It’s been a year since I was completely obsessed with the American general election. A year ago tomorrow Americans voted Obama to be their next president. Remember? The anticipation, then the parties here, the parties there, the hype, the excitement. The joy.
Paulo Coelho’s doctor friend is the doctor who helped Neda in the video. Read his blog here and his tweets recently are:
# # Iran My friend, the doc who tries to revive Neda, just landed in UK. You can see him, our emails at http://bit.ly/TNrPzabout 2 hours ago from web
# Iran I had news from my friend, the doctor trying to help Neda: http://bit.ly/vRj51 . I hope I will let you know his name by 2morrow 2about 19 hours ago from web
#Iran 2 WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: if we don’t hear in 48hs from ur friend helping Neda http://bit.ly/m4r8K we will make his name public7:52 PM Jun 22nd from web
#Neda #Iran my best friend in Iran, a doctor, can be seen here trying to ressucitate Neda: http://bit.ly/PmTfa .Tears in my eyes
The Night Chorus: Iranians have been defiantly shouting from their rooftops as the government cracks down on their daytime protests. The calling begins with a few voices shouting “Allahu Akbar” or God is Greatest. As others join in, the cries swell to a wall of sound drowning out traffic noise and clearly audible inside homes, Sapa reports. Listen to this video recording in Tehran on Monday night:
Neda, a young Iranian woman, was killed in Tehran on Saturday. Today, on social networking sites protestors are calling a candle light memorial this afternoon in honour of the woman who has become the posthumous face of the protests. One tweet said: “This is a point of no return….the people who brought a revolution 30 years ago can do it again. there are many Neda’s in IRAN now.”
The video contains shocking footage.
Yesterday in Washington Barack Obama told CNBC that:
[It's] important to understand that although there is amazing ferment taking place in Iran, that the difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised. Either way, we were going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States, that has caused some problems in the neighborhood and is pursuing nuclear weapons. And so we’ve got long-term interests in having them not weaponize nuclear power and stop funding organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. And that would be true whoever came out on top in this election.
The second thing that I think’s important to recognize is that the easiest way for reactionary forces inside Iran to crush reformers is to say it’s the US that is encouraging those reformers.
While hundreds of thousands of people protest on the streets of Iran, people around the world are watching what they believe is a revolution. But I have just come across this piece which is worrying. Are we just presuming the protests of the young, urban, and technologically savvy to be somehow representative of the population at large? The writer asks another very relevant question: Are we simply finding common cause with a technologically-assisted minority and confusing it for a popular movement?
The election results in Iran may reflect the will of the Iranian people. Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but our nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin — greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday’s election.
While Western news reports from Tehran in the days leading up to the voting portrayed an Iranian public enthusiastic about Ahmadinejad’s principal opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, our scientific sampling from across all 30 of Iran’s provinces showed Ahmadinejad well ahead.
Here’s a piece of graffiti seen on a section of Israel’s separation barrier, in Bethlehem. It doesn’t represent anything that Benjamin Netanyahu might be interested in. The prime minister will deliver a policy speech later today in which he could use the re-election of Ahmadinejad to boost his argument that Tehran poses a bigger threat to Mideast peace than his refusal to endorse Palestinian statehood. He has been pushing that argument as he defies President Barack Obama’s appeals to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank.
(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
I’m feeling so disappointed. I got caught up in the excitement of the Iranian election and the possibility of a moderate Mir Hussein Mousavi beating hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But instead Ahmadinejad will lead for another 4-years. Mousavi is suspected to be under house arrest and protesters have been chased through the capital’s streets by special forces in riot gear.
I was ever hopeful that days after Barack Obama’s address to and in the Middle East, voters would respond positively by electing a more conciliatory leader. Not so. Or perhaps they did and the vote was rigged. I like Mousavi, but I especially like the sound of his wife who is a respected professor of Political Science. She is an artist and writer too. And, there are claims that she will sue Ahmadinejad for defamation.
Two weeks ago in a nationally televised debate, the President opened with a furious attack on Moussavi, and his wife.
Ahmadinejad held up a document with a small picture of Moussavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard, and asked him: “Do you know this woman?” Ahmadinejad then accused Rahnavard — a respected professor of political science — of entering a graduate programme without taking the entrance exam and other, lesser violations of university policy. The attack on Rahnavard struck a nerve. She has taken an unusually public role in her husband’s campaign, and many liberal Iranians feared that Ahmadinejad’s attack was code for a broader effort to deny women a public role.
On Sunday, Rahnavard said at news conference: “The way the President insulted me was an insult to everyone… Those who made up this case against me wanted to say it is a crime for women to study…”
She’s got courage too.