Whom Should We Support in Iran?
by John Spritzler
July 4, 2009
Whom should we support in Iran? Some say the choice is between those Iranians who want Ahmadinejad--touted by his supporters as a populist "man of the people"-- to be prime minister, or those who want the prime minister to be Mir-Hossein Mousavi--a candidate fronting for Iran's richest capitalist, former Iranian President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who, in contrast to Ahmadinejad, wants to privatize Iran's oil industry and increase the exploitation of the Iranian working class.
But this is not the real choice.
The people we should support in Iran are those who are trying to make Iran more equal, more democratic and more friendly to the principle of solidarity--concern for one another. Since we want the world to move in this direction, we should support those who are pushing it in that direction. The people doing this are working class Iranians, regardless of who they voted for in the last election. And it is the Iranian government that is attacking them, even after 2005 when Ahmadinejad's supposedly populist administration began. The Iranian government is attacking and jailing Iranian workers whose "crime" is trying to make Iranian society more equal, democratic, and friendly to solidarity, and whose main immediate grievance in most cases is that the employers are not paying them their wages. To read about Iranian government violence against Iranian bus drivers, go here and here and here and here and here. To read (and watch a video) about the government jailing sugar cane workers, go here and here and here. To read about the government abducting a thousand tire factory workers, go here. To read about the government violently attacking shipbuilding workers, go here.
The Iranian election was not about the truly important conflict in Iranian society. How much difference, really, does it make whether the vote was properly counted? Elections in Iran are like elections in the United States or Israel--they are set up to guarantee that whoever wins it will be a politician obedient to, if not coming directly from, a minority elite ruling class. These elections are phony democracy, not real democracy.In the United States the only politicians who get the media and financial backing required to win are people like the Bushes or Clintons or Obama whose true loyalty is to America's unelected but actual ruling class--the corporate elite. George W. Bush may have defeated Al Gore in 2000 by use of election fraud but if Al Gore had become president the same corporate elite would have called the shots and carried out mass murder of Iraqis anyway. The evidence for this is that the entire corporate elite as well as the Democratic Party leadership backed Bush's invasion of Iraq 100%. A President Al Gore would have been as obedient in this regard as President G.W. Bush, as indicated by the fact that Vice President Al Gore in President Clinton's administration endorsed the killing of about a million Iraqis with sanctions of Iraq that deliberately created disease epidemics by prohibiting the importation of vital parts for water purification.
John Spritzler is the author of
The People As Enemy: The
Leaders' Hidden Agenda In World War II, and a Research Scientist at the
Harvard School of Public Health.
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