[FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great Forum Index [FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great
Views expressed here are not necessarily the views & opinions of ActivistChat.com. Comments are unmoderated. Abusive remarks may be deleted. ActivistChat.com retains the rights to all content/IP info in in this forum and may re-post content elsewhere.
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Mr. Bush reflects on Cyrus the Great
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Post new topic   Reply to topic    [FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great Forum Index -> The Greatest Liberator
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:31 pm    Post subject: Bush takes blame in Iraq, adds troops Reply with quote

New President Bush’s Iraq Strategy Is Not Comprehensive and Does Not Address Roadmap For Total Victory Against Islamic Fascists Occupiers Of Iran and Terror Networks ... Focus On Iraq Is Not A Solution ... State Of Denial Is Not Moving Us to Victory ...
President Bush wrote:
The changes I have outlined tonight are aimed at ensuring the survival of a young democracy that is fighting for its life in a part of the world of enormous importance to American security..

Non Secular government based on Islam or supported by Islamists of any kind can not be considered as a young democracy and might create future problems as we have seen it on Sept 11.
President Bush wrote:
Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved.

If we have correct vision of future then the victory might look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved.
President Bush wrote:
But victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab world -- a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its people.

The fact that majority of Iraqi are speaking Arabic does not mean they are Arab or belong to Arab world.
Anything based on Islam can not respect fundamental human liberties, free society and Secular Democracy ...
President Bush wrote:
A democratic Iraq will not be perfect.

After spending over 400 billions of dollars and loosing over 3000 military personal and over 22,000 wounded naturally we the people are expecting far better result .....

President Bush concedes mistakes but our list of his mistakes does not match with his list, because our startegy are based on Secular Democracy, Human Rights, Free Society and long term peace. President Bush vision of democracy is very narrow ... and that is the source of his many mistakes ....

To avoid a return to before September 11 thinking, recommending the new set of optimal rules and test cases.

Due to the fact that the U.S.A. was founded as a secular government, based on the authority of "We, the People," not a god, or dictator. and was the first nation in history to separate church and state therefore any new foreign policy and strategy must reflect the vision of American founding fathers and not short term interest of any single group with hidden agenda.

President Bush new Iraq strategy, The Iraq Study Group, and the congress Democrat Leadership have ignored the real facts (Secular Democracy, Free Society, ….), and looking the other way for their party hidden agenda and failures.
Our recommended test cases and criteria that are based on the American founding fathers vision, spirit of freedom, US constitution are defined as follows:
1- Have a secular democracy purpose
2- Have a Human Rights purpose
3- Have a Free Society purpose
4- Have a primary effect to increase freedom at global level.
5- Have the element of War Of Ideas to expand public awareness, education and expansion of truth.
6- Have an element of Freedom of Choice
7- Applying the U.S.A. Supreme Court accepted "Lemon test," to foreign policy decisions, strategy and conduct. According to the "Lemon test," in order to be constitutional, a law or public act must: a) Have a secular purpose. b) Have a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion. c) Not result in excessive governmental entanglement with religion.

Both President Bush , and Democrat Congress Leadership strategy and policy did not pass the above standard general test cases and expectations therefore should be considered as not satisfactory and any new future foreign policy strategy from Right or Center or Left should pass the above test cases. No compromise and nothing less than total victory against Islamic Fascists Occupier of Iran can be acceptable from leadership after spending so much resources in Iraq .....

President Bush wrote:

1- Do you agree with the following President Bush Statement? “this nation is at war with Islamic fascists” http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/08/20060810-3.html

2- Do you agree with the following President Bush Statement? “The Iranian regime arms, funds, and advises Hezbollah, which has killed more Americans than any terrorist network except al Qaeda. The Iranian regime interferes in Iraq by sponsoring terrorists and insurgents, empowering unlawful militias, and supplying components for improvised explosive devices. The Iranian regime denies basic human rights to millions of its people. And the Iranian regime is pursuing nuclear weapons in open defiance of its international obligations.” http://activistchat.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=29571#29571

3- Do you agree with the following President Bush Statement? “Iran is a nation held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people, and denying them basic liberties and human rights. The Iranian regime sponsors terrorists and is actively working to expand its influence in the region.” http://activistchat.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7800

4- Do you agree with the following President Bush Statement? “The same is true of Iran, a nation now held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people. The regime in that country sponsors terrorists in the Palestinian territories and in Lebanon -- and that must come to an end. The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions -- and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons. America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats. And tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran.” http://activistchat.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7639

5- Do you agree with the following President Bush Statement? “I've a message for the Iranian people: The United States respects you and your country. We admire your rich history, your vibrant culture, and your many contributions to civilization. When Cyrus the Great led the Iranian people more than 2,500 years ago, he delivered one of the world's first declarations of individual rights, including the right to worship God in freedom. Through the centuries, Iranians have achieved distinction in medicine and science and poetry and philosophy, and countless other fields.” http://activistchat.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=28716#28716

If President Bush agrees that the great majority of Iranian people are pro American and the level of people support for USA is unmatched by any other country in the world why President Bush did not focus on Iran to help them against Islamic Fascists ... ? The population in Iran tends to have very favorably views of American culture, American values – and of Americans, because the one million Iranian-American community in US are promoting the truth to their relatives and rejecting regime propaganda.

AP White House wrote:
Bush takes blame in Iraq, adds troops
By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON - President Bush acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that he erred by not ordering a military buildup in Iraq last year and said he was increasing U.S. troops by 21,500 to quell the country's near-anarchy. "Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me," Bush said.

President Bush wrote:

Address by the President to the Nation
The Library

9:01 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight in Iraq, the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global war on terror -- and our safety here at home. The new strategy I outline tonight will change America's course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror.

When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation. The elections of 2005 were a stunning achievement. We thought that these elections would bring the Iraqis together, and that as we trained Iraqi security forces we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops.

But in 2006, the opposite happened. The violence in Iraq -- particularly in Baghdad -- overwhelmed the political gains the Iraqis had made. Al Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognized the mortal danger that Iraq's elections posed for their cause, and they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis. They blew up one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam -- the Golden Mosque of Samarra -- in a calculated effort to provoke Iraq's Shia population to retaliate. Their strategy worked. Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed death squads. And the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence that continues today.

The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people -- and it is unacceptable to me. Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.

It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq. So my national security team, military commanders, and diplomats conducted a comprehensive review. We consulted members of Congress from both parties, our allies abroad, and distinguished outside experts. We benefitted from the thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. In our discussions, we all agreed that there is no magic formula for success in Iraq. And one message came through loud and clear: Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States.

The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people. On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.

The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital. This violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, and shaking the confidence of all Iraqis. Only Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people. And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.

Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have. Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work.

Now let me explain the main elements of this effort: The Iraqi government will appoint a military commander and two deputy commanders for their capital. The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi Army and National Police brigades across Baghdad's nine districts. When these forces are fully deployed, there will be 18 Iraqi Army and National Police brigades committed to this effort, along with local police. These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations -- conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints, and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents.

This is a strong commitment. But for it to succeed, our commanders say the Iraqis will need our help. So America will change our strategy to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence and bring security to the people of Baghdad. This will require increasing American force levels. So I've committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq. The vast majority of them -- five brigades -- will be deployed to Baghdad. These troops will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations. Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs.

Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Well, here are the differences: In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents, but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned. This time, we'll have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared. In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter those neighborhoods -- and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.

I've made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq's other leaders that America's commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people -- and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people. Now is the time to act. The Prime Minister understands this. Here is what he told his people just last week: "The Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation."

This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks. Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering. Yet over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad's residents. When this happens, daily life will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas. Most of Iraq's Sunni and Shia want to live together in peace -- and reducing the violence in Baghdad will help make reconciliation possible.

A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations. Ordinary Iraqi citizens must see that military operations are accompanied by visible improvements in their neighborhoods and communities. So America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.

To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution.

America will change our approach to help the Iraqi government as it works to meet these benchmarks. In keeping with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, we will increase the embedding of American advisers in Iraqi Army units, and partner a coalition brigade with every Iraqi Army division. We will help the Iraqis build a larger and better-equipped army, and we will accelerate the training of Iraqi forces, which remains the essential U.S. security mission in Iraq. We will give our commanders and civilians greater flexibility to spend funds for economic assistance. We will double the number of provincial reconstruction teams. These teams bring together military and civilian experts to help local Iraqi communities pursue reconciliation, strengthen the moderates, and speed the transition to Iraqi self-reliance. And Secretary Rice will soon appoint a reconstruction coordinator in Baghdad to ensure better results for economic assistance being spent in Iraq.

As we make these changes, we will continue to pursue al Qaeda and foreign fighters. Al Qaeda is still active in Iraq. Its home base is Anbar Province. Al Qaeda has helped make Anbar the most violent area of Iraq outside the capital. A captured al Qaeda document describes the terrorists' plan to infiltrate and seize control of the province. This would bring al Qaeda closer to its goals of taking down Iraq's democracy, building a radical Islamic empire, and launching new attacks on the United States at home and abroad.

Our military forces in Anbar are killing and capturing al Qaeda leaders, and they are protecting the local population. Recently, local tribal leaders have begun to show their willingness to take on al Qaeda. And as a result, our commanders believe we have an opportunity to deal a serious blow to the terrorists. So I have given orders to increase American forces in Anbar Province by 4,000 troops. These troops will work with Iraqi and tribal forces to keep up the pressure on the terrorists. America's men and women in uniform took away al Qaeda's safe haven in Afghanistan -- and we will not allow them to re-establish it in Iraq.

Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

We're also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence-sharing and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.

We will use America's full diplomatic resources to rally support for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists and a strategic threat to their survival. These nations have a stake in a successful Iraq that is at peace with its neighbors, and they must step up their support for Iraq's unity government. We endorse the Iraqi government's call to finalize an International Compact that will bring new economic assistance in exchange for greater economic reform. And on Friday, Secretary Rice will leave for the region, to build support for Iraq and continue the urgent diplomacy required to help bring peace to the Middle East.

The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life. In the long run, the most realistic way to protect the American people is to provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy, by advancing liberty across a troubled region. It is in the interests of the United States to stand with the brave men and women who are risking their lives to claim their freedom, and to help them as they work to raise up just and hopeful societies across the Middle East.

From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian Territories, millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence, and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children. And they are looking at Iraq. They want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists, or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom?

The changes I have outlined tonight are aimed at ensuring the survival of a young democracy that is fighting for its life in a part of the world of enormous importance to American security. Let me be clear: The terrorists and insurgents in Iraq are without conscience, and they will make the year ahead bloody and violent. Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue -- and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties. The question is whether our new strategy will bring us closer to success. I believe that it will.

Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship. But victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab world -- a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its people. A democratic Iraq will not be perfect. But it will be a country that fights terrorists instead of harboring them -- and it will help bring a future of peace and security for our children and our grandchildren.

This new approach comes after consultations with Congress about the different courses we could take in Iraq. Many are concerned that the Iraqis are becoming too dependent on the United States, and therefore, our policy should focus on protecting Iraq's borders and hunting down al Qaeda. Their solution is to scale back America's efforts in Baghdad -- or announce the phased withdrawal of our combat forces. We carefully considered these proposals. And we concluded that to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear the country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale. Such a scenario would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer, and confront an enemy that is even more lethal. If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.

In the days ahead, my national security team will fully brief Congress on our new strategy. If members have improvements that can be made, we will make them. If circumstances change, we will adjust. Honorable people have different views, and they will voice their criticisms. It is fair to hold our views up to scrutiny. And all involved have a responsibility to explain how the path they propose would be more likely to succeed.

Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror. This group will meet regularly with me and my administration; it will help strengthen our relationship with Congress. We can begin by working together to increase the size of the active Army and Marine Corps, so that America has the Armed Forces we need for the 21st century. We also need to examine ways to mobilize talented American civilians to deploy overseas, where they can help build democratic institutions in communities and nations recovering from war and tyranny.

In these dangerous times, the United States is blessed to have extraordinary and selfless men and women willing to step forward and defend us. These young Americans understand that our cause in Iraq is noble and necessary -- and that the advance of freedom is the calling of our time. They serve far from their families, who make the quiet sacrifices of lonely holidays and empty chairs at the dinner table. They have watched their comrades give their lives to ensure our liberty. We mourn the loss of every fallen American -- and we owe it to them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.

Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve. It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the burdens of freedom. Yet times of testing reveal the character of a nation. And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed. Now America is engaged in a new struggle that will set the course for a new century. We can, and we will, prevail.

We go forward with trust that the Author of Liberty will guide us through these trying hours. Thank you and good night.

Last edited by cyrus on Sat Jan 13, 2007 8:09 pm; edited 6 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:21 pm    Post subject: Rice warns Iran against aggression after US reportedly nabs Reply with quote

Rice warns Iran against aggression after US reportedly nabs more Iranians in Iraq
by David Millikin

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Iran that the United States won't "stand idly by" if Tehran tries to disrupt Washington's renewed effort to stabilize Iraq.

Speaking hours after US troops reportedly arrested five Iranians in a raid in northern Iraq, Rice said Washington was determined to crack down on Iran's "regional aggression."

Rice declined to comment specifically on the operation in the northern city of Arbil, which came shortly after President George W. Bush announced a new US strategy to end the violence in Iraq that included stepped up moves to counter Iranian and Syrian involvement in the country.

In a spate of television interviews and testimony in Congress to defend the new Bush plan for Iraq, Rice declined repeatedly to rule out US military action against Iran -- accused by the administration of supporting anti-US insurgents and Shiite radicals in Iraq and of trying to develop nuclear weapons.

"I don't want to speculate on what operations the United States may be engaged in, but you will see that the United States is not going to simply stand idly by and let these activities continue," she said in one interview.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared since Bush in 2002 branded Iran part of an "axis of evil" alongside Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Last year, Washington pushed successfully for UN sanctions against Iran in a bid to halt its uranium enrichment program, which the US says is aimed at producing nuclear weapons while Iranians say they only want to make atomic energy.

In Wednesday's speech, Bush fed fears of possible US military strikes on Iran by announcing the deployment of an additional aircraft carrier group to the Gulf and the supply of Patriot anti-missile systems to nearby allies.

"We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq," he said.

Rice defended the Gulf military deployments as needed to assure US allies they "have the defense capacity that they need against a growing Iranian military buildup."

She also said Bush in his speech was referring to taking action against Iranian and Syrian operatives inside Iraq.

"Obviously, the president isn't going to rule anything out to protect our troops, but the plan is to take down these networks in Iraq," she said.

Democratic Senator Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a fierce critic of the Iraq war, warned Rice that Congress -- controlled by the opposition since November elections -- would intervene if Bush turned his sights on Iran.

"I believe the present authorization granted the president to use force in Iraq does not cover (Iran) and he does need congressional authority" to order military strikes against that country, he said.

In her testimony, Rice also reaffirmed the Bush administration's refusal to open a dialogue with Iran on stabilizing Iraq, as strongly recommended last year by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group and many foreign policy experts.

She said the Iranians would seek in any such talks to obtain concessions in the standoff over its nuclear program in exchange for help in Iraq.

"That's not diplomacy, that's extortion," she said.

Bush critics jumped on the latest Iraq measures as signs of a looming new conflict with Iran.

Bush "appears to be setting the stage for a wider war in the region," said Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich. "Isn't one war enough for this president?"

"The worst possible scenario in this crisis is the breakout of an armed confrontation between Washington and Tehran, said Abdulaziz Sager, chairman of the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center, adding that such action would "have serious security ramifications for the region".

Iran meanwhile condemned the arrest of five people it described as staff from a consular office in Arbil.

US military officials in Iraq confirmed only that six people were arrested in an operation in the Arbil area, but denied the raid targeted an official diplomatic office.

Last month US forces detained two Iranian nationals on suspicion of weapons smuggling in a raid in Baghdad, but the pair were later released.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:08 pm    Post subject: Squeezing Iran Reply with quote

Squeezing Iran

January 12, 2007
Review & Outlook
The Wall Street Journal

The United States has known for years that Syria and Iran are supporting Sunni insurgents and Shiite radicals in Iraq -- support that has taken a heavy toll in American lives. On Wednesday, President Bush finally suggested he'll do something about it.

"We will disrupt the attacks on our forces," Mr. Bush said. "We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq."

Those sound like fighting words, and even before he spoke U.S. forces raided the Iranian "office of relations" in the Kurdish city of Irbil, arresting five of its employees and seizing documents and other property. That raid follows the arrest of two Iranian diplomatic officers in Baghdad last month; they were expelled to Tehran, but they were found with incriminating documents that probably led to yesterday's raid in Irbil.

It's about time, and we hope the Administration keeps showing Tehran that it will pay a price for continued subversion in Iraq. There's certainly much more coalition forces can do.

Consider the problem of Iranian-manufactured improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, some of which are capable of penetrating M-1 tank armor. According to information provided by an Iranian opposition group with a track record for accuracy, many of those IEDs arrive in Iraq via the southern Shalamche and central Mehran-Badreh border crossings with the connivance of Iraqi officials friendly to the Iranian regime. At a minimum, coalition forces can police and seal those crossings.

The U.S. can also shut down the network of charities and "cultural institutions" that serve as front groups for Iranian terrorist activities. Iran's so-called Qods (Jerusalem) Force, the terrorist arm of its elite Revolutionary Guards, operates in Iraq under the aegis of the Al-Najaf Al-Ashraf Al-Saqafieh Establishment, based in the city of Najaf and run by Iranian mullah Hamid Hosseini.

Arms deliveries are organized by the innocuously named "Headquarters for Reconstruction of Iraq's Holy Sites," which is supposed to work at rebuilding and preserving Shiite shrines but is said to be under the control of a Qods Force general. Money for these groups arrives in Iraq through a number of Iranian-controlled currency exchanges. Iran is also attempting to establish a branch of Hezbollah in Iraq even as it trains Iraqi Shiite militants at bases in Iran.

Less information is publicly available on Syria's current support for the insurgency, but what we do know is damning. After the battle for Fallujah in November 2004, U.S. troops seized GPS systems "with waypoints originating in western Syria," according to the Washington Post, while captured fedayeen reported receiving small arms and explosives training in Syrian camps. Syria is also suspected of harboring former Saddam loyalists such as Izzat Ibrahim Al Douri, King of Clubs on the card deck of Iraq's most-wanted and now the self-declared successor to Saddam as President of Iraq.

We wouldn't rule out incursions into either country, if military circumstances warrant. This does not mean another invasion, but Predator strikes or special forces raids against terror camps in either country are surely justified to protect American lives and help the new Iraqi government succeed. Syria's Assad family has a long history of meddling in the affairs of its neighbors -- not just Iraq but also Israel, Turkey and Lebanon. But the Assads also understand the language of force, as when they swiftly shut down the anti-Turkish terrorist PKK operations after Turkey threatened to invade in 1998.

Iran is also susceptible to U.S. pressure, both military and non-military. The President's decision to deploy another carrier battle group to the Persian Gulf suggests he is prepared to counter any Iranian moves to interfere with maritime traffic in the area, as it did in the late 1980s. We are also heartened by signals from the Administration that it has all but given up on its mostly fruitless attempt to sanction Iran's nuclear transgressions at the United Nations. On Tuesday, the Treasury Department designated state-owned Bank Sepah for its role in Iran's missile procurement network; more can be done to freeze or seize the assets of key Iranian officials whose personal assets are usually parked abroad.

One failure of Mr. Bush's war leadership has been to clearly define the enemy in Iraq, which for a long time has included Syria and Iran. The more we have shown forbearance, the nastier their actions have become. We hope Mr. Bush's remarks Wednesday, and the actions in recent days, signal a new determination to take the battle to that enemy.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:50 pm    Post subject: Next Steps in the Iran Crisis Reply with quote

House Committee for Foreign Affairs
January 11, 2007
Next Steps in the Iran Crisis
R. James Woolsey

Mr. Chairman, Representative Ros-Lehtinen, Members of the Committee, I was honored to be asked to testify before you today on this important issue. By way of identification I am currently a Vice President of the consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton; I principally work in the field of energy. Earlier, during a twenty-two year career of practicing law in Washington, I served in the federal government on five occasions, holding Presidential appointments in two Republican and two Democratic administrations, most recently as Director of Central Intelligence for two years during the first Clinton administration. Today I am expressing solely my personal views.

The Iranian Regime

In a sense, Mr. Chairman, the Iran Crisis now enters its 28th year. The totalitarian and corrupt regime in Tehran does not differ in any fundamental way from that which took power in the aftermath of the collapse of the Shah’s regime in 1979.

It is true that beginning in the late nineties during the first year of the Khatami presidency there was a period of a year or so when the optimistic could believe that the forces of moderation might make substantial progress in Iran. But the crackdown in the spring of 1998 on students and journalists, including the imprisonment and killing of many, should have signaled clearly that these hopes had been dashed. Khatami was always a creature of the regime. He had passed the test of regime approval to be permitted to run for President, a test honorably failed by dozens of more truly reform-minded and brave Iranian political figures. He made no substantial changes in the nature of the regime during his time in office.

Now the camouflaged mantle of “moderate” has passed from Khatami to Rafsanjani, who during his time in office was responsible for the execution and imprisonment of a great many regime opponents, and the murder abroad of a large number as well. If President Khatami might be compared to Prime Minister Kosygin in the Soviet Union – a man who was labeled “moderate” largely because he didn’t use excessive rhetoric and smiled more than his colleagues – then Mr. Rafsanjani’s current characterization as a moderate or pragmatist might be compared to the image of Mr. Andropov that the KGB successfully sold to much of the world’s press: the evidence for Mr. Andropov’s moderation was that he listened to jazz and drank Scotch. Mr. Rafsnjani, for example, like President Ahmadinejad, has threatened the destruction of Israel; has noted he is responsible for many deaths of decent people; he is also famously corrupt.

The regime’s threats to destroy Israel and, on a longer time-scale, the United States are part and parcel of its essence. Recent official statements to this effect represent not a shift in policy – Iran’s regime has defined itself by its fundamental hostility to the West, and especially Israel and the US, for nearly three decades (“Great Satan” etc.) – but rather a greater degree of public and explicit candor.

This fundamental hostility is now seasoned by a more pointed expression of the views of the circle of fanatic believers around Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi in Qum, including Ahmadinejad himself. This group expressly promotes the idea that large-scale killing should be welcomed because it will summon the return of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi, which in turn will lead to the end of the world. Recently the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting web site has begun to assert that the world is in its “last days” and that, as the world ends, Jesus will appear with the Mahdi, as a Shi’ite and as his lieutenant. This rhetoric is not limited to a small circle. Rafsanjani, e.g., has utilized it as well. To us, of course, it sounds bizarre – but we ignore such ideology at our peril. As Enders Wimbush points out in the current Weekly Standard “Iran’s leadership has spoken of its willingness – in their words – to “martyr” the entire Iranian nation, and it has even expressed he desirability of doing so as a way to accelerate an inevitable, apocalyptic collision between Islam and the West . . . .” Those in decision-making roles in the Iranian regime who believe such things are certainly not going to be very inclined to negotiate in good faith with us about Iraq, their nuclear program, or indeed anything at all. Even deterrence is questionable, much less arms control agreements.

The Iranian regime does not restrict itself to hideous speech. As President Bush noted last night, the regime is assisting terrorists to infiltrate into Iraq and is providing material support to attacks on the US. It is clear, for example, that the increasingly effective Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are not so improvised any more – many now include sophisticated shaped charges that penetrate armor. And they are of Iranian manufacture. Over the years, directly and through its controlled assets such as Hezbollah, Iran has killed and murdered hundreds of Americans – in Beirut, at Khobar Towers – and large numbers of Israelis, French, and Argentinians as well. Torture has often also been part of the picture.

The Persians invented chess and if I were to characterize Iran’s international behavior today in those terms I would say that they are actively utilizing a number of pieces. One might call their nuclear weapons development program their queen – their most lethal and valuable piece. No one should, by the way, discount their intention to obtain nuclear weapons. The traces of highly-enriched (not just fuel-grade) uranium, their deception, their heavy water plant and other indicators brand their program as one designed to develop nuclear weapons even in the absence of considering their rhetoric about destroying Israel and ending the world. The Sunni states of the region have become extremely alarmed at the Iranian regime’s nuclear weapons program and six of them, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have recently announced their intent to move toward nuclear programs themselves, allegedly solely for electricity generation. It seems remarkable that six states, several of them with substantial reserves of oil and gas, would simultaneously determine that these reserves would be inadequate for their energy needs and that adequate electricity can only be obtained by their simultaneously moving to develop nuclear power. What has in fact, of course, happened is that Iran has now begun a Shi’ite-Sunni nuclear arms race in this volatile region.

I do not believe that any degree of international disapproval -- or sanctions such as the tepid ones that can be obtained through the UN process in the face of Russian and Chinese opposition to strong ones – will lead this regime to abandon its nuclear weapons program. And even if it should be two-to-three more years before Iran could have enough fissile material through the operation of its own centrifuges to fashion an entirely home-built nuclear weapon, one must not forget its co-conspirator North Korea. North Korea’s principal exports today are counterfeit American currency, heroin, and ballistic missile technology (the Iranian Shahab and the North Korean No Dong and Taepo Dong essentially constitute a joint missile development program). Why would North Korea refrain from selling Iran either fissile material or a crude nuclear weapon? Either is easily transported by air. Such a purchase would substantially shorten the time before Iran could have a nuclear weapon.

Iran moves four chess pieces of lesser value from time to time in part to keep the US and Israel off balance, in part to protect their nuclear queen: Hamas, Hezbollah, and Moqtadh al Sadr’s forces in Iraq might be said to be pawns; Syria perhaps rises to the level of rook, since it is a nation-state and has a mutual defense treaty with Iran. It is of no particular importance to the regime that the Alawite Syrian regime needed special Iranian theological dispensation to be regarded as part of Shi’ite Islam nor that Hamas is Sunni. The Iranian regime, going back to the training of the very Shi’ite Revolutionary Guards in the early seventies in Lebanon by Yasser Arafat’s secular Fatah, is quite willing to work with terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda, that have all sorts of different ideological DNA. In recent years this has included visits with and even mutual travel by Ahmadinejad with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

Some believe that Shi’ites will not cooperate with Sunnis, or either with secular groups – that, e.g., there could have been no collaboration of any kind by secular Baathist Iraq or Shi’ite Iran with Sunni al Qaeda. Seventy years ago it was the conventional wisdom was that Communists and Nazis would never cooperate, and that was largely true – until the Stalin-Hitler Pact. The Iranian regime doesn’t just appreciate but more or less lives the old Middle Eastern saying: “Me against my brother. Me and my brother against our cousin. Me, my brother, and our cousin against the stranger.”

Some Suggested Courses of Action

Given the nature of the Iranian regime, what should we do?

I agree that this is a difficult matter and that there are no easy answers. But since I am convinced that the Iranian regime is fundamentally incorrigible, and since I am not yet ready to propose an all-out use of military force to change the regime and halt its nuclear program, in my judgment we should opt for trying to bring about, non-violently, a regime change. I admit that the hour is late since we have wasted much time trying to engage and negotiate with the regime, and I understand that in the context of an effort to change the regime without using force the effort could get out of hand. Yet I am convinced that the least bad option if for us to state clearly that we support a change of regime in Iran because of the irremediable theocratic totalitarian nature of the current regime as it has been demonstrated over nearly three decades, together with its interference with the peace and security of its neighbors – currently especially Iraq and Lebanon – and its nuclear weapons program. I also believe that restiveness among Iranian minorities – Arab, Kurdish, Azeri, and Baluch – and the sullen opposition of many young people indicate that there is some chance of success in stimulating regime change. In a poll taken at the behest of the Iranian government some three years ago over 70 per cent of those polled said that they wanted improved relations with the US. The Iranian government, of course, imprisoned the pollsters.

To implement this policy I would suggest that we begin by rejecting the recommendation of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) that we should try to “engage [the Iranian regime] constructively”, i.e. seek to negotiate with them. As Senator John Kyl and I wrote just over a month ago in an open letter to the President (in our capacities as Honorary Co-Chairmen of the National Security Advisory Council of the Center for Security Policy) opening negotiations with Iran, and Syria, would legitimate those regimes, embolden them and their affiliated terrorist groups, help the Iranian regime buy time for its nuclear weapons program, create the illusion of useful effort and thus discourage more effective steps. We added that no regional conference should take place without including Israel. I would point out that the able analyst of these matters, Kenneth Pollack, in his book The Persian Puzzle (2004) sets it out clearly. Iran is not really interested: “. . . Iran is simply not ready for a meaningful relationship with the United States. . . . From America’s side, our dislike of this regime should not prevent the conclusion of a comprehensive settlement of our differences, but from Iran’s side it has and it likely will for quite some time . . . .” (pp. 396-97).

Second, we should indeed engage, but with the Iranian people, not their oppressors.

Along the lines of recommendations made a year ago by the Committee on the Present Danger (which I co-chair with former Secretary of State George Shultz), and by Iran experts such as Michael Ledeen, we should target sanctions – travel and financial – on the Iranian leadership, not on the Iranian people, and draw a sharp line between them. One possibility in this regard is to seek to bring charges against President Ahmadinejad in an international tribunal for violation of the Genocide Convention in calling publicly for the destruction of Israel. Our precedent would be the charges brought against Charles Taylor while President of Liberia for crimes against humanity before a special international tribunal in Sierra Leon. Iran’s protectors in the United Nations would doubtless block the establishment of such a tribunal, but clarity and principle have a force of their own – Natan Sharansky and other Soviet dissidents then in the Gulag have told us of the electrifying effect of President Reagan’s declaration that the USSR was an “evil empire”.

We should also engage in ways similar to those techniques we used in the 1980’s to engage with the Polish people and Solidarity -- by communicating directly, now via the Web and modern communications technology, with Iranian student groups, labor unions, and other potential sources of resistance.

We should abandon the approaches of Radio Farda and the Farsi Service of VOA and return to the approach that served us so well in the Cold War. Ion Pacepa, the most senior Soviet Bloc intelligence officer to defect during the Cold War (when he was Acting Director of Romanian Intelligence) recently wrote that two missiles brought down the Soviet Union: Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Our current broadcasting does not inform Iranians about what is happening in Iran, as RFE and RL did about matters in the Bloc. Privately-financed Farsi broadcasts from the US follow the RFE-RL model to some extent, but exist on a shoestring. Instead we sponsor radio that principally broadcasts music and brief world news, and television that, I suppose seeking a bizarre version of balance, sometimes utilizes correspondents with remarkable views: one VOA correspondent, on another network, last year characterized the arrest in the UK of 21 individuals accused of plotting to blow up transatlantic airliners with liquid explosives as “a conspiracy against Islam” by the US and alleged that the US and the UK fabricated the plot to deflect attention from “Hezbollah victories”. (Richard Benkin in Asian Tribune Aug. 12, 2006, vol. 6 no. 41.)

Our current broadcasting is a far cry from RFE and RL’s marvelous programming of news, cultural programs, investigative reporting (in the Eastern Bloc), and satire. (As an example of what could be done with satire I have attached to this testimony an article published some months ago by me and my family about one, admittedly quite unorthodox, possibility.)

Finally Iran’s economy is driven by oil exports. This leaves it open to several measures. Although Iran has reaped substantial financial rewards from today’s high oil prices we have begun to have some effect on its oil production by our campaign to dry up its oil and gas development. The Iranians are very worried about this. Deputy Oil Minister Mohammed Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian recently said in an interview that:

“[i]f the government does not control the consumption of oil products in Iran . . . and at the same time, if the projects for increasing the capacity of the oil and protection of the oil wells will not happen, within ten years there will not be any oil for export.” (Daneshjoo publishers, Current News, article 9303.)

At the appropriate time we could move toward a step that, although drastic, is potentially very effective relatively quickly – namely cutting off Iran’s imports of refined petroleum products (Iran has built no refineries in many years and must import around 40 per cent of its gasoline and diesel fuel).

And finally, by moving toward technology that can reduce substantially the role of oil in our own economy and that of the world’s other oil-importing states, we can help deprive oil exporters – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, and others – of much of their leverage in international affairs. As Tom Friedman of the NY Times puts it, the price of oil and the path of freedom run in opposite directions. The attached op-ed piece of mine, published in the Wall Street Journal December 30, notes the possibility of plug-in hybrid vehicles soon making it possible for consumers to get around 500 miles per gallon of gasoline (since almost all propulsion would come from much less expensive electricity and renewable fuels, the latter mixed with only 15 per cent gasoline). This may seem an extraordinary number. But when General Motors last Sunday joined Toyota in the plug-in hybrid race to market and unveiled its new Chevrolet Volt, one of its executives used a figure of 525 miles per (gasoline) gallon. Five hundred and twenty-five miles per (gasoline) gallon should give Minister Nejad-Hosseinian and his colleagues a bracing degree of concern.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:22 pm    Post subject: Coalition targets Iranian influence in Northern Iraq Reply with quote

Coalition targets Islamic Fascists Revolutionary Guard influence in Northern Iraq
Jan 14, 2007 - 5:50:23 AM
Email this article
Printer friendly page

Blackanthem Military News, BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces continue investigations into the activities of five Iranian nationals detained in Irbil on Jan. 11. Preliminary results revealed the five detainees are connected to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard – Qods Force (IRGC-QF), an organization known for providing funds, weapons, improvised explosive device technology and training to extremist groups attempting to destabilize the Government of Iraq and attack Coalition forces.

According to Coalition Force officials, efforts will continue to target all who break the law, attack the Coalition Force or attempt to undermine the Government of Iraq.

The facility in which the detention took place has been described by various Iraqi officials as an Iranian liaison office, but it did not enjoy the diplomatic status of a consulate according to Iraqi and U.S. officials.

The Multi-National Force, in keeping with U.S. policy, will continue to disrupt logistical support to extremists that originate from outside Iraq. These initiatives are part of a broader plan including diplomatic efforts designed to support the Iraqi government, protect the Iraqi people, and seek assistance from neighboring nations, according to coalition officials.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:35 pm    Post subject: US Hunts 'Rogue' Agents Reply with quote

US Hunts 'Rogue' Agents

January 15, 2007
Sky News


The US will "go after" Iranian and Syrian agents which it says are operating in Iraq. US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said the networks of agents were helping support the Sunni insurgency and Shi'ite death squads. Mr Khalilzad said the police would "change the behaviour" of Iran and Syria in what he said was a "defining moment" in the history of Iraq.

"We're going after their networks in Iraq," he told a news conference.

"We will target these networks in the ... expectation of changing the behaviour of these states."

The move follows the arrest in a US operation last week of five Iranians in northern Iraq.

The US said the men were Republican Guards supplying weapons to Shi'ite militants.

Iran said they were diplomats operating from an Iranian government office in Arbril and are demanding their release.

Iraq's foreign minister has also endorsed Iranian calls for their release.

Mr Khalilzad and the US commander in Iraq, General George Casey, denied there was any disagreement between Washington and Iraqi Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki over the detentions.

The US has accused Iran of supplying weapons to the Shi'ite militias that are destabilising Iraq.

It also accuses Syria of not doing enough to stop Sunni insurgents travelling in and out of Iraq through the Syrian border.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:11 pm    Post subject: Iranian Regime Change: "Faster, Please!" Reply with quote

Iranian Regime Change: "Faster, Please!"

January 15, 2007
Alex Koppelman


Even among his fellow neoconservatives, Michael Ledeen stands out as a politically divisive figure. He's loved -- and consulted at the highest levels -- by his fellow travelers for his hard-line positions on the Middle East. His catchphrase, "Faster, please!" refers to the speed with which he'd like the United States to compel regime change in Iran. He's hated with equal passion by liberals for those same stances, as well as for his connection, real or imagined, to two scandals. During Iran-Contra, Ledeen acted as an intermediary between the Reagan White House and Israel. It's even been suggested by more than one blogger that he may have played a role in either creating or couriering the infamous forged documents that said Saddam Hussein was attempting to obtain uranium in Niger.

On Friday, as rumors swirled about a possible secret executive order against Iran and Syria, and the shock waves from the president's speech and the raid on an Iranian consulate continued to reverberate, Ledeen spoke with Salon about what military action he thinks the administration might be contemplating and what he'd like to see happen in the region. He also discussed some of the more recent controversies in which he's been involved: his apparently mistaken report that the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, has died, and his denial, late last year, that he had ever supported the war in Iraq.

The president's speech Wednesday night certainly made it sound as if U.S. military operations might soon be expanded into Iran and Syria. How do you feel about that?

Well, what [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice said [Thursday] is that they're going to try and do it all inside Iraq. And I'm not sure that's possible.

Why is that?

Among other things, there's consular agreements and stuff like that. I mean, I think they're going to have a lot of trouble maintaining that it's kosher to go in to embassies [within Iraq], consulates, things like that, and arrest people. So I mean, I'm not sure that'll stand up legally.

What do you think the U.S. should do?

I want to support revolution in Iran.


Listen, can I ask you a question? Have you read anything I've written?


I mean, I've answered this so many thousand times, and I'm really bored by this question. And I've laid it all out in writing, so -- can we pass on that, since you know the answer to that question?

The answer to that question is basically that you'd like to fund student movements, give them communications tools...

Not just student movements. I want to declare regime change to be policy. I want to support the pro-democracy groups in Iranian society, which includes like 80 percent of the population. I want to support them politically and financially if they want it. I want to broadcast at them, exactly as we did into the Soviet empire during the Cold War. I want to replicate Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, which we're really not doing. I mean, they pretend to do it, but they really don't. Farsi service on [the Voice of America] is sort of a replica of CBS News or something like that. They want to be balanced; they give both sides. And we're not giving them what they need, more than anything else, which is the experiences of people who have participated in successful nonviolent revolutions.

Why will this work?

Well, I'm not sure it will work. But it ought to work. I mean, Iran fulfills every condition of a revolutionary society. It's a wildly unpopular government, it's a very young population, they've shown their unhappiness with it in every way that you can imagine, from street demonstrations to celebrating banned holidays and everything like that. The polls that the regime itself takes show upwards of 70 percent of the people wanting regime change. So why not? I mean, it ought to work. And most revolutions require some kind of external base of support in order to succeed.

What happens if democratic revolution doesn't work?

Then we're left in the same bind that we're in now, which is that Iran -- the Iranian regime -- has been waging war against us for 27 years, 28 years. And we haven't yet responded to it. I gather this administration is trying to grope their way through some way to do it now in Iraq.

But what would you want to see happen if democratic revolution doesn't work?

I don't really have an answer to that, because I expect that revolution will work. I certainly -- the only military things that I support are what I consider legitimate measures of self-defense, that is, going after terrorist training camps in Iran and Syria, where they train people who come in and kill coalition forces, and going after the facilities where they're putting together these explosive devices [IEDs].

Do you speak Farsi, the language of Iran?

No. That's why God invented translators.

Do you think that's at all a drawback for you in trying to understand what's going on there?

I don't know, I've been working on Iran since 1979. I think I've done pretty well. I mean, the book I did with Bill Lewis, also not a Farsi speaker, on the fall of the shah, has been universally acclaimed as one of the best scholarly works on the subject, and I've been at it ever since. I feel pretty comfortable about the quality of my work. I would be happy if I spoke Farsi, but I'm too old [65] to learn another language, I think.

Do you think Israel's going to attack the Iranian nuclear plants, as was suggested in the British media recently?

I don't know. I really don't have that impression, but I don't know.

What about the appointment of a Navy man, Admiral Fallon, as head of Central Command, which is responsible for all U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan? What do you think that signals?

I don't understand it. I don't know why you'd put an admiral in charge of a ground war.

So do you think that shows any signs that the U.S. might be contemplating some kind of military action that doesn't include a ground war –- like, say, a carrier-based attack on Iran?


Why is that?

Because any commanding officer can order bombing. I mean, the people who designed the bombing know how to design bombing runs. That's an inter-agency, inter-service, highly legalistic procedure, and it doesn't much matter whether the head of CentCom is from the Navy or the Army or the Marines or the Air Force. He's not going to design it.

Have you learned any lessons from what's happened in Iraq since 2003?

I'm sure I've learned a million lessons from what's gone on in Iraq. Yes, lots. I mean, I remain convinced that my basic contention from the beginning was right, which was that there was no way we could go into Iraq and expect that we could provide decent security and stability without dealing with Iran and Syria and most likely Saudi Arabia. That proved to be correct.

And I think it's becoming clearer with the passage of time that the Iranians are going all out to drive us out of Iraq, as I expected they would. As they said they would, even before Operation Iraqi Freedom. I did not think that the possibility of sectarian conflict was as great as it has turned out to be; I did see, and I wrote early on, that the Iranians were going all out to provoke civil wars, all kinds of civil wars: Sunni-Shiite, Arab-non-Arab, tribe vs. tribe and so forth. For quite a long time it didn't work. But it shows you what persistence will accomplish. I mean, they have accomplished many of their objectives.

You once wrote that "if we come to Baghdad, Damascus and Tehran as liberators, we can expect overwhelming popular support." Do you regret having written that?

No, I think we had it. We certainly had it in Baghdad at the beginning. And I think that if we were successful in supporting democratic revolution in Tehran, we'd have unbelievable popular support, and I should think in Damascus as well, although I should confess I don't know Syria as well as I know Iran.

An article in the January 2007 issue of Vanity Fair featured some prominent Iraq war supporters reconsidering their stance, and after an excerpt was released pre-publication, you said that you had always opposed war in Iraq. But there are numerous prewar examples of you saying the opposite. How do you reconcile that?

It's because people generally take it out of context. If you read what I said about the war, I said two things. I said, first of all, that it was much too military and much too little political, and that we should spend much more time supporting democratic forces in Iraq, the same thing I said about Iran, the same thing I said about the Soviet Union, et cetera. And the second thing that I said about the war before we went in was that Iran was the primary target and that we should not invade Iraq before we dealt with Iran, and that we could deal entirely politically with Iran and not militarily at all.

And yes, so once the national policy was that we were going to go militarily into Iraq, I supported it. But I kept on saying that we were going to have all these problems, and that it would have been better to do it the other way, and that dealing with Iran was inevitable, and so it has proven to be.

And all those people who think that my only position was that we should invade Iraq and send armies to invade Iraq just haven't read what I wrote, or they haven't read enough of it. And I will plead guilty to not having put those lines into everything I wrote, but you really can't. You can't put everything into 700-word articles, as you know.

I know that, but in responding to the excerpt, you said flat out, "I opposed the military invasion of Iraq before it took place."

I did. I said it was the wrong way to do it and it was the wrong war. That the war we should have been fighting was Iran, and it should be political, and even in the case of Iraq it was much too military. That's absolutely correct.

You also outlined, a couple weeks after 9/11, a four-point program for fighting terror. Point two was taking restrictions off the activities of the Iraqi National Congress, the exile group led by the controversial Ahmad Chalabi. Do you regret that now?

No ... the war against the Iraqi National Congress inside the American administration was every bit as intense as the war against Saddam. And we never did let the Iraqi National Congress operate, and we never did support them, and in fact the money that Congress appropriated for the INC was blocked in the State Department for years. They would not disperse it. There was money for INC broadcasting, a television station and so forth, that was not given to them. And there are many more examples of that.

But we did try to install Ahmad Chalabi, the head of the INC, in a prominent position in Iraq's government.

Not that I know of. Who's the 'we?'

[Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy] Douglas Feith.

Yeah, but that wasn't -- I mean, the Pentagon didn't get to make policy in Iraq. [Ed. note: In fact, the Coalition Provisional Authority, the transitional government in Iraq, came under the authority of the Department of Defense.] It was mostly State Department, and CIA blocked the INC at every turn. I mean, there's cases during the war where INC people went in and liberated towns, and CIA went in and ordered them out. Said they'd shoot them if they didn't leave. So they were not partners at all. The hatred for Chalabi inside the American government is something you can't imagine, and the number of things that were done to make sure that Chalabi did not succeed is impressive.

And you don't think it's justified?

I liked him. I thought he was a bright, talented person with the skills to bring Iraqis together; he demonstrated that over time. And I thought he could probably do it in Iraq as well.

The recent story that you put up on your blog on the conservative Web site Pajamas Media, saying the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was dead -- what do you think about that now?

What I said on my blog, which is agnostic. There's people who think he's dead; there's people who think he's alive. I haven't seen anything to show that he's alive. On the other hand, I also don't have convincing confirmation that he's dead.

But you ran a story that said he was dead. There seems to be photographic evidence that he's alive.

I had the story from what I thought was a good source, and then I and everybody else at Pajamas followed it as closely as we could and put up every conflicting claim and every bit of conflicting evidence, tried to be as honest and forthcoming about that story as anybody possibly could.

Do you think it's a black mark on your record, on Pajamas' record?

Why? To tell the truth about what I was told and then to put up all the evidence as it came in? No. I think it's exactly the way news organizations should perform: They should say, "We've been told this," and then they should stay on top of it. Do you prefer the New York Times waiting three months to tell their readers that their story about a woman being imprisoned for life in Central America for abortion was false, even though they knew it all along? I think we did a terrific job ... In the case of the Khamenei story right now, I don't know what the truth is. I've said that. But I'm trying to follow the story as closely as I can. I'm totally unconvinced by the so-called evidence from the Iranians that he's alive. I mean, the films could have been doctored, the photographs are clearly -- some of the photographs are clearly old photographs. What I am sure of is that if he isn't dead, he's in terrible physical condition and that the power struggle for succession to Khamenei is well under way. That's for sure.

If the president's speech, the action against the consulate, all that, presages military action against Iran, would you support military action at that point?

I will deplore it. I've said that all along. I have said that if we arrive at a point where we feel compelled to take military action against Iran, it will be a confession of failed policy. I don't want military action against Iran, and I certainly don't want to invade Iran. I do want to defend our soldiers. And I do think they're entitled to better defense than they've had so far, and I've felt that for a long time. I first proposed going after terrorist training camps in the mid-1980s, after the Iranians blew up the American Embassy and the Marine barracks in Beirut. The Iran story, if you put the Iran story in context, it really is astonishing, because the Iranians have been waging war against us since 1979, and we are only now beginning to grope toward some kind of response. It's really quite incredible; it's not an ideological thing. Because we've had Democrats and Republicans, we've had hawks and doves, and none of them has developed an effective Iran policy. It's one of the greatest mysteries in the history of American foreign policy. It's a really big issue, and no administration has found a way to deal with it effectively.

They've done a lot. And we haven't really done anything. They're always No. 1 on the terrorist list, and still we do nothing, and now we're stumbling toward a situation where we're going to end up bombing them, is what it looks like. So that's what happens when you don't do the things you should have done all along. We're supposed to stand for freedom. We're supposed to stand for freedom movements against tyrants, and we do it all over the world, we do it in case after case. We do it everywhere from the Ivory Coast to Haiti to the Philippines to Georgia to Russia and so forth. Why not Iran?

Well, isn't there a risk of, you know, destabilizing the entire region?

The region is happily destabilized. And Iran is a great destabilizing force itself.

Sure, but also isn't al-Qaida salivating over the prospect of us getting involved in Iran?

Why? If there's a free Iran, they'll be kicked out.

From what I've read of their strategy, they've said, "We want to see the U.S. go into Iran, and then we want to see them go in to Syria."

[Laughs.] Well, where are they going to live, then? Where's poor old Zawahiri going to go live? Back to the caves? I don't think so. I think that's all bluster. I think that's briar patch talk.

But Iraq has worked out pretty well for them.

I would not say -- I would not want to be -- well, they've lost thousands of people.

Sure, but numerous people have said the Iraq war is the recruiting poster al-Qaida has always wanted.

Well, they've done well in recruiting for quite a long time, and I don't think that they have benefited as well from Iraq in terms of recruiting as people imagine. I think their recruiting is independent of Iraq. I mean, Iraq is a great cause for them, to be sure, no question. But they don't suffer from a lack of great causes, and the kind of indoctrination they do doesn't really revolve around a single thing. I mean, Iraq is where they go to die nowadays, but if they weren't going to Iraq, they'd go elsewhere.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:06 pm    Post subject: Hassan Abbasi Reply with quote

Please see URL for both the video and the translation transcript.

On September 12, 2004 SOSIRAN warned the world community of characters such as Hassan Abbasi, a leading terrorist and the top advisor of Islamic Republic and play threatening Abbasi's speech on the air and on TV. As a responsible opposition group, SOSIRAN also decided to translate Abbasi's speech and thus, 2 days later, on September 14, 2004, SOSIRAN made a translated transcript of Abbasi's speech available for the public and distributed it widely.

Let us hope that the news is correct that Abbasi has been arrested in Irbil or Arbil in Iraq.

threatswatch wrote:

Iraq-Iran Relations Challenging US Push
Amid Evidence of Iran Feeding Both Sides of Sectarian Violence, Iraqi Foreign Minister Plans To Open More Border Points
By Steve Schippert
While the telegraphed ‘surge’ of US troops into Baghdad seemingly meets more questions of meeting planned Iraqi troop levels than those of America, the multi-faceted front with Iran remains active and fluid. The US raid on an Iranian office in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil last Thursday and the actions that have followed continue to mark the intentions of many Iraqi politicians to forge a relationship with Iran in spite of their proven fueling of both sides of Iraq’s ongoing sectarian violence.

The Irbil raid netted the capture of 5 Iranians along with documents and computers. Iran protested the raid on the grounds that the office was a consulate protected by diplomatic immunity. However, according to a military intelligence source who spoke with ThreatsWatch, while the Iranians told the Iraqi Kurds governing the city that it was a diplomatic consulate, Iran had never officially filed the location as such, leaving it unprotected by international law. This led to the initial confusion at the airport between Kurdish and American forces. The governing Kurds did not want to be party to an illegal raid in violation of international law.

It was reported early that among the individuals captured was Hassan Abbasi, thought of as Iran’s principle strategic thinker and a leader in the IRGC’s Qods Force. (Also see MEMRI audio/video Part I and Part II, with transcripts here and here.) However, the detained Hassan Abbasi was not the Qods Force leader in question, but indeed an Iranian by that name.

The US State Department said that the captured Iranians may have helped insurgents attack American troops in Iraq. Given that the sole function of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force is to export the Iranian revolution by funding, arming and training foreign (to Iran) terrorist groups, this is likely a foregone conclusion.

Even still, some in the elected Iraqi government are protesting the detention of the Iranians, just as was protested the detention of Iranians in a late December Baghdad raid that yielded the #3 general in Iran’s Qods Force – later released - as well as a ‘wiring diagram’ of the Iranian support network for both Shi’a and Sunni sectarian factions in Iraq.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari explained the geo-political reality that “We have to live in this part of the world,” unlike the United States. “We have to live with Iran. We have to live with Syria and Turkey and other countries.” Even when confronted with proof that the Iranians are pouring in weapons, including milled copper IEDs and fanning both sides of the sectarian violence seeking an unstable Iraq, the Kurdish Zabari said that Iraq plans to soon negotiate even more border entry points with Iran.

This approach to Iran is frustrating US officials who are not only openly confronting an instigating Iran that it had long ignored, but are also facing fresh doubts whether Iraq will meet its troop obligations agreed to in President Bush’s plan to secure Baghdad.

But with the highly-publicized plan to mass US and Iraqi forces to clear Baghdad of Sunni insurgents and Shi’a militias, it can be expected that far fewer combatants will have remained there for a confrontation considered a no-win scenario, just as was the case in Fallujah.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:29 pm    Post subject: How to Topple the Mullahs Reply with quote

How to Topple the Mullahs
January 18, 2007
Kenneth R. Timmerman


For now, the nutty recommendation of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group that the United States should engage in direct talks with Syria and Iran appears to have been mooted by events on the ground.

U.S. military forces have caught Iran red-handed – twice – over the past few weeks in Iraq, No one can possibly doubt any longer what I and many others have been saying for some time: that Iran is involved on the ground in Iraq and is aiding both Sunni and Shia insurgents in an effort to blow that country apart.

But like all bad ideas in Washington, rest assured that the Baker-Hamilton recommendation of direct talks will come back. Study group members can be counted upon to argue that the capture of top Iranian Revolutionary Guards and intelligence officials in Iraq only proves their point that Iran has real influence and thus must be dealt with directly, to prevent them from playing the spoiler’s role.

And by the way, they will argue, what’s the alternative? Nuke Iran?

It is regrettable and truly astonishing that President Bush has not applied to Iran and to Syria the same global vision he has so eloquently displayed in regards to Iraq and other fronts in the global war against the Islamic jihad. Because there is a clear alternative to the capitulation offered by Baker, Hamilton, and their advisors.

Instead of rewarding these regimes, the United States should use its tremendous resources to contain Syria and to undermine the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Such a policy is not far-fetched, nor is it based solely on ideology, although compelling moral arguments can be made in its favor. Instead, it serves the national and historic interests of the United States.

Syria is a weak and failing state, that survives largely because it goes unchallenged.

After the assassination in Feb. 2005 of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, the Lebanese people revolted against Syrian interference in their country. The brave and persistent demonstrations of the Cedars Revolution forced Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon. The failure of the United Nations and the international community to keep pressure on the Syrian regime encouraged Syria to creep back in through the back door.

The lessons just of these past two years are crystal clear: pressuring Syria works; acquiescing to Syria does not. And yet, the Baker-Hamilton group chooses acquiescence. When Syria sins, force Israel to make concessions, the ISG recommends. If there is logic here, it is not of the sort to make Americans proud.

Instead, the United States should make the Syrian regime understand that it will pay a real price for its transgressions. Serious economic sanctions on Syria for its continued support of Hezbollah, in defiance of UN Security Council resolution 1701, would have a devastating impact on the minority Alouite regime. And targeted military strikes on Syrian border outposts and military units caught red-handed aiding Iraqi insurgents would send a clear warning to Syria’s military leaders. If Syria did not get the message, the United States could step up the pressure by targeted air strikes on Damascus safehouses where Iraqi insurgent leaders continue to hide.

Syria has always backed down when challenged. If Mr. Baker were truly the “realist” he claims to be, he would acknowledge this and propose policies accordingly.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, however, is made of different stuff. This is a regime that over the past twenty-seven years has been willing to pay a tremendously high price in blood and treasure to pursue its radical policies. Since the 1979 revolution, the United States has repeatedly attempted to “influence the behavior” of the regime, without success.

As I wrote in these pages just last month, the Baker-Hamilton proposal is a warmed rehash of the same failed policy we’ve been trying since 1979.

There is only one approach that will get the attention of the Tehran’s revolutionary and clerical leaders; and this is the one approach that Baker and Hamilton – and the foreign policy Establishment - have rejected: support for regime change.

This is the one approach that the United States and its allies have never tried. Short of an all-out U.S. military assault on Iran, it is the only approach that can avoid a future Persian Gulf region dominated by a radical Iranian regime armed with nuclear weapons. Saying pretty-please, as the Baker-Hamilton group proposed, just isn’t going to work.

Empowering Iranians to change their regime will be costly. From having worked with opponents to the Iranian regime over the past twenty years, and studied the requirements of opposition groups currently working inside Iran, I believe the United States should be prepared to commit a minimum of $300 million over an initial six month period if we are to have any hope of a successful outcome.

The very first step must be the appointment by the President of a Special Envoy for Iran, with full presidential authority to convene a loya jirga type meeting of several hundred prominent Iranian leaders. The majority of those able to attend such a meeting will of necessity come from the diaspora; some will come secretly from the inside.

That meeting should focus on establishing a broad declaration of principles around which the various opposition factions can unite, and then electing an executive committee that will include authorized spokespersons for the pro-freedom movement. (Much of the ground work for such a broad meeting of Iranians has already been accomplished over the past two years, thanks to the Iranians themselves).

Over the next six months, the following tasks must be accomplished:

Drafting a detailed game plane for organizing massive non-violent protests against the regime in Tehran. This game plan must include strategies for neutralizing the Revolutionary Guards, the bassij corps, and paramilitary gangs loyal to extremists in the current regime, and for preventing the Islamic-Marxist Mujahedin Khalq, which worked with the regime during the early years of the revolution, from exploiting the situation and seizing power in a putsch. It must also include a strategy for providing financial support to striking workers and professionals;

Specific policy recommendations for the United States and our allies, so we can best leverage tools available to governments and international organizations for delegitimizing and destabilizing the Tehran regime. (The U.S. Department of the Treasury has made a modest start here).

Identify, contact, and train key operations officers on the ground in Iran;

Identify and pre-position secure communications and other equipment needed to coordinate operations inside Iran; and

Establish a finance committee tasked with harnessing the tremendous resources of the Iranian diaspora, who have withheld major support to the pro-freedom movement because they rightly judged that the movement lacked U.S. support.

Broadcasting must be an integral part of any comprehensive political plan to challenge the legitimacy of the Iranian regime and promote non-violent regime change. However, none of the $300 million fund should go to expanding the Persian language service of Voice of America or Radio Farda, the Persian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Both have failed utterly to live up to the goal for which they were established.

Rather than communicate an American viewpoint during Iran’s proxy war against Israel this past summer, for example, VOA television sent reporters to Beirut to interview top Hezbollah leaders – the same Hezbollah leaders Iranian state television was treating as rock stars.

As for Radio Farda (“Tomorrow”), established to be a “surrogate” for the free media Iranians could not access inside their own country, it became a laughing stock by championing Iran’s failed reformist president, Mohammad Khatami.

Since Ahmadinejad took over as president in 2005, Radio Farda has adopted the “music-first” model of Westwood One and become simply irrelevant. Both are a waste of U.S. taxpayer dollars and should be downsized or eliminated altogether.

Instead, funding should be provided to private Iranian broadcasters who understand the political thirst of their compatriots and know how to package a compelling message in a professional format. The allotment of the broadcasting budget should be determined by the Executive Committee, with a preference to pluralism and professionalism.

The U.S. intelligence community can play a support role in this effort, but should not take the lead. The last thing we need is to ask the Central Intelligence Agency to organize the Iranian opposition.

On the contrary, much of this program can – and must – be accomplished overtly. Having the President of the United States openly support the aspirations of the Iranian people, at the same time devoting $300 million to back the effort, will have a tremendous impact on pro-democracy forces inside Iran, without yet putting lives at risk.

At the end of the initial six month period, the President can then decide if he believes the program is viable. If so, he can pull the trigger on the plan devised by the pro-freedom groups in coordination with his Special Envoy. The U.S. will need to commit another $500 million or so to the effort of organizing and supporting the massive non-violent protest movement throughout Iran. This will be supplemented by another $500 million or more raised from the Iranian diaspora.

This is expensive, for sure. But it is far less costly than the alternatives of facing a nuclear-armed Iran, or having to send in U.S. troops to prevent Iran from deploying or firing nuclear weapons.

The Baker-Hamilton approach of engaging the terror-masters brings great risks and few rewards. It sends a clear message that terrorism, even conducted against the world’s sole superpower, is a strategy that works. Engagement with Iran and Syria will foster more terror, not curtail it.

Furthermore, engaging regimes that systematically repress their own people and seek to destroy a bold democratic experiment on their borders, sends a clear message to pro-democracy forces inside those countries that their efforts can never succeed.

In one simple stroke, the Baker-Hamilton approach will have emboldened our enemies, and deterred our potential allies. And yet, for reasons that only the chattering classes can explain, this goes by the name “realism.”

Supporting regime change by Iranians, while containing Syria, not only makes the best strategic sense for America. It is the right thing to do.


Kenneth R. Timmerman was nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize along with John Bolton for his work on Iran. He is Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, and author of Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran (Crown Forum: 2005).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:59 pm    Post subject: President Bush Iran related State of the Union 2007 Reply with quote

President Bush State of the Union 2007 ( Iran related Section Of Speech)


-- societies where men and women make their own choices, answer to their own conscience, and live by their hopes instead of their resentments. Free people are not drawn to violent and malignant ideologies -- and most will choose a better way when they're given a chance. So we advance our own security interests by helping moderates and reformers and brave voices for democracy. The great question of our day is whether America will help men and women in the Middle East to build free societies and share in the rights of all humanity. And I say, for the sake of our own security, we must. (Applause.)

These men are not given to idle words, and they are just one camp in the Islamist radical movement. In recent times, it has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists who are just as hostile to America, and are also determined to dominate the Middle East. Many are known to take direction from the regime in Iran, which is funding and arming terrorists like Hezbollah -- a group second only to al Qaeda in the American lives it has taken.

A thinking enemy watched all of these scenes, adjusted their tactics, and in 2006 they struck back. In Lebanon, assassins took the life of Pierre Gemayel, a prominent participant in the Cedar Revolution. Hezbollah terrorists, with support from Syria and Iran, sowed conflict in the region and are seeking to undermine Lebanon's legitimately elected government. In Afghanistan, Taliban and al Qaeda fighters tried to regain power by regrouping and engaging Afghan and NATO forces. In Iraq, al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists blew up one of the most sacred places in Shia Islam -- the Golden Mosque of Samarra. This atrocity, directed at a Muslim house of prayer, was designed to provoke retaliation from Iraqi Shia -- and it succeeded. Radical Shia elements, some of whom receive support from Iran, formed death squads. The result was a tragic escalation of sectarian rage and reprisal that continues to this day.

If American forces step back before Baghdad is secure, the Iraqi government would be overrun by extremists on all sides. We could expect an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by al Qaeda and supporters of the old regime. A contagion of violence could spill out across the country -- and in time, the entire region could be drawn into the conflict.

For America, this is a nightmare scenario. For the enemy, this is the objective. Chaos is the greatest ally -- their greatest ally in this struggle. And out of chaos in Iraq would emerge an emboldened enemy with new safe havens, new recruits, new resources, and an even greater determination to harm America. To allow this to happen would be to ignore the lessons of September the 11th and invite tragedy. Ladies and gentlemen, nothing is more important at this moment in our history than for America to succeed in the Middle East, to succeed in Iraq and to spare the American people from this danger. (Applause.)

The United Nations has imposed sanctions on Iran, and made it clear that the world will not allow the regime in Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons. (Applause.)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:26 pm    Post subject: President Bush Reply with quote

President Bush 2/12/2007 6:47 PM ET WASHINGTON (AP)


"The Iranian people are good, honest, decent people and they've got a government that is belligerent, loud, noisy, threatening — a government which is in defiance of the rest of the world and says, 'We want a nuclear weapon,'" Bush said. "So our objective is to keep the pressure so rational folks will show up and say it's not worth the isolation."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    [FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great Forum Index -> The Greatest Liberator All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Page 2 of 2

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group