Monday, June 15, 2009

Is Iran blinking?

The BBC is reporting that hundreds of thousands of people are at a rally in Tehran protesting the outcome of the Presidential election, an outcome that is best described as unsafe, but an outcome even if it were legitimate - does not justify the oppressive theocracy that bastardises democracy to service the will of a small group of mullahs, and sustains a brutal and malevolent state.

Shots have been fired, and although all commentators believe that it is highly unlikely that anything will come of the protests, in terms of revolution, it appears that Iranians are giving it their best go. Iran is indeed divided between the traditional, sexist and highly Islamist rural countryside, and the cosmopolitan Tehran, but if Tehran goes so does Iran.

It is notable how many Tehran women are pushing for change, given the sexist rules that apply to what women should wear compared to men.

The poorly educated anti-semitic, economically illiterate buffoon Ahmedinejad continues to make a fool of himself claiming all is well, but in fact this is the best chance Iranians have to unshackle themselves from the grip of this brutal theocracy. Had opposition candidate Mousavi won then it would have been four years of a little less strident Islamism, but Islamism nevertheless. Women, religious minorities and homosexuals wouldn't be getting a better deal, but at best the screws may have eased off.

Time (not a typically reliable source of news to be fair) has given five reasons to question the result, basically:
- Lack of independent supervision of the election (the Interior Ministry supervises it);
- Some polling stations ran out of ballots, and opposition observers were not always given access to polling booths;
- Initial results came only an hour after the polls closed, which is ridiculous in a country with manual counting of paper ballots;
- Results were strangely consistent across regions, previously support for candidates varied across regions significantly. Mousavi didn't even win his own hometown, despite apparent high popularity. Ahmadinejad won in cities, despite previous polling suggesting otherwise;
- The result was a massive increase in the majority for Ahmadinejad, despite the poor state of the economy and past elections which saw far more support for reformist candidates.

So power to those in Iran seeking freedom - as they so proudly announced. Few actions could improve the prospects for peace and freedom in the Middle East and South Asia more than an end to spending 30 years in the dark ages, of a regime that oppresses its own, spreads a doctrine of violence and death of those who don't wish to succumb to surrendering themselves to permanent submission to the decrees of elderly mullahs.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports on how the internet has brought down barriers between Iranian youth and the rest of the world that the Iranian government is ill equipped to handle. Iran has started trying to block BBC World Service radio broadcasts in Persian. May we cross our fingers in hope that the more the regime tries to turn on the people, the more they turn back and resist.

After all, that will do more for peace than the so-called peace movement ever could.

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