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MARK STEYN: May the ayatollah go the way of Saddam
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | June 22, 2003 | MARK STEYN

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.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: iran; iranreform; khomeini; marksteyn; marksteynlist

1 posted on 06/22/2003 6:17:04 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
2 posted on 06/22/2003 6:17:41 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: scholar; Bullish; linear; Pokey78
Ping
3 posted on 06/22/2003 6:20:02 AM PDT by knighthawk (Full of power I'm spreading my wings, facing the storm that is gathering near)
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To: SJackson
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.

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.

4 posted on 06/22/2003 6:41:22 AM PDT by niteowl77 (Pray for our troops!)
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To: SJackson; Grampa Dave; Travis McGee; Ernest_at_the_Beach
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.

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.

5 posted on 06/22/2003 6:46:28 AM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (proud member of a fierce, warlike tribe of a fire-breathing conservative band of Internet brothers)
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To: BOBTHENAILER
May the Mullah thugs get bumped into Islamofascist Hell with no return flights.

It's Elimination of Mullah's time!
6 posted on 06/22/2003 6:56:07 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (It's Elimination of Mullahs's time! Support the regime change in Iran!)
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To: SJackson
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,.."

So many bitter responses came to mind when I read this but the magnificent Steyn's opening sentence will suffice: IT'S MULLAH TIME!

7 posted on 06/22/2003 6:58:08 AM PDT by wife-mom
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To: edskid; BOBTHENAILER; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Shermy; Travis McGee; DPB101; Miss Marple; Dog; ...
Edskid, you posted a great history lesson for all us watching this Regime Change happen in Iran.

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.

8 posted on 06/22/2003 7:02:47 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (It's Elimination of Mullahs's time! Support the regime change in Iran!)
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To: SJackson
Steyn hands the democraps ammunition in a reminder of Bush's most major failure as President, the thing he has done that most negatively reflects on his capability and judgment. He has allowed Richard Boucher to continue to be State Department spokesman.

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.

9 posted on 06/22/2003 7:23:39 AM PDT by Tacis
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To: SJackson
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 .

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.

10 posted on 06/22/2003 7:44:04 AM PDT by WL-law
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To: SJackson
Steyn nailed it dead-on...

Our adorable freedom-loving left and certain snooty Europeans are either quietly or openly supporting these rotten mullahs and some members of our State Dept want the students to lose the revolution. WHY does Bush have to keep members in the State Dept that are undermining his foreign policy?
11 posted on 06/22/2003 7:59:22 AM PDT by Tamzee (Liberalism.... the willing suspense of rationality.)
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To: Grampa Dave
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.

Their silence is nothing more than an affirmation of their HATRED of REAL freedom.

12 posted on 06/22/2003 8:50:17 AM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (proud member of a fierce, warlike tribe of a fire-breathing conservative band of Internet brothers)
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To: SJackson
Steyn, as usual, puts perspective on the situation.
13 posted on 06/22/2003 9:41:17 AM PDT by Gritty
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To: SJackson
Oh, my. But what about the Palestinian right of return?

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.

pb

14 posted on 06/22/2003 9:59:46 AM PDT by Paul_B (Forgive and you shall be forgiven.)
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To: SJackson
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!

I think there is a mistake.  Shouldn't that be Iran's nuclear program?
15 posted on 06/22/2003 11:34:45 AM PDT by gcruse
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To: Grampa Dave
The left will claim, as they did when the Soviet Union fell, that America had nothing to do with the fall of the Mullahs. Unless, of course, it turns out badly. Then it will be all America's fault.
16 posted on 06/22/2003 11:45:57 AM PDT by DPB101
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To: DPB101
but [Iranians] deserve better than to be undercut by the Western world's foreign ministries...

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.

17 posted on 06/22/2003 12:05:30 PM PDT by livius
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To: knighthawk; Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2; ..
Thanks!


18 posted on 06/22/2003 12:07:45 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Grampa Dave
Michael Ledeen was on Fox today and he said the mullahs are importing farsi speaking Arabs in to put down demonstrations.
19 posted on 06/22/2003 12:15:59 PM PDT by Dog
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To: livius
Ledeen said Bush is handling this perfectly..
20 posted on 06/22/2003 12:16:54 PM PDT by Dog
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To: Dog
Maybe there's more to it than meets the eye, then...
21 posted on 06/22/2003 12:48:32 PM PDT by livius
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To: gcruse
Caused me momentary confusion too...Which is exceedingly rare in a Steyn piece. Big Steyn bump!!!!! Thanks Pokey!
22 posted on 06/22/2003 1:02:25 PM PDT by lainde
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To: Dog
Michael Ledeen was on Fox today and he said the mullahs are importing farsi speaking Arabs in to put down demonstrations.

Fits the pattern. The Taliban used Arab rent-a-thugs in their final days as well.

23 posted on 06/22/2003 1:04:57 PM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative (http://c-pol.com)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
He called then Afghan Arabs..
24 posted on 06/22/2003 1:06:00 PM PDT by Dog
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To: Dog
They started the importing of Arabic thugs weeks ago. They knew that their regular police would not be violent enough to put down the students.
25 posted on 06/22/2003 1:45:38 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Evil Old White Devil Californian Grampa for big Al Sharpton and Nader in primaries!)
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To: Pokey78
Gotta love this guy !!

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.

26 posted on 06/22/2003 1:47:16 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Check out my Freeper site !: http://home.attbi.com/~freeper/wsb/index.html)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
Thanks for this reminder: The Taliban used Arab rent-a-thugs in their final days as well.

Some of the toughest battles were with the imported Islamofacists from other Arabic countries and including special imports like Johnny Jihad from Marin County, USA!

27 posted on 06/22/2003 1:48:11 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Evil Old White Devil Californian Grampa for big Al Sharpton and Nader in primaries!)
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To: BOBTHENAILER
You are exactly right with your comment below re the silence of the NY Slimes on the pending regime change in Iran:

Their silence is nothing more than an affirmation of their HATRED of REAL freedom.

28 posted on 06/22/2003 1:56:53 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Evil Old White Devil Californian Grampa for big Al Sharpton and Nader in primaries!)
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To: Grampa Dave; BOBTHENAILER
Add to your list of invisible horrors vs NYTetc drumbeat on 'selective' injustice -


South Africa and the eeevils of apartheid versus the silence regarding the destruction of the entire economy of Zimbabwe but its leader today.
29 posted on 06/22/2003 2:21:27 PM PDT by maica (Don't believe everything you read in the papers- Jayson Blair)
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To: maica
The NY Slimes has really been silent with all of the mass murdering going on in Africa for the past 1-2 decades. After the leader they want in power, got in power, the slaughter/mass murder of innocents went into high gear. In many countries it still continues.
30 posted on 06/22/2003 2:24:16 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Evil Old White Devil Californian Grampa for big Al Sharpton and Nader in primaries!)
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To: Grampa Dave
The Taliban used Arab rent-a-thugs in their final days as well.

And that's what we're seeing in Iraq as well. The guerillas attacking the US troops are in the same category.
I think we're going after the organizations that support these goons, but they sure do know how to get around the world.

31 posted on 06/22/2003 2:41:48 PM PDT by speekinout
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To: speekinout
There is probably some clearing house to rent Islamofacist Arabic thugs from across the middle east.

We saw them in Afghanistan, and most of the last battles in Iraq where with what the Iraqis called outsiders, (non Iraqis).

They are organized and probably financed to go from country to country. Some are so fanatic, that they will pay their own way.

Remember we have some Americans besides Jihad Johnny who tried to go to Afghanistan to fight on the side of the Taliban/al Qaeda thugs.
32 posted on 06/22/2003 2:47:52 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Evil Old White Devil Californian Grampa for big Al Sharpton and Nader in primaries!)
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To: Pokey78
Thanks!
33 posted on 06/22/2003 5:25:44 PM PDT by patricia
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To: Pokey78
thanks for the ping pokey
34 posted on 06/22/2003 8:51:12 PM PDT by mylife
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To: Grampa Dave
"Last but not least, their loyalty to Communism and hatred of America..."

I believe their hatred of America and loyalty to Communism is first and foremost in their scheme of things.

I've known and fought these hateful leftwing b*stards for 40 years - they have no shame. It means nothing to them that thousands suffer and die daily under repressive regimes; if America can't be blamed - it didn't happen.

Heads On Pikes!
35 posted on 06/23/2003 8:07:35 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: headsonpikes
Ann Coulter's new book treason and the over dismay/lack of trust of the left wing mediots will have them running for cover.

You posted the reality of not just 40 years, but going back to at least the 1930's with the left wing and their mediots love/lust for Communism:

I believe their hatred of America and loyalty to Communism is first and foremost in their scheme of things.

I've known and fought these hateful leftwing b*stards for 40 years - they have no shame. It means nothing to them that thousands suffer and die daily under repressive regimes; if America can't be blamed - it didn't happen.

36 posted on 06/23/2003 8:10:45 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Evil Old White Devil Californian Grampa for big Al Sharpton and Nader in primaries!)
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