Now that the Bush administration is broadening its attack mode to include Iran, Iranian Americans may be facing intimidation — real or imagined.Â Lest we forget, many Iranians fled to this country where they were welcomed with the fall of the Shah following the revolution there. We had the pleasure at our port of entry college of having such students as our majors — one young Iranian woman was the president of our student philosophy club.
It is disconcerting, then, to hear of the worries about persecution here in the U.S. of any and all deriving from the Middle East — particularly in light of the horrendous rendering actions, leading to secret deportations to nations where they have been tortured/killed or again of those incarcerated in our southern county jails where Muslims were being held incommunicado as “material witnesses” shortly after 9/11. We had a gulag in Brooklyn where many Muslims were secretly held and brutalized, including by a guard who later did his thing at Abu Graib for which he was convicted.Â The mistrial in the Holy Land Foundation trial in Texas of all places should offer an object lesson as to how NOT to fight terrorism:
Needless to say our best resources against terrorism are those who have fled from oppressive regimes.Â To intimidate them from speaking out is worse than outrageous — it is a massive show of incompetence.
Some of our Republican candidates seem determined to launch our next mad war on Iran — using terrorism as their primary campaign plank in want of better credentials.
Particularly those of us here in NYC would be horrified to have Rudy Giuliani as the ‘Decider’.Â Despite his claims he was a disaster area 9/11.Â His command head quarters went down with the World Trade Center.Â His police commissioner whom he recommended to be our national security head is a crook facing indictment (more recently Rudy’s business partner).Â His claim to have ended off crime here is a joke — he drove out the Police Commissioner, William Bratton, who did the real thing so that he could take the credit:
He replaced Bratton with the crook, Bernard Kerik
Rudy also left the city deeply in debt when he finally left office, despite his claims to have saved us monies.
It does not take much imagination to figure out what a major security hazard NYC’s ex-mayor would be if given access to any federal office or command position. On his recommendation Kerik was sent to Iraq to set up security there from which he was shortly returned — some success.Â Let us pray for a peace-maker president to come, not yet another war monger!
“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed KentÂ 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]