Friday, June 19, 2009

And We Should Believe This Why?

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, angrily warned opposition leaders Friday to stay off the streets and denied opposition claims that last week’s disputed election was rigged.

Meanwhile on Twitter and Iran Blogs they are saying that the election was rigged and demonstrators are being jailed an abused. If this election was so fair and the opposition is being treated fairly why aren't legitimate western news sources allowed out of their hotel rooms to cover this victory for democracy?

Certainly if the Ayatollah is correct the election will stand the test of scrutiny the world will hold it to. I frankly have my doubts but then I have lived through two bogus elections of GW Bush. And I can understand the anger of the people of Iran to have a Supreme leader (in our case the Supreme Court) declare what we in our hearts and minds knew was wrong.

From the outside looking in obliquely, since they are allowing no direct viewing, they made a few huge mistakes. First was declaring victory within hours in a country that counts its votes by hand. Second was in underestimating the power of the "informal media" out there these days with their cellphones and text messages to Twitter.

And naturally the ousted formal press is upset and going with Twitter for its source on what is happening inside Iran. Who knows what we will see when the dust settles around this disputed democratic election. One thing we will know for sure: Never underestimate the power of the people to get their story out these days. They will even beg Twitter to not shut down for routine maintenance of their site.

Who would have believed this: Twitter is the new Radio Free Europe in the Middle East.