The Iranian presidential elections of 1997 and 2001 were riddled with the same overtones of “lesser evil” stuff that has become prominent in Western, and especially Anglo-Saxon elections. For us Iranians, “lesser evil” mentality gave us the politely-termed “reformist” president Mohammad Khatami, whose presidency has not changed at all, nor in any significant way, the level of social misery and oppression in Iran.
On June 17, there will be a new round of presidential elections held in Iran. After two servings of the old “lesser evil” tripe, however, the Iranian people have wised up and know that “lesser evil” stuff means they will be shafted, and taken for suckers yet again. And in this realization, they exhibit more sophistication than most of their western counterparts. But of course, their starting point was always one of no trust in the government, whereas most westerners labor under the illusion that their governments and states are benign institutions looking out for the interests of their citizens.
The Iranian electorate has lost their illusions about all the “lesser evil” talk: this year, by contrast, the elections are mostly perceived to be about unadulterated, pure-grade evil, plain and simple. The evils being presented are equally repulsive. And we are not talking merely about the candidates running in the elections. That part is simply an open farce. The truly evil ones we are referring to are foreign.
But first, here is a very unfunny bit of farce from a local candidate on the ground.
One candidate running in Tehran, Mr. Ghalibaf, is only too honest by a half, in openly stating that his entire platform is to be constructed after the elections, should he be elected at all. In an interview with Sharif News (reported in Emrooz, May 8, 2005), Ghalibaf said, “I do not intend to present any program for running in the elections. In my view enough programs exist in the country . . . And I haven’t particularly thought about the future government . . . God willing, after victory, I will give that a good thinking.”
For the time being, all the electorate needs to know about his candidacy is that he wants to be, in his own words, “The Hizbollahi Reza Khan.”
“I think the country needs order and force. We must hold everybody accountable on all things.” Ironically enough, the language is vague enough to be appealing to a majority of people who indeed are sick and tired of lack of accountability on the part of officialdom or the business classes, those merchant allies of the ruling mullahs.
Candidate Ghalibaf claims that all you need in lieu of a platform is what he has discerned assiduously as he traversed the bakeries and grocery stores across the land, in the course of which the most significant thing he has to relate is that people want a Reza Khan. As he claims. So, he is willing to give it to them. Literally!
And how come people are clamoring for a Reza Khan? Why of course they are sick and tired of all the chaos in their social existence, and for good cause!
The people, of course, are complaining, but they are complaining about the symptoms of the very system that the likes of this Ghalibaf have created.
Reza Khan’s way to fame, meanwhile, was through being the dictator who started the Pahlavi so-called dynasty back in the 1920s; the man who put an end to all the “social instability” unleashed as a result of the social upheavals in the aftermath of the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1906; a revolution that brought the absolutist monarchy of Qhajar Dynasty under parliamentary control, while introducing the first ever parliament in our neighborhood, one thousand and one miles east and west.
In talking about a need for another Reza Khan, Ghalibaf is referring to the need for an end to social anarchy unleashed by a merchant class that, like leeches, fleeces the population in the market, while the state turns the oppressive screws every chance it gets, and in every way it can get away with. This anarchy of which he speaks, however, as mentioned above, and worth repeating, is of his own kind’s making.
The original Reza Khan, by the time World War II rolled around, had taken a liking to Hitler, for which he was packed off to exile by the Brits and the Yanks. And we only mention this to remind certain fellow Iranians of the consequences of certain things they are preparing right as we speak. Let Reza Khan be a lesson if you care to learn anything at all. That is how you will end your days of grazing on this planet when the imperialists bring you to power. Let that be a lesson to Reza Khan’s grandson and the likes of Rajavi!
Having risen from the lower ranks of the Cossack regiments of law enforcement, Reza Khan eventually became Minister of Defense, carried out a coup, declared himself Prime Minister and, not content with that, and with the willful encouragement and support of the British, declared himself the new Monarch, the founder and the first of the Pahlavi Dynasty. Thereafter, Reza Khan became Reza Shah, and summarily put an end to all the freedoms that had been won through the Constitutional Revolution, and went on to reestablish an absolutist monarchy, in the name of restoring order and the rule of law.
(Isn’t that ironically and ultimately all that is ever “positive” about any of the dictatorships in all lands -- the rule of “law and order,” meaning large chunks of the population in prisons, and improvements in social services, be they trains that need running on time, or education and health services in need of “repairing”?)
So, here is citizen Ghalibaf, this clerically-approved candidate participating in an election to become the next president of Iran, admitting that things are so bad in Iran that even the current stifling atmosphere of oppression is yet to establish some desired order!
The true tragedy is that the fate of the Iranian people is just as likely to be dictated by internationalist fascists and bullies such as Bush and Blair as by the local dictators we face at home. The real choices people face increasingly may well turn out to be those having to do with whether or not (and if so, when) the U.S or the Israeli mad dogs will decide to militarily attack us.
Or else, the Iranian people can take matters into their own hands once again, as they have done historically, and this time maintain it in their hands! Now, wouldn’t that be something!
As we predicted (see, “US-Trained Death Squads in Iran?” in Press Action, July 1, 2004) some months before Seymour Hersh’s revelations in his January 24, 2005, New Yorker article, “The Coming Wars,” the imperialists are planning deeply and systematically. Whether or not the Americans and their bulldog Israeli partners-in-crime decide to attack Iran overtly this year or next depends purely on their calculations for officially opening up their books on World War III (which increasingly seems to be the direction they are heading).
The reason why a military attack on Iran will further open the passage to the third late-modern world war is simple. It has nothing to do with other nations, such as Russia or China, “coming to Iran's aid.” No. They would more likely and by all means sit right back and enjoy a nice cup of tea, or a vodka martini, while watching Iran burn to the ground.
The reason has more to do with the willingness and the readiness by the Yanks/Israelis, the Brits and the Japanese to take that further step to the real big prize (read, subjugating Russia and China). Iran is by no means an end in itself, although in itself too she has lots to loot.
At the risk of sounding alarmist ... (ahem ... and what exactly is wrong with being alarmist anyway when the house is clearly on fire?!) ... we are in the same kind of pickle as humanity was just before World War I.
But, I digress ...
The elections in Iran will no doubt be used by the likes of Frau Condi and Chain-Me (or their more vicious fighting dogs such as Feith and Ledeen) to indicate the lack of “true democracy” available to those Eye-rainians from that far away planet, and therefore a clear sign that the Iranian masses are desperately inviting the imperialist powers to invade their country and kill hundreds of thousands of people, loot all their national resources, rape their daughters and pillage all there is. To set things right, of course. And save the nation. Ahem!
But, in reality, Iranian elections are as much of a farce as are the British elections or the US elections, or any other falsehood that prances about these days as “democracy” and “rule of law.” Everything done politically in Iran is as legal (and still unethical and immoral) as are political things done in the US, the UK, Australia, Japan or any other so-called civilized nation on this earth. So, have a laugh if you like at the elections coming up in Iran, but in reality they are only a shade cheekier than the elections in the US or the UK.
Reza Fiyouzat can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.