The Mistress responded this morning to my post of yesterday. It seems I did not convince her that the official election results of the Iranian election were impressively suspect. She linked to Robert Fisk of the UK Independent, whose unbiased coverage on the ground in Iran has been a breath of fresh air (yes, we do read something other than USA Today here, and fortunately we don't have to wait on the docks for it to arrive like some Dickens' serial). Mr. Fisk has quoted several sources claiming the election results were legit, though he said this morning in his commentary he himself believes the election results to be "highly dubious."
I commented quickly on her blog, noting that it seems I have failed to sway her. That's that. I did my best. But there was something she said with which I take issue - something that takes a little more time.
Mistress La Spliffe:
"Republicans are frothing at the mouth for some sort of intervention in favour of Moussavi..."
Hmm... That's a bit hyberbolic, and, though tainted with some truth, hardly the end all, be all. Let's take a closer look from here, on the ground, in the U.S. Some Republicans have indeed called for intervention on Moussavi's part. They are saying, those few, that we should step in to help Moussavi in every way possible and one assumes that includes military options. Dana Rohrbacher even called Obama a "cream puff" for his perceived inaction. But most of this is politics. The GOP has very little with which to attack Obama. They see this as their opening - the chink in Obama's armor and are attempting to use it purely for political gain. They don't realistically want to intervene (at least most of them don't). They just have nothing else. And by the way, it's not working. Most Americans, and that includes several GOP leaders like Lugar, think Obama is doing the right thing. Republicans froth regularly, but not about this.
The truly interesting bit? Most of the neocons, those that sit in Cheney's hallowed chambers, believe that the election was totally above the boards. They are actually arguing that Ahmadi won! They are the ones behind articles in mainstream online pubs like Politico saying, "Ahmadinejad won. Get over it." Yes the crazy, hawkish, far right are the ones who think it was fair and square. Why? Because without a dragon there's no need for dragonslaying. Ahmadi is "evil". He is the perfect poster boy for more saber rattling - more conflict. If he didn't win, they lose. When you defend the election results the people in your corner are not exactly the best of associates.
And those that think the election was questionable? That would be the left. Yes, far and away, those that are leading the charge are "liberal". From Daily Kos to Huffington Post, the savaging of the results has been withering. They have piled on. But note: they are not calling for official government intervention. They are following Obama's line and agree, for the most part, that the U.S. should keep clear of this mess, at least in an official capacity.
For his part, Obama has kept the rudder straight and true, attempting to avoid even the hint of U.S. government meddling. Just this week, in a bit of political gamesmanship, he, in essence, said there was little difference between Ahmadi and Moussavi. That statement both lowered expectations here for any substantial changes should Moussavi become president, and allowed Moussavi to distance himself from the good old USA.
Lest those that have not been in this country for the last year forget, this is not the country the world dealt with for the last 8 years, or even the last 50. Obama was not elected by a slim majority. People here want a change - a substantial change - from the past. The GOP did not and does not yet get that, and they are suffering immeasurably as a result. For those that live abroad the images of Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks may be the standard you use to judge American opinion, but let me assure you they are the fringe. They make good copy, just as Ahmadi makes good copy in the west, but Americans, like Iranians, are more substantial than all that. Do not judge American intentions by the nuts.
Regardless of how the election in Iran turns out, regardless of Ahmadi or Moussavi, this country I call home will engage them in a new dialog that one hopes will allow the mainstream thoughts of both countries to find common ground.
Mistress, it just isn't as bad as you seem to think.
Oh, and though I have never been to Kermanshah, Iran, I did use to live in "San Fran-fucking-cisco", and I am fully aware the two are not the same thing. Nonetheless, I maintain it's a useful analogy, at least in a statistical voting sense.
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