Iran: The Question of Illegitimacy Is Bigger than that of Electoral Fraud

By Al Giordano

The videos and links in The Field entry below this one demonstrate that there are indeed massive protests underway in Iran, and not only in its capital of Tehran, sparked by official claims that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a supposed landslide victory in yesterday's presidential election.

Today has, correspondingly, been one of the blogosphere's best moments in a while. In the English-language world, much credit goes to DKos blogger Clifflyon, who has been translating breaking report after breaking report from the original Farsi of Peiknet.com, and to Andrew Sullivan, among others, for unfolding the rapid-fire events of the past day.

While it is certainly plausible that Ahmadinejad's supposed victory is merely an invention based on cooked numbers, I'm more than a bit concerned that the focus by some media on bloggers on proving the presence or absence of electoral fraud is misplaced as a matter of strategy and tactics.

We know from the 2000 Bush-Gore post-electoral fiasco in Florida and, more recently, from Mexico's 2006 election swindle (one in which 1.5 million votes were either stolen or invented to give Felipe Calderon a narrow victory) that even the most solid proof of fraud does not at all guarantee a change in the eventual result. Since elections are controlled by State apparatus, the State, in the end, controls all data and process upon which any debate about fraud will be based. Additional frauds can be wrapped around original frauds so rapidly that it leaves everybody dizzy and, in the end, fatigued and disheartened. It can go on for weeks, if people misplace their hopes on the rulings of courts or councils.

Demonstrators in the streets in Iran today utilize allegations of fraud as the tip of their spear, but what fuels those protests goes beyond the official results of an election. That is even more true of Iran than of other recent examples of this post-electoral dynamic because the terms of the election itself were a farce even before the votes were counted: The Iranian "president" and "parliament" - elected powers - are in the end overruled by a Supreme Leader, his "advisors," his "experts," his "Guardian Council" (Ayatollahs, which is to say fundamentalist religious clergy) and the elected leaders live under their veto power on virtually all matters except for some of style and tone and what to eat for lunch.

To the extent that the worldwide community gets bogged down in the question of "was there electoral fraud or not?" in Iran it will allow said Ayatollahs to set up the perfect bureaucratic traps to exhaust and defeat the revolt, as occurred (minus the theocratic flavorings) in the 2000 US and 2006 Mexican post-electoral struggles.

More to the point: The yearnings by those in the streets of Iran today precede and supercede the concerns about yesterday's election results. They are seizing the moment of the election, but this is not really about the election. This is about a much deeper and wider discontent with the theocratic-political system they have lived under for 30 years. The timing of the protests has as much to do with the world's eyes being on Iran at this moment and the quorum of international media reporters that are inside Iran as part of that watch. (It's an advantage that the 1989 protesters at Beijing's Tienanmen Square did not have when their demonstration was cut short by a massacre.) The cost for the Iranian state of resorting to excess violence and brutality to shut down this revolt would, as a result, be much higher to its own goals at home and abroad, than it was for the Chinese regime twenty years ago. In that, the protesters have the system over a barrel.

Evidence and accusations of electoral fraud, no doubt, ought to be part of the mix here, strategically and tactically, but if it becomes the outcome determinative question then all will likely be lost: the State has the tools it needs to make the waters so muddy as to seem inconclusive. Media and bloggers alike should take care not to reduce the unfolding story to a matter of bean counting and numerology, and should, instead, focus on the larger truths and principles that fuel the protests.

The emphasis and attention should be properly put upon the repressive steps being taken by the Iranian state in the present, especially those it has already taken against free speech and communication (cutting off telephone and cell signals, filtering inconvenient Internet sites like YouTube, and the reported house arrest of opposition leaders, a claim which I tend to believe simply because we have not heard from any of them in recent hours.)

In other words, this is a State - and an election - that was and is illegitimate whether or not electoral fraud can be proved in yesterday's vote counting. And the actions it has already taken drive that point home, minute by minute, hour after hour.

Today's demonstrations remind me so much of those in the 1970s against the dictatorship of the US-installed Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi. In my brief (three-month) academic tour at Georgetown U. in 1977, I accompanied Iranian classmates to demonstrations in front of the White House protesting his brutal and anti-democratic secular regime. Most of the protesting students then wore orange masks to shield their identities from the Shah's dreaded SAVAK secret police, which was in the habit of assassinating and torturing not only identified dissidents but also their family members and loved ones.

The young people in the streets today are, in many, many cases, the children of those demonstrators of the 1970s, who were not religious crusaders, but, rather, the secular and left wing opposition to the authoritarian regime that religious fundamentalists toppled two years later.

I read on one blog today an Iranian quoted as saying "if Iran sleeps tonight it will remain asleep for a hundred years."

My gut tells me that the country's Civil Society is not going to be sleeping much at all tonight, and that this arc of the universe will continue to bend toward justice tomorrow and in the coming days and weeks. Online communications (and communicators) are going to be key to what happens next. That's why it is so absolutely important that we don't get bogged down by making the "was it fraud or not?" question the central matter of the reporting or blogging these sweeping human events.

What is at stake here goes way beyond a mere election and the accuracy of its results. It is the eternal human desire, indeed, human need, to overthrow repressive systems, that makes the cause just, whether or not electoral fraud - the spark that lit the fire - can be absolutely proved. Keep your eyes on that prize, and hold on.

Update, Sunday, 6:45 a.m. ET: Nico Pitney of the Huffington Post worked the night shift blogging various flows of new information coming out of Iran, including street protests that lasted to the pre-dawn hours, the reported arrests of 100 or more opposition leaders (according to DKos blogger electronicmaji, they include the daughter of the Supreme Ayatollah), and the Iranian state continues its somewhat spotty attempt to shut down all communications with the rest of the world (Twitter feeds have, for example, gone up and down all night long).

7:15 a.m. ET: The Iranian state has ordered the offices of the Al-Arabiya news network (the largest in the region) in Tehran closed.

7:35 a.m. ET: Interesting minute-by-minute commentary by hundreds (thousands?) of Twitter users at the Twitter feed titled #IranElection. Includes live commentary by folks listening to Ahmadinejad's press conference, a very tightly controlled affair in which he blames foreign media and the United Nations for the unrest in his country's streets.

10:15 a.m. ET: Opposition candidate Mousavi has penned a new letter, in which he says he has petitioned the Guardian Council to annul the election results and has applied for permits for demonstrations in every city of Iran on Monday.

10:40 a.m. ET: According to the Tehran Bureau, Mousavi has called for a GENERAL STRIKE on Tuesday, calling on "all those who contest the results to close their shops, businesses, etc. and for employees to not go to work that day."

2:55 p.m. ET: As schedules go, I've got to be on off and on again airplanes for the next 20 hours or so. Blogging will be sporadic, if at all until midday Monday. But I've given y'all a plethora of links to other news sources in this post and the one below it. Keep sharing your comments with each other and I'll check in when I can....

 

Comments

Nice Analysis

As always, your analysis is spot on.

One of the more interesting aspects of the events unfolding in Iran is the extent to which it appears that even those who have ostensibly been supporting the regime are willing to put their own necks on the line. They must be sensing weakness and opportunity.

Crossposted to DKos

Here.

Brilliant

analysis as usual Mr. Giordano.

Thank you for writing this

Thank you for writing this down so eloquently. I have been steaming over Nate Silver's "analysis" for a couple minutes now, gonna put that energy into forwarding this around.

You've trained me well

Al,  I must be "getting it" since my first reaction is what you spelled out above.  Another aspect that occurs to me is that the neocon's and American Media's demonizing of Iran as a whole loses much of its impact now.

Iran is looking like 1960s America, which many Americans relate to still, and not the homogenous boogeyman with a thirst for nuclear weapons that the American media have been carefully constructing in recent years.

How many "average Americans" are seeing this and feeling that they have more in common with Iranians instead of feeling scared of them?  Plus, I'madinnerjacket's going to have a tough time destroying Isreal and building nuclear weapons when he's got so much social upheaval at home with which to contend.

Can't wait to see how Obama handles this.

Watching the Iranian people...

Yes, They Can.

i'm still confused

I still don't actually know what to think about all this. I wish I was still in contact with an old iranian friend. this is an article that I read on it earlier today so things could have changed his mind. but he was mentioning how the youth and middle class were just that, isolated, and the protests weren't spreading further - at least that it was possible. For he then blamed the international media for not covering real Tehran or Iran and so only those who spoke english and were youth/middle class. He also spoke of how in the rest of iran they didnt have access to things like blogs. that these were two worlds apart. and those methods of campaigning were useless there for the bulk of people. so I still don't know what to think. Or even if it matters that it is only youth. 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/13/iranian-election

celia

Me, too!

@bonkers: Al has trained me well, too...I have learned to FIRST get Al's take on important events.

Of course he is right, and very few "commentators" (there are few "reporters" ala Al) get it.

There is so much under the surface going on...like Al said, the election was "fixed" from the start, but that is not what is important. The change that is going on in "the community" is what is important!

Dare I say that the new Iranian voices need a "community organizer"?

 

waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!

 

BTW...Ducats Needed!

Speaking of "Community Organizers"...our Al needs only $1,115 more to meet his goal by next Tuesday!

That is only 40 Fieldhands dropping $25 each into the kitty!

C'mon Fieldhands! We can do it!

Yes We Can!

 

waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!

 

Is there an RSS feed for The Field?

Things are moving so fast (on this topic and on others), it'd be great if The Field had an RSS feed we could put in our Mail programs to notify us of new posts.

EDIT:  YES, IT DOES!  I just didn't see the little orange logo on the bottom right of the column of links.

A Salient Point

Most of Iran is under 30 years old-approximately 70%. That means the police, the secret services, every structure at the bottom of the pile. The police on the beat, the young soldiers (foot soldiers) are part of this discontented generation. Add those who were but children at the time of the revolution, and you probably are going above 80%. What does that mean?

Other tyrants could invoke the fear of greater disorder or going back to a hated pre-revolutionary past to keep people on their side and to repress rebellion and discontent. The post-revolutionary kids have no memories of either the revolution or the time before hand, so they cannot invoke that fear to keep people in their seats.  For them, the revolutionary government is just another oppressor they have no interest in preserving. The Shah isn't coming back.

This is shades of Tiannamen square for me-but how would things have turned out if China's population was 70% under 30 then? Children who have no memory of the Revolution and no personal investment in preserving the regime? There was just enough of a generation of people who still believed in that revolution and in Communism to stanch the bleeding. The Chinese could buy off more discontent by allowing some economic liberalization. Iran has no such cushion of finance or ideology. The kids don't have much money, and ideology for these kids is just another lot of meaningless rules and busybodies that they hate.

 

Excellent post, Pam.  I

Excellent post, Pam.  I donated twice before in this go round, and I have now put in my $25.00 towards  reaching the goal.  I hope others can manage to do the same.  It is certainly worth it to me to get such incisive commentary on domestic and foreign affairs.

JoAnn

Kind of a helpless feeling

I wish there was some way to assist.

Donated earlier today. Not a

Donated earlier today. Not a lot, but if everybody gives just a few dollars, we can help Al meet his goal.

A terrific post that cuts to the heart of what is happening now and over the coming days.

When the sun rises...

More evidence of the extent of the government's concern in Iran, from BBC:

Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli warned that any demonstrations needed official permission, and none had been given.

One opposition newspaper has been closed down and BBC websites also appear to have been blocked by the Iranian authorities. The AP news agency reports that mobile phone services have been blocked in Tehran.

 And from a fresh LA Times report:

As the day drew to a close, both campaigns reported that the candidates were under house arrest. The offices of Mousavi and Karroubi had been shuttered earlier, as were affiliated websites that had emerged as critical information tools in the face of the Ahmadinejad camp's sway over state-controlled broadcasting.

 … Authorities attempted to control the scale of the demonstrations by limiting electronic communications. Websites like Facebook and YouTube available during the election season were suddenly filtered.

… For hours the Tehran cell phone network was shut down. Satellite news channels affiliated with BBC, which has a popular Persian language service that served as an alternative to state-controlled television, were scrambled. Areas of the capital where Ahmadinejad is popular remained quiet.

Also of note, it appears paramilitaries have been introduced into the mix against the protestors, if the LA Times reporting is accurate:

 … On a side street near northwest Tehran's Mohseni Square a group of helmeted hard-line Ansar Hezbollah militiamen, on motorcycles rhythmically beat their batons on their riot shields as they prepared to attack a gathering crowd of protesters.

 "God is great!" they chanted. "God praise Hezbollah!"

After midnight in the Jordan neighborhood, black-clad motorcycle riot police in body armor chased protesters and passing passersby, striking men and women. Teary-eyed teenagers fled, clutching their backs or arms in agony.

 

Ansar Hezbollah (Followers of the Party of God) is a paramilitary wing working in the interest of the Ayatollah and clerics that control the Iranian government and have been employed in the past against anti-government demonstrators.

If they are out in force, it’s a sure sign that matters have now progressed well beyond Ahmadinejad and a threat is perceived to the real power behind the government — at least as I see it.

It has been a long night in Iran. It’s now about 5:30 am Sunday there, and much more should be known about the lay of the land when the sun rises.

 

 

Bonkers gets it

While, as Gary Sick notes, the neocons and other Bomb-Iran nutters are saying that the rigged election means that Obama is wrong to reach out to Iran, the neocon efforts at demonizing Iranians as a preparation to getting Americans to back murdering them are being undermined by the TV cameras showing very Westernized persons who would not look out of place in any American city of any size.  It's a lot harder to demonize people who look and dress like you.

Ya know, PW...

Started thinking about this in the context of President Barack Hussein Obama's recent Cairo speech.

America's President shares a name with the reformist Presidential candidate of Iran that's stoking a potential revolution, Mir-Hussein Mousavi.  Think about that for a moment.  Incredible change in such a short period of time.

Just a week or so later, we see the direct benefit of Obama's approach in the Cairo speech, where his respectful outreach to people of all stripes has got to be influencing some of the resistence in Iran.  They see America's President basically saying, "Go for it.  We got your back."  Change comes from the ground up.  Community organizing 101, right?

Across the entire world, there's a huge percentage of people starving for new solutions to tired old problems.  Obama and others are tapping into this thirst.  As Al's been saying, President Barack Hussein Obama is Organizing the entire world now.  Truly breathtaking.

That photo

I've been seeing variations of the photo up top all over the Internets.  I find it very poetic for these times and I hope it gains more traction in the World's media.

Protesters rush to help one of the oppressors (sure, just doing his job...blah, blah, blah).  A tiny microcosm of how to greatly reduce terrorism and oppression throughout world.  You kill them with kindness.  Humanitarian aid, both financially and militarily, on a massive scale would do more to stop "terrorism" than all the bombs in the world.  And it would cost a fraction of what we currently spend on weapons manufacturing, but that's the problem, isn't it.  No profit for the entrenched interests.

Thoughtful and insightful

Very well done, Al. 

You have taken a  lot a random thoughts many of us have had and given us very useful framework to think about and respond to future events.

The Courage of These Iranians

puts me to shame, because I know in America there would be meek, sheep-like acceptance of a similar fraud.

In their zeal to demonstrate that there was no "Obama Effect", as had been seen in Lebanon, the authorities went overboard to the extent no one can believe it.

Twittering in the wind

It is now a bit after 6 pm Sunday in Iran. As predicted, Iranian authorities are taking action against protest organizers and continuing their efforts to shut down the means of communication.

From the IC Publications' Web site:

At least 60 people accused of orchestrating post-election riots in Tehran have been arrested, the city's deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan told the official news agency IRNA.

Radan said more arrests will be made soon.

And from Al Arabiya:

Iranian authorities closed down Al Arabiya's Tehran bureau Sunday afternoon amid heightened tensions in the violent aftermath of a disputed election victory by incumbent Mahmoud Ahmedinijad over leading reformist rival Mir Hossein Mousavi.



Officials gave no explanation for the decision to shut the office for a week, effectively preventing broadcasting from the country amid riots and protests by reformists over what they allege was a fraudulent election and rival protests planned by supporters of Ahmedinijad.

But it appears Iranian authorities don’t have enough fingers to plug all the leaks in this dam. The question now is whether the force of the water will be enough to shatter the entire structure of the state.

From the BBC:

The aftermath of the election has shown one important difference from the past: it is harder than ever for the authorities in a relatively sophisticated country like Iran to clamp down on dissent.

Reports here say that the bureau of the respected Al-Arabiya 24-hour news station has been closed.

Action has been taken against other foreign journalists. BBC Online has been blocked from time to time, and so have mobile phone services.

Yet people right across the country have been kept fully informed of what is going on — there are so many ways people can get the news nowadays.

Realising this, even Iran's own state broadcaster (IRIB) has been showing pictures of the worst of Saturday's rioting in Tehran, a decision that may well have been taken at a very high level.

The Islamic republic has reached a difficult moment in its history.

Everything now depends on whether Mr Ahmadinejad can quieten things down without creating more anger on the streets.

The future of Iran, it seems, is now Twittering in the wind.

From The Media Line:

"Nobody can win the elections without young people," Hossein Bastani, an influential Iranian blogger on the editorial board of the Iranian journal Rooz Online, told The Media Line. "It's young people managing all these reformist campaigns."

Moussavi campaigners used various social networks, viral messages and mobile text message jokes about Ahmadi Nejad to attract youth all over the country.

"The reformist candidates' strategy is using Internet forums like Facebook to publish news and information," Bastani added. "They have been quite successful and this is why the Iranian government tried to filter Facebook and Twitter in Iran."

Protesters were mobilizing for another night of protests. Whether the youthful anger and protest will submerge the country or settle into a disheartened resignation remains to be seen.

As one young Iranian, Mehri912, wrote on Twitter, “If Iran sleeps tonight, it will sleep forever”.

 

 

Breaking the information blockade

&quo

Interesting link to a list of twitterers posting from inside Iran, most in English.

Link to Iranian twitterer links here.

Some talk of misinformation/rumors being spread on Twitter to jam up the protestors and efforts to counter it.

An Iranian blog referenced in one, with photos.

A warning on another: 

Iranians must be careful, there are plain clothes secret police patrolling the streets in massive numbers #iranelection

Another site chock full of photos form inside Iran, here.

More twitterers from inside Iran here.

Twitter is on a wild ride; this just posted from someone i n the field there;

  1. ;hentry status<mce:script type="> u-conac">TR @_Soden They took the Uni Students! Please tell the news! They took Gilan's Uni. Students:(( We don't know where #iranelection #cnnfail

Story on what cnnfail means -- like it sounds, Twitter beating the snot out of network news in the 21st Century.

New development being reported from "someone" above. If accurate, it could be significant and a sign the protestors are gaining steam; the government getting desparate -- can't imagine foreigners being brought in to suppress Iranians will go over with Iranians who might be on the fence right now; might only serve to swell the resistence. 

 

  1. RT @ : "some anti riot forces are speaking in Arabic! apparently imported from Lebanon" #IranElection class="meta entry-meta"> ript src="/sites/all/modules/tinymce/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js" type="text/javascript"> // --> n class="published">2 minutes ago from web
  2. RT  My theory: Advantage of getting foreign forces; Iranian riots might say "no I don't wanna fight my own ppl" #IranElection

Another twitterer inside Iran, counters, correcting info, interactive accuracy checks, great stuff:

 

  1. Rafsanjani did it! Masters of Qom asked to void the election! (no link yet) #iranelection #newiran
  2. @, Iran's riot police have been full of non-iranian (arab!!!) forces for years now! Just remember black SVUs 4y ago #iranelection
  3. RT: @: News: The police officers w/ plain clothes that were arresting ppl in Rasht has been identified by ppl #IranElection

Another list of twitterers from inside Iran, broken out by active and less active.

Great link, recomended by an Iranian twitterer, for following the events in Iran on Twitter and other social media: here.

Powerful slideshow of photos from Iran: here.

Interesting Twitter exchange between a Toronto marketing professional and an Iranian in the thick of things.

From the Toronto critic:

Twitter is so being used as a propaganda tool right now.

@conac sorry, don't trust that we're hearing the true story after finding out who Mousavi and his handlers are. #iranelection

The reply from the Iranian with her neck on the line:

@tamera It's NOT ABOUT MOUSSAVI. It's about people's votes not getting counted. We always pick between bad and worse. #IranElection

 

CNN Christiane Amanpour video

Chilling to listen to him.  Also reminds me of what it was like to hear Cheney and many others 'answer' questions....

 

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2009/06/14/ahmadinejad.challenger...

not to stir the pot

I have been reading everything and anything I can get my hands on and this really looks and feels like a coup. Sullivan is doing a great job reporting this.

I have a question though, not intended to stir the pot but I know it might. I just saw that Hugo Chavez gave his full congratulations and support to Ahmadinejad. I personally think it shows something about Chavez that he did this. And I am very eager to know what Al thinks.

 

@ Valdivia

Valdivia - From the perspective of Venezuela, where legitimate elections (monitored and judged free and fair by international observers including President Carter and the Carter Center) were immediately called "fraudulent" by US political consultants like Doug Schoen and other pro-coup forces (many of whom backed the 2002 military-media coup d'etat against his elected democratic government), there's really not much mystery as to why Chavez would congratulate the president of a fellow OPEC country with which it must do business every day.

I don't think it says anything about Chavez other than a deep distrust for the Western (read: capitalist) media, a distrust that is healthy, and a sign of an alliance that has been in effect for years. I understand that distrust and how it might color his perspective. It is a distrust that is legitimate and borne in real experience with US policy toward other nations. I happen to disagree with him regarding Iran and its elections, but I don't insist that everybody agree with me on every damn thing, especially when I can see the grays in between the black and white.

None of that lessens my own enthusiasm to see a citizen movement forming to remove the current and illegitimate Iranian regime from power. And such statements from world leaders don't mean anything anyhow.

For the same reasons, I hope that President Obama continues to have the good sense to stay as far away from the Iran conflict as possible with his words. To the extent that any foreign head of state condemns the Iranian elections, it only strengthens the hand of the regime there and weakens the hand of its opponents, creating the impression that they are foreign-backed.

The internal story, the external reactions...

Al is absolutely right to advise the White House to stay out of opining on the internal politics of Iran.  Biden's tack today on "Meet the Press", while not satisfying emotionally in the context of the bravery of the popular resistance, hit the right note when he said there were legitimate questions about voting irregularities but still said -- after being goaded by David Gregory into saying the opposite -- that the U.S. would still talk with Iran if governed by Ahmadinejad.  The U.S. continued talking with the Soviet Union after it pushed the Polish government into imposing martial law on its people and crushing Solidarity in 1981, and it continued talking with the Chinese government after Tiananmen, because there was serious business to transact with those regimes -- and both those instances were under Republican presidents.

The principle here which Al has correctly articulated is to remove the appearance (or reality) of U.S. meddling in countries whose people are trying to change their rulers.  Today Joe Lieberman called on Obama to endorse and assist the resistance of the freedom-loving Iranian people.  Nothing would more discredit their indigenous movement for change than to make it appear as if the U.S. government were their principal cheerleader and sponsor.

Unfortunately it hasn't dawned on a lot of doctrinaire left analysts either that not all events abroad can be properly understood through the prism of our own ideological battles.  Matt Yglesias on his blog today mildly embraced the evidence of electoral fraud in Iran, and a legion of commenters descended on him to dispute that, one saying that Juan Cole is a jerk, some suggesting that Ahmadinejad was a genuine populist who rallied support from Iranian poor people or that what is happening now (i.e. the repression) is a legitimate attempt by the Iranian government to put down a putsch by Rafsanjani and corrupt business types.  All of them, of course, suggested that if the neo-cons and Netanyahu were celebrating the heroism of Iranian revolutionaries, then the latter were up to no good.

To both neo-cons and left dogmatists, it's as if Iran and the Iranians don't exist, except as virtual players in their own personal political universes.  They're political solipsists.

Fear of progress

So now Mitt goes on TV to say that Ahmadinajad has won and therefore, Obama is a failure.  Lovely.  Iran's elections are clearly flawed, the people are fighting for reform and Mitt makes it all about politics here.  What an ass.

thanks for your response

al, thanks so much for your response. my problem with Chavez is not that he is reacting to capitalist media, it is that he wholeheartedly annouced the utter goodness of Ahmadinejad, the value of his win for the forces of freedom and equality, no caveats at all. While I do not want everyone to agree with my points of view, unconditional support for a leader who is at this moment oppressing a ground up democratic movement seems to me to be a little too much realpolitick  (if that is what it is). No matter how much the US may or not have messed up and intervened in the past is that really an excuse to support someone like Ahmadinejad (even annoucing in his program how he called him to give him his support)? For me personally this is beyond the pale, not because I request purity but because this is defenitely not what the people of Iran want.

Robert Fisk is in Tehran

Robert Fisk, of UK's The Independent, is in Tehran, doing his craft - read here. Riveting, and his valuable perspective, I think.

Amazing to be a witness

---Thanks Al --

 

I agree with Bob upstring -- how shaming that when faced with the illigitimacy of our election results almost a decade ago, we rolled over ---

 

Lessons -- deep and many...

 

I can understand the Chinese blessing/curse -- "May you live in interesting times"  We are -- may be challenge continue and  I hope and pray that our nation can find and maintain OUR courage -- so in a strange way, depending on what happens, perhaps the Iranians will inspire US..

 

 

Romney

Because everyone knows that if you want the most informed, up-to-the-minute analysis of international affairs, there's no better resource than an ex-governor with no security clearance or access to any information that he didn't read on Newsbusters, WorldNetDaily or a fax from Karl Rove.

it is not so

what people in Iran want in a general matter may go beyond what they are asking today, but is, on the contrary, absolutely necessary that we know that we iranians want to achieve democracy through our own process, and that means by slow reform inside the currant regime. What people are denouncing right now, is not a fraud like it may have happened in Florida, but a massive finger the government gave the people, by blatantly, and in an obvious manner announcing false results, giving the ex-head of the parlement, who had about 7 to 10 million votes in the polls a mear 333000 votes nationwide, after the number of nulled votes (white, illisible,etc). What we are asking in the street is that the currant constitution be completely in power, nothing more. Making it look like a colored revolution is what the hardliners in Iran want, it is what is going to set back the pursuit of democracy Iran.

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About Al Giordano

Biography

Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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