"For evidence that the United States is letting its claim to greatness, and even common decency, slip through its fingers, all you need to do is look at the way we treat our own troops." - Bob Herbert
Almost every international political web site has an article or two on the Wikileaks Iraq documents. The biggest splash is Iranian training and support of insurgents. Will wonders never cease... of course Iran has done as much as it could short of sending in troops to Iraq to fight and harass the US, where do you think all of the roadside and suicide bomb packs have been coming from? Not some cottage industry made by Sunni housewives, but made by Shia companies in Tehran and smuggled into Iraq by supporters of Muktada al-Sadr, with the results that the Americans have turned increasingly to hiring mercenaries to face the threat of getting blown up, and using drones instead of soldiers in the remote areas... and even though the US has condemned the Wikileaks documents, lawyers and US officials went over them beforehand to comb out the really potentially dangerous stuff.
"Foreign missionaries are targeting the best, and the brightest, Shi'ite students of theology, especially in Qom, and have already succeeded in converting some of them to Christianity.
Moslehi does not reveal the nationality of those ' foreign missionaries' but asserts that Turkey has become a base for the conversion attempt. Thus, students of theology from Qom travel to Turkey to receive baptism along with further instruction in Christian doctrine. The freshly baptised students, known as tullab, return to Qom and other Shi'ite seminaries in the Islamic Republic, as secret Christians charged with trying to convert fellow-students." So, it is a double-edged sword, having Iran befriend Turkey. Amir points out the many similarities between Shia beliefs and Christian beliefs, and how it might be easy to make converts: "Like Christianity, Shi'ism, especially in its duodecimal version, fosters a cult of martyrdom. The martyr Imam Hussein is often seen as a Christ-like figure, a defender of the right who is betrayed and ultimately put to death by a tyrannical ruler.
The concept of the Mahdi, a messiah-like figure who comes at the end of times, is also comparable to that of the second-coming of Christ.
Like Christianity, Shi'ism is a cult of saints. In Iran alone, we have more than 7000 locations designated as places of saints. Some places have become saintly because they are supposed to bear footprints of a horse once ridden by this or that imam. Some trees have become saintly because this or that ancient 'saint' is supposed to have rested under their shadow. The latest of these saintly places is the village of Jamkaran, southwest of Tehran, where the Hidden Imam is supposed to maintain a line of communication with the faithful. Every year, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Cabinet travel to the village to ' report' to the Hidden Imam. The government's programme for the following year is thrown into a well through which it is supposed to reach the Lord of the Times" A good prank would be to wire this well for sound and record a message to Ahmadinejad the next time he tosses a report down the well. Extra credit if it can be done with Barack Obama's voice...
"Incidentally, there is no polling data that suggests [the voters] love us."- Mitch McConnell, on congressional Republicans
With the early polls and votes in from California, pundits are saying that perhaps the marijuana legalization bill may not pass. Would this be from foreign companies and cartels spending millions of dollars anonymously to defeat the bill? In a land where Meg Whitman has spent almost $200 million,filtering drug money for political purposes seems just as likely as Carly Fiorino's demon sheep.