“God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.” ... Daniel Webster ...
These posts will reflect my personal opinions, and views, of the world in which we live from, of course, the viewpoint of a conservative "Southern American".
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Iran's Meaningless Elections ... Alan Caruba
Iran's Meaningless Elections
Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, no doubt knows the outcome of Friday’s,
June 14 elections. My money is on Saeed Jalili, Iran’s nuclear negotiator whose
job it has been to talk the other negotiators into a stupor while work toward
the creation of Iran’s nuclear weapons program continues.
Gulf States are rather nervous about word that Iran’s nuclear reactor is said
to have cracks in its structure due to a recent earthquake. Chernobyl anyone?
be the eleventh presidential election in the history of Iran since Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini seized control of the nation in 1979, forcing the Shah to
flee. When he died, Khomeini’s coffin was treated like a piñata by the adoring
crowd who jostled to touch it.
matter who wins the predictably rigged elections. Recall that in 2009 the reelection
of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led to eleven days of protests in Tehran that were
brutally suppressed. They were shouting “Death to the dictator.” Asked to
comment at the time, President Obama said "It is not
productive, given the history of US-Iranian relations to be seen as
meddling—the U.S. president, meddling in Iranian elections."
The U.S. would like it known that we are not “meddling”
in the Syrian civil war in which an estimated 93,000 have died at this point
and 1.5 million have fled. Or that sending a billion dollars to Egypt—whose
leaders hate us—plus fighter jets is not meddling, and with the exception of
the occasional drone attack, we are to believe that the U.S. is not meddling
anywhere in the Middle East...but I digress.
Clifford D. May, president of the Foundation of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on national security, said it best
when he called the elections “meaningless” and reminded us that “The Supreme Leader
will still reign supreme. Like his predecessor, he believes Muslims have a
religious duty to wage war against infidels, in particular America, the ‘Great
Satan’, and Israel, the closer to home ‘Little Satan.’ Iran’s constitution is
quite clear; it calls for jihad ‘against the arrogant in every corner of the
globe.’ That would be us.”
May points out that the ability of U.S. diplomats to grasp
the simple truth that Iranian elections are a farce is pockmarked with
statements by men like Richard Armitage, then deputy secretary of state under
President George W. Bush, who called Iran a democracy. More recently, both
Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel have said
that Iran has an “elected” government and Hagel added that it was “legitimate.”
The elected representatives to Iran’s parliament have no
real power. That remains in the hands of the Supreme Leader.
Kerry is apparently enough of a realist to know that the
election’s outcome will have no effect on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. “I do
not have high expectations that the election is going to change the fundamental
calculus of Iran,” said Kerry.
As for the Supreme Leader, Khamenei, the elections are
just a charade. A May 3rd report in the International Business Times by Palash
Ghosh noted that Khamenei “apparently has a number of surprising side ventures
apart from running the Islamic Republic.” An investment firm that he controls
reportedly took over the nation’s biggest dealer of German automobiles with
tactics reminiscent of the Mafia.
“Khamenei,” wrote Ghosh, “who seeks to propagate an image
of austerity and self-denial, reportedly receives substantial payments from
Iran’s arms and petroleum industries, while claiming he receives a small salary
from the government. Khamenei’s true wealth is estimated to be immense, perhaps
in the territory of tens of billions of dollars.”
For the ordinary Iranian citizen and voter, the story is
very different. Writing in EuroNews in early June, Shaheen Fatemi asked if the
Iranian economy holds any prospect of improvement after eight years of
Ahmadinejad’s presidency. “Falling economic indicators, more poverty and
unemployment and the fall in the value of Iran’s currency, the rial—these are
just part of the negative economic record…”Oops, for a moment there I thought he was writing about the U.S.
No doubt a phalanx of analysts, columnists, and others
will be commenting on Friday’s elections in Iran, but the only thing you need
to keep in mind is that they will change nothing.
Real change will only happen
when Iranians once again seize control of their government, but that is not
going to be easy given the loyalty of Khamenei’s Republican Guard Corps and the
bully-boys in his militia known as the Basij.
Like a cop at the scene of an accident, I am inclined to
say, “Move along. Nothing to be seen here.”
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