"I'll just get my gear."

Iranian election

Well, I don’t got anything smart to say about it, but I’m seeing some of this news and flashing back to our elections in 2000 and 2004. I remember how that shit felt in the pit of my stomach. But also I’m seeing how the people of Iran are trying to do something about it and at greater risk than we were ever at. And I know I got a few readers scattered through all different countries so if you’re out there, no matter how you feel about the election, stay strong and be safe.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 15th, 2009 at 12:21 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

20 Responses to “Iranian election”

  1. Vern, remember when CNN was right there in the thick with up-to-date info during the First Gulf War and the 1989 Revolutions in Eastern Europe? Cue 20 years later, and CNN is in 3rd place behind the Neocon Fox News and leftist MSNBC…and officially fucking irrelevant after their (and rest of American MSM) embarrasing lack of attention to this civil war/coup/revolt/people power happening over there. Apparently the Jonas Brothers on Larry King was bigger news.

    You want an example of CNN’s failure? That big peaceful demonstration in Tehran today? They reported it as numbering “Tens of Thousands.” Well, it was actually in the HUNDREDS of thousands, and some people on the ground claim it could have been as much as a MILLION. I doubt that, but it wouldn’t shock me if true.

    Since the Iran regime basically rigged the election without even bothering to hide it (think Katherine Harris), many Blogs like Andrew Sullivan’s* Daily Dish and Huffington Post and even a few global MSM outlets (New York Times, BBC) have done their fucking job in covering in detail from the reports of the shit going down over there.

    Mate, if one watched the cable news networks, they probably wouldn’t have realized that the secret police stormed the Tehran University the other night, and beat 6 students to death and smashed the dorms to pieces. Or that their Supreme Ayatollah leader twice claimed the election results were “final”…only to pussy out from the pressure and claim “a probe” is in order.

    Or hackers in Iran, teamed up with comrades around the world, are helping to spam up and shut down several government websites. Or that the whole Tehran university faculty resigned all in protest.

    Oh and that government-backed militia murdering that protestor today, a picture that AP is running wide.

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/

  2. Also, Twitter is planning a 90 minute maintenance break tonight…which will hurt those kids in Iran because Twitter has effectively been their source of communication with each other and the world.

    I dont know Twitter much, but go here and bitchout Twitter into cancelling this maintenance break.

    #twitterfail.

  3. according to the huffington post, twitter has rescheduled their maintenance.

  4. This is bullshit. All of it. I feel incredibly sorry for the people of Iran who did their part, only to have their voices silenced. Hopefully something good will come of all this. It’s just incredibly sad. Hopefully no one else gets hurt. It is honorable to continue to protest in the face of such oppression.

  5. aaron w. – Awesome, thanks for letting us know.

    Here apparently is a way where you and your computer or laptop can help out that “Resistance”*, by helping setting up a proxy for those Iranians to use to help dodge Big Brother’s net crackdown of silence.

    http://blog.austinheap.com/2009/06/15/how-to-setup-a-proxy-for-iran-citizens-for-windows/

    *=Lets hope it does well better than SALVATION did.

  6. vern, it’s your insistence on commenting on more than just movies that keeps me coming back here. what’s happening in iran right now appears to be fucking tragic and given the role that iran clearly plays in geopolitics, i’ve gotta say i think it’s pretty important that it be dealt with seriously. it’s just such a relief to finally have an american administration with a progressive agenda. i have no idea how much of what the media is telling us is genuine, and while i know that it’s naive and there are always politics at play regardless, the obama administration isn’t throwing the same old bullshit our way and it’s so reassuring it’s ridiculous. i’m canadian and have been told to keep quiet on american politics many many times on aintitcool, but felt it was appropriate to say how fucking awesome it feels to be able to have that confidence in the most powerful government in the world. let’s hope the kids in iran stay strong and keep fighting the good fight.

  7. RRA and aaron….thanks for what you’re posting. keep it coming if you can

  8. why is everyone wigging out about the Iranian election? The people who are actually in power over there(the Ayatollahs) are not elected officials. The elections and the presidency is just a side show. Even if the reformist party wins, no real reforms will take place. Didn’t you guys watch Syriana ?

    The Ayatollahs will not relinquish any of the control in the near future. Of course I feel bad for the people who feel cheated and I hope no one dies over this but lets keep things in context. As long as the Supreme Leader exists, the elections are irrelevant.

  9. pheteesh – If you read the blogs, like Huffington Post, of the last day or two, you’ll see reports of how its not just candidates and their supporters squaring off in an electoral squabble, but very much a struggle within that government between those factions. Read them here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/13/iran-demonstrations-viole_n_215189.html

    Hell if some postings are to be believed, there is a strong debate being considered among the “Ayatollahs” to remove the Supreme Leader from his post. Apparently telling the Iranian population twice that the election was final, then to back down and call for a probe….makes you look like a pussy. Especially for if your Pope-like religious infalliable “final word” coming off as anything but that.

    And again, look back man. You’ll read about a few clerics and even Ayatollahs within that government calling to void the elections or to investigate them or side with the demonstrators or even resign in protest.

    Should I also remind you of a fat guy once named Boris Yeltsin? He was a petty politician, very much part of the Soviet machine. Yet at the right time, at the right place….he oversaw the totaltarian USSR become the democratic Russian Federation (which under Putin became a one-party Democracy, but thats besides the point.)

    Apathy is a natural reaction in times like these. It’s warranted at times, but sometimes hope is worth knowing. Remember two years ago when people, even several among American blacks and liberals like Vern, probably thought Obama would be a fucking cool President? Just too bad he can’t win the general election…much less the party nomination.

    Who knows what will become of all this? Maybe it’ll get smashed this side of Beijing 20 years ago? Maybe some form of resolution show (i.e. power-sharing government?) will end this peacefully and keep the government in place? Maybe in the upcoming “vote recount,” President Ratface will be thrown out by the leading Mullahs to shut the crowds up. Or maybe, just maybe….something better for not just those Iranian saps, but even the world itself?

    The sense I gathered was, the regime could have bought itself time in a probe or recount or whatever, and hope to run out the clock and the crowds go back home and then say fuck it. THEN that govt-backed paramilitary gang had to open fire (caught on tape) onto the demonstrators from rooftops, shot up alot of people, and then that University deadly skull bashing…

    This shit aint just about Mousavi or some election directly at this rate. Its alot of pent-up anger and resentment from several things over the years, being expressed in peaceful large parades of protest, or in violent fiery riots on the streets. There is something joyful, in a good way, to read reports and see tapes of the secret police/militias beating up on kids, only for the large crowds to jump the assaulters and either chase them away or give them a good ass-whuppin.

    Plus that rumor reported by a Cyprus news agency about elements of both the military and “Revolutionary Guard” turning and arressting each other….sexy and thrilling. Who knows?

    This shit is fascinating too: a list of Twitters in Iran.

    http://www.h3x.no/2009/06/14/iranians-on-twitter-during-the-june-clashes/

  10. Vern, more importantly, all of America(tm) wants to know who is right: Dave Letterman or Sarah Palin.

    God Bless.

  11. Letterman. I mean I figured that joke was aimed at the daughter who got knocked up.

    No offense to Dave, but he pussied out. Actually, that is an offense at him.

  12. Here’s the thing, though. It looks pretty likely that “voting irregularities” did occur, but the liklihood is still pretty high that Ahmadinejad won the election anyway. Remember, most of the footage you’re seeing on TV is from Tehran or other urban areas, where Mousavi’s support was concentrated and where the results depict a close race – 52 percent to 46 percent in Tehran.

    The government may have /probably did rig the election, but I think it quite likely that Ahmadinejad is still supported by the majority of the population. Which really brings back memories of the Bush years — that feeling of, “my God, even if we did get this election result overruled, half the country’s nuts for this guy”. That’s what I’m sure all those kids out there are feeling in the pit of their stomach.

    Many idiots in the country (Mitt Romney in particular has been insipid of late) want Obama to come out and condemn this election, but thank God he’s smarter than that. Democracy’s not going to save Iran. Eliminating the situation on the ground — where assholes like Ahmadinejad have been able to take advantage of American’s pugilistic stance to bring out the worst in people– just might. As much as we feel for these poor guys who had such high hopes for change, the more we dig our heels in behind them, the more we play into Ahmadinejad’s (and his religious bosses’) strategy for staying in power. The more we demonize Ahmadinejad and the probable majority of the country who support him, the harder we make it for the reform-minded to take back their country. Iran needs a change of direction, not a virtuous but embattled minority.

  13. Thank you , Vern , for talking about relevant issues , and now giving us a forum, too. I don’t know what’s happening to information and news in this day and age. Recently , here in Italy , and in Europe , we had the European Elections . In Italy there was a complete lack of information about this elections , both the right and left wing parties concentrated instead on the personal issues of president berlusconi. His wife said that he has relationships with underage girls and blah , blah , blah……I don’t think this is more relevant than educating the citizens about the elections , political programs and solutions to the economic crisis . And , by the way , we also had a massive earthquake in central Italy , so we now have a second crisis to think about. The government , meanwhile , is hard at work on new laws to cut Internet freedom of speech and to make harder for the Police to use phone interceptions. As you can see EVERYONE , today , is more interested in gossip than relevant issues.

  14. Mr. Subtlety – Democracy is a lousy form of government, but when constituted right and streamlined of (most) corruption, it is the best governmental mechanism for protecting both the rights of the elected majority, and defeated minority…or little man versus Big Brother. Not always perfect, but it can work.

    If President Ratface had won, mabye 52% or whatever, then his government still acted like thieves in their conduct. To put it another way, remember that Kerry won 49% of the vote in 2004? Yet he still won in the 60s-80s% in Cook County, West Palm County, Bronx County, and other such traditionally rich Democratic-friendly districts. OK imagine if Dubya had won all those counties, all by 65%! Sounds fishy, eh? Well that was what happened in Iran.

    Check this piece out, where a statiscian makes his case of “moderately strong support for fraud”:

    http://www.pollster.com/blogs/mebane_moderately_strong_suppo.php

    Vern – I know you wrote in your THE ENFORCER review of how the American Left hasn’t gone organized violent since the 1970s, and at most these days its protests, a petition, and more protests…well here is a meaningful bit of snubbing at Tehran Big Brother: http://www.whereistheirvote.x10hosting.com/

    Some people want Google to change their logo, for a day, to green to stand in solidarity with the kids over there marching with others in crowds of hundreds of thousands daily.

    Now some still say that even if these kids win, nothing much will change. This isn’t a revolution, as much a reformation. But hey, we have problems with our democracy, right? We want to improve it, but not overthrow it, right? Well thats the kids too over there. If they get their reformed Islamic Republic, with guaranteed right to assembly, speech, a free independent press, the Supreme Leader becmoes the Supreme Figurehead, etc…..

    Wouldn’t you trust that to run a “peaceful” nuclear program than under President Ratface the Holocaust Denier?

  15. RRA — well, fuck. I wrote a big long response and then the shit froze and I lost it.

    But basically I just wanted to say that even though there’s very little chance that the election was “fair” by any conventional standards, Americans should be very cautious about oversimplifying the issues here or projecting our own recent history on it. Iran has an incredibly complex internal political landscape, and what looks like an upsurge of progressive idealism from here is actually the result of a lot of internal factors, especially the economic situation.

    It’s all well and good to sympathize with the protesters, but if recent American history has taught us anything it is that the world is way more complicated than our tendency towards moral outrage would usually allow us to imagine.

  16. And I agree with you totally.

    Which is why I winced when Paul Wolfowitz….yes the Prince of Darkness…wanted us to be more “assertive” regarding Iran.

    Will such foolish NeoCons ever get it that while many people so desire some sort of “freedom,” they want it in their own way, their own flavor….just not our version of freedom?

    I mean U.S., Britain, and France each are “Democracies,” yet each have completely different political symstems compared to each other.

    But yeah, thanks for bringing up nuance and realist notions: Both which taste like vinegar to a NeoCon’s tongue.

  17. sorry RRA but the Western media has a very bad track record when it comes to reporting on the middle east. I take all those blogs and such with a pinch of salt. They have framed the story as if there is a revolutionary movement in Iran fighting against evil dictatorship but is that really the case ?
    An example of something that has been largely unreported is that Mousavi used to be Prime Minister, where he implemented many of the oppressive policies that he is now denouncing. He is being painted as as a great liberator when he is just a calculating politician.
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/06/2009613181040285185.html

    Its like when McCain started denouncing financial deregulation after supporting it for years. How can you take someone like that seriously?

    Okay thats all from me on Iran. I don want it to seem like Im talking for those people or anything.I just hope that this doesn´t turn into a blood bath. And RRA, I do not mean to disparage your comments. I hope it did not come across that way.

    Just keep in mind that the majority there does not have access to twitter and probably does not get polled so we don´t know whats going on with them.

    Why all this focus on Iran anyway? There have been coups in Africa where hundreds of people died and no one gave a damn.

    okay Im out.

  18. sorry RRA but the Western media has a very bad track record when it comes to reporting on the middle east. I take all those blogs and such with a pinch of salt. They have framed the story as if there is a revolutionary movement in Iran fighting against evil dictatorship but is that really the case ?
    An example of something that has been largely unreported is that Mousavi used to be Prime Minister, where he implemented many of the oppressive policies that he is now denouncing. He is being painted as as a great liberator when he is just a calculating politician.
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/06/2009613181040285185.html

    Its like when McCain started denouncing financial deregulation after supporting it for years. How can you take someone like that seriously?

    Okay thats all from me on Iran. I don want it to seem like Im talking for those people or anything.I just hope that this doesn´t turn into a blood bath. And RRA, I do not mean to disparage your comments. I hope it did not come across that way.

    Just keep in mind that the majority there does not have access to twitter and probably does not get polled so we don´t know whats going on with them.

    Why all this focus on Iran anyway? There have been coups in African where hundreds of people died and no one gave a damn.

    okay Im out.

  19. “Why all this focus on Iran anyway? There have been coups in African where hundreds of people died and no one gave a damn.”

    Because its Africa, and as we all remember, nobody really cares about Africa…or Sub-Sahara Africa because there is nothing in stake for them. If Rwanda had oil, I’m sure UN would be knocking those doors down in 1994.

    And yeah, you’re right about Mousavi. Thats why the Yeltsin parallel makes more sense than anything else. Or maybe former KGB officer-turned-President Putin.

  20. Pheteesh and RRA… yeah,I guess the point all three of us have been kind of dancing around is that the media coverage here in the states makes knowing the truth –much less knowing what to DO– a very daunting prospect. The story’s been so over-simplified and the idea of Iran as the evil empire is so integrated into our perception of events (and they way they’re reported) that its very difficult to try and figure out what all this means and what, if anything, we should be doing about it. Your Africa example is apt because it just demonstrates that this whole thing is front page news because of the long-term narrative the media (and the government, under Bush) have been developing around Iran and its supposed importance.

    So, everyone here in the US is fighting to try to get their spin on its. There’s really not even any facts in play, just a sort of vague idea that everyone wants to turn into their own story. Fortunately, the neocons seem to be still too disorganized and discredited to really effectively control the narrative, and God bless him, Obama seems to actually understand that these are complex issues which are not best addressed with pompous soundbites about those who hate freedom.

    I’m still absolutely floored every time the government does something and I suddenly realize “wow… that’s… not idiotic at all. It actually makes sense.” But its a feeling I’m hoping to get used to…

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