Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More on the Iranian Threat


To suggest that Iran’s belligerence is a function of something George Bush did is to dismiss the history of Militant Iranian Islamism. This belligerence is a function of their ideology. They are ideologically opposed to infidels and to Muslims who don’t share their Militant Fundamentalism. Also, Iran has supported a number of terrorist attacks against us over the years, attacks which we largely ignored. Ignoring such attacks during the Carter, Reagan and GHW Bush administrations comprised the appeasement which has exacerbated the difficulty of our current task. Had we given evidence of having a big stick during those earlier administrations things might be a bit smoother today. For example, Mahmud Ahmadinejad might be willing to listen to us today rather than contemptuously dismissing us.

Read Robin Wright on Iran’s modern history: In the Name of God, The Khomeini Decade; and The Last Great Revolution, Turmoil and Transformation in Iran. I also found Mohammad Mohaddessin’s Islamic Fundamentalism, the New Global Threat very interesting. After the fall of the Shah there was about a year before Khomeini took charge. The party that was Khomeini’s greatest rival during that period was the one Mohaddessin belonged to, the People’s Mojahedin Organization. Mohaddessin had to flee Iran when Komeini’s supporters began rounding these people up and executing them. Mohadessin is still active. He is Charman of chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran: .

By the way, Khomeini was actively trying to “export” the Iranian revolution long before Bush took up the exportation of democracy.

Ilan Berman is adjunct professor of international law and global security at the National Defense University in Washington DC. His book Tehran Rising, Iran’s Challenge to the United States discusses the growing Iranian belligerence and its causes. It clearly grew out of the Khomeini revolution and was well established long before GW Bush took office.

Lawrence Helm

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