Monday, January 30, 2006

Are Moderate Muslims the new Silent Majority?

Someone chastised me the other day for tarring all Muslims with the same brush. Someone was clueless.

My question -are there any moderate Muslims left? You wouldn't know it, would you? Where are they? What are they saying? Silence. Hearing the sound of crickets and thinking about the Silent Majority. Remember them? Hmm. Read this from the Gates of Vienna and the WSJ ($link). It's not right.

Another Moderate Muslim forced out by fundamentalists.
Unfortunately, the neighborhood I called my home for so many years has changed. It's no longer the familiar place it used to be and, most importantly, I no longer feel safe in Tensta. The influence of Islamic fundamentalists has grown so much over the years that it is now impossible for me and my family to live there anymore. I'm tired of being expected to speak badly of Christians and Jews just because I'm Muslim. I'm tired of the hate preachers. I'm tired of seeing women condemned for the way they dress. I don't want my daughter to be exposed to this type of aggression in the future. So I will soon have to leave.

Something's rotten in Denmark.

Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret
Hamlet and the Gravediggers, 1883

No doubt there will be a million blogs with this title somewhere in the text.
But there is something rotten. The JYLANDS-POSTEN editorial board has caved and issued a dhimmi statement if ever I heard one. Not good.

Something is rotten and it's islamofascism. I'm having a very pre-WWII vibe recently and I feel the need to keep an eye on the sitch over there kind of closely. My love of history means I am conscious of things that have gone before. It's interesting. I am definitely getting the feeling that I am living in a significant times.

I've always romanticized the Scandanavian region. First, there was Heidi. And I don't mean Fleiss or Klum. One of the first history books about WWII I remember reading involved kids on sleds in Norway carrying secret information under the noses of the rotten nazis. I wish I could remember the name. I can't. I've also had occasion to have professional relationships with a Dane, a Finn and a Norwegian. Lovely people, each and every one. Back in the day, Liv Ullman, Ingmar Bergman, I was all over there cinematic behinds.

Dateline: Denmark.
Trade issues are bubbling up.

The EU warns Saudi Arabia not to give its official support to a boycott of Danish goods EU officials spoke out on Monday on the growing conflict between Denmark and Arabic countries over the daily newspaper's publication of caricatures of the prophet Mohammed.
'If the Saudi Arabian government has called for a boycott of Danish goods, that would mean they have called for a boycott of the EU, and that would be a matter for the WTO,' said a spokesman for Commissioner Mandelson.

The EU has found itself walking a thin line in the dispute, which flared up in earnest on Thursday when Saudi Arabian stores began boycotting Danish dairy Arla's products in protest over the Danish government's reaction to a newspaper's publication of caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, an act considered blasphemous by many Muslims.

Here's the sad part...
"many commissioners have expressed their disdain for the newspaper's cartoons, some of which featured Mohammed as a terrorist. "

There's also this from Denmark

As the list of countries boycotting Arla grows, the dairy is forced to halt operations in Saudi Arabia An Arabic boycott of Danish products has forced Danish-based dairy Arla Foods to close its plant in Riyadh.

Arla is one of the largest international dairy food producers in the world and it has over 800 employees in Saudi Arabia.

Sales in Arabic countries have ground to a halt as the boycott spread from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to states throughout the Middle East and North Africa, forcing the company to stop production.

Arabic countries are boycotting in protest over Denmark's reaction to newspaper Jyllands-Posten's publication of 12 cartoons in September, an act considered blasphemous by Muslims.

The majority of Arla's employees in Saudi Arabia are local hires. None risk losing their jobs for the time being, nor have any of the company's Danish workers been withdrawn.

Three dairies in Denmark are also affected by the strike, but Arla officials said it was still too early to say if any Danish employees would be laid off as a result.

Over the weekend, two Arla employees were injured in separate events when their trucks were attacked. The employees, both Arabic, were said to be shaken, but escaped unharmed.

Dateline: Norway.
Members of the al-Aqsa Brigade burned a Danish flag, and a Norwegian Foreign
Ministry official said the ministry has alerted Norwegians to the groups'

Anne Kjersti Shaw of the ministry said efforts had been made to contact aid workers "who we know are in the Gaza Strip. We have coordinated their travel out of the area."

At the same time, the ministry is advising Norwegians against travelling to Gaza "unless it is absolutely necessary."

The Arab League and the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference, meanwhile, have requested a UN resolution that would forbid attacks on religious beliefs and another that would impose sanctions on countries that don't abide by the resolution.
Dateline: Finland.
I searched and searched and could find nothing about the Middle East any where on their English version home page. I tried reading the Finnish version. Alas, it was all greek to me.
When a stranger on
the street smiles at you:
a. you assume he is drunk
b. he is insane
c. he's an American

Err... isn't he? This one is getting a bit dated, really. Nobody smiles at you on the street, but the reason is that they are too busy talking into a cellphone or downloading their e-mail from a PDA to recognize anything much more than a few feet of sidewalk immediately in front of their feet.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

More Muslim crybabies - this time in Libya

Libya Closes Denmark Embassy Over Drawings

TRIPOLI, Libya -- Libya said Sunday it was closing its embassy in Denmark to protest drawings of the prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper as anger over the controversy spread across the Middle East.

"Due to Danish authorities not taking a responsible stance in this concern, Libya has decided to close its (embassy) in Copenhagen," said a statement from Libya's Foreign Ministry. The statement said other measures would be taken but did not elaborate.

In the immortal words of Bob Powers: "F*&% 'em if they can't take a joke."
I'm with Bob.

Ladies Night around the Horn...

Well, it's Sunday night and time for a little girl on girl action in the fight against the Islamic Jihad, Sharia, Da'wa, Taquiyah, Jizya and all things Islamic.

Ding-dong. Avon Calling. This from the

British police officials, disguised as Avon ladies, rescued a woman from Sheffield where she was kept a prisoner for the last five years by her family. In fact, she found herself in trouble soon after coming to Britain in 1999 from Pakistan. after an arranged marriage.

The rescue operation began after a note pleading for help was left by the woman, Riffat Pasha, 38, in the toilet of a departmental store. She was desperate to escape her violent husband and his domineering family. She used to be beaten and her life threatened.

Did you see reports of this? I didn't til now.
Female students injured by Islamists using acid
Two female students were seriously injured by brutal Bassijis who splashed acid to their faces. This barbarian attack was made in the north eastern City of Shahrood against the two young girls in their early twenties. The Islamist zealots were seen reacting against what officials qualify as the "non-observance of the Islamic dress code".

This from Iran Daily
Imprisonment No Solution To Debauchery

Putting street women behind bars would not help eradicate prostitution, head of Iran’s Workers Society said. In an interview with ILNA, Mostafa Eqlima underscored that draconian police crackdowns on social plights would not help resolve the predicaments. Strict clampdowns, he believes, is nothing but a temporary remedy for the social ailment. “Intensive repression would not assist the women, the majority of whom are dragged into the streets by poverty and financial woes,“ Eqlima insisted.
According to the expert, at present, about 1.2 million households are headed by women across the country. He warned that such families are vulnerable against debauchery unless they are provided with adequate support.

Eqlima stressed that meager allowances paid to underprivileged households by the social welfare entities fall short of meeting their survival needs. He reiterated that a fig-leaf approach would be the worst--a method extensively employed by state officials. Authorities are mistakenly of the opinion that incarceration of street women provides a solution to the problem. the expert stated.

Citing dreadful facts and figures released by provincial officials, the society’s chief regretted that the age of prostitution is said to have plummeted to less than 15 years. Eqlima said the majority of street women would abandon their corrupt behavior, provided they have decent jobs."

This is a fact of Iranian life that goes largely unreported.
“However, providing such women with jobs is a daunting task, under circumstances wherein a great number of educated people are complaining of unemployment,“ he stressed.

I know Davos isn't necessarily on point but this is just too good to pass up from swissinfo:
More women power in male-dominated Davos
Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has called for strong networks of women to boost their position in society. She was one of the keynote speakers at a public panel discussion on the theme of "More Women in Top Positions" at the Open Forum in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos.

Confession: They used to call me the Velvet Hammer.
The only Swiss woman cabinet minister said it was telling that her nickname in political circles was "Cruella" (the cruel one).

Confession: I am guilty of being a card carrying member of the Barbie cult (reference above pic).
The German journalist and author, Alice Schwarzer, criticised what she called the "Barbie-cult" and the "macabre" concerns of the new generation of women in the industrialised world.

Wait one cotton pickin minute maybe Davos is on point after all.
This from Muslim Islam Monitor:
Pimping for the Profit :World Economic Forum as Saudi Da'wa front 'West Islamic World Dialouge' aka Western Islamic World Da'wa

I bet there were ladies here: Twelve Christians injured in attack

Around the Horn...

It's Sunday and time for a little trip around the horn:

Feeling dissatisfied w/ your war coverage? Are you wondering what info has fallen through the bias cracks?

Greyhawk over at has it all for you. There's stuff about the Iraqi Army getting stronger, the totally unreported Koa Canyon offensive, the deepening rift between al Qaeda and the insurgent elements and a rebuttal to the deeply partisan report which seemed to get a lot of air and ink - that one about the army being stretched to a breaking point. (I could make a snide remark about the Clinton administration here - but hey, it's Sunday.)

It's Sunday and time for the funnies - unless you are a Muslim that is.

Brussels Journal gives us the update on the Religion of Peace's total lack of humor when it comes to cartoons. For a quick guide to what is okay and what is not:

This cartoon by a Muslim is okay (note the bowl of blood in Mary's hands):
This cartoon by a Dhimmi is not okay:

Regime Change Iran has the latest on the striking bus drivers. If they aren't being shot, they're being rounded up and arrested. They are arresting their wives too and threatening their safety if the drivers don't go back to work today. In other unreported news, the post goes on to cite Senator Rick Santorum's letter to the State Department asking them to intervene on the drivers behalf. Who knew?

Also in Iran, another bomb rocks Oil City of Ahvaz. This from

A PERCUSSION bomb exploded in the restive southwestern Iranian oil city of Ahvaz yesterday but caused no injuries, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Update: More trouble in Iranian Paradise? This from SCCDI:
Fire forced the closure of the Navab Metro Station in the Iranian Capital. The incident which is believed to be an act of arson took place today and on the same day that many of Tehran's Collective Bus drivers observed a protest action.

Official sources have attributed the fire to a short circuit but curiously the same motif was used in order to justify the burning of a collective bus, happened the day before, in southern Tehran.

There is additional info on the fate of the striking bus drivers as well:
Many of the strikers and their family members, estimated at more than 1000 individuals, have been injured or arrested by brutal militiamen. The fate of many of the arrested activists is unknown and some have been transferred to section 240 of the infamous Evin Political Jail located in North Tehran.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Twenty Years After Challenger

Recent events of the disease, death and dysfunction variety have pulled my focus away from the blogosphere again. Have decided to take a break from Islamofascism and Fifth Column warfare to indulge in some personal reflections. I know I promised that this would be a navel-gazing free zone but, I feel the need for a personal indulgence and reminiscence. I hope you will bear with me.

Twenty years ago I was sitting at a trading desk at a major Wall Street firm. At strategic points of the trading room there were these huge televisions mounted on brackets hanging from the ceiling. The techno boom was just starting and flat screens were a still a dream. We were a patriotic, news loving band of jolly capitalists so all the screens were set to the Challenger launch. In my mind's eye, I still see the out of control smoke plume following the explosion twirling across the television screens, over and over and over. The cacophony of the trading room fell silent. I looked at one of the only other women on the desks. Tears coursed silently down her cheeks. It was a sight I won't ever forget. And a silence that hurts to remember.

I'm no rocket scientist but I honor our need to explore and salute those who have the guts and the will to do so.

I recommend you to Dr. Pat Santy over at Dr. Sanity and her recounting of that fateful day.

On January 28, 1986, I was at Cape Canaveral in Florida. As a NASA Flight Surgeon, I had been assigned as the Crew Surgeon for Mission 51-L (noone really wanted the job since many disapproved of having a civilian--the teacher in space--fly on a space mission). The crew had trained together for over a year, and I had come to know them all very well in the course of the training and medical preparation. I had been at the Cape for over a week and the launch had been scrubbed several times for a variety of reasons. I had been staying in a cheap motel in Cocoa Beach as we waited for weather to permit the launch attempt.

Dr. Sanity is a voice that should be heard.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A salute to Robert Burns

Pioneer of the Romantic movement, inspiration to early liberals and socialists (thinking of our friends across the aisle!) Robert Burns was a poet who despite being well read and famous, was dismissed by the leading intellectuals and literati of his day as a 'heaven-taught-plowman'.

In other words, he was home schooled.

He was a Freemason and he enjoyed the lassies and the whisky.

Join me in celebrating his birthday with this excerpt from
The Jolly Beggars: A Cantata

"Auld Sir Symon."

Sir Wisdom's a fool when he's fou;
Sir Knave is a fool in a session;
He's there but a 'prentice I trow,
But I am a fool by profession.

My grannie she bought me a beuk,
An' I held awa to the school;
I fear I my talent misteuk,
But what will ye hae of a fool?

For drink I would venture my neck;
A hizzie's the half of my craft;
But what could ye other expect
Of ane that's avowedly daft?

I ance was tied up like a stirk,
For civilly swearing and quaffin;
I ance was abus'd i' the kirk,
For towsing a lass i' my daffin.

Poor Andrew that tumbles for sport,
Let naebody name wi' a jeer;
There's even, I'm tauld, i' the Court
A tumbler ca'd the Premier.

Observ'd ye yon reverend lad
Mak faces to tickle the mob;
He rails at our mountebank squad, -
It's rivalship just i' the job.

And now my conclusion I'll tell,
For faith I'm confoundedly dry;
The chiel that's a fool for himsel',
Guid Lord! he's far dafter than I.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Which came first? The chicken or the bomb?

The city of Ahvaz in Khuzestan, Iran.

From our comrades over at the Moscow Times:

Bombs Rip through Iran oil town

TEHRAN, Iran -- Bombs ripped through a bank and government
building in the southern Iranian oil city of Ahvaz on Tuesday, killing eight
people in a region that has seen intermittent bombings and rioting since April.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been due to visit the city on Tuesday,
but his office said he canceled the trip on Monday night because of sandstorms
that would have wrecked his hallmark walks through the streets.

I'm no logistical genius or anything but I think a couple of bombs would have wrecked his hallmark walks through the streets more than the sandstorm. But I 'm telling you readers, I read this though and had to admit a stirring of excitement - what you would call a frisson - have the Iranians finally gotten their Minute Man on and said enough with the official uniform, segregated sidewalks and no child left behind love fund?

OR has the evil empire finally gotten it's intelligence act together?

Like always, it depends on who you talk to.

This from Iran Focus:
Iran accused foreigners on Tuesday of masterminding dual
bombings in the southern oil-rich city of Ahwaz that left at least eight people
dead and dozens injured. Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi said that the
explosions were part of a pattern of “blind moves” orchestrated from beyond the

I'm sorry Mostafa. It still sounds like a local job to me. The Brits and the CIA would have known about the sandstorm. Or at least I hope they would have known about it. Heck, with the Internet and the Weather Channel, I would have known about the sandstorm.

What? You're thinking Canada? Yes. He's thinking Canada. (I swear you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.
Iran has also blamed Canada for another spate of bombings in
Ahwaz earlier last year. Tehran has not produced any documents yet to
substantiate its charges against London and Ottawa.

Who you gonna believe?
On Tuesday, Al-Manar television, run by Lebanese Hezbollah,
reported that the attacks were targeting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The report said that after learning of possible attacks, Ahmadinejad had
cancelled his trip.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Love me like a rock

The Russians were not amused to discover that the Brits were evidently committing espionage. The Brits say the Russians do it all the time. What's the big deal?

At least that't the gist of this article in the NZ Herald.

Row escalates over UK 'spy rock' in Moscow

24.01.06 1.00pm
By Kim Sengupta and Andrew Osborn

MOSCOW - The row over allegations of spying by British diplomats in Moscow escalated as Russian officials accused MI6 of reneging on a "deal" over espionage at the end of the Cold War.

The Russian security service, FSB, claimed yesterday that it had decided to "expose" the undercover activities of the diplomats because Britain had flouted an agreement between the two countries not to spy on each other.

But in London security sources maintained that the Russians had themselves been engaged in widespread intelligence gathering in Britain.

Read it all to get the whole sordid story.

Global Test 101

They play at chess together

Studying like crazy for the big global test (thinking of you loyal opposition!) with the Iranians and found this from Der Spiegelto be a good snapshot of the German effort and very enlightening to boot. (or is that Das Boot?)

Der Spiegel puts Angela Merkel's world view succinctly and well:

During her first state visits, Merkel was quick to distinguish among what she called "friends" (the United States), "partners" (Russia) and "European allies" (France and Britain). Now that she has defined these relationships, she finds herself involved in a complex game of give-and-take called international diplomacy.

She's the new gal on the block but she isn't shy about putting it out there. I like that in a girl.

Iran has been keeping world leaders -- including the German chancellor -- extremely busy of late. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threats against Israel and his insistence on Tehran's right to pursue a comprehensive nuclear program have left Merkel with no other choice but to spend considerable time telephoning with her own foreign minister, Bush and with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Ah yes. Kofi. was Kofi Annan who reminded Merkel in a confidential telephone call last week that rejection by the Russians and the Chinese would only encourage the Iranians to move ahead with their plans. Tehran is sure to interpret the failure of a UN resolution as a free ticket to a nuclear future.

About France. Der Speigel gets snarky.

The French president, under pressure on the domestic front, issued a barely veiled threat of nuclear attack against Iran. It was an appearance in the true Gaulic tradition, one that seemed more suited to feeding the nostalgia of a declining world power than to resolving conflict.

Then they get speculative.

Chirac's aggressive statement had not been coordinated with anyone, including Merkel or Foreign Minister Steinmeier. The chancellor is sure to mention the issue in her face-to-face discussion with Chirac on Monday. She will accept his claim that his comments were misinterpreted. But from here onwards, she will also surely mistrust him just a bit.

Surely Der Speigel? Not so fast there. Remember it IS a woman's prerogative to change her mind. And just like a woman, Angela was next off to see Vladimir Putin.

Merkel asked Putin to take Iranian President Ahmadinejad seriously. Germany once had a politician whom no one took seriously at first, she said in an allusion to Adolf Hitler, who initially forged an alliance with the Russians before attacking them. Then she asked Putin how he intended to exert pressure on Tehran, other than through the UN Security Council. Putin is afraid that referring the matter to the Security Council Iran could prompt Iran to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He is also worried about Iranian Revolutionary Guards fanning out into Russia's Muslim regions, which could cause a dramatic escalation of the situation internationally.

They also discussed the Russian Plan:

Under the Russian plan, Iran would gain fuel material for power generation, but not the fissile material used in building nuclear weapons. The Russians would play the role of an international trustee of sorts, alleviating the West's concerns and allowing the Iranians to use nuclear energy for peaceful, power generation purposes. The proposal was well-received in the West, even prompting US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley to say it merited further discussion.

Not so fast, say the mullahs.

Publicly, at least, Iran's mullah-dominated regime seemed to be against Putin's idea, at first claiming that it hadn't even received the proposal. In early January, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued the following statement: "This proposal is unacceptable if it means that enrichment can only occur in Russia."

Moscow was irritated. Konstantin Kosachev, chairman international affairs committee in the Russian parliament, the Duma, was taken aback by the Iranians' insistence on their own uranium enrichment facilities, saying that it is "cause for concern" and that he was "deeply disappointed." But when Putin met with Merkel, he told her that the mullahs had changed their minds, or were at least engaging in a double-sided strategy.

An Iranian about face. Or not.

On Tuesday, Iran's top nuclear negotiator Javad Vaidi wrote in a letter to his European counterparts that the Iranians are interested in returning to the negotiating table. Of course, the letter did not specify what Iranians envisioned as the subject of the talks.

Enter the Egyptians:

The Egyptians, acting as proxies for the Iranian regime, had some interesting news for Steinmeier(ed. note: German foreign minister). Apparently the Iranian foreign minister wanted Steinmeier to know that Iran is willing to enter into further negotiations, especially with regard to the Russian proposal for a joint uranium enrichment facility. But there was one condition: China had to be involved.

What about China?
Germany continues to work behind the scenes:

This is why officials at the Chancellery are seeking ways to assemble a cooperative effort, using as their model the so-called Contact Group for Kosovo -- an effort that involved the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Russia.

After all is said and done the vibe isn't good.

Even optimists in the administration question whether Iran will be impressed by threats from Paris, proposals from Moscow or Angela Merkel's persistent international diplomacy. The pessimists say these efforts are unlikely to make an impact on the Iranians, simply because the West is taking too logical an approach. All of these efforts are based on the assumption that the regime in Tehran is acting rationally and wants to avoid isolation in the global community at any cost. It is possible that this premise is simply incorrect. "Perhaps Ahmadinejad doesn't care whether or not Iran becomes a pariah state," says one senior German diplomat involved in the issue
Never let it be said that Der Spiegel doesn't have a sense of humor. They finish the article by saying.

Merkel's predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, consistently kept himself out of the Iran conflict -- for fear of becoming bogged down in a hopeless case. His foreign policy advisor, Bernd Mützelburg, once revealed the motto of Schröder's foreign policy in a private meeting: "The foreign minister is responsible for hopeless cases."

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Time to play hide the Salami?

Hello, is anyone listening out there?

From Iran Focus: Firebrand Strategist to head Iran's Air Force.

A senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who once vowed that “no part of the Islamic world is going to be safe and secure for America” was named as the new head of the Guards’ Air Force.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a decree on Saturday, appointing Brigadier General Hossein Salami as the new commander of the Air Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Another senior Guards commander, Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Zahedi, was put in charge of the IRGC Ground Forces.

Salami is known as the father of the IRGC’s “asymmetric warfare” doctrine, which he helped to develop in the months preceding the war in Iraq. At the time, Salami was Director of Operations in the IRGC command headquarters.

The military doctrine is based on two components as strategic tools in any military confrontation: the massive use of suicide operations to target U.S. and Western interests around the world, and the use of weapons of mass destruction.

And then there's this:

On July 4, 2004, General Salami called for the destruction of the United States during a ceremony to recruit suicide bombers that were willing to attack Western and Israeli targets.
Is it a quagmire? Salami thinks so.

He said that the West and Israel were terrified of suicide operations. “Now, no part of the Islamic world is safe and secure for America, thus the U.S. cannot move forward in the region and is currently trying to secure its present location”.

The appointments come 12 days after a plane crash in northwest Iran, which killed 11 senior IRGC commanders, including the commander of the IRGC Ground Forces. The crash was a serious blow to the IRGC at a critical time when the force has been given huge powers by the Supreme Leader in the wake of the consolidation of power by the ultra-conservative faction after hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office as president.

Mmm. Does all this talk of Salami make you hungry? Think how good a big hunk of salami would taste to our troops overseas. Do a good deed and donate to Operation Salami Drop here.

Who knows? Maybe one of them will return the favor and drop in on Brigadier General Hossein Salami some day.

Love Yemeni Style

And who says old fashioned courtship is dead?

From the Khaleej Times:

SANAA — A Yemeni groom was killed and his bride kidnapped after a shooting spree during their wedding in a village in western Yemen, news reports said yesterday.

Five gunmen stormed the wedding ceremony in the Dar Saad district of Al Mahwit province on Thursday and opened fire randomly, leaving the groom dead and five guests seriously injured.

They then forced the bride into their car at gunpoint, the official Saba news agency reported.

The attackers were led by a man whom the bride had previously refused to marry, the report said. Police launched a search for the kidnappers and rescued the woman unharmed.

Two of the five assailants have been arrested, and police were hunting for the others.

I doubt the ceremony was being held at a Presbyterian church.

Islam totally missed that reformation thing, didn't they?

This made me laugh...

Iran and Syria form 'front against world arrogance'

Here are a few snippets from the article:

Tehran: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Syria and Iran have formed a "front" to oppose what he called world "arrogance and domination".

"All free peoples who are demanding justice are heading in the direction of forming a broad-based front against the regime of domination," Ahmadinejad told Hezbollah's Al Manar television. He gave no further detail about the front.

Pulling the Democratic National Committee talking points from their pockets, (or is it the other way around?)
Syria and Iran also demanded a timetable "for the withdrawal of occupation forces from Iraq".

But let's not forget those evil Jooooooos!

Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, expressed support a day after 20 people were wounded in a Tel Aviv suicide attack which Israel said Iran funded and Syria planned - a claim both countries denied.

He also made a new attack on Israel, challenging Europe to take back Jews who immigrated to Israel, IRNA reported.

"Would you open the doors of your own countries to these (Jewish) immigrants so that they could travel to any part of Europe they chose?" he addressed European countries.

Ahmadinejad said he was confident that no Jew would remain in Israel if European countries allowed them to immigrate, IRNA reported.

Paging Eva Braun. Your burka is ready.

This is the gambit I worry about....

"Gambit Evansa" by Arden Szachy

Iran is on a mission.
The question is: Is this their opening gambit?

From the Christian Science Monitor (thinking of Jill Carroll and praying for the best possible outcome for her. The CS Monitor has good, in depth reportage because of brave people like her.)

Is the biggest threat Iran poses to the United States really its nuclear ambitions - or is it petropolitics?

Last month the Iranian government quietly reaffirmed plans to create by next year a euro-denominated exchange in oil, natural gas, and other petroleum products. If successful, such an exchange could start to lap at the walls of the two existing oil exchanges - London's International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) and the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) - both owned by American companies.

If the billions of dollars in oil sales ever got going in euros, experts say, that could dry up the demand for dollars that the heavily indebted US economy depends on, and it could mean big trouble for the US economy. It's enough to make the Great Satan-loathing visionaries behind the Iranian regime salivate. The chances of success, however, seem quite remote - at least in the short term.

So you say. I know traders and traders will walk over hot coals in panty hose if they think there's a chance to make some money. And you can bet the farm on that.

Iran probably stands to gain little from its talk of establishing a petro-euro exchange except for some propaganda value, say experts in energy markets.

"It's purely rhetorical," says Roger Diwan, managing director for oil markets at the Petroleum Finance Co. in Washington. "In order to have these [oil] contracts, you have to have a lot of people invest in them, and most of those people are in places like New York and London," he adds. "I don't see a lot of investors in New York deciding to shift [contract writing] from New York to Tehran." Mr. Diwan also notes that Iran is not alone in envisioning an oil exchange in the world's major oil-producing region. Dubai is also trying to create a market, he adds, but is not finding the way easy.
That's good. But the Iranian Gambit does not stop there:

Indeed, the exchange proposal is not the only evidence of Tehran's geopolitical plottings. Experts note that Iran has approved huge energy deals with both India and China - deals that not only cement Iran as an energy power, but also could create powerful friends for Tehran's ambitions. Iran signed an agreement this year to provide India with liquefied natural gas over a 25-year period and signed a similar agreement last year to supply China with natural gas over a 30-year period. Both countries are in a deal to invest in and develop Iran's Yadaravan oil field - the kind of investment that US oil companies are prohibited from making because of US sanctions - while Iran presses to build a major pipeline through Pakistan to India. "Iran is definitely looking East, rather than West," says Mr. Seznec, "and that will matter."
A friend in need is a friend indeed?

As for any plans to build an alliance of Asian countries against the West, experts note that its energy deals don't necessarily mean that Iran can count on its new oil partners as political allies, experts say. But they also note that already Iran is thought to have little to fear from any eventual referral of its nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council because of its ties to Russia and China, both permanent Council members.
And there's the rub.

Why wait? Khazestan Gambit. Pronto.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Khuzestan Gambit

The Chess Match: The battle between good and better by Kenneth Graunke

I stumbled over this at Global Security and thought it was quite informative. I especially liked this:

The term gambit comes from the Italian word gambetto, which was used for a tricky manoeuvre in wrestling. A chess gambit is a exotic way to enjoy a chess game -- there is a touch of recklessness necessarily to become a gambiteer. The term gambit applies to the opening of the game, involving an early sacrifice to achieve later superior attacking chances. The sacrifice is usually speculative, but hard to refuse.
Just imagine it. The UN is dithering. The no-good, leftist apparatchnik of the US is screaming. The Iranians are getting all jacked up in a religious frenzy. Sanctions are being threatened. Oil prices are going through the roof. Financial Markets are getting pounded. The Iranians are jawboning about cutting off their oil production. The situation is dire and getting worse.

Well, what about the Khuzestan Gambit?

Khuzestan [Khouzestan] is the most important pivot of Iran's economy. The existence of such huge resources as oil, gas and water in Khuzestan have changed the economic appearance of Iran. Oil first erupted from a well in the Massjed e Soleyman area, located in the southern Khuzestan province.
More from Global Security about the region:

The vast majority of Iran's crude oil reserves are located in giant onshore fields in the southwestern Khuzestan region near the Iraqi border and the Persian Gulf. Iran has 32 producing oil fields, of which 25 are onshore and 7 offshore. Major onshore fields include the following: Ahwaz-Asmari (700,000 bbl/d); Bangestan (around 245,000 bbl/d current production, with plans to increase to 550,000 bbl/d), Marun (520,000 bbl/d), Gachsaran (560,000 bbl/d), Agha Jari (200,000 bbl/d), Karanj-Parsi (200,000 bbl/d); Rag-e-Safid (180,000 bbl/d); Bibi Hakimeh (130,000 bbl/d), and Pazanan (70,000 bbl/d). Major offshore fields include: Dorood (130,000 bbl/d); Salman (130,000 bbl/d); Abuzar (125,000 bbl/d); Sirri A&E (95,000 bbl/d); and Soroush/Nowruz (60,000 bbl/d).

According to the Oil and Gas Journal (1/1/04), Iran holds 125.8 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, roughly 10% of the world's total, up from 90 billion barrels in 2003. In October 1999, Iran announced that it had made its biggest oil discovery in 30 years, a giant onshore field called Azadegan located in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, a few miles east of the border with Iraq. Reportedly, the Azadegan field contains proven crude oil reserves of 26 billion barrels. In July 2004, Iran's oil minister stated that the country's proven oil reserves had increased again, to 132 billion barrels, following new discoveries in the Kushk and Hosseineih fields in Khuzestan province.

Iran's energy generation capacity has risen to about 26,000 megawatts. The share of Khuzestan in total amount of energy produced in the country was 3,800 mega watts. The figure is expected to increase following operationing of three dams in Khuzestan province. Water resources are unevenly spread; 30 percent of surface water resources are concentrated in one province (Khuzestan), while many other populated provinces fully exploit their scarce available resources.
Semper Fi! Carpe Diem! It's good to be the only remaining Superpower!

Let's see, we could use our military footprint in Iraq to pursue the Khuzestan Gambit by staging a raid into Khuzestan to seize the oil fields. A blockade of the ports would further increase the pressure. It is rumored that their central bank would run out of money in three weeks. The mullahs just might become more amenable when the only thing they have to eat is oil.

Remember Kuwait people. Oil disruptions take many forms and I wouldn't put it past old AlmondJoy to light 'em up in a fit of starved pique. In this case it would be peace for oil. Hey, I like that - you give us peace, we give you oil.

Do we have the stones for something like the Khuzestan Gambit?
The Zagros Mountains form a natural pallisade defending Iran from incursions from Iraq. The Iranian province of Khuzestan is the one large piece of flat Iranian terrain to the west of the Zagros Mountains. American heavy forces could swiftly occupy Khuzestan, and in doing so seize control of most of Iran's oil resources, and non-trivial portions of the country's water supply and electrical generating capacity.

I pray we do.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

For some reason I have an Iranian bee in my burka tonight!

It's rerun Sunday in the isolated desert. Hope you enjoy this old chestnut from October.

No, no, no! First we flog you, THEN we hang you.

An Iranian man was publicly flogged and then executed by public hanging on Sunday afternoon in the city Kashan, Iran. The hanging brings the total number of reported hangings this year in Iran to 61. The man hung, 26 year old Esmail Hashemi had been convicted of raping several women. Scores of people reportedly viewed the hanging, according to IRNA.

No word on whether a CRANE was used.

Listen up Dhimmis! This is going to be the list of things that can get you flogged and hung after you roll over and submit to the Caliphate:
In addition to rape, capital offences in Iran which are punishable by hanging include adultery, prostitution, apostasy, blasphemy, repeated sodomy, treason and espionage and murder.

Just sayin'.

Welcome to Nuclear Islam

Another rerun.

First stop? Iran

The race continues and they are winning.

Iran has pumped out about seven tons of the gas it needs for uranium enrichment since it restarted the process last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported Friday. A former U.N. nuclear inspector said that would be enough for an atomic weapon. In unusually strong language, an IAEA report also said despite its investigation, questions remain about key aspects of Iran's 18 years of clandestine nuclear activity and that it still was unable "to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran."

After Iran resumed conversion last month, key European nations set a Sept. 3 deadline for Tehran to reimpose its freeze of the process or face the threat of referral to the U.N. Security Council _ a warning most recently repeated last week by French President Jacques Chirac. The 35-nation IAEA board meets Sept. 19 on Iran and will debate options that could include a U.S.-EU push for Security Council referral. The Security Council, in turn, could impose sanctions _ although members China and Russia are believed to oppose sanctions. At a minimum, the issue would receive world attention if debated by the U.N.'s top body.

Coming to a theatre of war near you soon?

But with no word from Iran that it would cease conversion before the deadline of Sept. 3 _ Saturday _ there was little hope that Tehran was interested in deflecting the threat. The facility at Isfahan covers more than 150 acres spread along mountains outside the city. Parts were built in tunnels in the mountains as protection from airstrikes. The report said that in late August, Iran also informed the IAEA that it would move its tons of raw uranium feedstock needed for conversion into those tunnels, which diplomats familiar with Iran's nuclear program say have been hardened against "bunker buster" bombs like those that struck Taliban command centers deep underground in Afghanistan.

Love Iranian Style

It's all about the Iranians and it's a repeat!

I may be dating myself here but does anyone remember LOVE AMERICAN STYLE? It was on tv back in the late 60's (eek!)and as a young girl I used to love it (that and RAT PATROL. Go Figure.)

But that was then and this is now so how about taking a look at young girls today and some LOVE IRANIAN STYLE?

Iran's vice-president Farhad Rahbar recently announced that his country will invest $1.3 billion to establish a "love fund" to encourage poor young people to marry.

The "Reza Love Fund", named after one of Shiite Islam's imams, was established in response to continued complaints on the part of Iran's youth, who say that they cannot afford to get married. Statistics show that young Iranian adults are living with their parents longer than ever before, while jobs, marriage and housing are seen as the top frustrations of young Iranians. Financial hardships of Iran's youth are contrasted with the fact that Iran is the fourth largest crude oil producer in the world. The new fund would redistribute oil revenue for the "Love Fund".

"The love fund is a realization of the new government's slogan -- taking oil money to the tables of the people," said Rahbar.

Gee, I wonder what happened to working for it? Oh that's right. The latest CIA World FactBook pegs their unemployment rate at 11.2% and states that:
Iran's economy is marked by a bloated, inefficient state sector, over reliance on the oil sector, and statist policies that create major distortions throughout. Most economic activity is controlled by the state. Private sector activity is typically small-scale - workshops, farming, and services. Relatively high oil prices in recent years have enabled Iran to amass some $30 billion in foreign exchange reserves, but have not eased economic hardships such as high unemployment and inflation. The proportion of the economy devoted to the development of weapons of mass destruction remains a contentious issue with leading Western nations.

And if you listen to NPR (I don't)
Fifteen percent of Iranians are unemployed, and some say the actual number is far higher. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may face resistance from the government and the country's conservative clerics in his efforts to address the problem.

Well, heck then why not shovel 1.3 billion clams to the mullahs for their little LOVE FUND? Yeah, that's the ticket.

And I'd like all the dhimmis in the crowd out there to make note of this:

Iran's Islamic law sets the minimum marriage age for girls at 9 and 15 for boys.

So in future, dear dhimmis, when you are swanning around and insisting on having your kum-ba-yah moment with the Iranian regime, think of the LOVE FUND and remember all the nine year old girls that are being "married" in order for their parents to cash in.

And while we're at it - here's another little Iranian factoid for you to mull over as you slouch to dhimmitude:

According to the U.N. World Drug Report for 2005, Iran has the highest proportion of opiate addicts in the world -- 2.8 percent of the population over age 15. Only two other countries -- Mauritius and Kyrgyzstan -- pass the 2 percent mark. With a population of about 70 million and some government agencies putting the number of regular users close to 4 million, Iran has no real competition as world leader in per capita addiction to opiates, including heroin.

May God deliver us from these people.

Since Iran has popped up on the radar screen I thought I'd repeat a little something from back in September.


If you read this blog (or happened to catch this)the Prezident of Iran recently announced his plans for the Islamic Republic to take over the world and since you can't tell your players without your program, here is the latest Islamic Org Chart. (I am only sorry I can't figure out a way to html powerpoint)

Hokay. Listen, up. According to the Prez, Mah-man Mah-moud, all power belongs to Allah. All power. So Allah is occupying the sky box on our org chart.

And because Allah is a teriffic manager, he's delegated the privilege of power to the Prophet Mohammed. Panties be upon in him in the next box down.

This is where the chart starts to remind me of the Salomon Brothers org chart back in the day when it was still a partnership because it gets horizontal real quick after the Prophet. Instead of Predator Partners like at Salomon. though, we have the 12 Infallible Imams. (Skirting real close to the Twelve Disciples, here? Jus' sayin') Here's the lineup for the Fighting Imams.

Now here's where the rubber meets the road. Because the 12th imam is in something called "grand occultation" - (eclipsed by the infidel) the task falls to the "chosen ones from the family of the Prophet", of course.

Who dat?

Dat's da man in da black headrag, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei the "Supreme Guide" who claims to be descended from Hossein, the third Infallible Iman.

It's a funny thing about that third Infallible Imam. Check this out.

Hossein (A.S) was the hero of Ashura (the 10th day of Muharran when Imam Hossein (A.S) was martyred), the greatest epic event in man's history. He was born to Ali (A.S), the man of Justice and chastity and Her Holiness Fatima (A.S), the symbol of a Muslim woman, in the 4th year ah. and was raised and reared under the care and supervision of a father such as Ali (A.S), a grandfather such as Muhammad (S.A.W) and a mother like Fatimah (A.S). After the martyrdom of Imam Hasan (A.S) in 50 ah., caliph Mua`viah increased his pressure and ordered all his governors to delete the names of the Shiite Muslims (followers of Ali (A.S) from the rosters of the Muslim treasury and to apprehend and put to death any one accused of sympathy for Ali (A.S). Yazid succeeded his father Mua`viah as caliph and followed the path of his sire. He ordered that lmam Hossein swear allegiance to him and be slain should he refuse.

Imam Hossein did not yield to Yazid, this prototype of meanness and villainy. He resorted to the sword and undertook the fundamental Ashura move that he might thus kindle a light (of hope) amid the darkness (of oppression) and to initiate history's eternal epic event. By sacrificing his all, including the lives of himself, his kin and supporters in the path of God; Imam Hossein (A.S).became a model and example for all those who tread in the path of Truth. Many books have been written about the personality of Imam Hossein (A.S) and a great deal has been talked about him. Friend and foe testify to Imam Hossein's matchless courage, bravery, patience, forbearance, his challenge of cruelty and injustice, his courtesy and humility, his kindness and his compassion.

You know, except for that resorting to the sword part,doesn't this give you a this-sure-sounds-a-lot-like-Jesus-of Nazareth-vibe? Man. The symbolism is thick on the ground here. Jesus forgave his disciples and died on the cross blessing his kin and supporters, Imam Hossein was killed by the sword and took everyone with him! Giving me shivers, here people.

I guess this is where Ahmadinejad, the Iranian terrorist-in-chief comes in. He says he will fight any and all forms of democracy in Iran so I'm still kind of confused where that leaves him in the grand scheme of things since he was supposedly elected democratically - in fair elections, too. (wink-wink)

Clearly, he's got the ear of the man in the black headwrap somehow and it has empowered him to make bold statements on his view on a new world order.

He calls the US "the hegemon" and asserts that the Bush plan for the Greater Middle East is a device to slow down the decline of the United States as a superpower.

"Despite its pharaonic roars," the document claims, "the hegemon is in its last throes."

If you don't think that this dude is actively working, RIGHT NOW, to accomplish this you've got another think coming...

Mah-man Mahmoud isn't going to stop until we all end up in little, tight, boxes under the thumb of the Infallible Imams...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Dear Readers.

I apologize for my prolonged absence from the blogosphere.

Disease, death and familial dysfunction continues to dog me at every step and requires me to be away from my computer much more than I would like to be.

I am not sure what to do about this. Should I just give it up altogether and focus on being the dilettante I secretly think I am and flit from blog to blog leaving witty comments? Or should I continue to blog when I can and just wing it.

Oh dear readers, the life of a tortured blogger.