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Showing posts from June, 2009

Leveraging - The Politics of Persuasion

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The ongoing international discussions on how best to deal with North Korea have landed on the old strategy of strangulation. While this method is effective it also affords opportunities for world powers to illustrate their commitment of preventing military dictatorships from threatening global communities with nuclear fallout.

President Obama has directed Treasury to begin actions against Hong Kong Electronics, an Iranian-based company (imagine that) believed to be involved in North Korea's missile proliferation networks. This action will effectively seize any company assets discovered in the US. Also key elements of North Korea’s financial sector is being targeted as well. These banks are largely used by Kim Jong Il and his family.

UN sanctions are also targeting the ruling inner circle by prohibiting shipment of all luxury items to NK. US Diplomats are pushing for additional sanctions on private individuals and companies that are suspected of involvement in NK weapons sales.

Ce…

Iran Shouts - Stand by Me

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Despite threats of execution by radical mullahs an estimated 5000 Iranians joined in orderly peaceful protest through Teheran to an area near Qoba Mosque in a show of solidarity and to honor Mohammed Behesthi, a cleric killed in a bombing 28 years ago today.

Mousavi had called on his supporters to participate and he made a "drive-by" appearance to the crowd but did not address them. This demonstration was the first in a number of days and reports filtering out have been scarce due to heavy electronic jamming.

CNN reports former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, arrived at the mosque Sunday evening. Although Ayatollah Khamenei allowed this march "for the pious", to presume a change of heart or tactics by the regime is unsubstantiated.

The Iranian government has been arresting wounded protesters in hospitals and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband protested the arrest of embassy staff as "harassment and intimidation of a kind which is quite unacceptable.&qu…

Face Off on the South China Sea

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North Korea's cargo ship will need fuel soon. The 2,080-ton Kangnam left Nampo Port 10 days ago on June 17. It likely will refuel in Singapore or a Vietnamese port. USS John McCain, an Aegis class Destroyer, has been tracking the NK ship under suspicion of transporting WMD related equipment since June 21 and will likely follow it to the fuel port. US and Asian analysts believe NK is supplying Burma with missile parts and has used Burmese ports in the past to transfer arms to various countries including Iran.
The WSJ said in Tuesday's edition several Burmese citizens have direct knowledge of nuclear weapons programs and a reactor being built near Maymyo. Previous reports of Russian scientists hired to assist have added to the growing security concerns. Yale University’s Center for the Study of Globalization, said relations between NK and Burma are now so close that North Korean technicians are working on construction of underground tunnels connecting basement floors of buildings…

The Federal Reserve-Origins and Aims

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Reuters Columnist Agnes T. Crane posted an op-ed piece on next weeks 2 day meeting of Fed governors. Many if not most in America are under false impressions of what the Federal Reserve is. Major market newspapers such as NYT skillfully portray impressions of the private bank as a government agency controlling the nations economy via our currency. Those impressions are FALSE!

Ms Crane writes in today's 'Great Debate' section:
"Call it a battle for beginnings and endings, and the Federal Reserve is smack in the middle.

As Fed policymakers convene for a two-day meeting starting on Tuesday, the lines are growing more defined between those who want the Fed to do more to stimulate a still fragile economy, and those who are calling for a defined exit strategy to prevent the global economy from going into an inflation-inducing overdrive.

The rise in Treasury yields earlier this month and the quashing effect they had on mortgage lending activity also should be a reminder that the …

PETA - The Business of Hypocrisy

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Most Americans recognize the acronym PETA and know something of the politically active group of vegans that proudly carry banners espousing the superiority of their lifestyle and dietary choice. What is less understood is their outright hypocrisy.

On July 9th in Columbus, Ohio PETA will co-opt the west plaza of the Statehouse to stage another “drive-by’ media event under pretense of promoting a healthy diet. Armed with a permit and press releases the international group will exhibit and expose the ‘evils’ of pig farming by bringing 3 hogs in metal crates to display. A sound system will amplify recorded ‘screams’ of piglets while a video booth runs ‘undercover footage’to, no doubt, reveal the “inhumane” treatment of these animals in attempt to score political capital (and press coverage). The sanctimonious propaganda PETA dishes up will barely be discernable, given the setting for this hog-wash, neither will the hypocrisy.

PETA has a long and sordid history of killing animals because i…

The Hidden Revolution in Iran

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As the partisan finger pointing continues the "rest of the story" goes barely noticed amid attempts to score political (and personal) points. Iran is bleeding and sophisticated attempts to obfuscate are ongoing nationally and internationally. This op-ed presents a likely scenario wherein power and greed co-opt a movement. I am certain some in Iran's clergy are aware of this and what is decided in Qum will signal to the power players in this corruption born scandal their time is over.


I pray those holding weapons will learn the extent of their manipulation.



Iran’s Hidden Revolution

By: DANIELLE PLETKA and ALI ALFONEH
Published: June 16, 2009



"JUST after Iran’s rigged elections last week, with hundreds of thousands of protesters taking to the streets, it looked as if a new revolution was in the offing. Five days later, the uprising is little more than a symbolic protest, crushed by the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Meanwhile, the real revolution has gone unnot…

Silence Dissent:Desperation Abounds

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NEWSWEEK REPORTER ARRESTED:Journalist and filmmaker
Maziar Bahari was taken into custody without charge on Sunday morning in Tehran. The following is a list of others whose arrest and imprisonment have been confirmed, together with brief background for each.


Politicians
Dr. Mohsen Aminzadeh: Member of the Student Followers of Imam’s Line (SFIL), the leftist group of the students who took over the United State Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979; Deputy Foreign Minister in the Khatami administration; member of the Central Committee of the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization (IRMO), one of the two leading reformist parties; founding member of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), Iran’s largest political party; director of the Mousavi campaign.

Dr. Saeed Hajjarian: Member of SFIL; leading reformist strategist; advisor to Mohammad Khatami during his presidency; editor-in-chief of Sobh-e Emrooz (This Morning), a leading reformist newspaper shut down by the hard-liner…

The Revolution comes Full Circle

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An Ayatollah becomes the Shah?


Quoting then (not-yet-Ayatollah) Hojatol-Islam Seyed Ali Khamanei, the current Supreme Leader at a speech in Qom: “The Shah was guilty of this: He said it’s my word, not the nation’s. Today anyone who repeats this behavior, it not acceptable; he is condemnable.”
“Once illiteracy, poverty, hunger, oppression and inequality are
wiped away from society, the revolution will have been successful.”
As the world views this hypocrisy there is dissension in the mullocracy. Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani has been in Qom meeting with Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri who has stated this election is fraudelent.
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Ayatollah Khamanei Condemns Himself in word and deed!
Will 'The Assembly of Experts' dispose of Khamanei?
The existence of Iran's Reformist Movement depends on it.

Fearful rulers attempt to control with Fear…
Faith is the antithesis to Fear
Faith …

The Purge Begins:Islam on Display

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The Green Revolution turns RED?

As promised in yesterday's (Friday) prayers the mullocracy delivers heavy handed repression unseen in Iran since the fall of the Shah. Ironic to see the revolution come full circle and return to this bloody state in an attempt to maintain power.
The quote by Lord Acton says it best: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." While Mousavi and the reformers prepare to face martyrdom the power of faith in their cause is evident. The world is watching as Islam is on display.

The dream of a caliphate is not a national dream, rather it’s a fading dream of ideologues. You can not force anyone to believe something, humans must choose to believe. That is God given volition.

The Wise choose to use it in pursuit of truth.
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Fearful rulers attempt to control with Fear…
Faith is the antithesis to Fear
Faith is only as strong as the object of the faith

T…

Iran and Islam : In the Matrix

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(image - Gallo Getty)



The growing reformist movement in Iran has taken the world by surprise. The movement and the mullahs response to it is very fluid and evolving rapidly. Professor Mark Levine writing about Iran on the Brink makes crucial points:

“It seems that the Iranian elite has been caught similarly off-guard, and is still trying to read its own society to understand how broad is the societal discontent reflected in the mass protests. This calculus is crucial - in some ways more so than whether the results are legitimate or, as some claim, electoral fraud.

It will determine whether the Iranian power elite - that is, the political-religious-military-security leadership who control the levers of state violence - moves towards negotiation and reconciliation between the increasingly distant sides, or moves to crush the mounting opposition with large-scale violence.

The religious establishment is itself split into hard-line, moderate and more progressive factions, each of whose member…

Violence and Pressure Builds

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Iranian speaker of parliament has condemned an attack on university students which was reported to be carried out by Islamic militia and police. Speaker Ali Larijani was quoted by ISNA:

"What does it mean that in the middle of the night students are attacked in their dormitory?”

"The Interior Ministry is responsible for this and should answer for it ... parliament is seriously following the issue"

While he did not elaborate on who executed the attacks, students blamed members of the religious Basij militia and plainclothes police. Basij is a volunteer paramilitary force loyal to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Mousavi, who spoke prior to the shooting, also condemned the attack.

"They have attacked dormitories and brutally broken legs, heads, arms and threw some of the students out of the windows and arrested a lot of people,"

Thousands of Mousavi supporters marched on Iran’s state run television station. The protest march was peaceful despite being in defiance of an offici…

Finding truth by Reading Between the Lines

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Azar Nafisi says Iranian women worked for freedom via election [image: GALLO/GETTY]

Azar Nafisi author of Reading Lolita in Tehran: Shares her memories of how the Islamic Revolution in Iran affected a professor and her students. Her new book, Things I’ve Been Silent About, is a memoir of growing up amidst Iran’s political revolution. Nafisi is visiting professor and executive director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC she also teaches courses in the relation between culture and politics.

Interviewed following the disputed election in Iran, Professor Nafisi shares her insights into the truth of what is going on in Iran reflected by the campaigns and the elections tumultuous aftermath.

Al Jazeera shares her thoughts.

Al Jazeera: What has just happened in Iran?

Azar Nafisi: Well, what has just happened in Iran is a continuation of what has been happening for thirty years. Irania…

Voting is Over - Reform is Waiting

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With a population of 70 million, Iran is not the nation it was before or during the revolution of 1979. Life under the Sha grew repressive (following an assassination attempt) and his reign was viewed as that of a puppet government, this forged the alliance which rules today's Islamic Republic of Iran. The facts driving a push for reform in today's voting are found in demographics as well as Persian history. There are similarities in the current 'reformist' movement and the upheaval of 30 yrs ago despite that fact that more than two-thirds of Iran's present population is under 30 years old.

Is history repeating itself in Iran?


Mousavi's campaign has captured the most attention and has rekindled reformist tendencies of Persian people. "What I've seen on the streets of Tehran is visible in the rest of the country," says Mousavi.

"There's a sense of identity, and a bravery to express a desire for change. What I have done is provide a focal po…

Election in Iran - A Push to Reform

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(image - Al Jazeera)

Iranian elections are seldom harbingers of national change but this one could prove to be very different. Despite warnings and threats, reformists are working and praying for a revolution.





My expectations are;

Turnout:
If unrestricted will be massive. As far as I know ACORN does not ‘organize’ in Iran so any efforts to stifle voting will be to maintain TPTB (grand potentates)!

Vote-Splitting and Run-Off:
Mehdi Karoubi’s candidacy serves as a distraction to split votes for reforming Iranian policy making a first round victory by Ahmadinejad (pronounced- Ima Nutjob) possible and crucial if he is to win-again. Persian people can see ‘thru the veil’ and value life more than death, dialogue more than despair and peaceful coexistence.

TPTB are content to cast the spell of blame on anyone, they deem ‘less worthy' (aka infidel), as the reason for Iran’s problems. Perhaps they realize they are in denial since many voters are aware of their schemes to demonize and distract…

An Adoring Press shows signs of Dissent

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(image from Dakota Voice)

While Gov Sara Palin was preaching, a ‘We told you so’ mantra, to the choir on the ‘mockers gone wild’ nightly offering that is the Hannity show, cracks appeared in the edifice of Left Wing media support for President Obama. An editorial from SF Gate bluntly declared President and the Press should get a room.
In a piece titled "Love or lust, Obama and the fawning press need to get a room" Phil Bronstein goes on makes an obvious admission...
"This guy is good. Really good. And, frankly, so far, we're not.

I would point to that as an understatment (to say the least).

The fact it was said publicly at all, setting aside the double-entendre, illustrates the far left recognizes arrogance and condescension. Bronstein goes on to say, When Barack Obama decided that questions from the German press about his trip agenda in that country were too pesky, he told the reporters, "So, stop it all of you!" He just wanted them to ask things he wanted t…

High Stakes Gamble in Korea

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Following a gambit of rocket launches and nuclear detonations the wicked powers that be in North Korea have upped the ante again,
are they bluffing?





Laura Ling, the sister of former The View co-host Lisa Ling, and fellow Current TV journalist Euna Lee have been sentenced to twelve years “reform by labor” for illegal border crossing. Calling it a "grave crime” against the Korean nation the Central Court of North Korea convicted and sentenced the two reporters in a trial that began last Thursday. The U.S. State Department said that outside observers were not allowed to witness the trial's proceedings.

Friends and family of Ling and Lee insist that their border crossing was accidental and have been publicly pleading with the North Koreans for mercy in recent days. Ling and Lee were on assignment from Current TV working on a story of women and children who were refugees seeking aid and food in China. They were arrested March 17 along the Korean-Chinese border.

While circumstances …

Dust in the Wind of Egypt

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Being a thinking conservative, I find it invaluable to read what people say rather than simply listen to it. Perhaps it stems from my hobby as a writer, or a love for reading.
Regardless it serves my intellect well in a quest to understand. Thus I refused to watch or listen to others elaborate on what the President said, or how well he said it. The speech was well written and impressive in seeking to speak directly to Muslims.

The President offered a “new beginning” between Islam and America to replace the years of suspicion and discord. Portraying the relationship in the past as “defined” by our differences” he pointed to that paradigm as empowering those who sow hate.

A key theme that ran throughout the speech hinged on the word relationship. The President spoke of past and present relationships both personal and national. As in any relationship the word implies mutually agreed interaction. Agreement is easier to write about and discuss than to accomplish, such is the nature of humans…

Cartels Clashing in The Americas

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While President Obama is half a world away attempting to mitigate an ancient conflict with oratorical skill and prowess, revolution is brewing on our continent.
This Americas Report, published by Center for Security Policy, details the players past and present in the ongoing struggle against liberty and life as we know it.


"President Woodrow Wilson was very concerned about developments in Mexico during the Mexican revolution early in the 20th century. Order and stability in Mexico were crucial to U.S. policy makers. Today, the challenge is even more serious as drug cartels and terrorist groups are far more sophisticated".


The Americas Report
May 17, 2009
By Luis Fleischman

Versión en Español

When President Barack Obama was criticized for his over friendly interaction with Hugo Chavez during the Summit of the Americas, he responded by saying that the U.S. has nothing to fear from a country that has an economy six hundred times smaller than ours.

This curious remark by our Presiden…

Clashing Cultures in the Heartland

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As many on the left label right to life advocates extremeist and dangerous following the murder of Dr Tiller, Melvin Bledsoe of Memphis refuses to speak.

Mr Bledsoe is a victim as well as the other families whose loved ones were killed or wounded in Monday's attack at a military recruiting center in Little Rock. His son Carlos Bledsoe 23, told police he recently watched a video "pertaining to subversive activities which spurred him to commit this act," according to court documents. The suspect was a convert to Islam and changed his name to Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad. He was on an FBI watch list after a trip to Yemen.

He entetred a plea of not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday and was ordered held without bail while facing one count of capital murder and 16 counts of engaging in a terrorist act. Prior to his not guilty plea, authorities said Muhammad waived his Miranda rights after the shooting Monday and gave a video confession indicating that "political and religiou…

'The Struggle against Abortion turns Deadly

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Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!Isaiah 5:20


The long smoldering culture clash that is abortion erupted in deadly violence at a Wichita Kansas Church Sunday. Dr Edward Tiller, one of 2 (very)late term abortion providers in the world, was shot and died there yesterday, he was 67.

Many opponents of abortion consider the procedure infanticide and Dr
Tiller a baby killer. I will not defend the doctor’s choice to perform
late term abortions. Neither will I defend the choice to murder him for whatever reason, both result in death. To usurp the laws authority to execute a human being is to play God.

The Pro-Life community in America has been slowly and steadily persuading by educating people on the issues inherent to abortion. This murder, and the media fallout that is inevitable, will not benefit those efforts. It will thrust the issue of late-term abortion back into the …