Michael Ledeen on Iraq and Temple Mount

Over at The Corner Michael Ledeen links to this post from Paleojudaica on the ‘Cultural Intifadah’ and the price of Political Correctness:

Sez Ledeen: [This story ]tells us a lot about the depths of contemporary antisemitism, and the terrible march of political correctness throughout the Western world. Clearly the ravages of the Temple Mount are of enormous cultural significance, and people who were outraged at the Taliban’s destruction of the glorious Buddhas cannot claim intellectual integrity if they remain silent now. This is one of those stories that go to the heart of our culture and to the corruption of so many Western souls.

Paleojudaica sez:
Barkay said it was a tragedy that the Western world was not more concerned about the destruction of the antiquities on the Temple Mount.

The world community was outraged when the Taliban blew up two 165-foot nearly 2,000-year-old statues of Buddha in Afghanistan in 2001. But the destruction of “the heartland of [Jewish and Christian] faith did not create an effect as it should have done,” said Barkay.

You’ll want to read it all. Then you’ll want to head over to here and read Ledeen’s thoughts on why President Bush seems oddly stalled on Iran or, as he puts it, “Bush is all hat, no cattle on Iran.

A few months ago, American forces in Iraq captured photographs and documents about a meeting in Syria between Iraqi terrorists and Syrian and Iranian intelligence officials. Similar information was found in Fallujah.

If we cast our gaze elsewhere, we find the Iranians fighting democracy in Lebanon. Their Syrian buddies have withdrawn their armed forces — while sending their intelligence officers back into the country in new wardrobes — which leaves the Lebanese to the tender mercies of Hezbollah, the Iranian-created and mullah-operated organization that is the most dangerous band of killers on earth.

And they have other allies in Lebanon, too, ranging from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (Ahmad Gibril’s assassins, who have taken over a goodly number of rocket launchers and T55 tanks that the Syrians thoughtfully left behind in Damour and in the Bekaa Valley), to the militias of the Syrian Socialist National Party, the Baath Party, and the Tawhid in Tripoli.


President Bush, along with Secretaries Rice and Rumsfeld, has not rallied to the side of the Iranian people, even though the Iranians have abundantly demonstrated their desire to be rid of the mullahs.

Two weeks ago there were massive demonstrations and work stoppages in the oil-rich regions, centering around the city of Ahwaz. The demonstrators called for an end to the regime, scores of people were killed, and hundreds were beaten and arrested. On May Day, workers again demonstrated against the regime, this time in all the major cities. In Tehran, strongman and likely president-in-waiting Hashemi Rafsanjani was hooted down by the crowd, and pictures of him and Supreme Leader Khamenei were torn down and trampled.

Yet no one in the American Government spoke a word of support for the demonstrators, and no one has yet endorsed the one thing that unites the overwhelming majority of Iranians, whatever their political proclivities: a national referendum on the legitimacy of the regime itself. If there were a national ballot on the single question — Do you want an Islamic republic? — the regime would pass into history overnight. But there is silence in official Washington.

There is more, and you will want to read it. I understand and agree with Ledeen’s sense of urgency, on one hand. On the other, I think the president has a great deal on his plate and is feeling, perhaps, a little hesitant, given the factions working against him both here and abroad. But I agree…more, faster. I have been waiting for Iran to get their help since before 9/11.

Then again…maybe this is the cause of so much dawdling…

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  • Dan

    It could be that GW has some intelligence that the Mullahs have some nukes, which they purchased clandestinely.

    If so, that explains why GW has been tenative upon the issue.

    Recall too, that we know bin Laden’s family is in Iran, and it is pretty safe to bet that bin Laden, himself, is too.

    Makes sense, we have grabbed too many ranking members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan, so for bin Laden, it’s safe to be elsewhere. Iran is the likely host country.

    Sooner or later, if GW is serious in his war on terror, then he has to deal with the Grandaddy of all terror states, Iran.

    REGARDLESS of their nuclear ambitions and programs, their sponsorship of terror alone dictates a confrontation between the Mullahs and the United States.

    This one has been in the wind for some time. And notwithstanding GW’s desire to dodge a showdown with the Mullahs, it’s coming, big time.

  • Pat

    I think there may be a deeper game going on with regards to Iran. As long as there is no overt support from the US, the new opposition has tons of credibility. I would daresay, though, that one “Made in the USA” sticker on a protest sign would cause that credibility to evaporate. By contrast, lacking any pulic statements by thye administration, the Mullahs can’t play the “Great Satan” card to DIS-credit the opposition.

    In other words, as soon as Bush, Rumsfeld, et al. endorse and publicly support the opposition, it becomes much easier for the government to paint the whole opposition as nothing but American dupes. As long as the government has the upper hand (as it does now) any US aid and comfort has to remain deeply covered. Once the tipping point is crossed (my bet would be six months to a year) then the administration can become more vocal and open in its support.

    There’s an excellent analysis of all this over at in a article by Jaan Sepp Tech Central Station: