Global News: October 2003 Archives

Yes, you read that right. The grandson of Ayatollah Khomenei, himself a Shiite Muslim cleric now living in Baghdad, is hoping for American initiative in the overthrow of the Islamic theocracy established by his grandfather. Christopher Hitchens interviewed Hossein Khomenei for Slate:

In any event, added Khomeini, there was an important distinction between what the Quran said and what an ayatollah as head of state might say. "We cannot nowadays have executions in this form." Indeed, he added, it was the policy of executions that had turned the Islamic revolution in Iran sour in the first place. "Now we have had 25 years of a failed Islamic revolution in Iran, and the people do not want an Islamic regime anymore."

It's not strictly necessary to speak to Hossein Khomeini to appreciate the latter point: Every visitor to Iran confirms it, and a large majority of the Iranians themselves have voted for anti-theocratic candidates. The entrenched and reactionary regime can negate these results up to a certain point; the only question is how long can they do so? Young Khomeini is convinced that the coming upheaval will depend principally on those who once supported his grandfather and have now become disillusioned. I asked him what he would like to see happen, and his reply this time was very terse and did not require any Quranic scriptural authority or explication. The best outcome, he thought, would be a very swift and immediate American invasion of Iran.

Hat tip to Clayton Cramer for the link.

Front Line Voices from Iraq and Afghanistan


Periodically I check out a global news weblog called Winds of Change, which features a twice-weekly roundup of news from Iraq. The latest roundup included a link to an item about the challenges posed by Iraq's tribal social structure, which is reinforced by the practice of cousin marriage.

There was also an item about a new weblog. Blogger Frank Fleming, voicing the widespread frustration in the Blogosphere with the Western media tendency to trumpet bad news from Iraq and Afghanistan, has launched a new website called Front Line Voices. Here's what it's all about:

Since, as the saying goes, perception is nine-tenths of reality, those who control what we learn about the war in Iraq and other conflicts have an immense power. They can spin a victory into a failure, and a perceived failure in the fight against tyranny can only strengthen the resolve of tyrants.

It has increasingly been the complaint of many troops that the picture that the media is painting of the progress in the War on Terror is far from reality. The mission of this site is to get out the full story by posting first-hand accounts as written by men and women who have actually been to Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no editing or commentary by those who run this site, and we will print any letter or story submitted by a legitimate source who has served overseas. Our only goal is to offer you the opportunity to read these stories and to find out what the reality is.

They have already gathered a number of stories from months past that have been published on various weblogs, including many letters written in response to care packages from the US. Here's an excerpt from a letter written by a Navy corpsman to his mom, who had written asking if he would mind if she joined an anti-war demonstration in Hollywood:

Dear Mom:

It's really your decision to march if you want to or not. You are the one who has to decide if what we are doing out here is right or not. My opinion is not yours. I do, however, have things I would like for you and Grandma and everyone else at home to know. ...

We live in a country where people feel secure with their daily lives. They do business like usual and don't worry about the thought of terrorism actually happening to them.

The people of 9-11 thought the same thing. We now know that it can happen to anyone at any time.

Yet as Americans we're afraid of losing our soldiers to defend our security. I can only speak for myself when I say that my life is an easy expense to ensure that my family and friends can live in peace. I strongly believe in what we are doing and wish you were here to see for yourselves the honor and privilege that American soldiers aboard this ship are feeling, knowing that we are going to be a part of something so strong and so meaningful to the safety of our loved ones. Then you would know what this potential war is about. We will stand tall in front of terrorism and defeat it. We as soldiers are not afraid of what may happen. We are only afraid of Americans not being able to understand why we are here.

This site will be worth our attention.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Global News category from October 2003.

Global News: September 2003 is the previous archive.

Global News: November 2003 is the next archive.

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