Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Facing down Iran

Absolute must read from Mark Steyn. Key excerpts:
That moment of ascendancy is now upon us. Or as the Daily Telegraph in London
reported: “Iran’s hardline spiritual leaders have issued an unprecedented new
fatwa, or holy order, sanctioning the use of atomic weapons against its
enemies.” Hmm. I’m not a professional mullah, so I can’t speak to the
theological soundness of the argument, but it seems a religious school in the
Holy City of Qom has ruled that “the use of nuclear weapons may not constitute a
problem, according to sharia.” Well, there’s a surprise. How do you solve a
problem? Like, sharia! It’s the one-stop shop for justifying all your
geopolitical objectives.
The bad cop/worse cop routine the mullahs and their
hothead President Ahmadinejad are playing in this period of alleged negotiation
over Iran’s nuclear program is the best indication of how all negotiations with
Iran will go once they’re ready to fly. This is the nuclear version of the NRA
bumper sticker: “Guns Don’t Kill People. People Kill People.” Nukes don’t nuke
nations. Nations nuke
fact, if one were a Machiavellian mullah, the first thing one would do after
acquiring nukes would be to hire some obvious loon like President Ahmaddamatree
to front the program. He’s the equivalent of the yobbo in the English pub who
says, “Oy, mate, you lookin’ at my bird?” You haven’t given her a glance, or
him; you’re at the other end of the bar head down in the Daily Mirror, trying
not to catch his eye. You don’t know whether he’s longing to nut you in the face
or whether he just gets a kick out of terrifying you into thinking he wants to.
But, either way, you just want to get out of the room in one piece. Kooks with
nukes is one-way deterrence
that was always Iran’s plan. In 1989, with the Warsaw Pact disintegrating before
his eyes, poor beleaguered Mikhail Gorbachev received a helpful bit of advice
from the cocky young upstart on the block: “I strongly urge that in breaking
down the walls of Marxist fantasies you do not fall into the prison of the West
and the Great Satan,” Ayatollah Khomeini wrote to Moscow. “I openly announce
that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the greatest and most powerful base of the
Islamic world, can easily help fill up the ideological vacuum of your
Today many people in the West don’t take that any more seriously
than Gorbachev did. But it’s pretty much come to pass. As Communism retreated,
radical Islam seeped into Africa and south Asia and the Balkans. Crazy guys
holed up in Philippine jungles and the tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil,
and Paraguay who’d have been “Marxist fantasists” a generation or two back are
now Islamists: it’s the ideology du jour. At the point of expiry of the Soviet
Union in 1991, the peoples of the central Asian republics were for the most part
unaware that Iran had even had an “Islamic revolution”; 15 years on, following
the proselytizing of thousands of mullahs dispatched to the region by a
specially created Iranian government agency, the Stans’ traditionally moderate
and in many cases alcoholically lubricated form of Islam is yielding in all but
the most remote areas to a fiercer form imported from the south. As the Pentagon
has begun to notice, in Iraq Tehran has been quietly duplicating the strategy
that delivered southern Lebanon into its control 20 years ago. The degeneration
of Baby Assad’s supposedly “secular” Baathist tyranny into full-blown client
status and the replacement of Arafat’s depraved “secular” kleptocrat terrorists
by Hamas’s even more depraved Islamist terrorists can also be seen as symptoms
of Iranification.
Read the whole thing. It’s long, but well worth it. Hat tip to Winds of Change.

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