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Chatham House Study

Executive Summary
Working from the province by province breakdowns of the 2009 and 2005 results, released by the Iranian Ministry of Interior on the Farsi pages of their website shortly after the election, and from the 2006 census as published by the official Statistical Centre of Iran, the following observations about the official data and the debates surrounding it can be made.

· In two conservative provinces, Mazandaran and Yazd, a turnout of more than 100% was recorded.
· If Ahmadinejad's victory was primarily caused by the increase in voter turnout, one would expect the data to show that the provinces where there was the greatest 'swing' in support towards Ahmadinejad would also be the provinces with the greatest increase in voter turnout. This is not the case.
· In a third of all provinces, the official results would require that Ahmadinejad took not only all former conservative voters, all former centrist voters, and all new voters, but also up to 44% of former reformist voters, despite a decade of conflict between these two
groups.
· In 2005, as in 2001 and 1997, conservative candidates, and Ahmadinejad in particular, were markedly unpopular in rural areas. That the countryside always votes conservative is a myth. The claim that this year Ahmadinejad swept the board in more rural provinces flies in the face of these trends.

Permalink06/22/09, 07:43:45 pm, by timandcir Email , 1071 views, User Posts 7 feedbacks

Comments, Pingbacks:

Comment from: Timbuk3 [Member] Email
No matter what, Iran has changed. I'm not going to bother looking up the exact history, but one thing about the Shia is that they literally worship a martyr who was killed by an enemy.

Enter, and quickly exit, Neda.

And "the enemy" wouldn't even let "the protesters" honor her death.

I'm not a muslim, much less a shia, but I believe that this act of cruelty against so many people will not be accepted. Even less so than the ADMITTED cheating in the election.

I'm entirely speculating, now, but I could believe that there are backroom mutterings that Khaminei is evil. That it's "duty" to destroy the existing government.

We're talking about people who willingly ran across mine fields in the Iran/Iraq war, here. To clear the way for their fellow holy warriors.

The police, the basij, the revolutionary guard? They're less certain death than a mine field.

What will rise from the ashes isn't known, but there will be ashes.
PermalinkPermalink 06/22/09 @ 23:22
Comment from: Timbuk3 [Member] Email
Lest it become an issue, let me preface this comment with this: "Admiring and generally agreeing with a politician does not equal blind loyalty to their every action."

Personally, I'd rather not have the nation of Iran in the hands of Khamenei and Ahmaninnynutjob. What I want, however, doesn't matter. It's up to the Iranians.

I've followed Joe Biden's take on foreign policy for years. Often, he's seemed to be the only Senator who has been able to wrap his mind around the truth of a situation, rather than what his own (or anyone else's) ideology wants the situation to be.

I have no doubt that President Obama is making the final decisions. I also have no doubt that President Obama CHOSE Joe Biden as his running mate because of his foreign policy expertise, and will listen to him.

I listen to the Republicans rail that the US isn't handling the situation correctly, and I smile inside. They're powerless, and they know it.

I think, as far as the US' response goes, Iran is in good hands. WE are in good hands.

Iran won't become another Iraq or Afghanistan, for us.

I can only hope that I don't read more stories like this before the now unstoppable revolution ends:

Upon learning of his son's death, the elder Mr. Alipour was told the family had to pay an equivalent of $3,000 as a "bullet fee"—a fee for the bullet used by security forces—before taking the body back, relatives said.


Wanting to see a despotic government put out of power by it's own people doesn't equal hating every single person in that nation, or a desire for lots of bloodshed.
PermalinkPermalink 06/23/09 @ 07:17
Comment from: pnh [Member] Email
The problem with the Chatham House study is that it assumes all things mostly remained the same. An agency that polls for the BBC did a countrywide poll not long before the election -- in Farsi -- and making sure to include rural sections -- that came up with Ahmadinejad winning 2 to 1.

Ahmadinejad began all kinds of social programs to help those rural voters that Mousavi wants to end. Ahmadinejad is trying to build up the economy of Iran without bowing to the west -- with the help of countries like Russia, Venezuela, etc. Mousavi is more "open" to the West. So -- no surprise that the West is rooting for Mousavi and the prospect of new investments in Iran.

Our government did a good job of twisting everything Ahmadinejad said to try to make him look bad. That WE don't speak the language and didn't try to understand when he tried to explain doesn't mean Iranians wouldn't have understood what he was trying to say.

And no -- Obama did not pick Joe Biden for his "expertise" in the status quo foreign policy. He picked him because of those folks in places like PA -- where people were hesitant to vote for Obama -- because they would identify with Biden and feel comforted by his so -called "expertise."

If anything -- maybe he wanted Joe Biden to talk to America -- while he talked to the rest of the world. And well -- Joe Biden did jump up immediately and start condemning folks -- just the way we usually do. Of course -- America still wanted to hear that comforting condemnation of evil from Obama -- so -- he had to get up there and hum a few bars of jingo bells -- anyway.

It's so easy when the population draws conclusions before the story is told. If Venezuela was as isolated and surrounded as Iran -- this is just what that "revolution" would have looked like.

And go ahead -- call me crazy --anti-American--whatever! Remember -- people were falling over themselves trying to distance themselves from me during the run up to the invasion of Iraq -- too. Oh -- they might not have supported the war -- but they didn't even QUESTION any of the stories!
PermalinkPermalink 06/23/09 @ 20:29
Comment from: pnh [Member] Email
I was glad to see a little sanity on Keith Olbermann's show -- tonight. Of course I'm not in Iran -- and have only known one Iranian -- but some of this stuff just doesn't make sense. And we're running with some of it without thinking.

Why in the world -- knowing how the US tends to "help" people -- would Iranians be pleading for help from the US??? Why in the world -- with Israel trying so hard to get an OK to bomb Iran and plenty of folks over here wanting them to do it -- would Iranians want to fuel that fire???

Surely we can't believe the Iranians think Obama is some kind of savior who has healed the West and can heal the world.

That doesn't make sense. It makes better sense that just like Venezuela -- there were folks over there setting fire to guard's quarters (that was in an early news story) and other things to prompt a response -- ready to snap pictures and claim abuse -- for the purpose of trying to stir up trouble.

That doesn't mean the people protesting are all in on it. I doubt all the hundreds of thousands of people involved in the Venezuelan "revolution" realized there were internal and external forces working to manipulate them.

There probably would have been a lot less going on if we hadn't immediately jumped to the bait. There isn't a damned thing we can do about any of this -- so why open our mouths and encourage the folks fueling this -- and get more people killed??? Do we think the poor Iranians wanted even more sanctions or something -- maybe wanted us to get more people to stop trading with them -- maybe start starving them to death???

How about we do something constructive -- like stop playing world teacher/world cop and leave people alone so they can spend more time being and feeling free instead of living under constant threat -- and having to contend with how that constant threat affects their governments.
PermalinkPermalink 06/24/09 @ 04:20
Comment from: Timbuk3 [Member] Email
Why in the world -- knowing how the US tends to "help" people -- would Iranians be pleading for help from the US??? Why in the world -- with Israel trying so hard to get an OK to bomb Iran and plenty of folks over here wanting them to do it -- would Iranians want to fuel that fire???


Good points, peen. Khamenei, in an effort to hold onto power (he already knew he was participating in a fraud), used the US, Britain, and Israel to try to change the "us against them" situation from "people who had been jerked around by their own government versus a corrupt regime" to "Iranians versus the same old enemies".

We had the choice to either help them do that, or not. I don't believe we have helped them. Which means we haven't been drawn into a useless war. Which means the Iranians may yet choose to change their government on their own. (I believe they will.)

By doing nothing we may end up with a better ally in the region than we'd ever dreamed possible. We'll have shown we were serious when we said we need to respect "both" sides in the I/P problems. Israel might be a bit pissed off by that, but what are they gonna do? Get money to fund their military from someone else?

Actually, I already know what Israel will do. They've done it. Approved more settlements where we AND the UN have told them not to do it. This is perhaps a bigger test of Obama than the Iranian deal. Will he back them (the Israelis) down, or not? I'm betting the "backroom pressure" is already being applied. And by playing the Iranian card correctly, Obama has shown Israel he can work to turn opinion against Israel on this.

Played right, this could do more to build "peace in the middle east" than any meddling we've ever done.
PermalinkPermalink 06/24/09 @ 07:30
Comment from: pnh [Member] Email
I did see the notice at the top about disabling this blog -- soon.

Played right, this could do more to build "peace in the middle east" than any meddling we've ever done.

Right. And it would be by not issuing commands like we're the authority or something -- as if -- considering we weren't able to prove to doubters that 2 out of 3 of our last presidential outcomes were legitimate.

And we -- the left -- have got to remember what we're up against. We CAN'T get overly emotional over stories we read and hear because even if our CIA isn't directly involved (or is no longer involved -- as the case may be) -- there are private groups and other governments who still have the means and motive to try to incite and build on things like this.

We need to keep in mind that much -- maybe most -- of what we think we know about other countries comes from things our government officials have told reporters and us. We need to remember that many of the same people who lied us into other wars -- helped create other revolutions that overthrew governments they didn't like -- are still embedded deep in our government and other related organizations. They still believe in their agenda -- that "Pax Americana" world order -- and they're still after it.

And -- we've got to understand that even some "left leaners" believe in it -- too -- but they see themselves as some kind of missionaries in charge of showing the world the way or something. They might not be as agressive about it -- but they're just as eager to try to "reform" other countries.

The dysfunction and the ghettos in the world are what you get when one culture tries to impose it's culture on another. And I'm not talking about morality -- I'm talking primarily about the economic system. As I often say -- one person's idea of heaven is hell to somebody else. We need to understand that and stop trying to impose our will on everybody else.

One day -- we'll get to a place where more of us can be comfortable -- a system that's more inclusive -- but we're not there -- yet. So -- for now -- we're a strongly individualist society (even the American left in many aspects) tryiing to impose that on people who lean more collectivist -- and it doesn't suit them.

We SHOULD intervene -- to try to stop violence -- not to defend the group -- no matter how small -- that agrees most with American economic "values." And yes -- as a result of generations of struggle -- some people will have a tough time pulling it together and they may fight each other. But they're not "good" vs. "evil" -- they're torn, dysfunctional societies struggling to find their way -- and that's what we need to step down as "world leader" and let people do -- find their own way -- not try to push them down this imperfect way.

And it's not that I'm insensitive to the violence. It's that I keep in mind that people wanting to make a case don't always tell the whole story -- AND -- sometimes they don't even know the whole story. Remember what we learned just a few years back after Venezuela? There were operatives shooting at guards and doing other crimes to try to force the state to have to act. The thing is -- those confessions we hear from people might be false -- and they might not be.

And Timandcir -- if you're still around -- again. I never intended to claim any authority. I'm proclaiming my ignorance! At the same time -- I'm also questioning how many of us taking sides and calling upon our government to take a stand for or against people in other places know much more than I do.

And to show you how bad we get -- I still see many of us using "Bush" language -- calling Chavez a dictator ruling by thug power. Now -- that's AFTER people from OUR country monitored and verified the elections. And I'm talking about people at progressive websites! Whatever we think of their government -- however much we disagree -- it's in place by democratic means. So -- what business do we have trying to declare it a dictatorship and supporting efforts to overthrow it???

Sometimes I wonder if maybe because of the mistakes of the past -- we're desperate to do "good" in the world -- and blindly rush to do it -- not realizing that some of the mistakes we'd like to make up for were made by people thinking and doing the same thing.

Now -- hopefully I've expressed all I wanted to say on that one. And I know I sound preachy -- but -- it's really just my humble opinion. I think I'm right -- but -- I know I could be wrong.
PermalinkPermalink 06/24/09 @ 18:53
Comment from: Timbuk3 [Member] Email
No prob, peen. I saw your post, but I expect traffic to drop off to nothing, soon.
PermalinkPermalink 06/24/09 @ 23:53

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