Imagine: Obama and Ahmadinejad

MEMRI pulled this gem from a Kuwaiti newspaper:


Source: Al-Jarida, Kuwait, March 18, 2010

Yeah, they get it.

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Iran Girds for War

MQ-9 Reaper in flight

Yet more news that Iran is beating the war drums.

Iran has opened two production lines to manufacture ‘advanced’ attack drones capable of carrying out attacks with ‘high precision’.

In the past week Iran has announced a spate of technological advances and military achievements in the run up to the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution on Feb 11.

It’s no secret that Iran has been trying to get their hands on Russia’s S-300 anti-aircraft system (worried about Israeli air strikes, no doubt). They have tired of waiting and will “soon” unveil their own system:

"In the near future, a new locally-made air defence system will be unveiled by the country’s experts and scientists which is as powerful as the S-300 missile defence system, or even stronger," [commander Heshmatollah Kassiri] said. . . .

The truck-mounted S-300PMU1, known in the West as the SA-20, can shoot down cruise missiles and aircraft. It has a range of 150 km (90 miles) and travels at more than two km per second.

Much of this is posturing (ala Comical Ali). On the other hand, there is no doubt that Iran is gearing up to be a major power in the region. This endangers all nearby states, Jewish and Islamic alike.

Posted February 8th, 2010 Filed in Iran, War on Islamofascism

I’m OK with Iran’s Stance

The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards says that Iran is "ready to defend itself."

It won’t be long before it will be time to give the opportunity to do so.

Tehran will fall faster than Baghdad and order will be restored in a year. After all, Saudi Arabia has a limited supply of foreign terrorists they can ship in and no one will step into Iran’s terrorist leadership role.

Posted November 23rd, 2007 Filed in Iran, Middle East Freedom, War on Islamofascism

The Wise Philosopher

I generally have no use for philosophers (those living today, anyway), nor Frenchmen. In fact, if I could go back in time and kill one individual I would have a hard time coming up with a better candidate than Jean-Jacques Rousseau. (Yes, he was Swiss, but he adopted France and they embraced him to the point of having a revolution and there are statues of the crazy old pervert in town squares all over France to this day.)

So you can imagine what my opinion of a living French philosopher would normally be.

But a commentary by André Glucksmann has me reconsidering that position. His work is too good to excerpt, so go read You said ‘war’, Mr Kouchner, and you were not mistaken…

Brilliant.

Posted September 27th, 2007 Filed in France, Iran, War on Islamofascism

IAEA, Part Deux

The last UN Resolution demanding the Iran stop enriching uranium expired in May, and Iran remains defiant. This is different that Saddam’s behavior before the liberation of Iraq, as he at least pretended to cooperate while leading Hans "Inspector Clouseau" Blix on wild goose chases across the countryside.

This time the member of the axis of evil is out-and-out thumbing his nose at the rest of the world, making just enough concession to draw out the "diplomacy" while continuing to add centrifuges for enriching uranium.

Yet many people put their trust in the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and it’s chief, Mohamed ElBaradei.

Newsweek interviewed IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei about his efforts, and ElBaradei made two very concrete claims.

Newsweek: When the plan was announced, critics said it could undermine the Security Council’s efforts to pressure the Tehran government.
ElBaradei: There was a lot of commotion and misunderstanding about this plan. It’s a litmus test for Iran. In two or three months we’ll know if Iran is serious about coming clean. If they do, that obviously will create better conditions for negotiations. If they [don’t], then of course we will be in a different ball game altogether.

Newsweek: What if in three months Iran hasn’t delivered? If this diplomacy isn’t backed by a credible threat of force, the Iranians can stall and keep enriching and eventually they will have the material that could go into a bomb.
ElBaradei: If Iran were to prove that it was using this period for delaying tactics and it was not really acting in good faith, then, obviously, nobody—nobody—will come to its support when people call for more sanctions or for punitive measures. That is a point that has been made very clear to them by everybody, including myself. If we come [back] with a negative report after three months, I don’t see that anybody will come and say, well, give them another chance.

There you have it. If Iran has not revealed all by the first day of the new year, it is time for action.

After watching "diplomacy" and international politics for a few years, however, there is no doubt that by the first of the year Mr. ElBaradei will be singing a very different tune. One that acknowledges a lack of success but praises imaginary progress and calls for more time and further inspections. We’ve seen this play out before and I have no doubt that ElBaradei and Blix are cut from the same cloth.

Wait. You’ll see.

Posted September 27th, 2007 Filed in Iran, Middle East Freedom, United Nations, War on Islamofascism

Finally, Frenchmen I Like

Quote of the Day:

Weakness and renunciation do not lead to peace. They lead to war.
     — French President Nicolas Sarkozy to UN General Assembly

The back story:

In mid-September, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was almost Bush-like as he used plain language to warn against a nuclear Tehran, warning the world "to prepare for the worst… and the worst means war". Who would have thought a French diplomat could be so, uh, un-Frenchly plain spoken?

Of course, Kouchner started taking flack immediately. Russian Acting Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confronted Kouchner, saying that neither military force nor unilateral sanctions were acceptable in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema said sanctions must be given time and a war in the region "wouldn’t resolve the problem and would only create new tragedies and new dangers." (Coincidently, Italy is Iran’s leading trading partner in the EU.)

The head of the French Foreign Affairs Commission declared Kouchner’s statement was "inappropriate and untimely" as there are still many economic sanctions that can be imposed before making dire threats (i.e., there’s a lot of cajoling and appeasement "diplomacy" that can make it look like they’re not total cowards before the stern talk has to start and somebody ends up looking like a "cowboy").

Meanwhile, Middle East pundits are labeling Sarkozy the "new poodle," taking Tony Blair’s place (read the article, it’s actually quite funny).

Last week, Sarkozy went on French television and appeared to back away from the war-drum beating rhetoric of his foreign minister, stating that while a nuclear-armed Iran was "unacceptable", he hoped a mix of negotiations and sanctions would persuade Iran to drop its nuclear ambitions. But he ratcheted up the sanction rhetoric, declaring that if the UN Security Council can’t apply sanctions, then the EU should come up with their own.

The US has been pressing for additional sanctions since June, as the previous UN resolution (demanding Iran suspend uranium enrichment) expired in May. So the addition of the French voice to this demand is welcome.

The Economist declares that the French are "palpably impatient" with the Security Council as Russia and China are stalling, supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency’s agreement with Iran to complete inspections. This plan, by the way, is really just a series of talks that could stretch into December even as Iran adds centrifuges to its Natanz enrichment plant, nearing the 3,000 needed to start producing usable quantities of nuclear fuel. Nice plan, eh?

Yesterday, Sarkozy gave a long interview to the NYT and IHT, again downplaying the possibility of war. But he again put tough new EU sanctions on the table.

When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the UN General Assembly today, he defiantly declared that Iran would ignore any further UN resolutions. He said that Iran would continue to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency. [Thinking back to the months preceding the liberation of Iraq, I recall my amusement at the IAEA being led around the Iraqi countryside like the Keystone Cops chasing Buster Keaton. No wonder Ahmadinejad wants to work with them.]

When French President Sarkozy addressed the UN General Assembly today, he made a wide-ranging speech, but again stressing the need for action in the form of firm sanctions. While reiterating Iran’s right to nuclear energy (he even offered to help Iran achieve that goal), Sarkozy added there would be no world peace if the international community "shows weakness in the face of the proliferation of nuclear weapons."

Newsweek describes recent events as a "revolution in [French] foreign policy that could transform the transatlantic relationship."

What is really playing out is that lines are being drawn in the sand, and they aren’t exactly new lines. Gordon Chang at Contentions says it well:

Russia and China this week have made it clear they will side with Iran until the theocrats announce they have the bomb—all the while saying they are defending the concept of joint action. As Thomas Friedman says, we are entering the post-post-cold-war period. And in that period the West has no choice but to realize that the world’s authoritarian nations are banding together, and Russia and China are undermining the concept of collective security. Whether we like it or not, we are now engaged in a series of global struggles, with neither Beijing nor Moscow on our side.

As for me, I’m starting to like France again. I may even start buying French wine again.

Posted September 25th, 2007 Filed in France, Iran, Middle East Freedom, War on Islamofascism

Country Freedom Ratings

The Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom has released the early results of their upcoming Religious Freedom in the World 2007. Some highlights:

  • The greatest persecutors of religion are Islamist and communist regimes.
  • Regimes that respect religious freedom also have more civil liberties, more prosperity, better health for their people, and less militarized societies.
  • All of the most religiously free countries are democracies.
  • Religiously free societies encourage private initiative and entrepreneurship.
  • Almost all of the most religiously free countries are culturally Christian in background.

Marshall also pointed out that some tyrannies, and their apologists in the West, prioritize “economic rights” and supposed “Asian” and “Islamic” values over religious freedom for individuals.   But non-Western and historically poor countries such as Mongolia, Thailand, Mali and Senegal have achieved relative religious freedom, without sacrificing their culture or their religion.  “It is a moral travesty of the highest order to maintain that because people are hungry or cold it is legitimate to repress their beliefs as well,” Marshall riposted.

So who did the best? The top “free countries” were:

Country Religious
Freedom
Political
Rights (PR)
Civil
Liberties (CL)
Estonia 1 1 1
Hungary 1 1 1
Ireland 1 1 1
United States 1 1 1

And the most repressive places on Earth:

Country Religious
Freedom
Political
Rights (PR)
Civil
Liberties (CL)
Belarus 6 7 6
China 6 7 6
Iran 7 6 6
Iraq 7 6 6
Libya 5 7 7
Cuba 6 7 7
Eritrea 7 7 6
Saudi Arabia 7 7 6
Burma 7 7 7
China-Tibet 7 7 7
North Korea 7 7 7
Sudan 7 7 7
Turkmenistan 7 7 7
Uzbekistan 7 7 7

Is Iran Losing it’s Mojo?

Iraq the Model wonders if Iran’s honeymoon in Iraq over:

But a number of interesting developments in Iraq in the last few weeks may mark the beginning of failure for Iran’s plan. The developments listed here were collected from both large and small stories in local Iraq newspapers. Perhaps none of them are significant alone, but putting the pieces together allows one to sense that a sea change is underway in this country and the tide is moving against Iran.

An interesting read, especially when he theorizes that militias loyal to Iran will soon escalate their activities, especially outside Baghdad, as Iran tries to recover the dream of a satellite Islamic state in Iraq.

Hat Tip to non-blogging Advised by Wolves.

Posted March 19th, 2007 Filed in Iran, Iraq, War on Islamofascism

Muslim-on-Muslim Violence; Chirac Prepares Surrender Speech

So now al-Qaeda is bombing Muslims in Iran, taking out 11 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.

Al-Sadr has fled to Iran and al-Qaeda has withdrawn from Baghdad. Seems “the surge” is already working. Hmmm, wouldn’t it be cool if al-Sadr was assassinated while in Iran? That would shake up the “Arab street”!

France’s leading anti-terrorism judge is warning that the risk of terror attacks in Europe is high and is increasing.

That must be why Jacques Chirac is readying the white flag of surrender:

French President Jacque Chirac has announced his support for lessening pressure on Iran to stop its nuclear program, for fear Hezbollah will strike at French troops serving in Lebanon, according to information recently received in Jerusalem. According to reports, Chirac proposed sending a special envoy to Tehran to reach understandings that would protect the French soldiers serving in in the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Chirac, always ready to coddle tyrants and terrorists, especially if it undermines America.

I wonder what he is going to do about the death threats to many of the 15,000 French Muslims per year that are converting to Christianity? Gotta love the “religion of peace”.

You know Homeland Security must be doing something right with al-Qaeda starts targeting neighboring countries in order to deal a blow to the Great Satan. The Saudi branch of al-Qaeda is calling for terrorist strikes on Canada’s oil and natural gas facilities to “choke the U.S. economy.”

Speaking of the War on Islamofacism, the Sydney Morning Herald informs us that a new secret US base will be built on defense land at Geraldton. “Secret new US spy base to get green light” screams the headline. Oh wait, the article says that the negotiations are the “secret” part. Does “secret” mean something else in Australian?

Posted February 15th, 2007 Filed in Iran, Iraq, Islam, War on Islamofascism

Iran’s Future

The Iranian oil industry is crumbling under Ahmadinejad’s poor leadership, with output declining every year as the infrastructure is neglected. Unemployment runs over 60 percent for those under 24. The people are growing weary of rhetoric with no substance.

Patience has paid off at the UN, with the Security Council voting 15-0 to impose sanctions on Iran for pursuing its nuclear ambitions. Even China and Russia have been persuaded to take a stand against the nuclear program that they are helping to build, further isolating Iran.

Last weeks election was an overwhelming defeat for Ahmadinejad’s hard-line stance. Even in a country where the hardliners count the votes, they only seated 2 candidates.

Victor Davis Hanson pens an excellent analysis of Iran and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s shaky position.

Bottom line: President Bush’s policy of international pressure is exactly what is needed.

We do not, as the “Iraq Study Group” suggests, need to give Ahmadinejad street cred by engaging him in formal negotiations. We need to further isolate the mullahs and eventually Iran will go the way of Libya. Not as soon as Syria, but within 5 years.

 

Posted December 29th, 2006 Filed in Iran, War on Islamofascism