Dr. Andrew Bostom closes the preface to his new volume, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Islamic Jihad and Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran, with several rhetorical questions, answered encyclopedically in the chapters that follow.
At first glance, someone unfamiliar with the nature of the subject might recognize in them a resemblance to Jeopardy!, now in its 30th year. Jeopardy contestants must correctly identify the historical event, leader or trivia — in the form of a question. To a description, for example, of “totalitarian religious law dictating behavior in all aspects of life for persons of said faith,” a well-tutored college student might ask: “What is sharia?” Of a treaty signed in March 628 between a famous charismatic figure and military commander and a competing Arabian tribe, a brainy homemaker might respond: “What is the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah?”
However, few Westerners can actually provide these correct responses, an issue that puts Western society in grave jeopardy.
Only the near-universal ignorance on Islam could explain why the Western press corps and leaders of the so-called “P5 +1” nations — the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Iran — all naïvely lauded the late November 2013 news of an interim agreement to eliminate Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons, and blindly accepted the notion that the deal would halt Iran’s future military goals.
Actually, the opposite happened. The P5 leaders, hopeful that a written agreement could put Iran’s nuclear ambitions to rest, were all-too-easily duped by Iran.
This reality marched to the fore on February 11, 2014, when Iranians massed in the streets of Tehran shouting “down with the U.S.” and “death to Israel” to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, during which Ayatollah Rehollah Khomeini reestablished the Iranian Shiite theocracy that the 20th century Pahlavi shahs had forestalled for an all-too-brief 54-year juncture (1925-1979).
As if to punctuate the madness of any attempt to reach agreement, current Iranian president Hassan Rouhani that day stated that the country’s nuclear program would continue “forever,” and that all Western sanctions to stop it had been “brutal, illegal, and wrong.”
Meanwhile, three Iranian military leaders simultaneously celebrated the milestone anniversary with “in your face” bellicosity. Major-General Yahya Rahim Safavi, a senior military aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, promised that “Hezbollah forces of Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah” would counter any Israeli attempt to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program that would, just as the nuclear program is intended to do, destroy “the Zionist regime.” Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehquani proclaimed that the first Iranian ballistic missile test fire — including a long-range missile that could evade radar — provided a fitting response to “unfounded [U.S.] allegations.” And Iranian Navy Commander Admiral Habibollah Sayari confirmed that Iran had deployed warships toward U.S. Atlantic territorial waters, a message-laden move to alert “the arrogant powers that are present near our maritime borders” that Iran will “also have a powerful presence close to the American [maritime] borders.”
Half a dozen more comments in the following days emphasized that Iran never intends, even temporarily, to halt or slow its predominantly militaristic nuclear program. Chief Iranian “P5 + 1” negotiator Muhammad Javad Zarif stated — to directly rebut Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman – that Iran would not need the fortified, underground Fordow uranium enrichment center or its Arak plutonium heavy-water reactor, whose “non-negotiable” status warrants no discussion or talks. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi said Iran would not dismantle even one nuclear facility. In a February 17 Iranian TV address, Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khameini stated it would be impossible to resolve the “nuclear issue” per “U.S. expectations,” and reminded viewers that Americans are Iran’s immutable enemies. Talks would lead “nowhere.”
Tragically, the gullibility of American leaders today mirrors that of U.S. policymakers in 1979. Bostom brilliantly juxtaposes the events.
In February 1979, he notes, the New York Times published an op-ed by Princeton international law professor Richard Falk entitled “Trusting Khomeini.” This is representative of the “parlous denial — born of willful doctrinal and historical negationism” that continues to shape U.S. policy on Iran today.