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February 28, 2004
Iranians: Great Candidates for MoveOn.Org

The new hard-line Iranian government apparently wants to play a role in the Presidential election by emulating the global-conspiracy nuts at MoveOn.org and International Answer. Iranian state radio claims that the US and Pakistan captured Osama bin Laden "a long time ago," and is holding him secretly until the right moment for the Bush campaign:

Pentagon and Pakistani officials on Saturday denied an Iranian state radio report that Osama bin Laden was captured in Pakistan's border region with Afghanistan "a long time ago." ... The report was carried by Iran radio's external Pashtun service, which is designed for listeners in Afghanistan and Pakistan where the language is widely spoken.

Iran state radio's main news channel the Farsi-language service for Iranian listeners did not carry the bin Laden report. Iran state television also did not carry the report. ...

The director of Iran radio's Pashtun service, Asheq Hossein, said he had two sources for the report. The radio quoted its reporter as saying bin Laden had been in custody for a period of time, but a U.S. announcement of the capture was being withheld by President Bush until closer to the November election.

Unfortunately, although the Iranians claimed that they had two sources for this report, the only one they named publicly denied that he had told them any such thing:

"I never said this," Shahed said in a telephone interview with the AP's Islamabad bureau. "But I have for the last year been saying that he is not far away. He is within their (the Americans') reach, and they can declare him arrested any time."

This description falls into line with reports from the Telegraph and the Washington Times earlier this week, that bin Laden had been corraled into a 100-square-mile area, and that special forces task group 121 (who captured Saddam Hussein) were being transferred there to wait for a spring offensive. Assuming all that is true -- still a rather risky assumption -- Shahed overstates the situation, as 100 square miles hardly qualifies as confinement. It's certainly not custody, either.

Now that the hardliners have taken control of Iran, it looks like they want to play games in our election process again. It didn't work out too well for them in 1980; does anyone else remember the Iranian threats of doom in the event we elected Ronald Reagan? So far, in the past two weeks, the Iranians have sent out an e-mail purportedly from the Kerry campaign, attempting to claim that they would work better with the Democrats than the Republicans, and now they're trying their best to create a conspiracy theory about Bush rigging the election.

One has to ask -- why do the Iranians fear an extended Bush presidency? Could it be because our new, muscular foreign policy has forced the Iranians to comply with nuclear disarmament, and discovered their repeated treaty violations? Could it be because the younger generation of Iranians see America and the Bush Administration as protectors of liberty and a hope for their salvation from the hardliners?

One also has to ask: given the nature of the Iranian hard-liners and their continuing support of terror worldwide, what does their opposition to Bush mean to American voters? Do you really think they prefer Kerry and try to undermine Bush because Kerry will make America more secure against Islamofascist terror?

UPDATE: A big welcome to all Instapundit readers!

UPDATE: I see Pandagon has gotten its panties in a bunch over the notion that the Iranians would like to see Bush out of office, translating that into an attack on John Kerry's patriotism. No one doubts that John Kerry loves America, although he sometimes doesn't seem too fond of Americans. But his inconsistent stands on the war and his track record of opposing military spending reflects bad judgement, not a lack of patriotism. Why do Kerry supporters screech about his patriotism every time his voting record and policies get debated? What are they afraid of?

Also, in the very next post, I note that Pandagon accuses Rick Santorum of drug abuse for supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment. Intellectual consistency and honesty seem to be in short supply at Pandagon.

I've also updated to link back to the MEMRI source on the purported e-mail to the Iranian news agency, which says in part:

The office of Senator John Kerry, the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary in the U.S., sent the Mehr News Agency an email saying that Kerry will try to repair the damage done by the incumbent president if he wins the election.

Note that I'm claiming the Iranians faked this -- that's what purportedly implies. I doubt that Kerry's staff would be that foolish.

UPDATE III: I respond to the commenters and actually admit I'm wrong (on one point) in this post.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 28, 2004 8:43 AM

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