Friday, July 30, 2004


One of the saner takes I have seen so far on how to counter Iranian nuclear ambitions. Many thanks to a new friend for Dr. Meshkati’s article. Copy and paste:

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Decency to avoid cicatrices!

I am still reading the report on 911.  What I wanted to write about today, though, is an issue that is becoming very emotional for me.  As those of you reading my blog might have noticed, I am becoming more acrimonious and cynical everyday.  It is hard to remain sane these days.

A sign of times though.  Almost everyone—no matter what his or her political orientation-- seems to be expecting a bumpy ride in the coming months.  The pitch is going to get shriller and that is to be expected.  There will be charges and countercharges.   Certain matters are to be revisited, for revisionism has always been part and parcel of all political conflicts.  Trial balloons are to be floated, and that too is to be expected. 

The broad contours of the debates to come are visible and obvious; the issue of terrorism, nuclear proliferation, WMDs, and Human Rights.  Another issue sure to be revisited is to be the matter of the use of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war.

There is a lesson a young Jewish man once taught me many years ago in a foreign university I was attending.  The details are becoming murkier with each passing day, but his face is not.  It was either the Israeli Independence Day, or the Arab Land Day; can’t remember for sure.  There were celebrations, protests, counter protests, loud arguments, shoving, flag theft and furious men on the brink of fist fights, and of course a Star of David with a Swastika drawn in the middle.

As I was passing through the crowd a young man, yarmulke, glasses and all, caught my attention in the middle of all the raucous.  He was out of place for he was quietly weeping.  I have never been able to get those tears out of my mind. 

You see, I have always had an odd reaction to tears.  I think it might have something to do with my mother.  She is a very strong woman, reserve and subtle.  She has been sickly for as long as I remember.  In our younger days, I would catch her quietly weeping because of nasty headaches that seemed to last for ever. 

What made her quiet tears so maddening for me was the fact that although she was always in pain, she insisted on boasting a lovely smile in public, or when around her husband and children.  The sheer magnitude of the pain that would have made her cries so uncontrollable, even as a young child struck me as terribly, terribly unbearable. 

So there was the man and his tears.   I approached him to ask why he was crying in the midst of such loud madness. And he said he had lost relatives during the Holocaust and added, “you have no idea how hurt that Swastika makes me feel.”  Or something like that.

I wasn’t all too sophisticated about politics, history or other such matters. In many ways, I still am not.    But I think I knew pain.  Nothing, I told myself, would justify inflicting such a pain on another being.

 Think what you want about Israel, the nature of the Middle East conflict, the occupation of Palestinians or the Israeli tactics. There is a certain comparison that has always been off limits for me.   It didn’t take many political arguments, lectures on history, philosophy, economics or visits to the Holocaust Museum.    The young Jewish man communicated to me the imperative of treating certain questions as a matter of elementary decency.    

No momentary political gains would ever justify his tears for me. Certain sorts of rhetorical devices are simply cheap.   Some things are not worth it or just flat wrong.  I might be soft, idealistic, naive, foolish, or whatever other epithet you would want to hurl my way.  This simple principle, however untenable it might appear at times, has been a must for me.

I bring this up because I can read the writing on the wall.  In order for the matter to come to blows with Iran, the issue of mass poisoning of Iranians and the Kurds is going to have to be turned upside down.  Saddam is a monster, we were told.  He gassed his own people, we were told.  He had to be destroyed in order to ensure our collective security. 

The gassing issue was one of the fundamental pillars of the interventionist argument. So now, it has to become an Iranian problem.  And all I wanted to say is DON’T DO IT!

Have the decency to let Iranians bear their wounds without adding insult to injury.  There will be lots of other issues.  Hundreds of reasons, really.  You can weave any narrative nowadays with proper patience and in due time.   All of us can get away with all sorts of inanities.  Even I have figured that much. 

But is it too much to expect elementary decency?  Nothing good can ever come of obscene approaches, I tell you. 

There are tens of thousands here, still, who are suffering gravely, with scabs, boils and acute respiratory afflictions.  There are funerals, almost everyday, for the ones whose torment finally comes to an end.  It is too sad.  Too painful. Way too many tears. 

And we know who helped gas them. Who profited.  And who subsidized their suffering and murder.  We also know whose taxes. 

So, make all the other arguments in the world, if that’s your thing. 

And if it must come to blows, it comes to blows.  No one lives for ever.  We either die, or we muddle our way through. 

 But back the f#@k off the chemical poisoning issue.      


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Don’t be shy!

Can’t wait to see the actual report on 9/11, especially the section about the alleged Iranian connection.  In anticipation, I looked at Ledeen’s latest musings.  Lots of interesting stuff.  I must admit, though, that nothing our ruling clergy does can surprise me much.  They have blood on their hands…mostly our own citizens’.  That said, how does one settle the issue of Ledeen’s allegations? How credible is he?   Take this section of his article about a recent meeting in Iran: 
At the recent meetings in Tehran between a Syrian delegation led by President Bashar Assad and the Iranians, including Supreme Leader Khamenei and top deputies including strongman Rafsanjani, the head of intelligence Yunesi, several leading officials of the Revolutionary Guards, and Foreign Minister Kharazi, the two sides agreed on five key points:
A common strategy involving Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah to thwart American plans for the democratization of the Middle East;
Coordination of joint operations against the Coalition and the interim government in Iraq;Coordination of political strategy to influence groups and countries that oppose the American presence in Iraq;
Planning for revenge should Israel attack Iranian nuclear, chemical or missile sites, or Syria's chemical and missile sites, or Hezbollah bases;
Full cooperation to prevent the reelection of President Bush, including all possible measures (such as sabotage of oil pipelines and terminals) to drive up the price of oil.

Mr. Ledeen’s own words can be instructive on how to evaluate reports of events that can’t possibly be common knowledge. 
This is Mr. Ledeen of The Agency Rides Again:
“ML: It's fascinating to watch the anti-Chalabi campaign in Washington. You probably can't keep up with it, but some intel officials in town are saying two things to the journalists: 1) We broke the Iranians' communication codes, so we were reading their mail. Chalabi found out about this, and told the Iranian intelligence chief in Baghdad. 2) The Iranian immediately contacted Tehran to tell them that we had broken the code. Then they said to journalists, "you can't write about this because it would jeopardize our people."
JJA: So they're saying that the Iranians' chief operative in Baghdad told Tehran that their codes had been broken...and his message was sent in the same code?
ML: Seems so.
JJA: Hahahahahahaha. Impossible! If the Iranians knew that we were reading their mail, they would never let us know that they knew. They would continue to use the codes, but instead of sending accurate messages they would use those channels for disinformation against us.
ML: Yes, they're smart enough for that. I've often said that they may be crazy, but they are certainly not stupid.
JJA: Furthermore, using the same logic, if we knew that Chalabi had told the Iranians, we would never go public with the accusations. We would use Chalabi to disinform them. And the information that we had broken the Iranian code doesn't compromise human sources, because most codebreaking is done by supercomputers, and isn't obtained from spies.
ML: So what was this all about?
JJA: Oh, I think it's mostly political, and has little if anything to do with intelligence. The CIA loves to smear people they don't like with claims of super-secret intelligence that rarely exists. 
Mr. Ledeen can’t possibly be “dumber” than Iranian operatives, or the CIA, can he?
On a personal note: light blogging will have to continue for a bit longer.  But I was thinking today: aside from the occasional insult and those brief notes expressing intense desire to see us carpet bombed by B-52s or simply having our genitals fed to the pigs, I also receive emails from incredibly interesting cheloveks who give me hope about the future.  I know there are quite a few out there who have never written to say hello! 

 So, I am thinking today, life might be all too brief really.  Who can know where any of us might end up in a few short months?!!   So, be a darling and introduce yourselves, and share some of your insights or concerns.  Someone reminded me recently of what a fascinating sort of territory cyberspace can be.  Being neighborly requires occasional greetings, don’t you agree

Monday, July 12, 2004

Rage of Silence

The weather has been unseasonably cool lately, with thunder and rain blessing us for three consecutive days making the experience of our pollution poisoning feel a little more leisurely. There is even less of the usual frenzy evident in the streets.

The much ballyhooed revolution the expatriate satellite programs clamored about never materialized of course, which was not much of a surprise really. Over a million students were out taking the university entrance exams on the 18th of Tir and all returned home safely, and quietly; well almost all though most, I am guessing, have been permanently bruised by their experience of those absurd, stultifying exams.

Incidentally, it has been heart wrenching to watch students especially this past month. You wouldn’t believe the numbers who attended the final exams with a bucket and towels. Some were so anxious, they couldn’t stop throwing up. And they call this education. More like endless torture and torment.

What I thought we had here until recently was a classic case of a stalemate. But it has changed—just ever so slightly. A wise friend calls it the rage of silence. And right he is. A great deal of anger simmers below only to burst out occasionally in the shouting matches between family members, colleagues or neighbors, and in the often rude exchanges with the grocers, butchers, fruit vendors, and in those seemingly omnipresent fist fights on the streets. Of course, the relentless insults against the ruling clergy continue unabated.

Even the army guys and the police aren’t spared. You can’t miss any of the loud, belligerent encounters and the regular punches or kicks thrown their way every now and again. As I have maintained for months, ours is not the profile of a petrified, defeated citizenry-- docile and passive. For an authoritarian society, we are some of the most belligerent, pigheaded, unyielding and lawless citizens you’ll encounter anywhere on the planet.

Iranian society is highly traumatized for now with citizens being profoundly disappointed and disillusioned. This past twenty five years, people have lived a perpetual nightmare here. We have had a civil war, a campaign of terror coupled with fiendish government crackdown claiming anywhere between 30-100,000 lives.

And the long war against our unfortunate Iraqi neighbors took a very substantial toll on the country’s infrastructure and on our society generally, with human losses numbering around a million dead and wounded. Thus the blood lust, evident is certain North American circles, is simply just not present here. (I am not crediting the source because I’d like to think the sweet, thoughtful person I once knew was having a bad day when he approvingly linked to this piece of hair curling rubbish!)
Most have lost stomach for widespread murder and mayhem here.

Iranians have also become cynical. Most have had it with endless babble and ideological campaigns. Revolution promised heavenly justice and prosperity for all, and instead, created a wretched, abusive society, delivering only to the obscene gluttony/avarice of a minority. Then there was the reform movement whose leaders rode the wave of enthusiasm for change only to stuff their own pockets delivering in return almost zilch. So in a sense we have all become, quite literally, Americans here.

To want to remold the entire Middle East, imagine, without so much as missing a beat in daily chores…working, shopping, drinking, partying, shopping, shopping, shopping. (or “terrorists will have won,” with young soldiers quietly dying in far away places and/or systematically killing those nasty Arabs. Fight them in Baghdad so no one has to fight them in Boston, ey? Well, this is the unspoken consensus here as well. “Let them fight it out and we’ll safeguard what little peace there is to continue our shopping.”

The ultimate irony of Iraq, you could say. Just as Iranians thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse; all were reminded again that war, terrorism, blackouts, photographed torture, plundering expats, and troops roaming the streets with tanks and numerous checkpoints aren’t really anyone’s idea of a better future.

In the meanwhile, those with the means here continue to load up with money, land, shiny new cars, clothing, furniture, stocks, foreign currency, etc, so they won’t fall behind the neighbors or friends and those unfortunate poor bastards….the needy, the unemployed, the impoverished?

Well, the last time they trusted someone with direct access to the Almighty, they got shafted and are still paying for their gullibility. They are not about to become anyone else’s cannon fodder, not anytime soon any way. No one is ready to fall for a new scam this time around. The hustle is going to have to be pretty damn promising before anyone makes a move.

See the world through the prism of some hard working, cunning survivor for a minute. Does it make sense, for instance, to put all your eggs in the Monarchists’ basket? For now, our monarchists have decided to completely align themselves with the Bush leaguers and the Likudniks--down to the minutia of the insults (“self-hating Iranians” sounds funny, doesn’t it?)

Domestically, if as Mrs. Pahlavi admits “everything at the end is really about money,” why should anyone support a new group who has been out of power for 25 years? Especially since they deserted the country once with all their belongings and treasures, managing as well not to have done a single honest day’s work since. Even more damning, aren’t they really almost out of money anyways? Wouldn’t they want to do first what (and the only thing) all puppets in the Middle East are exceedingly proficient at….filling their own coffers at the expense of their subjects?

At least this reigning group of bandits could have had their fill by now, and perhaps they’ll begin to throw some bones at others, though I am highly skeptical myself. The avarice and acquisitive frenzy in today’s Iran, I have not encountered in many places around the globe. It is absolutely astonishing.

What about freedom? Dignity? Human Rights? Equal opportunity? You may wonder. Well, judge for yourselves the occupation models, such as they are. If you have been stung repeatedly by those who promise big, yet fail to delivered, would you really move a single step if some one told you to jump?

Remember this is a society whose members literally walked on mines to defend their homes and yet some of the same families find themselves without shelter as pimple faced youngsters with gel soaked hair ride in shiny new cars picking up whores, partying, doing ecstasy, drinking and playing techno loudly. This society can explode quicker than you can blink an eye. But not just yet! No one is in a hurry to fall for silly promises again.

And the concerned global community? We have all heard from them before as well. The last time we checked, with the exception of the Israelis and the Syrians, their whole damned establishment ganged up and profited handsomely from murder and mass poisoning of our relatives and friends. Would you really blame anyone here for being so cynical?

Iranians are generally cable of much decency, sacrifice and heroism, but they have retreated within for now. They have been abused, taken advantage of, and hustled one too many times. They blame others, but above all by their inaction and inquietude, they seem to signal a measure of guilt and responsibility. Most are acting prudently and are being circumspect. They have become savvy enough to look out for the numero uno, for now!

And so, in effect, they are mostly withholding all their creative energies from the regime they live under and focus instead on collecting stuff for the household, making money and having fun….however selfishly and mindlessly.

But this state can’t last long, if you ask me. The hardliners in power have been full of initiatives and show all the enthusiasm of a newly minted manager at a not so profitable firm. There is a new creepiness about them. My hunch is, they want to clamp down on ostentations, and some visible corruption. They are moving slowly to lay down some new guidelines: “do what you want in private, but don’t disrespect our authority in public…or you’ll pay.” Law and Order, with capital letters, has been on the agenda.

And in another ominous sign of the things to come, the thirteenth Congress of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran just voted to abandon its long held strategic objective, “Democracy for Iran, Autonomy for Kurdistan,” in favor of a new found passion for federalism, of sorts! KDPI also appointed a new Chief: Mr. Mustafa Hejri. A different front seems to have suddenly opened (again) in the ongoing saga of the Greater Middle East initiative.

A development worth watching closely especially in light of the recent clashes between the Army and the Turkish Kurds.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Benjamin Franklin & Iran

The Independence Day that Americans everywhere celebrate is a bitter sweet day for some here. It was only yesterday that we commemorated the sad anniversary of the U.S.S. Vincennes destruction of the Iranian passenger jet with a loss of 290 lives. Pedram has some reflections on the calamity.

The relations between the U.S. and Iran have been tumultuous in recent years. You would (justifiably) get the impression of one giant, perpetual evolving scandal; from the 1953 coup that toppled the popular administration of Mossadegh, to the support, spanning over a quarter of century, for the authoritarian regime of the late Shah Mohamad Reza Pahlavi, as well as the backing for Saddam during the war, the hostage crisis, the Marines in Beirut, the Iran-Contra affair and the ongoing saga of the nuclear proliferation and the differing perspectives about the future of Iraq.

But there is a bridge. At least, a couple of million individuals of Iranian descent have found a welcoming haven on the shores of the United States. Meet one of my favorites. Perhaps one day some might choose to return and help build a more civil future in Iran.

This post is going to be positive though. It is, after all, the Fourth of July. I think some years ago I read in this Leonard Levy book, about what the hapless King George III had written in his diary on July 4, 1776: “Nothing of importance happened today.” Sounds funny today, doesn’t it? But some thing significant did happen that day.

Among the group of men we have come to know as the Founding Fathers, one of my favorite has always been Benjamin Franklin. Most know him as a scientist, an essayist, and an entrepreneur who boasts a wicked sense of humor. What some may also find interesting is that Mr. Franklin also has been implicated in a scandal of his own, which in a round about way involves Iran.

Now, I must admit, I appreciate the man especially because of his relationship with Thomas Paine. There is an outstanding translation of Paine’s Common Sense prominently displayed in some of the bookshops close to the University of Tehran. If only some could have had the sagacity to learn! Oddly enough though, I haven’t found his Rights of Men! Must be a sign from gods!

I digress though. Back in 1776, of course, there was no America as we know today. Empire would have been a dirty word. And Iran was known then as Persia. Still, there was certain symmetry.

Persia was just becoming stable again, after 40 years of turmoil, thanks to the reign of Karim Khan Zand. He too shared the Founding Father’s disdain for kings. So even though he is associated with the Zand Dynasty, he refused to refer to himself by that odious title, “King of kings” preferring instead Vakil—literally a regent. He cuts taxes and get the government off people’s backs, which is why he is remembered today as a compassionate ruler, chiefly interested in expanding commerce, promoting sciences and the arts.

But luckily for us and Mr. Franklin, the scandal (at least this time) doesn’t involve money, arms, or intrigue. Now that takes character. No wonder they are called the Founding Fathers. The matter in question involves a certain “Parable against Persecution,” and the charge is “plagiarism.”

Read the full account here. Apparently, Mr. Franklin is caught having fun using a story that is ascribed to the Persian poet Saadi which he passes as a lost book of Genesis. I must admit, however, that to date, I have never managed to locate the original story myself. Here is the short version:

“To amuse himself with an oriental apologue which he called "The Parable of Persecution," he had the story bound with a Bible. From this book he would read the legend aloud, amazing his auditors that so beautiful a scriptural passage had escaped their knowledge.

The form in which Franklin cast the tale is this:
"And it came to pass after these things, that Abraham sat in the door of his tent, about the going down of the sun.

"And behold a man, bowed with age, came from the way of the wilderness, leaning on a staff.

"And Abraham arose and met him, and said unto him, `Turn in, I pray thee, and wash thy feet, and tarry all night, and thou shalt arise early on the morrow, and go thy way.'

"But the man said, `Nay, for I will abide under this tree.'
"And Abraham pressed him greatly: so he turned and they went into the tent, and Abraham baked unleavened bread, and they did eat.

"And when Abraham saw that the man blessed not God, he said unto him, `Wherefore dost thou not worship the most high God, Creator of heaven and earth?'

"And the man answered and said, `I do not worship the God thou speakest of, neither do I call upon his name; for I have made to myself a god, which abideth alway in mine house, and provideth me with all things.'

"And Abraham's zeal was kindled against the man, and he arose and fell upon him, and drove him forth with blows into the wilderness.
"And at midnight God called unto Abraham, saying, `Abraham, where is the stranger?'

"And Abraham answered and said, `Lord, he would not worship thee, neither would he call upon thy name; therefore have I driven him out from before my face into the wilderness.'

"And God said, `Have I borne with him these hundred and ninety and eight years, and nourished him, and clothed him, notwithstanding his rebellion against me; and couldst not thou, that art thyself a sinner, bear with him one night?'
"And Abraham said, `Let not the anger of the Lord wax hot against his servant; lo, I have sinned; lo, I have sinned; forgive me, I pray thee.'

"And Abraham arose, and went forth into the wilderness, and sought diligently for the man, and found him, and returned with him to the tent; and when he had treated him kindly, he sent him away on the morrow with gifts.
"And God spake again unto Abraham, saying, `For this thy sin shall thy seed be afflicted four hundred years in a strange land.

"`But for thy repentance will I deliver them; and they shall come forth with power, and with gladness of heart, and with much substance.'"

Allow me to conclude on a personal note to my readers: those of you who never tire of insulting us, mindlessly disparaging our way of life, however problematic it might be: heed Franklin’s warning!

Those of you, who never tire of repeating that you were deceived into a war, perpetually blaming the neocons, the Israelis and their agents, or Iranians and their agents, note Franklin’s pointer!

And to those who never tire of bullying citizens and trampling rights: listen up: there are consequences. The Declaration says so!

Friday, July 02, 2004

The kangaroo court

My old pal Gil had a link recently to an interesting interview in Dissent Magazine with the famed Polish trade union activist/essayist/journalist, Adam Michnik.

Michnik offers a series of arguments grounded in “moral imperative” of sorts to defend the Bush regime’s Iraqi expedition, and the continued Polish involvement in the occupation of Iraq. Since his is not a modern variety of the old Athenian argument at Melos, i.e. “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must,” frequently advanced, albeit mildly disguised in a language of humanitarianism, by the interventionists, his voice can not be easily dismissed.

Michnik’s arguments, especially given his nobility of character, experiences and principled activism are compelling enough to warrant scrutiny. Do read the interview if the spirit moves you, and I’ll have some thoughts on it later. Here is an exchange of note that interests me today:

TC: In my discussions with some other Polish intellectuals, who are critical of the war, they claim that Iraq is not the same kind of situation.
AM: It's never the same.
TC: They say that the intellectuals who support the war in Iraq don't understand that Saddam Hussein is not Adolf Hitler, and so on. I interviewed Jacek Kuron the other day and, as you know, he was against the war. He was critical of the idea that the fight against Saddam Hussein is the same thing as the fight against Hitler.
AM: Well, it's obvious that Saddam is not Hitler. Pol Pot was not Hitler either. My fundamental question is, What would Saddam Hussein have to do for my dear friend Jacek to agree that he's as bad as Hitler? What more would he have had to do? Invade Poland and build gas chambers in Auschwitz one more time?

Michnik is the first to admit we live in an “imperfect world” whose “overriding color is grey.” But how many shades?

The reason I ask, of course, is the transcript of the opening day of Saddam’s trial. Here are the charges he faces as reported in the Independent:

Invading Kuwait, 1990
On 2 August 1990, 100,000 Iraqis invaded Kuwait. A government was set up and Saddam threatened to turn Kuwait City into a "graveyard" if any country dared challenge the takeover by force.
Suppressing Kurdish and Shia uprisings, 1991
After the Gulf war, Saddam's government seemed on the verge of collapse. Shias and Kurds in the north revolted, killing many Sunni Arabs. Saddam's regime responded with a bloody crackdown.
Anfal ethnic cleansing campaign against Kurds, 1987-88
The Anfal (spoils of war) campaign was the Iraqi government's genocidal campaignto reassert control over Kurdish areas. It involved mass summary executions.
Gassing Kurdish villagers in Halabja, 1988
Halabja was a town of 50,000 people, near the Iranian border. It was target of chemical attacks ordered by Saddam's cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid - Chemical Ali.
Killing political activists
A UN report in 1998 stated that Iraq had executed at least 1,500 people during the previous year.
Killing thousands of the Kurdish Barzani clan, 1983
Iraqi security forces killed 8,000 Barzani men and boys in revenge for Kurdish collusion with Iranian forces in July 1983.

So: the invasion of Kuwait bad! The other invasion good! Massacre of the Kurds (now) bad! The other massacre and mass poisoning (still) good! 11 of his advisors bad! His powerful enablers good! No shame, really!

The message Mr. Bush’s Occupation Force and their Iraqi collaborators have chosen to send us is being heard loud and clear. The latest chapter of the saga which began on 9/11 is finding (temporary) closure in this Kangaroo court. Nothing has changed after all. It is the same business as usual it has always been.

Just so we know how things stand in our planet: one tie wearing goon is back in (a different) town hoping to organize more death squads! The missing billions from Iraq will probably turn up in the Latin or South America once again—probably somewhere in Venezuela! Assorted petty tyrants, women haters, suicide bombers, home demolishers, head choppers, low and high tech killers, tormentors, wall builders, abusers, torturers, bigots, Jihadists, cru-sadists, and potential mass murderers have the run of the place and probably feel more secure and self confident than ever before.

And here we have also mobile gulags, secret prisons, suspended civil liberties, murder and mayhem. Not to be forgotten of course: more hate, venom and hot air planet wide than all the gasses supposedly responsible for the global warming.

So back to Mr. Michnik: at what point does Saddam become a Hitler? Saddam of 1960’s on the CIA payroll? Saddam of the late 70’s of the infamous videotaped party purges? The Saddam who attacks Iran? The Saddam who shakes hand with a Rumsfeld? The Saddam who gasses upward of 100,000 Iranians? Saddam, the good ally of the Reagan administration? The Saddam who incurs odious debts--between 1-3 billions alone from the US Department of Agriculture , one among so many other lenders world wide? The Saddam of Anfal ethnic cleansing--still an ally of the Reagan administration? The Saddam of 1991 butchery as foreign soldiers watch from some distance? Or the toothless, defeated Saddam of the murderous sanctions’ regime, projected backward in time to justify the present status quo?

And the whereabouts of the missing principles in this trail?!

The Bush administration has just signaled its position (again) loudly and unequivocally! Where does Mr. Michnik stand now?