Don't Stop Trying, Or Denying
June 25, 2012: Not surprisingly Iranian reform groups oppose Iranian support for the Syrian dictatorship. It's no secret that the Iranian government has sent secret police and Quds Force advisors to Syria to help put down the 16 month old rebellion against the Assads. The Iranian government has created a very effective police state in Iran which, so far, has kept the opposition from threatening the rule of the religious dictatorship that has run the country since the 1980s. What does worry the clerical ruling class is that police state governments eventually collapse. But they also know that this process can take over half a century. The communist police state lasted 70 years in Russia, and many communist bureaucrats thrived in the democratic government that followed.
The government says it has arrested twenty suspects and charged them with responsibility for the deaths of five Iranian nuclear scientists in the last two years. The government accuses Israel of being responsible for all this, but has not made public any proof.
Investigations continue into anti-Israeli terror attacks that took place in India, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Thailand last February. Iran denied any involvement and insists that it's all another Israeli plot. This ambitious series of attacks (that didn't kill anyone) led to over a dozen arrests and lots of other evidence linking the perpetrators to Iran. While Iranian terrorists (Quds Force) has been active in many places (Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, South America, Arabian Peninsula and so on) its operatives are often amateurish and ineffective. When operatives are caught overseas, Iran demands its citizens back and just denies any terrorist activity. But the February operations against Israelis living outside Israel have apparently stretched Quds beyond the breaking point. The February attacks were believed to be an attempt to avenge Israeli agents carrying out several murders of Iranian nuclear scientists. But Quds has not been able to deliver when it came to retribution. This is not surprising, as religious fanaticism is more prized among Quds Force recruits than other talents. Some Quds operatives are very sharp, but all of them are Islamic radicals. Apparently Quds has orders to keep trying, while the Iranian government keeps denying.
Iran is switching the registration of its merchant ships and tankers to Tuvalu and Tanzania as the U.S. pressures nations to not allow the registration of Iranian ships. Without such registration, ships cannot use major ports worldwide. Iran is also giving all its ships English names (like Freedom, Truth, Blossom, Pioneer and Elite) in an effort to make them less obviously Iranian.
The official unemployment rate is 12 percent, but the actual one is believed to be closer to 20 percent. Corruption and government interference make it difficult to start and run new businesses. The government creates a lot of civil service jobs that just add to the inflation rate and don't produce anything. The unemployment is no secret and the government makes a lot of noise announcing one new solution after another.
Russia continues to support the Iranian nuclear power program. This support is largely driven by the need for at least one export customer for Russian nuclear power systems. No one else will buy this stuff because during the Soviet period Russian nuclear reactors were seen as shoddy and accident prone. That is not the case anymore, but the Russian reputation persists. So Russia needs to get some safe, reliable Russian nuclear power plants running in Iran to prove that Russian nuclear energy technology is competitive with what is offered by Western firms. Russia does not believe Iran will build nuclear weapons, and even if they do, the Russians consider the Iranians too rational to be a nuclear threat.
|"The chief aim of all government is to preserve the freedom of the citizen. His control over his person, his property, his movements, his business, his desires should be restrained only so far as the public welfare imperatively demands. The world is in more danger of being governed too much than too little.
It is the teaching of all history that liberty can only be preserved in small areas. Local self-government is, therefore, indispensable to liberty. A centralized and distant bureaucracy is the worst of all tyranny.
Taxation can justly be levied for no purpose other than to provide revenue for the support of the government. To tax one person, class or section to provide revenue for the benefit of another is none the less robbery because done under the form of law and called taxation."
John W. Davis, Democratic Presidential Candidate, 1924. Davis was one of the greatest trial and appellate lawyers in US history. He also served as the US Ambassador to the UK.