Iranian Election – Fair or not?

Let’s be honest.  It is difficult for us in the United States to determine if the Iranian election was fair or not.  I’m sure there will be a lot of speculation one way or the other.  But how are we to really know what is going on halfway around the world.  We see the media reports about the turn out and there was speculation that this would help the challenger, in this case, Mir Hossein Mousavi.  But I think it is clear that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad being the incumbent has an advantage, plus he was really popular with some segments of the population.

At least at this point, it appears that Ahmandinejad has won with about two-thirds of the vote.  But who knows if this will stand.

So we may never know the truth about the election and whether it was fair or not.  And more importantly, the Iranians may never know the truth.  But sometimes perception is reality.  And that is why we now see riots in the streets.   The people perceive that the election was stolen, and so they have taken to the streets.  It is unfortunate, but understandable, that they feel that they have to riot in order to be heard.  But then again elections are only as good as they are perceived to be.

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”    – Joseph Stalin

UPDATE: Well, as I have read (and thought) more about this situation, I have come to conclude that it is extremely likely (I don’t know why I am being so cautious with my words) that the election was rigged.  It seems likely that the true leader of Iran, the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei decided before the election that he wanted Ahmandinejad to continue to be the president because Mousavi was too moderate.   The really unfortunate thing is the way that the state police forces are dealing with those that are protesting this election fraud.  This is an ugly situation that looks likely to only get uglier.  Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into another civil war in the Middle East.

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