Iran: Forget The Math, Do The Violence
|All of the obvious questions about the accuracy of the vote count don't mater, according to the Iranian Government because, well, because the Government says that the accuracy of the voting doesn't matter, Ahmadinejad won, and if you disagree about that Fact, don't dare show up on the streets to protest, or else. Or else what? Or else you die.|
The New York Times makes all of this crystal clear:
Iran’s most powerful oversight council has refused to nullify the contested presidential election just one day after it announced that the number of votes in 50 cities exceeded the number of eligible voters there by three million, Iranian state television said Tuesday, further tarnishing a presidential election that has set off the most sustained challenge to Iran’s leadership in 30 years.
The math here is quite something. Forget the oppositions numbers. The official story is that the number of voters in 50 cities was 3,000,000 more votes than there are eligible voters, but folks, there's nothing the matter with that. Why? Because there are no witnesses. The numbers are admittedly bogus, by 3 million votes or more, but that's not enough to annul an election. Evidently, in Iran the numbers don't speak for themselves.
This kind of illogic, of course, reinforces criticism and stirs up more demonstrations. And it raises major questions:
How did the government manage to count enough of the 40 million paper ballots to be able to announce results within two hours of the polls closing? How is it that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s margin of victory remained constant throughout the ballot count? Why did the government order polls closed at 10 p.m. when they often stay open until midnight for presidential races? Why were some ballot boxes sealed before candidates’ inspectors could validate they were empty? Why were votes counted centrally, by the Interior Ministry, instead of locally, as in the past? Why did some polling places lock their doors at 6 p.m. after running out of ballots?
These are important questions. They are not going to be answered. The Government has its own answer for all of this. The answer, to no one's particular surprise, is more repression and more violence and more threats of repression and violence. The answer is what happened to Neda Agha-Soltan. Or the answer is what happened to 19-year-old Kaveh Alipour and the $3,000 bullet fee. The number of answers is, I fear, going to grow rapidly.
The Iranian government has apparently decided that further demonstrations will not be tolerated and that the state will now try to end them. The prospect looms of something even more horrible than Tiananmen Square.
Please keep the demonstrators in your thoughts and prayers.