February 23, 2007
THE MOST POWERFUL MAN ON EARTH...TODAY:
Ahmadinejad and Russian Roulette (Amir Taheri, 23/02/2007, Asharaq Alawsat)
Over the past quarter of a century, the Khomeinist regime has had the prudence not to behave like suicidal adolescents. When faced with the risk of hitting something hard, it has always retreated. In 1988, Khomeini accepted a humiliating ceasefire with Iraq when he realized that the Americans would punish him if he refused. Ten years later, Khamenehi, decided to eat humble pie when the Taliban killed dozens of Iranians, including eight diplomats. He had no stomach for a fight against elements even madder than the mullahs.
The key question now is whether the Khomeinist regime, which has always played chess, has decided to play Russian roulette.
The perceived political weakness of the United States, and the expectation that the Democrats would seek a strategic retreat, may have persuaded the Khomeinist leadership that Ahmadinejad may be right after all: the Islamic Republic can pursue a hegemonic strategy with no fear of hitting something hard.
Ahmadinejad, reported to watch a lot of CNN, has seen the gunboats sail in. But he has also seen Nancy Pelosi, Jack Murtha, Barrack Obama, and other American luminaries such as Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky and Jane Fonda who would rather see Bush destroyed than the mullahs restrained. The American gunboat ballet does not impress the radicals in the ascendancy in Tehran. And that is bad news for all concerned, above all the people of the region.
As the Democrats defeat on even a non-binding resolution demonstrated, the President's weakness is largely imaginary. However, since our foreign enemies share the delusion with his domestic foes, a flashy shift in the storyline would be devastating for both. This gives Joe Lieberman a truly unprecedented opportunity because by crossing the Senate aisle and restoring control to the president's party he would deal a crushing blow to al Qaeda, the Ba'athists, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, the French, etc. Joementum is a legitimate WMD. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 23, 2007 9:43 AM