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The Basiji Force is a militia group in Iran. It is not unlike the ‘Brownshirts’ in Germany in the 1930’s and just as the ‘Brownshirts’ had Hitler’s approval the Basiji Force has the blessing of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ah’madinejad.

Not long ago six members of ‘the Force’ were convicted of five murders in an Iranian court. (News and Observer; 4-19-07). That sounds like a problem for President Ah’madinejad’s ‘Brownshirts,’ but it wasn’t because the Iranian Supreme Court reversed the verdicts. Why? Because the Basiji Force argued their victims were ‘morally corrupt’ and, therefore, under Islamic teaching and Iranian law they had the right to kill them.

Their last two victims were a young couple who were engaged to be married. According to their murderers, their moral corruption was “walking together in public.”

If anyone doubts the superiority of western law and tradition – at least compared to Islamic law as it is practiced in Iran – what further evidence do they need?

When she left Syria House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she is ready to negotiate with President Ah’madinejad next. Of course, it is possible to negotiate with any regime. But it is wise? Before the Second World War the government of England, ignoring warnings about Hitler, argued it was practical to work with the Nazi’s. They negotiated and found out the really pragmatic step was to arm. Instead of stopping Hitler when it would have been relatively painless they waited until it was too late.

A week after Speaker Pelosi offered to negotiate with Iran, President Ah’madinejad announced he is stepping up his nations program to build nuclear arms. Ms. Pelosi will certainly say that is a coincidence. But time may show her decision to undercut President Bush opened Pandora’s Box. History may be repeating itself.

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