Saturday, June 07, 2008

That program is still running

Michael Ledeen writes in the Wall Street Journal today comparing al Qaeda and Iran to Hitler and comparing Barack Obama and Europe in general to the Hitler's 1930s opponents. It could be dismissed as standard Bush-McCain talking points except for Ledeen's complete lack of acknowledgment of his own role in the week's news -- as facilitator of a backdoor intelligence operation linking dubious Iranian elements to Dick Cheney's Iraq war operation in 2002 --

When the CIA and the State Department discovered that Ledeen and Ghorbanifar were involved, they opposed any further contact with the two. Ledeen's contacts, the Defense Human Intelligence Service concluded, were "nefarious and unreliable," the Senate committee reported.

According to the report, Ledeen, however, persisted, presenting then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith with a new 100-day plan to provide, among other things, evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that supposedly had been moved to Iran — Saddam Hussein's archenemy. This time, the report said, Ledeen solicited support from former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and from three then- GOP senators, Sam Brownback of Kansas , Jon Kyl of Arizona and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

The brilliance of the Saddam-moved-WMDs-to-Iran claim is that it required a war against Iraq and Iran. One out of two ain't bad. So anyway, now he's complaining --

The rise of messianic mass movements is not new, and there is very little we do not know about them. Nor is there any excuse for us to be surprised at the success of evil leaders, even in countries with long histories and great cultural and political accomplishments.

The problem here is that lack of any evidence that Islamism is a mass movement. The best he can do is Ahmadinejad but even he is beset by issues like economic problems and competing power centers. Hence resorting to the lamest of calls to action --

There is little if any condemnation from the West, and virtually no action against it, suggesting, at a minimum, a familiar Western indifference to the fate of the Jews.

This is the type of PR that a war plan drawn up on a napkin ("During the Rome meetings, Ghorbanifar also laid out a scheme to overthrow the Iranian regime on a napkin during a late night meeting in a bar") gets you.

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