Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The stolen election

The Iran elections have taken over the news channels with not much real news but with rather shallow punditry. Tom Friedman's column on New York Times reveals the same pitfalls that most journalists fall into. Muslim world is diverse and the issues that they care about deeply vary from place to place. Like any other population, often the local issues play more important role than the international and ideological issues. For a man who has spent considerable number of years reporting on the middle east, the broad stroke that he paints the muslim world with is rather disappointing.
Hezbollah was defeated in the Lebanese elections. Hamas is facing an energized Fatah in the West Bank and is increasingly unpopular in Gaza. Iraqi Sunnis have ousted the jihadists thanks to the tribal Awakening movement, while the biggest pro-Iranian party in Iraq got trounced in the recent provincial runoff.
There is also an assertion here that the more liberal forces are winning and it is the beginning of a trend; as much as I would like to believe that these kind of changes are cyclical - when candidates do not deliver, people vote for a different party and such changes are not uncommon wherever there are free elections.

Glued to the news in bits and pieces and tweets, there are indications that it was a stolen election, but the reality is that people are helpless. Only thing that can be done is to insist on building better mechanisms to prevent fraud in future elections.

To the thousands of people who are marching in the streets of Tehran, your efforts are not in vain. Because of your courage and conviction, some day Iranian people will have a government they deserve -

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