Iran Connects the Dots

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  1. Adam's Apple
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    The Mullahs and the Global War on Terror
    By Michael A. Ledeen, American Enterprise Institute
    June 9, 2006

    It didn’t take long for the yackers and scribblers to start pooh-poohing the significance of the elimination of Zarqawi. The MSNBC/al-Reuters headline said it all: ‘Zarqawi more myth than Man.’ And of course, the hate-America crowd was hinting that the ‘timing’ was peculiar (Bush needed a boost in the polls), as if killing Zarqawi was just a matter of giving the order, rather than a difficult operation made possible by the great performance of our Special Forces and the active cooperation of Sunni tribal leaders in the Anbar Province, plus the Jordanians, plus the various party leaders in Baghdad.

    Whatever the "explanation," the significance of this operation is enormous. It’s not just about Iraq (it very much involves North America, for example), and it effectively explodes one of the most dangerous confusions about the nature of the terror network.

    We have probably just lived through the greatest global counterterrorist operation in history. In Iraq alone, some 16 or 17 terror cells were attacked at the same time as Zarqawi was killed. And the wave of arrests--just yesterday the Swiss reported they had broken up a cell planning to attack an El Al passenger plane--is like nothing I have seen before, bespeaking an encouraging degree of international cooperation. It goes hand in hand with the devastating campaign in Iraq against the terrorist leadership. Zarqawi is just the latest to fall; most of his top associates had been eliminated over the course of the past several months.

    These recent successes may even provoke some of our analysts to rethink one of the core doctrines about contemporary terrorism: that it consists of myriad independent cells, tied together ideologically but not operationally. Not so. Shortly after the liberation of Afghanistan, I wrote that al Qaeda had been effectively destroyed, and that we should stop talking about al Qaeda as if it were the most important component in the terror network. I argued that we should conceive of terrorism as a kind of galaxy, with numerous components--ranging from Hamas and Islamic Jihad to the rump of al Qaeda and, most importantly, Hezbollah--who worked together, organized a division of labor, and were held in their orbits and epicycles by the Iranian intelligence apparatus, from the official ministry to the specialized units in the Revolutionary Guards.

    The intelligence community was savaged after 9/11 for its failure to connect the dots, and it would be truly embarrassing, and very dangerous, to leave the Iranian dot out there apart from the rest of the network we have uncovered and shattered. A week ago Director of National Intelligence Negroponte gave a very interesting interview to the BBC in which he reiterated what everybody knows: "(the Iranians) are the principal state sponsor of terrorism in the world." So how come we’re not going after them?

    There is no escape from the necessity of bringing down the mullahcracy, for they will keep killing our people and our friends. Faster, please.

    for full article:
    http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.24514/pub_detail.asp
     

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