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Big Blast in Iran

Sunday, January 27th, 2013 - by Michael Ledeen

As my friend Reza Kahlili reports, a few days ago there was an explosion at the Iranian nuclear facility at Fordo, near the holy city of Qom.  Confirmation has been dribbling in, mostly from the German press.  I’m told that there was indeed an explosion, which took place in a gas line that was being run to a new part of the Fordo facility, deep underground.  I don’t know if it was sabotage or an accident, but eyewitnesses talk about a monster blast, and it does indeed appear that lots of workers are trapped.

There are lots of explosions in Iran’s pipelines, and at the country’s refineries, as I’ve pointed out several times.  Both petroleum and natural gas pipelines are blown up regularly, and the biggest refineries are often out of commission.

This is different;  the regime dearly wants to craft atomic bombs, and the new Fordo facility, cleverly concealed from IAEA inspectors, would have added to their capacity, and, as long as it remained secret, would have enabled them to work away from the snoopers.  Now, not only is the new facility exposed, but it, and the surrounding operations, are severely damaged.

UPDATE:  Still too early to know all the details, but it seems the gas line was being run to a facility separate from the formerly-secret-but-now-well-known site.  So while the new, very deep underground, project was blown up, the older one is intact.

There may be more as time passes.

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The Prisoner Swap in Syria

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 - by Michael Ledeen

As I wrote earlier this week, the release of the 48 Iranian prisoners–mostly officers of the Revolutionary Guards Corps–was an Iranian condition for moving forward in the secret talks with the United States.  It was a test of our “good faith.”  It was very difficult for us, because the Free Syrian Army, which held the 48, has received no real help from the US, and they were reluctant to help.  In the end, they got the release of more than 2,000 prisoners held by Assad.

It’s pretty clear that our “friends” in Qatar and Turkey did the heavy lifting.  This will likely unblock the secret talks, and I’d expect someone from the White House to meet with Mohammad Javad Larijani in the near future.

Remember, you heard about it first right here on PJ Media.

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Iran’s Biological Weapons

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 - by Michael Ledeen

My friend Reza Kahlili reports that the Iranians have developed some new biological weapons they plan to use against us at the appropriate moment.  You’ll recall that Reza was an officer in the Revolutionary Guards Corps, where he worked as a CIA agent.  I always take his work seriously, and you should too.

No form of WMD frightens me as much as biologicals.  Germs exist, epidemics can kill a lot of people, and there are ways to spread them.  The Soviets worked very hard on such weapons, especially on anthrax, and according to Reza’s source, the Russians, along with those ghoulish North Koreans, have been helping Iran prepare its biological arsenal.

Yes, I think there should be hearings.  And yes, if the information is accurate, I believe that action should be taken against the labs and stockpiles.

I have only one quibble with the story as Reza’s source tells it.  He talks about various high-tech ways of spreading plague, etcetera.  Those methods range from infecting insects to spraying the stuff on us from the air.  Maybe they are preparing those things.  But there’s an easier way:  infect a few people, and let them wander around crowded areas like airports, movie theaters, subway stations and trains, and the like.  A few coughs and sneezes, and voila!

It’s a proven method.  The Spaniards did it to the Neapolitans in the 17th century and wiped out half the population of Naples.  You can read about it here.

Damn right it’s serious.  Deadly serious.

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NY Times: Obama didn’t encourage arms to Libyan rebels. Oh, wait…Obama encouraged arms to Libyan rebels

Thursday, December 6th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

If only there were still editors.  Never mind fact checkers, our “top reporters” can’t even parse across 6 paragraphs.  In today’s story about how the Qataris shipped weapons to anti-Qadaffi fighters in Libya, the 5th paragraph tells us that the Obama Administration knew about it, didn’t object to it, but didn’t encourage it either:

The Obama administration did not initially raise objections when Qatar began shipping arms to opposition groups in Syria, even if it did not offer encouragement, according to current and former administration officials.

In the 11th paragraph–same story, same reporters, we find that the administration did indeed encourage it:

But after the White House decided to encourage Qatar — and on a smaller scale, the United Arab Emirates — to ship arms to the Libyans, President Obama complained in April 2011 to the emir of Qatar that his country was not coordinating its actions in Libya with the United States, the American officials said. “The president made the point to the emir that we needed transparency about what Qatar was doing in Libya,” said a former senior administration official who had been briefed on the matter.

Meanwhile, the headline says that the administration “approved” it.

This by you is reporting?  Three names are on the story:  Risen, Mazzetti, and Schmidt.  Maybe one of them could have asked, “so did you or didn’t you?”



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Hezbollah Controls Syrian Chem Weapons

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

Which include mustard gas, VX, and sarin.  A top Hezbollah military officer tells il Foglio (my favorite Italian newspaper) that THEY–the Hezbollahis–have control over the chemical weapons.  And not to worry, while Assad “will not hesitate to use chemical weapons,” they will only be used against his enemies, since Hezbollah keeps potential traitors far away from the “secret deposits.”

So relax.  It’s all fine.  Meanwhile, head for that crash course in Italian.

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Remember Barbara Olson

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

For us, 9/11 is Barbara Olson day. Barbara was murdered on the plane that plowed into the Pentagon. The circumstances were so dramatic that even today it is hard to believe it all. She was scheduled to return to California for a project having to do with wine, and delayed so that she could be with her husband Ted, the Solicitor General of the United States, on his birthday. On board, she quickly realized what was going on, and somehow got Ted on the phone. She was determined to find some way to fight back — anyone who dares to think of Barbara as a victim has no clue — and she knew that Ted would know the whole situation. Which he did. And so they spoke, exchanging tears and love and schemes and anger.

At her memorial service, Judge Bork commented that, while the rest of us were doomed to age, Barbara would be forever young, and so she is. Young and gorgeous and feisty and patriotic and tough. She would be furious at the cowardice and contempt for America embodied in so many of our current policies, and she would be relentlessly exposing them on television and in books. She was very worried that Hillary would win the White House, and wrote two excellent books about the Clintons. By now we would undoubtedly have more: the Obamas are a very rich lode to mine.

The winery that produced her favorite Cabernet dedicated the next vintage to her, and we still have a few bottles left, with a black ribbon and her picture. Today, as every 9/11, we drank in her honor and remembered her.

The main thing about Barbara was shown in her final minutes. She never stopped fighting, never gave in, always kept looking for ways to win. That is her legacy, and it’s up to us to be worthy of her. I never had time for whiners or quitters, and I often remember with great satisfaction how she eviscerated the apologists for evil with whom she fought on CNN.

And so we have arrived at the eleventh Barbara Olson Day, still hoping that we will find leaders up to her and our challenge and worthy of our respect. And yes, of our love.

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Hey General Dempsey

Saturday, September 1st, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

His unfortunate remark is all over the place.  Referring to the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said “I don’t want to be complicit if they choose to do it,”

Earth to Dempsey:  OK, I won’t blame you.  But you can be sure that most of the world, with the Iranian regime at the front of the mob, will have no doubts about the complicity of the United States.  They think they “know” that Israel is the long arm of the United States in the Middle East, and would never do anything of such magnitude without an American green light.

Ergo, your expressed desires are just filed in the “disinformation” cabinet.

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US: Release Political Prisoners in Iran

Sunday, July 29th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

Life is full of surprises.  I missed this earlier in the month, but at long last, we have called for the release of Iranian political prisoners, and the State Department even named two of them.  Waydago!

Now we have to keep it up.  There are lots of Iran political prisoners, certainly hundreds, quite likely thousands, and State should name them all.  Do it at press conferences, do it at the UN, do it at international conferences.  Encourage allies to do it.  Broadcast it on Farda and VOA Persian Service.

Don’t forget the Green leaders, Mr. and Mrs. Mousavi and Mr. Karroubi.

It matters a lot.  Reagan did it to the Soviets, and they hated it.  The Iranian regime’s leaders will hate it too.  And the Iranian people will take heart.

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Was the Top Iranian Rev Guards Commander Killed in Damascus?

Thursday, July 19th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

I’m checking it, but there is a report that says so:

Reports in the Arab-language press indicate the head of Iran’s covert foreign operations Quds force was killed in Wednesday’s bombing in Damascus.

Al-Quds Force’s long-elusive commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, is reported to have made several trips to Damascua to meet with Assad and his top commanders since January of this year.

Iran has made no bones about having bolstered Assad’s embattled regime with members of its own elite Revolutionary Guard, but the death of Suleimani would be a direct blow to Tehran.

General Suleimani has,  or perhaps had, an awful lot of blood on his murderous hands.  From the 1990s bombings in Argentina to the Iranian operations against American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, to hand-in-mailed-glove coordination with Hezbollah in various killings, his name should be at or near the very top of any Western “most wanted” list of mass murderers. The assassination of Suleimani would be comparable to the murder of Imad Mughniyah, the Hezbollah chief of operations who was intimately involved with the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, the Guards’ foreign legion commanded by Suleimani. His death at the hands of a suicide bomber would be ironically appropriate, and  a religious commentator might well term it Divine retribution.  It would also be a devastating blow to the Iranian regime, as well as to Hezbollah. I don’t think we’ve heard the full list of victims yet.  There could be others of his ilk.  So stay tuned.

UPDATE:  General Suleimani lives on.  He was in Iran at a secret planning meeting–to kill Americans in Afghanistan–that day.

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Dummy of the Day

Saturday, July 7th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

The cherished award goes to Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana, who called for a new educational system, based on Islamic religious schools.

Hey, when a guy’s right, he should be rewarded.  And certainly the high accomplishments of the “Muslim world” attest to the superiority of their educational system, right?  Right!

Just look at all the Nobel prizes, all the great plays, films and novels, high fashion…to come out of the madrassas.

Live it up, Congressman Carson, you’ve earned it.

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Stolen Valor

Thursday, June 28th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

It’s not only Obamacare today, it’s also “Stolen Valor,” the law that makes it a crime to falsely claim you’re a military guy/hero.  Does the 1st Amendment protect this lie?  We military families hope not…

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More Madness on High

Thursday, May 31st, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

The president is now portraying himself as a great expert on Judaism, but we know–as I wrote some years ago–that this is false.  He has demonstrated considerable misunderstanding of Judaism, including the significance of our holiest day, Yom Kippur.

But that does not stop him from lecturing twenty-odd rabbis on Judaism, nor claiming that no other president before him has understood it as well as he does.  So he tells the Jews what they really believe, and therefore what they should do.

In the coverage of his alleged role in personally selecting the targets of Hellfire missiles in the Middle East, it was claimed that he arrived at this remarkable decision after reading Sts. Aquinas and Augustine on “just war.”  Do you believe it?  Did any journalist think to ask for specifics?

In any event, it is a further case of the president telling Catholics what to believe, and therefore how to act.  We all know the other cases, which have led to an open revolt from American Catholic leaders against the president’s theology and his policies.

In his speech in Cairo–the one he addressed to the “Muslim World”–he made numerous false statements about Islam, including Muslim theology and history.  He spoke as if he did not realize that the Muslim Middle East is a failed culture (as numerous Muslim scholars have said).  Nonetheless, that did not prevent him from telling Muslims what they believed and therefore how they should act.

He probably told the Dalai Lama something similar, dontcha think?

In short, he’s not only commander-in-chief who thinks our soldiers serve him, not the nation and its Constitution, but the prophet-in-chief for all religions.

There are words for this sort of self-image, ranging from extreme narcissism to megalomania.  Combined with his insistence on keeping secret the most mundane aspects of his life, it suggests a desire to create a personal myth about himself, a myth that entitles him to speak ex cathedra to all men and women.

If he really were a great religious scholar and a deep philosophical thinker, I might be inclined to celebrate the world’s fortune in having a transcendent, world-historical figure in the White House.  But he isn’t.  He keeps getting the facts wrong from “Polish death camps” to “all 57 states,” from “Muslims invented printing” to “my Austrian isn’t very good,”, which is not the way of the prophets.

It’s nuts, actually.

(Cross-posted at Faster, Please.)

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Rewriting History 101

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

I’m reading the NYTimes, masquerading as the International Herald Tribune, and on the front page there is an article about the Egyptian elections, which Timesmen David Kirkpatrick and Mayy el Sheik call “the first competitive presidential election in the history of the Arab world.”

NOT.  Iraq did that.  But somehow, memories don’t go that far back.  At least in the NY Times

I suppose every journalism school of note now has a required course in “rewriting history.”

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You Want a Hero? I’ll Give You a Hero

Thursday, April 12th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

Actually my favorite spook has already done it.  It’s an Air Force officer in Afghanistan who four times exposed himself to Taliban fire in order to call in our fly guys, thereby saving Americans and Afghans who were trapped in a kill zone with no way out.

Captain Barry Crawford was awarded the Air Force’s highest honor, the Air Force Cross, because he

exposed himself to insurgent fire in an open field to guide in a medical evacuation helicopter and twice again exposed himself to launch attacks on militant positions with his assault rifle. This was all the while controlling 33 aircraft and well over 40 strafing and bombing airstrikes during a 14-hour ambush and battle in eastern Afghanistan.

Read the whole thing, and give thanks that we have such men.

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The Ledeen/McCarthy Dialogues

Thursday, March 15th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

My final pronunciamenti are here.  Andy and I are exhausted, and we’re doing a reprise on Bill Bennett’s radio show tomorrow morning at 07:50…for an hour, no less.

We haven’t been invited to make a documentary with Spielberg yet, and frankly I’m holding out for staging a live debate in Madison Square Garden, with Chris Matthews as moderator.

The full exchange, 3 rounds, can be accessed via the front page of Nationalreview.com

I’ll post my remarks on my blog in a day or so.  Thanks to Lopez and the gang at NRO for hosting this.  Maybe it will even help.

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Santorum’s Music

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

The Santorum campaign is a real oddity in many ways.  No pollsters, for one thing.  He just says what he  has to say, and so be it.  His miniscule staff keeps suggesting dressier clothes.  Enough with the sweater vest, you know?  He won’t have that, either.  And no teleprompters, so far as I know.  He thinks he knows what he has to say.

But he does have official music, of the sort you’d expect.  He just added Krista Branch’s “Lead Me On,” which I rather like.  Curious?  Voila’.

Hard to argue with his results.  Is there anyone among the punditocracy who thought he had the slightest chance of emerging from single digits, let alone become the greatest threat to Romney?

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The Latest Iranian “Secret”

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

That would be Parchin, the site the regime hasn’t permitted UN peacekeepers to visit, and where a frantic “cleanup” is going on.  You might think that we only recently came to the realization that Parchin was a significant place in the Iranian nuclear weapons program.  But you’d be wrong.  Checking my own imperfect record (especially on the nukes;  I thought they’d have had some long since), I find that I wrote about it in the Wall Street Journal nearly ten years ago.  In December, 2003.   Have a look.

Good sources, ahem.

The stuff on inspections is pretty useful, too…

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The Great Debate Goes On

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

That’s the discussion Andy McCarthy and I are conducting on Syria, Islam, and even freedom.  My latest contribution is here.  NRO has a front-page link to all of our remarks, which are up to four at this moment, and will soon move on to five, with Andy’s most recent rejoinder.

I think you’ll agree that it’s serious, sometimes witty, informative, and might even contribute to the national debate we so badly need, but rarely get.

In addition, the estimable Bill Bennett has invited us on his morning radio show for a full hour this Friday, from 07:50 Eastern.  In the unlikely event you’re not a regular listener, you certainly should be.  Just go to BillBennett.com and you can either listen online, or find your local station.

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A Real Debate

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

I respond to my buddy Andy McCarthy (the subject is Syria, mostly) over at the Corner.  Bottom line:

“There is a linkage between the intensity of jihadist fervor and results on the battlefields of the Big War. An apocalyptic/messianic movement of the sort the bin Ladens, Zawahiris, and Khameneis lead gains enormous support when we are either defeated or seen to be intimidated. But the movement loses strength, and recruitment becomes much more difficult, when it’s defeated, as in Iraq (We failed to ask, what ever happened to the divine support Osama claimed for his jihad, anyway?). Syria and Iran are central to the Big War, and we can’t escape it. They are waging war against us, as the Iranian regime has for 33 years, and we can either win or lose. We can’t opt out. They won’t let us.”

We’ve agreed to carry on if it seems productive.  Who knows?  At least it would punch another hole in the terribly misleading “debate” on nukes.

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Monday, March 5th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

He’s an amazing talent, he smokes good cigars (which endears him to me), anyone who listens to him with any frequency knows that he’s remarkably good natured (not the nasty hater his enemies’ stereotype suggests) and he has a great flair for political analysis.  Rush is very valuable, and nothing demonstrates his  value so well as the intensity of the attacks against him.

No one who is on the air live for 15 hours a week can possibly avoid error, any more than any of us who blogs several times a week (and we have the advantage of being able to read our own words before we post;  he can’t edit himself, he’s got to get it right the first time), or for that matter any more than our national leaders who misspeak at press conferences, or in debates, or even in prepared statements.  So he’s going to say things that he will subsequently regret.  It’s the nature of the medium. And it’s human nature.

Not one of us can survive a minute-by-minute analysis of our lives.  We have all made errors, we have all done things we wish we hadn’t done, we have all failed to do things we should have done.  It’s part of our common humanity. We’re all sinners.  Rush makes fewer of these blunders than most anyone else on the air, even including the readers of the evening news.

He knows that, he said something he regrets, and he’ll say other things he’ll regret in the future.  As will we all.  He’s acknowledged it and said he’s sorry.

Like others, I think the issue of religious freedom is enormously important, and I think many of the “get Rush” crowd are happy to distract our attention from that issue.

I hope he gets us back to that issue, pronto.  He knows that repeated apologies don’t work, but only offer fresh  blood to the sharks.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep listening and learning.  I think I”ll send him some good cigars, too.

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More Spontaneous Hilarity from the Comical Mullahs

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

They just staged more phony “elections.”  Supreme Leader Khamenei said that turnout was crucial, because a big turnout would be a “slap” in the faces of the satanic Americans and their toadies.  The results were predetermined, and security forces were sent around the cities to cast multiple ballots.

So far, so good.  Then the regime announced that there had been an epic turnout, even though you could go to Twitter and see many photos of polling places, said to be from Friday, with very few voters.  Some Western “reporters” duly passed on the propaganda.  Some were openly dubious.

But then, on national television, a spokesman from the Interior Ministry responded to a question about turnout by saying the “official” number was around 34%.  (Thanks to the indefatigable Potkin Azarmehr in London for the video clip).

That guy is not going to be promoted, believe thee me.  Unless you think sharing a cell with other “criminals” is a step upwards.

Which is why I have been calling the regime a collection of fanatical buffoons.  Or maybe they’re ALL working for Mossad?

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The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Enter the Great Debate on Contraceptives

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

One  of their favorite publications, Gerdad, did a story about dangerous computer viruses.  You know, ‘trojans.”  But then they screwed up the narrative, so to speak.  Because the article printed ads for condoms, specifically “Trojans.”  The crowd at EA (formerly “Enduring America,” in which the first word was intended to convey “putting up with,” rather than “long lasting, maybe even eternal”) could not restrain themselves from pointing out that the Trojans are not really appropriate for a discussion of “soft war.”

True enough.  I just want to note, once again, the amazing capacity of Iranian officials to screw up almost everything.  This, like many others, is wildly entertaining.  But they are very good at some things, namely mass murder, mass torture, and mass rape.  And getting people–mostly Arabs, almost never their own kind–to go in for “martyrdom.”

But nobody in this administration seems to care.  Maybe this anti-condom article will uh stimulate them to support the regime’s enemies.

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Surprise! There IS a Demonstration in Iran Today (Updated)

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

Too early to get a clear sense of dimensions, but there are people in the streets fighting with regime security forces, including female fuzz.

I’m sure the locals are calling them feminazis.

UPDATE:  AFP reporters told to stay off the streets.

UPDATE II:  Demonstrations in Ahwaz City (oil region, lots of Sunni Arabs who have been brutally repressed)

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Will There be a Demonstration in Iran Today?

Monday, February 13th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

The Greens have called for a “silent demonstration,” and the Syrian opposition has supported it, of course.  It seems like a long shot, but during the night there were renewed calls from the rooftops of Tehran of “Allah is great,” and “Death to the Dictator,” and “Freedom for Mousavi and Karroubi,” the two imprisoned leaders.

Certainly not the sort of Valentine the supreme leader might hope for.

Whatever happens, the Green Movement will undoubtedly be remembered as the most artistically elegant in a long time.  Have a look at their latest video, for example.

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Dwarf Tossing is Legal!!

Friday, February 10th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

In Canada, it seems.  Inquiring minds want to know:

Does the national health care policy cover this?

For both the tossers and the tossed?

Isn’t this somehow politically incorrect?  Or have the Canadians really embraced individual freedom to the point where they can say “hey, it’s adults making free decisions”?  If you read the story, you’ll see that the dwarf is a volunteer…

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Two Bombings in Aleppo Today

Friday, February 10th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

Aimed at security and regular Army forces.  Free Syrian Army takes credit according to the BBC.  Hundreds of casualties.

There had to be revenge for the mass slaughter in Homs and elsewhere.  What else can they do except strike back?  The  “Western world” continues to dither, continuing the “diplomatic” intellectual masturbation that passes for foreign policy nowadays.

Those who say they don’t want war remind me of King Canute ordering the tides to stop.  The war is on.  The only issue is whether the murderous tyrants win or lose.  Having failed to support non-violent democratic revolution in enemy countries like Iran and Syria, our options have predictably narrowed.  We can abandon the freedom fighters, all the while claiming we are “with them,” or truly support them.

Without real support for the opposition, Assad and Khamenei will prevail.

But that’s what you get when you pretend to “lead from behind.”  It doesn’t work.  The best people die and the monsters prevail.

And the terrible question remains:  why were we so busy bringing down friendly tyrants and so reluctant to act against our enemies?

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Iranian Passenger Boat Sinks in the Gulf

Saturday, January 21st, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

No details yet.  Seems to be a pandemic of sinking passenger ships.  Don’t know if the captain spoke Italian.  Wondering if they hit one of those Iranian mines designed to “block traffic.”

Or maybe they were headed for voting booths so that they could show support for one of the Republican candidates, and the captain got overexcited?

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Iranians Saved, Iranian Regime Humiliated

Sunday, January 8th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

The Iranian regime has waged war on us for 33 years, and kills Americans every day.  Their leaders warn that if American warships sail into the Gulf, they will attack us.  Meanwhile, when innocent Iranian workers are taken hostage by Somali pirates, they are freed by…American warships in the Gulf.

Just think how many innocent Iranians–tens of millions of them held hostage by that evil regime–are dreaming of being freed.  They hope we will help them.  But Obama won’t do it.  He wants to make a deal with the pirates in Tehran.  And, sadly, he is doing terrible damage to the greatest force for freedom in the world, the American armed forces.

Ask the Iranian hostages who are now free, thanks to an American warship, which by the way is commanded by an American woman, Commander Jennifer Ellinger.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei must be gnashing his teeth.  His regime is based on hatred of women and hatred of America, and now some American woman in uniform comes along and frees Iranians–which his regime had failed to accomplish.

The next time Commander Ellinger encounters Iranians in the Gulf, it might not be so friendly. No wonder the regime spiked the story for a day…

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

I know him very well.  My Barbara worked for him for many years, and enjoyed it.  He’s a good boss, which matters.  He had relatively low turnover, especially among top staffers, which is rare on The Hill.  His chief of staff went on to become a real force in “the culture,” helping the production of morally admirable films from the C.S. Lewis fables to the one about Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery in Great Britain.

Of course Santorum’s been demonized, but the caricature of him is truly wicked.  He has faults, but he is one of the most tolerant men I know (Barbara disagreed with him on some core issues, but he cherished her work, listened–really listened–to what she had to say, and she was with him to the end.  We’re still friends.

I’m not a Republican, I don’t vote in the primary here in the People’s Republic of Maryland, but I have to say that as the Iowa results came in I felt really good, because I’d seen a good man have a moment of well earned satisfaction.

And you don’t see that very often in public life.  I thought his remarks afterwards were lovely.  And I’m happy that he has a voice in our national debate.

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Siberia as the 58th State?

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 - by Michael Ledeen

I don’t watch tv, and nobody’s vodkablogging Iowa, so I’ve been surfing.  And I came across this amazing story from that great newspaper, Pravda.  And it tells me that “the Siberians” want a referendum on independence from Russia.  Assuming they win, the leaders of this movement will attempt to follow Alaska and California into the warm (well, you know) embrace of the United States.

Maybe it’s a spoof.  But it’s much too good to check.  It would certainly help energy independence.  And there are probably some  good places for new ski resorts.  Not to mention lots of facilities for the American regime to park those guys they’re going to arrest all over the place, wouldn’t you say, comrades?

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Ron Paul and Moi

Thursday, December 29th, 2011 - by Michael Ledeen

It goes back several years, when Paul slimed me in a speech on the House floor.  I responded in several ways, and wrote it up for NRO, which has been kind enough to repost it.  As you will see, his little sortie in neocon bashing is old hat, and a few of the comments (today’s) show that his acolytes have swallowed it whole.

Dangerous man.  And never admits to error, apparently.

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Berlusconi Was Framed?

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 - by Michael Ledeen

Can’t be.  A distinguished British attorney lied to Italian courts?  But the FT swore up and down that Berlusconi was the corrupt one…Jeez.  Turns out that Berlusconi told the truth.  Go figure.

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Why Italian Science is Better

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 - by Michael Ledeen

Thanks to Instapundit, I read this article on obesity and the brain.  Bottom line:  being fat not only makes you ugly and shortens your life, but it dulls your mind.  So get thin!

But wait.  The research was done in Rome, and the professore in charge shrinks at the thought of a “strict diet.”  He’s hoping for a pill.

Maybe we’ll be able to take it just before the spaghetti a la carbonara (Glenn’s favorite,  since it’s loaded with bacon).

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Wow, They’re Still Blowing Up Iran

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 - by Michael Ledeen

Two more explosions today.  One at the big refinery in Isfahan, the other at the very important Revolutionary Guards base in Kerman, which is the headquarters for the RG’s operations in the East (think Afghanistan, etc.).

I don’t have casualty figures yet, but the Kerman blast was a biggie.

I am told that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei hasn’t made a public appearance in more than two weeks.  I don’t have any way to check this, but he certainly hasn’t been hogging the spotlight of late.  That role is being played by the Iranian currency, the rial, which is in the same death spiral as the regime.  It’s dropped from 1300-and-change to the dollar to 1500-plus in a couple of weeks.  Maybe Khamenei doesn’t want to talk about the resounding success of his regime?

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Camp Ashraf

Sunday, December 18th, 2011 - by Michael Ledeen

I am no fan of the MEK, and I am certainly not one of their overpaid “friends,” but the thought of abandoning them to the brutality of the Iranian regime makes my flesh crawl.  We inherited them from Saddam–for whom they worked against their native Iran–and, contrary to the propaganda of the anti-American left, we disarmed them and kept them on a reservation called Camp Ashraf.  Now they are at the mercy of the Maliki Government in Baghdad, and the supreme leader wants to kill them, in part for revenge for their actions during the Iran-Iraq War, and in part to humiliate Obama and demonstrate to any would-be friend of the United States that we can’t be relied upon.  When the going gets tough, the Americans go away, he wants to say.

So I think we should do what we can to ensure a soft landing for them, and I think it would be (yet another) disgrace if we stood silent if they are massacred.

Many of their lobbyists–most recently Howard Dean and Tom Ridge–argue that this means we should take them off the terrorist list.  I don’t get that, frankly.  That action would send a very counterproductive message to the Iranian people, most of whom consider the MEK a group of traitors who killed Iranians during the long war.  In that sense, it’s rather like the Cuban embargo.  You might not be enthusiastic about it, but lifting it would send a message of abandonment to the Cuban people.  The same applies here, I think.

So help them, leave the “listing” question for another day, and then get on with helping the Iranian people in Iran.  The MEK is not a major player;  it’s a few thousand people who shouldn’t be abandoned to our major enemies in Tehran after we took responsibility for them back in 2003.

Once upon a time we’d have considered this a question of honor.  Not now, evidently.

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