Alliance For democracy In Iran

Please have a look at my other weblog, Iran Democracy -



Shahanshah Aryameher


Iranian Freedom Fighters UNITE

Friday, January 25, 2008


10 Die in Mistaken Afghan Firefight : By CARLOTTA GALL and ABDUL WAHEED WAFA
KABUL, Afghanistan — At least nine Afghan police officers and a civilian were killed early Thursday in a firefight between American forces and the officers in Ghazni Province, just south of the capital, local officials said. The American forces were searching houses in a village on the outskirts of Ghazni town and blew open the gates of a house, according to local Afghan officials. District police officers heard the explosion and rushed to the scene, suspecting that the Taliban were in the area, but were themselves mistaken for Taliban and shot by the American soldiers, the officials said. Aircraft supporting the operation fired on one of the police cars.

The killings set off protests in the town on Thursday afternoon, and demonstrators blocked the main highway and prevented a government delegation from reaching the town from a nearby airfield, local officials said. “Another big cruelty was made by American forces this morning,” said Khial Muhammad Hussaini, a member of Parliament from the province who was among the elders and legislators who had traveled to the town to try to calm people and persuade them to reopen the highway. Zemarai Bashary, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul, confirmed the shooting and called it a “misunderstanding,” but said he had information on only eight deaths. The confrontation happened when United States forces were conducting a night raid on the compound of a man suspected of being an insurgent and of organizing suicide bombings, according to Maj. Chris Belcher, the spokesman for the United States military at Bagram Air Base. The soldiers were part of the United States-led coalition that conducts counterterrorism operations, not part of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan, he said. The American soldiers came under fire from insurgent forces and fired back, Major Belcher said. He suggested that those killed were insurgents and said that he had no information on whether they were members of the national police. “I know there were some deaths, but I don’t have a number,” he said. The Afghan government has repeatedly requested that United States forces coordinate with local authorities and take along Afghan security forces during operations because there have been many instances in which Americans have inadvertently killed civilians or local police officers. But Mr. Hussaini, the Parliament member, said the American forces involved had not coordinated with any government authority before or during the raid. Hajji Zaher, an elder in Ghazni town, gave this account: “At 3 a.m., when the Americans were searching the houses and when they blew up the gates, the police rushed to the area thinking that they were Taliban. And at the same time the Americans thought that the police were Taliban and there was a firefight.” Habib-u Rahman, deputy chief of the Ghazni provincial council, said that nine police officers, including a district police chief, and a civilian had been killed and that four other police officers and a woman had been wounded. “After the police came under fire, the police officers got out of their vehicle, and their vehicle was shot by a rocket from the plane,” Mr. Rahman said. Eight people were detained by American soldiers, Mr. Rahman said, but two were from the provincial Education Department. In other violence on Thursday, a NATO soldier was killed and two were wounded in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, NATO said in a statement.

Iraq veterans say that war crimes are encouraged by command. — "The killing of innocent civilians is policy," veteran Mike Blake said. "It's unit policy and it's Army policy. It's not official policy, but it's what's happens on the ground everyday. It's what unit commanders individually encourage." "These decisions are coming from the top down," veteran Matt Howard said.
Watch this video -- War crimes "encouraged?" -
A group of Iraq war veterans are planning a gathering in Washington D.C. in March to talk about war crimes they've seen or committed during their tours of duty.

Iranian Mines Found In Taliban Commander's House
Afghanistan -- An provincial police chief says authorities have discovered a weapons cache in western Afghanistan containing 130 land mines of different types that appear to have been imported from Iran.


Making Up With the Mullahs : January 26, 2008 New York Post Opinion

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has made her most generous offer yet to the mad mullahs of Iran: Suspend your enrichment of uranium, halting a critical step in the development of nuclear weapons, and Washington is prepared to develop "a more normal relationship."That's it?"If Iran would suspend its uranium-enrichment and -reprocessing activities - which is an international demand, not just an American one - then we could begin negotiations, and we could work over time to build a new, more normal relationship," she told the World Economic Forum at Davos.It was as conciliatory a note as the Bush administration has ever struck on Iran.Clearly, achieving an end to Iran's quest for nuclear weapons is of paramount importance in ensuring regional stability in the Middle East.But is suspending uranium enrichment enough of a step to immediately offer the prospects of normalized relations with Tehran?We think not.Pursuit of nukes, after all, is just one of the ways in which Iran presents a danger to world peace.Even with its nuclear-weapons program on hold (according to a recent National Intelligence Estimate), Iran continues to export terrorism via surrogates like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories.And it continues to arm and supply the anti-American terrorist insurgency (or what's left of it) in Iraq.Iran, in short, is the single most destabilizing element in the world's most dangerous region.Surely, the mullahs in Tehran can't be encouraged to think that they can get off the hook with a single gesture on their nuclear program.To be sure, Rice in her remarks stressed that Washington has "real differences" with Iran on issues like supporting terrorism.And we understand the administration's eager hope for a major diplomatic breakthrough before the president leaves office - particularly when it comes to Iran, after having been forced to pull back from its previously confrontational approach.But those "real differences" encompass far more than a currently inactive WMD program - even though that program remains a genuine threat, despite the interpretation that congressional Democrats have drawn from the recent NIE.Iran and the United States can only resume a normal relationship - broken after Islamic fundamentalists toppled the shah in 1979 - when Iran itself no longer constitutes a real threat to world peace and America's security interests.But it will take more than a suspension of uranium enrichment for that to happen. Much more.

Iran's New Purge Slapping the 'Moderates' : January 26, 2008 New York Post Amir Taheri
Opponents of taking a tough line on Iran have always claimed that imposing sanctions (not to mention threatening military action) would strengthen the Islamic Republic's most radical elements. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice looks to have bought that argument. Last week, she agreed to water down the new sanctions that her advisers had devised against the Islamic Republic.Waving an olive branch, Rice also called for a peaceful resolution of the dispute over Tehran's illicit nuclear ambitions.Events inside Iran, however, provide a different picture. The Council of the Guardians of the Constitution, a 12-man committee of mullahs and their legal advisers, this week rejected applications from nearly 4,000 men and women to run in the March 14 general election. Nearly all the denied applicants belong to the 21 groups designated by Western observers as "reformist" opponents of the ultra-radical President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.The list of the rejected reads like a Who's-Who of politicians regarded by many in the West as "moderates" who would put the regime on a less confrontational trajectory.It includes individuals who served under Presidents Hashemi Rafsanjani and Muhammad Khatami, as well as scores of former members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis), the 290-seat ersatz parliament set up by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1980.In what looks like a massive purge, a total of 103 members of the present Majlis, all critics of Ahmadinejad, were also declared "unfit" for re-election.To be sure, the so-called reformists have never proposed any reform program as such. Rafsanjani spent most of his eight years as president building his business empire; Khatami spent his tenure traveling the world and building his image as an amateur philosopher working for "a dialogue of civilizations."More regime opponents were killed or thrown into prison under Rafsanjani and Khatami than under Ahmadinejad. And both "reformers" tried to export the Khomeinist revolution via agents and clients in many Muslim countries, especially in the Middle East.Indeed, both also used the trick of excluding opponents from electoral lists. In 2004, when Khatami was president, more than two-thirds of applicants were blacklisted.What differentiated the two men from Ahmadinejad was their penchant for taqiyeh (dissimulation) - an old trick of the mullahs who have turned speaking with a forked tongue into fine art.Ahmadinejad, by contrast, shuns taqiyeh. What is on his tongue comes from his heart. He firmly believes that his brand of Islam stands on the threshold of victory against a corrupt, weak, fat and cowardly West led by a deeply divided United States.The West's soft line so far has persuaded many Iranians that Ahmadinejad may be right after all. Far from benefiting the so-called moderates, the cuddly policy (preached by the likes of European Union foreign-policy czar Javier Solana) has strengthened the Ahmadinejad-led radicals. After all, the man is thumbing his nose at all the great powers and superpowers - and getting away with it. Why abandon a winner and side with people who've always looked like losers?Having captured the presidency and the Council of Ministers that goes with it, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is now determined to storm other centers of power, starting with the Majlis. It has put one of its own, Gen. Reza Afshar, in charge of organizing the elections, with other Guard officers heading elector- al commissions across the country."Until recently they just wanted a majority," says Nasser Abdallahzade, one of the rejected hopefuls. "Now they want every single seat."Even then, Ahmadinejad has taken care to reduce the powers of the Majlis. In a letter published last week, he told the speaker of the Majlis that the ersatz parliament has no authority to force the government to change its policies. That is, that it's there simply to rubber-stamp the executive's every decision.The speaker, Ghulam-Ali Haddad-Adel, found the letter so insulting that he complained to his father-in-law, "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei. After several days of hesitation, Khamenei responded with a letter that sounded like a mild rebuke for Ahmadinejad and a vague assertion of the rights of the Majlis.But even that was too much for Ahmadinejad, who responded by saying that such epistolary exercises wouldn't affect his government. "The government will continue doing what is best for Islam," he asserted.What will the so-called moderates and reformists do now that they have little chance of gaining a foothold in the Majlis? The decent response would be a boycott of an exercise that no longer has any real sense. Why vote in an election, when the winners have already been chosen in the shady corridors of power?The trouble is that the "moderates" and "reformists" of the Khomeinist camp lack the courage of their pretensions. They resemble the happy cuckold who remains faithful to his marriage bond under all circumstances.This is how Muhammad-Reza Aref, a former "first assistant president" under Khatami and now the principal spokesman of the "reformists" has reacted to his own blacklisting and that of virtually all his associates: "We might decide not to field any candidates," he said. "But we shall not call for a boycott of the elections, because we do not wish to harm the regime. We want the people to vote knowing that we have no candidates. In this way, everyone would know that we are not responsible for things. We will protest, but won't make a big noise."Aref, Rafsanjani, Khatami: These are the guys that Rice, hoodwinked by her advisers, seems to be banking on to bring the Islamic Republic back to reason.
With enemies like that, Ahmadinejad needs no friends.

Pakistan Rebuffs Secret U.S. Plea for C.I.A. Buildup

WASHINGTON — The top two American intelligence officials traveled secretly to Pakistan early this month to press President Pervez Musharraf to allow the Central Intelligence Agency greater latitude to operate in the tribal territories where Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other militant groups are all active, according to several officials who have been briefed on the visit.
But in the unannounced meetings on Jan. 9 with the two American officials — Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, and Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director — Mr. Musharraf rebuffed proposals to expand any American combat presence in Pakistan, either through unilateral covert C.I.A. missions or by joint operations with Pakistani security forces.
Instead, Pakistan and the United States are discussing a series of other joint efforts, including increasing the number and scope of missions by armed Predator surveillance aircraft over the tribal areas, and identifying ways that the United States can speed information about people suspected of being militants to Pakistani security forces, officials said. American and Pakistani officials have questioned each other in recent months about the quality and time lines of information that the United States has given to Pakistan to use in focusing on those extremists. American officials have complained that the Pakistanis are not seriously pursuing Al Qaeda in the region. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE :

9/11 Truth Is Not A PRIVATE CLUB . . . Or Is It?
9/11 Truth is Not a PRIVATE CLUB . . . Or Is It? I was reading a 9/11 truth blog for an organization up north, and saw something that kind of shocked me. The poster was talking about the new 9/11 truth telling novel, "The Shell Game" from NY Times best selling author, Steve Alten, and whether we should trust him "because he's new." Hit me in the head with a sledgehammer if I'm wrong . . . but weren't we all out in the s

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