TSA subpoenas bloggers, demands names of sources — Why don’t we go after the Source ISLAM

TSA subpoenas bloggers, demands names of sources

By EILEEN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer Eileen Sullivan, Associated Press Writer Wed Dec 30, 8:24 pm ET

WASHINGTON – As the government reviews how an alleged terrorist was able to bring a bomb onto a U.S.-bound plane and try to blow it up on Christmas Day, the Transportation Security Administration is going after bloggers who wrote about a directive to increase security after the incident.

TSA special agents served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott, demanding that they reveal who leaked the security directive to them. The government says the directive was not supposed to be disclosed to the public.

Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents Tuesday night at his Connecticut home for about three hours and again on Wednesday morning when he was forced to hand over his lap top computer. Frischling said the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn’t cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo.

“It literally showed up in my box,” Frischling told The Associated Press. “I do not know who it came from.” He said he provided the agents a signed statement to that effect.

In a Dec. 29 posting on his blog, Elliott said he had told the TSA agents at his house that he would call his lawyer and get back to them. Elliott said late Wednesday he could not comment until the legal issues had been resolved.

The TSA declined to say how many people were subpoenaed.

The directive was dated Dec. 25 and was issued after a 23-year-old Nigerian man was charged with attempting to bomb a Northwest Airlines flight as it approached Detroit from Amsterdam. The bomb, which allegedly was hidden in Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s underwear, malfunctioned and no one was killed. Authorities said the device included a syringe and a condom-like bag filled with powder that the FBI determined to be PETN, a common explosive.

The near-miss attack has prompted President Barack Obama to order a review of what intelligence information the government had about Abdulmutallab and why it wasn’t shared with the appropriate agencies. He also ordered a review of U.S. aviation security. The government has spent billions of dollars and undergone massive reorganizations since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

The TSA directive outlined new screening measures that went into effect the same day as the airliner incident. It included many procedures that would be apparent to the traveling public, such as screening at boarding gates, patting down the upper legs and torso, physically inspecting all travelers’ belongings, looking carefully at syringes with powders and liquids, requiring that passengers remain in their seats one hour before landing, and disabling all onboard communications systems, including what is provided by the airline.

It also listed people who would be exempted from these screening procedures such as heads of state and their families.

This is the second time in a month that the TSA has found some of its sensitive airline security documents on the Internet.

Obama and Our Post-Modern Race Problem

Obama and Our Post-Modern Race Problem

December 31st, 2009

By SHELBY STEELE, Wall Street Journal

People voted for Obama in order to not be racists

America still has a race problem, though not the one that conventional wisdom would suggest: the racism of whites toward blacks. Old fashioned white racism has lost its legitimacy in the world and become an almost universal disgrace.

The essence of our new “post-modern” race problem can be seen in the parable of the emperor’s new clothes. The emperor was told by his swindling tailors that people who could not see his new clothes were stupid and incompetent. So when his new clothes arrived and he could not see them, he put them on anyway so that no one would think him stupid and incompetent. And when he appeared before his people in these new clothes, they too—not wanting to appear stupid and incompetent—exclaimed the beauty of his wardrobe. It was finally a mere child who said, “The emperor has no clothes.”

The lie of seeing clothes where there were none amounted to a sophistication—joining oneself to an obvious falsehood in order to achieve social acceptance. In such a sophistication there is an unspoken agreement not to see what one clearly sees—in this case the emperor’s flagrant nakedness.

America’s primary race problem today is our new “sophistication” around racial matters. Political correctness is a compendium of sophistications in which we join ourselves to obvious falsehoods (“diversity”) and refuse to see obvious realities (the irrelevance of diversity to minority development). I would argue further that Barack Obama’s election to the presidency of the United States was essentially an American sophistication, a national exercise in seeing what was not there and a refusal to see what was there—all to escape the stigma not of stupidity but of racism.

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Dick Cheney: Barack Obama ‘trying to pretend we are not at war’

Dick Cheney: Barack Obama ‘trying to pretend we are not at war’

December 31st, 2009

By MIKE ALLEN, Politico

Cheney has called Obama out for leaving us vulnerable to terrorists

Former Vice President Dick Cheney accused President Barack Obama on Tuesday of “trying to pretend we are not at war” with terrorists, pointing to the White House response to the attempted sky bombing as reflecting a pattern that includes banishing the term “war on terror” and attempting to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

“[W]e are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe,” Cheney said in a statement to POLITICO. “Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency — social transformation — the restructuring of American society.”

Cheney was joining a chorus of Republicans who have criticized Obama following the Christmas Day attack, in which a Nigerian suspect is accused of trying to blow up a loaded airliner with a bomb stitched into his underwear.

Foreshadowing the party’s strategy for next year’s midterm congressional elections, GOP officeholders have eschewed the customary partisan restraint following a terrorist incident and baldly portrayed Democrats as weak on security.

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AP ignores Arab surname of Finnish shooter while urging more gun control

AP ignores Arab surname of Finnish shooter while urging more gun control

Randall Hoven

Some guy named Ibrahim Shkupolli allegedly killed his ex-wife, went to a shopping mall and randomly killed four more people, then went home and killed himself.  This all happened in Helsinki, Finland.

The Associated Press was not satisfied with simple reporting on this story, however.  It went on to note that Finland has 1.6 million firearms in private hands for a population of 5.3 million.  It also notes that “politicians, social workers and religious leaders have all urged tighter gun laws.”

Let’s go to the tape – the most recent International Crime Victimization Survey sponsored by the United Nations.  In overall crime victimization, Finland ranked 22 out of the 30 surveyed.  It’s crime rate was below England’s, Denmark’s, Canada’s, Sweden’s, Norway’s and that of 16 other countries – none of whom are famous for loose gun laws.

The city of Helsinki in particular had a lower overall crime rate than 11 other major cities, including London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo.

The ICVS does not seem to monitor murder, but it does monitor “contact” crimes, including robbery and assault.  In robbery, Finland came in with the 3rd lowest rate among 30 countries.  Only Japan and Italy had lower robbery rates.  Helsinki itself had an average robbery rate for major international cities, below that of London, Brussels, Lisbon and Zurich.

In sexual assault, Finland’s rate was half the average rate – below its Scandinavian neighbors of Sweden and Norway, as well as Denmark and Canada.

In assaults and threats, Finland was once again well below average, and specifically below its Scandinavian neighbors.

The Guardian links to a spreadsheet that does have homicide rates for 199 countries.  Finland ranks 127 on that list.

If the AP wants to connect some dots, I suggest it pay more attention to the name “Ibrahim Shkupolli” and less to Finland’s gun laws.

 

 

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/12/ap_ignores_arab_surname_of_fin.html at December 31, 2009 – 12:09:41 PM EST

President makes Top 10 list of corrupt politicians

President makes Top 10 list of corrupt politicians

December 30th, 2009

WorldNetDaily

 Obama with some of his corrupt pals

President Obama has been named to a “Top 10″ list he’d likely be grateful to avoid: Judicial Watch’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians,” for 2009.

“The Obama White House believes,” said the report from the organization that monitors government for corruption, and sues when it chooses, “it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability.”

The report released yesterday said Obama joined the likes of Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.; Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Attorney General Eric Holder; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa.; and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., on the list.

“Even before President Obama was sworn into office, he was interviewed by the FBI for a criminal investigation of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s scheme to sell the president’s former Senate seat to the highest bidder,” the report said.

“Moreover, the Obama administration made the startling claim that the Privacy Act does not apply to the White House. The Obama White House believes it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability,” the report said.

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Iranian Protesters Are Dying for Freedom – Where is Barack Obama?

Iranian Protesters Are Dying for Freedom – Where is Barack Obama?

I wrote back in June about the shameful silence of the Obama administration during the mass street protests that greeted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s fraudulent re-election victory as President of Iran. As White House spokesman Robert Gibbs ludicrously put it, the administration was “impressed by the vigorous debate and enthusiasm this election generated.” Or in Vice President Joe Biden’s words on NBC’s Meet the Press, describing Ahmadinejad’s victory – “we’re going to withhold comment… I mean we’re just waiting to see.”

Embarrassingly for Washington, even many European leaders showed more backbone in condemning the Iranian regime’s brutal suppression of protesters, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton humiliatingly outflanked by her French and German counterparts, who had no qualms about speaking out swiftly and firmly against the election result and the actions of the Iranian government.

In the six months that have followed, Barack Obama’s high-risk engagement strategy has simply encouraged more repression from the Mullahs, as well as ever greater levels of defiance over Iran’s nuclear weapons programme. As Con Coughlin noted in an excellent piece for The Wall Street Journal last month, Obama’s Iran diplomacy isn’t working:

Iranian human-rights groups say that since the government crackdown began in late June, at least 400 demonstrators have been killed while another 56 are unaccounted, which is several times higher than the official figures. The regime has established a chain of unofficial, makeshift prisons to deal with the protesters, where torture and rape are said to be commonplace. In Tehran alone, 37 young Iranian men and women are reported to have been raped by their captors.

Now once again huge street protests have flared up on the streets of Tehran and a number of other major cities, with several protesters shot dead this weekend by the security forces and Revolutionary Guards, reportedly including the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, and dozens seriously injured. And again there is deafening silence from the Commander-in-Chief as well as his Secretary of State. And where is the president? On vacation in Hawaii, no doubt recuperating from his exertions driving forward the monstrous health care reform bill against the overwhelming will of the American public and without a shred of bipartisan support.

This is not however a time for fence-sitting by the leader of the free world. The president should be leading international condemnation of the suppression of pro-democracy protesters, and calling on the Iranian dictatorship to free the thousands of political dissidents held in its torture chambers. Just as Ronald Reagan confronted the evils of Soviet Communism, Barack Obama should support the aspirations of the Iranian people to be free. The United States has a major role to play in inspiring and advancing freedom in Iran, and the president should make it clear that the American people are on the side of those brave Iranians who are laying down their lives for liberty in the face of tyranny.

Obama’s Second Major Terror Failure in Two Months

Obama’s Second Major Terror Failure in Two Months

December 30th, 2009

By James Lewis, American Thinker

Another attack on Obama’s Watch 

Luck was with us on Northwest flight 253. Dumb luck.

This terror attack could easily have been averted but for the Aloha, baby! attitude of the Obumblers regarding domestic terrorism. At Fort Hood last month, a couple of cops finally brought down an Islamofascist killer after he murdered twelve soldiers and left thirty wounded on the tarmac. On Flight 253 to Detroit it happened to be an alert Dutch filmmaker who jumped the would-be bomber when his pants started to burn. But the bomb was an ingredient of Semtex, and he was trying to inject a liquid detonator that could have blown up the Airbus A 330 with 278 people on board.

After a known Islamic radical psychiatrist shot more than forty unarmed American military personnel at Forth Hood last month, this is the second easily preventable failure of the Obama administration to protect the country against domestic terrorism. Obama has let down our guard, and al-Qaida’s got his number.

Under the reign of political correctness, anti-terror policy comes down to this: You can’t profile terrorists — certainly not by their African origins, by their known history of Islamist radicalism, or by their Muslim names. So you have to have “everybody’s a suspect” rules, in which midwestern grandmas are treated the same as Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, who just barely failed to bring down Northwest 253.

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A slowly dawning realization Barack Obama could get you killed.

A slowly dawning realization

Thomas Lifson

Barack Obama could get you killed. That’s the reluctant conclusion more and more Americans are contemplating in the wake of the bizarre handling of the Northwest 253 attempted bombing. “Feckless” is one of the kinder terms one could use to describe the Keystone Kops approach of the Obama team to the War on Terror.

Janet Napolitano’s reassurances to the public that “everything went according to clockwork” were so wacky as to be alarming. Obama’s first interruption of his golf game to speak to the American people was so detached as to create the impression that the many simply is not taking seriously his responsibility to protect and defend the American people and their Constitution. His second interruption of his golf game was slightly less detached, but featured disembodied language (“a systematic failure has occurred”) with no actual people failing. The buck never even gets close to this president, though Janet Napolitano may soon be hearing a bus motor revving up, and the wheels approaching.
Once the label “unserious” begins to attach itself to a leader, there is no going back. Dick Cheney, understanding exactly what is transpiring in the public mind, has encapsulated the fears:
“As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of 9/11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war.
“He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, ‘war on terror,’ we won’t be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe. Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency – social transformation-the restructuring of American society. President Obama’s first object and his highest responsibility must be to defend us against an enemy that knows we are at war.”
And Sarah Palin has yet to be heard from on the subject.
George W. Bush never really recovered from his PR errors in handling Hurricane Katrina. Of course, Bush had the entire press corps invested in belittling him and exaggerating the damage (remember the reports of cannibalism inside the Suprdome?). The media will no doubt be more generous to Obama, but Bush never renamed hurricanes as a “domestic weather contingency” and was not invested in denying that hurricanes were a serious problem. Nor did he insists on treating hurricanes as a law enforcement matter.
Obama’s disconnect is rooted in his policies, and he will be loath to change them. If Yemeni sources are to be believed, more attacks are on their way soon. Unlike hurricanes, terror attacks know no season.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/12/a_slowly_dawning_realization.html at December 30, 2009 – 12:31:18 PM EST

Barack Obama gets an ‘F’ for protecting Americans

Barack Obama gets an ‘F’ for protecting Americans

 

By Toby Harnden World Last updated: December 30th, 2009

There is no more solemn duty for an American commander-in-chief than the marshalling of  “all elements of American power” – the phrase Obama himself used on Monday – to protect the people of the United States. In that key respect, Obama failed on Christmas Day, just as President George W. Bush failed on September 11th (though he succeeded in the seven years after that).

Yes, the buck stops in the Oval Office. Obama may have rather smugly given himself a “B+” for his 2008 performance but he gets an F for the events that led to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarding a Detroit-bound plane in Amsterdam with a PETN bomb sewn into his underpants.  He said today that a “systemic failure has occurred”. Well, he’s in charge of that system.

The picture we’re getting is more and more alarming by the hour. Here are some key elements to consider:

1. Abdulmutallab’s father spoke several times to the US Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria and visited a CIA officer there to tell him, apparently, that he feared his son was a jihadist being trained in Yemen. According to CNN, the CIA officer wrote up a report, which then sat in the CIA headquarters at Langley for several weeks without being disseminated to the rest of the intelligence community.  This was not just a casual encounter. Again according to CNN, there were at least two face-to-face meetings, telephone calls and written correspondence with the father. If it’s true that the CIA sat on this then it beggars belief.

2. After 9/11, the huge bureaucracies of the Homeland Security Department and the Directorate of National Intelligence (DNI) were created. Inside the DNI, the National Counter Terrorism Center was created. These organisations were created to “connect the dots”. It may well be that the fault lay with NCTC and not the CIA – CIA spokesman George Little says here that “key biographical information” and information about “possible extremist connections in Yemen” was passed to NCTC. If NCTC knew about it, then did someone at the National Security Council within the White House? There’s a huge blame game beginning so we’ll no doubt know soon enough.

3. It wasn’t just the meeting with the father. According to CBS, “as early as August of 2009 the Central Intelligence Agency was picking up information on a person of interest dubbed ‘The Nigerian’ suspected of meeting with ‘terrorist elements’ in Yemen”. So there were other parts of the jigsaw that were not put together.

4. In his studied desire to be the unBush by responding coolly to events like this, Obama is dangerously close to failing as a leader. Yes, it is good not to shoot from the hip and make broad assertions without the facts. But Obama took three days before speaking to the American people, emerging on Monday in between golf and tennis games in Hawaii to deliver a rather tepid address that significantly underplayed what happened. He described Abdulmutallab as an “isolated extremist” who “allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body” – phrases that indicate a legalistic, downplaying approach that alarms rather than reassures. Today’s words showed a lot more fire and desire to get on top of things – we’ll see whether Obama follows through with action. In the meantime, he went snorkelling.

5. There has been a pattern developing with the Obama administration trying to minimise terrorist attacks. We saw it with Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert who murdered a US Army recruit in Little Rock, Arkansas in June. We saw it with Major Nidal Malik Hassan, a Muslim with Palestinian roots who slaughtered 13 at Fort Hood, Texas last month.  In both cases, there were Yemen connections. Obama began to take the same approach with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. We’ll see whether this incident shakes him out of that complacency. Whether it’s called the war on terror or not, it’s clear that the US is at war against al-Qaeda and radical Islamists.

6. Guantanamo Bay. It seems that two of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) planners behind this attack were released from Guantanamo Bay during the Bush administration. That calls into question the competence of Bush administration officials but also the wisdom of closing Guantanamo Bay. How many other enemies of America and the West are going to be released back to the battlefield? As Mike Goldfarb asks: “Is the Obama administration seriously still considering sending some 90 Yemeni detainees now being held at Gitmo back to their country of origin, where al Qaeda are apparently running around with impunity?”

7. Janet Napolitano, Obama’s Homeland Security Chief, has been a distaster in this, exhibiting the kind of bureaucratic complacency that makes ordinary citizens want to go postal. On Sunday, she told CNN that “one thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked” and ABC News that “once the incident occurred, the system worked”. A day later, she grumbled that quoted “out of context” before reversing herself, telling NBC: “Our system did not work in this instance. No one is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is under way.” The “system worked” comment was a “heckuva job, Brownie” moment. Is she up to the job?

8. Will Obama hold individuals accountable? Briefing the press today behind a cloak of anonymity as a “Senior Administration Official”, Denis McDonough, NSC chief of staff (he gave the game away by saying he was from Minnesota), said that Obama “intends to demand accountability at the highest levels” before adding: ” It remains to be seen what that means exactly.” If heads don’t roll – and soon – then Obama’s words will seem hollow. It’s an opportunity for him to show some real steel.

9. There’s a continued, unfortunate tendency for everyone in Obamaland to preface every comment about something going wrong with a sideswipe against the Bush administration. On Sunday, Bill Burton, Deputy White House Press Secretary, briefed: “On the Sunday shows, Robert Gibbs and Secretary Napolitano made clear that we are pressing ahead with securing our nation against threats and our aggressive posture in the war with al Qaeda.  We are winding down a war in Iraq that took our eye off of the terrorists that attacked us, and have dramatically increased our resources in Afghanistan and Pakistan where those terrorists are.” Why pat yourself on the back for “winding down a war in Iraq that took our eye off of the terrorists that attacked us” when the issue at hand is why the US government under Obama, er, took its eyes off a terrorist who did try to attack us and nearly killed 300 people? It’s bordering on the juvenile. Obama’s been president for a year now. It’s time for him to accept that things that happen as his responsibility, not Bush’s. It’s time for him to echo Ronald Reagan, who said over Iran-Contra: “I take full responsibility for my own actions and for those of my administration.”

10.  Will there be US air attacks against targets in Yemen? Watch this space. It’s safe to say that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP, described to me by a senior intelligence official today as “officially recognised and in corporate terms a sanctioned franchise of al-Qaeda” that is plainly now seeking to become an international rather than just a regional Islamist player.

Iranians’ Cry for Freedom

Iranians’ Cry for Freedom – by Lisa Daftari

Posted By Lisa Daftari On December 29, 2009 @ 12:10 am In FrontPage | 4 Comments

iran

Iran’s Islamic regime may be in denial about sanctions and anti-nuclear proliferation proposals, but after a long weekend of renewed and intense demonstrations, it cannot deny the thousands of disenchanted and daring Iranians who took to protest despite government threats, beatings and cold-blooded murder.

Up to 9 are reported dead and hundreds wounded as tens of thousands of Iranian protestors clashed with government security forces in what was the bloodiest and most violent demonstrations since the aftermath of President Ahmadinejad’s allegedly fraudulent re-election six months ago. The number of deaths is reported through sites that cannot be verified, though eyewitnesses confirmed the murder of at least four protestors when guards opened fire in Tehran’s central neighborhood College Square mid-morning Sunday.

Websites report that clashes were not limited to the capital city of Tehran. Demonstrations were also held in Isfahan, Mashad, Shiraz and surprisingly, the Shiite clerical headquarter, Qom.

The demonstrations began two days prior and led up to Sunday’s commemoration of Ashura, the Islamic day of mourning the martyrdom of Imam Hossein, the third Imam and grandson of Prophet Mohammad.  Hossein was overcome by his nemesis and heretic to Islam, Yazid, at the Battle of Karbala in the seventh century.  On this day, Shiite Muslims traditionally congregate at mosques and hold public processions of flagellation and reenactments of his death.

Hossein’s death is commonly referred to as the battle between good and evil, as he is said to have spoken out against oppressive rulers. Though protesters have chanted anti-Islamic and anti-regime slogans since the initial hours after the presidential election, they used this religious day to voice grievances against their own modern-day oppressive rulers.

Anticipating large-scale protests this weekend, the regime made threats about participating in these events, instituted a 7pm curfew and forbid the assembling of groups larger than three.

In some areas reports say early shots were fired in the air Saturday morning to deter rioters. In other areas, witnesses say tear gas was used to disperse crowds.

Similar to the violence we have seen in previous Iran protests, Basiji militiamen freely used batons and in some cases, reports indicate that daggers and knives were used. The only difference is that this time around there were also reports of protestors fighting back, and in some cases, successfully restraining security forces.

Losing presidential candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi made no official statements encouraging people to participate in protest. However, over the past two weeks, non-affiliated political activists called on Iranians of all backgrounds via websites, Facebook, Twitter and text messages, to come out in this new round of demonstrations.

The protests also coincided with the seventh day of mourning the death of 87-year-old reformist cleric Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Iran’s most senior dissident religious figure and architect of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.  Montazeri’s death last week played a significant role in igniting demonstrations which have sporadically taken place since the elections, but gave the opposition a significant running start for this weekend’s upheaval.

When funeral attendees clashed with security forces in the religious city of Qom last week, the regime lost its religious constituency and the opposition gained bragging rights to an emerging opposition that is colorful and diverse and not just comprised of secular Tehranis but of conservative Muslims as well.  Supreme leader Ali Khamenei’s order to attack funeral attendees made a serious and significant escalation in the plot of this boiling Iranian Revolution.

The rift was further intensified this past weekend when the government ordered violent and unwarranted attacks during the holy day of Ashura.  Traditionally, this day is a peaceful, reflective one. During the eight year Iran-Iraq war, there was no fighting in honor of this holiday, and even during the 1979 Revolution, political activists took advantage of Ashura, coming out in protest knowing that the Shah would not order attacks out of respect for the holiday. Violating this sacred holiday by not just any government, but an Islamic one, reaffirmed that the regime’s hunger for power and tyrannical rule run deeper than the ‘absolute’ religious doctrines they have purported at the heart of their leadership and have utilized in gaining legitimacy.

As a matter of fact, the timely death of a revered clergy member coupled with violent escalations breaching one of the holiest Shiite days succeeded in giving the opposition what it has been lacking surely for the past six months, if not 30 years; homogenization.

Within one week, the regime helped bring the conservative and religious factions of Iran’s population to the streets. Dejected and disillusioned, members of the clergy and other conservative Iranians seamlessly joined the secular opposition.

It was apparent in the demonstration footage. Some demonstrators wore green, and others wore black.  Many did not color coordinate, believing that their cause was obvious absent visual manifestation.

Developments in Iran’s opposition movement seem promising. At the very least, these demonstrations have and continue to weaken and divide the clerical regime, and at best, they can be integral in eradicating this regime altogether. For the last six months, the opposition movement has endured bloodshed and brutality, proving to the international community and their own government that they will stop at nothing to get their country back.  They have and will continue to sacrifice their lives, jobs, families and more to overcome this tyrannical regime, and more importantly, they have showed that they will continue to resist with or without the help of the United States or any other world power.

Ironically, anti-American propaganda has long helped in legitimizing this regime’s absolute reign over its people.  From its inception, the government made its people believe that the United States and Israel, the two Satans, large and small, will dutifully stand in the way of Iranian advancement. Synonymous with Iranian patriotism was hatred for the United States. The people of Iran may have believed this at first, possibly while still under the spell of this regime, but now they are awake and cynical of religion and the clerics’ regime.

So commonplace is the role of anti-Americanism in the backdrop of this regime’s reign that if the United States had sided with the people of Iran, it would have naturally been a huge blow to their rule.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration made another attempt at curbing Iran’s nuclear proliferation agenda this week with a year-end deadline, to which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad simply scoffed, and said he is not afraid.

How many attempts will it take for our ivy-league educated leaders to recognize that diplomacy will not work with Iran?

As a result, America has isolated the Iranians to have to take on their government on their own. There are sound arguments as to why this is actually to their benefit. This may be the case, however, that would hold true only if America was completely absent from the Iranian political scene; not involved in a sideshow attempting to fruitlessly engage this regime or to daunt them with meaningless deadlines.

Even if the United States did not prioritize human rights in Iran, the single way to eliminate it as a nuclear threat is to weaken its government; a task only within the capabilities of its people.  Diplomacy is not seasonal, and it is not a temporary way to achieve a goal. It is establishing a lasting relationship between powerful and sovereign countries, similar to the relationship Iran and the United States had under the late Shah. If our administration were after true diplomacy in the region, then they would sooner side with the 70 million Iranians who have looked our way for an approving nod.

After 30 years, the people of Iran have come to the conclusion—the same conclusion that should now be the obvious one to President Obama after failing to successfully engage the Islamic Republic; We cannot change the actions or philosophy of this terrorist government; The only thing we can change is the government. We can only hope that the pivotal moment will come soon, when those outside Iran can join those inside in unanimously acknowledging that the only solution in the case of Iran is regime change.

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