Wednesday, June 29, 2005

"The Words You Are Using Are Offensive"

No, this is not an x-rated site.

What are the offensive words? Freedom and democracy.
Washington Post:

Iran Seizes Candidate's Election Material
Security Officers Appropriate Posters and Cards Espousing 'Freedom' and 'Democracy'
By Karl Vick
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, June 22, 2005

"TEHRAN, June 21 -- Iranian security officials on Tuesday confiscated more than half a million wallet-size cards and posters endorsing Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani for president from a printing house in Tehran, according to employees of the shop.

"Employees said the posters and cards contained the words 'repression,' 'terrorizing,' 'freedom' and 'democracy.'

"'They said, "The words you are using are offensive," said Mahmmoud Reza Bahmanpour, managing director of Nazar Printing House in downtown Tehran. He and other employees said several plainclothes agents, displaying a handwritten letter bearing the seal of Iran's judiciary, carried away 500,000 wallet-size cards and 70,000 posters. The material endorsed Rafsanjani, the former president whom Iran's reformers have rallied around in order to defeat the clerical establishment's apparent favorite in Friday's runoff ballot....

"Bahmanpour, the printing shop's managing director, said he asked the agents if the cards could have been printed if the words 'democracy' and 'freedom' were omitted. They said yes.

"Recalling the incident, the printer held two fingers an inch apart.

"'We have this much democracy,' he said. Then he spread his arms wide. 'And this is how much we desire.'

"'We are struggling to keep what we have.'"

The presidential elections in Iran have brought forth exhortations to return to radical Islam. The two closest runners are Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who now presents himself as the enlightened choice despite a questionable past, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the mayor of Tehran and a hardliner who may well have helped to engineer the mobilization of militia in order to interfere with any free choice the Iranian voters may want to exercise.

Again quoting from the above article:

"Ahmadinejad's positions have alarmed reformers as well as those with more traditional views. In a recent interview with state television, he said he would shutter the Tehran Stock Exchange because the uncertain nature of trading offended the tenets of Islam. 'The sort of work they do in the stock exchange is like gambling, so it has got to be closed,' he said.

"The candidate also told parliament this week that he would work to eradicate Western influences from Iranian culture, echoing the crusade against 'Westoxification' that occurred after the 1979 Islamic revolution." [Note the use of the word crusade. Anything which opposes traditional Islam is a crusade? The word is based on the Latin root for cross, and--Oh, well, never mind.]

Ah, I remember the 1979 Islamic Revolution! That's the movement which resulted in the holding of American hostages, for how many days? U.S. rescue operations ended in an ignominious helicopter crash in the desert sands. The hostages were released very shortly after the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. Then America fell asleep and stayed in a dozing state until the events of 9/11, when Islamists brought war to our shores.

"Westoxification" is a revealing word. Clearly, some of these Iranian Islamists oppose the very theory which President Bush is attempting to implement in Iraq. The principles of freedom and democracy represent poison to these Islamists who want to go back to the days of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

What Iranians do within the borders of their own nation is their own business--as long as what they do stays within those borders. But I seem to recall hearing something about Iran's development of nuclear weapons. The outcome of the presidential elections in Iran could have extremely serious repercussions for the United States.

We need to follow the outcome of the Iranian elections. We also need to remain aware that the history of Islam is filled with tribal warfare. Tribal warfare, in today's world of modern technology and modern weaponry, could well reach across the globe.

UPDATE: June 25, 2005

Washington Post :

Hard-Line Tehran Mayor Wins Iranian Presidency

Victory Could Complicate Relations With West
By Karl Vick

Washington Post Foreign Service

Saturday, June 25, 2005

"TEHRAN, June 25 -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hard-line mayor of Tehran who has invoked Iran's 1979 revolution and expressed doubts about rapprochement with the United States, won a runoff election Friday and was elected president of the Islamic republic in a landslide, the Interior Ministry announced early Saturday. Ahmadinejad defeated Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former two-term president who had won the first round of voting last week and was attempting to appeal to socially moderate and reform-minded voters. Ahmadinejad's election stands to complicate Iran's gradual engagement with the West, including difficult negotiations over the country's nuclear program. The apparent victory completes the domination of Iran's elective offices by the religious fundamentalists who have long held ultimate authority in the theocracy....Rafsanjani, 70, a senior statesman, Shiite cleric and business tycoon, carried the banner of the reformist movement whose leader, President Mohammad Khatami, must leave office after two consecutive terms. Khatami's eight-year struggle against Iran's clerical hard-liners transformed the nation's political landscape but failed to produce structural change.'The people actually did test the reformists during the last eight years, but they didn't see much from them,' said Rohollah Samimi, 23, as he prepared to vote for Ahmadinejad. 'So people here decided to return to the people who are promoting revolutionary values and see if they can bring about change.'...Ahmadinejad was alone among the eight candidates in last week's first round in invoking the 1979 revolution...Ahmadinejad, a former instructor of militia groups and a commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, will assume the presidency and appoint a cabinet during delicate negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. Talks with three European powers, which have been in hiatus during the election, are to resume this summer. In his campaign, Ahmadinejad held to the line of most other candidates, repeating Iran's contention that it has no plans to develop nuclear weapons but has the right under the Nonproliferation Treaty to develop nuclear power...."

Pardon me if I don't trust Ahmadinejad's promise not to use nuclear weapons against the infidels. Nukes speak louder than words.

UPDATE: June 29, 2005 :

Ex-Hostages Say Iran Leader-Elect a Captor

"A quarter-century after they were taken captive in Iran, five former American hostages say they got an unexpected reminder of their 444-day ordeal in the bearded face of Iran's new president-elect.
"Watching coverage of Iran's presidential election on television dredged up 25-year-old memories that prompted four of the former hostages to exchange e-mails. And those four realized they shared the same conclusion — the firm belief that President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been one of their Iranian captors...."

Do I hear the music from The Twilight Zone?


At 6/22/2005 10:58 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Great post again, AOW. You totally live up to your name. But don't forget that if Iran did a parade with bombs, one having "Jerusalem" written on it. They are very dangerous and this farce of an election shows nothing is changing. :(

At 6/22/2005 11:19 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I've been on watch since 9/11. That day woke me up, and you won't catch me sleeping ever again. I've visited all the sites: the Pentagon (very close to me), NYC, and Shanksville. My family used to think I was obsessed, but I've educated them as to the realities of the scarey, new world we live in.

Yes, Israel would be Iran's first target. But I fear that if Iran launched one nuke, others would go up at the same time because the leaders in the Middle East know full well that a lone nuke would be suicidal. Of course, their culture is a death culture, but they'd love to take out both Israel and any of Israel's supporters.

"Farce of an election"--exactly! The story I blogged was buried in the back pages of the paper.

At 6/23/2005 8:15 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

AOW, I thought that article was going to be about the ACLU and Democrat Party! The similarities between these groups and the Ayatollah Regime are striking!

I agree; Iran will undoubtedly try to hit more than one target. Why risk retaliation over just one act? In for a penny, in for a pound!

Great blog!

At 6/23/2005 8:48 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Freedom-haters come under the headings of a variety of -isms, all of them the antithesis of Western civilization.

At 6/23/2005 1:23 PM, Blogger Esther said...

You're absolutely right. They'd send up a bunch of bombs because they would be on a suicide mission. They are scary. 9/11 changed me too. What I don't understand is why didn't it change everyone? Good for you educating your family -- and all of us!

At 6/23/2005 6:24 PM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Hey AOW:

Sorry, but I lost your comments on my post Global Warming Grift due to a technical error. I just wanted to apologize, and make certain you knew I didn`t just remove it to be a horses petunia. (E-blogger drives me crazy!)

At 6/23/2005 6:49 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I saw that my comment was gone, but didn't assume that you had removed it. I'll go back now and repost it.

At 6/25/2005 5:49 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Iran is an interesting country but the minority issue may be the key.
Remember slightly more then 55% of people are persians. Baluch, Kurdz and Azeris want independence.

My friend Kurt of Kajando is an Iran specialist. His blog is excellent and he can be a comedic genius at times.


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