Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Iran 'Election' Update

My Iranian correspondents tell me that the regime pretty much has things under control in Tehran since the crackdown. The protests over the so-called election were pretty much limited to Mousavi's followers among students and the middle class in that city.

As I expected what the regime essentially did was to give the protesters some space to vent for a while and then send the Pasdaran and the basij in to crack heads and drag away some of the more obnoxious offenders for a quiet chat and a few lessons in proper Islamic deportment.One thing that particularly moved me was an e-mail I got recounting how a group of Iranian women at the university tried to stand their ground against the basij after their male co-demonstrators fled.

The women were not treated gently.

The Supreme Council has announced that they would look into the alleged 'election' irregularities, which will also provide an excuse for things to cool down. Needless to say, it will come to absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact, Ahmadinejad felt secure enough to leave the country and attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Yekaterinberg, Russia.

Any nonsense you might hear in places like the New York Times about the regime 'blinking' or yielding to the demands of some protesters in Tehran are farcical, to say the least. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in and he's going to stay in, as long as he does what the mullahs tell him to do. The fact that this 'revolution' is centered around Tehran University and being coordinated via Twitter, a means of communication limited to some of the Middle classes and students in Tehran and not even available in most of Iran should tell you everything you need to know.

Both Mousavi and Ahmadinejad were vetted by the Mullahs beforehand, and neither would have been permitted to run without their permission. And anyone who thinks that Mousavi being 'elected' would have marked any change to some kind of new order in Iran is simply kidding themselves. On issues that matter to the West - Iran's quest for nuclear weapons, threats of genocide vis a vis Israel, interference in Iraq and Afghanistan, support for Islamist terrorism and any reasonable compromises with the West on these issues, the two candidates were virtually twins.

Mousavi is a proponent of Islamist triumphalism and terrorism, a hardliner on Iran's illegal nuclear weapons program and an anti-Semite who has called for the Israel to be destroyed.The main difference was one of social class and `image'.

They were each backed by factions within the Supreme Council of Guardians, with the main point of difference being whether a new face and a less openly confrontative appearance was needed to buy more time with the West to complete Iran's nukes. After Obama's self-abasement in Cairo and his obvious acceptance of a nuclear armed Iran, the Mullahs realized that having Mousavi, the 'moderate' as president wasn't necessary, and Khamenei and the majority of the Council decided to solidly back Ahmadinejad - who as a populist from the working classes and a former baseji trainer during the Iran -Iraq war likely has a great deal more popular support in Iran as a whole anyway.

Again, just so nobody misses it - Obama's lap dance in Cairo,his statements about Iran being entitled to nuclear energy and his clear signals that he has no plans to do anything to stop the mullahs from going nuclear was what likely conveinced Khamenei and the mullahs that the kabuki of having a supposed 'moderate' as president was simply not necessary.

Appeasement has its price.

A bit of irony - Ahmadinejad’s re-election slogan was “Ma mitavanim” (We can).Just like Obama’s “Yes we can”.

Iran is a theocracy ruled,ultimately, by Allah and his representatives here on earth, the Mullahs. The Islamic revolution is what's important, and that trumps everything. Hoping for any kind of reform through what passes for Iran's electoral process is an exercise in futility, and it will only happen if the Pasdaran and the armed forces either join a revolt against the mullahs or stand aside, as they did in 1979.

President Obama finally broke his silence on the matter and made some desultory remarks about 'deep concerns' over the elections. Due to the fact his teleprompter was obviously not working, the president didn't have much that was coherent to say, but I must admit that I actually agree with the President's relative silence in this case.

Nothing he says is going to make the slightest bit of difference in what goes on in Iran at any level. It's his actions that are going to count, and so far, everything he's said and done has simply encouraged to Mullahs to become more intransigent and hard line.

If a rattlesnake crawls into your yard and is menacing your family, you don't deal with it by talking to it.

UPDATE: Bill Siegal over at The National Review, Bret Stephens in the WSJ and the one and only Ralph Peters apparently agree with my take on this - Mousavi is no 'reformer' and Ahmadinejad was retained as president because of the Mullah's realization of how gutless and ineffectual President Obama is.


louielouie said...

if i were gonna guess.
and i'm not going to guess, i'd say hussein has got his people monitoring this election closely.
2012 is coming you know.
hussein is no doubt envious of the little stopngo clerk.
you can tell people by the company they keep.
hussein is friends with hugo.
now he wants to engage ahmadinejad.

Freedom Fighter said...

Maybe they should get a room..

Dave Schuler said...

Over the weekend I got beat about the head and shoulders by Andrew Sullivan for writing much the same over at OTB as you did here albeit in my own mild way. There are some people here in the West who like their illusions, thank you, and are bound and determined to keep them.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Dave,

Glad you liked the article.
From what I know about Andrew, you're lucky all he worked with was your head and shoulders..

These people are mistaking a jerkoff like Mousavi as some kind of reformer and his supporters as a popular concensus rather than some university students and middle class people in Tehran.

It will take more than that to get rid of the mullahs.