As I write this, Iranian cities are exploding with protests against their fundamentalist right-wing government’s fraudulent elections. Fox has been fairly silent so far—they haven’t figured out how to frame this in anti-Obama terms yet (but they eventually will).
It’s important to remind ourselves that the Bush-Cheney regime did everything they could to turn Iran against us. Neocons seek to foster and create threats against the U.S., rather than work towards peace. As a result, we have an entrenched theocracy in Iran that sees a fair democratic process as the enemy.
My thoughts also turn to the two fraudulent elections we recently had in this country, in 2000 and 2004. The American people chose to stay asleep and apathetic, for the most part, and the fact that we were ruled by an illegitimate executive branch for eight years is still suppressed in the corporate media.
When a government rigs an election, it makes manifest the powerlessness of its own people in the face of authoritarian rule. Ultimately, however, it is a symptom of weakness in government, not strength. A country is fundamentally weak when there is a fundamental divide between those holding power and the masses of people who constitute the majority of the population. This is as true of our country as it is of Iran. Countries like North Korea or Egypt have thrown off all pretense of representing the consent of the governed. Currently, the U.S. government supports whatever state it considers advantageous to its economic hegemony, regardless of whether it is democratic or not. As long as this hypocrisy continues as sanctioned foreign policy wisdom, any protests by our government on democratic grounds (such as Bush’s absurd claims of promoting democracy in the Middle East) are empty and will have no effect.
Pro-democracy Iranians, on the other hand, are demonstrating political courage in protesting against their political enslavement. Freedom-loving people everywhere should support them in whatever way is possible.
The Iranian embassy in Washington can be contacted at the following numbers: (202) 965-4991, 965-4992, 965-4993, 965-4994 and 965-4999. Address: Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 2209 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org