Spare a Tear for Venezuela

It has just given emergency powers to Nicolás Maduro so that he can rule like a dictator and further wreck the Venezuelan economy. It has also annihilated all vestiges of democracy in the country. I am sure, of course, that whatever fans Maduro--and the late, unlamented Hugo Chávez--still have will say nothing about this latest move to tyranny, …

Deeds. Not Words. Deeds.

Ray Takeyh is right on the money when he reminds us what we should expect from Hassan Rohani before we go around calling him "a reformer": Rouhani's attempt to refashion Iran's image and temper its rhetoric should be welcomed. After eight years of Ahmadinejad provocations that often unhinged the international community, a degree of self-restraint …

Morsi Ousted

The Egyptian army has had about enough: Egypt’s military on Wednesday ousted Mohamed Morsi, the nation’s first freely elected president, suspending the Constitution, installing an interim government and insisting it was responding to the millions of Egyptians who had opposed the Islamist agenda of Mr. Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood.The military intervention, which …

Surprising–and Unsurprising–News from the First Round of Iran’s Presidential Election

First, the surprising news: The leading moderate candidate for the presidency has emerged as the strongest of all of the candidates after the first round of voting: Early results from Iran's presidential election put the reformist-backed candidate, Hassan Rouhani, in the lead.With 2.9m ballots counted, the cleric had 1.46m votes, or 49.87%, well ahead of Tehran …

Heads: Iranian Hardliners Win. Tails: Iranian Reformists Lose.

It's not enough for the Islamic regime in Iran to disqualify certain reformist candidates for the presidency; it must also punish people who attend campaign meetings for reformist candidates who are actually allowed to run for president.Stories like this one are why I have an objection to calling the regime a "theocracy." In fact, it …

The State of Play Leading Up to the Iranian Presidential Election

As noted before, the notion that there is anything resembling democracy in Iran is nothing short of laughable. More can be found here on how the election has quickly turned into a farce. The BBC informs us--in what is, perhaps, the understatement of the year--that "[b]y the standards of democratic countries, presidential elections in Iran are …

Is This What Iranians Have to Look Forward to?

The frontrunner in the race to succeed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of Iran is Saeed Jalili. Don't know who Saeed Jalili is? Behold:At his first presidential campaign rally, Saeed Jalili on Friday welcomed the cheers of thousands of young men as he hauled himself onto the stage. His movements were hampered by a prosthetic leg, …