No Vacation Complacency for Iran

The Bomb, Iran's Mullahs and Doomsday by Amil Imani

It is the holiday season and we all have received this most welcome present: the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate about Iran’s nuclear problem. Since 2003 the mullahs running Iran have, on their own and through their own goodwill, have ceased all activities aimed at acquiring the bomb, so says the report. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about folks, nothing to spoil the holiday season, and there is good reason to be upbeat about a safe and secure world. Superficial reading of the CIA’s presentation of the findings is the comfort pill that successfully sugar-coats swallowing even the most unpalatable news.

A word of advice for President Bush: now you can also relax and give the celebratory mood a boost by ordering the armed forces to stand down. We have enough trouble in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots of the world. This huge worry about the mullahs’ bomb is a distraction and doesn’t rate anything. Why listen to the warmonger alarmist Dick Cheney and his Neo-cons and keep us all in a jittery mood about the men-of-Allah mullahs? Mr. President, in addition to the comforting NIE report (which was incidentally ordered by your adoring fans, Congress Democrats), you probably want to hear the dissenters and the skeptics before impulsively singing the praise of the mullahs, as Jimmy Carter did, or hastily launching a re-enactment of “ Shock and Awe,” this time on Iran.

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Also, The San Antonio Express-News' Todd Bensman reveals why Nicaraguan citizens' concerns about the ominous Iranian beach-head being developed there also concerns American officials.

... Some of the men were from the Islamic Republic of Iran and had come promising to establish a Central American foothold in the middle of their territory.

As part of a new partnership with Nicaragua's Sandinista President Daniel Ortega, Iran and its Venezuelan allies plan to help finance a $350 million deep-water port at Monkey Point on the wild Caribbean shore, and then plow a connecting "dry canal" corridor of pipelines, rails and highways across the country to the populous Pacific Ocean. Iran recently established an embassy in Nicaragua's capital.

In feeling threatened by Iran's ambitions, the people of Monkey Point have powerful company. The Iranians' arrival in Nicaragua comes as the Bush administration and some European allies hold the threat of war over Iran to force an end to its uranium enrichment program and alleged help to anti-U.S. insurgents in Iraq.

What worries state department officials, former national security officials and counterterrorism researchers is that, if attacked, Iran could stage strikes on American or allied interests from Nicaragua, deploying the Iranian terrorist group Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guard operatives already in Latin America. Bellicose threats by Iran's clerical leadership to hit American interests worldwide if attacked, by design or not, heighten the anxiety.

"The bottom line is if there is a confrontation with Iran, and Iran gets bombed, I have absolutely no doubt that Iran is going to lash out globally," said John R. Schindler, a veteran former counterintelligence officer and analyst for the National Security Agency.

"The Iranians have that ability, particularly from South America. Hezbollah has fronts all over Latin America. That is not new. But it's certainly something we're starting to care about now."

American policymakers already had been fretting in recent years over Tehran's successful forging of diplomatic relations, direct air routes and embassy swaps with
populist South American governments that abhor the U.S., such as President Hugo
Chávez's Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. But Iran's latest move places it just a
few porous borders from Texas, where illegal Nicaraguan laborers routinely travel.

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Finally, the year wouldn't be complete without a JibJab 2007 Year in Review. And what 2007 Year in Review would be complete without Britney Spears, Alberto Gonzalez, Michael Vick and the almighty iPhone? This funny animation has them all, and so much more!

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