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Iranian Alert -- May 11, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 5.11.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 05/10/2004 9:04:33 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.

DoctorZin


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alsadr; armyofmahdi; ayatollah; cleric; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; iraq; jayshalmahdi; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatami; khatemi; moqtadaalsadr; persecution; politicalprisoners; protests; rafsanjani; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; terrorism; terrorists; wot
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 05/10/2004 9:04:34 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 05/10/2004 9:08:52 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The Coming Air Raid on Iran & Sending a Nuke to America

May 10, 2004
Strategy Page
strategypage.com

Israel is apparently preparing to conduct a long range bombing mission to destroy Iranian nuclear weapons development facilities. Iran has denied trying to build nuclear weapons, but journalists and international nuclear weapons inspectors have found otherwise. It is thought that Iran might assemble its first working nuclear weapon as early as this year.

The Islamic conservatives who dominate the Iranian government, and run the nuclear weapons program, loudly and regularly proclaim that Israel and the United States are the greatest enemies of Islam and must be destroyed. Israel made a similar raid on an Iraqi nuclear facility in 1981. The targets are 1600-2500 kilometers away. Getting through Jordanian air space is not a major problem, as the use of surprise and electronic warfare techniques can disable Jordanian air defenses temporarily. Getting through Iraqi air space is not a problem either, although there will probably be an "understanding" that American jets and anti-aircraft missiles in the area will not fire on the Israelis. Israel has smart bombs and electronic warfare weapons that give it bombing capabilities comparable to that of the United States. The major risks in such an air raid would be that one of Israelis Boeing 707 aerial tankers would be shot down while refueling the Israeli warplanes.

Such an air raid would raise an enormous stink in the Moslem world, but the danger of Islamic radicals in Iran getting nuclear weapons is too great to ignore. Already, Iranian Islamic radicals are one of the main supporters (along with money stolen from UN and European Union economic aid to Palestinians) of anti-Israeli terrorism.

Meanwhile, Palestinian terrorists continued to be stymied by Israeli counter-terrorism tactics. Palestinians are still inflicting casualties, but with small groups of gunmen ambushing Israeli settlers driving between the settlements and Israel.

IRAN: Sending a Nuke to America

April 30, 2004: Despite promises to halt nuclear weapons development, Iran's Islamic conservatives are moving ahead secretly, attempting to develop a working nuclear bomb as quickly as possible. With what is now known of Pakistani weapons experts secretly selling nuclear weapons technology to countries like Iran, it's quite possible that Iran will have an atomic bomb within a year, if not a few months. It is not known which atomic bomb designs Pakistan sold to Iran, but it was probably the more primitive ones. That means Irans first nuclear weapons would be rather large and bulky. This would not be suitable for use on a long range missile, but could be carried by an aircraft, or put in a shipping container. Millions of these seagoing shipping containers enter the United States each year. And Iranian Islamic conservatives still consider America the "Great Satan."

While much of the world's attention has been focused on Sunni Moslem terrorists, we forget that there is a separate group of Shia Moslem terrorists operating as well. Because of the ancient hostility between Shia and Sunni (it's a theology and ethnic thing, as most Shia are Iranians, who are not Arabs, but an Indo-European people), the larger number of al Qaeda terrorists have grabbed all the headlines for the last three years. There are still plenty of Shia terrorists out there, but most of them are in Lebanon, where most belong to the Hizbollah organization. Hizbollah has been observing a truce of sorts along the Lebanese border with Israel. However, time has caught up with most of the Shia firebrands of the late '70s and early '80s. The original ones, that are still alive, are middle aged and somewhat mellowed. Those in Iran have their hands full dealing with the majority of Iranians who no longer believe in the revolution. In Lebanon, there is also local politics to deal with, mainly in the form of many Lebanese who no longer want to play host to Iranian terrorists. But the Islamic conservative leadership in Iran, who still have veto power over the government, access to billions in cash, and control of the armed forces, still believe in exporting the (Shia) Islamic Revolution. It's an export that no one wants, and the Sunni Moslems will actively resist. But there's always the "Great Satan." Sending a nuclear weapon to the United States, and setting it off there, would be suicidal (analysis of the debris would likely identify its origins) because of American nuclear retaliation. Alas, there are still some really fanatical Shia clergy in the senior ranks of the Iranian government, who believe they are on a mission from God, and are willing to go to extremes to smite the enemies of Islam.

April 25, 2004: Iran is using the same tactics in Iraq that worked so well in Lebanon. Using Iranian charitable organizations to do legitimate relief work in southern (Shia) Iraq, this provides fertile recruiting grounds for Iranian Islamic radicals and terrorists. The charity angle also provides some protection from accusations of Iran meddling in Iraq's internal affairs. But while the Iranian charity work has recruited some terrorists, and many more recruits for the al Sadr militias, the quality of personnel attracted is not high. Most Iraqis want no part of a Shia theocracy as exists in Iran.

http://www.strategypage.com//fyeo/qndguide/default.asp?target=Israel
3 posted on 05/10/2004 9:11:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Closing the New Airport Paves the Way for Militarisation of the Regime

May 10, 2004
Iran Press Service
Safa Haeri

LA HERRADURA (SOUTH OF SPAIN) -- With the new Tehran international airport remaining shut by the Armed Forces, sources said the military action translates the deepening rift between the ruling conservatives with the embattled reformists, led by the powerless and now unpopular Mohammad Khatami.

The Emam Khomeini International Airport (EKIA), situated 50 kilometres south of the capital Tehran, was officially inaugurated with pomp on 9 May and one Iran Air flight coming from Dubai was authorised to land, but was immediately closed by the Revolutionary Guards units of the Armed Forces, diverting other flights to the old Mehrabad International Airport.

In a statement issued latter on, the military justified the action, saying that the new airport would remain closed until all security problems are removed, insisting that all services, like the handling of cargo and baggage, catering for airplanes and waiting passengers, all restaurants, markets, duty frees, shops etc are run by Iranians only.

The national flag carrier Iran Air had commissioned the operation of the airport that cost more than 500 millions US Dollars and lasted more than 30 years to a Turkish-Austrian consortium, but the armed forces said this was jeopardizing the country’s "security" as well as "dignity."

“The military action could not be taken without authorisation of Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, who, as the leader of the Islamic Republic, is also in full charge of the Armed Forces”, one source pointed out.

The defeated reformists have described the unprecedented intervention of the military in the affairs of the Executive as a “coup” against the government of President Khatami.

Mr. Mohammad Kianoosh Rad, a reformist deputy from the oil rich province of Khoozestan said the shutting down of the EKIA by the military is another proof that the country is run on a “kingdoms system in which any one that is stronger applies its own laws”.

In its statement, the Armed Forces said the Supreme Council of National Security (SCNS) had warned the responsible authorities about the “dangers” of the new Airport’s facilities being handled by foreigners.

“If this is the case, how come that Mr. Khatami, who is the Head of the SCNS has ordered the inauguration of the Airport, unless he had not been aware of the Council’s decisions”, one pro-reformist journalist asked.

In his view, the closure of the EKIA “shows that the conservatives are refusing the reformist government taking the benefit and proud of the inauguration of the regime’s only major project at any cost, even bringing on the military”.

“This is the first major confrontation between the reformists-led Executive with the conservatives in the past two decades”, commented the moderate “E’temad” daily under the title of “Airport Tragedy”, adding that the intervention of the Revolutionary Guards would have “further implications” for the regime.

Although the paper did not emphasised, but analysts, pointing out to the fact that the new Majles, which is to start working in few months, is for the first time “filled” with militaries turned civilians and candidates close to the military establishment, mostly the Revolutionary Guards, say the decision to call on the military to shut the new Airport would pave the way for a real but dangerous militarisation of the Iranian theocracy.

Majlis Speaker Hojjatoleslam Mehdi Karroubi criticised the Army’s decision disallowing Imam Khomeini International Airport (EKIA) from further operating, and said “there was no room for brazenness and obstinacy when the prestige and interest of the country are at stake, and repeated his view that the airport`s closure was not in its interest”.

Making the remark in Monday’s open session of House, he said his
representatives would make a detailed probe into the case and then submit a report to the nation.

Karroubi then said he had assigned member of Parliamentary Commission on Development Mohsen Nariman and member of Commission on National Security and Foreign Affairs Ala’eddin Borujerdi to explore ways for settlement of the controversy which led to closure of the international airport.

The two MMs are expected to talk with both Minister of Roads and Transport Ahmad Khorram and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi for a settlement of the dispute over services to passengers flying or landing at the airport.

“The defense of a country’s national interests was the highest responsibility of its government and that the suspension of operations of the Emam Khomeini International Airport was a big blow to the interests of the Iranian nation”, he told deputies, adding that the decision on the airport’s operation is a sensitive issue that would have international repercussions and ought to be settled speedily.

http://www.iran-press-service.com/ips/articles-2004/may/ekip_10405.shtml
4 posted on 05/10/2004 9:12:02 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
I have a bit off topic question that I thought you might be able to help with. My niece gave me All the Shah's Men to read (it was on her Pakistani prof's reading list). I read it reluctantly because I didn't want to completely abandon a chance to try to converse with her, despite her politics. Could you recommend a book that might help enlighten her. (Personally I think she is dozens of books away from understanding history in its full context but I don't have the luxury of expecting that from her at this point.)

Thanks.
5 posted on 05/10/2004 9:16:42 PM PDT by Dolphy (I joined the redlipstick boycott of MSNBC)
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To: Dolphy
Do you need a list of Books names about Iran?
6 posted on 05/10/2004 10:26:50 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Eala; Pan_Yans Wife; Valin; freedom44; Brooklyn Kid; McGavin999; AdmSmith
UBS fined $100m over dollar distribution

By Haig Simonian in Zurich and Ellen Kelleher in New York
May 11 2004
Financial Times, UK

UBS yesterday suffered a blow to its reputation after the US Federal Reserve fined it $100m for delivering dollar banknotes to countries blacklisted by Washington such as Iran and Cuba.

The fine is one of the largest penalties imposed by the US banking regulator and appears to have taken the bank, which last week made no provisions in its first-quarter results, by surprise.

The penalty followed the revelation last week that Switzerland's biggest bank had for some time allowed dollar banknotes, distributed from a Zurich depository under contract to the New York Fed, to reach blacklisted countries.

UBS admitted the matter had come to its attention last summer, and said it had been conducting an internal investigation into staff at the depository based at its headquarters.

The bank said about six employees had been dismissed and about half-a-dozen others disciplined.

UBS, which has a reputation for high quality, conservative management, said it accepted the findings and was pulling out of the international banknote trading business. The bank has also been formally reprimanded by the Swiss Federal Banking Commission, which will supervise corrective measures.

UBS is one of a small number of banks outside the US contracted by the Fed to distribute currency, retiring old banknotes and introducing new ones. The bank has also operated a separate banknote trading business.

UBS said the employees affected had not been criminally motivated, but had been guilty of serious mistakes. Apart from breaking Fed rules, the bank said those concerned had submitted false reports to the US authorities to conceal their activities.

Michael Willi, head of communications management, said the bank was not aware of any further punitive measures or potential lawsuits by investors.

Analysts, who did not raise the issue in a first-quarter conference call with chief executive Peter Wuffli last week, appeared largely unworried. Many said the fine should be seen in the context of the much bigger penalties and settlements being agreed by other financial institutions.

This is one of the biggest fines levelled against a bank, but it is not unprecedented. Last year, the Fed slapped a $100m fine on Crédit Lyonnais for allegedly breaking US banking laws when it acquired Executive Life, a failed Californian insurer.

UBS shares, down 3.5 per cent before the late afternoon announcement, closed down 4.5 per cent at SFr88.90 yesterday.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1083180409045
7 posted on 05/10/2004 11:44:52 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: All
U.S. Trying to Sort Out Iran Role in Iraq

By KATHERINE PFLEGER SHRADER
Associated Press Writer
May 11, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Reports from inside Iraq continue to suggest that Iran's conservative Islamic government is meddling in the affairs of its neighbor, according to U.S. officials and lawmakers with access to information about the instability there.

Yet as of late last month, the U.S.-led coalition held only 15 Iranian prisoners, according to the U.S. military command in Baghdad. Officials are struggling to pin down exactly what role Iran may be playing in the chaos still roiling military forces in Iraq.

Some think Iran is operating simply as any worried neighbor would: keeping tabs on the affairs of a tumultuous nation with which it shares a 900-mile border. Iran's critics contend Tehran is stirring up trouble and laying groundwork to try to establish an Islamic republic on the Iranian model after the United States and its allies leave Iraq.

Others say the truth lies in between.

Senior officials including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld have warned Iran not to get involved. "We know the Iranians have been meddling, and it's unhelpful to have neighboring countries meddling in the affairs of Iraq," Rumsfeld said last month at a Pentagon briefing.

A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Bush administration lacks hard evidence that would implicate or exonerate Iran from involvement in destabilizing Iraq. Anecdotal but unconfirmed reports indicate Iranian arms, militia members and financial aid are crossing the border, the official said.

Yet given Iran's past connections with terrorist activity, many U.S. officials are concerned, the official said Monday.

Senate Intelligence Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, has said Iran has "obvious designs on the future of Iraq." So too says another member, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.: "There is some Iranian effort to influence events."

Majorities in both countries belong to the Shiite sect of Islam, although Iraq's Shiites were dominated under former President Saddam Hussein by the Sunni sect. Arab Iraq and Persian Iran waged an eight-year war in the 1980s.

That the situation inside Iran is complex may be adding to the difficulty in unraveling what, if anything, Iran is doing in Iraq, said Rasool Nafisi in Washington, an Iranian-American in regular contact with both reformers and hard-liners in Iran.

While Iran's hard-liners have issued opinions supporting Shiite rebellions in Iraq, Nafisi said the more moderate reformists, who have no handle on power, may "in the bottom of their hearts" want to see the U.S.-led coalition succeed.

Robert Baer, a former Iraq-based CIA officer who left the agency in 1997, said Tehran probably is delighted that Saddam was overthrown and his Sunni followers disenfranchised. The ruling Shiites in Iran have ties with Iraq's Shiite majority.

But the Iranian government probably is unnerved by the U.S. presence in Iran and by American goals, Baer said.

"They do not want to see a secular, democratic, pro-Western government in Iraq with 12 American bases," Baer said. "They will assume these bases are meant to interfere in Iran."

Perhaps the most extreme views on whether Iran is meddling come from Iranian resistance leaders such as Alireza Jafarazadeh, who ran the Washington office of Iran's exiled opposition National Council of Resistance until the State Department closed it down last year for ties to anti-Iranian terrorists.

Based on intelligence from inside Iran, Jafarazadeh contends Iran is pouring tens of millions of dollars into Iraq each month to inspire unrest, dispatching thousands of clerics to organize local insurgencies and sending resistance fighters.

Politically, Jafarazadeh, now president of Washington-based Strategic Policy Consulting, believes Iran is waiting out the U.S.-led occupation for a chance to erect an Islamic republic next door.

Some Iranian actions have been overt.

At the Iranian government's invitation, representatives from the United States and Iran held a rare meeting last month in Iraq.

"We had a firm message for the Iranians across the board with regard to their role in Iraq, which is to be constructive, not destructive," Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor said.

As the insurgency flared, Senor added that the Iranians are not needed as middlemen to negotiate with the radical Shiite cleric, Muqtad al-Sadr, whose militia is a leading source of unrest in the south.

It's unclear what, if any, aid Iran is giving to al-Sadr.

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the top military spokesman in Baghdad, has said he can't answer whether al-Sadr's fighters are state sponsored. He has said, however, that it would be a mistake to call al-Sadr's militia Iranian-backed, manned or controlled.

Nafisi said it seems unlikely that Tehran would support such a radical, junior cleric in a significant way.

Al-Sadr has no ties to Iran, as do Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, born in Iran, or Mohammed Said al-Hakim, a powerful Iraqi-born cleric, Nafisi said. Both could wield power in Iraq after the June 30 U.S. handover of power.

Instead, Nafisi said, Iran may want to let al-Sadr stir up trouble until clerics close to Tehran can emerge. An added perquisite for that tack: "It bogs down the United States and makes the U.S. look bad in the Muslim world."

http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/wire/sns-ap-iran-in-iraq,0,2847152.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines
8 posted on 05/11/2004 1:28:07 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: F14 Pilot
There are Muslims who love America - in Iran

Nicholas D. Kristof NYTimes
Thursday, May 6, 2004

http://www.iht.com/articles/518452.html
9 posted on 05/11/2004 2:23:39 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: Dolphy
These are a few books that I can suggest!

The Last Great Revolution : Turmoil and Transformation in Iran by LA Times writer and reporter Ms. Robin Wright

Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran by Elaine Sciolino

Searching for Hassan by Terrence Ward -- ( this is like a story and telling the reader about the relationship between Americans and Iranians )

Funny in Farsi : A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by FIROOZEH DUMAS

---
Hope these books help you better.
10 posted on 05/11/2004 8:29:43 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (John ''Fedayeen" sKerry - the Mullahs' regime candidate)
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To: DoctorZIn
This just in from inside of Iran...

"A protest will be held today evening in Tehran university campus (Early morning in California-PST) to protest against the death sentence of Professor Aghajari, according to Iran Student News Agency.

Some political activist will address the crowd.

A huge number of students will attend the protest and the Police forces have already blocked the roads of the area to prevent people from joining the students."
11 posted on 05/11/2004 9:26:54 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
A photo of the protest...


12 posted on 05/11/2004 9:36:39 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Dissident Defiant in Face of Death Threat

May 11, 2004
AFP
The Peninsula

TEHRAN -- Iranian dissident academic Hashem Aghajari remained defiant in the face of a renewed death sentence for blasphemy, telling the hardline judiciary to do its worst or set him free, his wife said yesterday.

Meanwhile students who led protests at the original death sentence pronounced in November 2002 against the university teacher for questioning the dominance of the clergy in Iran, planned their first rally for Tuesday over its reconfirmation.

Zahra Behnoudi, quoted by the student news agency Isna, said Aghajari had told officials who had come to advise him of the new sentence: “I refuse to sign the notification of the verdict and I refuse to appeal. “Free me unconditionally or carry out the sentence. I will not appeal in order for you to lose my case again in an administrative labyrinth.”

She said her husband had told her that the verdict, a confirmation of that handed down by the same judge in the western city of Hamadan, was dated the second half of August last year. The second sentence, announced last week, ignored objections raised by the Supreme Court to the original decision, newspapers Monday quoted Aghajari’s lawyer Saleh Nikbakht as saying.

The Hamadan judge failed to “clear any points that were signaled as shortcomings by the Supreme Court,” he said. “The judge has issued the ruling without clearing up those deficiencies in line with the orders of the State Supreme Court, and this amounts to a ruling against the Supreme Court,” the lawyer argued.

Iran’s top judicial authorities are thought to be anxious to avoid a repetition of the protests at home and abroad that followed the original death sentence on Aghajari, a disabled war veteran. But press reports said students and political militants would gather in a lecture room of Tehran’s technical college today for a meeting called by the reformist Islamic Association of Students.

An affiliated group, the Office to Consolidate Unity (OCU), condemned in a statement “the shameful and mediaeval punishment” pronounced against Aghajari. The OCU said that “the actions of the judiciary against freedom in recent months are not limited to sentencing Hashem Aghajari to death, but also hit at student militants condemned to heavy penalties.”

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=World_News&subsection=Gulf%2C+Middle+East+%26+Africa&month=May2004&file=World_News200405112480.xml
13 posted on 05/11/2004 9:39:35 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Torture: A Main Instrument of Iran's Rulers to Terrorize Restive Population

May 06, 2004
The US Alliance for Democratic Iran
USADI

For those concerned about the abysmal human rights situation in Iran, but unfamiliar with its ruling tyrants’ double-talk and deception, recent news headline from Iran may have appeared comforting. Alas, the reality on the ground demands continued disgust with the way Iran rulers deal with the citizens and political dissidents.

Besieged by a barrage of questions from frustrated students, President Mohammad Khatami acknowledged last week that the country had many political prisoners. A day later, Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi issued a statement purportedly banning “any kind of torture to obtain confessions.”

Human rights organizations wasted no time in dismissing this proclamation as a non-starter, pointing out that Shahroudi’s statement was in fact an official admission of systemic use of torture in Iran and that it was a rehash of the long-ignored provisions already in the mullahs’ Constitution. What is more, Iran has not yet joined the Convention Against Torture, because, among other things, Tehran has sanctioned the very conduct the world community has condemned as torture, as a divine punishment.

Some of the punishments under the Iranian regime’s penal code are flogging, eye gouging, limb amputation and stoning, just to name a few. On any given day, a religious judge could issue an order for “Tazir”, a religious term for physical punishment of the detainee that ranges form lashing the victim for hours to solitary confinement and electric shock, etc.

Many religious loopholes are used to justify the abuse. When the mullahs’ officials ban torture, they are not talking about these Sharia-based forms of punishment. Torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners are a main component of Iran’s highly elaborate and institutionalized suppression designed specifically to terrorize and subdue an increasingly restive population.

A few days after Khatami’s remarks, the Judiciary spokesman even disputed the definition of “political prisoner”, saying that Iranian law did not recognize the status of political prisoners. "This word has no legal definition, but some people consider actions against national security as a political crime," he said.

In the past quarter century, Iran’s leaders have used spin and double-talk in dealing with the international community. In negotiations over suspending uranium enrichment program, the term “suspension” has a totally different meaning for the mullahs. The same goes for the meaning of “torture” and “political prisoner”. The plight of thousands of Iranians who paid the price of trusting the mullahs for their words should serve as examples to those who still believe the mullahs really mean what they say.

Suppression of political and social dissent is a main pillar of Iran’s theocracy. The mullahs shield their tyrannical house of cards behind tall, thick and ubiquitous walls of suppression. Therefore, defending the human rights of Iranians and all Iranian dissidents must be a main component of any policy to support Iran’s democracy movement.

http://www.usadiran.org/index.html
14 posted on 05/11/2004 9:41:55 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: We Retaliate if Israel Hits Our Nuclear Facilities

May 11, 2004
The Associated Press
Ha'aretz

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's top nuclear negotiator warned Israel on Tuesday that his country would certainly retaliate if the Jewish state were to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

Israel and the United States suspect Iran is secretly building nuclear weapons under cover of a nuclear program to produce electricity. In the past, Israel has said it will not allow Iran to build a nuclear bomb. In 1981, Israeli fighter-bombers destroyed a nuclear reactor that was under construction outside Baghdad because it feared Iraq would acquire a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said last month Iran was a threat to Israel, "maybe the main existential threat."

In an interview with state television, Iran's chief negotiator on nuclear affairs, Hasan Rowhani, warned that an Israeli attack would have severe consequences.

"Israel knows our hands are well equipped," Rowhani said. "If such an incident happens, it will meet a resolute response from our side."

Rowhani did not explain what he meant by saying Iran was "well equipped," but Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said in December that Iran would strike back with long-range missiles if Israel were to attack its nuclear facilities.

Shamkhani said Iran's Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of about 1,300 kilometers, would be one of the weapons used. Israel is about 965 kilometers west of Iran.

Suspicion of Israel and its agents is pervasive in Iran. On Saturday, Iran's armed forces closed the new Imam Khomeini International Airport on its first day of scheduled flights. Citing security concerns, the armed forces spoke of possible links between Israel and a Turkish company that has a contract to operate the airport. The Turkish company rejected the allegation.

Turkey does have military links with Israel.

Iran is building its first nuclear reactor, which is expected to come on stream next year. It has been criticized by the International Atomic Energy Agency for failing to disclose certain aspects of its nuclear program. Iran has promised to cooperate fully with IAEA inspectors and insists its program is only for peaceful purposes.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=426245&contrassID=1&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y
15 posted on 05/11/2004 9:42:32 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Army to Allow Tehran Airport to Open

May 11, 2004
Reuters
Airwise News

Iran's military, which blocked the runway at Tehran's new international airport on its first day of operations on Saturday, has given its go-ahead for the terminal to re-open, local media reported on Tuesday.

But the USD$475 million Imam Khomeini International Airport will remain closed while government officials try to clear up Saturday's surprise military intervention which has embarrassed the government and alarmed foreign investors.

"The [roads and transportation] minister wants a clarification of Saturday's events before he opens the airport for operation," airport director Hossein Pirouzi said.

The long-awaited opening of the new airport, located 45 km (28 miles) south of Tehran, descended into chaos on Saturday when Revolutionary Guards vehicles were driven onto the runway after just one of six scheduled international flights had arrived.

The next flight was diverted to an airport in central Iran while the rest were sent to Tehran's Mehrabad Airport, which the new airport is designed to replace.

Iran's armed forces said they had security concerns about the new airport due to government plans to hand over its operation to the Turkish-led consortium TAV.

TAV officials were ordered to withdraw their personnel and equipment from the airport on Friday and operations were handed over to flagship carrier Iran Air.

Deputy head of the Chief Staff of the Armed Forces Brigadier Ali Afshar was quoted on Tuesday as saying TAV's withdrawal from the airport meant it could be re-opened.

"Because foreign companies will no longer be in charge of the airport's operation, security obstacles are removed," the ISNA students news agency quoted him as saying.

Government officials have deplored the airport's sudden closure which Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi termed a "disgrace" for the country.

TAV officials have said they believe a memorandum of understanding they signed with the government last year to operate the airport's Terminal 1 is still in effect.

They say they have been told to vacate the airport for two weeks while the dispute is clarified.

Under its agreement with the government TAV was also awarded a USD$193 million deal to build and operate a second terminal at the airport.

Turkish government officials have expressed alarm at the apparent annulment of TAV's contract to operate the airport. A Turkish-led consortium won a USD$3 billion contract earlier this year to build and operate a mobile telecommunications network in Iran to compete with the state monopoly.

http://news.airwise.com/stories/2004/05/1084272209.html
16 posted on 05/11/2004 9:43:09 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
So this has to do with Israel? Iran afraid Turkey will let Israeli planes into the airport or use Iran airspace?
17 posted on 05/11/2004 9:51:18 AM PDT by Brooklyn Kid
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To: DoctorZIn
ABU GHRAIB LESSONS

By AMIR TAHERI

May 11, 2004 -- A TORRENT of often self- serving comment is pouring out of the Arab media. People who have never raised their voice against the systematic torture of prisoners by their own governments are having a field day attacking the United States for the alleged atrocities committed by some U.S. soldiers against Iraqi prisoners in the notorious Baghdad prison.

These commentators apply to the United States standards that they regard as unthinkable when it comes to their own governments - a roundabout way of acknowledging the moral superiority of the democratic system over the region's despotic regimes.

Beyond the heroes-on-the-cheap who roar like a lion when attacking America but squeal like a mouse when it comes to their own despots, reactions are mixed.

Many sincere Muslims see Abu Ghraib as a symbol of failure by all systems that have scripted religion out of politics: The prison was a place of abuse and torture ("the palace of the end") under Iraqi regimes that rejected religion in the name of secular ideologies such as nationalism or socialism - and now Abu Ghraib has proved that "godless democracy" is no better.

That widespread feeling renders the task of democrats in the Muslim countries more difficult at a time when Iraq has become the main battleground for rival ideological currents in the Middle East. The long-term potential damage goes far beyond the feeding frenzy of the traditional anti-American fringe.

At the same time, many in the region are beginning to notice the speed with which America (and Britain) are dealing with the scandal. The fact that the trial of the first of the seven accused GIs is scheduled to start next week is regarded by many as a sign that democracies can, and often do, correct their mistakes. It is thus important that this be a public trial, open to all, especially the Arab media.

Every encounter between rival systems exhibits a "mime" effect in which the adversaries imitate aspects of each other's character. In the ancient world, the Romans copied the monarchist system from their Persian rivals. The Persians, in turn, copied the Romans by setting up a standing army for the first time.

During the Cold War, the Soviets adopted the scientific and technological methods of their capitalist rivals. In exchange, the Western powers created or expanded secret services and learned to practice a range of dirty tricks in imitation of the NKVD and KGB.

It is impossible to wrestle with an adversary and not have one's sweat mixed with his.

How many U.S. and British soldiers were involved in the alleged atrocities? So far, seven Americans face investigation for alleged abuse against some 20 inmates, and four Britons are accused of having abused nine Iraqis.

If we are dealing with the abuse of a few dozen prisoners, out of a total of 7,000, the whole episode could be seen as an exception concerning a few unstable individuals who should not have been put in charge of prisoners.

But if a much larger number of prisoners were abused as part of a deliberate policy, we would be dealing with a classic case of becoming like an adversary worse than oneself. In that case, Americans and Britons should be very worried indeed not only about Iraq but about the long-term impact on the War on Terror on the democratic system itself.

The danger of becoming even a teeny bit like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein cannot be dismissed lightly. Saddam in his prison and Osama in his cave should not be given an opportunity to claim that their democratic adversaries are, after all, no better than them.

For, when all is said and done, it is the message of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law that represents the true strength of the democratic world.

American and Britain should persuade the International Committee of the Red Cross to make public its reports on the alleged abuses. That could set a useful precedent, allowing the ICRC to publish at least parts of its secret reports on Arab regimes' atrocities against their own prisoners.

How America and Britain deal with these soldiers' misdeeds could develop into an objective lesson in the merits of the rule of law in a region where governments are the first to violate their own laws. The writers now directing fire and brimstone at America may begin to think that one day, perhaps, they will also have to question the way their own regimes torture prisoners as a matter of routine policy.

This is why it is important to remain focused on the substance of the issue, rather than trying to score partisan points in an election year. The issue is not to nail Don Rumsfeld's scalp to the wall. In fact, the focus on lynching Rumsfeld could be regarded as a diversion that will cause further confusion in the region.

Nor should the scandal be used as a device to undermine the entire Iraq project. If Iraq is a success, in the sense of embarking on a process of democratization under a freely elected government next year, Abu Ghraib will fade away in history as a minor, though abhorrent, episode. If Iraq is allowed to slide into chaos or fall under a new despot, we will witness horrors to make Abu Ghraib look like a garden party.

It is important not to lose sight of the big picture. Rumsfeld or even President Bush could be booted out. But the unique opportunity to stabilize and rebuild Iraq as a democratic state must not be wasted.

Let us have all the Abu Ghraib trials we need. But let us not forget June 30, the date for the transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government, and January 2005, the date for the first free elections in that country's history.

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/23932.htm
18 posted on 05/11/2004 9:54:55 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: nuconvert
This is to remind us of the War on Terrorism:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1133415/posts
Video on Islamic militant Web site appears to show beheading of American.

Terrible, we have to put in more resources to hunt them down.
19 posted on 05/11/2004 12:50:26 PM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
Maybe it will make the media think twice about airing any more Iraqi abuse photos.?
20 posted on 05/11/2004 3:45:02 PM PDT by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ...( Azadi baraye Iran)
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To: DoctorZIn
The Treatment "a Great Tragedy"

May 11, 2004
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
IRIB News

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on Tuesday condemned the alleged torture inflicted on Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers, the official Irna news agency reported.

"The painful torture inflicted by the occupying forces on iraqisis a great tragedy," the reformist president said in a joint press conference with a visiting member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, Sulejman Tihic.

"Today Iraq has become the focal point of chaos and terrorism and we are witnessing one of the worst human rights violations by the occupying forces."



Iran va Jahan - Editor's note - During 10 days in July and August of 1988, more than 30,000 helpless political prisoners were exectued in Iranian prisons. The following is a testimony of one of the survivors, given at a conference organized by MEHR:


Mr. Hossein Mokhtar’s Testimony
at the September 1 Conference Organized by MEHR

He is one of the survivors of the massacre of 1988 by the Islamic Regime of Iran.

Dear ladies and Gentlemen

First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for attending this conference, I also would like to thank my friends for their efforts that made it possible for me to be here.

Although it is sad for me to talk about the most horrible nightmare of my life, I owe it to all who lost their lives or are now suffering in prisons, to disclose the real face of Mullahs’ regime of Iran.

Because of the interest of time, I will restrict my talk to the massacre of 1988. I will first give you some basic information about myself.

All together, I have spent more than 6 years of my life in the political prisons and detentions of Iran’s Islamic regime, all of it in Evin prison in Tehran. During that time, I suffered savage tortures by interrogators of regime’s Intelligent Agency. Later, I was able to leave Iran and was accepted as a political refugee by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, through their office in Ankara/Turkey.

Between Jan 26, 2000, the date of my arrival to the United States, and last month, I have had 24 surgeries to treat the injuries and broken parts of my body, which were the results of tortures in Evin prison. I have become disabled with ongoing medical treatments, and have also lost part of my hearing.

In 1981 when the Islamic regime of Iran executed my father, Mr. Ali Mokhtar Zibaii, he was only 40 years old, the same age that I am now. He was an officer of the Air Force in the First Fighters Base in Mehrabad Tehran. At that time I was almost 18 years old.

From 1981 the date of my father’s execution until 1986, the regime was searching for me, and in hiding I was unable to be with my family during that time.

In 1986 I was arrested, and was kept in prison until 1991. During those years I suffered the most savage tortures such that when they released me in 1991, the left side of my body was paralyzed. When I came out I was alien to my family because while I was in prison, my family were rarely allowed to visit me. This was one of the common ways of torturing political prisoners by the Islamic regime.

I am one of about 900 survivors of the massacres of almost 30,000 helpless political prisoners, whom were executed by the Islamic regime. Most of these victims were killed in a time period less than 10 days in July and August of 1988. These killings were done by shooting, hanging or even by grenade and TNT explosives. The executions were done in the hills around Evin.

It is interesting to know that those who are running the government today are the same people responsible for that massacre. This is because they all cooperated with each other in executing that horrible crime.

Khatami, Rafsanjani and Khamenei were among the masterminds of the massacre and should be brought to Justice, as Iranian people are eventually going to do that.

In addition to my personal experiences, I have been a witness to the Mental and physically tortures of other political prisoners by this Regime.

I have witnessed Kids who watched their parents getting tortured. I have also witnessed kids who watched their parents’ bodies hanging on the cranes. This sad story continues even now almost every day in streets of the Tehran and other cities.

There were many occasions where children lived for years with their mothers in prison cells. These children were denied the very basic needs for survival. I knew of mothers in prison making a substitute for milk by dissolving cheese and sugar in hot water, as their stressed and tortured bodies could not produce milk. Nobody knows what happened to so many of those kids after massacres of the 1988?

The Islamic regime was working on the massacre of all political prisoners for some years. Khomeini had ordered to get rid of all those political prisoners, no reasons were needed. It was decided to kill them all. There were situations when the guards would ask the so-called death committee if they should bring the next wave of prisoners for interrogation. And the answer was “no need, just kill them”.

On January.11th .1988, they put all prisoners in closed-door rooms and allowed no more visits by their families.

In fact on the first days of January the speakers in prison announced to all prisoners “we are not going to give this opportunity to people to save you from prison and treat you as their heroes”.

We all knew what is coming up and everybody was ready to die, because there is no other ways for those who disagree with the mullahs of Iran.

From January until July 1988 no newspapers, no TV, no Radio, no shower, no visiting of the families and many times, even no food.

In each room (about 24 square meter, equivalent to about 220 square feet), there were more than 45 prisoners. Finally on July 29 or 30th they started the massacre. Many of the victims had not eaten for days and were thirsty before their execution.

The massacre continued until October 1988, but they killed more than 90% of prisoners during the first 10 days. So many times we heard the heavy machine guns, which were shooting to the victims in the “Shooting Execution hall” of the prison. These were in addition to hanging on cranes and other hanging stands.

Hearing the sound of explosion shocks from the hills around Evin, we knew that in addition to shooting and hanging, they were killing prisoners by mass bombing with grenades and the TNT explosives.

In August and September 1988 they took me twice to the death committee. The first time the only question was,” What is your opinion about your father’s execution”?

I answered: please put yourself in my place, and imagine it is you instead of me whose father is executed. And let me ask you the same question. Whatever your answer is will be my answer to your question.

Before I finished my sentence, Falahian the minister of information and the intelligence agency, said, “Kill him”.

It was a miracle that I survived that order. One of my father’s friends who was a powerful man in the regime, had found and used a release letter in my file, signed by Montazeri, the successor of Komini at the time.

The second time in September they took me again to the same place: section 209 of Evin. That day I heard the voice of martyred Davood Zargar who was shouting “guards what are you waiting for, I am ready to die are you scared”?

I also heard the martyred Reza Bahman Abadi who was singing the hymn of freedom inside of his death sells.

But the most emotional scene that I witnessed was weeping of some children who were crying for their mothers, the women who were going to give their lives because of their political and ideological beliefs.

Even after I was out of prison for a while, none of my friends had any knowledge about what happened to most of those kids.

In 1990, the representative of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights came to Iran for the first time, to visit and examine prisons of Iran. The Islamic regime hid all of us, the 900 survivors, and substituted the guards and others as the real political prisoners.

Fortunately, the United Nations’ delegation had some names and pictures of prisoners, and especially there was one prisoner that the representative of the Human Rights was looking for, and therefore, the regime was unable to substitute him with someone else. Through this one prisoner, the delegation of the human rights found all of us, prepared photo ID, and made the necessary case for all 900 survivors to save their lives.

And this was and still is the story of all other survivors. Even right now there are many of them inside prisons of the Islamic regime. Some of them are killed by the secret agents of the regime, making it look like car or other types of accidents.

My crying today is just a small reflection of those kids’ tears, and my shouts are small echo of the roar of the oppressed Iranian people.

My only and final appeal is to American people. Those who believe in kindness and freedom, and those who value human life. I appeal to you that for the sake of all humanity, and for the sake of millions of suffering human beings in Iran, ask your government to stop supporting this terrorist, fascist, and anti-human regime. And in doing so, support the struggle of Iranian people for democracy and freedom.

Down with the Iranian Islamic regime and all its supporters around the world.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, once again thank you for all your attention and your kindness.

God bless you

Yours truly,

Hossein Mokhtar


MEHR Iran
P.O. Box 2037
P.V.P., CA 90274
USA

Tel: 310 - 377 - 4590
Fax: 310 - 377 -3103
URL: http://mehr.org

http://www.iribnews.ir/Full_en.asp?news_id=203964
21 posted on 05/11/2004 4:35:25 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The Wages of Appeasement

May 11, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Victor Davis Hanson

Imagine a different Nov. 4, 1979, in Tehran. Shortly after Iranian terrorists storm the American Embassy and take some 90 American hostages, President Carter announces that Islamic fundamentalism is not a legitimate response to the excess of the shah but a new and dangerous fascism that threatens all that liberal society holds dear. And then he issues an ultimatum to Tehran's leaders: Release the captives or face a devastating military response.

When that demand is not met, instead of freezing Iran's assets, stopping the importation of its oil, or seeking support at the U.N., Mr. Carter orders an immediate blockade of the country, followed by promises to bomb, first, all of its major military assets, and then its main government buildings and residences of its ruling mullocracy. The Ayatollah Khomeini might well have called his bluff; we may well have tragically lost the hostages (151 fewer American lives than the Iranian-backed Hezbollah would take four years later in a single day in Lebanon). And there might well have been the sort of chaos in Tehran that we now witness in Baghdad. But we would have seen it all in 1979--and not in 2001, after almost a quarter-century of continuous Middle East terrorism, culminating in the mass murder of 3,000 Americans and the leveling of the World Trade Center.

The 20th century should have taught the citizens of liberal democracies the catastrophic consequences of placating tyrants. British and French restraint over the occupation of the Rhineland, the Anschluss, the absorption of the Czech Sudetenland, and the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia did not win gratitude but rather Hitler's contempt for their weakness. Fifty million dead, the Holocaust and the near destruction of European civilization were the wages of "appeasement"--a term that early-1930s liberals proudly embraced as far more enlightened than the old idea of "deterrence" and "military readiness."

So too did Western excuses for the Russians' violation of guarantees of free elections in postwar Eastern Europe, China and Southeast Asia only embolden the Soviet Union. What eventually contained Stalinism was the Truman Doctrine, NATO and nuclear deterrence--not the United Nations--and what destroyed its legacy was Ronald Reagan's assertiveness, not Jimmy Carter's accommodation or Richard Nixon's détente.

As long ago as the fourth century B.C., Demosthenes warned how complacency and self-delusion among an affluent and free Athenian people allowed a Macedonian thug like Philip II to end some four centuries of Greek liberty--and in a mere 20 years of creeping aggrandizement down the Greek peninsula. Thereafter, these historical lessons should have been clear to citizens of any liberal society: We must neither presume that comfort and security are our birthrights and are guaranteed without constant sacrifice and vigilance, nor expect that peoples outside the purview of bourgeois liberalism share our commitment to reason, tolerance and enlightened self-interest.

Most important, military deterrence and the willingness to use force against evil in its infancy usually end up, in the terrible arithmetic of war, saving more lives than they cost. All this can be a hard lesson to relearn each generation, especially now that we contend with the sirens of the mall, Oprah and latte. Our affluence and leisure are as antithetical to the use of force as rural life and relative poverty once were catalysts for muscular action. The age-old lure of appeasement--perhaps they will cease with this latest concession, perhaps we provoked our enemies, perhaps demonstrations of our future good intentions will win their approval--was never more evident than in the recent Spanish elections, when an affluent European electorate, reeling from the horrific terrorist attack of 3/11, swept from power the pro-U.S. center-right government on the grounds that the mass murders were more the fault of the United States for dragging Spain into the effort to remove fascists and implant democracy in Iraq than of the primordial al Qaedaist culprits, who long ago promised the Western and Christian Iberians ruin for the Crusades and the Reconquista.

What went wrong with the West--and with the United States in particular--when not just the classical but especially the recent antecedents to Sept. 11, from the Iranian hostage-taking to the attack on the USS Cole, were so clear? Though Americans in an election year, legitimately concerned about our war dead, may now be divided over the Iraqi occupation, polls nevertheless show a surprising consensus that the many precursors to the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings were acts of war, not police matters. Roll the tape backward from the USS Cole in 2000, through the bombing of the U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998 and the Khobar Towers in 1996, the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the destruction of the American Embassy and annex in Beirut in 1983, the mass murder of 241 U.S. Marine peacekeepers asleep in their Lebanese barracks that same year, and assorted kidnappings and gruesome murders of American citizens and diplomats (including TWA Flight 800, Pan Am 103, William R. Higgins, Leon Klinghoffer, Robert Dean Stethem and CIA operative William Francis Buckley), until we arrive at the Iranian hostage-taking of November 1979: That debacle is where we first saw the strange brew of Islamic fascism, autocracy and Middle East state terrorism--and failed to grasp its menace, condemn it and go to war against it.

That lapse, worth meditating upon in this 25th anniversary year of Khomeinism, then set the precedent that such aggression against the United States was better adjudicated as a matter of law than settled by war. Criminals were to be understood, not punished; and we, not our enemies, were at fault for our past behavior. Whether Mr. Carter's impotence sprang from his deep-seated moral distrust of using American power unilaterally or from real remorse over past American actions in the Cold War or even from his innate pessimism about the military capability of the United States mattered little to the hostage takers in Tehran, who for 444 days humiliated the United States through a variety of public demands for changes in U.S. foreign policy, the return of the exiled shah, and reparations.

But if we know how we failed to respond in the last three decades, do we yet grasp why we were so afraid to act decisively at these earlier junctures, which might have stopped the chain of events that would lead to the al Qaeda terrorist acts of Sept/ 11? Our failure was never due to a lack of the necessary wealth or military resources, but rather to a deeply ingrained assumption that we should not retaliate--a hesitancy al Qaeda perceives and plays upon.

Along that sad succession of provocations, we can look back and see particularly critical turning points that reflected this now-institutionalized state policy of worrying more about what the enemy was going to do to us than we to him, to paraphrase Grant's dictum: not hammering back after the murder of the Marines in Lebanon for fear of ending up like the Israelis in a Lebanese quagmire; not going to Baghdad in 1991 because of paranoia that the "coalition" would collapse and we would polarize the Arabs; pulling abruptly out of Somalia once pictures of American bodies dragged through the streets of Mogadishu were broadcast around the world; or turning down offers in 1995 from Sudan to place Osama bin Laden into our custody, for fear that U.S. diplomats or citizens might be murdered abroad.

Throughout this tragic quarter-century of appeasement, our response usually consisted of a stern lecture by a Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, or Bill Clinton about "never giving in to terrorist blackmail" and "not negotiating with terrorists." Even Mr. Reagan's saber-rattling "You can run but not hide" did not preclude trading arms to the Iranian terrorists or abruptly abandoning Lebanon after the horrific Hezbollah attack.

Sometimes a half-baked failed rescue mission, or a battleship salvo, cruise missile or air strike, followed--but always accompanied by a weeklong debate by conservatives over "exit strategies" and "mission creep," while liberals fretted about "consultations with our allies and the United Nations." And remember: these pathetic military responses were the hawkish actions that earned us the resignation of a furious Cyrus Vance, the abrogation of overflight rights by concerned "allies" such as France, and a national debate about what we did to cause such animosity in the first place.

Our enemies and Middle Eastern "friends" alike sneered at our self-flagellation. In 1991, at great risk, the United States freed Kuwait from Iraq and ended its status as the 19th satrapy of Saddam Hussein--only to watch the restored kingdom ethnically cleanse over a third of a million Palestinians. But after the murder of 3,000 Americans in 2001, Kuwaitis, in a February 2002 Gallup poll (and while they lobbied OPEC to reduce output and jack up prices), revealed an overwhelming distaste for Americans--indeed the highest levels of anti-Americanism in the Arab world. And these ethnic cleansers of Palestinians cited America's purportedly unfair treatment of the Palestinians (recipients of accumulated billions in American aid) as a prime cause of their dislike of us.

In the face of such visceral anti-Americanism, the problem may not be real differences over the West Bank, much less that "we are not getting the message out"; rather, in the decade since 1991 the Middle East saw us as a great power that neither could nor would use its strength to advance its ideas--that lacked even the intellectual confidence to argue for our civilization before the likes of a tenth-century monarchy. The autocratic Arab world neither respects nor fears a democratic United States, because it rightly senses that we often talk in principled terms but rarely are willing to invest the time, blood and treasure to match such rhetoric with concrete action. That's why it is crucial for us to stay in Iraq to finish the reconstruction and cement the achievement of our three-week victory over Saddam.

It is easy to cite post-Vietnam guilt and shame as the likely culprit for our paralysis. After all, Jimmy Carter came in when memories of capsizing boat people and of American helicopters lifting swarms of panicked diplomats off the roof of the Saigon embassy were fresh. In 1981, he exited in greater shame: his effusive protestations that Soviet communism wasn't something to fear all that much won him the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, while his heralded "human rights" campaign was answered by the Ortegas in Nicaragua and the creation of a murderous theocracy in Iran. Yet perhaps President Carter was not taking the American people anywhere they didn't want to go. After over a decade of prior social unrest and national humiliation in Vietnam, many Americans believed that the United States either could not or should not do much about things beyond its shores.

As time wore on and the nightmare of Vietnam began to fade, fear of the Soviet Union kept us from crushing the terrorists who killed our diplomats and blew up our citizens. These were no idle fears, given the Russians' record of butchering 30 million of their own, stationing 300 divisions on Europe's borders, and pointing 7,000 nukes at the United States. And fear of their malevolence made eminent sense in the volatile Middle East, where the Russians made direct threats to the Israelis in both the 1967 and 1973 wars, when the Syrian, Egyptian and Iraqi militaries--trained, supplied and advised by Russians--were on the verge of annihilation. Russian support for Nasser's Pan-Arabism and for Baathism in Iraq and Syria rightly worried Cold Warriors, who sensed that the Soviets had their geopolitical eyes on Middle East oil and a stranglehold over Persian Gulf commerce.

Indeed, these twin pillars of the old American Middle East policy--worry over oil and fear of communists--reigned for nearly half a century, between 1945 and 1991. Such realism, however understandable, was counterproductive in the long run, since our tacit support for odious anticommunist governments in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and North Africa did not address the failure of such autocracies to provide prosperity and hope for exploding populations of increasingly poor and angry citizens. We kept Russians out of the oilfields and ensured safe exports of petroleum to Europe, Japan and the U.S.--but at what proved to be the steep price of allowing awful regimes to deflect popular discontent against us.

Nor was Realpolitik always effective. Such illegitimate Arab regimes as the Saudi royal family initiated several oil embargoes, after all. And meanwhile, such a policy did not deter the Soviets from busily selling high-tech weaponry to Libya, Syria and Iraq, while the KGB helped to train and fund almost every Arab terrorist group. And indeed, immediately after the 1991 Iraqi takeover of Kuwait, U.S. intelligence officers discovered that Soviet-trained Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas and Abu Ibrahim had flocked to Baghdad on the invitation of the Baathist Saddam Hussein: though the Soviet Union did not interrupt Western petroleum commerce, its well-supplied surrogates did their fair share of murdering.

Neither thirst for petroleum nor fear of communists, then, adequately explains our inaction for most of the tumultuous late 1980s and 1990s, when groups like Hezbollah and al Qaeda came on to the world scene. Mikhail Gorbachev's tottering empire had little inclination to object too strenuously when the United States hit Libya in 1986, recall, and thanks to the growing diversity and fungibility of the global oil supply, we haven't had a full-fledged Arab embargo since 1979.

Instead, the primary cause for our surprising indifference to the events leading up to Sept. 11 lies within ourselves. Westerners always have had a propensity for complacency because of our wealth and freedom; and Americans in particular have enjoyed a comfortable isolation in being separated from the rest of the world by two oceans. Yet during the last four presidential administrations, laxity about danger on the horizon seems to have become more ingrained than in the days when a more robust United States sought to thwart communist intrusion into Arabia, Asia and Africa.

Americans never viewed terrorist outlaw states with the suspicion they once had toward Soviet communism; they put little pressure on their leaders to crack down on Middle Eastern autocracy and theocracy as a threat to security. At first this indifference was understandable, given the stealthy nature of our enemies and the post-Cold War relief that, having toppled the Soviet Union and freed millions in Eastern Europe, we might be at the end of history. Even the bloodcurdling anti-American shouts from the Beirut street did not seem as scary as a procession of intercontinental missiles and tanks on an average May Day parade in Moscow.

Hezbollah, al Qaeda and the Palestine Liberation Organization were more like fleas on a sleeping dog: bothersome rather than lethal; to be flicked away occasionally rather than systematically eradicated. Few paid attention to Osama bin Laden's infamous February 1998 fatwa: "The rule to kill Americans and their allies--civilians and military--is a sacred duty for any Muslim." Those who noticed thought it just impotent craziness, akin to Sartre's fatuous quip during the Vietnam War that he wished for a nuclear strike against the United States to end its imperial aspirations. No one thought that a raving maniac in an Afghan cave could kill more Americans in a single day than the planes of the Japanese imperial fleet off Pearl Harbor.

But still, how did things as odious to liberal sensibilities as Pan-Arabism, Islamic fundamentalism and Middle Eastern dictatorship--which squashed dissent, mocked religious tolerance, and treated women as chattel--become reinvented into "alternate discourses" deserving a sympathetic pass from the righteous anger of the United States when Americans were murdered overseas? Was it that spokesmen for terrorist regimes mimicked the American left--in everything from dress, vocabulary and appearances on the lecture circuit--and so packaged their extremism in a manner palatable to Americans? Why, after all, were Americans patient with remonstrations from University of Virginia alumna Hanan Ashrawi, rather than asking precisely how such a wealthy Christian PLO apparatchik really felt about the Palestinian Authority's endemic corruption, the spendthrift Parisian Suha Arafat, the terrorists around her husband himself, the spate of "honor killings" of women in the West Bank, the censorship of the Palestinian press, suicide-murdering by Arafat affiliates, and the lynching of suspects by Palestinian police?

Rather than springing from Realpolitik, sloth or fear of oil cutoffs, much of our appeasement of Middle Eastern terrorists derived from a new sort of anti-Americanism that thrived in the growing therapeutic society of the 1980s and 1990s. Though the abrupt collapse of communism was a dilemma for the left, it opened as many doors as it shut. To be sure, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, few Marxists could argue for a state-controlled economy or mouth the old romance about a workers' paradise--not with scenes of East German families crammed into smoking clunkers lumbering over potholed roads, like American pioneers of old on their way west. But if the creed of the socialist republics was impossible to take seriously in either economic or political terms, such a collapse of doctrinaire statism did not discredit the gospel of forced egalitarianism and resentment against prosperous capitalists. Far from it.
If Marx receded from economics departments, his spirit re-emerged among our intelligentsia in the novel guises of poststructuralism, new historicism, multiculturalism and all the other dogmas whose fundamental tenet was that white male capitalists had systematically oppressed women, minorities nd Third World people in countless insidious ways. The font of that collective oppression, both at home and abroad, was the rich, corporate, Republican and white United States.

The fall of the Soviet Union enhanced these newer postcolonial and liberation fields of study by immunizing their promulgators from charges of fellow-traveling or being dupes of Russian expansionism. Communism's demise likewise freed these trendy ideologies from having to offer some wooden, unworkable Marxist alternative to the West; thus they could happily remain entirely critical, sarcastic and cynical without any obligation to suggest something better, as witness the nihilist signs at recent protest marches proclaiming: "I Love Iraq, Bomb Texas."

From writers like Arundhati Roy and Michel Foucault (who anointed Khomeini "a kind of mystic saint" who would usher in a new "political spirituality" that would "transfigure" the world) and from old standbys like Frantz Fanon and Jean-Paul Sartre ("to shoot down a European is to kill two birds with one stone, to destroy an oppressor and the man he oppresses at the same time"), there filtered down a vague notion that the United States and the West in general were responsible for Third World misery in ways that transcended the dull old class struggle. Endemic racism and the legacy of colonialism, the oppressive multinational corporation and the humiliation and erosion of indigenous culture brought on by globalization and a smug, self-important cultural condescension--all this and more explained poverty and despair, whether in Damascus, Tehran or Beirut.

There was victim status for everybody, from gender, race and class at home to colonialism, imperialism and hegemony abroad. Anyone could play in these "area studies" that cobbled together the barrio, the West Bank and the "freedom fighter" into some sloppy global union of the oppressed--a far hipper enterprise than rehashing "Das Kapital" or listening to a six-hour harangue from Fidel.

Of course, pampered Western intellectuals since Diderot have always dreamed up a "noble savage," who lived in harmony with nature precisely because of his distance from the corruption of Western civilization. But now this fuzzy romanticism had an updated, political edge: The bearded killer and wild-eyed savage were not merely better than we because they lived apart in a premodern landscape. No, they had a right to strike back and kill modernizing Westerners who had intruded into and disrupted their better world--whether Jews on Temple Mount, women in Westernized dress in Tehran, Christian missionaries in Kabul, capitalist profiteers in Islamabad, whiskey-drinking oilmen in Riyadh, or miniskirted tourists in Cairo.

An Ayatollah Khomeini who turned back the clock on female emancipation in Iran, who murdered non-Muslims, and who refashioned Iranian state policy to hunt down, torture and kill liberals nevertheless seemed to liberal Western eyes as preferable to the shah--a Western-supported anticommunist, after all, who was engaged in the messy, often corrupt task of bringing Iran from the 10th to the 20th century, down the arduous, dangerous path that, as in Taiwan or South Korea, might eventually lead to a consensual, capitalist society like our own.

Yet in the new world of utopian multiculturalism and knee-jerk anti-Americanism, in which a Noam Chomsky could proclaim Khomeini's gulag to be "independent nationalism," reasoned argument was futile. Indeed, how could critical debate arise for those "committed to social change," when no universal standards were to be applied to those outside the West? Thanks to the doctrine of cultural relativism, "oppressed" peoples either could not be judged by our biased and "constructed" values ("false universals," in Edward Said's infamous term) or were seen as more pristine than ourselves, uncorrupted by the evils of Western capitalism.

Who were we to gainsay Khomeini's butchery and oppression? We had no way of understanding the nuances of his new liberationist and "nationalist" Islam. Now back in the hands of indigenous peoples, Iran might offer the world an alternate path, a different "discourse" about how to organize a society that emphasized native values (of some sort) over mere profit.

So at precisely the time of these increasingly frequent terrorist attacks, the silly gospel of multiculturalism insisted that Westerners have neither earned the right to censure others, nor do they possess the intellectual tools to make judgments about the relative value of different cultures. And if the initial wave of multiculturalist relativism among the elites--coupled with the age-old romantic forbearance for Third World roguery--explained tolerance for early unpunished attacks on Americans, its spread to our popular culture only encouraged more.

This nonjudgmentalism--essentially a form of nihilism--deemed everything from Sudanese female circumcision to honor killings on the West Bank merely "different" rather than odious. Anyone who has taught freshmen at a state university can sense the fuzzy thinking of our undergraduates: Most come to us prepped in high schools not to make "value judgments" about "other" peoples who are often "victims" of American "oppression." Thus, before female-hating psychopath Mohamed Atta piloted a jet into the World Trade Center, neither Western intellectuals nor their students would have taken him to task for what he said or condemned him as hypocritical for his parasitical existence on Western society. Instead, without logic but with plenty of romance, they would more likely have excused him as a victim of globalization or of the biases of American foreign policy. They would have deconstructed Atta's promotion of anti-Semitic, misogynist, Western-hating thought, as well as his conspiracies with Third World criminals, as anything but a danger and a pathology to be remedied by deportation or incarceration.

It was not for nothing that on Nov. 17, 1979--less than two weeks after the militants stormed the American Embassy in Tehran--the Ayatollah Khomeini ordered the release of 13 female and black hostages, singling them out as part of the brotherhood of those oppressed by the United States and cloaking his continuing slaughter of Iranian opponents and attacks on U.S. sovereignty in a self-righteous anti-Americanism. Twenty-five years later, during the antiwar protests of last spring, a group called Act Now to Stop War and End Racism sang the same foolish chorus in its call for demonstrations: "Members of the Muslim Community, Antiwar Activists, Latin-American Solidarity Groups and People From All Over the United States Unite to Say: 'We Are All Palestinians!' "

The new cult of romantic victimhood became gospel in most Middle East departments in American universities. Except for the courageous Bernard Lewis, Daniel Pipes and Fouad Ajami, few scholars offered any analysis that might confirm more astute Americans in their vague sense that in the Middle East, political autocracy, statism, tribalism, anti-intellectualism and gender apartheid accounted for poverty and failure. And if few wished to take on Islamofascism in the 1990s--indeed, Steven Emerson's chilling 1994 documentary "Jihad in America" set off a storm of protest from U.S. Muslim-rights groups and prompted death threats to the producer--almost no one but Samuel Huntington dared even to broach the taboo subject that there might be elements within doctrinaire Islam itself that could easily lead to intolerance and violence and were therefore at the root of any "clash of civilizations."

Instead, most experts explained why violent fanatics might have some half-legitimate grievance behind their deadly harvest each year of a few Americans in the wrong place at the wrong time. These experts cautioned that,instead of bombing and shooting killers abroad who otherwise would eventually reach us at home, Americans should take care not to disturb Iranian terrorists during Ramadan--rather than to remember that Muslims attacked Israel precisely during that holy period. Instead of condemning Wahhabis for the fascists that they were, we were instead apprised that such holy men of the desert and tent provided a rapidly changing and often Western-corrupted Saudi Arabia with a vital tether to the stability of its romantic nomadic past. Rather than recognizing that Yasser Arafat's Tunisia-based Fatah organization was a crime syndicate, expert opinion persuaded us to empower it as an indigenous liberation movement on the West Bank--only to destroy nearly two decades' worth of steady Palestinian economic improvement.

Neither oil-concerned Republicans nor multicultural Democrats were ready to expose the corrupt American relationship with Saudi Arabia. No country is more culpable than that kingdom in funding extremist madrassas and subsidizing terror, or more antithetical to liberal American values from free speech to religious tolerance. But Saudi propagandists learned from the Palestinians the value of constructing their own victimhood as a long-oppressed colonial people. Call a Saudi fundamentalist mullah a fascist, and you can be sure you'll be tarred as an Islamophobe.

Even when Middle Easterners regularly blew us up, the Clinton administration, unwilling to challenge the new myth of Muslim victimhood, transformed Middle Eastern terrorists bent on destroying America into wayward individual criminals who did not spring from a pathological culture. Thus, President Clinton treated the first World Trade Center bombing as only a criminal-justice matter--which of course allowed the U.S. to avoid confronting the issue and taking on the messy and increasingly unpopular business the Bush administration has been engaged in since Sept. 11. Clinton dispatched FBI agents, not soldiers, to Yemen and Saudi Arabia after the attacks on the USS Cole and the Khobar Towers. Yasser Arafat, responsible in the 1970s for the murder of a U.S. diplomat in Sudan, turned out to be the most frequent foreign visitor to the Clinton Oval Office.

If the Clintonian brand of appeasement reflected both a deep-seated tolerance for Middle Eastern extremism and a reluctance to wake comfortable Americans up to the danger of a looming war, he was not the only one naive about the threat of Islamic fascism. Especially culpable was the Democratic Party at large, whose post-Vietnam foreign policy could not sanction the use of American armed force to protect national interests but only to accomplish purely humanitarian ends as in the interventions in Haiti, Somalia and Bosnia.

Indeed, the recent Democratic primaries reveal just how far this disturbing trend has evolved: the foreign-policy positions of John Kerry and Howard Dean on Iraq and the Middle East were far closer to those of extremists like Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich than to current American policy under George W. Bush. Indeed, buffoons or conspiracy theorists like Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore and Al Franken often turned up on the same stage as would-be presidents. When Mr. Moore, while endorsing Wesley Clark, called an American president at a time of war a "deserter," when the mendacious Mr. Sharpton lectured his smiling fellow candidates on the Bush administration's "lies" about Iraq, and when Al Gore labeled the president's action in Iraq a "betrayal" of America, the surrender of the mainstream Democrats to the sirens of extremism was complete. Again, past decorum and moderation go out the window when the pretext is saving indigenous peoples from American oppression.

The consensus for appeasement that led to Sept. 11, albeit suppressed for nearly two years by outrage over the murder of 3,000, has re-emerged in criticism over the ongoing reconstruction of Iraq and President Bush's prosecution of the War on Terror.

The tired voices that predicted a litany of horrors in October 2001--the impassable peaks of Afghanistan, millions of refugees, endemic starvation, revolution in the Arab street and violations of Ramadan--now complain, incorrectly, that 150,000 looted art treasures were the cost of guarding the Iraqi oil ministry, that Halliburton pipelines and refineries were the sole reason to remove Saddam Hussein, and that Christian fundamentalists and fifth-columnist neoconservatives have fomented a senseless revenge plot against Muslims and Arabs. Whether they complained before March 2003 that America faced death and ruin against Saddam's Republican Guard, or two months later that in bullying fashion we had walked over a suddenly impotent enemy, or three months later still that, through incompetence, we were taking casualties and failing to get the power back on, leftist critics' only constant was their predictable dislike of America.

Military historians might argue that, given the enormity of our task in Iraq--liberating 26 million from a tyrant and implanting democracy in the region--the tragic loss of more than 500 Americans in a year's war and peace was a remarkable sign of our care and expertise in minimizing deaths. Diplomats might argue that our past efforts at humanitarian reconstruction, with some idealistic commitment to consensual government, have a far better track record in Germany, Japan, Korea, Panama and Serbia than our strategy of exiting Germany after World War I, of leaving Iraq to Saddam after 1991, of abandoning Afghanistan to the Taliban once the Russians were stopped, of skipping out from Haiti or of fleeing Somalia. Realist students of arms control might argue that the recent confessions of Pakistan's nuclear roguery, the surrender of the Libyan arsenal, and the invitation of the U.N. inspectors into Iran were the dividends of resolute American action in Iraq. Moammar Gadhafi surely came clean not because of Jimmy Carter's peace missions, U.N. resolutions, or European diplomats.

But don't expect any sober discussion of these contentions from the left. Their gloom and doom about Iraq arises precisely from the anti-Americanism and romanticization of the Third World that once led to our appeasement and now seeks its return. When John Kerry talks of mysterious prominent Europeans he has met (but whose names he will not divulge) who, he says, pray for his election in hopes of ending Mr. Bush's Iraqi nightmare, perhaps he has in mind people like the Chamberlainesque European Commission president Romano Prodi, who said in the wake of the recent mass murder in Spain: "Clearly, the conflict with the terrorists is not resolved with force alone." Perhaps he has in mind, also, the Spanish electorate, which believes it can find security from al Qaeda terrorism by refuting all its past support for America's role in the Middle East. But of course if the terrorists understand that, in lieu of resolve, they will find such appeasement a mere 72 hours after a terrorist attack, then all previously resolute Western democracies--Italy, Poland, Britain and the United States--should expect the terrorists to murder their citizens on the election eve in hopes of achieving just such a Spanish-style capitulation.

In contrast, George W. Bush, impervious to such self-deception, has, in a mere 2 1/2 years, reversed the perilous course of a quarter-century. Since Sept. 11, he has removed the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, begun to challenge the Middle East through support for consensual government, isolated Yasser Arafat, pressured the Europeans on everything from anti-Semitism to their largesse to Hamas, removed American troops from Saudi Arabia, shut down fascistic Islamic "charities," scattered al Qaeda, turned Pakistan from a de facto foe to a scrutinized neutral, rounded up terrorists in the United States, pressured Libya, Iran and Pakistan to come clean on clandestine nuclear cheating, so far avoided another Sept. 11--and promises that he is not nearly done yet. If the Spanish example presages further terrorist attacks on European democracies at election time, at least Mr. Bush has made it clear that America--alone if need be--will neither appease nor ignore such killers but in fact finish the terrible war that they started.

As Jimmy Carter also proved in November 1979, one man really can make a difference.

Mr. Hanson is a military historian and author, most recently, of "Mexifornia: A State of Becoming" (Encounter, June 2003). He teaches classics at California State University at Fresno and lives on a family farm in Selma, Calif. This article appears in the Spring issue of City Journal.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110004952
22 posted on 05/11/2004 4:36:55 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; ...
The Wages of Appeasement

May 11, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Victor Davis Hanson

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1133142/posts?page=22#22
23 posted on 05/11/2004 4:38:43 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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24 posted on 05/11/2004 9:02:09 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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