Sunday, June 19, 2005

More From Iran

Today, among other things, is Juneteenth. This is a very important American holiday that is neither heard of nor celebrated by many Americans. On this day in 1865 or 1866, the last Americans held in legal bondage (slavery) were freed. This was the end result of an argument that, over the course of time, took almost 700,000 American lives in 4 years. Now, it can be argued that this particular argument ended there, or another started there, but the end result is thus: No American today can legally be considered the property of another American within the borders of this country. That was a really big step for our civilization, and the great Democratic experiment that we are. It also sealed a blood oath between the states that we are one nation, individsible, whether God has anything to sat about it or not. We did start out with more humble roots in American soil than any of us can imagine today. We have come an awful long way since July of 1776, and we have a long way to go. But where we are today has not come free of charge. Keep that in mind as you read the rest of this.

Iran.

So the elections took place, and the two frontrunners for President, who will face a runoff next week are the conservative former President of Iran and the conservative Mayor of Tehran. Let me get my shocked face on. There, you see it? Let's move on.

Iran is a Theocratic Democracy. (This should not be confused with Representative Republic, which is what we have here.) From how I understand it, in Iran they can vote on stuff as long as that stuff is first agreed upon by the Council of Ayatollahs (powerful Muslim clerics) who see if the stuff that folks want to vote on is OK with their particular version of Islamic law. That same group can also veto anything the President enacts that they find too permissive. I'm not sure where their Parliament or Prime Minister factor into all that, but we know they are there.

Now, before any of you to my left start saying that we should respect other cultures and their laws; and before any of you to the right of me say that they are all terrorists (happy Father's Day, by the way), let me...

..."Speak American" about what is going on. What they have in Iran would be like running every American Presidential candidate through John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson before we can vote on them. That's like giving the Southern Baptist convention veto power over economic policies and referendums. Imagine if everything your children learned in school had to first be given the green light by the American Council of Catholic Bishops. Can you imagine that? Even SAWB would be considered a left winger!

That's how Iran operates. That's what the Iranian people live with every day.

So that's the Iranian election wierdness. They have Democratic institutions, but not a Democracy. A lot of folks were trying to bring the vote total down, therefore exposing the elections for the faux-democratic fiascoes that they are, but Iranian sources claim 60% of the vote came out. This fact is disputed, as is most news coming out of Iran. But then again, the 'election supervisors' back in Tehran are controlled by the same Ayatollahs who choose who can run for President, and they can pretty much say whatever they want because they control their own oversight. I remember reading something about absolute power and what it does to the best of intentions...

Publius has his eye on the ball, and you should all check it out.

1 comment:

Gable said...

That was a really interesting article. Even if I don't agree with others point of view, it often helps a whole lot to hear it.