Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Election 2012, Freedom, History, The United States | Tags: American History, Freedom, What We Stand For
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Islam, Middle East, Terrorism | Tags: Freedom, Hezbollah, Iran, Islamic Radicals
From the Associated Press, dated May 15, 2010.
TEHRAN, Iran —A radical cleric called Saturday for the creation of a “Greater Iran” that would rule over the entire Middle East and Central Asia, in an event that he said would herald the coming of Islam’s expected messiah.
Ayatollah Mohammad Bagher Kharrazi said the creation of what he calls an Islamic United States is a central aim of the political party he leads called Hezbollah, or Party of God, and that he hoped to make it a reality if they win the next presidential election.
Mr. Kharrazi’s comments reveal the thinking of a growing number of hard-liners in Iran, many of whom have become more radical during the post-election political crisis and the international standoff over the country’s nuclear program. Mr. Kharrazi, however, isn’t highly influential in Iran’s clerical hierarchy and his views don’t represent those of the current government.
Mn hmm. And U.S. Attorney General Erik Holder just cannot bring himself to say the words “Radical Islam.” Just fills you with confidence. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano blames Americans (those violent tea party types) first, and calls 9/11 a “Man-Caused Disaster.” A disaster it was, but this kind of language — weak, pandering, politically correct, simply avoids not just clear thinking, but thought. What it says to the rest of the world is”weak.” And that is not a good message to send.
We have an administration that cannot seem to grasp the reality of Islamic radicalism, pressing for month after month for talks with a government that has been leading their followers in shouts of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” steadily ever since 1979. Even fairly obvious clues just don’t register with some people.
Still, even President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that he expects the government which follows his to be “ten times more revolutionary.”
Filed under: Developing Nations, Foreign Policy, Latin America, Terrorism | Tags: Dictators, Freedom
Progressive poster-boy Sean Penn has announced that Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez is no Dictator, but a lovely person, and anyone who calls him a Dictator should be put in prison. That statement alone should have you rolling on the floor with laughter.
Said kind and noble President-for-Life Hugo Chávez has been slowly tightening the screws his political grip on Venezuela since he came to power in 1999. Last week he tightened a bit more.
On Thursday, Venezuelan military intelligence detained the president of Globovision, the country’s last remaining independent media outlet. According to Attorney General Luisa Ortega, President Guillermo Zuloaga is being investigated for criticizing Mr. Chávez during an Inter-American Press Association meeting earlier this month in Aruba, for closing down independent media outlets. Mr Zuloaga said that press freedom had been lost.
Mr. Zuolaga is being investigated for spreading false information and making comments “offensive” to the president. He cannot leave the country until the investigation is complete. He faces from three to five years in prison if convicted of making false statements.
Earlier, the former governor of the state of Zulia was arrested on charges of conspiracy and making false statements. Mr. Paz had appeared on Globovision supporting the claim of a Spanish judge that the Chávez government is allied with Columbian rebels and Basque separatists, and that Venezuela is a major thoroughfare for South American drug trafficking.
Mr. Chávez (who sounds very much like a dictator) has stripped Venezuelans of their property rights, their right to private schools, any right to hold dollars and the right to free association. Now free speech is the victim. But he is really a lovely person and no one should call him a dictator.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Freedom, History, Islam | Tags: Freedom, Iran, Protests and Repression, Violent Clashes
Michael Ledeen explains what is happening in Iran right now. Krauthammer is right. This is one of the hinges of history.
From Deutsche Wellle:
In a strong statement to the press on Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the actions of Iran’s state security services “unacceptable.”
She called on them to “avoid any further escalation of the violence and to pursue political dialogue to peacefully settle internally disputed matters,” and also to respect their commitment to the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the right to peaceful protest.
At least eight people were killed in street clashes in Tehran when police and Basij militia members confronted protest marchers who were attempting to gather at a number of central squares. Sunday’s protests took place on Ashura, a Shiite Islamic holy day devoted to honoring martyrs, often through street marches.
According to opposition sources, security forces used tear gas and live ammunition to try to get the marchers to disperse.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle criticized Iran’s tactics as “brutal,” and said that the international community “would be watching, not looking away.”
A spokesman for the French foreign ministry, Bernard Valero, said his country again expressed “deep concern,” and “condemns the arbitrary arrests and violence carried out against ordinary protesters.”
He added that intensification of repression “would lead nowhere.”
The Italian foreign ministry, meanwhile, warned the Islamic republic that “safeguarding human lives is a fundamental value which must be defended everywhere and in every circumstance.”
National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer made a statement on violence in Iran:
We strongly condemn the violent and unjust suppression of civilians in Iran seeking to exercise their universal rights. Hope and history are on the side of those who peacefully seek their universal rights, and so is the United States. Governing through fear and violence is never just, and, as President Obama said in Oslo, it is telling when governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation.
An article by Nile Gardner, Washington-based foreign affairs analyst for the U.K. Telegraph, was headlined “Iranian protesters are dying for freedom — where is Barack Obama?“
Here is a video from Iran. It’s hard to watch, but it has a happy ending. The death toll has risen to 15 18.
(h/t: Ace of Spades)
Filed under: Islam, Military, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: Afghanistan, Freedom, Pakistan
President Obama’s speech announcing his strategy on Afghanistan at The United States Military Academy at West Point was an odd speech. He announced a surge of 30,000 troops, partly in the hope that NATO would make up the rest of the 40,000 that General Stanley McChrystal requested. His strong words about the necessity for success were belied by his defensiveness about doing so.
To be fair, the President is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He clearly doesn’t want to be involved in Afghanistan, and is much more comfortable with his hard left base who oppose all war on general principles. He made sure to mention that he “opposed the War in Iraq which left our unity on national security issues in tatters, and created a highly polarized and partisan backdrop for this effort.”
Obama seems unable to recognize that his constant attempts to blame everything on Bush, denigrate everything that the Bush administration did, is not only classless, but exactly what has created a “highly polarized and partisan background.” When politics permeates everything, it doesn’t stop at the water’s edge, as our tradition demands.
The Left opposed the War in Iraq by claiming that the “right war” was instead in Afghanistan — going after al Qaeda. That allowed the Left to avoid being characterized as anti-war; but now, faced with Afghanistan, they have no excuses and are united in opposition. And they really don’t want to spend any money on the war. The money is needed for their dream of socialized medicine, and that is going to be very expensive indeed. Spending the rest of the stimulus money on the war or scaling back health care is, of course, not an option. They’ll tax “the rich” some more.
Obama is trying to have it both ways. He doesn’t like the war, and wants “to end the era of war and suffering,” but it had better be cost-effective and cost-effective within 18 months.
The Left got onto this “exit strategy” thing with Iraq, demanding to know what Bush’s “exit strategy” was. Those a little more familiar with war find the question foolish. The exit strategy is when you win, when you accomplish your objective, but not a date which the enemy can just wait for.
We want President Obama and his strategy to succeed in Afghanistan. We want success on the battlefield. There is a lot of talk about “nation building”, but our aim is to protect the citizens and to train the Afghan army to protect the citizens. The people fear the Taliban, and will not help unless and until they feel secure.
My sense of this is that President Obama is completely uncomfortable with war. He has little knowledge of combat or battle, and little understanding of the military or how it works. “Victory” was never mentioned. He said “As President, I refuse to set goals that go beyond our responsibility, our means, or our interests. And I must weigh all of the challenges that our nation faces. I don’t have the luxury of committing to just one.”
I suspect that he never watches war movies, nor has read accounts of battles. It’s just unfamiliar, uncomfortable territory. Which is why he thinks an exit strategy is important, and a goal of eliminating nuclear weapons is plausible. And why he dithered for three months about simply making a choice.
And why he brags about his small efforts to recognize the military like “signing a letter of condolence to each family, reading letters from parents and spouses, and traveling to Dover to meet flag-draped coffins.” The commitment and pride with which Americans volunteer to serve in the military must be near incomprehensible.
“Ive spent this year renewing our alliances and forging new partnerships,” he said. “And we have forged a new beginning between America and the Muslim world — one that recognizes our mutual interest in breaking a cycle of conflict, and that promises a future in which those who kill innocents are isolated by those who stand up for peace and prosperity and human dignity.” Soaring words, but with little relation to the real world. An odd speech, very odd.
I will support the effort in Afghanistan unreservedly. I hope the President does as well. The men and women who serve deserve our full support.