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Monthly Archives: July 2012

CAIR Strikes Out

July 25th, 2012 - 8:12 pm

It’s always a happy day when would-be censors fail to silence voices they don’t agree with, and it’s particularly satisfying when the losers are a well-known crowd of politically correct anti-1st Amendment vigilantes.  The losers in this case are the hyperactive folks over at CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and their intended victim is “Reza Kahlili,” the former member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps who for some years worked inside that murderous organization on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency.  He’s well known to PJ Media readers, having posted here on many occasions, and his book, A Time to Betray, is a must-read for anyone who wants to get an accurate picture of life inside the Islamic Republic’s praetorian guards.

Reza is inevitably controversial, as you would expect.  Some even doubt that he was really a CIA agent inside the IRGC (I was able to get confirmation of his bona fides, as was David Ignatius of the Washington Post), and CAIR got very annoyed with him, above all when he wrote that American mosques are being used to recruit and organize terrorists, in preparation for potential attacks inside the United States.  And they were openly furious when he described his conversion from Islam to Christianity, saying that the “unimaginable” Islamic practices he witnessed in Iran “misrepresented Islam,” leading him to search for a faith that better presented his vision of the Almighty.

Worse yet, from CAIR’s standpoint, was that Reza was employed by the American government to lecture its intelligence specialists on Iran at the Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy in Maryland.  CAIR demanded he be fired.  The head of CAIR wrote directly to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to make the request, as reported in a press release from the organization.

It didn’t work.

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Anyone who has spent much time eating Persian food knows how important chicken is, whether it’s roast chicken, chicken with pomegranate sauce and walnuts, or chicken kebab. So a chicken shortage or, worse yet, unaffordable chicken is a real problem, and it is doubly so during Ramadan.  Right now, just at the moment that even the Iranian government has confessed the “devastating” effect of Western sanctions, the country is in the grips of a major chicken crisis.

Chicken prices have tripled in the last year, and nearly doubled in the last month, which has priced a significant number of Iranians out of the chicken market (or perhaps we should say it has priced Iranian chickens out of a significant number of households). Either way, there are a lot of very angry Iranians, who not surprisingly are blaming their government for this foul state of affairs. In part, the government is blameless, since the cost of imports and the cost of feed grain have been driven up by the sanctions. But then again, the behavior of the government provoked the sanctions in the first place, and the singularly incompetent economic policies of the regime probably constitute the most important cause of the crisis.

Worse still, the rising costs of feed grains – corn and wheat have increased about 50% as a result of drought, especially in the American Middle West – have made it impossible for many Iranian producers to continue to raise and sell chickens. It is not unusual nowadays to see long lines in front of chicken merchants, and the Iranians, with a sense of humor reminiscent of the Soviet Union’s greatest hits, have now started to talk about “chicken lines,” which divide the society between those who can both afford and obtain chickens, and those who cannot.

For its part, the regime is reacting with consummate cloddishness.  The Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, an infamous Holocaust denier who has offices in London as well as Iran, achieved celebrity by proclaiming “So what if people don’t eat chicken?”  Doctors agree that meat is bad for you, after all (hat tip:  Potkin).

This sort of buffoonery has not tamed the national chicken craving, and angry crowds are demonstrating around the country, especially when the national media foolishly ran pictures of a recent Tehran conference at which the attendees ate…well, you know what they ate.

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I’m checking it, but there is a report that says so:

Reports in the Arab-language press indicate the head of Iran’s covert foreign operations Quds force was killed in Wednesday’s bombing in Damascus.

Al-Quds Force’s long-elusive commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, is reported to have made several trips to Damascua to meet with Assad and his top commanders since January of this year.

Iran has made no bones about having bolstered Assad’s embattled regime with members of its own elite Revolutionary Guard, but the death of Suleimani would be a direct blow to Tehran.

General Suleimani has,  or perhaps had, an awful lot of blood on his murderous hands.  From the 1990s bombings in Argentina to the Iranian operations against American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, to hand-in-mailed-glove coordination with Hezbollah in various killings, his name should be at or near the very top of any Western “most wanted” list of mass murderers. The assassination of Suleimani would be comparable to the murder of Imad Mughniyah, the Hezbollah chief of operations who was intimately involved with the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, the Guards’ foreign legion commanded by Suleimani. His death at the hands of a suicide bomber would be ironically appropriate, and  a religious commentator might well term it Divine retribution.  It would also be a devastating blow to the Iranian regime, as well as to Hezbollah. I don’t think we’ve heard the full list of victims yet.  There could be others of his ilk.  So stay tuned.

Spies and Killers

July 11th, 2012 - 5:57 pm

It’s one thing for foreign  spies to penetrate our country and our government, but it’s quite different when we seem to be inviting them in and even paying their expenses.  Three stories along these lines caught my attention.  The first says the FBI is investigating more than a hundred military members and contractors with something or other to do with “radical Islam.”  As Investor’s Business Daily sums it up:

Of the 100-plus probes, at least a dozen have advanced to full-blown investigations, which means agents have enough evidence to believe that a dozen Muslim soldiers are plotting major attacks against the military. The rest are preliminary investigations of suspect Muslim traitors in the ranks who have radicalized to the point of posing a serious threat.

A serious problem,  in short.  Remember that these people are all paid by the US military.

Second, the estimable Tarek Fatah asks rhetorically why the State Department issued a visa to a known Egyptian member of an Islamist terrorist group, Hani Nour Eldin, of the infamous Gamaa Islamiya.  Writing in the Toronto Sun, he notes:

While the Obama Administration maintained the Egyptian delegation was in the U.S. to seek ways of future cooperation between the two countries, it was revealed Eldin met with Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough and asked him for the transfer the “Blind Sheik” Abdel-Rahman to an Egyptian prison.

By U.S. law, Eldin should have been denied a visa to enter the country.

Actually, the answer to Tarek’s rhetorical question isn’t hard to find, as I confirmed when, after dozens of failed efforts, I managed to establish contact via my trusty ouija board with the spirit of the late James Jesus Angleton, once upon a time the head of CIA Counterintelligence.  He–or the raspy voice that I get in answer to my questions–is one of the great experts on espionage in this or any other world, and when I quoted him Tarek’s question, he got snarky.

JJA:  “Hah!  Need you ask?  They certainly know who he is, and they gave him a visa because they wanted to talk to him.  And they did.”

ML:  “But they could have talked to him in Cairo, they didn’t have to violate their own regs, did they?  I mean, it’s kind of embarrassing, isn’t it?”

JJA:  “Not so much, as the kids say these days,”  (how would he know? I asked myself) “they don’t embarrass very easily.  But then, they don’t get asked the difficult questions.”

ML:  “OK, I’ll take that bait.  Like what difficult questions?”

JJA:  “Like how many Iranian/Hezbollah/Islamic Jihad/Venezuelan/Bolivian/Nicaraguan persons have set up shop in the United States?  And, how many members and sympathizers of the Moslem Brotherhood are now working in the executive branch?  And, what sort of counterintelligence program is being carried out to protect us against penetration by terrorist organizations and states that sponsor them?”

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Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei hasn’t been seen in public for a couple of weeks, and he notably missed his annual speech at “Pasdar Day,” devoted to the Revolutionary Guards Corps. He had made that event a personal obligation for more than twenty years. (Here he is at last year’s commemoration of the IRGC.) He also missed the annual commemoration of Imam Ali’s birthday, one of the central events on the Shi’ite calendar.

The folks who claim to be in the know about such things would have us believe that the opposition to the Iranian regime has been crushed, and that Khamenei and his henchmen are firmly in control of the country. But he seems to know better, and he just published a poem (really!) lamenting the failure of the 12th Imam to reappear and to make everything wonderful by slaughtering the enemies of the Shi’a, etc. Maybe he thinks his regime hasn’t done enough to get the Mahdi out of his well in Iran, and he has issued a call to all and sundry to prepare themselves for the End of Days.

The supreme leader, in other words, is in a lousy mood, and he’s got every reason to be in a funk. The natural gas pipeline to Turkey has been sabotaged yet again, and the regime is scratching for all the foreign currency it can find. And two online polls show the Iranians are not at all enthusiastic about the regime’s nuclear project.

The first appeared on the site of the national TV station, and had to do with sanctions. Respondents were asked what they thought Iran should do and were given three options: give up uranium enrichment, close the Straits of Hormuz, or fight back against the West. By early evening, nearly two-thirds of the responses said “stop enrichment,” and the poll was yanked.

The second poll, launched after the official survey was shut down, appeared on the Facebook page of the very popular Manoto TV. It also asked about sanctions and enrichment:

Asked if they favored resisting the sanctions to defend the country’s “right to nuclear power,” 78 percent said “no.”Asked if the regime should give up nuclear enrichment in order to avoid the sanctions, a rousing 74 percent said “yes.” And 74 percent also approved “giving up nuclear enrichment in order to avoid the sanctions.”

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