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Ah, yes, another of those spontaneous “colour revolutions” – and hard on the heals of Obama’s terribly sincere apology for 1953 and all that:

Quote:The elected Iranian leader attends SCO meeting:

Iran: Election clashes mount as West escalates pressure

by Bill Van Auken

The stakes at the SCO meeting:

De-Dollarization: Dismantling America’s Financial-Military Empire
The Yekaterinburg Turning Point

by Prof. Michael Hudson

Excellent piece by Glenn Greenwald on the hypocrisy of many of those now suddenly concerned for the Iranian people:

The "Bomb Iran" contingent's newfound concern for The Iranian People
Yes, going on holidays or overseas can often be fatal for leaders. It seems strange that there are thoughts that the election was stolen as it was widely predicted that Ahmadinejad would win as he was polling 2:1 against the opposition. He is generally quite popular in Iran. The opposition candidate did not come in to play until late in the day and polled poorly even amongst his own ethnic group. He also has close ties to the Iran Contra happenings.

Below is an interesting piece from a blog I know nothing about and who usually discuss stock market stuff but it look interesting. Seems that it is a manufactured opposition to the election outcome just like Ukraine, Georgia, etc, etc, etc. basically anywhere the US don't like the election outcome.

Proof: Israeli Effort to Destabilize Iran Via Twitter #IranElection

Monday, June 15, 2009 19:52 Posted in category Politics

[Image: iran1-150x150.jpg]Right-wing Israeli interests are engaged in an all out Twitter attack with hopes of delegitimizing the Iranian election and causing political instability within Iran.
Anyone using Twitter over the past few days knows that the topic of the Iranian election has been the most popular. Thousands of tweets and retweets alleging that the election was a fraud, calling for protests in Iran, and even urging followers hack various Iranian news websites (which they did successfully). The Twitter popularity caught the eye of various blogs such as Mashable and TechCrunch and even made its way to mainstream news media sites.

Were these legitimate Iranian people or the works of a propaganda machine? I became curious and decided to investigate the origins of the information. In doing so, I narrowed it down to a handful of people who have accounted for 30,000 Iran related tweets in the past few days. Each of them had some striking similarities -
1. They each created their twitter accounts on Saturday June 13th.
2. Each had extremely high number of Tweets since creating their profiles.
3. “IranElection” was each of their most popular keyword
4. With some very small exceptions, each were posting in ENGLISH.
5. Half of them had the exact same profile photo
6. Each had thousands of followers, with only a few friends. Most of their friends were EACH OTHER.
Why were these tweets in English? Why were all of these profiles OBSESSED with Iran? It became obvious that this was the work of a team of people with an interest in destabilizing Iran. The profiles are phonies and were created with the sole intention of destabilizing Iran and effecting public opinion as to the legitimacy of Iran’s election.
I narrowed the spammers down to three of the most persistent - @StopAhmadi @IranRiggedElect @Change_For_Iran
I decided to do a google search for 2 of the 3 - @StopAhmadi and @IranRiggedElect. The first page to come up was JPost (Jerusalem Post) which is a right wing newspaper pro-Israeli newspaper.
JPost actually ran a story about 3 people “who joined the social network mere hours ago have already amassed thousands of followers.” Why would a news organization post a story about 3 people who JUST JOINED TWITTER hours earlier? Is that newsworthy? JPost was the first (and only to my knowledge) major news source that mentioned these 3 spammers.
JPost, a major news organization, promoted these three Twitterers who went on the be the source of the IranElection Twitter bombardment. Why is JPost so concerned about Iranian students all of a sudden (which these spammers claim to be)? I must admit that I had my suspicions. After all, Que Bono? (who benefits).
There’s no question that Israel perceives Iran as an enemy, more so than any other nation. According to a recent poll, more than half of Israel’s population support using military force against Iran if they do not cease from developing nuclear energy (which they have the legal right to do as per the NNP treaty). Oddly enough, this comes out of a country which is not a cosigner to the NNP treaty and has no right to develop nuclear energy, yet posses an arsenal of nuclear BOMBS.
Of course, Mousavi himself plays an important role in causing the social unrest within Iran. How often do you see a candidate declare himself the winner before any votes are counted and then, when faced with defeat, call the entire election process a fraud? As obvious as it was in our own 2000 election, Al Gore would not touch the topic of voter fraud. No major US politician goes near the subject. They know full well that such an accusation would shake the entire foundation of our democracy and threaten the political structures that are in place.
These twitting spammers began crying foul before the final votes were even counted, just as Mousavi had. The spammer @IranRiggedElect created his profile before a winner was announced and preformed the public service of informing us in the United States , in English and every 10 minutes, of the unfair election. He did so unselfishly, and without any regard for his fellow friends and citizens of Iran, who don’t speak English and don’t use Twitter!
Meet The Spammers

3146 followers. 31 friends.
340 tweets in past 4 days. none before that.
Top 5 words - iranelection, cnnfail, mousavi, tehran,
All tweets in English
Time: Bulk between 12pm and 2pm eastern standard time
Most retweets: @StopAhmadi @IranElection09 @change_for_iran
14,000 followers. 0 friends
117 tweets in 2 days. none before that.
All tweets in English
Time: Bulk between 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm eastern.
Top 5 words: iranelection, people, police, right, students
No retweets
800 followers. 9 friends.
196 tweets in 3 days. none before that.
185 in English. 11 in Farsi (Arabic appearing letters. Not sure if it’s Farsi)
Time: bulk between 2:00pm and 6:00pm eastern. Also 1:00am.
Top 5 words: iranelection, rt, mousavi, tehran, march
Most retweets: @IranRiggedElect @StopAhmadi
6199 followers. 53 friends.
1107 tweets in past 3 days. None before then.
top 5 words: iranelection, ppl, news, rt, iran.
All tweets in English
Time: bulk between 9:00am and 5:00pm eastern
Most retweets: @mohamadreza @mahdi
1433 followers. 142 friends
(protected account. cant see data)
The following all have the same photo in their profile and are followed by the profiles previously mentioned.
[Image: whereismyvote_normal.jpg] (14,000 followers) (800 followers. 9 friends.)
Click below for the JPost Article
[Image: jpost-300x169.jpg]
[Update 1] Reuter’s on Pre-election Polling: Ahmadinejad lead by a 2-to-1 ratio, greater than the announced results of the “contested” vote.
[Update 2]NBC foreign correspondent Richard Engel says Twitter and Facebook are helping Iranians organize a “revolution.”
[Update 3] Wonder where all of the nasty comments are coming from? FYI- DDOS = distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is one in which a multitude of compromised systems attack a single target, thereby causing denial of service for users of the targeted system. (Recognize the avatar?) BUT….their latest spamming campaign (Against CS) is backfiring.
[Image: twitts.jpg]
Spammers get a taste of their own medicine!: Block CS eh? It’s not us being blocked…..
[Image: tweetz.jpg]
[Update 4] The Guardian: Iran’s election result may not be fraudulent. Our polling suggests that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory is what voters wanted
Disclaimer: Before I get attacked as being an Anti-Semite,you should know that I am half Jewish. Alternatively, I hope that people do not misinterpret this as some “JEWISH” conspiracy. It isn’t. These are the workings of the extreme right wing of Israeli politics. They have their own Bush’s and Cheney’s there too.
There was that certain "whiff" about it that seemed familiar to me.
That's substantial and very interesting stuff on Twitter Magda.

I've been immersed in the Iranian thing for a couple of days now. The conclusion I have come to (provisionally as always) is that the election results are genuine - Lots of jiggery-pokery involved perhaps, but probably reflecting the Iranian electorate fairly accurately nonetheless. I've been torn between Juan Cole who I respect and whose opinion is hardening towards there having been massive fraud and others who take the opposite view and whom I equally respect. Foremost among the latter is a regular Asia Times columnist M K Bhadrakuma. He is a retired Indian diplomat and always worth reading on any geo-political issue. Interestingly his latest piece in todays AT mentions twitter too - though in scant detail compared to your post but containing one of those eureka tid-bits. It's a long article and well worth reading in full, but here's the 'eureka-moment' twitter bit:

Quote: The Obama administration faces difficult choices. The stir in Tehran is fast becoming a "Twitter revolution". No such thing has ever happened there, despite the best efforts of former US vice president Dick Cheney and his covert team for well over four years for triggering "regime change".

The US is sensing the potential of a "Twitter revolution" in Iran. Earlier, in Moldova, the potential of Twitter to trigger convulsions in popular moods was studied. The US State Department confirmed on Tuesday it had contacted Twitter to urge it to delay a planned upgrade that would have cut daytime service to Iranians. But a department spokesman denied that the contacts with Twitter amounted to meddling in Iran's internal affairs - US sensitivity about causing annoyance to the Iranian regime is self-evident.
His article yesterday is also worthy of attention

I have no doubt whatsoever that there has been extensive covert financial support and prodding by western agencies in the whole thing. Rafsanjani is one of Iran's wealthiest men. In spite of historical issues between them Mousavi is his man and their vocal support has been aptly described as the Tehran Gucci set. Not difficult to spot where Western Elites judge their interests to lie eh? But the US does appear to be making strenuous efforts to appear NOT to have interfered - having apparently used European and Israeli 'assets' to do the legwork. I think events may show that they have been just a little too smart here though. 'Plausible deniability' is useful when dealing with credulous fools but the Iranian leadership have been on the receiving end of it for long enough to know EXACTLY what's going on.
I have been keeping a weather eye on it. A bit unsure about what to make of it initially which is why I didn't reply to Peter L's post as I didn't quite have it sorted. I'm not sure I entirely do now either but it certainly seems that other interested parties are trying to foment unrest. The other candidate was obviously the Wests tool of choice. Ahmadinejad wont dance with the West on their terms. From my two Iranian friends it seems that Ahmadinejad is genuinely popular there though they don't like him or the politics of Iran much given the constraints of the mullahs in running the show lock, stock and barrel.

Yes, I read Juan Cole's take on the elections and he does put a good case forward for fraud but then there is Robert Fisk
An interval here for lunch with a true and faithful friend of the Islamic Republic, a man I have known for many years who has risked his life and been imprisoned for Iran and who has never lied to me. We dined in an all-Iranian-food restaurant, along with his wife. He has often criticised the regime. A man unafraid. But I must repeat what he said. "The election figures are correct, Robert. Whatever you saw in Tehran, in the cities and in thousands of towns outside, they voted overwhelmingly for Ahmadinejad. Tabriz voted 80 per cent for Ahmadinejad. It was he who opened university courses there for the Azeri people to learn and win degrees in Azeri. In Mashad, the second city of Iran, there was a huge majority for Ahmadinejad after the imam of the great mosque attacked Rafsanjani of the Expediency Council who had started to ally himself with Mousavi. They knew what that meant: they had to vote for Ahmadinejad."
My guest and I drank dookh, the cool Iranian drinking yoghurt so popular here. The streets of Tehran were a thousand miles away. "You know why so many poorer women voted for Ahmadinejad? There are three million of them who make carpets in their homes. They had no insurance. When Ahmadinejad realised this, he immediately brought in a law to give them full insurance. Ahmadinejad's supporters were very shrewd. They got the people out in huge numbers to vote – and then presented this into their vote for Ahmadinejad."
The whole twitter thing had shades of the recent Moldavian exercise in manufactured revolutions. I saw the protest in NY and the printed signs, the designer clothes and sunglasses and thought 'here we go again'. Like Venezuelan matrons banging their unfamiliar saucepans and getting their maids to walk with them in the protest march.

It doesn't quite pass the smell test, for me anyway. And of course qui bono?
Here's another long thoughtful piece from Mark Levine from Al Jazeera. Frankly I do not know what to make of it all. It's obvious where Western Establishments see their own interests and, that being so, it is easy to see their hand in events to destabilise and upset the announced results. OTOH there do appear to be very deep divisions in Iranian society for them to work on and drive wedges into. I think analogies with South America - particularly Chavez's Venezuela are valid and useful (it's at bottom a class thing with powerful monied interests seeking to wrest control) but I'm less sure of the outcome right now.
Quote:In 15 years of writing about the Middle East, I have never encountered a situation that changed so fast that one could write an article that becomes outdated in the time it takes to write it. It seems that the Iranian elite has been caught similarly off-guard, and is still trying to read its own society to understand how broad is the societal discontent reflected in the mass protests.
This calculus is crucial - in some ways more so than whether the results are legitimate or, as some claim, electoral fraud.
It will determine whether the Iranian power elite - that is, the political-religious-military-security leadership who control the levers of state violence - moves towards negotiation and reconciliation between the increasingly distant sides, or moves to crush the mounting opposition with large-scale violence.
A lot depends on what the elite thinks is actually happening on the ground, and why the alleged fraud unfolded as it did.
Do the issues motivating the current protests ultimately derive from people's anger at perceived fraud and not having their votes counted? Or do they, as seems increasingly clear, reflect a much deeper level of anger at, and even opposition to, the nature and governing ideology and practises of the Iranian political system?

In depth
[Image: 2009616191849908371_8.jpg]

[Image: sq.gif] Video: Iranians go online to evade curbs
[Image: sq.gif] Video: The struggle for power
[Image: sq.gif] Video: Rival protests continue in Iran
[Image: sq.gif] [URL=""]Video: One dead at Iran rally
[/URL][Image: sq.gif] Video: Iranians rally in Europe
[Image: sq.gif] [URL=""]Video: Poll result triggers Tehran protests

[Image: sq.gif] [/URL][URL=""]Iran curbs media after poll result
[/URL][Image: sq.gif] Mousavi sees election hopes dashed
[Image: sq.gif] Iran writer on poll result
[Image: sq.gif] [URL=""]Mousavi's letter to the people
[/URL][Image: sq.gif] Iran poll result 'harms US hopes'
[Image: sq.gif] West concerned by Iran fraud claims
[Image: sq.gif] What next for Iran?
[Image: sq.gif] The Iranian political system
[Image: sq.gif] Inside Story: Iran's political future
Equally important, if there was systematic fraud, was it perpetrated as a collective decision of a senior leadership unwilling to accept the cultural, political and economic liberalisation a Mousavi government would initiate, or, as University of Michigan professor Juan Cole and others have argued, did it owe to a sudden fit of pique by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei?
His well-known personal antipathy to Mir Hossein Mousavi could have made the imminent prospect of his long-time political rival's victory so distasteful that he could not bring himself to sanction Mousavi's victory, leading to a hastily arranged fraud - many ballot boxes were allegedly never even opened before the official tabulation was announced - even as other parts of the leadership were laying the groundwork for a public announcement of Ahmadinejad's defeat.
What seems evident as the crisis deepens is that Ayatollah Khamenei, who most commentators have long assumed holds near absolute power in the country as Supreme Leader, is in a weaker position than previously believed. The collective religious and military leadership, along with the Revolutionary Guard, will likely have a lot of input into determining what course the government takes.
And it is certainly questionable whether these factions have shared core interests during this crisis, as the Revolutionary Guard - from whose ranks President Ahmadinejad emerged - is both culturally more conservative and economically more populist than much of the political and religious leadership.
The religious establishment is itself split into hard-line, moderate and more progressive factions, each of whose members are tied to factions within the economic, political and security elite, producing a complex and potentially volatile set of competing and contradictory loyalties and interests.
Ahmadinejad's and Khamenei's decisions in the coming days will be telling.
If the official tally was in fact broadly accurate, then they will likely be more willing to agree not just to a recount, but even to a run-off election, if that is what it takes to pacify the angry protesters.
Indeed, a second Ahmadinejad win would severely weaken reformist forces and increase the system's legitimacy.
Uncertain scenario
More generally, regardless of whether there was significant fraud the power elite could decide collectively that the protests are not motivated by broader concerns and thus do not threaten the stability of the system.
This could also lead them to agree to a broad recount or run-off, even at the risk of a Mousavi win, and it is worth mentioning here that Mousavi is no liberal; the "core values" of Khomenei's revolution - to which he advocates a return - are well within the mainstream of Iran's clerical culture.
Alternatively, if the protests do not lose steam in the coming days, the leadership could decide that the opposition is too broad and deeply rooted to attempt to crush it.
In this case, it would have little choice but to cave in to the protesters' demands or face losing its legitimacy in the eyes of the broader Iranian public, particularly if large numbers of protesters are arrested, injured or killed.
The greatest degree of uncertainty surrounds a scenario in which the power elite both concludes that the mass protests reflect deep-seated discontent by a large segment of the population, yet at the same time believes it has a narrow window of opportunity to deal with this situation forcibly before losing control to the rapidly encroaching street politics.
In this case, Iran could quickly approach a Tiananmen moment, in which the Iranian government calculates that crushing the pro-reform opposition will give it time to push the reformers back in the closet for the foreseeable future, and push the cosmopolitan liberal-cultural elite who have the ability to leave, to do so.
The problem is that Iran can't follow China's path.
It is true that if oil prices continue rising, they will produce enough revenue for the government to keep the poor and working classes happy, or at least quiescent.
But what allowed the Communist party in China to maintain its hegemony rather than merely dominance over Chinese society was its willingness to liberalise culturally at the same time as it closed down politically.
Cultural liberalisation became the safety valve that allowed the emerging generation of Chinese citizens to accept the continued power of the Communist party.
Needless to say, no such safety valve exists in the Islamic Republic, where a cultural perestroika is precisely what Ahmadinejad and his supporters in the leadership and among the people want to prevent.
Collapsing bargain
In China the government struck a bargain with the people, telling them: "You can do whatever you want as long as you don't challenge the power of the state."
The Iranian government has over the last two decades negotiated a very different and more narrow bargain with its citizens: "You can do what you want behind closed doors, as long as you keep the music down. But we own the street and the public sphere. So put your headscarf on before you leave the house, and don't think about challenging cultural or political limits publicly."

[Image: 200961414262467112_3.jpg] If Ahmadinejad's win is reconfirmed, it could severely weaken reformist forces [AFP] That bargain has now collapsed as hundreds of thousands of Iranians have, at least for the moment, reclaimed the streets.
If Ahmadinejad has been railing against "velvet revolutionaries" since he took office, he is today counting on the situation in Iran resembling the Czechoslovakia of 1968 rather than 1989.
Yet with one of the world's youngest populations and an increasingly urban, educated and sophisticated citizenry, it is hard to know how long the Iranian government can continue to impose its conservative moral values upon a bourgeois-aspiring, culturally open technocratic class whose expertise and loyalty will be crucial for Iran's long-term social, economic and political development.
Saudi Arabia is a good example of what happens when you force a culture shut for too long.
There is a third way to interpret the rapidly unfolding protests. Here Ahmadinejad and the current political and religious leadership on the one side, and Mousavi and the reformers on the other, are merely rallying poles around which two bitterly opposed histories of, and visions for, post-revolutionary Iran have rallied and are now engaged in a battle that was long in coming.
Maybe, as one protester exclaimed, "There's no one in charge right now", either among the still nascent protest movement or the state that is trying to figure out how to suppress it without losing a large chunk of its legitimacy among the millions of Iranians who are likely still on the fence over whose election narrative to believe.
Pent-up forces
Indeed, this election might well have released a host of pent-up forces - desperate hope for change, smouldering resentment at the vast inequalities plaguing Iran, utter disdain for the other side's core cultural identity - that will necessitate a bloody if cathartic settling of scores between two irreconcilable sides over grievances that date back to the dawn of the revolution, and its innumerable betrayals, failures and still unrealised goals.
This is not to say that the Islamic Republic could be replaced by a more secularly-defined republic any time soon.
The thundering chants of "Allahu Akbar" at opposition rallies remind us that Islam, even Islamism - that is, political Islam - and democracy can, and should, go together.
But Iran today is a very different place than during the early days of the revolution.
Iran long ago lost the singular, collective will that enabled the revolution; the protesters are no longer imbued with the idea of bi-kodi, or self-annihilation, martyrdom and complete self-sacrifice that toppled the Shah and helped the country withstand eight years of brutal war with Iraq.
The majority of Iranians, particularly young people, even, one can imagine, the poorer and less educated ones overly represented among the Revolutionary Guard would prefer to focus on its counterpart, khod-sazi, or self-construction, as the better attitude with which to build their society today.
If the protest movement that has flooded the streets in the last few days can forge a positive and inclusive vision for Iran's future, one that addresses the many social, ethnic, economic and cultural issues underlying the current protest holistically, they could very well change the face of the Islamic Republic, if not now, then in four years' time.
Paul Rigby Wrote:Ah, yes, another of those spontaneous “colour revolutions” – and hard on the heals of Obama’s terribly sincere apology for 1953 and all that...

Excellent page here:

The YouTube short found at the bottom of the page can also be viewed here:
Paul Rigby Wrote:
Paul Rigby Wrote:Ah, yes, another of those spontaneous “colour revolutions” – and hard on the heals of Obama’s terribly sincere apology for 1953 and all that...

Excellent page here:

The YouTube short found at the bottom of the page can also be viewed here:

MI6 in the building, Aunty?

Mark Stapleton

Magda Hassan Wrote:Below is an interesting piece from a blog I know nothing about and who usually discuss stock market stuff but it look interesting. Seems that it is a manufactured opposition to the election outcome just like Ukraine, Georgia, etc, etc, etc. basically anywhere the US don't like the election outcome.

Quite a find, Magda. That Chartingstocks person did some neat detective work here, although I notice some on that blog blew him a raspberry for it.

Unsurprising that the bastion of international goodwill
(all we desire is peace) would try to shake a political revolution out of the election result. It's not as messy as bombing them. In the end, the old mullahs might just decide to give the middle class a bit more social freedom, which can't be a bad thing.
Paul Rigby Wrote:MI6 in the building, Aunty?

MI6 never leave the building...
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