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Monday, February 02, 2004

Ledeen: Iranian Appeasers and Dante's Inferno

Michael Ledeen at the National Review writes about the proposed trip to Iran by three US lawmakers, and wants to put a "Reserved" sign for them on the seventh level of Dante's Inferno:

Sorry to say, I haven't reread Dante's "Inferno" for some years, but I still remember his description of a very low and extremely unpleasant level of hell that houses traitors. Surely abject appeasers of evil qualify for the same treatment, and we must note grimly that three prime candidates have recently come forward to swell the ranks of that overheated realm: Senator Joe Biden of Delaware (D.), Senator Arlen Specter (R.), of Pennsylvania, and Congressman Bob Ney of Nebraska (R.).

All have undertaken to "improve relations" between the United States and the theocratic fascist regime of Iran. Specter announced over the weekend that congressional staffers would soon go to Tehran in the first stage of the appeasement program. After supping in Washington with the Iranian ambassador to the U.N. at a dinner helpfully facilitated by the State Department, Specter proclaimed that Iran had "helped us in the
fight against al Qaeda and in the Afghanistan situation. I don't think we have given them sufficient credit. They deserve credit." And since "They are showing some signs of wanting to improve relations. Now is a
good time."

Ledeen goes on to detail several areas in which the Iranian government still oppresses its own people, most disgustingly in its traffic of young Iranian girls as sexual slaves. Ledeen also notes that the Iranian government has hardly been conciliatory in its speech and attitude towards the US, and it seems difficult to understand why Specter, Biden, and Ney think that this is the propitious moment for gestures of goodwill. Even looking past all of the terrorist support that Ledeen reports in detail, the mullahs just disqualified almost all of the reformers running in the next election. Does that sound like a "good time" to open a dialogue with the Governing Council?

Ledeen, in this case, is absolutely correct. Not only are such gestures futile with current Iranian leadership, they are counterproductive to the organic agents of democratic change in Iran. The reform movement has gathered great steam recently, assisted by the hardliners' lockout of reformers from the election. Just when this populist movement seems to be reaching critical mass, the three Senators propose to throw cold water on it by tacitly endorsing the regime. And for what? Does Iran propose to turn over al-Qaeda and Hezb' Allah terrorists to us, or even to stop sheltering and supporting them? No. Instead, the mullahs continue to lecture the US about having the proper attitude towards Iran before any normalization of relations can occur. In other words, when we learn our place as dhimmis, then they'll deign to talk to us.

Specter, Biden, and Ney should halt all plans for traveling to Iran until the Iranians can send true representatives of the people to meet with an American delegation. Until then, we should stop trying to act friendly to the people who fund terrorist actions against us. (via Blog Iran)

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Thursday, January 22, 2004

Iran: Political Violence Begins

The political clash between the rigid, ultraconservative mullahs of the Guardian Council and Iranian reformers escalated into violence today, thanks to Hezb' Allah and their allies:

A 200-strong gang of political radicals attacked a meeting of Iranian reformists yesterday in the first outbreak of serious violence since moderates were barred from forthcoming elections. Members of the radical Islamic Hezbollah movement burst into a hall in Hamedan, western Iran. They disrupted a meeting called to discuss the disqualification of 3,605 predominantly reformist candidates from next month's general elections.

The violence erupted after a speaker accused the Guardian Council, the unelected clerical body that vetoed the candidates, of disregarding an order by the supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for the disqualifications to be reviewed. "Some 200 people attacked the podium, broke the microphone and beat people," said one witness.

The aggression of Hezb' Allah reveals true nature of the Iranian regime. The Guardian Council must feel their grip on power threatened, and just as the Nazis did in the 1930s, they sent terrorists to intimidate and coerce their citizens into knuckling under. It proves that the GC has no intellectual basis for their arbitrary decision to disqualify thousands of candidates -- indeed, no intellectual basis for their position in Iranian society. Resorting to thuggery absolutely demonstrates their tyrannous position over Iranian society and should put to lie any notion of free Iranian democracy under their current system.

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Sunday, January 18, 2004

Iran: Tipping Point Coming Soon?

The political crisis facing the Iranian government deepened today as the clerics in the Guardian Council refused to back down from disqualifying thousands of reformist candidates:

Iran's hard-line Guardian Council on Sunday defended its disqualification of prospective candidates for next month's parliamentary elections, further deepening a political crisis. The Guardian Council, an unelected body controlled by hard-liners, has disqualified more than a third of the 8,200 people who applied to run in the Feb. 20 elections. ...

The comments dashed hopes of a breakthrough after Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the Guardian Council on Wednesday to reconsider the disqualifications and laid down criteria that appeared to be easier to meet.

The unelected Iranian mullahs who sit on the Guardian Council for life apparently feel that any attempt at compromise undermines their claim to protect the Islamic nature of Iranian government as envisioned by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the 1979 overthrow of the Shah. While Iran functions as a republic with democratic processes, all potential candidates for office must pass muster with the mullahs -- and as one might expect, they prefer candidates that support their hard-line take on Iranian society and government.

For the past few weeks, reformists in Iran's legislature have protested the disqualification of thousands of fellow reformists; now that protest has turned into a sit-in with dawn-to-dusk fasts. Despite the entreaties of "supreme leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to compromise, the Council has held fast. Their obstinacy threatens to blow the entire election process into a civil meltdown:

On Saturday, reformist Deputy Interior Minister Morteza Moballegh, who is Iran's chief of elections, warned he would not allow next month's legislative elections to proceed unless hard-liners backed down.

As has been reported frequently, the Guardian Council has become increasingly politically isolated from the people they rule. The Islamic Revolution, accomplished by the mullahs in defiance of the Shah, gave power to the oppressed (or so they thought) and allowed Iranians to be governed by their religion instead of a Western-leaning autocrat. However, twenty years of even more oppressive rule under the mullahs have disenchanted the Iranians as a people, and their patience is wearing thin for these capricious and provocative actions from the Council. If the Council delays much further in compromise, they may find that events will overtake them -- and they'd better hope that whoever rises to command at that point is more amenable to compromise than they've been.

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Sunday, November 30, 2003

Obituary of a Madman

As part of my new commitment to Blog-Iran, I was directed to this notable obituary of a key figure in the 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution -- and an indication of the tender mercy we can expect from Islamofascists if they are allowed to expand their power:

After the establishment in 1979 of a fundamentalist Islamic republic in Iran under the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Iranian army occupied three Kurdish-Iranian towns for supporting the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, condemned by Khomeini as "un- Islamic". The hardline cleric Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali set up his Islamic revolutionary court to weed out "counter-revolutionaries" in the town of Saghez.

Learning that a Kurdish defendant who was born in Orumiyeh had lost a hand to a grenade explosion during the Tehran uprising, Khalkhali asked what he was doing in Saghez.

"I am a guest at a social get- together, your honour," replied the defendant.

"That fits together very well," Khalkhali said candidly, "Born in Orumiyeh, participated in the Tehran uprising, executed in Saghez. Kill him! Next!"

The next defendant was charged with being the son of a usurer.

"What does my father's crime have to do with me?" protested the defendant.

"Usury is haram - sin," thundered Khalkhali, "and so is the seed of usury. Kill him! Next."

Twenty-four other Kurds were tried that day by Khalkhali. All were executed.

Khalkhali should be a name we recognize, according to the Independent:

Television footage taken in 1980 showed Khalkhali prodding the burnt corpses of US soldiers killed in an unsuccessful mission to rescue American hostages held at the US embassy in Tehran.

Khalkhali died unrepentant on November 27th:

Twenty years on, he remained unrepentant. "I would do exactly the same again," he said, when reminded how defendants had been given little chance to speak or get a lawyer to challenge evidence, if any were presented. "If they were guilty, they will go to hell and if they were innocent, they will go to heaven."

Bear in mind that the people of Iran have been under the thumb of people such as Khalkhali for twenty-four years. People such as Khalkhali have been exporting Islamofascism for all that time, notably but not exclusively through Hezb' Allah, and now are reportedly sheltering al-Qaeda leaders. After Iraq is secure, Iran should be our next focus for change -- not military action, but through diplomatic, economic, and covert means, we need to defeat this threat to the region and the world.

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