Monday, June 15, 2009

Parallels

Obviously the results of the Iranian election are highly suspicious. ‘Noz has some thoughts on it.

my initial thoughts about the results (or maybe “results”) of the iranian election are as follows:

(a) we’ll never know for sure whether the election was stolen or not.

(b) i think it was probably stolen.

(c) regardless of whatever really happened, this election will be remembered in the west as a stolen election.

this post by gordon robinson is pretty interesting. before i read it, when i thought “stolen election” i was assuming that meant the supreme leader of iran and his council (i.e. what is often referred to as “the mullahs”) intervened to fudge the numbers to make ahmedinejad the winner. that’s what robinson calls scenario number one. i hadn’t thought of scenario number two, where ahmedinejad’s administration stole the election as part of a move to consolidate power over the entire iranian system, including the mullahs. it’s a fascinating possibility. in essence, the difference between #1 and #2 is that #2 moves the mullahs from perpetrators to victims of the fraud. #2 would also mean that (assuming the coup withstands the current backlash) iran’s weird hybrid system of democracy and theocracy is effectively over. #2 puts iran in the category of run-of-the-mill dictatorship.

Some folks back here are making a comparison between this election and the U.S. election of 2000, comparing the tactics of Karl Rove and the Bush/Cheney campaign to that of the odious Mr. Ahmedinejad. I think that’s a stretch, and all it does is distract the argument from what is happening in Iran to what happened eight years ago; we don’t need to argue about who did what in Miami-Dade County when there are people having the snot beaten out of them on the streets of Tehran.