Archive for June, 2009

Iran, technology, and revolution

Monday, June 29th, 2009

by Michael Rubin*

The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and Washington Post have dubbed it a “Twitter Revolution,” speculating about whether new technology will enable Iranian protesters to overcome government forces. The role of technology in the current unrest is well-covered elsewhere. What is lacking in much of the coverage, however, is a sense of context.

(more…)


Identity Theft, Document Fraud, and Illegal Employment

Monday, June 29th, 2009

By CIS.org

WASHINGTON (JUNE 25, 2009) – In May of this year, a Supreme Court decision severely impeded the use of identity theft charges as an immigration enforcement tool. In June, several people were arrested after a fraud scheme was uncovered at a Florida driver’s license bureau. In July, a new Utah law targeting illegal aliens and document fraud will take effect. As these examples show, illegal immigration is inherently tied to document fraud and identity theft. As states continue to search for answers, it is apparent that the Federal government has not yet found a working legislative solution to deter these crimes.

(more…)


On Bears With Taste

Monday, June 29th, 2009

By Andrew L. Jaffee

And now, for some comic relief: A bear — you know, the big, hairy animal type — broke into a California home and went straight for the premium stuff:

… Alsky says the animal appeared to have pushed aside vegetables in the couple’s fridge and gone straight for the two-pound box of [chocolate] sweets.

He says the bear also tried to open a bottle of champagne but was not successful.

Now that’s taste: chocolate and champagne…

(more…)


CAIR: Lies, Smears, & Guilt By Association – Or Just Plain Treason?

Monday, June 29th, 2009

by Andrew Whitehead

On June 23rd, Frontpage Magazine published a devastating interview between FPM Editor Jamie Glazov and Mr. Dave Gaubatz. During this interview, Mr. Gaubatz makes startling, direct accusations regarding improper and ongoing relationships between CAIR and agents of the FBI; and presents it as the truth, not opinion. Someone who did not know that CAIR was created to advance the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Hamas terrorist group might be shocked at the information reported by Gaubatz and published by FrontPage Magazine.

(more…)


Obama’s Big Freeze Leaves Israelis Cold

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

By Barry Rubin

Ironically, three of President Barack Obama’s ideas in dealing with foreign policy, so visible in his Iran policy, have had more impact on his relationship with Israel.

The first of these is that he held back on condemning the Iranian regime’s stealing an election and repressing its people for fear that this might provoke a patriotic reaction against him. In fact, he has united Israel’s citizens to view him as hostile.

(more…)


A Call for American Boldness in Iran

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

by Daniel Pipes*

In a striking coincidence, two very different expressions of Iranian dissent took place exactly simultaneously on two continents on Saturday, June 20. Between them, the Islamic Republic of Iran faces an unprecedented challenge.

One protest took place on the streets of Iran, where thousands of Iranians fed up with living under a religious tyranny defied Supreme Leader Ali Khamene’i's diktat that they accept the results of the June 12 presidential election, whereby President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad supposedly defeated his main challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi by a lopsided margin.

(more…)


Silence Is Not Neutrality: Obama needs to support freedom in Iran

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

by Michael Rubin*

Over the weekend, both conservative columnist George Will and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan argued that conservative criticism of President Obama’s rhetorical restraint amidst the Iranian protests was unwarranted.

“The president is being roundly criticized for insufficient rhetorical support for what’s going on over there. It seems foolish criticism,” Will said.

(more…)


Iran: The Internal Balance of Power

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

By Jonathan Spyer

One would need a heart of stone not to be moved by the scenes currently emerging from Iran: Hundreds of thousands of youthful demonstrators, taking to the streets to express their frustration at the restrictions of life under a theocratic oligarchy — with the communications revolution enlisted to bypass the heavy hand of the regime’s censors.

(more…)


Tehran’s Genocidal Incitement Against Israel

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

by Elihu D. Richter and Alex Barnea*

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made international headlines when on October 27, 2005, he declared in Persian that Iran would “wipe Israel off the map.” Some commentators in the United States, most notably University of Michigan professor Juan Cole, argued that the phrase was a mistranslation and that Ahmadinejad did not have genocidal intent.[1] But, the Islamic Republic’s official English translation rendered the phrase “Israel must be wiped off the map,” [2] and the regime reiterated its English translation on billboards and murals.[3]

(more…)


Iran protesters: Death to Khamenei!

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

By Andrew L. Jaffee

… Protesters have openly defied his orders to leave the streets and witnesses said some shouted “Death to [Supreme Leader] Khamenei!” at Saturday’s demonstrations — a once unthinkable challenge. …

Protests against Iran’s leadership — Islamist mullahs — seem to be causing cracks in that same dictatorial regime. The arrests and later release of, “the daughter and four other relatives of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani,” are certainly not a sign of unity, rather that of indecision and worry. And protesters chanting, “Death to Khamenei!,” are a far cry from the usual state-organized “demonstrators” crying, “Death to America!” Of course, the Islamist regime is showing its true colors when push comes to shove:

(more…)


Protests aren’t enough to topple the Islamic Republic

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

by Michael Rubin*

Street protests in Iran are important but are themselves not enough to force change. The supreme leader will not be swayed because he considers himself accountable to God, not to the people. Indeed, even the Islamic Republic’s clerical establishment is irrelevant in this calculus. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s invocation of folk religion — his appeals to the messianic Hidden Imam, for example — is a way to bypass senior religious figures who, according to Shiite theology, will be among the greatest obstacles to the Hidden Imam’s return. Nor does the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, pay too much heed to his fellow clerics in Qom. They have always refused to bestow on Khamenei a level of religious legitimacy to match his ambition. Today, the majority of Iran’s grand ayatollahs oppose the concept of theological rule. Not by coincidence, the majority are now in prison or under house arrest.

(more…)


Forty-Eight Hours of Reality Overthrows Obama Middle East Policy

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

By Barry Rubin

In the Middle East the best — laid plans of mice and men often go awry because reality steps in.

President Barack Obama based his policy of engaging with Iran on the idea that while President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a wild man, Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei was a closet moderate, or at least a pragmatist.

(more…)


Don’t meddle, but help create a template for Iranians to act

Friday, June 19th, 2009

by Michael Rubin*

As the Obama administration crafts its strategy, it should not repeat the mistakes of the past. The Bush approach lacked cohesion and coordination. A month after President Bush declared Iran part of the “axis of evil,” the deputy secretary of State said it was a democracy. And although the White House talked tough — much to the ire of the pro-engagement crowd — the Bush administration engaged the Islamic Republic more than any administration since Jimmy Carter’s, thereby losing the trust of those seeking more sticks than carrots. Regardless of his ultimate policy, President Obama must realize that the gap between rhetoric and reality is inversely proportional to credibility.

(more…)


North Korea Takes Missile Aim at Hawaii

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

By Andrew L. Jaffee

North Korean “fearless leader” Kim Jong-il seems to be planning another missile “test” — aka a plan for harassment and/or extortion against the West — this time taking aim at Hawaii. Kim will probably get away with it again… and be offered some kind of concessions to placate his lunacy (see below). From the AP:

(more…)


Three failed plans to wipe Israel off the map that keep the conflict going

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

By Barry Rubin

There are now no less than three main plans for wiping Israel off the map:

(more…)