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Liberal Iranian
Liberal as in Liberty and Freedom. Iranian as in Cyrus and Ferdowsi.
Friday, September 08, 2006
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Estimates of those killed in the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, range from 180,000 to 400,000, and at least two million people have been forced to flee their homes. 7000 African Union forces have been deployed in an effort to protect the people in Darfur, an area the size of France, but they lack adequate financial and human resources for a successful mission. The Sudanese government has rejected both African Union peacekeepers and UN soldiers in Darfur. Meanwhile a Sudanese newspaper editor has been kidnapped and behaded by hardline Islamic groups (link via LGF). Sudan was the breeding ground for al-Qaeda in the 1990s.

Maybe you didn't know. But now, you know! So, watch for Sudan, and take action for it. 
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Charm Offensive

Purging 101
Thursday, September 07, 2006
The little bug was lying sideways on the floor, struggling against the trembling train to set itself up again. With three legs scratching the ground and the other three grabbing the air, it had little chance of success from where I stood. The passengers were completely oblivious to its pain. As they came in or stepped out at station after station the bug came many times close to feeling the crush of their soles. It was a lucky bug, I thought. The small woman in front of me, dressed elegantly in a suit and hanging on to her bag, was trying to keep her balance without touching the bars. Her feet moved in jerks as the train shook on the bumps and turns of the railroad. But she did not kill the bug. The big woman did.

Soon the bug was reduced to a small, dark spot on the floor, indistinguishable from the dirty smudge of the shoes. Its legs bent inward and remained still. I kept watching.

There is no Universal Declaration of Bug Rights, whose first declared rights are "the right to life, liberty and security of person." If there were one, I, the knowing and silent observer, would be in breach of it. 
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Khatami Must Be Denied
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Iran's former "moderate" president, Mohammad Khatami, has been invited by the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University to deliver a speech on the "Ethics of Tolerance in the Age of Violence." He was issued a visa by the State Department, which is reportedly also providing him with security services. At the same time Governor Mitt Romney has ordered all Massachusetts state agencies to decline such support if asked. (Thanks LGF for the link.) Luboš Motl, a physics professor at Harvard provides a good background for the event.

The whole circus is a shame for KSG, Harvard University, and the State Department. Khatami was not and is still not a "moderate" in the sense people in the West would wishfully like to think. If anybody still thinks of him in such terms, he must have been in a very deep sleep in the past 6 years. Here is what he realy is and how he should be treated:

Khatami was elected in a landslide vote in 1997 largely by the youth, women, and other sections of the Iranian society who had been marginalized by the Islamic republic during the Iran-Iraq war and the following eight years. He did talk about tolerance, the rule of law, and democracy in his campaign, and most of the people who elected him thought he meant those in their plain meaning that everybody understands without much philosophizing. This is when he was named a "moderate" and his supporters, "reformist." But when the time eventually came to face the violent, but honest opponents of such concepts (in their true "Western" meaning), he chose to act differently. "The preservation of the system" was his most-frequently expressed concern throughout all the suffering endured by the students, ordinary men and women, and even his own friends and close staff, who had elected him as a "moderate" and given him the mandate of "reform." He did bemoan often that he had no real power to achieve his "reformist" objectives, but are we to believe that he did not even have the power to resign from that "care-taker" position, as he dubbed his presidency of the Islamic republic? This is what he promised to do four years ago, and then still managed not to do, because he felt it would weaken "the system."

So, the logical conclusion is that Khatami, in his own words, is not a moderate reformist, but a "care-taker preserver of the system." As such, he is also a culprit in the brutal attacks of the paramilitary vigilantes to the student dorms in July 1999, whose victims were later tried and sentenced to long terms in jail, where one recently died under duress. Khatami's "tolerance" was for murderers, his "rule of law" was of the law of Sharia, and his "democracy" was conditioned to be Islamic and non-secular. And now he is coming to the US to propogate those same discredited ideas that serve no purpose but to "preserve the system" of the Islamic republic and its crimes.

For all this, he must be denied such an opportunity. If KSG and Harvard cannot see into that and if the State Department is not up to that task, then those who understand his true nature must deny him the chance by asking him to answer for all his hollow words and non-existent actions.

P.S. Praise goes to the New York Sun editorial for their clarity.