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March 06, 2003

The Iranian-Election Revolt

Michael Ledeen writing in FrontPageMag reports
The Iranian people rejected the regime in the most unmistakable way, yet the "story" you read in our newspapers is that the hard liners routed the reformers in something resembling a real election. As if the Iranian people, after years of mass demonstrations against the mullahcracy, after thousands of freedom fighters had sacrificed their lives in protest against Islamic oppression, had suddenly seen the darkness and decided they preferred tyranny to freedom. Or perhaps they had heard the shameful nonsense emanating from the mouth of Deputy Secretary of State Armitage ("Iran is a democracy") and decided that since the Supreme Leader was a confirmed democrat, the best path to liberty was to give the regime a huge vote of confidence.

No way. The elections were a protest non-vote, pure and simple. The pathetic Khatami and his apologists at the BBC and elsewhere in the Western media are now crying that "the system" is being undermined and chances for reform have been weakened, but they have totally missed the point. Chances for reform are nil so long as Khamenei and Rafsanjani are in command, and the Iranian people are disgusted with Khatami's failed promises and empty gestures. He's not only ineffectual, but a coward to boot. He's threatened to resign with monotonous regularity, but never does it. He promised reforms but has produced none at all, and there is manifestly less freedom today than when he came to office. MORE