A recent article called �Ahmadinejad Won, Get Over It� by
Flynt and Hillary Leverett is not the only source with serious credentials
offering reasonable, non-sensational explanations for events around Iran�s
Kaveh Afrasiabi, a scholar who once taught at Tehran
University and is the author of several books, says many of the same things.
Close analysis of the election results gives absolutely no
objective basis for making charges of a rigged election. Mousavi�s expected win
-- expected, that is, by the Western press and by Mousavi himself -- never had
any basis in fact.
Afrasiabi also tells us that Ahmadinejad is extremely
popular with the poor in Iran, a very large constituency, and he tells us
further that Ahmadinejad spent a great deal of time traveling through the
country during his first term listening to them. Ahmadinejad is himself a man
of fairly humble origins with a good deal of genuine sympathy for the poor.
Of course, the public in the West has been treated to a
barrage of propaganda about Ahmadinejad, conditioned by countless disingenuous
stories and editorials to regard him as the essence of evil, ready to stir up
trouble at a moment�s notice. These perceptions, too, have no basis in fact.
Ahmadinejad is a highly educated man, ready and willing to
communicate with leaders in the West, although given to poking fun at some of
the shibboleths we hold to. His office as president is not a powerful one in an
Iran where power is divided amongst several groups, just as it is in the United
States. He has no war-making power.
Even his infamous statement about Israel -- mistranslated
consistently to make it sound terrible -- was nothing more than the same kind
of statement made by the CIA in its secret study predicting the peaceful end of
today�s Israel in 20 years or the statement by Libya�s leader, Gaddafi, saying
Israel would be drowned in a sea of Arabs. Unpleasant undoubtedly for some, the
statement was neither criminal nor threatening when properly understood.
The post-election troubles in Iran definitely reflect the
interference of security services from at least the United States and Britain.
We have several serious pieces of evidence.
First, Iran discovered and arrested just recently a group
with sophisticated bomb equipment from Britain. They were caught red-handed,
although our press has chosen to be pretty much silent on the matter. Of
course, we all recall the arrest of a group of 15 British sailors a couple of
years ago, an event treated in our press as the snatching of innocents on the
high seas when in fact they were on a secret mission in disputed waters claimed
Robert Fisk recently wrote an excellent piece about
photocopies of what purported to be a confidential official government report
to the head of state, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, regarding the election
results. It attributed a ridiculously small share of the vote to Ahmadinejad
and was somehow being waved by Mousavi�s followers all over the streets. It
seems clearly invented as a provocation, much in the fashion of the famous
�yellow cake� document before America�s invasion of Iraq.
We know that Bush committed several hundred million dollars
towards a program creating instability in Iran and that Obama has never
renounced the operation.
Iran, surrounded by threatening enemies and the daily
recipient of dire threats from Israel and the United States, has absolutely no
history of aggression: it has started no conflicts in its entire modern era,
but naturally enough it becomes concerned about its security when threatened by
Such threats from the United States are not regarded idly by
anyone, coming as they do, from a nation occupying two nations of Western and
Central Asia, a nation whose invasions have caused upwards of a million deaths
and sent at least 2 million into exile as refugees.
It is a nation moreover that definitely threatened, behind
the scenes, to use nuclear weapons against Afghanistan immediately after 9/11,
helping end that threat being one of the main reasons for Britain�s joining the
pointless invasion in the first place.
In assessing the genuine threats in the world, please
remember what we all too often forget: the United States is the only nation
ever actually to use nuclear weapons, twice, on civilians. It also came close
to using them again in the early 1950s hysteria over communism -- twice, once
against China and once in a preemptive strike at the Soviet Union -- and again
later considered using them in Vietnam.
As for the other regular source of threats against, Israel,
it is a nation which has attacked every neighbor that it has at one time or
another. In the last two years alone, it has killed more people in Lebanon and
Gaza than the number who perished in 9/11. It is also a secret nuclear power,
having broken every rule and international law to obtain and assist in
proliferating nuclear weapons.
Of course, there are many middle class people in Iran who
would like a change of government. Such yearnings are no secret and exist
everywhere in the world where liberal government is missing, including millions
of Americans under years of George Bush and his motivating demon, Dick Cheney.
But saying that is not the same thing as saying that a
majority of Iran�s people want a change in government or that the election was
remember, too, Iran had a democratic government more than half a century ago,
that of Mohammed Mosaddeq, but it was overthrown in 1953 and the bloody Shah
installed in its place by the very same governments now meddling in Iran, the
United States and Britain.