Should there be a ‘not’ before the main verb?

The Great Donkey has spoken. Wistfully chewing on a batch of straw, he said yesterday, 26th August 09, to a group of students,

I do not accuse leaders of the recent events of being stooges of aliens, including the US and Britain, since it was not proved for me.

Then why are they all confessing to it, then? Isn’t that proof enough?

Wait a minute. The Wise Quadruped went on:We are not the opposition, we are the people

But Iran’s supreme leader … added that the unrest was calculated by Iran’s enemies “whether or not its leaders know”.

So that’s all perfectly clear, isn’t it?

Moreover it turns out that some detainees have indeed been raped, but only by brooms and bottles:

“Raping of some detainees through baton and soda bottle has been proved to us,” the unnamed member of the investigative committee [an Iranian MP] was quoted as saying.

And not by anything else, brother?

Arms for goons

North Korea has been shipping arms to Iran, apparently. Ten containers of weapons and related items, including rocket-propelled grenades and ammunition, have been impounded. The Bahamian-flagged ANL-Australia was seized in one of the UAE, though not Dubai.Fiery salute

Agony

A twenty-three year old boy who was arrested after the election, imprisoned, tortured and raped, was released on 26th August. When they came after him again, he ran out of his house into the street, threw himself off a bridge and killed himself, rather than go back to prison. His bloodied father, out of his mind, curses the Islamic Government here.

A footnote to the ghastly stories of girls being forced into ‘temporary marriages’ in prison, so that they can be raped with Islamic propriety: emissaries of the regime have been calling at the homes of such girls with bags of sweets, to congratulate the families on the ‘weddings’ of their daughters.

Islamophilia, I don’t think

And now, predictably, there is a rising swell of anti-Islamic public feeling (“Islamophobia” – silly word) in Europe, some of which is indicated here.

At last a well-researched book has appeared that takes sober stock of the new hostility to the huge, ‘unmeltable’ Islamic minorities in our midst:

For the most part European countries have bent over backwards to accommodate the sensibilities of the newcomers. A French law court has allowed a Muslim man to annul his marriage on the ground that his wife was not a virgin on their wedding night. The British pensions department has a policy of recognising (and giving some benefits to) “additional spouses”.

But European public opinion is tiring of such bending. Mr Caldwell cites a poll that shows that only 19% of Europeans think immigration to be a good thing for their country; 57% think that their country has “too many foreigners”. Such numbers have recently forced politicians to adjust their policies.

Black-hearted market

Since this blog first turned in an Iranian direction after the phony election, I have emphasised the economic aspects of the regime’s dealings. They are thieves and gangsters, as well as ruthless participants in an illegitimate military dictatorship. This is covered quite fully in this week’s Economist:

The IRGC leaders  … also want to protect a moneymaking machine. The IRGC controls a big chunk of the 70% or so of Iran’s economy that is state-run, with stakes in everything from dental and eye clinics to car factories and construction firms. Even “privatised” assets seem to fall into its hands or those of friends. The real private sector has grown hoarse crying foul, as recently when the state privatisation agency quietly passed ownership of Tehran’s main convention centre to an army pension fund.Finger flags

Because their accounting is off-the-books and the ownership of these businesses is notoriously opaque, it is difficult to gauge their value. But in his first term Mr Ahmadinejad steered billions in uncontested oil, gas and large-scale infrastructure contracts to the IRGC. Its main construction firm, Khatam al-Anbya, could barely keep up with the workload. In 2006 alone the subsidiary received $7 billion to develop gas- and oilfields and for the refurbishment of the Tehran metro system. “It’s got much worse in the last four years,” says one local market analyst. “They’ve become a mafia. They undercut bids by abusing their access to free labour and exploiting their intelligence capabilities [to spy on competitors].”

The IRGC is also widely rumoured to control a near monopoly over the smuggling of alcohol, cigarettes and satellite dishes, among other things in great demand. One MP reckons these black-market deals net it $12 billion a year. This creates not just a drain on state coffers but an incentive to radicalise the regime; the IRGC’s commanders personally profit from Iran’s isolation, since it creates more demand for contraband. Some American congressmen have called for an embargo on petrol imports if Iran does not come to terms over its controversial nuclear programme. The IRGC might even relish that.

In other words, they have a vested interest in all the prostitution and drug use that are now an epidemic in that fair country. And perhaps they would even welcome tighter sanctions. The interests of the ruling clique are not aligned with those of the Iranian people.

The economy in Iran is now in such a parlous state, quite apart from the epidemic social evils, that there is currently, in the harvest season, a shortage of fruit and vegetables. The delicious home-grown rice, distributed from the fertile country to the north of Tehran, is suddenly unavailable and the main bazaar, business district in Tehran is flooded with Chinese goods, to the disgust of Iranians.

Viewing figures for (state-run) television show that audiences are down to 40% of what they were before June12th.

The butcher of Tehran goes

Few names, since Khalkhali, the hanging judge of the years after the revolution, have come to be associated with so much terror and injustice than of chief prosecutor Mortazavi. He has now been fired by Sadeq Larijani, suave former nuclear power negotiator and now head of Iran’s judiciary (and one of the five brothers known as the Kennedys of Iran). Since hope one must, and since injustice is such a key indictment of the present Iranian regime, let us hope that the anarchy, despotism and illegality of the ramshackle and primitive ‘justice’ system will reduce somewhat.

Green for my favourite mullahs

The fates of the several hundred detainees at present caught up in show trials depends on what is essentially a power struggle involving Ayatollah Khamanei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ali Larijani to determine the future direction of the lurching Islamic state, whose very survival is increasingly in doubt.

Scaredy Rat

The  Rat has become increasingly averse to public appearances, for fear of being assassinated. He travels by helicopter for preference. He seldom comes even to parliament, the Majlis. But last week, he put in an appearance there, accompanied by two bodyguards. One of the bodyguards was asked to sit elsewhere, but refused. Eventually parliament ordered both security guards to leave, on the grounds that if Ahmadinejad did not trust his own MPs, he should not be there.

People coming forward in rape cases

According to Advar News, the body of a seventeen year old girl, Saideh Pour-Aghaee (Amaee) who had disappeared, after being arrested by the militia for ululating on the rooftops, has now been identified, raped, and scarred from head to knees with acid. The family applied for release of the body for mourning and burial, but were refused. The girl has been secretly buried in the notorious Plot 302 in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery in Tehran, the site of many alleged mass burials. Her family were intimidated into silence, and into sticking by the story that she had died of kidney failure, but they have broken their silence and are speaking the truth.

A shipment of at least 25 bodies, all of girls who had been raped, is reported by a female attendant at Behesht-e Zahra cemetery.

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