This is the most unrest that’s been seen in Iran in a decade, there’s a lot of people in Iran unhappy over the election results that were announced. (h/t Michael Totten please stop by, he has several more videos posted)
In an intercepted letter to Iran, Ayman Al Zawahiri praises Iran for their aid in setting up the terror cells in Yemen responsible for the recent US Embassy attacks there. In the past both Al Qaeda and the Taliban have sheltered in Iran, and without Iran’s logistics and weapons aid it’s doubtful that they can be effective in Pakistan and Afghanistan now that AQ is shut off from their ISI sugardaddies by the new Pakistan government. Story at The UK Telegraph:
Delivery of the letter exposed the rising role of Saad bin Laden, son of the al-Qaeda leader, Osama as an intermediary between the organisation and Iran. Saad bin Laden has been living in Iran since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, apparently under house arrest.
The letter, which was signed by Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s second in command, was written after the American embassy in Yemen was attacked by simultaneous suicide car bombs in September.
Western security officials said the missive thanked the leadership of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards for providing assistance to al-Qaeda to set up its terrorist network in Yemen, which has suffered ten al-Qaeda-related terror attacks in the past year, including two bomb attacks against the American embassy.
In the letter al-Qaeda’s leadership pays tribute to Iran’s generosity, stating that without its “monetary and infrastructure assistance” it would have not been possible for the group to carry out the terror attacks. It also thanked Iran for having the “vision” to help the terror organisation establish new bases in Yemen after al-Qaeda was forced to abandon much of its terrorist infrastructure in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
There has been intense speculation about the level of Iranian support for al-Qaeda since the 9/11 Commission report into al-Qaeda’s terror attacks against the U.S. in 2001 concluded that Iran had provided safe passage for many of the 9/11 hijackers travelling between Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia prior to the attacks.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has canceled an appearance at a New York rally next week after organizers blindsided her by inviting Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, aides to the senator said Tuesday.
Several American Jewish groups plan a major rally outside the United Nations on Sept. 22 to protest against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Organizers said Tuesday that both Clinton, who nearly won the Democratic nomination for president, and Palin, Republican candidate John McCain’s running mate, are expected to attend.
In a fully politically motivated move in July Barack Obama used his trip to Iraq to try extending the negotiations and troop draw downs in Iraq according to Amer Taheri. Full Story at New York Post:
According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.
“He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington,” Zebari said in an interview.
Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops – and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its “state of weakness and political confusion.”
This demonstrate’s Obama’s willingness to say one thing in public and campaign for something entirely different behind closed doors. In other words he’s a coldly calculating machine politician more interested in Party Power than any other cause. It also shows his clear lack of appreciation for separation of powers. The executive branch becomes Commander in Chief exactly so our troops and wars do not become political footballs. It’s neither in Congress’ purview nor powers to manage theater tactics but that’s exactly what Senator Barack Obama was trying to do here.
Another damning conclusion from the story:
Thus, the 2010 deadline fixed by Obama is a meaningless concept, thrown in as a sop to his anti-war base.
Most Americans would not recognize the acronym “BMD” or understand its meaning, but Ballistic Missile Defense is a keystone to our strategic defense systems as well as those of NATO.
Russia, China, and a raft of third world thugs and dictators are as openly and adamantly opposed to the program as Obama is.
James Lewis at American Thinker has an article up about this, and I will take a moment here to completely underline one of the key effects of BMD for Geo-political strategy. To help you understand this effect I’m going to explain what I call the “Snapshot Bully Scenario.”
While nuclear war would be unthinkable with either Russia or China, and Ballistic Missile Defense at present isn’t designed to cope with their large arsenals, BMD does prevent the “snapshot bully” scenario. A single nuclear shot or threat of one by Russia or China against a neighbor they were trying to coerce would be unlikely, but it’s also unlikely that the response would be nuclear in return if they were given slight pretext and only one nuclear device were used or threatened. The opposition would be world wide, but it probably wouldn’t be military since that would initiate WWIII at a nuclear level. The precedent for limited nuclear weapon use was already set by the US when we used them against Japan.
What’s more likely is that Russia or China could threaten through proxy – a nuclear armed North Korea, Pakistan, India, or Iran backed by a tight alliance with either Russia or China could use the snapshot bullying tactic of a single shot or threat of a single shot to gain compliance, and that would be more likely than the direct threat scenario outlined above. Not to mention that if Iran gets nukes, it’s likely they will share the awful bounty with people like Hugo Chavez to threaten our allies in this hemisphere. Without BMD it’s likely that the Eastern European or South Asian country threatened would knuckle under to whatever demand was made under coercion from snapshot nuclear blackmail.
The current BMD program (once in place) completely removes that threat, since it makes it highly unlikely that a single shot would succeed in reaching target. Japan is already protected from snapshot scenarios, as are others in the area by their BMD batteries and ships.
China and Russia’s strategic nuclear forces also make the conventional armies of countries in East Europe and the Sub-continent of Asia somewhat useless in defending against an ally of either Russia or China, and there are many other scenarios you could imagine where the ability to defeat a single nuclear shot becomes extremely important beyond just that of the madman with a nuclear ICBM scenario most people think of.
Barack’s opposition to BMD and the space program is clearly a disaster in the making for the US and our Allies. Please write or join here and let your support of BMD be known. ( Please note that I am conservative, and oppose Barack Obama and the Democrats in general, but the MDAA is Non-partisan and supports the concept of BMD in general without lobbying for any particular technology.)
Since Mujahadin-e-Khalq has provided us intelligence on Iranian weapons initiatives, Quds force weapons smuggling, and Revolutionary Guards operations within Iraq there is a movement afoot to get them removed from the Terrorist organization lists in some countries. The intel they provided proved to be not only true over time, but invaluable in some cases. (background here, and here.)
They even have Daniel Pipes pulling for them – a heavy-weight proponent to be sure. I disagree with Daniel however.
Once a group adapts terror as a means to an end they can never be trusted again – if they show the willingness to let the ends justify the means once, they can, and likely will, again. Should we continue to accept intelligence from them? Surely. Just as I read El Ehklaas, so too must even terrorist sources of information be used.
That said, there is no redemption for terror groups. Fatah should never have been legitimized, and I don’t care if it’s convenient for political or strategic purposes – terror groups are terror groups. Accepting terrorism from any quarter allows our enemies moral footing, and that should never happen.
So, PKK, IRA, LTTE, MEK, Fatah — still terror groups in my book. If a group wishes to change, remove the leadership, rename, and repurpose with new manifesto that explicitly abjures all forms of terror without equvocation then maybe they could be considered. That’s not the case here.