Tag Archives: President Hassan Rohani

Reminiscing on Labor Day

BLOG 216 September 1, 2014

September’s here and you get this day off to have time to sit back and reflect on the summer and the Fall ahead. Sip a nice cool glass of ice tea, put your feet up, and reflect on where we are on this day in 2014.

Do you realize that 100 years ago and four thousand miles away we entered the Great War in France? World War I took 40 million lives with 116,000 Americans dying in only 19 months. While the British attempted to minimize the American role, the USA contributed mightily to the successful outcome of the Allies. My question? After 100 years, has military conflict improved?

Last February, I was in Israel and visited the Dead Sea Scrolls monument that remembers the ancient Jews that lived by the Dead Sea and wrote of the conflict between the Sons of Darkness and the Sons of Light. They had an important insight into conflict because the war with the Sons of Darkness has never stopped. Two thousand years later, we are still fighting the creatures of the night. World War I is both a long time ago and yesterday morning.

A week ago, an Israeli missile flattened a 11-story apartment building where Hamas military leaders lived. The sudden strike followed more rocket attacks aimed at Israel and signaled that Israel would not hesitate to make more audacious military forays into Gaza. As I predicted in a recent blog, Hamas held a victory rally after they accepted a cease fire proposal they had earlier rejected. What they were celebrating remains a mystery as they have been flattened like the 11-story apartment building.

That war probably goes on.

Twenty-one Egyptian soldiers were killed near the isolated Farafara oasis in western Egypt not far from the Libyan border. An attacking gunmen fired a rocket-propelled grenade into an ammunition cache that killed the soldiers and left four other wounded. Jihadist groups from Libyan continue to run wild. The struggle continues in Egypt.

We could wander off and ponder the lying Prime Minister of Russia who is currently attacking and fomenting strife in the Ukraine. But Putin is too far from the Middle East to ponder in this biog  –though the most ridiculous political statement of the last two centuries was George Bush’s asserted he looked into Putin’s soul and saw brotherhood. If he had really seen into Putin’s soul, Bush would have run for the door.

Another sign of the times was this weeks about-face by Syrian President Hassan Rouhani. Reversing himself, Rouhani stated the USA can never be trusted. He acknowledged Iran’s attempts to by-pass sanctions that they consider crimes against humanity. It is not clear exactly what Rouhani is expressing. Because the Obama administration has just imposed new sanctions intended to affect Iran’s nuclear arms program, Rouhani may be reacting in order to improve their position at forth-coming negotiations with the West. On the other hand, the hard-liners pelted him with eggs for talking with Obama and negotiating with the West. Rouhani may be trying to protect his backsides from violence against himself in Iran. Hard to say.

And I haven’t even mention ISIS in Iraq –

Well, on this Labor Day you might want to think about these conflicts. The Sons of Darkness still seem to be at it. Perhaps more than rest, we ought to pray.


Filed under Egypt, Iraq, middle east, Russia, War


As the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) troops continued their civil war inside Iraq, the Obama administration backed away from working with Iranian troops that are already inside Iraq. What’s going on?

Inside Syria, the country has virtually imploded with three different groups building on the ruins from the civil war: the Assad regime, the Kruds, and the jihadists that have become dominated by ISIS. These three factions hold different parts of the country with no hope of negotiations in sight. The Kurdish enclave in the north close to the Turkish border are holding their own against both Assad and ISIS. Of course, the world now knows that the brutal  ISIS forces have turned their attention to defeating the Shia in Iraq and are making dramatic headway in defeating the current Maliki government.

Last week some American politicians talked of cooperation with Iran. Why did Obama back away? Take a look at the actual record of current Iranian President Hassan Rohani and see what you think. The Canadian Parliament just concluded their investigation of how Rohani has responded to human rights violations in Iran. Their conclusions are not good for Iran. Here’s their findings.

1. Prior to Rohani’s election, Iran had the highest per capita execution rate in the world. The alarming rate of executions has actually increased under Rohani. More than 650 executions have been carried out since he became president. Over 250 executions have been carried out since the beginning of 2014 alone.

2. Currently, there are 895 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience sitting in Iranian jails. The UN reporter on human rights Dr. Ahmed Shaheed describes these people as being political activists, human rights defenders, journalists, and leaders in Iranian society. Virtually all jailed activists before Rohani’s election are still there.

3. Dr. Shaheed described detainees as being subjected to torture or cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment including prolonged solitary confinement to coerce confessions. Torture includes beating, whipping, and assault in 100% of the cases. Rohani has not only been silent, but promoted the head of the prison system to the office of director general of the Justice Department in Tehran Province.

4. Persecution of the practitioners of the Baha’i faith include the incarceration of a group of seven Baha’i leaders. The Iranian regime’s systematic persecution of Baha’i has resulted in widespread hate crimes against the group with no attackers ever brought to justice.

5. Iran continues to imprison more journalists than almost any other country. During the 2009 contested elections, dozens of journalists were arrested.  Often the regime intimidates and harasses their families in an effort to pressure journalists to discontinue their work.

6.  Judicial independence and the rule of law is completely absent in Iran. Forty lawyers have been detained since 2009. Rohani’s appointments to justice minister and the office of legal affairs are men with long histories of human rights violations, including the 1988 massacre of 5,000 political prisoners.

This history is so gruesome it sounds like I made it up, but this is simply the report from the Canadian Parliament of their conclusions.  The United States backed away from involvement with a government that is as bad as the ISIS.

Can’t criticize the Obama administration for that move!

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Filed under America, Civil War, Iran, middle east