Sunday, June 21, 2009

It Was In Persia that Chess Was First Perfected

From Press TV - I understand it's a semi-official adjunct of the Iranian government. I couldn't make this kind of stuff up! Guardian Council: Over 100% voted in 50 cities Sun, 21 Jun 2009 21:38:30 GMT Iran's Guardian Council has admitted that the number of votes collected in 50 cities surpass the number of those eligible to cast ballot in those areas. The council's Spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, who was speaking on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Channel 2 on Sunday, made the remarks in response to complaints filed by Mohsen Rezaei -- a defeated candidate in the June 12 Presidential election. "Statistics provided by Mohsen Rezaei in which he claims more than 100% of those eligible have cast their ballot in 170 cities are not accurate -- the incident has happened in only 50 cities," Kadkhodaei said. The spokesman, however, said that although the vote tally affected by such an irregularity is over 3 million, "it has yet to be determined whether the amount is decisive in the election results," reported Khabaronline. Three of the four candidates contesting in last Friday's presidential election cried foul, once the Interior Ministry announced the results - according to which incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner with almost two-thirds of the vote. Rezaei, along with Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, reported more than 646 'irregularities' in the electoral process and submitted their complaints to the body responsible for overseeing the election -- the Guardian Council. Mousavi and Karroubi have called on the council to nullify Friday's vote and hold the election anew. This is while President Ahmadinejad and his Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli have rejected any possibility of fraud, saying that the election was free and fair. MMN/SME/MMN
Ohmygoddess, are you kidding me? Over 3,000,000 fraudulent votes in 50 cities but the ministry in charge of free and fair elections isn't concerned because it has yet to be determined that this cheating affected the ultimate outcome.
And here is a very interesting post from the Lede Blog (New York Times): 167. June 21, 2009 5:52 pm Neil, No. 25: NO, these are quite obviously NOT the same people who “chant ‘Death to the USA’ at soccer stadiums… [etc.]…” So many people with little direct experience of totalitarian regimes retain the most superficial of impressions based on glimpses of carefully stage-managed events organized by totalitarian partocracies, in which trained, disciplined masses of supernumeraries perform on cue… as in North Korea. The ‘Death to the USA’ people would be the enforcers sent out by Ahmadinejad & Khamenei to SLAUGHTER AND MAIM these protesters we are watching turn out by the millions all across Iran to reclaim their country. Get your head around the numbers, Neil, and ‘Friends of Neil’: it only takes about 1000-5000 faces to create an impressive staged event to fill up a TV screen with hordes… But in a city of 12 million or so, i.e. about the size of Tehran, we do not often see a crowd of 500,000 to 2 Million –– reassembling day after day even in the face of threats to life & limb & Family & livelihood –– unless there is something far more serious afoot than a propagandist photo op such as the regular Friday ideological marches denouncing America that the Ayatollahs decreed are to take place, without fail, which are run and manned by their own most privileged details of followers… The good old Communist Party of the Soviet Union was really good at this kind of thing, too, only their mass events all had to do with “how much we love Lenin” (just as the ones in North Korea all have to do with “how much we adore our Radiant Glorious Life-giving Leader.” No one could ever take these kinds of required totalitarian rituals seriously –– and you mustn’t. The ongoing mass protests in Iran are the Real Thing, though: as their relentless popularity reveals. No staged event ever draws the kind of attention a real upswell of popular unity commands. Which leads me to this: *HOW KHAMENEI LOST IRAN:* If you think about it, at last Friday’s sermon, Khamenei had only two courses of action open to him: 1 - Accede to the calls for a new election, or 2 - Certify the declared election results as Correct and Truthful. He knew that if he were to follow the first path — announce a retaking of the vote — his candidate, Ahmadinejad, would lose, and his own power would inevitably shrink as the new leadership would have less reason to rely on his own “Supreme Powers” given the popular support the new President and his supporters (Khatami, Rafsanjani et al.) already had. How did Khamenei know this? Because HE HAD THE ACTUAL VOTE COUNT; he knew the actual result. As the protesting masses argue, and demonstrate, the majority vote, by a very healthy margin, was with Moussavi. Indeed, the Interior Ministry had already confirmed this to the winner, even before Khamenei decided — personally decided, upon receiving the news — to simply discard the vote results. Khamenei’s very refusal to go along with a relative moderate request, for a rerun of the vote, betrays his complicity in the falsification. Because it was obviously much simpler, and safer, to order a revote — if Khamenei was honestly convinced that his own preferred candidate had just scored “AN OVERWHELMING LANDSLIDE.” If there was a landslide for Ahmadinejad, why fear a revote? The only reason to refuse a second vote was because Khamenei KNEW that Ahmadinejad had lost… Not merely lost, but been soundly trounced, coming in Third, with a measly five to six million votes… And because Khamenei had put his imprimatur on an outrageous lie, a huge and shameful fraud, he cold not possible follow the first — most reasonable — option available to him, without exposing himself as a fraud, cheat, lie and traitor to the very ideals he pretends to exemplify… This left him with only the second option as a recourse: to insist on the “correctness and complete unassailability” of the false vote count that had been promulgated in such haste, and to hope that a brutal crackdown would quickly stifle resistance as those “little people of no actual consequence” caved in to their “Supreme Leader.” It was a mad hope, and of course, as we can now see, a crazy gamble. Or, as one of history’s wisest sages once so beautifully put it in the original English: “Oh, what a wicked web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” By following his basest instincts not once, but twice: first, by decreeing the falsification of the vote, and then by insisting this was “the correct result”, Khamenei not only revealed the horrible stuff of which he is made, but sealed his own doom, and the doom of the system that had raised such a one as he was to the dizzying pinnacles of Absolute Power. And so he fell, foolishly, into a very clever trap laid for him by far wiser men, former colleagues who had probably grown weary of his peremptory, absolutist, ridiculously rigid and ultimately unintelligent ways — Rafsanjani, Khatami, Moussavi, Karroubi… It was in Iran, after all, that chess was first perfected. — Maria Ashot

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