Recently in Iran Category

A debate took place at the Cambridge Union in Britain on Iran or War. Douglas Murray spoke for proposition that appeasement means war with a nuclear Iran. A nuclear Iran should not be. He recounts the shameful past of Europe standing aside when the very existence of Israel was threatened. Powerful.




Caroline Glick brings us up to date on the citizen uprisings in Iran, the fear of a nuclear Iran in the Arab Gulf states and how Israel is girding for war.


The new Middle East axis of evil -- Iran/Turkey/Syria -- is ganging up on Israel. Having turned world opinion against Israel because it is being made to defend itself with physical force against would-be hostile invaders, the troika apparently believe the time to strike Israel has arrived. After several wars against Israel have resulted in ignominious defeat, these followers of Mohammed feel they are now ready to do what Mohammed says they should do -- kill all the Jews.

King Abdullah of Jordan predicts there will be war this summer. Summer begins this Monday.

NATO member Turkey going to war with Israel? The American people will stand with Israel, but who can count on Obama, who's been romancing his Muslim brethren since he entered the White House? Is he thinking how he can be a hero to his mentor for 20 years Rev. Jeremiah Wright if he sides with Turkey and Syria and, oh yes, Iran?

Obama is doing nothing about the greatest threat facing the Middle East and the United States -- Iran's nuclear weapons development. Iran already has the missiles. How soon will it have the nuclear warhead? Iran's Ahmadinejad has said Iran will wipe Israel off the map. Israel is right to consider Iran a threat to its very existence. One nuclear bomb could eliminate the country. The certaintly of a nuclear counterstrike might deter most, but fanatic Muslims seeking martyrdom aren't among them.

However, with Turkey alongside Iran, Syria ready to invade the Golan Heights and already supplying Hezbollah with long range missiles, and Hamas attacking from Gaza, perhaps no nuclear bomb is needed.

Israel can be isolated and alone if no word issues from the White House.

If the war breaks out, will Jordan and Egypt observe their peace agreements with Israel?

Remember, there is no concept of right and wrong in Islam. The model of Mohammed is the guide for every Muslim:

What would Mohammed do?

That's easy, since Mohammed did it: He signed a treaty, using the time of peace to build up his forces and when he was ready he broke the treaty and attacked.

So should Israel attack Iran's nuclear facilities now before its enemies get an equalizing nuclear capability and use its nuclear advantage to hold off Turkey and Syria (and Egypt and Jordan) if not Iran?

Caroline Glick urgently eyes the "approaching storm."

The perfidy of the Turks succeeded. Israel was condemned for defending itself against terrorists by the UN, the EU and all Muslim countries. Obama even supported a UN investigation, which will yield the usual anti-Israeli result. They could write the report before the "investigation."

How can you make the people of the world understand how the anit-Israeli forces in the world led by the media are feeding information upside down, inside out? Parody is one way and some Israelis, led by the brilliant Caroline Glick, quickly prepared the video below, which had been seen by more than three million people before YouTube took it down because of a bogus copyright violation protest, probably from a Muslim sympathizer. Have a few laughs as you appreciate the truth that's being conveyed.

Congresssional Republicans and Democrats are showing strong support for Israel with visits to Israel this month. In stark contrast, the Obama administration is signalling it can "live with" a nuclear Iran despite the threat it poses to Israel, Arab states in the region and the world oil supply.

Obama has stacked his foreign policy clique with Arabists and long-time haters of Israel --Middle East "realists," they call themselves. Israel, they say, is a burden, not an asset and it should be left to fend for itself.

Caroline Glick recognizes the reality of Obama's preference for Muslims and the folly of his appeasement policies towards Iran, Syria, Russia and North Korea. It is up to Israel to defend itself from the existential threat that a nuclear Iran presents. With predictions from all sides converging that Iran is less than a year away from a nuclear war head for its existing long range missiles, the time for real "realism" has arrived, the time for talk has passed. With the anti-Israel stance of the Obama White House, Israel must go it alone without U.S. aid, cooperation or "permission." The priority must be to protect the people of Israel.

What will be achieved by a successful Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities?

[A] successful Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear installations will demonstrate to real rather than fake realists that a strong Israel is indispensable to regional stability and international security.


By freeing itself, the region and the world from the threat of a nuclear armed Iran, Israel will strike a blow not only at Iran's ability to wipe it off the map, but at the threefold contentions of the false realists.

An Israeli strike would prevent a regional nuclear arms race by freeing Arab states of the need to develop their own nuclear arsenals and so prove that a strong Israel enhances regional stability.

An Israeli strike will rebuild Israel's eroded deterrent posture and put paid to the notion that Israel is no longer a military power to be reckoned with.

And the destruction of Iran's nuclear capacity will weaken its military posture throughout the region and so weaken its terror proxies from Iraq to Lebanon to Gaza to Afghanistan.

The long history of U.S. support for Israel begun by President Harry S Truman will not end with the Obama administration. Congressional and public support for Israel in America remains strong and will survive this Obama betrayal.

Read Caroline Glick's Column One: Israel and the 'realists'


Where is the evidence that Obama and his cowardly cohorts have decided that the "unacceptable" fact of an Iranian nuclear weapon is now "acceptable"?


As Michael Ledeen reminded us, what Churchill said to Chamberlain can now be said to Obama: "You chose dishonor, you will have war."

Anne Bayefsky details the evidence that Obama doesn't have the courage to defend the American people when the chips are down.

Waiting to See
Obama has stopped worrying and learned to accept the Iranian bomb.

By Anne Bayefsky
National Review Online
August 3, 2009

Pres. Barack Obama has decided to let Iran acquire nuclear arms. Unless Israel acts in self-defense against the president's wishes, the world's most dangerous regime will command the world's most dangerous weapon.

Notwithstanding the White House's misinformation campaign to the contrary, the evidence of the president's agenda is incontrovertible.

Number one. Obama knows that the U.N. will not prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb. In June 2003 the International Atomic Energy Agency first reported that Iran was breaching its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Six years and five minimalist Security Council resolutions later, the adoption of serious sanctions by the council remains a non-starter. Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said in early July that more sanctions would be "counter-productive." The Tehran Times reported on July 28 that the Iranian nuclear plant at Bushehr -- built by Russia's nuclear-power corporation and completed in March -- will be operational by the end of September. The latest development in burgeoning Chinese-Iranian ties was an Iranian July 13 announcement that China has agreed to invest $40 billion to increase Iran's gasoline-refining capacity -- a move that would hardly be an incentive to buy into new sanctions.



The BBC found the doctor who happend to be standing near Neda Agha-Soltan when she was shot in the chest by a Basji on a motorcycle as they were watching the demonstration. This is his story.

Iran doctor tells of Neda's death
BBC June 25, 2009

The doctor who tried to save an Iranian protester as she bled to death on a street in Tehran has told the BBC of her final moments.

Dr Arash Hejazi, who is studying at a university in the south of England, said he ran to Neda Agha-Soltan's aid after seeing she had been shot in the chest.

Despite his attempts to stop the bleeding she died in less than a minute, he said.

Video of Ms Soltan's death was posted on the internet and images of her have become a rallying point for Iranian opposition supporters around the world.

Dr Hejazi also told how passers-by then seized an armed Basij militia volunteer who appeared to admit shooting Ms Soltan.

Dr Hejazi said he had not slept for three nights following the incident, but he wanted to speak out so that her death was not in vain.

He doubted that he would be able to return to Iran after talking openly about Ms Soltan's killing.

"I was there with some friends because we had heard that there were some protests and we decided to go and take a look," he said.

"Anti-riot police were coming by motorcycles towards the crowd."

Dr Hejazi said he saw Ms Soltan, who he did not know, with an older man who he thought was her father but later on learned was her music teacher.

"Suddenly everything turned crazy. The police threw teargas and the motorcycles started rushing towards the crowd. We ran to an intersection and people were just standing. They didn't know what to do.

"We heard a gunshot. Neda was standing one metre away from me. I turned back and I saw blood gushing out of Neda's chest.

"She was in a shocked situation, just looking at her chest. The she lost her control.

"We ran to her and lay her on the ground. I saw the bullet wound just below the neck with blood gushing out.

"I have never seen such a thing because the bullet, it seemed to have blasted inside her chest, and later on, blood exiting from her mouth and nose.

"I had the impression that it had hit the lung as well. Her blood was draining out of her body and I was just putting pressure on the wound to try to stop the bleeding, which wasn't successful unfortunately, and she died in less than one minute."

Dr Hejazi said he first thought the gunshot had come from a rooftop.

But later he saw protesters grab an armed man on a motorcycle.

"People shouted 'we got him, we got him'. They disarmed him and took out his identity card which showed he was a Basij member. People were furious and he was shouting, 'I didn't want to kill her'.

"People didn't know what do to do with him so they let him go. But they took his identity card. There are people there who know who he is. Some people were also taking photos of him."

Dr Hejazi said he knew he was putting himself in jeopardy by talking about what happened.

"It was a tough decision to make to come out and talk about it but she died for a cause. She was fighting for basic rights... I don't want her blood to have been shed in vain."

He added: "She died on the streets to say something."

Dr Hejazi said he did not believe he could now return to Iran.

"They are going to denounce what I am saying. They are going to put so many things on me. I have never been in politics. I am jeopardising my situation because of the innocent look in her (Neda's) eyes."

The Middle East's foremost political analyst Caroline Glick exposes the abdication of the American media from its role of democracy's watchdog and the dangerous effects it is having on the safety of America and the world.

OUR WORLD today is complex and fraught with dangers. Some of these dangers are new, and some are old. All require serious discussion.

In free societies, the media's primary responsibilities are to report current events to the public, place those events into an historical context to enable the public to understand how and why they occurred, and to present the public with the options for going forward. It is due to the media's historic role in maintaining and cultivating an informed discussion and debate about current affairs that they became known as democracy's watchdog. When media organs fail to fulfill their basic responsibilities, they degenerate quickly into democracy's undertaker. For an uninformed public is incapable of making the sorts of decisions required of free citizens.

Obama and his media flacks would have us believe that by speaking of American values and by distinguishing friend from foe, former president George W. Bush raised the hackles of the world against America. Perhaps there is some truth to this assertion. Perhaps there isn't.

What they fail to consider is that by genuflecting to tyrants, Obama has made the US an international laughingstock. Far from sharing their adulation of Obama and his cool demeanor, most of the nations of the world believe that the US has abandoned its leadership role. And unlike the US media, they realize that America has no understudy.

Her sober analysis is worth reading in full.

The Obama effect

Jun. 22, 2009

"Could there be something to all the talk of an Obama effect, after all? A stealth effect, perhaps?"

So asked Helene Cooper, the New York Times' diplomatic correspondent in a news analysis of the massive anti-regime protests in Iran published in Sunday's Times.

It took US President Barack Obama eight days to issue a clear statement of support for the millions of pro-freedom demonstrators throughout Iran risking their lives to oppose the tyranny of the mullahs. And after eight days of vacillating and hedging his bets and so effectively supporting Iranian dictator Ali Khamenei against the multitudes rallying in the streets, Obama's much awaited statement was not particularly forceful.

He offered no American support of any kind for the protesters. Indeed, it is hard to say that in making his statement, the American president was speaking primarily as an American.

He warned the likes of Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose goons are currently under orders to beat, arrest and murder protesters, that "the world is watching... If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion."

According to several prominent Western bloggers with direct ties to the protesters, Obama's statement left the Iranians underwhelmed and angry.

But as Cooper sees it, the protesters owe their ability to oppose the regime that just stole their votes and has trampled their basic human rights for 30 years to Obama and the so-called "Obama effect." Offering no evidence for her thesis, and ignoring a public record filled with evidence to the contrary, Cooper claims that it is due to Obama's willingness to accept the legitimacy of Iran's clerical tyranny that the protesters feel emboldened to oppose their regime. If it hadn't been for Obama, and his embrace of appeasement as his central guiding principle for contending with the likes of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, as far as Cooper is concerned, the people on the streets would never have come out to protest.

By this thinking, America is so despised by the Iranians that the only way they will make a move against their regime is if they believe that America is allied with their regime. So by this line of reasoning, the only way the US can lead is by negative example - which the world in its wisdom will reject.

While Cooper's analysis gives no evidence that Obama's policies toward the ayatollahs had any impact on the tumultuous events now sweeping through Iran, it does make clear that the so-called Obama effect is a real phenomenon. It just isn't the phenomenon she claims it is.

THE REAL OBAMA effect on world affairs relates to the US media's unprecedented willingness to abandon the basic responsibilities of a free press in favor of acting as propagandists for the president. From Cooper - who pretends that Obama's unreciprocated open hand to the mullahs is what empowered the protesters - to Newsweek editor Evan Thomas who referred to Obama earlier this month as a "sort of God," without a hint of irony, the US media have mobilized to serve the needs of the president.

It is hard to think of an example in US history in which the media organs of the world's most important democracy so openly sacrificed the most basic responsibilities of news gatherers to act as shills for the chief executive. Franklin Delano Roosevelt enjoyed adoring media attention, but he also faced media pressures that compelled him to take actions he did not favor. The same was the case with John F. Kennedy.

Today the mainstream US media exert no such pressures on Obama. Earlier this month NBC's nightly news anchorman Brian Williams bowed to Obama when he bid him good night at the White House.

On Wednesday ABC News will devote an entire day of programming to advancing Obama's controversial plan to nationalize health care. Its two prime time news shows will be broadcast from White House. Good Morning America will feature an interview with Obama, and ABC's other three flagship shows will dedicate special programming to his health care reform program.

On the other hand, ABC has refused Republican requests for a right of reply to Obama's positions. The network has also refused to sell commercial advertising time to Republicans and other Obama opponents to offer their dissenting opinions to his plans.

This media behavior has been noted by the likes of Fox News and the handful of other US news outlets that are not in the tank for Obama. But the repercussions of the Obama effect on US politics and world affairs have been largely ignored.

THE MOST IMPORTANT repercussion of the US media's propagandistic reporting is that the American public is denied the ability to understand events as they unfold. Take for instance The New York Times' write-up of Khamenei's sermon this past Friday in which he effectively declared war on the protesters. As Russell Berman pointed out in the Telos blog on Saturday, the Times' write-up was misleadingly selective.

The Times did not mention that Khamenei ascribed world events to a Zionist conspiracy which he believes controls the US. It similarly failed to mention his long rant against the US for the FBI's 1993 raid on David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

Had the Times - and other major media outlets - properly reported Khamenei's speech, they would have made clear to their readers that he is not a rational thinker. His view of world events is deeply distorted by his hatreds and prejudices and paranoia.

But then, if Times readers were permitted to know just how demented Khamenei's views of the world are, they might come to the conclusion that Obama's intense desire to sit down with him, and his constant pandering to Iran's "supreme leader" are ill-advised and counterproductive. They might come to the conclusion that it is impossible to achieve a meeting of the minds with a man who calls Americans "morons" and leads his subordinate government officials in chants of "Death to America," "Death to Britain" and "Death to Israel."

And if they came to these conclusions, how could Obama be expected to affect anything?

Sunday, Cooper argued that Obama has changed the course of history in Iran simply by being the US president. In her words, unnamed Obama supporters claim that "the mere election of Barack Obama in the United States had galvanized reformers in Iran to demand change."

And Obama's power as president to change the world is not limited to Iran. As far as his media servants are concerned, his "mere election" is responsible for everything positive that has occurred in the US and throughout the world since last November.

TAKE HIZBULLAH'S defeat in the Lebanese parliamentary elections two weeks ago. As far as the US media are concerned, it was Obama's speech to the Muslim world on June 4 that emboldened the Lebanese to back the anti-Syrian March 14 slate of candidates. Never mind that his speech - which refused to condemn Iran for its support for terrorism and its nuclear weapons program - actually strengthened Hizbullah's position by demonstrating that the US would take no action against its Iranian masters. As far as the US media were concerned, Obama won the election for Hizbullah's pro-Western rivals.

Yet this is not true. According to actual electoral data, what swung the balance towards Saad Hariri's March 14 camp was Hizbullah-allied Christian leader Michel Aoun's failure to convince Lebanon's Christian minority to acquiesce to Hizbullah's takeover of the country. And Lebanese Christian voters did not reject Hizbullah because Obama is President of the United States. They rejected Hizbullah because the Maronite Christian Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir warned them on the eve of the election, "We must be alert to the schemes being plotted for us and thwart the intense efforts which, if they succeed, will change the face of our country."

WHILE OBAMA'S supporters in the US media are certain that Obama's "mere election" is responsible for every positive development on the world scene, they are equally certain that he bears no responsibility for the negative developments that have happened so far on his watch.

For instance, the fact that North Korea chose to escalate its nuclear brinksmanship shortly after Obama took office with a promise of appeasing Pyongyang is considered irrelevant. The fact that he ordered deep cuts in the US missile defense budget as North Korea tested a long-range missile and a nuclear bomb, and that he has maintained these cuts despite North Korea's announced plan to launch a missile against the US on July 4 has gone largely unreported.

Furthermore, the US media were quick to celebrate the UN Security Council's recent resolution against North Korea which calls for inspections of suspicious North Korean ships travelling in international waters as a great Obama achievement. But they failed to inform the public that the resolution has no enforcement mechanism. Consequently, today the USS John McCain, which is tracking a North Korean ship suspected of carrying ballistic missiles, lacks the authority to interdict it and inspect the cargo.

OUR WORLD today is complex and fraught with dangers. Some of these dangers are new, and some are old. All require serious discussion.

In free societies, the media's primary responsibilities are to report current events to the public, place those events into an historical context to enable the public to understand how and why they occurred, and to present the public with the options for going forward. It is due to the media's historic role in maintaining and cultivating an informed discussion and debate about current affairs that they became known as democracy's watchdog. When media organs fail to fulfill their basic responsibilities, they degenerate quickly into democracy's undertaker. For an uninformed public is incapable of making the sorts of decisions required of free citizens.

Obama and his media flacks would have us believe that by speaking of American values and by distinguishing friend from foe, former president George W. Bush raised the hackles of the world against America. Perhaps there is some truth to this assertion. Perhaps there isn't.

What they fail to consider is that by genuflecting to tyrants, Obama has made the US an international laughingstock. Far from sharing their adulation of Obama and his cool demeanor, most of the nations of the world believe that the US has abandoned its leadership role. And unlike the US media, they realize that America has no understudy.

Unfortunately, unless the Obama effect wears off soon, by the time the American people become aware of this fact it may be too late to make a difference.

Eyewitness accounts of the Iranian uprising by journallists are rare, since most Western reporters were ordered out of the country. John Lyons, an Australian, was there to report on the protests of Saturday, June 20. HIs report was filed today in The Australian (hence the date of June 22 vs. June 21):

Iran regime ready to fight its own people

John Lyons in Tehran | June 22, 2009

The Australian

I WATCHED a regime prepare for war yesterday -- against its own people.
The show of force the Iranian government brought on to the streets and squares of Tehran was extraordinary.

For several hours in and around the battleground -- Englelab Street, Englelab Square and Azadi Square -- I watched the regime bring in a force that would crush almost any uprising. At one point, about 20 vans full of riot police went past in a convoy; riot police stood on almost every corner, sometimes spaced only 2m apart; the motorcycle police were there; snipers were on rooftops; soldiers sat on the mounds around Azadi Square, sitting under trees to get relief from the sun; and the Basij militiamen were out in force, wearing plain clothes but carrying their trademark batons.

And the security forces brought out all their weapons -- pistols, rifles, machineguns, teargas, everything.

State media said yesterday 13 people were killed and 100 wounded as the protest stretched from late Saturday to early yesterday Australian time. This brought to 20 the official death toll for a week of unrest since the June 12 presidential elections.
State-run television reported that a suicide bombing at the shrine of the leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ruhollah Khomeini, killed at least two people and wounded eight.

The bloody battles with police on the streets of Tehran on Saturday came a day after Khomeini's replacement as Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned that further protests could lead to bloodshed.

The only safe place I could find to watch from was the Englelab Street bus -- the first-floor shop I had used as a safe house a week before in Englelab Square had its shutters down. Ominously, riot police were clearing everyone out of the shops. And the regime made it clear live ammunition was now part of the equation.

Even the buses don't feel completely safe, but they're better than nothing.

A bizarre daily ritual takes place. Thousands of people come out to demonstrate against the regime -- they're not just protesting about the rigged re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- and make their way to the venue of the rally. They carry green flags and ribbons, the colour of defeated reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, and toot their horns.

As if in some grim gladiatorial contest, the police and militia gather to meet them. The only question each day is whether the police and militia will attack.

This has become a strange version of a civil war in which only one side has arms. "We have the numbers, they have the weapons," one protester told me.

Saturday was different. On Friday, Ayatollah Khamenei said the protests must end and warned organisers they would be held responsible for the consequences. It was also different in that it was just for the determined and the brave; most people with children are unlikely to want to walk down a street against all the firepower of the nation.

Yesterday only tens of thousands turned up, not the hundreds of thousands of previous rallies or the million-plus of the Mousavi rally last Sunday.

As always, the lead-up to the clash was unnerving. Riot police waited until 4pm (9.30pm AEST), the start time for the rally. Some were so padded up with bullet-proof vests and helmets they looked like American footballers with batons. Sometimes you'd see a group of 10 or so listening to instructions. Likewise, the Basij militia could be seen talking to their commanders.

While one part of Englelab Square prepared for war, at the other end life went on. A fruit seller stood in the middle of the road trying to tempt traffic to stop; some kids were playing volleyball down a side lane; old people sat in a park while children played.

At about 2.30pm panic set in, and you could see people running to get on buses. This was not a place to stay.

Four o'clock came and the contest began. This time the regime seemed more strategic -- the police sealed off streets and intersections, quarantining them into dozens of small battle zones.

This meant those who were trapped had no chance of back-up from other demonstrators. It also meant the security forces could deal with smaller crowds and take their time.

The bus I was on couldn't get into Englelab Square, where bad things were happening. One man got on to the bus saying the police were going wild. One soldier ran from the scene; we could see smoke rising.

Our bus was diverted around Englelab Square and made its way to Azadi Square, the destination of the daily marches.

As our bus stopped at Azadi Square, I saw a man who had his face smashed; people stopped a car and asked the occupants to take him away, which they did.

We had to get off the bus to walk to another. Outside, with no protection, it felt like a scene from Dante's Inferno.

Fires were everywhere, with the stink of burning tyres. People ran in all directions.

Behind us we could see a battle between riot police and protesters. A large group of police suddenly began running into Azadi Square.

I told my companion we should jump on to one of the buses caught in the traffic jam, but they all had their doors shut.

We made our way across Azadi Square and got on another bus. It started as police began chasing people the way we were going -- for a few seconds a group was running alongside our bus.

We escaped, and they did too. But how long can this madness go on?


| 1 Comment

On Friday an Iranian woman wrote (in Farsi, translated) she was going out on Saturday to protest and mused about her life because she knew she could be killed.

Saturday night, she wrote again, this time about Neda Agha-Soltan (originally but mistakenly identified as Neda Soltani, an Iranian woman who is alive), just someone watching what was going on, who was murdered by a government sniper:

Yesterday I wrote a note, with the subject line "tomorrow is a great day perhaps tomorrow I'll be killed." I'm here to let you know I'm alive but my sister was killed...I'm here to tell you my sister died while in her father's hands...

I'm here to tell you my sister had big dreams...

I'm here to tell you my sister who died was a decent person... and like me yearned for a day when her hair would be swept by the wind... and like me read "Forough" [Forough Farrokhzad]... and longed to live free and equal... and she longed to hold her head up and announce, "I'm Iranian"... and she longed to one day fall in love to a man with a shaggy hair... and she longed for a daughter to braid her hair and sing lullaby by her crib...

my sister died from not having life... my sister died as injustice has no end... my sister died since she loved life too much... and my sister died since she lovingly cared for people . . . .

Whether this woman was in fact Neda' biological sister is not clear, but her identification with her is.

Some protest marching is continuing on Sunday, June 21. According to a Twitter entry, they are chanting "Dont be sacered, DO NOT BE SCARED, We're all together"

Twitter channels #iranelection and now #neda are accumulating posts at the rate of hundreds per minute. #Neda sprang up Saturday night in memory of the 16-year old girl Neda Soltani gunned down by a govenment sniper late Saturday afternoon, Tehran time.

Sunday morning reading on the Iran crisis:

Michael Ledeen, America's foremost expert on Iran, gets his hands on a copy of a letter addressed to President Obama from "the office of" Iranian presidential candidate Mousavi criticizing Obama for saying it did not matter who won the Iranian election.

It is a specially grave insult for those who are now fighting for democracy and freedom, and an unwarranted gift and even praise for Mr. Khamenei, whose security forces are now killing peaceful Iranians in the streets of every major city in the country.

Your statement misled the people of the world. It was no doubt inspired by your hope for dialogue with this regime, but you cannot possibly believe in promises from a regime that lies to its own people and then kills them when they demand the promises be kept.

Click here to read.

Victor Davis Hanson analyzes why Obama has been absent so long among the voices speaking out on the election travesty in Iran and its bloody aftermath and why he must speak now and say something like this:

"Hundreds of thousands of gallant Iranians are now engaged in a non-violent moral struggle against tyranny in Iran-one of the great examples of bravery in our times. All free peoples of the world watch their ordeal, and can only wish them success, while owing them a great deal of gratitude for risking their lives for the innate and shared notion of human freedom and dignity. We in the United States ask the government of Iran--as well as its military and security forces -- to recognize the universal appeal of freedom that flourishes among its own remarkable people, to stand down and renounce its serial use of violence and coercion-and to ensure a truly free election where the voices of all can be at last fully heard, so that Iran can once more properly reenter the family of law-biding nations".

. Click here to read.

Obama was (is?) going to rely solely on his persuasive rhetoric to turn Iran into a democracy and have it throw down its nuclear arms.

Will today's horrors make him think more might be necessary?

What planet is he living on?

New Heights in Not Meddling

At Newsmax, Ken Timmerman reports that President Obama has zeroed out funding in the 2010 budget for pro-democracy programs in Iran. As Ken tells it, the new administration is merely carrying to conclusion the undermining of the Bush-era initiative already achieved by -- surprise! -- the Bush State Department:

Newsmax has learned that the Obama administration also has zeroed out funding for pro-democracy programs inside Iran from the State Department budget for fiscal 2010, just as protests in Iran are ramping up.

Read it all . . . .

Iran's plain-clothed thugs the Basji shot this young woman to death on the streets of Tehran this afternoon, Saturday, June 20. Posted via Twitter.

Very graphic. NOT for children to view.

Murdering their own people.

If this doesn't bring the corrupt theocracy down, what will?

Ralph Peters warned such a thing might happen if America did not speak up for freedom:

If we see greater violence in Tehran, the blood of those freedom marchers will be on our president's hands.

As Charles Krauthammer asked:

And where is our president? Afraid of "meddling." Afraid to take sides between the head-breaking, women-shackling exporters of terror -- and the people in the street yearning to breathe free. This from a president who fancies himself the restorer of America's moral standing in the world.

May this young woman find peace.

UPDATE FROM TEHRAN: The victim shot was not even among the protesters, yet she was murdered anyway. Her name was Neda Neda Agha-Soltan (not Neda Soltani, as originally reported). She was 26 she worked for a travel agency in Tehran. She was just watching with her father and was shot randomly by a snipe firing into a crowd. In the video her father has on the blue and white striped shirt.

At 19:05 June 20th, TEHRAN TIME

Place: Karekar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st.

A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim's chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes.

The protests were going on about 1 kilometer away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gas used among them, towards Salehi St.

The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me.

Please let the world know.

Neda might well become the symbol of the revolution.

More about Neda from Twitter.

A Twitter report: NEDA's family were banned from having funeral and any Wake for her at Mosques.

Hardly a week goes by without Charles Krauthammer providing this nation with clear, well-articulated vision.

The shame many Americans feel about the President's silence on the Iran protests is felt by Krauthammer, too. Are we not the "beacon of democracy"? In Obama's eyes, which are apparently principally focused on the "Supreme Leader," apparently not.

And where is our president? Afraid of "meddling." Afraid to take sides between the head-breaking, women-shackling exporters of terror -- and the people in the street yearning to breathe free. This from a president who fancies himself the restorer of America's moral standing in the world.

Disheartening. Depressing. Shameful.

Hope And Change -- But Not For Iran

Washington Post
January 19, 2009

Millions of Iranians take to the streets to defy a theocratic dictatorship that, among its other finer qualities, is a self-declared enemy of America and the tolerance and liberties it represents. The demonstrators are fighting on their own, but they await just a word that America is on their side.

And what do they hear from the president of the United States? Silence. Then, worse. Three days in, the president makes clear his policy: continued "dialogue" with their clerical masters.

Dialogue with a regime that is breaking heads, shooting demonstrators, expelling journalists, arresting activists. Engagement with -- which inevitably confers legitimacy upon -- leaders elected in a process that begins as a sham (only four handpicked candidates permitted out of 476) and ends in overt rigging.

Then, after treating this popular revolution as an inconvenience to the real business of Obama-Khamenei negotiations, the president speaks favorably of "some initial reaction from the Supreme Leader that indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns about the election."

Where to begin? "Supreme Leader"? Note the abject solicitousness with which the American president confers this honorific on a clerical dictator who, even as his minions attack demonstrators, offers to examine some returns in some electoral districts -- a farcical fix that will do nothing to alter the fraudulence of the election.

Moreover, this incipient revolution is no longer about the election.

Obama totally misses the point. The election allowed the political space and provided the spark for the eruption of anti-regime fervor that has been simmering for years and awaiting its moment. But people aren't dying in the street because they want a recount of hanging chads in suburban Isfahan.

They want to bring down the tyrannical, misogynist, corrupt theocracy that has imposed itself with the very baton-wielding goons that today attack the demonstrators.

This started out about election fraud. But like all revolutions, it has far outgrown its origins. What's at stake now is the very legitimacy of this regime -- and the future of the entire Middle East.

This revolution will end either as a Tiananmen (a hot Tiananmen with massive and bloody repression or a cold Tiananmen with a finer mix of brutality and co-optation) or as a true revolution that brings down the Islamic Republic.

The latter is improbable but, for the first time in 30 years, not impossible. Imagine the repercussions. It would mark a decisive blow to Islamist radicalism, of which Iran today is not just standard-bearer and model, but financier and arms supplier. It would do to Islamism what the collapse of the Soviet Union did to communism -- leave it forever spent and discredited.

In the region, it would launch a second Arab spring. The first in 2005 -- the expulsion of Syria from Lebanon, first elections in Iraq and early liberalization in the Gulf states and Egypt -- was aborted by a fierce counterattack from the forces of repression and reaction, led and funded by Iran.

Now, with Hezbollah having lost elections in Lebanon and Iraq establishing institutions of a young democracy, the fall of the Islamist dictatorship in Iran would have an electric and contagious effect.

The exception -- Iraq and Lebanon -- becomes the rule. Democracy becomes the wave. Syria becomes isolated; Hezbollah and Hamas, patronless. The entire trajectory of the region is reversed.

All hangs in the balance. The Khamenei regime is deciding whether to do a Tiananmen. And what side is the Obama administration taking? None. Except for the desire that this "vigorous debate" (press secretary Robert Gibbs' disgraceful euphemism) over election "irregularities" not stand in the way of U.S.-Iranian engagement on nuclear weapons.

Even from the narrow perspective of the nuclear issue, the administration's geopolitical calculus is absurd. There is zero chance that any such talks will denuclearize Iran. On Monday, Ahmadinejad declared yet again that the nuclear "file is shut, forever."

The only hope for a resolution of the nuclear question is regime change, which (if the successor regime were as moderate as pre-Khomeini Iran) might either stop the program, or make it manageable and nonthreatening.

That's our fundamental interest. And our fundamental values demand that we stand with demonstrators opposing a regime that is the antithesis of all we believe.

And where is our president? Afraid of "meddling." Afraid to take sides between the head-breaking, women-shackling exporters of terror -- and the people in the street yearning to breathe free. This from a president who fancies himself the restorer of America's moral standing in the world.

Ralp Peters expresses his outrage at Obama's failure to stand with the protesting Iranians callling for freedom. His stinging rebuke warns that Obama's failure has consequences:

If we see greater violence in Tehran, the blood of those freedom marchers will be on our president's hands.

It's "treachery" to the cause of freedom.

June 18, 2009
New York Post
Ralph Peters

SILENCE is complicity. Our president's refusal to take a forthright moral stand on the side of the Iranian freedom marchers is read in Tehran as a blank check for the current regime.

The fundamentalist junta has begun arresting opposition figures, with regime mouthpieces raising the prospect of the death penalty. Inevitably, there are claims that dissidents have been "hoarding weapons and explosives."

Foreign media reps are under house arrest. Cellphone frequencies are jammed. Students are killed and the killings disavowed.

And our president is "troubled," but doesn't believe we should "meddle" in Iran's internal affairs. (Meddling in Israel's domestic affairs is just fine, though.)

We just turned our backs on freedom.


Of all our foreign-policy failures in my lifetime, our current shunning of those demanding free elections and expanded civil rights in Iran reminds me most of Hungary in 1956.

For years, we encouraged the Hungarians to rise up against oppression. When they did, we watched from the sidelines as Russian tanks drove over them.

For decades, Washington policymakers from both parties have prodded Iranians to throw off their shackles. Last Friday, millions of Iranians stood up. And we're standing down.

That isn't diplomacy. It's treachery.

Despite absurd claims that Obama's Islam-smooching Cairo speech triggered the calls for freedom in Tehran's streets, these politics are local. But if those partisan claims of the "Cairo Effect" were true, wouldn't our president be obliged to stand beside those he incited?

Too bad for the Iranians, but their outburst of popular anger toward Iran's oppressive government doesn't fit the administration's script -- which is written around negotiations with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

To Obama, his dogmatic commitment to negotiations is infinitely more important than a few million protesters chanting the Farsi equivalent of "We Shall Overcome."

This is madness. There is no chance -- zero, null, nada -- that negotiations with the junta of mullahs will lead to the termination (or even a serious interruption) of Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our president's faith in his powers of persuasion is beginning to look pathological. Is his program of negotiations with apocalypse-minded, woman-hating, Jew-killing fanatics so sacrosanct that he can't acknowledge human cries for freedom?

Is the Rev. Jeremiah Wright a better role model than Martin Luther King? It's a damned shame that our first minority president wasn't a veteran of our civil-rights struggle, rather than its privileged beneficiary.

An ugly pattern's emerging in our president's beliefs:

He's infallible. This is rich, given all the criticism of the Bush administration's unwillingness to admit mistakes. We now have a president with Jimmy Carter's naivete, Richard Nixon's distaste for laws, Lyndon Johnson's commitment to the wrong war, and Bill Clinton's moral fecklessness.

Democracy isn't important. Our president seems infected by yesteryear's Third-World-leftist view that dictatorships are essential to post-colonial development -- especially for Muslims.

Look where Obama has gone and who he supports: the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, his groveling speech in Egypt, his embrace of Hamas, his hands-off approach to the gory regime in Sudan -- and now his dismay at the protests in Iran.

Strict Islam is true Islam. This is bewildering, given Obama's childhood exposure to the tolerant Islam practiced in most of Indonesia. The defining remark of his presidency thus far was his Cairo demand for the right of Muslim women to wear Islamic dress in the West -- while remaining silent about their right to reject the hijab, burqa or chador in the Middle East.

History's a blank canvas -- except for America's sins. Of course, we've had presidents who presented the past in the colors they preferred -- but we've never had one who just made it all up.

Obama's ignorance of history is on naked display -- no sense of the brutality of Iran's Islamist regime, of the years of mass imprisonments, diabolical torture, prison rapes, wholesale executions and secret graves that made the shah's reign seem idyllic. Our president seems to regard the Iranian protesters as spoiled brats.

Facts? Who cares? In his Cairo sermon -- a speech that will live in infamy -- our president compared the plight of the Palestinians, the aggressors in 1948, with the Holocaust. He didn't mention the million Jews dispossessed and driven from Muslim lands since 1948, nor the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Christians from the West Bank.

Now our president's attempt to vote "present" yet again green-lights the Iranian regime's determination to face down the demonstrators -- and the mullahs understand it as such.
If we see greater violence in Tehran, the blood of those freedom marchers will be on our president's hands.

While the Iranian government has tried to shut down all communition in and out of Iran, Twitter still lives. To follow what Iranians and others are saying live, click on the link below.

Twitter comments are limited to 140 words.

As one Iranian said, "When you're getting shot at, 140 words are a novel."



Millions are protesting what they beiieve is a fraudulent election in Iran. Green is the color of the main opponent to Ahmadinejad, Hossein Mousavi. The Guardian of London reports 12 students have died.

Check out these picture posted by Boston Globe online.

Twitter is doing an unbelievable job in handling posts coming in at more than one a second. #iranelection

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