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

Friday, October 20, 2023

Israel at War—Iran

I was at a family get-together in very early February, 1979, hosted by my late Aunt, a wonderful woman who also was an unreconstructed liberal in the old-school sense of the word. On that day, the Islamist Ayatollah Khomeni, was en route from France to Iran. His plane was in the air as our family gathered.

Like virtually all liberals at that time, my aunt was thrilled with the ascension of Khomeni, glad that the "evil dictator" Shah of Iran had been overthrown to be replaced by an Islamist government headed by the Ayatollah.

During a discussion on the Middle East, my Aunt asked me what I thought of the situation in Iran and of Khomeni.

I smiled, and then said, "Shoot the plane down."

Aghast, my aunt frowned and made the argument that "Iranians and the world" would be much better off under the vaunted Ayatollah, a man of peace. Liberals and the American media treated Khomeni as a hero and a savior of the Iranian people.

History provides an unequivocal answer as to whether I or my aunt was correct.

Today, Iran is a repressive, Islamist dictatorship (like many Muslim countries, unfortunately) that imprisons dissidents and represses its people. As a hegemon in the ME, it supports (with money and arms) Islamist terror groups like Hamas and Hezballah, who it uses as 'cat's paws' to attack Israel. It has repeatedly called for the annihilation of the Jewish state, the murder of Jews, and the defeat of the Great Satan, the USA. It is a cancer in world affairs. 

Walter Russell Mead comments:

Even now, Team Biden does not seem to have internalized the reality that the American policy of “conciliate to evacuate”—to develop a U.S.-Iranian détente that would allow the U.S. to reduce its role in the region—remains, as it has since President Obama first began to implement it, a destabilizing force in the Middle East. It has discomfited our friends, disrupted our alliances, emboldened terrorists, and provided Iran’s mullahs with the resources to turn both Hezbollah and Hamas into formidably destructive forces.

The cynicism of Iran’s mullahs and their enablers is, in the end, the most shocking. Set aside the Israeli casualties and the blood of innocent Jewish children. Those who claim to rule Iran in God’s name do not care how many Palestinians die in the service of their ambitions. They despise the Sunni faith of the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Hamas belongs, and if they could, they would persecute tomorrow the terrorists they arm today.

Iran is unappeasable, but this truth is too inconvenient for the Biden administration to admit ...

... While the Hamas] perpetrators of these horrors came from Gaza, those ultimately responsible do not live there. It is the leaders of Hamas living in luxury in Qatar and other havens far from the poverty of Gaza who provided the organizational leadership and gave the orders. And it is the mullahs and the agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran who provided the resources, training and encouragement without which the Hamas leadership would neither have dared nor been able to unleash this evil on the world. 

But what to do? Justified concern about a broadening conflict and the unintended consequences that would surely result have frozen any action against Iran. The mad Mullahs are as cunning as they are evil. They have almost certainly embedded terror cells in the West, who likely entered the USA and Europe across essentially open borders. They are adept at cyberwarfare. They have allies among the countries of the new 'axis of evil'—Russia and China, and they have the wherewithal to create chaos in the ME and beyond.

They are the catalyst that enables true atrocities—the brutal, barbaric murder of thousands of civilians by Hamas is only one example. They brutally repress dissent. They are—bad actors. And because they are frozen by the potential ramifications of any overt action against them, the Biden administration removed biting sanctions and replace them with hostage payments. It's time to act, but in a way that is not conventionally kinetic. At least, not yet. Here are a few suggestions that I hope are being considered by the IC and military as I write this:

  1. Our intelligence agencies should work to train and arm dissidents inside and outside Iran, fomenting a 'revolution' that could unseat the Mullahs. Many citizens of Iran hate the Islamists, but have no means to act against them. That has to change. The Obama administration has a real chance to do this and walked away. That was shameful and stupid.
  2. We must work to destabilize the Mullahs' supporters, looking for fissures within Iran's military and Revolutionary Guard Quds Force that can be exploited. They always exist.
  3. Using every element of U.S. cyberwarfare tech (we spend billions on this stuff, it's time to make use of it), we can cripple their economy, cutting off their cyber connection to the rest of the world. (the question is whether we have appropriate defenses against a cycber-counterattack?)
  4. We can also use the international banking system to cut off conventional transfer of ALL  funds into and out of Iran, along with cyber tech to stop the transfer of cybercurrencies that currently subvert any banking sanctions.
  5. And yes, we should initiate 'terror' within their country—not to kill innocents, but to destroy critical military and production infrastructure, along with a concerted but deniable attack on the nuclear production facilities, including all power plants, uranium enrichment facilities and the like. Selectively assassinating their leadership is also worth considering (it's a hard cruel world, so spare me the outrage).

TBH, steps like these should have been undertaken years ago, but better late than never. Iran MUST go down, and the beginning of the end for the Mullahs must start now. 


Iran cares little who its cat's paws murder, what atrocities they commit (as long as they're committed again Jews, and how many of their own people they sacrifice in that goal. American apologists for the palestinians (and either directly or indirectly) for Hamas, profess to care, but only in the sense that their "caring" allows them to achieve maximum virtue signaling and subtly express their covert anti-Israel/anti-Semitic feelings.

Douglas Feith pulls no punches when he writes about Hamas' strategy of "human sacrifice." Behind that sacrifice lie Iran's Mullahs, the same evil Islamist scum who encouraged thousands of Iranian children to run though Iraqi mind fields to clear them for adult soldiers.

While some of Hamas’s most brutal tactics, like systematic rape and beheading captives, are long-practiced atrocities for which the armies of Stalin, Hitler, and Genghis Khan are infamous, it is unprecedented for a party to adopt a war strategy to maximize civilian deaths on its own side. This is so strange and evil that it should appall any decent person. [Unless that person is a radical leftist who is tied to the absurd decolonization and oppressed-oppressor narratives.] Contrary to conventional commentary, this is not a human shield strategy. It’s a human sacrifice strategy ...
When Hamas fires rockets at Israel and kills, captures, and rapes civilians there, they know Israel will retaliate. Hamas leaders put their assets in civilian buildings not in hopes that Israel will hold fire, but in a cold calculation that the retaliation will do terrible harm to Palestinian civilians—despite the extraordinary efforts Israel’s army makes to avoid it. Hamas is working to maximize, not minimize, that harm. This is to generate international pressure on Israel to end its retaliation—and to strengthen Israel’s enemies in their depiction of the Jewish state as a villain.

Israel has moral and practical reasons for avoiding harm to Palestinian civilians. Israelis pride themselves on acting humanely, even in war. Their military officers—like those in the U.S. military—distinguish between civilian and military sites and never purposefully target the former. Even when attacking senior terrorist leaders, Israel tries to avoid harming their family members, let alone unrelated civilians. To avert collateral damage, Israel routinely provides warnings of attacks, even though they increase risk to Israelis and decrease an attack’s chances of success. In the current war, Israel has notified Gazans in various neighborhoods that there would soon be attacks there and they should hasten to designated safe areas.

Hamas’s strategy is innovative in the worst way. For everyone who aspires to strengthen moral constraints on warfare, it is a huge step backward. It is savage, cynical, and unnatural—but what’s worse, it’s effective. That is why it’s being used. 

Iran/Hamas exemplifies Islam in the extreme. The Islamist worldview is ugly and brutal and fanatic, and it's supported by tens of millions of Muslims world wide. No one wants to state that awful fact, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.


Iran's Geopolitical and military strategies are nicely outlined by Shay Khatiri. After discussing the reasons why the U.S. State Department's claim that they cannot prove that Iran was the driver of the Hamas attack are disingenuous, he writes:

Israel has been preoccupied by Tehran’s nuclear program and its northern border—Iran’s military resides in Syria, and Hezbollah threatens from Lebanon. Despite the calamities caused from Gaza, the northern border poses a much greater military threat.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have their own political objectives for this attack, but Iran is likely to be the largest beneficiary. The regime expects Israel’s national-security policy to reorient toward the Palestinians, relieving Tehran of military pressure in Syria and Iraq. Iran thinks it will be free to advance its nuclear program while Israel tries to deal with Hamas, prevent a third intifada, and protect its northern border.

While it is too soon to tell whether this bet will pay off, it already is clear that Mr. Khamanei approved of this war and stands to gain from it.

It seems that the leadership of Iran is always one step ahead of us strategically. The 'best and brightest' at the State Department, within the Biden administration, and in our intelligence community look like naive children when engaging Iran—that shouldn't be happening, but it is.


One thing is certain, in a mindless effort to negate any effective policies implemented by the previous administration, the Obama retreads who run the Biden administration rescinded a wide array of sanctions that were crippling Iran and retarding their ability to fund terror groups like Hamas. The intent, I suppose, was to set the stage for "better relations" so that the infamous "Iran Deal" could be reinstituted by Biden. After all, making nicey-nice with people who chant "Death to America" is the only way to proceed, right?

In a post in 2015, I wrote this about the Iran Deal:

... we have an "historic" deal with Iran, not an enforceable (maybe) treaty, mind you, but a "deal" with the single most duplicitous, venomous, and hegemonic entity in the Middle East. We're told it's enforceable. We're told it a good thing. We're told it's "historic."

It was none of those things and  Donald Trump rightly canceled the deal.

Once he was President, Biden rushed to effectively bribe Iran by flooding the Mullahs with money. Tyler O'Neill summarizes:

  • Return of $10 billion in Iraqi that was frozen
  • Reduced oil sanctions that led to $52.2 billion in extra revenue for Iran
  • Allowing Iran to sell petrochemicals yielded $3.8 billion
  • Allowing Iran to export steel yielding $1.8 billion
  • Allowing "special drawing rights" that enabled Iran to get $3.42 billion from the IMF

That's about $70 billion, and it doesn't count the $6 billion that is now up in the air as payment for American hostages returned from Iran. That money buys an awful lot of rockets for Hamas and Hezballah.