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08.15 RIDE FOR THE OVERRIDE

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09.28 Life is richer when we talk to strangers

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Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

09.30 Child Care Is Finally Getting Some Much-Needed Regulation, But It’s Still Expensive As Hell

09.30 Point of No Return: Earth Reaches 400ppm Threshold Permanently

09.30 The Streetcar Can't Save Your City

09.30 Flint Wins Funding in the Latest Congressional Budget Standoff [thanks, Democrats!]

09.30 Peak salt: is the desalination dream over for the Gulf states? [so pour the brine in the desert where it won't contaminate aquifers...]

09.30 World Bank to name and shame countries that fail their stunted children

09.29 Paris mayor heralds ‘reconquest of Seine’ as riverbank traffic banned

09.29 Mini-nuclear reactors could be operating in the UK by 2030 - report

09.28 Earth 'Locked Into' Hitting Temperatures Not Seen in 2 Million Years: Study

09.28 South Australia storms: entire state left without power after wild weather – live

09.28 New York City accelerates emissions efforts in face of daunting sea level rise

09.28 Lots to lose: how cities around the world are eliminating car parks

09.28 No fracking, drilling or digging: it’s the only way to save life on Earth

09.28 Greenland's receding icecap to expose top-secret US nuclear project

09.27 Germany Has the World's First Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Train [could aviation use hydrogen too?]

09.27 China tops WHO list for deadly outdoor air pollution

09.27 Can the aviation industry finally clean up its emissions?

09.27 US emissions set to miss 2025 target in Paris climate change deal, research finds

News Media Matters

09.28 Lester Holt Asks Zero Questions About Poverty, Abortion, Climate Change

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

09.30 Nation Ready to Finally End 'Detrimental and Deeply Unjust' Hyde Amendment

09.30 Undermining Democracy, Corporations Pouring Millions into Local Ballot Fights

09.29 Baltimore vs. Marilyn Mosby

09.29 Bye bye, Cable Guy: New FCC rules will make it easier to toss the cable box and cut the cord

09.29 'Trump's promises are empty': energy experts lay waste to proposals

09.29 The silence of the lambs: Why sheepish GOP leaders have been conspicuously quiet since Donald Trump’s debate debacle

09.29 Congress Avoids a Pre-Election Shutdown [another kick of the ugly can down the road]

Justice Matters

09.30 Should Prison Really Be the American Way?

09.29 California treasurer imposes year-long ban on working with Wells Fargo

09.29 Wells Fargo Announces $60 Million Clawbacks, But No 'Real Accountability'

09.28 Wells Fargo executives forfeit millions, CEO to forgo salary amid investigation

High Crimes?

09.30 Rodrigo Duterte vows to kill 3 million drug addicts and likens himself to Hitler [0:40video]

09.29 MH17: Buk missile finding sets Russia and west at loggerheads [videos]

09.29 Vladimir Putin’s Outlaw State

09.29 Children bear brunt of alleged chemical weapon attacks in Sudan, says Amnesty

09.29 Two Aleppo hospitals bombed out of service in 'catastrophic' airstrikes

09.28 Amnesty calls off launch of Thai torture report after police warning [something sick is brewing here]

Economics, Crony Capitalism
International

09.28 Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars [war profiteers rake in huge profits, but countries never “win” wars]

09.28 Syrian troops launch ground offensive against Aleppo rebels [video of devastation; will there be profit from fossil fuel we cannot use?]

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  Is the United States serious about Iran?

COMMENTARY:

Is the United States serious about Iran?

by Amil Imani
Bombing Iran will not help the cause. In fact, it will probably create either civil war, or some kind of desperate, lethal unity inside Iran. The more effective way to achieve regime change is to spend Iranian assets in the right way.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently asked Congress for $85 million to support pro-democracy groups inside Iran and also to assist Iranian groups outside Iran who oppose the Islamic regime in Tehran.

It is a very kind gesture from President George W. Bush’s administration, but this program will not change anything in Iran. And it is not likely the $85 million (if Secretary Rice indeed receives it) will be used effectively and wisely.

Yet, there is no denying Bush’s intent of support. In his 2005 state of union address, he again pledged his support for the Iranian people: “And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.”

In Iranian polls, Bush won the 2004 election by a landslide, even though in America, Bush won by only a few hundred votes. Today, Bush is sinking in American polls, but his popularity continues to climb in Iran.

Persian-speaking people have found a friend who says he cares about them. But, at this point, we must ask how serious is President Bush about Iran? Is it all words, with no action?

For five years, President Bush has consistently supported the Iranian people in his state of the union addresses. But it’s been simply a big carrot on a long stick. Or, as they say in Texas, it’s all hat and no cattle. While we have supported the president’s efforts to liberate Iraq and bring democracy to the region, we know the key to peace in Iraq and the region is in the hands of the Iranian people. As long as they are powerless to overthrow the Islamic terrorist regime in Iran, Iraq will never see the light of democracy.

America is spending over $200 million a day for the war in Iraq. In contrast, an $85 million proposal to bring change in Iran, administered over five years or more, is utterly unrealistic. After all, we are talking about the Islamic Republic of Iran—"the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism," according to the U.S. State Department.

So, how do we understand the money problem?

According to the Iranian Studies Group, an independent academic organization at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), more than one in four Iranian-Americans hold a master's or doctoral degree, the highest rate among 67 ethnic groups studied. Iranians are among the most highly educated people in the U.S. and annually contribute over $600 billion into the U.S. economy.

It would be a travesty for the Iranian opposition groups to accept a mere $85 million while the Iranian-Americans are such large contributors to the U.S. economy.

Yet, Iranian-Americans have not given big money to the cause of liberating their fellow Iranians in Iran, and the U.S. government hasn’t given any significant amount for the eradication of the world terrorist regime—the Islamic Republic of Iran. So, we’re back to square one.

But consider this: the United States holds billions of dollars of Iranian assets in U.S. banks. Why not use this financial source to support the Iranian opposition groups who will actively seek regime change in Iran? This money must be returned to its legitimate heirs, the Iranian people, inside Iran and outside Iran.

If the U.S. is serious about a regime change in Iran, if the U.S. is hoping for a democratic form of government in Iran, and if the U.S. truly advocates a broader democracy in the Middle East, the White House must turn the Iranian assets over to all the Iranian opposition groups who want democracy Iran. After all, Iranians know Iranian mentality better than any foreign governments.

It is time for the U.S. government to get serious about regime change in Iran. Bombing Iran will not help the cause. In fact, it will probably create either civil war, or some kind of desperate, lethal unity inside Iran. The more effective way to achieve regime change is to spend the Iranian assets in the right way.

We can create a secular, democratic Iranian nation with our own Iranian money, and obliterate the venomous theocratic regime in Iran—which the majority of Iranians consider to be alien occupiers. The clock is ticking and the majority of Iranians want to be free from the oppressors now. The Bush administration must stop the useless, wasteful bureaucracy and get down to the business of regime change, immediately.


Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American Citizen and pro democracy activist living in the United States of America. Imani is a columnist, literary translator, poet, and novelist who speaks out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran. His website is amilimani.com.


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Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on April 24, 2006.

 

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