Monday, June 15, 2009

Behind Iran's Election Results

On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, Vice President Joe Biden hinted that Iran's election results last week didn't seem quite right... politicos shake their heads over the odor of corruption and huffing news outlets question their validity.

Of course, our own elections have been rife with questionable results.... think of the Supremes deciding the 2000 presidential contest.... while our hackable electronic ballot systems are nothing to brag about.

What we have here seems to be very wishful thinking, and an attitude of "do as I say, not as I do."

Americans want Middle East peace, they want President Ahmadinejad and his scary rhetoric shown the door.... just like we did to Bush/Cheney in 2004.... oh yes, we didn't do that to The Decider and Darth Dick. Instead, while the world held it's breath, we elected them to a second term, after they lied us into the worst foreign policy blunder in our nation's history, the war in Iraq.... the Middle-East-destabilizing war in Iraq.

Well, now we know how the world felt. According to the Washington Post, the rumors of Ahmadinejad's political demise were very premature. As reported by Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty in "The Iranian People Speak," it appears the "election results in Iran may reflect the will of the people."

On what do they base such an outlandish statement.... on a scientific national poll conducted in Iran three weeks before the election. Ahmadinejad was the preferred candidate two to one, and those results reflect the election's results. The poll was "conducted by telephone from a neighboring country, field work was carried out in Farsi by a polling company whose work in the region for ABC News and the BBC has received an Emmy award." Oh.

That's not what we want to believe. Our instant-gratification conditioning hasn't the patience. But, closing our minds and living in a blame-game la-la land won't change the reality.... nor a system where all Iranian candidates are chosen by a non-elected supreme leader. Here is where the poll's results are very interesting, and encouraging. And, far from the expected safe answers one might expect in a country with an oppressive regime in power.

While preferring Ahmadinejad, for now, four out of five indicated in answer to the poll's questions that they wanted to elect the supreme leader, chose free elections and a free press as priorities, and 77 percent "favored normal relations and trade with the United States." Those weren't safe answers.

So, while choosing Ahmadinejad.... change is in the air. Isn't that what we should be talking about, and encouraging?

In Iran, there are now major protests by supporters of the opposing candidate. One thing all the ballyhoo has done is to evidently unsettle the supreme leader. He's now calling for an investigation into the election. But then, why not. He can't lose. He picked all the candidates.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The GOP is Icing Up

This great illustration appeared with "The Ice Age Cometh" by right-leaning columnist, Mike Murphy in TIME this week. His op-ed is chock-full of good advice that the pooh-bahs in the GOP will likely ignore.

Murphy is facing facts, "Saving the GOP is not about diluting conservatism but about modernizing it to reflect the country it inhabits instead of an America that no longer exists."

Murphy is referring to demographics, the surge of Latino and under 30 voters who are turned off, and away, by pitchfork-waving mobs chasing gays through the GOP countryside. Ditto-heads... tribal GOPers whose "radio dials are stuck on AM"... who viciously scrabble at the constitutional bastion between their church and the state. The "all men are created equal" state.

We are a two-party nation. We need a strong GOP with sound values. To survive, they must tune-out the hairy mammoth's clarion-trumpet.... and yes, even the musty Reagan yesteryear's moldy oldies. Or, as Murphy warns.... "A GOP ice age is on the way."

Monday, June 08, 2009

Friday is Iran's Defining Moment

There is an event this week that could spell the difference between a peaceful settlement of the Israel/Palestine conflict, reduced tensions in the Middle East, and a halt to the threat of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists; or.....

Escalating the current dangerous Israel/Palestine conflict, increasing tensions in the Middle East, while enabling the unstable ambitions of a nuclear-capable terrorist-funding regime. A regime headed by a holocaust-denying puppet of radical religious leaders.

There is an election scheduled for this Friday in Iran, and much of President Barack Obama's aspirations for Middle East peace, and curbing the bloody mayhem of jihad-inspired terrorism, rest on the outcome.

As reported in the Washington Post, "In Iran, Harsh Talk as Election Nears," by Robert F. Worth, this final week of Iran's presidential campaign, "has reached a level of passion and acrimony almost unheard-of in Iran."

As Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hurls fantastic accusations at his opponents, he is also ducking incoming fire, impassioned fire, and not from just his rivals, but also from long-suffering Iranians who are mad and not going to take it anymore.

For years Ahmadinejad has resorted to inciteful and false rhetoric.... from a constant refrain of threats against Israel, "to wipe them off of the face of the earth"..... and against any Western power that stands by Israel who "from now on will not see any result but the hatred of the people. You should not claim that we did not give a warning," he saber-rattles, to his oft repeated denial of the horrific WWII Jewish holocaust.

But, he also misled and terrorized his own people. In his last presidential campaign he promised the Iranians relief from poverty and a focus on domestic issues, what they got was a "police state" as one Iranian openly charged, and a foreign policy his leading opponent, reformist Mir Husein Moussavi, calls "adventurism, illusionism, exhibitionism, extremism and superficiality.”

This time, Ahmadinejad's hateful-rhetoric is backfiring.... unofficial polls suggest 54 percent of Iranian voters would support Moussavi, while Ahmadinejad lags at 39 percent.

So much rests on the result of Friday's election, and not just for the Iranian people. By showing Ahmandinejad the door, they can lop off the festering head of a regime bent on taking the people back to the zealous, social-freedom-eviscerating, hard-line piety of the 1979 revolution, and stop the plunge toward a nuclear abyss.

As one Moussavi supporter said, “ the beginning of the Islamic revolution we were all like Ahmadinejad, but we changed our path and our way. ” Another Iranian added that she was speaking on behalf of her friends, "We love our religion, but they have used it as a tool to take people’s rights.”

The good Iranian people can send a message to a hopeful world.... we're taking our lives and our country back. We chose peace over conflict, hope over fear. We're looking forward.

We wish them Allah's speed.....