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US ‘Iran attack plans’ revealed February 19, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Iran, Iraq War, USA.
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Unsurprisingly, the US’ plans to attack Iran have been revealed.

US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country’s military infrastructure, the BBC has learned.

After completely making a mess of Afghanistan and Iraq, and wasting an estimated $320bn to date, Bush has still not learned his lesson, and now wants to wage war on yet another country.

Supposedly:

The US insists it is not planning to attack, and is trying to persuade Tehran to stop uranium enrichment.

Does anyone really believe this?  Just as the US made up it’s mind about Iraq long before it attacked, it’s quickly becoming clear that the US has also made up it’s mind about Iran too.

Earlier this month US officials said they had evidence Iran was providing weapons to Iraqi Shia militias.

This is complete rubbish. Even a top US general doubts Iran proof.

It’s certainly not implausible that the big increase of negative news about Iran, blaming the dire situation in Iraq on them, is merely a tactic to soften up the public for this attack.

With the US and Israel both threatening action, and after seeing the mess Bush has made in both Afghanistan and Iraq, it should come as no surprise that Iran wants to protect itself.

Any attack from the US is going to have very bad consequences, and I hope that they think very carefully before carrying out such stupid actions.

Bush maintains pressure on Iran February 14, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Iran, Iraq War, USA.
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Despite everything, Bush is maintaining pressure on Iran.  He continues to insist that Iran is responsible for attacks on US troops in Iraq.

However, he denies that such claims are to lay the groundwork for an attack on Iran.

But he said he did not know who was directing the force, and denied laying the groundwork for an attack on Iran.

Major General William Caldwell claims that the leader of the Mahdi Army, Moqtada Al-Sadr, has fled to Iran.

A U.S. military spokesman insists the leader of the Shi’ite militia Mahdi Army, has left Iraq. But Moqtada al-Sadr’s office in Najaf denies he fled to Iran because of internal disagreements among his followers. His office said he remains in Najaf, but has reduced public appearances for security reasons.

Major General William Caldwell told reporters in Baghdad that, despite the denials, U.S. officials still believe Sadr left Iraq, but the general refused to say why.

The Washington Post reports that Sadr’s [alleged] trip to Iran was first revealed by ABC News on Tuesday.

Just a few days ago, the US accused Iran over Iraq bombs and said that it has proof that the ‘highest levels’ of the Iranian government are supply arms used by Shi’ite militants in Iraq.

But this claim is disputed by the military itself.  General Peter Pace has voiced his doubts about this, stating that all the evidence proves is that things made in Iraq are being used in Iraq. Not that the Iranian government is actively involved.

In general, it seems like the US is making a big effort to put Iran in Iraq.

Faced with growing public opposition to the U.S. war in Iraq, the Bush administration has been desperately trying to divert attention to Iran. Washington has gone so far as to make a series of dubious and unfounded charges that blame the Iranian government for the difficulties facing American forces fighting the Iraqi insurgency.

BBC Middle East Correspondent, Paul Reynolds, also offers his analysis on why the US is actively blaming Iran for the problems in Iraq in his report, US claims against Iran: why now?

Clearly, Bush intends to do something about Iran.  Are all the US claims and accusations designed to soften us up?  I remember seeing a very similar pattern in the build up to the Iraq war.

Speaking of which, this war has already cost the US approximately $320bn.  It is estimated to go up to $2tn, with all the associated costs. The US already has $8tn of debt. It can’t afford to keep going on these conquests.

Combine that with the fact that Iran is not Iraq.  It is three times the size, predominantly shi’ite (and therefore doesn’t suffer from the sectarian problem like Iraq), and relatively united.  Attacking them is not a wise move.

Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has repeatedly denied US claims and is willing to talk. He’s also said that he will protect Iran, and that any attack from the US on his nation will be severely punished.

With tensions clearly rising, seems like the US should stop throwing around accusations and start a dialogue with Iran. Sooner than later.

US violating human rights – again February 2, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in News Commentry, USA, War on Terror.
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The BBC reports that –

A Lebanese-born German, who accuses the CIA of having kidnapped and tortured him, says he is determined to get an apology from the US authorities.

Khaled al-Masri alleges that he was seized in Macedonia, flown to a secret jail in Afghanistan and tortured there.

It’s good to see that German authorities have some sense, are looking after their citizens, and have ordered the arrest of 13 suspected CIA agents.  Just as the US would not be expected to accept any other government kidnapping and treating American citizens in such a manner, it cannot expect that such actions will go unnoticed when done to other countries.

As the article reports:

Mr Masri says he was abducted at the end of 2003 and detained for five months before being released in Albania after the Americans realised they had got the wrong man.

That’s right.  This man was abducted and detained, and tortured for five months before the CIA realised he was innocent, and simply threw him back out on the street, without so much as an apology.

Elsewhere in Europe:

Meanwhile in the Italian city of Milan, court hearings to decide whether to indict 25 alleged CIA agents and several Italians accused of kidnapping a Muslim cleric in 2003 are under way.

Osama Mustafa Hassan, or Abu Omar, says he was abducted from the streets of Milan and then tortured in Egypt.

The fact that the US is engaged in such activity is not new, and first made news headlines when the story of Maher Arrer unfolded.  What’s worse about this case, is not only the fact that he was kept for just under a year, but also that he’s from Canada, and you’d think the US would excercise a little more care to its neighbours.

Maher Arar is a 34-year-old wireless technology consultant. He was born in Syria and came to Canada with his family at the age of 17. He became a Canadian citizen in 1991. On Sept. 26, 2002, while in transit in New York’s JFK airport when returning home from a vacation, Arar was detained by US officials and interrogated about alleged links to al-Qaeda. Twelve days later, he was chained, shackled and flown to Syria, where he was held in a tiny “grave-like” cell for ten months and ten days before he was moved to a better cell in a different prison. In Syria, he was beaten, tortured and forced to make a false confession.

He was held for nearly a year in Syria before being released to Canadian authorities. Although Syrian and Canadian authorities later found that Arrar had no terrorist links, he remains on the US terrorist watch list.

Then there’s the story of the three British Muslims held in Guantanamo Bay for nearly three years without charge or trial.  Their story is well narrated in the 2006 movie, The Road to Guantanamo.

The film tells the story of Ruhal Ahmed, Asif Iqbal and Shafiq Rasul (the ‘Tipton Three’); three young British men from Tipton in the West Midlands who were captured by the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan in 2001 and detained as “enemy combatants” at Guantánamo Bay, without charge or legal representation, for nearly three years. As well as interviews with the three men themselves and archive news footage from the period, the film contains an account of the three men’s experiences following their capture by the Northern Alliance, the subsequent handover to the United States military and their detention in Cuba. It contains several scenes depicting their alleged beatings during interrogation, the use of alleged torture techniques such as ‘stress positions’ and attempts to extract forced confessions of involvement with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

The Tipton Three were all released without charge in 2004.

If you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend watching it.  The full thing is on Google Video.  Within a day of returning from Cuba and being questioned by British police, they were released.

How much more injustice are we going to see from the US?

War against Iran? February 2, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Iran, USA.
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An American Muslim has an interesting observation about the US and asks whether the current anti-Iran is building up to the War against Iran:

Maybe it’s just me, but prior to both addresses there was this accusatory “tone” toward “rogue” states that were built up in the media prior to the addresses but more so pronounced after the addresses. In the case of the 2003 addresses the State of course was Iraq and here we are in 2007 it’s now Iran.

It’s also a pattern I’ve noticed.  The US has clearly started the propoganda war, doing it’s best to make Iran look responsible for many of the countless problems in Iraq.

As reported by The Guardian yesterday:

Washington today repeated its warnings to Iran to stop helping Iraqi militants to attack US-led troops in Iraq.

Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state, said US forces had detained Iranians suspected of providing weapons technology to Shia insurgents.

“These are operatives of the Quds force, paramilitary officials of the Iranian government and their intelligence officials … they’re people who are engaged in sectarian warfare,” he said.

In a separate interview for US radio, Mr Burns claimed Iranian support for militant groups was spreading out from the southern city of Basra to other areas.

“They have attacked British soldiers near Basra and they’ve now begun to mount those operations throughout the country – at least in the Baghdad region as well,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

“It’s a very serious situation – the message from the United States is Iran should cease and desist.”

The US has been tracking Iranian involvement in Iraqi insurgent attacks for around two years, and has found increasing evidence that Iran has assisted Shia groups in the south of the country, Mr Burns told National Public Radio.

“We warned Iran privately on a number of occasions over the last year and a half and the Iranians, of course, did not appear to listen to that, so now we’ve begun to detain those Iranian officials,” he said.

“We think it’s absolutely within our rights to do so under Article 51 of the UN charter, which is self-defence.”

Earlier this week, Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, the second most senior US general in Iraq, told USA Today that Iran was supplying Iraqi Shia militias with a variety of weapons.

George Bush, who has ordered a second aircraft carrier group to the region, said the US would respond firmly to Iranian involvement in violence in Iraq.

“I’m also concerned about Iranian influence into Iraq and have made it clear to the Iranians that if we catch them moving weapons they’ll be dealt with,” the US president told the Wall Street Journal.

Or as said in this article – will the US invade Iran:

The raid on the home of an Iranian diplomat last week and the capture of 5 Iranians by American troops is a pretty clear shot across Iran’s bow. Add to that the movement of a second carrier group with Patriot missiles into the Gulf and we see a second shot – especially since Iran is the only country with missile capability that could be the target of the Patriots. And then add to this Bush’s refusal to talk to the Iranian government despite the urgings of the Iraq War Commission and Jim Baker, backed up by particularily threatening remarks by the VP on Sunday talk shows, all point to an Administration getting ready to do the unthinkable again.

However, for the US to attack Iran will be a stupid move.  As said in The People Daily:

Iran is not Iraq. Iran’s national and military strength is very different from that of ante-war Iraq. At present, domestic situation in Iran is very good. Iranian people are united. Thus, military strike on Iran won’t cause a revolution in the country, on the contrary, it can only stimulate people’s greater patriotic enthusiasm. Militarily, Iran is another strong country second only to Israel in the Middle East region. It has modernized missiles and air strike technology and capable to block the Strait of Hormuz and destroy all the oil wells and pipelines in the region. Iran is the fourth oil producer in the world, producing 4 million barrels of crude oil every day. Iraq didn’t have these conditions then.

Is it any wonder Iran wants nuclear weapons?  With the US and Israel waiting to attack it, the country has every right to defend itself and its people.