Thursday, December 16, 2004
We Need a Bad Guy in Iran
By Micah Holmquist
Iran is on the verge of becoming the next country that the United States is forced to defend itself from and liberate.
To be sure, there are some factors working against the liberation of Iran. They have apparently avoided sanctions due to the International Atomic Energy Agency wimping out and, short of being stopped, the Iranians should be able to have nuclear weapons shortly, according to Christian Lowe of The Weekly Standard. But we Americans are winning the most important battle of convincing Americans that Iran is a threat that must be dealt with because, unlike missing Ukrainian nukes, it cannot be tolerated after September 11.
On the November 27 edition of the Fox News Channel program The Beltway Boys, co-host Fred Barnes said he couldn’t see a non-military solution to this problem of Iranian nukes. And on November 29, Chris Mitchell of CBN News did an important story on how Israel will need the help of the United States to destroy Iran’s nuclear program. Even Pat Buchanan is asking if it is “Time to Engage Iran?”
The answer is of course, “yes” but not in the “let’s all get along way” of helping Iran that Buchanan—the once great strategist of “religious war”—wants you to support. No, this is war and we must treat it as such.
The only respectable reason that anybody has ever come up with for why the United States shouldn’t attack is that Iran—a country we know is determined to develop nuclear weapons based on evidence quite similar to that which allowed us to know Iraq had WMDs—wants nuclear weapons for defensive purposes. Richard L. Russell writes in the Autumn 2004 issue of Parameters that Iran sees these weapons as a means of obtaining additional security. “Tehran could not have failed to notice that once… states [in the 1980s and 1990s] acquired nuclear weapons mated with aircraft and missile delivery systems, they [have] escaped—so far, at least—military preemptive and preventive action by rival states.”
This may sound good but before taking this idea too seriously, it must be noted that this tommyrot comes from the liberal world of higher education. Russell is a professor at the National Defense University’s Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, an outfit that tolerates France, and Paramemters is published by an outfit called the “U.S. Army War College.”
History, moreover, has taught us that the results are dire whenever nuclear weapons are obtained by countries that aren’t supposed to have them. From the Soviet Union to North Korea and Pakistan, they end up making us uncomfortable or attacking us with them.
The case for war with Iran is very clear and powerful, especially given how Iraq seems to be cooling down and troop morale is high, but we still face one major problem—we don’t have an easily identifiable supervillain. We need someone to step up and take control of the Darth Vader helmet.
This isn’t a mere luxury. We don’t want this to turn into another Haiti where it is hard for us Americans to recall who should lose. Surely good guys will become bad guys in Iran as time marches on, but when we start we must know who it is that is now the face of evil.
Unfortunately the Iranians have done a lousy job in this area since the death of Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989.
The November 29 Washington Post, features a fascinating look at Iranian leadership by Robin Wright. One message is that the “country’s supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “is more powerful than at any time since 1989.” That might sound good for those of us who want to liberate Iran, and it is, but this also indicates that he, a guy with a name that is far too similar to that of the guy he replaced, is less than an all powerful force in the world of Iran.
So the question becomes, is this enough to convince the American people that he is the new Vader?
Quite simply, we don’t know. So we should follow the Iraqi model and just regularly bomb Iran and portray Khamenei in the most evil light. Khameni will be a threat to not only us but the world, “his own people” and freedom itself.
If it works, we can then happily invade and liberate Iran.
Micah Holmquist, editor of Irregular Thoughts and Links, is a Cadillac, Mich.-based writer.Share