A new documentary film about the Khomeinist regime in Iran has hit the internet, and we’ve picked it up for Hayride readers to have a look.
Iranium is extremely well done. It traces the history of the Islamist regime in Tehran, the threat it poses and the dwindling options we have for dealing with these people. We strongly suggest that anyone interested in understanding Iran block out an hour of time and give it a viewing.
A couple of thoughts here…
– The parallels between Iran in 1979 and Egypt today are, regardless of some of the happy fiddlers in the media who talk about Tahrir Square as a civilizational breakthrough and the end of history in the Middle East, are stark. And they’re terrifying. Iran’s revolution was the product in just as large a part of democrats, liberals, commies and other secularized types as it was the Islamists. But when we abandoned the Shah and he hit the eject button, it was Khomeini and his people who were better organized, more ruthless and more committed than the other factions. Khomeini and his people were willing to go where the nice guys wouldn’t. And when they got power, they consolidated it by liquidating their opponents – even if they fled the country.
Maybe there isn’t a Khomeini in Egypt. But there’s a Muslim Brotherhood. And while that shadowy organization may not have a charismatic leader at its head like Khomeini was for the Iranians, there is no question they’re ruthless, they’re shrewd, they have access to money and they’re powerful all over the Middle East and the rest of the world. Let’s not forget it was the Muslim Brotherhood who tried to kill Nasser, and successfully carried out an assassination of Sadat. And the idea that the Muslim Brotherhood is some moderate political movement – which is the line we’re now being fed by the American hard left now, which is suspicious in its own right given the fairly long-standing connections left-wing figures like George Soros and organizations like Code Pink and International ANSWER have with the Muslim Brotherhood – simply cannot stand up to reality. Not when we have the experience of Hamas, which is the Muslim Brotherhood, in Gaza.
There is no shortage of maniacal Islamist clerics affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood who can play the role of Khomeini, particularly when the Iranian already established the template for an Islamist revolution. It’s neither surprising nor insignificant that the Iranians are now cheerleading the Egyptian revolt from the sidelines, either.
We’d love to be optimistic and hope for the flowering of Egyptian democracy. The reality is that without a very well constructed transition from the Mubarak regime to something more liberal which is committed to excluding Islamists from power – which is precisely the course experts on Egypt like Obama’s special envoy Frank Wisner have recommended, only to be silenced by the fumblers at the highest levels of the current administration in creating a Carterite repetition of the Iran debacle – it’s going to be the Muslim Brotherhood taking over. Maybe not immediately, but soon.
– As for Iran, you simply cannot consider the history of our struggles against the mullahs and their goons, complete with the hundreds of dead American patriots they have claimed over 30 years of outright war against us, and forgive in any way the opportunity our president squandered when the Iranian people attempted to overthrow the regime. When the history of our country is written at some date hopefully long in the future, it will be said that the failure to support that popular revolution and take a real chance at removing the most dangerous, anti-American government on the face of the earth was one of the worst moments since our founding.
And because the mullahs believe us weak, an impression the film documents was gained when Carter failed to bring the hostages home and wasn’t dispelled even during Reagan’s presidency, our timid refusal to “meddle” has removed any possibility of our being able to negotiate with that regime. We have nothing they want. Understand that the Iranians have sent murderers to massacre Americans and Israelis all over the globe in the last 30 years, they and their friends in the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated us and all of our allies, they have fought a proxy war against us in Iraq and Afghanistan since we began operations in both places (complete with mass-produced roadside bombs made in Iranian factories), they are openly building an axis of anti-American dictators even in our own backyard in South America and just last month they toppled a friendly regime in Lebanon to install Hizbollah in charge – and we have done nothing in response.
So before anything can be done to convince these people to cease their efforts at bringing about an apocalypse, we’re going to have to alter the status quo. As Iranium documents well, Ahmedinejad and Khamenei are perfectly happy with the way things are going. They think they’ll win as long as they can hold us at bay. Our only hope, short of a war or a miracle whereby the regime falls, is to make them so uncomfortable that they see their aims as impossible. And that’s going to take a great deal more balls and brains than we’ve shown thus far.
The film doesn’t delve into the Stuxnet virus, and I wish it did. Because Stuxnet is the first and only piece of evidence that we and the Israelis are willing to interfere in the Iranian regime’s operations in a consequential way beyond a bunch of meaningless talk about sanctions. Stuxnet has bought us time before Iran’s nuclear program is operational, and that’s good. But it won’t stop the Iranians from having a nuclear arsenal forever. And it also doesn’t alter Iran’s efforts at exporting Islamist revolution throughout the Middle East.
We have to force Iran into negotiating away some of its aims if we want to resolve this without war. We can only do that by crippling the regime. Sanctions will not work; China and Russia won’t participate, and we can’t stop trade between Iran and those countries. What we can do is get serious about denying access to our markets to anyone who does business there – we have laws in place that would do that, and we can with the stroke of a pen destroy Iran’s economy without so much as a by-your-leave to the United Nations. But the political will doesn’t exist for such a move, because it involves putting at risk our relationships with allies who in their own rights aren’t serious about dealing with the Iranian threat. New UK prime minister David Cameron signaled this weekend, though, that he understands and is willing to answer the threat. So does German chancellor Angela Merkel and so does French premier Nikolas Sarkozy. We have partners who will stand with us if we show serious leadership.
What we don’t have is a leader willing to make such a stand, though. And so for a second level of pressure we could apply to the regime – like a covert attack on their only oil refinery at Abadan, just across the Shatt-al-Arab from Iraq, which would wipe out some 40 percent of their supply of gasoline and force them to buy 100 percent of their fuel from foreign sources – an enormously expensive proposition, we’re simply not in the ballpark.
This isn’t just unfortunate, it’s frightening. And we are now faced with a diminished prestige and ability to lead at a time when both will be required to survive this threat. The previous administration didn’t do anything to resolve it, bogged down as they were with two unpopular foreign wars. This one has more freedom to act and chooses not to.
We are in danger.