Thomas Joscelyn reports on what has become of the former American Embassy in Teheran:
Recently, the Italian daily newspaper Il Giornale carried a fascinating account of Iran’s drive to recruit suicide bombers. Gian Micalessin, an Il Giornale journalist, paid a visit to the martyrs’ shop,” which is “located inside the old embassy of the Great Satan (former US Embassy in Tehran) itself.” The account includes startling details about Iran’s role in promulgating what I will call “the suicide bomber cult.” Because this account is not widely available here in the U.S., I will share portions of a government translation I came across.
The most interesting part of Micalessin’s account is his interview with Mohammad Samadi, “the brains behind Iran’s militant suicide bombers and their spokesman.” Samadi is the founder of Iran’s “Department for the Commemoration of World Martyrs” and he freely admits that the martyrs have been targeting American forces in Iraq. In particular, he discusses recruiting martyrs to strike Americans in Karbala and al-Najaf, two Shiite cities about 100 to 160 km south of Baghdad and just to the west of the Euphrates:
“Two years ago when we were gathering the first signatures of youngsters ready for martyrdom to hound the Americans out of the holy places of Karbala and of al-Najaf, the initiative was merely symbolic. But there were really very many volunteers and so we set up a full fledged organization to gather together and offer serious professional training to all those who want to sacrifice their lives on the Palestinian front, on the Iraqi front, or even to take part in the killing of author Salman Rushdie. But in the event of US (military) intervention (in Iran), we will swing into action here too.”
At some point soon, it will be necessary for the Bush Administration to set in motion the machinery that takes our confrontation with Iran to the next level.
I do not wish to see a military campaign against Iran, but I don’t see how the issue can be avoided. It certainly can’t be deferred by the same timetable that Saddamite Iraq was.
Here’s one of the floaters in the swirling bowl of Republican politics:
WASHINGTON – Scrambling to respond to the public outcry about gas prices, Senate Republicans want to send taxpayers a $100 rebate check to help ease some of the pain at the pump.
But if GOP leaders stick with their strategy of packaging this proposal with a provision to open the Arctic National Wildlife to oil drilling, they will ensure the bill will face a bitter fight for survival.
Am I getting this right? The Republican leadership are proposing a government hand-out (i.e., a Democratic-style bribe) that would be contingent upon a provision to open up the ANWR? What the fuck are they doing? Did they mean for this to be made public?
Let us metaphoricize.
The donkey of Democratic resistance to drilling in the ANWR is to be coupled with the horse of Republican fiscal conservatism? (Well, you know, a rebate is a tax cut. Sorta.)
Uh, okay. That means that not only would such a bill fail, but it would fail in a way that would expose most starkly the stupidity of the idea that drilling the ANWR is a short-term or even long-term solution to anything. Now, maybe some Republican consultant told Frist and the other idiots that forcing the Democrats to once again resist drilling among the caribou would be a good way of putting the domestic oil onus on them, but that isn’t how it’s going to work. Instead, what will be plain (besides the illogic of ANWR drilling equating to lower gas prices this summer) is that Republicans don’t really want to send those rebate checks, after all, but merely wish to be seen to be trying to stick up for the little guy. Which is transparent nonsense.
The shitheadedness appalls, you know. I have no idea who these people are. It’s almost like the two major parties worked a deal out once a long time ago to occasionally swap implosions.
A relative of mine left a voicemail for me a while ago, asking if I had heard what he had just heard some part of on the radio —and could not quite believe.
Yes, I had heard it. And it’s true:
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Owning marijuana, cocaine and even heroin will no longer be a crime in Mexico if the drugs are carried in small amounts for personal use, under legislation passed by the Congress.
Police will not penalize people for possessing up to 5 grams of marijuana, 5 grams of opium, 25 milligrams of heroin or 500 milligrams of cocaine, under a bill passed by senators late on Thursday and earlier approved by the lower house.
People caught with larger quantities of drugs will be treated as narcotics dealers and face increased jail terms under the plan.
The government says the measure allows police to focus on major drug dealers, and President Fox is expected to sign it into law.
Tell me now that President Bush has any stroke at all with the Mexican government or its political culture.
If When this measure goes through, it will be one of the most perfectly-delivered kicks to the groin of US-Mexican relations ever.
You can walk around Mexico with five grams of kind bud and los federales won’t touch you?
The War on Drugs is over, friends.
One of my favorite people from high school —a beautiful girl I knew named Chris Miller— once brought me back a letter opener from Spain where she had been visiting her mother’s family. I have used this letter opener —a miniature, ornately-decorated sword from Toledo— for almost 20 years now. Often, to open letters. It is a definite article of my constitution, as many of my belongings are.
Well, the poor thing has finally succumbed to the ravages of time.
I will make a home for it somewhere now since I can hardly throw out such a prized possession, but letter-opening will never be the same again.
Until I come across another such opener.
I’m taking off May Day to show my solidarity with my peops.
(Actually, I just want a three-day weekend.)
Remember the thing last year or whenever it was with the right-wing reporter/gay male prostitute named Jeff Gannon (a.k.a. James Guckert) who had managed to get into the White House press briefings? Remember how the very idea just shocked —shocked— the sensibilities of [real reporters]? Remember how Gannon’s homosexual identity wasn’t abused by liberals just because it pointed up the hypocrisy of the Right?
Well, over at Eschaton —where Duncan Black just banned me a while ago— one of the day’s topics is the news of some upcoming panel discussion for gay journalists from which a couple of his buddies have very dramatically withdrawn on account of the conditions of Gannon’s participation on that panel. Here’s how Black’s properly gay friend John Aravosis puts it:
Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend (see the link for Pam’s explanation of what transpired) and I simply could not lend our names to helping giving Gannon credibility as an authentic gay journalist and civil rights pundit – as though somehow Gannon is the respectable conservative counterpart to our blogs and our voices – so we both pulled off the panel last night after five days of begging the moderator and the conference organizers to give the people what they want – a panel discussion about the Gannon affair from last year, or at least making the Gannon issue one of the main issues the panel would discus
See how that works? Because Aravosis and Spaulding weren’t going to be allowed to make Gannon himself a topic of ridicule and an example of Republican hypocrisy, the panel was suddenly no longer worth their participation. Aravosis and his ilk shall be the ones to determine who is authentic, thank you.
Democrats and liberals do this sort of thing a lot —but never seem to fully grasp how presumptuous they are. Gay people? They are obligated to be Democrats. As are blacks, Latinos, women, and whoever else. Gay Republicans? These people must be self-loathing and deluded chumps.
Oh, and this is what I wrote just as Black dropped the hammer on me:
Look. The only reason why the Guckert thing took off was because it gave ostensibly tolerant liberals a free chance to use a man’s homosexuality against his fellow partisans.None of the rest of it, once the facts were faced, was helpful to the cause of tolerance or intellectual honesty.
The wankers at Eschaton deny this, of course, but it’s still true.
How clueless an asshole do you have to be to drive around in an SUV with a bumper sticker that asks, “How many lives per gallon?”?
I spoke for an hour or so this afternoon with my beloved aunt —a 71 year-old woman who lives in the vicinity of the President’s ranch near Crawford. We talked mostly about family and her cats, but just as I had to go, she registered a very rare complaint.
My aunt —a staunch Republican, a God-fearing grandmother, and an old country girl living in the reddest patch of Red America— said of the President: “He just can’t get anything done.”
She may as well have called him a godless commie sonofabitch.
My aunt is very frustrated with our President.
And that, my friends, is the very definition of a bellweather tolling down upon this Administration’s heads.
When you lose my aunt, you’re very probably going to lose at least one house of the Congress. I would be surprised if it happens otherwise.
CNN’s very delicious Suzanne Malveaux is reporting that FOX News contributor Tony Snow has been named the new press secretary for President Bush.
Now, I like Snow just fine. I think he is a very decent and honorable man, but he’s not an ass-kicker. We needed an ass-kicker in there, Mr. President. And we didn’t need to feed the Left’s stupid belief that FOX News is simply the al-Jazeera of the Republican Party.
Anyway, I will be interested to see how he handles jerks like David Gregory and Terry Moran.
On yesterday’s Fox News Sunday program, Juan Williams told Chris Wallace that Mary McCarthy’s leaking of classified information was an “act of conscience.” If that were so, Wallace asked, the why did she do it surreptitiously? If McCarthy’s so interested in the health of the Republic, she ought to be willing to do so under her own name.
Williams’ response? It was because McCarthy “had a relationship” with Dana Priest, the Washington Post reporter who just won a Pulitzer Prize for this seditious horseshit earlier this month.
Huh? How is that a mitigating explanation or even an excuse? All that says to me is that certain members of the intelligence community see it as their right to propagandize the public —and to use Big Media to settle scores— by illegally leaking information.
I hope Porter Goss fires some more of these al-Qaedist sympathizers.
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