The Day after an American or Israeli Strike on Iran

It is becoming increasingly likely that the Islamic Republic will begin producing nuclear weapons unless either Israel or the U.S. physically destroys the tools it needs to build them. With that in mind, Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh consider the possible results of an attack on the country’s nuclear infrastructure:

If the Israelis, whom the regime asperses as Zionists ready for extinction, can badly damage the nuclear program, the regime will lose face. Iranian VIPs, especially within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), have said repeatedly that the Israelis wouldn’t dare strike the nation’s atomic sites. This confidence has surely diminished since Israel started assassinating scientists and officials, including IRGC personnel, and periodically sabotaging nuclear-related equipment. If the Israelis do dare and succeed, it will be a stunning blow. It’s one thing to have the “Great Satan,” a superpower, lay waste your program; it’s another thing entirely to have the “Little Satan” do it.

While there is no guarantee that an Israeli or American raid would cause sufficient shock to produce a convulsive—let alone fatal—internal backlash against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Guards, there is a chance it would start a process that might. Nothing else on the horizon offers Israel or America better odds of creating considerable turbulence quickly within the system.

A scenario of rapidly increasing protests after a bombing raid isn’t probable, given the ruthlessness of the Iranian police state, but such an eventuality shouldn’t be ruled out. The regime is, however, most unlikely to see the reverse: an American or Israeli raid reinforcing popular support for the theocracy. Resentment toward the mullahs is simply too entrenched.

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Read more at FDD

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, U.S. Security

 

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