Monday, June 22, 2009

Missing the Point

In a head of foolish, youthful fervour perhaps a year and a half ago, I proclaimed that it didn’t matter what supposedly incumbent Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said about the holocaust or about Israel, so long as he stuck to his words in helping out the disadvantaged in Iran, he was a good president. Oh, how times have changed. The problem in Iran is that more or less permanent bodies such as Guardian Council and the Ayatollahs are understandably reluctant to give up power for what we in the West see as the greater good. Ahmadinejad understands this. He understands that an election, according to the archane pre-Victorian model, was simply an act of the people to advise the ruling elite, in this case the Ayatollahs, who should be permitted to form the government. It would seem that despite Ahmadinejad’s grand claims that he had won over 60% of the vote, the precise figure doesn’t matter. If Mousavi emerged as the President-elect, the revolutionary elite would be under serious enough threat that they might even become a thing of the past, swept away by a green, urban, modern revolution. I was foolish when I said Ahmadinejad cared for his own. Regardless of whether or not he initiated the reprisals and police brutality that left at least 13 dead, he has done nothing to halt the bloodshed. Perhaps that is not in his power, lost in subservience to the ayatollahs. But recently, it seems that he does possess that authority – the family of one leading ayatollah was put in jail over the weekend.

Still, some commentators have said that Mousavi is but the wily, more manicured version of what Ahmadinejad represents, a leadership based not on the people but on those who can offer power. At this time, it happens to be the people who can attract the most attention for Mousavi and thus the most power but, apparently, once the winds shift, Mousavi will be nothing more than a white-haired Ahmadinejad. There’s only way to be sure of what to make of the Iranian elections. Recount. Unfortunately, perhaps even the protesters themselves will be wary of the potent for violence, even if they are lead by Mousavi, the martyr who may not have a cause. Just to clarify, I am still missing the point.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Alternative Perspective

Throughout the western world and perhaps beyond, George Walker Bush is widely regarded as the most incompetent President of the modern era. Swept into office on the back of a Supreme Court ruling, the legitimacy of Bush was always in question and scandal never seemed far behind him, from his failure to go to Vietnam to brushes with drink driving. Whilst President, Bush took America and many other countries to war in Afghanistan (2001-) and Iraq (2003-). There was little evidence and little reason to go to war in the first place and in 2009, there is equally little in terms of a concrete outcome. Likewise, it was on Bush's watch that the American economy began to nose-dive, taking much of the world with it. The problem with these generalizations is that they are so general that they ignore the personal story, the less well-known impact of what others might refer to as Bush Terror. In the United States, Kosovo is synonymous with violence and warfare. People tend to forget that despite the end of the bloodshed, a country is growing in prosper and confidence. And, amazingly, Dubya had a significant role in this rejuvenation. Whilst it was Clinton who got the concept of KFOR off the ground, it was during the second term of Bush that the mandate against Serbian intrusions was finally, sufficiently strengthened. In February 2008, Bush was one of the first international leaders to recognise the Kosovan parliament's declaration of independence. Since then, violence is down, wealth is up and uncharacteristically, George W. Bush had a significant part to play.

Da Blog is Bak

Pardon the spelling but yes, its true, Meldreth Musings is back for the summer. After a hideously busy spring, I will endeavor to whet your appetite for all things vaguely current affairs and then some. Yes, in case you were wondering, this is a current affairs blog. That means that everything post-Montpellier, which can be pretty well summarised with the words "China" and "exams" is irrelevant. Happily, my more recent travels to Holland this past week gave me something to write about, which will be up very shortly.