Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Might be Some Light Blogging Next Couple of Days

Might be some light blogging over the next few days, some deadlines are looming.

Jimmy Carter's Impact on the Evolution of Iran

Here's an interesting post on Jimmy Carter's impact on the Shah of Iran and his eventual downfall to the Islamic totalitarian, terrorist-supporting government that exists today. Probably, much of this information needs to be vetted, since this isn't exactly a known resource, but it paints an interesting picture.

The gist:

In accordance with the pleasant US-Iran relations then-existing, President Carter spent New Year's Eve in 1977 with the Shah and toasted Iran as "an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world". Nonetheless, between 1975 and 1978, the Shah's popularity fell due to the Carter administration's misguided implementation of human rights policies. The election of Mr. Carter as president of the United States in 1976, with his vocal emphasis on the importance of human rights in international affairs, was a turning point in US-Iran relations. The Shah of Iran was accused of torturing over 3000 prisoners. Under the banner of promoting human rights, Carter made excessive demands of the Shah, threatening to withhold military and social aid. Carter pressured the Shah to release "political prisoners", whose ranks included radical fundamentalists, communists and terrorists. Many of these individuals are now among the opponents we face in our "war on terrorism".

The result:

When the Shah was unable to meet the Carter Administration and British demands, the Carter Administration ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to stop $4 million per year in funding to religious Mullahs who then became outspoken and vehement opponents of the Shah. Unfortunately, the Shah's efforts to defuse the volatile situation in Iran failed, despite the grant even of free and democratic elections. Confronted with lack of US support and unleashed Mullah fury, the Shah of Iran fled the country.

Subsequent to the Carter Administration's ill-conceived foreign policy initiative, Iran is now a dungeon. Ayatollah Khomeini's dictatorship executed the Shah's prisoners, predominantly communist militants, along with more than 20,000 pro-Western Iranians. Women were sent back into servitude. Citizens were arrested merely for owning satellite dishes that could tune to Western programs. American diplomats were taken hostage, and the Soviet Union invaded Iran's eastern neighbor Afghanistan as a result of this chaos, allowing it to secure greater influence in Iran and Pakistan. The struggle against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and the defeat of this invading Superpower with help from the United States under President Reagan gave rise to the radicalization and emergence of Muslim zealots like Osama bin Laden. Moreover, within a year of the Shah's ouster, Iran on its western flank was locked into the Iran-Iraq War, in which the U.S. sided with secular Iraq and its military dictator Saddam Hussein.

Maybe a bit of a stretch, although it's compelling:

Thus Jimmy Carter's misguided implementation of human rights policies not only indirectly led to overthrow of the Shah of Iran, but also paved the way for loss of more than 600,000 lives, Iran's rule by Ayatollahs, the Iran-Iraq War, Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait and Desert Storm, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and the mass murder of Americans and destruction of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.

Jimmy Carter Thinks Middle East Debate "Unbalanced" In Favor of Israel

It's remarkable that Jimmy Carter would call for "balanced" Middle East debate, when the mainstream media does everything it can to make the Palestinians look like victims and Israel look like a brutal oppressor. I meet very few people who have a clear understanding of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, with their opinions tracking pretty much along the lines of whatever they're fed by the MSM.

The very best place to go to get an idea of how biased is the coverage of Israel and the Palestinians is Little Green Footballs. That guy has a seemingly unlimited amount of time to amass amazing amounts of information showing just how bad the coverage really is.

Russia Helps Iran out of a Tough Spot

Many thanks to Russia for minimizing the impact of American and European sanctions against Iran. This time, it's in the area of Iran's aviation industry that Russia is helping a known terrorist-supporting government maintain its viability.

Some quotes:

Aviation chief Saeed Hesami said Russian planes were Iran's best option, according to IRNA, despite a string of crashes in recent years involving Russian-made aircraft that have killed hundreds of people.

"We have no option but to buy Russian planes because we have to meet the air transportation needs of the nation," Hesami was quoted as saying by IRNA. "Iran won't allow ... U.S. sanctions to ground its aviation fleet."

Actually, it looks to me like Russia won't allow US sanctions to ground Iran's aviation fleet.

And perhaps the money quote:

In 2002, Iran's transportation minister at the time, Ahmad Khorram, told parliament that Iran's air industry had reached "a crisis point" and was suffering from U.S. sanctions.

Digg Report

Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at 3968 Diggs, is about Apple's announcement of new iPods. This is tech reporting, I suppose, so kudos to Digg for getting the word out. Not that a million other sites haven't already trumpeted the news, but you can't blame Digg for trying.

And I'm actually surprised that this wasn't Dugg more. Diggsters seem to like Apple products.