It is Time to Remove the Persian Mask

Photo Credit: Jeanne Menjoulet & Cie / Creative Commons Iran is a threat to the United States, not just her allies abroad. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, one of the first things the new Iranian government did was seize the American Embassy, taking 52 of our embassy officials hostage and holding them for 444 days. This is commemorated every year on November 4th, by the annual “Death to America Day,” replete with chanting and burning of the America flag. It is Iran that bombed our Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983, killing 241 sleeping American Marines. It is Iran that maimed and killed thousands of American servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan with their IEDs. It is Iran that has constantly armed Hizb’allah and Hamas, and it is Iran that this month sent a ship bound to Hamas-controlled Gaza that had within it containers of long-range missiles that could easily reached much of Europe and the Arab states, let alone all of Israel.

By framing the conversation as involving Israel alone, which the Iranian regime regards as only “the Minor Satan”, focus has been taken off of the very real threat that Iran poses to the United States, which they regard as “the Great Satan.”

Many in the international community have been willfully taken in by the duplicitous strategy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a merciless, brutal regime has executed close to 95 people in the last few months, and over 500 in this past year for the “crimes” of being a member of a religious minority, for being against the regime, or of being accused of homosexuality. In June of 2009, millions of beautiful, freedom-loving dissidents took to the streets, and were bludgeoned to death or mysteriously disappeared into the notorious Evin Prison, never to be heard from again.

As the late Soviet dissident Andre Sakharov once said, “If you want to understand what a nation’s foreign policy will look like, look at the way, they treat their dissident population.”

The threat posed by a nuclear Iran is real and it is imminent, even to us, here in the United States. This holiday of Purim, it about time we remove their masks.

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The “Supreme Leader of Iran” Praises US Occupy Movement

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The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – the “supreme leader” of Iran – praised America’s “Occupy Wall Street” movement on Thursday, calling it a reflection of people around the world who are “losing their patience” with the dominance of the United States and Israel in the international community.

“Everybody has become tired of this faulty international structure,” Khamenei said in his inaugural address to the Non-Aligned Summit, a gathering of 120 nations now taking place in Tehran.

“The 99-percent movement of the American people against the centers of wealth and power in America and the widespread protests of the people in Western Europe against the economic policies of their governments show that the people are losing their patience with this situation,” Iran’s Fars news agency quoted him as saying.

(The Occupy movement, born in lower Manhattan one year ago, claims to speak for the “99 percent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent. During the fall of 2011, the Occupy movement was charged with antisemitism after several videos showed protesters denouncing Jews.)

“It is necessary to remedy this irrational situation,” Khamenei said, adding that “firm” bonds between NAM member states “can play an important role” in minimizing U.S.-Israeli influence.

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Massive Cyberattack: Act 1 of Israeli Strike on Iran?

Talk in Israel of a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities has reached a fever pitch. Last week brought the news of an alleged “war plan” leaked to a blogger. This week, a well-informed military correspondent in Jerusalem reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “determined” to attack Iran before the U.S. election. Two weeks ago, an outgoing government minister told Israelis to prepare for a war that would last 30 days.

David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has his own contacts in the Israeli leadership. He says there’s more going on here than just war talk. “I think there’s a 50-50 chance before the U.S. election of an Israeli strike,” he says.

The alleged war plan that was recently leaked said an Israeli strike would begin with an unprecedented cyberattack designed to paralyze the Iranian regime and blind it to what was happening on its territory. The Internet, telephones, radio and television transmissions, the electrical grid would all be taken out.

That’s an attention grabber: The world has never seen a cyberattack remotely that dramatic.

John Bumgarner, chief technology officer at the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, says the plan does make sense, at least in theory: “Israel has very good cybercapabilities. Some of the best computer scientists in the world come out of the Israeli military and intelligence branch,” he says. “Some of the best cybertools that are currently used in the world come out of Israel.”

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Romney’s National Security Pick, ex-World Bank President, causes concern in pro-Israel community

Mitt Romney’s pick of Robert Zoellick to lead his national security transition team, announced earlier this month, is said to be “roiling” his campaign staff and causing a “firestorm” within foreign policy circles, especially among pro-Israel stalwarts.

Zoellick is said to be an “old-school Republican,” a foreign policy realist in the mold of his mentor, former US secretary of state James A. Baker, who was well-known for his clashes with the American pro-Israel community. Zoellick worked for Baker at the State Department and Treasury Department during the George H.W. Bush administration. Under George W. Bush, Zoellick spent 16 months as Condoleezza Rice’s deputy secretary of state, but is not considered to have close ties to the latter Bush’s foreign policy team.

During his five-year tenure as president of the World Bank, which concluded in June, Zoellick came under fire for authorizing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of projects in Iran despite multiple UN Security Council resolutions in place against the Islamic Republic.

In 2007, a dozen US congressmen from both sides of the aisle sent Zoellick a letter urging the bank to cut its ties with Iran. “In our view, it would be consistent if, as the Security Council condemns the actions of President Ahmadinejad, the World Bank would suspend funding for his government,” said the letter, which can be read on the AIPAC website.

The lawmakers said the bank was funding nine projects in Iran totaling $1.4 billion and had set aside $220 million for Iran in 2007 and another $870 million for the next three years. They also noted that the US was the top investor in the World Bank, having contributed $950 million in 2007 and $940 million in 2006.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu “determined to attack Iran before the US elections”

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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is determined to attack Iran before the US elections,” Israel’s Channel 10 News claimed last night, and Israel is now “closer than ever” to a strike designed to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive.

The TV station’s military reporter Alon Ben-David, who earlier this year was given extensive access to the Israel Air Force as it trained for a possible attack, reported that, since upgraded sanctions against Iran have failed to force a suspension of the Iranian nuclear program in the past two months, “from the prime minister’s point of view, the time for action is getting ever closer.”

Asked by the news anchor in the Hebrew-language TV report how close Israel now was to “a decision and perhaps an attack,” Ben-David said: “It appears that we are closer than ever.”

He said it seemed that Netanyahu was not waiting for a much-discussed possible meeting with US President Barack Obama, after the UN General Assembly gathering in New York late next month — indeed, “it’s not clear that there’ll be a meeting.” In any case, said Ben-David, “I doubt Obama could say anything that would convince Netanyahu to delay a possible attack.”

The report added that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak believe Obama would have no choice but to give backing for an Israeli attack before the US presidential elections in November.

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Iran: Jewish state is a “cancerous tumor” that will soon be excised

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told an annual anti-Israel protest in Tehran on Friday that the Jewish state was a “cancerous tumor” that will soon be excised, drawing Western rebukes.

Washington said Ahmadinejad’s statements were “reprehensible”, while Paris viewed them as “outrageous.”

Ahmadinejad’s diatribe against Israel in his Quds (Jerusalem) Day address was the latest in a long line to have drawn criticism from Western governments.

“The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumour,” he said. “The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land…. A new Middle East will definitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists,” he said.

The diatribe took place amid heightened tensions between Israel and Iran over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program. The Jewish state has in recent weeks intensified its threats to possibly bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities to prevent it having the capability to produce atomic weapons.

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European Union refuses to restrict Iranian-backed terrorist group, Hezbollah

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Washington and Jerusalem insist that Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed terrorist organization with bloody hands, and that it is working closely with Tehran to train, arm and finance the Syrian military’s lethal repression of the uprising there. Yet, the European Union continues to treat it foremost as a Lebanese political and social movement.

As Israel heightens fears of a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear sites, intelligence analysts warn that Iran and Hezbollah would respond with attacks of their own on targets abroad. Israeli and American officials have attributed the Bulgarian bus bombing last month that killed six people, including five Israeli tourists, to Hezbollah and Iran, saying it was part of a clandestine offensive that has included plots in Thailand, India, Cyprus and elsewhere.

While the group is believed to operate all over the Continent, Germany is a center of activity, with 950 members and supporters last year, up from 900 in 2010, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said in its annual threat report. On Saturday, Hezbollah supporters and others will march here for the annual Jerusalem Day event, a protest against Israeli control of that city. Organizers told the Berlin police that the event would attract 1,000 marchers, and that two counterdemonstrations were also likely.

Hezbollah has maintained a low profile in Europe since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, quietly holding meetings and raising money that goes to Lebanon, where officials use it for an array of activities — building schools and clinics, delivering social services and, Western intelligence agencies say, carrying out terrorist attacks.

European security services keep tabs on the group’s political supporters, but experts say they are ineffective when it comes to tracking the sleeper cells that pose the most danger. “They have real, trained operatives in Europe that have not been used in a long time, but if they wanted them to become active, they could,” said Alexander Ritzmann, a policy adviser at the European Foundation for Democracy in Brussels, who has testified before Congress on Hezbollah.

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Iran’s genocidal incitement against Israel is beyond question

When [European leaders meet] in Ottawa this week, the Iranian nuclear threat – which is dominating international discussion along with the crisis in Syria — will no doubt be addressed. Yet, “incitement to genocide” — the terrifying and vilifying context in which Iran’s nuclear weaponization is being accelerated – may not be discussed. It should be: Genocide is the most destructive threat known to humankind. …

The Iranian regime’s criminal incitement [against Israel] has been persistent, pervasive and pernicious. The 21st century began with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei calling for “the annihilation of the Jewish State.” It was followed by the parading in the streets of Tehran of a Shihab-3 missile draped in the emblem “Wipe Israel off the map, as the Imam says.” It has continued with the use of epidemiological metaphors referring to Jews as “filthy bacteria,” and Israel as “a cancer that must be removed,” reminiscent of the Nazis calling the Jews “vermin” and the Rwandan Hutus calling the Tutsis “cockroaches,” the whole as prologue to and justification for a genocide foretold.

In particular, this genocidal incitement has intensified and escalated in 2012, with the website of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei declaring that there is religious “justification to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel, and Iran must take the helm.” Former Spanish prime minister José Maria Aznar disclosed in May that the Supreme Leader of Iran warned him that Israel was a “cancer” and must be “burned to the ground and made to disappear from the face of the Earth.” Several days later, the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, declared: “The Iranian nation is standing for its cause — that is the full annihilation of Israel,” implicating unfairly the people of Iran.

Perhaps the most ominous genocidal threat has been the most recent – the statement earlier this month of President Ahmadinejad that “Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the way for world justice and freedom,” the whole embedded in an anti-Semitic tirade characterizing the Jews as the poisoners of the international wells these past 400 years. …

Silence is not an option when states threaten genocide — especially when they are on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons and even boast that they can thereby bring about a Holocaust “in a matter of minutes.”

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Iran prepping for final confrontation with West, arrival of Islamic messiah, 12th imam

The Quds Forces, a special Iranian unit of thousands of operatives tasked with exporting Iran’s Islamic revolution, are being told to step up preparations for terrorism for the coming of the last Islamic messiah and the destruction of the West.

Ali Saeedi, the Iranian supreme leader’s representative to the Revolutionary Guards, emphasized during a Friday sermon in Tehran that the Islamic republic must directly confront America so that the necessary environment is created for the reappearance of Mahdi, the Shiite’s 12th imam, who will kill all infidels and raise the flag of Islam in all corners of the world.

“In three points of history, God directly confronts the will of unruly humans in which, of course, the Right will overcome the False,” Saeedi said, according to the Sepah News, the Guards’ official publication. “The first point in history was during the era of pharaoh, the second era was Bani Abbas, and the third is our current era in which it seems that God has willed us to enlighten the world with the coming of Imam Mahdi.”

Saeedi, “Many of the signs [necessary] for the coming have taken place during the previous years; however, the main sign will take place right before the coming.”

There are five levels of readiness that have to be prepared for the coming, he said: “Individual readiness, the readiness for creating the environment, systematic readiness, the readiness in the region and the international readiness. This means Occupy Wall Street must take place, the Americans must lose hope with the Democratic Party and others, and lose faith in the U.N., while at the same time the unraveling in the Middle East, which was not ripe before, must have taken place before the coming.”

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Ambassador Bolton’s Blunder

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I received a form letter from the Honorable Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2005-2006) and member of the Board of Directors of The American Conservative Union (ACU). A FOX-news contributor, he has been a tenacious and outspoken advocate of US efforts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Below the bold red lettering at the top, “Stop Iran’s Nuclear 9-11,” Bolton confirmed his belief that the future of our American cities are in imminent danger from an Iranian atomic-bomb threat. He described Iran as the rogue, terror-sponsoring regime that calls America “the Great Satan” and vows to wipe our ally, Israel, off the face of the Earth. He reminded me, the reader, of his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, when he expressed his concern about “the Obama Administration’s inept and dangerous policy failure in the Middle East.”

But it was the petition that disturbed me. The heading included the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, naming the Honorable John F. Kerry, chairman, and Honorable Richard C. Lugar, ranking member. The petition’s conclusion was, “Therefore, I believe we ought to give Israel our full support for a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons program if we don’t do it ourselves.”

I never quite grasped the phrase, “I have your back,” but now it was clear. It means “You go in front to meet the enemy head-on, and I’ll bring up the rear. And if you don’t survive the first full surge of the battle, I’ll be in a good position to make a hasty retreat.”

It seems to me that Bolton can’t promise much from his position as past ambassador, and that the once-great United States of America has been brought down several pegs so as to no longer warrant the title of Leader of the Free World. Therefore, in an effort to thwart Iran’s objectives, Bolton will send the tiny Jewish nation, which is no bigger than one of our smallest states, to lead an attack on Iran, to which he hopes — but can’t promise — to provide some undetermined support.

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