Sunday, December 03, 2006

Keep Our Powder Dry

One way or another, we will have to confront Iran.

I once thought America and Britain had resolved to destroy the mullah regime. Since our election, I think our will to act has decreased.

I've also repeatedly said that if we retreat, our enemies will follow. Our existence is the cause for war. Any grievances cited are just the reason du jour.

With our home front divided about any confrontation with Iran, we may well need a provocation by Iran to steel our will to act. I also worry that Iran won't merely provoke us but try to win it all by striking first and hard.

Some months ago, Ahmadinejad called on President Bush to convert to Islam. As I noted at the end:

A couple hours after I first posted this entry, it occurred to me that the letter really seemed more like an ultimatum. It lays out Iran's grievances against us and states what we need to do to make amends for those grievances. Left unstated is just what Iran will do since we have refused the kind offer to surrender to Iran's mullahs. But I thought, I'm reading way too much into the letter. Now I'm not so sure I was correct to ignore my gut feeling.

As I wrote, just why is Ahmadinejad so confident he can issue such a call to surrender? And when is their deadline for compliance?

And now Ahmadinejad is calling on all of us to repent of our injustice:

Citing from the Koran at the close of his letter, he says that if Americans "repent" of their "injustice," they will be blessed with many gifts. "We should all heed the divine Word of the Holy Koran," he says.

The context of this particular verse (28:67-28, Sura "Al-Qasas," or The Narration), is very clear. It follows a graphic description of destruction and devastation that will befall those who fail to repent of their injustice, i.e., support for Israel and refusal to adopt Islam.

It also sets out the terms of the traditional Muslim warning to the enemies of Allah. "And never will your Lord destroy the towns until He sends to their mother town a Messenger reciting to them Our Verses." This is precisely what Mr. Ahmadinejad does in his letter.

Dump George W. Bush, allow the Muslims to destroy Israel, and adopt Islam -- or else you will be destroyed. This is Mr. Ahmadinejad's message.

When Ahmadinejad is praising Allah, you can be sure we need to be passing the ammunition. On the bright side, I think we have the power to destroy our enemies and lack only the will to do so. If our enemies inspire our will to fight them, they are screwed.

That whackjob in Tehran is up to something. He gave our President a chance to repent six months ago and he just gave all of us notice. I think the Long War is about to get pretty hot within the next six months.

Unless you believe those first 100 hours we've been hearing about in January consist of dumping the President, destroying Israel, and adopting Islam. You never can tell when the children finally get the gavel, I suppose.

Yes indeed, lovely decade we're having.

But the next decade could be much better if we keep our heads and don't give in to unjustified panicky impulses.

UPDATE: Ahmadinejad is telling Iranians he warned us to convert or die:

"These oppressive countries are angry with us ... a nation that on the other side of the globe has risen up and proved the shallowness of their power," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the northern town of Ramsar.

"They are angry with our nation. But we tell them 'so be it and die from this anger'. Rest assured that if you do not respond to the divine call, you will die soon and vanish from the face of the earth," he said.

The outspoken president also maintained Iran's defiance over its controversial nuclear programme, saying it was on course to fully master nuclear technology.

"Thank to God's help, we have gone all the way and are only one step away from the zenith.

"We hope to have the big nuclear celebration by the end of the year (March 2007)," Ahmadinejad said, echoing comments he has made on numerous occasions in recent months.

But this was before the Baker commission report came out and explained how we and the Iranians can just talk given our vast pool of common interests.