Jewish World Review July 23, 2002 / 14 Menachem-Av, 5762

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
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Iran's is on the verge of a social and political explosion. So why is media ignoring it? | Iran is on the brink of a social and political explosion which is likely to shower us with shrapnel. That you've heard almost nothing about the tumultous events occurring there is an indication of the moral and professional bankruptcy of contemporary journalism.

On July 12, President Bush issued a statement which said in part: "In the last two Iranian presidential elections and in nearly a dozen parliamentary and local elections, the vast majority of the Iranian people voted for poltical and economic reform. Yet their voices are not listened to by the unelected people who are the real rulers of Iran...Iranian students and Parliamentarians are still arrested, intimidated, and abused for advocating reform or criticizing the ruling regime..."

Bush's statement was prompted by monster anti-government rallies July 9 in Tehran, Tabriz and Isfahan, and by two remarkable defections from the Islamic revolutionary regime. Ayatollah Jalaleddin Taheri, Imam of Isfahan, resigned in protest of clerical fascism. Reza Khatami, brother of Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, said the refusal of the government to reform leaves the Iranian people with just two choices: "dictatorship or uprising."

Uprising could be just around the corner. Debkafile, a private intelligence service based in Israel, devoted its entire report for the week of July 19 to Iran "because, according to our best sources, the internal situation there is so volatile the regime could be overthrown suddenly by a popular uprising backed by the army."

That view is shared by Michael Ledeen, who monitors developments in Iran for the American Enterprise Institute. "Travelers from Iran tell me heart-rending stories of material and moral disintegration, of young women driven to prostitution because there are no jobs and there is no future; of young people openly flaunting the strict moral code against sexuality and alcohol...of police ...protecting demonstrators against the regime...It reminds me of the final days of the Soviet empire, as the people awaited signs the Kremlin lacked the will to crack down yet again."

"Despite the risk of arrest and flogging, the students actually goad the religious authorities and dare the police - turning out in such numbers as the police cannot handle," said JWR's David Warren. "Girls make a point of wearing short skirts to the rallies; boys bring beer; the Stars and Stripes get unfurled, together with the Shah's old royal banner."

A Google search found no American newspapers that reported President Bush's statement on Iran, and only a handful that mentioned briefly the July 9 protests and Taheri's resignation. But both AP and Reuters had dispatches July 19 on a smaller rent-a-mob demonstration the mullahs organized to protest Bush's "interference" in Iranian affairs.

Media barons think the only authentic popular protests are anti-American protests. Protests which do not fit that template are ignored, even if they could lead to a geo-political earthquake.

The mullahs think they are next after Saddam Hussein on Bush's hit list, and may strike first. Debkafile reports that the day after Bush's speech, the ruling junta approved a detailed plan for a campaign of terror against the United States. It includes bombings by sleeper agents among the 800,000 Iranians who live in the United States, blocking the Strait of Hormuz, and setting fire to Persian Gulf oilfields. Iran is thought to have about a dozen radiological bombs, of which three or four already have been smuggled into the United States, Debkafile said.

This could explain why Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is saying Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed, Lebanon-based terror group, may pose a greater threat than al Qaida.

Iran has shipped, via Syria, thousands of rockets to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. An Iranian attack on the United States, or an American attack on Iraq, is likely to be accompanied by a Hezbollah attack on Israel. This may explain why President Bush has promised to supply Israel with 1,000 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, even though our stock of this smart weapon has been depleted by the Kosovo and Afghan wars.

Something big is brewing. It's time the news media paid attention.

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© 2002, Jack Kelly