Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iran

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The New York Times is liveblogging today’s planned protest in Iran, which threatens to escalate the situation or perhaps even pose a potential tipping point after Khamenei’s denunciation. Against this backdrop, the Atlantic‘s coverage seems a bit trivial.

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June 20, 2009 at 1:07 pm

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Satrapi on Iran

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Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis, has now protested the situation in Iran before the European Parliament. Via Bleeding Cool.

Marjane Satrapi, Iranian author and director and Mohsen Makhmalbaf, an Iranian filmmaker and Mousavi spokesman, presented a document that they claimed had come from the Iranian electoral commission.

The document said liberal cleric and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi came second in the election with a total of 13.3 million votes, while president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came third with only 5.49 million votes.

However, there is no certainty about the legitimacy of the document.

These are the same numbers that have been floating around the Internet all week.

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June 17, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Other Midday Links

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Other midday links.

* Apropos of what I was saying yesterday about Andrew Sullivan, here’s Ben Smith on Sullivan, his continued outsized influence, and the first-mover advantage in the blogosphere.

* There have been a lot of assertions from both left and right that Obama “isn’t doing enough” to support the protesters in Iran. It’s not clear to me what exactly these people have in mind; any U.S. involvement is likely to be entirely counterproductive, as Obama himself has noted. So it’s worth noting that the Obama administration has quietly taken action to support the protesters in a way that is not counterproductive; according to NBC News, the State Dept. has leaned on Twitter to delay scheduled maintenance because of the way the site is currently being used in Iran.

* Also from Iran: Gary Sick lays out an important challenge to that much-discussed pre-election poll showing Ahmadinejad ahead that I hadn’t seen discussed anywhere else—it’s from over a month before the election.

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June 16, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Iran Monday

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Kinohi asks in the comments:

Interesting numbers, but is there anything out there that gives us some sense of *how* the election was stolen so dramatically? Were there election observers in Iran? Who was in charge of local elections? Until we get a better account of how this was done, these numbers will be meaningless.

I’m not prepared to answer that question except to say that the prevailing theory seems to be that votes were not legitimately counted at all—Ahmadinejad was simply declared the overwhelming winner by official state agencies after an extralegally brief period of time.

But there is more information coming out about the numbers that provides more context. Two posts from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com look at the numbers in more depth: first, what are apparently the official numbers from the Iranian government, including breakdown by province, and second a post from Nate’s coblogger Renard Sexton charting statistical irregularities in this election against recent Iranian electoral history.

Matt Yglesias takes up the point Vu has been making in the comments, that late polls showed Ahmadinejad winning, and adds this important caveat:

That said, Juan Cole raises a hugely important point of interpretation. Ballen and Doherty talk about how their mid-May poll showed Ahmadenijad with a 2-1 lead, about what the official results show. But they don’t mention the specific numbers. According to Professor Cole, “It found that the level of support for the incumbent was 34%, with Mousavi at 14%.” That seems like a 34-14 is very different from an official result in which Ahmadenijad’s support was in the sixties. In the domestic American context if you had an incumbent polling at 34 percent, you’d say he was in huge trouble no matter how badly his opponent was doing.

Ayatollah Khamenei has apparently pulled back from his proclamation of a “divine assessment”; he has now ordered an investigation into the results.

(Picture via the WSJ slide show. The image is of a pro-Ahmadinejad rally; I picked it because it is striking and because it reflects the extent to which both sides are rapidly becoming radicalized.)

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June 15, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Class vs. Culture

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Juan Cole: So to believe that the 20% hard line support of 2001 has become 63% in 2009, we would have to posit that Iran is less urban, less literate and less interested in cultural issues today than 8 years ago. We would have to posit that the reformist camp once again boycotted the election and stayed home in droves.

..

So observers who want to lay a guilt trip on us about falling for Mousavi’s smooth upper middle class schtick are simply ignoring the last 12 years of Iranian history. It was about culture wars, not class.

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June 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Iran: Alleged Leak of Real Election Results

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These numbers have been floating around Twitter for twenty-four hours, but this post at Attackerman is the first time I’ve seen them with any sort of provenance attached.

Unofficial news – reports leaked results from Interior Ministry:
Eligible voters: 49,322,412
Votes cast: 42,026,078
Spoilt votes: 38,716
Mir Hossein Mousavi: 19,075,623
Mehdi Karoubi: 13,387,104
Mahmoud Ahmadi-nejad (incumbent): 5,698,417
Mohsen Rezaei (conservative candidate): 3,754,218

I’m very skeptical that these numbers reflect anything real.

A Daily Kos diary has an update of events overnight.

* 1. The Green protesters have taken over at least two police stations in north of Tehran, the Guards are trying to take back the buildings.

* 2. University dormitories across Iran have been attacked by the Revolutionary Guards.

* 3. The building of the ministry of Industry, and a major telecommunication center, have been set on fire.

* 4. Sharif University’s professors have resigned on mass.

* 5. Unrest in Rasht, Tabriz, Isfahan, Shiraz and every other major city.

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June 14, 2009 at 3:39 pm

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Iran 4

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Following up on Vu’s link in the comments to a pre-election poll showing a sizable Ahmadinejad lead, here’s Nate Silver arguing that the much-trumpeted linear graph doesn’t by itself prove election fraud. But as Nate’s commenters point out, alphabetizing final state-by-state results flattens out exactly the sorts of discontinuities (regional and otherwise) we would expect to see in partial, real-time election results—rendering Nate’s demonstration somewhat unpersuasive. There’s also this news, via Andrew Sullivan: the president of Iran’s electoral monitoring commission has declared the results invalid, and Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani has resigned his position on the Expediency Council.

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June 13, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Iran 3

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More on the Iranian election and voter fraud from Juan Cole and Muhammad Sahimi.

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June 13, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Iran 2

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It’s being reported—though not yet by major news sources—that Mousavi has been placed under house arrest. Reports are also widespread that the cell phone network in Iran has been taken offline. A good place for breaking news is #iranelection on Twitter; apparently Twitter is the only social networking system still operating in Iran at the moment. Photos from Tehran, among other places, here.

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June 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm

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Iran

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Despite reports that the race would be close, state officials are reporting that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has won a landslide reelection in Iran. The Obama Administration has said it is skeptical of the results, citing among other things the fact that Mousavi apparently lost the vote in his hometown, and in The Nation dissident Ibrahim Yazdi outright calls it a coup. A chart from Andrew Sullivan (right) also gives reason to be suspicious.

There are now protests in the streets of Tehran and elsewhere. Mousavi has not conceded.

Mousavi, who became the hero of a powerful youth-driven movement, had not made a public address or issued messages since declaring himself the true victor moments after polls closed and accusing authorities of “manipulating” the vote.

“I’m warning that I won’t surrender to this manipulation,” said the Mousavi statement on the Web on Saturday. “The outcome of what we’ve seen from the performance of officials … is nothing but shaking the pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran sacred system and governance of lie and dictatorship.”

He warned “people won’t respect those who take power through fraud” and called the decision to announce Ahmadinejad winner of the election was a “treason to the votes of the people.”

Image via the MeFi thread.

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June 13, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Friday Politics

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Friday politics roundup.

* Early returns from the Iranian elections suggest things could get heated, with both sides declaring victory.

* On the day Jon Kyl threatened a Republican boycott of the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearing, George H. W. Bush cautioned his party not to go overboard.

“I don’t know her that well but I think she’s had a distinguished record on the bench and she should be entitled to fair hearings. Not – [it’s] like the senator John Cornyn said it,” [the elder former President Bush] told CNN. “He may vote for it, he may not. But he’s been backing away from these…backing off from those radical statements to describe her, to attribute things to her that may or may not be true.

“And she was called by somebody a racist once. That’s not right. I mean that’s not fair. It doesn’t help the process. You’re out there name-calling. So let them decide who they want to vote for and get on with it.”

* Kos analyzes party ID, empathy, and the generation gap.

* High-school student discovers plastic-eating microbe. We’re saved!

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June 12, 2009 at 8:25 pm

‘Iran’s Nuclear Operation Revealed To Be Cover For Greatest Roller Coaster Ever’

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Nearly 30 years of tense relations between the U.S. and Iran came to a dramatic end this March when Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed that his country’s suspected nuclear program was in fact a covert operation to build “Ali Baba and the 40 Loops”—the largest, most thrilling roller coaster in the Middle East.

In a globally televised address before the United Nations, Ahmadinejad unveiled the 500-foot-tall steel coaster, which he called a “very real threat” to anyone not interested in having a blast. Via Srinivas.

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December 16, 2008 at 4:49 pm

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C-SPAN’s Debate Hub

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C-SPAN’s Debate Hub is just about the most impressive blogging tool I’ve seen any major network implement. You can cut and edit the C-SPAN feed directly (with searchable transcript) and instantly embed the resulting video in your blog. Here, just for instance, is what may have been McCain’s single worst moment:

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September 27, 2008 at 3:48 am