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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The next time Republican thugs try to steal an election (and they will), remember the bravery of the Iranian people
Posted by Jill | 5:18 AM
Watching the people of Iran refuse to sit quietly by while a thug rigs and steals an election should make us all hang our heads in shame as we remember how we stood by and watched paid Republican Congressional thugs initimidate vote counters in Florida, and how we watched Al Gore preside over the certification of said stolen election. Our good friend and occasional cross-poster Jurassicpork says it best:
ran, especially its young voters that are interested in the west, has shamed our media and it has shamed we the American voter. Just as Pakistan had shamed us last year. Just as Mexico had shamed us after their own elections. Just as the Indians of Peru are shaming us to this day by putting their lives on the line to defend their homeland against encroachment by oil drillers.

Indeed, we should've taken to the streets eight years ago long before inauguration day 2001. We should've sent Bush a loud, filthy message from the day after election night that we will not stand for having our democracy, our very electoral process, stolen from us.

Given that it is eight months since the last election and Norm Coleman is STILL hoping to steal the Minnesota Senatorial seat he lost in November, there is no such thing as "moving on" and "looking forward", especially not after what the men who stole the 2000 and 2004 elections did to this country.

Meanwhile, we should be supporting the brave citizens of Iran, who have the guts we didn't have nearly a decade ago. Robert Fisk reports in the U.K. Independent:
Not since the 1979 Iranian Revolution have massed protesters gathered in such numbers, or with such overwhelming popularity, through the boulevards of this torrid, despairing city. They jostled and pushed and crowded through narrow lanes to reach the main highway and then found riot police in steel helmets and batons lined on each side. The people ignored them all. And the cops, horribly outnumbered by these tens of thousands, smiled sheepishly and – to our astonishment – nodded their heads towards the men and women demanding freedom. Who would have believed the government had banned this march?

The protesters' bravery was all the more staggering because many had already learned of the savage killing of five Iranians on the campus of Tehran University, done to death – according to students – by pistol-firing Basiji militiamen. When I reached the gates of the college yesterday morning, many students were weeping behind the iron fence of the campus, shouting "massacre" and throwing a black cloth across the mesh. That was when the riot police returned and charged into the university grounds once more.

At times, Mousavi's victory march threatened to crush us amid walls of chanting men and women. They fell into the storm drains and stumbled over broken trees and tried to keep pace with his vehicle, vast streamers of green linen strung out in front of their political leader's car. They sang in unison, over and over, the same words: "Tanks, guns, Basiji, you have no effect now." As the government's helicopters roared overhead, these thousands looked upwards and bayed above the clatter of rotor blades: "Where is my vote?" Clichés come easily during such titanic days, but this was truly a historic moment.

Would it change the arrogance of power which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demonstrated so rashly just a day earlier, when he loftily invited the opposition – there were reported to be huge crowds protesting on the streets of other Iranian cities yesterday – to be his "friends", while talking ominously of the "red light" through which Mousavi had driven. Ahmadinejad claimed a 66 per cent victory at the polls, giving Mousavi scarcely 33 per cent. No wonder the crowds yesterday were also singing – and I mean actually singing in chorus – "They have stolen our vote and now they are using it against us."

For nearly a decade we've heard the word "Iran" used to scare us, as Bush Administration officials conflated Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian citizenry to whip us into a frenzy of fear so that we would support a bombing campaign against that country. It's only because of BushCheney Corporation's huge loss of political capital in the waning days of its power, and the electoral loss of John McCain, who actually JOKED about bombing Iran, that we didn't see it happen. Now as we look at these brave people, who are NOT our enemies, and who HAVEN'T allowed themselves to be dumbed down and accept a stolen election like a bunch of sheep; and who still cherish and are willing to fight for their freedom and democracy in a way we weren't, we owe them our support. And we owe it to them to make sure it never happens again in this country.

(Note: The Iran situation may be the first use for Twitter that doesn't seem completely ridiculous. Start here, and just click around.

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Blogger Bob said...
I'm uncertain what the protestors want, other than a president who doesn't sound like an idiot on the world stage.