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The Persians Are Coming!
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“The Iranians are on the march,” warned John McCain Sunday.

“Iran is building a new Persian Empire,” echoed Col. Ralph Peters.

So alarmed is Speaker Boehner, he invited Bibi Netanyahu to come and challenge U.S. policy toward Iran from the same podium where the president delivered his State of the Union address.

Bibi will make the case for new U.S. sanctions on Iran; sanctions that Obama has said he will veto as they would sabotage talks on Iran’s nuclear program and potentially put us on the road to war.

Why are Bibi’s insights needed?

Because, says Sen. Robert Menendez, the outgoing chairman of foreign relations, White House statements sound like “talking points from Tehran.” This beloved poodle of AIPAC is always a strong contender for best in show.

“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence … a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.”

So warned our first and greatest president in his Farewell Address.

But this column is not about how Washington would weep at what has become of this Republic, nor a polemic against the corruption of a capital where the currency is campaign cash and national policy is the commodity bought and sold.

The issue is whether Iran represents a threat to our security worth risking a war. For that is where many, including Bibi, want us to go.

Last week’s panic was triggered by the ouster of the pro-American Yemeni President by Houthi rebels. Suddenly, we heard wails that Iran has now captured four Arab capitals — Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus and Sanaa.

“Death to America, death to Israel,” is a slogan of the Houthis who are a Shia minority in Sunni Yemen. But who do the Houthis view as their mortal foes?

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP. Our enemy, too.

The crown jewel of the new “Persian Empire” is said to be Iraq. So how did the Iranian imperialists manage to acquire it?

George Bush sent an army up to Baghdad, ousted Iran’s greatest enemy, Saddam, disbanded his army, smashed his state, and brought to power a Shia majority with religious and historic bonds to Iran.

A masterstroke of Bismarckian brilliance. And both parties voted in Congress to authorize it. Mission Accomplished! — as they say in Tehran.

As for Damascus, Iran is but backing the Alawite Shia regime of Bashar Assad, whose father, Hafez Assad, was Bush I’s ally in Desert Storm.

As for Beirut, Hezbollah arose as a resistance movement when Ariel Sharon invaded Lebanon in 1982. Yitzhak Rabin would come to regret the consequences: “We let the Shia genie out of the bottle.”

Looking over the chaos that is the Middle East today, we see failed states in Libya, Yemen and Syria, with Iraq and Afghanistan perhaps next.

A strategic disaster, largely of our own making. But if al-Qaeda and ISIS are our real enemies now, Iran, Hezbollah, Assad and the Houthis are all de facto allies, fighting on the same side with us.

Alarmists may see a new Persian Empire threatening all mankind.

A closer look reveals a Shia minority in a Sunni-dominated world where Shia are despised heretics. And of all the terrorist organizations we have the most reason to fear and hate — al-Qaida, Islamic State, Ansar al-Sharia, Boko Haram — none is Shia, all are Sunni.

What about Iran’s drive to build a nuclear bomb?

Well, Israel has 100-300 atom bombs. America has thousands. Iran’s Muslim neighbor Pakistan has scores. And Iran? She has no bomb.


Iran has never tested a nuclear device. She has never produced weapons-grade uranium. Her Fordow underground plant now has IAEA inspectors and its 20-percent-enriched uranium is all being diluted. Construction of the heavy-water reactor at Arak has been halted. Half of Iran’s centrifuges are not operating. There are International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors and cameras blanketing Iran’s program.

The U.S. intelligence community has twice said Iran has no nuclear bomb program. And the most recent finding, 2011, has never been reversed by the Director of National Intelligence.
And just how credible a foreign leader has Boehner invited to undercut his own president’s credibility?

This is the same Bibi who told the Jewish community of Los Angeles in 2006, “It’s 1938 and Iran is Germany … racing to arm itself with atomic bombs.” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “is preparing another Holocaust for the Jewish state.” Bibi even had the war plans:

“Israel would certainly be the first stop on Iran’s tour of destruction, but at [Tehran’s] planned production rate of 25 nuclear bombs a year, [the arsenal] will be directed against ‘the big Satan,’ the U.S.”

Twenty-five Iranian nuclear bombs a year! What bullhockey it all was.

Boehner seem to have concluded that new sanctions on Iran, even if it aborts negotiations and brings on a war with Iran, will be rewarded by the electorate in 2016.

Perhaps. But if this is where the GOP is heading, we’ll be getting off here.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.”

Copyright 2015

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Iran, Republicans 
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  1. This has got to be one of Pat Buchanan’s best columns. Who can argue against his facts? He nailed Menenedez in a way that made me laugh till I cried. I love Pat Buchanan!

  2. Democrats are nightmare on domestic policy. Republicans are a nightmare on foreign policy. Never has the need for a legitimate third party been more pressing.

    • Replies: @Realist
  3. Jim says:

    Aristotle observed that democracy tends to exacerbate internal conflict. In countries like Iceland or Japan which are fairly homogeneous without much internal conflict democracy may work. Democracy is becoming increasingly problematical in the US.

  4. I think BiBi is really a bot programmed by Paul Singer, George Soros and Dick Cheney.

    In a bygone era, it would have a key in its back.

    The wonders of modern technology might make it look more realistic, but it’s still unconvincing.

  5. @Realist

    So what? As long as it’s the only game in town you’ve got to play it.

    • Replies: @Realist
  6. IBC says:

    Great line about Menendez and lots of solid points about Iran as well. The connection between Iran and Hezbollah was glossed over though. I would guess that continued Iranian support for this sometimes terrorist group and antagonist of Israel, is part of the reason for such consistently concerted political efforts to economically damage and isolate Iran even when it appears to have at least partly complied with nuclear non-proliferation rules. In Syria, Assad’s support of Hezbollah is probably also part of the reason for his disfavor with many American politicians even though the alternatives to him really aren’t any better. Besides, foreign “regime change” is arguably not a perogative of the United States and in fact has a recent track history of going very badly as Mr. Buchanan keeps on reminding us.

    It seems like Netanyahu almost wants a continuing foreign threat in order to distract his own people from ever resolving their almost intractable domestic issues while maintaining the flow of foreign money and military concessions. And it seems like Iran has used threats against Israel to also distract its own people from their problems as well as deflecting internal criticism against the government itself. It also seems like it’s been an attempt to serve Iranian ambitions of greater status and legitimacy in the larger Muslim world, at least when Ahmadinejad was president. Iran should forget about Israel and focus on fixing itself. Threatening Israel can never win it real status in the Middle East, because the threats don’t help anybody. Besides, unlike the majority of the people in the region, most people in Iran aren’t Sunni Arabs –this matters, just ask the Turks, and they’re mostly Sunni.

    Instead of looking for another fight, the United States should be doing more to peacefully encourage Iran to develop a more constructive relationship (if any at all) with Israel while not forcing it to kowtow or be perceived as doing so. Iran can start this by either cutting off all support for Hezbollah or by using their influence with it to force it to renounce offensive violence and revolution — a tall order if you’ve seen their flag. American diplomacy should focus on this objective rather than creating endless nuclear hoops for Iran to jump through if there really isn’t any evidence to warrant them.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  7. LKM says:

    If Israel really wants to make sure Iran doesn’t get a bomb, then they should just invade and occupy Iran themselves and deal with the consequences (thousands of its young men coming home in body bags). Enough McAllisters, Murphy’s, Gonzales and Leroy Browns have already died for no good reason.

  8. MarkinLA says:

    That it doesn’t work is because of the quality of the voters, especially with a government where so much is kept secret.

    • Replies: @Realist
  9. Realist says:

    Like I said it doesn’t work.

  10. Hipster says:

    Democratic President w/ Republican congress the best combo?

  11. {If Israel really wants to make sure Iran doesn’t get a bomb, then they should just invade and occupy Iran themselves..}

    fuck off gullible, now

  12. @Realist

    No, I suppose you don’t. But I’m talking about normal people who intend to make a political difference to the world they live in. You, on the other hand, you can stick to your political fantasy camp.

    • Replies: @Realist
  13. @IBC

    Conspicuously missing from your post is any suggestion that Israel itself bears some responsibility for the stance neighboring countries take towards it. But oops – that’s anti-semitism.

    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
    , @IBC
  14. Maj. Kong says:

    Hezbollah isn’t interested in negotiation, neither is Hamas. The average Lebanese has many valid grievances against Israel, but that doesn’t justify Nasrallah, Assad and Khameinei.

    Of the four countries that border Israel, two agreed to treaties, one is a mass murdering dictatorship (that is on our side whether we like it or not), and the other is a debt-ridden kleptocracy/refugee-terrorist camp.

    What is actually Anti-Semitism, is when you take a roughly critical statement on Israel, and make a falsified argument that the poster is giving Israel a free pass.

    Muslim animosity to Israel is rooted in its very existence in dar-al-Islam.

    (Which if one believes Turkish President Erdogan, includes North America because Muslims were here before Columbus)

  15. Realist says:

    Only in your dreams, will you make a difference.

  16. IBC says:

    Other countries do have some reasons to be angry with Israel –especially Lebanon. But what good does that do them?

    And why do countries like Iran even bother to engage with Israel? I offered some explanations in my previous comment, but consider also that Iran doesn’t even share a border with Israel! And how many Palestinian refugees does it host? In contrast, Iran actually has one of the only remaining historic Jewish populations still living in the Middle East outside of Israel itself –a potentially positive link.

    Meanwhile, there are very few Shia Muslims among the Palestinians or Arab Israelis, and the Israeli Druze (whose sect apparently grew out of Shia), for the most part have accepted Israel and play a constructive role there even if their position is potentially threatened by certain Jewish right-wing extremist elements. These same extremist groups are fueled in part by real or perceived threats to Israel and Jews from groups like Hezbollah and Hamas and people like former Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Why make more enemies? Iran doesn’t need to actively support Israel, just to make clear that it’s not actively trying to hurt it. As for Israel’s supposed assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists: if they aren’t involved with nuclear weapons, Iran should publicize the details of these murders and ask for international investigators to step in.

    As an aside, what would happen if Israel ever used one of its own nuclear weapons? That would do more to politically delegitimize Israel than a million UN General Assembly resolutions. They might as well drop a bomb on their own country; it would be a disaster even if they suffered no direct retaliation. Hopefully, they know that.

    I don’t like a lot of what Israel does and how it does it, but it’s arguably the most functional country in the region. Its neighbors should be closely studying its economic and administrative successes and applying those lessons to their own countries. Why not try to benefit from its continued presence?

  17. “He invited Bibi Netanyahu to come and challenge U.S. policy toward Iran from the same podium where the president delivered his State of the Union address.”

    Makes sense…the Dems had their president give his speech there, now the Reps can have theirs.

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