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June 19, 2005

The return of Fascism
Yaser Kerachian  [info|posts]

ahmadinejad 3.jpg There will be enough time to talk about the lessons we can learn from the June 17th election. However, we have only 5 days to run-off on June 24th. Ahmadinejad, a hardliner and the mayor of Tehran will compete with Hashemi Rafsanjani. Shall we vote this time? In my opinion, our participation in the run-off is even more important than last Friday's election.

Having Ahmadinejad as Iran's president for the next four years is not far from reality. If it happens, it will be the start of one of the darkest years in Iran's contemporary history.

Ahmadinejad will fully end the reform movement and any hope for Iran's peaceful transition toward democracy in near future. The reformist and even pragmatist camp will be fully banned from upcoming elections. Ahmadinejad foreign policy is also very horrifying. Iran's nuclear negotiation with Europe will soon get to a deadlock in which could make Iran facing UN sanction and possibly US invasion. Not to mention that Ahmadinejad's very back-minded agenda in running the country will drastically deteriorate Iran's economy.

One lesson from the June 17th election is the failure of boycott strategy. People's civil disobedience in order to get to democracy is just a dream. Boycotting the upcoming run-off is nothing just helping Ahamdinejad to run the country toward Fascism. Those who want other than Fascism have no choice but voting the other candidate, whoever he is.

itchy_thoughts at June 19, 2005 03:40 PM [permalink]:

I shamelessly go around and copy and paste the same thing:

I hate to vote for Rafsanjani. I suspect the whole thing is a conspiracy to throw Rafsanjani and an ultra-conservative to the second round. Rafsanjani has been humiliated many times in the polls in the past. This way he hopes many people who crushed him before in the polls to come crawling back to him this Friday. It will be his coronation when he picks up 95% of the votes. But on the other hand ...

Ironically the stakes are higher in the elections in a quasi-democracy of Iran than a democratic America.

Republicans and democrats being in the White House has indirect effect in the day to day life of ordinary people. Or at least the connection is not easily seen (e.g. you have to be savvy enough to know that your neighbour's job loss could have been averted by Washington being tougher on outsourcing.)

In Iran where government's policies are so penetrating that they affect people's outfit and the way they step into the washroom cubicals, voting is very crucial.

There is a saying where I live among the older generation that goes something like you can't complain if you haven't voted, so vote if you want to continue complaining.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at June 20, 2005 01:07 AM [permalink]:

Well, nobody seems to be willing to say it, so I do. This is all ridiculous. For something to "return" it has had to be gone for a while.
It is not even funny to see those who were tearing themselves apart for others to go and votr for Moeen so that the teriible rafsanjani is not elected, now want to sell us Rafsanjani as if he is in any meaningful way better than Ahmadi-nezhad.
So, I'm about to break this pathetic intellectual taboo here. If Ahmadi-nezahd is elected, the days of this regime will be numbered (and we all know why) and that is what we should prefer.
Rafsanjani is just more cunning and AS BAD, if not worse.

OK, you can now start the ridiculous murmor of your nationalism and all that crap. All you sophistos can start over with the naivite of anyone who dares speak this simple truth.
Go ahead. it might make you feel a bit batter after this great achievement of yours.

A Reader at June 20, 2005 01:24 AM [permalink]:

Our Vote: Hojjatolislam Dr. Ali Akbar Hashimi Bihramaee Rafsanjani

The Bass Voice at June 20, 2005 01:42 AM [permalink]:


I agree!! Dr. Ahmadinezhad shall see to it that his Fascist government is gone for good like other Fascist governments of the world.

Irani at June 20, 2005 02:14 AM [permalink]:

Boycott is all the more necessary. Delegitimise the regime as a whole because even when Rafsanjani comes, it is still the same regime of velayat faghih. Supporting REAL change is to boycott the whole sham elections. Yaser's comments seem to imply that if Rafsanjani comes it isn't fascism whereas as long as it is velayat faghih and nezarat estesvabi of the Guardian Council, it is religious fascism and dictatorship. Boycott to say NO to this sham, and soon domestic protests and international isolation of the regime and support and solidarity with the forces of change in Iran will have an effect. Voting is propping up a falling regime. Let's take this opportunity to side with Iran's national interest: end to religious rule of velayate faghih.

Another Irani at June 20, 2005 08:52 AM [permalink]:

Dear Irani,
Thank you very much for your inspiring comments. You mentioned three elements that would contribute in the fall of the regime if and when people boycott the second round:

1- Domestic protests
2- International isolation
3- Support and solidarity with the forces of change in Iran.

Now, do you consider yourself a would-be participant in the "domestic protests", or maybe the "forces of change in Iran"? Either one would require you to actually be in Iran. Or maybe, you are offering your help in facilitating the "International isolation", since you happen to live outside Iran?

If you want to boycott the elections, do as you wish. If you want to vote, again, do as you wish, as it is your right to exercise, even if you make that decision while taking a nice walk along the beaches of Malibu in California, enjoy the landscape in the nature resorts of British Columbia in Canada, the intellectually stimulating Rijks museum, or the provocative scenery of the red-light street in Amsterdam.

But, if you want to invite the masses to do something, make sure you at least live in Iran; I don't expect you to spend jail-time for it, but at least be where it would happen. That would still not make you part of the "Forces of change", as they always stand first in the line of fire. That's why I think people like Ganji are the only ones qualified to invite people to boycott.

Irani at June 20, 2005 09:26 AM [permalink]:

Dear Fellow Irani,

Thank you for recognising that I can express my views, albeit you don't consider me qualified enough to call for a boycott. But do consider that as an Iranian, whether in Iran or whether in forced exile, I am part of our great nation, and participation in the formation of a better political-social-economic system is my concern as well. My call for a boycott is a call of conscience. Too many people have been killed, too many tortured, too many pens broken, too many voices stiffled. It is ENOUGH. Let's join to put an end to this tragedy. I have given my own share for my country, although not known to you, and I do feel that I, like you, or like all my compatriots in Iran or in forced exile, have a voice and a part in our great future.

itchy_thoughts at June 20, 2005 09:57 AM [permalink]:

You guys who think international isolation would do anything for Iranians: Can you tell me what you're smoking? I am gonna smoke the same thing to be able to see the world the way you see it.

Oil prices are hitting higher and higher with China as a big purchaser of Iran's oil. China and Russia dwarf any international community ganged against Iran.

US is so bogged down in Iraq to start a new adventure. US administration is also dogged by tons of allegations -- if any of them proved could lead to impeachement of the whole Bush team:

How on earth international isolation can be realized in the first place and how on earth it is going to achieve anything other making Iranians poorer and poorer and mullahs richer and richer. N. Korea and Cuba has been living under isolation for years. They are not oil rich and Cuba is geographically close enough to the US.

You guys must be smoking something or pretending to smoke something. What you are saying to the ordinary Iranians is: bozak nami bahar miad, koboozeh va khiar miad. Farce.

Another Iranian (in Iran) at June 20, 2005 10:35 AM [permalink]:

Dear Irani in forced exile,
I agree with you that too much bad stuff has happened. You say "Let's join to put an end to this". I say "Give me something practical and then come and be ready for the consequences yourself beside me..." Your call for boycott and "domestic protests" fails on both counts and Akbar-Ganji's boycott fails on the count of practicality.

Boycott will not put an end to this tragedy, it just helps it come to epic proportions. I don't like Rafsanjani anymore I like Vitto Corleone but if my inaction brings me the Taliban, I would vote for the God Father in a second, and then think about "putting an end to it". That would at least buy me some time to think...

Dear itchy,
I wholeheartedly agree with you, but I also think that even if the oil prices were plunging rather than surging, the 'International Community' would not give a rat's ass about human rights in Iran as long as nice deals are kept thrown at them by the regime.

Y Sharifi at June 20, 2005 11:07 AM [permalink]:

I think AhmadiNejad is one of those people who got to school with their special bonus "Sahmieh Razmandegan", he got his PhD without having any idea about his major, he became the Tehran mayor again with the infulence of his hardliner friends. This time he wants to be our president, with help of some conservative people who want to export the revelotion to the entire world. I am sure his presidency will ruin our life for the next 4 years. I don't like rafsanjani, but I will vote for him because I dont want to be known as a terrorist or hardliner or whatever.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at June 20, 2005 11:25 AM [permalink]:

OK, itchy and others,

If it pleases you I am a crackpot-smoking drunken idiot. fine.
You who have such clear and sharp view of the situation and can see the details of the future please xplain to me how this thing works.
If Ahmadi-nezha'd team, the "fascists" , are so powerful and dedicated to take over and have the leader etc on their side and all that, then what prevents them from doing that another way, after the elections? And while you are at it, please let me know why this stupid formality of te socalled election is in anyway effective in anything under this regime?If Rafsanjani is going to stand in their way and dismantle them, what prevents them from say assassinating him? Or taking over everything by force after a hih risk situation is declared?
Or why not cheat the same way they did this time and bring Ahamdi-nezhad's neam out? They can't? Rafsanjani has a powerful team that would stop it? So why is it that you are so anxious?
Wasn't it the same Rafsanjani who had Fallahian as his information minister and all the Saeid Emami team in high office? That was not Fascist, no? Why do you think this time he would not just let the "fascists" of yours have all they want to keep his deals going? To reach a compromise that lets them do what they want? When you voted in huge numbers for Rafsanjani and late he throws the "fascists" all the bones to chew on and be satitated (and you knwo who the bones will be, don't you?) then what should we do mr. Pragmatic clear visioned inside Iran activist?
If people in France went and voted for Chirac to prevent the right wing nuts to come to power, they HAD a democracy to guard and to keep safe. They were sure that one the nutbags are not elected that would be it. They knw that their system didn't have parallel organizations of all sorts, a guardian council and a supreme leader. The knew they dodn't have a city like Qom and its howzeh, or guardians of the revoluyion, the bassij with all armed to the teeth. What do we have to guard?

Please please enlightren us ignorant fools in these dire times.

Irani at June 20, 2005 11:40 AM [permalink]:

Dear Iranian in Iran,

I wholeheartedly appreciate and try best to understand the situation domestically. I wish I could get past a port of entry to stand beside you and all who stand up to the regime in its entirety. But I promise to do that no matter where I am. I think we can be effective in our support.
As for being practical, I can of course go on to write about my ideas on practical ways for REAL change. But I think that this is more or less well known. What is needed is a realisation that we cannot acheive change without a price. Freedom won't be presented to us on a silver platter. To prolong this regime by voting for it in the hope of some "breathing room" is a falacy that will cost our nation more and not less someplace down the road. Only determination and belief in the strenght of a popular boycott and NO can shorten the tragedy. An Ahmadinejad (aka Khamenei) win in so-called elections cannot turn back the clock, cannot rally support for the regime, cannot prolong or legitimise it, will lead to increased popular dissent, escalation of social tensions with the system, further international isolation of the regime and support for democracy, and an inevitable crisis of power that will loosen actual control of state security services over our restive nation. Protests that are already occuring will intensify, regime will not feel as free as before in suppressing, and people won't tolerate the same level of suppression as before. This cycle is inevitable if we believe that this regime's aspirations are opposed to our nation's highest interests and its aspiration for freedom, democratic and accountable government, and civil society. (If we don't feel that then its a different story altogether.) Again, let's participate in this process in a positive manner by boycotting and sending a resounding NO to the "religious fascism."

gisoo tala at June 20, 2005 11:44 AM [permalink]:

I have no shame in showing my anger: seriously, Which idiot voted for this dude?!???

itchy_thoughts at June 20, 2005 11:44 AM [permalink]:

Don't duck the question, AIS. How is the international isolation supposed to do anything?

Back to the points you made, I strongly believe what I already mentioned in the first comment of this post. Go read it. You'd be pleasantly suprised in knowing that like you, I also think they have tweaked the results to make Rafsanjani pick up the voter share never seen before. This is all a sham.

But what are you asking Iranians to do? Risk it and avoid the vote? Are you gonna be there when Ahmadinejad will force them to grow beard or take part in compulsory gourp prayers at main city squares and parks? Do you really think that the US will be able to lift a finger then? Or perhaps EU will do anything. Whatever they do, they will make the life of the Iranians more miserable. Taleban never crumbled despite all isolations until US forces went in.

Quite frankly I am not seeing myself vote for Rafsanjani as of now, but I would understand those who argue for it.

Another Irani at June 20, 2005 11:55 AM [permalink]:

Alright I am listening...tell me in solid terms, what's the next step after the boycott? Please don't mention such illusive and wishful ideas like "International Pressure", delegitimization, etc. I can't sit waiting for others to shed a tear for my misery!

Tell me, what YOU will do and what I should do AFTER the boycott? And why do you think your plan works.

Maybe you say I should do the same. Fair enough. I hereby concede that I have no plans and no hope for real democracy in Iran. But here's where I am: there are two doors behind which there are two animals:

1- One is a dangerous scorpion. One which I am sure would kill me, and which I am sure would come out if I stay where I am.

2- The other one is a vulture and a gang of bloodsucking parasites, with which, as a layman, I have managed to survive once before. Those were not the best years of my life, but it's better than being dead.

Now, what do you propose? Would I be right to infer that you want me stand still where I am, and let the scorpion attack me anyway? Afterall, in this case I would not be subjecting myself to the outrageous conditions of this lose-lose choice..right? Please, enlighten me, what should I do? Remember whatever you prescribe, you should be willing to apply to yourself. You gotta stay in the same boat as I am.

Y Sharifi at June 20, 2005 12:05 PM [permalink]:

Do you want to know our economical future after his presidency? Take a closer look at his picture, we all have to eat cheese and bread after four years.... This picture will be our picture after his presidency. He is a hardliner who has no shame to assassinate democrates. I think with this situation I won't return to Iran.

ali agha at June 20, 2005 02:13 PM [permalink]:

the americans continue to misread the region

with their tough talk on iran and intimidation, they're doing the extremists in iran a big favour. iranians see american bullying and lack of respect for iran, and are voting for the extremist elements, because they see these american tactics as yet another attempt at interfearence in iranian events meant to satisfy washington's selfish needs, and not iran's.

itchy_thoughts at June 20, 2005 02:25 PM [permalink]:

"iranians see american bullying and lack of respect for iran, and are voting for the extremist elements, ..."

Which Iranians are you talking about? The ordinary Iranians couldn't care less about either the election or the US rhetorics. You are reading too much into it.

People stayed away from the polls in a way that reformists failed, but were enough of them voting that the boycott failed too. The conservatives took advantage of this situation and wedge through pro-boycott and boycott-rejecters. They also tweaked the result in favor of their candidate too. That's it. DON'T READ TOO MUCH INTO IT. Nor spin it.

SG at June 20, 2005 02:33 PM [permalink]:

You guys are so funny. The flood has come and it will soon ruin the whole town (and will take with it your lifeless corpses as well) and our "wise" men are still debating. I'm sure some still will argue --while hanging on to a piece of floating wood-- thus:

Only IF people had listened to us and boycotted the election. It's all their fault...

itchy_thoughts at June 20, 2005 02:47 PM [permalink]:

And finally a note to the writer of this article:

I am trying to think outloud here (i.e. I haven't decided what I am doing on Friday, but here is a thought).

As I said it before, the second round of voting is just a sham meant to get people worked up and make them to vote Rafsanjani. His coronation was debated long time ago. He wouldn't have thrown his hat (i.e. turban) into this election race if leader's hand wasn't behind him. The system is pushing him forward to smooth over international rows over Iran's nuclear activities and so on. He is the only one that regime can trust in saving its butt in the current sticky political situation. Without him they have trouble weathering the upcoming storm -- I am not saying it would be impossible for them, but just difficult.

The point I am trying to make is that his coming to power is certain. Even if hypothetically Ahmadinejad's supporters outnumber Hashemi's voters, our good mullahs will adjust the numbers to let Rafsanjani win.

Moral conclusion: Don't make him a hero by your vote. There will be enough shocked and emotional people who are regretting their boycott by now.

It's funny to see people who voted inthe first round like me opt out and people who didn't care vote now.

SG at June 20, 2005 02:58 PM [permalink]:

Your theory ("hypothesis" is more like it) would be true if we assumed that what has happened so far in this election will be automatically erased from everybody's memory, once Hashemi becomes the president (or the King).

But if we just assume that this won't happen, that people will remember how many votes Hashemi could gather in the first round, and, more importantly, what obvious factor led to his subsequent "coronation", then your conclusion cannot be taken seriously.

itchy_thoughts at June 20, 2005 03:22 PM [permalink]:


I read your comment a few times. More I read less I could make a head or tail of it. Try another time.

This time avoid blanket statements like "what has happened so far in this election" or generally the next paragraph. There are tons of ways to make of "what has happened so far in the election" and there is no way that I am a mind reader and can tell where you're coming from.

ali agha at June 22, 2005 11:34 PM [permalink]:

ok the pasdaran and basiji are going into small towns and rural areas and gathering support for ahmadinejad
these are the people that are voting for him
these people also dont really like america, unlike the people in big cities who cant wait to get the next britney spears cd

how else who he have gotten so many votes?

dont read too much into it?

american extremism on one side and iranian extremism on the other
a disaster waiting to happen
all the worst parts of the bible and koran coming to fruition

samira at June 24, 2005 02:18 AM [permalink]:

Fascism is alive and well in Iran and absurdities that IT IS COMING BACK WITH AHMAQINEJAD is superfluous. I DID NOT VOTE AND I WILL NOT VOTE



Doesn't Matter at June 24, 2005 08:11 PM [permalink]:

dear all ftoi readers,

i thought somebody should break this spooky silence. something really bad just happened to our country. i don't know why, but i just cannot help feeling guilty, as if i should bear some of the blame. let's face it, we didn't see this coming. but it's not the end of the world. i have no doubt that someday not too far away we shall see freedom breathe in that land again.

SG at June 25, 2005 09:40 AM [permalink]:

Once upon a time, there was a poor man who got really depressed because he lost his shoes. Then he saw a man who didn't have a leg...

(NPR had a story this morning. Couldn't find it online! :p)

SG at June 25, 2005 10:14 AM [permalink]:

Oops. Wrong link!

mark at June 28, 2005 03:04 AM [permalink]:

I was wondering whether there are some detailed action reports about the Rambo/Schwarzenegger actions behind enemy lines during the iran-iraq war. I would consider that as positive past achievement. Sounds very exciting and heroic too.


A Reader at September 20, 2007 02:45 AM [permalink]:


your death at October 27, 2007 02:05 AM [permalink]:

khak bar sarat khaen.
down with you foolish.
you lie.