What should we make of two American Enterprise Institute (AEI) fellows who argue in a prominent New York Times Op ed that Iran's theocratic regime has given way to a military dictatorship? ("Iran's Hidden Revolution," by Danielle Pletka and Ali Alfoneh, 6.17.09)
For one thing, such a theory advances the right wing/Zionist agenda of continuing the demonization of Iran so as to ensure that both Israel and the US have at least the appearance of a credible enemy -- to add to non-state actors like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, both creations and puppets of US/Pakistani/Indian intelligence services.
While the AEI theory of a military dictatorship in Teheran would account for much of the data, the question is whether it’s possible or important to distinguish between a theocratic government backed by the military -- or a military regime with theocrats as front men.
As for Iran’s rigged elections, back in 2005 it was publicly announced that candidate Mehdi Karroubi, a moderate, came in ahead of Ahmadinejad in the first round of elections, but was mysteriously eliminated from the runoff so that Ahmadinejad could face Rafsanjani. Furthermore Pletka and Alfonseh write that Western intelligence believes that in 2005 Ayatollah Khamenei approved the rigging of the required numbers of votes so that Ahmadinejad would prevail over Rafsanjani.
If that’s true, the fraud was conducted in such a way in 2005 that there would be little or no domestic or international commotion. One of the current mysteries is why Iranian election officials didn’t announce plausible numbers for an Ahmadinejad victory. Were they bunglers or simply sufficiently arrogant to proclaim the end of the vestige of democracy in Iran?
Another question is why some on the Left argue that Ahmadinejad won this election fair and square. According to official figures he got seven million MORE votes this time than in 2005. Hmmmm. (Update: I just noticed that James Petras and popular Canadian blogger Xymphora can be added to this list which includes Paul Craig Roberts, the Leveretts -- and others?)
I gather that some on the Left would like to establish Ahmadinejad’s legitimacy so as to give the militarists less of an excuse to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.
McCain sounds like he can’t wait.
The above post was written in the day or two before the speech of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, defending the election of M. Ahmadinejad and calling for an end to demonstrations. The protests have now entered a new and in all likelihood even bloodier phase. See the books of Azar Nafisi for some of the gruesome details that we can expect. (Reading Lolita in Teheran and Things I’ve Been Silent About) Either the protests will continue and rivers of blood will flow or the protests will slowly or not so slowly come to an end and somewhat less blood will flow – for the moment. The only brake on the murderers will be their understanding that the whole world is watching. We can only hope that this will continue to make a difference.