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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Iran’s dictator gives up pretence of democracy

Times Online h/y Anonymous

Iran’s dictator gives up pretence of democracy

Amir Taheri

Just before noon on Friday, June 19, the Islamic republic died in Iran. Its death was announced by its “supreme guide”, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had come to praise the system but buried it instead. Khamenei was addressing supporters on the campus of Tehran University, transformed into a mosque for the occasion. Many had expected him to speak as a guide, an arbiter of disputes – a voice for national reconciliation. Instead, he spoke as a rabble rouser and a tinpot despot.

At issue was the June 12 presidential election that millions of Iranians, perhaps a majority, believe was rigged to ensure the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a two-thirds majority. Since its inception in 1979, the Islamic republic has organised 31 elections at different levels. All have been carefully scripted, with candidates pre-approved by the regime and no independent mechanism for oversight.

Nevertheless, the results were never contested because most Iranians believed the regime would not cheat within the limits set by itself. Elections in the Islamic republic resembled primaries in American political parties in which all candidates are from the same political family but the contest is free and fair. The June 12 election was exceptional because three of the four candidates challenged the results.

Once the initial shock had passed, everyone looked to the supreme leader to find a way out of the impasse. Instead, Khamenei came out with a long lyrical monologue, hailing the election as a “miracle” and a “triumph for Islam”. Never before had Khamenei commented on the results of elections beyond accepting them as an expression of the popular will. The Khomeinist system was supposed to be 80% theocracy and 20% democracy, regardless of how bizarre the combination looked.

On Friday, the 20% democratic part disappeared, as Iran was transformed from an Islamic republic into an Islamic emirate headed by the Emir al-Momeneen (Commander of the Faithful) Ali Khamenei. As Iranians marched in the street in support of more freedom and democracy, Khamenei served notice that he was determined to lead the country in the opposite direction.

A sign that the self-appointed emir wanted to jettison the republican part of the system was there for all to see. The diminutive Ahmadinejad was relegated to the third rung of the faithful praying behind Khamenei. Sandwiched between two mullahs with giant turbans, he was almost hidden from public view. For almost a week the usually voluble Ahmadinejad has been kept off the airwaves. Suddenly the office of the president has become irrelevant. Ahmadinejad is there not because the people wanted him but because the emir found “his views closer to mine than the views of others”.

Khamenei’s decision to kill the Islamic republic may lead Iran into uncharted waters. The move has split the establishment as never before. All prominent figures of the “loyal opposition”, including former presidents Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, boycotted the Friday gathering. Nearly half the members of the Majlis, Iran’s ersatz parliament, were absent – along with most members of the Assembly of Experts, a body of 92 mullahs supposed to supervise the work of the supreme leader. Many senior figures of the military/security establishment were significantly absent, too.

If Khamenei had hoped to intimidate the protesters into accepting the results, he was quickly disappointed. No sooner had the “emirate” been born than millions of people throughout Iran were on the rooftops shouting, “I will die, but won’t accept humiliation!” A week of nationwide protests has claimed at least seven lives. Khamenei’s intervention has been followed by a wave of arrests. The supreme leader has tried to divide the opposition by offering public assurances to Rafsanjani and Ali Akbar Nateq-Nuri, the former parliamentary Speaker, that they would not be prosecuted on corruption charges as threatened by Ahmadinejad. Nevertheless, both men still refuse to endorse Ahmadinejad’s re-election.

As the principal face of the opposition, Mir Hossein Mousavi has come under pressure to wind up the movement. Yesterday Abbas Mohtaj, the head of Iran’s security council, issued a veiled death threat. Zahra Rahnavard, Mousavi’s wife and principal campaign manager, has retaliated by publishing a poem through Twitter and SMS sent to millions of Iranians: “Let the wolves know that in our tribe / If the father dies, his gun will remain / Even if all the men of the tribe are killed / A baby son will remain in the wooden cradle”.

For the past three days the regime has held back its security forces while tightening the lasso around the opposition leadership, especially Mousavi. He is under virtual house arrest.

Today there are two Irans. One is prepared to support Khamenei’s bid to transform the republic into an emirate in the service of the Islamic cause. Then there is a second Iran – one that wishes to cease to be a cause and yearns to be an ordinary nation. This Iran has not yet found its ultimate leaders. For now, it is prepared to bet on Mousavi. The fight over Iran’s future is only beginning.

Amir Taheri is an Iranian journalist and author

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HEY KHAMENEI YOU SONOFABITCH! SINCE IT SEEMS ONLY YOU AND YOUR MINIONS CAN LOOK AT THE INTERNET RIGHT NOW HOW ABOUT TURNING OFF THAT FUCKING CHILD PORN YOU LOVE AND TAKE A LOOK AT THESE.
FEEL THAT HOT BREATH ON YOUR NECK YOU MOTHERFUCKER? THAT'S THE DEVIL COMING FOR YOU IN THE FORM OF YOUR OWN PEOPLE.
SLEEP WELL.





















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Look At The Sheer Numbers!

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Obama Is Failing This Test (With Addendum)

All day long, in between necessary household tasks, I've been watching CNN, checking Twitter updates, reading IBA.

And what is BHO saying? Is he standing up for the ideals of freedom?

No.

I think that BHO said something about not wanting innocent people hurt and wanting the protests to be peaceful.

BHO's words about "innocent" and "peace" sound like something out of the mouth of Al Qaeda or some other fundamentalist Moslem.

Meanwhile, CNN keeps referring to "Obama's tightrope." It looks to me that the real tightrope for survival is going on inside Iran.

BHO's supporters, including Colin Powell, are approving of BHO's tactics right now.

Even Henry Kissinger says that BHO is handling this situation correctly.

I don't agree.

For God's sake. Look at what's coming out of Iran today!

BHO doesn't want to meddle in Iran's internal affairs. Mark Alexander has pointed out in an essay today that BHO hasn't been hesitant about meddling with regard to a lot of other matters. Take a look at Mark's essay - worth your time, and comments are open.

I don't see how anyone watching what's coming out of Iran today can remain silent and act as if this uprising in Iran doesn't matter.

Addendum: BHO and family are out and about right now getting ice cream. Not a care in the world?


Obama Tells Killer Iranian Regime "The World Is Watching"... Then Gets Ice Cream

The regime in Iran slaughtered dozens of innocent democracy protesters in the streets of Tehran today.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that 150 Iranians were murdered by the evil regime during protests this afternoon including young girls shot dead by the basij.

Barack Obama finally spoke out against the actions by the regime and asked them to stop the "unjust actions."

Then he went out for ice cream...

President Barack Obama stands with daughters Malia Obama, 10, left, and Sasha Obama, 8, and orders frozen custard at The Dairy Godmother in the Del Ray area of Alexandria, Va., Saturday, June 20, 2009. (AP/Alex Brandon)

Richard Romano adds: Just file this under "What if Bush had done this..."

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Ace: According to niac crowds are chanting

“I welcome death I welcome death But not subjugation But Not subjugation”

from NIAC -- MUCH more there

4:27 pm: Moussavi’s open letter to the people of Iran. Released tonight at 9:21pm. It states that he stands with the people to protect the original aims of the revolution to reach human rights and democracy. He states that what they got instead was fraud, injustice, torture and lies. He states why he will not stand down and why all the security forces of Iran are brothers and sisters that should support the nation. He says the body charged with investigating the elections is not a neutral body. He calls on authorities to pull the security forces and Basij out of the streets and allow the people’s voices to be heard peacefully. The full letter in Farsi can be found here.

4:13 pm: According to Moussavi’s Facebook page, the police are pouring acid on the demonstrators.

3:59 pm: Washington DC- The most diverse and largest crowd of Iranian Americans came out to show their solidarity for the Iranian people. Old and young generations of Iranian Americans joined forces to stand up against the violence in Iran. The 600 or so people that started at the Iranian Interest Section walked to the White House echoing the chanting “Where is my vote?” and “Stop the killing! Stop the Coup! Free Iran! Free Iran!” Everyone was instructed not to bring flags as to keep people from promoting their own political agendas.

However, before the mass of protesters reached the White House, there was already a group of 12 people from the MKO, whose flags outnumbered them and were chanting, “Death to the Islamic Republic.” However, they were quickly silenced and left the scene when the overwhelming larger group arrived.

2:45 pm: From a contact in Tehran who called and was very shaken up.

“I was out from 4-10pm. Military and Basijis were everywhere. They wouldn’t let anyone go though. Every time there was a group of us, they would shoot us with water guns and disperse all of us. They wouldn’t let us in to where we were supposed to protest.

They had paintball guns which they shot into the crowd and would arrest whoever had a paint mark on them. There was also tear gas everywhere, they would throw it at us and we would throw it back. But it was very dangerous because they all had guns.

I saw a body being carried away. People are afraid to go to the hospital to get treatment for fear of punishment.

Security and police have been confiscating cameras and arresting those who are taking footage. I saw this young guy taking a video and 5 people attacked him and throughout it all he help his hand up with a peace sign- then they arrested him. They have also handcuffed students to the Tehran University fence.

We talk to some normal police and patrolling cops- they are nice and are trying to help people. But it is the Basij and anti-riot [police] that are ruthless. They have been brought in from out of town. There are also many undercover cops.

Also, we don’t watch state media because it takes our hope away. I’m going to go back out, but
my cell phone doesn’t work and I don’t know how I will find people.”

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Police Brutality Shiraz University 6/20/09

h/t Ace of Spades


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The ultimate politican, Obama finally speaks out on the Iranian protests. Not because he should, not because it's right, but because he's under pressure to do so. The ultimate in cynicism.

Congratulations, America, this is the fucking piece of work you elected.

This man doesn't understand shit about freedom.

Foxnews:
Under Pressure, Obama Calls on Iran to End Violence, 'Unjust' Actions
In a statement that appeared to answer his critics who wanted him to speak out more forcefully, President Obama called on Iran to stop the violence and unjust actions against its people.

President Obama on Saturday called on the Iranian government to "stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people" amid calls for the White House to go further in showing support for the Iranian people after the country's disputed elections.

Republicans, in particular, have pressed Obama to speak out more forcefully, as protesters and authorities clashed Saturday in Tehran during a government crackdown.

"The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights," Obama said in a written statement.

Obama referenced his speech this month to the Muslim world, saying "suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion."

Obama also cited the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s, famous quote: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

"I believe that," Obama said. "The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples' belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness."

Republicans, who have pushed Obama to speak out more forcefully against Tehran's crackdown on protesters, said the president's statement was long overdue.

"The Obama administration took a first step today," California Rep. Darrell Issa told FOX News. "Obviously, Congress was well ahead of the president. I think the president is playing catch-up."

Issa said the president, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Obama officials will have to make a series of statements to catch up to lawmakers.

"You have to support these people whose aspirations are only freedom," he said.

Before Obama's statement, Republicans had called on him to send a clear message that he supported the Iranian people despite the risk of appearing to meddle in Iranian affairs.

"I think what the president can do is make a strong statement on behalf of the people of Iran ... making clear it's not about a certain candidate," Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the top
Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, told FOX News on Saturday. Remaining silent "sends the wrong message" to Iranians and other people in other oppressed countries.

"They expect America to stand for freedom and we're not doing that right now," Hoekstra said

It is not clear how many people have been killed or injured so far, but eyewitness accounts trickling out of the country depict a scene of a sometimes brutal confrontation, stemming from opposition supporters' belief that last week's election was rigged to re-elect hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Social networking sites have been the primary source of information since Iranian leaders have kicked foreign journalists out of the country.

Both chambers of Congress voted Friday to condemn Iran's crackdown on anti-government protesters. The resolution denounces the "ongoing violence" by the government and the Iranian government's suppression of the Internet and cell phones. It also expressed support for Iranian citizens who embrace freedom.

The resolution was initiated by Republicans partly to prod Obama, who has been reluctant to speak too strongly about the disputed elections that left Ahmadinejad in charge of the Muslim nation.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the resolution is consistent with Obama's message condemning the violence in Iran. At the same time, he said the U.S. would not become a political football in a debate happening in Iran.

Obama told CBS News Friday that Iran would show its true colors by the way it dealt with the protests.

"I'm very concerned based on some of the tenor and tone of the statements that have been made that the government of Iran recognizes that the world is watching," he said. "How they approach and deal with people who are, through peaceful means, trying to be heard will, I think, send a pretty clear signal to the international community about what Iran is and is not."

Robert Tappan, a former State Department official, told FOX News that the U.S. should pursue a two-pronged strategy in dealing with Iran.

First, Tappan suggested the U.S. reach out to regional allies, like Turkey and Pakistan, "those who are engaged still with the Iranian government and behind the scenes really try to work to put the pressure on."

"Then the U.S. from an official government standpoint, really needs to hammer on the basic rights: freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, those different things."

Tappan added that Obama has to be exceedingly careful in how he engages Iran.

"We're walking a fine line here, and we can't look to be favoring one over the other till things settle down a bit," he said.

But Hoekstra said Obama needs to take advantage of the goodwill he has built with his outreach to the Muslim world.

"This is the opportunity for him to come out and make a strong statement on behalf of the people of Iran and for other people who are oppressed in the Middle East," he said. "You would think this is exactly the time and the most appropriate place for the president to make and take advantage of this new type of statement."

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Obama Finds Reality

Obama: "The world is watching." Just out from the White House:

The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.


As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.

Martin Luther King once said - "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples' belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.


Also, the White House press pool just received a notice to gather at 3:10 PM ET.


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The Catalyst?

NYT commenter speculates vid of innocent women shot will be revolution catalyst.

FROM IRAN WITNESS:

Basij shots to death a young woman in Tehran's Saturday June 20th protests At 19:05 June 20th Place: Karekar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st. A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim's chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes. The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gass used among them, towards Salehi St. The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me. Please let the world know."

WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/13/iran-demonstrations-viole_n_215189.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/13/iran-demonstrations-viole_n_215189.html

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"The Revolution Is Started. . ."

Gang -- kind of in the same situation as Pasto. Talking to him this morning when the kids rolled up with my Father's Day Gift. Adorable little Jack Russell ppu named Murphy (Any damn thing can go wrong it will -- Applies to this household). Pup for gift since Good Infidel Dog will be returning toPhilly with oldest daughter and, after last Sunday's hijinks, they thought we should have a dog. (Huh, guess my shotgun ain't good enough :)

Anyway, post as much as I can. Videos below, most swiped from Hot Air. I apologize for any repeats there have been so many this week I don't know what we've used & not.

This thing is just getting started.

We stand with the Iranian people.

We stand for Freedom and all those who would

grab for it,

fight for it,

die for it.









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Purportedly A Video From Inside Iran



No way to verify if this is authentic, but I've posted it anyway.

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One in four will be a Muslim, gloats British MP

Religion has contributed to education, politics and morality, reckons the Tory MP Paul Goodman. “It is completely impossible to imagine human life or social life without it.”

Oh no it isn’t.

He was talking about how one in four of the population of Wycombe will one day be Muslim. He seems to think that is a good thing.

In and of itself, there’s no argument. People should be free to practise their chosen superstition (much as they hate it when some people choose not to practise any at all). However, because Muslims tend to be shrill and demanding, it won’t be long before sharia law creeps ever further into Britain’s legal system. All it needs is a concession here and a concession there, and each one becomes a precedent, and on precedent new laws are made.

His talk of how religion has contributed to education, politics and morality is like saying fresh air has contributed to education, politics and morality because people breathe it. Things would have happened without religion, because it’s human beings who have set the agenda.

Some agendas have been set by religious people based on their religious beliefs, yes, and we have some of those hanging about like a bad smell nowadays, such as religion’s propensity for interfering in what people do in their bedrooms.

However, when human beings have thoughts and make laws, they do so as human beings, and call upon a whole raft of reference points and examples. It is not hard to imagine a world without religion, Mr Goodman.

Given that we have religion, however, it needs to be kept in its place: behind closed doors and between consenting adults – just as homosexuality had to be when it was “legalised” in Britain (I prefer to think it was still criminal, but with a few exceptions) in 1968.

Religion was happy that that should be the case. But it bleats when the so-called New Atheists dare to criticise it and the toxicity of its influence in so many areas of life.
__________
Related links:
Norman stormin’ against Islamic courts in UK
Sharia: creeping ever closer

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The American Legacy in the World

"[Our] principles [are] founded on the immovable basis of equal right and reason." --Thomas Jefferson to James Sullivan, 1797. ME 9:379

"An equal application of law to every condition of man is fundamental." --Thomas Jefferson to George Hay, 1807. ME 11:341

"A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." --Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774. ME 1:209, Papers 1:134

"Nothing... is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man." --Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. ME 16:48

"The Declaration of Independence... [is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and of the rights of man." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Adams Wells, 1819. ME 15:200

"Truth is certainly a branch of morality, and a very important one to society." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, 1814. ME 14:139

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." -- Ronald Reagan



"It's not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling." -- Barack Obama to the World, 2009


So, in case you wondered what we stand for:

We stand for not meddling with brutal, fascist, theocracies and the way they treat their people, since it might make even more disagreeable the conversations we might have to have with them

And we stand for this, because we chose this, freely. Last November.
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Explosions in Tehran

I picked a great weekend for a little vacation. I don't have much time for posting, so I'm just going to post a few stories that seem important.

From Gateway:

HEAVY CLASHES IN TEHRAN!... Explosions Reported! (Video)

REGIME USING AXES & DAGGERS ON PROTESTERS!
The regime police are blocking Azadi Square and teargassing the protesters--

Iranian police are massing at Azadi Square. (CBS News)

The police are massing at Revolution Square in Tehran.
CTV reported:

Supporters of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi rallied in Tehran on Saturday, despite a threat by the government to crack down on demonstrators, witnesses reported.

The witnesses told the Associated Press that protesters are holding a number of smaller rallies to demand a new vote after last week's national election gave President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a landslide victory.

Earlier Saturday, fire trucks parked around Revolution Square, while riot police descended on Tehran University, where protesters and security forces have previously clashed.

Police and members of the Basij militia flooded the streets of Tehran.
Iran Press News-- AFP reports from Tehran, Zdshvrsh forces are widely deployed at Revolution Square. The basij forces are preventing the protests and beating the demonstrators.

There were loud protests last night-- the people were on their rooftops screaming out against the regime.

Here is one of the first reports coming from Tehran--
EXPLOSIONS REPORTED:

More video from the streets of Tehran -- Here.

Breaking: Opposition Leaders Mousavi, Khatami and Karoubi Will March Together Saturday In Tehran

Breaking: Opposition leaders Mousavi, Khatami and Karoubi will gather tomorrow at 4:00 PM and march from Enghelab Square to Azadi Square in Tehran for a crucial green protest.
They are defying the regime leader's warning to accept the election results.

On Friday Iran's regime leader Khamenei sternly warned opposition leaders to end street protests or be held responsible for any "bloodshed and chaos" to come.


A protester holds up a photo of the Iranian soccer team wearing green wristbands in support of the opposition. (Mehr News)

Thug contained:

Azarmehr posted this picture of a club wielding thug contained by the noble and courageous people of Iran.

And Obama is doing nothing, of course. He is so doing nothing that even the NYT is taking note.

From the Astute Bloggers:

A WEEK HAS GONE BY AND OBAMA STILL DITHERING ON IRAN
NYTIMES: Obama Reluctant to Toughen Stance on Iran

With Iran on a razor’s edge after a week of swelling protests, the Obama administration has fended off pressure from both parties to respond more forcefully to the disputed election there. But if Iranian authorities carry out their latest threat of a more sweeping crackdown, the White House would reconsider its carefully calibrated tone, officials said Friday.

Administration officials said events this weekend in Tehran — when demonstrators plan to rally in defiance of the authorities — would be a telling indicator of whether President Obama would join European leaders and lawmakers on Capitol Hill in more harshly condemning the tactics of the Iranian government.

REGARDLESS OF THE SUPPOSED REASONS FOR THIS RELUCTANCE... IT SUCKS.

THE POTUS SHOULD BE LEADING THE FREE WORLD, NOT "European leaders and lawmakers on Capitol Hill...".

OBAMA IS A MORAL FAILURE AND A - IN GEOPOLITICAL TERMS - A STRATEGIC AND TACTICAL FAILURE.

IF HE WAS A CRTPTO-MUSLIM WHO WANTED THE MULLAHS TO SUCCEED, WHAT WOULD HE BE DOING DIFFERENTLY?

NOTHING.

THEREFORE, FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, OBAMA IS OUR FIRST MUSLIM PRESIDENT - AND THE FIRST TO SUPPORT TYRANNY - A MUSLIM TYRANNY, AND SHARIA - OVER LIBERTY.

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Amil Imani's Essay: "Today Everyone Is an Iranian"

In today's American Thinker.

Excerpt:
President Obama's halting comments only made clear his fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the Islamic regime. It appears President Obama is going to betray the Iranian people as Jimmy Carter did 3 decades earlier....
Earlier in the essay, Mr. Imani stated:
It is critical that freedom-loving people, governments and media, rally behind the Iranian people and end the tyrannical mullahcracy that is a scourge on Iran as well as the world. The Iranian people themselves are fully capable and are determined to remove the cancer of Islamism from their country. The United States and Israel and other democracies have a huge stake in the success of the Iranian people to rid themselves of the Islamic oppression and tyranny.

The situation in Iran is dire indeed. Anyone who believes that sane rational people on both sides are engaged in brinkmanship to secure the best advantage, but would eventually work out a compromise, is deluding himself. In some cases, time works as a healer and even as a solution of thorny problems. Yet, this problem will not go away, and time would only make the cataclysmic clash more likely and deadly. The best chance for resolving the impasse is regime change in Iran.
The quotation he cited at the beginning of the essay is worth thinking about, not only with regard to Iran:
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - John F. Kennedy
Read all of Amil Imani's essay HERE.

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To Niquab or not to Niquab that is the question the Michigan Supreme Court decided 5-2

Should Witnesses be Allowed to Wear Niqabs While Testifying?

In our opinion, the best legal controversies arise when two compelling principles smack headlong into each other.

Here’s one: should a devout Muslim woman be required to lift her veil when testifying in court? The issue pits two cherished American values: the desire to let people practice their religions freely against the desire for transparency and integrity within our justice system.

The issue has been kicking around courts in Michigan for some time, as it turns out. And the Michigan Supreme Court made a bit of news on the topic on Wednesday when it voted to give judges authority over how witnesses dress in court. The new statewide rule, which gives judges the authority to regulate the appearance of witnesses — such as asking them to remove face coverings, was approved by a 5-2 vote. The dissenters said there should be an exception for people whose clothing is dictated by their religion. Click here for the AP story; here for the Detroit News story; here for the AP story.

According to the AP story, the issue arose recently in Michigan, which has a large Muslim population, when a Muslim woman went to small-claims court to contest a $3,000 charge from a rental-car company to repair a vehicle that she said thieves had broken into. Hamtramck District Judge Paul Paruk told Ginnah Muhammad (pictured) he needed to see her face to judge her truthfulness. Muhammad refused, insisting on keeping her niqab on during the 2006 hearing. Judge Paruk dismissed the case, claiming he needed to see her face to determine her truthfulness.

Muhammad sued the judge in federal court, and lost. The case is currently on appeal to the Sixth Circuit.

But after Muhammad sued the judge, the Michigan Judges Association and Michigan District Judges Association lent their support to a court rule giving judges “reasonable” control over the appearance of parties.
That's the WSJ and the comments are very interesting....
one muslima hits the nail on the head for the planet without realizing it....
Huma wrote:

Absolutely ridiculous. Speaking as a Muslim woman who used to wear hijab and jilbab before 9/11/2001, when Muslim women who observed traditional form of Islamic dress like that were assaulted across the country,(WTF IS SHE TALKING ABOUT?) lifting the veil when it’s something you’ve committed to wearing is not possible. It is a non-negotiable matter. It is a commitment that a woman makes to God to cover her face from men that aren’t a part of her family, and no man-made law should be able to supplant it especially when we are fortunate enough to have safeguards like the first amendment available in this country.

Giving judges supposed ‘reasonable’ control over situations like these is terrible public policy because it in essence cuts off a portion of the American population (niqabis) from utilizing the justice system, leaving them with little effective recourse if they are wronged.

Absolutely ridiculous.

No man made law can supplant what God decrees.
As my grandmama would say...."FARSHTAY?".
The point of democracy or a republic, is that WE MAKE THE LAW, and all other rules are subservient, of course.

Another commenter sums up the argument succinctly as well...

I would like to wear a paper bag over my head if I ever have to testify in court.

Indeed.
I wonder if Huma realizes she just delineated the fault line between Islam and freedom.

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Hey Khamenei! That Ain't Your Fucking Muezzin's Adhan You Hear You Sonofabitch!

MSNBC:

Late-night shouts echo through Tehran, even after Khamenei's warning
msnbc.com news services
updated 9:44 p.m. ET, Fri., June 19, 2009

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's supreme leader sought Friday to end the deepening crisis over disputed elections with one decisive speech — declaring the vote will almost certainly stand and sternly warning opposition leaders to end street protests or be held responsible for any "bloodshed and chaos" to come.

But a first sign of possible resistance came shortly after nightfall in Tehran. Cries of "Death to the dictator!" and "Allahu akbar" — "God is great" — rang from rooftops in what's become a nightly ritual of opposition unity.

The sharp line drawn by Iran's most powerful figure, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is a gambit that pushes Iran's opposition to a pivotal moment: either back down or risk a crushing response from police and the forces at Khamenei's disposal — the powerful Revolutionary Guard and their volunteer citizen militia, the Basij.It also presents important tests for opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

He now must examine his willingness to challenge the Islamic leadership he once served as prime minister. There are further questions about his ability to control his own followers, who are waiting for a clear response to Khamenei's edict before a rally planned for Saturday.

Since the June 12 election, Mousavi has become the figurehead for a broad collection of demonstrators — from the most liberal-leaning reformists to religious conservatives — brought together by claims that fraud was behind the landslide re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Some could be prepared to take their protests to the limit. Many others, however, have no interest in an all-out mutiny against the country's Islamic system and know authorities have the tools to strike back without mercy.

the rest here

FoxNews:

Basij Militia Allegedly Use Axes, Daggers to Attack Iranian Protesters
Friday , June 19, 2009

CAIRO —

They're the most feared men on the streets of Iran.

The pro-government Basij militia has held back its full fury during this week's street demonstrations. But witnesses say the force has unleashed its violence in shadowy nighttime raids, attacking suspected opposition sympathizers with axes, daggers, sticks and other crude weapons.

At least once, the militiamen opened fire on a crowd of strone-throwing protesters. State media said seven were killed.

If supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei authorizes a crackdown on protesters calling for a new presidential election, as he warned on Friday, the Basij will almost certainly be out in force.

Formed during the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Basij became one of Iran's most zealous forces in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, often leading charges through minefields.

The group, which is controlled by the elite Revolutionary Guard, also was unleashed on dissidents in the 1990s, when teenagers and young men in plainclothes beat protesting students with batons. It's an intimidation tactic opposition supporters say has been revived during this week's outpouring of anti-government protest.

"The Basij began as cannon fodder for the Revolutionary Guard during the war with Iraq. Now, they are there to do the dirty work for them: breaking up parties, hassling women about their hijab (head covering) and much more violent acts," said Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-born independent analyst living in Israel.

The Basij has leaders based in mosques in every village and city throughout Iran, giving it the widest security network in the country, said Mehdi Khalaji, a senior fellow with The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a specialist in Iranian politics.

The Iranian government says there are 5 million members in total, but Khalaji told The Associated Press on Friday that active members number around 1 million.

The Revolutionary Guard, a military force that answers to Iran's supreme leader, is considered a strong supporter of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Basij was used to mobilize support for him in the 2005 election as well as during last week's vote, Khalaji said.

In addition to their salaries, militia members — known as Basijis — get incentives such as easy entrance to universities and licenses and loans for businesses.

The most senior members are issued guns. But the majority use sticks, pepper spray and other crude weapons. "They carry guns, batons and they are driving motorcycles," Khalaji said. "With the motorcycles they go suddenly, they start to drive into the crowd with high speed. They beat people with electric batons."

Some Basijis shave their beards and wear jeans to blend in with opposition supporters, infiltrating a crowd and then attacking, he said.

Amateur videos and photographs from Iran posted online in recent days have shown what appear to be attacks on people and property in cities around Iran carried out by young men wearing ordinary clothing. The images cannot be authenticated because of Iranian government restrictions on the media and telephone and Internet communication in and out of the country.

Khamenei's personal bodyguards, who protect his home and office, control Tehran's Basij force, and his stern warning Friday of a crackdown if protests continue was an unambiguous threat to send the militiamen into the streets, Khalaji said.

Members of the Basij and the Revolutionary Guard were on the streets of Tehran after midday prayers Friday, though not in overwhelming numbers.

So far, the Basij has refrained from widespread attacks on demonstrators. But witnesses say the militiamen took part in a police raid on Tehran University dormitories on Sunday night after students hurled stones, bricks and firebombs at police — one of the few violent episodes during this week's rallies.

Basij members used axes, sticks and daggers to ransack student rooms and smash computers and furniture, wounding many students, according to witnesses.

A day later, students attacked a compound used by the Basij and tried to set it on fire. Gunmen on the roof fired on the crowd and killed seven people, according to state media.

Amateur videos that appear to be from that clash showed men carrying away the wounded on streets spattered with blood as fires burned in the distance and gunfire crackled.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Full Metal Jacket-No Sheeples Style

Another edition of Carol's Full Metal Jacket:

Now, let’s get to our Full Metal Jacket Reach-Around Father’s Day Edition:
Donald Douglas of American Power informs us, “I think all of my readers should call me Dr. Douglas. It's just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title." Hey Professor, I mean Doctor, have you heard this one:

MAN: “How’s your history paper coming?”

WOMAN: “Well, my history professor suggested that I use the Internet for research and it’s been very helpful.”

MAN: “Really?”

WOMAN: “Yes. I’ve already located seventeen people who sell them.”

And So It Goes In Shreveport asks the question, “When is a slam not a slam?”

Jamie at Eye of Polyphemus has the goods on the “Obamapocalypse”. I love the smell of Hot Shot in the morning.

From the department of odd combos we have Miracle-Gro and universal hair care from Fausta.

What rhymes with crate, Kuwait and freight? Jon and Kate. See what Fishersville Mike is talking about.

College and farting. Some are good at them; some are not—so says all Five Feet Of Fury.

Bright ideas from Fearless Reader? Not so much according to Generation Patriot.

The gullible and weak-minded will be entertained or some such and the KURU Lounge thinks it’s time for some hostile questioning. Naughty boy, Chad.

Provocatively positioned basketballs and a naked Jeanie Buss grace the pages of Let’s Get It Right. Carlos, you naughty, naughty boy.

First there was the “meddle” card and then there was the “Zionist Plot” card. This is not a game of Blackjack being discussed over at Legal Insurrection.

Little Miss Attila has a message for someone named A of H and professes her admiration of pit bulls with a link to her homegirl, Cynthia Yockey.

Maximum Leader warns mankind of a fiery planetary collision while pleasing young Luke Skywalker types with photos of "hawt Cyclons" in various stages of undress. Feeling randy, Max?

Check out all the spiffy “bloggregation” over at Not Tucker Carlson. It’s a one stop shop for news you can use.

Luceat lux vestra, Dan. A seasoned blogger has moved to his own site, Piece Of Work In Progress. Have a look, have-a-lookers.

Douglas V. Gibbs, over at Political Pistachio, picks up the meme on Fearless Reader’s new Ministry of Propaganda.

The retro-loving pair of Pundit & Pundette weighs in on IG Gate here and here.

Red State ponders Obama’s view of executive power.

This can’t be happening here. Well, yes it can. Right Wing Nut House discusses the new apparatchik, er, ABC News. Perhaps it is time for the corporate controlled media and Dear Leader to get a room.

Stogie shares his big weekend plans and shows off his hard work on a biting Photoshop™ of Barbara Boxer. He prefers to call her Babsy-Cakes, Queen of the Kitchen and Number One Floor-Mopper.

What do nearly bare buttocks and Bill Clinton have to do with one another? Let Say Anything edu-ma-cate ya on this "revealing" subject.

There’s a “blood and dirt” debate being waged over at TD Blog. See which side you’re taking. Remember to play nice though.

What’s that saying they have about flattery? Never mind. The Astute Bloggers isn’t flattering Fearless Reader’s Secretary of Defense.

The Other McCain explores a metaphor for Biden and Obama dealing with Middle Eastern diplomacy.

Andrea Shea King of The Radio Patriot gives us a full-throated run down on ACORN’s whistleblower, Anita Moncrief, and the FEAR she is striking in Obama’s heart. This is a MUST READ.

Rachel Madcow serves as the fire hydrant that Rude Dog has made a beeline for and barks out this: “Rush is recognized as a conservative spokesman, whether you like it or not.” Who let the dog out?

When Deuce, the “Skeptical One”, finally caught up on the lefty blogs he gave us this money quote: “…the same people who think empathy is a valuable component for a Supreme Court Justice, show none at all for people who think differently on the issue of gay marriage.”

You know the freakishly loud-mouthed hawker for OxyClean™? Jimmie Bise, over at the Sundries Shack suggests that ABC kick Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer to the curb and use Billy Mays to advertise Obamacare.

My favorite caveman, The TrogloPundit, has discovered that there are slippery things out there and surmises there may be a conspiracy afoot and a-elbow. Hey cutie, thanks for all the linky-love this week.

BTW, consider using Google Earth—the flat maps are so yesterday dear.
Let’s hear it for This Ain’t Hell. John Hawkins named it “Website of the Day.”

Trac-A-‘Crat will be some more pissed if Kim Jong-Il turns Hawaii into a nuclear wasteland.

Apparently an avid fan of LOST, all-out atomic warfare would put the kibosh on finishing the finale of the show for this season. Come to think of it, it sure would mess up the plans Hawaii has for Islam Day on September 24th. Islamists are already pissed off, no need making things worse, eh?

That’s all I have for this week’s FMJRA. Hope you enjoyed it. We’ll see ya next week. Have a Happy Father’s Day.

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The Allman Brothers Band
Statesboro Blues

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Help Me Out Here! Which is it?

I get so confused these days. Can't tell right from wrong, good from bad, up from down.

Story from non-story.

Well, at least I'm not alone. . .

Atlas Shrugs June 14, 2009:

It's always been the Mullahs
..............


I feel for those terrified souls marching through Tehran blindly acting out in hope that it might effect any change. An exercise in futility. If they value their lives, they will flee the country. We should have backed the reformers and the dissidents years ago when free men had a shot ............. now we are here.

Crowds are protesting at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's alleged 'rigged' victory. The allegations of fixed elections come after polls showed that half of the electorate wanted Ahmadinejad. But if that is so, if half of the electorate wanted this
bloodthirsty jihadi annihilationist, then what are we talking about?
Bottom line, this is a non story. It's smoke and mirrors. The Mullahs are running the mahdi madhouse, and they have their world agenda. This is nonsense.

But now, today, she seems to have found her way. I wish I had that kind of enlightenment. . .

Atlas Shrugs June 19, 2009

"All hangs in the balance"

Every once in awhile I risk incurring Robert Tracinski's wrath by running his whole column from TIA Daily (which is worth the price of subscription). Today is such a day, because it is so fundamentally important that everyone should read it and send it to their email lists. What is happening in Iran is historic. What started out as an election fracas is obviously so much more. The pity is that we have a pantywaist in the White House, eager to subjugate the US to Islamic interests. Pity that Bush isn't in the White House. This is what he hoped would happen. It did, five minutes too late.

Listen, at IBA it was obvious from the outset that this was no mere dustup, no election fracas. The Iranian people are tired of the boot on their neck, lash on their back, loved ones disappearing into the Hell that is Evin.

From the start we've stood with the Iranians on this. This could be historic of proportions we don't yet fathom but we need to encourage and support them as they grab for freedom. This could be the birth of a new country if they want it and a new dynamic in the mid east if they can keep it.

We've understood that from the start. Thus our wall to wall cheerleading since Sunday. Everyone should be doing the same and good on those who are. And utter shame on our miserable failure of a faux president.

Welcome aboard, Atlas.

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Britain Calls Woodshed Meeting Iranian Ambassador Because Khameini Called The UK "Evil"

Imagine that. 

The Iranian leaders have been calling us the "Great Satan" for 30 years now, and the people regularly call for "Death to America," 

and

we do nothing.

They hassle the Brits one time, and they're pissed. And, rightly so. We should never put up with this shit.


The British government has demanded an appearance of the Iranian ambassador in London after Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei referred to them as “evil”.  The British, who have diplomatic and trade relations with Iran, took offense to the speech, and demanded an apology.  Instead, they chewed out a junior-level staffer:

Britain’s Foreign Office said Friday it had told an Iranian diplomat it was concerned by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s criticism of Britain, which he called evil.

During Friday prayers at Tehran University, Khamenei accused the United States, Britain and what he called Iran’s other enemies of fomenting unrest. He singled out Britain for specific criticism.

“I will tell you the outstanding diplomats of some Western countries who talk to us with diplomatic courtesy up to now during the past few days have taken their masquerade away from their faces and they are showing their true image,” he said according to a translation provided by the BBC. “They are displaying their enmity against the Islamic state, and the most evil of them is the British government.” …

The Foreign Office summoned the Iranian ambassador for talks, but said that, in the end, a more junior diplomat — the charge d’affaires, Safar Ali Eslamian Koupaei — attended a meeting with political director Mark Lyall Grant.

The Foreign Office said it was told the charge d’affaires was attending in the absence of the ambassador.

“We made clear to the Iranian charge that the supreme leader’s comments were unacceptable and had no basis in fact,” a Foreign Office spokesman said on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

Perhaps buoyed by Khamenei’s statement that the British were more evil than the Great Satan, Obama insisted that he would not react to Khamenei’s speech or express any support for the demonstrators in Iran...

France, Germany, and now Britain — all trading partners with Iran — have managed to stand on the side of demonstrators attempting to peacefully end their oppression.  Where is America, the beacon of liberty, at this moment?  Attempting to build credibility with the oppressors.  Shameful.

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ASTOUNDING: JOURNALIST THREATENED BY U.S. ATTORNEY FOR EXPOSING COVER-UPS OF EVIDENCE OF AL-QAEDA INVOLVEMENT IN THE 1995 OKLAHOMA C


From Atlas Shrugs:

America, we hardly knew ye. 
The cover-up for whom? Why?

A journalist who has uncovered evidence of al-Qaeda involvement in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 has been threatened with a lawsuit by powerful U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Government officials blamed the crash of TWA Flight 800, which killed 230 people, on a mysterious mechanical malfunction, while the Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168, was quickly labeled the work of domestic “right-wing” terrorists.

Accuracy in Media has long maintained that Clinton Administration officials concealed the truth about both incidents.

Go read it all.

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"We just turned our backs on freedom. Again. . ."

Ralph Peters in New York Post:

GREEN LIGHT FOR A CRACKDOWN
OBAMA'S SILENCE FAVORS THE MULLAHS

Last updated: 3:30 am
June 18, 2009
Posted: 2:59 am
June 18, 2009

SILENCE is complicity. Our president's refusal to take a forthright moral stand on the side of the Iranian freedom marchers is read in Tehran as a blank check for the current regime.

The fundamentalist junta has begun arresting opposition figures, with regime mouthpieces raising the prospect of the death penalty. Inevitably, there are claims that dissidents have been "hoarding weapons and explosives."

Foreign media reps are under house arrest. Cellphone frequencies are jammed. Students are killed and the killings disavowed.

And our president is "troubled," but doesn't believe we should "meddle" in Iran's internal affairs. (Meddling in Israel's domestic affairs is just fine, though.)

We just turned our backs on freedom.

Again.

Of all our foreign-policy failures in my lifetime, our current shunning of those demanding free elections and expanded civil rights in Iran reminds me most of Hungary in 1956.

For years, we encouraged the Hungarians to rise up against oppression. When they did, we watched from the sidelines as Russian tanks drove over them.

For decades, Washington policymakers from both parties have prodded Iranians to throw off their shackles. Last Friday, millions of Iranians stood up. And we're standing down.

That isn't diplomacy. It's treachery.

Despite absurd claims that Obama's Islam-smooching Cairo speech triggered the calls for freedom in Tehran's streets, these politics are local. But if those partisan claims of the "Cairo Effect" were true, wouldn't our president be obliged to stand beside those he incited?

Too bad for the Iranians, but their outburst of popular anger toward Iran's oppressive government doesn't fit the administration's script -- which is written around negotiations with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

To Obama, his dogmatic commitment to negotiations is infinitely more important than a few million protesters chanting the Farsi equivalent of "We Shall Overcome."

This is madness. There is no chance -- zero, null, nada -- that negotiations with the junta of mullahs will lead to the termination (or even a serious interruption) of Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our president's faith in his powers of persuasion is beginning to look pathological. Is his program of negotiations with apocalypse-minded, woman-hating, Jew-killing fanatics so sacrosanct that he can't acknowledge human cries for freedom?

Is the Rev. Jeremiah Wright a better role model than Martin Luther King? It's a damned shame that our first minority president wasn't a veteran of our civil-rights struggle, rather than its privileged beneficiary.

An ugly pattern's emerging in our president's beliefs:

He's infallible. This is rich, given all the criticism of the Bush administration's unwillingness to admit mistakes. We now have a president with Jimmy Carter's naivete, Richard Nixon's distaste for laws, Lyndon Johnson's commitment to the wrong war, and Bill Clinton's moral fecklessness.

Democracy isn't important. Our president seems infected by yesteryear's Third-World-leftist view that dictatorships are essential to post-colonial development -- especially for Muslims.

Look where Obama has gone and who he supports: the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, his groveling speech in Egypt, his embrace of Hamas, his hands-off approach to the gory regime in Sudan -- and now his dismay at the protests in Iran.

Strict Islam is true Islam. This is bewildering, given Obama's childhood exposure to the tolerant Islam practiced in most of Indonesia. The defining remark of his presidency thus far was his Cairo demand for the right of Muslim women to wear Islamic dress in the West -- while remaining silent about their right to reject the hijab, burqa or chador in the Middle East.

History's a blank canvas -- except for America's sins. Of course, we've had presidents who presented the past in the colors they preferred -- but we've never had one who just made it all up.

Obama's ignorance of history is on naked display -- no sense of the brutality of Iran's Islamist regime, of the years of mass imprisonments, diabolical torture, prison rapes, wholesale executions and secret graves that made the shah's reign seem idyllic. Our president seems to regard the Iranian protesters as spoiled brats.

Facts? Who cares? In his Cairo sermon -- a speech that will live in infamy -- our president compared the plight of the Palestinians, the aggressors in 1948, with the Holocaust. He didn't mention the million Jews dispossessed and driven from Muslim lands since 1948, nor the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Christians from the West Bank.

Now our president's attempt to vote "present" yet again green-lights the Iranian regime's determination to face down the demonstrators -- and the mullahs understand it as such.

If we see greater violence in Tehran, the blood of those freedom marchers will be on our president's hands.

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Friday Nooner!

How 'bout a short respite from an off the charts week?
Keith Jarrett
Shenandoah

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Voices From Inside Iran

Wall Street Journal:

'The Fear Is Gone'
Editor's note: The following are firsthand accounts that were solicited by Journal assistant editorial features editor Bari Weiss. Some were translated from Farsi. Surnames have been omitted to protect the writers.

Don't Accept This Coup
By Kaveh from Tabriz
Ahmadinejad has taken revenge on the students of Iran during these violent days. The regime's aim is to damage universities, since they are the first base of change, movement and protest.
I live in the dorms at Tehran University. I was asleep when Basij militiamen entered my room early Monday morning, demolished everything and started beating us. A man with a long beard broke my notebook and said: "It is destroyed, this book that you were using against Islam and Ahmadinejad."

They beat students more when they saw posters of Mousavi in their rooms. And they carried big knives and guns.

They also attacked the women's dormitory next door. The Supreme Leader calls us rioters, but I want to ask him: How can sleeping women in their beds be rioters? Is this the Islamic justice he believes in?

President Obama's speech was good; he says that he will support us. He also said that nations must decide the fate of their countries by themselves. I agree with him, but now we don't have any power to change the situation, so we need help and attention.

We ask the president not to accept this coup d'etat.

Marching to Freedom Square
By Alireza in Tehran
There is something in the air in Tehran these days. We remain afraid, but we also dare to speak.
I left my home in Tajrish along with my family at 3 p.m. to head to the protest on Monday. We knew that people were supposed to gather in Enghelab [Revolution] Square at 4 p.m. and march toward Azadi [Freedom] Square. From Gisha Bridge onwards, we saw people walking. Cars were blowing their horns and people were flashing the victory sign. I also saw a group of about 20 militiamen with long beards and batons on motorbikes.

My hand was hanging out of the taxi window with a little green ribbon -- the color of the reformists -- tied around my finger. One of the militiamen told me to "throw that ribbon away!" When I refused, 15 people attacked me inside the car. They beat me with their batons and tried to pull me out.

My wife and my daughter who were sitting in the back seat cried and held me tight. I also held myself tight to the chair. As they tried to shatter the car windows the driver went out and explained that he is just a taxi driver, we are just his passengers, and he hadn't done anything wrong. After about five minutes they left us alone.

Soon we joined the crowd at Enghelab Street. What I saw there was the most magnificent scene I have ever witnessed in my life. The huge numbers of people were marching hand-in-hand peacefully. There were no slogans being shouted. Hands were held up in victory signs with green ribbons. People carried placards which read: silence. Young and old, men and women, rich and poor were marching cheerfully. It was an amazing show of solidarity. I was so proud.

Enghelab Street, the widest avenue in Tehran, was full of people. Some estimated that there were one to two million people there. As we marched, we passed a police department and a Basij base. In both places, we could see fully-armed riot police and militiamen watching us from behind fences. Near Sharif University of Technology, where the students had chased away Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a few days before, Mir Hossein Mousavi (the reformist president-elect) and Mehdi Karrubi, the other reformist candidate, spoke to the people and were received with cries of praise and applause.

My family and I had put stickers on our mouths to represent the suppression of the regime. Other people carried signs. One quoted the national poet Ahmad Shamlu: "To slaughter us/why did you need to invite us/to such an elegant party." Another made fun of the government's claim that Ahmadinejad won 24 million votes: "The Miracle of the Third Millennium: 2 x 2 = 24 million." Others just read: "Where is my vote?"

When we finally arrived at Azadi Square, which can accommodate around 500,000 people, it was full. We saw smoke coming from Jenah Freeway and heard the gunshots. People were scared but continued walking forward.

Later, my sister told me that she saw four militiamen come out from a house and shoot a girl. Then they shot a young boy in his eye and the bullet came out of his ear. She said that four people were shot.

On my way home at around 2 a.m. I saw about 10 buses full of armed riot police parked on the side of the road. There were scattered militiamen in civilian clothes carrying clubs patrolling the empty streets. And in Tajrish Square I saw a boy around 16 holding a club, looking for something to attack.

At Ahmadinejad's "victory" ceremony, government buses transported all his supporters from nearby cities. There was full TV coverage of that ceremony, where fruit juice and cake were plentiful. At most, 100,000 gathered to hear his speech, including all the militiamen and soldiers.

We reformists have no radio, no newspaper, and no television. All our Internet sites are filtered, as well as social networks such as Facebook. Text messaging and mobile communication were also cut off during the demonstrations. And yet we had hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

The state-run TV station has announced that riot police will severely punish anybody that demonstrates. Ahmadinejad called the opposition a bunch of insignificant dirt who try to make the taste of victory bitter to the nation. But his remark was answered by the largest demonstrations ever.

Older people compared Monday's gathering to the demonstrations of 1979 which marked the downfall of the Shah's regime. They even said that this event was larger.

Democracy is a long way ahead. I may not be alive to see that day. With eyes full of tears in these early hours of June 16, I glorify the courage of those who have already been killed. I hope that the blood of these martyrs will make every one of us more committed to freedom, to democracy and to human rights.

Women on the Front Lines
By Negin in Tehran
Friends from all over the world call my cellphone nonstop to make sure we're safe. The connection is either cut or so bad that we have to guess what the other person is saying. But the other day one call was very clear: My mother was wondering if I could help her with her computer. She recently joined Facebook and can't stand the fact that her favorite site is filtered.

She's stopped complaining that my father follows the news day and night. If they're not outside in the middle of the city, my parents are both glued to the television.

Until a few days ago most people believed that this protest was just the voice of suppressed students and youngsters. But now we know this isn't true. "No fear, no fear: We are together." This is what we heard today from millions of people from different generations in Tehran.

The number of people that participated in the demonstration surprised everyone, but what has fascinated me is their variety. At the beginning I thought this was going to be a fight between the lower class and the middle class. What I saw on Monday changed my mind completely. I saw many women, young and old, covered head-to-toe in black chadors shouting and chanting among the demonstrators and joining the young girls who were sitting on the ground in the middle of the street to stop the Basij militia from walking inside the crowd.

That image will never be wiped away from my mind. The women on the front line with their loose colorful scarves had opened their arms, ready to be killed, while others were beaten by the Basij on the side of the road.

People want to be heard and supported by the rest of the world. They were sending messages to the West with their cameras. They were calling on Obama and Sarkozy to demand that the Free World not recognize this government. I saw a few women shouting: "Now it's your turn to support democracy and human rights."

"The fear is gone. Nothing seems to be an obstacle anymore. They can filter all the Web sites and shut down the Internet, SMS service, and mobile phones, but they cannot shut our mouths." This is what I hear all the time.

Late at night everyone wants to share their experience with others. Telephones don't stop ringing. Sara, my girlfriend, called me half an hour ago. She had heard gunfire near her house and had seen bloodied people. Although she was panicked and needed to talk to someone, she hung up the phone to go onto her roof and shout. Within a few minutes I heard my neighbors shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) from their balconies as well.

I remember how sometimes I used to be irritated by the loud prayer call which starts with the same phrase, Allahu Akbar. Now this phrase has turned out to be the most beautiful one.

After a while I called back my mother to help her with her computer problem. She didn't answer. Perhaps she is on the roof too.

This Government Is a Lie
By Soudeh in Tehran
I have never seen such a huge number of diverse people protesting in Iran. People are really angry and refuse to be patient. Ahmadinejad's government challenged our honor. How can we trust anything when the government perpetrates such a big lie?

They don't have pity on anyone. Some of the police cannot speak Farsi. I saw one of them beating a man as he cursed in Arabic. People say they are from Hezbollah.

These men barge into homes and threaten people by calling their families. And they are savage against peaceful demonstrators.

Hospitals are full of people injured by the Military Guard, yet the Supreme Leader of Iran called us seditious. We just want the right to a real vote.

This is the first time an American president did not interfere with Iran's situation -- and it's a good thing. In the past, U.S. support for the protestors led the Iranian government to punish the people more, accusing them of being spies for or taking money from the U.S.

But I think Obama must hear the message of the protests: Ahmadinejad's government is a lie.

A Grenade Exploded At Our Door
By Shahin in Tehran
It was about 1:30 a.m. when I heard windows and doors on our street being smashed one after another. My parents had gone to sleep an hour earlier and I was surfing the Internet to see the latest reactions to Monday's demonstration of Mousavi supporters.

The people from our neighborhood who protested in the streets had already gone back home, so I was scared for them.

The smashing sound came closer and I could hear that my family's apartment door was being attacked. I was really frightened because I had heard that the people who were breaking into houses at night were the plainclothes police who support Ahmadinejad.

I was pacing around my apartment when I heard a massive explosion that woke up everybody in our apartment complex.

I rushed downstairs in the dark with my neighbors as our complex was being attacked. One of them said "Man! They exploded a grenade just few feet from me. Can you see the blood dropping from my fingers? I can barely hear anything." An old woman on the first floor said the plainclothes forces broke the front porch, knocked on some doors and left.

We learned that the sounds of windows being broken were coming from three neighboring apartment complexes and garages. My injured neighbor had gone to check the source of the sound just when the grenade exploded.

In the morning, I checked out the damage myself and took pictures of smashed cars, windows and doors. I also found some bullet casings left in front of our house. I quickly posted them on Facebook where I received lots of comments from others who had the same experience. One of them commented "Yours was just 23 cars. How about our four-story parking garage that now looks like a junkyard?!"

Mousavi's supporters wanted the crowd to stay calm and stage a peaceful demonstration, so as not to give Ahmadinejad's supporters a reason to resort to violence.

State-run TV asked everybody to gather in Vali-asr Square to protest against Mousavi's supporters who the government accused of rioting late into the night. Mousavi's supporters planned on having their second peaceful demonstration in Vali-asr square on Tuesday but cancelled it right after this TV announcement. But despite the announcement, I saw a huge crowd protesting either on foot or in their cars all the way up Vali-asr Street, Tehran's longest street. People are enraged by the lies.

As an optimistic young Iranian who voted in all the presidential elections since 1997, I feel strongly that all those who voted for anyone but Ahmadinejad were insulted badly. I believe some in the ruling elite have come to realize that supporting Ahmadinejad was not worth an uprising in every city.

I hope that the Guardian Council can fix this through a recount or void the whole rigged election.

It's Like an Invasion
By Setareh in Tehran
In the past few days, I've participated in several rallies. During all of the protests, plainclothes militiamen would enter the crowds and manipulate people into dispersing by telling them that if they stayed the security forces would shoot them.

All satellite signals have been jammed, SMS texting has been cut off since election day, and land lines have been disrupted. Though it takes about 20 minutes to download Yahoo's Web site in Tehran, in other cities the Internet has been completely shut down.

The regime is also using psychological warfare to keep people in their homes, calling protestors "hooligans" and constantly warning parents to keep their sons and daughters inside so they don't get killed.

But we are nonviolent. It is the Basij who attack protestors and set cars on fire. They do this so that the security forces have a pretext for using harsher tactics on the demonstrators. The security forces have knives, body armor, tasers and mace. It's as though Iran is under invasion by a foreign government. They have killed many university students in the past few days.

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Radical Islamofascist Organization, Hizb Ut-Tahrir, Announces It's Coming Out In the USA

From Atlas Shrugs:

Hizb ut-Tahrir is "coming out" in the USA. For readers unfamiliar with this group, here is Wikipedia's entry:

"Hizb ut-Tahrir (Arabicحِزْبُ التَحْرِير‎; EnglishParty of Liberation) is an international pan-IslamistSunni, vanguard[2] political party whose goal is to combine all Muslim countries in a unitary Islamic state or caliphate, ruled by Islamic law and with a caliph head of state elected by Muslims.[3]"

Hizb ut-Tahrir America Enters Public Stage

By Madeleine Gruen Counter Terrorism blog (hat tip Kevin)

Hizb ut-Tahrir America (HTA) has indicated that it has transitioned from its covert status to a public phase of operations by issuing an announcement, signed in its own name, that it will host a conference in July 2009 to support the establishment of a Caliphate.  

The event, titled "The Fall of Capitalism and Rise of Islam," is scheduled for Sunday, July 19th, 2009, at the Aqsa School in Bridgeview, Illinois.

Bridgeview is a suburb of Chicago. Chicago has been a major hub of HTA's activities for the past ten years, approximately. According to information available on the internet, the Aqsa School is a private Islamic primary and secondary school. Although HTA's Khilafah conference will be held at the school, there is no public indication that the school, its staff, or its board members are directly involved with HTA.

Last fall, after HTA issued a leaflet in its own name calling for Muslims not to participate in the U.S. elections, I wrote a brief post on CTB about the possible transition of HTA to the second stage of its development. According to party doctrine, Hizb ut Tahrir (HT) implements its strategy in three stages--The first stage is the covert level of development in which members are recruited and trained. In the second stage, members promote the party's methods and objectives publicly in order to win the support of the Muslim population. The final stage is the establishment of an Islamic government and military, in order to carry HT's "message to the world."

Indeed, HTA's announcement that it will host the Khilafah conference in July indicates that the U.S.-based branch now perceives itself as solidly prepared to emerge from its covert status into the second stage. HTA has held Khilafah conferences, and other major conferences, in the past, but has only done so from behind fronts and covers.

Other international branches of HT that have advanced from the developmental stage to the public phase have done so after achieving a level of internal fortitude that would enable the branch to withstand opposition. The transition may indicate that HTA perceives a level of comfort in an operating environment in which aggressive challenge from the government or the public is not anticipated. In order to sustain operations publicly, the branch leaders must be confident that members are loyal and committed to HT's objectives.


Nightmare. Watch the video they made to promote the event.


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