Mullah knife fight in progress?

James Lewis
The mullahs of Tehran are in midst of the most dangerous power struggle since Jimmy Carter handed Iran to Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979.  Think of it as a knife fight for keeps, with nuclear weapons and control of Middle East oil at stake. Michael Ledeen's sources report that Supreme Guide Khamenei is dead, but Iranian media are not confirming that point. This doesn't mean anything until a replacement is announced. Nobody announced Stalin's death or Mao's death until the power struggle was over.   El Supremo Khamenei has been reported as suffering from cancer now for many months, and a fierce struggle is bound to be going on whether he is actually dead or merely moribund.

We do know that Ahmadinejad is trying to get his favorite apocalyptic guru, Ayatollah Yazdi, to become Supreme Guide. The more pragmatic (and corrupt) faction may be trying to get Ayatollah Rafsanjani elected instead. All mullah factions are bad news, but some are worse than others.

The surrounding countries are sending out alarm signals, from Saudi to Egypt. Israel has just leaked a plan to drop low-yield nuclear bombs in the two most dangerous nuclear sites near Natanz and Isfahan.

Tony Blair and Germany's Angela Merkel have said out loud what George W. has been saying all along: That the Iranians are too mad to trust with nukes. Even the Democrats are beginning to sound alarmed, with House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer giving assurances that a nuclear Iran is not acceptable --- no matter what the Chomsky Left loudly proclaims on its own websites, newspapers and magazines. Abandon Iraq, yes. Abandon Israel, no. (But can we expect any Democrat to stand up to Iran? Would Carter? Would Clinton? Would anybody since JFK?)

It's 1962 again, and we are having another Cuban missile crisis. Half a century later, do we have working anti-missile defenses? We don't know. Does the West face a rational foe? We don't know that either. Ahmadinejad has been going out of his way to sound like a kamikaze pilot, ready to sacrifice his own people for the greater glory of Allah.

Let's hope and pray that we elected the right leader in 2000 and 2004.

James Lewis blogs at
http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/
The mullahs of Tehran are in midst of the most dangerous power struggle since Jimmy Carter handed Iran to Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979.  Think of it as a knife fight for keeps, with nuclear weapons and control of Middle East oil at stake. Michael Ledeen's sources report that Supreme Guide Khamenei is dead, but Iranian media are not confirming that point. This doesn't mean anything until a replacement is announced. Nobody announced Stalin's death or Mao's death until the power struggle was over.   El Supremo Khamenei has been reported as suffering from cancer now for many months, and a fierce struggle is bound to be going on whether he is actually dead or merely moribund.

We do know that Ahmadinejad is trying to get his favorite apocalyptic guru, Ayatollah Yazdi, to become Supreme Guide. The more pragmatic (and corrupt) faction may be trying to get Ayatollah Rafsanjani elected instead. All mullah factions are bad news, but some are worse than others.

The surrounding countries are sending out alarm signals, from Saudi to Egypt. Israel has just leaked a plan to drop low-yield nuclear bombs in the two most dangerous nuclear sites near Natanz and Isfahan.

Tony Blair and Germany's Angela Merkel have said out loud what George W. has been saying all along: That the Iranians are too mad to trust with nukes. Even the Democrats are beginning to sound alarmed, with House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer giving assurances that a nuclear Iran is not acceptable --- no matter what the Chomsky Left loudly proclaims on its own websites, newspapers and magazines. Abandon Iraq, yes. Abandon Israel, no. (But can we expect any Democrat to stand up to Iran? Would Carter? Would Clinton? Would anybody since JFK?)

It's 1962 again, and we are having another Cuban missile crisis. Half a century later, do we have working anti-missile defenses? We don't know. Does the West face a rational foe? We don't know that either. Ahmadinejad has been going out of his way to sound like a kamikaze pilot, ready to sacrifice his own people for the greater glory of Allah.

Let's hope and pray that we elected the right leader in 2000 and 2004.

James Lewis blogs at
http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/