2009-06-22

Iran Update - 1 Tir 1388

Latest from Revolutionary Road:


180 journalists issued an statement re government pressure stopping them from reporting
8:25
Laleh Park and Shiroudi Stadium have become the command center to organize anti-riot police and plain clothes
8:28
"Frightening reports coming from Tabriz (Mousavi’s hometown); they resemble Saturday’s massacre in Tehran"
8:31
England restricts travels to Iran, withdraws embassy families stationed in Tehran
8:33
Police Using Gunfire, Tear gas,Electric Bat. Clashes at Enghelab SQ
8:35
people:Regime of Coup d'état, abdicate, abdicate!
8:40
Maziyar Bahari arrested in Tehran. he was Newsweek reporter
8:43
In Enghelab sq. police shooting the air, using tear gas & electric batons
8:50
People are gathering near Mellat Park (North Tehran) Near State TV, Trafic Jamm & Lights and Horn
9:00
At least 47 killed and 1206 injured from this days!

Kudos and many thanks to Saeed for this difficult and dangerous work.

Statement from Ayatollah Boroujerdi:

In the name of God the beneficent the merciful

We in addition to honoring the brave people of the oppressed and under religious despotism country, His Excellency Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi and the zealous clergy Mr. Mehdi Karoubi also praising the right protests of the people against inattention to the sacred votes of the nation that has shouted the slogan of justice, announce our multilateral support on the divine and national insurrection of the mass of the oppressed people of Iran moreover we point out that the world concern on the gravity of the Human Rights situation in Iran is an usual matter and based on the aware conscience and no body can call it interfering in Iran affairs because Iran government is interfering in the affairs of Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan in an unjustified way by abusing this subject(concern on Human Rights ) with all its equipments.

Today, noble nations have been annoyed for the lack of equality and freedom and the oppression and injustice applied on Iranian nation by the government and are planning to reflect the voice and the groan of millions of the injured people who are tired of this condition.

The followers and devotees of the liberal clergy, Ayatollah Seyed Hosein Kazemeini Boroujerdi who supports the separation of the religion from government

Go to the link for Persian and Arabic text.

Via Howard Baskerville posting at Michael J. Totten, here's an incredible Flickr gallery for the Iran protests. The pseudonymous Baskerville also writes:

If you are worried by the conduct of the Iranian regime, you have understood the country better than many commentators. What Americans now see is that Iranians are a people with spirit who are not easily broken. For all the claims that Americans are an unsophisticated bunch, they know that a regime and its people are not one and the same. What has happened in recent weeks has confirmed that instinct.

Are those protesting true believers in democracy? We do not know, because they have never been given the chance. What we do know is that they reject the dishonesty of a repressive theocracy. For that reason alone, we should stand with them.


At Rahai Zan (Emaincipation of Women), Mino Hemati interviews Soraya Shahabi. In Persian.

Azarmehr pokes lots of holes in the fantasy of "elite" Iranian protesters and a "working class" islamist regime.

For latest updates in Persian and English, don't forget to bookmark Raye Man Kojast?

Via Muslims Against Sharia, here's Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed at al-Sharq al-Awsat:

The anxiety that is being felt by pro-Iranian Arab groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and others, is clearly articulated in their overstated defense of Ahmadinejad and their denial of the uprisings seen in Iran. It is only natural for such groups to be overcome by fear as Iran represents the backbone of their existence, and whatever affects the regime in Tehran will undoubtedly affect them twofold.

On the Arab scene, Iran's defenders rushed to desperately defend it in the media, denying what the rest of the world has clearly seen in terms of hundreds of thousands of protestors being led by members of the [Iranian] regime itself [and therefore not influenced by foreign powers]. These Arabs insisted that the images that we are seeing, and the interpretation of what is happening, is nothing more than conspiracies, exaggeration, and lies. However in reality the excuses mentioned above is closer to [describing] their interpretation of what is happening [in Iran]. These Arabs are either in a state of self-denial, refusing to believe what is happening in Iran, or they are aware of the truth but want to paint a different picture for the Arab world, and especially for their own followers, who must be in a state of shock.

Hezbollah supporters - and I am not talking about its leaders or theorists - believed as late as yesterday that Iran was unified, and that the leaders of the Islamic Revolution saw eye to eye. However all of a sudden they began to hear accusations of treason, treachery, and corruption being leveled [from one side at another in Iran], and they witnessed a large-scale rebellion [in Tehran]. ...

Go read the rest at the link.

Gateway Pundit has some of the best Iran coverage anywhere. First go listen to Gateway Pundit's exclusive audio interview with Ahmad Batebi (with Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi translating). Excerpt:

The regime has dwindled the internet speed down to a minimum right now. They've disconnected all the phones. All the SMS and text messaging has been disconnected. They've thrown out Western and foreign journalists. They've closed down all Iranian newspapers. They've put filters on all of their opposition websites. They've arrested dozen of activists, human rights and civil activists. They are arresting and beating dozens of people on the streets every day. And, people need to know that if they do not stand by the Iranian people shoulder to shoulder right now, that they themselves will come face to face with this very regime. And if this regime is allowed to have a nuclear weapon it will do the exact same thing with the entire world. This regime does not represent the people of Iran. And, morally the people of the world need to support the people of Iran and not what the regime wants."

Go to the link to listen. Gateway Pundit's latest post shows that the protests continue despite threats from the regime.

Steve Schippert at ThreatsWatch has analysis:

This is a huge development. One of the biggest questions I and others have had since the Iranian protests/revolt/revolution began was whether Mousavi would be any different in tangible effect (Hizballah & Hamas support, etc.) than Ahmadinejad and whether Rafsanjani was seeking to sack 'Supreme' Leader Khamenei simply to acquire the powerful position for himself. That question perhaps may have been answered today.

My ears first perked up when word made it through the grapevines over the weekend that Rafsanjani had been meeting with other Ayatollahs and clerics in Qom, and had among them a representative of Iraq's Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

Why? Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in 2007 made two very critical statements: that "I am a servant of all Iraqis, there is no difference between a Sunni, a Shiite or a Kurd or a Christian," and that Islam can exist within a democracy without theological conflict. You will never hear such words slip past the lips of Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei. Ever.

Sistani's presence at the Rafsanjani talks in Qom, Iran, through a representative brings therefore added significance. And the al-Arabiya report above seems to suggest that Rafsanjani is not seeking Sistani's support for superficial reasons. ...

Iran's Date with Destiny

As you surely know by now, March 20 marked the major confrontation between Iran's regime and its people. Gateway Pundit has updates. Michael Ledeen has analysis. The Spirit of Man writes:
Updated @ 9:35 am ET: There seems to be a bad case of news black out from inside of

Iran. I can't access any of my contacts. I have heard confirmed reports of explosion/blast in Khomeini's grave. I'm hearing that the govt has shut down public transit system, possibly to prevent people from commuting to the assembly sites.

Via TSOM, Revolutionary Road is updating continuously:

5:30
In Khosh Street police is attacking people with batons and pepper spray trying to disperse people, shots can be heard around Azadi
5:33
They are throwing Teargas constantly people: down with khamene'i
5:35
Heavy clashes on azadi street, chants of death to khamene'i,The street is full of rocks and fire!
5:38
Voice of shooting in Azadi street...
5:40
police using tear gas, water cannons to disperse thousands of protesters in Tehran,They are beating "people" in Enghelab St., not only the protesters!
5:42
people are trapped between Behboodi and Enghelaab
5:48
people are trapped between Behboodi & Enghelaab. gunshots being fired into the air...
5:50
2,000 to 3,000 protesters at Tehran University!
5:53
Enghelab street is fulll of people between ghods st. and Enghelab square
5:54
So Hard conflict in Azadi ST
5:55
Intense clash in Enghelab
5:55
Houses in alleys opening doors to injured protestors,hallway is full of beaten people!
5:56
Police have closed off Tehran University
5:58
Two bomb blasts in Tehran
5:59
Many of people arrested
6:00
An explosion near the shrine of Khomeini,killing one person and minimum 2 people are injured
6:01
metro/subway is closed...
6:05
Shooting directly to the people in Azadi ST
6:07
Vanak Square reportedly full of civilian-dressed forces
6:08
Fars news agency: the blast occurred near the shrine of Iran's revolutionary founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
6:09
Amirabad was closed of my plain clothes basij, tear gas was used
6:10
50-60 basij bikers were present . the amount of people were 2000 in that area due to blockages of roads

And finally, this from TSOM:

This is a brief letter written by an Iranian woman who is going to attend the anti-regime rally tomorrow:

I'll participate in the rally tomorrow in Tehran. It might be violent. I may be one of those who will die tomorrow. I want to listen to all beautiful tunes that I have heard in my life, again. I want to listen to some cheap Los Angeles made Iranian music. I always wanted to have much narrower eyebrows too. Yeah, I'll check in with my hair-dresser tomorrow before I go to the rally. Oh, there are some excellent scenes in the famous Iranian movie Hamoon I want to see before I leave. And I gotta re-visit my own bookshelf. Iran's poets Shamloo's and Farrokhzad's poems are worth re-reading. I've to see the family photo albums once again.

I'll have to call my friends and say good-bye to them. In this big world, my possession is only two bookshelves. I've already told mom and dad whom to give these books to in case I never come back. There are only two more courses left for me to get my BA degree but to hell with the degree. I'm anxious and excited.

I wrote these scattered words for the future generations so that they know we were not sentimental or uselessly emotional. I'm writing this so they know we did every thing in our power to make this work for them and so that they realize if our forefathers surrendered to the Arab and Mongolian invaders physically, but they didn't give in to their tyranny with their spirits. They resisted it. And I wrote this for tomorrow's children...


***
UPDATES:

Azarmehr:

People have been trying to reach Azadi Sq in groups of 100-200 but at every crossroad there is heavy riot guard presence. Gun shots can be heard throughout Tehran constantly. Riot guards have used high pressure water canons with boiling water to disperse the crowds. Never before has so much tear gas been used. [video at link]

Debka:

Tension rose in the Iranian capital Saturday afternoon, June 20, when supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi set fire to the campaign headquarters of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Heavy police forces fired in the air to break up a clash between the two groups.

Earlier, demonstrators making their way to Tehran's Enghelab Square and Tehran University on the eighth day after Iran's disputed presidential election were prevented from forming into a procession by military police, anti-riot police and Basijj militia wielding water cannon, night sticks and tear gas. This was reported by witnesses using e-mail and other means of communication.

Two Iranian news agencies reported that a suicide bomber blew himself up near the tomb of the Islamic Revolution's founder Khomeni, injuring two people. This was not confirmed as independent news organizations are strictly controlled.

The crowds turned out in defiance of warnings of tough action against any attempts to demonstrate from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Friday and later the police. Their numbers could not be independently confirmed but the huge security presence appears to have outnumbered protesters.

***

Shiro-Khorshid Forever (Sayeh Hassan):

According to one of my contacts who was present during today’s protest in Tehran security forces have opened fire on protestors. My contact witnessed the shooting of three (3)protestors. Right now as we speak security forces have attacked protestors in the Amir Abad Area.

There are also Regime helicopters circling the area, they are mostly Sepah helicopters and to a lesser degree police helicopters.

Another eyewitness has seen a young girl shot to death in Jalalzadeh street.

People are also shouting "death to dictator" "Seyed Ali Pinochet, Iran Chili Nemishe" meaning Ali khameni Pinochet, Iran won't be another Chili"

Roger Cohen at New York Times:

TEHRAN — The Iranian police commander, in green uniform, walked up Komak Hospital Alley with arms raised and his small unit at his side. “I swear to God,” he shouted at the protesters facing him, “I have children, I have a wife, I don’t want to beat people. Please go home.”

A man at my side threw a rock at him. ...

Richard Fernandez:

The President’s actions suggest that he has finally torn up the draft agreements he had hoped to conclude with the Iranian regime simply because there is no one any longer to send them to. ...

TSOM has an appeal, in Farsi, to the Iranian regular army from a veteran:



به عنوان افسر وظیفه سابق ارتش و کسی که از خانواده ارتشی هستم از کسانی که این مطلب رو در داخل سازمان ارتش مردمی ایران مطالعه میکنند تقاضای عاجزانه میکنم که برادران و خواهران خود در خیابانهای تهران و شهرستانها را در مقابل بسیج نامردمی مسلح تنها نگذارید. از همه افسران و درجه داران و سربازان عزیز ایران بعنوان یک هموطن عاجزانه در خواست میکنم پناه مردم ایران عزیز باشید. مردم ایران همگی برای ارتش جان برکف ایران احترام و ارزش فوق العاده ای قائل بوده و هستند. اجازه ندهید مردم کشته و زخمی شوند. از شما عاجزانه تقاضا دارم به فکر مردم عزیز باشید. مردم بیگناه ایران به ارتش بعنوان پناهگاه خود مینگرند. لطفا مردم رو در این ساعت دشوار تنها و بی دفاع نگذارید. مردم همیشه و هر لحظه به سازمان مقدس ارتش اعتماد داشته و خواهند داشت. بعنوان یک ایرانی از همگی شما میخواهم به یاری مردم بیگناه ایران بشتابید. مطمئن باشید مردم ایران هیچگاه جانفشانی ارتش در طول جنگ تحمیلی و سالهای بعد از انرا فراموش نکرده و نمیکنند. مردم ایران و خانواده های ارتشی همگی شاهد تبعیض علیه ارتش و پرسنل معزز ان بوده اند. اجازه ندهید جماعتی بیگانه مردم ایران را در خیابانها قتل عام کنند. از دوستانی که در ایران این مطلب رو ملاحظه میکنند خواهشمندم از برادران ارتشی خود کمک و راهنمایی بخواهند


Fernandez:

What you are watching is a vast classroom in action. This is what used to be called a “radicalizing experience”. All the people you see on the video, for however long they live, will remember where they were this day. Whatever happens outwardly the old Iranian regime can never put things back together in quite the same way again because the interior landscape of the country has changed. It has been said that “what is essential is invisible to the eye.” This date has marked itself; and the calendar has singled out the day as a landmark not of a passage to a place, but of a transition between one idea and another. They are on the other side.

2009-06-19

Iran

A week ago, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of the so-called elections in Iran. Supporters of his rival - and opponents of the regime - staged massive protests. Due to personal obligations and the pace of events, I haven't been keeping up with the Iran situation here, but I'm going to try to catch up a little now.

Azarmehr, June 12:

Pro-Ahmadinejad news websites are already announcing Ahmadinejad as the outright winner. Rajanews says 69% have voted for Ahamdienjad and 28% for Moussavi. Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA, has also announced Ahmadienjad as the certain winner.


The picture shows, club wielding pro-Ahmadinejad supporters are already in the streets intimidating the people. [photo at link]

Via Gateway Pundit, the Globe and Mail, June 13:

Thousands of protesters clashed with police after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won an election which his reformist challenger called a “dangerous charade“.

The protests were a rare direct challenge to Iranian authorities. The result and its violent aftermath raised fresh questions about the direction of Iranian policies at a time when U.S. President Barack Obama wants to improve relations with Iran.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Iranians to respect Ahmadinejad’s victory, which upset expectations that reformist candidate Mirhossein Mousavi might win the race.

Michael Ledeen, June 15:

To start with, the BBC, long considered a shill for the regime by most Iranian dissidents, estimates between one and two million Tehranis demonstrated against the regime on Monday. That’s a big number. So we can say that, at least for the moment, there is a revolutionary mass in the streets of Tehran. There are similar reports from places like Tabriz and Isfahan, so it’s nationwide.

For its part, the regime ordered its (Basij and imported Hezbollah) thugs to open fire on the demonstrators. The Guardian, whose reporting from Iran has always been very good (three correspondents expelled in the last ten years, they tell me), thinks that a dozen or so were killed on Monday. And the reports of brutal assaults against student dormitories in several cities are horrifying, even by the mullahs’ low standards.

Western governments have expressed dismay at the violence, and Obama, in his eternally narcissistic way, said that he was deeply disturbed by it ...

Before I go on, I want to make a few observations about Mousavi. As some of the more cynical commenters on my Facebook page have correctly observed, Mousavi is not, himself, what we would call a "good guy". That is to say, he is not running on a "freedom, democracy, and secularism" platform and he is no less a part of the establishment than Ahmadinejad. He is simply a rival thug. So, what are we to make of the demonstrations?

Here's Ledeen, June 17:

I think that many pundits insist on thinking about the Iran-that-was-five-days-ago, instead of the bubbling cauldron that it is today. The same mistake is repeated when people say that Mousavi, after all, is “one of them,” a member of the founding generation of the Islamic Republic, and so you can’t expect real change from him. The president made that mistake when he said that he didn’t expect any real difference in Iran’s behavior, no matter how this drama plays out.

I think that is wrong; at this point, Mousavi either brings down the Islamic Republic or he hangs. If he wins, and the Islamic Republic comes down, we may well see the whole world change, from an end of the theocratic fascist system, to a cutoff of money, arms, technology, training camps and intelligence to the world’s leading terrorist organizations, and yes, even to a termination of the nuclear weapons program.

I think that, whatever or whoever Mir Hossein Mousavi was five days ago, he is now the leader of a mass movement that demands the creation of a free Iran that will rejoin the Western world. And yes, the wheel could turn again, this revolution could one day be betrayed, all kinds of surprises no doubt await the Iranian people. Yes, but. But today, there is a dramatic chance of a very good thing happening in Iran, and thus in the Middle East, and therefore in the whole world.


And Michael Totten at Commentary, June 18:
I do not trust Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. He is part of the Khomeinist establishment, although a crudely sidelined one at the moment. His record as former prime minister isn’t much more attractive than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s record as president.

The democracy movement is rallying around him, but the activists should be careful. Ruhollah Khomeini managed to convince Iranian liberals and leftists to forge an alliance with him to topple the Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979, but he brutally smashed them once the revolution swept the old regime out of power. Alliances between liberals and Islamists is extraordinarily dangerous – for liberals.

At the same time, though, it’s possible that Mousavi has changed. Michael Ledeen seems to think so. “He is not a revolutionary leader,” he wrote, “he is a leader who has been made into a revolutionary by a movement that grew up around him…Whatever plans Mousavi had for a gradual transformation of the Islamic Republic, they have been overtaken by events.” ...

Please go to the link for the rest, including Totten's commentary on an article by Robert F. Worth in the New York Times.

Now covering the rallies, here's Azarmehr:

Massive crowds, mourning the martyrs of the protests so far, sing the true national anthem of Iran ["Ey Iran"] and not the official Islamic Republic one [video]...
Protests in Rasht. Young girl is caught badly beaten up, God knows what happened to her afterwards at the hands of those savages. [video]

The Spirit of Man posts running updates:

5:34 am ET: Now calling protesters 'terrorists'? Khamenei wants an END TO STREET RALLIES & threatened the protesters with more consequences.

5:37 am: Khamenei said budging under pressure is dictatorship. He is again threatening the heads of the opposition. He says people should try the 'kinder' way and saying if people go another way, then I'll be more blunt. 5:41 am: He's now taking a jab at the US and EU governments. I think he's trying to link the protests to the foreign governments now.

5:50 am et: Khamenei is saying Iran is no Georgia and there'll be no velvet revolution in this country. Now giving food to the stupid leftists in the western world... saying Iraq war is against human rights. Now criticizing Hillary Clinton and her husband for Waco incident. Khamenei says the Iranian govt is the defender of 'human rights' around the world. 5:51 am ET: He is now basically saying that he is willing to give his life to defend the revolution & Islamic state.
-----
My gut feelings: I predict Tiananmen Square in Iran

Stay tuned for more.

2009-06-09

Equality California versus Proposition 8

Following the California State Supreme Court's decision two weeks ago to let Proposition 8 stand, Equality California is taking the issue of marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples back to the ballot box, and reinstate the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Win Marriage Back: Make it Real! is a coordinated, grassroots and media effort to build support for the freedom to marry at the local level and over the airwaves. Together, we will introduce ourselves to the people of California, winning their hearts and minds and ensuring that we win marriage back once and for all.

EQCA's goal is to reach out to voters in areas like Orange County, San Diego, Sacramento, and the Inland Empire who may be undecided about the issue, or who may be willing to reconsider their past support of Prop 8. You can donate to this campaign here. This follows a recent campaign in Central California called Meet in the Middle.

Remarks. I had the opportunity to do some canvassing with Equality California here in downtown San Francisco. It was a challenging environment because most people were in a hurry and couldn't stop, but there was a strong sense of support from the people we talked to. Of course, this is San Francisco!

A key aspect of this campaign is that it will aim to get marriage equality passed through the legislative process, as opposed to a court decision. One of the few negative comments I got was from a man who said, "The people have spoken!" And I wonder if some of the original support for Prop 8 might have come from people who weren't necessarily hard-core opponents of gay marriage, but rather small-government conservatives who saw the original State Supreme Court decision as a case of unelected courts overstepping their authority.

The Volokh Conspiracy has a post by Ilya Somin (dated May 25, 2009) addressing the question of whether judicial decisions supporting same-sex marriage are a net liability for marriage equality.

Legal scholars such as Jeffrey Rosen and Gerald Rosenberg have argued that judicial decisions striking down state bans on gay marriage have ultimately set back the cause of gay equality by stimulating an anti-gay marriage political backlash. Back in November, I wrote a post criticizing this view, noting that judicial decisions have led to much faster adoption of gay marriage than would have occurred otherwise. Since November, three more states - Iowa, Maine, and Vermont, have legalized gay marriage and New Hampshire is likely to do so soon, despite some delays. Three of those four states (all but Iowa) have adopted gay marriage through the legislative process (or almost done so, in the case of NH), which suggests that the power of the anti-gay marriage backlash is waning.

These developments provide additional support for my argument that judicial review has been a net plus for the gay marriage movement. It is unlikely that either these four states or the two that adopted gay marriage earlier would have done so as quickly were it not for the momentum generated by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's 2003 Goodridge decision mandating gay marriage equality in that state. Until that point, gay marriage seemed a very distant prospect in virtually every state, even the more liberal ones. ...

Go to the post for links, and some great discussion in comments. It's important to note that some gay activists prefer the legislative approach. Here's Jonathan Rauch writing back in 1999:

I should say that I firmly favor gay marriage, both on humanitarian grounds and because I think it is good social policy. If gay people exist — that is, if we are not just neurotic heterosexuals who need to get our act together — then surely we ought to be encouraged to marry and settle down. It has never been clear to me why discouraging stable gay relationships in favor of sex in parks and porn shops is good for the American family, or anyone else.

Nonetheless, gay marriage is a deeply polarizing issue, to put the case mildly. To impose it judicially on a predominantly hostile country would beg for a backlash — against gays, against the courts, against government broadly.

And Rauch's analysis of "Not Whether, but How" from this past winter:

Same-sex marriage can, I think, shed light on how to understand the tensions in today’s conservatism. The way the country is dealing with same-sex marriage teaches something about the sense in which America is more truly and coherently conservative than are the current leaders of its conservative movement.

The coming debate over the fate of Proposition 8 will provide Californians many opportunities to give this issue the thoughtful discussion it deserves. I am confident that soon - very soon - lesbian and gay Californians will enjoy full equality of marriage rights, won through the assent of the people of California.

2009-06-03

Morning Report: 2009-06-03

Dutch PM won't meet with Dalai Lama. AP via YNet reports that Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has declined meeting with the Dalai Lama of Tibet during the latter's visit to the Netherlands.

Irshad Manji to Barack Obama. Activist Irshad Manji has a few things to say to President Obama on the occasion of Obama's upcoming Cairo speech:

This Thursday, President Obama will deliver a highly anticipated speech to Muslims — and he’ll be doing it from Cairo.

While many gush and fawn over Washington’s new approach to diplomacy, not everyone’s convinced. Consider this email from Robert, a friend of mine who happens to be an ardent Democrat:

“It is hugely disappointing that [President Obama] is going to Egypt to talk about his outreach to the Muslim world. Who is he going to be addressing as his local audience — Hosni Mubarak? The Muslim Brotherhood?

I wonder if dissidents and reformers who are behind bars will even be able to see or hear the speech (not likely). Such audacious hope our President will be inspiring that day.

And to follow it with a trip to Normandy to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landing, which was the beginning of the end for Hitler and Nazi fascism — liberating continental Europe to allow for democracy. The mind reels.”


Obama’s got other speech problems. Read this email, recently sent to me by Harudin in Malaysia:

“Are you sure you are a faithful Muslim??? Why you are too fear to this religion??? Are you working with white house???”

Translation: Even in the age of Obama, the White House represents a den of oppression to many a Muslim. This, despite the president’s emphasis in his January 20 inaugural address that America will resume its perch as a champion of human rights everywhere ...

BBC hearts pro-regime Iranians. The Spirit of Man:

Got a call from a friend in Iran who was was very shocked after watching a segment on Persian language service of BBC about some Iranian expats in Canada who support Ahmadinejad's re-election. He was curious to know who these morons are. I had nothing to tell him but all I said was that the Iranian regime in partnership with anti-freedom leftist Iranians in BBC has managed to buy agents of influence around the globe. I told him people he had seen on Islamic regime-friendly BBC Persian TV program are the direct beneficiaries of the Iranian revolutionary regime and the guys in BBC are showcasing these agents of influence for people like him inside of the country so he'd never ever think the regime would go away ...