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The Light and Dark Sides of The War On Terrorism
What we're dealing with.


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Michael Ledeen

Let’s start with al-Reuters’ thoughtful contribution to the well-being of the Western world. One of their star reporters finds a new way to bash the United States: We’re not paying off the crystal-ball operators.

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Oct 6 (Reuters)–A Brazilian court will consider a psychic’s claim that the U.S. government owes him a $25 million reward for information he says he provided on the hiding place of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Brazil’s second-highest court, the Superior Court of Justice, decided on Thursday the Brazilian justice system could rule on the matter and told a court in the psychic’s home state of Minas Gerais to judge the case. The lower court had earlier told Jucelino Nobrega da Luz it could not take up his claim and it would have to be judged in the United States, but the higher tribunal ruled otherwise.

“The Minas Gerais court will work with the claim,” said a spokesman for the Superior Court of Justice. “Jucelino da Luz alleges that the U.S. armed forces only found Saddam based on his letters that provided his exact location, the very hole where he was hiding in Iraq. So he filed a court case to claim the reward.”

The U.S. government offered the award for Saddam in July 2003 after the U.S.-led forces occupied the country. He was captured in December of the same year. The court said Da Luz sent letters to the U.S. government from September 2001, describing Saddam’s future hiding place–a tiny cellar at a farmhouse near Tikrit. He never received a reply.

“His lawyers attest that the author has an uncommon gift of having visions of things that will come to pass. … Via dreams, he sees situations, facts that will happen in the future,” a court statement said.

In case the court upholds the claim, it will be sent via diplomatic channels to the U.S. State Department.

Anybody wanna bet what the Minas Gerais court is going to rule? Could any self-respecting Brazilian court resist this glorious opportunity to stick its fingers in the teary eyes of the USG? I don’t think so.

The real question is how Condi will respond…maybe she’ll ask Harriett for a legal opinion…

Then, inevitably, to Iran, that happy country where people celebrate all the time. From the indispensable Dr. Zin’s website, aptly named www.regimechangeiran.com, comes this summary of recent festivals:

Iran Press News reported on the protest and conflict at Najafabad University. A first hand account.

Iran Press News reported that students from the Abbasspour University for Water and Power Industry protested against the regime’s guards in their university.

Iran Press News reported that an angry mob, protesting the violent and oppressive actions of the disciplinary forces of the regime, attacked governmental bureaus in the Province of Qeshm.

SMCCDI reported that drivers of many Iranian Collective Buses refused to validate passenger’s tickets, today, in order to protest against their poor conditions.

SMCCDI reported that dozens of Iranian women gathered at the “Enghelab” square in order to protest peacefully against the social and poor economic conditions in Iran.

SMCCDI reported that hundreds of students of Beheshti University of Tehran protested, yesterday night, against the repressive measures and poor conditions.

Iran Press News added that the Beheshti University students then set their dorm on fire. ISNA published photos.

SMCCDI reported that another young man was killed by the Islamic regime’s security forces in the Greater Tehran area, Friday.

SMCCDI reported that a riot took place, on Saturday, in the Island of Gheshm located in the Persian Gulf.

Agence France Presse reported that witnesses claim, Iranian police shot and killed a motorist after he failed to stop when spotted eating during holy month of Ramadan. Winston, The Spirit of Man reported on the IRGC units nightly live fire exercises in the mountains of eastern Tehran.

So the country is in turmoil. And what is the regime doing about it? The answer comes from the folks at Roozonline.com. A bit of background is necessary in order to get the full significance of the news. According to the Shiite faith, the 12th imam (the authoritative successors to the Prophet Mohammed) disappeared from this earth, and at the end of mortal time he will reappear, to usher in the Kingdom of Allah. The Iranian Shiites believe that the imam is hiding at the bottom of a well in Ifahan, known as the Jamkaran well, around which a magnificent mosque has been constructed. Okay? Now you can understand the story:

In a formal cabinet meeting chaired by Iran’s new president’s first deputy, the ministers printed and ratified an agreement with the Shiites’ 12th Imam. In his opening remarks, Parviz Davoudi, Ahmadinejad’ first deputy suggested that the cabinet ministers should sign an agreement with 12th Imam, the same way they signed a pact with the new president. The ministers collectively agreed and so there is now an agreement between the two! The ministers then questioned how the 12th hidden Imam will sign the agreement!

The solution was resolved when the government’s cabinet ministers agreed to ask Saffar Harandi, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance how president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad planned to take the letter to the holy Imam. Next Thursday night, Saffar Harandi dropped the signed agreement to the Jamkaran well, a spot that Moslem religious groups believe is where the Shiite 12th Imam is hidden. This well is also the resting place for tons of letters and requests from Muslim pilgrims.

A short while after the cabinet ministers’ collective agreement, the government spent 70 billion rials to feed the needy pilgrims of Jamkaran Mosque. At the Transportation Minister’s suggestion, this money would be spent to reconstruct the roads leading to Jamkaran and to allocate large amount of money for other similar projects. There was strong criticism on this from all fronts and even Ahmadinejad seemed very offended. He said that this government was not in power to build roads and that it should be thankful to 12th Imam’s blessing for being in power.

We are talking about some of the highest-ranking officials in the Islamic republic. So far as I know, this is not political satire, it’s reportage. And the point is obvious, isn’t it? We are not dealing with people like us (although a couple of the more hyper columnists at, say, the New York Times might well suspect that there are lots of evangelicals who secretly aspire to this sort of behavior). The Iranian people are suffering enormously at the hands of this regime, whose president “was not in power to build roads” and owes its legitimacy to a vanished religious figure at the bottom of a well in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

And for those who thought that Iranian “elections” somehow gave a form of democratic legitimacy to the president and his cabinet, read it again. It’s the 12th imam, not the people of Iran, who bestows power.

There are two groups of people who ought to be made to read this account several times: those European pseudo-diplomats who think that you can reach a rational modus vivendi with the mullahs; and the innumerable failed diplomats and elected officials (I am thinking, as I so often do, of Senator Richard Lugar and his buddies on the Foreign Relations Committee, who do not deign to take testimony from critics of the Iranian regime) in this country who keep on calling for normalization with Iran.

We’re talking about real fanatics here. Fun reading, yes, but they kill a lot.

Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. He is resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.



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