Palestinian Christian found dead in Gaza. Jerusalem Post: 'The body of a Christian official who was kidnapped over the weekend was discovered in Gaza City early Sunday, Palestinian sources said. The man was identified as Rami Ayyad, 31, director of The Teacher's Bookshop, which is operated by the Palestinian Bible Society. Although no group claimed responsibility for the murder, a number of Christians in Gaza City told The Jerusalem Post that Ayyad had received several death threats in the past from radical Muslims who accused him of conducting missionary activities. His bookshop and the Palestinian Bible Society had been the target of repeated attacks over the past two years. They noted that attacks on members of the 2,500-strong Christian community in the Gaza Strip had increased in recent months, especially since Hamas took full control over the area.'
Britain's Gordon Brown will back air strikes on Iran. Telegraph: 'Gordon Brown has agreed to support US air strikes against Iran if the Islamic republic orchestrates large-scale attacks by militants against British or American forces in Iraq, according to senior Pentagon officials. Washington sources say the Prime Minister has been informed of US plans to launch limited air and special forces raids against Revolutionary Guard bases. After talks with President George W Bush in July, Mr Brown left US officials with the belief that Britain was "on board" for a military response — but only if Iran was proved to be behind a big militant attack or another stunt similar to the kidnapping in March of British sailors.'
Objective: Regime change in Iran. America and its allies have every right to act in legitimate self-defense. But what about the bigger picture - strategically and morally? The Spirit of Man cites fellow Iranian blogger Sagg-e Zard:
To attack Iran without targeting and destroying the Islamic Regime is as mindless as begging the regime to change its behavior. Domestically in Iran, an incalculable human toll mounts as the days of the regime pass the world by. The influence of the Ayatollahs has grown internationally by their direct and covert forces fueled by petro-wealth. For years they have aided violent acts of terror and now openly fund militias in Lebanon. They have conducted operations assassinating Iranian opposition members in Austria, Germany, UK, France, USA, Italy, Turkey and the Philippines... Currently with an unprecedented savage crackdown of the population, the Ayatollahs are also laying their bets that any military action against them may be harmful to them but survivable. The Ayatollahs running the Islamic Republic would care less if the country was attacked and all the nuclear facilities and IRGC leveled, as long as there will be enough infrastructure to savagely destroy any popular uprising. The SAVAMA is capable of this. The Ayatollahs have calculated and do not mind if their objective is set back ten years, better yet, twenty years, as long as they remain in power. It is a better deal to be guaranteed survival and authority than being removed permanently.
TSOM adds the following in Farsi:
هدف اصلی و نهایی تمام ایرانیان وطن دوست، امروزه، بایستی تغییررژیم اخوندی و جایگزینی آن با یک حکومت دموکراتیک ، مسئول و کاملا غیر مذهبی باشد. تنها راه نجات مردم دربند، محروم و گرسنه ایران تغییر این حکومت ضد ایرانی و ضد انسانیست
Iraq Shi'a leaders sign truce. 'The low level "civil war within a civil war" that has been simmering between the two largest Shia militias in Iraq may be over.' Rick Moran at American Thinker cites the BBC: 'Two of Iraq's most influential Shia leaders have signed a deal to try to end violence between their groups. Radical cleric Moqtada Sadr and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq, have been locked in a bitter dispute for months. The leaders have agreed to try to end further bloodshed, foster a spirit of goodwill and form joint committees throughout the country. ...' Moran adds: 'Indeed, if the scenario in the truce plays out, it should relieve Prime Minister Maliki of a gigantic headache. The Badr Organization is the most powerful Shia militia in Iraq and was headed for open warfare with the Mahdi Army. In effect, the agreement solidifies Maliki's back as he tries to affect reconciliation with the Sunnis. At the moment, he doesn't have to worry about the Shia militias making trouble while he tries to heal the wounds in Iraqi society.'
"Condoleezza Rice was opposed." That's the sentence that stands out for me in this article at Ha'Aretz via Big Pharaoh.
The Israel Air Force strike on an alleged Syrian nuclear installation on September 6 was supposed to take place on July 14, but was delayed due to hesitance on the part of the Americans, ABC News reported.
The report says that Israel presented the United States with intelligence attesting to the existence of the facility and its connection to North Korea.
Foreign media reports have said that North Korea delivered nuclear material to Syria three days before the attack was carried out.
The United States, embroiled in a war in Iraq partially due to faulty intelligence, was nervous about the accuracy of the information and the implications on the region an attack would have.
ABC also said that U.S. officials held high level meetings to discuss Israel's plans, and that while some officials did support the attack, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was opposed.
MNF Iraq: Mayor's assassin held, weapons cache found. MNFI reports: 'Iraqi Police in Iskandariyah detained a fellow policeman Oct. 5 who assisted terrorists in killing the mayor of Iskandariyah. An initial report indicates that Mayor Abbas Hassan Hamza and four guards were killed by an explosively formed penetrator in the city the day prior.' Also: 'Iraqi Army Soldiers and Coalition Forces, acting on tips provided by local citizens, discovered a large weapons cache in the village cemetery and detained two men during Operation Rock Drill in Muradiyah, south of Baqouba Oct. 5. “The IA was definitely in control; they had the larger force and cleared all the culturally sensitive sites such as the mosque and the cemetery, finding the cache in the cemetery,” said Capt. Duane L. Bailey, commander, Bayonet Company, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, attached to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.'
Burial ground memorial in New York. Benjamin Sarlin at the New York Sun: 'Sixteen years after the surprise discovery of the African burial ground on Duane Street, city and federal officials will formally dedicate a memorial Friday in Lower Manhattan. Discovered in 1991 while digging the foundation for the Foley Square Federal Building, the burial ground contains some 15,000 African Americans 25 feet below street level who are believed to have been buried in the 17th and 18th centuries. The seven-acre site's discovery prompted a major archaeological effort to learn more about the early history of the city's African population, as well as a movement to memorialize the dead. It also began a long series of controversies ...' Read the rest at the link.
Commentary. A couple of years ago I had the honor of being invited by the moderator of the Free Iran forum to help draft this petition:
As House Resolution 398 (May 06, 2004) has rightly recognized, the illegitimate government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has engaged, and continues to engage, in efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Such weapons would pose an immediate threat not only to Iran's neigbors, but ultimately to the entire world.
The cruelty of the IRI regime is well known and abundantly documented. The regime has been implicated in assassinations throughout the Middle East, Europe, and the United States; the murder of more than 100,000 Iranians; continuing policies of rape, torture, and arbitrary imprisonment as political tools; and the kidnapping of thousands of women and girls for sale into prostitution and slavery.
According to the Department of State report released by the Department of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor on February 25, 2004: “The Government's poor human rights record worsened, and it continued to commit numerous, serious abuses. The right of citizens to change their government was restricted significantly. Continuing serious abuses included: summary executions; disappearances; torture and other degrading treatment, reportedly including severe punishments such as beheading and flogging; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; lack of habeas corpus or access to counsel and prolonged and incommunicado detention. Citizens often did not receive due process or fair trials. The Government infringed on citizens' privacy rights, and restricted freedom of speech, press, assembly, association and religion.” These and other abuses clearly indicate that the regime constitutes a grave threat to the people of Iran and to free people everywhere.
It has come to our attention that Israel and/or the United States may be contemplating a pre-emptive military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. If the United States follows a policy based exclusively on the nuclear issue, however, the results will be catastrophic both for the Iranian people and, ultimately, for the Middle East and the world. Merely striking at Iranian nuclear facilities would at best delay the regime's nuclear program, driving it deeper underground; would certainly provoke even harsher measures against the Iranian people; and would likely lure the West into a false sense of security with the mullahs of the IRI regime plotting their ultimate retribution against America, Israel, and all others who have stood in their way.
The Islamist regime continues to actively undermine American efforts to rebuild Afghanistan and Iraq. Regime-backed agents and mercenaries are killing American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines every week. To wait until Iraq and Afghanistan are “secure” before confronting the Iranian mullahs is folly; rather, the United States must take the battle to the enemy in Tehran.
The IRI regime's staunchest defenders in the West are the leftists and so-called "liberals" who are driven by their own infantile issues with "authority" and their hatred of America. These leftists claim to be for "peace" but you'll notice they aren't interested in a non-military regime change either. They care only for defending Middle Eastern dictatorships against American power. They are fascist stooges, pure and simple.
Without a doubt, the preferable course of action - and the one Michael Ledeen advocates - would be to empower the Iranian people to overthrow the mullahs in Tehran and build a free and secular democracy. If this option is available, we should take it; but if it is not, we need to take the second-best course of action and use the full force of our arms against the Iranian regime; to overthrow, dismantle, and destroy the islamist dictatorship; and to assist the Iranians in building a better future.