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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 09/23/2004 10:52:15 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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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”

2 posted on 09/23/2004 10:54:42 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Militiamen killed in western Iran armed clash

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Sep 23, 2004

Two militiamen, including a regional commander, were killed in a deadly clash which occurred yesterday in the western province of Mian-Do-Ab.

The residents of the "Se-Tapeh" village have been reported as having retaliated to the brutal assault of the regime's forces sent to the locality.

The official authorities have announced investigating on the reason and responsibilities of the militiamen's deaths.

No news on the number of death, injured or arrested among the residents has been communicated so far.

Armed struggle is in constant raise as a majority of Iranians are believing that the Islamic regime will not step down from political power by peaceful means.

3 posted on 09/23/2004 10:55:07 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

US senator urges US to confront Iran on nuclear weapons program

AFP - World News (via Yahoo)
Sep 23, 2004

WASHINGTON - A prominent Democratic senator urged the Bush administration to directly engage Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons program and that preemptive military force should not be ruled out.

AFP/File Photo


"I don't want to saber rattle, but I wouldn't take anything off the table," said Senator Joe Lieberman, who made an unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination this year.

Lieberman added that the use of force should be a last resort, and expressed hope that a consistent US-European diplomatic approach "will make that never even a topic of actively serious consideration."

But he told defense reporters Iran "is on a path to develop a very significant nuclear weapons program" and is working hard to develop missiles with ranges capable of striking targets in Europe as well as the Middle East.

"If it were up to me, I would try to get the United States in direct communication with the Iranian leadership but on a very tough, tough basis -- let's decide what the future is going to be," he told defense reporters here.

"You have to marshall diplomatic support with the UN, but in the end they've got to feel we're really serious about this for them to stop the development of nuclear weapons, which in my opinion they are on a headlong course to develop," he said.

Iran's clerical regime insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, and that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons.

Defying UN pressure, President Mohammad Khatami has said Iran will not give up uranium enrichment efforts, which could be used to produce bomb-making material.

4 posted on 09/23/2004 10:55:37 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Do you think those who want democracy in Iran will support a US strike against Iranian Nuclear facilities? Is a coordination possible at all?

5 posted on 09/23/2004 10:55:55 PM PDT by Trupolitik
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To: DoctorZIn

6 posted on 09/23/2004 10:56:00 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn


Posted Thursday, September 23, 2004

TEHRAN 23 Sept. (IPS) Iran's conservative-dominated Majles, or parliament dealt the government of powerless Mohammad Khatami a major blow by approving, with a small majority, a bill that imposes on the government serious strings when it signs major deals with foreign firms.

A visibly angry and annoyed President immediately reacted, describing the measure as “unprecedented, a first in the history of the Islamic republic, paralysing the government, preventing progress of the society and eventually in contradiction of the Constitution, meaning the interference of the Legislative in the affairs of the Executive”.

Not only the bill, approved by 108 votes out of the 212 lawmakers present against 79 abstention, would prevent the government of signing deals with foreign firms without prior approval of the Majles, but it also would apply to any contracts signed from the beginning of the current Iranian year on March 20 and in which a foreign company has more than a 49-percent stake.

The bill, approved by 108 votes out of the 212 lawmakers present against 79 abstention, would prevent the government of signing deals with foreign firms without prior approval of the Majles.

As approved, the bill singles out contracts passed earlier this year with Turkey's Turkcell telephone company to provide Iran with a second mobile phone oprator in the one hand and the Austrian-Turkish Tepe-Akfen-Vie (TAV) for handling all services at the new Emam Khomeini International Airport.

The 500 million US Dollars airport was shut down to traffic by the Armed Forces hours after its official inauguration, arguing that the contract endangered the Islamic republic's security because the operators also had business dealings with Israel.

Both the embattled Khatami and the government spokesman, Mr. Abdollah Ramezanzadeh warned that the bill would paralyse the government's power to pursue economic activities with foreign countries, but stressed that the government would accept parliament's decision.

"The Majles has the right to investigate, question ministers and place conditions for the government, but that a president who represents the whole of the people and his ministers are approved by people’s representatives and at the same time faces the whole world has no credit and unable to deal with the world, that means the paralysing the government and international disdain in investing in Iran”, Khatami told journalists, adding, "This will discourage foreigners from investing in Iran. This will cost the country billions of dollars".

The Majles took the decision just one week before Khatami’s scheduled official visit to Turkey, where contracts with Turkcell, signed in February, was to bring the government 7.5 billion US Dollars over 15 years, economists said.

"The military fraction of the Majles wants to push the country into isolation", said a leading Iranian analyst, adding that the bill would certainly limit further the already small amount of foreign investments in Iran, where the economy, which grew by 6.7 per cent in 2003, is heavily dependent on oil and gas, responsible for around 80 percent of exports.

Economists say Iran’s economy is probably one of the world’s most heavily centralised and government-controlled.

Foreign investment is limited both by a high degree of state control and by economic sanctions introduced by the US after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and strengthened after the 1996 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act.

Economists say Iran’s economy is probably one of the world’s most heavily centralised and government-controlled.

Asked if he hoped that the Council of the Guardians that must approve all bills passed by the Majles before becoming law reject the measure, Mr. Khatami said if not, the bill would become law “and then its negative effect would concern the whole of the nation”.


7 posted on 09/23/2004 10:56:36 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Many sources but no meat

(Filed: 22/09/2004)

Amir Taheri on an anti-Bush expose that contains assertions and allegations aplenty . . . but no evidence

Often described as the only "superpower", the United States is, in fact, a banana republic led by a coterie of mischief-makers with dark motives. Its secret services, indeed its entire government administration, leaks like a sieve. Its military is no better than Dad's Army when it comes to real fighting; and its Congress is too cowed to operate the checks and balances envisaged in the Constitution.

This is the picture that emerges from Seymour Hersh's Chain of Command: The Road From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib. Made up of articles published in The New Yorker, the book's main theme is a seething hatred of George W. Bush. Sometimes it hints at interesting, even explosive information, while dwelling at length on matters of little consequence. For example, Hersh claims that Osama bin Laden was in Tehran on July 31, 1996 to create an anti-American alliance. Elsewhere, Hersh suggests that at least one foreign government was involved in the attacks against New York and Washington in September 2001.

If true, this could alter many assumptions, including those of the 9/11 Congressional Committee that ruled out any foreign government involvement. Hersh devotes just a couple of paragraphs to what merits a whole book. On the other hand he devotes 11 pages to a lunch that Richard Perle, a former Pentagon official, had with some Saudi businessmen, thus, Hersh claims, exposing him to conflict of interest charges.

Hersh uses the method of medieval scholastics: first choose your belief, then seek proofs. As soon as he has made an assertion he cites a "source" to back it. In every case this is either an unnamed former official or an unidentified secret document passed to Hersh in unknown circumstances. The "sources" come under different labels: a former CIA analyst, a former aide to someone, a person who was present at something, someone who heard it from someone else.

If Hersh talks about Syria, he immediately gets a "Syrian source"; if Germany is involved, hey presto "a German source" appears. By my count Hersh has anonymous sources inside 30 foreign governments and virtually every department of the US government.

Here is a typical chain of Hershian "sourcing": someone described as "a former analyst" tells Hersh of what he was told by a former colleague who heard from a former CIA official who had heard Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley telling his boss Condoleezza Rice something. The question is: why not check with Hadley or Rice?

Hersh asserts that the abuse of inmates at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad was not the result of "the criminal inclinations of a few army reservists, but [of] the reliance of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld on secret operations and the use of coercion". He then proceeds to "prove" this with dozens of testimonies by unnamed sources and "top secret" papers that, if they existed, must have been stolen from the government.

But the book itself refutes Hersh's conspiracy theory. He shows that the US army learned of abuse at Abu Ghraib in the summer of 2003. In autumn General Meyers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ordered General Sanchez, the commander in Iraq, to investigate. General Taguba did the investigation and reported in February 2004. Early in April an Article 3 hearing - the military equivalent of a grand jury - was held and charged several officers with abuse. It was the leaking of the army's investigation that tipped off CBS which broke "the story" on April 28.

Had there been any order "from above" to mistreat prisoners, for reasons that Hersh does not specify, it is unlikely that the US military would have ordered an inquiry.

Since then there have been eight investigations of the charges at the Pentagon plus months of hearings at the Senate and the House of Representatives. A special inquiry headed by two former defence secretaries Harold Brown (Democrat) and James Schlesinger (Republican) has reported that there was "no policy that encouraged prisoner abuse" in Iraq. But Hersh is not satisfied. He prefers his "alternative history".

Hersh starts his book by promising to "expose" Bush's alleged misdeeds on the basis of "documented facts" but ends up with an admission of ignorance: "There is so much about this presidency that we don't know, and may never learn. Some of the most important questions are not even being asked." One might wonder why he does not ask those "most important questions", whatever they might be.

British journalists often claim that while they write "news", their American colleagues write "stories". Hersh shows that this may well be more than a joke by the British about their American cousins.

8 posted on 09/23/2004 10:57:00 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Bombs or bribes no answer to Iran nuke threat

By Henry Sokolski

LAST weekend, the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency called on Teheran to freeze its efforts to produce nuclear fuel, since this will enable Iran to come within days of having a nuclear arsenal. On Wednesday, however, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said the world must recognise Iran's right to enrich uranium to fuel its power stations.

Iran says 'no' to nuke freeze: President Khatami says world must recognise Iran's right to enrich uranium to fuel its power stations despite calls by the United nations for a freeze. -- REUTERS

At stake is the future of any hope of keeping the Middle East from following Iran's nuclear example.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Iran's nuclear ambition, everyone, both hawks and doves, Europeans and Americans, still believes there is some way to keep Iran from coming within a few weeks of having a nuclear bomb. Iran, however, is no more than 12 to 36 months from acquiring nuclear arms and seems dead set on securing an option to do so.

Still, most experts don't perceive the urgency. President George W. Bush's detractors insist that by simply dealing directly with Teheran, the United States can resolve it by offering it a reliable supply of fresh reactor fuel in exchange for a pledge to refrain from making its own (and thereby coming within days of making a bomb). Never mind Iran's defiance of a year-old nuclear enrichment freeze agreement that has humiliated Britain, France and Germany. A new US president, according to Mr Bush's opponents, can reverse these trends.

White House officials, meanwhile, insist Iran, having repeatedly violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), should be hauled before the Security Council to make sure it doesn't get the bomb. Judging from the Security Council's inability to ensure Saddam Hussein's compliance with international weapons inspections, one can't be too hopeful.

This, then, gives rise to the hawkish solution: bombing (with or without UN approval). Israeli or US attack on Iran's nuclear plants, this group insists, is the only hope. This will at least delay its programme a few years. However, lasting results will require overthrowing the current regime - an endeavour still under way in Afghanistan and Iraq.

If there is no sure way to stop Iran, what should the international community do? The answer: Tackle the most worrisome preventable problems. This would clearly exclude getting Iran to keep its nuclear materials and capabilities out of the hands of terrorists. This scenario is not only unlikely (Teheran's mullahs are unlikely to allow it), but clearly beyond the scope of international powers.

What, then, deserves greater attention? The one thing even worse than a nuclear-ready Iran: an entire Middle East cast in Iran's nuclear mould. Earlier this year, senior Saudi officials announced their interest in acquiring or 'leasing' nuclear weapons from China or Pakistan - a legal move under the NPT, so long as the weapons remain under Chinese or Pakistani 'control'. Egypt, having revealed plans to develop a large nuclear desalination plant, also recently received sensitive nuclear technology from Libya. Syria, meanwhile, is believed to be experimenting with uranium enrichment centrifuges. Algeria is in the midst of upgrading its second large research reactor facility.

If these states continue to pursue their nuclear dreams (spurred by Iran's example), can Iraq, with its considerable number of nuclear scientists and engineers, be expected to stand by? And what of Turkey, whose private sector was recently revealed to be part of Pakistani proliferator Abdul Qadeer Khan's network? Will nuclear agitation in its south and its repeated rejection by the European Union cause Turkey to reconsider its non-nuclear status? What can be done?

First, the international community must challenge Iran's claim that its nuclear activities are peaceful and protected under the NPT. No nation that sits on as much oil and gas as Iran has a legitimate need to generate nuclear electricity. Consider: Had Iran openly solicited proposals to provide electrical generating capacity, all the non-nuclear bids would have come in at a fraction of the cost of building nuclear power reactors and fuel production plants.

Second, the US and its allies should build on France's recent proposal that the UN Security Council adopt country-neutral rules for dealing with NPT violators. These rules should stipulate that countries which reject inspections and withdraw from the NPT (something Iran has threatened to do) without first addressing their previous violations must surrender and dismantle their nuclear capabilities (especially large research and power reactors and bulk handling facilities) to come back into compliance.

They would also stipulate that nations not found to be in full compliance will no longer receive nuclear assistance from any other country (for example, Russian assistance to Iran to complete its reactor at Bushehr, which has been the 'peaceful' justification of Iran's most dangerous nuclear activities) until the International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors unanimously issues a clean bill of health.

Surely, if France can support such rules, so can Europe, the US and its allies. If these nations unite, Russia will likely follow, particularly if it receives a reward. (One might start with the cost-free nuclear cooperative agreement Moscow has sought for so many years from the US.)

Finally, the US and its allies need to pace themselves. In the end, the only sure path to non-proliferation is more moderate self-rule and increased arms restraint backed by US and allied military resolve and economic cooperation. Iran's current rulers will have to go. Until then, bombing or bribing Teheran should be put aside in favour of tightening and enforcing the rules to keep others from following Iran's example.

9 posted on 09/23/2004 10:57:32 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Friday 24th September, 2004

Israel at U.N. calls Iran dire threat

Big News     Friday 24th September, 2004  

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom in New York Thursday called Iran the world's No. 1 exporter of terror.

He told the Umited Nations General Assembly, The international community now realizes that Iran -- with missiles that can reach London, Paris, Berlin and southern Russia -- does not only pose a threat to the security of Israel.

Shalom urged delegates to focus their attention on Iran and Syria's active involvement in militant organizations, stressing Iran was responsible for terror, hate and instability.

There can be no place in the community of nations for those who promote the killing of children, the foreign minister added.

He asked the assembly to end its "obsession with Israel and to ensure that U.N. resources are allocated more equally and more effectively.

I call on this assembly to address the growth of anti-Semitism and other forms of racism and intolerance, he said.

10 posted on 09/23/2004 10:57:54 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

The Islamic States of America?

By Daniel Pipes | September 23, 2004

The hardest thing for Westerners to understand is not that a war with militant Islam is underway but that the nature of the enemy’s ultimate goal. That goal is to apply the Islamic law (the Shari‘a) globally. In U.S. terms, it intends to replace the Constitution with the Qur’an.

This aspiration is so remote and far-fetched to many non-Muslims, it elicits more guffaws than apprehension. Of course, that used to be the same reaction in Europe, and now it’s become widely accepted that, in Bernard Lewis’ words, “Europe will be Islamic by the end of the century.”


Because of the American skepticism about Islamist goals, I postponed publishing an article on this subject until immediately after 9/11, when I expected receptivity to the subject would be greater (it was published in November 2001as “The Danger Within: Militant Islam in America”). I argued there that

The Muslim population in this country is not like any other group, for it includes within it a substantial body of people—many times more numerous than the agents of Osama bin Ladin—who share with the suicide hijackers a hatred of the United States and the desire, ultimately, to transform it into a nation living under the strictures of militant Islam.

The receptivity indeed was greater, but still the idea of an Islamist takeover remains unrecognized in establishment circles – the U.S. government, the old media, the universities, the mainline churches.


Therefore, reading “A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America,” in the Chicago Tribune on Sept. 19 caused me to startle. It’s a long analysis that draws on an exclusive interview with Ahmed Elkadi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader in the United States during 1984-94, plus other interviews and documentation. In it, the authors (Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Sam Roe, and Laurie Cohen) warily but emphatically acknowledge the Islamists’ goal of turning the United States into an Islamic state.

Over the last 40 years, small groups of devout Muslim men have gathered in homes in U.S. cities to pray, memorize the Koran and discuss events of the day. But they also addressed their ultimate goal, one so controversial that it is a key reason they have operated in secrecy: to create Muslim states overseas and, they hope, someday in America as well. …

Brotherhood members emphasize that they follow the laws of the nations in which they operate. They stress that they do not believe in overthrowing the U.S. government, but rather that they want as many people as possible to convert to Islam so that one day—perhaps generations from now—a majority of Americans will support a society governed by Islamic law.

This Brotherhood approach is in keeping with my observation that the greater Islamist threat to the West is not violence – flattening buildings, bombing railroad stations and nightclubs, seizing theaters and schools – but the peaceful, legal growth of power through education, the law, the media, and the political system.


The Tribune article explains how, when recruiting new members, the organization does not reveal its identity but invites candidates to small prayer meetings where the prayer leaders focus on the primary goal of the Brotherhood, namely “setting up the rule of God upon the Earth” (i.e., achieving Islamic hegemony). Elkadi describes the organization’s strategic, long-term approach: “First you change the person, then the family, then the community, then the nation.”


His wife Iman is no less explicit; all who are associated with the Brotherhood, she says, have the same goal, which is “to educate everyone about Islam and to follow the teachings of Islam with the hope of establishing an Islamic state.”


In addition to Elkadi, the article features information from Mustafa Saied (about whose Muslim Brotherhood experiences the Wall Street Journal devoted a feature story in December 2003, without mentioning the organization’s Islamist goals). Saied, the Tribune informs us, says

he found out that the U.S. Brotherhood had a plan for achieving Islamic rule in America: It would convert Americans to Islam and elect like-minded Muslims to political office. “They’re very smart. Everyone else is gullible,” Saied says. “If the Brotherhood puts up somebody for an election, Muslims would vote for him not knowing he was with the Brotherhood.”

Citing documents and interviews, the Tribune team notes that the secretive Brotherhood, in an effort to acquire more influence, went above ground in Illinois in 1993, incorporating itself as the Muslim American Society. The MAS, headquartered in Alexandria, Va. and claiming 53 chapters across the United States engages in a number of activities. These include summer camps, a large annual conference, websites, and the Islamic American University, a mainly correspondence school in suburban Detroit that trains teachers and imams.


Of course, the MAS denies any intent to take over the country. One of its top officials, Shaker Elsayed, insists that

MAS does not believe in creating an Islamic state in America but supports the establishment of Islamic governments in Muslim lands. The group’s goal in the United States, he says, “is to serve and develop the Muslim community and help Muslims to be the best citizens they can be of this country.” That includes preserving the Muslim identity, particularly among youths.

Notwithstanding this denial, the Tribune finds MAS goals to be clear enough:

Part of the Chicago chapter’s Web site is devoted to teens. It includes reading materials that say Muslims have a duty to help form Islamic governments worldwide and should be prepared to take up arms to do so. One passage states that “until the nations of the world have functionally Islamic governments, every individual who is careless or lazy in working for Islam is sinful.” Another one says that Western secularism and materialism are evil and that Muslims should “pursue this evil force to its own lands” and “invade its Western heartland.” [links added by me, DP]

In suburban Rosemont, Ill., several thousand people attended MAS’ annual conference in 2002 at the village’s convention center. One speaker said, “We may all feel emotionally attached to the goal of an Islamic state” in America, but it would have to wait because of the modest Muslim population. “We mustn’t cross hurdles we can’t jump yet.”

These revelations are particularly striking, coming as they do just days after a Washington Post article titled “In Search Of Friends Among The Foes,” which reports how some U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials believe the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence “offers an opportunity for political engagement that could help isolate violent jihadists.” Graham Fuller is quoted saying that “It is the preeminent movement in the Muslim world. It’s something we can work with.” Demonizing the Brotherhood, he warns, “would be foolhardy in the extreme.” Other analysts, such as Reuel Gerecht, Edward Djerejian, and Leslie Campbell, are quoted as being in agreement with this outlook.


But it is a deeply wrong and dangerous approach. Even if the Muslim Brotherhood is not specifically associated with violence in the United States (as it has been in other countries, including Egypt and Syria), it is deeply hostile to the United States and must be treated as one vital component of the enemy’s assault force.

Daniel Pipes ( is director of the Middle East Forum and author of Miniatures (Transaction Publishers).

11 posted on 09/23/2004 11:06:08 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Israel claims Iran as top terror source

Israel has claimed Iran has replaced Saddam Hussein as the number one source of terrorism and has called on the international community to stand up to Tehran.

"There was a time when the problems of terror, Islamic fundamentalism and Iranian nuclear ambition were seen as local problems - Israel's problems," Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

"The international community now realises that Iran - with missiles that can reach London, Paris, Berlin and southern Russia - does not only pose a threat to the security of Israel but to the security and stability of the whole world," he said.

"Iran has replaced Saddam Hussein as the world's number one exporter of terror, hate and instability," Mr Shalom said.

"I call on this assembly to address head-on the active involvement of Iran and Syria in terrorism," he said.

The minister also said the assembly, which has passed hundreds of resolutions criticising Israel and holds regular meetings on the Palestinian conflict, should pursue other work.

"The Palestinian side spends more energy fighting Israel here at the UN than it does fighting terrorists in its own territory," Mr Shalom said.

"I call on this assembly to end its obsession with Israel and to ensure that UN resources are allocated more equally and more effectively," he said.

"We must not let the Palestinian desire to vilify Israel distract our global community from the obligation to address the needs of all people," he said.

He appealed for a special assembly session to address anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance.

12 posted on 09/24/2004 12:57:38 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Whispers of regime change

Asia Times - By Ehsan Ahrari
Sep 24, 2004

As a number of public opinion polls show a sustained, if not growing, lead that US President George W Bush enjoys over his Democratic Party opponent John Kerry, the neo-conservatives have started a whisper campaign of possible regime change in Iran after the November presidential election. The element of hubris for which the neo-cons have been notorious is being applied cavalierly about the almost inevitability of Bush's re-election, even though much can happen before polling day. If Bush is indeed re-elected, the world is likely to encounter, if not a US military invasion of Iran, believing the whisper campaign, then most likely a preemptive neutralizing of all of its nuclear reactors.

Undoubtedly, Iran has intensified the conflict by declaring on Tuesday that it had begun "converting tons of uranium [oxide] into [uranium hexafluoride] gas", a crucial step in making fuel for a nuclear reactor - or a nuclear bomb. This was in defiance to a recent call by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for Iran to suspend all such activities. President Mohammad Khatami added a rather strange wrinkle to this episode by stating that the world must recognize Iran's right to enrich uranium for power stations, as if that right was as "natural" as the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. He added, "Then the way will be open for further cooperation. Iran is ready to continue its activities under full IAEA supervision and convince the world it is not considering atomic weapons." At least from its public statements, Iran does not want to recognize the linkages between its enrichment of uranium and possible development of nuclear weapons. The US, on the other hand, has concluded that Iran is well on its way to developing nuclear weapons.

Iran now has a full-blown credibility problem vis-a-vis the international community. Last October it announced that it would freeze all activities related to uranium enrichment. That was a reasonable position, and many countries - certainly a number of European states - believed it. Within a matter of less than a year, its government made a radical volte-face and depicted uranium enrichment as a matter of "right".

Iran might be drawing the wrong lessons from the ongoing US-North Korea nuclear weapons-related conflict. Since Kim Jong-il is being intransigent about unraveling his nuclear-weapons program, Iran seems to be operating from the premise that it, too, can get away by adopting a similar posture regarding its own nuclear program. It doesn't realize that circumstances surrounding North Korea's nuclear weapons program are starkly dissimilar from its own program for several reasons.

First, North Korea is understood to possess nuclear weapons. Such a reality makes it difficult for the US seriously to consider implementing preemption. That is not to say, however, that diplomatic pressure on North Korea will lessen in the coming months, regardless of who is sitting in the White House come January. Second, the six-nation forum on the US-North Korea nuclear weapons conflict might still pull off a negotiated solution of that conflict, especially if China envisages high enough payoffs stemming from its pressure on its ally. Third, recent reports of South Korea's development of highly enriched uranium, and even plutonium, was a setback for the United States' hardnosed position that Pyongyang unravel its nuclear-weapons program. Finally, the very nature of threats related to even a nuclear North Korea are not that grave, considering that its three neighbors - Japan, Taiwan and South Korea - also possess significantly sophisticated nuclear capabilities. So even if North Korea becomes a nuclear power - or if it already is in that category - those countries have not couched their security-related threats in stark terms. All three are protected under the US security arrangements.

On the other hand, the prospects of a nuclear Iran have already been portrayed by the US and Israel as inherently threatening to the region, and Israel in particular. One has to read some of the published top national-security-related documents - such as the National Security Strategy, the National Military Strategy and the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review - to grasp how serious the US is regarding the spread of weapons of mass destruction, especially among the so-called "axis of evil" states - Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Most important, there is no great power that would risk a serious rift with the US by even pretending to come to the rescue of Iran.

It must be stated that such grim portrayals notwithstanding, there is still ample room for negotiations. However, the sole purpose of such negotiations, at least from the US side, is for Iran to cease imminently its enrichment of uranium and, more to the point, be willing to cooperate fully with the IAEA in future intrusive inspections. Unfortunately from the point of view of Iran, in the environment post-September 11, 2001, its nuclear programs are clashing head-on with the overall US determination to unravel such programs wherever it finds them: Libya, North Korea and Iran. Of course, Libya is identified as the shining success of America's nuclear non-proliferation endeavor. North Korea's nuclear status might have become a fait accompli , but it is still not regarded as such in Washington. The chief focus of the six-nations dialogue is to unravel it, no matter what. That is why Washington is so persistently and resolutely insisting that Iran stop all its uranium-enrichment activities before they continue for too long.

What is also hurting Iran is the fact that the EU-3 (Germany, France and the United Kingdom), which are negotiating with it, are also demonstrating almost no patience. They have couched Iran's choices quite brusquely: either it cease its enriching of uranium, or the matter will be referred to the United Nations Security Council. There is a slight chance that either Russia or China would exercise their veto, if any stringent resolution were passed sanctioning Iran. However, even such a development is not likely to save Iran from a preemptive attack, if Bush wins his second term. Iran's neighbor Iraq regularly reminds the Islamic Republic how far Bush can go in terms of imposing his will.

Ehsan Ahrari, PhD, is an Alexandria, Virginia, US-based independent strategic analyst.

13 posted on 09/24/2004 1:00:55 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Satellite photos indicate Iran nuke site
Satellite photos indicate Iran nuke site

Posted: September 24, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

U.S. satellite photographs detail suspected nuclear weapons testing facilities at an Iranian military base outside Tehran, reports Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.

The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security has released photographs of the Iranian military base at Parchin where nuclear weapons activities are suspected. The seven satellite images show buildings where nuclear weapons components are suspected of being prepared for testing.

Parchin is located about 30 kilometers southeast of Tehran. The Iranian government has asserted that the facility has long been used to test chemical explosives. The International Atomic Energy Agency has requested access to inspect the site operated by the Iranian Defense Industries Organization. Iran has not agreed to the request.

The U.S. institute, which retains leading nuclear experts and former officials, said Parchin could be converted to a nuclear weapons research and assembly facility. The institute said Parchin could also be used to test nuclear explosives and missile and rocket delivery systems.

On Sept. 21, Iran said it had begun converting 37 tons of raw uranium for enrichment by gas centrifuges. At the same time, Tehran displayed its enhanced Shihab-3 intermediate-range missile and launched the Shihab-2, with a range of 700 kilometers.

"This site is a logical candidate for a nuclear weapons-related site, particularly one involved in researching and developing high-explosive components for an impulsion-type nuclear weapon," David Albright and Corey Hinderstein wrote in a study for the institute.

The satellite imagery shows a building that appears to have a pad for testing small rocket motors rather than high explosives. The photographs also reveal a nearby bunker that could test a mock nuclear weapon.

"The concern is that this bunker could be where Iran would test a full-scale mock-up of a nuclear explosive using natural or depleted uranium as a surrogate of a highly enriched uranium core," Albright and Hinderstein stated.

The Parchin military complex, which contains hundreds of buildings and test sites, has focused on the research, development and production of ammunition, rockets and high explosives. The U.S. institute has identified high-explosive testing facilities and the excavation of a hilly area that could be used for nuclear tests.

"Some facilities seem more suited to armaments research or rocket motor testing," Albright and Hinderstein wrote. "Despite the ambiguity about the purpose of this site, the available evidence appears sufficient to warrant a request for a visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency of this site."

14 posted on 09/24/2004 1:03:15 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran, Impossible?

Nope. The mullahs will go the way of the Evil Empire.

After years of baffling silence, George Will has finally written about Iran. His guide is the justly celebrated Azar Nafisi, but her one-liner Will used to portray contemporary Iran — "What differentiated this revolution from the other totalitarian revolutions of the twentieth century was that it came in the name of the past" — demonstrates a serious misunderstanding of the past (the Führer's movement was every bit as anti-modern as Khomeini's) and thus of the future (both forms of fascism being quite capable of asserting a terrible revolutionary claim on the destiny of all mankind and unleashing their murderous hatred on a global scale). Worse, Mr. Will tosses off a dismissive pronunciamento so absolute and categorical that he implies it is writ in the very nature of things: "There is no plausible path to achieving (regime change in Iran)." Why? Because "the regime-changers have their hands full with the unfinished project next door to Iran."

He'd have done better to concentrate his great talent and energy on preventing major-league baseball from reaching Washington, D.C. The claim that the United States cannot possibly bring about the fall of clerical fascism in Tehran is as silly as similar claims directed at Ronald Reagan when he set about bringing an end to the evil Soviet Empire. Indeed, skepticism about our determination to defeat Soviet Communism was far more justifiable than doubts about the thoroughly plausible path to end the Iranian mullahcracy. For only a small minority of the oppressed peoples of the Soviet Empire were ever willing to openly challenge the Kremlin — as, for that matter, were the people in the Philippines under the Marcos kleptocracy, or in Yugoslavia under the mad Milosevic. Yet all came crashing down, defeated by their own people, who were inspired and supported by Americans.

In Iran today, upwards of 70 percent of the population is openly hostile to the regime, vocally desirous of freedom and democracy, and bravely supportive of the Bush Doctrine to bring democratic revolution to the entire region.

If we could bring down the Soviet Empire by inspiring and supporting a small percentage of the people, surely the chances of successful revolution in Iran are more likely. By orders of magnitude. "No plausible path," my derriere! (as Senateur Kerry might put it). Ask Comrade Gorbachev about the power of democratic revolution before you write off the Iranian people.

I think that Mr. Will got it wrong because he assumes that regime change implies military conquest. But we don't need armies of fighting American men and women to liberate Tehran; the foot soldiers are Iranians, and they are already on the ground, awaiting good leadership with a clear battle plan. The war against the Iranian terror masters will be political, not military. The weapons that will end the dreadful tyranny — so well described by Mr. Will and Mrs. Nafisi — are ideas and passions, not missiles and bullets. To our great shame, we have failed to support the Iranians' battle against their hated regime, but that is a failure of will, not a failure of means.

Mr. Will believes it inevitable that Iran will become a nuclear power in the near future, and this may well be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Surely the United Nations, the British, and the Europeans are doing everything possible to bring it to fulfillment. But this is a fallacy of "static" thinking in a rapidly changing world. South Africa and Ukraine were members of the nuclear club when they were oppressive tyrannies, but scrapped their nukes when they became free. It is certainly true that the current Iranian regime will stop at nothing until they have atomic bombs, but a free Iran might well make a different choice.

Most importantly, there is a huge difference between atomic bombs in the hands of fanatical mullahs, and atomic bombs controlled by a pro-Western and democratic country. Mr. Will says it is "surreal" for Condoleezza Rice to discuss the Iranian nuclear program in terms of what we can "allow" Iran to do, I suppose because he is convinced we have no plausible path to prevent it. That may or may not be true; I don't know if there is a politically acceptable military option, and I agree that diplomacy cannot possibly derail the mullahs' mad atomic march. But it is at least equally "surreal" to dismiss the prospects of democratic revolution in Iran, and thereby join the ranks of the appeasers.

If Reagan had listened to this sort of criticism — and there was no shortage of it in the early '80s — Gorbachev would still be managing the gulags and funding Communist movements all over the world. If Bush accepts George Will's view of Iran, we will soon see the world's primary sponsor of terror armed with atomic bombs.

It is not inevitable. We can beat them. Delay costs lives, both ours and those of the brave Iranians who challenge clerical fascism.

Faster, please.

Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen is Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.

19 posted on 09/24/2004 9:54:31 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Let Us Count the Ways

By Mark Helprin
The Claremont Institute | September 24, 2004

From the hijackings and massacres of the '60s and '70s through the close of the Cold War and the decade of locust years that followed, the United States did virtually nothing to fight terrorism. No match for the perils of a Soviet-American nuclear exchange or a conventional war in Europe, and hardly a distraction from either the proxy wars in the Third World with their casualties in the millions, or the years of the "Peace Dividend" with their enrichments by the trillion, terrorism was something that merely had to be managed. Though the acts of terror themselves were lurid and arresting, casualties were so few that when assessed from a position of safety and tranquility it seemed impossible that they could threaten the massive military and economic power of the Western nations that were anyway only peripherally involved. This was the cynical judgment of the elites and the unconscious judgment of the people of these nations, including our own.

As international terrorism steadily developed it did so carefully. Like a weak economy that initially refuses competition with stronger ones, it gave great and powerful states a wide berth. As long as the United States remained uninvolved, it was easy for us to make the case that we should not gratuitously become involved. If, as sometimes they were, Americans were caught in the crossfire, the calculus, perhaps momentarily more difficult, was the same, with few exceptions: to accept occasional casualties, rather than go neck deep with raids on training camps or punitive expeditions against state sponsors only to lose more Americans in the process and enter the kind of dirty war that no temperament, much less the American, was made to endure.

As it developed its ideologies; found refuge and finance; recruited adherents, sympathizers, and apologists; and perfected its operational art, Islamic terrorism began direct attacks upon Americans and American interests, but only so incrementally as not to elicit a decisive response. What had been collateral damage was now deliberative. Still, the numbers remained small and our calculation the same: the nation would not plunge into a hornet's nest for the sake of only a few, even were they its own. For the sake of U.S. ambassador Cleo A. Noel, Jr., and chargé d'affaires George C. Moore, murdered by Black September at Yasser Arafat's behest in 1973, the Nixon Administration would not take the nation to war. For the sake of Robbie Stetham, an American sailor murdered during the June 1985 hijacking in Beirut, or the 71 dead there in the 1983 and 1984 American embassy bombings, the Reagan Administration would not take the nation to war.

The terrorists crossed yet another line that was insufficiently provocative when they simultaneously targeted American interests and escalated their outrages. If we were not ready for all-out war, they were, attacking American embassies and a warship and venturing for the first time onto American soil for the 1993 assault upon the World Trade Center. The Clinton Administration simply did ignominiously what previous administrations had done before, as habitual attitudes continued in force though circumstances had changed radically, in that the fall of the Soviet Union eliminated the major check on retaliatory action. The terrorists, who, contrary to the common wisdom, always have an address, could strike, and strike, and strike again—our embassies, navy, and largest city—and not suffer a single punitive expedition, much less the full scale response to which they were deeply entitled.

Only when on September 11, 2001, they brought the war to the nation's capital, to its highest officials and symbols of government, and slaughtered almost 3,000 Americans in America itself did the calculus finally seem to break. Only with the brilliant campaign in Afghanistan and then the haplessly run war in Iraq has the reckoning finally seemed to have arrived. But has it really? Unfortunately, it has not. The calculus still holds. This country and its elites in particular have yet to shed the illusions that we need not work full out in our defense; that we need not, as in the past, display full commitment and devotion; that the stakes are low and the potential damage not intolerable.

The evidence of our continuing, major deficiencies has not been assimilated, and relative to what is required we have done virtually nothing to meet further challenges potentially far worse than that of September 11, and to prepare for the inevitable military rise of China. We have only partially exited the state of "managing" terrorism, even if now we know that terrorism cannot be managed.

This is a failure of probity and imagination comparable to the deepest sleep that England slept in the decade of the 1930s, when its blinkered governments measured the sufficiency of their military preparations not against the threat that was gathering but by what they thought the people wanted, and the people wanted only what they thought the government had wisely specified. We are now entrapped in the same dynamic. Neither the party in power nor the opposition has awakened to what must be done or what may happen if it is not. Neither party, nor the Left, nor the Right, nor the civilian defense establishment, nor the highest ranking military, nor the Congress, nor the people themselves, has been willing, in a war not of our own making, adequately to prepare for war, to declare war, rigorously to define the enemy, to decide upon disciplined and intelligent war aims, to subjugate the economy to the common defense, or even to endorse the most elemental responsibilities of government, such as controlling the borders of and entry to our sovereign territory.

As if all of this has been done, the Left is in high dudgeon, and for fear of higher dudgeon still, the Right dares not even propose it. The result is a paralysis that the terrorists probably did not hope for in their most optimistic projections, an arbitrary and gratuitous failure of will that carries within it nonetheless a great promise, which is that because it has no reasonable basis or compelling rationale, it may quickly be dispelled. And once it is, the weight of our experience, genius, and resources can be brought to bear.

The Spur of Honor

No matter how daunting the prospect of terrorism, the United States possesses the means with which to endure and defeat it, despite the difficulties of asymmetry and the hazards of chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons. All the steps I shall recommend ahead or that, by implication, flow from them are expensive. It is true that a substantial portion of the agony and uncertainty of the war to date has been attributable to the supposedly inescapable dearth of funds that has led to at times insufficient forces, ships, bombs, bullets, food, medical supplies, fuel, and even water. These deficiencies, however, are the drag only upon that which we have actually endeavored to do. Deficiencies of far greater mass and import have prevented even consideration of some things that need to be done but that we have not dared to do; they have failed to deter certain enemy actions; and have by their very existence suggested and stimulated them. For example, had the United States adopted Israeli levels of civilian airliner defense, September 11 would have been just another clear day on the East Coast—but this course supposedly was and supposedly still is too expensive. We do not and, according to some, cannot or should not control our borders, because it, too, is expensive. Humvees have gone without armor, baggage without inspection, epidemic diseases without immunizations, chemical agents without antidotes, radiation without detection, and so on and so forth across the spectrum of our vulnerabilities.

A simple analysis, however, shows that this is false economy. The United States produces approximately $11 trillion of goods and services annually, of which roughly $400 billion, or 3.6% of GDP, has been allocated to military spending including the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This 3.6% of GDP is far less than the 5.7% the U.S. devoted to defense spending in the peacetime years of the period 1940-2000, and barely more than just a quarter of the average of 13.3% of GDP devoted to defense in the wartime years.

In the Second World War, we spent as much as 38.5% of GNP (in 1945), and at the peak had twelve million soldiers under arms, almost 10% of the population. This is a far cry from the situation now. Were we to replicate the same levels of effort, we would be spending not $400 billion but $4.235 trillion. We would not have 2.7 million in uniform (including reserves), but 30 million. I am not advocating any such thing. As pressing as our needs may be, we are not engaged in war against a major power, and the intensity of engagement in World War II is far and above what is necessary. I point it out to show what we can do, and what actually we have done, if we concert our will, especially because during World War II it was much more difficult to apportion 29% of the nation's output to defense (the average for the period 1942-1946) than it would be now, because we have so much more wealth per capita than we did then, coming out of the Depression. To relinquish almost a full third of income is much harder for a nation with barely enough to get by than it is for one that lives in an age of material excess.

What is it worth to be properly prepared for a smallpox epidemic that might kill scores of millions of Americans, or perhaps 100 million? To prevent a nuclear detonation in Midtown Manhattan or on Michigan Avenue? To stop deliberate, coordinated massacres like those of September 11? And to preserve as a principle and in actuality both American security and independence? Merely as a matter of honor, with all calculation aside, it is worth any material expense to remove terrorist hands from the control of American destiny. We will soon have lost 1,000 soldiers in Iraq. I believe that most Americans would quite willingly adjust the way they live—to have less, to expect less—to save the life of even one. And I think that most Americans understand that America's governing elites, in guiding us, hoping to guide us, or pretending to guide us, have underestimated our potential for willing recourse to honor. What they do not understand—not because, as they think, they are too refined and intelligent, but because they are neither refined nor intelligent enough—is that to reject the spur of honor is ultimately to forfeit prosperity, liberty, dignity, and life itself.

Politicians of both parties badly judge the American character when, gazing at their own mirrors, they assume that we are a shallow people incapable of sacrifice and austerity. How would they know, never having had the courage even to ask? How can these same politicians have the temerity to expect and order so many military families to risk the ultimate sacrifice, and yet quake at the prospect of informing the rest of us that we may have to do with a little less? We can afford to pay many times over for anything this war requires. The money is there, and to direct it into well thought-out and effective measures for the common defense is an obvious responsibility of self-preservation.

War Aims

Perhaps nothing in war is at one and the same time so unexciting to the imagination and so absolutely essential as determining war aims. This may be not so much because it pales in comparison to the color of battle, but because it is primarily a task of limiting the imagination and confining opportunities within a frame of strict discipline.

The aims of this war have been remarkably incoherent and elastic, their character improvised, their direction changed instantly upon encountering an obstacle. Whatever it was in the beginning, the war has become a very grand enterprise, with very limited resources, to transform the entire Islamic World into a group of peaceful democratic states that, relieved of the stress of not being peaceful democratic states, will cease to breed terrorism. Not only is this based on a wrong assumption, impossible, and overreaching, it is backwards: although one may transform an enemy by defeating him, one does not, on the state level, defeat an enemy by transforming him.

Our aims should be less ambitious and more defensive. Were they disciplined to be so, they would also become more pertinent, justifiable, and attainable. We as a people surely should not wish to possess the Islamic states or convert them to our way of seeing things, politically or otherwise, but rather to insist absolutely that they refrain from attacking us. How then do we determine which states are involved, when they are masked by the structures and practices of terrorists who hide from the light? The Left facilitates their strategy when it holds that our tests of association in linking these states to terrorism are too fluid. To the contrary, they are hardly fluid enough, exempting, for example, Saudi Arabia. When the consequences are as grave as the potential for nuclear and biological warfare has made them, the slightest support, tolerance, or sympathy for terrorism directed at the United States should qualify the state manifesting them for open operations, its government for replacement, and its military as a target. To defeat Germany in the World Wars, we brought more suffering and destruction even to France, our ally, than in this war we have visited upon our enemies.

If we exempt from repercussion states that nurture terrorism they will nurture it all the more. And having adopted the model of conquest, occupation, and political conversion, we have exempted most supporters of terrorism, because neither we nor all the world have the power to conquer, occupy, and convert all the countries from which terrorism arises. If the overriding need is to protect the United States, its citizens, and its interests from military aggression in any form, the first aim in war should be to destroy as many terrorists as possible and to deny to those remaining refuge and sustenance so that as they are hunted either they will fall or they will of their own accord stand down. The world from which they spring is far too wide and alien for us to do even this according to the present design. We cannot reasonably hope to cover the entire Middle East if, a year and a half after conquering Iraq, we must make the trip from the fortified zone in Baghdad to the fortified airport in infrequent armored convoys. The only way to do it is to coerce existing regimes to accomplish it for us, which is possible by directly threatening their survival, something from which we have refrained by and large because of the paralyzing notion that once we destroy a regime we are bound to stay. We are not. We are bound only to defend the United States. We suffer the illusion that our withdrawal would bring anarchy, when, for example, we have not withdrawn from Iraq and it is the most anarchic of all the states in the region. Perhaps, had we left, it would have settled into a natural equilibrium, what engineers call the angle of repose, or perhaps it would not have. But if there is anarchy why must we attend to it if our attendance is ineffective?

The invocation of anarchy is anyway and in most cases a bluff. These regimes live to hold power, and one and all they have seized and maintained it by violence. They are quite capable of eliminating the terrorist infrastructures within their territories and will jump to do so rather than face their own destruction. And if they refuse to cooperate, or they go down trying, then the regime that replaces them can be offered the same choice.

To coerce and punish governments that support terrorism, until they eradicate it wherever they exercise authority. To open for operations any territory in which the terrorist enemy functions. To build and sustain the appropriate forces and then some as a margin of safety, so as to accomplish the foregoing and to deter the continuing development of terrorism. To mount on the same scale as the military effort, and with the same probity, the necessary civil defense. To reject the temptation to configure the defensive capabilities of the United States solely to the War on Terrorism, as this will simultaneously stimulate China's military development and insure that we are unprepared for it. These should be our aims in this war.

They are neither modest, nor without risk, nor certain to succeed—by their very nature they cannot be. But they are a model of discipline and restraint when compared to the infinitely open-ended notion of changing the nature of the Middle East, changing the nature of the Arabs, changing the nature of Islam, and changing the nature of man. No army can do that. No army ever could.

Control the Center

Although so far on (and so deep in) that this may no longer be possible even as an alternative to failure, the 140,000 American troops struggling to pacify Iraq would be a much more effective instrument were they remounted, re-formed, and re-instilled with the mission for which they were forged into an army—to win battles against other armies. Working from the existing network of developed bases in northern Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, reinforced until doubled in number, safe from demoralizing attrition, able to exercise and train, supported fully by air and sea power, they would be equidistant from Damascus, Riyadh, and Baghdad, each of which they could reach en masse and despite opposition in two or three days to bring down any regime that did not suppress the terrorism in its purview. These capitals are the center of gravity of the Middle East and, perforce, of the terrorist enterprise. To control the center without continuous occupation of populated areas would confer immense direct, strategical, and psychological advantage, and would as well provide a secure base for dealing with enemy migration to outlying areas, an established pattern that will recur.

Once the center was secured, activities dispersed to the periphery would be isolated and vulnerable. Regimes that refused cooperation could then become the focus for careful consideration one by one. Take for example Iran, a peripheral state that is nonetheless the most powerful and belligerent sponsor of terrorism remaining in the Middle East and indeed in the world. This is a country of 73 million, with a formidable military and difficult mountainous terrain. It is not, absent the kind of mass and power the United States and NATO needlessly relinquished at the Cold War's end, a country to invade, even in the "in-and-out" style advocated herein. And yet it has acquired and is acquiring intermediate-range ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, it is a habitual and recidivist supporter of terrorism, and its legislature frequently opens with chants of "Death to America."

We treat this obvious threat as if it were insurmountable, because due to our insufficient preparation, current deployments, and strategical blindness, at the moment, it is. The administration has no policy other than a few impotent statements about elections, and a spurned offer to inject Elizabeth Dole into the region as a bearer of earthquake aid. A Kerry Administration, over-brimming with understanding of the world's disdain for the United States, and having rejected the legitimacy of pre-emption, would be patient until detonation. The girlie-men of Congress hope to complete a resolution calling for U.N. sanctions, while the non-metrosexual bloc hopes to introduce a resolution for regime change. Ever meek, the Europeans tried bribery and persuasion and were rebuffed like idiots. And the Council on Foreign Relations recommends "direct dialogue" and the broadening of cultural and economic relations—i.e., ping-pong and pistachios. Meanwhile, Iran shelters al-Qaeda, acquires missiles, and races toward nuclear armament.

But were the open and bleeding flank in Iraq closed, the center safely held, and the American military properly supplied, rebuilt, and rejuvenated, the sure way to strip Iran of its nuclear potential would be clear: issuance of an ultimatum stating that we will not allow a terrorist state, the legislature of which chants like a robot for our demise, to possess nuclear weapons; clearing the Gulf of Iranian naval and coastal defense forces; cutting corridors across Iran free of effective anti-aircraft capability; surging carriers to the Gulf and expeditionary air forces to Saudi Arabia; readying long-range heavy bombers in this country and Guam; setting up an unparalleled search and rescue capability. If then our conditions were unmet, we could destroy every nuclear, ballistic-missile, military research, and military technical facility in Iran, with the promise that were the prohibited activities to resume and/or relocate we would destroy completely the economic infrastructure of the country, something we could do in a matter of days and refresh indefinitely, with nary a boot on the ground. That is the large-scale option, necessary only if for some reason the destruction of Iran's nuclear facilities could not, as is likely, be accomplished by stealth bombers and cruise missiles. The almost complete paralysis of its economy, should it be called for, could be achieved with the same instruments plus naval gunfire and blockade.

Like the strategy of using ground forces as an equivalent "fleet-in-being" coiled and ready to strike from within the heart of the center of gravity of the Middle East, this strategy for air and naval power would have a high probability of achieving its aims via coercion rather than actual combat, and, were going to war necessary, it would require neither the careless dissolution of (relatively) small forces among large populations, as in Iraq, nor their exposure to insurgency, nor their endless deployment in hostile areas. The paradigm would shift from conquer, occupy, fail, and withdraw—to strike, return, and re-energize, one of the many advantages of which would be that the U.S. military would remain intact and capable of dispatching to areas now dangerously neglected, such as East Asia.

But as salubrious as such a strategy may be, it is not magical. At times, occupation of key points would be necessary. And no matter what the efficiency of the paradigm, it does not obviate the need for a military buildup. The managerial ethos, rife now in the Pentagon and poison for the conduct of war, is to do the job with just enough of what is required. But war always requires redundancy, reserves, and as large a surplus capacity as can be maintained. That is because, unlike manufacturing shampoo or television sets, there are far many more variables, fewer rules, hostile intent, and consequences mortal to individuals and nations. The armed forces of the United States must be configured not only with a comfortable surplus for fighting the war on terror, but with an eye to the rise of China—so that, in both cases, rather than our vulnerabilities stimulating the initiatives of enemy or rival, our vigor and capacity will deter and discourage them. To do otherwise, as we are doing in fighting on the cheap, neglecting the rise of China altogether, and hoping for the best, is to risk the national security.

The Means to Prevail

Civil defense as we practice it now may best be understood in its similarity to military "transformation" or the "revolution in military affairs," which is not a revolution at all but a clearly traceable evolution that, nonetheless, has (predictably) accelerated at such a torrid pace that to some it looks like a revolution. Think of it in this way: if during World War I the entente had had a bee capable of injecting a fatal poison in the jugular of ten enemy soldiers, of arriving so fast that it could hardly be seen, and of organizing its movements collectively with such precision that no one would be stung twice, the armies of Britain, France, Italy, the Balkan states, Russia, and the U.S., with all their artillery, machine guns, trench works, and gas, might have been replaced by a dozen beehives, and the war won in a few days with not a daisy cut from its stem. That, by illustrative analogy, is the soul of transformation.

The problem is that no matter how capable the bees, they will encourage adaptations in those who are stung, and some things they cannot do anyway. The American military's transformation is necessary, though not necessarily sufficient, for prevailing in battle against other armies (mass and traditional maneuver are still required, as are heavy weapons and staple logistics), but transformation has little effect on counter-insurgency, as illustrated so painfully in Iraq. Nonetheless, it is the fashion of the moment and the instrument for all purposes.

Though it is far easier to attack the few thousand enemy targets that threaten us than it is to defend the scores of millions of targets they may strike, the asymmetrical and covert nature of the war demands that we must defend them. Because such a defense is so very costly, we have turned to the transformation model to mount it. Just as the Clinton Administration, to avoid higher military spending, emphasized transformation and its aura of magic, and just as the Bush Administration has done so partly for the same reason, we see our civil defense not as a difficult, tedious, and expensive job of widespread and meticulous protection, but as a challenge for the exercise of pinpoint intelligence.

Rather than comprehensive inspection and screening of passengers and cargo, we turn instead to complicated exercises with computers. Rather than controlling the borders, we seek to determine the few malefactors. Thus the stress on intelligence and neglect of virtually all else. But, as military transformation is necessary and yet clearly not sufficient for victory in war, intelligence is absolutely necessary and most certainly not sufficient for civil defense. And because the screen, by policy and delusion, is deliberately partial, and often so much so as to be nonexistent, and because that which may pass through it is of almost unimaginable destructive potential, we cannot safely continue to rely on selectivity alone.

To the contrary, the borders must be controlled absolutely, as is the right of every sovereign nation. It is hardly impossible and would demand no more than adding to the Border Patrol a paramilitary force of roughly 30,000, equipped with vehicles, helicopters, unmanned aerial drones, fences, and sensors. Crowded and slow entry points should be expanded to provide quick and thorough inspection by traditional methods and inspection to the limits of technological advance where traditional methods are impossible, as in searching the interstices of vehicles, or packed cargo containers, for nuclear or chemical warfare material. The sea frontiers can be secured if we undertake to supplement the Coast Guard with a few dozen high endurance cutters, 100 coastal patrol vessels, 50 long-range reconnaissance aircraft, 100 helicopters, and the appropriate additional personnel; and if the navy, by expansion of its anti-submarine assets, fixed and afloat, guarantees against submarine infiltration.

Aliens with even the slightest record of support for terrorism should be summarily deported—no alien has or has ever had the absolute right to be in the United States—and American citizens with suspected terrorist connections should be subjected to at least the same level of surveillance and investigation as figures in organized crime, with the same constitutional protections unless waived by an emergency court that, in turn, is supervised by a court higher still, the task of which is to prevent abuse of even carefully created emergency powers.

The United States must have, once again, an air defense, with new provisions for aerial threats arising from within its borders. This would require only a few hundred new fighters, a small part of those necessary for the future power projection needs of the air force and navy, and assimilable in them as a stage of rotation and training.

Although the best way to prevent a nuclear detonation in an American city is to stop it as early as possible in the planning stages, the fact that many portable Soviet tactical nuclear charges are unaccounted for justifies not only the above-mentioned border detection measures but bringing to full maturity the spotty intra-city nuclear detection effort in, for example, Washington, D.C., and its extension to every major concentration of population in the country. Training in decontamination, and the stockpiling of radiation countermeasures are necessary elements, as are evacuation planning and infrastructure continuation. Although for some the existence of "low-intensity" warfare in the form of terrorism means—because of magic that I myself cannot fathom—that there is no danger of a nuclear weapon delivered to a target in the United States by missilery, the existence of missile and nuclear weapons programs in what Madeleine Albright called "states of concern" suggests that ballistic-missile defense is yet an urgent priority, especially given that both intermediate-range and short-range ballistic missiles can be launched at sea with relative ease, after being dropped into the water from a freighter.

An effort on a scale several times greater than that of the Manhattan Project, and with similar or greater urgency, should be made to find antidotes, immunizations, and effective treatment for the full range of chemical and biological warfare agents. Once these are brought into being, they should be channeled into an immense nationwide distribution and application system, so that every attack can be quickly and thoroughly isolated, suppressed, and ameliorated. Each American should have access to the full range of immunizations available. (This is not the case at present. For example, though most of the public has at one time been vaccinated against smallpox, often on multiple occasions, it cannot now be revaccinated, because for some this procedure is a frightful prospect due to their view of the risks.) And stockpiles should be waiting for latecomers and the fainthearted.

Although these steps do not cover the full range of vulnerabilities (some of which it would be unwise to discuss publicly), and neither they nor anything else can provide absolute assurance, in their deterrent effect and their actual functioning they would drastically reduce the major dangers, and many of them would provide ancillary benefits as well. The establishment of huge medical research centers, with every incentive and asset for successful breakthroughs, would undoubtedly bring associated benefits in medicine. If the laws of supply and demand remain unrepealed, significantly increasing the number of hospitals and their staffs to deal with worst case scenarios could not have anything but a positive impact on the economics and availability of health care. Actual control of the borders would shut down the world's largest market for the transnational trade in illegal drugs. The necessary and balanced growth of the military would give pause to any nation, rogue or otherwise, with plans or dreams of challenging the United States by force of arms, thus obviating by deterrence future conflicts that we cannot foresee, and saving the lives of many who are not yet born.

Are We at War?

To the complaint that all I have recommended would be impossibly expensive, I say look to history, look to current accounts, look to the vast size of the economy, more than $11 trillion, of which I propose to release not even one dollar in ten, and keep in mind the kind of weaponry available to the enemy, his motivation, his declarations, and his intent.

When combined with the intelligent direction of policy and appropriate strategical reformations and adjustments in war aims, the measures outlined above—a proportionally small effort in light of the cost of previous wars—would offer the best chance for escaping the incalculable expense of lives lost, cities destroyed, and unnecessary wars of the future provoked by the vacuum of unpreparedness, lack of resolution, and ineptitude in execution that we have begun to show the world. In terms of what we must seek to avoid, these expenditures are the greatest economy imaginable.

The United States must make up its collective mind and answer the simple question, are we at war, or are we not? If the answer is no, we need not worry, nor take nor modify action in regard to terrorism. If the answer is yes, then major revisions and initiatives are needed, soon. If they are not reasonably forthcoming, the nation may pay a price such as it has never paid before.

It is all, finally, a matter of the possession or the failure of will. For if the whole power of the United States is adroitly focused upon this war, it is solely ours to win. We have the means to prevail. We need only count the ways.
21 posted on 09/24/2004 10:13:18 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Online journalist freed but two others still held
Bloggers and other Internet users urged to send messages of support

Reporters Without Borders today welcomed the release on 21 September of Iranian online journalist Babak Ghafori Azar, detained for two weeks for allegedly writing for the news website Rouydad, but said two others arrested around the same time are still being held and urged bloggers and other Internet users and to send e-mail messages of support.

The organisation said the messages, which senders may compose in their own words, should be sent to , from where they will be forwarded to the families of the imprisoned journalists and posted on the Farsi-language section of the Reporters Without Borders website : ?id_rubrique=256

The community of Iranian bloggers has been organising for several days to show its opposition to the censorship of Emrooz, Rouydad and Baamdad, websites that support Iran's main reform party. Dozens of Farsi-language blog pages have been renamed Emrooz and are displaying articles taken from the Emrooz site.


Azar, who also works for the business daily Hayat-e now, was arrested at his home on 7 September after it was searched by the police.

Shahram Rafihzadeh, the editor of the culture section of the newspaper Etemad, was arrested the same day, probably by the vice police, a section of the Tehran police thought to be linked to the intelligence services.

Hanif Mazroi, a journalist who used to work for several reformist newspapers, was arrested the following day when he complied with a summons to report to the ninth section of the Tehran prosecutor's office.

Rafihzadeh and Mazroi are probably being held in connection with the blocking of the Rouydad news site ( since 21 August on the orders of the Tehran prosecutor's office.

22 posted on 09/24/2004 10:15:57 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Alleged Treasurer Of MKO Appears In French Court


September 23, 2004
The Associated Press
Dow Jones Newswires

PARIS -- An alleged treasurer of an Iranian exile group appeared Thursday before a French judge amid suspicions of terror-related financing, judicial officials said.

The woman, a resident of London who wasn't identified, was arrested Monday at Gare du Nord train station in Paris after arriving from Brussels, the officials said on condition of anonymity.

Investigators believe the suspect, said to be about 58 years old, belongs to the Mujahedeen Khalq, an Iranian exile group considered by the U.S. and the European Union to be a terrorist organization.

A judge was to decide whether the woman was to be placed under investigation -a step short of formal charges -for suspected ties to a terror group and financing of terrorism, the officials said.

The Mujahedeen Khalq fiercely opposes the Muslim clerical government in Iran . It has been based in France since shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution toppled Iran 's shah.

The group insists it is a peaceful umbrella movement of exiled Iranian opponents of the Iranian regime, and calls itself the National Council of Resistance of Iran. ...

25 posted on 09/24/2004 10:26:56 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Putin Urges Iran To Comply With UN Nuclear Agency Demands


September 24, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday called on Iran to comply with all demands of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, adding he was "deeply convinced" that Iran has no need for nuclear weapons. Putin's statement was the second time this week that Russia has asked Iran to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Last weekend, the U.N. agency demanded that Iran freeze uranium enrichment and all related activities, such as the building of centrifuges and reprocessing uranium, within two months.

Iran called the demand "illegal" and threatened to limit cooperation with the IAEA if it moves toward imposing sanctions.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday that the IAEA' resolution on Iran represented a compromise.

Speaking at a meeting of international news agencies and journalists Friday, Putin said Russia was "categorically against" expanding the number of nuclear-armed countries.

"Iran does not need nuclear weapons; this will solve not one of the problems standing before it; including the problem of security in the region," the Russian president said. ...

26 posted on 09/24/2004 10:29:24 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

US Ramps Up Military Rhetoric On Iran


September 23, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
Alex Keto

In a thinly veiled threat, Secretary of State Colin Powell noted Wednesday that "all nations" reserve the right to use military force to shutdown Iran's drive to build nuclear weapons.

However, Powell also added the qualifier that, at the moment, he knows of no plans to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran.

Over the weekend, Iran rejected a demand from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to put an end to its uranium enrichment programs. The step moves Tehran closer to producing the enriched uranium needed for a nuclear weapon.

Tehran has said its nuclear energy program is strictly for peaceful purposes, but U.S. officials believe that is nonsense given that nation's vast reserves of crude oil and natural gas.

Israel has expressed great unease about Iran's efforts to develop the capability to enrich uranium - and has indicated it wouldn't tolerate letting Iran possess nuclear weapons. In 1981, Israel launched a military strike that demolished a nuclear reactor in Iraq that Tel Aviv believed was the foundation of Saddam Hussein's efforts to build nuclear weapons.

Asked about the possibility Israel would launch a strike against Iran, Powell said, "I'm not aware of any plans to attack Iran. Every nation has all options available to it."

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom likewise sidestepped the question at the U.N., but made it clear Israel believes time is running out in the crisis.

"They are trying to buy time, and the time has come to move the Iranian case to the Security Council in order to put an end to this nightmare," Shalom said.

Shalom predicted the Iranians will never abandon their nuclear weapons program voluntarily.

As far as the U.S. is concerned, Powell said the decision now is to pursue diplomacy. However, he also indicated the U.S. has only a limited amount of patience left.

He said Iran needs to backdown by the time the IAEA meets again at the end of November and if it doesn't, then other options may come to the fore.

"We're talking about diplomacy and political efforts to stop this movement on the part of the Iranians toward a nuclear weapon and we're not talking about strikes. But every option, though, is -- of course -- remains on the table," Powell said.

While President George W. Bush has made it a practice not to rule out any option when confronting an international crisis, Powell is the first top administration official to weigh in on the topic of military strikes and Iran. ...

27 posted on 09/24/2004 10:33:11 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Friday September 24, 05:08 PM

EU ready to toughen up on Iran nukes

By Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA (Reuters) - European countries trying to persuade Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment programme are losing patience with Tehran and may soon be ready to support U.S. demands for tougher action, diplomats say.

One western diplomat close to the negotiations between Britain, France and Germany and Iran said it was very likely Iran's nuclear programme would be referred to the U.N. Security Council in November.

Iran, defying calls by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, said earlier this week it had begun processing raw uranium to prepare it for enrichment -- a process that can be used to develop nuclear bombs.

"It looks like Iran is going to the Security Council," said the diplomat, who declined to be named. "People now are discussing what will happen when it goes there."

The European trio have been trying for over a year to persuade Iran to abandon its enrichment programme, resisting U.S. calls for tougher action to isolate and punish Tehran.

"They know what they have to do," one European diplomat said. "They need to implement a full suspension or they know what will happen."

French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said in New York, where he is attending UN General Assembly session, that the Europeans were growing impatient with Tehran.

"If we are not reassured ... then the matter will be brought before the Security Council," he told reporters, adding that the Europeans were still hoping Iran would begin co-operating.

It is not clear what would happen after any referral to the Security Council. Diplomats say its members would be unwilling to risk pushing up oil prices by imposing oil sanctions.

But they said the Security Council could start with a strong statement urging Iran to co-operate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Such a statement would be likely to win support from other Security Council members Russia and China, they said.

The United States and Israel have hinted at the possibility of military action to take out Iran's nuclear infrastructure.

Earlier this week, Israeli officials said that they were buying 500 U.S. "bunker buster" bombs capable of penetrating Iran's underground nuclear facilities.


Washington says Iran is developing nuclear bombs under cover of a civilian nuclear energy programme. Privately, many European diplomats agree. Iran, however, denies pursuing nuclear arms.

Last October, Iran promised the EU trio it would suspend all enrichment activities. But while Iran has not enriched any uranium, it has continued building and testing centrifuges and has begun processing uranium.

Diplomats and intelligence officials have told Reuters in recent interviews that once Iran has enough uranium feed material for its centrifuges, it will begin enriching it.

Washington has been demanding since last year that the IAEA's 35-member board report Iran to the Security Council for concealing its enrichment programme for two decades.

Negotiations between the EU trio and Iran will continue in the hope that Tehran will agree to a full freeze, but diplomats close to the talks said this is unlikely.

Another diplomat close to the IAEA said that it would be "very Iranian" if Tehran agreed to a suspension right before an IAEA board meeting due to discuss Iran on November 25.

But this would not be enough for Washington or Europe.

"The resolution called for an immediate suspension of the enrichment programme," said a Western diplomat on the IAEA board. "It is already too late."

28 posted on 09/24/2004 10:36:41 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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