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Ron Radosh

There is an influx of new “useful idiots” these days — the term attributed to Lenin which refers to all the Western dupes who buy the lies of the Communists and who do their bidding without realizing it. But this time, since the Soviet Union no longer exists and a love affair with Communist Cuba has become somewhat passé, the shift in support of repressive regimes has turned to none other than that of the mullahs’ Iran.

This was made clear in a recent issue of The Nation, which featured an article by our country’s two most notorious apologists for the brutal Iranian regime: Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett. Titled “The Real Challenge from Iran,” the mullahs’ new American spokespeople argue that most people are spreading myths about Iran, calling the regime “irrational, illegitimate and vulnerable.” Rather than being “despised by its own people,” they argue, the current regime is based on “participatory politics,” “elections with the principles and institutions of Islamic governance, and a commitment to foreign policy independence.”

It is, they conclude, “what a majority of Iranians living inside the country want.”

Reading this, I get a feeling of déjà vu, since it reminds me of the scores of articles the magazine used to run from the 1930s through the 1960s about how wonderful and progressive Stalin’s Soviet Union was. The fellow travelers of the Old Left always argued that the people supported the Soviet regime; that all the stories of executions, a vast secret police, repression, and a huge prison system were lies spread by the right-wing press and by anti-Communist émigrés. If some of their claims turned out to be true, it was the fault of the West and the United States, who forced them to turn to repression to protect the revolution always under fire from the oppressors of the capitalist nations.

It is therefore not surprising that The Nation would stay true to its roots, as if nothing had been learned since those long ago days of the Cold War. In their article, the Leveretts claim that the Green movement had no internal support, that the government itself closed bad prisons where inmates were treated harshly, that most of those arrested during anti-government rallies were released, and that polls reveal the Iranian people view their government’s opposition to the Greens “as legitimate.”

Therefore, they argue, policymakers should accept the regime, end the sanctions against it that only hurt the innocent Iranian people, not oppose Iran developing an atomic weapon, stop the war against Assad and Syria, and understand that Tehran needs the Arab governments only to be “less pro-American, less pro-Israel, and more independent.”

Also, the U.S. has to accept the reality that the Iranian Islamic Republic will not be transformed “into a secular liberal state.”

Written under the guise of policy advice for the U.S. government, what the Leveretts have really written is an apologia for tyranny, in which they repeat every lie of the regime regarding how it has continually negotiated in good faith with Western powers to reach a solution on the nuclear issue, only to be rebuffed by the warlike American government that wants to use talks as an excuse to destroy the mullahs. If only that were true! (As our colleague Michael Ledeen says: “Faster, please!”)

Indeed, their solution is rather simple: the U.S. “must accept “Iran’s nuclear rights.” Just as the Old Left used to argue that the Soviets wanted peace and the U.S. had to accept its needs for secure regimes on its borders, the Leveretts say that now the U.S. has to recognize “Iran’s core security concerns.” The regime’s behavior, therefore, is our fault. If we do not accept its demands, our country will be seen as one acting without any legitimacy and be rightfully seen as “an outlaw superpower.”

In their eyes, we should not oppose radical Islam, but should instead improve our ties with “Islamist political order across the Middle East.” The goal should be “rapprochement with the Islamic Republic.”

All of these themes are spelled out in more detail in their new, widely publicized book titled Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Fortunately, two reviews appearing today decimate their argument in the most cogent way.

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So the Leveretts consider hanging homosexuals and stoning adulterers to be legitimate?
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
I still struggle to find the binding agent between the radical left and radical Islam. Other than toppling America and Israel, there really appears to be nothing in common between these two insane ideologies.

The verbal brothel that has become our mass media dissemination vehicle, allows its audience to pick from fetish rooms whatever their treasonous and depraved heart desires.

When the traitorism and treachery was confined to whitewashing away Communist atrocities, brutality and mass murder it was at least in line with theme of the masquerade. ("we are compassionate, tolerant, open-minded liberals who want peace, love and harmony...with our mass murdering partners at the helm")

But, the homosexual-hating, Jew annihilation dreaming, misogynist, religious fanatics...are polar opposites to the "anything goes, women are oppressed", Godless creatures of the radical left.

So, what gives?

Treason for treason's sake. Tearing down America yet another peg. It is the only conclusion.

And...every one of the traitors should hang for it.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Well, Flynt and Hillary Leverett, I'm not a polemicist. I can believe Iranians support having gov't based on Islam but do they support satellite TV being against the law and censored state TV? Why does a legitimate gov't need such things? That raises much broader points. Who votes for that? Even in conservative Egypt last night they broadcast a regular show by a comedian who went after Morsi, who awarded Morsi an Oscar on air for dissimulation. Can they do that in Iran?

When one talks about America's "quest to dominate the Middle East" how does that jibe with reality? America is not occupying countries in the ME with the intention of holding on to them, though we could clearly steal oil for free if we wished - who would stop us? However, is there any doubt that, without the U.S., Kuwait would be a part of Iraq or Bahrain a part of Iran, Lebanon a part of Syria - permanently? Is there any doubt the entirety of the ME would kick the entire Jewish population out of Israel if they could?

You are confusing intent with the ability to carry out that intent. Just because mad cults like the Wahabbis in S. Arabia aren't raiding Italian cities doesn't mean they wouldn't. Have you read your history? There was no voluntary withdrawal of Islam from the Med. littoral, or Spain. Islam didn't end slavery in their own polities, the West did.

Just because a country doesn't do a thing doesn't mean they wouldn't. If Iran were the U.S., do you seriously believe they wouldn't enslave the entirety of Mexico and Canada? America is the only superpower in world history that has not expanded with naked aggression and piracy to the extent of its limits. Deal with that fact. Deal with the fact that Iran is CONSTRAINED, not peaceful, and that America is peaceful, not CONSTRAINED.

That's not to say America hasn't made plenty of bonehead moves, but at least it was in the hope of making the world free of empire, fascism and larger war, such as Viet Nam, stupid and criminal though that turned out to be. Nevertheless, it wasn't naked piracy such as everyone knows ME countries would engage in if they could.

The only reason the ME even has some nations that give a nod to democracy is because of us if you haven't noticed. Take away America's example and culture and what would Egypt be longing for exactly? When has an Islamic entity during their hey day ever established a democracy, outlawed slavery or even thought about it? Do you think the entirety of the Pacific Rim would enjoy being today in a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, where Indonesian women are forced into prostitution? The sad truth is that you are rejecting the very values that keep an Iranian, or other, boot off your neck. The world is not an "I'm okay, you're okay," proposition. The only reason you are yourself engaging in polemics rather than sitting in a slave pen somewhere is because the world is not a place where only S. Arabia and Iran have nukes. Imagine that world, and think about the words "intent" and "constrained."
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
So, according to the Leveretts, we should dismiss all of the remarks by the Iranian Islamists about Palestine stretching from the west bank of the Jordan to the Mediterranean? That Israel would be wiped off the map? What about the missiles being installed in Venezuela? All American paranoia and misunderstanding?
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
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