Tuesday, September 11, 2007
By Khody Akhavi
"WASHINGTON - On the same day General David Petraeus presented his much-anticipated progress report to the US Congress on the US military's "troop surge" strategy in Iraq, neo-conservative ideologues associated with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) took aim at another of the reputed foes of "freedom" - the Islamic Republic of Iran.
During a panel discussion on Monday aimed at promoting his new book The Iranian Time Bomb, Michael Ledeen, a resident scholar at AEI, criticized the "evil" nature of Iran's clerical regime, its support for international terrorism, and the need to back Iranian dissidents and activists in a soft revolution to dislodge the mullahs from power.
Along with the broad - and at times mocking - generalizations about Iran's attempts to foment "Islamic totalitarianism" throughout the world, Ledeen, accompanied by former Central Intelligence Agency director James Woolsey and Clifford D May, president of the hawkish Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, appeared dead set against any diplomatic engagement with Iran.
"The [Iranian] leadership constantly tells its people, 'The Iranian people must prepare to rule the world,'" said Ledeen.
"Everybody has convinced themselves that they can make a deal with Iran. We have been negotiating for 27 years, as if there have been no negotiations ... there is no escape," he said. "The only question is how best to defeat them.".......
It appears Iran will remain a target for AEI ideologues and their associates in the months to come. The question remains as to whether this aggressive pseudo-policy will yield productive results, or if it will end, as many in the international community fear, in military confrontation.
The panelists at Monday's discussion left little room for compromise, and their generalizations about Iran as an irrational actor support a very clear and consistent neo-conservative message: there can be no negotiation with Iran.
In the final analysis, military confrontation with Iran becomes a foregone conclusion. "