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Iranian Alert -- January 30, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement -- Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 1.30.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 01/30/2004 12:05:05 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.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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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 01/30/2004 12:05:05 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 01/30/2004 12:07:49 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Anyone have any comments on the Nightline piece about Iran?

3 posted on 01/30/2004 12:11:03 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I didn't see it.
Perhaps we can get a transcript.
4 posted on 01/30/2004 12:47:24 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran may allow official U.S. visit

By Barbara Slavin, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Iran is considering admitting a U.S. congressional delegation in what would be the first official U.S. visit since Iran's 1979 revolution.
Guests at a bipartisan dinner in the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday for Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammed Javad Zarif, said firm dates were discussed for visits by congressional aides as early as Feb. 11, to be followed by members of Congress.

Zarif said in a telephone interview Thursday that no dates had been set, but added, "I hope to be able to see this happen." Iran rebuffed a proposed visit earlier this month by Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., but allowed U.S. military planes to deliver aid after a devastating earthquake in the ancient city of Bam.

The two countries have lacked formal ties since 1980, when Iran was holding U.S. Embassy hostages. But there have been increasing contacts in recent years, motivated in part by both countries' desire to take advantage of Iran's influence in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq, where U.S. forces have overturned anti-Iranian regimes.

Outwardly, relations have remained cool. President Bush labeled Iran a member of an "axis of evil" in a speech two years ago along with Iraq and North Korea, and the State Department lists Iran as the top state sponsor of terrorism. But behind the scenes, U.S. and Iranian diplomats held three rounds of talks in Geneva last year.

Both sides have much to gain from better relations. The Bush administration wants Iran to give up a suspected nuclear bomb program, to extradite al-Qaeda detainees, stop supporting anti-Israeli militants and assist Iraq's political transition. A majority Shiite Muslim nation, Iran has influence on Iraq's Shiite majority and could help — or disrupt — the transition from U.S. occupation to Iraqi rule.

Iran wants the United States to lift sanctions that prevent investment in Iran's oil industry and most trade with the United States.

Zarif's visit to Capitol Hill was the first by a high-level Iranian since 2001, when the Bush administration was seeking Iranian cooperation in the war in Afghanistan. Because the two countries lack formal ties, Zarif needed State Department permission to travel outside New York. His request for a visit in 2002 was denied because Zarif also planned to address a large public gathering, a State Department official said.

Among those who chatted with him Wednesday over Persian chicken in a room off the office of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., were Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, John Larson, D-Conn., Doug Bereuter, R-Neb., and Vic Snyder, D-Ariz.

"It was a good, healthy conversation," Ney said Thursday.

"The whole evening focused on the need for communication and the missteps on the part of both countries," Larson said. He said Ney, who taught English in Iran in 1978, was arranging for congressional staff to go to Tehran as a prelude to a visit by members of Congress.

The Bush administration would not have to approve such a trip, a congressional aide said.

Experts caution that Iranian approval is not guaranteed. Some Iranian officials fear an improvement in ties will further undermine the Islamic regime. A visit by members of Congress is unlikely until after Iranian parliamentary elections Feb. 20. Polls show that most Iranians want diplomatic relations restored with Washington. Conservatives allied with Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, hope to win the elections and take credit for a breakthrough.

Haleh Esfandiari, an Iran scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Institute, a Washington think tank, says conservatives are gaining in part because of voter frustration with the failure of Iranian reformers. "People are sick and tired of internal politics. Their view is, let's see what (conservatives) can deliver."

DoctorZin Note: We need to contact our congressman and let them know that the people of Iran do NOT want us to conduct such meetings with the Islamic regime in Iran. The people of Iran fear that this will only provide legitimacy to an illegitimate government. Write them now!
5 posted on 01/30/2004 12:54:56 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
If you want to write your congressman, the following website can be very helpful...
6 posted on 01/30/2004 1:26:33 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
I wrote my representative, and implore others to do likewise.
7 posted on 01/30/2004 4:28:06 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
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To: DoctorZIn
"Ney,was arranging for congressional staff to go to Tehran as a prelude to a visit by members of Congress."

This isn't good at all. It only gives legitimacy to the regime.
All of these men need letters written to them: House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., were Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, John Larson, D-Conn., Doug Bereuter, R-Neb., and Vic Snyder, D-Ariz.

8 posted on 01/30/2004 4:33:14 AM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: nuconvert
Just emailed Specter, Ney and Snyder. The others frown upon email that doesn't come from their constituents. Snail mail for them, I suppose.
9 posted on 01/30/2004 5:23:36 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Great. Yes, I've noticed that also. "Don't waste our time if we can't possibly get your vote."
10 posted on 01/30/2004 5:27:24 AM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Mystery witness to talk of Iran

A man who says he was an Iranian intelligence agent is scheduled to testify at a terror trial in Hamburg. He claims he warned the CIA about the 9/11 attacks, but some say he can't be trusted.

By John Crewdson
Tribune senior correspondent

January 30, 2004

BERLIN -- The typed, one-page letter, in broken English, is addressed to the "Prezident of the United States of America Mr. J Bush."

In it the writer, who uses the name Hamid Reza Zakeri and claims to be a former Iranian intelligence agent, tells the president that he warned the CIA less than two months before Sept. 11, 2001, that the Iranian government knew about a major terrorist action against the United States.

"But they did not believe me and did not operate," the letter says.

Zakeri, who will not divulge his real name, claims he faxed the letter to the White House in April 2002 but never got a reply. Now he is causing headaches for the CIA and other Western intelligence services, at least one of which says he cannot be trusted; for German prosecutors, who say he can, and for a court in Hamburg that is trying to decide the fate of a Moroccan charged with aiding the Sept. 11 hijackers.

The prospect of Zakeri's testimony before the Hamburg court provoked an angry reaction from the Iranian foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, who earlier this week dismissed Zakeri as "not honest" and his information as "fabricated."

Iranian diplomats here go further, asserting that their intelligence services have never had a relationship with Zakeri and pointing to what they say are subtle flaws in one of the documents that Zakeri says proves his service with the Iranian intelligence agency MOIS.
11 posted on 01/30/2004 5:47:33 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (He who has never hoped can never despair.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Iran lifts ban on candidates
January 30, 2004 - (SA)

Teheran - Iran's interior ministry said on Friday that 980 of the more than 3 500 candidates barred from next month's parliamentary elections have had their bans lifted, Kar news service reported.

The Guardian Council had until Friday to monitor the candidates. The hardline council functions as an upper house of parliament and includes conservative clerics and jurists.

Known reformists, including 83 members of the current parliament, were not on the list of approved candidates by Thursday, prompting reformist MPs to continue their protests.

There has been no reaction yet to Interior Minister Mussavi Lari's demand to postpone the February 20 elections.

In a letter to Guardian Council head Ahmad Jannati on Thursday, the minister said that Iran's 27 governors did not deem the political, legal and security conditions suitable for holding elections.

While President Mohammad Khatami insists on respecting the laws and holding the elections as scheduled, reformist MPs, including his brother Mohammad-Reza Khatami, have warned of mass resignations.

Observers said the current situation was the most serious crisis as the Islamic republic approached its 25th anniversary.,6119,2-10-1462_1476617,00.html
12 posted on 01/30/2004 7:16:05 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: nuconvert
We need to contact Fox News.
They are reporting that a US visit to Iran may help US efforts in Iraq.
We need to complain about their faulty analysis.
13 posted on 01/30/2004 8:32:21 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The View From Tehran

January 30, 2004
The Guardian
Dan De Luce

Calls for greater freedom in Iranian elections grew louder this week, with student leaders lending their voices to the cause. The student leaders were backing Iranian MPs, who have been protesting against a blacklist of election
candidates drawn up by the country's hardline religious leadership.

With student activists offering support to MPs holding a sit-in at the parliament building, and protests spreading across the country, the reformist daily Yas-e No said it was now clear the protest was not a "show", as conservative critics had claimed. "This is the beginning of a resistance movement against the violation of people's rights and the restriction of legal freedoms," the paper said.

Yas-e No also published a cartoon portraying a chess game, with one player's hands tied behind his back, making the point that banning candidates would turn next month's parliamentary elections into a sham.

Although the reformists in the Iranian parliament have proved too cautious and taken public support for granted in the past, their attempt to reach out to the student leadership represented an encouraging sign, said the liberal newspaper Sharq. Perhaps the talks with student activists signalled that the MPs would now "return to the community, which is explicitly calling for democracy".

While the state television monopoly continued to ignore or belittle the sit-in at the Majlis - the parliament building - there was spirited debate in both reformist and conservative newspapers about the meaning and nature of the crisis.

Jomhuri Islami and other conservative newspapers castigated the protesting MPs as "extremists" who were acting on behalf of foreign enemies seeking to overthrow the theocratic establishment. "Once again, foreign plotters and their agents inside have become active to create tensions and divisions in society," the paper said.

The conservative commentator Amir Mohebian, writing in Resalaat, dismissed calls from reformist MPs to postpone the February 20 election, saying such a move was legally and administratively "impossible". As for threats of an election boycott, Mohebian said the reformist camp lacked popular support and therefore any effort to boycott the vote was likely to fail.

With the hardline Guardian Council due to deliver a final decision today about whose names will appear on the ballot, the liberal newspaper Mardomsalari said the legacy of the 1979 revolution and the legitimacy of the theocracy was at stake.

"Although the conservatives have adopted clever tactics for confronting their rivals by utilising legal loopholes, this strategy contradicts the very core of the Islamic revolution," Mardomsalari said.

The powerful former president Hashemi Rafsanjani told the ultra-conservative daily Kayhan that he was holding talks with both sides to try to resolve the crisis. Mr Rafsanjani also denied reports that he was living an aristocratic lifestyle as a result of his extensive commercial holdings. "The basis of my life is piety and sufficiency and I hate sanctimonious behaviour," he was quoted as saying.

Only a month after a devastating earthquake left 41,000 people dead in the south-eastern city of Bam, another tremor was reported in the area on Thursday night, the Iranian Student News Agency reported on its website. The latest quake registered 4.3 on the Richter scale.

The tremor focused attention again on conditions in the devastated city. One Bam resident, worried about how he could make a living after the first quake had destroyed his shop, told Sharq: "It is supposed to take one month for the government to address our financial situation but what am I going to do in the meantime?"

The paper alleged that the authorities had failed to coordinate the foreign aid given in the wake of the disaster and had delivered useless goods to the city's residents. "We got oil lamps but they didn't give us oil," a 26-year-old man told the paper. "What they give us is what they want to give us, not what people really need."

A government crisis committee had set up tents outside the city but most Bam residents preferred to camp out "in their own rubble" rather than sleep on the outskirts of the city. "You cannot ignore people's attachment to their homes, even if it is only rubble," the newspaper said. "They water their palm trees, take care of their pets and gradually retrieve valuables buried in the debris.",12900,1134603,00.html
14 posted on 01/30/2004 8:34:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Minister Calls for Election Postponement

January 30, 2004

TEHRAN -- Iran's Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi-Lari called for the postponement of the February 20 parliamentary elections, the Interior Ministry said Friday.

"In order to lay the ground for a proper election...I ask for a postponement," he said in a letter posted on the ministry's Web site and sent to the head of a hard-line watchdog that has barred thousands of aspiring candidates from the vote.

The minister did not suggest a new date for elections, saying he would do so later.

Iran's reformist-run Interior Ministry is in charge of the country's elections, the fairness of which was cast into doubt when the 12-man hard-line Guardian Council banned almost half of the 8,200 candidates from running.

Those disqualified were mainly allies of reformist President Mohammad Khatami and included 80 of the standing 290 MPs.

Reformist parliamentarians have been holding a protest sit-in at parliament for almost three weeks.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state matters, intervened by calling on the Guardian Council to review the decisions but reformists complain reversals have been slow to come.
15 posted on 01/30/2004 8:35:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Commander in Iraq Sites Rising al-Qaida Activity

January 30, 2004
The Los Angeles Times
Megan K. Stack

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The capture of an al-Qaida operative on the Iraq-Iran border is compelling evidence that the terrorist network has begun to take root in Iraq and is joining forces with Saddam Hussein loyalists, the commander of the U.S.-led coalition forces said Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez said the arrest this month of Hassan Ghul, described by the United States as a "courier" for alleged Sept. 11 planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, "is pretty strong proof that al-Qaida is trying to gain a foothold here to continue their murderous campaigns."

"The extent of the infrastructure and the extent of their operations here is still evolving," Sanchez told reporters at a news briefing.

Sanchez said hints of foreign expertise had been evident since at least mid-November, when a suicide bomber killed 33 people in an attack on an Italian military police base in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah.

"For months I've been saying that al-Qaida's fingerprints have been here in Iraq," Sanchez said.

The influence was notable, he said, in "the techniques that were being employed by foreign fighters and ... the tactics being employed by suicide bombers."

The military hasn't been able to identify any of the suicide bombers who've succeeded in blowing themselves up, Sanchez said. But most of the would-be bombers who've been stopped were foreigners, he said.

"We believe that there is some fundamentalist terrorist linkage with the former regime at the tactical level," he said. "And we believe there are some efforts to strengthen those linkages."

Sanchez had said in November that he hadn't identified a single al-Qaida operative in Iraq despite indications that foreign recruits might be playing a part in suicide bombings.

Last week, he told CNN: "I think it's probably not appropriate for me to talk about al-Qaida in the sense of a concrete, proven presence."

The issue of possible links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida has proven controversial for the Bush administration.

In September, amid criticism that senior administration officials helped lead Americans to believe that Iraq was behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President Bush said there was no proof tying Saddam to the plot but added that "there's no question that Saddam Hussein had al-Qaida ties."

Last week, Vice President Dick Cheney said there was "overwhelming evidence" that Saddam had a relationship with al-Qaida.

But earlier in January, Secretary of State Colin Powell said he had "not seen smoking-gun, concrete evidence" of connections.

Others outside the administration have questioned a possible pre-war alliance, pointing out that Saddam's secular regime would not have appealed to al-Qaida, a radical Islamist movement.

Few details are known about Ghul, or about his arrest. Bush said that Ghul was in Iraq to facilitate attacks against U.S. troops.

American officials have described Ghul as a messenger who reported directly to Mohammed, the al-Qaida operational commander who was captured in Pakistan in March.

"He was moving money and messages around South Asia and the Middle East," Bush said last week. "He was part of this network of haters."

At Thursday's briefing, Sanchez also cited an unidentified Yemeni man who was arrested after his vehicle failed to explode near a Baghdad police station at the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in late October. He has since died in U.S. custody.

Besides an influx of foreign fighters, Sanchez said, U.S. officials have noted that attacks have become more sophisticated, and have increasingly targeted Iraqi civilians and civil servants.

On Thursday, explosives stashed inside a cart of diesel fuel were blown up as Iraqi Civil Defense Corps passed through the town of Baqouba, injuring 11 people, including nine of the Iraqi troops.

The hope that Saddam's capture would weaken the insurgency has dwindled. Already in January, the number of U.S. troops killed by hostile fire has reached 34, compared to just 25 in December.
16 posted on 01/30/2004 8:36:55 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S.-Russian Positions Closer on Iran's Nuclear Program

January 30, 2004
Ria Novosti

The positions of Russia and the United States on the Iranian nuclear program have become noticeably closer, said a source in the Russian foreign ministry.

It is seen, particularly, from the recent talks held in Moscow with the United States' Undersecretary of State John Bolton, the source said.

"We have worked out a position common not only for Russian-American relations but also in the multilateral format," the source continued. The matter today is not only how to combat the lack of transparency in the Iranian nuclear program but how the IAEA resolution on Ira[n] will in fact be implemented.

The source recalled that the international community has three basic demands to Iran, contained in the resolution of the IAEA board of governors. They are - Iran's provision of information on its former activities in the nuclear field, joining the IAEA additional protocol on guarantees, discontinuing the uranium enrichment program.

"Iran is to accept all the three decisions," the source said. To him, the next step is to be a report by the IAEA head Mohammed El Baradei at the March board-of-governors session. In his report El Baradei will say how the clauses of the resolution are being implemented.

The source has suggested that "Iran-IAEA cooperation will gradually be depoliticized and passed into the sphere of technical interaction."
17 posted on 01/30/2004 8:37:42 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Leader Sends Letter to Nasrallah

January 30, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting

Tehran -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Friday sent a letter addressed to the Secretary General of the Hezbollah Lebanese resistance movement Seyed Hassan Nasrallah on the occasion of the freedom of hundreds of Lebanese combatants.

In his message on the occasion of the liberation of the brave Lebanese combatants from the dreadful prisons of the occupier Zionists, the Supreme Leader has emphasized, "the recent great incidence was another test, proving to the Islamic 'Ummah' the vulnerability of the evil Zionist regime in confrontation with the resolute wills, and the strong faiths of the 'Mujahideen' who fight to please Allah."

The Leader in his message reiterates, "I congratulate you and all proud Hezbollah 'Mujahideen', as well as the families of those nobel ones, and the Palestinian and Lebanese nations, on brave Hezbollah's victory in securing the release of hundreds of gallant sons of Islam from the dreadful prisons of the tyrant and occupier Zionist regime."

Ayatollah Khamenei adds in the message, "I hail every single one of these brethren who tolerated tough hardships for lingering long years, but never yielded to the enemy's pressure quite gallantly."

He has elsewhere in the message hoped that the resolute of the youth who have been relying on the unbreakable promise of God, be doubly as strong.

The Supreme Leader has at the end prayed to exalted Allah for the final victory of the resistant Palestinian and Lebanese nations, and the release of the rest of the oppressed prisoners, as well as more victories for Hezbollah, and long and prestigious life for its "dear and esteemed" Secretary General Nasrallah.
18 posted on 01/30/2004 8:38:27 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Links Zarqawi to Iraq Attacks

January 30, 2004
CNN News

WASHINGTON -- U.S. officials said Thursday there is mounting evidence fugitive terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi was involved in some of last year's major attacks in Iraq -- against Italian forces, U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf.

The first attack killed 16 Italian soldiers, two Italian civilians and nine Iraqis in Nasiriya. More than 20 people, including United Nations envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello, were killed in the headquarters bombing. The mosque attack in Najaf killed 126 people, including a Shiite spiritual leader.

Zarqawi, who is suspected of masterminding the slaying of an American diplomat in Amman, Jordan, is believed to have moved into Iraq to plan the attacks. Although not a member of al Qaeda, he is affiliated with the terrorist organization, officials say.

In a speech to the United Nations February 5, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell named Zarqawi's presence in northern Iraq as evidence of a "sinister nexus between Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network."

The United States recently captured Hasan Ghul, a key al Qaeda member, as he was trying to enter Iraq. Officials say Ghul was planning to meet with Zarqawi. Ghul is reportedly talking to his interrogators and providing useful information.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez discussed the arrest of Ghul, who was apprehended January 22 in Iraq by friendly foreign forces and turned over to U.S. intelligence personnel, with reporters.

"The capture of Ghul is pretty strong proof that al Qaeda is trying to gain a foothold here to continue their murderous campaigns," Sanchez said. "Ghul's capture is great news for the Iraqis, for the coalition and for the international community's war against terrorism."

Sanchez, the head of U.S. ground forces in Iraq, said Ghul was a courier reporting directly to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was arrested in Pakistan last year and is believed to be an organizer of the September 11 attacks.

Sanchez said al Qaeda "tactics, their techniques and their procedures have been here for a while," at least dating back to the November bombing on the Italian military headquarters in Nasiriya, Iraq.

"With the Hasan Ghul arrest, we know that there are some couriers" for al Qaeda in the country, Sanchez said. "We believe there are some fundamentalist terrorist linkages with the former regime at the tactical level. We believe there are efforts to strengthen those linkages."

Sanchez would not say whether al Qaeda has cells in Iraq, but said suspects in failed suicide bombing attacks were not Iraqis.

Ongoing assaults

A roadside bomb exploded Thursday morning northeast of Baghdad, wounding four members of an Iraqi Civil Defense Corps patrol, a U.S. military official said.

No coalition forces were hurt in the attack in Baqubah, a town about 32 miles (51 kilometers) northeast of the Iraqi capital, according to the U.S.-led coalition.

Baqubah is in the restive "Sunni Triangle" area -- a region north and west of Baghdad known as a hotbed of guerrilla insurgency.

The latest bombings punctuate a violent week in the Sunni Triangle.

Six U.S. soldiers, four Iraqi police officers, two CNN employees and an Iraqi civilian were killed Tuesday in five attacks throughout the country. Coalition forces also killed three armed insurgents during a raid.

Other developments

• The U.S. Army has won approval from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to temporarily add 30,000 troops above its congressionally approved limit of 482,000, Pentagon officials said Thursday. Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, told Congress Wednesday the temporary increase is expected to last about four years.

• The Iraq Governing Council has asked Iraqi authorities to investigate allegations there is an illegal prison being run by a top Shiite cleric, according to Safaa Al-Rasool, a deputy of Governing Council member Mowaffak al-Rubaie. Iraq allows various Shiite clerics to have a court system based on their teachings, but those groups are not authorized to operate prisons.
19 posted on 01/30/2004 8:39:27 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The Miasmal Mist of the Unholy Deceit

January 30, 2004
Iran Institute for Democracy
Ramin Parham

This writing is heavily indebted to an electrician and a novelist.

Two eminent scholars, Adam Przeworski and Fernando Limongi, in a 1997 publication[1], through lengthy computation and sophisticated calculations, attempted to test the “predictive power” of what has come to be known as the “modernization theory”, first laid out by Lipset in 1959 ...

Observing the strong correlation between “affluence” and “democracy”, the researchers asked themselves, if the above theory has any predictive power, then “there must be some level of income at which one can be relatively sure that the country will throw off the dictatorship”. In their concluding remarks, the researchers assert that “one is hard put to find this level”, that “there are no grounds to believe that economic development breeds democracy”; rather, “once established, democracies are likely to die in poor countries and certain to survive in wealthy ones”. Affluence strongly correlates the “survival” of democracy more than it paves the way for its “emergence” …

One eminent electrician, Wei Jingsheng, the most prominent dissident arrested in the brief period of ‘liberalization’ that followed the trial of the “Gang of Four” in communist China, wrote a series of political essays in 1978-1979, the most famous of which entitled the “Fifth Modernization”[2]. There, commenting the communist government’s policy of “four modernizations”, Wei argues that “modernization of any country, whether in the West or in the East, could not occur without democracy”. For this and other writings, Wei was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

25 years have past since the events that marked what has come to be known as the revival of revolutionary Islam: the so-called “Islamic Revolution” of Iran, paramount of “identity regression” and “self-reclusion into the purity of the selfhood of the self”! 25 years have past during which slogans have come, turn by turn, to fulfill their only purpose, that of deception, before waning away in yet another wave of slogans. From the early ones of “classless society” to that of the “cultural revolution”, to those of the “import substitution era” of the “managers of reconstruction”, onto “religious democracy”, slogans have left but vast social spans of poverty, drug addiction, and prostitution in a national context of clinical depression striving for a livelihood in near complete international suspicion if not isolation. Chinese communist did just the same. They even invented “people’s democratic dictatorship” and “thought reform”[3] before they came up, à la Khatami’s “religious democracy”, with “socialist democracy”. The latter comprising three aspects, “democracy within the Communist Party; democracy within the workers and peasants [classes]; and, democracy within the United Patriotic Front”[4]!! The components are democratic while the sum is brutal dictatorship. Eastern algebra! That, the blue-eyed naïve does not apprehend!

“What kind of tricks are they playing on us, and where are they dragging us?” asked Aleksandr Solzhenistyn days after his expulsion from the “motherland of socialism” on February the 18th 1974. “Gratuitous boasting of cosmic achievements while there is poverty and destruction at home …things have reached rock bottom. A universal spiritual death has already touched us all, and physical death will soon flare up and consume us both and our children”. “Is there any way out”, he asked his countrymen in a Washington Post article[5].

Our country’s recent history is full of paths not to follow. They are signaled by the “Rex Theatre” in Abadan and the Music stores in Tehran, still fuming, remembrance of times past in inflamed ignorance. “Islamic Republic, not a word less, not a word more”[6], “I will no longer read this paper, Ayandegan”[7], “I am coming, and I will break your pen”[8] …Thus barked Ayatollah Ahab[9] forcing out the monster, forceps in hands. “The Iranian nation, even at a time when part of the country was under the enemy’s occupation and bombings, held the elections firmly and calmly”, paraded a lesser prestidigitator[10] amidst pavane and dancing courtesans. Infamy breeds infamy.

Is the circle closed in damnation? “Maybe something will happen by itself”, wondered the free man through his pen, divine instrument of truth, mortal enemy of deceit. “It will never happen” he warned. Not as long as we, on a daily basis, “acknowledge, extol, and strengthen -the most perceptible of its aspects: lies”[11].

Growing frail and grayish, lies born out of violence, loosing self-confidence, they summon treachery and gluttony as their ally. Effusively rapturous, mediocrity the world around would close rank in ecstasy and enshrine falsehood as “relative truth”. “Why should cattle have the gifts of freedom? Their heritage from generation to generation is the belled yoke and the lash”[12]. “Iran generally is more democratic than most of its Arab neighbors, given its relatively smooth presidential and parliamentary elections”[13] …These cattle have more grazing pasture than the ones next door … Thus vomits mediocrity.

But, what is the lifeline of lies? What makes them reproduce and survive where “light”, supposedly, “is”. How can lies camouflage themselves so well? We humans, Iranians and else, are the blood in the veins of lies. “Obedience to lies and daily participation in lies”[14] make lies alive. Blood droplets of lies, stop circulating, and lies will die.

We sewed the rotten cloth of governmental robes and turbans. We glued the blasphemy of “holy slaughter”. We assembled the idiocy of “Gnostic equality as a way of oil-government”. We manufactured the incestuous consent of “non-alignment”, fallacy in falsehood. We dug the abysmal hole of the “world of Islam”, the melting pot of misery. We kneeled in obedience in the face of heresy: “This movement is a movement of the type of the Prophets’ movements, stemming from self-awareness or God-in-self-awareness”[15]. We stripped ourselves to dress the naked lie.

Yesterday is history and tomorrow is mystery. But the moment in which we read these lines is life’s “gift”, the “present” in which we can and must frame tomorrow so “that which should be naked would then really appear naked before the whole world”[16].

Mystery is pregnant. We conceive it.

References & Notes:

[1] Modernization: Theories and Facts. By Adam Przeworski and Fernando Limongi. World Politics 49; January 1997, 155-183. Analyzing the impact of the “development” variable, and “deliberately ignoring factors such as religion, colonial legacy …” the authors “reconstruct two alternative views of the relation between development and democracy, both put forth by Lipset”. The latter, observed in 1959 that “democracy is related to economic development”. Paraphrased by yet another scholar, Lipset’s thesis is summarized in the following hypothesis: “if other countries become as rich as the economically advanced nations, it is highly probable that they will become political democracies”. To check the validity of the hypothesis, the authors conducted a series of statistical tests calculating the probabilities of “transition to democracy” and/or the reverse process of “transition to authoritarianism”, taking into account such variables as “the level of GNP/cap in 1985 PPP USD”. Their data set encompassed available information from 135 countries, including Iran, between 1950 and 1990. Altogether, 224 regimes were observed, 101 democratic and another 123 authoritarian. No intermediate, grey-zone regime was taken into consideration. The disparity between the total number of countries and that of observed regimes is explained by the fact that, during the observation period, the “convoluted” path of some countries, such as Argentina, traversed ups and downs between democracy and dictatorship. Finally, both the “endogenous” and the “exogenous” variants of the theory were examined. The endogenous path, also referred to as “modernization”, assumes that democracy is but the final stage of an authoritarian process characterized by a “specific causal chain” leading from industrialization, to urbanization, education, communication, mobilization, and political incorporation, or the “progressive accumulation of social changes that ready a society to proceed to its culmination, democratization”. While South Korea, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Portugal, and Greece are given as examples of the endogenous path, the exogenous emergence of democracy, on the other hand, catalyzed by such factors as geopolitical ruptures and wars, is exemplified by post-Malvinas Argentina, post-Franco Spain, Taiwan and else.
[2] The Democracy Reader, edited by Diane Ravitch and Abigail Thernstrom. HarperCollins Publishers, NY 1992, page 261-263.
[3] item
[4] La CCPPC, Radio Chine Internationale Français
[5] “Live not by lies”. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, ref. 3 page 207
[6] Khomeini’s fatwa-like injunction on the eve of the founding ‘referendum’ of the Islamic Republic in 1979
[7] The fatwa-like injunction of Khomeini led to the immediate closure of Ayandegan, a progressive daily, the first of a long series …
[8] khomeini’s injunction to a delegation of Iran’s writers association
[9] the one-legged commander of the whaling ship Pequod in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Ahab is a “madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself”. Penguin Classics edition of Moby Dick.
[10] Khatami, Tehran, January 27th, IRNA
[11] Solzhenitsyn, cf. ref. 5
[12] item
[13] Editorial of Asahi Shimbun
[14] Solzhenitsyn, cf. ref. 5
[15] Ayatollah Mottahary speaking of the “Decadays of Fadjr”, celebrating the advent of the Islamic Revolution.
[16] reference 4
20 posted on 01/30/2004 8:40:57 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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