Monday, September 26, 2005

Iran And The War on Terror


In an indispensible article, from National Review, Michael Ledeen warns that we had better do something Iran very soon:


While most media attention has been devoted to the "diplomatic" United Nations visit of Iran’s brand new terrorist president, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nezhad, the fascinating turmoil within Iran, both inside the mullahcracy and between the mullahs and the Iranian people, has gone largely unreported. There are three basic reasons for this silence:

First, because no Western government — sadly including the Bush administration — has any intention of taking serious action against Iran, even though everyone knows that Iran is directly responsible for killing thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of Americans, Brits, and other Coalition soldiers and civilians.

Second, as a corollary to the first cause, because the whole question of Iran, which should be the central issue in the war against terrorism, has been reduced to a fatuous debate over the country’s nuclear program, and the attendant phony negotiations between the EU 3 (Britain, Germany, and France) and the mullahs. It was obvious from the outset that no good could come from these talks, because Iran will not abandon its nuclear program and neither the Europeans nor the Bush administration are prepared to do anything serious about it. The sham nuclear negotiations were in large part a way of avoiding what should be the central issue: Iran’s central role in the terror war against the West;

Finally, Western reporters in Iran are rightly afraid to report things that are damaging to the regime. They know that they can be expelled, or, as in the case of a Canadian female journalist who dared to look into the dark labrynths of contemporary Iran, brutally killed.

To take the nuclear "question" first: Anyone who believes that Iran is not on a crash program to build atomic bombs need only listen to the Iranian leaders speaking to their own people. On September 15, for example, there was a meeting at the defense ministry in Tehran, involving the defense minister, Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar, and the heads of the Basij and Revolutionary Guards — the bloodiest arms of the regime. Right after the meeting, a young journalist reported on the official Jam-eh-Jam TV that Mohammad-Najjar had said that it is Iran’s "absolute right to have access to nuclear arms and that we must stand up to any pressure from the international community."

Immediately following the televised report about "nuclear arms," the broadcast network was disconnected. Shortly afterwards, Minister Mohammad-Najjar appeared on a radio broadcast for an interview about the meeting and attempted to whitewash his original remarks by stating the official disinformation that Iran "has the right to pursue a peaceful nuclear program for economic and energy purposes."

The regime has been threatening to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty if the EU appeasers dared to send the nuclear question to the U.N. Security Council, and, with a frequency and intensity that warrants our attention, threatening to attack the United States. Indeed — obviously believing everything they read in the New York Times or watched on our madstream television — the mullahs celebrated both the damage done by Katrina and the alleged ineptitude of the Bush administration’s response. With an America so weak and divided, the mullahs intoned, Iran could wreak devastation on every state.

The mullahs are altogether capable of deciding that events are now running strongly in their favor, and that they should strike directly at the United States. They look at us, and they see a deeply divided nation, a president who talked a lot about bringing democratic revolution to Iran and then did nothing to support it, a military that is clearly fighting in Iraq alone, and counting the days until we can say "it’s up to the Iraqis now," and — again based on what they see in our popular press — a country that has no stomach for a prolonged campaign against the remaining terror masters in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

Osama bin Laden came to similar conclusions, and ordered the events of 9/11. Why should the Iranians — who have been major supporters of the terror network ever since the 1979 revolution — not do the same?

It may well be that the mullahs are torn between wild fear of America, and a fanatical conviction that they can finally destroy the great Satan. If, as I fear, they are either very close to, or actually possess atomic bombs, it might help explain their manic moments, and enable them to tell themselves that America would not dare attack a nuclear power.

Our main enemy, the single greatest engine in support of the terror war against us, whether Sunni or Shiite, jihadi, or secular, Arab or British or Italian or Spaniard, is Iran. There is no escape from this fact. The only questions are how long it will take us to face it, how effective we will be when we finally decide to act, and how terrible the price will be for our long delay.