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Iranian Alert -- April 12, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 4.12.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 04/11/2004 9:20:39 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; terrorism; terrorists; thuriya; wot; 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 04/11/2004 9:20:41 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 04/11/2004 9:23:21 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Is Iran Provoking the Unrest?

Iran has allies in the country, thanks to Iraq's large Shi'ite population

Posted Sunday, April 11, 2004

As they struggled to explain the unnerving drop-off in Shi'ite support for the occupation, some U.S. officials suggested a familiar foe might be helping to stoke the uprising. "We know the Iranians have been meddling," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters last week. "And it's unhelpful to have neighboring countries meddling in the affairs of Iraq."

The Bush Administration has long suspected Iran of trying to stir up opposition to U.S. forces in Iraq. Since the beginning of the occupation, the U.S. has monitored the moves of Iran's most powerful Shi'ite clerics, who supported the ouster of one longtime enemy, Saddam Hussein, but now bristle at the presence of another one, the U.S., on their doorstep. Muqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American Iraqi cleric who launched the Shi'ite revolt, has ties to some conservative Iranian clerics. Current and former U.S. officials say Iran has also funneled money and weapons to other Shi'ite militias in Iraq. U.S. intelligence officials believe Iranian spies continue to slip across Iran's 900-mile border with Iraq, melting in among the thousands of Iranians who have resumed pilgrimages to the Shi'ite holy sites in Iraq.

But is Iran actively aiding the revolt against the U.S.? That isn't clear. At the same press conference in which he accused Iran of "meddling," Rumsfeld said he wasn't aware of evidence that Iran was providing direct assistance to al-Sadr's militia. "We're watching it carefully," says a senior coalition military official. "We haven't seen a lot of evidence that suggests that." U.S. intelligence officials say the Tehran-funded Badr corps, the biggest Shi'ite militia, has stayed on the sidelines of the uprising, at least so far. Says a senior U.S. intelligence official: "The Iranians screw around, and they meddle, and they get involved, but I don't think they're instigating."

Iranian insiders say the regime doesn't want to see an unpredictable demagogue like al-Sadr amass power in Iraq. "Al-Sadr is too radical for a majority of Iranians," says a source in Tehran with close ties to Iranian President Mohammed Khatami. At the same time, a chaotic power vacuum could jeopardize Iranian hopes of profiting in the new Iraq. Iran sees Iraq as a critical trading pipeline with the rest of the Middle East, from which it has been locked out for decades.

According to U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials, Tehran's spymasters believe that once the transition to a new Iraqi government comes about, they will probably get what they want: the U.S. out and a pro-Iran, Shi'ite-led government in. Both the top Iraqi Shi'ite leader, Grand Ayatullah Ali Husaini Sistani, and Iran's close ally on Iraq's interim Governing Council, Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, will probably gain positions of influence after the U.S. hands over authority. A senior U.S. diplomat with experience in the region says Iran "will do everything it can to avoid confrontation."

But that uneasy balance could unravel if the U.S. doesn't restore order. State Department and CIA officials fear the presence of Iran's hard-line al-Quds security forces, which they believe are working with the Lebanese terrorists of Hizballah and could be tempted to back the insurgency. Iraq's Gulf neighbors distrust Iran and would like to see Sunnis retain influence in Baghdad. With Iraq's fate so uncertain, foreign meddling may have only just begun.

—With reporting by Scott MacLeod/Cairo and Nahid Siamdoust/Tehran influence Tributes to Ayatullah Khomeini found in southern Iraq
3 posted on 04/11/2004 9:27:53 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: Fresh Clashes Rock Esfahan
Residents Angry over Reported Theft of Iranian Currency

April 11, 2004

Fresh clashes between angry citizens and forces loyal to the Islamic Regime rocked the Iranian city of Esfahan on Saturday.

According to eye-witnesses, rock-throwing protesters were met with clubs, chains and tear gas by the regime's anti-riot police.

Several demonstrators and members of the regime forces were injured during the clashes.

These new clashes follow several weeks of unrest during which tens of demonstrators have been injured or arrested by the regime forces. The protesters had set banks on fire and smashed windows of several public buildings in apparent retaliation over brutal attacks by regime forces.

The residents are defying the security forces in a display of anger against the regimes' promises to replace millions of Tomans (Iranian currency) that had been stolen from deposited assets. The rumor of the bankruptcy of the local Islamic funds has resulted in massive withdraws and is leading toward its collapse.
4 posted on 04/11/2004 9:29:31 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

by Amir Taheri
April 31, 2004


"An explosion of spiritual energy in the streets... A sudden intrusion of religion in the affairs of the city..."

It was in these eulogising terms that Michel Foucault, the late French historian and amateur politologue -but then aren't all French intellectuals polyvalent?- described his experience in Tehran in the days of what was to be known as "the Islamic Revolution" in 1978.

Foucault, of course, later changed his mind, especially when the mullahs who had seized power thanks to that "spiritual energy", started hanging his homosexual friends, alongside everyone else, in the streets of Tehran and other major cities. (1)

Interestingly, Foucault had not noticed that the so-called "intrusion of religion in the affairs of the city" was not confined to manifestations of "spiritual energy". The active phase of the revolution lasted no more than four months. In those months the self-styled "soldiers of Allah" robbed numerous banks, cut the throats of several lowly officials, including some traffic wardens, disfigured scores of women by throwing vitriol at their unveiled faces, and set fire to hundreds of cinemas, bookshops, concert halls, girls' schools, restaurants, and other "places of sin". In a single incident in August 1978 some 600 people were burnt alive at Cinema Rex in Abadan that was set on fire by one of the commandos that Foucault had admired. The commando had blocked the emergency exits from the outside, and destroyed fire-fighting equipment, to make sure that a maximum number of people would die.

The "Supreme Guide" of the revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, dismissed the incident as "another sign of the anger of our youth." (2)

The label "Islamic" chosen to describe the events of 1978, somehow stuck. Subsequently it gained wider circulation when applied to other violent groups, including the various Algerian terrorist outfits, and Osama Ben Laden's Al Qaeda organisation.

Originally, the leaders of the Khomeinist revolution in Iran had hesitated to use the label. Instead, they spoke of a "popular uprising" (qiyam mardomi). That appellation did not please the Western intellectuals who were, at that time, still mostly seduced by various brands of leftist and/ or fellow traveller ideologies.

Their Iranian counterparts, in the various Communist outfits –from Moscow-backing to Mao-adulating to Fidel-adoring to Trotsky-nostalgic and Titophile- preferred to use the label "Islamic". A "people's revolution" was, after all their business not that of the mullahs who were clearly leading the Iranian revolt at the time. The "Islamic Revolution" was, to those leftist ideologues, an Oriental version of the bourgeois-democratic revolutions dreamed of in the West, and represented the resolution of contradictions between the nation and imperialism, thus paving the way for a genuine "popular revolution" later. (3)

At any rate the label "Islamic" stuck. Since then it has made a proper understanding of what has happened in Iran for the past 25 years difficult. It has also prevented a correct analysis of similar conjectures in other Muslim countries. Those who later became conscious of the inadequacy, not to say outright impropriety, of the term "Islamic" to describe the Iranian revolution, and the government that it produced, have tried to further complicate matters by injecting the term "fundamentalism" or "intégrisme" in French.

The revolution and the system that it produced were, however, neither Islamic nor fundamentalist nor Islamic-fundamentalist.

In 1978 Iran was already a Muslim nation-state and had been so for almost 14 centuries. It had a constitution under which no legislation that contravened Islamic principles could be enacted. No non-Muslim could attain high positions in the civil or armed services. Iran sent the single biggest contingent of pilgrims to Mecca every year. More than 10 million pilgrims went to the "holy" city of Mashhad each year. All children of secondary school had to study classical Arabic to read the Koran, and religious education was compulsory. The state-owned radio and television networks allocated countless hours to religious programmes. There were more than 80 high-level theological seminaries plus full faculties of divinity offering courses up to and including Ph.D. levels. Iran also ranked high in the number of books published on Islam and boasted the production of some of the most beautiful Korans in history.

No one could deny Iran's existential reality as a Muslim nation-state. There is, of course, no universal model for such a state. Each Muslim nation has, and will continue, to live its own existence within Islam. In the case of Iran its pre-Islamic past remained present –partly through certain aspects of the duodecimal faith (mazhab e ithna-ashari)(4). Iran also had a history of more than four centuries of contact, often conflict-ridden with conflict, but at times also friendly and fruitful, with the Western nations, and had borrowed heavily from the West. Its first constitution, promulgated in 1906, had been modelled on that of Belgium, with necessary alterations to take into account the principles of Islam. It had a parliament that, though manipulated by the powers that be, had secured its place in the national conscience as an important institution. Since 1911 there had been regular general elections, first every two years, then every four years. There was a privately owned press with a history of over 150 years. Iran had also come into contact with Western ideologies. In the 1950s the Iranian Communist Party, the Tudeh (masses), had become one of the largest communist organisations outside the Soviet bloc. Liberals, democrats, social democrats, nationalists, nihilists and others had all made their contributions to the Iranian collective consciousness at different times and in different ways. There were Western-style universities, some of them linked with leading American universities.

Whether Iran was or was not an Islamic country was never an issue. It was a given of the Iranian situation. None of the opponents of the regime, not even Khomeini, had ever claimed that Iran had abandoned Islam. They couched their criticism of the regime in nationalist, tiersmondiste, and populist terms.

The use of the term "Islamic" was, therefore, a conjectural stratagem in what became a struggle for power.

In the 1978-79 revolution, the Shah's regime had faced three parallel currents of opposition.

One belonged to the various leftist groups, some of them armed, who, leaving aside their internecine feuds, dreamed of a "proletarian revolution".

The other current was that of Westernised middle classes who, having secured economic power, sought political power against an authoritarian regime.

The third current belonged to what can only be described as the forces of fascism in Iranian society. These forces used an "Islamic" terminology.

The leftist camp knew that it could never mobilise enough muscle in the streets to neutralise the Shah's army and police. The middle class opposition also lacked muscle power and, more importantly, was itself afraid of the street. In the final analysis, the "street" could be mobilised only in the name of religion.

This was how Iran's communists, socialists, social-democrats, democrats, liberals, etc., all rallied to the banner of Khomeini while claiming, and some of them even believing, that they were fighting for greater individual and public liberties.

In other words, in order to fight an authoritarian regime they handed their power to a fascist force led by a small group of mullahs and their non-clerical associates.

It was a sight to see: comical and tragic at once. Socialists, liberals, secularist democrats, etc., started growing beards, buying carnelian rosaries, and even conjuring a patch of piety on their foreheads. They started peppering their discourse with Koranic quotations, often with comical effects because there are many Arabic letters that Persians cannot pronounce, and made a point of making an appearance at the mosque at least on Fridays. High society ladies who used to fly to Paris to renew their wardrobes adopted the newly-fangled revolutionary headgear, invented by Imam Musa Sadr in the 1970s and inspired by the headgear of Christian nuns in Lebanon, and launched the fashion of organising "holy sofra" parties (5) in which they communicated with the Hidden Imam.

The entire country became a vast theatre stage on which tens of thousands of men and women were improvising actors playing "Islamic" roles. Foucault and other Western return ticket revolutionaries came and were fascinated by what they believed was a resumption of Iran's Islamic identity. Iran, they told the world, was re-discovering its "identity", whatever that meant.

They projected their revolutionary fantasies, no longer realisable in their own anchored-in and top-heavy Western societies, into the so-called Third World of which Iran, momentarily, had become the centre.

It is only if we set aside the terms "Islamic" and/or "fundamentalist" that we may gain an insight into the Iranian situation. This situation cannot even be explained in terms of Shi'ism as an offshoot of Islam.

The revolution of 1978-79 and the system it created must be regarded as the product of a large-scale mimetic enterprise. It is a violent intrusion into Iranian reality of Western dystopic ideas and methods, which could be properly explained with reference to ur-fascism or generic fascism.

This assertion could, of course, provoke a riposte that Nazism, usually pagan and anti-monotheist, is worlds away from the present system in Iran.

True. But Nazism is just one manifestation of the generic fascism and its dystopic discourse.

General Franco's hyper-Catholic Phalangist movement and system could not be described as Nazi. But they were fascist. The Afrikaaner Church backed the Apartheid regime in South Africa in the name of "true Christianity". But it was fascist. Dr. Salazar and most of his associates were deeply religious men. But they were fascists. The Ustashis in the Balkans put their Catholicism at the centre of their "ipseity". They were fascists nonetheless.

Latin Americans divide dictatorships into "dictadura" and "dictablanda", a word play, which distinguishes "hard" military regimes from "soft" ones. One could also speak of "hard" and "soft" fascism, as one speaks of "hard" or "soft" pornography.

A movement, a system, need not fulfil all the conditions set by say Adolph Hitler or Benito Mussolini or, in a different context, Juan Peron, to be described as fascist. Two brothers or two cousins may look and even behave differently. But in the final analysis they bear family resemblances –un air de famille, as the French say.

What are the main characteristics of generic fascism and how they apply to Islamism ?

The first characteristic of generic fascism is its totalitarianism. Not all totalitarian movements and systems are fascist. But all fascist movements and systems are totalitarian inasmuch as they seek to seize control of all aspects of individual and community life. They are one-party system. In Iran the slogans is "Only one Party : the Hezballah !". They reject diversity and scorn alternative life-styles. The state and the dominant party must dictate every movement of all citizens at all times. Khomeini's magnum opus "Hal al-Masa'el" includes more than 6000 fatwas regulating every issue –from one's Weltanschauung to rules for urinating.

The totalitarian state wants to control the past, the present and the future, stopping history at points it deems suitable to its own designs.

The second characteristic of generic fascism is that, even when it believes it is religious, it is, in fact, deeply anti-religious. In Iran the mosques have been turned into supermarkets and centres for distributing consumer durables. A Tehran joke puts it well : Before the mullahs we used to pray in private and drink in public. Now we drink in private and pray in public! Numerous mosques are used as offices of the "Imam Committees" (known as ‘Komiteh' in Persian), the parallel police created by Khomeini in the early days of the regime. On occasions mosques are used as temporary prisons for political opponents of the regime and ordinary criminals. The government has made a mockery of Shi'ite rules for choosing the "maraje taqlid" –rules that go back more than three centuries. More than 300 mullahs and students of theology have been executed and some 2000 are in prison. Thousands of others have fled into exile. Koranic and religious studies have been cut from six hours a week to four hours. The remaining two hours are used for a study of "the political thoughts and acts of Imam Khomeini". More than 100 religious seminaries have been closed, and all of Iran's grand ayatollahs are under house arrest. People going to Mecca for Hajj are chosen in accordance with quotas fixed by revolutionary organisations. More than a million Muslims died in the Iran-Iraq war and tens of thousands of Muslims have been executed or killed in clashes with government forces.

The third characteristic of generic fascism is the cult of tradition. This assumes that all that is there for man to learn is already there, contained in some cryptic message of either religious or pagan provenance. The idea is to return to the source, which could be ancient Hellas, the Rome of Caesars, or the imagined Medina of the seventh century. The past is idealised, the present vilified and the future dreamified.

It is interesting that a huge market has developed for all kinds of esoteric oeuvres under the supposedly Islamic Republic. Nostradamus, Joseph de Maistre, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, biographies of Pythagoras and Cagliostro, books on alchemy, etc. There is even Khomeini's own assessment of ancient Greek philosophy. In it he presents Socrates as the first "monotheist Muslim" who was murdered in a Jewish conspiracy" (sic).

The idea is to reject rationalism and to inject in society a syncretism in which rulers run a supermarket of superstitions.

The fourth characteristic of generic fascism is its rejection of modernism. We see mullahs flying in helicopters and wearing glistening Colts under their abayas. But to them the modern world is the product of a "Judeo-Christian conspiracy". A more extremism version of this was given by Mahathir Mohamed, Malaysia's retiring Prime Minister, in October 2003. Addressing a summit of the Islamic Conference Organisation, he claimed that the modern world was a "Jewish creation". He also credited the Jews for having "invented" all modern ideas, including democracy, human rights and communism. Rejection of modernism means rejecting the achievements of humanism since the Enlightenment. This is why de Maistre's criticism of the French revolution is so appreciated by the ruling mullahs in Tehran. Modern ideas as the intrinsic worth of the individual, freedom of conscience, and the rule of law are rejected as "Western" or "colonial" values to be combated at all levels. In an address to the University of Florence in 1998, President Muhammad Khatami branded the Renaissance as the starting point of "human decline into barbarity." "The Renaissance," he said, "led to Imperialism and the burning of weak countries by the strong."

The fifth characteristic of generic fascism is the cult of the chief. There are, of course, many non-fascist systems that also practice the cult of the chief. (Emperor Bokassa for example). But there all you have to do is to obey the chief; you don't necessarily have to love him and accept him as a guide in all aspects of your life. In Iran, however, the cult of Khomeini developed into a veritable secular religion. He is called Imam, thus turning Twelver Sh'ism into a cult of the 13. His iconic image is grown in the shape of cedar forests on mountain slopes. His shrine south of Tehran is described as "the second Mecca". All prayers must start and finish with his name. His fatwas remain valid forever. The "Supreme Guide" of the day has the constitutional right to suspend the basic principles of Islam, but cannot cancel the fatwas of the dead chief. The slogans "Khoda, Koran, Khomeini" (God, Koran, Khomeini) and "Allah Akbar, Khomeini Rahbar" (God is One, Khomeini is the leader) remain the war cries of the Hezballah movement in Iran and other Muslim countries where the party has branches. Men, women and children march in front of 10-foot portraits of the "Imam" in Tehran and Beirut, taking the salute. The Fuehrer, Il Duce, the Caudillo, the Zaim (6) the Rais (7), and the Imam belong to the same tradition of political iconography.

The sixth characteristic of generic fascism is its exploitation of social and economic frustrations. It recruits its soldiers from among the lower middle classes, the peasants who have been driven into large cities, the lumpen proletarian elements, and pseudo-intellectuals who, because of a religious bend of mind, look for certainty and fear doubt. Hatred, envy, jealousy and suspicion are major themes in the discourse of generic fascism. The "dispossessed" (Mustadhafeen) are told that while they are suffering, others live fantastic lives of luxury. Well-to-do Iranian "protest intellectuals" used to buy second hand clothes in the bazaar to appear as one of the "mustadhafeen". Much is made of Osama bin Laden's decision to abandon his life of luxury and live in caves in Afghanistan. To look poor was part of the rites of passage. The incitement of sexual jealousy is another key theme. Such words as "rich" and "wealth" are used as terms of abuse. Inside the country the rich and the wealthy should be detested while foreign powers hostile to the regime are branded as "the rich ones" and "the wealthy nations". Thus fascism implicitly agrees that it will always keep the mass of the people stuck at a certain level of poverty. It does not, cannot, promise a good life, a life of comfort and ease, because once such a living standard is attained people will, almost automatically, seek pluralism and freedom.

The seventh characteristic of generic fascism is fear and hatred of the "other" and "otherness" (alterity) in general. The world is presented in terms of "us" and "them". Anti-Americanism is just one manifestation. So is fear of women. Xenophobia remains an appealing theme. To Hitler the Jewish people of course, represented the most hated. Mussolini warned the Italians that they might become "Africanised" and turned into "subhuman". But "otherness" need not be determined by race or ethnic background. The "other" could be defined by his different religious or political beliefs or his real or suspected ideological deviance. The "us" and "them" in question could be changeable. Anyone could cease being one of us and become one of them. What ensures the continuation of an us status is total obedience, a rejection of all doubt as to the legitimacy of the political line of the day.

The eighth characteristic of generic fascism is its cult of death. From "Viva la Muerte" of the Phalangists to the love of the Nazis for the scalp symbol to the passion of the Iranian fascists for martyrdom, we see a love of death at work. This is often linked to hero worship. The martyr instantly goes to paradise. Teenage Iranians were given plastic keys, made in Taiwan, to hang from their necks when being sent onto the minefields during the 1980-88 war against Iraq. These were called "mafatih al-jinan" (keys to paradise). The hero-martyr, on arrival in paradise would instantly have access to 72 perpetual virgins. Khomeini's most favoured dictum is "To kill and get killed are the supreme duties of Muslims." The religious fascist often wears shrouds during street demonstrations, to underline his readiness to die at any moment. The arrogance of the assumption that individuals could choose to become martyrs is conveniently ignored. Also, it is forgotten that if everyone in a society were to die a martyr there would be no one left to honour the martyrs! The religious fascist never names a street or any public edifice after a living person: only those who were killed and died in the service of the movement are honoured. For example, the street on which the Egyptian embassy in Tehran is located is named after Khalid Showqi al-Islambouli, President Anwar Sadat's assassin. Neguib Mahfouz, the Egyptian Nobel Prize laureate is, of course, never named except to be insulted. One of bin Laden's favourite poems is entitled: "The Sweet Nectar of Death." According to Khamenehi it is "by dying for his faith that a Muslim becomes truly alive." (8) In other words: I die, therefore I am!

The ninth characteristic of generic fascism is its profound fear and hatred of democracy. The chimera labelled "the people" is presented to prevent citizens from individual and collective initiative. There is no system of delegating power and, ipso facto, no accountability. The "just" government cannot be replaced through elections. Khomeini called democracy "a form of prostitution". His argument is that democracy acts like a prostitute because it could take power from one party and give it to another through elections. Khomeini admitted that his chief motive in fighting the Shah's regime was that the hated system might have eventually evolved into a Western-style democracy.

"The people" or "Das Volk" or "Umma" is a theatrical concoction. Interestingly Khomeini and his successors have used the term "the Umma that is always present on the stage to play the role required of it." The generic fascist hates parliaments, political parties and institutional politics. He feels at home in mass rallies, street marches and flag-waving shows. People appear in theatrical costumes, mullahs wearing turbans of different colours, shapes and sizes denoting their ranks, volunteers for martyrdom wear shrouds and crimson headbands; women are hidden under a mass of black drapery. Even the beard is a mask that might recall Kabuki or Kathakali make-ups.

One is reminded of the Nazis' passion for uniforms and choreographed mass gatherings. Key government decisions are announced not at the parliament but at gatherings of militants at Friday prayer sessions at the Tehran University campus. The principal yardstick in choosing officials is loyalty not expertise. Khomeini used to say: "Don't talk to me about economists. Economics is for donkeys." His successor, Ali Khamenehi, has made a castigating attack on those who had dared suggest that the nation might need specialists to rebuild its shattered economy. "We need devoted people" he said. "We need people who believe in our system. A specialist who doubts is worse than any enemy."

The tenth characteristic of generic fascism is the cult of war, both foreign and civil wars. It conceives of existence as a Manichean struggle between Good and Evil. Other messianic movements may also provoke wars. But in the case of generic fascism war is a highly desirable tool in creating the new man and the ideal society. Khomeini described war as "a divine blessing". Where direct war is impossible, perhaps because one is not sure of winning, it is necessary to maintain the "war spirit" by provoking conflicts. Not surprisingly talk of forming a "war Cabinet" is a recurrent theme in the Khomeinist political discourse. But the generic fascist must be careful to pick adversaries whose choice can show him up as a hero. The Iran-Iraq war, for example, was not presented as a conflict with Saddam Hussein, described by Khomeini as "nincompoop who had better commit suicide". No, Iraq and Saddam were too small for a great heroic revolution! Khomeinism said it was at war against the United States, later even going higher and using the word "world arrogance". The slogan was "War, war until victory!". The fact that the US and Israel, at a crucial stage helped Iran get the weapons it needed to continue the war and avoid defeat by Iraq was conveniently ignored. Iran, we were told, was fighting to defeat the US and liberate Palestine!

The eleventh characteristic of generic fascism is its readiness to use terrorism both before coming to power and after it has achieved it. Franquist death-squads remained in operation three decades after the victory of the Phalange. SS death squads were always on hand to eliminate real or imagined opponents long after Hitler had sat at the window that opened on the Under Den Linden. Khomeini issued his first death fatwa in 1946, against a leading intellectual (Ahmad Kasravi). His regime today has several death-squads known as Thar al-Allah ( Blood of Allah), Ansar Hezballah ( Victors of the Party of Allah) and Avengers of the Imam. Numerous prominent politicians and mullahs who had initially cooperated with the new regime have been assassinated in the past 22 years. Abroad 127 dissidents have been killed in 16 countries by death-squads dispatched from Tehran. Not all terrorist movements are fascist. But all fascist movements and states include a strong element of terrorism. Generic fascism leads to the creation of a kakistocracy, rule by the worst elements of society –elements who, when necessary, recourse to terrorism.

Finally, the twelfth characteristic of generic fascism is its rejection of the normal language of society. All brands of fascism invent their vocabularies and styles of prose and poetry. Mussolini's affected Latinism was, at times, rather hilarious while Ezra Pound's "pure Aryan lingo" was intriguing. The German used by Hitler and Goebbels was closer to the argot of Munich beer-houses than the oeuvres of von Kleist or Goethe. Jean-Marie Le Pen is careful about his imparfait du subjonctif. I have on my computer a list of over 300 words and terms, most of them new coinages that provide the backbone of the Khomeinist newspeak version of Persian. The total vocabulary of this newspeak is around 2000 words. That is quite sufficient for a generic fascist system. Anything more than that might lead people into the temptation of thinking. In Khomeinism, as in all forms of fascism, what matters is "zikr" (incantation of divine texts) not "fikr" (critical thought). Generic fascism destroys the normal syntax in an unconscious bid to pre-empt the development of rational thought and critical analysis. In imposing its vocabulary, generic fascism, of course, uses censorship. Khomeini censored his own collection of poems, which appeared in a limited edition only after his death, and his "Hall al-Masa'el" (Soltuion of Problems) was "purged of unsuitable ideas" before being published. The censorship list in Tehran reads like a who's who of Persian and world literature and thought. Even classics of Persian literature are "edited" to remove thoughts that might undermine the regime.

* To sum up what happened in Iran in 1978-79 and the system subsequently created have only an incidental relationship with Islam or Shi'ism or any fundamentalist versions thereof. The official calendar of the Islamic Republic marks out 27 days to be celebrated in connection with various phases of Khomeini's life and activities. The Prophet of Islam, however, does not get a single holiday –not even his birthday or the baathat (the day he was called by God to become a prophet). Official literature says with a straight face that Khomeini "revived" Islam that had been dead since the time of the First Imam, Ali Ibn Abi-Talib some 14 centuries ago. The Khomeinist system in a beda'a (innovation) opposed to Islamic and/or Persian philosophy, theology or political thought and practice. Its roots can be found in generic fascism, a largely Western product which has invaded Iran in a dramatic instance of mimetic madness. This mimetism is westernising Iran more than the nation's previous 150 years' experience with the gradual assimilation of some aspects of Western way of life. The problem is that the West is coming to Iran in its fascist version just as it had come to other developing nations in its socialist or communist versions. The use of an Islamic terminology does not amount even to a fig leaf for what is fascist movement and a fascist regime. Many Iranian intellectuals failed to recognise the wolf disguised as the grandmother. A mixture of political immaturity, opportunism and outright irresponsibility led Iranian liberals, democrats, socialists, social-democrats, etc., to transfer their powers to the generic fascist movement Iranian-style.

There are similar Khomeinist movements in other Muslim countries. The combat against this fascist movement, however, must not be seen as a fight against Islam or even a fundamentalist version of it. The beards, the turbans, the mishlahs ( a kind of shawl worn by men), the miswaks ( toothbrushes made of sandalwood), the piety-patches on foreheads, the qamis ( men's long shirt), the beards –pogonophilia taken to excess- should not lead us into believing that we are fighting an Islamic movement. (9)

Fascism is most effectively fought through an extension of liberties, the creation and/or strengthening of political institutions. There can be no compromise with fascism, no give and take, no quest for consensus. Those who think they can ally themselves with fascism to win power against a regime that they do not like, have not heard the proverb about falling from the frying pan into the fire. Many of the intellectuals that the Shah used to put in detention for brief periods were shot, jailed or driven into exile by Khomeini despite the fact that they had signed the "devil's pact" with him or, may be, because they had. They did not realise, or did not wish to realise, that freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with fascism. They fought a regime that they disliked, rightly or wrongly, by supporting a movement which they should have disliked even more intensely. They did not realise that those who use religion as their stock-in-trade cannot offer pluralism and democracy even if they tried. The ayatollah, the Pope, the Hindu gurus or the Dalai Lama have no freedom and democracy to offer.

The first lesson that Muslim intellectuals must learn from the Iranian experience is that that ought to be themselves. They should not abandon their core political beliefs to forge an alliance with the fascists. Today, most regimes in the Muslim world are corrupt and despotic and, thus, must be fought as enemies of their people. But one must always fight them from positions that are more human, more progressive and more democratic than those of the regime in place. To try and bring down a bad regime only to replace it with something much worse is a costly error that I hope will not be repeated by intellectuals in other Muslim countries. What matters is the existential reality of Islam, the way Muslim peoples, generation after generation, have lived and developed their faith. Islam is not a brand name that any group could monopolise and turn into the stick of takfir ( anathema) against others.

The mere fact of wearing a turban, or a mufti's cap, and the growing of a beard, no matter how substantial, and the utterance of a few quotations from the Koran –often half understood- do not authorise anyone to decide who is a "good Muslim" and who a "bad one". The Shi'ite culture has the tradition of "marjaiyyah" ( Source of Religious Guidance) which means an individual could consult someone more learned than him in theological matters on specific questions of the practice of the faith. But the marjaa or guides are never appointed by any authority, let alone self-appointed. People choose them and people can discard them. Thus the system now in place in Iran is a pure invention that has violated every principle of Shi'ism. The Iranian people are the primary victims of Khomeinism just as the Germans were the first victims of Hitlerism and the Russians those of Leninism. Muslims must not allow the genuine grievances of the people, especially younger generations who often see the future as bleak, to be exploited by fascists using a populist discourse seasoned with pseudo-Islamic ingredients. The fight against fascism in the Muslim world is a political fight. It must, therefore, be essentially fought through political means. It is only the fresh air of freedom that could deliver the coup de grâce to the monster of fascism in its Islamist form. END


1- A selection of Foucault's writings on the Khomeinist evolution was published in Tehran in 1980 under the title of "Great French Philosopher Admits Superiority of Islam" (sic.)

2- Statement by Khomeini, broadcast by the BBC Persian service, 2 September 1978.

3- In its issue of 22 August 1978, the Weekly Navid (Good News), published by the Tudeh Party ran a long article on a Central Committee decision to acknowledge the " Islamic" character of the coming revolution.

4- Shi'ism is regarded by Sunnis, who account for 80 per cent of all Muslims, as a mild form of heresy. Shi'ites are in a majority in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen.

5- These were, in fact, lavish dinner parties at which a mullah would call in the spirit of a saint to respond to the questions of the participants.

6- Zaim is an Arabic term, meaning " the leader" and has been used by several Arab fascist movements.

7- Rais, means "the head" and has been used to describe several Arab fascist leaders.

8- Tehran Radio broadcast, 11 February 1988. At the time Khamenehi was President of the Islamic Republic.

9- The items mentioned here are widely used as symbols of "piety" by Islamist fascists throughout the Muslim world.

Copyright: Amir Taheri 2004

* The above article was published in "American Foreign Policy Interests" Volume 26, Number 1, February 2004
5 posted on 04/11/2004 9:32:05 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; ...

by Amir Taheri
April 31, 2004
6 posted on 04/11/2004 9:32:52 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran leader sees U.S. 'vulnerable' in Iraq
Ex-president calls America 'wounded monster,' says military defeat would be 'valuable lesson'

Posted: April 12, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2004

WASHINGTON – Providing yet more evidence that Iran is actively supporting the Shiite guerrilla forces battling U.S.-led coalition, former Iranian President Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani said the American military forces are vulnerable, describing them as a "wounded monster," and suggesting defeat would provide a "valuable lesson" for the West.

Rafsanjani, chairman of the powerful Expediency Council in Iran, says America's vulnerability in Iraq makes Iran stronger.

During Friday prayers, broadcast live by Iranian radio, Rafsanjani said deep relations between the people of Iran and the people of Iraq are causing problems for America.

"America had entered the region in order to set up a base right outside our borders, but such a base will no longer materialize," he said. "We have small accounts with the Americans which we must settle one day and bring the issue to a close."

Rafsanjani praised Moqtada Al-Sadr's "heroic" Mahdi militia.

"Contrary to those terrorist groups in Iraq, there are also strong bodies which contribute to the security of that nation," Rafsanjani said. "Among them is the Mahdi Army, comprising many enthusiastic and heroic young people who were unhappy both with Saddam and the Americans, as well as other issues ... ."

Rafsanjani's candid speech confirms earlier reports in WorldNetDaily showing Iran is deeply involved in the Iraqi uprising and has been planning it for more than a year.

On Tuesday, the London Arabic daily Al-Hayat noted in the previous two days there had been "repeated talk in the Governing Council of Iraq about the major Iranian role in the events that took place in the Iraqi Shiite cities," according to the Washington, D.C.-based Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.

"The direct Iranian presence in the Shiite areas of Iraq in the political, security, and economic affairs can not be ignored anymore," the paper said.

As WorldNetDaily reported, last April, an Iranian cleric, Kadhem al-Husseini al-Haeri, issued a religious edict distributed to Shiite mullahs in Iraq, calling on them "to seize the first possible opportunity to fill the power vacuum in the administration of Iraqi cities."

The edict, or fatwa, issued April 8, 2003, showed that Shiite clerics in Iraq are receiving significant direction from Iran. The edict said Shiite leaders have to "seize as many positions as possible to impose a fait accompli for any coming government."

Also last April, WorldNetDaily reported Iran had armed and trained some 40,000 Shiite Iraqi fighters – most former prisoners of war captured during the Iran-Iraq war – and sent them to Iraq to foment an Islamic revolution.

Rafsanjani said the Americans cannot bring Iraq under control for several reasons:

They cannot control the borders;

They cannot restore security;

They cannot re-build the country.
In destroying the Baathists, Rafsanajni said, the coalition forces also destroyed "the police, the army, the secret police and anything else that had something to do with security and the ruling system. They sacked them all. I said earlier that administering them was a problem and an obstacle in itself. But was there any other alternative? This is an important issue and proves that the Americans had no plan. The accusation against them that they lacked planning is therefore true."

"After sacking everybody, they were left totally empty-handed. Suddenly there were no police guards in streets, rural areas, along access roads and in border regions," he said, characterizing the American approach to the war as "amateurish." "No police could be found anywhere to control affairs. Well, how is it possible to administer and control the public in a war-stricken country where so many unemployed poor people were trying to resolve their own problems?"

Rafsanjani as much as admitted the Iranian border is being used to support the uprising in Iraq.

Calling the border problems a "catastrophe," he said: "Iraq has too many borders, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. And the opposition (groups) can smuggle in whatever they need or wish to take out through all these borders – unless the neighbouring countries do not want this."

Rafsanjani also paid tribute to the Badr Corps, tens of thousands of Iraqis taken prisoner during the war with Iran who were returned to Iraq as Iranian agents – many of them armed.

"The Badr Corps is a very important group the majority of whom were arrested during the war and were kept in Iran as POWs and then they repented, returned, set up groups and are now back in Iraq," he said. "They have become integrated in society and are carrying out civilian tasks. In any case, the Badr Corps is a very huge force which exists there."

Rafsanjani said the Americans "are now in the region as a very effective target. Of course Iran does not wish to get involved in acts of adventurism. We do not intend to become involved in clashes. We do not intend to interfere. We helped in the case of Afghanistan, we helped in the case of Iraq and we are still helping in security and other issues, but America has become vulnerable."

Rafsanjani also paid tribute to President Bush's political opposition in the upcoming presidential election.

"Some of them explicitly accuse him of treachery," Rafsanjani said. "Some say that he is a war criminal and has to face trial. The presidential candidate from the Green Party says that he must face trial as a war criminal because he dragged America into a war without obtaining permit (of the U.N. Security Council) and inflicted so many losses on the country.

He says that America is incurring heavy costs and is losing its prestige. The biggest criticism they raise against Mr Bush is that he undermined credibility of the international organizations by bypassing them. He failed to obtain endorsement for a job that required international approval."

Rafsanjani added that if the U.S. is defeated in Iraq, the Americans would not soon return to the region.
7 posted on 04/11/2004 10:52:42 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; yonif; MEG33; nuconvert; Valin; Pan_Yans Wife; RaceBannon; Defender2; Eala; seamole; ...
Sources label Hamas a key intefadeh player

By Ravi Nessman
The Associated Press
April 12th, 04

JERUSALEM — The Islamic group Hezbollah has become a key sponsor of Palestinian violence, funding suicide bombings that have killed dozens of Israelis in recent months, Israeli intelligence sources, Palestinian Authority officials and militants said.
The Iranian-backed group, based in Lebanon, earned a foothold in the 3-1/2-year-old Palestinian uprising by giving money to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, ideological allies that also seek the destruction of Israel.

In recent months, it has pulled off something akin to a hostile takeover of cells of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, wrenching them away from Yasser Arafat's secular Fatah movement and turning them into a proxy army.

Al Aqsa members in the West Bank city of Nablus said they speak with Hezbollah handlers by phone almost daily. Israeli security officials said Hezbollah trains some Palestinian militants abroad, instructing them in weapons and bomb-making.

Hezbollah does not seem to be issuing specific instructions about targets or timing. One Al Aqsa member said his Hezbollah contact urges him to carry out attacks whenever the opportunity arises, in "any way possible."

Israeli officials said Hezbollah helps coordinate joint shootings and bombings by the three Palestinian militant groups and has been trying to spur Israel's Arab citizens — who have mostly stayed out of the uprising — to join in.

Hezbollah doesn't elaborate on what support it gives but after the assassination of Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin in March, it promised to do whatever possible to help Hamas exact revenge.

A senior Israeli military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, described Hezbollah's involvement in the Palestinian intefadeh, or uprising, as "immense."

"They are all over the place and they give a lot of money," the official said.

Many Palestinians admire Hezbollah, crediting its 18-year guerrilla war with forcing Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon in 2000. It's a model Palestinian militants would like to emulate.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah, meaning "Party of God," is seen not only as a militant group but as an influential and legitimate political force, with schools, clinics, a TV station and members in Parliament.

Hezbollah launches occasional attacks on Israel over a minor border dispute, but the issue inspires little passion. Its search for new relevance has led it to the Palestinians, said Ibrahim Bayram, an analyst with Lebanon's An-Nahar daily. "Whether here or in Palestine, Hezbollah considers resisting the Israeli occupation to be part of its own struggle," he said.

Supporting Palestinian militants from afar also allows Hezbollah to keep in good standing with its own backers, Iran and Syria, two fervent enemies of Israel, said Shlomo Brom, a former senior officer in Israeli military intelligence.

"This way, they can continue operating against Israel without really paying a price," Brom said.

Money is often funneled to the militants through money-changers, bank transfers and couriers coming in from abroad, Israeli officials said.

A high-level Palestinian security source said the Hezbollah money goes to a few dozen Palestinians involved in planning attacks.

The Shin Bet, Israel's security service, said Hezbollah paid for several fatal attacks, including a double suicide bombing on Jan. 5, 2003, that killed 23 people and an April 24, 2003, bombing at the Kfar Saba train station that killed one.

"We are receiving funding from Hezbollah because we have no other option," said a Nablus Al Aqsa leader who goes by the name Abu Mujahed.

Many Al Aqsa militants are furious with Fatah and feel let down by its leaders. Abu Mujahed called them "a disgrace," adding, "Fatah is not supporting the Al Aqsa Brigades. Without other support, we would not have survived so far."
8 posted on 04/12/2004 1:17:49 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn

The NY Post
April 12, 2004 -- NORTHERN IRAQ

ON Saturday, Iranian agents ambushed an American convoy on the road between Mosul and Akre in Iraq. The attack did not go as planned: Our troops responded sharply, killing two Iranians, wounding a third and capturing two more.

They were carrying their identity documents.

And you haven't heard a word about it. The administration doesn't want to admit how much American blood Teheran has on its hands.

To be absolutely scrupulous, this report comes from a single, if impeccable, regional source. I hope other journalists in Baghdad and Washington will press to verify the incident. The American people have a right to know.

As this column reported last week, the extent of Iranian involvement in the recent revolt goes very deep. The facts that follow have been confirmed by at least two sources exclusive to The Post.

Moqtada al-Sadr is Iran's man in Shi'a Iraq. Several months ago, he slipped across the border to meet with Hezbollah terror chiefs that Teheran had invited from Lebanon. The factions struck a deal to cooperate against the Coalition in Iraq.

Hundreds of Iranian agents and fighters have been confirmed to be in Iran. The actual number is probably in the thousands. They've swelled the ranks of Sadr's "Mahdi Army" and stiffened its backbone.

Nor is Sadr's band of thugs composed entirely of religious radicals, as media reports suggest. The Islamic fanatics are a minority in Sadr's militia.

Sadr began building up his forces immediately after the fall of Baghdad. (If the civilians in the Pentagon didn't have a plan, Sadr did.) The cleric issued a fatwa - which he lacked the authority to do - announcing that looting was acceptable as long as a fifth of the goods or profit was donated to a "religious institution." Guess which one. He enriched his organization and gained recruits from Iraq's underclass and the criminals released en masse by Saddam before he fell.

But those criminals, petty and otherwise, are only the foot-soldiers. As the months went on, Sadr recruited unemployed - and impoverished - Ba'ath Party activists, the old regime's security thugs, survivors of Saddam's Fedayeen and gullible young people (those last being the few who truly believe they're serving a holy cause).

Sadr worked with the Iranians to help them broadly infiltrate the country with Teheran's Revolutionary Guards and intelligence operatives. His Shi'a faction also built bridges to the Sunni insurgents in the cities of central Iraq. Hezbollah took care of the coordination with international terrorists.

The administration knows much - probably all - of this. And more.

When Sadr encouraged his "army" to rise up last week, he thought he was ready. But once again a gangster in search of a throne underestimated G.I. Joe.

Wherever his thugs rose up, our soldiers shut them down. Efficiently, effectively and courageously.

But now, in the face of a Coalition victory, a cancerous danger threatens. President Bush is on the verge of making the same mistake his father made at the end of Desert Storm and that his Pentagon advisers encouraged him to make last year - stopping half-way.

Moqtada Sadr's organization must be destroyed. Sadr must be captured or killed. If he hides in a mosque, go in after him. We're not impressing our enemies with our restraint - they play the religion card as the ace that never fails.

And the parallel operations in the Sunni Triangle must be pursued to the complete subjugation of Fallujah and the defeat of any terrorist who raises a gun.

Our president must make no mistake: Any "settlement," any halt short of the annihilation of the killers who want to destroy the future of Iraq, will be read throughout that troubled country and the greater Islamic world as a resounding victory for the terrorists. They'll be viewed as having defeated the U.S. military, stopping it in its tracks.

Reality is immaterial. In the Middle East, perception trumps facts. Only uncompromising strength impresses our enemies. The president can't afford to listen to the counsels of caution.

Nor can we afford to listen to Arab opinion, as we did in 1991 with disastrous results. Doubtless, Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's "president," will tell Bush to stop the operation in Fallujah during his visit this week.

The apologists for terror are piling on, from the hateful rhetoric of al-Jazeera, which encouraged attacks on Americans all week, to the corrupt sheiks of the Persian Gulf who are responsible for so much of the decline of the Arab soul.

If we do not pursue our enemies unto their deaths while we have the chance, Fallujah will prove to be Bush's Mogadishu. And the forces of global terror will have won again.

Ralph Peters is the author of "Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace."
9 posted on 04/12/2004 6:14:16 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John Fedayeen Kerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot

From Lebanon:

Fighting Muqtada al-Sadr - and Hizbullah?

By Michael Young
Daily Star staff
Saturday, April 10, 2004


As the Bush administration seems to be doing everything right to ensure that its valuable Iraqi experiment fails, there has been growing speculation, both in the media and among analysts, of a possible Hizbullah link to events in Iraq.

On Tuesday, Al-Hayat published a front-page story that indirectly touched on Hizbullah. Citing an Iraqi security source, the paper linked the recent upsurge in violence by followers of Muqtada al-Sadr to the recent expulsion of Iran's charge d'affaires in Baghdad, Hassan Qazemi Qummi, allegedly an officer in Iran's Revolutionary Guards. The paper went on to say that Qummi had been in Lebanon, and noted that the security source "tied this to statements by Muqtada al-Sadr that his movement was an extension of Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine."

Similar allegations of Iranian involvement are circulating inside Iraq's Governing Council, where, also according Al-Hayat, there is a sense that Iran, other than having influence over Iraqi Shiite politics, is now playing an increasing role on the ground. The newspaper noted that coalition sources tied the recent incident in Fallujah, in which four Americans were burned to death, to the activities of the Sadrists, noting that Iran had a vested interest in keeping the Fallujah front heated up to draw attention away from Iranian infiltration into Iraq.

Such reports, including allegations this week that Revolutionary Guards elements were involved in the Iraqi fighting, may be self-serving. However, American belief in such information may explain why coalition forces decided to attack Sadr at such a sensitive time in the pre-June 30 transfer-of-power process.

For almost a year Sadr was left alone by the US, despite evidence that he was indeed responsible for the murder of Sayyid Abdul Majid al-Khui at or near the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf. Those who opposed arresting him argued it was not time to arouse Shiite hostility. Supporters of the arrest option argued, on the contrary, that Sadr was a thug with little popularity, who had even antagonized Ayatollah Ali Sistani. Moving against him, therefore, would entail minimal costs.

Why, many are now wondering, did the latter group suddenly win out? Some senior Pentagon officials had for some time favored hitting Sadr and his Mahdi Army, and this may have taken on greater urgency in the run-up to the June 30 deadline. Yet on his own Sadr represented little threat to the established order in Iraq. The US, therefore, may have decided to act now because it felt that a critical mass had been reached in terms of Iran's, and Hizbullah's, maneuvering in Iraq.

A number of observers have suggested that Iran may, in fact, be playing all sides. Purportedly, the Revolutionary Guards and Hizbullah are assisting Sadr and the Mahdi Army (though the CIA has said no evidence exists of Hizbullah activity in Iraq); while the Iranian leadership, in particular Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the former president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, support the Badr Corps of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). If this information is correct, it would suggest not only that the Iranians are hedging their bets, but also that Hizbullah has made valuable inroads into the Iraqi conflict.

It may also explain why the US decided to move against Sadr, even though a simultaneous two-front war against Shiite and Sunni groups represented a major risk. Perhaps the oddest comment this week was the one suggesting that this situation might lead to civil war. For the moment, Iraqi groups seem united against the Americans. As Shiite reactions following the recent Ashoura bombings showed, it is always preferable to blame the US than to point a finger at Sunni groups.

Amid the turbulence, the US received paradoxical sustenance from an archenemy: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In a cassette released earlier this week, the Jordanian, if it was indeed he, claimed

responsibility for a number of past bombings, including that which killed the leader of the SCIRI, Ayatollah Muhammed Baqer al-Hakim, and labeled the Shiites infidels. For a moment, the ecumenical message of Sadr - that his group somehow drew both from the Shiite Hizbullah and the Sunni Hamas - was rendered inconsequential.

The Americans still believe the uprising is a limited affair and that Sunnis and Shiites, at least those that count, will not unite against the US. But they are also wary of the actions of Iran and Hizbullah, who are most alarmed by the prospect of American success in Iraq. Only time will tell if Hizbullah's secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, is a player there, but it is more than likely that this week's fighting was partly, though not entirely, an effort to ensure he doesn't become one
10 posted on 04/12/2004 7:45:48 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
Arab Leaders Warily View Shiite Stirrings

April 10, 2004
Chicago Tribune
Evan Osnos

CAIRO -- The dramatic yearlong ascent of Iraqi Shiite Muslims, from long-suffering victims of repression to a force capable of confronting the U.S.-led occupation, has hit a central nerve in the Mideast balance of power, emboldening Shiites across the region to voice rising demands for rights and recognition.

But that is a singularly chilling prospect to Arab leaders from Egypt to Bahrain, as Iraqi Shiites enter the second week of a bloody uprising against U.S.-led forces.

"If civil strife erupts, it will burn us all and burn down our country," Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheik Sabah al-Ahmed warned his countrymen this week, amid growing tension between Kuwait's Sunni and Shiite clerics.

In some places, the Shiite stirrings are drawing sharp, often brutal, government reactions as regimes seek to blunt what they consider to be among the most volatile regional consequences of the war in Iraq.

The liberation and upheaval within Iraq's Shiite community puts new pressure on the central fault line of the Muslim world: the 7th Century schism between Sunnis and Shiites.

It was then that the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 spawned a dispute over who should lead the Muslim world. Shiites broke with Sunnis by venerating Muhammad's son-in-law Ali as the prophet's rightful successor, and a bloody feud ensued. Shiite empires once ruled Egypt, Tunisia and the Eastern Mediterranean. But today, they make up 10 percent to 15 percent of all Muslims, holding a majority only in Iran, Iraq and Bahrain.

Thus, even though today's Shiite awakening seems to pose no likely challenge to the existing order in the Middle East, Arab leaders see high political stakes. In Egypt and Kuwait, Shiite calls for legal recognition, the right to worship and other concessions have reached their highest pitch since 1979, when the Shiite revolution in Iran touched off violence and assertions of Shiite autonomy throughout the region. Arab regimes are intent on preventing a repeat of those events.

Shiites "were inspired by Iran, but they are more inspired by Iraq," said Shafeeq Ghabra, a political scientist and president of the American University of Kuwait. "While Iran is Persian, Iraq is the first Arab country to have a situation where Shias felt a long sense of persecution and now they have made an entire turnaround."

Like all but a few Arab regimes, the Kuwaiti royal family is Sunni, and it worries that strife in Iraq could inflame Shiites, who make up roughly 30 percent of the tiny Persian Gulf emirate's population. Earlier this year, Kuwait Shiites staged public self-flagellation rites for the first time in three decades, and Shiite and Sunni commentators since have sparred on Kuwaiti airwaves.

In the tense politics of the Middle East, governments protect their delicate sectarian balances. Lebanon, where Shiite, Sunni and Christian militias battled each other during a 16-year civil war, is governed under a power-sharing deal requiring that the president be Maronite Christian, the prime minister Sunni and the speaker of the legislature a Shiite.

No Lebanese leader has dared take an official census since 1932, for fear of what its findings could trigger.

In the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain, the Sunni ruling family is sensitive to efforts by the thin Shiite majority to expand its power. Shiites waged a violent campaign in the 1990s to win a role in government, and today the leadership is wary of that movement.

In Saudi Arabia, Shiites make up about 10 percent of the population, but the kingdom's official brand of Islam is the hard-line Wahhabi sect that brands Shiites as infidels. In the past, activists have been imprisoned, and Shiites were barred from the top tiers of government. But in May, a dozen Shiite leaders took the unusual step of presenting a petition to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah seeking equal political and religious rights.

The Saudi government is particularly sensitive about Shiite autonomy because the minority is concentrated in the oil-rich Eastern province, and any unrest or effort at secession might devastate Saudi oil production. A year after the war in Iraq, the Saudi regime has reached out to Shiite leaders.

"Things are really better than before. And Saudi Shia are ready for more and more," said King Saud University professor A.A. Abdul Hai, a Shiite recently appointed to a new state-sponsored human-rights commission. "It is a natural thing that the majority should get their share of things, but at the same time that does not mean they deny the rights of the minority."

In Egypt, where Shiism is not legally recognized as a sect of Islam, Shiites have, for the first time, formally petitioned the government for legal status that would ensure their right to worship without harassment.

Protections sought

Ahmed Rasim Al-Nafis, who heads the Egyptian wing of Ahl el-Bait, the global Shiite religious network, requested formal recognition from the Interior Ministry in January, saying he seeks the same protections afforded to Sunni Muslims, Roman Catholics, Protestants and Jews. Shiites are estimated to make up less than 1 percent of Egypt's 74 million people.

"We have no right to gather. We have no chance to do anything public," Al-Nafis said at his home in Al-Mansoura, a conservative city in the Nile Delta. "You are sitting in front of a 51-year-old university professor who has been arrested four times, and they have never found any arms, any plans of any kind. I denounce any form of violence, so why are you stopping us?"

Like other Arab governments, the Egyptian leadership is troubled by Shiite assertions of power because of long-held fears that collusion with Iran could foster a revolution of the kind that swept clerics to power in Tehran in 1979.

The Egyptian government also considers Al-Nafis and other Shiite activists a threat akin to conservative Sunni forces such as the Muslim Brotherhood, which call for the establishment of a state based on Islamic law. Like the Brotherhood, Al-Nafis calls for an Islamic state but he says he would be satisfied, for now, with government reforms that would permit dissent.

"I am writing my books. . . . We deny violence and say things that are beneficial to the country."

Several detained

Two weeks ago, Egyptian authorities arrested another prominent Shiite leader and, according to local reports, he is expected to be charged soon with offenses including "contempt of heavenly religions." Authorities detained Mohammed el-Darni, secretary of Ahl el-Bait, on March 23, also seizing his computer and more than $7,000, said Hossam Bahgat of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a legal advocacy group that is representing el-Darni.

That arrest came after the detention late last year of 11 suspected Shiites in the Red Sea town of Ras Ghareb.

Most were released, but three men--Adel al-Shazli, Ahmed Goma'a and Mohamed Omar--remain in custody without being charged.

Bahgat, who interviewed al-Shazli, said he described being "stripped naked, handcuffed, beaten with batons and subjected to electric shocks to the head, ears, tongue and genitals." Bahgat said al-Shazli is being held despite a Feb. 13 court ruling to release him.

Rights groups say the men's detention violates international norms of freedom of expression and the Egyptian Constitution.

"They were not asked about political activities but only asked questions about their religious beliefs," Bahgat said. "Questions like: How do you pray? What are your views of the Prophet Muhammad? Are you Shia?",1,6316688.story?coll=chi-news-hed
11 posted on 04/12/2004 8:51:23 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Before 9/11 -- and After

April 12, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Louis Freeh

Al Qaeda was at war with the U.S. even before Sept. 11, 2001. In August 1998, it attacked our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In December 1999, one of al Qaeda's soldiers, Ahmed Ressam, entered the U.S. to bomb Los Angeles airport. In October 2000, al Qaeda attacked the USS Cole in the port of Aden.

The question before the 9/11 Commission is why our political leadership declared war back on al Qaeda only after Sept. 11, 2001. Osama bin Laden had been indicted years before for blowing up American soldiers and embassies and was known as a clear and present danger to the U.S. So what would have happened had the U.S. declared war on al Qaeda before Sept. 11? Endless and ultimately useless speculation about "various threads and pieces of information," which are certainly "relevant and significant," at least in retrospect, will not take us very far in answering this central question.

* * *

On Jan. 26, 2001, at 8:45 a.m., I had my first meeting with President Bush and Vice President Cheney. They had been in office four days. We discussed terrorism, and in particular al Qaeda, the African embassy bombings, the Cole attack and the June 1996 Khobar bombing in Saudi Arabia. When I advised the president that Hezbollah and Iran were responsible for Khobar, he directed me to follow-up with Condoleezza Rice. I did so at 2:30 p.m. that day and she told me to pursue our investigation with the attorney general and to bring whatever charges possible. Within weeks, a new prosecutor was put in charge of the case and on June 21 an indictment was returned against 13 Hezbollah men who had been directed to bomb Khobar by senior officials of the Iranian government. I know that the families of the 19 murdered airmen were deeply grateful to President Bush and Ms. Rice for their prompt response and focus on terrorism.

I believe that any president and Congress faced with the reality of Sept. 11 would have acted swiftly and overwhelmingly as did President Bush and the 107th Congress. They are to be commended. However, those who came before President Bush can only be faulted if they had had the political means and the will of the nation to declare a war back then, but failed to do so. The fact that terrorism and the war being waged by al Qaeda was not even an issue in the 2000 presidential campaign strongly suggests that the political will to declare and fight this war didn't exist before Sept. 11.

All of this is not to say that the intelligence and law enforcement communities couldn't have done more to protect the nation from a Sept. 11. As FBI director I share in that responsibility. And I don't know of any FBI agents who would not have given their lives -- two did -- to prevent Sept. 11 from happening. The Joint Intelligence Committee and now the 9/11 Commission are properly seeking to understand how Sept. 11 was able to happen. But the grand failure to comprehend the contrast between the pre-9/11 fight against terrorism with the total war being waged since Sept. 11 blinds us to an immensely significant historical and political dialectic.

The 1993 attack on the World Trade Center by foreign-trained terrorists focused the FBI on homeland security and prevention as its counterterrorism priority. Excellent investigation and skillful prosecution effectively identified the terrorists involved. Those who were quickly captured were tried and convicted. Ramzi Yousef, a terrorist mastermind, fled to Pakistan along with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, now believed to be one of the architects of Sept. 11. The FBI's 1993 criminal investigation identified and stopped another plan by Sheik Rahman to blow up New York City tunnels, bridges and buildings (dubbed "Terrstop"). Important lesson learned: Good investigation is also good prevention. Two years later, FBI agents surprised Yousef at a guest house in Pakistan and brought him back to Foley Square, where he was convicted for two terrorist attacks. Besides the 1993 WTC murders, he was also convicted for his plot to blow up 11 U.S. airliners. His arrest and return to face justice was the result of long and painstaking investigation. Important lesson repeated: Investigation is prevention, and it also saves lives.

Yousef's arrest taught another valuable lesson. His apprehension was enabled by the fact that an FBI legal attache, or "legat," was assigned to Islamabad in 1996. A legat is a "declared" FBI agent who serves as our liaison with the host country's law enforcement services. The expansion of our Legat Offices from 19 to 44 (from 1993-2001) was an integral part of the FBI's counterterrorism strategy. We determined in 1993 that the FBI needed legats in Tel Aviv, Cairo, Ankara, Riyadh, Amman, Tashkent and Almaty -- to deter terrorists from murdering Americans. We later proposed legats in Tunis, Kuala Lampur, Jakarta, Rabat, Sana, Tbilisi and Abu Dhabi. The FBI and CIA narrowly missed grabbing Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in 1996 as he was about to travel from Doha to the UAE. Only because we had an arrest warrant was capture an option. Legats in those countries would have improved our chances of success.

FBI terrorist "cases" are designed to collect maximum information, evidence and intelligence in order to prosecute and pre-empt such activities. U.S. v. bin Laden, et al, tried successfully in New York from January-May 2001, was just one byproduct of an international program that targeted bin Laden/al Qaeda, ongoing since the 1993 WTC bombing when his name first surfaced as an organizer and financier of military training camps in Afghanistan.

FBI investigators seek to pursue all leads to their logical end, and follow those leads wherever they take us. Leads are unfortunately developed in the wake of terrorist attacks; but more often they are developed proactively, through sources and cooperators. In multiple instances, FBI investigations have disrupted planned attacks in the U.S. Moreover, FBI investigation has significantly contributed to the identification of al Qaeda's leadership, organization, methods, training, finances, geographical reach and intent. Through the pursuit of leads, the FBI's investigation of bin Laden and al Qaeda can be credited with having "jump-started" investigations in other parts of the world, Europe in particular. The FBI is extremely effective in conducting interviews, and putting together both criminal and intelligence cases. Information obtained through law-enforcement channels -- whether testimony, documents, records, photographs, forensic evidence or the results of interviews -- provides the purest form of intelligence.

Short of total war, the FBI relentlessly did its job of pursuing terrorists, always with the goal of preventing their attacks. But the FBI's pre-9/11 Counter-Terrorism (CT) resources were finite and insufficient -- 3.5% of the entire government's CT budget. In 1993, we had fewer than 600 special agents and 500 support positions funded for CT. By 1999, we'd more than doubled our personnel and trebled the FBI's CT budget to $301 million. We knew it wasn't enough. For Fiscal Years 2000, 2001 and 2002 the FBI asked for 1,895 special agents, analysts and linguists to enhance our CT program. We got 76 people for those three critical years. FY 2000 was typical: 864 CT positions at a cost of $380.8 million requested -- five people funded for $7.4 million. This isn't a criticism of the DoJ, White House or Congress -- that's how Washington makes its budgets, balancing competing needs against limited resources. The point is: The FBI was intensely focused on its CT needs but antebellum politics was not yet there. By contrast, after Sept. 11, the FBI's FY 2002 Emergency Supplemental CT budget was increased overnight by 823 positions for $745 million. The al Qaeda threat was the same on Sept. 10 and Sept. 12. Nothing focuses a government quicker than a war.

Before Sept. 11, the FBI relentlessly pursued criminal investigations, renditions and prosecutions of terrorists, particularly bin Laden and al Qaeda. This was an integral part of two administrations' CT strategy. This course wasn't pursued because we believed indicting bin Laden and issuing warrants for al Qaeda leaders would stop their war against us. In fact, we always viewed this law-enforcement action as limited in scope and completely secondary in terms of national security. Yet aside from cruise missiles, armed Predators and invading countries which harbored terrorists, this was our chosen path.

Sometimes it worked. Yousef's arrest didn't happen without an active warrant. After Mir Aimal Kansi's murders of CIA personnel in Langley, Va., it was his indictment that led to his arrest by FBI agents in Pakistan and murder convictions back in Fairfax County. We continue to pursue the arrest of Hezbollah's military commander for the murders of our Marines in Lebanon and Navy diver Robert Stethem. His capture may rest on an FBI arrest warrant. The al Qaeda terrorists who destroyed our African embassies and almost sunk the Cole have all been indicted and are now hounded by FBI agents as well as by CIA officers and our armed services. Even the administrators in Iraq have gone after Muqtada al-Sadr with an arrest warrant.

The FBI was relentless in indicting and pursuing the terrorist agents of Iran who blew up Khobar Towers. Why were we pursuing this case? Certainly not because we thought that arrest warrants for 13 fugitives protected by Iran was the best way to stop that country from sponsoring terrorist attacks. A poll of FBI agents would show a preference for a military operation against Iran as the more effective action. But short of "warring back," there's a fundamental but misunderstood notion about why it's a good thing to at least have an arrest warrant. Experience has taught the FBI that we never know the place and time -- it's not of our choosing -- when one of these terrorists is suddenly found traversing an airport, or is within-the-grab of a country that will remit him to us or to a "friendly" place only because we have a warrant. Hence the FBI always wanted to be in a position where -- as with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed -- we could capture a high-value target in a rare chance because we'd taken the trouble to get an indictment and a warrant. We don't think the American judicial process is always the best defense against terrorism -- it's not; but it does give terror victims another means for justice.

Pre-9/11, the FBI used all the means at its disposal to capture bin Laden and to prevent future attacks against America. The FBI and CIA actively targeted al Qaeda and bin Laden beginning one year before the East Africa embassy attacks on Aug. 7, 1998. Together, they were able to indict bin Laden prior to Aug. 7 for a plot to murder U.S. soldiers in Yemen. In November 1998, he was indicted a second time for the embassy bombings and put on the FBI's Top 10 list in April 1999. In 1999, a dedicated "bin Laden Unit" was established at FBIHQ and the CIA-FBI "bin Laden station" began to operate covertly on an international basis. Of course, our arrest warrants, by themselves, were pieces of paper. The U.S. armed forces provided a means to execute a warrant to the FBI and DEA in 1988 by invading Panama in order to allow agents to arrest Manuel Noriega. Similar means to capture bin Laden did not become available until October 2001, when Afghanistan was so successfully invaded by our forces.

Before then, diplomacy and other means were tried. The U.S. brought political pressure on the Taliban to turn over bin Laden -- but to no avail. The CIA and FBI sorted through a series of proposed, covert actions designed to capture bin Laden in Afghanistan and bring him to justice. None of the plans appeared to have any chance of success and were not approved. Finally, on April 6, 2000, after consultation with the national security adviser and the State Department, I traveled to meet Pervez Musharraf and requested his personal assistance in capturing bin Laden. Gen. Musharraf was polite but unhelpful. He explained that he had personal assurances from Mullah Omar of the Taliban that bin Laden was innocent of the East African bombings and had abandoned terrorism. We gave Gen. Musharraf and his military leaders an extensive briefing of our evidence against bin Laden and al Qaeda and followed up our meeting by sending FBI agents and an assistant U.S. attorney from New York to Pakistan to make the case for arresting bin Laden. It was clear that short of the U.S. declaring war against bin Laden and his Taliban accessories, Pakistan was not going to help us get this terrorist out of Afghanistan.

* * *
Protecting our homeland from attacks by foreign terrorists had long been the FBI's priority. Back in September 1994, I recommended to Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick that the DoJ strengthen investigative powers against suspected "undesirable aliens," accelerating deportation appeal proceedings and limiting U.S. participation in a visa waiver pilot program under which 9.5 million foreigners entered the U.S. in 1994. I also recommended that we include provisions for the detention and removal of undesirable aliens, under a special, closed-court procedure. I also criticized alien deportation appeal procedures which often took years to conclude. Finally, I recommended legislation to provide the FBI with roving wiretap authority to investigate terrorist activities in the U.S. President Clinton requested that authority in 1996.

The FBI was also active in focusing on the terrorist threat to Americans overseas, our first line of defense. This was the centerpiece of the dramatic expansion of legat offices. The FBI must have this foreign capability to carry out effective CT, especially prevention. When I left the FBI, I'd proposed that we establish an FBI training facility in Central Asia, as we'd done in Budapest in 1995, and had begun in Dubai, to enhance our ability to establish liaison and critical points of contact in those important regions. There is absolutely no substitute for these liaisons. Without them we risk being blind.

The FBI's expansion overseas paid immense dividends. The U.S.'s rapid response after Sept. 11 was based in part on this infrastructure. And during our examination of the forensic evidence from the Cole case, it was discovered that the explosive used was possibly manufactured in Russia. Because the FBI had been working in Russia since 1994, I was able to call the FSB (Russian intelligence) director and ask for assistance. His response was immediate. Russian experts provided us with all the information requested, helping immensely.

Everyone understands why and how some of our basic rules, beginning with provisions of the Patriot Act, changed after Sept. 11. America declared war on al Qaeda and bin Laden, and the Congress and president put the country on a war footing. It's important to remember that war changed these rules and the FBI, CIA and the rest of the government can only be judged prior to Sept. 11 by the pre-existing rules.

The FBI and CIA working together have accomplished much in fighting terrorism, but it is a continuing battle. These agencies should remain the primary counterterrorism agencies. But al Qaeda-type organizations, state sponsors of terrorism like Iran, and the threats they pose to America, are ultimately beyond the competence of the FBI and the CIA to address. America must maintain the will to use its political, military and economic power when acts of war are threatened or committed against our nation by terrorists or their state sponsors. We have now seen how war is declared and waged against terrorists who attack our nation. The painful lesson is that fighting terrorism without such a declaration of war is unlikely to be successful.

Mr. Freeh, a former FBI director, is scheduled to testify before the 9/11 Commission tomorrow.
12 posted on 04/12/2004 8:52:24 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
U.N. Nuclear Inspectors Arrive in Iran

April 12, 2004
The Associated Press
USA Today

TEHRAN, Iran -- Five U.N. nuclear inspectors arrived in Iran on Monday to try to confirm whether the country has stopped suspicious nuclear activities — including the building of centrifuges for uranium enrichment.

Mohammad Saeedi, a top Iranian nuclear official, told The Associated Press the inspectors from the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency arrived for a series of meetings and inspections.

The United States and other nations accuse Iran of having a covert nuclear weapons program and are pushing the United Nations to impose sanctions. Tehran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful and for the purpose of generating electricity.

Saeedi said Iran stopped building and assembling centrifuges on Friday, as it promised during a one-day visit last week by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei.

It was the second such promise: Iran said on March 29 that it had already stopped building centrifuges for uranium enrichment.

ElBaradei had welcomed the centrifuge announcement and said the inspectors who arrived Monday would try to verify that all uranium enrichment activities have stopped.

During ElBaradei's visit, Iran also committed to meeting deadlines on disclosing the source of traces of weapons-grade uranium found here and answering questions on its recently discovered program to make advanced P-2 centrifuges to enrich uranium, possibly to weapons grade.
13 posted on 04/12/2004 8:53:03 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Rafsanjani: US to Spread Corruption in Iraq

April 12, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting

Tehran -- The former Iranian President, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has chided Islamic states for remaining indifferent to what he has called the US spending one billion dollars per week to spread corruption in Iraq.

"America today spends one billion dollars each week to block the way of God and spread corruption and insecurity in Iraq and the region, but those who must defend Islam fail (to address the issue)," he said here Monday at a nationwide charity forum.

"Against such a heavy spending by America, the Islamic countries are looking at regional developments with indifference," said Rafsanjani, who heads the arbitrative Expediency Council.

Iran has been wary of US objectives on its next door, with the Islamic Republic's officials stressing that the 'Great Satan' was seeking to dominate energy resources of the region by invading Iraq.

Tehran, which strongly opposed the US-led occupation of Iraq but adopted a position of 'active neutrality' as the United States unleashed its invasion, has repeatedly warned of a Western 'cultural on slaught' against the region.

The hallmarks of such an invasion have found Apocalyptic echoes across many Islamic states in the region as the Bush govrnment has broached a plan for the 'Greater Middle East' on the initiative of the US neo-conservatives. Meanwhile, many leaders of regional countries have held reservations towards the initiative and opposed it.
14 posted on 04/12/2004 8:53:56 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Signals & Background Noise

April 12, 2004
National Review Online
Michael Ledeen

Angleton on Clarke, Condi, and who knew what when.

This time he called me. Every time in the past, I had had to fiddle with the dials on the ouija board until I connected to my old friend, James Jesus Angleton, the late chief of CIA counterintelligence. But this time the board started to spark and sputter, and I ran over to find him in high dudgeon.

JJA: Have you read the bleeping book?

ML: I've been reading books on Naples, actually. You know, my manuscript is due in September and all this terrorism business has been cutting into my work schedule.

JJA: No, no, the Clarke book, the bleeping Clarke book.

ML: Actually I haven't. I've read a few reviews, though.

JJA: Typical! But you watched Condi's testimony, didn't you?

ML: No, sorry. What's up with that?

JJA: Well, the whole thing is just amazing. I just can't believe it. Nobody reads any more, and nobody can tell the difference between signals and background noise.

ML: Oh, the old Roberta Wohlstetter thing about Pearl Harbor, where she said that there was plenty of evidence that the attack was coming, but it was impossible to pick out the "evidence" from all the clutter. There was so much intelligence that we couldn't distinguish what was important from what was either false or irrelevant. I did read that book.

JJA: Right. So all the Dems and their pals in the press are busily looking at this one PDB as if everyone should have seen that 9/11 was coming. Such nonsense. They don't know the first thing about intelligence.

ML: Well, you should know.

JJA: Damn right. Look here, back in 1953 I got a copy of Khrushchev's secret speech in Moscow, in which he laid out chapter and verse about Stalin's crimes. If you look back at it now, that speech was the beginning of the end of Soviet Communism. It showed that the regime was kept in place only by a relentless terror campaign against its citizens. It showed that top Soviet leaders knew the whole system was rotten. But do you think I was able to convince our leaders that we had just received an x-ray of the Soviet soul? Did anyone recognize just how important this document was?

ML: That's what I always thought. I mean, it made your career, didn't it?

JJA: Never mind my career. There were furious debates, first within CIA, and then, of course, throughout the whole national-security crowd. Some didn't think it was real — they even suggested it was a forgery — others didn't think it was so important. And this was crystal clear, it was unambiguous, it wasn't some vague statement like the ones in the PDB, "bin Laden is determined to attack inside the United States," and "al Qaeda is thinking about using airplanes," and so on.

ML: Yes, it looked like one of those CYA things, where CIA is passing on information from other intelligence services (funny how nobody's remarked on that, huh? It's not as if we had this stuff firsthand.) just in case something happens, so they can say "we told you."

JJA: Remember that Bush had asked about possible domestic attacks, so they gave him some bits and pieces. But that document does not say "we know an attack has been planned." And, of course, they're quick to shift responsibility to the FBI, as if CIA shouldn't have penetrated al Qaeda long since.

ML: That stuff about sleepers, though, that's clearly FBI's turf, isn't it?

JJA: Sure it is. But the point I'm making is that we didn't have enough information to justify a serious, specific warning. We were generally concerned, but we didn't have enough to act on. So we kept on looking. That's the way life is, most of the time.

ML: Right. But what about Clarke's book?

JJA: The dynamite stuff in Clarke's book has to do with Iran. He says, for example, on page 284, "al Qaeda regularly used Iranian territory for transit and sanctuary prior to September 11."

ML: But I thought the consensus view in the intel community was that Sunnis and Shiites couldn't work together?

JJA: Well, apparently they knew better, although, of course, Clarke hedges it a bit: "the 'ties' and 'links' between al Qaeda (and Iran) were minimal."

ML: What is that all about?

JJA: I guess some government lawyer told Clarke that since we didn't have transcripts of the conversations between al Qaeda leaders and Iranian officials, we couldn't very well accuse the Iranians of "supporting al Qaeda."

ML: No doubt. The lawyers do that all the time.

JJA: But then Clarke goes on. He says "any objective observer looking at the evidence in 2002 and 2003 would have said that the U.S. should spend more time and attention dealing with the security threats from Tehran than those from Baghdad."

ML: I haven't seen that quoted in the reviews.

JJA: My point exactly. And that statement directly contradicts Clarke's statement, 150 earlier, that we (that is, he) had "checkmated" the Iranian and the Iraqi intelligence services, because we'd bombed the headquarters of Iraq's service, and run an "intelligence operation" against the Iranians.

ML: Oh, yeah, I read something in USA Today about that.

JJA: You bet you did. Clarke leaked it to a reporter named Barbara Slavin. He bragged about it, in fact. He said that we'd "outed" Iranian intelligence officers all over the world, and they'd been kicked out of their host countries, and that had brought them to their knees.

ML: Except that, by 2002 and 2003 they were a bigger threat than the Iraqis.

JJA: As they were all along. Iraq was under sanctions, and there are only 20-plus million Iraqis, while Iran was trading vigorously with most of the world (and you know how easy it is to provide commercial cover to intelligence agents), and there are seventy million Iranians.

ML: So they weren't exactly checkmated, huh?

JJA: Just read the headlines this week. Virtually every newspaper in the world is reporting tons of evidence about the connections between Iran and both Shiite and Sunni terrorists in Iraq. It's just maddening. Why doesn't somebody point out that Clarke, and therefore Clinton, knew this all along and foolishly convinced themselves that they'd thwarted our major regional-security threat?

ML: And why doesn't anybody ask Clarke how he can claim that our bombing of an empty intelligence building in Iraq in the middle of the night (as Jim Woolsey has pointed out, Clinton apparently thought that cleaning ladies were more expendable than Saddam's security chiefs) had a devastating effect?

At which point, the board blew up. The techies promise they'll have it working again in a few days, but I have my doubts. That was a hell of a surge.
— Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen is Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.
15 posted on 04/12/2004 8:54:45 AM 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; ...
Signals & Background Noise

April 12, 2004
National Review Online
Michael Ledeen
16 posted on 04/12/2004 8:55:38 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: F14 Pilot
The NYPost has been doing a very good job lately covering Iran and the regime's connections to Iraq.
17 posted on 04/12/2004 9:02:14 AM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: DoctorZIn; All
Excellent Thread! Anyone wondering about the WHY's and WHEREFORE's of the "problems" in Iraq need look no further than IRAN. All the more reason to get rid of the mullah's and other parasites [government oaf-ficials) who are taking the money of Iran and giving it to the terrorists to go after our Troops, grrrrrrr.

18 posted on 04/12/2004 9:57:33 AM PDT by Reborn
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To: nuconvert
19 posted on 04/12/2004 12:35:13 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
"Unhelpful actions" from Syria, Iran in Iraq, says Abizaid
(Updated at 2100 PST)
WASHINGTON: Syria and Iran have both been involved in "unhelpful actions" regarding the situation in Iraq, the head of US Central Command, General John Abizaid, said Monday.
20 posted on 04/12/2004 1:27:02 PM PDT by freedom44
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