Thursday 21 February 2019

Iran has been lucky in her enemies

The Iranian government has been blessed by exceptional good fortune. 

America destroyed her two mortal foes, Saddam and the Taliban, and brought democracy of a sort to Iraq, which meant Sunni rule. 

No doubt the mullahs think it is because God is on their side. They do not know that God is an Englishman.

Saddam was a very old fashioned figure from the 1930s, who invaded neighbouring countries in a way that has become very rare. He invaded Iran without any justification and the war was as terrible as the First World War. The Iranians think America encouraged Saddam. This explains the putative Saudi desire to get the bomb. 

The bomb is not any use for aggressive purposes in any conventional war and dropping one is not of interest to anyone except nihilistic terrorists like Al Qaeda or ISIS. Iranian leaders do not want to hasten the end of the world, whatever you may have read, but want one to protect themselves against their neighbours and the Anglo-Americans, just as Saddam wanted weapons of mass destruction.

David Gardener writes this in an article in The Financial Times

Saddam using chemical weapons on Iranian army and rained down missiles on  cities, while the world stood by. That is why Iran sought a nuclear capability. That is also its justification for establishing forward lines of defence in neighbouring countries, and its winning formula of militias and missiles. Under regional and international siege, it has indeed withstood all enemies. But it needed their help.

The Israeli invasion of civil war-racked Lebanon in 1982, greenlit by Washington, helped create conditions for Iran to develop Hizbollah, which would become its paramilitary spearhead in the Levant. The reckless US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 took out a tyrant but also demolished a bulwark against revolutionary Iran. Amid chaos and carnage it installed Shia governance in an Arab heartland country for the first time in centuries, rekindling the embers of Sunni-Shia enmity.

The explosion of Sunni jihadi extremism in Iraq after the invasion, and then Syria as the west subcontracted support for the majority Sunni rebellion there to the Gulf states, also garnered kudos for Iran and its paramilitaries for their role in defeating Isis. The Trump administration’s attempt to marshal a Saudi-led Arab bloc behind a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians allows Tehran to posture as the only power that stands by the Palestinian cause.

There is a litany of epic failures here. Before Mr Trump came to power, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards had already all but replicated the Hizbollah paramilitary model in Iraq and Syria — except on a larger scale. Hizbollah and the big Iraqi Shia militias also won legitimacy at the ballot box last year.

Iran is not a threat to anyone except the Sunni monarchies and Israel and not really even to them. The Saudis and the Sunni extremists are the great threat to Christendom/the West. America should stop being wagged by its Saudi and Israeli tails and I think this is happening. I think it inevitable, really,

Do I want the Iranian mullahs to cede power? Yes, but without foreign intervention. 

Or at least so I thought until recently. 

But I am aware of a contradiction here as the rebels who took up arms against the regime in Syria (a secular regime but much less democratic and even more cruel than the one in Iran) did unspeakable harm and caused a bloodbath. 

The problem is that there is no strong man in Iran like the Shah to replace the mullahs and democracy is not going to work.

Once again we see the limitations of liberalism, a creed which seems to be in decline.

Restoring the monarchy might be the solution but the Shah's father was a dictator who grabbed power and made himself Shah.

It is all very perplexing.


  1. Hi, I believe you left a comment on my (unrelated) blog about gmail addresses. I am not sure I understood the question - but requiring a gmail address will not incommode me. Feel free to delete this comment, since it's not relevant to this post, but let me know either way if I understood correctly.