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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
The Middle East: The Realities

By Charles Krauthammer
Washington Post | July 25, 2003

Amid the general media and Democratic frenzy over Niger yellowcake, it is Bill Clinton who injected a note of sanity. "What happened often happens," Clinton told Larry King. "There was a disagreement between British intelligence and American intelligence. The president said it was British intelligence that said it. . . . . British intelligence still maintains that they think the nuclear story was true. I don't know what was true, what was false. I thought the White House did the right thing in just saying, 'Well, we probably shouldn't have said that.' " Big deal. End of story. End of scandal.

The fact that the Democrats and the media can't seem to let go of it, however, is testimony to their need (and ability) to change the subject. From what? From the moral and strategic realities of Iraq. The moral reality finally burst through the yellowcake fog with the death of the Hussein brothers, psychopathic torturers who would be running Iraq if not for the policy enunciated by President Bush in that very same State of the Union address.

That moral reality is a little hard for the left to explain, considering the fact that it parades as the guardian of human rights and all-around general decency, and rallied millions to prevent the policy that liberated Iraq from Uday and Qusay's reign of terror.

Then there are the strategic realities. Consider what has happened in the Near East since Sept. 11, 2001:

(1) In Afghanistan, the Taliban have been overthrown and a decent government has been installed.

(2) In Iraq, the Saddam Hussein regime has been overthrown, the dynasty has been destroyed and the possibility for a civilized form of governance exists for the first time in 30 years.

(3) In Iran, with dictatorships toppled to the east (Afghanistan) and the west (Iraq), popular resistance to the dictatorship of the mullahs has intensified.

(4) In Pakistan, once the sponsor and chief supporter of the Taliban, the government radically reversed course and became a leading American ally in the war on terror.

(5) In Saudi Arabia, where the presence of U.S. troops near the holy cities of Mecca and Medina deeply inflamed relations with many Muslims, the American military is leaving -- not in retreat or with apology but because it is no longer needed to protect Saudi Arabia from Hussein.

(6) Yemen, totally unhelpful to the United States after the attack on the USS Cole, has started cooperating in the war on terror.

(7) In the small, stable Gulf states, new alliances with the United States have been established.

(8) Kuwait's future is secure, the threat from Saddam Hussein having been eliminated.

(9) Jordan is secure, no longer having Iraq's tank armies and radical nationalist influence at its back.

(10) Syria has gone quiet, closing terrorist offices in Damascus and playing down its traditional anti-Americanism.

(11) Lebanon's southern frontier is quiet for the first time in years, as Hezbollah, reading the new strategic situation, has stopped cross-border attacks into Israel.

(12) Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have been restarted, a truce has been declared and a fledgling Palestinian leadership has been established that might actually be prepared to make a real peace with Israel.

That's every country from the Khyber Pass to the Mediterranean Sea. Everywhere you look, the forces of moderation have been strengthened. This is a huge strategic advance not just for the region but for the world, because this region in its decades-long stagnation has incubated the world's most virulent anti-American, anti-Western, anti-democratic and anti-modernist fanaticism.

This is not to say that the Near East has been forever transformed. It is only to say that because of American resolution and action, there is a historic possibility for such a transformation.

But it all hinges on success in Iraq. On America's not being driven out of Iraq the way it was driven out of Lebanon and Somalia -- which is what every terrorist and every terrorist state wants to see happen. And with everything at stake, what is the left doing? Everything it can to undermine the enterprise. By implying both that it was launched fraudulently (see yellowcake) and, alternately, that it has ensnared us in a hopeless quagmire.

Yes, the cost is great. The number of soldiers killed is relatively small, but every death is painful and every life uniquely valuable. But remember that just yesterday we lost 3,000 lives in one day. And if this region is not transformed, on some future day we will lose 300,000.

The lives of those as yet unknown innocents hinge now on success in Iraq. If we win the peace and leave behind a decent democratic society, enjoying, as it does today, the freest press and speech in the entire Arab world, it will revolutionize the region. And if we leave in failure, the whole region will fall back into chaos, and worse.

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”

3 posted on 07/25/2003 1:20:14 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All
Iranian official tells of coercion

From Friday's Globe and Mail

Ottawa and Vancouver — A senior Iranian official says he was threatened with prosecution if he did not participate in a cover-up of the beating death in custody of Montreal photojournalist Zahra Kazemi.

The official said yesterday he was coerced into falsely stating that she died of a stroke this month when in fact her skull was fractured by a violent blow sometime after her arrest in Tehran.

The official, Mohammad Hussein Khoshvaqt, said a prosecutor accused Ms. Kazemi of being a spy, and warned him he could be arrested for assisting a spy because he was the official who issued her press credentials.

In a letter to the Speaker of the Iranian parliament, Mr. Khoshvaqt said state prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi dictated a statement to the effect that Ms. Kazemi, 54, had died of a stroke. "Then he got it typed on a paper with a Culture Ministry emblem, got me to sign it and sent it to IRNA [the official Islamic Republic News Agency]."

Mr. Mortazavi is implicated in the harsh interrogation of Ms. Kazemi.

In a second development, Iranian authorities tried to draw a parallel between Ms. Kazemi's death in custody and the fatal shooting by a Port Moody, B.C., police officer of a machete-wielding B.C. youth of Iranian origin.

Mr. Khoshvaqt, a senior official in the Iranian Culture Ministry, which deals with journalists, said he was held against his will and allowed to leave the prosecutor's office only after IRNA published the false story.

Mr. Khoshvaqt's letter was reprinted yesterday in the reformist newspaper Yas-e-Nou and posted to the paper's Web site.

Another official in the Culture Ministry told The Associated Press that the letter is authentic.

Mr. Mortazavi is notorious for his crackdown on independent journalists and intellectuals who are critical of hard-line clerics.

He was identified in a report by a special Iranian cabinet committee as one of the officials who interrogated Ms. Kazemi in the days after her arrest last month. Some dissident exile groups said Mr. Mortazavi may have struck the blow that fractured the journalist's skull.

He is also the official who pressed for Ms. Kazemi's burial in Iran after her death on July 10, over the objections of the Canadian government and her son. Canada has withdrawn its ambassador in protest and is considering trade and other sanctions.

Ms. Kazemi's son, Stephan Hachemi, wanted the body returned to Canada for an independent autopsy. Ms. Kazemi held Canadian and Iranian citizenship. Iran did not recognize her Canadian citizenship.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi accused Canadian police of killing an Iranian youth in Port Moody, B.C., and Canadian news media of censoring the story.

Echoing the words used by Canadian officials in the Kazemi case, Mr. Asefi said Iran "will urge the Canadian government, through diplomatic channels, to deliver a prompt, transparent and satisfying explanation of the horrifying crime."

Mr. Asefi was referring to the widely reported shooting of Keyvan Tabesh, 18, on July 14 in the climax to an apparent road-rage incident. He was shot by a plainclothes police officer.

Port Moody police said Mr. Tabesh, carrying a machete, ran toward the officer. However, Mr. Tabesh's family questions whether Mr. Tabesh knew that it was a police officer pointing a gun at him.

The case is under investigation.

There is no legitimate comparison between the Port Moody case and Ms. Kazemi's death in custody, said Reynald Doiron, a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa.

But Mr. Asefi said in Tehran: "The crime perpetrated by Canadian police . . . has caused fear and horror among the Iranian community in Canada."

Sharam Golestaneh, president of the Ottawa-based exile group Committee for Defence of Human Rights in Iran said, "That is absolutely not true. There is no parallel between the way the police operate in a democracy like Canada and the dictatorship in Iran."

The suggestion of a political motive for the shooting caught police in Port Moody by surprise.

"It's amazing how politics works," Constable Brian Soles of the Port Moody Police Department said yesterday in an interview.

The incident and the investigation are "free from any political interference," he said.

"Politics is not part of this. . . . No one has phoned us to speed up our investigation or told us to do anything."

Port Moody Police have announced an investigation into the shooting and an internal review into the force's handling of the incident. No date has been set for the completion of the two investigations, Constable Soles said.

Liana Wright of the B.C. Coroner's Services said the coroner will decide whether to hold an inquest after the criminal investigation is completed. The autopsy report would not be available to the public until after the police complete their work, she said.

Rita Tabesh said her family was shocked to learn his case had been raised by the Iranian government.

"We were surprised," she said, speaking from the family's Burnaby home. "We never talk to the government."

When she learned her brother's death was being reported in Iran, she phoned her husband, who is visiting relatives in Iran, to ask him to call TV stations there and tell them to stop broadcasting the story.

"We don't want the government to use our family," she said, adding the family simply wants to know why her brother died.

With reports from the Associated Press and Canadian Press

4 posted on 07/25/2003 1:44:06 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Good morning
Thanks for the ping
7 posted on 07/25/2003 4:00:32 AM PDT by firewalk
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To: DoctorZIn
I thought it was pretty obvious why Clinton "injected a note of sanity" as Mr.Charles Krauthammer put it.
Clinton knew the 9/11 Report was coming out and it was the CIA and FBI under HIS watch that did most of the screwing up. He was already putting up a defense for his own Intelligence mishandlings, by "pardoning" President Bush for his. Don't want to turn all the screw-ups Mr Clinton made into a 2week story, do we democrats and left-wing media? Especially if the new rumblings about Hillary running in '04 have any validity. (And Bill thinking about new political aspirations.)
8 posted on 07/25/2003 5:52:57 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
This is horrifying. I fear for the universe. I actually have to agree with Clinton on something.

Ye Gads!!! I wonder if the Devil has his warm winter woolies on...
10 posted on 07/25/2003 6:43:55 AM PDT by Ronin (Qui tacet consentit!)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; RaceBannon; dixiechick2000; Valin; piasa; Texas_Dawg
Iran admits holding key Al-Qaeda members

TEHERAN - Iran has acknowledged for the first time that it is holding senior figures from Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network and said it expected to try, deport or extradite them soon.

The United States has demanded that Teheran turn over any prisoners to face justice.

Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi gave no names but said top Osama aides were among 'many' Al-Qaeda members detained by security forces since the Taleban militia in neighbouring Afghanistan was overthrown in 2001.

'Some have been expelled or handed over to their country of origin.

'We are still holding many others, small and big,' he told reporters after a weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari said some of the detainees would be extradited to their home countries while others would be tried in Iran.

The rest would be deported to the countries from which they entered Iran, he told the official Irna news agency.

It was the first public admission by top government officials that Iran is holding some key members of Al-Qaeda, which Washington holds responsible for the attacks in the US on Sept 11, 2001.

Previously, Iran has said it was still trying to identify the detainees.

Diplomats said part of the reason for Teheran's reticence was the fact that many of the detainees had been stripped of their nationalities by Arab governments, complicating the Islamic regime's efforts to negotiate their handover.

Wednesday's admission came two days after US President George W. Bush increased pressure on Iran by accusing it of harbouring and assisting terrorists.

In strongly worded comments at the White House, he said: 'This behaviour is completely unacceptable and states that support terror will be held accountable.'

The Bush administration said it could not confirm Mr Yunesi's comments and questioned whether Aal-Qaeda members in Iran were in prison or being harboured by the government.

Still, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said 'the statements would appear to confirm what we and others believe to be a significant Al-Qaeda presence in Iran to include members of its senior membership'.

'These terrorists, we've made very clear, must be brought to justice,' he added.

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Iran 'needs to deport these people either to jurisdictions where they're wanted for crimes, or to their home countries'.

Iran has denied it harbours al-Qaeda members.

Mr Yunesi said: 'As soon as we get any information about those linked to Al-Qaeda or its members, we immediately start our intelligence activities and arrest them.

'We are determined to confront them and we have done that. And this confrontation is not to make anyone in particular happy.'

ABC News reported that the CIA had confirmed that Al-Qaeda's security chief Saif Al-Adel and spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith were in Iranian custody.

Media reports and intelligence sources have also said Iran is believed to be holding Al-Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri. -- Reuters, AFP, AP,4386,201400,00.html
13 posted on 07/25/2003 7:22:38 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: DoctorZIn
The middle east is ripe for change. It's all going to hinge on how steady the American people are, how resolved, how strong. If we falter, we leave a world of chaos for our children.
28 posted on 07/25/2003 7:36:53 PM PDT by McGavin999
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