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  • azalphainvestor azalphainvestor Aug 19, 2007 1:28 PM Flag

    Iran

    Just as Canoodle's boys screw up and bring us more of the Iraq Missadventure, Arafarce's holier-than-thous bring us political hangings and abominable repression in Iran. But don't expect either to step up and admit their support. Do expect each to point out, however, that the other does indeed support such nefarious leaders:

    Iran hangs 30 over 'US plots'

    Surge in public executions is a push to silence political activists, say critics
    Robert Tait in Tehran
    Sunday August 19, 2007

    Observer

    <Iran has hanged up to 30 people in the past month amid a clampdown prompted by alleged US-backed plots to topple the regime, The Observer can reveal.

    Many executions have been carried out in public in an apparent bid to create a climate of intimidation while sending out uncompromising signals to the West. Opposition sources say at least three of the dead were political activists, contradicting government insistence that it is targeting 'thugs' and dangerous criminals. The executions have coincided with a crackdown on student activists and academics accused of trying to foment a 'soft revolution' with US support.

    The most high-profile recent executions involved Majid Kavousifar, 28, and his nephew, Hossein Kavousifar, 24, hanged for the murder of a hardline judge, Hassan Moghaddas, a man notorious for jailing political dissidents. They were hanged from cranes and hoisted high above one of Tehran's busiest thoroughfares.

    The spectacle, the first public executions in Tehran for five years, took place outside the judiciary department headquarters where Moghaddas was murdered. But the location, near many office blocks and the Australian and Japanese embassies, meant they were seen by many middle-class Iranians who would not normally witness such events.

    The previous day seven men were publicly executed in the north-eastern city of Masshad, including five said to be guilty of 'rape, kidnapping, theft and committing indecent acts'. Another two were hanged separately for raping and robbing a young woman. The executions were also shown live on state television.

    Public hangings are normally carried out sparingly in Iran and reserved for cases that have provoked public outrage, such as serial murders or child killings. Human rights organisations say the rising death toll has brought the number of prisoners executed this year to about 150, compared to 177 in 2006, a dramatic increase in capital punishment since the country's radical President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, took office two years ago.

    The executions come after the government launched a campaign targeting murderers, sex offenders, drug traffickers and others cast as a threat to 'social security'. It resulted in a wave of arrests after police raided working-class neighbourhoods in Tehran and other cities. Those arrested were paraded in public, often in humiliating poses.

    The government has also sought to publicise executions conducted behind closed doors. Last month state television broadcast footage of 12 condemned men as they were about to be hanged in Tehran's Evin prison. The authorities said they had been guilty of 'rape, sodomy and assault and battery'. Opposition sources say at least three were political activists, though they have not disclosed their identities. Asiran, a government website, dismissed the claims as 'lies'.

    International gay rights campaigners have also said that homosexual men were among the executed. Homosexuality is a capital offence in Iran, along with adultery, espionage, armed robbery, drug trafficking and apostasy. >

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,2151798,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront

    alpha

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    • Canoodle... If that was an attempt of yours at humor I can see why you didnt go far on at the Improv. As for your efforts as at Baord Fool, you are certainly front and center.

      I am glad to see that your realize that your mentors, Bush, Cheney and Rummy havent read your book either. Sad that you cant see that the Iraq Missadventure has turned into a civil war that is harming American interests and making the world less safe. Good thing the American majority are smarter than you. Now if only Bush could get the idea.

      alpha

    • Alpha, before you tell us what someone else didn't do, don't you think you should educate yourself so that you can sound intelligent with a bit of depth too?

    • Canoodle you are such a farce. I'll tell you someone that certainly hasnt read your Galula book: George Bush. And last I looked he was 'in charge' of the Iraq Missadventure.

      So if you must 'throw rocks,' I suggest you aim at your beloved Bush/Cheney team. Even Gen Patreas cant say we are safer today.

      alpha

    • I would say he is most frustrated by the politicians, and naysayers, who don't have the courtesy, and responsibility, of first understanding the harm their actions do in an insurgency war. I note that Alpha is one of them. Years after being shown how to understand insurgency wars, he has avoided even touching Galula's book, the on the ground authority on such. But he continues to talk and throw rocks.

    • <It was also clear that, unless Mr. Bush includes a surprise in his Thursday speech, the strategy for the remaining troops will be a familiar one. The planned level of about 130,000 troops by next July is about the same level as was in Iraq in February. When asked about changes in the troops� mission, General Petraeus said their approach would be only �slightly modified.�

      But it was also clear that many of the key Republicans whom the White House needs to keep on their side no longer believe that President Bush has a workable strategy. They questioned whether any number of months, and any tactical alliances with moderate Sunnis or Shiites, would bring the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki closer to the national reconciliation that Mr. Bush said in January would be spurred along by the larger American presence.

      Throughout the day, as in Monday�s testimony, the senators and the witnesses identified Iran as a destabilizing force in Iraq. Mr. Crocker, perhaps the State Department�s most experienced diplomat in the Middle East, acknowledged that his conversations with his Iranian counterpart in Iraq had led nowhere.

      At one point, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Independent of Connecticut, asked whether General Petraeus had considered attacking training camps in Iran where Mr. Lieberman asserted that Shiite militia members were learning how to attack American forces. General Petraeus paused, then said attacks on Iranian territory were out of his area of responsibility, suggesting that such questions should be directed to Adm. William J. Fallon, the chief of Central Command.

      Perhaps the most uncomfortable moment came for Mr. Crocker, who last served as American ambassador to Pakistan. He was asked to assess whether Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the homegrown Sunni Arab extremist group that American intelligence agencies believe is foreign-led, posed a greater threat to America than the main Qaeda force, in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

      A recent National Intelligence Estimate made it clear that attacks on the United States and Europe could be carried out from the tribal areas, and that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia could not operate beyond its immediate area.

      But Mr. Crocker, aware that President Bush has referred to Iraq as a �central front� in the war on terror, declined to make any comparisons.

      By narrowing their testimony so carefully over the past two days, General Petraeus and Mr. Crocker have left Mr. Bush to answer, perhaps on Thursday, a difficult strategic question: What might prompt Iraq�s political leaders to make the kind of political accommodations in the next year that they have refused to make during the troop increase?

      Mr. Bush has indicated that he believes the changes will come from the bottom up, in individual Iraqi provinces. But few in the Senate seemed to believe that, even after Mr. Crocker told Senator Jack Reed, the Rhode Island Democrat, that some �tribal elements� had shown an interest in linking up with the central government in Baghdad.

      But Mr. Crocker quickly qualified that statement. �Senator,� he said, �it�s hard to do nation-building or reconciliation in the face of widespread sectarian violence, which has been the situation over the last 18 months.�>

      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/12/washington/12policy.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print

      alpha

    • As impressed as I was with Gen Petraeus testimony, seems he like most is 'frustrated' with whatever is the Bush/Cheney objective and the prospect of any Iraq political solution:

      <The recommendation by General Petraeus calls for the step-by-step withdrawal between now and next July of the 30,000 additional troops that Mr. Bush has sent to Iraq as part of what has been called a �surge� in forces, which he announced in January. But that leaves open the question that permeated the heated discussions in the Senate on Tuesday, about whether keeping the remaining 130,000 troops would serve a purpose.

      �Buy time?� asked an angry Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, who announced Monday he would retire from the Senate next year. �For what?�

      General Petraeus, pressed first by Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who is under tremendous pressure to abandon her lukewarm support for Mr. Bush�s war strategy, and then by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, conceded that he would be �hard-pressed� to justify America�s presence in Iraq if there is no political progress in Iraq over the next year.

      Senator John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, who is one of the party�s leading voices on foreign policy, asked whether the current strategy in Iraq was �making America safer.� General Petraeus retreated to an explanation that he was doing his best �to achieve our objectives in Iraq.�

      But when pressed again, he said: �Sir, I don�t know, actually.�

      The general and the ambassador, who in the past have talked expansively about the regional and global effects of the Iraq war, stayed narrowly in their lanes of expertise on Wednesday, and stepped around repeated questions about whether a series of tactical victories in Anbar Province or some neighborhoods of Baghdad could be transferred into a broader agreement that would end a state of civil war.

      Nor would they be drawn into any estimates of how many more years a major American troop presence would be required � or even when the oft-promised training of Iraqi troops would be complete enough to allow Americans to step into the background.

      �I�m as frustrated with the situation as anybody else,� an exasperated-sounding General Petraeus said in a particularly pointed exchange with Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey. Briefly breaking out of the flat tone in which he has delivered his analyses of troop strength and the reliability of Sunni tribes who have turned against Al Qaeda, General Petraeus said, �This is going on three years for me, on top of a year deployment to Bosnia, as well, so my family also knows something about sacrifice.� >

      Lets send the children of all the Militarists and NeoHeads like Canoodle, Fibs, Bush & Cheney and see how long they cont to 'support' this waste of American men and money.

      alpha

    • isn't the majority always wrong..? (whoever they are)

    • Gotta love those lawyers.

    • No Doubt you dont think so. I Know that your comprehension of English is more than suspect. As such I think all of us have to make sure you are not missusing English. So Ill take your statement as confirmation that you think the American majority is a mob.

      alpha

    • Alpha, I don't think my written English needs an interpreter.

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