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According to translations of Iranian speeches and documents provided by MEMRI, the Iranians have announced to their Revolutionary Guard that they intend to attack and destroy "Anglo-Saxon civilization":
A source close to [Revolutionary Guards] intelligence confirmed that P.R. has been appointed secretary-general of a new office that has begun registering the names of suicide volunteers to be sent to Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon.
[The newspaper reported that it had obtained] a tape with a speech by H.A., a [Revolutionary] Guards intelligence theoretician, who teaches at the Revolutionary Guards' Al-Hussein University. [In the tape, H.A.] spoke of Tehran's secret strategy aimed at taking over the Arab and Muslim countries by means of helping revolutionary forces and organizations. H.A. is regarded as one of the advisors of a branch in the organization, and has published a number of works on exporting the [Islamic] revolution and the method of the struggle against the world arrogance [i.e., the U.S.]. ...
(President Muhammad) Khatami speaks of the dialogue between civilizations, and I have grave doubts about this. It is a dubious idea. We do not want to take over the British Embassy, since they (the British) have already cleared the embassy of documents; we must take over Britain [itself].' ...
'Our missiles are now ready to strike at their civilization, and as soon as the instructions arrive from Leader ['Ali Khamenei], we will launch our missiles at their cities and installations. Our motto during the war (in Iraq) was: Karbala, we are coming, Jerusalem, we are coming. And because of Khatami's policies and dialogue between the civilizations, we have been compelled to freeze our plan to liberate the Islamic cities. And now we are [again] about to carry out the program.' In his speech, he added: 'The global infidel front is a front against Allah and the Muslims, and we must make use of everything we have at hand to strike at this front, by means of our suicide operations or by means of our missiles. There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them.'
On one hand, you have to think that the Iranians can't really be this stupid. Sure, they have missiles; so do we, and in much greater numbers. While they see America fighting divisively over the war in Iraq, an attack on US assets would not only galvanize American unity, it would likely mean the end of all restraint from the UN or any other international body. The British and the Americans may be too indulgent in self-flagellation now, but that's a luxury we drop under attack, as we proved -- for too short a period of time -- after 9/11. Unlike that attack, however, an attack from a sovereign state would allow us to focus quite clearly on an enemy, and I suspect military enlistment rates would shoot into the stratosphere.
On the other hand, perhaps the Iranians are that stupid. After all, they managed to mangle themselves in the teeth of Saddam's army, the most powerful in that region at the time, for eight years before they finally figured out that they were outclassed. They lost hundreds of thousands of Iranians in that futile war. Since they see a conflict with the US and Britain in religious terms (whereas we mostly see it in strategic terms), their belief in Islam trumps any tactical considerations, which also is reminiscent of the Iran-Iraq war.
In this case, they plan on using missiles, but not necessarily in a ballistic sense. They claimed to have "spied" on 29 sensitive sites in the US and "the West"; one could anticipate that rather than make a completely overt move by launching an ICBM to hit the sites (and possibly be intercepted), their covert agents might use missile warheads delivered personally against these installations. Such a move would allow those few who belong to the America-Last crowd (such as ANSWER and MoveOn) to argue that the ambiguity of the source does not allow us to respond against Iran.
However, if the Iranians are clinging to that thin reed, it only emphasizes their disconnect from reality. Iranians are not the only ones with intelligence agents, and the majority of their citizenry have had enough of the anti-American talk from the mullahs. An attack on the US could well provoke a reaction from their own citizenry that would result in the mullahs swinging from the nearest tree, or worse.
I hope it doesn't come to that. However, the Defense Department had better start preparing for the next phase of the war on Islamofascist terror -- the one we knew we would eventually face. Under the circumstances of the past two months, the only question may be whether we allow them to strike first.
Clayton Cramer has more thoughts on this subject, including reliability of the reports.Sphere It View blog reactions
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