“Is it possible that they (the fundamentalist mullahs) could rig these elections?” – Fareed Zakaria of CNN asking reporter Christiane Amanpour about the Iranian elections.
‘As Iran Votes, Talk of a Sea Change’- New York Times headline ragarding the June 12 election.
In the Iran vote, the fundamentalist candidate and current president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, who is favored by the mullahs who run that nation, was declared the winner with 64% of the vote. Ahmedinejad is well-known to Americans as a radical Israel-hater and the face of Nuclear Iran and terrorism-sponsoring Iran.
Leading up to the election, a pro-reform, Western-oriented candidate Mirhossein Mousavi was said to have gained momentum in the period that he was allowed to campaign, which was only four weeks. Many Western news outlets were practically calling the election for Mousavi.
When the final tallies were announced, Mousavi formally asked on his website for the Guardian Council to cancel the election result. “I urge you, Iranian nation, to continue your nationwide protests in a peaceful and legal way,” he added.
Several thousand students at Tehran University carrying Mousavi posters chanted anti-government slogans, threw rocks and taunted riot police, while more demonstrations came Monday. Mousavi even addressed the Monday rally. But don’t expect too much. The mullahs probably will crush it like the Chinese dictatorship did at Tienanmen Square in 1989. The order for foreign journalists to leave the country is ominous.
Or could this be a “people power” moment with the whole world watching, like the Philippine uprising against Ferdinand Marcos in 1986?
It is highly unlikely.
Top election officials in Iran are calling for an investigation of the election. This probably has been done to defuse the situation in the streets.
So what happened to the big Mousavi victory predicted in the world media, and the alleged desire for change, as suggested in the New York Times headline?
It is hard to say. First, that CNN’s Zakaria would ask whether the mullahs could manipulate the election shows how unwilling the liberals in the American media are to assume that fundamentalist Islamic governments are undemocratic and corrupt. These media still are pinning anti-Islamic sentiment on Bush, meaning that Islam must somehow be benign since Bush is gone.
What they won’t admit is that the mullahs run everything in Iran and would do everything they can to get their man. It has been that way since the pro-American Shah Reza Pahlavi was run out of Iran in January 1979 under the nose of Democrat US president Jimmy Carter, part of a series of world events – including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan – that happened when the world saw Carter as a weak, rudderless leader. Carter had referred to Iran as an “island of stability” in the Middle East in a famous speech in Tehran on New Year’s Eve of 1978.
That the Democrat Obama administration now is demanding that enemy combatants in Afghanistan must have American Miranda rights read to them (“You have the right to remain silent…”) is another indication that liberals in America continue to see radical Islam as no genuine threat at all. This will lead to more trouble down road, perhaps another 9/11.
The protests in Iran probably will be snuffed out by the mullahs despite the fact that many in the very young nation of Iran, with a high percentage of its population now under the age of 30, long have favored Western-style democracy and have looked favorably upon the United States. This is to be expected since young people traditionally rebel against the straitjacket religious fundamentalism that has ruled Iran since 1979.
Then again, terrorists are young people too.
Whether the pro-American sentiment has been gauged accurately over the last 10 years is hard to say. Whether the pro-Mousavi surge was as big as the Western media predicted is difficult to discern. Nobody knows what the real vote totals were but one thing is obvious – the lopsided victory declared for Ahmedinejad has raised a lot of eyebrows and worries. Meanwhile Ahmedinejad has denounced the world media for launching a “psychological war” against the nation’s Islamic government.
What does all this mean?
It means that the world media certainly will be disappointed if Ahmedinejad’s victory sticks since they were advocating for Mousavi for one big reason: In order to pronounce another Heavenly Obama Effect in Mousavi’s election.
It works this way: Since Obama gave his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt, sweetness and light allegedly are breaking out all over the Middle East, all favoring the New America under Obama. The media even declared that the recent vote in Lebanon for a pro-Western government was all thanks to Obama’s speech.
Hardly. The people of Lebanon voted that way because someday they want to live in a civilized nation. The alternative was a government backed by the terrorist group Hezbollah.
Even if Mousavi were eventually declared the winner, however, the president of Iran is not the political figure you might think. The power still resides behind the scenes with the mullahs. In fact Mousavi even could be used by the mullahs to relieve international pressure on Iran as they continue to build nuclear weapons.
To understand Iran, it is important to look at why Iran is in the shape it is in today.
Europe’s – and America’s – interests in Iran go back to the early 20th century. In 1925, Reza Khan overthrew the Qajar Dynasty and became the Shah, introducing industrialization, railroads and a national education system. Britain helped Iran to develop its oil industry in the 1920s and 1930s and many Iranians considered Britain to be far too powerful and intrusive.
In 1941, Britain and the USSR both invaded Iran. The Shah abdicated in favor of his son Reza Pahlavi. In 1951, Mohammed Mossadegh was elected prime minister and became popular by nationalizing the oil industry.
Mossadegh was named Time magazine’s person of the year. Time said: “There were millions inside and outside of Iran whom Mossadegh symbolised and spoke for, and whose fanatical state of mind he had helped to create. They would rather see their own nations fall apart than continue their present relations with the West.”
“Mossadegh does not promise his country a way out of this nearly hopeless situation. He would rather see the ruin of Iran than give in to the British, who, in his opinion, corrupted and exploited his country. He is not in any sense pro-Russian, but he intends to stick to his policies even though he knows they might lead to control of Iran by the Kremlin. … ” Time reported.
Notice the passages: “They would rather see their own nations fall apart than continue their present relations with the West” and “He would rather see the ruin of Iran than give in to the British” and “He is not in any sense pro-Russian, but he intends to stick to his policies even though he knows they might lead to control of Iran by the Kremlin. … “
These are very disturbing analyses. And thinking like this in 1951 obviously would lead to grave concern in the West since Mossadegh was allied with the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. Does this not work against everything that Western democracy has stood for?
In 1953, Operation Ajax was deployed by the United States and Mossadegh was arrested. Shah Reza Pahlavi’s rule became increasingly autocratic. The Shah modernized Iran, moved it politically closer to the West (women’s rights, education etc.) and used his SAVAK secret police to keep his opposition – primarily communists and fundamentalists – in check. The Islamic leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini was critical of the Shah’s rule and was exiled in 1964.
By January 1978, the Iranian Revolution started brewing with major demonstrations against the Shah, who ultimately fled the country in January 1979 after strikes paralyzed the country. On February 1, the Ayatollah returned and on February 11, the Shah’s rule fell. Iran became an Islamic Republic on April 1, 1979. Marxists and nationalists had helped in fighting the Shah, but thousands were subsequently executed.
On November 4, 1979, a group of 52 American hostages were seized at the American embassy in Tehran, and held in a highly publicized international incident for 444 days until January 20, 1981. They were released moments after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the new American president.
Leftists in America have always blamed Iran‘s current problems on the toppling of Mossadegh by the United States and the rise of the autocratic Shah, citing US assistance in helping him develop Iran.
But the real issue is that Iran could have gone one of three ways, and that the Shah clearly was the best option: Under the Shah, Iran would have remained autocratic but eventually would have become a democracy as an American ally, probably in the 1980s. This happened in many American-allied dictatorships like South Korea, Chile, Taiwan and Singapore. With Mossadegh, Iran likely could have become communist and would have had its economy and its freedoms destroyed. And we know about the behavior of the Islamic fundamentalists establishing a terror state.
That Iran would have been much better off under the Shah runs counter to the way the American media see the world. But the horrible conditions in fundamentalist Iran, its state sponsorship of worldwide terrorism, and this current election chaos proves that the Shah would have been the best option.
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