Of course, it’s totally awesome that the State Department asked Twitter to delay a service-upgrade outage today so that Iranians could use the service to marshal the anti-Ahmadinejad crowds to full effect. Man, something like Twitter must have hit those crusty old-guard Iranian clerics upside the head. I used to think air-dropping Playstation consoles and “Simpsons” episodes onto Tehran would have fomented a revolution, but it turned out to be a social-networking website where my friends talk about how many waffles they’ve burned.
In some ways, I get the feeling that Iran is a lot like the old Soviet Union – we spend years thinking they’re evil geniuses, but get a sizable crowd together, and suddenly the entire government is made of chicken wire and paper- mâché. Any governing body run by theocracy is by definition a backwards, rigid, cruel, moron factory that slowly dies on the vine each year it is permitted to exist, but even so, you’d think these guys could defraud an election with a little more aplomb.
If you’re going to rig an election, you do it the way the Republicans did: keep it close, to maintain the appearance of plausibility. If the rule is that one candidate needs more than 50% of the vote, give him 51.3%. That way the opposition feels “heard” and since it’s a binary outcome anyway, the losers go home and rend their garments in quiet fury (like progressives did in this country for 8 years).
Instead, these chowderheads had Ahmadinejad winning by a 2-to-1 margin, ostensibly to demoralize the pro-reform movement, or perhaps even to say “you don’t get it… we pull the strings around here, so fuck off.” Indeed, most of the ballot-counting offices were run by Ahmadinejad’s people, and the person in charge of the election was not only Ahmadinejad’s friend, but actually openly endorsed the fucker during the election.
The returns had Mousavi losing to Ahmadinejad by fifty percentage points in his hometown region, which is like David Duke winning Harlem in a landslide. In a way, the world press (and certainly Obama) are exercising an incredible amount of restraint in the face of such a sickening sham.
I’d love to have heard the debate inside the clerical circles about just how lopsided they were going to make the victory. It showed a laughably inept understanding of the modern mind, and certainly the mind of anyone under 30 (which staggeringly accounts for 60% of Iran’s population). But that’s what happens when you’ve got toxic stupidity from the top down – Ahmadinejad is a racist buffoon, and his theocratic overlords are, well, a theocracy. Nothing good can come of that mixture.
The current stalemate is fascinating – it makes you wonder how long before the tanks rumble in and crush the populace. Worked in Czechoslovakia, worked in Hungary, worked in Tiananmen Square, and even worked in Iran in 1999. No matter what, though, the Powers That Be are screwed, even if they don’t know it yet. How artfully poetic if the country most guilty of sponsoring terrorists finally figured out how to make one from scratch: deny them their vote.