Interpol helping Iran to track dissidents here

Interpol helping Iran to track dissidents here

Clarice Feldman

It seems shocking but it is charged that interpol is helping the Iranian regime track and beset dissidents living here:

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Iranian regime is notorious for cracking down on dissent inside Iran . Now Mahmoud Ahmadenijad and the mullahs are targeting dissidents in other countries — including those in the United States . And they are using an international organization to do it.

The Regime Never Forgets

Shahram Homayoun fled Iran for the United States 19 years ago. He was a marked man in his native country, because of his support for democracy and human rights.

Now the regime has finally caught up with Homayoun: not in Tehran , but in Los Angeles .

“They have managed to keep me here, and it seems like there is nothing the U.S. government can do,” Homayoun told CBN News in an exclusive interview.

Homayoun owns a satellite television network in L.A. called Channel One TV. He broadcasts pro-democracy programming into Iran on a daily basis.

Now Iranian officials want to silence him — permanently. A prosecutor in the Iranian city of Shiraz recently issued an arrest warrant against Homayoun on charges of terrorism.

Homayoun explained that he has never called for violence or terrorism of any kind against the Iranian government.

“Never,” he said. “Even if the Iranian regime changes, we are encouraging people not to seek revenge. We are anti-terrorism.”

Yet Homayoun is now a wanted man, unable to leave the U.S. for fear of arrest.

Marked as a Terrorist

The Iranian regime alerted INTERPOL, the global law enforcement organization, about Homayoun. The organization then issued what’s known as a “Red Notice” against him. The Red Notice alerted all 188 INTERPOL member countries that Homayoun was wanted for terrorism.

Homayoun told CBN News that the terrorist charge has made his life extremely difficult.

We contribute funds to Interpol and work closely with that organization on terrorism and other international criminal matters. Interpol cannot operate within the U.S. borders but it appears that it can take actions detrimental to US residents and citizens anyway. In this case, US banks refuse to allow the target or his wife to maintain bank accounts here. The Attorney General has the oversight responsibility for contacts with Interpol and should blow the whistle on this practice.
Clarice Feldman

Morning Bell: The Ahmadinejad Victory Tour AHMADINEJAD TO ATTEND CONFERENCE AT UN NEXT WEEK…

Morning Bell: The Ahmadinejad Victory Tour

Posted By Conn Carroll On April 29, 2010 @ 9:26 am In American Leadership, Protect America | No Comments

[1]

Yesterday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley confirmed [2] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had submitted an application for a visa to attend the United Nations nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in New York next month. Since Crowley also confirmed that Ahmadinejad is likely to be awarded the visa, the Iranian President can now look forward to witnessing first hand the failure of President Barack Obama’s Iran policy.

At first the White House believed that President Barack Obama’s sheer power of personality and persuasion would be enough to convince the Iranian regime to give up their nuclear program. So the President gave a conciliatory speech in Cairo [3], sent a direct message to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [4], and opened up direct talks with the Iranian regime [5]. The results have been crystal clear: the Iranian regime has only accelerated its nuclear program [6], accelerated its ballistic missile program, and further crushed internal dissent, all while the Obama administration remained silent [7] as the Green Revolution was brutally crushed [8].

Now the Obama administration is seeking “crippling” sanctions on Iran through the U.N. Security Council. This is another Obama fantasy that plays right into Iran’s “cheat, retreat, and delay” [9] nuclear strategy. Whatever goodwill the Obama administration hoped to get from Russia by caving into their New START demands has not paid off [10]. With help from Turkey [11], China and now Egypt [12], Iran’s rope-a-dope [13] U.N. diplomacy will render any U.N. sanctions regime completely toothless [14].

All these Ahmadinejad victories over President Obama would not be so alarming if the Obama administration were not actively undermining our nation’s ability to deter and defend against Iranian nuclear attack. First there was President Obama’s decision to cancel missile defense installations in Eastern Europe [15]. The Obama administration claimed that their alternative system, called the Phased Adaptive Approach, could defend U.S. allies by 2020. But a recent Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report [16] warns Iran may be able to reach the United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by 2015. This means President Obama has created a new “window of vulnerability” [17] for our enemies to exploit.

And then there is President Obama’s New START agreement which limits U.S. conventional, nuclear and missile defense options. Former director of the Missile Defense Agency, Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, noted in The Washington Times [18] this week: “Strangely, New START may actually rest on what Russia permits the United States to do to defend Americans and our allies from such a missile attack. This equation is both bizarre and unsafe.”

“Bizarre and unsafe” is a generous assessment of the Obama administration’s efforts to protect America from Iran’s nuclear ambitions so far. The Obama administration must change course. The United States should impose and enforce the strongest possible sanctions [14], even if doing so requires action outside of the U.N. framework, and step up public diplomacy efforts to discredit the regime’s legitimacy and offer support to opposition groups, such as the Green Movement [19]. Most importantly the Obama administration must make the commitment to create and sustain a layered missile defense system [20], designed to counter every range of Iranian missiles in all stages of flight, including those that threaten the territory of the United States and its allies. This would include scrapping New START, returning missile defense installations to Eastern Europe and fully funding missile defense. For more, see 33 Minutes [21].

Quick Hits:

  • According to USA Today [22], starting in 2014 the Internal Revenue Service will become the chief enforcement agency for Obamacare.
  • USA Today also reports that starting this summer Obamacare will trap about 200,000 Americans [23] in high cost insurance plans.
  • A new Pew Poll [24] shows that 62% of Americans believe President Obama’s $862 billion economic stimulus has not helped the job situation.
  • Business leaders and economists say [25] they have seen few results from President Obama [26]’s five-year plan [27] to double U.S. exports.
  • Venezuela’s economy is set to contract by as much as 5% under Hugo Chavez’s 21st-century socialism [28] this year, while free-trad- embracing Chile is set to grow by 4%.

FREE Iran Reports Unlawful Execution Of Horses In Iran By IslamistsTaazi Thug Regime Officials

FREE Iran Reports Unlawful Execution Of Horses In Iran By IslamistsTaazi Thug Regime Officials

NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYxsdSbwA0Q

Iran anniversary ‘punch’ will stun West: Khamenei

Iran anniversary ‘punch’ will stun West: Khamenei
Feb 8 03:19 PM US/Eastern
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that Iran is set to deliver a “punch” that will stun world powers during this week’s 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution.”The Iranian nation, with its unity and God’s grace, will punch the arrogance (Western powers) on the 22nd of Bahman (February 11) in a way that will leave them stunned,” Khamenei, who is also Iran’s commander-in-chief, told a gathering of air force personnel.

The country’s top cleric was marking the occasion when Iran’s air force gave its support to revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a key event which led to the toppling of the US-backed shah on February 11, 1979.

His comments came as Iran said it would begin to produce higher enriched uranium from Tuesday, in defiance of Western powers trying to ensure the country’s nuclear drive is peaceful.

This year’s anniversary is expected to become a flashpoint between security forces and supporters of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who charge that the June re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was rigged.

Opposition supporters are expected to stage anti-government protests on Thursday when the traditional regime-sponsored marches to mark the revolution take place across the country.

Mousavi renewed his call for demonstrations on the February 11 anniversary.

Just over a week ago, he and Karroubi had implicitly called for a gathering of their supporters.

“The 22nd of Bahman is upon us, truly it should be called the day of gathering,” Mousavi said on his Kaleme.org website Monday.

“I feel we have to participate while maintaining the collective spirit as well as our identity and leave an impression,” Mousavi said.

“Anger and bitterness should not take our control away.

“The clerics should know that since imprisonment, beatings, and other confrontational methods are done in the name of Islam and the Islamic regime, it is hurting Islam and we all should try to stop,” he added.

Anti-government protests were first triggered after the June 12 presidential election won by Ahmadinejad.

Over the past eight months, several thousand people were arrested. Some were released and others were given hefty prison terms, among them politicians, journalists and human rights activists.

Two protesters were tried, convicted and hanged in the aftermath of the election.

Khamenei told the air force personnel the “most important aim of the sedition after the election was to create a rift within the Iranian nation, but it was unable to do so and our nation’s unity remained a thorn in its eyes.”

The Islamic Republic of Torture, Rape, and Murder

The Islamic Republic of Torture, Rape, and Murder

By Amil Imani

Rape in prison is a cruel invasion of a helpless victim. In addition to the physical torment and possible transmission of sexual diseases, rape reduces the victim to subhuman status — an object for the use of others to be discarded when no longer desired. Most civilized countries sternly guard against rapes and sexual assaults in prison, although with less than complete success. Under the barbaric rule of the mullahcracy in Iran, sexual assaults have become instruments of policy for extracting false confessions, satisfying the boundless sadism and sexual perversions of the jailers, punishing the helpless victim, and leaving him with a sense of dehumanization.
This shockingly repugnant form of violating the human person has regrettably become widespread in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s prisons, particularly in dealing with the young men and women arrested for the “crime” of peacefully demonstrating in the streets to demand accountability from the government for a raft of violations it has committed and continues to commit.
For the past 32 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been denying and violating a long-suffering people all of its human rights. They are guilty of beating, torturing, raping, and killing prisoners of conscience — political, religious, intellectuals, artists, and others.
Women, chronically oppressed and disenfranchised from their basic human and family rights, have been most viciously treated by the Islamic system, its hired plainclothes, and the Basij members. To maintain its suffocating rule, the regime metes out punishments reminiscent of the worst in the annals of human history. Amputation of hands and feet, blinding, hanging, and stoning the victim after the quick formality of a trial in kangaroo courts without legal representation is commonplace under the terror rule of the Islamists.
The Islamic Republic has been violating all norms of international human rights, including very harsh penalties such as beatings for even “victimless crimes” like fornication, public expression, homosexuality, apostasy, and poor hijab (covering of the women).
The Islamic Republic’s infamous record is replete with instances of child execution, restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, imprisonment of journalists, discrimination against women in general, and persecution of religious minorities (with a particular systematic program of genocide against the Baha’is and their religion). The regime has ruled over a peaceful people with an iron fist while committing the most heinous crimes against humanity.
After enduring more than three decades of the Islamic regime, the great majority of the Iranian people decided to cast their ballots in the hope of effecting change in the system. The Islamic government, completely accustomed to doing whatever it wishes and ignoring the people, stole the election and declared incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner. The blatant violation of this basic right to vote and choose the official infuriated the long-suffering masses, who poured into the streets by the millions, demanding that their votes be honored. The response of the regime was to beat the demonstrators, arresting many and subjecting a great number to a raft of harsh treatments in prisons.
In a letter addressed to Mr. Rafsanjani in his capacity as head of the Assembly of Experts, Mr. Karroubi, a former speaker of the Majlis (Parliament), demanded an immediate investigation into the reports that a number of detainees had been raped during the illegal incarceration.
Mr. Karroubi wrote, “Some of those arrested [as a result] of the unrest claim that detained girls have been sexually assaulted with … brutality.”
“The young men in detention were also sexually assaulted in such a way that some are now suffering from depression and other physical and psychological problems, and are incapable of even leaving their homes,” Karroubi added. “A number of detainees have stated that some female detainees were so severely raped that their genitals were damaged. Others savagely raped young boys so that they suffer from all sorts of depression and serious physical and mental damage.”
Human Rights Watch also has documented cases of sexual assault in the Islamic republic prisons on individuals arrested since the fraudulent June 12, 2009 presidential election. In the most recent case, the medical examiner’s office confirmed that the injuries suffered in prison by Ebrahim Mehtari, a young activist, resulted from torture and mistreatment consistent with his allegations of sexual abuse. But the Islamic Republic’s judiciary authorities refused to conduct further inquiries and instead threatened Mehtari and his family with severe repercussions if they ever open their mouths regarding the sexual abuse.
Mr. Mehtari is living outside of Iran now. After his departure from Iran, the regime’s security forces raided his family’s house several times and threatened his family members with punishments if their son ever talked about the abuses he has received.
Another young activist, 24-year old Ebrahim Sharifi is a very brave young man who was arrested on June 23, after the fraudulent presidential elections in Iran. He told the Human Rights Watch group that he had been raped in detention while he was handcuffed, blindfolded and his feet were tied, and that he had attempted suicide several times after his release. He said that judiciary officials had refused to accept his complaint and told him that if he spoke out about his case, his family would be in danger.
The third case involves Maryam Sabri, a beautiful 21-year-old girl who was arrested on July 30 during the commemoration of the 40th day after the killing of Neda Agha Sultan — whose shooting death during a demonstration shocked the entire world. Sabri was arrested after her photo appeared on a website connected to the IRGC, which posted photos of protesters and asked people to identify the people in the pictures so that they could be arrested. Before she was released on August 12, Sabri says, she was raped four times by the jailers.
“On August 9, in a letter published in the Etemad Melli paper, the reformist presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi wrote that some detained individuals stated that some authorities have raped detained women with such force, they have sustained injuries and tears in to their reproductive system.”
In another high-profile case, the very pretty 19-year old Taraneh was not shot with a single bullet to her chest, as was the case with Neda Agha Sultan There were no bystanders in the dungeon with a cell phone to capture the prolonged torture, rape, and sodomy of this teenager.
According to reports, as well as testimony on the House floor from the honorable U.S. Congressman McCotter, on June 28, 2009, Taraneh Mousavi, a young Iranian woman, was literally scooped off the streets without any provocation on her part and with no arrest warrant. This young woman was taken to one of the regime’s torture chambers, where she was repeatedly brutalized, raped, and sodomized by Ahmadinejad’s agents, and with the consent of  the “supreme leader,” Ali Khamenei.

Near death from repeated beating, raping and sodomizing, the fragile young woman, bleeding profusely from her rectum and womb, was transferred to a hospital in Karaj near Tehran. Eventually, an anonymous person notified Taraneh’s family that she had had an “accident” and had been to be taken to the hospital.

The devastated family rushed to the hospital only to find no trace of their beloved daughter. The foot-soldiers of Allah’s “divine representative” Ali Khamenei decided to eliminate all traces of their savagery. These vile people decided to remove the dying woman from the hospital before the family’s arrival, whereupon they burned her beyond recognition and dumped her charred remains on the side of the road.

Like Neda, another young woman whose chest was ripped by the bullet of a murdering Basij member as she peacefully walked along with a throng of peaceful demonstrators, Taraneh’s tragedy gives a glimpse of the true face of Islamic fascism and its brutality. The Taranehs and Nedas of Iran shall remain as eternal testaments to the depravity of the 7th-century primitive system and the horrors it has visited on innocent people. And these young victims of the IRI tyranny are by no means isolated cases. Women are systematically exploited, maltreated, and disenfranchised from their God-given rights.

A regime that subjects its own people to boundless viciousness is showing the world its willingness to commit any crime to intimidate others and to undertake any action that would keep it in power. The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its reign of devastation and death if not immediately disempowered by all people and nations that value universal human rights. It is timely to bring to mind the warning of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. The Islamic Republic of Iran is indeed a miscarriage of justice, a cruel repressive rule, and an imminent threat — not only to Iranians, but to the world at large.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/01/the_islamic_republic_of_tortur.html at February 03, 2010 – 07:59:13 AM CST

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US raises stakes on Iran by sending in ships and missiles

US raises stakes on Iran by sending in ships and missiles

Pentagon says Patriot shield will deter strike on American allies in the Gulf

Patriot missileA Patriot missile is launched during an Israeli-US military excercise in the Negev desert in southern Israel in February 2001. Photograph: Reuters

Tension between the US and Iran heightened dramatically today with the disclosure that Barack Obama is deploying a missile shield to protect American allies in the Gulf from attack by Tehran.

The US is dispatching Patriot defensive missiles to four countries – Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait – and keeping two ships in the Gulf capable of shooting down Iranian missiles. Washington is also helping Saudi Arabia develop a force to protect its oil installations.

American officials said the move is aimed at deterring an attack by Iran and reassuring Gulf states fearful that Tehran might react to sanctions by striking at US allies in the region. Washington is also seeking to discourage Israel from a strike against Iran by demonstrating that the US is prepared to contain any threat.

Chris McGreal: ‘The US is prepared to move decisively against any threat from Iran’ Link to this audioThe deployment comes after Obama’s attempts to emphasise diplomacy over confrontation in dealing with Iran – a contrast to the Bush administration’s approach – have failed to persuade Tehran to open its nuclear installations to international controls. The White House is now trying to engineer agreement for sanctions focused on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, believed to be in charge of the atomic programme.

Washington has not formally announced the deployment of the Patriots and other anti-missile systems, but by leaking it to American newspapers the administration is evidently seeking to alert Tehran to a hardening of its position.

The administration is deploying two Patriot batteries, capable of shooting down incoming missiles, in each of the four Gulf countries. Kuwait already has an older version of the missile, deployed after Iraq’s invasion. Saudi Arabia has long had the missiles, as has Israel.

An unnamed senior administration official told the New York Times: “Our first goal is to deter the Iranians. A second is to reassure the Arab states, so they don’t feel they have to go nuclear themselves. But there is certainly an element of calming the Israelis as well.”

The chief of the US central command, General David Petraeus, said in a speech 10 days ago that countries in the region are concerned about Tehran’s military ambitions and the prospect of it becoming a dominant power in the Gulf: “Iran is clearly seen as a very serious threat by those on the other side of the Gulf front.”

Petraeus said the US is keeping cruisers equipped with advanced anti-missile systems in the Gulf at all times to act as a buffer between Iran and the Gulf states.

Washington is also concerned at the threat of action by Israel, which is predicting that Iran will be able to build a nuclear missile within a year, a much faster timetable than assessed by the US, and is warning that it will not let Tehran come close to completion if diplomacy fails.

The director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, met the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and other senior officials in Jerusalem last week to discuss Iran.

Pro-Israel lobby groups in the US have joined Republican party leaders in trying to build public pressure on the administration to take a tougher line with Iran. One group, the Israel Project, has been running a TV campaign warning that Iran might supply nuclear weapons to terrorists.

“Imagine Washington DC under missile attack from nearby Baltimore,” it says. “A nuclear Iran is a threat to peace, emboldens extremists, and could give nuclear materials to terrorists with the ability to strike anywhere.”

Washington is also concerned that if Iran is able to build nuclear weapons, other states in the region will feel the need to follow. Israel is the only country in the Middle East to already have atomic bombs, although it does not officially acknowledge it.

The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said in London last week that the US will press for additional sanctions against Iran if it fails to curb its nuclear programme.

Europe’s foreign affairs minister, Catherine Ashton, today said the UN security council should now take up the issue. “We are worried about what’s happening in Iran. I’m disappointed at the failure of Iran to accept the dialogue and we now need to look again at what needs to happen there,” she told Sky News.

“The next step for us is to take our discussions into the security council. When I was meeting with Hillary Clinton last week we talked about Iran and we were very clear this is a problem we will have to deal with.”

However, China and Russia are still pressing for a diplomatic solution.

Tony Blair, Middle East envoy on behalf of the US, Russia, the UN and the EU, continually referred to what he described as the Iranian threat during his evidence at the Chilcot inquiry last Friday. Textual analysis now shows that he mentioned Iran 58 times.

Besides the new missile deployment, Washington is also helping Saudi Arabia to create a 30,000-strong force to protect oil installations and other infrastructure, as well as expanded joint exercises between the US and military forces in the region.

The move is a continuation of the military build-up begun under former president George W Bush. In the past two years, Abu Dhabi has bought $17bn (£11bn) worth of weapons from the US, including the Patriot anti-missile batteries and an advanced anti-missile system. UAE recently bought 80 US-made fighter jets. It is also buying fighters from France.

Petraeus said in a speech in Bahrain last year the UAE air force “could take out the entire Iranian air force, I believe”.

Missile defence

Patriot missiles are designed to intercept enemy missiles before they reach their target. Since production began in 1980, 9,000 missiles have been delivered to countries including Germany, Greece, Taiwan and Japan.

During the first Gulf war Patriot success was 70% in Saudi Arabia and 40% in Israel. Since then the US has spent more than $10bn (£6.3bn) improving, among other aspects, the system’s radar and computer compatibility for joint forces action. Once in position, the system requires a crew of only three people to operate. Each missile weighs 700kg and has a range of about 100 miles.

The US navy is in the process of upgrading all its Ticonderoga class cruisers and a number of destroyers to carry the Aegis ballistic missile defence system. It uses a surface-to-air missile that is capable of intercepting ballistic missiles above the atmosphere. It has also been tested on failing satellites as they fall to earth. Each missile is over 6m long and costs more than $9m. James Sturcke

AHMADINEJAD: ‘Iran will deliver telling blow to global powers on Feb. 11′…

Iran opposition leaders call for protests

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Top Iranian opposition leaders call for February 11 protest, opposition Web site reports
  • They called for people to take to the streets to demand their rights back as citizens of Iran
  • Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi also met to discuss last week’s executions
  • The two executions followed mass trials of opposition supporters in August

(CNN) — Two top Iranian opposition leaders have called on supporters to protest on February 11, the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, an opposition Web site reported.

According to The Green Way Web site, a meeting took place Saturday between opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi at Karroubi’s home.

They discussed the two executions that happened last week and the cases of 16 protesters who went on trial Saturday, the site reported.

“The widespread arrests of political activists and university students, the silencing of the media, and the forced confessions of prisoners are against the principles of Islam and the constitution of Iran,” the leaders said in a statement.

They also called for people to take to the streets on February 11 to demand their rights back as citizens of Iran, The Green Way reported.

Meanwhile, state-run Press TV quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday as saying that the nation will deliver a harsh blow to “global arrogance” on February 11.

Press TV offered no details on or explanation of the statement.

Opposition protests were launched after the disputed June 12 presidential election that gave hardline Ahmadinejad a second term. The government denies accusations of fraud.

About 4,000 people have been arrested in the post-election crackdown. As of January 24, the government had confirmed the deaths of at least 37 people in the protests or in detention, seven of those deaths happening on the religious holiday of Ashura.

On Thursday, authorities hanged Mohammed Reza Ali Zamani, 37, and Arash Rahmanipour, 20, who had been convicted of being enemies of God and plotting to topple the Islamic regime.

The two were convicted in mass trials of opposition supporters in August, but Rahmanipour’s lawyer said the young man was arrested two months before the election.

 
 
Links referenced within this articleIran
http://topics.edition.cnn.com/topics/Iran
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
http://topics.edition.cnn.com/topics/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad

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.

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.

Christmas Spirit and Islam

Christmas Spirit and Islam Print
Saturday, 19 December 2009
This is the time of the year that the air is filled with everything Christmas. There is something for everyone: gifts for family and friends, prayers at churches, and Christmas music everywhere. It puts me in a contemplative mood, particularly when I hear the delightful Christian refrain, peace on earth, goodwill to men. This is the gift I want. This is my Christmas. When there is peace on earth and all people dispense and receive good will.Yet, I am saddened to see the world as it is, particularly with what Islam is doing to it, which is the exact opposite of working for peace and extending goodwill to all people.

My contemplation takes me to the genesis of Islam. Something I have come to view as a scourge of humanity, and here are a few of my random thoughts about the founder of Islam: the person who launched a religion that has denied peace to mankind right from the start, the person who advanced a religion that began with war, continues with war, and aims to carry on with bloodletting to the end of time. All this makes me think and shake my head in bewilderment.

Starting with the premise that an all-knowing powerful God is the creator of this awe-inspiring universe where we humans are an infinitesimally insignificant part of his creation humbles me. Muslims call this creator Allah—a recast of one of 360 idols in the pre-Islamic Idolatry of Mecca—and attribute numerous superhuman qualities to him. It is awe-inspiring to realize that a being of that description may indeed exist.

That leads me to some questions: Why would such an indescribably exalted creator, with his ascribed boundless wisdom and resources, pick an illiterate Bedouin to become his prophet for then and forever? The man himself, Muhammad, admitted in the Quran to his own illiteracy. Yet, Allah persisted in choosing this man? Was Allah bored with the rest of his universe and playing a joke on us helpless mortals? Or was it a case of Allah not being able to get any reasonably literate man to take the job?

I don’t have an answer to this or a bevy of other questions and the answers I have seen so far from Muslims are far from satisfactory. I am forced to mark this as one of the enigmas of life and move on to further look into Muhammad, his claims, his life and the way all might come together with Allah’s choreography of our life of drama.

Muslims claim that Muhammad was the most perfect man, the kind of saintly man that each and every one of us should adulate and aspire to follow. On the top of their list is the desire to lead their lives in such a way that would please Allah, if they can.

Muhammad has done that, Muslims claim. And apparently Allah, in his infinite kindness, does not require the rest of us mortals to do things that we are incapable of doing. And Muhammad has brought us the perfect life manual, the Quran, to help us in our quest, we are told.

Besides, a great inducement for me to check Islam out is the promise of eternal life in an indescribably lush sensual paradise of Allah if I make the grade. If I fail, I am told, my forever destination is the dreadful inferno of hell.

I have also checked out those schools of thoughts that say life starts here and ends here. End of discussion. Well, buying into the idea that I am going to end up as fertilizer in some desolate cemetery is not something I would like to contemplate. So, I kept looking into this Islam thing since I was born and raised in it. After all 1.5 billion people have bought into it. They can’t all be misguided, can they?

This quest led me to examine the teachings and life of Muhammad closely. And here are a few of my findings that have thrown me for a loop. Hence, I am sharing my findings with the readers in the hope that someone would supply me with explanations that would relieve me of my perplexities.

I have, in my quest, read, re-read, and read again the Quran—purportedly the literal word-for-word of Allah transmitted to Muhammad by the Archangel Gabriel over the course of some 20 years.

Right away I am troubled. Is Allah the same creator who has created the entire universe by a single word of his mouth—kon va yakoon—be and became, as Islam claims? Then why did it take this magnificent all-knowing lightingly-fast-Allah 20 years to get across a dime-novel-size hodgepodge of contradictory and nonsensical verse called the Quran, to us poor creatures?

Was it because Muhammad was illiterate and he couldn’t write them down? But that can’t be. He didn’t write down anything himself. He dictated to anyone who could write and was around at the time to do it. Therefore, in the course of some 20 years what is claimed to be the word-for-word dictates of Allah went through a number of intermediaries and materialized in several versions.

First the Archangel Gabriel whispered it to Muhammad, then Muhammad found some Arab who could write—not an easy find among the masses of the most backward illiterates of Arabia—and who happened to have a pen of some sort and a parchment to jot down what Muhammad still managed to recall.

Perhaps this does explain the several versions of the Quran that popped up after Muhammad’s death and the Caliph Othman’s choice of one as the genuine and burning of the others. The practice of burning books Muslims don’t like to talk about, goes all the way back to their venerated second Caliph, Othman.

Now, how could a fallible politician like Othman be the judge of Allah’s genuine utterances? Was there another Archangel that helped him out, or he just simply liked that particular version best? One thing you can say about Othman. He was an astute enough politician to realize that you can’t have one Islam with several versions of the word-for-word revelation of Allah.

Here is another problem. Even the chosen version of the Quran, if you can make any sense of it at all, reads like two different books. The early part is known as the Mecca Quran. This part is much about meekness, tolerance, kindness and so forth. This was the time that Muhammad’s wife Khadija—a monotheist Hanif, in contrast to polytheist idolater Muhammad—introduced her young troubled husband to her Christian uncle and exposed him to the teachings of Christianity that influenced his “revelation.”

During this early phase of his ministry, Muhammad spoke respectfully about the “people of the book,”—Christians and Jews, the people from whose book he liberally plagiarized to launch his monotheistic faith with the invaluable encouragements of his wife Khadija.

It was Khadija who convinced the young man that he was indeed chosen by Allah to be his spokesperson; that the jinn and angels communicated with him were parts of Allah’s plan for him.

Muhammad, during his Mecca years, was ridiculed for his confused sayings by his own tribe of Quraish. He was called shaeron majnoon—crazed poet. At this early stage he went by his birth name of Abulqasem. It was later that he took on the new name of Muhammad—Praiseworthy-One—to go better with his ministry.

Muhammad, having been judged as a hallucinating insane poet, was tormented by the Meccans in many ways. It got so bad, that after his wife’s death he left for Medina where a significant Jewish community provided a safer place for him to gather followers, build a powerbase, reveal his Medina Quran of intolerance and vilification, and launch his religion in full force and by brute force.

Once in Medina, Muhammad hit on a most powerful formula for success. He justified everything, on the spot, by saying that Allah wants it this way. And Allah was nothing to trifle with. He held the key to the most magnificent paradise as well as to the dreadful hell. The duty of a good Muslim became unquestioning obedience to everything that Muhammad said and wished. Muhammad became Allah’s gatekeeper to paradise and hell.

Muhammad’s formula worked magic with the Bedouins of Arabia who thrived on robberies and killings. His religion spread like a pandemic disease in no time at all. And here we are in the 21st century, at Christmas time, praying for peace and goodwill to men, while Muhammad’s men are working overtime to make sure that men see neither peace nor goodwill.

I would like to join the chorus of peace on earth and goodwill to men. Yet, deep in my soul, I find it my solemn duty to keep on sounding the alarm about the fire of Islam even at this poignant moment of Christmas.

Peace on earth and goodwill to men is a perennial prayer. It can be only when enough men and women of goodwill, with iron resolve arise and disempower the Islamist people of war and ill-will.

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