Posts Tagged: Iran


20
Feb 11

1 Esfand: Can Iran Be Free?

Below is a video supposedly from today in Shiraz's Mulasadra Avenue:

WSJ:

Thousands of demonstrators chanting against the government poured into the streets in nationwide protests on Sunday, clashing with security forces trying to disperse them, according to witness accounts. In Tehran, protestors targeted government landmarks such as the national broadcast company Seda va Sima-seen as a mouthpiece for the regime-chanting "God is great," and "Death to the dictator," witnesses reported on opposition websites. Since early Sunday morning thousands of anti-riot police and Basij militia on motorbikes stood guard along the protest route all along Vali Assr Avenue, the capital's longest road that connects the affluent northern part of town to the poor southern neighborhoods.

Enduring America:

0945 GMT: A Military Message? Some Internet eyebrows raised this morning by a report, on a Revolutionary Guard site, of a speech by the head of Iran's armed forces, Hassan Firouzabadi. Firouzabadi, ostensibly addressing generals in the Arab world, declared that a nation guided by divine principles "cannot be stopped by bullets": "Other governments must learn the lessons of Tunisia and Egypt and align themselves with their peoples." He pointed to the example of military commanders executed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution to indicate what happens to those who don't defend the new nation. On the surface, that is a call to militaries in Arab countries to uphold the "proper" revolution. But, with rumours of splits in Iran's military forces swirling, some are wondering if Firouzabadi might be sending a message closer to home. And there's another theory: Firouzabadi's references to the past 30 years and puts out the message that a regime cannot win by oppression. So if that is true in Egypt and Tunisia, could the head of the military be indicating that it is also true in Iran?

Pro-Ahmadinejad Fars News Agency claims this today: total calm in Tehran. Internet connection has been slowed down by the government, Rahe Sabz reports. It also adds that cell phone lines have been disconnected in Central Tehran. Khamenei's website has been rendered useless by cyber attacks.  BBC Persian reports of clashes in the intersection between Mirdamad Avenue and Valiasr Avenue of the use of tear gas on protesters. Witnesses are telling BBC that today, there are more security forces on the streets of Tehran than February 14.

Scott Lucas links to analysis by The Newest Deal:

The Islamic Republic finds itself in a precarious position. As protests in Egypt grew, the regime could no longer stay silent on such a seismic shift in its backyard. The official spin — calling it an Egyptian "Islamic awakening" — was of course necessitated by its own crackdown on post-election protests in 2009 and into last year. While such propaganda may serve well with older and more susceptible classes, Iran's youth knows the power of information and watched Egypt's youth achieve what they could not: the overthrow of their ruling dictatorship. The hypocrisy of Khamenei's praise towards Egypt has surely not been lost on them.

From the Guardian's Saeed Kamali Dehghan:

A witness in Abbas Abad in north Tehran has told BBC Persian TV that gunshots are being heard in that area. Another witness said that the riot police are shooting into the air in the area where Iran's state TV is situated. Opposition websites say that the riot police and plain-clothes basiji militia are using tear-gas and wielding batons to disperse protesters in different locations in Tehran. The demonstrations are larger than the one last week that left two people dead.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


20
Feb 11

1 Esfand: Can Iran Be Free?

Below is a video supposedly from today in Shiraz's Mulasadra Avenue:

WSJ:

Thousands of demonstrators chanting against the government poured into the streets in nationwide protests on Sunday, clashing with security forces trying to disperse them, according to witness accounts. In Tehran, protestors targeted government landmarks such as the national broadcast company Seda va Sima-seen as a mouthpiece for the regime-chanting "God is great," and "Death to the dictator," witnesses reported on opposition websites. Since early Sunday morning thousands of anti-riot police and Basij militia on motorbikes stood guard along the protest route all along Vali Assr Avenue, the capital's longest road that connects the affluent northern part of town to the poor southern neighborhoods.

Enduring America:

0945 GMT: A Military Message? Some Internet eyebrows raised this morning by a report, on a Revolutionary Guard site, of a speech by the head of Iran's armed forces, Hassan Firouzabadi. Firouzabadi, ostensibly addressing generals in the Arab world, declared that a nation guided by divine principles "cannot be stopped by bullets": "Other governments must learn the lessons of Tunisia and Egypt and align themselves with their peoples." He pointed to the example of military commanders executed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution to indicate what happens to those who don't defend the new nation. On the surface, that is a call to militaries in Arab countries to uphold the "proper" revolution. But, with rumours of splits in Iran's military forces swirling, some are wondering if Firouzabadi might be sending a message closer to home. And there's another theory: Firouzabadi's references to the past 30 years and puts out the message that a regime cannot win by oppression. So if that is true in Egypt and Tunisia, could the head of the military be indicating that it is also true in Iran?

Pro-Ahmadinejad Fars News Agency claims this today: total calm in Tehran. Internet connection has been slowed down by the government, Rahe Sabz reports. It also adds that cell phone lines have been disconnected in Central Tehran. Khamenei's website has been rendered useless by cyber attacks.  BBC Persian reports of clashes in the intersection between Mirdamad Avenue and Valiasr Avenue of the use of tear gas on protesters. Witnesses are telling BBC that today, there are more security forces on the streets of Tehran than February 14.

Scott Lucas links to analysis by The Newest Deal:

The Islamic Republic finds itself in a precarious position. As protests in Egypt grew, the regime could no longer stay silent on such a seismic shift in its backyard. The official spin — calling it an Egyptian "Islamic awakening" — was of course necessitated by its own crackdown on post-election protests in 2009 and into last year. While such propaganda may serve well with older and more susceptible classes, Iran's youth knows the power of information and watched Egypt's youth achieve what they could not: the overthrow of their ruling dictatorship. The hypocrisy of Khamenei's praise towards Egypt has surely not been lost on them.

From the Guardian's Saeed Kamali Dehghan:

A witness in Abbas Abad in north Tehran has told BBC Persian TV that gunshots are being heard in that area. Another witness said that the riot police are shooting into the air in the area where Iran's state TV is situated. Opposition websites say that the riot police and plain-clothes basiji militia are using tear-gas and wielding batons to disperse protesters in different locations in Tehran. The demonstrations are larger than the one last week that left two people dead.





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Add to digg
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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


19
Feb 11

Is the taboo on reporting about the ineffectiveness of MAD and Iran beginning to crack?

After years of silence finally we see Iran’s intentions exposed to the American audience. The movie Iranium is now being shown all around the US.
American Thinker Blog


19
Feb 11

Iran: Resistance in Tehran

Written by Hamid Tehrani

A film shows how people resisted against security forces on 14th of February in Tehran. They chanted against regime's leaders and threw stones.

Global Voices in English


19
Feb 11

Iran stages pro-government “hatred” rallies against “enemies of Islam”

When will Honest Ibe Hooper, Boy Reza Aslan, Brave Ahmed Rehab and the rest of them jet over to Tehran to explain to the mullahs that those who oppose their bloody, oppressive regime are not actually “enemies of Islam” at all? Or at least grace the kuffar in the West with an article or two explaining the particulars of how the mullahs are Misunderstanding Islam?

An update on this story. “Anti-sedition demos held across the country,” from the Tehran Times, February 19:

TEHRAN – Thousands of worshippers held rallies across the country after the Friday prayers to condemn illegal anti-government demonstrations staged by seditionists on Monday, February 14.

The marchers unanimously called on the Judiciary to put the leaders of sedition on trial.

In Tehran people who gathered to demonstrate “hatred” toward seditionists also called for the execution of leaders of sedition and urged the political figures who have not denounced the seditionists’ movements to break their silence and take unequivocal stances toward the recent incidents. …

The statement says that anti-government demonstrations were aimed at undermining the Islamic system and serving the enemies of Islam and the Islamic Revolution.

Pictures showed large numbers of people held rallies in Mashhad, Rasht, Tabriz, Qom and Gorgan, denouncing illegal demonstrations in Tehran on Monday. Marchers carried placards reading “Down with U.S.” and “Elements behind Sedition Should Be Hanged.”…

Tehran Friday prayers leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati urged the Judiciary to take special measures to prevent the seditionists from organizing new protests….

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Jannati commented on the recent political developments in the region and praised the Egyptian youth for toppling President Hosni Mubarak.

He expressed concern that the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia may only result in the replacement of political pawns and not major political changes….

Jihad Watch


19
Feb 11

Iran stages pro-government “hatred” rallies against “enemies of Islam”

When will Honest Ibe Hooper, Boy Reza Aslan, Brave Ahmed Rehab and the rest of them jet over to Tehran to explain to the mullahs that those who oppose their bloody, oppressive regime are not actually “enemies of Islam” at all? Or at least grace the kuffar in the West with an article or two explaining the particulars of how the mullahs are Misunderstanding Islam?

An update on this story. “Anti-sedition demos held across the country,” from the Tehran Times, February 19:

TEHRAN – Thousands of worshippers held rallies across the country after the Friday prayers to condemn illegal anti-government demonstrations staged by seditionists on Monday, February 14.

The marchers unanimously called on the Judiciary to put the leaders of sedition on trial.

In Tehran people who gathered to demonstrate “hatred” toward seditionists also called for the execution of leaders of sedition and urged the political figures who have not denounced the seditionists’ movements to break their silence and take unequivocal stances toward the recent incidents. …

The statement says that anti-government demonstrations were aimed at undermining the Islamic system and serving the enemies of Islam and the Islamic Revolution.

Pictures showed large numbers of people held rallies in Mashhad, Rasht, Tabriz, Qom and Gorgan, denouncing illegal demonstrations in Tehran on Monday. Marchers carried placards reading “Down with U.S.” and “Elements behind Sedition Should Be Hanged.”…

Tehran Friday prayers leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati urged the Judiciary to take special measures to prevent the seditionists from organizing new protests….

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Jannati commented on the recent political developments in the region and praised the Egyptian youth for toppling President Hosni Mubarak.

He expressed concern that the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia may only result in the replacement of political pawns and not major political changes….

Jihad Watch


19
Feb 11

Big Dupes: Carter and Obama, Egypt and Iran

This is the most recent installment of exclusive interviews with Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College, on his book revealing how communists, from Moscow to New York to Chicago, have long manipulated America’s liberals/progressives. Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century is based on an unprecedented volume of declassified materials from Soviet archives, FBI files, and more. Big Peace’s Peter Schweizer calls it the “21st century equivalent” to Whittaker Chambers’ classic Witness.

Big Peace: Professor Kengor, former President Jimmy Carter told a student audience in Austin, Texas that he believes President Obama handled the situation in Egypt properly, and that he would have handled the situation the same way.

Kengor: That’s the kiss of death. If I was Obama, I would now doubt everything I’ve done in Egypt.

Carter also said, “I think that the Muslim Brotherhood is not anything to be afraid of,” predicting, “They will be subsumed in the overwhelming demonstration of desire for freedom and democracy.” Carter added that he had met members of the Muslim Brotherhood during his time in Egypt, and believes only about 15 percent of Egyptians would vote for the Brotherhood.

This is very similar to his past appraisals of groups like Hamas, of dictators like Kim Il Sung, Castro, and on and on. You do not want to take foreign-policy advice from this man.

Big Peace: Give us some deeper historical context. We last talked about President Ronald Reagan. How might Reagan have reacted to events in Egypt, especially compared to Carter and Obama?

Kengor: We know this much: Reagan wouldn’t want to lose a moderate autocrat like Hosni Mubarak to a group like the Muslim Brotherhood. He’d be very fearful of the Muslim Brotherhood. Reagan would want Muslim democrats, not Muslim theocrats. He would be seeking a Lech Walesa and a Solidarity movement, not the Ayatollah and the mullahs.

Big Peace: This was a lesson Reagan learned painfully from the Carter years.

Kengor: Yes. He would not want another Shah-type replaced by another Ayatollah-type. Even as Reagan was the eternal optimist, he would be extremely pessimistic about Egypt because of the strength of the Muslim Brotherhood, who he would not perceive as freedom fighters.

Big Peace: Of course, Reagan was left with the Ayatollah because the Ayatollah replaced the Shah under Reagan’s predecessor, Jimmy Carter. Give us a glimpse of Carter’s reaction to that leadership transfer in Iran.

Kengor: It was a foreign-policy catastrophe. The Shah’s fall meant an immediate radical Islamic takeover of Iran, not to mention over 50 Americans seized as hostages. Here’s something that 99% of people under the age of 40 don’t know, and need to pause to let sink in: America suddenly went from being Iran’s best friend to Iran’s “Great Satan.” Iran and Israel were our pillars in the Middle East. Iran was our best friend in the Muslim world. Think about that. It wasn’t like the Ayatollah took over a pariah country with which we had few ties. Richard Nixon said that whatever the Shah wanted, the Shah got. We were extremely close. That was all lost under Carter. It was a total 180 in one presidential term.

Big Peace: In Dupes, you list Carter’s statements on Iran.

Kengor: I’ll share the two that pose the starkest contrast, pulled from the official Presidential Papers. The best starting point is December 31, 1977, when President Carter stood aside the Shah, raised his glass, and gave a toast: “Iran, because of the great leadership of the Shah, is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.”

Iran had been just that, under successive presidential administrations—but not much longer. One year later, that island of stability erupted into a volcano, one named the Ayatollah Khomeini, a fanatical Shiite cleric.

Big Peace: You write that the “unthinkable” soon became “somehow thinkable.”

Kengor: Things collapsed so fast that, on December 7, 1978, a reporter asked President Carter if he thought the Shah “could survive.” That question was inconceivable just a year earlier. Previous presidents would have immediately responded in the affirmative, with an unequivocal statement that went something like: “You damn well bet the Shah will survive. He has America’s complete, unwavering, unhesitating support. He remains a great friend.”

Instead, President Carter offered this infamous response:

I don’t know. I hope so. This is something that is in the hands of the people of Iran. We have never had any intention and don’t have any intention of trying to intercede in the internal political affairs of Iran…. We personally prefer that the Shah maintain a major role in the government, but that’s a decision for the Iranian people to make.

Consider those words carefully, as did every Iranian. Carter told Iranians, including the theocrats, that the situation was in their hands, and that America, alas, no longer had any intention to intervene to preserve the Shah. You can’t begin to imagine the significance—the green light—of that statement.

Big Peace: You call this a “sea change” in American policy toward Iran.

Kengor: Even that isn’t sufficient. This was the kind of statement where you just sit and stare at your TV, shaking your head in speechless disbelief. Carter casually delivered a jaw-dropper, a game changer. And no one was as surprised as the Iranian extremists, who read Carter’s words—properly so—as a sign that Uncle Sam would not, this time around, save the Shah. It was party time for the Shiite revolution.

Big Peace: Within only weeks of that Carter statement, by February 1979, the Shah was gone, the Ayatollah was in—

Kengor: —and the birth of state-sponsored, modern Islamic terror had begun. This was more than 20 years before September 11. It was also a full decade before the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended—glorious results that Carter had done nothing to facilitate. Now, radical Islam, which would ultimately become the international successor to the communist menace, was in motion.

Big Peace: You write that that President Carter serves “as a twisted bridge of sorts between America’s two chief foes of the last 100 years: militant communism and militant Islamism,” or between “the two destructive ‘isms’ that would dominate the 20th century and (thus far) the 21st century.”

Kengor: Dupes closes by crossing that bridge. For every one of these Carter statements on Iran, I have more stunning Carter statements on the Soviets, Afghanistan, the Berlin Wall, North Korea, Hamas, the PLO, Iraq, North Korea, Castro, Kim, Arafat. It’s no coincidence that on the cover of Dupes, we have a photo of Jimmy Carter kissing Leonid Brezhnev—six months before Brezhnev’s Red Amy invaded Afghanistan, which led directly to Osama Bin Laden relocating to Afghanistan and to the ultimate formation of the Taliban. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan merely one month after the Iranians took hostages.

Big Peace: How about President Obama and Egypt right now?

Kengor: I’m certainly not optimistic. The big fear, once again, is that Mubarak will be replaced by Sharia theocrats from the Muslim Brotherhood—a repeat of the Shah-Ayatollah switch in Iran under Carter. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I don’t trust Barack Obama and the American Left to get this right. Their track record does not inspire optimism. The comments last week by Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, remind me of the assessments of the Ayatollah we heard from Carter advisers like Andrew Young and Cyrus Vance.

This is not good. And I blame those Americans who elected this crew in the first place. Obama was elected in November 2008 by the biggest collective group of dupes in modern American politics: moderates and independents. If Egypt goes the way of Iran, and if President Obama helps make that possible, these moderates and independents share some responsibility. For that matter, so will the college students who showed up in record numbers to elect Obama. Egypt has the potential to become the political cancer of their generation.

Big Peace


19
Feb 11

Big Dupes: Carter and Obama, Egypt and Iran

This is the most recent installment of exclusive interviews with Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College, on his book revealing how communists, from Moscow to New York to Chicago, have long manipulated America’s liberals/progressives. Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century is based on an unprecedented volume of declassified materials from Soviet archives, FBI files, and more. Big Peace’s Peter Schweizer calls it the “21st century equivalent” to Whittaker Chambers’ classic Witness.

Big Peace: Professor Kengor, former President Jimmy Carter told a student audience in Austin, Texas that he believes President Obama handled the situation in Egypt properly, and that he would have handled the situation the same way.

Kengor: That’s the kiss of death. If I was Obama, I would now doubt everything I’ve done in Egypt.

Carter also said, “I think that the Muslim Brotherhood is not anything to be afraid of,” predicting, “They will be subsumed in the overwhelming demonstration of desire for freedom and democracy.” Carter added that he had met members of the Muslim Brotherhood during his time in Egypt, and believes only about 15 percent of Egyptians would vote for the Brotherhood.

This is very similar to his past appraisals of groups like Hamas, of dictators like Kim Il Sung, Castro, and on and on. You do not want to take foreign-policy advice from this man.

Big Peace: Give us some deeper historical context. We last talked about President Ronald Reagan. How might Reagan have reacted to events in Egypt, especially compared to Carter and Obama?

Kengor: We know this much: Reagan wouldn’t want to lose a moderate autocrat like Hosni Mubarak to a group like the Muslim Brotherhood. He’d be very fearful of the Muslim Brotherhood. Reagan would want Muslim democrats, not Muslim theocrats. He would be seeking a Lech Walesa and a Solidarity movement, not the Ayatollah and the mullahs.

Big Peace: This was a lesson Reagan learned painfully from the Carter years.

Kengor: Yes. He would not want another Shah-type replaced by another Ayatollah-type. Even as Reagan was the eternal optimist, he would be extremely pessimistic about Egypt because of the strength of the Muslim Brotherhood, who he would not perceive as freedom fighters.

Big Peace: Of course, Reagan was left with the Ayatollah because the Ayatollah replaced the Shah under Reagan’s predecessor, Jimmy Carter. Give us a glimpse of Carter’s reaction to that leadership transfer in Iran.

Kengor: It was a foreign-policy catastrophe. The Shah’s fall meant an immediate radical Islamic takeover of Iran, not to mention over 50 Americans seized as hostages. Here’s something that 99% of people under the age of 40 don’t know, and need to pause to let sink in: America suddenly went from being Iran’s best friend to Iran’s “Great Satan.” Iran and Israel were our pillars in the Middle East. Iran was our best friend in the Muslim world. Think about that. It wasn’t like the Ayatollah took over a pariah country with which we had few ties. Richard Nixon said that whatever the Shah wanted, the Shah got. We were extremely close. That was all lost under Carter. It was a total 180 in one presidential term.

Big Peace: In Dupes, you list Carter’s statements on Iran.

Kengor: I’ll share the two that pose the starkest contrast, pulled from the official Presidential Papers. The best starting point is December 31, 1977, when President Carter stood aside the Shah, raised his glass, and gave a toast: “Iran, because of the great leadership of the Shah, is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.”

Iran had been just that, under successive presidential administrations—but not much longer. One year later, that island of stability erupted into a volcano, one named the Ayatollah Khomeini, a fanatical Shiite cleric.

Big Peace: You write that the “unthinkable” soon became “somehow thinkable.”

Kengor: Things collapsed so fast that, on December 7, 1978, a reporter asked President Carter if he thought the Shah “could survive.” That question was inconceivable just a year earlier. Previous presidents would have immediately responded in the affirmative, with an unequivocal statement that went something like: “You damn well bet the Shah will survive. He has America’s complete, unwavering, unhesitating support. He remains a great friend.”

Instead, President Carter offered this infamous response:

I don’t know. I hope so. This is something that is in the hands of the people of Iran. We have never had any intention and don’t have any intention of trying to intercede in the internal political affairs of Iran…. We personally prefer that the Shah maintain a major role in the government, but that’s a decision for the Iranian people to make.

Consider those words carefully, as did every Iranian. Carter told Iranians, including the theocrats, that the situation was in their hands, and that America, alas, no longer had any intention to intervene to preserve the Shah. You can’t begin to imagine the significance—the green light—of that statement.

Big Peace: You call this a “sea change” in American policy toward Iran.

Kengor: Even that isn’t sufficient. This was the kind of statement where you just sit and stare at your TV, shaking your head in speechless disbelief. Carter casually delivered a jaw-dropper, a game changer. And no one was as surprised as the Iranian extremists, who read Carter’s words—properly so—as a sign that Uncle Sam would not, this time around, save the Shah. It was party time for the Shiite revolution.

Big Peace: Within only weeks of that Carter statement, by February 1979, the Shah was gone, the Ayatollah was in—

Kengor: —and the birth of state-sponsored, modern Islamic terror had begun. This was more than 20 years before September 11. It was also a full decade before the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended—glorious results that Carter had done nothing to facilitate. Now, radical Islam, which would ultimately become the international successor to the communist menace, was in motion.

Big Peace: You write that that President Carter serves “as a twisted bridge of sorts between America’s two chief foes of the last 100 years: militant communism and militant Islamism,” or between “the two destructive ‘isms’ that would dominate the 20th century and (thus far) the 21st century.”

Kengor: Dupes closes by crossing that bridge. For every one of these Carter statements on Iran, I have more stunning Carter statements on the Soviets, Afghanistan, the Berlin Wall, North Korea, Hamas, the PLO, Iraq, North Korea, Castro, Kim, Arafat. It’s no coincidence that on the cover of Dupes, we have a photo of Jimmy Carter kissing Leonid Brezhnev—six months before Brezhnev’s Red Amy invaded Afghanistan, which led directly to Osama Bin Laden relocating to Afghanistan and to the ultimate formation of the Taliban. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan merely one month after the Iranians took hostages.

Big Peace: How about President Obama and Egypt right now?

Kengor: I’m certainly not optimistic. The big fear, once again, is that Mubarak will be replaced by Sharia theocrats from the Muslim Brotherhood—a repeat of the Shah-Ayatollah switch in Iran under Carter. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I don’t trust Barack Obama and the American Left to get this right. Their track record does not inspire optimism. The comments last week by Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, remind me of the assessments of the Ayatollah we heard from Carter advisers like Andrew Young and Cyrus Vance.

This is not good. And I blame those Americans who elected this crew in the first place. Obama was elected in November 2008 by the biggest collective group of dupes in modern American politics: moderates and independents. If Egypt goes the way of Iran, and if President Obama helps make that possible, these moderates and independents share some responsibility. For that matter, so will the college students who showed up in record numbers to elect Obama. Egypt has the potential to become the political cancer of their generation.

Big Peace


19
Feb 11

Big Dupes: Carter and Obama, Egypt and Iran

This is the most recent installment of exclusive interviews with Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College, on his book revealing how communists, from Moscow to New York to Chicago, have long manipulated America’s liberals/progressives. Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century is based on an unprecedented volume of declassified materials from Soviet archives, FBI files, and more. Big Peace’s Peter Schweizer calls it the “21st century equivalent” to Whittaker Chambers’ classic Witness.

Big Peace: Professor Kengor, former President Jimmy Carter told a student audience in Austin, Texas that he believes President Obama handled the situation in Egypt properly, and that he would have handled the situation the same way.

Kengor: That’s the kiss of death. If I was Obama, I would now doubt everything I’ve done in Egypt.

Carter also said, “I think that the Muslim Brotherhood is not anything to be afraid of,” predicting, “They will be subsumed in the overwhelming demonstration of desire for freedom and democracy.” Carter added that he had met members of the Muslim Brotherhood during his time in Egypt, and believes only about 15 percent of Egyptians would vote for the Brotherhood.

This is very similar to his past appraisals of groups like Hamas, of dictators like Kim Il Sung, Castro, and on and on. You do not want to take foreign-policy advice from this man.

Big Peace: Give us some deeper historical context. We last talked about President Ronald Reagan. How might Reagan have reacted to events in Egypt, especially compared to Carter and Obama?

Kengor: We know this much: Reagan wouldn’t want to lose a moderate autocrat like Hosni Mubarak to a group like the Muslim Brotherhood. He’d be very fearful of the Muslim Brotherhood. Reagan would want Muslim democrats, not Muslim theocrats. He would be seeking a Lech Walesa and a Solidarity movement, not the Ayatollah and the mullahs.

Big Peace: This was a lesson Reagan learned painfully from the Carter years.

Kengor: Yes. He would not want another Shah-type replaced by another Ayatollah-type. Even as Reagan was the eternal optimist, he would be extremely pessimistic about Egypt because of the strength of the Muslim Brotherhood, who he would not perceive as freedom fighters.

Big Peace: Of course, Reagan was left with the Ayatollah because the Ayatollah replaced the Shah under Reagan’s predecessor, Jimmy Carter. Give us a glimpse of Carter’s reaction to that leadership transfer in Iran.

Kengor: It was a foreign-policy catastrophe. The Shah’s fall meant an immediate radical Islamic takeover of Iran, not to mention over 50 Americans seized as hostages. Here’s something that 99% of people under the age of 40 don’t know, and need to pause to let sink in: America suddenly went from being Iran’s best friend to Iran’s “Great Satan.” Iran and Israel were our pillars in the Middle East. Iran was our best friend in the Muslim world. Think about that. It wasn’t like the Ayatollah took over a pariah country with which we had few ties. Richard Nixon said that whatever the Shah wanted, the Shah got. We were extremely close. That was all lost under Carter. It was a total 180 in one presidential term.

Big Peace: In Dupes, you list Carter’s statements on Iran.

Kengor: I’ll share the two that pose the starkest contrast, pulled from the official Presidential Papers. The best starting point is December 31, 1977, when President Carter stood aside the Shah, raised his glass, and gave a toast: “Iran, because of the great leadership of the Shah, is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.”

Iran had been just that, under successive presidential administrations—but not much longer. One year later, that island of stability erupted into a volcano, one named the Ayatollah Khomeini, a fanatical Shiite cleric.

Big Peace: You write that the “unthinkable” soon became “somehow thinkable.”

Kengor: Things collapsed so fast that, on December 7, 1978, a reporter asked President Carter if he thought the Shah “could survive.” That question was inconceivable just a year earlier. Previous presidents would have immediately responded in the affirmative, with an unequivocal statement that went something like: “You damn well bet the Shah will survive. He has America’s complete, unwavering, unhesitating support. He remains a great friend.”

Instead, President Carter offered this infamous response:

I don’t know. I hope so. This is something that is in the hands of the people of Iran. We have never had any intention and don’t have any intention of trying to intercede in the internal political affairs of Iran…. We personally prefer that the Shah maintain a major role in the government, but that’s a decision for the Iranian people to make.

Consider those words carefully, as did every Iranian. Carter told Iranians, including the theocrats, that the situation was in their hands, and that America, alas, no longer had any intention to intervene to preserve the Shah. You can’t begin to imagine the significance—the green light—of that statement.

Big Peace: You call this a “sea change” in American policy toward Iran.

Kengor: Even that isn’t sufficient. This was the kind of statement where you just sit and stare at your TV, shaking your head in speechless disbelief. Carter casually delivered a jaw-dropper, a game changer. And no one was as surprised as the Iranian extremists, who read Carter’s words—properly so—as a sign that Uncle Sam would not, this time around, save the Shah. It was party time for the Shiite revolution.

Big Peace: Within only weeks of that Carter statement, by February 1979, the Shah was gone, the Ayatollah was in—

Kengor: —and the birth of state-sponsored, modern Islamic terror had begun. This was more than 20 years before September 11. It was also a full decade before the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended—glorious results that Carter had done nothing to facilitate. Now, radical Islam, which would ultimately become the international successor to the communist menace, was in motion.

Big Peace: You write that that President Carter serves “as a twisted bridge of sorts between America’s two chief foes of the last 100 years: militant communism and militant Islamism,” or between “the two destructive ‘isms’ that would dominate the 20th century and (thus far) the 21st century.”

Kengor: Dupes closes by crossing that bridge. For every one of these Carter statements on Iran, I have more stunning Carter statements on the Soviets, Afghanistan, the Berlin Wall, North Korea, Hamas, the PLO, Iraq, North Korea, Castro, Kim, Arafat. It’s no coincidence that on the cover of Dupes, we have a photo of Jimmy Carter kissing Leonid Brezhnev—six months before Brezhnev’s Red Amy invaded Afghanistan, which led directly to Osama Bin Laden relocating to Afghanistan and to the ultimate formation of the Taliban. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan merely one month after the Iranians took hostages.

Big Peace: How about President Obama and Egypt right now?

Kengor: I’m certainly not optimistic. The big fear, once again, is that Mubarak will be replaced by Sharia theocrats from the Muslim Brotherhood—a repeat of the Shah-Ayatollah switch in Iran under Carter. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I don’t trust Barack Obama and the American Left to get this right. Their track record does not inspire optimism. The comments last week by Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, remind me of the assessments of the Ayatollah we heard from Carter advisers like Andrew Young and Cyrus Vance.

This is not good. And I blame those Americans who elected this crew in the first place. Obama was elected in November 2008 by the biggest collective group of dupes in modern American politics: moderates and independents. If Egypt goes the way of Iran, and if President Obama helps make that possible, these moderates and independents share some responsibility. For that matter, so will the college students who showed up in record numbers to elect Obama. Egypt has the potential to become the political cancer of their generation.

Big Peace


19
Feb 11

Iran Is On The Move, While The US Remains “Curious” (Update: On or Off?)

I wrote a few days ago about the Iranian warships coming to Saudi Arabia. Now there are Iranian warships making their way to Syria:

Israel is monitoring two Iranian warships about to pass through the Suez Canal for Syria and warn they might act.

The Israeli navy will be tracking the two warships as they cross the Suez Canal for the Mediterranean Sea, according to defense officials.

Israeli’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says that “Israel cannot ignore these provocations,” according to ynetnews.com.

…Iran announced plans to deploy warships near Israel and dock at a Syrian port for a year, 

This is no small thing, as evidenced by the fact that The Wall Street Journal reports that US Stocks Pull Back On Iran Warship Concerns.

J.E. Dyer notes the implications of the Iranian ship entering the Suez:

The ships themselves are hardly impressive: one frigate with old anti-ship missiles and one barely armed replenishment ship. From that perspective, the reactions of global markets might seem excessive. These ships can’t fight a war. But the reactions are actually quite rational. The big shift here is in political perceptions of power. The important facts are that revolutionary, terror-sponsoring Iran — under U.S., EU, and UN sanctions — feels free to conduct this deployment, and Syria feels free to cooperate in it. Egypt’s interim rulers apparently saw no reason to block the Suez transit, in spite of the Egyptians’ very recent concern over Iranian-backed terrorists and insurgents operating on their territory. Saudi Arabia, for its part, considered it prudent to host the Iranian warships last week — in spite of the Saudis’ own conviction that Iran has been aiding rebel groups that threaten Saudi territory.[emphasis added]

So, what is the US reaction-well, the White House actually had nothing to say about the Iranian ships:

Reuters’ Jeff Mason: Israel said today that Iranian warships plan to sail through the Suez Canal to Syria. Does the United States view that as a provocation, and how should Israel react?

[White House Press Secretary Jay] Carney: Look, I think our position on Iran in a variety of ways is well known. I would refer you on that specifically to the State Department. I don’t have anything for you on the ship in the Suez.

OK, then let’s go to there-but what the State Department says about the Iranian ships doesn’t inspire much confidence either:

U.S. State Department spokesman PJ Crowley would not say whether they were warships and could not confirm their destinations.

“There are reports there are a couple of ships in the Red Sea,” Crowley said. “What they do, where they go – we’ll follow this with some curiosity.”

“We always watch what Iran is doing,” he said.

Um, maybe that’s part of the problem-always watching.
And the best that Crowley could muster was that something that brought a reaction from the markets was greeted with “curiosity”.

Iran is continuing with its nuclear plans, it’s proxy Hezbollah has control in Lebanon and Iran has provocatively sent two ships that are going to dock at Syria for a year.

And what is the reaction of the Obama administration?
Not much.

UPDATE: It is now being reported that Iran warships cancel request to cross Suez Canal:

A senior Suez Canal official says two Iranian warships have withdrawn their application to transit the waterway following expressions of concern by Israel over the plans.

The official said no reason was given for Thursday’s decision to withdraw the application. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, also said it was not known if the vessels intended to transit the waterway at a later date.

So why did Iran back off?

It was not because of anything the US said or did, but rather because Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman made clear that the Iranian ships were a “provocation that proves that the overconfidence of the Iranians is growing from day to day.”

UPDATE II: There is also an unconfirmed report that Egypt blocked the Iranian ships by refusing them permission to go through.

UPDATE III:This isn’t over-according to Iranian TV: The Iranian passage through the Suez Canal is on:

The passage of two Iranian warships through the Suez Canal is still on, despite Egyptian words to the contrary, according to a Thursday report by Iranian state television.

A senior Iranian source said, “We are in contact with out colleagues in Cairo to insure the passage of the vessels. The Egyptian authorities said there is no bar to the passing of the ships.”

And just where is the Obama administration during all this?

Hat tip: Noah Pollak via Soccer Dad

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Daled Amos


18
Feb 11

Sunday, Bloody Sunday In Iran?

It could be bloody or it could be pivotal, or both. But this story hasn't got enough attention and if true, is a very big deal:

Senior officers in Iran's Revolutionary Guards have written a letter to their commanding officer demanding assurances that they will not be required to open fire on anti-government demonstrators… Following the recent violence that occurred during anti-government protests in Egypt, the officers argue that it is against the principles of Shi'ite Islamic law to use violence against their own people.

In a suggestion of a major split within the Islamic Republic's ruling hierarchy over its handling of anti-government protests, the letter has been circulated widely throughout the ranks of the Revolutionary Guards, the body responsible for defending religious system. The letter, a copy of which has been seen by the Daily Telegraph, is addressed to Major Gen Mohammad Ali Jafari, the Guards' commanding officer. It calls on Major Gen Jafari to issue guidance to both the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij paramilitary militia to use restraint when handling anti-government protests.

The letter asks for the basij to leave their truncheons at home this coming Sunday, when a major Green protest is planned. It's signed by RG commanders in Tehran, Qom, Isfahan and Tabriz. Today, however, the streets of Tehran have been filled with tens of thousands of regime loyalists calling for Mousavi and Karroubi to be hanged. A sign of regime strength or nervousness? This quote from the IRG commanders' letter staggers me:

"We promise our people that we will not shoot nor beat our brothers who are seeking to express legitimate protest against the policies and conduct of their leader."

Know hope.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


18
Feb 11

And In Iran, The Greens Fight On

Here’s footage from February 14th. Amazing scenes given the brutality of the regime (especially after the 7 minute mark). The hardliners want Mousavi and Karroubi executed. Both are under house arrest. But the diaspora is spreading the word that the revolution continues – and Sunday could be bloody.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


18
Feb 11

Moussavi gone missing in Iran

Another crackdown coming?
American Thinker Blog


17
Feb 11

PODCAST: Is Containing a Nuclear Iran a Good Idea?

Iran is one of the most dangerous and evil regimes in the world. The protests in Egypt and Tunisia have distracted U.S. attention from its nuclear programs. This makes recent Iranian protests all the more important, reminding us yet again of the oppressive nature of the Iranian regime, a regime that poses even more dangers if regional instability expands its sphere of influence and emboldens it to press ahead even more rapidly with its development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

The U.S. needs to refocus the international spotlight on Iran, step up the pressure, and demand that Iran retreat from its nuclear ambitions. This means making it known to Iran that military force is indeed on the table, should Iran choose not cooperate.

Some say that containing Iran, even after it develops nuclear weapons, is the best option.  But this will prove difficult, costly and dangerous.

First, the U.S. will have lost credibility after several administrations, including the Obama administration, declared a nuclear Iran unacceptable. Other countries in the region would hesitate to trust the U.S. to contain Iran. This could strengthen Iran’s influence.  The defense needs of neighboring countries may make it too risky for them to antagonize Iran. They would need assurances of protection from Iran. But how could they trust the U.S. after we gave up on the statement we made repeatedly and explicitly: that nuclear Iran is unacceptable?

Second, the U.S. would be required to support governments in countries around Iran. During the Cold War, for example, when the U.S. resolved to contain Soviet Communism, we worked with reliable and supportive allies around the world, from Japan to South Korea to Australia to NATO, plus countries surrounding the Soviet Union. The same would need to happen with regards to Iran. The problem is our only reliable and democratic ally in the region that is guaranteed to oppose Iranian influence is Israel.

Iran is surrounded by Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. We could perhaps count on Iraq and Saudi Arabia for support. However, many of these countries would not be sure to cooperate with us in containing Iran, and might instead choose to play both sides of the fence.

Other countries would simply be too weak to offer any substantial support, meaning the United States would have to fight the external enemy of Iran while at the same time needing to build up these weaker allies who are threatened. This is similar to our current situation in Afghanistan, where we are fighting the Taliban and building up the Afghan government.  But many liberals are not happy with this policy. Liberal advocates of containment should think carefully before recommending that we adopt this policy in the Persian Gulf.

Furthermore, to successfully contain Iran, the U.S. would need to cut off Iran’s relationships with other countries, just as we did to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. This would mean we would need to break up Iran’s relationships with both Syria and Lebanon, where Iran has been funneling support to Hezbollah, and filling the region with rockets and other weapons with which to attack Israel. To say this task is daunting would be an understatement.

Third, Iran is not necessarily the rational actor in the way the Soviet Union was. Communism as advanced by the Soviet Union was an ideology interested in, and dependent upon, self-preservation. Some Iranian leaders, led by President Ahmadinejad, in contrast, state they believe in Shia Eschatology. This creed says that the hidden “12th Imam” will reappear and save all believers, converting the world into a caliphate. Bringing death, destruction and chaos to nonbelievers will speed up this process. This is a suicidal ideology, based upon the belief that it is the believers’ mission from God to die fighting against nonbelievers. It’s hard to see how the diplomatic, political and economic pressure of containment would convince these Iranian leaders to renounce these beliefs.

And although not all Iranian leaders, much less the Iranian people, believe these things, how much more risky does containment become, when some of the leaders of that country state they support an ideology that praises martyrdom? What’s to stop one of those leaders from giving a nuclear weapon to Hezbollah or another terrorist organization?

These are just a few of the many reasons that containment is not a good policy to rely upon. Instead, the U.S. needs to keep the military option alive, defend itself and its allies, and seek both to weaken the regime’s economic base and to empower and encourage its domestic adversaries.

But what does the “military option” mean? – An all out invasion? Coordination with Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities? What specific policies can the U.S. support to promote leadership change within Iran? For these answers and more, listen to Heritage expert Ted Bromund, on this week’s Heritage in Focus podcast.

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.


17
Feb 11

Can Obama Be As Firm With Iran As Fiamma Nirenstein?

During a debate yesterday in the Italian Parliamentary Assembly, Fiamma Nirenstein-the Vice-President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs-made the following statement about negotiating with Iran:

Given the recent demonstrations in Iranian cities, with the Iranian people once again proving their profound enmity towards a government that violates all their human rights; given the violence perpetrated by the Iranian security forces; and given the disconcerting images, in all today’s newspapers, of the Iranian parliament demanding the hanging of the opposition leaders, I announce that, in my capacity as Vicepresident of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I will not participate in tomorrow’s meeting of my Committee with a delegation of Iranian parliamentarians, headed by the President of the Iranian Foreign Affairs Committee.

I feel that a dialogue with Iran’s official representatives is completely pointless. On the contrary, I think it’s extremely useful to express and give concrete solidarity meeting its oppositions. Indeed, until now, international meetings with Iran’s representatives on human rights or nuclear facilities, has served no useful purpose. They have only helped to give more time and legitimacy to the regime of the ayatollah. Iran has to date proven its extreme determination to pursue its aggressive, imperialist and anti-Semitic course, as it is proved by Ahmadinejad’s latest declarations de facto inciting to genocide. The opposition, on the other hand, nothwistanding the fierce repression it faces, still continues to express a desire for freedom and peace which deserves all our support

.In comparison, Obama’s response to the Iranian opposition will be easily ignored:

President Obama addressed the Iranian demonstrations Tuesday with a large measure of caution, calling on Iran’s leaders to allow protesters to express their grievances but stopping short of calling for a change in government.

…In the final days of Egypt’s unrest, Obama aligned himself with the demonstrators’ demand for a new government. With Iran he has not been so bold. His call Tuesday for Iran’s Islamic government to allow peaceful protest echoed the one he made after the opposition Green Movement emerged on Tehran’s streets in June 2009 following a disputed presidential election, a response many conservatives criticized as tepid.

“We were clear then and we are clear now that what has been true in Egypt should be true in Iran – that people should be allowed to voice their opinions and their grievances and seek a more responsive government,” Obama said. “What’s been different is the Iranian government’s response, which is to shoot people and beat people and arrest people.”

Which response is more likely to get Iran’s attention?
Just one more example why the US has been reduced to a minor player as new forces realign themselves in the Middle East.

Hat tip: EG

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Daled Amos


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