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These are not the actions of a winner

These are not the actions of a winner

I remain a little taken aback that some people — like Newsweek‘s Christopher Dickey in the below quote — seem ready to believe that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the Iranian presidential election fair and square:

It appears that the working classes and the rural poor—the people who do not much look or act or talk like us—voted overwhelmingly for the scruffy, scrappy president who looks and acts and talks more or less like them. And while Mousavi and his supporters are protesting and even scuffling with police, they are just as likely to be overwhelmed in the streets as they were at the polls.

Juan Cole has already ably dispensed with such arguments, but here’s something else to consider. If Ahmadinejad were really the victor, why would he be detaining the opposition? Why kick out foreign journalists? And check out this chilling quote, referring to Mousavi:

He ran a red light, and he got a traffic ticket,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said of his rival, during a news conference at the presidential palace.

According to the New York Times, Mousavi remains at home “with police closely monitoring his movements.”

These are not the actions of a magnanimous, confident victor:

AFP/Getty Images