Monday, April 17, 2006

More fun with Iran

Via Minority of One, the always readable and quotable Mark Steyn in the Chicago Sun-Times…
President Ahmadinejad, who is said to consider himself the designated deputy of the "hidden Imam," held a press conference this week -- against a backdrop of doves fluttering round an atom and accompanied by dancers in orange decontamination suits doing choreographed uranium-brandishing. It looked like that Bollywood finale of ''The 40-Year-Old Virgin,'' where they all pranced around to "This Is The Dawning Of The Age Of Aquarius." As it happens, although he dresses like Steve Carell's 40-year-old virgin, the Iranian president is, in fact, a 40-year-old nuclear virgin, and he was holding a press conference to announce he was ready to blow. "Iran," he said, "has joined the group of countries which have nuclear technology" -- i.e., this is the dawning of the age of a scary us. "Our enemies cannot do a damned thing," he crowed, as an appreciative audience chanted "Death to America!"

The reaction of the international community was swift and ferocious. The White House said that Iran "was moving in the wrong direction." This may have been a reference to the dancers. A simple Radio City kickline would have been better. The British Foreign Office said it was "not helpful." This may have been a reference to the doves round the atom.

You know what's great fun to do if you're on, say, a flight from Chicago to New York and you're getting a little bored? Why not play being President Ahmadinejad? Stand up and yell in a loud voice, "I've got a bomb!" Next thing you know the air marshal will be telling people, "It's OK, folks. Nothing to worry about. He hasn't got a bomb." And then the second marshal would say, "And even if he did have a bomb it's highly unlikely he'd ever use it." And then you threaten to kill the two Jews in row 12 and the stewardess says, "Relax, everyone. That's just a harmless rhetorical flourish." And then a group of passengers in rows 4 to 7 point out, "Yes, but it's entirely reasonable of him to have a bomb given the threatening behavior of the marshals and the cabin crew."
On the same subject, Robert Tracinski's Time to Fight the Real War in Capitalism Magazine, via Gods of the Copybook Headings, is starker but to the point:
Iran's global ambitions are as grandiose as anything put forward by Osama bin Laden—but they are backed by control of a country of 70 million people with an army, navy, and air force, a vast network of terrorist organizations across the Middle East, and, very soon, nuclear weapons.

If America's failure to act against the comparatively minor threat from Bin Laden in the 1990s resulted in the horrors of September 11, we can expect far worse if we fail to act against Iran.

A war with Iran must begin with the destruction of its nuclear facilities, but it must not end there. Iran is likely to respond to any American attack by escalating, inciting an uprising in Southern Iraq, unleashing a wave of terrorist attacks, launching missiles against US targets in the Middle East, attacking oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. And even if we neutralize all of these threats, Iran's theocrats will not drop their global ambitions. They will merely wait for our attention to wander and attempt to strike us again. The goal of a war against Iran must be to topple the Iranian regime—and to support the rise of a new government formed by the secularist dissidents who now languish in Iran's prisons.

The wars we have fought so far, against the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Baathist regime in Iraq—were necessary, but they left the largest, most dangerous Islamist regime untouched. The Iranians know it. Sensing American weakness, they are moving against us on all fronts—and any further delay in pushing them back will only make the task more difficult. We have to act—and we have to act now.

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.
Tracinski is a guest writer with the Ayn Rand Institute, and so it's a little difficult to understand or stomach his repeated expropriation of consent by the use of the collective pronoun "we." Sloppy writing, at the least. But in the circumstances, I'll forbear the usage as it does not extenuate a general sentiment but only a little histrionically refers to a particular and much more dramatic necessity. To which corruption — or as one commenter euphemistically put it, "pragmatism" — I addressed before:
The military itself is, however innoccuous or positive in its assignments from a domestic standpoint, an agent and extension of the same modern politicization of institutions that do compromise our liberties. Military solutions themselves indicate starkly the pitfalls and shortcomings of political processes revolving around the existence of states. But does this suggest that a response by a military in this instance would compromise liberty? It does not. In a world of nation-states, the threat of Iranian extraterritorial Islamic fascism coupled with nuclear gamesmanship is much more imminent than our ability to fashion defence founded on principles of free association. In the face of an uncompromising state-sponsored servitude, there is little recourse but to action by the state that defers at least in small part to its citizens and permits some measure of authority by those citizens over its methods and objectives.
Update: The Iran stories are pouring in faster than I can read them, but this one by an Iranian ex-pat (probably not to be confused with the innocuous rendering of the term in this part of the world) is … unsettling. From The frightening truth of why Iran wants a bomb in the Daily Telegraph:
[Ahmadinejad] 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.

In Ahmadinejad's analysis, the rising Islamic "superpower" has decisive advantages over the infidel. Islam has four times as many young men of fighting age as the West, with its ageing populations. Hundreds of millions of Muslim "ghazis" (holy raiders) are keen to become martyrs while the infidel youths, loving life and fearing death, hate to fight. Islam also has four-fifths of the world's oil reserves, and so controls the lifeblood of the infidel. More importantly, the US, the only infidel power still capable of fighting, is hated by most other nations.

1 Comment:

Pietr said...

I notice Doves in the background.
Are these going to be used to deliver the weapon?