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Michael Ledeen:Iran Bubbles Over

 
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Spenta



Joined: 04 Sep 2003
Posts: 1829

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:25 pm    Post subject: Michael Ledeen:Iran Bubbles Over Reply with quote

Quote:
First, because no Western government ó sadly including the Bush administration ó has any intention of taking serious action against Iran, even though everyone knows that Iran is directly responsible for killing thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of Americans, Brits, and other Coalition soldiers and civilians.

...

Lacking any defined policy, we can only judge the president and his aides by their actions, and there arenít any, aside from the occasional speech or offhand remark at a press conference. The mullahs see that, and treat it with the contempt it deserves. We are currently indistinguishable from the Europeans, who run whenever the Iranians snarl at them.




I have been saying the same thing for a long time now .... I even predicted that this would happen if Bush won re-election a year ago, despite evryone else' insistance on their pipe dreams being true.

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Iran Bubbles Over

September 23, 2005
National Review Online
Michael Ledeen



While most media attention has been devoted to the "diplomatic" United Nations visit of Iranís brand new terrorist president, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nezhad, the fascinating turmoil within Iran, both inside the mullahcracy and between the mullahs and the Iranian people, has gone largely unreported. There are three basic reasons for this silence:

# First, because no Western government ó sadly including the Bush administration ó has any intention of taking serious action against Iran, even though everyone knows that Iran is directly responsible for killing thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of Americans, Brits, and other Coalition soldiers and civilians.


# Second, as a corollary to the first cause, because the whole question of Iran, which should be the central issue in the war against terrorism, has been reduced to a fatuous debate over the countryís nuclear program, and the attendant phony negotiations between the EU 3 (Britain, Germany, and France) and the mullahs. It was obvious from the outset that no good could come from these talks, because Iran will not abandon its nuclear program and neither the Europeans nor the Bush administration are prepared to do anything serious about it. The sham nuclear negotiations were in large part a way of avoiding what should be the central issue: Iranís central role in the terror war against the West;


# Finally, Western reporters in Iran are rightly afraid to report things that are damaging to the regime. They know that they can be expelled, or, as in the case of a Canadian female journalist who dared to look into the dark labrynths of contemporary Iran, brutally killed.


Nuked Up

To take the nuclear "question" first: Anyone who believes that Iran is not on a crash program to build atomic bombs need only listen to the Iranian leaders speaking to their own people. On September 15, for example, there was a meeting at the defense ministry in Tehran, involving the defense minister, Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar, and the heads of the Basij and Revolutionary Guards ó the bloodiest arms of the regime. Right after the meeting, a young journalist reported on the official Jam-eh-Jam TV that Mohammad-Najjar had said that it is Iranís "absolute right to have access to nuclear arms and that we must stand up to any pressure from the international community."

Immediately following the televised report about "nuclear arms," the broadcast network was disconnected. Shortly afterwards, Minister Mohammad-Najjar appeared on a radio broadcast for an interview about the meeting and attempted to whitewash his original remarks by stating the official disinformation that Iran "has the right to pursue a peaceful nuclear program for economic and energy purposes."

Journalists are less inclined than ever to report such things (you can be sure that the young man who told the truth about the nuclear program will not become the countryís new Edward R. Murrow), now that the regime has intensified its already infamous campaign against dissidents and the misnamed "minorities" (in reality, Persians constitute less than half the population). Reporters Without Borders recently expressed alarm over the recent arrests of four Kurdish journalists: Madh Amadi, Ejlal Ghavami, Roya Tolou, and Said Saedi. Only Ghavami has had a trial, and both Ghavami and Amadi are on hunger strikes. And the countryís most famous dissident journalist, Akbar Ganji, is back in prison after the mullahs reneged on a promise to release him if he ended his hunger strike. At the time of his hunger strike, Ganji had received public support ó and the regime had been publicly excoriated ó by numerous world leaders, including President Bush and U.N. chief Kofi Annan. But there has been no such rage at the mullahsí latest lying trickery.

These arrests are only a small piece of the intensified repression that characterizes the post-election Islamic republic. For example, in late August and early September there were mass arrests in the (mostly Arab) province of Khuzestan in the southwest. At least 260 prominent citizens, including lawyers, doctors, teachers, students, journalists, and human-rights activists have been rounded up. This follows the infamous crushing of a peaceful demonstration this past April, when security forces killed more than 60 men, women, and children, and arrested thousands of others.

The regime has been similarly aggressive internationally, threatening to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty if the EU appeasers dared to send the nuclear question to the U.N. Security Council, and, with a frequency and intensity that warrants our attention, threatening to attack the United States. Indeed ó obviously believing everything they read in the New York Times or watched on our madstream television ó the mullahs celebrated both the damage done by Katrina and the alleged ineptitude of the Bush administrationís response. With an America so weak and divided, the mullahs intoned, Iran could wreak devastation on every state.

Mullah Spin

As I predicted after the elections, the regime is now showing its fangs, both at home and abroad. I have no doubt that the professional analysts in the State department, the intelligence community, and the National Security Council are presenting a soothing interpretation of these events, arguing that there is a new "administration" in Tehran, and it will take a bit of time before they tone down their rhetoric and come to terms with reality. But this assumes that the Iranians are capable of understanding reality, and that we are capable of understanding them. The record to date suggests both assumptions are false.

Manic Moments & Exodus

The mullahs are altogether capable of deciding that events are now running strongly in their favor, and that they should strike directly at the United States. They look at us, and they see a deeply divided nation, a president who talked a lot about bringing democratic revolution to Iran and then did nothing to support it, a military that is clearly fighting in Iraq alone, and counting the days until we can say "itís up to the Iraqis now," and ó again based on what they see in our popular press ó a country that has no stomach for a prolonged campaign against the remaining terror masters in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

Osama bin Laden came to similar conclusions, and ordered the events of 9/11. Why should the Iranians ó who have been major supporters of the terror network ever since the 1979 revolution ó not do the same?

Many Iranians have come to the conclusion that their country is a dangerous place, and they are running. A significant number of former officials have left Iran for infidel countries in the past few weeks and months. The former minister of culture, Ayatollah Mohajerani, has gone to London, along with the former mayor of Tehran, Mohammed Hassan Malekmadani. Mohsen Sazegara, a founder of the Revolutionary Guards, is now in Washington. Mohammed Taghi Banki and Cyrus Nasseri, until recently high-ranking officials, have gone to Austria. And these are the lucky ones, because they have managed to escape the Islamic republic. Within the cauldron, the purge continues, as I have suggested it would. Ten members of the Khorassan judiciary have been forced to resign. The commander in chief of the army is gone. Payman Forouzesh and Golmohammad Baqeri, both members of the last parliament, have resigned, as has Mohammed Mirlohi, the deputy minister of legal and parliamentary affairs. Other resignations and departures are likely to follow in short order; a friend of mine who knows a great deal about the affairs of banks in the Persian Gulf tells me there is an unprecedented flow of private money out of Iran to places like Dubai, Abu Dabhi, and Qatar.

This exodus does not bespeak either a tranquil country or a regime confident of its internal power, especially against the background of the massive repression now under way. It rather suggests a regime that knows it is hated, and intends to stay in power by crushing anyone in its way, both at home and abroad. It is reminiscent of the final days of the Nazi regime, when the Fuhrer in his bunker swung wildly between megalomaniacal dreams of miraculous world conquest, and deep depression, alternately purging his old guard and promoting incompetent underlings to positions of great power.

It may well be that the mullahs are torn between wild fear of America, and a fanatical conviction that they can finally destroy the great Satan. If, as I fear, they are either very close to, or actually possess atomic bombs, it might help explain their manic moments, and enable them to tell themselves that America would not dare attack a nuclear power.

Our policymakers have thus far utterly failed to design anything worthy of the name of an Iran policy, even though it is arguably the single most important challenge we face. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley recently answered a question about Iran policy by saying that we did indeed have a policy, but we hadnít yet written it down. This is reminiscent of the old riddle of whether a falling tree makes a sound if no one is there to hear it: can there be a policy if nobody can define it?

Lacking any defined policy, we can only judge the president and his aides by their actions, and there arenít any, aside from the occasional speech or offhand remark at a press conference. The mullahs see that, and treat it with the contempt it deserves. We are currently indistinguishable from the Europeans, who run whenever the Iranians snarl at them.

This is not a war on terror, it is paralysis at best, and appeasement at worst. The hell of it is that it is costing thousands of lives, and will cost many more until the terror masters are destroyed, or we surrender. Those words were inconceivable for many years, but it is a sign of our present fecklessness that they are now entirely appropriate. We can still lose this war. And we cannot win it so long as we are blinded by our potentially fatal failure of strategic vision: we are in a regional war, but we have limited our actions to a single theater. Our most potent weapons are political and ideological, but our actions have been almost exclusively military.

Our main enemy, the single greatest engine in support of the terror war against us, whether Sunni or Shiite, jihadi, or secular, Arab or British or Italian or Spaniard, is Iran. There is no escape from this fact. The only questions are how long it will take us to face it, how effective we will be when we finally decide to act, and how terrible the price will be for our long delay.

- Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. He is resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.
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Omidvaur



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 11:15 am    Post subject: Bush Reply with quote

Can you say "Lame Duck".
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Oppenheimer



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IAEA today adopted resolution to refer Iran to UN Sec council.

Both Russia and China abstained, India voted yes.

Can you say, "It's a good day for ducks." ????? Lool!
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Rasker



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that Bush, by his crafty display of passivity toward the regime, might actually have lulled them into overplaying their hand. As with Saddam and his bluffing on the WMD issue, in their exuberance the regime leaders are motivating key opponents and discouraging potential allies.

It's a strange fact that evil people are somehow constrained to act stupid as well. Saddam and Hitler are good examples, but the IRI regime folks are increasingly fitting the stereotype as well, one expects to see them wearing villains' mustaches right out of classical American melodrama.

BTW, Powerlineblog.com, Time Magazine's Blog of the Year 2004, picked up this Ledeen column this morning:

September 25, 2005
Contra Iran

Michael Ledeen's most recent NRO column provides an alarming round-up of news and his own cogent analysis of the problem that will not go away: "Iran bubbles over." It's a must-read.

_________________
The Sun Is Rising In The West!Soon It Will Shine on All of Iran!
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Spenta



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:39 pm    Post subject: Bad Reply with quote

Dear Rasker

I understand that you think very highly of Bush, which is fine. But honestly, you had me falling off my chair with this gem of a line:

Quote:
I think that Bush, by his crafty display of passivity toward the regime, might actually have lulled them into overplaying their hand.

LOL

But more seriously

Bush has never really had an Iran policy he could commit to. He had an Iraq policy and that was his only policy, which he has totally screwed up. But I will let this rest, since these debates distract from the Iran Biz at hand, and obviously we disagree.


Bottom line, the situation is bad. Very bad.
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Spenta



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now Here's Amir Taheri's excellent analysis:

Iran Walking Into a Trap?

September 24, 2005
Arab News
Amir Taheri

As the drumbeat of war gets louder in Tehran it is, perhaps, time to wonder whether President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadís new administration is not walking into a trap partly of its own making.

Over the past week or so Iranian officials at various levels have made a number of statements that could harm Iranís interests at a difficult time.

Many had hoped that Ahmadinejad would use the opportunity provided by his presence at the UN General Assembly in New York to offer a way out of the diplomatic impasse over Iranís alleged nuclear ambitions.

But that didnít happen.

Ahmadinejadís speeches and interviews represented an improvement over his predecessor Muhammad Khatami, a mulla, who amused UN audiences by trying to show off his knowledge of Hobbes and Hegel. Unlike Khatami, Ahmadinejad did not pretend to be what he is not, that is to say a liberal democrat. Instead, he spoke as a radical Islamist revolutionary representing a radical Islamist revolutionary regime.

Nevertheless, Ahmadinejad committed a mistake by making no distinction between rhetoric and real politics.

Before Ahmadinejad arrived in New York many in the UN saw Iran as a poor developing nation being bullied by big powers on spurious grounds. Ahmadinejad replaced that image with one of a cocky midsized power trying to punch above its weight regardless of the consequences.

That impression was subsequently strengthened by sermons in Tehran by the ďSupreme GuideĒ Ali Khamenehi.

Meanwhile, various officials have been acting as loose cannons.

Ali Larijani, the new secretary-general of the High Council of National Defense, has threatened that Iran might withdraw from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) rather than continue the diplomatic wrangle with it. (That threat, however, was withdrawn by Ghulamreza Aqazadeh, Ahmadinejadís assistant for nuclear affairs, hours later.)

Next it was the turn of Islamic Majlis Speaker Ghulam-Ali Haddad-Adel, to issue a threat that Iran might withdraw from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). (Since Ahmadinejad has not succeeded in appointing an oil minister it is not clear who speaks on the subject.)

That the administration was out of sync was further illustrated by Manuchehr Mottaki, the new foreign minister, who told European Union colleagues that Ahmadinejadís tough speech at the UN should be taken with a pinch of salt. A similar message was relayed by the Islamic Republicís ambassadors at the UN, and in London, Paris and Berlin.

Ahmadinejadís braggadocio has also inspired editorial writers in Tehran who, now that the radical faction is in control, are trying to renew their revolutionary credentials. One way of doing so is to call for the withdrawal of the Islamic Republic not only from the NPT and OPEC but also from the United Nations.

At the same time, mullas working for the government have seized Ahmadinejadís warlike language to heat up the situation further. In a speech in Qom last week, one such mulla, Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, claimed that it was Iranís mission to lead a global revolution and ďliberateĒ the world in the name of the ďHidden ImamĒ whose birthday was celebrated on Sept. 21.

To add to the confusion, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani has been touring the region at the head of a 30-man delegation that included two former foreign ministers, a former minister of intelligence and security, and several political mullas. Rafsanjani, who heads something called The Expediency Council, behaved as if he, and not Ahmadinejad, were the president of the Islamic Republic, and tried to engage his embarrassed hosts on issues outside the remit of his current job.

Rafsanjani is not alone in this game of make-believe.

Khatami, who also appears to have difficulty in getting used to the idea of Ahmadinejad as president, has spent the past few weeks touring the provinces to address small anti-Ahmadinejad crowds as if engaged in a presidential election campaign.

Part of this bizarre situation may be due to Ahmadinejadís inexperience in politics at national and international levels.

It is obvious that he has not yet mastered the details of such complicated dossiers as the nuclear program. Also, Ahmadinejad has little direct knowledge of the outside world and the workings of the global system. His only previous visit to the West was in 1989 when he spent a week in Vienna as part of an official team from Tehran negotiating with Kurdish dissidents in exile. (The episode ended in a shoot-out in which three Kurdish leaders were killed by a hit squad from Tehran. Ahmadinejad, apparently not informed about the plot, was injured.)

Ahmadinejadís lack of experience in international affairs is compounded by the fact that the Islamic Republicís media and foreign policy establishments are filled with members or at least sympathizers of the Rafsanjani-Khatami faction.

The Islamic Republicís diplomatic service has never been politically neutral, partly because few of its members are career diplomats. Politicians and mullas could become ambassadors, or even foreign minister, while ambassadors could resign their diplomatic positions to stand for election in local or national contests. A mulla who has served as ambassador could leave diplomacy to become Friday prayer leader in a province.

Ahmadinejad knows that the diplomatic service, together with the rest of the administration, is filled with foes who regard him as an intruder if not a usurper. But he would need time to place his own men in key positions.

By pushing Ahmadinejad, and with him the Islamic Republic, into a major international crisis, the defeated faction pursues a number of objectives.

First, a government preoccupied with a diplomatic crisis would have little time to act on Ahmadinejadís campaign promise of auditing the last 16 years to ď bring to book those who have robbed the nation and wrecked its economy.Ē

Secondly, the new administration could be weakened by a crisis that it manifestly cannot handle at this stage. That would give Ahmadinejadís opponents an opportunity for chipping away at his authority by raising the profile of the organs they still control. (As noted above Rafsanjani is already doing that through his so-called Expediency Council.)

Thirdly, a weakened administration would be unable to implement the reforms that Ahmadinejad has promised. These include a pledge to restore state control over the oil industry that has been transformed into a banquet table for some 40 private companies that, according to Ahmadinejad, have acted as ďrapacious vultures.Ē

Finally, Ahmadinejadís failure could ensure his factionís defeat in the parliamentary elections in two yearsí time, enabling the ďrapacious vulturesĒ to stage a comeback.

The negative impact of the war noises made in Tehran is already felt in the economic domain with a fall in the value of the rial, Iranís currency. This is all the more surprising because, thanks to record high oil prices, Iran is earning over $200 million a day in foreign exchange. Many business contracts have been frozen while even small companies and private citizens are transferring as much of their capital as they can to foreign banks and offshore funds.

A nationís foreign policy is a continuation of its domestic politics; and the Islamic Republic is no exception. While the Islamic Republicís foreign enemies wish to force it into isolation, Ahmadinejadís domestic foes are cheering him on his way into a diplomatic trap. Ahmadinejad seems to believe that he can take on the Western powers, led by the United States, in a limited conflict, and defeat them thus becoming a national hero and a pan-Islamic knight riding the steed of history in triumph. That is a juvenile illusion that could wreck Ahmadinejadís presidency before it finds its cruising speed.
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Spenta



Joined: 04 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And Shaheen Fatemi's interesting proposal:

A Sensible Way Out Of This Mess

September 24, 2005
Iran va Jahan
Shaheen Fatemi



The irresponsible policy of the IRI in respect to the nuclear issue has created a present and real threat to the territorial integrity and national interest of the Iranian people. Subsequent to the fraudulent election of last summer, Mahmood Ahmadi-Nejadís appearance at the UN was another catastrophic performance. Of course some people believe he did a great job representing the true nature of the anachronistic and archaic regime that has ruled Iran for the past quarter of the century.

But the fact remains that never in the history of the United Nations any so-called national leader has caused so much shame and embarrassment for his country. His total lack of understanding of the significance of the occasion was apparent from the instant that he began speaking. His entire speech was void of any significant policy statement. Instead, for the most part, it represented a second rate composition authored by a mediocre high school student.

What his speech lacked in elegance and wisdom was compensated for with vituperate denunciation of the United States, Israel and other Western countries. The most embarrassing moment came at the end when he pleaded and prayed for the Ďspeedy appearance of the 12th Imam who disappeared in 873 AD but is supposed to return as the Mahdi (messiah) and according to Ahmadi-Nejad, ďonly when he returns the world shall see real peace and justice.Ē Never before has anyone expounded such sectarian religious superstition from the podium of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Since the Islamic regime has manifestly failed in every basic responsibility associated with modern states, it strives to divert internal and external attention from this issue. The calculated strategy of IRI revolves around three main themes:


1. Creation of mass hysteria within the country by spreading the fear of imminent military attack by the United States. This is to create national chauvinism and xenophobia aimed at Americans, the Europeans and westerners in general.
2. Using religious superstition and mass indoctrination among the less educated masses of the urban poor in order to mobilize them against the middle class and the more educated elements of the population while exploiting mass hysteria for recruitment of suicidal volunteers.
3. Internationally by refusing reasonable proposal of the EU-3 and assuming an aggressive international posture, doing everything in its power to provoke diplomatic and military confrontation.


No democratically elected government bound by accountability to its constituents would dare assume such irresponsible postures jeopardizing national interest of the nation. Since the Iranian people within the country for decades have been denied all the basic and rudimentary safeguards of human rights, there is no way that the dissatisfied citizens of Iran can express their dissent.

Under such circumstances it is more than ever incumbent upon the Iranian democratic opposition living in the free world to set aside their possible ideological differences and express their profound opposition to the dangerous policies of the clerical regime in Tehran. It is in this connection that Dr. Hossein Bagherzadeh, a leading proponent and defender of human rights who lives in UK has taken a timely and courageous initiative by proposing the following text:

The concerns of the international community about the nuclear programs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the response by the Iranian regime to these concerns, have resulted in a tense and dangerous situation detrimental to the stability and peace in the Middle East and far beyond.

We as concerned Iranians of diverse political outlooks and tendencies wish to express our common positions on this vital international issue and plead for international understanding and backing of these positions.

1. We firmly believe in the inalienable right of the Iranian people to acquire and exploit nuclear technology and know-how for peaceful purposes.

2. We regard proliferation of nuclear weapons as a major threat to the world peace, and support the international Non-Proliferation Treaty and other peaceful international initiatives for controlling the spread of nuclear weapons.

3. We regard the nuclear weapons as weapons of mass destruction whose use are morally deplorable and legally indefensible, and support all international efforts for nuclear disarmament and the elimination of all nuclear weapons.

4. We condemn the clandestine nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the past, and call for and support full transparency of Iranís nuclear programs.

5. We are suspicious of the true aims of the Iranian regime in its nuclear program, and share the concerns of the international community in this regard. We are of the opinion that in the absence of a democratic system in Iran, and with the stated aims and intentions of the Islamic Republic, it is incapable of securing the trust of the international community in its nuclear program.

6. We are of the opinion that a halt in the enrichment program in Iran would not harm Iranís capability in the nuclear industry. Iran has a great pool of expertise and know-how in the nuclear industry both inside and outside Iran, and in a democratic Iran these can be called upon to work on a transparent nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

7. In the circumstances and in order to alleviate the international concerns about Iranís nuclear program, we support the call by the European Union led by Britain, France and Germany for a complete halt to the enrichment program in Iran in exchange for the supply of all necessary materials and technology for Iranís nuclear power program.

8. We strongly oppose any military intervention in Iran and regard such action as detrimental to democracy in Iran and peace and security in the region, and plead to the world community to channel all its resources through the Iranian democratic opposition for change in Iran rather than through the military means.

9. We firmly believe that democratic change in Iran is the best guarantor for solving the international impasse over Iranís nuclear program. We call on the international community to support the Iranian peopleís campaign for democracy and human rights as a means of solving the nuclear program issue.
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Oppenheimer



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Spenta,

Just because the US doesn't advertize its Iran policy, doesn't mean it has none....or simply defers it to others.

Think about it for a minute....would it be in the interests of "muscular Multilateralism" to do so?

Why give the IRI our thinking regarding the next moves in this chess game?

No I know it pretty well leaves the opposition in the dark somewhat, and generates a bit of criticism to do so, but when you consider that allowing Antar to make a bloody idiot of himself at the UN had the effect of gaining support among nations to bring the IAEA to the resolution reached yesterday...what Rasker is refering to is the effect of reverse psycology.

There is a strategy in place....has been for a number of years regarding Iran....Iraq is a part of it....essential to it in fact.

Serving to not only "bookend" the IRI with flegling democracies, but has through the IRI's actions in that theater of the war on terror, exposed their manipulations and intent.

Cause and effect. You said recently you "hoped I was right" , well...do some reading of the posts I've put on this board....and judge for yourself if I have been...consistantly.

Now what's coming up is going to be determined by how the IRI reacts, not just in word, but by the actions they take, or don't take. If they wish to make good on their threats, then the epoxy of nation's opinion will set hard against them. Even harder than it has.

Rasker gives me a bit of feedback on my "horrible puns" on occasion...(chuckle)...but when I said the IRI was caught "between Iraq and a hard place" I was more accurate than just the physical aspects...a double entandre.....illuminating strategy.

Regards,
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Oppenheimer



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Spenta,

This following bill is now before the Foreign Relations committee of the Senate. It has a large number of co-sponsors, after having been introduced in Feb 2005 and may be subject to ammendment, given the changes of situation in Iran for the worse.

This is just one aspect of the policy at work, and this is not the complete bill as introduced...but this is a section of it that is relevent to your concern voiced here.

-----------------


S.333
Iran Freedom and Support Act of 2005 (Introduced in Senate)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



TITLE III--DEMOCRACY IN IRAN

SEC. 301. FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The people of the United States have long demonstrated an interest in the well-being of the people of Iran, dating back to the 1830s.

(2) Famous Americans such as Howard Baskerville, Dr. Samuel Martin, Jane E. Doolittle, and Louis G. Dreyfus, Jr., made significant contributions to Iranian society by furthering the educational opportunities of the people of Iran and improving the opportunities of the less fortunate citizens of Iran.

(3) Iran and the United States were allies following World War II, and through the late 1970s Iran was as an important regional ally of the United States and a key bulwark against Soviet influence.

(4) In November 1979, following the arrival of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi in the United States, a mob of students and extremists seized the United States Embassy in Tehran, Iran, holding United States diplomatic personnel hostage until January 1981.

(5) Following the seizure of the United States Embassy, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the repressive revolutionary movement in Iran, expressed support for the actions of the students in taking American citizens hostage.

(6) Despite the presidential election of May 1997, an election in which an estimated 91 percent of the electorate participated, control of the internal and external affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran is still exercised by the courts in Iran and the Revolutionary Guards, Supreme Leader, and Council of Guardians of the Government of Iran.

(7) The election results of the May 1997 election and the high level of voter participation in that election demonstrate that the people of Iran favor economic and political reforms and greater interaction with the United States and the Western world in general.

(Cool Efforts by the United States to improve relations with Iran have been rebuffed by the Government of Iran.

(9) The Clinton Administration eased sanctions against Iran and promoted people-to-people exchanges, but the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Militant Clerics' Society, the Islamic Coalition Organization, and Supporters of the Party of God have all opposed efforts to open Iranian society to Western influences and have opposed efforts to change the dynamic of relations between the United States and Iran.

(10) For the past two decades, the Department of State has found Iran to be the leading sponsor of international terrorism in the world.

(11) In 1983, the Iran-sponsored Hezbollah terrorist organization conducted suicide terrorist operations against United States military and civilian personnel in Beirut, Lebanon, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Americans.

(12) The United States intelligence community and law enforcement personnel have linked Iran to attacks against American military personnel at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996 and to al Qaeda attacks against civilians in Saudi Arabia in 2004.

(13) According to the Department of State's Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001 report, `Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of Intelligence and Security continued to be involved in the planning and support of terrorist acts and supported a variety of groups that use terrorism to pursue their goals,' and `Iran continued to provide Lebanese Hizballah and the Palestinian rejectionist groups--notably HAMAS, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command]--with varying amounts of funding, safehaven, training and weapons'.

(14) Iran currently operates more than 10 radio and television stations broadcasting in Iraq that incite violent actions against United States and coalition personnel in Iraq.

(15) The current leaders of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hashemi Rafsanjani, have repeatedly called upon Muslims to kill Americans in Iraq and install a theocratic regime in Iraq.

(16) The Government of Iran has admitted pursuing a clandestine nuclear program, which the United States intelligence community believes may include a nuclear weapons program.

(17) The Government of Iran has failed to meet repeated pledges to arrest and extradite foreign terrorists in Iran.

(1Cool The United States Government believes that the Government of Iran supports terrorists and extremist religious leaders in Iraq with the clear intention of subverting coalition efforts to bring peace and democracy to Iraq.

(19) The Ministry of Defense of Iran confirmed in July 2003 that it had successfully conducted the final test of the Shahab-3 missile, giving Iran an operational intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of striking both Israel and United States troops throughout the Middle East and Afghanistan.

SEC. 302. DECLARATION OF CONGRESS REGARDING UNITED STATES POLICY TOWARD IRAN.

Congress declares that it should be the policy of the United States--

(1) to support efforts by the people of Iran to exercise self-determination over the form of government of their country; and

(2) to actively support a national referendum in Iran with oversight by international observers and monitors to certify the integrity and fairness of the referendum.

SEC. 303. ASSISTANCE TO SUPPORT DEMOCRACY IN IRAN.

(a) Authorization- The President is authorized, notwithstanding any other provision of law, to provide financial and political assistance (including the award of grants) to foreign and domestic individuals, organizations, and entities that support democracy and the promotion of democracy in Iran. Such assistance may include the award of grants to eligible independent pro-democracy radio and television broadcasting organizations that broadcast into Iran.

(b) Sense of Congress on Eligibility for Assistance- It is the sense of Congress that financial and political assistance under this section be provided to an individual, organization, or entity that--

(1) opposes the use of terrorism;

(2) advocates the adherence by Iran to nonproliferation regimes for nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and materiel;

(3) is dedicated to democratic values and supports the adoption of a democratic form of government in Iran;

(4) is dedicated to respect for human rights, including the fundamental equality of women;

(5) works to establish equality of opportunity for people; and

(6) supports freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of religion.

(c) Funding- The President may provide assistance under this section using amounts made available pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under subsection (g).

(d) Notification- Not later than 15 days before each obligation of assistance under this section, and in accordance with the procedures under section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2394-l), the President shall notify the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(e) Sense of Congress Regarding Coordination of Policy and Appointment- It is the sense of Congress that in order to ensure maximum coordination among Federal agencies, if the President provides the assistance under this section, the President should appoint an individual who shall--

(1) serve as special assistant to the President on matters relating to Iran; and

(2) coordinate among the appropriate directors of the National Security Council on issues regarding such matters.

(f) Sense of Congress Regarding Diplomatic Assistance- It is the sense of Congress that--

(1) support for a transition to democracy in Iran should be expressed by United States representatives and officials in all appropriate international fora;

(2) representatives of the Government of Iran should be denied access to all United States Government buildings;

(3) efforts to bring a halt to the nuclear weapons program of Iran, including steps to end the supply of nuclear components or fuel to Iran, should be intensified, with particular attention focused on the cooperation regarding such program--

(A) between the Government of Iran and the Government of the Russian Federation; and

(B) between the Government of Iran and individuals from China, Malaysia, and Pakistan, including the network of Dr. Abdul Qadeer (A. Q.) Khan; and

(4) officials and representatives of the United States should--

(A) strongly and unequivocally support indigenous efforts in Iran calling for free, transparent, and democratic elections; and

(B) draw international attention to violations by the Government of Iran of human rights, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press.

(g) Authorization of Appropriations- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Department of State $10,000,000 to carry out activities under this section.

SEC. 304. REPORTING REQUIREMENT REGARDING DESIGNATION OF DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION ORGANIZATIONS.

Not later than 15 days before designating a democratic opposition organization as eligible to receive assistance under section 302, the President shall notify the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives of the proposed designation. The notification may be in classified form.
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Scooter



Joined: 29 Jan 2004
Posts: 81
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Oppenheimer,

This bill is probably dead in the water. Even tho it has a high number of co-sponsors, if nothing has moved on it in 8 months, its probably a sign that its stalled. This is a hardly a sign of policy at work. I know these things move slow, but I wouldn't hold this up as a shining example of policy movement.

That being said, the House version has cleared the mideast subcommittee to get a vote from the full committee.

-Al


[quote="Oppenheimer"]Dear Spenta,

This following bill is now before the Foreign Relations committee of the Senate. It has a large number of co-sponsors, after having been introduced in Feb 2005 and may be subject to ammendment, given the changes of situation in Iran for the worse.

This is just one aspect of the policy at work, and this is not the complete bill as introduced...but this is a section of it that is relevent to your concern voiced here.

-----------------
[/quote="Oppenheimer] Shocked Shocked
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Oppenheimer



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 1166
Location: SantaFe, New Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Scooter,

As you probably know, there's been a heck of a lot of nominations to deal with, two supreme court justice vacancies, the intelligence reform bill, and a host of things both domestic and foreign that have placed a pretty large workload on the Senate, and House...add two hurricanes to that...and the issues involved that Congress is involved in....

I don't think it's "dead in the water" as you suggest...and it wasn't "movement" that I was trying to point to, but the general level of support.

In any case, it is the President that determines foreign policy, in consultation with Congress, as they hold the purse-strings of government.

He'll be the one signing it into law, once it's voted on....and I'm pretty certain it will pass.
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Rasker



Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Posts: 1455
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I've read is that Bush has asked that the bill be put on hold in order not to conflict with the Euro 3 inititiative, but the bill can be passed and on his desk within a very few days from whenver he gives the go ahead.

Bush and Condi are playing for keeps on this one, they are not showboating or making empty gestures. I'm hoping and assuming that things are being done in the background that might have a long lead time in case "assisted regime change" comes to the top of the options list.
_________________
The Sun Is Rising In The West!Soon It Will Shine on All of Iran!
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Oppenheimer



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 1166
Location: SantaFe, New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been thinking that's the case Rasker, and why the US has given the EU3 the lead...why? Because consensus is needed in that "assisted" option...doesn't serve to work at cross purposes if the EU is trading with terrorists, and they have to come to that understanding for themselves, in an experiential way.

2 years on in the negotiations has pretty well convinced the EU that the US has been dead on correct about the regime for years now....and US work with Russia and China has given them a lot of food for thought to chew on....it's an interdependant world, what effects us, affects them.

And so, today, it is not Iran vs. the US. It is Iran vs the world.

I think back a year ago with the vast difference between EU position and the US position....IRI being able to drive a wedge....making the US look like the bad cop....well that's all changed....now it's a matter of how folks that are now in concurrance are going to multilaterlly deal with the threat the IRI poses to all.

What are the options? diplomatic pressure is an ethical necessity, as war is a last option...but "assisted regime change" if you are meaning the support for the opposition necessary to obtain that goal....is a logical next step if the IRI remains intractible, or makes good on its threats. Sec council action w/ sanctions by the year's end is almost a given, unless the IRI does an about-face in its posturing. Not likely, in my opinion...given the idiots in charge.

EU doesn't need UN resolution to apply sanction economicly, even before the next IAEA meeting, if it deems necessary.

What was I saying in one of my recent posts?....there was going to be a lot of pissed of preachers .....(chuckle)....well, you ain't seen nothin' yet!
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