Friday, June 14, 2013

Something's puzzling me

What puzzles me is that despite the growing momentum of the reformist-endorsed candidate Hasan Rowhani, making him a serious contender to the supposedly supreme-leader-picked Ghalibaf and Jalili (who is paid attention to by no one other than CNN and his fanatics), they have not coalesced!

Instead, the head of the Baseej and other goons are making threats that they will not let the "fake" president get elected. And by "fake" they mean someone who is not "TRUELY MOLTEN" in the commands of the supreme leader!

The ministry of interior announced adding 5000 ballot boxes (from 125,000 to 130,000).

I can imagine two scenarios:

a) the hardliners have been caught by surprise, and they do not have a unified strategy of how to deal with the huge "green" supported rally behind Rohani. To cheat? To beat?

b) that Hashemi and Khatami HAD guarantees from the supreme leader that Rohani should go forward, under the supreme leaders nuclear-rights auspices.

A high voter turn out, Khamenei insists, will give him the bargaining chip needed to force the International bullies to drop their carrots and sticks approach, accept Iran's right to nuclear technology, and move forward! The nuclear program IS Khamenei's red line; he will not waiver!

If Rohani wins, both the supreme leader AND the Iranian people will win; demonstrating a rare case of "unity" and compromise in both sides.

Netanyahu may not be sleeping so sound tonight ...


radius said...

Hi Naj, I know that one should not make fun of mental disoders, but your instant swaping from a pro-Velayati/-Rezai-campaigner (re-read your own post from June 3rd) to a Rouhani-supporter (as of today) indeed reminds me of a friends daughter who show signs of borderline syndrome.
Don't take me wrong, I am not here to insult somebody. In fact I always defend peoples right to revise their opinion, be it politicians during their "career" or just a politically interested blogger.
To go a step further, I would not be surprised that in a society that is so serverely split (*) as the Iranian and that is so unclear about its future (**), there might even be politicians/candidates who reveal their real agenda only after being elected. Remember how it went in Miranmar. A candidate arises right out of the center of the established political elite, but ones he made it to the top position, he surprised everybody with his rebellion spirit.

greetings Michael

to clarify this right away: I dont see neither of these two characteristics as a negative feature of the society. Thanks god, Iran is not a nation as boring as Swizzer- or Disneyland.
I think that societies that are heterogenous, pluralistic and full of tensions have much more potential for progress.

Naj said...

Oh wow Michael, thank you for enlightening me about my borderline disorder. I understand that you GErmans are quite stuck on psychological-labeling!

But you are also demonstrating your lack of appreciation for the dynamics of Iranian politics. My advice: ask questions, don't shoot verdict!

radius said...

Yes, exactly, this was my question: How can one change sides so readily within a fortnight, as you did it in your blog from "...But if I COULD vote, I would vote conservative! "(i.e. Velayati/-Rezai) to "...If Rohani wins, both the supreme leader AND the Iranian people will win; demonstrating a rare case of "unity" and compromise in both sides."

I would not dare to make any psychatric judgements about somebody whom I only know from written statements. I only said that these statements in their inconsistency reminds me of somebody else' condition.

Btw, do you have any early bets already who is going to win ? (I mean no personal preferences, but data from opinion polls or so ?)

Cheers, Michael

Naj said...

Ok, to answer your question:

If you have read my previous posts, you would realize that I started from a position of "voting is futile because it is just a charade", to "I watched the debates and I think the debates were genuine and not dictated performances", and hence I concluded, based on the assumption that the vote would be engineered to go to a conservative, that the most 'trustable' choices would be Rezayee and Velayati, because they have been in the eye of this regime since start. I was of the opinion that the reformiSH candidate Rohani, or the reformist Aref would have no chance to begin with.

However, this changed with a) Aref pulling out of race in favor of Rowhani; 2) The conservatives becoming even more radically divided and refusing to coalesce; and 3)the HUGE outpour of "we will vote" coming from inside Iran, even from inside the political prisons.

All polls, including the conservative ones are showing Rowhani ahead. The supreme leader has adamantly refused to vet for any of the candidates. And agai, the lack of coallition among the conservatives, ghalibaf, Jalili and Velayati indicates to me that PERHAPS there is even a will from the behind-the-curtain leadership to have Rowhani elected as the president. This would be a great chance for bringing a bit of "unity" and peace to the society. This chance was lost last time, but from all evidence so far, I believe a lesson is learned. It is just amazing! People ARE speaking, and the regime IS listening.

That said, I don't think a loss of Rowhani would be necessarily a proof of election fraud (unless Jalili gets it!!), because Rezayee and Ghalibaf have been campaining and preparing for this for years. But either way, I am happy that he turnout is high.

I agree with the supreme leader on one point: this turn out is a warning sign to the Western Bullies: Don't mess with us, negotiate respectfully!

radius said...

Hi Naj, thanks for the information. I hope that tomorrow we will know for sure whom the Iranian people trust most to guide their country towards a better future. I think its is always difficult (not to say impossible) to look into the hearts of 80 millions. I hope they will make a wise choice and I hope there is good reason to celebrate on the streets of Tehran, Isfahan, Tabriz, Ghom and so on.
best regards, Michael

radius said...

Just a comment for your own understanding: You asked "What puzzles me is that despite the growing momentum of the reformist-endorsed candidate Hasan Rowhani,....they have not coalesced!"

Only parties can coalesce, by joining their parlamentary seats to form an absolute majority. Because in a parlament with more than 2 parties, you can easily get the situation than no single party reaches > 50% of the seats. In the US and UK (in the past) there were virtually only two parties, therefore there was never a need for coalition. But your idea that two presidential candidates can form a coalition is simply naive. Because at the end, there will always be only one president, not two or three or four. I guess what you were suggesting is that two candidates indirectly try to merge their supporters to form one more powerful block. This is exactly what Aref did when he gave up his candidacy. Of course he knew that his former supporters will now turn to Rouhani. I don't know if Aref gave an official recommendation to support Rouhani, but perhaps the voters knew instinctively what to do. The really clue to Rouhanis immediate victory was therefor Arefs resignation.
But the resignation of one candidate in favour of another is is not called a coalition, because it is a tactical step. A coalition is a long term deal. But your question why none of the arch-concervatives such as Jalili and Ghalibaf agreed on a single candidate (to join their forces) now became obsolete: Even if all 5 other candidates would have asked their supporters to vote only for one of them (say Jalili), even he would have not received enough votes to beat Rouhani. So the support for Rouhani was really tremendous, in an election with 5 other candidates. The second best, Ghalibaf, received 3 times less votes (17%) than Rouhani. So Rouhani is really the candidate of the whole nation.

Naj said...

Thanks Michael, couldn't help laughing at your comment and asking myself "are all Germans pedantic?"

radius said...

Yes, I confirm: All Germans are like this. Thats why our cars work so well !!! (But only if you treat them decently).

PS: And yes, we eat sauerkraut from the cradle to the grave and German mother breastfeed their babies with strong beer.

Naj said...

I have a funny story for you. Once travelling from Berlin to Dresden, with my Frankfurter friend, she kept nagging, almost the entire trip, that the couple of East German women who were sitting behind us were doing nothing but nagging! ... She then took it upon herself to order them to be quite. And at some point she decided: "that's it, these east germans need corrective action" and started walking around the Wagon, asking teen agers to turn their music down.

Your cars are fantastic, we have two of them. So are your Atlantic wall/bunkers. When I visited the maze of tunnels by the Dutch coast line. I got a tour of them, and the guid explained how precisely the holes were designed in the walls to have the perfect angel for hitting the ships, except that the "enemy" came from the air! I hope none of the computers in our car will fail on road!

radius said...

The train story is absolutely prototypic to show the correct way of starting a lifelong friendship. In contrast to the rest of the world who thinks that we don't have a sense of humor, your friend shows that she understood our very special and sometimes bizarre type of humor. I assume the train journey ended in big get-together.

About railways and Germans there is another good story, that you as a stained-in-the-wool revolutionary might like. When during the German November revolution (1918) some rebel groups intended to raid the next railway station, they first went to the counter to buy entrance tickets.
greetings, Michael

Naj said...

This is hilarious.

No, unfortunately, we did not end up in a big party. My friend kept being sour!

radius said...

But you see these are the different perceptions: when people from southern countries (Italy, Spain, South-America) visit Germany, they often complain that the people here on the streets are so quiet, as if everybody is mourning.
But maybe it is indeed this usual quiesence that makes some nagging train passengers such a nuisance.
But I hope you also had some nice moments between Dresden and Berlin.
greetings, Michael

Naj said...

Yes I have always had fun in Berlin.

But the Germans do need to take it a bit easy! :)

radius said...

If we would take things too easy, this would completely destroy our public image. Millions of tourist come here every year to see with their own eyes this complete absence of a sense of humor.

PS: Meir Hussein Mousavi has currently an exhibition of his drawings in Berlin.
For obvious reasons, he could not attend the vernissage. But I think I spotted an Iranian embassy employee there (in plain cloths, of course).
greetings, Michael