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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 17, 2005 / 10 Sivan, 5765

When Is an Election Not an Election?

By Michael Ledeen

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's symptomatic of the failure of strategic vision from which our chatterers and leaders currently suffer, that so many words and so much energy are being wasted on the immense charade that goes under the name of Iranian "elections." Any normal person familiar with the Islamic republic knows that these are not elections at all, and for extras have nothing to do with the future of the Iranian nation. They are a mise en scene, an entertainment, a comic opera staged for our benefit. The purpose of the charade, pure and simple, is to deter us from supporting the forces of democratic revolution in Iran.

Ask yourself two simple questions. Does the president of Iran hold any real power? Has any "candidate" (of which there are eight) been chosen by anyone other than the supreme leader and his cronies?

No, and no. Whoever is "elected" (and you can be sure that the outcome is already known, millions of "officially cast" ballots having been manufactured weeks ago, to ensure the right guy wins and that enough votes will have been cast) will be an instrument of the mullahcracy. The sole "issue" in the farce is how best to convince George W. Bush that it would be wrong for the United States to press on with support for the forces of freedom in Iran, because that would "force" the mullahs to crack down (which they are doing already). The slogan for the post-electoral period will be "give reform a chance." And you can be sure that the useful idiots among us, from the Amanpour woman at CNN to the Haass man at the Council on Foreign Relations, have already prepared their sermons and their slogans, ranging from "hopes for a new relationship" to "a rare opportunity for an historic dialogue," and other such slogans.

We have heard these slogans before, applied to other tyrannies shortly before they attacked democratic societies. When Stalin ruled the Soviet empire, great attention was paid to elections to the Politburo, as if the Molotovs and the Berias were independent actors, capable of moderating or liberalizing or reforming the Soviet Union.

When the Fuhrer ruled the Third Reich, even British diplomats confidently announced that Hitler had "no further territorial ambitions," and was, after all, surrounded by reasonable industrialist types like Goehring. And who can forget — actually, who can remember — the surge of empathy when it was announced that comrade Andropov — until yesterday the boss of the KGB and now the new Soviet dictator — liked jazz?

Sensible folks have learned that it isn't about personality, it's about freedom and tyranny. All the totalitarian regimes of the last century staged elections, and they were all meaningless, because the structure of the state concentrated power in the two hands of the dictator, and exercised through the single party.

The president has had this right for a long time, and I'm delighted to report that, three days ago, the State Department spokesman delivered an eloquent condemnation of the fraudulent exercise about to take place in Tehran. And I am also pleased that Human Rights Watch has started to pay attention to the grave condition of dissident journalist Akbar Ganji. Perhaps the editorialists at the New York Times and the Washington Post could tear themselves away from the imagined horrors of Guantanamo and denounce the systematic oppression of nearly 70 million Iranians.

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It is unlikely this will happen, both because any journalist in Iran who reports fully on the nature of the regime risks expulsion or — as in the celebrated case of the female Canadian journalist who got too close to the truth — death. And because anything that makes the Iranian regime "look bad" automatically makes W "look good," and most journalists don't want that.

Who's going to win, you ask? I don't know. For months I have assumed that Rafsanjani would walk away with it. But when Supreme Leader Khamenei ostentatiously overruled his henchmen, permitting a nasty pseudo reformer by the name of Moin to run, I have wondered if Khamenei knew something I didn't. Rafsanjani's sins — from gross corruption to mass murder — are fairly well known, and there are probably limits beyond which even a British foreign secretary or a French foreign minister will not go to make nice to the mullahs. President Rafsanjani would test those limits. Moin, on the other hand, isn't so well known, he's got that lean and hungry look instead of Rafsanjani's portliness, and he might be more convincing as he plays that most difficult role: the moderate face of islamofascism.

I haven't checked the morning line recently, and I certainly wouldn't bet the family oil well on it, but a small bet on Moin might be a good hedge. On the nose, of course (have you seen the pictures?).

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JWR contributor Michael Ledeen is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of, most recently, ""The War Against the Terror Masters," Comment by clicking here.

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