With the Terrorists
By Clifford D. May
IRAN'S THREAT: Last week,
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed to wipe Israel "off the
map." So now, there can be no doubt: The Islamist-Fascist dictators of Iran
are intent on genocide.
Scholar Michael Ledeen notes that while this may be frightening it is hardly
new. The father of the Iranian Revolution, the Ayatollah Khomeini, made the same
promise back in 1979 after he left France (where his hosts did their best to
make him comfortable) and took power in Tehran. I was reporting from Iran at the
time. I remember.
Ledeen also recalls that the first guest of the new Iranian regime was Yasser
Arafat "whose terrorists had trained the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in
Lebanon starting in 1972. (Don't tell the CIA; they think Sunnis and Shi'ites
Hezbollah, an Iranian-controlled terrorist organization based in Lebanon,
Israel's northern neighbor, also hopes to exterminate Israel; as does Hamas
which has bases in Gaza, the West Bank and Syria.
So if these threats are not new, is there a reason for urgency now? Yes --
because Iran's theocrats are now well on their way to developing nuclear weapons
which they could use -- or hand off to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and
Hamas to use.
With normal enemies, deterrence could be a solution. Soviet leaders believed
that if they fired missiles at Washington, Moscow's destruction would follow.
They saw that as no bargain.
But Iran's Militant Islamist clerics might be wiling to trade Tehran for Tel
Aviv: the psychology of the suicide bomber on a larger scale.
Iran has long seen America as its enemy -- no less than Israel. To the mullahs,
America is the Great Satan; Israel is the Little Satan, an outpost of Western
values in a part of the world they consider theirs alone.
Iranian Militant Islamists seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and took
U.S. diplomats hostage. We did not respond forcefully to that aggression --
thereby encouraging more aggression.
It arrived four years later. In 1983, Hezbollah bombed the U.S. Marine barracks
in Beirut, killing 241 servicemen. Hezbollah terrorists also assassinated our
diplomats in Lebanon and tortured to death our CIA station chief, William
Buckley. We did nothing to Hezbollah in response.
Most recently, in 1996, Iran was responsible for the attack on U.S. troops in
Khobar Towers. Nineteen Americans were murdered. Again, the U.S. government
refused to hold Iran accountable.
Related: Kathryn Lopez, writes on the National Review's Corner: "Regime
Change Iran shows you more from the Iranian president's
wipe-Israel-off-the-map speech this week than you've seen." In particular,
the blog shows that Ahmadinejad's threat was directed unambiguously at the
United States as much as at Israel.
to for a fuller explanation.
Kathryn highlights this quote from Ahmadinejad's speech:
"They [ask]: 'Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and
Zionism?' But you had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable,
and surely can be achieved...
"This guy wants both Jews and Americans dead -- he is our common
enemy," Kathryn writes.
"Too much for the MSM [mainstream media]." "For good measure,
Ahmadinejad threatened all those that recognize Israel, meaning Jordan, Egypt
and perhaps the Palestinian Authority."
MEMRI's translation of Ahmadinejad's remarks is here.
Briefing on the response to this threat -- including strong words from Tony
Blair and almost nothing from Arab leaders -- is here.
Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland says Ahmadinejad "reminds a
distracted world at crucial moments of the true nature of Iran's regime, of the
abiding source of conflict in the Middle East and of the deeper meaning of
global terrorism. ... He seems to have been shepherded into office by the ruling
ayatollahs to pursue the politics of hatred and confrontation after a period of
conflicting signals on their intentions. Thanks for the reminder, guys."
Hoagland's column is here.
Finally, a couple of quotes that may surprise you:
"It is no wonder that among Israel's enemy states there is not a single
- Arash Sarhaddi, Iranian-born actor and director who also called for the
complete isolation of the Militant Islamist regime.
"Israel will still exist when Iran is a democratic state, Egypt has ...
democratic elections and even... Syria is democratized."
- Cem Oezdemir, a prominent Turkish-German politician from Germany's Green
More words and pictures here.
Hat tip: Andrew Apostolou
APPEASEMENT NOW: Allen Zerkin, an academic at New York University,
suggests in this LA
Times oped that it's time to negotiate with Osama bin Laden.
Anyone with any insight into the goals of Militant Islamism would not consider
such an idea -- they would understand that Militant Islamism seeks nothing less
than the destruction of Judeo-Christian civilization.
They would understand why these extremists will take whatever we offer but not
honor any pledge made to infidels.
But of course many in the professoriate have no such insights, indoctrinated as
they have been for years by Middle East "experts" supported by Saudi
Arabia's "Wahhabi Lobby."
And Wahhabism, as former CIA director Jim Woolsey has said, is "the soil in
which bin Ladenism grows."
Expect to see more such recommendations that terrorists whose mission is to
destroy democratic societies through catastrophic bloodshed be treated with
respect and deference -- without even demanding that they first give up
But here's what's even more peculiar: Why would anyone even think of bargaining
with bin Laden now? The last time he struck the United States was 9/11/01. Since
then, he has not been able to do much -- not a single attack on U.S. soil.
Surely, that's because he hasn't been able to manage the task and not because
he's showing his appreciation for President Bush's good behavior.
And what would we negotiate for? Would we ask bin Laden to order al-Qaeda's
commander in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, to stop sending out suicide bombers and
to form a political party instead? How would that work since he's not even an
OK, let's suppose that bin Laden said: "Fine. I'll call off Zarqawi. Here's
what I want from you in return. Get out of Iraq and stop supporting Israel and
For the sake of argument, let's say we agree -- and then two days later
terrorists blow up the Smithsonian.
The group that claims credit: "al-Qaeda 2," whose leader issues a
statement via al-Jazeera saying he has no intention of caving in to the infidels
as easily as that coward and apostate, bin Laden.
Our next step would be what? To negotiate a deal with the new guy and with every
terrorist that murders a few of us? Or would there be a cut-off for qualifying?
Perhaps we'd only negotiate with those terrorists who kill more than 500
This is a strategy so ignorant and wrong-headed only an intellectual could
Except, come to think of it, we already tried it. In 1972, terrorists murdered
Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. The group responsible, the Palestine
Liberation Organization under Yasser Arafat, wasn't punished or even
de-legitimized -- it was rewarded. Arafat remained a terrorist master for the
rest of his life.
It's the economics, stupid: Reward terrorism, you get more terrorism. Make
terrorism a dead end -- literally and figuratively -- and there is at least a
chance you can defeat it.
IN INDIA: A group not heard of before, the Islamic Inquilab Mahaz, or
Front for Islamic Uprising, claimed responsibility for Saturday's bombings,
which police said killed 59 people and wounded 210. No doubt Professor Zerkin
(see above) would advise the Indian government to open negotiations with them.
TAKE MY WIVES. PLEASE! "Al-Majd channels acknowledged this week
that Saudi suicide bomber Mohammed Shathaf Al-Shehri, who attacked the Al-Hamra
Oasis Village compound in Riyadh on May 12, 2003, was a math teacher and a hired
comedian for the television station."
More in this article
by Steven Stalinsky in the NY Sun.
Hat tip: Kathryn Lopez.
CIVIL SOCIETY IN IRAQ: It's taking shape. Read what our friend Omar has
to say here.
Foundation for Defense for Democracy