Do You Believe In Iranian Magic?

It looks like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is on his way out as Iran’s president. You know you’re in real trouble when they start arresting your staff for witchcraft.

Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery

Close allies of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being “magicians” and invoking djinns (spirits).

Ayandeh, an Iranian news website, described one of the arrested men, Abbas Ghaffari, as “a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds”.

See also:
Ahmadinejad Staffers Accused of Sorcery
Ahmadinejad’s Advisers Jailed for Practicing Witchcraft
Close aide to Ahmadinejad arrested
Ahmadinejad supporters arrested
In Iran, do they burn witches too?
Internal strife emerges as Tehran looks westward
Trouble at the top
Ahmadinejad in the Crosshairs
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to resign as Iranian president?
Breaking: Ahmadinejad to resign

The bizarre arrests seem to have something to do with the production and distribution of the Iranian end times documentary The Coming. Is Ahmadinejad being sacked for his fervent belief that the return of the 12th Imam is near? Will his ouster be a positive development for the West’s relations with Iran? Who knows?

/although, as long as Iran’s theocracy is still in power, I doubt it

Red On Red

It couldn’t happen to nicer people. Instead of killing Jews, their stated goal in life, they killed each other. Well played!

‘Personal dispute’ erupts into deadly battle

A SENIOR member of the radical Shiite movement Hezbollah has died in a street battle involving machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades in Beirut.

The clash, lasting around four hours, was the worst outbreak of violence in the Lebanese capital since May 2008, when about 100 people were killed in a power struggle between Hezbollah and the ruling Sunni coalition.

Three people were killed and several were wounded in the latest fighting which took place in a quiet neighbourhood a few blocks from the city centre.

Soldiers cordoned off the area during the worst of the fighting, but witnesses said sniper fire and blasts from the rocket-propelled grenades were audible until well after 11pm on Tuesday.

Gunmen stood on corners peering down alleys while families ran for cover during lulls in the fighting.

Ambulances rushed to the scene; an elderly man, clutching his neck, was placed on a stretcher, while another man was covered in blood and not moving.

The shootout erupted between the Shiite Hezbollah and the Sunni al-Ahbash group following a fight outside a mosque in the mixed residential area of Bourj Abu Haidar, Lebanese officials said.

A joint statement issued later by the two groups said the incident resulted from a ”personal dispute and has no political or sectarian background”.

It said the two sides agreed to put an end to their differences and end all armed presence on the street.

The government said Mohammed Fawaz, a Hezbollah official from the area, and his aide, Munzer Hadi, were killed along with Fawaz Omeirat of al-Ahbash.

See also:
LEBANON: Deadly clashes erupt in Beirut, rattling the night with gunfire [Updated]
Sectarian fight had roots in dispute over parking
Two die in Beirut clashes sparked by ‘personal dispute’
4 wounded in Beirut sectarian militia battle
3 killed in clashes between Hizbullah, Ahbash elements
One Lebanese killed, two wounded in clashes in Beirut
Fighting breaks out in Lebanon between Sunnis and Hizbullah
Cabinet calls for calm debate after street violence
Calm Returns to Beirut following Hizbullah-Ahbash Street Battles
Burj Abi Haidar residents clear up after deadly clashes
Was Burj Abi Haidar a battle by proxy?

Oh sure, even here in the United States, an altercation over parking might occasionally spark gunplay every now and then. However, I can’t recall any American traffic tussle ever escalating to battling it out with RPGs.

/anyway, I wouldn’t mind if a few more of these Beirut “parking disputes” flared up, red on red fratricide is always welcomed by the blue team