Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Timing of Iran talks insulting to troops

A great, hard-hitting piece by MSNBC's military analyst over the recent US talks with Iran:

Why are we meeting with the people responsible for killing Americans?

Lt. Col. Rick Francona, MSNBC News-On May 28 –- Memorial Day –- U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker sat down with his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad for the first official talks between the two countries in over two and a half decades.

Mr. President, what were you thinking? While you are visiting Arlington National Cemetery honoring America’s fallen warriors, your ambassador is sitting down with the representative of a pariah regime that has American blood on its hands – including the blood of those same warriors we remember on that holiday.

An American diplomat meeting with the likes of Hassan Kazemi Qomi on any day is problematic, but to do so on Memorial Day is an insult to anyone who has ever worn a uniform. Kazemi is a former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force, the Iranian special forces group that is involved in the training and arming of Iraqi Shia militias, particularly the jaysh al-mahdi (Mahdi Army) of radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The Iranian-supplied weapons include the explosively-formed penetrator used in roadside bombs that have killed over 100 U.S. soldiers. Of course, the Iranian ambassador denied any support to the Shia militias – what did you expect him to say?

Why are we meeting with the people responsible for killing our troops? I know why the Iranians want to meet with us. Anytime a pariah nation like Iran can convince the United States – the only remaining superpower – to meet as equals, it bestows legitimacy on that regime and provides a platform for hurling insults veiled as diplomacy...

...Let’s remember who we are talking about – the Iranians. These are the people that created Hezbollah in Lebanon, seized the American embassy in Tehran, took American diplomats hostage, murdered Marine Lt Col Rich Higgins and CIA officer Bill Buckley, continue to support a variety of terrorist organizations – Hamas and Islamic Jihad included –- and are pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Not exactly the best recommendation for potential negotiators.

However, Mr. President, if you absolutely insist on talking to –- and I mean talking “to” not “with” –- the Iranians, start acting like the leader of a superpower instead of treating these thugs as equals. I do agree with your position that any talks should be limited to the security situation in Iraq.

Here are suggested talking points: Stop providing weapons and training to Iraqi militias. You can deny it, but here’s a news flash -- we don’t believe you! You have American blood on your hands and we will no longer tolerate it. Your diplomatically-protected facilities in Iraq are nothing more than operating locations for the Qods Force. That has to stop -– either you stop it or we will.

Say it, mean it, then do it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Haleh Esfandiari: Prisoner of her own desires

REUEL MARC GERECHT, NY Times:... Many Iranians feel ashamed about the Islamic revolution’s violent excesses, which were particularly bad 25 years ago when I was a student of Mrs. Esfandiari and her husband, Shaul Bakhash. However, the two never failed to point out the basic decency and beauty of their homeland and of the men and women who made the Iranian revolution. Now the revolution’s ugliness has again pre-empted the country’s goodness by brutalizing a woman who has done as much as any Persian poet to show Islamic Iran’s complex, rich humanity.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Police brutality against women in Iran continues



These new shocking pictures from Tehran, Iran show how an Iranian women has been beaten up by the Iranian police for refusing to abide by mullahs' strict dress code. If you are reading this post, please help spread the word and let the world know what miserable lives many Iranian women are forced to lead under the Iranian Taliban.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Farewell...

First of all to one of my favorite politicians of all time, who is in Washington now for his last visit to the White House as the UK Prime Minister, Prime Minister Tony Blair. With Mr Blair leaving, America will sure lose its most reliable international partner and the free world will lose one of its most intelligent, visionary leaders. Good luck and all the best sir.
And of course to the real American Idol and my favorite AI contestant of all time, the absolute singer who didn't hit the wrong note even once in her entire AI run, Melinda Doolittle. Melinda, it really sucks like hell to see you leave AI but I already have a couple of your performances on my ipod and can't wait for your debut CD. Congratulations and all the best.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Nazanin Afshin-Jam on The O’Reilly Factor

Iranian-Canadian Singer, International Human Rights Activist, model, and a former Miss World Canada, Nazanin Afshin Jam discusses child executions and Sharia laws in Iran with Bill O'Reilly.

See the video.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A new era in French politics

From Nicolas sarkozi's victory speech:

"I want to issue a call to everyone in the world who believes in the values of tolerance, freedom, democracy, humanism, to all those who are persecuted by tyranny, by dictatorships. I want to tell all of the children throughout the world, all of the ill-treated women throughout the world - I want to tell them that it will be France's pride and its duty to be at their side.

France will be at the side of the Libyan nurses [Bulgarian nurses imprisoned in Libya], imprisoned for eight years. France will not abandon Ingrid Betancourt [held by Farc rebels in Colombia]. France will not abandon the women condemned to wear the burqa. France will not abandon the women who do not have freedom. France will be on the side of the oppressed of the world. This is France's message, it is France's identity, it is France's history. "

Amen to that President-elect Sarkozi. Congratulations and good luck sir.

Related:

NY Times:...Mr. Sarkozy is unabashedly pro-American, a man who openly proclaims his love of Ernest Hemingway, Steve McQueen and Sylvester Stallone and his admiration for America’s strong work ethic and its belief in upward mobility.

The last film that made Mr. Sarkozy cry was Robert Altman’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” He once said he wanted Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” as his victory song. He calls himself “proud” to wear the label “Sarkozy the American.”