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Iranian Alert -- March 18, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 3.18.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 03/17/2004 11:48:33 PM 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; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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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 03/17/2004 11:48:35 PM 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 03/17/2004 11:51:30 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change.

Huh? (scratching head) :)

3 posted on 03/17/2004 11:53:45 PM PST by teletech (Friends don't let friends vote DemocRAT!)
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To: DoctorZIn
This just in from a student inside of Iran...

"Khameneii , yesterday, declared ban on all strike and said it is against Islam and revolution."

4 posted on 03/17/2004 11:55:38 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Sounds like a curfew!
5 posted on 03/18/2004 12:01:05 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: teletech
It should read "Starting June 10th, 2003."
6 posted on 03/18/2004 12:01:10 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
I want to apoligize to the Iranian people for the American media and if I knew where there was any American media, I would, but all we have is communist media here.
7 posted on 03/18/2004 12:01:40 AM PST by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get)
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: DoctorZIn
It should read "Starting June 10th, 2003."

Thanks for the clarification. Maybe we should chase the riff-raff out of Iran next and replace them with grownups.

9 posted on 03/18/2004 12:16:20 AM PST by teletech (Friends don't let friends vote DemocRAT!)
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To: DoctorZIn
More Photos of this weeks Chahar Shanbe Souri (Fire Festival) celebration in Iran.


10 posted on 03/18/2004 12:16:57 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
U.N. still weighing Iran's nukes

By James G. Lakely
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
18 March 2004

The head of the United Nation's nuclear watchdog yesterday told President Bush that "the jury is still out" on whether Iran is developing nuclear weapons, refusing to confirm the thinking of U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran is well on its way to building a nuclear bomb.
Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said he and Mr. Bush agreed in their 45-minute meeting that the acceleration of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East is "a different ballgame" and that they will work together to put a stop to it.
"There was a concern here in Washington about the Iranian program," Mr. ElBaradei said after his meeting at the White House. "I told them that the jury is still out, and we haven't come to any conclusions about the nature of [Iran´s nuclear] program."
The Bush administration wants to put greater pressure on Iran to prevent it from exploiting the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to go beyond developing nuclear-power plants to producing a nuclear weapon.
"We have serious concerns about Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "There certainly is no reason why they need to have nuclear energy, given all their vast oil and gas resources. And we need to continue to send a clear, consistent and strong message to Iran."
Mr. ElBaradei said he is confident that inspections by the IAEA — as well as more international cooperation to restrict traffic in nuclear materials — will work to keep Iran's program in check.
"We will continue to apply very vigorous inspections and, hopefully, will expect to see full transparency by Iran if Iran wants to prove that its [nuclear program] is for peaceful purposes," Mr. ElBaradei said.
Earlier yesterday, Mr. ElBaradei told the House subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia that he has not ruled out the possibility that Iran is building a nuclear bomb. But he also noted that he had to choose his words very carefully to prevent justifying military action against any regime pursuing a nuclear program.
"Our statements can make the difference between war and peace," he said. "That's why we have to be careful."
The crisis surrounding Iran's nuclear program was sparked in August 2002, when an exiled opposition group said Iran was hiding a massive underground uranium-enrichment plant.
Iran denies those accusations and has decried "plots by the U.S." to undermine what it says is a peaceful nuclear program.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami yesterday accused the United States of bringing the "worst pressures on the IAEA" and turning other countries against it unjustly.
On Saturday, Iranian officials announced an indefinite freeze on IAEA inspections after the agency's board of governors censured Iran for hiding suspicious activities. Iran relented Tuesday, however, and will allow the IAEA back into the country on March 27.
"We will continue cooperation with the IAEA as long as our interests require and as long as we know various plots led by the U.S. are ineffective," Mr. Khatami told reporters in Tehran yesterday.
Mr. ElBaradei said he doesn't think two weeks is enough time for Iran to hide any illegal nuclear activities.
The director said he was assured by Mr. Bush and CIA Director George J. Tenet that the IAEA will receive cooperation from U.S. intelligence agencies to do an effective job of policing rogue nuclear states.
"I think we all understand that we need intelligence, we need resources, and we need technology to do a good job," Mr. ElBaradei said. "We agreed, both President Bush and I, that we are partners and we need to work together if we want to protect ourselves.
"This is a different ball game, and we need to think outside the box," he said.

http://washingtontimes.com/national/20040317-105829-5465r.htm
11 posted on 03/18/2004 12:27:22 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Chahr Shanbe Soori (Fire Burning Wednesday): The Iranian people turn this national ceremony into a widespread protest action against the regime

Based on reports received from Iran, people especially the youth celebrated this event in all the cities of Iran. In Tehran the brave youth in Sejad street threw grenades and firecrackers and set pictures of Khamenei on fire. While in the presence of the regimes' forces, the youth shouted slogans such as "Toop, Tank, Feshfesheh, Akhoond bayad Koshteh she" (Bombs, Tank firecrackers, Akhoond/Mullahs Must be Killed) while jumping over the bonfires. On Arya street in Tehran young boys and girls were shouting anti regime slogans while jumping over fire.

Tehran's youth were burning the Islamic Republic flag alongside pictures of Khamenei. The regime's forces that were present did not dare approach the youth.

In Kerman, on Shahada street, while the sound of firecrackers and explosions could be heard non stop, the people set a car belonging to the regime's forces on fire while shouting "Referendum, Referendum Een Ast So'ar e Mardom" (Referendum, Referendum This is the Slogan of the People). The youth in Kerman also set on fire effigies of Khamenei the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic.

In Tabriz, Ghazvin, Chaloos, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, and many other Iranian cities, similar celebrations and protests took place. As part of the Chahar Shanbeh Soori celebrations in Fardis Karaj, people attacked and set on fire the criminal Friday Prayer Leader's home. The youth clashed with the regime's forces and threw grenades at them while chanting slogans against the regime's leaders and demanding a referendum. Slogans heard included: "Toop, Tank Feshfesheh, Khamenei Koshteh Sheh" (Bombs, tanks, Firecrackers, Khamenei must Die), and addressing the Ansar e Hezbollah thugs (state sponsored Islamic Vigilante group) they shouted "Sheer'ee boro Gom sho" (Drug addicts go get lost). They also ridiculed Khatami, the president, with slogans accompanied by tambourines.

Reports from Haft Hoz and Narmak districts of Tehran described thousands gathered for the fire ceremonies. In Shahrk e Gharb and Meydan e Enghelab squares of Tehran the youth were throwing firecrackers at the feet of the regime's forces while smoke had shrouded the entire area. In front of Tehran University the youth threw a grenade at one of the regime's Mercedes Benz cars. A group of Baseejees (Islamic Vigilantes) who were attempting to attack the crowds were attacked in return by the brave youth, resulting in their injury and escape. A Baseej who was arresting a student was attacked with a hand made grenade and was severely injured, while onlookers cheered and applauded. Meanwhile the students were shouting slogans such as "Melat, Daneshjoo Etehad Etehad (Nation and Students Unite) "Daneshjoo, Mo'alem, Kargar Etesab, Etesab" (Students, Teachers, Workers Strike, Strike), "Dictator Haya Kon Mamlekat ra Raha Kon" (Dictator have shame, leave the nation alone).

Based on another report from the Nasr area of Tehran, at approximately 10.45pm there was a huge explosion amidst the regime's forces, injuring at least 20, the explosion was powerful enough to shake the whole area.

In Chaloos, firecrackers and explosions could be heard everywhere. The youth in this city had inflated a large baloon with the slogan "Referendum, Referendum Rahe Nejat e Mardom" (Referendum, Referendum the only hope for the people). In Ghazvin, the youth set a police car on fire on Hadi ZAbad street. In Ardibil, despite the ban on celebrations by the criminal Friday prayer leader of this city, the people, young and old, all poured out onto the streets for this national celebration. In Sarab city in Azarbaijan, the people forced the Baseej who were attacking the people to flee.

http://web.peykeiran.com/net_iran/irnewsbody.aspx?ID=13040
12 posted on 03/18/2004 12:31:56 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Said to Seek Iran's Nuclear Details by June

By DAVID E. SANGER
Published: March 18, 2004

ASHINGTON, March 17 — The head of the United Nations nuclear monitoring agency, Mohammed ElBaradei, said Wednesday that President Bush and his aides had told him they regarded June as "an important deadline" for Iran to reveal all the details of its clandestine nuclear program. But he said Mr. Bush had left unclear what action he might take if Iran failed to do so.

After a 45-minute meeting with Mr. Bush and Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, Mr. ElBaradei also said he sensed that the administration was "still mulling" some kind of direct dialogue with Tehran on its nuclear program and other issues.

In an interview after the meeting, Mr. ElBaradei said the subject of Iraq's weapons programs — so contentious a year ago — never even came up Wednesday in the Oval Office.

Instead, the discussion, which Mr. ElBaradei said had covered Pakistan and North Korea as well as Iran, centered on their somewhat different proposals for controlling the world's supply of fissile material for nuclear weapons, and keeping it out of the hands of both terror groups and rogue nations.

Mr. ElBaradei said he pressed Mr. Bush to help him get his inspectors into Pakistan to take samples of its nuclear material, which he needs to match up with traces of nuclear material found in Iran. It is a network created by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the Pakistani bomb, that is suspected of supplying Iran with the materials and technology to make atomic weapons.

Mr. Bush has said publicly that he believes that Iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons; Mr. ElBaradei says he does not yet have evidence of a weapons program.

Iran's account of its nuclear activity has constantly changed. Last year it admitted that it had hidden 18 years of nuclear development programs. It conceded this year that it had experimented with an advanced type of centrifuge apparently supplied by Mr. Khan's network.

Senior American officials have said they will decide in June whether to seek sanctions against Iran in the Security Council.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/18/politics/18INSP.html?ex=1080190800&en=a5da86f9223251ce&ei=5062
13 posted on 03/18/2004 12:36:34 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Here is an funny picture of the Iranian President Khatami that appeared in an Iranian newspaper showing Khatami's face behind a car and his hands were up like he is saying bye...

The caption reads: The Year of Saying Bye


14 posted on 03/18/2004 12:46:25 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Stefania
Welcome to Iran's Thread created by DoctorZIn.
15 posted on 03/18/2004 2:05:10 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
It's New Year's Eve in Iran. People are celebrating despite a ban on celebrations. They traditionally jump over small fires to symbolize the end of the old year on the last Wednesday of the year.

Yawn.

Lee
16 posted on 03/18/2004 3:34:45 AM PST by MrLee
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To: MrLee
It's New Year's Eve in Iran. People are celebrating despite a ban on celebrations. Yawn.

Yawn? Pictures of Khamenei are being burned & you find it boring? On other threads there were reports of revolutionary guards getting beaten.

17 posted on 03/18/2004 5:01:26 AM PST by Tribune7 (Vote Toomey April 27)
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To: Tribune7
Yawn? Pictures of Khamenei are being burned & you find it boring?

You are so right!! This is news. This coming revolution is having "serious birth-pangs" right now, and before long, the "baby" is going to be born! Welcome Baby FREEDOM to the good folks of Iran!

18 posted on 03/18/2004 5:19:09 AM PST by Reborn
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To: DoctorZIn
Duck and cover.
19 posted on 03/18/2004 5:24:29 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Much of your pain is self-chosen. --- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: DoctorZIn
I'd like to buy into all this but reserve comment until my friend returns from Iran. When I last spoke to him he reported that things weren't as bad as reported and that we only get the bad news. He is coming back shortly.
20 posted on 03/18/2004 5:30:04 AM PST by Bringbackthedraft (SPIT ON NAM VETS AGAIN, VOTE KERRY!)
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To: MrLee
Get some sleep then check the news when you wake up...
21 posted on 03/18/2004 6:04:54 AM PST by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the regime's candidate)
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To: Bringbackthedraft; DoctorZIn; GeronL; nuconvert; RaceBannon; Valin; McGavin999; AdmSmith; ...
Iran Nobel laureate condemns terror, Muslim tyrannies

By Dan Eaton
18 March 04

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi on Thursday accused many Muslim governments of using religion to justify tyranny and said the teachings of Islam were fundamentally opposed to murder and terror.

The outspoken lawyer, who became a hate figure among Iran's religious hardliners for her outspoken support of social and legal reforms, said some Muslim leaders were afraid to trust majority opinion in their own countries.

"Today, many governments have made a shield of Islam, to hide behind it. They justify their tyranny with interpretations of the religion," Ebadi, who won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, told a conference of clerics and scholars in the world's most populous Muslim nation.

The 56-year-old human rights campaigner, who has been lambasted by Iran's conservative newspapers for shaking hands with men and appearing in public without a headscarf, did not name specific governments.

"Islam is not a religion of violation and terror," said Ebadi, the first woman to become a judge in Iran and the first Muslim woman to win a Nobel prize.

"Be assured, if someone were assassinated under the name of Islam, there is a misuse of Islam. Any violation done by an individual or a group should not be registered under the name of Islam."

Ebadi, who has urged governments to address injustice and discrimination as the root causes of Islamic militancy, also issued a veiled criticism of the United States-led war in Iraq.

"The fight against terrorism is a legitimate fight of a human being, but it must be done under the framework of the United Nations," she told reporters after he speech.

Because of her vocal support for political and economic reforms and abolition of Islamic penalties such as stoning and amputation of limbs, Iran's conservatives call Ebadi an agent of the West.

http://www.reuters.com/locales/newsArticle.jsp?type=worldNews&locale=en_IN&storyID=4594098
22 posted on 03/18/2004 6:45:52 AM PST by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the regime's candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn

23 posted on 03/18/2004 7:31:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Tolerance of Iran's Nukes Spurs Neighbors

March 18, 2004
WorldNetDaily.com
Geostrategy-Direct

Iran's success in flouting the will of the international community by continuing its nuclear weapons program is giving similar ideas to several countries in the Middle East, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, reports Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence information service.

Leading U.S. analysts warn the Bush administration that Egypt and Saudi Arabia – both of which have declared their commitment to a nuclear-free Middle East – would probably join Iran as nuclear weapons states during the next few years. These countries would be motivated by the emerging threats from Iran and the rivalry of India and Pakistan.

"If Iran joins Israel as a de facto nuclear-weapon state, with three other nuclear-weapon states nearby – Russia, India and Pakistan – it is very unlikely that other nations in the vicinity will be able to resist launching or accelerating their own nuclear weapons programs," stated a report.

"It is not at all inconceivable that a Middle East with four, five or six nuclear-weapon states, including Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, will be the reality of the early 21st Century," stated the report authored by Kenneth Weisbode of the Atlantic Council and James Goodby of the Brookings Institution.

In October 2003, Saudi Arabia concluded a nuclear cooperation accord with Pakistan, according to Western intelligence and Israeli officials. The accord calls for Islamabad to provide a nuclear umbrella over the Arabian Peninsula as part of a new Saudi strategy that seeks to decrease its dependence on the United States.

Analysts said Pakistan could upgrade the Saudi arsenal of up to 60 Chinese-origin CSS-2 Dong Feng 3A ballistic missiles secretly bought in the mid-1980s.

The missiles have nuclear capability and have a range of up to 3,000 kilometers.

What's worse, the analysts warn, is that the regimes of Egypt and Saudi Arabia are vulnerable to a hostile Islamic takeover. This gives a nuclear Egypt or Saudi Arabia an even more menacing aspect, they say.

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=37626
24 posted on 03/18/2004 7:33:53 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
China Signs USD 20 Bln for Iranian Gas

March 18, 2004
AFX-Asia
Ample

BEIJING -- State-owned oil trader Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp confirmed it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to buy more than 110 mln tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Iran.

However, Zhuhai Zhenrong and the Iranian embassy in Beijing both declined to provide further details on the deal.

"The final decision on potential users of the LNG hasn't been made yet, and we can't disclose any information about the deal. More details will come out in the second half of this year," Zheng Mei, a spokeswoman with the company's general manager's office, told AFX-Asia.

Earlier today, state media reported that Zhuhai Zhenrong signed a deal earlier this month to buy more than 110 mln tons of LNG from Iran over 25 years, starting in 2008.

The deal could be worth as much 20 bln usd, making it the biggest LNG purchase deal in the world.

Zhuhai Zhenrong will initially buy 2.5 mln tons of LNG a year, with the amount to increase to 5 mln tons from 2013.

The deal follows the signing of an agreement by China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) last month with the Zhejiang provincial government to build a 1.7 bln usd LNG receiving terminal in the eastern province, which could handle 3 mln tons of LNG annually.

China is bringing in gas from other countries as well as boosting domestic infrastructure to satisfy the growing demands of energy-hungry sectors.

(1 usd = 8.3 yuan)

sharon.wu@xinhuafinance.com

http://www.iii.co.uk/shares/?type=news&articleid=4927644&action=article
25 posted on 03/18/2004 7:35:54 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Khatami Calls It Quits in Reform Struggle

March 17, 2004
Stratfor
Strategic Forecasting

Summary

Iranian President Mohammed Khatami admitted defeat in his two- term goal to weaken the grip of the country's conservative Islamic clerics. Khatami bluntly advised the populace not to expect much from the presidency in the future, and declared his legislative efforts to reform the country's political system dead. With the conservatives clearly victorious, Tehran can now speak and negotiate with a single voice. That strengthens Tehran's hand in dealing with the United States and quickens the pace of the ongoing U.S.-Iranian rapprochement.

Analysis

Speaking to reporters after a March 17 Cabinet meeting, Iranian President Mohammed Khatami declared his efforts to reform the Iranian political system -- and weaken the grip of the country's conservative clerics -- dead.

Khatami's labors had focused on a pair of bills that would have prevented the Guardians Council -- the legal bastion of the conservatives -- from vetting candidate lists in Iran's elections, and would have expanded the president's powers to the detriment of the unelected Guardians Council. Khatami withdrew both bills.

"I have met with defeat. Let the people know who is their president and what powers he has so that they keep their expectations accordingly," Khatami said. "The council even breached its own definite view that the president is responsible for implementing the constitution. People should know that in the view of some [the Guardians Council], the president is not Iran's number one official after the supreme leader. The council views the president merely as a coordinator among other institutions."

The president's statement is more than a total surrender to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's absolute spiritual leader -- who appoints the Guardians Council. In telling Iranians to expect little of him and tacitly accepting the Guardians Council's view of his office, Khatami is, in effect, declaring the reformist movement dead.

This marks the end of a long-running battle for influence between Khatami and the Guardians Council that began when Khatami was first elected president seven years ago. In Iran's February elections the Guardians Council's vetting of the candidate lists -- and eliminating reform-minded candidates -- ensured that the conservatives would control the Majlis, the Iranian parliament.

Those battles injected considerable instability into Iran's political dynamic, leading to frequent protests as pro-reform elements clashed with the security services, which are controlled by the conservatives. Charges of international meddling in the country's internal affairs have also been made regularly.

The chaos has often made for confusion in Iran's international relations, as various factions have made -- and refuted -- statements to meet the needs of their own internal politicking.

The conservatives have won. The days of confusion are over.

This development will have two immediate effects on Iran's foreign policy. First, the country will now speak with a single voice in all of its international dealings. This will dramatically strengthen Tehran's hand in dealing with the evolution of Iraq, the weakening of Saudi Arabia, relations with Europe and, in particular, the ongoing rapprochement with the United States.

Second -- and just as important -- the tempo of all these changes will pick up dramatically. There is no longer a need for Tehran to secure internal coherence before acting internationally. Despite the fact that it will be the conservatives dominating the process, Stratfor expects this to accelerate the ongoing U.S.- Iranian rapprochement. Tehran's hesitancy until now was in part because Khamenei and his allies feared provoking a split among the country's conservatives that the reformists could exploit. With that fear now past, Iran can speak boldly with one voice -- even when that voice will soon be declaring all-too-normal relations are being forged with the Great Satan.

http://www.stratfor.com/
26 posted on 03/18/2004 7:37:24 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: MEMRI's News Ticker Headlines

March 17, 2004
Middle East Media Research Institute
MEMRI

March 17, 2004
Iraqi sources said that al-Zarqawi, considered by the U.S. to be affiliated with al-Qa'ida and behind suicide attacks in Iraq, is under arrest in Iran and that Iran will extradite him to the U.S. in exchange for Mujahideen Khalq members. (al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, 3/17/04)

March 17, 2004
The Iranian weekly Tabarestan was banned for calling Iranian clerics 'goats' that destroy everything in their path and try to force their will on others. (al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, 3/16/04)

March 17, 2004
The conservative Iranian daily Jomhouri-ye Eslami called on Iranian officials to carry on with nuclear activities and enrich uranium regardless of IAEA criticism. (Jomhouri-ye Eslami, Iran, 3/17/04)

March 17, 2004
Islamic Iran participation party (IIPP) member Mostafa Derayati denied rumors that president Muhammad Khatami has decided to resign. (Mehr news agency, Iran, 3/16/04)

March 17, 2004
Iran’s supreme national Security Council secretary Hassan Rohani said that Iraqi unity and territorial integrity are important to Iran and that if the Kurds seek their rights within the Iraqi framework, Iran would not be concerned. (IRNA, Iran, 3/16/04)

March 17, 2004
Iran’s judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said there were 22 mistakes in the 'freedom of opinion and expression' report by UN rapporteur Ambeyi Ligabo. He further accused the UN human rights organization of 'seeing themselves as indebted to the U.S. and filing their report so as to please the superpower' instead of 'respecting our national sovereignty and the fundamental rights of the state.' (Aftab-e Yazd, Iran, 3/17/04)

March 17, 2004
Three days of rioting wracked Fereydoun Kenar, Iran beginning march 13 when the conservative guardian council announced that the conservative nominee Nejafnejad had won the parliamentary election, not reformist candidate Rouhi as previously thought. (Aftab-e Yazd, Iran, 3/16/04)

March 17, 2004
Reformist Iranian mp Fatemeh rakei said, 'we [the parliament] have asked the conservative guardian council to clarify whether a woman capable of undertaking the presidential post can apply for candidacy or whether it has religious reservations.' (IRNA, Iran, 3/15/04)

March 16, 2004
Iran’s supreme leader ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that martyrs are the sincerest and best devotees serving the lofty goals of Islam and the Iranian nation. (Jomhouri-ye Eslami, Iran, 3/14/04)

March 16, 2004
The reformist Iran daily wrote that there is 'a strong need' for Iran to review its policy toward Europe, following Europe’s stance toward Iran in the IAEA board of governors meeting. (Iran daily, 3/16/04)

March 16, 2004
The reformist Iranian daily Aftab-e Yazd criticized Iranian officials' haste in suspending IAEA inspectors' visits, saying it played into the hands of Iran’s opponents in the IAEA, and said that the Iranian media consistently avoided questioning official Iranian action in nuclear matters. (Aftab-eYazd, Iran, 3/16/04)

http://memri.org/ticker.html
27 posted on 03/18/2004 7:41:31 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran, U.S. Flirt with Better Ties

March 18, 2004
NBC News
Preston Mendenhall

TEHRAN, Iran - On the eve of the U.S. invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, officials here say Iran's Islamic leaders could hardly believe their luck. Washington, heretofore the "Great Satan," was about to do Iran a great service -- by taking out the man whose troops, often using chemical weapons, killed more than a half million Iranians during the 1979-1989 Iran-Iraq war.

But while the mullahs, whose popular support has waned since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, sat back and watched Saddam fall, the chattering classes had other ideas.

"After Bush is done with Saddam, have him send American troops over here," went the common refrain in Tehran.

And in the aftermath of President Bush's "axis of evil" speech in January 2002, there was plenty of speculation that Washington just might.

Reality check

But a year after U.S. troops got mired down in Iraq, the mullahs have gone nowhere. On the contrary, they are fresh from a (questionable) election victory.

Next door in Iraq, meanwhile, the American military is stretched too thin to contemplate taking on Tehran. And international support for another "regime change" by Washington is nonexistent.

But that hasn't exactly emboldened the hard-line clerics either. The Bush administration's "war on terror" has hemmed in Iran, forcing the mullahs to take a pragmatic approach to their policy toward the United States.

To the west, in Afghanistan, Washington has stationed nearly 13,000 troops to support its hunt for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida remnants, and to prop up the government of pro-American Afghan President Hamed Karzai.

In Iraq, to the east, an occupation force of more than 155,000 U.S. troops is supported by U.S. warships within sight of Iran's southern Persian Gulf shores.

And to the north, Washington has curried favor with the despot leaders of the so-called "stans" -- Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan -- enabling U.S. troops to use old Soviet bases for forward operations in the region.

"Suddenly, we are neighbors," said Reza Yousefian, a prominent reformer who was banned from taking part in last month's parliamentary elections.

Neighborly ties

But will Tehran and Washington make good neighbors?

Post-9/11 U.S. foreign policy has many strange bedfellows. (Were it not for regional oil reserves and the hunt for al-Qaida, the "stans" have little to offer America.)

In Iran's case, U.S. officials say al-Qaida operatives fled from Afghanistan and Pakistan into Iran after Washington toppled the Taliban in 2002. Some officials believe Iran may be holding Osama bin Laden's son, Saad, and other al-Qaida luminaries, as bargaining chips in future negotiations with the United States.

So can common interests bring two old enemies together?

Reformers like Yousefian think so. But parliamentary elections on Feb. 20 threw reformers like him onto the streets, after the hard-line mullahs banned more than 2,000 reformist candidates from taking part in the vote.

But there are plenty of hurdles to a U.S.-Iran rapprochement, like Iran's support for Hezbollah, the anti-Israeli guerrillas in southern Lebanon, that earns Tehran a top spot on Washington's list of terrorist-sponsoring nations.

Iran's alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons also causes friction, though Tehran claims its nuclear program is solely for civilian purposes. And in Iraq, Washington suspects Tehran is exploiting its religious ties to Iraq's restless majority Shia population, and possibly turning a blind eye to anti-U.S. militants crossing into Iraq.

Still, even hard-line conservatives like Badam Chian, a top official at the Islamic Coalition Party, are taking an open view.

"It's in the interest of both countries," he said in an interview. "For 25 years, the United States has been scheming against Iran. Why doesn't Washington understand that its policy is so wrong?"

Right or wrong, American policy toward Iran has recently been the focus of diplomatic flirtation: After the Dec. 26 Bam earthquake, which killed over 40,000, Iran received its first direct American aid in 25 years; congressional leaders recently proposed a friendly visit to Iran; and Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has become a regular in Washington political circles.

Officials here say the parliamentary elections last month, though heavily stacked in the favor of the mullahs, were designed to hijack the agenda of popular reformers like Yousefian, who had called for diplomatic relations with the United States.

"[The hard-liners] stole our slogans," the 36-year-old reformer complained. "But maybe we should take it as a compliment, or a sign of things to come."

Preston Mendenhall is an NBC News correspondent on assignment in Iran.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4387637/
28 posted on 03/18/2004 7:42:43 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Festival of Light and Fire, A Defiance of Ruling Clerics

March 17, 2004
Iran va Jahan
Potkin Azarmehr

The inherent sense of Iranian nationalism has always manifested itself during the darkest hours of Iran's turbulent history and delivered the nation from certain collapse. To date Iranian nationalism remains the most potent weapon against foreign occupiers and the present day ruling clerics.

For the last 25 years of the Islamic rule, the Iranian New Year Nowrooz, and the Red Wednesday fire Festival, which falls on the last Tuesday evening of the Iranian year, have been the battleground between the Iranian culture of joy, knowledge and life and the non-Iranian culture of mourning, ignorance and martyrdom.

When Ayatollah Khomeini tried to ban these celebrations, the uncompromising reaction of the Iranian people forced him into his first unprecedented retreat.

In more recent years, the coinciding of the Arab lunar calendar and the Shiite mourning month of Moharram with the solar Iranian calendar and the new year celebrations, gave the impression to the clerics that they can use this opportunity to ban these pre-Islamic celebrations at least while they fall in the month of Moharram. Instead the celebrations became even more poignant and more symbolic in terms of showing defiance to the imposed non-Iranian culture of the ruling clerics.

Grand Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani issued his decree by stating earlier this week: "The superstitious ceremony of Chaharshanbeh Suri is incompatible with the dignity and understanding of the Muslim Iranian nation".

The Islamic regime's security forces tried to reach a compromise this year by not banning the celebrations but declaring only certain official parks in the cities for lawful celebrations. Yet the people and the youth in particular once again turned the Red Wednesday celebrations into a combat zone for the test of forces.

As the youth jumped over the bonfires the traditional ancient rhymes were replaced with anti-government ones. "toop, tank, feshfesheh Akhoond bayad koshteh sheh" " Cannons, Tanks and Firecrackers We must kill the Mullahs".

In the Haft-Howz, Falakeh Dovvom and Nirooye Havaii, districts of Tehran more than 10,000 people had gathered. Some women openly removed their scarves encouraging others to do so too. In Mohseni Square, the youth fought back the Law Enforcement Forces. At least 20 government forces were reported badly beaten up by the crowds. In Amir-Abad district the people joined the students and more anti-government slogans were shouted. Police patrol cars, which attempted to disperse the crowd, drove away from the scene as the people started throwing home made grenades at them. In Aryashahr, the crowd were throwing pictures of Supreme Leader, Khamenei and Islamic Republic flags on to the bonfires.

Other districts in Tehran like Javadieh, Ferdowsi and Noor similar scenes continued. In some districts the noise prevented the telephone reports from making their reports audible.

Not far from Tehran, in Karaj, the house of the Friday Prayer leader was set on fire copying the similar action by the people in Fereydoon Kenar .

In Yazd, between 7000-8000 people gathered in Atlasi Sq and attacked the known regime agents.

In Booshehr, one revolutionary guard is reported killed.

In Shiraz, the people attacked government agents who were filming them and broke their cameras.

In Kerman, the people were shouting, Referendum, Referendum, This is the cry of nation.

In Sarab, Azarbijan, where the people have a fierce reputation for their fighting capabilities, the local Baseejis were on the run while shouting Allah-Akbar.

As in last year Iran's Kurdistan contained the biggest scenes of celebrations. Huge bonfires were reported from Marivan and Sannadaj, with the youth openly taunting the regime's forces.

Even in many other places throughout Iran where the celebrations were less political, young boys and girls circled around bonfires, held hands and danced to the music. An unthinkable act in the month of Moharram, even in the pre-Isalmic revolution of 1979.

So on a night where the Islamic state run TV even resorted to showing popular American films to encourage the people of Iran to stay indoors, the fire of Zarathustra remained defiant and rekindled.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2004&m=03&d=17&a=6
29 posted on 03/18/2004 7:44:39 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Is Told Iran May Be 'Ready' For Talks on Its Nuclear Program

March 18, 2004
The Walls Street Journal
Carla Anne Robbins

WASHINGTON -- The United Nations' top nuclear inspector told President Bush that Iran is "ready" for a dialogue with the U.S. that might lead to a halt in its nuclear program.

Mohamed ElBaradei also offered to be a conduit leading to bilateral talks, according to people with knowledge of the conversation. It isn't known how Mr. Bush replied to Mr. ElBaradei's offer.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, though, the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency said he is "always supportive of dialogue ... including one" between the U.S. and Iran. He declined to say whether he had been asked by the Iranians to deliver a message to the White House.

The U.S. has been cool to direct talks with Iran, asserting that Tehran has backed Islamic extremists and terror groups and pursued a covert weapons program. Before the president's meeting with Mr. ElBaradei, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said "talk about a dialogue" with Iran "is misplaced."

He said the U.S. has "always made clear that we're willing to engage with Iran on specific issues of mutual concern. ... The fact is that Iran knows what those issues of concern are: their terrorism, its nuclear program and their support for terrorist causes around the world. We haven't seen movement on any of those things." Iran says its nuclear program is for power, not weapons.

The White House invited Mr. ElBaradei to Washington to discuss ways to control the spread of nuclear-weapons technology, in the wake of disclosures about a nuclear black market headed up by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. That black market supplied secret programs in Iran, Libya and North Korea, and possibly other countries.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mr. ElBaradei said he discussed with President Bush several ideas on how to control nuclear proliferation, including tightening export controls and the need to secure weapons-usable material in research reactors scattered around the globe. He said the two men also discussed the need to restrict the number of countries that can enrich uranium and reprocess plutonium that can be used for nuclear fuel or bombs.

U.S. officials also have been critical of Mr. ElBaradei's agency and have complained that the U.N. official hasn't been more willing to confront Iran on its failure to come clean to agency inspectors. Mr. ElBaradei in turn has been critical of Mr. Bush for tearing up arms-control treaties and for authorizing research into new nuclear weapons.

Write to Carla Anne Robbins at carla.robbins@wsj.com

http://online.wsj.com/public/us
30 posted on 03/18/2004 7:47:30 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Tribune7
I'd like nothing more than to see a regime change in Iran. But, the only place I'm hearing anything about this so-called revolution is on FR!! More sources please!?

Lee
31 posted on 03/18/2004 7:47:35 AM PST by MrLee
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To: MrLee
Follow the links on the reports.
It is being reported.

Personally I think the major media is ignoring it because just like in Iraq you could either report what the regime authorizes or leave and most want to stay. Do you remember CNN in Iraq?

One other factor is that the people are very pro US and most of the major media are not. The reports don't fit what the editors are looking for.
32 posted on 03/18/2004 7:53:42 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; LibreOuMort
Great cartoon in #23!
33 posted on 03/18/2004 8:15:57 AM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: DoctorZIn
Re: June 2003 and riots centering around new moon/new year March 20, 2004.


Starting July, 1977 to November, 1978, Iranians gathered throughout their country, burning US flags and stuffed Uncle Sams. They shouted slogans while they rioted in solidarity against the Shah and for rebel leader Khomeini. Largest riots occurred January-February 1978 culminating with referrendum and seizing of power by Islamic radicals beginning in March, 1978.

July 16, 1977 was a new moon. January 9th and February 8th were new moons in 1978. Early April in 1978 was the start of the new year. Crazy thought: All activities occurred near new moons or islamic festivals. Do politicians in Iran coordinate all activities using new moons and festival gatherings as devises to portray popular support for their designs? Have all revolts within Iran corresponded with times and seasons dictated by Mazda or Mohammed?
34 posted on 03/18/2004 8:17:57 AM PST by sully777 (Wealth through labor so that I may labor through wealth.)
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To: sully777
Wow. Isn't there a new year every year, and a new moon every month?
35 posted on 03/18/2004 8:19:42 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Much of your pain is self-chosen. --- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: DoctorZIn
Asefi: No Message from Iran for US

March 18, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
IRIB News

Tehran -- Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi here Thursday dismissed news released by the foreign media that International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Mohammad Elbaradei, currently in talks in Washington with US President Ge orge W. Bush, was carrying a message from Iran for the United States.

Foreign newsreports have claimed the UN nuclear watchdog's chief, during meetings in Washington on Tuesday, suggested a US dialogue with Iran was a way of resolving the growing controversy over Tehran's nuclear programs, with deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage taking the idea with advice.

"Mohamed Elbaradei carries no message from Iran for the US officials," Asefi said. Elbaradei arrived in Washington late this week to discuss issues with regard to Iran's and Libya's nuclear programs. Meanwhile, asked about the possibility of Iran sendin g a message to the United States for direct talks between Tehran and Washington through Elbaradei, US State Department Spokesman Adam Ereli said he had nothing to say.

http://www.iribnews.ir/Full_en.asp?news_id=200627
36 posted on 03/18/2004 12:36:39 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iraqi Kurds Protest Clashes in Syria

March 18, 2004
The Associated Press
Mariam Fam

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq -- Thousands of Iraqi Kurds rallied Thursday to protest clashes between security forces and Kurds in Syria, waving flags and singing national songs.

"We ask for their rights. There are many Kurds in Syria who don't even have a nationality and are deprived of everything," said demonstrator Chotyar Mohammed, 28.

Clashes between the Kurdish minority and state security forces in Syria erupted Friday over a soccer match in the town of Qamishli between supporters of two teams — one with many Kurdish players, the other with Arab players. The violence killed at least 24 people and wounded more than 100.

Fires still burned Thursday on the outskirts of Qamishli, near the Turkish border, although Faisal Youssef, an executive of the Progressive Kurdish Party, said the city was returning to normal.

The unrest, which spread Tuesday to Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city, raised fears of a government crackdown on Kurds who may be inspired by the rising political status of fellow Kurds in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. An estimated 250 Kurds have been detained since the violence began.

In the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, demonstrators gathered outside a building of the Kurdistan Regional Government Council of Ministers, which also houses officials of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority.

"We want America and coalition forces to support and help the Kurdish people in Syria," said Sabreya Moustafa, a teacher and a member of the delegation. "We don't want another genocide as happened to the Kurdish people in Iraq."

The United States has criticized Damascus' handling of events with the Kurds.

Syria said the clashes were a foreign attempt to meddle in its internal affairs. Kurds make up about 1.5 million of Syria's 18.5 million people and live mostly in the underdeveloped provinces of Qamishli and Hasakah.

Some of Thursday's protesters wrapped their bodies in Kurdish flags. Others yelled: "Kurdistan is one land."

Armed Kurdish forces watched the protest from atop buildings.

"We don't want more Kurdish blood to be shed," said Aram Rasul, 18. "If the American slogans about freedom are true, then we want them to topple the regime in Syria like they did here, whether by force or by political means."

Jamel Kheder Abdal, a Kurdish official, said the problems of Syrian Kurds should be solved peacefully, and that Kurdish officials would raise the Kurdish demands with Iraq's Governing Council.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040318/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_kurds_1
37 posted on 03/18/2004 12:37:48 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
'High-value' al Qaeda Target Surrounded in Pakistan

March 18, 2004
CNN
CNN.com

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistani forces have surrounded what may be a "high-value" al Qaeda target in Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan, President Pervez Musharraf told CNN.

"We feel that there may be a high-value target," Musharraf told CNN. "I can't say who."

The ferociousness of their resistance indicates that the al Qaeda fighters are protecting someone particularly significant, he said.

The military asked locals to leave and is flying helicopters overhead, "pounding" the area with artillery, he said.

U.S. and Pakistani officials have said they believe al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden probably is in Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan.

Word of the standoff comes after Pakistan announced it has launched a fresh offensive against suspected militants near the Afghan border.

Meanwhile Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell designated Islamabad a key non-NATO ally.

Speaking in Islamabad on Thursday where he is meeting with Musharraf, America's top diplomat said Washington will designate Pakistan a major, non-NATO ally, making it easier for the country to buy advanced U.S. weapons.

His announcement came despite U.S. concern about the recent nuclear proliferation row involving the founder of Pakistan's nuclear program.

Earlier this year, Abdul Qadeer Khan admitted he gave nuclear weapons technology to other countries.

But Musharraf has been a steadfast ally of the United Sates in the war against terror, despite considerable pressure from Pakistan's mostly Muslim population.

Powell told CNN the United States is hoping for further assistance. On Thursday Pakistani forces launched a fresh offensive against suspected al Qaeda and Taliban fighters near the Afghan border.

Hundreds of Pakistani troops backed by heavy artillery and helicopter gunships raided homes in the nation's tribal region of South Waziristan, two days after a fierce assault in the same area left dozens dead.

Thursday's push began at around 10:00 a.m (0500GMT) in Warsak, Shin Warsak and Kaloosha villages, said Brig. Mahmood Shah, the chief of security for the area, according to The Associated Press.

Earlier, military helicopters and mosques broadcasted warnings to residents to evacuate ahead of the offensive.

But many had already fled their homes after bloody clashes this week between Pakistani troops and local tribesman apparently protecting suspected al Qaeda fighters.

At least 39 people were killed in the Tuesday raid on suspected Taliban and al Qaeda militants in a fortress-like compound in Kaloosha, close to the border.

Fifteen soldiers died, while Pakistani forces killed 24 suspects, most of them foreign fighters, military officials said.

Intelligence officers are also questioning 18 people captured during the raids.

In retaliation, angry tribesmen torched more than a dozen military vehicles -- some loaded with ammunition -- on Tuesday and Wednesday.

'Finish the terrorists'
U.S. and Pakistani officials believe the region -- which has resisted outside intervention for centuries -- holds remnants of the Taliban, Afghanistan's former Muslim rulers, and the al Qaeda terrorist network.

"For the first time in the history, Pakistani forces have entered there to finish the terrorists," Pakistani Information Minister Shiekh Rashid Ahmed told CNN on Thursday.

"We are committed against terrorism and we have to pay the price," he said.

"Our soldiers sacrificed their lives ... but we have to face this crisis, and we are ready to face it and ultimately we will get rid of these terrorists."

The whereabouts of bin Laden was still unknown, the minister said, but added that Pakistani forces were "ready to catch him."

Pakistan forces have launched a number of sweeps for "suspected foreign terrorists" along the border after Afghan and U.S. officials complained they were escaping to sanctuaries in Pakistan.

About 70,000 Pakistan troops are in the tribal regions and the recent offensive coincides with a major U.S. military operation on the other side of the border in Afghanistan to capture terror suspects.

They hope to catch al Qaeda and Taliban members in the middle as the U.S. and Pakistani militaries press in from both sides.

Though a spring offensive across southern and eastern Afghanistan, called Operation "Mountain Storm", is yet to be officially launched, U.S. military operations there have been stepped up.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/03/18/pakistan.alqaeda/index.html
38 posted on 03/18/2004 12:38:31 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Surveying the World

March 18, 2004
openDemocracy
Dominic Hilton

Love me, not so sure about others

In a week of unfolding tragedy, the Diary offers some sobering figures.

On Tuesday, the Pew Research Center produced another of its unmissable global opinion surveys. The subject: attitudes towards the US and the world one year on from the start of the Iraq war. The subjects: 7,500 people in nine countries.

In case you missed the unmissable, here’s the nutshelled version: it has not been a good week for the White House.

Sixty-five percent of Pakistanis have favourable views of Osama bin Laden. So do 55% of Jordanians, 45% of Moroccans, even 25 % of Turks.

Seventy percent of Jordanians think suicide bombings against Americans and westerners in Iraq are justified. So do 66% of Moroccans, 46% of Pakistanis, 31% of Turks.

Eighty-six percent of Jordanians think suicide bombings by Palestinians against Israelis are justifiable. So do 74% of Moroccans, 47% of Pakistanis, and 24% of Turks.

While 84% of Americans think Iraqis will be better off without Saddam, only 8% of Pakistanis agree.

Meanwhile, transatlantic relations remain as tense as a Hitchcock movie. European opinions about the US are actually worse than they were this time last year (when, let’s face it, they weren’t exactly picking out curtains).

In France, 59% think the US is exaggerating the threat from terrorism. So do 49% in Germany (76% in Jordan, who – see above – overwhelmingly favour suicide bombing).

Eighty-four percent in France think the US doesn’t take account of their country’s interests when making international policy decisions (such as getting rid of Saddam). This compares to only 48% in Pakistan who think the US acts without properly considering Pakistani interests.

Even better, 82% of Frenchmen think the US lied about the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. This compares to 69% of Jordanians, and a mere 48% of Moroccans.

Perhaps even more significant, 75% in France, 63% in Germany, 60% in Turkey and 56% in Britain think Europe should be more independent of the US in security and diplomatic affairs.

Amazingly, majorities in Britain, Russia and Turkey (and 90% in France) think it would be a good thing if the European Union became as powerful as the US.

Seventy-five percent of Americans favour Tony Blair, compared with 51% of his own electorate, 35% in France and 6% in Morocco.

Sixty-one percent of Americans like George W. Bush, compared with 15% of Frenchmen and a whopping 3% of Moroccans.

Finally, 92% of Moroccans, 80% of Pakistanis and 20% of Germans hold unfavourable views of Jews. Seventy-three percent of Moroccans, 62% of Pakistanis and 52% of Turks don’t like Christians. This compares, say, with 18% of Britons who hold unfavourable views of Muslims. Eighty-seven percent of Pakistanis like Muslims like themselves.

In fact, most people like themselves quite a lot.

Uncle Vlad

Meanwhile, with the events in Spain, you may not have noticed there was another key election this week.

In Russia, everyone’s favourite president, Vladimir Putin, romped home to victory in a landslide worthy of Saddam.

Vlad won 71.2% of the votes stuffed … sorry, cast. His nearest rival, a commie, won 13.7%. All other candidates won under 5% of the vote.

In Chechnya, Putin won 92% of the vote.

Putin, who is close to reaching superhero status in Mother Russia (the Putin doll, for example, is a must-have in every Russian household), vowed that “all the democratic achievements will be guaranteed.” He also promised economic wizardry, military victory, and to make Russia great again.

Well, he’s got the mandate…

Unfortunately, while no one disputes Putin is unrivalled for the position of Comrade Popular in Russia these days, there were many raised eyebrows over the democratic legitimacy of the elections.

International election observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe were not impressed. “The election process over all did not adequately reflect principles necessary for a healthy democratic election process,” said Julian Peel Yates, head of the mission. “Essential elements of the OSCE commitments and Council of Europe standards for democratic elections, such as vibrant political discourse and meaningful pluralism, were lacking.”

Putin’s opponents have suffered from an uncanny inability to gain media access, while the television networks repeatedly show slow-mo shots of SuperVlad looking tough, handsome, wholesome, and unequivocally confirming his sex-symbol status (none of which are OSCE “essential democratic standards”).

The critical language of the report “could not be called overly harsh”, says the Moscow Times. But the monitoring centre set up by nationalist Sergei Glazyev, liberal Irina Khakamada and communist Nikolai Kharitonov was not so diplomatic. It pointed out that patients in Moscow’s Psychiatry Clinic No.4 (where the Diary plans to retire) received their ballots already marked for Putin.

“By 2008, the whole country will be voting according to the same principle as in Psychiatric Hospital No.4,” Glazyev said, or promised. “It’s as if you come to play chess and your rival in one stroke sweeps all the pieces off the board. It’s a purely stupid Russian game. The use of administrative resources is criminal.”

Election officials in Grozny told the Moscow Times how they’d filled in several thousand ballots for Putin (and, the Diary presumes, were suffering badly from repetitive strain injury). A teacher was caught on video camera ordering her pupils to vote for SuperVlad or get straight Fs.

However, SuperVlad is not about to lose any sleep. Bush, Blair, Chirac Schröder, Koizumi all called to congratulate him within hours.

Muted criticisms from Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell were swept aside with a swipe at Florida 2000: “In many so-called developed democracies there are also many problems with their own democratic and voting procedures.”

Touché!

Dire straits

Ah, elections...

There’s another one in Taiwan on Saturday. It could prove as controversial as USA 2000 and Spain and Russia 2004.

Elections in Taiwan always inspire the Chinese military to flex its considerable muscle – you know, just to remind the voters who’s boss.

This week, the Chinese got some help intimidating Taiwan. In its biggest ever naval drill with a foreign country, China took to the waters with its new beau: France.

Taiwan, like the Diary, was not impressed. Choosing his words carefully, President Chen Shui-bian hit France where it hurts a Frenchman most, and called the land of love “bad-hearted”.

Mon Dieu! Vous m’avez tué dans la couer!

In a passionate embrace (otherwise known as joint manoeuvres) Chinese and French helicopters mounted each other’s warships. Last month, France bathed the Eiffel Tower in Chinese Red as Chirac and Hu Jintao got intimate in the Elysée.

Chen went for the jugular, saying France was “willing to be used” by its new lover China.

Cunning! Cunning!

“France is bad-hearted and tries to sell arms to China,” said Chen, who might actually gain from France’s love-in with China. The Taiwanese don’t respond well to Chinese threats and tend to vote for the candidate most hated in Beijing.

Saturday’s election comes with a controversial referendum on whether to build up Taiwanese military defences against China.

Expect trouble.

Bargain binned

Finally, Iran, whose nuclear programme has given the Diary plenty to write about these last few weeks.

Well this week, the Financial Times reported that on 4 May 2003, just after the fall of Baghdad, Iran contacted the US state department through Swiss diplomatic channels (Switzerland represents the US in Iran) offering what is being called a “grand bargain”.

The bargain involves a roadmap to normalisation of relations between the two countries, and wide-open talks on everything from the Islamic Republic’s nuke programme, its relations to terrorism, to Iraq and a two-state solution to Israel-Palestine. “The substance of the agenda was pretty reasonable,” said one American official.

According to the FT, the US has not responded to the offer “because of divisions within the Bush administration” between hawks and ... the other lot.

Iran, of course, is part of Bush’s “axis of evil”. The only US response of note was to rebuke the Swiss foreign ministry for “overstepping” its mandate. “It raises questions over the statesmanship of the Bush administration,” editorialised the FT.

Could Iran be the next Libya, dealt with through diplomacy as opposed to force?

Depends on how serious the offer is, and whether Washington plans ever to respond to it constructively. The problem is simple and perfectly described by the FT: “what the US has towards Iran is not so much a policy as an attitude.”

Figures of the week

100 million
The number of dollars netted by the Pakistani nuclear traders and their leader Abdul Qadeer Khan on sales of nuclear technology to Libya alone

14.5
The number of litres of pure alcohol consumed each year by an Irish adult

10,500
The number of Earth years that make one Sedna year.

Quotes of the week

“The [Iraq] war has been a disaster, the occupation has been a great disaster. It hasn’t generated anything but more violence and hate. What simply cannot be is that – after it became so clear how badly it was handled – there be no consequences. Bush and Blair will have to reflect and engage in some self criticism, so things like that don’t happen again. You cannot organise a war on the basis of lies. You cannot bomb a people just in case.”

Newly-elected prime minister of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. In the wake of the Madrid bombings and his party’s election to office, Zapatero promised to pull Spanish troops out of Iraq unless they are put under UN control by the end of June

“The idea that somehow there is some exemption certificate for this war against terrorism is utter nonsense.”

British foreign secretary Jack Straw

“You love life and we love death, which gives an example of what the Prophet Muhammad said.”

A statement from a videotaped message claiming that an al-Qaida affiliate carried out the 11 March train bombings in Madrid

“I think terrorists will kill innocent life in order to try and get the world to cower. I think they’re – these are cold-blooded killers. I mean, they’ll kill innocent people to try and shake our will.”

US President George W. Bush

“We will not defeat terrorism only with the use of force and weapons.”

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder

“These dark days have shown us how the American approach [to terrorism] has not been sufficient to deal with the situation completely ... It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists.”

President of the EU Commission Romano Prodi

“If you’re going to make an accusation in the course of your presidential campaign, you ought to back it up with facts.”

George W. Bush

"We are open to everyone. The only people who will not have a place are neoliberals, Nazis, racists and political delinquents."

Heloisa Helena, recently expelled from Brazil’s ruling Workers’ Party, on the new party she is helping to build

Contact the Diary: Dominic.Hilton@openDemocracy.net

http://www.opendemocracy.net/other_content/article-1800-worlddiary.jsp
39 posted on 03/18/2004 12:39:53 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: sully777
Not quite sure what you're driving at, but the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar.

On the other hand, the Persian calendar is a solar calendar.
40 posted on 03/18/2004 1:11:24 PM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled "an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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To: nuconvert
LOL!
41 posted on 03/18/2004 3:10:59 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Much of your pain is self-chosen. --- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: DoctorZIn
World Sees "Democracy Rising in the Heart of the Middle East", Says Bush

March 18, 2004
U.S. Department of States
Washington File

"Because America and our allies acted, all the world is now seeing democracy rising in the heart of the Middle East," President Bush said March 18, adding "and these historic changes are sending a message across the region from Damascus to Tehran: Freedom is the future of every nation."

"The Iraqi people are achieving great things and serving and sacrificing for their own future, Bush said in a speech to U.S. military personnel at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, "They're building a country that is strong and free, and America is proud to stand with them."

Bush affirmed America's commitment to the Iraqi people, saying that "All over Iraq today, as that nation moves closer to self-government, Iraqis can be certain that in the United States of America, they have a faithful friend...and in our military, they're seeing the good heart of America."

The president quoted a statement from an enlisted solider, who volunteered to serve in Iraq: "When those girls look at a female soldier, they think, maybe I can be something, too. We made a difference in their lives. And their faces, when they look at us, that made it all worthwhile right there."

"The murderers in Madrid have revealed once again the agenda and the nature of the terrorist enemy," Bush said. "They kill the innocent; they kill children and their mothers on a commuter train, without conscience, without mercy. This terrorist enemy will never be appeased, because death is their banner and their cause."

"There's no safety for any nation in a world that lives at the mercy of gangsters and mass murderers. Eventually, there's no place to hide from the planted bombs, or far worse, the weapons that terrorists seek. For the civilized world, there's only one path to safety: We will stay united, and we will fight until this enemy is broken," the president said.

http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2004&m=March&x=200403181520452xtkcolluB0.986767&t=livefeeds/wf-latest.html
42 posted on 03/18/2004 3:31:17 PM 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; ...
World Sees "Democracy Rising in the Heart of the Middle East", Says Bush

March 18, 2004
U.S. Department of States
Washington File

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1100196/posts?page=42#42
43 posted on 03/18/2004 3:32:12 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
A Handshake One Year After Iraq War Began

March 18, 2004
The Financial Times
Guy Dinmore

The White House is relishing the moment. On Friday, one year after the start of the war in Iraq, ambassadors from France, Germany and other countries that opposed the invasion will shake hands with President George W. Bush in a demonstration of near-global solidarity with the US-led war on terror.

A French television crew that has previously struggled to get access to the White House is among the foreign media invited to broadcast the gala event.

A guest list has not been published but diplomats said they believed almost everyone will be there, including the ambassadors, France's Jean-David Levitte and Germany's Wolfgang Ischinger. Not on the list is Syria, accused by the US of being a "rogue state" sponsoring terrorism and threatened with more sanctions soon.

Mr Bush, a senior White House official said, will deliver an important speech on the success of the liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the importance of these efforts on the war on terror, and how the world is a safer place as a result.

But, he added, there is also a deep sense of unease - both within the administration and among its allies.

Mr Bush will allude to this when he declares that there can be "no separate peace with the killers". The senior official commented: "That will be a strong theme."

His words will clearly be aimed at Spain, where the incoming Socialist government has threatened to withdraw 1,300 Spanish troops from Iraq. A question mark also hangs over the Dutch contingent after the planned handover of sovereignty on July 1.

And on Thursday, the White House was shocked by harsh words from Aleksander Kwasniewski, president of Poland and another staunch US friend, who said his country had been deceived and "taken for a ride" over US assertions - so far unproved - that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Republicans and conservative commentators have been scathing in their denunciation of both the Spanish electorate and the government-elect.

The Socialists' decision to pull troops out of Iraq was "what happens when the Axis of Evil intersects with the Axis of Appeasement and the Axis of Incompetence", Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times on Thursday.

In a heated debate in the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, the Republican speaker, also accused the incoming Spanish government of appeasement. Democrats said they were unhappy backing a resolution expressing support for US troops in Iraq that also declared the world to be a safer place. It was passed by 327 votes to 93.

The transatlantic relationship is under "serious strain", according to a report to be published today led by Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state, and Lawrence Summers, former Treasury secretary, for the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Iraq war was "the first major crisis within the alliance to take place in the absence of an agreed-upon danger", they wrote.

"Both sides must learn from their failure over Iraq. The Americans will need to reaffirm that the power to act is not necessarily the power to persuade . . . that the costs of unilateralism can exceed those involved in seeking consent. The Europeans will need to acknowledge that neither nostalgia nor insularity will suffice in coping with those threats."

Although the failure to find WMD has undermined credibility of the US, if fighting a war in Iraq is premised as preventive or pre-emptive, and although events in Spain have exposed the frailty of Mr Bush's preference for ad hoc coalitions, the Republican camp retains a strong sense of defiance.

Richard Perle, a former Pentagon adviser, delighted an audience at the rightwing American Enterprise Institute this week with a stinging indictment of Arab leaders who had tolerated Iraq's Saddam Hussein, and an assault on Spain's Socialist leader, José Luís Rodriguez Zapatero, who had "expressed remorse at the passing of a fascist regime".

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1079419763979&p=1012571727172
44 posted on 03/18/2004 3:33:32 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Bush's Message to Tehran: Freedom is the Future of Every Nation

March 18, 2004
The White House
President George W. Bush

President Bush Meets with Military Personnel at Fort Campbell
Remarks by the President to Military Personnel
Fort Campbell, Kentucky

THE PRESIDENT: I'm glad to be back. (Applause.) Thanks for having me. (Applause.) Thanks for inviting Laura. (Applause.) I am proud to be here once again with the Screaming Eagles of the 101st. (Applause.) With the Green Berets of the 5th Special Forces group. (Applause.) And with the Night Stalkers. (Applause.)

Many of you have seen action in the global war on terror. Some of you have just returned to Fort Campbell from your deployments. Thank you for a job well done. Welcome home. (Applause.)

Laura and I are honored to be with all the personnel at Fort Campbell, and with all the family members who live here. Each one of you serves our nation by giving your love and support to our soldiers. Here, at one of America's vital military bases, you've built a strong community of people who care about each other, and share the challenges and rewards of army life. America is grateful. America is proud of our military families. (Applause.)

All who serve at Fort Campbell, and all who wear the uniform of the United States are serving at a crucial hour in the history of freedom. In the first war of the 21st century, you're defending your fellow citizens against ruthless enemies, and by your sacrifice, you're making our country more secure. (Applause.) You have delivered justice to many terrorists, and you're keeping the rest of them on the run. (Applause.) You've helped to remove two of the most violent regimes on Earth. With daring and skill and honor, you've held true to the Special Forces motto: To liberate the oppressed. (Applause.)

America is indebted to you. And we're also indebted to the men and women of the National Guard and the Reserves who are serving abroad, and those called up for homeland security assignments. Hundreds of Guard and Reserve units across America have been activated in this time of war. These fine citizens and their families and their employers have put duty first. And our nation is grateful to them, as well. (Applause.)

We've got a lot of veterans with us today, veterans who have served our Armed Forces worldwide and who now live near Fort Campbell. Thank you for the great example you've set for today's soldiers. Thank you for your service to our nation.

I want to thank General Petraeus for being such a strong leader and a good man. (Applause.) I want to thank General Ellis for being with us today -- oh, I forgot. I want to thank Holly Petraeus, as well. She has done a -- (applause.) She deeply cares about the men and women from this base. It's clear when you talk to her, she's got a lot of love in her heart.

General Ellis is with us, Commanding General of the U.S. Armed Forces Command. General Ellis, thank you for being here. Today I traveled down from Washington with two members of the United States Congress who care a lot about the people stationed at Fort Campbell and who live around the Fort Campbell area. That would be Congressman Ed Whitfield from Kentucky and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee. Thank you all for coming. (Applause.)

Laura and I regret the fact we didn't get here in time for the entertainment. We want to thank Lane Brody and Mark Wills and Darryl Worley and Jaci Velasquez, for your work, your care, and your support of the United States military. (Applause.)

I had the privilege of saying hello to a fellow named Billy Colwell. Billy has, by the way, served for 20 years in the 101st. He served our nation during two tours of duty in Vietnam. You're probably wondering why I'm bringing up Billy. I'll tell you why. A lot of times, people say, well, America is strong because of our military. And that's one reason we're strong, and by the way, we're going to keep our military strong. (Applause.) Or they say, well, we're strong because we've got a great economy. And the economy is strong and it's getting stronger. But the true reason we're strong is because of the hearts and souls of the American people. That's why we're strong. We're a compassionate, decent country, where neighbors care for neighbors.

Billy volunteers at the Fort Campbell YMCA. He takes time out of his life to help junior enlisted officers, or people who are getting deployed. Billy is there to help welcome people home, and to wish people well as they leave. Billy takes time out of his life to love a neighbor, just like you would like to be loved yourself. No, the strength of this country is the fact that we've got citizens from all walks of life who care deeply about our fellow citizens.

Billy, thank you for your service. Thank you for what you do. (Applause.)

Fort Campbell was the first army post I visited in the weeks after our country was attacked. It was around Thanksgiving. I will never forget eating turkey with the Screaming Eagles. (Applause.) I remember telling you that the men and women of Fort Campbell -- that you once again had a rendezvous with destiny. That's what I said when I was here last. And when the orders came, you carried out your missions. You made history once again.

Since we last met, you deployed over 5,000 vehicles, 254 aircraft, and 18,000 soldiers in Kuwait, in the fastest deployment in the history of the 101st. (Applause.) Since we last met, the 101st liberated the cities of Najaf, Karbala, and Hilla. You secured southern Baghdad, and sent 1,600 soldiers by helicopter to Mosul, in the longest air assault in military history. (Applause.)

Since we last met, the sons of the dictator went into hiding, until they were found and dealt with by the 101st and Special Operations. (Applause.) Since we last met, soldiers from Fort Campbell have helped to organize the first truly free local election in Iraq in 30 years. (Applause.) Since we last met, you helped to build medical clinics and to rebuild schools. By your decency and compassion, you are helping the Iraqi people to reclaim their country. Because you care, you're helping the Iraqis live as free people. (Applause.)

One year ago tomorrow, the Armed Forces of the United States entered Iraq to end the regime of Saddam Hussein. After his years of defiance, we gave the dictator one final chance. He refused. And so in one year's time, Saddam Hussein has gone from a palace, to a bunker, to a spider hole, to jail. (Applause.)

Because America and our allies acted, one of the most evil, brutal regimes in history is gone forever. The dictator of Iraq committed many atrocities and he had many more in mind. This was a regime that tortured children in front of their parents. This was a regime that used chemical weapons against whole villages. This was a country in which millions of people lived in fear, and many thousands disappeared into mass graves. That was the life in Iraq for more than a generation, until the Americans arrived. (Applause.) Because America and our allies acted, a state sponsor of terror was put out of business. The Iraqi regime gave cash rewards to the families of suicide bombers and sheltered terrorist groups. But all that's over. When Saddam Hussein went down, the terrorists lost an ally forever. (Applause.) Because America and our allies acted, an aggressive threat to the security of the Middle East and to the peace of the world is now gone.

September the 11th, 2001 taught a lesson I will never forget. America must confront threats before they fully materialize. In Iraq, my administration looked at the intelligence information, and we saw a threat. Members of Congress looked at the intelligence, and they saw a threat. The United Nations Security Council looked at the intelligence, and it saw a threat. I had a choice to make, either take the word of a madman, or take such threats seriously and defend America. Faced with that choice, I will defend America every time. (Applause.)

Because America and our allies acted, it is clear to everyone, when America makes a pledge, we keep our word. By speaking clearly, by speaking consistently, and by meaning what we say, it is more likely the world will be more peaceful. Because America and our allies acted, all the world is now seeing democracy rising in the heart of the Middle East. A year ago, Iraq was ruled by the whims of one cruel man. Today, Iraq has a new interim law that guarantees basic rights for all: freedom of religion, the right to cast a secret ballot, and equality under the law. And these historic changes are sending a message across the region from Damascus to Tehran: Freedom is the future of every nation. (Applause.)

The Iraqi people are achieving great things and serving and sacrificing for their own future. Today, more than 200,000 Iraqis, including 78,000 new police, are protecting their fellow citizens. They're building a country that is strong and free, and America is proud to stand with them. All over Iraq today, as that nation moves closer to self-government, Iraqis can be certain that in the United States of America, they have a faithful friend. And our military -- and in our military, they're seeing the good heart of America.

They see people like PFC Amanda Thompson Cummings, who volunteered to serve in Iraq. She's an Army cook who also works on security patrol. She said this to a reporter: "They know I can shoot. I'm one of the best in my battalion. But, hey, I'm a redneck, what do you expect?" (Laughter and applause.) Those are her words, not mine. (Laughter.)

This soldier also describes how the children of Iraq look at her, especially the young girls. As Amanda puts it, "When those girls look at a female soldier, they think, maybe I can be something, too." PFC Cummings says, "We made a difference in their lives. And their faces, when they look at us, that made it all worthwhile right there."

Soldiers of Fort Campbell, every one of you is making a difference. You've seen hard duty, and the defense of freedom is always worth it. Because of your service, because of your bravery, because of your dedication, the world is better off and the American people are more secure. (Applause.)

You have done your duty. America owes those who do their duty, our military, our gratitude. We owe you more than gratitude. We also owe you the material support you need to do your job. As Commander-in-Chief, I've been proud to sign into law three pay increases for the military. (Applause.) You deserved every one. We've increased support for base housing and schools. We have a duty in Washington, D.C. to make sure our families are taken care of. (Applause.)

Our military has had strong supporters in the House and the Senate. I want to thank the Congress for standing up. I want to thank every member of Congress who voted in favor of the $87 billion supplemental that is meeting the needs of our troops in the field right now. (Applause.) When your government gives you a mission, we must accept serious responsibility of our own. And here's my pledge: I'll work to make sure you have every resource and every tool you need to fight and win the war on terror. (Applause.)

The war continues. It's a different kind of war, but it goes on. As we saw again yesterday, the terrorists are fighting desperately to undermine Iraq's progress toward freedom. That attack showed once again the cruelty of our enemies. The terrorists and Baathist holdouts know that a free and stable Iraq will be a major defeat to the cause of hatred and terror. They can't stand the thought of a free society. They know that the rise of democracy and hope in the Middle East will mean the decline of their appeal and influence. So the terrorists understand that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror. They're testing our will. And, day by day, they are learning, our will is firm, their cause will fail. We will stay on the offensive. Whatever it takes, we will seek and find and destroy the terrorists, so that we do not have to face them in our own country. (Applause.)

Not long ago, we intercepted a planning document being sent to the leaders of al Qaeda by a terrorist named, Zarqawi. He's in Iraq. Along with the usual threats, he had a complaint. "Our enemy," said Zarqawi, "is growing stronger, and his intelligence data are increasing day by day. This is suffocation." Zarqawi is getting the idea. For the terrorists in Iraq, we're making sure there is less oxygen every day. (Applause.)

The terrorists hate and target a free Afghanistan and a free Iraq. They also hate and target every country that stands for democracy and tolerance and freedom in the world. The murderers in Madrid have revealed once again the agenda and the nature of the terrorist enemy. They kill the innocent; they kill children and their mothers on a commuter train, without conscience, without mercy. They cause suffering and grief and they rejoice in it. This terrorist enemy will never be appeased, because death is their banner and their cause.

There's no safety for any nation in a world that lives at the mercy of gangsters and mass murderers. Eventually, there's no place to hide from the planted bombs, or the far worse, weapons that terrorists seek. For the civilized world, there's only one path to safety: We will stay united, and we will fight until this enemy is broken. (Applause.)

The United States is committed to defeating terrorism around the world. It's a solemn commitment. We lead in this cause; we're fighting in this cause; and we are sacrificing in this cause. The 101st Airborne has known greater losses than any other division-sized unit. Each of these Americans brought pride to our country. We pray for their families. We will honor their names forever. (Applause.)

The 101st Airborne Division has earned its place in the history of our country. Sixty years ago, on the night before D-Day, General Eisenhower went down to the airfield where the 101st was loading into C-47s for their flight to Normandy. Eisenhower told the men not to worry because they had the best leaders and equipment. One of them looked at him and said, "Hell, General, we ain't worried. It's Hitler's turn to worry." (Applause.) That spirit carried the American soldier across Europe to help liberate a continent. It's the same spirit that carried you across Iraq to set a nation free. (Applause.)

Like your fathers and grandfathers before you, you have liberated millions from oppression. You've added to the momentum of freedom across the world. You have helped keep America safe. You make us all proud to be Americans, and you have made me proud to be your Commander-in-Chief. (Applause.)

May God bless you, and may God continue to bless the United States. Thank you all. (Applause.)

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/03/20040318-3.html
45 posted on 03/18/2004 3:34:40 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Bringbackthedraft
Actually i have friends and family who were a part of the world cup riots, where they reported 40-50k in the streets, but it was hardly even reported by US media.

It's the other way around..US media only started to pay attention to what's going on in Iran recently.
46 posted on 03/18/2004 5:32:32 PM PST by freedom44
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To: MrLee
MeLee

Sources gathered on FR are from Washington Post, Washington Times, NY Times, Wall street Journal, NY Sun, National Review, etc..

We gather all the sources to this one thread.
47 posted on 03/18/2004 5:35:54 PM PST by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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”

48 posted on 03/18/2004 9:49:54 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: nuconvert
"Not quite sure what you're driving at"


The photos on FR show a festival environment, accented at times with defiance to the government. Put a few members of the western media in amongst the crowd (with the reporters not knowing/ignoring the religious implication of the assembly) and the media THINKS REVOLUTION, not celebration. It's an illusion, no?

IMO the radical islamists used the various islamic-persian celebration from July 1977 to March 1978 (calibrated to coincide with the lunar calendar) as a vehicle for their alternative political asperations. Had the Shah employed the same controls as the mullahs do today on external and internal media , the world may have been a different place.

IMO most people in 1977 and 1978 were out celebrating in the streets before western cameras, not in a popular uprising against the Shah. Therefore, I wonder if the reports on the FR are results of a popular uprising by the majority, or a celebration accented by a defiance by a minority. I'm sure it is a question in various media outlets and halls of world governments.

I'll wait and see.
49 posted on 03/19/2004 8:43:33 AM PST by sully777 (Wealth through labor so that I may labor through wealth.)
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To: sully777
?? I'm sorry. Are you saying that there aren't any demonstrations or protests going on in Iran?
50 posted on 03/19/2004 9:41:19 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled "an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
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