Election Section

Commentary: Not the Worst Election Process in the World By Kurosh Arianpour

Tuesday July 05, 2005

The front page of Berkeley Daily Planet of June 28 shows the picture of a few Iranians who are protesting the recent presidential election in Iran. They are holding a flag that belonged to Shah’s regime. You might know that Shah of Iran was brought to power by a CIA coup d’etat in the 1950s. He was a U.S. lackey for more than 25 years who oppressed his own people. Also in the picture, a protester is holding a poster of a man who is the leader of a group officially declared as a terrorist group by the U.S.; although it is presently supported by the White House and the CIA. Thus, I have no doubt that the Iranian men in the photo are just a mouthpiece for the CIA and neocons. 

These men together with the White House, Rumsfeld, Rice, and the corporate media are claiming that the Iranian presidential election was undemocratic. They say so, because the Council of Guardians of Iran disqualified some presidential applicants. There were, however, seven candidates to run, including a pro-west reformer. Among these candidates, the reformer finished the fifth. The least known and the most modest candidate, Mr. Ahmadinejad, eventually was elected as the president. Now, let’s take a look at the last election in the U.S. There were only two candidates (neither of them a black or a woman). The third candidate, Ralph Nader, had to fight in courts in order to get on the ballot; in many states, he failed to do so. The corporate media, Fox, was siding with George Bush. There was no paper trail of the votes people cast into the computer (cyber-abyss). Do you really call this a fair, honest, and democratic election? Americans cherish their democracy by letting a porn star run for the governor of California and let a body builder become the governor. But, learn this: There is no room for such perversions in other countries. 

Since Mr. Ahmadinejad has been elected as the Iranian president, the corporate media has started its hostile rhetoric against him. In their reports, they write “the hardliner president of Iran,” “the ultra-conservative president of Iran in his cheap suit,” etc. Is this journalism to label people this and that? If yes, then they should write “the warmonger George Bush,” “the blood-thirsty Ariel Sharon.” 

Then comes Mr. Rumsfeld, who says that women and youth did not vote in Iran. This is nonsense. More than half of votes were cast by women. If the U.S. is 

worried about the rights of women, then it should not support regimes in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, where women cannot even vote. 

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Joanne Moore said “With the conclusion of the elections in Iran, we have seen nothing that sways us from our view that Iran is out of step with the rest of the region in the currents of freedom and liberty that have been so apparent in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon.” Democracy in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon? What a joke! When I read this statement and recall the torture photos of Iraqis in Abu Ghraib prison, I conclude that for the U.S. “democracy” is synonymous with “torture.” 

The U.S. is supporting undemocratic regimes all around the world; for instance, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, most of the Persian Gulf states, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, the monarchy in Jordan, the apartheid regime of Israel, the military regime in Pakistan. Condi Rice, the U.S. secretary of state, said that Pakistan is the exemplary Islamic democracy. Wow, what nonsense; it can be uttered only by some one like Ms. Rice. On the other hand, the U.S. funnels the tax payers’ money to opposition groups in Venezuela to recall President Hugo Chavez, or supports terrorist groups planting bombs in Iranian cities, demonizing the North Koreans, etc. The whole world is nauseated when hearing the US double standards. When I hear any statement coming from the U.S. regime and neocons about spreading the American fashioned democracy around the world, I say “No thanks, keep your decadent democracy to yourself.” 


Kurosh Arianpour is an Iranian student studying in Bangalore, India.