Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Now, the guy speaking is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson aka "the Rebbe", one of the most influential rabbis among the Hassidim/Haredim Orthodox Jews i.e, the folks who are getting more and more power and influence in Israel. So strong is the cult of this "rebbe" that many of his followers actually consider him to be God. To get a sense of the worldview of this "rebbe" it is important to check out his own words. Like these:
Q: What is the primary mission for our generation to accomplish?
A: The main avodah of this generation is to go out to the final war of the golus, to conquer and to purify all the gentile countries.
The word "avodah" means "serving God" while "golus" refers to the exile of the Jews. So translated into plain English, here is what the "rebbe" says:
The main way to serve God is to go out to the final war of the Jewish exile, to conquer and to purify all the gentile countries
As an aside, I would note that the US Congress bestowed (posthumously) the Congressional Gold Medal on this crackpot. The bill was passed by unanimous consent of both houses! Even better, Jimmy Carter made the "rebbe's" birthday the official "Educationa and Sharing" Day (no wonder US schools produce semi-literate morons by the millions...).
Anyway, notice the key moment in the video: Shneerson clearly says that the (presumably) secular rulers of Israel made him the promise never to negotiate about land. So this entire "Land for Peace" was clearly a canard from day 1 (the interview was made at the time Shamir was Prime Minister).
Bottom line: Israel is a self-declared racist state run by messianic crazies.
Not exactly big news, but one more confirmation of the fact.
Notice the syllogistic logic he uses: in Iran people are not allowed to carry guns, cops are always in uniform, therefore the person who shot Neda was not a civilian nor a cop, he therefore must have been a Basij.
Also - no sniper on rooftops, no bikers in this account. Only people in a traffic jam and suddenly one single shot.
Finally, while he is clearly upset about her death and about the government's lack of proper investigation, he does not mention by a single word the reports about the "Basij" being caught by bystanders and having his ID card photographed before being actually *released* and allowed to go away. Now, if it had been my fiance shot and if her killer had been first apprehended, identified and then released, I would have been quite outraged not only at the government for failing to investigate, but even more so at the crowd for suddenly and inexplicably having let the killer go.
Again - I do not know what happened that day, but I can only repeat here that basic common sense should show anybody not blinded by ideological prejudice that the official story has been changed many times already and that none of the accounts so far make any sense whatsoever.
Monday, June 29, 2009
President Zelaya of Honduras has just been kidnapped
[Note: As of 11:15am, Caracas time, President Zelaya is speaking live on Telesur from San Jose, Costa Rica. He has verified the soldiers entered his residence in the early morning hours, firing guns and threatening to kill him and his family if he resisted the coup. He was forced to go with the soldiers who took him to the air base and flew him to Costa Rica. He has requested the U.S. Government make a public statement condemning the coup, otherwise, it will indicate their compliance.]
Caracas, Venezuela - The text message that beeped on my cell phone this morning read “Alert, Zelaya has been kidnapped, coup d’etat underway in Honduras, spread the word.” It’s a rude awakening for a Sunday morning, especially for the millions of Hondurans that were preparing to exercise their sacred right to vote today for the first time on a consultative referendum concerning the future convening of a constitutional assembly to reform the constitution. Supposedly at the center of the controversary is today’s scheduled referendum, which is not a binding vote but merely an opinion poll to determine whether or not a majority of Hondurans desire to eventually enter into a process to modify their constitution.
Such an initiative has never taken place in the Central American nation, which has a very limited constitution that allows minimal participation by the people of Honduras in their political processes. The current constitution, written in 1982 during the height of the Reagan Administration’s dirty war in Central America, was designed to ensure those in power, both economic and political, would retain it with little interference from the people. Zelaya, elected in November 2005 on the platform of Honduras’ Liberal Party, had proposed the opinion poll be conducted to determine if a majority of citizens agreed that constitutional reform was necessary. He was backed by a majority of labor unions and social movements in the country. If the poll had occured, depending on the results, a referendum would have been conducted during the upcoming elections in November to vote on convening a constitutional assembly. Nevertheless, today’s scheduled poll was not binding by law.
In fact, several days before the poll was to occur, Honduras’ Supreme Court ruled it illegal, upon request by the Congress, both of which are led by anti-Zelaya majorities and members of the ultra-conservative party, National Party of Honduras (PNH). This move led to massive protests in the streets in favor of President Zelaya. On June 24, the president fired the head of the high military command, General Romeo Vásquez, after he refused to allow the military to distribute the electoral material for Sunday’s elections. General Romeo Vásquez held the material under tight military control, refusing to release it even to the president’s followers, stating that the scheduled referendum had been determined illegal by the Supreme Court and therefore he could not comply with the president’s order. As in the Unted States, the president of Honduras is Commander in Chief and has the final say on the military’s actions, and so he ordered the General’s removal. The Minister of Defense, Angel Edmundo Orellana, also resigned in response to this increasingly tense situation.
But the following day, Honduras’ Supreme Court reinstated General Romeo Vásquez to the high military command, ruling his firing as “unconstitutional’. Thousands poured into the streets of Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa, showing support for President Zelaya and evidencing their determination to ensure Sunday’s non-binding referendum would take place. On Friday, the president and a group of hundreds of supporters, marched to the nearby air base to collect the electoral material that had been previously held by the military. That evening, Zelaya gave a national press conference along with a group of politicians from different political parties and social movements, calling for unity and peace in the country.
As of Saturday, the situation in Honduras was reported as calm. But early Sunday morning, a group of approximately 60 armed soldiers entered the presidential residence and took Zelaya hostage. After several hours of confusion, reports surfaced claiming the president had been taken to a nearby air force base and flown to neighboring Costa Rica. No images have been seen of the president so far and it is unknown whether or not his life is still endangered.
President Zelaya’s wife, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, speaking live on Telesur at approximately 10:00am Caracas time, denounced that in early hours of Sunday morning, the soldiers stormed their residence, firing shots throughout the house, beating and then taking the president. “It was an act of cowardness”, said the first lady, referring to the illegal kidnapping occuring during a time when no one would know or react until it was all over. Casto de Zelaya also called for the “preservation” of her husband’s life, indicating that she herself is unaware of his whereabouts. She claimed their lives are all still in “serious danger” and made a call for the international community to denounce this illegal coup d’etat and to act rapidly to reinstate constitutional order in the country, which includes the rescue and return of the democratically elected Zelaya.
Presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela have both made public statements on Sunday morning condeming the coup d’etat in Honduras and calling on the international community to react to ensure democracy is restored and the constitutional president is reinstated. Last Wednesday, June 24, an extraordinary meeting of the member nations of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), of which Honduras is a member, was convened in Venezuela to welcome Ecuador, Antigua & Barbados and St. Vincent to its ranks. During the meeting, which was attended by Honduras’ Foreign Minister, Patricia Rodas, a statement was read supporting President Zelaya and condenming any attempts to undermine his mandate and Honduras’ democratic processes.
Reports coming out of Honduras have informed that the public television channel, Canal 8, has been shut down by the coup forces. Just minutes ago, Telesur announced that the military in Honduras is shutting down all electricity throughout the country. Those television and radio stations still transmitting are not reporting the coup d’etat or the kidnapping of President Zelaya, according to Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas. “Telephones and electricity are being cut off”, confirmed Rodas just minutes ago via Telesur. “The media are showing cartoons and soap operas and are not informing the people of Honduras about what is happening”. The situation is eerily reminiscent of the April 2002 coup d’etat against President Chávez in Venezuela, when the media played a key role by first manipulating information to support the coup and then later blacking out all information when the people began protesting and eventually overcame and defeated the coup forces, rescuing Chávez (who had also been kidnapped by the military) and restoring constitutional order.
Honduras is a nation that has been the victim of dictatorships and massive U.S. intervention during the past century, including several military invasions. The last major U.S. government intervention in Honduras occured during the 1980s, when the Reagain Administration funded death squads and paramilitaries to eliminate any potential “communist threats” in Central America. At the time, John Negroponte, was the U.S. Ambassador in Honduras and was responsible for directly funding and training Honduran death squads that were responsable for thousands of disappeared and assassinated throughout the region.
On Friday, the Organization of American States (OAS), convened a special meeting to discuss the crisis in Honduras, later issuing a statement condeming the threats to democracy and authorizing a convoy of representatives to travel to OAS to investigate further. Nevertheless, on Friday, Assistant Secretary of State of the United States, Phillip J. Crowley, refused to clarify the U.S. government’s position in reference to the potential coup against President Zelaya, and instead issued a more ambiguous statement that implied Washington’s support for the opposition to the Honduran president. While most other Latin American governments had clearly indicated their adamant condemnation of the coup plans underway in Honduras and their solid support for Honduras’ constitutionally elected president, Manual Zelaya, the U.S. spokesman stated the following, “We are concerned about the breakdown in the political dialogue among Honduran politicians over the proposed June 28 poll on constitutional reform. We urge all sides to seek a consensual democratic resolution in the current political impasse that adheres to the Honduran constitution and to Honduran laws consistent with the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.”
As of 10:30am, Sunday morning, no further statements have been issued by the Washington concerning the military coup in Honduras. The Central American nation is highly dependent on the U.S. economy, which ensures one of its top sources of income, the monies sent from Hondurans working in the U.S. under the “temporary protected status” program that was implemented during Washington’s dirty war in the 1980s as a result of massive immigration to U.S. territory to escape the war zone. Another major source of funding in Honduras is USAID, providing over US$ 50 millon annually for “democracy promotion” programs, which generally supports NGOs and political parties favorable to U.S. interests, as has been the case in Venezuela, Bolivia and other nations in the region. The Pentagon also maintains a military base in Honduras in Soto Cano, equipped with approximately 500 troops and numerous air force combat planes and helicopters.
Foreign Minister Rodas has stated that she has repeatedly tried to make contact with the U.S. Ambassador in Honduras, Hugo Llorens, who has not responded to any of her calls thus far. The modus operandi of the coup makes clear that Washington is involved. Neither the Honduran military, which is majority trained by U.S. forces, nor the political and economic elite, would act to oust a democratically elected president without the backing and support of the U.S. government. President Zelaya has increasingly come under attack by the conservative forces in Honduras for his growing relationship with the ALBA countries, and particularly Venezuela and President Chávez. Many believe the coup has been executed as a method of ensuring Honduras does not continue to unify with the more leftist and socialist countries in Latin America.
Eva Golinger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
There are two stories which I am very interested in:
The first one is the story of the "Basij thug sniper on the roof who is not on the roof but on a motorbike who is not a sniper after all but who was shooting with a small caliber handgun". It is quite possible that the government is trying to cover up something here and is lying about this small caliber handgun thing, but I very much doubt this. They are, after all, raising the issue of Neda's murder at a time when this issue is quietly running out of steam. Then, a *small caliber* shot to the heart is something which is typical of a professional assassination. A small caliber is easy to hide, is quiet, very accurate and does the job very well, but only in the hands of a highly trained shooter. This story deserves all the scrutiny it can get. (did I mention that small caliber handgun is a favorite Mossad assassination weapon?).
The second story I am interested in is the story of the "fake Basij" recently arrested. Same disclaimer as above - could be just spin and damage control by the government. My questions here are: have the Basij deployed in Tehran been given weapons or not? That should be easy to verify. Second, has the local press revealed anything about the identities of the arrested individuals?
In particular, I ask those among you who either speak Farsi or have contacts in Iran to please help me and get me as many details as possible.
We *know* that Neda was NOT demonstrating. All sources agree about that. We also know that she was NOT close to any demonstrations. All sources agree about that too. We also know that the images of her wearing green (the color of this "color coded revolution" have been doctored (that has been admitted by all sources too). But none of that is a "smoking gun" (literally). But if we could only get a confirmation that what killed her was a small handgun round we would have an absolute certitude that this is a false flag assassination.
I ask you to please make a real effort, use all your contacts, to try to establish what the autopsy report on her death said.
Needless to say, the corporate press and the Left-leaning free press will now hush up this story. Considering how much indignation and outrage (not to mention how little cool logic) they put into Neda's death, I don't expect anybody to come up with a mea culpa. So the ONLY chance to find out is, I believe, the local press in Tehran (either paper or on the Fari Internet). I don't understand Farsi and I don't have personal contact in Iran.
Bottom line: I really need help here.
Many thanks in advance,
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has asked the Judiciary chief to conduct a through investigation into the death of Neda Aqa-Soltan, an Iranian woman who was shot dead in Tehran's post-vote protests.
In a letter to Iran's Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi on Monday, Ahmadinejad called for a serious probe into the "suspicious" death of Neda and recognizing elements behind her killing.
"Neda Aqa-Soltan was shot dead in one of Tehran's streets on June 20 by unknown elements in a completely suspicious way," said the president.
"Amid vast propaganda by foreign media and many other evidence about the heartfelt event, it seems definite that opponents of the Iranian nation interfere (in Iran's internal affairs) for their political misuse," he added.
Neda, 26, became a symbol of post-election street rallies in Iran and an international icon in recent days after graphic videos of her death grabbed the attention of world media outlets.
Her death first became suspicious after revelations that she was killed by a small caliber pistol -- a weapon that is not used by Iranian security forces.
Note: I suppose now we have heard it all. First, we were told that Neda was killed by a "Basij thug" sniper "hiding on a rooftop". Then that she was killed by a "Basij thug" "sniper on a motorbike". And now we are told that she died from a small caliber pistol (no doubt fired by a "Basij thug"). Except that a small caliber pistol cannot be fired accurately at ranges over 50 meters max. If this really was a pistol shot, then the entire "Basij thug" thing is collapsing and what we are left with it a typical false flag operation. More details about the rather strange circumstances of her death can be found here.
The Central Intelligence Agency crucified a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to a report published in The New Yorker magazine.
“A forensic examiner found that he (the prisoner) had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs,” the magazine’s Jane Mayer writes in the magazine’s June 22nd issue. “Military pathologists classified the case a homicide.” The date of the murder was not given.
“No criminal charges have ever been brought against any C.I.A. officer involved in the torture program, despite the fact that at least three prisoners interrogated by agency personnel died as a result of mistreatment,” Mayer notes.
An earlier report, by John Hendren in The Los Angeles Times, indicated other torture killings. And Human Rights First says nearly 100 detainees have died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hendren reported that one Manadel Jamadi died “of blunt-force injuries” complicated by “compromised respiration” at Abu Ghraib prison “while he was with Navy SEALs and other special operations troops.” Another victim, Abdul Jaleel, died while gagged and shackled to a cell door with his hands over his head.” Yet another prisoner, Maj. Gen. Abid Mowhosh, former commander of Iraq’s air defenses, “died of asphyxiation due to smothering and chest compression” in Qaim, Iraq.
"There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths," says Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU. "High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable. America must stop putting its head in the sand and deal with the torture scandal." At least scores of detainees in U.S. custody have died and homicide is suspected. As far back as May, 2004, the Pentagon conceded at least 37 deaths of prisoners in its custody in Iraq and Afghanistan had prompted investigations.
Nathaniel Raymond, of Physicians for Human Rights, told The New Yorker, “We still don’t know how many detainees were in the black sites, or who they were. We don’t fully know the White House’s role, or the C.I.A.’s role. We need a full accounting, especially as it relates to health professionals.”
Recently released Justice memos, he noted, contain numerous references to CIA medical personnel participating in coercive interrogation sessions. “They were the designers, the legitimizers, and the implementers,” Raymond said. “This is arguably the single greatest medical-ethics scandal in American history. We need answers.”
The ACLU obtained its information from the Pentagon through a Freedom of Information suit. Documents received included 44 autopsies and death reports as well as a summary of autopsy reports of people seized in Iraq and Afghanistan. An ACLU statement noted, "This covers just a fraction of the total number of Iraqis and Afghanis who have died while in U.S. custody." (Italics added).
Torture by the CIA has been facilitated by the Agency’s ability to hide prisoners in “black sites” kept secret from the Red Cross, to hold prisoners off the books, and to detain them for years without bringing charges or providing them with lawyers.
Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, denounced the Obama administration for considering “prevention detention,” The New Yorker’s Mayer wrote. Roth said this tactic “mimics the Bush Administration’s abusive approach.”
From all indications, CIA Director Panetta has no intention of bringing to justice CIA officials involved in the systematic torture of prisoners. Panetta told Mayer, “I’m going to give people the benefit of the doubt…If they do the job that they’re paid to do, I can’t ask for a hell of a lot more.”
Such sentiments differ markedly from those Panetta wrote in an article published last year in the January Washington Monthly: “We either believe in the dignity of the individual, the rule of law, and the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, or we don’t. There is no middle ground.”
One way to discern who really runs a country is to look to see which individuals, if any, are above the law. In the Obama administration, like its predecessors, they include the employees of the CIA. Crucifixions they execute in the Middle East differ from those reported in the New Testament in at least one important respect: Jesus Christ had a trial.
28 June 2009(Sherwood Ross formerly reported for major dailies and wire services. To contact him or contribute to his Anti-War News Service: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Israeli authorities have threatened to demolish 500 buildings owned by the churches in the Old City of Jerusalem (al-Quds), church officials say.
The Greek Orthodox and Catholic churches in Jerusalem (al-Quds) released a joint statement on Saturday complaining that Israeli forces have recently stepped up demolitions in accordance with the Municipality's E1 plan for the city.
It further said that with this articulate detailed plan, the Israeli authorities are pushing out the Palestinian Christian and Muslim populations, while simultaneously increasing the construction of 'Jewish-only' homes.
The church buildings are mainly homes owned by the church and leased to Palestinian Christian priests, nuns and their families.
Israeli authorities claim that the affected buildings were renovated without permits, but failed to acknowledge the lack of an authorization process for the Church to obtain the necessary permits.
Church officials said that the demolition orders were questionable. In one case, a demolition order states a 50-square meter apartment as an 'addition' to the home, while the entire home is a 50-square meter apartment.
They said that although they have asked the Israeli officials to investigate the violation, they have thus far refused.
In another case, they were seeking a permit for minor renovations for a home, but the Israeli officials said that "it is a waste of your time. Do not dream of receiving any permit."
Dozens, if not hundreds, of church-owned buildings were seized by Israeli forces during the 1948 occupation of Palestine and during the 1967 Six-Day War for the creation of Israel.
These buildings were taken over by the Jewish National Fund, which owns more than 90 percent of the land inside the occupied territories, and has rented them to Jews who immigrated to Israel.
The demolition plan falls under Israel's policy of changing the demographic feature of Jerusalem (al-Quds), seeking to turn the third-holiest Islamic city into a "Jew only" region.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Different elements raised DOUBTS about the recent Elections of Iran (2009). Let us analyze them one by one.
Objection 1: How it is possible that some Areas got more than 100% Votes?
This is "The Biggest" proof which is presented in order to blame these elections to be rigged.
Iranian Government confirmed it and then made it clear the reasons why some areas could have more votes than 100%. Unfortunately Western Media all together neglected this clarification and put false words in Iranian Government's mouth that it accepts the rigging of 3 million votes. This is absolutely a lie and disinformation by Western Media. Iranian Government never said that it is Rigging, but it gave the valid Facts and Reasons for this phenomenon.
Let us leave these Satanic Propaganda tactics of West, and let us concentrate on the reality. Following are the Valid Facts why some areas could have more turnout than 100% Voters:
1. Even according to Western Media, the total turnout in these elections was 85% countrywide.
2. Iranian Presidential Elections are not held on "Area" bases.
Any voter could vote any where in the country, and it is not obligatory for him to go back to his "Registered Town" in order to cast the vote.
3. There were two reasons of presence of over 100% Voters in few Areas. Firstly due to Summer, and secondly due to week-end many people (/Tourists) went to resorts which are mainly situated near Caspian See (and these were mostly the areas where turnout was more than 100%)
4. Please also note that in some of these Areas (with more than 100% turnout), Mr. Mussavi got the majority votes.
5. Please also note that parts of Population from "Undeveloped Areas" migrate to "Developed Areas" for jobs and earnings. So, although they stay in Areas where they do their jobs but they are not registered there but in their home towns.
Therefore, let us use two terms (1st) Local Population, which is registered in that respective town (2nd) Non-Local Population, which is not registered in that respective town.
6. What does 85% turnout means? It is an "Average" of total votes casted countrywide.
It means that in some Areas "Local Population" casted 60-70% Votes (less than 85%), while in other Areas "local Population" casted 90-95% votes (more than 85%)
Now let us consider those Areas where "Local Population" casted 90-95% votes. Now add in it the numbers of "Tourists" and "Non-Local Population" which stay there for jobs and earnings. This simply shows there is nothing to wonder if turnout was more than 100% in some Areas.
7. You remember that at the end of election time, there was a lack of Ballot Papers at some places. It means numbers of voters came to cast their votes on that day was almost equal or more than the registered voters in that area. Voting times had to be extended 4 times in some areas.
8. In Elections of 2005, the turn out was only 59.6%. Even then in Areas of "Zorgan" and "Morv" turn out was more than 100% in last elections.
9. Iranian Government offered the other Candidates for recount of 10% Ballot boxes. It means there could be recounting in all these 50 alleged areas where claims are being made of rigging due to the fact of more than 100% voting.
10. Even much more to this that first time in last 30 years Iranian Government issued the complete list of number of vote per box after which opponents are left with no lame excuse for going for Road Politics. [Link].
Objection 2: It is impossible for Ahmadi Nejad to get 24.5 Million Votes
This propaganda is done by some of "Western Professors". They claim themselves to be experts of examining election results on bases of scientific methods. One such professor is Dr.Walter R. Mebane who prepared the following data on bases of his Scientific Voting Techniques and claimed that it is impossible for Ahmadi Nejad to get 24.5 Million Votes.
With respect to Dr. Walter and other Western Professors, let us bring down the things from "Mathematical Equations" to "Real Ground Realities". And this ground Reality says there is absolutely no problem in Ahmadi Nejad's getting 24.5 million votes.
The best way of getting answer to this question is to look at the results of Elections of 2005. Following Table is taken from wikipedia.
The present Elections of Iran resembles very much to the 2nd Round Eelctions of 2005 while right from first day it was clear that real competition was only between Ahmadi Nejad and Mussovi. From 2nd round elections of 2005, it becomes clear that:
1. Ahmadi Nejad got 17.3 million Votes in last elections [While Mussave has got only 13.3 million votes in present elections]. Here you could see for yourself who could be the possible winner.
Note: Last elections of 2005 were conducted under the reformist government of Khatami and Ahmadi Nejad got no power to do any type of rigging, but still he got 17.3 million votes.
2. The turn out in last elections was only 59.6%. But despit this low turn out Ahmadi Nejad got 17.3 million votes. In present Elections, the turn out is huge 85%. This means that it is 25.4% more turn out in present elections.
Therefore, if we add 25.4% to 17.3 million votes of Ahmadi Nejad, then it gives us the figure of 24.6 million votes (and this is the same number approx. which Ahmadi Nejad got on the field in present elections)
3. People of Iran knew Ahmadi Nejad & his Policies much better in these elections as compared to last elections. Now question is how does it effect the votes? In order to get answer to this, let us once again look at the last elections of 2005.
In first round elections of 2005, people knew very less of Ahmadi Nejad and his Politices. So in first round he got only 19.4% Votes (i.e. 5.7 million votes only). But till 2nd round things changed and People knew Ahmadi Nejad and his Policies better and therefore we saw a huge jump in his support and it raised to 61.7% votes in comparison to 19.4% (i.e. 17.3 million votes as compared to 5.7 million votes).
4. So, situation is this that after 4 years of government of Ahmadi Nejad, people saw how much Ahmadi Nejad did for the poor people of Iran and how his policies directly benefited them. We are not going in details of his work in this area, but simply due to policies of Ahmadi Nejad and his simple way of living, he got not only votes from religious people, but also from the poor classes of Iranian people.
So, there is nothing to doubt if Ahmadi Nejad got 24.5 million votes in present elections.
Objection 3: Pre-Election Surveys showed that Ahmadi Nejad was not leading the race
This objection is not true. Even the foreign neutral pre-election surveys showed that Ahmadi Nejad was leading the race with 2 to 1. Let us quote briefly from Washington Post, which writes:
The election results in Iran may reflect the will of the Iranian people. Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but our nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin -- greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday's election.You could read whole article where they are presenting their DATA based on scientific sampling from across all 30 of Iran's provinces (i.e. not only Tehran). It should be an eye-opener to those who still blame these elections to be rigged and for fraud.
Objection 4: Mr. Mussavi submitted a List of Pre-Election complaints
This is a funny objection.
A counter question to Mr. Mussavi: "Why didn't he object upon these pre-election irregularities before Elections? Instead of objecting and presenting these complaints before elections, he actually claimed victory only after one hour of closure of voting. And afterwards within few hours (even before ending of official counting and results) he directly called his followers to "Stage Resistance".
Upon complaint of Mr. Mussavi, the Iranian Guardian Council Authorities launched the investigations and after complete investigations they say:
“After 10 days of examination, we did not see any major irregularities,” Guardians Council spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodai told the state IRNA news agency, rejecting opposition allegations that have brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets. “We have had no fraud in any presidential election and this one was the cleanest election we have had. I can say with certainty that there was no fraud in this election.”Fact is depites so much crying from Mr. Mussavi & Western Media, they are still unable to bring even a single reliable proof of any type of Rigging.
Actually, they themselves know it very well that Ahmadi Nejad has won with such huge difference that there is absolutely no DOUBTS in his victory. Please also note that:
- Mr. Mousavi got almost minimum of 2 representative at more than 95 percent of all the centers.
- At each center, 14 observers including the candidate's observers oversaw the entire process, including inspection of empty boxes at the outset and their sealing at the end, with four locks, and then all signed a certificate of proper election, i.e., Mousavi's own men have certified the clean process.
Objection 5: Elections were fraud while Results were started to be announced after only few hours
Please note that the official final results were announced at 4 pm the next day, 16 hours after the closure of voting. Nevertheless, it was true that results started coming just few hours after the closing of voting. But does it really constitute a proof of Rigging?
There were a total of 45,713 ballot boxes that were set up in cities, towns and villages across Iran. With 39.2 million ballots cast, there were less than 860 ballots per box. Why would it take more than an two to three hours to count 860 ballots per poll? After the count, the results were then reported electronically to the Ministry of the Interior in Tehran.
Objection 6: Ballots ran out at some places and not every one got the chance to vote
This is again misleading objection.
There was huge turn out and it's "Average" was 85%. This means in some areas there were 70-80% votes (less than 85%) and in some areas 90-95% Votes from Local Population. And while Non-Local Population was also allowed to vote anywhere in any polling center, therefore at some centers turn out was over 100%. This is the main reason of running out of ballots. So, the educated West could now please tell us how it constitute Rigging? It may be termed as not sufficient measures for preparation of elections, but certainly not as Rigging.
Secondly, even if all the people who did not vote, had actually voted for Mousavi (a virtual impossibility), that would be 6.93 million additional votes, much less than the 11 million vote difference between the top two candidates.
Objection 7: How Ahmadi Nejad did well in Sunni Areas?
It is a misconception that there are any kind of Shia/Sunni problems in Iran. It is only Saudi backed Wahabi Media which normally propagate such disinformation. There is only minor problems along border of Pakistan, while in remaining whole Iran Ahle-Sunnah have very brotherly ties with their Shia brethern.
Let me quote once again from the poll carried out by a western news organization. It was jointly commissioned by the BBC and ABC News, and conducted by an independent entity called the Center for Public Opinion (CPO) of the New America Foundation. (This is same report of Survey which has been mentioned above by Wahsington Post and which predicted 89% voters turnout in recent elections and 2:1 lead for Ahamadi Nejad). On Issue of Shia/Sunni in Iran, it's survey says [LINK]:
Iranian Shiite Muslims Think Favorably of Sunni Muslims,Objection 8: About Azeri Province and Tehran
Christians, Americans and others
... For Iranian citizens of the Islamic Republic, 87 percent of who in our survey
identified themselves as Shiite, views of both Sunni Muslims and Christians were
overwhelmingly favorable—with only 8 percent voicing an unfavorable view of
Sunnis and 11 percent of Christians. (Opinions on Jews were divided, though
more are favorable than unfavorable.)
Indeed, Iranian views of Sunnis and Christians, as well as non-Iranians generally,
are quite accepting—more so than the corresponding views of their neighbors,
such as in Saudi Arabia, according to our TFT survey there.
Iranians clearly distinguish between countries and policies they do not like (US
and Israel), and people they do like (Christians, Americans, Arabs, Sunni
Muslims and Jews). Iranians are favorable to Christians by a 6:1 margin, Sunni
Muslims by a 9:1 margin, Americans by a 2:1 margin and Jews by a 5:4 margin.
In fact, Iranians are as favorable to Americans as they are to their Arab
neighbors. The high favorability of Sunni Muslims among Iranians (higher than
for Arabs generally) demonstrates that Shiite/Sunni issues are not the primary
force driving a wedge between Iranians and their Arab neighbors.
Rigging is also claimed while Ahmadi Nejad got more Azeri Votes than Mussavi. This is not strange while Irani-Azeries is a very religious soceity and religion plays more role here than race. Secondly Ahmadi Nejad lived in this province for several years, worked hard, got good relations with Top people there and could also speak the Turkish-Azeri language without any problem. And he ran a very good election compaign here. Contrar to Ahmadi Nejad, his rival Mr. Mussavi has not been to these areas for a long long time and ran his election compaign poorly.
Another fantasy theory is how Ahmadi Nejad got more votes than Mr. Mussavi in Tehran. It is not complete truth. Mr. Mussave actually won the elections in main Tehran City. But there are poor neighbourhoods around Tehran and here Ahmadi Nejad got huge majority of votes.
There is not a single "Hard Proof" of any rigging in elections. All the proofs that have been presented, they are based only and only upon "Conjecture Theories". Opponents & Western Media trying it's best to encourage the unrests and Civil War in Iran by doing a lot of biased coverage and neglecting the realities. They want Iranian poeple to solve their differences on the roads instead of sitting down on the Table and look at things rationally on bases of ground realities.
Friday, June 26, 2009
The more I look at what is happening in Iran, the more I see striking parallels with another war which I had the opportunity to follow, day by day, minute by minute (I was, at the time, a military analyst).
The Serbs in Bosnia were extremely confident that neither the USA nor Europe had the guts to fight them on their own turf. They also could count, or so they thought, on the help of their fellow Serbs from Serbia (Yugoslav Federal Forces). They new that the Bosnian Muslims had a numerical advantage over them, but the counted on their superiority in artillery to offset that disadvantage. The Serbs, who during WWII had successfully resisted against the combined forces of the German Nazis, Croat Ustashe and Bosnian Muslim SS just did not feel really threatened, least of all by the dispersed forces of UNPROFOR. But they did not count with the sophistication of the Empire who, instead of stupidly sending its jarheads into Bosnia, attacked the Serbs with a multi-dimensional strategy.
First, the Serbs were very successfully demonized. The word "Serb" soon began evoking images of concentration camps, torture, rape, executions, baby shooting snipers, etc. A number of false-flag attacks were staged, including at the Markale market in Sarajevo. Any information which deviated from the official line (such as the report of UNPROFOR intelligence section in Sarajevo which concluded that the Serbian forces could not have fired a mortar into that market) was immediately thrown down the memory hole.
Second, pressure was put to essentially co-opt Milosevic. That was done in a very low key, but the basic idea was that he would be allowed to remain in power in Serbia if he agreed to betray the Bosnian Serbs. Needless to say, being the Communist leader which he was, Milosevic agreed. Suddenly, the Serbs faced an embargo in which the Federal Republic had joined in.
Third, the Empire organized, armed, and trained Croat forces (the Empire never really trusted the Muslims in Bosnia) to first seize the so-called "UNPAs" (UN protected areas) in Croatia and then to attack the remaining Serbian forces in Bosnia. For this purpose, all the heavy weapons of the Serbs (yes, the ones they had counted on the offset their numeral disadvantage) were placed in storage which left the Bosnian Serbs with only small arms.
Lastly, when the joint US-Croatian forces attacked, Milosevic pulled back his brigades leaving the Bosnian Serbs to face the combined onslaught of the NATO airforces, the Croat mechanized troops and the Muslim infantry with little more than rifles. At that point, resistance was futile.
The doubleplusgoodthinking world shed very few tears over the Bosnian Serbs. In particular, Muslims worldwide had so thoroughly bought into the Imperial propaganda that they totally failed to see that the only real crime of the Bosnian Serbs (at least in the eyes of the Empire) had been to refuse to comply with the diktats of the Empire. The sole word "Srebrenica" was good enough to stop any fact-based and logic driven analysis of what had really happened when that city fell to the Serbian forces.
As for Milosevic, having outlived his utility for the Empire, he was dumped and immediately attacked through the war in Kosovo (which, by the way, was conducted *exactly* as the war in Bosnia had been). And again - the world bought into the bullshit spewed by the US Psyops.
Now, it is absolutely clear that Iran is next.
Like in the case of the Bosnian Serbs, the Empire has successfully created a political lever INSIDE Iran. Today, Mousavi has been instantly re-branded as a "liberal" (a laughable claim for anybody actually knowing this gentleman's full biography) and he is used against the Iranian government exactly as Milosevic had been used against Karadzic. Like Milosevic, Mousavi (and his puppeteers Rafsanjani and Montazeri) probably thinks that if he (they) come to power the Empire will let him (them) stay in power.
As for the Ahmadinejad/Khamenei camp, they probably feel that the USraelians will not dare attack Iran. I hope and pray that I am wrong and that they do understand the current psyop campaign for what it is - a first phase for a real war.
The public opinion in the West has learned exactly NOTHING from the previous US Psyop campaign. It is buying into the current propaganda 100%, in particular the Left which just need to be gently nudged into an ideological paradigm to immediately be outraged and condemn some putative "bad guy".
The one big difference between the Bosnian Serb situation and the one in Iran is that in the former case the lever was far more powerful than its object: Milosevic had far more economic, political and military power than Karadzic. In Iran the lever (Mousavi) is far weaker than the government. Unlike the Serbs who could only count of their own small forces, the Iranian government knows that it can use the Pasdaran to control the situation. So as long as the Empire does not find a lever INSIDE the Pasdaran, I predict that the strategy will fail. But if one such high-level traitor is found inside the IRGC all bets are off.
One thing the US psyop campaign has already achieved: with the demonization of the government it has carefully prepared the world's public opinion for an military operation overthrow the "regime". After all, just image that the "Basij thugs" who killed Neda* will do against their "neighbors" (the "I" word will not be used outside the USA) if they are armed with nuclear weapons!!!
I hope that the Iranian government has learned the lessons from the Imperial wars in Bosnia, in Kosovo and in Iraq and that it will fully prepare itself to simultaneously fight on two fronts: external and internal. On the internal front, it needs to make a huge effort to explain to its own population what is happening and externally it must continue to seek deter the Empire by all possible means. Lastly, it must be prepared to face a long war combining internal destabilization, terrorist attacks, economic sabotage, guerrillas and airstrikes.
There is one battle which I think cannot be won: the Western public opinion is clearly too stupidifed by the corporate media to ever get it right. The eagerness with which even presumably intelligent people have bought into the Imperial propaganda clearly proves that whenever the Empire wants to strike it will get a strong majority of its public opinion to believe *any* nonsense needed to demonize the target. As Einstein observed:
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity and I'm not sure about the former."
*The image of the poor Neda is now serving the same function as the famous (and faked) image of the emaciated man behind barbed wire in a "concentration camp" in Bosnia (a British TV crew staged that shot in Bosnia. Read "The Picture That Fooled The World" for details). This "icon" of the "resistance" will serve to outrage people even if it turns out that the shooter had nothing to do with the government.
Mousavi's supporters plan to release thousands of balloons on Friday with the message: "Neda you will always remain in our hearts", in memory of the young woman killed last week who has become an icon of the demonstrations.
I bet you the balloons will be green too, and that the BBC will reports "millions" of them along with reports of "Basiji thugs" assaulting anyone suspected of possessing a balloon....
In the meantime, the anti-Iranian hysteria in the Western corporate media and, alas, the Left leaning free media is reaching a paroxysm, and rumor, no matter how idiotic, is reported as a fact.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
He had nothing to say about the 60 people killed in Pakistan in the latest strike by US drones.
Some victims are "more equal than others" I suppose.
Orwell would be proud of Obama.
"The current political, social and security situation has entered a sensitive and decisive phase, which is more important than the election"
Words of wisdom for sure, too bad he did not come to that conclusion as soon as it had become apparent that
a) Ahmadinejad had won by a huge, unfakable, margin
b) That the USraelian Empire and the Guccis would use any pretext to destabilize Iran
c) Violent riots would engulf the streets
Here is what I wrote about Mousavi on the day following the election:
He must know that he lost this election and that, in fact, Ahmadinejad won by an un-fakable landslide. Still, he choose the destabilize his own country at a moment when that country is facing a possible military aggression from abroad. What does that tell you about Mousavi? It tells me that he is objectively the tool of yet another US backed destabilization campaign. It matters little whether Mousavi himself is a paid CIA agent, or whether his entourage is carefully using his ego to push him towards the kind of action he has taken now. The bottom line is still that Mousavi is now hurting his country and helping to destabilize it.
All this, of course, also fully applies to Rezaee and Karroubi.
Call me cynical, but I can't help notice that Rezaee decided to withdraw his candidacy when it became rather clear that this entire Gucci Revolution was headed nowhere. Now, with at least 17 Iranians dead, Rezaee's newfound "patriotic" stance is welcome, for sure, but only as a case of "better late then never".
The Iranian Election and the Revolution Test by George Friedman for Startfor
What Actually Happened in the Iranian Presidential Election? by Esam Al-Amin for Aimislam.com
Then, here is an excerpt from an email I got from a friend whom I asked to verify the "Iranian charge $3'000 for "bullet fee" story:
That story has been blown out of proportion. Yes the Baseej has been a bit over zealous by attacking the protesters but there has been many incidents against them that has gone unreported for instance on Saturday the protesters put fire to the natural gas line going into an office of Baseej and blew it up completely killing 5-6 baseejis.
$3000 issue is bogus and Iran has never claimed such money nor they have denied the mourning rituals or ceremonies to happen. Yes they may have asked people to keep them low key to avoid public attention which then prompts the Western attention as in the case of Neda. CNN and BBC had a field day with that and this is what is being touted. If you notice that since the protesters have been clamped down on they have used this one case to win sympathy all over the world. People are reacting very emotionally and backing Mousavi due to their blind emotions. And this is due to the spin being added by the Media on this story too.
Frankly, charging $3'000 for a China-style "bullet fee" would make getting killed unaffordable for most Iranians (except the Guccis I suppose). Seriously, when I read the WSJ "bullet fee" thing, immediately thought that this was a typical kind of propagandistic nonsense which US psyops have been feeding us since the election.
One more though: as far as I know, the government did not engage the Pasdaran to crush any riots, which tells me that the cop+Basij combination, combined with the *threat* of engaging the Pasdaran, was enough to deal with the riots. That, in turn, suggests to me that we might be getting a bloated image of the actual level of rioting and violence.
The Guccci coup d'etat might be loosing momentum
Monday, June 22, 2009
(...) she was not affiliated with any political camp. "Neda's goal was not Mousavi or Ahmadinejad, but her homeland. It was important to her that the homeland advance a step forward."
Neda Sultani was shot by a Besij snipers, who were apparently riding on motorcycles, on Amir Abad Street in Tehran on Saturday. The video that has been circulating on the Internet, making the young woman into a symbol of the Iranian reformist opposition, shows her last moments before being shot in the company of her father (...)
I though that she had been shot by a Basij sniper "hiding on a rooftop"...
Or was the "Basij thug" riding his motorcycle while hiding on a rooftop?
And since when do snipers operate from motorcycles anyway?!
Well, I guess we will probaly never find out who exactly shot Neda, other than that we can be quite certain that he/she was a "Basij thug"...
And then the articles also says this:
In reference to the falsified photographs depicting Neda wearing a green headband that were distributed on the Internet, apparently by Mousavi supporters, Makan said that she was not politically affiliated with either side of the current struggle.
What "falsified photographs"? Does Ynet mean to say that somebody in the "reform camp" actually falsifies photographs? Maybe Ynet is a covert "supporter of the regime"?
Seriously, it is becoming clear that Neda was an innocent bystander who probably caught a lost bullet and that she had nothing to do with any political riots. I can't wait to get more details about whom the Tehran cops actually arrested.
More to come soon, I am sure.
In the meantime check these two recent articles about the "stolen elections" canard (here and here).
"We call on the world to respect Iran because there are attempts to undermine the strength of the Iranian revolution," Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said in his weekly radio and television address on Sunday.
"President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's triumph was a triumph all the way. They are trying to stain Ahmadinejad's triumph and through that weaken the government and the Islamic revolution. I know they will not succeed," Chavez said.
The leftist leader said he had called Ahmadinejad after the elections to express his solidarity. The Venezuelan foreign ministry issued a statement blasting "the fierce and unfounded campaign from outside to discredit" the Iranian president.
Comment: hopefully the folks on the Left who so far have bought into the Imperial psyop campaign will listen to Hugo Chavez' words. VS.
The War of Words:
The "Basij" is a paramilitary organization founded by Ayatollah Khomeini which is subordinated to the "Pasdaran" (Army of the Guards of the Islamic Revolution - a very powerful elite military force independent from the Iranian armed forces) and which was used in major assault operations during the Iran-Iraq war. Nowadays, the Basij are an auxiliary force for emergency situation which range from disaster management to law and order and riot control. As such, they often loathed by opponents of the Iranian regime.
Anybody who has been keeping up with the recent news from Iran must have noticed, albeit mostly possibly, that the Basij are almost invariably described as "Basij thugs". But where did that idea of Basij being "thugs" come from?
Let us assume, for the sake of the argument, that indeed, the Basij are composed almost exclusively of thugs, nasty thugs at that, and that they use every opportunity to beat, maim, molest and abuse innocent Iranians. And then, let's ask this simple question:
What kind of knowledge do those in the West who write about "Basij thugs" have that the Basij are, indeed, thugs? Let me repeat, I am not arguing here that the Basij are not thugs, I am only asking where to those who throw around the words "Basij thugs" get their info from?
[Now please, those of you who did use that expression on my blog, do not rush to google in order to try to find proof of Basiji thuggery. Now is too late. No, my question was different. Did any of you actually do some serious research to establish the thuggish nature of the Basij *before* you used the words "Basij thugs"?]
The reality is that the entire concept of "Basij thugs" has exactly the same roots as, say, "Serbian Chetnik" or "Palestinian terrorist". While there are undoubtedly Basiji thugs, Serbian Chetniks and Palestinian terrorists out there, the use of these terms by people who have only second hand knowledge of Basijis, Chetnicks or Palestinians is a modern form of Orwell's "two minute of hate" - they serve to disconnect any rational thought and make a fact based and logic driven analysis impossible.
The Empire has always excelled in carefully framing the debate and giving the gullible public well identified targets for outrage and hatred. In the case of Iran, the millions invested by Uncle Shmuel in its strategic psyop campaign are now handsomely paying off.
The War of Images
By now we probably all have seen the terrible images of the young lady shot in the streets of Tehran. (If not, you can see these images here). The videos are identified as "Shot by Basij" and "Basij shoot to death a young woman". Here is the text which is circulated with the videos:
At 19:05 June 20th
Place: Karekar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st.
A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim's chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes. The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gass used among them, towards Salehi St.
Amazingly, a number of absolutely basic questions are *not* asked about this shooting:
1) "Shot by" - what kind of evidence is there that the shot came from the person identified as the shooter since the same text says that this person was hiding. Maybe somebody else was hiding also? Is there any ballistic evidence identifying the guy on the roof as the shooter?
2) "a Basij member hiding on a rooftop". How do we know that he was Basij?! Did he somehow identify himself after the shooting? (not before, since he was, quote "hiding").
3) "He could not miss her". Shooting down from a rooftop? What was the approximate distance and weapon used?
4) "He aimed straight at the heart". Wow! Not only are we told who shot the lady, but we even know what the shooter was aiming at. Now how could anybody know this unless the shooter was interviewed before or after the shooting. Also, this "Basij thugs" is clearly a elite marksman using a sniper rifle.
5) "I am a doctor". Wait - from all of the above I was under the impression that the author of this text was not a medial doctor, but a ballistics expert. Either that, or a psychic...
We will probably never find out what really happened that day. And maybe the lady was shot by a a member Basij. But then, maybe not. Could have been another shooter, could have been a totally missed shot by somebody with only very basic weapons skills, could have been a lost bullet, or it could have been a carefully orchestrated incident, with an elite marksman carefully aiming at a young lady (not a masked men or an old woman dressed in black - these would not make for adequate victims) with just the right folks standing nearby to take the seminal images proving the "barbarity of the Basij thugs unleashed by the corrupt regime of the Mullahs against the liberty-aspiring Iranian youths".
Those familiar with what happened in Venezuela during the famous scene of "Chavez' thugs shooting at unarmed peaceful demonstrators on a bridge in Caracas" know exactly what I am talking about here. Those who have not seen this video can order it here or download it from the Internet.
Lastly, nobody is asking the age old question: Cui Bono? Who has the most to gain (or the most to loose) from all this?
UPDATE1: The anwer to this question has kindly been provided by, of all things, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in its article "Iran turmoil likely to benefit Israel":
Like the collapse of the Soviet Union nearly two decades ago, the outcome of the post-election unrest in Iran could be of major strategic significance for the Middle East and for Israel.
Israeli analysts see three possible scenarios:
* President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the ruling ayatollahs use force to reassert the authority of their regime.
* Ahmadinejad's presidential rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi, sweeps to power on a wave of popular support and reforms what still remains an essentially clerical regime.
* The unrest takes on a dynamic of its own, driving the ayatollahs from power.
In each scenario, Israel stands to benefit.
(Make sure to follow the link above and read the rest. It's a great read)
We don't even ask whether the action of one man (the putative "Basij thug" on the rooftop) tell us anything at all about the regime in power. After all, innocent people have been shot by law enforcement officials in every single country on the planet, even the most democratic one.
Any time you give guns to a large amount of people you will be giving guns to a certain percentage of clumsy idiots and/or morons who like the power and authority a gun gives them. I can almost guarantee you that sometime this week, some Basiji shot *himself* by mistake. The same would have happened in any country. Does any of this tell us anything useful or relevant about Iran?!
This is the real power of the "Basij thug". No, not the actual Basij member (whether thug or not), but the power of the idea of the "Basij thug". This concept achieve as suspension of thought, a kind of blind acceptance of a carefully tailored narrative which then explodes into a "two-minute of hate" kind of hostility towards the object of this debate-framing technique.
If anything, the current events in Iran have shown that the Western public has learned exactly *nothing* about how it has been manipulated for many decades already. The Empire is using the exact same techniques and, amazingly, it still achieves the exact same results. The gullible comemierdas (as they are so aptly called in Spanish) still are eager to gobble down whatever the Empire wants them to feed on.
No wonder our Imperial masters despises us and treats us like slaves. We deserve it.
PS check out Craig Paul Roberts' latest article "Iran Falling to US Psyops" and listen to his recent interview on this topic.
UPDATE2: PressTV has just reported that the Tehran police denied that *any* shots at all were fired by its personnel on Sat. (thought whether this includes Basijis is unclear). PressTV is also reporting that some "armed vandals" have killed several people and that these "vandals" were arrested. (Not that any such denials or reports will have the slightest impact on those who have already decided that they 'know" who shot the young lady).
I am a political scientist not a lawyer but after 8 grueling years of self representing in a civil conspiracy case against Harvard University all the way to the US Supreme Court, I have learnt how to separate hearsay from scentilla of evidence from hard evidence, which is what is needed, and plenty of that, in order to overturn a national, tightly monitored elections.
Unfortunately, despite natural sympathy for the reformist movement in Iran, as someone who worked closely with former president Mohammad Khatami's Dialogue Among Civilizations, I am inclined to dismiss Mr. Mir Hossein Mousavi's allegation of rigged elections, simply because he has not carried the burden of proffering solid evidence.
First, speak of irregularities. On June 12, at 11 pm one hour after the closure of voting stations Mr. Mousavi held a press conference and declared himself "the definite winner" citing "received information throughout the country." Of course, no one conducted any exit polls and the Mousavi camp that has been complaining about the breakdown on communication because of textmessaging shutdown and the like, has some explaining to do why their candidate prematurely declared himself the winner, when the incremental results from the election officials, posted every couple of hours on the website of Interior Ministry that night, consistently put Ahmadinejad ahead (just as various polls had predicted including one by a Washington-based Terror-Free-Tomorrow)?
Second, since then both Mousavi and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard in her interview with BBC, have passed off unreliable hearsay about what they heard from their supporters in the provinces as reliable evidence. That simply doesn't wash.
Third, Mousavi's campaign aide, filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, has claimed that Mousavi had received an official call congratulating him for being the winner. That could have been, from the HQ of Tehran's election organization, since Mousavi won the votes in Tehran, with a solid majority vote. Could it be that Mousavi self-servingly misinterpreted that as the news that he had won the national election? Well, only time will tell.
What's beyond dispute, however, is that Mousavi's official complaint to the overseeing Council of Guardians is thin on specifics and is peppered with allegations of pre-election improprieties, which do not substantiate his rigged elections wild claim. A deconstruction of this two page document sheds much light on the fundamental weakness of Mousavi's case for new elections:
Item 1: It has nothing to do with the voting process and is exclusively concerned about the television debates and Ahmadinejad's blunt statements about some regime dignitaries accusing them of corruption and nepotism;
Item 2: Again, deals exclusively with issues raised in the debates, accusing Ahmadinejad of insulting the late ayatollah Khomeini and endangering national security by revealing some state secrets;
Item 3: complaint that some representatives of Mr. Mousavi and the other candidates were not accredited by the Interior Ministry and were as a result unable to monitor the voting. The problem with this is that in and of itself this does not prove a fraud, and missing here is any reference to the thousands of "independent monitors" selected by the candidates who were accredited and were on site at various voting centers throughout the country. Truly, if Mousavi had a legitimate complaint he would have backed his complaint with an appendix documenting his observers' allegations. Yet, throught the complaint there is not one reference to such specific observations.
Item 4: It accuses the Interior Ministry of not hand counting all the votes and declaring the results "while some centers were still counting the votes." This is certainly a cause for concern, but then again, in light of the fact that some of those centers were in Tehran, where Mousavi got the majority of votes, discounts the possibility of fraud, especially a major faud involving a minimum ten million votes, that gave Ahmadinejad the edge over Mousavi.
Item 5: It claims that hundreds of voting centers had insufficient election forms and in some cases there were "a few hours delay." This again is not a proof of fraud in a high turn out election that brought out some 40 million voters. A counter-point is that so many centers extended their hours to accommodate the long lines of voters. Also, it claims that in some places the actual tally was higher than the registered voters. What is missing here is the pertinent fact that in some of those places, such as Yazd, Mousavi was the winner -- does this mean that we should now accuse Mr. Mousavi of voter fraud?!
Item 6: It states: "In addition to the above violations, on the day of voting, I wrote more than 80 letters to Mr. Kadkhodai the speaker of Council of Guardian." There is no mention of the content of those letters, and clearly the purpose here is to convey the impression of being in possession of more evidence than proffered in this complaint, as if washes with the elections laws and their stringent requirement of documenting all the evidence of voting violations in one complaint to the Council.
Item 7: It states: "Mr. Ahmadinejad during his excess time with the state radio and television that was illegally alloted to him predicted counter-secruity activities and implicitly claimed victory and accused his rivals of conspiracy. Accordingly, the headline news of Raja News, IRNA and Fars, as well as that of Kayhan newspaper, predicted his victory a few hours prior to the finish of voting." Actually, it was Mr. Mousavi himself who one hour after the closure of voting declared himself "the definitive winner" and there was nothing implicit about that. Again, this has nothing to do with what is demanded of Mr. Mousavi in terms of hard evidence to prove a fraudulent elections.
Item 8: Here, Mousavi's complaint accuses Mr. Ahmadinejad of violating the laws prohibiting the political involvement of the country's armed forces and militias (basiji). This is a serious allegation, but not germane to the complaint of voter fraud. Besides, Mousavi himself is guilty of the same tort, given the fact that his own election headquarters had a division for mobilization of basijis!
In conclusion, it appears that Mousavi, the war time politician, has taken a page or two from that era's "war of maneuver" that, I hasten to add, sent thousands of young Iranians to Iraqi killing fields. But, politics is not a zero-sum extension of war by other means and Mr. Mousavi should respect the will of majority of Iranians who re-elected president Ahmadinejad, instead of continuing with his ill-founded allegations that have marred a uniquely open and competitive race simply because it yielded the 'wrong winner' who is antithetical to western, and Israeli, interests.
- Iran's disputed election - 17 June 09 - Part 1
Riz Khan - Iran's disputed election - 17 June 09 - Part 2
“Change for the poor means food and jobs, not a relaxed dress code or mixed recreation... Politics in Iran is a lot more about class war than religion.”
Financial Times Editorial, June 15 2009
There is hardly any election, in which the White House has a significant stake, where the electoral defeat of the pro-US candidate is not denounced as illegitimate by the entire political and mass media elite. In the most recent period, the White House and its camp followers cried foul following the free (and monitored) elections in Venezuela and Gaza, while joyously fabricating an ‘electoral success’ in Lebanon despite the fact that the Hezbollah-led coalition received over 53% of the vote.
The recently concluded, June 12, 2009 elections in Iran are a classic case: The incumbent nationalist-populist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (MA) received 63.3% of the vote (or 24.5 million votes), while the leading Western-backed liberal opposition candidate Hossein Mousavi (HM) received 34.2% or (13.2 million votes).
Iran’s presidential election drew a record turnout of more than 80% of the electorate, including an unprecedented overseas vote of 234,812, in which HM won 111,792 to MA’s 78,300. The opposition led by HM did not accept their defeat and organized a series of mass demonstrations that turned violent, resulting in the burning and destruction of automobiles, banks, public building and armed confrontations with the police and other authorities. Almost the entire spectrum of Western opinion makers, including all the major electronic and print media, the major liberal, radical, libertarian and conservative web-sites, echoed the opposition’s claim of rampant election fraud. Neo-conservatives, libertarian conservatives and Trotskyites joined the Zionists in hailing the opposition protestors as the advance guard of a democratic revolution. Democrats and Republicans condemned the incumbent regime, refused to recognize the result of the vote and praised the demonstrators’ efforts to overturn the electoral outcome. The New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, the Israeli Foreign Office and the entire leadership of the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations called for harsher sanctions against Iran and announced Obama’s proposed dialogue with Iran as ‘dead in the water’.
The Electoral Fraud Hoax
Western leaders rejected the results because they ‘knew’ that their reformist candidate could not lose…For months they published daily interviews, editorials and reports from the field ‘detailing’ the failures of Ahmadinejad’s administration; they cited the support from clerics, former officials, merchants in the bazaar and above all women and young urbanites fluent in English, to prove that Mousavi was headed for a landslide victory. A victory for Mousavi was described as a victory for the ‘voices of moderation’, at least the White House’s version of that vacuous cliché. Prominent liberal academics deduced the vote count was fraudulent because the opposition candidate, Mousavi, lost in his own ethnic enclave among the Azeris. Other academics claimed that the ‘youth vote’ – based on their interviews with upper and middle-class university students from the neighborhoods of Northern Tehran were overwhelmingly for the ‘reformist’ candidate.
What is astonishing about the West’s universal condemnation of the electoral outcome as fraudulent is that not a single shred of evidence in either written or observational form has been presented either before or a week after the vote count. During the entire electoral campaign, no credible (or even dubious) charge of voter tampering was raised. As long as the Western media believed their own propaganda of an immanent victory for their candidate, the electoral process was described as highly competitive, with heated public debates and unprecedented levels of public activity and unhindered by public proselytizing. The belief in a free and open election was so strong that the Western leaders and mass media believed that their favored candidate would win.
The Western media relied on its reporters covering the mass demonstrations of opposition supporters, ignoring and downplaying the huge turnout for Ahmadinejad. Worse still, the Western media ignored the class composition of the competing demonstrations – the fact that the incumbent candidate was drawing his support from the far more numerous poor working class, peasant, artisan and public employee sectors while the bulk of the opposition demonstrators was drawn from the upper and middle class students, business and professional class.
Moreover, most Western opinion leaders and reporters based in Tehran extrapolated their projections from their observations in the capital – few venture into the provinces, small and medium size cities and villages where Ahmadinejad has his mass base of support. Moreover the opposition’s supporters were an activist minority of students easily mobilized for street activities, while Ahmadinejad’s support drew on the majority of working youth and household women workers who would express their views at the ballot box and had little time or inclination to engage in street politics.
A number of newspaper pundits, including Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times, claim as evidence of electoral fraud the fact that Ahmadinejad won 63% of the vote in an Azeri-speaking province against his opponent, Mousavi, an ethnic Azeri. The simplistic assumption is that ethnic identity or belonging to a linguistic group is the only possible explanation of voting behavior rather than other social or class interests.
A closer look at the voting pattern in the East-Azerbaijan region of Iran reveals that Mousavi won only in the city of Shabestar among the upper and the middle classes (and only by a small margin), whereas he was soundly defeated in the larger rural areas, where the re-distributive policies of the Ahmadinejad government had helped the ethnic Azeris write off debt, obtain cheap credits and easy loans for the farmers. Mousavi did win in the West-Azerbaijan region, using his ethnic ties to win over the urban voters. In the highly populated Tehran province, Mousavi beat Ahmadinejad in the urban centers of Tehran and Shemiranat by gaining the vote of the middle and upper class districts, whereas he lost badly in the adjoining working class suburbs, small towns and rural areas.
The careless and distorted emphasis on ‘ethnic voting’ cited by writers from the Financial Times and New York Times to justify calling Ahmadinejad ‘s victory a ‘stolen vote’ is matched by the media’s willful and deliberate refusal to acknowledge a rigorous nationwide public opinion poll conducted by two US experts just three weeks before the vote, which showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin – even larger than his electoral victory on June 12. This poll revealed that among ethnic Azeris, Ahmadinejad was favored by a 2 to 1 margin over Mousavi, demonstrating how class interests represented by one candidate can overcome the ethnic identity of the other candidate (Washington Post June 15, 2009). The poll also demonstrated how class issues, within age groups, were more influential in shaping political preferences than ‘generational life style’. According to this poll, over two-thirds of Iranian youth were too poor to have access to a computer and the 18-24 year olds “comprised the strongest voting bloc for Ahmadinejad of all groups” (Washington Porst June 15, 2009).
The only group, which consistently favored Mousavi, was the university students and graduates, business owners and the upper middle class. The ‘youth vote’, which the Western media praised as ‘pro-reformist’, was a clear minority of less than 30% but came from a highly privileged, vocal and largely English speaking group with a monopoly on the Western media. Their overwhelming presence in the Western news reports created what has been referred to as the ‘North Tehran Syndrome’, for the comfortable upper class enclave from which many of these students come. While they may be articulate, well dressed and fluent in English, they were soundly out-voted in the secrecy of the ballot box.
In general, Ahmadinejad did very well in the oil and chemical producing provinces. This may have be a reflection of the oil workers’ opposition to the ‘reformist’ program, which included proposals to ‘privatize’ public enterprises. Likewise, the incumbent did very well along the border provinces because of his emphasis on strengthening national security from US and Israeli threats in light of an escalation of US-sponsored cross-border terrorist attacks from Pakistan and Israeli-backed incursions from Iraqi Kurdistan, which have killed scores of Iranian citizens. Sponsorship and massive funding of the groups behind these attacks is an official policy of the US from the Bush Administration, which has not been repudiated by President Obama; in fact it has escalated in the lead-up to the elections.
What Western commentators and their Iranian protégés have ignored is the powerful impact which the devastating US wars and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan had on Iranian public opinion: Ahmadinejad’s strong position on defense matters contrasted with the pro-Western and weak defense posture of many of the campaign propagandists of the opposition.
The great majority of voters for the incumbent probably felt that national security interests, the integrity of the country and the social welfare system, with all of its faults and excesses, could be better defended and improved with Ahmadinejad than with upper-class technocrats supported by Western-oriented privileged youth who prize individual life styles over community values and solidarity.
The demography of voting reveals a real class polarization pitting high income, free market oriented, capitalist individualists against working class, low income, community based supporters of a ‘moral economy’ in which usury and profiteering are limited by religious precepts. The open attacks by opposition economists of the government welfare spending, easy credit and heavy subsidies of basic food staples did little to ingratiate them with the majority of Iranians benefiting from those programs. The state was seen as the protector and benefactor of the poor workers against the ‘market’, which represented wealth, power, privilege and corruption. The Opposition’s attack on the regime’s ‘intransigent’ foreign policy and positions ‘alienating’ the West only resonated with the liberal university students and import-export business groups. To many Iranians, the regime’s military buildup was seen as having prevented a US or Israeli attack.
The scale of the opposition’s electoral deficit should tell us is how out of touch it is with its own people’s vital concerns. It should remind them that by moving closer to Western opinion, they removed themselves from the everyday interests of security, housing, jobs and subsidized food prices that make life tolerable for those living below the middle class and outside the privileged gates of Tehran University.
Amhadinejad’s electoral success, seen in historical comparative perspective should not be a surprise. In similar electoral contests between nationalist-populists against pro-Western liberals, the populists have won. Past examples include Peron in Argentina and, most recently, Chavez of Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia and even Lula da Silva in Brazil, all of whom have demonstrated an ability to secure close to or even greater than 60% of the vote in free elections. The voting majorities in these countries prefer social welfare over unrestrained markets, national security over alignments with military empires.
The consequences of the electoral victory of Ahmadinejad are open to debate. The US may conclude that continuing to back a vocal, but badly defeated, minority has few prospects for securing concessions on nuclear enrichment and an abandonment of Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas. A realistic approach would be to open a wide-ranging discussion with Iran, and acknowledging, as Senator Kerry recently pointed out, that enriching uranium is not an existential threat to anyone. This approach would sharply differ from the approach of American Zionists, embedded in the Obama regime, who follow Israel’s lead of pushing for a preemptive war with Iran and use the specious argument that no negotiations are possible with an ‘illegitimate’ government in Tehran which ‘stole an election’.
Recent events suggest that political leaders in Europe, and even some in Washington, do not accept the Zionist-mass media line of ‘stolen elections’. The White House has not suspended its offer of negotiations with the newly re-elected government but has focused rather on the repression of the opposition protesters (and not the vote count). Likewise, the 27 nation European Union expressed ‘serious concern about violence’ and called for the “aspirations of the Iranian people to be achieved through peaceful means and that freedom of expression be respected” (Financial Times June 16, 2009 p.4). Except for Sarkozy of France, no EU leader has questioned the outcome of the voting.
The wild card in the aftermath of the elections is the Israeli response: Netanyahu has signaled to his American Zionist followers that they should use the hoax of ‘electoral fraud’ to exert maximum pressure on the Obama regime to end all plans to meet with the newly re-elected Ahmadinejad regime.
Paradoxically, US commentators (left, right and center) who bought into the electoral fraud hoax are inadvertently providing Netanyahu and his American followers with the arguments and fabrications: Where they see religious wars, we see class wars; where they see electoral fraud, we see imperial destabilization.