Letters on the elections in Iran

19 June 2009

On “For workers’ power and a socialist Iran”

Not enough can be said about the WSWS's coverage of Iran's electoral crisis and the international media interpretation of it. The WSWS offers to workers and students today an immediate and comprehensive reply to every critical international development as it unfolds. I think it can be said that this makes the WSWS not only the stalwart defender of the heritage of Trotskyism, but its greatest amplification.

Peter Symonds’ “For workers’ power and a socialist Iran” presents the issue with unhesitating clarity, working firstly from the class character of the bourgeois factions and divided electorate in Iran and tracing the historical development of Iran, the role of Stalinism and imperialism, and the history of Mousavi himself. Anyone who has read Trotsky will recognize the deep understanding of Marxist historical materialism in the WSWS’s approach.

This is not, unfortunately, an understanding shared by the myriad “socialist” groupings across the internet.

Like the Nation, whose response Joe Kishore highlighted here, the ISO's socialistworker.org—recently transformed into a so-called daily that offers typical "radical" fare—in response to events in Iran has only a short blog-style entry and cannot do anything but repeat liberal lines of thought. It calls for an ambiguous and opportunistic "broadening and deepening of the protest movement." What deep divisions exist between the WSWS and the other publications available to the proletariat!

Terrence M
Massachusetts, USA
17 June 2009

On “The New York Times and the Iranian election”

Of course it took the WSWS to point out that the US media have no credibility whatsoever on this subject. Although you did bring up a recent New York Times faux pas regarding Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, I'm surprised that you didn't also mention their cheerleading for the military coup that tried to oust him in 2002.

With this history and their blind servitude to the Bush administration in promoting the Iraq occupation, I still marvel that anyone looks to the Times as anything other than a tool of the corporate political parties.

Troy J
Arkansas, USA
15 June 2009

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Excellent essay. CNN has been acting the same way all day today, and C-SPAN wasn't much better.

Greg S
New Hampshire, USA
15 June 2009

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I was greatly annoyed by the immediate, unanimous, and completely baseless conclusion of seemingly every observer that Ahmadinejad "stole" the election. Thank you for being, as always, a rare outpost of sanity.

Michael C
15 June 2009

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You write, “For anyone with a serious knowledge of Iranian society and politics, the decisive victory of Ahmadinejad could not have come as a surprise. Even Western newspapers that denounced the election admitted that the incumbent had strong support among urban workers and the rural poor—the vast majority of the population. Ahmadinejad has retained this constituency, despite the repressive and corrupt character of the regime, because of the absence of a socialist alternative.”

I hate to complicate your ideological passion with the facts, but duty obliges.  You are quite correct that the Times is a conduit for US intelligence for the purpose of shaping public opinion, and probably correct that the NYT was premature, but I suspect because it knew that the fix was in for Ahmadinejad. However, all the media reports that I have read, including Al Jazeera, offer powerful evidence of a fix—and a very crude one, almost as if designed to set off riots.

Michael G
California, USA
15 June 2009

On “The Nation magazine and the Iranian election”

Years ago, I had a subscription to the Nation. I sure miss their crossword puzzles.

Lary M
16 June 2009

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Joe has pointed out that the Nation is again acting like a house organ for President Obama's administration, and he tells us how the Nation did it this time. As I read this article, I felt as if I was re-reading Orwell's words. Iran has been a designated enemy of the USA since 1979. The Nation has the, “Damn Iran” rap down pat. Too damn pat. Iran has done evil things since 1979, but the USA, too, has a history of malice toward Iran.  There was an incident of deposing a prime minister of Iran in the 1950s to oblige the Brits and the cooperation of the USSR.

The USA, like Iran, has had elections that look like they were rigged. The election of 2000 that put W into office is said to have been rigged. Didn't the US Supreme Court end up deciding the election for president in 2000?

The Nation is functioning as Obama's advocate again

Larry L
16 June 2009

On “Iran: Election clashes mount as West escalates pressure”

Seems like we've seen this movie a half-dozen times in the past decade: Caracas in 2002; the various color-coded “people power revolutions” in the former Soviet republics; the fake “change” candidacy of Obama here—with the media earnestly reporting that Big Things are Happening.

Lloyd G
South Dakota, USA
16 June 2009