Night Flashes - May 31

US-Iran talks:  No goodies for the mullahs.  A subscription article from Debka gives a blunt assessment of the recent negotiations between Iranian and US diplomats:  "What they saw was a tough American front."  The analysis asserts that the Administration's "stance was strictly limited to an agenda dictated by US demands and direct Iranian responses to those demands".  Further underscoring the uncompromising position of the American side was the presence of a large and still growing strike force off the Iranian coast.  Debka's analysts, who are not always impressed with Washington's Middle East policy, saw the talks as a shrewd play to raise anxiety in the Iranian regime and exploit rifts between hardliners and pragmatists in Tehran.  While Bush is taking some heat back home for the talks, Debka asserts that the consensus in Tehran was quite different:  Bush was the clear winner.

ITM:  Bad guys killing bad guys.
  Iraq the Model:  'Fighting in a western Baghdad district between two insurgent groups continued for the 2nd day, eye witnesses told ITM.
The clashes erupted yesterday around noon between two groups of insurgents that are competing for control in the Amiriya district, one of Baghdad's most violent and lawless districts.  The two groups, teams actually, were later identified; on one side there's al-Qaeda and the Islamic state in Iraq and on the other there's the Islamic army and 'Jaish al-Mujahideen' (The brigades of the 1920 revolution in another account), the latter are know to be largely military and intelligence officers of the former regime as well as members of the Baath Party.  "I saw seven or eight bodies of militants who were killed in the clashes lying on the ground" one eyewitness said this morning. This was before the fighting resumed after a short pause.'

Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaks out.
  Brisbane Times:  'AS A small girl, Ayaan Hirsi Ali's clitoris and labia were cut off with a pair of scissors. She was then sewn up with a piece of twine "to keep her chaste".  In the world in which she then lived, Ali was not alone: the World Health Organisation estimated in 2000 the number of girls and women who had undergone genital mutilation between 100 million and 140 million.  The practice is widespread in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. Islam is dominant in these countries, and Ali links the mutilation to Islam.  "Islam is a totalitarian doctrine that puts women in a position that no other totalitarian doctrine, not even Communism, not even Nazism, did," says Ali. "In Islam, women come off the worst."'  Family Security Matters notes that she received death threats even when she spoke in Pennsylvania.

Eleventh Israeli killed by Qassams.
  'Thirteen-year-old Chai Shalom suffered from cerebral palsy, and was deaf, mute, and confined to a wheel-chair. He was hospitalized after a rocket landed next to a bus transporting him and three other disabled children.' - JPost.  Via IRIS.

RNC hears a giant sucking sound.
  Tammy Bruce isn't surprised by this report from the Washington Times:  'Faced with an estimated 40 percent fall-off in small-donor contributions and aging phone-bank equipment that the RNC said would cost too much to update, Anne Hathaway, the committee's chief of staff, summoned the solicitations staff last week and told them they were out of work, effective immediately, the fired staffers told The Times...  There has been a sharp decline in contributions from RNC phone solicitations, another fired staffer said, reporting that many former donors flatly refuse to give more money to the national party if Mr. Bush and the Senate Republicans insist on supporting what these angry contributors call "amnesty" for illegal aliens.  "Everyone donor in 50 states we reached has been angry, especially in the last month and a half, and for 99 percent of them immigration is the No. 1 issue," said the former employee.'  Tammy adds:  'To force the RNC to shut its phone fundraising operation is a remarkable accomplishment. Congratulations. This is what hurts them the most and is immediately felt, let; McConnell fantasize about what '08 may or may not bring. What Senate Monkeys like him must face, as Howard Beale made so clear, is we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore.  I want to make one thing very clear--you must not let up. ... Our job will not be over until that bill is dead.'