Iranians who protested Ahmadinejad’s notorious “win” don’t really “get it”

If this new film is an accurate expression of the views of the Iranian protesters—-i.e., those who protested Ahmadinejad’s re-election (or “re-election”)—-then we should not assume that they’ve been driven mainly by a hunger for legitimate democracy. They would appear to be concerned exclusively with getting rid of Ahmadinejad, and not with any genuine reforms of their benighted voting system (which, BTW, seems hardly any worse than ours).

And so Iran’s “green wave,” although emotionally stirring, was evidently not a struggle for democracy in any rational form, but a theatrical outpouring meant to ramp up pressure on Iran’s regime.

That’s too bad, as we badly need a global movement for elections that are truly democratic; and that movement should include all those who have been disenfranchised through vote suppression and/or election fraud. Iranians would seem to fit the bill, but it appears that they have other fish to fry (if I may mix my metaphors).


From a friend:


This afternoon at the SF Int’l Film Festival, I saw a screening of The Green Wave, a new Iranian documentary based on cell phone videos and blogger/twitter updates, etc., from the protesters who had campaigned for Ahmadinejad’s rival, Mousavi, for President, and then protested in the streets after it seemed clear that the election had been stolen.

I wanted to let you know that the filmmaker, Ali Samadi Ahadi, was clueless about exit polling and public hand-counting of ballots, and that no one had any idea what the true vote count was. There’s only the official tally of 69% for Ahmadinejad.

When I asked Ahadi about EP’s and who gets to count the votes, he said there are no exit polls, and that the ballots are not counted publicly. So I mentioned that without these safeguards there is no way to figure out how many votes each side got.

I also brought up how 90% of all votes in the US are now cast on or tabulated by electronic voting systems that are owned by privately held firms managed by rightwing conservatives, but that also went right over his head. He didn’t say anything about how US elections are run, implying that he thinks the US is still a democracy.

As he sees it, the lack of exit polls, and the counting of the votes behind closed doors, are entirely normal things.


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