Iranian demonstrators are posing the biggest challenge to the regime of the mullahs since 2009. One fact that should never be forgotten about Iran is that the regime of the mullahs has never been very popular. They seized power in 1979 largely due to the unpopularity of the Shah’s regime. During almost four decades they have delivered little but repression, war and economic stagnation to the people of Iran. 2009 demonstrated that the mullahs are quite willing to drown protests in blood. In Iran you have the regular military forces and a parallel military, most notably the Revolutionary Guards, that are a political army for the mullahs. One fine day some Iranian general is going to decide that it is time for the mullahs to go, and lead his men in support of the demonstrators. That is the nightmare of the mullahs. It may not occur this time, but some day it will occur and the squalid Iranian police state will fall. May God in His mercy hasten that day.
Austin Bay at Strategy Page explains why the Iranian Arms Deal increases the likelihood of nuclear war in the Middle East:
Arms controllers hailed the post-World War 1 Washington Naval Arms Treaty as the diplomatic instrument to prevent another peace-destroying naval arms race. Yet it came to pass that war erupted, with the warships of signatories Britain, France and the U.S. battling treaty partners Italy and Japan.
Counting battleships is several quanta easier than verifying Iranian compliance with the Obama administration’s dreadful deal. Russia’s Vladimir Putin claims he helped write it. Given its murk and iffiness, I believe him. Vlad’s Crimea and Ukraine crimes demonstrate how little respect he has for deals that seek to curb the desires of authoritarian killers.
Here’s the Real Deal Part 1: It begins with a broken promise. Once upon a time, President Barack Obama vowed to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons quest. Promise made, promise broken. Well, he promised Americans, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”
Obama warned Syria’s dictator that using chemical weapons was a “red line” — employing deadly gas incurs punitive strikes. Yet Syria killed 1,500 civilians with nerve gas, and nothing happened. Iran noticed Obama’s failure to enforce. Syria is Tehran’s client. Iran supports it financially. Iran’s Lebanese Hezbollah proxies reinforce it militarily.
Real Deal Part 2: Iran will cheat. It always does. The ayatollahs will build nuclear bombs and deploy ballistic missiles capable of targeting London. The ayatollahs need, oh, two-dozen nukes, initially. A dozen will destroy Israel and selected targets on the Arabian Peninsula side of the Persian Gulf. The other warheads will top missiles aimed at London and Paris.
Real Deal Part 3: The deal will ignite a Middle Eastern nuclear arms race. Saudi Arabia will seek nukes to deter Iran. U.S.-delivered NATO nukes ostensibly defend Turkey from Iranian attack, but in the Age of Obama Red Lines, what constitutes an ironclad promise? Obama’s words are perishable products; Ankara may acquire its own deterrent. Continue Reading
Austin Bay at Strategy Page gives us the details of the ludicrous Iran-Obama deal:
At the moment, it isn’t certain that Iran has agreed to comply with anything other than conducting more talks later this year. Yet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, quote, “This is the best deal we could get.”
Really? So, Mr. President, what is the coercive mechanism to enforce nuclear research and weapons development verification? The answer, so far: crickets. The “understanding” definitely fails to address Iranian missiles (nuclear weapon delivery systems).
Obama’s “historic understanding” has the sad woof and warp of so many of his administration’s domestic and international policy efforts: glowing, inspirational, dramatic rhetoric disguising episodic, hodge-podge, ill-considered, poorly planned and often hastily organized operations. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” is a domestic example. When Obamacare arrived, many Americans learned they could not keep their preferred doctor. Obama said Americans would eventually love the health care law. A substantial majority despises the legislative monstrosity. Now a foreign policy example: Obama’s promise to “reset” U.S.-Russia relations. For Vladimir Putin, Obama’s reset was a setup. Putin’s Russia is now a neo-Fascist expansionary nuclear power slowing carving and digesting Ukraine. Obama’s “red line” threat to punish Syria’s Assad regime if it used chemical weapons against civilians, and his failure to do so when the Syrians used nerve gas, is another example.
Here is another verifiable fact: more talks, sometime, somewhere in the future, has been Tehran’s modus operandi for two decades. Kerry’s “best deal” is an ayatollah three-fer. It gives them money. It gives them more time to develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. It also gives them diplomatic political cover to continue dithering, courtesy of Barack Obama and John Kerry. Continue Reading
“You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells Congress today that President Obama is selling us out in regard to the proposed treaty with Iran which will inevitably lead to a nuclear armed Iran.
Robert Zubrin at National Review Online gives us the details:
More from Strategy Page on the situation in Iraq and how it relates to the winding down of the revolt in Syria:
Currently ISIL is trying to gain complete control over eastern Syria and western Iraq. That is proving difficult because of continued resistance in Syria by government forces and Kurds as well as some rival Islamic terrorist groups (mainly al Nusra). In Iraq the Shia controlled government sent so many of their best units to Anbar that the security forces in Mosul collapsed and handed ISIL an unexpected victory. That appears to be backfiring because now the Shia government of Iraq has given in to years of Kurd demands that the autonomous Kurds of northern Iraq be allowed to take control of Mosul and Kirkuk and nearby oil fields. At this point the Iraqi government doesn’t have much choice. The Kurds will have to fight hard for Mosul and Kirkuk, but the Kurdish army (the Peshmerga) have been defeating Sunni Islamic terrorists for a long time. In this fight, the ISIL is the underdog. ISIL can afford to give up Mosul and Kirkuk because these are not historically Bedouin lands but rather Kurdish. The Kurds will be fighting harder for them. Ultimately ISIL wants to control their own homeland to the south. Once that is done ISIL believes their Holy Warriors can gain control of all of Syria and Iraq and then the world. This has never worked, in large part because of the extreme brutality these Holy Warriors use against their opponents. ISIL has been deliberately murdering Shia, Christian and Kurdish civilians in an effort to terrorize their groups into surrender. That is not working and rarely has in the last few centuries. All these groups have powerful foreign allies who work hard to help their kinsmen fight back.
Despite these problems ISIL is real and dangerous. There’s a reason for that. Islamic terrorists have long been depicted in Arab culture as noble and pure warriors fighting to protect Islam. This is partly religion and partly culture but the reality is no Islamic radicals have ever managed to do any permanent good for the Moslem world. This truth gets realized and accepted eventually and then forgotten again. For example after the 2008 defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq, and the 90 percent decline in al Qaeda attacks there it was believed that Islamic terrorism was on the ropes once more and many Arabs were visibly relieved. But the Arab Spring changed all that. Terrorist attacks worldwide, most of them by Moslem religious radicals, more than doubled from 7,200 in 2009 to 18,500 in 2013.
There have been many outbreaks of Islamic terrorism in the past but his time around the chief cause was state sponsored Islamic terrorism by Pakistan and a recent boost by the Arab Spring uprisings and continued financial support by wealthy Arabs in the Persian Gulf and fanatic young men throughout Arabia. The Pakistani policy of covertly supporting and encouraging Islamic terrorist groups began in the late 1970s and after September 11, 2001 there Islamic terrorists were increasingly out of Pakistani control. Thus Pakistan found itself in the position of continuing to support Islamic terrorists who attacked India and Afghanistan while fighting a growing number of disaffected terrorist groups at home that had declared war on Pakistan. The result was a huge spike in Islamic terrorist violence. For the Arab Spring countries it meant prolonged unrest and more Islamic terrorist deaths. Worse, it isn’t over, especially in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and Algeria. Over 200,000 have died so far in the Arab Spring countries, and millions more wounded, imprisoned or driven from their homes. Continue Reading
In the above video our beloved National Clown lauded our veterans who served in Iraq and Iran. What do you think?
1. Bone headed Biden being bone headed Biden.
2. Give Joe a break, they both begin with I!
3. Joe let the cat out of bag in regard to the October Surprise!
4. Sure there was a war with Iran. That is where “Blood and Guts” Biden got his brain injury!
5. Biden was unable to plagiarize in his Geography course in college. Continue Reading
If you move about those regions of the internets in which righteous display their moral superiority by posting sixty second video clips showing just how bad their opponents are, you have probably seen headlines lately along the lines of “Christians Boo Jesus” or “Republicans Mock Golden Rule”. Of course, one hardly needs to watch the clip, because in the dualism that is politicization, everyone already knows that they’re right and their opponents are wrong. But after the fifth or sixth iteration, I had to go ahead watch Ron Paul (who else) present his Golden-Rule based foreign policy to boos. Here’s the clip in question:
Or if, like me, you tend not to watch posted videos, here’s the money quote:
“My point is, that if another country does to us what we do to others, we aren’t going to like it very much. So I would say maybe we ought to consider a golden rule in foreign policy. We endlessly bomb these other countries and then we wonder why they get upset with us?”
Now, this sounds superficially high minded, and some people who really are high minded seem lured by it. Kyle, who has an genuine and expansive desire to understand “the other” has his dander up and says: Continue Reading
The hard-line chief of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, the longtime political operator and insider Mohammad-Javad Larijani, says the sentence of stoning against an impoverished mother of two accused of adultery stands, even though it is under a required review.
In other words, 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani could still be buried up to her neck and pelted with small rocks until she dies because she was convicted of having sex outside of marriage.
Larijani, a well-connected regime loyalist, blamed the Western media for making a big deal out of nothing.
“Our judicial system cannot change its course because of Western attack and media pressure,” he told the official Islamic Republic News Agency in a report published late Friday (in Persian). “The Western media’s attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran comes under a pretext every time, and in recent years it is the instructions of the Islamic religious law that have been the target of their attacks.”
No one’s quite sure what’s next for Ashtiani. Larijani said Ashtiani’s sentence of death by stoning had not been rescinded, contradicting a statement issued Thursday by the Islamic Republic’s embassy in London.
“Regarding this criminal, I must point out that first of all the punishment of death by stoning exists in our constitution but the esteemed judges issue this verdict on very rare occasions,” said Larijani, whose brothers include the head of the judiciary branch and the speaker of parliament. “This case has passed its long procedure, and the defendant was first sentenced to 90 lashes and then, in another court, to death by stoning. The review of this sentence in currently underway.”
Her lawyer said even if they halt the stoning, he’s worried they’ll put her to death by some other means. “We do not know which penalty will be substituted for stoning,” her lawyer told Babylon & Beyond.
He said he’s asked for her pardon four times, especially since no private individual is seeking her prosecution — just the government. “For the sake of the Islamic system and its reputation in the world, nobody should be stoned to death anymore,” said Ashtiani’s lawyer, Mohammad Mostafai. “If the judiciary branch is attaching importance to the prestige of the system in the world, then the stoning should be stopped.” Continue Reading
(Updates at the bottom of this posting below)
More details have filtered in that some Iranian policemen have refused to fire on the protesters. The hated Basiji Militia headquarters is up in flames and more reports of unconfirmed deaths from all over the country of Iran are pouring in view various media outlets.
Among those killed is the nephew of Mir Hossein Moussavi, the leader of the burgeoning opposition as well as the leading vote getter in the last election which was hijacked by the clerical ruling class. Ali Habibi Moussavi, the nephew, was shot in the chest and died at the hospital. Details are still sketchy.
Some showed huge crowds chanting slogans attacking President Ahmadinejad and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
President Obama has failed to respond to the growing violence in Iran outside of a standard White House response from Washington of a bland condemnation of “violence”. His hesitancy has betrayed many in the Iranian opposition to the point that if there is a regime change the opportunity to build again good relations with Iran diminishes each day as our president dawdles away in his luxurious resort home in Hawaii.
When the Shah fell from power in 1979 it was after a year of strikes and demonstrations. Revolutions in Iran tend to proceed at a stately pace. After a stolen Presidential election in Iran in the late Spring, the Iranian regime found itself faced with an active and growing opposition. The regime has been unable to crush it. On December 7, huge demonstrations erupted throughout Iran on college campuses. Now cracks may be beginning to appear in an institution that is key for the survival of any dictatorship: the military. The below story was reported in Pajamas Media by Iranian exile Afshin Ellian, who fled Iran in 1983 and who is a law professor at the University of Leiden. He is the sole source I can find for this report, so take it with a grain of salt.
On December 10, a statement signed by a number of officers and commanders of the Iranian army was released. The regular army of Iran had not been involved in the suppression of the population. The statement was signed by:
•Pilots and personnel of the aviation division of the regular army (Havanirooz)
•Commanders and personnel of the 31th artillery division of Isfahan of the regular army
•Pilots and airmen of the regular army
•Teachers of the Shaid Satari University of the regular air force
•Officers and staff of the logistics training unit the regular army
•Professors and lecturers of the Imam Ali University for officers of the regular army
•Officers, staff, and commanders of the chief of staff of the regular army
In summary, they wrote:
Together we fought in the war with our brothers in the Revolutionary Guards in order to defend the country, the people, and the honor of the nation. They also emphasize that “the value of the land means the value of the Iranian nation.” This is very interesting. ??Value of the nation.
Not abstract concepts such as Iran or Islam, but the value of the nation determines the value of the land. Therefore, the weapons of the army and RG are to be used to protect the nation: “When we fought together, we could never suspect that parts of the RG would ever use its weapons against the people.”
The last section of this brief but powerful statement will surely immortalize these brave officers: “The army is a haven for the nation and will never want to suppress the people at the request of politicians. We shall remain true to our promise not to intervene in politics. But we cannot remain silent when our fellow citizens are oppressed by tyranny.”
They go on: “Therefore, we warn the Guards who have betrayed the martyrs (from the war between Iran and Iraq) and who decided to attack the lives, the property and the honor of the citizens. We seriously warn them that if they do not leave their chosen path, they will be confronted with our tough response. The military is a haven for the nation. And we will defend the peace-loving Iranian nation against any aggression.”
Never in a million years would I have expected a Frenchman, any Frenchman living today, to chide an American president to be a man. Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan are rolling over in their graves as French President Nicolas Sarkozy reminds President Obama, our president,that “we live in a real world, not a virtual world“.
This episode between Sarkozy and Obama occurred prior to President Obama’s I have a dream of a world without nuclear weapons disarmament speech as chair of the United Nations Security Council meeting on September 24. An American holding the chair of the U.N. Security Council was a first, so the foreign media was out in force attracting global attention. Unbeknownst to the world at the time President Obama, as well as Sarkozy, had intelligence that Iran had an illegal uranium enrichment facility.
So instead of using the bully pulpit as the leader of the free world and his superior oratory skills to admonish Iran at the United Nations Security Council, Obama chose to give his I have a dream of a world without nuclear weapons disarmament speech. The New York Times reported “White House officials,” did not want to “dilute” his disarmament resolution “by diverting to Iran.”
Many recent developments in Iran, all of them bad for the Iranian regime of Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader, with apologies to Fearless Leader of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Khamenei. Huge demonstrations rocked Iran on Friday with crowd estimates ranging from 100,000 to over a million in Tehran. Repression, brutal as it has been, is simply not stopping the Resistance from taking to the streets once a week.
Hattitp to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. In spite of the Iranian regime cutting off text messaging and cell phone service throughout the country, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Tehran on Thursday chanting “Marg bar Diktator!” , Death to the Dictator! First rate coverage of today’s developments here at Gateway Pundit. Great coverage here at Atlas Shrugs. Continue Reading
Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. No doubt in part a response to the declaration on Saturday of the prestigious Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum that the election was illegitimate, spokesmen of the Revolutionary Guards, formally known as the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, announced on Sunday that the Guards had taken charge of all security in Iran and that no further debate over the Presidential election would be tolerated.
The Shia revolution of 1979 was based on the idea that a government controlled by the mullahs, motivated by pure Islam, would provide the best form of government in Iran. Now each day brings more news of mullahs speaking out against the current regime in control of Iran.
“Over the weekend, Grand Ayatollah Assadolah Bayat Zanjani launched a broadside against the mass arrest of reformist activists and protesters.”
“Every healthy mind casts doubt on the way the election was held,” said the high-ranking cleric in a statement distributed online. “More regrettable are post-election large-scale arrests, newspaper censorship and website filtering, and above all the martyrdom of our countrymen whom they describe as rioters.”
The walls are closing in on Ahmadinejad, a former Revolutionary Guards member, and his puppet masters. Mullahs speaking out have destroyed any remaining illusion that this regime is blessed by God. The Revolutionary Guards is the last remaining support that this government has, and, if the Guards falter, Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Khamenei and their cronies better have their bags packed and a plane warming up. This could all happen quite swiftly. The Resistance has called for mass rallies on Thursday. If the dissident mullahs join them, the Iranians could witness mullahs being beaten by Revolutionary Guards. Once that happens, I think armed revolt will not be far off.
Yesterday the most important group of clerics in Iran, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, called the Presidential election in Iran illegitimate. It is now impossible for the Iranian regime to claim the Iranian Resistance is restricted to a handful of malcontents or foreign agents. This is the grimmest news yet since the election for the Iranian regime, and the best news that the Resistance has received. Good analysis here at Hot Air by Ed Morrissey. Now the Iranian regime has to decide if they are going to arrest and hang these clerics who have been the mainstay of the regime as they have been hanging protesters. The clerics speaking out indicates clearing that there is a strong division among the ruling elites in Iran as to whether Ahmadinejad and his puppet masters can stay in power. This coming week could be decisive in Iran.
No doubt the mullahs who rule Iran had begun to think that they had successfully crushed the resistance. They thought wrong as the above video of a protest yesterday at the Ghoba Mosque in Tehran amply demonstrates. Reports indicate that between 7,000-20,000 protesters participated.
A bit repetitious of Darwin Catholic’s earlier post on this subject, but I think this is a movie very much worth seeing. Topical doesn’t begin to describe the film The Stoning of Soraya M. that is opening this weekend. Starring Shohreh Aghdashloo and James Caviezel, and based on the novel of the same name, the film describes in harrowing detail the story of the stoning of a young bride in Iran. I would like to be able to say that such things do not really occur under mullah-ruled Iran. Alas, such stonings are very much a grim reality. Worthy of a Monty Python skit, stonings have been defended by the head of the Iranian Judiciary’s Human Rights Committee.
On June 24, the Iranian regime learned a, to them ominous, lesson. The protests continued in the face of savage brutality from the ruling mullahs. Atlas Shrugs has first rate coverage here. Gateway Pundit here has been on top of this story from day one. Ed Morrissey has coverage here of what happened when protesters march on the Parliament building in Tehran today:
Aristotle taught that the purpose of tragedy is to inspire pity and fear in the audience, thence causing catharsis, a purging of emotion. I’ve always found his explanation of tragedy compelling, but as I get older (queue laughter at the thirty-year-old getting “older”) I find that I want to achieve catharsis much less than I used to. Not that my life is layered in tragedy or anything, indeed, far from it. But somehow, one just doesn’t feel as much like seeking out pity and fear at thirty as at twenty.
This has been running through my head as I’ve been reading about The Stoning of Soraya M.
- In a Death Seen Around the World, a Symbol of Iranian Protests, by Nazila Fathi (New York Times):
Only scraps of information are known about Ms. Agha-Soltan. Her friends and relatives were mostly afraid to speak, and the government broke up public attempts to mourn her. She studied philosophy and took underground singing lessons — women are barred from singing publicly in Iran. Her name means voice in Persian, and many are now calling her the voice of Iran.Her fiancé, Caspian Makan, contributed to a Persian Wikipedia entry. He said she never supported any particular presidential candidate. “She wanted freedom, freedom for everybody,” the entry read.
- Family, friends mourn Neda Agha-Soltan, Iranian woman whose death was caught on video, by Borzou Daragahi (Los Angeles Times). Neda Agha-Soltan, 26, ‘was a beam of light’ and not an activist, friends say. The video footage of her bleeding to death on the street has turned her into an international symbol of the protest movement.
- In Iran, One Woman’s Death May Have Many Consequences, by Robin Wright. (Time) – Neda is already being hailed as a martyr, a second important concept in Shi’ism. With the reported deaths of 19 people on June 20, martyrdom provides a potent force that could further deepen public anger at Iran’s regime.
Rioting in Tehran Saturday is shown in the above video. Protests are quickly developing into an insurrection. The Iranian government is using brutal force to suppress the dissidents, but reports from Iran clearly indicate that the situation is moving well beyond the ability of the government to suppress it without massive bloodshed. The Guardian has an hour by hour account of the events yesterday here. Nico Pitney here has been doing yeoman work in covering the crackdown at the Huffington Post. Ed Morrissey here has been doing his usual fine work covering breaking events at Hot Air.
Keep up with the Iranian protests at:
In the proud tradition of news photos of beautiful women protesting against political oppression, the Boston Globe provides a series of photos of the protests over Iran’s apparently rigged presidential election, but the first is this one:
(In all seriousness, this is some of the best photo journalism I’ve seen in a long time, go check it out.)
There’s some reasonable dispute as to whether it would help or hurt the protestors for the Obama Administration to break silence on the issue and speak in support of the protestors. Given Iran’s history and the fierce national pride across the political spectrum, if Obama openly supported the protestors it might give Ahmadinejad the ability to paint Mousavi’s supporters as stooges of the US. However, the US and the rest of the world should make it clear that a violent crackdown ala Tiananmen Square would be absolutely unacceptable.
Well, somewhat to my chagrin I have to use the phrase “Biden was right” again. With North Korea launching a missle that traveled 1900 miles before it crashed into the Pacific, Biden’s prediction of an international crisis early in the Obama administration is coming true again, and this time I doubt if doing nothing will probably work either short term or long term.