Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sham Elections

“He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.” [Chinese proverb]

The state of Iran is at a tipping point and the theocracy still has a choice. In one direction there are free and fair elections with the likelihood of gradual reform. In the other direction, there is a blood bath and a dictatorial theocracy which the brave people of Iran will have little choice but to fight, much as they fought the former Shah.

Was the recent reelection of the current president fair? Well, millions of Iranians don't seem to think so. I can add only one independent observation. It would be an unbelievable act of stupidity to give the people a fair election and also give them the impression that it was stolen! I am not one to deny the plausible stupidity of politicians; In the USA we have just lived through an 8 year sample of that and some of the leftover actors, now in opposition, do not seem to have learned much. Nevertheless, I do not believe that Iranian politicians can be even more out of touch than our own.

I am not Iranian nor of Iranian descent. I was once on a Pan Am flight that touched down at Teheran but I didn't step off the plane because the Iranians were rioting against the Shah at that time.

Why do I care about these far off events? Well, the world has gotten smaller, the population has grown, the climate is changing, natural resources are being stripped, the oceans are over-fished, clean water and good food will soon be in short supply, and we have not yet solved the problem of militaristic governments that lack the wit to grow a productive economy, to feed their people, or to save the natural environment. The Horsemen (plague, civil violence, hunger and war - not exactly those of Revelation) are ready to ride.

"Live free or die" is no longer just for the state of New Hampshire. It is for everyone.

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