Fiery Winds and the Streets Below
Without even the slightest hint of appreciation for the irony, both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs have told reporters that the United States is closely watching the situation in Iran, where street riots continue in the aftermath of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's stunning victory over his popular opponent, Mir Hossein Moussavi, who was favored by progressive voters that included the young, the educated, and the more urban.
In eerie parallel to the highly disputed 2000 presidential election in the United States, when the highest court in the land suspended the vote recount in the pivotal state of Florida and handed the victory to the Right-wing candidate, George W. Bush, Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has endorsed the official vote count in Iran, effectively shutting down any avenue by which Moussavi and his forces could seek meaningful legal remedy within the Persian nation's constitutional framework, other than through a perfunctory investigation by the so-called Guardian Council, which will rule on the matter next week, no doubt in favor of Ahmadinejad.
Just as former President Bush found his hard-core support through two controversial elections by appealing to rural, ignorant, backward, conservative voters, so too does Mr. Ahmadinejad rely on this same complex demographic/psychographic pool for his backing, with both men buttressing the supposed moral legitimacy of their position and means of acquiring it by way of backward-looking religious leaders Iran's being officially recognized as pre-eminent, America's being less so.
Despite the imprimatur of legitimacy Ahmadinejad has now obtained from the supreme leader of Iran, street riots continue across Iran, with the government retaliating with arrests of opposition leaders and shows of force against public demonstrations.
While many of the demonstrators are young, the outrage in Iran seems to be widespread. Unlike in the United States, where protests against the suspect elections of George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 were minimal, at best, Iranians are taking to the streets in noticeable numbers despite the violent crackdown being chronicled by foreign journalists stationed there. Amid the thunder of stun grenades fired by riot police, one elderly woman shouted to a reporter for the The Times (UK), "We hate this government. It's my generation’s fault to have let them come in 1979 [when the shah was ousted]. These children are doing what we were not brave enough to do."
Those glib words could as easily have been spoken by an older person in the United States in both 2000 and 2004, except that here in this country, the preference is to allow suspect elections to go largely unchallenged in the streets. Far preferable for Americans is waiting for enough young people to come of age to make election fraud infeasible and, more importantly, inadvisable: the Republicans previously so desperate for the reins of power in Washington have found, after eight long years of progressive economic, military, and social degradation at their hands, that governance at the behest of the ignorant and reactionary is most inopportune, even when in league of convenience with the consent of supreme councils firmly ensconced in the technicalities of legal pronouncements that need and have no moral legitimacy.
The losers in Iran's elections this week will not be answered with justice, and the nation will plunge into a period of violent retribution against them and their leaders.
The Ayatollah Khamenei and his fellow reactionary mullahs will continue to have their chosen people in political power to press forward with the development of nuclear weapons and a concomitantly robust, forward-leaning posture in dealing with other nations, including the United States; but the disastrous end of this hubris in making a mockery of democratic elections will come soon enough, nonetheless.
The Right-wing forces in Iran may then wish they had dealt more generously with the reformist opposition now taking to the streets, which in retrospect will seem altogether peaceful, reasonable, and patient compared to the fiery winds of change from the skies as a much more violent, less patient, considerably better armed foe delivers its own version of reform for the intransigent.
Wrote Peter of Lone Tree:
Wrote Dark Wraith:
Wrote Peter of Lone Tree:
Become a Registered Commenter