Archive for September, 2012

Unrest Growing In Jordan

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

September has witnessed a massive—and potentially irreversible—shift in strategy among segments of Jordan’s opposition movement: a number of political activists are now openly and repeatedly calling for a limitation of the monarchy’s powers—with a small (though extremely vocal) minority even explicitly calling for the abdication of King Abdullah II. In a strikingly blunt statement by the organizers of the 8 September protest in East Amman’s Haya al-Tafileh neighborhood—who gathered in response to arrest of a number of fellow activists a day prior and later reorganized on September 11 and 13 at Amman’s Interior Ministry Circle and Second Circle—accusations struck at the king’s carefully curated international image as a modern, democracy-building reformer. Their Facebook statement reads, in part: Read more…


US Delists MEK, Does ‘not See as Viable Iran Opposition’ Group

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

The State Department announced Friday that, as anticipated, it has decided to remove the controversial Iranian group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), from the US list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The delisting of the anti-regime group is effective as of Friday (September 28), and was largely made on humanitarian grounds, the State Department said.

“We do not see the MEK as a viable opposition movement,” a senior State Department official stressed in a call to journalists Friday. “We have no evidence or confidence the MEK could promote the democratic values we would like to see in Iran. … We continue to have serious concerns about abuses the group has committed to its  own members.” Read more…

U.S. Takes Iranian Dissident Group MeK off Terrorist List

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

The Obama administration has taken a group of Iranian dissidents off the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, culminating a long-running public relations campaign by the dissidents and their supporters.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s decision to remove the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MeK) from the list will be published Wednesday in the Federal Register. The group also is known as the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran.

After an exhaustive review ordered by a federal court, U.S. officials found no evidence of the group’s involvement in terrorist activity.

The MeK, which opposes Iran’s theocratic regime, was given shelter by Saddam Hussein in Iraq in the 1980s. It has since renounced violence, and in 2003 Read more…

Eight Ways to Deal With Iran

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

The Iranian nuclear program is a complex threat to international peace and stability. In this ambitious paper, former national security advisor Stephen J. Hadley says that stopping it requires an equally complex and sophisticated strategy.

The purpose of this article is not to advocate a particular course of action, but to contribute to the public debate by setting out the full range of plausible approaches to resolving the confrontation between the international community and the Iranian regime over its nuclear program — a program that virtually the entire international community believes is a vehicle for achieving an advanced nuclear-weapons capability if not a nuclear bomb itself. Eight options are described below — from negotiations through use of force to containment — along with potential benefits and costs in each case. Read more…

Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

The apologies never end. In the wake of the Benghazi attacks and the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Barack Obama has just gone to the U.N. and said, with the representatives of Iran and other despotisms in his audience, that the future does not belong to those who slander Mohammed. This was a coded apology for the cartoonish video that this administration continues to believe, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, was the cause of attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya and Egypt. This is the delusion that impoliteness about the Prophet, and not planned Islamic terrorism, is the cause of the jihad against us.

This abject appearance by the President before the U.N. was part of a move inside this administration to appease Muslim nations who have begun an offensive to suffocate free speech about the violence and genocide committed in the name of Islam. The U.S. is slowly but certainly accommodating the view that free speech, when it comes to religious (i.e. Muslim) matters, is suspect. We have come to this point, in large part, because of the growing success of the idea that any criticism of Islam is actually a pathology, rather than a legitimate exercise of free speech. It is, in other words, “Islamophobia.” Read more…

Iran Pushes Ahead in Building Nuclear Reactor

September 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Iran appears to be making headway in building a research reactor that could yield potential nuclear weapon material, adding to Western concerns about Tehran’s atomic aims, experts and diplomats say.

The West’s worries about Iran are focused largely on underground uranium enrichment plants at Natanz and Fordow, but it is also pressing ahead with construction of a heavy-water reactor near the town of Arak, which analysts say could produce plutonium for nuclear arms if the spent fuel is reprocessed.

Iran now plans to bring Arak on line in the third quarter of 2013, moving up its timetable from 2014, according to the latest U.N. information, although there is uncertainty whether it will be able to meet that target date. Read more…

Netanyahu Draws Red Line on Iran, asks World to Do Same

September 27, 2012 Leave a comment

UNITED NATIONS – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told world leaders and diplomats Thursday that nothing could imperil the world more than a nuclear-armed Iran.

“To understand what the world would be like with a nuclear-armed Iran, just imagine a world with a nuclear-armed al Qaeda,” Netanyahu said in his address at the U.N. General Assembly.

His demand that President Obama declare “red lines” that would trigger an American attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities has been rejected in Washington and sparked a public rift between the two leaders. Read more…

Washington Think Tank: The US should Provoke Iran into “Firing the First Shot”

September 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Patrick Clawson, Director of Research of the Washington Institute  for Near East Policy suggests that the US should provoke Iran into taking the first shot.

“If the Iranians are not going to compromise, it may be best that somebody else start the war”.

“We can do a variety of things to increase the pressure”.

“We are in the game of using covert means against Iranians. We can get nastier at that.”

Patrick Clawson,  who was a “progressive” political economist in the 1970s,  heads the Washington Institute’s Iran Security Initiative.   The latter “aims to generate critical analysis, private dialogue, public debate, and operational recommendations designed to address the many challenges posed by Iran.Read more…

Why Iran Threatening America is a Good Thing

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Was there any good news from the Persian Gulf last week? Well, Israeli hawks should be heartened by Tehran’s threat to target U.S. military bases in the Middle East, in the event of a unilateral Israeli air strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

If true, this would assure American involvement in the military conflict on Israel’s side from the word go, which would no doubt remove a major concern for the Israeli military and intelligence community. It should make a pre-emptive strike more, rather than less, likely.

My National Post colleague Matt Gurney doesn’t think so and he may be right. He considers it a bold but clever move on Iran’s part to put pressure on America to stop Israel. It may be more effective than trying to pressure Israel directly. Read more…

Peace of Sh!t

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Each day, the New York tabloids vie to sell readers at the newsstands on outrageous headlines, dramatic photography, and, occasionally, great reporting. Who is today’s winner?

I think these are the biggest letters I’ve ever seen on the front of theDaily News. “VILE” read the enormous red, white-outlined letters at the bottom of the page, over a picture of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad flashing a peace sign in an Associated Press photo yesterday here in New York. Those giant letters are probably there to make up for the many, many smaller letters in the incredibly long dek: “SHAME on the UN for letting this anti-Semite speak on the most sacred day of the Jewish year.” Read more…

A Word to Rioting Muslims – We don’t care if you’re offended, and we never will. Get used to it.

September 25, 2012 Leave a comment
Patrick Condell: We don’t care if you’re offended, and we never will. Get used to it.
 Patrick “Pat” Condell is an English writer, political commentator, comedian and internet personality, who is known for his scathing criticism of Islam.

Read more…

Obama at UN: U.S. will Stop Iran from Developing Nukes

September 25, 2012 Leave a comment

NEW YORK — Speaking at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, President Obama portrayed the deaths of four Americans in Libya as a result of inflamed tensions over an anti-Islam movie produced in the U.S., rather than a terrorist attack.

Although his administration in recent days acknowledged that the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were caused by a terrorist act on Sept. 11, Mr. Obama didn’t mention terrorism as the likely cause in front of the international audience. He focused much of his speech instead on promoting religious tolerance and free speech, blaming the anti-Islam film for the anti-U.S. outbursts while cautioning that there is never an excuse for violence. Read more…