Summing Up The Iran Deal

Michael Ledeen posted an article at Forbes Magazine yesterday explaining the details of the Iran nuclear deal.

Mr. Ledeen states:

It’s what I predicted it would be:  a “no-deal deal”  in which the Iranians promise to behave themselves and we pay for it. Tehran gets a big cash “signing bonus” of over a hundred billion dollars, and, over time, an end to various sanctions enacted by the United States, the European Union and the United Nations. Iran swears to do nothing to make atomic bombs, and we permit them to enrich uranium.

The article concludes:

This is precisely backwards. As Khamenei has said, the Vienna deal in no way mitigates Iran’s hatred of us, or their intention to destroy us. We need to respond by challenging the regime in Tehran. The best way to do that is to do the same thing we did to Mikhail Gorbachev’s Soviet Union: Support the regime’s opponents to create a free Iran. This is no mere gesture; the overwhelming majority of Iranians detest the regime.

Needless to say, no such sensible policy is going to be adopted by this administration. Obama has avidly pursued a strategic embrace of Iran for a long time, beginning with the presidential campaign of 2008. Now he’s collaborating with them on Middle Eastern battlefields, making them much richer—indeed very possibly rescuing them from social/political/economic catastrophe largely of their own making—and more powerful.

Never mind the grand bargain. We need a sensible Iran policy before they kill many more of us.

It’s time to pray that the Senate has the backbone to refuse to approve this and to override the President’s veto of their disapproval.

One Set Of Rules For Thee, One Set Of Rules For Me

Oh, the outrage! There were many Democrats recently screaming, “Logan Act” or “Treason” because 47 Republicans signed an open letter reminding everyone how the U.S. Constitution is supposed to work. Oh, the horror of it all. Well, sometimes you need to check your own closet for skeletons before you start hauling out someone else’s skeletons.

On August 29, 2014, PJ Media posted an article about President Obama’s Iran policy.

That article contains the following:

During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies. The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the shah’s rule, as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article that included the following:

According to Pajamas Media columnist Michael Ledeen, in 2008, a Democratic senator sent a personal emissary to Tehran encouraging the mullahs not to sign an agreement with the outgoing Bush Administration as negotiations would take on a much friendlier tone following President Bush’s departure from office.

That senator was a presidential candidate at the time. His name was Barack Obama. (read more)

Politics used to end at the water’s edge, but I guess Democrats don’t think that way. Quite frankly, this is a disgrace.

I would suggest that you read the entire PJ Media article linked above to see President Obama’s plans for Iran.

All Export Agreements Are Not Good Agreements

Yesterday Michael Ledeen posted an article at PJ Media about a recent export agreement reached with Iran.

The article reports:

Boeing and General Electric were given export licenses by the Treasury Department and everyone involved has been chanting “we take aircraft security very seriously,” in order to cloak this latest gift to the Khamenei-Rouhani regime in humanitarian hues.

Frankly I’d rather they took national security very seriously.  Iran uses its commercial aircraft for military purposes (one of the reasons that eery flight between Tehran and Caracas is so worrisome), and the mullahs have been limited by the degradation of the national fleet.  The Boeing planes and GE engines date to the 1970s, and very few of them are in service.

The Iranians are quite able to get around what is left of the sanctions on their country and are finding ways to get around the oil embargo–they are bartering with Russia and Turkey. The Russians are probably providing military equipment and the Turks are swapping for gold.
The article comments:

And so it is, indeed the war has been on for some time, and it’s a bit hotter than Cold War 1.0 was for most of the twentieth century.  Kiev burned, and may burn again soon.  Caracas is burning, as are many of Venezuela’s cities and towns.  Crimea has been annexed, and Syria is still aflame, as is Iraq, and also Yemen.  Estonia and Finland are seriously frightened, as well they should be.  If we pull back from the crisis du jour, we can see it’s a global conflict.  Iran and Russia are fighting in Syria, sometimes with and sometimes against the jihadi marauders.  Cuba is fighting in Venezuela, a country the Castros largely command, and Hezbollah is in there, too.  And for those of you who follow Africa, know that the Iranians are up to their necks in Nigeria, buying influence and supporting the mass murderers in Boko Haram.

This is not a time to be helping those that want to destroy us in any way.
The article concludes:

But, as the Ukrainian revolutionaries have found, and as the aftermath of our victory in Iraq has demonstrated, the battle against evil is not going to end on this earth, and if you fail to challenge the heart of the current darkness, you may well find things worse than they were before.  Our enemies are bursting with confidence.  They think they’ve got us.  Bret Stephens: “Mr. Putin knows Mr. Obama. He knows that the U.S. president has the digestive fortitude of a tourist in Tijuana.”

As Mr Obama runs for the Pepto Bismol, he’s arming our enemies for the next round.  So it’s gonna get worse.

A Very Insightful Comment

Michael Ledeen posted an article at PJ Media yesterday about the current war in the Ukraine.

Mr. Ledeen states:

It’s not as if we’re at war, after all.

And we’re not.  Only our enemies are.  It’s like target practice for them.  Fortunately, they’re not very good at it, and so they miss a lot. When they win, they find ways to screw it up.  They took over Egypt, remember?  Then lost it in the “biggest demonstration in human history” (thus sayeth the BBC).  They were on the verge of taking over Tunisia, but no more.  They made a hash out of Ukraine and Venezuela, then lost the first and are facing the people’s wrath in the second.  They keep trying to organize lethal rocket and missile attacks on Israel, only to get destroyed.


But we choose not to be at war.


The article concludes:


For those who actually want to see the world plain, the global network is luminously clear, from North Korea and China to Russia, Iran and Syria, to Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.  Those are the nations aligned against us.  They support a variety of terror groups, from al-Qaeda to Islamic Jihad to the various Latin American guerrillas, and they work in cahoots with the narcotics mafiosi.

There are two keystones in this global network:  Iran and Venezuela, with Russia manipulating them both as best Putin can.  If we see the world plain, the current revolutionary turmoil in Venezuela is enormously important, arguably the most important hot spot on earth today.  For if the Castroite tyranny in Caracas were to fall, it would be a devastating blow to the Axis of Evil.  The bad guys know it;  that’s why, in addition to Cuban intel officers and special forces, Hezbollahis are moving from Damascus to Caracas.  Khamenei knows there’s an intimate connection between what happens in Venezuela and what happens in Syria.

But America has chosen to cut its defenses and remain at peace (until we are attacked by the part of the world who chooses to wage war). We need a President, a Congress, or a State Department smart enough to play chess. Evidently we don’t have one.



A Letter From Someone Who Is There

Yesterday Michael Ledeen posted an article at PJ Media that included a letter from an Iranian dissident, Heshmat Tabarzadi.

This is the text of the letter:

The major world powers namely 5+1 are trying hard to engage the government of Iran to join the rest of the international community, by taking advantage of the recent “Flexibilities” that have been shown by the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, and as implemented by President Hassan Rouhani.

Indeed, we have arrived at a significant and historic juncture. However, without a cautious and comprehensive effort moving forward, the road ahead towards a mutually beneficial and peaceful outcome will remain uncertain and elusive. Ever since the election of President Rouhani, the number of executions in Iran has nevertheless increased substantially (nearly 400 executions since he took office). Keeping in mind that Iran already held the second highest record of executions after China (1st in the world as a percentage of the population), this represents an urgent human rights crisis.

In addition, the Iranian government has hundreds of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, including those such as Mr. Mir Hussein Mousavi, Mrs. Zahra Rahnavard and Mr. Mehdi Karroubi, who have been under house arrest since 2010, without any legal or court proceedings. The majority of Iranian political prisoners are sentenced solely due to the exercise of their rights to express their opinion or for peaceful assembly.

The legitimacy of any ruling power is measured by its practice of observing and respecting the rights of its own people. In what follows, I briefly give an account of my personal experience living in Iran, which is not an isolated case. Hundreds of fellow Iranian political activists are experiencing a similar situation. Indeed, the lack of basic human rights and freedom in Iran reflects poorly on the prospect for the effective and peaceful resolution of the issues of the Iranian government with the international community. One cannot be addressed in the absence of the other.

My name is Heshmat Tabarzadi. I am an Iranian secular democrat human rights activist. I have been arrested several times on charges related to my activities, most recently after the green movement and the disputed election results of 2009. In October 2010, I was sentenced to eight years in prison, convicted of five charges of “insulting the Leader,” “insulting the President,” “propaganda against the system,” “gathering and colluding with intent to harm the state security,” and “disturbing public order.” I had already spent seven years of my life in prison, nearly three years of it in solitary confinement for my activities as a student leader. Additionally I have spent another 4 years of my latest verdict and still have four more years remaining. I have spent part of every year of my life in prison since 1999 and while imprisoned I have been tortured on several different occasions. Meanwhile my different publications have been shut down, I have been denied the right to peaceful participation in two secular democratic and human rights organizations, and I have been prohibited from any social activities for 10 years.

I was recently released on a temporary leave with the condition of remaining silent, and until very recently I maintained my silence. However, the situation of the people and my country is such that I could no longer keep quiet and therefore I broke my silence and called for a united campaign demanding “No to executions and freedom of all political prisoners.” Shortly after, I received a phone call from the prosecutor’s office, demanding that I report back to the prison. Similar to my court proceedings and sentencing, this summoning was done outside of the legal frames, with the intent of silencing me, but I have chosen not to report to prison and instead am engaging in civil disobedience. My rights as stated in the international articles of the human rights (as well as the constitution of the Islamic Republic) have repeatedly been violated since 1999. If anyone should stand trial, it should be those who are in violation of denying not only my rights but the rights of many other political prisoners who have been denied their most basic legal, civil and human rights.

The United Nations General Assembly recently approved Iranian President Rouhani’s proposal known as “A World without violence and extremism.” The Iranian leadership should begin by abiding by the terms of its own resolution, namely, “that a primary responsibility of each State is to ensure a peaceful and violence-free life for its people, while fully respecting their human rights without distinction of any kind, …..and …..respect for and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons as well as tolerance, the recognition and appreciation of others and the ability to live together with and to listen to others, form a sound foundation of any society and of peace.”

The United States and European Union may hope for a politically softer regime in Tehran as it happened in China despite its human rights record, but in a country such as Iran where the first declaration of human rights was created 2552 years ago, where only in the past 107 years two major freedom seeking revolutions have taken place, where today the most basic social freedoms such as how to dress and behave, are strictly limited and where a woman is considered half of a man, this is only wishful thinking.

Iranian people, although short lived, have experienced secular democracy on different occasions and they will not tolerate for too long the religious, social and political limitations forced upon them, even if the major powers chose to turn a blind eye on their civil and human rights. The question is, on which side of the history the United States, President Obama and the major world powers will stand this time?

The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to U.S. President Barack Obama for his “extraordinary efforts” to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. This did not mean only peace with the governments but also meant consideration for the peace and human rights of “The People.” Until the international community do not hold the government of Iran accountable for its actions against its own citizens, any agreements at the government levels while closing eyes to the fate of the Iranian nation and their legal , civil and human rights will neither be lasting nor complied with, because a government which violates the legal rights of its own people under its own and international laws will not have any hesitation in violating any other accords and agreements. North Korea is a recent example of that.

I therefore call for the leaders of the 5+1, the international community, organizations, activists and other government leaders to demand of the Iranian authorities to stop these senseless executions and to free all political prisoners. Mr. Nelson Mandela was recently honored by the international community as well as the Iranian government. However, Mr. Mandela’s struggles as a political activist and prisoner, only after being amplified by the pressures from the International community, resulted in his freedom and abolition of apartheid in South Africa. Today 50% of the Iranian population, the women, are facing gender apartheid; not to mention the violation of the basic rights of minorities, ethnicities and many others.

Today I am free with my family while you can make a difference, but tomorrow may be too late.

This is the reason we need tougher sanctions on Iran–not secret deals.

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Behind The Rift Between The United States And Saudi Arabia

Yesterday Michael Ledeen posted an article at the Huffington Post about the recent rift between America and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Ledeen reminds us that the problem between the two countries is a result of the problems that Iran is causing in the Middle East.

The article reports:

During the 2011 “Arab Spring,” for example, Iran and Saudi Arabia came very close to direct armed conflict in Bahrain. The Iranian regime had allegedly fomented uprisings among the Shi’ites in Bahrain, a small island just off the coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by a two-mile causeway. There seemed to be a real possibility that the pro-Saudi, pro-American royal family might be overthrown, and the Saudis threatened to send troops across the causeway to put down the disturbance. Iran reacted violently, but when Saudi troops marched into Bahrain, the Guards were nowhere to be found.

Following the Saudi intervention, the Revolutionary Guards were reportedly ordered to organize attacks on Saudi targets all over the world. They reportedly recruited hundreds of Iranian suicide bombers (although this is usually disinformation, since the regime typically uses Arabs, not Iranians, for such operations).

The article at the Huffington Post lists a number of incidents in recent years where Iran has targeting the Saudis and their interests around the world.

The article concludes:

Bottom line: there’s a very real war out there, and the Saudis are in the Iranian crosshairs. The Royal Family are not just worried about the destiny of Syria, they’re very much concerned about their own fate. This is what gives so much intensity to their recent actions and statements.

The Saudis are not angels. However, they are a successful counterbalance to Iran i the Middle East. They are also responsible for the fact that oil is traded in American dollars. We need to treat them well.

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The Real War In The Middle East

Michael Ledeen posted an article at PJMedia today about the Syrian civil war.

Mr. Ledeen reminds us of the history of the war in Iraq:

We invaded Iraq in the name of the War Against Terror, which President George W. Bush defined as a war against terrorist organizations and the states that supported them.  That should have made Iran the focus of our strategy, since Tehran was (and still is, now more than ever) the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism.  Nothing would have so devastated the jihadis as the fall of the Iranian regime, which–then as now–funded, trained, armed and gave sanctuary to terrorist groups from al-Qaeda and Hezbollah to Islamic Jihad and Hamas.  Unless we defeated Iran, it would not be possible for Iraq to have decent security, no matter how total the defeat of Saddam and the Baathists, and how well-intentioned the successor government.  As you can plainly see.

Mr. Ledeen points out that we have again arrived at the same place.

He further explains:

So, as in Iraq, if you want to win this battle in the terror war (Syria), you must defeat the Iranian regime.  And, as in the early years of this bloody century, you can do it without dropping bombs or sending Americans to fight on the ground, because the overwhelming majority of Iranians want to rid themselves of Khamenei and Rouhani and all the rest of their tyrannical oppressors.  They can do it, with a bit of political, technological and economic support.  They could have done it in 2003, when they were on the verge of declaring a general strike against the regime.  Colin Powell and W abandoned them, and it never happened.  They could have done it in 2009, when millions of them took to the streets in demonstrations larger than those that led to the downfall of the shah.  Hillary Clinton and O abandoned them, and a brutal repression ensued.

We keep trying to take down the tree by only removing its branches because they are easier to chop off. Well, they are not really easier to chop off, and we are never getting to the root of the problem. Unless our Middle East policy drastically changes, we will be fighting the Muslim Brotherhood there for the next fifty years or more.

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One Of The People Who Actually Understands What Is Going On In The Middle East

There are a number of people who actually understand what is happening in Egypt and the Middle East. One of them is Michael Ledeen. He posted an article at PJMedia today to help the rest of us get some perspective.

Mr. Ledeen begins by explaining that there is a global war going on and we shouldn’t be looking at each country involved as a separate entity–this is one big picture with many parts–not many little pictures.

Some of Mr. Ledeen’s ideas:

For the most part, the deep thinkers zero in on the single battlefields.

…It could not be otherwise, since our government, our universities, our news organizations and our think tanks are all primarily organized to deal with countries, and our analysts, policy makers and military strategists inevitably think inside those boxes.  We don’t have an assistant secretary of defense for global strategy (FOOTNOTE:  actually we do, his name is Andrew Marshall, he’s a sprightly genius of 92 years, and he runs a largely-ignored corner of the Pentagon called “Net Assessments”), but we do have one for the Near East and South Asia.

…So there’s a global war, we’re the main target of the aggressors, and our leaders don’t see it and therefore have no idea how to win it.

…The war is easily described:  there is a global alliance of radical leftists and radical Islamists, supported by a group of countries that includes Russia, at least some Chinese leaders, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua).  The radicals include the Sunni and Shi’ite terrorist organizations and leftist groups, and they all work seamlessly with the narcotics mafias.  Their objective is the destruction of the West, above all, of the United States.

…Let’s get outside these little boxes and look at the big board.  There’s an alliance plotting against us, bound together by two radical views of the world that share a profound, fundamental hatred of us.  If they win, it’s hell to pay, because then we will be attacked directly and often, and we will be faced with only two options, winning or losing.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that they’re divided, and slaughtering each other.  And it’s not always possible for us to sort out what “each other” even means.  But one thing is quite clear, and I know it’s an unpopular idea, but it’s a true fact:  they’re not an awesome force.  The radical left has failed everywhere, and so have the radical Islamists.  Both claim to have history (and/or the Almighty) on their side, but they go right on failing.  The left is now pretty much in the garbage bin of history (you can hire Gorbachev for your next annual meeting if you can afford his speaking fee), and the “Muslim world”–sorry to be so blunt–is a fossilized remnant of a failed civilization.  Look at the shambles in Iran, look at the colossal mess the Brothers unleashed on a once-great nation.

…So we’ve got opportunities, lots of them.  We’ve already passed up many:  failing to support the Iranian people against the evil regime that is the central source of terror against us and our would-be friends, failing to support Mubarak against the Brothers, failing to quickly support the opposition to Assad at the outset, before the enterprise got buried under a heap of jihadi manure, and so forth.  OK, we’re human, we’re led, if that’s the right verb, very badly, by ideologues who think we are the root cause of most of the world’s problems.  Which is the same thing our enemies believe, as luck would have it.  But this will pass, and even now we could transform the big global board by doing the strategically sound and morally correct thing, and support the Iranian people against the regime.  Don’t bomb them, don’t invade them, just tell the regime we know who and what they are, and start talking to their most dangerous enemies, the overwhelming majority of the Iranian nation.  We may not know exactly how to do it, but they do, and if we showed up, they would tell us.

That the regime fears them was demonstrated once again when the Iranian parliament rejected three nominees for the new government.  All three would have commanded ministries having to do with culture and education, which is to say young Iranians, the core of the opposition. Two of those candidates were associates of the Green Movement leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.  During the debate, the word “Green” was heard more than 150 times, underlying the alarm of the deputies.

Of course they’re afraid.  They are right to be afraid.  And just think of the consequences of a free Iran:  the fall of the Syrian regime, a devastating blow to Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guards, Islamic Jihad and Hamas.  Bad news for the Brothers.  A kick in the solar plexus of the nasty lefties in South America…

Think globally.  Act as if you understood it.  On our side, confound it.  And yes, faster, please.  Especially those of you who pretend to be capable of leading us after the departure of these guys…

As I said, Michael Ledeen is one of the most knowledgeable and rational experts on the Middle East.

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The Big Picture In Syria

Michael Ledeen is a a “Freedom Scholar” at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is a reliable source of information on what is going on in the Middle East. Mr. Ledeen has the ability to step away from the obvious and see the big picture. Today he posted an article at the PJ Media website on the Israeli bombing of Syria.

Mr. Ledeen reminds us that the bombing of Syria by Israel was not really about Israel–it was about Iran and Russia. He also points out that the success of the attack was embarrassing to the Russians as they have supplied antiaircraft systems to both Iran and Syria and Israel seemed to have no problem getting past those systems.

The article at PJ Media reports:

The primary Israeli targets seem to have been Iranian missiles shipped from Iran to Syria, reportedly pending transfer to Hezbollah. They are capable of carrying chemical warheads, which may explain President Obama’s quick support for Israel.

The attacks came after more than a month of diplomatic activity:

–On Thursday, April 25th, the United States announced that we had evidence that the Syrians had used chemical weapons. That announcement was not merely the result of internal American deliberations; it came after several meetings with allies following claims of chemical attacks from the Syrian opposition in late March.

The article at PJ Media gives the timeline of the diplomatic activity regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but it also deals with the larger picture.

The article notes:

These discussions were undoubtedly about the “big picture” as well as the specific question of chemical weapons. I cannot imagine the Israelis not sharing their view of Iran’s regional strategy, which they believe includes a contingency plan (named after Quds Force commander Qasem Suleimani) for the occupation of Syria if Assad were to lose control.

…Syria’s centrality in Iranian strategy was voiced by Mehdi Taaib, who heads Khamenei’s think tank. He recently stated that “Syria is the 35th district of Iran and it has greater strategic importance for Iran than Khuzestan [an Arab-populated district inside Iran].”

Iran’s strategy includes domination of Iraq, which they could use as an operational base if Syria falls.

SIDEBAR: You may have noticed that casualties in Iraq are now running at roughly half those in Syria, as the Iranians apply the same methods they used unsuccessfully against us: foment civil war by the use of terror and religiously inspired mass movements.

We have been engaged in a proxy war with Iran for a number of years. It really is time to go after the root of the problem rather than continually fighting small wars that have no end in countries surrounding Iran.

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An Informed Perspective On The Middle East

Michael Ledeen is the Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is a highly regarded expert on Iran’s Green Movement and maintains close ties to opposition groups inside Iran. He posted an article at PJMedia yesterday that accurately describes what is happening in the Middle East.

He opens his article:

Killing Americans serves several purposes in the war being waged against us (we have yet to seriously engage against our known enemies): first, it’s what the war is all about. They want us dead or dominated. Second, it helps recruitment, which had dropped after the defeat of Iran, Syria, and al-Qaeda in Iraq. Morale had also dropped, and stories claiming that the top American in Libya had been raped before he was executed feeds the blood lust of jihadists, whose language and fantasies are rich with such images. Third, it enhances the power of the unseen moving hand. Fourth, it discourages our current and would-be friends and allies.

No serious person believes that an obscure movie shown to less than a dozen people many months ago was the “cause” of the simultaneous assaults in Cairo and Benghazi. Or that the assaults were unrelated, let alone spontaneous. Or that there was no state actor involved in the operation.

So why is the American press refusing to report this aspect of the story? Because the story behind the story is the total failure of President Obama’s outreach to terrorists.

Mr. Ledeen’s article concludes:

If we do not support revolution within Iran, we will get more of these attacks, and more dead Americans. In the end, we will fulfill Churchill’s prophecy to Chamberlain on the day after Munich: you thought you had to choose between dishonor and war. You chose dishonor, and you will have war. We may yet have time to choose honor — support those who have already risked their lives to defeat our enemies — and avoid the big war relentlessly engulfing us.

It would be nice if we could ignore what Iran is doing, but we do so at our own peril.

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Some Clear Thinking In The Midst Of The Fog

Michael Ledeen posted an article at Pajamas Media yesterday dispelling three basic myths currently controlling America’s foreign policy. All three of the myths can be debunked by common sense, but somehow the mainstream media seems to have missed that.

The three myths:

The Syrian peace negotiations

The Iranian nuclear negotiations

“Resets” and other dreams

In reference to Syria, Mr. Ledeen points out that peace happens in war only after one side wins. He mentions that too many Syrians have been killed and there has been too much violence for both sides to sit down and simply talk peace. Until there is a winner, there will be no peace. He suggests that America support one side or the other in order to bring a quicker end to the war and to bring peace.

In reference to Iran, Mr. Ledeen points out that Iran has been at war with us since 1979, when they were in the streets yelling, “Death to America!”  They want a nuclear weapon because it will make them invulnerable to American and Israeli power.

Mr. Ledeen states:

…“Negotiations” are tactical moves to divide their enemies, gain more time to build their arsenal, and fend off further sanctions.

As the Washington Post‘s editorialists said, if you want to solve the nuke problem, you need regime change in Tehran.  But hardly anyone among the B & Bs cares to discuss how to bring down the Iranian regime, any more than they are doing the slightest thing to bring down the Assads’ tyranny in Damascus.

Forget about the nukes, it’s the war, stupid.

In reference to pushing the “reset button,” Mr. Ledeen points out that good relations with foreign countries are generally the result of shared cultural values. Since we do not have many shared cultural values with Comrade Putin, we can push the reset button all we want, but probably won’t get results.

Mr. Ledeen concludes:

Contrary to the rhetoric of the current secretary of state, the important “reset” is the one that has already occurred, the change in the Russians’ (and others’) evaluation of our willingness to fight for our position in the world.  The current crop of Russian leaders don’t respect us, and most assuredly do not fear the consequences of challenging us.

Those attitudes are very widely shared, from the Middle East to Latin America.  Lack of respect leads even such minor figures as Venezuela’s Chavez to dream of regional empire, and a deadly assault on the United States.

Forget about working things out around conference tables.  The war against us is on, and we won’t have anything approaching peace until that war is won.  By us, or by our enemies.

Common sense is a dangerous thing.







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