Archive for April 15, 2017

Yazidi Activist: Islamic State Cut Open My Friend, Raped Her Baby, Then Raped Her

April 15, 2017

Yazidi Activist: Islamic State Cut Open My Friend, Raped Her Baby, Then Raped Her, BreitbartJohn Hayward, April 14, 2017

(What are feminists doing about these atrocities? What more can be done? — DM)

YouTube

Women for Women International has posted an astonishing interview conducted by its founder,Zainab Salbi, of two eyewitnesses to the horrors of the Islamic State.The tale was not easy to tell, as you can see from the video below, and it is not easy to hear.

The interviewees are Shireen Ibrahim, a Yazidi woman who escaped Islamic State slavery, and activist Feryal Pirali, who handles translation duties.

Ibrahim was captured by ISIS in 2014 while attempting to flee their assault on Iraqi Kurdistan. The Yazidis are a religious minority despised by the Islamic State and considered “devil worshipers” by some other Muslims because they pray to an archangel who is often misidentified as Satan. More details about them can be found here.

Ibrahim became one of many Yazidis held as slaves by the Islamic State, with women and even very young girls often used as sex slaves. She was taken to Sinjar and separated from some forty family members taken with her. She said in her interview with Salbi that half of her family is now missing or dead.

Ibrahim avoided rape at the hands of her ISIS captors for a while by pretending to be married to her cousin and claiming her nephew was her son. She was taken to Syria and tormented in various ways, including ISIS fighters shooting guns into the ground around her, while she was wrapped in a blanket while telling her she would be killed, and pouring some unknown substance down her throat. After she was recaptured during an escape attempt, they tortured her with electric shocks.

“They did everything to me,” Ibrahim said. “They did every bad thing you can think of to me because I ran away.”

She said she was sold as a slave five times during her Islamic State captivity. “The first time I got sold was by a doctor, a guy who came to Syria to buy me,” she recalled. “The last time I got sold it was to the same guy, the same doctor.”

Ibrahim said the price of her first sale was just one dollar. The buyer told her she was a cheap purchase.

The last time she was sold, the ISIS militant hired to transport her helped her escape for reasons she does not know. She currently lives in a camp in northern Iraq for Yazidis who have been rescued from the Islamic State. Ibrahim said she is too traumatized and fearful of ISIS to ever return to her family home in Sinjar.

“It’s hard for us,” Ibrahim said of the other women at the camp who escaped from the Islamic State. “Every minute is like a year.”

The most horrifying story in the interview came from Pirali, who is herself a Yazidi from the Sinjar region. She said she left Iraq in 2010, leaving behind a high school friend who got married and was pregnant with a baby girl when ISIS arrived.

“When ISIS took over our town, when they were trying to run away, because she was heavy, she was pregnant, she couldn’t run a lot,” Pirali said. “So she told her family to leave her behind, ‘save yourself, go.’ She was going to walk slowly until she gets to where they are.”

“Unfortunately, she didn’t make it, The ISIS people got her. What they did to her, they opened up her stomach, like from here to here” — Pirali pantomimed a cut horizontally across her entire stomach — “they opened her up, and they got her baby girl out. They raped the baby, and they also raped her. And she survived.”

“The baby did not make it,” she added. “They thought she was dead. They left her behind. The ISIS fighters, they left her. Her family came back, saw her just like that, in that situation.”

Pirali said this was the atrocity that prompted her to become an activist. In 2015, she circulated a petition asking then-President Barack Obama to help women and girls in ISIS captivity. The petition attracted 100,000 supporters.

“The message I want to send to ISIS people is that we are Yazidis, and we are going to be Yazidis. We are not going to change our religion, no matter what,” Ibrahim said defiantly, with Pirali translating her words.

She wept as she passed along her message to the civilized world: “Save our people that is in ISIS captivity. They’re killing kids in front of our eyes, and they’re bombing them.”

On Tuesday, a Kurdish official told CNN that the bodies of between 1,300 and 1,500 Yazidis have been found in the area around Sinjar, interred in 35 mass graves plus over 100 individual graves. The Kurds believe they will find more mass graves as more territory is recaptured from the Islamic State. The official who spoke to CNN believed there are up to a dozen mass graves in a single village still controlled by ISIS and identified as a site of mass killings by the United Nations.

The United Nations has formally accused the Islamic State of committing genocide against the Yazidis.

Unfortunately, Yazidis in northern Iraq who only recently returned to their homes have been displaced again, as Kurdish and Yazidi militia battle ISIS fighters in the region. The Kurdish Regional Government is seeking to persuade armed Yazidis to break away from the PKK — a militant group engaged in separatist violence in Turkey, which recruited and trained many Yazidis to fight ISIS in the Sinjar region — and join the Kurdish Peshmerga instead.

The world’s largest Yazidi temple, seen by many as a sign of renewal for their religion, is currently under construction in Armenia. Yazidis are a large and respected minority in Armenia, but many of them have relocated to Europe, Russia, and the U.S. in search of jobs, due to a slow economy.

Iran’s Stage-Managed Elections

April 15, 2017

Iran’s Stage-Managed Elections, American ThinkerReza Shafiee, April 15, 2017

(What can President Trump do to promote regime change in Iran? What can he do to support the resistance, in and outside Iran? What, if anything will he do?– DM)

Iran’s history has shown that people are willing to risk and speak openly when they have outside support and sympathy. The United States’ policies with regard to human rights have an instant effect in hearts and minds of ordinary citizens in Iran. What happened in Iran in 2009 is not a distant memory. The Obama administration’s flawed policy set off a chain reactions in the region which still reverberates in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. By focusing just on getting the nuclear deal done with the mullahs in Tehran, it actually left out other pressing issues such supporting the Iranian people and indirectly preventing the carnage in the neighboring countries. 

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Every four years, Iranian citizen witness a show called ‘elections.’ These have nothing in common with genuine democratic elections; they’re facades. The upcoming May 19 elections are no exception.

A closer look at the candidates proves that they are no different from one another and all have a clear track record of participation in suppression of Iranian people over the past four decades. They have won the approval to enter the race by the mullahs for just this reason.

The two more serious ones are: Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent president; and Ebrahim Raisi, custodian of Iran’s wealthiest charity, Astan Quds Razavi in Iran’s holiest shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad, northeastern Iran. Having charge of such vast amount of wealth, it’s a given that Raisi enjoys Supreme Leader Khamenei’s full trust. Both candidates are cut from the same cloth and are committed to principle to Supreme Guardianship (Velayat-e faqih), meaning, the rule of the ayatollahs

So who are they? Let’s start with the second one.

Ebrahim Raiai a member of “Death Commission” and close confident of Ali Khamenei

He was a low-level cleric who climbed the ladder in the mullahs’ hierarchy just for his undeniable services to the late Khomeini in slaughtering of 30,000 political prisoners in summer of 1988. (In Iran, we don’t refer to Khomeini as “Ayatollah,” just Khomeini is enough.  The title has been stolen and abused by the ruling mullahs in Iran.) The prisoners were mainly members and sympathizers of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organizations of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

The “Death Commission” was a four-member body with the sole task of carrying out Khomeini’s fatwa against dissidents. In his hand-written decree, Khomeini openly ordered the commission to kill the political prisoners, the majority of whom had been already imprisoned.

Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s handpicked successor was later sacked over his quarrel with Khomeini for the indiscriminate killings. In a shocking 28-year-old audio file of one the meetings of Death Commission leaked in August by his son Ahmad, Montazeri called the killings a “crime that future generations will certainly not forget” and declared: “It is committed in the name of the Islamic Republic and carried out by you.”

Ahmad Montazeri has regarded Ebrahim Raisi’s standing for presidential elections a ‘joke’ and ‘an insult to Iranian people’. Raisi’s record does not stop at just his role in the massacre of political prisoners in 1988, but what he did overrides any other tasks he has undertaken in Islamic Republic’s killing machine.

Canada’s Parliament adopted the following motion on June 5th, 2013 on the events of 1988 in Iran: “That the House condemn the mass murder of political prisoners in Iran in the summer of 1988 as a crime against humanity, honors the memory of the victims buried in mass graves at Khavaran cemetery and other locations in Iran, and establishes Sept. 1 as a day of solidarity with political prisoners in Iran.”

Now let’s look at the other candidate:

Hassan Rouhani is no saint

Make no mistake about Rouhani being a saint by comparison. He is not far behind Raisi when it comes to cruelty. For starters, Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, his justice minister, is none other than another member of the same notorious Death Commission. Last summer when Pour-Mohammadi was pressed to answer for the massacre of 1988, he proudly said: “I carried out God’s will and I have not lost sleep over what I did.”

The rate of executions during Rouhani’s presidency has been unprecedented in past 25 years in Iran, according to Ahmed Shaheed, who was Iran’s last UN Special Rapporteur for human rights. During Rouhani’s tenure, around 3000 executions were carried out.

When asked about hangings during his presidency, Rouhani simply said: “They were carried out according to God’s laws.”

Amnesty International’s report for 2016 indicates that with the exception of China, Iran carried out 55 percent of all executions worldwide.

Rouhani has always said that he has been in a decision making-position throughout the life of the Islamic Republic. He personally was in a commanding position when the 1999 student uprisings were crushed in Iran.

The European Union extended its sanctions on Iranian regime’s offices for participating in suppression of Iranian citizens.

EU documents state that they target persons complicit in “torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, or the indiscriminate, excessive and increasing application of the death penalty, including public executions, stoning, hangings or executions of juvenile offenders.”

As U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley mentioned recently: “Peace and security cannot be achieved in isolation from human rights.” The long-suffering people of Iran, Syria, and Iraq bear witness that “human rights abuses are not the byproduct of conflict; they are the cause of conflict, or they are the fuel that feeds the conflict.”

There’s also a third candidate worth looking at:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is back in the race

The trio of Rouhani, Raisi and Ahmadinejad in Iran’s upcoming elections is more than a mere joke: It has a plain and clear message – that of Khamenei’s extreme weakness in controlling his goons. The humorous Iranian people have already made jokes about the three and this bagatelle called elections. Social media is full of them.

Khamenei ordered Ahmadinejad to stay away from elections. By disobeying his master’s direct order he is demonstrating the Supreme Leader’s unprecedented lack of control over his establishment. Khamenei offered an explicit warning in September that his candidacy would be a “polarizing situation” that would be “harmful to the country.”

That is a reference to the disputed election in 2009 which ignited massive street demonstrations and subsequent arrests of thousands of protesters and the killing of hundreds of others by the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Final thoughts     

Iran’s history has shown that people are willing to risk and speak openly when they have outside support and sympathy. The United States’ policies with regard to human rights have an instant effect in hearts and minds of ordinary citizens in Iran. What happened in Iran in 2009 is not a distant memory. The Obama administration’s flawed policy set off a chain reactions in the region which still reverberates in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. By focusing just on getting the nuclear deal done with the mullahs in Tehran, it actually left out other pressing issues such supporting the Iranian people and indirectly preventing the carnage in the neighboring countries.

The elections in Iran – for parliament or president – have been designed or “engineered,” as the word has been widely used, by the regime’s inner circles, for both internal and external consumption. However after the nuclear deal with the West, it has become a high priority for the regime to show popular support at home and project it as an image to the rest of the world as a regime fully in control and ready to do business. It is no secret that the regime has no popular support in Iran.

Ebrahim Rasis, Hassan Rounhani, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and their likes should not be allowed to escape the consequences of their crimes against humanity. Known human rights criminals such as entire ruling mullah class in Iran should not go unpunished. They should soon see the inside of International Criminal Court.

Reza Shafiee is a member of Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) 

 

Trump’s Strategy for Dividing the Enemy Alliance

April 15, 2017

Trump’s Strategy for Dividing the Enemy Alliance, Iran News Update, April 14, 2017

 

Russia and Iran still needed to be dealt with, so Tillerson met with Putin Wednesday, and Buckley writes, “…from our perspective the possibility of a rapprochement with Russia is greater now than it was before the attack on the Syrian air base: Trump no longer has to worry about critics who say he’s soft on Russia.”

He continues, “As for the Russians, they’re the ultimate realists. We’ve signaled to them that we’re not going to try to dislodge them from Syria. But everything else is on the table. We’re telling them they can move in more civilized company if they want. Only it’s going to cost them, if we’re to accept them as civilized players.”

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The past few weeks were a triumph for America.

“Now what?” asks F.H. Buckley, Scalia Law School professor, and author of “The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America.”

In an article for the New York Post Buckley writes, “When facing three opponents, as America is with Russia, Syria and Iran, the most obvious response is to try to break them up through a side deal with one of them. That’s the signal Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nicki Haley sent to Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad on March 30 in saying we’d be prepared to live with him.”

In essence, the message was, “Be nice, Assad, distance yourself from Iran and we’ll accept a solution to the Syrian civil war that leaves you in power,” writes Buckley. The offer’s chance of being accepted was slight. Syria, under Assad, is dependent on Iran. More fighters take orders from Tehran than there are members of Assad’s army, including members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

No one has asked is why Assad ordered the Sarin attack, but Buckley assumes that it “…had simply been ordered to employ chemical weapons by Tehran, as a means of turning down the American overture. It signaled that the Iranian-Syrian alliance could not be broken.”

Next came our attack on the Syrian Shayrat airbase last week.

However, Russia and Iran still needed to be dealt with, so Tillerson met with Putin Wednesday, and Buckley writes, “…from our perspective the possibility of a rapprochement with Russia is greater now than it was before the attack on the Syrian air base: Trump no longer has to worry about critics who say he’s soft on Russia.”

He continues, “As for the Russians, they’re the ultimate realists. We’ve signaled to them that we’re not going to try to dislodge them from Syria. But everything else is on the table. We’re telling them they can move in more civilized company if they want. Only it’s going to cost them, if we’re to accept them as civilized players.”

Finally, Buckley talks about Iran. He writes, “Of the three countries, only Iran under the mullahs is America’s implacable enemy, one with whom a peaceful resolution of differences is entirely impossible. More than that, the mullahs take our willingness to reach out to them as a sign of weakness they can exploit. They constantly test our resolve, and when we fail to respond, they take it one level further.”

Some options remain, and one of them is to push back when pushed. The Iranian regime’s legitimacy is threatened by liberal opposition groups, particularly the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The National Council revealed Iran’s nuclear program in 2002, and it’s been praised by Elie Wiesel, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey.

Support for the NCRI and other Iranian dissident groups is a good place to begin change, and end the years of acquiescence to Iran.