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Iranian Alert -- December 9, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 12.9.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 12/09/2003 12:36:54 AM PST by DoctorZIn

The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.” But most American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.

DoctorZin


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

1 posted on 12/09/2003 12:36:55 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

2 posted on 12/09/2003 12:39:17 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bill Clinton's Sins Of Omission

By Carol Devine-Molin
December 8, 2003

"Early in the Clinton administration, it would have been comparatively easy to smash bin Laden's emerging network. Instead the arch-terrorist's strength, reach, and lethality were allowed to relentlessly build over the course of the eight Clinton years" - Richard Miniter

It's impossible to adequately comprehend the whys and wherefores of this current "war on terror" until one grapples with the blatant mistakes of the Clinton years. And that is precisely what investigative journalist Richard Miniter has accomplished in his bestseller entitled, "Losing Bin Laden: How Bill Clinton's Failures Unleashed Global Terror". Miniter is well equipped to examine the subject at hand, having been "a member of the award-winning Sunday Times (of London) team whose four-part series traced the secret war between Clinton and bin Laden". He's also written for a variety of topnotch publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Republic, and National Review.

The author's "on the record" interviews were from an impressive array of former Clinton administration officials including Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, National Security Advisors Tony Lake and Sandy Berger, Counterterrorism Coordinator Richard Clarke, CIA Director James Woolsey, current CIA Director George Tenet, and Clinton pollster and political advisor Dick Morris. Miniter also spoke with myriad bureaucrats, terrorism experts and politicos such as Senator Richard Shelby, Congressman Bill McCollum, Ambassador Tim Carney, Ambassador Joe Wilson, CIA Station Chiefs Milt Bearden and Bill Piekney, scholars Michael Ledeen and Laurie Mylroie, international businessman Mansoor Ijaz, and others too numerous to cite here. All-in-all, Miniter produced an exceptionally well documented tome.

Miniter's treatise is nothing less than stunning as he methodically exposes Osama bin Laden's dirty little fingerprints on a host of terror assaults that specifically targeted American citizens and assets, both here and abroad, throughout the 1990s. Clinton's inability to effectively tackle bin Laden time and time again is bound to leave many readers emotionally exhausted. The key question is this -- Could Clinton have averted September 11th? The answer is probably, if he had the wherewithal to respond to terror attacks as a national security threat. Mind you, that would have required Clinton to conceptualize al-Qaeda strikes as "warfare" rather than criminal acts that constitute a "law enforcement" matter. However, Clinton was not up to the challenge. He was not a president who successfully embraced the role of "commander-in-chief", and that made all the difference. Miniter indicates that Clinton "was addicted to cautious half-measures and perhaps a lingering distrust of the US military".

As Edmund Burke averred, "All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." I don't doubt for a second that Bill Clinton wanted only to bring his personal best to the presidency. But given Clinton's limitations, he was bound to experience difficulties in a wartime milieu. Author Richard Miniter found that because of Clinton's personal foibles and character flaws, he was reluctant to take political risks and often exhibited paralysis in decision making. Therefore, "Clinton responded [to terrorism] only with brave words, empty gestures, meaningless cruise-missile strikes, and halfhearted covert operations". Certainly, this is in direct contrast to the ways of President Bush, who is well capable of decisive action.

During the Clinton presidency, Osama bin Laden publicly declared war on America and western civilization on several occasions. In the decade leading-up to 9/11/01, al-Qaeda and its affiliates made good on their threats against America as illustrated by the following episodes of terrorism examined in Miniter's book: The assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane in NYC (1990), The Goldmore and Aden Hotels in Yemen (1992), the Twin Towers, NYC (1993), the Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia (1993), the Saudi National Guard office in Riyadh, which employed about 100 Americans (1994), Project Bojinka, which plotted to bring down American commercial aircraft, and severely damaged a Philippine Airlines aircraft, killing one, in a "practice run" (1995), the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (1998), and the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen (2000).

Chapter Six of Miniter's book entitled, "The Friend of Bill", was rather interesting if you're a fan of cable's Fox News Channel and appreciate the commentary of terrorism expert Mansoor Ijaz, which I certainly do. He's an international financier, a brilliant and extremely likeable fellow who engages in "private diplomacy" in his travels. Ijaz frequently shuttles to the Islamic world making pivotal contacts not only for business purposes, but to implement a larger goal inspired by his father. Apparently, Ijaz has the heartfelt desire to save Pakistan from radical Islam - he seeks to establish schools that develop careers for Pakistani youth and break the stronghold of madrassas that promote terrorism.

According to Miniter, Ijaz "developed the CARAT computer system that enabled his clients, institutional and private investors, to make hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result, within four years of leaving a Harvard-MIT graduate program, he was worth millions". As a major contributor to the Democratic Party, and someone who had raised over $900,000 in party donations, Ijaz naturally had the ear of Bill Clinton during the 1990s. As an unofficial conduit, "Citizen Ijaz" utilized his high-level contacts in Sudan to open a channel with the Clinton administration, thereby funneling word that Sudan was willing to provide intelligence on Osama bin Laden and fully cooperate with US counterterrorism efforts. The Sudanese leaders were reportedly distressed that their repeated attempts to have their voices heard by Clinton officials went nowhere, and they had hoped that Ijaz could intervene on their behalf.

Of course the Sudanese had a larger agenda. They were intent on distancing themselves from terrorism in order to facilitate the lifting of US and UN sanctions, which would then make foreign investments in Sudan possible. Ijaz was well aware that Sudan extended olive branches to the US on several occasions, but Ijaz was shocked by the magnitude of the offers. In a "bombshell" revelation, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir told Ijaz the following: "Are you aware that I sent General Fatih Erwa to Washington to discuss bin Laden's extradition to Saudi Arabia? Then al-Bashir explained, Sudan made an offer to send bin Laden to the United States. Neither offer was accepted". In other words, the Sudanese government was ready to serve up Osama bin Laden on a platter to the Clinton administration, if they wanted him. Amazingly, there wasn't an affirmative response from the US.

Mansoor Ijaz continued to advise the administration of Sudan's offer of "unconditional assistance on terrorism", and even spoke directly to President Clinton about this, yet all was ignored on an official level. Author Richard Miniter asks, "What if President Clinton had accepted any one of these variant offers and America's intelligence services had received the Sudanese intelligence files [on Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda associates in Sudan] in 1997?"

It could have changed the course of history.

http://gopusa.com/caroldevinemolin/cdm_1208.shtml
3 posted on 12/09/2003 12:50:43 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran set one week deadline for Japan

09:22:30
Tehran, Dec 9

Iran has called on Japan to clarify with in a week its official position on stalled negotiations over the development of its major oil project of Azadegan, Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported on Monday.

Kyodo News Agency said Iran has sent an official letter to a Japanese consortium that had been previously awarded certain rights by Tehran to develop the Azadegan field, telling the consortium that it had only by next Monday, December 15, to participate in a tender over the project.

Meanwhile, Japan's Trade Minister Shoichi Nakagawa told reporters on Monday that Tokyo needs to make a decision over Azadegan project if Tehran has set a deadline over the issue.

"If there has been some kind of timing set, I believe a decision will have to be made in line with that," Nakagawa said. "But we are not aware if that (December 15) is final or not." Iran had offered preferential rights to the consortium during President Mohammad Khatami's visit to Japan in 2000 to develop Azadegan -- Iran's biggest oil field -- for 2.8 billion dollars.

The consortium comprises Japan's Tomen Corp., Inpex Corp. and Japan Petroleum exploration company.

Japan in return for the rights had pledged to grant a three-billion-dollar credit line to Iran over three years.

However, it has so far failed to sign an agreement with Iran over the issue apparently under US pressure to withdraw from the lucrative deal.

The deadline for an Iran-Japan deal over Azadegan expired at the end of June.

Accordingly, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh in September said that Iran has cancelled Japan's preferential rights of Japan to develop Azadegan oil field.

This was followed by later announcements that Iran would hold a limited tender for the development of the Azadegan oil field.

Director of the engineering department of the National Iranian Oil Engineering and Development Company, Ali-Akbar Vahidi Al-aqa, last month said that Norway's Statoil and France's Total have voiced their readiness to participate in the tender.

It was later reported that Statoil and total have even signed an agreement with Iran not to disclose the data that are provided to them for the development of the Azadegan project.

Last week, Al-aqa said that the deadline for internatinal corporations to forward their proposals over Azadegan project will expire in two weeks.

Despite the frustration of Tehran and Tokyo to push forward the Azadegan project, Iranian and Japanese officials are still unwilling to give up their talks to that effect.

Japan's ambassador to Tehran Takekezu Kawamura said last Monday that Japan's talks with Iran over the development of Azadegan project are still continuing, adding that Iran and Japan are in discussion over the area to launch the project, the procedure involved and the related conditions.

http://www.iribnews.com/Full_en.asp?news_id=194007
4 posted on 12/09/2003 12:53:12 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. women can learn from Mideast

By DINA RABADI
GUEST COLUMNIST

Tomorrow, Shirin Ebadi will receive the Nobel Prize for her work fighting for democracy and the rights of women and children in Iran. Her award will reinforce the emerging importance of human rights -- and in particular, women's rights globally.

The United States could use her.

Even with the political history and atmosphere of Iran, Ebadi and other women in Iran have made impressive improvements in their society -- in some cases even surpassing the state of women in the United States.

As the Bush administration continues to threaten the reproductive rights of American women, as women themselves vote for a governor with an alleged history of sexual harassment, as 80 percent of fourth-grade girls continue to diet, as women continue to make up the majority of those in poverty, we need to look at the condition of women in our own country before looking down on the status of Middle East women.

It's too bad many American women don't seem to care -- such women as Rosette McClave, 34, who was profiled in Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson's article titled "A Few Uplifting Messages from Arnold's Sponsors."

McClave said the stories about Arnold Schwarzenegger's sexual misconduct on movie sets "had no effect on me. What I care about was that Arnold was not part of the old guard."

According to a 1998 Time/CNN poll, more than 50 percent of American women between 18 and 34 say they are simpatico with feminist values but do not necessarily call themselves feminists.

Young women such as Laura, a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and an aspiring film director, who said, "I'm not a feminist. If you're talented enough and work hard enough, it won't matter if you're a woman or not. I don't want to sit around and whine about being a woman. I just want to focus on doing my work."

Yet, when asked to name a female director, she couldn't. Not surprising -- as women comprised only 7 percent of all directors working on the top 250 films and top 100 films of 2002, according to Professor Martha M. Lauzen of the School of Communication at San Diego State University.

Perhaps American women have become too selfish -- or scared. Many choose to evaluate the need for feminism -- defined as the theory that women should have political, economic and social rights equal to men -- based on their own experiences with sexism versus with those of women nationally. If they don't experience sexism, then no one else does either. Other are scared that if they speak up and say, "I should be paid more," they will lose their jobs. Scared that if they tell their boyfriends, "Don't treat me that way," they will leave them. Scared that if they say, "I am a feminist -- because systems in this country do not yet guarantee equality," they will be stereotyped as butch, anti-family and male hating.

Women like Ebadi have faced worse obstacles -- banned from work, imprisoned, humiliated. In other Middle Eastern countries, fighting for women's rights has meant torture, rape, even death.

Does losing your boyfriend seem so bad?

Before we, as American women, shake our heads at the condition of women in the Middle East, we should look at the condition of women here. We still have a ways to go and I admire the courage of many Middle Eastern women who are trying to make things better, not only for themselves but for women throughout their country and even throughout the world.

America included.

Dina Rabadi is a project assistant at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/151570_iranwomen09.html
5 posted on 12/09/2003 1:08:40 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; freedom44; nuconvert; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
A European Security Doctrine to Match America

08.12.2003
DW - Germany

Just how big a role will Europe fill on the world stage? A new European security doctrine attempts to answer that question and forge unity where there has been dissent.

As the clock ticks on Brussels' finalization of the EU constitution this week amid wrangling over controversial vote-sharing agreements, the European Council will be looking at ironing out several other important issues before the end of the week. One of these includes the European Security Doctrine -- a paper laying out European strategy on conflict prevention, drawn up by Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief.

Spurred on by divisions over U.S. policy in Iraq, European diplomats began working on the document early this year that would present the world a security strategy based on principles of multilateralism and greater action on the world stage.

But as with the draft constitution for a EU that will expand to 25 members in May, the security doctrine has been a matter of heated internal debate recently. The chief sticking point in the document is a clause on when and how the EU will intervene in conflicts of the future. The opponents divide along familiar lines.

Great Britain led some EU countries in advocating U.S.-style pre-emptive approach to conflicts that would approve a military strike in order to deter enemies.

A matter of wording

Germany and France, the two main European opponents of the war in Iraq, were able to shoot down the clause in negotiations since the first draft was completed.

The document now suggests the EU engage in "preventive" not "pre-emptive" intervention in global conflicts. The wording change is a clear rebuff of the Bush administration's pledge, in their 2002 National Security Strategy, to use "pre-emptive" force.

"There is a fundamental difference between 'pre-emption' and 'prevention,'" George Schöpflin, professor of political science at London University told the Financial Times. "This is about the Europeans saying they are not going down the U.S. road."

foreign policy of EU strengths

The document cuts to the heart of the problems the EU has faced in developing a coherent security and foreign policy.

As the Union stands before an expansion to the east and south that will increase its population to 450 million, disputes remain on how to lend some of that weight to a global foreign policy. In the paper presented to ministers in June of this year, Union diplomats agree that the EU's should utilize a mutifaceted approach in tackling conflicts.

The 25-member bloc's combined diplomatic, economic, military and political power means it is "particularly well-equipped to respond to such multi-faceted situations," according to the document.

EU military dreaming

The deployment of an EU police force in the Balkans and EU troops taking over a security mission in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from NATO last year are evidence of the Union's readiness to step-up internationally, argues the paper.

But the EU's continued military reliance on NATO and inability to unify or build up its military capabilities have harmed its ability to forge a policy that carries weight against the United States in questions like Iraq. The doctrine argues for a more active approach in pooling military resources and a troop force that would allow it "early and … robust intervention."

The possibility of that happening say observers rests mostly on the shoulders of Great Britain, France and Germany, who recently agreed the EU should have its own military planning abilities outside of NATO.

The three also showed in recent weeks in Iran how the EU's "preventive" strategy might work. The foreign ministers of the three countries were able to dissuade Iran from covering up its nuclear program and urged it to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

http://www.dw-world.de/english/0,3367,1433_A_1052964_1_A,00.html
6 posted on 12/09/2003 1:16:10 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: All
Political problems blamed for economic failures

December 08, 2003
IranMania News

TEHRAN, Iran Daily -- A lawmaker said that the country has failed to attain a significant status in international trade due to the failure to develop political relations with certain countries.

Qahreman Bahrami, who is a member of the parliament's Economic Commission, told ISNA that the country had to sever ties with some countries following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"This lack of international interactions resulted in lower trade relations with the world," he said, blaming past political problems for the present challenges facing Iran's international economic relations. "Unfortunately, despite the lapse of some 24 years since the revolution, the country is still suffering on this front," he maintained.

The lawmaker said political developments are closely tied to economic progress in today's world, where countries with low-profile political interactions with other countries are not able to advance their economic objectives properly.

He added that US sanctions have inflicted a heavy blow to Iran's international economic relations. "Our presence in many international markets such as handwoven carpet and pistachio came to an end in the face of US political pressures and economic sanctions," he said, adding that Afghanistan, Iraq and the Central Asia are major target markets in the region.

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=20410&NewsKind=Business%20%26%20Economy
7 posted on 12/09/2003 1:31:01 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Bump!
8 posted on 12/09/2003 3:51:08 AM PST by windchime
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To: F14 Pilot
Bump!
9 posted on 12/09/2003 3:55:28 AM PST by windchime
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To: nuconvert
ping
10 posted on 12/09/2003 4:11:06 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: DoctorZIn
Solana to visit Tehran as EU warns Iran over nuclear drive

09 December 2003
EU Business

The European Union agreed Tuesday to send its foreign affairs envoy Javier Solana to Iran in the New Year to encourage the Islamic republic's compliance with international nuclear safeguards.

But EU foreign ministers stopped short of promising a resumption of talks on a lucrative trade deal as reward for Iran's promises to come clean on its nuclear drive.

In a statement, the ministers asked Solana "to visit Tehran early in 2004 to discuss the modalities of taking forward the EU's dialogue with Iran in all areas".

Diplomats said the Spanish official's visit would be in January but that dates have yet to be fixed.

The statement "reiterated the EU's readiness to explore ways to develop wider political and economic cooperation with Iran".

"This can only be achieved through full international confidence in Iran's adherence to non-proliferation and, in particular, in the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme, as well as improvements in the areas of human rights, fight against terrorism, and Iran's position on the Middle East peace process."

Diplomats said the EU's Italian presidency, supported by Austria and Greece, had pushed for the statement to mention a resumption of talks on the trade and cooperation agreement, but this was omitted in the final version.

"It's far too early for the EU to hold out any prizes to Iran," one diplomat said.

The EU, which unlike the United States advocates a policy of constructive engagement with Iran, launched talks on the trade accord a year ago.

Four rounds of negotiations have been held but they were suspended in June over international concerns that Iran was secretly building nuclear bombs.

Iran helped to defuse the crisis by promising to comply with inspections by the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The IAEA last month condemned Iran for 18 years of covert nuclear activities but stopped short of bowing to US demands to haul Tehran in front of the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

The EU statement said the bloc would review the situation after Solana reports back and after a report by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei in February on the full scale of Iran's nuclear activities.

http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/031209112633.sdaxqbaz
11 posted on 12/09/2003 5:23:11 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
These Five Regimes Must Go

November 29, 2003
The Spectator
Mark Steyn

George W. Bush is right. Tony Blair is 'plenty independent'; he is no poodle. Or, if he is, he's succeeded in dragging his master through some pretty sticky bits of dog poop. Many of the present difficulties - including the Saddamite restoration movement on the streets of London last week - derive at least in part from the influence of the junior partner.

One or two readers may recall that a year and a half ago I was arguing that the invasion of Iraq needed to take place in the summer of 2002, before the first anniversary of 9/11. Unfortunately, President Bush listened to Mr Blair and not to me, and Mr Blair wanted to go 'the extra mile' with the UN, the French, the Guinean foreign minister and the rest of the gang. The extra mile took an extra six or eight months, and at the end of it America went to war with exactly the same allies as she would have done in June 2002. The only difference was that the interminable diplomatic dance emboldened M. Chirac and the other obstructionists, and permitted a relatively small anti-war fringe to blossom into a worldwide mass 'peace' movement. It certainly didn't do anything for the war's 'legitimacy' in the eyes of the world: indeed, insofar as every passing month severed the Iraqi action from the dynamic of 9/11, it diminished it. Taking a year to amass overwhelming force on the borders of Iraq may have made the war shorter and simpler, but it also made the postwar period messier and costlier. With the world's biggest army twiddling its thumbs in Kuwait for months on end, the regime had time to move stuff around, hide it, ship it over the border to Syria, and allow interested parties to mull over tactics for a post-liberation insurgency.

So, as far as timing's concerned, I think I was right, and Tony and Colin Powell and the other 'voices of moderation' were wrong.

Mr Blair seems to have secured an understanding from Mr Bush that he won't rush off and invade anywhere else, lest it place further 'strain' on the 'vital' 'alliance' with Old Europe. As I wrote last month, 'Iraq is the last war' - in the sense of large-scale battles live on CNN with instant critiques from studio guests. Henceforth, 'engagements in the war of terror will be swift, sudden and as low-key as can be managed'. Thus, the US Combined Joint Task Force in Djibouti announced last week that they'd scuppered several planned attacks on Western targets in the Horn of Africa and killed or captured at least two dozen plotters. The American troops arrived without fanfare in June last year, set up shop in an old French Foreign Legion post, and operate in seven countries in a region that's fertile soil for terrorist recruiters. Nothing the Task Force does will require UN resolutions.

The difficulty with this approach will be ensuring that it stays focused, is ambitious enough and moves quicker than the terrorists can adjust to it. It's also critical not to get thrown off course by the particulars of any one atrocity. For example, the slaughter in Istanbul was quickly attributed to 'al-Qa'eda', mainly on the strength of a passport conveniently found on site. But there's little evidence that 'al-Qa'eda', in the sense of a functioning organisation with deployable resources, still exists. Look at the map: the al-Qa'eda-affiliated Ansar al-Islam is said to be reconstituting itself just south of the Turkey–Iraq border; would they not be just as likely a source of operatives for any action north of the border? What about the Baathist dead-enders? They're not all in Iraq: a lot of Saddam's intelligence apparatus snuck out in the first hours of the war with their Rolodexes intact, and they're at least as interested in targets of opportunity as the fellows stuck back in the Sunni Triangle. Or it could be some other group, similar to the Italian Islamists who've apparently targeted that country's defence minister for assassination. Or it could be some combination of the above.

The point is, any answer will do, as in the end they'll all have to be whacked. The reaction of Gozde Ciftlik, whose father, a security guard at the British consulate, died in the attack, is as good as any: 'Damn you,' she shouted, 'whoever you are.' The enemy is not, as Lee Kuan Yew observed this week, a traditional terror group such as the IRA or the Baader-Meinhof; nor is it even a Mafia-type coalition of distinct 'families'. Everywhere you look the lines are blurry: take one of my compatriots, Ahmed Said Khadr, known in the villages of Pakistan's tribal lands as 'al-Kanadi' - the Canadian - and, indeed, my country's most prominent contribution to this war. Mr Khadr is not just the highest-ranking Canadian in al-Qa'eda, but was also head of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. There are signs that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qa'eda mastermind of 11 September, had ties to Iraqi intelligence. Membership in one group does not preclude simultaneous membership in another.

So the trick for the Americans is to keep their eye on the big guys rather than on this or that itsy-bitsy plotter. If you want to be able to get to anything like a victory in this war, there are five regimes that ought to be gone by the end of it. They are:

1) syria

Boy Assad is in the unusual position, for a Middle-Eastern dictator, of being surrounded by relatively civilised states - Turkey, the new Iraq, Jordan and Israel. He has, by common consent, an all but worthless military. His Saddamite oil pipeline has been cut off. And yet he continues to get away with destabilising the region and beyond through Hezbollah; his grip on Lebanon; the men and weaponry Syrian terror groups have dispatched across the Iraqi border to aid Baathist remnants; his own stockpile of WMD; and (amazingly) the Syrian spies who managed to place themselves in what ought to be the world's most secure military base at Guantanamo.

And yet America continues to manage its relationship with Assad in state department terms, dispatching Colin Powell to Damascus with a polite list of 'requests', which are tossed in the trash before his plane's out of Syrian airspace.

There's a credibility issue here. If Washington cannot impress its will on Assad when it's got 140,000 troops on his border, more distant enemies will draw their own conclusion. The US should not be negotiating with Damascus; he's the guy in the box, he's the one who should be sending his emissaries abroad to beg, not the state department. The US should also nix the plans to build a new pipeline from Iraq: Assad can have a terrorist state or he can have oil, but he can't have both. I was up on the Iraq–Syria frontier in May and, although it's certainly porous, porousness cuts both ways. It would concentrate Assad's mind wonderfully if the Americans were to forget where exactly the line runs occasionally and answer Syria's provocations by accidentally bombing appropriate targets on Junior's side of the border.

2) iran

CNN had a headline this week: 'Compromise Struck On Iran's Nukes.' Not all of us are reassured to see the words 'Iran', 'nukes' and 'compromise' in the same sentence. The Europeans appear to have decided they can live with a nuclear Iran - or, at any rate, that they can't muster the will to police the ambitions of a regime just as wily as Saddam's but with four times the territory and mountains as high and as impenetrable as Afghanistan's. America needs to stand firm: a nuclear Iran will permanently alter the balance of power in the region, and not for the good. The best way to prevent it is to speed up the inevitable Iranian revolution. Iran has a young pro-American population; Washington should do what it takes to help their somewhat leisurely resistance reach tipping point.

3) saudi arabia

Strange developments are taking place in Washington: for the first time ever, the FBI is demanding access to the bank accounts of a foreign embassy, and it looks as if Prince Bandar's two-decade reign as Beltway power-broker has run up against its limits. Is Bush at last getting round to the House of Saud? Let's hope so. The war on terror is, in one sense, a Saudi civil war that the royal family has successfully exported to the rest of the world. The rest of the world should see that it's repatriated.

There are several ways to do that: first, Prince Bandar should be returned to sender. It's ridiculous that, on the one hand, America's ambassadors to Riyadh are all but hand-picked by the royal family, who insist the diplomats be non-Arabic-speaking and after a couple of years send 'em home and set 'em up in some lavishly funded Saudi think-tank; while, on the other, Prince Bandar sits in Washington like some colonial proconsul, effortlessly outlasting presidents and congresses. The Americans should demand a 'normal' ambassador - i.e., one who's not a member of the royal family and who buggers off after five years. Second, Washington should clamp down on the Saudis' bulk purchase of its diplomatic service: no US diplomat should be allowed to take a position with any organisation funded directly or indirectly by Riyadh. Third, for the duration of the war on terror, no organisation funded by the Saudis should be eligible for any formal or informal role in any Federal institution: it's almost laughable the way everyone - from the body that approves Muslim chaplains for the US armed forces to the diplomat the Pentagon sent to investigate Saddam's nuclear contacts in Africa, to the companies supplying the post-chad computerised voting machines for next year's elections - turns out to be on the Saudi shilling in one way or another.

More Wahhabism is in the terrorists' interest. Less Wahhabism is in America's interest. With that in mind, Washington should also put the squeeze on the Saudis financially: there's no reason why my gas-guzzling SUV should fund toxic madrasahs around the globe when there's plenty of less politically destructive oil available in Alberta, Alaska, Latin America and Iraq. Watching the House of Saud tearing itself apart will not be a pretty sight. But it's better than letting the House of Saud tear apart moderate Muslim communities everywhere from the Balkans to South Asia.

4) sudan

These days, Khartoum is officially 'co-operating' with the Americans. Quite what that means is unclear. But Sudan has been a critical source of Islamist manpower: its mujahedin have been captured as far afield as Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq. At home, two million people have been murdered in the past decade, and its Christian minority is vanishing. While this may have once been a matter of indifference to the West, it should not be now. America should be as hard on ethnic cleansing in the Muslim world as it was in the Balkans.

5) north korea

North Korea is one of four countries that have been assisting Iran with its nuclear programme. We can only guess its relationship to the world's less official nuclear programmes. Kim Jong-Il has no money and his preferred export drive is for a product only the crazies want. The terror groups have plenty of money and a great interest in acquiring a product not a lot of countries are offering. Sooner or later, they'll figure it out, if they haven't already. The North Korean regime is not long for this world; the only question is whether it falls before it's in a position to do any serious damage. If that doesn't look likely, the options are not good.

Profound changes in the above countries would not necessarily mean the end of the war on terror, but it would be pretty close. It would remove terrorism's most brazen patron (Syria), its ideological inspiration (the prototype Islamic Republic of Iran), its principal paymaster (Saudi Arabia), a critical source of manpower (Sudan) and its most potentially dangerous weapons supplier (North Korea). They're the fronts on which the battle has to be fought: it's not just terror groups, it's the state actors who provide them with infrastructure and extend their global reach. Right now, America - and Britain, Australia and Italy - are fighting defensively, reacting to this or that well-timed atrocity as it occurs. But the best way to judge whether we're winning and how serious we are about winning is how fast the above regimes are gone. Blair speed won't do.

http://defenseofamerica.org/r/nf.html?i=5058&t=n
12 posted on 12/09/2003 8:24:37 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
These Five Regimes Must Go

November 29, 2003
The Spectator
Mark Steyn

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1036726/posts?page=12#12
13 posted on 12/09/2003 8:26:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Defence minister Says Iran has Capability to Respond to Israeli attack

December 08, 2003
BBC Monitoring
BBC Monitoring Middle East

Iran's defence minister, Vice-Admiral Ali Shamkhani has said that Iran will respond to any Israeli action against the country. Speaking to correspondent on 8 December, Shamkhani said: "Any action against the Islamic Republic Iran at any time, regardless of who the perpetrator is, will be interpreted by officials of our country as an action against the existence of the Islamic Republic and not as its equivalent. In fact, it is tantamount to taking action to undermine the territorial integrity of the country. Therefore, there will be a response to such actions. If there are those who are thinking of planning such actions, they must know that Iran has the capability to do so." Shamkhani said that Israel was "a bloodthirsty regime", adding: "Before the conservatives came to power in America, that regime only drank blood at night. However, now they are acting under America's protective umbrella and they are drinking blood day and night." The following is the text of a report by Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) web site

Tehran, 8 December: Today, the threats issued by the rogue Israeli regime and Israeli officials are more transparent than they were before and such threats only show their roguish nature to the people of the world.

According to a report by the correspondent of the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), speaking to correspondents when visiting Ashianeh Fajr [company], the minister of defence [and armed forces logistics] Vice-Admiral Ali Shamkhani, added: The Israeli threats to Iran are not new. However, it is the transparency of the threats which make them appear as new to the people of the world.

He pointed out that, today, the Israeli discourse was no different from the discourse of the elements ruling over America. He continued: They act in the same way as well. In fact, what America did in Samarra and what Israel is doing in the occupied territories all day are exactly the same as well.

The defence minister said that the Israeli regime was a bloodthirsty regime, adding: Before the conservatives came to power in America, that regime only drank blood at night. However, now they are acting under America's protective umbrella and they are drinking blood day and night.

He pointed out that the Islamic Republic as familiar with the discourse of that regime, saying: Any action against the Islamic Republic Iran at any time, regardless of who the perpetrator is, will be interpreted by officials of our country as an action against the existence of the Islamic Republic and not as its equivalent. In fact, it is tantamount to taking action to undermine the territorial integrity of the country. Therefore, there will be a response to such actions. If there are those who are thinking of planning such actions, they must know that Iran has the capability to do so. Moreover, Iran will not permit the Israeli regime to carry out such threats so they can only boast about doing such things.

In response to a question about the military situation in the Caspian Sea, the defence minister said: In the Caspian Sea, Iran should not get involved in arms races or be concerned about military threats. It should pursue its own policies and continue to implement its own plans. Of course, Iran will not approve of any foreign presence in the Caspian Sea. It believes that Caspian Sea littoral states trust each other and that America's military presence in the sea will be provocative and undermine our security.

He also responded to another question about his reaction to rumours about the arrest of Iranian security forces, saying: There is no documentary evidence to verify this claim and we strongly deny this claim.

Shamkhani stated that there was no need for Iranian security forces to be present in Iraq, adding: We believe in a secure and stable Iraq which respects the desires of its own people and which has a culture similar to our own. Therefore, such insinuations should raise suspicious and are unacceptable. They cannot be proved either. Therefore, they will remain as mere rumours.

The defence minister pointed out: Measures have been taken within a clearly defined framework and Iranian pilgrims in Iraq who followed the rules did not encounter any special problems. Of course, the incident in Samarra was an exception. It was a regrettable and indefensible incident.

In another part of his remarks during his visit to Ashianeh Fajr, he said: We are trying to utilize our capacities in the defence sectors and we are doing so in various fields. We have formulate a strategy and we are implementing it. In this way, we are trying to utilize our capabilities in three clearly defined fields, namely; transportation, communication and energy.

He stated that some of the surplus capacity in the transportation sector had already been utilized, explaining: In the three fields of sea, land and air transport, the under-utilized capacity of the defence industry has been used for commercial and business purposes. Indeed, the engine of the turbotal train was reconstructed in the same establishment and as far as the maritime sector is concerned, we have built a number of vessels.

The defence minister pointed out that certain projects will be inaugurated in the near future. He added: Today, in the field of air transport, in addition to building the Iran-140 aircraft, we are also trying to become self-sufficient in the repair and maintenance of all the existing aircraft in this country. We are trying to demonstrate this in practice.

Shamkhani said that this required that we had to cooperate with another company, stressing that we had to employ committed individuals to use such capacities. He added: Because the mangers of Mahan airlines were committed revolutionaries, an agreement was concluded with Mahan airlines and then we concluded another agreement with HOMA [Iranian national airliner] airlines. In fact, the Islamic Republic of Iran's first 747 aircraft was repaired at the D4 level (the highest level of the repair, maintenance and overhaul [preceding word in English] of an aircraft) and the aircraft will join the fleet in 29 days.

He said that the capacity could be used and that the Islamic Republic had the capability to repair and maintain all classes of its aircraft in this hangar.

The defence minister expressed the hope that the government would continue to support the development of this capability to ensure that, from now on, not a single aircraft will be sent to a foreign airport for repairs. He said that, in fact, this may meet reasonable demands.

He added: The Ministry of Defence has proved the effectiveness of such a mechanism and it has privately demonstrated its competitiveness in the private sector and it can speak the language of market economics while accomplishing its task.

Shamkhani pointed out that Ashianeh Fajr was among the largest steel shelters in the region, pointing out: The steel shelter was constructed by using the internal resources of the Defence Ministry and the government did not have to allocate a budget to the construction of the steel shelter.

He expressed the hope that the government would support such projects, adding that, in this way, dedicated specialists of the Aviation Industry Organization would be able to prove their operational effectiveness. In this way, by relying upon market mechanisms, a new phase in the history of aircraft repair and maintenance will begin.

In response to another question, Shamkhani said that the most important aspect of the Fourth Plan in the defence sector was to turn instructions into rules and he expressed the hope that, in this way, the people will be endowed with the capability to defend us against internal and external threats.

He said that this meant that the foundations for an army of 20 million would be laid. This will depend upon the modernization of the defence sector and the expansion and deepening of deterrent capabilities, particularly missile capabilities.

He said that the modernization of the armed forces and the allocation of financial resources to them to increase their effectiveness and efficiency would also ensure their rapid transport and effectuate a response which is proportionate to the threat.

In response to another question, Shamkhani pointed out: We will soon fly a two-engine helicopter as part of our project to manufacture helicopters.

He added: As far as the issue of helicopters is concerned, we are able to meet the needs of every organization in terms of the supply of helicopters. We are also self-sufficient with regard to repairs and maintenance and we can meet all the needs of our country.

In response to a question about the measures the government had taken to meet the needs of international markets and repair aircraft in our own country, he said: The Ashianeh Fajr Company needs government support and this requires the taking of two steps. In this way, this capability can be used to meet the internal needs of our country.

Shamkhani said that the country's market was a power which must not be put at the disposal of foreigners, continuing: The market must be controlled by internal elements because this will lead to the creation of technology, jobs and wealth.

He opined that the next step would be to ensure government support for the development of this market and that, in this way, the needs of aircraft outside the country would be met as well.

Source: ISNA web site, Tehran, in Persian 1451 gmt 8 Dec 03

http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?disc=61429;article=23601;title=Iran%20News
14 posted on 12/09/2003 8:28:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Five Caspian States to Meet in Tehran

December 09, 2003
RIA Novosti
Nikolai Terekhov

TEHRAN -- The 12th session of the special working group for the Caspian Sea area at the level of deputy foreign ministers is opening in Tehran on Tuesday.

The participants in the session will discuss the clauses of the Convention on the Caspian Legal Status, with 60% of it already coordinated.

On December 9-10, the sides will consider such problems as sea safety and prevention of the Caspian militarisation by non-littoral states. They will also discuss the use of oil and gas resources of the unique sea-lake, navigation, fishing and ecology.

A joint Tehran statement is expected to sum up the session.

The Russian delegation is headed by deputy foreign minister, special envoy of the Russian president in the Caspian Sea region Viktor Kalyuzhny. He already conducted negotiations with his Iranian counterpart Mehdi Safari on December 8.

The settlement of contentious issues of the Convention on the Caspian Legal Status is the most complicated and acute problem to be discussed by the littoral states.

http://en.rian.ru/rian/index.cfm?prd_id=160&msg_id=3681753&startrow=1&date=2003-12-09&do_alert=0
15 posted on 12/09/2003 8:29:05 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Ebadi Refuses to Radicalise Despite of Requests

December 09, 2003
AFP
IranMania

TEHRAN -- Those in Iran and overseas hoping human rights activist Shirin Ebadi would use her new stature as Nobel Peace Prize winner to stand against the Islamic regime look set to be disappointed.

For Ebadi, "nothing has changed", and her often quiet work consisting of poring over the case files of dissidents or lobbying for steady legal reform does not look set to evolve into open political confrontation with authorities.

Ebadi, 56, is also firm in her determination to stay out of politics -- and has been quick to stamp on suggestions she could one day, for example, run for president.

"The cult of the hero has always put this country back. Heroes die, betray or fail. But ideals do not," the Nobel laureate told AFP in an interview last week in which she responded to criticism of her continued low profile in Iranian affairs.

The pressure on Ebadi to exploit her new stature -- and virtual immunity since her surprise prize win -- is linked to widespread frustration with the country's mainstream reformists led by embattled President Mohammad Khatami.

During municipal elections in February 2003, turnout in large cities was just above 10 percent. Conservatives trounced the reformers, and the analysts see the same happening when the country votes in a new parliament in February next year.

"She should take a tougher stance," asserted Iraj, a young student and one of many who have lost faith in Khatami. "With the Nobel prize, she is virtually untouchable."

But Ebadi asserts her work is legal, and not political. And when it comes to the mounting pressure on her, she said ordinary Iranians simply need to do more themselves.

"I tell people that they have to fight for their rights themselves, and there are a lot of people doing that," she asserted. "Freedom does not come on a silver platter."

And while her prize win has been taken by many as a step towards her immunity from harassment, her aides point to increasing threats from hardliners who have little regard for the Nobel committee.

"Since her return, she has received a number of threats by telephone or letter. There are maybe 20 or 30 times more threats than before," said Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, spokesman of the Human Rights Defence Circle headed by Ebadi.

"In general, the letters are typed. Recently, some of them have even threatened her daughter Narghess," he added.

And last week, a group of around 50 hardline Islamists stopped Ebadi giving a speech at a women's university in Tehran by chanting slogans including "Death to Ebadi" and "Shirin the American, ask for pardon".

Their anger appeared to have been sparked by her decision to appear without a headscarf in front of television cameras in Paris after the announcement of her award on October 10.

"Be careful not to be unveiled in Oslo, if not you know what awaits you back home," the protestors warned. Nevertheless, Ebadi says she will not be wearing a headscarf when she formally accepts her prize on Wednesday.

Dadkhah argued that in the face of such threats and by making such gestures, Ebadi was already doing enough.

"Those who say that Shirin Ebadi should do more should say more clearly what she could and should do," Dadkhah said. "Since her return she has not stopped calling for the release of political prisoners or demanding legal reform."

"We have asked permission to publish a review. We are still waiting. Several days ago, we published a statement questioning the competence of a revolutionary tribunal to try Ebrahim Yazdi," the head of the liberal opposition Iran Freedom Movement, he said.

"No newspaper published it. So if she should step up her rhythm, there could be a even harder backlash."

Rather than be pushed into politics, Ebadi appears determined to maintain her steady campaign for judicial reform and by taking up the case of dissidents.

"The Nobel prize has not changed my commitment," she said.

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=20442&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
16 posted on 12/09/2003 8:30:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
"The Nobel prize has not changed my commitment," she said.

Perhaps she is just waiting til she can seize the moment? I have my doubts. Forgive me if I am being naive. Perhaps she will join forces with others, in time.

17 posted on 12/09/2003 9:10:54 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom ~ Now!
18 posted on 12/09/2003 9:33:34 AM PST by blackie
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
19 posted on 12/09/2003 9:50:42 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Today: December 09, 2003 at 6:14:51 PST

Smugglers Seek $6M for 3 Tourists in Iran
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Smugglers Seek $6M for 3 Tourists in Iran

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -

Drug smugglers have demanded $6 million in ransom for three tourists they kidnapped in southeastern Iran, officials said Tuesday.

The tourists - two Germans and one Irish - were abducted a day earlier while cycling from the historical city of Bam to Zahedan, the provincial capital, in a region known as a major drug-smuggling route.

The kidnappers were drug smugglers whose rackets had been hit hard by the security forces during the past year, the director general for security affairs in Sistan-Baluchistan province, Gholam Reza Javdan, told The Associated Press.

He said an anonymous caller claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and demanded $6 million to release the hostages.

Security forces have launched an extensive operation to catch the kidnappers and free the hostages, Javdan said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi criticized the tourists on Tuesday for not telling the local authorities of their travel plans.

"The incident happened when two German tourists and an Irish tourist were cycling in Sistan-Baluchistan province. They had not coordinated with the law enforcement beforehand," Kharrazi said on state television. He added foreigners "usually" told the police when they were about to enter such areas.

Javdan said police had confiscated over 40 tons of various narcotics from drug smugglers during the past eight months in Sistan-Baluchistan. He said the kidnapping was believed to be an attempt by the smugglers to recoup their financial losses.

"The kidnappers are just demanding money," he said.

In Dublin, an official of the Irish Foreign Affairs office confirmed it was investigating what had happened to an Irish national in Iran, but declined to give any details about the person or the incident.

In Berlin, the German Foreign Ministry said it was looking into reports that several foreigners, including Germans, had been abducted in Iran.

An advisory on the German Foreign Ministry's Web site, dated Monday, cautioned against overland travel from Iran to Pakistan and Afghanistan, particularly by bicycle or motorbike. "There is a considerable risk of kidnapping on journeys - particularly individual or trekking trips - to the provinces of Kerman and Sistan-Baluchistan," it said.

Kidnapping of Western tourists is rare in Iran, but Sistan-Baluchistan is known for large drug smuggling rackets which do occasionally resort to extortion. A few Western tourists were kidnapped in Iran in the late 1990s.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/text/2003/dec/09/120906818.html
20 posted on 12/09/2003 12:02:54 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: F14 Pilot
Persian rugs and pistachios. :)

Perhaps I misspoke?
21 posted on 12/09/2003 2:38:15 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: F14 Pilot
ping to 20
22 posted on 12/09/2003 2:38:43 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." --- GIBRAN)
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To: F14 Pilot
France and Germany, socialism and appeasement, backward into the past.
23 posted on 12/09/2003 5:04:43 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot; Grampa Dave
Bump Condi Rice upstairs to veep in 2004 and put in Mark Steyn as National Security Advisor.

Then it's hasta la vista Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and North Korea.

24 posted on 12/09/2003 5:31:22 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran - Hope For a Cure in 2004?

December 09, 2003
Babel International
Nicole Sadighi

If Europe wants to help the Iranian people they should realise that the present Islamic regime has done nothing but poison Persia and her people.

February 2004 will see the next parliamentary elections in Iran. Already the municipal elections that took place in February 2003 were significant for the Islamic Republic, in which turnout hit rock bottom - in the capital city Tehran, only 9% of eligible voters did so. This clearly indicates a loss of faith in the Islamic regime and its potential for change, as people have become increasingly frustrated with the reformists’ legacy of broken promises. A fierce struggle has broken out within the reformist camp to prepare themselves for the 2004 parliamentary elections, yet so far they have failed to produce any new ideas that could inspire the electorate.

At the same time they look to their European allies for support, who in recent years have helped them in any and every way one could imagine. However, public opinion has soured against the Europeans as well as against the reformists. If one wants to understand the frustration and negative opinions of the Iranian public with respect to the European Union - in particular Britain, Germany and France – it suffices merely to stroll through the streets of Tehran and listen to people’s complaints. We know that during the last 4 years the European Union has tried everything possible to support the reformist camp in Iran lead by Mohammad Khatami, trying to defuse the chaotic political situation in Iran as well as in the international arena. Nonetheless it has not produced any positive results. The public scepticism is palpable.

Fruitless Efforts

I reflect back on British Foreign Minister Jack Straw’s numerous visits to the Islamic Republic, as well as those by his foreign counterparts, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. The latest and only constructive support has been their efforts to defuse the problem that has arisen from nuclear arms production in Iran and the enrichment of weapons grade uranium. The general assumption in the west, particularly in Europe, is that the reformists are a distinct breed from the conservative camp. Yet it must be emphasised that in Iran the perception is quite the opposite, and that in the eyes of the people there is no difference between the conservatives and reformists: both camps have joined forces in order to prolong the life of Islamic Republic and each camp has a vested interest in doing so.

At the same time the war in Iraq, led by the United States, has created hope amongst the Iranian public. A hope that sooner or later, once the Iraq issue has been resolved, the west will realise how deeply and strongly the Iranian people wish for radical change in Iran, and will therefore help those Iranians who are struggling to restore democracy, freedom, and a secular regime in this ancient land. Both the reformist and the conservative camps in Iran are fully aware of this feeling and have thus set in motion new tactics in order to distract public opinion at home and abroad. They are trying to destabilise Iraq as much as they can with the help of radical Shiites, by facilitating easy cross-border travel for international terrorists in the hope that the US will pull out its forces from Iraq and thus ease the pressure on Iran. The fact that there are troops in all the surrounding Emirates in the South of the Persian Gulf, such as Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar, and in Central Asia and Afghanistan has given Iran’s Mullahs a fearful insecurity and a sense of being trapped in a pincer. Therefore they are trying their utmost to destabilise Iraq and Middle East, including their funding for the radical Palestinian groups who help sabotage the Middle East peace process.

So what next?

In Iran the most dynamic group are the young, who make up approximately 70% of the country’s nearly 70 million population. The regime is fully aware of this fact and has shown their anxiety through heavy-handed repression. One example of such maltreatment was the tragic saga of the 1999 street protests, where hundreds of thousands of students took to the streets in a peaceful show of defiance. Siavash Fakhravar, Ahmad Batebi, Manuchehr and Akbar Mohammadi and many other students were condemned to torture and imprisonment for their involvement in the demonstration.

If the free world, and Europe in particular, want to help the Iranian people restore their freedom then they should reassess their policies, change their attitudes and realise that the present Islamic regime has done nothing but poison Iran and its people.

Nicole Sadighi is a freelance journalist and member of the "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran".

Nicole Sadighi - London - 20.11.2003

http://www.cafebabel.com/en/article.asp?T=A&Id=581
25 posted on 12/09/2003 9:49:01 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iraq: Leadership To Expel Iranian Opposition Group

December 09, 2003
Radio Free Europe
RFE/RL

Baghdad -- The U.S.-backed Iraqi Governing Council today announced it is expelling the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq, or the People's Mujahedin.

In a statement, the council called the group a "terrorist organization," and said its members will be thrown out of Iraq by the end of the year. The statement said the group's premises will be shut down and its assets frozen.

Some members of the People's Mujahedin surrendered to invading U.S. forces earlier this year, and are being held in camps in northern Iraq. The group was allowed to operate in Iraq under the regime of deposed President Saddam Hussein.

http://www.rferl.org/nca/features/2003/12/09122003171311.asp
26 posted on 12/09/2003 9:49:44 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
"MATERISALISATION OF DEMOCRACY IN IRAN IS OUR TASK":
SHIRIN EBADI

By an IPS Correspondent

OSLO, 9 Dec. (IPS)

"The struggle of Iranian women for their rights has started long, longtime ago and this award would strengthen this effort, helping Muslim women all over the world to get their rights as well", Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian winner of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for 2003 said in a press conference in Oslo on Tuesday.

While reiterating that there is no incompatibility between Islam and other civilizations, yet she admitted that Muslim women were subject to discrimination "in few fields" that she did not specified.

Since she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October, she has been vindicated by some Iranian radical clerics inside the country, accusing the Norwegian judges of the Nobel Academy to have acted under pressures from the United States and Zionist circles.

Pressure groups controlled by the ruling Iranian conservatives have sent her death threats and disrupted last week a conference she was to give at a Tehran university, calling her "hypocrite" and "the sweet love of (American President George W.) Bush, who has labeled the Islamic Republic as a "rogue State" alongside of Communist North Korea and Iraq under the now toppled Saddam Hoseyn.

Even President Mohammad Khatami, described routinely in the Western press as "moderate" belittled the decision, saying that the Nobel Peace award "was not important".

At the same time, leftist groups outside Iran denounced the Academy’s official statement to bestow the Prize to a "a Muslim Iranian woman" arguing that the remark contradicted equality of sexes, human rights, secularism and democracy, principles that are opposed by Islam.

"This award bestowed to an Iranian and a Muslim women has another message: That Islam is compatible with other civilization, but if an innocent is killed in the name of Islam, be sure that one has abused of the religion", she told in answer of an Iranian female correspondent arguing that Islam does not respect equal rights of women and is not compatible with democracy and human rights.

"We shall not allow that innocent people be killed or human rights principles be violated in the name of Islam", she said as some hundreds Iranians opposed to the Islamic Republic were demonstrating outside the conference room.

In an "alternative" press conference held at the same time by the Iranian Communist Workers Party, speakers gave chilly details of the thousands of "innocent" Iranian political activists murdered in Iran in the name of Islam.

Offering her award to all women, but particularly to Iranian and Muslim women, she repeated her hopes to see the Prize she obtained would help promoting the values of human rights world over.

Though she escaped political questions raised by Western journalists, with few of them knowing exactly where Iran was located on the world map, repeating that she was not a "politic", she nevertheless rejected attacking of other countries in "whatever name or pretext.

"Democracy can be realized with peace, calm and serenity, not with violence and war. It’s materialisation is the task of the people and should not be used to attack other countries", she said, adding that however that "the support of international opinion and the United Nations would help", a veiled reference to the US attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq.

"If the peace sought by me and the peace sought by you is in conflict, then there is no peace at all", she said.

Asked how the international community should pressure the Iranian clerical rulers to embrace democracy and human rights, she said immediately that this was

"a national and patriotic duty of ours".

The 56 years-old lawyer and human rights campaigner who had been jailed for two weeks tow years ago will receive her Prize, a diploma, a gold medal and a cheque worth 10 million Swedish kronor (1.12 million euros, 1.36 million dollars) at a formal ceremony at Oslo City Hall on Wednesday.

ENDS EBADI OSLO 91203

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2003/Dec-2003/ebadi_oslo_91203.htm

27 posted on 12/09/2003 9:52:30 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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28 posted on 12/10/2003 12:04:37 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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