Morning Report: June 19, 2005

Latest Iran news. The IRI regime's recent "elections" drew calls for a boycott from Iranian freedom activists. Despite some MSM claims of "higher than expected voter turnout", eyewitness accounts from Iranians - and photographs of the polling places - tell a different story. There were also reports of violence against demonstraters in Los Angeles, Ottawa, and other cities. Commenter Rasker provides video of one confrontation in Houston. Opposition candidate Mustafa Moin has challenged the legitimacy of the polls, claiming that "a powerful will entered the arena bent on the victory of a particular candidate and the elimination of the other candidates" and declaring that "a warning bell has sounded" for Iran's rulers. Numerous anti-regime groups have designated the days following the election as the beginning of an organized campaign to depose the regime; however, no new information on this is currently available. (Free Iran, Rasker)

Belmont Club on Iraq developments. Wretchard examines the increased intensity of combat in Iraq, exemplified by operations Spear and Dagger. 'In the near term, the operational tempo (billed as "violence", "instability" or "mayhem" in the media) will almost certainly increase for the following reasons. First, Iraqi forces are now coming online and they are not the "fresh meat" the Daily Kos claims. Though they may have shortcomings, Iraqi troops are far from totally ineffective and actually represent a net increase in coalition combat power against the enemy. Second, the cumulative results of two years of intelligence infrastructure building coming into fruition in the larger size of caches being found and in the number of "tips" which precede many of the recent captures and rescues. Third, the insurgent strategy of attempting to ignite a civil war as described in the last post, will generate its own backblast.' See also Friday's post on Mosul. (Belmont Club)

Command Post on energy issues. 'This week, debate in the Senate began in earnest on the federal energy bill - and the debate in the US, around the world, and on the internet shows no signs of abating. In a widely cited poll, Yale University researchers found that an overwhelming majority of Americans are worried about dependence on foreign oil (92%) and want government to develop new energy technologies to address it (93%). Apparently, they haven’t been reading their Kunstler, or else they’d know that there are no solutions other than the long-overdue destruction of our sinfully consumptive civilization - or maybe they’ve been reading their Engineer-Poet instead, and know better than to buy into sci-fi catastrophilia. ...' Winds of Change takes a look at real-world options on bio, electricity, fossils, nuclear, solar, wind, and energy policy. (Winds of Change)