Slacker Friday: NIE Miscellania

by matttbastard

It’s back and lazier than ever! Alas, this (long belated) edition will have to be the slackest motherfucker ever, since yours truly just got called into work early. Mea culpa–sometimes meatworld obligations have to trump blogging.

(h/t Dave @ The Beav, who also provides a transcript of Olbermann’s incindiary commentary)

Despite some recent assertions that military action against Iran is no longer an option, or that certain “moderate” officials are successfully pushing back against the hawks in the White House, Matthew Rothschild thinks war is still the #1 plan for the administration:

The 2006 U.S. National Security Strategy says point-blank that “we face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran.”

And its discussion of this challenge is not limited to the issues of Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

“As important as are these nuclear issues, the United States has broader concerns regarding Iran,” the document states. “The Iranian regime sponsors terrorism; threatens Israel; seeks to thwart Middle East peace; disrupts democracy in Iraq; and denies the aspirations of its people for freedom. The nuclear issue and our other concerns can ultimately be resolved only if the Iranian regime makes the strategic decision to change these policies, open up its political system, and afford freedom to its people. This is the ultimate goal of U.S. policy.”

The United States won’t be able to attain that goal while Ahmedinejad is in power, and beyond that, while the mullahs are in power.

In essence, the National Security Strategy commits the United States to regime change in Iran.

And Congress, thanks to that resolution Hillary Clinton signed on to, has already designated Iran as an enemy at war with the United States, since it states that Iran is waging a “proxy war” against our forces in Iraq.

It very well may be that the intelligence agencies and the Pentagon convinced the propaganda peddlers in the White House that they can’t make the sale on Iran’s nuclear threat. Instead, they’ll hype—in fact, they’re already hyping—Iran’s role in Iraq.

Case in point: see this frame-shifting dispatch from citizen propagandist Bill Roggio, which also serves as evidence of Dan Bartlett’s recent admission re: the relationship between the Bushies and winger bloggers in action:

I mean, talk about a direct IV into the vein of your support. It’s a very efficient way to communicate. They regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them. It is something that we’ve cultivated and have really tried to put quite a bit of focus on.

Elsewhere: John “Surrender is not an option” Bolton exposes the ‘flaws’ in the NIE (shorter: “Buy my book or teh terrorists win!”); Dan Froomkin rounds up the many, many Iran-related lies that have been peddled by the Bush administration. (h/t Godammitkitty @ Bread and Roses).

Finally, check out this must-read Tomgram from Dilip Hiro (h/t verbana-19) on how the USian empire, as Tom Engelhardt puts it in his as-per-usual link-laden introduction, “now finds itself on the losing end of an ever more humiliating zero-sum game with a relatively minor power.”

Happy Friday!

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I-35: NAFTA Highway Cures Teh Ghey!!11

by matttbastard

“Purity sieges,” Charismatic strip club raids and (now-former) “homosexuals” tripping on holy spirit acid (“FIRE!!!”). A-list material, that. Who needs The Daily Show when one still has The (always stranger than socialist fiction) 700 Club?

More from Right Wing Watch, Hatewatch, Pam’s House Blend and The General.

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PSA: Free Jelveh Javaheri

by matttbastard

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Vanessa @ Feministing:

Not even a month after Iranian feminist Delaram Ali was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for taking part in a women’s rights rally, Jelveh Javaheri was arrested on Saturday for creating the website We4Change, which promotes women’s rights in Iran. On the site, Maryam Hosseinkhah, also arrested last month, reports from prison.

All three women are leaders in the One Million Signatures Campaign, which is seeking to gather signatures calling for the change of discriminatory laws in Iran.

More from Human Rights First:

Jelveh Javaheri was arrested on December 1, 2007, after being summoned for interrogation at the security branch of the Revolutionary Courts in Tehran. A sociology student and journalist, Ms. Javaheri has published articles about the women’s rights campaign in many media outlets. For her writing, she was charged with inciting public opinion, propaganda against the state, and publication of false information, and is currently being held in Evin Prison’s women’s ward. Ms. Javaheri was previously arrested in March 2007 for peacefully protesting outside the trial of five other activists,. She has a court appearance relating to that arrest scheduled for December 18.

 

Maryam Hosseinkhah, like Ms. Javaheri, is a journalist who writes about women’s issues and the campaign for equality. On November 18, 2007, she was summoned for interrogation at the Revolutionary Court and was subsequently charged with “inciting public opinion, propaganda, and publication of false information.” Her bail was set at one million Tomans (approximately US $110,000), despite the minor nature of the charges and her low income. The exorbitantly high bail appears to be a strategy to force Ms. Hosseinkhah to go to jail. She is currently held in Evin Prison’s women’s ward.

 

The charges against these activists are part of the mounting repression of the women’s rights movement by the Iranian authorities. Iran should respect the provisions of international human rights treaties to which it is a State Party, and the 1998 U.N. Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, particularly the right to freedom of expression, association, and information, and should drop the charges against these peaceful activists and release those who the authorities have detained.

Take action now. Also see We4Change, Amnesty International and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Related: More on Delaram Ali and what can be done to assist women’s rights activists in Iran; according to Human Rights First,

[a]fter seven leading human rights organizations around the world made a statement condemning the harsh sentence, [Ali’s] sentence was stayed; as of last week, however, the stay has expired and the sentence could be implemented at any time.

Take action now.

Once again, more on the still-ongoing One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality from Change For Equality (more here) and Ms. Magazine. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to add your name.

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