Monday, April 17, 2006

Iran and the War At Home

The Iranian Threat

First, let’s consider quotes from several authors who can face the Iranian threat:

1. Caroline Glick (via Atlas, also Thrutch):

“This week Iran presented the US with the ultimate challenge and Washington must now make a decision. Is it fighting to win? …

“Over the past five years this new member of the nuclear club [i.e. Iran] has become the undisputed leader of the global jihad. It controls Hizbullah and Islamic Jihad. It has open and warm ties with al-Qaida. It has transformed Hamas and Fatah into its clients. Syria has become its vassal. It controls the majority of Iraq's Shi'ite politicians and militias. It is feared by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. It is respected and revered by European Muslims. …

Iran, the single greatest enemy of the US and everything it stands for, which has repeatedly stated its goal of destroying America and erasing Israel from the map of the world, is now on the verge of acquiring a nuclear arsenal. …

“That is, the US has placed the responsibility for meeting what it has itself admitted is the greatest threat to global security in the hands of nations that do not share its assessment of Iran. By seeking Security Council action on Iran, the US has delegated the power for contending with the Iranian nuclear threat to China and Russia which have both assisted Iran in developing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. … [T]he US's policy towards Iran serves not to thwart Teheran's nuclear aspirations but to facilitate them. It serves not to expand America's options for contending with this grave and gathering threat to its national security and global interests, but to limit them.

America is the greatest nation on Earth and it does have the ability to defend the world against regimes like Iran and its allies. … But America cannot, and it will not accomplish any of these goals if it continues to abide by strategies and frameworks that serve only to strengthen its enemies and permit its "allies" to behave perfidiously. …

“This week Teheran threw down the gauntlet. The greatest battle of this war - the battle to prevent the world's most dangerous regime from attaining the most dangerous weapons known to man - has begun. The moment has arrived for President George W. Bush to make clear if he is, in the final analysis, the leader of the free world or its undertaker.”

2. Robert Tracinski (via CapMag):

“No one is yet willing to face the fact that Iran is already at war with the United States—and that Iran is the central enemy we have to defeat if we are going to win the War on Terrorism. … He has openly boasted that Iran wants to "wipe Israel off the map." … Iran's religious establishment recently released a fatwa sanctioning the use of nuclear weapons. …

“There is no need to invoke the doctrine of pre-emption against Iran. Iran is already fighting a war against the United States. We just haven't been fighting back. We have held our fire as if Iran were protected by a shield of nuclear weapons. How much more aggressive will the Iranians become when they are actually protected by such a nuclear shield? …

“The mullahs who rule Iran's system from behind the scenes maneuvered Ahmadinejad into power last year because they knew he had the fiery fanaticism to go on the offensive, pressing Iran's advantage in the face of American wavering on Iraq.

“Everywhere you look in the Middle East, if you ask who is the biggest threat to America's interests, you will find the same answer—Hamas in the Palestinian territories, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Assad regime in Syria, the Sunni terrorists and Shiite militias in Iraq—directly or indirectly, Iran is supporting them all. …

There can be no victory in the War on Terrorism until we confront—and defeat—the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the real war, and it's time we started fighting it.”

3. Amir Taheri (via Sixth Column)

“Last year, it was after another khalvat that Ahmadinejad announced his intention to stand for president. Now, he boasts that the Imam gave him the presidency for a single task: provoking a "clash of civilisations" in which the Muslim world, led by Iran, takes on the "infidel" West, led by the United States, and defeats it in a slow but prolonged contest that, in military jargon, sounds like a low intensity, asymmetrical war. …

“Ahmadinejad's strategic guru, Hassan Abassi, known as the "Dr Kissinger of Islam", President George W Bush is an aberration, an exception to a rule under which all American presidents since Truman, when faced with serious setbacks abroad, have "run away". …

“The Iranian plan is simple: playing the diplomatic game for another two years until Bush becomes a "lame-duck", unable to take military action … Thus do not be surprised if … Ahmadinejad announces a "temporary suspension" of uranium enrichment as a ‘confidence building measure’. … Such manoeuvres would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director, Muhammad El-Baradei, and Britain's Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, to congratulate Iran for its "positive gestures" and denounce talk of sanctions, let alone military action.”

Denial of the Threat

Now, let’s consider the opposition to vigorous military action:

4. Christopher de Bellaigue (New York Review of Books):

Russia and China seem unlikely to join in the policy of sanctions against Iran that the US, Britain, and France hope that a coalition of countries will adopt … Mohamed ElBaradei, the IAEA's director general, has some sympathy for the Russian and Chinese positions. He called on the parties to avoid an "escalation" and engage in more talks. …

“As the Bush administration sees it, the main "underlying issue" is that Iran's fanatical and unpopular regime is secretly trying to build a bomb with which to threaten Israel and other countries. Only by asserting the possibility of sanctions or preventive war … can the US and other influential nations stop this from happening. his reading of the Islamic Republic's position is misleading, however. First, it ascribes to a fractured and secretive state a transparency of intent and an ideological rigidity that it [Iran] does not have. Second, it absolves the US of any responsibility for Iran's refusal to abandon its ambitions to have a fuel cycle, …

“The Iranians' ability to behave with startling pragmatism was first displayed during the Iran-contra scandal of 1986 … Iran's enmity toward Israel is more nuanced than Ahmadinejad's statements suggest. … But Iran's senior civilian and military officials have insisted that Iran will strike Israel only if Israel strikes first [and maintains that] longstanding demand for a referendum on the status of Israel that would involve all Palestinian refugees. This official position would not seem to be consistent with an ambition to destroy Israel by force …

“Seeking clues, one could do worse than review the deterioration in relations between Iran and the US since early 2002, when Bush included the Islamic Republic in his "axis of evil." At the time, I was told by Iranians connected to the clerical elite that this speech had convinced Iran's leaders that Bush intended to bring down the Islamic Republic. Iranian insecurities were subsequently heightened by the American invasion of Iraq, even though it got rid of one of Iran's worst enemies—and by the US's stated ambition to democratize the Middle East. …

“Achieving a nuclear fuel cycle and the ability to build a bomb would give Iran's leaders a different degree of protection altogether. It would be in a position to deter attacks by any hostile power. … The Bush administration has apparently adopted a policy of regime change toward Iran, although there seems no way it could accomplish this by military force.

Commentary

Bellaigue’s analysis is standard boilerplate lifted from the left’s support for communism or, equivalently, it’s opposition to anti-communism.

His first point is that Iran isn’t an ideologically driven enemy but a flexible and pragmatic nation open to discussion. We are to believe this because the Iranian leaders have contradicted pure ideological dogma. Thus the argument boils down to: they aren't religious fanatics because they are hypocrites. A brief review of history makes such a claim laughable. Hypocrisy is not rare among fanatics but only a much needed reprieve to enable survival and continue the crusade with renewed enthusiasm.

I have reviewed how the left and left-liberals used pragmatism to evade the nascent evil of Stalin’s Russia. In the late 1920s, John Dewey, the most influential philosopher of American Pragmatism, returned from the USSR enthralled by the “noble experiment” of communism. He founded the emerging Stalinist regime to be flexible instead of doctrinaire. While he soon came to his senses, others on the left continued to praise Stalinist Russia on the basis of pragmatist experimentation throughout the 1930s. Indeed, Stalin was even seen as a pragmatist alternative to that rigid ideologue, Trotsky.

The leftist’s imagination of pragmatic flexibility and its dismissal of the power of religious ideology continue unabated. Edward Said, Columbia University professor and Palestinian terrorist, wrote the book that changed Middle East Studies in 1978: Orientalism. The eminent scholar, Martin Kramer, explains how Said embarrassingly dismissed, in his usual sarcastic manner, Western writers that see Islam as a potent social force. I say embarrassingly because in 1979, Khomeini rose to power in Iran. That philosophy or religion could move men’s minds and determine whole regimes is foreign to materialist Marxism and its post-modernist post-colonialist sympathizers.

Bellaigue’s second fantasy constructs an imaginary Iran, peaceful in nature, but it driven to belligerence by the evil Mr. Bush. This too is recycled anti-anti-communist tripe. Back in the Cold War, the left continued to dismiss USSR’s domination over Eastern Europe as an understandable defensive response to external aggression in the past (Nazism) and continued threats of aggression by America.

The left is completely intellectually bankrupt but it continues to dominate the influential mainstream media and major universities. However, the first group of authors who can face the Islamic threat, if joined by others, can and will win the most important fight: the intellectual fight here at home.

Update: Iran's warrior religion is similar in mindset to Japan's warrior culture.

25 Comments:

Blogger Cubed © said...

Jason,

"Washington must now make a decision. Is it fighting to win?"

Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!

This is the most important question of the day!

I keep asking myself if a formal declaration of war by Congress wouldn't help us focus just a bit on the problem we face.

I know, I know; we don't have the integrity to ID the enemy, much less declare war. I live a rich fantasy life...

4/17/06, 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a free speech pannel discussion featuring Daniel Pipes and Yaron Brook of ARI. I think it is fascintating. I am curious what opinions of Pipe's descriptions of Islam are from here. I have a feeling many here will think he is too lenient.

https://secure2.convio.net/ari/site/SPageServer?pagename=reg_welcome&JServSessionIdr011=uymopfzg53.app5a

You may have to register, but it is well worth it.

G. Davis

4/17/06, 7:35 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

“No one is yet willing to face the fact that Iran is already at war with the United States"

That's music to my ears, I've been saying that for a while.

4/17/06, 9:51 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Thanks, G. Davis, I have listened to the 1st of the four part discussion by Pipes and Brook. It was good and I hope to have time to listen to the rest.

Brook did especially well defending free speech via the importance of reason in human life. "Free speech is the recognition of the rule of reason in human life. ... It is part and parcel of our ability to think. ... Force limits our ability to reason." And he was descriptive enough to make those abstract ideas apparent.

I hope I have time to listen to the rest.

4/17/06, 11:14 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

The minute the first question out of Katie Couric's pie-hole in response to any American military action is not "Did any Muslims' feelings get hurt" is the same minute this "War on Terror" will be won on the homefront.

4/18/06, 6:57 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

From the Glick article:

By seeking Security Council action on Iran, the US has delegated the power for contending with the Iranian nuclear threat to China and Russia which have both assisted Iran in developing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The conflict of interest for China and Russia is quite obvious. The vote at the UN Security Council is, therefore, skewed.

In any court of law, recusing would be required. Not so at the UN.

4/18/06, 8:08 AM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Come on people, let's have a little realpolitik.

Iran is a threat to whom?

4/18/06, 4:39 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

The world.

4/18/06, 8:02 PM  
Blogger Rancher said...

Iran thinks we are impotent, because of our political divide it thinks Bush wont act. They also monitor the MSM and know the Dhimmicrat Party talking points that you see echoed by Al Qaeda, Ben Laden, and Tehran. They think that since they out number us 4 to 1 in young fighting age men that they can take us on. They believe that our fear of high oil prices will cripple our will. They think we don’t like to fight, we are losing our will in Iraq, and that we cannot tolerate dead soldiers coming home in body bags. We are afraid to die and they relish martyrdom. All of these beliefs shape their Cartman policy of “Whatever, I’ll do what I want!”

It’s not that we don’t like to fight, I knew many Marines when I was in the Corp just itching to do that. We just don’t like to die. Wanting to die doesn’t make for a good soldier, exactly the opposite. Patton said it best: “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.” We can and easily do kill in ratios far greater than 4 to one and they forget some of our women can kick ass also. If Iran thinks they can beat us by sending waves of Iraqi youths armed with only the Koran they will find that we are not Saddam’s Iraqi Army. If they try that against today’s Iraqi Army they will discover the same thing. IDF aside Iraq probably has the Middle East’s best troops. If we loose Iran’s oil it will be hard for America. But if the American economy sneezes the rest of the world catches cold. In a world wide depression who will suffer more, America with higher energy costs or Iran with no money? Let them eat oil. Just as the 70’s energy crises resulted on less demand and boosted conservation and alternative sources so would a new crises. We will survive and the result will be less dependence on the foreign oil that funds those trying to kill us. Bring it on.

BTW, can anyone convince me the Mullahs are actually on board with Ahmadinejad’s Twelfth Imam BS? I believe he is just a tool.

Jason I’ll be on the border Thursday through Sunday, I’ll keep you posted, no pun intended.

4/18/06, 10:48 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Rancher makes many good points. It seems amazing that anyone would want to take on the main country that defeated and annihilated the Japanese militaristic society. And, together with our allies, we decimated Germany.

But it is true. The Iranian regime misreads our culture by reading the mainstream media. They don’t know the American people. Bin Laden made that mistake and lost control of Afghanistan. Saddam thought that we’d let the UN hold us back with the help of France and Russia. But the Iranian regime thinks we are losing our will.

Thanks, Rancher I’ll check your blog to keep up on the work down there at the border.

4/18/06, 11:25 PM  
Blogger Rancher said...

Miscalculation seems to be a disease that Middle Eastern tyrants are incredibly vulnerable to. One other thing that is effecting the Mullahs thinking is the building animosity of their own populace, the very youths that they utilized in mass attacks against the Iraqis. If they truly believe that today’s youths will make that kind of sacrifice to fend off democracy then they are ignorant of the Iranian street to an incredible extent. When we invaded Iraq many of those same Iranian youths were crying out “Why not us? Please!”

4/19/06, 12:24 AM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

“Political or military commentators, like astrologerscan survive almost any mistake, because their more devoted followers do not look to them for an appraisal of the facts but for the stimulation of nationalistic loyalties.”
--- George Orwell ---

Not that this is a serious commentary site, it is merely entertainment, but it is good to remember how delusional people like Jason are and the type of jingoistic stupidity they try to whip up.

Jason's belief that Iran is dangerous to "the world" is ludicrous. Iran has expressed no territorial ambitions; history records that the Persians haven’t launched an aggressive war since the 16th century. While both sides hype Iran’s modest nuclear experiments, what may be the best intelligence suggests that the capacity to make a nuclear weapon is five to 10 years off. Military strategists doubt a bombing campaign could do anything but delay the Iranians a bit.

Meanwhile, we’ve got them surrounded. There are U. S. bases in every country bordering Iran: Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Saudi Arabia. More than twice the size of Texas (and five times larger than Iraq ), Persia would be difficult to invade, impossible to occupy. Meanwhile, here’s what a “pre-emptive” tactical nuclear attack against a purely hypothetical threat would do: According to the National Academy of Sciences, it would incinerate over a million Iranian men, women and children, and spread cancer-causing fallout across the region. And on the day it happened, America, as we have known it, would cease to exist.

So I leave it to any reasoning individual who might visit this dung heap to determine for themselves just what represents a threat to the values of this nation.

Yes, let's incinerate a few hundred thousand to fulfill the Gospel of Daniel Pipes and Mark Steyn.

We are becoming a pathetic freakin' people and you dipsticks are in the vanguard.

4/19/06, 3:59 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Iran has expressed no territorial ambitions

They are in Lebanon (Hezbollah) and the West Bank (Islamic Jihad).

history records that the Persians haven’t launched an aggressive war since the 16th century.

That’s a racist analysis.

… make a nuclear weapon is five to 10 years off.

No one knows for sure. And with the stakes so high …

Meanwhile, we’ve got them surrounded.

I assumed that part of the motivation for invading Iraq was to position ourselves for the attack on Iran. Why call it off?

Persia would be difficult to invade, impossible to occupy.

Invade, no. Occupy, what for?

And on the day it [nuclear attack Iran] happened, America, as we have known it, would cease to exist.

Hardly! We continued to exist after Hiroshima. And a nuke is not needed. On the day a nuclear terrorist destroys Washington, America as we have known it would cease to exist.

So I leave it to any reasoning individual who might visit this dung heap to determine for themselves just what represents a threat to the values of this nation.

The nature of that threat, Islam, is well known to the readers of this venue. Islam is an imperialist warrior ideology bringing oppression, death and destruction whenever it is fully practiced.

There are two options: deterrence or attack. Unfortunately, the requirements for the first are little understood by anyone today. This leaves the second.

4/19/06, 4:38 PM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Brilliant analysis, Jason. Everyone's in the West Bank including the Kahanist thugs from Israel. What does that have to do with iran being a threat to anyone?


"history records that the Persians haven’t launched an aggressive war since the 16th century.

That’s a racist analysis."

Are you demented. What kind of a PC operation are you running. Simply idiotic.

"Invade, no. Occupy, what for?"

Because if we don't occupy it all starts over again. Like the tiger we have by the tail in Iraq that's clawing the shit out of us.

Jason, even you must realize that using a nuclear bomb the first time would not be equivalent to using one now. You can't be that dumb. Since you are such a paper Sun Tzu why don't you tell us what we have to attack Iran's hardened facilities? Come on, I really want to read you in all your simplistic glory.

"The nature of that threat, Islam, is well known to the readers of this venue."

No Jason, they are aware of your bigotry, paranoia, simplistic reasoning and stupidity. That's all.

4/19/06, 5:04 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

While any serious discussions of America's military options in regard to Iran should exclude people who think a Iranian knockoff of Taxi Cab Confessions is the enlightened window into Iranian culture (here's your stop, Ducky), I would simply ask why invasion / occupation would be considered when we have the means to conventionally bomb the fuckers back to the Stone Age at will all day long indefinitely?

4/19/06, 5:07 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Ducky, you're an excellent example of the ignorance most Americans have about Islam, its nature, and what it takes to establish a deterrent. You know little about their culture and you’ve admitted it many times. You’ve often chided others for “being an expert in just the five years since 9/11.” Thus, you admit your ignorance. How can one discuss the options with someone who knows little about the subject? To understand the threat you have to understand the culture. It’s not about Persian history or the Persian race, it’s about Islam.

4/19/06, 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I would simply ask why invasion / occupation would be considered when we have the means to conventionally bomb the fuckers back to the Stone Age at will all day long indefinitely?"

I agree with this. To Quote Curtis LeMay "Lets bomb them back to the stone age."

Unfortunately, in order to do that would require a non self-sacrificial approach to warfare. It would require the broader culture at large to be heavily influenced by an egoistic code of morality; ala Ayn Rand. Or at the least, a culture not so infected by continental European anti-Enlightnnment philosophy; ala Kant.

What we need to do we simply can't. The Ducky's of the world are going to pave the way for something horrific on American soil. And they wont even care.

Sometimes I feel like spitting.

D. Eastbrook

4/19/06, 8:48 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

An intial assault on air defenses with drone planes followed by a sustained strategic bombing campaign with precision guided munitions dropped by unchallenged human pilots would monkey-stomp Iran with impugnity.

Its something we should do for three very important reasons:

1.) Iran is a terrorist state
2.) Iran has routinely used terrorists to wage a proxy war against the United States and its interests since 1979
3.) Tehran in flames on international TV, hopefully with babies crying.

4/20/06, 12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Beamish,

To quote an old Bud Lite commercial:

I Love You Man.

(Of course in a manly way)

D. Eastbrook

4/20/06, 2:12 PM  
Blogger Rabbitvoz said...

Oh and do any of you dingbats even realise that the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a Fatwah declaring that any Islamic nation had Nuclear weapons was in defiance of Allah's will? Of course not cause you all get your "news" care of the long since discredited US propaganda machine and it's festering sores like Jason here with his ignorant vitriol.

Like I said, IDIOTS!

4/28/06, 2:10 AM  
Anonymous Barbara Olson said...

Rabbitvoz said...
Oh and do any of you dingbats even realise that the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a Fatwah declaring that any Islamic nation had Nuclear weapons was in defiance of Allah's will?

Iranian fatwa approves use of nuclear weapons
By Colin Freeman and Philip Sherwell in Washington
(Filed: 19/02/2006)

Iran's hardline spiritual leaders have issued an unprecedented new fatwa, or holy order, sanctioning the use of atomic weapons against its enemies.

In yet another sign of Teheran's stiffening resolve on the nuclear issue, influential Muslim clerics have for the first time questioned the theocracy's traditional stance that Sharia law forbade the use of nuclear weapons.

Missiles beside a portrait of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
One senior mullah has now said it is "only natural" to have nuclear bombs as a "countermeasure" against other nuclear powers, thought to be a reference to America and Israel.

The pronouncement is particularly worrying because it has come from Mohsen Gharavian, a disciple of the ultra-conservative Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, who is widely regarded as the cleric closest to Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Nicknamed "Professor Crocodile" because of his harsh conservatism, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi's group opposes virtually any kind of rapprochement with the West and is believed to have influenced President Ahmadinejad's refusal to negotiate over Iran's nuclear programme.

full story

Fatwas are cool!! (If you're a power hungry religious zealot, that is) Other than that, they've got to be one of the most anti-democratic concepts ever imagined by man, God, or even Allah.

4/28/06, 3:48 AM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Thanks, "Barbara Olsen." It is amazing how leftists (and paleo-libs) have such confidence in the “morality” of the Iranian regime.

4/28/06, 8:49 AM  
Blogger Rabbitvoz said...

By the way, Jason Pappy, did anyone claim to have any particular faith in the morality of the Iranian regime. Justr pointing out they have not actually shown themselves to be immoral.

The same cannot be said of the USA with the worst record of Miliatry aggression of any modern nation.

By that I mean most prolific, of course the permanent losing streak in all wars it has started is also a fact.

No although I have more faith in the Iranians to live in peace with their neighbors and the rest of the world that the crumbling US empire, their politicians also have ulterior motives and they also have rich and powerful people calling the shots fron within.

But overall, the Iranian government does seem committed to the betterment of life for Iranians, too bad you can't see it.

Just like Chavez is committed to the betterment of life for his people.

In the opposite way in which the Bush NEO-CON cabal is committed to the life of Americans.

4/28/06, 10:19 PM  
Blogger Rabbitvoz said...

Although Barbara is raising a peripheral matter which doesn't actualy have any direct bearing on the right of anybody to threaten them anyway, we shal look a bit closer at the obviously biased and unsourced rewport in the Telegraph, Hardly the first point of reference about factual news from the middle east.

Let us also review the history, so that we can see the ground from which the unfounded accusations from American Panic stricken Sheeple Bigots.

Iran and WMD's history. Including the details of the OFFICIAL fatwa, from before Iran was being threatened with nuclear strikes anyway. Frankly I'd say start threatening a non-nuclear nation with Nukes and don't be surprised if they change their tune. Of course that amount of comon empathey is as foreign to you bigotted fools as to your emperor Bush.

Brush up on the shameful history of your involvement in Iran

If any of you have the guts to read that last article, all referenced and no Propaganda rags, then try and claim some sort of moral right to threaten and bluster about Iran.

Actually dingbats, the word is that they probably already have a number of nuclear weapons, bought from among those which slipped out through the Ukraine. Naturally the best way to find out will be to drop some Nukes on them like your maniac leaders are planning to do.

Left to themselves I expect the Iranians will get on with living their lives, dealing with their own internal problems and fiddling about a bit among their local middle east politics, the same as we all do in our local neighborhoods. It is called just that, politics, and it is the opposite of War which is what you fools have now substituted for normal human relations or politics.

Don't any of you be stupid enough to spout off before reading that link now ya here, or you'll be getting a bit of egg in your wee eyes.

4/28/06, 10:41 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Rabbit merely repeats what Bellaigue says and I've discussed Ballaigue's approach in my original article. Actually, Rabbit goes beyond Bellaigue’s rationalizations by his complete evasions of the nature of the Iranian regime. He presents nothing to refute because he doesn't deal with the facts.

4/29/06, 7:40 AM  

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