We in America tend to see everything in terms of potential fallout for our own interests or in terms of the very real incidence of our own interference in the political manipulations of other Governments.
Lest we forget, these are not the faces of CIA operatives, nor Israeli plants, as Ahmadinejad would have you believe. This is a young population, with World access at their fingertips via technology.
One need only look at Iran’s long tradition of revolution to try and achieve Democracy, juxtaposed against a young and increasingly supportive of women’s right populace in the face of a government that has reinstated a detested “Guidance Patrol,” a law enforcement division that stops women for wearing, say, capri pants, flower-print head scarves or too much lipstick.
2/3 of enrolled University Students are women.
The campaign Change for Equality is working toward their One Million Signatures to get Parliament to review 10 laws against women.
Huffpo’s Diane Tucker wrote:
These women invested their hopes in Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the presidential candidate who pledged to reform laws that treat women unfairly. As it stands now, an Iranian woman’s testimony in court carries only half the weight of a man’s. Women do not have equal divorce, child custody, or inheritance rights either.
Mousavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard might have even more fans than the candidate. Iran’s top-ranking female professor is a crowd-pleaser at political events, where she is anything but invisible and not afraid to speak her mind about Iranian women’s rights. For example, when Ahmadinejad accused Rahnavard of skirting government rules to earn her advanced degrees (she has a masters in art, and a masters and a doctorate in political science), Rahnavard publicly reprimanded him. The Los Angeles Times reported her I-won’t-back-down rebuttal:
Either [Ahmadinejad] cannot tolerate highly educated women, or he’s discouraging women from playing an active role in society.
Prior to the Election, LA Times reported how Mousavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard was more popular than he, and a huge influence in his rise to almost rock-star status.
In addition to helping raise three children, Rahnavard once served as an advisor to former President Mohammad Khatami, has written at least 15 books and is an accomplished sculptor whose works appear throughout the capital. For years, Mousavi, who served in the now-defunct post of prime minister during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, was described as “the husband of Rahnavard.”
Leaving the female and educated youth vote aside, a look into local demographics shows the impossible.
Via The Zeitgeist Politics
Tehran Bureau also points out the inconsistencies when it comes to voters from the home villages of the other candidates supposedly also landsliding to Ahmadinejad:
This is particularly true about Iran, a large country with a variety of ethnic groups who usually vote for a candidate who is ethnically one of their own. For example, in the present elections, Mr. Mousavi is an Azeri and speaks Turkish. The Azeries make up 1/4 of all the eligible voters in Iran and in his trips to Azerbaijan province, where most of the Azeri population lives, Mr. Mousavi had been greeted by huge rallies in support of his campaign. Likewise, Mr. Karroubi, the other reformist candidate, is a Lor. But according to the data released by Iran’s Interior Ministry, in both cases, Mr. Ahmadinejad has far outdone both candidates in their own provinces of birth and among their own ethnic populations.
Juan Cole has a 6 point argument proving his thesis of election fraud.
As the real numbers started coming into the Interior Ministry late on Friday, it became clear that Mousavi was winning. Mousavi’s spokesman abroad, filmmaker Mohsen Makhbalbaf, alleges that the ministry even contacted Mousavi’s camp and said it would begin preparing the population for this victory.
The ministry must have informed Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has had a feud with Mousavi for over 30 years, who found this outcome unsupportable. And, apparently, he and other top leaders had been so confident of an Ahmadinejad win that they had made no contingency plans for what to do if he looked as though he would lose.
They therefore sent blanket instructions to the Electoral Commission to falsify the vote counts.
This clumsy cover-up then produced the incredible result of an Ahmadinejad landlside in Tabriz and Isfahan and Tehran.
The reason for which Rezaie and Karoubi had to be assigned such implausibly low totals was to make sure Ahmadinejad got over 51% of the vote and thus avoid a run-off between him and Mousavi next Friday, which would have given the Mousavi camp a chance to attempt to rally the public and forestall further tampering with the election.
So, in light of the predictable barking of Wolfowitz in WaPo today asking for intervention, (suprise? pee-nacker wants in) and others worries that no matter what the outcome, the US will manipulate this for their own ends, we need to remember that for the Iranian people, this election is about what their daily lives are like THERE.
They want to be allowed to be modern. They want rights for their women. They want to not be isolated from the rest of the World. Many are frustrated with the Ayatollah Khamenei, wishing the more moderate Ayatollah Sanei had risen to power.
But most of all, these are people who want their votes to be counted for their OWN reasons.
We must support them. As we bond with them, it must strengthen our resolve to NOT make war on this country and its very real people.
We will be discussing this, and more tonight on Wild Wild Left Radio at 6PM eastern Time. Please tune in, or call in with your thoughts.