Skip to comments.MARK STEYN: May the ayatollah go the way of Saddam
Posted on 06/22/2003 6:17:04 AM PDT by SJackson
It's mullah time! The question now is whether Iran's ayatollahs and the original ''Islamic republic'' can survive the summer, or whether President Bush will mark the second anniversary of Sept. 11 with two-thirds of his axis of evil consigned to the trash can of history.
That would be a remarkable achievement, by any measure save that of Democratic presidential candidates such as John Kerry, who seems to be running as the French foreign minister (a niche market of limited appeal even among Dem primary voters, one would think). Senator Kerry will continue to insist it's all a disaster and possibly a cover-up, too. But over in North Korea, the third member of the axis will get the picture. For one thing, it's hard to be an effective axis when there's just one of you.
As the late Shah of Iran observed in exile, ''Ingratitude is the prerogative of the people''--a remark so full of rueful wisdom you'd think he'd been in vaudeville. Right now, the people's ingratitude to their Islamic Revolutionaries is near unanimous: Even the Christian Science Monitor's mullah-friendly coverage concedes that, according to recent ''polls,'' 90 percent of Iranians ''want change.'' If I were one of the A-list ayatollahs, I wouldn't bet on many of that last 10 percent hanging tough when push comes to shove.
A year ago, I wrote of Iran: ''So far as one can tell from the patchy reports, it sounds more like Hungary 1956 than Czechoslovakia 1989.'' The reports are still patchy but this summer's looking more like 1989 every day. The only question is which of the European models applies: the Czech version, where the old monsters are civilized enough to perform one real service for their people by handing power over peacefully; the Romanian version, where the saner elements in the ruling party decide to remove the leadership and hope that's enough to assuage their subjects; the Bulgar version, where the former Royal Family returns from exile to spearhead a new democracy . . .
I'll wager there are more than a few quiet-life mullahs weighing the options. Iran is not a one-man cult like Saddam's Iraq, and many imams, whether ''conservative'' or ''liberal,'' can recognize the smell of death percolating from the head office. The regime begins this year's riot season see-sawing between savage but ineffective crackdowns and humiliating but insufficient concessions. Tipping point beckons.
So what should the West do? The European Union and large elements of America's State Department can't seem to wean themselves off the idea that the ayatollahs are ''reformers.'' In February, a year after the president's ''axis of evil'' speech, Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state, described Iran as a ''democracy,'' and State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the country had seen a ''democratic flowering.''
No doubt Messrs. Armitage and Boucher have many fine qualities, but an ability to articulate Bush administration foreign policy is not among them. The Iranian people don't need the Third Infantry Division right now, but they deserve better than to be undercut by the Western world's foreign ministries, and they could use a bit more vocal support and a little communications backup. ''In Tehran, more people know the direction to point their satellite dish than the direction to Mecca!'' That's not a quote from a culturally insensitive Texan talk-radio host, but from ''ahuramazda,'' an Internet blogger from Iran.
One reason to get on board with these guys is because it would be best for all of us if the theocracy fell quickly. The former Soviet republic of Georgia has had its scientists beavering away on Iraq's nuclear program for several months. Yes, folks, it's WMD all over again! And maybe they don't exist any more than the Iraqi ones do, according to the Dems and the Europeans. But I'm happy to take Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani at his word. He's Iran's former president and now head of the Expediency Council, which sounds like an EU foreign policy agency or a State Department think-tank but is, in fact, Iran's highest religious body. Rafsanjani said last year that on the day the Muslim world gets nuclear weapons the Israeli question will be settled forever ''since a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel, while an Israeli counter-strike can only cause partial damage to the Islamic world.''
Oh, my. But what about the Palestinian right of return?
As usual, the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency is minded to defer further discussion of Iran's nuclear program until September, by which point, at the speed things are going, Rafsanjani may have his nuke and the question may be moot. In hastening the end of this regime, those Iranian protesters in Tehran and other cities are doing the rest of the world a big favor.
That's why the term ''Middle East peace process'' is better applied to the region as a whole than to the so-called Palestinian road map. Dignifying the swamp of the West Bank with the name of the entire neighborhood buys into the Arabs' propaganda that the Palestinian situation is responsible for the wretched nature of the Middle East, rather than the other way round. Looked at the other way round, peace is processing apace, and the chips are all falling George W. Bush's way. Whatever the defects of post-Taliban Afghanistan, it's no longer the world's biggest training camp for Saudi-funded terrorism. Whatever the defects of post-Saddam Iraq, it's no longer a self-promotion exercise for the ne plus ultra of anti-American Arab strongmen. And, whatever the defects of post-ayatollah Iran, the fall of the prototype Islamic Republic will be a huge setback to the world's jihadi.
It was Ayatollah Khomeini who successfully grafted a mid-20th century European-style fascist movement onto Islam and made the religion an explicitly political vehicle for anti-Westernism. It was the ayatollah who first bestowed on the United States the title of ''Great Satan.'' And it was the ayatollah who insisted that this Islamic revolution had to be taken directly to the infidels--to the embassy hostages, to Salman Rushdie and, ultimately, to America itself. Twenty years ago, there was a minor British pop hit called ''Ayatollah, Don't Khomeini Closer.'' He came too close. And the end of a regime built on his psychosis is good news for Iranians and Westerners alike.
Why isn't the left (specifically the fourth estate flavor) taking on the insensitivity of the mullahs and the brutality of their Arab stormtroopers? Forget Jayson Blair and Howell Raines- those are just two PC jerk-offs caught with their hands in the cookie jar, publicly paraded to show how journalism has "cleaned their own house." Sure. The rest of the lot are still plying their hypocritical trade, and still championing "freedom" buffet-style.
As usual, Steyn stands out in stark contrast.
Tick, tick, tick,.......the end times are coming, the mullahs are packing. Saudi plane reservations are filling all seats, some may get bumped. Just my humble opinion.
So many bitter responses came to mind when I read this but the magnificent Steyn's opening sentence will suffice: IT'S MULLAH TIME!
Does anyone remember the loud wailing from the left over the insensitivity of the Shah as well as the brutality of SAVAK? I can recall it quite clearly.
The NY Slimes and most of American left wing mediots cheered the downfall of the Shah and his replacement, these murdering Mullah thugs.
Their cheering then and silence now makes one wonder how much Opecker Money paid for that silence then.
Last but not least, their loyalty to Communism and hatred of America, was another reason to cheer then and to spike the news now.
Ann Coulter's new book, Treason, will probably show and touch on the act of treason then by the mediots and why they are silent now on the needed regime change.
Every time I see Boucher at State Department briefing, I see him spouting Willie's lies. How can Bush (or anyone) trust him. If Bush has screwed up anywhere, it is allowing Boucher to stay where he is. I think he could serve the country better on third shift in Botswana.
At first read of the "Bulger" version I wondered if Steyn was talking about South Boston Mass!! You know, a ruling system where one brother runs the organized crime syndicate and the other brother runs the government through an iron fist.
Their silence is nothing more than an affirmation of their HATRED of REAL freedom.
Steyn really nailed it there, brilliantly.
I see that the WSJ has taken notice of Mark. Makes sense - I've finally figured out whose writing his reminds me of - Paul Gigot, during the 90s. Great stuff, indeed.
Unfortunately, with the resounding silence coming from the US, it looks like it's not going to be any thanks to us if the mullahs fall.
Perhaps we're busy behind the scenes, but the State Dept's wishy-washy utterances sure don't give me much hope for that.
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