Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review August 6, 2002 / 28 Menachem-Av, 5762

Michael Ledeen

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Fantasy Reporting: The latest disinformation from the Washington Post | Karl Vick, one of the longest-running acts at the Washington Post's daily carnival, weighed in on Saturday with the latest symptom of the Left's inability to understand the world. Let's begin with the first and last paragraphs.

The first: "A sudden surge in momentum for reform inside Iran was reversed last month by President Bush's public expression of support for the cause, according to Iranian analysts and foreign diplomats there."

The last: " 'I think, broadly speaking, reform is a bit of a juggernaut,' one diplomat said. 'There's not much an international power can do but affect the edges of it.' "

So you see that logical consistency is not one of Karl Vick's strong points. But then, neither is factual accuracy. If one were to deconstruct the first, one would point out that the momentum to end the religious extremist tyranny in Iran had started many months ago; there was no sudden surge in July. And the anti-regime movement was greatly encouraged by the president's words of support, as Karl Vick could and should have documented simply by reading the statements of gratitude from a large number of pro-freedom organizations within the country, from students to ayatollahs.

Vick and his sources argue that Bush's support for a free Iran somehow played into the hands of the tyrants (as always, described as "conservatives"), because it enabled them to demand national unity against the threat of American meddling. But this conveniently overlooks the events that provoked the president's July 12 statement: a massive, nation-wide demonstration against the regime, followed by vicious repression, mass arrests, increased censorship, and the like. Thus the cycle that Vick pretends to describe had already occurred before the president spoke. It's preposterous to blame it on him.

Moreover, Vick's constant use of "reform" misses the whole point of what is going on inside Iran these days. The "reformers," who had twice elected President Khatami, have long since lost popular appeal because they have failed to reform anything. Most Iranians see the "reformers" either as losers or as frauds. Either way, they don't much matter any more, and haven't for months, which is precisely what the president said. The future of Iran is going to be determined by the battle between the self-appointed tyrants at the top and the overwhelming majority of the Iranian people, who have shown their hatred of the regime with mounting courage with every passing month.

That's the story the Post should be reporting. Instead we get fantasies. It's worth asking why.

I think the answer is of a piece with the falsification of the Cold War. According to the Left, the Soviet Empire fell because St. Gorbachev brought it down. Ronald Reagan had nothing to do with it, and in fact the whole thing could have happened a lot earlier if only Reagan hadn't insisted on saying all those mean things about the Soviet Union, like calling it an evil empire.

Yet if you talk to any of the leading Soviet dissidents, they will tell you that Reagan's words had an electric effect than ran from the Politburo to the darkest cells in the Gulag. Once the Soviet peoples heard the American president describe the Soviet regime in truthful words, they took courage and fought even harder.

Once the evil regime in Tehran has been destroyed, you'll hear the same thing from the Iranian freedom fighters. Meanwhile, skip the Post and the many others who try to blame a brave American president for the evil actions of the mullahs.

Like this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Michael Ledeen is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of Tocqueville on American Character . Comment by clicking here.


08/02/02: Propping Up the Terror Masters: Europe's Solana on tour
07/16/02: Bush vs. the Mullahs: Getting on the side of the Iranian freedom fighters
07/12/02: The State Department Goes Mute: It's official: State has no message
07/09/02: History being made, but the West appears clueless
06/05/02: Is George Tenet endangering peace in Israel?
06/03/02: Ridiculous, even for a journalist
05/20/02: So how come nobody's been fired yet?
05/14/02: Open doors for thugs
04/20/02: Iran on the Brink … and the U.S. does nothing
04/16/02: It’s the war, stupid … someone remind Colin Powell
04/08/02: Gulled: In the Middle East, Arafat doesn't matter
04/02/02: Faster, Please: The war falters
03/26/02: The Revolution Continues: What's brewing in Iran
03/18/02: Iran simmers still: Where's the press?
03/05/02: We can't lose any more ground in Iran
02/14/02: The Great Iranian Hoax
02/12/02: Unnoticed Bombshell: Key information in a new book
01/31/02: The truth behind the Powell play
01/29/02: My past with "Johnny Jihad's" lawyer
01/21/02: It's Munich, all over again
01/08/02: What's the Holdup?: It's time for the next battles in the war against terrorism
12/11/01: We must be imperious, ruthless, and relentless
12/06/01: Remembering my family friend, Walt Disney
11/28/01: The Barbara Olson Bomb: Understanding the war
11/13/01: How We're Doing: The Angleton Files, IV
11/06/01: A great revolutionary war is coming
10/25/01: How to talk to a terrorist
10/23/01: Creative Reporting: Learning to appreciate press briefings
10/19/01: Not the Emmys: A Beltway award presentation
10/15/01: Rediscovering American character
10/11/01: Somehow, I've missed Arafat's praise of the first stage of our war on terrorism
10/04/01: What do we not know?
09/28/01: Machiavelli On Our War: Some advice for our leaders
09/25/01: No Room for the U.N.: Keeping Annan & co. out of the picture
09/21/01: Creative destruction
09/14/01: Who Killed Barbara Olson?
08/22/01: How Israel will win this war
08/15/01: Bracing for war
08/09/01: More Dithering Democrats
08/02/01: Delirious Dems
07/31/01: Consulting a legendary counterspy about Chandra and Condit, cont'd
07/19/01: Be careful what you wish for
07/17/01: Consulting a legendary counterspy about Chandra and Condit
07/05/01: Let Slobo Go
05/30/01: Anybody out there afraid of the Republicans?
05/09/01: The bad guys to the rescue
05/07/01: Bye-bye, Blumenthal
04/20/01: Handling China
04/11/01: EXAM TIME!
04/05/01: Chinese over-water torture
03/27/01: Fighting AIDS in Africa is a losing proposition
03/14/01: Big Bird, Oscar, and other threats
03/09/01: Time for a good, old-fashioned purge
03/06/01: Powell’s great (mis)adventure
02/26/01: The Clinton Sopranos
02/20/01: Unity Schmoonity: Sharon is defying the will of the people
01/30/01: The Rest of the Rich Story
01/22/01: Ashcroft the Jew
01/11/01: A fitting close to the Clinton years
12/26/00: Continuing Clinton's shameful legacy
12/21/00: Clinton’s gift for Bush

© 2001, Michael Ledeen