“Iran has named a member of the militant group that held 52 Americans hostage in Tehran for 444 days to be its next ambassador to the United Nations,” Bloomberg News reported on Saturday, a reminder that the totalitarian mindset that fueled the Iranian revolution of the late 1970s is still very much a factor in that radical Islamic state.
As is the desire to obliterate Israel off the map via nuclear weapons — and as the above Bloomberg story highlights, the incandescent uselessness of the United Nations.
All of these topics come together in frequent PJM contributor Andrew Bostom’s new book, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Jihad and Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran, which he has self-published for the Kindle format and in traditional “dead tree” format.
● Who are the members of United Nations’ P5+1 group, and what are the odds they will successfully cause Iran to disarm?
● Trusting Khomeini was of course perfidy. Why does the Obama administration think it can trust Khamenei?
● Can we trust the so-called Iranian Green Movement?
● What has Israel done proactively to fight the threat from Iran?
● What is involved in self-publishing for the Kindle?
● How did Andrew acquire endorsements for his book from conservative luminaries such as Angelo Codevilla, Bat Ye’or, Robert Spencer, and Diana West?
And much more. Click here to listen:[audio:http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/files/2014/03/andrew_bostom_interview_3-29-14-1.mp3]
(18 minutes and 23 seconds long; 16.8 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 5.26 MB lo-fi edition.)
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Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.
MR. DRISCOLL: This is Ed Driscoll for PJ Media.com, and we’re speaking today with Andrew Bostom. Andew is a frequent contributor to PJ Media, and the author of the new book, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Jihad and Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran. It’s available for the Kindle from Amazon.com. And Andrew, thank you for stopping by today.
MR. BOSTOM: Thanks, Ed. I just wanted to update, it just went online in the print version at Amazon as well.
MR. DRISCOLL: Oh, okay, terrific.
Andrew, your book has to say the least quite a provocative title, though one that shouldn’t come as too much of a shock for anyone who’s been reading PJ Media on a regular basis.
I think I can guess what Iran’s ultimate goal is, but in your estimation, how will they achieve what you describe as their final solution for Israel?
MR. BOSTOM: Well, this seems to have been the goal of their nuclear program for a long time now. And whether they would actually use a ballistic missile to deliver a nuclear weapon to Israel, [or] turn it over to proxies, who could do something that would be akin to a mass suicide operation, it’s pretty clear from their own rhetoric, which now spans really the entire Khomeini era, even to some extent the pronouncements of Khomeini before he assumed power, that it’s something to be taken quite seriously.
And when you also consider the regime’s willingness to withstand sanctions and all kinds of international pressure not to develop nuclear weapons, you again have to take them at their word.
MR. DRISCOLL: Andrew, let me quote from your book’s preface, which begins, “With great fanfare, and giddy expectations of continued diplomatic success, the so-called ‘P5 +1’ interim agreement was announced on November 24, 2013. Ostensibly, these negotiations were going to eliminate Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons, and constrain the regime’s hegemonic aspirations, including its oft-repeated bellicose threats to destroy the Jewish State of Israel.”
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, who are the P5+1? And how did they propose disarming Iran, which has long been hell-bent, seemingly literally so, to acquire the Bomb?
MR. BOSTOM: The +1, which I’ll give you first, is Germany.
MR. DRISCOLL: Yeah, and I wanted to ask you about the +1 when you’re done.
MR. BOSTOM: It’s the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, since the U.N.’s founding; the major powers, the major post-World War One powers: Russia [from back when it was still the] Soviet Union; China; Britain; [America]; and France, plus Germany.
And the idea was that you could create a monitored enrichment program for Iran. Now, the fundamental flaw in this premise is that serious nuclear experts understand that the only way to guarantee, particularly with a regime like Iran, because it’s the same processes; whether it’s enrichment to so called, you know, only nuclear fuel grade of five percent or, you know, twenty percent to eighty percent and well into the high enrichment range for weapons, it’s the same exact processes.
So serious weapons prevention experts argue ‑‑ and they have argued in open Congressional testimony ‑‑ that the only way to assure that you won’t have a regime like Iran develop nuclear weapons, is to dismantle infrastructure. And that’s exactly what we’ve enshrined instead of dismantling.
MR. DRISCOLL: The +1 that you mentioned in that formulation of P5+1 is Germany. What is their relationship with Iran?
MR. BOSTOM: Well, they have had a rather apologetic relationship with regard to the entire process. And I don’t see them as exerting significant pressure on Iran.
But it’s the United States, in reality, that’s the major culprit. And the fact that we even entered into these negotiations is a fundamental flaw.
And I think this has to do with a mindset that unfortunately crosses the political spectrum now. It’s much worse with the Obama administration, admittedly, in terms of getting into the negotiations. But the conservative alternatives, as I discuss at great length in the book, are not much better. There’s always a worse. But the conservative alternatives are not much better.
MR. DRISCOLL: Well, has the West forgotten the early days of the Iranian revolution, including the totalitarian edicts of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian Hostage Crisis?
MR. BOSTOM: The Obama administration is basically living up to the pronouncements that were made in an op-ed that I devote much attention to called ‑‑ I mean, it’s almost laughable, but it’s not funny ‑‑ “Trusting Khomeini.” This was a complete whitewash of who Khomeini was and what his ideology was and why he had been demonized, it was argued, in the New York Times, by Richard Falk, who’s gone on to become infamous for his endless calumnies against Israel, as a so-called international rights lawyer.
But that mindset has simply been transferred, now, by the Obama administration to trusting Khamenei. And obviously, the ideology has not changed one iota. There’s a very nice continuum between Khomeini and Khamenei.
But Ed, the conservative alternative thus far, basically, with a few exceptions, has been well, look at the Green Revolution and the Green revolutionaries. And they offer an alternative to topple the regime and replace it with something, I guess, that supposedly represents certain secular traditions in the West.
Again, there’s always worse. This is not as delusional as naked appeasement, which is the Obama administration policy. But there’s absolutely no evidence to support this hypothesis. And in fact, there’s countervailing evidence.
The ideologues of the Green Movement you can identify and read their writings. There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between them and Khomeini on fundamental issues like the Jihad, like the application of the Sharia, like these heinous Shi’ite-specific regulations which deal with the physical impurity of the infidel, and with their Jew hatred.
So I ‑‑ I think we’re caught between Scylla and Charybdis right now, in policymaking circles, which is ‑‑ which is not only terribly frustrating, it’s very frightening.
MR. DRISCOLL: Andrew, at least as of the time we’re recording this interview, the Obama administration seems much more preoccupied with doing nothing about Vladimir Putin’s Russia than doing nothing about Iran acquiring the bomb. Has this administration shown any ability to successfully juggle two world crises at once?
MR. BOSTOM: None. None. And again, I think there are differences, actually quite significant differences in the two situations. But the idea that you can disengage, and in the case of Iran, engage in naked appeasement, is probably the constant between the two situations.
MR. DRISCOLL: Let’s talk a little bit about Israel, which is certainly under no delusions about what the Obama administration thinks about them. Beyond that, Israel trains very aggressively, knowing how it is surrounded by enemies in the Middle East. How are they preparing for the threat from Iran?
MR. BOSTOM: For years now, there’ve been all kinds of drills, based upon the premise of a nuclear attack. You are hearing about threats now, not only to take out the infrastructure of Hamas, in other words, not to re-occupy Gaza, but to topple Hamas, potentially. The IDF chief recently said that.
And then he turned his attention Iran. Because you also don’t want Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, maybe, maybe be deterred, although I have grave doubts about that, because of their Jihad martyrdom mentality, et cetera. I’m not convinced that mutually assured destruction would apply. It’s possible. I don’t think it’s something to bet on.
But if Iran got weapons and say you could deter them, you know, from a direct engagement with Israel, they might embolden their proxies, both Hezbollah and Hamas, who have very rich Jihad martyrdom pedigrees.
So, but Israel has also started to ratchet up its own rhetoric about possibly doing something about a nuclear Iran. And I must say, in conservative, neo-conservative circles, the one clarion voice that I respect, and if there’s ‑‑ there’s no heroes in my book, maybe one, and it would be him, has been Norman Podhoretz. And I give him the final word in the book. And he’s been steadfast. He was hectoring the Bush administration to do something about Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. He’s been hectoring the Obama administration. In that case, he’s given up.
And now, he’s saying that the only thing left to do is for Israel to engage in some form of destructive activity against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, otherwise they’re going to get a weapon.
MR. DRISCOLL: What has Israel done proactively to fight the threat from Iran?
MR. BOSTOM: Well, you know, we’ve heard about the viral infestations, the computer viral infestations and maybe they caused some delays, and assassinations of nuclear technicians. Essentially, I think these actions may have caused some kind of delay. But clearly they haven’t been effective.
And Iran is hell bent on producing weapons. And the other ridiculous part of the P5+1 agreement was that nothing was done, literally nothing was done, to address the ballistic missile delivery systems, to address the explosives facility at Parchin. You have to have a triggering mechanism for a nuclear weapon. These aren’t even covered by the agreement.
MR. DRISCOLL: Andrew, beyond the content of your book itself, since we have a number of readers interested in publishing their own books, I wanted to talk a bit about how your new book was published in the Kindle format. For those who haven’t experienced the process yet, could you talk about what’s involved in publishing with the Kindle format in mind? And is it safe to say that your book is self-published?
MR. BOSTOM: Yes, it absolutely is — with lots of technical assistance from a colleague, which I absolutely required. So I really was focused on producing the manuscript. I must confess, I am not technically proficient enough; I turned that [portion of creating the book] over to someone who was.
But there are two processes. You produce a format that’s compatible with Kindle, and then you have to independently produce a format that basically turns out to be a PDF file, that then can go to CreateSpace and produce the printed book. And both are now available.
MR. DRISCOLL: The Website BuzzFeed recently claimed that the conservative publishing industry was in trouble, but they seemed to really downplay the disruptive role that the Kindle and the rest of the eBook formats are playing in the publishing field as a whole. How do you see the ability to effectively self-publish influencing the publishing world in general, and conservative publishing specifically?
MR. BOSTOM: I can only say that it was an incredible boon to me, because this turned out to be a 350-page book. I thought that I would do something that would be a monograph that would focus on the P5+1 agreement in and of itself, there was so much wrong with it. And I found that I couldn’t really get across how profoundly dangerous this agreement was, and why it came to be, without going into the doctrinal and historical background that I did in the second and third parts of the book.
But the bottom line, Ed, is that the ability to quickly put together real-time events ‑‑ I mean, after all, I’m covering the period, basically, in the first third of the book, literally from February 24th through my last entry, made on February 26th, and here we are, less than a month later, and both the eBook and the printed version are now available on Amazon. So it’s a remarkable process.
MR. DRISCOLL: Your book has been recommended by some well-known fellow journalists. Could you talk about the blurbs your book received, and again, for the benefit of those seeking alternative methods of publishing, how you acquired them?
MR. BOSTOM: Well, I’ll answer the second part first. That was easy: I wrote to them, I sent them various in-progress parts of the Word document manuscript, and they either said hey, this sounds like great stuff, or they said oh, I’m too busy. And so that was a pretty straightforward process.
The [list of blurbs] really kind of runs the gamut. Angelo Codevilla is an international relations professor. But he’s an old line cold warrior, well known for his work during the Soviet era, and I thought that was an appropriate person to have. There are people known for their study of Islam, like Bat Ye’or, like Robert Spencer. Diana West is very well known for her sort of social commentary, her historical analyses of Communism and Communist appeasement. And other people include Lou Beres, who’s a political scientist and who’s been studying nuclear disarmament for many years. David Solway, who’s well known to PJ Media readers as just sort of an old fashioned Renaissance man, and others.
MR. DRISCOLL: And Andrew, last question. What does your crystal ball forecast for the next few years of the Middle East, and Israel and America’s response to Iran?
MR. BOSTOM: It’s getting pretty dark. And I’m very concerned. I was hoping that in its own small way this book might concentrate minds about the need to do something, something to at least delay Iran’s nuclear program. Because if they develop a nuclear program, I think it’s going to be very, very destabilizing.
And, you know, are we going to have to depend on things like, you know, declining population, et cetera, to be a countervailing force? I wouldn’t hold too much hope in that. I think it’s going to be very chaotic and dangerous if Iran has a nuclear program.
Beyond that, I really can’t say. I do hope that Western societies begin to appreciate and stop denying the animating ideology. We’re living in an age of very vibrant Jihadism. And it comes wrapped in a package of pretty virulent Islamic anti-Semitism [and] general hatred of non-Muslims. And these attitudes are widely prevalent. They’re widely dangerous. They’re not healthy for the societies that are perpetuating them themselves. But they’re certainly not healthy for non-Muslim societies.
And I think there’s going to be more conflict. Maybe there’ll be a hiatus when there’s terrible internecine conflict, as we’re seeing in Syria. But I think we’re headed for very, very dangerous times. And an appeasement mentality, a denial mentality, is only going to make matters worse.
MR. DRISCOLL: This is Ed Driscoll, and we’ve been speaking with Andrew Bostom, the author of the new book, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Jihad and Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran. It’s available for the Kindle and in good old hard copy format from Amazon.com. And Andrew, thank you once again for stopping by PJ Media.com today.
MR. BOSTOM: Thank you very much, Ed.
(End of recording; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.)