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From Christopher Dickey, the author of "Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South" and "Securing the City," this site provides updates and footnotes on history, espionage, terrorism, fanaticism, policing and counterinsurgency linked to Dickey's columns for The Daily Beast and his other writings; also, occasional dialogues, diatribes, and contributions from friends.
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New Yorker says he would have been suicide bomber
Jul 23, 2009 231 GMT
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Man charged with giving al Qaeda NY transit data
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A case to watch
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TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian reformist former president, Mohammad Khatami, called for a referendum on the legitimacy of the government, challenging the supreme leader who has backed the result of the disputed June presidential poll.
Clashes erupted in central Tehran between police and reformist protesters for the first time in weeks on Friday after another former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, declared the Islamic Republic in crisis after the disputed June 12 poll.
"The only way out of the current situation is to hold a referendum," websites on Monday quoted Khatami as saying. "People should be asked whether they are happy with the current situation ... If the vast majority of people are happy with the current situation, we will accept it as well."...(more)
MEMO FROM JERUSALEM: Netanyahu's Talk of Peace Finds Few True
By ISABEL KERSHNER
In the weeks since Benjamin Netanyahu accepted the principle of a
Palestinian state, officials are questioning his commitment to a final
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Iran's Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i
By Fredrik Dahl and Hashem Kalantari
TEHRAN (Reuters) - A hardline editor seen as close to Iran's top authority accused former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Saturday of backing "law-breakers," highlighting deepening establishment divisions after a disputed election.
Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of the Kayhan daily, also criticized Rafsanjani, a powerful cleric and rival of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for saying in a sermon on Friday that the Islamic Republic was in crisis.
In apparent defiance of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Rafsanjani said many Iranians had doubts about the official result of the June 12 vote. He also took issue with the way the authorities had handled the poll and its aftermath.
As he led Friday prayers at Tehran University for the first time since the election, tens of thousands of protesters used the event to stage a huge show of dissent.
Clashes erupted near the university between police and followers of opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi, who came second and still contests results that showed Ahmedinejad was re-elected by a wide margin.
The government has portrayed post-election mass protests last month as the work of local subversives, or "rioters," and Western powers seeking to topple the Islamic establishment.
"Most certainly Mr Rafsanjani is familiar with the definition of a crisis ... The most meaningful word to describe the current conditions is a conspiracy," Shariatmadari said in an editorial. He is seen as a close ally of Khamenei.
He said Rafsanjani, a moderate who backed Mousavi's election campaign, had done nothing to prevent the gathering of Mousavi supporters inside and outside Tehran University, where prayers are held each Friday and broadcast live on state radio....(more)
Well-known figures from more than 60 countries, from Noam Chomsky to Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, ask Tehran to free the Canadian-Iranian journalist.
Nearly 300 of the world's most respected authors, filmmakers, and journalists have put their names to petitions this week calling on the Iranian government to release NEWSWEEK correspondent and documentary film director Maziar Bahari from prison. He has been held since June 21 in Tehran without access to a lawyer or the ability to see his family, even though no formal charges have been brought against him.
Among more than 100 authors who signed a letter sent to authorities in Tehran by PEN American Center and PEN Canada on Thursday were Nobel laureates Orhan Pamuk of Turkey, Wole Soyinka of Nigeria, and Nadine Gordimer of South Africa. Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga is on the list, as is Italy's Umberto Eco. Martin Amis and Paul Auster, Mario Vargas Llosa, Don DeLillo, E. L. Doctorow, Ha Jin, Ian McEwan, Michael Ondaatje, Zadie Smith, and Saadi Youssef all call on the Iranian government "to release Mr. Bahari, and all others detained in connection with their post-election reporting in Iran, immediately and without condition."
While careful to avoid confrontational language and any comment on the internal Iranian dispute over the June 12 election results, the PEN petition and others underscore how closely the world is following the cases of individual detainees in Iran. The range of signatories also speaks to the diversity of Bahari's work not only as a journalist, but also as a filmmaker and playwright... (more)
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Jason Jones: Behind the Veil - Minarets of Menace|
G8 leaders, including Harper, in front of the Grand Hotel at Heiligendamm, Germany, early June, 2007.
Monday 06 July 2009
From: Agence Global <email@example.com>
Date: July 6, 2009 4:13:08 AM GMT+02:00
To: Agence Global <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Rami G. Khouri, "Hypocritical Kvetching"
Negotiating with Iran cannot be any more difficult than it was with the Soviet Union. So why the hesitancy -- and the anguished, hypocritical debate in the West?-------------------Release Date: 06 July 2009Word Count: 804Rights & Permissions Contact: Agence Global, 1.336.686.9002, email@example.com-------------------Hypocritical Kvetchingby Rami G. KhouriROME -- One of the big questions that will be with us for some time is about how countries around the world, especially the United States and other Western democracies, should deal with the government and ruling elite in Iran. This follows international condemnation of the regime's behavior in falsifying the presidential election results and then harshly ending the street demonstrations that broke out in protest.This is understandable, but slightly hypocritical, which is nothing new in how Western democracies deal with Middle Eastern autocracies. I and many others in the region do not quite understand why the United States and the West rightly debate how to deal with Iran, while they make no parallel effort to explore options on how to deal with the many other countries in the region and the world that apply the same tough standards of state heavy-handedness, rigged or no elections, and harsh means to control what people think, hear and say.Two important issues are at play here. The first is the problem of double standards, of making a big show of how one should interact with Iran while simultaneously ignoring the anti-democratic behavior of most other countries in the Middle East or dictatorial states like North Korea and Burma. Probably the most common criticism of Western powers from around the world is that they often apply two different standards to countries that act in the same manner, such as rigging elections, ignoring UN resolutions, or restricting their citizens' basic freedoms. Many will ask: Why the fuss over Iranian electoral and human rights abuses, when the same or very similar behavior in places like Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Libya, Sudan and other countries in the Middle East is quietly ignored?The second and more significant issue here is about how foreign countries, especially the United States and leading Western democracies, can and should behave in the face of blatant abuse of power and suppression of citizens' rights in countries like Iran. There is not much to debate here, in view of recent history. The best way to deal with regimes you do not like is to engage and challenge them through diplomacy. Isolating and punishing governments via sanctions has limited or no impact. The more the West pressured or threatened Iran, using the legitimacy of the UN Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the more Iran dug in and speeded up its nuclear technology development.One of the important lessons of the past decade has been about the limits of the use of both military and political force to bring about changes in the behavior of regimes. Governments that want to stand their ground in the face of Western pressure -- such as Iran and Syria -- indicate that threats and sanctions are incapable of achieving the sort of regime policy changes that Western powers seek. This question now arises again even more dramatically with Iran. Should the United States and the Western world punish and isolate Iran, or continue to negotiate with it?On a speaking visit to the NATO Defense College in Rome this week, I was not surprised that this issue surfaced repeatedly. The colonels and generals from NATO countries, in their relaxed academic setting that fosters reflection and analysis, seemed to echo the more frenzied posture of their politicians back home in asking how one should deal with Iran.NATO, in particular, has the advantage of its members' own experiences in how they resolved this issue in their confrontation with the Soviet Union decades ago. The Soviet Union was a police state of epic and tragic proportions, which used force to suppress its citizens' rights and also to subjugate neighboring countries. It was far more dangerous than Iran can ever be. Yet the West correctly adopted a combination of approaches that included fighting wars through proxies around the world, applying diplomatic pressure, waging propaganda media battles, and engaging deeply in diplomatic endeavors.The most important of the latter was the East-West process of détente that started in the early 1970s, including the launch of the "Helsinki process" to establish a Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Thirty-five countries in August 1975 signed the Helsinki Final Act. It included three "baskets" dealing with political relations (including outlawing the use of force and prohibiting intervention in the internal affairs of any state) economics and environment, and "cooperation in humanitarian and other fields" that promoted greater people-to-people contacts. A decade and a half later, the Soviet Union collapsed.Iran is ripe for change from within, as we have witnessed in the past decade, through several elections and now in the behavior of many brave street demonstrators. Negotiating with Iran cannot be any more difficult than it was with the Soviet Union. So why the hesitancy -- and the anguished, hypocritical debate in the West?Rami G. Khouri is Editor-at-large of The Daily Star, and Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, in Beirut, Lebanon.Copyright © 2009 Rami G. Khouri – distributed by Agence Global---------------Released: 06 July 2009Word Count: 804----------------For rights and permissions, contact:firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.336.686.9002 or 1.212.731.0757
Agence Global is the exclusive syndication agency for The Nation, Le Monde diplomatique, as well as expert commentary by Richard Bulliet, Nadia Hijab, Rami G. Khouri, Peter Kwong, Patrick Seale and Immanuel Wallerstein.
The detention of journalist Iason Athanasiadis is a legal abomination -- and a breach of Iranian hospitality
By Sandy Tolan
July 2, 2009 | Journalism's deepest, most honest contributions inevitably spring from on-the-ground reporting, unencumbered by policy agendas in Washington, London or other foreign capitals. That's what epitomizes the work of my friend and colleague Iason Athanasiadis, and it's why his detention by Iranian authorities, on June 17 when trying to board a flight out of Iran, is so troubling.... (more)
New York, June 30, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Iranian authorities to immediately release all jailed journalists and to stop vilifying the foreign press. CPJ also welcomed the release of a number of employees of the reformist newspaper Kalameh Sabz who had been held since June 23.
In recent days, the Iranian government has launched a campaign designed to malign the foreign press, blaming demonstrations that followed the contested June 12 presidential elections on foreign news media, particularly British and
Fars News agency today posted an 11-page "confession" by
"The Iranian government invited international media to cover the presidential campaign when they wanted to showcase the elections," said CPJ executive director Joel Simon. "When journalists covered the street protests that erupted in the disputed aftermath, the government turned on the media, essentially blaming journalists for doing their job."... (more)