Friday, September 14, 2007

The Wibble-Based Community

Michael Ledeen, resident scholar at Bush administration's favourite think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, has just released a book. It's called "The Iranian Time Bomb".

I've not read it and have no intention of lining the man's pockets by buying a copy but I have read this review in the NYT (via a post well worth reading in full by Barnet Rubin). Here's the paragraph which particularly caught my eye:
“The Iranian Time Bomb” has its strengths. On the topic of Iran’s repression of women and ethnic minorities, for instance, it is genuinely moving. But Ledeen’s effort to lay virtually every attack by Muslims against Americans at Tehran’s feet takes him into rather bizarre territory. He says the 1998 bombings of the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania “were in large part Iranian operations,” which would come as news to the 9/11 Commission, which attributed them solely to Al Qaeda. He says Shiite Iran was largely behind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a man famous for his genocidal hatred of Shiites. He claims that “most” Iraqi insurgents are “under Iranian guidance and/or control,” not just Shiite warlords like Moktada al-Sadr, but Sunni militants as well — the very people who say they are fighting to prevent Iranian domination. In Ledeen’s view, in fact, Sunni-Shiite conflict — the very thing that most observers think is tearing Iraq apart — is largely a mirage, because Iran controls both sides. And Al Qaeda is a mirage too, a mere front for the regime in Tehran. “When you hear ‘Al Qaeda,’ ” Ledeen writes, “it’s probably wise to think ‘Iran.’ ” Not surprisingly, he thinks the mullahs were probably behind 9/11.
Just in case there's any doubt, Ledeen is not a member of the reality-based community.

But he's also not just some guy. He is, as I said, a resident scholar at the Bush administration's favourite think tank. The "think" in think tank is apparently a euphemism for "We are tremendously sexually stimulated by the enormous gun on the front of a lovely big" in this case.

(Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ledeen is also a member of Benador Associates, the agency which brought us Amir Taheri of yellow badges for Jews in Iran fame.)

Ledeen's desperate attempts to tie Iran to the attacks of September 11th might be more than just propaganda. Similarly, the Bush administration's plan to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organisation may have a deeper significance.

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks, Congress passed a joint resolution on the Authorisation for Use of Military Force. It is obvious to anyone with the slightest attachment to reality that this resolution absolutely does not authorise the President to use military force against Iran without Congressional approval. For the Bush administration on the other hand, well, you wouldn't be surprised, would you?


RickB said...

And Ledeen was also a fascist loving US operative in Italy and helped get the forged Niger docs together. (read down a bit)

He's not even on a planet within 1 million light years of credible, he is a paid propagandist.

septicisle. said...

Whenever someone brings up Iran's oppression of minorities, it's well worth pointing out that the significant Jewish community not only isn't planning to leave, but can't even be persuaded by cash bribes (,,2125419,00.html). You would have thought that a President who intends "to wipe Israel off the map" might have started with his own Jewish population first.

CuriousHamster said...

Good stuff rick. The problem is that although I agree that he's not within 1 million light years of credible, he is considered to be credible by a sizeable number of people in the States including, I suspect, President Bush. I find this extremely troubling.

septicisle, indeed. That really puts a spanner in the works of the propaganda brigade. It would, at least, if they were in any way attached to reality.

There's plenty to criticise about the Iranian regime but that doesn't stop these armchair generals just making stuff up. Perhaps it's because many of the things the Iranian regime does, treating women as lesser beings for example, are done by our "good friends" the Saudis too.

Rab said...

On this issue of Iran, Radio 4 did broadcast a “Hecklers” programme with a guest justifying going to war against Iran as a pre-emptive measure:

It was very frightening listening to this guy. He is even more dangerous than Ledeen as the think tank he works for has both Democrats and Republicans amongst its supporters.

I wrote a summary in my blog but comments were hijacked by an obsessive reader talking about a completely different issue…

There is only one question though: will PM Brown be any different from PM Blair?