Reclaiming their country

June 18th, 2009 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

sullivaniran

From Andrew Sullivan’s blog.

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67 Responses to “Reclaiming their country”

  1. Jcw (96 comments) says:

    more power to them!

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  2. Bring Back Helen (4 comments) says:

    Is this a National Party rally to oust their president Judy Kirk?

    [DPF: Off topic 10 demerits]

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  3. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Oh look a new left funded troll.

    How refreshing.

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  4. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    And right on cue someone from the left comes along and avoids the issue like it is the plague (or perhaps swine flue ;-))

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  5. ephemera (561 comments) says:

    There is multi-partisan support for the people of Iran at this time.

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  6. transmogrifier (525 comments) says:

    @Gosman

    they, they, they, they, they, they, they, they

    There is no issue to discuss here, because all you are doing is arguing with a strawman. You have no interest whatsoever in Iran. I suggest if you have a problem with “Tumuke”, whoever that is, take it up with him. There is nothing more useless in a debate that offering up the opinion of some nobody and then asking people YOU deem to be on the same side to defend as if it were their own thoughts.

    Tell me what you think about Iran. Don’t tell me what you think I think about Iran.

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  7. Banana Llama (1,076 comments) says:

    Looks like it has legs i wonder how far it will go, i wish the best of luck to them.

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  8. ephemera (561 comments) says:

    @transmogrifier

    You are right. Every right-minded person in the country’s hearts are with the people in Iran.

    Trying to set up an imaginary opposition reeks of Petit Politicking.

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  9. transmogrifier (525 comments) says:

    I don’t understand why people belittle the protests by dismissing both candidates as stooges for the Islamic theocracy. This may be true (I don’t know, it’s likely, but I don’t know for sure), but as with any change, it is a case of baby steps. This is a step in the right direction, you can’t deny that. Perhaps if they find out that the person they are protesting for is not who they thought he was, then the next target will be that theocracy itself. To my mind, this is a good thing for basic human rights. Fingers crossed.

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  10. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    BS Transmogrifier. I have seen a multitude of leftist on the internet bandy about the Washington Post article where they interviewed people from Terror Free Tomorrow. The point of that was that the election result was somehow valid. Do you dispute that people have made this claim?

    If we are talking about personal opinions then do you think the election in Iran was rigged majorly?

    If so then why?

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  11. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    Also do you think the Bush administration is behind what is happening in Iran?

    I certainly don’t.

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  12. ephemera (561 comments) says:

    @transmogrifier

    It feels like the eastern-bloc countries in the late 80s.

    Does anyone remember when everyone started jeering at Romanian dictator Nicolai Chauchesku during one of his speeches? He had this look of utter bewilderment on his face. After so much brutal repression, no one dared to speak up against him in public, then suddenly everyone spoke at once. It was beautiful.

    Also, the internet’s role in the current events in Iran are very similar to that of television in eastern europe

    True democratic changes is happening there, albeit in baby-steps.

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  13. transmogrifier (525 comments) says:

    @Gosman

    So debate their assertion regarding the election. Show me how it isn’t valid. Don’t try and twist the issue into some pathetic political pointscoring, which is all you’re doing.

    And I have no idea if it was rigged or not. The Iranians certainly do, and because it is their country and they want a better country, I support their protests. It certainly helps that if they succeed, an odious world leader has departed the scene.

    I have not thought about the possibility of the USA being involved. Why would I?

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  14. ephemera (561 comments) says:

    Gosman,

    You can drag up any amount of internet chatter, but it won’t shatter an overwhelming consensus across the political spectrum in support of the democratic movement within Iran.

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  15. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    If you actually think there is an overwhelming consensus behind the protests against the election results in Iran then ephemera then I’m not entirely sure where you are looking.

    I have browsed through the left leaning blogs and on the whole most leftist bloggers in NZ are ignoring this topic in any depth. The Standard have made one post on this during this week but even on this there were a couple of comments suggested that perhaps Ahmadinejad was the people’s choice and he wasn’t part of the elite.

    I make no apologies for pointing out the seeming inaction from Leftists on this issue compared with say Israel shooting a couple of Stone throwers in the West Bank. I dislike double standards and the left reeks of this.

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  16. Bring Back Helen (4 comments) says:

    DPF How can I get 10 demerits by being off topic? Where’s a QC when you need one? All the title says says is “Reclaiming their Country”. There is no reference to Kazikshstan anywhere in this topic. Maybe you are a secret supporter of Judy Kirk? As for everyone calling me a troll that hurt – up there with Paul Henry and the moustache incident. Bring Back Helen I say! Opps, before I get another 10 demerit points for being off topic, is Iran near Mt Albert? See i said Iran!

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  17. Neil (580 comments) says:

    When I was in Tehran in 2006 we passed the beginnings of a rally for the pro-government theocracy – young kids had been bussed in and they were full of high enthusiasm. They were so pleased to be out of school for the morning. They were laughing and smiling. We drove past the demonstration later, it was highlighted by angry demonstrators with clenched fists.
    Like so much in Iran those actions are an illusion. Iranians generally are friendly and happy people.
    The future looks uncertain, a dynamic charismatic leader is needed to sweep the mullahs out- in 1979 Ayatollah Khomeni was that person who galvanised the population.
    A moderate Islamist who can carry the army is probably necessary. I don’t see that happening just yet !

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  18. Shunda barunda (3,331 comments) says:

    Wow! what a picture.
    Felt a little emotional when I saw that.

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  19. side show bob (3,410 comments) says:

    Would like to think the same thing would have happen here, minus a few hundred thousand, had the witch stolen the 08 election.

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  20. nandor tanczos (75 comments) says:

    I too felt emotional when I saw that, and also the coverage of mass political mobilisation before the election. Very exciting after long years of repression.

    I agree with transmogrifier about people who dismiss Moussavi as another stooge of the imams. In a highly controlled context like Iran, even a moderate can appear as a radical reformer worthy of support. Example, Hungary in 1956 – Imre Nagy was not actually a revolutionary, but he was a moderate in the context of a Stalinist dictatorship. the revolutionaries supported him because he represednted a big step forward. In the end the revolution overtook him, as happens when the desires of the people overtake the limitations of the political classes. The same thing may well happen to Moussavi. Either way, more power to the Iranian people.

    btw the whole so called debate Gosman refers to is a bunch of crap. The discussion on Tumeke was not about anyone in NZ supporting Ahmadinejad but about whether the election was fraudulent. We’ll probably never know for sure, but the fact that he is a tyrant doesn’t mean lots of people don’t vote for him – possibly a majority. Most Italians loved Mussolini. Most Queenslanders loved Joh Bjelke-Petersen. The people voting for tyrants are not the ones who cop the violence. and vice versa.

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  21. PaulL (5,736 comments) says:

    What’s not to love about Joh Bjelke-Petersen? One of NZ’s better exports to Australia if you ask me!!

    I’m so very very excited about the situation in Iran. Because I know a few Iranians (or, as many of them say, Persians, as the plebs don’t know it is the same, and those in the know generally don’t hold the Iranian political class against those who are smart enough to leave the place). And they are generally really nice people who, to my mind, are being held down by an archaic system that is creating extremism and holding the country back.

    Israel is to me an example of what you can do in the region, and in the days of Persia there was fantastic wealth. The current goings on in that region are more reminiscent of a kleptocracy than the kind of country that Iran could be. Iranians are often (generalising here) smart and hard working, as well as being open and friendly people – so there is no reason why they need to be in the mess they’re in. Politics and religion seem to be the main problems, and in Iran they are one and the same.

    I’m sure that whatever happens now won’t be the answer, but it will at least be the starting point with the potential for something better. And even better, it looks to be a popular uprising from the people themselves, not something foisted upon them from without.

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  22. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    Ah Mr Tanczos nice to see you come on and give your little ‘spin’ on your support for Mr Bradbury’s position on the election in Iran.

    Perhaps you would care to enlighten us all why you feel that possibly a majority of Iranians voted for Mr Ahmadinejad. In fact I think your exact words were ‘However I also agree that it may simply be wishful thinking to say the election was rigged.’

    Why is it wishful thinking? Do you not think that it is strange that the election results were announced so quickly after the polls closed and that Mr Ahmadinejad won a huge majority, the biggest in the Islamic Republics history), even in opposition strongholds like Tehran?

    Do you not think it strange that the regime is cracking down hard on dissent instead of just saying well lets do a complete recount? Were you not just a little bit suspicious when the Security apparatus of the state swung into action so rapidly, even before the election result was announced?

    By the way I don’t think I ever said that anybody in NZ is supporting Mr Ahmadinejad. I did say that people were being apologists for him. Just as you are being now.

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  23. Jeff83 (772 comments) says:

    Gosman thinking left blogs speaks for the left you are deluded. The paper that has had some of the best coverage of this event is the Independent, in particular R Fisks articles have been great.

    If you really want to get partisian all you got to do is point out that once dialogue was offered, people saw an alternative and rallied against their government. As opposed to being threatend with invasion constantly as per the rights rhetoric.

    Anyway good on Iran, good on the protestors and I hope things turn out in a positive form, which is far from certain at the moment.

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  24. NX (449 comments) says:

    Every day Iranians risking it all to defend their democracy.

    New Zealanders should have taken to the streets when our democracy was threatened in 2005 -2008. In fact I’m rather ashamed we didn’t. It’s an issue that still resonates with me very strongly…. and yet in spite of my anger at the time I did nothing!

    Don Brash said:

    I believe we would’ve won were it not for gross overspending of the legal limit by the Labour Party. Parties have strict limits on how much they’re allowed to spend yearly. I think the limit for the National Party in 2005 was about $2.25 million and the limit for the Labour Party was $2.4 million. They overspent that by about 25%, which is a massive overspend, much of it in the last week of the election campaign. We were right up against our limit, couldn’t spend more and they just went right on spending, ignoring the limit.

    More Labour corruption.

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  25. Russell Brown (379 comments) says:

    Ah Mr Tanczos nice to see you come on and give your little ’spin’ on your support for Mr Bradbury’s position on the election in Iran.

    Do you have to be such a patronising jerk? We don’t really know what happened in last week’s election, although I’m far more convinced by the arguments that a huge, clumsy fraud was perpetrated than by the other side.

    Both before and after the election there have indeed been some unreconstructed leftists who thought that Ahmadinejad, as the champion of Iran’s rural poor, was their man. But not many. OTOH, I could also point you to quite a few US conservative commentatrs who celebrated Ahmadinejad’s “victory” because they thought it would push Obama into a harder line against Iran. There are stupid people all over.

    Even then, we need to bear in mind that there are actors behind all this — it’s now being seen as a power struggle between Khamenei and Rhafsanjani (it would still be reasonable to see the latter as much more our kind of guy).

    FWIW, I know people on “the left” who have been actively engaged with the protesters over the past week — re-tweeting, co-ordinating and supplying secure proxy addresses to people inside the country. I’ve passed on some proxy addresses myself. What did you do, Gosman?

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  26. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    “The future looks uncertain, a dynamic charismatic leader is needed to sweep the mullahs out- in 1979 Ayatollah Khomeni was that person who galvanised the population.”

    Oh God no – no more dynamic charismatic leaderrs please! Iran and everywhere else has had enough of them.

    Khomeni road to power on the back of mass public protest – he didn’t create it. Much of the anti-Shah movement in 1979 was secular and liberal, after the Shah’s departure there was a struggle for power and the hard line Islamists took over – helped in part by the Iraqi invasion which created a real state of emergency in Iran and thus fertile ground for authoritarian elements. The Revolutionary Guards dedicated/fanatical resistance to the invasion also helped them portray themselves as the country’s saviours. Nationalism is as big a thing as religion in Iran, and a threat to national sovereignty is inevitably going to bring out grudging support for whoever is in power there.

    By the way, while Westerners obsesses about dress standards and who is in power, the biggest gripe I hard from Iranians when I visited was about the stifling and incompetent bureaucracy (admittedly my contact was limited and I don’t speak Parsi).

    But I agree that regardless of Mousavi’s politics, the main thing is that there is widespread opposition in the streets – good luck to them.

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  27. Scott (2,039 comments) says:

    I think we can be fairly safe in saying the election was rigged. Fox News in their coverage noted that the incumbent swept all 30 provinces before him including the challenger’s own hometown. Given the wide spread, huge numbers that have turned out in protest I think it is safe to assume that Moussavi had heaps of support that was not reflected in the official election result.

    I would like to see Moussavi to be elected in a free and fair election as president of Iran. It seems there is a wide and popular movement for liberalisation and a desire to moderate the repression of Islam in every facet of life.

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  28. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    Wow that is a truly amazing photograph.

    I suspect the election was rigged for two main reasons:

    1) The results came out too quickly.
    2) When graphing the results, the proportion of votes stayed almost exactly the same – this seems impossible as there will always be regional fluctuations and so forth.

    Power to the Iranian people I say. Revolutions are exciting and uplifting, I hope this turns into one.

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  29. Spoff (294 comments) says:

    I don’t think we are at all safe in calling the election rigged. The Ballen/Dougherty poll seems to be the only one that emanates from an organization that, if it has a bias, is sympathetic to liberal democracy. It also publishes the methodology and has a track record.
    This poll shows:
    Ahmadinejad: 33.8%
    Moussavai: 13.6%
    Kharoubi: 1.7%
    Rezai: .9%
    None: 7.6%
    Don’t know: 27.4%

    Let’s call the None+Refused+Don’t Know responses Unknown. They total 50.05%. The vote turnout was 85%. So, let’s subtract the 15% from the Unknown, and rescale. Now we have:
    39.7% Ahmadinejad
    16.0% Mousavi
    2.0% Karroubi
    1.1% Rezai
    41.2% Unknown
    If we now distribute the Unknown equally between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi (and given that the distribution would more likely follow the known ratio) we get:
    60.3% Ahmadinejad
    36.6% Mousavi
    3.1% Others
    This is close to the result announced.

    This poll also showed the incumbent leading in Moussavi’s patch:
    “During the campaign, for instance, Mousavi emphasized his identity as an Azeri, the second-largest ethnic group in Iran after Persians, to woo Azeri voters. Our survey indicated, though, that Azeris favored Ahmadinejad by 2 to 1 over Mousavi.

    Much commentary has portrayed Iranian youth and the Internet as harbingers of change in this election. But our poll found that only a third of Iranians even have access to the Internet, while 18-to-24-year-olds comprised the strongest voting bloc for Ahmadinejad of all age groups.

    The only demographic groups in which our survey found Mousavi leading or competitive with Ahmadinejad were university students and graduates, and the highest-income Iranians. When our poll was taken, almost a third of Iranians were also still undecided. Yet the baseline distributions we found then mirror the results reported by the Iranian authorities, indicating the possibility that the vote is not the product of widespread fraud. “
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/14/AR2009061401757.html

    The Poll and methodology:
    http://www.terrorfreetomorrow.org/upimagestft/TFT%20Iran%20Survey%20Report%200609.pdf

    It would be good to see some hard data from other polls.

    Another aspect that troubles me is the perception that Moussavi is somehow a liberal. He was Prime Minister during 1981 to 1989, a period during which between 8,000-30,000 political prisoners were executed and the first centrifuges were bought from Pakistan.

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  30. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    Spoff is a prime example of how many on the left are acting as apologists for Ahmadinejad and his cohorts for stealing the election.

    Spoff is using the Terror Free Tomorrow poll conducted about a month before the election. This was taken before serious campaigning actually got underway.

    Most political astute commentators note that the momentum in the campaign swung the way of the anti-Ahmadinejad camp through the course of election period.

    Regardless of this fact, Spoff is seriously misinterpreting the original poll findings. In no way did it suggest that Ahmadinejad would romp in with almost two thirds of the vote. This is the spin put on the poll AFTER the election results were announced.

    If people take the time to read the conclusions from the original poll they will instead find out that it stated the following:

    “A close examination of our survey results reveals that the race may actually be closer than a first look at the numbers would indicate. More than 60 percent of those who state they don’t know who they will vote for in the Presidential elections reflect individuals who favor political reform and change in the current system.”

    “The current mood indicates that none of the candidates will likely pass the 50 percent threshold needed to automatically win; meaning that a second round
    runoff between the two highest finishers, as things stand, Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Moussavi, is likely.”

    Spoff can conduct all the unscientific and bias rejigging of the original poll data that he or she desires to try and justify his apologist stance. However the actual pollsters came to the conclusion that it was extremely improbable that Mr. Ahmadinejad would win the first round outright, let alone get 65% of the vote and the highest number of votes in the history of the Islamic Republic.

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  31. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    Wish you’d stop distracting from the issue by trying to turn this into a bludgeon against “the left” – whoever they are.

    I reckon the election was fixed. I also reckon Ahmadinejad may well have won if it hadn’t been. I also reckon the Iranian political system is designed to sucessfully prevent change even if a reformist wins the presidency. So the fixed election isn’t the real problem.

    “Another aspect that troubles me is the perception that Moussavi is somehow a liberal.”

    I saw comment – I think from Azar Nafisi – somewhere saying that to gauge Iranian political change you look at what the candidates are presently saying, rather than results. Mousavi campaigned on a liberal reformist platform because he thought there were votes in it. If a former hardliner is seeking the liberal vote, there’s evidence that the establishment is recognising the popular mood for change.

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  32. Spoff (294 comments) says:

    I don’t have a dog in this race as Gosman seems to but for the record, he is wrong on two counts here:

    “More than 60 percent of those who state they don’t know who they will vote for in the Presidential elections reflect individuals who favor political reform and change in the current system.”

    Through his redistribution of oil revenues to the poor etc., Ahmadinejad is probably seen as a “reform” candidate. Moussavi, as a previous Prime Minister during a previous hardline era is possibly not viewed as such. Note that the poll also indicated:
    “Yet the integrity of our results is confirmed by the politically risky responses Iranians were willing to give to a host of questions. For instance, nearly four in five Iranians — including most Ahmadinejad supporters — said they wanted to change the political system to give them the right to elect Iran’s supreme leader, who is not currently subject to popular vote.”

    In any case, I have no problems applying 60% of the undecideds to Moussavi. It makes bugger-all difference to the result.

    “However the actual pollsters came to the conclusion that it was extremely improbable that Mr. Ahmadinejad would win the first round outright, let alone get 65% of the vote and the highest number of votes in the history of the Islamic Republic.”
    This is lifted from a critique of the poll and is not quite accurate. Here is what the pollsters themselves said:

    “Independent and uncensored nationwide surveys of Iran are rare. Typically, preelection polls there are either conducted or monitored by the government and are notoriously untrustworthy. By contrast, the poll undertaken by our nonprofit organizations from May 11 to May 20 was the third in a series over the past two years. Conducted by telephone from a neighboring country, field work was carried out in Farsi by a polling company whose work in the region for ABC News and the BBC has received an Emmy award. Our polling was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

    The breadth of Ahmadinejad’s support was apparent in our preelection survey. During the campaign, for instance, Mousavi emphasized his identity as an Azeri, the second-largest ethnic group in Iran after Persians, to woo Azeri voters. Our survey indicated, though, that Azeris favored Ahmadinejad by 2 to 1 over Mousavi….

    …The current mood indicates that none of the candidates will likely pass the 50 percent threshold needed to automatically win; meaning that a second round runoff between the two highest finishers, as things stand, Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Moussavi, is likely. In the 2005 Presidential elections, the leader in the first round, Hashemi Rafsanjani, lost to his runner-up, Mr. Ahmadinejad, in the second round run off—though an incumbent has never been defeated in a Presidential election since the beginning of the Islamic Republic.

    There is nothing unusual about the vote hardening up as the election grew closer. This poll was conducted from May 11 to May 20. Most reports indicate that Ahmadinejad ran a very good campaign among the poor. Moussavi, who is closely identified with Rafsanjani, Iran’s richest man, is not strong in that demographic.

    What Gosman proposes with this:
    “it was extremely improbable that Mr. Ahmadinejad would win the first round outright, let alone get 65% of the vote”

    …is absurd. He was already polling 2 to one ahead of Moussavi and the rest of the field hardly making a show. Where did Gosman expect the undecided vote to go? Only if it went massively against both leading candidates could neither have reached the threshold.

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  33. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    So do we have anyone else on here who is an apologist for Ahmadinejad blatent vote rigging?

    These Iranians must be a volatile lot if they get up set enough to die for a cause when they lose by a landslide.

    What you fail to explain away Spoff is the actions of the regime as the election results were being announced.

    Anybody who has a really does have 65% of the people behind them does not behave in the way the Ahmadinejad camp has done.

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  34. Spoff (294 comments) says:

    So do we have anyone else on here who is an apologist for Ahmadinejad

    I think that my post calls “blatent vote rigging” (sic) into question. Perhaps you should address the points made before you consider rigging as fact.

    “the actions of the regime as the election results were being announced.”

    Please elucidate.

    One thing that has concerned me from the start of this discussion is the photograph posted at the head of discussion.
    If one follows this link:
    http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?p=17946433

    …..one finds the same photograph, without the green insignia, posted under the caption: “Ahmadinejad’s visit to Isfahan”.
    This post was made on 13 Jun 2009, 09:21 AM, the morning after the election so it was taken and published before the election. The photograph also carries the imprimatur of Amir Hosseini of the Fars News Agency so it can be checked. I advise readers to do so.

    So it seems that the photograph that heads this thread is not only that of a rally for Ahmadinejad but it is also photoshopped to show the green insignia of the opposition.

    I leave you to draw your own conclusions and I think the director of this blog, DPF, should point up this error.

    Now let us be perfectly clear. I have no faith. I do not give a monkeys for Islam or Christianity or any such mumbo jumbo but I respect any individual’s right to think what he thinks, believe what he believes and vote accordingly which is what I think happened here.

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  35. Spoff (294 comments) says:

    ……..and from the BBC:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2009/06/what_really_happened.html

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  36. Spoff (294 comments) says:

    In fairness, and (incidentally) at the prompting of an Iranian National who shares with me the belief that his country is being manipulated by the U.S. and the $400 million they dedicated to the overthrow of the Iranian Government, I must concede that the photo may indeed be that of a different rally on a different day.

    I disagree. Until the provenance of the photo is established, the angle and certain features of it indicate (to me) that it is the same picture photoshopped, and, though I remain unconvinced, a doubt has been introduced.

    Integrity demands that I make this doubt public.

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  37. itiswhatitis (42 comments) says:

    How quickly we forget. It seems like only yesterday that the headlines were ablaze with news of the color-coded revolutions supposedly inspired by our president’s commitment to fostering “democracy” throughout the globe. In an inaugural speech widely derided by those who hadn’t quaffed too deeply of the neoconservative Kool-Aid, George W. Bush declared that U.S. foreign policy has “the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.” Not content with “liberating” Iraq, while reducing it to a pile of rubble, the U.S. government went on the offensive on a global scale, hailing the color revolutions in Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Belarus, and Lebanon as examples of what the president had earlier referred to as a U.S.-led “global democratic revolution.”

    It’s only a few years later, however, and the “revolution” seems to have petered out. Worse, in all instances, the “revolution” turned out to be completely illusory, i.e., little more than a flimsy pretext for U.S.-engineered regime change on the cheap.

    The takeover of power in Weimar Germany on January 30, 1933. This is the day Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany. Another name commonly used for the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 is the Brown Revolution .[

    The White Revolution (Persian: انقلاب سفید Enghelāb-e Sefid) was a far-reaching series of reforms launched in 1963 by the late Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
    The leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini got his start as a political leader and organizer opposing the White Revolution. In a March 22, 1963 speech at Qom in honor of students killed fighting against the Shah’s reforms, he attacked provisions of the reforms that would allow members of Iran’s non-Muslim minority to be elected or appointed to local offices: A couple months later on Ashura, Khomeini gave an angry speech attacking the Shah as a “wretched miserable man” [5] and asking whether the Shah was an “infidel” Jew.[6] Two days later, on June 5, Khomeini was arrested. This sparked three days of rioting and left several hundred dead. The riots were remembered in speeches and writings as the time when the army “slaughtered no less than 15,000″.[7] Khomeini was released from house arrest in April 1964 but sent into exile that November.

    The Carnation Revolution (Portuguese: Revolução dos Cravos), also referred to as the 25 de Abril, was a left-leaning military coup[1] started on April 25, 1974,

    The Velvet Revolution in Prague (Czechoslovakia) in 1989. A peaceful demonstration by students (mostly from Charles University) was attacked by the police – and in time contributed to the collapse of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.

    The Rose Revolution in Georgia, following the disputed 2003 election, led to the overthrow of Eduard Shevardnadze and replacing him with Mikhail Saakashvili after new elections were held in March 2004.

    The Tulip Revolution (sometimes called the Pink Revolution) refers to the overthrow of President Askar Akayev and his government in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan after the parliamentary elections of February 27 and of March 13, 2005.

    The Orange Revolution in Ukraine followed the disputed second round of the Ukrainian presidential election, 2004, leading to the annulment of the result and the repeat of the round — Leader of the Opposition Viktor Yushchenko was declared President, defeating Viktor Yanukovych. The Orange Revolution was supported by Pora.
    The Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan was more violent than its predecessors and followed the disputed Kyrgyz parliamentary election, 2005. At the same time, it was more fragmented than previous “colour” revolutions. The protesters in different areas adopted the colours pink and yellow for their protests. This revolution was supported by youth resistance movement KelKel.

    The Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, unlike the revolutions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, followed not a disputed election, but rather the assassination of opposition leader Rafik Hariri in 2005. Also, instead of the annulment of an election, it demanded the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.

    Blue Revolution was a term used by some Kuwaitis [6] to refer to demonstrations in Kuwait in support of women’s suffrage beginning in March 2005; it was named after the colour of the signs the protesters used. In May of that year the Kuwaiti government acceded to their demands, granting women the right to vote beginning in the 2007 parliamentary elections. [7] Since there was no call for regime change

    The Green Revolution is a term being widely used to describe the ongoing Iranian election protests, because of presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s campaign colour. It is also being referred to as the “Twitter Revolution”[1] and the “Facebook Revolution”[2], with both terms alluding to the fact that many of the protests are being organised through the Internet.

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  38. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Half Andrew Sullivan and half Wikipedia, itswhatitis? All adds up to complete failure in my book.

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  39. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    After reading some of the latest apologist rants from people like spoff and itiswhatitis, (who are now claiming that the US might be behind the protest. Try and keep up, the Iranian regime is now blaming the Brits), who now still thinks that there isn’t a significant section of the left who feels that the protestors do not have valid reasons for their anger and that the election was all fine and dandy?

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  40. Spoff (294 comments) says:

    “On May 23, 2007, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito reported on ABC News: “The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert ‘black’ operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell ABC News.”

    On May 27, 2007, the London Telegraph independently reported: “Mr. Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.”

    A few days previously, the Telegraph reported on May 16, 2007, that Bush administration neocon warmonger John Bolton told the Telegraph that a US military attack on Iran would “be a ‘last option’ after economic sanctions and attempts to foment a popular revolution had failed.”

    On June 29, 2008, Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker: “Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to 400 million dollars, were described in the Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.”

    The protests in Tehran no doubt have many sincere participants. The protests also have the hallmarks of the CIA-orchestrated protests in Georgia and Ukraine.
    It requires total blindness not to see this.”

    http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22875.htm

    Four hundred million U.S. dollars buys a lot of green ribbon.

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  41. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    What I would like to know is where Sam Buchanan, ephemera, and transmogrifier are, now that it is obvious members of the left are now claiming that the protests have been fermented by the US and that Mr Ahmadinejad probably did win the election after all.

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  42. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    I’m here, usual place. Apparently I should chant the appropriate mantra over and over again or be accused of being ‘an apologist’. Pointing out that an unplesant, inconvenient fact just might be true.

    As I said before, I reckon the election was fixed and I also think Ahmadinejad might have won a fair election. I suppose that makes me an ‘apologist for the regime’ in your eyes, rather than somebody trying to decide the truth of the matter. So what? I couldn’t care less what you think of me – don’t even know who you are.

    As for ‘the left’, I don’t know who you are talking about and it’s not a term I apply to myself (Particularly if you throw in people like Seamus Milne from the Guardian – ex-public school boy, ex-Economist journo, apparently member of the pro-capitalist, pro-globalisation, free market espousing UK Labour Party). I certainly don’t feel reponsible for what a few supposed members of this ‘left’ are saying.

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  43. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    I didn’t say you were an apologist. My issue with you is you seem to have more of a problem with me pointing out the apologists than with what the apologists themselves are saying. You might disagree with my views but your lack of disapproval for the apologists views is rather strange to me

    What I find particular galling is this idea that people should accept the validity of the election unless there is ‘proof’ that they were rigged. How is it possible to get definitive ‘proof’ of election shenagans when the apparatus of the state are covering it up.

    It isn’t as if the defeated candidates can appeal to the judiciary to review the result. The Judiciary is under the control of the very people who perpetuated this abortion of an election.

    The Iranian regime is now killing people who are protesting against it. This is not something anybody should try and explain away by saying that perhaps Ahmadinejad is more popular than we thought and that we still need to regard him as the legitimate President of the country.

    Iran needs to be told in no uncertain terms that behaviour such as that carried out during the election period and now is unacceptable to the West and by carrying out such action the Regime has no ligitimacy.

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  44. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    So Mr Buchanan what are your views on all the information that Spoff has posted and his obvious asertion that Ahmadinejad victory in the election was not rigged and that the resulting protests have been fermented by the US?

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  45. Spoff (294 comments) says:

    And what is your take on the evidence of U.S. interference presented by Paul Craig Roberts?

    Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand.

    Leftist?

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  46. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    My issue is that your response to the very welcome developments in Iran is to try and push some stupid anti-‘leftist’ bandwagon and malign people who are clearly opposed to Iran’s theocratic regime. I want people to be able to discuss whether the election was rigged (I think it was) or whether the US is involved (I don’t know – but wouldn’t be surprised – the US government has intervened in Iran fairly frequently for decades. But I don’t think the protests are solely a US jack up), without being tagged ‘apologist’.

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  47. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    I humbly suggest you grow a pair if you object to being called an apologist. I have seen much worse bandied about on Blog forums.

    You go on about how you don’t know if the US is behind the protests in Iran at the election or whether the election is rigged yet you fail to comment on any articles put forward by various people supporting the different sides of the argument. It seems it is you who is not contributing anything meaningful to this debate except attack my position.

    Pointing out leftist hypocracy when it comes to countries like Iran is not something I feel the need to apologise to you about.

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  48. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    How about you actually add something to the discussion Mr Buchanan by giving your opinion on the Economist article I linked to.

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  49. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    You just said you weren’t calling me an apologist.

    You seem determined not to define ‘leftist’. And accusing people of being apologists for a regime because they point out that it may have supporters is not “pointing out hypocrisy”. But if your idea of what is acceptable is based on what goes on in blog forums I suggest you get a life.

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  50. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    How about instead of wasting your time attacking me, (talk about someone needing to get a life), you actually bother to make some comment on the information people have posted on this forum.

    I ask you once again what are your views on the Economist article on the vote rigging in the election.

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  51. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    The Economist article isn’t bad – there’s a couple of rather vague generalisations, but I still have a fairly high regard for the Economist. The quality of the writing is high and the obituaries are excellent (might be a bit ‘leftist’ for you, Gos).

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  52. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    Actually I rate the Economist extremely highly. It does tend towards statist intervention a little much but it certainly acknowledges that the less this is done the better and that individual liberty and respect for private property rights is the ideal.

    The trouble with people demanding ‘proof’ of election rigging is that there is never really a ‘smoking-gun’ in countries like this unless someone seriously screws up. Even in that case the Regime in question normally has the political nous and muscle to muddy the situation enough that noone is entirely sure if the evidence in question is correct or not.

    Certainly if we look at election rigging in a place like Zimbabwe for example, (I think most of us Left and Right can agree that something dubious happened there), the Judiciary and Election Authorities are sufficiently under the control of the Regime that noone can get the true picture out.

    This is where the Economist article, as well as other analysis of the election, has been very good. It is not one thing that ‘proves’ the election was rigged but the general behaviour of the regime on the election night and in the aftermath.

    The high turnout in the election has not historically benefitted the Regimes preferred choice of candidate in the past.

    Such a huge turnout did not impact the amount of time it took to count the votes. In fact it seems to have been a record amount of time for elections results to come out.

    The ‘Reformist’ candidates election teams were denied the opportunity to monitor the counting of votes in key areas.

    A back up proposal of using SMS technology to pass on ballot information to ensure it’s validity, (a tactic used with great effect by the Zimbabwe MDC in last years initial round of election), was denied by the regime when they shut down the SMS network.

    The way election results were announced in blocks rather than as a steady trickle. This is a common tactic of those who choose to steal elections. Also the fact that the numbers being announced in each block were remakable consistent.

    The unusual fact that a candidate that got over 5 million votes last time got less than the number of spoiled ballots this time around.

    The fact that a very divisive candidate of the establishment was re-elected with the biggest majority in the history of the Islamic Republic on a huge turnout of 85 percent.

    The unusual step of the Supreme head of the Islamic republic giving his blessing to the ‘victory ‘ of Ahmadinejad hours after the vote has closed when by law the results should be anounced by the Guardian Council three days after the election.

    Steps taken in the aftermath to stop dissent suggesting that the authorities were prepared for soem sort of disquiet over the results.

    All of these amongst others are suggestive of massive vote rigging. I have yet to see anyone actually successfully refute these facts.

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  53. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Well, no need to worry Spoff, itswhatitis and Sam, because Omoron has cut out all funding for the Iranian democracy initiatives. $400 million to nothing. Not a cent. Rejoice! Fascist imperialist military-industrial interventionism is over!

    Just as well Omoron has kept his mouth shut, he doesn’t want to derail his precious negotiations with the Iranian thugs, even if a few dozen Iranians like Neda have to die needlessly.

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  54. valeriusterminus (237 comments) says:

    Three questions for Gosman to set the baseline..
    1/ Are you a z(Z)ionist?
    2/ Do you believe that Ahmadinejad has ever advocated (quote required to refute) that “israel should be wiped off the map”?
    3/ Have you procreated?

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  55. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Is Gosman one of those KRAZY NEYOKON JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZ?!?! Wow, what a silly question. The left has outdone itself once more.

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  56. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    # valeriusterminus

    1/ Are you a z(Z)ionist? – What do you mean by this rather loaded question?

    If you mean do I support the right for the State of Israel to exist in some form then the answer is yes.

    If you mean do I accept that Israel has the right to occupy the entire territory of the old mandate of Palestine and carry out policies detrimental to the non-Jewish inhabitants, then I have to answer no.

    2/ Do you believe that Ahmadinejad has ever advocated (quote required to refute) that “israel should be wiped off the map”? -I have no idea if he ever uttered those exact words (unlikely I suspect as he speaks Farsi).

    Do I think that he believes, as do many Muslims, that the UN resolution creating the Jewish state of Israel was wrong? Then I would have to say that I am pretty confident that is his position.

    3/ Have you procreated? – None of your F**king business.

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  57. tom hunter (5,161 comments) says:

    Gosman

    Leave the bait. It’s just standard debate framing stuff intended to distract from the points you were making about generic left-wing support for Third world thugs.

    I think we should also stop wasting time debating this whole “who stole the election?” issue because it’s pointless; as much as the BBC and other Western media “following” the progress of the campaign in the weeks leading up to the election. We might as well be back in the 1920’s arguing about why Trotsky has failed to get the same support as Stalin, or arguing about any old communist ‘election’.

    The debate was always about something far more fundamental, but it is only now that we see it coming to the fore with the hearts and minds of ordinary people out on the streets of Iran. It’s about simple human liberty, the freedom to live as each of us wants to live, and how to get a society that best enables that.

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  58. MyNameIsJack (2,414 comments) says:

    Reporting from Tehran — Iran’s judiciary will set up a special court to try protesters arrested in the surge of civil unrest since the disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a judiciary official said on state television, as the government continues its crackdown aimed at crushing its greatest domestic challenge in 30 years.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran23-2009jun23,0,4158764.story

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  59. Gosman (343 comments) says:

    Agreed with your analogy there regarding Communist elections. I remember debating my left wing brother in the 1980’s about the fact that the various Communist party’s in Eastern Europe all had popular support and that East German’s didn’t want to be reunited with West German’s. The debate here has taken on a very similar flavour from some, (not ALL Mr Buchanan), members of the Leftist fraternity.

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