Archive for category Iran

Our Multidimensional Crisis: Institutional Breakdown

The signs are all around us – our crisis continues to deepen and to engulf us in its complexity.

Manuel Castells, in the introduction to The Power of Identity:

The Iraq invasion was the return of the state in it most traditional form of exercising its monopoly of violence, and it followed a major crisis of international governance institutions, starting with the United Nations, marginalized by the United States, and the apparent triumph of unilateralism in spite of an objectively multilateral world.  [snip]

Not only was the United States drawn into protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as al-Qaeda wanted, but its inability to build a global governance system led to a multidimensional, global crisis of which the financial collapse of 2008 was only its most damaging expression.[snip]

. . .. in the long term the trends that characterized the social structure ultimately imposed their logic, but in the short term the autonomy of the political agency could oppose such logic because of the interests and values of the actors occupying the commanding heights of agency.  When such is the case, as during the Bush-Cheney administration period, the discrepancy between structure and agency induces systemic chaos, and ultimately destructive processes that add to the difficulties of managing the adaptation of the nation-state to the global conditions of the network society.

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Palling Around With Terrorists: Obama Administration Embraces MEK

MEK listed as reason to invade Iraq
The Bush administration cited MEK as a reason to invade Iraq

Four years after Sarah Palin famously accused then-candidate Barack Obama of “palling round with terrorists,” it can be said truthfully. Last Friday, news leaked that the U.S. State Department is going to remove the Iranian terrorist group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) from its list of foreign terrorist organizations.

MEK’s ideology is a mixture of Islam and Marxism with cult-like practices. The group once called itself “the People’s Holy Warriors of Iran.” They supported the Islamic revolution in Iran and later allied with the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. During the 1970s MEK conducted numerous attacks on American officials, including an attempted assassination of the U.S. ambassador in Tehran. Six Americans were killed. It has been listed as a terrorist organization since 1997. The MEK fought in the Iran-Iraq War, made use of chemical weapons, and brutally put down Iraqi Kurdish people in the early 1990s. The Bush administration cited Saddam’s support of MEK as a reason to invade Iraq, and the group was forcibly disarmed by the U.S. Army. In recent years, the MEK is believed to be involved in a wave of terrorist attacks against Iranian nuclear scientists.

The Obama administration’s decision was made with bipartisan support. MEK has many prominent U.S. political figures on its payroll, including Howard Dean, Rudy Giuliani, Wesley Clark, Bill Richardson, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, former National Security Advisers Frances Townsend and General James L. Jones, and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

Note to all U.S. Attorneys: Everyone associated with MEK can be charged with providing material support for terrorism, a federal crime under the USA PATRIOT Act (18 U.S.C. §2339A and §2339B) punishable by 15 years in prison.

Now that the United States has de-listed the MEK as an international terrorist group, our government can overtly fund them to conduct terrorist attacks on Iran. According to some reports, MEK has received covert U.S. and Israeli assistance for years.

Glenn Greenwald:

[W]ith the MEK, we have a group that, at least according to some reports, appears to have intensified its terrorism, and yet they are removed from the list. Why? Because now they are aligned against the prime enemy of the US and Israel – and working closely with those two nations – and are therefore, magically, no longer “terrorists.”

More info: Five lessons from the de-listing of MEK as a terrorist group

UPDATE: It’s official: U.S. Takes Iranian Exile Group MEK Off Terror List

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‘Justice will be done… history is on our side… a rising tide of liberty will never be reversed’

Obama at UN

President Obama gave a great speech at the United Nations General Assembly this morning. The rest of the world wants to believe that America has not abandoned its founding principles, and our President says we have not. If only his actions conformed to the Constitution, I’d be happy to support him.

We were inspired by the Tunisian protests that toppled a dictator, because we recognized our own beliefs in the aspirations of men and women who took to the streets.

We insisted on change in Egypt, because our support for democracy put us on the side of the people.

We supported a transition of leadership in Yemen, because the interests of the people were not being served by a corrupt status quo.

We intervened in Libya alongside a broad coalition, and with the mandate of the U.N. Security Council, because we had the ability to stop the slaughter of innocents; and because we believed that the aspirations of the people were more powerful than a tyrant.

And as we meet here, we again declare that the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so that the suffering of the Syrian people can stop, and a new dawn can begin.

We have taken these positions because we believe that freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture. These are not simply American values or Western values – they are universal values.

American foreign policy ought to be on the side of the 99 Percent. Similarly, our government ought to stand up for the 99 Percent of Americans.

Citing Nelson Mandela, President Obama received loud applause.

And yet the turmoil of recent weeks reminds us that the path to democracy does not end with the casting of a ballot. Nelson Mandela once said: “to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” True democracy demands that citizens cannot be thrown in jail because of what they believe, and businesses can be opened without paying a bribe. It depends on the freedom of citizens to speak their minds and assemble without fear; on the rule of law and due process that guarantees the rights of all people.

In other words, true democracy – real freedom – is hard work. Those in power have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissent. In hard economic times, countries may be tempted to rally the people around perceived enemies, at home and abroad, rather than focusing on the painstaking work of reform.

And he offered this comment on the limits of American power:

Just as we cannot solve every problem in the world, the United States has not, and will not, seek to dictate the outcome of democratic transitions abroad, and we do not expect other nations to agree with us on every issue.

He implicitly rejected the neocon view of a world divided, but failed to address the violence against innocent civilians that is perpetrated by the USA:

A politics based only on anger –one based on dividing the world between us and them – not only sets back international cooperation, it ultimately undermines those who tolerate it. All of us have an interest in standing up to these forces. Let us remember that Muslims have suffered the most at the hands of extremism. On the same day our civilians were killed in Benghazi, a Turkish police officer was murdered in Istanbul only days before his wedding; more than ten Yemenis were killed in a car bomb in Sana’a; and several Afghan children were mourned by their parents just days after they were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul.

…We know from painful experience that the path to security and prosperity does not lie outside the boundaries of international law and respect for human rights.

President Obama concluded (as he began) by citing the example of Chris Stevens, our murdered ambassador to Libya.

And today I promise you this – long after these killers are brought to justice, Chris Stevens’ legacy will live on in the lives he touched. In the tens of thousands who marched against violence through the streets of Benghazi; in the Libyans who changed their Facebook photo to one of Chris; in the sign that read, simply, “Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans.

They should give us hope. They should remind us that so long as we work for it justice will be done; that history is on our side; and that a rising tide of liberty will never be reversed. Thank you.


UPDATE:
New Stanford/NYU study documents the civilian terror from Obama’s drones

The study’s purpose was to conduct an “independent investigations into whether, and to what extent, drone strikes in Pakistan conformed to international law and caused harm and/or injury to civilians”.


UPDATE:
Romney’s Version of Diplomacy: Insult Egypt, Paint the Developing World as Global Welfare Queen

In his first major foreign policy address, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney today laid out a vision for international development steeped in Tea Party ideology… Romney …threw some red meat at his base by ticking off unfavorable developments currently faced by the U.S. in the Muslim world, listing among them the fact that “the president of Egypt is a member of the Muslim brotherhood.”

…A foreign policy expert texted me a single word: “Thud.”

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Romney’s Total Neocon Meltdown

Romney's self-satisfied smirk

The Romney-Ryan campaign achieved a new low on September 11. Willard (“Mitt”) Romney attempted to suggest that President Obama is in league with Arab terrorists, and implied that “American values” include bigotry and hatred based on religious differences. He left the press conference with a self-satisfied smirk reminiscent of the last Republican president. Indeed, Romney’s irresponsible reaction to violence in Libya and Egypt is the surest indication that he plans to repeat the mistakes of George W. Bush.

Because Romney has had almost nothing to say about foreign policy, not enough attention has been focused on who he would appoint to key positions in the White House, Pentagon, and State Department. Of Romney’s forty identified foreign policy advisers, more than 70 percent worked for Bush. John Bolton and other rabid neocons head the list.

Bolton is one of eight Romney advisers who signed letters drafted by the Project for a New American Century, an influential neoconservative advocacy group founded in the 1990s, urging the Clinton and Bush administrations to attack Iraq. PNAC founding member Paula Dobriansky, leading advocate of Bush’s ill-fated “freedom agenda” as an official in the State Department, recently joined the Romney campaign full time. Another PNAC founder, Eliot Cohen, counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from 2007 to 2009, wrote the foreword to the Romney campaign’s foreign policy white paper, which was titled, perhaps not coincidentally, “An American Century.” Cohen was a tutor to Bush administration neocons. Following 9/11, he dubbed the war on terror “World War IV,” arguing that Iraq, being an “obvious candidate, having not only helped Al Qaeda, but…developed weapons of mass destruction,” should be its center. In 2009 Cohen urged the Obama administration to “actively seek the overthrow” of Iran’s government.

…Romney’s team is notable for including Bush aides tarnished by the Iraq fiasco: Robert Joseph, the National Security Council official who inserted the infamous “sixteen words” in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union message claiming that Iraq had tried to buy enriched uranium from Niger; Dan Senor, former spokesman for the hapless Coalition Provisional Authority under Paul Bremer in Iraq; and Eric Edelman, a top official at the Pentagon under Bush.

There is plenty to criticize in President Obama’s foreign policy, including his conduct of the war in Afghanistan, the failure to close Guantanamo and end preventive detention, the out-of-control drone war in Pakistan, Yemen and other countries, the Libya intervention without congressional authorization, and his attempt to retain military bases in Iraq. However, short of starting a war with Iran, it would be hard to imagine how Obama could do as badly as Bush. America’s allies around the world (with the possible exception of Netanyahu’s Israel) see the Obama administration as an improvement. Our relations with Russia and China have gotten better, too.

Michael Tomasky:

Far from creating his own crisis as Bush did, Obama was hit with one, the Arab Spring. We can’t know how all that will turn out, and things certainly look bleak at this moment in Egypt and Libya. But Obama did the only things that could be done at the time. Can you imagine the United States siding with Hosni Mubarak against those people in Tahrir Square, or permitting the pre-advertised massacre of thousands in Benghazi?

The world is the world. Obama can’t wave a wand at it. But he can do what he has done, which is to run a sober and responsible foreign policy, not one based on theories developed in think-tank seminars underwritten by some hawkish Israeli billionaire. Obama’s approach to foreign policy is the one that has guided this country at its best moments (which have not, alas, been as frequent as we’d like), and it’s the foreign policy most Americans want.


UPDATE:
Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) says President Obama “is apologizing because he didn’t like America.” With friends like Akin, Romney doesn’t need enemies.

UPDATE: Bob Cesca: Mitt Romney Kneejerks Into Another Colossal Blunder (Given an opportunity to look presidential, Romney decided to channel Rush Limbaugh instead)

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Obama Derangement is All They Have Left

Remember when anyone who dared to criticize President George W. Bush’s policies was automatically accused of “Bush Derangement Syndrome,” as if no sane person could possibly be unhappy with the Bush administration? Well, there were a lot of perfectly rational reasons to be against Bush — and some of the same objections can be raised against the right-wing corporatist Obama administration.

But that’s not where President Obama’s major party opponents are coming from. Willard (“Mitt”) Romney, Newton (“Newt”) Gingrich, and Rick Santorum all offer a made-up version of the Obama administration which blames every American problem, real (the worst economy since the Great Depression, skyrocketing health-care costs) or imaginary (nonexistent Iranian nukes, nonexistent oil shortage, not enough religiosity) on Obama’s alleged “socialist” hard-left rule.

The Santorum campaign has produced a masterpiece of post-logical Obama fear-mongering, the phony “Obamaville” video. I guess they finally realized that campaigning against contraception and threatening to outlaw pornography wasn’t going over well with either women or men.

John Brabender, the Santorum strategist who made the video, said it was a trailer for an eight-part series that will start in two weeks. Each of those videos will show how various Obama policies, such as those regarding health care and energy, have affected everyday life.

“It’s just a little teaser to get people to start watching our episodes and do it in a way that piques their interest,” Mr. Brabender said. “It’s all about driving traffic to the Web site.”

The trailer is set in a desolate town called “Obamaville.” Here, gas prices soar so high that people seem to want to kill themselves (a man puts a gas nozzle to his head). The flame of a candle symbolizing religious freedom is blown out. A girl sits glumly on a bench in extreme poverty.

“Every day, the residents of this town must come to grips with the harsh reality that a rogue nation, a sworn American enemy, has become a nuclear threat,” intones a narrator as the viewer is plunged into a cold war fallout shelter with old television sets and an air raid siren.

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s image appears, quickly interspersed with one of Mr. Obama. Mr. Brabender said the coupling was meant to suggest the constant conflict that will ensue if Iran develops nuclear weapons.

Fear is an effective political tool, especially when legitimately scary stuff is happening to the American middle class as a result of Washington policies that favor the 1% at the expense of the 99%, and Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. It makes sense to be afraid of a government that asserts the right to kill or imprison American citizens anywhere in the world without a shred of due process, put us all under constant surveillance, and make protest illegal– all in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Why can’t somebody make a video about all that? It would have the additional advantage of being true.

UPDATE: Provo artist depicts Obama torching U.S. Constitution. But the title of the painting is “One Nation Under Socialism.” Can anyone name one “socialist” policy of the Obama administration? They even want to cut Social Security and Medicare.

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Heckler interrupts Obama: ‘No war with Iran!’

Saw this live last night on MSNBC. From Raw Story:

While speaking at a fundraising event on Thursday, President Barack Obama was briefly interrupted by a supporter who urged him not to go to war with Iran.

“We promoted human rights,” Obama said. “We made it clear that America is a Pacific power. We demonstrated that if countries like Burma travel down the road of democratic reform, they will find a new relationship with the United States. And we leading again by the power of our moral example. That’s what change is.”

“No war with Iran!” a member of the crowd shouted.

“No one has announced a war, young lady,” Obama responded. “But we appreciate your sentiment. You’re jumping the gun a little bit there.”

Jumping the gun? Oh, that’s right, we’re supposed to believe that the war on Iran will be “announced.” Covert wars don’t count, apparently.

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Hey CNN, The Smoking Gun Could Be Your Credibility Going Boom

A CNN poll two years ago found 71 percent of Americans believe that Iran currently has nuclear weapons. That’s not surprising, given the steady stream of misinformation coming from CNN and other so-called journalistic enterprises. HuffPo’s Michael Calderone describes the beating of the Iran war drums as a “media frenzy.” Apparently they have learned nothing from the run-up to the Iraq invasion.

Glenn Greenwald: “[T]his commentary on The Iranian Threat by CNN’s Erin Burnett (‘frightening,’ she observed)… really just mocks itself.”

Meanwhile, in the real world, SecDef Leon Panetta just yesterday said about Iran that “the intelligence does not show that they’ve made the decision to proceed with developing a nuclear weapon.” Also in the real world, but never mentioned on cable news, Israel has had a nuclear arsenal since the late 1960s.

Glenn Greenwald: Erin Burnett: Worst of the worst

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald, Erin Burnett Argue Over Burnett’s Iran Coverage

Matt Taibbi: Another March to War?

Virtually all of the Iran stories of late have contained some version of this sort of rhetorical sophistry. The news “hook” in most all of these stories is that intelligence reports reveal Iran is “willing” to attack us or go to war – but then there’s usually an asterisk next to the headline, and when you follow the asterisk, it reads something like, “In the event that we attack Iran first.”

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SecDef Panetta: Iran Not Developing Nuclear Weapons

Via Raw Story:

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let slip the big open secret that Washington war hawks don’t want widely known: Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. Panetta headed the CIA until last July, so it’s reasonable to suppose he is well-informed on this subject.

Are the news media going to clarify this point for us? There is no Iranian nuclear weapons program. Just like Saddam’s so-called “weapons of mass destruction,” it doesn’t exist. Furthermore, even if Iran does pose a future threat to our national security (which is debatable) that cannot justify the USA initiating a war of aggression.

While we’re on the subject, can somebody tell the GOP presidential candidates? Except for Ron Paul, they all seem to relish the thought of attacking a nation of 75 million people for no good reason.

UPDATE: It’s worthwhile to note that Iran is already under attack by somebody. There have been eight terrorist bombings and at least one shooting in the past year, all directed at people who may be involved in Iranian nuclear power and missile research.

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Free Bradley Manning!

I really hate associating myself with Michael Moore or Bradley Manning with an insignificant post, because I’m not anywhere near worthy, but:

From Michael Moore:

A Man in Tunisia, a Movement on Wall Street, and the Soldier Who Ignited the Fuse

Protesters chant slogans against the political party of former President Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, on January 21, 2011. The city was where Mohamed Bouazizi, a fruit seller, had a confrontation with a municipal inspector that eventually led to his self-immolation in front of the governor’s office in protest. The act fatally burned Bouazizi and is said to have sparked the protests that toppled President Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali’s government.

It’s Saturday night and I didn’t want the day to end before I sent out this note to you.

One year ago on December 17th, Mohamed Bouazizi, a man who had a simple produce stand in Tunisia, set himself on fire to protest his government’s repression. His singular sacrifice ignited a revolution that toppled Tunisia’s dictator and launched revolts in regimes across the Middle East.

Three months ago on December 17th, Occupy Wall Street began with a takeover of New York’s Zuccotti Park. This movement against the greed of corporate America and its banks — and the money that now controls most of our democratic institutions — has quickly spread to hundreds of towns and cities across America. The majority of Americans now agree that a nation where 400 billionaires have more wealth than 160 million Americans combined is not the country they want America to be. The 99% are rising up against the 1% — and now there is no turning back.

Twenty-four years ago on December 17th, U.S. Army Spc. Bradley Manning was born. He has now spent 570 days in a military prison without a trial — simply because he allegedly blew the whistle on the illegal and immoral war in Iraq. He exposed what the Pentagon and the Bush administration did in creating this evil and he did so by allegedly leaking documents and footage to Wikileaks. Many of these documents dealt not only with Iraq but with how we prop up dictators around the world and how our corporations exploit the poor on this planet. (There were even cables with crazy stuff on them, like one detailing Bush’s State Department trying to stop a government minister in another country from holding a screening of ‘Fahrenheit 9/11.’)

The Wikileaks trove was a fascinating look into how the United States conducts its business — and clearly those who don’t want the world to know how we do things in places like, say, Tunisia, were not happy with Bradley Manning.

Mohamed Bouazizi was being treated poorly by government officials because all he wanted to do was set up a cart and sell fruit and vegetables on the street. But local police kept harassing him and trying to stop him. He, like most Tunisians, knew how corrupt their government was. But when Wikileaks published cables from the U.S. ambassador in Tunis confirming the corruption — cables that were published just a week or so before Mohamed set himself on fire — well, that was it for the Tunisian people, and all hell broke loose.

People across the world devoured the information Bradley Manning revealed, and it was used by movements in Egypt, Spain, and eventually Occupy Wall Street to bolster what we already thought was true. Except here were the goods — the evidence that was needed to prove it all true. And then a democracy movement spread around the globe so fast and so deep — and in just a year’s time! When anyone asks me, “Who started Occupy Wall Street?” sometimes I say “Goldman Sachs” or “Chase” but mostly I just say, “Bradley Manning.” It was his courageous action that was the tipping point — and it was not surprising when the dictator of Tunisia censored all news of the Wikileaks documents Manning had allegedly supplied. But the internet took Manning’s gift and spread it throughout Tunisia, a young man set himself on fire and the Arab Spring that led eventually to Zuccotti Park has a young, gay soldier in the United States Army to thank.

And that is why I want to honor Bradley Manning on this, his 24th birthday, and ask the millions of you reading this to join with me in demanding his immediate release. He does not deserve the un-American treatment, including cruel solitary confinement, he’s received in over eighteen months of imprisonment. If anything, this young man deserves a friggin’ medal. He did what great Americans have always done — he took a bold stand against injustice and he did it without stopping for a minute to consider the consequences for himself.

The Pentagon and the national security apparatus are hell-bent on setting an example with Bradley Manning. But we as Americans have a right to know what is being done in our name and with our tax dollars. If the government tries to cover up its malfeasance, then it is the duty of each and every one of us, should the situation arise, to drag the truth, kicking and screaming if necessary, into the light of day.

The American flag was lowered in Iraq this past Thursday as our war on them officially came to an end. If anyone should be on trial or in the brig right now, it should be those men who lied to the nation in order to start this war — and in doing so sent nearly 4,500 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to their deaths.

But it is not Bush or Rumsfeld or Cheney or Wolfowitz who sit in prison tonight. It is the hero who exposed them. It is Bradley Manning who has lost his freedom and that, in turn, becomes just one more crime being committed in our name.

I know, I know, c’mon Mike — it’s the holiday season, there’s presents to buy and parties to go to! And yes, this really is one of my favorite weeks of the year. But in the spirit of the man whose birth will be celebrated next Sunday, please do something, anything, to help this young man who spends his birthday tonight behind bars. I say, enough. Let him go home and spend Christmas with his family. We’ve done enough violence to the world this decade while claiming to be a country that admires the Prince of Peace. The war is over. And a whole new movement has a lot to thank Bradley Manning for.

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Pretty GOP Hobbits Fantasized About Israel Bombing Iran After Israel Bombed Iran.

On November 12, 2011, Israel’s Mossad bombed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps missile site which killed among others, Maj. Gen. Hassan Moghaddam, chief architect of Iran’s ballistic missile program.

On November 22, a gaggle of pretty Hobbits put on make-up and played ‘pretend president time.’  They filled a big room with as many greasy Bubba Hobbits as they could find. Then they and huffed and they puffed and pounded their chests and the Bubba Hobbits clapped and cheered.  It was a glorious time and laughter rang throughout Middle Earth.

When the subject of the evil kingdom of Iran came up, the pretty Hobbits grew serious and the Bubba Hobbits got scared.  Each of the pretty Hobbits  attempted to out-boast the other about how tough they are and the Bubba Hobbits clapped with joy.

One by one, the pretty Hobbits contemplated the idea of supporting the Israelis should they decide to bomb Iran.  None of them seemed to know that Israel had been bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities and killing their nuclear scientists, most recently, the week before.  Even Fox News had pictures.

This is the picture of the missile site, close to Tehran before the explosion on November 12, 2011.

BeforeIsraeliattack
After
AfterIsraeliattack

Iranian authorities will not admit this was an air strike but responded by launching missile from Lebanon into Israel.

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Iranians to Captured Hikers: ‘What About Guantanamo?’

Camp Delta

Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, two Americans captured and held by Iran since 2009, had an interesting point to make at their news conference yesterday in New York (via Think Progress):

According to Bauer and Fattal, Iranian prison guards repeatedly used the harsh conditions of Guantanamo Bay and CIA prisons around the world to justify their own human rights violations:

BAUER: In prison, every time we complained about our conditions, the guards would immediately remind us of comparable conditions at Guantanamo Bay. They would remind us of CIA prisons in other parts of the world, and the conditions that Iranians and others experience in prisons in the U.S. We do not believe that such human rights violations on the part of our government justify what has been done to us. Not for a moment. However, we do believe that these actions on the part of the U.S. provide an excuse for other governments, including the government of Iran, to act in kind.

According to the hikers, extended solitary confinement “was the worst experience of all our lives.”

It was already a well-known fact that torture and inhumane treatment of detainees by the USA helps other governments try to justify similar acts. In violation of the U.S. Constitution and international treaties, the Obama administration continues to hold people indefinitely without any charges being brought against them, under conditions similar to the Iranian prison Bauer and Fattal experienced.

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The Weakness of Islam and the Evolution Toward Human Rights

Let me by very clear.  In the US, Islam is one faith among many; Muslims in the US are every bit as technologically sophisticated, committed to democracy, and citizens of a modern, pluralistic nation as are their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and atheist neighbors.  American Muslims in many ways are reflective of American culture.  They are “us.”

But, the weakness of Islam is an interesting challenge, captured in this phrase by Joshua Micah Marshall:

Indeed, the weakness of the world of Islam–an ideology and culture that sees itself not only as superior to the West and the world’s other great civilizations but as properly in the vanguard of history–is the kernel of the threat it poses, the heart of violent Islamism’s toxicity. At the beginning of the 21st century most of the world is, for better or worse, rushing along the current of globalization. By any measure, the world of Islam lags far behind. With the exception of a few countries with vast amounts of wealth based on natural resources, it is impoverished and trailing the rest of the world on numerous fronts. Where is the great Muslim power? There is none. Where is the world of Islam’s advanced technology-driven economy? There is none.

It’s a paradox for which there isn’t an easy answer. Read the rest of this entry »

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