Saturday, November 18, 2006


Islamic Republic's Nuclear Negotiator:

Iran has acquired nuclear know-how.

IranMania reported that the Islamic Republic's Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani said that Iran has acquired know how to produce nuclear energy and is now at the stage of research and development.

Islamic Republic's arms for uranium deal with Somalia.
Steve Schippert, Threats Watch reported recent news from the UN of the Islamic Republic's export arms to Somalia in exchange for raw uranium ore.

Islamic Republic vows a decisive response to any aggression.
Reuters reported that Iran said it will respond decisively to any act of aggression by the United States or Israel.

State Department seeks democratic reform, NOT regime change in Iran.

Stephen Kaufman, U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information reported that U.S. policy towards Iran is encouraging it to institute democratic reforms. But not regime change.

Blair denies he is appeasing Iran.

Bloomberg reported that Tony Blair denied he is appeasing Iran by calling for diplomatic engagement across the Middle East, saying he won't back down on the issues of nuclear weapons or terrorism.

People's Online Daily reported that the Argentine government on Thursday stepped up security measures at key locations in the country, including U.S. and Israeli embassies and Jewish community centers, in response to a growing diplomatic crisis with Iran.

Forbes reported that Russia is going ahead with a contract to deliver sophisticated air defense systems to Iran, a Russian defense ministry official said.

Voice of America reported that the campaign by the Iranian government to silence dissident voices extends even to clerics. A report on numerous clerics.

Michael Ramirez, Townhall published a cartoon: Rumbles in the Middle East.


Iran Threat Grows, Russia Has No Plans Against U.S.,

Highlights of this Report

1. China's embassy robbed
2. Police killings in Thailand
3. Muslim insurgency continues in Asia
4. Animal rights terrorists
5. Musharraf concerned about country's future
6. Gulf states say Islamic countries unfairly targeted
7. China strengthens ties with Iran
8. Putin says SCO designed to settle borders
9. Somalis fought alongside Hezbollah
10.UN says Tehran and Damascus destabilizing Somalia
11. US: Sorry Tony, no talks with Iran
12. Iran's Al Qaeda
13. Are we witnessing 1938?
14. Burmese genocide
15. Aussies step up once again
16. Paper: U.S. in danger of collapse
17. $1.1 billion for Pakistan
18. Russia's Anti-Europe natural gas cartel
19. Indonesian terrorists train Philippine bombers
20. NORTHCOM cat fighting
21. More Guard brigades prepare to go back
22. Air National Guard officer slammed
23. Lunatic Fringe: and Socialist Workers
24. Cockfighting Colonel
25. Rape now a crime in Pakistan

Here's what's happening...

The Chinese embassy in Venezuela has been robbed. Eight unmasked and armed gunman broke into the economic and commercial affairs office under the Chinese embassy and “liberated” $14,000 US dollars. The incident is under investigation.

The military-backed government in Thailand is investigating whether the previous prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, used police to conduct extra-judicial killings of more than 2,500 people between 2003 and 2004.

Meanwhile, the junta is promising to lift marshal law within days, even though a Muslim insurgency in the south continues to claim lives.

The U.S. House and Senate have passed a bill that targets radical environmentalists who engage in bombings and other terrorist activities.

Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, is concerned that radical Islam and terrorism may tear his country apart.

Several Persian Gulf states have issued a joint statement that Islamic countries are being unfairly targeted for supporting terrorism. The group has also nominated Osama Bin Ladin, and Mahmoud Amadinejad for the Nobel Peace Prize. Well, not really, but it’s just as absurd.

China is strengthening ties with Iran under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Russia’s Vladimir Putin insists that SCO is not what many seem to think it is – an alliance that will eventually counter U.S. influence in the region, as well as form the basis of an Asian counter-weight to NATO. According to Asia Times, Putin recently told Russian academics:

While interacting with a select gathering of "Russia hands" from Western academia, media and think tanks recently, President Vladimir Putin ventured onto the topic of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in terms, as he put it, that would be a "revelation ... something probably I have never said to anyone before".

Putin, known for his reticence and choice of words, revealed that the Kremlin did not "plan" for the SCO's present standing, but had only set its sights on the organization's potential to resolve the "utilitarian question of settling borders" between China and its post-Soviet neighbors. SCO includes China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

He continued, "After all, to be honest, I know that somewhere within the depths of various governments and intelligence services there are people thinking that Russians and Chinese are up to something here, that they have got some kind of secret mechanism and are planning something."

Putin summed up explaining SCO's raison d'etre. "It's simply that after the collapse of the bipolar world, there was a real need for the emergence of centers of influence and power. This is simply an objective reality."

The New York Times is reporting that more than 700 Islamic fighters from Somalia joined Hezbollah in its war against Israel this summer. Frankly, this does not come as a great surprise.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the United Nations is accusing Iran and Syria of continuing to destabilize Somalia. Not that it wasn’t a hellhole before.

The United States doesn’t appear to have any great love for Tony Blair’s idea of asking Iran and Syria to help stabilize Iraq.

The Iranians have responded by trying to form an alliance with Al Qaeda.

Are we looking at another 1938?

Burma continues its offensive against ethnic Karen in the country’s north. The junta there has been accused of using crude chemical weapons to wipe out entire villages. International aid workers have treated Karen refugees for burns and other injuries consistent with mustard gas. According to one report:

Border sources say that fighting in Karen State happens on a daily basis. According to the Karen National Union, Burmese troops from battalion 35 of Light Infantry Division 66 on November 7 destroyed property of ethnic Karen villagers in Taungoo District, Pegu Division valued at more than 2.2 million kyat (nearly US $1,667).

Troops from the same battalion three days earlier killed two villagers—Saw Kyor, 45, and Pa Ree Say, 19—while also destroying rice stores and farms in the area.

Australia continues to quietly provide military assistance to countries throughout the South Pacific. Sometimes this irritates local leaders who are outmatched by the Aussies’.

The United States does not have a better ally than Australia. Some people may say that Great Britain and Israel should rank higher, but the fact is that Prime Minister John Howard has never wavered in his support for the United States, and continues to say that “now is not the time for an 80% friendship.” God bless them.

Asia Times has an analysis on how the “U.S. colossus currently faces a very real danger.” According to the story’s author, W. Joseph Stroupe:

Even a "giant" has a pair of tendons which, if sliced, could bring the giant crashing helplessly to the ground. If a knife is held against those very tendons in a credible and intractable threat, then the giant can be constrained, or even mastered and obliged to perform the will of players of comparatively much lesser stature.

Does the analogy really fit mounting East-West rivalry and the efforts to end US global dominance? To answer that question we need to examine the principles of asymmetric challenge more closely and see if real-world, modern-day examples of its success exist….

What are the key issues and problems rapidly coming to a head?
The Iran crisis and prospects for a US attack on Iranian facilities and assets.

The North Korea crisis and the growing prospects for a war resulting from stringent US-led embargo and interdiction at sea.
Continued NATO/European Union expansion eastward and the creation of an anti-ballistic missile shield on Russia's doorstep.
The issue of international energy security and whether the current US-backed energy market order will continue to be dominant.

The People’s Daily in China – a surprisingly good news source – is reporting that the United States gave Pakistan $1.1 billion in anti-terror support last year.

Analysts at NATO believe that Russia may be trying to create a natural gas cartel stretching from Central Asia to Algeria. Some suggest that Putin will then use the cartel as a political weapon against Europe.

Jamaah Islamiah (JI), a vicious terrorist group based largely in Indonesia, is recruiting Islamic fighters associated with the Abu Sayyaf to carry out attacks against targets in the Philippines. JI’s stated goal is to create an Islamic superstate across Southeast Asia. The group is believed to have been responsible for the Bali bombings.

NORTHCOM continues to face bureaucratic inertia and cat fighting as it tries to develop a coherent national emergency response plan. Apparently, it all comes down to “who is in charge.” One would think that five years after 9/11 we would have figured this one out by now.

More U.S. Army National Guard Units are expected to return to Iraq in the very near future. North Carolina’s 30th Brigade Combat Team is expected to get the call first. Arkansas’s 39th BCT is expected to follow.

An Air National Guard officer has run afoul of his fellow airmen in Minnesota. According to WCCO:

The National Guard says it won't approve a high honor for a retiring Minnesota Air National Guard general who was the subject of an Air Force probe that found several instances of misconduct.

The investigation of Brigadier General Terry Heggemeier was cited by a group of retired senior military officers who supported an effort to prevent him from receiving a Legion of Merit award, the highest noncombat honor.

Among other things, the investigation said Heggemeier wrongfully accessed e-mail and personal folders of members of the 133rd Airlift Wing in Minneapolis, made unauthorized flights, and flew as a crew member without maintaining his required qualifications and without supervision. He also received unauthorized flight pay.

Lunatic Fringe

A look at radical websites and propaganda from terrorists and their supporters. – The standard “Bush is a murderer” garbage along with an interesting banner that shows photographs of the “Amirs of Caucasian Mujahideen”. This site appears to be hosted in Great Britain.

The Socialist Worker Online – This organization, evidently based in Chicago, insists that Donald Rumsfeld is a war criminal.
And FinallyTwo items…

The United States Army may have its problems, but since the Bush Administration came into office, there have been a lot fewer incidents of military officers being forced to resign over violations of politically correct sensibilities. The Filipino military may not have caught on to this trend.

Apparently, Colonel Felipe Tabas, a brigade commander in the armed forces of the Philippines, was fired and placed in custody for a gross violation of military protocol. What did he do? He bet on a cockfight in Davao City. To be fair, he was not only betting, he was knee deep in the cockpit helping to run the match. According to oone investigating officer, Colonel Tabas “fell short of expectations.”

No word as to whether his chicken won.

Pakistan is working its way out of the stone ages. The country’s lower house of parliament has voted to put the crime of rape under the civil penal code, thus removing it from review under Islamic law. President Musharraf was proud of the vote. On national television he told the people:

"The time has come for the moderate elements in Pakistan to come forward and show their real force to these extremists and tell the extremists they will have no more say in Pakistan."
What did the old law say? It made a rape victim liable to prosecution for adultery if she could not produce four male witnesses to the assault.

And the Islamists say that the West is barbaric?

Monday, November 13, 2006


Israel to Pursue Action Against Gaza Rocket Fire - Jonathan Ferziger and Gwen Ackerman

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel will pursue military operations to stop rocket fire from Gaza, even as he expressed regret for the accidental killing of 18 Palestinians. The shell that hit a Palestinian home in the northern Gazan town of Beit Hanoun was "a tragic mistake'' and meant to strike militants in a nearby orange grove who had fired a Kassam rocket into Israel, Olmert said.

"Military operations will continue as long as there will be firing of rockets,'' he said. (Bloomberg)

Top Hamas Officials: We Want All of Palestine, from the River to the Sea

In the nine months since it came to power, Hamas has not changed its views. Hamas Political Bureau head Khaled Mash'al told the London-based daily Al-Hayat on Oct. 12: "Why am I required to [recognize] the legitimacy of an occupying [entity]?

It is true that there is an entity called Israel, but I do not wish to recognize it." Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar stated on Oct. 20 that "Israel is a vile entity that has been planted in our soil, and has no historical, religious, or cultural legitimacy. We cannot normalize our relations with this entity.

The history of this region has proven that occupation is temporary.

Thousands of years ago, the Romans occupied this land and left. The Persians, Crusaders, and English came and went. The Zionists have come, and they too will leave. [We say] no to recognizing Israel, regardless of the price we may have to pay."

Al-Zahar also said: "We [aim to liberate] all our lands....If we have the option, we will establish a state on every inch of land within the 1967 [borders], but this does not by any means imply that we will relinquish our right to all the Palestinian lands. We want all of Palestine from Naqura to Rafah, and from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river." (MEMRI)

MI5 Director: More Britons Are Turning to Terror - Michael Evans

In a stark public warning, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the Director-General of MI5, revealed that the security service's caseload had risen by 80% since January and now involved about 30 "Priority 1" plots.

It has identified 200 terrorist networks involving at least 1,600 people, many under the direct control of al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. "More and more people are moving from passive sympathy towards active terrorism through being radicalized or indoctrinated by friends, families, in organized training events here and overseas," she said.

Dame Eliza said that she was alarmed by the "scale and speed" of the radicalization, which security sources later said had intensified since the 7/7 bombings. "Young teenagers are being groomed to be suicide bombers....Killing oneself and others in response is an attractive option for some citizens of this country and others around the world.

[The] threat is serious, is growing, and will, I believe, be with us for a generation." (Times-UK)

Argentina Seeks Arrest of Former Iranian President Rafsanjani

An Argentine judge ordered international arrest warrants on Thursday for former Iranian president Ali Rafsanjani and eight others in connection with the 1994 bombing of the major Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral issued the order two weeks after Argentine prosecutors formally accused the Iranian government of masterminding the attack, which killed 85 people and wounded more than 200. (Reuters/New York Times)

News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

IDF Inquiry: Radar Malfunction Caused Botched Shelling - Amos Harel

Maj.-Gen. Meir Kalifi, who headed the IDF inquiry into the Beit Hanoun incident, presented the inquiry's findings Thursday. The inquiry found that a malfunctioning electronic card in the artillery battery's guidance system, which was replaced five days ago, was the cause of the errant fire. The card fed the battery's guidance system with wrong coordinates.

The Israeli-developed "Shilem" guidance system has been in use by the IDF for roughly 30 years. It is considered reliable, and IDF inquiries found that this is the first time this particular malfunction has occurred in the system or similar systems used abroad. (Ha'aretz)

Security Council Meets on Beit Hanoun Incident - Yitzhak Benhorin

Danny Carmon, the deputy head of the Israeli delegation to the UN, said during a Security Council meeting Thursday that the escalation in Gaza stems from Palestinian rocket fire on Israel, which is acting "in self-defense." Carmon said that Israel withdrew from Gaza in the hope that the Palestinians would manage it responsibly as a first step to the establishment of a Palestinian state that can live side by side in peace with Israel. But since Israel left Gaza, Palestinians have fired 1,000 rockets at Israel.

"Israel is asked again and again to show restraint. But the question is until when. After 1,000 rockets? 2,000 rockets?" Carmon asked.

He spoke about the need to release the Israeli soldiers while Karnit Goldwasser, the wife of kidnapped soldier Ehud Goldwasser, was present. "She is here to remind members of the Council who voted on Resolution 1701 that they are obliged to fulfill what they voted for and act for the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers." (Ynet News)

Palestinian Rocket Attacks Injure Three Israelis - Shmulik Hadad

Three people sustained injuries from shrapnel and several others suffered from shock Thursday evening when a rocket fired by Palestinians in Gaza landed just a few meters from a store in a crowded Sderot shopping center. Earlier Thursday, two rockets landed in the western Negev. (Ynet News)

Israel, U.S. Ponder New Ways to Collect Intelligence in Lebanon - Aluf Benn

Israel and the U.S. are considering different methods for collecting intelligence in Lebanon that would replace the overflights of Lebanese airspace by Israel. "We do not want to embarrass the government of Lebanon and create tensions with the states who deployed, at our request, troops to the United Nations force.

If a solution can be found that would not require the overflights, and we could have another means to learn what goes on over there, perfect," a senior political source in Jerusalem said Thursday.

Among the possible alternatives are the use of American satellites or intelligence-gathering flights carried out by other countries, with the approval of the government of Lebanon. (Ha'aretz)

See also French Forces Almost Fired on Israeli Jets in Lebanon - Molly Moore

French peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon came within seconds of firing missiles at Israeli F-15 fighter jets that repeatedly dived on their positions last week, according to French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie. (Washington Post)

"Work Accident" Destroys Gaza House - Mijal Grinberg

An explosion in Gaza City Thursday destroyed the house of Talal Abu Safiyah, a local commander of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Palestinian security officials said the blast was caused by explosives inside the house. (Ha'aretz)

Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Murderous Strategies - Marty Peretz

I am not indifferent to the death of Palestinians. I am especially not indifferent to the death of Palestinians caused by Israeli fire. But I think I do know who is indifferent to the death of Palestinians, and especially ecstatic if they are killed by Israeli fire. And it is Palestinians themselves.

The 18 killed in Gaza by a fatally awry Israeli artillery attack is nothing less than a great human tragedy. But those now dead were not targets, any more than victims of friendly fire are targets. When Palestinian weapons hit Israeli civilians, it is Israeli civilians who are the designated victims.

The Palestinians make no pretense on this matter. The rockets they have been sending into Ashkelon and Sderot are not even aimed at military bases. The Palestinian authorities have civilians in their sights. Have pity on the Palestinians. But aim your criticism at those who think killing Jews is a solution to the Palestinian problem. (New Republic)

Stopping Palestinian Rockets - Anshel Pfeffer

Both the efficiency and morality of using "preventative" artillery fire against Palestinian rocket launchers have been debated at length over the last few years.

Artillery is still the quickest and cheapest method to harass the rocket teams and minimize their threat. It is also the safest for IDF soldiers. Artillery batteries on a 24-hour alert, well within Israeli territory, are still the fastest and safest rapid-reaction tactic available.

The Palestinian rocket teams are constantly being hunted down, by all the military and intelligence elements at Israel's disposal.

In Gaza there is no job with a lower life-expectancy than a member of a rocket team. Hundreds have already been killed by artillery shelling, manned and unmanned air-strikes, tank cannon, and from ambush by ground forces. And that's not counting dozens more killed by the rockets exploding prematurely on the launching pad or in storage.

The IDF can't prevent rockets being fired in almost random directions from any point in the Gaza Strip, but they have managed to make it virtually impossible for the Palestinians to take real aim. (Jerusalem Post)

When Bush Meets Olmert - David Makovsky

Israeli Prime Minister Olmert will meet President Bush at the White House on November 13 as part of a prescheduled visit to address the United Jewish Communities General Assembly in Los Angeles.

Neither Bush, nor Olmert, has any firm political initiative in mind.

Olmert is not coming to Washington with the strategy he had in May, when he obtained Bush's qualified blessing for his West Bank "Convergence" plan. At least for now, Olmert has taken this idea off the table.

In the wake of the 2006 Israel-Hizballah war, some Israelis fear that unilateralism has emboldened Hizballah and Hamas radicals. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

Human Rights NGOs Neglect Hamas' Use of Human Shields

The Palestinian use of human shields to protect armed gunmen and rocket launching crews from Israeli responses is widespread but largely unreported.

On Nov. 2, amidst the ongoing warfare in Gaza, armed Palestinians entered a mosque in Beit Hanoun to escape from IDF units.

A standoff developed and on Nov. 3, Hamas broadcast a radio appeal for women to go to the mosque and act as human shields, providing cover for the gunmen to escape.

The use of human shields contravenes Protocol I (1977) to the Geneva Convention, article 51 (7), which states that "the parties shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations." (NGO Monitor)

See also Fact, Fiction, and Fabrication Among NGOs - Ruthie Blum

NGO Monitor provides "raw facts about what the non-governmental organizations are doing," says associate editor Sarah Mandel.

And what many of them are doing, according to Mandel, is using the mandate of their funding - championing international human rights - to pursue political agendas that seek to delegitimize Israel.

Which is why NGO Monitor was established in the first place five years ago following the Israel-bashing and underlying anti-Semitism at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. "If human rights standards are applied non-universally, they cease to mean anything.

This is not only applicable to Israel; it's applicable to other crises in the world which are neglected because international human rights NGOs are not interested in those crises, or because those crises don't suit their agenda," Mandel said. (Jerusalem Post)

Hamas Calls on Muslims to Attack American Targets

Hamas' military wing on Wednesday called on Muslims around the world to attack American targets after a deadly Israeli strike in Gaza.

"America is offering political, financial, and logistic cover for the Zionist occupation crimes, and it is responsible for the Beit Hanoun massacre. Therefore, the people and the nation all over the globe are required to teach the American enemy tough lessons," Hamas said in a statement. (AP/International Herald Tribune)

See also Statement by President Bush on Gaza Incident (White House)

Terminate Mandate of UN Special Committee, Israel Urges

The mandate of the Special Committee that investigates Israel's practices in occupied Arab lands should be terminated "once and for all," Israeli representative Ran Gidor told the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Describing the Special Committee's work as "utterly divorced from reality," he said the only effect of the "absurd, indeed, shameful, waste of resources" was to undermine the credibility of the UN as a relevant and serious player in global politics.

He said the election of a Hamas leadership had escalated Gaza-based terrorist activities. Palestinian leaders, rather than heeding the Quartet's calls to commit to non-violence, had consolidated terrorist links with Syria and Iran.

He described the Division for Palestinian Rights and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People as redundant bodies and "anti-Israel propaganda apparatuses."

Israel urged the Palestinians to stop wasting their efforts on futile diplomatic maneuvers and concentrate on the only possible way to emerge from the current situation: ending terror, accepting all existing agreements, and reopening direct peace talks with Israel. (ReliefWeb/United Nations)

At the UN, Discord Over Confronting Iran's Nuclear Ambitions - Warren Hoge

A meeting of six nations working on a resolution to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions broke up Tuesday with the ambassadors reporting widening disagreements and lessening prospects of a swift accord.

Wang Guangya, the ambassador of China, said, "Clearly, I think in a number of difficult areas that the differences cannot be bridged." (New York Times)

See also Iranian Ayatollah Stands Firm on Nukes - Nasser Karimi

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei said Wednesday his country would continue to acquire nuclear technology. (AP/Washington Post)

News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

IDF: Shells Were Aimed 500 Meters from Houses in Beit Hanoun - Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff, and Aluf Benn

An initial Israel Defense Forces investigation has found that the artillery shells that killed 19 Palestinians in northern Gaza on Wednesday were "aimed 500 meters away from where [they] hit," head of the IDF Southern Command, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, told Israel Channel 2 television.

"Our estimate is that it was something connected with the aiming devices, or the alignment, or the balance between them, or our radar's location of the shell hit....Our investigation is concentrating on these points."

Galant defended the shelling, saying: "Israel's citizens don't know how many times artillery fire has prevented Kassam [rocket] launches.

When you fire at the launching area two or three hours in advance, there is a good chance of preventing the Kassam fire."

On Tuesday, four new and improved Kassam rockets were fired at Ashkelon from an area north of Beit Hanoun. Later the IDF obtained intelligence that Hamas intended to fire more of the new-model rockets at Ashkelon Wednesday morning, apparently from the same site - which was chosen because it is not visible from any IDF lookout post. (Ha'aretz)

Airstrike Kills Senior Hamas Leader - Josh Brannon

Two Hamas operatives were killed and four others wounded when the IDF opened fire on a Kassam rocket-firing cell in northern Gaza on Wednesday.

Ahmed Awad, the head of Hamas' Kassam rocket firing unit, was killed along with another Hamas operative when missiles struck their car. Israel was placed on high security alert Wednesday after the shelling in Beit Hanoun.

Security officials said they had intelligence of four specific terror cells with explosives seeking to strike inside Israel, as well as 14 more general threats of terror cells in the final stages of preparations.

Palestinians in northern Gaza launched 11 Kassam rockets at Israeli borderline communities. One rocket slammed into a central Sderot street, spraying shrapnel that injured one man and heavily damaged nearby shops. Another Palestinian rocket struck south of Ashkelon, igniting a large fire. (Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian Rocket Fire Continues Thursday - Shmulik Hadad

Palestinians in Gaza fired three Kassam rockets Thursday morning at Israel. One rocket landed in the town of Sderot near a public institution, damaging the building and several cars. (Ynet News)

Some Israeli Children Can't Remember Life Without Kassam Rockets Falling - Miri Chason

To the children of Sderot and the western Negev, life in the shadow of Kassam rockets fired at them by Palestinians has been a traumatic experience for a long time. Some even told the Committee for Children's' Rights Tuesday that they don't remember life without them.

"We have no normal life. We never know what will happen the next hour when Kassams fall; we are not only afraid for ourselves, but also for our families. It's traumatic to think that someone close to us will get hurt. It's just terrible," said Bar, who testified before the committee.

"I have a hard time concentrating in school, and the Kassams affect my entire life," said Niv. "Every time I want to do something, I give up because I think that the alarm will go off at any moment." (Ynet News)

Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

A Gunner's Nightmare - Steve Linde

After serving in IDF Artillery, I can only say that this is every gunner's nightmare scenario: killing innocent men, women, and children. There's a key difference between Hamas and Hizballah fighters and Israel's.

They intentionally fire rockets at civilian targets, hoping for maximum casualties and damage. We don't.

The artillery troops who fired at Beit Hanoun weren't hoping to hit civilians. They were targeting terrorists firing rockets. What does the international community expect Israel to do if it is hit daily by rockets? Ignore them? Stop the rockets, and the artillery will stop, says the IDF.

War is a dangerous game, and once you start firing rockets or guns, people will get hurt, and not always the people you plan to hurt. That's the sad fact, and no one feels good about it. The writer is managing editor of the Jerusalem Post. (Jerusalem Post)

Want to Win Media Game? Don't Apologize - Roee Mendel

The difficult images broadcast on Wednesday from the accidental shelling of a residential house in Beit Hanoun shocked the world. According to Dr. Ra'anan Gissin, former Prime Minister Sharon's media adviser, Israel must deal with the Palestinians on the ground and in "the virtual front, the media front."

"You must broadcast the images of the terror groups hiding their rockets and launching those rockets from those residential areas. The world doesn't see enough of those images."

Zvi Mazel, Israel's former ambassador to Egypt and Sweden, is of the opinion that Israel mustn't apologize for Beit Hanoun. "The world must be told in the clearest manner that the responsibility lies solely with the terror organizations, which bring it on themselves."

Mazel says that the world must understand that despite Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, the Palestinians continue to relentlessly launch Kassam rockets at Israeli towns with the intent to kill.

"The world must understand that the lives of Israeli citizens have become hell - they can't work, they can't live, not to mention the economic damage." "Terror groups are committing crimes," he says. "We have nothing to apologize for - we are operating against an enemy which calls for our annihilation and that enemy forces us to fight in populated areas." (Ynet News)

How Should Israel Respond to War Crimes Accusations? -

Dr. Avi Bell(Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

It is legal for armed forces to make mistakes. It is not a war crime if after the fact one turns out to be wrong in believing that a house contains a combatant. If, as is inevitable, Israel made occasional mistakes in targeting, that is not a war crime.

The question of intent is crucial.

If a belligerent attacks what it believes is a legitimate target, and it turns out after the fact that only civilians were killed, there is no war crime.

Hizballah committed war crimes in the recent war that far exceed in gravity and quantity all those Israel is accused of.

Hizballah launched thousands of rocket and mortar attacks on northern Israel, deliberately targeting civilians in violation of the laws of war.

Hizballah still holds two Israeli prisoners of war incommunicado, without permitting access to the Red Cross, in violation of the laws of prisoners of war in the Third Geneva Convention.

Hizballah combatants dressed as protected civilians, thereby committing illegal acts of perfidy. They carried out military operations from civilian areas in order to use protected persons as shields, another violation of the laws of war.

Under the laws of war, if a residential home serves as a base or a hiding place for combatants or a storehouse for weaponry, it is a legitimate military target. Thus, if one sees a residential home bombed, or even fifty bombed homes, this is not evidence per se of a war crime.

French President Jacques Chirac claimed that Israel's counterstrike on Lebanon was "totally disproportionate" to Hizballah's attack on Israel. Yet such a claim has no basis in international law.

When states act in self-defense, in response to an armed attack, they may use as much force as necessary to achieve the military objective.

Thus the U.S. could use as much force as it needed in order to topple the regime in Afghanistan; it did not need to limit itself to the amount of force used by al-Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.

UN: No Evidence of Uranium-Based Israeli Munitions in Lebanon

UN experts have found no evidence to support a press report that Israel used depleted uranium (DU) munitions during the July-August conflict in Lebanon, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) says.

"The samples taken by the UNEP scientists show no evidence of penetrators or metal made of DU or other radioactive material," said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. "In addition, no DU shrapnel, or other radioactive residue was found.

The analysis of all smear samples taken shows no DU, nor enriched uranium nor higher than natural uranium content in the samples."

The UNEP statement said inspectors looking specifically at the DU issue had visited 32 sites south and north of the Litani River.

In October, the British Independent quoted Chris Busby, the British scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, as saying that craters at Khiam and At-Tiri in southern Lebanon caused by Israeli bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures." (AFP/ABC-Australia)

Iran Proposes Defense Pact with Gulf States

Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najar said Tuesday that countries bordering the Persian Gulf should sign a defense pact to provide security along the strategic waterway.

"Signing a collective defense and security treaty among the Persian Gulf states will guarantee peace and security in the region," he said. Iran has been flexing its military muscles in a new series of war games in its southern Gulf waters since Nov. 2 - coinciding with U.S.-led naval maneuvers in the same region. (AFP/Defense News)

Iran Calls for Saddam to Be Executed - Ali Akbar Dareini

Iran called on Iraq Tuesday to carry out its death sentence on Saddam Hussein, saying the former dictator who waged an eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s was a criminal who deserved to die. (AP/Washington Post)

Shias Call for Saddam Execution to Be Broadcast Live on Television - Ned Parker (Times-UK)

News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

Two Palestinian Rockets Land Near Ashkelon School - Shmulik Hadad

Palestinians in Gaza fired five Kassam rockets at the Israeli city of Ashkelon Tuesday, with two of them landing near a school in the city, two more at the industrial area, and one near a strategic installation. (Ynet News)

Palestinian Rocket Hits Sderot Wednesday, Wounds One - Shmulik Hadad (Ynet News)

19 Palestinians Killed in Northern Gaza - Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel

IDF artillery shells struck a residential area in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun early Wednesday, killing at least 19 Palestinians and wounding dozens of others. (Ha'aretz)

Palestinian Civilian Casualties in Beit HanounIn an effort to disrupt and prevent the firing of rockets at Israeli population centers, the IDF on Wednesday carried out preventative artillery fire at the area from which Kassam rockets were fired Tuesday at Ashkelon, in order to disrupt attempts to resume fire.

Following reports of Palestinian civilian casualties, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz ordered a halt to artillery fire in the Gaza Strip pending investigation.

IDF activity targets terrorist organizations and infrastructure only, and not Palestinian civilian targets, while the terror organizations deliberately target Israeli civilians.

The IDF expresses regret at any harm to uninvolved civilians, but stresses that the responsibility for this rests with the terror organizations, which use the Palestinian civilian population as a "human shield," carrying out terror attacks and firing Kassam rockets at Israeli population centers under cover of the Palestinian population. (IDF Spokesman)

Hamas: Israel Must Be Wiped Out - Ali Waked

Palestinian government spokesman Dr. Ghazi Hamad said that Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth, in response to an IDF strike Wednesday in Beit Hanoun. (Ynet News)

U.S. Expects Israel to Agree to Gaza Deployment of PLO Brigade from Jordan - Anshel Pfeffer

A senior U.S. official told Israeli reporters on Tuesday that the U.S. expected Israel to agree to the deployment of the Palestinian Bader Brigade from Jordan to the Strip and to work for a diplomatic solution to the Gaza situation rather than a military one.

Though there is little support within the army and the public for a return to the settlements in Gush Katif, there is a growing realization that including the north and south ends of the Strip in the withdrawal was a tactical mistake.

The explosives brought through Rafah - with the Egyptians turning a blind eye - are quickly transformed into more rockets fired from the northern Gaza area once controlled by the IDF around the now nonexistent settlements of Dugit, Nisanit, and Elei Sinai. (Jerusalem Post)

Are There Signs of a Jordanian-Palestinian Reengagement? - Dan Diker and Pinchas Inbari (ICA/JCPA)

U.S. Official: Israel Won't Bomb Iran - Tovah Lazaroff

Iran's nuclear facilities are too vast to be destroyed by a single air attack so Israel is unlikely to bomb it to forestall Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.

"We do not have enough information about the Iranian nuclear program to be confident that you could destroy it in a single attack. The worst thing you could do is try and not succeed," the official said.

In Iran there are as many as 200 sites that are part of their nuclear program, he noted. As a result, he said, "I do not see that Israel is going to do something like that.

In all our conversations, thus far, Israel has stressed that this is an international problem. Israel does not want to make it an Israeli problem." (Jerusalem Post)

Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

IDF Views Beit Hanoun Operation - Hanan Greenberg

After a weeklong IDF operation in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, Givati Brigade commander Col. Yoel Strick summed up the operation Tuesday.

"We moved as we wished in Beit Hanoun, searched the streets and almost every house."

"This operation does not provide a solution for everything that is going on in Gaza, but it will certainly have an important effect. It's also about the many arrests we made, which we hope will provide new information about the terror infrastructure.

It's wrong to connect it directly to rocket figures.

The goal was to operate inside the town, in the areas that are considered the most crucial core of the infrastructure, and the fact is that in the end we moved through those areas freely, without being shot at."

Col. Strick says that IDF forces also uncovered five weaponry manufacturing facilities, buildings where missiles and explosives were prepared. During the operation Col. Strick met in person with the director of the Beit Hanoun hospital. "I asked him what equipment he was missing and we made sure he got it." (Ynet News)

No Partner for an Interim Agreement - Efraim Inbar

Progress in dealing with protracted ethnic conflicts such as we have in the Holy Land requires a reliable strategic "address."

This means that each side of the conflict must have a political leadership that can authoritatively negotiate and subsequently implement an agreement.

Unfortunately, the Palestinian political system lacks a strong and effective political center. As a matter of fact, the Palestinians are on the verge of civil war and it is unclear at this stage whether any party will succeed in establishing an effective monopoly over the use of force in the PA.

The two largest political parties, Fatah and Hamas and their associated militias, are too weak to constitute a strategic address for Israel, and the chaotic situation in the PA is likely to continue for some time.

The remaining available strategy is simply to wait until the Palestinians put their house in order, which may take a long time.

Over a decade, territorial concessions on the part of Israel and generous international financial support have had no positive impact on Palestinian society, which has degenerated into chaos.

Outside intervention has little chance of overcoming the political and social dynamics within the Palestinian entity. Only the Palestinians can extricate themselves from their dismal situation and eventually become a true partner for negotiations with Israel.

The writer is professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University and director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies. (

Iran's Target Practice - Editorial (Wall Street Journal, 8Nov06)

One clue that the ruling Iranian mullahs have something other than peaceful nuclear energy in mind is the huge investment they're making in ballistic-missile technology. Just last week, Iran test-fired dozens of Shahab-2 and Shahab-3 missiles, which have ranges up to about 2,000 kilometers.

A large swath of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Eastern European real estate is already within range of these Iranian missiles. Among the potential targets are India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, and southern Russia.

The missiles also pose a direct threat to the many U.S. bases and troop deployments in the region, especially in Iraq.
We're surprised that more Western Europeans, who will soon be within range of Iranian missiles, don't seem worried about this threat.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

IRAN NEWS ROUND-UP - English & Links to Farsi

Source reveals: “Regime intends to kill Kianoosh Sanjari; he’s under severe torture”

The campaign for the release of Kianoosh Sanjari:

A reliable source inside ward 209 of Evin prison, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Sanjari has been under daily tortured and interrogation; during his Monday, November 6th visit from his mother, Sanjari had been put under visible pressure not to discuss anything with her. The source also added that [the torturers] have every intention of taking his life.

After hearing this news, Sanjari’s family has announced that they will be retaining a defense lawyer for him. The anonymous source added: “Everyday under the fist and boot of the interrogators, Kianoosh’s cries silences the entire ward.”

During the recent months the ministry of intelligence and security has tortured 2 activists – Akbar Mohammadi and Valiollah Fayz-Mahdavi – to death and has taken steps to do the very same with other prisoners such as Mehrdad Lohrasbi and Behrooz Javid-Tehrani, to name a few.

And these are people who are known; it is a known fact that the regime disappears many unfortunate individuals whose names are not known to the public and who have not gained the recognition that some of the other brave political prisoners have.

We would like to call upon all human rights activists around the world to unite with us in defending our political prisoners and to work together in order to condemn this inhumane conduct. We will no longer tolerate these willful acts of violence against political prisoners and will soon take action against such abuse.

We ask all human rights activists around the world to unite with us in this important task.

Hezbollah confirms efforts to topple Lebanon’s government.

One of the commanders of the Lebanese branch of Hezbollah affiliated to the Islamic Republic, confirmed a report that indicated that Hezbollah has been taking all necessary action to topple the government of Lebanon.

Last week Tony Snow, the White House spokesman, said there was mounting evidence that the Damascus and allies Tehran regime were behind Hezbollah’s attempt to overthrow the Lebanese government in order to hinder an international tribunal into the investigation of the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister.

The regime-run site RASAW wrote: One of the prominent Hezbollah clergymen confirmed that whether America likes it or not, the government of Lebanon which is a threat to the achievements of Lebanon's interests and resistence, will be overthrown.

Sheikh Nabil Qavoq, the superintendent of the office of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, who spoke on Monday, November 6th at the inauguration of the centers for culture and research of southern Lebanon, in the city Konin, emphasized: "A change in the direction of the government and the formation of a new united national rule has begun and the United States cannot derail this course.

We have made serious and absolute decisions and have every intention of safeguarding both national and Lebanese public interests and the formation of the united national rule is in this vein.

The action we are taking in the formation of a new government and the overthrowing of the present government of Lebanon cannot be reversed because we regard the present government of Lebanon as a serious threat to our designated resistance achievements.”

“The University is no place for politics and the student is in no position to be politically active”

The regime-run news agency ISNA has quoted Sadegh Zeebakalam, law and political science professor at Tehran university as saying: “Students should study. Political action should be left up to political parties and organizations.

In the past, politically active Students, in our society, were an exception. The rule was a despotic one that prohibited political parties and organizations from being active and practically speaking, the only place for secret political activity was the university campus and the dormitories; for this reason the function of the universities in Iran, has become secondary to that of political action.

The University’s purpose however, is not political action, its purpose is pursuing higher education! Now, the student movement will become even fainter and this dejection will not create further limitations for students alone.

Basically we must admit that political fervor and sweat has been discouraged. Political parties still expect universities to perform to their benefit.

Someone ought to tell them however that ‘May the Lord grant your sustenance from elsewhere and that the University cannot be the source of your livelihood; just like political parties and organizations in western societies, you need to acquire your fuel elsewhere.

The University has become apolitical! Islam as a dominant ideology, is an ideology which if implomented will resolve all the problems and ills of society.”

Several international banks limit relations with Tehran’s regime
In an analysis, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine has written of consequences that Tehran’s regime will have to face due to potential sanctions placed by the U.N. Security Council.

This report indicates that despite the fact that these sanctions have not as of yet been imposed, the political tensions have severely damage the Islamic Republic's economy.

The analysis also alludes to such setbacks as the cancellation of a $2 billion dollar oil contract between Japan and the Islamic Republic and quotes an Iranian expert who admits that the Islamic regime’s economic situation is in dire straits.

The total foreign investment in recent two years was approximately $482 million, while this amount has now decreased by $30 million; this is the smallest amount of foreign investment in the Middle East.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine adds that in recent months four of the largest German banks, two significant Swiss banks and the three most influential Japanese banks have considerably limited their relations with Tehran’s regime.

Two more students suspended from university.

The students’ committee of human rights reporters announced that Zeynab Payghambarzadeh, the Tehran university student who had requested a review and reconsideration in her 2 term university suspension verdict, was issued a confirmation in her case.

The disciplinary committee of Tehran university charged this student with: insulting Islamic ethics and wearing a scarf (as opposed to a proper hijab which is mandatory under Islamic dress code), participating in the illegal protests during the months of May and June of 2006 - especially the gathering of the ladies of the Fatehmieh campus which was more of a sorority-type event and meant to address issues such as changing the entrance and exit hours of the dorms and student welfare facilities.

After the issuance of the verdict, Zeynab Payghambarzadeh announced that she will take her case to the Supreme Court of administrative justice. She is now being represented by Mohammad-Ali Dadkhah, the esteemed students’ defense attorney, as well as defense attorney for many political prisoners.

Also, last year political science PhD student and activist Payman Aref, was suspended from graduation due to the direct command of the ministry of intelligence and security. In lodging his complaint to the Supreme Court of administrative justice, Aref was able to have his suspension overturned, however, in a dubious move by the selection committee of the ministry of sciences, the courts’ verdict was rejected and Aref remains unable to graduate.
Jumblatt: decision disarmament of Hezbollah in the hands Khamenei

Walid Jumblatt is the leader of Lebanon's most powerful Druze clan and heir to a leftist political dynasty based around the Progressive Socialist Party said: “Decision to disarm Hezbollah in Lebanon is in the hands of Khamenei.”

Jumblatt who is currently on a trip to U.S. said that from a legal standpoint the decision is in the hands of the Lebanese people, however logistically and ideological, it is outside Lebanon and Khamenei is the one who would have to make that decision.

In a speech in Washington, Jumblatt warned Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah and said that the weapons and missiles provided to him by Khamenei will not help him and in fact, he himself would be the first person harmed by any attempt to overthrow the present government of Lebanon.

No news on the status of anti-regime Ayatollah Kazemeini-Boroujerdi

The students’ committee of human rights reporters announced that there is still no word on the status of the arrested anti-regime cleric, Ayatollah Kazemeini-Boroujerdi.

Kazemeini-Boroujerdi who had been arrested and imprisoned in 1995 and 2000 for his vehement opposition to the Islamic regime was re-arrested on October 8th after a 24 hour stand-off and clashes between his supporters and regime’s guards.

His supporters were also, ultimately arrested and taken away to unknown locations; rumors that were later confirmed indicated that the detainees were all taken to the infamous ward 209 of Evin prison which is controlled and overseen by agents of the ministry of intelligence and security.

Three days after the mass arrests, one of these supporters lost his life under the pressure of torture and interrogation.

Eyewitnesses indicated that upwards of 600 people were arrested and approximately 200 were killed during the clashes. Regime sources however, have unofficially admitted to only killing 20 of Kazemini-Boroujerdi’s supporters during the clashes with security guards.

Last week officials from the ministry of intelligence and security once again raided the cleric’s house, confiscating all of his documents and family’s medical records; so far no official or unofficial media outlets have provided information on Kazemeini-Boroujerdi’s health and his detention conditions.

Pursuant to his family’s on-going inquiries, the special prosecutor for the clergy and expert team related to the case Ayatollah Kazemeini-Boroujerdi announced that he had “suffered a heart attack” and that he has been hospitalized, however, they failed to mention the name of said hospital.

Reportedly prisoners who suffer heart attacks while in detention in ward 209 are transferred to Khatam al-Nabia hospital in Tehran; it is possible that Ayatollah Kazemeini-Boroujerdi also has been transferred to said hospital.

However, in recent days, following the inexplicably long holidays for Eid Fetr*, in the city Ghom, rumors of the murder of the cleric has spread; it is being said that Kazemeini-Borojourdi died under torture and interrogation. The ministry of intelligence and security however has typically, not as of yet confirmed these rumors.

* Eid Fetr, often abbreviated as simply Eid, sometimes spelled Eid al-Fetr, is an Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. Fetr means "to break the fast" and therefore symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period.

On the day of the celebration, a typical Muslim family is awake very early and then after praying the first normal everyday prayer, is required to eat in a small quantity, symbolizing the end of Ramadan.

They then attend special congregational prayers held only for this occasion in mosques, in large open areas, stadiums or arenas. The prayer is generally short, and is followed by a Khuta or Islamic sermon.

· To view film footage of the latenight arrest of Kazemeini-Boroujerdi as he speaks to the people on the street, preparing to be taken away by the regime’s guards, click here

University students from the teachers training college gather to protest

The Amir-Kabir University newsletter reported that the Sabzehvar teachers training college students gathered to protest the dangerous and unstable academic atmosphere created in their hometown, as a female student was kidnapped.

On Saturday afternoon, November 4th students organized a peaceful march that turned into a several hundred protestors; they held placards and chanted against the revolutionary guards and called for the uprising of students, in defense of their rights

Slogan writing on paper money in Iran

The writing on one such bill says: “They’re doomed”

The regime-run news agency, MEHR reported: "For the past week the national central bank in a public bulletin has asked people to abstain from writing or printing on any and all bank notes and bills as it is both illegal and considered a defilement of national capital.

Some people do gold-leaf printing and write congratulations messages on the occasions of religious festivals, national ceremonies and various personal celebrations and that way, they destroy a national document.

The central bank annually collects approximately 700 million bills that are in circulation; the cost of the reissuance of these bills is close to $14000.”

Of course, this is the official statement of the regime, actually, in recent years, the bills have been used more for writing anti-regime slogans.

Counterfeit dollars flooding Iran’s currency market
After the printing of counterfeit hundred-dollar bills the national central bank of Iran issued a warning for applicants to purchase their foreign currency from foreign exchange locations and banks with the proper seals and permits of the national central bank.

The public relations department of the national central bank of the Islamic regime, announced: “Based on complaints received from some of our compatriots and investigation of the situation, we have determined that a large number of $100 bills have been skillfully counterfeited and have been smuggled onto the market via brokers; unsuspecting people who bought the bills from illegal currency sellers were arrested and detained, sometimes for long periods of time, in foreign countries.”

A Christian arrested by plain clothes secret police in the city of Sanandadj , Province of Kurdistan

According to the Persian-speaking Christians news channel web site, an Iranian Christian, by the name of Ghaan’eh Rooz was arrested on October 26th by plain clothes secret police in the city of Sanandadj (province of Kurdistan) and has been transferred to an unknown location.

Rooz had been summoned several times by the ministry of intelligence and security for questioning; during one of these interrogations, Rooz had been detained and interrogated for 10 hours.

So far his family’s effort to obtain information on his whereabouts has gleaned no results.

The source of this news reported that a large majority of the residents of the city Sanandadj are Sunni and that there are no official churches for Christians in that area; they are generally forced to hold mass and their religious services in home churches.

Inhumane Islamic regime publicly executes 8 in one week in the city of Zahedan, Province of Sistan-Baluchistan

The inhumane Islamic regime has yet again publicly executed 8 people in one week, in the city of Zahedan, province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

On Wednesday morning, November 1st, 2 individuals named Hadi Daryakesh-Naaroyee and Azizollah Najjarian were hanged. Prior to that, on Monday, October 30th another 6 individuals were also hanged in public.

The names of two of the 6 are known to be Mohammad-Amin Hormozi and Abdollah Sheikh-Hassani who were arrested while defending themselves against the attack of security agents, as they were trying to flee Iran, across the border and into Pakistan.

The regime typically charged each of these individuals with "disturbing the nation’s security”.

Why are Ahmadinejad’s ministers replaced so often?

Ismail Gerami-Moghaddam, the representative from the city of Bojnoord and a member of the minority faction, said: “Introducing so many new members of the cabinet in the past year shows that these people lack the most basic qualifications that a minister requires, such as experience and ability.

In the short time that the [Ahmadinejad] cabinet has been at work many weaknesses have been exhibited to the point where in some cases, the main reason for the administration’s failures are nothing more than sheer incompetence of various ministries.

Another reason is the difference in taste between some members of the cabinet - especially those who have had personal success in their own field of expertise - and Mr. Ahamdinejad. This difference in taste and nonconformity of the minister with the president leads to their resignations from the ministers.

This has wreaked havoc on the country.

Twenty-seven thousand strong Basiji maneuvers in Tehran
The regime-run news agency Fars reports:

These maneuvers are routine and conducted every year; this year 27,000 Basij* forces are being prepared for combat and maintaining order and control.

In this stage, the field maneuvers authority are being conducted in various areas of Tehran, such as Parandak, Islamshahr, west Tehran, Beheshty, Meghdad and the Dawnesh-Amoozi parts of the city.

From November 1st through the 9th, 31 battalions of the Ashura and Al-Zahra organized forces will conduct their maneuvers, in a show of force. Operations Hally Bern (?), and anti-Hally Bern (?), defense of streets and urban areas, confronting and defense against vulnerability, as well as aid, relief and rescue [of the forces] will be put on display.

* Basij forces are auxiliary mobilization forces created by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini; they are extremely radical and supported by the current supreme leader Ali Khamenei. Alan note: because of the continuedrelucatance ofmost Iranians to kill Iranians, about 90% of the Basijis are Arabs from various North African countries, Palestinians and Taleban and Al Qaeda from Afghnistan and Pakistan.

Selling nuclear fuel at half price - Nuclear fuel bundle
Regime-run website, Aftab reported:

Mr. Ahmadinejad announced: “The Islamic republic can sell nuclear fuel at 50% of the international market price to other countries. Countries that have nuclear fuel production technology should close down their factories and buy their nuclear fuel at a 50% discount from us.”

Infamous regime “prosecutor” Mortazavi given total and broad control by Khamenei

The regime-run news agency ISNA reported that the infamous Tehran chief prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi was given total and broad control of by supreme leader, Khamenei; in his induction ceremony as the head of the economic affairs department of the public prosecutor's office.

Mortazavi announced: “The public and revolutionary prosecutor's office has jurisdiction to investigate crimes committed by governors, provincial governors, members of the guardian council, the expediency council, ministers, deputy ministers, deputies of the president, members of the military from admiralty and up, all members of the ministry of intelligence and security in Tehran and provinces as well as those with judicial standing and the public prosecutor's office that supervise the entire nation.

The economic sector of the public prosecutor's office has total authority over financial crimes and economic corruption across the country and starting from people of lower classes who have not had a proper education to those in high positions can be investigated.

But those who are economically corrupt are usually very intelligent and have many talents. Unlike thieves or the financial wrongdoers, the economically corrupt have high educations.”

Expansion of cooperation between the Tehran and Damascus disciplinary guards

The regime-run news agency, Fars reported: Ismail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, the commandant of the Islamic republic’s disciplinary guards and police, in his visit to Syria met with Basam Abdel-Majid, the minister of interior of Syria where he announced the Islamic republic’s readiness to provide equipment and technology to Syria on the security front.

According to this report the two discussed the expansion of their cooperation and exchange of expertise in their meeting.

Ahmadi-Moghaddam also emphasized the importance of continued visits between the two sides with the goal of increasing the capabilities and skills of the internal security forces and police.

The Syrian minister then stated that the cooperation between the two countries echoes the depth of close relations between Syria and the leaders of the Islamic Republic.

Sufi dervishes and their lawyer sentenced to prison and prohibited from legal representation

Branch 101 of public criminal court in the city of Ghom sentenced Seyed Ahmad Shariat, director and founder of the Shariat Hosseinieh* of Ghom, Qolamreza Harsini, the lawyer for the Hosseinieh and other defendants in the case to prison, a cash penalty and in the case of Harsini, banned from practicing law.

According to the regime-run news agency ILNA, after investigating the case, the Mullah judge Pour-Moussavi, sentenced Seyed Ahmad Shariat to serve one year in prison, a $7000 cash penalty - $3500 of which was in lieu of being flogged – and finally 10 years exile from his hometown of Ghom.

Qolamreza Harsini was sentenced to serve one year in prison, a cash penalty of $3500 and five years suspension from practicing law. The other defendants in the case were sentenced to anywhere between 3 month to 10 days imprisonment.

The charges brought against the Gonabadi faith dervishes in Ghom was “the forcible invasion of their own Hosseinieh (!)”, “disrupting public order" and "disobeying the [regime’s] disciplinary commanders and agents".

Prior to this, in branch 112 of the public criminal court of Ghom which is also presided over by the very same Mullah judge Pour-Moussavi, 52 of the Gonabadi faith dervishes and their 2 lawyers were sentenced to each serve one year in prison and 74 lashes; the lawyers were also suspended from practicing law.

* A gathering and prayer center is known as Hosseinieh.

· Click here for photos of the injured dervishes and Gonabadi faith disciples, at the hands of the regime’s agents, during the February stand-off in protection of the Sufi Shariat Hosseinieh in Ghom.

Detention and torture of a political activist in the town of Marand
East Azerbaijan Province

According to reports, political activist Akbar Pour-Abdollah, resident of the town of Marand (East Azerbaijan province) was arrested on Monday, October 30th by the agents of the ministry of intelligence and security (MOIS) of that township and is said to be under interrogation and severe torture.

This report indicates that the interrogators and agents of MOIS after torturing this political activist delivered his bloody clothes to his family.

Ahmadinejad’s criminal past: the stuff that the Islamic revolution is made of .

The Russian publication Kommersant’s weekly section, in its last issue has published a report about the criminal past and biography of Ahmadinejad which is in effect the biography of the Islamic Revolution.

This publication has called Ahmadinejad the most anti-west of the Muslim and Arab leaders and goes on to describe him as the most fanatic of Islamists to have gained notoriety throughout the world.

Kommersant quotes various credulous pro-reformist western sources who blame Ahmadinejad for ruining relations between the Islamic regime and the international community. According to these western politicians, the denial of the holocaust was a blow to European relations with Tehran’s regime.

The Russian publication then details the Islamic regime’s president’s criminal background, as covert operations agent and describes his active involvement in the 1979 U.S. embassy invasion in Tehran and hostage-taking.

After the Iran/Iraq war, the publication writes that Ahmadinejad joined the revolutionary guards and worked his way up to graduating to the most dangerous and “elite” of the corps, the Quds brigade (a.k.a. Jerusalem brigade) and has served as one of the fervent ideological promoters of the Islamic republic.

Two students receive written reprimands by university disciplinary committee

The Tehran University disciplinary committee has issued written reprimands for 2 students that will be also added to their academic files.

Vahid Abedini, one the students told the regime-run news agency ILNA’s reporter: “The disciplinary committee has issued myself and Ahmad Khodadad, one of my fellow students, written reprimands for taking part in the protest against the forced retirement of professors from the university’s school of literature.”

He said that 54 students have been summoned to the disciplinary committee and added: “The issue goes back to the month of June this year; we are being charged with ‘taking part in illegal gatherings’ and ‘disrupting the order of the university’ “.

Prior to this Seyed Hossein Javdani, another Tehran University student was suspended for 2 terms and prohibited from studying, by the disciplinary committee.