27 thoughts on “Iran’s Moderate Surge, Dissonance to Israel’s Ears – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Not really – the whole point is the power lies in the hand of the Supreme Leader. If Mousavvi was so radical, he wouldn’t have been allowed to stand.
    Of course, though, it’s interesting how you posted recently about how pleased you were with the Bibi government etc, because it shows up the true nature of the Israeli regime (citing Gideon Levy’s thesis that a Livni victory would have been a masquerade for further settlements etc), but when the neocon brigade want Ahmadinejad to win because he’s also more transparent about things, this is somehow beyond the pale.

    1. when the neocon brigade want Ahmadinejad to win because he’s also more transparent about things, this is somehow beyond the pale.

      I said nothing of the sort. I would expect Israel’s gov’t & the neocons to support Ahmedinejad. I don’t think it’s beyond the pale at all. In fact, I welcome their directness & honesty. If they were smarter they would’ve shut their traps & not given ammunition to the right wing clerics supporting Ahmedinejad.

    2. the whole point is the power lies in the hand of the Supreme Leader.

      Actually, you’re mirroring inadvertently the line of the hasbara brigade. As long as Ahmadinejad was president no one talked about the Supreme Leader. It was Ahmadinejad said this outrageous thing, or he said that…

      But now that the loony president may lose his job all of a sudden the hasbara line has altered to reflect that real evil lies in the heart of the Ayatollah and nothing can change presumably until the mullahs are toppled. I realize you’re not calling for regime change. But the hasbaraniks & hardline anti-Iranian Israelis & Americans ARE.

  2. I certainly wouldn’t say Ahmadinejad’s personal attacks on Hashemi (Rafsanjani), Khatami, et. al. are a symptom of the Revolution “devouring” itself. Pride in the Islamic Revolution is as strong as ever. Ahmadinejad is simply on his heels after years of an irresponsible economic plan based on subsidies and handouts, a provocateur’s foreign policy, and his habit of firing everyone around him who has any talent are finally coming back on him in the form of three main formidable, intelligent candidates who aren’t shy about telling the people who’s responsible for the failures of the past four years.

    Personally I’m a bigger fan of Mehdi Karoubi than Mir-Hossein Mousavi, but it’s not looking good for the former, and I respect the Iranians’ right to choose who they wish to represent them. I think Mousavi would greatly facilitate the thawing of American-Iranian relations, push for greater women’s rights, and any of the three challengers is better for the Iranian economy, so I’d certainly be content with Mousavi.

  3. Actually, Richard, the vote may well NOT be decided today, as there might be a run-off next week.

    Also, when you mention this prospect in the event of an A-N victory– “More dead-end support for Middle East troublemaking in Lebanon and Gaza.”– I wonder what you mean?

    (Quite apart from sounding quite a lot like Dick Cheney, that is… )

    Are you referring to the “troublemaking” potential of the extremist government in Israel, many of whose supporters are depending on an A-N victory to justify their own positions, and own enormous capacity for continued troublemaking?

    Or are you referring to two Islamist movements, Hamas and Hizbullah, that have a longstanding alliance with Tehran and that also participate in good faith and successfully in democratic processes in their own countries– but also have to deal with a very aggressive neighbor?

    If the latter, you should know that it is highly unlikely Mousavi would act any differently. Khatemi didn’t when he was Prez.

    I urge you to tone down your rhetoric a bit and allow yourself to start thinking how all the relations among those various political forces could be used synergistically to help build a strong, region-wide constituency for peaceful de-escalation and conflict termination…

    1. Thanks for the correction about the election outcome. Unless Moussavi wins an outright 50% of the vote there will be a runoff.

      By “troublemaking” I was only referring to arming Hezbollah and possibly Hamas. I was not criticizing any political alliances there may be between any of these parties, which is totally legitimate. And I should make clear as well that I do not support Israel’s reliance solely on a military option in dealing with either Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran. In this sense, Israel too is a troublemaker.

  4. Helena, are you saying Israel shouldn’t respond when Palestinians fire hundreds of rockets at them from Gaza.

  5. It’s also important to note that when it comes to aid and training to Hizbullah and Hamas, the President of Iran really has nothing to do with anything. Their charge doesn’t fall under the “foreign policy” category (in which, to be honest, the President has a mostly ceremonial and signatory functionality), but is instead entrusted to the Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guard Corps), part of the Armed Forces, who are controlled by the Supreme Leader, not the President. There really isn’t anything Mousavi could change regarding Hizbullah or Hamas even if he wanted to, but judging by his past and by what he said in the debate with Ahmadinejad on June 3rd, he wouldn’t even if he could.

  6. Yeah, who is President of Iran effects Iranians, but it’s just the bomb-Iran lobby trying to pretend the position has any relevance to Iran’s dealings with the rest of the world.

    As for the Holocaust denier mantra, I think Scott Adams summed it up well:

    “Ahmadinejad also called the holocaust a “myth.” Fuck him! A myth is something a society uses to frame their understanding of their world, and act accordingly. It’s not as if the world created a whole new country because of holocaust guilt and gives it a free pass no matter what it does. That’s Iranian crazy talk. Ahmadinejad can blow me.

    Most insulting is the fact that “myth” implies the holocaust didn’t happen. Fuck him for saying that! He also says he won’t dispute the historical claims of European scientists. That is obviously the opposite of saying the holocaust didn’t happen, which I assume is his way of confusing me. God-damned fucker.”

    http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2007/09/a-feeling-im-be.html

    1. Well I do not how good Scot Adams summoned Ahmadinejad’s point. It is true that Holocaust has become a “myth” which is not allowed to be studied and analysed or disputed even partly if the “outcome” contradicts even slightly with the official version. Normal historical events are allowed to be studied and discussed, more or less religious myths not.

      On the other hand nobody can deny that Holocaust is widely and deliberately used as a political “asset” and “weapon” to give more or less direct support for today’s actions which have basically no link to the Holocaust. Now Holocaust is actively used to “erase” a holocaust caused to an other nation.

  7. RE: “One of the tactics was to consist of rallies outside Iranians embassies at which mock executions of gays and women would take place…”

    * FROM JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE: “Tell Israel not to jail Ezra Nawi”

    Join Naomi Klein, Neve Gordon, Noam Chomsky and thousands of others and tell Israel not to jail Ezra Nawi, one of Israel’s most courageous human rights activists. His crime? He tried to stop a military bulldozer from destroying the homes of Palestinian Bedouins in the South Hebron region.
    Nawi, a gay, Jewish Israeli of Iraqi descent, is a threat to the settlers and the Israeli government because he has brought international attention to efforts to illegally remove Palestinians from the Hebron region. He will be sentenced in July.

    *TAKE ACTION – http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/301/t/9462/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27357

  8. “Many in the west have been waiting and hoping for the day when pragmatism would prevail in Iran. This is why we were so gratified when Obama won the U.S. election. It might mean that pragmatism from our side could meet pragmatism from the other side. With a Moussavi win, such a dream is possible. It is by no means guaranteed, but it is at least possible.”

    Now that we know that Ahmadinejad won by a 2 to 1 margin (if the election wasn’t rigged – and it might have been, I don’t know) you might want to reconsider your childish belief that pragmatism by the US and its allies will be greeted by pragmatism by its adversaries. Most people, not blinded by wishful thinking, who follow the Israel-Arab conflict, have already figured this out.

    1. if the election wasn’t rigged – and it might have been, I don’t know

      Might’ve been? Gee, d’ya think?

      BTW, the Iranian people who voted for Moussavi in droves are not our “adversaries.” Ahmadinejad and his supporters may be our enemies, but we will not topple them by bombing Iran. Iranians themselves must do that.

  9. “They’ve noted the amazing level of freedom and openness for at least this interval of time, a period not seen in Iran for decades.” Well, it looks like that was wishful thinking!!!

  10. Well, Ahmadinejad won and I don’t think it’ll make a jot of difference had it been Moussavi. Why? Because the Israelis would find plenty of ‘dirt’ on Moussavi too: he’s very strong on the nuclear issue for instance, as well as the Palestinian question.

    They’d have spun him as the ‘next Ahmadinejad’ or ‘Ahmadinejad Lite’ or something like that. Trust me that they had an alternative response ready (if Moussavi had won) because the ‘Iran first’ spiel has to be continued at any cost.

    1. First, Ahmadinejad “won” but he didn’t win if you know what I mean. In the same sense that Bush “won” in 2000. We all know he didn’t really win as everyone in Iran who is turning the place into bedlam & chaos knows who really won. You should also recall that Hashemi Rafsanjani, an implacable foe of Ahmadinejad, heads the Council which approves the president. Knowing the acrimonious relationship between them I see no way that this official body will ratify this stolen victory. Iran is in for some very tumultuous days ahead.

      1. What rubbish, Silverstein. I’ve you’ve got real evidence of voter fraud or any other type of election corruption – cough it up.

        Otherwise – give it a rest. Your zio-genes are showing…

      2. Hashemi resigned over the results. Doesn’t look good on the official side, but on the streets the fight continues.

    1. I posted my comment when the results were announced, before the riots and accusations of fraud. My comments are moderated so it takes at least 24 hours usually for them to show up because I have very dangerous ideas that Richard must “refute” immediately. I thank him for allowing them nonetheless. I admit that many other bloggers would have permanently banned me by now, to his credit.
      Elections in a country like Iran without freedom of speech and freedom of press is of no significance even if the ballots weren’t stuffed.
      For example: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/15/world/main3370100.shtml
      Now, Richard will undoubtedly refute this comment by pointing out how freedom of press is repressed in Israel, for example, by Israel not allowing its journalists into Gaza.

      1. I placed you in moderation in the past because you’ve (not recently) made statements I considered racist & objectionable. But I’ve removed you fr. moderation & yr subsequent comments should be published immediately.

        Elections in a country like Iran without freedom of speech and freedom of press is of no significance

        Tell that to the 40 million+ Iranians who reject that thesis & believed that their vote had meaning. They hopefully will not let these results stand & will eventually gain a freer and more tolerant social/political & religious framework for their society. And as you note, Israel leaves a lot to be desired on these matters as well though it is of course quite a bit freer (though by no means perfect).

  11. All this talk about voter fraud sounds suspiciously like: ‘Whitey monitors election held by Darkish Natives. Election outcome doesn’t suit Whitey. Whitey calls election fraudulent’. Or boycotts the winner (Hamas). Or calls winner a ‘Totalitarian’ (Chavez). Yawn…

    If I’m wrong I’ll admit it. Ahmadinejad is popular, no matter how you turn it.

    Tel Aviv will be pleased. And Daniel Pipes…

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