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Rejecting Any Kind of Talks with Islamofascist
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my current understanding this is more ceremonial and they can not interfere in political system and everyday life of people. UK might not be good example.

Turkey is not considered as very stable democracy.

Indeed, ceremonial in context to cultural and traditional values. Which points to what I said about what works for one nation may not work for another.

Now whether a nation has an official state religion may not define it as non-secular, so long as it has constitutional laws in place, inplemented and practiced in society granting and assuring the right to freedom of worship...which would then I think make that nation "secular" by definition (as Turkey was defined "secular democracy" in the testimony of Amb. Fried above)

Interestingly enough, China may be called secular as the government is non religious, but this in itself does not guarantee freedom of worship as seen by the supression of religious practice in that nation.

So I think we are back to a case by case cultural outline of the question.

Now what I'm about to suggest may be a unique way of looking at the word "Islamist", but don't hold it against me.

I defined it as "of Islam" ...a litteral interpretation.

In this context, I must question whether what the Ayatollah, Antar, and the adherants of the 12 imman are all about can be called "Islamist" as "of Islam"...in the context of the litteral definition.

Here's why.... In many cults, there is little or no resemblence to the primary religious belief that inspired it or from which it was derived....even so it is fair to think that it may be "of" that religion because the cult's belief was derived from it originally.

OK, but what the 12 imman "cult" that rules Iran today is practicing as a sick combination of Marxist-Facist political/religious dogma and has hardly any resemblance to what a vast majority of the world's Muslim population adhears to.

In fact it is altogether another belief in practice with a mythological imman as it's "prophet" bearing in name only any relationship to Islam as it's worshiped by Muslims of the world. Mohammed is not this cult's primary inspirational source.


It's like calling Jim Jones and the koolaid cult he had down in South America Cristian. So I think it's time to find a different word to define something that (and this gets back to my thoughts about June 2005 being a defining moment in Iranian history) is a completely new development on the world stage (though it has been developing for some time interally in the confines of the Islamic Republic of Iran)

Indeed, when it comes to even the constitutional application of the IRI , the 12th Imman cult knows no constitutional restriction, consistantly violates even the IRI's constitution (as screwed up as it is anyway, it was based on some consistant set of sharia law and separation of powers) at will.

When you want to think about a legal basis of reform in Iran today, even the sham reformers are at a loss, because there is now no applicable legal framework for reform, and this one fact makes any peaceful reform from within a dim possibility.

In America's civil rights movement, MLK had constitutional language already existing to draw upon, and was simply trying to get the US government to be equitable in the application and interpretation of it to serve all people equally.

But here again I am at a loss as to how to properly define the dogma of the regime in power today in Iran, save but with the word Evil.

But on second thought, Evil may be a word that risks giving them too much power and credibility.

So here's the topic I would start, but I leave up to you to do...what do we call this new thing that has mutated and metastisized from an Islamic Republic exploding on the world stage in June 2005 onward? It wasn't instant....it had warning signs, took time to manifest as you know, and that is why it is essential that folks take great pains to learn what it was that lead up to it's full-blown development, so we can defeat it. As is as well equally important to determine how the opposition and the people of Iran failed to stop it's rise to power, because in some respects it mirrors the initial rise of the original Islamic republic, though in a soft-sell military coup in a sham western style elect-show...Reminding me of the fact that the problem with political jokes is that they often get elected. But it's no joke, the world's got a big problem on it's hands because of it.

There's a topic here asking whether Islam should be made illegal. I would say that the 12th imman should be illegal. Indighted even before some mythical reaparition in apocalyptic mode, arrested on sight and stuffed back into that well, buried alive and capped off with cement.

Along with his buddy Antar....they can have a nice long chat then, for sure.

Take care,

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Cyrus,

In line with Amb. Fried's testimony, and complementing it were these two gentlemen's testimony, I have outlined in bold a point or two that might serve the debate on the question of mine above, what a proper definition of the 12th imman cult might be...

Islamic Extremism in Europe

Ambassador Henry A. Crumpton, Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Testimony before the Subcommittee on European Affairs of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee
Washington, DC
April 5, 2006

Chairman Allen, Senator Biden, Distinguished Members of the Subcommittee: thank
you for the opportunity to testify today. I will summarize my formal written
statement and ask that you include my full testimony in the record.

It is now well known that the terrorist cell that conducted the 9-11 attacks
did much of its planning from a base in Europe. Five years later, and despite
many counterterrorism successes, violent Islamist extremism in Europe continues
to pose a threat to the national security of the United States and our allies.

At the global level, Al Qa'ida (AQ) still seeks to attack the United States,
and despite suffering enormous damage since 2001, still retains a capability to
do so. But, increasingly, the threat comes from smaller, more diffuse,
locally-based groups that are not under AQ command, but rather share its vision
of a global war against the civilized world, especially against those Muslims
who embrace a vision of tolerance and interconfessional harmony. In Europe,
this threat manifests itself in a variety of ways: direct attacks like those in
Madrid and London; recruitment of terrorists and foreign fighters for Iraq; and
ideological safe havens in immigrant communities isolated from mainstream
society. In addition, as our collective efforts in Iraq and that region
constrain the mobility of foreign fighters into Iraq, enemy recruits may seek
other areas in which to gather and operate. Europe is a potential target.

Assistant Secretary Fried has provided an excellent overview of Islamist
extremism in Europe, the conditions that allow it to develop, and some of our
efforts to counter these conditions. I would like to provide some additional
information on our efforts and the challenges we face in doing so.

To be successful we will need to address both the immediate, direct threat
posed by terrorism today, and the long-term potential for growth in extremism.

The immediate threat is clear and in some ways easier to address: specific
persons or groups seeking to launch attacks on specific targets. Those people
must be captured, killed or deterred, and their attacks prevented, almost
always in concert with our partners. But at the same time as we and our
partners work to protect and defend our homelands and to attack the terrorists'
ability to operate, we must also counter the ideologies that support violent

Dealing with the threat from violent extremism, therefore, requires that we and
our partners wage a traditional campaign using our judicial, law enforcement,
financial, military, and diplomatic resources. Simultaneously, we must fight
the enemy in the arena of ideas, ideas suffused with justice, integrity, and
virtue. This challenge will resemble, in some ways, that which we faced during
the Cold War. Countering violent extremism involves a world-wide effort. It
will last decades, if not longer. And this ideological conflict halting the
spread of al-Qa'ida's perverted world view will be at the heart of this

How do we prepare for this challenge? We need to counter the terrorist network
by building alternative networks. All human beings belong to networks. They
create bonds of shared experience and trust, and support their needs.
Disrupting enemy networks in the war on terrorism is an essential activity, but
it can only take us part way to success. We must also work with our partners to
find alternative ways to meet people's social and economic needs and prevent
them from gravitating toward extremist networks.

To do this, we and our partners need each other's help, and we will need each
other's trust more than ever. Trust, rooted in understanding, promotes
information sharing and collective strategies. In the operational context,
trust stimulates speed, agility, stealth, and collective strength. We must
understand the enemy networks, their tactics and the space in which we confront
them so that we may determine practical countermeasures. We must also
understand ourselves and each other. Based on this knowledge, we can forge
powerful networks of trust that help us out-think, out-maneuver, and out-fight
the terrorists.

As we seek to do this in Europe, we begin with a major advantage. Decades of
close transatlantic collaboration have created powerful institutions, where the
impulse for close cooperation is deep-rooted: NATO, the EU, and the G8. These
bodies serve in different ways to help us address the challenge of Islamist
extremism. They already institutionalize the habits of trust and cooperation
that need to underpin our common effort against the enemy. Moreover, they bring
to bear all the instruments of national and trans-national power diplomatic,
informational, military, economic, legal, intelligence and, better yet, serve
as force multipliers.

Although we begin with this advantage in Europe, we also need to build and
bolster partnerships and trusted networks to achieve our aims. In the eight
months since I have been Ambassador for Counterterrorism, we have held a series
of high-level CT discussions with the UK, one of our closest allies. I just
returned last Friday from our most recent interagency session. Another set of
talks is underway with France, an effective, tough CT partner. I will lead an
interagency delegation to Paris in May. These discussions are not mere
"consultations." On the contrary, these exchanges lead to programs and
operations, maximizing our collective abilities to hurt the enemy.

With the British for example, we have advanced cooperative efforts to address
terrorist use of the Internet and have collaborated to counter the extremists'
message. We also cooperate well beyond the borders of Europe. In Iraq and
elsewhere, our teamwork with British and Canadian partners has secured the
release of our hostages. The French, working with us, have provided training to
judges in Indonesia, which follows French legal practices. Through a bilateral
counterterrorism working group, I have engaged with my Russian counterpart to
consider ways to counter the influence of extremist ideology. We met most
recently in late February and we will meet again in June. In the G8, moving
beyond the long-standing and effective program of CT cooperation through the
CTAG (Counterterrorism Action Group), we have been working with partners on
projects aimed at addressing terrorist recruitment in prisons and developing
common policies that reach out to the moderate voices and leaders in Muslim
communities around the globe. In addition, we are supporting the Russian-led G8
initiative to find new ways to enlist the private sector in counterterrorism
projects through the development of public/private sector partnerships.

We have made progress but there is much more required. Our European partners
must also take the lead in their own countries. They need to find ways to build
trusted networks of their own that isolate and marginalize terrorists and their
supporters, galvanize revulsion against the murder of innocents, and empower
legitimate alternatives to extremism. This element of trust will play a key
role as European governments seek to mobilize mainstream members of at-risk
communities to counter the extremists and their message.

Clearly, the Europeans abhor and condemn terrorism and violence. But moving
from condemnation of terrorism to active cooperation with authorities to bring
perpetrators to justice requires a new level of trust. This underscores a
critical point: the struggle against extremism in Europe is not just the
"destructive" task of eradicating enemy networks, but also the "constructive"
task of working to build trust and confidence in governments' commitment to
fairness and opportunity for all their citizens. This creates interdependent
networks that can offer communities legitimate alternatives to the twisted
perspectives and false solutions exposed by extremists.

As in the Cold War, we and our partners will need to engage in an ideological
struggle, a battle to undermine the philosophical basis for violent extremism.
As the international community continues to pursue specific organizational
remedies, using our legal systems, intelligence services and security forces,
we must simultaneously develop a strategy to de-legitimize terrorism. Our
European partners must do more to encourage all their citizens to identify with
the societies in which they live. This will not be easy. But, we must do a
better than we are doing now.

Our European partners understand the gravity of the threat. The Madrid and
London bombings, the van Gogh murder in the Netherlands, the cartoon riots, all
have served to reinforce the need to confront and overcome violent Islamist
extremism. Many European governments are rooting out terrorist networks and
support systems. Spain continues to disrupt extremist cells on a regular basis,
detaining and convicting dozens of suspects in the last two years. France
recently broke up a network recruiting foreign fighters for Iraq, and just last
month put on trial suspects from an alleged terrorist network connected to
militants in Chechnya and Afghanistan. The Netherlands, using new and tougher
counterterrorism legislation, recently convicted members of the Hofstad Group.

But despite this shared perception of the threat, there is disagreement over
the most effective means to counter the threat. Some Europeans continue to
argue that terrorism is merely or mainly a criminal problem. In the last
year, there has been a raging controversy in Europe about specific
counterterrorism practices allegedly used by the United States. This is a
serious issue deserving serious consideration lest it undermine the trust that
is essential to our effort. To succeed in applying our vast power against the
enemy, we must calibrate and focus that power, so that our actions are
legitimate and, importantly, perceived as legitimate.

We are engaging on all these issues with our European partners. Secretary Rice
and Legal Adviser Bellinger have met with European leaders and officials and
laid out clearly our policies and practices. As we move forward in our
dialogue, our European friends need to know that the United States understands
that these are difficult questions and that differences remain. We recognize
the need to address the perception gaps and the need to explain our actions.
This point is critical. In our global, high-tech, media-saturated society,
perception and misperception affect legitimacy. Legitimacy or lack thereof, in
turn, enhances or degrades power, respectively. This is unprecedented, in terms
of scope, speed, and impact. And, this is yet another fundamental shift in the
nature of war. We must work with our European partners to understand this.

We view the enemy on this global battlefield as a "threat complex" comprising
three strategic elements: leaders, safe havens and underlying conditions. Given
that the overall terrorist threat resembles an insurgency, we must develop a
counterinsurgency strategy that incorporates all the tools of governance to
attack the enemy, deny safe haven, and address the socio-economic and political
needs of at-risk populations. Offensive tactical CT success buys us time and
space to build the far more enduring, constructive programs needed to undercut
extremists' ability to appeal to the disaffected. Moreover, this "threat
complex" covers multiple, layered, and overlapping battlefields: global,
regional, national, and local. Denying terrorists safe haven demands a regional
response, given the transnational nature of the threat and of enemy safe haven.
For this reason, building regional partnerships is the cornerstone of any
enduring counterterrorism strategy.

Applying that analysis to Europe, we find that while no states in Europe allow
terrorist leaders free reign or consciously provide facilities for terrorists,
extremists can and do exploit free societies, with their respect for civil
liberties and the rule of law, and their broad access to sophisticated
technology, in order to create space in which they can recruit, plan and
operate. This sort of safe haven is a problem of growing concern, and we are
working with several European partners to devise means to deal with this

European allies must also contend with underlying conditions that terrorists
may exploit: local groups, long-standing grievances, communal conflicts and
societal structures provide fertile soil for the growth of extremism. The
unrest in French suburbs some months ago and the cartoon-related violence
around the world, while not directly connected to terrorism per se, could
provide an opportunity for extremist recruiters.

Technology is eliminating the distance that once clearly separated us across
land and sea. Safe havens in cyberspace and the ability to transfer funds,
materiel and people depend on existing regional underground networks (such as
those that exist for narcotics trafficking, piracy or people smuggling). Most
terrorist safe havens sit astride national borders, in places like the Sulu
Sea, the Northwest Frontier and the Sahel. In Europe, the same ease of travel
across national frontiers that has contributed to economic prosperity has also
facilitated the movement of terrorists. Pressed by Algerian counterterrorism
successes, the once Algeria-centric GSPC, for example, has become a regional
terrorist organization, recruiting and operating all throughout the Mahgreb
and beyond to Europe itself. Al Qa'ida leaders may be isolated and under
pressure, unable to communicate effectively, but this has not prevented
regional groups from establishing independent networks among themselves. In
some ways, this poses even more daunting intelligence collection and strategic
policy challenges.

Much of the impetus for progress in our struggle against extremism must come
from the field. Here, our ambassadors and their inter-agency country teams
serve as essential sources of information, ideas, and implementation. The
Ambassadors, as the President's field representatives, are uniquely placed to
orchestrate all the instruments of statecraft. They alone can direct a Chief of
Station, an FBI Legal Attaché, a USAID Director, a Defense Attaché, a DHS
representative, and a Commercial Attaché to work in concert, to blend their
collective efforts, to focus on the enemy and the conditions that the enemy
exploits. Moreover, because of the transnational battlefield, the Ambassadors
must work together in a regional context. Toward that end, we have initiated
Ambassadorial-level conferences. We have convened conferences for the Southeast
Asia and Iraq regions; more are coming. Through this effort, we are identifying
regional CT challenges and recommending specific policies leading to specific
multi-agency programs and operations. And while European posts are more
accustomed to thinking regionally, we will be working with Assistant Secretary
Fried to organize similar conferences in the Europe-Eurasia region, which we
hope will generate similar results, so that regional networks of country teams,
led by our Ambassadors, can more acutely shape and implement policy that
corresponds to the shifting nature of the enemy and the battlefield. Networked
warfare, using all our policy tools, demands accurate, fast, and agile
responses. A regional, field orientation, intimately linked to foreign
partners, and supported by Washington, enables both our understanding and our
response. After all, vision or policy and implementation or operations are
interdependent. And, they merge together best in the field, not inside the

In addition, we will need more innovative programs with non-state actors, like
the Muslim Dialogue Conference held in Belgium by Ambassador Korologos, and a
similar meeting planned for the Netherlands by Ambassador Arnall, to listen and
learn, to communicate.

We and our allies must convince disaffected persons that there are alternatives
to messages of hate, violence, and despair. Ultimately, we will defeat violent
extremism by deploying our most powerful weapon: the ideals of prosperity,
freedom and hope, and the values that we and our European partners represent in
our democratic, just and open societies, and which we share with millions of
others around the world. We are working to develop a comprehensive strategy to
de-legitimize terrorism and to encourage the efforts of the overwhelming
majority of Muslims who reject violent extremism.

Reza Aslan, in his excellent
book, No god but God notes that it will take many years to defeat those "who
have replaced Muhammad's original version of tolerance and unity with their own
ideals of hatred and discord." But, he adds, that "the cleansing is inevitable,
and the tide of reform cannot be stopped. The Islamic Reformation is already

We and our partners must listen to these Muslim reformers, support their
efforts, earn their trust, and continue to press for their and our vision of a
better future for all our children.

The task will not be easy and success will take time. But if we are to avoid
the nightmare of more Madrid and London-style attacks, we must not fail.

Mr. Chairman, that completes the formal part of my remarks and I welcome your
questions or comments.

Released on April 6, 2006

See http://www.state.gov for Senior State Department
Official's statements and testimonies
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On this one Cyrus, you may take some notes on how they conducted the conference, and note that the dialogue proposed last Oct. (if it happens at some point in the future when the Iranian opposition is prepared to sit together at a table without personalities interfering) may occur in a similar manner and setting as described below.

As I said, the hard work begins now...I said it back then as well and the same parameters apply in constructing a dialogue among yourselves to build trust as when I left this site in disgust some time back.

I came back to see if any shift in attitude had occurred on that score or any progress made among the various groups listed in that proposal.
To be blunt, if there has been, I see no evidence to show me progress has been made among the opposition.

But taking a wait and see aproach is like having cancer and simply hoping it will go into remission on its own.

Not a good perscription for life, liberty and the persuit of happiness.

To not make a decision is also a decision made, to not act is also an action taken. The choice to act and empower yourselves is still available to the people of Iran today, tommorrow I just can't say. The IRI could make it moot for you at any time, and then you'll simply have to trust that the US and it's allies will do right by you in the end.

I have never been known for having a subtle approach Cyrus, nor sidestepping critical issues....it may not be easy for you or the opposition to address the issues raised in my various recent posts to strengthen and further the Iranian opposition in it's march to a free Iran...Azadi Norooz...nor as I said do I have time to "chit chat" , especially if you and others are not ready to deal with the hard work ahead that you must do to free yourselves of old mindsets that have hindered your progress to this point.

New thinking, creative solutions, and a spirit of cooperative endeavor are required of you all, as well as patience and common sense in great measure.

When you're ready, I'll be back. Till then...good heath, good life, good luck. Pass it on please.

Eric Jette (aka oppenheimer)


Islamist Extremists in Europe: The Public Diplomacy Response

Tom C. Korologos, U.S. Ambassador to Belgium
Testimony before the Subcommittee on European Affairs of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee
Washington, DC
April 5, 2006

Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear
before you today to supplement what Assistant Secretary Dan Fried and
Ambassador Henry Crumpton, the U.S. State Department Coordinator for
Counter-Terrorism, have discussed regarding Islamist extremism in Europe.

I will focus my remarks on a new approach to U.S. engagement of Muslims in
Europe that we have tested successfully in Brussels. It is an example of the
new public diplomacy based on dialogue, not monologue designed to supplement
the extensive U.S. financial, intelligence, law enforcement, defense, private
diplomatic, and other initiatives directed at Islamist extremism in Europe. It
is also a model for generating not just a conference or two, but an entire
movement of mainstream Muslims across Europe to ease Muslim alienation and
combat extremism.

Public diplomacy is something I have worked on for years. I chaired the U.S.
Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy and was a charter member of the
Broadcasting Board of Governors. I am a believer in public diplomacy and its
role in reaching out to other nations in ways we can't with traditional

When I was on the BBG, the engineers brought us big maps showing "footprints"
and the reach of our U.S. radio and TV transmitters and satellite broadcasts
throughout the Middle East. They told us how many millions of Muslims we were
reaching via Radio Sawa and Alhurra TV. But it occurred to me that we were
missing the 15-20 million Muslims living in Western Europe.

When I went to Belgium in July of 2004 I made public diplomacy a priority. I
discovered almost five percent of the population is Muslim. There are almost
500,000 Muslims in Belgium, largely from Turkey and Morocco. The Muslim
community in Belgium, which includes many non-practicing members, is highly
diverse. In addition to those of Moroccan and Turkish descent, it includes a
number of other origins, each with their own mosques or traditions. From that
grew the seed of our idea to build on the President's Europe-wide initiative to
reach out to Muslim communities.

As Assistant Secretary Fried said earlier today, our Muslim engagement strategy
rests on several goals including seeking to build mutual understanding with the
United States. We realized that the United States required a way to listen to
and speak with this important community.

Thus we have developed our main tools of dialogue and our public diplomacy
programs, including exchanges, International Visitor Leadership Programs,
sending American experts and embassy officials on speaking tours and engaging
with the media.
The President, Secretary Rice and Undersecretary Hughes have all spoken on the
importance of these exchange programs and of their support for them.

Belgium provided a particularly propitious environment for such an effort. It
has a long history of multiculturalism and multilingualism. In Belgium,
religion is valued and supported. Public school students are required to take
moral education and can choose from several varieties of Christianity, Judaism,
Islam or secular studies, all given by teachers supported by the state. The
state also supports religious institutions and has been moving over the past
year to fulfill a more than decade long pledge to provide such support to
Muslim institutions, channeled through the Muslim executive.

In Belgium Muslims vote and win elective office. Due to the fragmented nature
of Belgian politics where several parties divide the vote and form shifting
coalition governments, Muslims have clout. In the last regional elections for
example, Muslims in Brussels won nearly a quarter of the seats, roughly their
share of the population. The Muslim vote was responsible for a change in the
political leaderships of the "capital of Europe." They voted mostly for one
political grouping, but now, much like in U.S. politics, other parties are
making a play for these votes. In addition, Belgium has made a visible effort
to bring Muslims into government services including the police. This along
with the fact that Muslims are not ghettoized into depressing high rise
suburbs, explains the creation of a sense of participation.

Our Embassy in Belgium has been doing Muslim outreach for some time including
with local and federal elected officials. Following the example of President
Bush and Secretary Rice I held our first Iftar dinner shortly after I arrived
and I met with leaders of the Muslim community as well as the elected Muslim
Executive and with Muslim members of the Belgian Parliament.

But I am aware that there were other opportunities available for learning and
understanding. There were no channels of communication between American
Muslims and European Muslims in Belgium channels that could provide important
tools to both communities through lessons learned about identity, balancing
faith and nationality, and integration. When I made this realization and I
realized the potential strength of building these relationships, I thought I
would try to do something about it.

First, we conducted research and found that despite many differences such as
socioeconomic status and migration histories, many Belgian and American Muslims
share common experiences as minorities in largely Christian and secular Western

Indeed many Belgian Muslims are skeptical about America. However, our research
showed they are not mostly concerned about us. They are mostly concerned about
their daily life in Belgium, and problems such as unemployment, discrimination,
education, and bias in the media. That being the case, what could we do to
engage them and not leave the Belgian government feeling we were meddling in
their internal affairs? We know that in the United States there are
approximately 3 to 6 million Muslims.

So, for Muslims living in minority status in Europe, it seemed to me that
American Muslims are natural interlocutors. Despite their differences, both
communities are striving to define themselves and fashion their lives in
secular Western society.

We thought they'd have a lot to offer each other. We also wagered that
American Muslims could perform the public diplomacy heavy-lifting that we in
the embassy could not. After all, they have the life stories to tell each
other and to connect with fellow Muslims.

Thus, after considerable planning, our Embassy in Brussels, together with
non-governmental organizations and private sponsors from the United States and
Belgium, brought together an impressive group of 32 American Muslims to meet
with an equally impressive group of 65 Belgian Muslims. The purpose was to
discuss everyday practical issues regarding Muslim participation in society.
Our two-plus day dialogue, titled "Muslim Communities Participating in Society:
A Belgian-U.S. Dialogue" occurred in Brussels last November.

It was a first-ever people-to-people exchange between American and Belgian
Muslims, focusing on Muslim identity, civic life, economic opportunity, media
portrayal, youth development and women's issues. It was NOT another academic
or typical think tank exercise with experts lecturing from a podium about
Muslims and at Muslims. This was Muslims talking with other Muslims. This was
dialogue. Not monologue.

They shared their differences, their experiences and their frustrations but
also their good practices and success strategies. We engaged the moderates in
the hope there would be a coincidence of interest.

Was this risky? Was it ambitious? Yes. But I am happy to report it also was
a success.

If I may, Mr. Chairman, at this time I would like to present to the Committee a
seven-minute film of excerpts from the conference, including our standup Muslim
lawyer-comedian, which should give you a feel of what I was trying to

<<<Seven Minute DVD>>>

We struck a chord with our Muslim audiences. These are communities that feel
under siege post 9/11. The dialogue gave them an opportunity to be seen, to be
heard and to be acknowledged and most importantly to be respected. They felt
affirmed and they showed their appreciation. They took away encouragement,
hope, practical suggestions, new relationships and specific projects to work on
going forward. They told us that this was the first time they actually felt as
if the American government respected their opinion enough to ask them to share
their experiences with others. They see the importance and credibility of their

The dialogue produced immediate results. The mayor of Dearborn, Michigan,
Michael Guido, and the mayor of Genk, Belgium, Jef Gabriels, attended and spoke
of how large Muslim and ethnic communities in their respective cities succeeded
in participating in society. They discussed "Here's how it works for us."
They agreed to begin a sister city relationship.

The Islamic Society of North America, the largest Muslim organization in the
United States, announced a package of internships, scholarships and exchanges
for Belgian imams and Muslim leaders, teachers and students to come to the
United States to engage further with the U.S. Muslim community.

KARAMAH, a U.S.-based Muslim women's legal group, invited Belgian Muslim women
to the United States for training seminars.

Muslims in the American Public Square, a cooperative research study group, and
Intermedia, another research group, will join a Belgian partner to produce a
study that will provide a template better to understand Muslim communities in
the West.

The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California
and a Belgian partner are working on a program to engage Belgian and American
reporters, editors, anchors and producers on the challenges and good practices
related to covering Muslims and Islam in the media. Given the recent
controversy about the Danish cartoons, this effort should be very timely

There were many discussions among the participants on ideas for follow-on
sessions and how the dialogue might be replicated in other European countries.
For instance many Ambassadors have asked for details on how we did it so they
can replicate the model.

We have dubbed it "the dialogue that keeps on giving."

At the end of the day, however, we have to answer how all of this benefits the
United States.

First, we gained the participation of the American and Belgian Muslim
communities in a U.S. public diplomacy initiative despite skepticism many of
them have about the United States. With a well-designed program created by
professional facilitators, we framed and conducted the dialogue around domestic
issues of importance to minorities. We created conditions for genuine dialogue
of moderate Muslims to explore issues of mutual interest, share good practices
and strategies for participating in society and identify ideas for future
cooperation. We helped the Moroccan and Turkish Muslim communities in Belgium
see how new forms of practical constructive action could address their real
needs and hopes.

We have been able to call on conference alumni. When the Mohammed cartoons
were published, we invited a group of them to meet with Assistant Secretary
Fried and Farah Pandith from the National Security Council. Assistant
Secretary Fried urged them to turn to other moderate and responsible Muslims
throughout Europe to help diffuse the volatile cartoon issue.

Second, we reached out to Muslims in a subtle manner, on their terms for which
they are thankful, and consequently they saw the U.S. government in a more
positive light. They felt respect and that is essential to any relationship.
American Muslims have craved an opportunity to serve their nation and in this
venue they did.

Third, we attempted to empower Muslims and counter the alienation that can spur
radicalism and even terrorism. We encouraged them to define themselves and
Islam as peaceful and moderate. Both directly serve American interests in the
War on Terror.

Fourth, by facilitating contacts with U.S. Muslim leaders for their community
organizations, we helped enfranchise Muslims within the larger society so as to
promote the long-term stability of Western, pluralistic democracy. As
Assistant Secretary Fried pointed out in his testimony, Muslim integration is
arguably one of the top challenges facing Western Europe today. Moving Muslims
from the margins to the mainstream of society is essential. American Muslims
have through their unique stories and experiences found ways to be proud and
practicing Muslims and proud Americans who value freedom, liberty and
democracy. Their challenges to integrate and develop their own American
identity are powerful lessons.

Fifth, we displayed no U.S. superiority. We professed no easy answers and
sought to learn from the participants. We said our two societies shared the
common challenge and goal of Muslim integration. Indeed our U.S. participants
were impressed by the level of political clout of Belgian Muslims. We reached
out to our Belgian friends to work with us. And ultimately, they did.

Mr. Chairman, if I may, let me explain for the record how our conference

I must say initially we faced resistance and concern from many quarters, both
in the United States and Belgium. There was fear the session was going to
become an embarrassment for the United States and for Belgium. The major
concerns were that it was going to turn into an anti-American attack on our
Middle East policies and our Iraq policy, and become an anti-Israeli session.
From the Belgian side the concern was that the United States was meddling in
local Belgian affairs, stirring up Belgian Muslims against the government.
After all, there is a large unemployment issue among Belgian Muslims.

We assured our sponsors and Belgian government officials beforehand that the
format of the conference and the caliber of those selected diminished the risk
for confrontational problems. Having said that, let me say we did not in any
way try to muzzle or curtail any of the dialogue or discussion. The
participants decided that the purpose of the conference was to discuss better
ways of making things work and of exchanging ideas and thoughts.

Our next challenge was to agree on a list of participants. We vetted, checked
and rechecked those we invited. Some of the organizations whose members
participated in the Conference have been accused of being extremist. It is
possible that some individual members of those organizations have made
statements that have been termed extremist. Our view however, was to base our
selection on the stated policies and specific actions of organizations and
individuals today with regard to harmonious Muslim integration into American
and European society. We wanted them to hear and participate in our dialogue
with fellow moderates. Did we succeed? I believe that every participant in
the Conference went home with a better understanding for the Muslims on the
other side of the Atlantic.

A word about the schedule.

On Tuesday, November 15, 2005 we held a welcome dinner for the American
participants at the Embassy residence.

The next morning the conference began at a local hotel, where I gave opening
remarks at a plenary session followed by remarks from Ambassador Claude Misson
the Director General of the Royal Institute for International Relations. I
admonished all participants that I did not want to see Americans talking with
Americans and Belgians talking with Belgians. I insisted that each
conversation group at the various receptions and lunches have at least one
participant from the other country.

Then we broke up into small group dialogue sessions, each with a facilitator
and translator. Topics included identity, women's issues, education,
employment, media portrayal and similar issues.

That evening we held a reception and dinner, which included entertainment by
American and Belgian performers.

The next day we held more small group dialogue sessions and heard from Mayor
Guido and Mayor Gabriels.

A plenary session discussed the results of the dialogue sessions, conference
conclusions, and what follow-on activities might happen

We limited attendance to conference participants only, since we did not want
the participants to feel inhibited by the presence of media or outside
observers. On the second day, however, we held a briefing and press conference
for all participants and included several distinguished observers from both the
United States and Belgium. I might add we even had an observer from the
General Accountability Office.

Finally, on the third day, we hosted an Interfaith luncheon at the Embassy with
conference participants, 20 Belgian religious leaders, Embassy staff and
Belgian government officials.

Mr. Chairman, the applause you saw at the end of the DVD wasn't for me although
it sure felt good. It was an emphatic response to the recognition of common
bonds across the Atlantic. When was the last time 100 Muslims gave a U.S.
government official a standing ovation?

It worked, Mr. Chairman. We needed to find a way for Muslims in Europe to move
beyond the media image and directly perceive the reality of life in America.
We found one. We have discovered a new form of U.S.-sponsored Muslim
engagement and empowerment based on dialogue, not monologue among Muslims

Just as our Brussels vision was not to host a conference but to start an
ongoing dialogue and program of action, I suggest the Department seize the
opportunity and expand similar exchanges to catalyze and cultivate more
relationships, networks and initiatives with the Muslim communities around the

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I am happy to take your
questions and comments.

Released on April 6, 2006

See http://www.state.gov for Senior State Department
Official's statements and testimonies
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Oppenheimer,

Thank you for your contributions. Due to my limited time, resources and set of priority please forgive me for not responding to you very quickly. I will try my best to review some of your questions directed to me and the possible concerns in your recent posts, planning to think about them carefully in next few days and I will respond to your questions by next week.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Cyrus,

Not a problem, take as much time as you need. I do have a couple suggestions that may prove helpful.

1. Take a look at the thread "What really happened to the Shah" You'll find a link to the Library of Congress database.

2. Suggest your personal contact with all parties on the list included in forum of future proposal requesting they also address issues of concern, and contribute to future discussion topic on this forum or privately with me as they choose. You have my contact info and are free to pass it on to them or other activist chat members as needed upon request.

3. If consensus can be built to have multi opposition party discussion on this forum, I will then of course be more than happy to contribute and also invite other imput from "interested parties" to contribute as they see fit. No gurantee they will on public forum of course, but my last post provides precedent of dialogue.

Ba Sepaas,

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:24 pm    Post subject: Draft Proposal For ActivistChat Members Reply with quote

Dear Oppie and Other Members,

Oppenheimer wrote:

2. Suggest your personal contact with all parties on the list included in forum of future proposal requesting they also address issues of concern, and contribute to future discussion topic on this forum or privately with me as they choose. You have my contact info and are free to pass it on to them or other activist chat members as needed upon request.

3. If consensus can be built to have multi opposition party discussion on this forum, I will then of course be more than happy to contribute and also invite other imput from "interested parties" to contribute as they see fit. No gurantee they will on public forum of course, but my last post provides precedent of dialogue.

As far as I am concerned we have done our share of proposal to the best of our ability and the ball is in their court and I assume they are not interested for what ever reason. Currently I am not planning to put any effort on it.

Oppenheimer wrote:

1. Take a look at the thread "What really happened to the Shah" You'll find a link to the Library of Congress database.
As you know I am an honest researcher and willing to let chips fall where they may as to what truth reveals of history. So in that sence, you basicly (as does everyone else) have an opportunity here to pick apart line by line the synopsis of Iranian history as cross checked and published by the Library of Congress......

Reviewed your post regarding “A Country Study: Iran
Library of Congress Call Number DS254.5 .I742 1989” and I did not find any lies in the report and due to the fact that it is public information naturally the top secret and confidential information are missing therefore we should consider this as part of the story......

Oppenheimer wrote:

So as well you asked if ZB was in any way partially responsible for 9/11....the short answer to that Cyrus is that we all were, your people and mine, and all people globally. As well as true that you may consider that the dysfunctional nature of mankind over the last 60 years as manifest by the cold-war, the ability for the human race to self-exterminate itself (a totally unnatural state over the 200,000 years of past human history, creating many social ills, subtle and not so subtle on a collective psycological level) have played roles just as important as any one person or policy has.

You won't find this in the 9/11 report by the way, but it is truth.

Now I ask you, how have the Iranian people contributed to the rise of "Islamism" as you define it? You ask my government to be honest with its own people and it has been, let's be honest with each other eh?

I want to know if you are prepared to accept your own past mistakes as a people and be honest with you fellow activists about the past events you are so eager to blame on others totally.

Very few will challenge you as I am now doing on an intellectual level Cyrus, and I do so as a friend, not as adversary. A friend does not allow his friends to wear blinders to go stumbling into the future with...or off a cliff as it were.

Most of the time I try to discuss about future not past, however when I see US is repeating some mistake again and again or in order to avoid another mistake I don’t have any other choice except to mention past mistakes.

That is why I have said the following :

cyrus wrote:
In order to eradicate Islamist Terrorism we must learn from our mistakes without any dogma and make a correction to the future foreign policy of USA. Hiding facts about our past politician mistakes or their evil intentions from American people in the name of national interest is against spirit of freedom-loving brave American hero General George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Is Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski graduate of Harvard University with good knowledge of history and Isalmist ideology partially responsible for what happened in Sept 11?

Did Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski know the following facts about Islam or Not ?

"If the books herein are in accord with Islam,
then we don't need them.
If the books herein are not in accord with Islam,
then they are kafir (of the infidel)"

Above statement is not blaming the US government, it is just a reminder for US government not to support Islamists any longer in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.
Please read next post you might be interested in Virtual Mock Trial

Last edited by cyrus on Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:10 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:00 pm    Post subject: Draft Proposal For Virtual ActivistChat Freedom Mock Trial Reply with quote

Draft Proposal For All ActivistChat Members Consideration - Virtual ActivistChat Freedom Mock Trial

As far as what happened in the past I am suggesting the following Mock trial draft proposal for all members consideration and possible correction and enhancements of the model, if we think this is a good way of discussing about the past history which we don’t have any control of it please become voulnteer and participate in possible Mock trial.
Please don’t direct your questions only to me because it is better for who ever that might have comment to make his or her comments.

Draft Propsal For ActivistChat Members Cyrus wrote:

Virtual ActivistChat Freedom Mock Trial Model:
The case of the freedom-loving peoples of the world against Hitler, Stalin, Islamofascist regime in Iran, Saudi Arabia Regime Financial Support for Islamofascist Teaching and Madress, Jack Straw, Shah of Iran, Dr. Mossadegh, Khomeni , Sadam, President Jimmy Carter, James Callaghan , BBC, Sir Percy Scott, Reuter, Tony Blair, Sir Anthony Perkins, British Government, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski (From Harvard University), Margaret Thatcher , British Government support for the Wahhabist doctrine, US Government Officials, France, Germany(EU3), Russia, China, Japan, Italy, Israel, Mullahs, Iranian people participated in revolution, Iranian Intellectuals during revolution, Bazargan, MEK, Fadayian, Tudeh Party … are all accused of betraying the cause of liberty and tryied to appease tyranny, Islamist Terrorism (September 11 … ) and for not supporting Free Society, Secular Democracy and for Not Defending UN Human Rights Charter Aggressively . How do they plead and with what guilt score mark (0 to 100) ?”

Possible crime examples: support of détente. Détente, a French word meaning “relaxation,” was used during the Cold War to describe a policy approach that was supposed to “ease tensions” between the superpowers. Its detractors—including Soviet dissidents—saw it as a euphemism for appeasement. In Iranian case the G8 Détente with Islamofascist regime in past 27 years for short term financial gains from Islamofascist regime corruptions.
Hitler, Stalin and Mulah's Regime example of crimes: genocide, crimes of conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity according to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and established International Law. Over the past 27 years the Islamic regime's agents, courts, judges and vigilantes have all committed acts of: murder, stoning, torture, assault, theft, destruction of property, arson, perjury, falsification of testimonials and material evidence, illegal surveillance, kidnapping, rape, blackmail, fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit all of the above crimes, cover-ups and every other form of butchery and depredation.

For Each Case we need following people to volunteer for Virtual Mock Trial position
The defendant’s counsel and co-counsels :
Judge For The Case:
ActivistChat Virtual Mock Trial Moderator to Follow Judge instructions for the case (disabling accounts for creating problems …).
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dea Cyrus,

You have my suggestions on record how you can accurately assess US policy, by going directly to the source. As I said, you are free to criticize, as I am free to post fact in response to innuendo (which has no access to classified or confidential info to draw from either).

When the Iranian opposition sits at a table with each other to resolve its internal problems and old mindsets that hold it back from being effective in manifesting regime change, then perhaps they will be ready to sit at the table with the rest of the international community.

One thing at least the opposition has been effective in is in illuminating the issues to the governments of the world, and effective in the changed mindset of the international community we see today. Antar has been equally effective (but in a shorter period of time).

The old mindsets I speak of within the opposition are not comfortable to address, I understand the tendancy to look outside for "the cause" , just as the opposition has also been looking to outside for support, credibility, and action on the part of the international community. I spoke of the "empowerment of the Iranian people" in a recent post, but not in the way alluded to below. In fact, I came across this in looking for more recent statements, but given your last post, it may be wise for you to take it into account, lest those old mindsets be used by the regime to its own favor, credibility, and at the expense of the opposition, the people of Iran, and international peace and security generally.


The following are excerpts from a speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Bushehr, aired on IRINN TV on February 1, 2006.

TO VIEW THIS CLIP VISIT: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1019.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "One of the fields... One of the fields in which the enemies do not want our people to progress is the field of science and technology.


"One of the scientific fields in which they insist our people will not gain victory is the field of nuclear technology. Look around you. There are people whose arsenals are full of nuclear weapons. These are people whose arsenals are full of biological and chemical weapons, and today they are opposing our people's research, science, and industrial progress. They all sit together and make decisions, and think that the Iranian people goes by their opinions.

"I tell them here and now: Oh imaginary superpowers, made of straw know that the Iranian people has been independent for the last 27 years, and for 27 years it has been making decisions on the basis of its own will and efforts. On the issue of nuclear energy, our people, Allah willing, will continue in its path until its rights are completely achieved, and the opportunity to progress completely realized. We consider nuclear energy to be the Iranian people's right, and as servants of the people, we will be steadfast until the complete fulfillment of this right.

"Finally, allow me to say a word to the man who won his elections by spending billions of dollars and by a court order, thus becoming a leader of a large country. In his speech last night he accused the Iranian people of violating human rights. He accused the Iranian people of opposing freedom. These are people whose arms are submerged up to the elbows in the blood of other nations. Wherever there is war and oppression in the world, they are involved. These people channel their factories to the production of weapons. These people generate wars in Asia and Africa, killing millions and millions of people, in order to help their production, employment, and economy. These are people whose biological laboratories manufacture germs, and export them to other countries in order to subjugate other peoples. These are the people who, in the last century, caused several devastating wars. In one world war alone, they killed over 60 million people.

"Today too, wherever there are crimes and conspiracies, and wherever there are despotic regimes that are against their own people, you will find their footprints, their schemes, and their support.

"Today, they are accusing our people of violating human rights and of violating freedom. In the near future, Allah willing, we will put you to trial in courts established by the peoples. Our people has a culture of martyrdom and self-sacrifice. Our people has culture and civilization. It is a free and revolutionary people.

"I say to the superpowers made of straw and to some countries that want to violate our people's rights: The Iranian people will not be affected by your false propaganda. With its unity, high ambitions, and faith, our people will march in pride and triumph, Allah willing."



What I have been asking the opposition to do in general is to take a transformational approach to your internal issues, manifest in mistrust , personality conflicts, and other negativity which does not serve the legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people, for their future, their children's future, or the region in general.

A long time ago I asked my government to take a transformational approach to global crisis, and in many respects they have. Not the least of which is a process now in place called "transformational diplomacy".




[Dialogue is a form of conversation and a form of relating to people that differs from mediation, negotiation, and debate in that it seeks to inform and learn, but not persuade or resolve anything. This approach is often more successful in deep-rooted, value based conflicts where negotiation is impossible. Progress in such situations requires the breakdown of stereotypes, a willingness to listen and respect others' views, and a willingness to open oneself to new ideas. Dialogue allows this to happen, often before people are willing to sit down to discuss "resolution," "consensus," or areas of "common ground."

While dialogue has been in use in conflict situations (by the Quakers, for instance) for decades, it has become increasingly common in non-religious settings over the last ten years. The Public Conversations Project, one of the leaders in applying dialogue to public debates, describes dialogue as a conversation in which people "speak openly and listen respectfully and attentively. Dialogue excludes attack and defense and avoids derogatory attributions based on assumptions about the motives, meanings, or character of others. In dialogue, questions are sincere, stimulated by curiosity and interest. Answers often disclose what previously has been unspoken." (Chasin et al, 1996, p. 325.)

This can be contrasted with debate, which often becomes repetitive, entrenched, and rhetorical. Rather than opening people up to new ideas, debate tends to close them down--they get an "I already heard this a thousand times" attitude, and they just talk louder and argue harder about their own views, rather than being receptive to others'. The following table, taken from "From Diatribe to Dialogue on Divisive Public Issues: Approaches Drawn from Family Therapy," (Mediation Quarterly, Summer 1996) compares dialogue to debate, highlighting the key differences in each of several categories.]

And Cyrus, I can assure you that as site admin, this info is directly relevent to you. I post it here now as something to chew on, and act on by the Iranian opposition... Some have said "if only america would admit its mistakes....help us organize....etc." Personally what may seem to some as mistake (the rebuilding of Germany and Japan for instance) at the time, is regarded as genius by later generations.

And vice versa, what may have been regarded as sound policy at the time has on occasion proved mistaken.

I would suggest you pay some attention to the course content in the links above, with emphasis on "victim societies" , a lot holds water and offers perspective and solution if willing to address issues and transform mindsets.

So it is with all individuals and nations in the course of life, it's those "what if" questions that present alternatives that must be asked in order to change mindsets, by causing the initiation of a dialogue with respect to a way forward through the fog of the future.

And so it is that I addressed not only the past in the following, but in asking that included "what-if" question, helped create dialogue regarding alternatives.

I offer you this following as perspective and food for thought on the big picture.

Somewhat dated as it may be, I think it makes the reading all the more interesting given statements and actions since it was written.

Best Regards,

Eric Jette

----- Original Message -----
From: Eric Jette
To: hoeffel@un.org
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2005 10:03 AM
Subject: Re: "Isotope Road"

To: Conference Co-Chairs

Mine is but one small voice, speaking only for myself in this, or any other regard politically. It is my hope that the following will be found worthy of merit, and read into the record for consideration of member nations at the 2005 Summit.

"Isotope Road"

I'm probably among a dozen or so people in the world still living who has held a piece of "trinitite" in my hands. This is the fused sand from the first atomic explosion, bubbled green glass, encased in leaded crystal, given to the department heads and leading scientists at Los Alamos at the end of WW2, including my granddad. The rest has been bulldozed underground at the Trinity test site in White Sands. It is the most concrete example I can show any one of the risk of nuclear war, or the results of it.
Any leader holding this potential future in hand will have something to remember, and think about.

In my granddad's day, some of his fellow scientists at Los Alamos had a "pool" going before the Trinity test as to how large the resulting explosion (in kilotons of TNT) would be. Anyone care to guess how many "Los Alamos's" there are today on the planet? How much Gross National Product is invested? To create weapons that cannot be used, and remain civilized.

It took America just 3.5 years, from 1942-45 to build an industry from scratch, based on designs from scratch, building a city from scratch to build a bomb from scratch, with only theories to go on, in the middle of the largest and most costly war in history. Yet we did this and ended that war that had cost 50 million lives up to that point with the weapon that no one knew would even work at the time it was being produced. Just 3.5 years, from theory to reality (3.5 years from the time FDR read a letter signed by Einstein till the Trinity test).

Everyone who worked on the first bomb, being as uncivilized a weapon as it is, believed it would cause mankind to forever choose peace instead of war after it ended WW2. Unfortunately, that direction was not taken, at the expense of the environment, and to the continued threat to all life on this planet.

I stress here the biggest "what if?" is what we might have accomplished as the Human species had we chosen to live in peace, instead of fear after WW2.

Anyone who has witnessed the birth of one's child can tell you that yes indeed you create your own reality, the question is what do we wish to create for ourselves as reality on this planet, now and for our children's, and their children's future? Not just in this country, but the world as a whole, as an international vision.
Inherently, change is viewed with suspicion, as a threat to culture and ways of tradition and ethical belief systems. As it applies to developing countries in this nuclear age, the post-cold war aftermath presents a vast paradox that present no easy solutions, and has culminated in the reality of the war on terrorism as it exists today.

We in America share a concept, united we stand, divided we fall, 9/11 has forced the world to grasp this concept. Ready or not, globalization is at hand, a global response to chaos in the form of potential nuclear terrorism.

An individual’s single voice can be lost in the din of circumstance. On the flyleaf of my grandmother's book about Los Alamos that I gave to Bill Clinton the day he was first elected President I wrote, "This is a slice of times past, to give perspective on the present, so that in the future we can eliminate the threat of nuclear war. The greatest threat we face today is that terrorists will obtain nuclear weapons." Not to be partisan, this is just fact. Over a decade later, it is hopefully not too late to prevent.

So it is now out of a sense of duty to my grandfather's memory I hereby state this for the record, knowing that I am of sound mind, and good heart, and do my best to remain objective. Objectivity can be hard to come by where it concerns family, or politics, as we are all human beings, and of a species prone to emotions, at the expense of logic. I hope this adds a little perspective to the mix. So please allow me to put a citizen's NIE in your hands, as well as a possible political solution folks may consider. There's something in general to consider in the following that should wake folks up quicker than a strong cup of coffee in the morning:

If there is one thing about people that's a given, it's that they can only change themselves. You can try to understand them, change their circumstances, try to point the roads to peace, but in the end, they must want it for themselves, knowing what the alternatives are.

There is a situation soon to be pressed regarding Iran, over multiple issues outstanding, both acute and systemic, with far reaching ramifications for non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, human rights, and the general stability of the Mideast.

A situation where truly only the values of cooperation and compassion may effect a just and equitable solution not just for the Iranian people's freedom and security, but of all people of the region, as well.

Regarding the NIE that was leaked to the Washington Post, I know they cherry-picked from it to "spin" it. But in any case, 10 years is a dangerously optimistic estimate for the IRI producing a bomb on their own. Intent is not only clear, but where there's a will on the part of the IRI, there's a way. 2 or 3 years is equally dangerous and optimistic.

Anyone looking at a map can see the "book-ended" nature of the strategic position Tehran is in at the moment, with two fledgling democracies and thousands of US/coalition troops on its borders.
The reports out of the Pentagon regarding shaped explosive charges originating and shipped from Iran (of Revolutionary Guard origin) are but a manifestation of a coordinated effort between the regime in Tehran, Hizbollah, and al-quaida to ferment civil war in Iraq.
Tehran has been at "war by proxy" with the US since the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, and it may only be a matter of time before there is no other option left on the table except a military one to resolve the situation.
This prospect may terrify folks more than terrorism itself, but there's only one viable solution to effectively stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan permanently. It is quite simply, "regime change" in Tehran.

How an alternate "regime change" solution manifests is fully dependent on whether the international community has the guts to support a rather extensive opposition community inside and outside Iran as they have begged and pleaded with the international community to do for some time. Given that the other options; to do nothing or go to war; are not quite as viable in solving the problem, nor the first options to contemplate, given the situation needs resolution and that war is the last option.

To this point, the only leader of free nations who's had that alternate vision of an Iran existing within the community of nations..."in larger freedom", and had the guts to voice the option is President GW Bush....".. And to the Iranian people I say tonight, as you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you." The man presented possibilities to people in so doing, as a president will on occasion.

The IRI is fast pushing the free world to another alternative that could be far worse, if the IRI does produce a nuclear weapon before the people decide their own fate, and remove the threat both to them and the international community.
Now I hear a fair amount of talk that the US is just using this as an excuse to promote "regime change". But the reality is if the regime isn't changed soon, the mullahs who are willing to martyr 10 million recruits (as noted in IRI statements), and is on record of having an agenda of obliterating Israel off the map, would certainly be willing to use such a weapon on their own people to make it look for all intents and purposes as if the Israeli's or the US had just attacked them, thereby creating the needed justification for holy war. "Regime change" in Iran is really not up to us per se, and it seems a rather moot point as the Iranian people have spoken.... it is in process, whether the international community supports it or not. But whether this popular movement is successful, or crushed, depends now upon free nation's support for the aspirations of liberty.

On February 14, 2005 a leading member of Iran’s Hizbollah, Hojjat-ol-Islam Baqer Kharrazi after years of silence delivered a harsh speech against the reformists and the administration in Iran, Iran Emrooz reported.

“I kept silent over the past 14 years, because Hizbollah needed to be restructured and I was busy with training the forces. Although no Iranian media reflected Hizbollah leaders’ recent meeting with head of Iran’s State Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, I should say we elaborated on Hizbollah’s activities for Rafsanjani in detail and the former president was amazed with our progress.” Kharrazi claimed.

“We don’t need any guardian. And if necessary we will select our own president, ministers and parliament members. For without the Hizbollah forces the Islamic Revolution will collapse from within.” the hardliner added.

Referring to the Sunni population in Iran’s western, eastern and southern borders, Kharrazi said: “Presently the country’s borders are controlled by Sunnis. We have to counter their growth in the country.”

On Iran’s nuclear issue, Kharrazi noted: “We have oil, gas and all other natural resources and thus we don’t need interaction with other countries. We are able to produce atomic bombs and we will do that. We shouldn’t be afraid of anyone. The US is no more than a barking dog”

Let me repeat myself, as this was not the action of a “barking dog” 60 years ago, but of a nation at war. And let no one now have any illusion that the war on terror, supported by many nations and many UN resolutions is any less grave to the “larger freedom” ensconced by the UN charter, and civilization itself, than 60 years ago.
{It took America just 3.5 years, from 1942-45 to build an industry from scratch, based on designs from scratch, building a city from scratch to build a bomb from scratch, with only theories to go on, in the middle of the largest and most costly war in history. Yet we did this and ended that war that had cost 50 million lives up to that point with the weapon that no one knew would even work at the time it was being produced. Just 3.5 years, from theory to reality. (3.5 years from the time FDR read a letter signed by Einstein till the Trinity test.).}

Now Iran has had at least 18 years, lots of help from other nations, black market smugglers, and their scientists have had proven designs to work with. It's not because their scientists aren't as smart as America's, or that they lack the raw materials, the technological capability or the will to build it, that prevented them from doing so. Fact is, the only reason I can think of is that containment by western nations has been up to this point fairly successful even with the smuggling, and outside help they've had. But it has its limits, and the limit has been reached.
The Iranian Clock is ticking. While the EU3 has been messing about trading and negotiating with Tehran, two solid years have passed, allowing the IRI regime to secretly consolidate it's nuclear program, it's armed force structure, train and recruit martyr brigades for terrorist action, destabilizing the region by proxy and all of it directly flying in the face of UN resolutions, as a member and original 1948 signatory to the UN charter.

Its unelected president, coming to power in a soft-sell military coup de etat, is leading the crushing of any and all dissent, and you can see the recent State Dept taken question on the regime's actions regarding the Kurdish minority in the Northwest of Iran to illustrate this fact. A crime against humanity in its very beginning stages, among many crimes against humanity committed by this regime over the years.
His visa application to address the UN in New York this September is under State Dept. review pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation into his role in the Iran hostage crisis, as well as targeted assassinations in Europe, and his self confessed putting the coup de grace bullet into many a tortured political prisoner. Under normal circumstances a foreign leader would be granted visa, but this is not a normal situation, even as the president "expects" that the unelected leader of Iran will be granted visa to attend the September UN Summit, it will just as well be an appropriate time to serve notice on the IRI and its leadership directly, face to face in the forum of nations. Koffe Annan has alluded to this directly if the enrichment is not halted.

Take the regime's abysmal human rights record, it's support for terrorism, its WMD ambitions, and its leadership, and what you have is the perfect "test case" for UN reform in every conceivable way, including the limits of "diplomatic immunity" and the US role as host nation to the UN in any possible prosecution should the investigation warrant.

Now, the words "regime change" may be the modern political bogyman in diplomatic circles in Europe and among Democrats, but they, and the American public as well as the UN should remember and reflect on Churchill's words as he put it, "Given the choice between war and dishonor, Chamberlain chose dishonor and got war."

We shall see if the UN honors the precepts of its founding Charter, whether the EU will continue to trade and negotiate with a terrorist regime, and whether America comes together in bipartisanship to honor the words of President Bush to the Iranian people.

Logic dictates that with or without referral by the IAEA, this unelected regime should not just be sanctioned by the UN Security Council, but booted out of the UN altogether for gross violation of the UN charter, which Iran is a signatory to, believing it to be criminally negligent for any nation to support the continuance and aspirations of the Islamic Republic of Iran one day longer, and remaining "seized of the matter."
The coordination of economic and military sanction, freezing of assets, closing of embassies, banishment from the UN General Assembly, and other non-violent measures as may be found worthy under international law will be overwhelming to the Islamic Republic of Iran, providing solid legitimate purpose and support among the people of Iran to effect change from within. In confidence that an interim government and UN monitored referendum regarding a representative permanent government and constitution will be the result of the Iranian people's efforts.

"Regime change" Iranian style with a little help from their friends will be "Quartet Music" to the future's ears, played in greater freedom.

Folks have suggested that the Iranian opposition's info on the regime is politically motivated and therefore "biased". Well so it is...biased in favor of their freedom and security, just like the UN and a whole lot of other folks trying their best to find equitable solutions and justice. They well know their credibility is on the line, I doubt if they would cook the info for political purposes...as that would be self-defeating.

What motivates me personally? Aside from being a loyal and concerned US citizen...

Until I take my last dying breath on this planet, I'll do what I can at whatever personal risk, to see that not one more A-bomb is detonated by anyone, ever again. These are my personal reasons for standing solidly behind the president, as well as in supporting the legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people. It's also a "dad thing" for the sake of my children and their children's children.

I hope folks find this to be simple common sense in bipartisan and global common cause. Thanks for listening.


Eric Jette (aka Oppenheimer)


In conclusion, I'd venture to guess you won't find an impartial judge, let alone a jury .....and I believe a "mock trial" would simply be another distraction from the hard work currently facing the opposition today.

By way of evidence to this I simply point to the fact that it may be exactly what the regime itself would love to see on an opposition site.

Food for thought.

take care,

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oppenheimer wrote:
Dea Cyrus,

You have my suggestions on record how you can accurately assess US policy, by going directly to the source. As I said, you are free to criticize, as I am free to post fact in response to innuendo (which has no access to classified or confidential info to draw from either).

When the Iranian opposition sits at a table with each other to resolve its internal problems and old mindsets that hold it back from being effective in manifesting regime change, then perhaps they will be ready to sit at the table with the rest of the international community.

One thing at least the opposition has been effective in is in illuminating the issues to the governments of the world, and effective in the changed mindset of the international community we see today. Antar has been equally effective (but in a shorter period of time).

The old mindsets I speak of within the opposition are not comfortable to address, I understand the tendancy to look outside for "the cause" , just as the opposition has also been looking to outside for support, credibility, and action on the part of the international community. I spoke of the "empowerment of the Iranian people" in a recent post, but not in the way alluded to below. In fact, I came across this in looking for more recent statements, but given your last post, it may be wise for you to take it into account, lest those old mindsets be used by the regime to its own favor, credibility, and at the expense of the opposition, the people of Iran, and international peace and security generally.


Dear Oppenheimer,

It seems you are repeating what we have already discussed before, I am not
planning to repeat myself again. Certainly there are number of weakness in oppositions and I am not planning to defend them.... feel free to blame oppositions with little resource and praise EU3 failed policy ... we are trying as best we can with very limited resources while the Islamists are spending billions of oil money to fight and insult Iranian oppositions … history will be the best judge ….

Brave Freedom-loving Iranian people, writers, intellectuals …. have started the War on Terror against Islamists long before September 11 while free world leaders were dancing with Mullahs …. The Iranian people resistance against Islamofascist was strong and the best indication and proof are as follows: over 400 of our opposition leaders have been killed outside Iran in G8 capitals by Islamist regime agents and EU countries closed their eye …. the Islamists in Iran executed over 100,000 political prisoners and tortured over million freedom-loving Iranian prisoners in over 2 decades while G8 ignored Iranian resistance against Islamofacists and appeased the regime in the name of their own short term national interest, cheap oil , their own stability, and the so called failed realist foreign policy ….

I don’t have time for your Antar speech post ….

We don’t ask you to agree with us, read the following and make your own conclusion:

Mr. Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute wrote:
Mr. Rubin is not Iranian opposition…..

The cost of any military strike on Iran would be high, although not as high as the cost of the Islamic Republic gaining nuclear weapons. The Bush administration is paying the price for more than five years without a cogent, coordinated Iran policy. Each passing day limits policy options. Engaging the regime will preserve the problem, not eliminate it. Only when the regime is accountable to the Iranian people can there be a peaceful solution. To do this requires targeted sanctions -- freezing assets and travel bans -- on regimes officials, coupled with augmented and expedited investment in independent rather than government-licensed civil society, labor unions and media. It may be too late, but it would be irresponsible not to try.

Mr. Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is co-author, with Patrick Clawson, of "Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos" (Palgrave, 2005).

president Bush wrote:

1) "And secondly, I appreciate those courageous souls who speak out for freedom in Iran. They need to know America stands squarely by their side. And I would urge the Iranian administration to treat them with the utmost of respect. "

2) President Bush Praises Iranian Pro-Democracy Protestors KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (Reuters) - President Bush on Sunday praised pro-democracy demonstrators in Iran, calling their protests a positive step toward freedom.
"This is the beginning of people expressing themselves toward a free Iran which I think is positive," President Bush said.

"I think that freedom is a powerful incentive,"
Bush told reporters after he attended church services during a weekend visit to Kennebunkport. "I believe that some day freedom will prevail everywhere because freedom is a powerful drive."

3) Remarks by National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice at Town Hall Los Angeles June 12, 2003
"And so for the United States we have to stand with the aspirations of the Iranian people, which have been clearly expressed."

4) Remarks by the President Bush May 9, 2003 "And in Iran, the desire for freedom is stirring. In the face of harsh repression, Iranians are courageously speaking out for democracy and the rule of law and human rights. And the United States strongly supports their aspirations for freedom. "(Applause.)

5) President Bush State of the Union January 28, 2003 "Different threats require different strategies. In Iran, we continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction, and supports terror. We also see Iranian citizens risking intimidation and death as they speak out for liberty and human rights and democracy. Iranians, like all people, have a right to choose their own government and determine their own destiny -- and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom. "(Applause.)


“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.”

If you agree with the above statement by president Bush then we should not expect too much from Iranian people and oppositions as hostage until we can free them ….

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:10 am    Post subject: Senators Back Direct Talks With Iran Reply with quote

Shame On Senators Who Ignore Talk and Walk Like Hitler - Rejecting Any Kind of Talks with Islamofascist Based On Moral Clarity Principles and ActivistChat 2006 Guideline

Senators Back Direct Talks With Islamofascist Hostage Takers In Iran

April 16, 2006
The Associated Press
Hope Yen


WASHINGTON -- The U.S. needs to pursue direct talks and other diplomatic avenues with Iran about its disputed nuclear program before considering a military option, lawmakers from both parties said Sunday. "I think that would be useful," said GOP Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, when asked on ABC's "This Week" about having direct talks.

"The Iranians are a part of the energy picture," Lugar said. "We need to talk about that."

Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., agreed, saying the U.S. has ceded too much diplomacy to Europe.

"I happen to believe you need direct talks," Dodd said on "Fox News Sunday." "It doesn't mean you agree with them. It doesn't mean you support them. It doesn't mean you have formal diplomatic relations. But there's an option."

The Bush administration has warned Iran to comply with worldwide insistence to back off its nuclear program and said it had a "number of tools," including a military option, if Tehran did not cease uranium enrichment activities.

However, while the administration has said it would talk with Iran about its activities in Iraq, it has rejected the idea of direct negotiations over its nuclear program. The concern is that Iran is seeking to build a nuclear bomb, an allegation Tehran denies.

Saying the U.S. is "still in a diplomatic phase," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has cited an April 28 deadline that the U.N. Security Council has given Iran to back off its program. But Russia and China, which as permanent members of the Security Council hold veto power, have said they oppose sanctions.

On Sunday, Lugar said it made sense to consider Iran talks, while also dealing with Russia and China to sway their positions on the Security Council.

"There are issues there which, ironically, we may come out on the same side with some of the Iranians," said Lugar, R-Ind.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., denounced the possibility of using nuclear bombs against Iran as a pre-emptive measure, noting that the U.S. intelligence on Iran's capability "is not good."

A New Yorker magazine report earlier this month suggested the administration was planning for a strike with nuclear bombs against Iran's underground nuclear sites. President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have dismissed the report as wild speculation, although they haven't ruled out a military option.

"I don't know why we would even talk about using tactical nuclear weapons when we haven't directly spoken with the Iranians. It doesn't make sense," Feinstein said.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said a move to have direct talks is the president's call, noting that Iran has not publicly shown much willingness to back off.

"This should not be a United States go-it-alone operation if we have to take military action, and that's the real challenge," said Hunter, R-Calif., who appeared with Feinstein on CNN's "Late Edition."

"But the point is that the Iranians, to engage in talks that are meaningful, you need to have a receptive audience," he said.

How Hitler Became a Dictator

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rep. Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said a move to have direct talks is the president's call, noting that Iran has not publicly shown much willingness to back off.

Yes indeed it is the president's call, as he makes foreign policy decisions and you'll note in the following what his call is, and by what reasoning he makes it.

President Bush Discusses Global War on Terror
The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
The Johns Hopkins University
Washington, D.C.


I appreciate your attention, and now I'll be glad to answer some questions. (Applause.) Please.

Q Mr. President, thank you very much for coming. We appreciate it. My question to you, Mr. President -- I'll preface it with a comment. Many of us here are aspiring policymakers. Many of us here hope to one day be in positions of leadership. And some of us may be faced with decisions -- very difficult decisions on the use of force and engaging in war. I was hoping that from your experience, you could share with us some wisdom or some insight -- not necessarily on tactics, but something we can take with us through our careers, that we can apply maybe at some point. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for the question. I would encourage those of you studying here to be a part of policymaking for our government. It's -- it is a high honor to serve your country. And my first advice is, never use force until you've exhausted all diplomacy. I -- my second advice is, if you ever put anybody in harm's way, make sure they have got all the support of the government. My third advice is, don't make decisions on polls. Stand your ground if you think what you're doing [is] right.

Much of my decision about what we're discussing these days was affected by an event. Look, I -- during the 2000 campaign, I don't remember ever discussing with people what -- could I handle war, or could my opponent handle war. The war wasn't on our mind. War came unexpectedly. We didn't ask for the attack, but it came. And so much of the statements I make and have made since that war were a result of that attack.

I vowed then that I would use all assets of our power to win the war on terror. That's what I vowed. It -- the September 11th attacks affected me. It affected my thinking deeply. The most important job of the government is to protect the people from an attack. And so I said we were going to stay on the offense two ways: one, hunt down the enemy and bring them to justice, and take threats seriously; and two, spread freedom. And that's what we've been doing, and that's what I'm going to continue to do as the President.

I think about the war on terror all the time. Now, I understand there's a difference of opinion in a country. Some view the attack as kind of an isolated incident. I don't. I view it as a part of a strategy by a totalitarian, ideologically based group of people who've announced their intentions to spread that ideology and to attack us again. That's what they've said they're going to do. And the most dangerous -- the biggest danger facing our country is whether -- if the terrorists get a weapons of mass destruction to use. Now, perhaps some in our country think it's a -- that's a pipedream; I don't. I think it is a very real threat, and therefore, will spend my presidency rallying our assets -- intelligence assets, military assets, financial assets, diplomatic initiatives -- to keep the enemy off balance, and to bring them to justice.

Now, if you're going to be the President or a policymaker, you never know what's going to come. That's the interesting thing about the world in which we live. We're a influential nation, and so, therefore, many problems come to the Oval Office. And you don't know what those problems are going to be, which then argues for having smart people around. That's why you ought to serve in government if you're not going to be the President. You have a chance to influence policy by giving good recommendations to the President.

You got to listen in my line of work, and I listen a lot. Ours is a complex organization that requires a management structure that lets people come into the Oval Office and explain their positions. And I think it's to my interest, by the way, that not everybody agree all the time. You can't make good decisions unless there's a little -- kind of a little agitation in there. (Laughter.) And sometimes we have.

But anyway, good question. I guess, my answer to your question is, is that you got to be ready for the unexpected. And when you act, you base your decisions on principles. I'll tell you one principle -- I'm not going to filibuster, I promise -- but you got me going here, so -- (laughter.) I want you to understand this principle, and it's an important debate and it's worth debating here in this school, as to whether or not freedom is universal, whether or not it's a universal right of all men and women. It's an interesting part of the international dialogue today. And I think it is universal. And if you believe it's universal, I believe this country has -- should act on that concept of universality. And the reason I do is because I do believe freedom yields the peace.

And our foreign policy prior to my arrival was "if it seems okay, leave it alone." In other words, if it's nice and placid out there on the surface, it's okay, just let it sit. But unfortunately, beneath the surface was resentment and hatred, and that kind of resentment and hatred provided ample recruitment, fertile grounds for recruiting people that came and killed over 3,000 of our citizens. And therefore, I believe the way to defeat resentment is with freedom and liberty.

But if you don't believe it's universal, I can understand why you say, what's he doing, why is he doing that? If there's no such thing as the universality of freedom, then we might as well just isolate ourselves and hope for the best.

And so -- anyway, kind of rambling here. (Laughter.) Yes.

Q Mr. President, thanks very much for your visit today. We're honored by your visit. You mentioned the confluence of terror and weapons of mass destruction as the greatest threat to American security. Will the United States allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons?

THE PRESIDENT: Ah. (Laughter.) We do not want the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon, the capacity to make a nuclear weapon, or the knowledge as to how to make a nuclear weapon. That's our stated goal. It's also the goal, fortunately, of other -- of friends and allies, starting with Great Britain, Germany, and France.

One of the decisions I made early on was to have a multinational approach to sending messages -- clear messages to the Iranians that -- that if they want to be a part of the -- an accepted nation in the world, that they must give up their nuclear weapons ambitions. And we're making pretty good progress.

By the way, if you're studying how to achieve diplomatic ends, it might be worthwhile noting -- I think at least -- with the United States being the sole interlocutor between Iran, it makes it more difficult to achieve the objective of having the Iranians give up their nuclear weapons ambitions.

It's amazing that when we're in a bilateral position, or kind of just negotiating one on one, somehow the world ends up turning the tables on us. And I'm not going to put my country in that position -- our country in that position. Also, I think it's more effective that the three of us -- the four of us work closely together.

We've also included Russia into the dialogue. A couple of months back, you might remember there was a discussion about whether or not the Russians should be allowed to build -- or encouraged to build a civilian nuclear power plant, but the fuel of which would be provided and collected by the Russians. I supported that initiative. I thought it was difficult, on the one hand, to say that civilian nuclear power is a sovereign right of a nation, and on the other hand, not to then support the Russian initiative. And I did so. I also did so because I want Russia to be a part of the -- part of the team, trying to convince the Iranians to give up its nuclear weapons program.

Now, I want to emphasize this point, and that is, is that we're not only making sure they don't have the means to develop the weapon, but the knowledge. And that's why I was very strong in saying that they should not have -- that there should not be a research component involved with the Russian deal that will enable the Iranians to learn how to better enriched -- enrich uranium.

But our objective is to prevent them from having a nuclear weapon. And the good news is, is that many in the world have come to that conclusion. I got out a little early on the issue by saying, axis of evil. (Laughter.) But I meant it. I saw it as a problem. And now, many others have -- have come to the conclusion that the Iranians should not have a nuclear weapon.

The doctrine of prevention is to work together to prevent the Iranians from having a nuclear weapon. I know -- I know here in Washington prevention means force. It doesn't mean force, necessarily. In this case, it means diplomacy. And by the way, I read the articles in the newspapers this weekend. It was just wild speculation, by the way. What you're reading is wild speculation, which is -- it's kind of a -- happens quite frequently here in the nation's capital.

I have often noted that some in government will take a position diametricly opposed to the president, just for the sake of partisanship and at the expense of common sense and the law itself which states clearly that no negotiation will be conducted with terrorists or the sponsors of terrorism.

certain channels of communication are appropriate, as in the case of humanitarian disaster, the "expression of concern" of activities (such as in the case of the IRI's activities in Iraq and Afghanistan upon presidential authorization to the ambassador directly...as has been for both the ambassadors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is interesting to note the timing of the IRI's request for a meeting on Iraq as the UN is taking up another grave matter. My take on this is that the IRI requested it to discredit the US , for if they had it might be percieved as back door manipulation of Iraqi soveregnity at the time when the permanent government of Iraq was being formed.

As such, this channel is now closed for the duration, until the Iraqi government is in place.

Cyrus wrote:

It seems you are repeating what we have already discussed before, I am not
planning to repeat myself again. Certainly there are number of weakness in oppositions and I am not planning to defend them.... feel free to blame oppositions with little resource and praise EU3 failed policy ... we are trying as best we can with very limited resources while the Islamists are spending billions of oil money to fight and insult Iranian oppositions … history will be the best judge ….

1. I was not asking you to defend them, I was asking you to establish a dialogue among opposition groups to address those "weaknesses' as you call them.

2. I am the last person you shoud complain to about lack of resources. for 3 years now I have been actively supporting the opposition in material ways without knowing if my phone will still be on next week or not...thousands of hours put in and with measurable and positive effect.

I keep hearing the word "can't" from the opposition. I understand great effort is put into it by all of you in the opposition, and dedicated as you all are my thought on this is simple....I do not "try" to paint a house, I just go and do it....the effort is part of my work ethic to get results that will last, and a job done right. If I need to adjust my aproach to a project to better complete it, I am not partial to old ways of thinking to the detriment of my client.

Your "client" in this case being the Iranian people.

For as long as I've been involved as an "honorary" member of the opposition (and I say it in this term because I am not Iranian) I have been asking folks to take a look at the strategy used, to the effect that what hasn't worked must be discarded, and a flexible and adaptable stategy employed.

You cite Cyrus, the figure of 100,000....this does not include the dissapeared, nor those killed in the Iran/Iraq war. Who killed them?

The regime...pure and simple. While those that turned a blind eye to what was going on, for economic's sake is certainly contemptable, the fact remains that the regime, and the regime alone is directly responsible for their actions.

I have often posed the question of what might have taken place had all those separate protests crushed by the regime (resulting in such a large number of dead) were timed all at once, whether we'd even be having this conversation today. In fact if I seenm to be repeating myself Cyrus, it is because after many attempts to get you as an opposition leader to address this issue, it is only now that you state there's some "weaknesss"

Well it's a start, now how are you folks going to constructively and cooperatively address these weaknesses if there is no dialoge, no trust among groups, no "esprit de corps" to draw upon in common cause in a practical sense?

This is a universal problem Cyrus, not particular to activist chat, but because many members of other groups visit here, this is as good as any place to start to resolve the problems.

Remember this one thing about me, whether we agree or not and that is that I want you folks to win this thing hands down. Recently I got down and dirty in the bastion of "engagement" which is the Washington Post.

Yesterday I posted a last comment, which you might find interesting

And Iran, Iran So Far Away (I Couldn't Get Away)



2 months on to the day now, sorry I was unable to respond sooner...

For those who are reviewing this thread in today's context, and wonder if military conflict can be avoided, or some diplomatic means will roll back the regime from the brink of war.

I simply repeat what someone rightly said in that diplomacy never fails to fail, until it resolves crisis.

That is of course assuming that all parties wish for a diplomatic solution, knowing what the alternatives are.

Some have suggested the IRI is not responsible for things it has been accused of...that the Palestinian issue is the over-riding, or underlying issue in US/IRI relations.

The four things are these, and they are huge issues, not just between the US and Iran, but between Iran and the international community.

1. IRI's Human Rights dossier

2. IRI's support for terrorism worldwide

3. It's interference in and direct threats to other member states of the UN (specificly interference in the sovereign affairs of Iraq and Afghanistan-politically and by material support to militias and others known for conducting terrorist acts)
Note: To those who bothered to notice the background scene in the "World without Zionism" conference during the IRI president's famous "wipe Israel off the map" remarks, one may have taken note that the "American" ball had dropped and shattered before the "Israeli" one.

4. IRI's nuclear dossier

Now for any Iranian who reads this, I ask very simply, how long would you tolerate someone openly stating his government's policy as being focused on wiping Iran off the map?

The US has been very patient for over a quarter century with the IRI. We've not had relations, diplomaticly or via trade.
We've sanctioned Iran, frozen assets..done all the non-violent things a nation can do on its own to effect behavior change of the regime.
We've supported the people's legitimate aspirations for freedom as well, and in this, I hear folks say that the Bush admin has no Iran policy...even now.

Well, that support for freedom has been voiced by the president since 2002, the policy to build international consensus to address a common threat has succeeeded, and is now in the hands of the security council as a "test-case" if you will, of effective multilateralism, not to mention a test of the international community of nations as well.

Insider wrote:

"Eric you find in the "IRI" an easy target to beat on. The problem is that even in cases where you may be 100% correct the messenger becomes an issue. Not because we don't love you, but because of a history that has left bad feelings and mistrust."


"If you hear a defense of "IRI" in my words you are missing the point and you don't have to give me another download of every thing there is to know about the evil empire. What I am suggesting here is that yes there is a large group of people in Iran who might say yah way to go Eric, but I also suggest there is even a larger "silent majority" who might say, yah there is a lot of truth in what he is saying but my god what a zeal. You know zeal, zealots? You want to know the real Iranian, read Khayam. It’s all about love and wine, even in the Islamic Republic. As my self-designated barber said they will find a way to build a system that suits them best."

LOL! "zeal, zealots" would I think connote a religious connection associated in context used here with my ramblings on this forum.

As a Buddhist, I'd venture a guess that this about as an objective background as one could ask for on these issues....we all have our beliefs...and so stated, my religious preference is not relative to the issues herein.

Rather I think would be more correct to describe my adament statements as just that...adament...stated with utmost certainty of facts to back them up with.

Time of course is the proof pudding...

If what is 100% correct is to be given as self evident, it passes through two prior stages. First it is ridiculed, then it is violently opposed...

Often as it involves politics, this can be considered a given state of affairs.

LOL! Sorry 'bout that Insider, I found it necessary to summarise (if not download) the issues that make the IRI an international problem, regardless of how some may try to make it a strictly US/Iran thing....

To those who promote "engagement" with this regime, I must remind them of standing US law that states clearly that no citizen or member of government will engage in negotiation, trade or material suport for terrorists, OR THE SPONSORS OF TERRORISM.


End of lecture....(chuckle).....

Class dismissed.......LOOL!

Live long and prosper.....


Posted by: Eric Jette | Apr 16, 2006 12:15:03 AM | Permalink



Forgot to add a note of curiosity whether Khayam had ever been exposed to Bhuddist philosophy, some of his writings remind me of old Bhuddist texts....but some truths are universal, and go beyond language and culture.....like freedom.

In my opinion, for Iranians to be truly free, now or in the future, the letting go of one's baggage is essential....as it becomes a burden to the future.....as well as life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.
In fact humanity itself must shed the baggage (or karma incurred) from the cold-war to step into a truly free future.

One note on Behavior change as opposed to regime change....there are numerous ways to change a regime...behavior modification is but one.

In the IRI's case, they've dug themselves such a deep political hole, they cannot back off without appearing weak to their own power base inside Iran,,,,they would be accused of betraying the revolution if that happened, and no tyrany can be percieved as weak and survive.

They cannot go forward and survive the will of the international community (or a coalition of the willing if need be), they cannot retreat and survive the internal results, and so it is just a matter of time when they committ collective suicide by starting a war in a desperate bid for legitamacy...taking 70 million Iranians and up to 200 million in the region along for the ride.

If this be truth, then who is to judge what may be asked of the Iranian people to prevent such a tragedy from occuring? Especially knowing what
may be taken from them should war become manifest.

There is no insult in my adament viewpoint Cyrus, nor should you or anyone mistrust the fact that America stands with you as you stand for your liberty.

It is then a matter of what the Iranian people must ask of themselves to preserve the peace of nations.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:04 am    Post subject: Bush adviser dismisses call for talks with Iran Reply with quote

Bush adviser dismisses call for talks with Taazi (Islamofascist Occupiers Of Iran)
By Daniel Dombey in London
Published: April 24 2006 03:00 | Last updated: April 24 2006 03:00

One of the US government's top advisers has rebuffed European calls for Washington to negotiate directly with Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Philip Zelikow, counsellor at the US State Department, also said the Bush administration's commitment to the democratisation of the Middle East was undimmed, despite the recent victory of Hamas, the militant Islamist group, in Palestinian legislative elections.
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 10:22 am    Post subject: The Iranian Challenge - Face to face with Ahmadinejad. Reply with quote

The Iranian Challenge - Face to face with Ahmadinejad.

May 31, 2006
National Review Online
Michael Ledeen

The Mahmoud Ahmadinejad interview in Der Spiegel has its moments, to be sure, but overall it’s about what you would expect. He’s an uncultured fanatic who will never admit error but simply reassert his lies. He’s not at all interested in what we call “the pursuit of the truth,” so there is no real interview or dialogue (the crowd calling for negotiations with this regime ought to study this text, because if they do it seriously they will realize that you cannot negotiate with these people).

He constantly projects Iranian political culture onto the rest of the world, which is what you would expect from an uncultured ideologue. And it’s astonishing to watch the Spiegel interviewer fall into one rhetorical trap after another. In many ways, the interview is noteworthy for its exposure of the fecklessness of a German interviewer facing an Iranian bully.

When Ahmadinejad says “I don’t know what all the excitement is about” concerning the possibility he would attend the World Cup in Germany this summer, he’s told that it’s because of his remarks about the Holocaust. “So you were surprised...?” the interviewer says. Uninterested in what he said a sentence before, Ahmadinejad tosses out a new version: “No, not at all, because the network of Zionism is very active...”

And that pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the interview. It’s always “heads I win, tails you lose.” Or rather, the Jews lose. Early on, he says “if (the Holocaust) did not occur, then the Jews have to go back to where they came from.” And a bit later he says “If there really had been a Holocaust, Israel ought to be located in Europe...” So he wants to ship the Jews to Europe, period. Talk about the Holocaust is neither here nor there.

When the Spiegel interviewer tries to suggest that there is abundant evidence for the Holocaust, Ahmadinejad first tosses off one of his great gag lines (“Normally, governments promote and support the work of researchers on historical events and do not put them in prison”), as if his regime had not arrested, tortured, and murdered thousands of Iranians who tried to tell the truth about the actions of the regime. Then he assaults the poor German: Why do you have to support the Zionists? Why do you Germans still feel guilty about the Holocaust? “Why must the German people be humiliated today because a group of people committed crimes in the name of the Germans during the course of history?” The Spiegel journalist doesn’t have the wit to ask Ahmadinejad why jihadis like him base their actions on events that took place centuries ago, and then have the chutzpah to condemn the Germans for feeling guilt about the actions of their parents.

The use of “humiliation” tells us a lot about the way the mullahs think about the world; they look at international events as a matter of domination or humiliation, and he hammers away at this theme: “Saying that we should accept the world as it is would mean that...the German people would be humiliated for another 1.000 years. Do you think that is the correct logic?”

You can be quite certain that the mullahs are not going to accept anything less than the humiliation of the West, and Ahmadinejad’s hatred for the Europeans oozes from every verbal exchange. When the Spiegel interviewer asks him whether he wants nuclear weapons, Ahmadinejad treats him with total contempt. If you know how to parse the language, you will see that he says “yes. Hell yes!” But instead of putting it in the context of the pursuit of Iranian national interests, he treats it as part of his hatred of the West:

In our view, the legal system whereby a handful of countries force their will on the rest of the world is discriminatory and unstable...there are a number of countries that possess both nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. They use their atomic weapons to threaten other peoples...What we say is that these countries themselves have long deviated from peaceful usage. These powers have no right to talk to us in this manner. This order is unjust and unsustainable.

That ought to be clear enough for anyone who cares to see it.

As for the rest, it ranges from outright lies (“we’re concerned about the American soldiers who die in Iraq. Why do they have to die there?” This from a regime that is doing much of the killing) to the usual denunciation of free societies:

It does not make sense that a phenomenon depends on the opinions of many individuals who are free to interpret the phenomenon as they wish. You can’t solve the problems of the world that way...we need sustainable principles that enjoy universal acceptance–such as justice. Iran and the West agree on this.

They don’t, because the West believes, (at least I hope it still believes), that individuals must be free to think freely, while the Iranian regime demands subservience (anyone who thinks that the ayatollahs’ regime is based on justice should take a refresher course on basic legal principles).

And he ends with an open threat: If the Europeans continue to side with the Americans (would that it were so!), they will lose their position in the Middle East, and “ruin their reputation in other parts of the world. The others will think that the Europeans aren’t capable of solving problems.”

I wonder if there are many who believe the Europeans can solve any serious problems nowadays. They certainly can’t manage the Iranian challenge.

Can we?

- Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. He is resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reject the idea of “dialogue” with the Pro Hezbollah Regime Reply with quote

Reject the idea of “dialogue” with the Pro Hezbollah Regime
From: Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi

Dear Friends,

It looks like it’s time to impart a couple of facts and pointers to Peter Waldman, the writer of the below article and the WSJ news and editorial staff. Please explain calmly and intelligently that many including Mr. Brzezinski and his so-called band of merry “realists” from mainly the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as a few Iranians living extravagant and luxurious life styles in the west, have fast and furiously tried to force the idea of “dialogue” with the terrorism-financing Islamic regime and that at this stage of the game that approach is nothing more than a mirage.

feedback@wsj.com , newseditors@wsj.com , wsj.ltrs@wsj.com , peter.waldman@wsj.com

August 4, 2006

Ancient Rift
Rising Academic
Sees Sectarian Split
Inflaming Mideast

Vali Nasr Says 'Shiite Revival'
Is Met by Sunni Backlash;
Resurgent Iran Leads Way

Can Mullahs be Moderated?

August 4, 2006; Page A1

WASHINGTON -- As Vali Nasr dashed for the airport last week after briefing a small group of academics and policy makers here, a hand pulled the political scientist aside.

"That was the most coherent, in-depth and incisive discussion of the religious situation in the Middle East that I've heard in any setting," said Richard Land, a Southern Baptist leader and influential conservative.

Sen. Joseph Biden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, heaped similar praise on Mr. Nasr in May for giving what Mr. Biden called the most "concise and coherent" testimony on Iran he had ever heard.

From the violence in the Mideast, new realities are emerging -- and a new generation of experts to interpret them. Shiite Muslims are asserting themselves as never before. Followers of this branch of Islam, generally backbenchers in the region's power game, are central players in Lebanon, Iran and Iraq -- often acting out against traditional powers such as Israel, the U.S., and Sunni Arab states.

Mr. Nasr, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., calls this a historic "Shiite revival" and has gone further than most in identifying it as a central force in Mideast politics. He also frames a possible U.S. response: Engage Iran, especially over the issue of reducing violence in Iraq, and try to manage Tehran's rise as a regional power rather than isolating it.

The issues are more than academic for the 46-year-old professor. He was raised in Tehran and hails from a prominent intellectual and literary family in Iran that traces its lineage to the prophet Muhammad. His father was once president of Iran's top science university and chief of staff for the shah's wife.

In 1979, after the Iranian revolution, the Nasrs "started from zero" in the U.S., says Mr. Nasr. He received a doctorate in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writing his thesis on the political dimensions of radical Islam, while his father, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, became a renowned professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University.

The younger Mr. Nasr has laid out his views in a series of speeches and articles, as well as a new book. He is gaining a wide hearing in Washington. "The problem with the current Middle East debate is it's completely stuck. Nobody knows what to do," says political economist Francis Fukuyama of Johns Hopkins University, who attended Mr. Nasr's private briefing last week. "Vali Nasr offers a plausible alternative that may gain traction."

Mr. Nasr's analysis begins with the idea that the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq has transformed the Mideast, but not in the ways promised by President Bush. By replacing Iraq's Sunni-led dictatorship with an elected government dominated by the country's Shiite majority, the U.S. destroyed the Sunni wall that had contained the restless Shiite power to the east, Iran. The clerical regime in Tehran was immeasurably strengthened.

Reopening a Fault Line

This power shift, Mr. Nasr argues, has reopened an ancient fault line between Shiites and Sunnis that crosses the entire region. The schism dates back to the prophet Muhammad's death in 632, when his companions -- the forebears of the Sunnis -- chose Muhammad's close friend and father-in-law, Abu Bakr, to succeed him and become Islam's first caliph. Shiites believe Muhammad's son-in-law, Ali, was more deserving.

Ali managed to become Islam's fourth caliph, only to face multiple rebellions. He was ultimately murdered while at prayer at a shrine in what is now Iraq. His son, Hussein, refused to accept his father's Sunni usurpers and was slain 19 years later.

Shiites commemorate Hussein's murder in the holiday called Ashura, a 10-day period of mourning and self-flagellation. Their reverence for Hussein's stand against tyranny is the touchstone of Shiite political passions -- often invoked during the Iranian revolution, the ensuing war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and even recently by the leader of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah in its war against Israel. Traditional Sunnis view Shiites as heretics, led astray by Persian Zoroastrianism and other pagan beliefs.

Today, the conflict is most visible in Iraq, where foreign and local Sunni insurgents refuse to accede to the country's Shiite majority. But Mr. Nasr sees the backlash in Iraq as auguring a wave of similar sectarian battles in a broad swath of Asia from Lebanon to Pakistan where the populations of the two sects are roughly even.

"In the coming years, Shiites and Sunnis will compete over power, first in Iraq but ultimately across the entire region," Mr. Nasr writes in his new book, "The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future," published by W.W. Norton & Co. "The overall Sunni-Shiite conflict will play a large role in defining the Middle East as a whole and shaping its relations with the outside world."

For the U.S., the Sunni-Shiite divide is fraught with challenges -- and opportunities. By creating in Iraq the first Shiite-led state in the Arab world since the rise of Islam (Iran is mostly ethnic Persian), the U.S. ignited aspirations among some 150 million Shiites in the region, Mr. Nasr says. Many live under Sunni rule, such as in Saudi Arabia, where they have long been persecuted. Yet U.S. foreign policy still operates under the "old paradigm" of Sunni dominance, he contends.

Take the current crisis in Lebanon. The U.S. has long relied on its traditional Sunni Arab allies -- Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia -- to keep the Arab-Israeli conflict in check. But now the Sunni axis is failing, says Mr. Nasr, because these nations are incapable of containing a resurgent Iran and its radical clients on the front lines against Israel -- Hezbollah and the Palestinian group Hamas.

To adapt, the U.S. must "recalibrate" its diplomacy and re-establish contacts with Iran, he says. That would require disavowing any interest in "regime change" in Tehran -- an unrealistic aim anyway, Mr. Nasr argues -- but would offer the best hope of moderating Iran's growing influence.

"The Iranian genie isn't going back in the bottle," he says. "If we deny these changes have happened -- that Cairo, Amman and Riyadh have lost control of the region -- and we continue to exclude Iran, we'd better be prepared to spend a lot of money on troops in the region for a long time," Mr. Nasr says.

The Bush administration is listening to Mr. Nasr, but his influence on U.S. policy is unclear. Two White House foreign-policy aides attended his talk here last week. And last year, Mr. Nasr briefed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Since last year the influence of neoconservatives who championed the invasion of Iraq has ebbed at the White House, and Mr. Bush recently held a roundtable discussion at Camp David with other analysts critical of his Iraq policy.

One White House official points out that Mr. Nasr's prescription assumes the U.S., by recognizing and engaging Iran as a regional power, could moderate its behavior. But that outcome, the official adds, doesn't inevitably flow from Mr. Nasr's core argument about the Shiite revival. Many Republican foreign-policy specialists, including some who opposed the Iraq war, believe Iran is a threat and may have to be confronted militarily if diplomatic efforts fail.

In the Lebanon crisis, the U.S. has so far ruled out talking to Syria or Iran, Hezbollah's main suppliers of money and missiles. "Frankly, there is nothing to negotiate," White House spokesman Tony Snow has said.

Mr. Nasr sees it differently. Hezbollah's brazen attack on Israel July 12, and its heady self-confidence from parrying Israel's onslaught since then, illustrate why the U.S. needs a new policy toward Iran and the region's Shiites, he says. Immediately after the fighting stops in Lebanon, he says, the U.S. should convene a conference with all of the interested parties -- including Syria and Iran -- to redraw Lebanon's political map. In 1989, Saudi Arabia convened a similar conference in the Saudi city of Taif that helped end Lebanon's civil war by redistributing political power among the country's four main religious groups.

Lebanon's Sunnis emerged from Taif much stronger, particularly under Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a Sunni construction magnate who helped rebuild Beirut after the civil war. Mr. Nasr sees the Shiites, who he estimates make up 40% to 50% of Lebanon's population, as relatively disenfranchised. Shiites hold just 35 of 128 seats in Lebanon's Parliament, largely because the country hasn't held a census since 1932. Lebanon's system assigns the nonexecutive post of parliamentary speaker to a Shiite but bars Shiites from becoming president or prime minister.

Mr. Nasr says the crisis in Lebanon underscores the importance of engaging Iran as the U.S. did after the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. At a conference in Bonn, Germany, the U.S. and Iran negotiated extensively, giving rise to the relatively stable government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. In Lebanon, America's Sunni Arab allies are likely to oppose apportioning rival Shiites greater political power. Mr. Nasr argues that is the only way to give Lebanon's Shiites -- and Iran -- a stake in stability.

"You can beat Hezbollah to a pulp, but you can't change the fact that around 45% of Lebanese are Shiites," Mr. Nasr says.

Mr. Nasr also sees room for engagement with Tehran over Iraq. Prior to the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the Bush administration argued change in Iraq would help spawn democracy in the region. At a seminar in Toronto around the start of the war, historian Bernard Lewis, who was instrumental in advising Vice President Dick Cheney and other top U.S. officials on the Iraq invasion, said: "The Iranian regime won't last very long after an overthrow of the regime in Iraq, and many other regimes in the region will feel threatened."

This prediction was based on a pivotal misunderstanding about Iraq's Shiites, Mr. Nasr says: that their Iraqi and Arab identity would supersede their Shiite affinity with Iran. As it turned out, as soon as Shiites took power in Iraq, they eagerly threw open the gates to Iranian influence and support. Now, Iran operates a vast network of allies and clients in Iraq, Mr. Nasr says, ranging from intelligence agents and militias to top politicians in Iraq's Shiite parties.

"Ethnic antagonism [between Arabs and Persians] cannot possibly be all-important when Iraq's supreme religious leader is Iranian and Iran's chief justice is Iraqi," writes Mr. Nasr in the current edition of Foreign Affairs magazine. The references are to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the Iranian-born Iraqi religious leader, and the Iraqi-born head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi.

Mr. Lewis, in a phone interview, says he still believes the "tyrannies" neighboring Iraq feel threatened by the prospect of a stable democracy in Baghdad. He says Iran's activities in its neighbor are a sign of its fears.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, quipped about Iran's influence in a recent speech in Washington. When he met his Iranian counterpart in Afghanistan, Mr. Khalilzad said, "I used to joke with him that 'you guys ought to be much more helpful to us, because look, you couldn't deal with the Taliban problem, you couldn't deal with the Saddam problem, and we've dealt with both. That's a big deal. We'll send you a bill one day for that.' "

Two Main Threats

Mr. Nasr sees two main threats arising from today's Shiite revival. The first is Iranian nationalism, fueled by perceptions in Iran that a Sunni Arab-U.S. nexus wants to stifle its rise as a regional power. That explains the widespread support among Iranians for their country's nuclear program, he says. It also explains why some Iranian leaders have been sounding less like Islamic revolutionaries and more like the late shah, a Persian nationalist who extended Iran's influence into Shiite and Farsi-speaking areas beyond its borders.

The second major threat, he says, is the Sunni reaction to the Shiite revival. As Iraq's insurgents have shown, hatred of Shiites is ingrained in Sunni militancy, Mr. Nasr says. He worries about a replay of the 1980s and 1990s, when Saudi money poured into Sunni extremist groups throughout the region to counter the Shiite fervor coming out of Iran after the revolution. The same groups became the backbone of al Qaeda, Mr. Nasr says.

In a speech last year in New York, the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, said it "seems out of this world" that U.S. forces would protect allies of Iran who are building a power base in Iraq. "Now we are handing the whole country over to Iran without reason," the prince said.

But Mr. Nasr says U.S. and Iranian interests in Iraq may converge because both want lasting stability there. Comparing Iran to 19th-century Prussia and Japan of the 1930s, he says it is important to manage the rise of regional powers. "You can't regulate them by isolating them," he says.

Write to Peter Waldman at peter.waldman@wsj.com1

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