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Iranian Alert -- August 26, 2003 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 08/26/2003 12:05:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movment in Iran from being reported.
From jamming satellite broadcasts, to prohibiting news reporters from covering any demonstrations to shutting down all cell phones and even hiring foreign security to control the population, the regime is doing everything in its power to keep the popular movement from expressing its demand for an end of the regime.
These efforts by the regime, while successful in the short term, do not resolve the fundamental reasons why this regime is crumbling from within.
Iran is a country ready for a regime change. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary.
Please continue to join us here, post your news stories and comments to this thread.
Thanks for all the help.
TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iran; iranianalert; protests; studentmovement; studentprotest
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posted on 08/26/2003 12:05:29 AM PDT
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posted on 08/26/2003 12:06:41 AM PDT
Angrier and Angrier
August 25, 2003
National Review Online
One of the central themes of The War Against the Terror Masters is that we weren't ready for September 11 because the intelligence community did not want to see it coming. Over many years, people in the field and analysts in Washington and Langley had seen careers ruined because somebody tried to warn the policymakers that trouble was coming. The policymakers didn't want to hear that sort of thing because they were not prepared to do the unpleasant things that knowledge of the real situation required. The ultimate example was the Clinton White House, where the top people simply refused to even receive information about Osama bin Laden's activities in Sudan. Clinton was hardly unique; the NSC under Bush the Father simply refused to believe that Saddam would invade Kuwait, and even ignored seemingly incontrovertible information provided the night of the invasion, when General Scowcroft went home early.
When people lower down the food chain, perhaps driven by love of country, insisted on making their superiors face the facts, they often became living examples of "no good deed goes unpunished in Washington." Bob Baer, for example, who both proved the Iranian and PLO involvement in the Beirut-embassy bombing of 1983, and got inside the terror network a decade later, was threatened with criminal prosecution. And today, Michael Maloof, whose nearly 30 years of service in the Department of Defense uncovering all manner of anti-American skullduggery by various enemies should be rewarded with medals and high praise, is instead subjected to an internal inquisition and nasty leaks to the popular press.
Moreover, whenever either the CIA or FBI aggressively went after suspected terrorists, Congress was ready to investigate, to rewrite guidelines, and to punish anyone who actually succeeded. By September 10, the FBI could not even clip newspaper articles about openly anti-American groups, Muslim or otherwise. It was illegal.
The intelligence community accordingly learned that it must not take risks, and must not bring forward alarming information. So, over the years, the case officers and the top bureaucrats adapted to the political requirements, and they developed elaborate stratagems to ensure that they did not know the things that the policymakers did not want to know. On those occasions when, despite their best efforts, the information became so manifestly clear that it could not be ignored, the intelligence community denied its significance, or whispered darkly about the unreliability of the sources. Thus, for example, when some of the Ayatollah Khomeni's sermons were translated and published in the popular press, CIA sent experts to tell Senator Scoop Jackson's committee that the material was probably forged. And, at the same time, the CIA neatly refused to call the PLO a "terrorist" organization.
This convenient self-deception soon spread to the State Department, where in recent times it has taken on the characteristics of a full-blown obsessive/compulsive neurosis. No matter how many times State's policies fail, no matter how often the "peace process" produces more bloodshed than the preceding period, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs William J. Burns fly off to beg our Palestinian, Iranian, Saudi and Syrian enemies to behave better, and warn our allies in Israel to show restraint at all costs. No matter how many times Iran makes monkeys out of our policymakers, Powell and Armitage insist that Iran is a democracy, redefine the bloody internal conflict as a "family squabble," and beg the mullahs for some of the al Qaeda leaders now acknowledged to be in Iran (a fact first revealed on NRO during the fighting in Afghanistan). That is not in the cards. Iran supports al Qaeda and is not about to betray them merely to give our secretary of state a nice day.
Although clinically interesting, the patient most likely to die from this syndrome is the national security of the United States, with collateral damage throughout the Western world. Our policymakers are now willfully blind, if not always to the facts themselves, at least to their plain meaning. The BBC announced over the weekend that Iraqi police had arrested Iranian terrorists planning operations in Baghdad, and turned them over to the Americans. The general phenomenon is well known, as Jerry Bremer invariably notes in his many interviews and public statements. Yet even Bremer, a man of great talent and courage, has bought into one of the major State Department myths, namely that Sunnis and Shiites don't actively cooperate. When Brit Hume asked whether the large number of terrorists pouring across the Iran/Iraq border showed that the mullahs were supporting anti-American terrorism in Iraq, Bremer said one could not say that with confidence, since most of the terrorists were Sunni, and the Iranian regime is famously Shiite.
I suppose that, if asked about Syrian support for the terrorists pouring into Iraq from Syria, our experts would remind us that the Damascus regime is secular (Baathist, like Saddam), and does not endorse jihad.
And so we dither and debate, and go to the Security Council in order to lure more young soldiers to face the terror masters in Iraq, even as Imad Mughniyah, the lethal chieftain of Hezbollah, has now begun his operations against us in both Iraq and Jordan, and as the Iranian mullahs send out orders to begin taking American and British hostages. As Bashar Assad told us some months back, they are going to turn Iraq into a second Lebanon. This is total terrorist war, and we are trying to limit our losses, playing defense instead of taking the war into our enemies' havens.
Our inability to see the world plain carries over into more specialized areas of intelligence, even those of enormous importance. On some occasions, CIA and State have refused to even talk to sources whose previous information saved American lives, and promising leads on the location of WMDs in Iraq were dropped as well.
It is hard to believe that the president approves of this state of affairs, especially as he sees the poll results that document the American people's mounting dissatisfaction with developments in Iraq. They are right to be upset, and they are likely to get angrier still if, as I expect, the terror war against us gets uglier. I am an admirer of George W. Bush. He seems to have extraordinarily good instincts and the kind of faith-based courage that makes for good leadership under terrible circumstances. But I do not think he has come to grips with the systematic myopia of our policymakers, and the culture of self-deception that afflicts our intelligence community.
You don't need master spies to see what's going on in the Middle East, or brilliant diplomats to tell you that we are playing for enormous stakes. Most normal Americans, unencumbered by visions of diplomatic breakthroughs and negotiated settlements, sense that we are losing the initiative, and that this is costing us money, blood and prestige. We are indeed at war, but we have inexplicably stopped waging it.
Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently theauthor of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen, Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute, can be reached through Benador Associates. http://www.nationalreview.com/ledeen/ledeen082503.asp
posted on 08/26/2003 12:08:07 AM PDT
Apparently Cuba has stopped their embassy in Havana from jamming the Loral satelite with our news of what is happening.
posted on 08/26/2003 12:11:37 AM PDT
by Grampa Dave
('Axis of Acorns' ... Bitter little nuts fallen from the Clinton degenerate scrub oak.)
Rogue State Department
By David Bedein
FrontPageMagazine.com | August 25, 2003
The US Constitution mandates that the US Congress, the elected representatives of the American people, must advise and consent the US Administration in matters of foreign policy.
The time has come for the American people to make State Department policies accountable to the the US Senate Foreign RelationsCommittee, the US House International Relations Committee, the media and the American electorate.
In at least twenty critical matters of Middle East foreign policy, the US State Department has acted independently of US Congressional approval in its implementation of Middle East policy.
1. The US State Department has ignored all data brought to its attention from Israeli intelligence which provides documents, records minutes, and recordings which demonstrate Abu Mazen's direct involvement with the PLO murder campaign which has ensued over the past three years, which has resulted in more than 18,000 terror attacks and more than 800 Israeli citizens who have been murdered by Arab terrorists in cold blood.
2. The US State Department has demanded that Israel free hundreds of Arabs who have been involved in acts of premeditated murder, meaning that Israel would have to free Arab terrorists who qualify as not having "blood on their hands" because while they tried to hurt people with bullets, bombs and rocks, they missed.
3. The US State Department has demanded that Israel free members of Arab terror organizations who are ideologically committed to murdering Jews.
4. The US State Department has refused to demand that the PLO withdraw its sentence of death for any Jew who lives in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, Katif or the Golan.
5. The US State Department has demanded that Israel not publish the documents that it has acquired which demonstrate the direct involvement of the Palestinian National Authority and the Fateh in the PLO campaign of premeditated murder that has continued for the past
6. The US State Department has refused to comment on the new Palestine State Constitution which mandates that the Palestinian State will be based on the Islamic Sharia Law and allow for religious freedom, human rights or civil liberties, while legislating the "right of return" for all Palestinian Arab
refugees from 1948 and for their descendents.
7. The US State Department has mandated that Israel and the PA not dissemble the Hamas, which endorses the murder of all Jews in any part of Israel.
8. The US State Department refers to the June 29th "Hudna" agreement that was achieved between the PLO and the Hamas as a "cease-fire", despite the fact that the US State Department knows full well that a "hudna" implies a respite before the next battle in the war. Since the requirement of the "hudna" is that Israel free all jailed terrorists as a condition for continuing the war, there is no chance that the "hudna" will lead to peace or reconciliation.
9. The US State Department, while approving massive arms shipments and weapons upgrade for Egypt, has not used any leverage with Egypt to demand that Egypt put a stop to the mass construction of weapons tunnels into Israel.
10. The US State Department, despite its protestations against those who aid and abet terrorist organizations, will issue no public call for Saudi Arabia to cease and desist from its funding of Arab terror organizations.
11. The US State Department, mandated by the US Congress to monitor PA education, has hired a leading PLO advocacy organization known as IPCRI,which has whitewashed the PA school curriculum as a 'peace curriculum while not citing any specific reference in that same curriculum, That US-funded IPCRI report is being used as the rationale for US AID and the EU to renew funding for the PA schools. Meanwhile, the US State Department is ignoring the text analysis of the newest PA school textbooks provided by CMIP, the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, whose work is located at www.edume.org
12. The US State Department, mandated by the US Congress to provide a critical analysis of the status of religious freedom inside the Palestinian Authority, issued a report in which it described the
PA "transformation" of "Kever Yosef", Joseph's Tomb,into a mosque as an "act of religious freedom".
13. The US State Department acts under binding legislation which mandates that the US state Department not deal with the PLO unless and until the PLO cancels its covenant which calls for the
dismemberment of the state of Israel. The PNC, the Palestine National Council, met in special session on April 24, 1996 and on December 14, 1998 to consider the question of the PLO covenant. In both cases, the PNC did not cancel the PLO covenant. Even so, US State Department falsely claims that the PLO cancelled its covenant. In other words, the US State
Department's negotiations with the PLO remain in flagrant violation of US law
14. The US State Department recently dispatched emissaries to the middle east, John Wolfe and William Burns, both of whom met with Israeli political organizations that lobby for the PLO. However, Wolfe and Burns refused to meet with Israeli organizations which critique the PLO, leaving pro PLO groups as the only Israeli organizations which are in a position to provide feedback for the US State Department
15. The US State Department, mandated by the President to seek ways to facilitate a two-state solution, has allocated a special grant of $26 Million to UNRWA, the UN agency which runs Arab refugee camps under a policy that promote the "right of return" for four million Palestinian Arab
refugees to take back Arab villages which have been replaced by Israeli town collective farms and woodlands within the 1949-1967 lines.
16. The US State Department, mandated by the US Congress to facilitate the creation of a "democratic state of Palestine", describes the one party elections in which Arafat was elected
president of Palestinian Authority in January 1996 as "free and democratic" despite the fact that all candidates had to be selected and approved by Arafat in order to run. PA Foreign Minister and
Palestinian State Constitution author Nabil Shaath has confirmed that Arafat would again be the only candidate for president of the Palestinian Arab entity.
17. The US State Department, mandated by the US Congress to facilitate a system of human rights in the Palestinian Authority, turns a blind eye to the fact that the PA has placed more than 200
dissidents on death row for the crime of criticizing the PA. The PA calls them "collaborators" for media consumption.
18. The US State Department has authorized the resumption of direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority, before it took any steps to disarm and disband Arab terror groups which act within the PA. That aid to the PA was supposed to be predicated on that PA crackdown on organizations that plan and conduct acts of premeditated murder against Jews.
19. The US State Department has resumed military training of the PA military forces, after a three year period in which those same PA security forces were directly involved in all levels of terror
activity, while incorporating the Hamas.
20. The US State Department has provided financial backing to PASSIA, the Palestinian Arab lobby organization which trains professionals to lobby Capital Hill for the PLO cause. The PASSIA training manuals thank US AID for their generous sponsorship. In other words, the US government pays the PLO to lobby the US Congress to advance their interests.
David Bedein is the Bureau Chief of the Israel Resource News Agency. http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=9521
posted on 08/26/2003 12:13:11 AM PDT
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
posted on 08/26/2003 12:14:14 AM PDT
Iran's press regroups amid crackdown
Asia Times - By Ramin Mostaghim
Aug 26, 2003
TEHRAN - Dissident bookseller Ardeshir Masali explained his point of view with candor. "The Iranian Islamic system is run by a regime suffering from a deep-rooted paranoia, one which loses its temper easily."
The police, continued the 39-year-old, who owns a modest little book stall in a shopping arcade in Enqelab Square in the Iranian capital, does not just "slap the faces of detainees, but breaks their skulls, as they did with Zahra Kazemi".
This is the case that turned world attention, and that of much of its media, toward Iran. Kazemi, a photojournalist holding both Iranian and Canadian citizenship, died in custody on July 11 in Tehran as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage caused by a cranium fracture. She was reportedly severely beaten following her arrest on June 23 while taking photographs of Evin prison, north of Tehran. Her death led to a diplomatic row between Iran and Canada. But greater still were the reverberations within Iran's media community.
"Murdering Kazemi while she was in jail was so shocking that it spurred Iranian journalists into staging a sit-in protest on August 8," Mashallah Shamsulvaezeen, board member of Iran's Journalist Association, told Inter Press Service. The day is now observed as Journalists' Day in the country.
Fifty years ago Karimpour Shirazi, a journalist famous for his criticism of the royal family, was burned alive in the military camp in which he was jailed. Kazemi, said Shamsulvaezeen, is the second journalist to have been killed in custody in Iran.
Recent weeks have seen harassment of the media by the state intensify. A wave of arrests has swept through the reformist press - the target of the conservative clerical establishment in its tussles with more reform-minded groups led by President Mohammad Khatami - since an outburst of anti-regime protests in mid-June and July.
A daily published by the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), typifies the situation. The Iran newspaper's managing director was charged, after a complaint was filed about an article, with spreading propaganda against the establishment and publishing false news, and then released on bail.
Other publications have also run into trouble. The weekly Nameh-yi Qazvin was shut down on charges of "promoting depravity and publishing lies" after it was accused of discrediting clerics. The managing directors of Iranian dailies Kayhan, Siyasat-i Ruz and Etemad appeared in court on August 13 to face complaints against their publications, according to IRNA reports.
Journalists who tend to support the official line, however, see the events and their significance differently. Ahmad Khorramian, 29, a journalist with a conservative newspaper, said that the Zahra Kazemi case "became controversial thanks to her Canadian passport". Khorramian argued, "European and Canadian diplomats did not move a finger when, five years ago, Mahmoud Saremi, who was the IRNA correspondent in Mazar-e-Sharif [in northeast Afghanistan] was killed by Taliban forces."
The reality on the ground, however, belies the apparent logic of such explanations, critics say. In the past four years, more than 90 newspapers and magazines have been banned, throwing over 2,000 journalists out of work, says Mohammad Hydari, manager of the website Parspejvak.com.
Even so, there are those who soldier on, undaunted by the all-too-regular commute between home and jail or revolutionary courts. "As a journalist I write to defend the basic rights of my fellow citizens to know and participate in the shaping of their country's destiny, and I'm ready to pay the price," said Nader Karimi, 33, editor of the magazine Gozaresh.
Karimi has indeed had to pay a staggering price. Released from jail this month, Karimi has lodged with the authorities a security deposit of a crippling 500 million rials (around US$60,000) to ensure that he appears in court when summoned. Shamsulvaezeen said he "feels very concerned for my fellow journalists in Iran because there is no professional safety for them".
The Kazemi case, he explained, proves how vulnerable Iranian journalists are during political turmoil. "The Islamic regime is suffering from a chronic legitimacy crisis," he said. "That is the main reason for its paranoia and why it reacts impulsively and in panic."
The pattern, said dissident journalist Amir Kavian, is depressingly familiar. Every year, several journalists write or speak about an issue that the regime finds "subversive" or "against Islamic values and national interests". Then, said Kavian, they are jailed until some members of parliament or more sensitive authorities appeal for clemency on their behalf. "Then the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, pardons them or commutes their sentences," observed Kavian.
There are signs that dissidence is growing stronger. On August 16, the Journalist Association called for the resignation of the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjedjamei and the public prosecutor of Tehran, Judge Mortazavi, who are seen as responsible for the crackdown on journalists, intellectuals and students.
Among those at the August 8 protest sitin was Arash Pahlavan, a student leader who was representing the support of reformist students. With the start of campaigning for parliamentary seats just seven months away, Pahlavan indicated that the movement was reconsidering its tactics.
"Unless reformist parliamentarians and politicians are ready to pay the price of fighting for freedom of speech and the rights of the people, we will not repeat the blunder we committed six years ago of taking to the streets," Pahlavan said, referring to criticism that pro-Khatami forces were far too timid to push for real change.
The dilemma facing the dissidents and reform-minded among the press is that in the absence of independent parties and political institutions, newspapers and magazines have become political instruments, often representing politicians' interests.
Rival associations of journalists are allied with the reformist group of Khatami and others with his rival, Khamanei. "In this tug of war, nothing changes basically ... there is no room for independent journalism to emerge," said Kavian.
"There are two options open to journalists and writers in Iran - massage the word and doublespeak and lead a low-profile profession, or write unscrupulously and be a martyr for the pen," remarked Mohammad Hydari.
Yet the pressures can be unbearable for those who decide to uphold the principle of freedom of speech and expression. As Dr Mohsen Kadivar, a 46-year-old electronics engineer and theologian who recently led a communal prayer at a jailed journalist's home, said, "The price one pays for engaging in political activities has increased so much that no one dares become involved." http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1932.shtml
posted on 08/26/2003 12:15:51 AM PDT
INTIFADA CONFERENCE IN TEHRAN ENDS...
In his 21 August closing speech to the conference at Tehran University called Intifada: A Step Toward Freedom, Hojatoleslam Ali-Akbar Mohtashami-Pur said the existence of Israel precludes the establishment of regional peace and stability, "Iran" reported on 23 August, citing ISNA. Mohtashami-Pur is secretary of the Support for the Palestinian Intifada conference series, a founder of Lebanese Hizballah, President Khatami's special envoy, and a reformist parliamentarian from Tehran. He also said: "The racist Israeli regime will be isolated because of the unity, solidarity, and unanimity of the Islamic world. Only through the disintegration of that regime will a government of the people be established in Palestine." The Palestinian issue will be resolved only if, in the words of "Iran," "the Jews who invaded the land of Palestine go back to their own countries." Mohtashami-Pur called for a referendum in which all Palestinians, whether Muslims, Christians, or Jews, determine their own destiny. BS
...WITH CALL FOR ISRAEL'S ANNIHILATION.
"The participants in the conference consider the annihilation of the Zionist regime as a prerequisite and precondition for democracy in the Middle East," according to the final resolution of the conference, as reported in the 23 August "Siyasat-i Ruz." The resolution condemned Israel for a variety of reasons and called on the international community to support Palestinians' rights. The resolution promoted a nuclear-free Middle East and the disarmament of Israel. The Al Aqsa Intifada was hailed as the only way to defeat the occupation of Palestine. The resolution condemned U.S. threats against independent countries and its occupation of Islamic ones, and it called for an end to the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. BS
source:RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 7, No. 161, Part III, 25 August 2003
posted on 08/26/2003 12:27:04 AM PDT
FAMILIES OF IRANIANS DETAINED IN IRAQ STAGE SIT-IN.
The families of Iranian documentary filmmakers Soheil Karimi and Said Abutaleb, who were apprehended in Iraq by the U.S. military, announced on 24 August that they would hold a sit-in at the United Nations office in Tehran on 25 August, IRNA reported. The two, who are employees of the official Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), were taken into custody on 1 July. In addition, according to IRNA, more than 100 Iranian movie actors and documentary directors urged UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to press for the two Iranians' release, and 162 members of the Iranian legislature wrote a letter to President Khatami urging him to act. The Iran Red Crescent Society announced on 7 August that Karimi and Abutaleb are in good health, IRNA reported. BS
Comment: Ask them what they think about Hussein Khomeni.
ALLEGED IRANIAN AGENTS ARRESTED IN IRAQ.
Haytham Sulayman, security patrols director for Al-Salihiyah, said in an interview that appeared in the 21 August issue of "Al-Ahd al-Jadid" that 12 Iranian intelligence agents have been arrested at the offices of Al-Mashriq Money Exchange Company in Al-Salihiyah. Majid Athab interrogated them and it was determined that they allegedly intended to perpetrate bombings in Baghdad. The 12 agents reportedly possessed counterfeit U.S. dollars. BS
'IRANIANS' IN IRAQI GOVERNMENT POSTS WARNED TO LEAVE.
Muqtada al-Sadr said in his 22 August Friday Prayer sermon in Al-Kufah that Iran has placed its security officials in some major Iraqi government posts, the Baztab website reported on 23 August. Al-Sadr warned the Iranians to leave Iraq promptly. Al-Sadr reportedly said that the 19 August bombing of the UN compound in Baghdad resulted either from the absence of a security apparatus or because the security organizations are under the control of Iranians and other foreigners. BS
Comment: A nice way of getting rid of his competitors from the other party of the Iranian clerics (i.e. the supporters of al-Hakim, SCIRI)
source: RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 7, No. 161, Part III, 25 August 2003
posted on 08/26/2003 12:33:38 AM PDT
AL-SISTANI EXTENDS SYMPATHIES TO UNITED NATIONS.
Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani sent a letter of condolences to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in connection with the death of UN special envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello in the 19 August bombing of the UN compound, Al-Jazeera satellite television reported on 23 August. Al-Sistani condemned the bombing as a criminal act, and he praised the role of the UN in restoring Iraqi sovereignty. BS
source: RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 7, No. 161, Part III, 25 August 2003
posted on 08/26/2003 12:35:48 AM PDT
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator
To: seamole; DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; piasa; Valin; nuconvert; Texas_Dawg; kattracks; RaceBannon; ..
If Iran is building the bomb: Deter, dont attack
In recent weeks, there have been many reports that Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons and is close to building a nuclear bomb. The Iranians deny any military nuclear ambitions and insist that their nuclear program is merely designed to meet increasing electricity demands. Skeptics, of course, question why Iran with the third largest known oil reserves in the world and the second largest proven natural gas reserves needs nuclear electrical power plants that would cost billions of dollars to build.
The skeptics have reason to doubt Irans true intentions. But the real question, from an American perspective at least, is whether Iran represents a threat to US national security.
Its easy to understand why Iran would be interested in acquiring nuclear weapons. In his January 2002 State of the Union address, US President George W. Bush named Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. In September 2002, the Bush administration published a new National Security Strategy that highlighted pre-emptive action to act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed. At the time, it was clear that the rhetoric was aimed mainly at Iraq, but the Iranians could read the tea leaves. If there was uncertainty that Iran would be on Washingtons regime change hit parade, not long after the US dispatched former Iraqi president Saddam Husseins regime, the rhetoric turned to neighboring Iran.
The subsequent US military action in Iraq also revealed the vulnerability of countries that lack nuclear weapons in the face of overwhelming American conventional military superiority. The lesson not lost on the Iranians is that they should accelerate acquiring nuclear weapons because that may be the only way to prevent a fate similar to Saddam Husseins. Indeed, one reason the US is currently taking a more measured approach to North Korea is because of Pyongyangs credible claim to possess nuclear weapons. Thus, there is every reason to believe that Tehrans interest in nukes has more to do with deterring Washington from engaging in regime change than with attacking the United States.
Even if the Iranians acquired nuclear weapons, they do not have any long-range military capability to deliver them against the continental United States (and they are believed to be 10 years or more away from developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capability). Further, there is no substantive evidence that a nuclear-armed Iran would be undeterred from attacking the US. That does not mean that Washington would be able to deter Tehran from taking action that could run counter to American wishes. But deterrence is about preventing countries from taking catastrophic action against the US. Even the mullahs in Tehran understand that a nuclear attack against the US is an invitation to certain destruction, courtesy of the American strategic nuclear arsenal of more than 8,000 warheads. Because long-range missiles (which Iran does not currently have) carry a return address, one would have to believe that Irans leaders are suicidal terrorists to think they could lob a nuke at the United States with impunity.
A legitimate concern is that Iran might secretly give a nuclear weapon to terrorists. This was the concern expressed about Iraq when Bush said: Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. And a better case can be made for Irans support of terrorism than Iraqs. Whereas Iraq supported low-level anti-Israeli Palestinian groups such as the Arab Liberation Front, the Palestine Liberation Front and Abu Nidals organization Iran backs Hizbullah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, all of which have a history of terrorism against Israel.
But as atrocious as their attacks against Israeli civilians are, the terrorist groups supported by Iran do not currently attack the United States (previous attacks by Hizbullah occurred in Lebanon in the 1980s in retaliation for the US military presence there). And it is a leap of faith to assume that if Iran acquired nuclear weapons, it would give them away to terrorists. Indeed, the evidence is to the contrary Iran is thought to possess chemical and biological weaponry, but it has not given such weapons to groups fighting Israel. In fact, Israels estimated 100 or more nuclear weapons likely serve as an effective deterrent against nuclear attack and against Iran giving nukes to anti-Israeli terrorists.
It is not unreasonable to assume that the US nuclear arsenal would have a similar effect on Iran. Indeed, perhaps the ultimate deterrent against Iran providing nuclear weapons to terrorists might be for Washington to explicitly declare that such action would be a certain regime-ending event (and that Iran would be at or near the top of a very short list of suspects).
More importantly, although Iran may be a fundamentalist Islamic regime, this does not necessarily make it an ally of Al-Qaeda the true national security threat to the United States. Osama Bin Ladens stated goal is to establish a new Islamic caliphate based on his twisted interpretation of the Koran, and it is unclear how the current regime in Tehran would fit into his vision. But its easy to see how harsh American rhetoric against Iran, including implied threats of military action, could give reason for Iran and Al-Qaeda to form an alliance of convenience.
To be sure, nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranian regime would not be a welcome development, and the US cannot afford to ignore Irans quest for such weapons. But Washington needs to do better than an either or strategy, where Iran either gives up its nuclear ambition or faces pre-emptive US military action. Another war against a Muslim nation after Afghanistan and Iraq will be interpreted as a holy war against Islam by much of the Muslim world. That is what bin Laden wants but has been unable to accomplish on his own.
During the Cold War, the wizards of Armageddon thought about the unthinkable: nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The current situation with Iran also requires thinking about the unthinkable in this case, the possibility of a nuclear-armed fundamentalist Islamic state. While seeking to prevent this possible outcome, the US must also be prepared for its eventuality. As in North Korea, the remaining member of the axis of evil, Washington should be more focused on ensuring that Iran will not proliferate nuclear weapons technology should it acquire nukes.
Charles V. Pena is the director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute, www.cato.org. He wrote this commentary for THE DAILY STAR http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/26_08_03_e.asp
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Aug. 26, 2003. 01:00 AM
Two face trial in Iran beating
OTTAWATwo Iranian officials have been detained and ordered to stand trial in the beating death of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, Tehran's prosecutor's office said yesterday.
The Islamic Republic News Agency reported the two "interrogators" have not been named in what Iran's criminal court inspector is calling a "quasi-intentional murder."
Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham welcomed the news as "a very positive step," although he said he had yet to confirm the details of the charges.
"This is the beginning of understanding why she died ... and who will be held responsible," he said after a speech in Los Angeles, adding: "We expect access to the trial process."
France Bureau, a spokesperson for Graham, said more details might emerge today when Javad Esmaeili the judge who has been leading the inquiry into Kazemi's death is expected to deliver a report.
"The charges levelled against the interrogators, who are said to be members of the intelligence ministry, are announced as complicity in semi-intentional murder," the Iranian news agency said, quoting the Tehran prosecutor's office.
Kazemi's son indicated he had little confidence in the way the Iranians are handling the case.
"The Iranians do it as they want it," Stephan Hachemi said in a phone interview from his Montreal home. "They arrest a few people that are minor."
Hachemi said he believes those responsible for his mother's death go beyond the two suspects.
Iranian authorities had said earlier that five intelligence and prison officials were arrested in connection with Kazemi's death. It was not clear whether the two now ordered to stand trial are among the five arrested.
Kazemi, a Montreal-based freelance photojournalist, was arrested June 23 while taking photos outside Tehran's notoriously harsh Evin prison. She was interrogated for more than three days and later transferred to a hospital, where officials said she died July 10 of a brain hemorrhage from a blow to the head.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, whose reformist government has clashed with the religious clerics who control the judiciary, security and intelligence forces, ordered an investigation into her death.
Kazemi's violent death and quick burial in Iran outraged Canadians and caused a rift in relations between Ottawa and Iran.
Iran's foreign minister, Kamal Kharazzi, had said he would listen to the wishes of the Canadian government and Kazemi's family, who wanted her body returned to Canada. But the 54-year-old's remains were buried July 23 in her southern Iranian birthplace of Shiraz.
As an act of diplomatic protest, Canada recalled its ambassador, Philip MacKinnon. He remains in Ottawa and no date has been set for his return, Bureau said.
A statement from the prosecutor's office that was faxed to IRNA said the investigation into Kazemi's death included reviewing an earlier presidential report, "viewing and inspecting all locations where Zahra Kazemi was" and "questioning all persons who had responsibilities in those locations and were in touch with (her)."
Other activities included "getting the professional opinion of forensic experts where necessary," "investigating Zahra Kazemi's mother," "investigating the medical background of Zahra Kazemi sent from the hospital" and "establishment of a medical commission with the presence of specialist doctors."
The statement said the investigation involved questioning at the intelligence ministry, Evin prison and all prisons of Tehran province, "inspecting all records related to locations where Zahra Kazemi was" and "getting expert opinion of official justice experts on the signatures and writings of Zahra Kazemi in her final interrogation."
Finally, the statement said "there were other investigations that were effective in terms of the final decision, but, due to legal limitations, their publication at this stage is not possible."
An intelligence ministry official, speaking to IRNA, said claims the two officials were involved in Kazemi's death are "sheer lies." The intelligence ministry intended to release details surrounding Kazemi's death soon, the official added without elaborating.
Sharam Golestaneh, president of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran, said he's not surprised Iran has not released the names of the two interrogators, and laughed at the description of the crime as "quasi-intentional."
"Suppose that a judge says in a court, `Well, he quasi-murdered someone.' What does that mean? Nothing."
He said Iran's officials have made similar pronouncements before, including after bloody police raids on dormitories at Tehran University in 1999. "We know now, those who have been actually condemned and sent to prison, they showed up again this year in the student demonstrations and were beating them."
He said that if names were to be released, they likely wouldn't belong to anyone high-ranking, such as Saeed Mortazavi, the Tehran prosecutor who many reformists believe delivered the fatal blow to Kazemi.
Wayne Cox, an international relations professor at Queen's University who specializes in the Middle East, said the Islamic clerics will likely want to get to the bottom of the case, but disclosing the details would probably not occur without a major political shift in Iran.
"We may find out precisely what happened in more detail in a couple of years from now, just like after the (Berlin) Wall fell down, then we started to hear things years later about what went on in the Soviet Union," he said.
Kazemi's son complained again yesterday that Ottawa hasn't pushed hard enough to have his mother's body brought home. But Graham insisted Ottawa has been "keeping pressure" on Iran. http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1061849412371&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154
posted on 08/26/2003 3:58:51 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
(Don't Get Off The Boat...)
To: DoctorZIn; seamole; nuconvert; AdmSmith; Valin; happygrl; dixiechick2000; onyx
Information min: Revolutionary Court`s claims on Kazemi`s death
Tehran, Aug 25, IRNA -- Iran`s Information Ministry on Monday night
branded the communique issued on Monday by the PR office of the
General and Revolutionary Court on Zahra Kazemi`s death, as "Sheer
Deputy Information Minister "Shafie" told IRNA, "Claims made by
the prosecutor of Bench 1 of Tehran`s Criminal Court, in which two
of the information ministry`s interrogators are accused of `being
accomplices` in the `quasi intentional murder` of Ms Kazemi are
He further emphasized, "The Information Ministry has discovered
the truth of the matter on the case related to the death of Zahra
Kazemi, and is intended to publish it for public information in very
Two interrogators of Ms Zahra Kazemi have been found responsible
for her sudden death, Inspector of the Criminal Court had said on
The inspector described Ms Kazemi`s death as "quasi intentional
He did not reveal the names of the two interrogators, but said
that they had been Information Ministry staffers.
The inspector brought judicial justification for not making public
the names of the interrogators, but, said that he ordered to detain
them to hold the legal proceedings.
Iranian photojournalist Ms Zahra Kazemi working for London-based
Camera Press died in custody on July 11 after she had been arrested
for taking picture from demonstrators in prohibited area outside Evin
prison compound on June 23. http://www.irna.ir/#2003_08_2523_07_477
Havana Says Iran Jammed Satellite
August 26, 2003
The Washington Times
Agence France Presse
Cuba has told the United States that an Iranian diplomatic facility in or near Havana was the source of the jamming that disrupted U.S. Farsi-language satellite broadcasts to Iran last month, the State Department said.
And, in an unusual display of cooperation between the Cold War enemies, Havana appears to have acted on pledges to halt the interference, which had prompted a formal protest from Washington.
"It has ceased," said Jo-Anne Prokopowicz, a department spokeswoman.
After denying responsibility for the jamming but pledging to investigate the U.S. complaints in mid-July, Cuba told the United States that it had found the source, she said.
"Cuba informed us on August 3 that they had located the source of the interference and had taken action to stop it." Miss Prokopowicz said.
"The government of Cuba informed us that the interference was coming from an Iranian diplomatic facility," she said. "We will be following this up with Iran."
On July 15, the U.S. government-affiliated Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) accused Cuba of jamming its programming, as well as that of private U.S.-based Iranian opposition satellite television stations, to Iran.
The jamming, which affected all Farsi-language broadcasts carried by the Loral Skynet satellite, became pronounced amid growing protests in Iran against the Tehran government.
Iran said at the time that the U.S. broadcasts into the country were interference in its internal affairs and accused the U.S.-based Iranian opposition of inflaming the protests.
Shortly after the BBG complaint, which was accompanied by request for a formal diplomatic protest about the jamming, the State Department said the interference appeared to be emanating from Cuba, but could not say exactly who was behind it. http://www.washtimes.com/world/20030825-091756-5295r.htm
Shiite Clerics Clashing Over How to Reshape Iraq
August 26, 2003
The New York Times
NAJAF -- The clerics who hold sway over Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority are locked in a violent power struggle pitting the older, established ayatollahs counseling patience with the occupation against a younger, more militant faction itching to found an Islamic state.
The militants are suspected of carrying out a series of attacks, including one over the weekend, engineered to eliminate or at least unsettle Najaf's religious scholars just as Shiites feel their moment has come. The bloodshed started in April with the murder of a prominent young cleric, Abdel Majid al-Khoei, inside the city's most holy shrine. That slaying remains such a tinderbox issue that the police and prosecutors only reluctantly confirmed for the first time today that some 12 suspects had been rounded up this month and more arrests were pending.
The tense standoff, as described by clerics from both factions, is playing out among the twisting alleyways of this holy seat, a battle for the leadership of Iraq's Shiite community, which accounts for 60 percent of the country's population of about 25 million.
In one corner sit the senior ayatollahs clustered around Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, all betting that it is only a matter of time before the United States delivers a democratic state that the Shiites can dominate through sheer numbers.
Arrayed against them are more activist opponents of the American-led occupation who back Moktada al-Sadr and who believe that Shiites should aggressively pursue an Islamic state modeled on clerical rule in Iran.
"It goes back in history to two distinct lines in Muslim and particularly Shiite thought," said Sheik Shaibani, a 33-year-old cleric who runs the Islamic court in Najaf in defiance of the elder clergy.
"There are those who say you must undertake jihad in times of oppression, and those who say we must stay silent until the reappearance of the Mahdi," he said, referring to the Shiite savior.
Although not calling for an outright holy war, the young clerics hint at the possibility. No one points the finger directly at Mr. Sadr, the descendant of a long line of illustrious clerics, but the police, prosecutors and Americans in Iraq, not to mention ordinary Najafis, single out his group as the font of violence. "Everyone in the city was expecting something like this to happen," Qassim Shabbar, a Najaf merchant, said of Mr. Sadr's possible role in the latest bloodshed. A bombing on Sunday outside the residence of a conservative ayatollah killed three men.
Shadowing the entire discussion about Shiites' power is the question of Iran's role here. Officially, the Iranians have said they want a stable, democratic Iraq, expecting that it will bring Shiite dominion.
But some Iraqis harbor suspicions that Iran wants the United States kept preoccupied by an unstable Iraq, rather than turning its attention next door to the Islamic Republic, and so is supporting Mr. Sadr or worse, the scattered remnants of Ansar al-Islam, a militant Islamic group that American officials believe has been plotting attacks against Western targets in Baghdad.
In the immediate aftermath of the murder of Mr. Khoei, the son of a beloved grand ayatollah killed under Saddam Hussein, residents of Najaf were too fearful to speak about it. But a few weeks ago, they pointedly hung banners in the streets and spoke openly of their suspicions that Mr. Sadr or at least his followers had had a hand in it.
"Disgrace and humiliation to the heretics, the murderers," said one such banner near Mr. Sadr's office. Residents said opponents were also sneaking up to the office door at night to attach pictures of Mr. Khoei.
The possible ramifications of the Khoei investigation are so sensitive that prosecutors and the police refused to discuss it, other than to say they had arrested a dozen or so men whom witnesses identified as having been involved.
Sheik Ahmed Shabani, a Sadr aide, denied that the followers of Mr. Sadr had a role in any violence.
Conservatives in Najaf view Mr. Sadr and his followers as rabble-rousers. The difference between the two groups is readily apparent during any religious event, as stark as the difference between a rave crowd and a group of symphonygoers.
The followers of Mr. Sadr are all coiled fervor, chanting ardently against America, "We are Sadr against the infidels!" while rhythmically jumping and beating their chests with their hands despite the August heat. The followers of the elderly clergy, even the young, politely sit in formation or stand chanting tepid, apolitical slogans.
Among Mr. Sadr's most hotly disputed proposals has been to form a popular militia that his senior aides said would provide greater security in Shiite neighborhoods. It is also envisioned as a kind of morals police, upholding standards of Muslim public behavior.
"It is not an army of destabilization or to undermine security," said Sheik Muhammad Fartousi, one of Mr. Sadr's senior aides in Sadr City, a Baghdad slum with a population of two million that is ground zero for Mr. Sadr's supporters. "It will help the oppressed."
The militants are careful not to risk the wrath of the American forces by singling them out by name, but the threat of engaging them wafts around nearly every sermon, every interview.
"We don't have airplanes or tanks or artillery like our enemies," said Mr. Fartousi, vowing that tens of thousands of volunteers signing up for the Army of the Mahdi will defend Shiite neighborhoods from any attack. "Even if we reach the extent where we run out of stones, we will lay down our bodies."
In Najaf, senior clergymen make sarcastic remarks about the prospect of any kind of popular militia protecting Shiite figures or shrines.
But some merchants in Baghdad worry that a violent religious underground has already formed. Practically every liquor store in the city a trade limited exclusively to Christians because Islam forbids alcohol has been firebombed or attacked with rockets overnight during the past few months.
The young clerics around Mr. Sadr argue that alcohol should be banned, but say they are not trying to prevent it through violence.
Officials of the American-led occupation of Iraq recognize that no community is more crucial than the Shiites. One senior coalition official described the tacit consent of the high-ranking ayatollahs to the occupation of the country as a crucial strategic factor in establishing what stability there is in Iraq. "Retaining the support of the Shiites is essential for the success of the coalition," he said.
In general, Shiites are reluctant to discuss factional rivalries. Senior officials from the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Dawa Party both of which have members on the Iraqi Governing Council paint the tension as a natural outpouring following years of oppression.
"After 35 years, people just want to express their ideas, even if it is not always in a responsible way," said Adel Abdel Mehdi, a senior official with the council. "It's a healthy sign of the Shiites coming out of repression. You have a community trying to find its way, which could be dangerous if we are not united."
When asked directly, senior clergymen deny any deep schism, blaming Baathists seeking to destabilize Iraq for the violence. A banner hung by Mr. Sadr's supporters outside his offices today attributed blame for the bombing on Sunday to the the American-led coalition trying to intimidate the Shiite seminary movement in Najaf, which is known as the Hawza. But the more established Shiite groups describe gangland tactics like those used on liquor stores as a sign that the militants are immature and unlikely to retain the faithful.
"This childish movement imposes its ideas on others," said Ali Abdel Mehdi, a senior official with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution. "Its ideas are without thorough knowledge or study by these people who are teenagers, people who have done no religious studies."
There has been little public criticism of Mr. Sadr in Iraq, however. The Shiite establishment appears slightly at a loss over how to challenge him, sensing that his popularity among the most disenfranchised would lose them an important constituency.
Outside the Shiite community, some officials believe that Mr. Sadr serves as a useful tool. While the ayatollahs might fret about the militants, they serve as a vivid example of the holy war that could be unleashed should the occupation fail to deliver.
The question now is whether the older, more established clerics can win over the Shiite rank and file, or whether frustration will spread the appeal of an Islamic state.
The moderate clerics believe that the fastest antidote for radicalism is providing security, jobs and electricity, which they say will sway Shiites away from extremism.
"People fear chaos," said Muhammad Hussein al-Hakim, a son of Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Said al-Hakim, whose house was the scene of the bombing on Sunday. The younger Mr. Hakim suffered injuries in the attack and was himself threatened some weeks earlier. "If the occupation forces could achieve results fast," he said, "that will prevent the calls for this kind of action." http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/26/international/worldspecial/26SHII.html
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Do What It Takes in Iraq
August 26, 2003
The Weekly Standard
William Kristol and Robert Kagan
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice gave an important speech a couple of weeks ago, in which she called on the United States to make a "generational commitment" to bringing political and economic reform to the long-neglected Middle East--a commitment not unlike that which we made to rebuild Europe after the Second World War.
It was a stirring speech, made all the more potent by the knowledge that it reflects the president's own vision. President Bush recognizes that, as is so often the case, American ideals and American interests converge in such a project, that a more democratic Middle East will both improve the lives of long-suffering peoples and enhance America's national security.
For all our admiration for this bold, long-term vision, however, there is reason to be worried about the execution of that policy in the first and probably most important test of our "generational commitment." Make no mistake: The president's vision will, in the coming months, either be launched successfully in Iraq, or it will die in Iraq. Indeed, there is more at stake in Iraq than even this vision of a better, safer Middle East. The future course of American foreign policy, American world leadership, and American security is at stake. Failure in Iraq would be a devastating blow to everything the United States hopes to accomplish, and must accomplish, in the decades ahead.
We believe the president and his top advisers understand the magnitude of the task. That is why it is so baffling that, up until now, the Bush administration has failed to commit resources to the rebuilding of Iraq commensurate with these very high stakes. Certainly, American efforts in Iraq since the end of the war have not been a failure. And considering what might have gone wrong--and which so many critics predicted would go wrong--the results have been in many ways admirable. Iraq has not descended into inter-religious and inter-ethnic violence. There is food and water. Hospitals are up and running. The Arab and Muslim worlds have not erupted in chaos or anger, as so many of our European friends confidently predicted.
But the absence of catastrophic failure is not, unfortunately, evidence of impending success. As any number of respected analysts visiting Iraq have reported, and as recent horrific events have demonstrated, there is much to worry about. Basic security, both for Iraqis and for coalition and other international workers in Iraq, is lacking. Continuing power shortages throughout much of the country have damaged the reputation of the United States as a responsible occupying power and have led many Iraqis to question American intentions. Ongoing assassinations and sabotage of public utilities by pro-Saddam forces and, possibly, by terrorists entering the country from neighboring Syria and Iran threaten to destabilize the tenuous peace that has held in Iraq since the end of the war.
In short, while it is indeed possible that, with a little luck, the United States can muddle through to success in Iraq over the coming months, the danger is that the resources the administration is devoting to Iraq right now are insufficient, and the speed with which they are being deployed is insufficiently urgent. These failings, if not corrected soon, could over time lead to disaster. Three big issues stand out.
- WHERE ARE THE TROOPS? It is painfully obvious that there are too few American troops operating in Iraq. Senior military officials privately suggest that we need two more divisions. The simple fact is, right now there are too few good guys chasing the bad guys--hence the continuing sabotage. There are too few forces to patrol the Syrian and Iranian borders to prevent the infiltration of international terrorists trying to open a new front against the United States in Iraq. There are too few forces to protect vital infrastructure and public buildings. And contrary to what some say, more troops don't mean more casualties. More troops mean fewer casualties--both American and Iraqi.
The really bad news is that the Pentagon plans to draw down U.S. forces even further in coming months. Their hope is that U.S. forces will be replaced by new Iraqi forces and by an influx of allied troops from around the world. We fear this is wishful thinking. It seems unlikely that any Iraqi force capable of providing security will be in place by the spring. And as for the international community--never mind whether we could ever convince France and other countries to make a serious contribution. In truth, our European allies do not have that many troops to spare. And consider the possibly unfortunate effects of turning over the security of Iraqis to a patchwork of ill-prepared forces from elsewhere in the world.
That's why calls from members of Congress to "internationalize" the force and give the U.N. a preeminent role are unhelpful, and really beside the point, at this critical juncture. Senator Biden is correct to say that "we have a hell of a team over there, but they don't have enough of anything." But he's wrong to suggest that a meaningful part of the solution would be "to internationalize" this. And when Rep. Mark Kirk says that "every international peacekeeper brought in is a chance to replace an American," he's raising false hopes among the American people. Such calls for "internationalization" also signal to Iraqi Baathists and Islamic radicals an inclination on the part of the United States to cut and run.
It's true that, unfortunately, we don't have many troops to spare, either: We should have begun rebuilding our military two years ago. And it is true that increasing the size of our forces, both in Iraq and overall, is unattractive to administration officials. But this is the time to bite the bullet and pay the price. Next spring, if disaster looms, it will be harder. And it may be too late.
- WHERE IS THE MONEY? The same goes for the financial resources the administration has sought for Iraqi reconstruction. It is simply unconscionable that debilitating power shortages persist in Iraq, turning Iraqi public opinion against the United States. This is one of those problems that can be solved with enough money. And yet the money has not been made available. This is just the most disturbing example of a general pattern. The Iraqi economy needs an infusion of assistance, to build up infrastructure, to improve the daily lives of the Iraqi people, to put a little money in Iraqi pockets so that pessimism can turn to optimism. There has also been a stunning shortage of democracy assistance, at a time when, according to surveys taken by the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Iraq is undergoing an explosion of political activity.
We understand the administration's fear of asking Congress for the necessary funds for Iraq. The price tag, which may be close to $60 billion, will provide fodder for opportunistic Democratic presidential hopefuls who are already complaining that money spent in Iraq would be better spent in the United States. But, again, the time to bite the bullet is now, not six months from now when Iraq turns to crisis and the American campaign season is fully underway. If Rice and others are serious about making a "generational commitment" equivalent to that which followed the Second World War, then this is the necessary down payment.
- WHERE ARE THE PERSONNEL? The American military is not alone in facing a shortage of people in Iraq. Everyone returning from Iraq comments on the astonishing lack of American civilians as well. Until recently, only a handful of State Department employees have been at work in Iraq. The State Department, we gather, has had a difficult time attracting volunteers to work in Iraq. This is understandable. But it is unacceptable. If the administration is serious about drawing an analogy with the early Cold War years, it should remember that the entire U.S. government oriented itself then to the new challenge. We need to do the same now. The administration must insist that the State Department pull its weight. Indeed, we need to deploy diplomats and civil servants, hire contract workers, and mobilize people and resources in an urgent and serious way. Business as usual is not acceptable. Getting the job done in Iraq is our highest priority, and our government needs to treat it as such.
These are the core problems the Bush administration needs to address. Success in Iraq is within our reach. But there are grounds to fear that on the current trajectory, we won't get there. The president knows that failure in Iraq is intolerable. Now is the time to act decisively to prevent it. http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/032nchou.asp
"Revolutionary Court`s Claims, Sheer Lies"
August 25, 2003
Islamic Republic News Agency
Deputy Information Minister "Shafie" told IRNA, "Claims made by the prosecutor of Bench 1 of Tehran`s Criminal Court, in which two of the information ministry`s interrogators are accused of `being accomplices` in the `quasi intentional murder` of Ms Kazemi are sheer lies."
He further emphasized, "The Information Ministry has discovered the truth of the matter on the case related to the death of Zahra Kazemi, and is intended to publish it for public information in very near future."
Two interrogators of Ms Zahra Kazemi have been found responsible for her sudden death, Inspector of the Criminal Court had said on Monday.
The inspector described Ms Kazemi`s death as "quasi intentional murder".
He did not reveal the names of the two interrogators, but said that they had been Information Ministry staffers.
The inspector brought judicial justification for not making public the names of the interrogators, but, said that he ordered to detain them to hold the legal proceedings.
Iranian photojournalist Ms Zahra Kazemi working for London-based Camera Press died in custody on July 11 after she had been arrested for taking picture from demonstrators in prohibited area outside Evin prison compound on June 23. http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=08&d=26&a=10
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