Saturday, June 13, 2009

Iran not yet ready for a revolution (unfortunately)...

Iran has been in a twilight of some openness, with the government clamping down from time to time--including banning opposition parties from taking part in elections the government leaders think they will lose.

This time, they took a more traditional approach to holding elections--they appear to have stolen the election with fraudulent ballots (the opposition canddiate, Moussavi, had actually warned of this when poll watchers for his party were refused access to polling places).

And now they are arresting the opposition leaders. One interesting item: A reformist ayatollah, Hashemi Rafsanjani, had also worried about fraud in the election before the polls closed. He may resign his current position as Chairman of the Assembly of Experts, which assembly chooses the Supreme Leader in Iran--after the Supreme Leader rejected Rafsanjani's warnings about this election.

And now Iranians are beginning to take to the streets in increasingly violent clashes.

Still, I see no evidence that there will be a successful revolt over this latest election in Iran or that Ahmadinejad will be forced to resign, or a new election ordered through the Iranian Parliament or Council of Guardians. Too bad. I continue to believe a clear majority of Iranians in Iran want peace with the U.S., don't really care about Israel as an issue, and want an open government within their own country. That the vast majority of Iranians want a nuclear bomb is what most people in most countries want. Sigh...

ADDENDUM: While some in Israel's and America's neo-con elite hope for Ahmadinejad to prevail, most Israelis polled don't want war with Iran and, I suspect, they hope as I do for reformists to take over in Iran.

One day people in Israel, Iran, the US and elsewhere will come to the realization that the right wing yahoo element is essentially the same everywhere. It is stupid, it is violent, and it is fearful of whatever they like to call "the other." Our current president must continue to pressure Israel to stop building settlements and sit down to talk peace. Netanyahu's speech today was cynical, as he set the bar impossibly high for Palestinian negotiators to move quickly to peace. Still, Obama can continue to pressure Netanyahu by using the effect of his words and keep saying what Obama has been saying about "no" to more settlement encroachments and "yes" to the two state solution.


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