The Daily Talking Points

News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for October 19, 2010:

  • Commentary: J.E. Dyer writes on the Contentions blog that Sunni Arabs are convinced Iran is taking over Iraq. He notes that Iraqi Sunnis in the Awakening movement are moving back into the insurgent camp because of this view, bolstered by fear of ending U.S. combat operations in Iraq. “In the absence of clear, assertive U.S. policy, we will find ourselves increasingly boxed in by the plans of opponents who want to make our policy for us. In many cases, the opponents will be terrorists,” he concludes.
  • National Review: Joel Rosenberg offers his theory behind Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon. Ahmadinejad’s aim, he writes, is “to rally the terrorist forces of Hezbollah for an apocalyptic war with the Jewish state that will set the stage for the coming of the Shia Islamic messiah known as the ‘Mahdi’ or the ‘Twelfth Imam.'” He says Iran and Hexbollah want to annihilate Israel and the United States. Rosenberg warns congressional Democrats and the president “don’t get it,” and that “Democrats have neither the wisdom nor the will to protect the American people or allies like Israel from the threat of Radical Islam,” and this may cost votes at the polls. He backs his views with findings from a poll commissioned by the neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel and a historical overview.
  • Pajamas Media: Former AEI fellow and current Foundation for Defense of Democracies scholar Michael Ledeen writes about internal opposition to the Islamic Republic. “The regime would surely fall in short order if its opponents received a modicum of real support from the West, but no such support seems to be forthcoming from the feckless men and women who mistakenly fancy themselves to be real leaders,” he opines. His launching point to discuss discontent is the string of recent bombings against Iranian Revolutionary Guard facilities. He quotes an unnamed source that the most recently attacked facility is used to train terrorists: “According to a reliable Iranian source, the foreigners were being trained in the use of roadside bombs, the so-called IEDs that account for most American and other NATO casualties in Afghanistan.”

Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.