TEHRAN — Iranians smashed shop windows and set fire to a dozen gas stations in the capital yesterday, angered by the sudden start of a fuel rationing system that threatens to further increase the unpopularity of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson showcased his foreign policy credentials yesterday, saying both that the United States needs to reward Iran if it stops developing nuclear weapons and that a nuclear-armed Islamic republic is "unacceptable."
It is clear from recent major offensive operations in Diyala and the other provinces surrounding Baghdad that Gen. David A. Petraeus now has the wherewithal not only to clear areas in Baghdad but to seal off those parts of the provinces where al Qaeda and the insurgents have fled to corner and kill them.
New York Mayor and multibillionaire Michael Bloomberg has voted with more than his feet, deserting a political party he believes is dominated by extreme elements that go far beyond the outer bounds of mainstream America. But whatever the excesses present in the Republican Party, the Democrats are no better. And, clearly, Mr. Bloomberg's repudiation of his party provoked a major tsunami of speculation about his future plans.
Hamas' blitzkrieg in Gaza was "ordered" by the Tehran-Damascus "axis" to make the peace and democratic processes in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Palestine crumble. These putsches (as well as Hezbollah's) were parallel to the perceived weakening of America's resolve against the two regimes. Last year's congressional elections were read by the axis not in terms of partisan results but in terms of divisions affecting U.S. foreign policy.
BAGHDAD — Saddam Hussein's cousin, known as "Chemical Ali," and two other regime officials were sentenced yesterday to hang for slaughtering up to 180,000 Kurdish men, women and children with chemical weapons, artillery barrages and mass executions two decades ago.
World peace is now at risk because of "new crazies who say, 'Let's go and bomb Iran.' " So spoke Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He didn't mention names. But the latest "bombs away" clarion call came from no less a neoconservative giant than Norman Podhoretz, the original godfather of the movement that played a critical role in bringing down the Soviet empire.
A year or so after the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took out an Islamist mob contract on Salman Rushdie, the novelist appeared, after elaborate security arrangements, on a television arts show in London. His host was Melvyn Bragg, a long-time British telly grandee, and it was striking how quickly the interview settled down into the usual cosy lit.crit. chit-chat. Lord Bragg took Mr. Rushdie back to his earlier pre-fatwa work. "After your first book," drawled Mr. Bragg, "which was not particularly well-received."