Finishing the Job in the Middle East
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2006*
By Rand Green
Editor & Publisher,
Founder & Executive Director, Spread Freedom Institute
gesture from Iranian President
of the boy who cried Ã¢â‚¬Å“Wolf!Ã¢â‚¬Â It may be tempting today, with the U.S.
militaryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s failure to find the expected stockpiles of weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq and with an Iranian nuclear threat now looming, to apply
the moral of that story to President George W. BushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s foreign policy. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He
cried Ã¢â‚¬ËœWolf!Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ in Iraq when there was no wolf. How does he expect anybody to
believe him now if there really is a wolf in Iran?Ã¢â‚¬Â
tempting though it may be, the allegory does not apply to this situation. To
make my point, let me tell another version of the traditional fable.
was a very cunning wolf who wanted to devour the sheep that a young boy was
tending, but he knew that the moment he began doing so, the boy would run
back to the village and the men in the village would return and kill him
before he had his fill. So the wolf came up with a shrewd scheme. He
approached the flock menacingly, which sent the boy running to tell the
villagers, but then he disappeared without harming the sheep, so when the
men came looking for him they could not find him and they thought the boy
had lied. His plan was to return later, knowing that next time the villagers
would pay no mind to the boyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s insistence that Ã¢â‚¬Å“there really is a wolf!Ã¢â‚¬Â
wolves were watching, and they, too, were cunning. When they saw that the
boy had lost credibility with the villagers, they, too, knew that at a time
of their choosing they could ravage the flock and that no one would come
hunting them until it was too late.
his Presidency, George W. Bush warned Americans that tyrannical regimes in
three rogue states Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Iraq, Iran and North Korea Ã¢â‚¬â€œ possessed or were in
pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, that
posed a grave threat to the United States and the free world, particularly
as there was a great risk that those weapons might fall into the hands of
terrorists who would not hesitate using them to kill millions of innocent
2003, President Bush led the United States and an international coalition to
war against a defiant Saddam Hussein in Iraq who was known to have Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and to
have used Ã¢â‚¬â€œ WMD. Already, Saddam had used chemical and biological agents to
murder many of the half-million people for whose deaths he was responsible.
was cunning. Rather than allow the U.S. military to find his WMD, he made
sure they could not be found, so that President BushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s political enemies in
the United States would call Bush a liar and the American people would not
listen to him again.
taken captive, something he probably did not count on. But he still has
expectations of returning to power, and the remnants of his Baathist party
continue to conduct guerilla warfare against U.S. and Coalition troops and a
terrorist campaign against the supporters of a free and democratic Iraq,
convinced that if they can keep blood flowing, Americans will weary of the
fight, that President BushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s successor will bring the troops home, and the
Baathists can take over once again.
are other wolves in the woods as well.
which lost its foothold in Afghanistan but found uneasy refuge in Western
Pakistan, has opportunistically joined the fray in Iraq, hoping to not only
help the Baathists bring an end to the U.S. presence there but to seize
control in the aftermath, turning Iraq into a Taliban-style Islamist state
such as Afghanistan was before the U.S. invasion. They now see Iraq as a
launching pad for their campaign of global conquest.
Mullahs in Iran have plans of their own for Iraq. They, too, would like to
rule the world, and control of Iraq figures prominently in their game plan,
followed by the annihilation of Israel.
been watching the opinion polls and the op-eds in the United States and is
now feeling bold, cocky and contemptuous.
States has the most powerful military in the world, and the most
sophisticated military technology. No one can defeat the United States on
the battlefield. But the Iranian Mullahs, who were quaking in their sandals
following the successful U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, have now
come to view us in the same light that Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein
have done for some time: squeamish, irresolute, afflicted with a collective
attention deficit disorder, and therefore ultimately impotent.
Not only do
the Iranian despots expect to turn Iraq into a radical Islamic republic
dominated by and molded in the image of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but
they feel free to pursue vigorously their development of nuclear weapons.
They are now convinced that the political mood in the United States is such
that any threatened use of force against them would be hollow.
Unfortunately, unless the American people come to their senses, they may be
It is a
dangerous situation, because Iran is, in fact, determined to develop nuclear
weapons. They claim they only want nuclear technology for the peaceful
purpose of generating electric power. That is not convincing, coming as it
does from one of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leading producers of oil and natural gas. Iran
can generate electricity much more economically from natural gas than from
the failure of the League of Nations in the 1930s to confront the aggression
of the dictatorships in Japan, Italy, and Germany have we seen the willful
avoidance of reality which is now underway with regard to Iran,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Newt
Gingrich, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former
speaker of the House of Representatives, in testimony before a Senate
subcommittee on November 15, 2005.
seriousness of the Iranian threat and of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s seeming indifference to
that threat could hardly have been put more plainly Ã¢â‚¬â€œ or more accurately.
leaders openly threaten Ã¢â‚¬Å“to destroy the United States and Israel, and any
country allied with them,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Gingrich. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Meanwhile the civilized world
wrings its hands and the United Nations acts with contemptible weakness.Ã¢â‚¬Â
be impotent to act on such threats if the United States, its allies and the
United Nations would take a firm and unified stance regarding IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s illegal
weapons development programs, nuclear and otherwise, backed up by a credible
promise of enforcement.
appears unlikely to happen. We canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even get anything close to unity in the
United States for the current campaign in Iraq, thanks to powerful political
factions here at home that want America to lose and want IraqÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fledgling
democracy to fail. A relentless propaganda campaign continues to undermine
public support for the war in Iraq and for the war against terrorism and
tyranny in general.
Disgustingly, some prominent conservatives have recently joined hands with
the extreme Left in calling the Iraq war unwinnable and repudiating
President BushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s vision of spreading freedom and democracy.
time again, Bush critics say that Iraq was a diversion from the War on
Terror. Those critics either lack a clear understanding of the nature of
radical Islam or, if they do understand, are ignoring the truth for
political gain. The reality is that bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq,
as well as to Afghanistan, is integral to a brilliant strategy for defeating
Al Qaeda and other Islamo-fascist organizations who see the United States,
Israel, the West and all of Christianity as their common enemies.
understands better than most Americans, it seems, just how severe a blow a
free and democratic Iraq would be to its ambitions. Al QaedaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leaders have
said exactly that. But for some reason, many Americans canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem to make
potential potency of the Bush strategy has not been lost on the Iranian
Islamists, either, and that is why they are working so hard to destabilize
Iraq. If the Iraqi experiment in democracy succeeds, the democracy movement
in Iran, which already has wide popular support, would be encouraged and
empowered. The Mullahs fear that even more than they fear U.S. military
Bush could well have chosen to take on the Iranian problem first and deal
with Iraq later. The case could certainly made for reversing the sequence.
It was a judgment call. Strategically, the effort to liberate Afghanistan
and Iraq, leaving Iran sandwiched between two free democracies, was
ingenious, and the prospects of the strategy succeeding would have been high
if the American people had stood solidly behind their president.
Unfortunately, it seems that many Americans donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even have the resolve to
see the Iraq phase of Ã¢â‚¬Å“the long warÃ¢â‚¬Â against Islamo-fascism through to
completion and would balk at any suggestion that we may need to face down
the Islamic Republic of Iran in the same way we did SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Iraq.
Yet not to
deal with Iran Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and with Syria and several other terrorist-supporting
regimes in the Middle East as well Ã¢â‚¬â€œ would be a strategic blunder in the war
on terror that will cost us dearly in the long run. We need to recognize
that it is all part of the same war Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a war the Islamo-fascists have
declared and are waging against us.
wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t responsible for 9/11, you say, and neither was Iraq.
neither was Hitler responsible for Pearl Harbor. But to focus our efforts
only on Al Qaeda and ignore the Islamo-fascist threats from Iraq, Iran,
Syria and elsewhere would be analogous to fighting Imperial Japan in World
War II but ignoring Hitler and the Nazis.
hearing the absurd contention that because the various regimes and terrorist
organizations and religious factions in the greater Middle East are rivals,
they would never cooperate. That argument is just unbelievably lame. The
most bitter antagonists will ally themselves temporarily against a common
enemy. Do not forget that in World War II, the United States allied with
Communist Russia in the fight against Hitler.
enemies seem to understand this better than we. In an article in The Daily
Star, a Lebanese newspaper, a writer sympathetic to the Islamist cause said
that Ã¢â‚¬Å“in the eyes of Arab and Islamic militants, the war against American
forces in Iraq and Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation are
increasingly seen as one and the same battle. In the absence of any prospect
for peace on either battlefield, alliances are being formed and command
structures established which suggest that the struggle is entering a new and
more lethal phase.
intelligence sources report that a new high command is emerging made up of
Hizbullah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood (represented in the occupied
Palestinian territories by Islamic Jihad); and, last but not least, the
Islamic Republic of Iran. The striking features of this alliance are that it
bridges the Sunni-Shiite divide and unites Arab nationalists and Islamists
in a common cause.Ã¢â‚¬Â
If we fail
to recognize that reality, we run a very real risk of ultimately losing the
war against Islamo-fascism.
means with regard to Iran is that if we fail to see the necessity of dealing
firmly with Iran now, we will find ourselves down the road being forced to
deal with an even more belligerent and much more dangerous nuclear-armed
Iran or with Iranian-made WMD in the hands of terrorist organizations
garnering public support from a battle-fatigued constituency for a Ã¢â‚¬Å“come
clean or face the consequencesÃ¢â‚¬Â ultimatum to the Iranian Mullahs is going to
be a tough sell for President Bush.
particularly true as a consequence of the propagandistsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ success in
convincing almost everybody, including many supporters of President Bush,
that the president Ã¢â‚¬Å“liedÃ¢â‚¬Â about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The big
debate seems to be over whether it was a deliberate lie or whether he just
had faulty intelligence. Many conservatives point out that former President
Bill Clinton and other Democrats said the same things before President Bush
was even elected, so if President Bush lied, Ã¢â‚¬Å“then they were lying, too.Ã¢â‚¬Â
But it was
no lie. As we have reiterated constantly in these pages, there is
incontrovertible proof that Saddam Hussein did have Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and actually used Ã¢â‚¬â€œ
WMD prior to 2003. The true question remains not whether he had them but
what happened to them, and the answer is that they were hidden, destroyed or
removed from the country on the eve of the war for the specific intent of
discrediting the United States and the Bush Administration.
Iran is a
threat not only to the United States and Israel but to the entire free
world. And rhetorically, at least, several of our European allies seem to be
taking a strong position in insisting that Iraq forgo its nuclear weapons
much of the international community, and particularly the power players at
the United Nations, when the rubber meets the road, we can probably expect
nothing more than hot air, as usual.
China have both told Iran that it should abide by the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty. Yet both of them have strengthened their ties with
Iran, economically and militarily, as a cantilever against American
hegemony. Any get-tough action that might be considered by the United
Nations Security Council is certain to be vetoed by Russia and China.
former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said that it is important for Iran
not to gain Atomic weapons and that Europeans and Americans need to
maintain a strong negotiating position to prevent that from happening. Yet the
same breath, he declared, Ã¢â‚¬Å“LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s take the military option off the table. We
have seen it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work.Ã¢â‚¬Â
this song before. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not called, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Talk softly and carry a big stick.Ã¢â‚¬Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
called Ã¢â‚¬Å“Say Ã¢â‚¬Ëœpretty pleaseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and brandish a wet noodle.Ã¢â‚¬Â CanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you see IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad now,
saying, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ooh, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m so scared. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll do anything you say.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Fortunately, GermanyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new chancellor, Angela Merkel, has taken a tougher
France, its tricolor flag long-since bleached white by the peroxide of
perpetual appeasement, has continued to be quintessentially French Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that
is, until February 10, when French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy
showed some uncharacteristic starch in his backbone. On French TV, he
refuted IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s claims that its nuclear ambitions were for peaceful purposes
only. Ã¢â‚¬Å“No civilian nuclear program can explain the Iranian nuclear program,Ã¢â‚¬Â
said Mr. Douste-Blazy. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is a clandestine military nuclear program. The
international community has sent a very firm message in telling the Iranians
to return to reason and suspend all nuclear activity and the enrichment and
conversion of Uranium, but they arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t listening to us.Ã¢â‚¬Â
which to date has been among our staunchest allies in Iraq and in the war on
terror, continues to be so with regard to Iran as well. But Prime Minister
Tony BlairÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s credibility with his constituency has been compromised by the
same propaganda campaign that has battered the Bush administration in the
United States. That difficulty was highlighted in an interview with U.K.
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on BritainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s C4 News on January 16, when the
interviewer said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Today youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve used the phrase of Iran that they have a
history of concealment and deception, yet that is precisely the same phrase
that was used of Iraq by the Prime Minister in February 2003. IsnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that
your problem, basically nobody believes you?Ã¢â‚¬Â
that have been pounded into peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s minds about the reasons for going to
war in Iraq are going to make getting tough with Iran a hard sell not just
in America but in Europe.
not to get tough would be a dire mistake.
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has said that military action in Iran is
not on anyoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s agenda. Jack Straw said exactly the same thing. Yet both of
them were very careful not to say that military action is being taken off
the table as a last resort. Ultimately, if the use of force is not a
credible threat, diplomatic pressures will bear no fruit Ã¢â‚¬â€œ not when dealing
with the kind of fanatical tyrants that constitute IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Supreme Council.
Saddam Hussein, was serious and growing threat to American and the free
world. It will be again, and to a far greater degree than before, if we do
not stay the course until the new democratically elected Iraqi government is
strong enough to stand on its own. Iran, under the rule of its present
Islamo-fascist dictators who have openly articulated a goal of world
domination, is at least as great a threat as Iraq ever was, and that threat
intensifies as we procrastinate.
virulence of the ideology of IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s current regime and advanced military
capabilities it is working energetically to acquire Ã¢â‚¬â€œ when added to IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
inherent endowment Ã¢â‚¬â€œ its strategic location, natural resources, population,
and proximity to the vital resources of other nations in the region and the
seaways through which these sources reach the rest of the world Ã¢â‚¬â€œ poses a
threat of such scope and magnitude which leave us with no choice but to take
it with the utmost seriousness,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Newt Gingrich. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We must prepare and
take actions of the same intensity and seriousness as the threat. Yet, time
is not on our side.
and deed for the last 25 years, the tyrannical ruling class of the Islamic
Republic of Iran has shown itself willing to murder Americans, murder
Israelis, and murder anyone who threatens its illegitimate and corrupt rule,
including Iranians who wish to live as free men and women.
last [October] we had the extraordinary speech by the new President of Iran
[Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] who openly called for the destruction of the United
States and IsraelÃ¢â‚¬Â and any country allied with them, Gingrich continued.
threats should worry the entire world,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Iran Ã¢â‚¬Å“may soon have the
capability to deliver on its publicly declared and unambiguously stated
intentions to inflict mortal harm on the United States on a massive scale. A
nuclear tipped intermediate-range Iranian missile launched from a merchant
ship off the coast of the United States could do just that. That, or Iran
could simply supply its terrorist handmaidens with a small scale nuclear
device to use against U.S. targets here at home or abroad.Ã¢â‚¬Â
AhmadinejadÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s threat was not the first to come from Iran. In August 2004,
Hassan Abbassi, a Iraqi Revolutionary Guards intelligence advisor reported
to his superiors that Ã¢â‚¬Å“[IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s] missiles are now ready to strike at their
[the WestÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s] civilization. As soon as the instructions arrive from [Supreme
Leader ayatollah Ali Khamenei], we will launch our missiles on their cities
month, Ayatollah Ahmmad Jannati, secretary general of the Guardian Council,
said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Every Muslim and every honorable man who is not a Muslim must stand
against the Americans, English, and Israelis, and endanger their interests
wherever they may be.Ã¢â‚¬Â
2004, Mohammad Ali Samadi, spokesman for the Global Islamic Campaign, said,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Some 10,000 people have registered their names to carry out martyrdom
operations on our defined [American and Israeli] targets.Ã¢â‚¬Â
concluded, in his Senate testimony, that Ã¢â‚¬Å“the current Iranian regime is the
most dangerous in the world and is the single most urgent threat to American
national security.Ã¢â‚¬Â He stated further that Ã¢â‚¬Å“the threat posed by Iran can
only be properly understood in the context of the Long War Against the
Irreconcilable Wing of Islam, which is a worldwide war in which the United
States and its allies are unavoidably engaged, and in which the U.S. has
active campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.Ã¢â‚¬Â
further declared that Ã¢â‚¬Å“Iran is a member of a small group of nations whose
behavior is so indefensible and at odds with norms of the civilized world Ã¢â‚¬Â¦
that the only moral and practical policy objective of the United States
government towards these governments is regime change.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Mr. Gingrich concluded that Ã¢â‚¬Å“while we must preserve a strong military
capability to deter and/or remove the threat posed by the current Iranian
regime, there is an extraordinary opportunity for every peace loving and
civilized country in the world, led by the United States, to support a
democracy movement within Iran to achieve regime change short of armed
conflict. Indeed, the most significant allies in a U.S. policy of regime
change in Iran are likely to be the Iranian people themselves. This when
combined with victory against the terrorists in Iraq and the formation of a
democratic government in Iraq, is the best strategy for regime change in
Gingrich is absolutely correct.
I have said
that our enemies perceive us as squeamish, irresolute, afflicted with a
collective attention deficit disorder, and therefore ultimately impotent.
Americans, we are faced with a critical choice.
going to prove them wrong by demonstrating our untiring resolve in the Long
War against Islamo-Fascism and our unshakable faith in freedom and
democracy? We must -- and we will! Because if they are right about us, our
days are numbered.
2006 Rand Green Communications.
Do not reproduce or
re-post without this notice.
This article was originally published in Perspicacity Press,
March 2006 print edition.