Saturday, June 25, 2005

Why did the MSM cover the Iranian "elections"?

BBC News
Iran hardliner sweeps to victory The ultra-conservative mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has won a landslide victory in Iran's presidential poll. Mr Ahmadinejad won 62% of votes, defying predictions of a close race, to defeat the more moderate ex-President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. After his win, Mr Ahmadinejad said he planned to create a "modern, advanced and Islamic" role model for the world. His victory means all the organs of the Iranian state are now in the hands of conservative hardliners. Mr Ahmadinejad, 49, who campaigned on a conservative Islamic platform, had surprised observers by beating five other candidates in the first round to reach the run-off. The BBC's Frances Harrison in Tehran says his taped statement, broadcast on state radio after the result was announced, was aimed at easing worries about his conservative views. Some 22 million people voted in this run-off poll - a turnout of 60%, down from 63% in the first round a week ago. Our correspondent says it was Mr Ahmadinejad's appeal to the poor that seems to be the secret to his success. Despite Iran's huge oil wealth the country has high unemployment and a big gap between rich and poor.

There are so many things wrong with this that the media has failed to pick up on that its hard to know where to start. First up, a little background on the "conservative" candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the "moderate" candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

(English translation of sermon given by Rafsanjani as "President" in December 2001)
Rafsanjani said that Muslims must surround colonialism and force them [the colonialists] to see whether Israel is beneficial to them or not. If one day, he said, the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel's possession [meaning nuclear weapons] - on that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end. This, he said, is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.

This is what passes for "moderation" in the liberal media - a declaration of nuclear war against Israel.

Also, Rafsanjani was convicted in the Berlin Mykonos trial of conspiring with Supreme Leader Khamenei, ex-foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati and Pasdaran commander Mohsen Rezai in a “special committee” that ordered the murders of Kurdish leaders and exiled Iranians.

And so if this is "moderation", what is "conservatism"?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an ex top commander in the revolutionary guard who was responsible of orchastrating mass killings in the 1980s. He is a ruthless barbarian who even bluntly informed UPI this year that “We did not have a revolution in order to have democracy.”

So, the race was between a jew-hating extremist and a slightly more extreme jew hating democracy hating extremist. So who would people choose?

Which leads to my second point that 60% of people choose the latter. They turned their back on moderisation, freedom, liberty and democracy. Anyone smell a rat? Nope, not MSM. Yes, the vote was heavily rigged. In fact, from accounts of pro-democracy bloggers stationed in Iran, no one actually turned up to vote! The 60% turn out figure cited by the BBC? Probably just made up. In fact, in places such as the Khuzestan Province, turnout was around 3-5%, which is almost certainly a lot nearer the real number than the BBC's number. But whatever the real voter turnout - your guess is as good as anyones - there are other factors to concerning voter turnout:

The one number worth parsing in Friday's election is that of voter participation. Many Iranians had called for a boycott as the only way of showing resistance. Knowing this, the mullahs seem to have taken their usual election manipulations to another level. Intimidation by the Revolutionary Guards and the fact that proof of voting is needed for certain jobs and welfare payments have always pushed up turnout. Still, voter participation has steadily declined in the past few years to barely 50%
Opinion Journal.

Now the real story comes out. And thirdly, and probably most importantly - the winner of the election has no power anyway!

The most astonishing aspect of Friday's presidential vote in Iran is not that the elections will go into a second round but that Tehran managed to convince so many in the West that this is a real demonstration of democracy. All power is held by Supreme Leader Ali Khameni, his Council of Guardians and the small clique of military officers and businessmen around him. The Council disqualified more than 1,000 candidates before the election, vetting only contestants who support the regime's ideological lines. The example of outgoing "reformist" President Mohammad Khatami, who presided over eight years of economic decline and worsening repression, has proven that the President cannot change anything against the Council's will.

Cox and Forkum cartoons sums up the situation pretty well:


So there you have it - my latest "cutting-the-crap-of-the-MSM" edition to crossfire's post library is completed. I leave you with this:

This is not democracy


At 11:19 AM, Blogger Eran said...

There's another term for that - sold elections.


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