Monday, June 15, 2009

Iran: The Wheels Are Stil In Spin

Everywhere I hear the sound of
Marching, charging, feet, boy
--Rolling Stones

I guess millions and millions of shocked Iranians can be discounted - Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty did a pole last month showing that of course Ahmadinejad would win, by approximately 2 to one over Mousavi.

Of course, if you take a couple minutes to review the pole there are issues that begin to emerge. The stink emerges from this piece of drivel fairly quickly:
When our poll was taken, almost a third of Iranians were also still undecided.
Really? That doesn't seem right - Seems a high for a well publicized election.

Here's the actual chart, courtesy of 538:

So 15% refused to answer, 7% would not vote, and about a third were "undecided", and around 3% were voting for someone other than the two frontrunners. Despite these completely oddball results, Ballen and Doherty decide that these people were not intimidated because the respondents generally were pro-reform, pro-democracy, and pro-detente with the west. Ballen and Doherty decided that this meant they saw Ahmadinejad as the "best negotiator" for Iran.

The problem is that if you follow Ahmadinejad's rhetoric, it's clear he is not interested in detente, reform, or any of the above. It straight up does not make sense.

More damning, is that the election results showed massive wins for Ahmadinejad in areas that are typically won by underdogs, including Kurdish areas which never vote for the Conservative hardliner. Even Azeris, Mousavi's own people, apparently voted for Ahmadinejad in record numbers. Ballen and Doherty never address this, nor any of the actual voting irregularities spotted by anyone over the weekend. In fact, they only saw the results as being "similar" to their own findings, and said "we are freaking geniuses!"

Here are the 2009 results for candidate Karroubi against Ahmadinejad, keeping in mind that Karroubi beat Ahmadinejad in all of these areas in 2005:

Nothing unusual here, say Ballen and Doherty. No intimidation of the voters was present during the polling.

Why? Well, because Iranians know that they are free to express their opinions without fear....

They are well aware that an Iranians' political viewpoint is sacred, and not to be coerced one way or another by violence...

Seriously, how could anyone think that the Ayatollahs would ever stoop to such barbarism??? I mean intimidation? Really???

How batshit crazy do you have to be to believe that Iran's leadership would do something so ridiculous?
Ballen and Doherty should have come clean about their own shoddy work and admitted that intimidation and reprisals were at work during their polling and instead became enthused that the election reinforced their findings(although not really - see here and here).

Instead of admitting their errors, they became useful idiots of the Iranian establishment's propaganda. Ballen and Doherty will not live this down anytime soon, and it is my hope they never, ever do. F***ing Enablers.


Broken back to the ceiling
Broken nose to the floor
I scream at the silence, it's crawling
It crawls under the door
There's a rope around my neck
And there's a trigger in your gun
Jesus say something
I am someone, I am someone
I am someone

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