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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Since where Powell stands on the war on terror is important to the Iranian protest movment, I thought you might be interested in this development...

Powell Panel Has Surprising Slant

Critic: Not a Bush List, a State Dept. List
New York Sun, 7.17.2003
By IRA STOLL Staff Reporter of the Sun

It has a former CNN official — but no one from Fox News.

It has an official of the dovish Israel Policy Forum — but no one from more mainstream or centrist Jewish organizations.

It has one member who donated to the Gore-Lieberman campaign, another who gave to Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign, and two who supported the Arab American Leadership Council Political Action Committee, which funds extremist critics of President Bush’s foreign policy and of Israel such as Reps. Jim Moran, Earl Hilliard, and Cynthia McKinney.

A group on the left-wing fringe of Democratic foreign policy? Nope, this is an advisory group to the Bush administration named this week with the approval of Secretary of State Powell.

The 14-member panel, known as the Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim World of the U.S.Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, held its first meetings in Washington on July 8 and 9, before its members were publicly announced.

A commission spokesman, Matt Lauer, told The New York Sun that the group’s chairman, Edward Djerejian, “did work with Secretary Powell” and an assistant secretary of state, Patricia Harrison, in coming up with the members of the group. A State Department official speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed that Mr. Powell “did sign off” on the appointees.

The group came under immediate criticism from some Middle East policy analysts.

“It’s a curious list. It’s essentially a Democratic list, I mean, big-D Democratic,” said the director of the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes, who was a Middle East policy official in the Reagan administration.

“It’s not so much a Bush administration list as it is a State Department list,” Mr. Pipes said.

The director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Hudson Institute, Meyrav Wurmser, called the group “imbalanced” and “obviously very onesided.”She warned that the group’s recommendations would probably reflect the people on the panel.

A press release announcing the panel said,“The advisory group was assembled at the request of Congress to study the efficacy of the Department of State’s public diplomacy efforts aimed in these regions and recommend policy initiatives.The advisory group, through the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, will report its findings and recommendations to the President, the Congress, and the Secretary of State.”

Mr. Djerejian, a former American ambassador to Syria, is scheduled to appear on July 24 at a public meeting in Washington of the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. There he’s expected to update the full commission on the advisory group’s activities.

“Public diplomacy” has become a buzzword in foreign policy circles following the terrorist attacks of September 11, in part owing to a view that may be crudely summarized as the notion that if America could only explain itself better on television and radio and in Arab newspapers, fewer terrorists would want to attack Americans.

Mr. Lauer, the commission spokesman, called the members “a good group” that “represents a variety of different positions.”

The State Department official noted that the group does include at least some Republicans and is intended to be bipartisan in nature.

Some of the members have previously and publicly expressed views on public diplomacy. Mamoun Fandy, for instance, told PBS’s NewsHour, “It would be probably very good if the person carrying America’s message to the Muslim world is a Muslim himself, or a native speaker of the language that he’s broadcasting. So at least there is a level of trust, and the basic problem between America and the Muslim world is the gap in trust.”

Of the other members, Stephen P. Cohen was identified in the release as being affiliated with the Israel Policy Forum. He was the subject of scrutiny last December when he acknowledged that he “made contacts between business people in Israel and the Arab world” engaged in a Middle East business deal while functioning as a Middle East policy analyst.An associate of one of his partners in the deal told an Israeli newspaper that the partner “made millions” through commissions on gas and cement deals between Israeli companies and the Palestinian Authority.

George Salem, a Washington lawyer, and John Zogby, a pollster, both donated to the Arab American Leadership Council Political Action Committee. Mr. Salem also donated individually to Rep. Jim Moran, a Virginia Democrat.

Harold Pachios, another member of the group, gave to the Bradley campaign.

Shibley Telhami, another member of the group, gave to the Gore-Lieberman campaign.

Judy Milestone, another member of the group, is a former senior vice president of CNN.

Mr. Zogby’s polling firm conducted a survey of 3,800 Arab adults that was commissioned by the Arab Thought Foundation, a charity funded with at least $17 million from Saudi royalty and prominent businessmen, including $1.5 million from Bakr Bin Laden, the estranged brother of Osama bin Laden.

A spokesman for Mr. Djerejian, who is the director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University, said Mr. Djerejian was traveling and unavailable for comment yesterday evening.

Officials familiar with the panel, whose members serve on a part-time, unpaid basis, said that no federal financial disclosure forms are required for members.

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
6 posted on 07/18/2003 12:32:56 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All
Shifting US Policy on Iran

Seyfi Tashan 7.18.2003

Now that the U.S. military has supreme authority in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has presence in Central Asia, it has the possibility of exerting heavy presence on Iran, once a strategic partner of the U.S. Iran's attempts to develop nuclear capability, ostensibly for civilian purposes, is not a new phenomenon. During the days of the rule of late Shah, an order was placed to a German company for the construction of a large nuclear power plant. At that time the U.S. did not object to this project because the Shah of Iran was a friend of the U.S. Nevertheless, the construction work was interrupted because of the revolution. Only several years later, to the chagrin of the U.S., Russia became the principal source for developing Iranian nuclear capability that included a regeneration plant that could produce weapons grade uranium and plutonium.

Immediately after the war in Iraq eyes were turned on Iran as a potential U.S. target; saber rattling was heard loud and clear. Iran accepted to put all of its installations under the control of an appropriate nuclear agency and Russia assured the U.S. that it would not allow any weapons technology transfer. The possibility of a U.S. attack on Iran has rescinded substantially may be for several reasons:

Iran's nuclear program is supported by the entire nation irrespective of political tendencies. Too much criticism and an act of aggression on this account will bring the Iranian nation together against the U.S. As moderate Iranians are seeking a dialogue with the U.S. such a move would undercut dissent against the conservative Shiite rule and weaken their campaign to topple the system.
Iran is a pivotal country in the region extending from the Gulf to Central Asia and the Caucasus. With U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. would like a friendly regime in Iran not an enemy. Iran is a candidate to play a useful role for U.S. interests in the region as it did under the Shah during the Cold War. Particularly after the coolness that developed in Turkish-U.S. relations during and after the Iraq war, the need for friendly Iran has become even greater.

Last but not least is the influence of Iran on Shiites that constitute more than two-thirds of the population of Iraq. Britain & the U.S. have not yet succeeded in pacifying the people of Iraq. Discontent with the shortages in Iraq is on the increase and the occupying powers are blamed. An attack on Iran, if it cannot be justified in the eyes of the Shiites in Iraq, would mean even greater unrest among the Shiites of Iraq even if Iran may not provide open support.
An additional consideration may be that for the U.S. it may be easier to fight a war against a mismatched enemy; but establishing a post-war regime is extremely difficult. Transition to a government system that could provide good governance and peace to the people in Iran dwarfs the difficulties in Iraq.

For these reasons the U.S. policy, while supporting dissent in Iran, no longer talks about military solutions, and the U.S. seems to have shifted its attention to problems in Africa where prospects of success would also help the administration's re-election campaign among the coloured voters, while trying to overcome the impediments for peace in the Middle East and law and order in Iraq.
7 posted on 07/18/2003 12:58:09 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
The Blog Shall Make You Free,,SB105848499831453000,00.html?mod=opinion

The story of Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi, who Iran has finally admitted died from brain injuries sustained when Iranian secret police beat her, made international news this week. More surprising is that Westerners are hearing about Iranian journalist Sina Motallebi, arrested for the crime of blogging.

Technology has played a huge role in modern democracy movements, whether it was faxes during the 1989 Tiananmen uprising, or e-mail during the Russian overthrow of its dictators. Iran, for its part, has discovered blogs. In less than two years an estimated 10,000 blogs have popped up under the very noses of mullahs, mostly written in Persian, and all of them giving Iranians a new free-speech outlet.

Thanks to these blogs, Iranians are gabbing fairly freely about everything from entertainment and poetry to technology and personal diaries. Iranian women (who can take different names online) use blogs to talk about dating, sex and other taboo subjects. And, of course, the blogs are playing a real role in Iran's democracy movement. Bloggers provide firsthand accounts of student protests, political criticism and even attract politicians -- who comment on postings.

Iran's mullahs might be slow but they're catching on. They have started blocking sites they deem subversive (including Voice of America's Persian-language site) and have occasionally shut down student sites and blog-hosting services like They also decided to make an example of Mr. Motallebi. A journalist for a paper that was shut down by the government, Mr. Motallebi began a blog. His site, while rarely political, was very popular. In April he was arrested on undisclosed charges, and is now awaiting trial.

That Westerners know about Mr. Motallebi is largely the result of another blogging phenomenon: Iranians who run English-language blogs outside of Iran. Pedram Moallemian, born in Iran but now living in California, runs a blog ( and started an online petition to protest Mr. Motallebi's arrest. Hossein Derakhshan, who runs a Iran-focused blog ( in Canada, helped bring the story to the attention of well-known blogs like InstaPundit and Buzz Machine, which means a lot of Americans now know the story. Mr. Derakhshan has also provided Iranians back home with the technical information to set up blogs.

The Internet won't bring down Iran's dictators. But the blogging phenomenon shows that human freedom and expression will not be denied, and that technology will only continue to make the job of dictators that much harder.
12 posted on 07/18/2003 5:21:12 AM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: DoctorZIn
"commission spokesman, Matt Lauer,"

THEee Matt Lauer?
Sounds like a "make everyone happy" group.
Me thinks there's something else afoot here.
Wonder if Ledeen will have an explanation for what this is really all about?
13 posted on 07/18/2003 5:53:28 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
Good morning
thanks for the ping
19 posted on 07/18/2003 6:59:46 AM PDT by firewalk
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