitter voters collectively wanted to win and no reality or fact would dissuade this almost religiously blind desire — a desire mind you that is as blindly zealous as that veiling the reason of Iranian Revolutionary Guards in their worldview as they now answer with their bullets and clubs and knocks on the door in the middle of the night.
Ahmadinejad is a jerk. A jerk that “won.”
Yes, “God is great” as the famous Muslim call proclaims, but sometimes God appears unfair. Talk to the Al Gore supporters in 2000. Review your disbelief in 2004, you American voters blinded by the great John Kerry hope. America’s Ahmadinejad won his second term too.
The mass emotional expectation of Iranian Mousavi supporters worked up to a hysteria of hope. Suddenly, arch conservative Mousavi had his political aura painted in liberal tones as some kind of “Iranian Obama.” The iconic projections in the end did not match the voting results, after which the mob-twittered psychology soon advanced from one level of hysteria to the next. Voter fraud! Had to be. No time to check that. No desire either. I don’t actually “know” it. I only need to “believe” there was fraud, because I can’t face any other possibility. Not possible Ahmadinejad could beat our guy.
Denial of the possibility escalated to blind rejection. That’s how the coming 36 years of Yin-emotional times can be. Passions rise into mass hysteria. Individuals forget themselves and are carried off from being just voters accepting the system they have, to members of a mob crying “Death to the Regime!” or “Death to Ayatollah Khamenei!”
Sorry to say it, that’s smash-mouth talk. Gets an equally irrational reaction fast. Here come the Iranian rednecks. Defenders of the fundamentalist-leaning majority population’s will: duped or willing to be duped. It takes no Nostradamus to tell you good people what a world of bad will come down on your heads when pure irrational passion carries you in a week from disgruntled voter to denouncer of your irrationally dictatorial, theocratic state.
Moreover, the worst thing may be, you Mousavi supporters got this far out on a sentimental limb by mistake.
Here is STRATFOR’s Green Revolution disturbing report:
Winning the Election With or Without Fraud
We continue to believe two things: that vote fraud occurred, and that Ahmadinejad likely would have won without it. Very little direct evidence has emerged to establish vote fraud, but several things seem suspect.
For example, the speed of the vote count has been taken as a sign of fraud, as it should have been impossible to count votes that fast. The polls originally were to have closed at 7 p.m. local time, but voting hours were extended until 10 p.m. because of the number of voters in line. By 11:45 p.m. about 20 percent of the vote had been counted. By 5:20 a.m. the next day, with almost all votes counted, the election commission declared Ahmadinejad the winner. The vote count thus took about seven hours. (Remember there were no senators, congressmen, city council members or school board members being counted — just the presidential race.) Intriguingly, this is about the same time in took in 2005, though reformists that claimed fraud back then did not stress the counting time in their allegations.
The counting mechanism is simple: Iran has 47,000 voting stations, plus 14,000 roaming stations that travel from tiny village to tiny village, staying there for a short time before moving on. That creates 61,000 ballot boxes designed to receive roughly the same number of votes. That would mean that each station would have been counting about 500 ballots, or about 70 votes per hour. With counting beginning at 10 p.m., concluding seven hours later does not necessarily indicate fraud or anything else. The Iranian presidential election system is designed for simplicity: one race to count in one time zone, and all counting beginning at the same time in all regions, we would expect the numbers to come in a somewhat linear fashion as rural and urban voting patterns would balance each other out — explaining why voting percentages didn’t change much during the night.
It has been pointed out that some of the candidates didn’t even carry their own provinces or districts. We remember that Al Gore didn’t carry Tennessee in 2000. We also remember Ralph Nader, who also didn’t carry his home precinct in part because people didn’t want to spend their vote on someone unlikely to win — an effect probably felt by the two smaller candidates in the Iranian election.
That Mousavi didn’t carry his own province is more interesting. Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett writing in Politico make some interesting points on this. As an ethnic Azeri, it was assumed that Mousavi would carry his Azeri-named and -dominated home province. But they also point out that Ahmadinejad also speaks Azeri, and made multiple campaign appearances in the district. They also point out that Khamenei is Azeri. In sum, winning that district was by no means certain for Mousavi, so losing it does not automatically signal fraud. It raised suspicions, but by no means was a smoking gun.
We do not doubt that fraud occurred during Iranian election. For example, 99.4 percent of potential voters voted in Mazandaran province, a mostly secular area home to the shah’s family. Ahmadinejad carried the province by a 2.2 to 1 ratio. That is one heck of a turnout and level of support for a province that lost everything when the mullahs took over 30 years ago. But even if you take all of the suspect cases and added them together, it would not have changed the outcome. The fact is that Ahmadinejad’s vote in 2009 was extremely close to his victory percentage in 2005. And while the Western media portrayed Ahmadinejad’s performance in the presidential debates ahead of the election as dismal, embarrassing and indicative of an imminent electoral defeat, many Iranians who viewed those debates — including some of the most hardcore Mousavi supporters — acknowledge that Ahmadinejad outperformed his opponents by a landslide.
A thing popularly and passionately assumed or projected as true must eventually stand the test of time and events. If some massive voting fraud had taken place, as did happen in Ukraine in its national elections, would not Mousavi’s Green Revolution had rapidly escalated to something similar to Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution” from late November 2004 to January 2005? Where are the twitters and cell phone shots in Iran of army, police, rich, working class and poo, stopping the country cold, gathering in their hundreds of thousands blocking all government buildings, bringing government to a standstill until their voter complaints are addressed? What is “Orange” about this “Green” revolution? Not much, as STRATOR’s intelligence writer, Friedman, writes:
Mousavi persuasively detailed his fraud claims Sunday [21 June], and they have yet to be rebutted. But if his claims of the extent of fraud were true, the protests should have spread rapidly by social segment and geography to the millions of people who even the central government asserts voted for him. Certainly, Mousavi supporters believed they would win the election based in part on highly flawed polls, and when they didn’t, they assumed they were robbed and took to the streets.
But critically, the protesters were not joined by any of the millions whose votes the protesters alleged were stolen. In a complete hijacking of the election by some 13 million votes by an extremely unpopular candidate, we would have expected to see the core of Mousavi’s supporters joined by others who had been disenfranchised. On last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, when the demonstrations were at their height, the millions of Mousavi voters should have made their appearance. They didn’t. We might assume that the security apparatus intimidated some, but surely more than just the Tehran professional and student classes posses civic courage. While appearing large, the demonstrations actually comprised a small fraction of society.
Eight days after the Supreme Ayatollah called on the protesters to stand down or face dire consequences, the Green Revolution in Teheran streets is collapsing. Yet, blind emotions cannot, for the sake of TV ratings in America, let the failure go. CNN props up the same set of Mousavi sympathizers in America — sympathizers like me, actually, but unlike me, ever believing in their projections and aided by the corporate newsy anchors who never question their sources. One of this propagandists-in expert’s pose said the movement is not suppressed but “moving into a new phase” as if this chaotic phenomenon had a leader or a leadership to command it. Expert blind faith ignores the brutal fact that every protester now is chased by on average three policemen or Bashiri zealots with guns or riot sticks.
Does the CNN Kyra Philips ask this “expert” how he knows? Does she even ask him if he is projecting what he wants to believe?
Don’t go there. Bad for ratings in these emotion manipulating times.
(13 July 2009)