The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

"Shoot the Plane Down"

During the winter of 1979 I was at a family gathering on the day the conclusion of what the media called the "Iranian Revolution" was taking place. The Shah of Iran had been demonized by the Carter administration who called it a "dictatorship" that would be gone as soon as the Ayatollah Khomeini returned. They insisted that the Iranian people would have self-determination, freedom, and an escape from secret police, torture, and a whole litany of wrongs.

I was a young man but somehow I sensed that the Democrat and media narrative didn't correlate well with reality. Sure, the Shah was a dictator and his rule was far less than benign, but he was also a secular modernist who wanted to bring Iran into the 21st century—then still decades away. The Ayatollah Khomeini was a fanatical Islamist who was more comfortable with the rule of 9th or 10th century Islam. Khomeini was, like Castro and then Chavez in this hemisphere, lionized and sanitized by a different generation of trained hamsters in the media.

On the day of our family gathering, Ayatollah Khomeini was on a plane traveling to Iran for a hero's welcome. My aunt—an unreconstructed liberal who wholeheartedly believed the Democrat narrative about the Shah and Ayatollah Khomeini—asked what I thought. I waited a beat, smiled ruefully, and then said, "Shoot the plane down." She was not pleased.

Fast forward to 2019. Michael Ledeen comments on the legacy of Ayatollah Khomeini and the mad mullahs who have followed him:
I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I’d lay long odds that the Iranian regime is highly penetrated, by us, by the Saudis, by the Israelis, and all the rest you can conjure up in a few minutes. But the really profound penetration, about which I’ve been writing and speaking for many years, is political and ideological. The masses, all over the country, have had it with the regime. They want regime change, and the regime knows and fears it. We know this by watching and listening to the ruling ayatollahs. Here’s the latest from Ayatollah Jannati, who presides over the powerful Guardian Council:

“The Iranian people can tolerate thirst and hunger, but they will not tolerate the defeat of the revolution.”

Which tells us exactly what Jannati and his ilk truly fear: the overthrow of the theocratic tyranny. There’s more. On the anniversary of Khomeini’s triumphant return to Tehran in 1979, a date hitherto marked by monster rallies filling the country’s streets, this year there wasn’t a soul celebrating the great event. The regime doesn’t dare permit millions of demonstrators to gather, because it is a certainty that they would call for an end to the Islamic Republic.

The mullahs can see their destiny acted out in Venezuela, they see their top officials betraying the regime and scrambling to take regime secrets to its enemies.
Among the many foreign policy failures of the previous administration, none stands out more than the infamous "Iran Deal"—a naive attempt to mollify very bad men who could not be trusted. The past administration gave those bad men billions as a bribe to make promises they never intended to keep. The Dems and their trained hamsters in the media lauded to "deal" and were apoplectic when Donald Trump rightly abrogated it.

It's interesting. Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media reflexively praise regimes that topple "right-wing dictators." The new regime promises to give power to the people—Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran are but three of many examples. When those regimes predictably subjugate their people, take away even more of their freedoms, ruin their country's economy, and ultimately become tyrannical, the same Democrats and trained hamsters don't admit their error but often double down in their support. It happened with Cuba, and it's happening now with Venezuela. It's also happening in Iran.