Iranian Clocks, Tick Tock, Tick Tock
The failed Israeli ex-PM, Ehud Barak, gives us the benefit of his deep thinking about Iran. It's an Einsteinian metaphor about relative rates of the passage of time:
The clock for the Iranian regime’s downfall is ticking, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a lecture at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on Friday. However, “it’s clear to me that the clock toward the collapse of this regime works much slower than the clock which ticks toward Iran becoming a nuclear military power,” Barak said.
How does he know that? -- we (or at least some of us) wonder. I can imagine that the Israelis think they know the timetable for the Iranian atomic bomb, but I don't think anyone has the schedule for the regime's final days. And anyway, this is a case where static analysis is totally inappropriate. Any scenario has to include the likelihood of new variables being introduced. There's probably a big sabotage operation going on against the atomic project, and some day somebody in the so-called Western world might decide to help the Iranian opposition speed up the "downfall clock."
With regard to the atomic clock, I am told that the Iranian regime intends to announce two more hitherto-secret enrichment sites in early April. One is near Mashad, over by the Afghan border. The other is in the mountains east of Tehran. In keeping with the regime's constant use of deception and misdirection, you can be pretty sure that there are other secret sites as well.
Does this mean that the mullahs are close to putting a nuclear warhead on an accurate missile? Beats me. But while various "analysts" give us their theories about just when Bomb Day will arrive, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps continue to kill Americans, and nobody seems to care about that.
I made this point in last week's debate with Flynt Leverett at the Atlantic Council in Washington, and to confirm my claim, neither Leverett, nor the moderator, the Washington Post's David Ignatius, nor any of the sizeable audience, responded to it. This drives me crazy; it's why I wrote Accomplice to Evil. We refuse to see our evil enemies for what they are, and we refuse to act in time to prevent massive catastrophe.
No doubt Barak knows this, and also knows that, unless things change (hard to imagine), Israel will eventually have to do something on its own. What's harder to understand is why Israel is doing nothing to help the opposition, which is the only policy that holds out a chance of real success, and would avoid the terrible train wreck we can all see arriving in slow motion.
As for the other clock, the one ticking off the lifespan of the Islamic Republic, the mullahs continue their murderous and sadistic campaign against the citizens of Iran, and the citizens search for new ways to show their contempt. The regime relentlessly arrests dissidents and accuses them of actions that only a fanatical regime in crisis could concoct. For example, they went after Mohammed Maliki, 76 yrs old, the first chancellor of Tehran U after the Revolution, and arrested him during treatment for prostate cancer. Maliki said to his captors, "I was afraid you would let me die in my bed," and has refused to "repent" or confess. He's accused of being a Mohareb, one who fights against God. They execute such men in Iran nowadays for criticizing the regime. I honor them, and wish my leaders would do the same, instead of pretending to have a serious Iran policy.