Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Who Cares About Iran?

Even if elections in Iran weren’t a farce it’s hard to see how the Iranian people could make an intelligent choice about anything without a free press, and the Mullahs know this. They continue their war on journalist with the 18 month prison sentence given to Mohammad Sedigh Kabovand, editor of a Kurdish newsletter. His crime? Upsetting public opinion. According to Adnkronos International 101 newspapers and magazines have been closed by the Mullahs in the last three years. Editors, journalist, and bloggers continue to be arrested, beaten, and killed in order to stifle any hint of dissent from the masses.

Why should we care? GOP Vixen Bridget Johnson notes in NRO that we obviously don’t.
I included tales of a 14-year-old boy arrested last November for eating in public during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan; eyewitnesses say that he was killed with a metal cable as his 85-lash sentence was carried out. I told them about 16-year-old Ateqeh Rajabi, a girl who was hanged last year for allegedly violating chastity laws; the unnamed male codefendant got 100 lashes, but lived. I told them about the paramilitary groups that violently attack peaceful protesters, the student activists and dissidents who are tortured, and the journalists who are persecuted for trying to tell the truth.
Then I took questions from the audience.
A hand shot up. "Is Blair going to win the election today?" the woman asked. Another woman's question was about the border, and yet another asked how I could possibly be a conservative journalist.
It was yet another reminder that as crisis in Iran escalates, Americans are often apathetic.
Bridget thinks that one of the reasons for this apathy is the perception that Iran isn’t hurting us. That perception is false, Iran is giving aid to the terrorist in Iraq and Afghanistan in the form of arms, money, agents, and sophisticated explosive devices. The IEDs killing our troops today may well have come from Tehran. Time reports:
The U.S. Military's new nemesis in Iraq is named Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, and he is not a Baathist or a member of al-Qaeda. He is working for Iran. According to a U.S. military-intelligence document obtained by TIME, al-Sheibani heads a network of insurgents created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps with the express purpose of committing violence against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. Over the past eight months, his group has introduced a new breed of roadside bomb more lethal than any seen before; based on a design from the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia Hizballah, the weapon employs "shaped" explosive charges that can punch through a battle tank's armor like a fist through the wall. According to the document, the U.S. believes al-Sheibani's team consists of 280 members, divided into 17 bombmaking teams and death squads. The U.S. believes they train in Lebanon, in Baghdad's predominantly Shi'ite Sadr City district and "in another country" and have detonated at least 37 bombs against U.S. forces this year in Baghdad alone.
Iran is also the number one supporter of other terrorist organizations that may kill you or your family tomorrow. They could soon be able to supply those terrorist with a nuke, coming to a city near you.
Khamenei noted intriguingly that “the Islamic Republic of Iran has resolved the nuclear problem”, in what some analysts believe could be a hint at a possible breakthrough in the theocratic state’s quest to develop nuclear weapons.
Can we safely ignore the warning Iranian presidential candidate Abrahim Asgharzadeh gave back in may:
A coalition of military commanders and mullahs is in the making with the aim of provoking "a direct confrontation" between the Islamic Republic and the United States in the Middle East, especially Afghanistan and Iraq. If these schemes go through the nation will be led into dangerous waters. There are people who want to push Iran into a war against the rest of the world, especially the United States.
Is that a dot we’re failing to connect? Failing regimes do start wars to galvanize the people against someone other than themselves. Make no mistake this is a failing regime with an increasingly dissatisfied population. “Allah on Earth"
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently said:
The only entity capable of challenging the hideous world order is a common international entity that is taking shape with the Islamic Republic of Iran at its core.
Iran is in the hearts of Muslim nations around the world. We have strategic depth in other Muslim nations. We are able to challenge the condensed economic power that the evil entities have created for themselves. They create wars, deprivation, and crises.
It seems we are going to sit and wait for Iran to initiate that challenge on it's terms and at a time of it's choosing. Add to all that the danger Iran presents to our only other Democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel.
Iran's hard-line president called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and said a new wave of Palestinian attacks will destroy the Jewish state, state-run media reported Wednesday.
The Mullahs are waging war against Israel on two fronts. From Gaza and other territories Iranian backed Hammas is trying to exterminate Israel while Iran is aiding Syria with the means to do the same.
Jane’s Defense Weekly magazine reported yesterday that Iran is assisting Syria, Israel’s neighbor and arch enemy, with acquiring the know-how to produce advanced chemical weapons.
According to al-Sharq al-Awsat, a few months ago Syria and Iran signed a mutual assistance agreement by which Syria will provide Iran with advanced military technologies in return for assistance in producing banned weapons.
Under a multi-million dollar project Iran will help Syria set up missile-launching sites, perform test launches of ballistic missiles and acquiring chemical weapons like mustard gas and nerve gas, the magazine reported.

We ignored the Taliban to our sorrow, no one cared. Can we afford to make the same mistake again?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Saddam on Trial

Mass murderer Saddam Hussein and seven subordinates go on trial Wednesday for ordering the murder of 140 villagers from Dujail, north of Baghdad, after a failed assassination attempt 23 years ago. If convicted, they could face the death penalty. Iraq the Model has an eyewitness account of the torture and terror Saddam inflicted on the men, women, and children of Dujail.
I was too young to know why we were treated like that, but I sure knew the meaning of being scared to death. The sound of foot steps that stops by the door was enough for every one to freeze, as after that the door would be opened, a name of one of the men would be announced and he would be dragged to the interrogation room to return few hours later unconscious, covered by blood, wrapped in a blanket, and would be thrown on us.
The women and children had their share, and this is what saw: extraction of nails and teeth, electric shocks, whipping with lashes, using razors to tear the skin into shreds, my aunt was left hanging from the roof after her clothes had been wrapped of her in front of her brothers to force them to talk. Do you know how much pain we suffered? Can you imagine? I doubt it.
After that we were transferred to Abu-Ghraib prison, where we met the men for the last time, after that, the 143 men separated from us and then transferred to another place, as for the rest of us, we were kept in Abu-Ghraib prison for six months, during that time, the day for my mother to deliver her baby came, she had complications and they didn't take her to the hospital until it was too late, the baby died. my mother never if it was a boy or a girl. In the prison, 4 people died, my grandfather(Yousif Ya'koob), my uncles wife(Noofa Hasan), the old man(Abdul Wahab Ja'far) and his wife (Sabreya), after that we were transferred to a camp in the desert, near the Iraqi-Saudi borders, 400 kilometers south-west to Baghdad(Leeah camp). We spent four years there.
After the liberation:
We started to search the security departments in Baghdad,- like thousands of Iraqis- looking for a trace, I didn’t take a long time, we found what we were looking for. The documents of the crime, I read with tears in my eyes; the presidency order dated: 7 /23 /1985, signed by the tyrant, ordering the execution of 143 men from Al-Dujaile, the youngest one (Najeeb Abd Kadim) 11 years old.

Read the whole account as well as Omar’s preface to the peace activists.
This is one example that may help them imagine the (peace) we lived in.

Update: The trial has been adjourned until November 28. CNN says the Judge was granting the defense’s request for a delay. ABC quotes the Judge saying it was because many witnesses were too afraid to turn up.