Steyn: Facing Down Iran
Mark Steyn’s first piece for City Journal is a must-read, to cleanse your mental palate after Cindy Sheehan’s mud-headed drivel: Facing Down Iran.
Anyone who spends half an hour looking at Iranian foreign policy over the last 27 years sees five things:
1. contempt for the most basic international conventions;
2. long-reach extraterritoriality;
3. effective promotion of radical Pan-Islamism;
4. a willingness to go the extra mile for Jew-killing (unlike, say, Osama);
5. an all-but-total synchronization between rhetoric and action.
Yet the Europeans remain in denial. Iran was supposedly the Middle Eastern state they could work with. And the chancellors and foreign ministers jetted in to court the mullahs so assiduously that they’re reluctant to give up on the strategy just because a relatively peripheral figure like the, er, head of state is sounding off about Armageddon.
Instead, Western analysts tend to go all Kremlinological. There are, after all, many factions within Iran’s ruling class. What the country’s quick-on-the-nuke president says may not be the final word on the regime’s position. Likewise, what the school of nuclear theologians in Qom says. Likewise, what former president Khatami says. Likewise, what Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, says.
But, given that they’re all in favor of the country having nukes, the point seems somewhat moot. The question then arises, what do they want them for?