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SOMETHING HAPPENING HERE: Iranian Elections and Funding the Wars

by : Jack Random
Wednesday June 17, 2009 - 20:35
4 comments

JAZZMAN CHRONICLES. DISSEMINATE FREELY.

“Something happening here, What it is ain’t exactly clear.”

Stephen Stills

There is something happening on the international stage, in the cafes of Lebanon and shops of Tehran, in the halls of congress and in the spirit of the American people. The winds of resistance are blowing, the people are rising up and the wheels of change are slowly turning.

There is a voice rising from the Iranian people that to the naked eye seems unpolluted by the manipulations of intelligence agencies, a genuine desire for a new beginning, a yearning for democratic reform and a new vision of Iran’s place in the global community.

There is an irony in the American government joining the democratic world in sounding a protest of the Iranian elections. Our own elections have often come under question, including two of our last three presidential elections. In 2000 a massive disenfranchisement campaign combined with electoral irregularities in Florida altered the outcome and shaped the course of history. In 2004 America denied access to international observers. It was one of the early signs that a fix was in. In fact everywhere America’s electronic voting systems [1] have come into play, such as the recent elections in Mexico, there remains a stain of potential election fraud.

It is in fact a foregone conclusion that political parties will cheat if they are allowed to cheat whether it is in Europe or America or the Middle East. It is also clear that the people can smell a cheat and it will only fuel the fires of opposition. If what we are seeing in the streets of Tehran and in the elections in Lebanon is real and pervasive then a powerful wave of democratic change is sweeping through the region. It is not the brute force of military might that is pushing this wave but the promise of peace through diplomacy (though that promise may be more illusion than reality).

Political change does not happen overnight. Political institutions will always resist. But in the breadth of history with the inevitability of time the will of the people if sustained will always prevail.

We can no more be sure of what is happening in Iran and throughout the Middle East than we can about our own government’s willingness to end America’s wars. We do know that when the people are given a clear and simple choice, no matter where they lie on the political spectrum, no matter how they stand on the wars themselves, in a struggling economy they would rather spend billions at home rebuilding our own country and putting our people to work than in continuing our foreign occupations.

As it is in Tehran so it is in Washington.

Whispers traveling the halls of congress gave rise to rumors that we could end the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in the same way we ended the war in Vietnam. When it comes right down to it neither the libertarian right nor the Blue Dog Democrats nor the antiwar progressives can justify voting to appropriate billions and billions more to destruction in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan when our own citizens are losing jobs and homes and the ability to sustain a decent life. When it comes right down to it elected officials of all stripes do not want to campaign for re-election on the promise of spending more on unnecessary foreign wars when our needs at home are so severe.

It is easy to dismiss the claim on some political wires (Democrats.com, Voters for Peace, Progressive Democrats of America) that we stood only 3-5 votes away from ending the wars by defeating a supplemental war appropriations bill but it is difficult to deny that something is happening. A candle is lit and the way forward is illuminated. Yesterday’s impossible is suddenly in play.

Congress will inevitably end the war by refusing to fund it. Congress must do so because it is closest to the people and the people will insist. We have not yet fully appreciated the depth and breadth of our economic struggles. It will not be a quick recovery. There will not be a return to normal any time soon. There will be high unemployment, a continued erosion of wages and benefits, a tightening of credit to fend off inflation, defaulting state and local governments, school closures and a host of other financial difficulties we have only begun to endure.

We will end the war when disparate individuals and organizations come together on one simple truth: We need the money at home.

Yes we will have to invest in rebuilding what we have caused to be destroyed but we need not invest in continued destruction. This one supplemental funding bill will cost every family in the nation over $900. It may be argued that it is not a significant amount until we realize that this appropriation will be followed by another and another with no end in sight. We may disagree on how that money should be spent, whether to reduce the debt or to put our citizens back to work, but we can all agree that the money should be spent at home.

In the words of Representative Denis Kucinich of Ohio:

“The truth is, we should not have prosecuted the war against the Iraqi people. The truth is the Democratic Senate could have stopped the Iraq war in 2002. The truth is we Democrats were given control of Congress in 2006 to end the war. The truth is, this bill continues a disastrous war [that] has cost the lives of thousands of our soldiers [and countless innocent civilians]. The truth is, the occupation has fueled the insurgency. The truth is, the Iraq war will cost the American and the Iraqi people trillions of dollars. Get out of Iraq. Get out of Afghanistan. Come home, America. Come home.”

This is what’s happening here. The people everywhere are slowly awakening to cold hard realities. The power of popular will is pushing the wheels of change. In Iran as in America the challenge is daunting but the effect is unavoidable.

In Iraq as in Afghanistan as in Pakistan as in Iran and America, the government can fight back the tide of popular will and the force of history only so long.

Jazz.

[1] In 2007 Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold) was caught hacking web source Wikipedia to remove criticisms (including fundraising by CEO Walden O’Dell for George W. Bush) and allegations of electronic vote rigging. Premier Election Solutions is a small subsidiary to Diebold, accounting for only 2.4% of gross revenues, but it is arguably the most powerful and influential subsidiary in the world. Diebold is to electoral democracy what Blackwater is to security: a dark power so diabolic it is forced to change its name periodically.

JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS). HE IS A COLUMNIST FOR THE NATIONAL FREE PRESS – WORLD EDITION. SEE WWW.JAZZMANCHRONICLES.BLOGSP....



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SOMETHING HAPPENING HERE: Iranian Elections and Funding the Wars
Thursday June 18 - 16:16 - Posted by Amerikagulag - bb2dd3a971470dd9...

The truth is the US is funding the Iranian unrest.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...

The truth is there is not a dimes worth of difference between the parties in DC and anyone who still believe there are two parties is foolish. And if you still don’t believe that, ask Jonathan Turley.

The truth is Obama is just another puppet for the powers that be- the powers who controlled bush2, Clinton and bush 1.

The truth is the US Congress is subservient to israel and AIPAC.

While all this ’new awakening’ sounds nice on the surface, the truth is people are deeper in sleep than they were during the bush crime spree in the last 8 years.




SOMETHING HAPPENING HERE: Iranian Elections and Funding the Wars
Thursday June 18 - 20:04 - Posted by Jazz. - e7742dc1ac49d3b5...

While I am sympathetic to your general point of view I think you’ll need better documentation to support your assertions. The source you cite in support of your view that the US is funding Iranian unrest is dated February 2007. There is widespread recognition that the Bush administration had secret operations in Iran (such as funding fringe militants as cited here) but we do not have documentation that those ill-conceived operations (reminiscent of our backing jihadists in Afghanistan) were continued under Obama. I would not be shocked if they were continued but documentation to that effect would be powerful. I would hope that Obama is smarter, wiser and more scrupulous than the Bush Neocons.

On the "dimes worth of difference" (a citation of the Counterpunch book?) I am again sympathetic. My hope is that the dime makes a difference and that Obama will eventually prove transformational in the FDR sense. I would be interested in reading Turley’s comments on this point. The hope here is that the Turleys of the world will engage the system as independents or third party candidates — not in the traditional symbolic run for the White House but in a realistic targeted run for congress. (If Ventura can win a governorship, why not Turley for the Senate?)

On AIPAC’s influence in congress, it is a powerful lobby but my own opinion would fall well short of the assertion that congress is subservient. There is a progressive movement in Israel and in the Jewish American community. We need to support them and work toward defeating politicians who place the demands of the Jewish right over the needs of their constituents.



SOMETHING HAPPENING HERE: Iranian Elections and Funding the Wars
Friday June 19 - 02:38 - Posted by Amerikagulag - cdb6d254a4cecfcf...

Okay how about this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/200...

The Obama administration, while insisting it is not meddling in Iran, yesterday confirmed it had asked Twitter to remain open to help anti-government protesters.

The company had planned a temporary shutdown to overhaul its service in the middle of the night on Monday but the US state department put in a request to postpone this.

Many protesters have being using Twitter to spread information about rallies and to share news.

or this:

http://pakalert.wordpress.com/2009/...

"....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....."

....article continues.

People have been whipped up into froths before to bring about social change. One only need look to Russia, China and Cuba to see what ’popular revolution’ can really mean beneath the rhetoric. People protesting is nice and all, but let’s look at the source of the instigators.

What troubles me most is all the US has the gall to be ranting about election fraud in Iran. Where were these "election vigilantes" in 2000 and 2004 when the presidential election was given to the loser? Hmmm?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has taken a hard line against Israel, its incessant meddling and it’s self-proclaimed ’right to defend itself’ by slaughtering others in obscene disproportionate measure, particularly Palestinians. Israel’s constant and tiresome insistence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon has been proven to be false numerous times. And we haven’t even touched upon the fact that Israel has nuclear weapons which it will not allow UN Inspectors to verify. Israel is not even a signatory to the NNPT. Hypocrisy is their hallmark in this matter.

That Israel and the US are meddling in the affairs of Iran is about as obvious as it can get and particularly because of the timing (an election). I don’t recall seeing any mass protests prior to the election. one would think if the people were really so dissatisfied, they would have been out in throngs at any time, not just during an election.

What the world really needs to wake up to is the fact that destabilization is the order of the day. It’s been this way with Iraq and Afghanistan. it was never "weapons of mass BS" nor nuclear quest, nor ’democracy’, nor anything else. It is and has always been destabilization of the region in order to destroy the countries so as to exploit the resources, namely OIL and GAS and for the benefit of the US/ISRAEL.

Regarding the dimes worth or difference. I have little faith in the power of a dime these days. I believe with my eyes. It’s safer that way.



SOMETHING HAPPENING HERE: Iranian Elections and Funding the Wars
Friday June 19 - 21:43 - Posted by Jazz. - e7742dc1ac49d3b5...

Once again we largely in agreement on the greater picture but we disagree on the finer points of the situation in Iran.

I am aware of the "Twitter Revolution" and the fact that the US State Department requested that Twitter remain open to facilitate its use in Iran. In my judgment that is meddling and it was a mistake but it is a far cry from sponsoring Black Ops and instigating violence as the Bush administration did.

I am no defender of the Israeli government. They will do everything in their power (without risking US sponsorship) to destabilize Iran. Ultimately however anything that has the mark of Israel or America will backfire because in the age of information technology it will become known and the people of Iran (like the people of any nation) will recognize and reject it.

The question remains who/what is behind the mass electoral protests in Iran? You believe it is foreign intervention (Israel, Britain, the US). I believe that while there is certainly some level of foreign meddling the uprising has its roots in the will of the people.

We are in agreement on the hypocrisy of America crying "election fraud" after the elections of 2000 and 2004. We are largely in agreement on Iraq and Afghanistan. We are in agreement on the hypocrisy of Israel (and the US) on nuclear policy. We are in agreement that Israel’s actions against the Palestinians are criminal. We may not however be in agreement on our assessment of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. From my perspective, he is no friend to the Palestinian cause. He is a front man for hardline Islamists who use anti-western and anti-Israeli rhetoric (however justified) to manipulate public sentiment. Though he is only a figurehead, Iran and Palestine and the cause of peace in the Middle East would better served without him. He is a holocaust denier, a political opportunist and a firebrand. Enough of Ahmadinejad! The Supreme Ayatollah may save his "presidency" but he has lost the people and his credibility on the world stage.






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