June 23, 2003


That’s why the term ”Middle East peace process” is better applied to the region as a whole than to the so-called Palestinian road map. Dignifying the swamp of the West Bank with the name of the entire neighborhood buys into the Arabs’ propaganda that the Palestinian situation is responsible for the wretched nature of the Middle East, rather than the other way round. Looked at the other way round, peace is processing apace, and the chips are all falling George W. Bush’s way. Whatever the defects of post-Taliban Afghanistan, it’s no longer the world’s biggest training camp for Saudi-funded terrorism. Whatever the defects of post-Saddam Iraq, it’s no longer a self-promotion exercise for the ne plus ultra of anti-American Arab strongmen. And, whatever the defects of post-ayatollah Iran, the fall of the prototype Islamic Republic will be a huge setback to the world’s jihadi.

It was Ayatollah Khomeini who successfully grafted a mid-20th century European-style fascist movement onto Islam and made the religion an explicitly political vehicle for anti-Westernism. It was the ayatollah who first bestowed on the United States the title of ”Great Satan.” And it was the ayatollah who insisted that this Islamic revolution had to be taken directly to the infidels–to the embassy hostages, to Salman Rushdie and, ultimately, to America itself. Twenty years ago, there was a minor British pop hit called ”Ayatollah, Don’t Khomeini Closer.” He came too close. And the end of a regime built on his psychosis is good news for Iranians and Westerners alike.


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