Iranian Threat Heats Up

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase.


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Iran announced Sunday that it was cutting off crude oil sales to France and England, a mostly symbolic act given that Iran provides England less than 1% of its crude, and France claims that it “practically stopped importing Iranian oil,”  according to the head of the Union of Petroleum Industries. A few days later, the head of Iran’s armed forces threatened to attack Israel preemptively through its terrorist proxies in Lebanon and Gaza. The Iranians are once again using bluster to counter the E.U. ban on Iranian oil slated to begin on July 1, and the threat of Belgium-based SWIFT to ban Iran from its system for facilitating transfers of payments among nations through its international network of banks. As a further provocation, the Iranians sent two warships through the Suez Canal in a show of support for global pariah Syria. This follows the Iranian-engineered terrorist attacks on Israeli targets in India, Georgia, and Thailand.

At the same time they threaten and foment terrorist attacks, the Iranians have told the “P5+1” nations (Permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany) of its “readiness for dialogue” and its “new initiatives” concerning its nuclear program, and has allowed U.N. inspectors back in the country, even though President Ahmadinejad said last week that “Our nuclear program is not a subject for negotiations.” Consistent with this position, inspectors were denied access to military installations believed to house nuclear testing equipment. Validating Iran’s lie that its nuclear program is for domestic energy, Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that “we believe we know that the Iranian regime has not decided” to make a nuclear weapon, and that “it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option is upon us.” The ominous background to all this diplomatic chatter is the continuing speculation about when or if Israel will take military action, or whether Israel has the capacity to degrade Iran’s nuclear facilities enough to make an attack worth the risk and blowback.

It’s not hard to figure out what’s going on in this diplomatic two-step we’ve been dancing with Iran for years. We know that Iran is dead set on acquiring nuclear weapons, or at least “nuclear latency,” the ability quickly to create a weapon. Since its creation in 1979, the Iranian regime has been about more than Iran. As one ayatollah said at the time, the revolution was just “the start of the story. An Islamic and divine government, much like Iran and better, will be created” in other Muslim nations. And more recently, an editorial in the newspaper Kayhan, published by “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei, proclaimed Iran’s “fixed strategic goal”: “Our late Imam [Khomeini] openly spoke of raising the flag of Islam on top of the palaces of arrogant power, notably the White House . . . as the goal and purpose of the Islamic Revolution.” Seeing itself as a world-transformative power, Iran has been the foremost inspiration and supporter of jihadist violence, its prestige enhanced by its serial humiliations of the U.S., and by its genocidal aggression against Israel, the “little Satan” to America’s “great Satan.” Given its massive oil reserves, which mean it will always have a source of revenue, an Iran with nuclear arms will be virtually untouchable, and thus able to dominate the Middle East and damage our interests, whether by holding oil exports hostage, sparking a larger arms race in the region, attacking our ally Israel, or handing off nukes to one of its numerous terrorist proxies.

Equally obvious is the feckless response of the West to this threat, which seems to have followed a Micawberesque policy of hoping “something will turn up.” Unwilling to act, for years now we have substituted inspections, “talks,” and sanctions as toothless substitutes for action. At least we are consistent, for this is precisely how the West handled the embassy hostage crisis in 1979. Then too we tried sanctions, secret offers to negotiate, and trade embargoes in order to change Iranian behavior. But political, national, and economic self-interest rendered them all ineffectual. For example, the NATO countries were begged to impose a trade embargo, but threats by President Bani-Sadr to cut off oil to Europe––sound familiar?–– led to a weakened and hence ineffectual policy. As the Economist pointed out at the time, “The denial of material things is unlikely to have much effect on minds suffused with immaterial things.” The Iranians never have acted by the materialist calculus we have used in our dealings with them.

Moreover, today’s Iran has North Korea as the model for dealing with the West by using diplomatic and inspections processes to create time for achieving nuclear capability. And North Korea is an economic basket case that can’t even feed its own people, unlike Iran, whose oil somebody will figure out a way to buy no matter how many allegedly “crippling” sanctions the West imposes. Yet despite this history, Western leaders continue to assert that “sanctions are working” and that a bit more time will bring Iran to its knees, as Dennis Ross, who was Obama’s Middle East advisor, recently asserted. Meanwhile, Iran’s thousands of recently announced new-generation centrifuges will soon start spinning out even more enriched fuel necessary for weapons.

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  • crackerjack

    Israel's Likud lunatics want's the US to fight its war, against the advice of Israeli military, Mossad, CIA and Pentagon. We're heading for the first AIPAC war. How will the US population react? Let's wait and see !

    • mrbean

      Stealing a bit from Winston Churchhill; "If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of victory. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, and only a small chance of survival."

      Unfortunately, we have arrived at the stage where victory can only be achieved at a great expenditure of American lives and American treasurey.

      • crackerjack

        "……..you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, and only a small chance of survival….." ????

        And how does this relate to the USA or Israel, both nation with sufficiant nuclear arms to destroy Iran within minutes? Get a reality check Doc.

        • Stephen_Brady

          Haven't you read the news, recently? Obama wants to unilaterally reduce America's nuclear deterrent to Third World levels. I don't think the idiot would push the button, if we were attacked by Russia or China (who are increasing their nuclear stockpiles).

          Thankfully, Israel is NOT reducing their nukes. It may not be too long until they have more nukes than us. We will need their protection.

          Get a reality check, Doc …

  • Steve Chavez

    Iran sent its "boom box" bombers to those countries as a threat that they will do more if they are attacked so what to do? Do nothing which lets them know that these types of threats work or show them that their actions will result in a retaliation and if they continue, the retaliation will continue but not a surgical strike or arrest, but a full range of attacks on their homeland.

    BUT Russia and Putin must be put into this equation. They aid Iran in numerous ways and veto any sanctions against them. Then they veto any action on another ally, Syria. As the U.S. is leaving the Middle East, the trouble makers in the region will takeover and with the help of Putin who will arm any country that is attacked by Israel.

    So who's the main reason Iran and Syria are now turning into bullies that kick the sand into the faces of the West? PUTIN!

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    With a president in the oval office who should have left trough the back door
    two years ago. And a world who did'nt learn one thing from the last dictator,
    who tought he could rule the world with his (ubermenschen foby).
    A third world war is on the brink of breaking out,and the world looks the other way.

    • Stephen_Brady

      I agree. Weakness and indecisiveness … which the Obama Administration has displayed in speades … invites aggression. The clock is ticking while we argue about Romney's religion, Newt's wives, Rick's voting record, and Ron's followers.

    • Snorbk

      The West seems to be suffering from "Chamberlainitis"
      Peace for our time….& we all know accurate that statement was!

      • JoJoJams

        Or, as the last book in a certain compilation of books states, "They will be crying "Peace! Peace!"…and then sudden destruction shall come upon them."

  • Asher

    My strategy is enjoy your lives and love one another for our futures could be gone in a nano-second. Allowing Radicals in the White House has affected the whole world's future…by allowing Islamic Radicals in Iran to succeed.

  • Brujo Blanco

    If Israel, God forbid, is eliminated who do you think is next? Iran has stated that they will wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Iran has announced that as soon as they are capable they are going to use nukes. They also claim that they will hit targets inthe US. Words mean something. If you have a neighbor who points a loaded gun at you and threatens to use it will you assume that he will or shoot you? What would you do about it? Call the cops? What if you do if the cops tell you that he did not shoot you and they do not believe he is a threat? How about if the cops warn you against self help? I guess if you are a loyal liberal you would sit on your hands.

  • Brujo Blanco

    I am convinced that Obama is a Muslim and he is on the Muslim side of the equation.

    • CAROLE63

      Me too!!

  • ObamaYoMoma

    All I got to say is that if Iran gets nukes with impunity, it will be the end of life as we once knew it.

    • BS77

      Feels like the 1930s all over again. Who is playing Chamberlain this time? Is Iran prepared to ignite WW III? Will someone put their nuclear weapon's facilities out of commission before it is too late? The people want to know.

      • pagegl

        Ahmedinejad is Hitler, Iran is Gremany (obviously), Obama is Chamberlain, and Israel is Czechoslovakia with the Palestinians being cast as the ethnic Germans in the Sudatenland. We need to find a Churchill real soon.

  • http://www.GodsSabbathRest.us Gary McAleer

    After being played the fool about the Iraqi threat I do not believe one word from the government or mainstream media what we are told are the murderous threats from Iran. Just because something is declared doesn't mean it is honest and true. All the faith in the world will never turn a lie into truth even if the whole world is united in believing it! What a blundering and fatuous blindness it is that the Talmudic run banks, press and government along with churches and pulpits should be exciting and stirring up the spirit and elements of war, calling for armies and navies to wipe out and without further consideration a virtually defenseless Iran. Didn't the betrayal about Iraq teach you anything about the trustworthiness of our government and media? It always gets back to the foundation of all suffering: "For the love of money is the root of all evil." I Timothy 6:10. It’s about money, not justice! It’s about power, not benevolence. And if you believe the government, the media, or the popular ruling religions of Talmudic Jewry and Christ-disobedient Christianity you need to pray for discernment, because without it you stand as a naïve accessory to the elitists’ agenda incorporating first-degree murder as part of their so-called “novus ordo seclorum.”

    • Blaze Pascal

      Who said anything about "wiping out" Iran? They are specifically avoiding the option that will cause civilian casualties. Give us some credit please. You can be sure that if the shoe was on the other foot they WOULD wipe us out.

      Who said Iran was defenseless? Would you like to tag along on the mission?

    • stern

      Okay, so don't believe what the government of mainstream media says. Instead, maybe you should try believing what the Iranians say: Israel is a cancer; imagine a world without Israel; America is the big Satan and the flag of Islam must fly over the White House.

      Are you truly prepared to turn the other cheek when they come for you?

      • http://www.GodsSabbathRest.us Gary McAleer

        Everything you parrot, that's what mainstream media tells you to say. Simon says, "Believe and repeat the following words, Stern. We wouldn't lie to you. We're here for you. You do believe us, right?"

        Julian Assange just scratched the surface when he exposed some of the hidden corruption that is taking place in our world. This nation is so technically advanced that it has the ability to send some psychopath on a murderous rampage, get it all on film and then splice YOUR FACE over the assailant's. Frames and slanders are a dime a dozen these days. And people just won't believe the evils of men who masquerade as patriots, Christians, and virtuous. Every fraud is carried out behind a mask of friendship, care and a smile.

        As for your question: when they come for me? They won't come for me. Not because we'll get them first, but because sin is no longer sin to this society and its leaders anymore. Just a bunch of prideful people led by two-bit tyrants running the world who think they are God's chosen to rule.

        • Stephen_Brady

          Sir, you talk about "parroting" the mainstream media.

          But you, yourself, in your own personal testimony, say the following line

          "I must surrender my will to the experts…"

          And who are the "experts" whose word you surrender your will to? Jack van Impe and Benny Hinn. Interesting experts you surrender your will to …

          Don't talk to us about parroting anyone, please …

          • http://www.GodsSabbathRest.us Gary McAleer

            Stephen, I surrender my judgment to Jesus Christ, not to apostates like those you mentioned! I know what sin is and how the majority of mankind will be swallowed up “in the grave” "at the last day." And His Word describes in absolute detail what we are facing today. And in conjunction with the many prophecies of the reigning kingdom of earth (to the close of time) is the call to associate the chronological prophecies with the procession of historical events within the boundaries of the timeframe. This is my study and my conviction, and I won't be a tyrant over it; but those who plan this massacre of 100s of 1000s of more lives have no problem with tyranny. Think of it like Jack the Ripper on a global scale.

          • Stephen_Brady

            Gary, I went back and read the section I quoted from your testimony, and quickly saw that I misread what you had said. You have my apologies.

            I don't agree with you that the Word describes in "absolute detail" what we face, in this modern age. the Word is vague, and purposely so. Jesus Himself said that He did not know the day or the hour of His return … only the Father. I will not suppose that I know more than Jesus!

            However, He did give signs of what would be happening, when He was close to coming back, and commanded us to "watch and wait". This, I will do. If this isn't the time, the Lord is missing a golden opportunity.

            One last word, my uncle was a minister in the Church of the Nazarene for over fifty years. One day, he showed me a series of four books, all written many years apart. The first identified Stalin as the Antichrist. The second identified Mussolini as the Antichrist. The thrid identified Hitler as the Antichrist. The last named … of all people … John F. Kennedy as the Antichrist. All written by the same man, who was still selling books!

            I wonder what he would have thought of Obama!!?

    • Grayzel

      As you twist scripture to fit your own purpose you advise others to "to pray for discernment."

      Now for the full verse you twisted.

      1Ti 6:9 But those wishing to be rich fall into trial and a snare, and into many foolish and injurious lusts which plunge men in ruin and destruction.
      1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some, by longing for it, have strayed from the belief, and pierced themselves through with many pains.

      Notice the word wish! You yourself have a faith in money, don't you? Your faith is in government issued paper which you call money. That paper takes a faith in government the government that printed it to have any value. Look at yourself before you preach to others.

      • http://www.GodsSabbathRest.us Gary McAleer

        I did not wrest Paul's words from his principal of what causes so much needless suffering and loss of life! Read what David said in Psalm 73 about the wealthy class of men. Solomon said, "One sinner destroyeth much good." Look what Pharaoh did to destroy Egypt, or Hitler in Germany. The stranglehold on the American is only going to increase its grip. The foundation has all been laid for the final persecution: and it has nothing to do with the Middle East or Israel: it has everything to do with Christ's Commandment Keeping Church (Rev.14:12).

        Lastly, Do you go to church on Sunday? If you do, show me on verse of the entire Bible that validates the church’s trashing of the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment of Jesus Christ (Jn.8:58) and I'll give you every possession I own, and serve you as a slave for the rest of your life, even to the ear piercing of the awl.

        • Stephen_Brady

          Your church's founder was wrong twice, on the return of the Lord. Perhaps he was wrong on Saturday worship, too.

          As for us, we worship on Sunday because Jesus was resurrected on this day. Our tradition is not based upon replacing Jewish theology, which includes the Saturday Sabbath. But Christ arose on a Sunday, and that day is precious to us.

          You're not saying that people who worship on Sunday are doomed, are you? Judge not, that you are not judged …

  • maghrebchristians

    Dear brothers

    News that Pastor Youcef will be excuted they have just done a new sentence on him, I have the article here:
    http://www.maghrebchristians.com/2012/02/22/execu

    Please tell everyone and keep praying for him and his family that God will bring a miracle here in this situation

    God bless

    Youssef

  • Fred Dawes

    The system boys want war it is always this way, so have fun and send your kids off to get killed for God and some country? what in the hell is happen here? I think we have a failure to understand the muslim monkeys and nuke the rats in Real time just to see what will happen with the new nukes?. think 20 million dead and 20 million real to die, it would be fun to kill billions for the system boys, By the way we will be next. ( :- ( think one world behind this war and who is making the money? and who wants death? don't be fooled you are next.

    • BS77

      Dawes….what the heck are you saying? Your writing is incomprehensible.

      • Blaze Pascal

        I don't understand it but I think it's coming from the Left.

        • Grayzel1

          It is only someone from the progressive/communist left that could understand that gibberish.

        • trickyblain

          I get more of a "fundimentalist survivalist living on a well-armed combine" vibe from Dawe's posts.

  • BLJ

    I seem to remember when these diaper heads were crapping their pants when the U.S, first went into Iraq. Why? Because they thought they were next. The use of force is the only thing these scumbags understand and respect.

    We now have a commie in the WH who is more sympathetic to anything that is anti-American. The mullahs know this as does their Russian and Chinese allies. They have been at war with the U.S. since 1979.

    • Stephen_Brady

      Hear! Hear!

      And it's interesting that they've been at war with us since 1979, since it was an American "president" …. Jimmy Carter … who made it possible for them to come to power, in the first place.

      • SpiritOf1683

        Jihadis have been at war with the US since 1786, long before Ayatollah Khomeini. It is only throughout the last 33 years that they've painted America's face with the makeup of a clown. And why is that? Because the US and the West has lost nearly all of the courage it had in 1945, thanks to the PC whackjobs and flower children we have bred since then.

        • Stephen_Brady

          I agree with you completely, on this …

  • mrbean

    It is not now and never has been not Israel's war alone. Since Idiot #1 Jimmy Carter, Iran has been a theocracy that has openly waged a terrorist campaign again both west and Israel through proxy terrorists such as Hezbolla, Hamas, the Taliban, the Palestinian authority, Muslim brotherhood, and even elements of al Qaeda. Under Idiot # 2, Obama, Israel cannot count on this clandestine Muslim in the oval office and the Israeli military, Mossad, CIA and the Pentagon are right in advising against Israeli military action. Sure Israel can start a war, but the United States would have to intervene as a major player and won't with Idiot # 2, Obama as Commander in Chief. And the United States cannot count on NATO's support and both China and Russia will side with Iran.

  • Atlas_Collins

    More beating of the war drums for Americans to die fighting yet another proxy war for Israeli Jews.

    Piss off, Hasidim! Fight your own battles.

    • pagegl

      The Iranians, as well as other Islamic fundamentalists, have stated their goal is to destroy the little Satan (Israel) and then the great Satan (the USA). I'll take them at their word. It's also our battle.

      • Atlas_Collins

        No it isn't. Iran can't even refine enough gasoline to keep the taxicabs in Tehran filled so they have to import gasoline — and I'm supposed to believe Iran poses a threat to the USA?

        I don't think so.

        • Stephen_Brady

          That's because the Mullahs took over before they got Jimmy Carter to build their refineries, for them …

        • pagegl

          If they build a nuclear weapon they will be a threat to to any country that stands in the way of the spread of their brand of Islam. In the minds of Ahmedinejad and Khamenei one and two on their list are Israel and the US. They may not actually attack the US but they will provide the weapon and all the assistance they can to any terrorists willing to deliver and trigger it here. Even without ICBM there are any number of ways they can transport a weapon close enough to the US to deliver it and wipe out a major US city. And, as I stated before, I will take them at their word. They may not be able to keep taxis in Tehran gassed up, but they have no problems floating naval vessels through the Suez canal into the Mediterranean. That would indicate to me they would have little trouble putting nukes on their short range missiles, placing those in the hold of a freighter, and getting within several hundred miles of LA or NY or DC and launching them.

          Perhaps you should have left the last word off the last sentence of your post.

  • sickofit

    Here comes the AIPAC war. Lets wait and see what these national traitors and crooks will be "asking" (aka blackmailing), Congress to do when their little get together is over in a few weeks.

  • Ghostwriter

    Today,I read a laughable letter to the editor in the "Wall Street Journal." It was from the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations. He is parroting the same gobbledygook that his government always peddles. That Iran is no threat to the world,their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes,etc. The same bunch of lies that we've heard from them for years. The same idiocy that people like Gary McAleer,Fred Dawes,Atlas_Collins,and those like them have been peddling for a long time.
    The problem is that the Mullahs in Iran are neither moral nor rational. They are a bunch of religious fanatics who want to destroy everything that is not Islamic. We've tried dialogue with them and that hasn't worked. I don't know what will. But I'll tell you this. Iran is the LAST nation on earth I would ever want to have nuclear weapons.

    • Stephen_Brady

      Especially when the United States is unilaterally disarming its nuclear deterrence, in the face of a growing Russian and Chinese threat. Also, Iran is attempting to develop an ICBM with a range of 10,000 miles. Such a missile would have only one purpose,in the hands of the insane Mullahs of Iran ..

    • CAROLE63

      Ahmadinejad`s belief in the return of the mahdi is the problem because the theology is that worldwide chaos through wars etc. must come before he returns, so don`t underestimate what this madman will do to hasten this return!

      • elihu

        That 'boy' (the 12th) just has to come up out of that well doesn't he?

  • Flowerknife_us

    There was a time in America when a number of citizenssupported Hitler and admired what he was doing. When Hitlers better nature came forward he still had sympathisers and supporters of those hwo didn't want to get involved.

    Reads alot like things are today. Just a new set of Ayrans with faith on their side

    • SpiritOf1683

      Yep, the likes of DeShawn and Crackerjackass spring to mind.

  • http://www.jewwatch.com Matty

    "The Jews rule the world by proxy; they get other to fight and die for them".
    - Mahatir Mohammed, former Prime Minister of Malaysia

    The Jews want America to fight another war for their interests. Real Americans must support Dr. Ron Paul.

    • Stephen_Brady

      Anyone who's tempted to vote for Ron Paul should click on Matty's username, and see where it takes you. It goes straight to Jew Watch, which equates "Zionism" with world Communism, just as Josef Goebbels did in a speech on 18 February, 1943. If anyone needs proof, I can provide a link. Matty has provided his own link.

      From Dr. Goebbel's speech:
      "The goal of Bolshevism is Jewish world revolution. They want to bring chaos to the Reich and Europe, using the resulting hopelessness and desperation to establish their international, Bolshevist-concealed capitalist tyranny."

      Dr. Paul attracts anti-semites like feces draw flies …

  • Grayzel

    Do you have attention deficit disorder?

  • Stephen_Brady

    Think clearly, sir. Israel is an Amertican ally, and so their problems are our problems, and their successes are ours. Note that it is you who brough the question of Jews. I didn't. Is that clear enough for you?