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Friday, February 1, 2013

Secretary-designate Hagel: Iran has "an elected, legitimate government"

"Democracy: Two wolves and a sheep..."

by Clifford F. Thies

By Hagel's standard, Nazi Germany had "an elected, legitimate government."

In July 1932, the National Socialist Party finished first in Parliamentary elections, with 37 percent of the vote, the Socialists finished second, with 22 percent, and the Communists third, with 14 percent. Three small non-socialist parties together received 21 percent.

From this mess, President Hindenburg could not form a majority government, or maybe he simply did not want to deal with either the National Socialists or the Communists. So, he appointed a neutral democrat who ruled for a time by emergency decree, and he called a new election.

In the next election, November 1932, a similar result was obtained. Satisfied with assurances he received, President Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler to be Chancellor with a minority government. Hitler immediately called new elections.

In the third election in this series, in March 1933, the National Socialists increased their percentage of the vote, to 44 percent, mostly at the expense of the Communist Party. Still, the National Socialists did not achieve an outright majority. To get a majority, the National Socialists formed a coalition government with one of the non-socialist parties, viz., with a populist conservative party. And, with a majority, the National Socialists passed a law giving dictatorial power to Hitler. In quick order, opposition parties were declared illegal. Candidates for office had to be approved. There was no freedom of speech or freedom of the press. And, a new election was called to consolidate power.

In the fourth and final election in this series, in November 1933, the approved candidates of the National Socialist Party received 92 percent of the vote (8 percent of votes casting blank or invalid ballots).

In this history of elections, there have been many shams. Saddam Hussein was supposedly elected, with 99.96 percent of the vote in 1995, and with 100 percent of the vote in 2002. It is widely recognized that the President's Bitch in Afghanistan stole the election of 2009, defeating a coalition of patriots from the wars against the former Soviet Union and the Taliban.

In Iran, the parallels to the consolidation of power by the radical shiites very closed followed the Nazi model. Specifically, the prohibition of opposition parties, the approval of candidates and the control of the media. We, who continue to believe in the Declaration of Independence and in the U.S. Constitution, do not believe in majority rules. Rather, we believe in individual rights, given by God to each of us, and loaned by us to the government. The majority cannot take away our rights, which is why we say they are inalienable.

Elections do make us free, but are merely the best way we have devised to hold the people who run the government accountable. Even if Iran had fair elections, we would still judge the legitimacy of its government by its respect for the rights of its people. But, Iran doesn't have fair elections, it has sham elections. And the person nominated to be our Secretary of Defense is oblivious.

Photo credits - Georgetown.edu, reflectionsinthenight.com

1 comment:

Jemas said...

The current Iranian government is illegitimate, that much is true. However, it's important to remember that it was elected legally, at least initially.

See, in 1953, MI6 and the CIA overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran and replaced him with the Shah, who was more friendly towards Western interests. Look up Operation Ajax for more information, it's much too complicated to go into here, but the jist is above.

The Shah may have been more friendly to the West, but he was also a brutal tyrant. This led directly to the 70's student rebellion and hostage crisis, and it's widely believed that looking for something new is what caused them to elect the current regime, which swiftly and brutally seized power, in the usual manner of democratically elected tyrants.

But then, I'm sure you'll ignore this. You, like many people with similar hatred for the Middle East, are completely unwilling to cop to the US' role in installing some of the worst people to rule there or in some of the tragedies. We've propped up despots and dictators, like the Mujahideen (who eventually morphed into the Taliban and we installed and armed by us to fight off a Soviet Invasion) or the Shah, because it was easier for us to get oil or a leg up on the Soviets. Understanding and admitting that is the key to understanding why so many people in the Middle East view us with fear and hatred, because we are often directly or indirectly we are the cause of their suffering. This doesn't mean we have to forgive them when they commit heinous acts, it means understanding why they felt the need to do so and try and move forward rather than continuing the cycle.

Though I find it amusing that your own commentary on sham elections discredits your theories about Obama's elections being illegitimate. Falsified elections are rarely so close.

And finally, Hamid Karzai (who I assume you're referring to as 'the President's bitch') was chosen, CHOSEN no less, by the Bush Administration to be Interim President in 2002, and 'won' his first election in 2004. And yet you blame Obama for him winning in 2009. Guess Obama has a time machine, since he can go back and cause him to be installed and win an election 7 and 5 years before he was sworn in as President.

James
Queens, New York, NY