Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Jig Is Up -- The People Said No More.

There is an old Soviet saying that I think fits what Iran has done for years, "The future is known, the past only changes." True of any despot government.

I had read a stat many years ago that mentioned that 65% of the countries demographic was 25-years and younger. Many of these people watch MTV, listen to American music, the upper crust likes lowered cars, etc. Another stat I read while taking a missions class in seminary that those who have satellite TV in Iran, many (a high %), watch Christian television, and there are many missionaries in country. There is an underbelly of a generation that doesn't want the religious Ayottolas in control. This movement may be -- at least in part -- fueled by this human need for freedom. We will see.

(Financial Times -- free registration required) Of course, there are those who think that – despite the turmoil in Tehran – President Mahmoud Ahamdi-Nejad may actually have won the election. Their line of argument is that western journalists and middle-class Iranians have been deceived by focusing too much on opinion in the capital city and amongst the educated elite. Iran might be like Thailand – a country that has recently been through political turmoil because the urban middle-classes are regularly out-voted by the rural poor.

These arguments are unconvincing. The Iranian election bears all the hallmarks of a stolen vote. The official count has Mr Ahmadi-Nejad winning even in the home town of Mir-Hossein Moussavi, his main challenger. Mr Ahmadi-Nejad is said to have won even in Azeri-speaking constituencies, despite the fact that Mr Moussavi comes from an Azeri background. The official tally gave Mr Ahmadi-Nejad 63 per cent of the vote, which is way out of line with most pre-election predictions. The Iranian regime has reacted to popular protests with all the instincts of a dictatorship – beating up protesters, locking up opponents, shutting down text messaging services and internet sites....