In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 28, 2007 / 9 Nissan, 5767

Just Like the Mullahs: Taking hostages is just standard operating procedure for Iran

By Michael Ledeen

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The deep thinkers now torturing themselves for an explanation of the Iranian seizure of 15 British hostages should reread the ancient wisdom contained in the fable of the scorpion and the crocodile. The scorpion is desperate to cross the river, but can’t swim, so he begs the croc to give him a ride. The croc is afraid the scorpion will sting him. The scorpion promises he won’t. The croc gives him the ride. As they get to the far bank, the scorpion stings. The croc is disgusted and cries out “why did you do that? You promised...” And the scorpion says, “but I’m a scorpion.”

Ditto for the mullahs. They took the hostages because that is what they do. They’ve been doing it for a long time. To get a sense of how big this phenomenon has been, just consider that in January, 1989, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Amal reported that, since the mid-Seventies, when the epidemic of kidnapping began, more than 100 hostages had been taken in more than 75 separate incidents. One of the leading kidnappers was the Iranian creature, Islamic Jihad, which thoughtfully explained the practice in a letter to Javier Perez de Cuellar, then secretary-general of the United Nations, in August, 1991:

The issue of detainees and prisoners in the world is one of the outcomes of our confrontation with the powers of hegemony, which America leads as the mother of all corruption along with its germ Israel...As such, the issue of detainees is the reaction of Muslim freedom fighters to those practices. It is also an effort to release our mujahideen who are in prison. And this kind of reaction will continue as long as we are facing the same deeds, and because we believe in the necessity of work to release our freedom fighters from the prisons of occupied Palestine and Europe, and to solve the problem of those we hold in our prisons.

That’s all you need to know, really. The Iranians have two basic reasons to take hostages. One is to break our will and drive us out of the region; the other is to trade their prey for their comrades now in our grip, of whom there is a significant number (several hundred Iranian intelligence and military officers have been captured in Iraq in recent months, according to good U.S. government sources).

Why now? Because now is when they succeeded in doing it; they’ve been trying all along.

Why Brits rather than Americans? In truth, they would prefer Americans, and, as we know thanks to an enormously important scoop in the current U.S. News & World Report, they had at least one failed attempt to do just that, last September. According to a fairly detailed report dated September 7th, from the 101st Airborne Division, a U.S. Cavalry group patrolling the Iran/Iraq border with six Iraqis came across a couple of Iranian soldiers on the Iraqi side of the border. When the Iranians saw them, they jumped back into Iran. Later, “the patrol came upon a single Iranian soldier on the Iraqi side of the border who did not flee.” So the joint patrol engaged the nice Iranian in conversation (at that time, the rules of engagement did not permit us to shoot or arrest the nice Iranians). During the schmooze, an Iranian platoon suddenly appeared and its commander informed the joint patrol that “if they tried to leave their location the Iranians would fire upon them.”

This turned out to be a bit of an understatement, since the Iranian platoon interrupted the conversation shortly thereafter by starting to shoot with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. “The CF Soldiers returned fire to break contact and left the area to report the incident” (don’t you love the 1984-style language? A simple English translation would have been better: “We shot back at the bastards and got the hell out of there”). The Iranians kept on firing but didn’t hit anyone.

And, by the way, the Iraqi-army guys stayed with the Iranians.

So the Iranians set up a trap, apparently in cahoots with the six Iraqis. We walked into it, but when push came to shove we didn’t surrender; we shot back and lived to file a report.

There’s a lot to dwell on in that report from the 101st Airborne — especially the disgusting rules of engagement (recently changed, inshallah). The old ROE essentially permitted American soldiers to shoot back, but rarely to initiate lethal action, which is no way to win a war. But the point here is that the nice Iranians clearly intended to kill some Americans and capture some others. That didn’t turn out well for them, but they got lucky with the Brits, who didn’t shoot back.

Notice the date of the report: It’s last September, before the surge, before the defection-or-snatch of several top Revolutionary Guards officials, before the latest sanctions vote at the U.N., before the arrest of the Quds-force thugs in Irbil. Taking hostages is just standard operating procedure for the Islamic Republic. Efforts to link the latest event to recent developments may be intellectually interesting, but I think analytically mistaken.

The interesting and important question is what we — yes, we — are going to do about it. You can be sure that the “professionals” in Foggy Bottom and Whitehall are giving learned memos to their leaders in which the word “deescalate” appears with some frequency, along with “diplomatic solution.” I doubt many of them will lose much sleep over their own considerable responsibility for the current unpleasantness, but let’s write a footnote that says: The Brits have labored mightily for many years to prevent the United States from pursuing vigorous action against Iran. The starched-shirt set at Whitehall and at MI6 have a predictable aristocratic disdain for “cowboy” foreign policy, confident in their own consummate abilities to “understand the mullahs” where Americans couldn’t possibly get it, and hence in the ultimate success of the diplomatic track. Now they will have to answer to the families of the hostages, whose accents are likely to be harsher than their own Oxbridge-speak.

It would be nice if someone in a position of power noted that the Iranians have committed an act of war on a NATO country, and that the other members of the alliance can be obliged to join in common action against the aggressor if the relevant terms of the treaty are invoked, as they should be. That should be the first move, showing the Iranians that the West is united and determined to act. It should be accompanied by the appearance of some vessels from what is left of Her Majesty’s Navy, buttressing our own warships and — shhhh! — the French carrier now in the area. If we have actionable intelligence from the recent wave of defectors/prisoners, we should step up the campaign against Iranian officials and agents in Iraq. And we should undertake the legitimate self-defense to which we are entitled, by moving against the terrorist training camps, and the
improvised explosive device assembly lines and manufacturing sites inside the Islamic Republic.

Above all, we should, at long last, proclaim this regime unworthy of respect and call for its downfall.

Enough already.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". 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, most recently, ""The War Against the Terror Masters," Comment by clicking here.

Michael Ledeen Archives

© 2005, Michael Ledeen