Tell Obama and Congress:
U.S. imperialism: Hands off Iran
The media’s focus shifted June 29 from Central Asia to Central America. The lies continued in the corporate media, only with fewer items on Iran, at least this side of the Atlantic. It still showed the power of the Big Lie—two Big Lies in this case, where an omnipresent media machine gives the impression that everyone believes something and therefore it must be true.
The first lie is that there was significant electoral fraud that stole the election for the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There is no evidence that this is so. A landslide Ahmadinejad victory is consistent with earlier polls, with the strength of his political organization that held 60 meetings for him in every corner of Iran—his opponent only campaigned in the major cities—and his record in the 2005 election.
Iran has held 10 presidential elections since the 1979 revolution and elected six different presidents. The country has 46,000 polling places, with 14 poll workers—including the opposition—who watched each other quickly count the 860 ballots in each place and send in the totals to Tehran. These are uncomplicated ballots, with only four candidates for only one office—president. No chads. No misaligned names. Compared to Florida in 2000 Iran is above suspicion.
In addition, Ahmadinejad and his opponents, including his main opponent Mir Hossein Mousavi, are all part of the Iranian governing power structure. All of them have allies in powerful positions. A massive fraud under those conditions would be virtually impossible.
To top it off, as a concession to those Iranians who believed in fraud because their candidate lost, the top electoral body held a recount of 10 percent of the ballots on television for all to see, the ballot places chosen at random throughout the country. When Ahmadinejad was ahead by about the same amount as in the election, it was past time to call the election over. And they did.
Remember Florida? A group of right-wing Republicans, mainly counter-revolutionary Cubans of Dade County, counted behind closed doors. Rather than challenging this real electoral fraud—and the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of African Americans—Al Gore avoided an open battle among the ruling-class parties and instead threw the election to the Supreme Court. He lost. George W. Bush won.
Washington has no business lecturing the Islamic Republic on alleged electoral fraud.
The second point of exaggeration involves charges of state repression against demonstrators. For context, however, consider two of Iran’s neighbors. Over the eastern border lies Afghanistan, to the southwest, Iraq.
Bush, U.S. president by fraud, presided over an invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 and Iraq in March 2003. The occupations have continued.
Over a million Iraqis have been killed, some in battles with the U.S., some in battles with the puppet regime or death squads, many by state repression. Maybe 4 million of the 25 million Iraqis are refugees. The country has been left in ruins. When the Pentagon pulled U.S. troops out of the cities June 30, even the U.S. puppet regime celebrated.
A similar story applies for Afghanistan. Even the puppet regime of Hamid Karzai complained that the U.S. was slaughtering his own police, not to speak of the regular killing of civilians.
Washington has no business lecturing Tehran about state repression.
And no one, whatever their opinion of the Iranian government, or their sympathies with women’s struggle for equality or workers’ right to organize, has any business adopting the Big Lies of the imperialist media. Anyone against colonialism and the subjugation of peoples and nations must say first and foremost: “U.S. imperialism, hands off Iran!”
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