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Iranian Alert -- September 7, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Americans for Regime Change in Iran ^ | 9.7.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 09/06/2004 9:57:19 PM PDT by DoctorZIn

The US media still largely 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.” As a result, 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. In fact they were one of the first countries to have spontaneous candlelight vigils after the 911 tragedy (see photo).

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: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alsadr; armyofmahdi; ayatollah; cleric; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; iraq; islamicrepublic; jayshalmahdi; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatami; khatemi; moqtadaalsadr; mullahs; persecution; persia; persian; politicalprisoners; poop; protests; rafsanjani; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; terrorism; terrorists; wot
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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 09/06/2004 9:57:23 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 09/06/2004 10:00:16 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

September 05, 2004
Bill Powell

Struggle For The Soul Of Islam Three years after 9/11, an inside look at the ongoing global battle between moderates and hard- liners over the future of a faith--and its relationship with the West.

Four years ago, Mohammed Shakr sent his son away. Shakr (not his real name) lives in Baghdad, where he works as a translator, and he wanted the young man, Omar, to escape the oppression of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. So he sent Omar to a vocational school in the United Arab Emirates, where he studied automotive maintenance. But as the years went by, Shakr, 50, began to be worried about his son. Omar wrote letters to his father, a smoker, lecturing him about Islam's disdain for tobacco. He chided his mother for wearing Western-style clothes to work. Omar finally returned to Baghdad this spring, after the fall of Saddam's regime. When he showed up at the family home, his father's heart sank. Once clean shaven, Omar now wore a long beard, and his dishdasha, the traditional Islamic gown, fell several inches short of the floor. These are trademarks of Islamic fundamentalists.

This was no longer the carefree young man he knew, Shakr thought, the son who loved to dance and go to parties. Now whenever the music channel was on television, Omar got up and left the room. One day he sternly told his father, who works for an American company, that the U.S. was the "enemy'' of Islam. Shakr's concern deepened. Finally he told friends at work, "I have to rescue Omar. I have to bring back my son."

The war that began three years ago in lower Manhattan has never been a conventional one, waged solely against enemy armies in distant lands. It is a fight for the hearts and minds and souls of millions of Muslims like Omar Shakr, whose life choices may have a greater impact on the long-term security of the U.S., its citizens and its allies than battlefield victories or intelligence reforms. That struggle did not become immediate for most Americans until Sept. 11, 2001, but it has burned in the Islamic world for decades. On one side are the proselytizers of radical Islam, many of whom celebrate the hateful vision of Osama bin Laden. The slaughter last week of hundreds of schoolchildren in Russia by a group of Chechen rebels that Russian officials say may have included foreign Islamic militants was the latest reminder of the terrorists' depravity. On the other side are Islamic moderates, those who believe Muslims can coexist peacefully with people of other faiths, or of no faith at all, because they do so every day, all across the world. The confrontation between the opposing forces of Islam amounts to what Princeton scholar Michael Scott Doran calls a "civil war" within one of the world's fastest-growing religions--a war so tumultuous and far-reaching that, as in Mohammed and Omar's case, it pits fathers against sons. The U.S. and its allies have succeeded in killing and apprehending hundreds of al-Qaeda terrorists and disrupting the command structure that bin Laden used to plot the Sept. 11 attacks. But the wider campaign to defuse the appeal of Islamic extremism and win over those who sympathize with al-Qaeda has produced mixed results and has become a central issue of contention in the U.S. presidential campaign. Democratic candidate John Kerry says the Bush Administration's actions in the world since 9/11, particularly the invasion of Iraq, "have resulted in an increase of animosity and anger" and encouraged the recruitment of terrorists. The Administration's defenders argue that the U.S. can best provide an alternative to radical Islam by projecting military power into the heart of the Islamic world and bringing democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq. But Bush told TIME in an interview last month that he views the war on terrorism as a "long-lasting ideological struggle." Appearing on the Today show last week, he seemed to express doubts that the U.S. can extinguish the threat of terrorism. "I don't think we can win it," he said. "But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world." A day later, Bush revised his position, saying that while "we may never sit down at a peace table ... we are winning and we will win." Still, his vacillations suggest an acknowledgment of the truth: at the very least, the battle for the future of Islam won't be settled anytime soon, and America's ability to influence it for the better may be limited.

The outcome of this struggle does not depend solely on numbers. The vast majority of the world's more than 1 billion practicing Muslims are peaceful citizens getting on with their lives. But interviews by TIME with religious leaders, Islamic scholars, government analysts and ordinary citizens in dozens of countries around the world reveal that the fervor of those who adhere to radical forms of Islam has intensified since 9/11. While Muslims continue to consume and even celebrate Western pop culture, hostility to the policies of the West, in particular the U.S., appears to be on the rise. It is being propelled in part by anger at the U.S.'s staunch support of Israel's policies toward the Palestinians, contempt for the U.S.'s occupation of Iraq and opposition to crackdowns on militancy carried out by previously permissive governments like those of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. In part because of their countries' earlier experiences with European colonialism, some Muslims, from Indonesia to Iraq, perceive the U.S.'s stated desire to bring democracy to the Middle East less as a liberating force than as an unwelcome form of Western meddling.

Though precise figures are impossible to pinpoint, the number of Muslims espousing radical beliefs is growing, according to Western analysts and intelligence agencies. Many Muslims say the global war on terrorism and the U.S. presence in Iraq have fueled perceptions that Islam is under attack. "We are passing through the hardest moments of spreading the moderate voice of our religion," says Sheik Khaled el-Guindi, 42, a moderate imam in Cairo. "Most of the pictures we see are of Iraqi heads stepped on by American Army boots. It is no longer just an occupation, but a humiliation." Says Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, a Pakistani cleric and Member of Parliament: "The U.S. and its allies must realize that by occupation, by killing and by dishonoring Muslim women--such as in the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq--they are sowing the seeds of hatred."

The intensity of such sentiments varies, reflecting the diversity of the Islamic world. Only 18% of the world's Muslims are ethnic Arabs. In Southeast Asian countries with sizable Muslim populations, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, radical Islam does not command a wide following. In both Indonesia and Malaysia, Islamic fundamentalist parties have lost political support in recent elections. But a U.S. State Department report on global terrorism warned last year that Muslim communities in the region are vulnerable to the "radical influences" of extremists because of the substantial financing that Islamic schools and mosques continue to receive from wealthy fundamentalists. And Islamic moderates say the situation in Iraq has put them on the defensive. Says Musdah Mulia, a progressive scholar in Indonesia: "The moderates are finding it more difficult to discuss issues like human rights and democracy when photos of Americans torturing Iraqis keep appearing." In Western Europe as well, experts say, while the number of the region's estimated 12.5 million Muslims who have joined extremist groups has not increased significantly, fundamentalists "have adopted a higher profile, and become more influential," according to Abderrahmane Dahmane, president of France's Council of Muslim Democrats. Most Muslim leaders in France have backed Paris' refusal to give in to demands by Islamic militants holding two French journalists in Iraq that France reverse a law barring Muslim students from wearing head scarves in school. Yet European countries still face a potential surge in radicalism, fueled by the social and economic marginalization of Muslim minorities and growing anti- Americanism. Says Dahmane: "America has created a situation where even modern, democratic and peace-loving Muslims have some ambivalent feelings." Nowhere are the stakes in Islam's future higher than in the crescent of turmoil that runs from the Persian Gulf states to Pakistan and across North Africa. In several nations, moderates are locked in showdowns for political supremacy with fundamentalists aspiring to create an Islamic empire to challenge the West. Will control of Iraq devolve to the moderate Shi'ites and Sunnis or to the fundamentalist insurgents of both sects who have made parts of the country terrorist sanctuaries? Will pro-democracy reformers in Iran wrest power from the country's aging theocrats or be squelched by a new crackdown? Can Pakistan's secular government and Saudi Arabia's ruling family survive the increasingly violent campaign waged by bin Laden--linked extremists to destroy them both? Here's a glimpse at the global war for the future of Islam--and what it may mean for the rest of the world.


When Hassan Butt, a 24-year-old British Pakistani, enters a curry restaurant in Manchester, an industrial city in northern England, he is greeted as a minor celebrity, the other diners nodding and smiling at him. He is the former Lahore spokesman for al-Muhajiroun, an extremist group based in Britain. Since his falling-out with the group, the British-born Butt has had his passports impounded and is under surveillance. "I would fit into being called a radical, and one day, God willing, even to be called a terrorist, if Allah permits me," Butt says. "This is something it would be an honor to be called." Butt says his goal is nothing less than to restore the rule of "central [Islamic] authority'' over as much of the world as possible, as in the time of the Prophet Muhammad and his successors. There is no way to interpret the Koran other than literally, Butt insists, and therefore no room for "moderation.'' If, in the Koran, he says, "Allah says fight, you fight. How can anyone take a 'moderate' view of this?" And as soon as he gets his passports back, he insists, he will be off to do as Allah commands. To his fellow radicals, in the meantime, he offers a piece of advice: "Be proud, be loud." The overwhelming majority of Muslims condemn violence committed in their religion's name. Many Islamic scholars take pains to point out that the basic texts of the faith never sanction the wanton murder of civilians--the defining feature of contemporary Islamic terrorism. But rage is shared by tens of thousands of radicals, estimated conservatively, who span the globe, from the badlands of Pakistan to middle-class neighborhoods of Western Europe. In Britain, a recent government survey put the number of hard-core Muslim radicals at 10,000 and growing. A poll of British Muslims in March found that 13% believe that "further attacks by al-Qaeda or similar organizations on the U.S.A." would be justified. In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, only 15% view the U.S. favorably, compared with 61% in 2002. In Saudi Arabia, according to a recent poll, 48.7% of the population sympathizes with the aims of bin Laden.

There is no pat explanation for what draws people to Islam in its most toxic, intolerant form. According to studies for a government project to counter the spread of Muslim extremism in Britain, recruitment for radical groups is just as likely to take place on college campuses, among educated middle-class Muslims, as it is in poor neighborhoods. Historians like Princeton's Bernard Lewis argue that such factors as the repressive nature of many Arab governments and the sense of aggrievement that has plagued Muslim societies since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire also play a part in fueling virulent Islam. And so does the fact that radical Islam holds, for some, the attractions of any other faith: a world view, a strict discipline and order to life, a reason to live and an alluring vision of an afterlife.

In the past three years, the spiritual appeal of fundamentalism has been buttressed by a political imperative: defending Islam against the U.S. The American presence in Iraq and Afghanistan has provided militant clerics like Pakistan's Maulana Abdul Aziz with a potent recruiting tool. Every Friday at the so-called Red Mosque, which sits a mile from the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, Aziz incites his followers to take up arms against the U.S. The government of President Pervez Musharraf has told Aziz to tone down his rhetoric, but he has refused. "I told them that my God is Allah, not Bush or Musharraf," he says. "I openly tell my students to go for jihad, to fight for Muslims and punish those who have occupied Muslim lands." Defenders of the war in Iraq point out that for all of the occupation's turmoil, the horrors of Saddam's rule were far worse. But the images of ongoing violence and devastation in Iraq, beamed all over the Islamic world by satellite channels like al-Jazeera, have inarguably emboldened radical Islamists, who equate the U.S. occupation in Iraq with Israel's policies toward the Palestinians. Moderate Muslims say negative reports from Iraq have rendered futile their attempts to counter the rhetoric of the radicals. "You get in debates about Islam with other Muslims, about the need to modernize, to be more tolerant, less anti- Semitic, and people say to me, 'Yes, but look at what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians,'" says Canadian journalist Irshad Manji, author of the provocative book The Trouble with Islam. "'Or look at what the U.S. is doing in Iraq.' It's hard these days to get beyond that." Egyptian cleric el-Guindi, who has a large following among affluent Muslims in Cairo, says he can no longer preach in public because of pressure from conservative clerics who object to his brand of liberal Islam. "These days," he says, "it is extremely depressing to be a Muslim preacher with a moderate message. The surrounding circumstances form a huge stumbling block."

Critics of the Bush Administration charge that the U.S. has failed to invest in "public diplomacy" programs aimed at improving the image of the U.S. in Muslim countries. The U.S. will spend $1 billion on public diplomacy this year, a figure that has not increased since Sept. 11 and that amounts to 0.3% of the country's defense budget. Of that amount, about $86 million goes toward cultural-and educational-exchange programs aimed specifically at the Muslim and Arab world. And yet even positive steps--like the creation of its own Arab-language television and radio networks-- have been overshadowed by the inflammatory impact of the invasion of Iraq and the U.S.'s overt backing of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "Our policies are objectionable to large parts of the Arab world," says a senior State Department official. "It's very hard to communicate with people when they're shooting the messenger. Our message is often dead on arrival."

"ISLAM IS POLITICS" --Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran, 1979

Even Muslim critics of the Bush Administration's style say that its post-9/11 push for political liberalization has helped rekindle debates that have long simmered across the Muslim world, encompassing everything from sexuality and gender roles to how Islam can accommodate the influence of democratic ideals and Western culture. In this, Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979, had it right when he declared that Islam is inseparable from politics. In three Islamic countries whose destinies are vital to the security of the U.S.--Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the Ayatullah's Iran--the political future is very much up for grabs. IRAN In 1983 Abdolkarim Soroush, a philosopher named by Khomeini to oversee the "Islamization" of Iran's universities, quit his job. Ever since, he has been a leading thinker in pushing the case for a reformed Islam and a democratic Iran, and slowly but surely the movement has gathered momentum. Today Iran's progressive Islamic thinkers are nothing less than intellectual pop stars among students in Tehran, with heady sales of books on such topics as Islamic reform and democratization. In Iran, as elsewhere, the students matter. Twenty-five years ago, it was Iranian students who were the vanguard of the revolution that toppled the Shah and seized the U.S. embassy. Now they generally are fed up with a government run by Islamic clerics. Young Iranian women still wear the traditional head scarves, but many now wear them with tight-fitting jeans--at once a religious, political and fashion statement. Students recently packed lecture halls at Tehran University to hear a series of talks straightforwardly billed "Transition to Democracy." One of the speakers was Mohsen Kadivar, a young cleric who talks about Iran's eventually evolving into a democracy, pushing out the ruling mullahs. "I believe Iran is the world's most influential Islamic country," Kadivar says. "We are the model other Muslims look at." The democracy movement in Iran, he says, is not about throwing off or getting rid of Islam. Reformers like Kadivar want to restore Islam to its rightful place, "to give meaning to life [but] not use it as an instrument of power."

Because of its undulating politics, Iran poses a foreign policy dilemma for the U.S., complicated by Tehran's suspected interest in obtaining a nuclear bomb. While Kerry has said he would be willing to negotiate with Iran's ruling clerics about the possibility of allowing the country to keep its nuclear facilities for peaceful purposes, some members of the Bush Administration have argued for tough sanctions and increased isolation if Iran fails to abandon its nuclear program completely. Such an approach could backfire, however, by stiffening the hard-liners' opposition to further political reform. The mullahs who run Iran have no desire to preside over the first Islamic democracy. Last February, before scheduled parliamentary elections, they disqualified almost all the reform candidates. But the true sentiment of the people may have been reflected in the low turnout: 70% of urban Iranians boycotted the election. Though they currently possess little formal political power, pro-democracy advocates cite that figure as proof that democratic reform is inevitable. Hamid Reza Jalaipour, one of Iran's foremost reformists and a professor at Tehran University, says democratic reform is inevitable. "The ideological state doesn't have a strong hold on people. Liberal Islam and democracy will win because they are far more widespread among Iranians. They're more in line with their views and lives." If Jalaipour is right, the ripple effects could be enormous. "In the gulf states alone, it would be felt very powerfully, and the gulf is the cockpit of the Middle East," says Princeton's Doran. Precisely because Iran is where Islamic radicals first took power in a revolution 25 years ago, a counterrevolution now would create huge waves in the region. ...
3 posted on 09/06/2004 10:01:11 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

German FM urges Europe, U.S. to engage in Mideast

By Agence France Presse (AFP)

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

German FM urges Europe, U.S. to engage in Mideast

BERLIN: German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer warned Monday that Europe was at a crossroads in the fight against terrorism and must engage in the Middle East or risk having conflict exported to its doorstep.

"Will the Mediterranean turn into a sea of cooperation or confrontation between us?" Fischer asked some 220 German ambassadors and officials at the start of a four-day conference focused on the so-called broader Middle East.

"The broader Middle East will be vital to fighting terrorism at its root cause," he said.

In an hour-long speech, Fischer laid out Germany's Middle East policy aims, and emphasized the importance of a U.S. role.

A key to resolving the region's conflicts, he said, was ending the long and bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. "There is no way around a functioning two-state solution with both countries involved."

He renewed Germany's support for a plan developed by Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon to accelerate the withdrawal of troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip, provided it includes security guarantees for the Palestinians.

But Fischer, long a mediator in the region, voiced concern about Israel's relations with Iran and criticized Tehran for its controversial nuclear program, which has raised fears that it may be developing atomic weapons. "Iran ... is in a position which could prove tremendously positive. It has created every condition for a democracy. But we are deeply concerned about the erosion of human rights and tensions with Israel."

He added it would be a "nightmare scenario" if Iran had nuclear weapons.

Turning to Afghanistan, the foreign minister acknowledged that diplomats were struggling to meet their obligations to the fragile government in Kabul, and called for more funds. "It is important to stand by our commitments particularly in terms of security and that we remain on the ground in the run up to the election," he said, in reference to vote for president on Oct. 9.

To resolve the conflicts, Fischer said it was vital for the EU and the US to work closely together, regardless of who is in power in Washington after the presidential election there in November.

He also urged the EU to assess favorably the candidature of U.S. ally Turkey to join the bloc.

4 posted on 09/06/2004 10:01:37 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

More Terror Expected from Iran-Backed Hizballah Bid for Control of Gaza Strip

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

August 31, 2004, 7:15 PM (GMT+02:00)

Hamas-Hebron claimed responsibility for the double suicide attack Tuesday, August 31, on two crowded Beersheba buses, which left 15 Israelis dead and up to 100 injured. The twin blasts hit passengers, passing vehicles and pedestrians on the busy main street of this southern Israeli town, the first such attack inside Israel in six months. The suicide bombers may not have come from Hebron; they could equally have reached Beersheba from the Gaza Strip or infiltrated the Israeli Negev from Egyptian Sinai. The same morning, a Palestinian suicide bomber was apprehended at the Erez crossing on his way from the Gaza Strip to Israel with a new type of explosive hidden in his pants.

Palestinian terror is again rampant in the belief that it has the power to defeat Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s unilateral disengagement plan. Ready until the last to assume responsibility for security in the Gaza Strip after Israel’s departure, the Egyptian government has finally backed off. This week, Cairo rescinded its key proviso, that Yasser Arafat reform the Palestinian security machine and cleanse it of terrorists.

These uncertainties have allowed the Gaza Strip to undergo, almost unnoticed, a geopolitical transformation that threatens not only to fill the space left by Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s fading plan to evacuate the Gaza Strip, but also to make the Palestinian terror war against Israel far more dangerous. The fallout is beginning to ripple out into further reaches of the Middle East.

This mise-en-scene for Sharon’s plan was finally shot down last Wednesday, August 25, by the gunmen who ambushed Brig.-Gen. Tareq Abu Rajab, deputy Palestinian General Intelligence chief on his way to his Gaza City office. He survived with chest wounds although two of his bodyguards were killed. Since then, nothing more was heard of this episode.

However, according to an exclusive report reaching DEBKAfile from its military and intelligence sources, this attack set alarm bells jangling in a whole row of military and intelligence situation rooms. The professional watchers in Washington and Jerusalem, to Amman, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Cairo - and finally at Yasser Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah, logged the incident as a point of no return. For the attempted murder had nothing to do with the chaos reigning in the Gaza Strip or Palestinian infighting. The hit team’s members were Palestinian Hizballah members activated by Lebanese Shiite terrorist commanders who are stationed permanently in the territory. As soon as he identified the killers, Al-Hindi lost no time in obtaining Arafat’s permission to move the targeted man to an Israeli hospital under heavy guard, safe from a repeat attack.

This incident marked four historical firsts:

1. It was the first Hizballah attack on a senior Palestinian military intelligence figure in a Palestinian-controlled area, the gravest aspect of which was the chain of command which produced it. DEBKAfile’s sources affirm that the order to kill Rajab did not originate with the local Hizballah base but from higher up at Beirut headquarters, who would not have acted without word from Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders at the Iranian embassy in Beirut. They in turn would have required authority from Tehran.

2. It signifies that Iran and its surrogate Hizballah have stepped out of their supporting role in the Palestinian war against Israel and are ready to challenge the Palestinian Authority by striking at its main military arm, the General Intelligence Service. Now they are aiming for a leadership role.

Arafat opened the Gazan door in the first place to the Hizballah and through the Lebanese organization, to Tehran, in July 2000, shortly before the failed Camp David conference sponsored by President Clinton and two months before he launched his terror war against Israel. Until now, the Hizballah operatives attached to the Palestinian warfront were trainers, suppliers of arms (including the Karin-A and Santorini arms ships), intelligence and funding for terrorist operations, especially suicide missions. Hizballah is now moving out of its passive mode over to the front line.

3. The military threat from the Gaza Strip has climbed manifold, profoundly altering the circumstances surrounding the birth of Sharon evacuation plan. All of a sudden, Israel is faced with the Iranian-Hizballah menace at perilously close quarters from the west, and not just from Lebanon in the north or from Iranian ballistic missiles in the east.

4. This week’s events are just the beginning. Hizballah and its Tehran sponsor will want to spread their wings to Palestinian West Bank areas too and then to Israeli Arab communities, where they have already planted sleeper cells. The Hizballah process of expansion unfolds over years. Its strong suit is the ability to build up strength clandestinely, invisibly and steadily, until it is ready to operate in the open. By then, it is almost impossible to stop, having established itself as an integral feature of the local scene.

Ensconced now in the Gaza Strip, the Lebanese Shiite group will very soon be upgrading the weapons and military professionalism directed against Israel. The primitive, hit-or-miss Qassam, Nasser and al Quds missiles lobbed at Israeli towns in the south can be expected to make way for longer range, more precise ground-to-ground missiles, which pack a more powerful explosive punch, such as those deployed in southern Lebanon.

Our Middle East sources note that the Egyptians has caught on to the radical change in the Gaza Strip’s fortunes and begun taking steps. First, they tipped Washington off. Second, they ordered Palestinian security and intelligence chiefs to present themselves in Cairo for urgent consultations on how to contain the Iranian-Hizballah takeover. Third, an Egyptian military delegation is due in Ramallah on September 1 for a conference with the top Palestinian leadership on ways to handle the new situation.

The Israeli prime minister, instead of reassessing his evacuation plan in the light of the new peril, is stepping up the pace of its implementation. He appears to be as unheeding of the dangerous new hands preparing to claw at the southern half of Israel as he is of the criticism leveled against his plan by Israel’s elected institutions and military chiefs. On Monday, August 30, hours before the Beersheba bus blasts, he slapped down his opponents at a security cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, declaring: The disengagement plan will be implemented. Period.

The impression in government, Knesset, high army command and police as well as his own Likud is that Sharon, by trampling all resistance to his plans in this way, is laying himself open to widespread resentment and criticism of his conduct as less than democratic. The decline in his standing as representative national leader has created a vacuum which the judiciary and legal authorities are exploiting in order to stretch their jurisdiction to areas into which they never before ventured. For the first time, on Monday, the attorney general, whose authority is advisory, interfered in a matter of high national security. In a security cabinet discussion on how to halt the Qassam offensive from the Gaza Strip against southern Israeli towns, Sharon said: “It they are shelling us, we should shell them.” No, said Menachem Mazuz. “Shelling civilians would be a war crime.” Sharon retorted: “No one is talking about that.”

The AG did not suggest a war crimes prosecution of the Palestinians organizations shooting surface missiles at civilian targets in Israeli towns.

Supreme Court justice Aharon Barak’s veto on sections of the defense barrier interfering with Palestinian lives has gone unopposed to the point that the court is now determining political and security policies, the province of the executive arm of government. Beersheba, which suffered two suicide bombing attacks on two municipal buses Tuesday, is completely unprotected because of petitions Palestinians have filed with the high court in Jerusalem against building the fence on Mt. Hebron.

Mazuz has gone still further by calling on the Sharon government to take seriously the recommendation of the international court at The Hague to tear the whole fence down as illegal.

Sharon’s particular style of government and his inconsistencies are responsible for these spillovers of authority among the various branches of government and the pervasive sense in the country that important affairs of state including security are slipping out of control.

5 posted on 09/06/2004 10:02:18 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Israel Loses Eye on Iran as Satellite Launch Fails

Mon Sep 6, 2004 12:19 PM ET
By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli spy satellite meant to boost the Jewish state's surveillance over arch-enemy Iran met a watery end on Monday as a launch malfunction hurled it out to sea rather than space, officials and defense sources said.

The Defense Ministry blamed a failure in the third stage of the Shavit rocket for the loss of the $50 million Ofek-6 satellite. Witnesses saw a flash of light near the launch site, coastal Palmahim air base. There were no reports of casualties.

Ofek-6 -- the latest in an Israeli line of spy satellites first put into orbit in 1988 -- was destroyed when it crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. It was developed by a consortium led by state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries.

The loss of the satellite was seen as a major setback to Israel's attempts to upgrade means of tracking sworn enemies such as Iran, which it accuses of developing nuclear weapons.

Satellites are Israel's first bullwark against ballistic missiles, being designed to spot the incoming threats as they break through the atmosphere after launch and then alert defensive systems such as the Arrow II missile-killer.

"Such incidents are very expensive for all involved," a defense source said about Monday's botched launch. Work on a replacement satellite was expected to take up to two years.

The rocket malfunction could also have ramifications for Israel's offensive capabilities. According to independent analysts, the Shavit closely resembles Israel's ballistic missile Jericho-2, which can carry non-conventional warheads. The ministry named Israel Military Industries, Rafael, Elbit Systems and the Elisra Group, which is 70 percent owned by Koor Industries, as partners in the satellite's development.

Ofek -- Hebrew for "horizon" -- orbits 190 to 430 miles above Earth, over a pre-set flight path. It weighs 660 pounds and has a life span of about five years.

The setback came days after Arrow II failed to shoot down a dummy missile in a test-firing off the California coast.

Israeli officials blamed a technical glitch on the failure of the Arrow missile to hit its target, but said the world's first missile-killer had passed the main reason for the test which was to identify the incoming threat and its warhead.

6 posted on 09/06/2004 10:02:55 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Loss of Ofek-6 Deprives Israel of Second Spy Satellite in Critical Period

DEBKAfile Special Report and Military Analysis

September 7, 2004, 12:07 AM (GMT+02:00)

Ofek-6 did not join Ofek-5 up above.

Israel’s 6th Ofek (Horizon) plummeted to a watery death in the Mediterranean Sea when it was test-fired Monday, September 6, from Palmahim. Malfunction of the third stage of the Israeli-designed Shavit booster was blamed for the loss of the $50m Ofek-6, the latest in the series of spy satellites developed by a consortium led by Israel Aircraft Industries. The first was launched in 1988. Number 5 has been orbiting 300 to 700 kilometers above earth every 90 minutes for two years out of a life span of five.

Satellites are the first layer of Israel’s shield against ballistic missiles, designed to spot incoming threats and alert defensive systems such as the Arrow II missile-killer. They are launched by the same Shavit rocket system as the Ofek. The latest malfunction occurred ten days after Arrow II failed to shoot down a dummy missile designed to perform similarly to the Iranian Shehab-3 intermediate missile in a test-firing off the California coast. The missile’s 1300-km range covers all of Israel as well as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

These two failures are a grave setback to Israel’s deterrent ability at a dangerous juncture. In the next two-three years, Israel will need all its resources to face Iran’s advancing nuclear threat and burgeoning terrorist offensive. Ofek-6 was intended to give Israel an edge in this contest in three fields:

1. The use of two advanced surveillance satellites instead of one to simultaneously track the two fronts, nuclear and terrorist, Tehran has opened against Israel. One is a nuclear threat, from sites scattered across the Islamic republic; the second derives from proliferating terrorist bases spread out from Iran, Iraq and Syria to Lebanon (app. 879,730 square miles).

Together, the two satellites would have doubled the chances of spotting hostile movements.

The inadequacy of a single satellite in orbit became manifest in the past year when Iran clandestinely fanned its 15 known nuclear installations out across the country, over an area of 636,000 square miles. DEBKAfile's military sources reveal some of their locations for the first time.

They are located in the south, at Fasa, Bushehr and Dakhovin, at the tip of the Shatt al-Arb waterway;

In central Iran, at Natanz, Saghand, Tabas, which is close to the Afghan border, Chalus and Neka on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea;

In the north, at Bonab and Tabriz.

The most remote sites have been sunk below ground in enormous bunkers, some of them decoys to deceive watchers in the sky.

Ofek-5, however efficient it may cannot alone cover this vast spread in time of war. On August 11, it joined the packs of American and Russian satellites tracking the Shehab-3 test firing. The Iranian missile’s new navigating system, smaller fins and improved warhead for entry to the earth’s atmosphere, designed for greater aerodynamic flexibility and longer range, was not an unmixed success. However, Ofek-5 without a partner was found to be incapable of gathering all the data Israeli intelligence needed to fully appreciate the intentions of Iran’s military leaders. This lack of a second satellite will be felt even more acutely when the Shehab-5, whose range is believed to be 2,500 km, comes to be tested soon.

2. There are intelligence reports that as part of its nuclear weapons program, Iran is also building a range of military satellites for launching by Shehab-5. Israel cannot afford to have a lone satellite cruising in the sky in 2005 or 2006 once the Iranians have placed theirs in orbit. From the military standpoint, Israeli is bound to assert space and missile - as well as nuclear - superiority over its enemies.

And another factor to be considered is this. Not only does Israel keep track of Iran’s weapons trials, Tehran is watching Israel just as closely.

Although their intelligence technology and access to US and Israeli testing sites are limited, the Iranians do not miss a single report on the deficiencies of the Arrow II and Ofek-6 and must have taken detailed stock of the holes in Israel’s defensive and intelligence shields.

3. Israel is obliged to guarantee its intelligence gathering ability in real time independently of US intelligence. The intelligence ties between Washington and Israel are extremely close but neither party is under any illusion that sharing is or can be total. For instance, the United States made a point of keeping Israel in the dark during its March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In his war book, American Soldier, the Iraq and Afghanistan war commander, General Tommy Franks, admits frankly that he always found ways of indicating to his Arab and Muslim hosts on whose side he stood in the Israel-Arab conflict.

Mutual trust between the Americans and Israelis is certainly not enhanced by the almost daily “revelations” in the American media of fresh aspects of the alleged Israeli mole case casting Israeli diplomats and members of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC in a dubious light. Officials in Jerusalem are certain that someone in US intelligence, past or present, is deliberately pumping these “revelations” to the press to keep the affair and the atmosphere of mutual suspicion alive.

Israeli defense and aviation industry chiefs are doing their best to play down the consecutive failures of the Arrow II and the Ofek-6 as mere technical glitches that will soon be cleared up. But they cannot hide the fact that Iran is racing forward at top speed with its development of a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver, while Israel is held back with only one eye in the sky and concern about the Arrow’s ability to intercept an incoming Iranian Shehab.

Both these deficiencies are within the power of Israel’s defense and aviation establishment to correct if they pull their socks up.

7 posted on 09/06/2004 10:07:12 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Excellent. Thanks for the good research.

8 posted on 09/06/2004 10:18:46 PM PDT by Buggman (Your failure to be informed does not make me a kook.)
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To: DoctorZIn; Cyrus the Great; F14 Pilot; faludeh_shirazi; RunOnDiesel; Persia; Stefania; democracy; ..

Are British turning their backs on their invention?
9 posted on 09/06/2004 10:22:28 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn; Cyrus the Great; Persia; RunOnDiesel; nuconvert; Reza2004; democracy; Stefania; ...

Recent visit to Iran everyone is vehemently pro-US in the populace and anti-US in the Iranian government, everyone is anti-Brit in the Iranian populace and pro-Brit in the Iranian government. Get the picture?
10 posted on 09/06/2004 10:29:04 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: tonycavanagh; pau1f0rd; flitton; jjbrouwer; Stoat; MadIvan; Eurotwit; freedom44
Recent visit to Iran everyone is vehemently pro-US in the populace and anti-US in the Iranian government, everyone is anti-Brit in the Iranian populace and pro-Brit in the Iranian government. Get the picture?

Brits, what gives? Are you paying attention?

11 posted on 09/06/2004 10:47:26 PM PDT by risk
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To: risk

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Thursday Britain would pursue a policy of "critical engagement" with Iran, and urged the Gulf country to comply with international demands on nuclear power.

12 posted on 09/06/2004 10:50:00 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: freedom44
Something about "return on investment" comes to mind.

This is ironic - from that article, though:

Amid the growing dispute between the two countries, the British embassy in Tehran was forced to be closed Wednesday after being hit by a number of shots fired from a nearby street.

13 posted on 09/06/2004 10:59:09 PM PDT by risk
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To: freedom44

I can not expect any changes in Iran while there are big interests and benefits for the Big Powers in Iran.

As long as UK/EU/ and some elements in the USA have benefits in this current Iranian govt, nothing will happen.

14 posted on 09/06/2004 11:08:24 PM PDT by Khashayar (Learn Geography!)
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To: risk

It's always been fascinated how Iran's youth are so pro-US and radically anti-Brit. You'd think one and the same, but two totally different agendas..

15 posted on 09/06/2004 11:45:49 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: freedom44

Yes, the Brits. The Brits, who did most of the dirty work in initiating the deposing of Mosadeq. (Maybe not such a bad thing, in hindsight...) The Brits, who gave in to gun control without a fight. The Brits, who have adopted socialism headlong. They're sliding head-first into the EU. And they adore the United Nations, despite the fact that it was the USA and its fanatical defense of liberty that saved them in WWII. I say give the Tories a break. When this is all over, they'll be making more money in Persia than ever before, and so will the Persian people. It's so narrow minded and short-sighted to prop up the mullocracy for a few profits here and there when free capitalism with the Iranian people in charge of their own mineral rights will make so much more money for everyone involved, theoretically.

16 posted on 09/07/2004 8:06:35 AM PDT by risk
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To: DoctorZIn
I just received this from Calpernia... a "chilling must see video by the Mullahs of Iran against the United States.

" Roughly ten days after the reopening of the Statue of Liberty was announced (8/02/04), this video produced by the IRGC aired on Iranian TV (8/12/04)."

Those who think the Mullahs of Iran can be negotiated with must view this. Send this to your friends.

17 posted on 09/07/2004 8:25:08 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; ...
I just received this from Calpernia... a "chilling must see video by the Mullahs of Iran against the United States.

" Roughly ten days after the reopening of the Statue of Liberty was announced (8/02/04), this video produced by the IRGC aired on Iranian TV (8/12/04)."
18 posted on 09/07/2004 8:27:49 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn



Gertz reveals classified documents, information on weapons transfers to Iran


A new book by WASHINGTON TIMES reporter Bill Gertz reveals top-secret and secret documents on illicit weapons transfers to Iran and other rogue states, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.  

The U.S. government is said to be livid and has threatened to prosecute Gertz for disclosing secrets, even though he agreed to withhold numerous pages at the request of the CIA. 

One top-secret National Security Agency report featured in TREACHERY: HOW AMERICA'S FRIENDS AND FOES ARE SECRETLY ARMING OUR ENEMIES shows that electronic intercepts expose how China was supplying missile technology to Iran’s radical Islamist regime as early as 1992.  Another report labeled “secret” disclosed how Russia supplied Iran with a wind tunnel used in missile aerodynamics development.  

TREACHERY streets later this week. [It ranked # 11,458 on AMAZON's sales parade early Tuesday.]

A third, top-secret CIA special analysis shows that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il has survived with the help of China and that he has been able to shore up his regime with external support and internal repression. 

The documents are a small sampling of the intelligence revealing how nations like France, Russia, China and Germany are supplying the rogue states of the world – North Korea, Iran, Syria – with deadly arms. 

Other key features include: How Iraqi insurgents are killing U.S. soldiers with weapons that France, Germany, and Russia sold them. 

How China supplied arms to al Qaeda after 9/11 How the Pakistani nuclear proliferation network is even more extensive than has been reported, involving Russia, China, Libya, Iran, and North Korea, among others The CIA report revealing that al Qaeda is actively pursuing—and may already have—nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

The classified intelligence reports showing how Russia and France were secretly cooperating with Saddam Hussein even after the 2003 Iraq war broke out. 

How the French and German governments turn a blind eye to arms sales to rogue regimes and state sponsors of terrorism like Iran, North Korea, Iraq, and Syria  How America’s security lapses, especially at nuclear facilities, have enabled our enemies to target Americans using our own weapons technology secrets 

The behind-the-scenes account of how the United States discovered North Korea’s covert nuclear weapons program—and why the Bush administration failed to act decisively when North Korea revealed the illegal program.

The details of Iran’s covert nuclear buildup that have never been made public, including how U.S. intelligence was caught off guard not once but twice. Gertz reveals the reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency confirming our worst fears about Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

How the Clinton administration let illicit arms deal continue unchecked, even when U.S. intelligence repeatedly caught China and other countries arming our enemies.

19 posted on 09/07/2004 8:32:53 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

It has been airing on IRIB since 2-3 months ago

20 posted on 09/07/2004 8:32:53 AM PDT by Khashayar (Learn Geography!)
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