The Election Was Stolen, Ctd

Matt Steinglass reacts to Secor's report:

If Secor is right, and Ahmadinejad’s 67% vote tally throughout the country is a pure fabrication, it’s important that this point be established internationally, and that’s not the kind of thing the press or NGOs can do very effectively. It probably needs to come from governments.

But the US is in no position to be rendering such judgments at the moment, certainly not in the Muslim world. In another context, it might be helpful for a country like Norway, Sweden or Denmark, with impeccable democratic credentials and few geopolitical interests, to come out and say that the Iranian vote seems to have been faked. But as we saw when the Danish newspaper cartoons blew up in 2007, even the Scandinavians lack the moral authority and disinterested image to make these claims in the Muslim world these days. Perhaps the best that can be hoped is that international human rights organizations will come out swinging on the stolen Iranian elections, and that, as the Obama administration cleans up the US’s human rights act, this will gradually help shift the burden of international opinion against Iran, until at some point, apparently still years in the future, that pressure forces some accommodations on Iranian leadership. In countries like Vietnam, autocratic and stable, we measure the timeline of change in decades. Perhaps that’s still the case for Iran as well.