Friday, May 29, 2009

'U. S. Bombed Mosque:' Iran Official - 'When in Doubt, Blame the Americans'

A bomb damaged a mosque and killed quite a few people in a southeastern province of Iran. Muslims worshiping at the mosque are of the Shia variety.

Although each report seems to have a different death toll, it looks like well upwards of a dozen people were killed. Whoever set the bomb off had the loud taste to do so during Thursday evening prayers. Worshipers were commemorating the seventh-century death of Fatima, daughter of the prophet Mohammed.

'Obviously,' it's the fault of (the great Satan) America and the Jews.
"'The bomb tragedy that occurred yesterday in the city of Zahedan is awash with Israeli and US fingerprints,' said Tehran's Interim Friday Prayers Leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami.

" 'Without a doubt, it was a scheme to drive a wedge between the Shia population and the Sunni minority in Iran,' he added.

"Ayatollah Khatami said that the perpetrators of the bomb attack have been identified and will be brought to justice...." (PRESS TV)

"Round up the Usual Suspects"

That "perpetrators ... have been identified..." reminded me of the familiar "Round up the usual suspects. (Captain Renault, Casablanca, 1942)

There's little doubt that Iran's intelligence and law enforcement agencies work quickly. In this case, it seems that the dust had just settled when they arrested someone. It helps, I suppose, when you've got a short list of enemies of the state available for emergencies.

One problem with having a list of "the usual suspects" is that they're not always the guilty parties.

I think some elements in Iran's leadership may be doing a little preemptive damage control, in case the parties arrested turn out to be the wrong ones.
"Several suspects have been arrested and were being questioned Friday in the bombing of a Shia mosque in southeastern Iran, according to the provincial governor....

"...No group publicly accepted responsibility for the attack, but [governor of Sistan and Balochistan province, Ali-Mohammad] Azad blamed a terrorist group, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported. He said intelligence forces were quick to identify and arrest those behind the incident, who were trying to leave the country after the attack...." (CNN)
The score so far:
  • "...The city of Zahedan is awash with Israeli and US fingerprints..."
    • Tehran's Interim Friday Prayers Leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami
  • "...a terrorist group..."
    • Provincial governor Ali-Mohammad Azad
The CNN report didn't give much detail, so the provincial governor and Tehran's Interim Friday Prayers Leader may be on the same page.

The BBC gave a bit more detail.
"..Jalal Sayah, deputy governor of Sistan-Baluchestan province, said three people had been arrested following the attack.

" 'According to the information we obtained they were hired by America and the agents of arrogance,' he said...."

"...However, Jalal Sayah, in comments to the semi-official Fars news agency, accused the attackers of being mercenaries hired by the US.

"It is a common accusation from the Iranians, the BBC's Jon Leyne in Tehran says, and the facts of this case may never be known.

"But it is an open secret that former US President George W Bush directed large amounts of money to try to destabilise Iran and there is no sign the policy is any different under President Barack Obama, our correspondent adds." (BBC) [emphasis mine]

The Great Satan America, Diabolical George Bush, and - - - Oh, Say it Ain't So, President Obama!

Judging from the way BBC 'clarified' the Iranian accusations, I'd say that President Barack Obama's honeymoon is over, for at least part of the traditional news media.

Again, the usual disclaimer: this blog isn't political, but Western leaders get chosen by political means. And, since they're the ones making the decisions, the war on terror (which no longer officially exists) gets mixed up in politics now and again.

I doubt that Barack Obama will inspire the blind hate that the "diabolical" George W. Bush stirred up in 'sophisticated' Americans: but I'm quite sure that he'll be a serious disappointment to many of his supporters.

As I've said before: It's different, when you're in charge. President Obama's first hundred days in office have shown, I think, that he's not a fool. And, that he wants America to be around for his second term.

But I'm getting off topic.

Assumptions, the Great Satan America, Commie Plots, and Right Wing Extremists

One of the drawbacks, I think, of dominating a country's government, news media, educational institutions, and other information gatekeepers, is the tendency to start believing one's own propaganda.

In today's Iran, the Great Satan America and Israel are - if you believe the country's leaders - to blame for many if not most of their problems.

They're not the first, by far, to use 'those people over there' as scapegoats.

When I was growing up, there were still quite a few Americans who earnestly believed that commie plots were behind their troubles. The Soviet Block was a serious threat to American security at the time, assuming that living on collectives isn't a good idea. But 'real Americans' took that reality and ran with it: screaming right off the ragged edge of sanity.

Frank Burns, of M*A*S*H, is a caricature: But there were people with similar views.
'It Can't Happen Here'?
Today's America will not see an exact replay of the McCarthy era. Commie hunting has been discredited to an extent that I think ensures that it will not come back.

Human nature, however, hasn't changed in my lifetime.

It's very easy to assume that people you don't like, or whose ideas are not the same as yours, are to blame when bad things happen. That doesn't make it true.

I think we're seeing a sort of commie hunting - in reverse - emerging in America. And I don't like it.

"Right wing extremists," Ron Paul supporters, people with pro-life views, and American veterans have been identified - by government entities - as people who might be terrorists.

So were people in the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

On the surface, it looks like people with extreme liberal and conservative views were identified. Take a slightly closer look, though, and you'll notice that on the liberal side, it's discrete groups - which have been involved or implicated in domestic terrorism - on the extreme fringe of the liberal spectrum which are identified.

On the other hand, it seems that anyone who is distinctly to the right of center, or an American veteran, is - in the eyes of MIAC and the DHS - a potential terrorist. (April 15, 2009)

I saw the mess left by America's McCarthy era. I'd just as soon not see another period when people with views which deviate from officially approved beliefs are targeted as enemies of the state.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.