2008-04-11

Morning Report: April 11, 2008

The Iran regime's long-range missiles, and plans; French hostages freed; and a litigious Canadian issues threats.

The Times: Iran's secret long-range missile site revealed. Via Israel Matzav, The Times publishes photos of an Iranian long-ramge missile site:
The secret site where Iran is suspected of developing long-range ballistic missiles capable of reaching targets in Europe has been uncovered by new satellite photographs.

The imagery has pinpointed the facility from where the Iranians launched their Kavoshgar 1 “research rocket” on February 4, claiming that it was in connection with their space programme.

Analysis of the photographs taken by the Digital Globe QuickBird satellite four days after the launch has revealed a number of intriguing features that indicate to experts that it is the same site where Iran is focusing its efforts on developing a ballistic missile with a range of about 6,000km (4,000 miles).

A previously unknown missile location, the site, about 230km southeast of Tehran, and the link with Iran's long-range programme, was revealed by Jane's Intelligence Review after a study of the imagery by a former Iraq weapons inspector. A close examination of the photographs has indicated that the Iranians are following the same path as North Korea, pursuing a space programme that enables Tehran to acquire expertise in long-range missile technology.

An analyst at Jane's estimates the Iranian regime to be about five years away from developing a 6,000-km-range missile. The US is negotiating with Poland and the Czech Republic over missile defense systems. Go to Carl's post at Israel Matzav for more, and to find out why Carl says, 'I wonder what makes Putin think he's not sealing his own death warrant by providing Iran with nuclear fuel.'

Sarkozy: Pirates release French hostages. CNN: 'The 30 hostages held on a tourist yacht by pirates off the coast of Somalia have been released, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday.' Debka adds: 'The announcement by president Nicolas Sarkozy did not disclose if ransom was paid. His statement voiced deep gratitude to the French armed forces. The pirates seized the luxury yacht Le Ponant as it crossed the Gulf of Aden and sailed to the Somali coast, mooring near Garacade. France dispatched a warship and a special force for standby at Djibouti. Twenty-two of the crew were French, including 6 women; the rest Ukrainian and Korean.'

Iraq contractor employees testify of alleged rapes. Fox:
A woman who says she was raped while working for a foreign contractor in Iraq detailed the experience in a congressional hearing as another woman who made similar allegations before Congress last year listened and fought back tears.

Dawn Leamon said Wednesday at a Senate subcommittee hearing she was sodomized and forced to have oral sex by a soldier and a co-worker after drinking a cocktail that made her feel strange.

She worked as a paramedic for Service Employees International Inc., a foreign subsidiary of KBR Inc., at Camp Harper near Basra, Iraq. Leamon said the base frequently came under rocket attack.

Read the rest at the link.

Richard Warman sues Ezra Levant. Ezra Levant:
Today I was sued by Richard Warman, Canada’s most prolific – and profitable – user of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. As readers of this site know, Warman isn’t just a happy customer of section 13 and its 100% conviction rate, he’s a former CHRC employee, an investigator of section 13 thought crimes himself. In fact, he was often both a customer and an investigator at the same time.

Being sued by Warman is like being sued by the CHRC

It’s impossible to criticize section 13 without criticizing Warman, because without Warman, section 13 would have been defunct years ago – almost no-one else in this country of 33 million people uses it. I’d call it “Warman’s Law”, but I’ve already given that title to another law enacted because of Warman. Warman’s Law is a law brought in by the B.C. government specifically to protect libraries from Warman’s nuisance defamation suits. (We should find some way to set up a Warman’s law to protect universities from Warman, too.)

Warman doesn’t just “use” section 13. As I’ve documented here before, he actively interferes with other CHRC investigators working on his complaints. For example, he called up Hannya Rizk, a fellow investigator he trained, and told her to improperly withhold information from the person Warman had complained about; he told Rizk to slow down her work to fit his other plans; he tried to get Rizk to improperly disclose confidential information about cases to third parties.

And then there’s Warman’s direct interference in the investigation of his own complaints – wandering right into the CHRC offices, hopping right on investigator’s computers, using their passwords, and just having a ball – violating not only privacy and confidentiality, but the integrity of the CHRC’s evidence – not that such sloppiness has detracted from their 100% conviction rate.

Warman isn’t solely responsible for the corruption of the CHRC, of course – he couldn’t get away with his antics without the cooperation and even encouragement of the rest of the CHRC staff ...

Other targets include Small Dead Animals, Five Feet of Fury, and Free Dominion.

Sistani: Law is the only authority. Bill Roggio at the Long War Journal:
With the Iraqi government applying pressure to the Sadrist movement and Muqtada al Sadr to disband the Mahdi Army, Iraq’s senior Shia cleric has weighed in on the issue. Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the most revered Shia cleric in Iraq, backed the government’s position that the Mahdi Army should surrender its weapons and said he never consulted with Sadr on disbanding the Mahdi Army. Instead, the decision to disband the Mahdi Army is Sadr’s to make.

Sistani spoke through Jalal el Din al Saghier, a senior leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a rival political party to the Sadrist movement. Saghier was clear that Sistani did not sanction the Mahdi Army and called for it to disarm.

"Sistani has a clear opinion in this regard; the law is the only authority in the country," Saghier told Voices of Iraq, indicating Sistani supports Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki and the government in the effort to sideline the Mahdi Army. "Sistani asked the Mahdi army to give in weapons to the government."

Sadr did not consult with Sistani on the issue of disbanding the Mahdi Army, disputing a claim from Sadrist spokesmen who intimated Iraqi’s top cleric told Sadr to maintain his militia. "The top Shiite cleric had not been consulted in establishing the Mahdi Army, so [he] could not interfere in dissolving it,” Saghier said. “Whosoever established the al-Mahdi army has to dissolve it; Sayyed Muqtada al-Sadr established this army and it is only him who has to dissolve it."

The Belmont Club quotes Amir Taheri:
Amir Taheri in the New York Post claims that that Maliki's actions against Sadr were a spoiling attack timed to break up a "Tet Offensive"-style operation designed to grab headlines in the crucial period before General Petraeus was due to testify before Congress. Teheran was counting on simultaneously seizing key communities in the belief that America would not have the reserves to intervene nor Maliki the nerve to act on his own. It was, Taheri writes,

a gamble that proved too costly. That's how analysts in Tehran describe events last month in Basra. Iran's state-run media have de facto confirmed that this was no spontaneous "uprising." Rather, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tried to seize control of Iraq's second-largest city using local Shiite militias as a Trojan horse. ...

The Iranian plan - developed by Revolutionary Guard's Quds (Jerusalem) unit, which is in charge of "exporting the Islamic Revolution" - aimed at a quick victory. To achieve that, Tehran spent vast sums persuading local Iraqi security personnel to switch sides or to remain neutral.

The Belmont Club concludes that
What recent events really signify is that Maliki, not Iran's Khamenei, is the master of southern Iraq, or at least that the control of southern Iraq is now in dispute between the two. This means that there are now two political power centers in the Shi'ite arc. One center is based in Teheran and the other is based in Iraq. While the hard reality of a properous Kurdistan and the presence of a Sunni population whose insurgency was only so recently beaten (and which may flare up upon provocation) means that the Shi'ites can never control all of Iraq, southern Iraq is now the locus of an alternative polity within Shi'ism. Thus, Iran's failed gamble is not only a foreign defeat for the Qods; it is a domestic political setback for the theocracy.


Commentary. Via Instapundit, NYT reports that the best remedy for radical Islam is exposure to radical Islam.