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« on: August 11, 2006, 03:22:15 AM »

Cause I'm tired of trying to find the right thread. Undecided
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Apocalypse Now?
Is Iran planning a cataclysmic strike for August 22?

By Joel C. Rosenberg

Is Iran planning an apocalyptic strike against Israel and/or the United States for August 22? If so, what should the U.S. do to protect Americans and our ally? Such questions are worrying a growing number of officials in the White House, at the CIA, and at the Pentagon, and for good reason.

As a devout Shiite Muslim, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is telling colleagues in Tehran that he believes the end of the world is rapidly approaching. He also believes that the way to hasten the coming of the Islamic Messiah known as the “Hidden Imam” or the “Mahdi” is to launch a catastrophic global jihad, first against Israel (the “little Satan”) and then against the U.S. (the “Great Satan”). What’s more, Ahmadinejad is widely believed to be pursuing nuclear weapons that would give him the ability to carry out his apocalyptic religious views. Some experts even speculate that Iran may already have several atomic bombs and the means to deliver them.

In recent days, Ahmadinejad and his advisers have said that Iran will answer the world regarding the future of its nuclear program on August 22. That happens to be a very significant date for Muslims: It is the anniversary of the supposed “night flight” by Mohammed from Saudi Arabia to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to heaven and back again. There is a worry that Ahmadinejad is planning some sort of apocalyptic attack as his ‘“response” on August 22. If so, time is short and the clock is ticking.

It is hard for many Americans to imagine an Iranian leader (or any other world leader) actually trying to bring about the end of the world by launching a nuclear attack to destroy millions of Jews and Christians. But it is precisely this type of attack that I wrote about in my recent political thrillers, The Ezekiel Option and The Copper Scroll. One of my goals was to help people understand this brand of radical Islamic thinking and its implications for Western civilization. On page 358 of The Ezekiel Option, a fictional Islamic character insists that Israel is going to be “wiped off the face of the map forever.” Five months after Option was published last June, Ahmadinejad gave a speech vowing to wipe Israel “off the map” forever. In the novel, Iran forms a military alliance with Russia and starts buying state-of-the-art weaponry from Moscow to accomplish its apocalyptic objectives. Last December, fiction again became reality, when Iran signed a $1 billion deal with Russia to buy missiles and others weapons.

Muslims are not the only ones who have apocalyptic end-times views, of course. As an evangelical Christian from an Orthodox Jewish heritage, my novels are based on a number of “end times” prophecies that the Bible says will be fulfilled in “the last days.” For example, the Hebrew Prophet Ezekiel — writing 2,500 years ago — described a future Middle Eastern war to annihilate Israel that is known today by Bible scholars as the “War of Gog and Magog.” Jews and Christians who take Ezekiel’s prophecies seriously believe that at the last minute the God of Israel will supernaturally intervene to defeat Israel’s enemies in this war. By contrast, the Muslim version of the “War of “Gog and Magog“ found in the Koran concludes with Muslims winning. The Ezekiel Option and The Copper Scroll imagine how such prophecies could play themselves out in modern times. But suddenly this is no longer the stuff of fiction. Ahmadinejad actually seems intent on launching the “War of Gog and Magog.”

Bernard Lewis of Princeton University, arguably the world’s foremost expert on Middle Eastern history, wrote an essay for the Wall Street Journal last Tuesday warning that Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic objectives could lead to a “cataclysmic” attack on August 22. Lewis observed that there it is not possible to say with any certainty that such an attack is planned, but he felt compelled to explain to Americans just how dangerous Ahmadinejad’s thinking is, especially in light of Islamic, Jewish, and Christian “end times” theology, such as the “War of Gog and Magog” and “Armageddon.” How, Lewis asked, can you negotiate with a man who believes it is his religious duty and mission to bring about the end of the world? How can you deter a man who wants to die and go to paradise, but believes he won’t actually die in such a war because Allah is on his side to kill millions of “infidels”?

Lewis’s warning was prudent and needed, as was his careful explanation of the apocalyptic thinking driving the Iranian leadership at present. But Lewis’s conclusion was puzzling. He writes:

“How then can one confront such an enemy, with such a view of life and death?” he wrote. “Some immediate precautions are obviously possible and necessary. In the long term, it would seem that the best, perhaps the only hope is to appeal to those Muslims, Iranians, Arabs and others who do not share these apocalyptic perceptions and aspirations, and feel as much threatened, indeed even more threatened, than we are. There must be many such, probably even a majority in the lands of Islam. Now is the time for them to save their countries, their societies and their religion from the madness of MAD [the Cold War policy of Mutual Assured Destruction].”

’This is indeed a wise “long-term” strategy, trying to win over Islamic moderates, but Lewis writes as if the danger posed by Iran is not an immediate one, as if we have the luxury of relying on far-sighted strategies. But ’Lewis himself is suggesting that Iran may be planning “cataclysmic” attacks to begin as early as August 22. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for long-term planning. We all hope and pray that August 22 is not the day Ahmadinejad has chosen to launch the apocalypse, but there is little doubt in the White House and at the CIA that the Iranian leader is feverishly trying to build, buy, or steal nuclear weapons, and that he will quite likely use them once he has them.

All of this raises very serious questions for the president and the nation. How much time do we have to pursue a diplomatic track with Iran? At what point do we have to conclude that negotiations are going nowhere? Are we prepared to live with a nuclear-armed Iran? If so, how? If not, what is the president prepared to do to protect Americans and our allies from an Iranian nuclear-strike, or nuclear blackmail?

In his famous “axis of evil” speech on January 29, 2002, President Bush made the following case:

“We will work closely with our coalition to deny terrorists and their state sponsors the materials, technology, and expertise to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction. We will develop and deploy effective missile defenses to protect America and our allies from sudden attack. And all nations should know: America will do what is necessary to ensure our nation’s security. We’ll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.”

Today, the country is deeply divided over whether using military force in Iraq was the right thing to do. But the Iranian nuclear threat is now far worse than the Iraqi threat of having or obtaining weapons of mass destruction was then. President Bush has a decision to make and precious little time to make it. For let’s be clear: should Iran go nuclear on this president’s watch, all the gains made to date in the War on Terror will be wiped out overnight. That is not a legacy this president wants, nor one this nation can afford.

Apocalypse Now?
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2006, 03:25:20 AM »

World to end on August 22
Brian Whitaker

August 9, 2006 11:55 AM

Better cancel those holidays. We now have a date for Armageddon, and it's a week on Tuesday - August 22.  (I disagree, as a Christian, we don't set dates. .... DW)

This information comes from no lesser source than the Wall Street Journal, where Bernard Lewis, President Bush's favourite historian, provides the details.

"In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity," the professor writes, "there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time - Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long-awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined.

"Mr Ahmadinejad [the Iranian president] and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the US about nuclear development by August 22. This was at first reported as 'by the end of August', but Mr Ahmadinejad's statement was more precise."

Lewis continues: "What is the significance of August 22? This year, August 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to 'the farthest mosque', usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (cf, Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and, if necessary, of the world."

This sort of quasi-religious scaremongering always finds a receptive audience in the United States, especially among Christians of the jihadist persuasion. At 90 years old, Professor Lewis may have completely lost his marbles, but he is still feted by the White House (vice-president Dick Cheney was guest of honour at his birthday party in April), and the Wall Street Journal describes him as "a sage". He is credited with coining the phrase "clash of civilisations" back in 1990 and now seems intent on making it a reality.

Nevertheless, Prof Lewis does manage to spot a few drawbacks in his alleged Iranian attempt to obliterate Israel. "An attack that wipes out Israel would almost certainly wipe out the Palestinians too," he writes.
This "might well be of concern to the Palestinians", he says, "but not apparently to their fanatical champions in the Iranian government." (He seems to be assuming here that Iran already has a fully primed nuclear arsenal, which is plainly not the case, despite what many Americans imagine.)

He then suddenly demolishes his own argument with this caveat: "It is far from certain that Mr Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for August 22."

So why, exactly, did the Iranians choose August 22 as the date for giving their answer to the US about nuclear development? Probably for bureaucratic convenience. When they promised a reply "by the end of August", they didn't actually use the word "August", but the Iranian equivalent. If you look up the Persian calendar, you'll see that August 22 just happens to be the end of the month known as Mordad.

I don't suppose this will discourage the neocons from continuing to write such loopy, prophetic nonsense. Here's another of them, Michael Ledeen, formerly a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal, and the Iraq-Niger yellowcake affair, predicting an Iranian nuclear test by November 5:

"The Iranians believe they now have all the necessary components for a nuclear bomb. The only question is how long it will take them to assemble and test it. Khamenei had hoped to be able to test an atomic bomb by the third week in October, but his scientific advisers recently told him they could not make that deadline. They are now aiming for November 4 or 5, the anniversary of the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran during the revolution.

"There is another November date our leaders should take seriously: the 25th, the anniversary of the disappearance of the twelfth imam, and thus the most significant date in the Shiite calendar. Reports from Tehran suggest that the mullahs would like to celebrate that anniversary with a big-time terrorist attack against America."

World to end on August 22
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2006, 03:32:48 AM »

Iran government to name jurors in press cases

Friday, August 11, 2006 - ©2005 IranMania.com
     Related Pictures
 
Archived Picture - According to an AFP report, hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has begun implementing a new law giving the government the right to appoint the jurors in press cases, further tightening the authorities' control over the media, a report said.

LONDON, August 11 (IranMania) - Hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has begun implementing a new law giving the government the right to appoint the jurors in press cases, further tightening the authorities' control over the media, a report said.

Ahmadinejad ordered that the ministries of justice, and culture and Islamic guidance appoint the jurors in all future cases in accordance with the new law, the English-language Iran Daily reported.

The bill was adopted by the conservative-controlled parliament in April last year and won the approval of legislative watchdog the Guardians' Council last month, AFP noted.

It replaces a law adopted by the former reformist-controlled parliament that allowed the jurors in press cases to be named by the journalists' union and other non-governmental bodies.

As well as offences like libel and blasphemy, the press court hears cases in which journalists are accused of threatening national security or agitating against the regime.

Iran's often turbulent experiment with reform following the 1997 election of Ahmadinejad's moderate predecessor Mohammad Khatami saw a proliferation of new titles and increasingly open criticism of the way the Islamic republic is run, AFP stated.

But the judiciary, which remained controlled by hardliners throughout, hit back shutting down hundreds of publications and detaining scores of journalists, the report added.

And the swearing in of the hardline president in June last year following the election of a conservative-controlled parliament in 2004 has seen a renewed clampdown on the domestic media, AFP said.

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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2006, 03:42:13 AM »

Ahmadinejad demands US change its behaviour

NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON: Western nations are dragging their feet over halting hostilities between Israel and Lebanon because war helps their goals in the region, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in remarks published on Thursday, while demanding the US administration change its behaviour in separate comments two days earlier.

Although there is an urgent need for a ceasefire, countries led by the United States and Britain have been killing time to help Israel achieve military victories, he said in an interview with India’s Hindu newspaper.

Ahmadinejad’s comments came as Israeli troops battled Hezbollah deep into south Lebanon and the Islamist group’s leader vowed to turn the area into a graveyard for invading troops.

Diplomats are still working on a UN resolution aimed at ending the war but, with world powers divided, no UN Security Council vote seems imminent.

“The first action that must be taken is to establish a ceasefire,” Ahmadinejad said in the interview, which was conducted on Tuesday in Tehran. “(But) as we speak, they are still killing time, dragging their feet, to buy the Zionists some time so that they can have some military victories.”

“On the other hand, they are talking about and circulating texts for specific resolutions to be passed and through these they are hoping to secure the interests that the Zionist regime failed to secure through a military attack,” he said.

“For this reason ... the war rages on.”

Western powers have displayed a similar attitude in talks with Tehran over its controversial nuclear programme, the Iranian president said. Tehran has vowed to expand its atomic fuel activities despite a July 31 UN Security Council resolution demanding it halt nuclear work by Aug. 31 or face the threat of sanctions. The West fears Iran will use enriched uranium to make atomic bombs.

“We have always been interested in talking and we are still interested in dialogue, in the context of the law, our national interest, and based on justness and fairness,” Ahmadinejad said.

But the UN had passed a resolution without waiting for Iran’s response to the world body’s concerns, which Tehran had promised to submit on Aug 22.

“What is the meaning of this? The only conclusion I can draw is that they are bullying us,” he said.

“They really are not looking for a dialogue. In all honesty, they do not want to talk to us but want to impose their wishes on us. They want to deny us our rights,” he said.

“But they have miscalculated. The time for such behaviour is in the past, it’s finished. We are not concerned. And they will regret the miscalculation.”

He also accused the United States of harbouring imperial ambitions and demanded the administration change its behaviour.

The Americans “want to build an empire,” said Ahmadinejad, according to excerpts of the interview published by the US television CBS network on its website on Wednesday, originally conducted on Tuesday.

“And they don’t want to live side-by-side in peace with other nations. The American government, sir, it is very clear to me they have to change their behaviour and everything will be resolved,” said Ahmadinejad.

The interview, which was to be broadcast in full on Sunday on the ‘60 minutes’ programme, coincides with rising tensions between Washington and Tehran over Iran’s disputed nuclear programme and Israel’s offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The hardline Iranian president said the administration of President George W Bush had adopted a condescending attitude towards Iran over its nuclear programme.

Ahmadinejad also expressed disappointment that the US administration had not responded to a letter he sent to Bush in May, which Tehran had presented as an important diplomatic initiative.

Ahmadinejad demands US change its behaviour
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2006, 03:43:28 AM »

I have noticed that August 22 is exactly one year from when Ahmadenjad took "office." That to me hightens the probability that he chose that date for a reason.  But all this doesn't mean anything if God doesn't allow whatever, Iran is planning to succeed yet. Just have to wait and see Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2006, 05:02:46 AM »

Ahmadinejad: Israel can’t meet military aims via UN
Published: Monday, 9 August, 2006, 11:31 AM Doha Time

TEHRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that neither Israel nor the US could realise their military aims in Lebanon through the UN Security Council, state television IRIB reported.

"The decisive resistance has made the Zionist regime and its master totally confused. Now they think that they can realise their failed military aims through using their influence in the UN Security Council," IRIB quoted Ahmadinejad as telling his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad in a telephone conversation.

"As a fierce supporter of the Zionist regime, the US has no right at all to play the role of a mediator," Ahmadinejad told Assad.

While predicting once again Israel’s final defeat "though the unity of the Lebanese people and the Islamic countries," Ahmadinejad said that both Israel and the US "made a grave mistake in believing that they could break the Lebanese resistance through attacking civilians and the country’s infrastructure."

Iran’s National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani had earlier yesterday voiced scepticism over a deal for a resolution on the Lebanon crisis proposed by France and supported by the US that the UN Security Council has begun considering.

"This deal cannot be very useful as it is one-sided," Ali Larijani said at a press conference in Tehran.

Larijani said the draft resolution called for an immediate exchange of Israeli prisoners, but the release of the Lebanese prisoners was to be carried out later.

"I wondered whether such an option could be regarded as really fair," he said.

The country’s top security official blamed the US and Britain for following a "reactionary and adventurous" approach in the Middle East but termed the Middle East policies by other European states, namely Germany and Italy, as "moderate."

"For solving the crisis in Lebanon, first the roots of the issue should be evaluated and it should also be clarified why a simple ceasefire and exchange of prisoners of wars is not implemented for stopping the bloodshed and killing of innocent civilians," Larijani said.

He once again accused the US of planning a "new Middle East scheme" with the final aim of forcing the regional states to acknowledge Israel.

Larijani termed the fight against terrorism a pretext as following the US military invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq, "terrorism has rather increased than decreased" besides turning the two countries into war-shattered zones.

Larijani called on Israel, the US and Britain to acknowledge the fact that they had committed a "miscalculation" and that the Lebanese Hezbollah group could still not be defeated after more than 20 days although it was initially hoped the group could be vanquished "within hours."

"They (Israel, the US and Britain) must simply accept defeat," he said.

Edit to add; I can't post the link, because of advertisment.
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2006, 01:10:56 PM »

Expert: Iran Poised To Be 'Mother of All World Threats'

Dave Eberhart, NewsMax
Friday, Aug. 11, 2006

WASHINGTON -- For anyone who still thinks the Israeli-Lebanon war is just a border scuffle, one Middle East expert shouts a dire warning:

"As soon as a cease fire occurs, the ‘Hezbollah Blitzkrieg' will crumble the ‘Lebanese Republic of Weimar' and install its own ‘Khumeinist Republic' on the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean. The consequences of such a development are far beyond imagination for the region and the world. Hezbollah would have paved the way for Iran to create the mother of all world threats since Hitler."

So cautions Professor Walid Phares, author of "Future Jihad," a visiting fellow with the European Foundation for Democracy in Brussels, and a senior fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C.

In an exclusive interview with NewsMax, the Lebanese-born Phares likens the current Hezbollah offensive in Lebanon to a "putsch" -- with the convoluted aims of reestablishing a pro-Syrian-Iranian regime in Lebanon, reconstructing a third wing to the Tehran-Damascus axis, reanimating the Arab-Israeli conflict, rejuvenating Syrian dominance, isolating Jordan, reaching out to Hamas, crumbling Iraq, and unleashing Iran's nuclear programs.

The author also sees half-measures and premature truces as catalysts to even bloodier future conflicts:

"If Israel takes 40 kilometers [into the southern belly of Lebanon] and sits, Hezbollah and its allies will take the rest of the country and eliminate the Cedars Revolution [the Lebanese Democracy movement]. That is a certainty. Then the two camps will clash in a wider war in few more months."

As a corollary, however, the expert advises that if Israel gets even more aggressive and moves instead through the Bekaa (a fertile valley in Lebanon and Syria, located about 19 miles east of Beirut), it would shut down the Syrian-Lebanese borders (a major supply line for war materials flowing to Hezbollah).

But such a definitive move, says the author, would bring Syria to the conflict, and Israel will have to engage the Assad regime [Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria].

Meanwhile, Phares suggests, under the scenario outlined above, Iran would not sit still but would intervene in a more covert way than has been thus far seen.

However, he advises, Iran doesn't have a land passage to Syria, so it would strike back by igniting an "intifada" in Iraq.

"But this will put Iran on the path of the U.S. coalition, leading the region to global confrontations," Phares predicts. "Israel could also reach the Syrian borders, but instead of a war with Damascus, Assad would accept a MNF [Multi-National Force] at this time to save his regime, which sounds the most realistic."

Phares then projects that a MNF in control of the borders would isolate Hezbollah from Syria and Iran -- enabling a new Lebanese Army to slowly take back the control of the country, leading Israel to withdraw behind the borders.

Neighboring Jordan will try to remain neutral -- unless Iranian forces try to link up with Syria via Iraq, says Phares. Jordan, he adds, will in the end most likely side with NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

For its part, Egypt will face increasing domestic Jihadism but will refrain from cross-border activities, he predicts.

The Risk of an Explosion

The author forecasts some bad outcomes.

If the Lebanon conflict persists too long or if Hezbollah takes over, Jihadi forces in Jordan and Egypt will explode, he predicts.

"In short, if Lebanon falls to Jihadism, all Arab countries will experience similar moves. If the free-Lebanese regain control, democracy forces will move forward in the region. It is a geopolitical cross road," Phares says.

Phares emphasizes that the old parameters of a "buffer zone" don't work anymore.

He sees as the key for everyone in the region finding security, stability, freedom and eventually peace -- the stopping of the flow of weapons and support from Iran to Hezbollah.

"Israel can establish all the security-zones," Phares instructs, "the U.S. and the U.N. can issue all the resolutions, and the Lebanese army can be sent to any area -- as long as the Lebanese-Syrian borders are open between the Assad regime and Nasrallah's [Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the current Secretary General of the Lebanese Islamist party Hezbollah] militia, the war will go on."

The Issue of the Lebanese Army

Along with reciting the reams of regional history necessary to understand the origins of the quagmire, Phares tells NewsMax of what he sees as intriguing sub-plots, including a draconian one to rid Hezbollah of the Lebanese army.

The author argues that no changes were made inside the Lebanese Army to bring it in harmony with the Cedars Revolution (discussed below).

"So what you have there is an army of which 80 percent of its officer corps and about 65 percent of its ranks dislike the Baathists, Iranians and Hezbollah -- but it is still chained to a Pro-Syrian President and paralyzed by Seniora's [Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora] unwillingness to disarm Hezbollah."

(cont'd next post)
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2006, 01:11:32 PM »

But despite the mixed allegiances of the Lebanese army, Hezballoh still wants it out of the way.

Phares opines that Nasrallah wants to move units of the Lebanese army southbound. Hezbollah would then trigger yet more violence with Israel, leading to the latter having to take on the whole Lebanese army.

"Nasrallah is pushing Seniora to send the army to southern Lebanon to be slaughtered," says Phares. "He wants Israel to destroy the Lebanese army – the institution, which in the long term could dismantle the deep terror roots of Hezbollah, once a multinational force deploys and all borders are secured."

Phares pauses for a moment in his analysis of what could come to pass in the near term and looks out to a distant and perhaps hopeful future:

"If democracies allow Jihadism to crush the civil societies of the region, it would take at least two generations to begin another democratic revolution in the Middle East," the author opines. "So by the end of this century, in this case, you have two scenarios: either bloody war in the region with greater genocide than ever -- and also possibly a number of nuclear blast spots...

"However, if the international community focuses on assisting the peoples of the region to get rid of the Jihadi-fascism and the remnants of Baathism, in one hundred years you'll be able to ski in Lebanon, enjoy pastries in Damascus, and watch the clever female Prime Minister of Iran discussing environment issues with her colleague in Afghanistan.

"Jihadists would be looked at as the weird small fractions in the secular multiparty Parliaments of the region who are still arguing how they lost the opportunity to reestablish a Caliphate in the early century..."

Lost Horizons

But whether the international community rises to its finest hour remains to be seen, says Phares.

Look back at the Cedar Revolution, he suggests.

The so-called "Cedar Revolution" is the chain of demonstrations and popular civic action in Lebanon triggered by the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005.

Following the demonstrations, the Syrian troops completely withdrew from Lebanon on April 27, 2005. The Pro-Syrian government was also disbanded. History in the region since that time has been mostly defined by Hezbolloh wanting to undo the progress towards democracy.

Since the Cedars Revolution, says Phares, no single event has shown the international community greater expression from Lebanon. And that is what Hassan Nasrallah wants to destroy, he maintains.

"His [Nasrallah] real war waged at his own timing against Israel aims in fact at destroying the Cedars Revolution, the single most dangerous popular resistance against Terrorism in the history of Lebanon and the region," argues the scholar.

Continuing, the author says, "The U.S. and Europe loved the images of youth and women chanting freedom in Beirut for many days and thought this was Eastern Europe all over again. They were right but they missed the point.

"These masses were desperately calling on the international community for help. ‘We showed you that we want freedom despite the threats of the most oppressive regimes (Syria and Iran) and of a terrorist organization; we've displayed all the courage of the world, alone and without weapons, responding to the calls of spreading democracy,' said the leaders of the Cedars Revolution's NGOs [Non-governmental organizations]."

Poignantly, Phares says that the people of Lebanon were begging in fact: "Now come and protect us -- at least as you did for the Afghan and Iraqi voters."

Meanwhile, the author says, Hezbollah and its masters were watching the Western response: "Lots of celebrations and powerful speeches on both sides of the Atlantic. But inside Lebanon, the old wolves were back to work."

The long story short, says the expert: Syria, Iran and Hezbollah outmaneuvered the Lebanese politicians, as well as the West, by among other things keeping pro-Syrian Emile Jamil Lahoud, president of the Republic of Lebanon at the helm.

"It was terrible how the Lebanese politicians lost all the opportunities provided by the Cedars Revolution," laments Phares, "but it is worse that the bureaucrats in the U.S. and Europe didn't understand what Hezbollah was doing."

Phares says he regrets that no one policy regarding the Cedars Revolution was ever put forth. Billions of dollars were spent on the War of Ideas and Iraq while requests by Lebanese NGOs, small media and civil society groups ready to resume the Cedars Revolution were left unheard, he adds.

Roots of Crisis

Phares argues that Washington and Brussels relied too much on a Lebanese cabinet which had been penetrated by Hezbollah.

"How can you have U.S. officials sitting with the Lebanese Cabinet in the presence of Hezbollah ministers and talk about the Lebanese Army disarming this organization? The naiveté' with which Hezbollah's offensive was dealt with is stunning."

Iran Poised To Be 'Mother of All World Threats'
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2006, 02:58:53 PM »

Ahmadinejad, Putin discuss ME developments by phone
Tehran, Aug 12, IRNA

Iran-Russia-Presidents
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, discussed latest developments in the Middle East, particularly the continuing war in Lebanon, in a telephone conversation on Friday.

Ahmadinejad expressed Tehran's deep concern over the effects of the Zionist regime's massive strikes on Lebanon's civilian population and infrastructure which have now entered their fifth week.

"We are seriously concerned that the ongoing situation (in Lebanon) would create a backlash in regional nations, inciting extreme anger among Muslim youth, in particular, over the Zionists' brutal aggression against Lebanon," said the Iranian president.

He said he feared continuation of the crisis in Lebanon would create an "implosion" which, in turn, would "cause the crisis to spread to the entire region."
Criticizing certain Western countries for their opposition to the 72-hour truce proposed by Russia to take effect in southern Lebanon, Ahmadinejad warned that if international organizations, the United Nations in particular, failed to take measures to end the ongoing carnage in Lebanon "they would be completely discredited." Russia earlier this week proposed a 72-hour truce to allow humanitarian aid to reach areas most affected in the war as continued diplomatic wrangling delayed a UN Security Council resolution to end hostilities.

The proposal was rejected by Israel, saying it would give Hezbollah a grace period to "re-group and recover."
US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton also said he could not see how the Russian proposal would help create an environment for a lasting ceasefire.

Stressing the need for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon, Ahmadinejad urged independent states "to take joint measures" to put an end to Israel's massacre in Lebanon and Palestine.

The president also blamed the US and Britain for contributing to more casualties on the warfront by dragging their feet on a Middle East truce.

The Russian president, for his part, regretted the escalating situation in the region and stressed the need to effect an immediate ceasefire in the war-hit country.

Regretting Western countries' opposition to Moscow's proposal for a 72-hour truce in Lebanon, Putin called for Tehran-Moscow contacts to try to end the war.

The two presidents agreed to hold intensive contacts to find a way out of the crisis and establish a ceasefire as soon as possible.

Ahmadinejad, Putin discuss ME developments by phone
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2006, 01:12:23 AM »

Iran denounces, world hails UN resolution

PARIS: Countries around the world on Saturday hailed a UN resolution calling for an end to the bloodshed in the Middle East saying it gave hope for a lasting peace in the region.

“With the passage of this resolution, the international community has helped to open a path to lasting peace between Lebanon and Israel that will end the suffering and violence of this past month,” US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. “The people of the Middle East have lived too long at the mercy of extremists. It is time to build a more hopeful future. This resolution shows us the way,” she said

In Paris the call was welcomed by French President Jacques Chirac, whose country co-penned the resolution with Washington.

“I hail the unanimous adoption tonight by the UN Security Council of a resolution calling for a complete cessation of hostilities in Lebanon,” he said in a statement.

“In line with its responsibilities, France will take part in the implementation of this resolution, particularly concerning the new UNIFIL force,” he added.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said the Security Council had “decided to stop the war” and welcomed an “end to the suffering”.

But he said a “global political solution” was needed to ensure such an occurrence did not happen again. In the immediate region, reaction was mixed, with Egypt calling on Israel to immediately observe a ceasefire. Despite the resolution, the Israeli launched a wide scale ground offensive in south Lebanon.

“Israel must observe an immediate and complete ceasefire in order to allow the political agreement - achieved after significant efforts - to be applied,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said in a statement.

The resolution came under fire, however, from Hezbollah supporter Iran, which said that it was biased and served only the interests of the Jewish state. “UN resolution 1701 is completely one-sided and it serves the Zionist regime’s interests,” Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was quoted as saying by state television.

“Some amendments need to be incorporated into the resolution. The Lebanese people and government views need to be taken into consideration for the resolution to be accepted by them,” he added during a visit to Yemen.

If implemented fully by Lebanon, the resolution will end Hezbollah’s existence as a militia armed and supported by Iran and Syria. As the resolution was adopted Rice warned Iran and Syria - considered Hezbollah’s main backers - to respect the resolution.

The resolution gained widespread backing in the European Union, whose foreign policy chief Javier Solana also held out hopes for a lasting peace in the area.

“I very much hope that the resolution will be applied so that we have a lasting peace,” he told reporters.In a statement the bloc’s current president Finland urged all parties to fully respect the resolution and called for its immediate implementation. In Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country has called for a diplomatic solution since the start of the conflict, urged its “swift and consistent” implementation. Russia said it expected all sides involved in the conflict in Lebanon to abide “strictly” by the resolution . “We expect all sides to abide strictly to the decision by the UN Security Council,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

The resolution adopted Friday is “a first important step on the path to overcoming this extremely dangerous crisis,” the statement said. In Asia the resolution was welcomed by Japan and Singapore.

Iran denounces, world hails UN resolution
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2006, 01:14:15 AM »

Syrian Cleric Muhammad Said Ramadhan Al-Bouti on Hizbullah TV: I Support Blowing Up American and Israeli Targets around the World

Following are excerpts from an interview with Syrian cleric, Muhammad Said Ramadhan Al-Bouti which aired on Al-Manar TV on August 8, 2006:

Muhammad Said Ramadhan Al-Bouti: As you know, the enemy in this war appears to be Israel, but, as everyone knows, the fighting enemy is actually America. Israel is merely the claw of America in this war. People who cannot stand with their fighting brothers can still fight. They can carry out other actions.

[...]

Israel is now in the throes of death, due to the grip that has tightened around its neck. I used to be one of those who did not support acts that can be characterized as adventurous, like destroying American targets, blowing them up. But now... yesterday I was thinking about this and I looked up what the jurisprudents had to say in this matter. I hold that people who cannot stand with the Islamic resistance, but can carry out, in their countries and in other places, actions that would in some way paralyze this enemy - they should indeed paralyze the enemies' interests, and destroy their facilities wherever they may be, but on condition that they do not confuse things. In other words, innocent lives should not be lost, the action should be carefully planned, and should by limited to the people who are hostile to us. So, you are calling for a passive boycott, for example? Economic boycott is one option. This can be done by all Arab and Islamic countries. In addition, if I were asked about destroying the facilities and interests of the enemies - America and Israel - in the various countries... Does the religious law allow us to do this? yes, as long as innocent people are not killed in the process.

Syrian Cleric Muhammad Said Ramadhan Al-Bouti on Hizbullah TV: I Support Blowing Up American and Israeli Targets around the World
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2006, 02:42:06 PM »

Iranian president launches blog, lambasts US

 
Iran's president has launched a Web log, using his first entry to recount his poor upbringing and ask visitors to the site if they think the United States and Israel want to start a new world war.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose speeches are riddled with anti-U.S. Rhetoric, also described how he was angered by American meddling in Iran even when he was at elementary school.

"Do you think that the U.S. And Israeli intention and goal by attacking Lebanon is pulling the trigger for another world war?" the president asks visitors to the site, offering them the choice to vote 'yes' or 'no'.

Iranian president launches blog, lambasts US
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2006, 02:33:01 AM »

Iran leader says US and Europe face backlash from supporting Israel
August 14, 2006

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the United States of "blindly supporting" Israel against Hezbollah and President George W. Bush of seeking to "solve everything with bombs", in a television interview.

Ahmadinejad again denied seeking a nuclear bomb, questioned the US military presence in Iraq and gave the US network CBS an evasive answer when questioned about an alleged unit of suicide bombers in Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

Commenting on the Israeli-Hezbollah war, the conservative leader said US support for Israel "threatens the future of all peoples, including the American and European peoples.

"So we are asking, why the American government is blindly supporting this murderous regime."

Ahmadinejad has in the past said Israel should be wiped off the map and denied the existence of the Holocaust.

In this interview, he said through a translator that Israel is "a fabricated government" because he said it had been forced upon the Middle East after the Holocaust.

The US administration, Israel's main ally, has repeatedly accused Iran and Syria of giving military and financial support to Hezbollah.

But in the interview, recorded last Tuesday before the UN Security Council ordered a cessation of hostilities, Ahmadinejad said: "Hezbollah is a popular organisation in Lebanon. And they are defending their land."

CBS released excerpts from the interview earlier last week and the full transcript on Sunday.

Ahmadinejad again denied that Iran sought a nuclear bomb but insisted that the United States and its allies would not stop Tehran's nuclear research.

"If Mr Bush thinks that he can stop our progress I have to say that he will be unable to do that."

The UN Security Council passed a resolution on July 31 which gave Iran one month to comply with demands to freeze its uranium enrichment. After that the Security Council could consider sanctions.

Ahmadinejad said Bush and his supporters "want to monopolize energy resources in the world. Because once they have that, they can impose their opinions, points of view, policies on other nations and, of course, line their own pockets."

He added: "Basically we are not looking for working for the bomb. The problem that President Bush has, is in his mind he wants to solve everything with bombs. The time of the bomb is in the past. It's behind us. Today is the era of thoughts, dialogue, and cultural exchanges."

Ahmadinejad said he was "saddened" that so many people have been killed in Iraq's spiralling unrest but that the United States was to blame because of its failure to assure security despite its huge military presence.

In December the US president called Ahmadinejad an "odd guy". This time the Iranian president took the offensive, criticising Bush for not responding to an 18 page letter sent in June.

"I think that Mr. Bush can be in the service of his own people. He can save the American economy without killing people, without occupation, without threats."

He added: "Those who refuse to accept an invitation to good will not have a good ending or fate."

"His approval rating is dropping every day. Hatred vis-a-vis the president is increasing every day around the world. For a ruler, this is the worst message that he could receive.

"Rulers and heads of government at the end of their office must leave office holding their heads high," Ahmadinejad declared.

Asked if he wanted normal relations with the United States, the Iranian president said the United States would have to change.

"Please look at the makeup of the American administration, the behavior of the American administration. See how they talk down to my nation."

He added: "it is very clear to me they have to change their behaviour and everything will be resolved."

CBS interviewer Mike Wallace asked Ahmadinejad about an alleged special unit of suicide bombers in Iran's revolutionary guard that would be activated if the United States attacked.

"So are you expecting the Americans to threaten us and we sit idly by and watch them with our hands tied," the president replied.

"I do hope that the Americans will give up this practice of threatening other nations so that you are not forced me to ask such questions."

Iran leader says US and Europe face backlash from supporting Israel

Quote
"I do hope that the Americans will give up this practice of threatening other nations so that you are not forced me to ask such questions."
I think you need to look in the mirror.
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2006, 03:49:17 AM »

Ahmadinejad talks with Cuba's acting president by phone
Tehran, Aug 14, IRNA

Iran-Cuba-Conversation
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here Sunday night held a telephone conversation with Cuba's acting president Raul Castro.

President Ahmadinejad wished speedy recovery and good health for the ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

He also offered Tehran's help as Cuba prepares for an upcoming summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in the Cuban capital, Havana, in September.

Raul Castro, for his part, praised Iran as a friend of Cuba and wished the Iranian government and nation success in their fight against global arrogance and for recognition of their right to access peaceful nuclear energy.

Ahmadinejad talks with Cuba's acting president by phone
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2006, 03:56:32 AM »

Ahmadinejad Tells Wallace One Thing, Iranians Another
17:09 Aug 13, '06 / 19 Av 5766
by Ezra HaLevi

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad explicitly called for Israel's “death” - just days before assuring American journalist Mike Wallace that he merely wants to move the Jewish state to Germany.



Mike Wallace, the retired host of the popular “60 Minutes” weekly television program, interviewed the Iranian president last week. Wallace returned from the interview describing Ahmadinejad in glowing terms and insisting he was not an anti-Semite. The interview is set to air Sunday night.

“He doesn't like the United States for the reason that it's supporting the Zionist entity - he doesn't talk about Israel,” Wallace told radio host Sean Hannity.

“So you don't think he's an anti-Semite?” asked Hannity.

“He himself, an anti-Semite, an anti-Jew?” Wallace responded.

“Yes,” said Hannity.

“No, I don't,” Wallace said.

Asked by Hannity what Ahmadinejad meant when he called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” Wallace said: “Yes, he says ‘wiped off the map,’ and of course I asked him over and over about that. He says in effect, ‘It's perfectly sensible that, if there is a Holocaust - and let's buy the fact that there was a Holocaust – [we ask] where did the Holocaust take place? Did it take place in an Arab neighborhood? Did it take place in Jerusalem? No. It took place in Germany. Then it seems to me, under those circumstances, take Israel, the Zionist entity,’ he called it, ‘move it to Germany. Move it to Europe. That's where it happened.’”

The Iranian President himself, however, when speaking to his own people, seems to have a different sort of end of the Jewish state in mind. Ahmadinejad addressed a large crowd of Iranians just a week prior to his interview with Wallace, in which he not only led a chant of “Death to Israel,” but explained that he was not alone in such a pursuit.

“I hereby declare that this sinister regime [Israel] is the banner of Satan. It is the banner of the Great Satan,” Ahmadinejad is seen saying in a speech broadcast by the Iranian News Channel (IRINN) on August 2. “From the southernmost point in South America to the easternmost point in Asia, all the people are shouting a single cry. With placards in their hands and clenched fists, they shout: ‘Death to Israel.’”

At that point the crowd chants, “Death to Israel. Death to Israel.”

Ahmadinejad Tells Wallace One Thing, Iranians Another
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mike Wallace must be deaf, not to have heard the threats of ImAnutJob.  I think he needs to go back into retirement.
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