Friday, June 19, 2009

A military dictatorship in Iran?

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.

Update: 6.19.09

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.


Ronald said...

Ronald said...
Leila responded:

I have to chime in on this.

For days I’ve been reading/hearing/listening to the endless speculation as to Iran. And my gosh are there a load of eager beavers racing to assume that there is one answer and one answer only: Ahmadinejad had the election rigged.

End of story.

Proves he’s a very bad sort.

The fact of the matter is, probably there was some funny stuff going on but it’s seriously doubtful that Mousavi would have won anyway. I posted here already this week on that. He came out of nowhere, he got all the air time, he became the ‘moderate reformer darling’ of the West, and thus lo and behold he’s got to be the real true favourite. No, he’s just as ‘hard-line’ as Ahmadinejad, was thrown in jail by the Shah for being such, and define ‘hard-line’ anyway.

In my book it’s anyone who says boo to the USA.

The incumbent was leading by twice the intended vote count. Little different than before, but this time the American backed Persian radio pre-empted the results and announced it was rigged. Protests ensued. Mousavi is the true shining light of reform in Iran, and thus he’s been shut out by an ayatollah who won’t grown up and see the (correct) way of the West.

If anyone doubts the games involved, the centre/moderate think tank in Washington DC, the New America Foundation worked with the right wing Terror Free Tomorrow on a report on the elections in Iran. Funded by the Rockefellers.

It was released on June 12th. It stressed that all the polls within Iran as well as their own independent polling (see below for methodology) showed that Amhadinejad was far and away leading his competition.

It circulated Congress, as usual, and suddenly, it’s all reversed course overnight and everything is wrong. Report issued, Ahmadinejad leading, trouble for the USA and Israel, elections, and scandal around the world because it had to be rigged. Despite the polls all the way until then, it just had to be rigged.

Personally I don’t care about who or what, race, religion, creed, or colour, branch of belief or lack of belief within any nation. Once the US (prior to that the British Empire, Dutch Empire, French or Russian) begins to interfere, it’s just trouble for the people who live there. Unless asked, they should just stay out of it.

I had a conversation with an Iranian friend, who’s entire family voted for Mousavi in Tehran. She made clear that:

Mousavi was the ‘same cat different stripe’;
Mousavi was only a hoped for alternative, not the essence of reform;
He’s a Rafsanjani protégé, who was imprisoned by the “moderate” Shah of Iran for being too radical;
It’s laughable for anyone to think he would usher in any kind of Western democracy;
Even though her family voted for him, no one really believed he could have won – it was a protest vote, but that was it;
According to everyone they’re talking with, Ahmadinejad really would have won with or without this media focus;
The protests are equal on both sides.

But one thing was made clear to me. They all agree on is that if the West or Israel interferes in any way shape or form, they will all unite against the West and in support of any leaders in Iran, as one front.

The front page of the report is below.

(And Ronald, it’s just not true to repeat that the Taliban and al-Qa’eda are puppets of the US; it’s patently false. They were supported by the US in the 1980s, against the Soviets. Al-Qa’eda didn’t even exist then. Job done, US out, and a long time passed since.)

Ronald said...

Ronald said...
K responded(apparently agreeing with my views):

Those defending Ahmadinejad and the vote count take the position that
anyone who imperialist USA is opposed to has to be defended, no matter how repressive or undemocratic they may be. They have learned nothing from what happened to the Soviet bloc.

June 20, 2009

Ronald said...
SF wrote:

It's sort of an old left Stalinist type reflex to back Ahmadinejad, dating back to Cold WAr .
Counterpunch sees it as genuine revolution.
So does Trotskyist Alan Woods.
But not Trotskyists at WSW who backs Ahmadinejad
As you say it is in Israel's/neo-cons interet that Ahmadinejad win

June 20, 2009