Iranian Clocks, Tick Tock, Tick Tock
The failed Israeli ex-PM, Ehud Barak, gives us the benefit of his deep thinking about Iran. It's an Einsteinian metaphor about relative rates of the passage of time:
The clock for the Iranian regime’s downfall is ticking, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a lecture at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on Friday. However, “it’s clear to me that the clock toward the collapse of this regime works much slower than the clock which ticks toward Iran becoming a nuclear military power,” Barak said.
How does he know that? -- we (or at least some of us) wonder. I can imagine that the Israelis think they know the timetable for the Iranian atomic bomb, but I don't think anyone has the schedule for the regime's final days. And anyway, this is a case where static analysis is totally inappropriate. Any scenario has to include the likelihood of new variables being introduced. There's probably a big sabotage operation going on against the atomic project, and some day somebody in the so-called Western world might decide to help the Iranian opposition speed up the "downfall clock."
With regard to the atomic clock, I am told that the Iranian regime intends to announce two more hitherto-secret enrichment sites in early April. One is near Mashad, over by the Afghan border. The other is in the mountains east of Tehran. In keeping with the regime's constant use of deception and misdirection, you can be pretty sure that there are other secret sites as well.
Does this mean that the mullahs are close to putting a nuclear warhead on an accurate missile? Beats me. But while various "analysts" give us their theories about just when Bomb Day will arrive, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps continue to kill Americans, and nobody seems to care about that.
I made this point in last week's debate with Flynt Leverett at the Atlantic Council in Washington, and to confirm my claim, neither Leverett, nor the moderator, the Washington Post's David Ignatius, nor any of the sizeable audience, responded to it. This drives me crazy; it's why I wrote Accomplice to Evil. We refuse to see our evil enemies for what they are, and we refuse to act in time to prevent massive catastrophe.
No doubt Barak knows this, and also knows that, unless things change (hard to imagine), Israel will eventually have to do something on its own. What's harder to understand is why Israel is doing nothing to help the opposition, which is the only policy that holds out a chance of real success, and would avoid the terrible train wreck we can all see arriving in slow motion.
As for the other clock, the one ticking off the lifespan of the Islamic Republic, the mullahs continue their murderous and sadistic campaign against the citizens of Iran, and the citizens search for new ways to show their contempt. The regime relentlessly arrests dissidents and accuses them of actions that only a fanatical regime in crisis could concoct. For example, they went after Mohammed Maliki, 76 yrs old, the first chancellor of Tehran U after the Revolution, and arrested him during treatment for prostate cancer. Maliki said to his captors, "I was afraid you would let me die in my bed," and has refused to "repent" or confess. He's accused of being a Mohareb, one who fights against God. They execute such men in Iran nowadays for criticizing the regime. I honor them, and wish my leaders would do the same, instead of pretending to have a serious Iran policy.
While we're at it, let's honor Omid Montazeri. His father was one of the victims of the mass murder of political prisoners in 1988. Omid is a blogger, journalist and a final year law student at Allameh University. His articles on cultural issues have been published by many official newspapers. His mother was arrested shortly after Christmas, and Omid went to the Intelligence Ministry to inquire about her, whereupon he was thrown into the hellhole, "tried" without access to a lawyer, and condemned to six years.
And let's honor the Kurds, victims of mass brutality in which the Turks and the Syrians are surely complicit, and about which the usual Western accomplices to evil are typically silent.
Some of those pious people who bleed oceans of ink for the sweet "victims of Guantanamo" would be more convincing if they could spare a few harsh words for the monsters who govern Iran, and who seek our death and destruction. Demands for civility in Iran might well have an effect, for the regime is very uncertain about its ability to repress the people. In early February, they had to bus tens of thousands of thugs to Tehran, and the Basij have announced they will increase their operational "districts" in Tehran from 6 to 22 in the near future. Headquarters for security forces, some of which are hidden in mosques, are scheduled to increase to over 700 later this year. Khamenei recently forbade a memorial to Mohammad Mosadegh, the former prime minister overthrown, with American and British support, in 1953. He was secular, and thus his memory threatens the anxious dreams of the supreme leader. In like manner, the history of pre-Islamic Persia is being purged from school texts, and all teachers and professors deemed insufficiently loyal are being fired from schools and universities.
In the face of all this, and despite the feckless silence or tired euphemisms from our spokeswimps (as per expressions of "concern" from State), the opposition fights on. All demonstrations are banned, and even some recent concerts have been cancelled for fear of a few hundred people gathering in one place. But the Green leader and his wife continue to proclaim the thoughts of most Iranians.
Our nation wants a progressive foreign policy and not a hostile, unfriendly foreign policy. Our nation wants that, under pretense of privatization, industries are not controlled by government entities and Sepah [Islamic Revolutionary Guards]. Our nation wants that our teachers and labor forces are not beaten or attacked for asking for their rights. Our nation wants that women don’t become subjects of accusations and attacks for wanting their equal rights. Our nation wants that the voices of all are heard from the national media and not only the voices of the few. Our nation does not like to be divided into two groups: “God’s Party” and “Devil’s Party”. Our nation does not like their letters, text messages and phone conversations to be monitored. Our nation does not like their freedom to be limited, their constitution to be ignored. Our nation does not like their newspapers to be banned. Our nation does not like daily instructions [by the government] of what is allowed to be written about, or talked about. The desires of our nation are also the desires of the Green Movement.
In her statement, which was published today at the threshold of the International Women's Day...she declared that the "family protection" bill is based on "hedonism" and will destroy the family unit.
Rahnavard added that the bill was "discriminatory and anti-woman" and the direct product of the Islamic Republic's "dominant culture and made-up laws."
Articles 23 and 25 of the "family protection" bill, which was prepared two years ago and is now under review at the parliament, have aroused great controversy in Iran.
According to article 23 of the bill, men are allowed to marry several women concurrently without obtaining the approval of their first wife so long as they obtain a legal permit by showing financial means.
Article 25 maintains that the prenuptial sum agreed upon to be paid to the wife in case of a divorce, referred to as mehrieh in Iran, is subject to government taxing.
These two articles were previously omitted from the bill under pressure from women's rights activists, but were recently reintroduced back into the bill by the Cultural Commission of the parliament.
Zahra Rahnavard also condemns "inequality of men and women and laws pertaining to divorce and citizenship" as examples of "backward and discriminatory" laws against women.
She writes: "I am certain that the liberated men of our country are also pained and ashamed by this discrimination.”
Zahra Rahnavard also addresses the continued arrest of women's rights activists who have been repeatedly detained for trying to defend their rights by participating in gatherings and for their media activities. She writes: "The reputation and legitimacy of a system is tied with the respect it dons on its people and their demands, especially the level of its respect for its women."
We now have our third female secretary of state. Not one of them seems inclined to organize an ongoing condemnation of the brutal misogyny that governs Iran.
They are accomplices to evil. A great evil.