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Claude Cartaginese

Ahmadinejad Steals an Election, and Why It Doesn't Matter

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Posted on June 15 2009 12:41 am
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After initial polls showed that the reform-minded challenger in the Iranian presidential election, former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi,was running neck-and-neck with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (the incumbent hard-liner who wants Israel “wiped off the map“), the Obama administration could barely hide its glee.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, exhibiting the same pathetic credulity that she showed in the 1990s when claiming to believe her husband’s initial denial of the Lewinsky sex allegations, naively believed that a free and fair election was possible in an Islamic theocracy. Said Mrs. Clinton prior to the Iranian election: “We, like the rest of the world, are waiting and watching to see what the Iranian people decide. We hope that the outcome reflects the genuine will and desire of the Iranian people.”

Bumbling White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, for his part, said the Obama administration was “impressed by the vigorous debate and enthusiasm that this election generated, particularly among young Iranians.”

And the ever-arrogant Barack Obama could not resist taking some personal credit for the supposedly new atmosphere of hope: “After the speech that I made in Cairo, we tried to send a clear message that we think there’s the possibility of change, and, you know, ultimately the election is for the Iranians to decide. But just as has been true in Lebanon, what can be true in Iran as well, is that you’re seeing people looking at new possibilities.”

This fantasy was quickly interrupted by the reality of Iranian politics. The results were announced and, no doubt due to widespread ACORN-style fraud, Ahmadinejad not only won, but he won by a landslide.

Obama administration officials were stunned by the results. Michael Singh, a fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, described the outcome as a signal that Iran’s leaders were “shaking their still-clenched fists at President Obama’s outstretched hand.”

And yet, how could it be otherwise? Regardless of who won the election, there is only one true ruler of Iran — Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The Ayatollah has the final say on all critical issues affecting Iran. It is the Ayatollah who sets the tone on how far he wants relations with the U.S. to go. It is the Ayatollah who is pressing ahead with Iran’s nuclear program. And it was the Ayatollah who admonished the people,  just before the election, to vote for the correct candidate: “Do not let those who would … surrender to enemies (the West) and harm our nation’s prestige to get into office.”

After the results of the voting were announced, Khamenei was quick to urge support for Ahmadinejad, whose victory he called a “divine blessing” for the country. Khamenei made clear that a failure to support Ahmadinejad would have consequences. The powerful Revolutionary Guard (which is basically Khamenei’s private army) cautioned that it would crush any “revolution” against the Islamic regime by Mousavi’s supporters.

Once again, democratic reform has been denied to the Iranian people, and with one swipe, Obama’s extended hand has been severed by the Ayatollah’s sword.

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