Why on Earth are we selling spare aircraft parts to Iran?

April 8, 2014
No way!!

You did what??

This is an unbelievably stupid decision. I’ll let my friend Michael Ledeen explain why:

Somebody on Twitter posted an upbeat message saying the US delegation to the latest round of talks with Iranian officials was quite optimistic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a born optimist and I love optimism, but I’d rather revel in victory than hope for good news, and the Iranians have every reason to revel. The Obama crowd has just ok’d something the Tehran tyrants have desperately wanted since the eighties: spare parts for their long-grounded American passenger aircraft. Boeing and General Electric were given export licenses by the Treasury Department and everyone involved has been chanting “we take aircraft security very seriously,” in order to cloak this latest gift to the Khamenei-Rouhani regime in humanitarian hues.

Frankly I’d rather they took national security very seriously. Iran uses its commercial aircraft for military purposes (one of the reasons that eery flight between Tehran and Caracas is so worrisome), and the mullahs have been limited by the degradation of the national fleet. The Boeing planes and GE engines date to the 1970s, and very few of them are in service. Back in the mid-eighties, when I spent quite a bit of time with Iranian officials, they repeatedly asked for spare parts, both for the passenger planes and for the aging military craft, the F4s and F5s. Secretary of Defense Weinberger of course vetoed any such discussions, and the embargo has held until just now.

Now we’re arming Iran.

Emphases added.

The idea that a state-sponsor of global terrorism like Iran would adhere to understandings to keep the civilian and military functions of their aircraft separate is self-delusional nonsense. They’ll no more do that than they have to keep their civilian and military nuclear programs apart. (Really, I have a bridge for anyone who believes they’re honoring the recent nuclear agreement.)

What these fatuous dunderheads at State and in the White House refuse to see is that Iran has regarded itself as being at war with the United States since 1979. A deal like this, when Iran could easily ferry troops or equipment on “civilian” flights is tantamount to selling them the rope they’ll use to hang us.

This is part of a larger, global war of tyrannies against democracies. George W. Bush was mocked for his “Axis of Evil” comment, but he was right. The players have changed a bit since then, but still include Pyongyang, Moscow, Beijing, Havana, Caracas — and Tehran. And they’re taking advantage of the openings we’re giving them. More Michael:

And so it is, indeed the war has been on for some time, and it’s a bit hotter than Cold War 1.0 was for most of the twentieth century.  Kiev burned, and may burn again soon.  Caracas is burning, as are many of Venezuela’s cities and towns.  Crimea has been annexed, and Syria is still aflame, as is Iraq, and also Yemen.  Estonia and Finland are seriously frightened, as well they should be.  If we pull back from the crisis du jour, we can see it’s a global conflict.  Iran and Russia are fighting in Syria, sometimes with and sometimes against the jihadi marauders.  Cuba is fighting in Venezuela, a country the Castros largely command, and Hezbollah is in there, too.  And for those of you who follow Africa, know that the Iranians are up to their necks in Nigeria, buying influence and supporting the mass murderers in Boko Haram.

The West needs to wake up and smell the smoke from the fires starting to burn all around it, before it turns into a real conflagration. Our foes are vulnerable, and the West can win, but only if with American leadership. The US government is the only one that can convince the other nations to take the steps necessary to push back against Putin, Khamenei, and the others. As John Schindler recently wrote:

We will have many allies in resisting Russian aggression if we focus on issues of freedom and sovereignty, standing up for the rights of smaller countries to choose their own destiny.

It would help if we had leaders who saw themselves as the heirs to Churchill, rather than Chamberlain.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Smart Power in Action: US and Iran on same side in Libya

August 29, 2011

Well, Obama did promise to offer an “open hand” to Iran to achieve a new era of more cooperation and less confrontation. But, somehow, I don’t think even the striped-pants set at the State Department thought that meant cooperating to overthrow another government:

Iran “discreetly” provided humanitarian aid to Libyan rebels before the fall of Tripoli, Jam-e-Jam newspaper quoted Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Sunday as saying.

“We were in touch with many of the rebel groups in Libya before the fall of (Moamer) Kadhafi, and discreetly dispatched three or four food and medical consignments to Benghazi,” Salehi told the daily.

“The head of the National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdel Jalil, sent a letter of thanks to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for having been on their side and helping,” he added.

And so, for the price of some food and medicine (1), we and NATO did Iran a favor by removing a rival for influence in the Middle East and giving them easy access to eastern Libya and the Benghazi area, a region well-known as a fertile recruiting ground for Al Qaeda and other Islamic radical groups. (2)

That’s “Smart Power” for you. Real smart.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying Daffy Qaddafi wasn’t a bad man — far from it, and I hope the Libyans catch him and string him up. But, from the point of view of American interests, there was no point to this war. Qaddafi had given up his nuclear program in the wake of our liberation of Iraq, there was intelligence cooperation against Al Qaeda, and he had largely stopped sponsoring terrorism. In other words, he had been tamed, and there was no pressing reason to go after him.

On the other hand, in Syria, where we have a great opportunity to weaken or even overthrow one of the key clients of our avowed enemy, Iran, an event that would greatly weaken the Mullah’s power in the region and genuinely serve our strategic interests, for weeks we did… effectively nothing. We clucked our tongues and wagged our fingers, even called the dictator a “reformer,” while the Assad regime, with the assistance and advice of Iranian Revolutionary Guards, slaughters thousands.

If that’s “smart power,” I’d hate to see what their idea of “dumb” is.

via Bryan Preston

LINKS: More from my friend Michael Ledeen, who argues that this is a big regional war with Iran at the center (which the Obama administration may be finally and belatedly starting to grasp), and then draws some lessons from Libya.

Footnotes:
(1) And if you believe the “humanitarian aid” was nothing but rice and bandages and the Iranians accompanying it weren’t Iranian Revolutionary Guards, I have just the bridge to sell you.
(2) Don’t fall for the “Sunnis and Shiites won’t cooperate” myth. Yes, they have a bloody internecine history, but Iran and Sunni radical groups are more than happy to cooperate to strike at us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Revolution: Is Iran next?

February 13, 2011

Popular revolt has swept away dictators first in Tunisia and then in Egypt. Anti-government demonstrations have broken out in Algeria, as an anti-authoritarian, hopefully democratic wave sweeps North Africa and the Middle East.

Is Iran next? Green Movement leaders encouraged by the fall of Mubarak in Cairo have called for demonstrations Monday against the mullahs. Thousands are expected to turn out, in spite of government threats:

Activists in Iran will go ahead with a banned rally in central Tehran on Monday in defiance of warnings by the regime and a heavy security presence, a figure in the green movement has told the Guardian.

Ardeshir Amir-Arjomand, a spokesman for the former presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, accused the government of hypocrisy in voicing support for protest in Egypt and Tunisia while refusing to allow a peaceful demonstration at home.

“Our dictators in Tehran are ruling the country with terror and panic,” he said. “They are afraid of their own people. They only sanction whatever pleases themselves, and disapprove of anything that is not under their surveillance. The call for renewed street protest in Iran is a clear sign that the green movement is still alive, and that’s why they’re afraid of it.”

The regime has every reason to be afraid. In the wake of stolen elections in 2009, thousands of Iranians turned out day after day to demand their freedom, often battling with the Basij, the militia the mullahs use as their own version of the SA, even at the risk of their own lives.

And they’re taking preemptive measures. Not only have they placed leaders under house arrest and warned people not to show up, but, to make sure the message gets across, they’ve stepped up the pace of the killings:

Since uprisings swept across the Middle East last month, Iran’s government has taken extraordinary measures to suppress dissent. It has executed one person every nine hours since Jan. 1, breaking the per- capita world record, human rights groups say. In January alone, Iran executed 87 people, the state media reported. That one-month tally is higher than the total annual executions in 2005, the year President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power.

Analysts say the judicial process has been hasty and at least three victims were political prisoners arrested during the 2009 anti-government protests.

“The executions are a political message to the population: ‘don’t even think about unrest, we are in control and this is your punishment,’ ” said Hadi Ghaemi, the director of International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, an independent organization based in New York.

Emphasis added.

I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I suspect the Iranian people will show up in large numbers to tell the tyrants “Enough!” and to get the hell out. They’ve shown their bravery in the face of evil before, and I expect they will again. Each night for months now, the mullahs and President Gilligan Ahmadinejad have been reminded of their people’s hatred as thousands of cries of “Allahu Akbar” and “Marg bar Dictator”* rise from the rooftops, and the black robes can’t be sleeping easy.

Good luck to the brave people of Iran, and here’s hoping they make Ayatollah Khamenei’s nightmare come true, tomorrow.

*”God is Great” and “Death to the Dictator.”


Stuxnet: Better than a Tom Clancy novel

December 15, 2010

Because it’s real, and it apparently set the Iranian nuclear program (a.k.a., “Toys for Psycho Tots”) back two whole years:

The Stuxnet virus, which has attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities and which Israel is suspected of creating, has set back the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program by two years, a top German computer consultant who was one of the first experts to analyze the program’s code told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

“It will take two years for Iran to get back on track,” Langer said in a telephone interview from his office in Hamburg, Germany. “This was nearly as effective as a military strike, but even better since there are no fatalities and no full-blown war. From a military perspective, this was a huge success.”

Langer spoke to the Post amid news reports that the virus was still infecting Iran’s computer systems at its main uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and its reactor at Bushehr.

Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog, said that Iran had suspended work at its nuclear-field production facilities, likely a result of the Stuxnet virus.

According to Langer, Iran’s best move would be to throw out all of the computers that have been infected by the worm, which he said was the most “advanced and aggressive malware in history.” But, he said, even once all of the computers were thrown out, Iran would have to ensure that computers used by outside contractors were also clean of Stuxnet.

All without a shot being fired. And the only way to safely restart would be to trash all those expensive computers (and any portable drives)? Glorious. The article speculates that a unit of the Israel Defence Forces was behind this; I doubt the full truth will ever really come out, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn this was a joint effort by several concerned nations. On the other hand, the Israelis are creative and daring enough that this could be their work, all by themselves. And, as a friend once explained to me the First Rule of Mideast Politics:

Do not [mess] with the Israelis!

Regardless, whoever you are, well done!

via Allahpundit

UPDATE: Or was it the Chinese? Plausible, but I have a hard time believing they’d show this card when it would be more valuable to them to save to use against… us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The United Nations: a sick joke

November 12, 2010

Would you like (yet another) example of why the United Nations is worthless? Well, here ya go, pal. Saudi Arabia has joined the executive board of the new United Nations organization on the rights of women. No, I’m serious. It seems Iran was beyond the pale, but Saudi Arabia was a-okay by the UN’s high standards. I guess the difference must be that, in Iran, they still stone women to death, but, in the enlightened heart of Islam, they’re merely whipped and sent to jail for the crime of being victims of a gang-rape. That obviously qualifies the Saudis to oversee the rights of women around the world

At least, to anyone who understands George Orwell.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


I’d call this an act of war

September 5, 2010

Call me a frothing right-wing neocon zealot, but I’d say Iran paying a bounty to the Taliban for each American soldier killed constitutes an act of war:

Iran is paying Taliban fighters $1,000 for each U.S. soldier they kill in Afghanistan, according to a report in a British newspaper.

The Sunday Times described how a man it said was a “Taliban treasurer” had gone to collect $18,000 from an Iranian firm in Kabul, a reward it said was for an attack in July which killed several Afghan government troops and destroyed an American armored vehicle.

The treasurer left with the cash hidden in a sack of flour, the newspaper said, and then gave it to Taliban fighters in the province of Wardak. In the past six months, the treasurer claimed to have collected more than $77,000 from the company.

The Sunday Times said its investigation had found that at least five Kabul-based Iranian companies were secretly passing funds to the Taliban.

The newspaper’s correspondent, Miles Amoore, said he met and interviewed the treasurer, who he said had been an illiterate farmer who was taught to read and write, plus basic accountancy, by the Taliban last winter.

“We don’t care who we get money from,” the treasurer was quoted as saying. He described the relationship with Iran as a “marriage of convenience.” Iran is a predominantly Shiite country, while the Taliban is dominated by Sunni Muslims.

“Iran will never stop funding us because Americans are dangerous for them as well. I think the hatred is the same from both us and Iran. The money we get is not dirty. It is for jihad,” the treasurer told Amoore.

Emphasis added.

We shouldn’t be surprised, though. Iran funds, arms, and directs militias in Iraq that attack American and Iraqi forces, and they’ve been arming the Taliban for years. In truth, Iran has been at war with the US since the 1979 revolution that brought Khomeini and his religious fascists to power.

Some day we’ll wake up to that and deal with the problem.

(via Hot Air)


Imam Rauf: building bridges to where, exactly? -UPDATED

August 23, 2010

Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam at the center of the controversy over the mosque proposed for Ground Zero in New York City, has claimed he is a man of moderation, a bridge-builder between Islam and America, between Muslims and Americans of other faiths. He wants to show that Islam and the Muslims can be a part of America’s democratic society.

Praising Ayatollah Khomeini and Iran’s theocratic fascist dictatorship is a funny way to do that, however. Soon after the fraudulent Iranian elections of 2009, he wrote, as reported by Michael Ledeen:

He proclaimed that calm had returned to Iran, and that the “official” results–Ahmadinejad in a landslide–were correct.  Indeed, the whole system, according to Imam Rauf, is admirable:

  • The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was in part to depose the shah, who had come to power in 1953 after a CIA-sponsored coup overthrew democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossaddeq. And in part it was an opportunity to craft an Islamic state with a legitimate ruler according to Shia political theory.
  • After the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took the Shiite concept of the Rightly Guided Imam and created the idea of Vilayet-i-faqih, which means the rule of the jurisprudent. This institutionalizes the Islamic rule of law. The Council of Guardians serves to ensure these principles.


(…)

  • (Obama’s) administration understands that what is going on now in Iran is an attempt by the Iranian people to live up to their own ideals. Just as American democracy developed over many years, the United States recognizes that this election is part of the process of an evolving democracy in Iran.


That’s pure appeasement of Iranian tyranny.

So, then, just where does this bridge Imam Rauf wants to build lead?

UPDATE: From the horse’s… mouth. Tell me again this guy is a moderate? On what scale?

As Jim Geraghty puts it:

…to suggest that the indirect effects of a U.S. sanctions regime is remotely morally comparable to al-Qaeda’s deliberate mass murder – much less to suggest that they are morally worse - is to eviscerate one’s claim to be moderate, pro-American, or sensible. He says it is a “difficult subject to discuss with Western audiences.” Does he ever wonder why?


Victor Davis Hanson: War and History, Ancient and Modern

June 14, 2010

Michael Totten, a journalist I highly recommend who specializes in the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus, conducts a wide-ranging interview of historian Victor Davis Hanson. It’s long, but read the whole thing; you’ll learn quite a bit.

One item that jumped out at me came at the end, when VDH discusses an exchange he had with a European admiral just prior to Obama’s election. It’s revelatory on several levels of European attitudes toward and dependency on the United States, and their fear of us becoming like them:

I had an interesting conversation two years ago just before Obama’s election with some military people in Versailles. They were at a garden party, and everybody was for Obama. But an admiral said to me, “We are Obama. You can’t be Obama.”

Everybody looked at him. And I said, “What do you mean?”

He said, “There’s only room for one Obama.”

I said, “So we’re supposed to do what? Take out Iran while you trash us?”

And he said, “Right out of my mouth. I couldn’t have said it better. Bush understood our relationship. We have to make accommodations with our public, which is lunatic. You don’t really believe there’s going to be an EU strike force, do you? Nobody here believes that. If you become neutral, what are we supposed to do?

That’s what he said. I was surprised at his candor. And it’s worrisome. On the one hand I like it because they’re getting just what they asked for, but on the other hand, it’s tragic. And it’s dangerous. We shouldn’t be doing this.

Emphasis added.


Palin. Nightstick. Boom.

June 13, 2010

Perhaps giving in to exasperation, Sarah Palin unloaded on both President Obama and the (Social) Democrats on her Facebook page today in a post that links the need to expand domestic oil drilling to our national security:

Am I the only one who wonders what could possibly be the agenda of any politician who would thwart our drive toward energy independence? Continuing to lock up America’s domestic energy reserves, including the energy-rich Last Frontier of Alaska, only equips dangerous foreign regimes as they fund terrorist organizations to harm us and our allies. I’m going to keep speaking and writing about this in the simplest of terms until someone can provide a simple answer as to why liberal Democrats don’t understand that we have safe, warehoused onshore and shallow water reserves waiting for permission to be extracted. They either choose not to understand the geology, science, and technology behind an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy security, or they understand it, yet for whatever frightening reason choose to be lap dogs to Chavez and Ahmadinejad.

Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark.

The former governor goes on to cite a Newsmax article about a letter from Republican senators challenging the administration over Venezuela’s ties to terrorism and our reliance on oil supplied by Hugo Chavez, who hates the United States. (Paging Joe Kennedy…)

While I’m not comfortable about relying on Newsmax (they’re given to sensationalism and have had to retract stories in a few embarrassing cases), she’s right to draw the link between the intelligent exploitation of domestic resources and our national security. In the Persian Gulf, many of the wealthy in countries from which we buy our oil use the profits from our purchases to support al Qaeda and other jihadist groups at war with America and the West.

In the case of Venezuela, Chavez has made no secret of his growing alliance with Iran, while the Newsmax article Palin quotes talks of Iranian security forces sealing off a Venezuelan airport in advance of an apparently high-value delivery. While the subsequent discussion of the ease with which some sort of nuclear explosive could be smuggled north is sensationalistic, the overall point is well-taken:

  • Iran is headed by a millenarian fascist regime that sees as its duty to do what it can to create the chaos that will herald the return of the Mahdi and the final victory of Islam.
  • Iran has been at war with the United States since 1979, even if we haven’t realized it.
  • Iran’s cats-paw, the terrorist jihad organization Hizbullah, has a significant presence in the United States and could be used to launch attacks within America.
  • Venezuela is allied with Iran and itself is seeking nuclear technology (supposedly for peaceful purposes).
  • Our southern border is undeniably porous.

And our dependence on Venezuelan oil is thus an example of how our freedom to act against potential threats posed by the Iranian-Venezuelan axis is potentially limited by our failure to intelligently exploit our own resources, relying instead on others.

If Sarah Palin is exasperated, she has every right to be.

I am, too.


A tremendous insult to women

April 29, 2010

I know it shouldn’t, but this just leaves me flabbergasted: the UN has elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women:

Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged “immodest.”

Just days after Iran abandoned a high-profile bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, it began a covert campaign to claim a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is “dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women,” according to its website.

Buried 2,000 words deep in a U.N. press release distributed Wednesday on the filling of “vacancies in subsidiary bodies,” was the stark announcement: Iran, along with representatives from 10 other nations, was “elected by acclamation,” meaning that no open vote was requested or required by any member states — including the United States.

No state that implements sharia law should be anywhere near anything resembling a human rights body, especially one concerned with women. Iran is one of the worst. Women are brutally repressed in Iran: they face death by stoning; their political and legal rights are severely restricted; they face rape in prison by government officials; and they are even gunned down in the streets.

And almost as appalling is that the United States didn’t speak out against this travesty. Yet another glorious moment in the history of Smart Power.

LINKS: More at Hot Air. And thanks to Liberty Pundits for the link!

UPDATE: Allahpundit quotes this at the Hot Air link, but it’s worth posting here, too. Jennifer Rubin on Obama’s pusillanimous diplomacy:

The U.S. couldn’t muster a word of opposition — not even call for a vote. That would be because . . . why? Because our policy is not to confront and challenge the brutal regime for which rape and discrimination are institutionalized policies. No, rather, we are in the business of trying to ingratiate ourselves, and making the U.S. as inoffensive as possible to the world’s thugocracies.


Suntans cause earthquakes, too?

April 28, 2010

Well, the connection hasn’t been drawn directly, but it can’t be far off; Iran has announced it will begin arresting women for being suntanned:

Suntanned women to be arrested under Islamic dress code


Iran has warned suntanned women and girls who looked like “walking mannequins” will be arrested as part of a new drive to enforce the Islamic dress code.

Brig Hossien Sajedinia, Tehran’s police chief, said a national crackdown on opposition sympathisers would be extended to women who have been deemed to be violating the spirit of Islamic laws. He said: “The public expects us to act firmly and swiftly if we see any social misbehaviour by women, and men, who defy our Islamic values. In some areas of north Tehran we can see many suntanned women and young girls who look like walking mannequins.

“We are not going to tolerate this situation and will first warn those found in this manner and then arrest and imprison them.”

Just think: tanning salons in Iran could be their version of Prohibition-era speakeasies: “Psst! Hey, bud! You know where a girl can get a good tan in this town?”

All kidding aside, this is another, albeit small, example of Islamic misogyny and how the woman is made responsible for the man’s sexual behavior.

LINKS: Don Surber looks at the politics of tanning in the US; The Jawa Report.


Did the earth move for you, Fatima?

April 17, 2010

Forget all that nonsense about fault lines and plate tectonics. As always, the scholars who run the Fascist Dictatorship Islamic Republic of Iran have given us the answer: sex causes earthquakes.

A senior Iranian cleric has claimed that dolled-up women incite extramarital sex, causing more earthquakes in Iran, a country that straddles several fault lines, newspapers reported on Saturday.

“Many women who dress inappropriately … cause youths to go astray, taint their chastity and incite extramarital sex in society, which increases earthquakes,” Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi told worshippers at Friday prayers in Tehran.

“Calamities are the result of people’s deeds,” he was quoted as saying by reformist Aftab-e Yazd newspaper. “We have no way but conform to Islam to ward off dangers.”

I’m confused. I thought Jews caused earthquakes.  Does that mean sexy Jews are the greatest danger? Just to be safe, we’d better keep all those inappropriately dressed samba dancers away from the Middle East.

Seriously, this is another example of Islamic misogyny. It is the woman’s fault for exciting the man, who just can’t help himself – the woman is made responsible for the man’s sexual behavior, thus she must be controlled, repressed, and forced to dress like Cousin Itt going to a formal. Otherwise, bad things will happen.

What a civilization.

(via The Jawa Report)

RELATED: Does this mean the Mexicali quake wasn’t caused by the CIA, but instead by Mexican strip clubs getting American college kids all worked up during spring break?


We are officially wimps

January 2, 2010

Under George W. Bush, we were the ones who gave deadlines to others: first the Taliban, then Saddam Hussein. Now, under President Obama, our threats have so little meaning that our enemies set deadlines for us:

Iran warned on Saturday the West has until the end of the month to accept Teheran’s counterproposal to a UN-drafted plan on a nuclear exchange, or the country will start producing nuclear fuel on its own.

The warning was a show of defiance and a hardening in Iran’s stance over its controversial nuclear program, which the West fears masks an effort to make nuclear weapons. Teheran insists the program is only for peaceful, electricity production purposes and says it has no intention of making a bomb.

“We have given them an ultimatum. There is one month left and that is by the end of January,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said, speaking on state television.

Yeah, I know our diplomacy toward Iran grew ever more feckless under Mr. Bush in his second term, but under Obama it’s become positively feeble. The Iranians know they can do whatever they want, for the United States is lead by administration even more wedded to soft power appeasement than the Europeans. And it gets better: even the French president is tougher toward those black-robed fascists in Tehran than President Obama.

This Iranian ultimatum is a joke. They know we’ll do nothing. They’re laughing at us.

There is only one response:

Oh, the shame!

(via Legal Insurrection)


China sells anti-riot armored vehicles to Iran

January 1, 2010

Why not? Iran is their client, a thorn in the side of Beijing’s strategic rival (that’s us), and the Chinese have great experience in crushing pro-democracy demonstrations. It’s a win-win! (If you’re a fascist, that is.)

The armoured anti-riot vehicles have a capacity of 10,000 liters to shoot cold and hot water, and three 100 liter tanks to shoot burning chemical liquids. The water is mixed with paint or tear gas that cannot be washed away. Each vehicle has two guns for shooting liquid up to a distance of 70 meters- it is controlled from inside the cabin. The price tag for each unit is 650,000 dollars. Also, a lot of extra burning liquid, paint, and tear gas was purchased.

It took four months for the delivery of the armoured vehicles, and since the Iranian regime was in a hurry, they had them delivered from China’s army organization- this is rare!  China’s government was in as much of a hurry to get these to Iran.

China ought to be careful: the reign of the mullahs is in a very fragile state (and, we hope, soon to crumble) and, when a new regime comes to power, it isn’t going to be very friendly toward those who tried to keep their tormentors in power.

(via The Jawa Report)


Fools rush in

December 24, 2009

Only in a Wonderland tea party could this be considered a good idea: Senator John Kerry (D-Boor) wants to go to Iran, and the White House won’t oppose it:

Sen. John Kerry has suggested becoming the first high-level U.S. emissary to make a public visit to Tehran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, a move White House officials say they won’t oppose.

The offer comes as mass protests against Iran’s regime are resurfacing and a U.S.-imposed deadline nears to broach international sanctions against Iran.

“This sounds like the kind of travel a chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee would — and should — undertake,” said a White House official, adding it would be at Sen. Kerry’s own behest.

Obama said he’d meet without preconditions, but I don’t recall anything about “without sense.”  Just what in Heaven’s name is Kerry, a former presidential nominee and current chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, thinking? Is he thinking? Or is this just another item to buff up the wanna-be Boston Brahmin’s resume? Iran is an avowed enemy of the United States that has considered itself at war with us for 30 years. It has supplied weapons to our enemies that have killed American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has threatened a nuclear attack against one of our closest allies and waged a terror-war against Jews around the world. It rigged its most recent election in defiance of every democratic norm. The regime has never shown any interest in serious negotiations with us.

Rather, it wants us dead.

And Kerry wants to reward this same millenarian, fascist regime in Tehran with a visit from the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, the highest-ranking visit in three decades? John, just what do you hope to accomplish?

A trip by Sen. Kerry could provide the Obama administration a last-minute chance to directly convey its views to Iranian leaders before the U.S. moves to increase financial pressure on Tehran in an effort to derail Iran’s nuclear programs.

Brilliant. As if we haven’t tried time and again since 1979 to “convey our views” to Tehran, all to the same effect: bupkis. Every administration from Carter through Bush the Younger tried to reach a grand bargain with Iran, and all wound up with egg on their faces.  Iran is only stringing us and the rest of the West along until it can achieve what it wants: nuclear weapons, dominance in the Middle East, and the furtherance of global jihad.

And John Kerry wants to be the next to play.

Kerry’s potential visit won’t be without effect, however. No, it will have an effect, alright: the betrayal and demoralization of the democratic resistance in Iran, which has the regime so worried that they have had to declare a state of emergency in Isfahan, one of their most important cities:

Iran security forces and opposition protesters stepped up clashes on Wednesday in the city of Isfahan, the birthplace of Iran’s top dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. Montazeri’s death this past weekend, and the rituals marking his passing, coincide with a new push by regime opponents during a 10-day religious commemoration.

The government has responded by harassing two reformist clerics who could replace Montazeri, as well as stripping the opposition’s top political figure – Mir Hossein Mousavi – of his sole official post.

In Isfahan, pro-regime basiji militiamen used batons, chains, and stones to beat mourners who gathered at the city’s main mosque to remember Montazeri, the spiritual mentor of the Iranian opposition, whose websites reported the clashes.

“While people were reciting the Quran [in the mosque], plainclothed forces attacked them and threw tear gas into the mosque yard and sprayed those inside with pepper spray after they closed the doors,” reported the reformist Parlemannews. “They severely beat the people inside,” then doused the clerical speaker with pepper spray and arrested him.

“Tens of thousands gathered outside for the memorial but were savagely attacked by security forces and the basijis,” witness Farid Salavati told the Associated Press. He said that dozens were injured as riot police and vigilantes clubbed and kicked men and women alike – some in the face – and arrested 50 people who had gathered to mourn the grand ayatollah.

Montazeri – the chosen successor of Iran’s first supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, until a falling out in 1989 – had been unrelenting in his criticism of the officially declared reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last June, as well as of Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“Khamenei is a murderer, his rule is invalid,” protesters shouted on Wednesday, referring to violence since June, in which severe force has been used against Iranians who marched to reverse the official result. They wanted to see the “Green Movement” presidential candidate, Mr. Mousavi, elected. Scores died in June and thousands were arrested; protests have flared repeatedly around the nation since then.

So, naturally, Kerry’s visit, if it happens, will be interpreted as a willingness to work with the current regime and a stamp of legitimacy from the American government, as well as a big, bright signal that the resistance cannot count on the world’s most important democracy in its hour of need. Genius. Sheer genius. Just what I’d expect from that pompous jackass Kerry and an administration that would rather vote “present” than tell him to sit down and shut up.

I hope Nile Gardiner is ready to revise his list of the Obama administration’s top-ten foreign policy screw-ups for 2009.

Or maybe this will the the first for 2010!  Doh

LINKS: More at Hot Air and Legal Insurrection.


Al Qaeda can watch our military video feeds?

December 17, 2009

This is a mind-boggling breach of security:

Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor U.S. military operations.

Senior defense and intelligence officials said Iranian-backed insurgents intercepted the video feeds by taking advantage of an unprotected communications link in some of the remotely flown planes’ systems. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber — available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet — to regularly capture drone video feeds, according to a person familiar with reports on the matter.

U.S. officials say there is no evidence that militants were able to take control of the drones or otherwise interfere with their flights. Still, the intercepts could give America’s enemies battlefield advantages by removing the element of surprise from certain missions and making it easier for insurgents to determine which roads and buildings are under U.S. surveillance.

And it’s not as if this is some new, unexpected development; the Pentagon has known of this problem since the 1990s, but did nothing about it because they didn’t think the local yo-yos were smart enough to find out about it.

Pardon me, but, um… WTF??

Maybe Abdul in a cave wouldn’t figure it out, but what about their patrons in Iran (who’ve shown themselves to be pretty creative), or their patrons in Moscow and Beijing? Do we really have such stupid and arrogant schmucks in military who thought that no rival could discover this and then pass on the information? Really?

Excuse me while I go find the nearest brick wall to bang my head against.

Threat Matrix gives us the cheery news that the problem isn’t just affecting Iraq, but Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well. And not just our drone feeds, but all air-to-ground transmissions. They outline a worst-case scenario:

…our rivals such as Russia and China, our adversaries such as Iran, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban, etc., and our erstwhile allies such as Pakistan have been monitoring our feeds for years, and thus have learned plenty about how the US plans and conducts attacks, as well as the capabilities and limitations of the weapons and observation platforms. The DoD officials downplayed the leaked information and said no US troops were harmed due to the breach. That may be true today, but may not be the case in future conflicts.

The following is purely speculation on my part. Don’t be surprised if you read a story in the next few days or weeks that elements within Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency has been monitoring US Predator and Reaper feeds, and relaying targeting information to al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. I have heard far too many stories about how senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders miraculously avoided attacks and left the target sites just minutes before the strikes. The officials repeatedly told me that they believed the anti-US elements in the ISI would tip off the terrorist commanders before the strikes.

This news isn’t just disturbing: that we knew about it for years and did nothing to fix it tells of a nauseating level of incompetence. Several heads need to roll, and then whatever money it takes to fix the problem needs to be spent now. This is just as bad as having a mole in the planning rooms; the repercussions of what our potential and actual enemies may have learned about how we operate could be felt for years from now.

Seriously, why weren’t these transmissions encrypted? Surely there weren’t insuperable obstacles to that.

I’ve often said that no one can beat us if we don’t beat ourselves, and it’s at moments like this I think we’re trying to prove it.

LINKS: More at Hot Air.


Iranian military fracturing?

December 13, 2009

A dictator’s worst nightmare: the military turns against him.

Writing at Pajamas Media, Leiden University law professor Afshin Ellian has seen signs that the Iranian regular military, as opposed to the Revolutionary Guard, has placed the theocratic-fascist regime in Tehran on notice not to initiate a bloody repression of the Iranian people, or face revolt:

On December 10, a statement signed by a number of officers and commanders of the Iranian army was released. The regular army of Iran had not been involved in the suppression of the population. The statement was signed by:

  • Pilots and personnel of the aviation division of the regular army (Havanirooz)
  • Commanders and personnel of the 31th artillery division of Isfahan of the regular army
  • Pilots and airmen of the regular army
  • Teachers of the Shaid Satari University of the regular air force
  • Officers and staff of the logistics training unit the regular army
  • Professors and lecturers of the Imam Ali University for officers of the regular army
  • Officers, staff, and commanders of the chief of staff of the regular army

Professor Ellian then quotes the message itself:

“Therefore, we warn the [Revolutionary] Guards who have betrayed the martyrs (from the war between Iran and Iraq) and who decided to attack the lives, the property and the honor of the citizens. We seriously warn them that if they do not leave their chosen path, they will be confronted with our tough response. The military is a haven for the nation. And we will defend the peace-loving Iranian nation against any aggression.”

This may explain why the regime crackdown against demonstrators protesting the fraudulent elections last June, while brutal, was not the massacre many (including me) expected: the mullahs can’t trust the regular military, which sees itself as the guardian of the nation, not the regime. The defection of Air Force officers was one of the key moments leading to the fall of the Shah in 1978-79.

This is a common feature of dictatorships: hated by the people, a brutal ruler stays in power by keeping the armed forces happy. But, regular militaries aren’t necessarily loyal to the current regime, seeing themselves as defenders of the nation as a whole. Many Latin American constitutions spell out just such a role for their armed forces, which have often taken that as their justification for launching a coup. In response to this threat, some regimes create elite forces meant more to keep the regular military in line and for use against civilians when the Army can’t be trusted, than defend against an external threat. Indeed, the Romans gave us the name for just such a force, Praetorian Guard, troops raised specifically to provide a guard loyal to the Emperor. The Nazis had the SS and SA, the Soviets had the KGB and Interior Ministry troops, and Saddam Hussein had the Republican and Special Republican Guards. Such elite forces tend to be resented by regular militaries, who see them as rivals for resources and their existence as an insult.

If Ellian’s information is correct, then the mullahocracy is in deep peril, and its survival rests on a fragile base. The demonstrators in Iran haven’t given up; indeed, the cries of “Death to the dictator” are heard nightly from Tehran rooftops. If the military won’t defend the regime nor stand by while it uses other means to defend itself, then the mullahs’ time may be coming faster than we think.

This would be a perfect moment for the Obama Administration to provide moral and propaganda support to the pro-democracy forces in Iran. They blew it last June; let’s hope they get it right this time.


When bullies whine

October 10, 2009

Forever playing the victim, Iran’s UN ambassador complains when Israel threatens to do something about Iran’s genocidal threats against Israel:

Iran: Israel’s threats inexplicable

Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaee, sent a letter of protest to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which he wrote that “there is no explanation for Israel’s continuing threats against Tehran”.

He was referring to an interview given by former Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh to the Sunday Times in which he said that if Iran were not further sanctioned by this Christmas Israel would attack the country.

Sneh told the paper that if Israel were forced to attack the Islamic Republic on its own it would do so, remarks the Iranian ambassador deemed “irresponsible”.

Poor Iran. It’s always being picked on by those Western-Crusader-Imperialist-Zionist Lackey tools of the Jewish Conspiracy(tm). I mean, it’s not as if Iranian officials have:

You’re right, Mr. Ambassador. It’s totally unreasonable and unfair for the Israelis to threaten Iran over its pursuit of nuclear weapons aimed at Jews peaceful nuclear power.

via Jihad Watch

(Cross-posted at Sister Toldjah)


Netanyahu for President!

September 25, 2009

Okay, okay. It’s constitutionally impossible, but I can still wish for a president who can address the world with genuine moral clarity. From his address to the UN yesterday:

Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries.

But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?

A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish state.

What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations! Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only the Jews. You’re wrong.

History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others.

This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries. In the past thirty years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims. It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and many others. Though it is comprised of different offshoots, the adherents of this unforgiving creed seek to return humanity to medieval times.

Wherever they can, they impose a backward regimented society where women, minorities, gays or anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated. The struggle against this fanaticism does not pit faith against faith nor civilization against civilization.

It pits civilization against barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th century, those who sanctify life against those who glorify death.

Go, Bibi, go!!  Applause Dancing

For even more uncompromising moral clarity, let me recommend a good book.

(via Fausta)


Why do I think this is a bad idea?

September 20, 2009

Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor when Carter was president, thinks the US should shoot down Israeli warplanes if they cross Iraqi airspace to attack Iran.

Now, I’d like to think even Team Obama would laugh Zbig and his lunatic ideas out the door, but, given their bizarre foreign policy that seems to consist of pimp-slapping our allies and appeasing our enemies, I’m not so sure.

At the very least, they’re all too likely to give this failed incompetent elder statesman a serious hearing.  At wits end

LINKSGateway Pundit.

UPDATE: At Conservatives for Palin, Doug Brady looks at Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter, the mystery of the pro-Democrat Jewish vote, and Sarah Palin’s position on Iran and Israel.


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