Tuesday, March 14, 2006


The Washington Times brings us an unusual report today:

“Tehran elite turning on extremist presidency”


Read this carefully, and read between the lines. It says something important, I think: The outside world’s issues with the current Iranian administration are far different than the issues of the Iranian establishment – and they do indeed have issues.

From the article:

“Millions of low-income Iranians voted for the new president last year, motivated by his firm stand against corruption and pledges to give financial priority to their needs. "His appeal was to those for whom class discrimination is important, and his simple lifestyle gave an air of credibility to his claims," said Nasser Hadian, a political analyst at Tehran University who attended high school with Mr. Ahmadinejad… Mr. Hadian predicted that senior Iranian clerics would continue to support Mr. Ahmadinejad -- or at least not move against him -- for about a year because of that popular support. But privately, he said, they feel he is isolating Iran internationally and putting its economy at risk.”

“Iran's long-term planning [endorsed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] calls for vigorous efforts to reduce the size of government and to curb subsidies to state-owned entities, which account for an estimated 75 percent of the economy. But the Ahmadinejad budget boosts spending by 25 percent and envisions a 31 percent increase in spending on state enterprises. The 2006 budget also calls on the government to use up to $40 billion of its foreign cash reserves -- generated from oil sales -- to meet the fiscal year's spending needs, in spite of long-term plans calling for restraint.”

It’s the economy, stupid… Iran, it seems, has a lot in common with America… Iran’s capitalists want what all capitalists want – a favorable business climate. Ahmadinejad’s policies are endangering that…

There are a lot of good reasons why the international community should intervene in Iran. Here’s an even better reason not to: By confronting Iran over its nuclear program, the West may in fact be aiding Mr. Ahmadinejad.

“"If they keep piling on the pressure, Ahmadinejad will become a national hero," opines Mousa Ghaninejad, the editor of Iran's best-selling economics daily newspaper, Dunya Al-Eqtisad. "Let the Iranians deal with him. If you leave him alone, he will become a bankrupt politician within a year. With greater pressure, only the extremists will benefit."”

In the case of Iraq, “we” ignored the known power of economics – the force that destroyed the Soviet Union - to rectify untidy situations. The result? A debacle. Ten more years of isolation would have bloodlessly destroyed Saddam Hussein. Let’s not make the same mistake again. This fool Ahmadinejad will run out of fools who will follow him unless “we” provide him with a unifying cause.

Don’t do it.

That's good thinking, Possum.

Sometimes I wonder about you when I read you elsewhere, but this redeems it.

Now, to business. We (meaning the US) need to subvert some critical higher-ups in Iran's nuke program and put them on a course of faking the R&D progress (like Saddam's nuke people did) and marching in place until it all falls down in a heap (Ajer-what's-his-name's gov't).

W and his people have had 4-1/2 years since the 9/11 wakeup call to get such mechanisms into place. With former DCI Poppy Bush to clue them in.

Let's hope so.

Maybe I have rather too Machiavellian an approach to these things, but that approach has stood the test of time.

If it worked for Benjamin Disraeli, it can work for us.
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