Saturday, June 20, 2009

'Today Everyone Is an Iranian'

Today Everyone is an Iranian

By Amil Imani

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F. Kennedy

Today, all Iranian expatriates are united in solidarity with the Iranian people in Iran. Today, we are all standing tall to let the world hear our continuous aspiration for a free and democratic Iran. Today, we pledge ourselves, under the divine inspiration, to stand beside the Iranians in Iran and echo their voices around the globe. Today, we make history, yet again.

It is critical that freedom-loving people, governments and media, rally behind the Iranian people and end the tyrannical mullahcracy that is a scourge on Iran as well as the world. The Iranian people themselves are fully capable and are determined to remove the cancer of Islamism from their country. The United States and Israel and other democracies have a huge stake in the success of the Iranian people to rid themselves of the Islamic oppression and tyranny.

The situation in Iran is dire indeed. Anyone who believes that sane rational people on both sides are engaged in brinkmanship to secure the best advantage, but would eventually work out a compromise, is deluding himself. In some cases, time works as a healer and even as a solution of thorny problems. Yet, this problem will not go away, and time would only make the cataclysmic clash more likely and deadly. The best chance for resolving the impasse is regime change in Iran.

For the past thirty years, the intrepid Iranians have been paying with their blood for liberty, independence and human dignity while the world looked the other way and did business with the Islamist rulers in Iran. Thirty years ago, a fanatic Shi'a Muslim by the name of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, with the assistance of western governments (with Jimmy Carter on top of the list), succeeded in overthrowing the Shah of Iran during Iran's 1979 revolution.

Khomeini promised Iranians heaven, but he created hell on earth, turning Iran into a bastion of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. Ever since, tens of thousands of political activists have been killed or imprisoned. Tens of thousands of opposition groups, women, ethnic and religious minorities, have been subjected to inhumane treatment and tens of thousands of political prisoners are spending their precious lives, in the medieval barbaric Islamic Republic dungeons.

Since 1979, this illegitimate government of the Islamic Republic has been waging a brutal war against the entire population of Iran who has been fighting for individual and religious freedom. In spite of tens of thousands of political executions, other brutal practices and years of a reign of terror, the Islamists have not succeeded in uprooting the nationwide movement for democracy in Iran.

We honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for proclaiming from a Birmingham jail, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." To demand justice for others, he risked his life, left his native Georgia, and ended up in jail in the-then-bigoted south, Birmingham, Alabama. We "Iranians" must do no less. We must demand justice for our compatriots who are suffering under the yoke of Islamofascism in Iran.

We also do well to recall the example of an Irish-American President-John F. Kennedy-looking at the Communists' Wall of Shame in Berlin, proclaiming, "Ich bin ein Berliner"-"I am a Berliner." By so claiming, he helped rally free people of the world that brought down the wall and created a momentum that eventually swept the totalitarian Communist wall-builders into the dustbin of history.

Another great American President, Ronald Reagan, took a stand on freedom with the Polish people.

"The Polish nation, speaking through Solidarity, has provided one of the brightest, bravest moments of modern history. The people of Poland are giving us an imperishable example of courage and devotion to the values of freedom in the face of relentless opposition. Left to themselves, the Polish people would enjoy a new birth of freedom. But there are those who oppose the idea of freedom, who are intolerant of national independence, and hostile to the European values of democracy and the rule of law."
History records that Reagan's decision to take a strong stand for Polish freedom -- and bringing down the Communist system itself -- was the right one." Reagan led and inspired the Poles to continue the struggle which resulted in half of Europe being freed from iron-fisted domination, by then, the Soviet Union.

Even the European Union called on Islamic authorities to investigate allegations of vote-rigging during Iran's presidential election on Friday, expressing concern at Tehran's crackdown on protesters. Germany's Angela Merkel took a much tougher stand than President Obama did, calling the oppression "totally unacceptable," while all Obama could say was that it's "deeply troubling" (video here).

President Obama's halting comments only made clear his fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the Islamic regime. It appears President Obama is going to betray the Iranian people as Jimmy Carter did 3 decades earlier. Senator John McCain, President Obama's rival in last year's US election, described the president's response as "tepid," and blasted him for abandoning the "fundamental principles" of the United States. Iranian people don't expect the Americans to come to Iran and fight for them. Every decent and freedom-loving nation knows that the Iranian people have the right and the duty to change their form of government. What Americans can do for the Iranian people is to lend them their support; not to fight on their behalf, but to rally to their side and to cheer their struggle.

We Iranians in spirit-free people of the world--greatly cherish liberty, where the mind is imbued with enlightenment, and every individual, by the virtue of being born human, is afforded freedom. It is within the open expanse of liberty that each and every person can be at his or her best. And when the individual person is at his best, humanity is at its best.

Today, we are reaching outside of ourselves. Today, we are raising our own standard. Today, we are standing tall and declaring our perpetual commitment to the liberation of Iran and her citizens. Today, we are marching for the support of the brave and courageous people of Iran. Today, our demonstration is inspired by demonstrations of the Iranian people inside Iran against the dictatorship and barbarity of the Islamic Republic. We shall all demonstrate until every Iranian is free. Today, everyone is an Iranian.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Carter's Little Livid Pills

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s personal effort to make Hamas a peace partner has set off alarm bells in the White House. "[We] won't have more to say about this,” a government official said after being asked about reports that Carter will propose to U.S. President Barack Obama that the United States take Hamas off the list of illegal terrorist organizations.

He made the comment shortly after he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by terrorists who had planted a huge bomb near the path where he was traveling.

The White House is livid with Carter, according to an experienced Middle East expert who was quoted on the website of the widely respected Foreign Policy magazine. “They are very pissed,” he said. "Just like with President Clinton, Carter is becoming a huge problem and a growing concern for Obama.”
(“Carter-Hamas Friendship May Stalemate Obama”).

Arab Christians Denied Free Speech at Dearborn's Arab Festival

We’re disappointed to see that the Dearborn Police Department’s approach to freedom of expression during this weekend’s 14th annual Dear­born Arab International Festival has been, to put it nicely, thumbless. (“Christian group sues over access to Dearborn’s Arab festival”).

As a result, Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center had to request a temporary restraining order on Wednesday from a federal district judge to keep Dearborn police from restricting the 90 volunteers to a single corner while the rest of the 250,000-300,000 festival-goers can roam freely.

Pastor George Saieg, of Arabic Christian Perspective, and 90 or so volunteers, were planning to return to the festival, as they’ve done for several years, to “walk . . through the festival’s four- to five-block area passing out literature promoting Christianity over Islam.” There’s never been any trouble because of ACP’s presence. I’m told that lots of other Christian groups attend the festival to evangelize each year, as well. According to Saieg, most of the festival-goers accept the literature gladly.

Saieg made the mistake of contacting Dearborn police to say how-de-do and inquire about the exact location of the festival. Next time he should just use Google it and leave the po-po out of it.

Dearborn P.D.'s Sergeant Jeff Mrowka took the call and said he’d get back to him, and then didn’t get back to him--never a good sign. Saieg had to call again, and--long story short-- Sergeant Jeff Mrowka told Saieg he and his 90-strong group would be restricted to a single street corner.

This would completely hinder ACP’s preference for mingling with festival-goers on the public sidewalks. It also violates the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom to exercise one’s religion.

Saieg explained this to Mrowka, but it made no impression. According to Saieg’s motion for a temporary restraining order, Mrowka replied “by stating that political parties and protesters are limited to a specific area.” Never mind that ACP are neither protesters nor a political party. When was the last time you won an argument with a cop?

Personally, I don’t think this is an example of a conspiracy between the Dearborn police and the imams to protect Dearborn’s Muslim Arabs from crusaders. I think it’s more likely an example of one-dimensional police thinking combined with the garden-variety flight reflex government officials and managers the world over practice to avoid making decisions. In this case, it would have taken all of 30 seconds to figure out that Saieg was right, and the police couldn’t just order festival volunteers that they could only talk about Jesus on one corner on east Dearborn.

Unfortunately, that was 30 seconds Mrowka's superiors at the Dearborn P.D.--Commander Joe Doulette and Chief Ronald Haddad didn’t think they had to spare, so shame on them.

Saieg made his mistake, too. He should never have called and told the police what he was up to, even though it was perfectly legal. In fact, he shouldn’t have called and told the police especially because it was perfectly legal, and ACP had done their evangelizing successfully for several years without any problems. For some policemen, if they think you’re asking permission to do something, they think it’s their duty to say no.

If you’re curious and not otherwise occupied, this will all be hashed out in the courtroom of Judge Nancy G. Edmunds tomorrow, Thursday, at 11:00 a.m. in the federal courthouse on Lafayette.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Obama: 'Sort of God' (or Better?)

Evan Thomas, the editor of Newsweek, is impressed with how Obama has risen above being merely American and has achieved deity, or whatever it is that comes above deity.

You can tell your grandchildren what these days were like.
They won't believe you.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

First Amendment 2.0

Feminist columnist Bonnie Erbe has written a column under the helpful headline, “Tiller Murder Is Terrorism, and All Pro-Life Extremists Are to Blame,” in which she sets forth what she believes ought to be the legal limits of speech for those non-extremists who “object” to abortion:
I am careful to note I am referring here to EXTREMIST pro-life advocates, people who refer to abortion as "baby-killing" and other inflammatory rhetoric. I am explicitly not referring to mainstreamers who object to abortion due to religious beliefs, but who refrain from using inflammatory speech.
So, you can be a mainstream opponent of abortion, and not an extremist, provided your opposition is “due to religious belief” and if you “refrain from using inflammatory speech.” Specifically, don’t refer to abortion as “baby-killing.”

Erbe is quite clear that she defines an extremist pro-life advocate as one who refers “to abortion as 'baby-killing' and other inflammatory rhetoric.” She says that Randall Terry’s statement, “Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder,” should be banned:
This type of speech ought to be against the law and anyone who issues it ought to be prosecuted as an accessory to murder, as well as for partaking in domestic terrorism.
But don't get Erbe wrong. As long as you're a mainstream objector to abortion, for religious reasons, we can tolerate that. Provided you never, ever step over the line and say that abortion is baby-killing.

Conversations about abortion would sound like this:
Feminist 1: I'm so glad abortion is still legal, I could just give the president a bl*****!

Mainstream Objector: I don't really approve of abortion.

Feminist 2: What?

MO: My religion doesn't allow us to do that.

Feminist 1: Why not?

MO: It's just part of the whole thing. We also can't drink coffee or fly over the Great Divide within 3 days of a New Moon.

Feminist 2: That is so cool. My sister does Feng Shui.

Feminist 1: I'm not religious, but I'm very spiritual.
Erbe can tolerate religious objectors because the prevalent conviction among the elites for whom she writes is that all religion is anti-science, and that by definition a "religious" belief is one based upon an arbitrary, primitive fable. For instance, the Cherokee believe the Earth is borne on a turtle's back, animists believe that spirits of the departed inhabit the objects around them, and some less-enlightened sects of Christians think babies grow in the wombs of pregnant women. Diversity commands benevolence towards "faith traditions" because they're vestiges of otherwise pretty cool ethnic heritages, (as long as they're not European). But no one confuses them with reality. No one abstains from shellfish or smokes ganja because of science.

But once you start talking about what happens during an abortion -- even if it's got nothing to do with religion, but everything to do with science, or ethics, or civil rights, or commons sense, you better not be saying anything extreme. You better not say there's any baby involved, and you better not say anything about killing.

And this lady writes for something called the “Thomas Jefferson Street blog”?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

But Would a Wise Latina Make Better Decisions than a Wise Latino?

Which brings us to Sotomayor’s now-infamous line that she would hope a wise Latina would make better decisions than a wise white man. In the same speech, she somewhat favorably considered the possibility that there are “physiological or cultural differences” between races or genders that make some people better at some things (like judging) than others. (“The Sotomayor Debate Is a Chance to Talk It Out on Race”)
Wasn’t Larry Summers thrown out of Harvard for saying something awfully similar?

Big Government, Big Health, Big Spending—Why Not Big Muslim?

The president said the United States and other parts of the Western world “have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam.”

“And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world,” Mr. Obama said. “And so there’s got to be a better dialogue and a better understanding between the two peoples.”
(“Obama Says U.S. Could Be Seen as a Muslim Country,Too”)

President Obama could do well by educating himself a bit more effectively about Islam, starting with something easy like getting his numbers straight.

Andy McCarthy takes a closer look at the president's “largest Muslim countries” claim:

Mind you, the total number of Muslims in the U.S. is a subject of intense debate (CAIR, for example, argues for a figure above 6 million because it wants the Muslim population to be thought greater than the Jewish population). The probability, though, is that there are no more than about 3 million Muslims living in the U.S. (See, e.g., this entry from Wikipedia (collecting varying estimates), and this one from Daniel Pipes in 2001, observing that the credible estimates put the figure back then at somewhere between 1.8 and — an unlikely high of — 2.8 million). This, it should be noted, does not translate into 3 million American Muslims, for many Muslims in the United States are are nationals of other countries (although, I suppose, by Justice Department standards, it would translate into approximately 6 million Muslim voters.)

By contrast, of the approximately 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, there are about 200 million Muslims in Indonesia, 196 million in India, 165 million in Pakistan, 132 million in Bangladesh, 75 million in Egypt, 64 million in Iran, 33 million in Morocco, 32 million in Algeria, 31 million in Afghanistan, 26 million in Iraq, 25 million in Ethiopia, 24 million in Saudi Arabia, 20 million in China, and 15 million in Russia, to name just a few countries. In fact, there are 2 to 3 times as many Muslims in Burkina Faso (approx. 7.5 million) as there are in America. So obviously, one can see why the president would say the United States is "one of the largest Muslim countries in
the world."

Monday, June 01, 2009

Now What Would Dinah Sing?

From today's New York Times:

President Obama owes American taxpayers and voters a candid and detailed explanation of the government’s goals and the levers it intends to use to achieve them. He should make clear that the overarching objectives are to create a profitable company that makes cars that people want to buy, and that are more fuel-efficient. (“Owning G.M.”)
Which I think calls for a new version of an old theme:

"See, the USA Now Runs Chevrolet"
(To the melody of “See the USA in Your Chevrolet,” with verve, and plenty of MMWAH!!)

See, the USA now runs Chevrolet
Because GM was just too big to fail
Next year’s GMC runs on battery
Your dealer has the greenest cars for sale!

From Manhattan, or in a Harvard tower:

“Small cars seem neater, they make the air sweeter
So build’em cramped & light without much power!”

So in your Chevrolet made by USA

You’ll be coasting towards a new Green Day!