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Iranian Alert -- April 10, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 4.10.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 04/09/2004 10:33:27 PM PDT 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.” 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. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.

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

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

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

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

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

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


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: adamereli; alikhamenei; alirezanoorizadeh; alsadr; armyofmahdi; ayatollah; cais; cleric; donaldrumsfeld; ereli; gerecht; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; iraq; jayshalmahdi; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatemi; mohammadkhatemi; moqtadaalsadr; noorizadeh; persecution; politicalprisoners; protests; revolutionaryguard; rueulgerecht; rumsfeld; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; thuriya; zahrakazemi
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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 04/09/2004 10:33:29 PM PDT 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 04/09/2004 10:36:16 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
No Evidence of Iranian Role in Iraq Unrest, says US State Department!

April 09, 2004
VOA News
Gary Thomas

A U.S. State Department spokesman says there is no hard evidence of any Iranian role in the unrest in Iraq. But, there is considerable difference among U.S. officials about Tehran's involvement in Iraq.

Asked about possible Iranian involvement in the Shi'ite uprising in Iraq, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said there is no confirmation of any such reports.

"I think we've seen, generally speaking, reports of, suggestions of, Iranian involvement, collusion, provocation, coordination, etc, etc.," he said. "But I think there's a dearth of hard facts to back these things up."

That view is at odds with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who said Wednesday that Iran was interfering in Iraq.

"We know the Iranians have been meddling [in Iraq] and it is unhelpful to have neighboring countries meddling in the affairs of Iraq, and I think the Iraqi people are not going to want to be dominated by a neighboring country, any neighboring country," he said.

Those two views underscore the sharp differences of opinion among analysts on Iraqi and Iranian affairs both inside and outside the U.S. government.

The issue of Iranian involvement, if there is any, arose because of the leading role played by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in the uprising.

Alireza Noorizadeh, head of the Center for Arab-Iranian Studies in London, says at least some segments of the Iranian government are actively supporting the rebellion.

"I just give you one example: the Iranians provided Sadr's followers with 800 Thuriya satellite telephones, as well as other equipment, [that] they are using to communicate with each other. Their involvement is huge.

He says Revolutionary Guard and intelligence units loyal to Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are backing Mr. Al-Sadr in defiance of President Mohammad Khatemi.

But Rueul Gerecht, a former CIA Middle East officer now with the Heritage Foundation, is skeptical of wide-scale Iranian involvement.

"I've heard people talk of thousands of official Iranians of some agency or bureau running around the country," he said. "I think that's a bit much. I think there are a substantial number. They are no doubt up to no good. But it's very difficult to know for sure whether they have developed some game plan against the United States and against Iraqis who would be working with the United States."

Mr. Gerecht says that, even if Iran is involved, he is doubtful that there is some kind of master plan at work.

"The Iranians could be, you know, just sort of fishing, throwing out to see what they can collect, and spreading support around and hoping for the best," he said. "I am skeptical as to whether they've developed any sort of master plan for disemboweling the United States in Iraq."

Iran is overwhelmingly Shi'ite Muslim. Shi'ites are also a majority in Iraq, where they suffered repression at the hands of Saddam Hussein and a Sunni Muslim minority. Iran and Iraq fought a bloody eight-year-long war in the 1980s in which upwards of one million people are believed to have died. The final prisoner of war exchange took place only last year.
3 posted on 04/09/2004 10:37:48 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Voices in Iran Struggling to Be Heard

April 09, 2004
The U.S. Department of States
The Washington File

Bush says U.S. supports aspirations to freedom of Iranian people

The State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor issued a fact sheet April 9 about repression by non-elected elements of the Iranian government.

The fact sheet provides information about the death of Zahra Kazemi, a journalist who apparently died from police brutality; attacks on press freedom; oppression of followers of the Bahai faith; interference with parliamentary elections; and the work of 2003 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shirin Ebadi.

Following is the text of the fact sheet:

(begin fact sheet)

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Democracy,
Human Rights, and Labor
Washington, DC April 9, 2004

Iran: Voices Struggling To Be Heard

The Iranian people have a long and sophisticated tradition of expressing their views and their feelings, whether through art, literature, film, news media or the political process. Today the courageous voices of the Iranian people are being stifled as they call for their rights, beliefs and needs to be respected. In response, the non-elected elements of the Iranian Government hierarchy are rebuffing these calls and attempting to extinguish the voices. Recent experience shows an upswing in repression by the regime, but also a determined resilience by the Iranian people as they struggle to define their own future and exercise all their human rights. For every voice that is silenced, more call out for freedom.


They have broken my nose and my thumb and they have broken my toes, too. Zahra Kazemi, as reported in the Washington Post

On June 23, 2003, outside the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran, police took the Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi into custody under suspicion of espionage. Some 3 weeks later she died in a Tehran hospital from head injuries suffered from a violent beating, most likely at the hands of her jailers. The circumstances of her death are unclear, but the story that unfolds is one that illustrates the grave human rights situation that exists in Iran today.

Although Zahra Kazemi was never charged with a crime, she would spend 77 hours in a police interrogation that included serious physical abuse. According to a subsequent Iranian investigation, Zahra began complaining of headaches and bleeding from the nose 3 days after her detention; she then fell into a coma and was transferred to a hospital where she eventually died.

Almost 2 weeks after Zahra had first been detained, her mother, Ezzet Kazemi, was summoned to Evin Prison and notified that her daughter had suffered a brain stroke and was now in a coma. After Zahra died from her injuries, it was agreed by Ezzet and Iranian officials in the presence of the Canadian ambassador that Zahra's body be repatriated to Canada. But the body did not make it to Canada. Iranian officials pressured Ezzet to change her decision, and Zahra was eventually buried in Shiraz, Iran, thereby preventing an independent autopsy.

Zahra's death was first deemed natural by Iranian officials, but international outrage, spurred in Canada by Zahra's son, Stephen, helped to bring about an official Iranian investigation into the incident. The investigation clearly implicated the involvement of government officials in the death of Kazemi. A junior official in the Ministry of Information has been arrested, but as of publication the trial had not begun. There remain widespread suspicions, voiced inside and outside Iran, that the arrest of this junior official could be part of a cover-up aimed at protecting higher-level government officials. Reporters Without Borders also has expressed concern about the slow pace of the impending trial and the prosecutors' lack of access to materials concerning the case.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Zahra Kazemi's death was caused by the heedless disregard for Iranian law. When there are individuals or groups who consider themselves above the law, incidents such as this will occur. In the case that we will present, in addition to asking for the punishment of the murderer, in view of the public's knowledge of what happened, I will try to ensure that there will not be another Zahra Kazemi. Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Attorney representing the Kazemi family

VOICES SUPPRESSED: Attacks on the Free Press

The independent media in Iran is under constant attack. According to Reporters Without Borders, at least 10 journalists were in Iranian prisons at the end of 2003. There is a clear pattern of interference and harassment of the press by government officials with dozens of reporters, editors and publishers arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison terms, harsh physical punishments, excessive fines and suspensions of journalistic privileges. A number of cases illustrate the types of abuses prevalent in Iran today:

As many as 85 newspapers, including 41 dailies, have been closed since the passage of the 1995 Press Law that established a supervisory board and court that has authority to impose various penalties, including closure and suspension of operating privileges.

In December 2002, Ali-Reza Jabari, a translator and freelance contributor to several independent newspapers, was arrested in his Tehran office by plainclothes policemen and taken to his home for an immediate search of the residence. Jabari was sentenced to 3 years in prison and 253 lashes. Before his arrest, Jabari was quoted in a Persian-language newspaper in Canada expressing critical opinions of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Taghi Rahmani, a journalist for Omid-e-Zangan, has been imprisoned since June 14, 2003, and has been subjected to extensive periods of time in solitary confinement. According to a Human Rights Watch report released in January 2004, Rahmani has yet to be charged with a crime.

Reza Alijani, editor in chief of Iran-e-Farda, was jailed in June 2003 but has not been charged with a crime. Much of his imprisonment has been spent incommunicado.

Hoda Saber, managing editor of Iran-e-Farda, was arrested in June 2003 but has also been held without charge since his arrest, much of it incommunicado.


The Constitution of Iran establishes Islam as the official religion, specifically that of the Jafari (Twelver) Shiism doctrine. While the Constitution also recognizes other Islamic denominations, as well as Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians, followers of minority religions can be subject to harassment, intimidation and discrimination. The freedom to practice a religion not recognized by the Constitution is actively restricted by the Iranian Government, both in law and in practice. Members of unrecognized minority faiths are subject to varying degrees of officially sanctioned discrimination, particularly in the areas of employment, education and housing. The Bahais are not recognized as a legitimate religious minority in Iran and, in fact, were defined by the government as a political sect with suspicion of counterrevolutionary intentions. But according to a report published jointly by the UN Commission on Human Rights and the Bahai International Community, the tenets of the Bahai faith require its members to be obedient to their government and to avoid partisan politics, subversive activities and all forms of violence. Still this community has been the target of systematic mistreatment by the Iranian Government since 1979 and is denied a majority of the basic human rights afforded others within the society, including other religious minorities.

According to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of the U.S., more than 200 members of the Bahai faith have been killed in Iran since 1979, with 15 additional missing and presumed dead. As of this time, there are reportedly four Bahais in prison for practicing their faith, with sentences ranging from 4 years to life in prison.

The government has continued to keep a small number of Bahais arbitrarily imprisoned, some at risk of execution, at any given time. Another policy employed to harass and intimidate the Bahai community is periodic arrest and release with charges still pending, so that the Bahais are subject to re-arrest at any time.

Reports suggest explicit government policies exist to harass and disenfranchise members of the Bahai faith. One policy issued by the Iranian Ministry of Justice in 2001 directed government officials to restrict the educational opportunities of Bahais by expelling them from public and private universities and purposely enrolling members of the Bahai faith in ideologically stringent schools.

In response to being denied admittance to both public and private universities, members of the Bahai faith have organized their own educational system. However, the Iranian Government has used harassment and intimidation to discourage its operation, including raids in 1998 of more than 500 Bahai homes and offices affiliated with the Bahai educational system. These raids included the arrest of numerous faculty and staff.

Through discrimination in the employment market and outright seizure of private property, the economic well-being of the Bahais is in serious peril.

VOICES OF DEMOCRACY: The Political Struggle

"Our dream country is one where human rights are respected, where people aren't sent to prison and tortured for their ideas, for their writing, for their work. That's our dream country."

Supporter of imprisoned student leader Amir Fakhravar, anonymously interviewed for a PBS Frontline report

The political situation in Iran is a story of two drastically different worlds occupying the same reality. Throughout Iran there is now widespread alienation from the corrupt, oppressive policies of the government that have consistently failed to address the Iranian people s yearning for liberty and an accountable, democratic system of government that will pursue policies that improve their daily lives. In June 1997 and again in 2001, a decisive election victory ushered President Mohammed Khatami into office under the auspices of a reformist agenda. The realization of this reform movement has been actively stifled by hard-line elements within the government, most specifically by the un-elected Guardian Council, a board of clerical leaders and legal scholars. Reformist and dissident voices within the government and society have been repressed and harassed by government and quasi-government factions under the influence of the hard-line clerics. The Guardian Council has the ability to review and block legislation passed by the Majlis, or parliament. In August 2002, the Guardian Council vetoed two bills passed by the Majlis seeking to enhance the powers of President Khatami. Various paramilitary forces, such as the so-called Basijis, gangs of men known as the Ansar-e Hezbollah (Helpers of the Party of God), and most recently a morality force formed in July 2002, have been employed as tools of repression within Iranian society. These vigilante groups use intimidation, threats and physical abuse to quell dissent and harass journalists, demonstrators and members of the public who voice opinions that are seen as threatening to the power of the religious elite. Eventually, the reformist movement s inability to realize its agenda contributed to the erosion of the Iranian people's confidence in the government institutions.

On February 20, 2004, elections were held for the 290-seat Parliament in Iran. In a move to diminish pro-reformist re-election chances, the Guardian Council disqualified approximately one-third of the 8,200 submissions for candidacy, including those of more than 80 reformists currently holding Majlis seats, effectively limiting the democratic alternatives available to Iranian voters. Despite threats of an election boycott, resignations by some reformist officials and the urgent passage of a law barring undocumented disqualifications, the Guardian Council only reinstated a fraction of the disqualified candidates. Conservative candidates did not face a reformist opponent for 132 of 290 seats. The decision of the Guardian Council to silence reformist voices in Parliament was accompanied by the culmination of a four-year campaign against the reformist press. On the eve of the elections, Chief Prosecutor Mortazavi added the last two reformist newspapers to a list of dozens that his Press Court had ordered closed since 2000. In addition, the hard-line judiciary sealed an office belonging to a leading reformist party on the night before the election. In today's Iran, the political aspirations of the public for a greater role in charting the direction of their society are only tolerated when they coincide with the wishes of entrenched conservative interests.

"Through these massive disqualifications, they (hard-liners) want only their own thinking to control the next parliament. This will be no more an election, but an appointment of the next parliament by hard-liners.

Mohsen Mirdamadi, Member of Parliament

A VOICE OF HOPE: Shirin Ebadi

"Shirin Ebadi has been a courageous human rights advocate in Iran for many years, and we couldn't be more excited that she has received this extraordinary honor. The Nobel Committee has sent a powerful message to the Iranian Government that serious human rights violations must end. We hope they hear that message."

Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch

As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer and activist, she has spoken out clearly and strongly in her country, Iran and far beyond.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee

Shirin Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2003 for her life-long campaign to protect vulnerable and persecuted groups within Iranian society. Since being forced from her position as the president of the city court of Tehran, she has used her legal expertise to promote and protect some of the most basic and necessary human rights. Most specifically, she has provided legal representation to many activists who are the targets of government harassment because of dissident opinions and democracy promotion. She has courageously fought for equitable and just treatment for women in Iranian society, and she has also helped to organize efforts to publicize and alleviate the harsh conditions of street children in Iran.

Any person who pursues human rights in Iran must live with fear from birth to death, but I have learned to overcome my fear.

Shirin Ebadi

Ebadi has shown a noble and inspiring disregard for her own well-being by representing individuals or the families of people who have suffered from violence and repression in Iran. In 2000, she was arrested and accused of distributing a videotape that implicated prominent hard-line leaders of instigating attacks against advocates of reform. She received a suspended sentence and a professional ban. She was then detained after attending a conference in Berlin on the Iranian reform movement.

Ebadi provided legal representation for highly politicized and sensitive cases, like the case of Ezzat Ebrahim-Nejad, one of the students killed during the 1999 Tehran University protests by vigilante groups operating under the influence of hard-line clerics. She also served as the attorney for the family of Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar, prominent political activists who were stabbed to death in 1998 by rogue elements within the Intelligence Ministry. Shirin Ebadi's designation as the recipient of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize recognizes the struggle of Iranian citizens to have a voice in determining their own future.

"In Iran, the demand for democracy is strong and broad as we saw when thousands gathered to welcome home Shirin Ebadi, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The regime in Tehran must heed the democratic demands of the Iranian people, or lose its last claim to legitimacy."

President George W. Bush

VOICES OF THE FUTURE: The Aspirations of Youth

"We want more freedom For 25 years we have lived without any freedom. We want social freedom, economic freedom and political freedom.

Mahmoud, protestor quoted in New York Times

Throughout modern history, young people have played a prominent role in the call for democracy. Iran is no different. Students have mobilized to demand greater freedoms and to support reform efforts by the Khatami Government, the Majlis, and individuals willing to speak the truth. A free media, a fair electoral system and public debate typically serve as the outlets to express the desires and disappointments of the civic minded. These outlets have been systematically shut, leaving large student demonstrations in the streets as the only way to voice frustration and anger in Iran.

In June 2003, a large protest began in Tehran involving university students in response to a rumor alleging the possible privatization of the university system and the introduction of a tuition system. The protests grew as nightly gatherings spread off campus and the tone of the protests became more political as the students and sympathetic neighbors began to use the public gathering as a forum to decry the current political situation and demand democratic reforms. The intersections of Tehran were jammed with cars honking their horns in support of the demonstrations. Iranian Government officials reported approximately 4,000 protestors arrested and demonstrations planned for the following month were banned. No reliable sources were available on the number of injured, but there were numerous reports of violent clashes between students and paramilitary groups in the streets of Tehran.

Youth represents the future of Iran. Yet the regime's vision of the future clashes with the dreams of young Iranians, who have the most to gain or lose. Their continued support for reform through whatever peaceful means available sends a clear message. They will make their voices heard.

Iran is an ancient land, home to a proud culture with a rich heritage of learning and progress. The future of Iran will be decided by the people of Iran. Right now, the Iranian people are struggling with difficult questions about how to build a modern 21st century society that is at once Muslim, prosperous and free. There is a long history of friendship between the American people and the people of Iran. As Iran's people move towards a future defined by greater freedom, greater tolerance, they will have no better friend than the United States of America.

President George W. Bush,
July 12, 2002

(end fact sheet)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:
4 posted on 04/09/2004 10:38:51 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Plot Unfolds in Vienna, Iran Should Mull Pulling Out

TEHRAN (Mehr News Agency) -– The second day of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting in Vienna came to an end on Tuesday.

Careful observation of the course of events surrounding Iran’s nuclear dossier over the past year shows that the White House has been conspiring against Iran, perhaps with the help of IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and the European Union big three, France, Britain, and Germany.

In light of this, it is essential for Iran to withdraw from the process currently underway in Vienna until its nuclear dossier is examined technically and all sides fulfill their commitments.

In his report on Monday ElBaradei made illegal and double-standard remarks on Iran’s nuclear issue while inappropriately comparing Iran with Libya.

The U.S. and the UK have agreed to keep Libya’s nuclear dossier closed, although the agency’s inspection team had officially confirmed that the country once had a nuclear weapons program.

On the other hand, although secret negotiations were held with Libya, U.S. President George W. Bush recently mentioned that the United States has a strategy to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

In addition, the U.S. delegation in Vienna has been making extensive diplomatic efforts to encourage the IAEA to issue a strong-worded resolution against Iran.

All this has prepared the ground for Iran to pull out of the current process in Vienna within the framework of international law, although this may be part of the grand conspiracy, too.

A high-ranking Iranian diplomat told the Mehr News Agency that ElBaradei’s remarks are a matter of concern, especially the inappropriate comparisons between Iran and Libya.

He said that the director general’s remarks were not totally technical, adding that if the current process continues Iran will reconsider its relationship with the agency, regardless of the consequences.

The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that ElBaradei’s recent report was obviously in line with Washington’s position and in response to the green light given by European countries like Britain and France.

Meanwhile, informed sources in Vienna have said that U.S. officials held a meeting with the IAEA director general last week during which they clarified their position on Iran’s nuclear dossier.

The U.S delegation prepared a tough-worded statement about Iran’s nuclear program on Monday in which they stated their demands. Washington’s main intention is to make Iran’s nuclear program a long-term issue by keeping Iran’s nuclear dossier open during upcoming sessions of the IAEA Board of Governors.

In his oral report on Monday ElBaradei made blatant and untrue remarks in line with the U.S. policy, saying that Iran’s nuclear dossier will not be closed and that he would present his next report to the IAEA Board in May.

Last November the U.S. delegation, in a statement that was not approved by the EU big three, called on Iran to suspend all its activities and research into the complete nuclear fuel cycle. Taking the current psychological operations and disinformation campaign being conducted against the country into account, Iran should not agree to commitments beyond what was proposed in the Tehran Declaration.

The EU big three have failed to live up to their commitments, although Iran has cooperated with the IAEA more than was expected, to the extent that ElBaradei called Iran an “open space” for the IAEA inspectors. ---- NAM Head Blasts U.S., European Big Three ------

The Malaysian head of members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna slammed the movements of the United States and three European countries through an unprecedented move in a meeting held before the board’s Tuesday session to study Libya’s nuclear dossier.

NAM member states form an effective group in the IAEA Board’s session. They protested against the agency’s double-standard policy and supported Iran in the board’s previous session in November.

“We assume the U.S. and three European countries intend to delay drafting of the resolution in order to pressure capitals of NAM member countries and force them to accept the resolution,” he said.

The NAM head went on to say that according to the IAEA reports Libya has clearly violated international regulations, adding that the movement has been briefed on the process of studying Libya’s draft resolution.

He added that the three European countries have pledged to provide him with a draft of the IAEA Board’s final resolution about Iran’s nuclear issue. ------U.S. Threatened IAEA Chief About Iran’s Nuclear Dossier: European Source -------

According to a European source Washington has threatened ElBaradei, telling him that if the U.S. views on Iran’s nuclear dossier are ignored or if Iran’s nuclear dossier is removed from the agenda of the IAEA board, the U.S. may withdraw its support for his leadership of the agency.

The European source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Mehr News Agency that ElBaradei’s double-standard policy and hesitation toward Iran was due to these implicit U.S. threats.

The source said the IAEA chief has been given notice that if he disputes the U.S. position on Iran, he may face the same fate as the former director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Brazilian Jose Mauricio Bustani was ousted as OPCW chief in 2002 after delegates from member states were pressured to vote on a U.S.-led proposal to have him removed.

Bustani had angered Washington by encouraging Saddam Hussein to sign the chemical weapons convention, which could have made it difficult for the United States to launch a military assault against Iraq, since OPCW representatives would then have been allowed to inspect the country for chemical weapons.
5 posted on 04/09/2004 10:39:54 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran lauds role of Sadr militia

Reuters Reuters Saturday, April 10, 2004

TEHRAN Iran's influential former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, on Friday hailed the Shiite Muslim militia of Moktada al-Sadr as "heroic" for rising up against the U.S. occupation in Iraq.

Rafsanjani said at Friday prayers in Tehran that a distinction should be drawn between Shiite fighters, who have battled U.S.-led troops across southern Iraq this week, and insurrectionist supporters of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party whom he described as "terrorists."

"Contrary to these terrorist groups in Iraq, there are powerful bodies which contribute to the security of that nation," Rafsanjani told the crowd and added: "Among them is the Mehdi Army, made up of enthusiastic, heroic young people."

Sadr met Rafsanjani in Iran last June at a memorial service for the spiritual father of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Rafsanjani, a midranking cleric, now heads a powerful arbitration body called the Expediency Council, which can have a final say over legislation.

In remarks broadcast live on state radio, Rafsanjani also praised the Badr Corps, a Shiite fighting force of several thousand nurtured in Iran.

The corps is the fighting wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq that for many years directed its opposition to Saddam from Tehran.

The United States has accused Iran, which is also predominantly Shiite, of fomenting anti-U.S. sentiment among Iraq's Shiite majority.
6 posted on 04/09/2004 10:46:49 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

TEHRAN, 9 Apr. (IPS) Former Iranian President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Friday said the United States had claimed to help establish a democratic system in Iraq but what they are doing now is massacring large crowds of people.

Speaking to worshipers during the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran, Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani was commenting on the recent, unabated confrontations opposing American and the Allied forces with Sunni Iraqis in Fallujah, north of Baghdad and in other southern cities with armed groups loyal to Hojjatoleslam Moqtada al-Sadr, a young Shi’a cleric opposed to the presence of foreign powers in Iraq.

The engagements, the heaviest in the year that the United States and Britain invaded Iraq and toppled the former dictator Saddam Hoseyn continued Friday for the seventh strait day, leaving hundreds of dead on both sides.

Insurgents also kidnapped three Japanese and other nationals, threatening to kill them if their nations, including Japan and Spain, did not withdraw their forces from Iraq.

As the battles spreads to dominantly Shi’a populated cities to the south of the Capital, Western, Iranian and Arab analysts now talk of "a new Vietnam in the making", or "the third Iraq war".

"The United States attacked Iraq under the excuse of fighting terrorism in the region but has got stuck in the quagmire in Iraq and has failed to achieve its pre-set aims and objectives", Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani said, quoted by the official Iranian news agency IRNA.

"The Untied States was in fact after finding domination over the oil-rich Iraq, eliminating Saddam Hoseyn, influencing the world oil market through paving the way for Iraq to joint the oil exporting countries, creating a foot hole in Iraq to establish a military base in the sensitive region of the Persian Gulf", he added.

He also said the United States aimed to weak the Muslim countries in the region including Lebanon and Syrian, to support the Zionist regime of Israel and to pursue efforts to overthrow the Islamic system of Iran.

However, he offered an unlikely olive branch, saying not Iran did not want to intervene in the present Iraqi conflict, but it is even ready to help the Americans solving the problem, provided they get out of the country.

"We helped the Americans in Afghanistan and are ready to do the same with them in Iraq", he said, describing the situation as both "a threat and a new occasion".

A year after seizing Baghdad with much fanfare, the US-led forces are struggling to maintain control of central and southern Iraq against stiff resistance from Sunni and Shiite insurgents, IRNA commented.

Occupation troops, facing a June 30 deadline for restoring Iraqi self-rule, are locked in fierce fighting or forced to back off in cities west, east and south of the capital as well as the key southern port of Basra.

"The scenes of combat are in stark contrast to images of confident US troops rolling through the capital a year ago, as they toppled the regime of Saddam Hoseyn", the Agency added.

"Even the rivals of the American President George W. Bush are presenting him as a war criminal and call for his trial in court", Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani told worshippers.

Just 40 percent of Americans approve of the way Bush is handling Iraq, according to a Pew Research poll released this week, a new low and down from 59 percent in January.

As the Chairman of the Expediency Council, is considered the second man in command after Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic Republic.

"Iraq under the rule of the Americans has become a heaven for terrorists world wide, with terrorists moving from Afghanistan to Iraq, adding to the difficulties of the Americans in the occupied land", he said, adding that new groups have emerged in Iraq fighting American occupation.

Indirectly, the former Iranian president said the American had made a great mistake in disbanding Iraqi army and the security services, "pushing thousands of well-trained and armed people in the wilderness, unemployed, angry, thirsty to revenge".

He described the Jaysh al Mahdi, or the Army of Mahdi that is controlled by Mr. Moqtada al-Sadr as "young, motivated people with great ambitions" but added that the real power in Iraq is in the hands of the Hawzeh, or clerical circles that can", with a single fatwa, change everything".

"If the hawzahs are quiet now, it is for the safety of the Iraqi people. They are all against the presence of foreign powers and are waiting for an international decision that if does not come, they could create havoc", he warned.

According to Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Iranian Revolution had influenced the situation in the region and other states adding that Iraq and Afghanistan are two regional states influenced by the developments in Iran and the people in those countries are acting based on the Iranian model.

"Following the Islamic Revolution in Iran the Iraqi people tried to establish an Iranian-style Islamic system in their country but the Ba’ath regime of Saddam repressed them with force and that is why a large number of Iraqis have immigrated to Iran to seek shelter", he noted.

The coalition announced Friday a halt to its drive in the Sunni bastion of Fallujah, a constant theatre of conflict since Saddam’s ouster, to pave the way for talks with the insurgents.

Armed insurgents seized control Friday of the highway linking Fallujah with the mostly Sunni town of Abu Gharib to the east.

The southern city of Nasiriyah was under the control of Iraqi police after Italian troops agreed to pull back in the wake of deadly clashes with Shiite militiamen Tuesday that claimed 15 lives. ENDS IRAQ 9404
7 posted on 04/09/2004 10:48:05 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Travis McGee; Squantos; Howlin; Miss Marple; Alamo-Girl; Fedora; ALOHA RONNIE; Grampa Dave; ...

I see the Democrat Party whining is still helping to demoralize real liberty movements everywhere by bolstering the spirit of violent radicals in their Jane-Fondalike ways... things never seem to change. Check this out :

Occupation troops, facing a June 30 deadline for restoring Iraqi self-rule, are locked in fierce fighting or forced to back off in cities west, east and south of the capital as well as the key southern port of Basra. "The scenes of combat are in stark contrast to images of confident US troops rolling through the capital a year ago, as they toppled the regime of Saddam Hoseyn", the [official Iranian News] Agency added.
"Even the rivals of the American President George W. Bush are presenting him as a war criminal and call for his trial in court", [former Iranian President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani] Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani told worshippers.

8 posted on 04/09/2004 11:18:30 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; AdmSmith; piasa; McGavin999; MLedeen; freedom44; Eala; yonif; RaceBannon; ...
Is Rafsanjani Back for Good?

by Nasser Rashidi
08 April 2004
Intellectual Conservative

For the Mullahs the timetable to produce a bomb is at the latest by the end of 2005.

“We should fully equip ourselves both in the offensive and defensive use of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.” (Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former Iranian President, Middle East Defense News, 22 July 1991)

As the storm over Iran’s nuclear ambitions gathered pace in 2003, Hashemi Rafsanjani was back in action, playing a key role in coordinating the clerical regime’s response to the growing international chorus calling for Iran’s immediate and unconditional accession to the Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In a speech in July 2003, Rafsanjani made a thinly veiled terrorist threat against the West: “We shall respond to their aggression by striking at their heartland.”

Iran under the clerics is a state driven by an expansionist ideology. Weapons of mass destruction, and above all the nuclear bomb, are considered a necessity, not luxury. Such weapons are most effective deterrents, and at the same time serve as the best means of intimidating Iran’s less powerful and more vulnerable neighbors.

The mullah’s nuclear program began in the mid 1980s, but since the summer of 2003, the clerical leaders have been pressing the military officers and nuclear experts running their program to push ahead full steam to complete the project, now in a highly advanced stage. Reuters reported in March 2004: “In a secret meeting, the top leaders in Iran, including Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gathered after the father of Pakistan’s atomic weapons program, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, admitted leaking nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea, to set a timetable to produce a bomb at the latest by the end of 2005. According to a statement reported by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, referring to the US election year, the clerics close to Supreme leader Khamenei all agreed that 'because of its problems in Iraq, the United States has no choice but to go soft on Iran.' Thus, there is no resolve to refer the Islamic Republic’s file to the United Nations Security Council. This opportunity must therefore be used to produce a nuclear bomb.”

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told journalists, “Iran admitted to constructing a uranium enrichment plant and heavy water plant only after it had no choice because this had been made public, as you know starting with an Iranian opposition group.” Ever since it was caught red-handed, the clerical regime has shifted gear from a state of complete denial to a stalling strategy designed to buy time for the completion of its weapon program. By using every device in its diplomatic armory to “divide and thwart” the international community over the mullah’s nuclear ambitions, the Islamic Republic stratagem closely resembles a diplomatic “roadblock,” as Tehran hunkers down in the face of growing international pressure, trying to draw the world community into long deliberations, while pressing ahead with its nuclear developments. Tehran's obfuscations may be confusing to the politically naive, but its unholy intentions are crystal clear to those who know Iran’s history this last quarter century. Tehran’s secret nuclear weapons program is so sophisticated that the mullahs have had a tough time covering it up.

When referring to Washington's concerns about Iran's nuclear program, opposition to the Middle East peace process, support of terrorism, and human rights abuses, Rafsanjani told the daily Kayhan on February 24, “They continue to raise these four questions, but they are stuck in the mud in Iraq, and they know that if Iran wanted to, it could make their problems even worse.”

Rafsanjani would be proved right only if the officials at Foggy Bottom chose to close their eyes to the mounting evidence of Tehran's plans to obtain nuclear arms and to use them in its quest to export fundamentalism and dominate the region, violate the rights of its own people, and punish the world. God help the Iranian people, indeed the entire world, if Iran succeeds in this insane quest. It’s time for the State Department to open its ears to the cry of the Iranian people for a regime change in Iran by Iranians.

Nasser Rashidi is Executive Director of the National Coalition of Pro-Democracy Advocates.
9 posted on 04/10/2004 12:32:40 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn; All
Wishing everyone a Happy Easter
10 posted on 04/10/2004 8:55:34 AM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: nuconvert; All
God's blessings as you celebrate Easter.
11 posted on 04/10/2004 8:58:10 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Help bring the end to Freepathons. Donate monthly.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Situation in Iraq Will Pave Road to Tehran-Washington Dialogue - Paper

April 09, 2004
Kuwait News Agency

TEHRAN -- The situation in Iraq will probably pave the way þfor constructive dialogue between Washington and Tehran on many issues, þespecially Iran's nuclear weapon programs, a reformist newspaper said here Saturday.

In its editorial entitled "Iraq as Grounds for Iran-US Dialogue", Itimad newspaper said that the recent developments in Iraq, especially theþconfrontations between supporters of Muqtada Al-Sadr and US forces, will compel the US to deliberate with Tehran on this topic as well as others, such as that of nuclear weapons.

It added that Washington wants Iran to have a stabilising role in the explosive situation in Iraq, adding that "the US seeks to assign this role to Tehran through stick and carrot messages it sends to it."

The newspaper explained that while the US accuses Iran of supporting the recent action of Al-Sadr's supporters, it is sending reassuring messages to Tehran through European countries on the nuclear weapons issue.

It added that Tehran's announcing of its intent to establish a heavy waterþnuclear plant in the province of Arak comes to pressure Washington intoþaccepting the reality of Iran's nuclear weapons program.

It said that Iran's announcing comes following the visit of the DirectorþGeneral of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohammed Baradei, and coincided with armed confrontations between foreign forces in Iraq and theþmilitias of Muqtada Al-Sadr. This, it said, holds in its midst an offer made by Tehran in which it will play an effective role in pacifying the situation in Iraq in return for recognition of its nuclear weapons program.

The newspaper pointed out statements made by Baradei in Tehran, in which heþsuggested holding direct deliberations between the US and Iran to resolve theþdispute over Iran's nuclear weapon's program.
12 posted on 04/10/2004 9:12:42 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Column One: Hizbullah's Iraqi campaign

Apr. 9, 2004 0:08
Updated Apr. 9, 2004 11:01

This week it finally happened. Hizbullah has come out of the closet and launched a full-scale military campaign against US-led forces in Iraq.

Two weeks after the US shelved its sanctions against Hizbullah sponsor Syria, and as the US remains silent in the face of increased Iranian assertiveness in advancing the mullocracy's Manhattan Project, the cat jumped out of the bag.

Ushering in his fight against the US, Hizbullah-Iranian front man Moqtada al-Sadr told his followers last Friday, "I am the striking arm for Hizbullah and Hamas in Iraq because the fate of Iraq and Palestine is the same." Under the spell of Sadr's call to "terrorize" the Americans, Shi'ite militiamen launched attacks in several cities at once. Militarily, the results have been mixed but have served to cause a political maelstrom by spooking US coalition partners into reconsidering their involvement in Iraq.

Hizbullah's appearance in Iraq is not a surprise. Although Sadr's offensive has been sudden, it followed a year-long buildup of Hizbullah's organizational, propaganda, and military apparatuses in Iraq.

In the weeks before the US-led invasion last March, Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah was already calling for suicide bombings against US forces in the event that they went through with the invasion. Shortly after the fall of Saddam's regime, Hizbullah opened offices in Basra and Safwan.

While press coverage of Sadr has portrayed him as a young firebrand who acts autonomously, his connections to Hizbullah and to Iran are long-standing. Nasrallah is personally tied to Sadr's family. In 1976, he studied under Sadr's father Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr in Najaf. Back in Lebanon, Nasrallah joined the Shi'ite Amal militia when it was led by its founder, Sadr's uncle Musa.
Aside from his personal ties to Nasrallah, Sadr takes his direction from Ayatollah Henri, one of the most ardent extremists in Iranian ruling circles. And on the family level, Sadr's aunt is reportedly the first lady of Iran, Mrs. Muhammad Khatami. Iranian Revolutionary Guards reportedly comprise the backbone of Sadr's fighting force.

At the same time that Hizbullah, like Sadr, was establishing itself in post-Saddam Iraq, mysterious terrorists were systematically killing moderate Shi'ite clerics who were working with the US. First came the April 2003 assassination of Abdul Majid al-Khoei and Haider Kelidar in the Ali Mosque in Najaf. Sadr is the chief suspect in Khoei's murder. Then in August, Ayatollah Muhammad Bakr al-Hakim was murdered outside the same mosque. Both Khoei and Hakim were considered moderates who wished for a secular, multiethnic Iraq to succeed Saddam's dictatorship.

Interestingly, each time another pro-coalition Shi'ite leader has been killed, Nasrallah has studiously called for civil war between Sunnis and Shi'ites to be averted at all cost. This message became almost hysterical in the aftermath of the attack on Shi'ite worshipers in Karbala and Baghdad during the Ashoura holiday in early March; 140 worshipers were killed in the bombings.
The day of the bombings, Nasrallah took to the airwaves on Hizbullah TV's Al-Manar satellite network and called for calm at all costs. Referring to Shi'ite-Sunni sectarian strife as "a strategic danger," he alleged a "conspiracy" to sow hatred between the two groups and insinuated that the Mossad had something to do with the bombings.

In the same address, Nasrallah attacked the Sunni Taliban, claiming they had killed more Sunnis than Shi'ites during their period in power in Afghanistan. He argued that because of their murderousness towards fellow Muslims, the Taliban were responsible for the US takeover of the country and the establishment of a pro-American government that stands opposed to jihad. A similar event, he argued, must be prevented from occurring in Iraq.

Michael Ledeen, an Iran expert at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, explained that defeating US-led forces in Iraq is the top priority for Teheran and, by extension, its terrorist proxies. "For Iran, the struggle against the US in Iraq is an existential struggle."

Echoing Nasrallah's speech, Ledeen said, "If Iraq is able to achieve stability under a democratic, secular government, after the same has happened in Afghanistan, the Iranian regime is finished."
The main reason that Hizbullah constitutes a danger of a new order to the US-led occupation forces is because it has succeeded in a way that no other group has in unifying the terrorist forces operating in Iraq in the common cause of defeating coalition forces. It is in this vein that Sadr's call for unity between Palestinian and Iraqi terror groups becomes understandable.

The Palestinians, as Saddam's favorite cause, were historically despised by the Iraqi Shi'ites whom Saddam brutally oppressed. Indeed, immediately after Saddam's downfall last spring, the Iraqi Governing Authority threw Palestinians out of their state-supplied apartments throughout the country as punishment for their support for Saddam.

Embracing the Palestinian cause is a way of building bridges to the Sunni groups that are battling coalition forces in Fallujah, Tikrit, and Ramadi. At least in Ramadi, this unity is further advanced by the participation of Hizbullah's good friends the Syrians in the fighting.

Iran itself is well placed to project pan-Islamic unity over the issue of Israel. Since 2000, it has become the largest sponsor of Palestinian terror groups, surpassing Saddam's largesse by leaps and bounds even though the Palestinians are Sunnis.
Islamic Jihad has always been an Iranian group. Even before the Palestinian terror war began in September 2000, Iran began making overtures toward Fatah. They blossomed into a full-blown sponsorship after the Iranian arms ship Karine-A was intercepted in January 2002.

Iran has also picked up the slack in Saudi financing of Hamas, and it is now estimated that it finances at least half of the group's $30 million annual budget. No doubt, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's decision to officially bring Hamas and Islamic Jihad into his government was influenced by Iranian dominance of all three organizations.

Aside from Hizbullah's ability to unify the forces fighting the coalition, it is a threat of a new magnitude because Nasrallah is the world master of terrorist warfare. With Syrian and Iranian military sponsorship, he successfully trapped Israel into abandoning the initiative in the fighting in southern Lebanon. Through a nefarious mix of terror, propaganda, negotiations, and blackmail, he forced the government to accept a low-intensity conflict it could not shape through offensive strikes.

Nasrallah made brilliant use of psychological warfare against us. He was able to convince Israel to cut and run by playing to our worst fear as a nation: that we were fighting a pointless and unnecessary war.

He did so by carefully orchestrating terror attacks at key political junctures and by convincing influential Israeli constituencies that our actions in Lebanon were futile and pointless, and therefore our losses were self-inflicted. These constituencies were then galvanized to act unwittingly as Hizbullah's representatives to the nation as a whole.

The Israeli experience with Hizbullah, and the fact that Iran, Syria, Hizbullah, and the Palestinians are now actively supporting and involving themselves in operations against the coalition ought to lead US policymakers to base their current and future actions, both military and political, on an understanding of Hizbullah's mode of operation and on the limitations to its operations.

Hizbullah's operations are limited first and foremost by the fact that it lacks the ability to defeat conventional forces militarily. Because of this, it operates in a manner it believes will induce demoralization of coalition members.
Militarily this will translate into an attempt to induce a constant low-level bloodletting that will lend the impression of chaos and inability to achieve order and stability.

As Ledeen notes, the US should not expect a sudden offensive, an "October surprise," immediately before the presidential elections. Rather, "the US should expect an April surprise, a May surprise, a June, July, August, September surprise, an October, and a November surprise."

By playing on the US fear that victory is impossible to achieve, that, as Sadr said, Iraq will become "another Vietnam," Hizbullah will seek to convince enough Americans that staying is pointless to force George W. Bush out of office and force a retreat of US forces from Iraq. This would be achieved to greatest effect if a sense of chaos and futility can be conveyed to the American people watching the violence on their television screens.

To combat this effort, it is vital for the administration not to lose control of the tone of the public debate either in Iraq or in the US. The decision to close Sadr's newspaper was of crucial importance for this reason. As Sadr's militia is publishing its announcements on Hizbullah's Al-Manar satellite network, arresting Al-Manar reporters and blocking the station from Iraqi television would also be a vital move.

Domestically, political opponents, like Sens. Edward Kennedy and Robert Byrd, should be placed on the defensive for buying into Hizbullah's psychological warfare in repeating the analogy between Iraq and Vietnam.

Hizbullah also operates under a second limitation. It cannot fight unless it is clear to its state sponsors in Damascus and Teheran that its battle will not place their national interests in danger. If the US agrees, as Israel did, to limit its fight against the terrorists to the battlefield of their choosing, while appeasing their sponsors on other fronts, Hizbullah will fight on forever.

Because of this, US inaction on the issue of Iran's nuclear weapons program, like its decision to hold up sanctions against Syria, is self-defeating. Similarly, the distinction made by the administration between the jihad against Israel, which can be appeased, and the jihad against the US, which must be defeated, is both unsustainable and destructive.

In Hizbullah, the US has found a dangerous and cunning foe. Hizbullah, together with its state sponsors, strives to reenact against the US in Iraq its success against Israel in Lebanon. The US must make sure not to repeat our mistakes. In doing so, it will ensure its eventual success in bringing stability and freedom to Iraq and score an enormous victory in the war on terror as a whole.
13 posted on 04/10/2004 9:20:26 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
From Tyranny to Freedom

By Michael A. Ledeen
Posted: Friday, April 9, 2004

History reveals that freedom and democracy can grow among peoples liberated from tyrannical regimes. While some would argue such political transformation depends more upon a slow and lengthy process of change than on military intervention, nothing so effectively discredits tyranny as its defeat in war, as the collapse of Nazism and Japanese imperialism so clearly demonstrate.

Recent acts of barbarism against coalition forces in Iraq have revived an old and enormously important debate: are these terrorists the products of fanatic tyrannies, or are the tyrannies the logical expression of the true nature of the peoples of the region? This is not an academic exercise, for many argue that our foreign policy depends on the answer. If we believe that the barbarism is the result of the likes of Saddam Hussein and the Iranian mullahs, then the war against terrorism should concentrate on regime change. Once the tyrants are removed, the terrorists will be deprived of their sustenance, and greater freedom and democracy can be expected. But, it is said, if fanaticism and barbarism are part and parcel of the region's culture, mere regime change cannot possibly eliminate this sort of terrorism. Some way would have to be found to change the culture, and only then could terrorism be truly defeated and a political transformation succeed.

Ancient and Modern Examples

It is an ancient and highly instructive debate. It is featured in the book of Exodus in a lively confrontation between Moses and the Almighty. In one of the many uprisings against Moses, the Jews demand new leaders who will lead them back to Egypt. God reacts with disgust, tells Moses that these people are unworthy of the divine mission, and announces his intention to kill all but a small remnant, the few people deserving of freedom and the Holy Land. Moses insists that they can be taught, and achieves a compromise: they will be spared, but will have to remain in the wilderness for forty years. Thereafter a new generation will create Israel. Were the rebellious Jews created by Egyptian tyranny, or were they the sort of people who preferred tyranny to freedom?

The newly freed slaves of Egypt were not quickly transformed into freedom-loving democrats, despite their exceptional leaders. But in time they and their children learned the habits of mind of free people.

The greatest modern political thinker, Niccol˜ Machiavelli, observed that it is as difficult to bring freedom to a people accustomed to tyranny as it is to crush freedom in a free society. Yet Machiavelli knew that both had been accomplished, even though he took a very dim view of human nature ("man is more inclined to do evil than to do good").

At the end of the Second World War, the leaders of the Great Generation pondered the disposition of Germany and Japan. Many believed it was impossible to bring freedom to people who had embraced fascism and its attendant culture of death (from Japanese suicide bombers in their kamikaze aircraft to SS fighters on the ground celebrating heroic death). The renowned George F. Kennan, then the chief of the State Department's policy-planning staff, was convinced that there were no potential democratic leaders in Germany, and that we should retain the Nazi bureaucracy. At least they knew how to manage a modern state. And in Japan, many of our wisest men insisted that the only hope for Japanese democracy was the total extirpation of the Imperial culture; the Emperor had to go.

But there were democrats in Germany who proved excellent leaders of a free country, and the emperor still sits on his throne in democratic Japan.

The Challenge in the Muslim Middle East

To those who say that democracy cannot be introduced in the Muslim Middle East, where it has never existed, there is an easy answer: if that were true, then there would be no democracy at all, since tyranny is older than democracy, and oppression has been far more common than freedom for most of human history. Every free people lived under tyranny before it became free; freedom has had to be wrested from the hands of kings, caliphs and nobles, and imams and priests--and it has invariably been a tough battle. But that is quite different from saying it cannot be done at all.

The history of the Muslim world abounds with examples of successful self-government, from the high degree of autonomy granted to some of the lands of the Ottoman Empire to the remarkably modern Iranian Constitution of 1906, and the contemporary Middle East is currently bubbling with calls for greater freedom, often from surprising sources (such as the son of Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi). It is hard to believe that the peoples of the Middle East are bound and determined to remain oppressed when millions of Iranians have demonstrated for freedom, and, just within the past few months, pro-democracy demonstrations have erupted in Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Yet those in Iraq who are killing us and our allies, along with Arab civilians--and even themselves and their own children--are also part of the culture of the Middle East, and they draw upon it to justify their actions and inspire others to do likewise. Do we not have to change at least those elements of the region's culture? Can we expect to defeat terrorism without also discrediting the ideas and passions that underlie it? And does that not automatically mean a long process, in which political and military weapons are largely irrelevant?

I do not think so. Nothing so discredits an idea as its defeat in the real world. Had we not defeated the fascists in World War II, the heirs of Tojo, Hitler, and Mussolini would most likely still rule Japan, Germany, and Italy, and some version of fascism would most likely remain a potent force in many other societies, just as it was in the twenties, thirties and early forties. But our victory in war defeated both the enemy regimes and their evil doctrines, and fascism is no longer an inspiration. If we defeat the terrorists and remove the regimes that support them, we are likely to find the appeal of bloody jihad dramatically reduced. There is undoubtedly a connection between the pro-democracy demonstrations (and Libya's surrender) and the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The barbarians in Fallujah are part of a culture that is both bloody and peaceful, just like the Western culture that produced fascism and communism. The central issue in this war is which elements in that culture will prevail. You do not have to be a Hegelian to believe that ideas rise and fall with the people that embrace them, or that culture is linked to the success and failure of its advocates. We may not know the answer to the academic question: whether the culture favored tyrants or if the tyrants imposed a culture favorable to their domination. But we do know the answer to the policy question: tyranny and terror, along with the culture that favors them, can be defeated, to the benefit of freedom and even democracy.

Michael A. Ledeen holds the Freedom Chair at AEI. "Let's work together to break the chains of the oppression and destroy the obstacles to the human freedom,everywhere."
14 posted on 04/10/2004 9:26:39 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Excellent counter argument.

When I speak to people about Iran, their first question is whether or not the Iranians can be capable enough to govern a democracy.

I think a better first question is: are the Iranian people strong enough to fight for their freedoms, great and small?

15 posted on 04/10/2004 9:30:17 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Help bring the end to Freepathons. Donate monthly.)
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To: DoctorZIn

"Iraq under the rule of the Americans has become a heaven for terrorists world wide,"

I guess that would make it a lot like Iran, then.

"He also said the United States aimed to... pursue efforts to overthrow the Islamic system of Iran."

Hope he knows something we don't.......
16 posted on 04/10/2004 12:53:28 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn
I think State Department spokesman Adam Ereli needs to get on the same page as Rumsfeld.
17 posted on 04/10/2004 12:56:22 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn
Kharazi, Straw Discuss Iraq, Nuke Issues

April 10, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting

Tehran -- Foreign ministers of Iran Kamal Kharrazi and his British counterpart Jack Straw on Friday discussed the latest developments in the region and Iraq as well as the Iranian nuclear programs.

According to the press and information department of the Foreign Ministry, Kharrazi expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in Iraq and the massacre of the innocent civilians by the US-led coalition forces.

He said the best way of settling the current crisis in Iraq is to bringing an end to the bloodshed and the military action by the occupation forces in the war-ruined country.

He said the US troops would have done better to consider the advice of the grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani to halt the military action and to restore calm to the nation.

He said one cannot restore peace through bloodshed and violence adding that the current situation in Iraq is unacceptable.

The United States has spread violence and massacre of civilians by implementing its improper policies and bullying methods, Kharrazi warned.

Straw expressed regret and worry over the deepening crisis in Iraq and called on Iran to go ahead with its constructive cooperation with the international community and Britain to settle the crises in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He urged Tehran to continue its constructive consultations to settle the Iraqi crisis.

The US-led occupation of Iraq sank deeper in turmoil Friday on the anniversary of Saddam Hussein's ouster as its forces pressed a drive against insurgents in number of cities and towns after seeking to arrange talks.

Straw and Kharrazi further discussed Iranian nuclear activities.

Straw made comments on the Iranian nuclear programs and welcomed the ongoing cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Straw said the EU would continue to support the negotiations between Iran and the IAEA.

Kharrazi turned to the visit to Iran by the UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohammad Elbaradei and said a timetable has been prepared to discuss and settle the nuclear issue between Tehran and IAEA and the two sides have agreed upon.

He hoped that the EU would continue its efforts to help settle the issue through dialogue.

Visiting head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed Elbaradei said here on Tuesday that Iran's interests as well as those of the international community call for resolving Iran's nuclear issues as soon as possible.

Elbaradei told reporters after meeting the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hassan Rowhani that Iranian officials had assured him that the Islamic Republic will actively live up to its commitments toward the IAEA.

He voiced satisfaction over the results of his talks with Rowhani, stressing that the IAEA is keen on continuing cooperation with the Islamic Republic.

He said Iran and the IAEA have made good progress in promoting mutual nuclear cooperation.
18 posted on 04/10/2004 1:50:02 PM PDT 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; ...
From Tyranny to Freedom [A Must Read]

By Michael A. Ledeen
Posted: Friday, April 9, 2004
19 posted on 04/10/2004 2:17:30 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Take a Deep Breath

New York Times - By David Brooks
Apr 10, 2004

Come on people, let's get a grip.

This week, Chicken Littles like Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd were ranting that Iraq is another Vietnam. Pundits and sages were spinning a whole series of mutually exclusive disaster scenarios: Civil war! A nationwide rebellion!

Maybe we should calm down a bit. I've spent the last few days talking with people who've spent much of their careers studying and working in this region. We're at a perilous moment in Iraqi history, but the situation is not collapsing. We're in the middle of a battle. It's a battle against people who vehemently oppose a democratic Iraq. The task is to crush those enemies without making life impossible for those who fundamentally want what we want.

The Shiite violence is being fomented by Moktada al-Sadr, a lowlife hoodlum from an august family. The ruthless and hyperpoliticized Sadr has spent the past year trying to marginalize established religious figures, like Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who come from a more quietist tradition and who believe in the separation of government and clergy. Sadr and his fellow putschists have been spectacularly unsuccessful in winning popular support. The vast majority of Iraqis do not want an Iranian-style dictatorship. Most see Sadr as a young, hotheaded murderer who terrorizes people wherever he goes.

He and his band have taken this opportunity to make a desperate bid for power, before democratic elections reveal the meagerness of their following.

He has cleverly picked his moment, and he has several advantages. He is exploiting wounded national pride. He is capitalizing on the Iraqis' frustration with the American occupation (they continually overestimate our competence, then invent conspiracy theories to explain why we haven't transformed Iraq).

Most important, Sadr has the advantages that always accrue to fascist thugs. He is vicious, while his opponents are civilized. Sadr and his band terrify people, and ride on a current of blood. They get financial and logistical support from Iran. They profit from the mayhem caused by assorted terrorists, like Imad Mugniyah, who are sowing chaos in Iraq. They need to spark a conflagration to seize power.

Sadr's domestic opponents are ill-equipped to deal with him. The police have revealed their weakness. Normal Iraqis are doing what they learned to do under Saddam; they are keeping their heads down. Clerics like Sistani, who operate by consensus, do not want to be seen siding with outsiders against a fellow Muslim.

Nonetheless, Sadr faces long odds. Iraqis may be frustrated with the Americans, but they don't want to jump from Baath fascism to theocratic fascism. In a February poll, only 10 percent of Iraqis said it was acceptable to attack Americans. In Kut yesterday, CNN reported, local tribesmen, disgusted by Sadr's violence, rose up against his troops. If you'd listened to the recent hysteria, you never would have expected that to happen.

Furthermore, many of the most influential Shiite groups in Iraq, such as the Dawa and Sciri parties, are invested in the process of building the new Iraq. Their policies don't jibe with ours, but they have a stake in a democratic future and would love to see Sadr eliminated. There are even signs that the Iranians themselves regard Sadr as hopelessly volatile.

Most important, leadership in the U.S. is for once cool and resolved. This week I spoke with leading Democrats and Republicans and found a virtual consensus. We're going to keep the June 30 handover deadline. We're going to raise troop levels if necessary. We're going to wait for the holy period to end and crush Sadr. As Joe Lieberman put it, a military offensive will alienate Iraqis, but "the greater risk is [Sadr] will grow into something malevolent." As Charles Hill, the legendary foreign service officer who now teaches at Yale, observed, "I've been pleasantly surprised by the boldness and resolve."

Nonetheless, yesterday's defections from the Iraqi Governing Council show that populist pressure on the good guys is getting intense. Maybe it is time to pause, to let passions cool, to let the democrats marshal their forces. If people like Sistani are forced to declare war on the U.S., the gates of hell will open up.

Over the long run, though, the task is unavoidable. Sadr is an enemy of civilization. The terrorists are enemies of civilization. They must be defeated.
20 posted on 04/10/2004 2:19:43 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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