Sunday, August 19, 2007

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Admits to Efforts Against US

And about those Iranian Revolutionary Guards: they promise to "punch" the US. Now I'm sure that's partly from translation, and I'm sure it sounds more menacing in the native tongue. But it makes me inclined to thumb my nose and go "nah nah nah" right back at them.

Some quotes:

Local press in the Iranian capital of Tehran quoted Revolutionary Guards leader Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi saying that he could understand Washington's ire towards the group because of their recent successes against the United States.

"America will receive a heavier punch from the guards in the future," he was quoted as saying in the conservative daily Kayhan.

"We will never remain silent in the face of U.S. pressure and we will use our leverage against them," he was quoted as saying.

Now, all kidding aside, what exactly Gen. Safavi mean by "successes against the United States," unless he's basically admitting to Iran's involvement in Iraq. Personally, were I President, I'd take that as admission of acts of war and go after them. But, alas, I'm not President.

More on Iran in Iraq

More on Iran's involvement in Iraq. I ask again: why aren't we at war with Iran?

Some quotes:

American forces are tracking about 50 members of an elite Iranian force who have crossed the border into southern Iraq to train Shiite militia fighters, a top U.S. general said Sunday. The French foreign minister, meanwhile, arrived in Baghdad on a groundbreaking visit after years of icy relations with the United States over Iraq.


He singled out the Shiite extremists as being behind rising attacks using armor-piercing explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, which he said were largely assembled in Iraq from parts smuggled in from Iran. He also noted a marked increase in Iranian-rockets that have been increasingly effective against U.S. bases.

It's getting embarrassing that we're letting Iran get away with this.

Income Equality - The Why and How of it

Here's a nice piece at Capitalism Magazine on "income equality" and its true meaning in a free society.

The money quote:

Criticisms of income inequality are always couched in a certain type of language. For example, it is claimed that wealthier Americans "command" an "unfair share" of our "national wealth." Such language implies that American wealth is a communal pie that belongs equally to all of us.

But it is no such thing.

The vast wealth that exists in America has been created--through the productive activities and voluntary arrangements of individuals. And individuals do not necessarily create the same amount of wealth. Compare the value brought into existence by the entrepreneur whose productivity software is eagerly bought by millions--and the checkout clerk at a store that sells it. Such vast differences in productivity--which can be caused by vast differences in ability, work ethic, interests, skills, and choices--are the root of vast differences in income.

I'm sure there are those who would attack just this quote and not read the entire essay, and of course that's fine. But reading the entire essay might be of interest to some.

Boing Boing Outs CIA and FBI on Wikipedia Edits

Boing Boing reports on a Reuters story talking about the CIA and FBI making edits to Wikipedia on topics such as the Iraq war and Gitmo.

The quote:

People using CIA and FBI computers have edited entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo prison, according to a new tracing program. The changes may violate Wikipedia's conflict-of-interest guidelines, a spokeswoman for the site said on Thursday. The program, WikiScanner, was developed by Virgil Griffith of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico and posted this month on a Web site that was quickly overwhelmed with searches.

All I can say is, "duh." And I don't see why Wikipedia bars those closely involved with something to make edits. I thought the goal was truth, and I can only imagine the untrue information that might be posted by some Leftist about anything related to the CIA and/or FBI. And so, I put this in the big "yawn" category.

Digg Report

Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at 3501 Diggs, is a list to some Mac utilities. It's at least of some technical value, I suppose.

Putin Attacks America with Harshest Rhetoric Yet

Putin ups the anti-American rhetoric, to what end I can only guess. There's not much more to the story, so I'll just provides some of the money quotes:

In a speech in Germany, which one U.S. senator said smacked of Cold War rhetoric, Putin accused the United States of making the world a more dangerous place by pursuing policies aimed at making it "one single master".

Attacking the concept of a "unipolar" world in which the United States was the sole superpower, he said: "What is a unipolar world? No matter how we beautify this term it means one single center of power, one single center of force and one single master."

"It has nothing in common with democracy because that is the opinion of the majority taking into account the minority opinion," he told the gathering of top security and defense officials.

Harsh words.

Islam as the Enemy - A Harsh Post

Now here's a no-holds-barred account of Islam, with a few reputable quotes thrown in for good measure. There's a part of me that disagrees that Islam should be "wiped out," but then again, I have no problems with the idea that Nazism and Communism should be wiped out. So why such compunctions against Islam, which by its very nature has just as inherent a potential for violence againt non-Muslims.

A quote:

This is why sanctions are not going to prevent Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. But inasmuch as such weapons would enable Iran not only to destroy Israel but also dominate Saudi Arabia and thereby control the oil on which the world’s economy depends, the Iranian regime and its nuclear facilities must be destroyed—and without being squeamish about civilian casualties.

Yet this will not suffice to win the war against Islamdom. Islam is animated by an envious hatred of the West. This envy indicates that Muslim leaders know that Islam is decadent. Two months before the Six-Day War of June 1967 a Syrian army magazine published an article referring to Islam as one of the “mummies in the museums of history.”

In The Dream Palace of the Arabs, the renowned Lebanese-born scholar Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins University agrees with the most prominent literati of the Arab world who sorrowfully behold the “death of Arab civilization.” Daniel Pipes sees in the Muslim world “a pervasive sense of debilitation."

Read the whole thing.

Russia to Sell Arms to Syria (a.k.a., Iran)

I'd complain more about these Russian arms sales to Syria if we hadn't sold arms to Saudi Arabia. I think both we and the Russians, seperately or together, will come to regret these actions.

Of course, speculation is that Syria will turn around and give/sell at least some of the weapons to Iran, which would spell the second time Russia has sold particularly sensitive arms to a nation with which we had at least a chance to go to war (read, Iraq):

A spokesman for Russia's arms export agency Rosoboronexport, contacted by Agence France-Presse, declined to comment on the newspaper report.

The report acknowledged that the delivery of the weapons, the Pantsyr-S1E self-propelled short-range missile air defence system, was particularly sensitive in light of Israeli claims last year that Russian arms sold to Syria had ended up in the hands of militant group Hezbollah.

In May, the London-based arms specialist magazine Jane's Defence Weekly reported that Syria had agreed to send Iran at least 10 of the Pantsyr units.

It's the Cold War all over again, except this time there's a third participant that nobody wants to recognize: radical Islam.

Ahmadinejad Spews Out More Vitriol

Iranian President Imajihadi (or whatever his name is) is up to it again, saying things that one side of the political spectrum will interpret as threatening and the other as mere opinion. The quotes:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a new verbal assault on Israel, denounced it on Saturday as the "flag of Satan" and said it may be facing disintegration, official media reported.


Two months ago, he said the Lebanese and the Palestinians had pressed a "countdown button" to bring an end to the state of Israel.

On Saturday, the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying of Israel in a speech: "When the philosophy of the establishment and the continuation of this regime is not just, it is not unlikely that it is on the path of decline and disintegration."

Sure, that's just fine for a national leader to say about another sovereign state. He's just predicting things, right?