Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Not Change If It's The Same

Continued unrest going on over yonder in the sand country of Iran after the incumbent "President" Mahmoud I'm A Dinner Jacket likely had a hand in or some sort of knowledge of the election being rigged to end up in his favor by "defeating" the opponent, a one Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Thousands of folks are protesting in the streets. Iranian government is freaking out and doing absurd things like shutting off access to Facebook and Twitter. (Oh, no! They won't be able to update their status! How FB rude!) Journalists are confined to their hotel rooms. It's not good. But the more I heard about how their whole system works over there, I became rather confused as to why what is going on is actually going on.

OK, so the throngs of people protesting in the sand are upset because they believe that their candidate, ol' Mousavi, was robbed! They're acting as if he was going to be the President Barry of Tehran. Um, not quite. See, this will come as a HUGE shock to you, but they don't do things in Iran the same way that they are done in the United States. The US has processes of electing a leader that are actually like electing a leader. Anyone who meets the requirements can run and can theoretically be elected. And the requirements are pretty basic. You just have to be a certain age and have been born in this country. (And by the way, for the very reason that someone who has been born in a foreign land cannot be President is the exact same reason why it is going to mean eventual disaster by the US continuing to ignore the illegal immigration problem and allowing folks to not only live in this country illegally but to provide them with services as well! But no one is screaming that it's "anti-immigrant" to not let an immigrant become President. Hmmm.) Not so in Iran.

In Iran, they have what they call the Council of Guardians which Yep.  That's them.  Cheery lookin' bunch, ain't they?consists of 12 clerics who sort of vet the folks who apply to be a candidate. Usually hundreds of people apply, none of which are women because of course, they're forbidden in Iran from running for President. God, could you imagine how great that would be if they were allowed to run and one of 'em won? It'll never happen, but I do think it has pretty good Hollywood crappy comedy movie potential. So the guys who are running for President have been approved of by this Council of Guardians who seem to be kind of like the Paula, Randy and Simon of the Middle East, only there's twelve of them.

And the position of President of Iran is not as it is in the United Iran's Supreme Leader looks nothing at all like Diana Ross.States. It's not even how it "used to be" in the United States (because now the President of the United States is some sort of travelling rock star who wows us with his ability to swat flies and eat burgers all at the same time as he saves the world from utter destruction.). Iran also has something called the Supreme Leader. NOT Diana Ross. The Supreme Leader is a one Ayatollah Khamenei. I don't think he's the same Ayatollah Khomeni from a few years back, so I can just assume that they recycle the names of their leaders in the same way that they're all named Mohammed. But his title is just as it sounds: Completely made up and the supreme leader of the country.

The President of Iran has very little power that he himself can assert. Yeah!  Shame on YOU, Ferret Face!You wouldn't know it the way ol' Ferret Face is always shooting off his mouth, would you? The Supreme Leader is the one calling the shots. The President of Iran can appoint people to his cabinet, but regardless as to what they do or they decide, the Supreme Leader can reject anything he wants to. He also the commander-in-chief of the armed and police forces; the head the state ministry in control of television and radio; and he's in charge of the country's judiciary. Oh, yeah. And he gets to be Supreme Leader for the rest of his life. It's like a tenured dictator. Nice.

So the guy will have not a lot of ability or influence for change unless that sort of change is OK with the Supreme Leader. Seems strange that people are as gung-ho as they are for what would appear to be the status quo. But what kind of a guy is Mousavi? According to a one Robert Baer over yonder there at TIME Magazine, Mousavi, who was the "Prime Minister from 1981 to 1989, almost certainly had a hand in the planning of the Iranian-backed truck-bombing attacks on the U.S. embassy in April 1983 and the Marine barracks in October of 1983." Hmmm. Soooooo....he's an alleged truck-bombing planner. Well, maybe that was just a one time thing? Um, probably not. Remember, the 1980s were when Iran was wanting to go all terrorist on the United States' ass. And there he was, leading the charge from the Prime Minister throne or whatever it is they have over there to sit their sandy asses on.

Remember when Iran took all of those US folks hostage back in 1979. When interviewed in 1981, Mousavi's take on it was "It was the beginning of the second stage of our revolution. It was after that we discovered our true Islamic identity." I see. Oh, and he also appointed a guy to be the ambassador to Damascus who was the main truck bombing planner guy and who coordinated the taking of Lebanese hostages in his spare time. (And one of the coordinators of the whole 1979 hostage taking fiasco over there in Iran? Allegedly and assumed to be none other than I'm A Dinner Jacket himself. Birds of a feather, these folks are, I'm tellin' ya.)

Those sorts of extra curricular activities got him noticed by Mousavi who then put him in charge of the Interior Ministry which seemed to be rather down on democracy. He also has referred to the US as "The Great Satan". Hey, at least he knows we're great, so I can't really complain about that content. Oh, but I can complain that he's just like I'm A Dinner Jacket in that he has publicly stated that he would like to see Israel annihilated from the map.

Yeah, I'm not so much thinking that this Mousavi guy is the Changey McOptimism that he's been portrayed to be in the media. He sounds almost exactly like Dinner Jacket. Only not so much of an overt and blatant jackass.

So this is all where my confusion lies. I don't understand why everyone thinks this Mousavi guy is so great. I don't understand why people seem to be acting as if the President of Iran actually wields any real power. I don't understand why this has been portrayed as an injustice of a democratic election process. The Supreme Leader has final say over who the Council of Guardians approves to even RUN for President, so doesn't that kind of give everyone a hint that the result was fixed before it even started? I can see folks being upset that it's not the democratic society that Iran wants to say that it is. But this election is nothing new as it's been like that for a while. But why all of the support for Mousavi? He's not different, he's not change, he'd have no power, so who cares who is President? It certainly doesn't seem like anything to go out and get yourself killed over because at the end of the day, what the Supreme Leader wants is what the Supreme Leader gets. So if anyone can shed some light on what I"m missing here and why the swooning masses over the Dinner Jacket twin there, I'd really appreciate it.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These are really much like the riots in Europe since the recession started.

In this instance the Iranian election is the excuse, but basically you have a large portion of the population that is under 30 and UNEMPLOYED. They were looking for any reason to demonstrate. They have nothing else to do.

They need JOBS with a capital J. They know that their Prez has little to no power but they want to let their Supreme Leader know that this entire system can be toppled as it once was if things don't change.

But then what do I know. Personally I think if people are busy working long hours at jobs and then having to look after spouses and children, they don't have time to pursue bomb-blowing activities.

Cure for Middle East Terrorism: Increase Employment rates and standards of education & health care.