Saturday, January 27, 2007

SAVE PASARGAD - Tomb of Cyrus the Great

The Islamic Regime of Iran is planning to flood this historical site.

Following the footsteps of Taliban, The Government of Islamic Republic of Iran is set to destroy a major part of humankind's cultural heritage

The flooding of Sivan Dam is pronounced evidence to the nullification of the human rights of the Iranian people
People of the world, People of Iran!

Two days ago, on January 22, 2007, Islamic’s Republic of Iran’s (IRI) Minister of Energy announced his intention to begin flooding the Sivand Dam within a week.

This Dam will flood the ancient archeological sites of Bolaghi Gorge and Pasargad Plains where the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great - the author of the first declaration of Human Rights in mankind's history - is situated. The date chosen for this act is coincided with the anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini's return to Iran and taking over the reigns of power 28 years ago.

Thus, it is now clear that the government of Mr. Ahmdinejad, taking advantage of the tension it has created all through the world and region, has decided to realize that inauspicious intension which has been hidden in the construction of Sivan Dam by flooding a large part of Cyrus's ancient capital and birthplace, thus, annihilating the most sacred parts of Iranian territory.

By this action, he is telling us that whatever archeologists, historians, experts and university professors have said about the dangers of this dam, and the discoveries of last two years have proved them to be right, has no value for his government and he is poised to destruct the Iranian pre-Islamic history and culture.

But, is it the end of this saga? Is the Sivand Lake going to gradually drown Bolaghi Gorge and bring its disastrous consequences to this region?

Do we have nothing but to surrender to despair and mourn our loss? No, we do not think so. Although this decision is the beginning of a catastrophe, it also can be seen as the beginning of a new phase in our cultural campaign against such atrocities to the mankind's cultural heritage.

We think that in these sensitive moments, the duty of lovers of culture and history all through the world and Iran is to expand their endeavors and show the people of the world that all the pronouncements of IRI with regards to the preservation of historical heritages are hollow and baseless and this monstrous dam and its flooding is pronounced evidence to the nullification of the human rights of Iranian people by this government.

Our duty is to show that the government of IRI is knowingly and intentionally following the footsteps of Taliban and has bluntly embarked on the destruction of our heritage. Flooding the Sivand Dam is similar to the detonation of those bombs that exploded the ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan.

This Committee urges all people, both within and outside of Iran, to restlessly spread the news of this grand injustice with the aim of putting a stop to such atrocity.

We loudly declare that any responsibility with regards to the destruction of Iranian ancient heritage rests on the whole apparatus of IRI's government. We have no doubt that in a day to come all those who are participating in this horrendous act will be legally bound to answer Iranian nation.

In the meanwhile, their name will appear next to the worst and most sinister names that could be found in the annals of the Iranian history.

With regards and love
January 24th, 2007

لطفا فقط چند دقيقه از وقت تان را به پاسارگاد دهيد
و اين جمله ی ساده و کوتاه را به موسسات زير بفرستيد

“Please save Pasargad The city and mausoleum of Cyrus the Great”
Please dedicate a few minutes of your time to pasargad
And send this simple and short sentence to the following organizations

«Please save Pasargad The city and mausoleum of Cyrus the Great
Lotfan chand daghigheh az vaghtetan raa be Pasargad dahid
va in jomle saadeh va kotaah raa be moasesat zir beferestid

“Please save Pasargad The city and mausoleum of Cyrus the Great”

يونسکو (فرانسه)fax : 33-1-45 68 55 70

سازمان ملل متحد (نيويورک): Fax +1-212 963 8712 Email:
ژنو: Fax 41-22-917-0432 Email:

سازمان هاي ميراث جهاني
در شهرها يا کشورهاي نزديک به شما:

نروژ:fax: 47-24-14-01-01E-mail:
آلمان: F.: + 49-89-30765102 E-Mail:
کانادا :fax : 1-418-692 5558E-mail :
انگلستان:fax : 44-1223-277 136E-mail :

سازمان هاي حقوق بشر در شهرها و کشورهاي نزديک به شما:
شيکاگو: Fax: 312-572-2454chicago@hrw.orgنيويورک:
Fax: 1-(212) 736-1300hrwnyc@hrw.orgواشنگتن:
Fax:1-(202) 612-4333hrwdc@hrw.orgلس آنجلس :
Fax: (310) 477-4622 hrwlasb@hrw.orgسانفرانسيسکو:
Fax: 44 20 7713 1800hrwuk@hrw.orgبلژيک: Fax: 32 (2) 732-0471hrwbe@hrw.orgژنو:Fax: +41 22 738 17 91hrwgva@hrw.orgبرلين -آلمان:Fax. +49-(0)
کانادا:Tel: 416.322.8448Fax:

Thursday, January 18, 2007

TODAY's News Summaries

The Real Obstacle to Peace

Michael, January 18, 2007

...Last year at Oscar time, Hollywood handed nominations to Spielberg's melodrama "Munich," with its sympathetic treatment of Palestinian terror, and to a Palestinian film about suicide bombers, "Paradise Now."

This year, the contenders are far less political and controversial.

Meanwhile, more than a dozen staff members at the Carter center have resigned to protest lies in Jimmy Carter's scurrilous, critically reviled screed, "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.

"Many have begun to recognize that the real problem in the Middle East isn't a need for a Palestinian state, which the UN offered more than 60 years ago, and Israeli leaders have endorsed for 14 years.Since the recent election of Hamas the conclusion has become inescapable that the one insurmountable obstacle to peace is the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel in any form, within any borders.

Michael Medved is the host of The Michael Medved Show. Michael Medved is the author of Right Turns: Unconventional Lessons from a Controversial Life.

Click here for the complete article, or copy and paste this link into your web browser:
Calls for Olmert to quit over war failure

Harry de Quetteville in, January 18, 2007

..."The decision of the chief of staff officially establishes the failure of the war in Lebanon," said Right-wing opposition politician Yisrael Katz. "

This obligates the prime minister and the defense minister to stop hanging on by the skin of their teeth and resign from their positions."

Mr Olmert refused to respond to the growing crisis yesterday. But his position has undoubtedly been imperilled by what many in Israel view as the catastrophic mishandling of the country's most important portfolio: national security.

His approval ratings have fallen to a mere 14 percent, while polls suggest his centrist Kadima party – founded by Israel's stricken military leader Ariel Sharon to unite the country just 18 months ago – would hold just a third of its seats in any election....

here for the complete article, or copy and paste this link into your web browser:
Syrian, Israeli backdoor talks now emerging

Ilene R. PrusherThe Christian Science Monitor, January 18, 2007

...Reports of a resurrection of the Israeli-Syrian track, which broke off officially around the same time Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations collapsed in the summer of 2000, conjure deeply different reactions – and come at a volatile, precarious time in the region.

Proponents of talking see Damascus as holding the key to reining in Hizbullah, stopping the flow of arms from Iran into Lebanon, and sizing down the tactical might of Hamas, whose most powerful Palestinian figure, Khaled Mashal, resides in the Syrian capital.

And ever since the end of the brutal war last summer in Lebanon, opinion-makers here have been trying to point the nation's compass for compromise in the direction of Syria. Only a deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, some analysts say, can prevent Israel from finding itself in another war with Hizbullah.

On the other end of this viewpoint are skeptics, both Israeli and Arab, who say that the powerbrokers are as far away from coming to terms as they were before. Israeli officials, as well as many in the Bush administration, various sources here say, view Syria as a country continuing to sponsor terrorist activities. Therefore, they say, it's a country that should be isolated, not engaged....

Click here for the complete article, or copy and paste this link into your web browser:
Israel warns Russia on Iran arms sale

Yaakov Katz and Herb KeinonThe Jerusalem Post, January 16, 2007

Tor M1 Air Defense System.

Voicing extreme concern over Russia's recent sale of advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, senior diplomatic and defense officials warned Moscow Tuesday that the deal could have serious security implications that would even "get back to Russia." Senior officials in Jerusalem said they "were not pleased" with the sale of the anti-aircraft missiles, but that Russia was a sovereign country and they could not intervene. They did, however, issue a warning: "We hope they understand that this is a threat that could come back to them as well."...

Click here for the complete article, or copy and paste this link into your web browser:
Is the road map still relevant?

Daniel Pipes, January 17, 2007

Question asked of Jerusalem Post columnists: "Do you believe the road map is still relevant? Is there a need for a new plan?" For all replies, see "Burning Issues #21 Is the road map still relevant?"

The question implies that once upon a time, the "concrete, three-phase implementation road map" (as it is more fully known) was relevant. That, however, never was the case. As Yitschak Ben-Gad succinctly summed up the problem in the title of his 2004 book, it was always the "roadmap to nowhere."

Or as I counseled in a February 2003 article, Israelis and Americans should hold firm against "road maps that lead exactly in the wrong direction."

The plan was born a bureaucratic monstrosity; of its myriad faults, grown perhaps the most fundamental was its assumption that if only the Palestinians were given just a tad more of this or that, they would finally recognize the benefits of harmonious co-existence with a Jewish state of Israel. Not to have learned by now that Palestinians have larger and more aggressive ambitions than to live side-by-side with Israel implies living in a state of denial....

here for the complete article, or copy and paste this link into your web browser:
The Little-Bit-Pregnant Policy

Michael Ledeen
The National Review Online, January 18, 2007

...Yet it is war, the real regional war we have not been willing to acknowledge. Surge or no surge, it is not possible to win this war by playing defense in Iraq alone, unless we find a way to either hermetically seal Iraq from Iranian and Syrian depredations, or convince the mullahs and the Assads to stop trying to drive us out.

The hermetic seal is not in the cards, and why should our self-proclaimed enemies stop waging war on us when we pointedly leave them free to train terrorists and ship money, guidance and weapons into the battle zone?

That is why some of us have advocated support for the tens of millions of Syrians and Iranians who wish to change the regimes in Tehran and Damascus, but democratic revolution has precious little support in Washington these days.

Common sense seems to dictate that we are obliged to do everything possible to protect our troops and advance the security of Iraq, but the "little bit pregnant" policy isn’t enough, as our leaders surely know.

Iran has been waging war on us since 1979; will the mullahs call it off because some of their agents are arrested or killed outside Iranian borders?

No doubt the Bush administration worries about political fallout if the terrorist training camps or the IED assembly facilities are attacked.

We all heard Senators Biden and Lugar, Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha demand assurances that we would not cross Iraq’s borders, even in hot pursuit of Iranian and Syrian killers. In other words, it’s quite all right for Iranians, Syrians, and jihadis to invade Iraq and kill Americans, but Americans are not permitted to respond in like manner.

The administration should say that, but hasn’t.

The president would do well to remember Machiavelli’s advice to the prince: If you must inflict pain, it is best to do it all at once, and not try to mitigate it or do it bit by bit. The latter method always makes things worse, and ultimately requires greater violence, and more pain. Or, worse still, your defeat.—

Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. He is resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.

Click here for the complete article, or copy and paste this link into your web browser:
Iraq's Maliki to U.S.: Keep Troops, Send Guns

The Media Line, January 18, 2007

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki said on Wednesday that if the United States made good on unfulfilled promises to provide Iraq with additional arms and equipment it would not be necessary to commit more troops to Iraq.

In fact, Maliki suggested that forces could be reduced in three to six months.

Speaking to The Times (U.K.), Maliki said, "If we succeed in implementing the agreement between us to speed up the equipping and providing weapons to our military forces, I think that within three to six months our need for American troops will dramatically go down."

Maliki blamed a shortage of weapons and equipment for what he termed "prolonged and bloody" fighting. The United States fears that weapons issued to Iraqi troops will end up in the hands of the anti-coalition fighters.

Maliki's statement comes as President Bush remains the target of intense criticism for his plan to insert another 21,500 troops into Iraq. The Iraqi prime minister has been openly critical of President Bush and Secretary of State Rice.

here for the complete article, or copy and paste this link into your web browser:

LOS ANGELES Terror Task Force Probes Mercury Spill

Alan note: quite a variety of incidents indicate that terrorist cells are actively testing our ability to react, using items that are as yet not intended for lethal use but provide valuable data for them.

The Mercury spill below, an event easily purchased from a non-terrorist implementer for a few hundred dollars, has enough "danger" to trigger HAZMAT and evaluate our reactions and capability.

The recent mysterious New York "horrible smell" which has been designated as "from unknown reasons" - after first being blamed on New Jersey - would appear to me to be a test of the wind and spread direction and a precursor to "dirty bomb radiation" assessment by terrorists evaluating where best to place or detonate one.

Insofar as possible the enemy does not wish to signal intentions, so uses more subtle approaches to to plan and test lethal moves in the future.

L.A. terror task force probes mercury spill

(HAT-TIP & Thank you Granny)

Given that all I know of this incident is what’s provided by the report and video, I’ll offer the following

1. Elemental mercury presents an extremely low threat, so long as it stays cool (room temp or lower), doesn’t get into food or drinking water and stays in a fairly coherent pool. It used to be common for kids to play with the stuff. It makes coins real shiny, cleans up electrical connections (particularly good for model train and slot car tracks), makes for weird and neat stuff to poke and pour and generally appeals to kids’ playful nature. Some people retain their fascination with it throughout their lives.

2. Mercury that is ingested or inhaled is a big problem. In the body, it does two really bad things. First, it metabolizes into a pesticide and attacks vital organs including kidneys and CNS. Pesticides of all types tend to be very bad for us. Mercury compounds were prized for their germ killing power. Those of you who’ve had Mercurochrome and Merthiolate smeared on cuts and scrapes will be glad to know they contained mercury. So do many contact lens cleaning solutions.

The second effect of mercury is to cause the condition known commonly as “Mad Hatter’s Disease.” Mercury attacks the brain and induces dementia, tremors and eventually, death. The Mad Hatter beautifully illustrates some of the symptoms in the story of Alice in Wonderland.

3. Mercury is very common in the research and academic environment. I’ve cleaned up more mercury spills over the course of my career than all other problems combined. Students and faculty seem to be oblivious to the problems it causes and they do the craziest things with it. I’ve found it in their dorms and home, cars, boats, labs, shops and tons of other places you wouldn’t think it belongs.

Academic types tend to live in their own world and the rules of normal behavior definitely do NOT apply.

We once had high school students doing a summer science camp here at WSU who took a flask of mercury back to the dorm they were staying in. After they spread it up and down the carpeted hallway, into several rooms, they dipped a couple of cigarettes in it and smoked them. Having some left over, they opened a window and poured it in little dollops onto the sidewalk four stories below to watch it splash. That one cost us over $250,000 to clean up and it only cost that little because we didn’t count labor.

4. Mercury that gets spread around in the environment is unbelievably difficult and expensive to clean up. IF the report is accurate and five ounces of the stuff was left laying on the platform for eight hours, LA is facing one hell of a cleanup problem and bill.

With people tramping through the stuff, it was surely spread to every train which took on passengers there. Some people are bound to claim they were injured by exposure and sue.

5. Public safety agencies (apparently everywhere but LA) are aware of this and tend to respond immediately and in full force to limit the problem. This is a dollar driven action. Based upon the above, here’s what I think may have happened in order of likelihood

a). The guy is either a graduate student or tinkerer who uses mercury for a legitimate purpose and screwed up.

b). He is a loony tune that wants to jerk the system around

c). He is testing the system – Given LA’s reported response time, I’d almost say this lowers the chance of a secondary device being set to catch emergency responders (if I were a cynic.


NEW: Investigators unsure whether five-ounce spill was accidental or intentional •

NEW: Spilling mercury has no immediate toxic threat •

NEW: Counterterrorism expert calls it "very strange activity"

The Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating an incident involving an unidentified man who spilled a vial of mercury inside an L.A. subway station just before Christmas and then disappeared after reporting it to transit authorities.

A statement released by the JTTF Wednesday evening shows a picture of the man taken from a frame in a surveillance video. The caption reads: "Wanted for questioning in connection with unexplained activity."

That activity can be seen in a copy of the surveillance video -- obtained exclusively by CNN -- which shows the Pershing Square subway station in Los Angeles late on the evening of December 22, the Friday before Christmas.

In it, the man crouches on the train platform and spills about five fluid ounces of mercury from a small bottle. He then goes to a Metropolitan Transit Authority call box to report what happened.

An accident? Maybe, but authorities would like to know more. And a counterterrorism expert told CNN the incident should set off warning bells. "It doesn't make sense," said Ken Robinson, who used to work in intelligence for the Pentagon and has analyzed dozens of al Qaeda tapes for CNN.

"He's got a heavy metal and he's taking it into a subway. There's no good reason to do that. None." Mercury found in thermometers is dangerous when swallowed, but spilling it would have no immediate toxic effect. That's one reason the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, the lead agency in the investigation, believes the spill was just an accident and not terror-related.

Also, the man who spilled it placed a call moments afterward from a call box, alerting authorities to the spill. "At this point we are relatively confident that it is not a credible threat," said L.A. County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.

But a joint FBI and Department of Home land Security intelligence bulletin released in 2005 warns that terrorists may make calls to test police reactions.

In the case of the spilled mercury, according to the HAZMAT cleanup report, law enforcement did not respond for a full eight hours. Pat D'Amuro, now a CNN analyst, was a top FBI counterterrorism agent. He says it's premature to rule out terror. "I'm not saying that in this video these people are terrorists, but there's some very strange activity that needs to be identified here."

Shortly after the spill in late December, the sheriff's department sent out an alert, saying to be on the lookout for a man described as being "white or Middle Eastern," who is wanted in connection with a "possible act of terror."

In Thursday's statement, the terrorism task force said that although there is "no evidence to suggest these activities are terrorist-related, or even criminal in nature, we are seeking to resolve questions as to the reason and/or motivation of the mercury spill and why the unidentified male had the vial in his possession."

Monday, January 15, 2007

Suspicious Airport Activity Noticed

Suspicious Activity - O'Hare, Buffalo Niagara, Washington, DC - ME Men

January 2007: Investigators from the Northeast Intelligence Network and staff reporters from America's News Source are looking into a series of similar reports from airport personnel across the United States that might suggest pre-operational terrorist-related activities are in progress at airports.

During the late afternoon hours on Thursday, 4 January 2007, a United Airlines service vehicle was stolen from Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Because of its markings and intended use, the vehicle would have access to secured areas of the airport.

Later that day, personnel at a different airport on the east coast reported "active surveillance" of the airport maintenance area by two men, one who appeared to be Middle Eastern in his appearance.

Both incidents follow a separate incident a few weeks ago where the actual surveillance camera system at an airport near Washington, DC was compromised by self-described Islamic "jihadists." One area of that camera system allowed the operators to monitor the activities at the maintenance area of that particular airport from their personal computers.

During the early morning hours on Friday, 5 January, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police reported that a man tried to steal an airport work truck right out of a parking lot at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. As with the theft of the vehicle at O'Hare, this vehicle would also have access to secured areas of the airport.

In this instance, however, the perpetrator – a man from the state of Washington who claimed to have lost his airline ticket, was caught by police not far from the airport property.

The Northeast Intelligence Network, in conjunction with America's News Source, is actively investigating these reports and the possibility that such activities are pre-incident indicators of perhaps something larger in the works involving terrorism, airports and aircraft inside the United States.

Airport personnel from all areas are urged to be extra vigilant and on the lookout for any activity that could be considered suspicious, and immediately report such activity to the proper authorities.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Interesting read on clinton/iran/nuclear plans sold. and more.

Source of link: About the

Sizes of terror cells:

More on terror cells:

$300. nose jobs:

Mapping terror networks:

The Mexican border and gangs:


An interesting article:

Azerbaijan and Georgia: Playing Russian Roulette with Moscow

This article was written by Alex Petersen and Taleh Ziyadov. It was first published in Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst on January 10, 2007.

BACKGROUND: Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia’s relations with both Azerbaijan and Georgia have been complicated.

During the first and second Yeltsin administrations (1992-1999), Moscow's ambiguous and chaotic foreign policy led to repeated diplomatic and political crises with Baku and Tbilisi. Hoping to keep the two states under Russia's control, the Yeltsin administration applied political pressure and adopted harsh policies towards them.

It assisted separatists inside Azerbaijan and Georgia and tried to block their leaders from realizing the U.S.-backed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline project. Moscow’s policies turned out to be counterproductive, pushing both states away from its orbit.

continued on link................


Iran: U.S. Sub Was Spying

U.S. Sub Was Spying Jan. 11, 2007

The U.S. submarine Newport News was spying on Iranian coastal installations -- specifically, anti-aircraft defense sites -- when it collided with the Japanese tanker Mogamigawa on Jan. 8 near the Strait of Hormuz, Hezbollah sources said. IRAN

$1bn Iraq reconstruction loan Iran: (while 400,000 children live hungry and unsheltered on the streets of Tehran! Plus tens of thousands abandoned women).

Iran is to loan $1bn to Iraq for reconstruction purposes, reported the Gulf Daily News citing the IRNA news agency. Iranian Economy Minister Davoud Danesh Jafari said Iraq had committed to using Iranian contractors and experts for the various infrastructure projects. The loan will be directed towards the construction of power plants, roads, hospitals and schools.

Total Oil - Iran investigation:

French energy group Total is being investigated over alleged $2bn bribes paid to Iran, MSNBC report. The bribes relate to the South Pars gas contract, which Total won in 1997. Christophe de Margerie, Total's head of exploration and production who is due to take over as chief executive in February, faces separate charges of corruption during the UN oil-for-food programme.

UAE gas deal concerns Iran: (business leverage or blackmail)?

Iran's Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said last week that the country will be unwilling to export gas to the UAE unless the price suggested for its deal with Sharjah's Crescent Petroleum is revised upwards, reported the IRNA. Hamaneh said the MD of Crescent was prepared to hold face to face talks to resolve the issue.

Irancell, Hua discussions Iran: (includes Chinese equipment to monitor and control cell phone and text messages).

Irancell, Iran's second mobile provider, and China's Hua have been holding discussions about the production of base station transceiver and base station controller systems, reported the Tehran Times.

A senior official from Irancell told the ISNA news agency that talks concerning the setting up of assembly lines in Iran had gone well. He added that the manufacture of other communication products was also possible.


The Professional Computer Association of Lebanon, Intel, MercyCorps, IESC, Microsoft, CISCO, CA and UNDP launches training and technology centre in Baalbek. (one of the sites where Iraqi WMDs were moved into pre-constructed silos and concrete storage facilities)

The PCA ICT Academy, an ICT development project which aims to transform the lives of thousands of families throughout Lebanon, announced the opening of a training and technology centre in Baalbek.


Yemen eyes GCC nuclear plan

Yemen is keen to join a nuclear energy programme currently being considered by neighbouring GCC countries according to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and cited by Reuters. The GCC is to look at a peaceful nuclear option amid geopolitical concerns over Iran's objectives with its nuclear activities.

VIRTUAL INTERNET BANKS for Money Laundering?

Will 5 new unregulated virtual banks become money laundering centres ? l-banks-become-money-/

11 January 2007

Entropia Universe, one of the largest online role-playing games, and where subscribers can do business in a virtual universe, has announced that it will auction off five virtual banking "licenses" this month.

These are full-service cyberbanks without any governmental regulation, meaning absolutely no compliance requirements, presenting a golden opportunity for money launderers and terrorist financiers to thrive there, and to do so with impunity.

Is the phrase "Barbarians at the Gate" appropriate here ?

Entropia, a Swedish-based online game from MindArk PE AB, claims to have 500,000 subscribers that moved $ 160m through its virtual economic system. It actually has a fixed rate of exchange, where virtual currency is convertible to US Dollars at ten to one, which can be accessed through an established real-world ATM system reportedly from over 1m automated tellers worldwide.

The website says " the first virtual universe with a real cash economy."

The economic aspects are far from theory; players have paid up to $100,000 to purchase virtual properties on Entropia. Whilst financial transactions in the game may seem imaginary to most financial professsionals, they do indeed require real dollar funding, which is input into the primitive, but effective, virtual ecomony. The website boasts " Make real money on virtual planet Calypso."

Will the presence of virtual banks accelerate its growth ?

The licenses, which will be exclusive for a period of two years, allow lending to subscribers, and appear to have no restrictions whatsover on the scope of banking business which may be transacted. This mean that typical virtual transactions might look like this :

* Money launderers, using financial professionals in their employ as front men, purchase a virtual bank license. They choose a name for the bank that is deceptively similar to that of a well-known international financial institutions, and open correspondent accounts in some of the more unsavory offshore tax havens.

They create bogus "loans" to fund the criminal activities of their clients on a global basis. Inasmuch as there is neither compliance nor regulatory structure, they can pretty much accept anyone as a customer. Of course, all the "customer identification" documents they accept as proof of identity are bogus.

* Narcotics traffickers, arms dealers, counterfeiters, and all other types of financial criminals flock to the virtual banks, where no questions are asked about source of funds, whether you are a fugitive from justice, or even if you are financing global terrorist operations. Anything goes.

* Since the virtual banks do not exist in any physical sense, there are serious jurisdictional issues confronting law enforcement and regulators. The virtual banks exist on the science-fiction planet of Calypsyo. When one bank is closed up, through action against the company sponsoring the website, another opens up in a faraway country where enforcement is lax and corrupt, or where the law has not yet developed sufficiently to allow enforcement.

* Money launderers adapt to enforcement by operating a string of virtual banks, moving on when one is eventually terminated. In short, this is a potential money laundering nightmare. The virtual banks have no government-issued licenses, and we trust that this virtual financial "industry" can be promptly terminated under existing laws.

Online role-playing games simply cannot create financial structures without real-life regulation. It would open the floodgates for financial criminals.

For Further Reading: Virtual Money Laundering now available on the World Wide Web, World-Check 2 January, 2007.

The U.S. Giant is Finally Waking Up?

Washington DC, January 12, 2007/Reform Syria Blog - Farid Ghadry/

-- First it started on January 4 with sanctions against Syrian research organizations by the US Treasury Department then it was amplified a day later to include a ban on Syrian arms suppliers in Russia, China, and N. Korea, and now it seems that the US has upped the ante even more by raiding an Iranian outpost that may yield the kind of intelligence to deter Iran from meddling into Iraqi affairs.

For one, the sanctions and freezing of assets are considered Cold War era tactics, the raid on the Iranian Diplomatic Mission (or rather Terrorist Mission) is closer to war than we could ever come to. The question becomes: What's next? Will Syria see action against its interests along the lines of what happened in Irbil against Iranian interests? Is the Syrian Embassy in Baghdad a center for logistical support for terrorism in Iraq? Will the US raid the Syrian Embassy in Baghdad next? It is obvious, from these actions, that we are witnessing the birth of a new policy in how America responds to Iran and Syria.

The patience of this administration, which has baffled many and tested the fortitude of us all, has expired. In its place, we see a more vigorous policy that, in spite of the polls and the threats by opponents to the War in Iraq, will deliver dignity to the US military for the sacrifices they made on a scale never to be forgotten as well as security to the millions of Iraqis who actually voted for their own democratic government.

The US has finally Iran and Syria in its eyesight. The likely scenario is that more violence will envelop Baghdad as the President has warned in his speech. In final analysis, all Syria and Iran can do is exacerbate further the situation in Iraq by administering more of the same violence that we have been accustomed to. I say accustomed here not as a negative (even though all of us dread the next bomb and the next victim in Iraq) but rather as a matter of fact: Syria and Iran can do no more than what they have done already and more of the same is really the same.

But for the US, these tactical changes will mean much to change the situation on the ground.

For one, the US is going on the offensive by cleaning Baghdad from terrorists. We all witnessed this kind of new offensive on January 10 in Haifa Street in Baghdad. Unlike last time when the US simply cleared areas and left them to be occupied again, this time around the US intends to stay in those areas patrolling them with additional troops and interacting with the Iraqi population.

Furthermore, acting on intelligence has become a high priority and we will see proactive responses against terrorist centers more often in the future, which invariably will mean more street fighting in Baghdad. This will force the enemies of Iraq to disperse, thus disabling their capacity to organize and strike as often as they did in the past.

It is too early to predict how the US will respond to the Syrian-Iraqi porous borders. The intelligence the US has on the Syrian terrorist pipeline is pretty accurate due to the capture and interrogation of several Syrian fighters who have joined the ranks of al-Qaeda. If Assad changes tactics, it will force Mohammad Nassif to re-build, which means more time and resources on the part of Assad's machine of destruction.

If Assad does not change his pipeline route, the US more than likely has a plan to finally deal with Assad's stubborn, destructive behavior in Iraq. Either way, the giant is fully awake and its wrath will be felt by Iran and Syria in the months ahead.

Moreover, it seems that Turkey has joined the US in its fight against terrorism in Iraq in return for concessions from the US to deal with the thorny PKK problem. How this will play out in the North of Iraq remains a mystery but for all intended purposes Turkey seems to have joined the ranks of the Willing judging from their responses to the President's speech.

This means that its bases are now available to the US anyway the US sees fit. A word of wisdom to all the pundits who are looking at the elections of 2008 through a peephole, or to those who support the old status quo in the Middle East that gave birth to 9/11, or to those who are afraid of change because it means that many less cocktail parties to go to, it behooves all Americans to unite behind a determined President whose intentions are to safeguard our freedom and to help usher one to the people of the Middle East.

As a Muslim American, it always surprises me how little we all understand the goals of the violent Islamist movements. Does the idea of an extreme Muslim Caliphate in Baghdad governing the Muslim world help us all understand better the importance of today's war? If this happens, the Khomeini era will be remembered with nostalgia.

As a prediction, 2007 will be the year in which the US will act as a superpower and will win like a superpower is supposed to. We all have seen what Iran's Ahmadinajead and Syria's Assad can do, now it is time for them to witness what America can do. It is about time.