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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 05, 2003

Its a bad neighborhood

Who's next?

Michael Ledeen, the author of the The War against the Terror Masters, argues that the US must take on Syria and Iran whether its diplomats want to or not.
[...]Now, Eli Lake of UPI reports that the government is aware of Iranian terrorist operations inside Iraq, and there have been many stories reporting Syria’s campaign to send terrorists across the border to attack us. In truth, we didn’t need intelligence to know this was going on, because the Iranian and Syrian tyrants had announced it publicly. Assad gave an interview recently in which he proclaimed — in words that could have been taken right out of my book — that Lebanon was the model for the struggle that had to be waged in Iraq against Coalition forces. And Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gave a speech a few weeks ago in which he said that the presence of American troops in Iraq would be even worse for Iran than the hated regime of Saddam Hussein.

So they are coming to kill us, which means that there is no more time for diplomatic “solutions.” We will have to deal with the terror masters, here and now. Iran, at least, offers us the possibility of a memorable victory, because the Iranian people openly loath the regime, and will enthusiastically combat it, if only the United States supports them in their just struggle. One may legitimately ask if the Iraqi people are fully prepared for the burdens of democracy after the mind-numbing years of Saddam (I think they are, mind you, but the question is fair), but there is no doubt that the Iranians are up to it. And Syria cannot stand alone against a successful democratic revolution that topples tyrannical regimes in Kabul, Tehran, and Iraq.

This is the path — the correct path — that the president has charted, despite the opposition of so many of his diplomats, and despite the near-total indifference of the Western press to the plight of the Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian people. It is the path that most fully expresses our own revolutionary tradition, and gives the peoples of the Middle East the chance to recapture their dignity by empowering them to govern their own lands. Finally, for those obsessed by the Arab-Israeli question, it is the best chance for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. President Bush has said that he will not support a Palestinian state that is governed by people hostile to democracy. Yet it is impossible for a democratic Palestine to emerge, let alone survive, so long as the dominant countries in the region are tyrannical supporters of terrorism.

If, at long last, we are going to transform the Middle East in the name of the democratic revolution, it is madness to entrust this task to a Department of State that clearly does not believe in it. State, and with it CIA, does not believe that democracy can succeed in the Middle East. That is why they have long supported a coup in Baghdad, rather than regime change. That is why they have violently opposed the Iraqi National Congress, which has fought for democracy for more than a decade, only to be repeatedly betrayed and sabotaged by the United States government. MORE