Ledeen on the Mullahs
EFL to 25
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei loudly proclaimed that the United States was entering an Iraqi quagmire (Vietnam metaphors are in great favor among the worldâs dwindling number of tyrants), but he and his regime seem rather deeper in the muck of late. It couldnât happen to a more worthy bunch, and itâs especially gratifying to see Khamenei, Rafsanjani, and the other mullahcrats swinging in the wind, as world opinion turns against them.
Now letâs see them twist in the wind Ã la Mussolini.
It is particularly satisfying to see this crowd of old white men humiliated by intrepid women, one Shirin Ebadi â the unexpected recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the other Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian journalist â murdered last summer in the infamous prisons of the Islamic Republic because she dared to photograph the regimeâs thugs beating up student demonstrators.
"But Mr. Ledeen, you donât understand. Those students were in favor of giving the people power and the right to disagree."
"I understand that very well."
The Kazemi obscenity exposed the regimeâs basic characteristics, from its murderous attacks on those who try to tell the outside world the truth about the Islamic Republic, to its instant denial of any accusation or criticism, to its crafty routine of constantly-changing "explanations." As with earlier murders of its pro-democracy critics, the regime first denied that there was a murder at all ("she fell and bumped her head"), then admitted that something untoward had happened ("we are investigating"), then found someone to put on trial (most likely a convenient scapegoat). In the last two weeks, Iran has been sternly denounced by the European Union, and warned that if the mullahsâ human-rights practices do not improve, the EU will invoke sanctions.
"The EU has threatened sanctions. Eek."
Would that our secretary of state were so outspoken.
If wishes were horsesâŠ
The Kazemi affair was very embarrassing to the Islamic Republic, and the Nobel award to Ms. Ebadi was a slap in Khameneiâs face. Just when the democratic opposition was floundering â the result of savage beatings, thousands of arrests and torture, and near-total abandonment by the feckless leaders of the West â the Norwegian committee sent a message of hope and inspiration: Do not despair, we are with you. All of a sudden, the Iranians see again that there are people in the West who understand their plight, and support their struggle. Ms. Ebadi is no mere symbol of resistance to tyranny; she is the real deal, having survived nine months in the horrific Evin prison in Tehran, and 25 years of isolation and oppression from the regime (she was a judge under the Shah, fired by Khomenei after the revolution of 1979, denied the right to practice law, and forced to scratch for a living as a school instructor). There will be monster celebrations when Ms. Ebadi returns with her medal later this year, and the regime will be hardpressed to justify further repression. She will be a dagger aimed at the regimeâs heart, and the mullahs will feel the first pricks of the daggerâs point right away, as she has agreed to represent the Kazemi family in legal action against the regime.
Posted by: Atrus 2003-10-14