BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin's presence in the lower 48 means the Arctic ice cap can finally return.

calendar   Thursday - July 10, 2008

The other half of the circle matters too

Iran test fires more long range missiles

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran test-fired more long-range missiles overnight in a second round of exercises meant to show that the country can defend itself against any attack by the U.S. or Israel, state television reported Thursday.  The weapons have “special capabilities” and included missiles launched from naval ships in the Persian Gulf, along with torpedoes and surface-to-surface missiles, the broadcast said. It did not elaborate.
...
imageThe director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, said Iran’s missile tests have emphasized the urgency of going ahead with plans to place a proposed U.S. missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

Among the missiles Iran said it tested Wednesday was a new version of the Shahab-3, which officials have said has a range of 1,250 miles and is armed with a 1-ton conventional warhead.

That would put Israel, Turkey, the Arabian peninsula, Afghanistan and Pakistan all within striking distance.

Get out your Google Earth and play with it. Draw lines 1250 miles long from various points in Iran. You will quickly see that these missiles can target Moscow too. And damn near all of India. And a large part of Western China. And Greece, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. Heck, they can hit Poland. And depending on the quality of their targeting systems, any ship in the whole eastern Mediterranean and the whole northern Indian Ocean. Egypt too. And we’re all enemy infidels as far as Tehran is concerned. Especially those heathen idolaters in India and the godless Chinese. Wake up world, the loonies have gone long range.

And if our estimates are off by as little as 15%, then a large part of Italy, including the Vatican, becomes a target as well. Austria too.  Just another couple hundred miles and they can bomb Finland. The world isn’t that big, and all ICBMs really need to do is go up and then have a little hang time. The world spins all by itself (at more than 700mph over Europe) and gravity takes care of the coming back down part just fine.

So why is it that only Condi seems to be having something to say? Ok, she isn’t all by herself, and (oh gag me, but it’s true) France may be taking the best approach:

Tehran’s standoff with the West took a new toll when French energy giant Total SA said it is too risky to invest in Iran for now. The decision raised questions about the future of major western involvement in developing Iranian gas reserves.

“The conditions are not present for investing in Iran today,” said Total spokeswoman Lisa Wiler. “We hope that the political relations will improve so that we can invest.”

Total had been in discussions for developing a liquefied natural gas project linked to Iran’s South Pars gas field with Malaysia’s Petronas.

Every world leader should be going ape shit. The UN ought to be gathering up armies, not just talking. Instead, they seem to be ignoring this completely.

How bad would it impact oil prices if the whole world stopped buying their crude? I really seriously think we, the planet, need to fully embargo these crazies. Nothing gets in, nothing gets out. Let them starve. Maybe they should have a couple accidental plagues while we’re at it. A side order of Ebola or something.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/10/2008 at 03:35 PM   
Filed Under: • IranWar On Terror •  
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calendar   Friday - February 08, 2008

Legislating Terrorism: behold, the Caliphate arises

Hey, BDS sufferers. Think you’re living in a “christofascist tyranny”? This is what REAL TYRANNY looks like.




Iran: Death For Apostacy





LEGISLATION has been brought by the government of President Mahmoud Amadinejad before the Iranian Majlis that would mandate the death penalty for apostates from Islam. The law’s reach would be worldwide, the legislation says.

Yeah? You and who’s army, goat fucker?


The Washington think tank, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy reported on Feb 5 the proposed “Bill for Islamic Penal” law will be the first time that Iran has by statute mandated the death penalty for conversion from Islam.

The legislation used the word “Hadd—meaning that it explicitly sets death as a fixed punishment that cannot be changed, reduced or annulled. In the past, the death penalty has been handed down, and also carried out, in apostasy cases, but it has never before been set down in law,” the Institute’s president, Joseph Grieboski said.

Islam’s five major schools of jurisprudence, the Madh’hab, currently hold that converts from Islam must be executed. However, in the Middle Ages several leading Islamic jurists rejected the death penalty --- as do a number of moderate modern scholars --- noting that while the Koran condemns apostasy as a sin, it does not mandate a penalty.

So this is a step backwards from the Middle Ages. Now that’s what I call progress!


However Islamic law distinguishes between apostasy of an adult and someone who has not reached puberty. The ‘Umdat as-Salik wa ‘Uddat an-Nasik (Reliance of the Traveller and Tools of the Worshipper, of the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence as practiced by the al-Azhar in Cairo rejects the death penalty for child apostates, as does the Hidayah, the Hanafi juridical work that guides Muslim jurisprudence in India and Pakistan.

The proposed Iranian law would enshrine the mandatory death penalty into the country’s civil code for men. Women apostates would be imprisoned.

So Iran will take the lead here. Watch all the other countries fall into line soon after. Heck, aren’t the Saudis already there? Kinda reminds me of old JRR’s “one ring to find them all and in the darkness bind them”.


Two types of apostasy are set down in the legislation: parental and innate.

Innate apostates are those whose parents were Muslim, declared themselves as Muslim as an adult and then leave the faith.

Parental apostates are those whose parents were non-Muslims, who had become Muslims as adults, and then left the faith.

Article 225-7 states the “Punishment for an innate apostate is death,” while Article 225-8 allows a parental apostate three days to recant their apostasy. If they continue in their unbelief, “the death penalty would be carried out.”

So if you leave the “faith” you get killed. But if you leave the faith, and hold true to that leaving for three entire days, you get killed. Such an enlightened perspective!


Article 112 would give the law an extraterritorial jurisdiction, extending its mandate to cover those who renounce Islam both inside and outside Iran.

Oh no you don’t motherfugger. Pass your own dumbass laws in your own country. Try and export them to my country and I’ll find an old rusty saw just the right size for your neck. But hey, this kind of gall is appropriate for the world-wide caliphate of the “religion of peace”.

The law criminalizes heresy saying that anyone who claims to be a Prophet, or a Muslim who “creates a sect based on that which is contrary to the obligations and necessities of Islam, is considered an apostate.” Those who practice “witchcraft” shall also be “sentenced to death.”

Ah Ha! Thought so. Not only will this make leaving pisslam illegal, it will make belonging to any sect other than the one approved by the state a capital offense. And you just know how every other religion, especially Hinduism and Buddism, and let’s not forget Judiasm and Christianity, will immediately be seen as a form of witchcraft.

There you have it folks: if Iran passes this law, and they probably will, they have in effect just declared war on the entire world. Total jihad. But hey, let’s just send Condi over there to talk at them again, or have the UN pass another wobbly resolution. Yeah, that’ll fix them.

Freedom of Choice. Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Thought. These things will not exist in the Caliphate.

Source article


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/08/2008 at 03:26 PM   
Filed Under: • IranRoPMA •  
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calendar   Friday - December 07, 2007

Iran Claims to Have Built Supercomputer

ComputerWorld is reporting today that Iran is claiming to have built a reletively lightweight supercomputer based on Advanced Micro Devices’ Opteron Processor.  Problem is: AMD says it didn’t sell Iran any of these.  If they, in fact, have them, it is a violation of trade sanctions we have against Iran.

Iranians claim to have built Opteron-based supercomputer
Use of processors by research center would run afoul of U.S. trade sanctions; AMD says it hasn’t authorized any shipments to Iran, ‘directly or indirectly’

December 06, 2007 (Computerworld)—Despite federal antiterrorism trade sanctions that bar the sale of U.S.-made computer technology to Iran, a computing research center in Tehran claims to have used Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s Opteron processor to build the Middle Eastern country’s most powerful supercomputer.

The Iranian High Performance Computing Research Center (IHPCRC), which is located at Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology, said in an undated announcement on its Web site that it has assembled a Linux-based system with 216 Opteron processing cores. That’s a relatively small supercomputer, with a claimed peak performance level of 860 billion floating-point operations per second, or gigaflops. But the research center said that the system, which will be used for weather forecasting and meteorological research, is the fastest built in Iran to date.

This isn’t the first time that the Iranians have used U.S.-developed processor technology to build high-performance systems, according to a history posted on the research center’s Web site. For instance, the history says that in 2001, prior to the formation of the IHPCRC, researchers at Amirkabir University built a 32-node PC cluster based on Pentium III processors from Intel Corp. A year later, they used Pentium IV chips in another cluster, this one with eight nodes.

But how did the IHPCRC get Opteron processors for the new supercomputer if U.S. technology can’t be sold in or shipped to Iran? The research center may have provided a clue, though perhaps inadvertently, in a photo gallery that also can be found on its Web site.

The gallery includes a series of photos dated this year, showing workers assembling what the research center describes as the “cluster of IRIMO.” That acronym refers to an Iranian meteorological organization, which would be a perfect fit for the planned uses of the Opteron-based supercomputer.

The first picture in that series of photos shows a staffer using a screwdriver on what appears to be the components of a server. Behind him, on a table, is a stack of similarly sized boxes, all of which appear to have the word “Thacker” and the initials “U.A.E.” written in hand on their sides.

Thacker FZE is an authorized distributor of AMD products that is based in the United Arab Emirates, in the state of Dubai. The company is also listed under the name Sky Electronics on AMD’s Web site. Sky Electronics, whose managing director is named Manoj Thacker, says on its Web site that it is a business partner of Intel, Microsoft Corp., Nvidia Corp. and several other technology vendors in addition to AMD.

Maybe that’s why they need all of that enriched uranium...to predict the weather.  blank stare


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/07/2007 at 01:47 PM   
Filed Under: • Iran •  
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calendar   Wednesday - September 26, 2007

My Dinner With Dinner Jacket

I agree with Charles puke

My Dinner with Ahmadinejad
TIME

The invitation was on creamy stationery with fancy calligraphy: The Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran “requests the pleasure” of my company to dine with H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The dinner is at the Intercontinental Hotel — with names carefully written out at all the place settings around a rectangular table. There are about 50 of us, academics and journalists mostly. There’s Brian Williams across the room, and Christiane Amanpour a few seats down. And at a little after 8pm, on a day when he has already addressed the U.N., the evening after his confrontation at Columbia, a bowing and smiling Mahmoud Admadinejad glides into the room.

This is now an annual ritual for the President of Iran. Every year, during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, he plots out a media campaign that — in its shrewdness, relentlessness, and quest for attention — would rival Angelina Jolie on a movie junket. And like any international figure, Mr. Ahmadinejad hones his performance for multiple audiences: in this case, the journalists and academics who can filter his speech and ideas for a wider American audience.

......

Finally, in response to a question about whether war with Iran was growing more likely, he says, “Mr. Bush is interested in harming Iran. But I believe there are wise politicians in America who will prevent such a war. We hate war. We would not welcome it. But we are prepared for every scenario. Yet I don’t think war will happen.”

With that, Ahmadinejad says he has an early morning appointment the next day, and that he welcomes greater dialogue like this evening. And then, still composed, and with the same slightly mysterious smile that never leaves his face all evening, he bows deeply and heads upstairs.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/26/2007 at 04:59 PM   
Filed Under: • IranNews-Briefs •  
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calendar   Thursday - September 20, 2007

Alabamadinnerjacket Visiting Hallowed Ground

More coverage here and here.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad requested to visit Ground Zero during an upcoming trip to New York. That request was rejected Wednesday. But a source tells Eyewitness News that the decision may not stop him.

Of course not.  When you’re a crazed maniac, why should petty things like laws and official rulings make any dent in your plans?

People are starting to organize a “human ring” around the site to keep him out.  NYC has enough people, but do they have the will?

From Dr. Jeff: This guy makes me sick. He’s an international criminal and should be treated as such.

Don’t we have any snipers left in the country?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/20/2007 at 08:59 AM   
Filed Under: • IranOutrageous •  
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calendar   Sunday - July 29, 2007

“How close were we to seeing an armed nuclear conflict?”

Mangun sends us this story:

US Sinks North Korean Ship Bound for Iran

“How close were we to seeing an armed nuclear conflict?” That is the question being asked as Syrian nationals temporarily vacated Beirut, Lebanon and the Jordan Valley during mid July according to sources close to ACG-CIS. Many security and intelligence officials believe that this behavior may have been related to the US sinking of a North Korean ship approximately 100 nautical miles from the coast of Iran. 

It was not immediately clear why, around July 10, 2007, the Syrian nationals, primarily engaged in construction, trades and agricultural occupations, should have vacated Lebanon without notice.  The nationals were noticed to have returned to Beirut and the Jordan Valley by July 21, 2007.

I’m not familiar with this source, and cannot quickly find anything to back it up, so the BS meter is twitching.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/29/2007 at 11:05 AM   
Filed Under: • IranNorth-Korea •  
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calendar   Friday - July 20, 2007

He Agrees Too

Remember my post last week positing that Iran could be attacked this summer?

Apparently, Alabamadinnerjacket agrees

Ahmadinejad: It will be a ‘hot’ summer

It’s going to be a “hot” summer in the Middle East, said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following a surprise meeting with Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah in Damascus on Thursday evening, Channel 10 reported.

Nasrallah allegedly entered Syria via an underground tunnel, the television channel said.

“We hope that the hot weather of this summer will coincide with similar victories for the region’s peoples, and with consequent defeat for the region’s enemies,” Ahmadinejad added, in an apparent reference to Israel.

“The enemies of the region should abandon plans to attack the interests of this region, or they would be burned by the wrath of the region’s peoples,” the hardline Iranian leader said at a joint press conference with Assad.

“burned by the wrath of the region’s people”.  Hmmm Where have we heard rhetoric like that before? 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/20/2007 at 11:26 AM   
Filed Under: • Iran •  
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calendar   Wednesday - July 11, 2007

Taking Tehran by September

A friend sent me an email this morning that I found very interesting.  He has put together some various news stories that lead him to believe we will attack Iran before the end of the summer.

Here Bush asks Congress to wait till September before debating an Iraqi pullback.

WASHINGTON: Fearful of a Republican rebellion over Iraq that his own aides believe could force him to change course, President George W. Bush said Tuesday that the United States would be able to pull back troops “in a while,” but called on Congress to wait until September to debate the future military presence there.

And here we have a possible 3rd carrier headed to the gulf (best time to attack is when “swapping” carriers as all three are on station).

MANAMA (Reuters) - A U.S. aircraft carrier is heading to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet area of operations, which includes the Gulf, but the Pentagon said on Tuesday there had been no decision to increase naval power in the region.

U.S. defence officials said the deployment of the USS Enterprise was a routine measure to replace one of two U.S. Navy carriers now in the Fifth Fleet area.

And here we have Israeli intelligence stating that time is just about out for a strike on Iran.

Predicting that sanctions will ultimately fail to stop Teheran’s nuclear program, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of Military Intelligence’s Research Division, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that time to launch an effective military strike against Iran’s nuclear installations was running out.

And perhaps (just perhaps) we’ll use a summer terrorist attack as the justification to attack Iran.

WASHINGTON - U.S. counterterror officials are warning of an increased risk of an attack this summer, given al-Qaida’s apparent interest in summertime strikes and increased al-Qaida training in the Afghan-Pakistani border region.

On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the editorial board of The Chicago Tribune that he had a “gut feeling” about a new period of increased risk.

What say you?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/11/2007 at 11:58 AM   
Filed Under: • IranMiddle-EastTerrorists •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 11, 2007

Sock Puppets

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Michael Ramirez - Investors Business Daily


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 04/11/2007 at 05:00 AM   
Filed Under: • Iran •  
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calendar   Friday - April 06, 2007

The Bad News

Yesterday was a day of mixed blessings for our Brit friends and allies. The Iranians finally released the 15 hostages they had been holding for nearly a week but in southern Iraq two female British soldiers were killed when the vehicle they were riding in was hit by an explosive device almost certainly provided by Iran to Shiite insurgents in Iraq.

These EFP’s (explosively formed projectiles) are coming into Iraq from outside and Iran is the only country in the region known to use them. I don’t understand why Iran hasn’t been bombed back into the Stone Age by now. What are we waiting for? Hand me the Big Red Button™. I’ll gladly push it if no one else will and send the Mad Mullahs and Ahmawhackjob to greet Allah. It’s overdue.

Outrage As Two Female Soldiers Die In Basra
BASRA (TELEGRAPH-UK) - 1:22am BST 06/04/2007

imageimageTwo women were among four soldiers killed in Basra yesterday in an unprecedented day for the Army in Iraq. The women, a nurse and a member of the Intelligence Corps, were in a party of four patrolling the southern Iraq city in the early hours.

The Warrior armoured vehicle in which they were travelling was torn apart by a “colossal” bomb. A fifth soldier was “very seriously injured” and is being treated in the military hospital in Basra.

Iraqis were pictured waving one of the soldiers’ battered helmets while children held aloft fragments of the shattered vehicle collected as trophies.

The nurse, from Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, was the patrol’s medic. The men were from the 2Bn The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. A civilian interpreter was also killed. The patrol was returning to its base in Basra air station after providing protection for a “strike operation” that had seen British forces arrest a man said to be a senior member of the insurgency.

There have now been five female fatalities out of the 140 British dead in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. In a war with no front line in the traditional sense, the 18,000 women in the Armed Forces are increasingly finding themselves in the fighting as medics, signallers and in logistics crews.

Yesterday, Mr Blair contrasted rejoicing at the release of the sailors and Royal Marines by Iran with the “sober and ugly reality” of the killings in Iraq. The Prime Minister also appeared to link Iran to the attacks.

“There are elements at least of the Iranian regime that are backing, financing, arming, terrorism in Iraq,” he said outside No 10. It is becoming increasingly apparent that Iran is playing a major role in fomenting the insurgency in southern Iraq by providing terrorists with bombs and advanced technical knowledge.

The Warrior armoured vehicle was ripped apart by a device known as an “explosively formed projectile”. The bombs are being used with increasing frequency in Iraq and have accounted for many American armoured vehicles and tanks.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 04/06/2007 at 09:23 AM   
Filed Under: • IranIraq •  
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calendar   Thursday - April 05, 2007

Free At Last

Once again, the Iranians have had their little melodrama and humiliated a great Western power. I can’t think of a single good reason why Teheran should not be Ground Zero for a 50 megaton nuke as the West’s way of saying “thanks”.

I’m glad the Brit sailors and marines are out of harms way and safely back home but now would be a good time to look at ways of ending this repetitive little game the Iranians love to play.

The Mad Mullahs and their sock puppet Ahmawhackjob are going to keep this up until somebody does smack the living shiite out of them. It’s only a matter of time. What goes around, comes around.

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LONDON (NY TIMES) - Thursday, April 5 — Iran on Thursday morning released the 15 British sailors and marines it seized at sea nearly two weeks ago, resolving a diplomatic impasse with what Iran’s president called a “gift” to the British people.

In announcing his intentions on Wednesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said that although Iran had every right to try the Britons on charges of trespassing in Iranian territorial waters, it would instead forgive them and allow them to go home.

The captives met with the British ambassador to Iran late Wednesday night, the Foreign Office said. But a spokesman said they were still in Iranian custody and that their travel arrangements were still being made.

About 7 a.m. Thursday in Tehran (4:30 a.m. in London), the Britons arrived at the airport for an 8 a.m. commercial flight to London, Reuters said. Shortly before 8:30, Iran Radio reported the plane had left.

On Wednesday, Iranian state television showed the president smiling, chatting and shaking the hands of some of the captives. Dressed in ill-fitting clothes apparently issued by their captors, the Britons waited in line to meet the president, looking almost as if they were a visiting sports team. “We are grateful for your forgiveness,” one said to Mr. Ahmadinejad, seemingly off the cuff.

News of the planned release, after days of behind-the-scenes diplomatic maneuvering, brought a peaceful, almost anticlimactic end to a crisis that began on March 23 when the Britons were seized in the disputed waters of the Shatt al-Arab waterway, just north of the Persian Gulf.

In London, Prime Minister Tony Blair suggested that the resolution was a vindication of Britain’s two-pronged strategy of conciliation laced with toughness.

“Throughout, we have taken a measured approach, firm but calm, not negotiating but not confronting either,” Mr. Blair said. Britain bore no ill will toward the Iranian people, he told reporters, and respected Iran’s “proud and dignified history.”

Officials denied that concessions were made for the Britons’ release. But on Tuesday, an Iranian diplomat held by Iraqi forces for eight weeks was released, and on Wednesday, American officials said they were reviewing an informal request from the Iranian government for an envoy to visit five Iranians imprisoned after an American raid in northern Iraq in January.

- More ...

We can only thank God that it never came to this ...

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 04/05/2007 at 08:38 AM   
Filed Under: • Iran •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 04, 2007

Brit Hostages Freed

"Gift to Britain”? “Brave border guards”? Is this bunch full of s**t or what? If Jimmy Carter hadn’t been President and let them get away with this once, we wouldn’t have to put up with this crap? If any of you out there has a Time Machine™ could you please go back to November 1976 and stuff some ballots with votes for Jerry Ford? Please!

Iran To Free UK Captives
(SKY NEWS) - 15:31, Wednesday April 04, 2007

imageimageIran is freeing the 15 UK sailors and marines taken captive in the Shatt al Arab waterway 13 days ago as a “gift” to Britain. Some have been shown on Iranian TV speaking to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadk at his palace in the capital Tehran.

Their release was announced by the president who said they would be handed over to the British embassy. He said he had pardoned the sailors as a gift to the British people and to mark the birthday of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed and Easter.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “We welcome what the President has said about the release of our 15 personnel. “We are now establishing exactly what this means in terms of the method and timing of their release.”

President Ahmadinejad announced the Britons’ release after awarding medals to the “brave” border guards who had arrested them. “I would like to thank the Iranian coast guard for courgeously defending our Iranian territorial waters,” he said.

He then pinned medals on the chests of three Coast Guard officers. The ceremony was performed during a press conference broadcast around the world. The controversial leader said he was “saddened” that Britain had violated Iranian waters.

He also accused the Government of concealing the truth about the affair and the EU of being too quick to condemn Iran. “Is this the kind of attitude, manner that we want to run Europe - this is the European Union - without investigating they announce a certain stance.

- More ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 04/04/2007 at 02:41 PM   
Filed Under: • Iran •  
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calendar   Friday - March 30, 2007

One Lump Or Two?

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“Tea & Sophistry” -by- Cox & Forkum

Judging from the editorial below from the UK’s Telegraph, some in Britain are becoming more hawkish and are ready to declare “enough is enough”.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are bout to enter “interesting times”. Buckle up your seat belt, put on your crash helmet and hang on ...

Online comment: Heading for war with Iran?
-- By Simon Heffer
(TELEGRAPH-UK) - 1:54pm BST 30/03/2007

imageimageI start to wonder whether it might not be time for us to get as nasty with other countries as they do with us. As we wait anxiously to see what will happen to our 15 hostages - for that is what they are - in Teheran, we should feel undiluted rage at the behaviour of other countries and institutions towards us.

Mind you, when those third parties witness the drivelling weakness of the Foreign Office over the last week, and in particular the pathetic show put up by our Foreign Secretary - who must surely be just about the worst in our history - who can blame them?

There is no doubt the 15 were in international waters when captured, or that they were undertaking a United Nations mission in pursuit of upholding UN resolutions. Yet the best the UN itself can do is pass a weak-kneed resolution describing its “grave concern”, rather than a tougher one calling upon all nations to “deplore” Iran’s behaviour.

This is all the fault of Russia, to whom Mr Blair routinely cosies up, and whom the civilised world invites to its annual G8 summit meetings. Russia seems to think it isn’t worth “deploring” the kidnap of our sailors, so we had better start to show Russia what we think of it: by uninviting it from the G8 this year, and every year until it learns some manners.

When not busy ordering the murders of his opponents, Vladimir Putin seems to enjoy hobnobbing with the leaders of civilised countries, so such a sanction would hurt. We don’t have the means to engage in gunboat diplomacy with Iran, and any special forces operation would be fraught with risks both for the hostages and their rescuers.

For the moment, ever-stricter sanctions on Iran seems the only answer. America is resolute about this. So too, oddly, is the world’s greatest sanction-busting nation, France. So the scope for tightening the economic ratchet on Iran, and the means to do so, look healthy. However, we should be under no illusions about the effectiveness of such weapons.

Saddam Hussein, after all, was put under sanctions for years. Real hardship was caused to his people, but almost none at all to him and his ruling clique. President Ahmadinejad of Iran has already threatened Britain about our involvement of “third parties” - that is, the UN - in the present dispute, showing his utter contempt for that organisation.

He would treat sanctions with similar disdain, happily cutting off the noses of his own people to spite their faces. And all the time, the threat he and his inherent instability pose to us all would never cease growing.

Whatever the immediate outcome of this crisis, Britain has some hard decisions to make. Is it worthwhile, any longer, to work through the United Nations? So long as a morally warped nation like Putin’s Russia calls the shots in the Security Council, no.

We can make debating points about how odd it is that Putin deplores Islamic nutters when they attack his forces but is relaxed about them attacking ours, but in the end there is no point in bothering.

The UN showed itself to be weak with Saddam Hussein. It is no better now. If we are going to continue to try to be a player in the Middle East, then we have to throw in our lot with the Americans, for no-one else makes the blindest bit of difference there.

- More ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 03/30/2007 at 03:38 PM   
Filed Under: • Iran •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 28, 2007

No Balls

SO they kidnap British sailors and marines in international waters, one of the sailors a female. They dress her up in a Muslim headscarf and parade her on Iranian TV and broadcast a “confession”.

According to my official count, the total number of politicians with a real set of balls in Washington and London is pretty much ... zero.

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Iran Shows Video of Captured Britons
Mar 28 01:05 PM US/Eastern

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranian state TV showed video Wednesday of the 15 British sailors and marines who were seized last week, including a female captive who wore a white tunic and a black head scarf and said the British boats “had trespassed” in Iranian waters.

The British government, which described Iran’s broadcast of the captured crew as “completely unacceptable,” had earlier released what it called proof that its boats were in the territorial waters of Iraq—not Iran—when they were seized.

- More ...


Russian Intelligence Sees U.S. Military Buildup On Iran Border
MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti)

Russian military intelligence services are reporting a flurry of activity by U.S. Armed Forces near Iran’s borders, a high-ranking security source said Tuesday. “The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran,” the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched.

He said the Pentagon is looking for a way to deliver a strike against Iran “that would enable the Americans to bring the country to its knees at minimal cost.” He also said the U.S. Naval presence in the Persian Gulf has for the first time in the past four years reached the level that existed shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov, vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Sciences, said last week that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran’s military infrastructure in the near future. A new U.S. carrier battle group has been dispatched to the Gulf.

The USS John C. Stennis, with a crew of 3,200 and around 80 fixed-wing aircraft, including F/A-18 Hornet and Superhornet fighter-bombers, eight support ships and four nuclear submarines are heading for the Gulf, where a similar group led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has been deployed since December 2006. The U.S. is also sending Patriot anti-missile systems to the region.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 03/28/2007 at 05:45 PM   
Filed Under: • Iran •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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