Sham Elections Reveal A Sham Democracy
James Phillips, Senior Research Fellow – Middle Eastern Affairs, of the Heritage Foundation says Iran's government is not a true democracy but a theocratic dictatorship that cloaks the rule of the ayatollahs with a façade of representative government.
“Ahmadinejad's opponents had no faith in the fairness of the vote-counting process and, based on their long experience with Iranian elections, they have good reason for their concern,” said Phillips. “However, it is the Supreme Leader, not the president, who has the final say on key defense, foreign policy, and nuclear issues.”
Many believe President Obama should speak more forcibly about the elections. Phillips agrees.
“Now that it is clear that the regime’s fist remains tightly clenched around the neck of the Iranian people, the Obama administration cannot simply take a business-as-usual approach to Iran’s clerical dictatorship,” said Phillips. “This would send a dangerous signal to the regime that it can forcefully crush the demonstrations at little or no cost in terms of international pressure.”
Social Media Keeps Protests Alive
Social media Web sites like Twitter and Facebook are playing an important role in political protests spreading through Iran. While the Iranian government may weild its authoritarian Islamic might, students and tech-savvy Iranians seem to be orchestrating a revolution using the Internet, using proxy servers after the government clamped down on site access. Iranian authorities are reportedly stalking blogs and Twitter accounts, but the overwhelming amount of citizen journalism continues to prevail.
Social networking sites have become such a major communication tool in the election crisis that the US State Department requested Twitter to delay a system upgrade on Monday. With foreign journalists banned from the streets of Tehran, social media provides one of the only pictures of the election fallout.
On Twitter, the #Iranelection hashtag has remained in its trending topics since the election protests began, proving the that people all over the globe are talking about the election while those inside Iran continue to let the world know what is happening.
Reports also indicate that some 12,000 videos are available on YouTube under the search term, “Iranian election.”
There is not much that the rest of the world can do that could impact the present situation in Iran most significantly than prayers.
To those who care for Iran, let us offer sacrifices for peace, stability, and most of all freedom from oppression.
Those who can endure a total fast (no food and water) from the time you wake up in the morning until three o'clock in the afternoon, please do a three-day fast together with prayers. Those who cannot do a total fast, you may do a mild fast by skipping one meal for three days. Those who cannot do any fasting for some reason, you can always offer daily prayers.
If there would be many people from different parts of the world who will take part of this global action, at least for three days, there won't be a single hour (day or night) where no soul is praying for the nation of Iran.
May the following verse encourage you to pray for Iran:
Then said he to me, Don't be afraid, Daniel; for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard: and I am come for your words' sake. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; but, behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me: and I remained there with the kings of Persia. (Daniel 10:12-13)