25 June 2009

Checking In With Dr. Ronen Bergman Part I

Not personally mind you, but via the web. What can I say? I trust Cambridge-trained historians to get the facts right more than I trust western journalists with an ax to grind.

The first thing I found, from The Jewish Week in NYC, was essentially a recapitulation of what I heard from Dr. Bergman and then put in my notes a couple weeks ago. This part, however, is new:
Q: What can you tell us about Mir Hossein Mousavi, the so-called pro-reform opposition candidate who spearheaded the protests over the election returns?
A: Mousavi was the Iranian connection to the Americans in the Iran-Contra affair, and American and Israeli intelligence said he was the most extreme person they had met. He reminds many of another so-called Iranian moderate, former President Mohammad Khatami. Khatami came in [in 1997] as a great hope and people said he would be the Gorbachev of Iran — that he was going to change Iran. But the big leap forward in the Iranian nuclear project was under Khatami. Khatami cherished suicide bombers in the [Palestinian] territories and twice he called for the destruction of Israel.
Q: If Mousavi became president, could he change anything?
A: No, because I don’t see Mousavi bringing about change. And the fact we see him as a more moderate element of the regime and see him as a reformer, does not mean he is a reformer. He does not call all the shots.
When I say that I support the revolution in Iran, it is with eyes wide open about the political realities of Mousavi's nuclear ambitions. I understand that he is similar to Ahmadinejad in this regard--or rather, that even if he weren't different, he's not the one calling the shots, it's the supreme leader. I get all that.

I support democracy in Iran because I believe that the more democratic Iran becomes, the less likely they are to both build a bomb and use it against their enemies--specifically Israel. I do not believe that the Obama administration's attempts at diplomacy have a snowball's chance of succeeding. What has happened in North Korea is a cautionary tale.

If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at lybberty@gmail.com.