Shiite Iraqi militants have trained in Iran in preparation for attacks against U.S. military bases as American combat forces prepare to withdraw by September, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said on Tuesday.
In an unusually candid assessment, Gen. Ray Odierno said that Kataib Hezbollah - an Iraqi Shiite militant group backed by Iran - may be seeking to take some credit for the long-planned departure of U.S. troops.
"For years these groups have been (saying) that they are forcing the U.S. to leave," Odierno told reporters in Baghdad. A significant strike "could be a huge propaganda tool for them in the future."
I guess al Qaeda no longer scares people enough to want them to keep America in Iraq (or Afghanistan) since, now, we have the al Iran Hezbollah Qaeda super army being rolled out in one big bogeyman to try to get you to cower in support of forever war. As Laurence Lewis at dKos notes: Make the jump»
(Washington, DC) Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and investigative journalist Robert Parry spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, DC last night. They were guests of The McClendon Group which holds periodic meetings at the press club featuring investigative reporters and newsmakers. Parry publishes and reports at Consortium.News.com. McGovern is on the steering committee of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
They focused on the risks of integrity in both journalism and government service. Parry had a successful career with AP and Newsweek, where he was a leader in Iran-Contra reporting. McGovern's career in intelligence spanned three decades and put him in front of presidents and cabinet members for daily intelligence briefings by the CIA, among other duties. Make the jump»
I love sites like Campaign for America's Future or Think Progress because they provide near infinite resources to the left leaning kind of people like myself that, in the past, were fighting so many of the big political arguments of the day without the benefit of any credible sources for research material. But they are not perfect.
Where else but Think Progress' The Progress Report are you going to find a page of material sent to you in your email inbox with pre-fact-checked material that is almost always timely and insighful. I.E. and from yesterday's (June 1st) The Progress Report: Make the jump»
On July 9, Iranians bravely commemorated the beginning of 1999 protests and VR recorded Iranian-Americans' solidarity rally in DC that day. Watch their video record of the July 11 rally here.
This year's challenge of Iranian election results drew millions to the streets and vastly many more to venues across the Internet-connected world for news and support. The revolution was tweeted: Google even released a new translator, Persian ALPHA, while on Facebook and Twitter, people of the global village watched and participated where possible, in the inspiringly massive and originally peaceful demand that the government deliver the democratic change they believed was due.
The right to dissent is not so guarenteed by clerics who disagree, however, and scenes of students battling Basijis through the university gates emerged as new emblems of an older Iranian tradtion where students lead in protest against excesses of monarchs and mullahs.
This weekend's pro-democracy rally in Washington, DC was timed to promise solidarity of Iranian-Americans with the people of Iran while celebrating the 10th anniversary of students dying to defend another democratic essential, independent media.
On July 11, 2009, speakers drew straight lines from the student protests known as 18th of Tir to current events in Iran. The rally featured personal messages from four former students arrested after the hardliner-controlled judiciary forced shutdown of a pro-reform newspaper on July 7, 1999. Demanding removal of a ban that silenced the presses of reformist-Salam, demonstrations turned violent when a student in an attack by police.
Eventually, a week that saw major unrest spread to cities across Iran left at least three dead, scores missing, and hundreds detained by authorities.
Watch videos of the weekend anniversary rally below.
[CORRECTION: The July 11 event was not organzed by the Facebook group, Iranian-American Youth.]
I greatly admired Michael Jackson. I admire anyone who's the very best at what they do, and Michael Jackson was definitely that. I remember when I first heard him. He was doing a tune called "Who's Lovin' You?" He was a mere child at the time, but his talent was so fully developed, and he sang with so much emotional maturity, I mistook the high pitch of his voice to be that of a very soulful adult female. Then later when he did "Billie Jean" at the Motown reunion, he seemed to literally defy gravity as he Moonwalked across the stage. So yes, this young man was, without a doubt, one of the greatest entertainers who ever lived.
But Michael's life - that shooting star that dazzled humanity with its awesome display, only to burn out much too soon - threatens to serve as a perfect metaphor for America itself. The story of the United States parallels that of Michael Jackson. It is also the story of a precocious child star that dazzled humanity with its awesome display. The United States is undoubtedly a superstar among nations, but we must not let hubris allow us to forget that among those very same nations, we are nothing more than a precocious child.
As I have been offline and in bed for most of the day trying to get over this lingering bug, I'm now just seeing the news that Iran is keeping the global media from covering the protests of this weekend's election.
When I saw this on CNN my first thoughts were of what China did after the Tiananmen Square massacre.
The YouTube 1989 video is from NBC News as Tom Brokaw reported on the Monday afternoon in a Breaking News Report.Make the jump»
Today, from the New York Times:
Iran Sentences American Journalist to 8 Years
By NAZILA FATHI, New York Times
TEHRAN, April 18 - A revolutionary court has sentenced an Iranian-American journalist, Roxana Saberi, to eight years in prison after convicting her of spying for the United States, her lawyer said Saturday.
The "revolutionary court" is, of course, very familiar to us: it's very much like the military tribunals held for Guatanamo inmates, particularly as practiced under the Bush Administration and their strongly politicized Department of Justice.
Hopefully, those practices are being mothballed in America now by the Obama Administration, along with many of the other quaint, highly illegal and unConstitutional practices that the prior Administration prided itself on.
This is an Open Thread. Make the jump»
originally posted 2009-02-08 20:30:11 -0500, bumped by carol
The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.
Building consensus within America’s body politic and national security establishment for a new way forward with Muslims worldwide is a formidable challenge. Many Americans still don’t appreciate the complex nuances of Muslim society and remain stubbornly Islamophobic almost seven and half years after 9/11. Equally formidable is earning the goodwill of Muslims worldwide following the Iraq War as well as American atrocities perpetrated upon Islamic detainees at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. Hopefully, President Obama’s historic election has finally opened a path for constructive conversation about how America can most effectively engage the Muslim world. Make the jump»
Last week, at a meeting of his country's ruling party, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak accused Iran of "trying to devour the Arab states." Don't worry, Hosni. Iran won't eat you. It can't. It can't sit on you either. It's too far away.
What led Mubarak to say such a mean thing about Iran? Well, it seems that a bunch of Iranian students shouted a bunch of mean things at the Egyptian embassy in Tehran, including their apparently genuine wish that someone would hang Mubarak. The Iranian students shouted mean things about Mubarak because Egypt wouldn't let the Iranian Red Crescent sneak around Israel's blockade of the Gaza strip and deliver food and supplies to Palestinians, who have been reduced to eating grass.
So Iran wasn't trying to eat Arabs; it was trying to feed them. Gee, how did Mubarak get that story all backwards? Make the jump»
by Jeff Huber
"Obama from the Bullpen" discussed how the president-elect's edict that the U.S. will not keep permanent bases in Iraq helped avert Cold War II, but he has far to go to fix all of the foreign relations fiascos he's about to inherit. "Puckered Persians" addresses how Obama needs to handle the Iran piece of the puzzle.
The neocons may have lost the election but they still own the narrative. For nearly a decade they've repeated their message of messianic fear and loathing through Rupert Murdoch's Big Brother Broadcast and the compliant mainstream media over and over and over and over until that's what everybody says so it must be true.
One has to wonder, then, how much of the neocon line on Iran Barack Obama had swallowed when he said at his first post election press conference that, "Iran's development of a nuclear weapon I believe is unacceptable. We have to mount an international effort to prevent that from happening."
Our intelligence services say that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in fall of 2003. I'm not convinced they ever had one at all, exactly. The Russians didn't start building Iran's first nuclear reactor until fall of 2002. It's hard to say how much of a nuclear weapons program they could have developed in a year starting from scratch, but it couldn't have amounted to the program my dogs have going on in the back yard. Make the jump»