Iran’s war via terrorist proxies continued in the nineties. Al Qaeda operatives received training in explosives, security, and intelligence in the Bekaa Valley, one of the trainers being the same Mugniyah who had murdered the Marines in Beirut. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, “there is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 highjackers.” Recently, two defectors from Iran’s intelligence service have said the regime had advanced knowledge of the attacks, and helped al Qaeda members escape to Iran afterwards. The 2008 attack on the U.S. embassy in Yemen was aided by Iran, and two U.S. citizens continue to be held on trumped-up charges of “spying.” And throughout the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have supplied insurgents with training and funds, as well as Russian anti-aircraft missiles, rocket-propelled grenades, 240mm rockets, and explosively formed projectiles. Just last year, General Petraeus testified that al Qaeda “continues to use Iran as a key facilitation hub, where facilitators connect al Qaeda’s senior leadership to regional affiliates.” Dozens of Al Qaeda leaders continue to find operational shelter in Iran. And of course, Iran is still relentlessly pursuing nuclear weapons capability, at which point it will be placed to take its 30-year war to a new gruesome level.
This catalogue of Iranian aggression is the necessary context for Mullen’s statement, and makes his revelation that “Iran is very directly supporting extremist Shiite groups which are killing our troops” a statement of the painfully obvious. Nor should we be surprised when a fanatical regime that publicly declared war on us acts on that declaration, particularly given the groveling appeasement with which this aggression continues to be met. Channelling Jimmy Carter and Neville Chamberlain, Obama has extended his diplomatic hand to the mullahs “without preconditions,” penned congratulatory letters to commemorate Iranian holidays, called for “co-operation in regional and bilateral relations,” given the regime a pass on its brutal June 2009 crackdown on Iranians protesting against the regime, imposed Swiss-cheese sanctions, and in the face of proven Iranian duplicity about its nuclear program insisted, “We remain committed to serious, meaningful engagement with Iran,” and the “offer stands” of “greater international integration if [Iran] lives up to its obligations.”
This misplaced diplomatic “outreach” reminds me of something Duff Cooper, First Lord of the Admiralty in Neville Chamberlain’s cabinet, said after the 1938 Munich conference: “The Prime Minister has believed in addressing Herr Hitler through the language of sweet reasonableness. I have believed that he was more open to the language of the mailed fist.” Given a similar misapprehension of the enemy, of course Iran continues to shed American blood and work against our interests. The more important story is why for 30 years both Republican and Democratic administrations have refused to accept the wisdom of the farmer in the Russian fable: “I only talk peace with wolves after I have skinned them.”
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