Why We Are Not Concentrating on Iran

… well, that is not really true. Stop the War – No! Not that One! – Coalition does think the Iran should be discussed: as in chasing the phantasm of the impending attack which has been prediced since 2004. On the other hand, a mass catharsis against the Khomenists who subverted the 1979 Iranian Revolution is being suppressed in the accustomed style:

human face

One does not need to imagine a boot stamping on a human face. It is right here. Yet, not for StWC which has released the following statement explaining why they are not mounting formal protests:

“Stop the War statement on the crisis in Iran

The crisis unfolding in Iran must not become the pretext for renewed intervention by the USA or Britain in the region, nor for a whipping up of further tension around Iran’s nuclear programme.

The responsibility of the anti-war movement is first of all to oppose the role of the British government in the region, and to prevent its posturing being used as a pretence to justify a US or Israeli military attack against Iran, an attack which would have catastrophic results for the whole Middle East, and the Iranian people first of all.

The Stop the War Coalition believes that resolving the crisis is the right and responsibility of the Iranian people alone, and that external interference can play no positive role – particularly interference by those powers which have laid waste to neighbouring Iraq in a lawless war and occupation, and which unfailingly support Israeli aggression in the region.

It would be wrong for us to take any position on the disputed outcome of the Iranian presidential election. We do, however, support the right to demonstrate peacefully, just as we support the Iranian people’s right to political, trade union and other civil freedoms and to struggle to achieve them. We unequivocally condemn the shooting of protesters and other violations of democratic liberties by the Iranian government.

We note the anger displayed by many Iranians against the British government. These sentiments reflect Britain’s shameful history in the country, from overthrowing the democratic regime of Mossadeq in 1952, to its stalwart support for the Shah’s despotism and its support for Saddam Hussein in his aggression against the Islamic Republic in the 1980s.

This anger can only be exacerbated by British interference in the present crisis. The British government remained silent when its ally Hosni Mubarak falsified election results in Egypt, and it has refused to deal with democratically-elected leaders in the Palestine Authority and in Lebanon. The government supports the Saudi kleptocracy, which does not need to manipulate elections because they are never held there.

The British and US governments wish to see regime change in Iran in order to dominate the Middle East and its resources and leave Israel as the region’s unchallenged military superpower. And a government which ignored millions of its own people marching against its planned war against Iraq is in no position to lecture others on democratic attitudes.

In expressing our solidarity with all the Iranian people striving for a democratic outcome to the crisis in their country, the Coalition will support demonstrations and initiatives which reflect these principles.

Note: This is a draft statement by the officers of Stop the War Coalition, which will be put for endorsement to Stop the War’s National Steering Committee on Saturday 27 June 2009.”

Yeah, first set aside the fact that the StWC was not, as many may believe, set up to co-ordinate opposition to the planned invasion of Iraq, but less than a fortnight after three thousand civilians and non-combatants were incinerated or crushed to death in New York and Washington DC. Concentrate on their statement that the StWC’s purpose include one arbitary unrelated situation (i.e. Israel/Palestine) but not another arbitary unrelated situation (i.e. opposition protests in Iran). Recall that the British Government has not had a presence in the former Mandate region for over 60 years, and wonder what role they think it has.

Forgetting also a Jew-fixation which means Israel must be brought into every discussion, and just consider how much they must care for workers’ rights and democracy activitists when there is no angle against Pax Americana. Look also at the rationalization that “a government which ignored millions of its own people marching against its planned war against Iraq is in no position to lecture others on democratic attitudes” and think that, even if this is true and justifies questioning Government motives, it does not explain such a disgraceful act of moral aboragation.

Meanwhile, George Galloway insists that the election, which appears to have reported more than 100% turnouts in some electoral wards, was “fair” and “the counting too was awsome”, and that “we have to accept Ahmadinejad’s re-election, not least because all our best friends in that region don’t have any elections at all” (I have no idea what this means).

Nor does Galloway believe that there is “one iota of evidence that the Iranian election was fiddled”. Chatham House does have plenty lots of evidence. Highlights for me included:

Working from the province by province breakdowns of the 2009 and 2005 results, released by the Iranian Ministry of Interior, and from the 2006 census as published by the official Statistical Centre of Iran, the following observations about the official data and the debates surrounding it can be made

  • In two Conservative provinces, Mazandaran and Yazd, a turnout of more than 100% was recorded;
  • At a provincial level, there is no correlation between the increased turnout, and the swing to Ahmadinejad. This challenges the notion that his victory was due to the massive participation of a previously silent Conservative majority;
  • In a third of all provinces, the official results would require that Ahmadinejad took not only all former conservative voters, and all former centrist voters, and all new voters, but also up to 44% of former Reformist voters, despite a decade of conflict between these two groups;
  • In 2005, as in 2001 and 1997, conservative candidates, and Ahmadinejad in particular, were markedly unpopular in rural areas. That the countryside always votes conservative is a myth. The claim that this year Ahmadinejad swept the board in more rural provinces flies in the face of these trends.

I am sure that Galloway’s statements are not based, at all, on reasons of selfishness or desire for personal enrichment of a man who is employed by PressTV, the Iranian state broadcaster operating from London. In fact, as he was insisting the Iranian elections were “fair”, Galloway also stressed that “I’ve said many times that Ahmadinejad’s comments about the Holocaust are a disgrace”. Maybe my Google skills are not up to scratch, but I am struggling to find evidence of that.


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