Ed: 41: April/2016
The new parliament voted in at February's end is composed of - and again the Western nomenclature is far from ideal - radical hardliners, hardliners, conservatives, and a few tepid, nervous reformers. Real reformers, Iranian politicians and intellectuals who want to change radically the governing structure of the Islamic Republic and convert a theocracy into a democracy, were silenced, imprisoned, exiled, murdered, and banned from politics when the pro-democracy Green Movement was stamped out after the fraudulent presidential election in 2009.
It is shocking, but hardly surprising, to read about the way antisemitism is becoming institutional within the leadership of the UK Labour Party.
For decades, decent people have been in denial, opportunists have made political calculations and bigots who exploited these realities have moved from the sewers and gutters of politics into the centre of the action.
Australia recently hosted Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's Foreign Minister - the urbane and seemingly moderate face of the Islamic regime. However, just because someone is charming and speaks English with a lovely accent, does not make him a moderate. In fact a close look at his various comments while here reveals much about the unchanged nature of this brutal expansionist regime, as well as its hypocrisy.
While just one of many hundreds of terrorist incidents perpetrated by Palestinians against Jews over the years, this attack was a moment in time: it marked the start of something new, a "Stealth Intifada", an insidious wave of seemingly un-orchestrated attacks, perpetrated by unlikely assailants, and generally untraceable to any particular organisation.
He did it again. After having caught the world off guard last fall by diving head-on into the Syrian civil war, Russian President Vladimir Putin has now stunned everyone, even his Syrian clients, by announcing a springtime retreat.
The Kremlin's statement, made as the five-year-old war's protagonists prepared for peace talks in Geneva, caps a remarkable display of strategic initiative that Putin is now out to turn into diplomatic profit while others count their losses.