The Only Thing Standing between Iran and Nuclear Weapons Is the Israeli Airforce

Jan. 28 2022

While it is not clear what the outcome of negotiations concerning the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program will be, Reuel Marc Gerecht finds it highly likely that the ayatollahs will—at the very least—have the option of going nuclear whenever they wish after a year or two. Nor does he see much possibility that a Republican administration could reverse the situation after the 2024. What then is left to do?

[When Barack Obama was in office], lots of folks in DC thought Hassan Rouhani, a founding father of the Islamic Republic’s police state, would as president somehow create a new, less antagonistic modus vivendi between Washington and Tehran. With Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his mini-me president, Ebrahim Raisi, at the helm, it’s probably impossible for the Biden administration to conjure up a promising, “moderate” Iranian counterpart. Republicans can be stupid and unnuanced about the Islamic Republic. . . . But the American right has done better in appreciating what the supreme leader and his men have tried to make crystal clear: they zealously hate us.

Really only one question remains now: will the Israelis strike? Excluding the outside chance that the Iranian people might rise up again and terminally convulse the Islamic Republic, only Israeli air raids, might, just possibly, upset Khamenei’s nuclear plans. The clerical regime has displayed impressive tenacity and ingenuity (the decision to back the construction of a clandestine nuclear site in Syria was an especially bold move, which the Israelis successfully countered by bombing it in 2007). We should always be able to admire our enemies when they play a weak hand well.

Even without the nuclear achievement, Khamenei ought to be considered the most accomplished post-World War II dictator in the Middle East. Add on the bomb, and he could rightfully look upon Ruhollah Khomeini’s massive mausoleum, and, like Justinian within the Hagia Sophia remembering Solomon’s Temple, he could proudly say:

“I have surpassed thee.”

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Barack Obama, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter