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Tag: Ahmadinejad (page 1 of 3)

Iranian President Ahmadinejad to be Grilled by the Parliament Over the Country’s Currency

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been under fire from leaders around the world for his refusal to put a halt to his uranium enrichment program. Now, it appears that he is being under attack by officials from his own country over sentiments that he and his administration made poor decisions that lead to the poor state of the economy.

The Iran parliament is ordering the president to answer questions regarding his mishandling of the currency. Ahmadinejad has been embroiled in controversy over his failure to regulate the currency market. He now has one month to answer a summons and explain before the parliament the missteps he and his administration are being accused of.

The rial, Iran’s form of currency, has drastically dipped in value over the last year. Iranian politicians partly attribute the drop in value to the heavy sanctions imposed by the U.S. but also to the gross mismanagement by Ahmadinejad and his government.

The summon of the president was ordered after Mahmoud Bahmani, the governor of Central Bank, refused to answer questions regarding the state of the market.

Among other things, the president is accused of using a trading system to allow for the importation of over 15,700 cars; the system is reserved and only to be used for the importing of rations and medicine. In addition, Ahmadinejad is also being accused of importing 2.5 billion dollars of wheat from abroad rather than just buying them domestically.

This is not the first time the Iranian president has clashed with officials in his own country. In March, he was heavily grilled after some claimed he made decisions that run completely counter to those recommended by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The situation regarded the firing of an intelligence minister by Ahmadinejad, though the minister was later reinstated at the request of Khamenei.

U.S. and Iran in Denial Over Rumors of One-on-one Negotiations

After all the threats of sanctions against Iran and possible military force by the U.S. and Israel, it appears that Iran may finally be ready to sit down for a talk. At least this was what was rumored though there are now fervent denials from both sides refuting that such an agreement ever took place.

The White House has said that there are no plans set in place for President Obama to sit down with Iranian President Ahmadinejad for talks over the latter’s nuclear program though it did say that it would be open for such a meeting to take place.

The Republican GOP is now chiming in and says that if rumors for such talks are true, then Iran’s motives must be seriously questioned. According to South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, the talks are nothing but a ploy by the Iranians to buy themselves time to build up their nuclear capability and to drive a wedge between the international coalitions.

According to Time Magazine, it was an unidentified senior official from the Obama Administration that reported that the U.S. had a secret meeting with Iran and agreed to a one-on-one negotiation. If the report pans out as true, then this would be the first diplomatic relation between the two nations since the Iran Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s foreign minister, has also denied that such talks will be taking place though he did speculate that a round of talks will be scheduled with members of the United Nations Security Council in November.

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has also weighed in on the matter and said that he was not aware whether the U.S. has agreed to such talks with Iran. Netanyahu also shared the same sentiments with Republican Senator Graham that negotiations are a mere setup by Iran to “drag its feet” to further its nuclear agenda.

Iranian President Delivers Speech at U.N. Assembly

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared before the U.N. General Assembly and gave a half hour speech that emphasized mainly on Israel, which he refused to call by name and described as “uncivilized Zionists.”

The speech took place at the United Nations located in New York. Members of the delegation from the U.S., Canada and Israel were not in attendance. Ahmadinejad blasted Israel for relying on military threats and intimidation, which he claims have led to a divide in international relations.

The speech
came just a day after President Obama told the same assembly that a threat to Israel would be imminent if Iran were to reach nuclear capabilities. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has also chimed in and said that Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons.

Overall, Ahmadinejad’s speech was surprisingly subdued. Most in attendance expected the Iranian president to spew out a fury tongue lashing at Israel; however, his tone was less provocative than what most are accustomed to hearing. Aside from Israel, Ahmadinejad also spoke of the return of Jesus Christ along with the Islamic end-time messiah, the 12th Imam. He called for peace among people of all spiritual backgrounds and insisted that there is no hostility between people of different faiths.

He also emphasized on the importance of human rights and called for the end of oppression, poverty and discrimination. He further went on to say that the return of Christ and the Imam will put an end to all wars and bring about everlasting peace. Like most other Muslims, Ahmadinejad believes that Jesus was one of God’s prophets but that he was not a divine figure.

The nature of the speech by the Iranian president has certainly caught many off guard. CNN commentator Piers Morgan says that for a man of Ahmadinejad’s nature, the speech was actually reasonable and low key.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad Calls Israel “An Insult to Humanity”

Israel has made it blatantly clear that it is seriously contemplating a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. If Iran wants to avoid the possibility of a military showdown, then it is certainly not helping matters when the country’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, openly called Israel’s presence as an “insult to humanity.”

Ahmadinejad spoke in front of a large crowd
at Tehran University following a series of pro-Palestinian marches that swept through the nation.

Israel has long considered Iran a threat due to its nuclear facilities and support for organizations with an anti-Israel agenda. Ahmadinejad, along with the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, have made repeated references about the need to bring about Israel’s destruction.

While Israel stated that it hopes for the issue to be resolved through diplomacy, it has also made it clear that it will not hesitate to launch a military assault if Iran does not abandon its nuclear uranium program, which Iran continuously insists is for peaceful purposes. Iran has threatened retaliation if Israel were to proceed with plans of a military strike and has also pledged to do the same to the U.S. if it allies itself with Israel.

In his speech, Ahmadinejad also called Israel “corrupt” and “anti-human.” He also added that Israel needs to be confronted in order to protect “the dignity of all human beings.” During his speech, demonstrators burned the Israel and American flag and chanted “death to Israel and the U.S.”

The White House has publicly condemned Ahmadinejad’s speech and also blasted him for defending Syrian president, Bashar Assad, despite the government’s repeated violation of human rights and the brutal assault on its own people, which claimed over 20,00 lives since March of last year.

Ahmadinejad’s words are really nothing new. In 2005, he denied the events of the Holocaust and called it a myth. He also vowed for Israel to be “wiped off the map”.

The Arab Winter

Characters:
Hugo ChavezVenezuela
Hosni MubarakEgypt
Bashir al-AssadSyria
Muamar el-QadaffiLibya
Mahmoud AhmadinejadIran
Hassan NasrallahHezbollah
Ismayil HaniyahHamas

Chavez, Mubarak, Assad, Qadaffi and Ahmadinejad are sitting around a table in a mysterious location holding a secret meeting.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Allah hu’Ahbar my brothers!

Chorus: Allahu hu’Ahbar!

Hugo Chavez: (smoking a cigar) yes, yes, haha, yes! Allah…haha.

Hosni Mubarak: Ahhh. Why did this happen to me? (groan, groan)

Bashir al-Assad: What is bothering old Hosni?

Muamar el-Qadaffi: Ah, dear boy Bashir. It is the tragic cry of humiliation.

Ahmadinejad: Humiliation! Ha! It is merely humility before Allah!
(rocket explodes in the background)

Mubarak: ahhh! Why! Oh, Allah!

Qadaffi: Hosni has been overthrown by his own people! A throne usurped by its subjects! He put too much trust in Israel and the Americans.

Assad: If this happened to me, my father, Allah bless his soul, would curse my spirit!

Mubarak: Father! Father! My kingdom! My kingdom! Why! Allah! (weeping still)

Ahmadinejad: This will never happen to me, en sh’allah! Those American dogs will never get me! Not with my nuclear arsenal, nor yours Muamar! (turns to Qadaffi) Are not the Americans Zionist dogs?

Qadaffi: (nose begins to bleed) Aye! Dogs indeed! Dogs indeed. But who said anything about a nuclear program?

(Hosni Mubarak gets up and begins to walk around on all fours and bark like a dog)

Ahmadinejad: (looks strangely at Mubarak) The one Nicolas Sarkozy of France built for you.

Qadaffi: (takes off his sunglasses) Oh, yes THAT nuclear program! Now I seem to remember. Hosni! Are you a Muslim? Get off the ground, you are a Muslim not a dog!

Ahmadinejad: Crazy Zionist children of the devil!

Assad: Mubarak, you have lost your mind! You have no idea how to maintain control of your people!
(something explodes in the background)

Qadaffi: This is easy for you to say young Bashir because you have nothing that interests the Americans! They will never assist a coup in your country!

Assad: Nothing? Like what?

Ahmadinejad: Like what? Like oil, that’s what!

Qadaffi: Aye! Oil! Nevertheless, it will never happen to me, hamsa hamsa hamsa.

(something else explodes in the background, goes ignored. The sound of pigs screaming.)

(Mubarak cries, falls on his stomach, begins to weep)

Mubarak: Wh-w-what was THAT?

(Hugo Chavez stands up and begins kissing Assad)

Qadaffi: Chavez, our Catholic friend. Bashir! What are you two doing? Hugo, do you have cigars for everyone?
(Chavez pulls out some cigars)

Assad: (stops kissing Hugo Chavez. Haha. Takes a cigar from Chavez’s hand). I will take the fattest juiciest one of all!)

Ahmadinejad: (Also takes a cigar) No cigar for Mubarak! (looks down at Hosni Mubarak on the floor). You Egyptian child!

Qadaffi: (Also looks at Mubarak) No cigars for you from Uncle Chavez.
(enter Ismayil Haniyeh and Hassan Nasrallah)

Haniyeh: Allah hu-Ahbar.

Nasrallah: Allah hu-Ahbar! Maharba, my brothers!

Chorus: Allah hu-Ahbar. Allah is great. Only Allah!

(all in the room get up from the table and shake the two terrorist leaders’ hands. Mubarak is shaking on the floor. Urin has stained his pants).

Nasrallah: We heard you were having a party so we decided to join!
(Mubarak is coughing and choking on the cigar smoke in the room…he is mumbling something to himself in Hebrew)

Ahmadinejad: (looks at Mubarak) Someone shut this dog up!

(Nasrallah and Haniyeh drag Mubarak and begin beating him. Qadaffi gets a kick in as well. As they do so they take cigars from Hugo Chavez and fire them up).

Mubarak: (crying) Why! Why!

Qadaffi: You are suffering because you trusted those American Zionist dogs!

(something else explodes in the background. The sound of women screaming is heard and sheep crying)

A voice from outside: Open up! It is the Americans! We have you all surrounded!

Ahmadinejad: (proudly smoking his cigar) that’s alright! You cannot stop this Jihad!)

(gets up and begins thrusting his crotch with his hands behind his head, as if dancing to Hip-Hop)

Oh no, no baby no! You cannot stop this Jihad, yo!

(more knocking on the door)

Voices: Open up punks or we’ll smoke this whole complex!

Qadaffi: We are not going anywhere! Let’s all sing a song!

(more banging on the door from outside, the sound of dogs barking, an explosion)

Different Voice: Open up at once! This is the NATO forces!

Assad: What song? (pinches Hugo Chavez’s ass)

Chorus (and Mubarak): (all holding hands and swaying to a familiar Arabic tune)

(A grenade falls into the room…KAPOW!)

The End

Birds of a feather?

What do Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, and Daffy Duck have in common?

mahmoud ahmadinejadThings seem to be getting a bit “interesting” in places like Pyongyang North Korea and Teheran Iran. Both of these countries now have run-away nuclear arms programs, and in North Korea, the situation has reached the boiling point with the test of a 20 kiloton nuclear device, followed by the test launching of at least 7 missiles. Now, the scene in that region may be ready to explode with Pyongyang saying that its neighbor South Korea will be in a “state of war” with North Korea if it tries to intercept any North Korean vessel on suspicion of carrying weapons of mass destruction.

kim jong ilNorth Korea’s fearless leader, Kim Jong Il, seems to have retreated back to his secluded residence to eat lobster (his favorite food) and watch Warner Brothers Looney Tunes cartoons. Looney Tunes, especially ones with Daffy Duck, the Road Runner, and Sargasso Sam, are said to be Kim’s favorite pass time, outside of raunchy sex orgies which he may be getting too old or too demented to participate in. And he may also have to cut down or even forgo the lobster and other rich foods that 95% of his countrymen can only dream about.

So that leaves Daffy Duck and Co. as his only pastime – and possibly his only friends.

daffy duckWhere this ties in with that other nuclear wannabe about 2,500 miles southwest of North Korea is not so difficult to figure out, as the guy sitting in the President’s Chair in Teheran has probably received most of his country’s nuclear technology and even equipment directly from his friend, Kim. Whether Mahmoud also likes Daffy Duck is not certain at this time; but we can bet that he has some interesting “diversions” of his own. Now that Pyongyang has heated things up quite a bit in his neighborhood, nuclear test and all, Ahmadinejad may see this act as a ‘window of opportunity’ to perhaps set off a big “fire cracker” himself. After all, if Kim and Daffy Duck can do it, why can’t Mahmoud?

Both of these scenes are being watched very closely by both the USA and Israel, with Israel having the most to loose if an Iranian IBM comes flying toward Tel Aviv with a bomb like Whylie Coyote might use to get even with his road runner nemesis, Beep Beep. What’s going to happen next is not quite certain, but we can all wonder whether American President Barack Obama will do more than just make condemnations, and whether anything will be done to prevent any of these leaders, from carrying out an act which up to now has been nothing more than intense saber rattling.

If the situation does get out of hand, and nobody stands up to either of these two guys, then there’s going to a something coming down that’s a lot more serious than Daffy Duck and Sargasso Sam. We’re afraid there’s going to be un-leashing of the Tasmanian Devil!

The Holocaust Memorial Day In Pictures

Tonight at 8:00 PM we start the Yom Hashoa (Holocaust Memorial Day). In light of today’s recent events and the great UN Summit Against Racism that is pushing Iran ever closer to what will surely be an explosive end. We would like to remind you why when someone who denies the Holocaust ever existed deserves to have his country turn into the world’s largest parking lot.

“To collect as much proof, films, testimonies, because the day will come when some ‘son of a bitch’ will say this never happened”
Answer given by General Dwight D. Eisenhower as to why he had so many photographs taken of the victims of German Concentration Camps
=====================================================================
The difficult decision has to be taken, to cause this people to disappear from the earth.
Heinrich Himmler, 1943

Giant hat tip to The Holocaust History Project

What happened in Italy last night

What happened in Italy last night

We didn’t expect what you see in this picture. This is the square of the Italian Parliament in Rome, Piazza Montecitorio: You can see the Palace on top of the square, and in front a lot of Israeli flags. That was last night from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. What you cannot see here, is the extraordinary number of members of Parliament, about 100 from all political sides, that took the stage during this time: for about three hours we were speaking about the role of Israel, its right to self defense, its moral height, its fight on behalf of us all, of our civilization and values, against the wild hate of the Islamic jihad represented by Hamas.

It seems to me that for the first time in the too long history of the Arab/Israeli conflict, apart from a minority of crazy leftists and fascists that took the street with anti-Semitic slogans, we have achieved a huge consensus on one critical point: this is not a local conflict, there is nothing in it that reminds us of a peace theme that has characterized the Palestinian issue. This is an attack against the western world, and Iran is behind it.

The change of attitude is great: the terrorist and religious nature of Hamas and the democratic, civilized nature of Israel are seen face to face for what they really are at least by the European elite at large, dead and wounded notwithstanding, and there rises an identification with Israel against a regime that uses human shields and promises slaughter of Jews in its charter.

What happens today, at least in Italy, is the defeat and fall of the leftist ideologies: ideology that has allowed justification of all the most violent crimes and most disgusting verbal attacks. If Arafat launched the terrorist Intifada, if he promoted the martyrdom of children in public speeches, the ideologists were ready to justify him with the issues of occupation, the Palestinian misery and loss of any hope. Not so with Hamas.

History, in Italy, has brought to a profound crisis the ideology of revolution and the justification of any cruel attack against a so-called unjust imperialist order. That time is over, nobody will see Hamas as the resolution of the problem and not even as the problem itself. I think that the word “peace” has lost that healing meaning that it once had. The new non-ideological point of view sees that there is no peace when one of the contenders doesn’t want it, and that even if the world in the short run asks for a truce, in the long run it hopes for the defeat of Hamas.

Last night, many people, Ministers and Members of Parliament, composed a very new, interesting mix of opinions. I think that when you are not overwhelmed by exotic thirdworldism, the images of children educated as hate machines, the speeches of jihad leaders, from Ahmadinejad to Nasrallah, to Haniyeh, that deny the holocaust and promise death to Jewish and Christians alike, you are left only with disgust. Westerners, thank God, can still be disgusted by uncivilized levels of political speech.

But most of all, in the Parliament square, many of the Parliament Members said: “I love Israel”.

You can’t imagine how many.

Fiamma Nirenstein

Fiamma Nirenstein, a journalist and some-time resident of Jerusalem, is a new Member of the Italian Parliament who is outspoken on Israel’s behalf. She writes below that there is increasing understanding of what Israel is facing in its current war against Hamas.

Post Optimism

An Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire “sort of” began today; Iran agrees to discuss the West’s anti-nuclear incentives; Exchange of prisoners with Hezbollah is rumored to take place any day now; Bureaucrats at the Ministry of Finance stand together with the Histadrut (the federation of labor) against the Minister’s plot to tax the Study Funds; It’s summer…

There are lots of things to be optimistic about, it seems.

Question Mark

Well, I don’t think anyone’s really excited about these news. It’s good that things start to roll, but it may be too little, too late.

1. The truce may enable Hamas to smuggle Gilad Shalit out of the Gaza Strip and into Egypt, turning this tragedy into a much longer affair. In addition, there are no illusions about this cease fire. In the meantime, Hamas supplies itself with new ammunition and new rockets, and the flames could be back in a matter of days.

2. Iran stalls time. After all, Mr. Bush is about to leave office, and Ahmadinejad knows that while Bush is keen to attack, Obama (which polls project him to be the next US President) is keen to avoid any such confrontation. “So it’s Okay to show signs we’re ready to enter the diplomatic path. These things take months and years, and we only need to stall Mr. Bush for five months”.

3. Yes, after almost two years, we may finally know what happened to Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. However it’s highly estimated that they’re dead, and in exchange for their release, Israel will let go of Samir Kuntar, the last bargaining chip we have when it comes to extracting information from the Hezbollah regarding the missing pilot Ron Arad.

Sun4. It’s “common knowledge” in recent years that the state of Israel is actually controlled by the Ministery of Finance bureaucrats. The Ministers come and go every two-or-so years, but the bureaucrats are the ones who sign the papers and release the money, while having the chance to push forward their agenda over long periods of time. They have practically privatized any thing imaginable in the last decade, and make this country unbearable for more and more people: Students, the elderly, single moms, etc. Now they’ve done something truly exceptional — entirely out of character — and stood up against the Minister when he suggested striking another blow at the average citizen. Honestly, this is the only report that actually excites me.

5. Oh, and I’m also excited about the summer.

Picture by Lucky Oliver

The Oil War?

Oil WarPicture: The Washington Post

In a mode that could clearly say: “I told you so”, critics of America’s involvement in Iraq are now saying that the U.S. Administration sent the troopers there for one primary reason: to shore up a reliable source of crude oil that would keep flowing into American storage facilities, and hence into American citizens gas tanks for at least another 15 to 20 years. With Iraqi petroleum reserves estimated to be at least 10% to total world supply, and if major American oil companies like Exxon-Mobil and Amoco controlling the pumping of fossilized, primeval Earth in most of Iraq, then it would be a win-win situation; the winners being Uncle Sam and Co. of course.

Unfortunately, for President George Bush (an oilman himself) and his assistant, Vice President Dick Cheney (of Halliburton Corp. fame); things didn’t work out the way they wanted them to. Now that Iraqi and (presumably) US forces are staging an operation against Shiite militiamen in the oil rich Iraqi city of Basra, this oil war doctrine seems to be more relevant than ever. Iraqi oil production has been plagued with a scores of problems in both Iraq’s southern region as well as in the northern, Kurdish controlled sector.

Maybe this explains why so many top American officials have made so many “surprise visits” to Iraq in this 2008 election year.

Ever since the invasion of March, 2003, production and exports of Iraqi crude oil have been beset by a combination of old production equipment in bad repair, as well as countless incidents of sabotage by Iraqi insurgents and foreign elements who simply do not want Iraqi oil to fall into the hands of “The Great Satan”, no matter what the price to Iraq’s own economy. As oil has been this country’s major export (and was used by Saddam Hussein to fleece his pockets during his 30 year reign) not being able to produce and export sufficient quantities has resulted in the country’s economy becoming an international basket case.

Now, more five years later and 4,000 American way dead, this precious resource seems even more distant from American and other Western automobile gas tanks. Countries like Israel, who once feared possible attacks from Iraq with weapons of mass destruction, called WMD’s for short, now fear another oil rich country, Iran, whose leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has often called for Israel to be “wiped off the face of the map”. Despite the fact that the U.N. Headquarters is still located in New York City, American governmental officials, and especially New York City officials should have been more prudent than to let this man come twice to address the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, as well as speak before such a pristine academic institution as Columbia University. For it is Iran’s sponsored militiamen who are now fighting Americans in southern Iraq, as well as providing training and arms to Hamas militiaman in Gaza and to the Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Oil is now fetching more than $100 a barrel, and the U.S. Dollar is even weaker than currencies like the Israeli Shekel. It appears that the time has come for some serious stock-taking in regards to just why American forces went into Iraq in the first place, instead of simply letting Saddam Hussein and his cronies remain there as a possible buffer against the real world enemy – Iran.

Et tu, Cheney?

Cheney in RamallahNo sooner had the fine china been put away for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. Presidential candidate John McCain at Jerusalem hotels like the Kind David at Jerusalem hotels like the King David, when U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney came to town. Cheney, also back from a quick trip to beleaguered Iraq (where U.S. forces have just suffered their 4,000th war casualty) stopped off in Israel to visit both with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Not exactly “Mr. Personality”, Cheney reiterated previous remarks by both McCain and Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice (who was also here recently) in respect to American support of a two state solution and a full partnership with Israel. Cheney also pulled no punches when he mentioned that Iran was not only a danger to Israel but to America and the non-Islamic world at large. This also was not anything new as both Senator McCain and Sec. Rice had made similar remarks.

In respect to relations between Israel and the Palestinians, Cheney said that in order for peace to be achieved, “some painful concessions need to be made”. Now, here is the kicker question in this remark: painful for whom? Israel, the Palestinians (the West Bank Palestinians, that is ) or for those nasty people called Hamas who nobody wants to deal with, except people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hassan Nasrallah, that is. And we might as well throw in people like Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s No. 2, and even more nasty than Osama bin Laden, so they say. Cheney’s visit with Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas was also a bit lackluster, but what could one expect, since any rational person knows who the most powerful Palestinian leader really is.

Cheney has been behind much of America’s five plus year Iraq experience that is being “commemorated” today with the announcement of the 4000th slain U.S. combat soldier. Not as bad as Vietnam, which had at least 40,000 dead GI’s after the same 5 year period. But these new war dead are bad enough for a much scaled down professional military that requires it’s thinly spread-out troop contingents to spend at lest two duty tours in either Iraq or Afghanistan – take their choice.

As for Cheney’s short trip here, it will most likely be his last to the region, although his boss, President George W. Bush plans to be back in Israel to help celebrate the upcoming 60th Independence celebration. Busch better not plan to be here at the same time that former Beatles greats Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr plan to be here too, as they will surely upstage him.

Oh what the heck. The fact that he’s still alive with half a heart left feebly beating is a triumph in itself! Dick Cheney doesn’t need to worry about such things as upstaging the Beatles, since he won’t be attending the party.

Gotcha! Hillary Hits Back

Hillary Rodham Clinton can definitely be called “the comeback kid” following Tuesday’s American primary contests in four states. Winning handsomely in both Ohio and Rhode Island, and squeaking by in Texas by a 3% margin. Clinton now has considerable breathing space in which to prepare for the next and perhaps most decisive contest, the Pennsylvania primary in late April.

Hillary BackAlthough her opponent, Barack Obama only won in the Vermont primary and is just slightly ahead in the Texas caucuses he still leads the overall delegate count by at least 100; and is now having to re-plan his overall strategy if he expects to win the Democratic Party nomination in July. When interviewed Wednesday morning in Austin, Hillary Clinton seemed to have regained her confidence and said that what made the difference is her overall experience as compared to Obama’s. When interviewers from CNN asked whether the recent commercial about which candidate would be able to make the right decision after receiving a 3 a.m. phone about a national security emergency, she reiterated about her past experience in such matters, including her being sent to such places as Bosnia (during their civil war) to mediate a peace agreement. She compared herself to Obama who she said “only continues to talk about a speech he made back in 2004 concerning America’s involvement in Iraq”.

I suppose that Hillary can say that she has a bit of experience, as the “red phone” did ring a few times at 3 a.m. when she was in bed with her husband Bill. She also could include her “experience” in dealing with that very uncomfortable period from November 1998 until July, 2000, when she had to deal with another kind of crises that was “a bit too close to home”.

Disregarding those unpleasant episodes, Hillary does probably have a bit more of a track record than Obama has; and whether or not this will help her to wind up making a “V” sign at the speakers podium of the convention will be determined in the coming weeks ahead.

People all over the world have been following the U.S. Presidential campaign; and these primary races have for sure been followed by those living in the Middle East and elsewhere in Islamic World. Barack Hussein Obama is no doubt the favorite of many who make up what is known as Dir Al Islam – the World Community of Islam, and these include many of America’s present enemies, such as Hamas, the Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, and most certainly The Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a recent short visit to Iraq, said during a speech there that nearly everyone hates Americans. Well, he does anyway.

Jews around the world, especially in Israel, have from the start been a bit apprehensive about the possibility of Obama winning the Presidency; and what could afterwards be in store concerning America’s future relations with the Jewish State. There is really no way of knowing how Obama will deal with the Israel-Palestinian issue until he is actually sitting in the Oval Office. But in the weeks and months ahead, this matter will most certainly crop up; and it will most likely be used against Obama by both Clinton and John McCain, the Republican nominee.

This year’s contest has so far been anything but boring; and with the U.S. heading towards what may be a moderate to severe recession, the U.S. economy will be a top issue in the months ahead as well. If Hillary does manage to win over the remaining primary contests and become her party’s candidate, she’ll still need all the help she can get to beat McCain in November. And to do this, she’ll have to get real friendly again with a guy named William Jefferson Clinton, who has a bit of “experience” himself.

Iranian Jews Arrive in Israel

A group of 40 Iranian Jews have just arrived in Israel as part of an ongoing program to bring the remainder of a once large Jewish population dating back top the time of King Xerxes the Great (known as Achashverosh by Jews). The group, one of the largest in recent immigration efforts, came via an unnamed country due to the sensitivity involved and potential danger to the remaining Iranian Jewish community.

Approximately 25,000 – 30,000 Jews remain in Iran, most of them in the larger cities of Teheran, Shiraz, and Eshfahan. While Jews had a good life there during the reign of the Shah, their lives have become increasingly difficult since the Islamic Revolution of 1978/79; and a few years back a group of 13 Jewish men were arrested and convicted of being spies for Israel, a popular trumped up charge in Arab and Muslim countries. Fortunately, the group was later released, but only after they had been subjected to torture and imprisonment. The election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of Iran has further complicated the delicate game of brinksmanship that Iranian Jews are now forced to play.

The new immigrants are receiving a special grant of $10,000 by some Jewish and Christian Zionist organizations each as well as a government package of Olim or immigration benefits. Jews wishing to leave Iran for life elsewhere are usually free to do so, but must leave virtually all financial resources behind. What they leave is then confiscated by government authorities.

One of the new immigrants, Avraham Dayan, said that he had had seen his son, now living in Israel, for 11 years. “I feel like I’m in heaven” Dayan said has he entered the arrivals terminal at Ben Gurion Airport.

So far this year, around 200 Jews have arrived in Israel from Iran. This group is believed to be the largest group to come together since the deposing of the Shah in 1979. In a recent documentary involving the life of Jews still remaining in what was formerly Persia, it was shown that Jews are allowed to practice their religion under the Shiite Muslim dominated regime, but cannot learn Hebrew or belong to organizations dealing with Israel. Ironically, Israel and Iran once enjoyed cordial relations under Shah Reza Pahlavi, and many large buildings in central Teheran, including many housing government offices, were built by Israeli construction companies such as Solel Boneh. Everything changed when the Ayatollah Khomeini deposed the Shah and declared Iran to be an Islamic republic.

While Iranian Jews are still living more or less normally under the ultra Islamic regime of the Mullahs and Mr. Ahmadinejad, the Jewish State of Israel has been singled out as one that the Iranian president would like to see “wiped off the face of the map. Whether this national feeling will cause additional problems for Iranian Jews is something that could become evident with Iran’s increasing belligerency and its desire to continue with its nuclear fuel enrichment program.

There are at least 50,000 former Iranian Jews presently living in Israel. Other Iranian Jewish communities are found in the USA, mainly in New York Los Angeles, as well as in the U.K.

Ahmadinejad Clear For Take Off (The Great Escape)

Iran PresidentThe just published US Government reports, that Iran scrapped its nuclear weapons program in 2003 has brought elation to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and consternation to US Administration officials, most notably US President Bush. Israeli government and military officials are more than disturbed by the report which means that any American military plans to attack Iranian nuclear facilities have been scuttled, and that the Iranian government has now come out of this affair smelling like a rose.

After reading a number of articles and commentaries on this subject over the weekend, including reactions by all “interested parties” concerned, I have made the following conclusions:

1. That this report isn’t real, but is in the same light of reports given to the U.S. Administration prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, regarding WMD’s and nuclear capability of now executed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. In this episode, Bush and Co. wanted to take over Iraq for both the oil and as a promise made by Bush Jr. to Bush Sr.(to kick Saddam’s butt) following the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War. The US is not at all capable or willing to “kick Ahmadinejad butt” and needs a way to bow out gracefully from any planned attack.

2. That the report is real and the Bush’s hands are tied because of it. It also makes him look a bit like the kid who fell into a mud puddle on the way home from school.

Whatever answer is correct, Israeli military officials hope to convince the U.S. Joints Chief of Staff head, Admiral Michael Mullen, otherwise when he visits Israel on Sunday. The Iranian president, for his part, feels like the cat who swallowed the canary, and is making no bones about how he has figuratively emasculated both the Americans and Israelis following this bit of news.

This intelligence report, that supposedly came about by members of the US National Intelligence teams, could not have come at a worse time for both the Republican led Administration, as well as Republican US presidential candidates. Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama are having a field day in using this revelation in their campaign rhetoric.

However convincing this report may be, anybody to really believes that the Iranians have no intention on building a nuclear bomb is even stupider than British Foreign Minister Neville Chamberlain was in 1938 when he called his country’s acceptance of Nazi Germany’s takeover of the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia as “peace in our time”.

The Iranians, Mahmud Ahmadinejad anyway, want only one thing; and that is the complete elimination of the State of Israel. If that “elimination” requires the use of a nuke, then so be it; as far he is concerned anyway. Israel, for all the IDF’s intelligence gathering and planning, cannot take on the task of destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities on it’s own as Iran is simply too large and it’s nuclear facilities too scattered around, with many of them far underground.

The only thing that may prevent that country from becoming a nuclear power by 2009 (or earlier) it’s own people deciding that “enough is enough” concerning their government’s Islamic hard stance, especially that of Ahmadinejad and Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It would be even better if the Iranian people come to the conclusion that they have had enough of the Ayatollahs themselves.

At this state in time, however, this isn’t likely to happen, and Mr. Ahmadinejad and his Mullah religious leaders seem to be definitely on the (nuclear) horse.

Shunned at Annapolis

Tzipi at AnnapolisForeign Minister Tzipi Livni didn’t have a good time at the just concluded Middle East Summit in Annapolis. In fact, she felt almost like the new kid in school who winds up eating lunch alone in the school cafeteria. Although she did get warm greetings from the Americans and most Western delegations, including American Secretary Condi Rice, she was either avoided or outright ignored by most of the Arab and Muslim delegates, especially those from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, Algeria, and other Arab and Muslim countries.

I guess it’s understandable that the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Said al-Faisal, wouldn’t extend her the courtesy. After all, women are not exactly given equal treatment there, especially in light of the recent rape case where the female victim was herself sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 months in the can. And as for Syria, even though they did send their deputy F.M. there, his government must also not be ready to be “poochy moochy” with Israel’s F.M, female or otherwise.

Condi did try to make her Israeli guest feel better by comparing Tzipi’s experience with that of her own as a black child growing up in Selma Alabama, scene of some very nasty civil rights activities during the 1960’s. But Condi’s experiences, bad as they were, are not in the same light as the Israeli F.M, who found out to her chagrin that the A-rabs are not quite ready to be seen in friendly conversation with any senior Israeli official – let alone a woman.

When she asked, “why is everyone treating me like a pariah?” she should realize that it’s really nothing personal, especially in regards to whom she was referring to. In a way, it’s probably better that delegations from Iran and Lebanon didn’t show up, as they wouldn’t have greeted her either – especially Mahmud Ahmadinejad who’s still fretting over remarks made to him at the U.N. recently by Carnit Goldwasswer, wife of captured Israeli soldier Udi Goldwasser.

In all seriousness, Tzipi’s uncomfortable experience only reconfirms the reality of Israel’s position in the Middle East, especially in light of increased Muslim radicalism towards the West in general and Israel in particular. Had the Israeli F.M. been a man, he probably wouldn’t have fared much better; perhaps even worse. And with only half of the Palestinians represented at the conference, the other half being under the dominance of the ultra radical Hamas organization, the entire event appears to have ended with a hollow ring.

Even her boss, Prime Minister Olmert, didn’t win many friends there among the countries unfriendly to Israel. Be all this as it may, we can now get back to business as usual in this part of the world. And Tzipi might well do better at a UJA or similar gathering. At least they’ll shake her hand..

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