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tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Tue, 23rd Jun '09 12:29 AM

IRANIAN ELECTIONS

Lest somebody immediately accuse me of supporting dictators, terrorists, etc., let me say that I am not a supporter of the current Iranian government -- not that I believe Mousavi would be significantly different -- and I vehemently oppose any form of government under which religious doctrine of any type trumps the decisions of elected representatives -- however, I have been less than impressed with the claims that the Iranian election was "stolen". I don't know, but I'm just as sure that most of the claims in western media alleging a theft are written by people with no more evidence of a theft than I have. I am reasonably impressed with this guy's analysis, suggesting that there is no real basis for claiming that the election was stolen:

http://www.counterpunch.org/amin06222009.html

I am interested in either rebutting evidence from those who think the election was stolen. I am also interested in any arguments that the guy who wrote the article is guilty of logically fallacious reasoning in the analysis he presents.



jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Tue, 23rd Jun '09 12:36 AM

My only thought is that news is too limited right now, which to me means it's too soon to really know what the truth is. There are reports of more ballots cast than people living in certain areas.

So I would have to come down on the side of incomplete and/or conflicting data at this time. It's anybody's guess, and I hold little hope that anyone will ever know the real truth.

clevercloggs
Clevercloggs  (Level: 27.4 - Posts: 1246)
Tue, 23rd Jun '09 1:59 AM

It should always be rememberered that the news tends to come from Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's support tends to be in the poorer more rural areas. Not only do those people not have camcorders, mobile phones and PC's, most of them don't even have WC's. I fancy the true numbers are pretty much 50 / 50 Conservate / Reformist.

bigmama60
Bigmama60  (Level: 95.2 - Posts: 6648)
Tue, 23rd Jun '09 2:19 PM

There is little reason to believe the official results announced in that election accurately reflect the intentions of the voters who went to the polls according to Walter R. Mebane, Jr. University of Michigan

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~wmebane/note18jun2009.pdf
(updating report originally written June 14 and updated June 16, 17, 18, 20 & 22)
June 23, 2009

Then the there is FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right...Nate Silver’s take

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/another-iranian-oddity.html#comments


collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 23rd Jun '09 3:50 PM

Stolen? Perhaps

Fixed? Most probably

fudypatootie
Fudypatootie  (Level: 197.2 - Posts: 1302)
Tue, 23rd Jun '09 6:00 PM

Also, isn't their media run or at least strongly influenced by the government? Could it not be true that the "results" announced are not anything like actual results but just the wishes of those in control?

My understanding is that votes are hand-counted there, yet the election was announced as having gone to A-Jad only 2 hours after the polls closed.

The Ayatollah said that there's no way 11 million votes could have been faked, but there's already evidence of 3 million faked. What's another 8?

Just wondering.......

madamec8
Madamec8  (Level: 82.5 - Posts: 893)
Tue, 23rd Jun '09 6:36 PM

A-Jad? I love it.

Some are questioning the premise that this was an election -- more like a circus:

http://pajamasmedia.com/michaelledeen/2009/06/13/the-iranian-circus-iii/

madamec8
Madamec8  (Level: 82.5 - Posts: 893)
Tue, 23rd Jun '09 6:36 PM

A-Jad? I love it.

Some are questioning the premise that this was an election -- more like a circus:

http://pajamasmedia.com/michaelledeen/2009/06/13/the-iranian-circus-iii/

bigmama60
Bigmama60  (Level: 95.2 - Posts: 6648)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 8:21 AM


Fox noise should be ashamed for parsing words and spreading falsehoods. Poor, Stupid, Sean Hannity he says so many stupid things everyday. He also looks more and more ridiculously stupid too each day. Stupid Hannity claims the President is now taking a different and stronger stance. Of course, his implication is because of republican outcries to speak out. Dude, that is so not true.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#31514869

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21599)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 8:45 AM

Quit watching Hannity, beverly, as he obviously upsets you. I suggest you begin reading the articles of Charles Krauthammer if you want an intelligent man's view of things

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 9:08 AM

Beverly, Hannity, if he echoed Lindsay Graham who got it right from the getgo, was probably correct in this case.

Obama in his first response(s) was trying to protect his proposed negotiations with Tehran over nuclear weapons instead of speaking out for human rights as the leader of the free world.

Point to the Republicans in this one, I'm afraid.

caramel1
Caramel1  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 21599)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 9:31 AM

Charles pointed out that he obviously has changed his wording and doesn''t necessarily say his initial words were incorrect. He just thinks it is preposterous for him to caim that he hasn't as it is to compare what is happening in Iran to some kind of debate

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 2:02 PM

1. Took me awhile to get back to this topic, largely because I actually read the materials to which Bigmama posted links. The first is to something written by a guy named Walter Mebane, who appears to be a statistician and academic associated with the University of Michigan. The second is just what Bigmama's posts says it is, but Silver is using Mebane's work in his analysis. Mebane does not conclude the election was stolen, but he does state that his statistical analysis raises a question of substantial fraud with respect to the number of votes for Ahmadinejad. Mebane also states, however:

"Caveat: It is important to be clear that none of the estimates or test results in this report
are proof that substantial fraud affected the 2009 Iranian election. The results are compatible
with widespread fraud in which the vote counts for Ahmadinejad were substantially
augmented by artificial means. But they are also compatible with Ahmadinejad having actually
won, supported by many who might have voted for Karroubi or Rezaei instead voting
for Ahmadinejad. The likelihood of such votes being cast needs to be assessed based on
information beyond what can be extracted from the 2005 and 2009 election returns alone."

2. At least here in the States, I believe that "group think" is all too common a phenomenon -- and a dangerous one that can substantially impact policy for the worst. So my natural inclination when virtually everybody -- MSM, politicians, elites, and the majority of the public -- are all spewing the same line is to ask to see the evidence of the claim. Iran is not a popular nation in the States; Islam is not popular in the states; Ahmadinejad is not popular in the states, so it was entirely plausible to me that the repeated claim that the election was "stolen" was based on these factors -- as opposed to actual evidence.

3. I sent the same link I posted to several friends, one of who believes that Ahmadinejad probably did win the election, but that the margin of victory was substantially less. This conclusion actually strikes me as very reasonable. Would that there been the same kind of outcry among the American public over stolen elections at the time of young Bush's 2000 or 2004 elections.

4. I sent the link to both my sons as they both expressed to me the view that the Iranian election was stolen. My older son backed off this conclusion somewhat after reading the article, although he also believes the guy who wrote the piece I posted the link partially misrepresents a poll he is citing as evidence. My son's comments with the link to the poll results, including analysis of the poll takers follows:

"Interesting article, but I think Al-Amin partially misrepresents the CPO report (http://www.terrorfreetomorrow.org/upimagestft/TFT%20Iran%20Survey%20Report%200609.pdf). While it's true that Ahmadinejad had a "nationwide advantage of of two to one over Mousavi", the poll showed that Ahmadinejad only polled at 34% and predicted that a second round of voting would be required to reach a majority."

clevercloggs
Clevercloggs  (Level: 27.4 - Posts: 1246)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 2:20 PM

You do realise that what is happening in Iran is absolutely perfect, as far as US foreign policy is concerned ? It guarantees the country is destabilised for the forseeable future. If the election result stands the inteligencia will remain disenfranchised, if it does not you can expect a "popular" religious / conservative backlash. The Shia believe that the Mahdi (the last prophet) will reappaer from a well in Iran and lead "Jesus" hand in hand to unite the world in islam. A religious backlash would now involve "Shia" Iraq, well done George.

tsk9653
Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 2:27 PM

Cloggs: maybe perfect for America's military-industrial complex, but its vision of perfect U.S. foreign policy is a lot different than mine and, at present, I believe a majority of the citizens here.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 2:29 PM

Cloggs - I thought they believed they were trying to usher in the 12 Iman who their prophecy says will only come in violence and bloodshed.....

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 2:30 PM

The Shia Muslims believe in a "second coming"? I didn't know that. Is it the only part if Islam that believes it? Don't you dare make fun of me. I realize I know crap about it, just asking.

clevercloggs
Clevercloggs  (Level: 27.4 - Posts: 1246)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 2:32 PM

Jank0614
Cloggs - I thought they believed they were trying to usher in the 12 Iman who their prophecy says will only come in violence and bloodshed.....

That's the guy. He is supposed to have hidden in a well in modern day Iran, they are still waiting for him to surface. Sunni's believe that Big Mo' is the final prophet.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 2:41 PM

George, Dave? George?

George had nothing to do with the developments in Iran, Dave. Maybe Barack a tiny bit, but this uprising represents internal dissatisfaction with the regime.

clevercloggs
Clevercloggs  (Level: 27.4 - Posts: 1246)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 3:11 PM

Collioure
George, Dave? George?

George had nothing to do with the developments in Iran, Dave. Maybe Barack a tiny bit, but this uprising represents internal dissatisfaction with the regime.

If you believe that Iraq turning shia has nothing to do with what is happening in Iran then you are even more naive than you are pompous. You have no comprehension of the religious turmoil that is enveloping the Middle East have you ? You do understand that Hamas are a shia organisation i take it ? The biggest thorn in the side of shia islam was Saddam, for all of his faults. If that thorn was to be removed then a replacement should have been available, there is none. Who was Saddam's biggest enemy Andy ? Osama Bin Laden, they hated each other.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 24th Jun '09 3:42 PM

Dave, I'll withhold responding until I have checked another source.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 25th Jun '09 4:47 AM

Dave, I can find no evidence supporting your assertions. You are invited to post them.

However, I do read that Sa

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 25th Jun '09 4:47 AM

Dave, I can find no evidence supporting your assertions. You are invited to post them.

However, I do read that Sa

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 25th Jun '09 4:47 AM

Dave, I can find no evidence supporting your assertions. You are invited to post them.

However, I do read that Sa

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 25th Jun '09 4:51 AM

Dave, I find no evidence supporting your assertions. You are invited to post references.

I do read that Saddam disliked ObL. Nevertheless they clearly had a cooperative relationship vis-avis the USA.

Regarding Bush's hand in the current Iran turmoil which I continue to doubt - could be that the Iranians note that their Iraqi neighbors are free.

sandracam
Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Thu, 25th Jun '09 4:55 AM

Yeah, I'm sure that the Iraqi's are the envy of all in the mid east

surreyman
Surreyman  (Level: 260.6 - Posts: 2770)
Thu, 25th Jun '09 5:28 AM

The only tenuous connection between Saddam and bin Laden was that they both were anti-USA -along with quite a few million others in the world.
Otherwise they were total opposites. Above all, Saddam was secular, bin Laden was/is a raving religious extremist.
Saddam was a leading light in the Ba'ath party, for xxxxxx sake, which bin Laden abhored. He was a local gangster compared to bin Laden.
Consequently, there was no Qaida presence in Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11.
That was the first big Bush fallacy.

surreyman
Surreyman  (Level: 260.6 - Posts: 2770)
Thu, 25th Jun '09 6:25 AM

PS: No-one is 'turning Shi'ite'. The Shii'te areas of Iraq, Iran and Pakistan have been so for centuries. Inter-conversion between Shi'ite and Sunni is most unusual.

PPS: Hamas are most certainly not Shi'ite, they're extremist Sunni.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 25th Jun '09 6:34 AM

Cooperative in anti-US efforts, Alan.

NOT collaborative.

surreyman
Surreyman  (Level: 260.6 - Posts: 2770)
Thu, 25th Jun '09 6:40 AM

They never co-operated.

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 25th Jun '09 7:40 AM

Oh, but there are documented cases, Alan, for example of Al Qaeda terrorists returning via Iraq.

surreyman
Surreyman  (Level: 260.6 - Posts: 2770)
Thu, 25th Jun '09 9:24 AM

Zarqawi was presumably the originator of bodies that (after invasion let alone 9/11) eventually led to any Qaeda presence in Iraq at all. And Saddam for long hunted him with a view to annihalation. That's hardly co-operation!
Qaeda's extreme Islamism was the very, very last thing secular Ba'athist Saddam wanted in Iraq. He couldn't even stand the Sunni Kurds, let alone the Shi'ites, as we all know.
If the odd individual happened to travel via Iraq (as indeed I have myself!) that's hardly co-operation.
Saddam probably didn't even have the foggiest idea about 9/11 coming, any more than the USA.


collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 25th Jun '09 3:18 PM

I don't disagree with any of your post, Alan.

Nevertheless when Al Qaeda terrorists needed safe havens or transit points, Saddam's Iraq cooperated.

surreyman
Surreyman  (Level: 260.6 - Posts: 2770)
Fri, 26th Jun '09 5:15 AM

Well, them's the facts.
Even xxxxxxxxx Rumsfeld doesn't agree with you now and, then, he was THE arch-idiot regarding this.
I spent a little time in Iraq in the later 90s and certainly saw Saddam's massive secularism in action. He himself only popped up in a mosque once in a blue moon to feed the TV cameras. Anything to do with extreme Islamism was his bete-noir, and he even regarded the Shi'ites as extreme. He was terrified of what Qaeda could do to 'his' Iraq.
Qaeda couldn't believe their luck when the invasion opened up Iraq to their influx (another previous major anti-invasion reason in itself, which was proved absolutely correct).
Simple as that.
I'm happy to discuss any/all aspects of the Middle East all day long, even if boring the rest of Sploofus!
But can you not accept some facts?

collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 26th Jun '09 5:30 AM

I accepted all your facts, Alan.

But your interpretations and mine differ. Regarding how much of a nation Afghanistan ever was and considering Iraq in the same breath. And regarding what to do or not do as the region dominated by dictators fomented terrorism and willingly hosted terrorists.

madamec8
Madamec8  (Level: 82.5 - Posts: 893)
Fri, 26th Jun '09 5:34 AM

Consider this view -- it adds dimension and another way of looking at things, still with the desired outcome. It's a long article but worth every bit of energy and time to read it.

Iran's Struggle, and Ours
How a Movement Could Transform the Region

The now-joined struggle for Iranian hearts and minds is where the universal battle of ideas -- democracy vs. tyranny -- meets the dictates of Middle Eastern geography. Whereas Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states are puzzle pieces carved out of featureless desert, with no venerable traditions of statehood, the roots of a great Persian power occupying the Iranian plateau date to the Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanid empires. With nearly 70 million people occupying the tableland between the oil-rich Caspian Sea and the oil-rich Persian Gulf, Iran is the Muslim world's universal joint.
.
Iranian power, both soft and hard, is felt from the Mediterranean to the Indus. Indeed, Iran's influence in southern Lebanon and Gaza is part of a historical tradition of empire and Shiite rule. By puncturing the legitimacy of the clerical authority, the demonstrations in Tehran and other cities have the capacity to herald a new era in Middle Eastern and Central Asian politics.

Iran's governing institutions, however illiberal their current intent, are structurally sounder than most in the Arab world. When the shah was toppled, anarchy did not ensue: Within weeks, a Shiite bureaucratic apparatus filled the void. That sophisticated network reflected not just religion but also Iranian high culture.

The Iran of the ayatollahs was never a one-dimensional tyranny such as Saddam Hussein's Iraq; it is a complex system with an elected parliament and chief executive. Likewise, Iran's democracy movement is strikingly Western in its organizational discipline and its urbane use of technology. In terms of development, Iran is much closer to Turkey than to Syria or Iraq. While the latter two live with the possibility of implosion, Iran has an internal coherence that allows it to bear down hard on its neighbors. In the future, a democratic Iran could be, in a benevolent sense, as influential in Baghdad as the murder squads of a theocratic Iran have been in a malignant sense.

Iran is so central to the fate of the Middle East that even a partial shift in regime behavior -- an added degree of nuance in its approach to Iraq, Lebanon, Israel or the United States -- could dramatically affect the region. Just as a radical Iranian leader can energize the "Arab Street," an Iranian reformer can energize the emerging but curiously opaque Arab bourgeoisie. This is why the depiction of presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi as but another radical, albeit with a kinder, gentler exterior than President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, completely misses the point.

As in the former Soviet Union, change in Iran can come only from the inside; only an insider, be it a Mousavi or a Mikhail Gorbachev, has the necessary bona fides to allow daylight into the system, exposing its flaws. Only a staunch supporter of the Islamic Republic such as Mousavi would have been trusted to campaign at all, even as he is now leading a democratic movement that has already undermined the Brezhnevite clerical regime. It is unfinished business of the Cold War that we have been witnessing the past few days. The Iranian struggle for democracy is now as central to our foreign policy as that for democracy in Eastern Europe in the 1980s.

It is crucial that we reflect on an original goal of regime change in Iraq. Anyone who supported the war must have known that toppling Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Arab -- whether it resulted in stable democracy, benign dictatorship or sheer chaos -- would strengthen the Shiite hand in the region. This was not seen as necessarily bad. The Sept. 11 terrorists had emanated from the rebellious sub-states of the sclerotic Sunni dictatorships of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, whose arrogance and aversion to reform had to be allayed by readjusting the regional balance of power in favor of Shiite Iran. It was hoped that Iran would undergo its own upheaval were Iraq to change. Had the occupation of Iraq been carried out in a more competent manner, this scenario might have unfolded faster and more transparently. Nevertheless, it is happening. And not only is Iran in the throes of democratic upheaval, but Egypt and Saudi Arabia have both been quietly reforming apace.

In recent years, an anti-Iranian alliance of sorts has emerged of Israel and those tired Sunni Arab dictatorships. Throughout Iranian history, dating to Cyrus the Great, Jews and Persians have often had an alliance against the mass of Arabs and other peoples that border Iran to the west and south. In brief visits to Iran, I have sensed a greater aversion to Saudi Arabia, for instance, than to Israel. A virulent hatred of Jews may turn out to have been an attribute of the clerical regime, which won't outlive it, at least not to the same extent. The late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi did, in fact, maintain an implicit alliance with Israel, and future Iranian leaders must look at the world from the same geographical position as he did, without the baggage of Third World radicalism with which the mullahs had been indoctrinated early in the Khomeini period.

But a future behind-the-scenes battle between Sunni Arabs and Shiite Iranians for a silent strategic contract with Israel can be effected only if the United States exerts strong pressure on Israel to cede West Bank territory. Never has there been a better time to push for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, even if it requires the collapse of today's Israeli coalition in the process.

The Middle East has entered a period of deep flux, to be further amplified by elections in Iraq later this year and the seating of a pro-Western government in Lebanon. Because of its central geographic and demographic position astride the energy-rich Middle East -- not to mention the attractive force of Persian culture seeping far into Central Asia -- Iran, ironically, has a better chance to dominate the region under dynamic democratic rule than it has ever had under its benighted clerisy. And that could be very good for the United States.

Robert D. Kaplan is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a national correspondent for The Atlantic.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 03114.html



collioure
Collioure  (Level: 104.9 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 26th Jun '09 6:03 AM

Mr Kaplan must be one of those foolish idealists who thinks that a piece of paper can produce peace. Neither Israel nor the Palestinians powers is even close to practicing the principles of such a peace today. Both have repeatedly ignored agreements that were precursors to a formal peace.

Peace will come only when the major external powers bring the parties to an agreement on a basic plan and then assure that both parties practice honoring their obligations to each other.


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