Democracy Brought to HeelJune 15th, 2009

The Iranian election was fixed. The word seems to have gone out in advance that the incumbent, a man notoriously hostile to the rich people of the world, was to be defeated, or else Iranians would feel the consequences. “Heed the lesson of Gaza,” the allies of Israel seemed to be saying. People of Gaza elected the wrong government, as readers may remember, and the US-Israel bloc isolated them and then crushed them. The Iranian people didn’t discern the lesson in that, and they will soon be feeling the consequences.

The provocation of the Iranian government seems to be a joint venture of the US government and mass media. The minute the anti-western returns began to come in, the media/government combine began churning out rumor and speculation to cast doubt on the election process. Their immediate reaction was that the count, showing a big majority for Ahmadinejad, was fabricated. Biden expressed suspicion on national television. One Brookings scholar said on NPR that it’s simply impossible that the incumbent could have got so many votes, and a former editor of the Jerusalem Post noted that Ahmadinejad outpolled every one of his opponents in their home towns, and wasn’t that obvious proof of election fraud?

Never mind that the turnout, big by any measure, was swelled by poor people, whose lot has been improved by the present government and who far outnumber the well-to-do. Never mind that the anti-government constituency consists mainly of city-dwelling bourgeoisie, who have done less well under Ahmadinejad and who make up the bulk of the “reform movement.” Don’t pay any attention to polls conducted by the Washington Post three weeks ago (but suppressed till now) showing roughly the same proportion of voters supporting the incumbent as in the official vote.

Fanning flames ignited in the course of a national election is a time-honored means of provoking violence, and this media-fueled unrest could serve as a pretext for armed attack. Israel and the American media have been wanting to teach Iranians the Palestine lesson for years, and this could provide the opportunity. People who allow their leaders to question the legitimacy of the Jewish state get killed in the 21st Century, and let’s not forget that. The media see this as a win-win process for Americans. If you think of the current wars as a board-game–as most Americans do–Iran completes the chain from Iraq to Pakistan and beyond.

There’s no free lunch in USA-land, and there’s no free election either. Where America rules–which is everywhere–you better elect our guy. Or die.