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Re: [casi] Ledeen's latest whopper


Tuesday May 6, 2003
Ha' aretz

U.S.-Israel strategic talks focus on threats from Iran and Iraq
By Nathan Guttman

WASHINGTON - Israel and the U.S. met for another round in their strategic
dialogue in Washington yesterday, focusing on regional threats to Israel,
primarily from Iran and Iraq.

Minister Dan Meridor led the Israeli delegation team, which included
National Security Adviser Uzi Dayan, the prime minister's adviser Danny
Ayalon, and Foreign Ministry director-general Avi Gil. The American team
included deputy secretary of state Richard Lee Armitage and deputy secretary
of defense Dr. Paul Wolfowitz.

In past discussions, Israel has brought up the threat posed by Iranian and
Iraqi attempts to procure missiles and non-conventional weapons, and
Israel's situation in any future attack by the U.S. against Saddam Hussein's

Last Friday, the American committee that monitors the transfer of weapons
and know-how from the former Soviet Union to Iran also held talks.

Strategic talks between the U.S. and Israel do not formulate policy
conclusions. Their purpose is to keep an open channel on matters of
long-term strategic importance. Details of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute,
for example, are not discussed.

----- Original Message -----
From: "AS-ILAS" <>
To: "casi" <>
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 1:24 PM
Subject: [casi] Ledeen's latest whopper

> AN/TPComment/TopStories
> THE GLOBE AND MAIL, Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - Page A15
> Tehran is our next target
> It's time for Washington to start planning its next regime change, says
> foreign policy analyst MICHAEL LEDEEN
> Saddam has fallen but the war against terrorism continues. That was
> President George W. Bush's message to the world from the deck of the
> USS Abraham Lincoln last week. And he is entirely right. We can forget
> the happy dream of being able to destroy the Baathist regime in Iraq,
> democratize the country and then calmly decide what to do next.
> Like Afghanistan, Iraq was just one battle in the war against the terror
> network and the countries that sustain it. And Saddam Hussein's Iraq was
> never even the most threatening of those countries. That dubious honour
> belongs to Iran, the creator of modern Islamic terror in the form of
> Hezbollah, arguably the world's most lethal terrorist organization. And
> there is Syria, which has worked hand in glove with Iran to support
> Hezbollah.
> It is impossible to win the war on terrorism so long as the regimes in
> and Iran remain in power. So now what? The short answer is regime change.
> No one I know wants to wage war on Iran and Syria, but I believe there is
> now a clear recognition that we must defend ourselves against them. Left
> undisturbed, they will wage war on us in Iraq and Afghanistan, and mount
> attacks on our homeland. Fortunately, a military campaign is unnecessary
> achieve a change in regime because the leaderships in Iran and Syria are
> vulnerable to political attack. In Iran, we have an irresistible card to
> play: Give the people opposed to that vicious "mullahcracy" that has
> their country over the past 23 years support for a peaceful transition
> dictatorship to democracy.
> As I wrote in The War Against the Terror Masters, the Iranians and the
> Syrians long ago concluded that a successful U.S. campaign in Iraq would
> threaten them both.
> The Iranian regime was particularly alarmed because it faces a population
> that is openly hostile to its rule. Their own public opinion polls show
> upward of 70 per cent of their people oppose them, and their internal
> analyses predicted a domestic social explosion unless living conditions --
> including greater freedom -- improved quickly and dramatically. This was
> decidedly not in the cards, and therefore the Iranians intensified
> repression in the months leading up to the war in Iraq. Scores of young
> Iranian dissidents were publicly hanged after summary trials, newspapers
> magazines were shut down, radio and television signals from overseas were
> jammed, and foreign thugs were brought into the country to put down
> demonstrations (the regime no longer trusted its own security forces for
> such purposes).
> The Syrian authorities obviously had similar concerns, for they
> a cabinet reshuffle in Lebanon, removing the slightest sign of
> and similarly shut down all voices of criticism.
> Having waited more than a year after our victory in Afghanistan before
> turning to Iraq, we gave these other terror masters time to prepare their
> strategy. Expecting a long, drawn-out military campaign in Iraq (they
> dreamed of a second Vietnam), they organized a battle plan appropriate to
> weak countries facing a more powerful opponent. They planned to combine
> terrorist attacks with popular uprisings, all the while mobilizing the
> Shiites against the U.S.-led coalition. As Syrian dictator Bashar Assad
> incautiously proclaimed in an interview shortly after the start of the
> campaign, their model was Lebanon, where the same sort of battle plan had
> driven out American marines in the 1980s, and the Israelis in the 1990s.
> By now, the Iranian/Syrian strategy should be clear to the world, even to
> those diplomats and policymakers who had considered Syria an ally in the
> against terrorism, and had dreamed of coming to some sort of working
> arrangement with the Iranians. In the war just ended, we saw thousands of
> terrorists pour into Iraq from Iran and Syria. The Shia demonstrations
> clearly organized from Tehran, and top Iraqi officials found havens in
> countries. Indeed, as Baghdad fell, busloads of Iraqi leaders raced into
> Iran, boarded a civilian aircraft, and flew off to Sudan, even as Saddam
> Hussein himself headed for Damascus.
> Secretary of State Colin Powell, a man of great patience and optimism,
> to Damascus himself last weekend to try to explain the new facts of life
> President Assad, and to encourage him to change his behaviour and adapt to
> America's requirements.
> It isn't likely to work and, at the end of the day, we will have to face
> unpleasant fact that such regimes will never abandon terrorism.
> Happily, it doesn't seem necessary to wage war in order to accomplish
> change in Tehran and Damascus. Political warfare is the order of the day,
> just as we brought down Slobodan Milosevic in Yugoslavia, the Marcoses in
> the Philippines, and regimes in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia in the
> latter days of the Cold War. I have no doubt that many Western countries
> will come to this conclusion, and collectively support the incipient
> democratic revolution that will start in Iran.
> Michael Ledeen, author of The War Against the Terror Masters, is a
> scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and moderator of a conference
> on the future of Iran taking place today in Washington.
> _______________________________________________
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