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Ahmadinejad May Have Come In Third Place In Rigged Election, As Nation Slips Into Political Violence

A British reporter has offered claims that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have actually come in third place in last week's election, however his government as well the religious leadership, especially by Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei, manipulated the results to retain the power of the religious theocracy government of Iran.

Today, there are many reports of government violence meant to put down protesters in Iran. However, it is very difficult for the United States to act much because the long history of American involvement in Iran, starting with the WWII efforts to put the Shah in power to resist the Nazis was the start of a long history of U.S. meddling in Iran that actually alienated many Iranians against the U.S., leading to the anti-American 1979 Islamic revolution. The Obama Administration has accordingly moved carefully so as not to worsen the plight of those pro-democracy demonstrators in Iran, despite ill placed calls from many Republican political leaders in the U.S. for the Obama to act more decisively. The fact of the matter is that the U.S. is in a very poor position to act with much involvement in Iran. Likely, the U.S. is still perceived as many in Iran as a primary enemy of Iran. Britain is also viewed by many in Iran as another primary enemy of Iran as well, especially after so much more of an active role in being critical of the Iranian election results. France might be in the best position to offer condemnation of the Iranian election aftermath because it allowed the Ayatollah Khomeini many years of political asylum. But the best that most Western nations can hope for is that this is an internal political matter in Iran, to be sorted out by those in Iran. and to allow the chips to fall where they may. Ayatollah-Khomeini.jpg

Further, many Americans really fail to understand what is really going on in Iran. Mir-Hossein Mousavi is hardly any true Western-styled democrat, but a more moderate member of the group of conservative religious radicals that helped to overthrow the Shah back in 1979. In Israel, there remains a more educated perspective of what's going on. In Israel, there are no illusions that Mir-Hossein Mousavi and his followers probably still support the destruction of Israel and the nuclear program if not nuclear weapons for Iran. Mousavi might believe in some social liberalization from the strict religious rule in Iran, but that is really as far as he might go. Mousavi also would probably improve contact and trade with the Western world, but that mostly serves the interests of the wealthy class of Iran for financial reasons, and not entirely as an aspect of a real social liberalization agenda. However, many who believe in far more social liberalization or democracy are likely using Mousavi as an umbrella for their pro-democracy views.

There are also reports that the Iranian government may be shipping in foreign mercenaries to act as police to put down the protesters as well, as many do not even speak the common language used in Iran. This could seen as a sign that some police are not entirely loyal to the government battle with the protesters, where detached elements from abroad are being shipped in to attack and beat the protesters. It could also be a sign that the police and military elements loyal to the government are severely strained by the massiveness of the protests as well.

It may be very easy for some defeated Republican presidential candidate like John McCain to argue for more American involvement in Iran. However, this really fails to understand that this is really an internal political dispute by two conservative factions of this Islamic revolutionary government. Much like the internal struggle in the old Soviet Union which resulted in the downfall of the Communist system during the administration of George Bush #41 in 1989, this power struggle in Iran is between rival factions of the government. In Russia, Communist Mayor Boris Yeltsin represented the change elements back then, while Mir-Hossein Mousavi represents the change elements for that system. Yeltsin fortunately turned out to be a pseudo-democrat. However, Mir-Hossein Mousavi may not be. He might just be an agent of the better educated and more affluent in Iran, and stands for some social liberalization. But he could still support the destruction of Israel and continued political problems for that area. So Americans really need to sit back and allow Iranians to decide just what this internal power struggle really represents and how far things can go towards liberalization for that nation or political reforms.

Ultimately, it will be to the rival elements in Iran which side wins out, and how much liberalization actually takes place in Iran. The United States really can do little to move this Iranian process along, and in fact could be very detrimental to those liberalization elements if it should act too involved. It might be politically easy for some Republicans such as John McCain to call for more American involvement in Iran. But this is a very poor call, and only demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of all of the issues involved in this internal power struggle taking place in Iran.


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Comments (8)

LiberalNightmare:

Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei, Tear down this wall!

Paul Hooson:

Amen, brother LiberalNightMare! Iran needs to reform.

ke_future:

so what i'm hearing from you paul is that america should just shut up and stay out of it? i'm sorry, but that is just an unacceptable response. yes, america has bad name to some people. but that does not mean that we can't call out when things like this happens. it's not like other countries in the world are either pristine or quiet.

seriously, i challenge you to name one major country that doesn't have some bad moments in it's history. and the longer the country has been around, the more there are. are to be hobbled by our past? or should we move forward? shouldn't we strive to acknowledge what is good and condemn that which is bad? if you think the US is so bad, what country would you hold up as the shining beacon of freedom and enlightenment?

being quiet when something like this happens does no good, and it encourages others to think that the US doesn't care. and it discourages those who do look up to the US.

ke_future:

here's an interesting update on some of the internal political moves happening in the clerical heirarchy in iran

http://threatswatch.org/rapidrecon/2009/06/regime-change-iran-movement-se/

i would love to sistani become the de facto head of shi'a. while he's a devout muslim, he also seems to believe that the government and the religion are two seperate things that can coexist along side each other.

Paul Hooson:

Hello Ke. My new post on the history of foreign involvement in Iran better explains how too much foreign involvement took the parliament and democracy from Iran before when it attempted to nationalize the British controlled oil industry to better use the profits to modernize the nation. The American CIA and British Secret Service were actively involved in "Operation Ajax", which overthrew democracy in Iran when British oil company profits were endangered, and replaced the government with the repressive shah and a military coup, and finally resented in the 1979 Islamic revolution. Foreign involvement by the United States and Britain only ended free elections and democracy in Iran, and brought torture, political prisoners and repression to the that land. Foreign involvement in Iran might have been good for British oil profits, but it was bad for democracy and human rights in Iran.

ke_future:

and none of that history has any bearing on whether or not obama should strongly condemn the brutal crackdown happening in iran. in fact, i would argue that it would help the US's image with the people in Iran if he would make such a statement. one of the things that has been used against the US is our history of saying one thing and doing another. here would be a perfect example of standing up for the ideals of our nation.

Paul Hooson:

Ke, if the U.S. had some popular support by the public in Iran would be one thing, but only 29% of Iranians have a favorable view of the United States. Further, 62% of those in Iran support the destruction of the state of Israel, while just 27% support recognizing the state if it enacts a two-state peace solution. For the United States to speak out much on issues about Iran is like the kiss of death. Further while 52% in Iran support developing nuclear weapons, 73% would favor trading those weapons for massive amounts of humanitarian aid from the U.S. So if the U.S. paid out billions of dollars to Iran, then they would feel less warlike towards the U.S. This country is hardly a friend of the U.S., so any statement by President Obama in the country usually backfires, limiting what the U.S. can publicly say about the demonstrations.

ke_future:

some of those in Iran would love it if we would do something

http://amfix.blogs.cnn.com/2009/06/22/iranian-protestor-plea/

and i would take any poll numbers that come out of iran with a very large grain of salt, especially considering why this is in the news now.

part of the problem the world, and iran, has about the US is a matter of perception. and that is because we have often said one thing and done another. the only way that we can change that perception is by saying and doing the same thing. and that message should be based upon the ideals of our nation.

obama needs to clearly state that the US condemns this brutality. that the US firmly believes in honest elections. that the US supports the people of Iran to voice their opposition to a corrupt government.

if we sit back and do nothing. if we say nothing. all we will do is confirm in the minds of many that the US only does things that are in it's own interests. and is too cowardly to voice it's opposition when the shit hits the fan.

remember, that anything we say is heard in all corners of the world. not just in iran. any message we send, we're sending to the world as well.

i expect more from our leaders.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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