VIDEO], to stamp out "un-Islamic"
dress and behavior. In other words, the lifestyle police go to middle and
upper-class neighborhoods, where Western clothing is openly sold in stores. The
clerics are reluctant to forbid the sale of this clothing, although they do go
after the sale of foreign (largely Western) DVDs and music. The Islamic
conservatives have a problem in that their own children, and often some of
their own number, who are partaking in this forbidden foreign culture. It is
common for Islamic conservative politicians and officials being forced to rescue
their wayward kids from the lifestyle police. This attempt to change the
attitudes of young Iranians is not working, but the Islamic conservatives have
no Plan B.
The recent national elections were
largely ignored by most Iranians. The Islamic conservative dictatorship did not
allow most reformist candidates to even run. The clerics know that they only
have the support of about a third of the population, and have no realistic long
range plan to maintain their power. What the clerics are doing is trying to
apply more pressure, largely via the lifestyle police [
In Gaza, Palestinian
Islamic radical organization, openly boasts of sending hundreds of members to
Iran for military training. Iranian cash and weapons are being smuggled into
Gaza. In Iraq, Iranian radical organizations, especially the Quds Force,
continue to provide weapons, money, training and advisors. Iran denies it, but
plenty of material, documents and people have been captured that say otherwise.
Iran continues to lean on its client state, Syria, to allow foreign volunteers,
for Islamic terrorists organizations, to cross into Iraq. The U.S. and Iraq
have pressured Syria to tighten border controls, and there has been some of
that. But Syria is more dependent on Iran than it is on Iraq or the United
2008: The war along the northern Iraq border continues. Iraqi officials
complain of Iranian artillery firing on Iraqi villages along the border. These
villages apparently shelter Iranian Kurdish separatist rebels (the PKK). Turkey
and Iran have been trying to destroy the PKK for decades.
2008: The U.S. is increasing to use restrictions to the international bank
system, to hobble Iranian efforts to get around sanctions. This is having an
impact, but the net effect is to make it more expensive for Iran to get what it
2008: Typical of the confused sense of
right and wrong, not to mention reality and fantasy, in Iran, the head of Tehran's
police force was recently caught during a raid on a brothel. The top cop was
found naked, by lifestyle police , along with six naked women, and was arrested.
The lifestyle police are not as corrupt as the regular police, and delight in
situations like this where they can assert their moral superiority over the
2008: In the U.S., an Iranian-American was
convicted of trying to buy and ship to Iran automatic weapons and night vision
goggles. What was interesting was that the equipment was to be shipped to a
political opponent (another Islamic conservative) of Iranian president
Ahmadinejad. There have always been factions within the Islamic conservatives
that control the Iranian government, and hear is an example of how they raise
and equip their own private militias.
The many UN
sanctions placed on Iran are, according to a recent survey, ignored by 55
percent of UN members. This aids the extensive, and long running, Iranian
smuggling operations, which gets whatever items are needed for the military.
The smuggling does have limitations. You can't bring in large items, like
tanks, warships or aircraft, without getting caught. In these cases, the seller
can be identified, and be in trouble with the UN and major nations opposed to
improving Iran's military capabilities. But the decrepit state of the Iranian
military is also a major incentive to develop nuclear weapons. With nukes, you
don't need a lot of conventional forces, at least if you are willing to use
nukes, and make threats to that effect. This is what scares Iran's neighbors,
and many of the nations dependent on Persian Gulf oil.