Voting for Ahmadinejad in Tehrangeles
In case you didn't know it, Los Angeles, aka Tehrangeles, is one of the biggest Iranian cities in the world, perhaps the biggest outside Iran. According to Wikipedia, metropolitan LA has about 900,000 Iranians and descendants. That's considerably less than the some 7.7 million in Tehran itself, but still a significant number.
Many of these Tehrangelenos (and other Iranians throughout the US) hold Iranian identity cards or passports - sometimes dual citizenship - and are qualified to vote in Friday's Iranian presidential election, for which there will be polling stations across the USA. A fair number of these Iranians will be going into Southern California stations in such redoubts as the City of Commerce and Anaheim and exercising their franchise to reelect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
What, you say, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, noted Holocaust denier and nuclear arms developer - the very pivot of the Axis of Evil who calls the United States the Great Satan roughly every thirty minutes - is going to be elected in Los Angeles? Yes, the same guy. Of course, some, perhaps more, will be voting for his "reformist" adversary Mir Hossein Mousavi or his two other opponents. Indeed Iranian elections are strange and hard to parse. (An interesting overview is here.) But it is indeed difficult to fathom how someone would leave Iran to live in America and then vote for Ahmadinejad, unless he or she were an agent of the regime, which, I am told, can often be the case.
Still, the majority of the voters in the US will probably be backing the "reformer" Mousavi. (I keep that in quotes because the last reformer, Ayatollah Khatami, turned his head away, ignoring horrific violence by the mullahs' minions, the Revolutionary Guard, which resulted in the murder and imprisonment of many students, some of whom were hurled to their deaths from their dormitory windows.) But even if they do vote for Mousavi, it's questionable that those votes will arrive back in Iran intact. Corruption has its way and what interests the mullahs, apparently, is to demonstrate that they can stage their election on American soil, that they have global reach.
So who allowed that, you might ask? There weren't any polling places for last year's US Presidential election in Tehran or Isfahan, as far as I know.
Well, it's our State Department, I presume - the same "realists" who are pushing dialog with the Islamic regime, hoping they will abandon their development for nuclear weapons. Perhaps if we allow them a polling place under the Liberty Bell, they'd reconsider.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see what transpires on Friday. PJTV is going to try to film at one of the Iranian stations. We had been planning on the one at the Culver City Radisson, but the hotel management evidently got cold feet at the last minute. That polling place is closed. City of Commerce anyone?