Iran Votes

Iran just had a sham election. The outcome will change nothing concerning the actual power of the unelected real rulers.

Interestingly, despite some calls for a boycott to make a mockery of the proceedings, turnout appears to be rather high, maybe around 70% or so.

What they may be showing is that, inspired by Iraq's elections, people want to vote.

But we're also treated to some really funny stuff:
"I picked Ahmadinejad to slap America in the face," said Mahdi Mirmalek after attending Friday prayers at Tehran University. Religious conservatives like Mirmalek are upset about the liberal trends among the country's young.

"Many Iranians sacrificed their blood to preserve the rule of Islam and not allow women [to] appear heavily made up in public with their hair out of headscarf. Ahmadinejad is the answer," said Jamal Ataei, another member of the congregation.
Let me tell you something Jamal.

If Iranians are sacrificing their blood to keep women's hair in a headscarf, you've got a real noble cause there. Keep sacrificing that blood all you want. You're doing allah's work.

But don't be surprised if you're among the first against the wall when the counter-revolution comes.
At Tehran University, the leader of Friday prayers, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani, told worshippers that voting "strengthens the pillars of the ruling Islamic establishment." Followers then joined in with the common chant of "Death to America!"
They've been chanting that every Friday for 25 years.

But their nuclear ambitions are entirely peaceful, we're told.

President Bush had this to say just before Iran's exercise in futility:
The Iranian people are heirs to a great civilization [ed. note: as Persians, that's very true, unlike the conquering Arab barbarian hordes] - and they deserve a government that honors their ideals and unleashes their talent and creativity. Today, Iran is ruled by men who suppress liberty at home and spread terror across the world. Power is in the hands of an unelected few who have retained power through an electoral process that ignores the basic requirements of democracy.

The June 17th presidential elections are sadly consistent with this oppressive record. Iran's rulers denied more than a thousand people who put themselves forward as candidates, including popular reformers and women who have done so much for the cause of freedom and democracy in Iran.

The Iranian people deserve a genuinely democratic system in which elections are honest - and in which their leaders answer to them instead of the other way around.
Today, the Iranian regime denies all these rights. It shuts down independent newspapers and websites and jails those who dare to challenge the corrupt system. It brutalizes its people and denies them their liberty.

America believes in the independence and territorial integrity of Iran. America believes in the right of the Iranian people to make their own decisions and determine their own future. America believes that freedom is the birthright and deep desire of every human soul. And to the Iranian people, I say: As you stand for your own liberty, the people of America stand with you.
That is, unless the obstructionist and pacifistic Democrats and media elites get in the way.