Wednesday, June 21, 2006

70% Approval Rating?

I had the email below from Ewen MacAskill few days ago:

"I am a journalist on the guardian and would like to speak to you about Iran. what is your number?" ewen macaskill, diplomatic editor

I gave him my number and told him when it would be convenient to talk. In fact I waited after work and didn't catch my train home to make sure my mobile was switched on. Mr. Macaskill never phoned however. Well he wasn't the first snotty British reporter I have come across who somehow think their time is worth more than yours. So I thought to hell with him!

Thanks to the internet and blog, we dont have to be unnecessarily polite to rude journalists any longer. Reading MacAskill's nonsense article in the Guardian today, I feel I really have to expose the incompetence of some of these people who at times are not reporters but more like mouth organs of repressive regimes.


The title of his article is a definitive statement "A year on, Ahmadinejad's popularity is soaring".
So the first question that comes to mind is on the basis of which free poll did Mr. MacAskill and his co-writer, Simon Tisdall, come to this conclusion?

MacAskill is in fact quoting "Iranian officials and western diplomats ". Well what do you expect Iranian officials to say? and how do the Western diplomats gauge the popular mood? Those who are privileged to live in democracies always forget one thing and this really has to be drummed in to their heads:
Citizens of a repressive regime don't always say what is in their hearts when they are asked questions, they say what is safe to say.

Only a fool of a reporter would go to the streets of North Korea and interview people about what they think about their leader and attach any validity to their replies.

MacAskill in his first paragraph also regurgitates this stupid claim : "a year after he unexpectedly won a closely contested presidential election." Nothing here to suggest that the authors, between the pair of them, ever recognised the massive vote rigging that selected Ahmadi-Nejad, even in an "election" that applied the most restrictive filtering and selection criteria of candidates ever seen before in the Islamic Republic itself.

Now we never find out who the diplomats were that told MacAskil and Tisdall about Ahmadi-Nejad's surging popularity but one of the non-diplomat sources turns out to be Nasser Hadian, a professor of political science at Tehran University. Talk to any one of Nasser Hadian's past and present students and they will tell you this is one slippery university lecturer with one aim in his life, getting to bed with whoever is in power and whoever pulls the strings at the time. For a long time, Hadian has been a Rafsanjani affiliate, and now that he sees Rafsanjani's power may be in decline, he is edging himself closer with the new kids on the block. To take a comment from someone like Hadian as gospel proof that Ahmadi-Nejad's popularity is surging is just laughable.

Reading further on, the article claims "many people were surprised that Mr Ahmadinejad had not turned out to be as socially conservative as many expected". There is actually no doubt that Ahmadi-Nejad is very socially conservative and very superstitious. Ahmadi-Nejad did try to turn the clocks back and reinforce a full adherence of the Islamic dress code on women but the authorities soon realised that they just can not do that any more. Once again however, rather than the Iranian women getting the credit for resisting the social restrictions, Ahmadi-Nejad and the ruling clerics in Iran are credited by the western reporters.

What MacAskill and his colleague are unable to report back on, are the endless jokes amongst Iranians on the street that bufoon President Ahmadi-Nejad, or the mocking of nuclear slogans that were shouted in every street corner in Iran during the Iranian fire festivals. The reason for this failure is simple, their sources are never from a cross section of opinions. Some sources seem to provide better cheese and wine.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of sympathy at the Guardian/BBC for anyone who is against America or Israel.

If the Devil spoke out against George Bush, be sure the Guardian would start making nice comments about him.

Morality has nothing to do with this, its just team politics.

Anonymous said...

There is hardly any facts in Ewen MacAskill's report, its all hear say and according to this official and that diplomat. What happened to factual reporting? Very poor standard from th eGuardian diplomatic editor if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

You guys think it is bad reporting because you don't like to hear that Ahmadinejad is (unfortunately) very popular.

Anyone who has visited Iran recently (or in fact some parts of the middle east) will be able to tell you about the popularity of Ahmadi N.

Lets not fool ourselves. As the shrinks say the first step in healing is acceptance. In this case, the first step in opposing Ahmadi N should be accepting that he is popular amongst the masses.

Now Azarmehr will call me a regime apologist or part of the Islamic Republic. When we have opposition like this, what hope do we have to topple the IR?

Azarmehr said...

I accept that Ahmadi-Nejad may be popular amongst Arab and other Islamic population, like Nasser was at one time, but tell me how you arrive at the conclusion that Ahmadi N is popular in Iran?
How do you gauge this popularity? You see some people visit Iran and their friends and relatives. Then they think their own little circle equates to "majority of the people"
If Ahmadi-N was so popular in Iran, why did he fail to reinforce the strict Islamic dress code again? Why is he so scared of a gathering of 200 women or so?
Surely he should be so confident to say, hey I am so popular I dont care about a gathering of 200 women!

Anonymous said...

Spot on. People talk to their friends who have visited Iran or make a few phone calls and they think they know what is going on in Iran.

How do you gauge popularity? Read the Guradian again and look at the results of this guy's election.

As for the 200 women, all I know is that every little story is being magnified by armchair journalists like you. This is fine but do not divert too much from reality.

Azarmehr said...

The reality is that you can not have a free election in Iran and you can not have a free poll in Iran. Some Islamic reformists like Abbas Abdi with revolutionary credentials tried to have a poll on what Iranians think about America but they were soon jailed. That is the reality. If a regime is popular they wouldnt need to crackdown on 200 women or so.

Anonymous said...

nice piece! please continue to be vigilant of the press ... its clear they have an agenda. thanks for keeping us informed.

Anonymous said...

As one of Nasser Hadian's previous students, I vehemently disagree. As will pretty much anybody who was in my class. Get your facts straight and try to understand the world of public policy, idiot.

Azarmehr said...

Looks like Nasser Hadian taught you well how to have a debate, i.e. nothing to back your arguments with and no manners.

Anonymous said...

It was certainly interesting for me to read the article. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read more on that blog soon.

Elcid said...

well said Azarmehr :)

Anonymous said...

hi i read ure post, although it was for 6 years ago....
actually i was searching about my professor DR.Hadian...and when i read those words of u about him i was totally taken a back...
i doesnt seem like this...r u sure????