Iran and the Problem of Evil

[AEI/Wall Street Journal ] Michael Ledeen - The world is simmering in the familiar rhetoric and actions of movements and regimes - from Hizbullah and al-Qaeda to the Iranian Khomeinists and the Saudi Wahhabis - who swear to destroy us and others like us. More often than not, we downplay the consequences of their words, as if they were intended for internal consumption. Why are we failing to see the mounting power of evil enemies? It is unpleasant to accept the fact that many people are evil, and entire cultures can fall prey to evil leaders and march in lockstep to their commands. Old Jew-hating texts like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, now in Farsi and Arabic, are proliferating throughout the Middle East. Calls for the destruction of the Jews appear regularly on Iranian, Egyptian, Saudi and Syrian television and are heard in European and American mosques. There is little if any condemnation from the West, and virtually no action against it, suggesting, at a minimum, a familiar Western indifference to the fate of the Jews. The nature of Western politics makes it very difficult for national leaders to take timely, prudent measures before war is upon them. But this time, ignorance cannot be claimed as an excuse. If we are defeated, it will be because of failure of will, not lack of understanding, as, indeed, was almost the case with our near-defeat in the 1940s. The writer is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

2008-06-10 01:00:00

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