Monday, May 17, 2004
Ledeen on Iran: Iran expert Michael Ledeen has an excellent article on National Review Online regarding New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's recent pieces from that mullahocracy.
But, in keeping with the ideology of his social set, they are his thoughts, not those of the Iranian people. To be sure, he quotes Iranians — he's astonished to discover that they do not fear being named — including some senior ayatollahs, to demonstrate the contempt of the people for the regime. Ayatollah Taheri calls the ruling mullahs "society's dregs and fascists who consist of a concoction of ignorance and madness...(and) those who are convinced that yogurt is black."
Kristof's trip was worth the expense for that one quote alone. But instead of following the logic of the Iranian people's enmity to the Islamic Republic — will the "Arab street" not be influenced by the utter failure of Islam in the region's largest and most powerful country? — he lapses into politically correct dithering: "There's a useful lesson here for George Bush's America as well as for the ayatollahs' Iran: when a religion is imposed on people, when a government tries too ostentatiously to put itself 'under God,' the effect is often not to prop up religious faith but to undermine it."
Huh? Islam has failed in Iran, so utterly and dramatically that even the most senior religious leaders are attacking the theocracy. Has anything of the sort happened in America? No. Is religion "imposed on people" in America? No, indeed the opposite takes place; religion is banished from the public square and the faithful are disparaged as ignorant rednecks. Moreover, in America church and state are separate, while Iran is a theocracy. The two systems have nothing in common, except the New York Times's party line, that religion is a bad thing and religious people are dangerous.
And the scary thing is that Kristof has been one of the more moderate of the liberal columnists when it comes to promoting tolerance for those fundamentalist Christians.