“And Soon, Allah Willing” (August 11, 2007???) al-Qaeda video Check this out

The Smoking Gun on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Agenda

 

The Smoking Gun on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Agenda
Douglas Farah
Author: Douglas Farah
Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: August 2, 2007

 

Muslim leaders in America claim that Islam is a peaceful religion and that its followers simply want to live in peace with their neighbors. FSM Contributing Editor Douglas Farah, however, notes a startling document from the Muslim Brotherhood that indicates the MB has other plans.

 

The Smoking Gun on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Agenda

By Douglas Farah

One of the most fascinating exhibits presented by the prosecution in the Holy Land Foundation case (provided by researchers for the NEFA Foundation) is a memorandum on the Muslim Brotherhood’s multifaceted plan to convert the United States to an Islamic nation. It is the smoking gun of the Ikhwan’s long-standing efforts to destroy the Western world as we know it.

The most interesting exhibit is a Muslim Brotherhood memorandum by Mohamed Akram, dated May 22, 1991, where he outlines the Ikhwan vision of the future. He leaves no ambiguity as to the nature of the Ikhwan calling. (The exhibits will be posted and written about more completely in the NEFA website in coming days).

Under the heading “Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America,” he writes:

The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated ad God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.

But wait, there is more:

Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack.

Akram then spells out in some detail the role of the Brotherhood in moving the project forward:

As for the role of the Ikhwan, it is the initiative, pioneering, leadership, raising the banner and pushing people in that direction (the Jihadist process). They are then able to employ, direct, and unify Muslims’ efforts and powers for this process. In order to do that, we must possess a master of the art of ‘coalitions,’ the art of ‘absorption’ and the principles of “cooperation.”

The document then gives rationale for setting up Ikhwan organizations across the country:

We must say that we are in a country which understands no language other than the language of the organizations, and one which does not respect or give weight to any group without effective, functional and strong organizations.

The document also deals with the criticism among the Brothers that the focus on the United States will drain support for the establishment of the global caliphate. The response is two-fold:

1) The success of the Movement in America in establishing an observant Islamic base with power and effectiveness will be the best support and aid to the global Movement project.


2) The global (Ikhwan) movement has not “succeeded yet in distributing roles to its branches, stating that what is needed from them as one of the participants or contributors to the project to establish the global Islamic state. The day this happens, the children of the American Ikhwani branch will have a far-reaching impact and positions that make the ancestors proud.”

The document ends with a list of Ikhwan groups trying to coordinate, including all the usual suspects (ISNA, ICNA, IIIT etc.).

What is so interesting about the document is the breadth of ambition, the conviction of ultimate success, and the care with which the campaign we see today was being thought about 16 years ago. So is the the clarity of the ultimate objective of ending our years as a functioning democracy, built on the rule of secular law, minority rights, and freedom of religion, press etc.

The infiltration of the government by members and sympathizers, the coordinated role of the organizations in pursuing specific objectives, the recruitment of the best and the brightest into the movement, and other objectives are far advanced, perhaps further than the author could have imagined in so short a time.

The rationale for those like Lieken et al, who want play footsie with these groups bent on our destruction, is truly mindboggling. I don’t think the Brothers who have been on the cusp of the new PR campaign, from Ramadan to Akef, have bothered to spell this out like the Brothers do for themselves.

But here we have it, in their own words, written by their own hands. There is much more to say, and I will revisit the topic as more information comes in.

Will anyone pay attention?

#  #

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Douglas Farah is an award-winning investigative journalist, author of “Blood From Stones:The Secret Financial Network of Terror”, and Senior Fellow in Financial Investigations and Transparency at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.  He blogs on the Counterterrorism Blog. 

If you are a reporter or producer who is interested in receiving more information about this writer or this article, please email your request to PR@FamilySecurityMatters.org.

Note — The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of The Family Security Foundation, Inc.

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Fred Thompson on Judge Southwick

Fred Thompson on Judge Southwick

Rick Moran
Fred Thompson has come out four square in favor of confirming Judge Leslie Southwick to the Court of Appeals 5th Circuit.

While it really doesn’t come as a surprise, the passion with which Thompson backs Southwick as well as his clear desire to appoint conservative judges if elected may dispel some uneasiness conservatives have been feeling about Thompson recently:

His opponents do not question Judge Southwick’s qualifications to sit on the federal appeals court. Indeed, they cannot. Judge Southwick served on the Mississippi Court of Appeals from that court’s very inception in January 1995 through December 2006. Prior to serving as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division, from 1989 to 1993, he was in a general civil private practice for 12 years. He’s taught law as an adjunct professor at Mississippi College School of Law since 1998. He’s also served his country in Iraq, fulfilling his National Guard duty as Deputy Staff Judge Advocate from August 2004 to July 2005, and then as Staff Judge Advocate until January 2006. Even the American Bar Association, which often treats conservative judicial nominees unfairly, unanimously gave Judge Southwick the institution’s highest possible rating.

So rather than assail Judge Southwick’s legal competency, Senate Democrats, led primarily by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), are instead attacking Judge Southwick’s character. Ignoring his volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity since 1993 and the time he spent as a board member and president of a local Jackson, Miss., charitable organization, Senate Democrats claim that Judge Southwick is racist and anti-homosexual.

 

Thompson’s legal philosophy should give heart to conservatives who might question the selection of judges made by a Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney if they were to make it to the White House.

Missing Headlines: Chirac’s Watergate deepens

Missing Headlines: Chirac’s Watergate deepens

Ed Lasky
Jacques Chirac certainly received a lot of front-page coverage when he was criticizing George Bush. But his his own serious scandal is being almost completely ignored in the American press. Except for the New York Sun, which picks up on the Daily Telegraph’s coverage:

President Chirac could become the first former French president to be questioned over alleged criminal acts while in office. Judges intend to question Mr. Chirac in the coming weeks despite his claims of immunity from prosecution.
Recently discovered documents suggest Mr. Chirac could be at the heart of the Clearstream scandal – described as the French Watergate. Judges will question his former prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, on September 13.
Clearstream centers on a failed attempt to smear Mr. Chirac’s successor, President Sarkozy, 52, who was wrongly accused of money laundering via a Luxembourg holding bank of that name in 2004. Mr. Sarkozy has allegedly pledged to hang the culprit “on a butcher’s hook.”
Messrs. de Villepin and Chirac were reported to be desperate to block Mr. Sarkozy’s presidential ambitions at the time. The pair has been forbidden from talking to each other by investigators.

Ethanol

The Ethanol Follies: latest victim is Clorox

The Ethanol Follies: latest victim is Clorox

Ed Lasky
The high price of corn taking its toll.

The political program of ethanol production (because this is what it truly has become: a subsidy for farmers and a blandishment for early primary states in the grain belt) has pushed up corn prices with dubious benefits in terms of increasing our energy efficiency and independence from less than reliable oil-exporting nations. This push in corn prices has been rippling through the economy.

Little appreciated is the fact that corn itself is a marvelous source of a wide range of chemicals and feedstuff for our industry. Latest victim: Clorox. The company released sharply lower earnings and “credits” a large increase in input prices – that is, the byproducts of corn. How many employees will lose their jobs, compounding the loss shareholders are already going to endure?

Muslim terrorists being picked on in British prisons, says lawyer

Muslim terrorists being picked on in British prisons, says lawyer

Poor little lambs. From the Daily Mail (thanks to Mao):

The London lawyer representing the injured “dirty bomber” Dhiren Barot has warned that terrorist convicts are being targeted by other inmates in Britain’s jails.Solicitor Muddassar Arani accused prison chiefs of failing in their “duty of care” to protect terrorist inmates and predicted a Muslim “backlash” if victimisation continued.

Her warning came as she gave details of the extensive injuries sustained by Barot when boiling liquid was thrown over him by fellow convicts in Durham’s Frankland Prison on 13 July.

Barot – a Muslim convert from London who was jailed for life last year for plotting attacks in London and New York with explosive-filled limousines and a radioactive “dirty” bomb – was left with severe burns to his scalp, forehead, neck, back and hands after the attack.

Ms Arani said the 35-year-old was in “extreme pain” and his wounds were infected. He is expected to seek compensation….

Two other terrorist convicts – Hussain Osman, jailed for his part in the 21/7 attacks in London, and Omar Khyam, the leader of a gang that planned to blow up Bluewater shopping centre – have also been targeted at the jail in recent weeks. A fire was lit in Osman’s cell and Khyam has received death threats.

Ms Arani said there had been a failure to protect terrorist convicts. “If we can’t treat them as human beings in prison then it does not reflect well on our society,” she said.

Gates says US underestimated depth of Sunni-Shiite divisions

Gates says US underestimated depth of Sunni-Shiite divisions

As we have noted here many times. From AFP (thanks to Freckles):

The US administration underestimated the difficulty of having Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites agree on key national reconciliation measures, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates admitted Thursday.At the end of a regional tour, he called the withdrawal of the main Sunni bloc from the Baghdad government “discouraging.”

Gates told reporters as he flew back to Washington that gains made in security in western Iraq’s Anbar province and at the local level were cause for optimism, but he acknowledged they were offset by divisions at the top.

“In some ways we probably all underestimated the depth of mistrust and how difficult it would be for these guys to come together on legislation, which let’s face it is not some kind of secondary thing,” he said.

“The kinds of legislation they’re talking about will establish the framework of Iraq for the future so it’s almost like our constitutional convention,” Gates said.

Almost.

“And the difficulty in coming to grips with those we may all have underestimated six or eight months ago,” he said.

Yep.

A Window into the Culture of Shahada

A Window into the Culture of Shahada

By Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch | 8/2/2007

A recent article in the Hamas newspaper, commemorating the anniversary of the death of the commander of its suicide terror branch, is a window into the culture of Shahada, martyrdom for Allah.

Sheikh Salah Shehadeh, the commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades suicide terror branch of Hamas, was killed by an Israeli air strike five years ago. He is credited with creating the current military infrastructure of the Al-Qassam Brigades, which has killed hundreds of Israelis. Its targets were almost exclusively civilians — 30 people at the Park Hotel in Netanya at Passover in 2002, 21 young people, mostly teenagers, at the Dolphinarium nightclub in Tel Aviv in 2001 and 15 Israelis at the Sbarro pizza parlor in Jerusalem in 2001, to name just a few of the group’s massacres.

A July 23rd article marking the anniversary of his death in the official Hamas newspaper, Al-Risalah, reveals the ways in which he organized and encouraged those he sent on suicide missions.

The article says that from the moment he was released after 20 years in an Israeli prison, he dedicated his life to organizing the Al-Qassam Brigades and uniting disorganized efforts into a single military-style operation. He encouraged his men to innovate, and as soon as he saw that a particular type of action would serve this movement – such as the firing of Qassam rockets from Gaza into Israel – he made this part of his strategy.

Suicide bombing at Park Hotel, Netanya, on Passover night, March 27, 2002: 30 killed,
140 injured, 20 critically

Sheikh Salah made a point of being with his men at crucial moments, even two days after he was married. When he sent off a suicide bomber, he would sit with his fellow terrorists until it was time for “parting from the Shahada-seekers,” and wait for the announcement that the operation had been carried out. As soon as the attack was confirmed, he would personally go to the family of the suicide bomber to inform them of the operation, bless them and say, “Peace has come.”

The article also shows the way Hamas members see their success in Gaza – first as a victory against Israel after the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, then as a victory against the Fatah leadership: “Gaza was purified twice. The first time from the occupation… and the second time from the tails of the occupation and its agents.”

Finally, it emphasizes that the life of a single individual is not as important to the Islamic movement as “values and a way.” According to one of Sheikh Salah’s colleagues, the fact that the leader educated thousands of budding terrorists makes up for the fact that he wasn’t
alive to see Hamas’s success in Gaza.

The following is an excerpt from the article:

Headline:
On the fifth anniversary of his death as a martyr – the blood of Salah Shehadeh lit the lights of victory and ability

Allah is his goal, the prophet is his leader, the Quran is his law, and the Shahada [martyrdom] is his wish…He has just been released from prison and immediately returned to Jihadist work…he did not rest a moment from developing and improving the military action…

Al-Risalah newspaper met with the residents and with the wife of Sheikh Shehadeh and with Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri…

The resident Tamer said: “Today we are reaping the fruits that the general commander of Al-Qassam planted when Gaza was purified twice. The first time from the occupation a year and a half ago, and the second time from the tails of the occupation and its agents, who were satisfied to be chess pieces in the hands of the enemy,” and said that he would have wanted Sheikh Salah to witness those two events, “but it was enough for him to die as a Shahid [martyr]”… and said: “The Islamic movement is not built on people but on values and on a path,” and he clarified that the absence of Sheikh Shehadeh is compensated by the thousands of students who were educated by him…

The resident Yamen Abu Hasanayn said that Sheikh Salah was characterized by initiative, responsibility and skepticism… “He organized the military action and developed it in a time when there was heavy pressure on military work by the cursed Oslo leadership.” And said: “He encouraged the men to innovate… if he saw that a certain action served the military apparatus he adopted it, as happened with the first Qassam rocket firing…

Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas official, said: “…after he was released from prison where he served 20 years, he turned right away to military action, and worked to organize the military chains of the movement in one apparatus and develop it until it reached where it reached, that is ‘The Shahid Az Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades’… He built this apparatus in a structured way, so that it could last and get to this level.”

Al-Risalah turned to Majdah Kneyta, the second wife of Sheikh Salah, whom he married two months before his death as a shahid… Um Abd Al-Rahman [the wife] remembered how Sheikh Salah was assiduous for action for Allah… He refused to stay in place without acting, especially at a time when he was wanted by the occupation… He would go out every day and meet with the men and operate in the territory. “And, for example, when he would part from the Shahada-seekers [martyrdom seekers – suicide bombers] he would go up to them and stay with the men, and when it was announced that the operation [was done], he would go, himself, to the house of the shahid and inform them [the family] about it and bless them…”

Two days after his wedding, he went out to meet the men. She said: “He always made sure to purchase weapons, and if he found a bullet, he would take it and tell them: ‘This is a trust, and we need every bullet’… [then his second wife said:] He always persisted in carrying out the deeds of the messenger of Allah [Muhammad]… in every thing, in eating and in drinking and in action.” And she said he always persisted in parting from the martyrdom-seekers and blessing the messenger… and would stay up until he got word of the operation, and said: Now ‘peace has come.’”
[Al-Risalah, July 23, 2007]


Itamar Marcus is founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. Barbara Crook is PMW’s North American representative.

Freedom or Vice?

Freedom or Vice?

By Dr. Paul Kengor
FrontPageMagazine.com | 8/2/2007

“Surgeon General’s Warning: Attention Pregnant Mothers, Smoking Crack Can Be Hazardous to Your Baby’s Health.”

I once saw this mock warning label in a political cartoon attacking the idea of legalizing drugs. It was a wonderfully cutting illustration of what drug legalization would actually look like—flesh on a noxious concept cooked up amid gatherings of libertarians.

Practically speaking, the argument for legalizing drugs is flawed on so many levels that a full accounting here is impossible. My experience is that drug legalization is generally favored either by people who do an excessive amount of drugs or those who have never touched the stuff, the latter of whom are clueless as to why a syringe of heroin is completely different from a glass of Merlot.

Drug legalization is supported by libertarians convinced that there is no higher principle—note the word “principle,” not “virtue”—than 100 percent consistency on the issue of “freedom,” and who have concluded that a “free society” should have virtually no limits on freedom, save to protect life, liberty, and property.

The central error in libertarian thinking is the failure to distinguish between freedom and vice. Freedom is not about an individual’s right to engage in anything, no matter how destructive to the individual or larger society.

This brings me to a defense of the conservative position against drug legalization. Libertarians like to accuse conservatives of hypocrisy because conservatives incessantly invoke freedom but apply it selectively. Quite the contrary, they misunderstand conservatism.

One of the best definitions of conservatism comes from political scientists Kenneth Janda, Jeffrey Berry, and Jerry Goldman. Conservatives, write the three professors, value freedom more than equality but would restrict freedom in order to preserve social order. Libertarians, they note, likewise value freedom more than equality, but value freedom over social order.

These definitions nicely explain where the two sides stand on drug legalization. Conservatives believe it would be bad for social order to legalize drugs. They do not want a culture where Johnny or Suzie, once they turn 18, can drive to the local smoke shop and casually light up a little reefer, or perhaps drop a couple hits of laboratory-approved LSD before catching a movie. Mom and dad might tell the teens that this is a lousy choice, but who are they to say? After all, the government says it is legal.

Conservatives do not like what this would do to society, from the moral repercussions to healthcare costs.

There are, however, much deeper roots to the conservative objection:

The conservative philosophy is grounded in and guided by eternal truths; it does not separate itself from God. It moves toward God, and it understands freedom in the way God intended freedom to be exercised.

A Biblical verse that explains this is Paul’s Galatians 5:13-14: “For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Note the caveat, the “but” that follows, “For you were called for freedom, brothers.” This is not a hedonistic or uncontrolled freedom.

The gamut of vices that libertarians want to legalize, from drugs to prostitution, means wrongly exploiting “freedom” as opportunities for the flesh. And doing so, even if the proponent of these freedoms does not imbibe in them, certainly does not serve Christ’s ultimate mandate that we serve our neighbor in a loving way.

Conservatives believe that responsible freedom is a guide to successful living in a successful society. Fallen humanity ought to strive for the holiness of Augustine’s City of God, not the selfish, fleshly indulgence of the City of Man. The first flawed interpretation of freedom took place in the Garden of Eden. The mistake has been repeated enough already.

William F. Buckley Jr. alluded to this understanding when he declared, “I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth.” Nor, one might add, to political truths toasted up at the bong bar of the local Hash House.

Our political ancestors understood. George Washington, the father of this country, stated that self-governance by the individual is essential to self-governance by a democracy. This proper understanding of liberty is embedded in the fabric of this nation. Our earliest politicians, literally all the way to the current president, spoke of God as “Author of liberty.” Listen to the words of one of our most cherished hymns: “Our father’s God to Thee, Author of liberty, To thee we sing / Long may our land be bright, With freedom’s holy light, Protect us by Thy might, Great God our King.”

If you want to remove this from the marrow of this nation, then make your case and try to convince enough others to join you, but understand that you would be supplanting, not affirming or enhancing, the American republic as it was founded.

Conservatism and libertarianism are not simple policy disagreements but fundamentally divergent philosophies on the nature of freedom, religion, and the republic itself. Genuine American freedom is not license. A nation hurts rather than helps itself by legalizing its vices—drugs included.


Paul Kengor, Ph.D. is author of God and George W. Bush. He is also a professor of political science at Grove City College and a visiting fellow with the Hoover Institution.

The Senate’s Churchill?

The Senate’s Churchill?

By Kenneth R. Timmerman
FrontPageMagazine.com | 8/2/2007

Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl has taken a lot of knocks recently from conservatives for having teamed up with Teddy Kennedy to front for the administration’s failed immigration scheme.

But when it comes to the threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran, few members of the U.S. Senate – or of any branch of the U.S. government, for that matter – have understood or articulated the stakes so well.

Kyl believes that the United States faces no greater challenge from any single country today than from Iran. And yet, he noted in a presentation last week to the American Enterprise Institute, “Western nations react as if a nuclear armed Iran is no big deal.”

History provides a stark choice for how we can choose to deal with the Iranian threat, Kyl said. It’s either the 1930s, or the 1980s.

“During the run up to World War II, Europe failed to heed the warnings” coming from Germany and from Western leaders such as Winston Churchill, Kyl reminded AEI.

Hitler was explicit about his intentions. So are Iran’s current leaders.

As Churchill wrote later, recalling Europe’s failures to stop the explicit Nazi threat in the 1930s, “there never was a war in all history easier to prevent by timely action.”

Alternately, the United States could chose to follow Ronald Reagan’s example in the 1980s, when he confronted the Soviet Union and brought the Cold War to an end.

“Natan Sharansky knew we would win when he read Ronald Reagan’s characterization of the USSR as the evil empire,” Kyl said, referring to the then-emprisoned Soviet refusnik, who went on to become an Israeli cabinet minister.

“Once you understand your enemy, you can defeat him. If you have the will!” Kyl added.

The Arizona Republican made no bones that he preferred the Reagan option. Appeasing Iran – talking to Iran’s leaders, negotiating through the IAEA, allowing them to buy more time to complete their nuclear weapons program – would have “disastrous consequences.”

Recognized in Congress as a clear thinker, the soft-spoken Senator from Arizona doesn’t seek the limelight for his foreign policy views. But over the past few years, he has spoken out repeatedly on the threat from Iran.

With Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, he co-chairs the Committee on the Present Danger, a bipartisan group dedicated to raising public awareness of the threat from Islamic Iran.

In a speech to CPD last year, he outlined seven policy concepts he felt should guide U.S. and international policy toward the Tehran regime. Last week at AEI he went much further, and detailed specific vulnerabilities of the regime he believes present opportunities the U.S. can exploit to achieve our policy goals, without resorting to military action.

Iranian public opinion

Two recent opinion polls show that Iranians are well-disposed toward America and want democracy, Kyl noted.

“61% of Iranians were willing to tell pollsters – over the phone, no less – that they oppose the current Iranian system of government,” he said, referring to a survey conducted between June 5 to June 18, 2007 by Terror Free Tomorrow.

“More telling, over 79% of Iranians support a democratic system” instead of the current system of absolute clerical rule.

The polls also showed that concerns about the poor state of Iran’s economy was the “number one issue of concern for Iranians of every age, region, education level and class,” with 80% of Iranians expressing the opinion that the present economic situation was either fair or poor, a stunning disavowal of President Ahmadinejad.

After reading these poll results, Kyl said he was reminded of a comment made by Iran’s Supreme Leader in December 2005. “What destroys regimes is the people’s resistance, their determination, and their struggle.”

Ahmadinejad’s domestic troubles

The economy wasn’t Ahmadinejad’s only worry, Kyl reminded his audience.

Last December’s municipal elections were a “profound humiliation,” where “90% of his allies lost.”

More recently, the Supreme Leader appears to have “given a green light to parliament to criticize” Ahmadinejad’s performance. This led to a showdown meeting with 57 Iranian economists in July, who told him to his face that his economic policies were “inexpert” and lacked “any basis in science,” according to AFP.

The five and a half hour July meeting came after the same economists sent the boy president a letter, urging him to shift economic gears. According to my sources, Ahmadinejad responded by sweeping aside the criticism and expressing his faith that the 12th Imam would soon return, making economic policy irrelevant.

Iran’s Weak Economy

Iran’s economy has taken a beating since Ahmadinejad took over, and constitutes the third weakness highlighted by Kyl.

By the Iranian government’s own statistics, unemployment reached 11.5% for the year ending in March, and inflation in some areas topped 25%.

“This economic deterioration has occurred in spite of a 37% increase in Iran’s hard currency earnings, derived mainly from oil,” Kyl added

So where was all the money going? “Much is being spent on a WMD program, on Hezbollah and on insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Kyl said. This has created serious discontent inside Iran, he added.

Gasoline shortages

Despite the fact it is the second-biggest oil export within OPEC, Iran spent more than $7 billion last year subsidizing gasoline imports for Iranian consumers.

Subsidies now consume a huge percentage of the national income. Gas rationing recently has led to riots, as I pointed out in these pages recently.

“It is clear that all is not well in Iran,” Kyl said. “So we must now determine, what are the steps we can use to take the opportunities we have been presented.”

Plenty of options short of force

Kyl believes the United States has plenty of options short of military action to exploit Iran’s weaknesses.

“Through a careful strategy of divestment, smart sanctions and asset freezing, international trade limits, and better targeting of Iran’s leaders, we can follow up on the existing discontent on the street,” he said.

While no one can predict the ultimate results, Kyl believed that tough sanctions and divestment, coupled with a better targeted public diplomacy campaign aimed at supporting the pro-democracy movement inside Iran, could have dramatic effects.

“The eventual result could be regime change,” he said. “Nearer term, pressure could cause policy shifts with the existing regime.”

Kyl blamed the Clinton administration for a mistaken policy of making concessions to Iranian elites, noting that a 1998 decision to allow the import of pistachios, rugs and caviar benefitted “the family of the former President,” Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who has built a “fiefdom” in the pistachio trade.

He urged the Bush administration to reimpose a total trade embargo, including on luxury imports from Iran – a move that has been supported by Democrats such as Rep. Brad Sherman, who also addressed the AEI conference on divestment.

He also said that he favored more sweeping divestment laws that those currently under discussion in the various states, which focus narrowly on the energy sector.

Kyl was critical of the Bush administration for failing to take advantage of Iran’s weaknesses, and in particular, the overwhelming pro-American sentiment of the Iranian street.

“To put it simply, Iran today is one of the few places in the greater Middle East where the regime is anti-American, but the people are not,” he said. And yet, “instead of challenging the lies and propaganda of Ahmadinejad and the mullahocracy, we have a public diplomacy effort that gives them Britney Spears.”

While noting that “force is not the best policy” toward Iran, Kyl warned that “failure to take advantage of some or all of these tools only serves to make it more likely that force may be used,” a theme readers have heard me sound in this pages frequently.

Ronald Reagan once observed that “history teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap,” Kyl concluded. For Iran’s ruling clerics, “the price of their aggression has been too cheap for too long.”

While Kyl is too modest to throw himself into the presidential sweepstakes, his wisdom is valuable and deserves greater attention from the White House and Foggy Bottom.


Kenneth R. Timmerman was nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize along with John Bolton for his work on Iran. He is Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, and author of Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran (Crown Forum: 2005).

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