Beyond Words

The Blog Formerly Known as "Nagoftaniha"

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Secret Elections

Secret elections are being held in Iraq. It's the first time in the human history that elections are being held in secret. Everything from the candidates to the ballots and polling stations are secret. Even the voters, for fear of their lives, do not reveal their intention to vote. The majority of Sunnis do not participate in this election. Some of them for fear of their lives, and the rest, who seem to have lost their will to live, see these elections as a fruitless exercise.

When Americans and their cronies are the main instigators of an election, we can't expect any better. Even the American-appointed "President" of Iraq, perhaps for fear of his life, since he's a Sunni, has confessed that a majority of the people will not participate in these elections.

There are some in the other countries of the region, especially the ones that were included in "the axis of evil" (or the modified version which includes Syria), who look to the US as their only hope, and still think they may receive blessings from this saviour. In fact, when I see the humiliating conditions of the Arab nations, and see how they tolerate their illegitimate governments, I sometimes think perhaps the only way to save these nations is through military intervention and importing the American style of democracy. But after Iraq, we cannot look at the US as our saviour and should think of other alternatives.
Some Iranians who, after the revolution of '79, left their country and now reside in a number of Western countries, look at the US in the same way. These gentle folk who, for almost three decades, have lived lavishly in the West, live with their memories of Tehran and its tony neighborhoods (such as Ghaytarieh and Zaferanieh), their night clubs, private clubs and many other places that we didn't even know about. They await a "saviour" who would save the country from the ruling mullahs, return their property and restore them to their homes and villas in the abovementioned neighborhoods. As for the choice for their saviour, they prefer someone from the Pahlavi dynasty, but will leave it up to the US. They are willing to see their country trampled under American boots, as long as they get their lost property back.

Let’s return to the election. We are all aware of the main obstacles facing a democratic Iran, namely that as long as there is a vetting mechanism called the Guardian Council, there can't be any hope of free elections. It is obvious that the rulers of Iran, by their reliance on their power, use any opportunity to build obstacles in front of the legitimate aspirations of the people. In the meantime, we saw the election of Khatami as a reformist candidate for presidency, and in the sixth election for the Iranian Majlis (Parliament) the reformists formed the majority. Many believe the reformists within the government are a part of the government and one cannot call them real reformists, and that, therefore, they can't be trusted. This is a subject that needs further analysis, but it is a separate issue. The main issue is that even within this Islamic Republic, with all of its deficiencies and undemocratic elements, there was an opportunity for a reformist President and reformist Majlis to enter the government. Now compare this situation with Iraq, where a majority of the population will not participate in the election, most of them for fear of their lives, and the rest cannot place their hopes in a lackey government. Perhaps there is still hope for Iran.

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