I’ve received two nastygrams from the Supreme Leader in the past few days, for which I am most grateful. First, making a brief, menacing and decidedly live appearance before a military audience, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remarked, “Enemies of the Islamic system fabricated various rumors about death and health to demoralize the Iranian nation.” Actually I thought the news would have brought considerable uplift to the Iranian people, but no matter, I fully accept his point. He’s still with us. My source (and several others, by the way, who in recent days have insisted he was dead) was wrong, and I won’t use him or the others again. Then The S.L. continued, referring to me and the others who believed my source: “but they did not know that they are not dealing with only one person in Iran. They are facing a nation.”
It’s not what I would call a ringing assertion of health. Quite the contrary, in fact. It reads like a message to the troops along the lines of “Yes, I’m very ill but the Islamic Republic will survive me.” The first part of which is certainly true, and the second very likely to be true, given the depressing lack of a serious Iran policy in any Western country.
A couple of days later, his favorite publication, Baztab, tried to out me. Interestingly, it’s not particularly Islamic in tone or content, it’s rather more like Lyndon Larouche or the moonbat web sites. Baztab trots out various discredited nonsense from years past. They say I was involved in forging the Niger documents–a favorite of drooling lefties and former CIA officials such as Vincent Cannistraro that has long since been proven false. They say I am an ally of the Mujahidin Khalq, an organization I have always condemned and with which I have no relationship whatsoever. And they claim to have found my source for the Khamenei-is-dead story: my old friend Manoucher Ghorbanifar, as always misdescribed as an arms merchant. In fact, I wish I had listened to Ghorbanifar when he told me the story was false. Elsewhere–see Gateway Pundit, linked above–I am misdescribed as being very close to the Bush Administration (very droll; I can barely get in the door, even to old friends, let alone exert my nefarious influence).
I think this means I won’t be invited to Tehran in the near future. Nonetheless, as I said at the beginning, I’m grateful for the attention, just as I was grateful a generation ago when a leading Soviet publication described me as “an enemy of the Soviet people.” I’d be ashamed if they considered me their friend.