Iranian elections: what to say? One of the problems of blogging is uninformed writing – it’s something I think far more misleading than it’s use for slander, sensationalism and silliness.
One of the strengths of blogging is the ability to aggregate other posts and other people’s writings. Here’s the result of my morning’s trawl through the internet for writings about Iran, from newspaper reports, blogs, facebook and even twitter:
- Of course, the best way to aggregate twitter is to let someone else do it for you. IranTwazzup is an excellent, live stream of tweets and a ranking of the most popular links, photos (amateur and professional) and videos (h/t:comment central). I’d recommend a glance at this, but probably best we gain some broader info first.
- The Times think the results were falsified, Ahmadinejad won by an “absurd and falsified two-thirds of the vote” and that “the attempt to impart a veneer of democratic legitimacy to a regime widely hated for its authoritarian intolerance, economic incompetence and corruption backfired.” In particular, they cite “the heavy defeat of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the main challenger, in his own village.” Laura Secor of the New Yorker agrees:
“There can be no question that the June 12, 2009 Iranian presidential election was stolen. Dissident employees of the Interior Ministry, which is under the control of President Ahmadinejad and is responsible for the mechanics of the polling and counting of votes, have reportedly issued an open letter saying as much.”
- Yet a piece in the Washington Post completely disagrees and thinks that opinion polls showed that President Ahmadinejad was always going to win a second term, and by an even greater majority than he eventually won. They’ve used a polling firm with a hefty reputation and posted the results for all to see, and disagree with.
- But judging from the events in Iran, Foreign Policy magazine’s Passport blog think that “these are not the actions of a winner”, and they’ve got a point.
- The ever readable Robert Fisk thinks it’s too simplistic to paint Ahmadinejad as a vengeful loser, he’s seen two different sides to the embattled President. He’s also written about the violence on the streets of Iran, which President Ahmadinejad has dismissed as “not important”.
- The latest news updates from Iran come courtesy from the New York Times’ The Lede, who are giving all the latest that they see, hear, and read. Of course, the BBC are providing an incredibly comprehensive report, as ever. But you didn’t come here for me to tell you that.
- What power does the President have, anyhow? An article in Foreign Affairs notes that “The Iranian constitution endows the supreme leader with tremendous authority over all major state institutions, and Khamenei, who has held the post since 1989, has found many other ways to further increase his influence”. You’ll need a subscription to read the full article, not everything on the internet is free but the abstract gives a flavour (I haven’t finished the full article yet).
- Vocal opinions come in two forms. First, heeeere’s Hitchens, who writes:
“The obvious evidence of fixing, fraud, and force to one side, there is another reason to doubt that an illiterate fundamentalist like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could have increased even a state-sponsored plebiscite-type majority. Everywhere else in the Muslim world, in every election in the last two years, the tendency has been the other way.”
He thinks the correct term for the regime is Fascist.
- John Bolton wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week that, regardless of the result, Iran was a threat to the United States that shouldn’t be negotiated with. He resolutely refuses to stop banging that drum, doesn’t he?