Thursday, July 28, 2005

Iran's election

The Wall Street Journal apparently feels the need to dismiss Iran's elections.

According to an opinion piece in the Online Wall Street Journal today (subscription required), the Iranian election was a sham: "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's "elected" president, will officially assume his post next month. The elections, no doubt, were a sham and the controversy about voting irregularities is far from settled. Iran's opposition sources revealed that the national ID cards of about five million dead people were provided to regime supporters, enabling them to vote multiple times at multiple locations.
This is a continuation of a theme that began at the time of the event, that since Iran is an autocratic, Islamic, cleric-dominated system, then the elections must then be nothing more than a charade. There was widespread non-participation on the part of those qualified to vote, therefore they were by their non-participation essentially "voting" with their feet that the election had no legitimacy.

Clearly the election was flawed to the point of corruption. (We know that doesn't happen in our country.) But it does not follow that it is without meaning. I expect this Iran's-sham-election theme to be repeated until anyone who disagrees will be seen as a nut case.

I guess those Iranian writers who took the election seriously got it all wrong. My heavy-duty post at the time (it makes me tired to remember it) linked to a sample of well-informed people who not only took the election seriously, but seemed genuinely interested to figure out what it meant that such a barbarian was able to garner so much support. You may put me down as an early example of the "nut case" crowd.

These are the same "elected" officials in Iran, by the way, who warmly hosted their "elected" Iraqi neighbors a couple of weeks back in a tete-a-tete of old former enemies.

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