June 15, 2009

Blogging at Commentary

Commentary asked me to cover the upheaval in Iran on the Contentions blog during the next couple of days, and you can click here to read what I'm publishing. I know it's slightly less convenient for you read my work over there, but this means I don't have to rattle my tip jar over here.

I'm mostly finished with my next dispatch from Iraq, but I'm finding it difficult to concentrate on it right now. It's a bit "off topic" anyway, so I'm thinking of holding onto it for a bit. Maybe Iran will settle down soon.

In the meantime, you can click this link and read only my blog posts at Commentary, or you can click this link and read everyone's blog posts at Commentary.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at June 15, 2009 12:52 PM
Comments

Michael, do you think it's possible that the TFT Iran Survey from May, which showed Ahmadinejad leading by more than 2:1, was correct after all? Could this be a close-enough-to-the-truth result, despite the appalling outcome and the many procedural violations involved?

see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/14/AR2009061401757_pf.html

Posted by: John Rylander Author Profile Page at June 15, 2009 1:58 PM

Michael, do you think it's possible that the TFT Iran Survey from May, which showed Ahmadinejad leading by more than 2:1, was correct after all?

No. Public opinion data from inside totalitarian countries has always been meaningless.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at June 15, 2009 2:15 PM

MJT,

Kudos to you for closely following this story...I think it is extremely important for the world to hear about it.

I've been in close contact with my Iranian friends in Tehran, who have been sending me photos and video of what's going on there. Its unbelievable.

If only there was a definant leader, I think there could be a new revolution.

Posted by: C.H. Author Profile Page at June 15, 2009 3:17 PM

Before the usual critics of America
chime in, as we seem damned if we do
anything overt or covert and damned if we don't do
anything overt or covert, let's hear
some specific and rational suggestions
from these same vocal critics...those without
any responsibility for whatever happens. And, in the event we do find some allies, will they follow through with anything more than lip service? Thoughtful, experienced people will understand caution on America's part. Blame is so very easy to invent, isn't it?

Posted by: Morningside Author Profile Page at June 16, 2009 6:47 PM

john, i think the biggest problem with that poll is that it was conducted at the beginning of iran's (very short) campaign season. how can the results be seen as reliable when the names of the candidates were not even constant during the polling period?

as gary sick observes,

"...During most of the period of the phone survey, Mousavi was not even a declared candidate. His “green wave,” that inspired so much excitement among Iranian voters had not even been invented."

read sick's whole post for a more detailed fisking of the wash post article/poll.

but basically, even if ahmadinejad did win fair and square, that poll would still be worthless.

Posted by: cfw Author Profile Page at June 17, 2009 8:00 AM

That you-only link at Commentary was key. I've been feeling more intolerant than usual recently and the thought of having to read, even glance at, Jennifer Rubin was enough to keep me away from your stuff for a few days, until I noticed it.

Posted by: glasnost Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 7:51 AM

No. Public opinion data from inside totalitarian countries has always been meaningless.

The right answer, apparently, for the wrong reasons, as you'd probably be willing to admit by now. Polls done by Western, internationally based /= polls done by Regime Ministry of Truth. They may be pushed away from truth by internal pressures on citizens, but they will nevertheless show trends and are certainly better than WAG.

Posted by: glasnost Author Profile Page at June 19, 2009 7:54 AM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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