June 16, 2009

The Iranian Election

As a pundit, it's my sworn duty to have an opinion on the Iranian election.

Unfortunately, I don't know anything about Iranian psephology, and it would no doubt take a huge amount of time to learn enough to formulate an opinion worth expressing, so I have no opinion to offer.

I'm sorry that I have failed in my obligations.

In my defense, I did mention several times back in 2006 that I was suspicious that the party of the left got ripped off in the Mexican election. But very few other people in the American press acted at all concerned about the validity of the Mexican election, so I guess that's no defense for me and my lack of an opinion on Iranian vote-counting. After all, Mexico is only our neighbor while Iran is obviously much more important, what with it being on the other side of the world and all.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve,

When are you going to put up a post about your trip to Turkey?

testing99 said...

Mexico does not have nukes, does not regularly stage "A World Without Israel And America" conferences, and has not repeatedly conducted official terrorist attacks on the US (according to the CLINTON Justice Dept.)

Nukes tend to get one's attention, one delivered by a terrorist network (Stratfor has an article alleging 132 separate pathways to get one into a US city) that is deniable gets even more.

Spengler, FWIW, asserts the struggle is over spoils politics AND the threat of a disintegrating Pakistan, where about 15% of the world's Shia live, and who are under huge threat from the Taliban. Thus the desire according to him for a Thug like Ahmadinejad who will "scare" the Taliban as Pakistan falls apart rather than the smiling "nice face" of Mousavi (both candidates are rather similar in their approach to the US, nukes, Israel, and terrorist campaigns against US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan).

He might be right, but what's notable is that things are spinning out of control. The Regime clearly did not expect such a mass response, the desire to get rid of Ahmadinejad (who favors the rural poor at the expense of urbanites).

Mexico is just as important as Pakistan or Iran, but lacks nuclear weapons, is more amenable to US pressure (up to a point anyway) and given political will, a more addressable case. Both Iran and Pakistan are probably "managed chaos" issues where each nations factionalism and their huge threat potential require lots of entanglement and on-the-ground resources to amp up rather than dial down factionalism.

This is my gripe with Paleos Steve. You don't get, just how much a change nuclear proliferation really is. Pakistan, a nation that cannot keep raw sewage off the main streets in front of the Presidential Palace during rainy season, is cracking apart AND has the ability now to wipe out most major US cities if a faction was determined to do so. It's not 1947, or 1997, any more.

Testing101 said...

Steve should really leave all geopolitical commentary to me as he is an utterly doe-eyed naif in these matters.

Because we can't continue to bathe in the warm amneotic fluid of our mother's wombs, we have to bomb Iran, Afganistan, Hamas and anyone else I say. Nukes change everything - Duhh!

agnostic said...

Yeah but the fate of much hotter women's appearances is at stake in Iran.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you are a funny guy!

jody said...

fred reed (fredoneverything.net) has returned to blogging, and actually talked about that mexican politician who lost in the 2006 election.

fred is pretty harsh on american politicians in that blog post. he says they seem to know almost nothing about mexico, which despite being a huge nation of 100 million people right on the border, appears to not be that important to them. indeed, fred wonders if literally less than 10 high ranking american politicians even speak spanish. hilary clinton in particular took a beating.

SerfsUp said...

Let's bomb Iran. Let's bomb Pakistan.

T99 gave the justification. Nukes change everything. Who are you to question him? This man has read a Stratfor article detailing 132 separate pathways to deliver a nuke into a US city!

Maybe we should empty the cities NOW to avoid further loss of life. Do very dense, very 'diverse', pathogen-loaded human ecologies really work in this day and age?

That might be a better solution than bombing the hell out of everyone. But de-centralization of, well, anything just won't be tolerated. That is borderline hateful, faintly antiSemitic.

Bombs away it is!

John Seiler said...

Here's what gets me. Bush invaded Iran in 2003 and kicked out Iranian President Saddam Hussein. Since then, Iran has held several elections under the direct supervision of U.S. troops, especially in the Iranian capital of Baghdad. Yet here the Iranians are, more than 6 years after the American invasion of their country, still having problems with their elections. I could just scream.

DanaT said...

Paul Craig Roberts has written one of his usual brilliant columns on the Iranian election:

Chronicles article

It's time to start a P.C. Roberts-for-President movement.

Anonymous said...

testing99 said...

"Mexico does not have nukes"

And Iran doesn't either, despite what some people want us to believe.

Geoffrey Falk said...

OT: g in a monkey?

"Individual differences in cognitive abilities within at least one other primate species can be characterized by a general intelligence factor, supporting the hypothesis that important aspects of human cognitive function most likely evolved from ancient neural substrates."

bg said...

but the fate of much hotter women's appearances is at stake in Iran

wise words were spoken. If I turn the TV and see iranians protesting, I keep watching trying to see a beautiful girl. Just like lebanese protests. If they mexicans instead burning the US flag, it is impossible to find a hot babe.

Baloo said...

OTOH, we don't have 20 million illegal Iranians hanging around Home Depot.

Edward said...

As a resident number of an inconsequential satellite state in the other reaches of the Empire, I enjoyed this commentary from EU Referendum.

In Iran, they rig the election to get the "right" result. In the EU they do things differently. They ignore the result [the latest example being the first referendum on the Lisbon Treaty/EU Constitution in Ireland which was rejected; there are other examples with past treaties] and re-stage the "election" until the people get so weary – and bored - that they roll over and deliver what is required of them.

The ultimate difference though is that in Iran, the ruling élites steal the election. Here, they hold the elections and steal our governments. The one other difference, of course, is that we have not taken to the streets (yet), ready to rip the throats from the despicable bunch of thieves who are now our rulers.


"Yet", being the operative word.

The one thing I notice about the EU though compared to all the other levels of government is how white it is.

Anonymous said...

A World Without Israel And America"
concerning discplacement and ending america, in practical terms, who is doing more to end it?

SKT said...

I don't know much about Iran, but I do know that America's leaders and chattering class are overreaching when they "know" that the election was rigged. The only Iranians they talk to are the liberal upper-middle class. Ahmadinejad could have widespread support amongst the poor and the rural classes. Either way, what business is it of America's?

It's not much different here in this country where after GWB wins, all the geniuses in New York, Washington, and LA claim the election was a hoax because no one they knew voted for him.

headache said...

"I'm sorry that I have failed in my obligations."


LOL, you loved that one, didn't you. The more worked up the MSM becomes over the Iranian elections, the more I begin to think the CIA and Mossad have a hand in the upheaval. After all, the CIA did murder an Iranian leader before, I can‘t remember his name though. I must say though that I do not in particular trust those mullah's I preferred the Shah, with his pretty wife and daughters, and all the pomp. He was very palatable to my Western tastes, but then the locals did not seem to like him much. Apparently he also had a fierce secret police, but I wouldn't know how bad they were compared to the mullah's, Saddam or the Israeli agencies.

Desert Cat said...

Here's what gets me. Bush invaded Iran in 2003 and kicked out Iranian President Saddam Hussein. Since then, Iran has held several elections under the direct supervision of U.S. troops, especially in the Iranian capital of Baghdad. Yet here the Iranians are, more than 6 years after the American invasion of their country, still having problems with their elections. I could just scream.

John Selier...tsk!

Oh lordy...

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

T99 - Iran may or may not have nukes, but Mexico does pose a long-term threat to us.

Suppose Iran were to lob a nuke at us, and god forbid, hit one of our cities and kill 200,000 people. Would our republic go on, would there still be a nation-state recognizable as the USA? Of course there would, and Iran would be mighty sorry they decided to pick that fight.

OTOH, Mexico has been slowly colonizing the US southwest for the last 30 years. Larger and larger parts of our country will be ethnically, culturally, and linguistically Mexican (or Latino, if you like), and will have only the most tenuous connection to the rest of America. There might even be some sort of fracture or separation, although I think the more likely result will be the various ethnicities self-segregating and trying to ignore one another, a kind of "soft partitioning" if you will.

Long story short: Iranian nuke = horrible, but survivable. Mexican colonization = frog in the pot doesn't realize what's going on until it's too late.

Noumenon said...

You rock, Steve.

neil craig said...

When "their" thugs win an election it is always a reason for massive coverage, denunciations & calls for a rerun. When "our" thugs win, no matter how suspicious (the 96% vote for whatsisname in Georgia, the 55.1% vote for independence in Montnegro when the needed 55% etc etc) it is always a triumph for democracy, the "democracy building" western donors who financed it & the "N"GOs whose "observers" observed nothing dodgy. I assume observers in Mexico saw nothing suspicious.

Anonymous said...

indeed, fred wonders if literally less than 10 high ranking american politicians even speak spanish.

Do even 10 high ranking US politicians have any competency in any foreign language?

Fred Reed is one of those bizarre old boomers who manages to have all the pieces of the puzzle but never put it together. US politicians are uncultured bozos because up til now, why would anyone who wasn't an uncultured bozo go into politics instead of business? Whereas in most of the rest of the world, you can't do business unless you've got family members in politics. Things are changing rapidly here of course, so we can look forward to having literate, urbane politicians, just like Chile and Poland. Oh joy.

Stan said...

Stratfor is run George Friedman, an impartial authority on Mideast politics. David Goldman, the third rate Spengler, is another impartial authority on Mideast politics.

greenrivervalleyman said...

Steve,

Maybe a good place to start is with the fact that another Muslim anarcho-terrorist state is on the cusp of acquiring nuclear weapons? Iran is probably tops of the scale as far as social development in the Muslim world is concerned, yet we are witnessing just how tiny a perturbation is needed to push it over the edge into social breakdown.

The responses so far to testing99's informed and well-reasoned post are unworthy of the quality of this blog. Or were the sleepless nights spent over loose nukes (back when their only likely source were the non apocalyptically-minded Russians) by such noted "neocons" as Sam Nunn and James Baker part of the same diseased obsession with Israel as the invasion of Iraq?

Indifference to real American national security interests simply out of spite for neocons is despicable. Indifference to real American national security interests out of spite for neocons and through delusional fantasies about getting some Middle Eastern strange (a lot of the sad sacks here seem to be coming from a mental place somewhere near the trainwreck of neo-Darwinism with paleoconservatism with PUA "Game" theory) is just plain pathetic, though.

Jeremiah Whitmoore said...

Testing says "Stratfor has an article alleging 132 separate pathways to get one into a US city."

Where did they get 132? My own analysis was only able to conjure up 119 separate (no overlapping pathways were allowed) to sneak a nuclear weapon into a U.S city.

nis said...

What I don't get about Israel wanting to destroy Muslim Iran is that if Iran were to say convert to Christianity, then all the hotties there would put Israeli babes to shame. And the men there are not too stupid either. So once the shackles of Islam were to be removed, then Israel faces the kind of competition it got from Christian Lebanon, which was one of the reasons it bombed the place to smithereens. Surely a mullah Iran is more comforting to Israel than a Christian Iran with all their talent and babes unleashed. I'm sure Israel does NOT want that.

Evil Sandmich said...

Seems like a repeat of Thailand of poor country bumpkins versus wealthier city dwellers.

Anonymous said...

"Seems like a repeat of Thailand of poor country bumpkins versus wealthier city dwellers."

Same thing in the PRC with Tianamen. The yokels from the sticks had a field day in Beijing...

Anonymous said...

"...then Israel faces the kind of competition it got from Christian Lebanon, which was one of the reasons it bombed the place to smithereens."

Lebanon was bombed (and shot, RPGed, car bombed, assassinated etc...)to smithereens long before Israel got into the act.

Anonymous said...

Iran is important to Israel. Which makes it extremely important to Mexico.

bg said...

if you are able to write the name of the leader of iran wihtout any doubt nor any mistake, go straight to Roissy's blog

You are turning beta fastly.

Tsoldrin said...

Pakistan "has the ability now to wipe out most major US cities" - WTF? That's absurd. They would be very lucky indeed to manage an attack with a nuke on a single city, and that city would hardly be wiped out. Most nukes are hardly what they're cracked up to be, it's not a doomsday weapon unless two or more countries with thousands of them are lobbing them all over the globe.

Mister Le Mullah said...

"...another Muslim anarcho-terrorist state is on the cusp of acquiring nuclear weapons."

On the cusp? Last I checked, England and France already had them.

Ronduck said...

Off Topic, but ABC is going to relocate their nightly news broadcast to the White House for a special on national health care. link followup

Tom V said...

Evil Sandmich:

Thailand of poor country bumpkins versus wealthier city dwellers

You don't know what you're talking about. Your statement would more accurately describe America, although I'm sure many here would take issue with that. McCain won only 14% of Manhattan's votes whereas the TRT won half of Bangkok's in the last election before the coup.

You can't blame domestic migration of the Thai "country bumpkins," either. In Thailand, you can only vote where you're officially domiciled according to the household registration. And you can be registered to a household only if the chief of the household lets you do so. Most (perhaps almost all) migrant workers, therefore, remain officially domiciled in their hometowns. Bet you didn't know this, did you?

One virtue of paleocons (Steve included) is that they understand the limited extent to which anyone can truly understand foreign affairs. The key word here is "foreign." Don't ruin it.

Think of it this way: If you don't trust the media's local coverage of, say, crime or education despite all the resources, manpower, and experience devoted to them, why do you trust a one-man bureau staffed by a former hippie to sum up an entire foreign country for you in nice, digestible morality tales?

Richard Hoste said...

"concerning discplacement and ending america, in practical terms, who is doing more to end it?"

Good point. If a real conservative movement ever popped up in this country Bush and McCain would oppose it harder than the Mullahs ever would.

Tino said...

They cheated, based on the weird results in the provinces:

Iran is a large and ethnically diverse country. In the 2005 election, candidates always did much better in their home provinces than nationally.
Kerubi got 55% in his home province vs. 17% nationally. (Rafsanjani and Qalibaf got more than 50% each in their his home province, vs. 20% or less nationally etc). Azeri candidate Mehralizade (who was a weak candidate with no chance of winning) got 4% nationally, but about 25% in Azeri provinces .

Basically most regional candidates overperfermed by 300%-500%, or by 20-40 points.

This time around, the “Lur” Kerubi got 4.6% in his home province, an overperformance less than 4 percentage points (although large proportionally). The Azeri candidate this time around Mousavi only got 42% in his home province (34% nationally). This is just a 8 percentage points, or 24%.

Ahmadinejad is popular in central and eastern Iran, but these results are sort of like following a close election in 2004, with polls showing a split electorate, but finding out that Kerry took Texas and almost got Utah vs. Bush.

RobertHume said...

"Indifference to real American national security interests simply out of spite for neocons is despicable."

Yes, however the main source of threats to American national security is the lack of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Our implicit support of Israel is what enrages extremists and drives them to try to acquire nuclear weapons.

Obama recognizes this, which accounts for his drive to solve the IP problem.

Even liberal US Jews understand this. See www.jstreet.org To bad they didn't see this 40 years ago.

anony-mouse said...

Interesting that both Steve and Mahmoud seem to like the passive aggressive stance

Steve-'so I have no opinion to offer'...'while Iran is obviously more important what with it being on the other side of the world and all.'

M.A.-our nuclear program is for peaceful purposes-we will destroy Israel from time.

Both have beards, etc.

You never do see them in the same photo do you?

anony-mouse said...

I should say passive and aggressive-a more unusual stance.

Anonymous said...

Whats all those about Israel attacking Christian Lebanon?

The Lebanaon Israel attacked had already split into warring factions and the way I remember it the Christians routinely fought with the Israelis against Muslims & Palestinians.

Anonymous said...

Do even 10 high ranking US politicians have any competency in any foreign language?

Why the redundant "in any foreign language"?

Anonymous said...

It must make the mullahs sweat at night knowing that somewhere sitting on the bottom of the Indian Ocean is an American boomer with all of it's MIRVs pointed at Iran. All it would take is one pissed off US submarine Captian to make Iran glow for the next 10,000 years. We used to have our nukes targeted towards the USSR. They have to be pointed somewhere.

Anonymous said...


It's time to start a P.C. Roberts-for-President movement.



He is probably the only person anywhere near the mainstream who holds sane views on immigration, foreign policy, economics, 9/11, and the, ahem, you-know-whos.

Steve Sailer said...

There we go: my admission of ignorance got Tino, a quant wizard and somebody who knows about these things, to comment.

Listen to Tino.

Jerry said...

"Things are changing rapidly here of course, so we can look forward to having literate, urbane politicians, just like Chile and Poland. Oh joy."

On the newest Transparency International Corruption Perception Index:

18: USA
23: Chile
58: Poland

and then keep going to... 180.

What is your enlightened point again?

Steve: the quality of the comments has been going downhill, and the comments are a big reason for me to read blogs. How did that comment repeatedly confusing Iraq and Iran get approved? It should have been deleted.

Anonymous said...

Listen to Tino.


How about I don't listen to Tino?

The fact that several candidates did worse in their home provinces than other candidates did in previous elections proves fraud how exactly? This is not much of an argument.

travis said...

Perhaps we really are the Great Satan.

"No, the demons are not banished; that is a difficult task that still lies ahead. Now that the angel of history has abandoned the Germans,* the demons will seek a new victim. And that won't be difficult. Every man who loses his shadow, every nation that falls into self-righteousness, is their prey.... We should not forget that exactly the same fatal tendency to collectivization is present in the victorious nations as in the Germans, that they can just as suddenly become a victim of the demonic powers."

-- Carl Jung, "The Postwar Psychic Problems of the Germans" (1945)

Anonymous said...

How did that comment repeatedly confusing Iraq and Iran get approved? It should have been deleted. - Jerry

I would think because it was posted in a spirit of ironic whimsy or satire if you will.

Anonymous said...

Iranian women can be hairy but yes hot...but is it any wonder?
Iran=Aryan

Anonymous said...

hotter women? examples please?

DanaT said...

More brilliance from Paul Craig Roberts:

Vdare column
another Vdare column

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I scanned a story about how the BBC is pumping in their satellite signal and pissing the Iranians off royally with their propaganda. The Iranians were jamming the signals and the BBC was employing counter-measures to get their signal through. The tone seemed to indicate that the BBC were in the right.

WTF? Would western governments just sit down for the reverse? I found it mind-boggling that this kind of thing is acceptable to westerners.

"Who? Whom?" really does seem to be the first commandment any more.

~ Svigor

Anonymous said...

How did that comment repeatedly confusing Iraq and Iran get approved?

It was SATIRE!!!!

airtommy said...

There is no evidence (yet) of shenangians in this election, and there is strong evidence that the election was genuine. Ahmadinejad won 62% of the vote in 2005. He was expected to win this election by a 2-1 margin based on a poll done a few weeks before the election. So, all went according to expectations.

Bear in mind that Ahmadinejad spent 4 years campaigning throughout the country. Mousavi jumped in at the last minute and didn't get out of the Tehran coffee shops much.

Regarding Tino's silly "Azeri" theory:

Iranian Elections: The ‘Stolen Elections’ Hoax

"A number of newspaper pundits, including Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times, claim as evidence of electoral fraud the fact that Ahmadinejad won 63% of the vote in an Azeri-speaking province against his opponent, Mousavi, an ethnic Azeri. The simplistic assumption is that ethnic identity or belonging to a linguistic group is the only possible explanation of voting behavior rather than other social or class interests.

A closer look at the voting pattern in the East-Azerbaijan region of Iran reveals that Mousavi won only in the city of Shabestar among the upper and the middle classes (and only by a small margin), whereas he was soundly defeated in the larger rural areas, where the re-distributive policies of the Ahmadinejad government had helped the ethnic Azeris write off debt, obtain cheap credits and easy loans for the farmers. Mousavi did win in the West-Azerbaijan region, using his ethnic ties to win over the urban voters. In the highly populated Tehran province, Mousavi beat Ahmadinejad in the urban centers of Tehran and Shemiranat by gaining the vote of the middle and upper class districts, whereas he lost badly in the adjoining working class suburbs, small towns and rural areas."


Put plainly: Ahmadinejad appealed to the masses, Mousavi appealed to the elite. Ahmadinejad won, Mousavi lost.

Anonymous said...

The Azeri argument looks totally debunked, and it would be a good idea to disregard anyone who advanced it.

"The careless and distorted emphasis on ‘ethnic voting’ cited by writers from the Financial Times and New York Times to justify calling Ahmadinejad ‘s victory a ‘stolen vote’ is matched by the media’s willful and deliberate refusal to acknowledge a rigorous nationwide public opinion poll conducted by two US experts just three weeks before the vote, which showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin – even larger than his electoral victory on June 12. This poll revealed that among ethnic Azeris, Ahmadinejad was favored by a 2 to 1 margin over Mousavi"