Ms. Fatemeh Keshavarz's article on Iran's "defrauded" presidential election of more than a year ago surfaced in the online publication Counterpunch September 7, 2010, at a juncture when the U.S. is trying to deflect world public attention from its woes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan to Iran, impose more potent sanctions on the people of Iran, in lockstep with Israel, threaten the country with the use of nuclear weapons and effectively use such terrorist organizations as Mojahedin-Khalq and the soldiers of the Kingdom Restoration of Iran to throw dust in the air right before the 65th United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2010, in which President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad intends to announce that he is prepared to meet with President Obama to discuss the U.S.-Iran standoff on nuclear and Middle East issues.
A Professor In Need of Objectivity
Keshavarz, in her "Behind the Scenes of the 2009 Iranian Election" (1) felt no need for evidence or any statistical analysis to air her opinion that in the aftermath of Iran's Tenth Presidential election "millions of Iranians marched on the streets calling the 2009 election a military coup." If the figure "millions" was a true statistic, Keshavarz would have gained credibility by pointing out independent sources. But if the figure cited by Keshavarz is hugely inflated, then the education of the students in Washington University, in which she is the chair of a department, is compromised.
However, Professor Keshavarz is not the only educator that for political reasons, or more precisely, for their social class positions distort the truth. This method of tilting the scale in the interests of certain powerful classes in the U.S. institutions of higher education, such as inflating or deflating the facts, submitting opinions in place of evidence, or even outright misrepresentations, is not unusual, especially in the political science, history and many pseudo-departments created to favor certain political lines among ethnic and national minorities in the U.S.
Moreover, it would have been much closer to truth, as observed by a fraction of the world population in five continents and would have been considered as a reflection of fair judgement and balanced outlook, if Keshavarz had conceded that the protest rallies included hundreds of thousands from both sides of the fence, pro-Ahmadi-Nejad and those who contested the electoral results, ala Georgia, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia. Even those who faithfully watched Cable News Network (CNN), Voice of America (VOA), and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), to mention a few among many anti-Iran corporate mouthpieces, admit that supporters of President Ahmadi-Nejad among the people overwhelmed that of the reformist movement.
"Coup" Used as Slander
In the next breath, Professor Keshavarz charges the Iranian government with the unlawful act of a "military coup" carried out by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRG)", which has been the main target of the U.S. sanctions and military threats in the war plans against Iran. It is normally assumed that our professor is aware that "coup" as defined by Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary means "a violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group." It is self-evident that presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi did not represent an established and already existing government, and a non-existing national authority cannot be over-thrown by a military means or otherwise. The most our linguistics professor, like many in the U.S.-Monarchist-Mojahedin camp before her, could claim is that the election was suffering from irregularities. But to claim such bombastic charges as "a coup" to explain the reason for Moussavi-Karroubi's loss of the election is a long stretch that could not be taken seriously.
Reading the Book Up-side Down
With regards to an actual "coup" as a means for a national minority to capture the state power through disorderly conduct, breaking into more than 700 banks, acts of burning buses and vehicles, vandalism and insurrection against the state authorities, Professor Keshavarz is reading the book upside down. By now, in the last 15 months, innumerable articles and books exhaustively elaborated that the Mousavi-Karoubi camps were applying the instructions of George Soros' step by step stages to bring about a colored (green) revolution. The bitter fact for the so-called "Green movement" is that the people of Iran in the millions stopped the counter-revolution in its tracks from handing Iran over, once again, to U.S.-British imperial powers and their oil and military corporations.
With respect to the outcome of the election, Professor Keshavarz may agree with us that in general the reporters and the political analysts of the Washington Post, to say mildly, are not friendly with President Ahmadi-Nejad. At the height of the protests in Tehran, three days after the election, on June 15, 2009, Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty in an article entitled "The Iranian People Speak" wrote that "…our nationwide Public Opinion Survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahamdinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin – greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday’s election." They continued that, "while Western news reports from Tehran in the days leading up to the voting portrayed an Iranian public enthusiasm…for Mir Hossein Mousavi, our scientific sampling from across all 30 of Iran's provinces showed Ahmadinejad well ahead." (2)
Here Are Facts Ignored
For those who still are unclear about the validity of the election and its management, the following information may be helpful:
1. Mr. Mousavi had some 40,676 representatives at voting poll centers, a minimum of two Mousavi observers at more than 95 percent of all centers.
2. At each center, there were 14 observers who oversaw the entire process, including inspection of the empty boxes at the onset and their sealing at the outset. All present at each center signed a certificate of proper election. In other words, Mousavi's own representatives certified the proper handling of the voting process.
3. The official final results were announced at 4 pm the next day, 16 hours after the closure of voting. (This fact was obscured by Mousavi having announced that he was the winner, even before the official closing of the polls, and this false news was circulated and recirculated throughout the western media until it took on a life of its own, albeit false, but repeated ad nausea).
"Ahmadinejad's electoral success, seen in historical comparative perspective," wrote Social history theorist and Professor Emeritus James Petras on June 15, 2009 in his "Iran Elections: The Stolen Elections Hoax", should not be a surprise. In similar electoral contests between nationalist-populists against pro-western liberals, the populists have won. Past examples include…Chavez of Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia and even Lula da Silva in Brazil…The voting majorities in these countries prefer security over alignments with military empire." (3)
During the entire three months of unrest, the White House, U.S. Department of State, the U.S. intelligence forces, the U.S. corporate media and some of the European countries could not hide their financial and political supports for liberal Hossein Mousavi. VOA, BBC, CNN and every reporter in the smallest U.S. towns felt that he has to demonize Ahmadinejad and praise Mousavi as a champion of liberty, civility, democracy and economic development. To these publicists, Ahmadinjed was a symbol of support for the Iranian working class, the oppressed Palestinians, the bomb afflicted Lebanese, and deserved to be called a link in the "axis of evil", coined by none other than G.W. Bush. Later on, for our errant Professor Keshavarz's information, when it became clear that Mousavi-Karoubi were not the men to take power in Iran, the western media dejected spokespersons lamented them as "not so different than the others in the Islamic regime." The foreign intelligence forces realized a bit too late, that the more Washington stretched its arms to try and save Mousavi and the Green Movement from drowning, the more the people of Iran considered the re-elected Ahmadinejad the man of resilience, principle and stability of the nation.
1. CounterPunch: Behind the Scenes of the 2009 Iranian Elections
2. Washington Post: Polling in Iran Shows Real Support for Ahmadinejad
3. The James Petras website
Ardeshir Ommani is an Iranian-born writer and an activist in the U.S. anti-war movement. During the past seven years, he has participated in the U.S. peace movement, working to promote dialogue and peace among nations and to prevent a U.S.-spurred war on Iran. He holds two Masters Degrees: one in Political Economy and another in Mathematics Education. Co-founder of the American Iranian Friendship Committee, (AIFC), he writes articles of analysis on Iran -U.S. relations, the U.S. economy and has translated articles and books from English into Farsi, the Persian language. Please visit AIFC's website to learn more about Iran and Global issues at www.iranaifc.com.
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