Saturday, July 4, 2009

Consolidating the Electoral Coup in Iran

In the aftermath of the electoral coup carried out by Ahmadinejad-Khamenei in Iran, the push forward by the people to force the state authorities to submit to some accountability, openly questioning the legitimacy of the state in the process, has caused a great deal of fear in both ruling factions. But, more critically, in order to consolidate the coup, the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad faction has to move very carefully, so as not to inflame more intense hatred and discord among the ruling factions themselves. Hence, the insistence of the coup leaders to put the biggest blames on 'foreign arrogant powers', especially the British. 

And ergo the editorial in Iran's daily Kayhan, by Hossein Shariatmadari, declaring Mousavi a foreign agent, stating, "It has to be asked whether the actions of (Mousavi and his supporters) are in response to instructions of American authorities," adding that Mousavi was trying to "escape punishment for murdering innocent people, holding riots, cooperating with foreigners and acting as America's fifth column inside the country," (see here).

Meanwhile, they are doing their best to keep an iron fist on any form of open and mass dissent, lest the storm of the people's fury blow to hell the entire house of conceit.

The first step in the consolidation of the coup has been carried out: the overwhelming presence of security forces on the streets, leading to a de facto martial law state of affairs, in which any assembly of more than three people can be attacked and shot at, at will, with one hundred percent impunity.

More than a thousand people have been arrested and very likely being tortured as I write these lines, to force 'confessions' out of them (just like the Americans in Guantanamo forced 'confessions' out of people linking Saddam to Al-Qaida). Six people were already hanged in the Evin prison on Wednesday, July 1; another six were hanged in Qom on July 2. There are also reports of 20 more hangings outside Tehran, in Karaj, on July 4th; some of the hanged were arrested between 2004-2008 on drugs charges, but their hanging in the current tense atmosphere is meant to instill terror in people's hearts. Meanwhile, more names of martyrs from post-election demonstrations are being unearthed, raising the total of names released to 26 (excluding the Basiji's members killed). Most of the dead have been shot in the head.

Additionally, the calls by senior clerics for trying the British embassy staff for fomenting an uprising show that the authorities will resort to any and all forms of fabrication and intimidation.

All this, to instill terror in the hearts of our people; to drive them back to their homes and out of the streets, to drive them back to solitude and fear, to despondency.

But, more will need to be done if this coup is to be consolidated solidly. Most importantly, they have to get key figures of the loyal opposition to give up their protests (like they did with Mohsen Rezaee, the other conservative candidate in the stolen elections, who quickly enough jumped ship).

So, for those loyal opposition figures who refuse to shut up and put up, well, a whole host of 'legal' measures await. One such has been suggested by the Basiji's: they want to bring charges of 'treason' for his 'call to an uprising against the system' against Mousavi, for daring to call the election results illegitimate. Other 'legal' means will include what Ahmadinejad stated explicitly in his televised debates: corruption charges against those not going along with the coup (and 'files' filled with 'evidence' of any 'guilt' you'd like to order up can be made out of pure air, by these alchemists of deceit).

And, of course, as always, they have to crush the most daring of the popular dissenters: university students. Universities -- historically bastions of the most radical of the dissenting classes, consistently standing against oppressive machineries erected by both the Pahlavi and later the theocratic dictatorships -- have always played a key role in the overall national movements for justice in Iran. Hence, the need for the harshest crackdown on the university campuses.


There is a video clip of an extremely chilling nature, available online (in Farsi, no subtitles), of a post-election meeting of a group of conservatives, including Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi, a most fascistic clerical leader, who literally OK'd vote rigging before the elections ( see here). 

In the clip, you will not observe the slightest of lighthearted jubilation among the attendees, as would be expected from a group of people who had just won a clean, hard-fought election campaign. Quite the contrary, a sinister, hushed tone of guilt-ridden sickly purpose saturates every utterance made by Ahmadinejad.

In the clip, Ahmadinejad speaks in allusions and metaphors, which, when listened to carefully, shed some light on the general strategy the coup organizers are likely to adopt. Ahmadinejad talks about the completion of the first difficult phase of the struggle, and the start of the second, more difficult phase, which, as he puts it, will require ALL the capabilities of the system; the executive, judicial and 'spiritual' (meaning the solid backing of certain of the clerical classes). He also talks about the 'big wave of enthusiasm, both internal and external', for this divine movement toward the 'Purist Mohammedan Islam' (Islam-e Naab-e Mohammadi).

[The reference to the wave of enthusiasm from abroad is usual propaganda of course, but there is also a very telling subtext here: there are reports of foreign, Arab sounding, goon squads which have been shipped in, paid handsomely and put up in hotels across Tehran (the Iranian paid goons brought from provincial small towns and villages, by contrast, get paid much less, and are put up in modest dormitories).]

There is also a very chilling reference by Ahmadinejad in the clip about the need to take care of the universities.

Ahmadinejad, the co-conspirator, also talks about the 'joyous nature of fighting corruption', a judicial tactic they will be lining up for the next wave of eliminations of the loyal opposition; and, of course, all this has to happen fast, hence his reference to the urgency of the task at hand, and how time is of the essence; hence, in his words, "Let's operationalize our plans".

Among international developments that must bring some joy to the coup leaders in Iran is Obama administration's behind-the-scenes manipulations to stop the G8 from issuing any new calls for (or actual proposals for) expanded sanctions against the government of Iran (see here).

To conclude then, in the aftermath of the electoral coup pulled by Ahmadinejad-Khamenei and the resultant outrage expressed by millions of Iranians, those 'leftists' vociferous in conjuring up imaginary coups, remote-controlled from Langley, VA, should rejoice in knowing that their favorite state formation in Iran will last a while longer. And will be doing so through pure terror, kangaroo courts and summary executions, fraudulent deal makings and concentration of even more conceit at the very top of the state ideological apparatuses.

But, to their chagrin, and to the chagrin of people in love with authoritarian states, the people of Iran have not given up, nor feel cowed. They may be momentarily pushed back into their homes, but this movement is far from over.

No comments: