Ed announced earlier today that Americans are not wild about the proposed Iran nuclear deal and generally oppose it by a wide margin. Americans certainly are a skeptical and suspicious lot, aren’t they? And why would everyone have so many reservations about the Iranians when they’ve been such open and honest partners at the negotiating table? Take for example their Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. While John Kerry was busy wheeling and dealing with Iran’s henchmen, the holy man was busy getting ready to publish his latest book. And now it’s out, though you would be hard pressed to find a copy outside of Iran. Fortunately for us, though, Amir Taheri got hold of one and he writes about Khamenei’s delightful and whimsical prose at The New York Post.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has published a new book called “Palestine,” a 416-page screed against the Jewish state. A blurb on the back cover credits Khamenei as “The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem.”…
Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state.
He uses three words. One is “nabudi” which means “annihilation.” The other is “imha” which means “fading out,” and, finally, there is “zaval” meaning “effacement.”
Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, which he describes as a European phenomenon. His position is instead based on “well-established Islamic principles.”
If it wasn’t such a very real, clear and present danger, the Ayatollah’s writings would almost be amusing. Hey, don’t mind us. We’re not against Jews, you see. We just want to take over their country and drive out the ones we don’t kill. It’s a religious obligation, don’t you know.
After pointing out that one of Israel’s greatest sins (aside from being where they don’t belong) is being an ally of the American Great Satan, Khamenei goes on to assure his readers that he’s really not interested in any sort of genocidal war. Perish the thought! His long term plans involve something more like real a estate deal where some of the homeowners aren’t given a lot of options.
Khamenei insists that he is not recommending “classical wars” to wipe Israel off the map. Nor does he want to “massacre the Jews.” What he recommends is a long period of low-intensity warfare designed to make life unpleasant if not impossible for a majority of Israeli Jews so that they leave the country.
His calculation is based on the assumption that large numbers of Israelis have double-nationality and would prefer emigration to the United States and Europe to daily threats of death…
Khamenei counts on what he sees as “Israel fatigue.” The international community would start looking for what he calls “a practical and logical mechanism” to end the old conflict.
This is where the entire story becomes decidedly not humorous. You can say what you want about Iran’s top cleric and his hateful rhetoric, but this is no clown, nor is he an ignorant man. If you scan the headlines over the past few years, you can already see his strategy in motion at a lower level and it’s hard to argue that he might be gaining some ground. All out war against Israel is an out and out losing proposition because it gives the rest of the world (and in particular the United States) the perfect excuse to go in and flatten their country. But the phrase “low-intensity warfare” is pretty much the definition of terrorist attacks and “making life unpleasant” is essentially the stock in trade of all of Iran’s proxies which are deployed against Israel. It’s not nearly unpleasant enough to make them want to pack up and leave in great numbers at the moment, but it does serve to keep the conflict in the international headlines.
So is it producing any level of “Israel Fatigue” as the Ayatollah hopes? It’s not a stretch of the imagination to say that Barack Obama was fatigued with the idea of defending Israel before he was sworn into office. And if the United States is seen as pulling back from the situation, it doesn’t require much momentum for the rest of the west to grow tired of it. Khamenei may just be counting on winning a war of political attrition even if he doesn’t live long enough to see the end of it. Is he really that crazy?
But, in closing, let’s recall one thing as we peruse the overview of this new best seller on the Iranian bookseller list… this is the guy we just cut a deal with. Does he sound like an honest broker for any sort of verifiable agreement?