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Monthly Archives: July 2007

Stoning is Fine, Didn’t You Know?

July 15th, 2007 - 3:20 pm

Via Hot Air, we learn that the chairman of the Iranian human rights committee (sic) is all in favor of stoning its citizens to death:

Somebody ought to tell Michael Hirsh, who thinks the regime is “subtle.”

Those of you who take the time to read Meir Javedanfar’s post on this site may be as surprised as I was to find that the best way to understand Iran and Iranians is by reading official web sites and the “polls” in which they invite their readers to participate. This method leads him to conclude that President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nezhad is not nearly as popular as he once was, a discovery that the Italians call “the discovery of the umbrella,” namely something everybody already knew. You didn’t need to read “Baztab” to realize that the increasing misery of the Iranian people (think gasoline rationing), the relentless terror campaign against anyone who speaks out against the daily unconstitutional violations of human rights (of late, large numbers of workers or women), combined with the ongoing self-indulgence and corruption of the leaders of the regime, have alienated most Iranians. We knew all about the massive popular contempt for the regime years ago, during the presidency of the phony “moderate” Mohammed Khatami.

Mr. Javedanfar would have us believe that Ahmadi-Nezhad was brought to power in an election like any other: candidates run, people vote, the winner wins. Indeed, on his account, Ahmadi-Nezhad was permitted to remain on the ballot because he did well on a public opinion poll a few days earlier. But almost every other candidate in the presidential election publicly announced that the whole thing was a sham. As usual, the electoral results were handed down from on high. The choice of Ahmadi-Nezhad reflected a political decision by the Supreme Leader (there is a good reason for that title), not the people’s voice.

But the real problem with Mr. Javedanfar’s discussion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Iran is his policy recommendations, which can best be described as feckless. Yes, he says, the president is not popular, but

.

..the West must not think that it has a blank to check to do what it wants in Iran. Every time the words “regime change” are uttered by neocons in Washington the extremists score political loyalty points.

I’m not entirely sure what “political loyalty points” may be. Apparently the point is that if we were to call for regime change in Iran, there would be a popular backlash on behalf of the regime. Really? So if I were to criticize Ahmadi-Nezhad and call for a freely elected government, that would actually strengthen him and his cohorts? Talk about a dim view of the Iranian people! On Mr. Javedanfar’s account, they have to wait to read the neocon blogs before they know if they should support the regime, or protest its evils.

So what are we supposed to do? If calling for regime change is out, should we just wait, and hope for the best? Not at all, according to Mr. Javedanfar. We should go to that tower of strength, the United Nations.

The UN may seem toothless from the perspective of Washington. But it is one of the most useful and powerful organizations for tackling extremists in Iran due to its international composition, and the very fact that Iran itself is a member. Such legitimacy strikes fear in the heart of Ahmadinejad’s government like no other foreign organization can.

Well, for starters it seems likely that the U.S. Marine Corps strikes considerably more fear in the dark heart of the mullahs than does the U.N. (not that I want the Marines marching on Tehran, as readers of this blog are well aware). And for seconds, I would be pleased to be made aware of a recent case in which the U.N. brought freedom to an oppressed country. So far as I can tell, the U.N. honors and appeases tyrants, and leaves oppressed peoples to their doom.

Mr. Javedanfar’s plea that America abandon the Iranian people meshes nicely with a similar piece by Michael Hirsh in Newsweek (enthusiastically reprinted by Baztab, the Iranian web site that conducted the “poll” that Mr. Javedanfar referred to). Mr. Hirsh spent some time in Tehran, and finds the population quiescent (“After years of turmoil, including mass street protests against the regime in the 1990s, the revolution has adapted. Among the public, political apathy now reigns). Thus, on Mr. Hirsh’s account, active political opposition to Islamic rule is all but gone., the women very beautiful and largely free to dress seductively, and the regime quite subtle in its treatment of its citizens.

Like Mr. Javedanfar, Mr. Hirsh suggests that the American Government give up any hope of fostering regime change in Iran.

From the evidence in the streets of Tehran, there is no indication that this is a government or a political system that’s ripe for overturning. In fact most Iranians—government officials and opposition figures alike—tend to poke fun at the Bush democracy program. “If the Americans are willing to spend their budget inside [Iran] for the purpose they are pursuing, they should just give the money to us directly,” Ali Larijani, the chairman of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told NEWSWEEK with a laugh. “They are just distributing it through the wrong channels.”

It’s perhaps a tribute to the canons of modern journalism that a paragraph could claim that “most Iranians” believe something, and then citing a single source–indeed a most unreliable source, since Larijani is one of the most infamous killers in the country, and thus a man with a lot to lose if the regime comes down–as proof of the generalization. It’s rather like interviewing a top KGB officer about the effectiveness of Reagan’s support for democracy in the Soviet Union. And as for the “apathy” of the Iranians, that is at best uninformed, and quite possibly deceptive. To put the best interpretation in it, apparently nobody told Mr. Hirsh about the huge demonstrations–tens of thousands of people, across the entire country–of Iranian teachers. And he seems not to have noticed that at least two people have been stoned to death recently (not very subtle, in my view), or that considerable numbers of political prisoners have been hung, or that the Ahwaz Arabs are being forcibly moved out of their homeland, or that scores of women have been rounded up, lashed, and imprisoned for collecting signatures on a petition that simply restates their rights contained in the national Constitution.

Finally, it is both immoral and strategically self-defeating to walk away from support of the Iranian people against this evil regime. The Islamic Republic has been at war with us for nearly three decades, and is actively killing Americans, Afghans, Iraqis, and Coalition Forces soldiers today. People like Messrs. Hirsh and Javedanfar would have us shrug our shoulders and do nothing, as if it were not our problem, or as if the Iranians did not want to be free.

It’s an pleasant truth that there is no escape for us from the war the Islamic Republic is waging against us. Some fine day we will decide to respond in kind, by challenging the mullahs and supporting their suffering people.

Germans, Russians and Ayatollahs…

July 12th, 2007 - 11:35 pm

Some fifty German companies are under investigation for illegally helping the Iranian nuclear program, AFP reports.

What’s interesting here is the flow chart: from Germany through Poland to Russia and on to Iran. A bit confusing, perhaps, which might explain AFP’s little blunder:

The project has been hit by a series of delays and financial difficulties, which has seen Russia and Moscow accuse each other of not living up to their obligations.

To be sure, the Russian hinterland has often been in conflict with Moscow, but not on this occasion. They mean Russia and Iran. But the intimacy between the two countries has been so great that if you were writing this story quickly, you might be forgiven for the error. The Iranian nuclear program comes above all from the Russians, who collected components all over Europe, and frequently shipped (AFP does not tell us this, but it is well documented) via Belarus.

If you want to know how it all works, just ask the Clintons. Bill approved a secret agreement–negotiated by crazy Al, his vice president, with his Russian counterpart, comrade Chernomyrdin–that permitted the Russians to build the nuclear reactor at Bushehr.

This is not Putin’s baby, it goes back quite a ways.

Fanatical Scientists

July 8th, 2007 - 8:30 pm

You have to read all the way to the bottom, but it’s an interesting article anyway, and it’s worth the time to get to this:

Dr Irfan al-Alawi, director of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism, has just completed a 130-page report into the links between radical Islam and science.

‘In our study we have documented notable cases where the phenomenon of radical Muslim doctors is well known,’ he writes. ‘These individuals suffer from divided minds, in which their professional duties clash with their ideological fantasies. They are driven not by faith, or by training, or by professional standing or aspiration, but by an ideology of fundamentalist separatism.’

Maybe our understanding of true believers will be advanced by the war, and maybe not. All those people who were amazed to find medical doctors running a terror cell, there was no excuse for that. Walter Laqueur noticed, some thirty years ago, that there was a disproportionate number of MDs in terrorist organizations, and Sherlock Holmes was well aware of the propensity of (even) brilliant scientists to turn to crime, as in the case of his nemesis, Dr. Moriarty. So we shouldn’t be surprised.

Still, there are many who still think that “science” is somehow a protection against fanaticism. Which it isn’t, any more than wealth is (those of you who still believe that terrorists are the way they are because of poverty and misery should report for reprogramming in the morning).

What can protect us against fanatics? The power to defeat them, and the will to use it. And constantly reminding us of Machiavelli’s dictum: “Man is more inclined to do evil than to do good…”

Death to the Women

July 3rd, 2007 - 9:57 pm

If you want to see what the Caliphate will look like, just take a gander at the Islamic Republic of Iran. And one of its salient features is the compulsive repression of women. I’m not sure that modern psychology is up to this one, although I think earlier psychoanalysts like Eric Fromm were. There is a pathological fear of love, because true love necessarily permits freedom for both partners. True love is the result of a free choice, and a loving marriage endures when both choose to continue, with all the compromises and even sacrifices that entails.

The mullahs hate all that. They want to dominate women at all costs. So it is not surprising to find stories like this:

AFP – World News
Jul 3, 2007

Tehran – Iran has sentenced a women’s rights activist to flogging and almost three years in jail for taking part in a 2006 protest over “discriminatory” laws, the ILNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

Delaram Ali was sentenced to 10 lashes and two years and ten months in jail for “participation in an illegal gathering”, “propaganda against the system” and “disturbing public order”, her lawyer Nasrin Sotoodeh told ILNA.

Ali was one of the 70 people arrested in June 2006 in a protest at a Tehran main square against articles in Iranian law which are seen as discriminating against women.

Take a look at that last paragraph, by the way. “Articles…which are seen as discriminating…” Puhleeze! Iranian law explicitly values a woman as precisely half a man. To take the most grotesque example, if a woman is pregnant with a male fetus, and both are killed in a car crash, the family gets one full “penalty payment” for the male fetus, and half as much for the mother.

If that’s not discrimination, then the sun has frozen.

Save Africa from the Europeans

July 2nd, 2007 - 7:25 pm

I am constantly in a rage over the European campaign to kill Africans, even as the Europeans preach peace and love, shovel aid money into the bank accounts of African businessmen and politicians, and click their tongues over the Darfur genocide. But the worst of it is when the environmentalist cultists sentence Africans to die of malaria, which is the continent’s biggest killer. There is a great post on one of my favorite blogs, that puts it very nicely:

…some people in Europe threaten agricultural bans and other sanctions against countries that use DDT to save lives. Aid agencies refuse to supply or support the use of DDT, while they promote bed nets that don�t get delivered and await vaccines that are still a decade away. And environmental groups continue to tell lies about DDT and worry more about hypothetical health problems from the chemical, than about the disease and death it can prevent.

You want hypocrisy? How about the environmentalists who condemn Africans to death by disease, because of bad science evoked in the name of Gaia. Pfui.

Lieberman the Truth Teller

July 2nd, 2007 - 7:18 pm

Senator Lieberman has taken up the cudgels left behind by the unfortunate departure of Senator Santorum from the U.S. Senate. You can’t ask for clearer language than this:

Although no one desires a conflict with Iran, the fact is that the Iranian government by its actions has declared war on us.

Would that those words had come from the secretary of state. Or, better still, from the president.

The Mullahs’ War on Persia

July 1st, 2007 - 9:16 pm

The mullahs are destroying yet another landmark of Persia’s ancient past. And it’s easy to understand why: it memorializes an anti-Islamic rebel.

Mohammad-Ali E. from Isfahan

LONDON, (CAIS) — The tomb of Firuzan commonly known as Emāmādeh Abu-lolo (or Abu Lulu) in Kashahn, Isfahan province is being destroyed by the order of the Islamic Regime.

A large crowd of Iranians have gathered outside the governor’s office on Tuesday, June 26th, to voice their objection regarding the destruction of the Iranian heritage, and a shrine which was one of the symbols of Iranian resistance against the Arab invaders in 7th century CE, and to some, a Shia and a revered Sufi.

Umar al-Khattab, the second Moslem Caliph was put to death by Firuzan in 645 CE. It is said that Firuzan was a POW captured after the fall of Ctesiphon in what is today known as Iraq, and sold as a slave. A parvenu Arab leader called Mughira ibn Shu’ba bought him and took him to Medina in Arabia for slavery work.

Most probably Firuzan was a Zoroastrian (by some accounts he was a priest), as the majority of Iranian were at the time of Arab occupation of Iran in 7th century.

“His [Firuzan] action was in response to atrocities that were committed by Arab-Muslim invaders in Iran, which resulted in massacre, rape, looting of our country – we Iranians never forgot nor forgive their crimes against us”, said one of the protestors.

The impetus for the desecration of Firuzan’s tomb came, understandably enough, from Arab “scholars”:

Mohammad Salim Al’awa, the Secretary-General of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), who believes God have “created women for pregnancy and childbirth” purposes speaking to Al-Arabiat New-agency said: “the request for its destruction was delivered to Iran by a group of Arab representatives a few months ago, after the Doha assembly at the beginning of the year. At the assembly a large number of Sunni scholars asked Iran for the destruction of the tomb”.

No wonder the Muslim world is the way it is.

And by the way, notice that Shi’ite Iran is doing a favor for Sunni religious leaders. I don’t suppose the CIA–which still seems to believe that Sunnis and Shi’ites can’t cooperate–has noticed.