12 June 2009

Any color but green

Today marks the date of the Iranian "Presidential" "election", and "reformist" "candidate" Hossein Mousavi and others are warning that if the results are rigged to favor the incumbent Ahmadinejad, riots could result. Indeed, there have been riots in Iran before, and the anger and frustration of large numbers (likely a majority) of Iranians at the repressive Islamic Republic is well known.

What's interesting to me is the parallels with another historical event -- Ukraine's Orange Revolution of 2004-2005. There, too, an authoritarian regime rigged an election to defeat a popular reformist challenger, only to find that it had underestimated the yearning for change among at least part of the population; massive peaceful protests eventually forced the regime to accept its own dissolution by holding a second, honest election supervised by international observers. Since then, Ukraine has had a genuine democracy, albeit an unstable and faction-riddled one.

Could something like the Orange Revolution happen in Iran? There are some obvious differences. For one, the Presidency which was at stake in Ukraine's 2004 election was an office actually holding supreme power, whereas in Iran supreme power will remain in the hands of the ayatollahs, led by Ali Khamenei, regardless of who is "elected" to the "Presidency" today. For another, the Ukrainian regime eventually declined to order its soldiers to open fire on the vast masses of protesters in Kiev, while there is no reason to think the ayatollahs would be any more hesitant to use force to suppress rebellion than they have been in the past (whether the Iranian military would obey an order to shoot Iranian civilians this time is another, more interesting question). On the other hand, in Ukraine the authoritarian regime had substantial public support, with its candidate getting 44% of the vote even in the real, supervised election; it seems unlikely that that many Iranians support the current regime, though certainly some do.

(Paradoxically, the worst outcome would probably be if Mousavi is allowed to "win" today. Such an outcome would probably defuse public unrest and stabilize the Islamist regime, ending the chance for real change.)

I've long thought the most likely eventual outcome in Iran would be a military coup. In Middle Eastern countries, the military is often the most secular and modern-thinking element of society (it needs to cope with modern technology), and Iranian generals must be aware that the regime's nuclear program runs the risk of a possibly-catastrophic pre-emptive attack by Israel or the US. It's unlikely that street protests over a rigged election could bring down the regime on their own, but they might cause enough chaos to give the generals a pretext to step in and sweep the ayatollahs away. What would happen after that is anyone's guess.

It's most likely, of course, that none of this will happen. Iran has had massive unrest before and the Islamic Republic has survived. But one can't help hoping. Iranians have suffered thirty years of stagnation under this brutal, medieval theocracy. It's about time they had a chance at something better.


Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Thanx.....I havent been keeping up much with the election's over there, even though it's pretty big news.Only because I almost feel like dealing with them is like pissing in the wind. Sure I would sit down in conversation, but only to set the slate straight... and that is...I dont want to associate with them in nothing unless we have something we can share in common.... and right now... we dont. I never trust whoever is elected anyway's... simply because I figure whoever it is ... will be dictated to by the Ayotollah's (?spelling?)and the rest of the religious fanatacism clergy or whatever the spiritual name for them is. I dont want to tell them they cant have nuke's... but I do want to enlighten them that if they play too hard... we will exterminate them. Too sum it up in short guy...I'm sick of their crap, and games,and the 2 faced pansies that run our government and how we deal with foreign situation's.... because we dont stand firm on a damn thing, we go back and forth... decade after decade... we make friend's to fight later as enemies and vice versa, and not a damn thing get's done in actuality.I dont want their business,culture,friendship,oil,women,land,or anything... and if they act... my only wish for our government/military to do... is to equally act... but to win.... not this silly stuff we play.I'm not a humanist,or a christian,or a condervative,or liberal, And frankly wouldnt care about who get's killed in the battle... if they choose,and especially women and children would be my target... women reproduce the children who grow to seek vengeance... to me war is war, the objective I would think is to win. But what the fuck do I know ... heh?

I want to also say this isnt personal...I have an Iranian brother in law...and good friend he is, born and raised in Tehran... I speak no different to him or other's that I know that are even muslim, I am square and honest, and not out to screw anyone. I have a prison/jail/street mentality.... I dont fuck with you, dont fuck with us... period.I am not racial in thought as well... I've alway's said.... you take a black, a white, a hispanic... or whatever race.... put them all in a meat grinder... you end up with a pile of flesh,blood,and bone ... so race makes no difference,or gender to me, it's all the same ... and most... not worth pissing on them if they were on fire.


12 June, 2009 12:09  

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