Good news: “Extremist” angling to succeed Khamenei in Iran

posted at 10:58 pm on November 19, 2006 by Allahpundit

I guess they’ve taken this “moderation” thing as far as it’ll go.

The man with a plan? Ahmadinejad’s eminence grise.

In a move that would push Iran even further into the diplomatic wilderness, Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, 71, who publicly backs the use of suicide bombers against Israel, is campaigning to succeed Grand Ayatollah Ali Khameini, 67, as the head of the Islamic state.

Considered an extremist even by fellow mullahs, he was a fringe figure in Iran’s theocracy until last year’s election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a fellow fundamentalist who views him as his ideological mentor…

Appointing Mr Mesbah-Yazdi as supreme leader would be a massive blow to Western efforts to get Iran to cease its nuclear programme and backing of militants in Lebanon, Iraq and among the Palestinians. Although he has never spoken publicly on the issue, Mr Mesbah-Yazdi is thought to support the idea of an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Ali Ansari, an Iran specialist at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said: “Mesbah-Yazdi is on the hard Right and very authoritarian. He doesn’t even believe in democracy. Having him in power would lead to a much more hard-line puritanical rule in Iran. It would not be good news for the West.”

Things are already getting worse, not better. I used to think hardliners cracking down on the kids over there was a good thing insofar as it would antagonize them into revolution that much more quickly. But from what I’ve read in the last year or two, it sounds like Santa’s not coming down the chimney anytime soon. Either we’re going to have to do something — notorious far-left liar Sy “Winter Soldier” Hersh’s latest anonymously-sourced, national-security-compromising scoop notwithstanding — or Israel will have to play deus ex machina. A possibility to which Bush, not surprisingly, sounds sympathetic.

On the other hand, it’s not like Ahmadinejad is Hitler. Why worry?


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So, Sy Hersh says the CIA says the Iranians aren’t building nukes. Gee, I feel better. I mean neither one of them’s ever been wrong before, right>

bdfaith on November 19, 2006 at 11:10 PM

There’s an old saying… “It’s always darkest before the storm”… or is it “The calm before the storm can be deceiving“?

Anyway, “On the other hand, it’s not like Ahmadinejad is Hitler. Why worry?”
After reading this I can’t help thinking that if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck… It probably is a duck (or a crazy fascist as in this case). Now stop calling it a sheep.

RalphyBoy on November 19, 2006 at 11:13 PM

The logic of that LA Times column is insane… but I guess that’s nothing new.

It is a peculiar American fascination to continually look for the next Hitler. Josef Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh and even Saddam Hussein were all touted at one time or another as Hitler incarnate. Ahmadinejad is simply the latest figure to be contemplated for that role.

What the author misses is that those other leaders were only stopped (eventually) because we took their threats seriously. Pretending Ahmadinejad is just a loon who won’t actually do what he threatens is not going to deter him from doing what he threatens to do.

tiekitwist on November 19, 2006 at 11:13 PM

I don’t know how Israel could destroy these sites from the air without using nukes themselves, my understanding is that these structures are deep underground, unlike the site Israel destroyed in Iraq so many years ago. With Israel’s help and with US troops in Iraq already and if we were able to locate all of the sites, it seems we could temporarily capture the sites long enough to destroy them, no matter how deep they were.

Maxx on November 19, 2006 at 11:23 PM

Rejoice and be glad. Iran is a model of a modern authoritarian nation. If you think that Ahmadinejad was bad, Mesbah-Yazdi might rock the world with his hate for zionist. His name sounds cool. The word Dictator is obeselete if it were to be used as a decription of his personality. We need a new word. We are living in intresting times.

Iran rules.

Ouabam on November 19, 2006 at 11:29 PM

I’m not sure . . .
Why you(all) get so upset with Iran. I read http://www.iran-daily.com and http://www.tehrantimes.com fairly regularly, and it seem like Iran is a wonderful place to live. They have a Socialist view of how the economy ‘should work’, and there is very little crime reported. Very rarely the crime of ‘fornication’, but there are never any murders, no theft, robbery, burglary, fraud, or street gangs. Sometimes a political dissident will get himself arrested, but there is no corruption in government. Well, these papers do sometimes complain of indifferent, incompetent, ineffective government bureaucracies who fail to do their job, but no corruption.

http://www.cpj.org/attacks01/mideast01/iran.html

They do have a slight problem with inflation, and a black market. Unemployment is a little bit high, but no crime.

It must be a wonderful place to live.

rockhauler on November 19, 2006 at 11:33 PM

or Israel will have to play deus ex machina. A possibility to which Bush, not surprisingly, sounds sympathetic.

I wouldn’t want to bet on that – especially with his Secretary of State lamenting the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

On the other hand, it’s not like Ahmadinejad is Hitler. Why worry?

Indeed – unlike Hitler, Ahmadinejad has far more help in his goals – which he has stated very publicly.

We, collectively, seem to have eyes to see and ears to hear, but yet cannot discern the signs of the times.

Indeed, why worry?

Emmett J. on November 19, 2006 at 11:39 PM

I don’t know how Israel could destroy these sites from the air without using nukes themselves; my understanding is that these structures are deep underground, unlike the site Israel destroyed in Iraq so many years ago.

With Israel’s help and with US troops in Iraq already and if we were able to locate all of the sites, it seems we could temporarily capture the sites long enough to destroy them, no matter how deep they were.

Maxx on November 19, 2006 at 11:23 PM

I love your optimism, Maxx, but you seem to be on your own here. I haven’t heard a peep from the military or administration that hints at the notion of striking Iran. Wouldn’t we at least be hearing something?

The other thing I hate about this is that AhmInaWhackJob seems to be spoiling for martyrdom and flames. Sure I’d love to see him on fire, but he seems hell bent on lighting the whole world on fire.

I don’t want to go all Vizzini on this one, but I’m afraid of giving him what he seems to want…

Jaibones on November 19, 2006 at 11:41 PM

Rejoice and be glad. Iran is a model of a modern authoritarian nation. If you think that Ahmadinejad was bad, Mesbah-Yazdi might rock the world with his hate for zionist. His name sounds cool. The word Dictator is obeselete if it were to be used as a decription of his personality. We need a new word. We are living in intresting times.

Ouabam on November 19, 2006 at 11:29 PM

How about – Furhrer?

Nah – the Germans would probably sue for trademark violations.

Emmett J. on November 19, 2006 at 11:44 PM

Yeah, loved this comment from the Telegraph article:

Mehdi Karroubi, a reformist cleric, accused the council of “injustice” and misjudgement, saying that it would lead to “people’s distrust in the authorities and the clergy”.

Who are these “people’s” they speak of? The mindless suicide bombers? The sheep who buy the crap these cleric’s spread? As for ‘distrust in the authorities’, I think it spreads farther than they publicly admit. Iran is ripe for another revolution, if only, the west would UP the anty. It could happen.

thedecider on November 20, 2006 at 12:10 AM

Many private Americans have wealth sufficient to allow them to produce nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons with which to destroy the Americans’ enemies. I grant immediately that such projects require more than wealth. Moreover, given that the American government already has the situation so well in hand, I suppose Americans can be glad that none of their wealthiest people show signs of thinking along these lines.

Kralizec on November 20, 2006 at 12:12 AM

It must be a wonderful place to live.

rockhauler on November 19, 2006 at 11:33 PM

You’re kidding us, right? This post was tongue-in-cheek, no?

thedecider on November 20, 2006 at 12:14 AM

Nevermind. I read the links. Obvious sarcasm.

thedecider on November 20, 2006 at 12:16 AM

At this stage I think we can be certain of at least one thing: Iran is going to become a nuclear-armed power. Period. Soon, and even if there’s anything that could be done about it, nobody will have the will to do it.

The only questions, then, are what are they actually going to do with the weapons, and how will the US and Israel respond? Is Israel actually going to cease to exist within our lifetimes, or is Iran simply going to use its power to leverage its influence over the Persian Gulf and a fair portion of world’s oil supplies? What will nuclear Iran really do with its power?

Don’t get me wrong: It’s obviously well within the power of the US alone to make Iran cease to exist as a functioning nation tomorrow, more-or-less permanently, and I’d actually support doing so. But that’s simply not going to happen, so there’s not much sense dwelling on it. One might as well fantasize about a well-placed asteroid impact.

So the issues are when (not if) Iran goes nuclear and when (not if) the world sits back and lets it, what might be the real repercussions? I don’t actually know. I don’t hear a lot of talk about the subject, maybe because it’s unpleasant, but perhaps it’s time to get over that and start exploring the coming reality rather than hopelessly wishing that it just won’t be so. It just will be so, and it would be interesting to hear some coherent thoughts on just what it will mean.

Blacklake on November 20, 2006 at 12:17 AM

At this stage I think we can be certain of at least one thing: Iran is going to become a nuclear-armed power. Period. Soon, and even if there’s anything that could be done about it, nobody will have the will to do it.

The only questions, then, are what are they actually going to do with the weapons, and how will the US and Israel respond? Is Israel actually going to cease to exist within our lifetimes, or is Iran simply going to use its power to leverage its influence over the Persian Gulf and a fair portion of world’s oil supplies? What will nuclear Iran really do with its power?

Don’t get me wrong: It’s obviously well within the power of the US alone to make Iran cease to exist as a functioning nation tomorrow, more-or-less permanently, and I’d actually support doing so. But that’s simply not going to happen, so there’s not much sense dwelling on it. One might as well fantasize about a well-placed asteroid impact.

So the issues are when (not if) Iran goes nuclear and when (not if) the world sits back and lets it, what might be the real repercussions? I don’t actually know. I don’t hear a lot of talk about the subject, maybe because it’s unpleasant, but perhaps it’s time to get over that and start exploring the coming reality rather than hopelessly wishing that it just won’t be so. It just will be so, and it would be interesting to hear some coherent thoughts on just what it will mean.

Blacklake on November 20, 2006 at 12:17 AM

Is it that no one has the will – or that it is being allowed to happen on purpose and for a reason?

Just a thought.

On the rest, our leaders seem to be content to sit back – talk, and then talk some more. All the time making out to some degree as if they’re doing something.

We, the people, are being played for fools.

Interestingly enough – years ago, people said that that nice Mr. Hitler was just silly and wasn’t to be taken seriously. Even that stalwart defender of the Czech nation, Neville Chamberlain .

several years later………..
well, you know, it couldn’t happen again……………..right?

Emmett J. on November 20, 2006 at 12:29 AM

My question is, is Lenny Bruce afraid?

- The Cat

MirCat on November 20, 2006 at 12:35 AM

So the issues are when (not if) Iran goes nuclear and when (not if) the world sits back and lets it, what might be the real repercussions? I don’t actually know. I don’t hear a lot of talk about the subject, maybe because it’s unpleasant, but perhaps it’s time to get over that and start exploring the coming reality rather than hopelessly wishing that it just won’t be so. It just will be so, and it would be interesting to hear some coherent thoughts on just what it will mean.

Well I’d imagine large swathes of the Middle East and parts of Africa will resemble a large bloc like the Soviet Union. The Arab League countries will essentially be controlled by Iran. An oil crisis will ensue. Europe will be subdued by fear. It’s Muslim immigrant community might take to opportunity to create massive civil disorder.

Lebanon (under Hezbollah), Syria, the Palestinians, the al-Qaeda network based in Gaza and possibly even Eygpt and Jordan will launch a collective 1967-style all-out assault on Israel which it may or may not survive, assuming it isn’t nuked by Iran.

For all the talk of Iran’s unpredictably I actually find it harder to make predications on what action Bush and the US might take. It could spark off a world war: more US intervention in the Middle East, Balkans-style civil wars on the Continent, all-out Somalian jihad against Ethiophia, increased terrorism in Asian Muslim countries like Thailand, Indonesia etc.

Or it could be more like the Cold War, a tense stand-off and 50 some years of deterrence, ideological struggle and proxy wars with inward subversion from CAIR, Marxist professors etc.

aengus on November 20, 2006 at 12:47 AM

Now – imagine – we’re supposed to be Israel’s friends.

Emmett J. on November 20, 2006 at 12:52 AM

RE:
thedecider

I hope you were not angered, or offended by my “obvious sarcasam” in my previous post, I intended no malice.

So I append the following:

A long time ago, ‘way back in the sixties, I stumbled across the “English language service of Radio Moscow”, on short wave. It was very early in the morning, and I was spinning the dial on my short wave receiver looking for something interesting to listen to. It was funny, listening to what was being said, but it was also a little scary. Funny, because it was so untrue, so distorted, but scary because I knew a very large number of people on the planet would believe it.

Another time, while spinning the dial, I stumbled into a radio teletype broadcast out of North Korea. It was the most extreme internet vent, flame war, street gang bellicose bravado you could imagine. Now North Korea has an estimated 10,000 artillery pieces, some type of nuclear device, and a million man army aimed at Seoul, just on the other side of the DMZ, and that same street gang hostility.

Now you can get these broadcasts over the internet.
Radio Moscow http://www.vor.ru/world.html
Radio Havana http://www.radiohc.org
Radio Netherlands http://www.radionetherlands.nl
Radio Pyongyang (wikipedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_Korea
The BBC used to be a good source for news. . . but now. . .its unapologetic socialism.

It really is quite stunning to hear, and read what gets broadcast or written, and what is believed. Google for shortwave broadcasts, or newspapers in Pakistan. That is why I’m so sensitive to what gets broadcast on US media, and appears in Hollywood films, or on internet blogs.

And I really do recommend reading pages in the iran-daily, especially the economic news. They don’t realize what they reveal.

rockhauler on November 20, 2006 at 5:05 AM

All these Ahmadinejad to Hitler comparisons are leaving out one thing. Hitler had full might of the world’s most industrialized country and the most technologically advanced and well-trained military behind him. With the exception of the US later in the war, the German war machine was nearly unstoppable. Iran is a third rate power with regional ambitions and a patchwork miltary trying as hard as it can to build one nuclear weapon. While we shouldn’t underestimate Iran, comparing them to Nazi Germany ignores incredible power, speed, and efficiency of German war machine and gives the Iranian military much, much more credit than it deserves.

JaHerer22 on November 20, 2006 at 9:18 AM

While we shouldn’t underestimate Iran, comparing them to Nazi Germany ignores incredible power, speed, and efficiency of German war machine and gives the Iranian military much, much more credit than it deserves.

JaHerer22 on November 20, 2006 at 9:18 AM

Dude, with a nuke, Iran can blackmail the entire Middle East, gain control over all their oil, and get precisely the military capability you described.

urbancenturion on November 20, 2006 at 10:32 AM

Well, fortunately, we have James Baker to guide us thru discussion with Iran. I’m sure that will be all it takes to turn them from radicalism.

Clark1 on November 20, 2006 at 11:11 AM

Just curious, this wacko Grand Ayatollah Ali Khameini, 67, looked 67 years old in 1979. Do they count birthdays every 3-4 years over there?

shooter on November 20, 2006 at 11:38 AM

Man who thinks two lobsters inhabit in his underpants to replace man who thinks it is only one lobster.

Madness as usual.

Strike while the infighting distracts them.

No nukes.

For Iran, at least.

(Not until they remove the chance of apocalyptic lunatics from gaining the saddle. And even then, why would the Iranians want to put up nuclear power plants in a country rife with earthquakes? Are they suicidal?)

profitsbeard on November 20, 2006 at 12:05 PM

Listen to Brigitte Gabriel. Or listen very closely to Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran is attempting to get nuclear and they WILL use nukes on Israel first, America next. It’s not a maybe, they will do this.
Only America can stop them, maybe Israel with nukes, but only America can stop them via non-nuclear means. The only question left is will we stop them in time? Or will PC, ‘world mis-opinion’ , or any other ‘reasoning’ cloud the truth enough that millions of innocent people die from Iran’s Islamic driven hatred?

shooter on November 20, 2006 at 12:12 PM

…Is it that no one has the will – or that it is being allowed to happen on purpose and for a reason?

You mean in terms of the UN, etc.? Obviously, the vast majority of them relish the notion of a nuclear Iran undermining US influence (and in many cases even the genocide of Israel).

For our part, though, it is simply because we lack the will.

As for comparisons with Nazi Germany, it is obviously the case that Iran is not an industrial and technological powerhouse to rival the Third Reich. However, one should also note that the Reich lacked oil (quite conspicuously so–hence that entire invasion of the Soviet Union thing). Indeed, at no point did it ever possess anything that any other nation in the world truly needed to function (well, it did possess France, which France needed to function…but you catch my drift).

There is no technology without fuel, and the more expensive the fuel the weaker the modern nation. In the end, I suspect the ability to influence middle eastern oil supplies will prove a greater power than that ever fielded by any German army.

Blacklake on November 20, 2006 at 12:30 PM

Considered an extremist even by fellow mullahs…

…boy! How screwed up do you have to be to be described like *THAT*? I wonder if he can dress himself, or does he just sit around in a diaper muttering “Kill Zionists! Death to America!” all day.

Maybe we can work out a deal with Iran that we’ll provide them with the tooling, etc., to build a couple of light-water reactors, including sending them fuel…if they promise to take Seymour Hersh.

They can do what they want with him. Maybe they can team him and make him bunk-bed-buddies with this Mesbah-Yazdi guy…get Sy a diaper, and you probably wouldn’t be able to tell ‘em apart.

Puritan1648 on November 20, 2006 at 1:22 PM