Interesting Articles from the Net


Clinton's coded jibes at Bush give conference what it wants to hear

Former president's speech delights delegates in Blackpool

Jonathan Freedland
Thursday October 3, 2002
The Guardian

This was the speech of a president in exile. Like a deposed leader seeking refuge in a friendly nation, Bill Clinton came to Blackpool to deliver a message that can barely be heard in today's America.

He had to be careful: an unwritten rule of US public life demands that "politics stops at the water's edge", that partisan hostilities be shelved when it comes to foreign policy. Convention also dictates that a former president give respectful support to his successor, especially when speaking abroad.

But yesterday Clinton - whose dazzling, dizzying career broke every rule in the US book - broke those rules, too. He did it artfully, sometimes in code, but the 42nd president of the United States used the floor of the Labour party conference to unleash an acid critique of the Bush administration.


Iran with or without the Shah was a Muslim and highly religious country also surrounded by countries who were also using religion directly or indirectly as a political tool. I do not claim that one must necessarily justify this, but I dare you to name one Muslim leader in the Middle East to this day who does not refer to God or Mohammed to justify its policies especially in regard to their more traditional minded population. Nasser the Egyptian referred to the Arab people and wanted to promote Arab Nationalism in the name of Islam.

Mazroei the brave member of Islamic parliament said 6 members of Guardian

Counsel are against 65 million. Read his interview with IRAN daily


"In the past few weeks Nelson Mandela

    has called America a 'threat to world peace' and lambasted

    Dick Cheney as a 'dinosaur'...", Gary Younge, The Guardian, UK


   "America's case for war is built on blindness,

    hypocrisy and lies George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld are wilfully

    ignoring the realities of the Middle East. The result can only

    be catastrophic", Robert Fisk, Independent.


   "One year on: A view from the Middle East", Robert Fisk,

    Independent. article on 9/11 from UK's Independent.

    talks about the "dark september's" of the rest of the

    world, chile's, lebonan, palestine, ...



Warplanes Striking to Degrade Iraqi Defenses

September 16, 2002



One year on A view from the Middle East

One year on A special report

Highlights of Abbas Abdi's Speech in the Towhid Centre on 14th September:


Homeless of Iran



"An Iranian man cut off his seven- year-old daughter's head after suspecting

she had been raped by her uncle," Reuters reports, citing a report in an

Iranian newspaper. " 'The motive behind the killing was to defend my honor,

fame, and dignity,' the paper quoted the father as saying."



September 11, 2001
A Turning Point for America’s Future?
by Ted Goertzel, Ph.D.

The destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 had all the hallmarks of a turning point in history. Suddenly everything seemed different and nothing would ever be the same. People felt a similar shock after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the stock market crash in 1929, the murder of John F. Kennedy in 1963 and, perhaps, even the stock market crash of 1987. But not all such traumas trigger a lasting shift in what the Germans call the zeitgeist, or the "spirit of the age."

In twenty years, historians will look back and tell us whether the 9/11 attacks marked a historical turning point. But only futurists have the temerity to try to be able to anticipate turning points before they take place. With all their techniques for predicting the future, you might ask, why didn’t they warn us that a terrorist attack on the United States was likely? Actually, they did. In a 1994 article in The Futurist, Marvin Cetron warned that:

Targets such as the World Trade Center not only provide the requisite casualties but, because of their symbolic nature, provide more bang for the buck. In order to maximize their odds for success, terrorist groups will likely consider mounting multiple, simultaneous operations with the aim of overtaxing a government's ability to respond, as well as demonstrating their professionalism and reach.

How do futurists specializing on terrorism, such as Cetron, make such predictions? They read terrorist literature, interview people who know about terrorist groups, and scan the media for information. They keep up with new technologies, including the risks of nuclear terrorism. Some of them work for intelligence agencies and recruit agents to penetrate terrorist groups. Only this kind of covert intelligence would have enabled futurists to predict that an attack was likely in September 2001, or that it would involve hijacking airplanes to crash them into buildings.

This kind of specific intelligence may not have been available on 9/11, although the Egyptians claim to have provided a specific warning in early September, based on the work of their clandestine agents. But even without specific details, terrorism experts gave plenty of warning about the nature of the groups that were acting against us and the kind of tactics and technologies they were likely to use. There was a great deal that might have been done to prevent the 9/11 attacks.

But America was in denial. The problem was not so much a failure of intelligence as a zeitgeist that caused us to ignore it. We put the risk out of our minds, despite the attacks on American forces in Lebanon and on American embassies in Africa, and the previous bombing of the World Trade Center itself. On 9/11, denial was replaced by shock. The government rushed to collect better intelligence and took urgent military and security measures. The challenge for futurists now is to put aside both the denial and the shock, and to look further ahead. Military and security responses, important as they are, are not enough. We need to prepare for the post-9/11 world.

Back to Normal?
After a traumatic event, people’s first response is to want to repair the damage and return to the way things were. This is a healthy response, and it is often possible to return to a degree of normalcy, even if things are never quite the same. After the John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations, for example, Americans went through a period of mourning and outrage, then went on with their lives. After the 9/11 attacks, Americans were eager to do the same, and indications are that they have did fairly well.

Financial Markets. Financial markets are one of the quickest and most sensitive indicators of a country’s mood. Panic can move quickly after a shock such as 9/11 and markets can spiral out of control. We have mechanisms for dealing with these panics, including "circuit breakers" that cut off or delay trading in the midst of a panic. But markets also have an inherent tendency to recover when investors perceive stocks as undervalued and buy in order to profit from the recovery. After the stock market crash of 1987, the markets stabilized and slowly recouped their losses.

After the 9/11 attacks, most investors wisely held back from the initial irrational panic. The markets were closed for a few days, justifiably since the attack site was so close to the stock exchange buildings. By the time the markets reopened, investors realized that stocks had not lost their fundamental value. Stock prices returned quite quickly to the level they had before the attack, and people who sold in panic suffered significant losses

Public Opinion. Sample surveys are another good source of information on the public mood, although they are not as quick as the financial markets. Futurists at Yankelovich, the National Opinion Research Center and elsewhere were quick to take the public’s pulse after the attacks. They found that people were eager to "rally around the flag." National pride and confidence in the military and other social institutions went up. In a NORC survey, the percent expressing "great confidence" in the military increased from 40% to 77%. The percent expressing "great confidence" in the executive branch of the government went from 13.5% to 51.5%. There was also an increase in faith in people in general, in organized religion, in Congress and in banks and other corporations. In their life styles and consumer behavior, most people made only minor changes such as cutting back on air travel until they felt the airlines were safe.

It would be a mistake, however, to assume that this short-term "return to normalcy" means that there will be no lasting impact of 9/11. Lasting impacts are likely to come in two ways. There will be changes in the rest of the world, and in the global system of which we are a part, that will require the United States to change. And there will be a gradual shift in the zeitgeist after the initial shock wears off, particularly among the younger generations. Futurist analysis can help us to understand the sources of these changes and their likely direction.

Impact of 9/11 on the World System
The terrorists who struck on 9/11 wanted to punish America for its involvement in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East, and to force it to withdraw from that part of the world. They were seeking to reverse a powerful global trend, the increasing influence of Western materialistic culture. They wanted to strengthen the power of fundamentalism within the Moslem world. They sought the collapse, or at least the retreat, of American "imperialism." Is this a likely outcome? To answer this kind of question, futurists have studied long-term trends in culture, power relations, warfare and the world economy.

Cultural Trends. Sociological futurist Pitirim Sorokin believed that history alternated between materialist and idealist phases. Writing in the 1930s and 1940s, he believed that a long period of materialist, empiricist, scientific dominance was coming to an end, to be followed by a new era dominated by idealistic, mystical culture. His theories are still popular with some "New Age" enthusiasts, but his prediction of a collapse of Western materialist culture was proven wrong. Today, even Osama bin Laden wears a Timex Ironman Triatholan watch and speaks to the world on satellite television. Historian Gilles Kepel argues that Islamist extremist movements are in decline throughout the Middle East, and that they have turned to terrorism out of frustration from their failure to win the domestic political struggles.


 Rise and Fall of Empires. Futurists who study the rise and fall of global empires have found an approximately 100-year cycle, with major wars occurring at the transition from one dominant power to another. They believe that these long historical cycles may continue into the future. Writing in 1987, Modelski argued that there have been five major periods of warfare in modern European history: the Portuguese Cycle (1491-1516), the Dutch Cycle (1580-1609), the First British Cycle (1688-1713), the Second British Cycle (1792-1815) and the American Cycle (1914-1945). In 1982, Hopkins and Wallerstein looked at the same history and saw four major periods, those of the Hapsburgs, the Netherlands, Great Britain and the United States. While they disagreed as to where to draw the lines between epochs, these futurists agreed that the United States should be entering a phase of declining hegemony at the end of the century. Modelski expected American hegemony to be supplanted by that of the Soviet Union or Japan.

These predictions were proven wrong. The much-anticipated collapse of American hegemony never happened. Even if we accept the reality of the 100-year historical cycles, it was possible for a single nation to be dominant for two 100-year periods in a row, as Great Britain was. The Soviet Union is gone, the Japanese economy is troubled, and the European Community has its hands full dealing with Eastern Europe. Since no other nation is available to take over its leadership role in the world, the United States is faced with a choice. It can choose to turn inward, allowing the world system to fragment, or it can continue its world leadership role, perhaps for another 100 years.

Futurists have examined both of these possibilities.

If the United States chooses to turn inward, the likely outcome would be for the world to split into regional groupings along religious or "civilizational" lines. This possibility was anticipated in a best selling book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, by Harvard professor Samuel Huntington. Huntington divided the world into regions along religious or ethnic lines, especially emphasizing the split between the Western and the Moslem "civilizations." His book provides support for Moslems who want to erect a firm boundary between their world and the Western world.

On the other side, futurists such as Michael Hart and Antonio Negri and Philip Bobbitt expect the United States to continue its dominant role, although sharing responsibilities as much as possible with allies. They describe the future as a global "empire" or "market-state" that transcends national rivalries.

The 9/11 attacks have had a major impact on America’s choice between these two alternatives, that is, between isolationist and interventionist roles in the world system. Thanks to 9/11, the isolationist tendencies on the right and the anti-American voices on the left have been marginalized. Troops have been sent to Afghanistan, and the Bush administration has resumed American efforts to mediate the Israeli/Palestinian dispute. There is a consensus among the country’s opinion leaders that the new technologies available to terrorists make it simply impossible for the United States and Western Europe to wall themselves off from the rest of the world.

Warfare Cycles. Will this new activism lead to an increase in war deaths? Futurists who study trends in warfare have found statistical evidence that there have been approximately 50-year peaks in war deaths over the last few centuries. This warfare cycle clearly has something to do with the rise and fall of empires, but not all wars between major powers lead to a shift from one empire to another. There may also be a generational factor. After a major war, the next generation often recoils from getting involved in another one. After two generations, memories of the horrors of war recede and bellicose sentiments become stronger.

But this warfare cycle seems to have ended. If it had continued, the world should have experienced a major war before the end of the twentieth century. The Cuban missile crisis may have been too soon, the memory of the horrors of World War II was still too strong, especially in Russia. But a World War III between the NATO and the Soviet Union was certainly a possibility. Fortunately, the development of thermonuclear weapons made this war simply too terrible to for either Soviet or American leaders to contemplate, and they were able to manage their conflicts until the Soviet system collapsed for internal reasons.

The 9/11 terrorists would like to provoke a global war between the West and the Moslem world. It could be argued that the War on Terrorism is that war, and that it is an alternative to the cyclical major war that was missed. So far, however, the United States has carefully avoided framing the conflict as one between Moslems and the West. Professor Huntington’s book served as a warning of a future that could be avoided, not as a prediction of an inevitable one. As long as the War on Terrorism remains limited in this way, the number of casualties seems certain to be modest compared to the wars of the last century.

Economic Cycles. What about the effects of 9/11 on the global economy? Many futurists have studied long waves or "cycles" in the world capitalist system over the last few centuries, in the thought that they might be useful for predicting the future. Recent empirical work provides convincing evidence that these historical cycles were real. They have been confirmed independently by a large number of researchers. Each historical cycle lasted approximately 50 years, divided into a 25-year expansionist phase and a 25-year contractionary phase. These cycles are often called the Kondratiev cycles or waves after the Russian economist who studied them most intensively.

But even if these cycles took place in the past, how likely are they to continue into the future? Kondratiev enthusiasts were expecting a major downturn in the 1980s, but it just didn’t happen, despite the stock market crash of 1987. It was long overdue by 2001, yet the collapse of the Internet bubble and the 9/11 attacks have both failed to catalyze it. There is good reason to believe that the Kondratiev wave has ended because the underlying factors that caused it have changed. One theory is that it was caused by inherent economic contradictions in capitalist economies. If so, new economic policies implemented after the Great Depression may have tamed it. Another theory is that the Kondratiev cycle was a byproduct of the war cycle. If so, the invention of nuclear weapons may have ended this cycle as well. The 9/11 terrorists would love to have catalyzed a Kondratiev downswing, but there is no reason why the world’s economic leaders have to allow this to happen.

Impacts of 9/11 on American Society

Major shifts in the zeitgeist take time, and they follow generational lines, with younger people being most sensitive to new developments. Social scientists are often slow to detect these changes. For example, researchers in the late 1960s were not aware of any shift in the values of college freshmen. By the end of the 1970s, however, a major shift was apparent in survey data. Many more freshmen said they valued being "well off financially" rather than having a "meaningful philosophy of life." Futurists might have predicted this change if they had used a theory of generational change.

William Strauss and Neil Howe are America’s most audacious generational futurists. Their book Generations, published in 1991, attempted to predict the future as far ahead as 2069, based on a cyclical pattern they traced back as far as 1584. Enthusiasts for their system, and there are many, believe that their 1997 book, The Fourth Turning, anticipated the 9/11 attacks. The book predicted that America would suffer a major crisis at or about the year 2005, triggered by an event such a group of terrorists blowing up an aircraft. They did not expect America to react well to the crisis, instead they advised Americans to prepare for twenty-five years of unyielding responses and further emergencies.

Strauss and Howe base their predictions on their finding that, throughout American history, the zeitgeist has shifted every twenty-five years from an active to a passive mode. As each generation comes into adulthood, its nature is shaped by the climate of its times. These shifts can be seen in twentieth century American history. The active, civic minded "GI Generation" was followed by the passive, adaptive "Silent Generation" which was followed by the active, idealistic "Baby Boomers" and the passive, reactive or "laid back" "Generation X." The youngest generation, born since 1981, can now be called "Generation 9/11" because it is coming to adulthood in a period dominated by the war on terrorism.

The 9/11 generation can be expected to be active and civic minded if the generational cycle repeats itself. But it is still too young to control America’s destiny. That role is being played by the much-maligned "Generation X." Not much good can be expected from this passive, reactive generation, Strauss and Howe believe, so we may as well hunker down and make the best of it.

Must we accept Strauss and Howe’s gloomy fatalism? Or are Strauss and Howe too entranced by their own system? Do they have too much faith in the certainty of history repeating itself? Many futurists believe they work too hard to fit history into their Procrustean bed. For example, they claim that the Civil War happened too soon, causing the generational pattern to skip a cycle. They also combine World War I and the Great Depression into one event because their theory demands one event, not two. They fall into an obtuse vocabulary that led a New York Times reviewer to accuse them of using "generational mumbo-jumbo" and being lost in a "Sargasso Sea of pseudo science."

But if one discounts the jargon and the deterministic rhetoric, Strauss and Howe’s generational futurism is a useful corrective to the unthinking assumption that recent trends will continue indefinitely. It reminds us that the zeitgeist will change, as it has in the past, and that the change will be most noticeable among the young. And we can find evidence for this if we scan the data carefully for it. In their post-9/11 survey, Yankelovich found that change was most pronounced among the young, especially those who were less established in their careers, had small children to support, and had less self-confidence.

But how did these young people change? They returned to traditional values: working more, spending more time at home and at church, taking life more seriously. In general, they felt that the psychological effects were positive of 9/11 were positive, not negative. If 9/11 has had a decisive impact on American society, it has been to shake it out of a period of "laid back," inward-looking denial, and to give it a new sense of urgency about meeting the demands of world leadership. The most lasting memorial to the victims of 9/11 may be an America newly resolved to face the global challenges of the future.


About the Author
Ted Goertzel, Ph.D. is Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, in Camden, New Jersey. His many papers and publications can be found on his WEB site at



Regime Change?

Hit Saudis first

By Maureen Dowd '

WASHINGTON - I was dubious at first. But now I think Vice President Dick

Cheney has it right.

Making the case for going to war in the Middle East to veterans Monday, the

vice president said that "our goal would be ... a government that is

democratic and pluralistic, a nation where the human rights of every ethnic

and religious group are recognized and protected."


OK, I'm on board. Let's declare war on Saudi 'Arabia Let's do "regime

change" in a kingdom that gives medieval a bad name.


By overthrowing the Saudi monarchy, the Cheney-Rummy-CondiWolfy-Perle-W.

contingent could realize its dream of redrawing the Middle East map.


Once everyone realizes that we're no longer being hypocrites, coddling a

corrupt, repressive dictatorship that sponsors terrorism even as we plot to

crush a corrupt, repressive dictatorship that sponsors terrorism, it will

transform our relationship with the Arab world.

We won't need Charlotte Beers at ;the State; Department, thinking up Madison

Avenue slogans to make the Arab avenue love us.

("Democracy! Mm-mm, good.") If America is going to have a policy of

justified 'preemption, in' Henry Kissinger's clinical phrase, why not start

by chasing out those sorry - Saudi royals?

If we're willing to knock over Saddam for gassing the Kurds, we should be

willing to knock over the 'Saudis for letting the state-supported religious

police burn 15 girls to death last March in a Mecca school, forcing them

back inside a fiery building because they tried to flee without their



And shouldn't we preempt them before they teach more boys to hate American

infidels and- before they can stunt the lives of more women, 'The vice

president' declared Monday, "This nation will not-live at the mercy of

terrorists or terror regimes." I am absolutely with him.


And shouldn't we (and our SUVs) be at the mercy of this family that we arm

and protect and go to war for? The Saudis have never formally apologized to

America for the 15 Saudi citizens who came here and killed 3,000 Americans

as they went to work one sun-dappled September morning. They have never even

tried to rewrite their incendiary terrorist-breeding textbooks ' or stop

their newspapers from spewing anti-American, anti-Semitic lies, like their

stories accusing Jews of drinking children's blood. They brazenly held a

telethon, with King Fahd and, Crown Prince Abdullah giving millions, to

raise money for families of Palestinian suicide bombers, or "martyrs. " Last

week, the Saudi embassy here put out a glossy brochure hailing their

"humanitarian work" at the telethon.


It was embarrassing Tuesday, given President Bush',s swagger on Iraq, to

watch him fawn over the Saudis. At lunch at his ranch he entertained Prince

Bandar, the man who got private planes to spirit' Osama bin Laden's

relatives out of the United States after the attacks.


Bush also called Crown Prince Abdullah on Tuesday to assure him of the

"eternal friendship" between their countries and to soothe hurt Saudi

feelings over a lawsuit filed by-Sept. 11 victims charging Saudi support of



Cheney argues that we must invade Iraq while we have a strategic window for

action, while Saddam's army is still reeling.

But attacking Saudis would be even easier. They are soft and spoiled. On

Tuesday, Jerome Socolovsky of the Associated Press wrote about how King Fahd

brought' thousands of members of the House of Saud to Marbella, Spain where

they stocked up on luxury-items and hired North Atrican servants. Women in

veils and waterproof robes rode Jet Skis and members of the royal family

talked about the Sept. 11 attacks as an Israeli-CIA plot.


A Saudi invasion would be like the Panama invasion during Bush I. We already

have bases to use there. And this time Cheney won't have to beg the royals

to use their air space, or send American forces.


Once we make Saudi Arabia into our own self-serve gas pump, its neighbors

wilt get the democracy bug.


The Saudis would probably use' surrogates to fight anyway. They pay poor

workers from other countries to do their menial labor. And they paid the

Americans to fight the Iraqis in 1991. The joke among the American forces

then was: "What's the Saudi national anthem! 'On ward, Christian Soldiers."

We-haven't been hit at home by any of Saddam's Scud missiles.

But the human missiles launched by Saudi Arabia have taken their toll. '

Maureen Dowd writes for the New York Times.


MPG: Interview with Michael Ledeen - @ 06:35 PST

MPG - Mr. Ledeen, your articles on Iran, have been the cause of much jubilation amongst Iranians.
Many Iranians when reading your articles comment, 'this is what we were waiting for'. What motivates you to write about Iran?

ML: If you read my earlier books, you will find that I was the co-author of a book ("Debacle; Carter and the Fall of the Shah") that dealt with the 1979 Revolution, and another ("Perilous Statecraft") that dealt with the Iran-Contra affair, in which I had a minor role. I felt that Khomeini's seizure of power was a catastrophe at the time, and hoped it would be possible to change the Iranian regime in the mid-1980s, when I worked in the Reagan Administration. So I have been following Iranian matters for a long time, I have many Iranian friends, and I was in a good position to follow the events of the past year or two.

Finally, I hate tyrannies and like all Americans I immediately feel drawn to brave people fighting for their freedom. So I thought it was important to follow this story.

MPG - Do you think that the Bush Administration's verbal support for the secular movement in Iran is sufficiently backed by action?

ML : President Bush has been very strong on this question, and I am sure that we will soon see more concrete forms of activity, such as increasing radio and television broadcasting to Iran.

MPG - How do you foresee the aftermath of a secular victory in Iran, within Iran itself and the region as a whole?

ML : I'm not smart enough to answer that question. I hope to see a freer Iran, that ends the long, ugly history of Iranian support for terrorist groups, that gives women greater freedom, that separates mosque and state, and that permits the talents of the Iranian people to express themselves. If that happens, it will strike a powerful blow at the crazy fundamentalists in neighboring countries like Iraq and Syria, and quite possibly fatally wound organizations like Hezbollah and al Qaida.

MPG - In your opinion, what should the Iranian opposition abroad do?

ML : I have always refused to get involved in "diaspora politics." But in general, Iranians with the means to do so should try to support the Iranian people who are fighting for their lives and for their freedom. There are radio and television stations that need help in the worst possible way, for example. And there is widespread starvation inside the country. Surely it should be possible to organize "care packages" with food and medicines!

MPG - Do you have a message for those who are fighting the religous dictatorship inside Iran?

ML : I think that President Bush spoke for all of us: the Iranian people should know that the American people fully support their legitimate demands for freedom, and we Americans will support them now, and do everything possible to help them as events unfold.


Monday, August 19, 2002

MPG : In Memory of More than 400 Innocent Victims of Rex Cinema - @ 06:53 PST
More than 400 innocent people were charcoaled to death on 19th Aug, 1978 in Rex Cinema, in the oil producing town of Abadan, South West Iran.

The victims were mainly families; watching the Iranian film of GavaznhA. Only a father and his youngest daughter survived. They had left to get some ice cream for the rest of the family, but when they returned, they found the doors locked and were helpless to rescue the rest of their family who were burning in the inferno.

The arson was deliberately started by the Islamic fundamentalists. Those who had given the orders are now in power in the Islamic Republic of Iran. One of the main perpetrators was arrested by the previous regime and had confessed to the crime and having received the religious fetwa. The previous regime however failed to capitalise on this and expose the true nature of the fundamentalists to the Iranian public. Some military elements within the previous regime had decided not to rock the boat in case it damaged the secret negotiations which were under way at the time with Ayatollah Khomeini!

The tragedy of the Rex Cinema was in fact a warning for future atrocities by Islamic fundamentalists and their total disregard for the lives of innocent people.
A warning which sadly did not sufficiently raise the alarm bells.


Iranian President Says U.S. Leaders 'Misused' Sept. 11


August 14, 2002



KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 13 - President Mohammad Khatami of

Iran struck out at President Bush and other senior American

officials at a news conference here today, saying they had

"misused" the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States "to

create an atmosphere of violence and war" across the world

that could sow the seeds for still more destruction.

Mr. Khatami's visit to Afghanistan, Iran's eastern

neighbor, was the first in 40 years by an Iranian head of

state. He warned that American leaders, in widening their

campaign against terrorism, could unleash a chain reaction

that would engulf countries other than the intended targets

in a new round of violence. He implied, without saying so

explicitly, that the United States itself could be among

the victims.

"The events of Sept. 11 were horrific, but the American

leaders misused them, too," Mr. Khatami told reporters

gathered in the old royal palace here in the Afghan capital

after talks with President Hamid Karzai. The attackers "did

it because they wanted to create an atmosphere of violence

and war in the world, but we know with certainty that in

today's world all our fates are linked."

"Those who plan to launch this war shouldn't think that the

effects will be felt only where they attack," he continued.

"To believe that you can make people submit by force is

wrong. We know that this approach only brings anger and


Although Mr. Khatami mentioned no country as a possible

target of an American attack, he appeared to be referring

to Mr. Bush's vow to overthrow President Saddam Hussein of

Iraq. Although Iran fought an eight-year war with Iraq in

the 1980's that cost the two nations at least a million

casualties, Iran opposes an American war in Iraq.

The Iranian leader's remarks had the effect of turning a

visit intended to focus on Iran's backing for Mr. Karzai's

new government into a forum for airing Iran's bitter

differences with the the United States, the Karzai

government's indispensable ally. Mr. Karzai, seated beside

Mr. Khatami at the news conference, remained studiously

neutral, saying Afghanistan sought good relations with both

Iran and the United States.

American relations with Iran had seemed to be thawing

slightly over the last several years with the hope that the

moderate Mr. Khatami would prevail over old guard

conservatives. But Mr. Bush's inclusion of Iran in an "axis

of evil" in his State of the Union address in January has

seemed to buoy the conservatives, and has brought bitter

responses from Mr. Khatami as well.

With his visit today, Mr. Khatami appeared eager, though,

to throw Iran's weight behind the Karzai government, and to

counter allegations by American officials that Iran has

been compounding Afghanistan's instability with narrowly

targeted policies aimed at promoting Iran's regional


In particular, officials in Washington have suggested that

Iran has sought to carve out an area of influence on

Afghanistan's western border by favoring a western warlord,

Ismail Khan, over the Kabul government, and by giving

sanctuary to members of Al Qaeda who fled to Iran after the

collapse of the Taliban.

Mr. Khatami today cited Iran's recent action in handing

over 16 Qaeda suspects to Saudi Arabia. Far from giving

sanctuary to Qaeda fugitives, he said, Iran had followed a

consistent policy of denying the use of its territory to

terrorist groups of all kinds.

"We have huge borders, but if we have any suspicions that

people crossing them might belong to Al Qaeda or other

terrorist groups, we immediately send them to their

countries of origin," he said.

But in Washington today, Secretary of Defense Donald H.

Rumsfeld, asked about Mr. Khatami's visit, said: "They are

permitting Al Qaeda to be present in their country today,

and it may very well be that they, for whatever reason,

have turned over some people to other countries. But

they've not turned any to us."

The political crosscurrents in Kabul today were

particularly striking for the fact that American Special

Forces soldiers cradling automatic rifles, with American

flags stitched to their baseball caps and shirt-sleeves,

controlled security throughout a day of engagements for Mr.


When he berated the United States in what was once the

Afghan king's audience chamber, Mr. Khatami was only about

20 feet away from a stone-faced American bodyguard, with at

least a dozen more outside. But the Americans appeared to

be trying to remain just far enough away to deny news

photographers a shot of Iran's leader under the protection

of heavily armed Americans.

To the chagrin of many Afghans who considered the move an

affront to national dignity, the American bodyguards

assumed responsibility for Mr. Karzai's protection last

month after the assassination of one of his closest

political allies, Hajji Abdul Qadir. Almost six weeks

later, Afghan investigators say they still have no clues as

to the identity or motive of the two gunmen.

Afghans have two main theories - that Mr. Qadir was a

victim of local feuds in Jalalabad, his eastern political

base, where competing warlords have become entangled in

rivalries over the area's rich traffic in opium and heroin;

or that he was the target of a conspiracy hatched within

the Karzai government itself. Deep divisions between Tajiks

and Pashtuns, the country's two main ethnic groups, have

seriously undermined the new government.

By taking over Mr. Karzai's security, the United States

showed how crucial it considers his survival is to hopes

that the government will strengthen its shaky credibility

and extend its authority into hinterland areas controlled

by recalcitrant warlords. As a Pashtun, like Mr. Qadir, Mr.

Karzai is outweighed politically in the government by

Tajiks. They became America's main allies in the fight

against the Taliban after Sept. 11.

Mr. Karzai saw to it today that Mr. Khan, who controls the

region around the city of Herat, was a prominent member of

his entourage for the talks, a move intended to signal a

new loyalty by Mr. Kahn to the Kabul government. Mr.

Khatami referred repeatedly at the news conference to

Iran's firm backing for "the central government" and noted

that a $550 million Iranian aid package would be managed

through the Kabul government - and not, as some in the

Karzai government had feared, as a local arrangement with

Mr. Khan.

Western diplomats monitoring the visit said Iran's

commitment to back the Karzai government, together with

Pakistan's similar pledge, was a major plus for the new

administration as it wrestles with internal challenges to

its authority. With support from these countries that flank

Afghanistan to the east and west, as well as from the

former Soviet Central Asian republics to the north, the

diplomats said, the Kabul government has been relieved, at

least for now, of the strains that regional power politics

placed on past Afghan governments, including the Taliban.

Despite his warnings to the United States, Mr. Khatami

seemed eager to emphasize that Iran and the United States

had found a common interest in Afghanistan, both in the

overthrow of the Taliban and in the effort to help the new

government onto its feet. The Taliban and Al Qaeda, he

said, had posed major problems for Iran, not least in their

"completely different" views of Islam.

After Sept. 11, he said, Iran had offered its full support

to the American-led military campaign, including some steps

known only to Iranian and American officials that had made

the end of Taliban rule "much easier" than it might

otherwise have been.

But the Iranian leader's remarks were spiked throughout

with a strong sense of resentment against the Bush

administration. He made a pointed reference to conciliatory

steps by President Clinton's administration, which American

officials said at the time were aimed at strengthening Mr.

Khatami's hand in the internal power struggle.

This "way of dealing with matters was more logical, and

closer to the world's interest," he said, than the

hostility toward Iran that emerged as Washington defined

its policy after Sept. 11.

Under the Bush administration, Mr. Khatami said, an

"arrogance" about American power had taken over that

clouded Washington's judgment about its own interests. But

Iran remained hopeful, he said, that "America will put

aside this arrogance, and see the realities as they are."

"We still hope to see changes in the policies of the United

States," he added, "that will serve the interests of its

own people, and of the world."



The AIC runs and hides

Congratulation to all Iranians who care for human rights and didn't allow the AIC to promote the establishment of relations with a terrorist regime, the Islamic Regime of Iran (IRI).

An organization calling itself the American Iranian Council (AIC) had to hold its conference (8/3/02) in a location that was kept secret not only from Iranians and Iranian/Americans but from its own invited speakers! After the Beverly Hilton Hotel cancelled their conference upon the request of freedom loving Iranians on the ground that the AIC's activities in establishing a relationship with the Islamic terrorist regime is inhumane and against the US "Anti Terrorism Act," the AIC had to hold its meeting in another location. But this time, the advocate of friendship between the US and the Islamic Regime had to hide the location of its gathering! Political and human rights activists eventually found the hiding place and staged a protest in front of Fremont Hotel in Santa Monica. Very few of the 500 invited guests and some of the invited speakers showed up. Many police officers were on the scene in case the AIC needed them.

Congressman Howard Berman badly disappointed the AIC by delivering an accurate and courageous speech in which he pointed to the proven human rights violations and terrorist activities of the Islamic Regime and rejected the idea that seeking friendship of a terrorist regime would bring about any positive change in Iran.

This clandestine conference had the title of "The AIC: 'Achievements and Challenges". Its only achievement was the ability to hide itself from the public. Its new challenge is how to do it next time!

The following is the text of the speech by Congressman Howard Berman. It may also be viewed at:

If we keep standing for human rights, AIC will be on the run!

Thank you.

P.O. Box 2037
P.V.P., CA 90274

Tel: 310 - 377 - 4590
Fax: 310 - 377 -3103


Officers Say U.S. Aided Iraq in War Despite Use of Gas

Sat Aug 17, 3:17 PM ET

By PATRICK E. TYLER The New York Times


WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 - A covert American program during the Reagan

administration provided Iraq with critical battle planning assistance

at a time when American intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi

commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles

of the Iran-Iraq war, according to senior military officers with direct

knowledge of the program.


These officers, most of whom agreed to speak on the condition that they

not be named, spoke in response to a reporter's questions about the

nature of gas warfare on both sides of the conflict between Iran and

Iraq from 1981 to 1988. Iraq's use of gas in that conflict is

repeatedly cited by President Bush ( news - web sites) and, this week,

by his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice ( news - web sites),

as justification for "regime change" in Iraq.


The covert program was carried out at a time when President Reagan's

top aides, including Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Defense

Secretary Frank C. Carlucci and Gen. Colin L. Powell, then the national

security adviser, were publicly condemning Iraq for its use of poison

gas, especially after Iraq attacked Kurds in Halabja in March 1988.


During the Iran-Iraq war, the United States decided it was imperative

that Iran be thwarted, so it could not overrun the important

oil-producing states in the Persian Gulf. It has long been known that

the United States provided intelligence assistance to Iraq in the form

of satellite photography to help the Iraqis understand how Iranian

forces were deployed against them. But the full nature of the program,

as described by former Defense Intelligence Agency officers, was not

previously disclosed.


Secretary of State Powell, through a spokesman, said the officers'

description of the program was "dead wrong," but declined to discuss

it. His deputy, Richard L. Armitage, a senior defense official at the

time, used an expletive relayed through a spokesman to indicate his

denial that the United States acquiesced in the use of chemical



The Defense Intelligence Agency declined to comment, as did Lt. Gen.

Leonard Peroots, retired, who supervised the program as the head of the

agency. Mr. Carlucci said, "My understanding is that what was provided"

to Iraq "was general order of battle information, not operational



"I certainly have no knowledge of U.S. participation in preparing

battle and strike packages," he said, "and doubt strongly that that



Later, he added, "I did agree that Iraq should not lose the war, but I

certainly had no foreknowledge of their use of chemical weapons."


Though senior officials of the Reagan administration publicly condemned

Iraq's employment of mustard gas, sarin, VX and other poisonous agents,

the American military officers said President Reagan, Vice President

George Bush and senior national security aides never withdrew their

support for the highly classified program in which more than 60

officers of the Defense Intelligence Agency were secretly providing

detailed information on Iranian deployments, tactical planning for

battles, plans for airstrikes and bomb-damage assessments for Iraq.


Iraq shared its battle plans with the Americans, without admitting the

use of chemical weapons, the military officers said. But Iraq's use of

chemical weapons, already established at that point, became more

evident in the war's final phase.


Saudi Arabia played a crucial role in pressing the Reagan

administration to offer aid to Iraq out of concern that Iranian

commanders were sending waves of young volunteers to overrun Iraqi

forces. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to the United

States, then and now, met with President Saddam Hussein ( news - web

sites) of Iraq and then told officials of the Central Intelligence

Agency ( news - web sites) and the Defense Intelligence Agency that

Iraq's military command was ready to accept American aid.


In early 1988, after the Iraqi Army, with American planning assistance,

retook the Fao Peninsula in an attack that reopened Iraq's access to

the Persian Gulf, a defense intelligence officer, Lt. Col. Rick

Francona, now retired, was sent to tour the battlefield with Iraqi

officers, the American military officers said.


He reported that Iraq had used chemical weapons to cinch its victory,

one former D.I.A. official said. Colonel Francona saw zones marked off

for chemical contamination, and containers for the drug atropine

scattered around, indicating that Iraqi soldiers had taken injections

to protect themselves from the effects of gas that might blow back over

their positions. (Colonel Francona could not be reached for comment.)


C.I.A. officials supported the program to assist Iraq, though they were

not involved. Separately, the C.I.A. provided Iraq with satellite

photography of the war front.


Col. Walter P. Lang, retired, the senior defense intelligence officer

at the time, said he would not discuss classified information, but

added that both D.I.A. and C.I.A. officials "were desperate to make

sure that Iraq did not lose" to Iran.


"The use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis was not a matter of

deep strategic concern," he said. What Mr. Reagan's aides were

concerned about, he said, was that Iran not break through to the Fao

Peninsula and spread the Islamic revolution to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.


Colonel Lang asserted that the Defense Intelligence Agency "would have

never accepted the use of chemical weapons against civilians, but the

use against military objectives was seen as inevitable in the Iraqi

struggle for survival." Senior Reagan administration officials did

nothing to interfere with the continuation of the program, a former

participant in the program said.


Iraq did turn its chemical weapons against the Kurdish population of

northern Iraq, but the intelligence officers say they were not involved

in planning any of the military operations in which these assaults

occurred. They said the reason was that there were no major Iranian

troop concentrations in the north and the major battles where Iraq's

military command wanted assistance were on the southern war front.


The Pentagon ( news - web sites)'s battle damage assessments confirmed

that Iraqi military commanders had integrated chemical weapons

throughout their arsenal and were adding them to strike plans that

American advisers either prepared or suggested. Iran claimed it

suffered thousands of deaths from chemical weapons.


The American intelligence officers never encouraged or condoned Iraq's

use of chemical weapons, but neither did they oppose it because they

considered Iraq to be struggling for its survival, people involved at

the time said in interviews.


Another former senior D.I.A. official who was an expert on the Iraqi

military said the Reagan administration's treatment of the issue -

publicly condemning Iraq's use of gas while privately acquiescing in

its employment on the battlefield - was an example of the "Realpolitik"

of American interests in the war.


The effort on behalf of Iraq "was heavily compartmented," a former

D.I.A. official said, using the military jargon for restricting secrets

to those who need to know them.


"Having gone through the 440 days of the hostage crisis in Iran," he

said, "the period when we were the Great Satan, if Iraq had gone down

it would have had a catastrophic effect on Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and

the whole region might have gone down - that was the backdrop of the



One officer said, "They had gotten better and better" and after a while

chemical weapons "were integrated into their fire plan for any large

operation, and it became more and more obvious."


A number of D.I.A. officers who took part in aiding Iraq more than a

decade ago when its military was actively using chemical weapons, now

say they believe that the United States should overthrow Mr. Hussein at

some point. But at the time, they say, they all believed that their

covert assistance to Mr. Hussein's military in the mid-1980's was a

crucial factor in Iraq's victory in the war and the containment of a

far more dangerous threat from Iran.


The Pentagon "wasn't so horrified by Iraq's use of gas," said one

veteran of the program. "It was just another way of killing people -

whether with a bullet or phosgene, it didn't make any difference," he



Former Secretary of State Shultz and Vice President Bush tried to

stanch the flow of chemical precursors to Iraq and spoke out against

Iraq's use of chemical arms, but Mr. Shultz, in his memoir, also

alluded to the struggle in the administration.


"I was stunned to read an intelligence analysis being circulated within

the administration that `we have demolished a budding relationship

(with Iraq) by taking a tough position in opposition to chemical

weapons,' " he wrote.


Mr. Shultz also wrote that he quarreled with William J. Casey, then the

director of central intelligence, over whether the United States should

press for a new chemical weapons ban at the Geneva Disarmament

Conference. Mr. Shultz declined further comment.