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Iranian Alert -- August 27, 2003 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 08/27/2003 12:01:02 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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posted on 08/27/2003 12:01:03 AM PDT
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posted on 08/27/2003 12:02:02 AM PDT
Iran Does Not Rule Out Expelling British Envoy
August 27, 2003
TEHRAN -- Iran yesterday did not rule out expelling the British ambassador to Tehran should its row with London over Britain's arrest of its former top envoy to Argentina reach boiling point.
"We hope it will not each that stage," government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh told a weekly news conference, after being asked whether Tehran would expel the British ambassador or recall its top envoy from London.
But "we are keeping all legal and diplomatic options open," he added.
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi warned his British counterpart, Jack Straw, that the arrest of the former diplomat will have a "very bad impact on bilateral relations" and that Tehran will defend him "in every way."
"This case is political, not judicial ... planned and executed by the Zionist lobby in Argentina," Ramezanzadeh added.
"It is a plan to sow confusion in the minds of our international friends and we know that some parts of the US government and Zionists are behind this," he added.
"I hope other countries take into consideration their own relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iran's regional importance."
Hadi Soleimanpur, 47, was arrested Thursday in Durham in northeast England, where he had been attending university.
He is suspected of involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aries that killed 85 and injured 300 when he was ambassador to Argentina.
He is set to remain in custody until a London court rules on an Argentine extradition request.
Iran has demanded his immediate release and an apology from Britain, as well as slapping economic sanctions on Buenos Aires for issuing an international warrant for his arrest. http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=World_News&subsection=Gulf%2C+Middle+East+%26+Africa&month=August2003&file=World_News2003082722640.xml
posted on 08/27/2003 12:10:07 AM PDT
INTELLIGENCE MINISTRY DENIES ITS STAFF KILLED ZAHRA KAZEMI
TEHRAN 26 Aug. (IPS) Iran's Information (Intelligence) Ministry on Tuesday strongly denied a report by the Judiciary that two of its interrogators had killed Ms. Zahra Kazemi, the Canadian-Iranian photojournalist murdered last July while in the custody of Iranian authorities.
The Tehran prosecutor's office, headed by Judge Said Mortazavi, believed to be the real murderer of Ms. Kazemi, had announced on Monday that two interrogators from the Intelligence Ministry had been charged with "semi-intentional" killing of the 54 years-old photographer.
Iranian jurists and lawyers had denounced the decision to put the Tehran prosecutors office in charge of the investigations, observing that anyhow, the Prosecutor was one of the interrogators.
According to the French daily "Liberation", it was Mr. Mortazavi who provoked the death by hitting Ms Kazemis head with his shoe, trying to make her confess to espionage, probably for the United States.
Informed Iranian sources said considering that Mr. Mortazavi is a protégé of Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic Republic, the investigation committee did its best to have him cleared from the charges, putting the blame on the government instead.
According to the findings of an official investigation committee formed on orders by President Mohammad Khatami, Ms. Zahra Kazemi was killed by a blow to the head while being interrogated for taking photographs outside the notorious Evin prison in the outskirts of Tehran some two weeks before her arrest.
At first, the Iranians claimed that Ms. Kazemi died of a brain stroke, but the investigation committee, made of ministers of Interior, Intelligence, Justice and Guidance determined that the death was caused by brain haemorrhage due to a solid bloc that hat hit the head and Iran's Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi said at the end of July she was probably murdered.
"The incident that led to the death of Zahra Kazemi was not at all done by the staff of the Intelligence Ministry. How the incident happened is clearly evident for this Ministry and the general public will be informed about it at the proper time", the official news agency IRNA quoted a statement from the Intelligence Ministry as saying.
The reformist newspaper "Yas No" said the Intelligence Ministry statement described the prosecutor's report, prepared by a criminal investigator, as "sheer lies".
"The claims of the investigator that the interrogators were members of the Intelligence Ministry is not realistic," the newspaper quoted the ministry as saying.
The tragic death of Ms. Kazemi clouded the normally good relations between the Islamic Republic and Canada, specially after the authorities buried the body in her original hometown of Shiraz, south of Iran, despite an official document signed by her mother for the transfer of the body to Canada for autopsy.
Ottawa recalled its ambassador from Tehran and called on the United Nations and international organisations for pressing Tehran for the return of the body.
However, after the charges were announced, Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham welcomed the news as "a very positive step" but said he had not confirmed details of the charges. He said Canada would press Iran to ensure the process was transparent.
The incident has thrown a spotlight on the shadowy practices of Iran's security services and the treatment of the media in the Islamic Republic, where, on orders from the leader, Mr. Mortazavi has shut down more than a hundred newspapers and publications, most of them supporting reforms promised by Hojjatoleslam Khatami but never upheld. ENDS JOURNALIST DIES 26803 http://www.iran-press-service.com/
posted on 08/27/2003 12:11:36 AM PDT
Chinese FM terms Iran ties positive
Beijing, Aug 26 - Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing here on Tuesday, terming Tehran-Beijing ties as positive, expressed China's satisfaction with further expansion of mutual relations and lauded Iran's efforts to the effect.
Before meeting with his Iranian counterpart, he said that his negotiation with Iranian Foreign Minister, Kamal Kharrazi, will be focused on bilateral ties as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Stressing that Kharrazi's visit to China will contribute to further introducing the two states to each other and strengthening relations, he said that ties between Iran and China have been noteworthy over the past 30 years, specially after the victory of Islamic revolution.
Zhaoxing said that the frequent exchange of visits between senior officials from both countries in recent years have been very effective in raising the level of bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
"China gives high significance to its traditional and friendly ties with Iran and is willing to continue its extensive bilateral cooperation in the long run," he added.
Turning to the wide range of joint cooperation between Iran and China, he called for continuous exchange of visits between the senior Iranian and Chinese officials as well as foreign ministry authorities.
Terming the potentials of both states for economic and trade collaboration quite high, he stressed that China hopes for further expansion of joint cooperation in the field of oil, gas, power generation, communications and transportation.
"The favorable economic and social profits of Tehran metroproject are evident and more joint projects in various fields are due to get underway in the future," he added.
He pointed out that Iran and China, as two developing countries, have almost common outlooks on numerous regional and international issues and usually support each other in international affairs.
The Chinese minister also underlined the significance of closer contacts between the two countries in regional and international affairs. http://www.iribnews.com/Full_en.asp?news_id=186734&n=17
posted on 08/27/2003 12:20:56 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
To: AdmSmith; seamole; onyx; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Valin
Iran Minister Due in Japan, Oil May Be on Agenda
Wed August 27, 2003 12:39 AM ET
TOKYO (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi will arrive in Japan later on Wednesday for a three-day visit amid signs of progress on a $2 billion deal to develop Azadegan, one of the world's largest untapped oil fields.
A Japanese government-backed consortium missed a June 30 deadline with Iran for the Azadegan contract following pressure from the United States -- Tokyo's key security ally -- to back away from it due to concerns over Iran's nuclear program.
But resource-poor Japan has made clear it is keen to do the deal with Tehran, its third-largest oil supplier.
Japanese Trade Minister Takeo Hiranuma told a news conference on Tuesday that talks on the oil deal were progressing and that the two sides had reached "substantial compromises" on some points.
But he added, without giving details, that a few matters still needed to be worked out.
The consortium includes the government-backed Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (JAPEX) and INPEX Corp as well as Japanese trading house Tomen Corp
A Japanese Foreign Ministry official said the oil deal could well come up at the talks with Kharrazi, in which Tokyo intends to press Tehran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations' atomic watchdog, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said.
The international community has been urging Iran to sign an additional protocol to Tehran's safeguards agreement with the IAEA.
The protocol would require Iran to let the IAEA conduct enhanced inspections of its nuclear facilities.
A Foreign Ministry official said last week that Japan wanted Iran to sign the additional protocol but had not made that a condition for reaching a deal on the oil field.
The IAEA said on Tuesday in a confidential report that Iran had stepped up cooperation with the agency in recent months, but that it still had questions about weapons-grade uranium found in the country. http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=3341417
posted on 08/27/2003 12:46:20 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
To: AdmSmith; seamole
Carmaking sector's growth amazing
Tehran, Aug 26 - Minister of Industry and Mines Eshaq Jahangiri here Monday said that with the 30 percent, the automobile industry registered the highest growth rate among all the sectors in the economy in the last Iranian year (ended March 20).
Speaking at the inauguration ceremonies for opening of three new assembly lines at 'Iran-Khodro' industrial group, he added that the sector will play a pivotal role in the country's industrialization drive.
He said the outcomes of the right policies, including increased attention to quality, price, after-sale services, competitiveness as well as schemes to enter into joint production with foreign automobile and parts manufacturers are beginning to pay div idends.
He said there are about 2,000 parts manufacturers in the country and the number of automobile produced will increase from the 500,000 units last year to over 700,000 units this year.
The industry employs about 500,000 people, Jahangiri said adding that the companies in addition to removing technical defects are striving to compete in international markets.
On the environment issue, Jahangiri said the companies have also taken important steps to upgrade their environmental standards and metinternational regulations. http://www.iribnews.com/Full_en.asp?news_id=186696&n=36
posted on 08/27/2003 12:47:32 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
U.N. Finds Uranium at Iran Nuclear Plant
By GEORGE JAHN
Associated Press Writer
VIENNA, Austria (AP) - U.N. inspectors found traces of highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium at an Iranian nuclear facility, a report by the U.N. nuclear agency says. Iran said Tuesday the traces came with equipment purchased abroad decades ago.
The find heightened concerns that Tehran may be running a secret nuclear weapons program. http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3072964,00.html
posted on 08/27/2003 12:50:31 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
To: F14 Pilot
What is the price of an Iranian car and some imported cars, related to annual income for some groups of people?
posted on 08/27/2003 1:04:47 AM PDT
Have no Idea.
Japan FM rejects US, Israeli pressure regarding ties with Iran
Japan's foreign minister said Wednesday negotiations to develop an oil field in Iran are not contingent on assurances from Tehran that it shelve a suspected nuclear weapons program.
The United States, has been accusing Iran of developing a secret nuclear program and has voiced opposition to a Japanese investment, which could be worth at least US$2 billion.
"Japan shares with the international community the nuclear weapons concerns. We are doing our best to encourage Iran to remove them," Yoriko Kawaguchi said at a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan.
"We depend on the outside for 99 percent of our oil. To secure oil has been an important policy goal for Japan, so
we have been conducting discussions," she said. "It is a different issue than the nuclear issue."
It should be recalled that Israel's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met Tuesday in Tokyo with Kawaguchi.
During the meeting, Shalom raised the issue of Iran's nuclear program, and its "sponsorship of terrorism." He stated that "Japan must condition its signature upon economic projects with Iran on that country's adoption of the 'Additional Protocol,'" adding that "the Iranian enrichment of uranium must be stopped, as it will lead to the completion of their nuclear fuel cycle."
"As a member of the IAEA Board of Governors, and on the basis of its unique historical experience, Japan recognizes the crucial nature of international activity in this realm," Shalom said. http://www.albawaba.com/news/index.php3?sid=257229&lang=e&dir=news
To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; piasa; Valin; nuconvert; Texas_Dawg; kattracks; RaceBannon; seamole; ..
Japan says no conclusion yet on Iran oil field
Reuters, 08.27.03, 3:58 AM ET
TOKYO, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said on Wednesday that no conclusion had been reached on a deal with Iran to develop Azadegan, one of the world's largest untapped oil fields.
Kawaguchi said Japan was discussing with Iran concerns over Tehran's nuclear programme as a separate issue from its search for new sources of oil.
"These are two separate policy goals. We have not come to a point where we need to discuss them together," she told a news conference.
"These are two separate policy issues. Each one is important."
A Japanese government-backed consortium missed a June 30 deadline with Iran to seal a $2 billion deal to develop Azadegan, following pressure from the United States to back away from it due to concerns over Iran's nuclear programme.
But Tokyo had made clear it was still keen to do the deal with Tehran, its third-largest oil supplier. The consortium includes the government-backed Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (JAPEX) and INPEX Corp as well as Japanese trading house Tomen Corp http://www.forbes.com/business/energy/newswire/2003/08/27/rtr1067133.html
Iran Faces Showdown on Nuclear Secrets
August 27, 2003
Julian Borger and Dan De Luce
In a report due out today that is likely to trigger a showdown over sanctions, the UN's nuclear watchdog has demanded Iran urgently explain evidence that it may have secretly enriched uranium.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirms in its report that it detected highly enriched uranium in samples taken at a nuclear plant at Natanz, one of the sites the US claims Iran has been using for a covert nuclear weapons programme.
Iran has told the IAEA the samples came from nuclear equipment that was contaminated when it was bought a decade ago for civilian purposes. But Tehran has not said who sold the equipment, only that it was purchased through an intermediary company.
Analysts said yesterday that the evidence pointed towards Pakistani companies selling Dutch designs for enrichment centrifuges.
Iran has also admitted carrying out uranium conversion experiments in the early 90s, producing uranium tetrafluoride, a halfway stage to the production of uranium hexafluoride, which is the form used in the enrichment process.
The report, delivered to IAEA member states yesterday and expected to be made public today, is likely to be taken by Washington as backing for its argument that Iran should be declared in violation of its non-proliferation obligations and subjected to sanctions.
However, Melissa Fleming, an IAEA spokeswoman, said the report did not offer conclusive proof of violations.
"It asks a lot more questions than it provides answers," Ms Fleming said. "The investigation is no longer in mid-course but it is not there yet. Over the next several weeks and months a number of questions have to be answered."
US diplomats have been trying to rally support for the American position at a pivotal meeting of the IAEA's board of governors on September 8.
If the board rules Iran in violation, it would trigger a security council discussion on imposing sanctions, which could scuttle an EU trade deal and a treaty allowing Japanese companies to drill for oil. Russia is also helping Iran build a civilian nuclear reactor.
A state department official visited Moscow to try to persuade the Russian government to halt nuclear cooperation but left without an agreement.
In an apparent attempt to forestall sanctions, Iran gave its strongest indication yesterday that it might be ready to agree to snap nuclear inspections, a demand of the international community.
Despite lobbying from the EU and Russia, Iran has refused to sign the additional protocol to the non-proliferation treaty. Drawn up after the first Gulf war, the protocol would require Iran to allow short-notice inspections of declared and undeclared sites.
Tehran's representative to the IAEA, Ali Akbar Salehi, said his country would consider signing the additional protocol if concerns about "sovereignty" were clarified.
David Albright, a nuclear expert at the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, said that Mr Salehi had been known for several weeks to be in favour of the protocol, but that the ultimate decision would be taken by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Citing Iraq's experience, Iran's conservative clerical leadership has expressed concern that the US could use the short-notice inspections to carry out espionage.
Western governments believe Iran may be close to building a nuclear bomb and that it has received help from scientists in Pakistan, North Korea and elsewhere. http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1029813,00.html
Iran Urges Release Of Ex-diplomat at UK Straw Meeting
August 27, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
LONDON -- Iran has called on the U.K. for the speedy release of a former Iranian diplomat, arrested over the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Euro-American affairs Ali Ahani met U.K. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw Tuesday to call for the former diplomat to be released, Iran's official news agency IRNA reports on its Web site.
Hadi Soleimanpour was arrested in the U.K. last Thursday for his alleged involvement in the Argentinian bombing.
An Argentine judge is seeking the extradition of eight Iranians, including Soleimanpour, Iran's ambassador to Argentina when the explosion killed dozens of people.
"The decision of the Argentine judiciary was politically-motivated and the verdict lacked validity," IRNA quoted Ahani as saying.
IRNA reported that Straw assured Ahani he would take all necessary steps within the framework of the U.K.'s judicial system.
The U.K. Foreign Office said Straw told Ahani that the arrest is a judicial matter and the government cannot intervene.
Wednesday, the Financial Times reported that Iran is threatening to expel the U.K.'s ambassador to Tehran and downgrade diplomatic relations over the arrest.
President Mohammad Khatami has referred to the arrest as "incorrect" and "tactless" and the row threatens to derail the U.K.'s "constructive engagement" policy with Tehran. http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=08&d=27&a=6
Text Of President Bush's Speech
August 27, 2003
President Delivers Remarks to 85th American Legion Convention
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, all. Thanks for that warm welcome. It is great to be here in St. Louis, Missouri, at the 85th Annual Convention of the American Legion. I wonder if I'm the only member here today from Post 77, in Houston, Texas.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: No. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Seems like they'd have given you a better seat. (Laughter and applause.)
It is always an honor to be with people who have served America and who love America. (Applause.) When the American Legion held its first caucus in this city, back in 1919, Legionnaires dedicated this organization to the service of God and country. Times change, but those are still the right priorities. (Applause.)
On behalf of your fellow citizens, I thank the American Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary for your idealism and for your faithful service to God and country. (Applause.)
I'm honored to be traveling today with Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Tony Principi. He served in Vietnam,and he serves his comrades in my Cabinet. He's a tireless advocate for our nation's veterans
I want you to understand the facts of this good man's leadership. The budget for Veterans Affairs has gone up by $15 billion since I took office, a 30 percent increase. And my budget for fiscal year 2004 includes the largest discretionary increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs ever requested by a President. (Applause.)
The Department, under Tony's lead, has made major progress in reducing the backlog of veterans' disability claims and the number of veterans waiting for health care. And we will continue to work to make sure those backlogs are eliminated.
I want to thank Ron Conley, the National Commander of the American Legion, for his kind introduction and for his leadership of this distinguished group of citizens.
I appreciate Senator Jim Talent and Congressman Todd Akin from the state of Missouri who are here with us today. I thank Elsie Bailey, American Legion's Lady Auxiliary National President. (Applause.)
I'm honored to be on the stage with Major General Patrick Brady, Medal of Honor recipient. (Applause.) I know in the audience somewhere is my friend Arlene Howard. There she is. Arlene, thank you. I don't know if you remember the speech I gave in front of the Congress right after the attacks of September the 11th, but I held up the badge of one of the brave who were killed. It was the badge of Arlene's son. I'm honored you're here, Arlene, I appreciate you coming -- I can't wait to give you a hug. (Applause.)
I want to thank the board of directors for the invitation. And I want to thank you all for being such great Americans. The American Legion is an effective and respected voice for the veteran, and you speak with authority. In the years following the first world war, leaders of this organization helped to establish the U.S. Veterans Bureau. Following World War II, you helped secure passage of the G.I. Bill. (Applause.) (Applause.) You've supported the memorials to those who fought in World War II and Korea and Vietnam, so the sacrifices of those wars are always remembered. (Applause.)
For two generations, you have demanded a full accounting of Americans whose fate is undetermined. And my administration will not rest until that accounting is complete. (Applause.) And having fought under the American flag and seen it folded and given to families of your friends, you are committed, as am I, to protecting the dignity of the flag in the Constitution of the United States. (Applause.)
In the 20th century, the American flag and the American uniform stood for something unique in history. This nation gained great power and we used that power in the service of human freedom. Americans liberated continents and concentration camps. America's armed forces humbled tyrants and raised up and befriended nations that once fought against us. Our nation led a great alliance against a communist empire, until that empire was gone and its captives were free. America's veterans have all been a part of this great story of perseverance and courage, and people and nations across the world are better off because of your service. (Applause.)
On Memorial Day last year, I visited the military cemetery at Normandy, and saw the grave of one of the founders of the American Legion, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. When Roosevelt landed with the first wave of his unit on D-Day, he and his men found themselves in a different part of Utah Beach from the point they expected. Roosevelt quickly sized up the situation and called in a whole division to the new sector. Turning a challenge into an advantage, he declared: we'll start the war from here. (Applause.)
Well, a great challenge came to America on September the 11th, 2001. Enemies who plotted for years in secret, carried out missions of murder on our own soil. It was a day of suffering and sorrow. It was also a day of decision for our country. As a united and resolute people, America declared: we'll start the war from here. (Applause.)
In this first war of the 21st century, America and all free nations are facing a new threat and fighting a new enemy, a global network of terror supported by outlaw regimes. We've seen the hand of the terrorist enemy in the attacks on our country. We've seen the deadly work of the terrorists in Bali, in Mombasa, in Riyadh, in Jakarta, in Casablanca. On a single day last week we saw the true nature of the terrorists once again. In Baghdad they attacked a symbol of the civilized world -- the United Nations Headquarters -- and killed men and women who were there to bring humanitarian help to the Iraqi people. They killed a respected U.N. Special Representative, Sergio Vieira deMello, from Brazil.
And on the same day in Jerusalem, a terrorist murdered 21 innocent people who were riding a bus, including little children and five Americans.
The terrorists' aim is to spread chaos and fear by killing on an ever-widening scale. They serve their cause by sacrificing the innocent. They celebrate the murder of women and children. They attacked the civilized world because they bear a deep hatred for the values of the civilized world. They hate freedom and religious tolerance and democracy and equality for women. They hate Christians and Jews and every Muslim who does not share their narrow and violent vision.
No nation can be neutral in the struggle between civilization and chaos. Every nation that stands on the side of freedom and the value of human life must condemn terrorism and act against the few who would destroy the hopes of the many. (Applause.)
Because America stands for freedom and tolerance and the rights of all, the terrorists have targeted our country. During the last few decades the terrorists grew bolder, believing if they hit America hard, America would retreat and back down. Five years ago, one of the terrorists said that an attack could make America run in less than 24 hours. They're learning something different today. The terrorists have not seen America running, they've seen America marching. They've seen the armies of liberation. (Applause.) They have seen the armies of liberation marching into Kabul and to Baghdad.
The terrorists have seen speeding tank convoys and roaring jets and special forces arriving in midnight raids. And sometimes justice has found them before they could see anything coming at all. We've adopted a new strategy for a new kind of war. We will not wait for known enemies to strike us again. (Applause.) We will strike them and their camps or caves or wherever they hide before they hit more of our cities and kill more of our citizens. We will do everything in our power to deny terrorists weapons of mass destruction before they can commit murder on an unimaginable scale.
The security of this nation and our friends requires decisive action. And with a broad coalition, we're taking that action around the globe. We are on the offensive against terror, and we will stay on the offensive against terror. (Applause.)
In Afghanistan, we acted against the Taliban regime that harbored al Qaeda and ruled by terror. The Taliban felt pretty strong, when they were whipping women in the streets and executing them in soccer fields. When our coalition moved in, the Taliban ran quickly for the caves. But the caves could not hide these killers from justice. We've sent a message that is understood throughout the world: if you harbor a terrorist, if you support a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorists, and the Taliban found out what we meant. (Applause.)
Afghanistan today is a friend of the United States of America. Because we acted, that country is not a haven for terrorists, and the people of America are safer from attack. That nation still faces challenges, and our coalition forces there still face dangers. Yet, we're working every day to make sure that Afghanistan finds its future as a free and stable and peaceful nation.
America and the new Afghan army are working together in a major operation, called Warrior Sweep, which is hunting down terrorists one by one. NATO is now taking a leading role in keeping Afghanistan secure. New roads are being built, medical clinics are opening, and many young girls are going to school for the first time, thanks to our coalition and the United States of America. (Applause.)
The al Qaeda terrorists lost a base in Afghanistan, but they operate in many other places. We're on their trail, from Pakistan, to the Philippines, to the Horn of Africa. Earlier this month, we captured a major terrorist named Hambali. He's a known killer, and was a close associate of September the 11th mastermind, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad. Hambali was one of the world's most lethal terrorists, and is suspected of planning the attack on Bali and other recent acts of terror.
We're making steady progress. Nearly two-thirds of known senior al Qaeda leaders, operational managers, and key facilitators, have either been captured or killed. (Applause.)
Now al Qaeda is wounded, yet, not destroyed. It remains a grave danger to the American people. Terrorist networks are still finding recruits and still plotting attacks, and still intending to strike our country. Yet, our resolve is firm, and it is clear: no matter how long it takes, we will bring to justice those who plot against America. (Applause.)
We've also pursued the war on terror in Iraq. America and our coalition removed a regime that built, possessed and used weapons of mass destruction, a regime that sponsored terror and a regime that persecuted its people. Our military coalition destroyed the Iraqi regime, while taking extraordinary measures to spare innocent life. (Applause.) The battle of Iraq was conducted with the skill and honor of a great military, the United States Armed Forces. (Applause.)
Because of our military, catastrophic weapons will no longer be in the hands of a reckless, unstable dictator. Because of our military, Middle Eastern countries no longer fear subversion and attack by Saddam Hussein. Because of our military, Iraq will no longer be a source of funding for suicide bombers in the Middle East. Because of our men and women in uniform, the torture chambers in Iraq are closed, the prison cells for children are empty and the people who speak their minds need not fear execution. (Applause.)
In all the debates over Iraq, we must never forget
Iraq. We must never forget the brutal nature of the regime of Saddam Hussein. Mass grave sites, literally thousands of people buried in mass grave sites were recently discovered by our troops. They contain the remains not only of executed men and women, but of executed children, as well.
Our people in uniform, joined by fine allies, ended this nightmare in Iraq, removed a threat to the world, and they have made our nation proud. (Applause.)
The work of our coalition in Iraq goes on because that country is now a point of testing in the war on terror. The remnants of Saddam's regime are still dangerous, and terrorists are gathering in Iraq to undermine the advance of freedom. Al Qaeda and the other global terror networks recognize that the defeat of Saddam Hussein's regime is a defeat for them. They know that a democratic Iraq in the heart of the Middle East would be a further defeat for their ideology of terror. They know that the spread of peace and hope in the Middle East would undermine the appeal of bitterness, resentment, and violence. And the more progress we make in Iraq, the more desperate the terrorists will become. Freedom is a threat to their way of life. (Applause.)
They have sabotaged water mains and oil pipelines, and attacked local police. Last week, they killed aid workers bringing food and medicine to the country. The terrorists have killed innocent Iraqis and Americans and U.N. officials from many nations. They have declared war on the entire civilized world, and the civilized world will not be intimidated. (Applause.)
Retreat in the face of terror would only invite further and bolder attacks. There will be no retreat. (Applause.)
We are on the offensive against the Saddam loyalists, the foreign fighters, and the criminal gangs that are attacking Iraqis and coalition forces. We're receiving more and more vital intelligence from Iraqi citizens, information that we're putting to good use. Our recent military operations have included almost 200 raids, netting more than 1,100 detainees. Since the end of major combat operations, we have seized more than 8,200 tons of ammunition, thousands of AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons.
And as we help the Iraqi people establish security, we are working through that famous deck of cards. So far, of the 55 most wanted Iraqi leaders, 42 have been captured or killed. (Applause.) The brutal, viscous sons of the dictator are gone. (Applause.) Recently we captured the former Vice President of Iraq. He was one of Saddam Hussein's most feared enforcers. And recently, as well, we captured the man known as Chemical Ali. He earned his nickname by ordering chemical weapon attacks on whole Iraqi villages, killing thousands of citizens. Chemical Ali's savage career is over. (Applause.) The search goes on for other former leaders of Iraq, and we will find them. (Applause.) After decades of smothering fear, the Iraqi people can be certain: the regime of Saddam Hussein is gone, and it is never coming back. (Applause.)
Ultimately, the security of Iraq will be won by the Iraqi people themselves. They must reject terror, and they must join in their own defense. And they're stepping forward. More than 38,000 Iraqis have been hired as police officers. Iraqi police and border guards and security forces are increasingly taking on critical duties. Over 1,400 Iraqi civil defense corps volunteers are being trained to work closely with coalition forces; 12,000 Iraqis will be trained in the next year for the country's new army.
At the same time, 31 countries have contributed 21,000 forces to build security in Iraq. I will continue to challenge other countries to join in this important mission. In most of Iraq today, there's steady progress toward reconstruction and civil order. Iraq's Governing Council, representing the nation's diverse groups is steadily assuming greater responsibility over the country. The coalition provisional authority, led by Ambassador Paul Bremer, is implementing a comprehensive plan to ensure a successful, democratic Iraq, and a better future for the Iraqi people.
Building a free and peaceful Iraq will require a substantial commitment of time and resources, and it will yield a substantially safer and more secure America and the world. I'll work with the Congress to make sure we provide the resources to do the work of freedom and security.
Iraq's progress toward self-determination and democracy brings hope to other oppressed people in the region and throughout the world. It is the rise of democracy that tyrants fear and terrorists seek to undermine. The people who yearn for liberty and opportunity in countries like Iran and throughout the Middle East are watching and they are praying for our success in Iraq. (Applause.)
More progress will come in Iraq, and it will require hard and sustained efforts. As many of you saw firsthand in Germany and Japan after World War II, the transition from dictatorship to democracy is a massive undertaking. It's not an easy task. In the aftermath of World War II, that task took years, not months, to complete. And, yet, the effort was repaid many times over as former enemies became friends and allies and partners in keeping the peace.
Likewise, the work we do today is essential to the peace of the world and for the security of our country. America is a nation that understands its responsibilities and keeps its word. And we will honor our word to the people of Iraq and those in the Middle East who yearn for freedom. (Applause.)
Murderers will not determine the future of Iraq, and they will not determine the future of the Middle East. In Jerusalem, as in Baghdad, terrorists are trying to undermine the hopes of peace with acts of violence. Their desperation also grows as the parties move closer to a just settlement. But terrorists do not speak for the Palestinian people. They do not serve the Palestinian cause. And a Palestinian state will never be built on the foundation of violence. (Applause.)
Now is the time for every true friend of the Palestinian people, every leader in the Middle East, and the Palestinian people, themselves, to cut off all money and support for terrorists, and actively fight terror on all fronts. (Applause.) Only then can Israel be secure and the flag rise over an independent Palestine. And to bring that day closer, America will be a consistent friend of all who work for peace.
For nearly two years, on many fronts, the United States and our friends have conducted a global campaign against terror. We met the enemy on desert sands and mountain passes, wherever they choose to gather and fight. We've had successes, yet our mission continues. The stakes could not be greater for the American people. All of us who have taken an oath to defend this nation will do our duty. (Applause.)
Our military forces in the war on terror are showing the definition of duty. In hostile conditions and remote parts of the earth, brave Americans are sacrificing for freedom and the security of others. Some have been wounded, and some have been killed. The veterans in this hall understand the loss and sadness that have come to military families. This nation is grateful to every man and woman who serves, and we honor the memory of all who have fallen.
We also remember what this fight is about. Our military is confronting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other places so our people will not have to confront terrorist violence in New York, or St. Louis, or Los Angeles. (Applause.)
Our Armed Forces are doing the work they are called to do. They're taking the fight to the enemy so that America and our friends can live in peace. The war on terror is a test of our strength. It is a test of our perseverance, our patience, and our will. This nation has been tested before -- by the character of men and women like you, we've come through every trial.
And so it is today. Our course is set. Our purpose is firm. No act of terrorists will weaken our resolve or alter their fate. Our only goal, our only option, is total victory in the war on terror. And this nation will press on to victory. (Applause.)
Thank you for having me. May God bless you, and may God continue to bless America. (Applause.) http://www.ctnow.com/news/custom/newsat3/hc-bushvets0827,0,729160.story?coll=hc-headlines-newsat3
The Peace Trap
August 27, 2003
National Review Online
Back to the war, please.
For the second time in as many years, President Bush has fallen into a trap designed to prevent an American victory against the forces of terrorism in the Middle East. The original trap sprung in early 2002 after the decimation of the Taliban and al Qaeda was the so-called "Saudi peace plan," according to which the United States was not entitled to liberate Iraq until and unless the Palestinian question was "solved." It should have been obvious that this was merely an effort to stall our war against the terror masters, since many of the finest diplomatic and strategic minds in the world had failed to "solve" the problem for more than half a century, and the Saudis themselves were actively funding the very Palestinian terrorism that guaranteed the failure of any solution. But every Arab country, virtually all of Europe, and our own diplomats, from Secretary of State Colin Powell on down, urged the president to go for it.
This delayed Operation Iraqi Freedom for many months, until President Bush realized that nothing could be accomplished with a Palestinian tyranny, whereupon he abandoned the Saudi plan, declared Yasser Arafat persona non grata, and pressed ahead with the war. But the long delay proved very costly. Had we proceeded quickly against the terror masters in Baghdad, Tehran, and Damascus (with explicit warnings to Riyadh that they would be next if they did not stop financing both terrorist organizations and the network of radical jihadist schools and mosques that inculcated fanaticism around the world), we would have had considerable international support, especially if our war employed a mixture of military and political tactics (Iran, for example, required no military action at all, but modest support for a democratic revolution already under way). But the delay enabled the major opponent of the war notably France, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iran, Syria, and Egypt to drag us into the quagmire of the United Nations for even further delays, and sabotage our support in Turkey and elsewhere.
Moreover, by stalling the second battle in the war, our regional enemies in Iran and Syria had plenty of time to plan their response to our pending occupation of Iraq. As they unhesitatingly and publicly proclaimed to anyone who cared to listen, they organized a terror war against us, accompanied by jihadist propaganda, mass demonstrations, and hostage seizures, just as we experienced in Lebanon in the 1980s. And they were true to their word. The mounting terror campaign speaks for itself, and, at last count, more than ten Iranian-sponsored radio and television stations were broadcasting in or into Iraq.
In other words, we cannot win in Iraq without defeating the other terror masters as well. Simple common sense required that we do what President Bush proclaimed shortly after September 11: move forcefully against the terrorist organizations and the states that sponsor and support them. But we did not do that. Instead, the president permitted himself to be dragged into the same trap he fell into after Afghanistan: delaying any further action until the Israel/Palestinian problem was "solved." This time it was called a roadmap, but, both in concept and consequence, there was no meaningful difference between this scheme and the earlier Saudi trap. Just as it was folly to believe that peace could be achieved in any part of the Middle East merely because Afghanistan had been freed of the grip of the terror masters, so it was a mistake to expect terror to end simply because Saddam Hussein had been overthrown. Just as the delay after Afghanistan permitted our enemies to organize their political, diplomatic, and terrorist forces against us, so our current defensive stance enables them to intimidate and indoctrinate the Iraqi people, murder our own men and women on the ground, and galvanize the president's critics and opponents, both at home and abroad.
The president gave voice to a welcome revolutionary doctrine when he refused to deal with Yasser Arafat: He said that just as only free Middle Eastern countries could be expected to abandon terrorism and join us in fighting it, only a free and democratic Palestinian people could make a durable peace with Israel. But he has ignored a key corollary to that axiom. There can be no peace anywhere in the region so long as the terror masters are free to operate. In recent weeks many of the recent attacks in Israel have been tracked back to Iran, at the same time that numerous Iranian terrorists have been arrested by Iraqi police and turned over to American forces.
So long as President Bush remains entrapped by the false vision of the "peace process" and plays defense in Iraq, initiative passes to the terror masters. He often speaks as if he understood his peril, but his diplomatic and military policies remain paralyzed by false vision. Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia organize, fund, and support the terror war in Iraq, but instead of supporting freedom fighters in Iran to topple the world's major sponsor of terror, we plaintively implore the mullahs to hand over some al Qaeda leaders so we can get on with lifting sanctions and "normalizing" relations. Instead of bringing real pressure to bear on the Baathist regime in Syria and the cunning Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia, we plead with the tyrannical leaders of those countries to behave better, so we can have better relations.
This is unworthy of a serious country, and the peoples of the region whose destiny is at stake in this matter. Understand that while we say we're at war, we're certainly not waging it at the moment. Unless we escape from the trap, it is only a matter of time before our soldiers and diplomats in Iraq fall prey to the terror masters on a greater scale.
The longer we delay the inevitable reckoning, the more costly it will be. It's time to get out of the trap and resume the war.
Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen is resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute. http://www.nationalreview.com/ledeen/ledeen082703.asp
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
The West's Urge to Surrender is Palpable
August 26, 2003
The Jerusalem Post
Among the more comical moments of a grim week was the sight of the president of the Security Council expressing his condemnation of the terrorist attack on the UN. The rest of the time, he's the representative of Syria. Syria is a terrorist state.
Syrians have flooded across the border into Iraq to take up arms with their beleaguered Ba'athist brethren. It would not be surprising to discover a Syrian connection to one or both of Tuesday's terrorist strikes in Baghdad and Jerusalem.
Indeed, some have already posited a Syrian link to what happened at the UN building. But Syria happens to hold the presidency of the Security Council, so a fellow who's usually the bespoke apologist for terrorists gets to go on TV to represent the international community's determination to stand up to terrorism.
Well, that's the luck of the draw at the UN, where so far this year Libya, Iraq and Syria have found themselves heading up the Human Rights Commission, the Disarmament Committee and the Security Council. The UN's subscription to this charade may be necessary in New York, but what's tragic is that they seem to have conducted their affairs in Baghdad much the same way. Offers of increased US military protection were turned down.
Their old Iraqi security guards, all agents of Saddam's Secret Service there to spy on the UN, were allowed by the organization to carry on working at the compound.
And sitting in the middle of an unprotected complex staffed by ex-Saddamite spies was Sergio Viera de Mello, the individual most directly credited with midwifing East Timor into an independent democratic state. Both the Bali bombers and Osama bin Laden (or, more accurately, whoever makes his audio cassettes) have cited East Timor as high up on their long list of grievances: the carving out, as they see it, of part of the territory of the world's largest Islamic nation to create a mainly Christian state.
Now they've managed to kill the fellow responsible. Any way you look at it, that's quite a feather in their turbans.
But it doesn't really matter who's actually to blame - Ba'athist Iraqis or al-Qaida Saudis, or even anti-Saddam Iraqis affronted by the UN's corrupt Oil For Food program. As far as the world's press is concerned, the folks who are really to blame are the Americans.
It's the Americans' fault because:
a) they made Iraq so insecure their own troops are getting picked off every day;
b) okay, fewer are being picked off than a few weeks back, but that's only because the Americans have made their own bases so secure that only soft targets like the UN are left;
c) okay, the UN's only a soft target because it turned down American protection, but the Americans should have had enough sense just to go ahead and install the concrete barriers and perimeter trenches anyway;
d) okay, if they'd done that, the beloved UN would have been further compromised by unduly close association with the hated Americans, which is probably what got them killed in the first place.
IN OTHER words, whatever happens, it's always evidence of American failure. That's the only "root cause" most of the West is interested in. Anyone who thinks Tuesday's events might strengthen the international community's resolve to resist terrorism is overlooking the fact that among the Europeans, the Canadians and New Zealanders, the British and Australian press, CNN and The New York Times and a large majority of the Democratic party the urge to surrender is palpable.
At the moment, there's only one hyperpower (the US), one great power (the UK) and one regional power (Australia) that are serious about the threat of Islamist terrorism.
There's also Israel, of course, but Israel's disinclination to have its bus passengers blown to smithereens is seen (even by the three staunch musketeers of the Anglosphere) as evidence of its "obstinacy" and unwillingness to get the "peace process" back "on track."
What a difference it would make if one or two other heavyweight or even middleweight nations were to get serious about the battle and be a reliable vote in international councils. But who? France? It's all business to them, unless al-Qaida was careless enough to blow up the Eiffel Tower. Canada? Canadians get blown up in Bali, murdered in Iran, tortured in Saudi Arabia, die in the rubble of the UN building in Baghdad - and their government shrugs. Belgium? They'd rather issue a warrant for Rumsfeld than Chemical Ali.
And so on Tuesday, up against an enemy unable to do anything more than self-detonate outside an unprotected facility and take a few Brazilian civil servants and Canadian aid workers with him, the global community sent out a Syrian ambassador to read some boilerplate and then retreated into passivity and introspection and finger-pointing at Washington.
This is the weirdly uneven playing field on which the great game is now fought. Islamic terrorism is militarily weak but ideologically confident. The West is militarily strong but ideologically insecure.
We don't really believe we can win, not in the long run. The suicide bomber is a symbol of weakness, of a culture so comprehensively failed that what ought to be its greatest resource - its people - is instead as disposable as a firecracker. But in our self-doubt the enemy's weakness becomes his strength.
We simply can't comprehend a man like Raed Abdel Misk, pictured in the press last week with a big smile, a check shirt and two cute little moppets, a boy and a girl, in his arms. His wife is five months pregnant with their third child. On Tuesday night, big smiling Raed strapped an 11-pound bomb packed with nails and shrapnel to his chest and boarded the No. 2 bus in Jerusalem.
The terrorist leaders watch CNN and the BBC and, understandably, they conclude that in Iraq America, Britain and all the rest will do what most people do when they run up against someone deranged: back out of the room slowly.
They're wrong. There's no choice. You kill it here, or the next generation of suicide bombers will be on buses in Rotterdam, Manchester, Lyons, and blowing up the UN building in Manhattan. This is the battlefield.
The writer is senior contributing editor for Hollinger Inc. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1061869388206
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
The West's Urge to Surrender is Palpable
Just for the record, France is in the process of no longer being considered a Western country.
posted on 08/27/2003 8:39:03 AM PDT
(We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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