Friday, June 19, 2009

Iran: Election Fraud, 'Death to America' and the Information Age

Looks like the fuss over the Iranian election is over. Or should be, according to the country's Supreme Leader.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Iran that those who don't like the way the election turned out should stop protesting, go home, and accept the fact that the Supreme Leader is the supreme leader. And, that the right candidate won.

Not in so many words, of course: but that seems to be the gist of it.

One more thing: some people were chanting "death to America!" Just the way the ayatollahs told them, I suspect.

House of Representatives: a Resolution

In Washington, the House of Representatives was busy:
"...The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution Friday that says it supports 'all Iranians who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law.'..." (CNN)
I get the impression that it was more an expression of moral support, than a declaration of concrete action.

Still, it's a nice gesture on the part of the House of Representatives. Sort of like my putting the word "FREEDOM" on my Twitter avatar.

Cheering Iranians' Efforts? Good Idea

I think it's just as well that Congress isn't moving to get directly involved in Iran's election. Right now it's a matter - theoretically - for Iran's government to sort out. Which it has. They ran the election, the right candidate won, Supreme Leader says so, and now, according to Supreme Leader, it's time to move on.

Odds are pretty good that quite a number of people in Iran won't 'move on,' though. From what I've read, significant numbers of Iranians have gotten fed up with the Islamic Republic, and want change.

What's worse, from the Ayatollah's point of view, is that although they seem to have alienated a fairly broad spectrum on Iran's people, the ones who are likely to be most upset are the young, smart, tech-savvy, go-getters who are in the best position to make changes.

This isn't the Seventies Any More

When Iranian students seized the American embassy in Tehran, back in 1979, the fax machine was pretty close to the cutting edge of information technology.1

If a reporter didn't report, and an editor didn't edit, odds were good that nobody would read about what was happening outside their own neighborhood. And, in America, if ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS decided that the masses didn't need to hear about something: they didn't. It was about the same way around the world.

That was then. This is now:
"...Web sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube were used to organize, drum up support and share images of street protests -- and the brutal retribution that sometimes followed -- with a world hungry for news. As the Iranian government began limiting the freedom of traditional news outlets to report in the country, citizen journalists became crucial in showing scenes from the movement...." (CNN)

Nuke Tehran? Not an Option in This Case

I'm pretty sure that somebody thinks America should invade Iran, or 'do something' about the amazing mess the Ayatollahs have made for themselves. My take on it is that, right now, the Iranian government, from the Supreme Leader down, is doing a fine job of destroying itself.

In the short run, I suspect that the Supreme Leader will get his way, and that the official winner of Iran's presidential election will be president. For a while, at least.

But, with so many Iranians convinced that Ahmadinejad - or his backers - rigged the election, and the Ayatollahs reacting as violently as they have, I think there's a very good chance that the Islamic Republic has destroyed the confidence and support of too many of its subjects.

As I wrote before, I think Ahmadinejad may have won the election: and lost the country.

Related posts: In the news:
1 The fax machine had been around for quite a long time: as a large, none-too-practical technology. Bhe late seventies, Japanese companies were bringing "faster, smaller and more efficient fax machines into the world market. (The Great Idea Finder)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am running a poll to see how Obama might handle a similar protest here in America?

Vote here,

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