Friday, September 21, 2007

From Iran, With Love

In his report to Congress last week, Iraq theater commander General David Petraeus didn't leave out the ultimate enemy:
In the past six months we have also targeted Shia militia extremists, capturing a number of senior leaders and fighters, as well as the deputy commander of Lebanese Hezbollah Department 2800, the organization created to support the training, arming, funding, and, in some cases, direction of the militia extremists by the Iranian Republican Guard Corps’ Qods Force. These elements have assassinated and kidnapped Iraqi governmental leaders, killed and wounded our soldiers with advanced explosive devices provided by Iran, and indiscriminately rocketed civilians in the International Zone and elsewhere. It is increasingly apparent to both Coalition and Iraqi leaders that Iran, through the use of the Qods Force, seeks to turn the Iraqi Special Groups into a Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq.
The next day Petreaus' command produced yet more evidence of Iranian involvement:
U.S. military officials in Iraq tell ABC News that a rocket used in an attack on coalition headquarters at Camp Victory Tuesday was made in Iran. Officials say the rocket, which narrowly missed its target, was fired from an area of Baghdad controlled by Shia militia leader Moqtada al Sadr.

Officials say it landed so close that it shook the windows of the al Faw Palace, which houses the operational headquarters of U.S. forces in Iraq. The top two American military officials in Iraq - General David Petraeus and Lieutenant-General Ray Odierno - both have offices in the building. A video teleconference of senior officers was abruptly halted as officials rushed outside to see what was hit.
But the only answer to Iran's three-decade war against us is still "more diplomacy".

Believe it or not, not every Western government shares that snivelingly Chamberlainian sentiment. And you'd never guess in a zillion turns which one is the hawk:
The world should "prepare for war" with Iran, the French foreign minister has said, significantly escalating tensions over the country's nuclear programme.

Bernard Kouchner said that while "we must negotiate right to the end" with Iran, if Teheran possessed an atomic weapon it would represent "a real danger for the whole world". The world should "prepare for the worst... which is war", he said.

His comments came after Washington reminded Teheran that "all options were on the table" in confronting its nuclear policy, which many officials in the West believe has the ultimate aim of arming a nuclear warhead, despite Iran's claim that it is for civilian purposes.
"Hawk" is obviously a relative term these days. Given the mullahs' unsubtle lust for nuclear weapons, that phrase "negotiate right to the end" has a most unwelcome connotation. But getting any Western leader to even obliquely acknowledge the inevitability of all-out war with the "Islamic Republic" at all is borderline miraculous all by itself. Which suggests how miraculous it will be if we actually muster the testicular fortitude to engage Tehran before they cross the nuclear rubicon.

Assuming, of course, that they haven't already.

Bluster like this is, I have to admit, a convincing sign that they have not:
Earlier Monday, an Iranian Web site affiliated with the regime reported that 600 Shihab-3 missiles were pointed at targets throughout Israel and would be launched if either Iran or Syria were attacked.

"Iran will shoot 600 missiles at Israel if it is attacked," the Iranian news Web site, Assar Iran, reported, saying such a barrage would "only be the first reaction."

According to the report, dozens of locations throughout Iraq being used by the US Army have also been targeted. The Shihab missile has a range of 1,300 km. and can reach anywhere in Israel.

The report on the Iranian Web site came fast on the heels of the reports of an alleged IAF bombing raid inside Syria of what some foreign news reports say was a nuclear cache or installation.
Gut reactions:

1) If they coulda, they woulda.

2) "Coulda" would be a lot more viable a proposition if they had a nuclear deterrent standing behind (or atop) those Shihabs, without which such a reckless action would almost certainly trigger a massive U.S. conventional retaliation that I doubt the mullahgarchy is ready for.

3) How it must warm the cockles of Bashar Assad's heart to accept Iranian nuclear assets onto his territory (via North Korea), thus making his country a target for Israeli air attack that was, indeed, quickly forthcoming, and then watch as his Iranian "friends" not only don't retaliate on his behalf but for all intents and purposes dare the U.S. and/or Israel to attack him again.

Sure redefines the term "good soldier," doesn't it?

I'm sure that's just how Adolph Ahmadinejad saw himself when he decided he was going to conduct a photo-op at the former site of the World Trade Center, the place of his co-religionists' greatest triumph in the war so far:
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad requested to visit Ground Zero during an upcoming trip to New York. That request was rejected Wednesday. But a source tells Eyewitness News that the decision may not stop him.

A law enforcement source says the Iranian mission to the United Nations has informed the Secret Service that the Iranian president intends to visit Ground Zero Monday at 10 a.m.
The mind reels at the very prospect. But you have to admit, the audacity of the idea is downright Clintonian. I mean, Adolph Hitler didn't conduct his grand tour of Paris until after the Wermacht had overrun France. Ahmadinejad wants to tour his provinces before he's even conquered them yet, and pre-emptively rub our noses in what he already considers his inevitable victory over the United States. It would be an Islamist propaganda coup of staggering proportions that we would be handing him almost literally on a silver platter - the frontman for the country that is fighting our forces in Iraq going to the backyard of the Great Satan and throwing a party while we supinely stare out the window as he and his friends trample the flower beds and pee in the bushes.

New Yorkers weren't subtle about where they thought Adolph the Younger could shove his wreath - and the sentiment was obligingly bipartisan:
"It is unacceptable for Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who refuses to renounce and end his own country's support of terrorism, to visit the site of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil in our nation's history," said Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani called the idea "outrageous."

"This is a man who has made threats against America and Israel, is harboring [Osama] Bin Laden's son and other al Qaeda leaders, is shipping arms to Iraqi insurgents and is pursuing the development of nuclear weapons," he said.
You know the notion is "outrageous" if Hillary - who I guarantee has no real problem with Ahmadinejad's requested "pilgrimmage" - feels compelled to condemn it so quickly and vehemently, like she so conspicuously did not denounce the other day.

Mitt Romney - who has put his money where his mouth is before on this topic - didn't waste any time either:
Ahmadinejad’s shockingly audacious request should be met with a vehement no. It’s inconceivable that any consideration would be given to the idea of entertaining the leader of a state sponsor of terror at Ground Zero. This would deeply offend the sensibilities of Americans from all corners of our nation. Instead of entertaining Ahmadinejad, we should be indicting him.
There was one high-ranking U.S. official, though, who did not find the spectre of The Enemy Within entirely unpalatable:
President Bush, moving quickly to respond to news that the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has asked to visit ground zero, had a spokesman issue a statement aimed at Mayor Bloomberg that said – in so many words — deal with it.

“This is a matter for the City of New York resolve,” a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, Gordon Johndroe, said. He added pointedly: “It seems odd that the president of a country that is a state sponsor of terror would visit ground zero.”
Allahpundit was incensed by this apparent White House indifference to infamy:
Not to go all nutrootsy here, but there are one or two influential people who allegedly read this site so let me issue a formal warning to them on behalf of myself and, I suspect, most of our readers: if Bush and Rice let him go down there, especially in the wake of Petraeus and Crocker reporting the threat Iran poses to American soldiers in Iraq, you have no idea how grave the political fallout will be. Consider this an alert from the grassroots early warning system. You ignored the warning we gave you this summer about the amnesty bill. For your sake, don’t ignore this one....

See how the RNC does next year in fundraising, boys. I’ll run the photo of Ahmadinejad at Ground Zero every time I write about the election. And again, I won’t be the only one.
I don't think that's "going all nutrootsy," actually; the word is the Left nutroots want to win. Not engage in mass fratricide and lead their minions back out into the political wilderness just to prove a useless point. And nothing would be more useless than punishing Fred Thompson or Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani and an entire GOP ticket for the Bushies' galling propaganda obtuseness of letting "this Holocaust-denying terrorist filthbag" within a parsec of Ground Zero, and ensuring the election of a woman and her party who would do a whole lot worse.

You also have to realize that, as the POTUS, Dubya is somewhat constrained in the degree of zeal he can inject into his rhetoric, as well as by diplomatic legalities and protocols. Mickle though it fashes me to have to say it, Iran is a member of the UN in good standing, and, regrettably, we continue to serve as host for that den of Holocaust-denying, America-hating terrorist filthbags and their appeasknik enablers. That generally entitles member heads-of-state to visitor visas, though since the Secret Service oversees their security arrangements, the breadth of their sight-seeing itineraries is subject to significant presidential influence.

What we want to see is Bush going to Ground Zero again with a bullhorn and shouting, "Ahmadinejad (or however he would malapropize it) wants to come here? Over my cold, dead body!!!" I would settle for denying him entrance into the country ever again, or until the mullahs let Bush visit Tehran at the head of an armored column to address the Iranian rubber-stamp parliament before taking the mullahs and Adolph into chained custody, whichever came first. But it certainly doesn't seem much to ask to have the Geico Caveman From Hell told that if he wants to visit Ground Zero, he can look it up on Wikipedia like everyone else.

It appears to be a moot point, since the Iranian fuerher has reportedly changed his mind. Why, I'm not sure, since I would think that a huge mob of New Yorkers trying to block Ahmadinejad's path to the WTC site would only enhance his prestige on the world stage. And if the American Secret Service cut a swath through that sea of outraged humanity to get him in there anyway? That'd be a good opportunity to corner the barf bag market.

But not to fear, all you Jew-hating fans of mass-infidel murder - your hero will get a nice consolation prize:

On Monday, September 24th, 2007 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will speak and participate in a question and answer session with university faculty and students at Columbia University's World Leaders Forum. His appearance is sponsored by Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, which is initiating a year-long series of lectures and events on thirty years of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The SIPA lecture series will include academic experts as well as former officials and critics of the Islamic Republic.

This opportunity for faculty and students to engage the President of Iran came about after Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee at the Iranian Mission to the United Nations initiated contact with Columbia through a member of the faculty, Richard Bulliet, who is a specialist on Iran. The event will be open only to university students, faculty and staff with Columbia University identification and invited guests.

President Bollinger emphasized that such World Leaders Forum events must allow ample time for students and faculty to pose questions that challenge the views expressed by the speakers. John H. Coatsworth, Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs, confirmed that the Iranian president had agreed to this format. Dean Coatsworth will moderate the question and answer period following Ahmadinejad's speech.

President Bollinger will introduce the event by challenging President Ahmadinejad on a number of his controversial statements and his government's policies, including his denial of the Holocaust and his call for the destruction of the State of Israel. The US government has accused Ahmadinejad's government of supporting terrorism and developing nuclear weapons capacity. Human rights groups have charged Iran with suppressing dissent and women's rights. Columbia students and faculty will themselves have an opportunity to question Iran's leader on these and other issues.

Dean Coatsworth stated that "Opportunities to hear, challenge, and learn from controversial speakers of different views are central to the education and training of students for citizenship in a shrinking and still dangerous world. This is especially true for SIPA students, many of whose careers will require them to confront human rights and security issues throughout the globe."

Hey, it isn't rubbing the Great Satan's bloodied nose in Osama bin Laden's handiwork before the entire planet, but at least this way Twenty-First Century One-Nut is going someplace he's wanted and where he'll be warmly embraced as a friend and ally.

Maybe Mahmoud will put in a good word for the Columbia-ites with the Twelfth Imam by having him redirect the fallout so that Bollinger and Coatsworth and their charges survive long enough for him to personally behead - after he lays his wreath at the new Ground Zero, of course.