January 2, 2010
America Retreats -- Mullahs AdvanceBy James Lewis
There's good news and bad news for 2010.
The good news is that there is a real hero of freedom in Iraq: a member of the Iraqi parliament named Mithal al-Alusi. In the Iraq war, one thing most Americans have wondered about is who really stands for the people and who, if anybody, still harbors those glowing embers of freedom that ultimately overthrew Soviet totalitarianism. (That's the one our kids don't learn about in school anymore because it might make America look good.)
Is it really true that Iraqis wanted their freedom after three decades of Saddam Hussein's brutal fascism? The Left, both here and abroad, always denied that there were freedom-fighters in the Soviet Union. Then came Nadezhda Mandelstam, Sakharov, Solzhenitsyn, the Samizdat underground press, and Nathan Sharansky. We forget those names at our peril. Obama will not remember them for us.
What about Saddam Hussein's Iraq and all the other neo-fascist regimes that now dominate the U.N. General Assembly? Where were their freedom-fighters? Well, in Saddam's Iraq, many of them fled to freer countries. Hundreds of thousands were killed or tortured, or else had their family members taken away forever. There is a reason why Iraqi Shi'ites revere martyrs -- they've seen so many of them. By the time the U.S. military rolled up Saddam Hussein's forces in three weeks in 2003, only the bare husk of a nation was left. The Bush administration tackled the awesome job of reconstructing a terribly abused and humiliated nation. Our Leftist media did nothing but abuse those Iraqis who yearned for a better life and who supported a new, more modern and tolerant country. There were heroes, all right -- they were the ones who were blown up by al-Qaida and Iran's proxy terror groups. And then there were survivors. What we have now in Iraq is a government of survivors. It is far, far better than Saddam, but it is not out of danger.
Mithal al-Alusi sounds like a man of extraordinary sanity and grace to emerge from all the madness. He is a man of peace who also recognizes danger from Tehran's fascists and their nukes. He has seen fascists all his life, so he can recognize them. He is even willing to call Iranian fascists "fascists." Telling the truth is the key to everything good -- but it takes immense courage. Mr. al-Alusi is one of whose who is willing to tell the truth, but when he called for peace with Israel -- still taboo in Iraq -- his two sons were blown up. Yet he has not changed his public position. This is not the kind of heroism many of us can understand, much less emulate. What we can do is acknowledge it.
And there's even more good news from Iran itself: a whole generation of heroes of freedom -- unfortunately not being helped by the United States, either in word or in deed, for fear of offending the fascists in power. It's tough noogies for the Freedom-Fighters of Tehran.
So now the biggest threat to peace is Tehran's nuclear weapons, as we have known it would be ever since Jimmy Carter capitulated to the mullahs. Iraq's M.P. al-Alusi believes that Iranian nukes are much closer to reality than our risible CIA would have us believe. The CIA has been wrong about every single new nuclear regime since Stalin's A-bomb in 1949, so it makes sense to believe the opposite of whatever it says. The CIA doesn't report facts; it just plays politics.
As Caroline Glick points out in the Jerusalem Post, the mullahs are now making extremely rapid geostrategic gains in the Middle East. They are encircling Israel from all sides except for Egypt and Jordan, and in the south they still have the Gaza strip filled with Hamas radicals. The mullahs may be feeling the chill breath of history on their necks now that they are losing their own people. So they are big fanatics in a big hurry. They have to get those nukes fast, to scare their own people as well as all their neighbors. Those fast chess moves make sense if Ahmadinejad is shoring up all his defenses and buying all the alliances he can, on the assumption of a large-scale war in 2010.
That's not what you wanted to know for New Year's. I know.
Still, here are the ineluctable strategic facts, the ones that never change. Saudi Arabia is just fifty miles from Iran's Bushehr reactor. The oil sheikhdoms of the Gulf are within Iranian missile and gunboat range. Iranian terrorists can strike any of its neighboring nations. Iraq is right nextdoor to the Islamofascists of Tehran, weakened by a decade of internecine warfare, and the Iraqis still see constant terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in their cities, with truck bombs and IEDs made in Iran.
There's all kinds of oil right outside of the mullahs' control. They just invaded a piece of Iraq to conquer a single oil well. Testing! Testing! Even Kuwait is right at the top of the Gulf. (Remember that place? There was a Gulf War I to rescue Kuwait in 1991. It worked, but don't let the Democrats hear about it.) Afghanistan borders Iran, as does Pakistan, which has its own Nukes Plus Radicals problem. Look at Iran on the map and you can see why the Persian Empire controlled so much territory for so long -- and why the Muslim caliphates always had to try to control it.
Iran's terrorist proxy Hezb'allah now controls the state of Lebanon. Syria has been in Iran's corner for a long, long time and is now armed with Iranian missiles that take only the press of a button to launch. Until Israeli jets knocked it out, the Syrians were trying to build an Iranian-North Korean nuclear reactor near the Euphrates River. (Needless to say, the CIA denied its existence for months even after the Israelis knocked it out.) Under Hamas, the Gaza Strip has become a terror zone supplied by Iranian martyrdom fanatics. Between Hezb'allah and Hamas, there are more missiles pointing at Israel's population centers than there were before last year's conflict. Add Syrian and Iranian missiles, and there is a ring of steel around the smallest Western-style state in the Middle East, a place where Palestinian Arabs can appeal to the Supreme Court in Jerusalem and win by hiring smart lawyers. That doesn't exist anywhere else in the neighborhood.
The latest domino to fall to Iran could be Turkey, which has one of the the biggest military forces in NATO. Turkey is now under the control of an Islamic party, which is slowly reversing eight decades of secularism and democracy. They are Sunni Muslims, but they can be bought and coerced by Iranian Shi'ites. After all, Islamists have two common enemies: the Big Satan (us) and the Little Satan (Israel). Turkey just signed 47 trade agreements with Syria, and therefore indirectly with Iran.
Europe would die without Middle Eastern oil. The Europeans are deluded, historically ignorant, and lazy to boot, enticed by hot pursuit of an illusory Peace of the Lion and the Lamb, Forever and Ever, Karl Marx Willing. To guarantee the peace, they spend a pittance for defense, knowing they can get the U.S. military to rescue them in Kosovo and Georgia. We just saw the Euroclimate farce in Copenhagen falling apart because even the Chinese and the Russians no longer believe in Marxist Wonderland. Only fools and Eurosocialists are suckering their taxpayers that way...oh yes, and the Obama administration. But we knew that.
The whole Middle East knows it, too. That's why the dominoes are falling Ahmadinejad's way right now. The Arabs and Turks know there's no downside to dissing this American president, but there is a huge downside to upsetting the mullahs. So they make rational choices and go with the strong horse, just as Osama bin Laden told us they would.
Under President We're So Sorry!!!, the United States doesn't scare anybody. So there's a big Mount Everest avalanche a-comin', and the Israelis are not going to wait for the next administration in 2012 or 2016, because that will be much too late for them. That's what the mullahs see also, and they are acting accordingly.
Oh yes, and then there's another piece of good news: John Kerry wants to go to Iran to negotiate peace. His spokesman just denied it, so it has to be true. Senator Kerry is the guy who just blocked U.S. trade sanctions against Iran. Trade sanctions are the only peaceful leverage we have, so between Kerry and Obama, the world has been rendered helpless...short of war, that is.
But it's Barack Hussein Obama who has set the stage.
Now everybody else has to play on it.
Pray for a peaceful year.