Ahmadinejad’s Numbers WAY TOO HIGH: Problems Ahead?

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Just had this interesting conversation with Keith Olbermann on Countdown about the historic elections in Iran today.
Historic because Ahmadenijad is getting election results that are just about impossible to believe. I always thought he would probably win — but nuance and subtlety are not skill sets of the regime’s election rigging operation.
To be up front, I never thought that Mousavi’s strategic policy course would differ substantively from his now unlikely predecessor Ahmadenijad — but a change in optics and posture, which Mousavi would have offered, might have yielded significant new opportunities down the road.
Iran will be tied in knots now — for a long time. What worries me about this is the tendency of Iran’s leadership to generate external crises and international focal points to try and distract a frustrated citizenry and unify the nation
So, much to worry about. Off to DC and departing London in a few hours.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

11 comments on “Ahmadinejad’s Numbers WAY TOO HIGH: Problems Ahead?

  1. ... says:

    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/06/dear-friendsbelow-ive-compiled-some-information-on-whats-happening-in-irantoday-from-various-sourcessomethings-happen.html#more
    The US media has been horrible in its coverage of the elections and its aftermath. NPR had more coverage of the European soccer last night and of the Stanley Cup this morning. It was evening in Tehran before Amanpour did a short piece for CNN. Even Keith Olbermann had a sleepy dude from the New America Foundation on … without even bothering to explain what his credentials as an Iran expert are. With an estimated 750k Iranians living in the US and several major academic organizations devoted to Iranian Studies, the unwillingness and inability of the US media to cover these elections properly is truly indicative of a larger problem in Irano-US relations. US press coverage has been embarrassing and shameful.

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  2. Curious says:

    “let’s not judge a backward and barbaric regime…So what if they
    close newspapers and hang teenagers? Let’s not support the
    imperial zionist conspiracy and let the neocons wins – iran is a
    democracy, just with different standards.”
    Hahahahahahahahaha!

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  3. ... says:

    cookies and milk – you’re not with me in any way whatsoever, including your hostility which i don’t share…

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  4. Cookies_and_milk says:

    I’m with ‘…’, let’s not judge a backward and barbaric regime. There are places just as bad in northern europe and right in America. So what if they close newspapers and hang teenagers? Let’s not support the imperial zionist conspiracy and let the neocons wins – iran is a democracy, just with different standards. I hope Dr. ahmedinejad wins and continues championing the cause of the palestenians and the dispossessed of the world, god/allah/chomsky bless his soul.

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  5. ... says:

    steve, thanks for this article with interview.. perhaps you are correct with the idea of their being voter rigging… i am curious about double standards though.. do you think there has been voter rigging with diebold in the usa? also, olbermann mocks the idea of the supreme leader being voted out any time soon, but does anyone express the same attitude towards the pope or the queen of england for example? i see both of you helping foster a negative outlook towards iran, and while i am open to there being some truth to it, i think the same could be said of other countries behaviour and culture as well.. thanks as always for your site and commentary..

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  6. JohnH says:

    At 9:20 am. Tehran time, BBC reported that Ahmadinejad had 65% with 80% counted. So Ahmadinejad won.
    In my mind, there are two possible explanations. One, the election is “impossible to believe,” or rife with fraud as Steve suggests.
    Or maybe Western information just sucks, as it did when no one could believe that the Shah could be overthrown. As we all know, group think is endemic in Washington foreign policy circles. Their contact base is among urban elites, who have been highly visible in their support of Mousavi. But maybe, just maybe–as in the last days of the Shah–the preferences of urban elites were not at all representative of the vast majority of Iranians.
    Instead of focusing on Iranians’ bizarre behavior, Washington foreign policy elites would do well to focus on their weird tendency to see the world through the lens of America-centered group think.

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  7. non-hater says:

    Very good appearance, Steve.

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  8. JohnH says:

    Steve, take a deep breath. It’s still early in the vote tallying process.

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  9. Don Bacon says:

    SC: “What worries me about this is the tendency of Iran’s leadership to generate external crises and international focal points to try and distract a frustrated citizenry and unify the nation.”
    Ah, Steve, I believe this tendency is not peculiar to Iran. At least they haven’t dreamed up a story about a guy in a cave.

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  10. 007fan says:

    Steve,
    It’s clear to everyone I know that YOU are the international man of mystery. China, Berlin, Tokyo, Bonn, Dallas, and London in three weeks. That’s suspicious, no?
    I agree with just about everything you write so am happy we are on the same team, but do you have a license to, well, you know what?!

    Reply

  11. ddd says:

    Steve, excellent comments on Olbermann. I particularly liked your comment about the mistake Americans make “presidentializing” Ahmadinejad along the lines of George W. Bush. Very insightful. I always learn something listening to you.

    Reply

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