Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - December 3, 2005 - Ledeen says Bush's Plan for Victory is a Sucker's Game
Posted on 12/03/2005 11:23:19 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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By MICHAEL LEDEEN
December 1, 2005
The president gave us an often brilliant assessment of the war in Iraq, along with a welcome outline of his plan for victory over the terrorists there. It was full of vision and grit, both of which have been in alarmingly short supply in what has passed for our national debate, and it paid appropriate tribute to the armed forces - ours, our Coalition allies', and the growing numbers of Iraqi soldiers - deployed against the terrorists. No doubt we are making real progress. No doubt the areas of tranquility are multiplying, as the terrorists' death toll mounts relentlessly. No doubt, as Senator Lieberman reminds us, the great majority of Iraqis see reason for hope that they will govern themselves and dominate their enemies.
But the hard, unpleasant fact remains: we are playing a sucker's game in Iraq, because we are trying to win a regional war by fighting in a single country. The president knows this. He constantly describes Iraq as one battlefield in a broader war. He knows that the terrorists in Iraq are funded, trained, armed and inspired by the tyrannical regimes of three neighboring countries, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. He often names the first two, while finessing the third, which is both an ally and an enemy in the terror war. And he knows the one big thing: that this is a war of freedom against tyranny, and that the tyrants are waging an existential war against us in Iraq because they know that if we succeed, they are doomed to fall at the hands of their own people, who are hoping that our efforts to spread freedom will not be limited to Iraq, but will eventually embrace them as well.
That is why the president said, in Annapolis, "Freedom's victory (in Iraq) will inspire democratic reformers from Damascus to Tehran, and spread hope across a troubled region..."
Fine words indeed (although he would have done better to speak of "democratic revolutionaries," which is the correct designation; freedom will not defeat the Syrian, Saudi, and Iranian tyrants by a gradual process of reform), and they are words that cry out for action. But the president does not provide action.
He has convinced himself, and seeks to convince us, that if we stay the course in Iraq, democracy will spread to the other countries all by itself. And that is a sucker's game. Revolution has almost always required external support, it is not a natural process, it does not simply grow out of the failures of evil regimes, and it is not a spontaneous explosion of the righteous indignation of oppressed peoples. People do not have an intuitive understanding of revolution, they must learn its methods, and obtain its tools. In the great democratic revolution of our time, which has transformed the known world in ways no one foresaw back in the 1970s, when the dictatorships of Spain and Portugal gave way to peaceful revolutionary changes, the revolutionary forces have invariably had outside support.
* In Iberia, the combination of a brilliant and courageous Spanish king and a remarkable generation of political leaders ranging from Adolfo Suarez to Mario Soares, received wise council and material support from Western governments, progressive political parties and tough-minded trade union organizations.
* Throughout Latin America, military dictatorships were toppled in large part because their democratic opponents were supported by the Reagan administration (and the dictators were given harsh ultimata by Washington);
* In the Soviet Empire, with Poland the keystone of the revolutionary edifice, pro-democracy forces got money, advice, technology (such as fax machines, at the time a revolutionary device) and a steady flow of support and information from the radios of the free world, from Western governments, and from a heroic trade union network guided by Lane Kirkland and Irving Brown, and backed up by the American government.
* In recent democratic revolutions in Yugoslavia, the Ukraine, Lebanon, and Georgia, American support has been key.
Indeed, it is hard to think of a single case in which a successful democratic revolution has taken place all by itself, without an international network of support and, above all, without significant American help.
Thus, when the president speaks as if he believes that democratic revolution can succeed in the Middle East purely and simply because we defeat the terrorists in Iraq, he gainsays the lessons of the past 30 years, and demeans his own leadership by seemingly opting out of American participation in the spread of freedom. It is impossible to believe that this vision can be fulfilled. Indeed, it is more likely that, by limiting our actions to the Iraq theater, we will give our tyrannical enemies the chance to find a winning strategy that will lead to our defeat, to the triumph of the fanatical forces in Iraq, and to the consolidation of the dictatorships in Riyadh, Damascus, and Tehran.
Worse still, it is folly to believe that we can defeat the terrorists in Iraq without directly challenging the terror masters in Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.They cannot accept such an outcome, and they will constantly raise the stakes, escalating the level of violence in the Middle East and in our own capitals. This is implicit in the very nature of the terror war, for they are not fighting for the control of a small piece of territory, but for domination of the West itself in the name of a totalitarian vision called jihad, to establish a global dictatorship called caliphate.
There is no escape from this war, which grows out of the terrorists' hatred of our success and our power. They know that our very existence threatens the legitimacy of their regimes, both those that hold sway today in the Middle East, and the dream of global domination that motivates them. We, and they, are doomed to see it through until there is a winner and a loser.
That is why, despite his fine words and his dazzling insight into the nature of the war, President Bush's strategy is not good enough. It leaves the initiative where it has been all along - in the capitals of the terror masters - instead of shifting it where it belongs - in our hands. We are making excellent progress in Iraq, and I have no doubt that the terror masters are enraged at their failure to break the will of American fighting forces, and to create a mass anti-American movement on the ground in Iraq. They had hoped to do that, and they have failed. But they must believe that they can reverse the tide, and they will find new ways to menace us and menace those Iraqis who so desperately want to be free.
Left to their own devices, the Iranians, Saudis, and Syrians will find new stratagems, no doubt hoping to win a political victory in America even if they cannot win a terror war in the Middle East. The president cannot permit them the luxury of time. He must threaten them with the revolution of their own people, who today dominate the real Islamic street.
That would be the right thing to do, even if there were no terror war, and even if the attacks of September 11, 2001, had never happened. Freeing oppressed peoples is the heart of the American mission, and it is the winning strategy in the current crisis. The president knows all this. Thus far he has failed to act on that knowledge, and his latest speech gives no reason to believe he will soon do so.
More's the pity, for us and for all those who seek their share of freedom.
Mr. Ledeen is Freedom Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of "The War Against the Terror Masters."
- Iran Press News reported on the regimes laughable description of Tehran University demonstrations.
- Iran Press News reported on the prosecution of four publishers and editors-in-chief.
- Iran Press News reported that protesting workers blocked the Rasht-Bandareh Anzali main road.
- Iran Press News reported on the regime's anxiety over the proximity of the Persian Gulf countries with NATO.
- Iran Press News reported that the deputy of Iran's family court said: Women are subjugated to legal violence.
- Iran Press News reported that Iran has imported 3 times its export of Gas.
- Iran Press News reported that Alireza Akbari, Director of the Establishment of Advancement of Resolution, said of Russia's nuclear proposal: Russias proposal is beneficial neither in the short term nor the long term.
- Statfor provided their interpretation of the Khalilzad initiative with the Iranians.
- Ha'aretz reported that for the EU, the ball is now in Iran's court.
- American Enterprise Institute published the ninth chapter of Gaffney's "War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take in the War for the Free World." A must read.
- The Foreign Press Association reported that Akbar Ganji was a recipient of the "Dialogue of Cultures" Award.
- The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Aharon Ze'evi Farkash said: it is clear that Iran has passed the point of no return ... unless Iran encounters a major interference, it will have a functioning nuclear arsenal within one or two years.
- Richard Bernstein, The New York Times argued that Mao's 'Fight Talk' strategy is a winning one for Iran.
- United Press International reported that U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns explained the U.S. policy toward Iran.
- DEBKAfile reported on the abrupt firing of Alexander Rumyantsev as head of the Russian Agency for Atomic Energy, trusted by the US and Israeli governments.
- CBS 2 Chicago reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that he is confident all diplomatic efforts will be exhausted before any military action might be taken against the Iranian nuclear program.
- Eli Lake, New York Sun reported that Iranian Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi told reporters that his side is winning in Iraq.
- Iran va Jahan published "A Word with the Nation, A Warning to the Regime." A statement dated November 2005 signed by 674 personalities including former Members of the Iranian Majles (parliament); well know academics, political and cultural personalities as well as student activists.
- Rooz Online reported on yet another unlawful imprisonment.
- Farhad Mahdavi, Rooz Online reported on the announcement of Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi that talks with the US are on Irans agenda.
- And finally, Meysam Tavab, Rooz Online reported that one of the first acts of Farhad Rahbar, responsible for drawing up plans and budgets for the country was to categorize a large number of documents formerly available to the public as Confidential.
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What a nut job this guy is! We've got the idiot morons in the halls of Congress calling for surrender, and this jerk thinks we should attack 3 other countries.
People have been arm chair quarter backing since 2001, and I think he's been consistently for taking out Iran since that time.
I was talking about Ledeen's stance.
bomb cambodia...and make sure you hit kerry this time
The fact remains they ARE on defense with their nuclear goals.
The crucial question is how long till they actually produce nukes?
We can bomb them today and start a huge stink about it or we can bomb them 6 years (or 3 or 9 or 7?) from now and smoke everything they got a few months before they produce one.
But if we hold off then we got a CHANCE we can get traction for change from within.
It's not a great chance but once we bomb we bomb so what is the difference. Either way they end up with no nukes.
The Iranians and the Syrians need not to fear our Tanks, Cruise Missiles and our magnificent Warriors, those Tyrants need to worry about their own people.
Nobody wakes up in the morning and looks forward to another day of bondage. On the other hand, When we succeed in Iraq, hope will become one with the desert winds and those winds will bring major change throughout the Middle East, just like it did Eastern Europe
he is not talking about military action against Iran or Syria
This whole piece by Ledeen is Bravo Sierra
Ledeen is talking about support for democracy movement inside Iran and that is what our government has done nothing about!
Pres. Bush has just authorized our ambassador in Iraq to hold direct talks with Mullahs!
Bush permits talks with Iran over border security crisis
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